Who We Are

Thursday, December 31, 2009

On The Hunt!

Hi everypuppy and everykittycat! It's me, Ammy! Many of you were wondering about my post yesterday, on Wordless Wednesday. What did I see? What did I smell? What was I stalking? Was it Oswald? Or a squirrel? Or one of Zimmie's kit-cat friends? Well...

DSCN3021 Ammy
I know you're over there! I can smell you!

I could sure smell him, but this is all that was left:

DSCN3140 Bunny tracks in the snow
Oswald tracks!

Oswald Lapin had been here, alright, but he ran off when he saw me coming!

DSCN3055 Ammy
And DON'T come back!

I think I showed him whose yard this is! Ha-rumph!

For all those meteorology/astronomy fans out there - tonight isn't just a full moon, it's a blue moon! Isn't that exciting; it's the first New Year's Eve blue moon since 1990 and the last one until 2028! Now THAT'S something to celebrate, isn't it? (As we say in the meteorology business, "Let's celebrate - meet you at the isobar." Hee hee hee! At the isobar. Hee hee hee! It's so cold here, we could call it the ice-o-bar. Hee hee hee! Oh, I just love that one!)

And for all who will be celebrating New Year's Eve tonight - please have fun but remember to be safe! We'll see you in 2K10!!!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Other Activities

Woo, everypup and everycat. It's me, Dave. Zim and my sisters have shown you some pretty cool pix of our blizzard. Have you been enjoying those? Need a few of me, the Deeve, out enjoying the snow? Here you go:

Here I am, looking thoughtfully at the snow.

DSCN3053 Dave

I was trying to write a Haik-woo, but nothing came to me. Mom kept saying that old Jacques Brel line, "Il neige sur Liège" and it threw off my concentration.

Here's another shot - the wind blew the snow away from some spots -- you can see our grass here!

DSCN3054 Dave

We had some incredible drifts. Check out one in our backyard here and one at our neighbors' front door here. Woo.

Back to our yard...

DSCN3057 Dave

Cool pose, don't you think?

But anyway, it hasn't been all snow, snow, snow around here. I've been doing other stuff, too. Like what? Hmm... like spending quality time with my mom...

IMG_5092 Dave
Oooh, yeah. Right there, Mom!

And with Storm...

IMG_5098 Dave and Storm
Woo, Stormy. Would you teach me the Latin words to "Oh Come, All Ye Faithful"?
Sure, Dave. Repeat after me...

And so, in keeping with the season, I've been leading everyone around here in Christmas carols!

IMG_5043 Dave
"...Adeste fideles, Laeti triumphantes. Venite, venite in Bethlehem!..."

Stormy taught me the Latin real good, didn't she? Woo. She's so smart.

I hope all of you are enjoying the Christmas season!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Look Into My Eyes...

Ha roo, pups and cool cats. Do you know what I really feel like doing right now? Working on one of my really cool snow forts. Mom doesn't really feel like going out into "the cold" right now. I just can't understand that; where are her priorities? I've got to work on her... wear down her resistance.

Let me start the mind-meld: Look into my eyes...

DSCN0742_2 Zim
Look into my eyes...

Yes... yes, that's good. Take a deep, long look. Take... me... out... to play in the snow...

This shouldn't take too long. This look usually melts her heart in no time. Oh! Shouldn't have said "
melt"! I better get out there fast!

Play bows,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Serene Scenery Sunday

Tail wags, dear pups and kit-cats! Stormy here with Serene Scenery Sunday. I thought I'd share a couple precious pix from our Christmas Blizzard of '09 album. I just know you're going to love these.

First up, Dave and Ammy.

DSCN3061 Dave and Ammy
Dave and Ammy

No mistletoe needed with our little red girl around! She loves giving smoochies. How about one of her and Zimmie?

DSCN3024 Ammy and Zim
Ammy and Zim

Yes, they're really that sweet. Especially Am. She is wonderful beyond words.

Here's a photo Mom took of me yesterday that made her feel all kinds of serene.

DSCN3101 Stormy
Me - Storms

I could have sworn I smelled cookies on her. My mistake. :)

Have a serene Sunday, everypup and kitty!

Tail wags,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Blizzard of '09

Hi everypuppy and everycat! It's me - Ammy! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that all who celebrate it are having a nice Boxing Day!

Were any of you singing that "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" song? In case it didn't quite pan out for you, please come on out to Ao4 Headquarters. We have plenty for everyone! Yep - a nice, old-fashioned blizzard for Christmas! Thanks, Santa!

Our dad took me and Zimmie on a special hike down the Hudson Trail today to enjoy the snow! He took pix of us with his iPhone and Storm said we should share some with you! Would you like to see? Let's get hiking!!!

Here's Zim out in front, breaking trail:

Zim breaking trail
Zimmie breaking trail

See how deep the snow is? We had lots and lots of blowing (30-over 40 mph wind gusts) so there was a lot of drifting. In some places the snow was nice and deep like this:

IMG_0262 Zim
Zim again!

And in other places, there was just an inch or two, like this:

IMG_0268 Zim
More Zimmie

Didn't Zimmie do a great job modeling the snow? Here I am:

IMG_0265 Ammy
A very happy me - Ammy!

I think you can tell what I thought of our hike from the look on my face!

Mom said I should point out, though, that the conditions out there have been treacherous. Along with the high winds and blowing snow, we've had bitterly cold temps! Sounds nice, doesn't it? Umm... if you're a Siberian Husky anyway.

When you're out on the trail having an adventure, it's important to stop and have some fun. Here I am, letting my instincts take over:

Ammy hunting
Oooh! What's down there? Is that a vole? Or a mouse?!? Or a mole?!!?

IMG_0288 Zim hunting
Where, Ammy?!? Where!?!?

Hee hee hee. That would be my "play drive", not my "prey drive". There wasn't anything down there. Hee hee hee. Faked Zimmie out!

4215415325_993c2daed4_o Zim
Funny, Am. Very funny.

He DOES look cute with the snow all over his face, though, doesn't he?

IMG_0279 Zim
Ya just never know. There could be something down there. I'll sit here and wait to see if anything pops up.

What's a girl to do but sit and keep her little brother company!?

IMG_0281 Ammy
You're right, Zim... you just never know!

Oddly, our daddy didn't want to sit there with us; he said something about wanting to keep moving and something about a hot cup of coffee.

We sure did have fun on our hike! Many thanks to our dad for taking us and for taking photos! (If you'd like to see more blizzard pix, please click here!) I hope you enjoyed coming along with us!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

From all of us here at Army of Four Headquarters to all of you around the world...

IMG_5062 card

...we wish you a very Merry Christmas! Rejoice: Christ our Savior is born!

And as always, we encourage you to stop and remember the members of our military serving all over the world today, who stand in harm's way so that we can live in peace!

DSCN3033 Ammy
I hope our soldiers at Fort Riley are dressed warmly! We're having a blizzard!

DSCN3030 Zim
God bless and protect our troops! Today - and every day!

With tail wags, love, play bows and luv,
Storms, Ammy, Zim and Dave: The Army of Four - and our mom and dad

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Woo, everypup and everycat. It's me, Dave. Mom's been working hard trying to get a "good" picture of the four of us to use as our Christmas card. Our best photo shoot was the other day and I wanted to share with you how that went. Rather than get too verbose (thanks, Storm) over the whole thing, I'll do just a little narrating, and caption the photos for you.

Here's the color key: Stormy's words are in red. Ammy's are in green. Zim's are in blue. I'm in purple.

Ready? It went something like this...

IMG_5052 Dave
Hey everysibe! Gather 'round! Mom's gonna take our Christmas photo!

IMG_5056 Dave and Zim
Oh, hey cool! I'm ready!
Uh-oh... Zimmie, you know we're not allowed up there...

The words had barely escaped my muzzle when Stormy came in.

IMG_5058 Storm, Zim, Dave
What the... are you going to make him get down or should I?

Stormy was none too pleased with Zim - or with Mom!

IMG_5060 Storm, Zim and Dave
You're NOT making him get down?
Hey, don't I look cool up here?
Woo... I hope Santa's not watching, Zim...

Instead of saying that really funny "NonoZimmienono!" thing, Mom actually kept calling Amber.

Ammy eventually came... but SHE knows the rules and didn't want to see anypup get in trouble.

Hey, Ammy! Look at me!
Oh.... ZIMMIE! I can't even look....
Let me get this straight. You're letting him stay up there for the photo shoot?
Woo. I wonder how long 'til supper-dupper time...

Then Storm said we should all cooperate just for a split second, so Mom could get us all looking at the camera.

IMG_5065 The pack
I'll look... but I'm not happy; Zimmie shouldn't be up there!
Don't worry, Am; I'll make him get down in a minute.
Do I look cool enough?
Hi Mom. I'm sittin' like a good boy.

And then...

IMG_5061 Stormy and Zim
Alright, Zim. Time to get down. Want to do that on your own ... or would you like my help?
Err... doing it right now, Stormy!

And then... because we thought Santa might be watching, we stopped for one more photo:

IMG_5070 The Ao4
Hey! Hey! Let Santa know I'm sittin' like a good boy! On the floor and everything!
Oh, yes! Zimmie's a good boy!
Yeah, whatever. I'm tired of sitting.
Woo. Got any cookies, Mom?

We'll post our official Ao4 Christmas card tomorrow, but until then - from all of us to all of you - have a GREAT Christmas!!!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

Super-Secret Project Tell-All!

Woo, everypup and everycat! It's me - Dave! The waiting is over - I have Stormy's permission to tell you the whole scoop about Mom's super-secret project! Are you ready?

It all started with a phone call from Aunt Janet back in... I don't know... a bag of Eukanuba ago. There was lots of chit-chatting but the bottom line was this - our mom's mom's 80th birthday was what is now about a week ago and Aunt Janet wanted to throw a surprise party for her! Mom was game to go (to southeast Virginia), if Dad could get off work to keep us company. Woo. Mom decided she should make a quilt to commemorate the occasion. A signature quilt that the family could sign! And how about a nice, usable size?!?! And... it would have been a good idea to start a lot earlier, but let's face it - Mom has all of us here helping her, so I don't know what the problem was. Woo.

Aunt Janet gave Mom some inside info as to what colors our grandma likes and I got busy helping choose fabric. You should have seen some of the things she tried to put in there! She liked my final choices, and I must say, it was a challenge for me, her trusty Guide Dog for the Color Blind, but it all came together real good. I wanted everything to be just right!

We showed you the quilt top, but mentioned that Mom needed to do some fancy calligraphy stuff, remember? Here's how that came out:


Once she got it all written, she heat-set it and sewed it onto the back of the quilt:


I made a final inspection, to make sure it was perfect:


In case you're like my mom and think I'm "in the way", here's another look:


Here's the back:


Hey, look over there on the left. Grandma's quilt has a tail.
Ha woo!

After the photo shoot (thanks for holding it, Dad!) Mom folded it all up very carefully, got a bunch of extra pens and put some "practice squares" together:


The plan was for everyone to sign the front of the quilt, in those light squares. Since it's different writing on fabric, she had the practice pieces set for the bipeds to get the feel of things.

Before we knew it, there was hustling and bustling and Mom was smothering us all in kisses and telling us to be good for Dad.... and then...

IMG_4876 MHN airport

Mom took this picture out the window of the little plane she took out of Manhattan. She made stops in Dallas, TEXAS!, and Atlanta, Georgia, then was in southeast Virginia!

Once she got to Aunt Janet's, we received some very interesting text message photos. Check them out:

IMG_4906_2 Skyler

It's our cousin Skyler! Good thing we got that photo before this next one:

IMG_4910 Newton

That's our cousin Newton. If we didn't know better, we would have thought it was Marvin!!! Mom didn't get a good picture of beautiful cousin Monroe, but we linked to a pic of her in yesterday's post. Be sure to check it out.

Once most of the bipeds who were getting there that night arrived, they (mom, our uncle and aunt from Illinois, Aunt Janet, her hubby and their oldest daughter from northern Virginia!) headed next door to our grandma's house. Aunt Janet rang the doorbell and they started singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas!" (Monroe, Newton and Skyler didn't get to join them. I don't know why. We all know how well we canines sing!) When Grandma answered the door, they all switched over to the Happy Birthday song. She was VERY surprised! In fact, very, VERY surprised. Ha woo.

That night and the next day, more of our cousins arrived - from North Carolina, another from Northern Virginia, one from another part of North Carolina (Fort Bragg), and a fiancée from West Point, New York. Mom snuck everyone in to sign the quilt eventually, then borrowed an iron and heat-set everything. Before they headed out to the restaurant for the celebratory (Stormy helped me with that word) dinner, they gave Grandma some special gifts! Aunt Janet made a photo collage of everyone and used a cool birthday plate to frame it! What a special keepsake! Fun cards... And then... Mom gave Grandma our (I mean "her") quilt!

mom's birthday 050

Woo! Surprise, Grandma! We hope you like your special quilt! I hope I got your colors right!!!

It was a very special weekend for everyone - Grandma was blown away by everything! I think she liked seeing everyone best of all!

Our grandma very, very rarely reads our blog, but on the off-chance that she would, we just couldn't say anything. Storm said we needed to practice good OPSEC, and I think we rose to the challenge.

So that's the scoop! A surprise party for our grandma! Pretty cool, don't you think? And fear not, our dad took such very good care of us. He's the one who made the trip possible for Mom. Thanks, Dad!!!

We're getting around to blogs slowly but surely! Thanks for being patient with us.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Serene Scenery Sunday

Tail wags, pups and kit-cats! It's me - Stormy! That's right, we're back. Actually the four of us never went anywhere (except on nice walks and such) but Mom did. Dad stayed here with us. The whole "being back together" scenario is plenty serene enough for me - but here's a photo from our last snow storm that just makes me want to say "Ahhhh!"

DSCN2967 snow drift

Beautiful, isn't it? The snow that so many of our friends on the east coast of the US are enjoying didn't come this way at all, but the bipeds say we're expecting another major system Tuesday night through Thursday night. That's too far off to ask Ammy, but she'll give her snowcast 24 hours out. I have total faith in her predictions!

So where was Mom? What was the super-secret project? Details tomorrow, but for now, know this - she came home smelling of Australian Shepherd, a Lab/Shepherd mix, and a lovely Chow mix. Yep. Our fur-cousins. Mom was in ...Virginia!!!

The beach at Fort Monroe, VA

Apparently, they have an ocean there, too. Seems larger than the Kansas Ocean. It made Mom feel serene to go there, even though it was pouring down rain. Go figure.

Tune in tomorrow for "the rest of the story" of the super-secret project - and in the meantime, we'll continue to get caught up on your blogs!

Tail wags,

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Blog Break!

Tail wags, dear readers! It's me - Stormy. As many of you know, our mom's been working on a super-secret project. It's coming along just fine, but now she's about to start "Phase Two". "Phase Two" is very secret and unfortunately it's going to require so much involvement from Mom that we're going to be off the air for a few days. This means no posting - and more sadly, we won't be able to visit your blogs. We promise to get caught up next week and we also promise to fill you in on any details of the super-secret project that you'd like to hear!

Until then, here are some pix of us in our snow. Mom took each one of us out in the sub-zero temps yesterday (it's even colder today!) and took a few shots.

Here's Dave:

DSCN2978 Dave
The Deeve

And Ammy:

DSCN2987 Ammy

And Zim:

DSCN2973 Zim
The Z-man

does have a bit of a sad, serious look on his face, doesn't he? It's because the snow plow was coming down the street and he was afraid it would mess up his cool snow forts. Mom took pity on him and let him do this:

A little reinforcement on the north-west fort. (He has several built already!) He felt a lot better after that.

Here I am:

DSCN2990 Storm
Me. Stormy.

Ha roo roo roo! Oh, I couldn't let Mom get me looking at the camera, now could I? But then... she pulled out the secret weapon:

DSCN2989 Bribe
A Pumpkin Oat Happy Hearts Cookie!

DSCN2997 Storm
Is that what I think it is?

That's really playing dirty! She knows I can't resist those!

DSCN2994 Storm
Got any more?

So... anyway... we're off and running. Oh.... wait. Dave wants to say something...

IMG_4862 Ao4

Ha woo, all. Just real quick - Storm and Zim are rock stars! Channel 49 Topeka's Storm Team aired their pix on the 6 o'clock and 10 o'clock news this week! You can see them on the website, too - here and here! Thanks 49 Storm Team!!! Dave - out.

Thanks, Dave. AND 49 Storm Team. (Great name, by the way.) Zim and I are touched!

IMG_4861 Storm

We'll catch up with everypuppy and everycat next week!

Tail wags,