Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Miss America's Oustanding Teen Prelim 2

The talents were outstanding! I was mesmerized by each contestant's ability to capture the audience in their performance. The talent phase started out with “Angelical Cat” from CATS and her costume was amazing! She was so agile and added in dance, gymnastics and theatre into her routine. From there it just got even better. Jackie Riggleman, Miss WV’s Outstanding teen, performed a captivating lyrical dance to “Butterfly Kisses.” She made me and WV so proud! California’s OT ended up winning the talent portion with her Ballet en Pointe and New Jersey's OT won evening gown. Both very deserving!

I sat by Miss Maryland and we had a blast exchanging comments and excitement for the teen contestants.

Universal Studies with Miss America Contestants - Wednesday

Met all the Miss America contestants this morning and spent the day at Universal Studios with them - had a blast! Well, make that a HOT, SWEATY blast! I had to wear jeans (yes, EVERYONE ELSE had on shorts) because the bugs made a feast on my legs from Tyler's wedding, so needless to say, I was not the freshest face or body in the bunch! Had fun anway, made some new friends, and am anxious to attend the teen pageant this evening. Jackie Riggleman, Miss WV's Outstanding Teen, is doing a fabulous job representing our state, and I am so excited for her!

Miss America Outstanding Teen Pageant and Miss America Taping - Tuesday

Tuesday was a crazy day, making sure I had everything I'd need for the next two weeks, trying to fit it all into ONE under-50-pound bag (can anyone say WRINKLES??), getting out the door and on the plane! Once we arrived in Orlando, we checked into the hotel, went to Wal-Mart for food, literally fell into bed!

WV Nazarene District Camp

Traveled to Summersville, WV on Monday evening to speak at the WV Nazarene Campground. This campground is where I always went to church camp as a child, had some of my earliest spiritual decisions made around that altar, and "family camp" in August is a family tradition where we all go to get revived, rested and fed by Grandma's great food. With my partnership with Massey Energy, I have the opportunity to speak to churches around the state recruiting for foster and adoptive families, so I wanted to approach my Nazarene churches with that opportunity. I spoke a few minutes about what my presentation would involve, and I took the "Heart Gallery" of children available for adoption to leave at the camp all week, in hopes that someone there may fall in love with one of them.

Cherry River Parade and Festival, Richwood, WV

Hopped up early Saturday morning after the wedding to head to Richwood for the Cherry River Festival. Their parade was well-attended and fun, and their festival was great also. Thanks to Michael Rader for being such a good, good friend and for inviting me!

My brother, Tyler Markham's wedding

Friday night was my brother Tyler's wedding, so I spent the week helping cook, decorate and organize. The wedding was outdoors, so we were worried about the weather, but God cooperated and it was absolutely beautiful! Check out their wedding video (we danced down the aisle - it was a blast)! One of the people from our church said their wedding made hers look like a funeral. Am tickled to death to have a new sister, Molli Markham, and I know she and Tyler will be very happy!

Mannington District Fair

Headed to Mannington for their big August event, the Mannington District Fair. My previous pastor and his family have moved to Mannington Nazarene Church, so I was excited to see them and their children, Jaden and J.T. I wasn't sure what to expect, but wasn't disappointed - their fair had all the best West Virginia celebrations all have: Good food, entertainment, and of course, the friendliest people in the country!

Hatfield-McCoy Football Game, Matewan, WV

I was invited by Massey Energy to crown their queen at the annual Hatfield-McCoy Football Game at Matewan, WV, which is near Williamson, WV, if you're not familiar with Matewan. This game has been sponsored by Massey for 14 years, and the players are the best high school seniors from WV and Kentucky in the border counties there. The weather was perfect, and the game was intense - another neat tradition in West Virginia! Each of the homecoming queens from the partipating schools vie for the title of Miss Hatfield-McCoy, and I was there to crown the winner. Katelynn Colegrove was the lucky girl of the evening, and all the girls were beautiful and nice as can be.

One of the biggest treats of the night was being invited to stay at the Massey cabin. "Cabin" is a misnomer, as it's more like a country castle! We arrived there in the afternoon and were greeted by these three HUGE dogs, one of them the Beethoven dog with slobber dripping from his jowls, which he got all over mom's white pants! We didn't know whether to get out of the car or not, but when we did, they sure showed they weren't guard dogs! They were all over us.

The housekeeper showed up shortly after to let us in, and what a sweetheart she was! She had cleaned this monster place spic-n-span, stocked it with every food imaginable - talk about the royal treatment! There were five bedrooms, four baths, all spacious and comfortable, fireplaces in almost every bedroom, and two huge great rooms to relax in. There was also another cabin that had a fitness center, raquetball court, pinball machines, pool tables, etc., etc., another full kitchen. There were several "stuffed" animals around the cabin, including a rattlesnake attacking a mouse, an albino deer, and a true bearskin rug (complete with head attached) as a rug in my bedroom! I was afraid I'd get up in the night, trip over that head, get my feet caught in the teeth and go berserk - I started to put it under the bed, but I took my chances and made it through! Never wanted to leave!