In Honor Of Memorial Day

Last Veteran's Day, I wrote a post about my family members who were in the service. I think about them often and the sacrifices they made in their lifetimes and how my sacrifices seem so small and irrelevant in comparison. I'm so grateful for all the military families both past and present. Thank you for all you do.

From my Veteran's Day post....

Happy Veteran's Day! And a big thank you to veterans, soldiers, and all those amazing military families who miss their loved ones on a daily basis.

I've been thinking a lot about my family members who served today and wanted to honor them in some small way . My mom was kind enough to share some of what she knows about my grandparents so I've included it below. Thanks Mom!

(Juanita Pennington, 1945)

My grandmother, Juanita Pennington was member of the WAVES (Women's Navy) and worked in D.C. during WWII. (Photo above was taken in D.C.) One of her jobs was to decode Japanese messages. She was put on a train with other WAVES. Juanita had no idea where she was going or where she ended up due to the black-out curtains hanging in the train windows. She got off the train at a secret location and worked on the messages. The women would be brought back to their bases the next day.
My grandfather, Lawrence Pennington was a paratrooper during WWII. He was in Africa fighting Rommel (German) as well as parachuting into Europe where he was one of the first paratroopers to drop over the Ziegfreid line when Americans invaded Europe. Most of the men were killed as they parachuted, but he landed safely and hid under a snow-covered tree. He was discovered and held as a prisoner for nine months. The Russian army liberated him and when he came back home to the US he was sent to the Biltmore House Estate in North Carolina to recuperate due to his poor health.

(Clifford Parsons with my dad, Barry Parsons)

My grandpa, Clifford Parsons, was in the Army Engineers division who was responsible for building the roads and bridges before the rest of the troops advanced. He fought in Europe and was ordered to invade Normandy. A week before the invasion, his units' orders were changed or he would have been one of the first men there.

(Charles Hathcock)

Scott's grandfather, Charles Hathcock, also served during WWII. Charles came from a family of six siblings; he was the youngest of four brothers. At one point during WWII, all of the Hathcock brothers were serving in the war. Charles was recruited much later in the war and served in Austria Germany in two main roles. His first role was as a Military Police(MP) officer watching over German war prisoners. His second role gave him the opportunity to explore the German countryside as part of the communications reconstruction team. Charles helped hang telephone lines and open back up communications between German villages. He never had to fire a single shot in either role but instead left the war with an appreciation for the German Austrian people and their countryside.

My grandpa, Calvin Deeter, served in the Navy aboard the The USS Conklin DE439. There's a wonderful website dedicated to those who served on the Conklin: http://www.ussconklin.org/index.htm.
If you have more info, photos, or different memories to share, please let me know! I'd love to add them to this post.


Just a few fun photos that say "I have absolutely nothing exciting to report in Mod Mom Furniture Land"

A friend made this for me. I sure wish I knew who that guy was she has me holding. Must be some young whippersnapper. :)

So in between wood stuff, Scott and I celebrated his 39th birthday with dear friends on Saturday. We met at a restaurant all dressed in 80s corporate attire. We even made up name tags with positions. I was lucky enough to be Scott's (who was the CEO)executive assistant. I have to say the silk suit and pantyhose were actually pretty comfortable. I think I'm gonna bring back suntan hose and white heels. Click the photo to reveal the secretary!

Oonagh, our Dir. of HR, and Kierstie, the Exec Assistant to the CEO of our fake company


Festivus AKA Stevenson Rocks

(Jukebox Entry Way - it's over 12 ft high and didn't fall down! WHOOHOO! The wind blew the silver streamers that hung in the entryway unmercifully so you don't see them in this shot much.)

As you know from a previous post, in between Mod Mom Furniture stuff, Scott and I have been working on decorations for my kids' elementary school fundraiser: Stevenson Rocks Around The Arts 50s-style. Basically, like the rest of California public schools, teacher jobs are being cut and programs like art and music are no longer funded by the schools but rather the parent booster club. In a nutshell, we had to raise A LOT of money at this outdoor, carnival-like fundraiser.

Check out the pieces we created for the entry way walkway. First impressions are everything, right? Some of these pieces can be used year after year for Stevenson events. And some were built from what's in my garage, i.e., one of my workbenches, old IKEA table legs, etc. Many thanks to Stock Building Supply for donating much of the wood used and many, many thanks to my husband who worked tirelessly painting realistic detail on almost everything you see. The amount of artistic talent he has in his little finger is unbelievable.

(This soda pop stand was made from one of my workbenches. I also used old table legs, luan and 2x4s for the backdrop frame to complete the build. I painted the base coats on the bottom and top and then asked Scott to have a go at it and paint the background and he came up with this amazing scene. I built the faux bar stools from 3/4 inch wood for the seat, veneer for the edge of the seat, old cardboard packaging tubes that originally housed my veneer sheets, and another 3/4 piece of wood for the base. The drapes you see hanging are from Grace's room.)

(In an effort to add one more large element before the hallway out to the festival, we built a "drive-in" complete with cars with working lights. Scott did all the painting on the cars as well as the drive-in sign. I built them and did the oh-so-fun "how the heck do we make all this stable" work.)

There is absolutely no way I could write this post without including a video of my very talented husband and BFF who agreed to perform two sets of 1950s lounge music on the main stage. If I only had one tenth of the singing talent that my dear friend Oonagh Delaney has, I'd be a happy, happy woman!!! Thanks again to both of you for all the time and love you put into your performances.

(This is from a portion of their second set. I was the cameragirl and the cd-button-pusher so you'll see the camera move a bit. :)