Tuesday, December 30, 2008

HAPPY 2009!!

This blog is going dark for the next week. (Sam doesn't think I can go technology free for 5 days and he's right but I did compromise and say I would not do any blogging or blog checking.) We are going to celebrate with my family over New Year's and they have no high speed connection so by the time I can get on-line it will be time to come back home anyway. Stay tuned for new posts in 2009 including: Our favorite Christmas memories of 2008 and Sam posting his top 5 most unbelievable retail stories. There might also be a post to get all you lurkers out of hiding. Maybe I'll even bribe you with a prize. You know how much I like prizes!!
Signing off until 2009!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Needless to say, letters didn't get mailed this year so decided to post one here now that all the holiday hoopla has died down.

We have had a good year and know that we are blessed beyond anything we deserve. Here are the highlights from our year. (Those of you who read this blog will find most of this repeat info.)

As a family we enjoyed trips to Adventureland in Des Moines, with our good friends the Brockmeiers and a two-day visit to Oceans of Fun and Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. We also attended the Holmes Family Reunion in Wichita. One of our very favorite things we did as a family this summer was tanking down the Calamus (near Burwell, NE) with some of our favorite people. This was something I had wanted to do for a long time (it was on my "list") and we all agree that it may have to be an annual event. Claremarie was in my cousin Natalie's (she married Cody) wedding in Oct. (another thing that was on my "list") and I'm not sure who was more excited her or me. The kids have spent many nights and some weekends out at Fremont with their Grandma and Grandpa Park. They always have so much fun playing games, exploring, wood working and basically being entertained 24/7 while they are there. In June they got to attend VBS in Hershey with Grandpa and Grandma Holmes. We also all enjoyed a week in Hershey in the fall where we had the annual Holmes campfire and weenie roast and took a trip to the town where I entered this world (Mullen, NE). Speaking of small towns in Nebraska, we continued on our quest to visit all of them and even got mentioned in an article in the Fremont paper as we were visiting a town the same time one of their reporters was doing a story on it (Nickerson, NE).

Claremarie turned 8 this year and started 3rd grade. She did cheerleading in the spring and took tennis and swimming lessons in the summer. She wants to check out volleyball next. She got her ears pierced and has become quite a good helper to me as she even volunteered to learn how to clean toilets and do laundry. (Yes, she is our favorite child right now!!)

Camden turned 4 and started preschool which he absolutely loves. A few tears were shed on the afternoon of his first day, as I drove away and realized that for the first time in 8 years there would be nobody in the car with me as I was running errands. Camden played t-ball and took swimming lessons last summer. He is a very precocious child who has a big vocabulary (pathetic is the word today) and loves his big sister. Camden always keeps us laughing with his antics.

Sam and I are both still doing pretty much the same things as we were doing last year. Not much has changed for us. I just celebrated a landmark birthday and he is going to in March. We made it to most of the home football games this year and can honestly say we enjoy it again!! We have also both been enjoying connecting with old friends on facebook and through this blog.

We don't know what 2009 will bring for us and I must confess to feeling some anxiety about that. However, it is awesome to know HIM who does know what will happen and who on HIM we can cast our worry and fear.
We wish you and your families a very happy 2009.

The Parks-Sam, Sherilyn, Claremarie and Camden

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It has been a full day. An unusual Christmas Eve for us. We have never been home on Christmas Eve without someplace to be. This year we baked, decorated ornaments, wrapped a few last minute gifts, tracked Santa on NORAD, went to Christmas Eve service at church, came home and had a "banquet" (Camden's description) of french dips, baked potatoes and brownie sundaes, watched old videos of Christmases past and reflected on the GIFT we are truly celebrating. A full day indeed.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Usually I'm all for snow days. What great opportunities to do something fun and out of the ordinary with the kiddos but why does it have to be tomorrow??? I was so looking forward to Camden's preschool program. He got asked to be Joseph and we were all so excited about it. He went to bed crushed and I can empathize with him. Hopefully they will have their program when school resumes in Jan.!!

I know these are teaching opportunities but it is so hard to try and help kids learn something when you yourself are keenly feeling the sting of disappointment too.


I've been picture tagged. The rules are to go to your picture files and open the 4th picture. I don't have very many pictures downloaded on my new computer yet but the 4th one is a good one!!
I tag Melanie, Nicole, and Jenny H.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Thanks everyone for your posts, e-mails, and prayers. I made it through the first appointment. Still have to go back at least once more but think I will wait until Jan. for that. Only a few tears were shed before they started the work. It is always the anticipation that gets me. Thanks again!

Monday, December 15, 2008


I'm posting in hopes that the people who read this blog will send their prayers and happy thoughts to me tomorrow morning. I have a dentist appointment. Work needs to be done that they have been wanting me to do for about 4 years so I am finally giving in and going. (Even though it is against every core value I have to get work done on teeth that ARE NOT bothering me.) After 40 years I guess this old body needs a tune up.

Anyway, I am deathly afraid of the dentist. There were some horrible childhood experiences that have contributed to this and also I have very soft teeth. At my last cleaning I broke down in hysterics. It is not unusual for me to cry at least once while I'm in their office but the sobbing uncontrollably was strange even for me. I know it was bad because they are actually prescribing a Valium for me to take before I come in tomorrow. (Those of you who have heard me talk about the one and only Valium I have ever had, after Claremaire was born, will know that I'm excited about that.) I have been going to this dentist for 7 years so I'm pretty sure my chart is flagged as a "problem patient". They probably hate me coming as much as I hate coming in.

It just seems like everything is going against me for this visit. I already had to cancel once because of a conflict (for which the receptionist yelled at me). Now I have a bad cold and can't really breathe but I really do want to get it over with (and I don't want the receptionist to yell at me again). Sam was going to go with me and now he can't. My stomach has been hurting for a week thinking about going and now today I have a horrendous headache which I'm attributing to worry and the fact that I can't breathe.

YES I'm overreacting. YES this is irrational. YES it is embarrassing to be so fearful of this. Why can't I overcome this fear? I have managed NOT to pass this fear along to my kids. They love the dentist. In grad school we learned that people who have control issues don't like the dentist because they don't like anyone or anything who makes them feel vulnerable. Well that certainly doesn't describe me. :-) It is not that I don't like the dentist personally. I'm sure he is a very nice person. It is all the poky, sharp tools that he brings with him and the whirring, grinding noises they all make and the chunky pieces of tooth and debris that fly around in a person's mouth and the way your lips get all dry and cracked and then the bill you get in about 2 weeks.

So pray for me if you think about it. Specifically that I will be a nice patient and that the work will be minimal and that it will go quickly and that I won't have a heart attack in the chair. I will take my headphones and a book so hopefully that will help.

If any of you made it through this thanks for letting me vent.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It has been grainy. It has been runny. It has just been downright bad but FINALLY, on my 18th Christmas as a married lady, I had a batch of fudge turn out!! (I realize that this doesn't speak very well to my baking expertise.) I don't know why it has never worked it just hasn't. Every year when I announce that I'm going to try and make fudge, Sam always groans, rolls his eyes, and tries to talk me out of it. (I think he just got tired of eating it with a spoon.) This year, he had to admit, that I finally did it and it is delicious if I do say so myself!!