Showing posts from 2011

Our December So Far

December.  It's crazy how fast this month has gone by.  To think that Christmas is about a week and a half away is crazy!  There's still so much to do, like finish my final paper for class, complete my holiday shopping and making sugar cookies for Santa. 
I figured since there's so much going on and I don't really have a lot of time to spare for the blog, I'd entertain you with some pictures.  
Here's our first true snow of the season.  It didn't last for long, but there's still a spot or two in the yard that's more white than green.  It was pretty while it lasted...

Then there's been the challenge of caring for our dog.  While he seems to be improving a little every day, he's still nowhere near himself yet.  He's still walking into walls, furniture, people and the other dog.  He spills more food than he eats if left to fend for himself, which we attempt only in an effort to see if he's made any improvements.

We also had the big fa…

He's Getting Better

On Facebook I've posted a few comments about the outcome of the oral surgery our 3-year-old Yorkie underwent.  After a few days of perfectly normal behavior, he had what the veterinarian believes to have been a stroke caused by a dislodged blood clot that traveled to his brain.  He spent a week at the vet's being treated.  We were convinced that by day two of his coma, we'd have to put him to sleep.  Thank goodness he woke up when he did!  
It's been a week and a half since the stroke.  We're happy to have him home now - mostly because we missed him, but also because of the accruing expense.  While he's not exactly himself yet, we're hopeful he'll fully recover if given enough time, love, and attention.  Every day there seems to be some small sign of improvement.  
This video was taken a couple of days after he came home from the vet's office. 

He's doing a little bit better now than he was in the video.  He seems more willing to at least try t…

Poor Little Doggie

The dog and I both had dentist appointments yesterday for teeth cleanings.  While my appointment turned up a crack in a couple of old cavities, one of which will require a crown (ouch!), I was at least able to walk out of my appointment without feeling miserable.  Not so for this little fella..
Cash's cleaning turned into a tooth-pulling frenzy.  He lost a total of fifteen (15!!) teeth yesterday.  The rot was so advanced in some of the teeth that an infection had spread throughout his little mouth and into his blood stream.  If we wouldn't have taken him in to the vet for this cleaning, we may have lost him.  According to the vet, the infection would have eventually worked its way to his heart and given him a heart attack.

For the next five days he's on a liquid only diet of chicken noodle soup and water; he is not happy about this decision and is convinced he's starving to death.  There is a lot of whining and pacing back in forth in front of the closet where his foo…


This is our Brittany. She's been with us since the summer of 1995.  We were vacationing "up north" the summer after our wedding and found a box full of puppies outside the local grocery store.  She was so tiny then.  And so shy.  And we just had to bring her home with us.

Three years later, she could no longer count herself the baby of the family.  She had been overthrown by a dark-haired crying thing that she really didn't like.  It took a long time for her to quit pouting.

Eventually she came to like and even love our first born, especially when he could start playing with her. 

Of course, as the family dog, she also found herself enduring things like this...

Of course, this doesn't happen all that much anymore.  She's too old to be used as a pillow.  It's obvious when she walks that things hurt. 

I'm not sure how much longer we'll have her with us.  All I know is that my boys are going to be heartbroken when she's gone.  She's always b…

Halloween 2011

It was a beautiful night for trick-or-treating. No rain, no snow. Instead, we had moderate temperatures and clear skies. A light jacket was enough to keep the chill off.

Before walking around town, though, we made a detour to Grandma & Grandpa's house. For the first time I can remember, both boys let me paint their faces. I got quite a kick out of it despite the time limits I was given.

Our last taste of Halloween came just last night, almost a week after the official holiday.  This time mom and dad dressed up, too!

And the boys opted for the quick-and-easy costumes from years past instead of suffering through another face-washing ordeal.


You know, all things considered, work hasn't been bad.  In some ways, it's even been a blessing.  It's forced me to continue the business of everyday life.  Get out of bed, shower, get dressed, do my hair and makeup.  One foot in front of the other until I'm out the door and on my way.  It's provided routine and familiarity in a time of great sorrow and high anxiety.

That being said, thank goodness it's Friday!  I'm looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow.  Sure, there's a certain house that I know needs cleaning and the laundry will NEVER be caught up, but I get to sleep in.  I may have overdue homework to finish and new assignments to begin, but that's okay because I get to sleep in!  Oh, how I love a few extra hours with my pillows and blankets. It's what makes Saturdays and Sundays so precious.

Other plans this weekend include an After-Halloween party.  We declined invitations to several other festive gatherings this year because it didn&#…

Happy Halloween

It was a miserable September and it's been an even worse October, which pretty much made it impossible for me to feel any desire when it came time to decorate my house for Halloween.  So much so, that we didn't even carve pumpkins this year. 

I posted as much on Facebook this morning. 

A couple of hours later, Ken showed up with this adorable flower arrangement at my office door.  I love it.  I'm looking forward to taking it home and putting it in the center of my kitchen table, a little belated Halloween spirit.

Hopefully, I'll have pictures of a terrifying 10-year-old zombie and a brave gladiator to post either later tonight or early tomorrow.

Re-assessing and Re-evaluating

Tragedy has a way of forcing you to look at your life with a critical eye.  It makes you evaluate between what you think is important from what is truly important.  In the wake of Sean's death, I have found myself doing that very thing. 

Although this list is by no means comprehensive, it is a start.  These are the things I am going to make every effort to do with regularity and enthusiasm. 
Spend more quality time with Ken and the boys.  As a family we often share the same physical space, but we're continually distracted by our individual interests.  Ken is never without his phone or laptop, the boys are rarely without their computers or PSPs, and I always have a book or computer in my hands.  While I can't see any of us giving up these things, I don't think it's unreasonable for us to designate one night a week where we spend time doing a family activity like playing a board game or something. Record the memories we make.  There are couple of different ways I…

Rest in Peace, My Friend

On Thursday, October 20, 2011, my family lost someone very dear in a tragic hunting accident.  The circumstances surrounding his death seem unimportant in the grand scope of things.  All that really seems to matter to us, his family, is that he's gone forever.  It hurts to look into a future without him.  It hurts to think of all the things he's going to miss, all the things his family - his wife and two beautiful, wonderful children - are going to do without him by their sides.  

What we have right now, what we cling to in our heartache, are the memories.  I think it's important to share those memories in order to keep him alive in our hearts and minds.  During the memorial service I wanted to stand up at the podium and tell everyone how Sean touched my life, as well as the lives of my husband and children.  I wasn't strong enough that day to say the things I wanted to say. 

So, while I sit here with tears streaming down my face and my heart heavy in my chest, I…

Shiny Things

I've been a bit blocked lately when it comes to the blog.  It's not that I'm sitting on my thumbs with nothing going on.  I'm plenty busy.  Between work, school, the house, the kids, and the constant go-go-go that is our life, it seems as if I should have a lot to talk about. The problem is it all seems so mundane.

Well, except for this.  This seems pretty monumental...

I got a new car!  The hubby came home last Friday night and handed me the keys.  I knew we were planning on getting a new vehicle - the Malibu's reliability was becoming a concern, especially with winter approaching - but I thought we were going to wait another month or so before driving one of these lovelies home.  Hubby decided to surprise me with an early anniversary gift instead.

I love it!  Love it, love it, love it.  It has room for the children to stretch out and continue growing.  It has easy and accessible trunk space and lots of it.  It has a back-up camera so I shouldn't inadvertently…

My First Week of the Fall Semseter

I don't remember if I mentioned it or not, but I had to drop my creative writing class this semester and register for something that better fit my schedule.  I ended up in a British Literature to 1800: Medieval Women and Literature course.  While there's a teeny, tiny part of me that is excited to learn more about this particular era, there's a much larger part of me that is freaking out over the amount of reading I'm going have to do over the next fourteen weeks.

To start with I had to purchase nine books.

As you can see, there's some variety here.  We have fiction, non-fiction, theory, and history.

Our first week has started out with The Trotula: An English Translation of the Medieval Compendium of Women's Medicine, a chapter from The Judith Butler Reader, and a scholarly article in PDF form.  Since I was not technically enrolled until Tuesday, I had very little time to get this reading done before our first class session, which meets tonight.

I'm hoping …

So close.

Originally uploaded by Krheiser
He made the catch.

He was tackled.

The ball went flying.

His knee was injured.

He was done for the night.

Luckily, the knee seems better this morning.

I See Scholastic Achievements Straight Ahead

It's almost that lovely time of year when it might not be uncommon to see our little white Malibu chasing down the road after the bus the kids just missed.  Yes, that's right!  School is almost back in session.

Let the frustration and anxiety begin!

Oh, wait.  I'm supposed to be going for upbeat and positive in this post.  Let me try again..

It's almost that time of year when the kids will jump out of bed eager to eat a nutritious breakfast and slip on their spiffy new clothes.  Mom and Dad won't even have to ask them to brush their hair and teeth.  Mom and Dad will also not have to ask them if their homework actually made into the backpack because, of course, it did!  The bus will arrive right on time and the children will wave happily out of the windows as they're whisked away to their favorite place on earth.

What?  A little to "Leave it Beaver"?

Yeah, I think so, too.

That being said, the kids really do begin school on Tuesday.  I think they'r…

Cedar Point 2011

When it comes time to plan our family vacations, Ken and I try to think of someplace we haven't yet taken the boys. With how fast they're growing up, we know our family-of-four vacations are fast approaching an end. It's a thought we don't verbalize too often, but it's an inescapeable fact that our children will eventually move away from home and start lives of their own. That is the goal, right?

Our oldest boy starts Eighth Grade this fall. According to my fingers math, this means we most likely only have five more summer vacations with him. After he graduates, I'm sure he'll be anxious to run off to college or, at the very least, look into getting a place of his own where Mom and Dad's rules need not apply.

Forgive me while I weep.

I know there's also a possibility that one or both of the boys could get jobs when they start driving that make vacationing even harder. Oh, and what about sports camps and the eventual girlfriends I imagine they'…

Last Tournament of 2011

Gage & Me That's it.  Another baseball season has come and gone.  The boys ended the summer on a high note when they took home third place trophies from this weekend's tournament.  
Can't tell you how proud I am of every single one of them.


I'm afraid I'm losing my mind, friends.  The problem?  I'm beginning to second guess my grammar choices.  Not just occasionally, either.  Oh no, I'm second guessing myself daily.  I know the rules.  I do!  Yet, I find myself making stupid mistakes that irritate and embarrass me to no end.

Moments like these make me wonder just how prepared I am to teach others how to properly use the English language.  I blame it on the Master's degree.  I'm so paranoid of making a mistake in my chosen field that I'm over-thinking things. 

Updates on Various Topics

The Artist's Way - Going to need to write my three pages tonight while the munchkin is at baseball practice because I was too busy chattering away at my husband to sit still and let the words come. 
The kids - We have two weeks of practice and one baseball tournament left of the season.  Then we start football.  
School - I should probably start keeping an eye out for back-to-school supplies and clothes. On a more personal note, I'm signed up for a creative writing course and waitlisted for another class on learning how to teach at the college level (the exact course title escapes me and I'm too lazy to go look it up).
Writing - Hopefully I'll have something to report on that as my journey through The Artist's Way continues.  
Reading - Last night I stopped by the library on my way home from the youngest child's football camp to pick up a copy of A Discovery of Witches.  I started it last night and am already hooked. Movies - We did, in fact, make it to the theater…

The Artist's Way - Day 3

I know it's only Day 3, but, as they say, so far so good.  I've been able to keep up with my morning pages.  The first two days I managed to write them on my way into work.  Today, I used a moment of downtime during the proctoring session I'm overseeing to get the words on the page.

I still need to do my artist's date and complete at least two of the exercises set out for me this week.  I figure I'll read week 2's intro on Sunday, so that gives me most of the weekend to complete these three tasks.

Obstacles to overcome:

First baseball game of my son's 10U tournament

Morning baseball game, help at the concession stand, afternoon baseball game, Harry Potter movie date with my boys and my youngest sister, possibly stop by friends' house for fireworks.

Morning baseball game, help at the concession stand, afternoon baseball game.

I suppose somewhere in all that craziness I'll have to make time for things like laundry and dishes,…

The Artist's Way - Day 1

I read through the introduction and most of the Tools chapter last night.  Because Ms. Cameron emphasized the importance of starting on the Morning Pages as soon as possible, I decided to start them today.

First, I must admit I am not a morning person.  As I told my journal, I don't wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  I'm more sluggish than sprightly, if you will.  However, I really am determined to give this creativity program 100% effort, so I grabbed my journal on the way to the car.  With my husband behind the driver's wheel, I was able to write my three pages.

Only I didn't write three pages.  I wrote two.

I discovered that at some point in the past I had jotted down notes from a writer's conference - there were scribblings about books to read, synopsis tips and tricks, and even some general writing advice.  This discovery hampered this morning's effort to write three pages. I didn't want to tear out those little gems, so I decided to simply stop, l…

Girls Night Out

This was a first, but hopefully not a last. My sisters, niece, and I had a Girls Night Out this last Saturday. What made this particular outing unique was that it included my niece, who is only 8 years old. (Or is she 9 now? I should know this, right?)

This meant our Girls Night Out was alcohol-free. Instead of drinking and dancing, which is usually what happens when us girls get together, we were singing and dancing without the benefit of any alcohol-enhanced rhythm.  Just to be clear, though, the lack of adult beverages didn't lessen the pleasure of the event. Sugarland put on a great show.

The stage looked amazing and rather steampunky. These pictures, taken with my sister's cell phone, don't really do the set any justice.  As the title of tour - The Incredible Machine - suggests, it incorporated gears, keys, and other bits and pieces of machinery.  In fact, I wish our pavilion seats would have been closer to the stage so we could have gotten a better look.  Beaut…