Saturday, May 30, 2009

In Celebration Of.........

For the third year in a row, Tim, the boys and I, participated in the Cancer Survivorship Walk in celebration of my sister-in-law, Tricia, and her beating the cancer that she was diagnosed with in January of 2003. This year, she is FIVE YEARS CANCER FREE!

Team Sarcoma, is a group friends and family, that has grown to about 60+ over the past years, who gather each year to walk In Celebration of Tricia (& Hank) and In Memory of those who have touched our lives and are no longer with us.

This morning under dark gray storm clouds that eventually gave way to sunshine, we all gathered at Creve Coeur Lake Park with our awesome RED Team Sarcoma Shirts (thanks to Verizon Wireless and their sponsorship of Tricia's Team) and walked......strolled.....rode..........and celebration of those who have won and in memory of those who were unable to.

Getting ready for our team photo - quite a group this year!

Our youngest walker - 2 months old

Tricia & Hank w/ Sophie (Yipee)!

Tricia's sign on the Tribute Path

Cancer is a horrible disease. I have seen for myself how it can take a young newlywed couple's hopes and dreams of becoming biological parents and smash it to pieces. I have watched as the sister of a young mother with two children did everything that she possibly could do to help her sister through her fight with cancer, only to see her sister lose and leave behind her family to mourn her loss and try to carry on without her. I have known many women who have lost a parent, a sister, a brother, or a friend to the horrible disease. Cancer has no fear and knows no boundaries.

Congrats T, on another great walk!!! We are so glad that we could be a part of it!


A Great Man's View On Aging

by the late George Carlin

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids? If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

'How old are you?' 'I'm four and a half !' You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.

You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

'How old are you?' 'I'm gonna be 16!' You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16! And then the greatest day of your life .... . You become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony. YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling. What's wrong? What's changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!

So you BECOME 21, TURN 30,PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60.

You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70! After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30 ; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there Into the 90s, you start going backwards; 'I Was JUST 92.'

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. 'I'm 100 and a half !'

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay 'them'

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. 'An idle mind is the devil's workshop.' And the devil’s name is Alzheimer's.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!"

Trying to get them BOTH to smile for the camera - sometimes it's a chore!

A pond full of coy!

"Here fishy, fishy, fishy!"

It looks like Mason is STALKING the fish!

Contemplating the meaning of life - or seeing if I notice him dipping his shoe in the water (not sure which one)

Thanks Aunt Sue and Uncle Mike for the impromptu lunch on Sunday! It was great to see everyone!


Proud Mommy Moment #4,762

As I have said in a previous blog post here, they're born...they smile their first smile....they sit up...they crawl...they walk...they learn to talk...they learn to say their names....they learn to WRITE THEIR NAMES! In the past month, we have seen GREAT changes in Mason. In the course of 30 days, he's ditched his binky, transitioned into a big boy bed and has become potty trained! And now this.....

And then this......

And this........!

And I did not help him write the letters AT ALL! I spelled "Dad" for him but he knows how to spell "MASON" and "MOM" all on his own!

Yes, I am VERY PROUD of him! He's growing up...sniff, sniff, sniff


Sunday, May 24, 2009

Family Fun - Innsbrook Style

A HUGE "Thank You" to our friends Dan & Tanya, and their daughter Aislinn, for the invite out to Innsbrook on Saturday for a little family fun. We went to the Innsbrook Memorial Weekend Carnival where there was food galore, a petting zoo and rides and what-not for the kids. To cool off after baking in the hot sun, we spent the afternoon down at the lake just hangin' out on the beach and playing in the water.

D, T, & A - thanks again! We had a blast!


For Those Who Fight For Our Freedom - We Remember!

Memorial Day Weekend is not about BBQs and having people over to celebrate. It is about remembering all those brave men and women who have paid the ultimate price in defense of our wonderful nation, and fighting for the freedoms that we all so often take for granted.

Fly your flag outside your home. So few houses do this anymore. After 9/11 it was hard NOT to see the Stars and Stripes at a house or office. Now it is a challenge!

This, and every Memorial Day, we honor Lt. William Thomas "Tom" Costen, United States Navy and his partner Lt. Charlie Turner. Tom grew up in the house directly behind ours in St. Louis. I remember playing wiffle ball with him and running behind the "bug man" smog truck on summer evenings after dinner. Not the smartest of ideas since it was a mosquito killing fog, but hey we were kids and everyone else did it. Tom's father was also a great friend to the family as well as an Orthopedic Surgeon to a few of of us. He was kind of our "on call" Dr. when a broken bone was suspected BEFORE a trip to the ER for confirmation.

Tom and Charlie Turner were assigned to Attack Squadron 155 at Whidby Island, Washington. Their unit shipped out to the Middle East on board the USS RANGER when U.S. military buildup began there in January 1991. Tom and Charlie had been in the region only ten days when hostilities began and they were asked to fly combat missions on Iraqi military targets in the first wave of offensive strikes of the war the opening night of the Gulf War. Tom was the pilot of an FA6 Intruder, and Charlie his BN (bombardier/navigator). Both failed to return from missions on the morning of Friday, January 18, 1991.

Later reports revealed that two emergency radio beeper signals were picked up indicating that both Tom and Charlie ejected safely from their aircraft. Both were returning to the USS Ranger after a bombing mission over Baghdad.

On January 20, both Tom and Charlie were officially listed as MIA by the Pentagon. It was not until almost two months after the end of Operation Desert Storm that the Iraqis handed over the remains of 14 United States soldiers. One of those was Tom.

Lt. William Thomas Costen

Lt. Charlie Turner


Saturday, May 23, 2009

In Honor Of Graduation Season

To anyone with kids of any age, here's some advice that you can pass on to them. Bill Gates once gave a speech at a High School Graduation about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school or college. He talked about how feel-good, politically correct teachings have created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept has pretty much set them up for failure in the real world. I think that I have to agree with him.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - - get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping -- they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you are. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

So to all of the new grads and Class of 2009 out there......Congratulations and.......WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Uncle Hank!

Phew....two birthday's in one week in our family! The boys were busy recording messages (and cooperated with me)! Yes, we did two in one day but they changed their location just to mix things up a bit!

Happy Birthday little brother! Hope you have a great one!


Sunday, May 17, 2009


Jack's picture of a tent in the woods under the night sky with a full moon and stars. There is a camp fire, a lake and some rocks. Not too shabby for a 4 1/2 year old is it?!?!?


Friday, May 15, 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

An Idol In The Making?

Over the years, I have become a fan of American Idol. Seeing a complete nobody from a little small town somewhere in the US turned into an almost over night star just amazes me. Yes, I have been a part of the success of a number of the AI winners as I go out and purchase their albums (Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood are two that come to mind) as soon as they are relased. Just think about it....where would Carrie Underwood be today if there was no American Idol? She'd possibly be still in Oklahoma and not a member of the Grand Ole' Opry! It's amazing....just amazing.

So last night, I waited with baited breath, along with the other, what 88 MILLION VIEWERS, to see who was going to the finals next week. I can't tell you my excitement when Ryan Seacrest said that KRIS ALLEN, the hottie from Conway, Arkansas, was headed to the finals!!!

As much as I have liked Danny Gokey, I have been a fan of Kris's from the get go! There's just something about his voice that appeals to me. Yes, he is pretty nice to look at as well but his's awesome. He SINGS! He doesn't scream or screech like another AI finalist who I am not nearly as fond of.

So - here's my WAY TO GO for Kris Allen! No matter how next week turns out - he'll definately have a career ahead of him. A twist of fate for him that may not have come true had his brother not pushed him to try out for Idol this year.