Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ostrich Festival 2010.


You read it right.  Ostrich Festival.  It was the 22nd Annual Ostrich Festival to be a matter of fact.

Let me tell you something, you haven't seen a race, until you've seen an Ostrich race.
In the next few pictures, you'll see human jockey's clinging to the backs of racing Ostrich's.



The Ostrich festival also had a really great petting zoo. Nathan got so tickled when the goats licked his hands while we fed them.






I wanted the goat to 'pose' for our picture together so I held out the cup of food towards the camera and it worked - the goat looked up!  Here's our picture together.

Here are the Hull's with a real, live, Texas Longhorn.


We also had the pleasure or pain, depending on how you look at it, of watching a Journey cover band.  The lead singer that was a TOTAL Steve Perry look-a-like from the hair to the clothes to the voice.

There's something about the casual atmosphere of an outdoors concert that I love, it's just fun. 

Since Josh started watching Nathan for us once a week,  Josh has become Nathan's best buddy. Here's a sample of a typical conversation that two of us will have..
Me: I like ice cream.
Nathan: I like ice cream too.
Me: I like trains.
Nathan: I like trains too.
Me: I like Nathan.
Nathan: I like Josh.
It would be nice, if Nathan reciprocated with "I like mommy."  But no. Every time, without fail, Nathan will say "I like Josh."  I was finally able to get pictures of these two playing and having fun.





Lynn and I started this silliness in 2005, here is the "Best Friends Forever 2010" picture - same pose, different angle - I like it. :o)


The fun day ended with some rides for Nathan...


 And that was our first time at the annual Ostrich Festival...until next year!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photography by Nathan T. age 3


So it turns out that our 3 yr old is quite the photographer.  Typically when I'm trying to buy myselft time in an adult coversation I will often hand Nathan my little point and shoot camera and without fail it always buys more time. Nathan plays with the camera and the adults continue in coversation between blinding flashes of light. Later when it's time to upload the pictures, I'm pleasantly surprised, it seems he's got a knack for this. 

Pictures that Nathan took recently including the one above of Josh - now one of my favorites of him!









I love this picture because Nathan is turning the camera 90 degrees to take a portrait picture, self-taught!.

Those were some of his really good pictures but he is only THREE after all...here's a few of his duds. And maybe it's just because I'm a proud mommy but I still see an artistic angle to these...



...and every once in a while we gotta remind him to take his finger off the lens... :o)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Pastor.


This is Gary.  He is my Pastor.
He doesn't have a church building.
He doesn't speak in front of a congregation.
But he is my Pastor.

During family night at the Norton's on Sunday, we celebrated Gary's 55th birthday.  As a group, we read notes that came in from various people who had kind words to share in tribute to Gary.  I failed to get my note in, so this is my 2 cents.

We first moved to Arizona in 2002 and while it was exciting and adventurous, we never felt more alone or disconnected.  We had no friends, no family, not even a church to speak of.  After visiting numerous churches, we both felt comfortable at Superstition Springs Community Church.  The church was still meeting in a school and at the time was about 500+ people.  We attended for a brief time, less than a month I think, before we met the Pastor. Gary.  In our brief meeting, he suggested we get together for lunch.  And we did. We ate at Fuddruckers and I could even tell you the booth we sat in.  I don't know if Gary remembers this lunch, but I do. 

The Thanksgiving holiday was just a few weeks away and days before, we received a message on our answering machine from the Pastor. Gary.  He said he remembered we didn't have family in Arizona and wanted to invite us to Thanksgiving dinner at his home.  We couldn't attend because our family came to Arizona that year but the gesture was endearing.  I don't know if Gary remembers that invitation, but I do.

As time passed, we continued to receive invitations to special holidays, then family events and eventually to just their regular Sunday night dinners.  I don't know if Gary knows the impact this had in our lives, but I do.

Later, we up and moved to Texas.  And we found ourselves in trouble.  Our Pastor, Gary and his wife, Elaine flew in for a weekend.  And we were able to get our lives back on track.  I don't know if Gary realizes how life-changing that trip was for us, but I do.

When we decided to move back to Arizona and we needed a place to live until we could purchase a home, it was our Pastor, Gary and Elaine who opened their home to us and had us LIVE with them for as long as we needed.  I don't know if Gary understands how significant that was, but I do.


I've attended numerous churches, held member's status at many of them but there is only one person, I call my Pastor.  It is Gary. Because he is the only one, that has truly been a pastor - a shepherd - to me in all senses of the word.  He is a remarkable Pastor to this day. 

Happy Birthday to my friend, my Pastor. Gary.  Love you.

Pictures from Family Night celebrating Gary's Birthday


Outside after dinner...

Reading the notes that were sent to Gary...


We gave Gary a bag of essentials to take to Africa i.e. Sunscreen, Insect Repellent, Travel Pillow, Longhorns T-shirt...you know, the necessities.

I see we have some work to do here...

Funniest present ever!  A 1 year subscription to www.seniordiscounts.com - from Lynn...


Mari & Asher...

Yay, we got those little fingers to Hook 'em!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

SKATELAND - Oh yeah.

Nathan and I attended a birthday party at Skateland. Skateland.  That name just takes me back 26 years ago to when my cousin Gayle would take me roller skating. It was a total throwback and flashback to the 80's for me.  The skates, the music, the people.  Hahaha - the people who CAN skate and the people who CAN'T.  Too funny!!  Much has been updated to stay current with the times, like inline skates are now available but the total roller skating experience  has remained the same and the spirit of roller skating is still very much alive!

I actually didn't roller skate, I just didn't want to break an arm again but I enjoyed watching our friends.
  
 
 The birthday party girls just getting their skating wheels warmed up...
Not many people know that I'm a fierce Air Hockey player, something I'm very proud to share.
Nathan is now 'in training' to carry the torch.



I love these pictures of Nathan totally enjoying this new game. 


...and HE SCORES!  (I let him score just for the record.)
Cake time, just seconds after I took this picture Nathan proceeded to blow out Sara's candles.


The birthday party minus Nathan (was on my hip crying and very tired by this time).
So much fun, I'm considering having MY next birthday party at the skating rink!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Workday

This Friday, I went into the Oracle Office for the first time because I needed to get my new badge.


Here's my badge picture...it'll have to do!