31 May 2010

Phillip Moves his Groove

Phillip really proved me wrong soon after the post about his 9th month. The day or so after (Friday) I noticed his right bottom tooth came through. I felt it while he was nursing, little squirrel tried to bite me! Within the matter of an hour today he suddenly learned how to scoot forwards. Amelia put a can of chips about five feet away. He army crawled over, opened the can, and helped himself to a chip...or four. His little bum is so cute all squished up into the air as he gears up to move forwards. I am so proud of my little buddy. He loves refried beans and rice, Popsicles, sippy cups, and now playing on his tummy. PHILLIP IS MOBILE! Watch out! Amelia is already worried about her stuff. He invaded a personal tea party between Amelia and her girls (aka her princess dolls) much to her chagrin. Phillip nearly swallowed a tiny tea cup.

My little garden is exploding with the warmer weather. Friday evening we enjoyed our first green salad made with seven different types of green leaves. Justin manned the grill almost every night this past week for steak kabobs, grilled chicken, zucchini, etc. We are in summer food heaven. Wednesday evening we planted the remainder of my seeds and starts into Sister Meuller's half empty garden plot. Phillip got his first taste of dirt, he really liked it. Thursday we went on a family bike ride down Sidney Draw Road, a little used country road. The bike trailer ended up with a flat, unfortunately, my pump was not working and we both were out of CO2 cartridges. Justin rode ahead to get the pump and come back to help me in the car. We were a block away by the time the cavalry came to assist us. The wind was pretty stiff, which was the main deterrent in my book. Amelia complained most of the time, saying that Dadddy was too far ahead or behind, she was thirsty, that she barfed, that she was hot, that she was cold, etc. Next time I am bringing my iPod.

Amelia is in the very annoying stage of repeating everything about 100 times no matter what my response is. Broken record is a very soft description. 

Saturday morning I photographed a fun family of blond tow heads. Alison found a spot in town that looks like the middle of a tree lined meadow. The morning light was glorious with the spot of shade provided by the trees. I love Ann, she is so funny! Ann was born and raised in Denmark. All of her kids are stunning. The afternoon we spent with the Titus family helping out with a branding.

Titus Branding Party

We had an amazing time on Saturday with the Titus family and many other families from our ward. Brother Titus is a real bonafide cowboy! The guy who owns the land had about a 100 calves to brand, Greg volunteered to help him out. He called for some help and about half the ward showed up. We showed up around 4 pm just in time to see the cowboys saddle up to help round up the cows and calves. It took them 45 minutes to get the herd down to the penned area. The herd was very skittish and reluctant to come down with so many spectators. After we moved back the cows finally came down into the corral. There were about four cowboys working the herd while everyone else helped pin down, vaccinate, neuter the bulls, and brand the little calves. We were all amazed at the talent those guys exhibited while maneuvering their horses and lassos. Due to a ward boundary change we won a couple of awesome families last month. One family has two tough cowgirl teenagers, they could beat the snot out of any guy who gets too near. Those two girls were pulling calf tails, yanking legs, and wrassling those calves with tremendous skill. Anyone who wanted a turn to help out shadowed one of the girls or their mom before taking a turn. Mostly, I manned my camera and herded kiddos while the other adults worked. Justin gave me a short turn to immunize and another turn to wrassle my own calf. I took the end half, tucking a hoof under my armpit and bracing its other leg with my boot. Justin spent most of the time in the corral helping as needed. I think we felt like city slickers coming to terms with country life. Amelia is not a lover of animals larger than she, I was a little worried about her. She was a little skittish around the Titus's dog, King, a huge mongrel who comes up to my chest. Other than that she watched the whole process imitating the cows. I loved watching her climb the corral fence! Phillip spent most of the time in the backpack carrier. We had some vittles around 8:30 pm just as a storm rolled in from the west, entertaining us with spectacular lightening.

My proverbial hat is bowed for the Titus family and any other hard working rancher. I wish we had more chances to teach our kids how to respect animals, how to work the earth, and govern animal life. I am reading in Genesis this week so was particularly touched at how closely farmers and ranchers live the commandments that Adam was given. There is a powerful truth to earning your bread by the sweat of your brow and the stewardship for naming and knowing the life given you to tend. The wafting smoke of burning hair is still a breath away. What an amazing experience! Of course there are some fun pictures you can view at my picasa web album, just click here.