Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Memory: Another First Day Pic

Because I didn't embarrass myself enough the first time, here's the next year's Official First Day of School Picture:

Big glasses, big hair, and a whole lot of awkwardness. At least the little sister is cute. 
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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lana Rocks

Who knew Lana was a Van Halen Fan?

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Memory: Incarcerated Kids

Okay, so as far as I know, none of the children pictured have actually spent time in jail, but for family photos, we sure looked like it.

When I was about 7 or 8, my mom and her sisters got all their kids (our "California cousins") together for professional "fun" photos. They styled us in brightly-colored, typical kid garb, and had us run around a playground and be "natural" all while smiling, looking at the camera, and getting along. (I'm sure anyone who has actually performed one of these types of photoshoots can explain to me that it actually is much, much tougher than it looks.)

Some of the photos turned out great. Here's a favorite of mine:
5/6 of us climbed to the top of this play structure (I think little Cody was too small to climb) and looked down. (I'm not sure if anyone spit on the photographer, but I do know more than one of us thought about it.) I like the way my hair is falling around my face, how Jen's toothless grin is stealing the show, how Justin is deliberately hiding his face, how Casadi is just adorable with a fierce face, and how Kasey looks like it's all he can do to just hang on. Yup, this one is a keeper. Hopefully I remember this idea later for Lana and her cousins.

But then, there's this one:
No, we're not in jail, but it sure looks like we are. Don't we look like a rag-tag bunch of hoodlums waiting on an enraged/embarrassed parent to come claim us? Oh, and my dork-tastic glasses and Jen's flipped up neon green hat just add to the hot mess going on, don't they? Perhaps my aunts can remember this better and say exactly why this one was considered a keeper? How about it aunts and cousins, can you remember this?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Memory: My First (and second) Pig

When I was fourteen, our family moved from a small house in town to a new place out in the country. Along with a big house and neat yard, it had plenty of room for three kids to work hard and have fun raising animals for 4-H and FFA. The first livestock project was raising and preparing market hogs for the Milton-Freewater Junior Livestock Show and Sale.

Jen and I each picked out a Red Duroc and faithfully attended to their every need. (Initially, Jen was terrified of the pigs, and Kasey and I had a rollicking good time shouting "Killer Pig! Killer Pig!" whenever she hesitantly entered the pen. But that's Jen's story, not mine, so she can fill you in on the horrific and traumatizing details of her cruel siblings' taunting.)

Here I am "training" my pig (I think I named him something oh-so-original like "Ham Steak" or "Pork Chop.") For show, hogs are guided around a ring with a large cane in front of a judge. It's debatable as to how much the pig is actually guided and how much the pig just wanders around doing it's own thing.

The day we loaded the pigs up for the show was a bit crazy. Neither pig wanted to load up in the trailer and we spent way too long in the pen dealing with our own personal hog rodeo. When they finally did get loaded up, both were breathing hard and exhausted - not the best way to travel with livestock.

After weighing in the hogs at the show grounds, we guided them through a maze of pens and panels to their respective homes for the duration. Jen's pig had calmed down, but mine was still very agitated and breathing hard. He was either mad and fighting me and the other handlers, or stopping to catch his breath the entire way. Then the most unexpected event occurred; Three feet from his pen, my show-ready hog laid down in the aisle and died.

I had no idea what to do. This was my first show and my pig had just DIED. Fortunately, this junior show is run by some awesome and dedicated volunteers and the crew on-hand sprung into action. The dead pig was hauled away and a show board member pulled my dad aside for a quick chat. Jen was inconsolable (why she was so sad about MY pig is still a mystery) and I was so very disappointed. A member of the show board told me about a hardship clause in the rules that allowed me the opportunity to show a different pig and we quickly found out another family had an extra pig they wouldn't be showing and I was welcome to use. I got my second pig within the hour.

This pig and I became fast friends and I showed him to the best of my (very limited) ability. He was black and white and I think I called him "Oreo" (again, so original with the naming).

(Here I am showing Oreo. If I look awkward, it's because I was awkward. It's very difficult to look suave and comfortable in a ring full of pigs.)

We showed pigs again several times after that first show and never lost another one. As traumatic as the first one was, we'll certainly never forget it!
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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cougs Wear PINK!

On Friday evening we took Lana to the Cougar Women's basketball game. (Lana was under the erroneous idea that only boys could play basketball, and we needed to remedy that thinking by showing her some strong female athletes who perform at a high level.) The Coug women are very competitive this year and it was refreshing watching a team give their all for a full 40 minutes.

It was "Wear Pink" night for breast cancer awareness, and a perfect game to take out pink-loving Lana to. I even got a free pink t-shirt.

Lana got lots of love from Butch. She thinks Butch T. Cougar is pretty awesome and he must like her too as he came back to our section fairly often.

Lana loves the cheerleaders, and cheerleaders who wear pink and have pink pom-poms are even more awesome-er, so she was thrilled to meet them.

It really was a fun evening. We watched a great game (they beat USC - Go Cougs!) had fun waving pink, and showed Lana how girls can play sports too.

(Side note: If you're local, I encourage you to catch a women's game. It's inexpensive (the three of us got in for $6), compared with the men's prices ($40 for just me and Lana), there's plenty of room for dancing/running kiddos, and you can score really great seats. Oh, and the Coug women are actually competitive in the PAC-12.)
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Memory: First Day of School

I think a lot of moms have a tradition with their school-aged children of taking a picture on the first day of school. Our mom was no exception.
I think this picture was taken circa 1988. I was entering third grade, my sister Jen was beginning kindergarten, and Kasey was probably just excited to be in the picture.
With my way-too-big glasses, ridiculously puffy hair, and oh-so-awkward body shape, we can just all agree that grade 3 probably wasn't my best. (The next 7 weren't fabulous either, but that can be another post.) Jen looks adorable in her blue kitty jumper and unruly hair, and pudgy toddler Kasey can't help but be cute. But me? Well, let's just say it truly is a miracle I didn't get made fun of more than I did.

What about you? Did your family take mandatory First Day of School pictures? Are any of yours as awful as this one?
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