Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Year of Change? Prayer's Appreciated.

Well, November has come and gone and I didn't, much to my lack of motivation and everything else going on in life, did not complete my 30 days of Gratefulness. However I was and am grateful. Looking forward Christmas is upon us and I am excited to see Hatley's face and excitment this year as she will understand a little bit more of what is going on... but I will get to that later.

Today I am talking, thinking, looking into and researching change. A change for our family. And in the long run, hopefully a fantastic change that will pay off, literally.

My heart still holds true to my Alma Mater, the University of Idaho, but this change will not include them.

No this time it will include the school I never dreamed of going to, the school that I purposely did not want to attend when graduating high school because everyone from Ferris was headed there. But needless to say, it is them now, that I think will be the best fit. Hello Washington State University.

Like I said, I am looking into, thinking about, and researching what it will take for me to go back to school. Since being home from Saipan I have felt lost. And not a relational loss, but a professional loss. I love being home with Hatley more then anything, But I can see the stress it has put on our family, the stress it has put on our finances, and especially the stress it has put on Mark. And I want to free him from that. I mean it is my fault in the first place that we are stuck with all the stinkin' student loans we have. Not his.

But since being home from Saipan a job has not been easy to come by, especially when your degree is Art Education, most art programs are being cut. And after teaching third grade for 2 years I know that is where my heart and passion is professionally. So here were go. I am applying for financial aid to see how this is even feasible, I am apply to WSU and hopefully beginning classes this next spring or summer to obtain my Elementary Education Endorsement and a Masters in Teaching.

I think if we can do this and it is in God's will, that this will be a great change for our family in the long run...

Would you pray about this with me? That this is God's will and if it isn't that he'll show us where to go... will you pray with me that financially we can make this all happen, and that family wise I will be able to juggle having almost 2 year old (once school actually begins), a home, a husband, substitute teach when possible, and go to school full time?

Prayers would be greatly appreciated as we are looking for God's will in my professional life. I love teaching and I know it is where I am supposed to be professionally. I think. God is it where you want me?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 23

Looking back at my last post, I want to reiterate that I am thankful for being back home. I would love a job where I could live in Saipan 6 months out of the year and 6 months here on the Palouse, but I don't see that ever happening =).

But I am thankful to be home. The day before Thanksgiving, we drove up to my parents, where we would be spending the weekend. What am I thankful for today then? The fact that we are so close to family. I calculated it today, we are exactly 62.6 miles from my parents and only 4 from Marks. I am so thankful for the fact that I can just jump in the car and drive either way just for the day. I am thankful that Hatley get's excited when we pull into their driveways =)

I love and miss you Saipan, and am so thankful for our time, and hope there is more. But I am also so thankful that our family is so close now and that we can pop on over whenever we want.

OPERATION.... Get caught up... 30 Days of Grateful... Day 22

I am so far behind in life. I have dishes needing to be done, 5 loads of laundry in process, Christmas cards waiting to be addressed, Thanksgiving cards needing to be stamped, Christmas presents needing to be wrapped and hidden, floors needing to be swept, mopped and vaccumed, and the list goes on and on. But right now, Hatley is asleep, and tomorrow is the last day of November. So I need to get blogging and catch up on my 30 day's of grateful. So I will try in the midst of everything else stareing at me, get these done and caught up by tomorrow =).

30 Days of Grateful... Day 22.

I was thankful for small job opportunities.

Since being unemployed I am feeling the pressure. I need a job, a steady and permanent job, but no such luck. My eyes are always open and looking, but we are trying to find something that would fit our family and our financial budget... so until then, I have been blessed with small opportunities.

I am thankful for the small job opportunities God has given me these last few months. Subbing, watching my nieces and nephews.... I know there is job out there for me, and I know I need to remember God is in control... lately I have been really frustrated with living in Palouse. I love living here don't get me wrong. But I continue to think, if we had just stayed in Saipan. I would have a job that I LOVED, that paid the bills, that I didn't mind going to each morning. BUT I know God brought us home for a reason, I know he put us in Palouse for a reason, but now I want to know what is my reason. Where am I supposed to be? I want to be home with Hatley, but it just financially isn't possible... but I am not willing to leave her for a job I hate, where I bring home the baggage and frustration. I need to be home when I am home...

But until I find out my reason, I am thankful for the small opportunities God has given me these last few months. And I am so thankful for the time I have had to be home with Hatley.

ps: I would be ever so grateful for prayers about this too! =)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 21

Yesterday I was thankful for a productive day at home. I am so thankful for days at home, where I can actually get something done and also do a little bit of relaxing and down time. I cleaned all day, deep cleaned, organized and caught up on life... Hatley who never takes more then a 30 minute nap, took a 2 1/2 hour nap! AMAZING! Another thing to be thankful for!

So what did this Mama do in the time frame? Stayed in my PJ's which I had not changed out of, made a hot cup on coffee and caught up on my new addiction - Parenthood. It was a wondeful 2 1/2 hours and I was grateful for that little down time....

30 Days of Grateful... Day 20

On Sunday I was so thankful to be surrounded by family and delicious food. The Sawyer family are all going seperate ways for thanksgiving, so we had an impromptu thanksgiving together. The food was delicious and abundant... there was laughter, sledding, a fire, and just catching up. It was certainly a day to give thanks for.

And I completely forgot a camera, so no pictures! Sorry.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 19

My best friends from college! Nicole, Sarah, and Kara. So blessed by these 3!
Christmas 2010, Palouse friends at the 1st annual ornament exchange! the next one is is 3 weeks!
Friends from Saipan. Above, Crystal and I were able to share our first pregnancies together, very special for me. and Below, all the wonderful ladies at one of my baby showers on Saipan. So special to be loved by all of them.

Thankful for friends. Plain and simple. So thankful for the ladies I call friends. The ladies I can call when something is needed, the ladies I can call when I just want to chat. God has blessed me with some amazing friends. Some from the University of Idaho, some from Saipan, some from here in Palouse... some from a little bit of everywhere. Thanks God for blessing me with these women!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 18

I am thankful for my In-Laws. Mark's parents are amazing and I am so blessed to have become part of such a family. Living close to family is what made us move home from Saipan. I am so thankful that Hatley get's to live close by, growing up knowing her grandparents (my parents are an hour away, and Marks are just 4 miles).

Yesterday we went out to Sawyer Farm just to hang out. Watched some football, ate some popcorn, played with some barbies, and ate a delicious, homemade Turkey soup... mmmm. I am so thankful for our family and so thankful for the family God has blessed me with. Thanks Mom and Dad Sawyer for absolutely everything!

* The picture above was from last Christmas at the Sawyer's. This year we will be adding two more little ones to the family picture!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 17

Simple and sweet. That is what I was thankful for. I woke up to a fresh pot of coffee made by my husband, with my cup ready to be filled. Simple and Sweet. I am so thankful for his simple and sweet ways that brighten my days. Thanks God for a husband who spoils his girls.

30 Days of Grateful... Day 16

Friday I was thankful for Family Date Nights. Friday night's date was nothing to exciting, but I still love getting out with my family, enjoying our time together and playing. All we did Friday night was run a few errands in town; bed, bath, and beyond (I ruined our perfectly good shower curtain, but replaced it with something even nicer...thanks to bed, bath, and beyond), we ate dinner at Arby's, did some grocery shopping, did a few errands Mark needed done for his upcoming building projects this weeks, and then came home and all fell asleep. Nothing to exciting. But so thankful for our family time.

* During Hatley's 18 month photo shoot with Auntie Angela, we got to snap some family photos.... here is one silly one!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 15 (Just another to slip in...)

On Thursday after our Financial Peace University Class at the church, Hatley and I were driving home and saw our first house of the year all decked out with their Christmas Lights. I pulled over and rolled down Hatley's window even though it was below 30* outside. Her first reaction was "WOW!" I am so excited for this years Christmas. Yes she had her first last year, but this year she will take part in all the fun and excitement!

This week I have been thankful for the upcoming holidays; with their food, lights, laughter, family, Christ, and love! So thankful for this time of year! Let the Christmas music begin to play!

* The photo above was taken of our living room last year at Christmas.

30 Days of Grateful... Day 15

Wednesday I was thankful, and everyday I am thankful for this opportunity to be Hatley's Mama and be able to stay at home for the time being. Though the search for a job is always going on, and I know eventually I will have to go back to work, I am soooooo thankful for these days of her and I... Reading, cooking, cleaning, napping, snuggling, crafting, dancing, and laughing. I love my girl. I love being her Mama. I love spending my days with her. I am so thankful for you Hatley Elizabeth!

* The photos above are from Hatley's 18 month photo shoot with her Auntie Angela! Shows Hatley's true personality!

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 14 (just another to slip in)

My first third grade class at Saipan Community School. I sure do miss this kids!
Going into my classroom for the first time, after arriving on Saipan in 2008 and receiving my keys.

Today I am thankful for Christ and his plan for me. When I began college back in 2003, I started off as an Interior design major. Though I still love this area, I knew if I married Mark I would live in a small community, and I also knew, it was not for me, as far as a profession goes. So I transferred to the college of Education, to obtain a degree in k-12 Art education. I received my degree in december 2007.

After graduating, and going through student teaching, I was just floating, subbing here and there. I landed a full time sub position at Washtucna Elementary School in the 3/4 grade. It was instant. I fell in love with teaching elementary, which as a little girl, I had dreamed about. Who knew what God was preparing me for? Not me! When Mark and I called Saipan Community School to find out about job opportunities, guess what position was open? 3rd grade!

Teaching 3rd grade at SCS for two years was amazing! Yes I had bad days, and complained, but I loved teaching; I loved my job. Who gets to say that?

Well since being home I have not landed any dream job.... but today I am thankful that I know what my dream job is... it is teaching elementary education. Maybe someday I will get back there, after some more schooling, but I am just thankful that God put Kahlotus, Washtucna and Saipan in my life, to show me and teach me about my dream.... But as for now, I am thankful I am living one of my other Life long dreams.... being a mommy. I am so thankful for my miracle girl and living this dream come true.

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 14

I miss Saipan pretty much everyday. But when we were in Saipan, I missed the beauty of home too. Today Mark, Hatley and I took a day trip up to Spokane, and Mark was sweet enough to take my favorite way. He calls it the LONG way, even though it only adds maybe 10 minutes to the drive. But it is my favorite way, up through North Idaho, through the farm land, through the pine trees, it is simply gorgeous and a day like today was no exception. The tamarack trees were bright yellow inter-mingled with the green pine. It was gorgeous and I was in awe.

Thank you God for your beautiful and amazing artwork!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 13

Last night I was thankful for my sweet girl, her smile, her giggles, and Dirty Dancing. Random mix, I know. But as we were cleaning up from dinner, Mark was still at church, and we had pandora radio playing, the song "I had the time of my life" came on. I started dancing around and Hatley thought it was hillarious! Probably because of her Mama's poor dancing skills... Either way, I grabbed her up and we started dancing together. When I set her down she continued to dance and giggle.

I am so thankful for fun time with my girl, even if it involved Dirty Dancing =)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 12

I LOVED being on vacation, I LOVED being with family, and I LOVED being away from our everyday lives... But at the same time, it is sooooo GOOD to be home!

Today I am thankful for the home God has blessed us with. I am thankful for my comfy bed. I am thankful for the snow that is falling outside. I am thankful for the comfort of being in our home. Our small little home up on the hill in the small and quiet town of Palouse.

Friday, November 11, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 11

August, 21, 1981

Today I am grateful for my mama and dadda!

There are so many reasons to be grateful for them, that I don't even know where to start. So we will focus on today.

They picked us up from the airport, filled my car with gas, had a delicious dinner ready for us, watched Hatley so we could run to the grocery store to grab some food to fill our empty refridgerator, and most of all, just loved on us and their Hatley-Roo. We are pretty spoiled by them. I am so thankful that God blessed me with such wonderful and loving parents! I hope that someday we can be a blessing to them like they have been to us!

We love you Mom & Dad / Nana & Papa!
August 14, 2011 - Surprise 30th Wedding Anniversary Dinner/Party!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 10.

Marks Fraternity - University of Idaho - Sigma Chi
My Sorority - University of Idaho - Kappa Delta
Kappa Delta Junior Class - 2006

Yesterday Mark and I were able to drive to North Dallas to catch up over lunch with an fraternity brother of Marks. It had been about 5 years since we have seen Mike, and it was great to finally meet his wife Veronica and their two boys, Brooks and Elliot, which #3 on the way! It was fun to see how Mark and Mike have changed since college, how family and kids are now the center, but yet how they have stayed the same =). It was a great afternoon of catching up!

We are thankful for the opportunities we had in college to be part of amazing fraternities and sororities, even though sometimes it was not so enjoyable. =) Some of our closest friends are from our houses, and we couldn't be more thankful for Gods blessings of their friendship!

30 days of grateful... Day 9

Late as usual. But, hopefully I will get on track now that we are home....

Day 9:

I was thankful for delicious food! While we are in Texas we were able to try out my families favorite places to eat and that night, well lets just say I walked away feeling so sick because I ate way to much!

Lord Thanks for delicious food to nourish our bodies! Especially MELLOW MUSHROOM. Which at first sound, sounds kinda gross if you are not a mushroom eater... but it was a pizza bakery and OHHHHH My! I wish we could force them to open one in Spokane!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 days of Grateful... Day 8

Today I am thankful for family time and family vacations!

This has been a wonderful week so far, and we still have 3 days left with my sister and her family! We have slept in everyday, have gotten to spend full days with Mark and just sit back and relax... so thankful for the time we have with Mark, as he has been soooooo busy lately. Hatley has certainly missed her daddy these last few weeks and I am thankful she has just been wanting him! =) No changing diapers for this mama! =) hehe. Thanks God for the special treatment.

Today we are headed to the Fort Worth Zoo to show Hatley some animals! Pictures to come later!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 7

Yesterday my sister took us into Dallas to see some of the sights. We went on a Trolly ride, ate some delicious Gellato, had breakfast for dinner, and saw some old historic areas which were beautiful. However there was one specific part of the day that made my heart full and happy, and soooooo grateful. Mark and I were able to have lunch with a friend from SAIPAN! Ms. Tamiko Winkfield! It was soooooo wonderful and such a blessing to see Tami's smiling face again!

Tami is currently in her last year at Dallas Theological Seminary, will graduate in May and then head back to Saipan to continue teaching at Saipan Community School. She was the 5th grade teacher while I was the 3rd grade teacher there.

It was wonderful to catch up with her; she was super excited to see Hatley and completely shocked at how big she was, and especially when she said, "Tami!"

We certainly do miss our island family and it was soooooo wonderful to have a peace of it, even if it was just for a small time.

Thanks God for making my heart happy and full!

(The picture above was one of the last pictures Tami and I got together while we were in Saipan. I had to steal it off my facebook page for the time being. We did get a picture together yesterday, but I still haven't uploaded any pictures from our trip... soon I will, once we are done enjoying our family Vacay!)

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 7

Each and every day I am thankful for God's direction in our lives. Yes, I do have those days, many days, where I want to be in full control and feel as though I am. But there are those days where I sit back, relax and enjoy God's amazing ride for my life; which I need to do much more often!

One very special instance where I finally sat back and enjoyed the ride was when I knew God wanted Mark and I to go to this little island out in the Pacific Ocean, and I had fought it for so many months before... but when I finally let go.... It was one of the most special blessings!

Saipan was home for two years, and we made some amazing friends, and they turned into family. I see their photos now on facebook and I get homesick. Homesick for the island that changed my life, homesick for the family I made there, homesick for the delicious food, homesick for the weather (espcially now with winter upon us), homesick for my outdoor church, homesick for the job I loved, homesick for the island where we welcomed our miracle baby, homesick for my home away from home.

Saipan will always be home, and I will always miss it. AND I will always be grateful and thankful for God taking over the driver's seat and allowing me to sit back and enjoy the ride to a place I never would have dreams so wonderful.

Thanks God!

30 Days of Grateful... Day 6 (A Day Behind)

Yes, I am a day behind, again... but I am on vacation! =) But I am still thankful.

Yesterday I was thankful for the Oliver-side neices and nephews! They crack me up, and I love how they love on their cousin Hatley! So blessed and thankful to come from a family where even though we don't live very close to each other (California, Texas, and Washington), we are still pretty close (relationships). So happy to see Hatley playing and giggling with her cousins, and I can see in many ways how they are related =)

Now don't mind me, but these are not recent pictures... I am using Mark's computer and have yet to upload any of this weeks pictures =)

Emilie & Hatley - 4th of July 2o11 (Emilie has blessed us by coming up the last two summers to Washington and spending a few weeks with us, hope that continues to happen once she heads off to college next year!)
Aaron & Mark ( June of 2007 - only picture I had on this computer.) Glad we snapped a bunch while he and my brother Tom were here in Texas with us!
July 2011, when Emilie and Kristen came up for few weeks to Washington! Hope you both can make it up again next summer!

And I am not leaving cousin Ryan out, I just don't have recent pictures of him on here, and did I mention he is the reason we are here! He got married last Saturday and is now honeymooning! Congratulations Ryan and Katherine, we love you!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 5

Katherine & Ryan Pickop - November 5, 2011
Mark and Brittany Sawyer - December 30, 2006

Today was B-E-A-U-tiful! Today I am thankful for LOVE and MARRIAGES. Today we welcomed Katherine into our family, and boy was their wedding special and beautiful! So glad we were able to come down here and be a part of their wonderful day!

Mark and I are going to be celebrating 5 years of marriage next month, and I am so thankful for each and everyday that I have been able to call Mark my husband. Thanks God, for blessing Ryan and Katherine and thanks God for blessing me with such a man!

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Days of Grateful - Day 4

This may be pathetic sounding and I know it is quite materialistic, but I am thankful for it... Starbucks, I love you and your flavor. Thanks so much for your morning goodness. I gratefully appreciate it! =) It is on morning's like these, that you never cease to amaze me. I promise tomorrow, it will be a little bit more heartfelt =) Or deep.

30 Days of Grateful... Day 3 (A day late)

(Andrew & Brittany - August 2011)

(Tom, Julie & Brittany - 1984)

I apologize, I am running a day late. Yesterday we spent our day getting up at 4 am, getting to the airport at 5 am, flying to Salt Lake and then on to Dallas, jumping in a car and playing and relaxing around my sister's house. This house is crazy and by crazy I mean lot's o' people! My sister, her husband, and their two daughters; my Sister's mom, my mom and dad, Mark, Hatley and I, and then late last night my older brother and his son showed up from California! It is going to be a fun and crazy week here in Texas!

So what am I grateful for day 3? I am thankful for my sibilings. And even though we weren't all in a house at the same time, but we are still close and are able to share our families! Hatley sure loves her cousins, aunties and uncles! So thankful we are able to be here and spend a week with them! Thanks God for amazing family!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 Days of Grateful... Day 2.

Today I am thankful for my sweet girl.

We had Hatley's 18 month (yes, I said 18 month; don't get this mama started) wellness check-up. She is growing good! She weighed in at 24 lbs and 4 oz. and she is 31 1/2 inches tall. She is the 50% for everything. She now have 11 very sharp teeth, and is getting her mama's curly hair!

There isn't a day that goes by that this little squirt doesn't makes me laugh or smile. And I wonder how many kisses a day she gets from her mama too.
Hatley's Wordage: MOM (she yells it!), Dada, Papa, Nana, bye bye, Hi, Tank oooo (thank you), please, whatcha doin?, uh ohhh, teas (Cheese), one, two, twee (three), and Go! Her vocab is surprising us each and every day!
Hatley Elizabeth, your mama and daddy Love you Oh So MUCH and we hope you know that! You have brought so much joy and giggles into our life and we are sooooo blessed to be your parents! I am sooooo thankful for you Roo!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

30 Days of Grateful...

Grateful: warmly or deeply appreciative of kindness or benefits received; thankful.

It is November 1st. And there are 30 day's in November. The Thanksgiving Holiday falls in November. At Thanksgiving we are thankful, but I think we are more thankful for all the deliciousness in front of us.... So I am here to change that this month....

30 Day's of Grateful....

Day 1:

I am thankful for my hardworking, Christ centered, giving and generous, huggable/kissable, hysterical, handsome, determined, positive, and loving husband.

Mark is so many things. Hatley and I haven't seen Mark much lately as he has been working overtime, with the church, Young Life, building dog houses, sheds, fencing, etc... he is busy (for instance, as I write this, it is 11:20pm and he is currently in Spokane delivering dog houses). Even though 90% of the time I hate the fact that he is never home or always has something on his calendar, or that I just can't have 10 minutes all by myself because a little squirt is at my feet, I stop and remember he isn't with us, because he is working for us. He is taking care of us, and as much as we want him home, I know he wants to be home. So today, I am thankful for my handsome husband. And so excited that we get to spend 8 straight days with him in Texas starting Thursday! We love you Mark, more then you will ever know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Back to Our Roots, Kentucky!

In August, My dad was asked by his very first church to come back and be a special guest. I guess each and every year they do a "Homecoming" where they ask all previous members to come back for a reunion... which I think is pretty cool. My dad was super excited about this opportunity and and as an amazing birthday present he asked me and Hatley to come along. I had not been to Kentucky since I was 3 or 4, so really didn't remember much of where my dad grew up or lived in his 20's and 30's. So Hatley and I excitidly went along for the 5 day whirlwind trip back to our families roots. It was also very special because my sister, Julie, who lives in Texas was able to make the trip too, so she met us in Kentucky. It was Dad and his girls, and Julie's first time meeting her neice Hatley-Roo. We got to Louisville on Thursday and didn't need to be to Brandenburg until that Saturday so we had a day or two to explore Louisville and Brandenburg before the churches festivities began...
Our first stop was The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where my dad received his Master's in Divinity back in 1964 (I believe that is the correct year.)
Dad in the Chapel where we met 3-4 times a week, and even heard Martin Luther speak here.
This whole trip was pretty exciting for me. I LOVE history, so to go back, walk in my dad's shoes and see him so excited! I was in heaven!
While in Louisville we were even able to find my dad's old house, and my big brother Tom's first house that they lived in while dad was going to seminary.
In Brandenburg, KY. Standing in Kentucky, Ohio River in the Middle, Indiana on the other side of the river.
Dad and his girls!
Dad in 1965. He had preformed a wedding that day.
My dad looks amazingly young for his age! I hope I get that gene... But these gals were all part of the church when Dad was the pastor there... Salem Baptist Church.
Joyce and Doodle... This was the couple dad married back in 1965!
The Oliver Gals with Pastor Garry Oliver.
Salem Baptist in the background. They have since moved into a new church building across the street, but use this church for big church potlucks, etc. It is essentially their fellowship hall. I was super thankful that they still use it and we were able to go in and see where my dad preached his first sermon as a brand new pastor!
On the Road... the Tobacco Fields.
Back in Lexington, we were able to find the house where Dad, Tom and Julie and their mom Jerry lived when dad was preaching in Louisville after leaving Brandenburg. The tree in the front yard they had planted....
Hatley having a blast in our Hotel room!
Dad mainly grew up in Southgate and Newport Kentucky. When he was in high school they moved to Florence, Ohio, which was just right across the river. This was the grocery store my dad had his first job in. He was a delivery boy... Boy would I love to have my groceries delivered =)
The Barber Shop where Grandpa Ray and little boy Garry used to get their hair cut!
Dad's childhood street. Holds soooooo many memories. The last time I was here I was 3 or 4, and Andy, my little brother, was Hatley's Age. Where Dad is standing in the picture above , is where he remembers exactly standing when everyone in the neighborhood came running out of their houses screaming the War is over, World War Two was over! What an amazing memory to have as a young child.
Dad's Childhood home. See the window on the left hand side of the house, that is the room where dad was born in 1938. And the grate below the deck, just below the window, that is where he used to throw all the coal, bucket, by bucket when the coal truck showed up. I would LOVE to go back in time for a day, to see dad at this age!
The garage and all the stairs my Grandpa Ray built when they bought the house brand new! The house was for sale when we were there. I wish I had enough $$ to buy it as a vacation home =)
Fun to see Hatley play exactly where her Grandpa played 60+ years ago...
Dad is finally home! The tree behind him, he planted as a little boy!
So happy to have had this opportunity with you Dad!

Dads childhood street. When Dad was little he had a pet duck, daisy, who could not fly... she met him everyday after school at the fire hydrant and walked home with him =)
The church in Newport where dad was baptized as a baby.
Dad's elementary school in Southgate. It was built the year he was born, and the same building is still in use. When we were there they were adding onto the building... but it was amazing to see the playground and school where my dad ran as an elementary kid.

White Castle burger for lunch, with Big Red Soda. ONE of my dad's favorite childhood drinks! We drank A LOT of Big Red on this trip!
One of the most interesting things to me this whole trip, and some of you may find it morbid, but it is so amazing to me, was we were able to go and find many grave stones pertaining to our family. Here is Southgate we found my grandma Velma's mother ( Callie Ann Brown), and grandmother (Matilda Vineyard).
Here is dad saying hello to his grandparents, and Hatley in a weird way meeting her great, great grandparents (Andrew & Callie Brown), and great,great, great grandmother (Matilda).

Thanks to my sister's Iphone we were able to look up information on them. Matilda Eveline Vineyard... My Dad's Great Grandmother.
In Newport, KY looking across the river to Cincinnati Ohio.
Buskin's bakery in Florence, Ohio. Dad remember's coming here and getting treats with grandma. Julie my sister was even brought her as a little girl with grandma Velma... Now Hatley was here with her Papa Garry!
SHE LOVED THEIR COOKIES! Grandma Velma was good friends with the owners of buskins and while we were there we were looking through a history book they had and found a picture of Grandma standing at the counter ordering some goodies! It was pretty special to see!
Dad's home in highschool, and the house grandma and grandpa lived in until they passed away. This is where I stayed as a little girl. It had just been purchased by new owners while we were there and we were able to walk around the outside of the house and peak in windows... it was pretty amazing to see things that my grandpa had done to the house and were still there.
Dad planted this tree when he was in highschool =)

Dad was super excited to hit up Dixie Chili while we were in Newport, KY. It was his favorite childhood restaurant. And i must say it was pretty good. So glad we we able to go there and eat some Cincinnati Chili and drink some Big Red!

Our last stop, before heading to the airport was Blanchester, Ohio, where my grandpa Ray was born, and his dad and his dad. We were able to go to the cemetary where all my dad's side of the family is buried AND right across the street was the home (which is now pharmacy, but still looks almost the same) where my grandpa Ray was born, his Dad Henry was born, and his dad. My grandpa's father Henry, passed away when my grandpa was just 2 years old.


a random but beautiful building in Blanchester.
The Oliver home, which is now a pharmacy.

Grandpa Ray.

THANK YOU Dad and Mom for giving Hatley and I the chance to go along and see some true and rich Oliver history. Thanks Julie for being able to come along and join us! This is a trip I will never ever forget, I hope one day I can go back again and show it to Hatley when she is old enough to remember it. Maybe Papa Garry you can come along again and teach Hatley yourself!