Friday, April 27, 2007

Salt Fork Lodge....And Life...

Yesterday I was called on to deliver a speech to the Clow Water Company's 90 member leadership team on the topic of "The Nature of Leadership." Several things made this opportunity unique:
- Derek Dozer, Head of HR at Clow, is a good friend and former Longaberger fellow trainer. There are about 5 or 6 Longaberger leaders that I have "Forever Friend" relationships with. That's one of the reasons I took a lot of prep time on this one. I wanted to exceed their expectations and inspire the best in them.... and me too!
- This gig is one of two Company trainings that I have done that they have invited Pat to join me. The other is one I did in Hartville Ohio for another Longaberger friend, Todd Kunsman. When he found out that I had accepted the training date on our anniversary he invited Pat and surprised us with gifts at the conference. One of my gifts was a T shirt that said on the front..."I could have spent our anniversay in the Bahamas but.... and on the back it says, "I came to Hartville instead!" Derek and Todd and Salle and Kirby and Kelly "Iron Sharpens Iron" Walker are the kind of friends that just pick up from where we last left off and who I love dearly.
- By staying together at this beautiful lodge we were able to spend some time birding. Spring migration is in full swing and how wonderful it was to get out in the morning and catch such beauties as yellow warblers, hawks, tree swallows, yellow rumped warblers (butter butts as Salle calls them!), towees and 4 families of wood ducks among others. It certainly inspired me for my topic of The Nature of Leadership!
- It allowed me time to reflect on the great blessings God has providenced us to enjoy at this stage of our lives. We so enjoy being together....birding together....looking at the awsome sights of God's creation and seeing them as just that. We love each life...have the love of family and good good friends all around us....AND LIFE IS GOOD!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Our Friend Returns...

This big guy...(or girl) was in the pond at the end of the he (she) is after winter hybernation. It's 72 degrees here today!
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Signs of Spring

It was great to see a Cardinal and Indiago Bunting on the feeder together this morning.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away."

This evening we decided to go to Dawes....a place that can take your breath away. What a beautiful evening. We brought our binoculars and a picnic supper. We walked, enjoyed the glint of the sun through the trees and the textures of the most interesting trees God has to offer!

....even the tower was looking beautiful this evening!

The arboretum closes at dark.... What a sight to leave on....

My favorite Dawes tree below....

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Good Morning...You're 9 !

There is no one in the world who takes their birthdays more seriously than Addy! She woke up early and walked out of the bedroom to announce, "I'm 9....can I open my present now??" Her Mom and Dad knowing her propensity for birthdays had left a gift to be opened here at Gma and Gpa's house this morning. And it was.....

....sure enough....a birthday FROG to greet her with a Rap song..."It's your birthday...we're going to party..." as it gyrates.! WHAT A HOOT and great way to start off the first day of he rest of your...ninth year on the planet!
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"Hey, where's spring...?? Rivet"

This has been one of the strangest spring ever! In one two day period we dropped from 80 degrees one day to 20 the next! That's a 60 degree swing...and it hasn't swung back much! I still continue to bike ride in my sweatshirt and jacket....BUT STOP...IS THAT ME COMPLAINING??? Life is great. I leave today to deliver 7 Habits training to the PlyOne company in Westlake Ohio (on Lake Erie). I have a speech to prepare for for the Clow water Company for next week. I'm healthy and happy and alive. that's more like me!
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Happy Birthday Adele

As I type here at 6:07 AM it is Addy's birthday. She is 9 years old today. The girls are asleep in the guest bedroom at the moment and are getting on the bus from here today. When asked what she wanted for her birthday she listed, a flat screen TV, new computer, ipod and a bean bag chair. When Wes explained she probably wasn't going to get all that she simply responded, "We'll, you asked me to tell you what I wanted!" It seems like yesterday we were with Wes and Cheryl in the delivery room waiting for Adele's arrival. She continues to be an absolute joy in our lives and a never ending source of "quips" that keep us all on our toes.
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Monday, April 16, 2007

...Had to Do It !

I just had to share these shots from Sam's blog on ours. I just loved this picture of Mel and little Eloise! I had to share it with Pleasant Chapel watchers who do not check in on the Frrenh Connection.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

Announcing the New Principal of Licking Valley High School...

This evening the Licking Valley School Board made it official. They voted in a close 3 to 2 split decision....(JUST KIDDING) to hire Wes as the new Licking Valley high School Principal. He was hired after a rather grueling interviewing process including a barrage of questions from a 15 member community/student/teacher panel. Needless to say as a family we are very proud of his accomplishment.

It's official! The handshake of the Board President, Lydia Miller.......

......and good wishes from district treasurer and friend, JoLynn Torbert
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Wes told the board that it was with great humility that he takes the responsibility of leading the school he attended and at which he taught. Mr Barr, the man on the left commented, "We hated it when you left [to go to Utica] and we're glad that you've come back to lead..." To which Wes responded, "I never really left, I just live across the street!" Adele had told Wes when it came time to speak to use the fruit speech. When asked what that was she said, "Grape to be hear....lettuce now talk!"

His new environs starting this summer....

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Our Beautiful Addition to Bill's Botanical Garden

Thanks to Seth and Heather we have a beautiful and unusual addition to the Landscape. Unusual because it has uniquely braided trunk stems. It will look great in a BIG pot on the back porch!
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Evening at Pleasant Chapel...

Zoe and Addy came dressed to the Easter evening supper dressed in their new Easter outfits. These girls continue to grow and mature so fast!

Wes grabbed Chelsey to show that she was wearing an Air Force jacket which she is afraid might appear on the internet! Don't worry Chels the secret is safe here!

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Are They Crazy???

.....sure enough....there they the Cincinnati Reds game.....20 with the wind chill! That's Seth in the yellow and Wes in the blue/grey over the right shoulder of the Red's reliever, Coffee in the 7th inning as I watched from the warmth of my home! The Reds won of course.
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What Stuff Really Matters Anyway??

Before launching off to school from the Grandparent Pad the other day, Zoe and Addy were perusing the refrigerator gallery. They were talking about memorable expeiences with those they love. I counted 43 pictures of people and animals we love and have displayed. Interestingly we also have 42 magnets that remind us of the places Pat and I have visited and and enjoyed. After my haircut with my brother Bob yesterday we sat down together since his next appointment was late and spent the time sharing family stories. I continue to become more fully aware that it isn't the STUFF that really matters!'s the relationships....the love of God, family and friends....that mean the most.
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pit Game Revisited

Only Sam will truly appreciate this scene. A Pleasant Chapel neighbor of years ago, Mark McCullough, joined us with us his wife, Liz. Pit is a "rousing game" that we used to play when the boys were growing up. Liz had heard the stories but not the song...."Barley Barley Oats Rye....Wheat Flax Corn...." (You know the rest, Sam! ) As you can see by the picture below...a laughing good time was had by all!

Wes and Mark kept us in stitches with school stories all evening....
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....Chelsey relaxes in the easy chair.......

.....and the girls turn in while their parents laughed and played.
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A Brief Tribute To My Wife, Pat

Yesterday Sam emailed a note describing some of his Mother's attributes and got me thinking about the same things he brought up. I am going to make a statement about my wife that I have given a good bit of recent thought.

Pat is the most selfless person I know!

You've heard of or know someone who you would describe as selfish or selfcentered.....that description is the absolute opposit of what and who Pat is. Living with her as I do day to day for going on 40 years...I SHOULD KNOW! She is constantly thinking of OTHERS! Because she is constantly thinking of OTHERS she is constantly doing things for others! Be it the family, through church where she spends hours each week providing hospitality in the form of coffee, food, and friendly greeting to all ......or as friend to so many needy people over all the years of our marriage.....SHE HASN'T A SELFISH BONE IN HER BODY! This picture has been blogged before but represnts to me the nature and spirit of Pat Weaver...... Pat loves her kids and their companions and their kids.

An example of how she "thinks and operates" came to mind as I was going to praer this morning. I looked over on the stand next to our "Prayer Chair" and saw the prayer box she put there some time ago. In the box she has put folded papers with the names of our individual family members and those we are in contact with that have difficult issues going on in their lives. As I pulled out a couple of names and prayed for them....I added a special prayer of thanks for the one who....... through His own divine providence..... God has given me to do life together with! She is unconditional love personified!
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