Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween Night! Courtney and Brady....Halloween 1979. Brady had begged for one of these plastic Halloween costumes from Wal Mart. He felt so deprived because I always put together an outfit for him and he never got to buy a Wal Mart costume. So....with a newborn baby (Josh) by c-section and a 7 day stay in the hospital, for me, when that newborn was 10 days old.....Brady got his wish fulfilled and got a plastic costume from Wal Mart!


The family headed down to Livingston, Alabama a couple of weeks ago to watch Southern Arkansas University play The University of West Alabama. We were happy for the opportunity to see Josh ,with only a 2 hour drive, and excited that Meredith's parents, Bart and Catherene Jones, were going to join us for a tailgating party. It was UWA's Homecoming. We arrived early in hopes of catching every little minute that we could have with Josh.

We watched as the SAU Rider buses pulled up to unload. It makes my heart pound to know that my son, that I see about 4 or 5 times a year, is on that bus.

Besides his coaching duties.....Josh is in charge of football operations for away games. That's him leading the way.

Meredith followed the team buses from Mississippi and Meredith's parents met us at UWA to tailgate. We were so happy to get to meet them and enjoy some time together before the ball game.

Josh was able to join us for about 30 minutes while the team got settled in. It took a meeting of great minds but......we finally got Meredith's tent up! I say we.....I was making pictures....everybody else was putting up the tent!

Meredith's Mom brought a birthday cookie for me and Josh. Josh's birthday was September 30th and mine is October 9th.

We accidentally started a family tradition, using the candle numbers, about 10 years ago. I accidentally forgot to bring the numbers for my birthday....HA!

Josh is reading the book that Emma, Abby and John Brady wrote and illustrated and Kim had printed for his birthday

Lawson pointing out the piece of birthday cookie that he wanted (the one with the most icing!)

Uncle Josh brought the kids some Southern Arkansas wristbands Coming onto the field

Lawson saw some kids rolling down the hill beside our stands and just had to try it out. John Brady is giving him advice!

We also enjoyed Melissa Greene coming to the game. Melissa graduated from West Alabama and since it was homecoming she came down and joined us for the game. We had a great time....even though SAU lost......hope we can all get together again!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tuesdays With MeMe

I believe that Tailgatin' on the Quad has caused an interest in throwing around the football! figuring out their routes

Abby trying to read her book for school but Cooper had other ideas!

Emma typing out her history report

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I finally have our Alabama-Penn State football trip posted. It is a lot of posts and a lot of pics. Be sure and hit older post to see all the posts.

Joe we come!

It seems I have kept putting off writing this post. Why? I am not sure but I think it was because of the emotions of 9-11. I just wasn't ready to revisit it.

Back in 2010, after John and I had been to the Alabama-Penn State game, Brady made the statement that he would like to go to the Alabama-Penn State game in Happy Valley in 2011. Well, that was all I needed to hear. I love to go to away games and going with Brady and Kim would make it even more special and fun. We started talking about it seriously after Christmas and it became a reality when, in March, we found a great price on a flight. Of course, there has to be some cliches.....which was that John's, long planned, hunting trip would end the day before the game and he would be in Colorado. Well, we worked that out. The next thing that just seemed to fall into place was finding the last two (non smoking) rooms available at the same hotel that the Alabama alumni would be staying at. Tickets were found pretty easily and Brady rented a car and we were set.

John left on his hunting trip (I have already put up a post with his hunting trip pics) Friday, September 2nd. Thursday September 8th, I left out from Berry and headed to spend the night with David and Linda Lawson (John's younger brother). David and Linda live in Priceville ( you might remember my post about celebrating the Lawson Christmas at their house) and the great prices we got for a direct flight to Baltimore was flying out of Huntsville (very close to Priceville). Since our flight was taking off so early I decided to spend the night before and I am so glad I did. We had the best afternoon and night. We talked and talked and Linda had a wonderful supper ready for us and I got to love on Maclain, Reid and Mollie ( my great nephews and niece). David was going to wake me up Friday morning because we were leaving early but in typical Lawson fashion we were both up before the alarm went off. Thank you, Linda and David, for such a great night! I left Linda and David's thinking I was totally prepared. I had my GPS and Mapquest instructions to the airport but in my typical blonde fashion........I took 3 wrong turns in the subdivision!!!!! When I finally made it out to the interstate I did get a little panicky because I was afraid I was going to be late. Being late is not fun at an airport but being late when you have never been to this airport and you are alone is really not fun! But, I gave my sweet brother in law a call and he got me calmed down and reassured me that I was on the right track. I got to the airport, parked, did not look at where I was parked, got in the airport, got through security and was actually not the last person on the plane. Brady and Kim were already on (they spent the night at a hotel next to the airport). The airline was playing the Alabama Fight Song as I boarded and the plane was 90% people going to the game. Guess we weren't the only ones who found that great deal!

We landed, got our luggage and caught a bus to the rental car area. We got in our car, put the Alabama flags on the windows and headed out.......we did not know until the we got the GPS on our phones working that we were going in the wrong direction. We went right and we should have gone left. The problem was......finding a place we could turn around. Finally, Brady just said he was getting off at the next exit. We did and started trying to figure out how to get back on the interstate going the right direction. Sometimes that is not easy to do. This proved to be the situation we were in. So.....I am in the back seat looking at the map, of the area we were in, and started giving Brady directions to get back to the interstate to an exit that was going the direction we needed to go. We got there but we needed to be in the opposite lane and there was not a crossover so we kept going straight until.......we realized we were headed straight into a line of stopped cars. ask.....well it was an Army base. We were in the line to enter Fort Meade. Now......years ago I had gone to Gulf Shores with a friend, it was night, and we missed our turn and ended up in Pensacola. We knew how to get to Gulf Shores from there but we also missed that turn....I know...I own the fact that I get lost everywhere I go! Anyway, we ended up at the naval base entrance....we drove up, told the guard that we missed our turn and were heading to Gulf Shores and he just told us to u-turn in front of the guard shack and head back out....easy enough, but that was before 9-11. So, I leaned up and told Brady to just tell the guard that we needed in the other lane heading out and he would just let us u-turn. Have you figured out that didn't happen. We slowly head toward the guard shack with our Alabama flags flying high. Brady rolls down the window, tells the guard that we were just trying to get going in the right direction to get to Harrisburg, Pa. The very nice guard said " sure I can help you" as I envisioned us just doing that u-turn and leaving. But here is what really happened.......he stopped traffic, walked out in front of us, motioned us to a small drive through parking area. We assumed we were just driving through the parking area and heading out....which we started to do when we realized that we were being flagged down, told to pull over and stop by all the, very serious looking, men in all black combat uniforms. Very quickly, we realized that we might be there a while. Leave it to prepared if you go with Joy Lawson...something will happen that we will talk about for a while. Anyway......they approached the car, told us to stay in the car, asked for Brady's license, asked if it was our car, looked at the rental papers, looked under the car and finally all smiled and said we could go! WHEW.....but then....They came back and asked if we had made any pictures....WE said NO....and I promise you that you will never see a picture of what happened!!!!

So, finally we are on the way to Harrisburg. Pennsylvania is a beautiful state....even when you are just seeing it from the interstate. We knew that there had been a lot of rain in PA. that week but we were not prepared for what we saw when we got to Harrisburg. Our exit to the hotel was was the next exit....we finally got off on the third exit into downtown. Luckily our hotel was not flooded but the streets surrounding it were flooded and blocked off. We had to go around the city and back to get to our hotel but we made it! WHEW!

I have divided up our Penn State trip into several posts so keep reading and sorry for all the pictures but I have always told my life in pictures!

Cortez Airport

John was in Colorado on a bow hunting trip. Friday morning he had to fly from Cortez, Colorado (the closest airport) to Denver and then, after a layover in Denver and a short layover in Chicago, he would fly into the airport in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.This is the Cortez Airport, waiting area and runway. Does this give you an idea of how small the plane was that he flew on to Denver!

John landed in Denver and then his adventure began. About the time we were driving onto an army base in Baltimore, he was finding out that his plane to Chicago was very delayed. 5 hours later...they started hunting him another way to get to Harrisburg. He ended up flying into Dulles Airport in Washington....had another delay and then finally flew into Harrisburg. He should have gotten to the Crowne Plaza in Harrisburg around 7 that night but instead he got to the hotel at 1 am the next morning.
Skip back to earlier that evening......Brady, Kim and I went out to eat. Most of the town of Harrisburg was closed down because of the flooding. We had the choice of eating at the hotel or at a really nice restaurant a 1/2 block away. We chose to go down the block. I turned the sound off of my phone as we went into the restaurant.
Picture this......after John figured out what time he would finally land.....he started calling me but I forgot to turn the sound back on my phone. He wasn't worried when he couldn't get me...he would just go to the desk. I had fallen asleep....I had been up really early that morning...I never saw the phone light up as poor John tried to get me to answer. The desk, and rightly so, would not give him my room number! He had to wake up Brady at 1:30 to find out my room number.
Finally, he is headed up the elevator to our room. But is not going to be that easy....I had the safety lock on the door. John opened the door and it would not open. I had fallen asleep ( I was just going to take a nap and then try to call John) with the air and the TV on and I did not hear, at 1:45 in the morning, he had to yell for me to wake up! He didn't seem too proud to see me right then....luckily he was too tired to vocalize it!

Downtown Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

We stayed in Harrisburg. Happy Valley was booked solid by the time we decided to make this trip. I saw on the Alabama Alumni website that they were staying in Harrisburg. So..if it was good enough for them it should be good enough for us. The bus with the Alabama Alumni pulled up to the Crowne Plaza about 5 minutes behind us.....from then on....Crimson everywhere!

I went out exploring. This lady, a nurse at the hospital, a block away, was out walking and stopped me to talk. She asked if I was there for the game. She was very friendly and we had a nice talk. Everybody kept talking to thinks...they wanted to hear my southern drawl!

The River had flooded the day before we got to Harrisburg. Mapquest directions and an GPS doesn't do you any good when your exit is closed and all the streets going to your hotel are flooded. Luckily the water stopped one block from our hotel.

The bridge going over the river was closed. This is one block from where we were staying.

Everybody was walking over the bridge and watching the water

As I was looking back at the river bank....the river bank that is right beside the usually very busy city.....

...........this deer jumped into the water. I can't imagine where it came from. It had to come from the middle of the city. I am guessing the rising water had ran it out from somewhere. So sad, because everybody knew it couldn't swim against the fast running water. I had to quit watching.

The other side of the bridge is where their baseball team plays but it was all under water.

On my way back to the hotel I just couldn't resist taking a picture of this cute fire hydrant

We Won!

GAME DAYWe got up early Saturday morning and headed to Happy Valley. Everywhere we went people were saying what would normally be a 90 minute trip might take 4 hours. We loaded up the rental car and took off. Well.....we did not run into any trouble associated with the flooding but we did see on Facebook where it had started raining in Happy Valley. We stopped and got some rain ponchos at Dollar General but they did not have any rain boots. That was another thing we kept hearing......that all the parking places were going to be a sea of mud. Everyone in Pennsylvania kept apologizing about the trouble the rains were there was anything they could do about it! When we got into the town, Kim and I started going from store to store hunting rubber boots......none to be found, and apparently there never were any, but we met a lot of people and had some fun conversations!
Brady had bought us a parking pass on line and we lucked up and got in a yellow parking lot about 2 blocks from the stadium. I made the rounds and talked to everyone that wanted to talk and they all seemed to want to talk...again....that southern drawl! This family had two daughters with them. I said something to her about the cute game day shirt she had on. The Mother started apologizing for the shirt....I was a little confused at first and then she said I hadn't read the back. wasn't very nice but then it wasn't any different than anything you see anywhere. The Mother said she bought it for the girl and really didn't understand what the things on the back meant until the daughter explained them to her....oh you had some statement about marrying your cousin, that Bear wouldn't ever get 400 wins, and it went down hill from there. It's just part of it and you there is no need to have you B on your shoulder over it! We talked for a long time and they kept wanting us to eat with brings people together!

Joe Pa's statue


We thanked them

We are really here. Love it

Their white out was impressive. A sea of white clothing and only white poms but once you got past the massive student section The Crimson Tide was very obvious.

The fly over on a very emotional weekend

Loved the shirt........but you do need those muscles too!

The game band that went to Penn State

Penn State's band entertaining the Alabama band members. Can you see the members doing push ups to the beat of the music?

The beautiful moon that greeted us in the parking lot after the game. We did not get rained on. We did not get one ounce of mud on our shoes. We did get very hot and blistered. But the best thing.....WE WON!