Friday, August 31, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

And the winner is....



I seriously need to get this man a display case.
Since I'm sure you are wondering what all of these are for here's the list (not all awards are showing - and sorry honey if I missed any in the following list).
  • 388 OSS Airman of the Quarter Oct - Dec 2007
  • 388th Flight Wing 2007 Airman of the Year
  • 388th Operations Group Airman of the Year 2007
  • 388th OSS Airman of the Year 2007
  • Team Hill Annual Award AMN of the year 2007
  • 421st Fighter Squadron Airman of the Quarter Oct - Dec 2009
  • Service Member 1st Quarter 2011 USTRANSCOM
  • TCJ2 Volunteer of the 4th Quarter 2011
  • 2011 Volunteer of the Year USTRANSCOM
  • TCJ2 2011 Volunteer of the Year
  • Service Member 2nd Quarter 2012 USTRANSCOM

I won't go into all the coins just a brief explanation according to my understanding of them. Some were given along with awards, some in appreciation for work well done - for going above and beyond, some represent being a part of a specific squadron (or the like), and yes he ran out of room on this display for all the coins he has.

Congratulations Jason for doing it once again! Love you honey.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

My Family - Just as I remember them...

While in FL I got to see my family. It's been nearly four years since I saw my grandma and 18 years since I saw my Aunt and Uncles. It seems like they haven't changed a bit. I had such a wonderful time and only wish I could have spent more time with them. I hope it wont be long till our next visit.

Aunt 'Manda with Autumn


Uncle David with my cousin Danielle, Uncle George holding Abigail, Me and Autumn.


Grandma Adcox holding Autumn who was born on her birthday 29 years (times 2 or 3 give or take) later.
Love you all Sooooo Much!!!

Disney World

It's all about the Princesses








Thumper wouldn't let Autumn go.



Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas in St. Charles, MO.

Every Christmas in St. Charles, MO. holiday figures from around the world and throughout all time roam historic main street. Visitors are challenged to track all 34 (this year) of them down and collect their "all star" card which gives a brief explanation of who they are. They are also invited to listen to the character tell his or her story and ask any question they like. Abigail was a bit uncomfortable with all the different Santas but Emma warmed up to them quickly, it was difficult to keep up with her as she ran to collect her card. In the end we met 23 holiday characters.

Civil War Santa is the living embodiment of drawings created
by Thomas Nast during the war between the states. Nast was a famed sketch
artist, born in Germany, but raised in the United States. He drew for Harper's
Weekly from 1859 until 1886, and is widely regarded as the grandfather of
political cartoons. During the Civil War, he was particularly outspoken about
the abolition of slavery and the reunification of the North and South. Nast
drew many pictures for Harper’s depicting Santa Claus and Christmas life of
this era, but his first was published drawing of Santa was on January 3, 1863.
This classic drawing depicted Santa arriving at a Union camp dressed in stars
and stripes and riding in a carriage lead by reindeer.

Father Christmas:
On an enchanted white horse, Father Christmas flies over the
houses of England on Christmas Eve. He brings presents to be carefully placed
under Christmas Trees, and treats to fill fireside stockings. With a wreath of
holly atop his head and a long green robe on his stout frame, he is the
embodiment of jovial Christmas cheer embraced by England in the 19th century
and is reflected in the 'Spirit of Christmas Present' in Charles Dickens’
famous story, A Christmas Carol.
Jo March: Not like her sisters, Jo March is often caught with dirty
gloves – a tomboy at heart, who finds it impossible to stay out of mischief or
put down her quill. Though Jo and her sisters are not rich, they themselves are
always eager to help those less fortunate than themselves, especially at
Christmas time.
Clara & the Nutcracker Prince:
Clara: Drawing from E. T. A. Hoffman’s story The Nutcracker and The
King of Mice, The music of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker, tells to story
of young Clara Stahlbaum anxiously awaiting the arrival of her eccentric
godfather, Drosselmeyer, at her families’ Christmas Eve party. Upon his arrival, he presents her with a wooden doll nutcracker dressed as a soldier, which she immediately falls in
love with. That night, she falls asleep under the Christmas tree with her new
toy, and is magically reduced to his size at the stroke of midnight. A fight ensues with an army of mice and toy soldiers and Clara is able to fight off the most vicious Mouse King with her
slipper to save the Nutcracker’s life. Her new Prince then takes her on a
colorful dancing adventure to The Land of Snow and The Land of Sweets. For many families, going to see The Nutcracker
is an annual holiday tradition, and often it is a child’s first exposure to
ballet. Tchaikovsky’s music and Clara’s beautiful story leads us to believe
that if we dream of Christmas toys, we might wake-up in a magical world of
snowflakes, Sugar Plum Fairies and Nutcracker Princes.
The Nutcracker Prince: German author E. T. A. Hoffman in the 19 th Century wrote
many stories in which dolls played an important roll. Coppelia is about a mechanical doll that is so life-like that the young men of the village flirt with her. In Tales of
Hoffman, there is a wind-up doll that sings until her spring winds down, making
her voice fall flat as she finishes her song. These stories of dolls living human dreams are
reminiscent in Hoffman’s most famous character, The Nutcracker, from The
Nutcracker and The King of Mice. Presented as a Christmas Gift to the beautiful
Clara, this wooden Nutcracker doll, dressed in soldier’s finery, is quickly
crushed by Clara’s jealous brother. Broken, but still loved, he is gently left
beneath the families’ Christmas tree, where he comes to life at the stroke of
midnight. The villainous army of the King of Mice come upon The Nutcracker and draw their swords for battle. Reinforced by toy soldiers, The Nutcracker is victorious in the war under the
Christmas tree, and finds himself to actually be a Prince, able to take his beloved
Clara on a magical journey to his homeland.

Santa Lucia: Christmas in Sweden begins on December 13th, the feast day
of Santa Lucia, bringer of light and patron saint of vision. Born in 283 in
Syracuse Sicily, Lucia was known to bring food and supplies to persecuted
Christians hiding underground, wearing a wreath of candles upon her head to
light the way. She was betrothed to a pagan, Paschiasius, but vowed to remain unmarried, wanting to dedicate her life to helping others. Refusing to be married and named a Christian, she was tortured by having her eyes removed and finally martyred. Before the Gregorian
calendar reform, Santa Lucia’s feast day fell on the winter solstice, the
shortest and darkest day of the year in Sweden, a country she is rumored to
have visited in her short life. Today, Swedes continues to honor her as the
virtuous bride, bringing joyful light to their dark winter days. On the morning of her feast day, a daughter in each family dresses in a white robe and delivers sweet rolls (called lussekatt)
and coffee to her parents by candlelight.
Victorian Carolers: St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1182-1226) first began writing
Latin church hymns with the joyful feeling of today’s Christmas carols in the
13th Century. Prior to that, Christmas music was limited to liturgical hymns
solemnly written about the nativity. As Christmas celebrations grew past the
defining walls of Christianity across Europe, so did Christmas music. Horrified
by what was considered sacrilegious celebration, caroling was outlawed from
1649 – 1660 by English Puritans, along with Christmas decorations. At St.
Charles Christmas Traditions, the carols you love can be found all along South
Main. Look for groups of Victorian carolers to sing you these beautiful songs
of Christmas.
Pere Noel: All year long, children of France look forward to a visit by
Père Noël (Father Christmas) and his pet donkey, Mistletoe, on Christmas Eve.
In preparation, they decorate their homes just like homes in the United States,
with fine greenery and a beautiful Christmas tree filled with treasured
ornaments. However, special attention is paid to the creation of the “crèche”
(nativity) scene. In French nativity sets, you will not only find figures of
Mary, Joseph, sheep and Wise Men, but shop keepers, farmers, fisherman,
provincial townsfolk, dogs and cats. These figures representing people and
things from all walks of life are called “les santons” (little saints). On
Christmas Eve, baby Jesus is added to the crèche and most families gather to
eat a large dinner called “Le Reveillon”. At the end of this feast they serve a
special dessert cake decorated to look like a Yule log called “Buche de Noël.”
Finally, after bellies are full, and little eyes grow heavy, the family gets
ready for Père Noël. Children fill their shoes with carrots and hay and leave
them by the fireplace and a glass of wine is poured to sit beside them. When
the families fall asleep, Père Noël travels with Mistletoe and an overflowing
bag of gifts to each home. He quietly removes the carrots and hay left in the
shoes for his friendly donkey, and replaces it with candies and presents for
the children. Père Noël drinks heartily from the wineglass and nibbles on the
leftover crumbs from the Buche de Noel dessert before he heads off to bring a
Merry Christmas to the next family. Should you ever see Père Noël in route to
France, be sure to wish him a “Joyeux Noël et Bonne Annèe”! (Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year!)

Bob Cratchit & Tiny Tim
Bob Cratchit: In "A Christmas Carol", Charles Dickens draws out his visionary ideals of the “Christmas Spirit”. Coming from poverty during the industrial growth of Victorian England, Dickens’s knew first hand both the suffering of the working poor, and the greed of high society. In Bob Cratchit, the appreciative, overworked and underpaid clerk in "A Christmas Carol", Dickens gives his readers a comparative figure to judge the greedy Scrooge against. Inspired by the uncompromising optimism of Bob, and the rugged heart of his ill son Tiny Tim, Scrooge has a complete character reversal at the end of the story, realizing the joy that is found in Christmas generosity. I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Tiny Tim: God Bless us, everyone!” exclaims the frail Tiny Tim Cratchit as his family begins their Christmas dinner in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Mortality of children was something that Charles Dickens was likely very well acquainted with living in Victorian England. Married couples had an average of six children, and if they lived in poor industrial communities, with polluted living conditions, malnutrition and dangerous working conditions, their life expectancy was very low. Two out of ten infants would die in their first year. One in four children would die before they were five. In wealthier areas, the average male life expectancy was fifty-seven, in industrial towns it was twenty-six. In these conditions that Dickens’ original readers knew well, it is not surprising that Tim’s character has stood out among others. Tiny Tim is an ill little boy dependant on a wooden crutch, grateful for what he has and willing to say a prayer for the selfish man that hoards the money that could save his life. Even Scrooge’s heart would melt with that.
Serenity: Hark! Serenity, the Christmas Angel, heralds happy tidings and wonderful news to Saint Charles! Wishing peace on earth and goodwill to men, Serenity is a reminder of the truest, heartfelt meaning of the Christmas season.
Ice Queen: As queen of the snowflakes and Jack Frost, the Ice Queen travels the world creating winter storms. If she had her way, it would be winter all year long. Though she may seem kind, travelers should be wary – three kisses from the Ice Queen and you will never find your way back home.
La Befana: The Three Wise Men had traveled long and far in search of Bethlehem. One night of their journey they became lost, and came to the doorstep of the Italian Grandmother Befana to ask for directions.Befana was consumed with the sweeping and cleaning of her home and quickly dismissed the Wise Men when they told her of their search for the New Born King. Even when they asked her to come with them to pay respects to Jesus, she stubbornly refused. Later in the night a brilliant star appeared in the sky, and it's beauty quickly made Befana realize she had made a terrible mistake.She gathered up toys and presents for the Christ Child and tried to run after them, but her old legs couldn't catch up with them. In frustration, she wept over the dirty broom that had been her misfortune.The sincerity of her tears gave the broom new life, and it scooped her up into the night sky to search for the Wise Men she had treated so badly. La Befana has never found the Three Kings or the stable they searched for, but every year on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, she flies over the homes of the children of Italy leaving presents with good boys and girls until she finds the baby Jesus.
Flower Girl: Flow-ers! Flow-ers for sale!” Reminiscent of My Fair Lady‘s Eliza Doolittle and the famous flower girls of Victorian London, St. Charles greets you with its official Flower Girls. Sprigs of fresh holly and carnations in a variety of colors are available from their baskets for a modest donation; red for love and Christmas, pink for Happiness, yellow for friendship, fushia for thanks and white for purity. If you ask nicely, they may even serenade you with a pretty song to make your Christmas Merry. Keeping gentleman’s buttonholes filled with primroses and bunches of violet in ladies hands was essential to the survival of the original flower girls of London’s Covent Gardens and Farringdon Markets. In 1889 it was illegal to solicit sales standing in one place, yet an estimated 2000 young girls were making their living selling on the streets. These were often orphans of Irish immigrants or daughters supporting their entire families on meager earnings. When winter brought fewer flowers to market, the girls would also sell water-cress, onions, matchsticks and oranges in the Spring.
Mrs. Claus: First introduced to the world in the book Goody Santa Claus On A Sleigh Ride by poet Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929), Mrs. Claus has moved out of the kitchen and into the workshop over the past century. In Bates’ 1889 book, Mrs. Claus begs to be taken along in the annual Christmas Eve toy delivery sleigh ride with Santa. She has raised perfect candy trees all year long and feels deserving of a chance to participate in the fun. As they make their deliveries, Santa pops up and down chimneys, and Mrs. Claus stays on the roof and holds the reindeer. Sadly, when they come to one little boy’s modest house, Santa emerges from the chimney with a tear on his cheek. The only stocking the little boy had to hang by the fireplace had a hole in it, and he was unable to fill it with any presents. Seeing an opportunity to save the day, Mrs. Claus jumps down the chimney and mends the little boy’s stocking. From that point on, Santa has always asked his lovely wife to come along for holiday deliveries. Today, Mrs. Claus doesn't’t just bake the best cookies this side of the Northern Lights. She stays up-to-date on all the most popular toys, making sure Santa knows what each child wants, and manages the elves’ workshop. It keeps her very busy, but she is happy to be at the side of Santa, bringing extra magic to Christmas.
Santas Head Elf - The Cottage Elves: These elves travel the world with Santa, collecting the wish lists from all the girls and boys that visit with him. They also help the elves in the North Pole make sure that they have adequate inventory of all the goodies that Santa will need to deliver on Christmas Eve night.
Victorian Santa: Joyfully, we celebrate the Santa Claus drawn out for us in Clemet Moore’s 1822 poem “A Visit From St. Nick” (or “The Night Before Christmas.”) Children struggle with sleep every year waiting for this red coated, elf-like gift giver to pop down their chimneys, stuff stockings, and ride off into the night sky behind his team of reindeer. However, Clemet Moore owes his inspiration to over 1600 years of history and legend. Santa Claus is a pure reflection of a diverse and imaginative world; a mischievous twinkle in his eye from Julenisse, a generous friend to children from Saint Nicholas, a boisterous jolliness from Father Christmas, trust in animal friends from Pere Noel, naughty versus nice pronouncements from Kris Kringle, and faithful reverence from La Bafana and Santa Lucia. Over many years, our international community has discovered more and more about Santa Claus. Perhaps most importantly, we’ve learned that his possibilities are limited only by our willingness to believe in the unseen and share the customs that make our childhoods magical. Christmas Traditions is proud to offer a 24k gold plated hand swirled stained-glass Keepsake Ornament of Victorian Santa. You can view the ornament here and purchase one at The Tintypery at 510 S. Main Street.
MacNicholas: On Christmas Eve all the good lads and lassies in Scotland listen carefully for the sound of MacNicolaus' bagpipes announcing his arrival and rush to the door to wish him "Nollaigh Cridheil" or "Happy Christmas!" After Christmas, the real fun begins as the Scots celebrate New Years Eve or "Hogmany." The New Year's favorite, "Auld Lang Syne", was written by Scottish poet Robert Burns as a tribute to this favorite holiday. In fact, Hogmany is such a huge celebration that both January 1st and 2nd are national holidays in Scotland.
Mikko & Mikkel: Santa’s two favorite elves maintain the “Naughty and Nice” list, keep Santa’s workshop running smoothly, and help Santa make his deliveries on Christmas Eve. But even hardworking elves are always ready to play!
Train Conductor: Only children who believe in Santa Claus can hear the chime of The Train Conductor's magic Christmas bell. Those children who don't believe in Santa might see the Train Conductor again on Christmas Eve when The Sleighbell Special takes the children to see Santa's North Pole headquarters with their own eyes.The St. Charles, M. K. & T. Railroad Depot in Frontier Park was built in 1892.
Mother Goose: Stepmother to ten and mother of six children herself, Mother Goose inspired her son-in-law, Thomas Fleet, to publish a collection of the nursery rhymes that she sang to her children and grandchildren. Thomas Nast drew a famous picture of her dancing with Santa Claus on the cover of Harper’s Weekly in 1880.
Snegurochka: Long ago in Russia, Spring and Fall longed for a daughter
who could live partially among humans. Out of the snows of Winter, they created
the beautiful Snegurochka who tried to live with other children her age, but
her heart was made of ice and she could not learn to love. Taking pity on her,
Ded Moroz (the Russian Father Christmas) took pity on her and turned her into a
human. Today, all across Russia, Snegurochka and Ded Moroz appear at Christmas
together and deliver gifts to good children.
Sweet Tooth Fairy: She didn't have a card this year ;(
Hope you enjoyed this little journey to Christmas past and around the world.