Sunday, January 25, 2009

Don't Feed the Animals

Yes, you read the title right and no we didn't listen.

We woke up Friday and headed out to the zoo first thing in the morning to make it by 9am. We were joined by Travis, Tyler, and Cooper. Three adults, three kids under 3, definitely manageable. It was an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day to go to the zoo and it was not crowded which made it even more fantastic. We saw lots of different animals and probably Shelby's favorite part of the day was going into the petting zoo, which was all goats. The goats looked beyond disgusted about being constantly petted and one goat was lucky enough to get a kiss from Shelby. Oh and yes, Shelby had to reach down and pick up a handful of goat poop. Thank goodness for the hand washing station at the entrance to the petting zoo. She also really liked the sea lions. They would jump out of the water and make a big splash and she thought it was great. We also had a hard time getting her away from where the elephants were getting a bath. It was behind glass so Shelby got a great view. I think Tyler's favorite part of the zoo was asking me if we could go see another animal. I lost count of how many times he asked me that :). And Cooper liked to tell each set of animals bye and wave. I did see Tyler slip one of the monkeys a goldfish cracker. The monkey really enjoyed it. We also had a squirrel beg for some goldfish so we fed him too. We ended the zoo trip with lunch and the rest of the afternoon everyone was wiped out. These pictures are a little out of order, but I'm super tired and this is the best I have tonight!!!

The best view!

All three monkeys checking out the sea otters.

Hopefully lazy and hairy is not her type. She was trying extra hard to plant that kiss just right. She also pawed in the dirt just like the goat.

I love me some goats!!!

Here little goat....

Is this goat night night?

Papas if you all are reading this, I would like one of these please.

This is what was on the glass on the monkey enclosure where Tyler slipped a goldfish cracker thru the separation in the crack.

Cooper feeding Mr. squirrel.

Ross feeding the squirrel.

Travis was the first to feed the squirrel.

This one is for Sarah.

I've doubted evolution all along, but the resemblance is a little scary.

Checking out the animals.

Sweet Tyler giving his little cousin Shelby a hug.

Shelby was fascinated by lots of the animals.

The stay at home moms at the zoo.....they only wish!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hills and Valleys

The last week or so has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. First, I have been following the health of my former high school volleyball coach via mass emails that her sons have been sending out. She has been battling cancer and sadly passed away this week. There is a memorial service on Saturday in Katy for her. I plan on attending. She was a really sweet woman and an awesome volleyball coach. She was the kind that you played your heart out for because you didn't want to disappoint her. She retired to lake LBJ before I graduated and would come back, track me down in the hall and give me some words of encouragement. The coach that replaced her was TERRIBLE and Coach Beck knew that I struggled for motivation to play for such a coach. She even, on one trip to Katy, stopped at my dad's office and dropped off an inspirational card for me. She was the best!!! She was at Katy High for over 35 years and has a junior high named after her and her husband who was a counselor.

Then for a hill....I cover weekends occasionally for my grandparents real estate company and this weekend, specifically Sunday was extremely busy. I showed two different tracts of property to, ironically, two couples from old Katy. And I have written my first offer. I had to seriously bite my tongue as we walked all over the 69 acres. The man wants to venture into having cattle of his own. If I wasn't the agent I would have run down the list of why this is not a good idea and what to expect when you have cattle. I have said many times that hamburger is just too cheap at the grocery store! (Linda, I know you got a chuckle out of that) We are hashing out legal issues with the minerals, royalties, etc. Hopefully, we make it thru closing!!!

Now for another valley.....A couple of weeks ago my father and grandfather went hunting. They ended up coming home early because my grandfather had a terrible cold. The cold was pretty bad so he went on into the emergency room. The doctor let him know that he had bronchitis. There has been a lot of this going around. I'm not sure if it was at the er or a follow up visit, but at some point they drew blood and discovered that something was not right. He ended up having bone marrow taken and tested. Grandpa was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic syndrome, which is also known as pre leukemia. He is undergoing shots right now that have a 30% chance of completely correcting this and keeping the syndrome from turning into leukemia. He will also be undergoing chemotherapy. The doctors told him that there is an unusually high amount of cases in his area. I am sure there is some sort of chemical exposure to blame. I ask that you keep him in your prayers.

On a happier note, Ross is taking off Friday and we are headed to the zoo. I can't wait to see Shelby's crazy reactions to all the animals!!! I will post pictures!!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Going Back to Christmas

Christmas, round 5, was spent with Ross' family. The whole family was together from the Stockers from California to the Hortons from Florida. The Hortons came into town to surprise Ross' parents. We don't get to see them very often so it was a nice surprise. The kids had a great time and of course got a ton of stuff. I think Grandma Johnson just can't help herself. While they were here Ross and I went to a New Year's eve party and Shelby stayed with Grandma and Grandpa at Uncle Travis' and Aunt Sarah's house. It was nice to get out and even nicer to sleep in. We were told that Shelby was a good girl!

The same weekend Ross' aunt Sherry, cousin Katie, and myself threw Kelsey a baby shower. Our niece, Callie Dianne Stocker, is due in early April. After the festivities and everyone heading home in 4 different directions I thought I would be getting some rest!! It had all been a blur since Thanksgiving! Ross and Shelby had another round of colds after everyone left. I still have not gotten my rest.....

Real Estate has been keeping me super busy. I have been doing mini appraisals for banks. Most of them are on properties that are about to be foreclosed on. I have to take a picture of the front of the property. Shelby, obviously comes along, as I don't even have to get out of the car to take the picture and the rest I do from my computer. I do this while Shelby takes her nap and after she goes to bed. I thought maybe I would get to do one every once and awhile....I was wrong. Last week alone I did seven. At least one of these I will be listing once it is foreclosed and the present owners move out. It feels pretty nice to be contributing financially to the family once again.

As for Ross, he just got back from hunting with his family. Since we were out of venison Ross shot a doe and made a gourmet venison dinner for us last night. If I have not told you all already, Ross is an excellent cook!!! Ross is still busy building houses and amid all the builders laying off and going out of business he is still hanging in there. He is still waiting on his day to be a stay at home dad.

And little Shelby is growing smarter and funnier by the day. She obviously gets her goofiness from her daddy. She is really into kicking up her leg right now. She stands in front of my dressing mirror and does it. She was sitting on the stairs today and kicked her leg up and kicked herself in the head. To be so flexible.... She has grown quite attached to her stuffed kitty, whose name is "kitty kitty". She sleeps with it. Ross told us when she opened it at grandma's that it was a snow leopard and ironically we turned on the discovery channel last night to a show about snow leopards. I now can confirm that Kitty Kitty is in fact a snow leopard.

I am uploading some pictures but I still need to get some from aunt Kristen from all the Christmas celebrations.

Shelby opening Kitty Kitty with Aunt Kristen.

Playing with Kitty Kitty.

Shelby checking out all the animals on Noah's ark.

Shelby showing off her unwrapping skills.

Shelby getting on her new tricycle that looks like a little bike with training wheels.

Speed mama!!!

Aunt Kristen and Shelby on the carousel inside Katy Mills Mall. Shelby LOVED it and did not want to get off.

Shelby checking herself out in her first hoodie. She loves this mirror and is quite vain. She can stare, talk, and dance with herself for a long time.

Yup, I look goooood.

Ah, busted....I didn't know you were back there.