Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pam's Wedding Pictures!

I just uploaded about 40 pictures of Pam and Ches' wedding to facebook. I think this public link will work if you don't have a facebook account.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Guess what I saw today?? Fireflies! Well, we actually saw them Monday night, but I saw them again tonight. There is a hidden away park (well it's really a parking lot) that we like to go to and let the dogs run around. Cyrus and I usually throw sticks, play catch, or whatever. Its like a little piece of nature right in the middle of Fort Worth. Anyway, Monday night as it got dark, we caught a glimpse of a firefly, and then we realized there were a bunch of them.

We both realized we hadn't seen fireflies in many many years. It reminded me of when I was little and we would go out to my Grandma Sicking's farm in Muenster every Friday to take care of her when she was sick. But even before that, we would go visit and sometimes spend the night. Night time on a farm in the country is about the most amazing thing in the world. In addition to fireflies there are all the smells of "farm" life (hay, horses, cows, dirt, fresh air). We would wait until dark, then go out and hunt for fireflies. They are easy to catch. We would catch them in a jar, poke holes in the top for "air" and sleep with the jar in our room that night. We literally used them in place of a nightlight! Cyrus said he did the same thing when he was younger on his grandparents' farm. Life was so good back then!

Here is a pic of a small piece of the park - it's so wide open.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Them are some real cowboys!

We recently celebrated our 1 year anniversary of the opening of our Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory store! We opened our doors on May 16th, 2008. We're still hanging in there and business is beginning to pick up.

Taylor thought the best way to celebrate the year was to cook out some steaks at the farm. We all thought that would also be a good opportunity for all the girls (including me) to see what life on the farm is really like. It was really muddy that day, but we got the job done.

You start out by getting the big cows in the chute. Then you can doctor them with stuff like Katie and Cyrus are doing.

Then you get the branding iron ready - thanks, Jen!

Katie operated the side of the table to squeeze the calves in when you get them in the table. Taylor did the branding (see the smoke!).

Jen held the nose pinchers while Taylor tagged the ear.

And then...the poor little calf is too small for the table. So you have to do it the old fashioned way....which is... put a rope around its neck, let the calf out of the table, and Taylor and Cyrus run after it and get it on the ground and tie it up!!

More branding. Awesome cowboy shot!

Taylor's favorite baby, Bandit. Isn't he cute?

Here are the chocolatiers / cowboys - Cyrus, Taylor, Katie, and Jen. I'm taking the picture, and Erin is also missing (somebody had to run the store that day!).

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Spazmatics!!

Yes, they are as funny as they look. We went to see the Spazmatics last night in downtown Fort Worth. The place was packed because these guys have a good reputation. They played every hit 80's song and put on a hilarious show! I would definitely recommend seeing them if you get the chance. Even Cyrus couldn't help but sing and dance. Thanks for the invite Olivia!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wedding Bells

Here is my mom making my sister's bird cage veil!! It's a tradition (she made my veil). Maybe I'll get some wedding pictures up soon. A BEAUTIFUL bride, a handsome groom, a lovely ceremony which beat the rain, and a crazy, loud reception to follow!!

Here is groom Ches mowing the lawn for probably the 15th time. We had a lot of cleaning to do at the ranch!

Here is the barn we cleaned. It took forever but looks awesome now! That's Pam and their friend Dave moving wood.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Crawfish, Baby!

My dad's lumberyard (Joe Walter Lumber Co.) hosted its 3rd Annual Crawfish Boil last Friday night. It was very casual, the weather felt WONDERFUL, and there was lots of food and beer -- my kind of party!

It was funny because Cyrus couldn't make it (selling chocolate) and Pamela couldn't make it (in another country) so lots of people were confused thinking I was Pam, or Ches was Cyrus, or that we (whoever we were) were getting married soon! Don't worry, Cyrus and I are still very happily married!

I managed to snag a photo of Pam's "soon-to-be" (in 11 days!) playing with his food! Here's Ches:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pam Getting Married!!

I know this is late, but my sister Pam is getting married in 19 days! We've known for a while, but now its on the internet! hehe. We gladly welcome Ches to the family!

Back in February I threw a surprise, Texas-themed engagement party for them. They chose not to have showers, but a party is always a good idea. It was in Gainesville, and we had a great turn-out. It only would have been better if Pam wasn't sick that entire day -- we had to lure her out of the house and get her to come!

The cute couple!

Texas Cake & Guests

Celebration Pose

Monday, March 30, 2009

China Pictures (Round 1 of 2)

See if this link works to look at pictures! http://s570.photobucket.com/albums/ss143/lisavestal1/China%20March%202009%201%20of%202/


(not China) Tokyo - Shibuya District

Big Budda (Hong Kong)

Typical Chinese Facade on the Street

Typical Chinese Lunch - Lazy Susan of Goose, Chicken Feet, Mussels, etc.

Cyrus at Vtech Factory Show Room (Wall-ee)

Round 2 will be posted this week!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

We're Back!

China was amazing to see. It is definitely a different culture, and I'm glad we got to see it. We started off with a 1 day layover in Tokyo, and then "China" started with Hong Kong. After a couple of days, we crossed the border into China and visited factories, local restaurants, and malls of Schenzen, Dongguan, and Gaungzhou. We visited a furniture company, Valspar, V-tech, a toy company, small kitchen appliances company, and a gas appliance company. We took a 2 hour train back to Hong Kong where we visited the Hong Kong Science park which helps new technology ideas get started into businesses. We took a ferry to Macau island which is a huge gambling city (just like Vegas). All in all, we did a few touristy things - we took a Gondola ride up to a Big Budda statue on a mountain, visisted many markets and shops, walked along Hong Kong's "Avenue of the Stars" (Chinese stars that is), saw the laser show, and stayed in fancy hotels (for cheap). But the best part was the amount of non-touristy things we got to do - spend a whole day with South China University students, local restaurants, Science Park, universities, manufacturing facility tours, and driving through the streets of non-metropolitan China. It was a really great trip, but we are glad to be home!

Pictures will follow. I could only upload 250 at a time, so this is the first batch. It's late, so I'll load the second batch another day. I know there's a lot...maybe you can scan. I tried to put descriptions on some so you know what you're looking at. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Off to China!

This will be a non-value added post again. However, we are getting ready to leave the country for a bit. Going to Tokyo, Hong Kong, and China! Be back end of March. The blog will be a good place to load pictures for everyone to see when we get back. Hopefully that will be the jumpstart to keep me updating more regularly.

There is no other news. Cyrus continues to keep the chocolate store running smoothly. He has really become an excellent little entreprenuer and store manager! We still have two employees, plus my sister-in-law, Erin. We are assuming an "intern" for the next few months that wants to learn about chocolate and cooking, with an intent to "hire" when summer comes. She seems very excited about learning! We will lose Jen in the fall to college. I continue to struggle keeping up with the accounting (Quickbooks) and it's killing me!

As for me, I am still in school (MBA at TCU) which is the main reason for lack of blogging. I will take two tests the week of May 5, take a 3-week ethics course, then a 1-weekend simulation course..........AND...........THEN..............BE.................DONE. I expect to throw some kind of huge party when that happens (end of June). I am pumped about getting back some free time!

Okay, time to finish work then pack. Zàijiàn (Goodbye) for now!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Update soon - I promise!

Wow, it's been a while. I'm really sorry for no updates lately. We have been swamped. I have new pictures of the house...just give me a couple days to get them downloaded and I will post them. I haven't forgotten about this blog!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Store Pictures - Finally!

We finally bought a new camera dock and were able to take some pictures of the store. Here they are!

Front of store:

Taylor and inside:
Some of our many many apples that we go through like crazy:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Open for Business!

Our Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Southlake Town Square is now open for business! I will try to post some pictures very soon...we've just been REALLY busy. But it is really fun and we love it there! Come by and see us, but first check our website for coupons under "Special Offers" (although if you forget the coupon and just mention it, we'll still let you get the deal!).

Please feel free to let us know what you think about products, prices, things we should sell but don't, the feel of the place, the cleanliness of the place, the friendliness of the staff, etc. We would like to see more customers so we're open to any improvement ideas!

We really THANK EVERYONE for all of the ideas, support, and discussions over the past 6 months about the store. Thanks for being excited with us!

The proud owners,
Lisa, Cyrus, and Taylor Vestal

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

House Siding and Chocolate Store Update

Just wanted to show a couple more pictures. Here are more recent ones of the house. Cyrus and Taylor got A LOT of work done, but now that the store is opening soon, I don't know what is going to happen! But it's sure lookin good...

Here are two pictures of the inside of the store! These are a few days old so it already looks different even today! The tile was put in just after we snapped the pictures. The opening day keeps changing with construction and furniture delays, but right now, we are 99% sure we won't open until next Saturday. We are getting trained on the cash registers this Thursday (and Friday for some) and will be setting up the store next week to open on Saturday. I'll keep you updated on here with Grand Opening info.

(case for caramel apples)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why the Writer’s Strike was the best thing for Society

Some of my favorite TV shows include:
Grey’s Anatomy
The Office
Brothers and Sisters

I was just as sad as anyone when I found out they were not going to come on this season, or possibly they would come on, but in an unexpected, inconsistent manner. I had my withdrawals every now and then, but it really didn’t affect my life that much. You see, I didn’t feel like I was “missing something” because there was nothing to miss! It turns out, it was actually making my life better.

Do I learn anything from those shows that I can apply to real life, or that will make me smarter? No. They are purely about situations I will never be in, relationships that are unreal and overdramatic, and beautiful people that don’t ever exist in masses like that together. Maybe once in a blue moon I would see something that made me think about my own life and come to some conclusion…but this was really rare.

That’s why, when the shows came back on recently, and I once again found myself glued to the T.V., I realized what a relaxing break it was to not “have a show to catch” (and I have DVR, yet the time commitment still builds up). I’m convinced I was 10 times more productive during the period when the shows were not on than I am now. I say this because I hope everyone realized what I did. Without so much T.V., you can take the time to have nice quiet evenings at home (listening to the radio or music or heaven forbid, read a book), talking to your spouse, walking the dogs, cooking a longer supper, working on a scrapbook or homework with a clear mind (not distracted by the T.V. story line), or getting some other things done during the week that you won’t have to find time to do on the weekend. When I think back on these times, it makes me happy and feel relaxed. I hope that others out there were able to take advantage of the writer’s strike and enjoy their life for the other things in it, even if only for a little while. I have made it my goal to try to keep the house like that more often, because its just … well, pleasant. We’ve also tried to cut back on our shows, which we’ve been pretty successful at from the list you saw above (although new shows are becoming very tempting).

This all said, I still can’t wait until tomorrow night when we see Merideth work closely with her ex-boyfriend, whom she obviously still loves, to develop a new and unprecedented surgery to save the live of a supposedly terminally ill man with a large tumor in the middle of his brain, who will wake up only to realize he was “out of his mind” when he married his new wife (and provoked a bear cub)!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sister Trip at the Gaylord!

Finally, I have been able to take the time to upload my pictures from our annual Sister Trip. This year we met in Grapevine at the Gaylord Texan the weekend of April 11th. It was so nice, fresh, and relaxing. The four Walter sisters (Mary Jo, Rita, Florence, and Marguerite) met up on Thursday, and mom, Pam, and myself joined them Friday evening. We shopped a lot Saturday morning, and then Valerie joined us at lunch time. Also joining us at lunch time was Julie and their newest baby, sweet little Helen. Sherry and Heather joined us Saturday evening for dinner at Esparza's, and we split up to go our separate ways on Sunday. The weekend was full of silliness, laughter, sweetness, and tears (but in a healthy way). We missed other "sisters" who couldn't come due to health reasons, distance, busy lives, and being close to giving birth :). I am lucky to have such a beautiful, smart, caring, and loving family...and I learn something new from them every time they are around! Enjoy the pictures!

My pictures can be downloaded or printed from kodak gallery at:


Valerie's pictures can be downloaded or printed from snapfish at:


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Speaking of Nephews and Nieces...

I couldn't resist posting these pictures of our nieces (yes, they are twin's - Cy's sister Shawn's kids). Shawn has deemed these their Rock Star pictures (taken Easter weekend). Carson is blue, Jordan in yellow. They are really hamming in the last picture! Posing like movie stars!!

They are too cute!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Reno and Nephews!

Our trip to Reno was great! We saw our newphews, Holden and David, for the first time in 2 years. They are 5 and 3 years old. Katie and Moo Moo came with us, and we just played all weekend. Poor Holden skinned his nose at school the day we arrived and had a giant strawberry on his face. Even worse, poor David fell off the slide at school a couple of days before we arrived, and come to find out, he broke his leg!! A 3 year old with a broken leg is a sad thing. :( He couldn't run around, but I enjoyed carrying a baby around! Here is a slide show of pictures. Or you can go to the kodakgallery files to download a photo or order a print:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Easter Weekend and More!

Last weekend, for Easter, we went up to Gainesville. Easter Sunday was also my (Lisa's) birthday! This won't happen again for like 200 years.

Friday afternoon we had lunch at Gloria's with Katie, Shawn, and the twins (Carson & Jordan). Carson LOVES her aunt Lisa and even let me take her to the bathroom and rode in our car! Gloria's has the best salsa and margaritas (yes, I was drinking at noon on Friday). Then we went back to Katie's and I got some Easter/birthday presents! They are such a sweet in-law family, and treat me like one of their own!

Friday evening we loaded up the pups, and headed for Gainesville. We got them to my dad's, and then left to meet some "long lost" friends for dinner at Gainesville Seafood. Casey and Scott -- we enjoyed seeing our old friends again since it's been so long. Shannon and Melissa - it was great getting to hang out with you and getting to know you. It's nice to have more"married" (or almost married) friends!

Saturday morning, I rode with my mom to pick up uncle Gary in Denton, and Cyrus went to Taylor's to work some cows (I don't know, put medicine on them or something). Then Jack came and met us for lunch in Muenster, TX at Doc's. We talked about wild hogs and at rueben sandwiches. I went back with Cyrus and Taylor to unload the cow's worth of meat they picked up from Muenster and to go over our business taxes for last year.
Here is Taylor pulling Cyrus on the dirt bike to try to help get it kick started...
Here is Cyrus petting Sally, with the horses behind...
Here is baby horse Gimpy (he had some leg problems when he was born) and pretty Ginger. Their mama is dead, so they are best buds...

Here is old CJ (left), Ginger, and Gimpy. The other kid, Gordy, is at the trainer!...

When we left the farm, we got the dogs and went to visit grandmother and granddad Vestal. They have always had weenies and LOVE seeing Milo and Libby (but I can't say the same for Jones' Tiger and Godiva)! Godiva is a new, chocolate-colored chihuahua who will have to be renamed so she doesn't represent Rocky Mountain's competitor! :)

So, Saturday night we were pooped! We picked up Grandma after leaving the Vestal's, and took her to dad's where dad and Lisa had cooked an entire hamburger meal! It was sooooooo good and hit the spot! We finally took grandma home, watched the Aggie men lose, and retired to Scout's room to play a little "Wii" before bed.

Easter Sunday morning we woke up, got Starbuck's, and lazied around while watching the First Baptist sermon on TV. Dad and fam went to Flowermound to meet Uncle Phil and Janice for Easter brunch, and Cyrus and I stayed in town and went to meet the whole Sicking crew at Mary Jo's for lunch. Our cousin Misty, whom we haven't seen in AGES!, was there with her husband and son. Cousin Jo is getting so close to having her boy! Yay! We later went back over to dad's to open birthday presents, get the dogs, and eventually go home.
Here is Grandma sporting a Joe Walter Lumber Co. hat in matching spring color!...

We managed to see ALL the family in like 2 days! Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of anything but the farm. Ooops. I'll get better.

This past weekend Cyrus and I CLEANED CLEANED CLEANED the house, and then I planted some herbs on Sunday. Hopefully they won't die! They are just so cute in their little yellow pots! We are getting ready to order a new window and door so we can finish siding the front bottom portion of the house.

The Chocolate store started construction on Monday! It's getting pretty exciting....

This weekend we head to Reno to visit our nephews, Holden and David (Cy's sister Erin's kids). The weekend after that I go to our "sister trip" at the Gaylord in Grapevine to spend a lovely weekend with all the women on my mom's side of the family. Pam will be here too. WE ARE GETTING BUSY!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Vote for Gainesville, TX to get a Trolley

Our hometown, Gainesville, TX, is entered in a Hamburger Helper contest to help get some funding to create a Trolley for the historic town. I’m just enlisting your support to go vote for Gainesville! I’m not sure how you vote exactly (I think it just votes when you click on the link), but you could leave a comment. :)

The funny this is that I know almost MANY of those names listed to the right side that have left comments (high school mates, teachers, people from church, people I’ve babysat for, etc.). Gotta love small towns!

Dear Chamber Member:
Please help us get the trolley up & running with your vote of support! Just click on the link below and read our message.
The more votes we get, the better our chances of winning the grant. March 31, 2008 is the deadline to enter, so please forward this to all of your family, friends, or anyone who will be willing to help us with this project.
John Broyles
Chamber Director