Friday, July 30, 2010

wait for it

This face--so worth the wait.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

careful, you could fall into these dimples

this is a baby on a mission...

she can be caught posing for pictures

raise your hand if you don't think this is a seriously cute bottom

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

miss jane

this is one adorable ballerina girl

this must stop

roadside bombs
uninformed judgments
tough, flavorless steak
over-the-top dog arguments
big me, little you
unexpressed appreciation
unwarranted, unasked for criticism
oil in the ocean
self-serving donors
the my-way-only dopes

Monday, July 26, 2010

what is better than a pool and sparkly beads?

the two in the pool did not get out until dinnertime

they had serious discussions about fish and mermaids

is everybody following the leader here or what?

total cheeeeeeese

more serious discussions

more beads and thinking and discussing

crazy uncle jr tossing smoke balls into the bushes
not one bit funny if you ask breanne

pretty and funny if you ask audrey

Sunday, July 25, 2010

we're pioneers

Yesterday was Pioneer Day, so of course we got together for a meal.

That is what pioneers like us do. We celebrate with food. And water play.

And this time, I used the camera. Get ready for a few days of photos of my pioneer clan.

Beginning with this posed shot of Jack and Jr.

And Stu. He probably won't like this one, but I think he looks very pioneerish.

And here's Cory.

And Jessie.

And Jessie.

And Jessie commenting on Stu's kid skillz.

These next two demonstrate those very skillz.

I only got one shot of Shi, but she looks good.

Looking at this shot, I realized Jr isn't a kid anymore. He is a man.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

things I taught my kids

I've had this song stuck in my head for days now.

When the family gets together after evening work is done,
Then we learn to know each other popping corn and having fun.
Then our daddy tells us stories, mother leads us in a song,
And it seems that nothing in this world could possibly go wrong.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

more random than ever

Holy cow it's been busy around here.

We had our 4th of July family party blowout last Saturday, July 10th.

Lots of family, food, water balloons, fireworks--good times.

This is my brother and some of his family.
My favorite shot is the one in the middle that shows my firstborn niece, Emily, doing her very best to get sweet Cailin to smile.

There's also a clear shot of Cory on duty at the grill. So glad he likes to cook.

The kids had a great time.

Almost every time I looked out back, Audrey was running across the grass. Except when she was filling and throwing water balloons. And giggling.

Jr looks like he was having a sweet time.

I love the shot of Jack and his girl on the lower corner.
And if you look closely, you'll see a shot of Ellie trying to get her buddy, Hannah, to play a quick game of carrot bowling with her.

I have to credit Ellie's mom for a great job at picture-taking duties. Which may explain the many adorable shots of Ellie. Which is pretty much the only kind of shot anybody can get of Ellie. Adorable. And still hoping for some carrot bowling.

What? You've never bowled for carrots? I've found some pretty great crap at yard sails before, but the carrot bowling set I found last Saturday is definitely on the top ten list. With the mass quantity of genuine Mardi Gras beads I scored. No flashing required.

The drummer was back in town for a few days.
Those rabbit ears in the camo shirt? His buddy who's home from the war for a while. The drummer's buddies are like family, so they dropped in for the fun.

Check out the lower right corner. The drummer spends long hours outside everyday in the sun during the summer. Whitney doesn't.

Did I mention that when Gus came to live with us he had a bit of the kennel cough? So, of course, JoJo came down with the kennel cough on Sunday, requiring an overnight stay at the animal hospital.

She is now recovering. I can tell she's feeling better tonight because she just chewed the lid off of a diet coke bottle in nine seconds for the first time since she got sick.

Gus continues to amaze with his skills. Two days ago, he trotted into my room with a piece of taffy that was still wrapped in wax paper. I risked my fingers but got it away from him and threw it into the garbage. He immediately jumped off the bed and ran into the other room, returning with another piece of still-wrapped taffy. I tried to pull it out of his mouth, but he was having no part of that. He swallowed the whole piece of taffy, wax paper and all. Then he took off for the kitchen again. Suddenly it hit me. That rascal found the big bowl of taffy I bought for the family party that was still on the dining room table. I'm thinking we'll be back at the animal hospital in the next day or so.

And I'll be at the dentist soon because that thing I thought was a raspberry seed that appeared in the cinnamon taffy I chewed up this morning was actually a filling. Crown me, Dr. Lucas.

In case you need a dose of cute (since clearly all those pictures of the girlies might not have been enough sugar for you) here's a great shot of Gus and especially his corkscrew tail.

Check out my pedicure. Sometimes you just deserve to put up your feet. Right before you throw a party. For 50. With water balloons.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Last week I took my mom to the eye doctor for laser surgery. (Not a big deal, she assured me, but she wouldn't be able to see to drive herself home after the procedure because her eyes would be dilated. My dad decided to go with us at the last minute, and I swear we were not even five minutes from their house when their bickering started to annoy me so much that I told them if they didn't stop right then, I was taking them both home immediately. Seriously. I had to tell my parents to stop arguing or I was going to turn that car around.)


While waiting for mom to rejoin dad and me in the waiting room, I saw a brief story on one of the morning news shows (or whatever those morning shows are, now that TV news has become what it is). So. The story was about how we choose to spend our time. The expert in the story pointed out that everybody gets 168 hours each week. If we sleep eight hours each night (because everybody does that, right?) and we work 40 hours each week, we still have 63 hours to do with as we choose, and that was the expert's point: we choose what we do with our time, just as we choose what we eat. He (or she?) said that it's a good idea to write down how we spend our time (like a food journal) and then we can decide if we're spending our days doing what is most important to us. Sounded reasonable to me. Maybe a bit irritating, like a budget, but reasonable.

A few nights later, I dreamed that three of my teeth broke and after seeing a doctor, I was devastated to learn that the doctor thought I had AIDS and didn't have long to live. (With dreams like this, it may be easy to see why I don't sleep eight hours each night. There was more to the dream, but then, there always is, right?)

I woke up feeling more than a little disturbed after that dream. It took me a few seconds to realize that it was only a dream and I had not been given a death sentence. But still, it was surprising that my immediate thought in the dream, upon being told my days were numbered, was that I needed to do the important things and forget the rest. It was as if the clouds parted and I could see clearly that so much of what I do is wasted time when there are so many treasured moments that are so valuable and irreplaceable.

I decided to look at how I spend my time. I spend at least five hours commuting to work each week. This semester, I'm in class seven hours each week and I study at least ten hours each week. That leaves me with 50 hours. One whole week of work time plus 10% overtime to do the things that matter the most.

When I remember the ways I've spent my time in the last week--with loved ones and on holiday and shopping and gardening and of course eating and cleaning and scratching dogs' ears--well, I'm feeling pretty good about time management.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

some things never change

Like JoJo and her love for her red squeaky ball.

But sometimes things change.

Our previous dog history includes chow chows (furry, insecure, standoffish but lovable fluffy creatures),
collies (furry, trash-and-worse eatin, huge, sweetheart yippers),
and JoJo (medium size, short-haired, perfection with the bark of a big dog and the poop of a smaller dog, plus, she retrieves balls)

Meet Sir Augusten, our new one-year-old puggle
Puggle: part pug, part beagle
(Did I know puggles are the most sought after designer breed?)
First small dog we've ever owned.
He is adorable, wiggly, tiny (10 lbs)

astoundingly good at leaping onto counters and standing on his hind feet

and very, very good at eliciting hissy fits from the kitties.

He has also almost made JoJo forget about chasing balls around the yard because she prefers to race about with him and he does his tiny best to keep up.

Let me warn you--if you happen to be at the pet store on Humane Society Adoption Saturday and you're not ready to adopt a new member into your family--just back away from the cages.
Do not fall for those big brown googlie eyes, that all-over-wiggling-because-you-love-me-already dance, and especially don't look when he reaches his paw through the bars as you begin to walk away.

Say hi to Gus.