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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Let the Games Begin, And the Insanity

23 December 2009

First let me apologize for no pictures. I will get them posted as soon as I get them from my mom and sister. My camera was not available for the Bridal luncheon today. I'll explain later on.

The day started early. I'm working every morning so I can have the rest of the day and evenings free to get Christmas together and any wedding issues.

Today Recruit 1 and her Beau needed to leave early to go get their marriage license. I was up at 0600 working and so was Recruit 6. He was up, and working. Working on me to give him an ice cream cone from the freezer.

I did not give in. He has had a terrible cough and fever. dairy products are not what he needs right now. Honestly otherwise, I would have let him have the ice cream. Don't tell The Marine. He hates it when I let them have ice cream for breakfast.

Seriously, it can't be worse than Captain Crunch or other sugar cereals.

Recruit 1 rolled out of bed at 0710, started to get dressed at 0719 and left the house to meet her fella at the county clerk's office to get their marriage license. You have to have it for 72 hours.

We received a call from her not long after she left. They were closed. They couldn't get in until Monday which would mess up the necessary 72 hour waiting period.

They hung up and I left to go pick up the grooms pants from the alterations lady, fretting the whole way. And why the heck were they closed today? I mean seriously!!!

Fortunately Sequin had a county clerk who was actually working and they were able to square everything away. Thank goodness!

So now it's time to dress for the Bride's maids luncheon. I was wearing black slacks and a white fancy top I had worn to the Marine Corps Ball.

The zipper broke. With me in the jacket. so my mother in law finally got it open all the way so I could get out of it. Thank goodness for her!

I quickly switched fashion gears, raided my mom's closet and jewelery box and away we went.

The luncheon was at a winery called Mandola's. It was beautiful and delicious. Mom did a great job pulling it together. Recruit 1 had both her Grandmothers and her Great Grandmother at her lunch today.

Leaving for the luncheon I forgot my camera. Recruit 1 called and I told her I didn't have it. She had just left the house so she turned around to go get it. I called Recruit 2 who was at home with Recruit 6, both of them not feeling well, and told him to start looking for the camera.

He didn't find it. Recruit 1 was supposed to be helping look for it. I just found out about thirty minutes ago she wasn't helping she was running around with a curling iron in her hand trying to fix her hair again.

I went into the room I'm staying in and looked about 2 seconds for the camera. Found it. Recruit 2 is not doing the well in the finding department lately.

Immediately after the lunch I took Recruit 6 to the doctors (the ER) since we are away from our regular medical facility.

He has pneumonia. I thought hit had been way to long for him to have this cough. He was a great trooper. We hung out together watching Sponge Bob and finally after three hours left the hospital.

We went to Walgreens to get his prescription. While there he had another coughing fit, so sever this time he started throwing up. On me. On the floor in front of the pharmacy and snot was coming out his nose.

Not a cool experience.

The pharmacy tech gave me some kleenex and I asked for a bag. I cleaned up the floor and myself and my little man. There was a woman in hospital scrubs waiting behind me and she came over and helped.

We started to leave and as we left the pharmacy area, Recruit 6 starts getting ornery. We had not yet visited the toy aisle. I told him I was not getting a toy and we needed to go, he was a walking viral infection.

He didn't get it and started getting upset. So we cruised through the toy aisle and I quickly escorted him out of the store. He was not happy he did not get "just a little toy".

After we arrived home, I held him a while and he fell asleep.

He woke up not long ago.

He just had a blessing, motrin, a bath and some Young Living oils on his feet and chest. Recruit 1 did all that and put him to bed on his pallet.

Oh and on a side note. The big scratch across his right cheek was the subject of much attention in the hospital. When I first came in the triage nurse asked what happened and I looked puzzled because I hadn't said anything yet. Then I realized she thought we were there for the face.

I laughed and said, oh that? No that's not what we're here for. Of course Recruit 6 was asked several different times by several different medical personnel about it. When we told them he was leaping from one bale of hay to another across a fairly wide expanse, more than one of them said oh yes I used to do that. Only in Texas.

It's been a good day. I have two wonderful men in my family who both hold the Priesthood and can provide blessings for my children and mother. I have two wonderful moms, mine and the Marine's.

It's been good a day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shopping Shopping and More Shopping

21 Dec and 22 Dec 2009

The last two days just don't rate pictures. We were CRAZY shopping. I had left many things to be purchased here in Texas so we didn't have to haul them across the country.

The result? Lots of stores. It's actually wonderful. I am so excited and tired. South Austin has really grown since we lived here 13 years ago. One shopping complex has more stores, more options, more everything than the whole town we live in!

Recruit 3 and I had lunch today at a place called Mama Fu's. It's Asian cuisine. The guy taking our order at the counter started to tell me about some club we could sign up for. I stopped him and said we don't live here.

He asked where we are from and I said we are FROM here, we just don't live here right now. My husband is a Marine.

One of the Chefs grunted out a big "ERRRRR" and I yelled back "Oooh Rah!".

I asked him when he had gone through boot camp and he said in 87. I said are you a West Coast Marine or East Coast Marine? He said the best, West Coast but had done time at Camp Lejuene as well.

He spent 8 years in and got out as a sergeant. I love Marines. I love Texas Marines. It's a tight group. Even if you only get a bowl of chicken Teriyaki and some noodles and cross paths for a few minutes.

While Recruit 3 and I were smokin' in shopping mode The Marine and Recruit 1 drove over to Houston to pick up Grammy, The Marine's mom. Recruit 2 stayed back at The Grandmother's house with Recruit 6 who is running fevers, coughing, and generally not feeling well.

Recruits 4 and 5 are with my sister and the cousins for the night.

Oh one more cool thing about today. I was in Wal-Mart and I had passed an aisle and from the very back corner of my eye I saw a woman standing there and it caused me to do a double take. I thought I recognized her. I walked backwards, and sure enough it was her! I hadn't seen her in years, but have kept in touch and she and her family are coming to the wedding.

We stood and talked for about 20 minutes or so. She took a picture to show her husband because she said he wouldn't believe her! They are great folks and good friends and I really miss having them around.

I am exhausted and ready for bed. Tomorrow is my little daughter's brides' maid luncheon. I'll have pictures of that for sure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Busy days!

20 December 2009
My day started early. It was Sunday and we were going to church. I looked at all the bags. I mean bags in the literal sense. We sucked all our clothes down in those space bags. You know the kind you use the vaccum cleaner with?

It was brilliant. We then stuck them in various pieces of luggage, boxes etc and then put all that in heavy duty 55 gallon trash bags. It's a good thing too considering the hours of rain we drove through. Nothing was wet! So worth the effort.

Recruit 2 and 4 went to church with The Grandmother. Recruit 1 and her fella went to the singles ward. The Marine and I got everyone else dressed and left for an 11 o'clock sacrament meeting. The only fly in the ointment is there is no 11 o'clock sacrament service.

We left and went back home. Kind of disappointed. We tried.

The Marine and the boys went out and built our manger we always build. The cedar logs are the same ones used every year. Mom moved them from Monster Acres when she sold it and moved a couple of years ago.

Last night the horses got through the wire The Marine had put up around it. We have to fix the hay before Christmas Eve.

The Marine brought all the boys' bebe guns with him. They don't get to shoot them too often where we live. They were in boy-manchild heaven.

Recruit 1 and I came out to see what all had been done.

All the dogs were out there too. Bradford had to be put in the back of The Marine's truck. He was all over the place and we knew he would wear himself out. He was in dog heaven! He misses home too.

The intense concentration was funny. They all had a PME style (professional military education) class from The Marine on weapon safety etc.

Recruit 4 shows off his one handed shooting skill.

Annie Oakely! She got her own 22 last year for Christmas. This is The Grandmother's new 22.

While the kids did target practice the dogs ran and chased sticks and each other.

If you notice in the picture above Recruit 3 is intently concentraiting. Recruit 3 is doing what annoys me most. Texting. I was quite aways away when I took this. It's a good thing I wasn't relying on her to make sure he was safe. Oh WAIT! I was!!!

The Marine was supervising the whole time. Look how cute he is! I like him.

The girls in the go cart, with Little Red. They are so pretty! Especially when they aren't texting.
I feel very safe. I have my own fire team.

The Girls were kicking up dust, and I was shocked to see Recruit 1 letting Recruit 3 drive her around. I had to check to see if I had been somehow transported to another dimension!
One shooter. Two shooters.


The cousins arrived!

My younger sister and her daughter Miss Priss. Her son is above. I miss not living close by.

The Grandmother. I was afraid she was bringing those to me. Nope, I was safe.

The betrothed. She is going to make a beautiful bride and he is going to have his hands full for all time and eternity!!!

Recruit 3 wanted to shoot the 22. Dad is giving her a quick lesson.

We like to call these next few pictures, Name That Butt. Let me assure you, I did not take these.

My turn to shoot. I love how my scarf stayed perfectly! I am sure I hit something. Not sure what.

Don't you just wonder what he's thinking? You think he's wondering what he's getting himself into? If he isn't he should be. I hope he doesn't think too hard. Oh and no take backs!

Now I get to shoot a little pistol. The Marine was not impressed with my skill.

I don't think I hit it.

Now Recruit 3 gives it a try. She looks pretty good.

Hmm. Not so sure she knows what she hit either.

Now it's Princess. She is going to show us all up.

Not. I don't think we are going to be called Charlie's Angels anytime soon....

Recruit 2 was not impressed with us either.
Show off.

So now that we have killed the targets it's time to set up the Christmas trees. All ten of them.

Everyone helps.
Except these two. My beautiful nephew and Recruit 6. I don't even ask anymore. He's just special.

Scratch is whooped. It's been a big day for the city dog.

Prince Henery is ready to play still. He leaps like a deer. He also pounces like Tiger from Winnie the Pooh. In fact I'm pretty sure he woke up Recruit 2 this morning that way.

Ah, there's the daughter I remember.

Oh my gosh this kid is cute. He was just so pleasant the whole trip and the entire day.

The Marine wrapped lights and we will eventually have three trees on each side and then the other four located else where. We gathered inside our Nativity and read from Luke. We also attempted to sing a few carols, which we wrapped up quickly since it was getting colder and colder. We were all wrapped in blankets, but it didn't help a whole lot.

Recruit 6 was leaping from one bale of hay to another, fell and face planted. He has a string burn across his right cheek. I wrapped him swaddling clothes and rocked him on the family swing. I told Recruit 1, "You didn't really think all your brothers would be scar/scab free for your wedding now did you?" This is the best part of being a mom. I am blessed!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Traveling across America

18 December 2009

It’s 0330 in the morning and I’m sitting at a rest stop just outside Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
I’m in my van with Recruits, 3, 5, and 6 as well as our blonde 15 year old lab Bradford and our 3 year old little Cocka-poo Little Red. Parked next to my van is The Marine’s big grey truck with Recruits 2 and 4 and our black lab Scratch, (he’s 7, guess I should keep all things equal. Oh and it’s not really important how old the dogs are, I for some reason just felt it needed to be stated.)

The real question is why?
Why am I writing at this hour, why are we here, and why am I (and Little Red) awake?

Well it all started back on June 28 when Recruit 1 went to church that first fateful Sunday after she had graduated highschool, left us and flown to Texas to live with The Grandmother, start her new life as a grown up, and go to college.

That Sunday she met the man of her dreams and now here we are today, enroute to Texas to spend our first Christmas in 6 years at home and the first time we’ve been back for the holidays since my Father died. We are also going to attend Recruit 1’s sealing and wedding reception.

Then we all trek back, along with Recruit 1, her new husband, Grams (The Marine’s Mom) and Recruit 1’s new puppy, a lab mix named Henery, for her reception in our humble hamlet.

Oh and they bought a house, like yesterday. Well actually Thanksgiving.

Who does all that in almost EXACTLY 6 months?

Oh don’t bother to answer, my child does it. She is a startling combination of all traits feisty, bold, and beautiful of both her father and I. It’s frightening sometimes.

So I’ll recap our journey up to this point.
I woke up about 0630 and started the final stages of packing and cleaning. We were on the road at 1000. I was turning around at 1010 to go back to the house and retrieve my camera. The one we are using to take pictures with at the wedding….

We were back on the road about 1020. The Marine waited for us at gas station to catch up and then we were off.

About 45 minutes into our trip the first sprinkles hit the windshield. From there it only became heavier, foggier, and sloshier. I know Microsoft Word is underlining sloshier, but you drive behind The Marine and his truck and watch it slosh through water for hours. You’ll adopt sloshier as well.

It rained all the way through South Carolina with Columbia being the yukiest.

It began to lighten as we curved our way through Atlanta. Finally, as we entered Alabama the rain subsided and we had clear highway to mow down. Our goal was Birmingham, but the Marine and I both felt good and decided to make it to a rest stop outside Tuscaloosa (ROLL TIDE ROLL).

So that’s why I’m here. I tried to wake The Marine about 0300. I called him. I watched him startle and grab his phone. Then I heard a sleepy gravelly voice. Ug. I hate gravely. It is never a good sign.
The Marine: hullo.

Kelli: Hey, are you awake?

The Marine: (growl, snarl, something something) I was sleeping, (something) I’m awake now.

I couldn’t understand most of what he said, but I figured out what he meant.

Kelli: Wanta get on the road?

The Marine: No. I’m sleeping.

Kelli: Wanta see my hair?

It was pretty funny looking.

The Marine: No. I’m going to sleep.

And he did.
So I sat silent for a minute. Then realized I really needed to go to the bathroom. However as I looked over at the restrooms probably a football field away I had a newspaper headline flash through my mind. It happens all the time.

“Woman murdered at Alabama rest stop while peeing. Family of 6 sleeps peacefully only yards away.”

I sat there pondering my dilemma. I opened my computer. I really really had to potty. I put the computer down.

I woke up Recruit 3 and told her I was going to run to the bathroom and to stay awake to unlock the doors to let me back in. She mumbled okay.

I went to the bathroom. The cool thing is there is a security guard inside. The uncool thing is he saw my hair.

I wet it down a little and used the nozzle on the hand dyer to try and make it a little less scary. It was only funny when I thought The Marine would walk over and look at me not funny when strangers saw me.

Oh and I made it back just fine, no murder. However Recruit 3 wasn’t a very good sentry. I tapped on the window and she didn’t even look over at me, just reached up and unlocked the doors. Little Red was fabulous though. He had breathed all over the driver’s side window and was insanely wagging his whole body.

OH THE TRUCK STARTED!!!! I’d better save this before The Marine yells to move out. (it was another thirty minutes before headed out and The Marine was very nice, he didn't growl at all.)

19 December 2009
Well we finally pulled out of the rest stop outside Tuscaloosa at 0430. The roads were clear, dry and not too busy. When the sun came up we decided we needed to stop for breakfast. We stopped at a Waffle House in Brandon, Mississippi and took up two booths.

Then we hit the road again. We made several more stops of the day and then finally pulled into Mom’s driveway at around 7 ish that evening.

I set the camera on a 10 second delay and managed to snap this picture. If you look closely you can see Scratch behind Bradford and next to me. This was the two cars, three dogs, 5 kids and The Marine and I.

Recruit 3 helped out with the dogs while texting. That annoys me.

She is also so cheery. I mean I have to wear sunglasses around her she is so sun shiny and bright. 14 year olds. You have to love them.

Scratch was buddy's with Recruit 4. They rode with The Marine. It was a regular man mobile!
Recruit 6 worked on his ninja moves. Here he is at peace.

Little Red shoving his little body between the driver's seat and door jam in The Marine's truck.
The Marine was ready for me to stop taking pictures and get back in the car. He said let's go. several times. I finally stopped snapping.

We were glad to finally arrive. Now, on to Christmas! I'll post tomorrow our Sunday evening activity out at Mom's property. I'm just too pooped right now. I'm sitting in a comfy chair after a a wonderful Sunday afternoon/evening and I'm lucky to get Friday and Saturday blogged!


What follows on these posts is true to the best of my knowledge, except what isn't. I only change names to protect the innocent and not so innocent.