Monday, February 28, 2011

Shadow Puppet Show

A little bit ago Christopher set up the flashlight on the couch, turned off the lights and then came and asked me how to do a bird puppet. We looked it up online and found an easy one to do. Enjoy the show!

(Darn it, I just watched the video on the blog and you can't see the puppet version - just his hands. Oh well.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gone FOR 60 Seconds - The Final Chapter

(Thanks, Dad, for the title. It's perfect for this little saga and for the scrapbook layout I'm going to make.)

It's been an interesting week and a half, to say the least. I have been surprised that I haven't been more angry. I've been frustrated, but mostly I've been sad. I've been sad for us, of course, but I've also been sad for the people who were hit, sad for the man's father and sad for the man. I've just been sad.

I think the reason I have not been more angry is two-fold. Last Saturday, shortly after the police left and prior to putting the kids to bed, we knelt in family prayer. John offered the prayer. The first thing he prayed for was forgiveness and that we would have forgiving hearts. He also prayed that whomever stole our truck would be safe while driving it and, if it was the will of our Heavenly Father, the truck would be returned.

On Wednesday, while JJ and I were driving home from Hutchinson, John called to tell us the truck had been stolen again. After I hung up with him and told JJ what had happened, I started to call my parents. JJ asked me to stop dialing for a minute so he could pray (he reminded me to keep my eyes open because I was driving - haha). He prayed for forgiveness for the man who took our truck and for safety while he was driving it.

This has been a lesson for me to get rid of the anger right away and to offer forgiveness immediately.

(John just told me that the rear end is falling out of the gray truck so now we are either looking for a new vehicle or we're looking at rebuilding the rear end of this truck. Of course rebuilding is cheaper but we're running out of time because farming season is getting into full swing. I keep hoping that his bosses will tell him to take a day or two and fix his truck, but they aren't really that way.)

Changing of the Guard

A few weeks ago John completed replacing the engine in our 1978 Ford F150. Luckily it was just in time to have his daily runner stolen. Here's the 1978...John loves vintage trucks and I'm told this one is super cool. He traded the wrecked truck at the salvage yard for a "new" bed for this truck. Good thing he's an award-winning heavy collision body and paint guy! It will be awesome when he's finished with it.
At home, in it new spot!

Home Again, Safe and Sound...

Well, maybe not safe and sound, but home again, none-the-less.On Thursday, February 24th, about 4:45 P.M., the police released our pickup after dusting for fingerprints. We know they found fingerprints, but we have never been told if they were ours or the thief's. Either way, John and Dustin went to the police station and picked up the truck. While they were trying to get it on the trailer, an officer walked a man into the station. The officer said to John, "If it's any consolation, this is the guy who stole your truck." The man said, "I didn't steal nothin'." As it turned out, the bed of the truck had been moved over too much so the truck was too wide for the trailer. John ended up driving it the three blocks home. Needless to say, it didn't drive very well. It was definitely wounded.

As the thief ran the stop sign and crossed through First Street (one of our main streets), he ran into another car. The other car hit the front, driver's side, just in front of the wheel. The impact was so hard that it bent the front axle and the frame, bending the truck into a U-shape. You can see the space between the cab and the bed in the picture below. One of the two passengers in the other car was treated for minor injuries. The other passenger was not injured.
You can see the ripple in the bed, right next to the cab. This is the inside of the "U".
How the guy was found.... My friend, Lorie, works on Main Street. About 3:30 she went outside to warm up her van to melt the ice on her windshield so she could pick her kids up at school. Her kids ended up walking to her office. Her son, Brody, who is in the same class as JJ, talked to a guy on the street in front of Lorie's office. The guy said he was from Virginia, new to Pratt, and asked for directions. Brody gave him the directions. The guy got into their van and drove it away. I'm not sure if Brody saw him do that or if he was in the office with his mom. The thief drove the van a short ways (several blocks) and abandoned it. It was found about 30 minutes later. Brody was able to give the cops a detailed description of the man and he was arrested at his father's home shortly after.

What we know about the thief - he is 26 years old and had been out of prison (in the east) for burglary for about 14 days. He had been living in Pratt with his dad for about 10 days. They lived one street over from our house. He took our keys the day after he got to Pratt (the night of the 15th). He "borrowed" his first vehicle on the 17th. In all, he took five or six vehicles and "returned" (abandoned) them all within several blocks of where they were taken, except for our truck, which he wrecked and then ran from the scene. All-in-all, his crime spree lasted for nine days.

In Kansas there is a law called the Joyriding Law. It says that if someone "borrows" and "returns" a vehicle then they won't be charged with a felony. I guess the reasoning is so that 16 year old kids who borrow a farmer's truck and go for a joyride won't have a felony on their record for the rest of their lives. (I heard the other day that it is being reviewed and might be changed - this was started prior to our Pratt joyriding spree.)

To read the article in the Pratt Tribune, go here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Choose Your Own Adventure...

Do you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books ...the ones where you would read a page or two and then it would give you a choice of two directions to take the story? Well, look at this picture I took last night and tell me what turn you think our recent robbery adventure took.... I'll give you a minute to ponder this photo...

Yes, you guessed it. We didn't CHOOSE this adventure, but the pickup was stolen AGAIN, using the original set of keys that were stolen Tuesday night of last week.

John, Kelly, Christopher and Leslie were all home when John discovered it was taken about 8:00 P.M. (JJ and I were in Hutchinson at Scouts). John called us about 8:35 after the cops had left. He was in the back yard and could hear sirens. He told me that he hoped those sirens were the police, chasing down our truck. Unfortunately, it was for our truck but no chase happened.

We don't have all the details but this is what we think happened. The thief drove out of our alley, turned right and made an immediate left. He drove six blocks until he got to the busy street. He tried to cross the busy street but instead hit another car. The pickup ended up on someone's lawn and the car was munched. We aren't sure of the injuries of the two people in the car, but they were taken to the hospital. Hopefully they were just checked at the hospital for a precaution and released. The thief ran from the scene of the accident. JJ and I saw police lights on the busy street when we drove into town about 9:20. By the time we got to where the lights were flashing, both vehicles had been removed and the officers were removing the caution cones out of the middle of the four-lane street. The pickup was hauled to the police station to check for fingerprints and the car was hauled to the body shop. Our pickup is no longer drivable. We were planning on replacing it because the driver's door was falling off, the heater didn't work well, there was rust in the bed, but we were hoping to at least get a few bucks out of it. I don't know that we'll get much now - 50 bucks a ton, maybe.

As an ode to our Big Red truck, here's a song that John loves to sing. He knows every word and it makes me laugh every time he sings it. Enjoy the song, it is truly a funny song (and, to quote my brother, Glen, it's funny 'cuz it's true!) - and think a loving thought about Big Red!

Classifieds by C.W. McCall

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sherlock Holmes, anyone?

What is missing from this picture?
You guessed it... John's truck. It was stolen last night. Last Wednesday morning he came into the house and asked if I had taken his keys out of his truck. Of course I hadn't. He decided that someone had come in the night and stolen the keys out of his truck. Luckily the key ring only had keys for the pickup and a vial of consecrated oil on it. It didn't have the van or house keys on it. (EVERYONE in Pratt - except me, I was raised in CA and we never left our keys in the car so it's habit for me to take them out - leaves their keys in the ignition. It's Pratt, safe town.) Then, last night the missionaries asked us to attend a BBQ with a less active family. We left the house about 6:20. John and the kids got home about 8:40. I stayed to help another lady clean the church house and got home about 9:05. By then John had already called the police and they had come and gone. The officer found a cigarette butt (which the officer took for evidence) and this footprint...
It's from a skater shoe - and not the kind of skater shoe that JJ wears. John said our family prayer (and asked that Heavenly Father keep the robbers safe and that they wouldn't be harmed while they were in our truck) and then we sent the kids to bed. At 1:05 A.M., John's cell phone rang and he sprinted to the kitchen to answer it. They had found his truck! John got dressed and drove over to where they had found it.
(I took this picture at 7:30 this morning when I went with him to pick up the truck.) The truck had been abandoned .2 miles from our house - that's TWO BLOCKS. They had parked it in the parking lot of a rent-to-own center. The thieves had opened the ashtray, probably looking for change - they didn't find any. They had opened the walkman CD player that John keeps in there for when he's driving tractor. All they found was a CD of the Book of Mormon in Spanish. They left that alone. The gloves that were on the seat had been moved to the floor. The CD player that had been on the dash had been moved to the seat. They hadn't driven it very far because the first tank still had 1/4 of a tank of gas in it and the second tank was still full. They had left it in the exact condition they found it - right down to the spare key that John had left in the ignition (he won't be doing that anymore).
It's not a fancy truck. It doesn't have a lift kit or any fun things on it or even in it, but it's our sturdy farm truck and it's paid for... and it's back home where it belongs.

Monday, February 14, 2011

For Ada

Cousin Ada - Leslie must love you tons and bunches. She has just barely started jabbering and "talking". In addition to saying the standard "DADA", she also says "ADA". (Kelly is the one helping. Please ignore the laundry in the background. It's pretty standard around here and is usually piled a lot higher. I hate having the laundry in the kitchen. It's just not right.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Leslie 7 1/2 months

My parents have very politely suggested that they have not seen any new pictures of Leslie in a long time. They even told Kelly to take pictures of Leslie and email the pictures to them. Soooo..... I finally posted some pictures. In my defense, though, I've taken lots and lots of pictures but the girl is so quick that they usually look like this...Or this...
Cute, but still very fuzzy. Then, the other day, I got this one. Not too bad, but still, not great.
This morning, before Church, Leslie gave us this smile. Still a little fuzzy, but you can totally see her smiling at Kelly.
Then after Church I had Kelly hold her for a minute and we got this great picture of Leslie. Too bad Kelly wasn't looking up.

Here's a video that we took of Leslie this morning before Church. I know it looks like she's not doing anything, but I want to point out three VERY significant things...
1. No one is holding her.
2. She is sitting up - without help or being propped.
3. She is not screaming (which is HUGE since we've renamed her the Screech Owl instead of Drama Girl because she screeches ALL the time).

Just a couple of statistics about Leslie - at her six month checkup (which was actually two days before she was seven months), Leslie weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces (greater than 95th percentile); she was 27 1/2" long (90th percentile) and her head was 17 3/4" around. The doctor said not to worry too much about her being so big and be glad she's proportional. Leslie has started making noises with a very sweet little voice - it's a HUGE change from the screaming that has dominated her vocal tries for the first six months. She says things that sound like da-da and Hi and Yeah.

And so Christopher doesn't feel left out.... Here's a picture of him with a "hairhawk" - before we cut his hair short.