500 Miles
Dave Hopkins


The Best Summer Ever
August 16, 2009

All I can say is ... this has been the absolute best summer since moving to Missouri!
The weather has just been awesome ... mid to upper 80s in the day, 50s-60s at night. It's usually in the low 90s to 100s this time of year. I think Meliss brought the cool New England weather with her. People I've talked to who've lived here for years say they've never seen it like this before. Not to mention Meliss and I have some incredible tans. Ok, I'll stop there. This is boring you.

So great having you, Nathan and Tayla! Tayla, thank you SO MUCH for your servant's heart in helping Meliss out everyday (not to mention dishes and everything else). A pure joy having you.

Ok, on with pictures. You'll notice I spent a little more time in making some photos a little more artsy. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Tayla teaches Willy english and grammar. For the life of him he just couldn't grasp prepositional phrases.

I give Willy his first piano lesson. For the life of him he couldn't grasp scales and arpeggios. Next time I'm gonna try facing him towards the piano.

Out for a walk. I'm so sick of walking pictures! Dude, then leave! Get outta here!

Tearful goodbyes. Made it black and white just to give it even more emotion. So sorry if this ruins your day. Anyway, so great having you, Nate! Doing such an awesome job on the DVD! Lord willing we'll have it done sometime in September.

We have the neighbors over for some dinner. You girls are so stinking cute.

There's a pesky little ENFP under our table! Shoo! Shoo!

Our dinner. Now before you grab a paper bag to hurl, it was actually really good, and that's coming from me! It was ALL from Jer and Danni's garden. Everything you see there. Even those noodle looking things. Major funky!

Our gathering. Hey, Lynn! She came to stay with Jer and Danni for 10 days.

A wonderful friend.

Uncle and father Jordie plays with the kiddos.

Our little infant is now a true baby. We just so love him from head to toe!

Meliss and Tayla attended Anessa's wedding shower (friend at our church), and had a most delightful time (so I'm told).

That's a lot of females.

Will puts on his charms.

William specifically requested that I put up this picture. I came into the room to find him with spit-up all over his face, and just busted out laughing. He gave me the biggest smile and I snapped a few photos.

Last Sunday Meliss and I had the most peaceful evening ever. Just a warm summer night with the windows open with nothing to do but lay on our bed and write in our journals and eat Coconut Bliss ice-cream. Moments like these you'll never forget.

Locksley's finally big enough to go on the back! Oh man, makes walks so much easier!

Almost everyday we've been going in our pond with Willy. He's grown to absolutely love it. Here are a few favorite snapshots. I love summer!

He just makes me laugh so hard.

Enough, daddy. Let's get serious.

Niednagel.com's Friendly Family Filter again comes to the rescue!

My two heaven-sent treasures.

On Thursday we went to Springfield to have dinner with Mr. Schrader (you'll recall that his dear wife Ann passed away last year). We ate on top of Mama Jeans health food store where they have this great bench and table and, of course, view.

Jeremy and Mr. Schrader.

Like a little doll. :-)

Not sure what Kalea's doing.

Just so fun to landscape. Our house is slowly turning into a home. Amazing what just some roses, rocks, lights, mulch, and a spruce tree can do. :-)

From the field side at sunset.

Again, Brad begs the question ... is your baby a backpack Beco baby?

Lord bless you all!


Summer Fun With Friends
July 31, 2009

Man, I don't do a blog entry for 3 weeks and I get people threatening my livelihood! Get off me! Anyway, how are you all? We're doing well here in the Ozarks, with friends coming and going like musical chairs. T'was a wonderful time with Nathan and Jamesy Daher, and now we have Tayla Myra here from Pennsylvania till next week. She's been such a help taking care of Willy Locks, doing dishes, etc. Thank you so much, Tayla!

Maybe you've heard the original version of the song playing. If so, you'll appreciate this cool Christian version even more. :-D

Jeremy sent me this picture the other day. Almost cried when I saw it.

How time flies. Yesterday I was a child at play and now I have a child at play. Cherish every moment of life no matter where you are or what position you're in. Every breath is truly a gift from Him.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by!

Ello, Nate! It's the day after his arrival and we're out after some breakfast at Rockbridge.

There was a low-lying mist over the water that was too cool.

Jer and Danni had the Smeltzer family over for some grub. Out for a lovely walk.

"Get off me, chick."

Anyone recognize this infamous penguin?

Too cute.

"I'll trade you a stick for the cat."

You have to admit ... my pants are pretty stinkin' rad. Admit it!

Jamesy arrives in Springfield to spend the weekend with us.

It's so hilarious ... Keoni gets so jealous when Danielle holds William. Practically tackles him.

Out for a canoe trip! You look drunk, Nate.

And Jon looks like he's escaped from an insane asylum.

"I wouldn't dangle my feet over the side like that, sis. Who knows what's in that water."

Brothers and sons again. Wanna know something great about creeks? You don't have to worry about baby wipes! You just dunk your kid and presto! (sorry, probably TMI).

Great shot, Nate.

Hey, Jon Courville! He came along with us and at the end helped an unfortunate canoer retrieve his totaled canoe. I would've helped ... but ... someone needed to take pictures, you know?

A pooped William (no pun intended).

Grandmother and grandchild.

We then all came home to an awesome pizza dinner and a movie (Shadowlands). Good times.

Dinner at Jer's. I refuse to say supper. I grew up thinking "supper" was a term only poor country folk used. Oh wait, I guess that's what we are. Supper at Jer's.

An evening walk to the mailbox.

"Take my picture!" Then she does that. Now where in all England did she learn that?

Got my babe on the backseat and it's time to ride!

Sup, pipsqueak.

After picking up Tayla from the airport we headed down to Branson for some lunch and a show. This is at College of the Ozarks, that place we were months back where students work to pay for their tuition. Awesome place to eat.

The Duttons! Ever heard of them? A pretty well-known playing, traveling family.

That guy could really jam. Wish I had a cool white jacket like that.

Chatting with them afterwards. So down-to-earth and friendly.

After church we took some pics with Clayton and Brooke Pearlstein, and their little one Athanasius (yep, that's his name!). He and Willy were born like 5 days apart. Willy's jealous of Athy's hair.

"This is so lame."

Lord bless you all. Thanks again for stopping by!