Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Who ever said friends have to be
people, with words so useless, careless and free?
Who ever said a friend has to say
thank you in a truly verbal way?
Who ever said friends even have to be
the very same kind of friend as you and me?
And who ever knew that on this earth
my very best friend would have four hooves and fur?
My Buddy, my pal, my genuine friend
whose energy and trust could never end.
A sweet malnourished two year old horse
and then we fed which led him to, of course.....
Become a two year old unridable beauty
with me being bucked off....silly blonde cutie!!
With months of love and patience and time,
we became inseparable, and one just fine.
In dreams as a toddler I imagined this guy
and he took me for rides through the vast nighttime sky.
On the wings of this steed I would soar and smile
and wake to imagine he was really mine for a while.
And he was, my parents indulged me and gave in to my dream,
and I couldn't have been happier, that moment, to be me.
And the years rolled past with my mom on his back,
and she loved him and rode him, and gave the reins just SOME slack.
She gave him the best a horse could have
and he loved her in return, kept her safe, and was glad.
His life was long and happy and then came the best
when my mom spoke to him gently as he came to rest.
There will always be that place in my heart and in the earth
where our sweet Buddy lies, and oh the countless worth.
In memory of Buddy
sometime in 1983 - December 29, 2010
I hope each of you, sometime in your earthly life, has the opportunity to bond with one of God's most amazing creations.....the horse....
Godspeed, and thank you, Mom and Dad!!!!
Monday, December 27, 2010
So at the end of a day that started off with a heavy dose of helplessness, I have turned my energy to action. Watch out world, Mama Bear is back at it!!
Thanks to each of you who read my previous couple of posts, and those who commented. I appreciate you being here!!
And Erin, your kiddo will be fine!!! Just watch the second and third. Never know!!! And we are still reading Ferdinand....might should have named Garrett Ferninand!! Love you!!
I stayed up after everyone Christmas Eve, of course, making things "just so." I relished the chance to prepare the morning's surprises just right for my three angels. I prayed for each of them as I organized their goodies and placed them by my inlaws' huge fireplace. I went to bed almost too excited to sleep!!!! The children were going to be sooooooo surprised and excited this Christmas!!
And morning came. The girls got up and came to get me, and they WERE excited, but neither had spotted their digital cameras nor the Wii. So I got to see the pure excitement on their beautiful faces as they finally realized what was there for them. JOY!!!!!
Garrett tore into his things and smiled at each one. I had spent so much time thinking of the right things he would enjoy at his level. His teachers shared ideas with me. I watched online for ideas, and I thought about what made his wheels turn. And I got those things. A soft rocket that shoots into the air when a pedal is stepped on, Stinky the talking, farting and burping garbage truck, fire truck jammies, and then family gave him CDs, a lighted disco ball he LOVED, and more great items, but it was just too much. The day was hard. As the cousins arrived later in the day, it got a little better, but most of the day was screaming and screaming and screaming.
That night we escaped upstairs in Grouchy's family's house and laughed watching all the other grandchildren play the dance games on the Wii. It was a truly fun time!!!
We put Garrett to bed and I felt I had crossed the finish line of a marathon setting a world record. RELIEF, ACCOMPLISHMENT, FINALLY........peace!!!
Yesterday was a painful day of processing for both Grouchy and me. Honestly, we feel helpless, tired and sometimes hopeless. I do not remember much about Christmas morning besides the shrill screaming and madness our son experienced. Dashed were my desires, not for it to be a perfect day, but for my child to be happy.....very happy. He cannot deal with himself.
Our girls felt it. Ainslee turned into a sweet mother hen for Garrett yesterday, and Addie became withdrawn and sad looking. I understand. They feed off of us, and Garrett feeds off of........well, who knows?
We have plans this week to spend time with some old friends from here. We have resorted to asking people to come to see us and for us to stay put. We almost canceled a visit from a dear cousin and his kids yesterday because we just didn't have anything positive to share with anyone. Garrett is getting worse in the cars now, so traveling and having him hit his sisters, scream, tantrum while someone is driving is not safe or enjoyable for anyone.
But there's this weird, somewhat new emotion I am having, and I think Grouch feels it too per our talks between screams yesterday. We have never resented friends or strangers with "normal" kids. But now when we are somewhere with friends or family and we leave AND when people come visit and then leave, I feel this very odd, new emotion. I feel sad because when we leave or they leave us, they can return to life without us......normal.....their usual routine.....peace (or as much as people with kids can have)....basically, life without our child's screaming, tantrums, quirks, worries. It hurts. It really, really hurts. Maybe I feel this because I wish I could escape, drive away, leave "us" and walk away saying,"Man, I am glad that's not my life!" And I can ensure you that's exactly what I would have said if I were on the outside before I had Garrett and even now!!
No, I am not walking away from this. I can't. Plus even is I wasn't married to the most amazing man in the world, I could not in my somewhat right mind leave another human to deal with this alone!!! However, after the crying, bumbling mess I was all yesterday, I think he might rather go this alone!!!!
This Christmas was one of reality, love, and I hope some form of deepening our faith. Today feels a little better. I slept between Addie and Ainslee last night. We do that when Grouchy is away for work, but last night they begged me to snuggle, and I did....all night. Usually they retreat to their spots on the bed, but last night they wrapped their little warm bodies all around me and stayed that way all night. And that hurt, too. I know they are not getting the me they deserve. SO I used their sleep to love on them.....to just be there and pray. Pray for normal? No. Prayed for whatever God can give us to help us do whatever he wants us to do with all of this.
My prayers and thoughts go out to my mito friends who have little ones inpatient or sick today.
May God send a better year for everyone!!
And may we work really hard to acknowledge our blessings, even the teeny-tiny ones!!!
Friday, December 24, 2010
I mean, so many times we all wish Garrett into the next stage or phase, as we do for all kiddos, but when it doesn't happen in the desired order or in the "normal" timeframe, well, it can be discouraging. But not tonight. My little guy is just about as perfect as he can be. God created him, and wouldn't it be fun to always believe?
Merry Christmas, and may Baby Jesus be your BIG SHA-BANG in the morning and all of your days on earth!!!
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
She said he does have esophagitis, so we should restart Prevacid, but give it in the mornings only, but give the total daily dose then, 20 minutes before he eats breakfast.
She said only a few eosinophils were seen, and that is good because it is less than were seen three years ago. So no Eosinophilic Esophagitis, so that is very good.
BUT he does show cells that are pointing to Celiac Disease, and she wants to get more blood testing done for that, including a genetic study. She feels it is likely he has it, but she wants to try to confirm it better before putting Garrett in the gluten free diet as it will be quite a change and a big challenge to get started. The nurse practioner is on it herself, so she is so understanding and considerate about it all, and that makes it all seem better already. THANK YOU GOD FOR THIS GREAT CLINICIAN!!!!!!!!!!!
So more blood will be drawn when we get back to Idaho in early January. Then in late January we have the visit with our mito doc and the gastric emptying scan as part of a research project while we are in Houston for the mito doc. My mom and possibly Grouchy's mom will be coming to meet us in Houston. We are looking forward to that couple of days for sure!!!
Christmas greetings and blessings to each of you this week. May your holidays be filled with good times, family, friends, and above all, THANKFULNESS for the sweet Baby Jesus!!!!!
Monday, December 20, 2010
All is going as planned. He loves the Exlax chocolates, so that's easy. When I bought 5 boxes of Exlax chocolates, the young guy working at the checkout said, "So, you playing a joke on somebody?" I might be the first person he had seen buying that much and it NOT a joke!! So I explained.
Garrett is complaining of his stomach hurting some, but he is giving us what we wanted from it.....I will spare the details, but let's just say he smells and we are laundering lots of clothes!!! Today is day 4, and we were instructed to continue 4-7 days until his stool is brown water. If any other slow motility moms have any input or advice, I am all ears!! So let me have it!!!
Garrett is a very slim boy, but now his colon isn't super-huge and completely 6-8 days full of stuff, he looks even more slim. I think his distended belly gave the illusion he had meat on his bones, or at least some fat on his stomach.....not now! Might be in the market for suspenders soon. The tab waist pants aren't quite working as well!!
Friday, December 17, 2010
I wonder how you would feel
if while you helped your son,
someone got into your face
and pointed out your little one.
This brave and special little boy
whose Thomas backpack was put up high
until the plane reached cruising altitude,
so he cried, "Why, mommy, why?"
Did you think about anyone but you
when you rudely singled us out
and made a spectacle of yourself
with not a comment, but a shout?
"YOU HAVE TO GET YOUR CHILD TO BE QUIET!!!"
You yelled at us both in disgust
while other passengers passed us by
with very little fuss.
We are on this plane by miracle alone
and by God's own grace, you see.
At one point we were told by doctors
my son might not live to be three.
He has a scary disease,
and he cannot help himself.
His mind and body sometimes lurch out of control
with nothing we can do to help.
But here we are defying the odds
flying cross country today,
very happy to make this long, long trip
to see family far away.
Rest assured when this plane lands tonight
our family's smiles will be all I see,
and your grumpy,
ugly face will be but a speck of dust to me!
There, I feel all better now!!
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Saturday: Friend's son, 3, (friends from Louisiana sayign in the guest house) throws up all night AND his mom, my sweet friend, Vicki also gets sick.
This morning on the way to airport: Vicki's 5 year old starts throwing up and does so all day while flying...yuck!!
This afternoon while I am with Garrett getting his G.I. scope: Ainslee starts barfing at the babysitter's home.
Tomorrow: I am suppose to fly to Louisiana from Idaho with our three kiddos for a three week visit over the holidays.
Tonight: If Addie and I are going to get it, it needs to be now because.........
If we are sick trying to leave Idaho, we will not be going to Louisiana at all.....and that would be a bummer!!
Please pray for no tummy troubles!!!
And Garrett's scope showed some weirdness, but nothing huge. Biopsy results back next Thursday, so that will give us more info. Also blood tests will be back then.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
SCROLL TO BOTTOM TO SKIP CHIT CHAT AND JUST VIEW VIDEO OF TUBING........
Video is Vicki, Addie, Ainslee, Leah, Laura and Jacob all going down the tubing hill connected by holding each others' tube handles.
Yesterday we took our Louisiana friends to the tubing hill at Bogus Basin Ski Area near Boise, Idaho. Previously we have been skiing, but the tubing hill just opened. It's a 2 hour tubing slot for just ten bucks...SCORE!!!! There are no lanes, just an open slope! The staff was so incredible to help us with Garrett the Screamer, hook and unhook our tubes to get us pulled back up the hill, and even recommend fun positions on the tube as well as teaching us to spin and to lock arms and legs with other people on their tubes and spin us all together!!!! Needless to say, we had such a fun time!! Even the little ones liked it, and they are 3 and 5 years old!! Garrett screamed that he did not want to do it, but then once we were heading down the mountain, he was smiling saying, "This not scawey, this FUN!!!!" His FAVORITE part was getting pulled back to the top. All we had to do was hook our rope on a metal pole at the bottom of the hill by the pulley system, have a seat on our tube....a little jerk, then a smooth, slow pull to the top of the hill. I had to convince Garrett the only way to ride back up is to slide down!!! We took one break for a few minutes to go into a little room to warm up, then headed back out for a couple more slides. He did get very, very mad a few times with tons of screams, no, he actually screamed most of the time, but then he liked it once we were moving. I think it must have been overwhelming from a sensory perspective, and I think, like Grouchy says, that sometimes his nervous or anxious energy comes out as screams or tantrums. I had a couple of other tubers try to console Garrett so kindly, and one lady give us that "Holy-shit, kid, what's your problem" look, but I just said, "This is what autism during naptime looks like!" and everyone smiled and understood. Overall, a fun time, and on the way down, my little man says,"Mommy, when we come back ride the roundy things? I had fun."
But to show up at my inlaws' home and START and COMPLETE the cleanout at my inlaws' house....OH MY GOSH!!! They will NEVER want me to come back. Now to some of you, that might be a good thing, not to be asked to visit the inlaws, but for me, it would be bad.....very, very bad. I happen to love them dearly, but I am cracking up thinking about this:
Hi, thanks for having us!! We are excited to barge into your beautiful home for THREE WEEKS. Now if you will excuse me, I am going to slip into the kitchen, pour a stiff glass of egg nog and give Garrett 4 times the adult dose of Exlax twice daily for the next few days....Won't this be TONS of fun!!!!!! If you haven't done a cleanout of your child's digestive tract, it involves giving them huge doses of laxatives, and in our case, stool softener as well, then pushing these meds until the child is having bowel movements that are brown water, then backing off because then the system is clean, and you start a new maintenance regimen with the same meds.
We had to do this once with Ainslee. I remember following her around with wet towels and Lysol for a couple of days.
To those sweet, sweet Mito moms who have sent your best wishes, THANK YOU!!!!
This process should yield results for our Garrett, and hopefully get his colon back to normal size.
His upper G.I. scope is Tuesday with biopsies. We should get a little info when he is out of the procedure, but even more a week later when labs are in.
Hugs to you and yours. I guess at least we will be cleaned out to start a new, "fresh" new year!!!
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Garrett has been on a stool softener, Miralax, since he began solid foods, which was around 2o months. It produced the desired one stool per day for a very long time, but over the past few months he has slowed way, way, way down to one day of soiling diapers every SEVEN days. Dr. K, our Mitochondrial Disease specialist, recommended for us to go ahead and see a G.I. doctor here rather than wait until we see her in late January with this extreme slow down in Garrett's world. There is one pediatric G.I. clinic in Boise (an hour from our home) with three doctors and one nurse practitioner, and so far 3 moms have HIGHLY recommended the nurse practitioner. I can see why! She was very friendly and had a wonderful manner with Garrett. My boy has seen way too many doctors in his time, so bedside manner is extremely helpful in being able to even touch him. After we talked at length about Garrett's history of reflux, no reflux, who-knows-if-he-still-has reflux, constipation, increased complaints of pain in his tummy, more constipation, and then a rectal exam, she thinks he may have eosinophilic espohagitis, reflux and possibly Celiac Disease. All of this blew me away as he has been tested for EE and Celiac and both were negative. According to the nurse practitioner, looking at Garrett's past labs, he looks very suspicions for EE because the diagnostic criteria for that has changed, and were he to get the same results he had in his last upper G.I. scope, he would be diagnosed with EE. Wow. Then there is the Celiac Disease, and it is frequently hand in hand with EE. And then both of those things contribute to the reflux. Then we talked about the rectal exam. His rectal muscles are in tact fine, but she says he has "mega colon," meaning his colon is so huge he is holding up to 8 days of stool and never empties adequately. SO MUCH TO THINK ABOUT!!
So we have a clean out planned adding tons of laxative to the Miralax schedule to get him all flushed out. Did I mention we are flying to Louisiana Wednesday.....gosh when should I start this??? It will be such a mess!! Also, Tuesday Garrett will have another upper G.I. scope with biopsies to help us get a better idea of the total picture.
We talked about toilet training, and she says not to even try yet. Between this horrible little system of his and his delays, it just isn't fair to think it possible yet. She also thinks that with his delays, we cannot expect toilet training anytime soon.
I left feeling hopeful. We have taken action now, and that is wonderful. Oh, and the guilt....As we were wrapping up our visit, she said that this will all help his behavior because he will feel better. She pointed out that his is distended.....belly looks like an Ethiopian kid on the starving children telethons. His belly is bloated, and she explained that this is from the gas build-up from all the food fermenting in his system..YUCK!!! Also, and this makes me sooooo sad, she said he always hurts and feels bad with these issues. She said that he feels like you or I feel when we have a terrible tummy ache and have to go run to try to sit on the toilet without soiling our clothes....that horrible gassy rumble. You know the one!! Well he ALWAYS feels like that. Shoot, no wonder he is a grump and sometimes just goes nuts!!!
SO that was the visit. Besides that, we went to the children's museum in Boise, or rather my friend Vicky, my kids and her kids went while Garrett and I were with the nurse practitioner. Then after his appointment, we went to Rocky Mountain Pizza for dinner and then to this spectacular display of lights and the botanical gardens. The kiddos loved all of the lights through 3-D looking glasses that turned each light into a star, snowman or another type star. They had a blast!!
Tomorrow is tubing at Bogus Basin ski resort, and then dinner out followed by night at the YMCA climbing rock walls and swimming. Party on!!!
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Some friends are here for two weeks, and they are coming with us to ski tomorrow. We are all so excited~~but then there is this cloud of sadness lingering over me about not being able to take everyone. Don't get me wrong, we will have a great time, and we will focus on the girls, and we will have more, much, much more freedom to stay longer, have more fun, ski all day....but we are not ALL there. Last week there were three year old children skiing, no joke. Grouchy calls them Weeble-Wobbles!!!! They are so stinkin' cute out there with their tiny skis, little helmets, all bundled up and all....but not my little guy. My little guy will be with a sitter. He LOVES his two sitters...LOVES THEM!! They get here when we are leaving him with either of them and he says, "Mommy, Daddy, go now. _______ is here to play with me! Bye!" And I am so aware how blessed I am to have him be that way. We could have to peel him off my leg while he screams as he sees us leaving him out, but he doesn't. SO I am thankful, but still, will things ever be normal around here? Can we go do things as a family without either the separation of our family for sanity's sake or the walking on glass feeling of taking him places and wondering how it will go and if we will all arrive home safely AND sanely AND give the girls our attention!!!
On the flip side, last night we took a Polar Express-type train trip with the kiddos. My friend Vicki and I took our combined six kiddos, and it was a blast. Garrett tested us some both directions of the total 3 hour drive, and he had his moments on the train and once were were at the North Pole, but overall it was positive. So there, that was pretty normal for a family with three kids, one being a 2 or 3 year old. But Garrett is now about 5.5 years old. And did I mention what it was like to change an over-flowing poopy-diaper with him standing on the lid of a very tiny toilet in a smaller-than-airline-bathroom on the ancient train??? It was interesting. So that was a good trip overall. But there were still moments that I thought were terrible. And I would seriously question ever taking a train ride with him EXCEPT this one most awesome moment where he was in the outdoor observation car and looked out into the snowy night with his bright red, very cold cheeks and said, "Mommy, I had a fun day today." I was mush!! THANK YOU JESUS!!!!
So I am thankful for the time Grouchy and I had to ourselves in Houston this week. I am very, very thankful for my friend Vicki who flew here from Louisiana for a visit but came early to keep our kiddos so we could go on our Houston trip. The children and I had fun on the train last night. We had a good day at church today and at home with the fourwheeler-sled gig we are getting into more these days in the 6 inches of snow still here. And tomorrow will be just great, too, I know!!! But then I have to leave my little dude behind. I don't want to. But I cannot imagine taking him. He would be miserable. Just the drive there...... Yes, I would like a small order of NORMAL!!!!
Those are my ponderings.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Today while Grouchy was in meetings all day, my friend Kim and her three kiddos picked me up and took me to lunch at my VERY FAVORITE RESTAURANT, Pappasitos, in Houston. We also did some shopping, and of COURSE enjoyed catching up since they left Louisiana shortly before we did for a work-related move. I miss you guys too much, and I hope you can get to LA over the Christmas holidays!!
Prayers and hugs to you and yours tonight!! Extra prayers to my brother-in-law Lee and his family tonight as his dad fights for his life. We love you all!!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Grouchy had been pulling Addie and Ainslee around behind the 4-wheeler on two very small, flexible sleds in the snow this morning, and Garrett wanted to try it, but it was not a very stable set up for him. So after disappearing into our barn for a few minutes, Garrett and Grouchy emerge with this contraption.....a rope tied to a big plastic storage bog with Garrett INSIDE the box!!! It was so cute and safe for Garrett. He was all grins!! Hope you can catch a little of the fun in this 30 second clip!!
Friday, November 26, 2010
So in reflection of Thanksgiving, I wish to offer thanks not just for the amazing goodness bestowed upon the details of my earthly existence, but thanks for all of the stuff God has to wade through when my prayers arrive.
Most of all, I am thankful that I know Jesus Christ, that He is so powerful and all-knowing, and that I am just in the tiniest beginning stages of eternal life. THAT'S HEAVY!!!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In experiencing this phenomenon for the first time in quite some years (since being in Japan for two weeks during a record setting cold spell and snowfall in 1996, to be exact), I have learned a few valuable things:
1. If you send a freshly-showered female child with long, wet hair out to ride her four-wheeler when it is 4 degrees, the hair freezes into dreadlocks.
2. Not everybody likes marshmallows in their hot chocolate. (HOW WRONG IS THAT!?!?!)
3. Horses are much, much, much more frisky than usual in the very cold and windy.
4. Electric blankets are proof God loves me and wants me to be happy.
5. When you see something black and shiny on the ground outside your car after you park at the doctor's office, DO NOT step confidently onto it as it will cause you to BUST YOUR _____ in the BIGGEST WAY.
6. When your husband offers to feed the horses and it is 6 degrees outside, swallow your pride and take him up on it. Then, later, make it up top him!
7. And last, at least for this installment, it is very, very, very hard to pick a wedgie through three layers of clothes....I'm just sayin'!
Happy Thanksgiving and Godspeed,
Sunday, November 21, 2010
So far, he does pretty well in the cold IF we catch him on the way out in time to get a hat and gloves and shoes other than his Crocs on!! Without them, he plays for about 15 minutes, then has a tantrum as his hands start to hurt and freeze. SO we have to get better at protecting him. All he thinks about is being OUTSIDE!!!!!! Addie absolutely loves the cold, and she has the clothes and gear for it, so that's a huge help! Ainslee has a fun time making snow angels...on her STOMACH...she has to do things differently. It's just her style.
I saw some good lighting and a great backdrop of Addie's horse, Lucy, and then Remington wagged his way into this photo. It was a cute shot, but check out the next one, my new favorite.....
Ainslee took her turn making pancakes but then got tired of the task and left me ALONE....not always a good idea, but then I decided to write her name in pancake. She loved it!
Friday, November 19, 2010
There's a JOHN DEERE TRACTOR at the end of the rainbow!! I have to say that's even better than a pot of gold!!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Know how you see kids doing things and you know it's your parental responsibility to throttle them back, get them into check, get things under control, etc.? Well, this was one of those times, but instead of restoring order, I just started shooting them.......with my camera. So here's the wildlife emerging one last time in Idaho before the hard winter hits us:
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Wow, now I think of it, there are two things I want to talk about, now three, but I will stick to #1 and blog separately about #2 and #3 at another time. So here's the thing that has caused me such trauma that I have to share my agony with all of you:
TOILET SEAT COVERS..........those very, very, very thin paper thingies in holders above toilets to "help us keep save and clean." Seriously?? First, how many of you have ever pulled one of those thingies out of the holder without it tearing into at least 5 pieces and rendering useless? Second, how many of you have ever been able to tear the center of it correctly so you can place it on the john without tearing it even more? Third, can anything that thin and fragile REALLY protect us from ANYTHING???? I'll take 10, thanks.
I enter the bathroom ready to do the thing my mom taught me in my childhood. I take a hand full of toilet paper and wipe the seat. Next I take two long pieces of toilet paper and fold each in half, then use them for each side of the seat. There, dry, somewhat clean, and now protected!! But these paper thingies, really!?!?
Wait, I just figured it out. I think they are used to slow the flow of people through the bathroom stalls. THAT'S IT!!!! With the population of the USA booming like it is, I betcha most sewer systems cannot deal with the huge volume of, well, you know. SO they plant these paper thingies as something to help us, but in fact, they are placed there to slow us down. If you have to try two or three of them to get one suitable for use, then it slows turnover of stalls, thus easing up things on the septic systems! Am I genius or what?? Don't answer that.
So there is one of my many random thoughts for the day. I think I will stick with the method my mom taught me once I was tall enough: Hover Method. But then there's a glitch with that now, and that's the flushing under me when I am not done, and that SERIOUSLY grosses me out, but that is dealing with the topic #2 I want to blog on later!!!
Godspeed and yes, the kids are doing great in spite of my insanity!!!
Friday, November 12, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
WOW!!! Garrett has reached all sorts of milestones I wasn't sure he would meet, but this is one I never ever assumed I would see! I have led Garrett around on a horse...me on the ground. He has ridden Lucy (the one he is on in the photo) in our little arena "alone" with me within arms' reach, but today I ponied him off of Ernie. So as you see in the picture, I rode Ernie and he rode Lucy, and I had a lead rope attached to Lucy while we rode. This is huge because it means we can ride longer, maybe even on some trails someday. Even cooler is that he completely remembered the things I taught him like how to stop, turn, back up. So we would be riding along and then suddenly Lucy would pull on the rope and I would look back to see Garrett was turning or stopping Lucy. How cool!!! We rode from our house across our big alfalfa field to Farmer Bob's, which is about 1/5 mile, then around the field some before returning home. We jogged the horses a little twice, but Garrett looked a bit to wobbly to keep that up, so we did lots of walking. It might have been a ten minute ride total, but I was on top of the world, and so was Garrett. Garrett got a huge laugh when Lucy would make a snorting noise as we rode. This was a memory I was surprised to get to make. Ahhh, how sweet!!!
On a sad note, my mother's mom, Clara Burrett, died today, in her home surrounded by her three children, one day before her 96th birthday. "Buddy," as will call her, will always be remembered by me for the love and interest she showed all of her grandchildren, her beautiful artwork of needlepoint and watercolor that we have in our homes, and her deep love of animals. She always had at least two rescued dogs worshipping her every move. I had the wonderful experience of enjoying time with my grandparents at their home on a lake in north Alabama. We would swim, fish, enjoy meals together, celebrating years of Christmasses together. Our family will miss Buddy terribly, but we know we will be reunited in Heaven. Tonight she is free of suffering and pain, finally reunited with her husband, "Pappy," and surrounded by all of her faithful dogs!!!
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
I have affectionately claimed our neighbor's tree as MY YELLOW TREE!! Soon it will be my brown tree, and a few weeks ago it was just another green tree. But the weather is changing, the days getting shorter, and among the green wheat and the brown of the desert mountains, my yellow tree is spectacular. Enjoy it with me:
And along the same mountain range, just looking a little farther west, these areas have even more white on them!! Pretty!!! I love the contrast of winter and summer, browns, greens and now whites!
And I had to include this kitty, Diamond, Ainslee's cat because it's cute AND that's MY YELLOW TREE you can see in the distance!!!!
We enjoyed both of the girls rock climbing at the YMCA today. They were VERY proud to have Grouchy there to watch and cheer them on. Addie climbed for over an hour and is gaining so much strength!! I am so thrilled to report this!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
So the last night while my parents were visiting us, we went to this really, really yummy Mexican restaurant. My mom had given Garrett a Halloween card with a ghost on it, and when a button is pushed, the card plays the song Shake Your Booty. Garrett LOVES anything that produces sound of any sort, so he would play the card over and over and over. He had also learned the song quite well, even the first of the chorus that says AAHHHHH....
So we are finishing dinner and Garrett gets out of his chair, drums on the table with his hands (very, very common anywhere we are for him to drum on things) and starts to dance, then sing at the top of his lungs for our table and the other 8 occupied in the small restaurant, "Aaaahhhhhhhhhh, shake shake shake, shake shake shake, shake your BOOTY. Shake your Booty!!" Needless to say, this restaurant no longer needs to look to Mariachi bands for entertainment when Garrett is in the house!
Godspeed, and Shake YOUR Booty!!!
Monday, November 8, 2010
Here's beautiful Addie in the new leotard she bought with her OWN MONEY!! Go Addie!!!
My parents' last name is Horn. But that doesn't explain this confrontation between my dad, known as Pop, and Garrett. Garrett put his sippy cup on his head for his horns!
Aaahhhhh, another magical sunrise. And I just cropped this but did NOTHING to get this color. It was really that beautiful! I turned around after taking this to see the most vivid rainbow over our property, but I couldn't get the camera to see it as well!!! It was a reminder of all of God's promises to us!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
Addie likes to pull together different things to make her own costume, and this year she collected things over a couple of weeks and named herself the "Pumpkin Princess." Bug Garrett called her "Trick or Treat Punkin Addie."
And drum roll please......yes, for the 4th year in a row, Garrett is a PIRATE!!! Surprise. Here he is with his parrot!
And this is early, well, not really that early, but just as the sun came up. Lucy was grazing, and there was this neat glow around her as the horizon glowed more and more brightly!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
It was a bit windy and cool yesterday, and the girls went to get the mail and kicked this tumbleweed all the way from the fence at the bottom of the driveway up to the front door. When they were coming up the hill, I noticed Addie's horse, Lucy, was acting very surprised and alert about something, but I could only see the girls coming up the drive. The angle of my view blocked this huge tumbleweed they were kicking in turns!!! I love the looks of excitement on their face when I opened the door!!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I have no earthly idea why this is all underlined and in blue, so just bear with me here!
Our neighbors Bob and Judy have 10 children who are grown and a ba-zillion grandkids! In effort to keep these grandkids enjoying things around their farm, Bob and Judy have accumulated some amazing play equipment and turned their back area behind their tractor workshop and barnyard area into a beautiful playground. The COOLEST thing about it is that they invited us to play ANYTIME and we can WALK TO IT from our house....or ride horses or the ranger or 4-wheelers! Here's this amazing swing they have. The horizontal piece holding the tires by chain SWIVELS around and around, so they climb a little ladder to get on, hold on tightly, and I run as fast as I can pushing one tire and they go spinning high off the ground!
We joined the Caldwell Family YMCA about 17 miles from our home. This is the indoor pool facility we LOVE! The girls workout with the swim team on the far left in the lap pool, then enjoy the diving board and slides and lazy river. Garrett LOVES the sprayground and gradual entry pool in the foreground.
We enjoyed out sweet neighbors Don and Donna taking us on a long dirt-road drive to explore Succor Creek Park last week. It is an area of geological surprises and lots of fun paths to explore. There are primative camping spots too, so I see a fun adventure in the future!! Here is my mom, Nina, loving on my girl, Addie. We had a nice hike there up and into a canyon before we realized how scary-rough the path became!! We made it down just fine, but we did have a few iffy moments!
Lastly, Grouchy has worked so hard and can finally rest well knowing the front pasture is complete. This pasture is an alfalfa and grass mixture. Until we get a hard freeze, the alfalfa can be dangerous to the horses in large quantities. In this photo, Ernie and Lucy had their hour of evening grazing and enjoyed their hour of morning grazing before church. The girls had a 4-H day at their leader's arena nearby at 2 today. They had fun, but Lucy's feet are in a very long rehab process. She has always work shoes, it seems, and her feet need a break. We are rehabbing her in hopes of her being able to be barefoot long term unless we are riding up in the high mountains where shoes are a must. Even then we hope to pull the shoes off right after we ride in the mountains. It takes new growth, lots of walking on soft surfaces, then eventually walking on rougher, rockier surfaces to get her feet built up for daily comfort and strength. I mainly post this photo so Laura can see the horses!! Hi Laura!! See you on December 1!!!!
Monday, October 18, 2010
So once again I learn from my children. God does answer prayer. God listens to us. But he especially answers the prayers of children.....and not just children as in young people, but children as in those Christians who have child-like faith. Today was a beautiful day. God answered Ainslee's plea to have her cat back, and God answered lots of my prayers by showing me how He wants me to be!!!
Addie rode Lucy today, Ainslee rode Ernie, and I walked a couple of miles going along with them on their ride. Addie is coming around some!! I was very proud of her.
Garrett helped my mom let Ernie graze the backyard to get it mowed. Ernie was very happy!!
We enjoyed a trip to Farmer Bob's backyard where he and his doll of a wife have a very nice playground they have built for their numerous grandchildren. They are such sweet folks! My father got to talk with Mrs. Farmer Bob. She has traced her lineage back to the Cherokee Indians, and our family goes back to Cherokee and Creek. I have seen this amazing woman only four times and she hugged my neck again today and even told me she loves me. What amazing people!!!! Oh, and all this while she wore her Oxygen tubes and wheeled her tank alongside. How amazing!!!! I have some photos I need to share from the playground. Bob and his wife...mainly his wife...have built, bought and designed some really cool playground equipment, and I need to show you!! Too hard to describe!
We had our adoped grandparents, the Reeds, who took us to the waterfall canyon, over for pizza tonight and ended up with our first campfire in our rock fire pit, and it was such fun!!!
My eyes are crossing. I hope to post photos tomorow!!
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I was trying to capture all of the "Vivian Butterflies" flitting about the alfalfa field. My dear friend Lisa saw her baby girl, Vivian precede her to heaven last year. When I was talking to Lisa via text messaging yesterday, I mentioned all the yellow butterflies in our field, and she told me they called those "Vivian Butterflies" because like Vivian, they flit about everywhere like crazy. May not be the exact butterfly type Lisa sees in Louisiana, but we have named our beautiful butterflies "Vivian Butterflies" too!! Sorry you cannot see the butterflies, but as the girls and the dog, Remi, were running, they disturbed the butterflies and even more of them began flitting about!
I am usually on the back side of the camera, but tonight I was able to get Ainslee to grab the camera. After many attempts to get a shot of us kissing, I settled on this first one Ainslee took. I spend so much time with this rascal that I thought I should at least have a photo with him. Look how he can grab fist fulls of cheeks!!!!