Friday, August 30, 2013

RIP Dear Neighbor

This morning our Dear neighbor is being laid to rest. Please pray for his family and friends as they say "goodbye" to him.

Dick has been our neighbor since 1999. When we bought our home Dick and his wife Ardyce were the first neighbors we met. Ardyce passed away almost five years ago.

Dick has always teased our kiddos . . . he was a bit on the ornery side. He used to tease with Katelyn quite often and then the boys. We have very fond memories of our precious neighbor . . .

Katelyn loves to bake and cook. Dick was the recipient of many meals Katelyn prepared. At one point last year, Dick told Katelyn we had to slow down bringing him meals over as he was gaining weight. He laughed and then said, "I don't know what you put in there, but I REALLY liked it!"

Dick was a HUGE fan of Katelyn's apple pie. Every Fall, Katelyn would take him over a freshly baked apple pie. Dick would take that pie and hide it from his family. He would not share it. He would always laugh when telling about it. One holiday we sent over a sweet potato pie . . . he said, "It was good, but not as good as Katelyn's apple pie!"

One day I gathered the boys and we headed outside with baggies on our hands and bags . . . it was time to clean up goose poop. We headed over to Dick's house and began poop duty. He came out to his deck and asked what in the world we were doing. The kids and I smiled and told him we were cleaning up goose poo from his yard for him. The kids and I cleaned up the back and the side yard then, moved to the front yard. All of a sudden candy was falling from the sky. The kids stood and looked up . . . I am sure they were as caught off guard as much as I was. I looked around the corner of the house to see Dick reaching in a bag of candy and throwing it in the air and over the garage for the kids. He had a HUGE smile. The kids were delighted and I thought it was so very sweet. We wanted to be a blessing to him and he turned right around and was a blessing to us!

We are thankful for the wonderful memories these past fourteen years.

Rest in Peace dear neighbor. Although we will miss you, we are thankful you are no longer in pain, you are no longer tethered to an oxygen line and knowing you . . . you are busy being ornery up in Heaven. 

Love . . . Randy, Julie and the Kids

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Skipper and Gilligan

Today was HOT! It really felt stifling outside!!!
The boys even noticed . . .
and that is saying something.

Randy called me this afternoon to let me know he was rescuing two ducks from Peoria. Apparently, they were in an alley and had been there for a week or so. Of course, there was no air movement and the ducks were on hot, hot, hot pavement. The poor babies were dirty and cowering by a gas meter. So, four of my crew headed to rescue these poor little creatures. Within minutes of arriving, the ducks had been rescued and were on the way "home" to our house.
The poor little things were just panting away and we are pretty certain they were overheated.

Let me introduce you to . . .


and Gilligan

They traveled home in a dog kennel and befouled the inside.
Once home, they were immediately taken to the lake.
At first they looked at the water and stared . . .
then they took action.

From what we can tell, these little feathered ones 
are very good friends!
Friends that stick together!
Watching them together reminded me immediately of Gilligan's Island, which was my favorite show growing up.
The big white duck reminded me of the Skipper and of course the Skipper always had his little buddy Gilligan.

They took to the water immediately.

Meanwhile, the six Cayuga ducks were enjoying dinner on the other side of the dock.

Before long, we saw this:

Skipper and Gilligan were swimming along with the Cayuga ducks. It made us smile! Of course, the ducks all had to make known the pecking order . . . or should I say, the NEW pecking order. Needless to say . . . Gilligan is on the bottom of the pecking order, but Skipper definitely protects him.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Randomness . . . the art of being random 

(or a mish mash of this and that)

The entire house is quiet . . . except for that crazy male dog in our house that continues to dig through the bathroom garbage.
Yeah, I know . . . it is gross!
He is a boy, what can I say?


We should buy stock in Cheerios.
The ducks are CRAZY for them ~
they should make a commercial or something!

I have a package of "clickable" Sharpie markers on my desk.
You would not believe the oooos and ahhhhs I heard from my children about MY NEW MARKERS!
(HaPpY dAnCiNg)


Note to self . . .
After consuming Sharp Cheddar Cheese . . .
brush or use mouthwash immediately.
(substitute mint gum if needed)
I certainly don't want to be call "YUCK Mouth"


I seem to be using an "old family saying" in our home a little too much lately!  "I can't have nothin!" It usually is said when something gets broken that belongs to mama/me.


The other night I asked the boys if they knew how baby Berkeley came out of Melissa's tummy. I did get a few interesting answers.

~ through her belly button

~ the doctor unzipped her belly

~ Do WE have to talk about this? Really?


I was asked "What is Honeycomb?"
I explained it is a cereal.
"What does it taste like?"
Me: Honeycomb
Then I sang the song!
It ended the questions.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Weekend Recap

It is so hard to believe we have begun the last week of August, 2013. Fall is certainly around the corner and although I love the Fall season, I am not certain I am ready for the season that follows Fall! (don't want to mention the season)

The heat has returned to Central Illinois and we expect the heat index to be above 100 degrees this week. (Not my type of weather!) I am extremely thankful for air conditioning!

We had a pretty good weekend. I love that we can unwind on the weekend, even if there are honey do jobs to tend. This weekend Randy decided we needed to get the boat lift a bit further out in the water. Probably because we almost didn't get the boat off of it on Friday night. Saturday found him digging out the poles that had sunk and silted in around them. It took hours and hours, but he persevered! 

Ryan had minimal homework this weekend, but assures me he has it done.

We enjoyed a bit of fishing . . . although we didn't catch anything. It was nice to sit and chat while casting and reeling.

The Cayuga ducks have made duck friends this past week. They are pretty much on their own now and absolutely love it. If we see them swimming by we will call to them and they will come in to us. One of them also chooses to let out a very loud QUACK which I believe is to let us know that they are coming and are excited to see us. I love that! We do leave food out for them and love watching them come in daily to eat and drink. 

The ducks decided to take a little shortcut through the gardens one evening . . . it was hysterical to see them waddle through.

One was even a little sassy with Cameron.
Of course, Beckett was there to watch the show!


Saturday evening we met this little fella.
He is adorable and I can't wait to snuggle and kiss his little cheeks!

Berkeley is a little more than 24 hours old in this photo.


Last week was Back to School week for the boys.
They had a GREAT first week!

Katelyn will begin classes soon,
I am not sure if she is excited or not!


I have been enjoying a wonderful book by Tony Evans and his daughter Chrystal Evans Hurst called Kingdom Woman.
I highly recommend this book! I am almost half way through it and really enjoy it.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Welcome to the World Little One!

For most of the world, today began like every other day. In our family today was the BIG day! The newest edition - our Great Nephew was to be born.

His Mama and Daddy were ready for him to make his appearance!

as were his BIG sisters . . .

We are praising God tonight . . .
Labor and delivery went well and rather quickly.

Berkeley Perren King
was born at 12:42 pm
and weighed in at 8 lbs 5 oz
and was 19 1/2" long.

The first picture I received of Berkeley in his Mama's arms.
I love his furrowed brow.
He looks just like his sono picture!

It appears this nurse wasn't making brownie points with little Berkeley! Bless his sweet little heart!

a Picture of Daddy and Son
I love Josh's smile!

Josh posted this on FB:
"Pretty much one of the coolest things in the world right now. Nothing quite like rocking a sleeping newborn."

I couldn't agree more . . . there is nothing like it!

Every good and perfect gift is from above ~
James 1:17

Welcome Berkeley Perren . . .
Aunt JuJu can't wait to snuggle you and enjoy that beautiful newborn scent!

Congratulations Josh and Melissa . . .
girls too!

Love to all

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It is Time . . . They are BIG Ducks

Where has the summer gone. Of course, school is back in session, but more than that it is time to let our Cayuga Ducks decide what they are ready to do. This summer has been awesome . . . hatching and raising six ducklings (well, officially hatched seven including Herridan and raised eight adding in Sullivan).  

Our Cayuga Ducklings are pretty much GROWN up and they let us know tonight by swimming away from us in the lake. Although it saddens us they are moving on with their little duck lives, we are proud of them. They are such good ducks and they are more than big enough to survive. We will continue to put food and out for them in their pens, but I seriously doubt they will want to spend much time there. They all stick together and swim as a six-pack!

Tonight Sullivan tried to pick a fight with one of them and lost. He is now minus several duck feathers - I actually counted fifteen, but that doesn't account for the ones the Cayuga duck ate. Sullivan actually swam away when two of the Cayuga ducks tried to stand their ground water with him. The boys were cheering on the Cayuga ducks because Sullivan and Herridan simply need to know they can't continue to pick fights with them. Peaceful swimming is a good thing.

The Cayuga's swam to the other side of the lake so Katelyn jet skii'd over to round them up and escort them home. They did follow her and came back home . . . for a few minutes and then they were off to do as they pleased once again. When we came inside tonight the Cayuga's were by our dock enjoying the yummy goodness they find under water. They know how to go to the shore to get out of the water and up onto land to get to their pen/house . . . it is all up to them now.

Here are photos of our evening with the ducks:

Sullivan was picking a fight.

The Cayuga Ducks didn't appreciate it much.

Sullivan coming back for round two.

Beautiful Cayuga stretching its wings.
Sullivan is in the background.

Wing feathers are still coming in on this Cayuga, but is still
works on his wing strength.

Ryan, Cody and the ducks.

EJ and Cody

Sullivan trying to start something again.

a Stand off

Katelyn is leading the Cayuga ducks home.

Mia (our duck guard dog) was watching and waiting.

Cameron and Cody - swimming with the ducks.
Not sure which one is which, but the duck names are:
Finnigan, Aidan, Mochi, Jinx, Higgans, Drakan

I certainly hope they come visit like Sullivan and Herridan do. We have so many wonderful memories with the ducks . . . all of them.

We love you Ducks!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Dad's Party at the Office

This past week my Daddy had his 72 Birthday.
Mom through him a little party at the office.

Can you tell it was a great party? 

Friday, August 16, 2013


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the first man I ever loved . . . MY DAD!

There are so many different words that mean the same . . . Dad:

Dad, Daddy, Pop, Poppa, Pap, Pappy, Pa, Paw

I want to pay tribute to MY Daddy on His Special Day!

My Dad

1. Loves my Mom

  1. 2. Loves each of his daughters and daughter-in-law: Julie, Jeanette, Janeie and Jennette
  2. 3. Loves his son and sons-in-law: Jim and Randy, Bill and Eric

  3. 4. Loves his Grandchildren: Austin, Katelyn, Gabrielle, Abigail, Kendra, Ryan, Gavin, Cameron, Evan, Calvin, Cody, Nolan, Anna

  4. 5. Loves his Sophie 

    6. Is an avid Fisherman!

7. He is always in the lake fishing, but doesn't swim.

8. Dad always has a saying about something! example . . .
(How do ya like THEM road apples?)

9. Dad is always there for his wife and children.

10. He is a handyman.

11. Dad sings Happy Birthday like no other!

12. His nickname is BUZZARD. 

13. He always is affectionately called: Crappaw

14. Dad is funny . . . his Grandchildren will tell you!

15. He is allergic to strawberries and chocolate.

16. He always has pink pens in his shirt pocket.

17. He tells "interesting" fish stories.

18. Dad can sleep ANYWHERE!

19. He snores . . . loudly.

20. He may seem hard core, but he is just a softy.

21. He loves Beckett and she loves him. 

22. Dad is my right arm at work . . . he also takes phone calls I don't want!

23. He is left handed.

24. Dad does not like tea or lemon.

25. Dad thought all of us kids should name our first son Cedric or our first daughter April.

26. Old Blue was the name of one of Dad's trucks. The color was "Grabber Blue".

27. He once slept through a burglary . . . years ago.

28. Dad taught my my multiplication. (It took a while!)

29. Dad tried to teach me fractions . . . I NEVER got the hang of it.

30. Dad HATES cats. He says, "a good cat is a dead cat".

31. Dad is always fair.

32. He is a great example to his children and grandchildren.

33. His grandchildren adore him!

34. Dad used to hunt with a compound bow.

35. He is protective of his family.

36. Dad is bullheaded . . . he will tell you so.

37. Mom says I am just like my Dad! :-) It makes Dad happy!

38. Dad once restored a Volkswagon Karman Ghia.

39. Dad had a FULL HEAD of hair . . . once.

40. I can't think of anything my Dad is afraid of.

41. Dad likes to wrestle with the Grandkids.

42. Dad usually didn't have to tell us not to do something more than once. We respect him.

43. There is no question as to who my Dad is . . . What you see is exactly who he is.

44. He never has met a stranger! His daughters take after him in this way too. Poor Mom!

45. Dad generally speaks his mind.

46. One of Dad's Grandson's share his middle name of James.

47. Dad is ornery!

48. Dad is a channel surfer!

49. He always wears a ball cap so he doesn't burn his head.

50. Has always been healthy and strong.

51. Once Dad had his back adjusted by a chiropractor that actually put him in traction. He will never see another one.

52. Dad has many stories.

53. Dad actually got my first car running for me. It was a 74 Mustang coupe. It came as a shell and a box of parts. I drove it my entire Senior year of high school. Sweet little car.

54. Dad LOVES sweet potato pie.

55. Dad carries a hankie in his pocket. I love that he always has one!

56. I can talk to my Daddy about ANYTHING!

57. Dad's first words to Katelyn at her birth . . . "Katie, Katie . . . Katie, open your eyes and look at grandpa". It will be engraved in my mind forever . . . pure sweetness.

58. My Dad affectionately calls my brother-in-law a "dough bellied creep".

59. My Dad holds his wife, children and grandchildren close to his heart.

60. He drinks his coffee BLACK

61. He takes his teeth out for his Grand kids . . . he always teases them that they can have his when they lose their teeth.

62. Dad learned to use the computer. 

63. Smart phones are NOT his thing!

64. Dad mispronounces names just to be a nuisance.

65. Dad has a side table by his recliner with a lot of his "stuff" on it . . . just like old guys tend to do.

66. As proclaimed by three of his grand daughters, PINK is Grandpa's favorite color!

67. Dad is loved by many . . . except maybe those he has ticked off. lol

68. Dad doesn't like winter.

69. Dad tends to use duct tape and a hammer for those "important quick fixes".

70. When Mom and Dad were first married they rented a house that came with a dog. The dog liked Mom, but Dad . . . not so much. The dog tried to bite Dad on several occasions . . . Mom had to call the dog off. 

71. Dad is a Cubs fan.

72. Dad is 72 today!




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Our Lives Uncripted is written by me. All pictures are personal and cannot be copied. No portion of this blog can be copied and/or sold. All content copyright JCP, All Rights Reserved!

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