Sunday, October 28, 2007

Balloon Fest 2007

Finally got a chance to go through pictures from the balloon lift off this morning. Picked out a few of my favorites to post here tonight. I hope that everyone has had a wonderful weekend spent with the people that you love.

Feeling just so very little. (Little girl getting a closer look)

Some one snuck in a picture of Daddy real quick.
Witch getting ready to take off around the moon.

Getting the witches hat ready to go.

First one up and taking off.

Good morning everyone! We have a very early Sunday morning Sibling Sunday thing going on here today. The hot air balloons are in town here this weekend, and this morning was the early morning lift off. We skipped the night time glow again this year and instead went out shopping for Halloween stuff. This morning it was up to each child as to whether or not they wanted to go out. The youngest two of course wanted to go out and see the balloons this morning. Steph...I not quiet sure just why she went. It was a thing of she wanted to go but really would have rather been sleeping warm in her bed this morning. So whenever I pointed the camera at her this morning she crossed her arms and did her very best pouty look. I think her thought were that she should only be up so very early on school days and not on the weekends.

The early morning lift off was not as impressive as the last couple of years. Usually they are all setting up and taking off in groups of three of more. This morning it was one at a time and with huge delays in between. Maybe they were all to tired and pouting about getting going so early this morning too. We should brought them some of the coffee or coco that got most of us going this morning. Perfect morning out there though, with temperature of 60 degrees and the sun rising just perfect. I really love when the balloons are in town, makes for a great start to a Sunday morning.

I will post some pictures of this years special balloon later in the day after I get a chance to go through all of the pictures that I shot this morning. I hope that everyone has a great start to their Sunday and has a wonderful last day of the weekend.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Eclipse is busy watching her sister Angel play a game with Trinity the dog here tonight. The game is called I dare you to catch me!
Angel is pretty good at playing this game with the dog. She runs just fast enough to get a good head start and then waits for Trinity to catch up with her, right as Trinity is about to touch her, Angel leaps up on something or over something to an area where Trinity is not allowed. Eclipse doesn't care for this game at all, and really just likes for the dogs to stay as far away from her as possible. Eclispe does however, enjoy watching this game being played. Sometimes I think there may be that sibling thought of "I hope the dog catches her" going through Eclipse's mind.
I finally got back around to posting for the Feline Friday over at Steve's, so head on over and check out all of this weeks felines. To play along just post on your own blog and leave a link in comments. Everyone have a great weekend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Sometimes I wonder

In general I tend to keep some topics off of my blogs, not for any one reason in particular, but just because I do. Every now and then though I run into something that I feel strongly enough about and feel the need to post about it. Today is one of those days here. My mornings tend to get started the same way every day, get up, take Mia out for a quick trip, make sure big girls are up and moving for the day, get some coffee, and sit down and read news stories. It is a routine that I love, and a perfect way for me to start each day. Some days as I sit and read I end up shaking my head, wondering why in the world for some of the stories. This morning I'm shaking my head just wondering why? Illegal immigration is a huge topic anymore. It is one of the biggest topics in news here daily and has been since we got here three years ago. Everyone has opinions on what should or shouldn't be done about it, but all of the opinions just tend to lead to long drawn out war of words on the topic. I'm not saying that I have an answer to this one, but some kind of action has got to be better than nothing at all. Personal experience here, when Chey's seizures were so out of control and we were daily in ER trying to get her admitted, we didn't because hospital beds were all full, nurses and doctors had no issues pointing out reason why to us. Illegal immigrants who were here and cant be turned away when needing health care. I know that once Chey was finally admitted, her first room mate was an illegal, because on the day that she was released border patrol was there to take the family. Have you ever sat in and ER for 6-8 hours only to be told that because some illegals were injured coming across that night that your wait just added another 4-6 hours? This is a HUGE issue here! The last couple of months reading news I have seen stories about a new border fence through a known high traffic area here. They start getting everything in place and then environmentalist are throwing a fit because of where it really needs to go through. So all work stops and the legal battle begins. In the mean time the news still gets stories much like this one or worse KVOA Tucson . I understand the want to save the environment, but the biggest question I have is at what cost? People die coming across that border, people die from being killed by someone coming across that border. I understand that a fence will stop some animals from being able to come across, but I think it it time to look at a little bigger picture here people.
Sierra Vista The Herald

Now I don't believe that this one little fence going up here is going to stop this. Like I said before I don't know just what will. I don't have any issue with people who chose to come to this country via legal means. Heck I'm all for that, if you want to become a United States citizen the legal way, that is wonderful. To other people that want it all means of preventing the illegal crossings, because a few animals aren't going to be able to get across. Take a drive through the high traffic areas and take a look and the trash being dropped through the desert. I don't think that is going to do a world of good for the environment. It just brings up the question yet again of at what cost to human life do we go to to save animals?

These are just my own thoughts on this here today. Hate them, like them, it really doesn't matter to me because it is my blog, and just something that I wanted to post about.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Open the back door

I had a surprise waiting for me on my back door stoop this morning when I was taking Trinity outside. This poor little guy looked like the wind had just about killed him and if not the wind then our outside temperature of 45 maybe was trying to. I have no idea how old this little guy is but he didn't seem to be having a real great time out there this morning. So I got puppies put in beds, and made sure that the cats were shut in my bedroom doing their typical morning sunning of themselves and bird watching, and brought this little guy in the house. I don't have any milkweed handy so I sliced some fruit up and put it on a small plate with a little bit of water on it also. (Not sure if this one was going to care at all, but since being up at the butterfly exhibit in Tucson it was the first thing that came to mind.) The Monarch responded well to it, and sat there for a good while seeming to drink and maybe eat, and pump its wings up and down for a good while. Then it started to adventure away from the plate and across the kitchen cabinets. Trying to take off in flight just once and ending up on the floor after failing, I just figured I would give this some time. More sitting on the plate and pumping its wings and more wandering and then I heard the sounds of cats fighting and complaining about wanting out of the back room area. The monarch is now out on the enclosed front patio which yes is cooler than in here today, but seems to be more than happy to sit and sun on the petrified wood pieces that are out there.

The winds are supposed to be gusting all day long here and the high is only supposed to get into the mid to high 60s, so I'm thinking that for today this little guy will be much safer in the patio area, and if he can stand it I have placed the plate with sliced bananas and some water out there. Tomorrow we are supposed to be warmer and have less wind so maybe he can continue his journey to where ever he was trying to get today before being taken down by the weather. I hope so anyway, because he is just way to beautiful to let die. Anyway, now it seems I can add butterfly rescuer to my list of hats I wear in this life. I hope that everyone had a great day, a wonderful week, and don't forget to look out your back door every now and then to see the beautiful things in this world.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

All Dressed Up

Last night was the homecoming dance at the high school. So there was a lot of playing dress up going on here last night. Actually the whole day kind of centered around getting ready to go to the homecoming for Steph. We of course had to make a morning trip out to buy some "stuff Mom". Oh how this child knows just how to talk her Mom into being the one paying for things. They all know just what to do and say, but Steph with having 16 plus years under her belt really knows just what to do. Which was okay since I had in advance prepared myself for just that very thing. (I'm slow sometimes but I have learned just where my cave in point comes into play with any of my girls.) I think since I didn't have to buy a dress and shoes, someone got it in her head that I should cover everything else, and boy what a list of stuff it was. Next time I think I will just buy the dress and shoe, it may cost less in the long run.

If you cant notice it in the first picture, take a really close look at this one. It's her hair that you need to be paying very close attention to. It is no longer the blonde/brown color. Yesterday Steph decided that she wanted to get her hair done, but not is some kind of up do, or fancy curled thing that you would think for homecoming. She wanted to change color totally!! She now has hair colored cinnaberry or auburn with her natural color doing an awesome job of adding some great highlights to it. As an after thought now she wants to get her hair cut in a different style, so sometime in the next couple of days we will be doing that.
Homecoming was lots of fun according to Steph, and good grief after driving her out there to drop her off and pick her back up, I would say they had a great turn out for it. I think at least 3/4 of the 3300 student body showed up for homecoming this year. I was just really happy to see the police out in the parking lots to direct the traffic for this one. I'm also hoping that in light of all the deaths that the school has had due to drunk driving teens this year, that everyone was smart last night and made it home safe and not in a hospital ER. Steph went without date with group of friends, and left before the 11:30 end of the dance. She had fun and enjoyed showing off her new hair color to everyone.
I hope that everyone is having a great weekend, and that all of those who had homecoming dances this weekend had a great time.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Binky Sue

Well, it is time for Binky Sue and her topic for the day. Dishes is her topic and just how much she hated the fact that tonight was her night for the chore. Of course she doesn't mind showing off her dishes that she got in her hope chest for her sweet sixteen. Those are clean though and not stacked in the sink needing to be loaded into anything other than back into the chest. Her reason for not liking the dishes so much tonight was it was a second night of full sink here in the house. She is the quickest of the three getting this chore done, and I'm sure come tomorrow and Saturday she will do more than her fair share of dirty dish or three since he two days this week are done and over with now.
Steph really did try with this pick the topic yourself thing, but would rather have one already set for her next week. Actually if anyone has any topics they would like to suggest that would be great. Everyone have a great Friday and hopefully I can get the cats to work with me for some Feline Friday shots.

Parker Canyon Lake

Yesterday Todd and I drove out to Parker Canyon Lake and enjoyed a morning of walking around. It is a trip that we usually make in August, right after the kids head back to school and he is burning up days of use or lose leave. Of course this year it was delayed for just a little bit longer, but actually was a perfect day to be out there walking the trail around the lake. Our weather has been very Arizona fall like in nature for most of the last week plus. So cool temps and lots of wind made for a perfect outing. The dragon flies were having tons of fun out at the lake, and easier to shot pictures of since they were trying to find warm places to sun themselves. This guy sat still for me even when I was moving the grass around to get a clear picture of him. I was thrilled about him sitting so still because I ended up getting close enough to be able to shot in macro setting and drop the zoom totally.

Todd found the ever elusive North American Bobber trees, which of course when you find them you must get pictures of them. What a great find for both of us to be able to see. There was also the bobber grave yard that he found down in one corner of the lake. We took a moment of silence for all of them giving their lives so bravely.

It was a perfect day out at the lake. The monsoon was very good this year and had the lake up higher than either of us have ever seen it in our time here. The winds yesterday had the water moving pretty good so it wasn't as clears as it usually is, but couple out on their kayak's seemed to be having a lot of fun out playing in the waves. After our walk we headed down to Big Nose Kate's in Tombstone for some lunch, and just in general had a wonderful day out together.

I hope that everyone has a great day today, and I'll be back tonight with Binky Sue's entry.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Cheybug Wednesday

Cheybug Wednesday brings us to the topic of Cheyenne! Chey's most favorite birthday present...her pj's that say "It's all about me...Deal with it!" Her second favorite is her new hoodie that says "Obey me...You'll be happier!"

Chey had a good birthday Monday and loved her presents. Chey has always loved her birthday rolling around, and always manages to figure out a way to make it last longer than just the one day. She is the baby of the family and loves to be the center of attention as much as possible. Who wouldn't love that though? She loves the fact that one her birthday it is a rule in the house that siblings spend time with you, being the youngest she doesn't get a lot of times where the teens of the house have time for her. It's not that they don't love their baby sister, they just love spending time with friends or other things more. So what better than to make them pose with her for a picture with them in choke holds by her? Well, we couldn't think of anything better, and since this is "All about her" they are just going to have to "Deal with it".

I hope that everyone has had a good day, and I'll be back tomorrow with Binky Sue's topic and maybe some pictures from out at Parker Canyon Lake that I shot today.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sweetpeag Tuesday

This week is pick your own topic for your day here. Paige of course picked her favorite topic for this month. Halloween!! She loves Halloween, oh good grief does she love it. She loves the costumes, the candy, the spooky (only to a certain point though). We aren't even all that close to it and I for one am sick of hearing about Halloween. Okay maybe not sick of it, but jeez do we really have to look at every costume in every store that we go into? What is really funny tonight is that she came out into the living room to comment about how the wind was freaking her out here tonight, but then went on again about how much she just loves Halloween.

Paige has been spending her extra time in art class to make some decorations for her room for the holiday. A tarantula and a bat are just the first of what I'm sure will be many by the time we get to the end of this month. All of the spooky decorations are going up around the neighbor hood and she is loving seeing all of it. I'm sure in time I will get used to hearing all about how much she loves this time of year, and then it will be on to the next holiday that she loves so much.

I hope that everyone is having a good week so far, and see you here tomorrow for Binky Sue Wednesday.

Monday, October 15, 2007

12 years ago today!!

12 years ago today, Little Miss Cheyenne Storm was born. Two weeks over due, and suddenly figured to enter the world in a whirlwind. My total labor time with her was 30 minutes start to finish! After being rushed into delivery with one nurse holding my stomach to try and keep her in till they could get the right people in the room for her arrival. Who knew that all they had to do was break my water to make her come 30 minutes time? 11:06 AM my little Storm was born and boy what a storm she has been ever since. She weighed 7 lbs 14.4 oz and was 19 inches long with brown hair and blue eyes. Today she is 12 years old and still as much of a storm as she was that day. The little baby that every nurse and doctor thought was named appropriately that day, still gets a nod of approval for her name. Happy Birthday my sweet little Cheyenne Storm!

Daddy with a very happy Cheyenne
Older sisters showing some love for their baby sister.
Showing the world who wears the crown!
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Friday, October 12, 2007

Oh so very close

Sorry...still no pictures being taken and posted this week. Good news is this won't be a soap box post like yesterday. Two more days and Todd will be back home!! I think my issue with picking up my camera is due to just getting to the point where I just really want him back home. No this isn't the longest TDY possible, but it is a longer one. TDYs will bring waves of emotion to you. When they first leave you are sad and wanting them not to go. Then you get to the point were you settle into the routine of not having them home. Throw in a little bit of Murphy and his law, and you will find yourself wishing they could just appear back home. Adjust, adapt, and keeping going is the name of the game. If you are lucky, time will pass quickly for most of the days, but there seems to be something for me that the last couple of weeks of any TDY just drags time wise. The longer the day seems, the more I miss him. The more I think about missing him the longer the day gets. The longer the day gets...well it just keeps going round like that. The end result is that I feel like I just cant move anymore. That is where I have been for about a week and a half now. I have been pretty mindlessly doing things around the house here. Yesterday the burst of hyper finally hit me, and the day passed quickly. I'm already feeling the hyper for today and sure that I'm going to fly through getting all the things done that I want to get done before Sunday rolls around.

What is funny, I have been sitting here thinking that I tend to do the same thing when we know family is coming to visit us. I know they are coming and start counting the days till they get here. Time will drag for the week plus before they are due to get to where ever we are, and then the final day burst of happy hyperness will hit. Having Todd be in the military for the last 18 years, I just know that I miss people that I love and care about. I try to not think about it to much, till they are getting closer to being with me again. With Todd being gone it is just a little bit bigger than with anyone else though. But in two days my Hubby will be back home, and there is nothing more exciting than that right now.

I hope that everyone has had a very good week, and that this weekend is spent with the people that you love the most. Hug them, kiss them, tell them how very much you love them!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stand Up

Yes, I know I'm once again this week behind in posting. It just happens, it happened last week, happening this week, and probably going to happen again next week. But oh well, that is just how it works every now and then. I have been busy killing off the bugs that are attacking, puppies that had vet appointments, and just a basic not feeling up to anything.

That is not the reason for the title of this post though. This week has found me playing a strange role via the telephone for a couple of friends and I'm going to step up on my soap box here for just a little bit today. The topic...IEP's and 504's, and what is best for a child. In a perfect world we would find it easy to get help for any child that has any kind of special needs, but since there is no such thing as a perfect world the battles that come with this process are long and very frustrating. In most cases it leads to the losing of one's temper to get someone...anyone to listen to you and get the ball rolling. I started with a pediatrician when Steph was 2 and heard for a year that she was just fine. It wasn't until I threw one heck of a fit about the fact that she couldn't talk like other 3 year old that the doctor finally took the time to listen not only to me but to the child. Suddenly then we had referral and appointments to find out just what was going on and how bad it was, the same thing with Paige. I found out very quickly that the frustration of that was the easy part. Dealing with schools, and teams for the IEP or 504's are where you really get made to feel that you know nothing. I don't know if there is some kind of hidden rule for them that says to make a parent feel as if they stupid, or less than, but it is something that I have sure run into my fair share of over the 13 years of dealing with them. The fact is this though...if you aren't going to fight for what you know is right for your child...NO ONE else will. Don't let them bully you, don't let them make you feel as if you know nothing. You are the child's parents, in being such it is your job to find out as much as you can, ask as many questions as you want, and for you to fight to get the very best for that child's needs. Once they have the list of recommendations from the evaluations they don't get to just pick and chose which areas they are going to put into these things. If a child has dyslexia and it has gone on long enough that there are now sever written, and oral expression issues plus a speech issue over all, they don't have the right to leave out over half of what the special need is just because they say so. If a school does a 20-30 minute evaluation of a 1st grader, and comes back with the statement "They are ADD or ADHD, and you need to medicate this child", you have the right to ask them just how they came to that conclusion, and just who on the team has the degree that allows them to say that. Question them, don't back down from them, and don't let them walk all over you. This is not saying that you have to be some screaming idiot. It is about taking a stand for that which is in the best interest of your child. Being their Advocate! In this day and age there is tons of information out there, to the point it can make your head spin...but in the long run it is better to have a couple of days of head spinning than to just let them do what they want.

I know that there is tons of pressure on the schools anymore due to over crowding, under funding, over worked teachers, and laws that are making it more and more difficult. We don't get to erase children that have special needs though just because it makes our testing look better. No one has the right to push them off into a corner and pretend that they aren't there. No one has the right to tell you as the parent that you don't know what is best for their education. Educate yourself, and stand up! Fight when you have to, be a little crazy if you need to. No one else is going to do it. Slowly but surely the No Child Left Behind is going to leave a very large group of children in the dark. Schools are having their hands tied and having to bring down the number of kids on IEP's and 504's just to make sure that all their standardized testing scores will count. This spring is going to make it even more difficult for IEP's to be written due to new rules on just what will qualify for IEP status.

We can not back down when it comes to our children, stand up and be willing to fight the good fight for them. It is very worth it.

Good news is that now I'm going to step down from my soap box here. I know everyone should be happy to see this rambling thing come to an end. I hope that everyone is having a great week.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Odd posting week

This has ended up being just one of those odd weeks. I have been in full blown bug killing mode, because of the much cooler temps that have rolled in this week. I think every bug in Arizona has passed through my back yard and tried to even get into the house this week. It's not just the bugs this year that are making their presence known with the cooler temps, I have ton of mole holes in the back yard again suddenly and smaller tunnel holes for what I'm starting to think my be field mice or something else of that size and nature.

The end of the first quarter of school came Friday for all of the girls. Steph and Paige will be on fall break this coming week, and Chey is still very upset about the fact that the base schools don't do fall break. So she will be off Monday and then off to school for the rest of the week. The big girls will be getting to help Mom get a few things done around here though since Daddy will be heading back home come next Sunday!! I want to make sure that all of the normal things that get done on the weekends around here are all done so that once he gets home we can just sit and do nothing but enjoy some time as a family.

Chey's birthday is steam rolling up on us here, and she has started the non stop asking of "So what am I getting for my birthday?" So of course we all have to come up with our own funny replies to give to her. Of course she isn't finding most of them to funny at all. Little bug just is tired of hearing all the same answers as every other year that she asks the question. I guess maybe for next year we should all work on some new one's. I'm just happy to see the last birthday of the year for my house roll around. Means the holidays are coming up fast, and the end of the year.

I'm going to try to get things back on track here for posting. Hopefully this week will be a little better for that. I hope that everyone is having a wonderful weekend with people you love.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Doing things a little different

I'm going to be doing a little different posting for the girls this week since last night I didn't get around to doing the first one. Whatever the topic was supposed to be has now been totally forgotten. If any of you could have been in this house last night you either would have been laughing, or would have joined the "girly" screaming that was going on here. For the first time there was a tarantula in MY house! I don't mind so much the tarantula highway that opens up in the back yard during certain times of the year, but I can not deal with one of them deciding to drop in for a visit! It was a male, much like the one that I posted a picture of the other day. The truth is that Steph, Chey and myself are totally terrified of spiders. Paige is scared of them but her great fascination with certain one's help to calm her some. Trying to keep two cats and two dogs away from the thing, while trying to either get the courage to capture or kill the thing was the real fun part last night. Suddenly no animal understood the word no and get away. Steph and Chey were standing on the couch screaming, Paige was standing on the couch talking about how cool it was, but could I please not kill and just capture it and put it back outside. Oh what a cute picture I'm sure we all would have made last night.

Tarantula's get mad when chased or cornered, which made it difficult to figure out just what to do, and I kept finding myself thinking "I WANT MY HUSBAND HOME NOW!" If you can, try to picture flying furniture so as to be able to not lose sight of this huge hairy thing, screaming kids, hyper animals trying to help Mom catch the new play toy, and Mom to the point of tears ready to just pack up and leave the house and let the spider have it! Yes, I was actually thinking about just leaving and letting the tarantula and all his hairy scary friends just have the house last night. At some point in time you just have to make a choice about which would be easier. Anyway, I caught the hairy thing. Paige and her yelling of "Please don't kill it" won. Why? I have no clue as to why, probably because I know if I had killed it last night she would have cried and what Mom wants to do that? Or maybe because my fear of just making it mad because I tried to kill it won out. Either way it was returned to the tarantula highway in the back yard area last night at about 9:30. How did something so big get in the house? Well, it would seem that when one of the girls took Mia out for me last night, they left the back door cracked open and no one noticed it till after we saw what came walking in.

I can tell you that we all slept with lights on last night, and that I ended up with two kids in bed with me. Steph was one of them and since that hasn't happened since she was maybe 3, you know she had to have been scared. Today I'm going to be making a call to the "Bug Man" and see about getting him out here to put down some of his wonderful stuff to keep them away. I'm going to have to come up with a different area to take the dogs out to for about 72 hours after he comes out, but if it moves the tarantula highway out of my fenced in back yard area it will be worth it. I don't think I'm going to be sleeping real well for the rest of this week and heck maybe the rest of the time till Todd gets back home. I'm pretty sure when I close my eyes I'm going to be hearing the sounds of one of these things walking. Oh yeah, you can hear them walking by the way and on tiled floors, it is a sound that once you hear it you will never forget it. Funny thing though, I still so love my Arizona, I just really want the wild things of Arizona to stay out in the wild!

I think tomorrow I will post with all three girls for their fun facts, once we remember just what in the world the topic was going to be for this week. I hope that everyone is having a great week!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Warning: Beware of this entry!

Warning: This entry has a creeping crawling picture in it. If you do not like anything creeping crawling then you should click on the red X up in the corner and not continue with this one. This one is bigger than my last one so really, think about if you really want to see what I found wandering in my back yard tonight.

It is that time of year again where the weather is just perfect for me to be seeing the tarantula's in the back yard. Right at sunset time tonight while out with Trinity, I spotted this big guy making his way from one side of the yard to the other. Of course like always, my very first thought was to keep the dog away from it, and then get my camera and get some pictures. This one is a black silky tarantula we believe. It is a male and that is why it is so small, the females get much, much bigger. Paige was my great helper for getting the picture's tonight. I really don't like spiders at all, but man I just so cant pass up a chance to take pictures of these things. I would not catch it though like Paige suggested we do. I may be able to get in really close with my camera, but I will not now, nor will I ever catch one on purpose! Ah, fall and cooler temps are back in Arizona, time for all of the creepy crawling things to come out and play for just a little while longer. I hope that every one's week is off to a great start, well if anyone even makes it through this post.