It is well…with my soul…

Found Sketch hanging out in Mack’s room this morning

The first Elms Boulevard fountain freeze of the season!

Our friend Darryl Couts led Children’s Time at church this morning. Can you find Mackenzie in this pic?

This is my friend and pastor Laura Blevins. Each week she inspires us to be better, reminds us of God’s unconditional love, and motivates us to get involved in our community.

This morning she welcomed us all to come and revisit our baptisms. It was a moment I want to remember, walking down with S. Jason to pray.

Today our church was celebrating 25 years being in our new church building

Pastor Laura just had a little pumpkin, Noah, and it was nice to see them both this morning!

The bell choir practice is underway! Our church always has something musically special being planned!

The preschool is having fun with Fall!

We went and got some pumpkins of our own.

Kitty was enjoying laying in the warmth of the sun light coming through the window

Braces

Love these kiddos

Mackenzie found an old picture she drew when she was 7 years old.

And so she updated it! (The book she is using is one she made out of old cereal boxes given to her by Gail Brown)

Thanks for following along!

The Annual Old Settler’s Picnic in Sheldon, Missouri

Each year our family, the Cole’s, all make the trek to Sheldon, Missouri to celebrate the annual Old Settler’s Picnic that takes place each year at the beginning of August. This is the type of fair where you have lots of games and competitions that are worked into the schedule throughout the weekend. It also has entertainment, a carnival, a tractor pull competition, a car show, fireworks, judging of vegetables, arts and crafts, and melons, and a parade! Every year we are filled with new memories from fun at the picnic.

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Urban Farming 

My husband has a variety of different plants and flowers around the house. A few years ago he built raised beds for the backyard and for the past couple of years he’s grown tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, carrots, pumpkins, and various herbs. He also has gooseberries, raspberries, and blackberries planted. Tonight we harvested some of the blackberries from the trellis in the front yard. 


The vines aren’t producing as much as they have in the past for some reason. New chutes have sprouted, though, so hopefully future years will be more bountiful! 


Mackenzie likes to get in on the gathering action! 


Berry picker 


Blackberry vine 


I spent most of the day cleaning the house, trying to catch up from a busy week that gave me no time for my chores. This evening we ran to Liberty to go to the bank and hit up Planet Sub for dinner! 


The Crepe Myrtle is in full bloom on the front porch! 


Jason made a new Spider-Man sticker for himself and put it on his phone. 


Enjoyed this morning’s meeting with the Excelsior Springs Business Women. Our discussion stemmed around an article pointing out that in interviews, the focus for men is the return on investment that can be offered to the company, while for women being interviewed, the questions focus on the perceived risk she will be to the company. 

While women account for 40 percent of founders of US companies, they only get 2 percent of the nation’s venture capital investments. 
Our organization is working to give support to women in business and helping them to emphasize the growth potential they can bring a company with confidence.

My morning quote – 

You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.

Monday, Monday

Busy day! Lots of meetings today. First meeting was bright and early this morning in neighboring city of Liberty. Had an old friend contact me about a children’s services fund that is on the ballot this August in Clay County. It would establish a fund that would be accessible to communities in the county to support efforts for bettering children’s health. 


After this I dropped by the church to pick up Mackenzie and take her to her first day of drama camp. She was at the church because Jason was installing new projectors with our friend Charles today! Here’s a picture Mackenzie took of Charles up high on the ladder! 


This afternoon I had a meeting at the Good Samaritan Center. There are a lot of great projects we are working on at the Center. Today we discussed a way to establish a GED program there so clients would have access to getting their degree. Currently Excelsior Springs has no public site for individuals seeking this opportunity. 


After my meeting at the Center I headed to Lewis Elementary for a booster club meeting. We are still working on planning out our year and are looking forward to offering lots of great things for the students and staff this year! 


Tonight was also the school board meeting. I go every month to give them an update from the educational foundation. I enjoy the meetings. Also, hearing about what’s going on helps me understand better how I might be able to help overall. 


Now I’m home enjoying my family time. 


Jason’s self portrait for this evening! 

First Harvest

This evening was the first harvest for our little urban garden that we have growing around our house. The front porch is covered in blackberry vines, making it a favorite for all who see them, but especially get to enjoy them. We have caught an older lady stealing some recently! Jason said, “Some people have to get nets to keep out deer! Not me, I need nets to keep out old ladies!”



Jason also has a bountiful harvest of gooseberries that he grew in buckets in the backyard! We stemmed and froze them to make a gooseberry pie. (Jason’s favorite!)

Stemming gooseberries is what my husband calls "true love". 🍇

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Jason transplanted the plants he got earlier this week at the plant sale into the raised beds in the backyard. Mackenzie and the cat then came out to help while I documented everything.



Now it’s time for our weekly Sunday snack platter dinner and popcorn!

Our First County 4-H Fair

About two years ago now I was appointed by the City of Excelsior Springs to serve on the MU Extension Council for Clay County, Missouri. I was unaware of all the benefits the extension offices around the state have to offer the counties they represent and was excited to establish those programs into our community.

Just one of their many programs is 4-H, an organization that has been providing youth with hands-on education in their field of interest since it began more than 100 years ago. Last count membership was over 6 million nationwide. Seeing that Excelsior Springs on the Clay County side didn’t have a chapter, I worked to organize one.

Now our group has over 30 parents and students participating in our monthly meetings that are held at the Good Samaritan Center’s Great Hall every second Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm.

4-H is youth led, with the chapter choosing their youth leaders as a group and then using Roberts Rules of Order to run their meetings. They all choose a topic they wish to study, with hundreds to choose from. Project leaders, parents and other adults in the community, use curriculum that is provided or their own knowledge of the subject, to help guide groups through the learning process. Each youth member then has the opportunity to work on a project that they enter to be judged annually at the county fair. If they receive a purple ribbon, they are then accepted on to a state fair.

Mackenzie’s first fair!

The Excelsior Springs 4-H Group 🍀

Mackenzie going in to be judged!

Members only for judging!

An Excelsior Springs auction basket was submitted thanks to Club Member Alisha Jack.

We were real proud of Mackenzie. She got a blue ribbon for her Cat Care project!

The Way It Was…First Solo

When my Grandpa Joe was the publisher of the Excelsior Springs Standard and Town & Country Leader, he used to submit a series of writings titled “The Way It Was…” just about each week in the paper. He would tell old stories that our family has come to love over the years. I always enjoyed it because not only did I learn more about things that happened, but I learned more about my grandfather, who was a friend to everyone. Here’s one of my favorites, “First Solo”:  

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The Way It Was…
“First Solo”
Joe Morgan
As Spun by the Old Publisher

There’s just something about an unnatural thing like flying an airplane by your self for the first time that brings out a crowd. My dad drove down to Warrensburg for the occasion, my girlfriend, Patty (later my dear Missus) was there as well as other assorted friends. It gave me a rather uneasy feeling somewhat like a Christian at his first lion gathering. However, everything went reasonably well. I got back in one piece. My dad presented me with my first real wristwatch and the real prize was a big hug from Patty.

The more eventful “first” solo was my maiden Naval flight while stationed at the Olathe primary base. They had several breeds of training planes there, all painted a bright yellow and appropriately dubbed yellow perils. For my big event I drew an ancient NP-1. It was told that one could cut the throttle at 500 feet directly over a circle and land right in the middle of it. To make up for this critical lack of ability to glide, they had large loops on the wings, somewhat like a W.W.I. Jennie. This did help keep yellow paint off of the runway, of course.

I had brashly told my dad, Tom, that I would fly down to Excelsior on this first trip and sneaked him a call shortly before takeoff to announce my E.T.A. for this historic flight.

My troubles began when I couldn’t fly straight down Highway 69. I’d burned that road up in the old cleaning truck so much that I probably could have made it blindfolded. But Fairfax was still a Naval base too and it was very verboten for cadet types to pollute the sacred airways around there. I thought about sneaking south and then coming back to the river, but somehow an end run around by Kansas and back by Parkville seemed a better idea. Somehow things don’t look quite the same from above and I almost made it to Cameron before I got started back in the right direction.

If you’ve ever flown over Excelsior in a small plan you’re sure to remember that the valley creates lots of convection currents and makes for pretty bumpy riding. This combined with my inexperience, not to mention my streak that matched the plane, made my two passes over the old hometown rather traumatic.

It was all worthwhile…and patriotic too! I finally spotted my dad behind the cleaning shop mightily waving his giant American flag. Normally reserved for Armistice Day and the Fourth, it was now being unfurled for a fledgling son.

WayItWas_FirstSolotoon

With a trembling, but jaunty, salute…I headed back to the barn. I was already five minutes late and it was no time for any more “short” cuts. I firewalled it right on down 69, over Fairfax and back to Olathe as fast as my archaic machine would take me.

All of the other sheep were long in the fold as lonesome me came in for my approach. At the end of the runway was the “Blue Goose” (a C-54 that took all of the instructors into K.C. for their nightly opportunity to forget cadets). I knew that I was in for real trouble if I held them back from their revelry. In panic I kept hitting the throttle until finally I was clean past the main runway and was actually landing on the parking apron. The area was still under construction and suddenly looming ahead of me was a double row of workers’ cars. At the last moment with a might braking…and a loud ping as the prop grazed the cement, I stopped just short of disaster. I had homed in on a spot with a single row of cars so that I actually had cars parked on both sides of me.

As I started my prayer of thanksgiving it was quickly drowned out by the roar of the Blue Goose overhead as it was finally able to take off.

In a state of stupor, I could only sit there until the lineman came out and pulled me backward until I could taxi in on my own for almost certain retribution. What happened? The duty officer was down drinking coffee and didn’t see my fiasco. The crew just shook their heads as they witnessed another dumb cadet miracle. Remember I never said I was good…just lucky.

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Good Golly, Aunt Molly!

My Aunt Molly has an art studio in Downtown Excelsior Springs that is truly one of a kind amazing! Not only does she sell her own art, but she also offers weekly classes for both children and adults, and has a full retail store with a lot of fun things, some of which I feature below!


This is her rooster Romeo who is the mascot for her studio!


Here’s Aunt Molly painting an angel!


​Lots of home decor! Gemstones, keychains, mobiles, sun catchers, metal art, jewelry, sage, cards and more!


Not only does she have a large assortment of well-made bags, but she also offers seasonal clothing and scarves!



Recently, Aunt Molly began carrying Dad’s photography work in studio! You can follow his pictures on Facebook and message him for the prints that you want, to pick up at Molly Roberts Studio! Click here for his profile page!


Always something fun happening in her store! Go by and visit her at 109 E. Broadway, where she is open 10-5, Wednesday-Saturday!

Also, join us for a Second Friday’s each month on the second Friday in our downtown. Shops will all be open! Aunt Molly will have a guest artist, Kevin Callahan, and have live music thanks to David Knopf. She will be serving tastings of Fence Stile Winery and Vineyards, as well! For more info, visit her Facebook event page by clicking here!

www.MollyRobertsStudio.com

Born on the 4th of July

When I was little, having my birthday on the 4th meant that my Grandpa Joe would be throwing a big party at his house up on Golf Hill. I loved having my birthday on the fourth, because that meant I got to go swimming, eat chips and salsa, and get a flag birthday cake (made by my Mom traditionally each year!).

At the party, I would run around talking to all of my grandpa’s friends that had come, thanking them for coming to my birthday. Most would laugh in a “isn’t she cute” type of way but some would give me money and pretend that this is the true reason they were there. It wasn’t uncommon for Grandpa to have a house full of people and a pool full of kids on this fun day! One year, he even had jazz legend Jay McShann, a close friend of his, play me Happy Birthday in his study upstairs.

My younger brother Joe could never understand why he also didn’t get fireworks on his birthday or why no one put the flags out to celebrate him. It was at this point that it had to be explained that they weren’t actually doing it for my birthday, but the nation’s birthday instead. Mom then started putting the flag out for Joe’s birthday, too. Which was nice.

Today I turn 35. When I told my daughter Mackenzie this she said, “You could run for president!” When I was growing up, this is what I would tell everyone who would ask me the famous question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I would always respond with, “The first woman president!” I thought my opportunity was up after watching Hillary Clinton run last year, but I suppose the world is still giving me that chance.

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Birthday 009

Me with my brother Joe on my birthday a few years back.

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