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Why? my blog title "Better2me"

As a woman, mother, and wife my first instinct is to take care of those around me. I nurture those I love in many ways through out the day, but sometimes find myself neglecting me. Recently I realized that I need to nurture myself as well. So this blog is about ME!!!!! What fills my heart; my simple life of kids, husband, animals, home, and creativity. For being better2me leads me to be better to those I love.

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Buck of a Lifetime

Not long ago, Kevin invited a group over for dinner.  One man, Terry, was to take his check ride the next day with Kevin, but he was very nervous, and Kevin thought a relaxing evening might put him at ease.  As we visited, I learned a little bit about him.  Struggling with Dyslexia his whole life, he dropped out of school at fourteen, and made his way to the top of the Texas oil business.  He had recently purchased a seven million dollar plane and wanted to fly it himself, but was nervous because he had failed the written test many times, due to the fact that it could not be read to him.  

He and Keaton made an instant connection.  Terry not only loved flying, he also owned a hunting lodge near his home in central Texas, that catered to the wealthy.  They had much in common, and as Terry went to leave, he invited Keaton and Hoss to it. 

Of course we didn't think much about it until we received a call from the lodge that they would like to set some dates.  I was proud of Keaton as he had to do some soul searching beforehand.  He had killed some dove and ducks, but was not sure he was ready to kill a deer, he had heard that if the kill shot is not placed perfectly, some animals may suffer before you can finish it, and he did not want that to happen(although he is my hunter, he is also very sensitive). He decided to go on the realization, that he didn't know if he was ready and decided that he would make that decision when the time came. 

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On a four day weekend from school, Mossy (Terry's flight instructor and friend of Kevin's) Kevin, Keaton, Hoss, and Landis flew to Texas. The first two were there for the relaxation, the last three to bag a deer.  More than a mere lodge, the massive structure, sat on thousands of acres, with  their own personal lake for fishing, chef and guides.  They even took Terry's private helicopter to tour the property.  

During the first day of hunting, the group was divided up so that they could fit in separate blinds; Keaton, Kevin, and a guide in one, Landis, Hoss, and guide, in another.  Keaton had decided to wait for a specific type of deer, because their meat was better tasting, even though they were not the prize deer that most want.  After many hours one came within sight, and Keaton aimed and shot, supposedly missing his target.  The guide could not figure out what had occurred and assumed Keaton had flinched.  My very competent young hunter stated emphatically that the shot was on the mark.

When they arrived back at camp, all rejoiced over the beautiful deer Landis got, and the great kill shot, through the heart, that she had inflicted.  The guides took them out for some target practice before the next days hunt.  Soon it became apparent that there was something off on the borrowed gun Keaton was using. All his shots were in the same area, but below the target.  Hoss and the guide tried and all their shots were also low.  Turns out the sight of the gun was off and although Keaton felt vindicated, he was bummed about his first deer, that got a way.

When Terry heard about this, he was very concerned and pulled Kevin aside and stated that although the group had been hunting management bucks, he thought it was important that Keaton get something better, so he had instructed his guide to take him to a different area where "trophy" deer are found.  Kevin argued, but to no avail.

The next day, after hours of waiting, a buck made its way into view.  Its multiple points confirmed it be a much sought after deer, and so Keaton put down his gun.  
     But his guide said, "For practice, aim at the buck."
     Keaton did.
     Next he said, "Take off the safety."
     Keaton questioned, "why?"
     "For practice," he replied.  "Now, slowly squeeze the trigger..."
     Keaton quietly whispered, "But it's a trophy deer."
      "Just squeeze the trigger."
     Keaton did :)

Then his guide told him "I was just kidding!," and Keaton's heart that was already pounding out of his chest, accelerated, lol. Next the guide congratulated him and told him that his deer was in fact very close to a world record deer.  (Records have to do with the points given to a deers antlers; size, distance apart, and number of points.  I had not realized that the amount of points a deer has, has nothing to do with its age, but everything to do with its genetic makeup.)  

When I spoke with him, I told him I had heard about his amazing deer... then I realized there was something else in his voice, when I questioned him, he stated that he didn't see the big deal,  hunting to him wasn't about the trophy, and that you shouldn't hunt just for something to hang on the wall,  that an animal was giving its life to provide you with meat.  That is when I realized he is going to be a good hunter and an even more amazing person.  

When they returned, Kevin told me that although he had gone for Keaton's sake (did I mention what an amazing husband I have :), and did not think he would participate, his outlook had changed.  He had seen the respect for the animals, the need for hunting, and most especially the way that Keaton interacted with it.  I agreed, for when Keaton returned he had matured and grown in so many ways, I hardly recognized him.  

What an amazing experience that father and son got to share, I am extremely grateful to Terry, and all those (Tyler, Monty, Hoss, Mossy, Kev) that made it possible.



Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Special Gift

A little over a month ago my oldest son celebrated his twenty-second birthday. My youngest son wanted to get him a very special gift and so he thought and thought until the perfect one came to mind. Kellan had been wanting to build a certain quad-copter, the problem was that each component of the copter cost upwards of $100.00. Keaton decided to start Kellan off with the frame, but at $140.00, he would need to wait another month, cleaning the pool and doing the rest of his chores for his allowance, so he could add to what he already had saved. When Keaton had enough money, he ordered it, and told Kellan that a package from him was on its way. Kellan asked me secretly if Keaton had gotten him a duck call...playing into it I replied that Kellan should look surprised even if he knew what it was already. Several days later Kellan skyped Keaton, big tears were falling and he was so excited he literally was jumping for joy. Keaton saw Kellans excitement and his face lit up, he knew he had done something really special for his brother. What I don't think he realized was that Kellan's joy was more about the thought and care that went into the present, then the extravagant present itself. A few days later Kellan called to tell me he had ordered carbon fiber material to make Keaton an equally nice quad-copter, so that they could fly them together. :) What is that los saying, "Give and you shall receive" in more ways than one :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Passionate!

Out of thousands of entrants, Keaton not only won the lottery for duck hunting, he also received opening day and is in the top 20, so he will be able to pick a prime spot! So excited for him!!!!

face timing with Kellan on his birthday.

Twenty-two, where has the time gone.

Dear Kellan, For the second time in 22 years, I will not be with you to celebrate your birthday. This breaks my heart! Not only did your birth make me a mother for the first time, it gave me a higher purpose. I have learned as much from being your mother, as I hope you have from me. And now I find myself in the enviable position of calling you friend. What a great gift. I am so thankful that you have such amazing lifelong friends who will be there with you today. Happy Birthday baby, I love you!
Mom
P.S. To celebrate your birthday we will be having steak and freshly caught lobster, thanks to Hoss. (you can still make it )
P.P.S. Remember when Keaton was smaller than you think

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Teachers

At Back-to-School-Night, we meet Keaton's teachers: Mr. Davis(the P.E. drill sargeant from Hell), Mrs. Rannis (the second generation Los Osos math teacher), Ms. Visconti (who Kellan hated, and I loved as she is an extremely differential teacher, who greatly challenges her students, and as my husband said If I were teaching English, I would be exactly like her. ), Mrs. Fox (the small birdlike Spanish teacher), and Mrs. Koulkol (the highly quirky and somewhat ADD science teacher).

Knowing all of them (except P.E.), were handpicked by Keaton's counselor for him, gave me some peace of mind. However, when we got to science I wondered if this teacher was going to work. Keaton needs a teacher who is logical and organized in their approach, and Mrs. Koulkol looked scattered as she stammered her way through the presentation. Then, she pulled up the projector screen and in the front and center of her board was a huge poster that stated "If a child cannot learn how we teach, then why don't we teach how they learn." My worry instantly lessened, as this is one of my favorite quotes and, I believe, one that if followed would revolutionize the school system and allow all children to reach their full potential. As she explained the quote, you could tell her passion and knowledge of how this needed to occur, and knew she would be a good teacher for Keaton.

Six weeks later, as Keaton and I were discussing biology he brings up that his teacher has this great quote in her classroom "If a child cannot learn...," and that she often discusses different learning styles and has different ways for kids to do the same work, according to what works for them. He confides that he really likes this quote, and what it represents, and then he asks me to discuss the kind of learner he is and how it affects his learning.

Now, I know that having her as a teacher is priceless. Thank you, Mrs. Koulkol, for reaching my child in a way that I could not, and for allowing him to be proud of who he is and his amazing uniqueness.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A Chain of Kindness





One evening, during out stay in Alaska, I met an older couple in the elevator. We both were trying to navigate the complexities of the resort and began to laugh, as it turned into a game of Russian Roulette, trying to find the corresponding floors, to our corresponding needs.

We parted ways, but soon afterward they walked into the overcrowded bar looking for a place to eat dinner. No seats were available and so Kevin and I asked them to sit with us. Quickly, we learned that Joe, who reminded me of my father, and was the same age as he would have been, 87, had also served in WWII. He was a retired financial advisor, who spent his retirement trying to eradicate illiteracy in his southern community, something I greatly admired. He also had a penchant for small whiskey distilleries, as does my oldest son, and so a great discussion ensued over their favorites. Others around us began to contribute and soon it was a fun game of name that whiskey, that left everyone laughing.

His wife, Marilyn, was a retired nurse, who spoke glowingly about their children, their home, and the fact that every year they picked a new spot to explore on their vacation, this year it was an Alaskan cruise. It soon became apparent that she also had great responsibility in helping Joe, as dementia hidden beneath the surface began to rise. As he repeated the same questions and introduced himself again, I smiled and responded by once again introducing myself. She smiled in thanks at me, and I saw the sadness in her eyes. I realized this was her reality and she had accepted him for who he was, a great reminder that marriage is a lifelong commitment.

When their food arrived, we excused ourselves so they could eat. As we left, my hubby, who is the kindest and most generous man I know, asked the waitress for their bill and paid it, with a stipulation that they not know who their benefactor was.

Several nights later, we stopped in for a quick dinner and happened to have the same waitress. She couldn't wait to tell us that Joe and Marilyn were so surprised over their gift, but also wanted us to know we had started a chain of kindness. Joe and Marilyn had ordered coffee and dessert, which was not included in what we had already paid, but another patron who had overheard Kevin, generously added it to his bill, again without them knowing who it was from.

As we got up to leave the waitress handed Kevin a box with a dessert he had been contemplating and then decided against. She told him that this was not paying it forward, as she would do that in the near future to someone who was not expecting it, but that this was a thank you for starting the chain and giving her such an amazing gift as seeing it unfold. Thus the chain came full circle as Kevin was given a gift greater, gratitude, than he had given. Isn't that what it's all about?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Birthday Wish From a Big Brother.


These are the words that Kellan placed on Keaton's Facebook page for his birthday, they warm my heart and give me hope that far into the future they will still have each other's backs.




Well, before the day is over; HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE MAN! the past 15 years have been quite rough but we made it through it all! now that im done talking about dad I just wanted to say that its awesome having you as my little bro. Wouldn't want any one else as mine because, to be honest, i wouldn't have learned nearly as much as i have from you. Learning about myself and how I interact with others. I know your influence on me is just a start, and a small part of your life, but I'm glad to be a part of it and can't wait for what the future holds. Love ya little man and Happy Birthday! -- Your favorite brother, Kellan ;)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

My blog is a journal full of memories I want to keep. However, I have been lax in keeping it up to date. Unfortunately, I find Instagram easier and quicker to navigate......so, I am entering some moments I want to keep and then hope to take the time to enter these small, but meaningful moments as they come. 21 years ago today I woke Kev up at 1 am in full blown labor, it was time to go. He proceeded to take a shower and shave, then we had to stop for gas and $ at the ATM where he promptly forgot his PIN.And that was the best part of the birth experience, but at 6:02 am I received the most amazing gift of a son. A gift that has grown exponentially and I am thrilled that I also call him friend. Happy 21rst Birthday Kellan. I am also so grateful for friends such as Rachel who planned a great birthday for him, including a designated driver, and buying him his first drink at midnight.

about me

Alta Loma, California, United States
I am a wife of 28 years to Kevin, a pilot, a mother of 22 year old Kellan and 15 year old Keaton. I am caretaker to a zoo of animals including dogs, cats, chickens, fish, birds, turtles, etc. I am a gardener, a cook, a writer, a painter, a teacher, and I am truly blessed to be able to live life the way I wish too.