I spent a few entertaining hours at the Kansas Star yesterday afternoon, with 4 other friends. We ALL came out ahead…one hit a $1000 jackpot. We beat the odds and had a lot of fun in the process. We only took a small amount each, about what we would have spent if we’d all went out to a nice dinner and a movie.

Pretty neat place, especially considering it’s at the temporary location. I was also amazed at seeing 30+ friends there, all having fun.
After going to several casinos in Oklahoma, it was fun to see the Kansas Star has the Vegas style slot machines.
Can’t wait to see the final location finished in the next year or so.


We took a trip to Tanganyika Wildlife Park this weekend, located in Goddard KS. It was the prefect day for it too, with a little cloud cover and the temperature in the 80’s.

There were lots of exotic animals to see and interact with. Reagan also got to ride a camel.

Some of the animals were as curious about us as we were about them. This Ring-tailed Lemur thought he was part of the Sparks Family.

To see a few other shots from this trip, CLICK HERE

I’ve always been the person that claims less deductions than I actually am entitled to, at the end of the year. I let the government use “my” money, but know I’ll be getting a hefty check from not only the Feds, but the State of Kansas. A couple of hours ago, the story broke and I learned that our Kansas Government has suspended all tax refunds. Not only that, but State Employees may not receive any more paychecks. (click on the Wichita Eagle logo below, for the full story)

As of tomorrow morning, I will be changing my W-4 withholding form from “-3” deductions to “4”. I will more than likely “owe” the government, both State and Federal, at the end of the year. BUT, they won’t be using my cash all year, then deciding they can’t pay me back. I have to wonder how many others will be filing a new revised W-4 tomorrow. Good luck Kansas.

This is a very rare photo, which I took today, February 27th, 2008. It depicts Danelle, who is known to the Twitter community as “nellrae”. This photo was taken in Derby Kansas, at Danelle’s….well….place of EMPLOYMENT. OK, I said it.

Rare photo of Danelle at work

This is the first actual paid job that she has ever had, in her adult life. She is a very interesting person, that is going through some major changes. Not only is she employed, but she’s stopped smoking and is doing other things, all in the pursuit of the better life – Good job Danelle!

If you know Danelle, you might wish her a happy birthday, Which is February 28th.

We celebrated Reagan’s birthday at her house this year. Family and friends were there, to wish her well. She spent a little time riding the “Big Girl Bike”, as she calls it, and then discovered she has a new friend – Daisy!

Reagan's Cake

Reagan on her Reagan on her Reagan, Danelle & Sawyer 2007 Reagan on her
Reagan & Amanda 2007 Reagan & Amanda 2007 Reagan Opening Present 2007 Reagan & Amanda 2007

A Thoughtful Moment

Rebecca & Daisy 2007 Reagan, Amanda & Daisy 2007

With Matthew gone to play with the school band, at the Alamo Bowl in Texas, Kevin, Amanda, Reagan and I headed to Dexter.

We arrived early, so the kids could play and we all could enjoy some Dexter Kansas Pizza – very good. after eating, we all exchanged presents.
Dexter - Reagan Dexter - Mom and Randy Dexter - Becca Kelsey and Ashley Dexter - Rene Randy Mom and Jan
Sally Dexter - Rene Dexter - Kevin Dexter - Amanda and Reagan
By the time we headed back to Mulvane, Reagan was worn-out.

Christmas morning, Matthew and I went over to Amanda’s house. Amanda, Kevin and Reagan were there, along with Matthew & Amanda’s mom, Maria. Santa brought Reagan the Big Girl Bike she had asked him for.

Christmas Morning - Reagan had a great time!Christmas Morning at the Sparks HouseChristmas4Christmas at the Sparks House

In the afternoon, we all went to Belle Plaine. Jimmy and Danelle opened their house for more Christmas celebration.

Minnis / O'Daniel FamilyMinnis / O'Daniel FamilyJim and MatthewKatherine and Shawn's Family