Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Hooray for Dakota!!!

Last night, we went to the awards banquet for Dakota's swim team. It was fun! They had a slide show of pictures from several of the meets and a video the coach took with her waterproof camera when the kids pushed the coaches into the pool after they won the state meet.
Dakota received several ribbons from the meets and a trophy. We are really proud of her! She was remembering her first practice last night and said that her legs were shaking by the end of practice that night and now she placed 16th in the entire state for her age group in the backstroke! In her first season, she has gone from not being able to swim the entire length of the pool to swimming the 100 yard freestyle (that's the length of the pool x 4) in just under 2 minutes! I can't wait to see her at the end of next season.
She says she thinks she has found her calling : )
Dakota's swimming trophy!
The team(she's on the lower right, third row)

Dakota with the teams' state championship trophy!

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I didn't believe it would actually happen, but we had a really great snow this weekend-March 28! It started snowing around 9:00 Saturday morning and continued until around 3:00pm. The kids were so excited about finally getting to play in the snow, but the wind was blowing so hard, we had to wait until it had stopped snowing before we could go out. Even then, we could only stay out 15-20 minutes because of the wind. But, that gave us enough time to make a REAL snowman. We've made some teeny tiny ones in the past, but this one was a giant compared to them. It was taller than Dakota! They had so much fun. Once we finished our snowman, we came inside and warmed up with some freshly baked cookies and hot chocolate and then Daniel made us some snow ice cream using Grandma Rita's special recipe :) It was a really fun day.

Monday, March 23, 2009


For those who don't live here, Stillwater got a pretty good hail storm this evening. I was out picking up Dakota from girl scouts and got to drive through most of it before finally finding a covered place to pull over.

Once the hail stopped and the rain started coming down, most of the hail on the pavement melted pretty quickly. But the grass by the side of the road and the rooftops looked as if we had gotten a big snow. When we turned onto our road, it was still covered with hailstones. It looked like it was the middle of winter. Pretty cool.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our trip to the OKC zoo.

Our family has had a tradition the last few years of visiting the zoo during Spring Break. We've been to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Witchita a couple of times and even to Springfield-which is an awesome zoo if you ever get the chance to visit. Last year, with all the moving craziness, we weren't able to make the trip. So, when I heard that the OKC zoo had opened a new dinosaur exhibit, I knew we had to go this year!

We had a great time! The weather Saturday was kind of cool and overcast. We had to wear our jackets most of the day, but the rain held off and it turned out to be a really good day for the zoo.
Here are a few of my favorite pictures:

The kids with the dinosaur at the entrance to the zoo(Dakota was really excited about that part).

Everyone got to choose a really cool endangered animal on the carosel.

The train (Landon's favorite).

Riding the 'tortoise".

Landon with his twin.

Kiddos taming the "lions"

Cheyenne comparing her hand to a black bear's paw.

We had a truly wonderful day. And to top it all off, at the end of the day, we were able to buy a family membership to the zoo-something I have always wanted to do but never was able. All of our hard work, tears, and prayers over the last year have truly been worth it. What a difference a year can make!

Donation Address

I was able to track down the address for those interested in making a donation to the family of Shannon Lara that I talked about in my previous post. This family is dealing with medical bills from their daughter's previous round of cancer as well as the new cancer treatments and the mother's injuries from the accident.

These are people in our own backyard that are in serious need of your help. Please join me, if you are able, in making a donation to their fund:

Hennessey Ministerial Alliance, RE: The Lara Family, P.O. Box 724, Hennessey, OK 73742

Please continue to keep them in your prayers as well. The last update that I could find said that Shannon (the mother) is still in ICU and unresponsive.
(From the Enid News and Eagle)

Mother taking daughter for chemo still critical following crash

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer

A mother injured Wednesday in a collision on U.S. 81 while taking her daughter for a chemotherapy treatment remains in critical condition at an Oklahoma City hospital.

Shannon Lyn Lara, 26, of Hennessey, was southbound on U.S. 81 about a mile south of Kingfisher when her 2004 Jeep struck a semi making a left turn. Lara was pinned for about 30 minutes before she was taken to OU Medical Center by helicopter and admitted with head, arm and internal injuries.

In the Jeep at the time with Lara were her two daughters, Shaelyn Nicole Lara, 6; Karlee Ann Lara, 3; and baby sitter Heather Dawn Gritz, 16. The driver of the semi was uninjured.

A family member said Lara was taking Shaelyn to a chemotherapy treatment. It is the second time the girl has had cancer. Two years ago, Shaelyn lost a kidney to cancer, and she recently was diagnosed with cancer in her lungs.

According to an OU Medical Center spokeswoman, Lara remains in critical condition and Shaelyn has been released.

Lara’s cousin, Whitney Price, said the mother of two and hairdresser remains in ICU at the hospital and is unresponsive.

Price said a fund already had been in place to help the family with medical bills for Shaelyn. She said those funds also would be used to help with the most recent round of bills from the family’s latest hardship.

Donations can be made to Hennessey Ministerial Alliance, RE: The Lara Family, P.O. Box 724, Hennessey, OK 73742.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

a sad story

I copied this story from kfor.com. I heard about it during their news broadcast this afternoon and my heart was broken for them. I tried to contact KFOR via e-mail for information on how to make donations to the family, but wasn't able to get any e-mails through to them. I did, however, contact news9 and am waiting for a reply. If you would like the info when I get it, please let me know and I will pass it along.

I know that what I can give to this family will not be much, but my prayer is that other people will be touched by this story as well and will not just pray for this family, but will put "hands and feet" to their prayers and help out as well. Everyone's little put together will make a big difference.


From misfortune to much worse KINGFISHER, OK --

A Kingfisher County family's luck just went from bad to much worse. A mother of two is critically injured in a car wreck Wednesday morning, one mile south of Kingfisher along Highway 81, and it happens as she was driving her daughter to chemotherapy.

Shannon Lara suffered severe head injuries when the Jeep she was driving ran into the back of a semi truck that had just exited a construction area.

Lara is listed in critical condition at OU Medical Center. Her six-year-old daughter, Shaelyn, was also injured, but not as bad as her mom.

Two years ago, however, Shaelyn lost a kidney to cancer and the family recently learned cancer has returned, this time to her lungs.

Shannon's mom says she's scared to death for her daughter.

"That's all I can do is pray," Teresa Wood says. "Tell her I love her. Tell her she needs to get well for her girls. She's got to get well for her girls."

Teresa says Shannon and her husband are still paying off Shaelyn's kidney surgery from two years ago.

We're told she is covered under her husband's insurance, but Teresa has no idea how much more this accident will cost them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dakota's first swim meet

These are from Dakota's very first swim meet in December. She did really well for her first time. I can't believe how much she improved during the season!

This is her backstroke. She is in the lane closest to the camera in the white swim cap.

This is her first freestyle race. She is in the middle lane (lane 5 if you count closest to the camera, back). Notice how many "resting strokes" she takes. I wasn't sure she would be able to finish, but she showed me!

Giving it a try...

Here is my first attempt at posting a picture here. This is Dakota last Saturday at the state swim meet in OKC-where, by the way, she got first place in her heat for backstroke and helped her team win FIRST PLACE for the first time in like 5 years. It was a great time. I'll try to post the video later. It's awesome!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

not very good at this

Ok, so I haven't quite gotten into this like I had planned. It's spring break now, so I'm hoping that I will have some free time to get on here and play around with it a little and figure out what I'm doing.