Monday, December 31, 2018

One Word - 2019

2018 is a wrap.  My #oneword for 2018 was welcome.  And BOY HOWDY!  Did we welcome things in 2018!  We were welcomed home to our forever home that we purchased in the Spring.  That was HUGE.  Jake was welcomed on to a new basketball team that has allowed us to welcome a whole new group of friends.  Emma was welcomed into the Metal Fabrication program at Meridian Technology Center.  Lara welcomed new challenges and adventures at school that really stretched and grew her.  And Finn welcomed first grade with a vengeance!  He has broken out of his shell, and truly is a joy of a little boy to be around!  I welcomed the challenge of Grad School, and Britt welcomed the challenges of being a stay at home dad and tackling all of the logistics of running our home and kids all around.  We welcomed 2018, and for the most part, she welcomed us too!  There were bumps and bruises along the way, but each of those was a welcome moment of learning as well!

2019 came up fast!  We have been in warp speed as a family for the past couple of months.  So, unlike some years, I had no thought of my One Word until yesterday.  I read a few blog posts, found a list of popular "one word" choices, and prayed.  It was abundantly clear that God was telling me to LISTEN.  And not to just listen, but to HEAR!  Not just to Him, which has been a struggle here at the end of the year, but to my friends, my family, my co-workers and professors.  My students, my classmates, my kids.  LISTEN.  Listen for comprehension.  Listen for clarity.  Listen for compassion.  Listen to HEAR, not for a space to speak.

I also like to pick a Bible verse to focus on that goes along with my One Word.  I read through many verses yesterday, trying to find the right one that expressed the sentiment I felt for the word.  I had a hard time landing on one, but this one stood out to me.  So, I LISTENED!  I listened to what God was telling me, and I studied this verse.  James 1:19 says "Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."  Those first 2 statements really speak to me.  And if we can change "angry" to "annoyed," we would be spot on!

I am entering 2019 with a pledge to be quick to listen, and slow to speak.  To listen to HEAR, not to listen for my turn to talk.  Along with that, I want to measure my words when I respond, not just respond with a knee-jerk reaction.  Listen, REALLY LISTEN, and understand what is being said,m instead of jumping in for the answer or the quick fix.  This one is going to be hard.  Pray for me!

As part of my One Word journey each year, I like to look back over the years that I have chosen a word and what that looked like.  I enjoyed re-reading last year's post about Welcome, and reflecting on all the changes we had this past year.  We welcomed so many new things, but the biggest change was our new home.  I know we won't have a year like this again, but I am excited to see what 2019 brings for us.  (And dreading 2020 just a little bit as that is the year my little ladies will graduate from high school, but let's not talk about that now...)  Here is a list of the past posts:

2018 - welcome
2017 - closer  (I was anxious, and blog-averse, as we opened 2017, so it's a short FB post)
2016 - greater
2015 - brave
2014 - joyful
2013 - resolution

So in the vein of today being New Year's Eve, I want to WELCOME all of you to 2019, and tell you to LISTEN to your surroundings in 2019.  Here's to a great year!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

The One with Sushi for Santa

December 21-25, 2018

This weekend is stretched out to include Christmas Day!  Not a lot to share - we spent a lot of time as a family.  relaxing, binge watching TV and Netflix and Christmas Movies on the Hallmark channel, and board games.  Once we opened some gifts,  there were new "toys" to play with and a few new distractions, but that didn't keep us from recharging our batteries, and binge watching TV!

Friday the 21st, the kids were all out of school.  Mom had to work until 12 noon, but it was still holiday season, and we were so ready!  There was an OSU men's basketball game at noon that day, but Lara was already worn out from football switching to wrestling, and from finals, so she chose to stay home and recharge while the men folk went to the game - and I met them there after I got off work!  We got to watch Lara's friend Clay Hatfield win $100 at halftime by completing a series of shots in 30 seconds.  I'm sure she is sad she missed it!

Saturday, we braved the mall.  Dad had a Christmas Errand to run in OKC, so he dropped Mom and 3 kids (Lara, Jake, and Finn) off at the mall to kill time, and to keep his Santa Secrets.  We shopped for stocking stuffers, went to every shoe store (Thanks, Jake!), and had a treat at the Cookie Dough store.  The mall was busy, but not packed.  I guess we get the procrastinators award this year!  Lara also tried on a couple of prom dresses - never too early to start thinking about that!  When we got home, Jake wanted to see how much taller than Lara he really was...

She's 16.5; He is 11 and 11/12ths

So, there's that...

Sunday, we had another relaxing day and went to the "Christmas Eve" church service at Life Church.  We took the obligatory Christmas photo in front of the prop the church always provides!  After we got home, Jake and Lara had a YouTube Karaoke contest in her room.  I was the judge!

Perfectly Imperfect
Monday was Christmas Eve!  The tension was mounting, and the 7 year old was SO READY for Santa to make an appearance already!  Lara left early in the morning to meet up with Emma and the Horinek/Golay side of the family for Christmas festivities.  They sent this cute pic from the Walmart parking lot:

Before we got down to Christmas business, we were still marveling at how the girls' "little" brother was so much taller then them!  We actually found some old pictures and made a fun collage:

ages 3 and 7; ages 14 and 10, ages 16 and 11

We measured the kids, too.  Jake is 5'9", Emma is 5'8", and Lara is 5'6".  Finn is 4'1" at 7, but his growth has always been weird, so we have no idea where he will end up in the mix.  We'll know in about 10 years, I suppose!
Then, that evening, we all met up at Nana and Grandpa's house in Perkins for Christmas Even festivities with them.  We had chili for dinner, and the kids got to open presents from their grandparents.  The girls are at the age where they get money and gift cards to their favorite stores.  But, don't be fooled, they still got down on the ground and played with Finn's new toys, too!

Once we were all back at the Weaver House on a Hill, it was time for Christmas Eve traditions: new PJ's, the annual reading of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and setting out sushi and soda for Santa.  The stockings were all hung, the kids tucked in bed, and the next morning would be CHRISTMAS!
Christmas PJ's 2018
Stockings and Sushi
CHRISTMAS DAY!  It's finally here!  And there are literally no pictures!  That means it was a great day, right!  Emma and Lara each got their traditional 3 gifts from us (just like the wise men gave Jesus), and a Santa gift (something more frivolous).  The fact that they traded some gifts around just goes to show how their personalities switch back and forth, and in a pinch, they will help each other out!  They were surprised by some gifts, and grateful for needs met with others.  Just the way we like it!  We had Chick-fil-A catering and Potato Soup for lunch, then moved on to our Christmas Day tradition of board games.  For several years it was Rustic Cuff Monopoly, but the last 2 years it has been Ticket to Ride.

Ticket to Ride (board game)
Emma left us early in the evening to go see friends and do her own thing.  We were happy to be all together for the Christmas holiday.  There is only one more of these before the holiday will change drastically since they won't be living at home anymore.  Bittersweet.  Glad I am documenting these memories!

Next week, it's a new year.  Welcome, 2019!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

I am One Sixth of the way there....

Last week, I finished up my first semester of Graduate School.  6 hours of the 36 required are under my belt.  With Straight A's, I might add!  I am well on my way to a Masters of Science in Educational Leadership Students: Higher Education.  It was a rough semester, and the last few weeks of the term about did me in, but I MADE IT!  In addition to my full time job and 4 kids, I had 2 trips, a Homecoming Court participant, and a looming surgery effecting every move I made during the last 3 weeks of the semester where I had a project, 2 presentations, and 2 term papers to do!  Stress was my first, middle, and last name!  But here I am on the other side!  I rocked both presentations.  I made a 97 on one paper and a 100 on the other.  Final A's grades for both classes have been posted.  My surgery was last week, and while I am still recovering, it gets slightly better every day.

I had decided earlier in the semester, that as part of my blog I would post my favorite paper or project form the term.  I had 2 very different classes with very different professors this semester.  I liked them each for different reasons, and I hated them each (at times) for different reasons.  But I definitely have a favorite project.  The mid-term paper for my Foundations of Higher Education class turned out to be a labor of love.  And I want to share it here.

The project was called "O-State Stories" and the goal was to write a paper based on a topic covered the in the Oral History Project in the Archives of the OSU Library.  The Oral Histories would serve as part of the content for our project, and each student chose at least 3 oral histories to read and/or listen to in relation to the topic we had chosen.  Additionally, we used the OSU Centennial Series to relate the topic specifically to OSU history.  We used our class text book to relate these events we were studying to college campuses around the United States during the time period we focused on.  The purpose of the paper was to draw together the personal stories told in oral histories, the official OSU story from the Centennial History Series, and the textbook.  Here is my submission (which I received a 99% on):

Legacy of a College Pond:
A Gathering Place

Betsey D. Weaver
Oklahoma State University

Legacy of a College Pond:
A Gathering Place

     Oklahoma State University boasts a unique and storied history.  Formally founded as Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College on Christmas Day, 1890, it is often touted as one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation.  From the picturesque Georgian architecture, to the extensive 25-year plan, and including today’s most modern facilities, OSU experienced significant achievements and impressive progress over the last century and a quarter.  One of the most iconic campus features started out as a pond to serve as a reservoir for horses after a severe three-year drought.  The pond, planned for and dug by horse plow in 1893, was originally called “Horse Pond” because of its proximity to The Horse Barn (Sanderson, McGlamery, & Peters, 1990); unfortunately, this barn succumbed to fire in 1922. The pond then became known as Theta Pond, as the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority house was located right across the street from the iconic body of water (Sanderson et al.,1990).  Historic Theta Pond served as a backdrop for college shenanigans, the site for unpleasant dunking of fraternity men after proposals, and a place of many students’ collegiate memories. If a pond could talk, this one might tell the story of OSU’s transformation from raw, undeveloped prairie land to a thriving, modern campus.

Student Life in the 1910’s
     Ruth Myers Lincoln participated in the O-State Stories Oral History Project on her 100th birthday – December 2, 2007.  Lincoln arrived on the campus of Oklahoma A&M College (OAMC) in Stillwater after graduating high school in 1916 (Lincoln, 2007). During the period of 1900-1920, college campuses touted elected beauty queens, voted for the most popular men and women on campus, and glorified the most outstanding athlete (Murphy, 1988).  Known as the “Golden Age” of the college, pride in individual schools rose as campuses adopted formal mascots, official institutional colors, and wrote spirit and loyalty inducing college hymns and alma mater songs (Thelin 2011). Student social life focused on fun – dancing, motion pictures, the automobile, and overconsumption of tobacco and alcohol.  This emphasis on decadence and the rise in the importance of social life on college campuses resulted in a student motto proclaiming “Never let College studies interfere with your college education” (Murphy, 1998).   This theme is reflected as students considered courses being a “necessary evil” to be paid as admission to the “greatest show on earth, campus life” (Thelin, 2011). Another phenomenon happening across the nation on college campuses involved the stabilization of Greek social organization as students flocked to extra-curricular activities that incorporated fellowship, character building, and well-roundedness.  On the OAMC campus, the first Greek social fraternity was founded in 1908 out of a boarding house; many Stillwater boarding houses would morph into Greek housing over the next several years. (Murphy, 1998). Lincoln involved herself with this new opportunity by becoming a founding member of the Nu Chapter of the Kappa Delta social sorority in 1917.  While majoring in Home Economics and earning her Life Teaching Certificate, Lincoln recalled being involved with many campus activities.  Her fondest memories of her social life inventoried the parties – including ones after football games, numerous dances, and the phonograph records students used to play music at these events.  OAMC was heavily populated with military training at the time, and Lincoln reminisced on how she “went to bed by the military playing ‘Taps’ and got up to ‘Reveille’” (Lincoln, 2007).  But one of her brightest memories involved Theta Pond, then known as “The Horse Pond.”  Lincoln recounted memories of “the boys” participating in a tug-of-war over the pond.  Different fraternity groups would man the rope on each end as it stretched over the expanse of the pond, and the “losers” always ended up being drug through the “mucky bottom” of the campus pond at the end of the battle (Sanderson et al, 1990).  The Horse Pond evokes vivid memories and stories of OAMC during the “Golden Age” of colleges.

Student Life after the Great Depression, late 1930’s – early 1940’s
     During this time, students had endured the toughest days of the Great Depression, and the OAMC campus mood was one of optimism and liveliness (Murphy, 1988).  Nationally, campuses had started to “split” along socioeconomic status into the “haves” and “have nots – usually along the lines of Greek-letter fraternities and sororities vs. the “Independents” (Thelin, 2011). Women’s enrollment in colleges nationally rose to 40%, and this is when Genevieve Holton came to Stillwater to attend OAMC in 1938.  She enjoyed many of the activities the campus had to offer in those days.  She was a member of a sorority, but did not limit her activities to the one area of student life.  Holton also participated in the girls’ glee club, played on her sorority’s girls’ basketball team, and was in the “Peppers Organization” – a girls’ sports cheerleading squad.  Her memories include sandwich shops off campus where she and her friends gathered in the afternoons and evenings to have a “Coke,” dance halls filled with large band stands where swing bands would play while students danced the night away, as well as recollections of her times with sorority sisters as they prepared for Homecoming events (Horton 2006). During these days of merriment, the campus grew to include new dormitories, as well as new sorority and fraternity housing.  As of 1941, OAMC was home to the largest college dormitory in the southwest, as well as 5 national sororities and 12 fraternities. This additional housing posed the campus to have “adequate” housing for the rapidly increasing enrollment the college experienced. All of this growth and housing boom steered campus officials to institute a curfew for students – 8pm on weeknights and midnight on weekends (Murphy, 1988). Horton’s brightest memories of campus life during this time focus on her time as a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.  She remembers living in a small room of the house, which was then in its permanent location at 1309 College (now University) Avenue.  She lived with a roommate, where bunkbeds filled most of the space in the room.  Horton excitedly retold the story of a dance hall called “The Rock Castle” that prohibited sorority women.  She indicated she knew a few who “broke the rules” and attended anyway. Another amusing memory she recounted encompassed going to the movie house in town, then riding in a taxi cab back to the sorority house after a date.  The rate for the trip back was a dime, but the limit was the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority house.  To continue in the cab west of that landmark, the fare went up to fifteen cents because it was “out in the country” (Horton, 2006).  Homecoming represented a time for alums to come back to their alma mater, but during this time the focus shifted to undergraduate students.  The festivities included beauty pageants, festivals, and other opportunities for bonding within the university community (Thelin, 2011).  Horton recalls one Homecoming at OAMC which stood out for her:
“…our sorority had a float in the Homecoming parade … This float had a huge clear plastic frame on it, like a corsage box, and one of our beautiful Alpha Delta Pi girls sitting up there as an orchid corsage. It was very neat and we won” (Horton, 2006, p.4).
Horton also had her own special memories of Theta Pond.  However, hers were not as festive as tales recounted before her time on campus.  A drought had caused the water in Theta Pond to dry up, and there were not going to be any more class fights, tug-of-wars, or inopportune swims in the unpleasant pond (Horton, 2006).  Soon after she left campus in 1942, a renovation effort started on the beloved body of water to not only bring the water levels back, but to also make it beautiful.  The designs called for lining the pond with rocks and creating a spillway along the College Avenue side of the landmark.  Also included in the plans were an ornamental bridge and a manmade center island (Sanderson, et al., 1990).  These improvements to the cherished campus attraction brought life back to the pond and assured its future as a site for memories yet to be forged. 

Student Life Growth 1955-1965
During this decade, there was a prevalent theme on the Stillwater campus that “every girl” came to college thinking they would marry (Dunn, 2011).  This trend led to a boom of sorts in curriculum focusing on the family, and marriage in particular (Dunn, 2011; Waldrop, 2014).  On a national scale, a rush for students to go to college – ANY college – earned the time period the title of the “Era of Mass.”  The nation was experiencing economic prosperity, young people had educational aspirations, and the demographic boom all had colleges celebrating the evolution.  Growth is never without drawbacks, however.  Student life developed a theme of abundance.  Prestige combined with a proliferation of activities illustrated campus life during this time (Thelin 2011). Locally, Oklahoma State University invoked conduct rules that were both “traditional and restrictive.”  The campus infrastructure also battled as the overpopulation of cars on campus made transportation and parking more difficult.  40% of students had a car on campus, but there was very limited parking (Murphy, 1988). Jerry Ann Dunn came to the campus of OAMC in 1957, and she recalls many memories of her life as a student on the growing campus.  During her time as and elementary major with minors in business and English, she recounted walking everywhere and only being allowed to wear pants on Fridays.  She remembered study hours in the library where she had to check-in and check-out as dictated by her membership in the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.  Another recollection was focused on the weekend curfew – she recalled it being 11:00 pm – when the lights would flicker in the house and that indicated you were to come home (Dunn, 2011).  In 1962, the women’s hours restrictions were “improved” as women were allowed to stay out until 10:30pm on weeknights, and 1:00am on Friday and Saturday nights (Murphy, 1988). Dunn also indicated missing curfew would put a co-ed in a “world of trouble;” the housemother expressed much dissatisfaction when Dunn missed the curfew once (Dunn, 2011).  Dunn’s most prominent memory of her days in Stillwater encompasses the institutional name change from Oklahoma A&M to Oklahoma State University.  After 67 years, OAMC officially became Oklahoma State University of Agriculture and Applied Science on July 1, 1957 (Murphy, 1988). Dunn described the event as a great time and “very exciting,” cherishing being a part of the important evolution. She reflected on how the change allowed the university the opportunity at a broader chance for future expansion (Dunn, 2011). About the same time Dunn left Stillwater, Ruthann Waldrop started her days at Oklahoma State University.  Waldrop was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and was a triple major in home economics, preschool education, family relations and child development (Waldrop, 2014). Waldrop only lived in the sorority house for a short period of time.  Since she was from Stillwater, she preferred living at home as her mother’s rules and curfew were not as restrictive as the housemother’s or the campus as a whole.  She recanted receiving a weekend grounding for being 2 minutes past curfew after a date with her future husband when she lived in the sorority house (Waldrop, 2014). As a part of their academic curriculum, both Dunn and Waldrop mentioned their marriage class as a time of growth and claim its usefulness in their futures as wives and mothers – a reflection of the era on a national scale.  Student life was very social and lively during this decade; a party to celebrate any occasion was always on the calendar.  Students participated in events at the Student Union including Howdy Week Dances, Junior/Senior proms, and a Luau (Murphy, 1988; Waldrop, 2014) and watched movies at the Aggie Theater, Campus Corner Theater, and the Leachman Theater (Dunn, 2011). Another common theme during this decade involved the Homecoming celebrations at OSU.  Dunn and Waldrop remember staying up late, working on the floats for the parade, and making small decorations for the yards at the Greek houses.  Dunn reminisced about riding a tandem bicycle during the Homecoming parade as a member of the Mortar Board Greek Honor Society (Dunn, 2011). Waldrop retold a story of being lured to a fraternity house to “work on the float,” but the event was truly a party with little to no work getting done on the float for the Homecoming parade (Waldrop, 2014).  And just like the generations before them, these students also found ways to make memories at Theta Pond.  The theme of marriage reappears with the illustrious pond in the background, as this era saw countless young men thrown in to the mired pond once his friends found out he was engaged to be married (Dunn, 2011).  In 1963, another movement started to join in a “muck removal” of a muddied Theta Pond.  The Student Senate assembled 500 students for the job.  While they were not able to rid the pond of its copious amounts of mud, the day was counted successful as they constructed a retaining wall and a shelf around the main areas of the pond (Sanderson et al., 1990).  Theta Pond now held an important role as a significant and permanent symbol of campus life at Oklahoma State, and the efforts to keep it clean, appealing, and meaningful for years to come became an important task for every generation of students in Stillwater.

     This college pond serves as a legacy for generations of students on the Stillwater Campus.  As the Horse Pond at OAMC, the body of water originated as a reservoir of potable water for the horses who stabled in the nearby barn.  A gathering place for the work animals at the end of a hard day of work.  As time marched on, the pond acquired a new name based on its location near a prominent sorority house and Theta Pond became a gathering place for young college men to flex their muscles and fight battles for prominence and bragging rights (Murphy 1988).  Through the years, the pond underwent many changes, including opportunities to make it larger, and more useful for the campus and students alike, to projects focused on beautification and university pride.  Theta Pond is a common theme throughout the storied history of Oklahoma State University and the legacy left by the memories recounted here help make the narrative of events in Stillwater and on the college campus more vivid and relatable. Oklahoma State University and the recorded O-State Stories retold by alumni have a common thread of Stillwater, university traditions, and this iconic pond of water.  Students will continue to gather near Theta Pond to share a quiet moment, enjoy the beautiful landscaping and memorizing fountains, or witness a picturesque spring wedding.  Each visit to the pond weaves another thread into the tapestry of the vivid histories of OSU.

Dunn, J. A. (2011, October 28). An oral history interview with Jerry Ann Dunn/Interviewer: Mary Larson. O-State Stories Oral History Project, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.
Holton, F.L., & Horton, G. (2006, October 5). An oral history interview with F.L. and Genevieve Holton/Interviewer: Steve Holton. O-State Stories Oral History Project, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.
Lincoln, R. M. (2007, December 2). An oral history interview with Ruth Myers Lincoln/Interviewer: Tanya Finchum and Juliana Nykolaiszyn. O-State Stories Oral History Project, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.
Murphy, P. M. (1988). A history of Oklahoma State University student life and services. Oklahoma State University.
Sanderson, J. L., McGlamery, R. D., & Peters, D. C. (1990). A history of the Oklahoma State University campus. Oklahoma State University.
Thelin, J. R. (2011). A history of American higher education. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Waldrop, R. (2014, November 18). An oral history interview with Ruthann Waldrop/Interviewer: Juliana Nykolaiszyn. O-State Stories Oral History Project, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater.

The One Mom Slept Through

December 14 - 16, 2018

But at least the girls were together!

Emma and Lara were together on Friday night here in Stillwater as they went to a birthday party for a mutual friend who was turning 16.  There is no photographic evidence of this, but I heard it is true!

On Saturday they went with their Horinek family for a fun day of exploring downtown Oklahoma City and taking fun family photos.  There is slight photographic evidence of this:

Saturday night, Lara had a babysitting gig for a friend of mine.  She was supposed to watch 2 sixth graders, a 5th grader, and a Kindergartner.  The Kindergartner ended up not being there, so she spent the evening watching tween boys play video games and in her words, she was just there "to make sure they didn't kill each other or set the place on fire!"

Sunday, Lara was a GREAT big sister and took her 2 little brothers to the movies.  They saw Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.  She was "meh" about it, but both of the boys LOVED it, and it allowed Dad and I to get a few Christmas chores knocked out.  Since I had surgery last Wednesday, recovery has been sow and extra time non-existent.

Next week: Finals and the start of Christmas Break!  BRING IT!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The One With Wrestling and Take Overs

December 7 - 11, 2018

This one extends a few days into the next week to accommodate a special event.

With Football season over for our Pioneers, it was time for Lara to exit the Football Locker Room and head over to the warm and smelly wrestling room.  After a day of cleaning and putting away football, wrestling, in all it's glory, was in full swing.  Thursday night Lara was off to Southmoore for the first away dual of the season!

But, as usual, there is no rest for the weary!  Friday morning the crew was up bright and early for a little end of semester family vacay and basketball tournament in San Antonio, Texas!  We were excited for the trip, because the weather was forecast to be really bad in Stillwater, and we didn't want any part of that.  Joke was on us for Friday, though.  Our 7 hour drive stretched well beyond ten when we were caught in torrential downpours, construction traffic, and lots and lots of wrecks.  We finally made it safely to our hotel around 7 pm that night, and all we wanted to do was SLEEP!

While in Texas and San Antonio, Lara got to do a lot of firsts.  This was her first time to see Jake play with his AET teammates.  She ate at her first In-And-Out Burger, and made her first Buc-ee's Pit Stop.  She was a super basketball sister, and Big Sister for the whole team.  she offered to run the clock, took boys drinks on the bench, and helped moms with iPhone problems!  We were so glad she took the time out of her busy schedule to come on this trip with us!

In the meantime...  Lara had been selected to be the junior class representative for Wrestling Homecoming.  Which was Tuesday after we got home from our trip LATE on Sunday night.  She found out 11 days before the event!  Luckily, she was able to borrow a BEAUTIFUL Navy and Silver dress from Emma's friend Katie, awesome earrings from my friend Jennifer, made a hair appointment with Charlene, and her friend Haydn agreed to do her make up.  WHEW!  We were ready.  Escorted by Junior Henry Warren, so she was ready to do this.  It was old hat - since she was freshman attendant last year!  She did a fantastic job, as expected, and we are so proud of her accomplishments!  Those boys really love and respect her!

We are so thankful for everyone who came out to support her at the pep rally on Tuesday afternoon, and to the Homecoming Wrestling Dual that night.  She has so many people who love her and love to cheer her on!  What a bright light she shines!

And Thank you EMMA for making the special effort to come out Tuesday night.  You girls are awesome!  Here's to another week!

Friday, December 7, 2018

The One With the Silver Ball

November 30 - December 2, 2018

This is the week we have all been waiting for.  Our Pioneers are 12-0.  We worked all the way through the playoff bracket and are playing for the Class 6A-II Championship under the Friday Night Lights in Owasso, Oklahoma against Bixby.  Lots of build up and pressure as the week progressed.  The team had their LAST Team Dinner on Thursday night.  Friday there was an amazing Pep Rally, which also kicked of Wrestling season, and a GREAT send off for the team with the whole school gathering in front of the school to sing and cheer as the buses pulled out for the 1.5 hour trip to Owasso.  So much riding on this single moment in time.

The biggest threat, however, was not necessarily the Bixby Spartans.  The Oklahoma weather was having a hard time remembering it was winter, and not Spring.  Storms were rolling through, and there was a threat of severe weather, including tornadoes!  We wanted to get to the stadium early, so the Weavers rolled out before 4pm to head over to the game.  We got there before the gates were even open!  Not too long after we settled in to our seats, there was a tornado warning and the entire stadium was evacuated.  We went to the indoor practice facility directly behind the stadium and waiting out this wave of weather.  We were in there about half an hour, and the game was set with a new kickoff time of 7:25pm.

The game was a good one.  Played close.  Defense was definitely carrying our team - we had a hard time getting anything really going on offense,.  And as expected, it was an intense time.  Both teams got sideline warnings and the fans were really into it!  The Stillwater (Away) side of the stadium was PACKED with football fans true to the bronze and blue!  It was extraordinary to see so many people roll out and make the drive in questionable weather to see the boys vie for the Championship.

THIS CREW!  So much love...

By halftime, we were behind on the scoreboard, but still fighting hard.  The pep band was there to help with the atmosphere, and the fans were still 100 percent behind these boys!  The weather was still giving us fits - occasional sprinkles and big gusts of wind.  A few minutes in to the fourth quarter, we were evacuated again,  And this was a BIG one!  As we were trying to navigate our way down the stadium stairs, we were pummeled with rain and HUGE gusts of wind.  It was a bug unnerving to say the least!  And then, getting into the indoor facility was marred by epople who went 5 feet inside the door, then STOPPED!  Luckily, the team and trainers were in another building and didn't have to deal with the fans.  We spent over 2 hours in this holding pattern.  We even went to the car, prepared to leave, when at 11:40 they announced we would resume play at MIDNIGHT!  Jake and Finn chose to stay in the car, but Mom and Dad had a game to finish.

Traditional Halftime Photo!

Ultimately, the game did not end up the way we had hoped.  It was so so late.  Everyone was wet, and cold.  We received the Silver Ball trophy, as well as a plaque for being first in Academic GPA for our class,  All things to be very proud of, but the sting of defeat is oh so real.  It was well past 2:00am when we got home, and almost 3 when Lara got home.  This one was going to take some time to heal from.  And to dry out from!

Saturday was spent recovering and resting.  Sunday, too.  Then Lara was a social butterfly and went to 2 parties.  One was a Christmas cookie decorating party and the other was a surprise 16th birthday party for a friend.  She was WORN OUT when she got home - people-ing is hard!

Hard to believe Christmas is right around the corner.  Another week in the books.  What will next weekend hold?!? (Maybe next week I won't be super late with the update.  It's already Friday night now... )

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The One with Turkey and Hogs

November 22 - 25, 2018

Well, I finally did it.  I finally completely missed posting the 2020 project blog.  For 2 weeks!  Today is December 6.  Thanksgiving was 2 weeks ago today.  It was on my to-do list everyday.  For Two Weeks!  And, of course, this week I needed to catch up with TWO blogs!  Thanks giving weekend, and this past weekend.  But, LIFE!  It has been oh so busy!  Holidays!  End of semester!  State Football Playoffs games! Basketball season!  Wrestling Season!  Sick kids!  And on, and on, and on!  But, here we are!  A quick recap of the Thanksgiving holiday and the weekend that followed.

Things were pretty chill for Thanksgiving this year.  We decided to have dinner in Perkins at Nana and Grandpas.  We planned a meal with everyone's favorites.  Mom cooked some, My dad carved the bird, Britt cooked some, and Lara, Jake and I made Pioneer Woman mashed potatoes!  Emma was there, too, and it was a wonderful afternoon.  I think the highlight of the day was the canned whipped cream.  There was eating from the can, tossing of the cream, and general debauchery around the dinner table.  We took pictures in the back yard, and watched TV.  There was family here form all over, so later in the afternoon we headed to Stillwater to visit.  Emma and Lara went back to Orlando to have Thanksgiving with their family there as well.  A wonderful day!

Friday we spent the day catching up, and packing for our trip to Arkansas.  My coworker and dear friend Chelsea was getting married to the man of her dreams, Jericho, and we were off to Mount Magazine to watch it all happen.  Emma didn't make this trip,  After stressing about the weather for months, it was the PERFECT fall day in Arkansas and a beautiful wedding for Mr. and Mrs. McElroy!

We stayed Saturday night in Fort Smith, then got up Sunday morning and went to the Bentonville / Rogers area.  We attended Life Church there, had lunch at the Ozark Bagel Company, then headed back to Stillwater.

It was a wonderful holiday weekend, even if Monday did come to soon!  And the coming week is going to be a full one - we play our STATE CHAMPIONSHIP FOOTBALL PLAYOFF game this coming Friday night in Owasso.  Stay Tuned!