Sunday, May 31, 2009

Grandparents with Binky Sue

This will be the last posting of pictures from graduation. Since tomorrow is the first and it is time for me to do the monthly archiving of all photo's taken in the I think it is time to move on to other things.
Before leaving for graduation Binky Sue posed with all of her grandparents for pictures. To bad I wasn't thinking enough ahead to get them all in the picture at the same time, but hey one to two at a shot worked out too. Just another of the little things that I will file away in memory for 2010 and Sweetpea's graduation.

I hope that everyone is having a good weekend, and that the coming week is a calm one for all of us. Have a great Sunday, and I'm going to see if I can shot some pictures of other things again.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Alaska visitors

IMG_5452, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I'm continuing with the posting of pictures from graduation last week. Today's is the visiting Bee family from Alaska. F-City and Mama Bee flew in for a real whirlwind trip here in Arizona. They landed Wednesday and were back out by Saturday morning. I can not believe how much Miss F-City has grown since last April. When they got here I was in the kitchen working on dinner and turned around to a huge hug from little girl who just isn't so very little anymore! I grow. However, I think to grow so much in just one short year is just wrong! With Mam Bee comes her laughter, and after hearing if for several days when it was gone it made my heart ache a bit. The Bee boys stayed in Alaska for some "male" bonding and from the sounds of it had a pretty good time. I wish there had been more time for just hanging out and talking, but hey we knew it was going to be a busy non stop type of trip before they even got here.

Tomorrow I will wrap up this photo posting of graduation with pictures of Binky Sue with Grandparents, then I'm just going to have to try to come up with some other pictures. I hope that everyone had a very good and relaxing Saturday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Eating Cake

IMG_5532, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Funny thing with posting this picture here tonight, I suddenly could smell the butter cream frosting. It was a very good cake but I'm glad that it is gone! Fry's did a wonderful job and everyone really like the photo on it. Pretty and smell great, what a great combination for a cake.

Binky Sue right now is making her way back from Disneyland and should be in sometime around 10 or so tonight. Therefore ending the graduation celebrations, and time for her to sit down and write the thank you notes. May really has been in high speed for flying by and I'm hoping that this weekend starts a little slower pace for this house. There are already some things on calendar for June, but nothing like this month. I'm glad to say that everyone who came out has made it home safe and sound, just really tired from the whirlwind that was last week. Binky Sue's friend that is out visiting is looking forward to her getting back home tonight, but has kept very busy visiting with other friends. Oh and life in the house is slowly getting settled into summer vacation hours. Which means teens staying up late and sleeping in late. If my knee will allow me I hope to get out and take some pictures, but since I'm having to sit here tonight with ice wrapped around it, I'm guessing first thing Monday I'm going to have to give in and make an appointment.

I still plan on posting some more pictures of the graduation girl, but hopefully in the next couple of days I will get some more pictures of my Sweetpea and Little Bug to throw on here too. Hey, maybe even some animal pictures and really try to get this blog back to some regular posting. I hope that everyone has had a great week, and that the coming weekend is one that can be spent just relaxing.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


IMG_5473, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Well, here we are one week after graduation. Now don't go into shock just because I posted a picture with the whole family. I mean it was graduation day so odds were good that there would be at least one picture with the whole family in it. I still prefer being the one behind the camera though.

I mentioned the other day that Binky Sue started contemplating just how quickly the last four years had gone while sitting at Little Bugs 8th grade promotion. The fact that four years had passed so quickly and she was just hours away from her high school graduation, really kicked in the nerves and anticipation. She spent a good share of the day talking to me about how it really hadn't passed as slowly as she felt it had at certain points in time. As she got dressed and ready to go, she made the comment several times about this being it. She looked very beautiful, and oh so very grown up. (Oh for Aunt and Uncle C & C I have some other pictures that are more close up to send to you so that you can see your gift to her better. I will try to get those sent in e-mail hopefully here today.)

There are lots of things that I could sit here and type about for that night, but then this would end up being one heck of a long entry. I think biggest thing that I will never forget will be the fact that with over a thousand people on the football field looking for their family, my Binky Sue seemed to know just where I was and came flying across the field with a huge enough hug to make us both lose our balance and a simple "I love you Mommy". By the way through all of the emotion of the last couple of weeks it wasn't until that very moment that I cried, and boy did I cry!

I will post a couple more pictures of the graduate and her very beautiful party cake, and maybe a couple more stories in the next couple of days. Right now I feel the need to mention that Disney Land should probably look out because there are two charter buses filled with graduates heading your way for the all night Grad Night party tonight, and the 36 hours of non stop partying on the road between here and there and back again. Let's just hope that the chaperons can hold on for the wild ride that I'm sure it is going to be. I'm sure that come tomorrow night come 10:00 that I'm going to be picking up one very worn out Binky Sue. But her sister will be glad that they will no longer have to hear about "I'm going to Disney Land" anymore.
I hope that everyone has a great day, and that anyone on the road traveling back home from being out here, or Binky Sue on her wild adventure has a safe day of traveling.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little more focus on me please!

IMG_5425, originally uploaded by torri_g.

During this last month Sweetpea has been the quiet one. The one who had no days to add to the already busy calendar. The one who if you were not very careful, you might have forgotten her. I didn't though because during the month of insanity I saw her pushing to been seen and heard. Things that typically bother the living daylights out of her, I saw her doing and enjoying. There usually is nothing worse for Sweetpea than having to spend time with a crowd of people, but not only did she do it a couple of times, she laughed and enjoyed being a part of it. I love every time this little girl throws me a curve ball on how I think she is going to deal with things.

Sweetpea's school year came to a much quieter end this year. Finals were taken, last day done, and the sigh of now being a senior in high school. There has already been a couple of talks about senior year and all the lessons learned this year for time frames for getting stuff done. Sweetpea may not want to be a senior this year, but I know she will adapt and roll with all the things that are going to quickly come at her, because that is what I'm seeing more and more of with her. Plus I think there may be a huge part of her that really loves the idea that her senior year is the only huge thing this coming school year, and her shinning moments will not have to be shared with siblings.

I hope that everyone is having a good week, and tomorrow will be about Binky Sue and all things graduation.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Catching up

IMG_5445, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Time to fill you all in on all things busy from last week. Little Bug started the week off with honor awards on Monday and was pleasantly surprised with three awards. One of which was the Silver Presidential Award for having a GPA of 3.00 to 3.49, she did however voice her thoughts about not getting her GPA higher to be able to get the gold instead. Considering that just a couple years ago with the Epilepsy that she missed one whole quarter of school, I'm proud of the major school changes she has made. On the topic of the Epilepsy...get ready for the Mommy happy dance here...Little Bug had her FINAL appointment with the neurologist in Tucson last Wednesday! Since the dropping of her medicine back in December the only thing that we have seen has been a complete turn around. I can say that she is healthier and much happier (well other than being 13) now then she was for 4 years of being on the medicine. Oh and just to make sure you are all clear about this one. NO MORE TRIPS TO THE DOCTOR IN TUCSON!!
Little Bug and her sisters are posing together after the 8th grade promotion ceremony, which marked the last of my girls at the middle school. Binky Sue was reflecting on the fact that 4 years before it was her's that we all were attending, and that later that night it would be her high school graduation. But I will save that for another post this week.
There was hyper, happy, with a small mixture of moody for a busy Little Bug last week, but we got through it well.

Tomorrow I'm giving my Sweetpea a day all of her own here, and hopefully I can manage to find a picture of just her. I hope that everyone is having a good week.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

IMG_4961, originally uploaded by torri_g.

About 30 minutes ago I had a better idea for an entry with this picture, but after being distracted by my cell phone with text messages from Binky Sue in her room about not feeling real great, I've sadly lost all concentration.
I hope that everyone is doing well, and enjoys a peaceful, safe Memorial Day. I am going to attempt to get back into daily posting this week and play some real catch up on things from the last week or so.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

See the look?

Little Bug, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I know, I've been doing very poorly on posting again, but let's face it life here in Arizona has been very busy and is going to get even worse this coming week. That means don't be looking for a lot of posting from me till probably after the...heck maybe till June at the rate I'm going.

Anyway, last night was the 8th grade promotion dance at the middle school. Little Bug and her friend seemed to have fun getting ready here at the house. Hair was curled, Binky Sue did a straightening job with an added annoying hair dresser routine. There was make up, there were beautiful dresses, and there was the look from not just my Little Bug, but from friend of Little Bug meeting me at every turn. The look is the standard "I'm 13-14 and I'm so not impressed with anything that you say or do Mom". Know the commercial about the ever elusive smile? Well, that is what we have in this house, and yesterday I had it times two! It is funny to watch them when the get together really. They will be all smiles and laughing when they think that it is just them, but let anyone over the age of 16 walk in and the look comes to their faces in a blink of an eye. This look by the way is the one that poor Army Guy gets 99.9% of the time anymore. Poor Daddy...his youngest princess just isn't so amused by him anymore.
The dance was tons of fun, and there was a very hyper Little Bug that climbed into my car come 9:00 last night, but you would never be able to guess that based on the look on her face. You really have to be good at reading the rest of the body language at this point in time. Her tone and volume level screamed "Had the best time of my life" so far, but the look said "Could you please just spare me all the questions about my night out with all of my friends?" Ah the look of being 13...I'm just glad that this is my last one and in a couple of years the look should go away. (Oh please let it go away!)

Alright now back to me and posting. Since today is going to mark the start of people coming in for graduation, and I have a list of several lists to get through before Thursday, I am taking at least the next week off. Since we have people who will be here through till the 28th of the month it very well may end up being me taking time off from blogging till June rolls around. Unless of course I find some time in the wee hours of the morning and my brain is working well enough to type an entry. I hope that everyone has a great week, and everyone dealing with pending graduations manages to keep their sanity. Everyone take care and see you when this busy life comes to a stop.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Binky Sue & Scholarship night

Binky Sue, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Late posting tonight, but wanted to wait on Binky Sue and the scholarship night at the school. We knew about her grant to the local college and the value of $1,300 for the school year 2009-2010. Binky Sue spent several weeks filling out for several other scholarships in the months of March and April, and tonight we found out what she got. The Lions Club gave her a $1,000 scholarship. We have been invited to attended on of their meetings so that she can speak about her plans and goals, which we will be adding to the calendar for this month. Binky Sue tonight is very excited about the money she has received which will now pay for her full first year of college. One down...only how many more years to figure out? The class of 2009 here took in $3.1 million dollars worth of scholarships this year, which is something to be very proud of. Binky Sue is more than happy with her $2,300 and the comforting thought of having one year of higher education paid for.

I'm going to just go with the Mom thing here now and say that I'm so very proud of my Binky Sue. For a little girl who spent several years needing hours upon hours of special education because of a severe learning disability, who has dealt with not just bully peers but teachers who put her down and told her she couldn't. Guess what folks...she did and she will continue. Kind of feel a big "So there!" coming on right now. I'll admit that right now I'm also feeling the Mom wants to cry because I'm so proud of her thing. I'm not real sure just how much longer I'm going to be able to hold that one off. So let's just congratulate Binky Sue for her hard work, and determination.
I hope that everyone had a great Monday.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sibling Sunday

IMG_5123, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Here we are at another week that went flying by. I'm sure that this coming week is going to go just as quickly. Sweetpea still is the only sibling in the house to not add anything to the May calendar, a fact that she is very proud of. Binky Sue starts the week again, this time it is the scholarship assembly. We have fingers crossed hoping that there is more than just the grant waiting with her name on it. Little Bug gets to end the week with her 8th grade prom. In between the two is Army Guys birthday which I still need to get out and get the seafood for his dinner. Come next weekend my Mom and step Dad will roll into to town and come Monday the 18th the real busy of the month gets going. There are a couple of other people that will be arriving for graduation, and a very long list of graduation week activities plus end of school things for Sweetpea and Little Bugs 8th grade graduation. But that is still a week away and no need to rush towards that yet. Binky Sue will be done with classes as of Friday this week, and wow what a fast year this has been. Sweetpea has already started thinking towards the start of next year and what will be her senior year. Me...well I think I'm going to go into denial for a little bit longer. Because right now the thought of having to start all over again with another senior year is just to exhausting.

I hope that everyone has had a good weekend, and that this week slows down just a little bit.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Simple Saturday

IMG_5098, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Well not sure just how simple the day is going to be when there is one heck of a long list of stuff to get done. Add on the fact that I have all the signs and feeling of coming down with yet another great sinus issue, and I don't think there is going to be anything real simple about this day. I'm even sitting here debating if I'm going to be able to get moving for Miss Mia's training class here this morning. The question of just how does one get a ton of stuff done when they are dizzy to the point the whole world seems to be spinning in high gear, and they feel as if they are going to drown in sinus drainage, keeps coming to mind here. Yeah I think doggy training is going to be off the list for today. Hopefully not to many other things will get knocked off of the list.

I hope that everyone has a great Saturday, and has enough energy to get through the things that need to get done.

Friday, May 8, 2009

All things Gypsy

Gypsy Rose, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Hmm...let's see where do I start with all things Gypsy? No where really, because Miss Gypsy still doesn't make many trips out of the room to the rest of the house. She will sit by the door waiting for Binky Sue to return to the room, but once the door is open she is off to her hiding spot till the door is closed again. It isn't that she doesn't trust the rest of the members of the house, she just could care less that we are here. We can get her carried out to the living room and she will tolerate sitting on the couch and low crawling to other spots in the house, but she just doesn't want to spend that much time out of her comfort zone. Things that have changed about Gypsy since she came into the house...she know sounds like a cat when she meows, not like the duck that she did sound like. She can chew and eat anything crunchy without pain, and actually chews it before swallowing. She doesn't flinch away every time someone other than Binky Sue tries to pet her. The biggest change? She jumps! She has truly become the cat that she always should have been allowed to be. She has even mastered the feline art of bugging her human while she is trying to sleep at night. While it still breaks my heart to think about what horrible things were done to Miss Gypsy, it is wonderful to see how quickly she has learned that she is loved by Binky Sue.

It is time to head over to visit Steve and Pickle and all of the wonderful animals that gather over there on Fridays. Remember if you want to play along all you have to do is post your own and leave a link in comments.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

We Have A Party Invitation

Party Invitation, originally uploaded by torri_g.

I'm happy to say that my final printing project for Binky Sue's senior year is done, and at no time did I feel the urge to pull out any of my hair. Today will be getting a simple cutting done and rounding of the corners, then attaching them to the white and blue card stock mattes. The strip maps have already been printed and cut and I'm sure that my self imposed deadline of tonight having them in envelopes and in the hands of Binky Sue and Army Guy, will be achieved. I'm also happy that I was able to keep my perfectionist OCD at bay yesterday to get the portrait done. Binky Sue loves the portrait just how it is, and that is what matters the most, and I will just keep pointing that out to my brain that now keeps screaming for a re shoot. Of course to post it here I have removed a lot of personal information, and there is actually a blue border that only shows in the final printing. Yes, the school colors are blue and white, and Binky Sue when given the options of picking colors to go with for her party took the easy road of sticking with those. The three lower pictures were the ones that took me forever to pick out. I wanted to have one picture for each level of school plus the baby photo, and we won't talk about how many baby photo's I ended up going through during the selection. In the end the picture of a tiny happy Binky Sue in pink won. It was taken when she was only a couple of months old while we were out at a park in Augsburg Germany. We jump from there to elementary school in Maryland, and then to middle school in Georgia. Oh and let's not leave out the top two photo's and pending party here in Arizona. Mom got to pick the bottom three photo's and Binky Sue was in charge of picking the the top two. Binky Sue is just happy that none of the Cinderella photos made their way out for that bottom picture.

I feel like I'm rambling, but as we draw closer to graduation day I'm finding that my thoughts are rambling. It just seems like with a single blink of the eye she has gone from that little happy baby girl in frilly pink dress, to the young woman standing in the cap and gown ready to walk into the adult world.
Anyway, I hope that everyone has a great Thursday and try not to blink to much because it is amazing just how much time will pass.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wildfire confusion

IMG_5131, originally uploaded by torri_g.

The "Canelo" wildfire burning just outside of the west gate area of base. Now other than being able to say that with certainty there isn't much else that can be said with any kind of certainty if you pay attention to the news. One story says 5,000 acres have been burnt, another says 700. Call my silly but there is a huge difference between those two. One story says human started, another says controlled burn gone bad. Now for the real dish from someone that is in the know, well actually second hand from Army Guy who has a friend that works with the Pallomina fire department. It is a human caused fire, and as of sunset last night they were doing a good job of getting this fire contained. The most accurate count of acres burnt is the 5,000 acres. There have been evacuations done out in the area, and so far the count of people hurt due to the fire is one who had to be flown out. The planes were flying non-stop yesterday during the day dumping fire retardant on it, right up until sunset. The small black spot in the sky in the photo is one of the planes. There are lots of different reports about just when this fire got started, but right now there seem to be quite a few wildfires burning so I guess the when really doesn't matter as much. Wildfire season has gotten started very early in Arizona, and since there really hasn't been any kind of real precipitation for months, it is probably going to get worse before the monsoon sets in. Hopefully this big fire will be contained sometime today, and everyone in the area will continue to be safe.

I hope that everyone is having a good week, and pray for safety for everyone working to contain this fire, for the people who have lost their homes due to the fire, and for those waiting to return to their homes.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The realization that graduation is close

I would love to have a picture for this post, but sadly most of the pictures that I shot last night are either (A) to blurry for the human eye to stand looking at or (B) have to many other kids in it that are not my own, therefore I won't post it.
Last night was honors recognition night at the high school, and after surviving sitting in the chairs with only minor pain and spasms being caused in my back, it is time to reflect on it. Binky Sue received a "Hardest Worker" honor from one of her teachers. Since the teacher was not there due to her own children being sick, we will never know just what she would have said. But don't fear people, Binky Sue is going on the interrogation hunt after the teacher again I'm sure. Some of the honor awards were funny, some were very touching, some so impressive it left me speechless, and then there were some that left me with the thought of "Huh?" Aside from Binky Sue getting her award, I think the most impressive thing of the night was seeing her friend J playing with the Jazz band prior to the start of the awards. J is blind, and can play the drums and the trumpet with impressive skill. To know that he learns the music by memorization of the sound is incredible. Binky Sue was tickled to see and hear him playing last night, and so proud of her friend for sounding so very good.

In other news, the graduation cap and gown have come home to the house as of yesterday! Wow, this is getting close now. This afternoon will be photo time with Binky Sue to get a portrait of her wearing her cap and gown to place on the party invitation. After that my job this week is to get any editing done, get them printed, mounted on the already done matted backing, and ready for delivery come Friday. Funny thing about the cap and gown coming in the house was that it was the visual for me that this is here. It is just about time. As if the last couple of weeks of trips out to the college shouldn't have done the same thing for me. I'm hoping when I have her put it on this afternoon for the portraits that I don't feel the need to sit down and cry for any reason, since I'm working with a real deadline for this. Things may be very busy around here this month, but now the thought of these are the last days of my first baby girls high school days is very much in the lead for my thoughts. Ready or not she is an adult, and in just mere days now she will walk and receive her diploma, and start on her path into the adult world.
Alright that is more than enough for one morning. I hope that everyone is having a good week so far.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday morning catch up

IMG_5072, originally uploaded by torri_g.

Busy weekend kept me from posting anything, but I have some time here this morning. This week shouldn't be to bad because other than today there isn't anything on the schedule. Oh wait that is because everything that is going to keep me busy this week has to deal with things around the house! Like getting boxes off of the front patio and to drop off for donation, and getting pictures of Binky Sue in her cap and gown to finish working on her party invitations, printing them, gluing them, stuffing in envelopes, and getting into the hands of Binky Sue and Army Guy to get them handed out. There is also the long list of things around the house that I need to work on. Like the box of filing/shredding that is actually screaming out my name to be dealt with. Then there is just basic cleaning to get done, although I'm pretty sure right now my desk is past the basic clean stage yet again and right into needing a major overhaul. You know you have a busy month in this house when each person is assigned a specific color of marker. That way I know with just a glace from across the kitchen just who has something that day. Even the people heading into town and out of town were given their own marker color. (Now that is super special!) To say that I'm going to busy is really close to being an understatement, so if I'm not posting on a regular basis at least you have this entry to look at and take a guess as to just what I'm doing. Unless it is a day that isn't marked with anything, then I just might sneaking in a nap, or just sitting not moving at all.

Tonight is Honor Recognition night for Binky Sue and I will have camera in hand. So hopefully tomorrow I can share the information about just what the honor recognition was. I hope that everyone has a great Monday, and let's all try to find some time to relax this month.

Friday, May 1, 2009

All things Angel

Angel, originally uploaded by torri_g.

In the after math of losing Eclipse, I was worried and Angel and how she was dealing/not dealing with the loss of her sister. Here we are now about a week shy of hitting three months since that day, and I'm so worried but confused by this kitty cat anymore. She is still all things Angel, but she seems to have adopted a few...heck more than a few traits that only Eclipse showed. The tearing open packages of human food left on a cabinet, the endless stalking of her girl, the curling up to be held when you sit down on the couch, the curling up on my computer tower while I sit working on something. The list really goes on and on but she has also maintained the things that have always made her Angel. One of those things returned yesterday with her climbing to the top of a door to balance and wait for me to walk by. If you have never had a cat come at you for the top of a door, be very happy about that! She used to do it more often a couple of years ago, and it was like the sign that she was really mad at me. Yesterday it was as if it were her giving me a sign that she was okay and still my Angel "Airborne Death From Above" kitty cat. She still won't pose the way that Eclipse would, and picks the most difficult areas for me to try to get a photo of her to spend her time in, but I think the pain that she may have felt of losing her sister is easing some. I also think that since she really doesn't have another cat to play with during the day because Gypsy Rose will not come out of the room unless Binky Sue brings her out, Angel may be thinking that she is part dog and needs to be leader of that pack in this house. Ever seen a 8 pound cat jump in the middle of a battle between a 34 pound dog and a 68 pound dog and win? Well, I have in recent weeks, and either the cat is insane or she just really believes that she is one of the dogs.

Alright it is Friday and time to head over to visit Pickle and Steve and see all of the wonderful animals that stop by to visit them. If you want to play along all you have to do is post your own and leave a link in comments. I hope that everyone has a great Friday and great weekend.