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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


My sister, Kelly Gilchrist and her husband Bill Olson, have added these beautiful babies to their family. They were born Monday, July 21st, at 8:07 and 8:08 pm.

Willa Grace Olson (on the left) was 4 pounds, 8 ounces and 17 1/2 inches long
Luke Gilchrist Olson (on the right) was 4 pounds, 15 ounces and 18 inches long

Aren't they absolutely adorable?!! Kelly and the babies are home (Yorktown Heights, NY) now, and doing well. I'm overwhelmed thinking about caring for two newborns. Ten is easy when they come one at a time!

Keith and I will get to see them this weekend on a fast, fantastic trip out east. We will be visiting Amy and Nate in PA for a day and a half, see Amy perform in the State College Community Theatre's production of To Kill A Mockingbird, and pop in for a day to see Kelly, Bill, Eric (4 1/2), Willa and Luke. We will also be delivering Joel from Amy's (where he is currently, working on music for Shepherd of the Hills) to Kelly's (where he will be a "nanny" or just all around useful kind of a person). Joel will return the end of August just in time for the start of his first semester at Missouri S & T.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Challenge

Having been challenged by the Willis family, the Nisbett guys are accepting and reissuing the challenge to our readers:

One Hundred Pushups
(after 6 weeks)

I'm planning to add the pushup training to my morning quiet time in order to build both mind and body. (plus, that way I have something useful to do while resting afterwards.)

So, anyone up for a challenge?

Monday, July 14, 2008




! ! !

And this is their album cover photo.
Starring, from left to right: Joel Nisbett, Jonathan Nail, Josiah Nisbett, Justin Mosher, Ian Nail, and John Nisbett. Not pictured: Adam Nisbett.

While they were out hiking, they came across an empty amphitheatre, and from what I understand, they put on quite a show, including southern gospel, barbershop, patriotic, etc. They also mentioned that the caves have very good accoustics.
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The older guys all went on a two day camping trip while Jonathan and Ian Nail were here from Indianapolis. They conscripted Justin Mosher into service as well.

They went caving in several of the many caves in the park.

This formation was in Fisher Cave. The tour guide got a little miffed when Adam kept answering all her loaded questions to the group. She wanted to be the only one who knew the answers. He worked as a tour guide at Onandoga Cave for a season several years ago.
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The guys also went to several caves that didn't require a tour guide.
They enjoyed several activies in the caves that I hadn't considering doing in a cave,

including this lively game of Ultimate Frisbee. They all wore their swim clothes in the cave, and then were able to jump in the river right outside the cave to clean off all the mud. Nice Laundry Engineering!

I'm sure it was cooler than the 90+ temps out in the sun.

But John's form still melted out of shape in this untouched photo. Strange.
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And I've never thought about playing cards in a cave either.

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Friday, July 11, 2008


Our boys spent a day with several of their friends (while the Nails were here from Indianapolis) at Ha-Ha Tonka State Park and the surrounding area. They had a fantastic time.

Missouri's State Parks are some of the most wonderful places to visit. Ha-Ha Tonka is about 3,700 acres of beautiful Ozark scenery. The name Ha-Ha Tonka supposedly means "laughing waters" in the Osage Indian language and refers to the very large spring at the park, which feeds into Lake of the Ozarks.

Mushroom Art

Also at the park are the ruins of a "castle" built by a wealthy Missouri business man at the turn of the century. The castle burned in 1942, and all that remain are the picturesque stone walls. It sits on a high bluff overlooking the spring and the lake.
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John, on Josiah, on Derek Ymker and Ian Nail.

Lizzy Martin, trying to get a better vantage point.


Abbey Ymker and Emma Martin
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John, working on his levitation.

The Ha-Ha Tonka Castle. There is an interesting webpage on the history of Ha-Ha Tonka, including a picture of the castle before it burned. It can be viewed at http://www.rollanet.org/~conorw/cwome/article5.htm
Conor Watkin is a Missouri S & T (formerly UMR) grad student in geology, working with Dr. David Rogers. He has other articles about great places to see in Missouri.

Christi Martin and Brandon Wilhoite taking a break in front of the Natural Bridge, one of the many interesting geological features of the park.

Isn't this the loveliest picture of poison ivy you've ever seen! Adam took a lot of great pictures of the trip, and that is why you won't see any photos of him on this post. (Ooops, I have been corrected. Although the picture above is often mistaken for poison ivy due to the three leaves, it is really skunkbush sumac. ) (O.K. I've been corrected again, skunkbush sumac is the western variety, we have arromatic sumac in Missouri) I still think the picture is lovely.
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The view from the spring, back up to the castle.
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After hiking the trails at Ha-Ha Tonka, the mob went to the Ymker's Lake "Cottage", which they were so gracious to offer up for invasion. They spent the rest of the day in various water-based activities.

Joel and Josiah, being content.

Adam used this opportunity to also get reference material for duck paintings.

More water art.
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Derek Ymker on the wake board.


Emma Martin, Abby Ymker, and John Nisbett on the jet ski.

Derek, Josiah, and Ian Nail
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Inner tubing (I think that's what they called it).

Hanging out.

Brady, another handsome Ymker!

John, getting bounced around.

Our agreement with the boys was that they could go on this outing on Monday, and then they would help us hang sheetrock Tuesday and Wednesday, then go camping Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This is while Jonathon and Ian Nail spent the week. However, Tuesday morning, we had six very sore guys, hobbling aroung like old men. Joel complained that it hurt to open the toothpaste. Although they suggested that watching a movie was infinitedly preferrable to hanging drywall, they perservered and we are much closer to finishing the bedrooms. They are, strangely enough, ready to engage again in this self-inflicted torture at a moments notice. Our thanks to the Ymker family for providing such a memorable, delightful experience!
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