"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

New Nephew!

I'm so excited.  Sharee and Bryce had their sweet baby last night.  Click here to go to their blog to read all the details.  Congratulations guys.  Good work.  He's beautiful.  I think he looks like a little football player.  My babies come out with little twigs for arms and legs.  That kid has some serious substance!  Hope you don't mind that I lifted your pictures Bryce.  Thanks for the quick update.  We were dying to hear...

Handsome little "Case":

This picture speaks volumes.  Good work Sharee.  You look exhausted, yet incandescently happy.  Love the nail polish too.  We miss you!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An Interview with Ellorie the Grasshopper Hunter

Ellorie caught a grasshopper at about 8 am yesterday. She named him "flyer" and was maiming the poor thing so I got her a little jar to keep him in. She took him to the park, to her friend's house, fed him grass and celery, and carried him around all day. She caught a few others throughout the day. One she named "Stripey" and another "Hoppy". After dinner she had to release her "friends" back into the wild. Here is a little interview with the Grasshopper Hunter herself:
So at the store today we came across a little wooden box that made a perfect grasshopper pen. She wanted to paint it blue because, well, everything should be blue. The moment it was dry she rushed outside to catch a new pet, "Stripey II". "He's very stripish, Mom." And so he was. Who knew that grasshoppers could be so much fun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A "crappy" problem, and a painting

Last night after inspecting the sprinkler/well situation Brandon noticed a "wet" spot around one of the new sprinkler pipes that is not yet connected to anything.  A problem.  Further investigation revealed that the lovely pipe puller machine had pulled the pipe THROUGH our septic drain pipe, yeah, the one coming out of the house directly from the bathroom.  Raw sewage.  Sweet.  My wonderfully handy husband pulled out the shovel and dug all the sludgy mud out and went to the hardware store first thing this morning and fixed the pipe before he went to work.  Oh the joys of home ownership.  I am so so so immeasurably thankful to have a handy husband.  I just tend to freak out when problems like this arise.  I feel guilty sometimes that I'm not more help with outdoor/home improvement matters.  I guess we all have our strengths.  


On a completely unrelated subject, I have started painting again.  I hesitate to post this for fear that I will jinx myself and go through another dry spell.  And it's always a little intimidating showing people my art.  I haven't done much in the painting department for WAY too long.  I am working on an unnamed series for an undetermined audience, most likely just for my portfolio.  I've decided to create this series as if I were getting ready for a gallery show and then just see what happens.  Anyway, here is the painting I did yesterday.  
It is titled, "Coming to Terms with the Fleeting"
And another one I did last Wednesday for the same series -
Preserves #11:  "Ice"

I hope to keep up the creating now that we are sort of settled.  Home projects and minor disasters allowing of course.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fresh Blueberry Rice Pudding (I wish you could smell this...)

Though usually a winter obsession, it is well known around here that I have an unhealthy love affair with rice pudding.  Well, another one of my favorite foods is fresh blueberries.  I bought a case the other day, and we have been eating them on everything.  This morning they were just begging to jump into a rice pudding.  It is SO delicious.  It's is reminiscent of blueberry pie, but much lighter.  Love.  The best part is, my family is not into fruity things, and so Averie and I will enjoy it all week long.   Here's the recipe if you want to try a little bit of heaven (that is if you are in to the rice pudding thing.)

1 quart milk (1%)
1/2 cup uncooked rice (use regular white rice, not minute or instant.  I've tried brown.  NOT good.)
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
dash of salt
3/4 cup fresh blueberries

mix together in a glass baking dish and bake at 275 degrees for two hours, stirring occasionally.

After two hours add 1/2 cup half and half (or cream if you prefer) and bake for an additional half hour without stirring.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve hot or cold.  Stays good in the fridge for a week or so, if it lasts that long....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Family Reunion

We finally made it to my family reunion.  Better late than never...  The kids were excited, but we got out the door a little late and they missed the traditional parade by just minutes.  Mason wore his pirate costume for a while anyway.  I was going to post some pictures of the parade, but if you are not already savvy to the Joy O. Parade, you probably wouldn't believe it anyway.  Brandon still is a little creeped out by adults dressed as deceased relatives, cousins dressed in drag, and hundreds of kids in halloween costumes marching behind Aunt Jean playing the accordion dressed as a pig with a blonde curly wig.  It's all good fun.  I grew up with it, so I just assumed that every family had such a grand parade at their reunions...  If any of you cousins out there have any pictures, shoot me an email so I can post the proof.  Anyway, we had a great time.  It was so much fun to see everyone!   Mason and Ellorie loved jumping in the giant inflatable jumping room, or as my uncle called it, rent-a-germ:
We had a little program and catch-up with everyone.  They asked at the end if anyone else had a talent or an addition to the program.  Much to my surprise, Mason ran up to the front and said he had a talent.   I was just waiting for him to burst out into song and dance when he pulled out a light saber along with his cousin and proceeded to have a real Jedi battle in the middle of the pavilion.   Nice one buddy.  
It was so beautiful there.  It was really hot, but there was plenty of shade and we all had a great time.  Except for Averie, who missed her naps, but she survived.  She liked swinging with Dad:
  Here are my wonderful grandparents.  It was so great to see both of you!  We need to come visit more often:

It was a really fun time.  It was just the perfect length for our kids.  They were totally wiped out and fell asleep on the way home.   

Pulling Pipe

Yesterday we were planning to attend my family reunion in Wyoming, but the pipe guy called and could only come yesterday, so new plans.  I guess everyone here does sprinkler systems by pulling flexible pipe under the ground with this nifty machine, rather than digging trenches and gluing together PVC.  It was SO much faster, and actually a little bit less expensive!  The kids were totally fascinated.  It took about three hours to bury 2800 feet of pipe on our acre.  So much better than the last time.  Now comes the time consuming part:  attaching all the sprinkler heads.  Hopefully we'll have a lawn by fall... 

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Riding Report and Home Improvement Projects

Happy Pioneer Day!  It's not a holiday here, but it should be.  It was nice to have that one extra holiday when we were in Utah.  Oh well.  I did lots of useful things today.  Well, this morning of course was my Thursday riding lesson.  Is everyone sick of hearing about it?  I know it's kind of the same every week, and most of you probably don't care about horses, but It's my blog, so I guess I'm entitled to ramble about whatever I want...  Good lesson today.  The other girl didn't show, so I got a private lesson.  Those are always a treat.  I worked on transitions again, and lots and lots of canter work.  I need to lay off the left rein.  Such a bad habit.  I can't seem to ditch it.  Other than that Terie said I need to use my knees a little more, and everything else looks great.  I'm getting better at the dressage patterns.  Young horses really bring out your weaknesses as a rider.  I'm learning a lot every week though.  My leg are getting totally buff.  Too bad it doesn't work for everything else.  

So the rest of the day I devoted to home improvement projects.  We are getting the pipe for our sprinkling system laid tomorrow, so my job today was to measure and put the little flags in the ground over our acre.  Have I ever mentioned that numbers are not my strong point?  Well, they aren't.  Measuring a 20:1 scale over and over again is not my idea of a party, but I finished the back yard at least.  We'll see how badly I botched it when Brandon gets home.  Hopefully Averie will take another nap so I can finish the front yard, but I'm not seeing that happening.
 I also sealed the tile grout in the bathrooms.  I know!  Aren't I industrious today!  Okay, it's like the easiest job their is, so I shouldn't be too proud of myself.   (These pictures are a bit silly.  You can barely see the flags, and who really wants to look at my bathroom tile.  Just humor me.)  Tonight we may go to a little 24th celebration with the kids.  Or we may put more flags in the yard for tomorrow.  Probably the latter.  Oh well.  Happy 24th!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Return of the Killdeer(s?)

The little killdeer family returned today.  The chicks are already half grown.  Cute little things.  But apparently they can't fly yet.  Brandon caught one for the kids to see.  I suppose we should stop harassing the wildlife, but we quickly returned him to his family.  Three of the four chicks appear to have survived the last little while.  The mama was NOT happy.  Ellorie, however, was delighted.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Averie, My Girlie Girl

After a daughter that prefers bugs and reptiles to dolls, Transformers to princesses, and anything blue to pink and purple (and yes, I'm talking about Ellorie here), I think I may have myself a girlie-girl.  Averie LOVES babies of any kind.  I think "baby" is her favorite word.  This morning she found this bead necklace and was saying, "pretty, pretty" over and over again.  She wore it all day.  She also loves to pretend to talk on my cell phone.  She says, "yeah, yeah, yeah", so I must say that a lot when I talk on the phone.  It's funny what they pick up.  She is so much fun.  Now the trick is getting my phone back from her...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Wedding Photos

Every time we go to an event, I just take too many pictures to blog properly. So here are just a few more of Mason and Ellorie.


We went to my sister, Aleisha's wedding this weekend. It was a lot of fun and great to see lots of family and friends. I'm so happy for Aleisha! She had a very beautiful wedding and reception. I'm glad we could participate. The kids had a great time too. We got home really late last night. Ellorie sort of woke up as we carried her to her bed and she smiled really big and said, "Mom, that was SOOO fun." I think she was in heaven at the ice cream and fruit bar at the reception. She was also a big fan of the dancing. Aleisha's new in laws know how to par-TAY! They were salsa-dancing like there was no tomorrow. Very entertaining.
Aleisha and Enrique:

Cookies and Ice Cream Bar? Heaven.
The Ladies in Red... So Glamorous! (Natalie, Gina, Kelsey, and Britt)
My favorite shot of the day. Always so much waiting at weddings...
It was a really long day for Averie, but she was a trooper:
So was Daddy...

Here is the bride salsa dancing with her new father-in-law. I'm seriously impressed at the dancing talent of this family. I was much safer observing from the sidelines... It was a rockin' party! Press play to watch

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Riding Report

Yes, I am still riding.  Just haven't written about it for quite a while.  I had a great lesson this morning, though I am still weak and recovering from a bout with the stomach flu. I guess I have graduated from "Red", so I have been able to ride "Legs" for a few weeks.  Red has dumped four people this week, including the girl sharing my lesson today.  Everyone was fine of course, but it makes me feel a little bit of an accomplishment to be able to stay on him when he acts up.  I don't have problems with him at all, but I can see how far I have come by seeing other riders make mistakes.   That doesn't sound very nice, but there is really a lot to learn every time you get on a new horse.  You figure it out and adapt, or you get dumped.  Especially riding spirited show horses with a flat saddle, and sometimes without stirrups.  I'm loving it though.  "Legs" is amazing, and really I could just go on all day, but I won't bore you...  I'm working on dressage patterns now, hopefully for Sport Horse Nationals.  Last week was the first time "Legs" had ever done patterns.  He took to it like a fish to water.  We're still working on transitions, mostly my problem, but he bends and collects so well.  I can't believe he is only just three!  Okay, I said I wouldn't go on and on, and here I go again...  I just love it.  Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Little Brush with Nature

 The kids really want pets, but we aren't quite ready yet, so they have found some substitutes.  Ellorie is enamored with all the grasshoppers in the weeds next door.  She carries the poor things around for hours.  "Look, Mommy, he loves me, he doesn't even hop away!".  Lovely dear.

We also had a little nest right in the middle of our back yard.  Killdeer.  Four pretty little eggs, and one really ticked off mama bird when we were taking the pictures.  I guess killdeer just lay their eggs in the middle of the ground and then if anything gets close the parents pretend to be injured so the animal will be distracted.  I didn't think those eggs were going to survive with all the kids running around, but they hatched a few days ago and the little guys scurried away to a more protected area.  It was fun to watch them.

4th of July

This is Ellorie, cousin Brooklyn, and Mason.  We had a pretty low-key 4th.  We did get to see a few fireworks with family.  I don't think fireworks can ever get old.  I love the kids expressions.  

Averie's First Steps and Animal Sounds

Here are a couple of videos of my little Averie.  She is getting so big!  We have so much fun watching her grow... Such a cutie, if I do say so myself...

Press Play to watch:

I'm Back!

My one week without the internet turned into much more.  I've missed blogging, but it was probably good because I have been so busy unpacking and getting settled.  Here are Mason and Ellorie helping me unpack.  They found a box with winter gear and thought it would be great to wear it instead of help put away.  Never mind that it was over 90 degrees.  They totally love it here.  There are so many kids in our neighborhood.  They already have loads of friends.  I'm so happy to live in such a great neighborhood.