Thursday, July 30, 2009

20 Days with Kenneth

Remember that Indomitable Spirit, my daughter-in-law Jill?
The one who is 'Orthopedically Challenged'
like her mother-in-law?

Well, on July 13th, a talented surgeon provided her with
a BRAND NEW right hip.

Which meant I became the primary care giver
of my very dear grandson during her recovery.

20 days of little Mr. Kenneth.

Which translated into LOTS of LOTS of field trips.
Because THIS barely 3-year-old
is a Tornado of Energy.

He burned his share of calories at our local playground.

Although he got a wee bit shy
when a gaggle of girls decided that
he was the most handsome bachelor in the park.

The two local 'Splash Pools' were Manna from Heaven.
Sure-fire entertainment,
day after day.

Although he missed his baby sister Audrey,
he found substitutes along the way.

After approximately 120 - 180 minutes of splashing about,
this little guy was contentedly worn out.
We could towel off and head home.

Somewhere in the middle of our days together,
Kenneth got sick.

Really sick.

My dog 'Chica' was great solace
as he fought off fever and nausea.

After a tearful visit to the pediatrician
- both Grandma & Grandson cried -
he started to mend.

Good thing he's such a fan of baseball.

Watching the hometown games
REALLY HELPED his convalescence.

He cheered with great enthusiasm
when the batter pulled off a great hit.
(Look sideways!)

Another thing which brought him back to Life . . .
PICNICS in the mountains.
We had THIS scenery to edify us
while munching our green beans.

I DID feed him green beans on a picnic.
Organic. From the Farmers Market.
He is very fond of them.

I'm so grateful to me dear friend Bonsey
who accompanied me on our first trip in the mountains.

I'm equally grateful
for yet another dear friend, Ms. Newell, who came along
during our second mountain adventure.
She's the one holding the GREEN squirt gun.

My friends supported me.
I needed them.
I am a PROUD co-dependent.

BELOW, Bonsey and I shared fits of laughter
while Kenneth was stomping in the creek
and bossing around my dog.

He also liked playing with
ropes & my hiking sticks.
One never knows what will tickle the fancy
of a high-energy 3 year-old!

But I do know that this little guy

Mom is doing EXCEPTIONALLY well
with her recovery.

And I just KNEW she would.
She's anquestionably

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Birthday Girl

Twenty-eight years ago TODAY,
my 'Leah Robin' came into this world.

She was the cutest little thing on two legs.

Right from the 'get go',
she proved to be quite athletic.

It was so fun to watch her antics.

Although I often wondered ...
Would she'd survive her early childhood?

Thank goodness, she did!

As she grew,
so did her repertoire
and physical aptitude!

Now, she teaches students AND other trainers for Urban Active Fitness Gyms.

And, believe me, she can bring football players to their knees when they're in her class.

We KNOW that, due to a $10 bet with a BYU football player who THOUGHT she taught "sissy" aerobics. Naturally, he lost the bet.

Even though she's "hard-core", she's also very encouraging towards her students. I've made a wee little attempt to participate in one of her classes and WOW how she tracked every single person in the room and help them improve individually as well as collectively!

But I digress.
I want to share one other thing about my LITTLE girl. (Indulge me. Mothers need to do this sort of thing.)

Leah had a special touch with babies. At family gatherings, parents would dump their babies right into Leah's little lap without a second thought. She could handle them like a pro.

Actually, her dolls were her first children
and she cared for them with amazing tenderness.

As I recall, they were always GIRL dolls.

Good thing.

Since that's what she got!

When she turned three,
she wanted to be the Queen in the Wizard of Oz.
(Okay, technically Glinda, the Good Witch of the South)
Here she is on the Yellow Brick Road, in front of our home.

The next year,
she wanted a PRINCESS party.

As a mom of 3, I'm guessing that she doesn't always feel
like A Princess or The Queen,
but I can surely say
she's a mighty special gal.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Flown the Coop

In 2003, my daughter Kelty fell deeply in love
with Mr. Duano-Braino from Canada.
The following year, they were married.

Duane was a consummate computer geek and Kelty was an artsy sort of gal.
None-the-less, they had some important things in common . . .



just two days apart.
(We've celebrated on the 'between' day.)

Kelty and Duane have put each other through their university studies. She graduated last April and he completed his final courses in June.

As I mentioned, Duane is a computer geek. Not just the garden variety of C.G. He's special. Like, really REALLY s*m*a*r*t. (He didn't get the name "Duano-Braino for nuttin!)

Anyhow, last month K & D were "wined & dined" for 4 days (and nights) at the Trump Towers where Kelty ate bonbons while Duane went through long hours of interviewing for a high-powered position with a company which values his kind of 'smart'.

We (-the entire family-) waited with baited breath for two weeks before his contract arrived and his position became official.

GETCO (Global Equitities Trading Company) " trades in over 30 markets in North America, Europe and Asia. It is among the top 5 participants by volume on many venues, including the CME, Eurex, NYSE Arca, NYSE ARCA Options, BATS, Nasdaq, Nasdaq Options, Chi-X, BrokerTec, and eSpeed."

Well, that's fine and dandy and has many implications for lots of people 'round the world, but what it REALLY means TO ME is that I've LOST my daughter and my dear S.I. L. to the city of . . .

They packed up and left Utah on Tuesday. providing me with frequent travel updates via iPhone. Their new apartment is located in the coolest part of the city, in Millenial Park Plaza ~ an extraordinary skyscraper situated next to . . . Millenial Park!

And they'll be NESTING there.

No more playing Mommy & Daddy
with their nieces and nephews!

We're talking the REAL THING!
Grandbaby #6 arriving next January.
Good work, K & D!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

4th of July

Independence Day has always been B-I-G in our family.

And the Grand Parade is definitely THE highlight of a day packed with activities beginning at sunrise and ending at midnight.

Occasionally, my kids have actually BEEN in the Grand Parade while a multitude of extended family members cheered from the sidelines (along with 200,000 other folks.)

Here we have Kelty, clowning her way down the street. (She was BRIBED by her mom to hand out flyers for our child care center.)

And here's Leah rallying the crowds during her short-lived career as a high school cheerleader . . .

And here's Arian doing . . .
I don't know what,
but definitely doing it with ENTHUSIASM!

I thought those days were over.
I was wrong.

Yesterday, Kelty WOWED the CROWDS once again.
This time, representing Oak Hills Stables
as an instructor of dressage.

The family whooped and hollered
as if she were the ONLY attraction in the parade.

Representational sampling of supportive family.

Our traditional BBQ in my sister's yard
is now attracting the nieces and nephews with their broods.
Sam & Lori (+8), Travis & Kiji (+7) Emily & James (+soon to be 6).
NO QUESTION - our family is GROWING.

Another little sampling at the BBQ.

The adults swapped stories while the kids did this sort of activity ~

Another 'kid favorite' is Tricia's humongous hammock,
photographed HERE in 2007 ~

Last night, some of the kids REALLY got into it!

. . . in a DIFFERENT way
than the young lovers who were CAUGHT
by my camera back in 2005.
(BTW, they haven't changed a bit!)

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