Thursday, February 9, 2017


These are our doggos!!!! Black dog, brown dog, white dog, and Squeaky, otherwise known as Chase (mine - a Plott hound/shepherd/rottie?? mix), Maya (Jillian's Rhodesian ridgeback boxer mix), Oliver (Chloe's deaf Australian Heeler) and Juliet (Nathan's purebred Soviet Shepherd). They are my fur-babies -- and grand-fur-babies. And they are such JOY! They make me crazy and make me smile. I snuggle them, I discipline them, I mediate their fights, I play with them and I teach my kids to be responsible by caring for them. They are blessings in our lives and we are sooo thankful for them. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

California Trip

I drove up to California!! All by myself! Well, on the way up, I had Lowell's mom with me, but I did all the driving. We dropped her off in Stockton and then continued on to Calaveras County.

In the 100 hours we were gone from Arizona, I drove 31 of them. I only slept 29 of them!!! The rest of the time was spent with family. That was the intent of the trip - just family. Mission accomplished. :)

Next goal is to take the whole family back up in May for the 75th anniversary of Miss Calaveras. Looking forward to spending more than just the weekend that time and possibly seeing friends!!

 Mamie and me - She's 93 and a half, with Chloe and Wyatt at

Big Trees in the Snow!! We didn't see the recently fallen drive-thru tree (soooo sad!!!!) but we did see the Stump. There were soo many people there - maybe because of the four day weekend, maybe because of the fallen tree - but it was difficult just finding a parking spot. Mamie spent most of the time in the museum and watching out the window and we weren't prepared to be traipsing around in the snow too much.

                                                                                                                 Uncle Tyke and me

Chloe and Grammie and me. Love her!!! So, so awesome getting to see and spend time with family who I haven't seen in much too long and for Chloe and Wyatt to meet people they either didn't know or don't remember. As usual, there wasn't enough time - but we are looking forward to May. Chloe really wants to spend time with her sewing machine and Grammie and Nathan wants to go shooting with the boys and Pappy. That is in the works. I'm looking forward to showing them fair too. I hope they will enjoy it, although it is, sadly, a much different experience now than it was when I was a child. I hope they're not disappointed! :)

Put it on your calendars!! See you at fair 2017!!


 Our decorations for the season. My Christmas giraffe -- gotta have at least one, right?!? Most of our decor comes from Goodwill or the dollar store or are hand-me-downs from Mamie, Grandma Elaine or Grandma Who. We've altered them, painted them, and with hours and blood, sweat and time, created our own version of Christmas spirit.
One of my favorite parts of the season is opening the boxes and hearing them ohhh and ahhh and tell stories about how they remember certain ornaments or tchotchkes and the holidays past.
On the other hand, I also love that they are also old enough to help me decide how to decorate and add to our traditions so that we will have memories for years to come!! :)
 One new memory we've added is the dressing and inclusion of our fur-babies!! Chase is the best at cooperating with my clothing whims! :) It is so wonderful to include them in the celebrations because we really do consider them part of the family. And because such, we got them presents this year -- their very own rawhides - complete with festive bows! :)

Christmas 2016 also came with the addition of two new fur-babies to our family. Jillian adopted Maya, a 10 month old Boxer/Rhodesian Ridgeback mix from the shelter and Nathan got his German Shepherd puppy. We are now complete -- at least for the foreseeable future!!!
It has been wonderful to see the change in Nathan, however, with the addition of his puppy. He has come to life again and has been smiling and laughing and interacting with everyone. He calls her his "little girl" and she is absolutely devoted to him. She gets excited and kisses him and chews on his toes and he loves every minute of it. He has me bring her to school when I pick him up each day and takes her around to his friends.
She and the other dogs also have bonded - especially she and Maya. They play together so well and Maya gets to indulge her 10 month old puppy whims and Jules gets to play and wrestle and grow. She is growing so fast and we are currently working on potty training - uck.
Christmas morning the kids opened their other presents. Jillian's dog was one of her gifts and Chloe got a bed set as her major present. Nathan, of course got his puppy. Wyatt got a bike, electronic drum sticks, a ball to bounce on and toys of course. His favorite present was his remote controlled truck. Everyone got new jammies on Christmas eve and, unfortunately, they were unable to go light looking with Coy's family because of the rain. Jillian got a white board and books as well as other things. Nathan got an ornament to make an imprint of Juliet's footprint, some clothes and other things.
The kids then spent the afternoon with their dad with Coy's family and I enjoyed a quiet day to myself and took advantage of the time -- I cleaned up all the Christmas decorations!! :)
These are my beautiful biggies.. I am so proud of them and the young adults they are becoming. They each have their own struggles and strengths and they make me want to scream some days - but mostly, they make me hold my head high and proudly announce that I am their mother. They are my greatest accomplishment and continue to teach me about life and love. I'm just so blessed to have them in my life.
Of course, Wyatt is a blessing too and I am equally proud of him and excited to be his mother. He is sweet and wonderful and such a gift to have a second experience with motherhood. It has been completely different from the first go-'round, with its own challenges and excitement.
Christmas in all its glory. Wyatt smiling at his concert; dressed up as a chef making cookies; Jillian at her choir performance; Jillian and I in the Buckeye Christmas parade representing our church; selfie - with a little back-up love; Jillie and I at Verrado for the tree lighting with a little Wyatt love again; Wyatt and Chloe goofing around in the backseat of the car on the way to school before break and Nathan on his way to his friend's holiday party at her church.
So many fun memories for our holidays 2016.
Blessed, as always.
We love you, Jesus.
Happy Birthday!