Who We Are

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Thanks, Santa!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  In addition to the new bowls Santa brought, he also treated us to a couple new toys!  He selected these cool chew toys:

"Oooh!  Colorful, too!  Thanks, Santa!"
"What does that say?  'Bionic'?  Ha!  Great challenge, Santa!"

Cam wanted the green one, and the pink one looked like fun to me! Mom put a couple of our treats in them and before too long ...

"Umm ... Mags?"
"Yeah, I know.  Bionic, schmionic!"

They're fun toys!  They're available everywhere - you can see them here and here on Amazon for more info.

Oh, and really.  No big deal.  I didn't get BIG chunks off and I spit out the little ones anyway.  We got to play with them again the very next day!

"My green one still looks nice!"
"What can I say?  I have super powers!"
"Only use those powers for good, Maggie."

Apparently, these fall into the "under supervision only" classification of toys.  "Bionic"?  No.  A great chew, though!  Thanks, Santa!!!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Jaws-of-Steel Thatcher

Monday, December 30, 2019

Walk With Us!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  We had an especially beautiful walk yesterday morning - would you like to come with us?

We headed up to the water tower ...

Me and Mags at the top of the water tower hill

... where you have a great view of part of our town!

After that, we got to head down our favorite part of Hudson Trail:

Maggie and me on Hudson Trail

Isn't it beautiful!?!?  There wasn't any snow, but it was nice and cold!  And late yesterday afternoon, we did get a little dusting of snow!

Thanks for coming with us - we hope you enjoyed the views!


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Suspicious Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  So there I was, minding my own business ...

"Oh ... a snoozing Siberian!  Hey!  Hey, Maggie!  It's me - Sock Monkey!"
"Zzz ..."
"Ha!  Yeah.  Up here. Where YOU CAN'T GET ME!"
"I wouldn't bet on that if I were you, Sock Monkey!"

I flew up the steps and tried to figure out exactly where his voice was coming from.

"Right ... about ... there.  Oh, what the fluff?!?  Uh... hi, Mom."
"Hey, Mags!  What are you doing?"

He was hanging out right behind the ol' Maggie Motion Monitor!  You know, a little brass bell?  Mom usually puts it on one of our trees - hence the old family saying, "Every time a bell rings, a Siberian is too close to the Christmas tree."  It figures she'd hang it on this garland!

Between those reindeers and the MMM, Sock Monkey is way too well-guarded.  For now.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Semi-Wordless Saturday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  It's currently pouring down rain here at Ao4 Headquarters.  Rain!  With possible thunderstorms due in later.  In December!  This is what Maggie and I have to say about that:


Let's pan in a bit:

Our tiny pillow reads, "Think snow!"

Enough said!


Editor's note:  The views of certain Siberians do not necessarily reflect those of the bipeds residing at Ao4 HQS.  😉

Friday, December 27, 2019


Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  A couple days before Christmas, Cam and I went bowling!  Oh, no, not the thing with a big, heavy ball and ten pins, I mean bowls like this:

"Wow, Mom!  What are these?"
"New water bowls!  Santa came early!"

Huh.  We must have been really good for Santa to have come early, but new water bowls?  Cam refused to drink out of them at first, of course.  I mean - they were new.  Kind of weird-looking, too.  Mom put one of our old water bowls down for Cam, until she got used to the new ones.

Then came dinner time!  And guess what?  Yep.  New dinner bowls, too.

We hesitated at first, then hunger got the best of us.  I mean, we hadn't eaten for a couple of hours.  Except for snacks.  Hun-gree!  We dove in.

"At least our kibbles taste the same out of these new bowls!"
"Yeah.  The plastic holder seems to be making a moat around my food, though."

Mom said the moat was part of why Santa got them for us.  Something about "someone" being a messy eater.  I wonder who she could be talking about?

Anyway, we like our new bowls now!  They're by the WeatherTech people - made right here in the US of A!!!  The stainless steel bowls remove for cleaning and serving, and they fit nicely in the dishwasher.  Mom washes the rubbery part by hand, though I'm not sure why - I do a great job licking everything out of my moat!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Boxing Day 2019!!!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with Cam to wish all of you a most joyous Boxing Day!!!

"Is Maggie getting treats for this, Mom?"
"No, Cam.  Just a box."
"Haven't we gone over the whole 'the box IS a treat' thing before?!?"

To Boxers near and far - especially my wonderful friend Matilda down in the great state of Texas ...

"Are you sure about the treats ...?"
"I totally this box!"
"One more shot then I'm outta here, Mom."
"You could always join me in the box, Cam!"

She took off at the mere thought of it.  I'm sure she just didn't want to crowd me.  Anyway ...

"If anybody wants me, you know where to find me!"
"Um ... Maggie?  Are you going to come outside with me and Cam?"
"Nah.  I'm going to enjoy my box for a while, Mom."

To one and all, especially to all the Boxers out there ... HAPPY BOXING DAY!!!  This is the best thing since Siber Monday, isn't it?!?  

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas 2019!!!

From our house to yours ...

"Wait.  My hat feels extra goofy!"
"Mine does, too."
"Oh, fine!  Hang on!"

OK.  Better.  From our house to yours ...

"Have a cool Yule!"
"Merry Christmas, everyone!!!"

We are so thankful for another Christmas together, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

"Hey.  She let us ditch the hats!"
"Shh!  Don't say anything!"

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:9-14

"Merry Christmas to all!"
"We hope Santa was good to you!"

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Ao4 Headquarters!
Cam, Mags, and our bipeds

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Once More Into The Breach

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with Cam.  In Santa hats.  Because we are VERY good puppies.

"Oh, boy.  Here we go again!"
"Good girl, Cam!  Umm ... Maggie?  Can you ... umm ..."
"Hey!  Santa!  Are you out there??!??"

Yep.  Mom wanted to try ONE MORE outdoor photo shoot of us wearing our Santa hats.  As they say, "Once more into the breach."

" 'Once more into the breach.'  What is that, Shakespeare?"
"Yes.  And not to criticize, because I'm being a VERY GOOD PUPPY,
but I don't think Henry V would have been able to rally his troops looking like this!"
"You look adorable!"

I don't think King Henry was going for "adorable", but hey.  Santa was watching, so we gave it our best!

"We've tried to be very good girls all year long!!!"
"The struggle is real.  I mean ... yeah.  What Cam said!"
"❤❤ You're both perfect Siberians! ❤❤"

Aw, shucks.

"That's enough ... isn't it, Mom?"
"I think that's good, Cam!"
"How 'bout a kiss??"

That's a wrap!  At least for outside where the neighbors can see us!

Santa comes tonight!  Merry Christmas to all of you!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher
and Cammie, too!

Monday, December 23, 2019

More Trees!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Maggie did a great job showing you our Patriotic Tree yesterday; today, I'll be showing you the others you could see in that first shot on her post -- our Tree of Angels and the little one on the mantle.

"Let's take a look at the mantle area first, OK?"

Left to right:  German candle carousel of a shepherd and some sheep - Mom and Dad bought it in W. Germany;
pottery angels from right here in Kansas;
a pottery Crèche Mom and Dad bought in Belgium;
the tiny tree;
German music box/carousel - carolers beside a church.
Down below, a hand-quilted, hand-appliquéd quilt Mom made.

The music box plays "Stille Nacht". It's from Germany. If it was from America, it would play "Silent Night".
Oh! And after Mom took that picture, she added another angel on the far right:


It was given to her by a special friend at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Here's a look at the top of the tiny tree:

Olivewood ornament of the Nativity Scene - from Israel

The ornament was given to Mom by a special friend!

Let's take a look at the tree with all the angels on it!

Most of the angels are wooden and are from either Germany or Belgium!

An angel in a heart, from yet another special friend!
The Chrismon crown was made by our grandma!

Usually, the Chrismon crown goes on our "Special Memories" Tree, but Mom opted to do the garland instead of that tree this year.  The crown seemed like a good fit for this more religious-themed tree!  The crown symbolizes that Jesus Christ is KING!  It's beautiful!

Wooden angel in a circle - given to Mom by a special friend when they lived in Belgium

And there are a couple of non-wooden angels tucked into the tree, like this one:

Quilted angel!
Made by a special friend and given to Mom when they lived in Korea

I hope you've enjoyed seeing some of our ornaments and decorations!  Thanks for letting us share!


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Let's Start In On The Trees!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Cam and I realized we hadn't really shown you our Christmas trees yet this year, so I thought I'd start us off today!

"Hi.  I'm being very good.  Are you watching, Santa?!?"

I thought we'd start with the tree to my right there - your left.  The Patriotic Tree!


You caught a sneak peak in the background of a couple pix earlier this Christmas season, but I thought I'd do some close-ups!

Topping the tree - a Bald Eagle in a holly wreath and one of Dad's old brass uniform buttons

As I understand it, back in the mid-1800s, the Army wives out here on the frontier didn't have many things they could decorate their trees with! One of their customs was to loop pretty ribbons through the shanks of the brass buttons the men wore on their uniforms and tie them to their Christmas trees!! Mom loves that tradition and continues it today!

The sled on the left was given to Mom during Desert Shield/Desert Storm 
by the "Command Group" ladies of the 1st Infantry Division.  
Dad had already deployed by Christmas.  
The ornament on the right was another gift from a friend!

The snowman was a gift to great-brother Zimmie from our dear friend Goose;
Mom made the tree cut-out from one of Dad's old uniforms and some batting;
another brass uniform button.

An ornament Mom made in Korea for some of the guys who worked for Dad 
when they came to her house in Seoul for dinner

A 2nd Infantry Division angel sits at the bottom of the tree; 
she was made by the general officers' wives in 2ID 
and was a gift to Mom in Korea

And last, but by no means least ...

One of our grandfathers brass uniform buttons from when he was a cadet at West Point

Everything on the tree holds such special memories and helps us to remember our troops all over the world, many of whom will not be home for Christmas.  Please remember to say a prayer for them!

Thanks for taking a look at our Patriotic Tree with us!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Oh, Deer!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags!  The four of us headed out on our walk this morning just like normal.  Cam only wanted to take a short one, so after a bit, she took Mom home:

"C'mon, Mom.  A Stinky Goodness Treat for me and coffee for you - what do you say?"
"Lead on, Cam-a-roo!"

For some reason, Mom and Dad think I need more exercise than Cam (???), so Dad and I went for a nice, long one. You'll never guess what we saw as we headed up the Water Tower Trail!!! Check it out:

"Oh, DEER!"
"What is it, Mags?  What do you see?" 

I mean ... it WAS a deer!!!  Standing right there, looking at me looking at him!  Zoom in, Dad!!!

"Umm ... oh.  Hi."

Isn't he magnificent!?!  I didn't get crazy or anything - I just stared.  I love to do that.

Believe it or not, once we got back in the housing area, I saw MORE deer!

"Something's different about these two.  Some...thing's different."

Well, yes, of course it hit me after a minute.  They were smaller.  Not quite as exciting, either.

Anyway, it was so cool!  I just loved seeing my new deer friends!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, December 20, 2019

Friday "Fun" - Outtakes, Part IV

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Yee-ep.  Out here in the backyard with Mags. In. Our. Santa Hats.

"I can't even look."
"Seriously, Mom?  The neighbors can see us!"
"Oh, come on, you two!  You look aDORable!!!"

Someone around here is out of control!


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Over The River ...

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  As some of you know, we made a quick trip out to Illinois again to see our grandma.  Due to the snow/ice storm, it was even quicker than we had planned.  Anyway ... as the song goes, we went "over the river" - the Kansas, the Missouri, the Mississippi, others - and "through the woods". Trust me, Missouri and Illinois have way more trees than Kansas.

Anyway, we got in late that day, then got up the next morning and took a nice, long walk:


We knew there was bad weather on the way, so we headed over to Grandma's a little earlier than planned, and had a wonderful visit with her. It was her 90th birthday!!! We brought presents and cake and everything! Dad checked the radar while we were there, and knew we needed to get back to our hotel before the roads got nasty.

Once back at the hotel, I took on the role of Ao4 Meterologist. I checked in the the so-called professionals ...

"I don't like the way this storm is headed.  And please, Weather Channel. Stop naming everything!"

... then did what a smart meteorologist does:

"Let me check out the window.  Oh ... uh ... has anyone else looked out here lately?"

It was only round one of the storm, with lots more to come. In the middle of the night, Mom and Dad made the hard decision that if we didn't want to be stuck at the hotel in Illinois for a few more days, we needed to book out of there. We left shortly after 4 a.m.

Back over the river:


And unfortunately, yes, there was a LOT of black ice all over the roads - especially bridges and overpasses, of course. Dad took it slow and steady. We had some hairy moments along the way, ran into snow around Columbia, MO, and basically Kansas City was a nightmare, but DAD DID GREAT! God was truly watching over us!

Before we knew it, we were back in the Flint Hills:


The stretch of I70 by our exit had been closed due to a terrible accident all day the day before, but when we got there ...

Almost home!

... it was open and looking great!

It was wonderful seeing our grandma, but wow, are we thankful to be home!  Are any of you traveling this Christmas season?  If so, PLEASE stay safe!!!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher