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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Herd's The Word

Today Savannah had her first sheep herding lesson at Paws 4 Ewe and she's a born natural. I would hope so, since she is a border collie, but you never can be too sure where her instincts lie. She's great with tennis balls and small dogs, but sheep is a whole other animal (pun intended.)

Yes, I got to pet a pony and it made my week. Hours later I still feel the high of being on a ranch surrounded by all sorts of creatures and, particularly, this lovely white horse. It let me scratch behind its ears and reached it's head over the fence to nuzzle up and smell my hair. For a brief moment I imagined the possibilities of it taking a huge chunk out of my face or arm, but I cast away fear so the animal wouldn't catch me with the scent. Just call me the horse whisperer. (Now feel free to guffaw.)
Savannah was so impressive and I apologize for not having shots of her in action, but we were a bit busy to be taking photos. My mother-in-law, Betty, came along to see how our girl did and watch Wilder while I worked with Savannah and the trainer, Michele. Honestly, I just stood on the other side of the fence while Michele and Savannah and a few good sheep had at it. Michele said that the first lesson was meant to be all fun and Savannah could do no wrong, except eat her sheep (which, thankfully, she didn't.) Savannah surprised us all by being quite the natural, but also overweight and tired a bit too easily. I know you're laughing, Brian. I've resolved to slim up our collie and I might reap some benefits myself while I'm at it. I hardly think I could avoid it, actually, since I can only imagine the way to slim her down is by running her and playing more ball.

I resolved to have my own ranch after five minutes on this beautiful land, but, as my family can attest to, I have always yearned for the country life. Plus, Santa knows how long I've been asking for a pony and I'm determined now to get one after remembering how I end up on cloud 9 after being around horses.

Next week we'll be back with more news on Savannah's progress. I must report, for Brian and anyone else who's boarded Savannah (Mom, Leslie, Betty, etc.) that she was superior in obedience after having her afternoon with the sheep. She was super responsive to new commands while I played ball with her this evening and I see the beginning of a very bright and much happier future for our fabulous bored border collie and our family!

Savannah is waiting her second turn after getting a taste for herding. She can hardly contain herself.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Happy (1/2) Birthday!

It's amazing to think that six months ago today this little man came into the world -and turned it into an even better place for his mommy and daddy. He's sitting up now (though still a little wobbly) and more expressive each day. Happy (Half) Birthday, Wiley Scott! We love you to pieces.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Gotta Get on Up to Get Down -Jump Around!

Wilder is a major fan of his new Jumperoo. Thanks to Mima, I was inspired to get a matching one for our house and apparently I totally scored. He already spins himself around (okay, so "shifts" is a better descriptor) so he can play will all the toys around him -the seat completely rotates. The video shows better than I can describe how much fun Wilder is having.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Daddy, I'm SO Adorable

Brian, here is another set of pictures for you to show how big your little man is getting -and just how darn tootin' cute he is (just like you.)

We love you so much, Darling, and think about you all the time. Every night before I tuck Wiley in, after we've said our prayers, I tell him how much you love and miss him. You light up our lives, Sweetheart. I know these made you smile :)
Tons of love! -Kelly and Wilder

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mow Power To You

Yesterday, with Wilder in a front carrier, I conquered our lawn. It was my first time cutting our lawn in Texas, though I have mowed often enough in my lifetime to not be a complete ninny at it. In Jr. High and High School it was often my job to tackle our lawn. But that was with a gas, power mower. This time was with an electric mower.

Last summer in Alaska Brian bought this electric mower for two reasons: 1) a gas mower may be hard to ship when we move down to Texas and 2) it's a heck of a lot cheaper. I am not sure that he had ever mowed a lawn before. He didn't grow up with a yard (they lived on a steep slope with lots of woods) and therefore didn't get your typical lessons in mowing before he made this very grown up purchase of a lawn mower. Since he was excited about finally getting to mow a lawn -HIS lawn- I deferred to his preference.

Now that he won't be mowing for quite awhile, I would like to appeal his choice. We have a substantial lawn. I have a baby. Having to push this electric mower (since it's not self propelled like the gas ones I grew up operating), while carrying Wilder AND navigating that stupid orange extension cord.... it's a herculean effort. BUT- I conquered it!!! I kicked that lawn's ass and did it in style.

I admit I couldn't stop thinking about how I would like to yell at my husband for buying such a STUPID lawn mower and how all I wanted was a beer, but by the time I was finished I felt empowered. You see, I had begun to be afraid at night in our big, empty house. I was the helpless little wifey left alone on the ranch with the baby, awaiting her strong man to come home and rescue her. But here, up to my ankles in over grown grass, my hands numb from the mower's vibrations, I was taking ownership, taking charge, doing the hard stuff around the house that I always could do, but Brian helped with. Seeing how capable I truly am and taking care of my wonderful home has helped me on my (hopefully short) journey to fearlessness. I wanted to shout out, "Watch out, bad guys! I mowed my lawn with that silly toy mower and I can kick your butts -so don't even THINK of coming around here! Yeah, that's right! Just keep out if you want to keep your manly parts!"

Yes, as a military wife with a deployed husband, there is no room for sissiness. It's okay to watch chick flicks and bawl your eyes out, then write sappy love letters to your soldier, but we also have to take on the man's role of family protector while our guys are away. I'm getting in touch with my pioneer spirit, rifle ready for any big bears that lurk in the dark night, baking bread in the morning and feeding the chickens... okay, so not quite, but who knew that mowing my lawn would spark this much needed sense of strength and security? I sure didn't, but I'm very thankful for it.

I'm just glad not to feel helpless. And I'm thinking about taking some martial arts classes just to get a healthy dose of testosterone on a weekly bases. We'll see about that, but for now I am thankful that my killer mowing experience has translated into a much needed confidence boost.

Heirlooms and Varoom Varooms

A few days after getting back from California I had some company. Two of my brothers, Derek and Aaron and my Mom's husband, Mark, drove all the way down from Wenatchee, Washington to deliver a 12 foot trailer full of goodies from various generations of my family. The biggest and best gift was the beautiful upright piano my grandparents, and then my mother, owned. My mother learned to play on it, Crystal and I learned to play on it, and now Wilder will have his chance. I remember being knee high to a grasshopper and watching in sheer wonderment as my mother caressed beautiful tunes almost magically out of the piano. Then when she'd let me try my hands at it, only disjointed planging clashed out. How did she do that? Create such lovely music? There must be a secret code, I thought. And, surely enough, there was! And fortunately she shared it with me. So many special memories tied to this piano and I have already set Wilder down several times to begin his early music appreciation.
I had to take the guys to Duke's BBQ in Georgetown. It's a family favorite. The weather was beautiful and we enjoyed eating outside. All in all, it was a fun experience.
Aaron (left) loves to peruse the stores. He spied the outlet mall in Round Rock and we all decided the visit wouldn't be complete without a "stop and shop" there. Oh, what goodies were found!
The next day Mark took the boys to the Inner Space Caverns just down the way. They obviously had a blast -Derek showed me all the pictures he took and gave me a virtual tour of the cave along with many of the facts he learned. I had fun making him a necklace with the shark's tooth he purchased, then I took the brothers to wade in the San Gabriel river at the park. It took me back watching them catch minnows and find weird treasures in the shallow river. It was just like 8, 10, 12 years ago. Wilder and I sat on the bank, warmed in the afternoon sunshine. There is something absolutely perfect about that park. Families and friends gathered in little groups, children ran around the playgrounds and through the water, geese strutted on the grass and dove for food in the river. The leaves back lit in the trees by the amber rays of the descending sun. What a beautiful place.

The guys left Sunday and after nearly a week of finally settling into the house for the first time since Brian left, I am beginning to feel normal. I still have boxes to unpack that Mom sent with the guys, but they are filled with very special things that are impossible to rush through. Each item holds so many memories and reminders of precious people from the past -and present.

Sitting here with my morning cup of tea I am embracing the quietness and easy tick of the clock. No hurry. Thankfully I have the blessing of no deadlines and only one little companion who needs my tender and very loving care. Right now I'm counting my blessings, which helps to banish the sadness that creeps in, and gearing up to create some new adventures. But first, a time to rest.

Monday, April 7, 2008

For Daddy

My Baby's Daddy requested some new photos, so, Brian, here's some just for you!

Today's messy carrot face.

I love the new chubs.

We love you so much, Honey! Many, many more pictures to come -and more often for you.
Hugs and Kisses!
-Wiley and Mama

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Let The Good Times Roll

I ask myself, "How can a mother and father of soon-to-be six kids enjoy any more?" as Crystal and George took turns snuggling my baby. George proudly showed Wilder off at the office and Crystal would snag him out of my arms to get some good baby cuddles in. It's amazing how this couple's love for children is boundless.
Though I'm back in Georgetown now, I am catching up on the non-stop fun from Escondido. Crystal and I (and Timothy, as pictured) made curtains for the girls rooms after a victorious trip to JoAnn's Fabric. She also made a baby blanket a la Kelly (as dear Mitsi likes to call it) and matching pillow cases for Kaeli's room that coordinate with her new curtains. I was so close to stealing them -I adore the fabric and am now totally inspired to make pillow cases. Easy as pie and not quite sure why I didn't think of doing it earlier. Brian now has a request for a custom case for his teeny tiny Army issue pillow. I'm ALL OVER that project -white on rice, baby.
D-D-D-Disneyland!!!! Yep, we conquered a trip to the Happiest Place on Earth with all the Kinglets and the 5 mo. old Wilder. Unfortunately it was still spring break for many a folk so we didn't have the park to ourselves, BUT the experience was certainly memorable!
Arrrrgggghhh, Matie! Putting on our best (fuzzy) pirate scowls -I think Zaccai wins. Wilder was wild about Pirates! He waved his arms and kicked his legs like crazy (with excitement) when we wooshed underground and his head darted around at each new scene as we rounded the bends. He was in sheer wonderment at the sights and sounds that have captivated all of us fortunate enough to go to the Magical Kingdom.
Posing in front of the Island which apparently now is a Pirate Island instead of Tom Sawyer's. And did you know that the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse is now Tarzan's? I didn't even know they had put it up for sale!

Say "Mac and Cheese!"

Mouseketeers (or however you spell it) eating their mouse-ke-lunches on the mouse-ke-ground.

Wesley plopped his sandwich on the ground while giving full attention to his bag of Cheetos. The man knows his priorities.

Crystal and Timothy

Miss Kaeli

The emotive Wesley

Right outside our favorite place -the bathroom!- on the corner of Tomorrowland and Main Street.

A trip to Disneyland ain't complete without a stop at the Main Street ice cream parlor. Can you say, "YUUUM-MMEEEE!"? I thought you could.
Not that I'm discriminating, but since when did birds need to use the San Diego airport? I mean, come on guys -you have WINGS... I know, I know. We have Cinnabom and you just wanted a few crumbs.

Sadly, Wilder and I left. But we're planning our next trip soon. Not sure when, perhaps this summer, but we'll see the Kings again in the very near future. I am glad because I sure love those guys. More fun times to come -now what can I stir up for tomorrow...?


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