28 July 2010

Casey at work

We really appreciate all that Chris' brother, Casey, is doing to defend and protect our country by serving in the Navy, even though he's on the other side of the world. We love hearing his stories and receiving his pictures. Lately his aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. George Washington, was sent to South Korea to improve relations with them ... and probably to scare North Korea a little! While it's difficult that he's so far away in a hostile territory, we feel better knowing that he's safe on the carrier. As Chris' dad says, no one is stupid enough to swim out to the ocean and attack that huge city-on-water! Today Casey sent us this video of his ship featured on Fox News. See those brave men in the red flack jackets on the flight deck? That's what Casey does. We're not sure if he is in any of this video, but at least we can see some of what goes on up there.

25 July 2010

Fun at the fair

We visited our county fair on Tuesday night with two things in mind: eat some good food and register Avery for the fair's annual baby contest. After submitting her registration form, we started out with dinner in the cattle farmers' tent then moved on to the popular FFA homemade ice cream. Here are Avery's first tastes of the yummy, delicious treat.
She definitely liked it!
Next we moved on to the animal barns. Avery liked looking at all of the animals, although I'm sure she didn't know what was going on.
We came up to a group of baby goats and the goats' owner kindly offered to hold one up to Avery so she could pet it.
She did fine for a short time. The goat was very gentle and sweet and probably would have licked Avery if she had let him! Instead he was very patient and kind to her. But once she had enough, she was done. The goat's owner apologized for upsetting her, but we explained that she's like that with a lot of animals!
As we were walking around the fairgrounds, we heard over the loudspeaker that a tornado was sighted less than 7 miles from the fairgrounds. Then it started to rain. So we decided to run back to the car and head home. Avery didn't have any idea what was going on and actually liked see and feeling the rain. We safely made it home without seeing any tornados. It didn't even look like the rain reached our house about 12 miles from the fairgrounds. And thank goodness there wasn't any damage or injuries because of the tornado. We returned to the fairgrounds yesterday for the baby contest.
We weren't really sure what to expect. It was bloody hot and crowded in that arena. It turned out that there were more than 170 contestants in five categories, more than 50 in Avery's age group alone. Daddy decided to go on stage with Avery. That way if he knew any of the judges, she would get some extra points.
They took the contestants on stage in groups of ten. Each contestant had a short time to be in the spotlight at the front on the stage and show off for the judges.
A few of the princesses from the queen's court were at the front of the stage to play with the contestants and distract them a little. So can you guess what Avery did? She waved, blew kisses and, of course, fist bumped the princesses.
After seeing all of the contestants in Avery's category, the judges selected first, second and third place winners. The first place winner in each category was eligible for the grand champion. Unfortunately, Avery didn't place in her age group. We were a little disappointed with the way the contest was organized. Chris thought it would have been better to choose one person from each group of ten, then choose the top three from that smaller group. Plus, two of the three winners were dressed in costumes. We were expecting the judges to grade based on personality, not appearance. But we still had a good time! Here is Avery's participant ribbon. I guess that's better than nothing, right! And here's the video, courtesy of Aunt Karen:

Tell me, how could the judges not think Avery is the cutest baby in Johnson County? :o)

13 July 2010

Help us dress our little doll

This year we're going to enter Avery in the Baby Contest at the Johnson County Fair.
She wasn't old enough last year when she could simply stay in our arms and smile and coo at the judges. This year, she probably will run around, constantly shout out "Dada" and then sit down to take off her shoes and pick her toes. But we still think she's cute enough to compete against the county's most adorable babies.
By the way, Daddy competed in this contest when he was a toddler and took home second place. We hope Avery will do one better. :o)
The contest isn't anything more than parading around the stage for a few seconds with Mommy or Daddy. But Avery needs to look her best. So we're asking our blog readers to help us choose her outfit for the contest. You have three options:
Outfit 1
Outfit 2
Outfit 3
Choose your favorite outfit and vote in the poll by July 23!

03 July 2010

01 July 2010

Learning about the past

Each summer, my mom, sister, aunt, cousin, (step)grandma and I pay our respects to several family members buried in the same cemetery in beautiful Napoleon, Ind. This year was Avery's first visit and the first for Lori Anne's two-month-old son, Joel. This picture was totally unprompted. If only she knew what she was doing! This is the headstone for my Grandpa and Grandma Rork. I wish Avery could have met these two wonderful, special people. They would have spoiled and loved on her so much!
This is my grandpa's military marker.
Here are my Grandma Rork's parents. I always thought my name was derived from Tressa, but my mom told me that wasn't the case!
And finally here are my Grandpa Rork's parents.
After the one-plus-hour drive, Avery was ready to run around and explore the area.
Following our visit to the cemetery, we always drive through Osgood, Ind., to visit some key family locations.
This is the house where my grandparents and my mom lived until she entered elementary school. That's when the family moved to Indianapolis. My grandparents built this house themselves just after my mom was born.

My Grandpa Rork's parents lived across the street from their house. Both of the houses are in excellent condition. We're glad these families are taking care of these special homes.

One more story...when he was young, my Grandpa Rork got a job at a local gas station. The owner of the station was my Grandma Rork's brother. She started hanging out at the gas station since her brother owned it, and that's where my grandparents first met. Couples don't meet like that any more, do they!