Thursday, September 17, 2009

Our New Girl

We had a death in the family this summer. Our little girl dog got hit by a car. I guess that's part of having farm dogs. They get the freedom to run around and you risk losing them. Well, we did. It was my Snuggle Bug's little girl dog. The girl. I didn't know the impact she had on the other two boys until she was gone. The boys really don't like each other. But for her, they got along. Without her around, they quit playing. One disappeared into the orchard. The other just lounged around all day... sighing.

Until we found her. The Snuggle Bug thought long and hard about her name. He named her Missy. And it fits. She's fun and playful. And so sweet!

When we got her she was just 6 weeks old. She's bigger now. And when folks meet her, they say she's the gentlest puppy they've ever met. I think she's just precious. And the boy dogs like her too. She's playful and they are so gentle with her. They even argue over her! What a princess. She'll fit right in.
Welcome to the family, Missy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Long Time No See... er... Write

Howdy! Long time, no see! Things have been busy and I've been struggling with what to blog. It's an interesting process to make the commitment to start a blog. At first you have all these great ideas about what to say. Then as you say what you thought would be fun to say, you wonder what else there is to talk about. So while I was waiting for something phenomenal to happen to me so I could be entertaining on my blog, I quit writing.

My other struggle is with photos. I like to put photos out there. A blog with no photos is like a gift without the wrapping paper. And country living means slow Internet. So I have been impatient waiting. Instead of waiting, I quit writing.

And here we are. No writing. No pictures. No blog. BLAH! Sorry, Trish. I've missed you too. Let's see if we can get this thing going again, eh?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

I have taken a week off. Yep. I'm in Dallas and I have no children. No farm. No hubbie. Just me and my college roomie... and my tap shoes.

I'm in Dallas for a Teachers of Dance convention. Since I'm going to attempt to teach dance again, I thought it would be wise to see what the kids are doing these days. And see if I remembered how to move. So I registered myself for this convention. It starts tomorrow. I'm nervous. I'll be surrounded by people half my age who haven't taken a hiatus from dance to have 4 children and run a pecan farm. Should be interesting.

I did leave the leotards at home, though. I'm not stepping that far out of my comfort zone.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Girlie Day

The Doodlebug was invited to a birthday party... a Princess party. I was under the impression that all 4 year old girls were princesses so I didn't think much of the invitation.

When we arrived, I learned it was a glamour party... you know, hair, makeup, nails... but small town style. I had seen pictures of my sister Trish's girls doing this and thought it looked fun! I never imagined a swanky place for that in my little small town.

When we arrived, the Doodlebug spent the first 20 minutes shopping. The party was in a side room of a cutsie little boutique so we had to shop and touch everything in the store before truly enjoying herself in the party. Geeh... I wonder where she gets that?!?

The birthday girl got all dolled up first. She has this amazing head of curly hair and it just piled right up so nicely on her head. She was really enjoying the dress up and make up. She doesn't have three brothers.

The Doodlebug finally got her chance in the beauty chair. Pink. Pink. Pink. Pink eyeshadow. Pink lip stuff (that she wiped off immediately cuz it felt funny) and pink nail polish. We challenged the hair lady with the Doodlehair. It hasn't spent a lot of time in a brush... or growing for that matter. The hair lady offered to put lots of ponytails on her head. I don't think the Doodlebug fully understood what was happening, because after about 6 pigtails, she very politely said, "That's enough. Please, stop." And then she ripped them all out. That's my girl.

Everyone was interviewed after being dolled up. The Doodlebug's stage name was Barbie and she held that mike the entire time she was there. She loved the thing. Note to self: Next time we are in Michael's, buy a Styrofoam mike. Provides hours of entertainment.

I was so happy for my Doodlebug to be invited to such a girlie party. The brothers stayed home... happily... and we had a little girl time. It was really a great time!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good Excuses... Really...

My sister, Trish, reminded me I haven't blogged lately. And since I don't want her and my one other reader to think I've fallen off the face of the earth, I thought I'd give you an update.

Since I'm becoming "The Dance Teacher," I've been reflecting on what that will mean. And my first realization was... tights. I'm going to have to squeeze this flabby, outta shape old body into tights. In order to not offend and send the parents running out of the studio, I decided I should do something about this issue.

SO... I've joined "The Gym." That's what it's called. "The Gym." And it's not a place filled with intimidating muscle men and folks running on treadmills for 45 minutes while laughing about their weekend trip to Bermuda. I walk into those gyms and get the deer in the headlight look. I see people working out, but I haven't a clue what to do there myself. This gym is a wonderful place with men and women doing classes to lose weight and get in or stay in shape. Dance-like classes. That's right up my alley. And I'm really enjoying myself!

I hope to someday look as cute and wear fun strapless clothes like Trish! We all gotta have a dream, right?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Doodle Day!

My Doodlebug is 4. We survived 2... whizzed past 3... and we have soundly landed at 4. Raising a daughter is so much different than raising boys. The boys don't have the emotional ups and downs that my daughter has. And they don't have her tenderness. She's a great little sister, big sister and daughter and I am so blessed to have her as my own!

Happy Birthday Doodlebug!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Following A Dream

When you're a kid, people ask you all the time, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I think grown ups do it to see what kind of kid they're talking to. A driven kid: "I want to be an astronaut." A creative kid: "I want to be a banana!" A lazy kid: "I want to just watch TV all day." Or maybe to see what a kid is interested in: "I want to be a football player!"
Well, I hated getting asked that question. I didn't know. Until I started dancing. I could see myself dancing forever. I wanted to dance in the Rockettes. I wanted to be a Kilgore Rangerette. I wanted to be on Broadway. I loved it! So when someone would ask me want I wanted to be, I wanted to be a dancer.
As I got older, I realized I couldn't do it. I wasn't cut throat enough. I wasn't good enough either. But I could teach. I was good enough for that.
But as time went on, I married a military man, we lived in Alaska, and I had babies. I have always missed that part of me... but just accepted that it was gone.
Until now.
There was a strange rumor going around after the Doodlebug's recital that the dance teacher was leaving. After a little investigation, I found out it wasn't a rumor. She WAS leaving. And the dream began to arise again in my gut. Could I teach dance here? Am I too old? Am I too out of touch?
The answer... YES! Yes, I can teach dance! Yes, I'm old! Yes, I'm out of touch! And YES! I'm terrified of the thought of all those Mommies and Daddies seeing me in a leotard! But I'm going to do it anyway!
Look out world! Here I come! (I'm the one stuffed into my too tight leotard hiding in the back of the room!)

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Baby Had Another Birthday

Here's my Baby... 2 years ago. I love this picture! He was so tiny. My smallest boy. And so alert at 2 days old.

Then at one, he was just a little explorer. He was movin' and shakin'. And talkin' my ear off. Some things don't change in a year.

Saturday, we celebrated his birthday... as well as the Doodlebug's recital and Chojuk's Blue and Gold Banquet. It was a busy day. But we made sure to open presents. The Doodlebug supervised. See the hands on hips? She's in training for middle management.

My Snugglebug was excited about every gift and pushed him on to the next gift. I think he was secretly hoping something in there would hold some interest to him. The Doodlebug, however, genuinely was interested in every thing he got. More toys for her.

This classic was a hit. It's now in a million pieces all over my living room floor. But it was fun while it lasted. I guess that's a lesson for the Baby of the family. If you want it to remain in one piece, don't share!
Happy Birthday to My Baby!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

From Wolf to Bear

Chojuk had his big Blue and Gold Banquet last weekend. (It was a busy weekend!) The Blue and Gold Banquet for the Cub Scouts is where they give awards, and promotions, to the kids. Chojuk went from being a Wolf to a Bear.

These are his buddies. At A&M, your "buddies" are the folks you are in the Corps with. The ones who suffer through the tough stuff and celebrate the achievements with. I think it's safe to use that term with these guys.

This is our fearless leader and her son. She is fearless. And that woman thinks of everything! She is organized and on the ball. She doesn't miss a beat and doesn't let our boys miss one either! When we slow down as a den and don't feel like moving, she drags us through! Everyone should be as blessed as we are to have such a wonderful leader!

She found this cool ceremony for the boys to do at the banquet. They had their faces painted. Each stripe was unique to the level the boys had achieved and each stripe and color meant something. The Nutty Papa painted Chojuk's stripes so I could take pictures.

Chojuk loved having his face painted! He asked if we could do it again tomorrow. "Maybe for Halloween."
We had a fun time at our banquet! Now on to the Bear requirements...
Anyone know how to handle a knife?

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Ballet Cycle

My Mom did it. I did it. And now my daughter has done it. Danced. In a recital. I'm so proud!

We put on the makeup. She LOVES this part. Can't you tell?

Then we put on the itchy, scratchy, costume... with the pokey, pinchy crown. Beauty is pain, I tell her.

She lined up with her other teapots, and....

"...Here is my spout!"

It was so fun to see her dance! And there were 6 little girls all with different approaches to this dancing thing. There was the show off, the speed demon, the watcher, Miss Independent (can you guess who that was?) and the cryer. I was beaming with pride and excitement! I just can't wait already until next year.

She's not so sure about it. But I have a few months to convince her she loves it!

Can't accuse me of living through my daughter.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Holy Spirit Blesses the Nutty Forest

Yesterday, my Snugglebug and I were out at the barn. When we walked in, we spooked a dove. She flew right into the window and dropped to the ground. I hate when birds do this. Not knowing what else to do, I call to the Snugglebug, my resident animal lover, and ask him to rescue the dove. He very gently walked over to her, and picked her up. She flew down a few feel to the floor. He picked her up again. And again, she flew to the floor. We finally managed to get her out of the barn and into the grass, but she just couldn't seem to take flight. I thought if we could catch her, and put her in a box until the Nutty Papa got home, she'd be safe... at least from the dogs.

We went searching for her in the yard and couldn't find her. Finally the Snugglebug ran back to the house to tell his big brother, Chojuk. He listened carefully to his little brother share his story and suddenly interrupted. "Wait a minute... wait a minute. Did you say a DOVE? The dove is the bird that God sent as the Holy Spirit. THAT'S THE HOLY SPIRIT!! WE HAVE TO GO FIND IT!!!" And out the door they flew.

Chojuk put his detective hat on. He'd seen someone feel the ground when searching for something before, so he did too. (Such a flare for the dramatics... I can't image where he gets that from.)

Finally they agreed to check the barn again. Maybe she had returned. She hadn't. I'm afraid she flew off to die... but I just can't bring myself to suggest that to them.

We went again this morning to check and see if she'd returned. The Doodlebug joined the adventure this time... she drove her gator and wore no clothes. Ah... the life of a country kid!

There was A dove in the nest... but there's no telling if it was THE dove. The kids were convinced it was her and that she's busy protecting her babies. Then we were all informed that the Holy Spirit is alive and well and living in the barn.

So if you are looking for her, you'll know where to send your prayers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chojuk's First Communion

Chojuk had his first communion this past weekend. There were 42 children receiving this sacrament and it was a lovely ceremony. Chojuk has been chomping at the bit to partake of the Eucharist. So I am glad his moment finally arrived.

As he arrived in the church, he bowed in front of the alter. The priest, Father Gilberto, was there to direct traffic.

We prayed, and passed peace.

And then his moment arrived. He received the Eucharist with grace and pride.

And then returned to his seat to pray. It was a lovely day. I'm so proud of him.

One more sign that my baby is growing up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Coolest Thing EVER!

I had the coolest thing happen to me yesterday. I was so floored, I forgot to take pictures. Maybe I'll post some later. I am just so glad I live in a small town with the BEST neighbors EVER!

Yesterday I was taking the Doodlebug to her ballet class. As I drove down our half mile dirt driveway, I noticed the ruts and holes that I usually bump my way down were missing. MISSING! How did this happen? The holes were BIG. Enormous. And they were gone.

I thought I'd call the Nutty Papa and ask him if he knew what was going on, and I noticed a missed call from my Friendly Cotton Pickin' neighbor. No. Way. I had to call and see what was going on.

"Hello, Friendly Cotton Pickin' neighbor!"


"Were you on my driveway today?"

"Yes M'am."

Be still my heart! I just about broke out in tears!

Then he says, "I'm not done..." WHAT?!? "I was calling to tell you to drive on it... over and over so we can get that dirt packed down. Then I'll have to come back to fix more."

"Thank you so much! You just made my day!!!"

What an amazing thing to do for someone! We had someone, a professional, come in and tell us he'd fix it for $6000. And my Friendly Cotton Pickin' neighbor just does it! I don't think I'll ever be able to say thanks enough.

If I fall on my knees in prostration in front of him at the next T-ball game and sing his praises, is that a little over the top?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

This Nut Didn't Fall Far From the Tree

Darcy's first Dance Recital is next week. And to prove once again that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree... I took pictures.

I thought I needed to practice doing her hair since every hair on her head has to be up in a "bun." We got special permission to just have a pony tail, but it's still going to be a struggle. AND... once I get it up, there's no guarantee she'll sit completely still until she dances so as not to pull it down. I take that back. There is a guarantee... that she WON'T sit still.

Anyway, I bought some gel at the store, slicked back her hair, and stuck on her crown. Then she looked in the mirror to see what she looked like.
I think she approved!

Then to entice her to sit a little longer, I offered to put on some makeup. She liked the lip stick.

Or maybe she licked the lipstick. And by the way, this is only half of the pictures I took of her. And every one is different. I just couldn't do that to you. You have other things to do today.

Then she wanted me to put "makeup on her toes." So we painted them pink. She sat so still and loved every minute of it. I'm so glad she's a girlie girl!

Once again here's proof that "I hope you have one just like you" really works.
Thanks, Mom. I feel your pain.

Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm Feeling Nutty!

We've got nuts!
Teeny tiny, itty bitty nuts!

But they're there!

You know what this means?!? The trees have done their part, now it's time for me to do mine! Say a prayer for a bountiful harvest this year... we need it!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Pride and Joy

Easter is a great time to get a picture of everyone. The kids are all hopped up on candy and sugar and in good moods... for the most part.

Here's the Baby. He's almost 2. Handsome little guy isn't he? He looks just like his bigger brother, the Snugglebug.

Here's the Snugglebug. He's at the point in his camera life where he can't quite figure out what to do when I say, "Smile!" After a few tries, I finally got a good one. Isn't he cute?

Here's the Chojuk. Man, he's getting big. But when I look at this picture, I still see that chubby little guy that came into my life eight years ago. And those dimples! Enough to melt your heart!

And then there's the Doodlebug. She wasn't happy at me for making her stand still for any length of time. She had places to go, things to do, candy to eat, kittens to terrorize.

But I won her over in the end. Isn't she beautiful!

Ah, my little bundles of joy... not so little anymore!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Roadtrip Oddities

We drove down to my in-laws to celebrate Easter. It's an easy 3 hour drive. The kids love to see the scenery change as it goes from rolling hills to palm trees. On this trip, however, we saw something we've never seen before.

Is that a zebra grazing with those cows? I couldn't believe my eyes. So I turned around on the highway and went back for a second look.

Yep. Clear as Day. There was a zebra chompin' on some grass. I took quite a few pictures...

I think he's used to the pictures and the people stopping to watch him. He didn't get spooked. Neither did his buddy. In fact, they wouldn't even look up at me. Snobs.

But I'd watch out for this guy. "Don't mess with my zebra!"