Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One from the Rocket Scientist

Today has been a rough one. The Rocket Scientist in all his sweetness has written the post that I desperately needed written tonight, but could not do myself.

So, after dinner tonight I sat down at my computer. I went to flickr.com and looked at the pictures that Karen has saved on the website...one thousand eight hundred and seven (yes, really, 1,807). I looked at everyone of them. There were pictures of unfinished yards, finished yards, houses, houses that became our homes, home improvement projects, trips to home improvement stores to buy stuff to do those home improvement projects, and pictures of the Sea Monkeys in shopping carts at home improvement stores. Of course, I lingered slightly longer on those last pictures.

In addition to the pictures of the Sea Monkeys in shopping carts at home improvement stores, there were pictures of birthdays, Christmases, Halloweens, and vacations. I saw kids playing in desert yards, Great Plains yards, and yards buried (and I mean BURIED) under the Greatest Snow on Earth. If you don't believe me, read the license plates. It says so right there. I saw pictures of kids who sneaked off to fall asleep in their beds and pictures of kids who sneaked out of their beds to fall asleep on the floor. There were pictures of kids blowing out candles on cakes, eating cakes, and, of course, wearing cakes. As I looked at these pictures I noticed two things--not a single picture of my beautiful wife and I am (and I can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt) the most fortunate man who has ever lived. And for that I am grateful. Blessings have been lavished upon me that I will never deserve.... I know that and I acknowledge that.

And despite all the feelings of gratitude, I hadn't found the picture for which I searched. It was a needle in a haystack. See I was looking for this picture (or a semblance, thereof).



See, the yellow lab (to the left) is Sabrina. You've seen a picture of her before. Sabrina is a Guide Dog flunkie. I've been advised to refer to this as a "second career", so as to avoid injuring her delicate self-esteem. Sabrina is my dog. The dog on the right is Penny. We got her as an "oops" from a friend. Penny is Sabrina's dog. I'm certain Penny cannot remember a day in her life without Sabrina.

Sabrina came to us in the summer of 1998, just a few months after we moved into our first house. She was, bar none, the best trained dog in neighborhood...until I got a hold of her. Sabrina has lived in every state in which I have lived. Really. California (for guide dog training). She moved back to Utah in 1998 to become my dog. She moved from Utah to Kansas with me in 2003. She moved from Kansas to Arizona with me in 2004. She was even willing to move back to Utah with me in 2007. For each move, Sabrina rode in the vehicle I drove. We played together, ran together, wrestled together, and hid out in basements during tornadoes together. We traveled the road between Clinton, Utah, and Carlsbad, California, who knows how many times together. I could go on and on about the things we've done together. This picture reminds me of Sabrina's favorite pasttime. I was, so often, the recipient of her expressions of love.



Sabrina and I have spent many days and nights side-by-side. She is gentle and concerned by nature. She is massively expressive with her eyes and eyebrows. She truly broke me in as a pet owner. I have always planned on being the one responsible for all of her care, regardless of what she required. However, I wasn't with her last night. I was 1,442 miles away from home, on business in Nashville, Tennessee, and Huntsville, Alabama. Sabrina left us in her sleep.

I've spent the day trying to occupy my mind with (what today anyways seems so trivial) thoughts of how to ensure the rocket that will someday carry astronauts to the International Space Station & the moon will function properly and meet its intended mission. Each time I lost focus, I had to fight the tears that wanted to flow knowing I will never have the opportunity to see my own "man's best friend" again.

I thought of my wife, who, once again, had to face a difficult challenge alone, because, once again, her husband was across the country (or across the ocean) on business (I am so sorry you had to handle this Karen). I thought of the Sea Monkeys, who, even though they try, will take several weeks to grasp that Sabrina is really gone. Even the First One is struggling with the concept, despite having lost one of our cats a couple of years ago. The Little Jamaican won't get it for several months, or maybe even a couple of years. I think about Penny, who, last night, lost her master, her friend, and really her momma. I've been told her tail has been between her legs all day long trying to figure out why she's alone.

Mostly, I think about Sabrina, and the years we spent as companions...the miles on foot, the miles by car, the of number times I wore my arm out throwing balls for her, the time my dad hit her with an aluminum bat because she was to impatient for the ball to actually get hit far enough for her to run after it, and the amount of things she destroyed even within the last couple of months with her teeth (I thought labs outgrew chewing). Mostly, I think about how grateful I am that yesterday afternoon, before I left for the airport, I had the opportunity to watch her run, full-bore, to her feed bowl. I'm also glad that I heard she ran the yard last night before going to bed. Sabrina, we will all miss you. You're a great pet, great dog, and great companion. I will, however, miss you more than the others...I knew that would be the case, though.

Lastly, I think about the three incredibly kind neighbors (one state trooper, one municipal police officer, and a director of new product training for Novell) who stepped up after I made a single phone call explaining the situation. They took upon themselves the task of removing Sabrina from her kennel and the kennel from the garage so Karen would have so much less to worry. And, to the director, an incredibly deep, heart-felt thanks for taking Sabrina and burying her on your family's farm, where I can stop on my way to or from work and say good-bye to the friend to whom I didn't get to bid farewell.

Good-bye, my friend.

Good-bye sweet puppy, I will miss you, too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Funny backsides, cheap gas and missing you.

Today as we were at the gas station, the Little Jamaican notices a man putting air in the tire of a motorized scooter. She starts chuckling and then full on laughing. She blurts out, "Mom, I see that guys butt cracker." Of course, I have to look, yep, you can see where the good Lord split him. Leave it to a four year old to notice, find funny and point out such a spectacle to the whole car.

Speaking of gas stations, I was so excited to see that one of the local gas stations is down to $2.59 a gallon for our lowest grade. Then because I'm apparently not thinking clearly, I decided to see what it cost for gas in some of the other places we lived. Most of them were a few cents to about 20 cents lower. Then I got to Kansas. You know where we lived in Kansas is down to $1.97 gallon. Suddenly $2.59 feels a little high.

The Rocket Scientist was business traveling last week. Sadly not leaving me much time to blog when I'm running around trying to keep the Sea Monkeys out of trouble all by myself. This week is not different, he left today, taking my heart and my sanity with him.

I miss you all. I will be doing my best to catch up with you. If I don't you will know that the Sea Monkeys are keeping me buried.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Funny stuff I learn about from my kids....

The Little Jamaican kept asking for the same thing over and over again. I was having a heck of time understanding her. Finally, I got that she wanted to watch something. Then I had to ask many times what it was she wanted to watch, because it sounded like she said, "Chuv-chuvs." Ya.....I didn't have a clue, but the Rocket Scientist new what it was.



Saturday, October 25, 2008

How to recapture trust?

No this is not a "how to" post. This is a plea...........I have recently been thinking a lot about this. A LOT! When trust is broken, how do you recover it? Can you get back what you broke? Once you are untrustworthy are you always untrustworthy in the eyes of the person whose trust you broke? Do you let friendships go over trust issues? Spouses? What about children? How do you earn trust? How do you give trust? If you took time to read this, please take time to leave your thoughts. I really need to hear them.

Disclaimer: At the Rocket Scientists request, I am stating that this post has nothing to do with my marriage. We can't have you all thinking he is anything other than the Mr. Incredible he is.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The unknown use for a lime green bracelet








There is no end to what my children will do to avoid going to bed!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Glazed.......

Last week, was a busy one. One of my three sister's wanted her kitchen cabinets glazed. She seemed to be under some delusion that I was the person to talk to. Don't get me wrong.......I love to glaze. I'm just not sure I'm the person to talk to. That all said, my sister, her husband and myself got busy and glazed the cabinets and the oak handrails in her house.
Here is a before shot:
This is my sister that loves the water and loves boats. The following are the after shots. I also love the crown moulding and knobs on the cabinetry! I love how the color of the cabinets changed. It honestly makes them feel and look brand new.
There are home improvement projects I love and others I hate. This is one that I love. So which improvement projects do you love? Which do you hate? The top of my hate list is ripping out old flooring. (Makes my skin crawl. I can't help but think about all the stuff that is in the old flooring.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Not enough branches in my family tree

You may have noticed that I don't mention my mother-in-law much. I need to say up front, she is an amazing woman. I love and adore her, but most of all I miss her. My sweet Rocket Scientist lost his mother to cancer about 6 months after we got married. Ruth was her name. She fought cancer like a master ninja. In the end, though, I think it was just her time to go. God must have needed her more there than here. So, even though there are days it breaks my heart that she isn't here to meet 8 of her 11 grandchildren I know that there must be some Divine purpose in why she is there instead of here. Who knows, maybe she was one of the angels desperately working behind the scenes to help us get our children. (Trust me there were angels employed. Adoption is a miracle all of it's own.)

Ruth was from a holler in West Virginia. I love to hear the stories she told of her growing up there. She was kind enough to record a lot of her memories in both the written and audio formats. It really is a treasure to have. One of the things she talked about was that most of the people that lived in the holler were related. Everyone was related to either Hackney's or Hurley's or both. Before you were allowed to have a crush on someone, you had to figure out how far removed that family member was. (I know many of you are either laughing or cringing.)

Well tonight when we were out and about with our Sea Monkeys, the Wild Child was talking about how Mom and Dad lived together before we had kids. Then she proceeds to say that we even lived together when we were kids. The Rocket Scientists zooms in on this and says, "Your mother and I did not live together before we were married." The Wild Child's response to that, "Yes, you did! Mom was your sister!" The Rocket Scientist is now trying to control his need to laugh. "Baby, Wild Child, your mother is not and was never my sister!"

"Dad, she was too. Mom is your sister!"

"Nope, Wild Child, Grandma Ruth grew up in West Virginia, not me."

You would think after a conversation like this that the RS might have made some sort of head way, but no. She went to bed tonight, honestly believing that the RS and I are brother and sister.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

On the Contrary!

Have I ever mentioned that I love the charter school my 1st One and Wild Child attend. They are learning a ton. The best part of that is that they are excited about what they are learning. I don't know about you, but when I was is school they didn't teach us about "greeting" new people and proper etiquette for such situations in the 1st and 2nd grade. My 1st One came home and told me all about it. She even said, "You should say, 'Hello, my name is ........, it's a pleasure to meet you.' Mom, did you know that is a greeting?"

The kids have been doing a bunch of field work lately, aka: field trips, that have all been centered on or around trees and the products they provide us. They talk about how they grow, why leaves change color, what grows on trees, how we get paper form them and what might live in and around them, to name just a few. A few weeks ago the the 1st One was able to tour and Violin Making school. Can you believe how cool? I know you are all thinking......."OK....we get it. You like the school.......is there a point here?" No point......just a Wild Child story.

So this past week when the 1st One was at school and before it was time to take the Wild Child to afternoon Kindergarten, the Wild Child had the Little Jamaican and My Son sitting on the couch. She was literally making them stay there, because she had made a "Contrary" and they were doing field work, learning about some of the animals in her "Contrary." She had taken all the throw pillows off the couch and had made "cages" for some of her "animals" (aka: stuffed animals) and was pulling them out one at a time and talking about them to her brother and sister like she was a tour guide. Of course, this is all very amusing to me, especially since it took me forever to figure out what a "Contrary" was.

This is what I over heard as she was giving the tour of her conservatory. "This here is a weasel-rat. They live here in the forest. Can anyone tell me what a weasel-rat eats?" as she is holding up her stuffed animal that is actually a weasel she's named Womp. "Do they eat leaves? No. Do they eat bugs? No. Do they little kids? No. How about noses?" She lets out a little snort/laugh. "They eat HAIR! THEY EVEN EAT THEIR OWN HAIR!" Wow.........now that is a very self sufficient weasel-rat.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My list of excuses.....

I'm feeling bad about not posting much this week and even worse about not reading so many of your blogs. I do have a list of excuses, but you all really don't want to hear them. I do have a ton of stuff to tell you all about, but still no time. I'll be back soon though....I have to tell you all about the Wild Child building a "Contrary" and show pictures of the cabinets my sister, BIL and myself glazed in thier house.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jen!!!!!!!

Sometimes in life, you meet people that you like right away. Jen who is Buried With Children is one of those people. Today is her birthday........so stop over and tell her Happy Birthday.

video
Jen, Happy Birthday. I hope this is your best birthday yet! Sorry that the video is so dark. We are still learning to carry a tune, but our sentiment is heart felt.

Monday, October 13, 2008

1st Snowfall

Oh, how I love snow on green trees. Did I ever mention that I grew up near Lake Tahoe? That may be my definition of paradise. It really is beautiful there. The water is crystal clear and the pine trees almost have a coconut/pine essence that mingles with the mountain air. In the summer the air is hot and the lake is cold with sky scraping pine tree surrounding you. But the winters........oh the winters. The snow all over those pine tree over looking that blue lake is breath taking.
This is the snow that fell on Sunday. Not too much.Just enough snow to get the Wild Child all excited about snowmen and lobbing snow balls at her dad. You notice the flip-flops on the deck covered with snow? Yep, I think, most of us were still in summer mode when this storm said, "Hello.........You are not in Arizona anymore." I know, I know, we have been here a little over a year and half, but I still haven't adjusted back to having so many weather variations.
Oh hey, did you also notice the size of this deck? Can you really call this a deck? The builder we bought this house from calls it one, but I'm thinking that may not be the right word. I think we will put a real deck out there sometime next year.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

No again, no again, no again

I love when my kids are first learning to talk. There is something almost magical listening and watching as those patterns develop in their little heads.

My sweet Son at the tender age of seven is just really learning to talk. There is a lot I still don't understand, but there is a lot I do. Part of it is, he talks really, really, fast. If you know this child, you know that this is the exact opposite of everything about him. He likes to take his time. He doesn't like to rush anything. For a long time I worried his life's aspirations were to be a "couch potato."

Two of my new favorite phrases from him are: "No again, no again, no again" and "No bubbles" The first one he uses for the obvious things........the things that he doesn't want to do again. The other one is reserved for the washing of his hair. Nope, he doesn't want it washed. As a matter of fact, he doesn't like it combed or cut either. Trying to cut his hair is similar to what it must be like to shave a cat. It takes two of us. We don't subject a stylist to this as it is quite taxing. I hold his arms down and wipe his nose, as he is screaming through the whole thing and the Rocket Scientist shaves his head. Sounds like fun.....huh? Tomorrow will be one of those delightful days that My Son will get a haircut, at which point I am sure both he and I will be crying, "No again, no again, no again!"

Friday, October 10, 2008

It smells like.....

SNOW! Yes, I am aware there is no snow in this picture, but it honestly smells like it. If you ask the weather man he'll tell you, we should see some this weekend.
So do you love it or hate it? Snow that is.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's in an IQ score?

IQ Test
Free-IQTest.net - IQ Test


Yeah........I'm not sure how accurate this little test is that I took, but I am going to believe that I am that intelligent today. (Trying to keep from rolling my eyes.)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Toilet Only Family

You all know about how the Olympic sport went at our house, right? Well, that has had some ramifications I was not expecting. A few days ago, the Rocket Scientist steps out into the backyard to call the Wild Child and the Little Jamaican in for dinner. He finds two little girls who are butt naked. Yes, just from the waste down. So, we have a brief talk about why we don't take our clothes off outside. So, dumbly, I'm thinking problem fixed. That is until I walk into the back yard the other day to find the Little Jamaican "squatting" on the lawn so to say. She argues that it is OK since the dogs do it and so does My Son. Yeah.......that's the kind of logic I'm getting from a 4 year old. I might be in trouble there.
Because of this particular situation, I have been trying to convince My Son that he needs to come in the house to go "potty." Friday morning all the Sea Monkeys were up really early. Like, I wasn't out to bed yet, early. So like any good mom of young children, I start to tell everyone to go "potty." As I am laying bed I can hear someone relieving themselves in the bathroom down the hall. Somehow it sort of sounds like My Son, but not quite right. A few minutes later I walk down the hall, because the 1st One is claiming that the floor is wet outside the laundry room. Now I'm thinking something has gone wrong with the washing machine and it must have flooded. I'm starting to worry about water damage until I see the wet floor. Clearly, someone with male plumbing has used my carpet like he uses the grass in the back yard. I know that there are dad's out there who think that it is all cool to use the back yard as a loo, but not for this house. Nope............we apparently don't clearly see the difference between grass and carpet. We are a toilet only family.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tag, your it.

I was tagged by the Oysterblogger to tell 7 weird or random facts about me. I may have done this one before, but honestly I can't remember. I'm sure there are plenty of things weird about me, so hopefully you all won't think....."I think I have heard this before."



1. I want a minimum of 6 kids. The RS says we are done.

2. I was in the "band" in high school

3. I know from first hand experience you should never shave your legs and swim it the Great Salt Lake on the same day. (Ouch!)

4. I gave the RS an ultimatum when we were dating to ask me to marry him by New Years or I was out of there. (I know, a bit bratty.)

5. My favorite car was a Toyota Tercel. (I could park that thing anywhere!)

6. I love model homes!!!!

7. Dusting is something rarely done in my house. (I tease that it is against my religion.)



All right, time for me to tag a few of you and since I can't remember who has done this and who hasn't........if you haven't consider yourself tagged.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Is it genetic....because it sure isn't enviroment?!

My darling son is a charmer. You can ask any one who has spent any amount of time with him. There are days I would go as far as to say that he has the making of a womanizer. Yes, I know, I need to keep an eye on that.

Even when he was really little these traits would make themselves known. The Rocket Scientist had some Christmas Shopping to do, when there were only three of them. That would have made My Son around 2ish. Now mind you, he just recently started saying words and sentences we can mostly understand. So in these days I'm referring to, it was all gibberish and smiles. Well the Rocket Scientist is in Target doing some Christmas shopping for his kids. He has My Son with him. In the Rocket Scientist's words, "Your son picks out the hottest, best lookin', stacked woman in the store and starts chatting her up." Yeah, that's great huh? My Son has continued this type of behavior over the years and yes, he does seem to find the most attractive women with, hmmmm, how to put this delicately..................with the plentiful chest. This can be rather embarrassing as a mom. Especially since that particular description does not describe me. In fact, the Rocket Scientist has made it clear that if I were ever to decide to leave him.......he gets My Son. He claims it would be his only chance of ever having a date again.

Now, you need to know that the Rocket Scientist is not a womanizer. Not in the least. He is terribly shy by nature and analytical, making it somewhat difficult for him even to flirt with the woman that makes it clear daily that he is the only guy for her. So, as I am becoming more aware of what My Son has to say, I realize his favorite character of all time is "Puss in Boots" from Shrek. He has made it so clear that he is requiring us to call him Puss these days. Yeah.......that 's right. He wants us to call him the name of a womanizing, fictional cat. I find myself asking, is this genetic?, because the RS certainly is not providing the environment. Or maybe it is too many times watching the Shrek movies, providing the environment.? Either way, "Houston we have a problem!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Whatcha Readin'?

Flea tagged my with a book meme. I hope she is not disappointed in what, "is lying around my house."

Here are the rules: Grab the nearest book. Open the book to page 56. Find the fifth sentence. Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your journal/blog along with these instructions. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST. Tag five other people to do the same.

I wish I had something as entertaining as "Taming the Liger," like there was a Flea's house, but sorry, not so much. (side note: Did you know that there are actually Ligers?) So this is what is on the Rocket Scientist's night stand. He's still reading it, but it's the next book I'm reading. I'm sure that there are books on my night stand, but they would not be the closest at this point as I would have to unbury them.

So the book is: Rich Dad's PROPHECY, by Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter, C.P.A.
"Most people already realize that they are in financial trouble but still do not realize the full impact of the many flaws of the law. When this realization hits critical mass, a panic will occur as people fight desperately to save their retirement and their lives. Unfortunately, all the diversification in the world will not save them from a crash of that magnitude. Warren Buffett, reportedly America's richest and smartest investor, has this to say about diversification. He says: 'Diversification is a protection against ignorance. It makes very little sense for those that know what they are doing.'"

Sorry that was 6 sentences......but, I just couldn't leave you all hanging on half of a thought from Warren Buffett, could I?

Let me see...........who to tag............alright, here we go. First my cousin Susan at Random Samplings of My Delightful Life, Tori at The McKee's, Jen at Buried With Children, Jenn at I Hate Whine!, and A Thorn Among Roses.

I can hardly wait to see what you are all reading.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fickle is, as fickle does.

I did warn you that I am very fickle, right? Well, the Sunset last night was amazing!!! It really showed off all the fall colors on the mountains. I really do love Fall's warm faded colors. One of these days..........I am going to have to invest in a "real" camera. :)