Dusty Penguin

Child of God and in love with my Lord. Wife of a wonderful man. Mother of a young adult, two teens, and a miscellaneous menagerie of furry and finned creatures. Work full-time outside of home and as little as possible at home:)

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Location: Cedarville, Ohio

Friday, July 21, 2006

Jeremiah at E-tech

Last week Jeremiah spent a week at the Engineering Technologies Academy in Dayton, Ohio, at Wright State University. It was a CAP National Cadet Special Activity. Because I have to work weekends, Duane had to drive to OH to drop him off and come back for the week, then drive to OH to pick him up and bring him back.

This is the engineering building where they had their classes.

Cadets in one of their classes. I don't know what all they studied, but J. brought home a huge notebook. They covered stuff in different branches of engineering.

This is at the Bio-Medical Section of WSU. Don't ask me what it is!

They also got to tour parts of the US Air Force Museum that people don't usually get to see. This is a UAV (Unmaned Aerial Vehicle).

This is "The Tower." It is where all top secret projects are done. No camera's were allowed inside. This is at the AFRL (Air Force Reaserch Laboratory).

Jeremiah had a really great time ;)

Alesha at Circle C

This summer Alesha is working at Circle C Ranch as a wrangler. Anyone who knows her knows how much she loves horses.
This is the stable area. They have over 50 horses, so the wrangler work very hard from early to late feeding, grooming, training, riding, haying, cleaning the stables and the tack, and so on.

If I have the right photo, this is Alesha's assigned/chosen horse for the summer--Joker. He is the biggest horse there.

They lead alot of trail rides every day.

The wranglers are wearing cowboy hats and the teen campers are either hatless or putting on helmets.

Pray for Alesha this summer--for her physical safety and strength, for her sprained back to heal, and for her spiritual growth and nourishment.

Erika's Graduation, Part 8: Party Pics cont.

So many friends and relatives came. Archie and Colleen, and Arlene and John (photo to the left).

Below, friends of Alesha's (and ours too), from Alfred. Jake on left, then Alesha, Jim sitting in back, and Donna in front of Jim.

Grandpa is rarely seen in a picture without a camera to his eye. We are anxiously awaiting his purchase of a digital camera so he can add to his blog spot.

Erika with Laura Beth (you saw her parents
John and Arlene above, and one of her brothers, Peter, in a previous CAP post).

My sister Nancy and my mom.

There are so many wonderful pictures. We had 89 people visit, as far as I can tell from photo groupings, and I can't show you everyone! We had people from church, from CAP, from school, from our previous church in Jamestown, relatives, and neighbors, but this last photo was the biggest shock of them all. Ruth and Jean are part of our missionary family in The Gambia. I knew Ruth was in the U.S., but wasn't sure if she was in NY at the time, and I had no idea Jean (pictured to the right) was in the U.S. My jaw hit the floor. I was absolutely speechless. It was so wonderful to have Ruth and Jean be able to come. I'm sorry that I didn't have more time to just sit and visit with any one person. In trying to talk to everyone, you end up feeling like you have talked to no one! Thank you to everyone who came and made the party so special.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Erika's Graduation, Part 7: More Party Pics

(Sorry this is so many posts, but I can only post a few pictures at a time).

We were delighted to have our Nigerian friends, the Abiolas, visit. This is their youngest, and he loved our dog, Cadet.

Duane visiting with our long time friends, Archie and John.

I love this picture of Erika! She looks like a child of the 60s!

Erika with our neighbor, Grace, looking at photo albums of Erika's life.

Erika and myself enjoying the party.

Myself with my sister-in-law Sue and Duane's Aunt Sally.

Erika's Graduation, Part 6: Party!

Erika's graduation was on Sunday afternoon, and set up began early Sunday morning before church.

We rented a large tent, tables, and chairs.

Duane set up the volleyball net and horseshoes.

Alesha and Suzanne did a beautiful job of decorating the tent.

Dean, Lannie, Jake, and the dog had to leave

Sunday morning to go back to Virginia and the rest of us headed off to church.

Dean's Birthday

We had a full house and a busy weekend during Erika's graduation. First to arrive was my Mom and Dad from FL. Next to arrive was Nancy and Suzanne from eastern PA. They were all a huge help in getting ready for the graduation party and doing a myriad of household and yard chores. We were expecting Alesha to arrive from the camp where she is a wrangler in time for the graduation on Friday, but we got a call from her on Thursday night. "Mom, I'm at the hospital. Can you come get me?" After my heart started beating again, I found out she'd been thrown from a galloping horse and couldn't get up, so they took her to the hospital on a backboard. They released her with pain meds after x-rays showed nothing was broken. Nancy and Duane drove up to get her in Nancy's van. Nancy brought Alesha back in comfort, and Duane drove Alesha's truck home for her. She was then armchair director for the festivities, and was able to do a few chores.
Dean was not able to arrive until late Friday night after the graduation, but we were very happy that he made the trip anyway to be here. Saturday was his birthday. Someone decided to put all the candles in the box on his cake!

He was able to blow almost all of them out in a single breath!

He had a few gifts and Dad made a delicious curry dinner--always our birthday favorite. The birthday party was a fun, short break in a very busy day. Sadly, he and Lannie and Jake had to go back Sunday a.m., so they missed the party, too. It really meant alot that they would make a trip that far (from Virginia and back) to be with us for Erika's graduation.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Erika's Graduation, Part 5: More Graduation Pictures

A fun shot of Erika and her Dad. For those of you who knew Erika before her jaw surgery, I cannot stop marveling at her beautiful smile and face.

Erika with her two awards: American Legion and John Philips Sousa.

Erika's Grandma and Grandpa Holtz (Duane's mom and step-dad).

Erika's Grandma and Grandpa Hall (my mom and dad), my sister Nancy, and her daughter Suzanne.

The leaning Wilkins' family from tallest to

I think those are the best of the graduation

Erika's Graduation, Part 4: Outside School after graduation

There are so many beautiful pictures of
Erika after the graduation that I don't
know which ones to pick!

Erika and her sister Alesha.

Erika and her Grandma Hall.

The ladies from left to right:
My sister Nancy, her daughter/my niece Suzanne, my daughter Erika, my mother Betty, my eldest daughter Alesha, and myself.

Erika with cousin Suzanne.

Duane above with his two beautiful daughter, and Erika with Aunt Nancy.

More pictures to come in a separate blog. I've gotta run to a softball game.

Erika's Graduation, Part 3: Graduation!

After posting the colours, Erika had to rush around the hallway, throw her cap and gown over her uniform, and get in line to march in. They started at the end of the alphabet, so that didn't give her much time! (Erika is third in line).

Erika is third in, in the back row.
The girls wear light blue, and the boys
wear dark blue. Everyone in front of her was
tall, so we could only see her by going around the side.

The Senior high girls in chorus did special music (Erika is not in chorus).

The Senior gave roses to their parents.

Erika stepping forward to receive her awards. We were so surprised. They'd reached almost the end of the alphabet and there was a long pause, so we thought they were done. Then they called her name! She was surprised, too. She received two awards!! She got the American Legion award from the Legion in our town that selected her for Girl's State last summer. She also received the John Philips Sousa award. I wish I could copy the citations, but that would take too much room! We are so proud of her. Both awards came with small scholarships.

Erika's Graduation, Part 2: Posting the Colours

Lieutenant Erika Wilkins, CAP, before leaving the house
for graduation.

Alesha started a tradition, it seems, at her graduation. She asked the school for permission for her Civil Air Patrol color guard to present the colours at the graduation. This had never been done before. The school board gave permission, and so the tradition began! Alesha, as the Senior, carried the American flag. This year, Erika asked permission to do the same thing, and once again the school board approved. And, as the Senior, she was the one to carry the American flag. Normally in Civil Air Patrol officers (she is a Lieutenant) are not in colour guard. But this was an exception, since the only reason to do it is to have a senior bring in the flag! Jeremiah is on the left, Erika in the center, and Teila Arnold on the right. They are preparing out in the hall way.

It was difficult to get pictures once the ceremony started. The lights were off in the gym to try to
keep it cooler--it was one of our hottest June days! So the pictures are dark and of course they were moving targets! But it was a very nice ceremony and a beautiful addition to the graduation.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Erika's Graduation, Part 1: Baccalaureate

Our middle child graduated from high school this June. Some of the local ministers got together to put on a Baccalaureate service, which is no longer being put on by public schools. They mailed invitations to all the seniors' families.

This is the pastors praying together before the service.

Music was provided by a group of Christian kids from the school. They have formed a band that plays at the youth center that is a Christian ministry in the town. The young man to the left with the guitar, however, is not a student. He is a youth pastor intern from England.

We didn't get any other pictures of the service, but one of the pastors gave an excellent devotional using duct tape as the object lesson! They had refreshments at the end. It was definitely a modernized version of the baccalaureate, but appropriately and tastefully done. They are hoping to do it again next year and are hoping for better attendance. I'm glad we took the time to go.