December 31, 2008

Crumb Snatcher Speak

You know how when something happens or is said that you really shouldn't laugh, snort or giggle at? Well, I had a very difficult time keeping the snickers (okay, guffaws) in when Boy Child very seriously asked, "Why don't you just grow a little hair in the bald spots to cover them up Daddy?"
Hee Hee Heee.
Love Note to Big Shooter: Sorry Love. I just couldn't help it or pass it by...

December 23, 2008

"Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season...but, YOU are the reason He was sent."

Read that somewhere last week and it has stuck with me whilst (that was a fun word!) I've been making plans for my precious little fam for the next few days.

I will more than likely be taking a short break from regular blogging the next few days as well. Unless something big happens I can't possibly wait another second to share it!

Merry Christmas from the Shooter household to you and yours!!

Don't forget to say a prayer for our brave men and women around the world standing guard, making it possible for you to celebrate with your families in peace.

Love Note to my Big Shooter: I've been checkin' my list to see if you've been Naughty (enough) or Nice.

December 19, 2008

Love Note to Straight Shooter

My Best Friend and Loving Wife,

After 17 years of marriage I wanted to write down my thoughts to tell you how much you mean to me. And post it for all of your bloggy friends to see. I searched through cards, books, and online to find the perfect words to describe my feelings for you. Nothing I read even came close, although, I did come across some pretty good porn sites.

There is no way to adequately express my feelings. Saying you are my best friend and loving wife is not enough, because you are more than that. I guess the only thing I can say is “I love you.”

Those are powerful words. Words I never say to anyone with any meaning behind them. I even go so far as to avoid them. But for you, they are the only words that I can think of using.

You hold my hand through sickness and health, and occasionally kick my ass when I whine a bit too much. You listen to me bitch and do not judge me for being an idiot. I find peace when I am around you. I draw on your incredible storehouse of strength. You keep me sane during periods of total insanity.

Moments I spend in your company may seem insignificant to you, but for me, they are life changing because I know I am safe. I was truly blessed the day I met you. You are the person I know I can turn to when I need help, or need to smile.

You are more stunning than I could ever describe. Whenever I look at you, I am overwhelmed with your beauty. You are perfect in every way. You are my angel. You allow me to be a part of your life. You allow me to be your friend. And on occasion you allow me to be your big studly man. (OK maybe not studly, or big anymore, and not nearly as often as you want, but you still let me be the MAN.) You listen and laugh with me, and more often than not, laugh at me. But that is ok, because I know I am a dork.

I know that I do not deserve you, but for whatever reason, God showed me a glimpse of heaven in your heart. You are the most amazing person I have ever known.

I love you. I will always love you.

Happy Anniversary Sweetie.

Sorry dudes, I know I broke the man code and did something romantic. Good luck on your efforts to measure up.

December 18, 2008

Bah Hum Bug Anyone?

First, it was Girl Child who wondered about the lack of Christmas lights on our street. Then it was Boy who commented on our own house lacking any real Holiday Cheer. Now tonight, it was Big Shooter who made mention of the slim pickins' in the way of Christmas cards we've received this year. At first I just pooh poohed it as people seem to have been caught off guard by Christmas this year. Me included in that by the way. (Please keep that in mind Mom and Dad as you sit and wait for the UPS guy...)
But then as we were out tonight running some errands that couldn't be put off any longer, I began really looking around. Houses that have had their decorations up and flashing for the past 20+ years on Black Friday are bare this time around. The downtown building that usually leaves certain office lights on on each floor to form a skyscraper sized Christmas tree on the facade is dark. The extra merchandise the stores stocked their shelves with seem to still be overstocked. I, myself, have been trying to come up with a believable excuse to not do our annual New Year's letter.
What is it?
The obvious reason is the economy.
But could it be something else?
Are people finally getting tired of seeing Christmas in July? Or being made to feel guilty if they didn't buy everyone they know and their dogs a gift? Or grown just plain weary of the whole dang thing??
We've all cut back, out, down and around this year. But I, personally, feel it is more than that. I think as we have had to give up, we are giving in to so much more.
We,the Shooter family, are spending more at the grocery store. But that is because we are spending less time on the road running between here and yonder while grabbing a quick bite out. Which means we are spending more time around the dinner table conversing and less in the car on the cell... We're finding all this extra time in the evenings for "just hangin' out with Daddy" or takin' a quick walk around the block and over the highway in "the cool caged bridge". (What can I say? We live in the bad part of town...)
One of the errands tonight was The Santa Visit. As I listened to my most precious gifts telling St. Nick what they'd like I had another epiphany. Their views were changing too. Boy Child asked for a Monopoly game and a bike. Girl Child asked for a bow with arrows and also a bike. These choices screamed out two words to me: Family Time.
If having a national Bah Hum Bug crisis is what it takes for us all to start treasuring each other again...then I'm all for it!
So, "Bah Hum Bug to each and everyone of you! I love ya!"

Love Note to my Big Shooter: 12???? 12 Glorious years! ...ain't bad outta 17, huh? Happy Anniversary, Love of my Life.

December 17, 2008

Crumb Snatcher #1 Speak

Since Plainsville is experiencing record lows the last few days, Boy Child informed his father when getting back into the vehicle he was "now so cold, I am suffering from hydrofoamia". Big Shooter later told me he wasn't sure whether to rehydrate him for the hydro part or turn him over to the pound in case he had rabies from the foamia...

Love Note to Big Shooter: Thank you for sharing with me. I know you know how much I treasure Crumb thanks for remembering Big Guy.

December 16, 2008

Christmas Tag

I so love my friend Flea. Have I ever told you how I met her in for real life? I was at Sashi's doin' some JBF gig when Flea's family came to get some natural fertilizer (the real good stuff from the pasture) and I recognized her name from the comments section of the The Pioneer Woman. I asked her if she was a blogger and...the rest is history as they say. Anywhoo, she tagged me last week for a holiday meme and today is a perfect day just for that!

So just when you thought you knew all there was to know about me - I subject you to some more titillating facts. I know you are chomping at the bit. So with out further ado...

The Holiday Version Meme

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?

See, here's where we run into our first problem. I am a hot choc kinda gal in any kind of weather. But egg nog y'all? If it is just the right kind...well, then bar the door Sally Jean cause I am bustin' it down to get me some of that yummy stuff. So I don't know what to say.

Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree?

Mrs Claus's a wrapper. A fat white wrapper. Prolong the agony, I say. I plan, prepare and organize every year to wrap as I go. Never happens. I end up wrapping in one room while Santa wraps in another after midnight on Dec. 23 every stinkin' year cause my middle names are "Procrastinator" and "I think it will only take a few minutes to finish like 30 gifts..."

Colored lights on tree or white?

Not long ago, it was white only. Now, with the Crumbs and their utter delight with a Charlie Brown tree...colored is just fine-o-ree

When do you put your decorations up?

Here we go again with the "used to" again. I used to want the decos up Thanksgiving day or Black Friday. Now, we are lucky to have a tree. (We just decorated it yesterday.)

What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?

Any thing Granny Grunt cooked. Any thing.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child:

I have two: Going to sleep (or should I say, trying to go to sleep) at Granny Grunts with all my cousins on Christmas Eve night. The anticipation of waking up to see if I had indeed been good enough to get a gift from the big man was over the top! And, watching Grandpa Bozo shake, squeeze, rattle and violate each and every gift before opening it. He would guess correctly 75% of the time before he opened it. Drove us all nuts! We'd try to fool him every year.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

What truth? What are you talking about?

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?

Nope, not one. All of them.

I think this must have started from the fact I would rotate Christmas Eve with my mom and dad each year. So I'd celebrate it with whomever I was with, then go to the other's house on Christmas. Or it could have been the fact that both of my parents are the world's worst when it comes time to show a little restraint with the present opening... To this day, they both pretend it's no big deal. Trust me. It is. They love present opening time. Which, of course, makes everyone around them love present opening time!

How do you decorate your Christmas tree?

I don't. Big Shooter is the Christmas decorator. He should have an entry in the Tree Festival each year. It may help him, focus his passion, give him a healthy outlet for his over abundant creativity. (Oh, that made me chuckle and gag at the same time!) Although, the last two years we've let the Crumbs have their Charlie Brown tree since he hasn't felt up to the whole Christmas Extravaganza and he's been real cool with the whole gig. I secretly hope he'll feel more into it next year. I kinda miss all the holiday cheer our house usually oozes with.

Snow... Love it or Dread it?

Lllllllloooove it! Missssss it! Would love some more of it!!

We have the best sledding hill in Plainsville a few blocks away. The Crumbs have been scouting out new sleds for the last couple weeks like no one's business.

Can you ice skate?

That would be a big fat negatory on that one.

Do you remember your favorite gift?'s this Christmas's miracle. My Big Shooter is here. It will forever and ever be my most precious answered prayer.

What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you?


What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?

Braum's egg nog. If that's not counted as a real dessert than I'd have to say the sweet chex mix my mom makes with the coconut, butter, almonds, butter, chex and butter...Mmmmmmm.

What is your favorite tradition?

Don't tell Big Shooter...but, I don't really mind the whole stupid "Mall Walking Day" on Black Friday as much as I'd like him to think I do...

Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving?

Oh, I so wish I had a kazillion $$$$ to spend. I fantasize all the time about how I'd give gifts away. Do any of you play the If I was a Kazillionaire Game?

What is your favorite Christmas Song?

All of them!

Although, I will have to say the one about chestnuts roasting on an open fire has a special place b/c Big Shooter sings that one year round in the shower...

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

I played a game with myself when I was a kid. I always tried to see how small and sharp I could make the candy cane before it broke off. The smell of candy canes could transport me to Christmas time immediately. Now. I am not a huge candy cane fan. I don't know what changed.

Ever recycled a Christmas present?

Lalalala! Wh...what? I didn't hear you!

Don't Be A Scrooge! Tag 7 friends to Deck the Halls...

Okie Dokie! I tag Sheila @ Somebody Loved cause she has a Fabulous Spirit all year round, Soliloquy @ She Just Had to Say It cause she needs a break from rusty cookie sheets, Marcy from The Glamorous Life because she is the only one I know who can get a hangover at a cookie exchange, June from June Cleaver after a Six Pack cause her hubby is serving our country and she really needs to get laid, I mean catch a break and she is stinkin' hilarious, Rachel @ Huse Blog is it Anyway? cause she also just needs a no brainer break (although not in the same way June does...), Mama Belle @ The Bayou Belles and Their Beau because Mama had a BIG weekend last week, The lady who wants my twerpy kids and I to visit her @ Clan of the Cave Mice.

Love Note to my Big Shooter: Thank you for making the Crumbs think their Charlie Brown tree was the most beautiful tree in the world. If you only knew the agony I, I meant we, went through this afternoon to make it "just perfect for Daddy" you'd know how willing I'd be to kiss your feet since you said all the perfect compliments when you walked in and saw the monstrosity. You rock Daddy-O.

December 15, 2008

Any one send?

We sent out our letters on Saturday. We are hoping our soldier will receive them before Christmas so he knows we are thinking of him.
I am posting Girl and Boy Child's letters in their original spelling and entirety.
Dear Soldier,
Thank you for fighting so hard for our contry! We all realy aprishyate it. And everyone in are family hopes that you come home safely and we are all jeering you on as best we can in our prayers. We all can't wait to here from you. Keep up the good work out there and never give up. May the lord be with you.
Girl Child
Is there eny thing you need from home?
Okay, so she is a 3rd grader and he's a 4th grader. Don't judge. She loves writing, english and he...doesn't.
Dear Soldier,
Thanks for fiting for Americas freedom. We all are thankfol of it! We are all praying for you. I hope you get home safly and quickly. You are a hero to us.
I'm a ten year old boy who likes videogames and star Wars and Legos. I got a wii (and yes that is how it is spelled.) from my grandparents and I all ready have a new game.
If thir is any thin you want just rite right back and we will hurry it to you.
Sinsirly Boy Child
Thanks for fiting!!
Big Shooter wrote one too. He asked me not to publish it. He said it was just for the young man it was intended for. It made me cry.
If you or your family wrote one or are writing one, I'd be so humbled if you'd share your favorite line in the comments.
Have a fabulous Monday!
Love Note to My Big Shooter: We are so very lucky to call you Daddy and Hubby...

December 12, 2008

It was like pushing the Rewind button...

Each time I took the camera out of it's case one of the Crumbs would comment, "Did ya see some thing else that reminds ya of when you were our age that ya need to blog about?"
Apparently, we drove them nuts with our eager beaver sharing of childhood stories...little twits.
I mean who wouldn't want to take a picture of one of the many tumble weeds traveling on it's way across the state???
Or our old swimming hole?
Big Shooter's comment was, "Did they re-do it out here? I remember that dock being a whole lot further out than that..."
It's amazing finding out how small our enormous childhoods really were.

They didn't say a word about me taking their pictures. Just struck a pose.

I didn't think to get a picture of my Aunt Kathy's pancakes. She's made them for Big Shooter and I now for 20+ years when we travel through Wyoming. They are the Best on the Planet. I have only tasted one other person's who come close. It was a little dive in a not so good part of Plainsville. One day they were open, the next day they were arrested for selling drugs out the back door. No, I am not kidding. No more pancakes unless we happen to be in Cheyenne. My sweet auntie is in charge of the dispatch office for the Cheyenne sheriff's department. I drove with her from Denver to Cheyenne and heard her in action. We encountered a situation that was getting more dangerous by the second so she immediately called 911 and reported, "Yes Ma'am, I've got a 120 involving a tractor trailer license number yada, yada, yada on Colorado I-80 northbound, mile marker 23 at 75 mph, please advise CHP units in the location." Thank goodness she was in the car or here would have been mine, "...uh yeah, there's a really big truck weaving in front of me that doesn't have any lights..."
I wish I'd thought ahead and taken a pic of those golden circles...but in there place I can share a picture of her son. I posted this pic just to get his goad. We're kissin' cousins. Our names rhyme. He just earned his doctorate. I still call him Butthead. That's his little Southern Belle-soon-to-be-wife. I love her. I want to marry her.
Also, since I didn't get pics of the pancakes I get to sneak in others that kinda, sorta have to do with my sweet auntie. This is her newest grandbaby.
My cute as a button girl cousin was big preg-GO when we went through Denver the first time. The day we left she had this little beauty. So the Crumbs and I got to snuggle with her on our way home.
Girl Child was in Hog Heaven.
I kid you not, I about fell over when Boy Child asked to hold her.
It was 10 seconds longer than he's ever held a baby before.

Showing the Crumbs the Canyon was a highlight for both of us to revel and enjoy. We both have incredibly fond memories of the canyon as children and then dating.

Have I ever mentioned I floated in a hot air balloon in this canyon? I believe that is why I am now afraid of falling from great heights.

Y'all already heard about The Rock.
Does Boy Child look like Calvin to you? He does to me...even in his sister's purple striped hat with the flower.
What other things set off the Childhood memories?
Grandma's cookin' and playing games with her.
When Thanksgiving dinner was over she said in my ear, "You ready to play games girl? They are on the front passenger side floor board of my truck..."
She's 86.
She'd come prepared and ready to whip some tail.

The first we played is called Probe. It's been played in our family since the
early 60's. That was a blast from the past!
And the one we had been dying to do?
Eat at this hamburger joint.
They began in Twin Falls.
Now they are all over the surrounding areas.
We stopped at the first one we saw...
mmmm, they put a white sauce on their burgers instead of ketchup.
The Best on the Planet.
What do you look forward to when you visit your hometown?
What floats your boat?
What's your favorite blast from the past?
Do you ever wish you really could hit the rewind button?
Love Note to my Big Shooter: I do wish I could hit the rewind button again and again. There are so many times I'd love to re-live with you. Skiing, Chicago, Sun Valley, cookin' with your momma, havin' FIL save my butt a hundred times, seeing you walk in the Hallmark to chat, all those long drives across the states, walking the big dogs, snuggling in stormy weather, making Crumbs (wish I could remember Girl Child), watching our babies sleep...the list goes on and on. Thank you for always adding to it.
I need an air sick bag now...that got way too gag-a-rama for me...cough.

December 10, 2008

19 Random Facts in 10 Minutes

While driving the big Gas Hog some where between Wakeeny and Colby, Kansas I had this great idea to write down a bunch of facts to post about. Here's what I came up with in 10 minutes:

  1. According to Girl Child, McDonald's has really thought their dips through because Sweet & Sour seals are much easier to remove than Ranch seals.

  2. The Dairy Queen in Wakeeny, KS does not make chocolate ice cream on Mondays...and they could care less whether you drove 7 miles off the interstate and promised your Crumbs they could have a "Cherry Dipped-In" or not.

  3. In Kansas, farm cats = road kill.

  4. Not all Wal*Marts are created equal.

  5. Surprisingly, a bbq joint named Frisky Brisket didn't stay in business in Russell, KS.

  6. We have red dirt roads in rural OK. There is a 20 mile stretch in the middle of KS that has pure white rural dirt roads. If anyone knows why, the Crumbs and I are dying to know. They look like brilliant white chalk.

  7. Wyoming is as bold, wild and rustic a frontier as it's always been...and I hope it is never tamed.

  8. It is amazing to me that people driving a car that could fit in the Gas Hog's back storage area feel free to cut me off going 79 mph after I've been driving alone with an 8 and 10 yr. old for 19 hours...&$%^@*!!

  9. I'd move to Denver tomorrow if Big Shooter could tolerate sudden change.

  10. Kansas landscape does not grow on you.

  11. If it seems I am picking on Kansas, I am. (Sorry Sashi.)

  12. I do not like being away from Big Shooter. At all.

  13. The smell of a fish hatchery reminded me of trips to the coast with my mom and grandparents.

  14. They bale corn in round bales in Kansas. Made me wonder what else they bale.

  15. Time in a moving vehicle goes rather quickly with family chit chatting. Really.

  16. Seeing Idaho tags for the first time was as exciting as seeing Oklahoma tags coming back!

  17. Truckers who oblige an 8 yr. old Crumb pumping her arm up and down like crazy with a long, loud honk are angels in my book.

  18. God's creativity is splendid.

  19. Writing in my little blog book at 79 mph is extremely s-t-u-p-i-d.

And now a few random photos for my random facts...

Enjoying a sunrise in Wyoming.

Hiding from Momma, pretending to be camera shy.

I'd forgotten about the snowdrift fences all along the interstates in Wyoming. I remember being fascinated by them as a child. Could snow really drift that high?

The answer: Oh yes, it can. And does.

The reason I put random photos in for this random post was so I could alleviate some of the pain you all are going to inevitably face reading about our trip in the next few days. I figure the more pix I can squeeze in now, the less for later. I apologize in advance.

Big Shooter and I took the Crumbs up to the area we kinda had our honeymoon. That is another post for another time. It involves me staying in a B&B by myself, pneumonia, an ambulance ride and a tiger-striped painted who-ha. (Yes, you read that correctly. Who-ha.)

Maybe if you click on this pic to enlarge it you'll be able to make out Big Shooter and the Crumbs hiking down the hill. They are directly in the middle of the picture, Girl is wearing pink. They had a blast being where Momma & Daddy had many a date...sigh.

Love Note to my Big Shooter: I love you so. I am glad to be home with you again. Just thinking about you makes my heart skip a beat and my toes curl.

December 9, 2008

We are back and pooped-out y'all

After a day or two of Catch Up, my first post should be "What I learned driving for 24 hours across 6 states with two Crumbs age 8 "and 3 quarters" & 10..."
In the mean time I figured I'd leave you with a few of my very first posts. (I find it hard to believe I started this most wonderful adventure called Laying Out Your Dirty Underwear For Everyone to See over a year ago!!)
Although, I will voice these few warnings (read excuses) before you click:

  1. I was a new, fledgling blogger.
  2. I hadn't found my voice yet.
  3. I hadn't had my hand slapped in the bloggy etiquette department yet.

Olliver ~ Our Brain Dead Pug (There really isn't much else to add to that title.)

Home + School = Homeschool? (This is the one published in Blog Nosh. My Canadian bloggy friend Tracy is an editor. I have no idea how she found it...or why she picked it. But, I was thuh-rilled none the less! Thank you Tracy!!)

Big Shooter isn't half the man he used to be... (Oh My Word! I guess this is the upside of a diseased gallbladder, kidney cancer, gastroparisis,... And this isn't even a recent picture of him...look in my side bar for that Hunk-O-Munk!)

"Give me baaaack my puke...!!!" (Yeah, it was a proud moment when I pushed the Publish button for that one.)

I missed you all VERY much! It is just plain weird and VERY cool how friendships are built in cyberspace. I thought of you all the time. In fact, my little bloggy book is full of post ideas and facts I want to share with you all. But, for now I need a few days for laundry, unpacking, grocery shopping, homeschool planning, mail sorting, bill paying, toilet cleaning, and smooching with Big Shooter.

Oh, and an Amish dinner in Chouteau, OK (quite a little drive away) I planned for our homeschool group a month ago...

  • for tonight.
  • the day after I finished driving 17oo miles.
  • in crappy, sleety, drizzily, 30 degree weather.
  • we need to leave in a little bit...I'm still in my pjs
  • What the &*$# was I thinkin'?

Along with my Mother of the Year award I feel I also deserve the Planner of the Year award, don'tcha think?

Love Note to my Big Shooter: When this evening has finally come to a close, I will say The Saying...but, only if you've read this post and know I just said that. Heh.

Love Note to Y'all: Reminder if your fam is taking part in The Bundle of Thanks project: They need to be sent by this Sunday if you want them to reach your servicemen by Christmas. I am anxious to hear your fave parts of your family's letters!

December 8, 2008

Party is Over!!

Straight shooter and the Crumb Snatchers are on their across Colorado and Kansas. Crumbs keep getting the truckers to honk. My personal opinion is that horns are for emergency purposes only, so don't get me started.

So to all the blogging minions out in blog land, SS will be back online soon, and my days of freedom and nakedness are at a sad end. Let us observe a moment of silence at the passing.

December 5, 2008

How to alienate your hometown

Straight Shooter is stuck in Idaho so I am forced to be a guest blogger. Yes fans it is I, big shooter. In order to maintain peace in the household and to not have to shell out my life savings in alimony, I am communicating with y'all.

I have been ordered to be funny and pithy, but that is not going to happen. So I will do as I am told and post exactly what I was told to.

When you visit Idaho and are a sick and twisted individual, you look for something to irritate as many people in your home town as possible. So to that effect you come up with the perfect plan for world domination, and while you are waiting to take over everything that humans hold dear, you focus on how to destroy the hopes and dreams of every Idahoan, which is actually only a very few people in the scheme of worldwide population. And you involve the innocent offspring!

It is our God given right to make sure that they have income potential when they are older. And I feel that a tell all book exposing their parents as evil, maniacal lunatics is our best bet at helping them pay for our nursing home. I hope they don't stick us in a total hole.

2 years ago the University of Oklahoma (football powerhouse) played Boise State (total underdog) for the national championship. If you remember BSU won in the most exciting Bowl game ever in the history of mankind. OK maybe that was a stretch. But is was a great game.

Seeing as Straight Shooter and I are from Idaho and the crumb snatchers are born and conceived in Oklahoma, which as a side note I do not remember, we thought what better way to teach our children respect and moral values than to make sure they were never welcomed back to our childhood haven.

There is a big rock in front of our hometown high school. It is a tradition to paint that rock for special school events and other bizarre stuff. Idahoans really have no life, so we do stupid stuff for entertainment. Well the wife and kids thought up a diabolical plan to paint the rock -Oklahoma style. And "Boomer Sooners" was the way to go baby. Look at the pics and ooooh and awe. Leave lots of comments telling Straight Shooter that I am the best guest blogger ever.

Please just step away from the computer. Blogging is the devil. At least in my humble opinion.

Love note to Straight Shooter: Without you and the crumb snatcher here I am wasting away, but I am enjoying wondering the house in the buff. I am living FREE baby. LOVING IT!!!!!!

December 4, 2008

Great, I think we rubbed off...

When asked what they'd like to do today after Girly Time (manicures with Grammie) and more lessons taught by the Great Grannies, the Crumbs answered with a resounding "Walk the canyon edge to see where Evel Kneivel died!!".

Okie Dokie.
One humongo dirt ramp coming up...minus a dead guy. (He didn't die on his attempt to jump the canyon.)
This was the best picture I could manage at this time of day for your viewing pleasure.
Mr. Kneivil's ramp is the light brown hump on the canyon rim in the center of the picture. The teeny weeny white speck in front of it is a HUGE house.
I don't think as a child (or teenager) growing up here, I ever fully realized how big that pile of dirt really was.
This is a picture of the viewing platform that sticks out over the rim.
It is really just posted here to irritate the Crumbs.
If they have heard, "Grampa Lyle (FIL) built that," one time, then they've heard it a 100.
He is a well known and extremely talented metal fabricator here in the Magic Valley.
And we have enjoyed pointing out his handiwork again and again.

This is the view off the platform.

This is the Crumbs getting too close to the rim before I pointed out the platform.
Obviously I wasn't scared enough to put the camera down first.
I'm an awesome mother. (cough)

Here's the proof I deserve the Mother of the Year award.
Boy Child has heard us discuss the fact people are no longer allowed to carry off the lava rocks that are abundant here in the Magic Valley without penalty...
apparently, since his parents involved him in the windmill experience, we taught him some bad habits.
That is him being sneaky and covert with a large piece of illegal lava.

The end of a long day.

Just a gratuitous picture b/c being here makes me miss Big Shooter and my dating years. Have I ever told you our first date was skiing? On this mountain no less. Sigh.

Love Note to my Big Shooter: Oh the memories! Every where I look I think of you. Some make me smile. Some make me giggle. Some bring tears. Some make me blush. Miss you.

December 3, 2008

Felonist or Teacher?

Weather in Idaho is much like it is in Oklahoma - Fickle.
When it comes to plans, here's another word you'd better be familiar with - Flexible.
It was cold, windy, and not fish hatchery/fossil bed field trip conducive yesterday.
So we were flexible.
It was not difficult.
Because that just meant more time granted to us to with the Great Grannies.
One just needed some much needed lovin' on. And the other gave Girl Child an in depth sewing lesson. Move over Martha, I think there may be a new girl comin' to town.
We moved yesterday's plans to Thursday. In the meantime, I thought we'd share our spontaneous learning experience (unplanned homeschool activity a.k.a. trespassing violation that got counted as a school field trip) on our way across Wyoming last week.
We loved spotting these on the horizon. In state after state.
They were mesmerizing. Beautiful.
But, we were never close enough for good pix.
Until Evanston, Wyoming...
What do you do when you find an unmanned road leading right up to the base of these babies?
Why you take the time to park in just the right angle and place your most precious cargo on TOP of the truck...
so they can enjoy the experience too.
Then you sneak as close as you dare to the base so you can get an up close shot of the door. (It's barely visible on the right side.)
Then you run back to the truck. Proceed down the highway. All the while pretending you really didn't see the white warning sign on the fence...
Love Note to my Big Shooter: Since you've returned to Plainsville and left me and Crumbs to our own devises, I haven't had even one teensy weensy little thought or idea of criminal activity...I miss you.

December 2, 2008

Found it!

This is one time I love having to say The Saying. You remember the one when one of us is correct and the other is...less correct? "I was wrong. You were right. You are the Queen...or King." (Of course the Queen version is heard most often.)
Any way! I did NOT believe Big Shooter even a teeny weeny inkling when he kept telling me we'd find his ring. Now it's back on my finger and I gladly shouted The Saying!
Here's what I've been pondering though.

  • I know I had it on when we left the house in the morning b/c I remember getting lotion all over it while we were driving to Big Shooter's Dad's house.

  • It was not on my finger approx. 4 hours later when we were leaving his Dad's house.

  • A relative I have not seen in years said she saw it on my finger during lunch and described it to a tee. (at the time it made me feel slightly better that at least we knew where I'd lost it)

  • Yet, I found it in the pocket of a pair of pants I hadn't worn since before I'd lost it.

  • And further, even if I had worn those pants, it didn't just fall off my finger when I reached in my pocketb/c I wear it on my right hand. It was found deep in the left pocket.

Some would call it a coincidence. Some a miracle. Some would just say it was a weird happening. I, personally, think it was divine intervention. Plain and simple.

"Thank you Lord. I am humbled You would help me when You have so many, many real pressing issues to be occupied with."

Thank you to all who sent up a prayer for me and this special hunk of gold. I cannot quit smiling. I learned lots (and LOTS) of lessons in this short amount of time. I can't say I am glad I lost it so I'd learn them. But, I am extremely grateful for the new knowledge!

I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday. We're going to a fish hatchery and fossil bed. Should be a great homeschool field trip day in Idaho. Speaking of which, look where our field trip was yesterday. Oh My Word. It was without a doubt one of the most incredible experiences I've ever had. The Crumbs were mesmerized for 3 1/2 hours solid and you all know that is a tall order for a almost 9 and 10 year old. If you are near a city with this exhibit (right now that would be Salt Lake City & Houston), I have 4 words for you: Do NOT miss it.

Love Note to my Big Shooter: Sorry I cried so much when we found it. I couldn't help it. I am a big baby that way, ya know. I will try very hard to get the mascara stain out of your new shirt. At least you have tons of ammunition now for when I say I don't like all that gag-a-rama lovey-dovey stuff...cause obviously I am a little more than a tad emotional than I care to admit...

A Bundle of Thanks: Come tell us about your family's experience writing the letters to our bravest in 13 days!

December 1, 2008

Dearest Protector of my family and freedom,

I am writing to you with a heart full of gratitude and admiration for the job you do each and every day. I appreciate the sacrifice you endure in order to provide my family freedom and security. Because of what you do, because of what you risk, I and my children are able to enjoy freedoms only dreamed of by citizens of other countries.
As you go about your day please know you are not forgotten in a strange and foreign land, many think of you, many pray for you. I picture you in my mind preparing yourself for each new day’s duty: strapping on extra pounds of gear, wondering about your assignment, hoping you’ll be safe. Please know this is the prayer I pray each night with my young children over you and your brave brothers and sisters.

“Loving and caring Father, We know you are All Mighty, All Powerful. You have the ability to command the wind, the seas and the mood of nations – yet You so often show Your love for the most simple things, the individual, small cares of your faithful servants. We ask of that today. We humbly ask any prayer whispered by our heroes be answered in the blink of an eye. Please send Your most fierce angels to surround them with their wings, spread as if they were impenetrable shields. Please send your Holy Spirit to them before they ask Lord. Let them feel the love You have for them not only in their times of need, but in their every waking hour. Watch over them and guide them in their every step Lord. Fill their hearts and minds with a peace that surpasses all understanding.
We pray these things in Your precious Son’s name, Amen.”

Thank you does not seem sufficient, but it is all we can offer. Please know it is offered with a grateful heart. "Thank you for your service. Thank you for representing our country. You make us proud."
May God watch over you,
Straight Shooter

Does anyone else feel this way?

If so, I have a most heartfelt request.

You see my heart has been heavy with gratitude and swollen with admiration for these brave souls for months now. Almost to the point of tears every time I think of them.

I did a little research (Read: called our niece who has served two tours in Iraq and several friends whose children or grandkids have served in Iraq and/or overseas also) to find out what they need from us the most. (by us I mean the American people)

What could we possibly provide for them to cling to when the loneliness comes creeping in? What would buoy their spirits when the demons of war come near?

The answer was the same with each one.

They loved "gettin' stuff from home", but letters, hand written letters, now those took the top prize every time.

They treasure each one. They keep them close to their hearts. Literally. They take them out and read them again and again. They are the one thing they make sure they have in their gear when they pack to come home.

In searching for a way to find addresses and names, I found this website.

It provides addresses to a "contact soldier" who will in turn hand over your letters/packages to soldiers who are not receiving regular mail from the States come Mail Call time. My heart broke at the thought of some of our Bravest not receiving any correspondence, any thanks, any love from home. So our family, each member, has written a heartfelt letter to an unnamed serviceman.

If you choose to do this little project, here's how easy it is:

  1. Click here to visit

  2. Browse their site to familiarize yourself a tad. (be sure to read these 4 areas ~ history, how to send, where to send, and what to send)
  3. Pick your contact soldier/group.

  4. Sit down as a family and pour out your thanks in writing.

  5. Cry when you read what your family members reveal about themselves in their letters.

  6. Tie them with ribbon and put them in an envelope.

  7. Slap a stamp or two on it. (You will only be paying for postage to either San Fransisco or New York.)

  8. Visit the P.O. (If you choose to add a few little extras you can always use the $11 Flat Rate Priority Mail envelope.)

  9. Give it a quick kiss and send it on it's way.

  10. Go home and pray two things ~ For the servicemen you chose & that you don't become too addicted to

It says the mail usually reaches them within 10 -14 days. I am going to set December 14th as the day you can all come back and share your letter writing experience with the Shooter family.

I so hope you all consider joining us in this simple, sincere, and straightforward way to show the protectors and providers of our freedom your gratitude.

If you do, I had this little button made so you could proudly display it on your own blogs to spread the word. (Until I can get my sweet designer friend Shauna to help me put the code on my sidebar, please link it back to this post, instead of my home page. Thanks y'all.)

Love Note to my Big Shooter: You were right. I was wrong. You're the King.