Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Wheels on the Taurus Go Round and Round

We have new wheels at the Braschler household!  A few months ago, we traded our Chevy Cavalier with an individual for the Ford F150 truck in the background of the picture.  The Cav was my car from highschool which was wonderful - it had even endured having a tree falling on it and my teenage driving skills, but with 190k miles on it, it was time to move on.  And just last weekend we sold our Ford Escape to look for something with a little better gas mileage for Nick's work travel to all the plants and hospitals and also our trips to Wichita and wherever else the road might take us.  So tonight we bought this 2003 Ford Taurus.  So far we love it!  It is really a huge blessing to not have any car payments.  We are very fortunate to have saved up and thankful for tax refunds!  We actually came out ahead money-wise with all the selling/trading around so we will use that for some new tires for the truck and our trip to Chicago in September.  

Here she is.  She even has rear air and plenty of room for Nick's long legs.  

So that means I'll be driving the truck to and from work and daycare since they are all within 2 miles and Nick will drive it whenever he wants to do "manly" things like going to Lowe's or to look at cows or whatever that might entail.  And Nick will drive the Taurus for work since he travels all over the area to different plants and hospitals, etc.  It's nice to have all of this settled finally.  We are so blessed and are grateful we even get to enjoy the pleasures of owning and driving cars.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

In Memory...

...of Papaw Wampler, who I had the great privilege of meeting several times before he passed away in February 2008.  He was an incredible man of God who loved to read, study, work puzzles and tell funny jokes.  We miss him so much, but know that he has achieved the ultimate prize of eternity with Christ.

...of Grandpa Goetz, who passed away February 2011 after a 20+ year battle with cancer.  He fought hard, he fought long and I think he ultimately won.  His body is now fully restored to its heavenly form and he doesn't have to deal with any pain or treatments ever again.  He was so supportive of us, a man of integrity and he came to all of our extracurricular activities, especially our games (volleyball, softball and basketball - rarely missing one, even when he felt terrible - and he always brought us "vitamins" -- chocolate covered granola bars).  I miss him terribly.

...of Grandma Willis, who also lost her 20+ year battle of cancer in December 2010.  She was gentle, kind, thoughtful and so loving.  She would always play games with us, take us shopping, bake us delicious goodies, and just come over and spend time with us when we didn't have anything to do.  I miss her so much. 

We are so blessed to have had these incredible people as grandparents and we are so proud to be their granddaughter and grandson.  I'm also so thankful that they all knew the Lord and are now rejoicing with him forever!

This Memorial Day weekend, remember those who have gone before us.  :)  

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  While this is a time to remember those who have gone before us, it is also a kick start of summer (even if it feels like it's been here awhile)!  I have to say that summer is my least favorite season because of the heat factor, but other than that, there are a lot of fun things about summer and one of them is baseball!  Nick and I went to a Naturals baseball game with work on Thursday night and then went again on Friday night with Tyler, Robyn and Jackson.  Both evenings were beautiful - not too hot, not too cold and we were with some awesome people!   

Some of the sweet ladies I work with:

Jack was so excited for the game - squealing and talking - it was so cute!

Both boys did so great and we got to stay for the fireworks!  They put on an incredible fireworks show every Friday night that would rival any 4th of July fireworks.  We loved them!  

Got some funky pictures of the fireworks.  I think they're cool.  :)

Here's Caleb all ready for church this morning.  He is getting so big!  

This is what he does when you tell him to make a face.

We hung out and watched some Shrek 2 yesterday also.  Got our juice and goldfish crackers.  What more could a boy want?

Another face.  Silly boy.  

I sure treasure these times with Caleb.  I want to make sure I keep these memories with me forever so it's nice to have a place to document them.  He is a precious, joyful little boy and I am so grateful to be his momma.  

This afternoon, we tried to play in the sprinkler for a bit with Boone.  Neither were interested.  They did play nice for a few minutes to get some pictures.  :)  Boy was it hot out!  I was hoping to get a little sun and maybe start to tan a teeny bit, but Caleb didn't last very long.  

We started out having no plans for tomorrow, but Nick found out he's doing a funeral for someone at work Tuesday and will be prepping/meeting with the family tomorrow.  He's so good at what he does.  God has gifted him greatly for his position as a chaplain and continues to impact His kingdom through Nick.  I'm so proud to be his wife.  

Overall a great weekend with lots of fun memories!  Other activities not included in the pictures: Gravette graduation, OTB (did you know they have half price appetizers from 11-6 on Saturdays?!  Score!), Target shopping, Cold Stone Creamery ice cream, driving around looking for cars because we sold our Escape to get a more fuel-efficient vehicle, Pizza Hut and a red box movie, and meeting with a sweet couple that Nick is marrying in June (you know, officiating - he's already married to me silly!). it time for bed yet?  :)  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weekend: A trip to learn some family heritage

This past weekend we went to Missouri for a weekend with the Wampler/Braschler families.  We stayed with Mamaw Friday night and headed out early Saturday morning for Doniphan, Missouri, about three hours east of the Springfield area.  I took some Bonine (better than Dramamine!) before the trip and Nana graciously took the backseat so I could sit up front and not get sick (her real motive was to play with her grandson the whole way), although the roads were not near as bad as I was expecting and I didn't experience a hint of car sickness. 

We got to see all the places that Grandpa B. grew up and all the farms on both sides of the family.  We went to the cemetary to decorate his parents graves and got to see the heritage of the Braschler family. 

Here are the Braschler men on the trip:
Jon, Rick, Paul, Todd, Jake, Cliff, Nick, Caleb

Caleb hasn't been taught cemetary etiquette as he was playing in the dirt and climbing on headstones.  I think I turned bright red when one of Cliff's cousins said, "Don't worry, Uncle Eugene wouldn't mind!  Let him play!"  So play he did.

This is the grave of Cliff's father and mother (who died when he was nine) and his stepmother who he also viewed as his mom for the rest of her life. 

The Pierce side is his mother's side of the family.  I think this was Cliff's uncle and aunt if I'm not mistaken (and I may be).

The trail of tears runs right through the cemetary - you could see the groove in the land where thousands of Native Americans had traveled so long ago.  There were several of these piles of stones that marked the graves of some who didn't make it along the way.  They have been there a long time.

It was called the Pratt Cemetary and was right next to where Cliff grew up.

As I mentioned before, Caleb enjoyed climbing on the stones.

He also found a friend - a distant cousin named Audrey only 3 weeks older than he is!  They were both so sweet to each other.  (We may live in Arkansas, but we're not the kissin' cousins type!)

Caleb did so well on the trip, especially for being in the car over six hours and being dragged all around the Doniphan countryside with only a tiny nap. 

The ladies:
Janice, Claudia, Merissa, me, Julie (and baby Cohen due in August!)

We had a great trip and are so thankful we were able to go and hear the stories of Grandpa B's childhood.  What a rich memory.

We headed back to Nixa, MO for Pizza and there was a surprise party waiting to celebrate Claudia's 50th birthday!  She had no idea.

Her brothers and their families as well as many of the Braschlers and even one of her long-time friends she hadn't seen in years came with her husband. 

Here's the cute candy bar "card" Nick's cousin, Makayla, made in honor of the event. 
It says:
"Happy 50th Claudia. Do you hear SNICKERS from those around you? They are jealous. You still look like a HOT TAMALE at 50. Soon, you'll have BUTTERFINGERS and feel your bones CRUNCH when you ROLO-ver and say, 'Where's my WHATCHAMACALLIT?' I had a hard time finding a gift. I thought we could TAKE 5 at the SYMPHONY or I would give you 100 GRAND but it wasn't my PAYDAY. The best I could do was SKOR you a DOVE. It's UP2YOU how you will REACT to us NERDS. Hopefully you will be a SWEETART about it."

What a cute idea!

Claudia with her mom who sneakily pulled it all together (and Todd too!). 

The sneak himself!

Caleb loved hanging out with his Uncle Jake.  They're buddies.

And he also got to take a ride on the mower with Grandpa.   

It was a great weekend with great people!  Lots of fun memories! 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

We had a fabulous Mother's Day weekend in Wichita last weekend.  We celebrated Tyler and Claudia's birthdays on Saturday - topped off by some IBC root beer. 

Happy birthday you two!  Their birthdays are on the exact same day - every year!

A proud mama with her boys.  We got to take her out shopping to spend some birthday money.  It's become a yearly tradition - Nick even comes too!

(I really wish that I would have actually gotten myself ready for the day - I wasn't expecting to take so many pictures..)

The girls

On Sunday we headed to church and then out to eat at a buffet.  Unfortunately the buffet must have not set well with me because I was sick all night long Sunday night.  Thankfully it started at the very last toll booth, so we were almost home.  That would have been an extra terrible drive.  Boy, I haven't been that sick in years.  I'm so grateful for a husband who takes great care of me and am glad it's over.

My cute boy and I on Mother's Day

Here are some more pictures from the weekend:

playing with Nana

Nana and her grandsons. 

Caleb and Aunt Hollie

and with Aunt Julie

Goetz girls with a Caleb photo bomb

He loves all the attention.  Can you tell?

with Grammy

and Grandpa (or "Papa" as Caleb likes to call both Grandpas) too

I just realized that I didn't get any pictures of Todd in here.  Luckily, we get to have another weekend with the Braschler side as we are headed to Nixa, MO tonight to stay with Mamaw and then tomorrow is a trip to and from Doniphan, MO to visit the graves of some of Nick's great-grandparents which will be very special.  This Kansas girl is a little nervous about the winding roads, but got some motion sickness pills to try out, so we'll see how that goes. 

Happy Weekend!