Sunday, July 27, 2008

Batter Up!

We live in Kentucky... so I realize that I am supposed to be a huge BASKETBALL FAN. Don't get me wrong... I totally support my Wildcats... but my real love... my real passion... has always been BASEBALL. Maybe because even when they are in Little League - I adore little boys in baseball pants. Too cute!

So, when McCaleb turned 2... Uncle Chad, Dolly, Austin and Bryson bought him a little baseball glove, a ball and a bat. For the most part - the bat has been used as a hammer. And... in order to save the ball from Maggie (see post below) I have had it put away in his closet until he was old enough to play.

This summer he began asking to get it out to play. I was a little hesitant at first... but it was perfect timing for all the kids. They all did really well.

McCaleb was so tickled that he was hitting almost every pitch I threw... he giggled non-stop. It was difficult to even get a picture of him that was clear.

Rachel was easier to get a picture of... as she was more in tune to where the camera was than where the ball was....

Ali totally blew my mind. She bats left-handed. Sorry for Ali... I couldn't help her much, we had to wait for Daddy to get home. For some odd reason, Tim (who is right-handed) bats left-handed. Mommy... who is left-handed... bats right-handed. BIZARRE. Just call us the backward family.

Last there was Sara. She IS left-handed... and she bats left-handed.

They all did GREAT! Everyone was able to hit more than 50% of all the pitches thrown their way. Now if we could just teach them to field their own balls. :)

I think next we need to try golf. Wouldn't they be a hoot with little clubs, in plaid shorts and little polo shirts???

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Poor Ol' Mag-Pie

Can't see you, McCaleb....

We have 8 dogs.

It's crazy, I know.. but I tell you, we'd give anything to have 9 and have our sweet JD back again. He was truly just the BEST DOG EVER. However... we do have some other pretty special dogs. (Some are more special "needs"... some are just special... but that's another story.)

OK... now Maggie isn't looking at the camera....

Then there's Maggie. She is just a fun dog. We bought her to breed to JD... but it turns out that she is also our medically challenged dog. As a puppy, she began to hold her back leg up whenever she would stand still. She had a joint disorder that needed to have corrective surgery... and naturally it had to be a specialist in Louisville. Once we knew that she had this problem (and would most likely need shoulder surgery at some point in the future...) we also had her fixed. Shortly after her second surgery... we also found out she was epileptic. So Maggie has not only prescription dog food to keep her weight down (so that there is less strain on her joints...we keep her on the thin side) but she has daily medications and constantly has to have her blood monitored to determine her Phenobarbital levels.

Great... now Maggie is looking... and McCaleb is being silly....

A lot of people would have just put her down after the first "set" of problems. But she is just a blast to have around. The kids LOVE Maggie. She will fetch a ball almost until she can no longer walk. She is OCD about her tennis balls or her mini football. Her canine teeth have actually been worn down from catching so many balls over the years. She also LOVES the water. She will run and jump off the dock at our pond and chase every stick or ball that you throw for her! She loves the water so much... she circles the kids the entire time they are in their swimming pool. One of these days she is going to figure out a way to get in their with them!!

AH! Finally... everyone say "CHEESE!"

The one thing that Maggie doesn't like... is anyone that gets near her "bad" leg. Suffice it to say - I never like to leave her around the kids. I have always thought that she would be the one dog that would snap at the kids. She might not "like" all the attention that she gets from them... but she is a pretty good sport about it. She knows that they love her... and she also knows that they feed her table scraps even when they aren't supposed to. She really does love the kids... even if you can't tell from these pictures. If you look closely... I think she might be rolling her eyes as if to say... "Could you please just take the picture, already????"

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's So Hard to Say Goodbye!!!

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. ~Theodor Seuss Geisel, "Dr. Seuss"

Saying goodbye is not my favorite thing. It never has been. We were so blessed this summer to have Tabitha here from Arizona visiting. We actually got a little spoiled, if the truth be told. She is a very sweet, somewhat shy little girl that when she does come out of her shell for you... is extremely kind, loving, considerate and very funny!

It didn't occur to me how much the kids were used to having her here until yesterday. (You need to keep in mind that this is being written on 8/17...I am still trying to catch up.) For McCaleb's birthday we went over to Mamoo's and Papoo's... and the first thing Sara asked... "Can I go play with Tabitha?" It almost made me cry.

So...on that final Sunday that Tabitha was in town we all met for lunch at Ruby Tuesday's. We had a FUN (if not interesting) lunch... and we even took pictures. Well... some of us took pictures... some of us were supposed to email "said" pictures to little sister to post on "said" blog... but who's pointing fingers? Right????

Since I didn't have my camera with me - I was tickled to death that I was able to talk everyone into coming back to the house for a little while so I could get a few more pictures.

The kids really did love having Tabitha here. It was wonderful for them to get to spend time with her... and bond with her... and to just fall in love with her even more! And according to Tabitha... she'll be back again next summer!! I don't know if Aunt Jean (aka her Mommy) knows about that yet... and I am also not sure if Mamoo and Papoo know that she was serious... but she said it out loud and in front of my kids... and as far as they are concerned... it's the gospel truth, now! Whoo hoo! We can hardly wait!!

We love you, Tabitha! We also miss you terribly! I don't know how Mommy and Daddy made it without you for so long... but we are so glad that they let you come to Kentucky for the summer!! We will see you soon!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Going to the FAIR

So... after a late night out at the Red'd think that we would stay home and veg out for a night. Nope - not the Hanks' Gang.

Instead... we loaded up and headed out to the Harrison County Fair! It has become an annual tradition for us, to go to the fair with the Jackson's... and it we have made some really good memories there each and every year.

This year was going to be especially fun, as it was Sara's first visit to a "county fair"... and for those of you that have not spent time with her... this child is a HOOT! She laughs with a complete and total unbridled passion... she says exactly whatever pops into her head (as in there is NO FILTER THERE just yet...) and her excitement is so genuine and real. She is an amazing child... and we all get a kick out of watching her discover new things!

The girls (Ali and Rachel) wanted to show Sara EVERYTHING. McCaleb... he just wanted to watch the TRACTOR PULL. :) So we set out to try and get in as much as we could... as fast as we could.

I only wish that I could have taken a photo of McCaleb's face as he came down the Giant Slide the first time --- alone. He went up the stairs with Ali and Sara, but they slid down without him. I thought for a brief moment that we might have to send Tim up after him... but he finally figured it all out. His face was priceless as he came down that slide. It was shock... a slight bit of sheer terror... and then total euphoria. He loved it.

The girls were having a blast on the rides. For the most part, I was behind the camera taking pictures... but I did manage to get someone to take one or two with me in them. A nice change of pace... I don't really LIKE to have my picture taken... but someday I will be forever thankful to have those. I think we all need to record our time spent with the ones we love... it's just that I am usually the one doing the recording - so this was a very nice bonus!

Tim and Laura (aka "DaDa") had to do the Viking Ship without me this year. I was trying some new contacts, and already a bit dizzy... so I begged off. Herman, on the other hand... he made a break for it as soon as we headed that way. (Just kidding. He and Rachel were on the obstacle course together.)

Yes, that is also Tim taking a phone call on the Dizzy Dinosaur ride. I had to wonder what Jana thought Tim was doing with all the screaming and giggling in the background! :)

To end the evening... Frozen Ice for all the kids. (YUM... Ice and Sugar water... every mother's dream.) I had an Elephant Ear. Now THAT was good. It was warm... sweet... with just the right amount of sugar... sadly I have to wait an entire year to get another one of those!!

I love the summer and all the county fairs. These are memories that I hope the kids will cherish forever. Fun with our friends... warm (almost HOT) evenings, watching the sun go down... eating way too much and way too late. Times that you will remember and look forward to each year! As we finish out the summer and begin gearing up for fall... there are always the festivals...

Hmmm...I wonder if I can get an Elephant Ear at the Festival of The Horse???