Another score for the electronics hoarding


Once again our tenancy to hoard keep electronics has come in handy.

We haven’t had a landline in almost five years, yet when a friend was looking for a phone last week to test his landline we were able to provide one.

We actually have two sets of cordless ones that came in really handy ten years ago when we lived and worked on  a college campus where the phone service was included.

However, when we bought out house and didn’t get a landline I thought we should share or sell them. Yet, here they still sit five years later and came in handy. Maybe we’ll find a new home for then soon.


Proud :)

Living in Oklahoma means our 3 1/2 year old is learning about weather awareness and tornado precautions. Tonight as I was finishing up dinner she was watching “Peep and the Big Wide World” on OETA and heard the beeps sound when they interrupted with weather news written on the screen. This was the first time she’d seen that happen.

Being the curious girl that she is, she of course asked Morgan what that meant. And, he explained that it was letting us know about weather and that we needed to check it out to see if the problem was going to be where we are or somewhere else. We explained that those beeps let people know to pay attention, that I could hear them in the kitchen and if Daddy wasn’t in the living room with her to check it out I would have come in to see what was going on.

About an hour later during her bath I noticed that we had some flooding happening on our street. There was fast-moving, deep water out there. So much so that it was up on the sidewalk at one point and flowing over the bottom of our mailbox. I’ve never seen water quite like that here at our house in Edmond.

Morgan got a short video of our street that Joanna was looking forward to seeing after her bath. Even though she saw it live, she still asked to sit and watch the video. I’ll admit he did a good job capturing the event.

Well that escalated quickly.

A post shared by Morgan Estes (@morganestes) on

I called my dad a bit later to fill him in on our weather and she wanted to talk to Grandpa Joe and let him know “Grandpa Joe, our street flooded!” It was a big deal in her world.

She went on to sleep fine even though we rejected her request for her headphones to block out the thunder and rain. We did turn her radio on for her, I just can’t feel good about giving her a cord in bed. We think she was almost asleep when the music was interrupted with news about a tornado. As the report continued she calmly got up, went into Morgan’s office, and said “Daddy, there’s a tornado at our house, I heared it on the radio”. He stopped what he was doing and said “let’s go listen” and went right in with her to hear what she was hearing. Then he took her back to the office while he checked his phone for other weather info so that he could let her know for sure that the problem area wasn’t at our house. He finished up by praying with her for safety for the people there as well as safety for us. I sat in the living room smiling the whole time. What sweet moments between the 2 of them!

I did find another radio for her for tonight so that we could play a CD that wouldn’t include any weather news instead of a regular FM station that would likely be interrupted again.

“Proud” was the word that came to mind when I thought about the interaction between the 2 of them. First, Joanna was calm and went to a person who could help her. Even though she was scared she sought out daddy to take care of things. Then, even though he’s working on something important for work, Morgan stopped what he was doing. He listened, acknowledged that she was talking about something important, and went with her to investigate and resolve the situation. I love that she knows she can go to him for help and that his actions continue to reinforce that confidence she has in him.

All American Park Las Vegas

Today is our last day in Las Vegas and we visited All American Park for the first time. This was playground number 7 for us! We’ve had a great time exploring parks and playgrounds here.

This one had two different playgrounds that were pretty far from each other. The first one we went to was definitely made for bigger kids. So, after a few minutes we hopped back in the car and found the area for smaller kids. It even had a splash pad! We turned on the water but Joanna wasn’t interested in playing in it today. She did enjoy climbing up and sliding down as well as crawling through the tunnel.

Town Square Las Vegas

IMG_20150508_121952225_HDR While J was playing at a park near the condo in Las Vegas another parent suggested the Children’s Park at Town Square would also be a good place to go play. A quick look online confirmed that it would likely be a fun place to check out.

Since today’s weather was predicted to be cooler than the other days Dad and I decided to go visit this morning. We were pleasantly surprised by what we found.

Town Square is a huge shopping center – I saw at least 3 parking garages, along with on-street parking inside the shopping area.

The Children’s Area was great! There were things to climb, slide, bounce on, pretend with, hide in, and there was a splash pad that would be great on a warmer day. The restrooms even had a child-sized toilet.

IMG_20150508_104937068 IMG_20150508_105802786 Our girl ran right in and climbed onto the goldfish -she enjoyed bouncing around on it. I kind of giggled as another family walked past carrying a little one. I heard the man say “that girl is big enough for this ride.”  I remember those days of her being not quite tall enough for most of the things. We are now at a place where she can reach almost everything on the playground. It’s a lot of fun!

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Next she enjoyed climbing the net up to the top of “her work”.  Grandpa was standing by just in case, but she made it all on her own 🙂


The riding unicorn was a hit too, even though it didn’t really ride. She enjoyed climbing up on it and trying to make it move. Even when I climbed on with her it didn’t move much.


Climbing down the ladder -she told me “you teach me how to do this”. Then proudly shouted out “Grandpa, my mama teach me to do this.” She was thinking about when we’ve climbed ladders at other places – like the fire station – and I told her to go down backwards. It worked well for her today, except that other kids didn’t notice that she was going down instead of up and started climbing too…but, they may have started in either way, since they were just kids too.

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For a girl who loves to put on a show this part was a big hit!  She loved getting our attention and then dancing across the stage. She could have done this a lot longer if it wasn’t lunch time.

IMG_20150508_112024913And then she noticed the pretzel shop right on the other side of the gate. She asked what it was and I told her that it was a place that sells pretzels. “Can we get one?” she asked. I had left my purse in the car, so I told her that I didn’t bring my money with me, but left it in the car, did she bring any money? She said no. I asked what should we do? She said “we not get one today.” That was a proud moment for me, a well-trained girl when it comes to buying things when we’re out and about. But, I asked what else can we do? She said “not get one”. I answered, yes, that is one choice but can you think of any others? She sat there a second stumped so I asked “is there someone with us who may have money?” She said yes, and with a big smile turned to my dad “Grandpa can we borrow some money for a pretzel?” He said “how about I buy you a pretzel?” She and I answered “that’s even better”. So, after telling her that our other two options were to go get my money from the car or get some from grandpa we took him up on his offer and got our snack -pretzel bites from Wetzel’s Pretzels. It was a fun, yummy break.

IMG_20150508_112751922 IMG_20150508_112929123 IMG_20150508_112933823 IMG_20150508_112941880 While eating the pretzel she noticed the train and asked if we could ride it. A quick trip to the ticket window and we were able to go board the Cactus Coaster. We had a fun ride, circling twice around part of the mall. It was fun watching people respond as we rode by and waved to them.

We spent about an hour and a half playing and snacking. It was a fun way to spend the morning. Definitely worth the 20 minute drive from where we are staying!

My Vegas Home

My Vegas Home is the name of a condo that my dad and uncle purchased with some other people several years back. The group of around 12 of them share the expenses and the time. It’s like a type of time share among friends. So, while it’s not my Vegas home, it’s their Vegas Home and they’ve been willing to share 🙂

In May of 2011 Morgan and I ventured out to it the first time. I wanted a vacation before Joanna was born and housing combined with cheap flights made Vegas the winner. I know, Las Vegas is a bit of a strange choice for a girl who doesn’t drink, smoke, gamble, or do any of the other things Vegas is famous for even when I’m not with child.

But for us it was a good choice because the price was right, the condo had air conditioning, a kitchen, cable, and a DVD player. And the town has some fun free stuff to check out. All the perfect things for a relaxing time away from home.

We had a great time that year, just sleeping in, venturing out when we wanted to and relaxing. We also visited Hoover Dam and took a tour -it was GREAT!

So, this year when Morgan was planning to attend LoopConf in Las Vegas it seemed a perfect opportunity to combine work with play. I called my dad and asked if he’d like to join us in Las Vegas in May, he checked the condo schedule and said it could work. Yay!

A huge plus has been the condo pool – Joanna has asked to swim each day and we were able to three of the first four days here. She’s loving playing on the steps and hanging on to us in the water.

We were able to explore a bit with Morgan before the conference, and then we dropped him off Wednesday and will pick him up Saturday. Having a 3 1/2 year-old with us puts an interesting spin on being tourists. We’re having a great time checking out a few things and finding local playgrounds. It’s so cool to watch her befriend the other kiddos playing at the park. I’m planning to write a bit about some of those adventures over the next few days.

Hope you enjoy LoopConf


A sweet goodbye moment as we dropped Daddy off at the Westin Lake Las Vegas for the conference.

We’ve enjoyed a couple of vacation days here in Las Vegas and now Morgan’s off to LoopConf while Joanna and I get to spend some more time with my dad. She’s loving hanging out with Grandpa Joe.

Though we’ll miss him, chances are good that we’ll all stay busy and will be glad to see each other when we get to pick him up Saturday morning.