Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm Not a Baby

Dear Mom,

I'd really like it if you'd stop babying me and treat me like I am older and I don't need you to come with me to go to activity days or piano on my bike.

Caitie (I'm not a baby)

I found this letter on my nightstand. I read it, decided she was right and started giving her more freedom. I let her ride her bike to horse riding lessons (after practicing how to get there, I'm nothing if not thorough) and I didn't even sneak and follow behind her (I may or may not be known for doing so). When I sent her down the road on her bike in her cute boots, helmet on her head and cowgirl hat around her neck, I thought I was going to pass out. I stood in the road and made threatening faces at drivers as they passed, knowing they'd be passing my girl as well. I strained my eyes until at last she turned the corner and she was gone. When she arrived home, an hour and 10 minutes later, she was one proud little lady and I was one proud mom- proud of her for making the solo trip and proud of me for letting it happen.

Now, I need to go muse over the current letter on my nightstand: price comparisons on horses, equipment, trucks and horse trailers. She has decided that she is going to join 4-H and needs the above mentioned items in order to do so. And believe me, when it comes to something cherished, she is as persistent as I am protective.

I'll keep you posted. I just never saw myself as a rodeo mom?

Friday, April 6, 2012

In Honor...

of the two feet of snow we got this morning, I thought I would post pictures of the day we went fishing with Jared on Anna Maria Island. It is actually torturing me to look at these pictures of our sunny getaway last summer. I need a trip to the beach...yesterday! It doesn't help that I'm preparing a unit on ocean animals for my classroom (so fitting when it's snowing outside?). Earlier today I pulled out a bunch of seashells, collected during out visits to the beach, and a little bit of sand drifted through my fingers and I almost cried. Really.

It was an awesome fishing day! The kids would drop their hooks and almost immediately catch a fish-
all kinds of fish, too. Colby even caught a puffer fish, impressive! The pelicans figured out pretty quickly that we were doing catch and release and they sat right under the dock for an easy dinner. Caitie was quite upset that her sweet little fish were being gobbled up. Personally, I was rather intrigued by the whole process. The fish totally continue to flail around even when in the pelican's hanging mouth-neck thing (I should ask Colby what that's called, the hanging mouth-neck thing doesn't sound right).

See that smart pelican in the corner waiting to be served his dinner!

Isn't Jared cute with my kids? Funny how life turns around and your obnoxious little brother becomes someone your children look up to and he cares about you and your family and he's really fun to be around and he doesn't give you a wet willy every time he walks by you. But wait, there's more to this circle of life, your teenage son is more than willing to pick up where your little brother left off.

Those are dolphins, not sharks, in case you were wondering. But I did learn an interesting rule of thumb about swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. If you've been swimming in the Gulf ten times, you've been within 10 feet of a shark. Just in case you wanted to know before you planned you next vacation. Kidding, kidding, I'm totally kidding. I still swim in the Gulf even after learning that tid bit- from a real Marine Biologist I might add. I just make sure there is someone else in the water whose out a little further than I am. I learned that trick from my cousin and I think it is slightly more reliable than tapping two sticks together to keep away mountain lions like they did in Parent Trap.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Life Long Dream Fulfilled

How many people can say that they have fulfilled one of their life long dreams 
by the time they were fourteen

Well, this cute guy can!

For his fourteenth birthday (it pains me to write that!) he went to the
Thunder Over Utah Air Show

And there he witnessed, fist hand, the flight of the F-22

If you'd like to know more about the F-22 you'll have to check with Colby, but you may want to set a time limit unless your idea of a good time is a never ending tutorial of military aerial warfare. And if by chance you are such a person or know such a person, please send them our way because surly Colby would be over the moon to meet such a kindred spirit!

I feel that I should include some "stats" at this point. I haven't felt such an urge since my children were infants and the most exciting news I had was what percentile they had reached in height and weight. I guess having a child who has exceeded my height and weight has has brought back the novelty of such information. But lets just suffice it to say that his shoe size is 11. Yep, he's growing up on me!

Colby was totally thrilled to attend the Air Show with his dad, it was a special father son outing. We'd learned from a prior birthday trip to Hill Air Force base that when it comes to Colby and military aircraft, it isn't really a family affair. Well, unless a family affair includes you sleeping in the car with your other two children, who only found the exhibit interesting for an hour, while your somewhat obsessed child looks at everything 15 times and then once more to make sure he didn't miss anything. Although I do recall Krispy Kreme doughnuts being in the car... No, not worth it.

I met with Colby's history teacher not long after the Air Show and he said it was all Colby talked about. So I think we can call this one a success! And just to brag, his teacher is pretty awe struck by my son's history knowledge. He said Colby is the only person he's ever met who watches more history channel than he does. Yep, that sounds about right. 

Happy Birthday, Colby!
We love you and your unique abilities and talents. You're such a kind and caring person, especially when it comes to members of your family (like new baby cousin, Fran). 
We are so thankful you are ours.

Monday, April 2, 2012

I'm Back...

Because I have a lot to say, like this:







The number of shoes that my daughter leaves out in the SAME room on the SAME day.

Oh, and I'm running a half marathon in August and I want to record my declaration publicly so that I can't back out of it. So, every time you see me ask about my progress so that I am guilted and shamed into completing the darn thing (and keeping up with my sister who is 10 years younger than me, kinda like when I tried to keep up with my sister who is 16 years younger than me and I couldn't walk for five days because I was trying to do a higher cannon ball, yeah like that).

And thank you to my loyal followers, my brother Jared and cousin Amy, who are convinced that I have something of value to say and should start posting again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Hike

We hiked the Y mountain yesterday. It's a 2.4 mile hike, elevation 980 feet.
 Translated that means: quite a difficult hike (for some).

We went with our cousin friend, Tristan and our friends the Sandersons.

 I decided to hike with Carter to offer encouragement and support, to stay with him if he couldn't keep up with the group, to turn back early if it became too difficult. 
Wouldn't you know it, I couldn't keep up with him!
He reached the top of the mountain first with his friend, Wyatt.
He was delighted at his accomplishment.
Waiting in all his suaveness for the rest of us to catch up to him, he declared, "I've been waiting like an hour"!

Colby hiked with his 20 lb. pack because you can never be too prepared:

Flint & Steel
Signal mirror
Survival kit
First aid kit
Extra pair of clothes, including a jacket

Caitlin had a great time and enjoyed the view at the top!

I. made. it.

I remember when Carter couldn't complete a shopping trip without resting.
I remember all the surgeries and complications and hopelessness.
I remember being told he would likely always have some pain and difficulty walking.
I remember questioning the choice to have his birth defect surgically corrected
I remember that difficult decision to seek treatment all the way across the county.
Today I looked back at the blog to remember our life in June 2010.
It is a truly amazing journey and worth every bit of hardship!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

You Might Be A Redneck If?

You have this in your backyard

And your children and dogs spend much of their free time chasing the chickens

Your children sleep in a tent compound on your lawn

AND call you from their cell phones at 3:47 AM when it starts raining

You own a pool ladder but NOT a pool

AND your significant other uses it for access to the chicken coop

You have deer antlers soaking in a bucket on your patio

AND that's all I have to say about that

Take it from me

I know what I'm talking about

I'm married to one and raising three lil' rednecks

P.S. They all think it's hilarious to torture me in this way

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, CARTER!

We celebrated Carter's birthday, like a month ago. I NEVER should have blogged about Colby's birthday on the actual date... I really set the bar too high for myself. And that only contributes to Carter's moments of suffering from "middle child syndrome". Oh, yes he does, on occasion, go there with complaints of privileges beholden to Colby and not himself. Wailing about Caitlin's utter lack of responsibility and how her parents allow her to get away with everything save murder are common. And when these moments come, I usually take Carter into my loving arms and saying something inspiring like, "Just remember my boy, you got the short leg, and think of all those surgeries that you alone have had, and nobody else in the family can take that from you!" Then he looks at me with unbelief (and a twitch of his lip that he's trying to hide ) and asks, "What mother would say stuff like that? Seriously?" And by this point we are both rolling in fits of laughter.

But I redeemed myself by writing "Carter the Awesome" on his birthday cake, a title that he frequently uses to describe himself. He's working on humility.

Charismatic and charming - everyone wants to be his friend
Abounding in energy
Risible (at times to a fault and sometimes as his sisters expense)
Tolerant of all people and kind to everyone
Efficacious - probably because of that charisma and charm
Resolute and determined, even when the journey is tough

And for his birthday he got approval from the man himself (Dr. P) to resume normal activities - no more restrictions. I promptly discovered him outside trying to ride two scooter at one time! I screamed at him so loud ("That's not a normal activity for most people!") that I gave my elderly neighbor, tending to his yard, a heart attack. Abounding in energy. No?

Carter still has a hard time bending his knee. He has to ride his bike standing up because he can't peddle fully if he's seated. His walk is a bit awkward since his knee doesn't bend all the way and he can't really run, but don't worry, he'll get there. Resolute. No?


He's up to his usual antics. I sat down on the couch today and noticed that my exquisitely decorated shelves (cept for that empty picture frame) had a new addition.

Risible. No?