Thursday, January 31, 2008


i think i am going to get all my "former" pet posts out of the way.

gimpy was a cute little black and white kitten. he was born to one of the nameless cats at my in-laws' house. he was different than the other kittens. i'm not sure if it was something he had since birth, or if it was from being dropped. he had some sort of nerve damage or brain damage. he wasn't able to walk or run like the other cats. he would fall over, and on rare occasions, do somersaults. some days were better, some days you could hardly tell he had any issues. he was a fighter. he was right in there getting food...fighting with the other cats, growling, getting his food. he was tough. i fell in love. totally in love with this kitten. i told my husband how much i liked this little black and white kitten. he told me to take it to the vet and bring it home. he didn't have to tell me twice! gimpy lived in our garage because a boy i watch is very allergic to cats. he adjusted well. he would hang out with me at the veggie garden. he would follow the stroller, or if he got tired, he would crawl into the basket under the stroller. he was the coolest cat. he was so loving, but not in the "in your face" way some cats are. even my husband would go outside and play with this cat. everyone loved this cat.

my sister in law (the one that gave us the 2 dogs) had a dog named maya. maya had been abused and was terrified of men. she would hide when men came around, and if they tried to touch her or get close to her, she would shake uncontrollably and pee. she also had a thing for small animals. since she had come to live there, we had noticed that the cat population had been decreasing. i thought they had just found somewhere better.

one day, i opened the garage door and then went in to get grace and josh. it was november (right before i found out i was pregnant with zack), so i had to get their coats and stuff on. as i was getting the kids ready, my sister in law called. is the cat outside? yeah. "oh my god i think maya has him". i was out the door. i spotted maya down by the fence line. she had something in her mouth and was throwing and shaking it. please please please let it be something else. please. i ran down there shoe less, coatless, and yelling the whole way. she dropped the something, and ran about 10 feet away. please please please don't let it be him. it was my kitty. please please please let him just be hurt. i picked him up and held him in my arms. i held my hand to his chest. please let there be a heartbeat, please let him be breathing. please let him be ok. one look, and i knew he was gone. i was completely numb. i cradled him and walked back to the house. my sister in law was crying, so so sorry. i called my husband. he was upset for me. i couldn't feel anything. i couldn't believe he was gone. i took a shower, and cried. i cried until the water turned cold. my heart hurt so badly. my kitty, my little fighter, my gimpy was gone.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

an explanation or two

well, hello there! i have been away a while. well, i haven't actually...our laptop's hard-drive went out. so we decided to get a new computer. oh, the joy of trying to remember all my favorite websites!
how has our household adjusted to being a dog-less household? very well. sadly, very very well. especially the hubby. i don't think i have seen him this happy in a long time. well, perhaps not exactly happy but definitely much less stressed out. he even sold a bunch of cars. all happening after getting rid of the dogs. the kids are happier too. i never thought that would be. they seem to respond well to not being yelled at to take care of the dogs. amazing, huh? i thought there may have been a delayed reaction of sadness or anger about the dogs leaving, but no, just happiness...for all but me. i was really really bummed out. i was ticked off at everyones' lack of sadness. i was extremely crabby. (more than usual, anyway)
my tale of dog woes:
we decided when our first child was 18 mos, we wanted to get a puppy. not just any puppy, but a black great dane puppy. noble was that puppy. he was great. he listened pretty good. he stayed by my side, he didn't jump, and he was protective of our family (ok, maybe just of me and the kids.). he was beautiful. unfortunately, we made the mistake of getting him before we were living in a house...we were living in a 2 bedroom condo. then we made the mistake of taking him to my sister in law's house until we were able to build our house. she allowed him to run. she allowed him and his brother (her dog) to run whenever they wanted, and where ever they wanted. right before we broke ground on our house, we found both dogs dead of an apparent poisoning. i was totally devastated. it broke my heart that he was gone.
my sister in law felt badly about what happened. she decided to get me another black great dane puppy as a surprise. thus, junior entered our lives. he was a nice enough dog. he loved me. he was ok with my kids. but he had to be penned up most of the time because he didn't want to stay in the invisible fence. he would just run right thru it. he then started to become really really protective and had a thing about pre-adolescent boys. (basically boys between the ages of 9 and 15) i don't know why, but he hated them. i couldn't trust him around them. he chased down the neighbor boy and knocked him to the ground, he growled and tried to chase my cousin, and then...the last straw...he bit the neighbor boy. i don't know if he meant to or not. i think he was just trying to grab the towel around the kid's arm...but that was it. i couldn't have a dog that i couldn't trust around kids. we decided junior couldn't live with us anymore.
after dealing with all this, i had decided that was it. no more dogs. i couldn't deal with it anymore. i hated losing them. it hurt too much. i couldn't spend the time with them that was needed to make them good dogs. i was too busy with teaching my own babies, and of course having more babies. what happens next? well the same sister in law decided that our oldest needed a dog, that he was responsible enough for a dog. now enters sami. we tried to make it work, but my kids are just not really into dogs. they want to play sports, hang out with their friends, and go places. they didn't have time in their busy lives for a dog. poor sami had to deal with it for 3 years. she is a great dog. she was a great mom. she deserves a family that wants her and loves her. i believe god has a plan for her. otherwise, why would she have a new home so quickly?

i don't want any more dogs.

atleast not until my kids are out of my house...then maybe i'll be ready.

Friday, January 25, 2008


today is the first day since the dogs all left. we decided that our home was not the best home for them...any of them. before i get into it, let me just say, there was not any abuse going on, nor were the dogs showing any dangerous behavior.
the day i brought cocoa home, my husband was not happy. i think i said that before, but believe me, i need to stress how unhappy he was. you see, my husband was not and still isn't an animal lover. don't get me wrong, he doesn't hate animals, and never ever was he unkind to them. he just was raised on a farm, and therefore, he had to witness and help with some pretty nasty farm type activities. that kind of ruined him towards animals. except gimpy the cat. he loved that cat. but that's a story for another day. anyway, i just don't want it to seem like he's the "bad guy" here. he's not.
anyway, after bringing cocoa home, jeff wasn't too happy. then zack, my helper, decided that the dogs needed to go potty. he's helpful like that. well, the bad thing is, when the door opens, sami (the mom) bolts out, followed by the puppies. oh and my mother -in-law's puppy was out too at the time. so all 3 puppies and sami started to run off. jeff yelled for them to come back, and cocoa came back, sami and the others looked at him, and then ran faster away. nice huh? jeff tells me this (i was just getting in the shower), with adding the comment, "we should keep this one, she atleast listens." i'm drying off in the shower. i get dressed, dry my hair, get ready, and come out to a really really really PO'd hubby. i guess our dog food and cocoa aren't mixing too well. she had diarrhea. in like 3 or 4 separate puddles on the kitchen floor. he had cleaned it all up before i got out there. (remember how i said she's housebroken? well, not since she had gotten to my house.) this time we had "the" discussion. the same discussion we've been having for a couple of months. the "sami doesn't listen. she's going to get hurt, or picked up by animal control. the kids don't even pay any attention to any of the dogs. we need to find them somewhere else to go" discussion. not my favorite type. i had been thinking about it. sami has a taste for deer now. thanks to my brother in law leaving all the extras from his hunting, she likes them. she is going out to find more. where is there the best chances to get a dead rotting deer leg? next to busy roads and highways. we have lots of those all around us. who hates deer-eating dogs? hunters, which we have lots of around us. what do they do when a dog comes around and chases the deer, or even worse, gets to the deer before the hunter? they shoot it.
it's not fun getting rid of a dog. i cried for a half an hour in the shower after they came to get them. and i have my good minutes and bad. i had jeff take all the stuff that was left over to his mom and dad. i couldn't look at it. my eyes still hurt and i'm still tearing up writing this.
i emailed the lady that took cocoa. her friend took sami and sally. she told me she would keep me updated on them all. cocoa was fine, she laid in her bed and watched the other dogs. sami and sally napped in the living room most of the evening at her friend's house. i don't know if it makes me feel better or worse that they did so well away from us. i guess i need to give it some time.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

an eventful 22nd

yesterday was haley's 9th birthday. i have a hard time believing she is 9 already...and double digits next year?! yikes!! i had made a blanket with her in mind, and gave it to her yesterday. i will try to post pics someday. we went out to dinner with my in laws, and she got a nintendo ds game...for the nintendo ds she can't find. that kid!
what can i tell you about my girl haley? she loves animals and reading. she is great at math and reading. in fact she's a 3rd grader doing 4th grade math, and they had to start a new reading program for her and a few other kids in her class. she's a mother hen. and that get's on my nerves (and her siblings nerves too). she's a great kid. she loves swimming and soccer, but can't wait to start volleyball. she is a tomboy, but likes to be girly sometimes too. she is absolutely beautiful and i am scared to death of the day she starts to date!

yesterday, my dog's prodigal daughter returned. or rather was returned. cocoa has been brought back. the woman who took her decided that she was not home enough, and started to travel, so back she came. if you know anyone that would like her, please, please, please, let me know. jeff was not too happy with me. (ok, to say jeff was not too happy is a bit of an understatement.) i am not too happy with me. i was just getting the hang of the 2 dog household, and had to throw number 3 in the mix. she comes with her bowls, her pillows, her toys, and her crate. she has had all her shots. she's a nice dog. we just have enough dogs right now.

oh yeah, and heath ledger died. how sad is that? that man was gorgeous! and has a young daughter. how sad. is it pathetic that i almost cried when i turned on the computer and saw that?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

am i jumping the gun?

i found out over the weekend that dan's diagnosis has changed. it isn't als, it is parkinsons. i guess after telling his family, he started to go to wash u for treatment, and they determined that it is parkinsons. now, parkinsons isn't great, but it's a hell of a lot better than als. i don't know how many more opinions they are going to get, but i think i would get at least 2 more. how crazy is that? after holding it in for months, and finally telling people, you find out that you have something else. but thank god it is!

that's all i have time to post about right now. i'll try to put some more on later.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

why i love my little town

last night, jeff got home really really late. he had been pretty busy with customers all day. in fact his day, which was supposed to end at 3:30, didn't end until 10. yeah, it was a long day. and yet he came home in high spirits. believe me, that is not usually the case. he told me his boss showed him something pretty amazing...
i'm sure you remember my friend kathy's husband was diagnosed with als, and they have known about it for months, but just told everyone recently. my community, my fellow church members, my friends,(they are all one in the same) are building a house for dan and kathy. you see, they have been dreaming about building a house for years. they have the property, but were waiting until the older girls were out of high school to build. right now they live in a small 2 story home, and their bedroom is on the 2nd floor. that works for right now, but unfortunately it won't work well when the disease progresses. once people in our community found out, several started to think about what they could do for them. we have several builders, and contractors in our community, dan and kathy have lots of friends, like us, that are willing to help, so hopefully soon they will have a new home.

this is not an isolated incident. the generosity of my community is awe inspiring. when our principal started at our school, she had just lost her son to lung cancer. he was in his 20's. he left behind a wife and young daughter. his daughter was diagnosed with cancer while her daddy was still fighting the good fight. this family had struggled alot. his daughter beat the cancer (in her jaw area). unfortunately, it came back within 2 years...this time in her leg. her mother is one of the strongest people i know. parents of the other kids in the girl's class, teachers, and just other community members, got together and threw a benefit for her. they raised over $30,000 in one night for her. people donated so much stuff, and then spent so much money, all for a little girl they had only known for a couple of years. she beat the cancer again. she is doing well.

i know there are other communities that are just as generous out there. but this is my town. these are my friends. and this is why i love it here. i hope everyone can find a place where they are so inspired by their neighbors and friends.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

what is the answer?

this is something i have been thinking of lately, mostly after i talked to a man about a pig...yes, i know how that sounds.
what is the fuel source answer? all you hear about on the news is how corn and soybean based fuels are the answer. really? my problems with those answers are:
a) what about when the corn and soybean crops are ruined by floods, drought, insects, basically any natural disaster? what do we do then?
b)what about the rise in food costs? i don't just mean the food stuffs that include corn or soybeans in their ingredients (and that's just about any food produced and packaged). what about the meat animals that eat corn and soybeans. what about the products that come from these animals that eat corn and soybeans? if you really think about it, you won't be able to afford the cereal, or the milk to go on it. and don't even think about bacon and eggs! (this is what i started thinking about when i talked to the man about the pig)

a friend of ours went to australia a couple of weeks ago. he is using a hybrid over there that uses hydrogen and gas. gas is around $3 a litre, and hydrogen is like $.50 a litre. you can use either fuel by it's self. it seems to work pretty well. why aren't we trying this? is there some downside that australia and other countries just don't care about? these cars are made by Chrysler, so it's not like it's some foreign company making's our own companies. why haven't they made more of a big deal about these options? would they work for a huge 12 passenger van? right now my van gets around 12 miles per gallon. the tank holds around 30 gallons. if you fill the tank up, starting at close to empty, it costs me almost $100. i don't drive much, just to get kids from school everyday, and maybe to the grocery store, but i go through a tank a week. if i could get away with paying half that...i'd do it.

i will add that i don't know much about this subject. i am going by how this would effect my family. you know, feeding my family, getting them to where they need to go, pig feed, these all matter in my little corner.

Monday, January 14, 2008

a few conversational pieces

grace's phone call to her daddy on her birthday:
grace-hi daddy, guess what? i get gerbils for my birthday!
daddy-oh really? who says?
grace-mom said it was ok. it's my birthday present.
daddy-mom did? really? well, is mom there? i would really like to talk to her. (not happy)
grace-nope, but i will tell her you want to talk to her.

me-hey did you want to talk to me?
daddy-what the *heck* is this about grace getting gerbils? tell me this is a joke.
me-no, what's the big deal? it's just for the weekend.
daddy-the weekend? she told me they were her birthday present!
me-yeah, from her teacher. she's getting to take them home for the weekend because her birthday is this week.
daddy-thank goodness. you had me worried there for a minute.

why would my husband be worried? well, perhaps it is the fact that over the past year we have had 2 turtles, several fish, a puppy, 4 chickens, and the kids are getting a pig and a lamb. what do these pets all have in common? well, let's just say the kids know who to ask...and it's definitely not dad! of course i am not a big fan of small rodents, so i would have said no to the gerbils. of course rats are a different story!

at wendy's restaurant
zack-i need to go potty
me-whatever. you have a diaper on.
zack-i want to go potty.
me-fine, let's go.
few minutes later
me-good job buddy! you pooped in the potty! i am so proud of you!
after washing hands and leaving the restroom
amidst the giggles and laughter of all the patrons, workers, and my own family...
me-zack, that's great, but we don't need to yell it to everyone.
me-eat your nuggets. (trying to hold in my own laughter at this point)

i love kids. the funny things they say, the reactions of others when they hear it...what could be better?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

some more favorites

here are 3 things i have recently found that i absolutely love. they are from Beauticontrol. think avon or mary kay (mary kay has this stuff that is actually great for diaper rash...i don't know what it is called, but it is some pink stuff, thicker than Vaseline.).

1) cabana girl pineapple daiquiri cooling foot creme. this stuff smells so good, you are tempted to eat it. really. it works good, but honestly, the smell is what sold me on it.

2) herbal serenity aromatherapy show of hands. this is great for getting rid of rough, flaky, dry, dead skin. it is dead sea salt mixed with some natural oils.

3) regeneration extreme repair. ok, this is my favorite product. i have tried so many lotions, this worked the best by far.

you may be asking yourselves, why would her opinion matter? well, i am not a doctor...i am a mother of 2 girls that have horrible dry skin on their hands. my girls hands are so red and chapped in the winter, it is miserable for them. i have tried so many things to try to help them...medications, lotions, special soaps, nothing worked. until i found this stuff. i did the "show of hands" on the girls on monday. i followed it up with the "extreme repair". haley's hands had been red, rough, and chapped. afterward, they looked normal. grace too. now i wanted to know how long this would last. i mean, lotion always seems to work, but only for so long, so i checked them when they got home...still looked normal-still felt normal. the next day, without putting anymore on them, they still looked normal. this lasted for 4 days!! i was so happy to finally find something to help my girls. you have no idea how hard it is to not know what to do when your kids hands are cracked and bleeding because they are so dry and chapped. we used so many different lotions and even medications to try to cure this and nothing ever worked before. my hands are just like the girls, but i didn't get it as young as they did. i have been so impressed with these products, i had to put it out there for everyone (all 2 of you) to see. this stuff wasn't cheap, but it works. i know they have all kinds of different products, i don't know how well those work, but i love these three. beauticontrol, i love these products. i will definitely try more.
when i went to jen the nurse's spa party, this is the stuff that was at it. our consultant was really nice. she has one 12 year old daughter (she's in a wheelchair, and is special needs) and triplet 8 year old girls. she was so nice. and helpful.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

same stuff, different day

i found out the other day that a friend of mine's hubby has ALS...that's lou gehrig's disease. i think he is 50. he's got 3 daughters, one is a freshman in college, one is a senior in high school, and one is in 3rd grade with my haley. his daughter is my haley's best friend. this guy is the nicest person. he's coached the girls in softball, and is planning on coaching basketball. i don't know how advanced he is, but they found out in august. they didn't tell anyone (he and his wife) until after the holidays. he has a twin brother. when his twin asked if there was anything he could do for him, his response was "don't let my girls marry assholes". while i cracked up when i heard this, it also broke my heart. please pray for dan and kathy and their girls. shoot, pray for anyone with this disease and their families...but please keep these guys in your thoughts and prayers too.

have i become debbie downer or what? it feels like every time i post, it is asking for prayers for someone who is down on their luck. i know that this is a great way to "get the word out", but i need to think of more witty (perhaps "witty" is not a word best used to describe them) observations or something.
ok, here's a "witty" observation. i don't know if this is all husbands, or just mine.
i was relating to my hubby that i was really really stressed out. i just felt like everyone wanted a piece of me, and i had nothing left to give. i didn't know what i needed, but i just had to vent. he tells me to take off my clothes and get in bed. i'm thinking "ok, i get to go to bed, relax, awesome". that wasn't what he was thinking. he thought that when i said i was stressed that was code for i want sex. seriously. he really thought this. he didn't understand why i told him to go ____ himself and walked out. later when i calmed down, he told me he thought he was helping know sex is a great stress release. that may be, but when you already feel like everyone wants a piece of you, that doesn't help. now, i don't know if other husbands are like this, but that is how mine sees things...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

back by popular demand

last night a good friend came back in town. bryan and his daughter brielle were visiting his mom and stopped by for dinner. well, it was bryan, brielle, bryan's brother mike, and mike's wife, denise, and their daughter paige. we had a pretty nice night. we ate pantera's pizza, and talked about old times, new times and times yet to come. the guys went to nathan's house to see all the changes he's made since he bought it from us. (nathan is in australia for the next 5 or 6 weeks for work) you realize how much you miss people like that when you get to see them. i know bryan was always jeff's favorite brother, mine was always mike. but honestly, it was more because i got to know mike more. bryan was living in AZ when i started to date jeff. when he came back, well, i thought he was a bit full of himself. i haven't changed my mind either. when he came back, he was. now, he is married and a father of 2. he's more down to earth...a real person. his wife is great too. she's so nice. the kids are adorable. zack followed brielle around all night. we had a great night. can't wait for the cruise in feb!

today is my grace's birthday. she's 6 today. it is amazing to me that she's gotten so big. she's my littlest princess. she is smart, funny, beautiful, talented, and talkative. she is one of those people that gets joy out of everything. she is such a great kid...and she's mine.
god definitely blessed me when he gave me my grace.

Monday, January 7, 2008

weekend recap

ok, quick nephew update. he is doing great. he is going to be moved to a rehab hospital this week i believe. he is mentally all there...a little whiny, but what man wouldn't be? physically he is doing great. thanks for all the prayers! they definitely worked!
jeff and i got away from the kids for the night. we went and saw "i am legend" and went out to eat. the movie was ok. not a "wow" type of movie. not an original idea for a plot, that's for sure. i won't ruin it for anyone, so i won't tell you what movies it was like. it was good, but not great. had will smith not been in it, we wouldn't have gone to see it. i don't think anyone would have. my brother in law was having friends over, so we stopped by. his friend, alexa, was there. her parents took one of the puppies. she said he is like 35 pounds already, and her parents love him like a kid. they are going to take him to obedience classes starting this week. glad to hear they love him.
grace had her first indoor soccer game this past weekend. she scored a goal and her team won 6-3. their game started at 7:30 AM and the place is a good 30 minute drive from my dad's house. the kids stayed the night there and so my dad drove her to her game. on the way back, she threw up all over herself. my dad is a little hard of hearing, and she didn't speak up, so she was pretty gross when they got home. she slept most of the rest of the day. they brought all the kids home after they dropped alex off for his game at 12. alex's team played the other team from his school. alex's team won. he scored 5 points and fouled out in the 4th quarter.
i got to go out with a bunch of moms. i went to my friend jen's house (the nurse) and she had a "spa" party. a nice lady selling beauticontrol products gave us mini facials, foot stuff, all kinds of good stuff. me being the youngest there, i didn't get as much stuff done to my face. i have fairly clear skin, and not too many lines and/or wrinkles yet, but most of the other moms were atleast 7 to 10 years older than me. it was so much fun to sit around and talk, and just be a woman.
second sunday in a row that we actually all made it to church. jeff is not an early riser, so we made it to the 11 o'clock mass. the boys were so good in church i was amazed. we had several people make comments about how good the boys were. always nice to hear good things about your kids. we came home to grab jeff some food (he hadn't eaten breakfast yet) and the neighbor's friend (who took a puppy) was out with the puppy. they named him marley. he is a good 5 pounds bigger than sally. he seems happy and healthy. she loves him. i'm glad he has a home where he is loved like he is. from there, we went to the hospital. jacob is doing well. he is in a normal room, his roommate is a teenage boy too. i don't know what happened to him, i didn't ask, but i heard he's a wrestler. we stayed there for a couple of hours. we left there in time to get to alex's next basketball game. he's in a tournament. he played the same team again, the really tough team that totally creamed our boys the first game of the first tournament they were in. (did that make sense?) we didn't lose by as much. only like 13 points. we actually outscored them in the second half. had our team played the first half the way they did the second, we could have taken them. that's nice to see. our boys were so sure they were going to lose going in, i don't think they realized how close they came to winning it in the end.

did i ever say i don't really like watching basketball? i still don't like it much, but when it's my kid out there, i can get interested.

Friday, January 4, 2008

me and wally? yeah we hang out...

*disclaimer* this is something that has been on my mind for a while. it may or may not be correct. i don't claim to be completely informed on these subjects. these are just MY thoughts on these subjects *disclaimer*

ok, i know everyone and their brother is walmart bashing now, but i still shop there...alot. i know they aren't letting their employees unionize, but you know what? k-mart isn't union, i don't think target is either. most of those stores are not union. why is it ok to be totally against walmart for this, but these other stores get a free pass? i have heard that they don't give good enough benefits, aren't there alot of jobs that don't have great benefits? do we protest them too? these people who work at walmart are free to find other employment. they choose to work there. walmart has been good about hiring "undesirables". (meaning the elderly, mentally handicapped, physically handicapped) when you walk in the door, you see a huge wall full of pictures of missing persons. i don't know too many other stores that do that.
i don't work for walmart, and i don't hold stock either...but i do have a family member that has worked for walmart for many years. he has always been treated fairly as far as i know. if he hadn't, he would have found another job.
i am not condoning everything they do. the use of illegal aliens was wrong. but i think that was an isolated incident. if it wasn't, i hope someone rats them out on it.
as for raising minimum wage. all i see it doing is raising prices for everything. i know, i am uneducated on the subject. i am, i admit it. but the money comes from somewhere. i don't see why minimum wage should be a "living wage". i don't know about any of you, but even when i was 16 and working for hardee's, i was making more than minimum wage (min wage was $4.25 and i made $4.75). this is a base wage, a starter wage. why would you pay a teenager a "living wage"? (now, believe me when i say this, i am going by my own experiences here.) if we are talking adults, well, even fast food restaurants pay more for adults. if you can work during the day, you get paid much much more. in fact, i know of one mcdonald's that pays more than $10 an hour if you can work during the day. they have a tough time getting workers, so they pay more.
i know i am uneducated on both these subject. i am going by just my experiences. i am letting my wallet dictate my decisions. i can't help it. i am a stay at home mother of 5 kids. i live on a budget. raising of min wage doesn't change the size of my husband's check, but it does change the amount everything costs. at least that's how i see it.