Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
This is Vanessa Blankenship on the day she married Wayne Kilpatrick. She was 18, and they had just graduated from being the hot couple at Carter High School in Dallas. It was the early 70's.
This is Michael Crowe and Stephanie Rhodes, my mother's sister. After graduating from Baylor, Stephanie found a job in Frankfurt, Germany. Mike was working for the State Department. They eloped to Switzerland, and honeymooned in Ibiza. They later had another wedding for family in the States.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I love that he is an old soul, and has many old-man tendencies at 24 1/2 :) Please note his old-man swimsuit print and old-man straw hat.
Two final beloved old-man Ben traits:
1. His manners. He still calls my father Mr. W after ten-plus years.
2. On TV he watches three channels: Military, History, and Cooking.
Can't wait to be his wife:)
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Obama is Renegade, his wife is Renaissance, and his girls are Rosebud and Radiance.
George and Laura are Trailblazer and Tempo, and John & Cindy McCain were Phoenix and Parasol.
The other former presidents are listed, as well as Sarah (Denali) & Todd Palin.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Google has just added the entire ancient Roman Empire to its Google Earth maps! You can explore the Colisseum, or go check out the Forum Romanum, or even the jail where Paul was held before his execution.
Google is helping victims in refugee camps by plotting the camps and showing what life is like inside them. This will help bring attention to the lesser-known conflicts that are ruining people's lives but aren't headlines on CNN every night.
Google has now discovered it can track the Flu virus better than governments because it can make maps of where large volumes of people are entering flu-related words into its search engines.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I spoke too soon when I said I was calm, cool, and collected about this wedding.
I got a phone call at 8 am yesterday morning from mom, who had just spoken with our florist Cathy. She had done a wedding last Saturday where the cake simply never showed up. No call, no advance notice, and none of the phone numbers the baker gave the bride were being answered. She then remembered we were supposed to use the same baker....
A quick Google search for "The Cake Lady" now reveals dozens of angry brides who have been scammed and left stranded, some only hours before the wedding. Apparently, some time in October the Cake Lady filed for bankruptcy, emptied out her storefront, and disappeared, but not before cashing all her checks from clients. She never contacted any of the future clients whose cakes she had promised.
One thing she did do, however, was post a sob story on another wedding website. She said she had transferred all orders and money over to another bakery, and left a phone number. Unfortunately, a call to that number will get you an angry man who says he does own a bakery, but never received any money or orders from the Cake Lady, and is very angry that she's now given out his personal cell phone number on the internet.
Now, a little humor for the situation.
How does mom handle the situation? She starts calling friends to get new baker ideas, and within hours had a long list of recommendations and a new tasting scheduled for the next day.
How does dad handle the situation? He calls a law firm, and by the end of the day they've got letters drafted to the baker, the Constable's office, small claims court, the Better Business Bureau, and the credit card company with which we paid her.
Thanks, corporate dad:)
The moral of the story? Get agreements in writing, confirm and re-confirm often, pay by credit card when possible, and always be prepared for a backup plan.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Sweet was a force of life.
I first met Sweet when I was just a few hours old. She came to visit my mom in the hospital, and to this day when she told that story, she would always tease my mom about wearing this frilly nightgown and having curled hair just hours after giving birth.
Here is a story I rarely share:
When I was a junior in high school I taught 5th grade Sunday School. I wasn't allowed to go to children's camp the next summer because I wouldn't yet be 18, but Sweet allowed me to interview anyway. Afterward she said she just wouldn't be able to take me as a counselor because the budget was tight and there were enough returning, older counselors.
A few days later was Pearce cheerleading tryouts. An old friend of mine had been a varsity cheerleader her junior year, and she didn't make it again for her senior year. It was the talk of the school- that had never happened before. She was devastated. I knew her pain, something similar had happened to me the year before. I made her a little simple card with markers and computer paper, and tried to think of any words of comfort.
I haven't mentioned that this friend was Jewish. Sometime in the next few days, my church got a call from a woman asking to speak to whoever was my minister. Randy, our youth minister, wasn't in the office, so somebody transferred the call to Sweet. The woman on the phone said she was the mother of my friend, and that in honor of my comfort to her daughter she wanted to make a donation to our church for a certain amount. It was the exact amount that was the cost of sending a counselor to children's camp.
Sweet called and said, "Katie, I think you are supposed to go to this camp". I went.
That week was the week Ben and I fell in love. Four-plus years later we are about to be married. There are dozens more stories. Sweet has been so instrumental to my life, maybe more than any other adult outside my family. Above, she is with her daughters Kendall and Ivy, both of whom are role models to me and dear friends. Below, she is with Hayley, our other dear friend and camp-counselor alum whose wedding Sweet officiated in June. I knew several weeks ago that she would be too ill to be our minister, too, and that she may not even be able to attend, but I never ever thought she would be gone.
Sweet's best friend is another minister at our church, Candy. Below is a letter from the "Ellen" show's website, and Candy is, selflessly as usual, trying to get Ellen to feature Sweet's courageous life.
Last April I got this email from Sweet. She regularly emailed updates, but this one broke my heart. She has battled through despair and pain, and has fought on with strength. When I think that not five months ago she was with us at camp, riding around on a golf cart, teaching kids about proper 'bleacher behavior' and rapping her classic "How many of YOU have had a good day today". Here is a testimony Sweet wrote on the Susan G. Komen website: Sweet's story from the Komen site is so powerful, and so her.
I cannot believe she is gone.