Wednesday, July 30, 2008

'Cause you asked

One of my friends in Las Vegas wanted some pictures of our new surroundings. I think these pictures of my drive to our rentals in a nearby city that I took today should show a lot of what we're falling in love with. . . .

Kentucky State Swim Meet

We haven't been here long but we have already been to the big Kentucky State Swim Meet. It was held in Elizabethtown, KY about an hour and 1/2 from us. The drive was green and beautiful and Kathryn did ok. We had great accomodations and close to the pool.

Christian and Michael were in the finals every night and had some good competition that pushed them to get some really good times for themselves. Christian came in 2nd in the state in the 200 Fly!

We were able to visit the Coca-Cola Museum on Saturday. There was quite a bit of interesting history linked to the years of Coca-Cola!

The boys were very patient with their little sister in tow. She had a pretty hard time during parts of the weekend but we worked through it all. At one point she was so tired and ready for her nap that she threw a huge tantrum because I wanted her to sit in her stroller while we walked back to the room for a nap. I gave up and she stood the whole way there. When we got to the hotel and I took a look at her, this is what I saw:

Can we say STUBORN!!

Anyway, we are proud of Christian and Michael and had a great time meeting new people and interacting with a very nice crowd!

Warm Fuzzies

Many years ago, I lived on Palomar Rd in San Marino, California. I have sooooo many wonderful memories of growing up there. So every time I have visited Lexington, I have seen this shopping center and just smiled.

I think Lexington has been calling me for some time now. There are Pasadena and California Streets and San Marino developement and the Palomar Center as well as the Palomar Hills developement.
Go figure!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We made it!

On Thursday, the kids and I made a new trip to Corbin, Kentucky! (I actually have been there once with Lauren to meet one of her friends halfway from her new home in Knoxville, TN). We had a beautiful drive over the Kentucky River and through the green hills and trees on I75. There are a lot of wildflowers blooming right now along the roads, too.

The reason for the trip was a Youth Conference for our church. The kids 14-18yrs old were off to white water raft just outside of Chattanooga, TN.

We got to the church building, finally, after a few wrong turns. The kids unloaded and checked in. As they were checking in, I was stopped by an old family friend of Mark's parents and had a nice conversation.

Everyone was very friendly and welcoming and excited for their trip and activities. Can't wait to see some more pictures! These pictures are just of our drop off trip.

Summer Daze

It's a fun tradition in our new neighborhood and community to go to the community pool and hang out. We went with our friends this week and had a really nice time. We all met some new people and were able to swim and relax-a nice break from the unpacking.

It has been beautiful and not too humid for us desert rats.

First Walk

Well, we're really working hard to get moved in and settled. This is going to take a while.

We are fortunate to have friends here already that have pulled us in and are helping to get us acclimated to the new area. After about a week of unpacking, Kathryn and I went on a walk with Jill and her little girl Carli. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work! I grabbed a couple pictures of us feeding the ducks along the way.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Moved and Working on Settling In

What an adventure we've had since July 5th! Mark and the 4 oldest kids drove across the country in 3 days. They missed seeing our Las Vegas friends/neighbors the Laytons in Independence, MO by just a few hours! That would have been fun.
They loved seeing the different landscapes and finding the lowest prices for gas they could along the way. Wildcat has forgiven us all for that crazy trip.
Kathryn and Mom/Sherrill flew out of Las Vegas and met Lauren and Mark at the Louisville airport only to eat and send Lauren back to Vegas for a swim meet in California. That's our swimmer.
Our Ivybridge home was waiting for us but I don't think it expected us to fill every nook and cranny! We are quite the big group. The unfinished basement in a favorite romping ground for the 3 huge teenage boys and new friends already. Kathryn tried to boss them around but she'll have to keep up.
Most boxes have been organized or emptied and rooms are in some semblance of order.
Still lots to do but we'll get there by the end of next week, I think!
We miss our wonderful Vegas friends and love our new friends here. We feel really blessed. We hope you all keep in touch with us! Just place comments here or email us with all of your doings, k?
Our doors are always open.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July!

First Real Owie!

21 Months old. I think we have fared very well if this is her first owie requiring a bandaid (other than vaccinations)! She took a little spill running out to the car for church so we quickly found Lauren's Hello Kitty Bandaids and a little Neosporin and all was well!

The look on her face while she's showing me is a classic!

Pulling Out

19 years after we got here. . . .

At 6am Mark and all of our teenagers and teenager adult, as Lauren says (4 drivers total) Pulled out of our driveway and headed to our new homebase in KY. Our wonderful neighbor, Remy was there to see everyone off with hugs and well wishes.

All went well and everyone is doing fine including the cat.

So many memories. Thanks Las Vegas!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Can a Person be so Lucky?

One of the things that makes our move to Lexington hard is the wonderful neighbors we have right around us. We couldn't have been more blessed. we were able to take a break from our busy schedules and come together for a BBQ a couple weeks ago. Our neighbors did this for our family as a good-bye guesture. I know we all appreciated the time we had to visit. The teenagers just went across the street to our house after we all ate and watched a movie. It was so fun for everyone. We'll miss you guys!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

We started off this great holiday by going to Jonathan's 5K run at Bunker Park. He ran with our neighbor, Jason. They had a great time. Jason took first in their age group and Jonathan took 2nd. Bunker Park is a very familiar stomping ground for our kids from when they were very little and had soccer practice. We spent more than one or two nights a week there for several years.

While we were waiting for Jonathan to come around to the finish, Mark and I noticed that Christian is now taller than Mark! They were pretty funny about it all.

Afterwards we went home and ate, showered, rested and packed. While Kathryn took her nap and Christian stayed at the house with her, the rest of us went to see Hancock with our same neighbors. We were very entertained. I like the kitchen scene, for anyone who has seen the movie.

After the movie, we headed home for BBQ time. Mark made is wonderful ribs and we enjoyed every bite. All of the kids got in the pool. Kathryn is in love with swimming. She was thrilled to be in the pool for over an hour and a half! She even beat our biggest fish, Christian, in staying in the longest! Even with that huge amount of swim time for a 21 month old, she still didn't want to get out and pitched a pretty decent fit about it.

Once the swimmers got dried and dressed, it was all about getting ready to load up the cars for tomorrow's cross country drive to our new home base in Lexington. As soon as that was all done we watched the Olympic Trials and waited for the sun to go down for our little fireworks show. Kathryn couldn't wait so she got to play with sparklers in the back while the sun was still up.

At about 8:30, we went into the front yard and had some 4th of July fun. Kathryn was a little amazed at the noise and lights. The big kids got a kick out of lighting everything, doing their strobe light dance, and watching Kathryn's reactions.

Mark said that Las Vegas is the 5th in the nation for the amount of illegal fireworks purchased. We sure could tell. It's midnight and we still see them in the air. I have to say that it sure is pretty to watch our skies here on New Year's Eve and on the 4th of July. If you can find a spot where you can see the valley, it's pretty amazing.

Anyway, everyone is in bed and most of us are off in the morning. It's been a really nice last day in Las Vegas for our Family.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Time to Hit the Road!

Well, 3rd driver in the house and glad it's in stone! We had to take little Kathryn with us so it wasn't stress free to start with. Jonathan scored a whoppin' 94 on his test! Way to go Jonathan! Now he gets to help Mom and drive his brother to the Chiropractor. Love it.
PS: if we had waited two more days he would have had to be 16 1/2 to get his lic. He's happy he did it now and by the skin of his teeth.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Vegas Icon

On the way home from our daughter's HS Graduation, we were chatting in the car and my Dad brought up a little known fact about my Grandfather's brother who lived in Las Vegas, NV for many years. . . . . He was a Vegas Icon!!!!

Here's what my Dad emailed about him:

"Well, Grandpa Ellsworth's brother, Elmo, was at various times employed by most of the hotels. He went to Las Vegas when it was still the Flamingo and Fremont Street. He knew all the players, so the hotels would hire him to be a greeter and see that the high rollers were taken care of. Meanwhile aunt Charlotte ran reservations at the Flamingo for many, many years, then moved over to manage hotel operations for the Frontier, and finally take the same position in Reno at the new MGM when it opened. . . .
When air service started, Elmo found a horse and rode out to the plane to greet the passenger's to Las Vegas and get them in a festive mood. Getting the horse to rear on its hind legs was a signature thing he did. As with all the boys, they grew up on horses and it was no big thing for him. Later when the city had grown, he worked for the Chamber of Commerce and lobbied government and the hotels to get them to build a convention center. He never pulled it off, but the idea hung around and it finally happened.
Elmo was a jovial, friendly guy. I always liked being with Elmo and Charlotte because they were both so nice, and because we always ate at one of the hotels and I could order anything I wanted and nobody paid. They just charged it to whatever comp account they had. On my way to the Mission Home in Salt Lake City, we stopped and Charlotte got us in to see Steve Lawrence and Edie Gourmet (I don't think that's how he spells it)."
Here are a couple other quotes I found:
"My Las Vegas included vintage Tailhook airplanes taxiing down the strip to the Thunderbird parking lot. It was climbing the narrow stairway from the casino to the lounge at the Landmark. It was Fred Glass ringside at the convention center on fight night or sighting Elmo Ellsworth's big white Stetson working its way through a packed house at the Riviera. And it was watching Ralph Lamb make his rounds on Friday afternoon, stopping every three feet to chat with someone. " (This Is Not My Las Vegas, Ted Finneran, Las Vegas )
Elmo H. Ellsworth, an Early Las Vegas Visionary By Jane Ellsworth Olive, Las Vegas
My father, Elmo H. Ellsworth, began to work for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce in 1947. His personality and selling skills were so effective that he became the prototype for the famous "Vegas Vic."
A year later, when Ellsworth was made Director of Membership and Conventions, he set a goal that Las Vegas would become the convention center of the West. There were no conventions in Vegas when he began his work, but six years later, his dream of a great convention center was fulfilled, and Las Vegas was already one of the top 12 convention cities in the nation.
My father worked for six years as manager of the Convention Bureau and then moved on to the Hotel Riviera in 1957. In 1963 he became its Vice-President of Sales, and then Assistant to the President. I believe the Riviera was the first hotel to build its own convention facilities, and my father was the first administrator of that enterprise.
Always forward looking, Elmo Ellsworth saw great possibilities for a tradeshow industry in Las Vegas. Toward this end, he and friends organized J.E.E. and Associates. They were actively promoting this business when my father passed away from cancer on December 13, 1971.
Because I was his daughter, I got to travel with Elmo Ellsworth throughout the Western states as he met with executives of convention facilities from Spokane to Los Angeles. He wanted to know everything necessary about building a functional and successful structure. When he began his efforts, Las Vegas was full of visitors on the weekends and nearly empty during the other five days of the week. That all changed when the convention center was completed.
My father always told me there would be lights from mountain to mountain in this valley. This was his dream for the place he considered the most wonderful on earth. He promoted that dream, not himself. There is a popular picture of an unidentified horseman on a rearing palomino greeting the first United Airlines flight into McCarran Field. That man is Elmo H. Ellsworth.
At the time of his death, Ruth Deskin wrote, "We will remember him as a man devoted to his family and community. When a monument is erected to the real builders of Las Vegas, Elmo Ellsworth's name should be inscribed near the top." (Las Vegas Sun, December 14, 1971)

First 100 Person Who Shaped Southern Nevada:
So for any of you that used to see the cowboy sign downtown big and in lights, that was my Great Uncle!

I found this picture at the airport on Sunday night when we went to pick Lauren up. I need to get a better picture. But there's that unmistakable Ellsworth profile!