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921-day-out-with-thomas-2012.jpg

Today we all, along with Ma and Pa, attended our third and what is likely our last Day Out with Thomas at the Oklahoma Railway Museum.

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Our three handsome train engineers.

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First stop, the tattoo station. But, Drew was the only one who wanted a Thomas tattoo.

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Next up, the highlight of the day...a train ride being pulled and pushed by Thomas the Tank Engine.

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Train engineer Landon is excited to take his ride.

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Train engineer Will is all smiles, as always.

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Train engineer Drew can't help but grin.

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Landon is taking in the sights as we get underway.

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Landon doesn't want his brothers to miss what he sees out the window.

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Will and Drew are old pros at riding with Thomas.

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There's the cheeky one who pushed and pulled us along the track today.

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The boys and their favorite tank engine Thomas.

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Ma and Pa give a wave as we waited in line to get the boys' photo taken with Thomas.

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Landon found a Thomas that was just his size.

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Next, it was time to have some serious fun with tables full of battery powered trains.

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Landon is helping Percy the Small Engine haul some coal.

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The boys got to take a break and sit down a while and enjoy some coloring.

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Last up were the model trains.

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The boys were fascinated by the life-like miniatures as the model railroad engineer kept several different trains weaving and circling around the track without piling up. Thanks to Ma and Pa for helping to make the boys' day with Thomas extra special.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

948-osage-county-courthouse.jpg

Today work took me to the Osage County Courthouse in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. I'm not aware of another courthouse in Oklahoma that is so literally at the top of a hill like this one. Courthouses from my experience are either the center of the old town square or, most commonly it seems, one street back from the town's main street.

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The view looking out over Pawhuska from the Osage County Courthouse.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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Twin cousins Caroline and Charlotte were baptized today. (Technically they are Mary and my nieces and our boys' cousins, but I write this blog in my head for and from our boys' perspective, so I call them our cousins.) Here the girls are being blessed with the sign of the cross.

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Msgr. Thomas Tank, pastor of Church of the Ascension, welcomes the babies being baptized and asks what the parents request from the church, "Baptism."

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Caroline is baptized while held by her parents, Michelle and Matt, with big sister Gillian in the foreground. Caroline's Godparents, her Uncle David and Aunt Mary, look on in the background.

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Charlotte is baptized in the arms of her father with her Godmother holding her hand as Michelle and her Godfather watch closely.

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The proud parents, Michelle and Matt, with their beautiful girls, Caroline and Charlotte, and Godparents.

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The beautiful Madison Family, Michelle, Caroline, Gabe, Gillian, Matt and Charlotte.

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The happy parents at the conclusion of the ceremony with Caroline and Charlotte.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

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We all drove up to Kansas City for cousins Caroline and Charlotte's baptism. We took the opportunity to take in a Kansas City Royal's game against the Los Angeles Angels with the Madisons. The four boys just outside Kauffman Stadium before the game.

899-kauffman-stadium-panorama.jpg

Before we got to our seats, I took a few overlapping photos which I have combined here into a gigantic panorama of Kauffman Stadium. Click on the photo to launch a 11,373 x 3048 pixel, 4 MB, view from the right field corner. Once loaded, right click "View Image" for an automatic re-size (at least in Windows 7).

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The Royals' high-definition scoreboard is 84 ft. wide and 105 ft. tall and was the largest high-def LED display in the world when it started service in 2008. On game days, the scoreboard requires a staff of 17 people to operate.

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The American flag unfurled on the field for the National Anthem.

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A pair of A-10 Thunderbolts (Warthogs) make a flyover at the end of the National Anthem.

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The boys pose next to a living baseball statue. You can tell they weren't comfortable getting too close to the "statue."

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Drew and Will were much braver the second time around posing with this Army man. Landon, however, would have nothing to do with him.

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Free camouflage baseball hats (in Royals colors of course), giant flag, fly over, Army men, all could mean just one thing...Armed Forces Day.

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The boys and Mama in the right field bleachers enjoying a Royals game.

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One of our twin cousins enjoying the game strapped to her Daddy.

908-alcides-escobar-hitting.jpg

Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar hitting a single to left field in the bottom of the first inning.

909-alcides-escobar-diving-for-first.jpg

Alcides Escobar diving back to first base after drawing the pitcher's attention with a huge lead off.

910-torii-hunter-throwing-the-ball.jpg

Angels Torii Hunter gives it everything he's got in a throw in from right field.

911-eric-hosmer-sliding-into-second.jpg

After a walk, Royals Eric Hosmer steals second base in the bottom of the second inning.

912-eric-hosmer-safe-at-second.jpg

Hosmer was safe, but it couldn't have been any closer. I would not want to be an umpire...of any sport. Our modern day instant replays and super zoom HD cameras have warped our opinions of play callers whose skills are often as great as those on the playing field.

913-jeremy-guthrie-covering-first.jpg

Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie making covering first look easy. There were several times during the game that the pitchers had to cover first and every time they pulled off this underrated play flawlessly.

914-johnny-giavotella-catching-fly-ball.jpg

Royals second baseman Johnny Giavotella catching a fly ball.

915-jeremy-guthrie-pitching.jpg

Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie pitched a good game and left after eight innings allowing two runs on five hits. Guthrie was replaced by Kelvin Herrera who threw a scoreless ninth inning.

916-boys-at-major-league-game.jpg

After the last bathroom break of the evening, I took a picture of the boys with the park behind them. Down 2-0 at the start of the bottom of the ninth, there's nothing left to do but pack up and get ready to go home...

917-billy-butler-home-run.jpg

...with a man on first, Royals Billy Butler smacked a two run homer to tie up the game. I had packed away my zoom lens and was only partially paying attention to the game, but I did get lucky and was able to capture the ball (blur against the green wall) going over the center field fence. (Just peeking above the head of the fan with his left hand raised is the red hat of the Angels center fielder.)

918-salvador-perez-home-run.jpg

The very next batter up was Salvador Perez who hit a walk off home run to end the game in grand style. Notice the little blur hitting the left field foul pole, that's Perez's home run right as it hit the pole.

919-home-run-hitting-pole.jpg

A close up view of the ball hitting the left field foul pole for a game winning home run.

920-royals-home-run-celebration.jpg

The crowd went wild when Perez hit his game winner. You can see the smoke in front of the fountains where the canon just fired to celebrate the home run.

In glorious hindsight, the Angels' managers' decision to pull their pitcher, Zack Greinke, who held the Royals scoreless for 8 1/3 innings was an incredibly dumb move. His replacement, Ernesto Frieri, needed just four pitches to give up two home runs and lose the game.

Greinke said afterward: "It was pretty amazing. I don't think I've ever seen back-to-back homers to walk off like that. I don't know if it's ever happened. You don't see that I think ever."

It was probably the most amazing game I've seen in person in my life. Thanks Madisons for suggesting we go!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 7 2012

PTA Movie Night

950-finding-nemo.jpg

Tonight was the PTA movie night fundraiser. The boys and I got to watch Finding Nemo in the school gym while eating popcorn and candy while Mama worked the concessions in the cafeteria. Afterward, the boys got their picture taken under the sea with Nemo, Dory and Squirt.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

896-boys-running-in-the-rain.jpg

Early this evening a summer rain storm started up out of nowhere and caught the boys playing in the backyard by surprise, especially since the sun was still shining brightly without the least bit of cloud obstruction.

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It made such a great photo opportunity that I grabbed my camera and took a bunch of shots. It was fun at first, but by the time Daddy had the boys run to and from the fence in the rain for the half-dozenth time...not such much. The pictures turned about great and the full size are amazing. Thanks Oklahoma weather!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

894-homemade-deep-dish-pizza.jpg

Mama's on a homemade cookin' streak and we're all happy about that! Tonight it was the most awesome homemade deep dish pizza officially entitled Easy Deep Dish Pizza Pie.

895-homemade-deep-dish-pizza.jpg

If you can't tell it was awesome from the picture then you just got no imagination because it was delicious and we all ate it up! Mama can make this again anytime.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 5 2012

Shepherd's Pie

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Mama made a delicious Shepherd's Pie for all of her boys (me included). Technically the recipe is for Twice Baked Potato Pie, but I know a shepherd's pie when I see one.

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First servings are out. This pie barely survived the meal with just a serving left over. When the boys get bigger, Mama will have to make two!

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All garnished up and served with a side of peas, it was a delicious and healthy meal. Great job Mama!

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |

889-melting-pot-dinner.jpg

Mary and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this evening with a romantic dinner date at the RiverWalk Crossing Melting Pot. We enjoyed the Big Night Out four-course dinner. It was delicious! The photo is the aftermath.

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Dessert was...flamingly awesome!

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After dinner we enjoyed a walk up and down Riverwalk Crossing. All the empty stores were a sad sight. In fact, even taking bankruptcy and subsequent sale into consideration, there were suspiciously too many empty store fronts; somethings up. Unless of course there's something about retail leasing that I don't understand whereby it makes more sense to have a mostly empty mixed-retail location rather than a completely filled one where most everyone is paying less rent than you want.

Posted by Don | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0) |
Sep 1 2012

Will's "New" Bed

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Will's new room needed a bed and he is the lucky recipient of my old bed from first grade through college which was also my father's bed when he was a kid. It is topped off in full Star Wars regalia.

We bought a new mattress and box spring but were delayed when the set wound up simply being too thick. Mattresses have grown to silly thicknesses as people think thicker must be better and manufacturers are all too willing to play along. A bed from 80 years ago just isn't designed for today's mattress sets. As a result, we had to return the box spring and wait to get a low-profile replacement. Now the two together are only about an inch or two thicker than what I grew up with.

878-consider-h-willett-maple-bed.jpg

The bed had not fared so well over the years, I put a few scratches on it and storage in my parents' basement took a further toll. We had it completely refinished at McClure Furniture Refinishing here in Tulsa and they did a phenomenal job matching the finish exactly. It could not have looked better when it was new.

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We liked the color scheme of the Star Wars comforter and used it to pick out complementary colors for the room. We, especially Will, are extremely pleased with the finished result.

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The bed would have been purchased sometime in the 1930s. It was manufactured by Consider H. Willett, Inc. The company went under in 1962 but its furniture is now growing in popularity in the antique industry.

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The wood is golden beryl maple. The bed is in pristine condition and should easily be good for another 80 years and then some. Happy sleeping Will.

Posted by Don | Comments (1) | TrackBacks (0) |