November 27, 2010

Allie Ree: 6 months old!

My sis-in-law Maren took some pictures of the baby for me before Hayes’s piano lesson the other day and they turned out really cute.   I need to get some lessons from her…she’s a whiz!  Hayes laughed and laughed about Ree’s funny poncho, but then he wanted her to wear it again the next day.


November 20, 2010

I tried PW’s homemade blueberry muffin recipe

I was craving blueberry muffins the other morning.  I usually make them from the box and love them except for the fact that the blueberries are the size of bb’s and there is never enough of them.  So when I found that I was out of muffin mixes and that I had some nice blueberries in the freezer, I thought I remembered seeing a muffin recipe on Pioneer Woman.   Luckily she had just held a recipe contest and one of the finalists had a blueberry muffin recipe.  So I tried it out.  I was scared when as they were baking (too late) I read that PW suggested adding more sugar (I like my muffins pretty sweet), but they turned out really good.  Spence thought they were perfect on the sugar, the best he had ever eaten.  I thought they could use a tiny bit more (I also skipped the sprinkling of sugar on top), but I’m not sure I would change it.  If you decide to try them, remember that you need plain yogurt for the batter. (I didn’t bother with the extra yogurt sauce…I’m a strictly lots-of-butter-and-scrambled-eggs-with-my-blueberry-muffins kind of girl)

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Goodbye Front Pack

I may have used the front pack for the last time.  When Ree was under 6 lbs, carrying her in the front pack felt like nothing.  Even at 7 and 8 lbs, she barely registered.  14 and 15lbs are starting to really hurt my shoulders and back.  I can’t seem to get her weight balanced quite right, so it always hurts on one side…which is terrible for my back.  I took a couple of pictures of her (in the mirror, sorry about the flash reflection) while she was in the other day and I’m afraid it may be the last we see of it.  A big thanks to Kris though for loaning it to me…it was a life saver.

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My Very Own Kewpie Doll

My friend Steph had a post on facebook about Kewpie dolls.  I didn’t even know that’s what they were called, but I had one as a kid myself.  My aunt crocheted clothes for it and my great grandpa Esplin carved a bed.  I saved it in my cedar chest up until a few years ago when it disappeared (I’m sure Chase was involved).  Not to worry, now I have one again!


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Riding a Cutting Horse

Spence decided it would be a good idea for Hayes and I to ride a cutting horse.  He didn’t ask us if we wanted to.  He was just so sure that because he loves it, so would we. Either that or he was hoping for a good laugh if I fell off!  So we reluctantly went down to the barn with him to try it out.  Hayes went first.  He’s a better rider than I am…or at least has more experience, sadly. I could tell he was nervous because he kept saying he just wanted to ride his horse Sage, not Smoothie.   Smoothie is a young horse (not as easy to ride), but Hayes handled it expertly.  Spence had him cutting on the “flag”  which is basically a stuffed cow that runs along a wire.  You can control the direction and the speed it goes, so you can mimic the action of a real cow in a cutting situation. He had a big grin on his face the whole time and had relaxed by the end.

I was sitting on a chair holding Ree and trying to keep Chase in one place.  I thought I might escape this torture of being forced to ride because we needed to leave for homeschool, but no, Spence wouldn’t have any of it.  (we missed all of homeschool by the way) He decided to have me ride Baby Bell.  Good choice, I like her and I’m comfortable on her.  Trey showed up right about then…oh goody, an audience to watch me make a fool of myself.  He held Chase and Ree so that I could ride.  Up on Bell and away we go.  My last words were something about falling off. 

Guess what?  I didn’t.  I may have been a little herky jerky and my feet may have been flopping in the stirrups, but I didn’t fall off.  It was actually easier than I expected…and believe it or not, a little exciting and fun.  Not that I’m dying to do it again.  At  the end of my ride, I stepped off proud that I had not fallen nor made a fool of  myself and put a little notch on my belt.

We did snap some pictures before the big event.

Hayes on Smoothie

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Ree Bee and Me.  Hayes took the picture from up on Smoothie.

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Ree’s ready to ride the bucking bronco.  How did she know to do that??

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Even though no one else is looking at the camera, I had to add this one since Chase is.

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Horse Springs Weaning

Spence and Trey had to go over to Horse Springs to help do the weaning, so they decided to bring their families along.  ( I think this was a good idea!) We stayed in the new house which was very nice and I forgot to take any pictures of it.  The kids loved being in a new place and amazingly enough all the kids stayed off the stairs so that Chase wouldn’t try to go up them and get hurt.  Hayes spent most of the first day walking around on the top of the fence/gates around the house.  Most of his free time the next day was spent climbing and walking on the corrals.  We had lunch at Kimberley’s the second day and Hayes spent the whole time walking around with Harvey’s iguana on his head.  Needless to say, he had a good time.  Did he do any work, you may ask?  Well, not really.  With Harvey and Bruce there, they didn’t really need him…lucky kid!

T and Chase with their recently amputated cow horns.

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Spence and Trey working the squeeze.

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Spence and Trey stopping to pose for a picture.  Spence forgot his boots.

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I tried to get a shot of the cow slinging slobber and snot everywhere, but  my camera is too slow.

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Hayes and his new favorite past time. 

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Kimberly and Colten.  Harvey was at school that day, but they came up for dinner the night before. 

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The punks posing in the loading chute.

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Hayes has an uncanny ability to keep posing and smiling while Chase does all sorts of crazy stuff.  Even when he was little.  Check out my refrigerator post a few back and you’ll find Hayes at age two or three smiling away while Chase bawls in his lap.  The one with the watermelon background.

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Ree loved being up in the chute.  I was teasing her asking her if she wanted to jump and she giggled and twisted….apparently wanting to jump.

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Trey and Pascual surveying the scene.

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Releasing the herd…of mamas.

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Pascual is a really neat and tidy guy so you can only imagine how much he loves preg checking the cows.  If you’ve ever seen it done, you’ll know what I mean.  I watched him try to scrape cow *&%$ off his clothes for about 20 minutes after they were finished. 

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Here he is after doing his best to clean off.  He would probably hate me posting these pictures.

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Once the dads were done, the all the kiddos were delighted to get some attention and check out the cows.

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Colten and Bruce

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Chase and T are fishing for something. 

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T in the feeder.

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Trey snuggling Sage. There’s nothing like snuggling a baby after a hard day’s work!

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A quick roping lesson

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The green tractor which they usually use to pick up and move big bales was at the potato farm for weaning, so it was good, old-fashion man-power to get the bales off the trailer.

Should we push or should we pull?

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On three everyone.

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Up and over.  Sweet success.

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It would have been a great weekend if our dog, Daisy hadn’t broken her leg on the way over and cost us $900 to fix it.  There goes Christmas.  Damn dogs.

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November 17, 2010

Bet you wish you owned a full-body polo shirt

Spence thought this little suit was so funny when he saw it on Ree.  He couldn’t believe that it is basically a full-body polo shirt.  What he doesn’t know is that I actually have another one in yellow! I think it’s cute.

Smiling big for the camera.


I love this funny face.


Here’s the suit in all it’s glory!


Ree must have worked her magic on Chase to get him to actually pose for a picture.


She worked her magic on her dad, too. Everyone’s in love with Ree.


Hayes’s Sentences for Language

For language, Hayes was supposed to use these possessives in sentences.  This is what he came up with.

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I knocked on the door of the rich man’s house to see if the story was true.

The miller’s boy was carefree as a summer day.

The pharaoh's daughter sat on her window seat watching the battle unfold.

If you looked at the boy’s hat, you’d guess he was rich, till you saw his feet.

November 16, 2010

This is for you Fer Fer! (And Woody, Too!)

I had a GREAT childhood.  Sure we had some chores to do and occasionally some homework, but for the most part, the kids of 9th Place West played.  I grew up on a dead end road which made it a safe place to play…even in the road.  Most of the families were the same age, so there were tons of kids to play with.  My best friends were my sis Marce and Jennifer Winsor…aka Fer Fer.  I say best friends because most of the time they were my best friends and some of the time they were my enemies.  Maybe enemies is a little too harsh.  I was the youngest and we were all a year apart.  Marcie the oldest, then Jen, then me.  Sometimes we got in “cut-down” wars…it was a talent which definitely passed me by when talents were being passed out.  Marcie was clever and Jenney was a silver-tongued devil! I loved having her as a friend in high school because I knew she could verbally lash anyone at the school.   All 5 feet 4 inches and 90 lbs. of her.

Jen (the witch), me (the salt), Marce (the pepper)  11-16-2010-14-29-37-581_edited-1

For the most part, Jen and Marce were good to lil’ ole me.  We had so much fun.  We would climb to the top of an old horse corral by the Winsor’s house and broadcast our radio station WMKJ....was that it....with our initials?? WMarcieKellieJenny….it was probably WMJK in order of our births!  I can't remember now.  The whole neighborhood would get together on summer nights to play kick the can. Forts were a big part of life on 9th.  Snooping in Boo's underground fort...the one that had carpet! And candles!  And he and Sean had that one made of bricks on the side of their garage…I don’t know if we ever got into that one.  We had our forts in the chemise "popcorn" bushes and on an old hay bailer that I was sure was a helicopter.  Singing songs on our porch swings...I still know all the words to some of the "Saturday's Warriors" stuff.  I hear the words “Are you with me Elder?…Whatever you say Kessler.” in my head sometimes. The other day I tried to sing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" to Hayes, but I couldn't get the tune right by myself.

                                                                                         bottom row (always left to right): Marce, Stacy Patterson?, Jen

                                                                                    middle row:  Cort with Matt climbing over her, me

                                                                                    back:  Shannon, Jen’s older sister (I think she helped us make a

                                                                 Jim McMahon snowman that day…we loved DaBears)











me, matt, marce, jen, and shannon

I still think of the Winsor’s garage whenever I use whole wheat kernels to make pancakes.  We used to eat the stuff right out of the bags in their garage.  And there was a stuffed javelina head.  And we would climb up in the rafters and play for hours.  We’d find new routes through the swamp so we wouldn’t have to get our feet wet on our trek to Wilburs and the Drug Store.  They used to have a soda fountain in the back of the Drug Store.  We’d go sit in the booths in the back and drink Cokes.  I loved it.  It was the only place in the store that you could get away from the eagle eyes of the old ladies who worked there whose sole purpose in life seemed to make sure we didn’t steal anything. I remember pulling weeds for popsicles for Glenda. 

Matt, Cort, Jen, and me


For a long time our road was a dirt road.  Even them, we were able to do some awesome tricks on our banana seat bikes.  I remember mine was the Pink Angel and Marcie’s was the Blue Cloud.  I don’t know if Jenney's bike had a name.  We could do no-hands, no-feet, even stand on your seat…we were amazing.  Sometimes we would venture up to the fairgrounds where we could climb to the top of the grandstands and find a way into the booth on top.  We’d invent ways to trick our neighbor kids into secret meetings or ways to spy on them. 

Matt, Marce, Jen, Me holding Cort


Jen and I’s most infamous moment happened at the bus stop.  Our bus stop was at the top of the hill in front of the Cranford’s house.  She and I were fighting over who was first in line.  I would run in front of her and then she would run in front of me and then I would run…well you get the picture.  Unfortunately, all of this running moved us right up to the edge of the road and as Jen ran in front of me, it was right in front of a car.  Two high school boys driving some black muscle car.  I think Ferrin Crosby was driving. (I’m sure Marcie remembers the details)  Luckily there were no broken bones, just scrapes and bruises. I remember buying coloring books and crayons and taking them to her after the accident.   (Oddly enough, I felt a little at fault) 

Jen with their dog I think?? I can’t remember it’s name.


And then while we were still kids, the Winsors moved to Phoenix; Glendale to be exact.  Can you believe that?  We heard about their life on Greenway; about the big school Jenney went to and the new friends.  We’d visit occasionally and Marce and I even got to go on a family vacation with the Winsors to their beach house in California.  We loved to go down to Glendale and ride the city bus with Jen to the mall.  I remember one summer we tried to cook an egg on the asphalt road in front of their house. 

Marce and Jen


And then they came back.  I think it was Marcie’s senior year.  Jen was a junior and I was a sophomore. (at least that’s how I remember it…Marcie and Jen may be able to correct me)    I remember “cruising” around in Marcie’s little white car listening to Journey. Our parents were crazy enough to let us take Chris and fly to Texas to visit Mary and Dan for a week.  I also remember going on dates (as the chaperone) with Marce and Jen and Poe and Echols. Once Marce graduated and went to college,  Jen and I played basketball together and rode to school together in my blue and white Ford truck. She also verbally lashed Grace Bejarano regularly.  See I told you it came in handy.  Another of our famous moments was a plan we hatched to get MF to kiss Jen….and it worked.  Evil, so evil.  I think he was dating someone else at the time. 

Me, Colleen Timmer, Jen


Anyway, it’s getting late and my memory is failing me.  Jen,  I still think of you whenever I hear Billy Idol, especially Mony Mony.  So this is for Fer-Fer (and also for her friends Jen, i, and Fer….you know what I’m talking about) the only friend who ever kicked me in the crotch!

Love, Kel

My couch is always free for you.  You’ll just have to move the laundry that needs folded. 

PS. I don’t know if you can turn up the volume in the ER, but I changed the music for you too!

Marce, Jen, and Me