Showing posts with label Remember When. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Remember When. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My Achilles Heel and the Cause of My Gray Hair

This post is for all of you who think I am brave after posting a picture of the scorpion. So fair warning: this post contains pictures of crawly critters. Stop reading here if you have a problem with that. :)

This is also a long-winded post, but I am writing some of these stories down for the kids and future grand kids. :)

I don't have a problem with scorpions or spiders or bees or wasps and I even think tarantulas are awesome and frogs are cute. I love lizards. Our boy had a pet  Collared Lizard named Rex for years:

He was the coolest thing:


No, we did not let him run loose in the house, but at times we would take him out to play with him. He had a heat rock in his terrarium where he would flatten out and it always looked like he was laying on the beach waiting for the girls. We fed him crickets and grasshoppers and you could hold him in one hand and feed them to him with the other. When he had had enough he would actually shake his head no. He didn't want anymore. LOL. Sometimes we couldn't find crickets so we would buy them and on one trip, we noticed that the crickets were starting to die in the bag before we got home. We lived 3 hours from town. So what's a Mama to do? I grabbed a straw from a drink, very carefully opened the bag (didn't exactly relish the idea of 50 crickets running loose in the truck), and inserted the straw. Then I periodically blew into the straw and lo and behold, the crickets revived. I am not making this up. Saved every one. So now I can add 'resuscitated crickets' to my list of 'things I have done'. LOL

One year, our boy gave our girl a Horny Toad for her birthday and she was thrilled.

No sarcasm there either, She loved critters as much as he did. He built her a plexi-glass terrarium and she named her Horny Toad 'Duke'. We are big John Wayne fans around here.

Our son also has a passion for snakes. Oye. I've always been told that you're not worth your weight in salt...or bacon...or bread dough... as a ranch wife if you cannot kill a snake. There isn't a shovel invented with a handle long enough for me to do that. Just hand me the gun. Yes, I am terrified of snakes. And I raised a boy who loves them. He was a regular Steve Irwin growing up.

We have snake stories in our family. I have the gray hair as evidence. And it was a great source of fun for our nature loving son. I am going to share 2 of those stories here. These pictures aren't great because these are in a scrap book and I just took a picture of the pictures. :) The story is straight from the scrap book.

1. Fishing is one of your favorite ways to spend the day. You are a fishing fanatic and Kiley shares your passion. When he came to visit, you spent hours and hours fishing. Alas, this particular afternoon turned out to be about SNAKES, not fish! Ugh! While the three of you were having a ball catching fish, I was enjoying myself by capturing the memories with my camera. Little did I know that this afternoon was going to include an experience that would be told many times over through the years. And it started out to be such a peaceful day!

Kiley was working on his fishing line next to the tackle box. Caitlin was casting her line easily into the water. You were on the north end of the pool, fishing by the willow tree that hangs over into the water. Ahh! Quiet. Peace. Tranquility.

 NOT! Suddenly, the lazy afternoon air was broken by Kiley's shrieks of , "SNAKE! SNAKE!" I don't think I have to tell you how I feel about snakes, but apparently Kiley shares my thoughts on the matter.

It seems a snake was also enjoying the languid waters on that placid summer afternoon and he just happened to poke his head out of that water close to the tackle box...and Kiley! Suddenly the air was filled with flying fishing poles as Kiley and Caitlin tossed them into orbit and jumped off of the wall, yelling at the top of their lungs. Simultaneously, you broke into a run... towards the snake! As you brushed past the tree branches, they slapped you from behind and you were thrown into the water. I was running to make sure everyone was OK when Caitlin stopped and asked, "Tyler, are you in the water?" I looked into the water and there you stood, submerged up to your shoulders, nodding, and I broke into laughter. All of us were almost brought to our knees, but not for long!

You were out of that water like a shot, fishing pole still in hand, and running towards the snake:

Our laughter turned to screams when you picked it up and headed toward US! I don't even know how I managed to take these pictures! Let me tell you, it is next to impossible to run, and scream, and laugh, and take pictures at the same time you are wetting your britches.

After you released him gently back into the water, we actually had to go back to the house so that I could change my clothes. I am convinced that my hair was turning gray at that precise moment. Looking back at these pictures, I realize that the snake was not the huge monster that he seemed to be at the time and we probably scared the poor little guy as much as he scared us. YOU, on the other hand, are a rascal, but it makes for a great story, doesn't it?

2. Dad was away, helping brand at the LE in New Mexico and we headed to the Kingston to feed horses. It was such a gorgeous day and we took our time, enjoying the sweet air and mountain views. Tyler wandered over to the swimming pool to explore

and Caitlin and I loved on the horses. When it was time to go, I called to Tyler who reluctantly made his way back to the pickup and climbed into the passenger seat. I was reluctant to leave as well and had the door open and one foot on the ground as I began to slowly pull away at a snail's pace. Tyler says, "Hey, Mom! Look at this!" I turned to him and he had a snake curled up around his arms. There are no words, but apparently, I made an awful sound, and bailed out faster than you can say 'scat'. I jumped right back in and hit the brake and slammed the gearshift into park to save the kids and bailed out again. They were both laughing their heads off but Caitlin's laughter was interspersed with comments like, "Tyler! That's not funny" and "You scared Mama!", laughing all the while. That little toot! I told him to 'Put him down...NOW." His reply, "But Mom! I want to show him to Dad!" Oh, Lord! I did not sign up for this...did I?

So Tyler was banished to the bed of the truck with the snake and we turned towards home. Each time I glanced in the rear view mirror, he had that snake crawling around his arm. Shudder. It was a harmless grass snake, but oye!

Brave? No. Gray headed? Most definitely!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Feeling Lost

Today our boy headed back to California. We have enjoyed every moment of his post-deployment leave and have no complaints with the exception that time went by much too quickly. Still, it was good for all of us, Our girl came down 2 weekends in a row and he drove up to see her this past weekend. I am so thankful for their relationship with each other.

So now I sit. Feeling forlorn and lost and really, really sad.

A word to the wise. When you are faced with the choice to pull weeds and rake or browse through old photographs on a day such as today...pull weeds and rake.

However, that too made me sad because instead of pulling this:

It reminded me of how I wish I were still pulling this:
 And this:

I may or may not spend the day in tears...and prayers for his safe travels today and tomorrow. I love you to infinity and beyond son.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Conversation with Great- Grandma Kate

Last week my in-law's gave me this quilt:

 It belonged to DH's great grandma Kate:

My FIL said he wanted to pass it on to us because he knew that I would treasure it. Excuse me while I wipe away a tear. Treasure it? Ummm...YES!

I love the odd square thrown in here and there to fill an empty space when there was no more of a particular fabric.

Today we go out and buy more. Maybe I need to stop doing that.

No one in my family ever sewed or quilted. How sad is that? And then why do I have this burning desire to do so? Have we been married so long that DH's family has truly become a part of me through some form of Osmosis? I mean. I had no desire what so ever to even become acquainted with fabric until we had our first child. And even then, my MIL showered us with her quilts. Me? Quilt? I was overwhelmed by the thought.

So now I am over the moon that I have  this quilt and as I sat with it in my lap, running my fingers tenderly over the patches of fabric, I wished like crazy that she was sitting beside me. I have so many things I would like to say,

"Where did this....and this....and this piece come from?"
"What did you make for supper the day you stitched this block?"
"Did your mother quilt?"
"Here, let me cut some more squares for you."
"Do you want me to bring in some more wood so that you can continue stitching?"
"Did your children sit under this quilt as you stitched?"
"Where did you live when you were making this?"
"Who claimed this quilt once it was finished?"

Then she would look at me as if I had grown a second head when I tell her about the tools we have for quilters today and the never-ending selection of fabrics we have at our fingertips and she would shake her head.

I imagine she would tell me, "Hush child. You are quite the chatter-box", but then she would smile.

And I would sneak in another, "When did you find the time?" She would glance at me with wise eyes and I would simply say,

"Thank you. I will treasure it forever."

Saturday, March 3, 2012

This Boy

This boy:

Made me a Mama:

Fills my heart with joy:

Makes me laugh:

Is my Superhero:

Gives the best hugs:

Is charming:

Gave me my first gray hair

And many more after that:

Has all the right moves:

Has a mischievious grin:

Loves his sister:

makes us proud:

Has a kind heart:

Is handy horseback:

Is a talented guitar player:

Loves to fish:

keeps my on my knees:

grew up much to quickly:

Has his Daddy's work ethic:

Always does his best:

Loves skeet:

Is headed to Afghanistan today:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Don't Blink

So, not only did our daughter just turn 16 - yesterday we took our son to college. 2 milestones in 2 weeks. I'm not sure I'm up to this. No, he's not moving cross country. Yes, he'll be close enough to come home on the weekends, but still I can't help but remember that little blue-eyed baby who needed me for everything. Needless to say, I will NOT be perusing the scrapbooks and photo albums for a while, because I'll turn into a big tear-stained mess.

I'm thankful though because our children are entrusted into our care to raise and to love and to eventually send out into the world and become independent and it comforts me to know that he's not out there completely alone. God loves him even more than I do and I have to let him go in order for God to accomplish what he has set out to do. I know it's time and I know that the Lord has prepared me for this and I am confident in the young man that seems to have sprouted overnight.

In case y'all haven't figured it out - I tend to get emotional easily. I don't anger easily, but play 'Don't Blink, or "It Won't Be Like This For Long", or "I Can Only Imagine" and watch me bawl. The kids have me pegged. They know which songs will start the flood. They look over at me at the pivotal part of the movie to see if "Mama's crying". They know which commercials make my eyes well up. They think it's funny and in turn, that makes me laugh too.

I knew this day would come. I just didn't think it would get here so soon. It wasn't that long ago he was just a wee little lad:

I have been truly blessed to be a stay-at-home mama. I worked until the day I went into labor. DH and I had discussed this beforehand and although there were plenty of times we had to pinch pennies, we never went without and the blessings along the way have been too numerous to count.

Now, I'm not against working moms. In fact, I stand in awe of how y'all get it all done, but this was simply the right choice for us. The kids were in school for a few years before we began to homeschool and I subbed every day DH didn't need me to help him. It was hard! I also automated a library for about a year. We spent so much time there that they hired me, but that's the extent of my working Mama experience and my hat's off to all of you who do it each and every day.

Even so, all the countless hours I had to enjoy raising our children disappeared all to quickly. I have always been cognizant of time moving quickly, but it still caught me by surprise. I think my penchant for photography might be my way of stopping time or at least capturing it. I treasure those snapshots from childhood and we have all spent countless hours flipping through the photos, reminiscing. We never took big, fancy vacations, but I don't think the kids missed that. Our albums are filled with the small everyday moments that make a childhood memorable. At least I hope they remember those times fondly.

Yesterday was a good day. Everything went smoothly. There were so many employees and upperclassmen there to help and the moving part was painless. The trip to the bookstore...not so much. This is what $500 looks like. OUCH!

I never lived in a dorm, but I have forgotten how tiny they are! He's on the 6th floor. At least he has a view of some open spaces:

I think this is the tallest building this country boy's ever even been in.

I think the most difficult part of the transition will be sharing a small room and the lack of quiet. Heights aren't really his thing either, but I think he'll be ok.

We met his roommate and they seem to be a pretty good fit - both boys came armed with the mandatory camo accoutrement's.

DH and DD and I left after dinner and headed back home. I faired better than I thought I would, but good gravy, it was hard driving away from there! The tears come and go at the oddest times. I'm just trying to keep busy. I worked in his room yesterday. I counted 23 guitar picks! Now I think I'll work on some simple pillow shams for 2 huge pillows he can throw on his bed in order to make it a bit more comfortable.

Last night DD was IMing on the computer and I asked her who she was talking to. She was talking to her brother. LOL! Then a bit later, he and I had a conversation over texts. My goodness, how the times have changed. We didn't even phone home much when I was in college because it was too expensive and no, that was NOT during the ice age as our children like to call it!

He just phoned DD - one of her favorite bands is playing a concert at the college. She's envious, but I told her her she would be heading off before long herself, but I would rather NOT have to think about that at this juncture.

I had a hard time going to sleep though. I really missed hearing his guitar that he plays every night and when I got up in the middle of the night, his room was empty.

He was up and about awfully early this morning and headed to breakfast and then church - good boy.

I'm trying not to hover. I've been called a mother hen on more than one occasion - by my own mother no less, but I think I've done a pretty good job of letting go.

Now if I can just make it through until Friday...he's coming home for the Ranch Rodeo! Gotta remember to make his favorite cookies to take back with him...

So for those of you who are raising little ones, you may think the days are dragging by, but be forewarned...don't blink...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From This to This...

Breathe. Seems I'm having to remind myself to do that a lot lately. For the most part, life at the end of the dirt road moves along at a different pace than life in town, but here lately, it seems to have moved into the fast lane. The days and weeks and months and years are moving all too quickly for this 'sit on the porch and visit a spell' gal.

Our daughter recently turned 16.

She went from this:

To this:


Seems that way anyway. Guess I'm showing my age. Daddy always said that time sped up as you got older. If that's the case, then I look pretty good for my age.

Still, I would gladly accept any and all tips for making time slow down.

This kid is not your typical teenage girl. She's perfectly thrilled with hand me downs from Daddy and her older brother's closet. She hates to shop. She's so grounded in her faith and who she is. Wish I had been so sure of myself at that age. She's an original and has never been one to follow the crowd. She's not afraid to stand up for her beliefs and go against the grain of what other kids are doing. She's got a sweet, independent spirit with a little bit of spice thrown in for good measure. She's a homeschooler who is socialized.

I've lost count of the number of people who warned me of the dangers of homeschooling. Number one on the list was the lack of socialization. LOL! Not a problem around here! In fact, this kid's social life is wearing me out! She's equally comfortable around kids and adults.

Just spent Saturday with 10 of her friends. One spent the night Friday. One Saturday. Another came from out of town for Saturday's festivities. 11 kids ate pizza. 10 kids went to the movies and Dairy Queen. 6 kids came out here to swim in the dirt tank and take part in a massive mud fight. Hot dogs were consumed and a fire was lit in the fire pit.

Now she is off for yet another sleepover with one of those sweet friends.

On the 9th, another friend is coming from out of town to spend a few days here.

We just got back from a 4-H State Conference trip where she met numerous new friends she added to her network. (Thank you, Charlie, for my Texas Aggie Fight Song Ringtone!)

I can't keep up with her.

She's such a joy. Yes, she sometimes balks when I ask her to do the dishes or help me in the yard, but she's an amazing kid. I cherish the many evenings when she comes into our room and sprawls out on the bed for a good long visit. She talks to me about a lot of things and I am so very thankful for that.

I know lots of parents who don't enjoy their teenagers. I'm not one of them. I love watching them grow and learn. They make mistakes and stumble through the potholes of life, but I'm holding on to the knowledge that God will be with them every step of the way.

May His love always shine through you and I send prayers of thanks to Him for giving me the privilege of being your Mama. I love you!

Monday, January 19, 2009

No Giles Allond

Just keep reading.... explanation to follow:

These past few weeks I have been working on scrapbooks. Yes, I know I just got a new sewing machine and I should be hibernating behind it, but I had this scrapping project out before I came home with my machine and I am a woman on a mission. I'm trying to get all of my Christmas pictures scrapped and into 3 Christmas albums. Thus far, I have completed 32 pages in 2009. I've got about 5 years left to scrap and I hope to get that finished by Sunday. The scrapbook group I am a part of has issued a mission to Use Your Stash of scrapping supplies and I am trying my best to do my part. I seriosly doubt I'll make much of a dent in my collection, but I'm hoping to get lots of pictures out of photo boxes and into albums in my attempt.

I will be really tired of Christmas by the time these are all finished!

So, since I have had piles of photos and photo albums lying around, the kids have taken to reminiscing. This is one of our favorite things to do, and in doing so, the countless stories of their childhood inevitably surface and soon we are all gathered around laughing until our sides ache. This is one of the reasons I scrapbook - I want to get these stories down in writing so that when we are old and gray and feeble (keep those wisecracks to yourself please!) we can look back and remember the days of their youth - and ours!

So eventually we come to this picture and we all fall into fits of laughter:

This was taken the day after Christmas, 1996. All the family was gathered at Granny and Grandpa's in the mountains. At that time, there were 5 cousins and the boys decided that they needed to build a clubhouse so they worked tirelessly and this is what they came up with. The girls went out to see what they were up to and came back in to inform us that they had been banned from the premises so we went out to see what all the commotion was about and this is what we found. They look harmless, don't they?


Translation: No girls allowed except Karin, Caitlin, and Kila. LOL!

The 'ESAP' part was added after the girls complained.

I felt honored to be included in the exception although I didn't complain so I don't exactly know why I was included. The two older boys are especially close. We have spent many a week keeping the little blonde rascal, next to DS, through the years and there are more stories involving their escapades.

I haven't scrapped this picture yet, but I think it deserves to be enlarged and have a page all to itself.

So now I'm going to say what my kids expect me to say: They grow up much too quickly, but I'm glad that these pictures remain to remind us, and them, that they had a really cool childhood and one day they will thank me for being the crazy Mom who was always taking pictures!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

17 years ago...

17 years ago... we were about to embark on the greatest adventure of our life.
17 years ago... We were in the hospital awaiting the arrival of our 1st child.
17 years ago...We became parents.

This morning I gazed up at my 6'3" son and wondered where the last 17 years went. I don't know how Kenny Chesney can sing a song called "Don't Blink". He doesn't even have children, but I can assure you that the words are true.

Don't blink ~ Just like that you're six years old and you take a nap
and you wake up and you're twenty-five
and your high school sweetheart becomes your wife
Don't blink ~ You just might miss your babies growing like mine did

17 years and I have treasured every day. I worked at the ASCS (Agricultural Stabilization & Conservation Service ~ try saying that 3 times fast!) until the day you arrived. We were blessed that I have been able to stay home and raise you. I wouldn't change a thing.

When I first held you in my arms, I felt God's arms surround me in a way that took my breath away. I was holding a miracle! I was so scared, yet it felt so right.

When you purchase anything these days they send you home with a user's manual that rivals the Annual Cabela's Catalog (we won't even go into why we receive this preferred customer hardback 4" catalog each year). Yet they send you home with a tiny (well, you weren't very tiny: 9 lbs!) baby ~ no manual. Just a brand new human being that they expect you to raise on a wing and a prayer. Well through the years I have become very good at winging it and prayer had blessed us with each and every step.

It's been an amazing journey and I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for you. For now, I am still enjoying every day. The twos were not terrible and neither are the teenage years. You are an amazing kid. Yes, you antagonize your sister, but according to everyone who had siblings, that's to be expected. I wouldn't know; as I was an only child as you have both reminded me of that on numerous ocassions. You often offer to help elderly shoppers with their bags. You hold doors open for people. You are respectful to adults. You are a hard worker. You are are kind and smart and funny and I am so very proud of you. Happy Birthday son!

17 years ago I spent every minute I could holding and rocking you. Everyone told me, "Put that baby down. You'll spoil him." Not a chance! I didn't want to miss a thing. I am so very thankful that I was there to watch you fall asleep, to see you wake up, to read to you, to play with you, to giggle and laugh and cry, to capture the first time you rolled over, crawled, walked and talked.

And yes, it seems like only yesterday!
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