Happy 50th Birthday Steve!

My big brother Steve is turning HALF A CENTURY OLD today!!  Love you Steve!

Steve Collage 1


So Proud Of Our Niece!



Madison Keller Selected as National Youth Delegate For Prestigious Conference at George Mason University / Student Leaders to travel to Washington D.C. for highly-selective environment forum


Madison Keller, a student at Cathedral High School, has been selected to represent Fishers, Indiana as a National Youth Delegate to the 2019 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment at George Mason University.

Keller joins a select group of 300 students from across the country to participate in an intensive, week-long study of leadership in environmental science and conservation. Keller was chosen based on academic accomplishments and a demonstrated interest and excellence in leadership in the sciences and conservation studies.

George Mason University along with partners, National Geographic and the National Zoo are excited to welcome the nation’s young scholars to Washington, D.C. With distinguished faculty, guest speakers, and direct access to elite D.C. practitioners, the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment offers aspiring environmentalists and student leaders an unparalleled experience. The week-long program is held at George Mason University’s state-of-the-art campus. The Summit will encourage and inspire young leaders who desire a unique experience focused on successful careers in this dynamic industry.

The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment will be held June 23 to 28, 2019.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is setting the gold standard for the modern, public university. Its dynamic culture and innovative academic programs prepare Mason’s hard-working students for 21st century careers. Its commitment to teaching excellence combines with cutting-edge research that enriches the academic experience and is changing the world. Mason is affordable, yet offers high value. Ideally located in the National Capital region, students enjoy terrific cultural experiences and access to the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.

About the 2019 Washington Youth Summit on the Environment

The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE) is a unique student leadership conference designed to develop and encourage future leaders in the important field of environmental studies and conservation in the 21st century. The Advisory Board is chaired by Mark Bauman, Senior Vice President of the Smithsonian Institution’s Enterprises Division. Additional members include world renowned scholars, distinguished scientists and award winning university faculty, such as Dr. Tom Lovejoy, noted environmentalist and former executive vice president of the World Wildlife Fund. Delegates gain an insider look at environmental science, policy and conservation issues. For more information visit us online at wyse.gmu.edu.

The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment | 4400 University Drive | MSN 3A4 | Fairfax, VA 22030

Booker Christmas Mannequin Challenge

So….for this Christmas…the Booker Family decided to jump on the bandwagon and do their own version of the Mannequin Challenge.  Now…we aren’t talking about trying to be like Andrew McCarthy and bring a Mannequin to life to “get lucky with.”  Nope this one is the viral internet trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them.


The logistics of doing this with only 5 people and getting us all in was a little hard to do…but I think we pulled it off WONDERFULLY!  Hope you enjoy it!

Check it out:  Booker Christmas Mannequin Challenge

Here is a quick excerpt from the video featuring Scott and his Mom!


I Love My Wife’s Cooking

When it comes to eating…both of us LOVE food!

And when it comes to cooking dinner….René usually does it!

Firstly, because she enjoys it!

Secondly, because I prefer to do the baking.

Thirdly, because she is just so GOSH DARN GOOD AT IT!

And she loves to try new recipes!  So when my mom gave René a recipe that came from her dear friend Patty, she immediately gave it to René to try out.  When her mom’s birthday rolled around, we invited her and her sister Casey over for a home cooked meal.  Below are pictures of René cooking dinner and the final product.

And BOY OH BOY….it was delicious!   Everyone enjoyed it!!!!



Since this is Patty’s recipe, if you are interested in having it, just let us know!  We will make sure it is ok with her and get it to you!


Pam McCord – Rest In Peace – By René



My sister-in-law’s mother passed away on July 1st, 2014. She was only 69 years young.  She was a beautiful, nice, always friendly lady who I was able to get to know through my sister-in-law, Jennie.

Casey and I left at 9:00am on July 6th to drive to Barrington IL where the family would be holding the service for Pam. I was a little nervous since my mom had told me that there could be 500 people in attendance. Also because I am a sympathetic crier, I knew that I would just start crying when I saw others crying or when I saw Jennie and her siblings I would just cry for them.

When we arrived in town, we had some time to get ready and then we headed over to the church for the viewing. The viewing was from 2pm to 8pm.  First of all, if this was for one of my parents, I would have never lasted that long on my feet greeting people. That is a very long time for anyone. The first person we saw was Darren who looked exhausted and this was just the start of a very long day for them. Next we saw Madi who gave us huge hugs. I spotted Jennie out of the corner of my eye and started tearing up even though she was not. One by one we were hugged by Jennie, Sean and Morgan, Jamie, Shelby and Annie. They all seemed to be holding it together really well. I realize that people all grieve in their own ways but I was really surprised.

As the day went on mom, dad, Casey, Shannon, Steve and I kept to a corner of the room where the family knew if they needed a quick break, they could come sit with us for a bit. I noticed again that most of the family kept it together even when being hugged by those crying. They seemed really brave or maybe it was still so unreal to them and that got them through the day.

Darren told us we could leave around 7:30 and that he would meet up with us for a very late dinner. He came alone which I believe probably helped him since he could just relax and talk about whatever he wanted since no one was around to hear.

Monday, July 7th, they family held the service for Pam at the same church were the viewing took place. This was Pam’s church for many years. I walked in and already the tears started flowing and nothing was even happening yet. The church filled up quickly; I’m not sure of the count but probably close to 300. There was no casket, just her urn. The family came in last and took their seats. I was crying again as were a lot of those in attendance. Mom passes Kleenex to Casey, Shannon and I.

The service starts and at one point, people are encouraged to stand up and share something about Pam. Here is where the tears really started again, hearing all the nice kind words through choked back tears.  Now the grandchildren all go up and the older ones all read a passage from the bible. I actually didn’t cry for this. They were all so brave up there and I was really impressed. Next Jennie and her siblings all take turns talking about their mom.

As I am typing this, I am tearing up. Can you say BIG cry baby!! I had to get more Kleenex.  The service continues on and all the while I am thinking to myself how will I handle it when one of my parents dies. Not very well I imagine. I will not be able to hold back the tears when people approach me to talk about them and provide hugs for comfort. Or will I be so numb that I will hold it together for the hours of mourning with everyone?  I can tell you that my siblings may be able to get up and talk about them but I will not. Not because I don’t want to, but because I am very fearful when it comes to speaking in front of people. Especially when I have to I speak very quickly.  Plus, with the fact that I will be crying uncontrollably, you wouldn’t be able to understand a word I said anyway.  We all grieve in our own ways, and my way is to cry through it!