Archive for October, 2012

the ferris wheel…

jasper might have had three state fair requests (we checked off the cotton candy and the roller coaster but the winning the big, big, big toy was a no-go – those fair games are a scam!!  buy coupons to play game but first (!) buy a game card so you can even use the coupons to play a game?  i don’t think so…  you can shove that game card where the sun doesn’t shine, mr. state fair of texas…  stupid game card.  moving on…) but jon had only one.

he wanted us to ride the ferris wheel aka The Big Star…

so we did.

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that sucker was TALL.

did you know that this ferris wheel is one of the tallest ferris wheels in the country?

i believed it once i was standing at the base and looking up.

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windy, windy, high, high.

two things that i discovered about jasper that day:  she loves roller coasters and she isn’t afraid of heights whatsoever.

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hello, you two!

one thing i discovered about myself that day:  heights make me nervous when jasper is involved.  i mean, what if a giant eagle swooped down and grabbed her while she was waving all excitedly down at the tiny ant people far down below on the ground?  what?  it could happen.  have you read tolkien?

so anyway, after a little teasing from jon and jasper and a little loosening of my death grip on jasper, i relaxed and enjoyed myself…  although i kept an eye out of giant eagles.

cotton candy!

as we were walking up to the gates, jasper was breaking it down for me:

“mama, i wanna ride a roller coaster, win a big, big, big toy and eat cotton candy on a stick!  can we do all that?  what do you think?”

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coupons for cotton candy?  check!

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happy smile?  check!

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lick lippin’ good!

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sharing the cotton candy with mama and daddy?  check!

i’d say The Cotton Candy On A Stick Experiment was a definite check!

the state fair of texas, yo!

we made it!!!  yes, it was the very last day of the state fair but we made it!
that was a close call.

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there was dancing exhibitions that jasper was thrilled to participate in…

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kiddy rides to run around in and climb…

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blurry pictures to take…

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animals to feed…

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more close-up photos (whoa, my nose is big)

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more animals to feed…

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and more kiddy roller coasters to ride!

what a day!

the kitty package…

it wasn’t too much later after camping and PawPaw Time that jaz received a package in the mail…  and we know how much she loves those!

what was in the package?

sequined kitty ears from her pawpaw and mimi!

seems as if dad noticed how much jaz likes the kitty ears headbands 🙂

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soooooo two things going on here:

1)  the bow on her head is actually meant to be a bow tie but jasper declared that “bowties are for male cats, mama, and since i am a girl cat then i’ll wear it on my head like that girl mouse with the polka dots and big ears.”  and so she did.

2)  she was being a “very serious kitty” whilel i was taking pictures and she wasn’t breaking character for nothing.

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yes, yes, we get it, Aggressive Kitty… you are awesome…  and sparkly.

good call, dad and barbara!  the tail, the bow and the ears have joined jaspers daily repertoire of kitty accoutrements 🙂

mad brownie points to you both!!!!


that pink gun!

jasper and jon get ready to go squirrel hunting while i take advantage of their Daddy/Daughter Time by reading in the tent under the trees with a soft breeze blowing.

sounds nice, doesn’t it?  it was.

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jon has jasper practice shooting first before they head out.

turns out she can hit towels drying on the barb wire fence pretty well 🙂

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hello, hon!

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off they go.  while i have a Mom Moment and worry horribly about what could go wrong and if they will have a good time and if she will be sad when she sees a squirrel get shot and if there are snakes and if i should take a nap or read.

(it all goes well, they have a wonderful time and i read instead of napping)…

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around the campsite?  her pink gun joins the crowd 🙂

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dad found some antlers for jasper early on in the trip and it wasn’t long before she found something to do with them.

i love stumbling across little Jasper Tableaus like this 🙂

the next morning, dad took jasper squirrel hunting with him while jon and i ran our long run (18 miles, y’all, 18 miles through the hill country.  it was hilly.)…  i am kicking myself that i didn’t get any pictures of them as they walked off because it was a sight that i hope never fades in my head.

also, in a brave move, dad had her take her kitty ear headband off and wear a camo baseball cap.  jasper complied although she thought hard about putting up a fuss.

they headed off;  my dad and my daughter…   jon and i went for our run and when we got back to the tent, i found two more squirrel tails had joined the first one amongst the antlers.

and then it was time to eat (and boy, did we eat!) and get ready to pack up and head home.  dad decided to head back with us so he could get a little extra time with jasper but man, was it a long drive home!

thank you to all the starbucks out there (even the one in that small town that took FOREVER to make my drink) for keeping jon and i alert on the drive back, thanks to joe and connie for being themselves and making us feel welcome and even more:  thanks to dad for the special memories, the good times, the patience and playfulness that he showered on jasper every step of the way.

yep, that is camo…

wait, can you see them?  they are kind of hidden, right?

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oh, there they are!

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yep, i recognize that jasper face…  and the orange sock…  and yep, the kitty ears.

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while dad was at our house visiting, jon and i realized that jasper did not have one item of clothing that wasn’t colorful, bright, patterned or in some way completely ill-suited to being in the woods and not being seen.  not one item of clothing!

the kid likes the bright and patterned stuff, that’s for sure.

so we hied off to academy to find jasper some camo stuff…  i was at work but jon kept me in the loop with pictures, phone calls and “what do you think about this?” texts.

i thought jaz might balk at camo (no colors, “too boyish, mom!”, etc) but she instantly associated it with squirrel hunting,  her daddy and her pawpaw so there wasn’t an issue what so ever.

it’s so nice when that happens 🙂

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and no, i didn’t even suggest that she not wear her kitty ears headband.

always.  pick.  your.  battles.

s’mores, baby!

after a long day (a 5 hour drive, setting up camp, hiking, visiting with joe and connie), we end the day with a birthday party and a campfire.

those are both equal on the awesome scale, i think!

joe and connie cooked a big meal, dad got a italian cream cake (surprisingly good!  the frosting met with my approval.) and i had a birthday party – on my actual birthday!  i can’t remember the last time that happened!

another thanks to dad for being there, getting it all together and let’s not forget my gift (it was a good one; a heartwarming combo of shiny and beautiful with sentimental and familial connections).

it was a good day.

after the dinner and good company, we headed back to the campsite to hang out around the fire.

and eat marshmallows (because although there was already cake, there has to be marshmallows around a camp fire too) while we chit-chatted and enjoyed being there together.

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fire.  pretty.

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roasted, toasted and in my case, burnt-to-a-crisp marshmallows.  good.

(jon calls those shorts my Saggy Butt Cutoffs…  it wasn’t until i saw this picture that i fully appreciated why he calls them that…  still going to wear them though.)

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hello, Our Campsite!  (i kinda miss you…)

a hike out…

what’s the first day of camping without an official First Hike Out?

after hanging out at the camp for a bit and getting it “just perfect”, we went out to explore the surrounding hillsides.

jon was planning on doing some hunting (squirrel and hog)  so we were hiking and getting the lay of the land at the same time…  it was a bit warm but not too bad.  i did forget sunscreen for everyone though…  again.

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and we are off!

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let me tell you something:  i don’t know if this is a Jasper Thing or a Kid Thing but we don’t go anywhere without jaz (and myself) ending up with pockets and hands full of Stuff…  rocks, flowers, nuts, you name it; if she thinks its neat, cool or pretty, she wants to cart it home with us.

most of the time, i am pretty good about limiting her to how much she can bring home with her but this time, i don’t know…  it was hard…  i mean, they were really cool flint rocks!

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by the time we were heading back down the mountain, my hands were full, pawpaw’s hands were full, jaspers hands were full and jons?  you guessed it – full!

pretty flowers and flint turn out to be hard to say no to…  especially when she is willing to haul the rocks herself!

and yes, she is totally wearing a set of kitty ears.  really, are you surprised?

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how do you know a campsite has a 6 year old girl in residence?  flowers in water bottles are everywhere!

hey, they brighten up the place if you ask me 🙂

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not just flowers everywhere but piles of rocks as well…  and again, i kind of love it.

after all, if i am honest with myself?  if she hadn’t collected and gathered the rocks?  i probably would have…

mountain home, here we are!

dad was in mountain home (down in hill country past fredericksburg) to visit family friends…  we love to camp down there and it was an opportunity to see dad again, introduce our jasper to her uncle joe and aunt connie and get our camp on!

it’s so pretty down there – i love camping out there and wish we did it more often (bit of a drive for a weekend lark, is the problem)…

jon and i stayed up way too late on friday packing and loading, woke up way too early on saturday to drive down there and yep, it was totally worth it!

i knew it would be…

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we camped out by the creek under scrub oaks – it ended up being a particularly good site once the storm hit that night…

the low trees protected us from the worst of the rain…

(although i still had to construct a towel dam to prevent my sleeping bag from getting wet!

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it didn’t take long for jasper and pawpaw to find something to do while jon and i set up camp!

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she rode the branch while pawpaw pushed it up and down!

there was lots of “yee-haw“ing and rodeo moves, i assure you.

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campsite is set up, fire ring is done; now it’s hang out time…

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a pile of blankets and sleeping bags and pillows?  made for a girl playing kitty!

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the kitty is getting territorial…  or so i was told.

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luckily, pawpaw was always willing to toss the girl up in the air and make that branch move!

i’m sure he got tired of doing it but he did it every time jasper asked…

(thanks, dad!)

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there we are:  our little temporary home away from home.  it’s always interesting to me to see how quickly our campsites become Our Campsite.

water, fire, trees, stars, family, toilet paper and marshmallows – i’d say we covered all the bases 🙂

another birthday!

dad came into to visit us a couple of weekends ago and he brought jasper lilith her birthday present…  of course, she loved getting another present and it was extra special because it was a surprise 🙂

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they were a beautiful set of peridot (her birth stone) and gold studs – a little too nice to wear right now but it won’t be long before she is old enough to wear them…  in fact, it will not be long enough if you ask me; the girl grows so quickly…

we were all more excited about the pretty studs than she was (kids don’t always get the When You Get Older Present) but she was appreciative and took great joy in placing them ever so carefully in her jewelry box 🙂

thanks, pawpaw and mimi!!!

(ps.  if you ever see me wearing them, don’t worry…  i asked her first…  just sayin’…)