Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our SWEET BOY is 2

While Benny started the day sick, he quickly gained ground with the afternoon sun. As a testament to Benny's growth and progress, he can say "two" and make french toast with MaMa, using his new cooking utensils Geri got him. When Geri was telling Benny the ingredients she uses for his french toast, he promptly went into the kitchen and brought back her bottle of Vanilla.

Yesterday we went to the HS track, where Benny climbed his first "mountain" with me. It was a whopping 20' vertical, but he climbed it like a goat.

Thanks to everyone for the cards, calls, gifts and letters. Uncle Don/Aunt Marcia, I appreciate you keeping us in the loop with the nice letter. We'll stop by next time we're in town.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In almost 10 years of marriage, G and I have never had the luxury of living close to immediate family. Pre-Benny this was usually never a challenge. We simply booked a flight, or hopped in the car to make our visits. As Benny grows, it is evident that there's a certain blessing of being able to have family fairly close by.

This weekend we had Geri's sister and her family over. The girls love playing with Benny-and vice versa. It good to see both Darrel and my buddy "Wib" from Atlanta. When Wib flew in, I drove him to Festus (MO) to see his client. The bonus is that a client of mine was next door to his appointment. Realizing this, I popped in to touch base with Paul and hear some info about a recent mission trip he took to West Africa with his business partners. My goal is to really know the builders I serve. Times like this to share are priceless.

Here's some pics from the weekend.

By the way, Jenna...Jimmy was right. Nerd alert! You need help! Find some other books.

Friday, March 16, 2007

This kid has to be related to Ed T.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I know it's not your birthday yet...but

Not long ago Dad gave me a large stack of newspapers to check out. I started perusing on Monday and found some great articles about family and friends. Some were amazingly fresh in my mind-even though they were published in the early 80's.

One article that caught my eye dealt with the birth of my cousin, Nancy Anne. Her brothers and sister reacting to the news of their new baby sister is especially funny. I'll send you the original, Nancy.

Thanks Dad for saving these gems. It reminds me of Grandma saving her Readers Digest magazines for us to look at.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

LL Cool B (Ladies Love Cool Benny)

Somewhere along the line it was evident that Benny's Dad was no ladies man. Benny's Mama would agree. It all came crashing down when my lifelong friend, Lesa, told Geri (when we were dating) that I was a big dork growing up. Hopefully that was a compliment?! Anyways, the apple seems to have fallen far from the tree. Here are some cute girls from New Hampshire and St Louis that took a liking to Benny.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

We had a nice working vacation south of the border at a resort called Grand Velas. The fact that it is touted as a 5-star place made me somewhat nervous. My perception of going to a "5-star" is that they make you eat hoity-toity food at certain times of the day (ie: River Cloud cruise down the Danube). My fears were relieved once I realized they served chips/fresh salsa 24/7. Give me a burger with chips/salsa and I'm in heaven. My stubborness to try new or fancy foods usually drives Geri nuts!

The resort was beautifully situated outside of Puerto Vallarto, and we ended up making some good friends along the way-complete with an invitation to take a behind-the-scenes tour of West Point in the future. If you want to hear a funny story, ask me about the gringo that decided to go to a Mexican bull fight.

Here are a few pictures we took along the way. As usual Benny caught the attention of staff and girls alike. He really worked the crowd for the week.

While vacations are nice...It's great to be back in the good ol' USA.

Friday, March 02, 2007


I was fortunate to grow up in a great neighborhood, with a few kids living on the same very steep street. While we had a good sized yard that offered plenty of playing area and trees to climb, the big draw was the huge field behind our back fence. On the back side of the field we had "the woods". At least this is what my buddy, David and I called it. David also grew up on the same street.

One constant in growing up where we did was our love for The Woods. David and I were usually toting our fake WWII guns, building forts and digging foxholes in these woods. Like faithful
boy-soldiers, our mission was to meet after school and report to duty either in the woods, or under the big tree overlooking (what is now) the McDonalds parking lot. We definitely had fun..we'll except the time we built a foxhole and decided to test it's worthiness. David crawled in and I heaved a big rock which promptly landed on his head. With blood gushing down his face, he cried and went home (wimp :). I doubt his mom was pleased with results of my creative grenade and lack of common sense at the time. My thought quickly raced from "is David OK?" to "I hope she doesn't kill me!". Nonetheless, we were kids that needed to be let loose in the outdoors to shed massive amounts of imagination and energy.

Invariably the long afternoons had to come to an end. Usually around 5:15pm, our fun would be broken up with the long and trailing "Daaaavid". No matter where in The Woods you were, it was unmistakable. Like sheep knowing their masters call-this was David's Dad saying it was time to come in for supper. It was our signal that the fun was ending. You didn't want to be around if he had to yell too many times. That's when the phone at my house would start ringing.

I'm writing this because this is a good memory. There were quite a few fond memories with David around! For example: "The Annual Cope-Sharp Camping Trip" on the banks of the Elk River. This "annual" event occurred only once, and he probably called it the Annual Sharp-Cope Camping Trip.

Other memories include us shoveling snow for cash when school was closed, mowing lawns for cash, making ramps and jumping them on our bikes, seeing his sister Linda give haircuts to the cool highschoolers on their patio above the garage, and having a "Daytona 500" with our bikes at the old strip mall just below David's house. This was fun until the old lady who owned the fabric store complained that our going around in circles kicked too much dust in her back parking lot...which landed on her fabrics.

No matter the activity, we could always count on hearing David's name being bellowed off their back porch around dinner time. Returning from out of the country last night, I learned that his Dad passed away. Dan spent his career in the National Guard, but was a gentle man. A gentle man with a bellowing voice. Dan lived a good life and his Father finally called his name to come home.

To learn more about the man behind the voice, click on over to: