Friday, May 27, 2011

Colorado Springs!

We left for Colorado Springs last Sunday and that afternoon in Iowa we encountered the same weather system that devastated Joplin MO. We saw an extremely ominous looking sky ahead and as we drove into it, we were suddenly pelted by golf ball size hail. Mr. Right pulled over under an overpass to try to protect the car a little bit while we were rocked by winds that scared the daylights out of all of us. (Lori was with us and took some pictures just to show that she wasn't as scared as I was.) We came out of that storm with some new nicks in the windshield but as we heard the reports from Joplin coming in, we realized how lucky we were.

Colorado Springs had their share of bad weather too. We got up Tuesday morning to what looked like snow all over the place but on closer inspection, we saw that it was hail.

It would be hard to describe how excited we were to get here. It had been a long, long time since we'd seen this son. We'd last seen him about fifteen months ago about a month before he was deployed to Iraq. Although we were lucky to be able to communicate with him while he was there, nothing compares to having him on his home turf and actually spending time with him and his wonderful family in person.

We've been so busy. Every night has included a gourmet meal prepared by our son who is a barbeque master extraordinaire. The first night we had brats that were cooked in an apple and cabbage kraut. They were so perfect that even Mr. Right loved them and he detests sauerkraut. But it would be impossible not to love brats that are thoroughly cooked yet so juicy and flavorful that you couldn't get enough.

Tuesday night was delicious grilled salmon. Wow! I had no idea salmon could be so fabulous and the grilled asparagus was to die for.

Wednesday night we had porterhouse steaks and I have NEVER had a more perfectly grilled steak in my life.

Last night the grilled ribs were incredible.

Here's what I take from all this. Dan spent a lot of time in Iraq looking forward to being home and able to grill again AND I need to learn to cook as well as my son.

My other thought: How could I have neglected taking pictures of these amazing meals so that I could post them with this story.

There's lots more going on here besides cooking and eating too.

On Tuesday we visited the Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs where we were able to take some really fun pictures.

Wednesday morning I got to attend Tessa's dance class which was beautiful and heartwarming and sometimes made tears in my eyes. During the free style especially, she seemed so filled with joy just to be performing.

And Wednesday afternoon, I was a ride-along on Dan and Mr. Right's golf outing. Now you might think that would be boring, but I got to take some great pictures in some amazing settings and, while we were out there, the Air Force entertained us with an airshow celebrating the graduation of their cadets to Air Force officers.

Yesterday we attended and celebrated Evan's 8th Grade Graduation where we started to realize just how quickly our Evan is growing up.

There will be lots more news from out here because Dan and Teresa seemed to have almost every moment planned with awesome activities. But before I close I have to mention two things.

One: Chewy. He's so cute and foolish.

And two: The big, surprise activity for Tuesday is that we get to attend Dan's promotion ceremony to Lieutenant Colonel - something we didn't expect to happen until August. So we're thrilled to announce that as of June 1st, both our sons will be Lieutenant Colonels. (The only thing that could be better is if Dave's ceremony could be stateside too.)

So that's it from Colorado for now. But there's more coming - I promise!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mary and This Guy and Glasses

About fourteen months ago I visited my Optometrist of 40 + years to get new glasses and contacts. Seriously, I've been going to this guy since I got out of high school and he was brand new in town, and I've always just loved him.

Recently he was bought out by Midwest Eye Consultants, but continued to work for them on a part time basis just because he loves what he does and out of loyalty to longtime patients like me.

So, back to fourteen months ago. The eye exam seemed to be the same as always and my doctor was just as thorough and affable as he's always been. But when it came time to pick out new frames, everything fell apart. The person who'd always helped me previously and who I loved, was now working for another eye doctor and the person who took her place was the root of all my unhappiness.

He started out by telling me all about how he'd been doing this for many years (he named a number but I don't remember what it was) so he guessed he knew what he was doing. Then he picked out a pair of red frames for me. They probably were the best ones for me but they weren't me if you get my drift. I'm just not a red frame kind of person. When I described to him what I wanted, he seemed to become very condescending and superior and aloof. My read in his attitude was that I was old and bordering on senility so he'd just have to let me have my way and make all kinds of stupid mistakes.

I tried to get opinions from the receptionist when the superior glasses guy didn't have any and even she couldn't tell me if this pair or that pair looked better. Finally I used my faulty taste and complete lack of fashion sense to choose the wrong glasses.

It took twice as long to get them as they said it would even though I told them I was in a huge rush. Later on I found out that the frames that Mr. Condescending let me pick out took longer because they had to come from a completely different company than the one that made the glasses. That would have been useful information up front.

Then, I never liked them. Never. And I don't THINK anyone else did either. At least no one said they did. Then, after I'd had them about 6 or 8 months, they broke - right between the lenses.

I vowed never to go back to that office but today I did. I thought it would be prudent to see my same Optometrist who knew my history and I was hopeful they'd send me home with a pair of contacts to wear on the plant tour where my husband works on Saturday.

My appointment was today and so far so great! My Optometrist was as great as ever. The girl who helped me pick out frames was lovely AND helpful. (I found out that Mr. Condescending got fired.) Everything was professional and seamless. So far I'm glad I went back. I do have a pair of contracts to try and I'm excited to get my new glasses. But I won't know if I'll love them for at least two weeks. That's about how long they're going to take.

I'm optimistic. Oh, and the frames that I picked out last time? They're well known for breaking - especially right between the lenses. Thanks again, Mr..... well, you know the drill.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Evan

Last year on this date, I did this post about Evan. This year I did a short phone interview. We're here in the wilds of Nebraska for Evan's cousin's graduation party so this post might be just a little disjointed.

Are you excited to be 14?
Yeah, I am. I’m going to be the same age as all my friends at school
What did you like about being 13?

Being a teen.

What did you dislike about being 13?

All the extra homework.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I’m actually leaning toward acting.

What kind of books do you like to read?
The books that kind of make sense but they still tell a really good story – Fantasy types like Harry Potter, Star Wars and Leven Thumps. I already completed all 5 books of the Leven Thumps series.

Of all the places you’ve lived with your Dad in the Army, which is your favorite and why?
Well I really liked it in Kansas and Georgia because I got to live near the other Hibners
What's your favorite subject in school?

That would have to be Drama Class.

What’s your favorite animal?
The red eyed tree frog. I did a report about them a long while back in Louisiana and they’ve been my favorite animal ever – ever since.
A long time ago, your Dad told me that you play very involved video games where you plan and run a city? What’s that called and do you still do that?

Oh yeah. Those are like the best games ever. One that I play is called Empire Earth.

What are your plans for the summer?

Just relaxing and going on vacation – Disney was awesome Best vacation ever? Yes, definitely

What’s your favorite holiday?
Christmas It’s a really happy time and I like getting presents too

Do you like being part of such a large family?
Yes, ‘cause they’re so many cousins to hang out with.

Do you have a favorite cousin?
I can’t choose ONE. I like them all.
So in closing, I'll think back to when Evan was younger and all he wanted in the world was to be a big brother. And he's been an awesome big brother (and little brother) ever since!

Here's wishing the happiest birthday ever to one of the most awesome grandsons ever. Happy Birthday, Evan!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Emily

Last year on this date I wrote a post about sweet little Emily Elizabeth. This year I did a phone interview with sweet, a little bigger Emily and I enjoyed every minute of it. Here it is, complete with pictures in completely random order!

So, Emily, are you excited to be turning 14? Not that much, but I guess I kind of am.
Why? Because I've been 13 for too long and I'm tired of it!
What was the worst thing about being 13? The fact that I wasn't 14!And what do you think will be the best thing about being 14? Learner's permit.
(Really, they can get there learner's permits at 14 in her state?!!!)

Do you like school? Ummmmm, kind of.
What are your favorite subjects? Art and Communications.
And your favorite sport? Definitely, volleyball.
You're in track now? Yes, but I don't like it.
Why not? I fell over two hurdles yesterday.
What's your favorite pastime?
Hanging out with my friends.
What do you want to be when your grow up? An Orthodontist.

How do you like being the only girl in your family AND having two older brothers? Ummm. It's not that bad I guess. I don't really know what I think of that. I'm used to it. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have a sister but I really don't mind having two brothers.
Who do you feel closest to in your family? Definitely my mom.
Do you have a favorite cousin? Katie
What's your favorite holiday? Christmas
Why? Presents... and I get to see all of my family and stuff!Would you consider yourself a bit of a fashionista? And, if so, why? Ummm yeah 'cause I'm obsessed with clothes and buying clothes and wearing clothes and putting outfits togethers.
What else can you tell me about yourself that I've forgotten to ask about?
I love going to the mall. I like animals and my favorites are horses. My favorite color is probably hot pink. And Lurlene McDaniel is my favorite author.
So you enjoy reading? I only like reading good books.
So Emily, here's wishing you a very happy birthday and hoping that 14 is your best age yet!