Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas pics

These are some pics from Christmas day (and around) . I am putting htem in a slideshow but had to pull out my favorite pic from Christmas morning.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Some Pre-Christmas Pics

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Joann Kolodejcak Pics

Shannon had a family friend and photographer take some pics of Landry and Ian while they were home over the holidays. There were some great ones out of the bunch these are some of our favorites.

You you ever have picture needs please give Joann a call - we can get you her number. She is super talented and did a great job.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sunday at the Park

Shannon and I took the kids to the park this morning to run around and play in the newly fallen leaves.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


We went over to the Gleason's house and joined a troop of kiddos to trick or treat through the neighborhood. Unfortunatlye about 3 houses into it all Ian was screaming and Lnadry was ready to go home. So we called it early and headed over to Gigi and Pop's house to say hi.

Trick or treat

Bonus video - The Fairy (Landry) chasing the Tiger(Caroline) and Spiderman (Walsh)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Picking out pumpkins

We strolled through the pumpkin patch to pick out everyon'e pumpkin. Landry pulled the wagon through the maze and picked out pumpkins for "Mommy, Daddy, Landry, Ian, Grandma, Papa, Gigi, Pop and Murphy" !!
Pumpkin Patch

Monday, October 15, 2007

Ian at 2 weeks

Here are some new pics of Ian

2007-10 (Oct)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The things children say......

Over the past two weeks since I've been home, Landry has said some very cute and funny things that I wanted to share. Last week, I was watching a young couple get married on the Today show. The bride, of course, was in a beautiful wedding gown. Landry was intrigued by this princess in her Cinderella dress and Landry promptly wanted to put on her Cinderella dress. She understood that the bride was getting married like her mommy and daddy did. However, she wanted to wear her dress so she could marry her daddy!

Landry has been very interested in watching while I change Ian's diaper. Ian absolutely hates getting his diaper changed and screams throughout the entire ordeal. The other day while I was changing him Landry apparently felt sorry for him and kept saying "poor little guy....poor little guy." Where does she come up with these things?!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Bathtime for Mermaid

This is kinda long and probably only funny to me but . . . Landry wanted to give her Little Mermaid doll a full bath today. So she took Mermaid's clothes off and took her to go potty, wiped, flushed. Then got her bath ready, washed hair, body parts. Dried her, put a diaper and jammies on her. Basically went through the exact same routine that I do with her every night. I got most of it on tape until I ran out of memory for the diaper/jammies part.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Laissle's go home

Shannon's Mom and Dad are going home today so that is the end of our free playmate for Landry. We will see how she does now. So far she has been pretty good, but it helps having Grandma and PaPa here to entertain her. They have been a big help, but I am sure Rudy is ready to go since he has been sleeping on the couch all week. Thankfully, our Sunday school class is bringing food over for the next few nights that will be very welcome!

Shannon is feeling pretty bad these last couple of days. Very achy and sore. She is actually going to go to the doctor today and see if there is anything going on.

Landry's bottom tooth looks like it is going to be ok. It is out of place but not too bad. The top touch is loose to the touch so we are going to have to watch that one.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Landry's Traumatic Experience

Landry needless to say is not coping well with her little brother. She has generally gotten very clingy to Mommy and Daddy especially when they are holding Ian.

I got a call from Shannon about 2:30 yesterday, that Landry had fallen and hit her face on the granite surrounding our fireplace and was bleeding. She had knocked a couple of teeth loose. She was dancing (trying to garner some attention) and slipped on a blanket and fell.

I hurried home and rushed her to the pediatric dentist to have her checked out. She seemed fine in the waiting room, but once we hit the dentist chair it was bloody murder. Shane Moore's office was awesome by the way. Very patient with us and gave her lots of toys, balloons, stickers and attention diverters. We finally got an xray (I had to hold her in my lap with the lead blanket over both of us). Sure enough both her top left front tooth and bottom left front tooth is knocked out of socket. Time will tell if they will live or not. Hopefully we won't have to pull the tooth. At least they are baby teeth.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ian Gregory Herrick Arrives

Ian Gregory Herrick was born at 1:35 am on 9/25/07. He weighed 5 lbs 14 oz and was 19 1/4 inches long. "Ian" is just a name that Shannon and I both liked and "Gregory" is from Shannon's grandfather. Ian is a very Scottish/English - so I everytime I say it feel like I am inviting him over for "bangers and mash" or to grab a pint.
Shannon went into labor at about noon on Monday. She called me at work at 2:30 and said that the contractions were five minute a part and intense. She went and took a shower and tried to relax but by 3:30 she called me back and said "This is it!" We showed up at the hospital at about 4:00 and were put on a monitor. We stayed on the monitor for the next 2 1/2 hours (contractions still about 5-8). But she still wasn't progressing (still dilated 2.5 cm). Shannon looked like she was about to cry. The doc gave us the option of going ahead in checking in or going home. We decided to check in and get some pain meds. GOOD THING! As soon as we were settled into a room, things started to move a lot faster . . . contractions were quicker and more intense. They checked her around 9:30 and she was dilated to a 4.5. Shannon screamed "Get me an EPIDURAL STAT!" Two hours later (seriously) the anesthesiologist showed up and gave it to her. She was crawling up the walls by this point. But as soon as the epidural hit it was go time. She went from a 6 to a 10 over the next hour and the doc was setting up shop by about 12:45. She pushed literally on three contractions (three times it) and Ian was here!.

We got almost no sleep that night. After delivery, they assessed and weighed him in the room. Shannon got taken care of by the doc and we got to enjoy some time with Ian in the room. But it was almost 4 before everyone was out. An hour and half later it was up for the day. Ugh.

Landry is getting used to the idea. She brought flowers for Mommy and Ian to the hospital. As she was clutching her Little Mermaid figurine her first words about the baby were, "The Mermaid is mine, the baby can not have it." Well how that we have set the ground rules. She eventually warmed up a little bit to the little man and gave him a kiss when she left. This should be interesting.

We are so excited that Ian is here. We are so blessed! Here are some more pics for those interested:

2007-09 (Sept) Ian Birthday

Friday, September 21, 2007

Dr. Landry

Landry is getting into the playing doctor! Guess she wants to be like Mommy - or maybe a vet since she checks out Murphy too!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Last Round (hopefully) of Chemo

Dad started his last round of chemo today. He was actually supposed to start last week but came down with a mild case of the shingles. It was a little painful, and indicated an immune system that was down. A week of anti-biotics got it under control and he was cleared. So two more days and hopefully he will be on to the next stage, REMISSION!

A test in patience

This past week has been very trying for me. Last Thursday, I started having contractions about 10 minutes apart after I got off of work. They lasted that entire evening all the way through the next day. I saw my OB on Friday; he felt I was in early labor, but couldn't tell me if this would last for a day or for weeks. I was dilated 2 cm at that time. I tried to rest on Saturday, but early Sunday morning I woke up with contractions five minutes apart. I thought this was it....Ian was coming. Jason and I went to the hospital at 2 am and were promptly sent home at 4 am because I wasn't progressing. I've been on partial bed rest since then. The contractions have slowed down (thank goodness......I don't like to be in pain if I'm not going to have a baby!) I'm no longer working, and I'm supposed to sit on the couch all day. This is obviously impossible with a two year old so Jason's mom and our nanny have been watching Landry all day. This is very difficult for me. I'm used to being very active and I'm having a hard time sitting still. Of course, as soon as I start doing too much, I have more contractions. I'm trying to enjoy the rest before the baby comes because I know I will be totally sleep deprived in a few weeks!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Tea Party with Caroline

Landry had her friend Caroline Gleason over and they had a fun tea party and dress-up party!

Friday, September 7, 2007

A little scare

Tuesday was a little scary. Shannon called me about 2:30 pm and had not felt the baby move all day. She had tried all the normal things (eating, drinking a coke, lying on her side) be he seemed to be unresponsive. She was very upset so we dropped everything and headed to the doctors office.

We spent 2 hours on the monitor checking for heartbeat and movement. The heartbeat was normal speed but not variable? He was also still not responsive. The doc called this "not ominous, but not reassuring." What!!?!? They gave us another sonogram to check things out and everything looked good. However, the doc had us check in the hospital to monitor the baby for a few hours straight and make sure. After an hour or so, and dinner in the hospital, Ian started moving around a little bit. Everyone felt good enough to let us go home that evening. Thanks goodness everything was ok! By the next day all was normal (lots of movement).

Shannon had her normal OB appointment this morning and is already dilated 1 cm. She is having some contractions maybe 1 or 2 per hour. Guess I better get busy prepping the baby stuff!


Landry had her last gymnastics class so I got to come and see how the class goes. She is actually really good. I thought way ahead of the other kids (championship!) and much farther than when I saw her at the first fo the summer. She loves it, for about 45 minutes and then just wants her stamp and is ready to go home. They just have the kids walk backward on the beam do front rolls, donkey kicks, etc. Pretty funny.

Landry Gymnastics 2007-09

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The belly is growing . . .

We have had some requests for some pics of Shannon prego so here we go. Here is one. We are 33 weeks on Friday. We got Ian's room painted last week blue (of course) and it looks really good. Carpets were cleaned today, so crib consturction should start tomorrow. Mommy is nesting big time so Daddy's got to get to work!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ian Gregory at 30 weeks

We went and had a 4D Sonogram done at the OB office. It was fun to see what Ian is going to look like. We think that he probably looks more like Shannon. He definitely doesn't have the cheeks that Landry has (or Daddy)!
Ian Gregory 4D 30 weeks

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good news from the oncologist

The results of a follow-up bone marrow biopsy were received this morning. It looks like the first round of chemotherapy resulted in a total remission of the cancer cells. Even at the molecular level all things look to be back to normal. The oncologist said this was as good of a result as we could hope for!

Dad will go in starting tomorrow for 3 days of further chemotherapy but with only one of the drugs from the cocktail. It will be done outpatient (which is a relief). This will probable be one of a couple more rounds but they should be less intense given the state of the cancer at this point.

Thanks for all your continued prayers!

Friday, August 10, 2007


Wow. Our computer hardrive burned up a couple of weeks ago and we are just now getting back connected. I have some catching up to do. That will be a weekend project.

Last night we were having dinner and Landry was telling me about the rain and thunder she heard today. I asked her how thunder was made, and she told me very matter of factly, "The clouds bang together and make a loud noise". I am not sure where she got this. But I repsonded, "Very good Landry . . . Are you going to be a meterologist?" "No, I'm a girl" , she answered.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Finally Home

Dad finally got to go home on Tuesday morning! His blood counts were sufficiently up to let him go home. He is still pretty tired but looks good overall. They will probably give him a couple of weeks off before starting the next round of treatment.

Monday, July 23, 2007

An excellent wekeend

After a rough week most of last week, by the weekend Dad was visibly felling better. Finally, his blood counts started to come up as well! As of this morning, the doctor was very happy with his response, so much so, that he was taken off of the IV antibiotics and switched to an oral antibiotic.

All of his counts were up, WBC and platelets were back up to normal, and the red counts (still low) but are trending up all weekend.

What does all this mean? Dad may get to go home in the next few days! They want to watch him for a couple of more days on this new antibiotic and make sure that no infections pop back up. But a light at the tunnel.

We know there are a couple of more rounds of treatment to come, but the thought of at least getting to go home after a full 4 weeks in the hospital sounds pretty good right now!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Slow battle back up the hill

These last few days have been fairly rough. Dad's blood counts hit bottom this weekend. That is part of the plan of chemo, but it obviously makes him very prone to infection as well. It also calls several infusions to keep the blood count up. He had had 3 infusions as of yesterday. One thing he was in need of late was platelets. He had a nose bleed that just would not stop over the weekend. Most people are CMV positive and Dad is CMV negative, so it took a little while to track down some platelets.

They have also started started him on a drug (newgen?) to start rebuilding the white blood counts. It is a daily injection that is fairly painful and one of the side effects is bone pain.

In the meantime, he started having some serious pain in his right toe (the opposite leg as the other infection). It looks now like it may be gaut caused by the guild up in uric acid in his system. The added a new regiment of drugs to try and fight that.

He fought a low grade fever all weekend while the docs pumped him full of antibiotics all weekend to to try wane off any infections. He got through most of the weekend ok, but spiked a high fever last night and they running some new blood tests to see if they can determine an unseen infection. They are also changing the regiment of antibiotics up to try and fight this stuff off.

On the good news side, his blood counts have gone up (slightly) over the past two days. We are hoping that maybe this means he is turning a corner. If we can keep the infections at bay here for a few more days and give the white blood counts time to recover, he may get through this first round and get to go home in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Got through the weekend

Well we made it through the weekend. It turned out that a nurse forgot to change out a IV bag at some point during the weekend, so Dad had to tack 12 more hours onto the end of the treatment so he finished up at about 11 p.m. last night.

It was kind of tough weekend. He had a lot more nausea from the drugs, and got sick a few times. They gave him some Phenergan to fight the nausea, but that basically knocked him out. Apparently, it stops nausea by completely shutting down your whole body. He said that even his mouth was numb. They could also give Zofran for that type of reaction, but the Oncologist said it would react to some of the other drugs he is on. So they cut the dosage in half and trying it again.

The drugs have seemed to help. He was feeling alot stronger yesterday. We know this is the tough week, because the chemo drugs will basically drop his white blood count (and everything else) no nothing. But hopefully, he can start the road to recovery next week.

Friday, July 6, 2007

One drug down, one to go

Dad is starting Day 5 of his chemo, which means the end of one of his drugs. Still has three more days to go on the second drug. Overall he is still feeling fairly good. He has some nausea and has completely lost his appetite. But the docs gave him some meds to help the nausea (which made him pretty sleepy) and he feels a lot better.

Blood work was still about the same, which as the doctor put it "Boring is good". We should start seeing the effects of the chemo over the next week as the cells get killed off.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Polo Shirts

I guess with summer here, I have been wearing a lot of polo shirts lately. Everytime I wear one Landry points at the Polo symbol on the chest and gets excited and says "Polo, Daddy".

Yesterday, I was wearing some other sort of shirt, with no symbol on it, and she had a very distraught look on her face ans asked me "Where'd Polo go?".

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Still feeling good

Well, Dad has two and half days of chemo down. So far so good. He is still feeling good with little or no side effects from the treatment. We know that it is a matter of time before this catches up, but it is great that his body is able to withstand the treatment regiment that was chosen. Obviously, this protocol is the top choice, and they would have altered it if he was having a strong reaction to the drugs.

The Raines came up to visit today from Dallas today which was very nice to catch up with them. I think Dad really liked talking to to Ronnie since he had to go through a lot of this not too long ago.

Luckily his room is facing almost directly south, so Mom and Dad should be able to see the city fireworks tonight from the room.

Also, for the next two weeks we expect his immune system to drop to virtually nothing. In order to protect him during this time, we are going to try and limit his visitations to give him the best shot at a full recovery. Too many times, we may be carrying viruses/bacteria that we don't even know about until later. Feel free to call him, post a note to him, or send an email.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Starting Chemotherapy . . .

Dad is starting chemotherapy this morning. He will be on on a continuous intravenous drip 24/7 for the next 7 days. Over that time he will get daunorubicin for all seven of those days, which is a type of anthracycline. For the first four of those days he will also receive a second drug (I can't remember the name).

The doctor describe this like fertilizer. We will spread this fertilizer out for a week or so, but it will take up to a week for all of the bone marrow cells to die off (which is the idea). It will take another two weeks to rebuild his cell count. He will be in the hospital all of that time. Ugh.

The freakiest part of this is the toxicity of these drugs. The nurses glove and smock up, to avoid any contact with the drug. It can be very corrosive to the skin. They also warned my Mom, that if he vomits to treat it like toxic waste. In otherwords, don't touch it, glove up and dispose of it in plastic baggies. One treatment that we have talked about involves pumping arsenic into the blood stream. ARSENIC! What the hell!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

iBible Video

David's church in Naperville puts together some great video snippets that they run as part of their services. This was one they ran when I was there (I am sure to take advantage of the iPhone hype). Hilarious.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Back from the Beach

Shannon and Landry got back from Fort Walton Beach, FL tonight. They had a great time, considering all the craziness that was going on. Landry got to experience the beach for the first time. She loved it! She also loved the pool at the condo we stayed at because it had a waterfall. Shannon's Mom and Dad met us out there last Sunday and spent the week with us as well. I stayed until Tuesday morning and headed back early to be with my family.

Each day Landry wanted to make a sand castle and sand cakes. With the sand cakes she would make the cakes and insist that mommy find some candles (Shannon substituted sticks). Then the whole family would sing "Happy Birthday to _______" (fill in blank with Pop,Daddy, Murphy, PawPaw, etc.)

She loved playing with the big girls in the pool (some other kids that were staying at the same complex). They loved her too. She would sit there and yell "Big Jump, Big Jump" and then swing on the bar that was in the pool.

For more pictures check out our web album:

New blood

Since Dad's hemoglobin and overall blood count continues to drop the doctors went ahead today and transfused 2 units of blood. It went pretty smooth, with no major reaction to the new blood. We joked that if he started speaking with an accent then we would be able to narrow down who's blood that he had!

Yesterday, the doctor had a central line put in . This ought to make the every day taking of blood and eventual treatment easier than continued IV's. The Lynches and Gleasons have brought dinner the last couple of nights which was very welcome since Mom and David had been eating out every meal for a week.

My Aunt Chrys (my Dad's sister) is coming in from Phoenix tomorrow to visit. We are all looking forward to seeing her.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Some Good News !!

After several days of bad news, our family received some good news today from the Doctor. They have further narrowed in on the type of leukemia that he has and believe that he has what is called Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL).

As the doctor put it, if you have to get leukemia . . . this is the one you want. APL is a form that responds very well to treatment. APL has a complete remission (CR)* of 90% much higher than the other types of leukemia.

APL is unique among the leukemias distinguished by its sensitivity to all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a derivative of vitamin A. Basically, the ATRA is going to make these cells that are stuck in between cancer cells and white blood cells progress. He is going to start a regiment of the ATRA today and take it over the weekend.

Depending on how that goes he will start chemotherapy on Monday or Tuesday next week. He will take chemo for a week+ and it will take another week for the full effect to take place. He will stay at least two more weeks in the hospital after that to give him time to rebuild his bone marrow (white counts), fight infections (which are likely to occur), and check progress.

The doctors spent nearly 30 minutes with the family this morning, Chrys and Shannon both conference called in since they are out of town, and he went over all the options, the plan, etc. There are going to be several rounds of this over the next 6+months and the whole process is well over 2 years (the last 1.5 years being continued maintenance regiment and mostly oral treatments).

Truly, we praise God for this diagnosis today. It gives us all great hope to know that the battle that is about to be waged inside my Dad's body will be worth it.

*The term complete remission (CR) is reserved for patients who have recovery of normal peripheral blood counts; fewer than 5 percent blast cells can be present in the bone marrow, and none can have a leukemic phenotype.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Narrowing in on a type

The doctors have ruled out chronic leukemia and are narrowing in on an acute form of leukemia. His blood counts are still unchanged, quite low. His hemoglobin is continuing to drop so we will probably be starting some blood infusions in the next week or so.

We are all doing better today (emotionally) than yesterday. The heavy burden of yesterday took its toll on our family. But it also gave us a chance to share some special time together with a very honest open view of our love. Today, we have all learned more about leukemia than we ever wanted to know.

We know this is a marathon not a sprint so we are buckling in the long haul. It probably will be at least 4-6 weeks in the hospital on this first go around.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A sad day

This morning my Dad was diagnosed with leukemia. He returned from a fishing trip last week and was complaining of a pain in his leg and had a low grade fever. He went to the Urgent Care center on Friday afternoon and blood samples taken showed extremely low white blood cell counts. He was immediately admitted to the hospital and put through several tests the latest and most definitive being a bone marrow biopsy taken on Monday morning. The hematologist shared the results of those tests this morning and confirmed that he in fact has leukemia. Several more tests will be run over the next several days to determine the particular strain and treatment procedure that will be taken.

I ask you for prayers for my family, particularly my mother, as she stands by my dad in the next several difficult months. I ask you to pray for wisdom and judgment for the doctors and nurses that are caring for him. I also ask that you pray for peace and strength for my Dad as he deals with a new and difficult journey to recovery.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


The other day, I brought home some iced sugar cookies from work. I decided I would let Landry have a "treat" after dinner and I gave her 1/2 a cookie. She immediately licked the icing off the top of the cookie and promptly told me "ooh mommy....delicious bread". I have no idea where she picked up the word delicious, but I guess I need to give her goodies more often since she is so cute when she gets them.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Car Wash

Landry and I went and got my Truck washed this weekend. Landry was amazed by the entire process and has been repeating for the two days straight . . "Daddy's truck got a bath, with green soap."

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fly Fishing at Cow Creek

Last weekend I had a chance to go on a bank boondoggle and go fly fishing at Cow Creek ranch.

It is a really fantastic place that is about an hour north of Santa Fe close to Pecos, NM. 4.5 miles of stream and 6 or 7 lakes make this a fisherman paradise. We caught a ton of fish, shot a lot of shells and drank a lot of whiskey. I would highly recommend this place for some great secluded (no cellphones, tv, etc.) scenery.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Egg in my Belly!

Landry is convinced that I have an egg growing in my belly. First she picked up her shirt and said that her belly was growing like Mommy's. Then I asked her what was growing in Mommy's belly and she calmly replied, "an egg." Almost right!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

David to Chicago: Part Four The Final Chapter

Downtown Naperville is what every town in America is striving to obtain. It is honestly a totally cool downtown that is probably 6-7 city blocks filled with shops, restaurants and bars. It was buzzing with people when we arrived at about 8:30. It was almost impossible to find a parking spot, we cruised the entire parking garage and finally lucked out on the street. Bordered on one side by a 5 mile brick walking path down the Dupage River it is a just perfect.

We chose, what else?, a Chicago style pizza place called Lou Malnati's. This pizza was great. Definitely recommend the butter crust deep dish style. We enjoyed some Sam Adams and and the pizza then cruised around downtown for a bit.

Next day we headed back to David's place and got him unpacked, went to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc to get him all hooked up. He even picked up some new furniture. We had lunch at Portillos,, a must stop while in the Midwest. Portillos makes great hot dogs. We went to the Naperville location where the line was around the block to get a dog. We opted to go inside and the service was quick and food terrific.

We picked up, Shawn and Lindsay at O'hare who were flying back from Amarillo after visiting the family. We stopped off for Italian food that night at Carrabas and it was good as usual. Only funny part was the waiter, who basically insisted that he was the best waiter we would ever have , and refused to write down our order, only to screw up Lindsay's order. To compensate of course, he stared at his book and blamed the kitchen!

Next morning we headed to Davids new church Community Christian Church (CCC), This is a forward looking church that has several campus locations but teaches the same message at each campus. David is going to be working at the Romeoville location which was the first official satellite location. They have a very nice facility for the youth programs and then have the services in the community center there. The service was a lot of fun and everyone was very friendly and seemed excited to have David there. We had time after the service to hit the "Yellow Box" service back at the main campus back in Naperville. There we got to meet some of the staff and check out the service there for comparison.

We grabbed lunch and wrapped up back at David's apartment. It was already time to head back to Amarillo (Southwest this time!!). So onto the next adventure!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

David to Chicago: Part Three My Kind of Town!

We hop in the truck the next morning and trying to get to Omaha. Immediately we notice that the trailer is pulling all over the road if we got anywhere over 55 mph. Not good for a 15 hour trek. After about an hour we had had enough and decided to pull over and re-stack the the trailer which involved pulling about 3/4 of the trailer out and then putting it all back with a little more weight balance. A painful process but luckily it worked and we were able to top 70 for the rest of the trip.

Nebraska is boring. No doubt about it. So I won't go on about the grass and cornfields. We stopped for the night in Omaha and had a great steak at the a place called The Drover. It is a little hole in the wall place on 73rd street. There Whiskey Steak is the bomb. Served with no frills this marinade that the use is excellent.

That night we stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites which has a great bar called FireWater Grill. We were luck to get to hear a really talented performer named Monica Eby. Check her out here : Sang some really fun covers, but has a super original lineup as well. David and I got a chance to talk to here after the set. She actually started out in gospel at a local church that is a sister church to Trinity Fellowship in Amarillo. She even adopted her twins from a family in Amarillo so we had a small connection. Anyway lookout Nashville, this one is going to be good.

Next day we headed through Iowa and stopped in Davenport. We had lunch at The Machine Shed. This great home cooking chain was started at this Davenport location. I had a pork sandwich that was awesome. Great home cooked meal. I got Shannon a John Deere T-shirt that says "Country Girl". How appropriate!

We drove through a nasty rain storm (that spawned lots of tornadoes along the Iowa/Illinois border). But we made it to Aurora just in time to get David's keys and find his apartment. Got David moved into the 3rd floor apartment (I will not forget that David!) just before the rain came in.

We headed over to Shawn and Lindsay's place to shower up and headed to downtown Naperville . . .

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

David to Chicago: Part Two Uhaul Up!

Beautiful Denver at last! Denver really is a great city and I know David is going to miss Golden and all the friends he met there.

When I arrive I find out that David hasn't been able to secure the Uhaul. Apparently the Uhaul was promised to be ready at 12 noon but when he arrived they informed him that the guy that had it rented had not returned it. We decided just to show up at the rental facility and find out for ourselves. When we got there the trailer was sitting on the yard so we filled out the contract. We questioned why they hadn't called us when it came in, where we found out that the UHaul had been promised to two people on the same day. Right as we finished the contract work the other guy came in mad as a hornet nest asking why his trailer wasn't ready. We scurried out the door and on top David's apartment.

David was mostly packed up so we moved most of the boxes, bed, and some furniture down to the UHaul and packed it all up. His friend Lee and Colleen stopped by to help out. We got most everything packed and went over to his storage facility to get the rest. David had gone by earlier and removed the lock on the storage facility. However, when we got there, a new lock had been placed on the unit. We called the owner and he in fact had put a new lock on the unit. We had to wait about 45 minutes for him to come by (two trips since he brought the wrong key the first time) and unlock the unit.

After all this we decided to get some dinner. On the way there we noticed something scraping on the wheel, it sounded like the front right tire was rubbing. I hopped out but we couldn't determine what was making the noise and we couldn't repeat the problem. We decided to watch it and check it out later.

David, for his final meal in Golden, CO , chose a burrito (I have now idea). So we ate out on the patio at Qboda. After all this we were pretty tired so we decided to call it a night and just head out the next day in Golden. We grabbed a beer at the local pub and plotted our travel for the next day.

We wanted to try and get at least half way of our long journey. The whole route was about 980 miles and projecting to take 14-15 hours.

David to Chicago: Part One American Airlines

I flew to Denver last week to help move David out to Chicago. He is moving up there to take a job at a really neat church that is doing some very innovative things (more to come).

Anyway, this trip was cursed from the beginning! I flew on American to get there. So I awoke at 4:15 am to catch my flight to Dallas. No problems so far. I trek from Terminal A to Terminal C at DFW to make the 8:15 a.m flight to Denver. But as we get on the plane to go to Denver the waiting begins. After pulling onto the runway, the pilot comes on the announcer and says "The flaps don't seem to be working, maintenance is on the there way." In the meantime, we pull into an empty gate at Terminal C and wait about an hour before they tell us that the plane is unfixable, and they are going to try and find a replacement. We unloaded the plane and waited at the gate. About 15 minutes go by and they announce they have found us a plane, its back over in terminal A gate 15. So we all head to the train and take it over to terminal A.

While in route, ominous clouds are waiting our arrival as a huge squall moves across all of North Texas. The rain comes (with the lightning) and all of the flights are grounded. I glance up at the screen (our flight is not listed because it was supposed to have left already) but all of the other flights to Denver are canceled. But we are assured that our plane was there and the crew was available and as soon as the clouds cleared we were on our way.

We wait about 2.5 hours at the new gate. Finally the rain clears and we are ready to board. They call the first boarding group and WHAMMO. The electronic check in rejects the boarding pass. The attendant announces that apparently the flight has been canceled. WHAT? They couldn't tell us this two hours ago. She says that due to the new airline "Bill of Rights" American doesn't allow passengers to wait four hours. The mob grow restless as this point. Half of the people sprint out of the gate to the terminal to rebook, many grab cellphones to rebook, a few of us hang around the gate to see who gets punched!

After 30 minutes, the attendant says that we definitely can not reinstate the plane, so I also leave the gate and head to the ticket counter where as soon as I leave security join several the line wrapped around the terminal and appears to be at least a 45 minute wait. I get on my cellphone and amazingly get a AA rep on the line. He mentions that the next flight to Denver is 10 pm. UGH. I contemplate going back to Amarillo and regrouping when he says that the flight I was on looked to be back reinstated with a 12:30 department time. A look at my watch, reveals 12:15. I hope back in the security line and work my way to the front.

As I approach the TSA personnel, glory is only a few short steps way. She reviews my boarding pass and tells me, "Your boarding pass is past the time to board so I can't let you through. You have to get a new boarding pass from the the ticket counter." WHAT!?? I peer over my left shoulder at the languishing line and think you have got to be kidding. I ask her to get an AA rep over to ok this cause there was NO WAY. She asks me to step aside and wait. At least 10 people behind me in line also have a similar fate, and we are herded to the side. 15 minutes pass and finally the AA rep gives the ok to let us through to the gate. GLORY AT LAST!

After a scoot through security, I get back to A15 and nobody is around. NOBODY. One of my fellow security hold ups, is on the phone with his wife and passes on the information that we have been moved to A10. So we scurry down to the new gate, new plane and new crew.

After about 20 minutes we finally look to be getting on the plane. We board with literally about 1/2 the people that we started with on the first plane. I am sure many people just gave up or went home. Engines rev up and the stewardess takes drinks orders. Nothing. A solid hour passes with no movement. A steward comes on the overhead and announces that we are waiting on the luggage to be delivered from Terminal C, along with some sarcastic remark like "It doesn't do you any good to get to Denver with no luggage!". Are you kidding? We had over 4 hours to deliver that luggage but it is just now being sent over. Unreal.

But the plane did take off and we made to Denver only 7 hours behind schedule. On to the move . . .

Monday, June 4, 2007

Landry Turns Two!

Landry had a great time at her second birthday. She had a Curious George birthday party with all of her little friends. They got to eat cake and play in the sprinklers. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time.

The Sadlers, the McLemores, the Thomas', the Lynches, the Gleasons and our family (Uncle David, Cousin Kelsi, The Laissles, The Herricks) all came out to enjoy the day.

More pics can be found in this album!
2007-05 Landry's Birthday Party

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Here we go!

After seeing some great friends do this with their own adventures, we have decided to get on board and ty this out! We will see how it goes!