The Rodeo

Last night we attended the annual Pro Rodeo that comes to Spanish Fork for our July 24th festivities. July 24th is Utah’s Pioneer Days that is celebrated across the state. Just like Nevada takes Halloween as a state holiday, Utah takes July 24th and enjoys it. It’s nice because it allows for more Summer Celebrations. As I was mentioning we went to the rodeo. It was fun, as usual. One of our favorite parts is watching the Mutton Busting. Mutton Busting is small children on farm animals for cheap entertainment. Small children lie on the back of a sheep and cling to its neck as though their life depends on it while the sheep runs across the arena. While most of the children don’t make it five feet we had two young ones who excelled at the sport last night. One kid almost made it all the way across the arena, hugging the sheep tighter than his own mom. The clowns chased those two down and had a good run. Then a few kids later we had a pro that had obviously been practicing. He had on a helmet and sat astride the sheep instead of lying on its back. He then held on with one hand and waved the other one in the air, just like a pro Bucking Bronco rider! He also almost made it all the way across the arena. I think his sheep was even faster because the clowns couldn’t keep up. They finally caught him after the sheep turned and were able to whisk him off the sheep’s back. He took home the trophy, of course.

Another favorite is the Bucking Broncos. There are two styles, one with a saddle and another bareback. I’m not sure which is harder. It’s not a sport for the faint hearted. As one guy hobbled off the arena I whispered to hubby that his arm was hanging in the wrong spot. Hubby replied it was probably dislocated. Fun! Another guy was bucked off the back and landed right on his neck! He bounced right back up and walked off. Yet another rider was bucked and the horse kept bucking and hit his leg. It was awfully close to a tender spot that could have prevented him reproducing in the future. The announcer compared these guys to basketball players. He said all these guys got up, shook it off, and walked out of the arena and rode again the next night. If it had been a basketball player they would have been out for weeks if they had happened to sprain their pinky while riding the horses. Cowboys are tough.

But in all fairness, they may be tough but not the smartest. Next came the trailer race. Team #6 won. But as I looked, there were only five teams competing. Not quite sure where their counting failed them.

The most dangerous and adrenalin pumped event is saved for last. The best music is played and everyone sticks around just for Bull Riding. You know Bull Riding is dangerous because the clown brings out a reinforced oil drum that looks like an oversized, hollowed-out keg to hide in when the bull gets completely out of control. The bulls are only supposed to be partially out of control so no one dies or is seriously maimed, although the boys would consider that a treat. The men responsible for herding the animals back into the pen position themselves at the other end of the arena, hoping they aren’t needed. They don’t even come close to the bull until the 8 seconds buzzer is done buzzing, which is yet another few seconds. I laugh when the bulls manage to buck their rider off before the time is up. They usually chase down the rider as their revenge. We also get treated to a little known sport called Synchronized Chute Climbing when the bull lunges at everyone associated with the Bull Riding and they clear out of the way. As Bull Riding comes to an end the crowd begins to filter out to their cars. Another successful night at the rodeo. Lots of action and no major injuries except dislocated shoulders, neck sprains, hooves imprinted on body parts, and spilled snow cones.


Not for the Squeamish

Yesterday I came home and Middle Child announced he had killed a Black Widow Spider. "No, you didn't." "Yes, I did, Mom!" "How did you know it was a black widow?" "It had that red hourglass on the tummy." "You didn't see the tummy." "Yes, I did."

Then I flashed back to Mesa Verde when he found a rattlesnake and I didn't believe him. Here is the proof.
Yes, that's a nasty rattlesnake. Middle Boy has the unfortunate luck of running across things that I wish the kids wouldn't find. Worse yet is that I don't usually believe him! With the Black Widow I caught myself. I realized he had the bad luck and decided that I better check it out before dismissing him with the wave of my hand. Turns out, we did have a Black Widow in the house and he did kill it. Here's that proof:

Notice the tell-tale red spot in the middle.
Why is it taped up? I had the same question. Apparently he knocked the spider outside after killing it. Then he realized that Boomer the Basset Hound might eat the dead thing. In order to protect his dog he taped the horrid thing down. Now Boomer the Basset Hound will not die of Black Widow Spider poisoning.


Coaches and Movies

Today I got a call from First Born. He is 13 and a total teenager with a cell phone and everything. He's been going to a weight lifting group in the morning put on by one of his friend's dad. He's enjoyed it and it will help him with tackle football this fall. But I digress. He calls me and tells me he's going to see the new Batman movie today at noon.

"Who are you going with?" as all mother's ask.

"Mumble, mumble, mumble, high school, mumble, mumble."

"So who are you going with?" I ask again, knowing the whole high school is not going to the movie with him, a lowly 8th grader.

"Mumble, high school coach paying my way, mumble."

"So who else is going?" I ask dubiously as bells and red flags are dancing feverishly in my head

"Mumble, Nate, mumble, high school, mumble"

This time I demand, "Who else is going and speak clearly."

"Nate and some kids from the weight lifting class and some others."

"So what is this about the coach paying your way in?" I still demand.

"He's paying for all the kids in the weight class."

I breathe a sigh of relief, almost. "Now, we've talked about inappropriate touching from other adults, right?"

"MOM! Yes, ooooh!"

"I just had to remind you. You need to be careful."


"All right, you may go to the movie. Have fun!"

I got home just in time to take him to his friend's house for the movie. As he got out of the car I said, "Have fun, and remember, no touching."



Squirt Guns

Last night we made the trip to Shopko to find some squirt guns. It was not my first choice but we were at Taco Bell in an attempt to get my kids to eat since my cooking never satisfies their palates. I had read this article at Popular Mechanics and wanted to see if any of these guns were to be had in their store. My children have been reminding me they need water guns before the 24th! There is a local parade, not too shabby either, and their Dad will be in it on the 20-year Reunion from High School float. I think they want to soak him. Actually, I know they do! Lucky for us, this gun was on clearance! $5. The bottle that comes with it is rather small, but the gun can be attached to other water bottles, including 2 liters! My boys are in heaven! I give my approval of this gun for any of you with children itching for a water gun. It shoots pretty far and doesn't need a ton of refilling when using the 2 liter, less time in the bathroom or at the hose!


Baby's Frog Play

Baby got to be in a play this year. It was about Aesop's fables. He loved it! I showed him some pictures we took and in a few of them he asked what he was doing. I replied I had no idea. He then told me he was probably wandering around on stage. From the way he stated this I think that was a problem for his teachers! I did notice him wandering on stage and wondered if he was supposed to and now know it had been addressed but with his 7-year-old attention span (shorter than most) he would only randomly remember it and return to his position. Made for great entertainment for his parents as they tried to figure out what he was doing on stage!

Baby is the middle frog.


Rolled Up Pants

Not enough can be said for this Picture I found on the Satorialist. I had hoped this style of pants would not come back! I'm ok with the fitted pant, but this went a little too far in my little fashion world. Granted, I'm not much of a fashionista and have been known for my inability to accessorize and match much more than a t-shirt or plain shirt with a bottom. Simple jewelry I can handle. But all the other accessories are unbelievable. If you can believe it, my nieces have more accessories than I do in their wardrobe!


O the Joys of Flickr and Computers and Programs! They make them so simple yet I can never make them work quite right! I just bought a Pro membership to flickr so now you can be bombarded by more pictures than you ever wanted to see of my lovely family. Last night it took me hours upon hours to download all the pictures from 2004. I really thought the new uploading tool available to me now would be quicker, but no. It think it's slower because it has so many options for each picture. I don't need options! I just need to get those dang pics up on flickr so I can feel like I accomplished something! It will be nice when I've gotten all the old pics up and can just deal with what I download every few weeks. No mountain of photos there!

And while I wrote this little bit the uploader FAILED to download 127 out of 153 pictures! But they're going up now. I can cross my fingers, throw some salt behind me, knock on wood, and pray like the devil that they'll get loaded this time! And hopefully they'll stay in the sets I put them in to begin with so I don't have to ORGANIZE them later, so much time that I don't have!

I did find this cute photo of Baby in the rain.



When this word first started appearing in American language I was at a loss as to what it meant. But heaven forbid that I should ask anyone! Then I joined Netflix. I soon learned that it was a line/list of sorts. I put movies in my queue and they would send them to me when available. But I still didn't know how to pronounce that crazy word with more vowels than consonants. I had the same problem with the word "Voice" in first grade but quickly mastered that one. One day I was visiting with Sister Sally and she mentioned her queue, but she pronounced it "Cue-ee." I was amazed! I finally heard someone pronounce that weird word! But I questioned her pronunciation because I thought it looked like "Kway." I heard her hubby bust a gut laughing in the background (Ididn't think we were that loud!) "It's 'Cue' as in the letter!" I was a little dubious to his pronunciation, I still liked mine better. And while he usually knows what he's talking about I wasn't taking this one for granted. I needed a second opinion. But I wasn't about to ask anyone and not look as smart as I usually pretend to be. But that same week I visited with another friend who was a member of the rival, Blockbuster. He also called in 'Cue' as in the letter Q. I quickly made a mental note that Sister Sally's hubby was right! Later when I told her about my mental note and her hubby's correctness I gave her a good laugh!


It's been a whole week. I've been on vacation! We went to Denver to visit Sister Jeni. She is the closest in age to me and the only sister with kids near my kids' ages. First Born and his only boy cousin within eight years of him went crawdadding at the pond near the house. Middle Boy harassed his girl cousins and they loved the attention. Baby had fun being smack in the middle of the two youngest girls in Sister Jeni's family. He got along great with them and had fun.

I had the most fun of all getting to hang with my sister and talk and giggle and all the other things sisters do when together. Our husbands even got along. That's not hard to do since they're both great guys and are easy to get along with.

On July 4th we had a BBQ with some of Sister Jeni's friends. They were great and fun. I was asking about one of the family's the next day and commenting on how her two kids were beautiful. This confused my sister because both of the families have three kids, but the other family only had two, 2-year-old twin girls, present. Turns out there were three little two-year-old girls running around and since none of them ever sat still I thought there were only two! I was even helping the girls get their brownie bites. They opted to check every brownie before choosing one and if you know how two-year-olds are when outside, dirty, that put a damper on me eating brownies and I wanted some. So I kept handing them brownies and never realized there were three!

The next day we went to Elitch Gardens, used to be Six Flags. The boys had so much fun riding rides and I enjoyed myself since my stomach was on better terms that when I had visited Lagoon last month. Granted it didn't feel great after I ate 3/4 of a funnel cake and proceeded to ride the roller coasters, but it felt better later. My least favorite ride consisted of a hike up 99 steps to the top. Then when the ride was over you had to climb right back down the stairs! Not so easy after going upside down forwards and backwards! Middle Boy wanted to ride it again but I told him up and down once was all I was good for on a hot day. I probably should have ridden it 18 times to work off the Pizza Hut LUNCH that was so delectable at 4 pm.

That night we went to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band concert at the Gardens. It was Country music, not my cup of tea. But the kids liked it for a while and Hubby liked it a lot. More interesting than the concert was the game of hide-n-go-seek played by Baby and his youngest cousin down in the Mosh Pit where Moshing was NOT allowed or one would be ejected IMMEDIATELY from the Park. I think they forgot it was a Country band, not Rage Against The Machine. Baby tried to lose his cousin by running around groups of sitting mosh pit patrons. Then he'd drop to the ground in true Army fashion. As people looked under their feet and then looked around for a parent to scold, he giggled as she looked around in confusion, "Where did my cousin go?"

Sunday I got to visit some model homes. My sister wanted to show me her dream house and in the process I found a dream house! This picture and floor plan do not do it justice. It seemed like a beach house with all the big windows and open areas. Maybe one day. . .


Seeing Red

I'm FURIOUS! This morning when my first daycare kid got dropped off the Mom informed me that we had been egged. AGAIN! It looked like two poor eggs were thrown against the front window, another in the corner by the front door, and if that wasn't enough an additional soon-to-be-dead egg was tossed against the trailer in front of our house, not ours of course. So this morning I got to clean the house and trailer. At least the sun hadn't hardened it too much yet and it came off with minimal scraping and lots of high pressure water. I've probably used my allotment of irrigation water for the month of July on the 1st. The last time we were egged it put to rest my suspicions of who the culprits were because those boys were out of town. I now have no suspects.

The clincher came at lunch time today when First Born tried to ride bikes with a friend. I rearranged the garage yesterday so we could park both the Truck and New Old Car inside. Unfortunately the bikes are homeless at the moment and were left on the front lawn. I should know better, but the boys have left their bikes out before without any problem. His back tire was flat. I found the new bike pump. Bike pumps have a shelf life of about half a summer at our house. He tried to pump his bike up to no avail. Then he tried Middle Child's bike. No luck there either. Baby's bike was the only one small enough to fit in the garage last night, thank goodness! I was so angry! What devil is roaming our suburban neighborhood wreaking havoc on quiet houses and beloved bikes? Will no one come to our aid? Where are the knights in shining armor saving damsels in distress?