Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

My cat is better!!!  Yay!!!  The amount of ribbon he puked up was unbelievable, especially since I don't keep ribbon in the house because I know he eats it.  I have no idea where it came from, but I am thankful the Lord answered our prayers.  I started praying that if there was something causing a blockage that the Lord would move it, and He did.  Yay!  Ugh.  It was a rough week of going back and forth in my  mind over what to do with my kitty, knowing I couldn't really afford another vet bill.  Ahhhhh, breathing a huge sigh of relief, such a gift to have that burden lifted before Christmas. 

I am soooo looking forward to getting together with our good friends today for dinner, a little gift exchange and lots of laughs I'm sure.  Then we will go to their Christmas Eve service, come home, and wait for Santa ... literally.  Our neighbor dresses as Santa and comes over.  He is so sweet.  We don't even do Santa, but the kids love it.  Elijah is saying he believes in Santa too so he especially is excited.  His determination in believing in Santa is pretty funny. 

I still have gifts to wrap, but I would really like to just chill and read my book about a woman who was kidnapped by indians, escaped and walked 1000 miles back to her home.  So crazy!  It's a true story.  The novel is historical fiction based on her story.  It is so good though.  I feel terrible putting the book down and leaving them in the wilderness.  It is her and another woman who escaped.  Oh, the things they go through.  The human will is amazing.

But, it's Christmas Eve so I will be doing Christmas things today, like writing a blog post on Christmas Eve :)

I will post soon about my First Grade Christmas party experience.  Serena told me I need to write it down.  I was in charge of games, and for those who know me you probably know I am amazing at games, and crafts, and party planning ... no.  I'm not.  There may have been tears and frustrations involved in my games.  Stay tuned. 

MERRY CHRISTMAS FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO READ MY BLOG!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hugs from Dogs

I love when my dogs hug me.  It might sound weird, but they do. 

Daisy just walked over the where I am sitting in the chair, sat down and pushed herself against me.  That's her hug.  I hug her back and she is so happy.  Plus, she is big so I can really hug her and squeeze her and she doesn't mind at all. 

So, we just had a little moment.  She trotted off all happy, grabbed her bone and is chewing away on it now. 

Molly will do the same thing.  She will jump up on the bed, come over to wear I am, sit and lean into me.  It's so sweet. 

I know.  I have issues.  But, I am feeling really sentimental about life right now.  Christmas this year is really getting into my heart.  It's good and bad.  Good because I like feeling the emotions of holidays and really feeling the moments.  Bad because who wants to be weepy around Christmas.

It doesn't help that my kitty has been sick.  He's being so sweet about it too.  I have read that cats really mask their illnesses well.  He definitely is.  He has barely been eating, etc., but he is still so sweet and is loving any attention he gets.  I had already been giving him extra attention since losing Simon.  Samson is just so laid back and squeezable so I've definitely been squeezing him lately.  A friend said maybe that's why he got sick.  I was squeezing him too much.  Ha ha.  That made me laugh.

He's 14.  There's only so much we can do for our little buddy.  Going through all of this though makes me never want to get another cat.  We were looking at cats last night at the pet store.  They were so sweet, but all I kept thinking was "you cost A LOT of money."  Vet bills are ridiculous.  It's sad because I would probably get a million animals (give or take a few) if they didn't cost so darn much to care for. 

So, here we enter another point of change in life that is a reminder that we are getting old.  A college friend and I were just talking about things like this.  Life events that make us wonder how we got this old.  I remember getting my cats and thinking, "I could have them until I am 40."  I've heard of cats living for 20 years.  Thirty-five is pretty close to 40, but it does kind of take me back a step wondering how I got to this point so quickly.

Well, my kitty is sitting here wanting some love and probably some tuna juice.  I read it helps with hydrating, etc. He does love it too. 

Now go hug your dog, or cat :o)


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hmmm ...

It's been a while since I've been on here I see.

I have to share my small victory from today though.  The grandfather I mentioned in my previous post waved to me today.  Unprovoked.  Yes!  VICTORY!!  I may have even sung that word out loud after it happened too.  So happy.  He and I are officially waving buddies.

Things have been peaceful lately.  I have felt so free in a weird way.  I mean, things have been going on.  Don't get me wrong.  There have been tragedies, and sickness, and sadness, etc., but I am feeling good these days.  I am almost afraid to say all of this, but I also don't want to live in superstitious fear.  I don't think God works that way.  I am just very thankful for peaceful days.  Anxiety is a bitch so days when I don't have to deal with it are good days.  Long stretches of not having to deal with it are even better.  So, ahhhhhhhh.  I am resting in that right now.

Advent season is here and I love it, such a joyful time of year, especially when the truth is in you.  I am more grateful than ever that God decided to send his Son as a little baby for the sake of little old me.  What a gift.  When so much sadness goes on it is easy to want to question God, but then what?  If you are going to question God, where do you turn?  It is an odd conundrum to question, yet rest in God's sovereignty.  I find myself there quite often though.

Reading His word helps.  He makes things so clear at times.  It's not always easy to put into my own words, but I read His word and understand.  That is peaceful.  That is good. 

Madelyn is showing some real spiritual growth this year.  I think her teacher at school has been very helpful in this way.  Her prayers though are more heartfelt and sincere.  At dinner she thanks God that we have food to eat and prays for those who don't.  During our family prayers she is praying more for the hearts of people who don't know Truth.  It is really sweet.

Elijah comes up with very interesting questions and comments concerning God and things in the Bible.  He soaks up Bible stories and is able to then put thoughts and ideas together concerning God.  For instance, we were discussing marriage and the vows that are made before God.  Elijah then adds that once we had him and Madelyn they then became a part of that vow.  He actually said it was like God's promises came like a laser into him and Madelyn after we had kids.  So funny.

I love seeing their hearts and minds grow towards God, and I love being able to be real with them in talking about God.  I love the verse where Jesus says something to the effect of "in this world you will have trouble, but take heart I have overcome the world."  There is victory with God.  We just have to hold on, and sometimes that is all we can do. 

So, all that to say I am so overwhelmed and thankful right now for all God has blessed us with, and for the comfort we can find in Him through all things.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Strangers?

I see people around town all the time.  I don't really know them, but I feel like I do.  I even come up with their life scenarios which I am sure are pretty darn close to their real life situations because I am after all only going by their looks.

Anyway, take the bus stop people for instance.  I drive my kids to school so I see a number of people at various bus stops.  There is the old man that walks a teeny girl to the bus stop, only now she is not so teeny and is probably in 2nd grade, or maybe first.  There used to be an older red headed boy that he would see to the bus stop as well, but he is now in high school.  That bus comes early so I don't see him any more. 

I have seen a young woman with him in the mornings at times too so I am assuming she is the girl's mother.  So, here is what I surmised.  The woman is a young single mother who works so he helps her by getting her daughter on the bus.  He has to be the grandfather (or even great-grandfather) because he is so sweet with the little chatter-box girl.  Seriously.  I only drive by them, but she is a talker.  They walk and she is just talking up a storm.  It is so sweet.  He used to hold her hand, but now she's a big girl.  I imagine she just melts his heart.

I even saw the man do a funny dance to make the older red-headed boy laugh.  It was super sweet.  The man is not super friendly to me though.  Yes.  I still have only driven by, but I would wave.  It was almost like he would try to not look at me, but I am happy to report I get a wave occasionally now.  I mean I drive in the other lane to make sure they are safe so I wave an acknowledging wave.  You do that right?

So, it was funny on Halloween night to see them trick or treating in our neighborhood.  I feel like I know the guy, but what do I say?  "Hey!  It's me, the lady who drives by you on a regular basis!  Can I just ask you to verify my back story I have created for you?"  Originally I thought he must be their sole guardian and everyone else has died.  Now I don't think that everyone has died, but he must have some kind of guardianship or something.  See, I do need verification.  I should have asked him on Halloween.  That's so not weird at all. 

There are others.  One woman I would see at story time all the time.  That ended, but I continued to see her at parks, the grocery store, etc.  Finally one day I introduced myself because it was just getting weird how I would see her ALL the time and we never said anything.  It turns out her husband leads the local cubs scouts.  Good to know. 

Another lady I see at the bus stop has a little baby.  Well, he was super little, but now he wears a leash because you just can't have a little toddler free to roam on that road, way too dangerous so I don't blame her one bit.  It is cute to see the others fussing over him at the stop though.  He was just standing there with a big smile on his face the other day.  So cute!

Another woman I only just saw the other day.  She was cute waving to her kids on the bus.  She looks like she has a hard life, like she works hard for the sake of her kids.  See?  This is what I do.  I make up stories for people.  But, with her it was like she would wave to the kids all smiles and so sweet, but when she turned to continue walking her face changed.  The hardness showed through.  She saves face for her kids.  Don't we all at times?

There is another group that I just plain worry over.  There are so many of them at this stop on a busy two lane country road.  It just scares me to see all those people crammed onto a corner with barely any sidewalk.  Oy.  I see the moms walk along the road with their kids trying to get to the corner, but there is no sidewalk!  I hate it. 

I could go on.  It's funny though because I am sure my stories are way more dramatic in my mind than they are in real life, but you never know right?  Am I the only one who does this?  Or, am I the only one that sees certain people so much that it feels like I should know them? 

Tell me.  I need to know your stories if this happens to you ... Tell me I'm not SO weird!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Where was I?

Oh yeah, we had Thanksgiving ...

After telling the kids we were NOT stopping.  We were going to try to make it as far as we could before stopping.  No drinking.  No snacking because then you'll get thirsty ... and we stopped about 45 minutes down the road.

Elijah had to pee and I had stomach issues.  Good times at the rest stop.  Then we stopped again.  Dan had stomach issues.  This was Thanksgiving morning.  Dan's parents were expecting us for the meal by 1.  I had a casserole in my cooler.

We finally get there and I fell asleep soon after.  I woke up to eat and then fell asleep again soon after.  I wish I could have enjoyed the meal more.  Dan's mom said the turkey wasn't done right.  I cooked my casserole the night before, could have sworn I put it in the fridge, only to realize the next morning it was still sitting, covered, on the stove.

Issues.

We had issues.  The good news is that we have had many Thanksgiving dinners with Dan's parents that have been much MUCH better.

That night we left around 8 pm to hit Walmart for some amazing deals.  Good times :)  Shopping is my love language.

Dan's Dad even went.  He heard about that laptop they were selling for $248 and he was all over it.  He and Dan waited in line forever and Merry Christmas to me!  I will soon have a normal size laptop.

Can. Not. Wait.

Our desktop computer died so I am left with my little laptop all the time.  I like my little buddy, but sometimes I just want to look through pictures without having to scroll down to see just one whole picture.

Dan was ready to set it up for me, but I told him I was waiting for Christmas for it.  He's going to set it up in secret so Christmas day I can open it and use it right away.  Yay!  I don't even mind knowing ahead of time.

We got some other goodies too.  I don't know that I would just go out to shop that day if I wasn't trying to get a deal, but it was worth it for the deals we got.

I told Elijah that night that we were going out hunting (for good deals obviously).  He asked if I was going to shoot a chicken.  Have I mentioned how much that kid cracks me up?

He and Madelyn stayed behind to help Grandma decorate her tree.  They are tree decorating machines.  We decorated ours the night before we left and they loved every second of it.  Dan and I just sit back and enjoy not having to do anything.  Madelyn was thrilled she could do whatever she wanted and I love our tree with the clumps of ornaments here and there.  So what the tree is 13 years old.  It's like a part of our family now :)

We had a good time with Dan's brother's family as well.  Their kids just fuss all over our kids.  They are teenagers and are super sweet so our kids just think they are the best.  We played games and had fun.

It is nice to be home for a while too.  We were away the last two weekends.  Even Daisy was exhausted from her time at the dog sitter's.  I don't think she has woken up yet.

So, that was our Thanksgiving 2011 and boy do we have a ton to be thankful for.  I am so very grateful for all God has blessed us with.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Kids

I could just squeeze my kids lately for how stinkin' cute and funny they have been.

Tonight they are in bed together and I heard Elijah say, "The most important person to believe in is God, the one true God.  Don't believe in false gods."

That kid takes everything to heart.  He shows me just how impressionable kids can be.  I am so grateful he is being taught truth in school because it is sticking.

Madelyn has been gathering her belongings today for out Thanksgiving trip.  She wants to pack Polar, her nighttime bear (I dare you to guess what kind of bear he is ;), but she needs to sleep with him tonight.  In discussing how she was going to handle this Elijah asked her if she was going to sleep with him.  She said yes, and he replied, "Good, because I was worried for you."

I was running errands this morning for some much needed groceries.  When I came home the kids were making sandwiches with the little bread that we did have.  Madelyn said she was making a sandwich for papa as well.  He was busy fixing our upstairs toilet.  I had to run one more errand to pick up meds for the kids and as I was walking to my car I hear Madelyn yell out to me "do you want a sandwich too?"  So sweet.

Seriously.  My kids have just been so sweet to each other my heart has been melting on a regular basis.  This has been an off week because of the holiday, the kids are sick, etc. so they have been home more often than not.  But, they have been so happy playing games together, creating stories and songs together, helping each other with little projects.  They even want to sleep together at night. 

 I never understood how a brother and sister could be best friends, but I am beginning to see it.  They truly enjoy each others company.  I hope they keep this bond forever. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Milk = Bad

We were away with friends this weekend.  I was helping my friend with her first jewelry show.  She makes it and this was her first time trying to sell it.  She did AMAZING and has beautiful pieces.  I was so happy for her and the response she got.  She did very well.

So, after a long day we headed home, filled the husbands in on how the day went, kicked off our shoes and settled in on the couch.  That's when I heard coughing.  Both of our families have had sickness lately, but this cough was different.  I asked who was coughing only to find out it was Elijah.  What?!  I knew he was probably getting a sinus infection, but the coughing hadn't been an issue.  After hearing it a few times I called him up to get him a drink and some meds.  I told him why I called him up and he said, "It could be from the milk."

Um.  WHAT!?!

Yup.  The kids all had hot chocolate made with milk after their afternoon at the park with the dads.

I quick grabbed the Benadryl and gave him the biggest dose I could.  His breathing sounded bad and he was feeling sick to his stomach which is typical when he has something made with milk so he ended up hovering over the toilet in case he threw up.  Then I thought, "If he throws up, the medicine is going to come up, and will he react again from the milk coming back up ... ???"  There were too many questions and too much of a breathing issue to just sit around and wait to see what happens so we put him in the car and headed to urgent care. 

They took us right back thankfully and checked him out.  His breathing was getting better and better, but they did find an ear infection and are treating him for that and the sinus infection.  That saved me a trip to the doc this week.  They observed him for a full hour and gave him anti-nausea medicine which made a world of difference for him.  He perked up once that medicine kicked in.

The poor kid.  It was really scary to hear him breathe in and hear the obstruction in his throat.  He had never ingested so much milk, nor let it sit in him for so long before realizing.  Usually he will get a bump on his face or something if he eats something that he reacts to so I give him benadryl right away.  I never knew if he could react so strongly and now I do.  Thankfully I had the epi-pen on me as well.  I started to carry that and the Benadryl in my purse.  I just never know these days when he might eat something he reacts to. 

His allergies are to milk and eggs.  Mostly he is fine with eating foods with them in it, but every now and then he might react to a cookie, or a different brand waffle or nugget.  He doesn't really eat waffles or nuggets too much anymore, but those were things he reacted to.  Poor little guy.  He just feels so lousy after a big exposure like that. 

When we were at the beach one year we thought for some reason that he would be able to have sherbet.  He had a cup of it while the rest of us had ice cream.  He went to bed that night soon after we got back to the house and when he woke up the next morning we could tell he just wasn't right and he threw up orange.  Well, surprise surprise.  Sherbet has milk in it. 

Elijah is usually very good about recognizing foods that may have an allergen, like popcorn, but I make hot chocolate with the packet of mix and water so he has never associated it with milk at all.  Maybe he will now.

While we were at urgent care he asked if everyone could come visit him while he was there.  I think he thought he was at the hospital.  I explained to him that we were just at a weekend doctor's office.  They were really great with him too. 

Oy.  I don't want to go through that again any time soon. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

LEGO Excitement

The kids are starting to get excited for Christmas.  They were looking at the toysrus flyer and realized that LEGOs were on sale.  This is the conversation that then took place ...

E:  Madelyn, you are the reason I got excited about my LEGO's again because you came up with that game with them. 

M:  Really?

E:  Yeah, you got me back to my old self so thank you for helping me get back to my old self.  ...  (Madelyn is looking at the flyer not saying anything) ... Madelyn, what do you say when someone says thank you? 

M:  I was just going to say you're welcome!

So serious, and yet so funny.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bad

I've been so bad about blogging lately.  I just feel scatterbrained lately and I hate that feeling. 

So, here are some recent happenings or thoughts ...

Did I mention that I heard back from the supervisor at the job that I declined?  I did.  She said she was disappointed and would look into things for me.  I haven't heard anything since though.

Elijah is stuffy and coughing.  I am praying we can keep it at bay like the last time and prevent it from turning into an antibiotic deal.  So far it is not looking promising, but we were able to do it last time.

Samson now goes to the basement to potty and eat.  This is HUGE.  I was beginning to worry.  He is still meowing outside our door at night though.  Grrr ... that is really annoying, but a closed door and fan help.

I hate that I won't be seeing Breaking Dawn at midnight this year.  Super bummed, but the idea of me going by myself at midnight just seemed pathetic.  Although now that I think about it we stood in line behind a girl who was by herself last year.  I don't think she was 35 though.  I would go by myself during the day, but not at midnight.  My Twi-friends all have things going on where they can't make it.  One has a new baby, one moved away, and another just has life going on, not to mention the tickets are all sold out now for midnight.  Sad.  And yes, sad because I am pathetic, and sad that I definitely will not be there at midnight.  I can't help it though!  Edward reminds me sooooooo much of Dan.  I love his character.  Therefore, Dan loves the book and I love the book because there are things Edward says that are so similar to things Dan has said.  (sigh)  Love.

Our basement is swept out, sump pump is fixed, window is back in, paneling and insulation ripped out, furniture in our storage room ... it's all ready for whoever wants to come and put some dry wall up.  Anyone?  Anyone?

Okay, I think that is all for now.  I am sure by now you are thankful that I didn't make a separate blog post for all of those things aren't you? 

Now back to my scatterbrained mind ...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Red White & Blue

Yesterday the secretary at the school asked Elijah if he was going to wear red, white, and blue socks today for veteran's day and he said no because he only has two feet.

Happy Veteran's Day!  Where would we be without our troops sacrificing each and every day for our safety and freedom?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blech

I feel icky so my family is eating dinner while I sit in the living room.  Blech.  I don't even want to be around food right now which is unfortunate because I really like taco salad normally.

My friend Anna from way back during college days came to visit yesterday with her son who is Elijah's age.  So fun to reconnect, and her boy is so sweet.  We had a really nice time.

I turned down the job offer the other day.  It didn't pay very much for how hard I would be working.  HR wasn't willing to budge on it and I knew that they were offering the lowest they can pay for this position.  I thought it was kind of ridiculous that they couldn't even bring the amount up $.30 to make an even dollar amount, but whatever. 

So, I e-mailed the top supervisor I had met with and told her I was sorry we weren't able to work something out.  I even told her the exact amount I was looking for and what I would have settled for so she would know I wasn't looking for millions here.  She wrote me back and said she was disappointed as well and was going to look into it for me.  I really appreciated that because I thought she was really great when I interviewed with her.  Even if things don't work out I don't feel badly about how things were handled.  I haven't heard great things about this hospital as far as working there so I knew I didn't want to settle for just any amount.  We'll see what happens.

I took a nap today.  I rarely ever go to sleep during the day, but I just am not feeling right.  I have to say I love naps, especially on days like today when I really needed one.  Soon after I laid down my chihuahua snuggled up with me and then my cat did too.  I love that.  The funny part is that Samson, the cat, will oftentimes lay down either right on Molly, or right next to her because Molly goes under the blanket so Samson doesn't even realize she's there.  It cracks me up.

Speaking of Samson, the poor cat has been losing it.  He has not wanted to go in the basement because it is completely gutted, and he is still meowing at night when we go to bed.  I feel bad for him and I think he needs a valium.  I'm only half kidding.

He's getting there though.  I realized today he did go in the basement to use the litter box.  I put his food down there too so that once he got hungry enough he would go down there.  I think it worked.  Poor kitty.

I think there was more I was going to write, but now I don't remember.  It has been fun sitting back and listening to my family's conversation while I have been typing this.  Apparently Madelyn played football with the boys today, but not the whole game.  And Elijah is discussing the fact that we die because of sin.  That kid has such a fun mind.  He is so inquisitive.

I think Madelyn has picked up the fact that I am generally struggling today.  She keeps giving me hugs.  I don't mind though.  That girl seems to be growing up like crazy lately. 

This is one of those days where I am looking forward to going to bed and starting out fresh tomorrow.  Blech.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Simon


Here's how the day went ...

My poor little kitty.  I knew the night before that it was getting to be time for him.  His hair was all matted on his back.  Apparently cats stop grooming themselves when they feel really sick.  He was so thin and still having his ... let's just say stomach issues.

Tuesday morning he was snuggling on my lap and I was just so sad for him, but I was giving him love.  Soon after that he had a bad vomit session.  Sorry, but he did.  It was then that I knew.  He just wasn't keeping anything down anymore.  Why would I wait to see him only get worse.

I looked up the vet's number and had it on the desk for probably two hours.  I would work on my Bible study work and then try to call.  I wouldn't be able to so I would do more Bible study work and repeat the cycle.

Dan called and asked me if I just woke up.  Um, it was 1 pm.  He said, "Why do you sound like that then?"  "Um, I've just been crying."  Because that's what I do now that the kids are in school all day.  Not really, but sometimes it seems that way.

Dan knew why.  He offered to make the appointment, or take him, or whatever I needed, but I knew I had to be the one.  I just knew it was time and I had to see it through.  He was my kitty.  Leading up to this I was having Dan call to find out the process, etc.  I had told him at one point that I didn't think I could be there when they do it.  Looking back though I now know that it just wasn't time.  At this point I knew I was helping him.

I called and cried and said,"I have to make that dreaded appointment of having my cat put down."  Ugh. 
The receptionist was really sweet though and I was able to take him in later that night. 

The kids cried when I told them that night was the night.  Elijah asked how they would do it and why and then what would we do with him, etc.  He's my details kid.  He needs to know everything.  He also said it was mostly sad for Samson (our other cat) since he is his brother.

I spent some time with Simon that night on the floor in my room just petting him and petting him until it was time to go.  The kids cried again and Madelyn took pictures of him with her Leapster.  When I got to the vet's office I walked up to the door and did not think I could go through with it.  I seriously came *this close* to turning around, but I knew I could not repeat the day again at some other point which is what would have happened.  Blech.  It was not fun.

So, I went in.  They did the usual deal and I was just waiting and waiting.  I unzipped the carrier so I had enough room to pet Simon's head while I waited.  I figured I would probably throw up or pass out by the way I felt, but I knew I could not turn back at this point.  My cat was dying either way, and at least this way he wasn't going to suffer any more.

The receptionist was so empathetic with me while she was putting us in the room.  She was talking about how hard it is and how you always second guess this or that no matter what you do or when you do it.  I appreciated her empathy and she was right.  The tech came and took Simon to put the IV in his leg.  When she brought him back I held him for a long time.  He really did snuggle into me for a few minutes and I am glad I had that moment with him.

When the vet came in he was very to the point. I had heard that about him and knew to expect it.  He asked me some questions and told me what the process would be and what I could expect, etc.  He sedated Simon so it was like he fell asleep in my hands.  Once he is sleeping they give him the other dose.  It was very peaceful.  They wrapped him in a towel and put him back in the carrier for me to bring him home so we could bury him.

My friend just told me the other day that it was recommended to them when their dog died they should show the body to the other dog so that she would know what had happened.  I kind of wish I had known this at the time because Samson really has been weird since then.  I could have shown him Simon's body and maybe he would have realized?  I don't know, but he definitely is having a hard time adjusting.

Anyway, we buried him and the kids were fine at this point.  I don't know how I do not have animal crazy kids.  I was always such an animal freak and couldn't keep my hands off of any animal I came across.  Simon was definitely my cat, but I still thought the kids would be more sad.

Elijah did pray that night that Simon would have fun in heaven.  He had asked earlier in the day if animals went to heaven like we do.  I told him I like to think that Liezl and Simon are together now playing.  Of course, he asked, "Who's Liezl?"  Liezl was our dog when Madelyn was just a baby.

The next day at dinner Elijah says, "Well, we survived another day without Simon."  As if there was a question.

So, I am sad about my kitty, but I have definitely had a peace about it.  And, I keep hugging Samson.  I think he is wondering what the deal is, but he's super laid back so I don't think he minds too much.  Now I just wish he would stop meowing at me and pawing at my face at night.  He will also bite my hair.  It is so annoying. Thankfully last night I was able to lock him out of our room so I slept better.  Poor thing.  Night time was when he and Simon were together most.  If they ever messed with each other it was at night.  Plus, our basement is all torn apart now so he is hesitant to go down there for his litter box.  Ugh.  It's not easy for a kitty to lose a loved one.

I told my sister that it was like the end of an era.  I got my cats when they were 8 weeks old and Dan and I were engaged.  I had an apartment with my dear friend Jess.  They've been with me through a lot of life changing events - my marriage, moving to MD, buying our first house, getting our first dog, having our first baby, burying our dog, having our second baby, moving to PA, and now here he will rest.  He was a really good cat, never caused any trouble, was always so chunky and snuggly.  I called him my teddy bear kitty because of how he would snuggle up with me at night.  I would wake up with him squished next to me on one side and Dan squished next to me on the other while I was sweating from all the warmth!  He was so pretty too.  His little pink nose and his sandy colored fur.  Our computer died.  Otherwise I would post a picture, but I think I am just rambling at this point anyway.

I will miss my sweet kitty. 


Friday, November 4, 2011

JOB

I went on a field trip today.  The teacher asked me for my cell phone number so I wrote it down only to realize on the way to the mountain we visited I did not have my cell phone.  I rarely use it so I had NO idea where it might be.  It is always in my purse, usually dead because I never use it.

I didn't think I would need it today.  We were a small group.  I knew where we were going and I also knew if I needed a phone probably one or more of the other 3 adults there had a phone.

Well, Dan comes home from work after picking up Elijah from a friends house and declares we are going out to eat since he is starving and I obviously did not have dinner cooking or ready.  So, I grabbed my winter coat because it is cold outside.  I didn't have it on the mountain and wished I did because it was windy on the mountain as well as cold.

Don't you know I reach in my pocked at there is my cell phone (I stuck it in there on Halloween night) with 5 MISSED CALLS!!  What?!

I NEVER have that many calls.  I had 2 vmail messages too so I listened only to find out that one of them was the HR lady from the hospital I applied to. 

She left the message on Wednesday.  Two days ago Wednesday.  Oops.

Okay, but I know she did not call my house so I am putting the blame on her since if she really wanted to get in touch with me she would have tried both numbers.

Anyway, now I am back to wondering what she wanted, what she would say, what will I say back ...

The nice thing is that I know what I need to make now.  I still don't have pressure from anyone, but myself concerning making some money, and I am reminding myself of why I was so interested in this position to begin with.

So, I am kind of excited to hear what the lady has to say on Monday.  I am also glad this is all happening at the end of this week that was full of anxiety/panic nonsense.  By the time I got the message I had already felt myself relaxing from all the tension I had been feeling all week so I was better prepared to hear it. 

I love God's timing.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

I took Simon to be put to sleep last night.  I'll post a separate blog about that soon, but it was very sad.  It was time, but it was still sad.  Having gone through this now though I feel like I will be more prepared for the next time.  He was a good kitty.  He never caused any problems except for maybe drinking out of my water glass, or tipping a glass of water from time to time.  He did love water.  He would come running in whenever I turned the shower on.  He was a pretty cat too.  I have pics to post, etc.

I had Bible Study this morning which was good.  It got me going.  Otherwise I think I would have gone back to bed after sending the kids off to school with Dan.  Usually I drive them, but it is helpful on study days to get things in order before having company.  I gave my ladies fair warning about what was I did last night so if I cried through study they would understand.

Actually it was funny because they got here around 9 and just as I was telling them I ordered the starter kit for thirty-one the fedex guy dropped it off at my door.  We did an impromptu party.  It was fun.  They thought I coordinated it all on purpose.  Maybe I did.  Maybe I didn't.  They will never know ;) 

After about 30 minutes of oooohhhhhing and ahhhhhiiiinng over the items we discussed the last chapter of Zechariah.  Whew!  Love you Zech, but I am ready to move on.  All that prophetic talk makes my head spin.  Next we'll study Malachi, take a break, and then jump into a New Testament book in January.

So, here I sit on the couch.  I should be in my basement clearing off the bar area and getting the books out of the way so that Dan can get down there tonight and cut off the bottom of the paneling, but I am finding it hard to move.  I probably should have just taken a nap, but I feel weird sleeping during the day.  This evening is going to be busy so I figure I may as well take it easy now. 

The kids will be off the bus soon and then everything picks up.  Things get busy.  I like it though.  They are happy cute kids.  I like them.

How was this for a nice stream of consciousness? 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some Things

Halloween was fun.  Poor Elijah fell at least 4 times.  Wearing a venom costume with a mask did not make seeing any easier.  He had fun though.  Went with friends and his friend Ellie was a pumpkin.  Elijah kept telling her how awesome her belly was.  It was hilarious.  At one house Elijah took forever sifting through their bowl of candy because he was saying, "Is all you have chocolate?"  The people were very kind and patient, but I told him chocolate was good because I like chocolate.  He's always afraid he is going to have a reaction to it because of the milk.  Poor little guy.  I told him to always err on the side of snickers if there is ever a doubt.  He was a trooper.  He had a matching venom candy holder so it was all good when he took his mask off to see better.  He then called himself a venom ghost and all he needed to do was get rid of his own head so he would look headless.  Oh my. 

Madelyn was a sparkle witch.  Again with no camera.  Grrr.  She was super cute with her dress and the green stars all over the sleeves and hat.  I barely saw her because she was with a few of her friends and they were super fast hitting all the houses.  Currently, her candy stash is sorted on the floor in her room.  So funny. 

We set aside the Almond Joy candy bars for my mom.  She is the only person I know who likes them.

...............

I haven't inquired about the job since last week because I am having second thoughts about it.  I think I still want it, but I know I would need to get paid more so I am just waiting to hear from them at this point.

..............

I ordered a starter kit from Thirty-One bags.  I LOVE those bags, and I couldn't resist the black and white kit.  SO pretty.  Check it out  www.MyThirtyOne.com/katetubbs  I don't know how much selling I will do, but I will certainly LOVE the bags I get. 

..............

Today is my sister's birthday.  Happy Birthday Shannon!!  I think her birthdays have a bigger impact on me than my own.  She's the same age as Dan, but it is harder for me to believe that she is 39 than the fact that he will be 39.  Weird. 

Either way, I hope she has a great day.

................

We had a snow storm on Saturday.  It was still October then.  We got at least 6 inches.  I think it may have been closer to 8 according to reports though.  Some areas near us got 14 inches.  So strange.  People are still without power.  There was no school yesterday because of it.  Some schools are still closed today, but we aren't.  We have had 2 days off from school already that were like snow days and that was before November.  Crazy.  Hopefully people will get their power back on soon.  Having lost it for 2 days during T.S. Irene I definitely feel their pain, only then it was still warm so heat wasn't an issue. 

I have sworn to myself that we will get a kerosene heater in case this is any indication of what this winter will be like.  All our stuff is electric so if we lose power this winter we will be frozen.  The nice thing about this storm is that we knew it would be fairly warm the next day so it would melt a lot, and we could drive somewhere.  In the winter that isn't the case.  So, I will kick myself if we end up with no power and no heat source.

...............

I am getting closer to the point of feeling like it is time for Simon.  My poor kitty.  He's so thin and sickly looking.  It's just making that dreaded appointment.  He's on my lap now.  He's so sweet and snuggly.  He's always been my teddy bear kitty, good for snuggles, especially at night.  It's just so hard to say that final good-bye.  Ugh.

...............

We were able to get some FEMA assistance for our basement, not much, but it will definitely help.  I think we have decided to cut the bottom part off of the paneling and replace it with drywall or wainscoting.  It will be a job, but it will be nice when it is all done.  I think. 

We have our dumpster until Friday so we will be working on it tonight and tomorrow night. 

...............

Speaking of which, I have a lot I should be doing so that's all for now ...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So Much Craziness

My brain is swimming with stuff so here is a random stream of consciousness ...

Tomorrow I am going to freeze my arse off at the Race for Education that the kids do at the school.  It is the school's big fundraiser and heaven knows the school needs funds.  It's fun to watch and walk with the kids though.  Then in the afternoon they have a Fall Festival that I am supposed to help out with.  It's going to be a long day, but it will be good.  I get to top off the evening with going to a 31 purse party.  I have already shopped a little online to get an idea of what I want.  At this point I am thinking teacher gifts since that is mainly who I will be needing to buy for.  We are really cutting back this year, what with basement repairs, car repairs, everything repairs.  Definitely cutting way back.

I am such a sucker for bags though.  Oh man.  I don't know what it is.  I just want them.  All of them.  It's a sickness.

I am having second thoughts about the whole job thing.  I think mainly because I have had too much time to think about it.  And, this has turned into a wackadoo week so it makes me wonder how I will do it all.  I like the idea of having extra money.  I don't like the idea of having to put so much effort into making the money.  ha!

We'll see what happens. 

I hate when my friends go through such sad situations and there is nothing I can do to make it better.  I am praying though and that is definitely important.

I have cried more this Fall than ever in my life I think.  Let that be a warning for anyone considering calling.  You never know when I might breakdown.  Oy.

I still have Simon, my kitty.  He sure is sweet.  It will be so sad to see him go.  Dan agreed with me though that he doesn't believe he is truly suffering at this point where we need to have him put down.  Does he look skinny and sick?  Yes.  But, is he in pain or showing signs of suffering?  Not really.

Dan even admitted that he likes Molly (our chihuahua) last night.  That was HUGE.  I know Dan talks tough concerning the animals, but he is a softy.  That's one of the things I really love about him.  He is definitely a strong man, but soft on all the right things. 

Madelyn got her ears pierced.  I'll post more on that later.  She is super fun to have around. 

Elijah has had some good "boy time" lately with friends.  It's rare that he has a boy over to play with like boys do, but lately he has had a good fill of it and holy moly are they noisy and rough and so happy all the while.  I pretty much just listen for cries.  Otherwise, I assume they are fine, and most of the time they are.  I find if I don't watch them sword fighting and wrestling I do much better.  Boys are fun though.  They come with a completely different energy, but I love it.  Madelyn just joins in too, at least with the 2 boys we had over tonight.  It was fun.

Being in our basement is sad.  We may be eligible for some funding though.  It's a long shot, but we'll see.

We are getting a dumpster delivered tomorrow.  You know what that means right?  I can throw away ANYTHING I want.  Oh man.  That makes me happy.  The only problem is we have already gotten rid of A LOT of stuff.  Still, the thought makes me super happy.  We got the dumpster because we tore down our smaller shed and now have to get rid of the pieces.  I am tempted to take down the pergola too ... and the bar area that remains in our basement, such a waste of space.  It's all so fun to think about.  Is that strange?  I am afraid I may end up pulling paneling off our basement walls too though.  That I know will turn into a bigger job than it is worth probably, but man oh man is it tempting.  Dan might not want to leave me alone this coming week.  I do have some frustrations I could work out with a sledgehammer.

I am almost done with the book A Thousand Gifts.  Obviously I haven't been reading it constantly.  I don't know that I will ever be able to put my thoughts on it down in a coherent way, but it's a life changing book for me in such a good way.  The timing of this book in my life is absolutely perfect.  One of those things that you just know was God.  I love that.  Of course everything is by God's doing, but everything doesn't FEEL like God is right there standing next to you going, "Look here at how I completely orchestrated all of this just for you to feel good for a moment and know that I am here."  I love those moments.  And I love the book.  It is so raw and genuine.  When I first heard about it I thought it would be preachy, but I was pleasantly surprised.  I like hearing from people how they get through the dark periods, and even just hearing that they have dark periods.  We all do, but we all don't want to admit it.  Why?

Anyway, maybe I do have more to say on that.  But, not tonight I don't.  I need to go to bed.

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Job?

There is so much I want to write about and so little time, but I will start with the subject I have put off the longest ... the potential job.

I actually had a fun interview.  First I met with HR where I had to do a typing test.  WHAT?!  It's been years since I took an actual test.  Thankfully, my results were 61 wpm.  Yay!  I had put on my application that I could type 60 wpm so I was hoping I wouldn't make a liar out myself.  I just knew that is what I tested years ago when I last took a typing test. 

The HR lady was very nice.  We had a nice chat and then she sent me on to the hospital where I met with a few supervisors.  Yes, a few.  It was so great.

Without going into all the details I basically heard about 3 different positions and met with the 3 different supervisors who oversee those positions, along with the supervisor who oversees all of them.  They were all super nice.  I felt bad choosing just one, but when she described the position that was a Financial Counselor to patients who have no insurance coverage I was sold.  That position definitely seemed to fit my skill set the most and I wanted a position that allowed me to interact with patients. 

Not that I didn't want to jump at the ER Registrar position after I was told the story about the man who got a few fingers chopped off after sticking his hand in his snow blower and then wanted to show off what he lost.  I also had to laugh when the supervisors shared with me how they would react when they were around someone who was vomiting.  The one would have to lie down on the floor.  So funny. 

The women I met with were all really great and super understanding of my situation with the kids, etc.  So, now I am at the part where they are discussing hours, etc. and I hope to hear something soon. 

What has really been helpful in all of this is the fact that I know a guy who works in the ER.  I told him about the position I applied for and asked him who would be the person to contact concerning the position.  It all went from there.  I am so grateful to him for giving me these connections.  He told me the supervisors were great and so did the HR woman, and they were right.  I know with so many people working at the hospital (8,000 I think) it could definitely be hit or miss. 

So, it's craziness.  I know it will be a huge transition for my family, but I think it will be good.  I feel ready. 

We'll see!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Birthday (for realz)

Turning 35 was a fun day.  Dan worked from home so when I went out to run errands I picked up lunch so we could eat lunch together.  While we ate lunch we played Gin and Dan beat me badly.  He then left to go teach his class.

Not cool.  Not cool at all. 

You don't beat a girl at Gin on her birthday and then leave.  It was not over.

After school he brought the kids home and we went to IHOP.  Yes.  IHOP.  I knew the kids would love it and I got my Chipotle burrito for lunch so I was happy.

It was fun, and I ate a lot.  We passed on getting any kind of cake since IHOP pancakes are pretty much dessert for dinner.

We came home and played UNO as a family.  Madelyn won, but I beat Dan which is really what I pay attention to. 

The kids went to bed and IT. WAS. ON. 

Our Gin re-match I mean.  What were you thinking??  (dirty birdy)

Dan and I get so competitive when we play games again each other.  It's the best, especially when I beat him.  Badly.  He tried to say he let me win, but I knew better. 

Ahhhhhh.  I went to bed a happy girl.  Victory is sweet.

Oh, and Madelyn made me a beautiful flower arrangement all by herself.  It is very cute.  And Dan got me some fun Bath & Body Works stuff.  I had shoppe a little (a lot) lately so I told him to go easy on the gift.  I took care of myself.  He hates when I do that.  I don't understand why.

All in all, a great day.  Lots of family time which is where it's at.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birthday (Interview)

I had a fun birthday.  Yay!

Okay.  Enough about that.  I have an interview tomorrow.  WHAT?!  I know.  Crazy.

So, yeah.  I am brushing up on my interviewing skills.  Do you think they will want to know how many meals I have prepared over the last nine years I have been home?  How many times I have cleaned, gotten the mail, stayed in my pjs all day, nursed babies, changed diapers, went to doctor appts, bathed children, washed clothes, ate bon-bons, watched soaps ... ?

No. I didn't think so.  So, I am trying to tap into the "professional" me from way back when.  I was able to a little bit today when I tried on clothes to wear to my interview.  I looked so polished ... so ... professional.  It was fun.  I recognized that person in the mirror.  It was nice to see her again. 

I wanted to keep trying on and buying nice clothes, but I refrained.  I reminded myself that if I get a position at the hospital I will most likely end up wearing scrubs soooooooo that changed everything.

I still bought some clothes though.

I know I will be nervous tomorrow, but mostly I am excited.  I am excited to hear more about the positions and how everything would go if I got the job (a job), etc.

Speaking of which, getting a job I mean, this is going to be a HUGE change for our family.  Dan has mixed feelings about it.  He is used to having me here ALL the time.  I am used to being here ALL the time.  And, the kids will have to adjust some as well.  It will just be different is all.

Of course, that's IF I get a job.  I need to tap back into "professional" Kate's mind a bit more to be prepared for potential questions.  Thank the Lord for Google.  Google is giving me so many helpful tips and possible questions.

I'll write about how it goes after I get through it tomorrow.  That is, if I survive.  Eek!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dinner Conversation

I love our dinner times.  You never know what is going to come up in conversation lately. 

Tonight it was our grandchildren. 

Recently Dan was baking and gave Madelyn a piece of baking chocolate as a joke.  Poor thing.  So, tonight when Dan was asking what kind of cake I wanted for my birthday he mentioned making funny cake which is what he was making that night with the chocolate.

Madelyn starts saying, "Don't trust the chocolate.  Don't trust the chocolate."  We were cracking up.  Dan was telling her that she needs to do that to her children and I was coming out in defense of our poor grandchildren.

All this led to us telling them what to name their children.  Oh my.  Our poor children. 

Madelyn said she doesn't know how many children she wants.  Elijah said he thinks he'll have three.  First he said he wants all boys, but then he said, "I don't really care what they are.  I know it all depends on what God wants your babies to be."  Oh my.  We high fived over that one.  He amazes me with what he comes out with concerning God.  Both of them do.  I love it. 

Dan told Madelyn her girl would be named Rose and her boy would be Daniel.  What?  I didn't see why her girl couldn't be Kate.  Then he tells Elijah his boy is going to be William and his girl would be Rose.  Then when he said he was going to have three children he gave the third a silly name like Ting Tong Tubbs.  The kids were belly laughing.   

So funny.  We laughed a lot.  Elijah then got into the shower and we explained profit and loss to Madelyn with the example of a lemonade stand.  It was cute to see her "get it."  Now she wants to open a lemonade stand next year. 

Our plan of having our children become independently wealthy so they can support us is paying off.  Muhahahahahahaha!

Commiserating

So, Dan thought it would be a good idea to talk to a co-worker of his who is going through a similar situation with her cat. 

Cathy (not her real name) e-mails me and says, "It sounds like we are going through the same thing with our cats.  If you ever want to talk, feel free to call."

It turns out we are going through almost the exact same situation with our cats only her cat has a tumor on his mouth.  Otherwise, symptoms are similar concerning messes, weight loss, hair falling out, etc.

What Dan didn't take into consideration is how similar Cathy and I are in that our cats are our babies.  She can't bring herself to make "that appointment" either.  She had nightmares after an experience with a previous pet since she had regrets.  I forget what the details were, but I know I don't want to do it just for convenience sake and regret that.  I also don't want to send him in with Dan and then regret not being there for him in his last moments.

Ugh.  Just the thought of "last moments" brings that awful "dry-heave" feeling again.  Oh, and tears. 

How is it that these little critters work their way into your heart so deeply?

I had a get together here the other night and the cats and Daisy were all over my guests, especially two of the women.  The cats especially kept meowing and jumping up to Deb looking for attention.  Daisy took to Gale like she owned her.  People are so gracious sometimes in those situations, but I felt bad.  I had to keep putting them in a separate room. 

I like to think that if they weren't so snuggly and sweet still it would be easier to make this decision, but I know I am not kidding myself.  It's the idea of their little lives being snuffed out that I cannot stand.

So, Cathy and I were commiserating in the hallway at the school sharing how we hope that the Lord just takes them peacefully even though we know that God doesn't always give us the easy way out.  I remember feeling that way with Liezl and hearing a sermon during that time about how God doesn't always give us the easy way out, nor does He forget us during hard times.  We usually end up learning a lot through it all.

Cathy has an appointment made for Thursday and took Thursday and Friday off so she can grieve for her kitty and not have to try to work while being so sad.  The vet sort of made her make the appointment, but assured her that she could cancel it even up to 5 minutes before. 

Meanwhile, Dan is regretting connecting me with Cathy.  It's okay though.  It's nice to know someone else who understands, who has the same feelings and isn't all judgy thinking they know exactly what you should be doing. 

Dan is being super gracious as well, not wanting to pressure me into anything.  He's a good guy, that Dan.  I sure am glad he's mine.

Friday, October 14, 2011

My Reader

Madelyn's teacher had to e-mail me to confirm that Madelyn did indeed read 450 pages since last Friday.  This made me laugh.  I explained to her that Madelyn has been a reading machine lately.  She got a book from the library yesterday, came home and read it all that evening.  It was a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book.

On weekends we let her read as long as she wants when she goes to bed and last weekend I found her at 11 pm sleepy eyed, but still hanging on to every word.  So funny.  I told her to go to sleep at that point.

For homework every night she has to read for 15 minutes.  Most evenings she ends up reading for at least 30.  But, I learned she gets crabby if she doesn't have a good chapter book to read.  The teacher doesn't specify what kind of book they have to read so I was telling Madelyn to just grab a book off her shelf and read for 15 minutes.

She was not happy, but she did it.  That night we made a run to the library to get her some good chapter books.  We came home she plops down with one of the books and declares that THAT was going to be her official 15 minutes.

Okay then.

So, I have learned that all the girl needs is a good book and she is happy.  Easy enough.

So yes, 450 pages in one week.  Amazing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Keepsakes

Last night I was trying to get some laundry done before school started again for the week and naturally I ended up flipping through some of Dan's letters and cards that were rescued from the flood in our basement.

You know how it goes.  You go in the basement to get the laundry going, realize the kitty litter needs to be changed, go in the storage room to get the litter box liners, see the pile of letters and cards and there you have it.  Next thing I am back in the living room with the pile of said letters and we are reading through them as a family, naturally.  The kids weren't too interested, but I sure was.

Poor Dan.  He didn't get as much of a kick out of the letters and cards from girls as I did.  I understand though.  The one girl played him like a fiddle.  The other girls just really loved him, but didn't stand a chance.  I kind of feel bad for them.  The best part was that a lot of these letters were from early 1994 before he even knew who I was.  Little did he know I was about to come on the scene and change things for him FOREVER.  Muahahahahahaha ... hee hee.

I always like to tease him by pointing out things like I was just starting high school when he was starting college.  Would he have dated me then even though it was against the law?

It's okay though because I totally sought him out, not the other way around.  That might have been creepy because he is 4 years older.  The more I got to know him my freshman year I realized he is not the guy who looks at freshmen as potential dates and that was a good thing.  I loved getting to know him.  He was so smart, so grounded, so different than me, and we laughed together a lot.  Score!  I was so happy just to have him as a friend.  We were friends for a while before we dated.  That made the dating transition easy.  We were already super close so dating just meant we could start kissing.  Woo hoo!

And, it was legal at that point.

Sorry.  Back to the letters.  We were explaining to our kids that letters is how we communicated back then.  "Back then."  Seriously?  Are we at that stage in our lives?

Long distance phone calls cost money that most college students didn't have so we would write it all down in letters for the cost of a stamp.  It's amazing to think that our kids won't have these things to flip through, at least not in the amount that we have.

So, one of the letters from a girl said, "Dan, I understand (girl's name) told you that I liked you.  Those were childish feelings ..."  What?  Another was a belated birthday card that then ended with, "On a serious note, Dan ... " and basically went on to say how much his friendship meant, etc.  In other words "why aren't we dating?"  The bad part about that one is she was dating his friend.  What?  ha ha!

Keep in mind, this is me talking.  Dan might have a different commentary on all of this, but it is no different than when he sees my yearbooks, or letters, and tells me how this guy or that guy had crushes on me when I am swearing up and down that he didn't, that we were just friends.  So, now it's my turn. 

Who cares though really?  It's all in the past.  It's just funny though how at that time these were major deals.  It's also funny how FB has brought a lot of those people back in our lives to some degree, and I think some of the people would laugh with us over these things.

Oh memory lane ... you sure are fun to travel down sometimes.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Dry-heaving

It occurred to me today that I would not be so darn sad about life right now if I weren't so blessed.  Seriously.  I lament the things I have lost or am losing because I have been given much. 

Consider my Simon.  He is the saddest part of life right now.  His little body so frail.  Today I realized I would not be so sad about him if I weren't so blessed.  I consider it a privilege to be able to care for and love a kitty for 14 years.  Now it's figuring out how best to care for him at this stage.  He does not seem to be in pain though and mostly just lies around on our bed, or on my dresser where it is sunny and warm. 

He's eating, and drinking.  Even today while he was drinking Samson was licking Simon like they do sometimes.  It was really sweet to watch.  Although Simon's hair is not as healthy as it used to be so it comes out really easily.  Poor Samson kept having to shake the hair off of his tongue.

So, the thought of having him put down still makes me feel like dry-heaving so I don't think it's time yet.  If I thought he were in pain or that I would be "helping" him by having it done it would be easier.  But, his eyes still look "healthy" when he looks at me.  I just can't do it.

I remember that with Liezl, our schnauzer.  I hated saying good-bye to her at the cage in the vet's office.  She was going in for surgery.  They were going to remove the tumor if they could.  If they couldn't, they were just going to have her put down on the operating table.  I knew I was doing all I could for her so I went through with it, but it was awful.  She was in the holding cage at the vet and there was no way I could make her understand what was going on, to tell her I was doing all that I could.  She still just looked at me with her bright eyes, wondering what was going on.  But, I knew the tumor was taking over her body.  The vet wasn't able to remove the tumor.  It was all through her organs.   It was so sad.

Talking to the vet on Friday she told me Simon probably has some kind of intestinal cancer which is why he is not responding to the meds, and why his body is so thin.   I at least know I am doing and have done all that I can.  Chemo just is not an option for us.  It's a short term fix anyway.  That is, if it "fixes" at all.  I'm not going to put him through that.

So, I will continue to spoil him with snuggles and treats while I can.

The kids know it is getting near to his time.  I explained to them on Friday that we may have to take him to the vet soon to be put to sleep.  This is how that conversation went with Elijah ...

"You mean like when you get your tonsils out?"

"Kind of, but you don't wake up."

"He won't wake up until he gets home?"

"No.  He won't wake up at all.  He will sleep forever."


"Oh."  He went back to his video game.


Later when we were praying together as a family Elijah said he didn't want Simon to go to sleep forever.  I told him it would be okay though because he would be in heaven (yes heaven) with all the other kitties and Liezl.  His eyes got wide and he said, "You mean he will be dead?!" 


Um.  Oops. 


He understood then that sleeping forever means dying.  My bad.


Madelyn on the other hand was very quiet through our conversation.  She was making friendship bracelets, but then said, "I wish pets didn't ever have to die ... or people."  Then continued on with her bracelets.


This is all part of life though, right?  There is love and there is loss.  It sucks.  And it hurts. 

But, where would we be without the love, even knowing it will all be lost one day?  We have to love, and be loved, to survive. 

God will give us the grace to get through the loss.  I am learning this.  "A Thousand Gifts" is helping me.  If you haven't read that book, read it, especially is you are sad, and/or feeling like dry-heaving.





Sunday, October 9, 2011

No Downer Here

Ugh.  Life.  That's pretty much how I have been feeling lately.  Life has been beating me up.  It can be exhausting trying to stay afloat when you feel like you might be drowning.

I hate being a downer though so let's focus on some positive happenings and thoughts ...

Madelyn and I went on a bike ride together for the first time on Saturday.  Man is she cute riding her bike.  I love it.  We went around our neighborhood.  Saturday was a beautiful day, perfect for bike riding.

Madelyn got tired so she went home.  I did another trip around our neighborhood.  I passed a house for sale that has a Coors sign in their front window.  This is just my opinion, but if you are trying to sell your house I think you should probably take that sign out of your front window.

We got together with good friends later in the day and that was fun too.  Good friends are so necessary for the soul.  It was nice to forget about troubles for an evening.

A guy they know stopped by while we were there and he was an interesting fellow, one of those people who is super intelligent while borderline weird.  He definitely gave us plenty to chat about once he left.  He said something to both me and Dan separately that kind of took us aback for a second.

During a conversation he says to me, "You are the youngest aren't you?"  Um.  What?  He then says, "Are you the baby of your family?"  He told me he could tell I was by my confidence level or something to that effect.  It took me aback because I had barely talked directly to him, but it was just through observing he had me pegged.  I am telling you.  He is a crazy dude.  Nice guy, just a little crazy.

Madelyn wanted to spend the night with her friend, but only if Elijah did too so we packed up all their things.  We got their beds all made up in the living room just before we were getting ready to leave.  Elijah fell asleep instantly on the couch.  I hugged Madelyn and told her goodnight before I went back out on the patio with our friends.  Next thing she is coming outside crying.  She didn't want to stay after all.

The sad/funny part was Elijah made it clear he did NOT want to go home with us, even if he fell asleep before we left.  But, since Madelyn didn't want to stay we figured we may as well take him home too.  He told me tonight that he woke up and cried when he realized he was in his own bed.  Poor guy.  He was happy to then find Isabelle here.

Isabelle decided she wanted to come to our house and spend the night since Madelyn wasn't going to stay there.  She got her stuff all packed up and as we were walking out the door she ends up crying.  We thought she wanted to stay then, but she got it together and came with us.  Sweet girl.  They have been having a blast.  They have gotten NO sleep, but are loving life. 

We just got back from dropping Isabelle off with her parents.  Sad.  I hate saying good-bye.  They live 2 hours away now, but come back to their house here every now and then.  They plan to sell it, but haven't yet.  So, I am thankful we are still able to have these times with them on occasion.

The kids were so sad to say good-bye to Isabelle and kept trying to come up with ideas they could do to get more time with her.  They wanted to go to Cabela's, walk the aisles of Lowes, anything!  We ended up chatting in the Lowes parking lot for a while so they played in the empty cart holder and raced through the parking lot.  So, it worked out well.  We all got some more time with our friends.

Ahhhh.  Friends.  So good for the soul.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crack for Dogs

I bought this new dog food for my dogs because I had a coupon.  I usually buy the Purina Beneful, but this kind is Purina Smart Blend.

For those of you who know my dogs you know they are nervous nellies.  They aren't like most dogs who scarf down food.  I don't have to feed them separately because the food usually sits there.  Or, Daisy will let Molly (the teeny dog) eat and then she will finish what's left.  Have I mentioned lately how sweet and gentle Daisy is?  She truly is the best.

Anyway, I bought this new food and I have never seen my dogs eat like this before.  They are addicts!  Molly will even almost eat all of what I put in there.  I've even seen the cats nibbling at it.  I've had to shew them away so Daisy could eat!

I knew the "blend" part of the food made all the difference.  I didn't know what it was, but it looks like old meat or something.  Blech.  Dog food is so gross and smells gross too so I just didn't pay much attention.  I try to not get any closer to it than absolutely necessary.

Curiosity got the best of me though.  I just checked the bag and no wonder they love it.  The "blend" is real bits of lamb!  Ugh.  I don't eat lamb, or veal, or any other baby animals.  I am just not comfortable with the idea.  I believe "don't eat babies" is a good rule to live by.  I didn't realize I was allowing my dogs to eat babies!!  ACK!

While I am happy my dogs are so happy and chubby from their yummy food I don't think I can afford to support their addiction to baby animal dog food, nor do I want to be an enabler.

Blech.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Doctor Ken Doll

I went to see Dr. Ken Doll.  You know, my doctor who looks like a Ken Doll.

I've been needing to go since the summer and kept saying that I will get there once the kids start school again so I didn't have to drag them with me.  Well, read the past few weeks of blog posts and it should be pretty clear why I haven't made it there until now.

I also don't like going to see doctors though either so I put it off for a very very very long time.  There have been times I have even waited until the weekend and go to an urgent care place because they don't know me there.  Weird huh?

Back to Dr. Ken though.  He is a young guy, probably Dan's age, so when I go there I feel like I am going to a friend's husband which is weird because I wouldn't typically talk to my friend's husband about any personal issues I am having, especially not in a room with the door closed, just the two of us.

But, Dr. Ken is great.  He has this super calming demeanor about him.  Today he sat across from me on his stool, I was on the chair, and leans sideways onto the table and we're just chatting.  He talks kind of quiet and totally like "yeah, you know, it's going to be fine.  we'll do this and that for this long and go from there.  no biggie.  let me know if you have problems."

Okay, that's not at all what he said, but that is exactly how he comes across so I left feeling like "Yeah, it's totally fine.  I don't know why I tortured myself by waiting so long to get this done." 

And he knows Dan so he's like "tell dan hi" and I'm like "enjoy your newest baby"  blah blah blah ...

So, if I ever talk to any of you friends about putting off going to the doctor, remind me of this post and why it really is not a big deal.

Thank you.

Happy Place

Lately my blog has been my happy place.  FB is kind of weirding me out so I feel better posting my random thoughts on my blog where everyone has access, but only about 5 choose to access.

Hi Happy Place!  It's me again ...

Our dinner times have been so fun lately.  Full of laughs and giggles.  The kids crack up at things lately like crazy and it just makes me laugh that much harder.  Laughter truly is good medicine.

And their laughter is addictive.  When I see them cracking up it makes me do more goofy stuff to get more laughter from them, especially if Dan is cracking up with them.  I love it.

........................

We've been playing UNO.  Last night Madelyn whooped us.  Tonight the poor girl lost so badly.  In one hand she ended up with over 100 points.  Those hands are painful.

I beat everyone tonight though.  Yay me!  No one high-fived me after I won though.  I don't know why.  (Tee Hee)

......................

I called Shannon late last night to tell her something quick and two hours later we hung up.  It was 1 a.m. my time, 10 p.m. her time.  We were both equally tired though.  That's how similar she and I are (not).  She is usually in bed by 9.

........................

I have had two coffee dates this week and that makes me happy.

........................

My kids (mainly Madelyn) asked if she could ride into school with Dan tomorrow.  He leaves 45 minutes early than I do if I take them, but whatever.  They are psyched.  Elijah is usually up earlier than everyone else so he was game for it.  We'll see how they feel in the a.m.

This didn't actually happen yesterday, but it did happen today.  They were still happy to ride with him.  I HATE having to wake both of them.  Usually Elijah is awake already, but when he is not it is painful for me to have to wake him AND Madelyn up.

.........................

I have officially applied for 2 different jobs.  It's funny because I don't really think that I will get either of them, but I want to.  But then I don't want to.  It's sort of like I want to be validated in some way to say that yes, I can still get a job if I want to.  But then I think, "Wait.  Do I really want to work?"  I do want some extra money so it looks like I need to work some way in order to do that.

I am contemplating applying for another job as well.  All of these are part-time, but the first two are nights and this other one is mornings until noon.  It would change things as far as getting the kids to school, them being sick, etc, but we'll see what happens.  I have to remind myself that applying for these jobs does not mean that I will get them.  I still should probably be able to work out the schedule though if I am to apply for them :P

................................

I love that my Bible Study has started up again.  I also love that I am taking a class.  It's been fun.

............................


Since I have been writing these random thoughts for a couple days now I should probably just post this ...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Flood Pictures

 My retro chairs I had my eye on at the library until one day I found them at the curb.  Snagged 'em, and now they are gone ... (sniffle)
 Notice the cat food ...
 Not cool T.S. Lee.  Not cool at all.


 Madelyn thought she would do some "stepping" to avoid the water ... Oh, and the cushion is gone off of this chair because Dan stepped across the furniture to turn off the electric so he was trying to not get the cushions all wet.  Meanwhile, they all ended up out in the rain.  So sad.
 The kids couldn't wait to get their feet wet ...




 So strange to see so much water ...

The box of giveaway stuff I was supposed to take to the church that weekend.  It didn't make it.

 Yay for our washer and dryer still working and us not getting shocked when we plugged them in!
 Yay for being mostly caught up on laundry (that is rare) and not having huge wet piles of clothes!





 Notice the maroon trunk on the shelf.  That has my wedding stuff that I wanted to save and other things.  SO THANKFUL it was on the shelf and wasn't harmed.
 See those cardboard boxes on the shelf that are wet on the bottom?  Dan's keepsakes.  Some of the stuff was put in a plastic grocery bag so we were able to save those items.  The rest had to go.  Boo T.S. Lee!

Luggage, gone.  More of Dan's keepsake boxes, gone.  Boo!!  Our blue air mattress survived though.  Yay!  It's a nice one.
 Good-bye extra toilet paper that I'm not sure why Dan thought it was a good idea to store you in the basement anyway.  See the cat food?  Thankfully the cat food seemed to be the biggest pollutant in the water.  The kitty litter stayed afloat.  Thank the Lord.  That would have just been so nasty so let's not think about that anymore.
 So sad ... and just so unsettling.  You don't even know where to begin.

 It is a strange, strange sight to see your living area under water ... We had already pulled the tv stand and tv, etc. upstairs when this pic was taken.  That would have been on the right side where the rug was pulled up.
That window you see is right above where the sump pump was under that bench.  The shelves in the far right had our wedding photos on the way top of it so they were saved as well.  Thank the Lord.  That would have been very sad.





So there you have it.  If our camera wasn't broken, I would take more pics now so you could see our basement all bare.  The paint on the floor is all peeled up and needs to be redone.  That bench by the back door is gone.  It hid the sump pump area, but the firemen needed to get it out so they could push water into that area.  That door needs replaced and some other things.  It will get done in due time though.  All in due time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Junk Day = Happiness

I love Junk Day.

It's the day in the neighborhood when trash men come with their big trucks and pick up ANYTHING you set by the curb.  I should say anything that's left at your curb.

You see, we put a bunch of stuff out, like a mattress, toilet, dresser, old wood, chairs, scrap pieces of whatever ... you get the picture.  Then people from near and far come driving around our hood collecting the things that look like goodies to them.  And let me tell you, people have varying tastes of what is good.

For instance, today Dan put out our old mattress.  Our mattress has been outside either leaning against the shed, in the shed, in the rain, out of the rain, or on the ground for the kids to jump on for about 3 months.  He pulls it to the curb and a guy with a truck says, "Aw man, I wish I could fit that mattress in my truck."

No.  No sir, you don't.  Be thankful the bed of your truck cannot fit our nasty old sittin'-outside-for-months mattress.  That was a blessing in disguise for that man.  He just doesn't know it.

Also, keep in mind that this year most of the junk sitting out at the curbs is from flooded basements.  We weren't the only one with a flooded basement in our hood.

Most of our stuff was a victim of the flood so not only was it in water in our basement, it then sat outside in the gallons and gallons of rain that have fallen from the sky in the last few weeks since the flood.

Our couch was steaming one day when I pulled into the driveway after dropping the kids off at school.  I am hoping that couch is still waiting by the curb and hasn't been picked up already.  Blech.

A soaking wet carseat was taken.  A wooden chest which actually wasn't in too bad of shape.  A wooden door that was mildewy.  An old printer.  An old dvd player.

See?  People love free stuff.  I am sure a lot of people like to tinker with things and see if they can get it working again.  It's funny to hear all the cars throughout the day and see them slow down as they drive by your junk pile.  There have been times I have pulled into my driveway while people are scavaging.  That's a little awkward.

I love it though.  I feel happy getting rid of stuff and knowing people are going to try to use it in some way.  And, the people are happy filling their trucks and trailers with all kinds of treasures.  It's like this major recycling effort.

And, I will admit.  I have grabbed a thing or two from neighbors when they have set it by the curb.  Our lawn chairs with the soft cushions for instance, and the coffee table we put in our basement before the flood.  Granted, it wasn't junk day, but free is free.

And free makes me, and a lot of other people, happy.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Papa's Home!!!!!!!

This picture was taken the day Dan got home from France and we picked him up at the school.  He took this right after he opened the car door.  It's definitely a fave.

Counting Blessings

I just read an article about people in Pine Grove and West Pittston, two town in PA who have been hit particularly hard with flooding rains, not just Tropical Storm Lee, but the rains we have continued to get after.  It's so sad.

One place I read about had mud and water in their basement.  They got it all cleaned out and then recently (the night Dan and I went away) it rained SO much and they found the basement full of mud and water again.  Ugh. Other places were just going to have to shut down until they could make all necessary repairs.

That same night we got water in our basement again too, but that was because of a sump pump mixup and thankfully we found it before we left so my mom didn't have to call us late at night to tell us.

So, these are things I just keep reminding myself of to be thankful for ...

The water in our basement was essentially clean, no mud, no sewage, no weird chemicals, just cat food from Dan spilling the bag.  oops.  I should post the pictures.

Our washer and dryer still work.

Our tv and dvd player were saved even though our wii wasn't.

The furniture down there was nothing that we had spent money on or financed.

We can live without our basement rec room. 

During all the flooding I saw footage on tv of people whose first floor was filled with water and mud.  This article I just read was talking about getting aid to people who were flooded out.

So, I think about our situation, and it does suck, even more now that we know insurance isn't covering anything.  Our basement window is broken.  Our sump pump needs to be rerouted because we had to put a new pipe on it.  Even though we see no mildew now I feel like it is still lurking and the walls will definitely need to be treated with something to seal it.

But, for the most part, we can close our basement door and forget about it because right now we don't have what we need to fix everything.

If it was our first floor where we eat, sleep and live that would be awful.  It would be like there is no escaping.  Being home all day in a house that was flooded out would be super depressing so I am grateful.  And, now that we had junk day our patio and driveway are cleaned up of all the damaged stuff.

I really hope those people are able to get the aid they need.  I did think about where we would go if our house wasn't livable due to mildew or something, and I didn't have a great answer.  A hotel would be super expensive and we don't have local family.  And, I wouldn't want to ruin any relationships with my "good friends."

So, while it's a huge bummer, and it comes while all these other bummers have been bombarding us, I know it could be much worse.  But it isn't.  And for that I am grateful.

UPDATE:  I wanted to add that these poor people who continue to deal with the flooding issues are now in need of counseling help so the government is adding that to the aid they are trying to provide.