Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Great Jayce Andrew O'Quinn

Newborn Jayce Andrew O'Quinn, look at that hair!!
Great-Grandma Long with Jayce and me, Mom was so excited, she insisted Grandpa drive her down to see Laura's new baby.
Papaw and Jayce at home.
I know we kind of skipped a bit, Jayce at the Ozark Empire Fair, he was just over 1 years old.
Jared and Jayce on the merry-go-round at the fair.
Jayce O'Quinn, about 9 months.
Aunt Krysta and Jayce, just trying to walk.
Thinking about walking, but very good at stair climbing!!
At Memaw's playing in the sink.
Uncle Pete and Jayce with matching t-shirts from vacation.
Jayce with his new trike at his 2nd birthday party, Aunt Krysta and Uncle Brian got him this cool ride!
The birth of little brother Jordan, a week long stay at Columbia and a very tired little boy who wants his mom.
Aunt Krysta and Jayce with there Navy T-Shirts on, Uncle Brian had left to Go Navy for a bit.
Papaw and Jayce at the park, one of our favorite places to go when he visits our house.
Jayce at 2 years old at Great-Grandma Helen's Christmas, eating a bread and butter pickle, yummy!!
At the new house, Jayce loved riding his bike on the hardwood floors and running over Uncle Pete.
At the Dickerson Park Zoo last summer, who could miss the water spray fountains, so cool on a hot and fun day at the zoo.

Jayce Andrew O'Quinn was born on Tuesday, June 28 at 6:06 pm at Lake Ozark Hospital. He weighed 6 pounds and 9 ounces. It was a pretty hot day and we had started early, the day went on and on, waiting and waiting until finally the doctor decided to complete with a c-section. Jayce arrived in good shape with a wild head of hair. Everyone there, including his Aunt Krysta and Uncle Pete, Uncle Jackie and Aunt Stacey, Pa Jack, Dori, Grandma Barb, Scott, Memaw and Papaw and I'm sure others were thankful for his safe arrival into the world. How fast has time flown, he is now a big boy four years old!!! He start pre-school at Camdenton this fall as a mentor, he is a very smart little boy, always thinking. He comes up with some of the most wonderful stories to tell, he loves to draw and swim and play with his brother, Jordan. He loves to ride on the ATV's especially Memaw's red one, he like sweet/sour candies better than chocolate, he is like his dad this way. He loves to fish with his dad on the dock and go out on the boat. He is loved by many, many people, he is a very lucky little boy. Many kisses and happy birthday wishes and blessings are sent his way by Memaw and Papaw who had to work today, WE LOVE YOU JAYCE!!!!!!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Jordy with his pirate hat on ready to party!!
Welcome Aboard Matey, Watch out for all the pirates!! ARRRHHHHHHGGG
Jayce and Jordan give you permission to board the ship of fun!
Papaw used his airbrush skills to give tattoos to anyone who wanted them, yes, we used non-toxic, water-based paint for the wonderful piratey tattoos.
Even Jared got into the fun by getting a pirate tattoo.
Let's eat, even although it was hot, hot, hot, we ate grilled chicken, hot dogs, brisket, all all the fixins
Yes, we are ready for the cakes!
Jayce blowing out the candles on his Dead Man's Chest cake, complete with gold coins, two drunken or sleepy pirates, fish and sugar candy coral.
How cool is Jayce's cake!
Jordy's cake with a very colorful fish and a Happy Birthday Fisherman!
Another look at the pirate cake
Another view of the really cool cake.
Aunt Krysta and Uncle Brian, hot but glad to be here.
Great-Grandpa Long, yes that is his happy face!!
More of the crowd watching Jayce and Jordan opening gifts.
Jayce mainly opened all the gifts, because Jordy was just too busy playing on the playground stuff and running around.
So many gifts, what a wonderful surprise for a birthday boy.
One of the fav gifts of the night, foam swords for each boy, they carried them around all night, wacking on everybody. Aunt Krysta and Uncle Brian were clever enough to get those pirates new swords.
J ordy taking a break, he found a new package of Hot Wheels from Great-Grandpa Long, of course Jordy had to have the package open and one in each hand.
Watch out for the pirate.
Papaw and Memaw with 2 very tired, sweaty and dirty little guys, as you can see Jordan had had enough of sitting still and look how big our Jayce has gotten!!!
Me and Danny, we look pretty good for a middle aged couple, I was only running on about 4 hours sleep.

Laura and Jared had the boys a combined birthday party last night at Bennett Springs. Jayce's birthday is tomorrow (Sunday) and Jordan's is July 13, so this was a good time for all the families and friends to come help the boy's celebrate their 4th and 2nd birthdays. We had a good crowd there, of course Laura and Jared and boys, Grandma Barb and Scott, me and Danny, Uncle Pete, Aunt Krysta and Uncle Brian, Pa Jack and Dori, along with Christopher, Great-Grandma June and Great-Grandpa Long, Uncle Jackie and Justin and Jaymen Great-Aunt Susi (Kooky) and Uncle Jim with Heather, Rhonda and Brixton, the O'Quinn cousins, Kim and Kathy with mom and little ones, I am probably forgetting someone so I will stop. We had the party under the pavilion near the Susi hole bridge, which was very nice but still hot. The boys wanted a pirate theme, so me and Papaw made flags and helped with decorations. Hot Dogs, brisket, chicken and all the fixins tasted pretty good and of course the cakes were wonderful. Jayce had a Deadman's Chest cake that had golden coins, two funny looking pirates, fish and crystal candy sea coral, it was very cool, kind of like Ace of Cakes!! Jordan's was a colorful fish with mulit-color scales on it and was as tasty as it looked. the boys got a lot of really nice gifts and we were all glad when the sun went down for the cooler air. What a wonderful birthday party and lots of people who love these little guys, thanks to all who came and helped them celebrate. Two very tired and sweaty boys were loaded up in the car with the left over cake and headed home for a good night's sleep. Love to you all!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Two Great Men, Our Fathers

Dad at the Grand Canyon, May of this year.
Dad with his brother, Harley.
Dad as a very young and handsome soldier with the Army/Air Force
Robert, with family. Left to right: Robert, Dale, Faye, Donnie and Grandma Bessie.
Robert with Dwane, David and Helen, what a sweet family.
Helen, Robert with the baby, Danny.

I decided to post a blog, honoring our fathers, our dads, our daddy o's. First I want to start with Danny's dad, Robert Hillhouse. I never met him, this makes me sad, mostly that our children were short-changed out of another grandpa, another person who could tell stories about when their dad was little and bounce them on his knee and tickle them and be so proud of the wonderful young adults his grandchildren have become. I didn't get to know this man, I think he would have liked me, I think he has always been a guardian angel to our family and watched over his baby. I think he would have been proud with how his own boys turned out, all three outstanding men, solid, fair, kind and loving just as he was. He loved children, but that is a trait of the Hillhouse guys, they love children, they love being around kids, teasing and tormenting, giving hugs and lots of praise to not only their own but to all around them. He loved horses, I guess you could call him a cowboy or a horseman, probably a cowboy would have suited him better, one of his saddles is displayed proudly in my kitchen, any child who enters the house is allowed to sit and rock on it, I think he would highly approve. He loved sweets, especially chocolate, he was skinny, a hardworker, a loving husband, a father that took the time to teach and love his boys and he also died too young. Danny was only a teenager when he lost his dad, the impact will always be with him, he has always tried so hard to make sure he did everything he could with his kids, "just in case". I think Danny is probably like him in a lot of ways, but he is also very strong like the mom who finished raising him into adulthood, together they scratched by to make a home and living after Robert passed away, it takes a lot of faith and courage to hold everything together, and they did. I wish he was here to see all of the great-grand babies, all 6 of the great-grand boys and the soon-to-be 2 great-grand daughters, how thrilled him would be. Here's to Dad Robert in Heaven looking upon us each day, Happy Father's Day!!!!

My dad, well he is 80 years old and still going strong, he comes from hardy stock, old country people, not hill people, but maybe holler, river and cave people. Dad's family was a bit dysfunctional, a term we use currently for single parent, low income, issue filled homes. When dad was born and small, during the depression, his father left the family to follow his itchy foot, the problem was, is that he left behind a wife, 3 sons and a daughter, no money, no food stamps, no welfare, no help from anyone. Luckily, they had a small little house and a small piece of land from her father and with the generous help of neighbors they scrabbled by a living. Gardens, gathering roots, berries, herbs. Hunting, kind neighbors who shared meat kept the family fed. My grandmother did not have time to be a real nurturing mom, mostly because she was to busy trying to keep the home fires burning and clothes on their backs. So, my dad didn't really get father/son time, his older brothers probably did most of the teaching, he only graduated from 8th grade but got honors from the school of hard knocks. Still he served his time in the Army/Air Force, worked rode motorcycles, traveled and finally settled down to marry my mom and have us kids. Dad has a dry sense of humor, he doesn't like nonsense, he doesn't like yapping women or screaming kids, in fact he really isn't that crazy about kids, he kind of tolerates them in a fashion, oh I'm sure he loves them and cares about his kids, grandkids and great-grand kids but isn't a huggy and kissy kind of dad. He has always worked at very hard jobs, with a hurting back at times, putting in hours and hours, 7 days a week, rain or shine, sick or well. I have learned a lot from him, he showed us how to find wild greens to cook and eat, how to hunt mushrooms, loves his "woods and trees" he really knows how to swing an ax, or a splitting maul and operate a chainsaw. He never, never took help from any one, any man or government, never!! and raised us kids to do the same. He cut the wood and had it sawmilled to build a house for his family, it still stands and is lived in. He is very independent, can be funny at times, has a strong opinion of anything, believes in UFO's, reads, is a very smart man and likes Kentucky Fried Chicken. He would rather have cake than pie and comes to everything I invite him to. He misses my mom and spent a year in darkness from her death, he has found the light again and decided to have some old-age fun, like traveling by rail to the Grand Canyon in May. I love my dad, I don't always agree with him or get along with him, but his has tried to do right by me and at least he stuck around even when he felt his foot started to itch with a travelin' bug. Happy Father's Day, Dad. Love to you all.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Grand Canyon Adventures, The End!

Big old palm tree outside our hotel room, very pretty and tropical, felt like I was at the beach.
A view from our ground floor hotel room across a very pretty courtyard.
Me, thinking of heading home to a cooler Missouri and my own bed.
Yogurt Berry, a very pretty in pink shop!
Oh Honey, look at those raspberries, yes they were as good as they looked!!!
Me by a palm tree in front of the hotel rooms and courtyard.

Okay, this is my last entry about the Grand Canyon adventure of May 2009, here is a random few pictures that didn't fit in any where so I will add them to the end. We arrived in Phoenix and checked into our room at the Crown Plaza which was very nice and the cheapest place we stayed at the entire trip, less than $80 per room. After resting a bit, we drove over to see Steph and her family, my sister-in-law was visiting so I got to see her also. We had good pizza and a lot of fun with Miss Kayley, she loved showing us her room, her baby and crib that papaw made for her, her Bob the Builders and lots more. We had a nice visit and then a very tired crew returned to our rooms for a good nigh sleep. We had a wonderful breakfast at Denny's and then just drove around the Phoenix/Mesa area looking and killing time until our flight. We stopped at a very nice upper end mall, which was all outside stores and lots of walking, so none of us felt like trying out the 107 heat, but I did get some very yummy yogurt at Yogurt Berry, topped with beautiful real raspberries. Probably the highlight of my day, we got to the very small airport two hours early, but really needed all that time to get through the ticket area and security. Our flight home was quick and easy and we got to fly into the new terminal in Springfield which is really nice. After finding our car in long term, we headed home, thankful for the cool, fresh Missouri evening and our own beds. Thank you Lord for helping us have such a great journey and a safe and mostly pleasant trip!! Love to you all.