Thursday, October 27, 2011

Family Is Everything

Just wanted to send a hug your way. What is family for if not to send love and hugs when you need it most. Please take a moment to send Monica, Bill and family a big hug and love mixed in with your prayers. Love, Julie

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Every fall our church has a Turkey Dinner. I have taken the opportunity to combine support for the dinner and making my Fall Birthday Party easier on the cook. I buy several carryout dinners and serve them to my family along with a Birthday Cake. Here are a few pictures from this years party.

P.S. THANK YOU TO WHOMEVER LEFT THE MONEY ON MY DRESSER. I have been asking around and no one will admit to it, so Thanks it was a very unexpected surprise.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What's new

How weird is it that I am doing 2 posts in a row? Does that mean no one else is using the blog anymore? I just wanted to post a little update about our journey. As most of you probably know, when we went to the Cancer Treatment Center for our last visit, they told us that the cancer had progressed and that they were basically out of treatment options. They said our best bet was to look into doing some clinical trials. We tried the one they thought would be best but it is full. As I'm sure you can imagine, we were disappointed (and had lots of other feelings) with this news. But since then we have looked into alternative treatments. I am learning new things every day. The first thing we found was infrared treatment. Mae mentioned that Keith had used an infrared pain for some pain he had. That reminded me that I had used infrared on my frozen shoulder after physical therapy didn't work and the infrared healed my shoulder. So I called Anna to ask where she got the pad. She told me about a friend of hers and gave me her number. I called her friend, Debbie, and she is amazing. She not only told me all about the infrared but she let me borrow her pad and showed me the infrared hothouse bed she has. She is extremely knowledgeable and super nice. She also works at a store that has great natural stuff and another very knowledgeable naturopath. We mostly wanted the infrared to help Bill with the pain from the shingles but it turns out it also helps with cancer. We also ordered the hothouse dome and are just starting to use that. Then I read about something called the Budwig protocol where you blend cottage cheese and flaxseed oil. The combination makes the flaxseed oil much more absorbable and easier for our bodies to use. This helps to kill cancer cells because it oxygenates them and cancer doesn't like oxygen. Bill eats it every day and even likes it. Go figure :) . The day after I read this, I met with a nutritionist/natural healing/ biofeedback/ essential oils / flower essence woman. She is awesome and she knew a lot about the Budwig protocol and the research behind it and loves it. It's so cool to find stuff on the internet and then have a living person that you know verify it. She also is helping me eat better. So I went to a store that has all sorts of healthy food like Anna makes. I had grain free granola with soaked nuts mixed with blueberry coconut kefir for breakfast and then I had Black Bean and Bison soup for supper. They are delicious. I'm excited to learn what we like and then learn to make it myself. I also got the name of a friend of a friend who went to Switzerland for cancer treatment when the doctors here said there was nothing they could do. He had a treatment where they raise your temperature to fight the cancer. I am going to be giving him a call tomorrow. There are many alternative treatments and I trust that if it is God's will, we will find one that works. I could go on forever about all I'm learning but my fingers would get tired. I will try to post again when I know what we're doing next. As always, the most important thing is to keep the prayers coming. Love you! Monica

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bill's Mom

It is with great sadness that I write this post. Bill's mom passed away on Friday. She was going 90 mph until about 2 months ago. She had a little scab on her nose that wouldn't heal and then she got an infection. She went to the ER and her white counts were high because of the infection. Then her shoulder started to hurt. They moved her to a rehab facility and couldn't seem to figure out exactly what was wrong and what to do about it. She went from rehab to hospital to rehab for the last 2 months. Then early last week we got a call that they had found cancer cells in fluid drained from around her lungs. They didn't know what the source was and she was too weak for them to do any treatment and they gave her 2 - 4 weeks. That was a shock. We all thought they would figure it out and send her home. They said there was nothing they could do so they moved her to a hospice facility on Wednesday. With all of Bill's treaments and pneumonia, we had not been able to get up to see her so we were going to go on Friday. Bill's brother called Thursday morning and said she had taken a turn for the worse on Wednesday night. So we decided to go that day. We are so thankful we did. She wasn't able to talk and only opened her eyes a few times but I am sure she knew Bill was there and could hear him talking to her. It was so hard to say goodbye to someone who was so vibrant just a few months ago. The facility called Bill's sister on Friday morning to tell her that Mary had passed away. We are thankful she didn't have to suffer any longer but sad that she is gone. She will be missed. I don't know much but I do know that you never know when your time is up. Hug each other and remember to tell people that you love them. If you are reading this, I love you (most likely :) ) I have posted a link to the obitiuary. As most of you know, the grandson that preceded her in death is Bill's son Eric. We figure that the two of them are having a great time and putting in a special request for Bill's healing.
Love you,

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Week that Changed my Life

I hope the title of this doesn't scare anybody, but this week really did change my life. As most of you probably know (word travels fast in this family haha), I spent the past week at Anna and Keith's house/farm. Wow, so what a blast! I had the time of my life!!!! :) I learned so much that it would take years to describe, and probably even longer to practice what I learned haha :) To get good at it...ya :)

And...that's it. KIDDING! Here is the play by play of each day...

Got there :)
Helped Tara out with her chicken chores( she is so awesome you guys, like,'s a lot of work)
-Collect Chickens
-Get eggs
-Move them
-Move sheep( that was fun...some of the calf's tried to run away)
-Chilled with the family

Got up at 6(wooohhooo I was tired)
Helped Tara take care of chickens
Weeded garden( so beautiful...want one just like it..:)
WATER FIGHTT!!!! Balloons everywhere, and even then, tara was responsible and reminded me to pick up the broken pieces...:) Colten got a hold of the does he love that thing...tara and I took off running, tried to get him, but I think I got confused...
Shower( never felt so good..warrrmmmm)
Went to town :)
-Weaved a basket! :) Little one...:) Anna helped me a lot with that :)
-Went to, there was a tornado watch, and a girl told us that...HOW NICE :)
-Ate the best pork-chops ever from Hunter's Pigs :) GO HUNTER!!!
*On a side note, I was awake more than asleep...that hadn't happened in over a month!

Woke up at 7
Learned about spelt
made the best pancakes ever...Tara and I got to making fun shapes like turtles...turtles are hard to flip though
Coconut Oil: Good for you :)
Paraphrase of wise Hunter: Every good bread maker has their own score
Did you know gluten is the stuff that makes the dough stretchy? I learned that today!
Made lasagna :D yummmm
Score Bread-prevents break from breaking
Did the chicken chores with Tara
Went to the style show! Tara got a blue ribbon! Her first time! :D
Hunter..he is so sweet. He drew me an elephant :) Best picture I ever saw, and of my favorite animal :) Makes me wanna cry just thinking about it :)

Made caleco beans!! :)
Got up at 7
Learned how to knit!!! Kept adding stitches, but Tara and Anna taught me know to fix them :)
Tara was very kind in telling me the gores of butchering chickens, only she explained it with enthusiasm instead of horror...I wonder about her sometimes :) ( I love you Tara)
Anna taught me not to use plastic because of the lining, so can and glass as much as possible :)
Had califlower broccoli salad :) YUMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!
Man, you know, it gets hot behind the stove. I was a cookin bacon, and by like an hour, I couldn't see a thing! So much respect for those who cook behind a stove a

GOT UP AT 8AM! ( dude, seriously, I thought I was sleeping in...)
WENT TO THE FARM( well, two, one for groceries, one for milk)
-BTW: Raw milk is amazing!!! LOVE IT!!!
-Got coupons from the milk farm :) People are so nice!
-I am in love with Back to the Best :) They have so much!
-Anna bought me Nourishing Traditions, it's awesome! :)
-Got like 50 handouts from Sugar to PMS..:) VERY COOL PLACE

-We let out the cows!!!! Coool :) It looked revolutionary and beautiful :)

-We made meatloaf :)
-Made granola...could have eaten the whole pan haha
Learned how to make butter!
Learned how to sharpen knives :) It was REALLY fun, scary as that sounds :)

started at 9am, ended around 6 a video of the whole thing...I think I can still eat chicken? :)

I had to leave :(
Had blueberry french toast for lunch!

*You guys, I am in love with how Anna and Keith live...each member of the family does something to contribute, and everyone is always on watch of each other, taking care of each other. Everybody has to make sacrifices, whethor it be their own dreams or anothers, and at least while I was there, it seemed like every day everyone put themselves aside in order to take care of the family....all the time. And not once did I hear Anna or Keith was so cool :) And Hunter, Tara, Colten, and Abigail are so amazing! They know so much, and have taught me so many things :) I was in shock at how much they knew :)
I mean, sure, I could have done away with Tara not asking me if I was having fun, every twenty minutes, or Colten spraying the hose at us while we are doing chores haha...but it just wouldn't be the same.
The best part was that it was all based on living in the image of God, and God was always apparent in and out of the house :)
Really guys, my eyes were opened to how things should work, how they do work, and how to live in the real world...
now, I see food, and I see yellow cheese and I'm like "hey, cheese isn't supposed to be yellow! ( did you know that? They die the cheeses)..eww!
I see meat, and I ask myself, how was the cattle raised? Was the pasture changed often? Did they get enough sun? Did the grass have a lot clovers, which increases its likelihood of getting bloat?
-Why didn't people think about what the Homestead Act would do to the cattle/farmers?
-Why can't markets sell raw milk? It's good for you, and people can get sick on anything, so why ban raw milk specifically?

In other words guys, my world is flipped, and I wanna keep it that way :)
My mom and I are trying to cook some of the things I learned how to/did make at Anna's. It's a little crazy, because it's hard to find things like spelt or rapadura not at a farm, but I think we will just make time to go Back to the Best :)

Words cannot explain how thankful I am for Anna,Keith, Hunter, Colten( dude has so much energy!), Tara, and Abigail :) You guys, I admire you so much, and thank you for all that you do :) I love you all :)

-P.S. I apologize for bringing so much technology, I realize we really don't need it...yes, I know, I am using right now, but I mean the Itouch...what you guys are doing will last much longer than the Itouch will..)

-Side Note: I taught them the game Crazy 8's...we played it every day like 4 times :) It's one way to learn :)

God Bless
Lexi Holland

Saturday, June 4, 2011

How does your garden grow?

So, it's quite a change moving from the country/rural area and being used to a 2400 sq ft garden to a two bedroom upper apartment in the city with a balcony :) But, I've managed to find a way to still grow a few of my favorites thanks to a farming family with an ample supply of Mineral Containers, some rabbit manure compost, 3 bushels of soil purchased from Big Sky Greenhouse (near Randolph), and lots of recyclables (used to minimize the amount of soil used and, of course, to cut down the weight of each pot!). My family (and my boss) often remind me that their gardens could use some assistance, too, if my two small containers don't cure my itching-to-play-in-dirt hands :) I just love watching little new things grow.

Container #1: Tomato, Lettuce, and Zinnias


Container #2: Cucumbers, Carrots, and Zinnias


My small sunflowers. I can't wait for them to bloom. Too bad it won't be for another 3-4 weeks

Enjoy the beautiful warm weather, it sure does make those new plants pop real fast :)
(Even though I would be perfectly content with low-mid 70s and little humidity, my plants say no!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Look what happens when we go out for coffee...

A relaxing Sunday afternoon... Chris and I decided to grab a coffee and spread out a blanket in the park to enjoy the first signs of summer watching the lake.

Bella Marie - Click to enlarge photos
We headed down to Williams Bay figuring it would be more quiet and relaxing than Lake Geneva.  BUT... our favorite coffee shop in The Bay is closed on Sundays... until next weekend - but that really is a long time to wait for a cup of coffee.  Seeing as it's the ONLY coffee shop in Williams Bay, off to Lake Geneva we go!

Woot, Woot!  It's BOGO day at Caribou!  WINNNER WINNNNNNER!!!  Chris buys and Dawn drinks for free!  YEAH!  But Large Mocha Lattes can be a bit too much caffeine...

Wandering around Lake Geneva we pretend like we're tourists... including stopping at the local real estate office.
Dang it, they figured us out... I guess make believe is over.

So we decided to go back to the park by the lake where we parked the van, get our our picnic blanket, books and enjoy a bit of sun.  No parking ticket... good, plug in a few more quarters for insurance and we're set.

No sooner had we settled down, then a little 4-legged critter comes bounding at us.  Little furry critter jumps up in my lap and immediately starts kissing me like crazy.  Behind her, her brother and 2 young girls came running up.

As it turns out these two adorable little creatures are 14 week old Silky Yorkshire Terrier puppies.  Yes, the one that jumped in my lap was a little female and they called her Foxy.  She went from kissing my face to nuzzling into my neck to laying on the blanket next to me... on her back sunning her tummy.

As her owners came chasing behind their two girls, we found out a bit more about the dogs.  They were born the day before Grandpa's birthday, February 1st. 

Let's fast forward...

The owners were going to grab some lunch, Chris and I were going to discuss if having a puppy was even possible and we were parting ways.

That sounded simple...
What really happened was that this little puppy girl began to cry and wiggle trying to get out of her owners arms to come back to me.  The wife brought her back over and immediately she stopped crying and tried jumping to me.  I held her she nuzzled in and let me know that this is where she was meant to be.

Now I know I'm nuts... like caramel cashew ice cream nuts... but a tiny dog... a puppy, what the heck was I thinking?  We brought the little one home with us along with the plan that the owners would meet us at their house after they got a bite to eat.  Once we got home, Cody and Brandi both looked at us with that "Really?  A puppy, c'mon mom... you've to be kidding!"

And then sniffing chipmunks around the downspouts became SOOOO much more exciting. 

Since Sunday we've learned Nyla Bones save flip flops, squeeky toys start out frightening and end up ringing in your ears and 3:30 am isn't such a bad time to wake up if it means we don't have to clean an accident up out of the crate.

We've both always been big dog lovers, but this little tiny Bella has stolen our heart... and my pink flip flops.
Apparently the bling is irresistible!  Can you blame her?  So be cautious when going out for a coffee... you could get much more than you intended!

Looking forward to sharing Bella Marie with you.
Much Highly Caffeinated Love,
Dawn, Chris
  along with Small, Medium & Large!

Bella, Brandi & Cody 
Bella Sleeping... after a long day of serious toy playing

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Summer dreaming

I took a walk this afternoon and I won. The dog got tired before me and kept looking at the side streets to go home. Then when she got home she looked at the front step and looked at me like I should help her in the door. We went in and upstairs. She took a drink of water and curled up and went to sleep. Thanks to my new shoes I can walk longer than the dog. Isn't it pathetic the something so simple makes me so happy. Take a walk and have a good day. Julie

Friday, April 29, 2011


Everyone always raves of Cozumel, I wasn't too impressed. I'd rather be in the USA than in Mexico!

On our way to Cozumel the ride was very rocky, it was hard to walk on the ship, and a lot of people got sick. By the time we arrived in Cozumel, around 1 pm, everyone was feeling better. I was fortunate enough to not get sick. Don's sister and went to a pilates class on the ship the morning of the cozumel excursion, and the same morning the ship was bouncing around. Needless to say the spa was on the 11th floor and was very very rocky. Try doing pilates moves with the floor moving, it's not easy. Don's sister didn't make it through the class, she had to run to the restroom. I finished the class and have been sore ever since. :). Between the pilates, all the walking, and the stairs, I am exhausted.

When we arrived in cozumel we arrived early, (I think the boat was "speeding", and that is why the ride was so bumpy), and also the reason we arrived 30 mins earlier than scheduled.
We went and had a drink at Señor frogs and then back to the pier to catch the taxi to our excursion. In cozmel we did the zip lining. After getting our gear on and then having the safety briefing, we climbed the first tower. The worst part of the whole thing was climbing the stairs. They were very steep, and I don't like stairs anyways. Once to the top we all got very nervous. No one in my group chickened out. There wad another 17 year old girl with us, and her mother climbed up and then right back down, she didn't even try. :(. I felt bad for her daughter so we included her in our group. There was also a younger boy with his father, his dad did one, and then climbed down. So of course we included him too. The actual zip lining was like a ride at an amusement park. It wasn't jerky at all. We had someone push us off and catch us at the other end. Wish there had been more than just green leaves to look at, but hey, the "ride" was fun.After the zip lining we saw a peacock and some iguanas walking around. Pictures are on the camera, not the phone, so I'll add them later.

After zip lining we were sent off in a taxi to a beach resort. I wouldn't really call it a resort, and it didn't have much of a beach, but hey it's Mexico. We stayed at the resort for a few hours, swam in the pool, jumped off the pier into the ocean and relaxed under an umbrella.

After the resort we were sent off in another taxi and back to the ship. We met the rest if the family at the ship and headed out to find some authentic Mexican food. We had gotten the name of a good restaurant from the zip line guys. So we walked around until we found it.
After eating we had to book it back to the ship, and we got there as they were putting the last bridge in. They pulled it back out for us and let us on board.

While in Mexico Don's brother lost his debit card
and someone found it and drained his account. The next night at dinner is when we found out his account was drained. He tried to get a drink and his card was declined. Luckily he had been flirting with the waitress the whole trip, so she let him have the drink anyway. He then headed down to guest services to see what he could do since that was the only credit card he had, and the one the room was on. His mother ended up bailing him out. He'll have fun when he gets home getting that mess sorted out. He did call his bank from Mexico as soon as he realized the card was missing.
After getting back on the boat at 9:30, we headed back to Miami. We spent the day Thursday at sea. The ride was soo smooth, I actually forgot we were on the ship.
Now we are back in Miami
and waiting to check in to our room. The hotel has a nice lounge with comfy chairs,
I'm going to go see if I can find a seat at the pool. I have my sunscreen on, and I haven't burnt yet!

Talk to you soon!


Key West

Good morning all!

Our first stop was Key West. We arrived around 7 am as scheduled. We then took a pre-arranged shuttle to our shore excursion. In Key West we took a guided kayak tour. Abby and I shared a kayak and Don had his own. I hadn't kayaked before this trip, but it was a lot of fun. I think the double kayak we had was actually harder because you have to paddle in sync and rely in your partner to help you turn and steer. Abby and I did alright, we didn't tip the kayak over, but we did run into the trees. I had to lay down in the kayak so my head didn't get taken off by the tree. We provided entertainment for the rest of the yakers.
Our guide had a net and caught a live star fish, sea cucumber, and picked up a queen conch shell for us to pass around. Don took pictures on his camera, I was afraid mine was going to go in the water, so I will post those when we get home.
After kayaking we walked around downtown key west. They have very narrow streets there, and our guide told us all the sand in brought in from other places.
I called mom while we were waiting for the shuttle back to the ship. We were standing by a live web cam and she was able to see us. The URL is if I remember correctly.

On the ship they have buffets and all the food is
included on the cost of your cabin. Drinks are extra. There are shops and plenty of entertainment venues with live music. Every night on the ship is party night.
You can go to the casino, hang by the pool, go to a dance club, watch the water go by from the
observation deck, or watch a show or movie in the theatre. Oh, they also have a water park, mini golf course, and a jogging track on board the ship.
After leaving key west we sailed to Cozumel.

The view from where we ate conch critters, fish tacos, oysters, and crab cakes in key west.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, April 25, 2011

On the boat

Last night we went to Jaxon's ice cream parlor and had a dusty road.

Three jumbo scoops of ice cream, chocolate malt powder, hot fudge and whipped cream.

Today, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the Miami airport to drop off the car, and then took a FREE shuttle to the ship. We arrived a little later than I would have liked, nut nonetheless we are here. We checked in to our room, and have eaten lunch. Today we had mongolian grill.

Returning the car to the airport was quite the adventure, we had to drive around the whole airport, and then they had us doing u turns instead of making a turn lane. How weird!
Anyways, this is the view from deck 10 of the ship where we had lunch.

I didn't get a picture of the outside of the ship, but we'll try to get one of those at port.

Until next time.......


Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dania beach

After a layer of sunscreen, we have arrived at Dania Beach.

Beach #1 Dania Beach

We are going to relax here for a while and then go find some lunch.

The lifeguard is blowing his whistle, someone went our to far.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Dinner pictures

Abby's fish and chips

Don's boiled sampler

My baked sampler

I had already eaten half of my scallops before i remembered to take a pic. Sorry, can't rotate the pics on my phone, you'll have to stand on your head for one of them. Don't stay that way too long or you might pass out.

Since we arrived later last night, it was dark shortly after we got here. I take more scenery pictures today and send them. Just remember, the camera on an iphone isn't that great. But something is better than nothing right?

Talk to you soon!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

We arrived in Fort Lauderdale

We made it! When we got to our hotel, the room we booked, with 2 double beds was not available, so they upgraded us to a one bedroom suite. And let me tell you, it is a suite room! There is even a kitchen with a stove, dishwasher, and a full size fridge, and microwave for our leftovers.

We are sitting at a restaurant called the ale house waiting for our dinner. Don and Abby are watching the original Jurassic park on one of the many TV's. I ordered the seafood sampler platter with a southern sweet tea.

Gotta go, food is here. Yum, yum!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Amy's Trip

Amy is not able to post while sitting at the airport so I am posting this for her. Her login won't work.

Good Morning all,
We, (Donald, Abby, and I) are sitting at the Madison airport waiting for our flight. Our original flight was scheduled to leave at 9:10am, however that flight was cancelled, the crew didn't show up. Our new flight is scheduled for 12:15, so here we wait. We are flying into Fort Lauderdale now instead of West Palm Beach. Our hotel is in Fort Lauderdale so we won't have as much driving now. We also had to change our rental car, but that is done now. Greg did us a huge favor and got up early and brought us to the airport this morning. Thank you Greg! We were here by 7:30 and ready to go, to bad our flight crew wasn't as efficient. :o( So why are we going to Florida you might ask? We are going on the first cruise of our life. We will be boarding Carnival Imagination on Monday. We will head to Key West on Tuesday, Cozumel on Wednesday, and then back to Miami on Friday morning. We will be back in Madison on Saturday and my wonderful brother will meet us at the Madison airport. He even downloaded the American Airlines App so he arrives at the right time.
Some of our adventures will be: In Key West we will be kayaking, in Cozumel we will go ziplining. We are looking forward to a fun filled week ahead of us. I have packed a few bottles of sunscreen, we will be picking up sunglasses (anteojos del sol, for those who would like to learn a new Spanish word today), and sun hats for Abby and I. Time for family bonding. Talk to you all soon!
Love, Amy

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

News from Kimberly

Kimberly is having issues signing into the blog, so I thought I'd share this recent fb post with you on her behalf.

"Many of you know and many of you do not know - Branden and I are expecting IDENTICAL TWINS later this year! Yes, Ayden will be a big brother! Yes, we are going to have our hands very full and we could not be more excited to extend our family and be even more full of love, laughter and happiness! We can't wait for their arrival and just pray they are healthy little babies!"

Also, they will be moving to a house just down the street from us! So, I can be there at a moments notice to help out with whatever (except in the middle of the night, per Scott - which can be overridden by my maternal instincts). So, life is pretty dull in my corner of the world. How about yours?

BTW - party at my house for Easter. If you don't have plans, feel free to join us, but you have to let me know by Friday so I can give you your duty assignment.

Love you all!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Robyn's Recipe

Ok, you asked for it, and here it is - Robyn's 10-Minute Appetizer!
1 Pkg (8 oz) softened cream cheese
1/2 C Miracle Whip dressing
TOPPING: 1 C chopped tomato
1 C chopped cucumber
1/4 sliced black olives
Athenos crumbled feta cheese with herb and garlic

Mix cream cheese and dressing until well blended. Spread on dinner platter or serving platter. Layer toppings over cream cheese. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Serve with your favorite Nabisco crackers or cut fresh vegetables. ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Relay For Life

Hello, this is Lexi (Holland if you are confused ;)) I am participating in Relay for Life-University of Tampa this year as you may have heard. The reason I am choosing to participate this year is because of the struggle I have found in dealing with Bill's cancer, as well as hearing that of my Papa Jean( Grandpa Holland). It just is not fair that so many people have to go through the agonizing chemo and the strain in the family trying to keep hope alive to finding the cure. By donating to American Cancer Society, you are helping thousands find the cure for cancer, the tiniest thing that kills so many people year round. I know every one of you has dealt with someone who has cancer, and I just hope that you think of them when you make a donation. Any amount you can donate is an amount worth giving :) Many tears have been shed over this six letter word ( cancer), but we can turn those tears of sorrow into tears of hope. Hope never dies, but someday, cancer will. You guys have seen me deal with Bill's cancer through the best and worst of times, and you guided me into something better, some path that led me to participating in this event, and for that I would like to thank you. When everything else feels empty, hope and love prevail. Thank you guys! Thank you for reading this, and I hope you know that you are making a huge difference . Hope is in the air. Let the helping hands unite! I love you all! You guys mean the world to me :) You can donate by going to: click at the top: donate then participant and search for Lexi Holland ( both first letters capitalized, I have two accounts but please use this one) and click in the right hand corner where it says "support Lexi R. Holland" and it will take you from there. Pass the word on to as many people as you can possibly think of. :) Thank you so much! Let's make a difference! Lexi Holland.

Update from Dawn Blog Queen Extraordinaire... at 7:17 CST:
Here's the link directly to Lexi's Relay for Life website:

That should be easier than having to hunt!
Rock on Lexi!  So proud of you!  XOXO

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Memphis, TN for dinner

Hi all at the Reindl Blog: Noah and I recently traveled to Memphis, TN for dinner. I wanted to share our experiences with you but I can not copy and paste into the blog. Dawn, if you can copy my FB note in here feel free! I did post our story on my Facebook page. Feel free to go there and read it my short story. If we are not FB friends, feel free to friend me to read it. I do have some rules for friending people on Facebook though. You must fit the following: 1. Be a high school classmate 2. Be a relative over the age of 18 3. Be an "old" friend That's it. Of course, I have a couple of exceptions, but they are few (thus the term exceptions). Love to all, Scott

Update Added 9:15 pm from Scott's FB page:  

Hello Facebook Friends:

Noah and I recently traveled to Memphis, TN and I thought I would share our some of the experiences we had on our trip.  Please bear with me; I am not a writer and not an editor.  As you will see I can get somewhat wordy.  If you feel like reading this in its entirety, feel free to read it in sections or grab a beverage and enjoy.  :-)

Why would we go to Memphis?  Neither of us are into country music and neither of us are Elvis Presley fans.  I know Memphis has other offerings, but those two are the big attractions.  About a year ago Noah was watching the travel channel (or Man vs. Food) and watched a show about a restaurant called “The Rendezvous”.  This restaurant is supposed to have some of the best ribs around; Noah has wanted to go eat their ribs ever since he saw the show.

Spring break 2011 was a couple of weeks away, and I mentioned to Noah if he wanted to go to The Rendezvous and have some ribs.  He seemed somewhat excited about the idea, so my planning really started.  Memphis is only 9 ½ hours away.  A few years back Noah and I took a long weekend to Niagara Falls and had a blast.  I figure if the destination is a 12-hour drive or less we should be able to make that drive in a day.  So I finished the planning, found a sketchy hotel and we decided to leave on Monday, March 28.

I made our hotel reservations on the Sunday before we left.  I narrowed the field to one hotel then found a second.  The criterion was pretty simple, cheap and within walking distance to our destination.  That left the Peabody out (too bad, it looked like a very nice hotel.)  The Econo Lodge was our top choice.  Then we started reading some reviews of the hotel.  Dirty was the biggest complaint.  So, I kept looking.  The second choice was $10 more, but the reviews were much better.  The Vista was a little farther from our destination but still within easy walking distance.  I gave Noah the choice; he decided it should be more “sketchy” than nice.  We packed our sleeping bags so we wouldn’t have to use their sheets.

Kimberly and Ayden are home visiting this week so we didn’t have to rent or borrow a car since Kimberly could drop Rita off at work and pick her up.  So Monday, we left home at 6:59 am and swung by downtown Madison to drop Rita off and save Kimberly and Ayden one trip.  Our beginning mileage was 71,572 on the ol’ Hyundai.

The AAA TripTik maps I printed off at home worked great and made an excellent way to take some notes.  If you have ever traveled with me, I love the minor details of a trip.  I love to keep track of them and file everything away.  Years later when we talk about the trip it all helps bring back forgotten memories.  At 7:36 am Noah and I were back on I39/90 at Hwy 12/18 heading for Memphis for dinner!

And yes, when it comes down to it that is why we drove 10 hours – to go to dinner.

We initially made it about 2 hours and decided we should eat some breakfast.  At 9:22 am we stopped at Burger King.  Now that does sound like it is against one of my vacation rules – eating at nation wide fast food joints.  It is, but Noah has never had their breakfast before and they have a dollar menu (cheap for me) so we stopped to use their facilities and pick up some quick food.

Quick was not the name of the game at this Burger King.  The manager was the cashier.  We had to wait at the front counter for him for a couple of minutes.  One of the cooks, of course I use the word cook very loosely, appeared to be a retired woman (good for her by the way) and some young girl in training.  This stop took 12 minutes, much longer than what it should have; but we had some mediocre microwave food that kept us alive for a while.  $7.43 not really well spent.

Hello Bloomington, IL, good bye I39 and hello I55 – please take us to the IL State Capitol.  Springfield came and went.  I liked to announce every county we entered to Noah and any city that we entered.  This really annoyed Noah, so it continued for our trip there and back.  Hello St. Louis, MO!

We took I55 through St. Louis.  AAA had us going that way and skipping the bypass and I really wanted to drive by the Arch.  FLASHBACK ALERT!  We were there a long time ago when Noah was much younger.  Audrey did not join us on that trip, but Kimberly and her cousin Meaghan were with us.  That was a great trip, except of course for our van getting broken into and a lot of our stuff was stolen and a window broken.  Noah took a number of photos of the Arch as we drove my.  Hmmmmm, this might be worth a drive down later.  Maybe we can time it right and see a Brewers’ game here at the same time.  At this point, I figured I was a great vacation planner because we made it through St. Louis without any traffic difficulties.

Just south of St. Louis at exit 180 in Pevely, MO we decided to stop for gas and make a sandwich.  The time was 1:02 pm.  The mileage was 71,968.  In this tank of gas I averaged 66 mph and 25.6 mpg and drove 397.2 miles.  We put in 15.227 gallons of gas at $3.489 per gallon for a total of $53.13.  This stop took 15 minutes.  We gassed up, used the restroom, and made a sandwich.  It took only 3 minutes longer than our Burger King stop.  That is AMAZING especially when you take into consideration that the pumps did not have the pay at the pump option.  So I had to go in, have them turn the pumps on, go back in to stand in line again and pay.  Really, they don’t have pay at the pumps.  Wow!  And were off….

As we are driving Noah sees this billboard for Boomland!  Tell me, who wouldn’t want to stop at a place called Boomland!  Let’s pull of the road and it appears Boomland is huge!  It is connected to a gas station, general store and a McDonalds.  We walked into the general store figuring we can just walk over to Boomland.  Nope, can’t get there from here.  Back outside and we walk over to the lighted open sign and the door is locked and it is dark inside.  Boomland is closed?  Wait, there is another door lets go there, maybe this is just the storage area.  Nope, door is locked and the sign says to have the general store clerk open the store for you.  Well, we were not going to do that.  As we were walking back to the general store I look at a door and said to Noah, "It looks like there is nothing behind that wall.  I open the unlocked door and it was a fake wall to make the building appear bigger.  Great laugh for us!  Back to the general store to use the bathrooms and we are off again.  The bathrooms were disgusting.  I always figure you can tell how good a store or restaurant is by the condition of the bathrooms.  It was not a surprise.  We stopped here at 2:36 pm and stayed for 18 minutes.  Our longest stop so far.

Arkansas has an interesting on-ramp/off-ramp system.  Their ramps are like 10 feet long.  Made us laugh.

Hello Memphis!  Our hotel is about 1 mile off I40.  We switched from I55 to I40 around West Memphis.  We arrived at the hotel at 5:01 pm.  This was a 10 hour and 2 minute trip door to door with a swing through downtown Madison and three stops totalling 45 minutes.  Not bad.

We checked into the hotel and parked our car.  As we were checking in and talking with the front desk clerk I mentioned we just drove 10 hours to eat ribs at The Rendezvous.  She told us that The Rendezvous is closed on Mondays.  What!  We just drove 10 hours for dinner and the place we want to eat is closed!  My feeling of being a great vacation planner just vanished.  You would think that I would check the hours of the primary destination of our trip!  Unbelievable!!!  Now what the heck are we going to do!  A tear almost comes down my eye.  But wait, this isn’t the end of the world.  How can we make this little (little, really this is NOT a little negative) negative into a positive and still make this trip worthwhile?  The front desk clerk then tells us that tonight we will have wet ribs and tomorrow we will have dry ribs at The Rendezvous.

Our sketchy hotel room really wasn’t that bad.  We ripped the comforters off and threw them in the corner.  The sheets seemed clean, but we still slept in our sleeping bags.  The bathroom was pink – made be laugh and think of trip to Niagara Falls – that room was pink too.  Only a little mold in the bathroom and we saw no bugs!

The front desk clerk gave us directions to the Blue City Café.  We took a walk to the Blue City Café at the corner of 2nd Street and Beale Street.  Noah orders a full rack of ribs and I order a cup of chili.  We decide to share.  Well, the food gets to us in about 5 minutes.  Much quicker than the Burger King we had for breakfast.  How weird is that!  Well, holy crap that was the best chili and ribs I have ever eaten!  OK, I am glad I screwed up our vacation planning; because if I didn’t we never would have eaten here.  Dinner was $41.62.

We walked around Beale Street.  It reminded me of State Street, but with more bars (is that possible?) and more outside music and sidewalk bars.  Apparently, you can drink on the street in this area.  I bought a Beale Street t-shirt from the clearance rack at the Blues City General Store for $10.87 and Noah bought a poster for the same price at a different shop.

We walked back to the hotel, and I was asleep by 8:30 pm.

Good morning Tuesday!  I slept like a rock until 11 pm when our neighbors started banging on the wall.  Back to sleep and up at 6:30 am.

We checked out of hotel around 9 am and walked around downtown Memphis.  We took the Main Street Trolley and saw where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and some other sites along the trolley line.  We walked around and really wasted time until The Rendezvous opened.

The time is 10:45 am and we go the entrance of The Rendezvous.  The door is open!  We walk downstairs and see someone mopping the floor and a family sitting at a table.  I say to the old guy who appears to work there, “Are we to early to eat?”  He says, “We don’t open until 4:30.”  What you are kidding me I am thinking!  I really don’t want to hang around here until 4:30.  I say, “We drove 10 hours to eat your ribs.”  He counters, “If you want ribs we can serve you ribs and the sides that come with them.”  Graciously I say, “That’s what we came here for was your ribs, where can we sit!”

We found a table and one of the cooks gave us our drinks and said, “Do you want a half rack or full?”  This is my kind of menu.  Not what would you like, but this is what we are serving – how hungry are you!  We each ordered a half rack and I ordered a half rack to go since my Dad wanted to try some.  Again, WOW!  These are some great ribs.  These are dry ribs and you can put BBQ sauce on them if you want.  I have been asked, which ones I liked better.  I don’t think I can choose.  I really liked them both and both had different qualities I liked.  After buying some souvenirs we dropped $78.96.

The inside of the restaurant was certainly eclectic.  The restaurant had very interesting décor and was a lot of fun.  Thank you Memphis.

We walked back to the hotel where we left our car.  We left our “City of Great Ribs” at 11:34 am and started driving to Sikeston, MO.  Now when I planned this trip we were suppose to eat ribs Monday night and leave Tuesday morning and eat lunch at Lambert’s in Sikeston, MO.  The plans changed slightly so we were hoping to eat an early dinner at Lambert’s and drive until we were tired.

On the way we stopped at the I55 MO Welcome Center just after exit 40.  We had a 9-minute stop to stretch and use the restroom.  We arrived in Sikeston, MO at 1:43 pm and we were not hungry.  We found an outlet mall and walked around for a while and tried to get ourselves hungry, but it wasn’t working very well.

We really wanted to experience Lambert’s so in we went.  We both had meals we couldn’t finish, but the Lambert’s experience was a lot of fun.  If you don’t know about Lambert’s you call go to their website,  We spent $27.00 on food and another $23.58 on souvenirs at the gift shop.

It was time to gas the car again.  This tank of gas has 392.1 miles, 65 mph average, 25.4 mpg average and 5:58 in drive time.  We put in 15.901 gallons at $3.319 per gallon for a total of $52.78.  We were back on the road at 3:15 pm.

This time around we took I255 around St. Louis – I think that is a little quicker.  And we drove until 6:41 pm when we stopped just north of Springfield, IL at a rest area for a potty break and I decided to change clothes and put on a pair of sweat pants.  This stop lasted 13 minutes.  Turn the page on my map and we stopped again.  Wow, we stopped a lot I thought to myself.  But, this was nearly 3 hours later.

Now is a good time to talk about our radio rules for the road trip.  When Noah was listening to or playing on his iPod we have radio rules.  We do not listen to CD’s.  Boring!  We hit the scan button and when one of us hears a song we like we stop the scan and listen.  But, each of us has Veto powers.  If the song really sucks to the other person, that person can hit the scan button and start all over again.  At one point, Noah decided he could Veto my Veto and finish listening to a song I didn’t like.  Didn’t seem right to me, but he made up a rule so I couldn’t argue with him I guess.

I remember at 8:00 pm passing a Motel 6 with an advertised rate of $37.99.  For 50 bucks I thought, there is no need to stop.  I can make it.  45 minutes later I remember thinking, why didn’t I stop at that Motel 6!

I kept going until 9:21 pm we needed gas.  Noah was freaking out because we had less than 50 miles left and he didn’t want to walk for gas.  We stopped at exit 111, our current mileage is 72,774; we drove 413 miles, 5:57 hours, averaged 69 mph at 26.1 mpg.  We put in 15.697 gallons of gas at $3.696 per gallon for a total of $58.02.  I made a sandwich to eat and we left 9 minutes after stopping.

Helloooooo Wisconsin (to be said like “That 70’s Show).

We made it to WI, but damn am I tired.  We pulled into the WI Welcome Center wayside at 9:57 pm.  Turned the car off, pulled out my pillow and sheet and went to sleep.  I told Noah that I just needed a 20-minute cat nap and I will be able to make it home.  I am sure it took me 15-20 minutes to get comfortable, but I did fall asleep.  Noah had a nice warm blanket and slept like a baby.  I woke up at 11:30 pm freezing.  If it wasn’t cold out I think I would have slept all night.  Off to the bathroom, grab a Diet Pepsi and we left at 11:46 pm for the last hour of our trip.

Home Sweet Home!  We made it home at 12:43 am on Wednesday, March 30, 2011.  Our ending mileage was 72,865.  This last leg at 90.7 miles, 1:35 minutes of drive time, we averaged 55 mph and 26.4 mpg.

Our trip for ribs in Memphis, TN was less than 48 hours but was a great time.  The moral of this story is when you plan your vacation; make sure the place you are going to is open.  Where to next?

Please note I will post some photos and soon as I can get them off the memory card.

Friday, March 25, 2011

This and That

Good Morning Everyone, I know some of you do not have facebook so I want to share something that Monica has started and it has caught on like a laughing baby. She started writing a gratitude journal and saying something she is grateful for each day other than the obvious, God and family. Since she has started that many have either commented on her posts with their gratitude's or written on their own facebook pages their gratitude's. I think this is great and it is what keeps the sun shining on a cloudy day. Thanks Monica for the inspiration and thanks Lexi for inspiring/supporting your Mom! With that in mind I thought I would just share a medical update. I just had a 2 1/2 day stay in the heart hospital for atrial fibrillation. We did a cardioversion to get the upper chambers of my heart beating, they were in a quiver and had not been working since early March. I have had this off and on for a long time but it usually converted on it own - not this time though. I was extremely lucky and it converted with the medicine so I did not need to do the electric shock. So now with new medication I will hopefully be able to keep the rhythm regular and not have to see the hospital again for a while. I do have to give up caffeine so that pretty much means coffee but, there is always hot water and that is not too bad either. So with Monica's/Lexis gratitude journal in mind - I am grateful for the unassuming family that allows me to handle these medical inconveniences without making me feel like a sick person. It is great to be home and back to my usual daily chores.
Feel free to count your blessing here on the blog we would all love to be inspired as Monica has inspired so many already. Julie

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


What wonderful weather we are having. I have been for many walks these last few days, complements of Lucy, and I LOVED it. I have been waiting for the ice to melt so we could walk and walk and walk.

Lucy gets tired after we walk through the mud and then she needs a mini bath.

I have been surprised 3 times in the last few weeks with phone call from family members I don't talk too often enough. Today I was thinking how often I send a message online but don't pick up the phone. I thought how Mom and Dad must feel if they get fewer calls because we are all keeping in touch via the Internet. I guess maybe the warm feeling I got from my phone calls made me think of calling Mom and Dad more for no reason but to say HI. So if you have time give someone a call and say Hi you might just make their day.
Have a great week!
Love, Julie

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ayden Singing

I just had to share this video of Ayden singing along with his giraffe. I hope it works!

Have a GREAT Day! Love you All!


Sunday, January 9, 2011


We found our missing link. She has been here even 24 hours and yet all the kids changed their schedules just to come meet Lucy. I cannot express how blessed Ed and I feel this morning to sit and visit with Paul -he stays at hotel Doucette while attending guard weekends in Elkhorn- play with Lucy and count the blessings of our week past. I am Thankful for each of our kids and their open generosity to take the time to pop in yesterday. The comment still giving me a giggle this morning came from Ashlynn. "Hi Lucy, I'm Ashlynn. How's the weather today?" What little 2 1/2 year old asks hows the weather. Dawn made a great post on her blog and I want to share it with you. Well it is time to get on with the day or just click on Dawn Marie Designs on the side bar. Have a great Week I know I will. Love Julie