I am an only child - and a typical girlie one at that.  Spoiled, self-centered, love pink, don't like to share.. all describe me. The one person in my life who did everything in his power to change this, is my cousin Cody.  When we were young he would do whatever he could to "push my buttons", BUT also taught me the finer things, the fun things, about growing up on a farm.

#1 Lesson - Fireworks - I was afraid of fireworks until probably the age of 6 or 7.  My mom would send me and the dog to my grandma's farm to get away from them, and give her a rest.  That was until Cody decided to be the hero.  He taught me about punks, sparklers, bottle rockets, black cats, I was hooked.  I still to this day absolutely love fireworks.

#2 - Shooting Guns & Bow and Arrow - Ross and I went out shooting guns on our very first camping trip and after hitting I think 5 out of 7 or 8 clays, he looked at me in surprise and said - you can shoot! Yes I can.  I spent many hours shooting BB guns at pop cans right outside the farm house so our parents could keep a (VERY) watchful eye on us. Cody also taught me bow and arrow,  something that was always difficult because I was never strong enough to pull the silly thing back.

#3 - Roping Pigs - Ever tried it?  Not the big pigs, the baby pigs.  This was another place my grandma would be very watchful, ever piss off a mama pig?  Not a good look.  My mom loves to tell the stories of my gross, poop filled jellies (remember those shoes ladies?) coming home to her in a plastic bag.  Yuck.

#4 - Geese can be mean - We had one goose that was particularly mean.  It at one point chased my tough grandma all the way across the farm yard and left her with ginormous bruises on the back of her legs.  I saw my cousins anger come to the surface even as she was telling us the story.  It was probably only 24 hours later that Cody and I were walking across the farm yard when the same goose decided to chase me.  That was it.  Cody got the gun, did what he did - Grandma was NOT pleased to loose her prize goose. :)

#5 - Swimming Rocks - I always was a swimmer, and that has a lot to do with the fact that once again - so was Cody.  We spent hours on end swimming at the lake and at the pool.

#6 - Don't Piss Him Off - There was once he (Cody) and my other cousin (Dusty) tied our other girl cousin (Misty) up in the back of the grain truck because she had been whine-y.  When they went inside and my Aunt asked where Misty was they said, and I quote - "She's a little tied up right now".  I still remember not to piss them off.  Hahaha.

#7 - Tree Houses are awesome - We worked on ours until it was uncool to hang out in.  A constant work in progress.

#8 - Crying, sad faces, and being cute was not going to get me through life - His favorite line when we were kids "if you keep putting your lip out, a birds gonna poop on it." Good words of wisdom!!

#9 - How to get into R movies - act like you made a mistake, act like you cant get a ride - get let into "white men can't jump" because you annoy the movie worker so much.  Then blame it on him when mom picks you up.  Boom.

I could go on and on and on.  The fact is I have and always will adore this man.  The closest thing I have to a sibling, the person who taught me so much.  Cody has a beautiful little girl named Regan who I love with all of my heart.  I now get to watch (at least via pictures since I don't live at home) him teach her the finer points in life.  Hold on Regan, you're in for a wild, yet absolutely wonderful ride.  I hope you enjoy it a fraction as much as I did, and knowing your dad - he won't have it any other way.  Love you guys!