Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Last night we went to Ty's 13th birthday party. It was in the theme of hula girls since he had just seen them in Hawaii. I guess he really is a teenager now!After cake and a sundae bar, he opened his presents and then we saw a video his parents had made of his life celebrating 13 years. Then it was time for the pool.
Even Shelby is quite the swimmer. She was showing us how she can dive to the bottom of the pool as well as doing acrobatics on the diving board. What a show!

Happy Birthday, Ty!

Monday, July 28, 2008

LUCY MARIE 3/96 TO 7/08

It is a sad day at our house. Murphy's best friend for all his life died yesterday. You may have seen her picture on Murphy's 12th birthday blog. She was four months older than Murphy. They had learned to walk with leashes together as Sarah and I would take them for two-mile walks every afternoon. People all over town knew them.

They had matching scarves and would greet people as we walked all over town. Each day we would take them to the neighbor's big yard to play. Lucy was the best frisbee player. She would catch it in mid air. Murphy always let her have it. He was more interested in chewing it than catching it.
We always called Lucy...Lucy Lover because that is exactly what she was. She would come up to you as you sat watching tv and push your hand up to pet her. She would want to crawl up on your lap if you would let her. She was always such a lady. She would prance as they walked. Murphy was the bold one wanting to be out front on the walks, but Lucy would quietly walk behind just taking her dainty time. We are so thankful we had Lucy in our lives and that she was Murphy's best girl. They were the perfect example of what a couple should be. They each knew the other's strengths and weaknesses. They could play together for hours or just sit side by side and be quiet. I really believe that God gave us dogs so we would understand unconditional love.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


Saturday was our family reunion. We had people come from Ohio, Michigan and of course, Indiana. It was great to see our cousins. There were six of the nine Parkison cousins there. We had loads of food and it was all so good! The rain threatened us, but we sat it out and no one got wet. Well, that is except for Blake and Marissa, who enjoyed the kiddie pool!

Many of the kids had grown so much we didn't even recognize them. We only have the reunion every other year, so they can change a lot in that time.

We are already looking forward to our next reunion. Wouldn't Grandma be happy to know we are still getting together? Sure missed Aunt Reita, Jerry, Sandy and Dennis! See you all in two years!

Friday, July 25, 2008


Since it is Poetry Friday and tomorrow is our family reunion, I decided to use a poem written by my cousin about when he spent the summers with our grandmother.

Grandma's Place

I remember the first visit there,
Excited as a child could be.
Fresh cut clover was in the air,
And now adventures and places to see.
Each morning I would awake,
Hearing the sound of birds as they sing.
And smell the fresh air like a spring fed lake.
Everything was so crisp and each sound like a bell would ring.
The days moved quickly, each and everyone,
Savoring each and every moment,
Remembering the good times and all the fun.
Those days I spent each summer, the days so warm,
Will be remembered for a life time, and then some.
Oh, how I looked forward to the time on the farm,
For it was grandma's place that all this was done.
What memories I have of the days gone by,
Of all those summers I spent there under the sun.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


On Tuesday three of us went to Chicago. Our goal was to see a play and have some fun. We had been planning this trip for a while and were very excited to take off. We left 'Busco at 7:30 in the morning. The first thing we did was travel to Chesterton to catch the Southshore train. We made it after only a few stops and a scare of a detour. The train was running late a few minutes when we got there. Many people were taking the train that day. We were afraid we would have to stand all the way, but we didn't!

When we got to Chicago, we headed right for Cheesecake Factory. We were ready to eat! We sat outside and listened to some musicians as we shared our cheesecake. It was SO good!

After doing some shopping, we headed for the theater. We finally found it just in time. The play was awesome. We loved the music so much because all three of us could remember The Four Seasons from our childhoods. What a great day with great friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


As I promised, here are more pictures from the pool party on Saturday. When we got ready to go outside and eat on the patio, the drizzle of rain came. We still sat out under the umbrella on the table. We were planning on getting wet anyway and it wasn't cold, so we stayed and ate there. The rain continued, but we made the best of it.

Really, Audrey was the only one that didn't get wet. She sat in her holder and Jay put a big umbrella over her. She never even knew it was raining. She just went right to sleep while the rest of us played in the pool and the rain.
We had many goofy things going on in the pool. Jennifer and Gage were trying to push each other under or see who could splash who. I took pictures with lots of rain spots on the camera. DD did a lot of floating and teasing whenever he could. Emma made a train with the noodles. Angie was the cabbose and Emma was the engine. Adrian said he was Thomas. I didn't get that until he said: Thomas The Train! Silly Grandma!!!
After lots of pool time we came in and played games. Oliver, the cat, thought this was great. He made himself right at home on Adrian's towel. He fell asleep while Adrian checked out the rules of the game.
At last everyone was awake and ready for the ice cream cookies. Now it was Grandma's turn to hold Audrey. We had lots of fun just sitting and watching the lights on the ceiling and anything else that caught our eye!

What a Wonderful Time at The Pool With Family!

Monday, July 21, 2008


On Saturday we had a family pool party. Many of our family were not able to come due to vacation plans or having to work. We still had a great time in spite of the rain! Today I am going to feature Emma and Adrian and then do more from the party tomorrow. We don't get to see Emma and Adrian as much as we would like, so it was a special treat to have a whole day with them.

Emma was a little afriad of the water at first, but then we couldn't get her out of it. She could swim with her swimmies. The rain didn't bother her...who could tell when you were so wet anyway?

Adrian was a big ham. He had us all laughing at the things he would do and say. He was especially glad he had eaten the hamburger grandpa made him because, "Now I have energy to walk on my tippy toes in the water!"
Later we got them to come inside for some games in the living room. Adrian had gotten a couple of games for his past birthday and they played those for a long time! At the end of the day, we all had ice cream cookies. Adrian kept saying, "These are yummy! These are yummy! I want THREE!!!" Jennifer told him, "No, you can't have three." He said, "Yes, I can. Grandpa says!!!"

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have had a few days to just stay home, read and enjoy the pool. That is my ideal summer past time. Many times I am just too busy to do it. This week has been a dream for me. Not only did I have the time, but also the weather was awesome. Here are some pictures of where I spend my time.

Here is the deck where I sit for lunch, take time to read or just watch the birds. The flowers at the bottom of the deck are doing great this year.
I just got two new shepherd's hooks for some hanging baskets. This was just the touch the south end of the pool needed.
Most of my time, however, is spent right here. I am either on the deck chair, reading away or in the pool floating around with a pop in the holder and a book in my hand. This is really my favorite spot when I am home in the summer. Just wish our summers were longer!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


On Monday Murphy had a birthday! He is now 12 years old. He is such a handsome dog, even in his old age. He is a certified Visiting Dog and has several titles. His main one is the CD title. For that he had to quailify in three competitions. In his last competition he received first place. He now says he just wants to be a dog!!

His best friend (and girlfriend), is Lucy. She is a little older than Murphy, but he doesn't mind that. Lucy and Murphy have been together all their lives. They used to take long walks with us, but not any more. Lucy is a lover and always wants to be petted. Murphy adores her and when she asks for one of his treats, he usually gives it to her gladly.
For his birthday, he brought treats to Lucy's house and they had a small party. When you are a dog and turn 12, parties aren't what they used to be. Still, no matter what they do...a little playing or just sleeping in the sun, they are glad to be together.

Happy Birthday, Murphy! And we wish you MANY more!!!!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


When we were in Atlanta, one of my favorite things to do was to go to Barnes and Noble in Buckhead. I know there are B & N's all over, even in Fort Wayne, but the one in Buckhead is just special. Here are three books I got there this year.

The first one is by two of my favorite children's authors: Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel. They wrote another of my favorites...My Big Dog. This book will be great for teaching letter writing, persuasive writing and voice. It is packed with possible mini-lessons! Plus the pictures are great!

The next book is a Gary Paulsen book. However, it is different from any of his other books. This is one for GIRLS! It is a chapter book and Molly is a girl after my own heart. She has a notebook she keeps everything in, but it gets lost and therefore she is lost. Her grandmother, who she lives with, is crazy but all Molly's friends love her. Molly is not so sure! Since we are reading Gary Paulsen for our book club this month, I thought this would be really different. AND it was!
The last book is for adults. It is the latest in the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I love these books and can't wait to get started on his latest one. If you haven't read any of Alexander McCall Smith's must.

Well, there's my book review for now. My days are getting closer to coming to an end for just taking time to read for fun. I am enjoying every last minute of sitting by the pool (or in the pool) and reading. This is my idea of vacation!

Monday, July 14, 2008


I've been tagged by Cathy for another fun round of tag in the blogging world. Don't worry, I don't hate you Cathy. The rules are that I have to share 6 random things about me and then tag 6 others...

Here are my random things...
  1. I absolutely HAVE to make my bed every morning. I think it has to do with the way I was raised. My mom would not let me leave the house if my bed was not made. She threatened to come to school and drag me out of class to come home and make it. I still think she would come back alive and do it now if I don't make the bed. (It is even hard to leave it alone in hotel rooms!)
  2. I hate peanut butter. I know, it is supposed to be every kid's dream, but I don't like the texture, I guess. I like butter and I love peanuts...just not peanut butter.
  3. I am trying to read the Bible clear through this year. I am doing it in a different way. I read from four different parts and get a different view of it. I like the way the whole thing is making a bigger picture for me. I am enjoying doing it this way.
  4. I belonged to 4-H for many years and I DID raise rabbits along with doing cooking and sewing. My favorite projects were in photography though. I think EVERY kid should be required to take 4-H!
  5. My secret dream is to visit Ireland some day. My ancestors on the Parkison side came from there and I used to hear my grandmother tell stories about those relatives. I would just like to see the green hills!
  6. I am absolutely, totally in love with my husband even after 25 years. I am so lucky to have found someone so well matched to me. We now have a goal of going to Hawaii when I retire and I know we will love it!!!

Okay, now I am tagging: Alecia, Kelli, Annalyse, Ingrid, LouAnn and I don't have a sixth one.

Here are the rules:

  • Link to the person who tagged you
  • Post the rules on your blog
  • Write six random things about yourself
  • Tag six peole at the end of your post
  • Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog
  • Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


On Saturday the 40th Three Rivers Festival started. We went down at noon to see the Hot Dog Eating Contest. No, we are not really into these kinds of things. In fact, it was the first one we had ever seen. We had a special interest in this one: Brandt was competing. He had made it through the preliminaries and now was the real thing!

All 14 of them lined up behind their hot dogs and were ready to go.
They had 5 minutes to eat as many as they could. Some stood up and some sat down. Whatever worked for them, it didn't matter...just eat those hot dogs and buns FAST!

Brandt had nine hot dogs left out of 20. We thought that was wonderful, but he missed third place by ONE hot dog!

It was great fun watching the excitement. We were all proud of Brandt coming in 4th place!!! I wonder if he will want another hot dog very soon???

Saturday, July 12, 2008


One of the highlights in the summer in all the counties in Indiana is the county fair. Since the State Fair is the middle of August many counties are now starting or finishing their fairs. There are judgings of beef, pigs and sheep. There are displays of cakes, pies and cookies. There also are Queen Pageants to become the 4-H girl to reign over the fair and next month compete at state.

On Friday night The Big D and I traveled to LaGrange county to judge their pageant. The first leg of the contest was the interview. We questioned each girl for 5 minutes. There are nine of them--all in their teens (16-18). It was fun to find out about each one. They were all big advocates for 4-H. They were all nice All American girls. Tonight is the official pageant with business wear and formal wear. It will be held at the fair grounds among cows, tractors and homemade ice cream.
Three of us are judging. Kelly is our third member. She is a former Miss State Fair and lives in Ft. Wayne. We've judged with her before so it was fun to catch up. Tonight we'll watch, listen and score. Then one girl will spend a week living like royalty at the county fair. In rural Indiana, that means a lot!!

Friday, July 11, 2008


As long as I have been a teacher, every summer I have heard--"It must be nice to get paid and not have to work for a whole summer." These non-teachers always think we are getting paid for our summers. In actuality we get paid, but it is for hours we've already worked--they just save it for the summer.

This afternoon, though, I saw another side to that comment. The idea that teachers don't work in the summer. Barb and I met with two teachers. Both of them were organizing their rooms for next year. One teacher had been reading and planning for a long time. Today we helped him move furniture out, rearrange others and even move his desk to a corner in the back of the room. What fun we had and what a great new look! Can't wait to see the finished project.

The other teacher was in the middle of reorganizing her books. They were all over the floor. Three of her kiddos are coming in next week to help put their library together--an advantage of looping.
She had the best idea of a "teacher-sized" desk in one corner with cubby holes all around it for all sorts of writerly stuff. That is their writer's corner!

So, the next time you hear someone say teachers are lucky because they get their summers off---send them to me and I'll show them what teachers REALLY do in the summer!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


On Tuesday, a few of us decided to take off and do some shopping in Shipshewana. For you non-Hoosiers, Shipshe is a very laid back farming community full of many Amish families. You see hay stacks, buggies and more horses than cars...on usual days. However on Tuesday and Wednesday the flea market hits the town and so do hundreds of people out for a "good deal".

We left Churbusco at 8:00ish and drove an hour with lists in our hands or mind and money in our pockets. We were ready to hit those booths. We shopped for about three hours. We got plants, fresh veggies, luggage and sheets. Just when we were about to finish up, here it came. The biggest down pour you have ever seen. It just dumped out the rain. AND it kept coming and coming and coming.

Three of us had bought rain ponchos for $1.00 earlier in the day because it just looked like it could rain. Barb had brought her own umbrella, so she didn't need a poncho. We were not too proud to slip those babies on and wear them up and down the aisles in the gushing rain. We finally stopped and headed for the truck. There around it was a huge lake. We had to wade into it so we could leave.

Next on our agenda was eating. We headed for the Blue Gate. That is a restaurant known for it's Amish cooking. We tried their apple butter and peanut butter while we waited for our orders. After eating we had to stop by the bakery. Leaving at 2:30, still in the rain, we decided we had gotten everything we wanted, plus more, and had, had a wonderful day. Here is a glimpse of the Terrific Trio modeling the newest fashion in rain gear!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008


Today after eating breakfast at the hotel, we headed for downtown Atlanta. We jumped on MARTA at 8:30 and were at World of Coke by 9:00. We are BIG Coke fans, so we just LOVE this place!

Next, we walked to the CNN Center and signed up for the tour. Since we had an hour before our group left, we had lunch there in the food court. The tour showed the global headquarters and close ups of the news rooms.

For our last supper in Atlanta, we ate at a new restaurant across from our hotel: On The Border. It is a Mexican place with great seating outside. Our last outing was a 1 1/2 mile walk to Barnes & Noble for some new books.

Tomorrow we head back to the Hoosier State. Soon we'll be: Back Home Again in Indiana!!!
Click on the dark printed words and see their websites!!!

Friday, July 4, 2008


Happy Birthday America!
We started the day with 55,000 of our closest friends! Well, actually we ran with that many! It was the 39th running of the Peachtree Road Race (10K). It was 72 degrees at the beginning of the race (7:30 a.m.). We were in time group: 40,000-49,999. It was a great run!

Lunch was at The Varsity: the world's largest drive-in. As soon as you get close to the counter about ten servers shout: "What'll ya' have? What'll ya' have? What'll ya' have?"
I had a naked dog and The Big D had a slaw dog!
We ended the day at the Braves game. Our usher's name was Micheal. He said, "Hi, I'm your usher for the evening, Micheal." So we asked him to take our picture and his buddy came over to join us! The Braves won, so what more could we ask?

The flag was unrolled by soldiers just back from Iraq. What a great way to celebrate the 4th of July!

God Bless America!!!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008


We left home this morning at 4:40. Murphy wasn't sure what was going on, but he wasn't happy about it. The cats couldn't wait for us to leave so they would have the place to themselves. We had rain all through Indiana, but when we hit Louisville it was sunny. We kept track of the gas prices as we went from state to state. I will report on that later.

We made it to Atlanta and the hotel in eleven hours. We arrived at 3:45 p.m. Our room is really a suite with a frig, microwave, living room and desk area. It is very close to a MARTA station and also the area where we will be lining up for the race in the morning (7:30).
Our first stop was the EXPO. At the expo you can buy anything you have ever dreamed of as a runner. There were loads of people since this was the last it would be open before the actual race. I purchased a new running out fit in my favorite melon color and another shirt that says: Sorry, I have to run (with my dog) and a scarf for Murphy that says: Will run for treats. I know he really can't run any more, but it will make him feel better in his old age!

The highlight of the day was meeting Darrell's cousin, Kelli. She lives in Atlanta and will also be running the race. She is in a different time group, so we are not sure we will get to actually see her tomorrow. We did some more shopping with her and then went out for a pasta supper. We spent the time catching up on her life and her family.

We have our running gear laid out, numbers on our shirts and even bought our MARTA cards to be able to get home after the 6.2 miles! Tomorrow is Day Two on this wonderful adventure. Stay tuned for more blogs.