For she shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. Jeremiah 17:8
Time to get back to the blog! I've signed up to take an art e-course and I'm so excited. There will be lots to post about as I watch the videos, read the articles, draw in my sketch book, and practice some of the concepts with the kids. I'm also going to back date some posts about the bathroom remodel. That was what derailed me last August...and I want to have the stories recorded somewhere. And lastly, I've been taking pictures of the kids cooking and I'm going to turn that blog over to them. The boys are old enough to be typing and really enjoy the cooking so this will be fun for them. There's so much to catch up on. I hope my friends can still find me.
I've been making progress on my list, but I still feel that it's not enough. I've actually done a lot on the NEEDS to be done list. It's the IMPORTANT to me stuff that's not getting done.
I've cleaned out the boy's closet. We actually took everything out and vacuumed inside then adjusted the shelf placement before returning the clothes and toys. I culled a bag of clothes from the girl's closet, but it still needs more work.
We've completed the demo of the bathroom. Now on to the new! Check out my Pinterest Board to see what's coming.
We decided we couldn't spend $1000 for a Dog Run. Seriously?! We were even using the side of our house, our existing block wall and gate to the front yard, and the fence between our yard and the neighbor's as 3 of the sides. $1000 was for 18' of chain link with a 42" gate in the middle of it. Instead, we're spending the $1000 on dog training. $250 for 8 weeks. At the end of 32 weeks...we shouldn't need the dog run anymore.
I think "Trim the Hedge" won't happen until the bathroom is done.
My mom helped me to defrost the garage freezer! It was an 8 hour job. I removed all the food and placed it in our camping ice chests. I turned off the freezer, then I scraped the ice to speed up the process. With the prettiest ice I made the kids bowls of "shaved ice". Then kids took bins of ice shavings to the yard and threw snowballs at each other. Holly loved to chase after the "snowballs" but couldn't figure out where they went after she caught it in her mouth. Then my mom arrived and helped me with getting rid of things that had been in the freezer too long and sorting like foods to different shelves.
I was able to clean out old school books and reorganize our school shelf. There still is a bit to do, but this is an ongoing project.
Plan & order curriculum for 2012-2013. As I ordered, I actually got excited about next year. It's a good thing...because I was feeling like quitting. We had such a hard school year with T's health issues. I'm looking forward to learning HIStory, starting with the Ancients, along with the kids.
It took me a week, but I printed every worksheet, map, and test that the kids will need next year! I'm sure occasionally I'll need to print a page or two, but no longer will I loose the kids to distraction while I run to print something we need during the day.
On the Important list I haven't accomplished much:
The kids had 2 weeks of swim lessons and we've met friends for some pool time.
I CO for Girasole. I'm knitting this in Patton's Wool in Aran for a throw size. This pattern has a perfect vintage feel for the bride. I'm on the 2nd repeat of Chart E. Next is Chart F for 6 rounds. 2X Chart G for 16 rounds. Then Chart H is a knitted on boarder. I think I can finish by November! This shot was taken June 26th. I'm much further, but the project is all balled up and doesn't photograph well.
Our little 6.5 lb puppy is now a 50lb girl. She turned 7 months the last week of May and weighed 48 lbs that day. I'd like to try another compare shot, but she flattens a wiffle ball in 15 seconds. I'll have to try one on her big brown cushion, but lately Rex has been sleeping there.
Holly needs 2 walks a day. The should each be over 2 miles. Or one 4 mile walk will do. It's usually me and the kids walking the dog so we're all getting a lot of exercise. I think I've finally lost 5 lbs, but our scale doesn't work and I wasn't about to step on the giant scale the dog walks onto in the front of our vet's office.
Holly eats A LOT. The trainer recommended feeding her once a day and wetting her food with a bit of water. Holly won't eat kibbles that are wet. She nibbled instead of eating for 2 days before I figured that this just wouldn't work for us. And she has to have a small bowl of kibble in the morning or she'll head out to the yard to see what she can eat there. Too often that was cat poo from the neighborhood cats. She was finding that under our hedge. I also read that when your dog is eating too much grass it could be a sign that they need some more green in their diet. I started giving her green beans again and the grass chomping has drastically reduced.
Holly completed the puppy class at a local K-9 accademy. When I found out that the pet stores have a cashier that runs their puppy classes, I figured that it would be hit or miss as to wether you would have a good trainer. With Holly's strength, I knew we needed more than just a little puppy class. We loved our trainer. Holly was fearful of other dogs when we started the class. Now she knows how to meet other dogs when on a walk and she's even made a few friends. We need to sign up for the next level of Obedience Training, but the last session fell on 3 family birthdays so we decided to wait. I might have to wait until fall.
Holly LOVES our cat Rex. He doen't love her back quite the same. She shares her food, and she's even sharing her bed. Holly would just love to cuddle up with Rex but he won't have that yet. I took these with my phone. Here's Holly on Rex's little red cushion. While she lets him have her big cushion. I like to think one of my kids is good at sharing.
I'm actually going to back up a bit into 2011. Early in December my 8 year old was in the ER for an entire day hooked up to IV and running tests. We went home with a Strep Throat diagnosis (which he did have) but also wondering if that was really all that was going on. By February he had lost 8 pounds. That's more than 10% of his body weight. He finally confessed that he'd felt sick to his tummy since December (2 month!!!) but was afraid we'd take him back to the hospital so he just hid his pain. Even typing this now, it still makes me so sad. One of the things we tried was having this kid eat gluten and dairy free. We ran rounds of blood tests and finally my primary care Dr. thought to check his thyroid. That was it!!! He's taking synthetic thyroid and will have blood tests every 4-6 months while he's growing....but my kid is finally feeling better. 6 weeks after starting the medication he gained back all the weight he'd lost plus 1 lb. We've re-introduced some dairy (soy cheese just doesn't cut it for this kid...and we're buying some breads/chips/cookies that have dairy) but he's still gluten free. His tummy FINALLY doesn't hurt. And he has noticed such a difference that he's not even tempted to cheat. Did you know that tootsie rolls have gluten? He won't eat anything without checking with me first. I am so thankful to have my kid feeling like himself again that it's worth not being able to eat out (except for some Mexican or Vegan places). It's worth always having to pack food for him because you can't just stop and get something if you're not going to make it home in time for a meal. It's totally worth packing him a sack lunch and a special cupcake or cookie for every birthday party he's invited to. And...it's opened my heart to other kids with special diets. On the last night of Stockade (a church version of Boy Scouts) they had ice cream sandwiches for everyone. T couldn't have one and I didn't know there would be a special treat so I hadn't sent him with somethig. This time he said it was OK because there was a 6th grader that was allergic to dairy and he couldn't have one either. So when T's Sunday School class had a party I sent a couple boxes of Enjoy Life cookies. I knew then that kids with allergies in his class could have a cookie. I know there's at least 1 girl with peanut allergies in that class.
And if T's health issues weren't enough...We started L at the orthodontist. Now I have 2 kids with palate wideners...and that means no gum/sticky foods/crunchy foods/popcorn. Once you add those diet restrictions to the GF/DF diets that 2 of us have you can see why cooking is such a full time job. We don't use any pre-cooked dinners. I can't pick up take-out. I can't just put a frozen lasagna in the oven and add a bag of salad an pop open a can of breadsticks to bake. I'm not sure I want to eat like that, but maybe I just want the option.
During all this...My hubby coached 2 basketball teams, the kids all took swimming lessons, we had 2 birthdays and the puppy gained 40lbs.
I'll give the puppy update in another post. And just maybe I'll have a knitting update too. Oh...and for those who have been around since the aDayInTheLife days, the kiddos are now 10, 9, & 7!
Now, you have looked at some of my Holly posts and wondered just what kind of dog Holly is. We've done a lot of wondering ourselves. The rescue group we adopted her from told us Lab/Collie. She did a lot of growing and changing so that when she was 16 weeks and started her puppy class the trainer told us he felt she was a Lab/Pit. I can't say I disagree with him. Her little forward flipped ears moved to the side of her head and she looks like the flying nun. But then, at 6 months feathering started to grow in on her hind legs. Maybe she's all theree. So...she's a Lab mix. We're fine with that.
But, not everyone is. We have to say Lab Mix. Because if we say she's a Lab/Pit...people frown. They wonder why I would get a Pit for my kids. They assume because of her name that she's mean. I won't say that it doesn't sound like she wants to eat the mailman when he drops our letters in our mailbox (it's just outside our door...but she usually hears him drive up). I think she's trying to protect us. Maybe I should put treats in the mail box then when she hears the mailman and we go to get the mail, she'll think he left the treats for her??? But look at these photos and tell me that this is a MEAN dog. I'll tell you one fierce thing about this dog...She is FIERCLY loyal.
[I looked through my Holly photos, and realized one kid is missing. I do know that he was the photographer for some of these (that black flip flop in the corner of the 3rd pic), but I'll have to get him and Holly together.]
It's usually not good to compare. You don't want to compare your kids to others (ie. my kid walked at 9 months...and your's at 15 months...so mine is clearly going to be an olympic runner). You dont's want to compare yourself to others either. I've been thinking a lot about my unhealthy self-talk. On a daily basis, my thought go something like this:
I'm a failure at homeschooling because we didn't do any cute crafts today and I didn't do any great read-a-louds. All we accomplished was math and 2 puppy baths (that was Wednesday last week. The first bath was planned. The second was because she stepped in her own poop.) I wish I was a better teacher like...
I'm a bad friend. I hardly have time to brush my hair and put on some makeu-up, so finding time to email or call friends is difficult. I wish I was a better friend like....
I'm not as fit as I should be. If I was more consistent with my fitness, I'd be thinner and have less back pain. I should look like...
I used to be a good blogger, but then I let my blog lapse and it was hard to pick back up. In trying to make a go of it again, I worked on the same post 3 different days last week and it's still not published. I'm not a good blogger like...
I could go on...but I won't. I shouldn't compare myself like that. No one should. It's not healthy. Yet somehow I know that it's a trap women fall into so easy (men might make this mistake too, but I'm not one and I can't speak for them). So, when you're feeling inadequate how do you refocus? I've got some thoughts, but I'll save those for another post. I know I'm not alone in the comparison trap, so what do you do? And I'll try to come back soon with a Refocus post.
This is one time when it's ok to compare though...
On the left: December 3o, 2011 :: On the right: January 29, 2012
Look how much my baby has grown in a month! I scaled the images in photoshop so that the balls are the same size. Yes, one is pink and one is purple, but they're from the same set. Like this, it is good to compare yourself, not against others, but over time to observe growth. Just something to think about.
Every weekend, I make a menu for the week based on what's on sale at the grocery stores I shop at (Trader Joes, Sprouts, and Stater Bros.). Then I shop and prep (sometimes I'll chop the veggies) for the week. I use the crock pot on most Tuesdays because I'll take the boys to fencing and then I'll need a quick dinner. When I have extra time, I'll double a recipe and throw the extra in the freezer so that on other busy nights I'll have something to pull out. Did I mention that January is our extra busy month? Tuesday is Fencing, Wednesday is Ballet/Tap and Stockade/Pioneer Girls with the added busyness of Pine Wood Derby Cars, Thursday is Basketball practice and M is coaching 2 Upward teams. I'm thankful that the cars will be completed by the time Swimming starts at the end of February. Should I mention that we don't really eat out. I also don't buy packaged things like a Stouffer's Lasagna. When M was unemployed, we learned to cook differently (from scratch and whole foods) because it was cheaper. Now, I've shown my kids enough of the gross images that are circulating on FB to make them afraid of chicken nuggets. They're also leary of cheese goo.
So...Here's the last 3 weeks of menus. I do write breakfast and lunch on my calendar, but I'm jsut posting dinners here. Let me know if you try anything. If you have some family favorite you'd like to share we're always ready to try new things.
I finally downloaded photos (the ones on my camera went back to Thanksgiving). I wish the photos just imported themselves to iphoto. As I looked at the last few weeks in pictures, I can not believe how fast my puppy is growing! She's at least double the size she was when we adopted her. Some mornings I look at her and I'm just sure that she grew while sleeping overnight.
Holly's first bath (just after we got her) was in the kitchen sink. I took advantage of the 80 degree day and gave Holly a bath today, this time in the tub. I think by summer she'll be having baths in the back yard. After her bath, I took Holly out in the backyard so she could dry off in the warm sun. So, question for the dog owners...How often do you bathe your fur kids?
After running around in the yard with the kids she was all tired out. She fell asleep on the doggie bed I bought her this weekend at Target. I thought this photo of her on the bed would be a good one for size comparison as she grows.
Holly has the cutest little paws. Well, they're not so little anymore. L was the first to notice that on her right side her nails alternate black/white/black/white. She has the webbed toes of a Lab. Her coat is coming in more and looks a lot like a Lab too.
Her ears are just so cute. I'm not sure where she gets them. And I LOVE that little white tuxedo patch on her chest.
Isn't she a doll?! I hope to get some videos up next.
We've been talking about getting a dog for so long. The kids overheard M & I talking just after school started, so they knew we were hoping to pull this off for Christmas. Turns out, adopting a dog isn't as easy as it should be.
I started filling out applications for dog/puppy adoption. It sure felt like it couldn't be much harder to adopt a child. Then, there were the rescues that had lists of requirements. It seems that being a married couple (12 years) that owns a home isn't as much of a benefit as we would have thought. We waited until our kids were a good age to be helpful with a dog (10,8, & 6) but some rescues thought they weren't old enough. One rescue finally approved us based on our application, and would have approved our home/yard, but they home-check person felt my kids couldn't be trusted with the front door and would let a puppy out into the street.
After a month of this run around, I was having lunch with a friend and she mentioned the rescue that she got her dog from. I filled out an application with them. In 2 HOURS I recieved and email that we were approved. Then a second email with the foster mom's cell phone number. She wanted me to call her. We set up a meeting for 9:30 am the next morning. By 10 am we were driving away with Holly!
We adopted Holly Berry on December 28th. She was 6# the day we took her home. I took this photo the first week. Because of New Year's Day it was almost a week before I got her to our vet and she put on 1.1#. Then I took her back for shots a week and a half later. 10# 5.4oz! It's been another week and a half...and I'm thinking she's probably 12# She's bigger than Rex (our cat) now.
I've got so many questions...so it might seem like this blog has gone to the dogs in the coming months. I'm trying to learn as much as I can. Holly is perfect for our family...and we want to be the perfect family for her.