Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A True Circus

I'm only 2 weeks late posting about Shelby's last day of pre-preschool.  Go me.  I blame a funeral, a wedding, a full-time job, and my nanny, who is on maternity leave until July. I've been just a wee bit overwhelmed...

Her hair may not be braided, but at least I remembered to put her in the right shirt on the last day!

Anyway, back to the circus!  Shelby's cute little school, CCDC, put on one big blowout for the last day.  There was a petting zoo, trains, clowns, and pizza.   Haley even managed to weasel her way into the zoo and train bit.  She never takes "No" for an answer!

Rabbits, a pig, a llama, and several goats kept my girls quite happy for awhile.  Then, this goat had the nerve to try to eat Haley's hair.
This "straw" sure is shiny and tasty!

She FREAKED out.  After some convincing her that the goat didn't have teeth and really just liked the smell of it (ha!), she decided she would give him another chance, but not before giving that little bully a classic Haley pouty face.

Hey, goat, don't mess with me again.

The llama got a warning look too
I was proud of my brave girls.  Of the 12 girls in Shelby's class, only 6 of them left Ms. Nicole's side to go brave the animal petting.   Poor Ms. Nicole had to stand in the corner protecting the other 6 from the evil bunnies!

It was then time to load the kids up in the train.  I have to admit I was more scared of the train driver than the hair-eating goat.  He kept a big whistle in his mouth the whole time blowing it a little too often.  It made me jump with every blast.  Plus, it looked like a cigar at first glance.  
See?  I bet you thought it was a cigar too!

He drove the "train" around using an ATV as the engine.  I had NO idea those ATV's could pull that much weight and still drive around at 80 mph. Or, at least with my engineering background, I roughly calculated his speed to be between 65 and 90 mph.  

Slow down there, Speedy!
Needless to say, my daredevils LOVED it.  The faster Speedy Gonzales drove, the more they squealed.   

Special thanks to Ms. Nicole for making such special memories for my 3-year-old!  We went home with an awesome CD of the music the kids had been listening to all year, a scrap book of all of Shelby's artwork, and her journal.  I loved seeing how much she had learned throughout the year, and she was so proud to tell me about each creation.  I am looking forward to next year, keeping my fingers crossed that Haley gets a teacher that is stronger and smarter than her...

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Memorable Memorial

This Memorial Day weekend will be one to remember.  It started off with a typical whining, fighting, and no sleeping drive to our destination--Austin for my cousin Justus and Caroline's wedding.

After realizing I booked the wrong hotel, 45 minutes from anything, we loaded the kids and crap up and relocated.  Strike one.

By the time we got settled into the second hotel and got the kids to the pool we had been promising for four LONG hours, they were only able to swim for about 15 minutes before we had to get ready for the rehearsal dinner.  Have you ever had to pull a kid out of the pool after only 15 minutes?  They were NOT happy campers.  Strike two.

Swans!  In the lobby!  Now, where's the pool?
The rehearsal dinner was wonderful.  Young, beautiful 20-something friends of the couple mingled with all us old fogies and moms chasing kids around.  Apparently there were some great toasts and a lovely slide show.  I missed that due to the kids-chasing duties...

However, I did not miss the rounds and rounds of yummy BBQ, sides, and dessert.  Neither did Haley, who ended up eating just a little too much on her already-wound up tummy.  I should have seen it coming, but before I knew it, she was barfing up her entire day's worth of food.  Strike three.  We were OUT!

Luckily, day two turned out SO much nicer.  The girls got to swim to their heart's content.  I got to go shopping (DSW) and hang out with the adult gals for a few facials (Rodan and Fields).  Then, the fun really started after we dropped the kids off at my dad's house.

Bryon and I acted like those 20-somethings, hitting not one but TWO bars before getting ready for the big wedding.  And, boy howdy, was it a wedding!  The setting was GORGEOUS in typical Austin style--big trees, lots of stone, so many huge floral arrangements of flowers I couldn't even recognize, and perfect weather.  The couple was adorable.  Seriously.  Just look at this loveliness:
So in love!

Could they be any cuter?
And more highlights:
Aunt Wendy (Mother of the groom) and I
The groom's brothers trying to stay out of trouble

Mom's New Mexico cousins, Judy and Peggy, enjoying Texas

Mom and Jeff, looking lovely too!
After picking up the kids from my dad and Christy, we headed back home to reality.  We decided to make it a true vacation, stopping to play tourist at the Inner Space Cavern in Georgetown.  It turned out to be this amazing one hour tour of a huge cave.  

Unfortunately for Haley and me, the guide said we might see bats.  Haley got freaked out and started losing it about 15 minutes into the tour.  She and I ended up escaping the tomb cave and hanging out in the gift shop.  I can only take Bryon and Shelby's word that the rest of the tour was worth stopping for...
Headed into Inner Space

Haley is already thinking about giant bats coming to get her

One of my kids enjoying the fun...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

That's How We Roll

I love my family!  We spent a short but sweet time together celebrating the life of Walt.  What other family can say they caught a Horny Toad, drove a vintage fire truck, viewed their Grandmother's paintings in a museum, and allowed Grandpa Jeff to drive four great-grandkids around in one Mule...And, I'm happy to report there weren't any injuries!  

Not OSHA approved
Haley adores her hero, Jeff!

Grandma Nelle's creation fascinated these Pfaff girls exactly the same way as it did two other little Blackman girls 30 years ago

Imitating the eagles
Howling like the coyotes (what's hidden in the den is a whole other story!)

One of my favorite L. Poling paintings...too bad it isn't for sale!

Walt's grandkids in order of intelligence age

Poling Ranch fire truck that I finally got to ride in.  I've only been waiting 25 years!
Quite the poser

My brave girls

Bryon Pfaff, Lizard Hypnotist Extraordinaire 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Legends Never Die

To most, he was tough, stubborn, cranky, and mean.  To me, he was smart, funny, and fascinating.  He was my Grandpa Walt, and he passed away yesterday.

I will miss hearing him say, "I'm proud of you gal."  I knew he was proud of me.  I knew he loved me.  I knew he would have my back if I were in trouble.  

I will miss hearing him tell stories.  That man could weave one big tale!  Sure, most of us knew he embellished facts, but that was part of the fun.  Some of my favorite stories were about he and my Granny Nelle going across the country in their RV.  I guess those were my favorite because I picture the two of them in the primes of their lives.  

I will miss his funny language, "Waltisms", as my cousins call them.  My favorite Waltism has to be tatelards.  If you know what tatelards are, you are among the elite!  He only gave sacks of tatelards to special kids as they were leaving the ranch.  Tatelards were stored in the tatelard cabinet, and as I got older, he gave me special permission to get my own tatelards.  It is such a fun word!

I will miss his financial advice.  He was always giving me stock tips, and somehow the stocks I bought based on his advice have been the only ones that have earned me money. Thanks for the Ford tip, Walt!

Most of all, I will miss him watching my kids grow up.  He was such a special man to me, and I hate that they will never truly know the Walt that I did.