DAR Luncheon Honoring Veterans

I was honored to be able to take my dad as my guest to the November Daughters of the American Revolution Luncheon honoring Vietnam-Era Veterans.  Growing up we made many sacrifices as a family because of dad’s belief in service to something greater than himself – God and country – and because of that service, freedom for his family and all Americans.  He lived out that belief for 37 years, never asking or expecting compensation or gratitude, quietly taking on the enormous weight and responsibility of the lives of the men who served under him and the task of raising them up to be the next generation of soldiers.  I have seen the amount of respect he has earned over the years from so many who served under him, and I couldn’t be more proud to call him dad.

I’ve been asked many times over the years if I regret growing up with the military, or if I wish my childhood had been different and I have always said without hesitation – no.  It doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard.  It doesn’t mean I didn’t miss my dad being around.  But we had a solid foundation in our family and mom took up the slack and keep us moving forward wherever we were and whatever we were doing.  During the difficult times, mom taught me about strength and perseverance and dad taught me about honor and sacrifice. That’s what it means to grow up in a military family.  My dad, my husband, and so many others in my family made the choice to sign over their life for the freedom and lives of others.  To me, there is no greater sacrifice and it was an honor to be able to celebrate and recognize the men and women who are the very definition of American heroes.




Stephen F. Austin State Park Camping Trip

We finally took Alex on his first camping trip.  We’ve been planning to go for ages, but it took my sister planning a trip to Newman’s Castle to get us committed to finally doing it.

We packed enough stuff to hide out in the woods for a week (at least) and took enough conveniences to not feel too far from home, but Alex had a blast and it was fun to camp with family (we lump Jessica and her family right into our family) who are so much fun to hang out with!  Alex had five other boys and one little girl to keep him busy and the time flew by.  Had it not been for the 99% humidity and the tiny tent we took, I could stayed a few more days and not missed a thing!

For full disclosure, I must add that I have been giving Dustin a hard time for YEARS about how he thinks he can’t sleep on the ground anymore because he is too old.  We took our little tent and pads to sleep on.  I was WRONG.  Way wrong.  So wrong, that I didn’t sleep more than a few minutes the entire night, because the ground is HARD.  Even with a pad.  My hip fell asleep.  I didn’t even know that was possible.  The one benefit of being up all night – I got to hear the wonder in Alex’s voice when he woke up at 2 a.m. to listen to the owls hooting nearby. That’s not something we hear in the city!


Alex took quite naturally to helping build and maintain a fire.  Just like his dad.  He had a fire-poking stick, and he quickly learned how to use it.






Alex took his own tent and had a great time sharing with the boys (and occasionally Katie too). No, he did not sleep in it overnight!