Thursday, September 29, 2016

September's finally happened. I'm getting caught up. Miracles never cease.

During Labor Day weekend we headed to Belton for the Central Texas State Fair. Though we didn't show her, Cherry made her first trip to a show and she did really, really well. In fact, she actually behaved much better than she does at the barn. Who knew?

Taylor showed both Kate (who I somehow didn't get a picture of) and Cooper. It was one of those shows I love - in and out by lunchtime. Truth be told, those are generally a family favorite. Though you gotta get a multi-day show in there occasionally, which is coming up for us next month.

It was still blistering hot in early September but Taylor and I decided to have our first pumpkin spice treat anyway.

Tiny also found her new best friend - Buddy the dancing ghost. She didn't put him down for about 36 hours and took him EVERYWHERE. He plays The Ghostbusters theme song. Loudly. Discreet is not her thing.

I snapped this at lunch one day because it kind of sums up our life these days - cattle feed and a stroller with red dirt from a stock show.

I also attended a professional development day and the keynote was Clint Harp of Fixer Upper fame. So fun!

Unfortunately, the major story of September was my girl becoming incredibly ill. She and I both came down with what we thought was a simple stomach virus; however, I got better after 3.5 brutal days while she did not. Once at the clinic, we learned that she had a WBC of 15,000 and thoughts immediately went to appendicitis. I snapped this pic while she was drinking contrast and awaiting a CT scan.

We truly believed she would end up having surgery before the day was over so we were surprised when it came back negative. For appendicitis anyway. What she did have was a very bad case of mesoteric adenitis (which mimics appendicitis) and a secondary finding of a large cyst. So we ended up having further testing, learned it's more annoying than worrisome and will go back for follow up in November. Unfortunately, it will probably have to be removed but it could be much worse.

She also ended up in the ED one night due to dehydration despite all our best efforts. She was just SO SICK. I've never seen her so sick for so long. It broke my heart. And she's been a champ about getting back into the school groove and doing makeup work.

{Side note: the week after she returned to school, she called me crying with a headache and vision issues. Talk about a heart attack for mom! But this time she had ethmoid sinusitis, which affect vision due to swelling and infection of the sinuses. Needless to say, we're ready for a healthy season.}

Like I said - blistering hot. This should not be one's fall wardrobe. At least she's cute, though!

And my girl finally returned to work and felt well enough to participate in the student section again! That smirk was a sight for sore eyes.

The next day we headed to another show where Cherry made her debut. And was the American Reserve Grand Champion. AND she was really, really good!

Cooper also did well - he was 4th - in a tough class. There were SO MANY quality steers at this show. It was our first time to head to Hico and, wowza, it was a great show. It was also a combined British class so there were all kinds of steers in each class. So, like I said, it was a good day!

And now that I'm caught up, let the more detailed posts begin!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


August was really busy but really fun. My girl started the month by going to church camp. In Colorado. In fact, it was an adventure camp so she camped, kayaked, white water rafted and even did some rock climbing. She was nervous about going but had THE BEST TIME.

When she came back she headed straight to the DMV to get her driver's license because she'd passed the driving test the day before she left for camp. She. Was. So. Excited.

She picked up her junior year (how is that possible?) schedule the next day and went straight into training for MPACT, which is the group at the high school that puts on Fish Camp and welcomes new students to the district. She even donned a Hawaiian-themed hat. So proud of her for stepping out of her comfort zone continually and trying new things.

Later that week we headed to Fredericksburg for the final show of the summer. Coop was excited. Clearly.

The horse races were held at the same venue on the same weekend so we had some entertainment while waiting around for the show.

This was also the weekend my grandmother's world changed forever as her home in Louisiana flooded for the first time ever. The one she'd lived in for 50+ years. It's basically a loss and she has temporarily moved into the church parsonage. We were very thankful for family that took care of her - moving from house to house as new ones took on water - and made sure she had everything she needed until my parents could get there. Closed roads made it challenging for a few days.

The girl showed Coop for the last time and he acted a total fool. I'd never seen him actually run but - on this day - he hopped, skipped, jumped and ran. I'm relatively certain I've never seen her more angry in a show ring. But they made it through.

We left Fredericksburg and headed to Jamaica Beach for our long-planned vacation. There was a subdued quality about this year's trip because my parents were in Louisiana with my grandmother instead of being with us. And, though I knew adding five more people (including a toddler) to the mix in a flood-ravaged area was not a good idea, we certainly never stopped thinking about all of them.

For the most part, we spent lazy days on the beach, dodging rainstorms, taking naps and watching a whole lot of the Olympics. But we also headed to the aquarium one day, took a dolphin/harbor tour and ate out several times. These two hit a bunch of souvenir shops. I have to say it was nice for the girl to have her own wheels on this trip and she and Hal def enjoyed having some time away from the babe.

Tiny LOOOOOOVED the beach. She played for hours every day in the sand. Toward the end of the trip she also decided to like the water and waves as well.

The one day we convinced the older girls to come to the beach. They've always enjoyed gazing at it from a hammock more than actually being on the sand. :)

After returning home, we hit the local water park one last time before it closed for the season...

...and Cherry FINALLY started walking a bit...

...and we wrapped up the first week of school with the first football game of the high school season. Tiny is a natural born cheerleaders. She absolutely loves the games. And cheers constantly. Mostly for the right team. Sometimes not.

And these two. They've been living it up in the student section. I'm in awe that Taylor is a junior and Hal is a senior. I am constantly aware of exactly how much time I have left with both of my girls at home - which isn't NEARLY ENOUGH - and we are truly trying to make the most of every single day.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


July was hot, humid and busy. We kicked off the month with another Battle of the Cattle steer show. It also included a decorating contest so we had to get festive. Though, admittedly, not nearly as extravagant as those who won.

Tiny got fashionable on her way to the show one morning.

And Cooper decided he was a cat about this time. A really large cat who almost knocks you over when trying to rub your leg. This behavior actually still exists and gets more painful as time goes on.

The little one had some nice footwear to celebrate Fourth of July...

...and spent the actual holiday at a waterpark while Sissy got some sleep.

Our work with Cherry Delight continued...

...and we got Sweetheart pic proofs in. :)

The most exciting part of the month was Taylor going to Texas State FFA Convention - she always has a blast and this year was no exception.

This awesome group also got to walk the big stage and received their Lone Star Degrees!

Late in the month we finally pulled the trigger and bought Taylor a car!!!

And Tiny also got her first ride as well. She prefers to push it instead of actually driving it, though. Thankfully her sister doesn't have the same issue.

Dave and I also celebrated our birthdays during July. They were pretty low key - not gonna lie. I had a raging sinus infection that was diagnosed the day before my birthday while Dave and I spent his big day helping our littlest angel through her first full blown stomach virus.

All in all, it was a fun month and led into vacation countdown. 

Friday, September 23, 2016


June. Well, June had a theme. And that would be FFA and stock shows. Cooper got a nice haircut at the beginning of the month since he was kicking off his show career.

He was the breed champ in all four rings at his very first show in Rockdale - he and Taylor won Showmanship that day as well! It was very exciting.

We also spent a lot of time working with this girl. Trying to get close to her. Gain her trust. It was rocky.

Tiny spent time with Nana and Boppy while we were traveling for shows. They even went to the zoo one day.

When she wasn't visiting with Nana and Boppy, Tiny was learning to be a future fitter. Seriously - she LOOOOOVES helping groom Cooper. If only she would brush it in the correct direction.

Cooper also went to Cameron, won breed champion in all four rings and brought home his first belt buckle. The girl was very happy as this was only her second to win and first for a steer.

We went to Ft. Worth for a traveling series called Battle of the Cattle. Here Taylor's allergies swung into full effect and I had to take her to the hotel for some relief. It was a bad, bad day from that standpoint but they had a great showing in showmanship and he was third in his class. Not bad for a show that brings in quality steer from across the state.

Dave and I also attended the wedding of a sweet friend's son. It's so hard to believe he is old enough to start a new life with his wife. Amazing how quickly these kiddos grow up.

Tiny continued her tradition of feeding as many treats as possible to the cattle. Clyde in this instance.

We also put ol' Clyde up for sale. Sadly. But he's not been sold yet so he's hanging out at Dave's dad's land with Dottie until the day comes.

This is also the month Cooper and Cherry became incredibly close. These two are now a bit co-dependent which could pose a problem later. But, for now, it's cute. He even gives her kisses while she's doing tie-up training. 

Between all the shows, Taylor went to FFA Officer Camp where they planned the upcoming year and worked a lot of Sweetheart hours as well. Not to mention she volunteered to work with kiddos at VBS at two different churches. Love her sweet heart.