Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gettin' Groovy

One of my favorite gals is turning 40 way too soon. To celebrate, they hosted a party and we dressed up in 60's attire.

I was so excited that I FINALLY had a reason to wear this!

Lesli was born the same year my parents were married and this was my mom's going away dress. I can't believe she kept it all those years. It wasn't nearly as funny as many of the costumes, but I loved that I happened to have a 1967 vintage dress and a place to wear it!

There were some really great costumes last night including this guy...

Happy Birthday, Lesli!

Lindsay's Stuffed Animals (you have no idea what I am about to say)

Lindsay and her stuffed animals -- my oh my! These aren't the ones scattered about her room, these are the hunted dove. If you have a problem with hunting dove...stop reading -- really. If you love Ozzy Osborne, you're in luck.

Today is the last day of the dove hunting season. While we aren't a BIG hunting family, Jason does enjoy taking the kids hunting if they want and teaching them the mechanics of the event. I, on the other hand, don't like ANY dead animals or even eating meat off the bone. However, I can appreciate teaching children where their food comes from, gun safety, etc.

Being the last day of the dove hunting season, we needed a few more dove to actually make a meal out of the little buggers. Jason took three kids with him out into the field at Creekside to hunt. After a while, Jon and Dylan wandered back. What seemed like hours later, Lindsay and Jason returned. What a tale he brought back.

It seems Lindsay doesn't have a squeamish bone in her body. (If you made it this far and don't like hunting or dead animals you really need to stop reading!) Jason and Linz walked over to the shot bird and Lindsay really wanted to hold it. Jason ripped the head off and Lindsay still got her hands on that bird and had a ball (she was a little miffed he threw the head aside.) By the way, I would have been in the next county if you handed me a headless bird!

Lindsay ended up wanting to pull the head off the next one and did so with Jason's help. By bird #3 -- she did it all by herself!!! What the?!?

Lindsay carried on hunting with Jason and wanted to hold all of the dove in her hunting vest AND keep the heads. So she's got a pocket full of bird heads and gets one of her dove out every now and then to play with like she does her stuffed animals. You know, they are chatting, dancing, waving, etc. Gee, to think we thought webkinz were fun around here. Who knew headless fowl could provide the same companionship.

Finally it is time to clean the birds. Do you know how this is done? It is WAY disgusting. You pluck the breast feathers off, pull wings off at some point, then stick your finger in it and rip the freaking chest open to get to the meat. I shudder. Not that Lindsay. She did it all, then yelled at her Daddy when he picked up the last bird and dared to clean it himself. She happily held a heart and only mildly complained about the innards -- hopefully this experience will serve her well in life.

Meanwhile I was back at the house fixing dinner. I had no idea what my sweet little girl had been up to when Poppy got her dinner plate fixed up and fed her. Jason walks in knowing and says to Lindsay, "Did you wash your hands before eating?!" She replied, "Well, I picked all the feathers off!"

(only four dove were hurt in the production of this story)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

All Boy

Dylan has a pet frog that lives in the backyard. His friends can't imagine what he has in store for them when he says, "Come see my pet frog!" and runs out to the backyard. Being 3, they generally go along with it. Jumping on the trampoline seems to be their favorite activity together. Well, the frog might not agree with that.
Another favorite Dylan memory was when he walked into my room digging in his pocket. "I have a present for you," that pumpkin three-year-old said. He was working to get it out, but couldn't. I asked if he needed help getting it out and he said yes. I have my hand in his seemingly empty pocket so I ask what the present is. He said, "A doodle bug!"

Friday, October 26, 2007

Classic Lyvi

All day long I find little "love notes" like this one from Lvyi. Lotion in the shoe...simple, classic and she smelled really good.
Later that day I also had to wash a dog who rolled in poo and attempted a clean up after I let the neighborhood kids paint pumpkins (that was pretty much a lost cause -- some things will just never be the same.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Preschool Petting Zoo

Well, I guess it was more a zoo than they normally have at these things since a camel was in attendance. Aside from the "feeding zoo" (there wasn't a whole lot of petting going on, but the kids didn't care), I was happy to be in my children's preschool again. It feels really good knowing that our community is multi-ethnic enough that Lyvi won't be the only Asian in her classes. Dylan's preschool class and Lindsay's dance class are both a quarter Asian. The cutie-patotie (just sound it out) on the left is Riho and she is from Japan. I had a really nice chat with her mom for the first time at the petting zoo, but I'm looking forward to talking her again to find out more about how they ended up here and how long they are staying. Next I need to figure out a comfortable way to get to know some of these families better. Being an almost-expat, I know how much I would have appreciated a local family reaching out to me.

This summer I really wanted to reach out to a mom I met at VBS. No one knew how she ended up signing her child up, but they were here from Korea on a two year expat assignment. After talking to her a couple of nights, she mentioned some things she needed help with (really, would I be able to find a beekeeper in Korea??) I did give her my name and number because I knew I wouldn't see her the rest of the week and I wasn't staying that night. I wish she would have called. I know our language barrier might have confused things a bit.

I actually met her a previous time shortly after I was home with Lyvi and she recently arrived from Korea. I'm not sure she remembered (you know, we white redheads all look alike.) Our Chinese playgroup and her group of Korean moms were at a gymnastics place together. It was obvious she couldn't resist asking me, in spite of her limited English, what in the world all these white families were doing with Asian kids.

Maybe next time we go to preschool Riho can help me with my Japanese counting -- ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku...I get lost from there.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pumpkin Patch

Well, I certainly love our annual pumpkin patch trips. Gotta say these two make it mighty tough though. They are both so clingy and Lyvi just freezes up at busy places like this. I can hardly get pictures taken because I always have at least one kid begging to be held. During the week they are so much happier with simple one on one time with me at home. I spent the majority of my days with my first toddler set attending lots of mom club functions, playgroup and outings with friends -- they loved it! These two are SO very different. Now that I have thought it through and figured it out, I think it won't concern me as much. I need to come up with more fun home activities -- I'm thinking box painting might be next on our list. Fortunately we live it up on the weekend and they do enjoy outings when big brother and sister are there to show them how it is done.

This picture is NOT indicative of the day, just the moment. This was towards the end of our time there and they loved the tractor. Lvyi climbed up there and said, "Cheeeese!"
Painting pumpkins was serious business (and seriously messy!)

Dylan is a bit outnumbered in the playgroup. Right now there is only one other boy who didn't make it out to the pumpkin patch. He has just recently made it home so I hope that as he gets more comfortable in his new surroundings that he and Dylan can play a bit more.


I got an email from one of my mom's dearest friends. She and her husband recently took a trip to Japan and got to see my brother (her pic above.) Jealousy aside, I'm excited that brother Bryan and his girlfriend were able to make it to Tokyo to visit Ann. A large majority of my childhood memories have her in them as we spent countless hours with her and her kids in the summer. I know he also has fond memories of the long days and vacations we spent together. I think I get to relive them more than he does since I AM currently recreating those days with my kids. Hopefully seeing Ann reminded him of the fun times we had together and with our mom.
Last May Jason got to visit Bryan in Japan and he took pics of his day to day life since Bryan would never do it for me. I know he loves every tiny inch of his apartment since he had quite the undesirable dorm situation going on for awhile.

Yep -- that is all that constitues his kitchen

We are hoping to see him this Christmas! I haven't seen him since my mom died two years ago. It isn't all his fault -- I guess planes fly both ways and I would love to visit him in Japan some day. I was an exchange student in Japan with Sister Cities (cultural one week live with a family exchange.) Who knows, maybe I could even reconnect with some of the people I met in Nagaoka...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Our retreat is on the left and above the garage. The kids room above the garage is w.o.n.d.e.r.f.u.l. since they happily disappear up there and play for hours (and of course they aren't plugged into anything!) I do need to get some plants going in front of the house, but not too much because I don't need a garden to care for. It is so fun to have two houses so close together. I can wake up in my own home and still visit my dad for coffee in the morning! It's also a quick walk to the "neighbors" kitchen for anything you are missing.
The kitchen sink looks out to the creek -- not a bad place to do dishes! We moved our 7 foot kitchen table out there -- it was cramped in our kitchen, but looks like this place was made-to-order for the table.
We truly enjoy having our own retreat, even though we couldn't have done it without my dad taking charge of the land. Even if he just built a big place for all of us to visit, we would always be the guest and this is so much more relaxing! Still, there is always an open door just a few steps away.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

New San Saba Adventures

I keep thinking we've done it all out here but we continue to find new things to do! Today we attended the Heritage Festival in San Saba hoping for a good lunch. We certainly got it -- stew and cornbread cooked in a dutch oven. So good. That reminds me that we need to figure out how to properly cook in our dutch oven on the new firepit we built. When we lived in South Africa I fell in love with their potjiekos, which is cooking with a dutch oven, but the best flavors I've ever had. It is 10 years later and we haven't made time for this, but I think the time is nigh!

While we were at the festival, we watched a horse whisperer of sorts. He was an incredible horseman and had two super cute kids with him. Should have known right away they were relatives! Turns out he is a cousin on my dad's side. They have three daughters -- it was funny to meet a same age Lindsay with my maiden name -- Lindsay Maxey (but theirs was actually spelled Lindzey Maxcey.)

Later shock of shocks was seeing a family with an adopted daughter from Asia. I'm constantly delighted to know that in our town and now even San Saba, Lyvi won't have trouble seeing families that resemble hers. This family's father is the Park Manager at Colorado Bend State Park -- it sounds like an incredibly cool job. The three kids are homeschooled. I was wondering how in the world they got to school since town would be quite a haul. The 11 year old was taking care of his five year old sister just like Jonathan takes care of Lyvi. Hopefully we can catch up with them again soon and see if there is a friendship waiting to happen.

I'll get an updated pic of San Saba uploaded soon...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Jason's dad painted this cool picture of their dog, Scout -- I don't think Oliver and Sadie are worthy of such a regal picture!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Jet Plane

The 60's song has been running through my head all day "I ain't leaving on a jet plane." Today would have been the day! We were supposed to leave for Singapore today -- it is shocking to think that had plans gone through, life as our clan knows it would be momentary history. Of course we would have known we were going and lived life a bit differently during the last 8 weeks, but it is still a shock to think of everything important to us, mainly friends, family and pets, being packaged up for two years.

Instead, we spent the day having a fabulous time on the ranch. At the last minute yesterday, we decided to take a couple of more kids with us. It required driving in two vehicles, but these kids were really worth it. Although their parents are NOT into outdoor living, the kids are two tough cookies and LOVE being outdoors. (They do like living outdoors in their pool and for that we are grateful to have them as neighbors!) Jon and Linz were in heaven having their mates with them. Jonathan and his friend went fishing all by themselves (even caught fish!) and Jason took the boys dove hunting. Lindsay and her friend happily played in the creek and ran around barefoot and lively. We rounded up a herd of cows and moved them to greener pastures, found a hog skeleton, etc. The kids looked a bit lord of the flies-ish, but they had a great time. Amazingly I don't think either child had roasted marshmallows out in the woods so dinner around the campfire was a real hit.

Hard to complain when life here can get this good!