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Here’s a picture of my first “real quilt” that I just finished. The pattern was called Simply Hearts. It’s for Jenna from fabric she chose about 2 years ago. It didn’t take me 2 years to make it, but it probably took about 1 1/2 years to get around to it. Actually it was pretty fun and I’m kind of anxious to start on a second one – not this summer though! Even though I’d made a couple of small quilts before that were tied, this was the first that was actually quilted over the entire surface of the quilt. With extra fabric, I decided to make a pillow too.
April is nearly gone, so I decided maybe I should post something before May rolls around. There have been lots of things happening – some things good and some things not so good – some things mundane and some things unique! Here’s some of the highlights:
- ***A couple of weeks ago Jesse drove up from Lincoln with an author who was in town interviewing him for a book he is writing about what he called “relos” – people who relocate often because of their jobs. He chose Jesse to interview because he is finishing up a master’s and will soon have to decide whether to move away someplace for a job or stay close to home. He also wanted to visit Jesse’s hometown and meet his parents, so that was the reason for the trip up to our house. We had quite an interesting conversation over dinner and will be anxious to see the book when it is published. The writer had worked at the New York Times for thirty years before retiring to pursue a career as an author.
- ***As the title of this entry indicates, we have had lots and lots of rain lately which is a good thing in the spring on a farm. Soon we’ll be planting corn and soybeans when the ground dries out.
- ***Prom, track meets, music contests and other spring events have kept us busy at school. Graduation is just around the corner!
What a week we have had! On Thursday, the girls and I headed off to Lincoln (along with about 1300 St. Edward-related fans) ready to spend the next three days watching our boys basketball team compete in the state tournament. Francis came down later in the day in time to watch the first-round game that evening between St. Edward and S-E-M (a school that consolidates Sumner, Eddyville and Miller). It was fun to see Kalie and the dance team performing at halftime and nearly every player we had in uniform that night in the game. We won easily that first night (89-52) and proceeded to the semifinals on Friday against Wallace. That game was closer (54-43), but we made it to the final championship game on Saturday morning against state tournament regular Spencer-Naper. An exciting game came to a 46-42 conclusion with the Beavers coming out on top! Yay for the Beavers! They are not only talented athletes, they are also great kids. And cudos to first-year Coach Martin. What a great time it was for the players, student-body and our whole town! If you’d like to check out some stories about our players and the state tournaments, a couple of links for you to copy and paste are http://www.theindependent.com/stories/031107/opi_ayoub11.shtml and http://www.columbustelegram.com/articles/2007/03/11/sports/sports1stedward.txt
In addition, we were excited to watch Kalie receive recognition for the NSAA Believer’s and Achiever’s award during the halftime of the State Class B Boys Basketball championship. She was honored, along with other high school seniors from two Omaha schools, North Platte, and Gretna, for her high school activities and accomplishments. Here’s a picture!
One nice surprise following the award ceremony at the basketball game came as we were returning to our seats. One of my college roommates whom I had lost contact with over the years was in the crowd, recognized our name and came to find me! It was great to see Denise again and, hopefully, we can stay in touch!
When we weren’t watching basketball, we were either shopping or hanging out with Jesse at his Haymarket apartment. Thanks Jesse! It was definitely a memorable three days!
I know it’s been few and far between for blog postings lately…I guess it’s been busy! So I’ll borrow a technique from Jesse and update you all on the past month or so with a bulleted summary:
- *Late January found us at funerals in Bonesteel, SD (Earl Whidden – age 100) and Oshkosh, NE (Margaret Clark – late 80s) for wonderful people who each were first cousins of our parents.
- *January and February is the calving season on the farm – we’ve been blessed with several newborn calves, many that have been born in the middle of the night in temperatures below zero!
- *Daughter #1 surprised us all with a diamond engagement ring on Valentine’s day… or I should say her boyfriend surprised HER with the ring. So wedding plans are being made for late summer… so much to do, so little time!
- *Daughter #2 has been busy with work, speech meets, scholarship applications and dance team. Here’s a picture of the dance team at the basketball game tonight doing a new move called the worm!
- *#1 son and I made a trip out to Rapid City this past week-end. Among other things, we found time to venture on to Terry Peak Sunday afternoon where the kids went skiing while I graded papers in the lodge. It was warm so the snow was kind of melting and slippery, but they had a lot of fun. We were pleasantly surprised by the amount of ski runs and and size of the hill.
- *We’re still continuing to enjoy the high school basketball season as our first subdistrict game was tonight. The Beavers won easily by a 30+ point margin and will advance to the subdistrict championship round on Thursday with a 20-1 record. It’s been a fun season to watch a very talented group of players.
- *The hubby is sporting a shiner which has led to lots of jokes and accusations that I had something to do with it! In reality, it had to do with feeding his cattle on a cold, wintry day last week when a chunk of frozen silage fell on his head and caused him to slam into the loader. A bump the size of an egg immediately swelled up on the side of his forehead. Since then the bruise has just sort of moved down a bit each day morphing into a tremendously black eye and, now, a black and blue cheek. He claims that it never really hurt although he looks like a tough guy who got the worst end of a fight! I guess the frozen hunk of silage won. Actually, he feels fortunate that he wasn’t knocked out.
If any of you who are reading this happen to be family members, you may want to check out http://www.whiddenfarm.com/genealogy/. Jesse has utilized some web-based genealogy software to allow us to record family ancestry on a secure site. When you get to the site, you can request permission to login and Jesse will respond via e-mail. We have quite a bit up on the site already and once you login you can begin adding information about your own immediate family as well as take a look at our ancestors for many generations back. I tried it out yesterday and was able to maneuver around the site easily.
One of my extracurricular duties is to run the school concession stand at every football, volleyball and basketball game. Of course, students also work at the concession stand as does my husband, who is mostly in charge of the popcorn popper. I was very surprised when the following review came out in Lincoln Arneal’s sports column yesterday in the Columbus Telegram as one of the Items of the Week: “Working Halftime: St. Edward concession stand. One way to make an average concession stand into a great one is to have one crock pot of chili and another of nacho cheese and adding those toppings onto hot dogs and nachos. Props to the St. Edward stand for offering those selections plus some great popcorn.” Can you guess where I was when I heard about the press coverage last night? You guessed it, of course… the concession stand!!!
The turkey is in the oven, the pies are cooling, and other assorted traditional Thanksgiving dinner dishes are in various stages of preparation. I thought this would be a good time to take a few moments to count my blessings and post them here in cyberspace for all eternity! So on Thanksgiving Day 2006, these are some of the things I am thankful for:
- -a husband who is my best friend
- -three kids who continue to make me proud of them as begin to make their way through life as adults
- -extended family and friends that I genuinely enjoy
- -good health
- -my country and my faith
- -opportunities I have had to travel, see new places and have new experiences
- -and…the Harley, the hot tub, the laptop and wireless Internet
We’ve had a couple of great family week-ends. On Sept. 17 we joined Bill, Edith, Jason, Tanya and girls for a brunch in Lincoln with Dr. Robert Hayes, his wife Helen and daughter Janet. Dr. Bob is my dad’s first cousin – my grandpa, Herbert, and his dad, Orin, were brothers. It had been too many years since we were last together and it was a wonderful reunion. We hope to do it again in the next year when, hopefully, more members of the Hayes family will be able to join us.
This past week-end we drove to Burke, South Dakota for the 100th birthday party for Francis’ dads first cousin, Earl Whidden of Bonesteel, SD. It was great! Since we are the only Whidden family in the entire state of Nebraska, it was good to get together with a few other Whidden’s from Texas, Connecticut and South Dakota. The conversation was lively and Earl’s smile just kept getting bigger – he enjoyed it immensely, as did everyone else.
Both our Hayes and Whidden families have been in this country for a long time. The Hayes family came (probably from Scotland or Ireland) to this country around 1620 to the Virginia area. Icabod Whidden and his sons left the Portsmouth, England area and arrived at Portsmouth, ME in the 1640′s.
All in all, the experiences of our past two weeks help us to realize that our families are definitely a link to our past that help to define who we are and also a supportive bridge to our future as well. Alex Haley must have known what he was talking about! The pictures that follow are of our recent Hayes (first) and Whidden (second) family reunions.