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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Random: Clearly not a well thought out post. Just passing the time.

It's late and I'm waiting.

Waiting for Recruits 1 and 3 to get back from a Winter Guard competition and The Marine is coming in too! He met the kids at the competition and will get to come home for a day and half. Hours really, but I'll get to see him, say hello and then goodbye.

Recruit 1's Winter Guard came in 1st place tonight in their division. I didn't go because I have an impending business Trip, and I didn't want to drive there with the boys within arm's reach of each other. We don't own a Grey Hound.

I haven't blogged because I've been so crazy busy, well mainly crazy.

I wonder if I'm related to some people by accident or if it was on purpose...

If you're related to me and you're wondering if I mean you.

I don't.

The best quote I heard today about parenting is: Well I can't remember it exactly and it's to flippin late to go look it up but it basically said, and I broadly paraphrase;

you will never teach a child righteousness using the adversary's methods.

Meaning using coercion, fear, or control will not teach your child. Even if what your teaching is based on righteous principals.


Giving guidance, boundaries and allowing natural consequences to take affect is a much greater and more lasting teacher. It's hard as a parent to let that happen and not just demand compliance. Especially if you live in an environment where orders are given and followed. (not in our house, just around us... I give them, they don't follow...)

I was an EXCELLENT parent when I only had Recruits 1 and 2.

I was quickly humbled.

I'll be incredible by the time they are all done with me. Not today, though, they are still teaching me.

I am amused by people who comment about parenting teens but don't have them yet. When I say amused, I really mean like I giggle, I don't judge, I was there once too, see the above.

I don't think Grand Theft Auto is an appropriate game either. But we do allow game systems/computer use. I use the different mediums of gaming/computer entertainment to get good grades, better behavior or extra chores out of my children.

Watching the Marine play his kids in Wii sports is fabulous!

More of my children would have phones if I could afford it. Wait until you have multiple kids in multiple locations and have a panic attack when you see emergency vehicles speeding in their direction...

We have a trampoline. It has knife holes in it. Guess who did it?

I keep threatening to get rid of the trampoline. I need to just do it. I can't watch them jump. When I go to GG's house she makes me sit with my back to her trampoline.

This picture was taken April 27, 2008. Have you seen that new show "Lie To Me" where they read people's expressions and body language? I hope no one ever does that off one of our family group shots. If anyone ever does, I'd rather not know...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dear Marine, I can handle anything, even snow and ice.. or both!

Dear Marine,

Since you've been gone we've had a snow storm! Well, storm is a relative term, but for us back here at home it was a real humdinger of a blizzard. Schools were shut down and I only slid a few times in your truck. Thank goodness it's a hefty thing, I might have hit the car in the other lane, but they got scared and moved real quick.

I was bigger than them, so it probably made them realize they should move.
I think they waved at me, but can't be sure, it was a just quick little finger wave. Probably letting me know they were sorry they were in my way.

Folks in the south are always so friendly.

So anyway I've included a few pictures for your viewing pleasure. As soon as it started to snow I knew exactly what to do.

I did have to go out before too much ice was on the road, I ran out of whip cream. I know you would have done the same. That might be when I slid, can't be sure but it was worth the risk.

I made sure all our angels dressed appropriately and only participated in safe activities. You know our track record with emergency rooms and your being gone. I was smart this time. I told them I didn't care what happened, we weren't driving to an ER just because they were injured.

I made sure your beautiful new truck was well protected... Well it wasn't parked on the street at least for that crazy boy who lives catty corner across the street to zoom around the corner and slide into it. See I do good things for you when you're gone. Hey, who do you suppose he is anyway?

This Recruit actually listened to me and put on a jacket. It was her sister's jacket and that caused a little problem, but the blood came out. I love OXYCLEAN!

Some of them were confused about proper attire when it snows. That's what we get for always living in places with naked weather. He's got three types of bottoms on, unfortunately I could see all three to count but seemed to forget his torso... I have other pictures I will not post here. It would be weird.

I'm pretty sure some of these kids were yours. I made them get out of the intersection, but I made sure they stopped and posed so I could get a good shot of the brilliant recruits first.

Nothing tacky can be said about this joyful face.

Or this one! Except he licked the snow right after I took this. I was appropriately grossed out. He totally takes after you.

I approved this method of eating snow, except later I started panicking about all the polluted air particles it probably picked up before it hit his tongue. I just had to think about other things to block it out. Like how lucky I am your trucks has AWESOME brakes! (you're welcome by the way for the road test. You know I live to make you're life as easy as possible!) Check out the snowflake I captured landing on the lad's tongue! Cool!

Lil' Red wasn't all that impressed. He ran out and back in and looked bored by it all. Stupid dog.

Everyone else has cool dog stories. This is all he did. Recruit 1 wasn't even here to be disgusted with me. I had to be irritated all by myself with his lack of entertainment value.

I have no idea about this picture. I 'm just glad he has clothes on. It's probably the hat. The Guard Guru really hit a home run with this little number. Thanks. Mean it.

So everyone is present and accounted for. We are all tucked safe inside our home, getting fatter off whip cream and hot chocolate. Wish you were here: to start the cars, take the dogs out, dress the kids, give me a hug, etc...

I miss you, Love Me.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I AM NOT the jealous type...

I chat daily with The Marine while he is gone. Mostly they are quick little chats. Which then means I have to call him back multiple times because I think of stuff I couldn't think of that quick in our quick chat.

Today he says he got an email that a former classmate wants him to update his profile on He never goes there and the only reason he even is signed up was to get info on his class reunion a couple of years ago.

The Marine: "Hey, I got an email today from... oh never mind I probably shouldn't tell you..."

Kelli: " What? Now you have to tell me"

Why do men really think they can start a conversation out like that and then NOT tell us what they suddenly decided we shouldn't know???

The Marine: Somebody wants me to update my profile on, you know the thing you and Jill made me sign up for.

Kelli: (wondering why he shouldn't tell me that) "So who was it?"

The Marine: "It was ---- ------, and oh there's her picture.

Kelli: "Ooooh, what does she look like?"

The Marine: "Big toothy grin, but she's alright, not bad."

We hang up. Several hours go by. Meanwhile I am googling ------- --------- and can't find anything. As my day winds down I can now focus on our conversation. Did he really say she wasn't that bad? I don't remember her being that good. I mean seriously... Did he remember who he was talking too when he said that?

I punch his number into my phone. Recruit 3 is rolling her eyes at me.

The Marine: (all cheerful and friendly) "Hello!"

Kelli: "When I asked you what ------ -------- looked like earlier what did you say?"

The Marine: "She didn't look that bad, why? What did you want me to say?"

Kelli: "That she was butt-ugly."

The Marine: (uncontrollable laughter)

I post this to make everyone feel better about themselves... My contribution to your self esteem, mine is dented.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday without The Marine UPDATED

So far it's quiet. No fist fights, no screaming other than my own sweet wake up call to the Recruits.

No one has really had contact with each other and that's why. I've three white shirts and pants to go iron, little boys to wake up, which is not fun, and myself to get dressed.

I really really have the most difficult times with Sundays when The Marine is gone. I love church, I just don't always enjoy my children at church when their Dad isn't there.

Sometimes they surprise me. In fact, sometimes they surprise me and they are so awful that I lay in bed the following week wondering if I am possibly too ill to go to church and repeat the previous Sunday.

I usually get up anyway, because staying home with them ALL day on a Sunday is enough motivation to hide any fever I might have with Tylenol and get dressed.

What kind of bad behavior? It depends on the child and their age and their gender. I won't jinx myself today by mentioning specifics yet. I'll edit this post this afternoon and let you know.

I just felt like sitting down and saying out loud "I don't want to go to church with my children! I don't want to stay at home with them either!"

Most importantly I believe that the Lord is aware of my family while My Marine is away from me. A loving Father in Heaven will comfort, and support me no matter what if I make myself available to that comfort and support.

The sure promise of that is why I am no longer trying to decide if I am ill this morning....

going to go iron shirts now...

Later that afternoon:
Surprisingly, and I really am surprised, church was not nearly as painful as it has been in the past with my children and no father around. I did miss The Marine during primary. He team teaches our CTR 5 and 6 year old classes with me. I wasn't as prepared either and either the kids were off today, or I was. Recruit 6 is a chatty little fellow in class and I need to work on that. Until they call another teacher I have both Recruits 5 and 6 in my class.

Recruit 1 taught the Relief Society lesson today (our women's meeting for those of you who are not LDS). I wasn't able to be there because I was in primary, but I did crack the door twice to spy on her. The second time she just told me to come on in, but I quickly shut the door and went back to where I was supposed to be.

I didn't get a nap yet today, but it's okay. There has been little contention and I count that as a great blessing.

I did read a comment from my good friend Rebecca right before I left for church. (bottom of this post) and I remember bearing my testimony that day. I appreciate her reminding me of my own testimony and the best part I still believe it.

Heavenly Father provides me with the extra strength I need to shoulder the burden placed on my shoulder's during my husband's absences. I kind of like the phrase I used last deployment. He will bear me up on Angel's wings.

It's true, I feel lighter today already!

Thanks for reading... I'm going to go take that nap now and dream about The Marine.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why Recruit 6 Doesn't Want to Ride in the Truck

So I asked Recruit 6 if he wanted to ride in the truck or the van to go to his dentist appointment in another town. He said the van.

That was surpising to me.

I asked him why.

Recruit 6: Because there's a cowgirl on it. I don't like the cowgirl.

I put an antenna ball with a cowgirl hat, braids and big red lips I painted on it's smiling face on The Marine's Truck.

I did it before he left because he said I couldn't drive it. I thought I would intimidate The Marine, therefore the extra effort with painting red lips on with fingernail polish.

I should have known better. The Marine just removed the cowgirl ball before the CO came outside to look at the truck and then stuck it back on there so I wouldn't think he'd dropped me in the middle of the road somewhere.

(Did I mention the cowgirl ball represents me?)

Apparently it did not intimidate The Marine and only served to upset my littlest Recruit.

I think it was the red lips that pushed the little guy over the edge.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Don't Fret Jen, I'm okay!

Okay, in my last post Gone is Gone, I evidently really upset my friend Jen. You'll have to read her comment. She was an Army spouse for many years with a lot of kids so I brought back some memories. Plus she just misses me desperately as well she should.

So I thought I should write about how life is with The Marine gone so far and remind Jen that I'm tough as a pine knot and I have a few things I enjoy that only happen when my big fella takes a trip.

First let me say. I DROVE THE TRUCK!

So life is pretty darn good. Oh, and yes, he does know I drove it. I didn't tell him. I think Recruit 2 did. There will be repercussions later...

When The Marine called he just chuckled and said, "So how's that truck drive?"

I was all cool and just said real nonchalant like, "Um, it's fine."

Actually what happened was it was so cold here this morning the jeep was frozen shut and since my brilliant daughter broke a knob that controls the fan in the jeep I let her drive the van to school with Recruit 2, hereafter known as the snitch, or maybe the tattle tale, or the informant, YEAH, that's it, The Informant.

So that's why I drove the truck. True story. Plus it's loud and big and I CAN!

Now, here are some things to make my friend Jen feel better.

When The Marine leaves I don't have to clean up. Actually I don't clean up when he's here, but when he's gone I don't have to feel guilty about it. Guilt free chaos! I am guilt ridden A LOT.

Cereal for dinner.

Pancakes for dinner.

I don't know what's for dinner and I don't feel guilty! It makes my children proactive and they develop skills for survival. OohRah!

I can grow my leg hair as long as I want for as long as I 'm willing to wear long work out pants to hide the atrocities under at the gym. I'll shave right about the time I run out of long legged work out pants and have to resort to shorter ones. Or do laundry, whichever one I am motivated to do first.

I can drive whatever car I want. I can park them however I want. I can look out over my car kingdom and feel good about my abundance. I could go drive a different car every time I leave to go somewhere and match my vehicle to my mood and my outfit. Can't do that with The Marine in town. Nope, sure can't. He's sticky about things like that.

I can sleep all over the bed if I kick the kids out of it first. I usually don't, I like to snuggle. So no worries there about having to sleep alone.

I OWN THE REMOTE! Muw-Hahaaaaaa!

When The Marine is gone I am apparently more motivated to work out. Weird. My plan is to be half the woman tomorrow that I am today.

I love thinking about the day he comes home. I can plan it, dream about it, discuss it. Sometimes I actually even do whatever I think up. Maybe I will this time.

Now let me just say, the good news is, none of the above ten items are so important that I wouldn't trade my Marine being home for anyone of them. They are just nice little perks that come along when he goes away.

But seriously, being separated offers us the chance to miss each other. I think after long periods of time together we begin not only taking each other for granted, but we become less tolerant of one another's short comings.

Having him leave means I have to be reminded of what life with him gone is like, and while it's nice to have room to breath when it comes to areas I don't enjoy (housework, cooking, laundry), it's good to have a little perspective brought in. Not for too long, but just long enough.

Right now we are in the "we can do it" phase of a separation. We are pumped up and marching smartly forward. We are mentally geared for the mission at hand. We are coming to the end of day two without much incident. However... I feel a storm brewing.

My guess is Recruit 2 and I are fixing to battle. The little squealer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Gone is Gone

Deployment for Marine Corps families these days is part of the package. To be a Marine and NOT expect to deploy SOMEWHERE, is pretty much unheard of and just unrealistic.

Marines may not always be in a combat zone. There are schools, exercises, Temporary Additional Duties (TAD) that take them away from their families.

I think it's interesting every time we face a separation how we go through the motions of a separation and how we react individually and as a family. Regardless of where he goes or for how long there are always a few things that never change.

For instance, there is always a period of time before he leaves where I pick a fight (or fights). I KNOW what is happening, and fortunately so does he, but I can't stop it. I still do it. I don't realize I'm doing it until it's done and he is standing there on the other side of the room laughing, calmly stating that he knows what I'm doing.

I am usually so wrapped up in the point I'm trying to make I don't realize what's happening.

In fact it just happened. Last night. In the kitchen.

The Marine: Laughing in the kitchen while stirring soup.

Kelli: in the middle of a rant, "WHAT!?"

The Marine: "I know what you're doing." He states this very calmly.

Kelli: completely thrown off my rant, which is in and of it's self annoying. "WHAT!?"

The Marine: "You're picking a fight because I'm leaving tomorrow."

Kelli: "nuh uh." Then I slink away. Dang it. I was doing just that. I know better. I teach this stuff!

So today I drop The Marine off to pick up a rental car. (he's obviously not going away so far it can't be driven to.)

I woke up this morning thinking OH NO, he's leaving, but he's not going over where people are shooting or blowing up stuff, so no big deal, right?

I'm not ready! I didn't think I needed to be.

I press on with our morning and deliver him to the rental car place and then proceed to drop off Recruit 6 at preschool.

I suddenly have a huge attack of sadness. I'm not ready. I didn't prepare. I didn't hug him tight enough or long enough or just ENOUGH!

Leaving the pre-school I quickly punch his number into the cell phone.

The Marine: "Hello?"

Kelli: "Did you leave yet?????"

The Marine: "Just fixing to pull out of the driveway, what's up?"

Kelli: "I was going to come get one more hug."

The Marine: pause. "What?"

Kelli: "A HUG! I NEED ANOTHER HUG!" Perhaps the panic in my voice caused him to pause for a moment and carefully sound only mildly annoyed and mostly amused.

The Marine: "Where are you?"

Kelli: "Leaving the preschool."

The Marine: "I'll meet you in the parking lot of the movie theatre and I'll give you three minutes and then I"m out of here."

Kelli: "WHAT?? Okay fine, DON'T LEAVE ME!"

Seriously? I call needing one more hug and he gives me a time limit? Never the less I book it to the movie theatre parking lot, hitting EVERY red light along the way. I knew he would wait beyond my three minute time limit but for some reason I was panicked and so terribly sad. I wasn't ready for him to leave.

Had he been deploying I would have been ready. We would have done all those things you do when a Marine is leaving for a deployment. We didn't do those things.

This separation, while not short, is in the U.S. and so not a big deal.

But it is.

Gone is Gone.

I love him, I missed him desperately already and he was still in the movie theatre parking lot. Most of all, I didn't want to go home to a bunch of kids without The Hammer. I was going to be hammer less tonight. He's my hammer. They think I'm the screwdriver.

I could see him as I was stopped at yet another red light across the intersection and in the parking lot. I called him and said, "I see you so you can't leave. Don't move, stay there!" He replied in a menacing Marine-y voice, "You'd better hurry."

I pulled into the parking lot, jumped out and ran to the back of his rental car where he was digging around for his ball cap. I stood there starring at him rifling through his bags. Seriously??? He didn't even look up!

"HUG ME NOW!!!" I may have yelled this really loud, but I'm not sure.

I'm glad the parking lot was empty as it was 0840. It would have just looked weird if there had been a parking lot full of movie goers.

I puddled up too. I never cry when he leaves. He hugged me and laughed. He asked me if this is what I always did when he left: act nonchalant and tough until he was gone and then fell apart.

I sniffled and said somewhat exasperatedly, "YES." Usually though he's on a plane and I can't demand another hug so I eat ice cream instead.

He tucked me back in the van and got into his little white rental car. We pulled out of the parking lot and I could feel my puddling begin again. I got into the left turn lane and he pulled up in the right turn lane. He slowed down enough to look over and blow me a kiss as our vehicles were momentarily side by side, and then he drove off.

I sniffled, wiped the last indulgent tear away and squared my shoulders waiting for the light to change green.

Now the adventure begins. I'm going to have to be the hammer...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Negotiations for the next 20!

I've been waiting to write about our 20 year wedding anniversary. I've mulled it over and thought about how I felt about having been married for 2o years to The Marine. Oddly enough the words that come to mind are: contented, peaceful, satisfied. I am fortunate that I met and married someone so perfect for me.

Here's a few surface reasons why I like my fella.

He lets me get my way almost all the time.

I get to whine just long enough and he knows when to stop my whining before it becomes damaging at the DNA level.

I get to spend all the money.

I can decorate however I want.

He loves me no matter what size blue jean I'm stuffing myself into! The list goes on, but I won't make you read it.

Our anniversary fell on a Wednesday. We went to dinner but not before we took a few pictures before we left for dinner.

We decided to negotiate the terms of the next twenty years before we left.

Being the wife I got to pick my weapon first. I find it helps when deciding on those tiny little details to have the bigger sword.
Below you see me generously presenting The Marine with his weapon. After all, he IS a Marine. I have to keep the advantage whenever I can you know!

We discussed a few things in an adult manner. Calmly and with understanding and kindness. That's what 20 years gets you. Calm, kind understanding.

Notice how he's just standing there? I was actually a little nervous. He can go from standing like this to the next second I'm in some odd pretzle hold.
I won of course. It was our special anniversary night. That's what a GOOD twenty years gets you. A fabulous husband who lets his wife win on special occasions.
A nice dip to finish off the duel. All good duels end with a nice dip.
I love my Marine! Can't wait to see what the next 20, 40, 60 etc. brings! I can't think of a more wonderful person to spend all time and eternity with!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Apparently I am a space hog...

The Marine was looking at my inbox on my email just a little while ago. He made a disgusted noise and guffawed at me.

He told me that if HE were the network administrator for the server that house our email he wouldn't like me very much.

I looked up in awe, no actually annoyance, well, more like awed annoyance and demanded to know why. He said "You have two thousand, seven hundred, ninety-seven and a half emails in JUST your inbox! It's all being stored on their server... I could show you how to save those and free up that terabyte your hogging"

I looked at him in amazement and said "Wow... HOW do you know that?"

To my complete amazement he looked even more irritated (if that was even possible) and showed me the number in the bottom left hand corner of my screen. Oh wow, I'd never noticed that before. OH WOW, it was a big one.

Then he looked closer and saw all my organized folders that related to my job. All under my in box...

He couldn't even speak. He gained his composure though enough to offer his gallant assistance.

He told me he could tell me how to fix it but I probably wouldn't listen to him.

I told him I would behave if he would tell me how to save them to my computer so they wouldn't be lost.

I'll spare you the conversation. It wasn't as bad as some in the past but the phrase "you're pointy clicky-ness is making me angry... You won't like me when I'm angry...." (reference the Incredible Hulk)

Ok, he didn't say the angry part, but he did reference my pointy clicky-ness in a rather irritated tone.

He MIGHT, have a good reason to be annoyed, but I'm not admitting to anything here.

I don't wait for him to tell me exactly where to point and click. It's much more exciting for me and keeps my attention better when he's using technical type language to try to guess where he wants me to point and click next. My fingers get excited and they point and click pre-maturely. It's a problem. I'm working on it.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. Well there you go. look at the paragraph above. I've taken that first step. Not ready for the second one... Heck I'm not sure what the second step would be anyway.

Sometimes I quit listening by accident and try to cover up that I quit listening by just pointing and clicking on something. I get lost and start thinking about other stuff. It's usually not the right thing I choose to click on to cover up that I had quit listening and this just takes my computer lesson to a whole 'nuther level of tension. Usually not a good one...

If I'm in the mood I can diffuse the situation. If I'm already frustrated I can pass the whole 'nuther level and ramp it up and we enter the "quiet zone". NOT a good place to be. He throws up his hands, says something about the black techno cloud that hovers over me and that's the last I hear. He refuses to help me for about five whole minutes.

However, I know what his Myers-Briggs personality is. He is the Field Marshall. He can not NOT lead. He can't help himself. I am the flame to his moth. He is drawn back to me and my 11001100 computer mess, or excel spread sheet tangled web of columns and rows, or my html coding catastrophe... you get the picture.

He physically ITCHES to fix me! It's rather endearing later on after we have kissed and made up.

So we got past the quiet zone, and I went to work moving and deleting. I ended up deleting/moving about four thousand, thirty-seven and three quarters emails.

The really sad part, I'm not even exaggerating this time!

Most importantly, I asked him if he thought the Road Runner's server guy would like me better now?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Can't Leave Out Dixie!

I would be remiss if I didn't introduce this sweet girl.

Meet Dixie. She is a beautiful Labrador puppy-ish dog who is our other canine holiday house guest. She really wasn't supposed to be AT our house. Recruit 2 was going over a couple of times a day to let her in or out of the garage of our neighbor's house. Check her food and water, etc., and he would play with her a little. She seemed to really miss her family. Lab's really are people with fur on them you know...

One night I took him over to let her in her dog cage in the garage and I just felt so so sad. Her "people" had traveled back home for the holidays and I just knew she was terribly lonely. (side note: Dixie's family are fabulous wonderful dog owners but went on an airplane far far away and so this is in no way to make them feel guilty. They picked the right man child for the job!)

I think Recruit 2 thought she was lonely too because he was so diligent about taking care of her and would make little comments. I think he secretly thinks Labs are humans with fur too but I'm not going to ask him.

I asked Recruit 2 if he wanted to bring her to the house.

I could tell he really wanted to. He had been so concerned about her and made extra trips each day as the weather would turn nasty or nice to make sure she was where she needed to be. But he was worried his Dad would get mad. I pee-shawed that thought, exclaiming I was the one he needed to be worried about and I was the one asking him.

AND we were in The Marine's new truck (hehehehe) So I figured we should bring her home in it. Every truck needs a lab riding in it!

As I expected The Marine just looked up and laughed when we brought her in. Come on in and eat some kibble was pretty much his reaction. He's such a nice guy...

Not sure who took this picture. That's Recruit 6 asleep. Dixie had adopted Recruit 2 as her person, and I mean HER PERSON! She wouldn't leave his room in the mornings until HE got up and let her out.

He's a teen age boy and he is HORRID to get up in the morning.

I think I love Dixie.

Still wasn't sure who took these pictures because at this time Recruit 2 was on an overnight camp out with the Boy Scouts. Recruit 6 is room mates with 2 and so that's why Dixie is here. She used Recruit 6's bed as a fill in until her adopted person came back.

She's a sweet dog. Was a little skittish at first when she got here, but who wouldn't be? A lot of humans are too! Heck, I AM still skittish in this house some days!

Well this picture explains A LOT. My budding photographer~
Let me just apologize publicly for any bad habits we have created in Dixie. Her real people come home tomorrow. Love you guys!!!! Mean it! (Hey, we didn't LOSE YOUR DOG!!!)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Copper's Happy Holiday Ending

Answered prayers, candy canes, and a dog named Copper

One of the great things about living amongst many Marine Families is we get to help each other at holiday time. This year it was our turn to help out while other families went to visit their extended families out of town. We have had the great joy of keeping Copper. A really old, really fat, Beagle. This is his best trick. He is adorable. He just rocks back on his squared off back end and sits up and begs. He is a true food sleuth.

To be honest you can't really appreciate Copper's girlish figure in this picture, and my photography skills just don't do him justice. I wish I looked this cute from behind.

We had a stand up and beg photo shoot. So on to the tail at hand... Sorry I couldn't resist, on with the tale!

Copper spent a lot of time just hanging out with us. Recruit 4 sort of took over being his "person". He took care of Copper and Copper was kind enough to become a living breathing stuffed animal/bed buddy.

These two pictures are important because they were the LAST KNOWN LOCATION of Copper on Sunday Dec 28Th. Yes, you heard me. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon and everyone took naps. Then we had a traumatic Sunday evening.

Later that afternoon as I took down the Christmas tree I remember seeing Copper sleeping with his person in the floor. Copper had been with us since Christmas day so he had already established a pattern. He slept in the family room. Then he would move to the corner by the back door on the big pillow, then he would go to the camouflaged room known as the kennel-barracks-locker room where I believe he felt most at home.

He would often snooze for a couple of hours before resurfacing for a potty break, short walk around the back yard, sniff a few other dogs, beg for a treat, and go back into the family room and start all over again.

So when Recruit 4 began looking for him I figured he was tucked away in a new corner. Then we realized the worse. Copper was no where in the house, back yard, front yard, ANYWHERE. All the other dogs (four of them, we have another house guest, Dixie, a blond lab) were lounging around the kids. They weren't missing, why was Copper?

I really hate having dogs disappear, but it's even worse if it's your friend's dog and it's really horrible if it's a sweet old fat Beagle named Copper!!! I've said he was fat a lot in this post, I hope no one takes offense, but in this case it's all part of Copper's charm. I love his rotundness. He just wouldn't be Copper if he was a smidgen tinier... It's the essence of his Copperness. We had to hide the dog food, I don't think anyone would have benefited to have his Copperness increase in width though...

I was wearing my red Christmas jammies. You remember, the ones Recruit 4 said matched the table cloth... I jumped up and began looking for Copper. The Marine, Recruit 1, and myself all began driving the neighborhood. How the heck could an old fat Beagle disappear? I even drove all the way back to Copper's house, carefully checking the access road and peering into the woods to see if I could see little glowing puppy eyes as I drove.

I was barefoot, bra-less, and wearing my red table cloth jammies. I realized my state of undress as I sat in my friend's driveway looking at the Christmas lights on their house creating a warm happy glow and realized I couldn't go notify the neighbors to be on the lookout if Copper showed up. I didn't need the police called on a crazy woman barefoot, bra-less and wearing jammies standing on their front porch. Or sitting in the driveway of an empty home. I headed out of there. I figured Copper might be confused and head back to where his scent was the strongest, even if it was 5 miles away from our house.
I was getting desperate. I passed crazy up about ten years ago. So adding desperate to the mix often leads to me sitting in red jammies in driveways, barefoot, and yep, bra-less. ugh.

So I returned home, meanwhile The Marine drove to the rec center and he and Recruit 3 took flashlights and walked the fields and some of the woods separating our housing area from the Rec center.

Recruit 1 and 2 roamed around on foot.

Recruit 6 kept saying in a sad little voice "Where's Copper? Oh were is poooooorrrrrr ooooooold Copper?" I wanted to yell SHUT UP, but I didn't because it was really sweet, and really annoying at that very moment.

I was trying to call Copper's real people the whole time. WHERE WERE THEY!!!!!????

I got a hold of another family who we are all friends with to see if they had any other contact numbers. THEY even loaded up and drove around looking for Copper.

The Marine called animal control. They didn't work that day, so I needed to call first thing the next morning.

I finally spoke with Cooper's mom, "The Principal". She is the director of the pre-school Recruit 6 goes to. yep, we lost the Principal's dog. That bites... and I had sat in her driveway in my night clothes. I was not impressing myself.
I was so upset and she was so kind when I spoke to her. I had been praying so hard. I later found all the kids were too.

Recruit 4 told The Marine he felt like Copper was in some one's garage while they were driving around. He told me that the next morning.
Recruit 1 said a prayer and her fella suggested someone probably had picked Copper up.

At the time I wasn't talking to anyone. I had no idea what anyone else thought. I was just soooo soooo upset. I prayed that we would get Copper back. I knew Heavenly Father knew where Copper was, even if I didn't and I asked if He would he keep Copper safe and please help me get him back for his family.

I felt a sense of peace, but kept looking and running to the front door. I even woke up at 0300 and ran out to the front porch. The night was still and quiet. No Copper, no Beagle howl, or any other dogs barking for that matter. Where the heck was he? And why did he leave? No one else did.

Didn't we love him? Didn't he get snuggled? Didn't he feel welcome? We gave him a photo shoot for goodness sakes!

So I made my plan. 0700, dawn's early light, I woke, dressed and began rallying the troops. We were going on man/dog hunt. We were going to create a human net just like on TV. The plan was to spread out 20 feet between each of us. We were going to cover the fields around our house through the woods and on to the rec center. Then I was going to run off two hundred fliers, enlist another family or two with a lot of kids, and saturate the neighborhood. Someone had Copper and we were going to get him back.
Can you hear the motivational sound track playing in your head?

My teens began dressing and at 0802 I dialed the Police Department and asked for the extension to animal control and explained my situation. I told the nice lady my plans to human net the fields and plaster the neighbor hood. She said if she found him she would call and I should do the same.

I hung up and ran to put on search clothes which included jeans, a bra, and tennis shoes. The phone rang about 1 minute after I hung up. I ran to it and said hello?!
It was the animal control lady.

Me: "Hello?!"

Animal Lady: "Kelli, I had another call coming in while I was on the phone with you, that's why I had to hang up so quickly. It was a lady who has your dog."

Me: "OH MY GOSH WOOOHOOOOO!!! Can I get him?"

Animal Lady: "Do you want her address?"

Me: "yes yesyesyesyesyesyesyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

We hung up and I did a disturbing happy dance in the kitchen. The teenagers went back to bed. Recruit 4 and I immediately drove three streets down to the corner house. We are also a corner house.

Copper had wandered out of the back yard, which still remains a mystery when or how that happened, and got to this lady's house and became confused. He wouldn't leave her driveway. She even walked him down the street on a leash about the same time we realized he was missing.

She was afraid he would get hit because he was short, dark, and old. Copper spent the night in a lovely dog cage with pillows, blankets, and a blanket over the top of the cage. He had a can of science diet, beggin strips, and was treated like royalty!

Recruit 4 and I had brought a box of candy canes to the nice people as a thank you. It's all I had on hand. We were overly happy and grateful. They probably thought we were the biggest dorkiest people. Well, actually I was overly happy and dorky. Recruit 4 thanked them, helped Copper in the van and waited while I gushed and gushed over how wonderful these corner neighbors were.
I left excited happy messages on every one's voice mails. I called The Marine at work and told him the fabulous news.

Copper has spent the rest of his time with us doing what wonderful old fat Beagles do.
Isn't he the best??? His real people, the more responsible ones come home tomorrow. We do Copper watch now. This is about all we've seen... THANK GOODNESS!


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.