Friday, January 8, 2010

Brenda Rides The Tractor and Other Farm Fables

Ariana washing udders.

Brent and Brenda Ann
We spent the week between Christmas and New Year's with my folks on the farm and, man, did these girls have fun! They milked cows, bottle-fed baby calves and shoveled silage. But the very best part was spending time with MeeMaw, PawPaw, Uncle Brent, Aunt Amber and all those little cousins that seemed to keep multiplying. Clayton got Ariana hooked on the song "Big Green Tractor" by Jason Aldean while Brenda and Shelby bonded over playing cards and board games. They can't wait to go back. In fact, Brenda plans on spending most of her summer up there!

New Year, New Post

I'm going to skip all the usual garbage about resolutions and such. I mean, I'm sitting on my wide behind eating cheese dip and drinking Dr. Pepper, so clearly exercise and diet aren't on the agenda. Much has happened in the two months since my last post. And much has stayed the same. In the Happenings column:

We flew to Orlando the Sunday before Thanksgiving and stayed five days at Disney World. This, however, deserves its own separate post since it is, after all, a List Item. Complete rundown of vacation hijinks coming soon. Two weeks later, Kayla and I were headed home after work when we were involved in an auto accident downtown. There was severe damage to LadiBug (Kayla's car) on the driver's side but we were not injured. The woman who hit us behaved like a rabid bat. I was cited for making an illegal turn and have to go to court Jan. 28. I would just pay the ticket except it doesn't have an amount. We had a good experience with our insurance company (Progressive) and I don't think I would ever switch now.

A week after the accident, Kayla moved out. It came a bit earlier than we had planned and is an adjustment. Mostly, I'm okay with it, though I did have a "moment" in the garage one evening as I was starting a load of clothes. I think it was brought about mostly because now that she's out of the house I'm having to wash clothes again.

Of course, JoJo had already flown the coop in June to move to Tennessee and live with his dad so in little more than 6 months we went from 4 kids at home to just 2. Ariana moved into the newly-vacated bedroom and we are in the process of painting it to match her bedspread and rug. Her room is really cute, uber-chic girly-girl stuff. I'll post pics when we finish.

Brenda is still trying her best to participate in every club, sport and extracurricular activity offered at her school. Undefeated volleyball season, currently working on an undefeated basketball season and appearing in the Winter Works presented by the Alief Junior Jazz Ballet.

I had to work the week of Christmas so we stayed home Christmas Eve and went to my in-laws' house on Christmas Day. We had a great dinner, played a couple games and got a chance to visit with some family members.

It was the first Christmas I wasn't with all my children and that was tough. JoJo was in Tennessee and Kayla was in Lafayette with her boyfriend. He got an urgent call from his mother the Sunday before Christmas - his father was dying. They made it to the hospital in time to say good-bye but it was incredibly difficult. Mr. Art was only 49 and it was unexpected. The funeral was held the day after Christmas and Kayla stayed by AJ's side the entire time. I'm proud of her for the mature way she handled such a difficult situation.

The little girls and I left for Tennessee on Dec. 27 and made it in 12 hours. They were actually quite good on the trip. My only complaint was the excessive number of bathroom breaks but as the day wore on they did get further between. Recap and pictures of the Trip to the Farm also coming in separate post.