Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Zachary's Graduation and Party - May, 2015

It feels kind of strange for half of our children to be out of school, but as of Sunday afternoon, that has happened!  Our second oldest child, oldest son graduated as one of eight Valedictorians for his class of 19.

This class has been competitive from the beginning.  They loved trying to get the highest grade and do the very best in anything they did.  But they got along well, too.  They were and are a super-talented group in many areas - academics, sports, public speaking, art, and just in gifts and abilities.  
Zachary and the other Valedictorians gave a speech about one or two minutes long. They used the word SUCCESS, each taking one letter to come up with a word to be the theme of their speech.  The first person told about the word success.
Zachary was awarded his diploma by his dad because Joe had previously been on the School Board.  That was pretty neat!
Photo: The parents and the grad.
Photo: The graduate and his family.
Photo: The graduate with his mom's side of the family.
The graduates throwing their hats!  I really like this picture!
Photo: Zachary's Trinity Knotted Tie! He YouTube'd to figured it out!
Photo: The eight Valedictorians.
We had a graduation party the day before his graduation. About 40 people attended the party. It was a lot of fun!
We are so proud of this young man! He has truly been a joy to raise. We say he was born a little man. He really was.  And being almost 19, it's like we have been raising a young adult for several years. He certainly didn't need much parenting.  He sometimes "parents" me! Ha ha!
Photo: Grad with Grandma and Grandpa
I couldn't have made it in time for the graduation party, or any of the events during the few days before, without my mom!  My husband and family always help, but without her help, there would have been a lot of undone things and a lot of dirty things! Dad helped run errands, too! Thanks to both of them!
Photo: Grad with Grammy
We're proud of you, Zachary!  Congratulations on your graduation! We look forward to seeing where God leads you in the future!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Oklahoma 2A State Golf Tournament 2015

(THS Golf Team)
For the second year in a row, the THS Golf Team competed in the State Tournament.  After placing 9th out of 12 last year, the Tigers were looking forward to moving up in the tournament.  After "Day 1", where they were disappointed in their performance, they were ranked 8th.
(Our family, minus the oldest.)
"Day 2" was much, much better!  The boys played great! The weather was warmer, which made it even better!  The THS Tigers ended the day tied at 6th....shy of their goal of "Top 5", but still pleased.  
"Day 1" the boys played 36 holes.  They walked an estimated 10-13 miles!  They ate late, then went to bed, just to get up early the next morning and play another 18 holes.
My two boys had some great memories.  One of them I saw. The other I didn't.  My husband and I take turns watching the two boys, who are #1 and #4 bag, which means that there are two teammates between them. Unfortunately I can't watch both at the same time!
I was watching #4 and he had a chip shot where he couldn't even see the hole.  It went up over a small hill, rolled, then seemed to stop, then began rolling again and went in! I screamed! He yelled! Everyone - even the opponents, their parents, their grandparents - were so excited!  It's fun to see no matter who does it!  And then a little bit later, #1 did it...on the SAME hole, but from the other side!  The difference was that he actually could see the hole.  Those shots will be etched in our memory forever because they are rare!  

On "Day 1" as I drove the cart towards the last hole of the day, I began crying. It was sad thinking that it was #1, our Senior's last high school golf tournament.  I didn't want to think about it. My husband was sad, too.  But yesterday, as we went through it, we weren't sad.  We were just thankful to have been there and thankful to have watched him play for all of these years.  He helped the golf program at our school become what it is.  Without his interest, his younger brothers wouldn't be interested.  Without him wanting to have a team, we might not have had one.  So, yes...we're sad it's over.  But we are especially thankful that it happened.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


(So sorry for my lack of blogging lately. (No one may care, but I care! Ha! It's a time problem, but more importantly, a computer problem.  My computer is FULL.  I can't save any files, and I've had a hard time storing them on the external drive.  I think it's almost finished storing....after 9 days!  So, I still may not have the time to blog, but at least when I do, I can! It's been really frustrating!)

We're excited in Tipton!  In the past week, our sports programs have had great success, yet again!  My boys played in the Regional Tournament for golf on Monday...the last one they'll ever play together.  They were 4th out of 12 teams and that qualifies them to go to STATE!
This is the second year in a row that these boys have gotten the opportunity to play at the State Tournament.  Last year they were just excited to get there. This year they hope to be in the top five at the end of the tournament.  The top three would be great!  The champions?  Well...that's probably out of reach, but you never know!  They compete next Monday and Tuesday.  We're ready for it to be here now!

Although neither of my high school boys play baseball, we're extremely excited that the high school baseball team made it to State for the first time in history of our school.  (Actually there is evidence that a team MAY have gone in the 50's...It's being checked out.)  But, wow!  To go to State and win the Championship in football....go to State in baseball and golf, not to mention in power lifting and's been a great year for the Tipton Tigers!

This Senior class is extremely talented.  We've known since they were little bitty that this would be a great ride in their sports careers and it has been.  Although we're excited about the groups coming up, as well, there will most likely never be another group like this who has such a high level of natural athletic ability.  Two of the Seniors have been on all four of the ball sports State teams.  One of them got hurt in football, so had surgery and hasn't been able to play the others. The other one plays everything, and plays them well.  He's going on to play football in college.

The article above was written about this group of athletes.  It's a great write up about them.  Of course, as parents, it's been fun.  As fans it's been fun.  As a school and community it has been fun.

What a great year!  There's not much these Tipton boys can't do, for sure, when it comes to athletics!  We've been blessed. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Celebrating at WDW!

So, we just got home yesterday afternoon from a trip to Walt Disney World.  It was a very different kind of trip for us.  We've never been gone away from our children that long!  It was nice, but kind of weird, too.  
We weren't away from all of our children, though.  We met up with the oldest! She's working at WDW this semester on the College Program, so not only did we get to see her, but she also got us into the parks for FREE! Can't beat that!!
We also got a discount on our room.  This is outside on our balcony at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's beautiful there! Who wouldn't want to see giraffes outside their door every day?!  I wanted to bring one home!
Lauren considered this our birthday celebration and Disney is HUGE on helping you celebrate! We received birthday buttons when we arrived and restaurants treated us royally when they knew we were celebrating!  On of our sons said it was a 2nd honeymoon, which topped our first one to Amarillo, Texas, by quite a bit! :)  Vier means celebrate in Swahili!
We went to Animal Kingdom on arrival day, then went to Magic Kingdom the next day.  Breakfast at the Beast's Castle in the "Be Our Guest" restaurant was great! The food was fancy-ish and we didn't like all of it, but it was good.  It wasn't our taste, but we know that many, many would like it.  We would order something a little different if we were to go again.  But the castle was beautiful!
One of our daughter's roommates was working at the Christmas store that day, so we went by to visit her.  What a fun job to say "Merry Christmas" every day! :)
That night we ate at "Whispering Canyon" at the Fort Wilderness Lodge.  It was great and lots of fun!!  This huge mason jar was the biggest water glass my husband has ever had. He was sooooooo happy!!
The "skillet" was great, too!  Served family style and in a never-ending fashion, this meal really fills you up!
They had a few fun photo props to take pictures.  I really liked this jail!
If you need ketchup at this restaurant, you don't just ask for it, you YELL it!  'WE NEED KETCHUP!"  And then the table with the ketchup takes it to that table!  There were 15 bottles on a table at some times! It was definitely a play on words for this place to be called "whispering".  There's NO whispering! Ha ha!!  Such fun!
You can't beat seeing "Wishes" at Magic Kingdom.  Our daughter told us the story behind the song the little girl sings at the beginning and end of the fireworks show. She had cancer and her wish was to be a part of MK in some way. It's her song that plays and may be her even singing it.  She passed away, but she did get her wish.  What a beautiful song and story!
The most beautiful part of the trip was seeing the annual International Flower and Garden Festival going on at EPCOT.  It was truly amazing!
God made beautiful flowers and man finds a great way to share them all with us!  Especially at EPCOT!
We ate at "Canada" on EPCOT day.  It was a delicious steak!  And great desserts!
Our daughter works in the American Adventure as part of the staff at the Liberty Inn.  What great memories she will have!
In Germany I found the best dessert ever - a caramel bar! It's in the Werther's store, but it's not Werther's caramel (or if it is, it doesn't say it).  It was so good, I got it two days in a row!

They couldn't leave Elsa and Anna out of the flower festival!  Elsa can't freeze the flowers now!
I had always wanted to go to this festival. It was beautiful, but also educational.  We learned so many things about plants and how to plant them that we didn't know!  But mostly, we got to enjoy the unique way Disney does things!
Another treat was this violet lemonade made with real violets! I talked our daughter into eating the flower.  She wasn't impressed, but it was just strange, too!  But, the lemonade was delicious!

We ended the day with Illuminations.

The last night we ate at Cape May in the Beach Club Resort. It was a lot more seafood than we like, but the food was delicious! They gave us a special birthday cupcake, as well.
The sandcastle they have displayed is so neat! We sat right by it!

That day we were at Hollywood Studios. We took the time to go to drawing class. Can you tell what we drew?  I thought we all did pretty well!
My husband and I sat in the old car replica for a quick photo. It was fun getting lots of pictures of just us together! We never do that!
We ended the evening with "Fantastic"...a wonderful ending to a great trip!
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great place to visit!  It is expensive, so it was especially good to get a great discount on the stay.  In fact, that's the ONLY way we will be staying there!
But the perks of staying on Disney property is really worth a little extra money.
Our trip home started early.  We had to leave the resort at 3:30 a.m. (Florida time) and arrived in Dallas at 8:05 (Texas time).  After stopping for Bible class, worship, and lunch at Babe's Chicken, we arrived home at 4:00 p.m.  The boys were glad to see us, and we were glad to see them!
It was a very special trip and we had a great time celebrating many things: Our birthdays (a month apart, but celebrating in-between the two), our anniversary (early for 27th, but a late 25th), and our daughter being a Disney CastMember (CP).  Another of our daughter's roommates gave us a special welcome packet for celebrating our birthdays and anniversary when we visited her at the Boardwalk Resort.  

And now we're celebrating being home! :)
(I'm adding this photo after posting this, so it's just tagged on to the end. This carriage is from the movie "Cinderella". It's the real carriage that was in the movie! So cool!!)
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