Friday, September 23, 2011

Ended Too Soon

I scrolled through the several years of blog posts our family has before writing this one. Posts that make me laugh, cry and just shake my head. Memories that are forever written in words and captured by pictures. Sometimes when I write a post, I'm thinking about the million things I need to get done, and not reliving whatever wonderful, funny or important life event that I feel needs to be stamped in time. But that has changed...I'm making a point to live more in the moment. To not be so concerned about the bills, or the homework or ironed clothes. Ok, well, maybe I'm still a little obsessive about these things, but the memories behind them are what I'm thinking about now. The back-story for all this? Sadly, a tragic ending to a life. A life taken too soon, according to all who loved her on earth. A life that was so closely intermingled with our family, that she was part of blog posts, and memories and the important events that our family has been so lucky to enjoy.

Sara Elizabeth Symons was killed tragically in a car accident on September 1, 2011. She was the daughter of our best friends/neighbors in Bentonville. But she was our daughter too; Claire was her little sister and Geoff was "Uncle Geoff". She did homework projects at our house, babysat our children, went on family vacations with us...we watched her cheer, she watched Claire dance and Landon play tee ball. We celebrated her accomplishments as much as we celebrated our own children's. Like I said...our families were as close as they come.

These are the things I choose to remember; to talk about. Sara taught our family that enjoying even the small moments is what's important. She taught my children that striving to be your best doesn't mean you have to be rude or deceitful. I believe she also taught them loving your parents is cool no matter what your friends might say! Not to speak for him, but Sara taught Geoff what he will need to know when Claire gets older. These are the things I choose to remember. And what I will talk about with my children when they say "I miss Sara". She will always be there in the back our hearts, helping us choose to take time to love each other; because you never know when it might end. And it will always be too soon.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Look at me...I'm a cowboy!
Making leather necklaces.
Pumping some water.
Feeding Daisy the calf.
Riding in the wagon with Mike, being pulled by Tim and Barney.

We had a little family time this weekend at Cowtown, in downtown Wichita. Geoff and I hadn't been in years, and the kids had never experienced the rough and tumble ways of the old west. The kids had fun imagining what it was like to live way back then, and also doing a leather craft and watching a gun fight. Yeehaw!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Labor Day

Everyone in the jeep.
Landon trying out the levers.
Cousins doing some heavy work!

Our Labor Day weekend started out like none should, which I will post about another time. The kids spent most of the weekend with Nana and Papa. They got to go to the Wingnuts game, have an Oreo party and be lazy (Claire's favorite part)! On Monday, the kids and I went out to Gram and Poppy's to play with Thurston. Unkie took us for a ride in his jeep and to see some construction equipment being used in the fields. It was a nice "distraction" (Claire's word).

Cheer and Football

Geoff and Landon after the first football game.
Claire and her good friends at the cheer performance. (Yes, these girls are in her class...she's either that short or they are that tall!) I have some better pics of these two events, but don't have them on the computer yet.

Last week was an exciting one for both kiddos! Claire participated in a cheer clinic hosted by the Valley Center High School Cheerleaders. She stayed after school all week to learn cheers, a dance and play games with fellow students. She had a blast! The girls were to perform at the football game that Friday night. However, Mother Nature had different plans. Storms rolled in just as the game was beginning and everyone had to be ushered into the gym to wait it out. The girls finally ended up performing their newly acquired skills in the gyms for the people waiting out the storms. It wasn't exactly how they'd pictured it, but it was fun anyway!

Landon had his first flag football game Saturday morning. I cannot begin to describe to you how excited, and nervous, I was! Landon was prepped and ready, clapping his hands and making determined faces with his mouthguard in, which was darling! (He would be so embarrassed if he knew I just posted that!) He played well, even while playing for the other team since they were short players (good sportsmanship). He enjoyed himself too, which is the main objective! This Mommy is excited to see how he progresses through this season!

Gram and Poppy came to watch these two events, and stayed the night in between. That was fun considering we didn't think we'd have them as house guests now that we live in KS! Lucy participated in the cheer clinic, too, which I think made it even more fun for both of them. We are certainly enjoying having those cousins (and aunts and uncles) close by to play with! Nana and Papa were there to watch the cheer clinic too, but had to leave when the rain started to close windows! "This darn Kansas weather!", in the words of Claire!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


As we were driving to school this morning, I pointed out to the kiddos that it was the first day of September. They were only minimally energetic about this fact, even after I pointed out Hokie football starts, the weather will (hopefully!) start cooling down, and our lives will become more routine. Well, Mommy is excited about all that and more! Landon starts flag football practice tonight, with games following in a couple weeks. Claire starts dance classes with her new competitive company next week. Not to mention all the other things that start to fill up a calendar in the fall! Although I'll miss the spontaneity of summer, I'm ready for the fall schedule!

Other tidbits:

We traveled back to Bentonville last weekend for a good friend's birthday party. We saw lots of other friends and stayed with the Symons' (our old neighbors and good friends) on our whirlwind trip. I didn't realize how much I missed all those Arkansans! It was a fun time, but nice to drive home to Kansas!

A conversation with Landon:
Me: "How was school today?"
Landon: "It was ok. My teacher is mean."
Me: "Mean? How so?"
Landon: "She said it's too hot to go out to recess. I think she just doesn't want to sweat."

Claire has had some issues adjusting to life in Kansas. Geoff and I are at our wit's ends with her more often than not. This morning was no exception. But the girl gave it back to me...
"Mom, I'm trying to work this through, but there is always something else on my mind and I can't ever get past it. We don't get recess the rest of the week because some other kids were being loud. How can I think about being 8 when I am dealing with that?" I guess I'll just have to be patient...