My Thoughts

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My friend Becky challenged me to write 3 things that make me happy for 5 days! The challenge was for facebook, but I figured I would share it on my blog as well.sisters1. When my kids get along and play well together. They don’t always get along but I sure love it when they do. Having a new baby in the house, they all love to help with her. Yesterday Mckeely my 9 year old even rocked her to sleep for me, she was pretty proud of herself. She loves her little sisters Snuggles.
2. Haagen Dazs Ice Cream bars… mmmmm does that even need an explanation 
3. Fresh cut grass, on a crisp fall afternoon.

You can read DAY ONE here

FEEL FREE to accept this challenge as well… I would love to have our readers share what makes you HAPPY!

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My friend Becky challenged me to write 3 things that make me happy for 5 days! The challenge was for facebook, but I figured I would share it on my blog as well.
flowers from my husband
1. Today Matt bought me flowers for my front step, and then planted them. My flowers I bought this spring all died the first part of August while we were gone, due to the hot weather ... the empty pots were bothering me. Best surprise ever today when Matt filled them with beautiful flowers.
2. Old family videos… watched some this weekend with my family and I absolutely LOVED seeing both sets of my Grandparents. It made me miss them but happy to see them too. I was 4 in the videos and was a spastic crazy little thing, but made myself laugh.
3. Fresh fruits and veggies, love all the yummy produce I get to pull out of my garden and from local orchards.

FEEL FREE to accept this challenge as well… I would love to have our readers share what makes you HAPPY!

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According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first memorial day was observed by formerly enslaved black people at the Washington Race Course (today the location of Hampton Park) in Charleston, South Carolina. The race course had been used as a temporary Confederate prison camp for captured Union soldiers in 1865, as well as a mass grave for Union soldiers who died there. Immediately after the cessation of hostilities, formerly enslaved people exhumed the bodies from the mass grave and reinterred them properly with individual graves. They built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch and declared it a Union graveyard. The work was completed in only ten days. On May 1, 1865, the Charleston newspaper reported that a crowd of up to ten thousand, mainly black residents, including 2800 children, proceeded to the location for included sermons, singing, and a picnic on the grounds, thereby creating the first Decoration Day.

Later Decoration Day evolved into Memorial day around 1882, but was not popular until after WW2. It wasn’t until 1968 when congress turned it into an official national holiday. Memorial Day is a day for those who severed, but is more specifically to honor those who died protecting our freedom during their time of service.

Matt’s Grandparents -

Joseph Lyons – Served in the army during WWII. Served in the infantry. He married Josephine Muderski during the war.

Joseph and Josephine Lyons

And no we are not related to Jay Leno ;)

Joseph and Josephine Lyons

Charles Peter Barrand Served in the army during WWII in a Sherman tank. He was there in the first invasion on North Africa and served under General George Patton. He fought the enemy through North Africa, Italy and on into France, where his tank was hit and he damaged both of his knees. He spent a few months in an Army hospital and returned home to his family.

Sarah’s Grand parents -

Benjamin Ashby Army PictureBenjamin Tovey Ashby – was drafted into the Army during WWII. I’m sure this was a surprised to him because he was 40 years old but was still unmarried. When he was drafted they classified him as 1A . Being a bachelor he was considered in fine shape to serve his country. Soon after he was called they decided to change him to a 4F. I guess they thought he was too old. But knowing Ben he was probably in better shape than most of the young guys. He was then assigned to serve as a Maintanance Mechanic where he served and taught the younger guys how to repair the equipment. He was an instructor and liked to get things done. The officer over Ben told him that he was going to have to wear white gloves if he didn’t stop working on the equipment himself.. The white gloves would get dirty if he did “hands on” instead of just instruction. He didn’t like that much.


Joseph Harold Callahan in Army UniformJoseph H Callahan – (Nicknamed Slug)  was 20 years old when he joined the Army during WWII.  He was sent to Camp Crouder, MO.  From Camp Crouder he was sent to Omaha, Nebraska.  To get training as a radio operator. While in Omaha in the lobby of the Rome Hotel in 1942, he met a Western Union girl, who had been born and raised in South Dakota.  “I was showing off with a bunch of boys, and she was giggling at me.  We started talking, and I took her and her dad out to dinner,” he     recounted.  And with in the year he mailed an engagement ring to Hulda Prochnau.  While in Canada, he stayed in the Royal Mounted Canadian Air Force barracks while the U.S. troops were building their own barracks.  He was then shipped north to work on the ALCAN Highway.  Through the letters that had been written Joe and Hulda decided to get married.  Hulda came to Oregon and Joe left Canada on furlough.  They were married and both had to go right back.  He  was 22 when they got married and said he was very lonesome and heartsick.  He went back to Canada to the North West Territory Land Project. (CANOL)

Joseph (Slug) Callahan and Hulda Prochnau

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12 Years later and there has been a lot of progress both in the building and in our lives.

9 – 11 Flag

Last year we traveled to New York for business. Our first stop there was to the 9/11 Memorial. It was raining and cloudy that day, which actually set the mood. The mood of honor, somber, reflection and inner searching. After seeing what happened on TV on that day and to actually be there really made you think!

The Survivor Tree is and was the last living thing pulled from the fiery rubble. After all the human survivors were taken away from the scene of tragedy – it was the Survivor Tree that was the last living thing to be unearthed from the rubble. And along the side (left side as you see it in the photo) Are scars up and down the tree!

It was so nice to see the construction works to hang flags on their buildings they were working on. The flags were hanging everywhere!

Want to see what the tower looks like today?

Click Image to view World Trade Center Live Camera

Click Image to view World Trade Center Live Camera

Where were you?

I was a newly wed. We had just woke up to get ready for our jobs together at a local dealership. I thought it was some kind of story on the radio. Till I heard the local DJ start to cry, I knew it was real. We jumped out of bed and turned on the TV. We stood there in amazement. My mouth was wide open. I saw the first building burning. We sat on the floor and totally forgot about work. We watched the second plane hit. I can’t describe the feeling I felt. I felt my country become violated. To be hit like that on our own soil. I thought that this didn’t happen in our country. I have never been to New York City. But I stood there with extreme sorrow for those who were there. And still do.

Where were you when the world stop turning – Alan Jackson

Heather Martin – When are you coming home.

In the Arms of Angels – Sarah McLachlan

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Pink SlimeThere has been a lot of talk of this stuff called “Pink Slime” in the news. So what is it and is it safe and how can you avoid it?

Pink Slime by definition is meat trimmings. When meat goes to a processing plant for butchering, the prime cuts are trimmed and packaged. But what happens to all of the “extras”? They are saved and added to everything else not used. Doesn’t sound good does it?

In many ground beef packages, up until recently, could contain upwards of 25% of this Pink Slime. And as of now, the labeling is not required to list it as an ingredient.

Starting this fall the government will allow schools to “choose” if they purchase meat with Pink Slime or not. – So Call Your School District!

Which stores carry this goo of Pink Slime? Well it is ever changing and varies buy region.

Stores that NEVER sold Pink Slime:

CostCo, A&P, Whole Foods


Stores that will Stop selling meat with Pink Slime are:

Kroger brands, Stop & Shop, Safeway brands, SuperValu brands – including Albertsons, Food Lion, Winn-Dixie, Giant/Martins, select Martin stores, Bi-Lo will phase out by April 20th,


Stores that STILL sell Pink Slime tainted meat:

According to USA Today – Walmart and Sams Club will “begin selling meat that doesn’t contain the additive. It did not say it would stop selling beef with the filler altogether.” And added that they will allow customers to have “options”. All though they are not required to label the packaging.


So if you are ok with Pink Slime – ignore this post. If you want 100% pure beef and not Pink Slime additive – then choose your store wisely, and call your children’s school district

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It’s Matt – This past week I traveled to Atlanta for a blogging conference. Due to conflicts in our schedule I had to attend the conference by my self and Sarah stayed home with our kids. I was excited that I was still able to attend. Not for what I learned there, although I did learn a lot. But I was excited because I used to live outside of Augusta Georgia, in a town called Martinez. I lived there during my third grade through my 6th grade year and attended Martinez Elementary School.

If you are familiar with Georgia, you will know that Augusta is over 2 and a half hours away from Atlanta. But if you know me I am really big in my history and genealogy. I have always thought it would be fun to go back an see my old homes that I used to live in. So what did I do? Well I rented a car, and reserved the thriftiest price I could find. I arrived late in the night last week and approached the car rental desk. The lady told me that they were busy that day and had rented out all of the economy class cars. She then said that they wanted to give me a higher class car but still keep my price the same as what I reserved. She then asked “Can you drive a stick?”. I smerked  and said “Yes” while my mind raced back to my teenage years and trying every driving trick in the book with my old high school car. What hormone driven male teen hasn’t right? Well she scanned through their inventory and handed me the keys to a Dodge Challenger. Not just some two door V6 model with entry class options, but a V8 HEMI charged with 375 horse power, satellite radio, power everything street machine. When I walked up to the car in the parking bay, I just smiled! This trip is going to be fun! Now I had to make the trip from Atlanta to Augusta. Who wouldn’t want to take this thing out on the open highway?

Yes I enjoyed the ride… I won’t go into details ;)

So yes I drove out to Martinez Georgia to visit my old home. Who knows maybe one of our 8.5 million visitors to our site actually attended the same school back in the mid 1980’s?

For privacy I wont mention the street or the address but there are so many memories of this home:

In the back yard, that is the exact same deck I helped my Dad build. And not sure if you can see just to the right of the deck there is a brown patch of sunken dirt. That is the hole I helped dig to put in our pool. So strange to see it.

Next I went over to my old school. At first the only thing I could remember about the school was a corridor into the gym/cafeteria. In 5th grade I got 3rd place in the school art contest. I was so proud as I walked back and forth in the corridor where they hung the winners art work.

Needless to say, but as soon as I entered the school to ask about old teachers, flashes of past memories started to flood my mind. I visited my old school library and talked with one of the librarians there while I looked in old school year books. One of the only two teachers I remembered – Mrs Powell, and the other Mrs Morris. The librarian actually knows Mrs Powell and she recently retired. It was such an enjoyable day there. I was sad to not be able to meet any of my old teachers.  I even tried to introduce myself to the current owners of our old home, but they weren’t home.

There are no children in these pictures so I will share the photos of the front of the school in hopes one of you might of gone there.

So if you ever get a chance to visit an old home, or old school that you haven’t seen in 25 plus years, I would recommend it! Memories you long had forgotten, will come racing back! Needless to say the rest of my trip was so relaxed in knowing of the satisfaction I gained from cherishing old memories.

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