Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bull Riding, BBQ and Boomer Sooner football!

We had a wonderful weekend in Oklahoma visiting with Tyler and Sonya!!
Although, we had a rocky start at the beginning of the trip 
with our early morning flight out of Sacramento getting cancelled, 
which resulted in being rebooked on a red-eye (eek! I hate red-eyes) that night to Atlanta, 
then Atlanta to OKC, arriving the next morning, which meant we lost a day in OKC and a good night sleep!
But once we arrived in Oklahoma, we had a jam packed weekend of fun with our favorite Oklahomans!
 After stopping at the OU dental school in OKC, 
where we picked up Tyler and visited with fellow Ortho residents and friends,
we made our way to our favorite spot, Iron Star Urban BBQ for lunch and it was yummy!
 That night our dear friends, Bill and Mary Ann Osborn, from Amarillo, Texas,
 came into town to join in on the weekend fun.  Mike and Ann Kierl live here in Oklahoma City, 
so we all went to dinner at Mama Roja's and enjoyed some yummy mexican food!
 After dinner, we stopped by the Orthopedic Surgery center, where Sonya works 
and we had to take a photo of the cute skeletal buffalo that is right in front of the building.
We are so proud of Sonya and happy and excited about her new job!
She has been working the night shift for two years!  She is amazing!
I seriously don't know how she did it!  
Once we made it to the fair grounds, we got in the long line for tickets to the Oklahoma State Fair!
Apparently, going to the fair is a very popular thing to do in Oklahoma on a Friday night!
 We watched the bull riding competition...
 which I would highly recommend doing at least once in your life.
 Bull riders are seriously nuts and so are the cowboy clowns that distract the bulls after the rider falls off.
 After the bull riding was over, the stage dropped down and it was time for the concert to begin with Jake Owen!
It's been a long time since Mark and I have gone to a concert
and I'm happy to say that even though we are getting old,
we proved that we aren't too old to enjoy some country music!
After the concert, we decided that we needed to get the full experience of the state fair 
and eat something deep fried and greasy.
 So we strolled by all the food vendors and refreshment stands...
and there were lots of options... so much yummy food... 
but we finally settled on some deep fried Oreos and a deep fried Snicker bar.
As you can see, Tyler and Sonya were pretty excited about our deep fried choice...
so excited that they even tried the deep fried cheese.  
Doesn't that look yummy!?
I've decided that almost anything tastes good once it's deep fried,
but next year I'm heading to this stand to try the deep fried cheesecake!
The next morning we went to breakfast at Cafe 501 in Edmond near Tyler and Sonya's apartment.
It was delicious!  And so were the cookies and brownies that we got to go!
Tyler and Sonya with Bryan and Sam Kariya in the backseat,
are sporting their OU flags on their car,
 and ready to drive down to Norman for the game!
Once we hit Norman, our first stop was at Billy Sims restaurant for some good old Oklahoma BBQ!
Sporting our matching OU jerseys enjoying our yummy lunch!
Tyler and Sonya are getting excited to take Bryan and Sam to their first OU football game.
It was also Bryan's first game that he has sat in the stands instead of playing on the field in years!
I love this photo of all of us OU fans, wearing our crimson and cream!
Walking to the stadium, all we can see is tailgate parties and lots of people getting ready for the game!
The kids at the entrance of the campus!
The roads closed off all around the campus on game day so that everyone can hang out and tailgate!
More OU fans that are tailgating.  Love the boys with the beanbag game!
We ran into Drs. Currier, Felton and some of the other OU residents hanging outside of the stadium.
It was fun to chat with them and catch up with everyone! 
And of course, we had to get a picture of these OU grads, Dad and Bill with their former instructors.
The kids are ready to cheer for their team...
and so are these older Sooner fans!
The OU football team coming back into their locker room after the pregame warmup.
And then the "Pride of Oklahoma" (the band) marches onto the field.
Everywhere that you look, you see a sea or should I say, a stadium of red and white!
Looking back to the big screen as they are announcing the starting line up.
And now it's time for the OU football team to run onto the field!
Mary Ann was excited when she spotted one of the OU mascots,
"Sooner" (or was it "Boomer")... not quite sure which it was, 
but she flagged him down grabbed a photo with him!
I'm sure that he, along with all the other little ones waiting in line for a photo
 with this oversized stuffed animal, 
wondered about these two old mature OU fans!
And actually, even I was a little embarrassed about taking the photo,
 but once I downloaded it and took a look at it, I feel in love with it,
because I mean, look how happy Mary Ann is about nabbing this oversized horse 
and getting this perfect Sooner fan photo op!
And only Mary Ann could talk me into joining in her in this photo!
She cracks me up and so does this photo! 
I had to include this photo of Tyler and Bryan in blue and white uniforms, together on the BYU football team.
I think this photo was taken over 4 years ago at the Blue and White scrimmage in the spring of 2008. 
That was THEN...
And this is NOW!  Fall of 2012... together again... sporting their red as OU dental students! Aren't they cute?!
And this is the boys with their darling wives, their biggest fans and cutest cheerleaders,
supporting these boys through dental school!  Sonya and Sam, you are the best!
We always have such a fun time with Mary Ann and Bill
and can't wait until the next time that we can get together!

The game didn't turn out the way we would like... you can kind of tell by the look on Mark's face:(!
But that's OK (no pun intended) because we had a great time with our favorite Oklahoma fans
 and can't wait to come back to watch the OU football again someday!
Boomer Sooner!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Meeting little Miss Penelope!

 Yesterday was a very happy day!
Since the day this little cutie was born, I've been anxiously waiting for the day 
when sweet Penelope and her Auntie Deb would meet in person.  
I mean, I feel like I already know little "Nellie" 
because I have spent plenty of time "stalking" her family's blog.
Every time a new post appears, I spend hours (and so do my girls, 
especially Ashley) staring at the adorable photos of this little sweetheart!
 And then after pouring over all the photos and videos of Nellie, 
Ash and I call each other and talk about how precious she is
and how she has to be the most photogenic little baby ever!
I mean, really... don't you agree?  Could she be any cuter?
Since little Nellie lives out of state, we hadn't formally met until yesterday and
I can't tell you how excited I was when her dad texted me last week
 to tell me that they were coming to town.
And since her parents, Elder Brad and Sister Karen Wilkes haven't seen little Nellie for a year...
(they are in Rwanda serving a mission)... this post is for you!
I'm so happy to report that Nellie is just as cute in person
 as her adorable photos appear on the blog,
and her personality is just as sweet and tender too! 
And although she was a little shy at first, Nellie soon warmed up to me
and I think we will soon be best friends:)!!
And to be honest, I wasn't surprised at all because, I mean, really,
 look at little Nellie's adorable good looking parents!! 
Sorry David, but actually you are pretty adorable and Vanessa is definitely adorable!!
I had such a fun visit with these three and the only thing missing was Grandma Karen and Grandpa Brad!
Only 4 months and a few days (yep, that's right, I'm counting!) until they are home
 and we will all be together again!  YAY!!
 The only thing better than Auntie Deb meeting little Miss Penelope in person 
will be when Brad and Karen seeing their little granddaughter for the first time in 18 months!  
It will be a great reunion!! I can't wait!
Love you, Nellie and your parents too!!  Thanks for coming to visit!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Eureka Schools Foundation 20 Year Celebration!

 It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since the Eureka Schools Foundation originated!
A group of us gals got together and decided that this was cause for a celebration!
In the early 90's, a Foundation for a public school district was a new concept,
but a small group of parents came together and were determined to raise money for our school district.
And raise money is exactly what they did... a lot of money|!!| through fundraisers
such as the Fall Dinner and Auction, Monte Carlo night, the Golf Tournament and more!
When Mark received a phone call, asking him to be on the Founding Board,
we had just moved to Granite Bay, he was busy building his practice in Roseville,
I had four little children with another one on the way,
 and our oldest, Kimber had just started kindergarten at Greenhills.
We were young, new to the area and busy with our little family,
but we have always felt that whenever we were asked to help, serve or give back, 
we would always say "Yes!"  We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into!  
Mark answered the call and served on that founding board.  
We chaired the first Auction together and then I co-chaired the Auction for 2 more years.
  He served as President of the ESF.  Then I served on the ESF board and as ESF President, 
which lead to me serving on the EUSD School Board for 8 years. 
Work, serve and give is just what we did, 
and through all of the time, energy and effort that we put into all of this, 
we made some of the dearest friends, with whom we have shared some of the riches experiences 
and have made some of the warmest memories, for which I am so deeply grateful!
We developed a love for our little community
 and deep passion for providing the best public education in our schools!
I cherish all the incredible memories that we share with these dear friends in our community 
and grateful that we were able to celebrate 20 wonderful years of the Eureka Schools Foundation!
The steering committee consisted of Renee Nash, Marisa Schorer, 
Paige Stauss, me, Marge Blumenfeld, Kim Nash, and Donna Garton. 
 Love these gals and can't wait to plan, organize and throw another party with them!
 The simple but darling table centerpieces.
 The ESF timeline that Paige Stauss made with the ESF history and lots of photos.
 I loved looking at some of the old photos from the 90's, the beginning years of the ESF.
 My favorite photo on the ESF timeline, me and my dear friend, Liz Skinner, the night of the Auction in 1998.
 She chaired the Auction that year and I was President of the Foundation.
I think we were on stage and I had just thanked her for all that she did to make that event such a success 
and handed her that large bouquet of flowers when someone snapped this photo of the two of us.  
So glad that they did... love it!!
We have been room moms and worked on the Auction together. 
She is my ski partner and dinner companion at our annual SkiFests in Park City,
and now we are "biking buddies" riding together every Wednesday morning!
Liz is not only everyone's best friend and biggest cheerleader, 
but the most positive person I know!  This gal is the real deal!
 The table centerpieces.  Do they look familiar Allie? 
The table filled with all the yummy hor dourves that the host committee made.
 Our beloved former Superintendent, Ron Feist and his lovely wife, Diane.
 Me and my good friend and Diet Pepsi drinking, Katie Segale.
Can't you just tell that we have a good time together?
 Our new Superintendent, Linda Rooney and her husband.
 Board member, Ryan Jones and his sweet wife, Trici with Linda and Mike Rooney.
 The Rooney's with our gracious host and my next door neighbor, Renee Nash.
This girl is the best and deserves her very own blogpost, which be coming shortly:)!
 We had about 90 former ESF board members in attendance that night.
Most of us were "the old-timers" from the beginning years of the Foundation...
so many good friend that we hadn't see in a while.
We all enjoyed reminiscing about "the good old days!"
 Siting at our table was Russ and Kim Nash.
I first met Kim when she helped with the Auction, then served with Russ on the ESF board 
and then followed him to the school board where we served together for 6 years!
The Nash family is one of the most kind and generous family in Granite Bay!
 Mike and Patty Daly.
 Les and Toni Nedeveld.
 Michael and Donna Garton.
Seriously love the Garton family!
Incredible kids, and wonderful friends!
Donna has always been my "partner in crime!"
Whenever I get a crazy idea, usually involving fundraising for the schools,
she is always willing to be right by my side, making sure that it happens
and making sure that everything is a success!!
Love her dearly!
 Me and Mark
 The original Auction chairs, Toni Nederveld, me and Paty Daly.
I have so many great memories of working with these two wonderful gals,
 planning and organizing the ESF Dinner and Auction, 3 years in a row.
 Paige Stauss spoke about each one of the founding board members 
and gave them an engraved paperweight from the host committee.
Here is Jan Pinney and Paige together, both of them now serve on the Roseville Joint Union High School board.
And who would have thought in those early years on the founding ESF board
 that two of the board members would someday be related??
Founding board member, Jan Pinney's grandson, 
Justin Larkin is married to founding board member, Mark Holt's daughter, our Allie!
As I said, it was a pretty incredible group of people 
and it's fun to see how all these years later that our lives are so interconnected
and that we are still such dear friends and in our case... family:)!
 Here she is presenting Ron Feist his gift.
 And presenting Dad's gift to him.
 And here is a photo of the original founding Eureka School Foundation board,
Ron Feist, Neil Doerhoff, Mark, Eric Stauss, Jan Pinney, Patty Gillespie, Marge and Rick Blumenfeld.
What a great group!!
And of course, I have to include a photo of me and my friend, Marci.
I had to take this photo because we always sit at the same table at the Auction and take a photo together, 
but I'm going to be in NYC with Kimber in November attending her baby shower,
and for the first time in years and years I will miss the Auction!
So Marci and I decided that we had to take our traditional "Auction photo" last night.
As you can tell, I love having traditions that last throughout the years
and wonderful friends to make lasting memories and building those traditions together.