Monday, December 19, 2011

End of semester

There hasn't been that much to blog about recently.  I've been busy with finishing up the semester.  Project, paper, tests.  Fun stuff, but I completed my first semester in the masters of public administration program.  We'll see how successfully when grades come out.  But I enjoyed learning new things and got to know some interesting classmates.  Looking forward to what next semester holds.

I enjoyed my first weekend without homework hanging over my head.  There is about a month between semesters.  One thing I did this weekend was attend the Delano Chamber Orchestra's Christmas concert.  A friend plays flute & piccolo in it.  It was very enjoyable.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Another Thanksgiving weekend has come and gone. We were all home for Thanksgiving this year.  7 adults, 4 kids, and 2 dogs made it a little chaotic at my parents' house but it was lots of fun.  I got a lot of time with my nephews - always a good thing.  We had family pictures taken on Friday morning.  It was windy & cold but I am looking forward to seeing the proofs. 
Nothing terribly much to report other than good family time.  I am thoroughly in love with these 4 little boys.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


It has been awhile since I posted.  October was very busy and it culminated in a mission trip to Peru.  I was honored to be a part of a conference on international finance and economics at San Marcos University - the most left-leaning, socialist, communist university in all of Peru.  It was as very different mission trip than I have been on before but we definitely saw God move.  Americans are not usually allowed to speak at San Marcos.  We had an all day conference with 200 students.  Six of us spoke at it and we also spent time interacting with the students on breaks.  As we spoke, we explained our views by speaking our of Christian faith and using bible verses.  I spoke on Working in a Global Marketplace. At the end, a student leader I had particularly connected with spontaneously shared her testimony with the entire conference.  My teared up as she was sharing knowing how bold she was being. She thanked me afterwards for as we shared that day she realized that her belief in God and what she was studying were not mutually exclusion but could go together and it gave her the boldness to share.

We were able to spend the rest of the trip learning more about Peru and it's culture. That Wednesday we flew from Lima to Cusco in the Andes.  We had a city tour of the cathedral and an Incan temple that the Spanish turned into a Catholic church.  As well as a bus tour into nearby Saqsaywaman archelogocial park to see three Incan ruins.

Thursday we took a tour of The Sacred Valley.  We got to go to three Incan ruins and did a lot of hiking and stairs.  There were amazing views.  The Andes are different than any other mountains I have ever seen - very sheer.

The last day we took the train from Cusco to Machu Picchu.  It was incredible.  Never even imagined I would visit there.  It hard to capture how tall and sheer the mountains are where it is situated.  It was an amazing trip and a wonderful team to share it with!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sad news

I went to Chicago for the Society of Women Engineers National Conference. It was a good trip though tiring.  I also got to go out to Oak Park to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio as well as do a walking tour of the neighborhood and see a number of houses he had a hand in.

The weekend ended with very sad news however.  Grandma Ledford passed away unexpectedly Sunday morning.  I am so thankful Mom and I got to visit her in August.  She is much loved and missed.  It is hard to believe she is gone. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I competed in my first triathlon on Sunday.  I finished and wasn't last! That was my goal.  The swim didn't go as planned but I completed it and moved on.  It was a sprint distance triathlon so 500 yard swim, 13.5 mile bike, and 3.4 mile run.  I finished in 2:08:52 and was happy to accomplish it.  I've been training towards this since last December when I started the Couch to 5k running program.  I did it with 4 other friends.  This triathlon was in Heber Springs, Arkansas. 

The day before the triathlon we went hiking at Mt. Nebo near Russellville, Arkansas.  It was a beautiful day.  We took the 3.5 mile loop Rim Trail for some great views.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

McPherson Scottish Festival

One of the things on my Kansas bucket list is attending the McPherson Scottish Festival. I was finally able to this year.  My roommate and I drove up for part of Saturday and enjoyed wandering around the festivities. 
We watched some Highland games, a sheep dog demonstration, and Irish dancing.  Listened to music, enjoyed some Scottish food, and talked to people in the clan booths.  My clan was not represented by my roommate's was and we got invited to go with them in 2014 to Scotland and Ireland.

 The midday ceremony was the Parade of Tartans and a massed pipe and drum band.  I enjoyed talking to this little old man at his booth.  His clan's slogan is "fierce when roused." 
This man was in the booth next door and came over to give us a hard time too.  Liz liked his pants.  He pointed at us during the parade.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I flew to Baltimore for the weekend to meet my honorary niece for the first time.  Little Miss Chloe is 2 months old.  She's the daughter of one of my friends from college.  She's an adorable little tiny doll.
It was my first time to Maryland - another state!  We went to Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore on Saturday.  Toured the USS Constellation.
It was a good trip even though I had a 12 hour delay getting home due to weather and missed connections. It was great to get to meet Chloe!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kansas City Zoo

I went home for Labor Day weekend.  JT had wanted to go to the zoo all summer but it had just been too hot.  So I had asked Sharon a few weeks ago if we could do it when I came up.  It was a cooler day than we had been having (in the 90s) but it was still hot & humid.  We had fun anyway.
Mom, Sharon, JT, Sam & I all went.  It was Sam's first trip to the zoo.
Aunt Jennifer was instructed to take pictures of some of the animals like the tigers. JT's in the blue hat.

We also pet sheep and rode the carousel.

Sam was such a good boy. He had to be so hot but he didn't fuss at all.
We saw Grandma's favorite - elephants.
JT and I rode the new sky ride (think ski lift) over the African animals.  At first he was a little scared but by the middle he said the ride was going to be too short.
Sam and his mommy at home again.  Such a cute boy!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Seattle & beyond

Mom and I took a trip to Seattle to visit Grandma and do some exploring.  We had amazing weather the whole time we were there.  Wednesday afternoon we went to downtown Seattle.  Had lunch at Pike Place Market.
And went up to the top of the Space Needle. 

Thursday we drove north and took the ferry to Whidbey Island for a little exploring and wine tasting.

We spent the whole day with Grandma on Friday.  Saturday we drove to the north end of the Olympic Peninsula to go to Hurricane Ridge.  I had never been ther.  It was amazing! 

We did a hike on the Hurricane Ridge trail.  Incredible views!

Some pictures with Grandma before we headed back home.  It was a great trip!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Clearwater Beach

Gayle and Shaun's wedding was this weekend in Clearwater Beach, Florida.  Twelve of our Pathways church group traveled with the bride & groom to the wedding.  We made special t-shirts to surprise them and got lots of looks & comments along the journey.  They said "We're going to the J wedding...and honeymoon!" with a goofy picture of them on it. 
It was a great trip and a wonderful wedding.  The bride & groom were so happy and enjoyed their moment.  I'm 2nd from the left. God gave us amazing sunsets each night, saving the best for the wedding!

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's been awhile

Life has been busy lately.  The washing machine malfunctioned and flooded half the basement.  Took about 2 weeks for the professional cleanup to be completed.  I have barely started putting things back in place.  My goal is to not put anything back with out going through it first.  I already have a pile of craft supplies to give away.
Then we had a big storm move in last week.  We haven't had rain in a really long time.  60 mile an hour winds and 2 inches of rain overnight.  Our power was out for about 12 hours.  I found this in the front yard the next morning.  Sigh.  Thankfully it didn't land on anything and my tree guy took care of it and cleaning up the tree. It's been a rough home-owner summer for me.

Some fun busy-ness has been preparing for the wedding I'm in this weekend in Florida.  I made these cookies for her bachelorette party and Wichita wedding reception. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Black Hills

Last weekend I went on a roadtrip with 2 girlfriends. None of us had been to Mt. Rushmore before so that is where we headed. It's about a 12 hour drive from here. We had a great trip. Crammed a lot into our 2.5 days there. Learned that there is a lot to do & see in the Black Hills.   The trip started with the amazing sunrise above. Our first stop was in The Badlands.  Amazing...and hot.
 Mt. Rushmore was first on Saturday's agenda.  Magestic, yet it is hard to wrap your mind around how large the scupture really are.

Crazy Horse Monument.  Still in progress.  This is 50 years worth of work.

Sunday was a lot of driving thru incredible scenery.  I did the driving that day.  This was the first tunnel carved through rock that we drove through.  It is on Needles Highway.  It is barely one lane wide.

This spot was my favorite of the day.  We took a gravel road a few miles off the main highway and had these amazing sweeping views in Wind Cave National Park.

We saw a herd of wild donkeys, 2 elk, and scads of prairie dogs but by the time we were close to the end of Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park all we had seen were 3 lone bison.  But then we came across a herd of over 100 bison right on the road.  We even saw these two fighting it out.

It was a great trip! I would love to go back and do some hiking in the area and see more of all there is up there.