Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Arm Yourselves

So Miss Lilly has officially been cast free for a week now. She had it removed last Tuesday, after 4 weeks in the offending Vikings-purple-colored cast. She was so excited to be done with it and able to go about her life. But honestly, the cast didn't stop her. She still went on the monkey-bars (but only once, until our friend caught her and gently told her it wasn't a good idea!) and climbed trees and played just as she always does. In a way, I was glad she was going about life and not feeling sorry for herself. But I'm also a mom, so I was trying not to hover while she was playing and climbing, praying for her to not re-injure her arm.

Last Tuesday while at the clinic, our doctor was examining her newly exposed arm. When he declared Lilly fit and fine, she asked, "So I can climb trees and go on monkey bars all I want now?"

The doctor looked at me, now totally understanding why at 2 wks, when he said we could take the cast off and she could wear a brace but he was concerned about re-injury, we didn't bat an at leaving it on longer. "Well, maybe give it a day or two to get used to being an arm again, how about that?"

Lilly held up two fingers and counted off, "Today is Tuesday, so then on Thursday I can go on the monkey bars again?"

I love our doctor. He smiled and nodded, you could tell he was holding back a laugh. "Yes, on Thursday you can go on the monkey bars." Then he turned to me and said, "No offense, but hopefully we don't see you sooner than later!"

That Lilly girl of ours is so much fun. She told me just yesterday how much more fun she's having at recess now that she can climb and play like normal. She's also been working hard on her biking, being able to go about 20-30 feet with two-wheels before gently crashing. I'm sure that will be the next Lilly post--riding a 2-wheeler!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Painting

I've been spending a lot of time looking at this painting lately. That's my horse, Cookie, in the corner, and she's been gone a little over a year now. A long time ago (okay, in 1996) a good friend of mine painted this picture for me and it's hung in my house ever since. It was a wonderful surprise that I cherish now that she's gone.

I had worked in a small store that was part of a small resort near my house all through my teens. Every summer, I was in that store for several days a week. If I wasn't in the store working, I was riding my horse or other horses for the trail-riding business my aunt ran as part of the resort. It was a dream summer job, let me tell you!

The resort catered mostly to people who had seasonal campers, and Bob was one of those campers. He was an older, retired man who loved to fish. His wife would leave him at the camper for the week, then come up on the weekend. He would get up each day at dawn to go fishing, then come in and have nothing to do the rest of the day until it was time to go back out fishing around supper time. Bob would visit me in the store every day, sometimes for hours, just to talk and visit. He told me about his family, his old job as a mail carrier, the best fishing spots...I would tell him about my boyfriend, my horse, my plans for after high school. We would just talk.

One thing I knew about Bob was that he was an amazing artist. When he wasn't talking or fishing, he was painting. On my last day of work at the resort for the summer of 1996, Bob presented me with the painting above. He had worked on it throughout the summer, having taken pictures of Cookie while I worked (I would ride her the 2 miles to and from work each day) He knew I loved rivers, autumn and old buildings, so the combination of the picture was perfect. The thought was amazing and so touched my heart.

Now that Cookie is no longer alive, I love this picture even more. I see it and I think of her and how so many people misjudged her. We were a perfect pair for almost 20 years. I miss her every time I look into the pasture and see the other horses, but not her. Then I look at the painting that hangs above my couch and it makes me feel better.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Anniversary to me...oh, and Andy too!

Today is our anniversary. We've been together forever, but it was on this date that we made it official and became man and wife. There are lots of obvious ways that Andy lets me know he loves me--he provides for our family, he doesn't cheat and lie, he simply tells me that he loves me. But there are other ways he tells me, too, without using words.

So, happy anniversary to the man who:

*gets my toothbrush ready, sets out a vitamin, and fills a cup of water for me every so often when he goes to bed before me. They are all lined up on the counter, one little way to make my night run smoother.

*sometimes brings me home an extra treat if he stops at the store.

*kills spiders that are climbing on the ceiling since I can't reach them.

*has just as crazy and stupid a sense of humor as I do.

*will watch football, baseball, Grey's Anatomy or The Bachelor with me in bed.

*lets me snuggle up to him and warm my cold feet on his legs.

*always makes sure my fun mower is running in tip-top shape so I don't have to worry about breakdowns while camping.

*usually makes sure to shut off his alarm clock right away and moves about the house like a little mouse in the mornings, since he's awake 2.5 hrs before me.

*will try anything I make, but isn't scared to tell me if it's bad, or needs more salt, or is too spicy. And when he loves it, he makes sure to let me know, too!

*shares my random taste in music and appreciates that you can skip around from classic country to 90s hip-hop to hard rock and back again.

*thinks just like me and will finish my sentences.

*calls me during the day just to talk while he's on break from work.

*is honest if something I'm wearing doesn't look right, but when it does look right, he tells me I'm hot.

*is an amazing husband and father!

I love you, Andy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ode to Fall

If you know me, you know that I LOVE fall. It's my favorite time of year by far. Since I'm feeling silly, I thought I'd write a little song about it. Enjoy!

(to the tune of "My Favorite Things")

Apples and pumpkins and yummy fall goodies
Having to put on your jeans, socks and hoodies
Hayrides, bon-fires, trail-rides snake like a string
These are a few of my favorite things.

Football's in session and we love the Packers
Chili and "hot-dish", homemade soup with crackers
Watching the birds fly south on tired wings
These are a few of my favorite things

When it's 90, or below 3, or I'm feeling "S.A.D." (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad!

Leaves turning yellow and orange and red,
Having to put more covers on the bed,
Smoke from the wood-stove and temps are cooling
These are a few of my favorite things.

Kids dressed in costumes and looking for treats,
Scarecrows and corn bundles line all the streets,
Hunting and scouting and Thanksgiving,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When it's 90, or below 3, or I'm feeling "S.A.D."
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel... so... bad!

Friday, September 3, 2010

No More 4K, but 4 & K!

The girls started school this week, Alayna in 4th grade and Lilly in Kindergarten. They were both very ready to go back, and honestly, so was I. By the end of the summer, it's been a little too much time with everyone together and the bickering is more often and louder and everything not good. We were all ready for it to be back to school time!

Alayna has had quite the change over the summer! Her teeth have moved considerably with her braces. They are not only straight, but almost lined up and touching like 2 front teeth should be. She also had quite a growth spurt and grew about 2.5" since the end of school. It made for a huge wardrobe change, but we made it work. She's now 4'9" and quickly creeping up on her Gramma for height!

Lilly also had a huge summer and she's more than ready for Kindergarten! She's 4 foot even now and continues to color and do art whenever she can. Her lost tooth and broken arm add lots of fun questions for people to ask when we meet them in the store or at the school for Open House. Her most anticipated part of starting school is getting to go every day!

Mikayla looks a little upset in this picture, but she's not. She's actually in the middle of making a silly face at me (go figure, right?)

She was quite fine with sending the girls off, only needing her "bap-cack" for the picture. As soon as the big girls were on the bus, she clapped her hands and said, "Mommy, let's go eat some brefast, just us two! Then we can play a game!"

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fair-ly Late Post

Finally! I have some fair pictures! This year, Alayna was an Explorer, which is kind of like being in 4H Junior High. She was able to bring more projects, including 1 animal besides Little Britches, and had to fill out a record book, but she still had some limitations on what she could do. Next year, she's a full-fledged 4H'er and can do what she wants. This year, she brought a plate of 3 cookies that she baked herself (she was so proud!), a sequence of 3 pictures of our crab apple tree in various stages of bloom, a birdhouse she built with my dad's help, and an informational book about Manatees. I neglected to get a picture of her with her items, but she did a great job. This is the first year she also gets ribbons for placing, instead of just participating and she got all Blues! Great job, Alayna!

Alayna also was able to show her horse, Chloe, for the first time. She showed in Showmanship, Equitation, Western Pleasure and Horse Judging. Chloe was a little anxious with all the horses and not listening too well, but they did a great job. She got one red, 2 white and 1 pink ribbon. Alayna was very pleased with her first year showing horse, and we were so proud of her!

Both Lilly & Alayna showed a calf for Little Britches on Sunday morning. They worked with their calves over the summer and spent a lot of time getting them to lead, being used to getting handled and washed, etc. Lilly's calf was Crash and Alayna's was Eddie, both named after the crazy possum duo from Ice Age 2 & 3, which are favorite movies in our household.

Lilly in the show-ring
Alayna in the show-ring

Next year, we'll be even busier because Lilly will be a Cloverbud and able to bring some projects to the fair, and Alayna will be a regular 4H participant. She's already thinking about things she wants to bring! As for me, I usually bring a photo or two for the Open class, not because I want to win but because an exhibitor's pass is cheaper than a traditional season pass. Scandalous, I know. But, this year I actually got third place with this photo!