Tuesday, August 27, 2013

What's football got to do with it?????

    It’s just 3 days until kick off of the college football season at our house.  You can feel the anticipation, in the office and at home. The air is buzzing with excitement as we wonder how our team will do this year.  Discussions are held on which players will stand out, how we will do without the ones we have relied on in the past and the endless vacillation of our opinion of the coach.
  I didn’t grow up watching football and honestly I didn’t really appreciate it when the kids were all home. Now I love it.
   Now football season is one of my favorite times of the year. Truth to tell, I still don’t understand the game very well but I am making an honest effort to at least grasp the basics (sac, goal, punt, offense defense- I mean really basic!)  For me it’s more about what it means to our family. It means time to gather, time to eat, time to play,time to banter (Julia-known as Peanut -married a Buckeye),and  time to be together. It provides relief from life's grind as we act ridiculous and have fun doing it (see video above for validation)! It is time to just be together.
It is now a tradition. If there is a televised LSU game, you will find most of the Romero’s together.  The ones who can’t make it check in by phone as they enviously wish they could be with us. The definition of tradition is an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom). Inherited is the key word in our house. Love of the LSU tigers and loyalty to a team that has its ups and downs is passed down from generation to generation. We are still season ticket holders sitting in the same seats each year that Dr Rosie and Baby Kay sat in back in 1958.

   Of course, traditions come in all shapes and sizes. All it takes to make a tradition is to be able to say ‘we always…..’  For us it is ‘We always’…go to church on Sunday,give thanks for our meals, celebrate birthdays and victories with a good meal, have a Dairy Queen Ice cream cake for birthdays, celebrate Thanksgiving one day late and Christmas one day early(a move necessary to accommodate all of the extended family) and we  love being outside.
What kinds of things do you and your family  do together that you can label as a tradition?  If you can’t think of any maybe it is time to start.  In this crazy, hectic time we live in it is important to be intentional about spending time together.  Traditions help kids to feel secure and provide a framework for keeping our families intact. What are your favorite traditions? Feel free to share them with us!

Blessings to you and yours,

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Let's be intentional!

    Perspective can be gained many ways. Visiting my 95 year old grandmother this week has given me a good healthy dose! She is to the point where communication is limited and difficult. My mom and I are spending time retelling grandma stories that she so engrained in us and was adamant that we remember. We talk of the memories she has created for us, the way she has loved us, the life lessons she taught us, and the delicious meals that she prepared. These are the things that matter to her now that life is winding down. 

   Grandma taught us that life is not just about our own house, home, castle or cabin. What really matters is what lies at the heart of our home, our core values. There are things that are worth sharing, passing on and cultivating in an intentional way.

    Rosie and I support Living Hope Ministry in Springerville, Arizona because they understand the importance of strengthening the family and passing on life's most important values.This is a ministry whose mission statement proclaims; ‘we are to assist men and women in making choices that overcome obstacles, build strong families and honor life. We desire to give a hand up not a hand out and encourage education and hard work.  Practical help and the love of Jesus is a powerful combination.’  They do this by teaching parenting and marriage classes. Young families who take these classes are given credits that can be used to purchase diapers, formula and clothing. Investing in these families helps support the family unit in a way that will impact generations to come.

    Perspective comes from realizing that while it is important to live in the moment and enjoy each day, it is equally important to keep the big picture in mind. It means taking the time to pass on things that matter.

Let's be intentional!


Part of the team evaluating the situation at Living Hope
Time to dig! The Living Hope house's foundation needed some real love!

Look at that pile they pulled out of Living Hope! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

     Rosie and I were so excited about the crawfish festival. After the show on Saturday we scooped up his sweet mama, Baby Kay and our youngest daughter Carol. Julia joined us with her 3 kids and we caravanned up the mountain.

     As we were pulling through Payson, the phone rang. It was Romey….’can y’all stop and get all the potatoes and corn you can find?’ Perfect timing! Carol, Baby Kay and I shucked corn the rest of the way to the festival! Must be a good turnout we agreed! 

    Pulling into the festival was confirmation that it was what we had all hoped for!
 Bison Ranch exploded with people enjoying the mountain air and crawfish.  We stopped by the boilers first to see them going full force and the heavy baskets being dumped with heads of steam billowing upward. Not work for the faint of heart!

     We could hear Romey announcing the winner of the crawfish eating contest. Contestants worked hard to be the first to eat 15 crawfish- Romey checked to make sure they were fully consumed!  Our winner was  from Ponchatoula, Louisiana. Our nephew-in-love, Calvin Sibley came in a close second. Third place winner  was from the same town as the winner and they had never met!

     Meanwhile, the Taylor family circus was hard at work entertaining the families with their dramatic costumes as they walked around on stilts, decorated faces with jewels and paint and delighted the kids with juggling,  balloon animals and swords. Jump houses, stuffed with children, bounced happily. People lined the porches with plates of crawfish, corn and potatoes heaped high.


  Romey asked his dad if he would like to give rides in the Sanderson Ford TomCar.  After our demo ride with Matt Kimmerle, Rosie did not need any coaxing. People waited their turn in the cool afternoon shade as Rosie buckled people in and gave over 20 rides. There was a perfect course just off the property with lots of places to demonstrate this amazing vehicle. Thesuspension is incredible, providing a smooth ride regardless of the terrain and great fun for all ages.

    The Arizona Zydeco Band played for hours as people shuffled to the beat of the upbeat, Cajun music in the grass. The washboard and accordion players really gave it their all with the accordion player coming down to entertain the crowd on a regular basis (no body guards needed in this crowd!). Young and old alike danced to the last note!

    Thank you to everyone who came up for the day, looks like it was around 1200 attendees! We had a chance to meet lots of new people as well as hug on some old friends.

      Look for the festival next year and plan on putting it on your Arizona Stacation list!

                                                                                                         Stay Tuned!      

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Surprising Beginnings of a Crawfish Festival


  In 2002, Arizona’s favorite Cajun Cowboy’s (Rosie and Romey), saw a chance to have fun and provide a community service as well. Crawfish, a favorite Cajun delicacy, had overtaken the Arizona waterways wreaking havoc on our delicate ecosystem. Rosie and Romey  decided it would be fun to teach Arizona residents how to catch, prepare and eat crawfish- after all what better family entertainment is there than crawfishing? The kids love it as it is a lot easier and has faster results than fishing and they can play along the banks while they wait for their traps to fill.

   The tricky part of their idea was that no one is allowed to transport crawfish so they need to be captured and prepared on the spot. No problem! They mentioned on air that they would be at Woods Canyon Lake on a late summer Saturday in August. They figured a few people would show up to share in the experience. The week before the event, Romey and several local angler groups headed up and began to trap. Over the course of the week there were four hundred pounds of crawfish trapped and kept alive in large metal troughs.

     What happened on the day of the event caught everyone by surprise! More than a few people came out to see the guys and have a little fun (about 1200!).  Included in this entourage, decked out in their scuba diving gear, were a couple of fans determined to help the process by showing everyone where the crawfish were.   A thunderstorm closed in as Romey and his brother-in-law, Wayne were paddling in from running traps and  lightning crashed all around.

      Problem was no one had anticipated more than a few adventurers especially since Gov Napolitano had advised everyone to stay home due to a break in the gas line that weekend. As it turned out, there was not enough parking, no porta potties had been placed and the forest service was a nervous wreck. To top it all off for some strange reason people thought they were going to be served lunch…..but what everyone got was a small plate of crawfish to try.

    Many lessons were  learned that year! The next year there were shuttles to the lake, porta potties, 800 pounds of crawfish, and Fish and Game set up an educational table as well as rented out traps for families to give it a whirl. For a couple of years the event was held in Camp Verde with live music and crawfish eating contest. 

       This year will be the crawfish festival to beat all Arizona Crawfish Festivals. Romey and his buddy Boudreaux, owners of Arizona Crawfish Company, have staked out Bison Ranch as the location for this year’s fest. There will be live entertainment and plenty to eat.  We hope you will come on up and pass a good time with the family as we celebrate all things Cajun.

For reservations and a listing of local accomodations check out www.arizonacrawfishcompany.com
Register by Wednesday to be sure to get in on the crawfish!


 Come on up and let the good times roll! Laissez les bon temps rouler!
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