Friday, October 31, 2008

The Rain

The rains have come. It all started yesterday. First a few little sprinkles here and there and then, wham! It hit. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night and thought something was wrong because I heard water running. After laying there a little while to muster up the energy to go investigate the problem, I concluded that it was the rain.

So, for me, rain means that I have to get up in the dark and cold, get dressed, shuffle out to the garage and get into my boots, don my jacket and head out into the rain and wind to feed my babies. My babies would all be equines for anyone who isn't aware of what makes me tick (duh). In the evening, it's the same story except I'm not quite so sleepy - just annoyed because I have to still cook dinner (which I so hate doing).

The rain also means something else (heh-heh). It means those evening when my lover and I give each other "that look" and sneak off into the hot tub outside of our bathroom on the deck. We sit out there, discuss mundane topics and allow the rain to drench our faces and the wind to whip our hair. We don't care because we are alone together and the warm water keeps our bodies from noticing the elements around us.

It also means that we lie in bed later and are allowed to listen to a love song being tapped out on our roof above our heads. My lover always knows what the rain does to me and he is eager to get the events of the evening under way. We hustle to get the kids to bed - reminding them of how "tired" they are and quickly scamper back to our end of the house and make the preparations for bedtime. Oh yes, these are my favorite evenings of all. All snuggled in by the one I love. It surely doesn't get much better than this!!!

So, now that it is time to go out and feed my horses, I head to the garage to don my gear. I always make the appropriate grumbles and groans so that my family "thinks" I am put out and performing a task that is sooooo undesirable. Secretly, I have a twinkle in my eye and a smirk fighting its way to my face because tonight . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Madie's Visit

Madisen (Madie) came out to visit us for her fall break from school in Utah. I worried that she would be bored at out home and that there would be a shortage of things to do. Wrong!!! The first night she was there, the boys took her out to the movies (on a school night, no less). I guess they had the best time. To me, at first, she appeared a little quiet which I, naturally, took to mean that she wasn't having the best experience.
On Friday while she was here, her and I took Bart up into the city and went shopping (cuz that's what girls are supposed to do - it's our job and our right as women, right?). Wow, that was fun! I don't know which was better - people watching or shopping. At any rate, we got really silly in one store and started trying on hats, sunglasses, dresses and all kinds of funky stuff. We were actually contemplating on buying the same outfit and wearing it to the party we were going to on Saturday. Fortunately for Aunt Diane, we opted to not go that route.
Anyway, what I found so cool about Madisen is that she is the
blackest white girl I have ever known! She is adopted by white
parents and lives in a predominately white community. I think there are only like two black kids at her school. But living out here in the Bay Area where it is such a diverse mix of culture and color, I expected a black girl to act like a black girl. Complete with the accent and attitude. Not Madie! She actually made the comment, "It is so wierd seeing so many black people out here." We asked if she thought it was cool and she said, "No, not really, just wierd."
So, it goes to show you - you can NEVER judge a book by it's cover and things are never as they appear. We will always be gratefuly for her visit and cherish the fun memories that we got to make together!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Courtney's Shopping Day

I bopped into Mervyn's today because I heard that they were having a HUGE clearance because they are going out of business. I went in there because the boys had both asked me to pick up some socks for them. It was one of the most daunting things I have experienced in a long time and the effects have lingered into the evening. This is truly an indication of what's coming and a sign of the times (not to sound cliche). The lights were turned down to about 50% so that added even more to the "feel" that things were in a bad way.

On the bright side, I saw racks and racks of discounted clothing that were about Courtney's size. There were also numerous pairs of shoes. After she was out of school today, I picked her up and, since it was just "us girls", we scurried right on over there. It was so much fun to watch her try on several pairs of shoes and then again as she lit up when I told her she could have three pairs (the prices were really THAT low). We then bought her a jacket, underwear, socks and a sweatshirt. She was bouncing all over the place.

Then, in true Courtney spirit, I went over to the adult women's shoes and she got all excited as we found a cute pair that we just knew Brandilyn would love. She said, "Can we get these for her?". Of course, I can't resist spoiling my "Oboe Joboe" so we got them. It was also endearing when Courtney then started telling me how much she misses her older sister. Well, that got me going as well. I miss her so much it hurts!!! I'm so glad that I have good company.

Sometimes I find myself getting annoyed with constant chatter that comes out of Courtney's mouth that makes absolutely no sense at all. But, really, she is just a sweet little girl that loves lace, pink, purple, Hannah Montana, and all that frilly girlly stuff that drives me insane. It's not her fault she ended up with such a free spirited hippy for a mom but I guess that's the challenge we both have to face. How to coexist!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unexpected Fun

Last Saturday night Skip and I went to a costume party in Phoenix at his brother, Craig, and his wife, Julie's house. We aren't really that fond of the whole Halloween tradition as a rule. There are some really cool things that my husband and I actually do agree on and Halloween has always been one of them. However, because I love Julie so dog gone much and her and I seem to connect so well, Skip and I opted to be good sports and go to this costume party.
We dressed up like hippies. We were both just going through the motions in our motel room and actually just tolerating each other for the time being. As it turned out, Skip looked absolutely fabulous. I LOVED the hair (dreads) and thought, "Wow, if we actually looked like this 24/7, I would think he was pretty hot!" (Um, well, he is actually hot but that is a different story). I just couldn't get over how really great he looked and the HAIR. Oh my gosh, the HAIR!!!
So, yeah, just check out the pics! Curt and Diane were a pirate and wench, Craig and Julie were the Queen and King of hearts and Ashley (Julie and Criag's daughter) was a geisha. Don't we look fabulous. I thought so.

Anyway, we went to the party and actually had a great time. It took a little while for the two of us to warm up because 1) we didn't really know anyone there other than Curt and Diane (another one of Skip's brothers and wife) and Craig and Julie and 2) we weren't drinking which made us not only a minority, but pretty much exclusive. I think there was only one other person that was "dry" that night.

At any rate, I loosened up after a bit and was really have fun interacting with all these people that were pretty loose themselves. It was so much fun going outside of myself. I was also pretty useful in the kitchen because the food needed to be refreshed. At one point, I was outside with Julie and were singing into the microphone being silly.

By the time that the evening was over (well, for Curt, Diane and Skip) and they wanted to leave, I found myself coming up with creative ways to delay like wanting more pictures, showing excessive interest in all of Julie's ten million decorations and engaging in coversation with anyone who would listen.

The ironic thing is - I HAD FUN!!! I had fun at a Halloween party! I had fun dressing up at a Halloween party. I had fun and so did my husband! I think we will do this again. Wait, did I really just say that????

Monday, October 20, 2008

Last Run of the Seasson

That was the title of a photo that Brandilyn had posted on her Facebook not too long ago. It was a picture of her and David at their last snowboarding run of last season. That phrase has stuck with me . . .

I was out riding in the hills with Madisen who has been visiting me from Utah. We have had a great visit and capped it off with an awesome ride yesterday. We did Manzanita and went out around a great spot where we have a view of forever. As we were heading back to the barn it hit me, "this is the last run of the season." Don't know where that thought came from and I hope, certainly hope, that it's not.

My friend called me who has been "borrowing" one of our horses for the summer to ride and told me it was time to bring Cowboy home. She was getting ready for her fall stuff and wasn't going to have enough time to ride. We drove over to Danville and loaded him up and brought him home. It was his "last run of the season."

My sister got married two weeks ago. We planned her reception at my home this last Saturday. I had planned the reception to be indoors because of my experience with the disaster in August with Brandilyn's reception (the winds were horrible). The days leading up to my sister's big day were absolutely gorgeous so I went out on a limb and moved the event outdoors. It was fabulous. This morning when I woke up it was cold, windy and very foggy. I guess my sister's reception was out "last run of the season."

And so it goes. I look around me and feel the winds of change blowing everywhere. Do we need to be sad about these changes? About these doors that seem to be slowly creaking closed? Nope. I choose to look at these as opportunities to turn around and see where the next open door to slip through is that will lead to the next big adventure.

Because, you know what? Tomorrow I leave for Montana to take my final exam for Footzoning. I am very confident (not cocky) that I will pass this. I am fascinated by every facet of this new adventure in my life and I honestly feel that I have a purpose to serve others with this gift that I have been offered. So, there it is! The first run of my new season!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tis the Season!

Oh drears, it's that time of year again. The time where I frantically cancel all of my appointments and launch a full scale attack on Christmas. I spend obscene amounts of money to ensure that my family members all receive the perfect gifts. I do "Elfy Claus" (don't ask - it's a lot of work and a lot of $$), I do stocking boxes (yes, boxes, big ones FULL of everything imagineable for my kids), we have our front room absolutely filled to the gills with presents. Yes, Christmas has always been a big affair in the Weltz Family.

This year HAS to be different. The economy has seen to that. So, what is a girl like me to do? I have fretted and fussed over the implications of "scaling down". So . . . I sat my kids down for Family Home Evening on Monday and informed them of the bad news. I was braced for all out mutiny.

What I received was understanding and, yes, even a little bit of sympathy for what I was feeling. I was so stunned! My kids were asked to write out their Christmas list and, instead of seeing the 3 page essays that I have in the past, I saw papers with only a few modest desires. I was so proud of my kids. I have always accused them of being a bunch of materialistic brats and they showed me, didn't they.

I am grateful that Heavenly Father has smiled down upon my little head at this moment. I am grateful that Brian actually said that Christmas was about Christ and not the presents. I am grateful that Robbie said "Mom, we don't need a bunch of stuff to be happy" and I am grateful that the twins only put a couple of modest requests on their list (okay, except for the ipod that Courtney asked for - she doesn't quite get it).

So, now, I need to start looking at the next few months and decide which direction I am really going to take in this Christmas thing. Can I really put more "Christ" into our Christmas this year? Is there someone out there that can give me a clue how to do that? Does that sound insanely crazy? Wow, I'm so overwhelmed by this whole concept that I think I need to go shopping! Maybe I will buy them a few extra presents because they are so wonderful . . .

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Thrill of the Hunt

I came home this afternoon from picking up the kids from school. There was a note on the kitchen counter that read, "Mom, Me and Ellie went for a ride at the park." That would be Brian that authored that little dittie. I was both surprised and happy. Surprised that Brian would take the initiative to go out and ride his mare and happy that both of them were out getting some exercise. Both of them needed it.

Skip, the twins and Robbie left early to go to the church for an activity tonight so that left me home alone. Brian arrived back from his ride shortly thereafter while I was out feeding the animals. When I got back up to the house and had settled down on the computer for some "down time", Brian came into my office and announced that he had lost his wallet out on the trail. It was now about 6:00 in the evening.

I jumped into action without taking any thought to what the time was. I threw on my boots and hurried down to grab my horse, Mosca, and tack him up. Brian was right behind me with Zoe. I never threw a horse together so fast in my life. I left the barn at a gallop and headed for the park. I waited there for Brian who was just a few beats behind me (Zoe is fat, old and extremely out of shape - Mosca is young and pretty athletic).

At the park we made a game plan. Since he had ridden on the Manzanita trail, which is a very steep loop trail, we decided to split up and go different directions. With the younger horse I would be able to cover more trail in a shorter period of time. David Haynes, you would have paid big bucks for this opportunity!!! I galloped pretty much most of the trail and was able to find the fated wallet at the bottom of the Manzanita trail (of course). I then finished the trail and never intersected Brian. I was beginning to wonder if a) something had happened bad to him and/or Zoe or b) he had gone a different way. Either one wasn't a good sign.

I went for a little bit further then decided to turn around and go back out to see if I could find Brian. I went all the way back to the Manzanita Trail and saw the top of his white hat as he was heading back down. I called for him and he turned around (lucky for Zoe). He walked up to me and I asked if he had found his wallet. His face fell as he realized that I didn't have it (I couldn't resist). I then let a large grin envelope my face as I produced the wallet. He was elated and I told him I thought he was the luckiest son-of-a-gun alive.

We headed back slowly as Zoe was exhausted (Dave, you can relate to this, right?). We were able to observe and enjoy the beautiful full moon on the dark crisp night. We ambled slowly back and arrived back at our place about 7:30. We were both in great spirits.

There is nothing like the "the thrill of the hunt" - especially when you get to do it on the back of a horse. Thank you, Brian, for another wonderful adventure for me to blog about. It was one of the funnest nights I have had in a long time. I will never forget these wonderful times. I love you, buddy, and am grateful that prayers always get answered - sometimes the way we really want them to, to boot!

Ride Jacob Ride

As I often do, I went to the barn after I got the kids home from school to go ride one of my horses. It's a chore that I have come to enjoy a lot. I love horses and am rather sad that, at this stage of the game, none of my children seem to enjoy these lovely animals as much as I do. That would be, of course, with the exception of Brandilyn. She is married and lives far away and is not able to ride anymore. I miss that as much as I miss her.

I have always thought of the twins as just content to sit around in their rooms and do nothing. Well, nothing in my opinion. Jacob likes to play with his Legos or obsess about his Matchbox cars - put them in rows by color and style or whatever. At any rate, when I'm at the barn they are usually up in their rooms doing whatever it is that they do.

Yesterday, however, was different. I was tacking up my horse to ride and I heard, "Mom, what are you doing?" I turned around to find Jacob riding down to see me on his scooter. Wow! What a surprise. I'll take it! He then asked if he could ride a horse too. That took me back but then I heard myself say, "Yeah, let's go get Zoe for you to ride."

His little face was beaming as he was trying to lead her down to the barn. He was a little intimidated by such a large animal but was eager to help brush her and asked a tone of questions about the different pieces of tack I was putting on her. He wasn't even scared when I hoisted him up and into the saddle and handed him the reins. I have to tell you, he did pretty good! I had to get on him a little bit about how to do a few things. I wish I had a picture to show about how he had the reins up around his ears as he was trying to make Zoe stop or slow down.

After a bit, we went on a "tour". We left the arena and walked around the place. I was on Mosca and he was on Zoe. There was one little spot where Zoe decided to take off at a fast trot and Jacob became a little panicked. I loped up and grabbed his reins and got the mare under control. He tootled around with me for about 45 minutes. I was so dog gone proud of him!!!

So, is this another shot at having a riding partner? I don't know but I will ride this one out!! For now, you can find me in the barn cleaning tack or getting one of my horse ready with a new little sidekick - Jacob!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Condoms for Brian

Brian received an assignment in class to partner up with another student and create a presentation for the class on their research on a company (economics class). Brian's partner, for whatever reason, submitted that they were going to research Trojan (as in rubbers). The task of creating a poster for the project fell upon my son. On that poster he was to have photos, information and, if possible, samples of the product manufactured by the selected company.

I went into Walmart today in search of the product that was selected. I was standing at the display at the store when a friend of mine happened to see me. She then joined me in my search and decision of which package of rubbers to purchase for this project. We were laughing and vascillating between several different options in the rubber selection.

An elderly woman happend to cruise by riding in her electric cart. She must have overheard our conversation because she quipped, "Better safe than sorry, sweetie." I then smiled and shot back, "Oh, they're not for me - they're for my son." She gave me the oddest look and then my friend chimed in with "Oh, Jody, that sounded really bad." I paused, thought, and then we both busted laughing hysterically.

Okay, so my son's presentation project is in poor taste (as my husband will say) but, heck, it sure makes a funny story! I mean, really, how many moms get to have this much fun with their teenagers?

I came home and said, "Hey, Brian, your rubbers are in the car!"

He said, "Hey, thanks Mom" as he went out to get them. He came walking into the house and said, "Cool, this one has a vibrating ring! This one is a pleasure pack of four! Wow, this is great. It's just what I need."

Yes, I'm the "cool" mom!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Baby Nut Not

I have often worried about the fact that I simply don't like little children. When Shauna Leigh had Allie I thought she was cute enough but really had no desire to "hold" her (although I did) or bond with her. I was a little worried about my reaction to the child of someone that I was so close to. Then we have Ava Grace. I was sure that it would be different but, alas, it wasn't. Skip bonded with Ava and now Ava worships the ground he walks on. She calls him "Poppa" and it's so dog gone cute but she doesn't really give two hoots about me - my fault.

Okay, so last night Sarah came over for dinner and brought Ava. She is about 1-1/2 now and is walking and talking up a storm. I was riding Zoe in the arena when she pulled up and I asked if Ava could ride with me. Sarah let her and it was so awesome to watch Ava go from being scared and crying to actually talking and interacting with me. We rode up the hill to see Poppa and she was excited to show Grandpa how she was riding the horsey.

The same thing with Allie. When I visited Shauna Leigh about a month ago, I was able to interact and enjoy Allie. She played with me and actually wanted me to read to her. It meant a lot.

I guess the deal is that I don't care for babies at all. I don't want to be this way and, now that I look back, I think I was a little bit that way with my own (oh my, is this what the problem with them is?). Is that okay to admit that I'm not a baby nut? I see all these other grandmas cooing and fussing over the babies and I'm just kind of keeping my distance and smiling politely to the mom.

Bottom line - please be patient with me. I will be your teenager's best friend. I will be the fun grandma (Granny Jo) once they are out of diapers. Until then, take good care of them for me, please.

Okay, now that Ava Grace and Allie are starting to get fun (that would be in my opinion, of course) I need to put on my play clothes and get ready to have some real Grandma Fun! Bring it on, girls!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008


Out of ALL the Christmas pictures my family has taken over the years, this one is my absolute favorite. Of course, I can say that today, 4-1/2 years after the fact.
You see, every year we gather on a Family Home Evening night to take our annual Christmas picture. Everyone in the family but Brandilyn and I hated the ritual. The kids will tell you that Skip and I AWAYS got into an argument. Skip didn't like being directed and Brandilyn and I were the directors of this particular production.
This particular year, for whatever reason, I chose to shoot the entire photo session on film rather than my usual digital. I would set the camera up on the tripod and run back in and join my family for the shot. I then took the film down to Target for processing and imagine my surprise when I viewed ALL the photos and discovered that we had one uncooperative member of our family. Yes, that would be my Brian. What? Brian wasn't enjoying the events of this evening???
Brian has always been, how should I put this gently, my more challenging child. Anyone remotely close to my family will testify of the challenges we have had with Brian throughout the years. I can honestly say that until about six months ago, this would definitely NOT have been my favorite family photo. Things have dramatically changed, however. Brian has become the most cooperative member of my family. He arises early (on his own) every morning for seminary, attends ALL his classes at school and is on the honor roll, of all things. When he asks to do something and the answer is "no", he takes in stride and even says, "well, thanks for thinking about it, at least." I would never have dreamed that this day would come. Yes, there are a few things that we are struggling with Brian on (i.e. a mission) but I know that with the changes that have taken place thus far, Brian will make the right choices for his future.
So, we see, that Heavenly Father does have a perfect plan for all of us. I guess we all needed to go through the difficult times to enjoy the good times, right? Well, let ME think that way, at least. I think having a big sister all married in the temple and living on her own with an awesome brother-in-law has helped the situation a lot. Then there is the good choices in friends that he has made. What about the fact that he is about to be 18 years old in just 1-1/2 months. Incredible! Whatever it is, I am grateful for the peace that has settled on my home. I love you, Brian, with all my heart and soul.