Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Moon is Born

Our neighbors' mare foaled last week.

Didn't I say that naturally, like I know what the heck I'm talking about? She foaled. That means she had a baby. A baby horse, really. Which is called a foal. NOT a PONY (Mark).

So we went to see the baby (foal). Here he is.

It is a "he", so in addition to calling him a baby, or a foal (and never EVER a PONY, Mark), you can also call him a colt, which is a young male horse.

This colt has a distinctive mark:

So now does the title of this post make sense? Yes, they MUST make some use of that mark when they name him. Luna? (no, that's feminine) Moonie? Um, I'm drawing a blank, but surely there is some perfect name for that little crescent!

Here are the girls, welcoming him to the world, and to our little corner of it. The girl with the longer hair is the owner's daughter, my girls' classmate and friend.

The mare's owner is the daughter of some folks who sold us their horse back when I was a teenager. So, this is kind of a little horsey cousin, twice removed.

Isn't family great?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

An American Tradition

This year we signed up as members of a Girl Scout Troop. The troop was just starting up, and it seems there was quite a call for it up here in the foothills...there are 35 girls in our group! Things are a little different than when I was a girl scout just a few years ago, but the core is the same. The girls are "Daisy" scouts, just beginners, and will be "Brownies" next year as 2nd graders.

Recently, scouting has brought the girls their first experience with sales, hawking the traditional cookies. Now, I'm not an excellent teacher of sales skills, because I STILL hate to approach people, or call people, or really even initiate a conversation, if I'm honest about it. Hopefully they'll imprint more from Mark in this area, because he does NOT share this handicap! Fortunately, Girl Scout cookies sell themselves. This was clearly shown in our ventures this weekend. We had a six-year-old and two five-year-olds as our sales reps. They may or may not be playing under the table at any given time, leaving us hapless parents to tend the store. But people walked up and plunked their money down, investing $4 in 15 Thin Mints, Carmel Delights, or Peanut Butter Patties. (OK, there may be more than 15, but when I mow through a box in one sitting, it seems like there can't be very many...can there?).

We set up shop in front of the local grocery store, breaking the day into two shifts. Abigail and I worked the first 2 hours, and Mark and Mae handled the 2nd two. Between play breaks, I tried to direct Abigail in addressing people's questions, giving them price quotes, and calculating totals and change. Big success! She did well, and people were patient and gracious. She also got experience in handling money. By the end of her shift, she understood and (mostly) practiced the concept of handing people their change, looking them in the eye and thanking them. I was very proud. Here are my little Daisies now!

We thank you for your support!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Gift

My house is officially warmed. My cousin Donald brought me a truly personal gift.

Here it is:

Exactly...what is it and what the heck is it doing?

Ah...THAT makes sense. Notice the matching stopper!

I have found a prominent place for it in my home. Now how could you not smile when you see that?
As a side note, the wine bottle is from Kumu Family Wines, a new label created by long-time friends of ours. It was VERY tasty! And you know you can trust me...I have exceptionally good taste!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Yes, we are still alive and well out here in Tollhouse--just not much in the communicatin' mode lately.

We have had the worst winter I can EVER recall in terms of illnesses here. We have all succumbed at one point or another. I've never had a sinus infection in my life, and I've had two in the last four months. Mae is still on two inhalers for virus-induced asthma after almost two months. And Mark had a stomach bug last week that laid him up for three days.

Just as we were recovering, it was time to go on a trip! We went to the wedding of Kristin Greer, daughter of our good friends Corrie and Monty Greer, to Blake Wiehe. It was a wonderful event all around. We have been stationed with the Greers three different times. At that point, you're pretty much family! Here we are:

Notice the lack of kids? They stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa! It made Indiana a very exciting and romantic place to be :-)

Now let's just hope we didn't bring home some new cold virus from the airplane ride!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Wordless Sunday

This is my dad out feeding the cattle last week. Taken with my cell phone.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The End of Disneyland

Well, I can't just leave it hanging with NO TEACUP PICTURES, now can I? we are going in to the heart of Disneyland: Sleeping Beauty's castle.

I just had to show the girls' cute little tutu outfits. I mean...if you can't wear a tutu to Disney, where CAN you wear a tutu?

Abigail and Scotty review their flight controls.

Anyone for a nice cuppa' Schlaefer?

CLEARLY the happiest place in the world (except for this guy on the right)!

I do look forward to heading back...after awhile. :-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Trade-off

"Hey, today is Dr. Suess's birthday!" I said to my darling children. "They will have a cake at lunchtime. Do you want to have a school lunch? The meal is pizza."

"Well, I can't promise I'll eat the pizza, Mom" confesses Mae. I can always count on her to self-report. Abigail? Not so much!

So now, what's a parent to do? I think it is neat and fun that they have a celebration of Dr. Suess's birthday, but my children will likely eat only cake for lunch. And so, of course, I commit to making our own birthday cake. Because 15 pieces of cake at home is surely more healthy than one piece of cake and no pizza at school. Right???

Lunch is an interesting proposition anyway. The girls prefer to bring their lunches. Conveniently, I prefer to pack their lunches because then I know what they are eating (especially Mae, who hoards all her debris in the lunchbox for me to deal with later). On the down side, I am sadly lacking in creative lunch-making. The girls get an awful lot of PB&J...but hey...they keep asking for it! I have carved PB&J sandwiches into interesting shapes like dolphins and ponies and frogs. I feel so smug on those days!

OK, enough of that exciting discussion. Here is our own personal celebration of the birthday of Theodor Suess Geisel, whose legacy we've enjoyed so much. The cake was actually pretty good. Only 11 more pieces to go!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Dark Side of Disneyland

As I recovered my few cell phone pictures from our trip, it all came rushing back. Darkness pierced by garish lights. Dozens of mindless manikins kicking and spinning and mouthing their silent chants. And the music...the music! Over and over and OVER AGAIN. AARRRGGHH!

My family was stuck on "It's a Small World". For an HOUR! The dark, blurry blobs you are about to see very appropriately describe our physical and mental state during this time.

Here is the pile-up of little boats, stuck deep in the bowels of the (under)world.

My mom puts on a brave face for the children.

They're not fooled.

Mae was worried.

Mark did his best to reassure her.

I'm thinking about how I don't have to go to the bathroom. Really...I don't.

They gave us a pass to jump the line on any ride, which made up for our time, but not for the mental anguish and emotional trauma. I'm mostly joking, but I do not know whether my children will want to experience "It's a Small World" ever again. And that makes me a little sad, since I was so anxious to share it with them.

It used to be one of my favorites.