Daddy Day and GeeBee’s B-Day

21 June 2009


Daddy’s Father’s Day present, framed for his desk:

father's day 2009


GeeBee’s Birthday present (Kymberly’s mom):

geebee bday 2009


A New Cousin

15 June 2009

j&k wedding 1Lillyan’s cousin ‘Manda (Amanda, to the rest of us) is one of Lillyan’s favorite people.  In this photo, ‘Manda is trying to do a very important job, but Lillyan still thinks she should have all of ‘Manda’s attention.

Amanda is the maid of honor at her sister Jamie’s wedding (also our cousin, of course).


j&k wedding 2Our cousin Jamie married this guy:  Kevin.  That makes Kevin our new cousin.  New cousins aren’t always babies, you know.  Sometimes they are big strong farmers from Western Kansas who take our other cousin away to be a farmer’s wife.  We’re not sad though, because we got a new cousin we like.  And they come to visit us in our desert sometimes (like to get engaged and stuff like that).


j&k wedding 3Lillyan sures likes her new cousin.  She likes him enough to cut in and ask him to dance, all by herself.  She didn’t mind much when the bride came back to share the dance, too.  (Here is where all of you make comments about how cute they look with a little girl between them.  And Lillyan looks very much like Jamie did at that age, so let your imaginations run … but give them a second, they just got married.)


j&k wedding 4I know Jamie’s Daddy remembers when he could cuddle his little girl like he is cuddling Lillyan.  Luckily, Lillyan’s Daddy wasn’t at this wedding to have to think about those kind of growing-up things.


j&k wedding 5There were other little girls at this wedding.  They brought their baby dolls and teddy bears, etc.  In true Lillyan fashion, she chose to bring these two fishing lures.  They are big and bright and floppy and slimy and sticky.  And they went everywhere with her at this wedding.  Here, she’s showing them off to the bride’s momma.


j&k wedding 6GeeBee and I were responsible for decorating the cake and memory tables.


j&k wedding 7Notice everything going on in this photo:  the pretty cake table, the bride and groom feeding each other cake, Lillyan being amused by these odd traditions, and the ever-present lime green and blue fishing lures.


j&k wedding 8Perhaps the most odd of all these traditions (imagine if YOU had never been to an American wedding before, you’d be confused too), was when they announced that any ladies who were not married should come out on the dance floor.  Onto the dance floor she trudged, willingly.  Lillyan and her fish almost got trampled in the midst of the crazy single ladies, trying to catch flowers flying through the air.  Let’s hope it’s 30 years before she ever catches those flying flowers.


“My Britches are Falling Down”

11 June 2009

Hi. My name is Lillyan. And I have a problem.

My britches are falling down.

I used to be a cute little round butterball of a child, but now I’m growing taller and more slender, and my britches are falling down. (I call them britches because that’s what my Kansas Pappy calls them.)

So, what’s a girl to do?

According to my Pappy, I need some SUSPENDERS!

We looked high and low for suspenders for a two-year-old, and my GeeBee finally found some for me at a little Western wear store in Colorado.

Check ’em out …

suspenders 01

They are still a little too long. GeeBee says she will fix them for me when we get back to Kansas.

Are they doing the trick?

suspenders 02

Hmmmm…. not quite.

Pappy’s suspenders seem to be working more effectively.

suspenders 03

I really need GeeBee to help me out here. There’s a lot of work to be done on this ranch, and it’s hard to get your work done with your britches falling down.

suspenders 04

Teething (again?) at Two

10 June 2009

dentist 1

Lillyan has a bit of an advantage.  While most kids are a bit nervous of the dentist’s office, she wants to go there all the time.  Her grandmother is the office manager there, and it’s a fun experience every visit — even the ones where you actually get your teeth examined.

dentist 2Lillyan loves the fun moving chairs, and she’d been talking for weeks about having Mrs. Natalie polish her teeth when we got to Kansas.

dentist 3Mrs. Natalie explained each instrument first, and, of course, Lillyan had plenty of questions and was very interested in the mechanics of the whole thing.

dentist 4First, Mrs. Natalie counted Lillyan’s teeth.  Right now, as we speak, Lillyan is in the process of getting FIVE new teeth.  That will put her at the full twenty (no more until she’s about six, thank goodness).  Maybe getting five new teeth at once explains a little of the grouchiness lately.  I guess I’ll cut her some slack.  But only until the teeth are in.

dentist 5Here is Lillyan trying out the air-water syringe.  She didn’t mind the water, but wasn’t interested in having the suction hose in her mouth.  She told Mrs. Natalie she could just do that part herself.  “Slllluuuuuuurrrppppp.”

dentist 6It was finally time for the much anticipated POLISHING.  Amazingly, she held still for Mrs. Natalie to polish every one of those 20 teeth.  The principle is that if she starts to be accustomed to it now, dentist visits should continue to be a pleasant experience.  Let’s hope that principle holds true.

dentist 7All done!  And not a tear was shed or a fuss was heard.  One dentist appointment down, 199 more to go.


9 June 2009

When I was four, I got a Honda 70 three-wheeler for Christmas. While the rest of my friends had these crappy little electric plastic wannabe ATVs, I had the real thing. Because of that, I’ve always said my kids wouldn’t have those crappy little electric things either.

In steps the grandparents.

4wheeler 1

This pink four-wheeler is a hand-me-down from some friends, and, I suppose, it’s a good way for Lillyan to get some psuedo- All Terrain Vehicle experience.

4wheeler 2

After Daddy gave her the tutorial, away she went. And, I’ll admit, she does love it.

4wheeler 3

Gramps had to do some creative adapter business to rig it up to run on the old batteries from Uncle Tyler’s crappy little plastic wannabe ATV. Some of the batteries work for a few minutes, some, for, uh, a few seconds. Uncle Tyler was hard on his toys — make that IS hard on his toys. But at least he shares.

4wheeler 5

I imagine Uncle Tyler’s ATV wasn’t pink. I guess Lillyan is lucky because he won’t be stealing hers anytime soon. Uncle Tyler is not really into pink.

4wheeler 6
Lillyan is into pink. Pink and fishing and mud and ATVs. This week.

Inspections, Inspections, Inspections

8 June 2009

On this big family rally at Liberty Ridge Ranch, we had all hoped to accomplish a great deal toward finishing the interior of the cabin. It was not to be. It’s a very long, arduous story of bureaucratic brick-wall head-banging, but (and this is the short version) we are now still in the process of satisfying inspection after county inspection after state inspection after inspection.

Along with a pre-inspection, structure inspection, plumbing rough-in inspection, electrical rough-in inspection, plumbing final inspection, electrical final inspection, gypsum board inspection and final inspection, we had to also pass a driveway and address-posted inspection. So, we got to work on posting our address. Now, we certainly do not receive mail here, and we are the only people ever venturing that far up this particular mountain — except for, now, the INSPECTORS.

I wasn’t completely satisfied with the orange spray paint on a piece of plywood method, so I enlisted some help to post our address.

cedar sign 01

We still have a few brush piles left over from putting our driveway in four summers ago.   I know, it’s a fire hazard, but that’s a LOT of chainsawing when you’re trying to build a cabin at the same time.  The top tree in this pile is cedar (we have mostly piñon pine near our build site), and since it is a hardy wood that looks pretty now and won’t decay quickly, we chose cedar for our address sign.

cedar sign 02My mountain-man husband got to work with his trusty chain saw.  Notice, Kids: He is wearing all his safety gear.  Better safe than missing a leg, I say.  Of course, I wanted a notch to display the red wood, so that put Travis’ not-exactly-his-day-job chainsawing skills to the test.

cedar sign 03Step one, complete.  Doesn’t that blaze orange accentuate his blue-gray eyes?  And the brush pile is shrinking already.

cedar sign 04Now it’s my turn.  Since my dad didn’t want me burning up the belt sander with this project, I did the best I could smoothing out the uneven chainsaw marks with a hammer and chisel.  Like I said, my husband is not quite ready for any Stihl competitions, but he got the job done.  Look at that gorgeous cedar.  Maybe I’ll make a cedar chest for the end of my bed when I’m done with this project.  Maybe I’ll save that for another day. It is starting to get dark.

cedar sign 05Now, it’s our buddy Mr. Kenny’s turn to get in on the action.  After much coaxing, and a threat to withhold his dinner, he agreed to use his RotoZip to carve out our address.  He is very precise and, with Lillyan’s supervision, did a super nice job.

cedar sign 06While the red cedar looked great with just the router contrast, we didn’t want to risk failing this INSPECTION, so I filled in the letters with a black marker.  “Must be CLEAR and LEGIBLE from the public road.”

cedar sign 07Ta Da.  In place at the end of our driveway.  Now, I sure hope we pass that address-posted inspection.

NOTE:  Surely, you know this isn’t actually our address.  A little photoshop help should keep all of the internet stalkers from descending on our little secluded mountain hideaway.  And please don’t send any Christmas cards here.  Who knows who would be seeing photos of your cute little family in reindeer-ear headbands.