Monday, December 28, 2009

Third and Final

Our Christmas #3 on Christmas Day was very merry!  Jessi, Charlie and Ethan were in town to celebrate with us.  On Christmas Eve we made our traditional trip to the bowling alley.  After coming home from mom's annual Christmas Eve party, we got the children all nestled in bed.  Hope could not fall asleep until after 11:00 for one, she was not feeling well and kept coughing; for two, she got a brief worry that she might be on the naughty list; and for three, she was SO excited! so Santa had to wait awhile before he could deliver the gifts.  EJ woke up to tents and tunnels, Hope to a digital camera, and Ethan to a Wii.  They were all very excited and grateful to Santa!  After opening MANY more gifts, Mom, Doc, Kristen, Jill and her family and Rob and his family all came over for Christmas brunch and more presents.  That night we continued our Christmas tradition of going out for Chinese food.  It was great to have Jessi and her family join us this year.   
A 'few' pictures:

We had a great day as we celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus. We feel blessed to have had the time with family and greatly missed those that were far away!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Celebration #2

Mimi and Pop came to town last weekend for a Christmas trip. We had lots of fun hanging out and visiting. We, well, the kids, went ice skating with Jill and the boys the grown-ups took lots of pictures! On Tuesday, Jessi, Charlie, and Ethan made it into town, so we got to have one night with everyone here before Mimi and Pop had to head back on Wednesday. So Tuesday night we had a Christmas Celebration! We had a great visit and we hope they can make it out again soon!
Ice Skating Fun!

Present Time!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Last March we had to say goodbye to our "Sammy Girl". At that time, I thought it would be a long, long time before I was ready for another dog. The pain of losing an animal is something I didn't want to face again. I didn't think my heart could take that.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday. That's when "Thunder" wandered into our yard. Thunder is just the opposite of any dog I'd ever thought I'd own. He's little, he has long hair, and he's, well, a "he". Despite all this, I became attached immediately. It's not a good idea to become attached to a dog that is not yours. This is what I kept reminding Hope as we were hanging up "Found Dog" signs in the neighborhood. We talked about how Thunder's family was probably very sad because they couldn't find him and how he probably missed them too. I must not have been listening to my own words, because I got a pit in my stomach everytime the phone would ring, thinking it was his owner calling to claim him. I didn't want him to leave. Hope had come up with her "best case scenario" in her little 7 year old mind: "Mom, I know his owners are worried, so I hope we find them. But when they come to pick him up, I wish they would just decide to let us keep him". I told her that I agreed, but prepared her that that's not something that would happen.

Well, guess what???? Hope's wish came true - that's exactly what happened! His owner called after 2 days - she had gotten our information from our "found report" at the Humane Society. When she realized how sad we were to see him go, she decided he would get more attention here and would love to live with a family with kids. Tears filled both our eyes as we discussed it. I felt guilty accepting her offer, but I do know we will be a good family for this little guy. Meet Thunder:

Yes, this is second dog we found we found in one week. I didn't have such an immediate attachment to Hot Carl. He did serve his purpose, though. He got me thinking about another dog. He may have opened up my heart just enough to make room for another dog. I think God was trying to tell us that we were ready!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Friend Like Me

Hope's acting class performed the play Aladdin last weekend. Hope had the role of The Genie and she did a fantastic job. The role fit her well - part sassy, part sweet and very funny! Here she is singing "Friend Like Me".

She's done with her class until the spring but is already making guesses at what her next play will be. She can't wait to start up again!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wonder Pets - Part 2

You may remember our very first Wonder Pets Adventure - the one where we saved a very cute, tiny, small, little, petite baby bunny stuck in our window well. Yesterday's adventure was not so small. No, yesterday's adventure involved something much larger. Yesterday we set out to save . . . (please scroll down)

Hot Carl

Hot Carl was no little, tiny bunny rabbit. Hot Carl was a dog. A BIG dog. And our Wonder Pets team was down to 2, since Tuck, aka, Hope was at school. This was not going to be an easy job!

Hot Carl was wandering the streets of our neighborhood when we were on our way home from Storytime. Now you may be wondering where I got the name Hot Carl. Though I'd like to take credit for such a ridiculous creative dog name, "Hot Carl" was the name on his blue, bone-shaped tag. The name written just above the disconnected phone number. Since I was not able to reach the owner through his disconnected phone number, and it was -5 degrees outside, I had no choice but to put the dog, the BIG dog, in my car and take him home while I tried to figure out what to do. No big deal, right? WRONG! Not only is Hot Carl a BIG dog, he is apparently unable to lift his back legs more than a few inches off the ground. He hopped his salad plate-sized front paws right up into the back of the car with no problem, but the other half of his 200 pound (plus) body, was still on the ground. 10 minutes later Hot Carl was in the back of my car and I was dripping with sweat (in -5 degree weather) from trying to lift and shove him in.

Getting Hot Carl out of the car was almost as big of an adventure as getting him in. He WOULD NOT stand up and WOULD NOT turn around. I finally had to go to the back seat and push him out, hoping he would not run off before I could get back out of the car and grab his collar. Turned out that wasn't a problem, as he just stood there, with no desire to move. I drug him into the back yard so I could get a towel laid out before I let him inside.

Remember that I said Hot Carl is unable to lift his back feet more than 3 inches off the ground? Here is what happened when I tried to get him to come inside -

I know, you're thinking "Why don't you just grab his collar and pull him in?" Trust me! I tried! I tried pulling on his collar, his body, everything. He kept slipping on the floor and I think that scared him even more!

Once Hot Carl finally got in the house, got warm, and drooled on my couch . . .

. . . I called the number on his City and County registration tag. Animal control came and got him and had an "alternate" phone number for the owner. The owner promptly met animal control in front of our house and explained to them that Hot Carl is able to open a sliding glass door and a gate all by himself! Really??? The same dog that couldn't even get up my back step? Maybe he was just really cold?

Well, Hot Carl is now back in his own home and, once I got the drool cleaned off of everything and the dog hair vacuumed up, our house was back to normal.

Although I could do without the drool and the hair, I DO miss having a dog. :(

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Celebration #1

On Friday we bought our tree and got it all decorated.  It's always so much fun to look at all of the ornaments and remember where each came from as we put them on the tree. I was reminded that I need to get a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament, as there wasn't one for EJ from last year.  Either that, or I can take one of the 3 from Hope's first Christmas and just change the year.  It's tough to be the 2nd child.  EJ was very into decorating this year and, amazingly enough, is leaving all the ornaments on the tree!  She loves to look at them, but has only pulled one off which got such a dramatic reaction from Hope, I doubt that she'll even attempt it again. It was definitely a fun family night . . .

. . .until Mommy dropped the pickle ornament!

I had no idea that the pickle ornament was so special!  Hope was in hysterics as soon as she saw it in a hundred pieces on the floor.  As soon as she started, EJ joined in - for sympathy, I guess. 

Luckily we were able to move on eventually and get it finished.  Just in time too! 

Big Pappy, GT, Ben, and Bryce came to town on Saturday and we had our first "Christmas Celebration" of the season on Sunday morning.  The kids had all the anticipation of Christmas morning as they woke up bright and early.  They first had to get all of the gifts from Hope's closet and return them to their spots under the tree because the night before, they had snuck them all upstairs and told us the Grinch had come and taken them.  Thankfully they were returned and we had a great time opening them all.  The kids played and played with their toys until it was time to take them all back to the airport.  It was a short, short trip, but lots of fun!

Now I'm off to see where I can find a new pickle ornament.  And a Baby's First Christmas ornament from 2008.