There are no words...

Our cove at the lake is called Sweetwater Hollow. My Uncle Tim made this sign many, many years ago. I think it is a pretty good motto at a time like this. And I have to say that even with all the tears and clean-up over Memorial Day weekend, good times were still had.
I'm not going to claim to be smart enough to notice this...but someone pointed it out this weekend and I took a picture. These nails were in a deck that was attatched to a foundation of a house - and are straight up and down, not pushed sideways. That entire house was literally picked straight up and moved several feet back.
This mirror was in the rubble of my Uncle Tim and Michelle's trailor - unbroken.
This was only a handful of the people that came to help. It is great to see so many people pull together to help our family. Thank you.
Our property at the lake is private and there is only one major road in. My Dad put this Wrong Way sign on a tree that stood in the middle of the road when I was probably 5 years old. There are a bunch of stories of people coming all the way down there, yet turning around before they actually made it in because of this sign. I doubt any of those stories are true but I've heard several of them. Glad we found the sign amongst the rubble!
These are looking at the cove from the water. Plenty of people came "sight-seeing" this weekend. It was pretty annoying but I can't say I wouldn't be doing the same thing.  
And by far the saddest picture I have, this is the view from (what was) my Grandmas front porch. I remember this yard being filled with trees, flowers, my Grandpas garden, and 10 foot tomato plants.


Mother's Day - Late

We didn't celebrate Mother's Day late, I'm just blogging about it late. I had a great 3rd Mother's Day - maybe the best one yet! Tylee woke me up around 6:30 - she must not have gotten the memo that I wanted to sleep in. Tj got up with her and I rolled over ecstatic and settled back in for a nap. I say "nap" because it wasn't but 2 minutes later they were back in bed with a card and a gift. I think I've gotten a card and some flowers before but never an actual gift! It must've taken Tylee 3 years to save enough money to buy me something I wanted. But she pulled through this year with a fantastic gift and got me a Chi Blowdryer. Very thoughtful of her. She definitely picked up on some hints I dropped.
After our gift exchange in bed, my family came out for a BBQ and the kids played with Brecca's old Tylee's new car. The weather was beautiful and I always love having my family out. I am the only one that likes to cook so I volunteered to host this year. The dishes and clean-up were well worth the company. Hope you all had a great day as well!


Good Times

I know in the scheme of everything going on in Joplin, us losing our lake homes is not that big of deal...but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt any less. Here is a picture of my Grandpa and Grandma Finley and all the boys at the lake when they were very, very young. My Dad and his brothers have been going here and developing this place for 50+ years. It is just so hard to see everything destroyed.


"The Lake"

Please pray for my family and all of our friends at Sweetwater Hollow on Grand Lake. Our place took a direct hit from a tornado on Sunday and everything is gone. My grandma was there, in her trailor, and is okay. I know that is all that truly matters but there is definitely a big hole in my heart. I have been thanking God that Grandma is okay and that it didn't hit next weekend when every single one of these trailors would have been full of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Friends, Neices, and Nephews (not to mention my Dad, Janis, possibly myself, my sister, her kids, Tylee, my brother, Erin, Lowen, ect.) I have many, many have memories here and my heart is broken that Tylee won't have the same memories. She will have memories - we will rebuild and no one can take this away from us - but they will be different. Very, very different.

Here is a link to some of our good times at the lake. I'm trying to replace the good memories with the bad right now but am struggling.

 Neighbors dock at the beach
 Uncle Mike and Aunt Cindy's trailor
 My Grandma's trailor that she was in...Thank God she is okay.
 Uncle Tim's trailor
 Cousin Adam's trailor
 Random boat on the beach
 Steps to where Cindy and Mike's trailor sat
It sounds like my Dad's trailor is still standing but I haven't gotten any pictures from him yet. These trailors are literally 100 yards away from each other yet you can't get from one to the other because of debri. I have no idea what some of these pictures are of or where they were taken and I have been here too many times to count.  I have heard it is completely unbelievable and these pictures don't even do it justice. If these pictures make me sick to look at, I'm sure it is going to be even more emotially devastating in person.


Kansas Country Living

Tylee has officailly made her magainze debut! Do you know how long I have had to keep this secret? And of course - the magazines in our area got lost this month so I had to wait an extra 2 weeks from when I thought I was actually going to be able to tell!
120,000 of these babies were mailed across the entire state of Kansas. Chances are that if you know someone who lives out in the country - they got this magazine. I have only had one person from out of town notice (Thanks Sunni!) but as I mentioned before, some of them were late so the verdict is still out as to whether or not anyone else randomly notices.
I would like for you to think that Tylee and Gage got the cover because they are both so cute - but that isn't actually true. (Although, personally I do think they are both pretty cute!) I work for Twin Valley Electric, which is the Rural Electric Coop that serves rural Labette, Montgomery, and (some of) Neosho County. This is the magazine that Twin Valley sends out each month, as does the other 29 Rural Electric Coops in the State of Kansas. Each Coop creates their own center spread but the cover and rest of the magazine is the same. Kansas Electric Cooperative in Topeka actually creates and publishes the magazine...and my boss' daughter just so happens to work for them. So the real story is that she was in town, needed cute kids and some motorized vehicles - both of which we had, and we went over to my boss' house one Sunday morning for a photoshoot.
It was pure chaos so I am actually pleased with how the picture turned out. There were 4 cars and 5 kids all running driving around like mad(wo)men. Thankfully Shanna got a photo that would work and Tylee and Gage ended up on the cover.
So! Enjoy our magazine debut. Let me know if you or anyone you know gets the magazine! I can probably arrange autographs if anyone would like. :-D



This summer is going to be better than I thought! We went to the park the other day and Tylee wasn't scared at all! Apparently her fears were just a phase. Thankfully she outgrew them quickly because we have a lot of stuff coming up soon that will be a lot more fun if she isn't scared of everything. She climbed up and down this slide like a champ and never looked back. Now if I can just get her to stop being afraid of flies!



There is a new recipe up on my food blog! These are very, very good - diet or no diet!


Big Girl Bed


Look and Smile!

Me: Tylee, Thank you for looking at me but you need to smile. Just smile one time and then we can go outside. Look! There is a ladybug inside Mommy's camera. Here it comes! It's gonna get you!
 I only know one person who could've taught her this...Papa Randy! Dad, you are in trouble!


Princess Car

Lindsey gave us this princess car a couple weekends ago and whenever Tylee rides it, the cows flock to the fence to watch her. I wouldn't guess that Tylee's car sounds anything like John's truck (the owner of the cows that comes to feed them) but they must think something about the car is interesting.