Sunday, September 16, 2012

And Grandkids....

A new school year has begun!!
And just because I love this....

Still Wishin'......

...but no stitchin'..... Had a wondertastic visit with my family and friends in Kansas a couple of weeks ago. Filled with brothers, sister, sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncle, cousins, friends, peaches, wells, cemateries, dogs and surprises.... I loved every minute! I arrived in Wichita late on Wednesday night... Isn't it funny when you travel, you become a text-a-holic??? My 2 brothers and I texted as often as we could during by trip.... I was so excited to see them. I knew my brother Jim and sister-in-law Lylia would be picking me up at the airport as I had made arrangements to spend my first 3 nights with them. Had no idea anyone else would be there because it was almost midnight when my flight arrived. As I was walking down the ramp from the gate, I could see my brother Jim waiting for me. I was so happy to see him.... we are walking away from the gate and all of the sudden someone is bumping up against me on my other side... I look up to say excues you... and it's my little brother Duane! What a goof... and behind him are my 2 sister-in-laws! I felt sooo special! We all went to Jims and sat up and visited for a couple hours. I slept like a rock that night, because the night before I was so excited, I don't think I slept 10 minutes!
My brothers!! Duane -my baby brother & Jim
My sisters-in-laws!! Lylia & Lisa Thursday I had lunch with my brothers and sisters-in-law and my lovely niece Deiedra and great niece Cortney....
My second niece, Deiedra, my brother Chuck's first daughter, second child, and her daughter Cortney. Cortney heads to Dallas this month to start training in an acting/film acadamy.
Jimmy!! Friday evening we had a family and friend gathering. Nieces, nephews, friends... lots of good food. Lots of good laughs and a surprise!
Nephews Dallas & Austin, my baby brothers step sons. They look soooo excited! So proud of Dallas, he just started his first semester at Butler County Community College (just like me!) on a full music scholarship! Austin is my little buddy! Duane and the family are very involved with the One Spark organization. Austin loves to participate in the feed the homeless program they do monthly in downtown Wichita.
My best friend since we were old enuf to have friends! Annette and her mom Julie, who spent as much time with me growing up as my own mom! (you can't tell they are related at all can you?)
And the little-ist great niece... Addison
My dear friends Mike and Randi! I always love to see them!!!
My second nephew Clark and his wife Carla Sue. My sisters youngest son. Such sweeties! My sister was in the hospital while I was there, so she didn't get to participate in the family events. 20 years ago she had surgery to remove part of a lung due to cancer. 2 days after the surgery, she suffered a stroke. She continues to have issues with paralysis, phenomia, emphazima, anemia. The week before my visit, she fell out of bed, cracked her head on her night stand and broke some ribs in her fall. Due to the broken ribs and her weakened lung state, she developed phenomia... seems to be the last several years she is in the hospital more than she is out, but always seems to rally... her 2 sons and Carla Sue keep a good eye on her!
Dear sweet niece Crystal! My baby brothers 3rd daughter. My bff Annette (above!) and her husband came over for dinner. Annette comes to see me most every time I make it to Kansas, but her husband, Chuck, has not had the opportunity to be around the Clark clan as his job keeps him traveling. Chuck walked in to the living room and said to Crystal... I know you.... Crystal got this deer in the headlights look like OH MY GOSH... then the light went on for her and she figured out who he was... He said.... You work at Wal-Mart don't you? Yes... You are at the Newton Wal-Mart, right?.... Yes.... you used to be at the Dodge City Wal-Mart... Yes... Your name is Crystal.... Chuck is the rep for Kelloggs and covers the Kansas stores. Too funny... just shows what a small world it is! And to add to that, my niece Deiedra (way up above with her daughter Cortney...) has worked for Wal-Mart since she was in high school... I said to Chuck, you must know my niece Dee... He said.. Deiedra?? Of course I know Deiedra... she is awesome! I didn't get the chance to see Deid after that, so Chuck surprised her on his next visit to her store... It's a small small world! My baby brothers 3rd daughter, Crystal was named after me... Duane was so happy to tell me... Crystal Jean... Only he got his 2 sisters mixed up... Our sister's middle name is Jean... not mine... but it's ok, I'm proud that she is named after me!!!
And this one... my niece Jamie... my very first ever niece...My brother Jim's first born. When her Mom was pregnant, she lived with my Mom, Dad, little brother and I because Jim was at sea with the navy. My parents had 2 grandsons and wanted a granddaughter so bad... my Dad told Lylia if she didn't have a girl, she just might as well never leave that hospital... I was 9 years old... I remember watching my sis-in-law Lylia and my Dad sit at the kitchen table and eat tons of cantalope... Needless to say, my Dad was exstatic when Jamie was born! Unfortunatly, he passed away 8 weeks later. Babysitting Jamie was my first job... she is as much a baby sister for me as she is a niece... I was not supposed to see her until Saturday afternoon. She lives 4 hours from Wichita, but only 2 hours from Dodge City so we had made plans to meet in Dodge on Saturday afternoon. Needless to say... she couldn't handle not being with us on Friday, so she drove in and surprised her mother and me! I got to meet her fiance and spend quality time with them on the drive to Dodge on Saturday. I'm so blessed!
Jamie & Jeff
Love this sign... My mothers side of the family has gathered in Dodge City every Labor Day weekend for years. We had a wonderful visit with aunts, uncles, cousins, more nieces and nephews!
My third nephew Larry. My brother Chuck's first born. He has grown up to such a fine young man! My brother, his father, passed away a few years ago. Larry has kept up his father's tradition of entering the car his father rebuilt in local car shows. Just a couple weeks before my visit, the car, with Larry's improvements and showmanship won a "best in class, street rods 40 and later" at the Blacktop Nationals August 2012.
Larry's wife Kristen! She is such a love! Nephews, nephews-in-law, nieces, nieces-in-law, great nieces, great nephews... it doesn't matter, I do love being an Aunt!!
My niece Mandy.... and her 2 daughters! Manderdawn holds such a special place in my heart. She is 11 months younger than my Marla Jane. My baby brothers first born. She makes my days brighter with her frequent out of the blue text messages of love... I think she has a 6th sense when it comes to knowing when I need a lift! If you have made it this far.... you are about done! I've got a big family!!
The many faces of niece Christina, my baby brothers baby girl. A junior in high school, she is such a delight!
And niece Vanessa... baby brothers second daughter and her children. Nessa is such a stinker... she appologized to me before I headed to Wichita that her work schedule had changed and she would not be able to make it to Dodge City (a five hour drive from her home in Colorado to see me). I gave her ideas about calling in sick and all that, but told her I understood and was sad I would not get to see her... Guess who surpried her father and me on Saturday afternoon!! She even brought me my own bag of Colorado peaches... the best peaches in the world! Her kiddos were so happy to see their grandpa too! They helped him eat his dinner! Yes, baby brother Duane has 4 daughters, 2 step sons. He keeps busy! Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces, Nephews, belt buckles... and peaches! It's all good!
On the way back to Wichita, we stopped at Greensburg. When we were kids, when we would travel from Wichita to Dodge City, Greensburg was always the place to stop for a rest break. Usually that included a bologna sandwich too! No baloney this time! The last time I was back, the Well was not open yet. They have rebuilt the visitors center and it is awesome! Austin and I went down in the well!
The next day Duane and I made another trip to Kingman to check on our sister. We stopped at the family cemetery on the way in. Once back in Wichita, we stopped to visit our brothers grave site. The last time I was in Wichita was when he passed away, so this was the first chance I had to see the monument.
And finally Dogs.... or dog.... Linus, baby brothers Bull Dog. He's a cool dude...
Whew..... if you made it to the end of this... God bless you and thanks for listening to me! I hope to have some stitchy stuff soon, but it took all afternoon just to write this post! be safe! Happy stitching!!