Sunday, August 31, 2008
So far it's been a very busy weekend. And promises to continue until the very end! Yesterday I watched Monet (my new tiny niece) all day and then we rushed down to the north end of Boise to drop the kiddos off at my Bro n his wife's house so they could babysit while we squeezed in an Anniversary dinner at Chandler's downtown, which was fabulous. Probably the most fun I've had at an anniversary dinner, ever! Then we raced back, threw the kids in the car and jetted out to Kuna to drop Ash off at church by 8! We got there, I think, at 7:57. Just in time! She then went out with her Teen Bible Quiz team and "flocked" houses until midnight. Which means that they put lawn ornaments (I got ladybugs, yay!!!) in your yard and then have to pay to get them removed, or can have them forwarded to your friends/family or can pay insurance to not have them put in your yard again. It's a fundraiser for their teams trips. Anyway, she had a blast. Then this morning I had to have her back at church by 9 so she could have her morning meeting with the group. She will have another one from 3:30-5 today. This will happen every Sunday for the foreseeable future. She's having a blast with it, though, and that's what I like to see! Now we're gettin ready to leave to go to church, J's suffering from massive allergies. I couldn't get the Claritin bottle open (seems to have some part of the plastic stuck under the lid) so I had to give him benadryl..so he is now very sleepy and cranky. Poor dude. That and he's sad Ash got to go to church before him.
My Mom's (insert massive swear words) dog Buerre decided to bolt from the door when we opened it last night just before 10pm. I had to chase her for somewhere around 20 minutes all over the neighborhood (it's a BIG ONE) with no shoes and in the pitch black of night. PISSED. Finally, just before she ran into the field where I would NEVER have been able to find her, she ran into a mans garage and I said, "CAN YOU GET HER? IF YOU CAN, I SWEAR...." He laughed and got her, she growled at him, of course. Because that's just the kind of "angel" she is. I wanted to slice and dice her, light the parts on fire and dump her in the creek at the end of the subdivision..but my mom loves this dog. And, so I carried her back to the house praying for the Lord to give me grace. He was doling it out in small amounts. But, she lived.
I GOT A SMOKER FOR MY ANNIVERSARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mostly because my husband is the best husband in the world. If I can find time, I'm gonna try to smoke chicken today. Tomorrow on our ACTUAL anniversary we're just havin a family day, maybe go out and do stuff and then come home and enjoy a smoked dinner..and hopefully catch up on each others' weeks. So far we've all been like ships in the night. Which reminds me..the kids probably have homework or something I should check on and have them do..hmm
OK, gotta run. Church is in 5 minutes!! EEEK!!
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Friday, August 29, 2008
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I meant to post yesterday but time ran away from me screaming. I had PTA duties in the morning, then a trip to my dentist so he could file down one of my fillings a little bit, then back home to try to get the pics from camping edited and uploaded to the web album, catching up on emails that needed replies/action..then rushing off to work..u know, the usual.
About halfway through work my boss came out and was helping us pack orders and my brain literally just stopped. I was in mid reach for a box and just stopped. My boss said, "Are you ok?" I said, "No. Not ok at all." She laughed & I smiled, but almost cried (sucked it up cuz it just wasn't the time to start sobbing! LOL). I told her she didn't know the magnitude of what she'd just asked..and then pushed on towards the goal of finishing our deadline. Monday's are really busy and it's not a time for your brain to fail you. It's a time when you zone out and pack furiously! But, I was having a hard time zoning out on anything that wasn't tearing my guts.
See, I got a book on tape, a book that was recommended. The Lovely Bones. I had said that I couldn't read the book, that the excerpt alone was too much for me to handle..that I didn't like to subject my brain to those types of storylines. But, then I saw it on tape and spoke to our librarian and she said she agreed with the others I had spoken to, that it wasn't as graphic as I was thinking and that it was a really touching story. So, I checked it out. (FYI: The reason I was getting a book on tape was b/c it takes me 30 min to drive to work and 30 min to drive home, so I figured I might as well be entertained!)
Then, yesterday, on the way to work, I put it in and got the feeling I should turn it off (the same feeling I had before I checked it out)..but kept on with it. I kept hearing that "still small voice" telling me to turn it off..I kept not listening.
Kept hearing it..kept hearing it..
Then the CD started skipping in parts that were extremely graphic..the "still small voice" started getting a bit more stern..to which I kept responding, "Just a minute Lord, I'm busy right now."
Anyway, as usual, humans are stupid.
I finally did turn it off but not until after I had gone back to a place I didn't want to be. There are things we deal with (sometimes after tons of money in therapy LOL) that need to be left behind. Not dredged up over and over and over.
You know..like an alcoholic shouldn't go sit in bars..former meth addicts shouldn't go sit in a room with meth..basic principals..people who have been sexually abused shouldn't go surround themselves with their sexual abusers just to kick back and chat and have a nifty ol' time together..talking about the "good ol' days".
In being a person who has been sexually violated quite a few times in different ways over the years (who hasn't in one way or another!?), I can forgive the abuser(s) because I choose to, and I can deal with the facts and the whys and all of that. But it only takes a second to get the "feeling" back. That deep ache in the pit of my stomach. I can instantly transport back to the feeling associated with an incident, even if I can't remember specifics. And, then in that comes dealing with another piece of the puzzle, with the Lord's help. Great advice I got from my counselor, Swede, was that you don't continue to rip off a scab because it will never heal that way. You instead tend to it and allow it the time needed to heal. There is a vast difference between dealing with abuse in a healthy way, and ripping the scab off by smothering yourself in the oozing pussing flesh of abuse for "reading pleasure".
Anyway, I now firmly believe that whoever believes this book isn't "that graphic" or "that horrible" or "that bad" has either never been abused and has no concept of the terror involved..or that the person HAS been abused and hasn't dealt with it and is terrifyingly good at detaching.
I am not good at detaching. I've worked extremely hard to NOT be good at detaching.
I'm overwhelmingly in touch with my feelings in that area. And, I think that that's a good thing. I spent enough years shoving it down. And, now that I've come further out in dealing with things (much, much further!) I can say that there is never a moment when the subject matter of sexual abuse gets "not that bad" or "not too graphic" or "not that horrible". IT IS HORRIBLE, IT IS GRAPHIC, IT IS THAT BAD.
I'm not sure I'll ever be able to say, "I'm completely 100% over my abuse." Because I'm not sure that that is true for anyone. I can say that I have dealt with what's come up, and continue to deal with new things as they arise. I can say that I don't feel dirty anymore, AND believe it. I can say that it wasn't my fault, AND believe it. And, I can say that God is GOOD and has never left my side. Whether I was in the muck and mire or if I was dancing on heavenly clouds, He was always there, holding me through the darkness or dancing with me in the light. And I find great comfort in that.
I have days where I can talk about the abuse and feel fine and I have days when I can talk about the abuse and feel my whole body surge in a queasiness that I can't even begin to describe. The key is to keep talking, keep sorting through the emotions, keep growing, keep using the pain as a tool to help others. I've made a choice to allow what the devil meant for destruction turn it into something the Lord can use for His glory. I refuse to let the enemy get in the last word. Because I belong to the Lord and I can clearly see, every day, that He is worthy to be praised.
As far as the book goes, yes, maybe once you get past the beginning of this story it will begin to turn into a book that is "great"..but getting past that first part is not something I'm willing to do. It doesn't fall into the category of filling our minds with that which is lovely and pure.
SO..to make a longER story short, I turned it off half way to work and then listened to Dr. Laura till I got to work..but the daze from the crap storm that is The Lovely Bones still polluted my brain. Which left me brain dead to the outside world for a time..but in going over the things Swede shared with me..and going over the promises the Lord has made..by the time I got home from work I was back to normal me. :)
And, now, again I tell myself (and you) that it is always best to listen to the Lord when He first speaks instead of waiting until we deem it appropriate to obey. Needless to say, I don't appreciate the book (didn't even make it through the first chapter) and will be returning it ASAP. Writing books to help others deal with abuse is wonderful when done responsibly. From what I can tell, this book isn't directly aimed in that direction. Rather it tells a story of a girl who was raped and murdered and is looking down on her family from heaven, and explaining to us (the reader) what happened. From what I heard on the CD it wasn't an accurate description of heaven, either..so it loses on all fronts, for me. If my daughter were to die in that horrible way, I would rather believe what the Bible says of Heaven, instead of thinking she is in some stupid observatory room, watching us suffer and reliving her horrible death. Call me silly. Like I said, I didn't make it very far into the book, so I can't accurately review the whole book.
On to better things..the camping trip was great. We had a ton of fun with each other. Went on a super long and tiring hike but the views were amaaaaaazing. God's country, as they say. Quiet, peaceful (when J wasn't complaining), and magnificently beautiful. Here are a few pictures from our weekend. We were up in Bear Valley, which is sandwiched between Stanley and Lowman.
|What did you think?|
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Went to the fair with my Mom last night, it was fun! Attendance was down so we didn't have to fight crowds. It was probably down partly to the economy but mostly because it was hotter than the hubs of hell yesterday!! I was still sweating at 10:30 when we left the park. Crazy.
Then today I got stuff ready for our upcoming camping trip. Made some blueberry bread. YUMM Then made the "menu" and set food aside. I made regular bread, too, but tried a new recipe and cut it in half. Bad choice. I was talking to Chris on my way home and asked him how the bread turned out..he went to check and it was pretty dang flat! Looks like a cake, not a loaf of bread. Hmm. So, note to self, do not half bread recipes. At least not for the bread maker. I've halved recipes that I've made by hand b4 and they've turned out fine. Oh well, I'll make another loaf tonight. All is well.
Work was busy-ish. I was busy at least. Corinne left at 3 for her vacation and Angie left around 3:45..then it was pure quiet which makes me sleepy. But, I was too busy to fall asleep.
Now I'm finally home! YAY! A & J are out back playin with Cody & Andrew. Chris says they've been here most of the day. Fun for the kiddos. They've made drawings and stuff. Andrew brought over a cool book that shows how to draw sharks and whales and such. Cody is cooking his socks on the table, says he's going to eat them. J keeps smelling them. haha
Dinner is almost done so I better get goin. But have a great evening everyone!! And, I second the request..please keep Chris' Gma and Dads in your prayers for full recovery and safe driving! Gramma's had a tough year, but she's a tough cookie. Maybe us kids will all have to fully take over making the Christmas tamales this year! EEK! Hopefully she will at least be there to supervise! :)
Love you guys!!!
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|What did you think?|
Monday, August 18, 2008
He's not our pastor, he's one we listen to on the radio and follow through the internet. His church is in California.
The video is well worth your time.
|What did you think?|
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Any hooters (thanks, Joni!!), here are a few pics from our day at the park with friends earlier this week..Tuesday to be exact.
Aaron giving the tire swing all he's got! J's lovin it.
We had Bruce n Robyn and their girls over last night for dinner and Rockband. It was fun! We were going to take video of it but spaced it. NEXT TIME! We ate lots of cake, just as a bonus. It was supposed to be poker night, but thankfully my hubby cancelled that. Bruce was gonna come out for poker anyway so they thought, what the heck, let's still come out! Woohoo for us! :) I'm pretty over poker anyway, I have to tell ya. I love having the dudes over, but it just takes away from quite a bit of family time. BUT BUT BUT, my honey enjoys it..and I enjoy listening to the stupid stories our men tell! haha. Who'd a thought that at a poker night, all the men would talk about was their wives and kids! I guess I always imagined them talking about trucks or dirt or something..not these guys. :) At any rate, I'm happy with the way it is. I'm always happy to have people over who are proud of their families.
Today Chris and the kiddos are gonna go see Clone Wars (new Star Wars cartoon movie thing, I think) with Bruce and Collin (Bruce's step son). Then later this afternoon Chris' Mom, Barbara, is comin out to watch the kiddos for us while we go to a wedding! (Happy Wedding day, Jess and Jason!!! WOOHOO FOR YOU!!) Then she's thinkin about staying the night.
Sunday, we'll get up n go to church in the mornin and then back home to shove our faces full of food (we'll be super hungry by then). And, then relax for a bit before we go out to Nampa for lil Brooklyn's birthday party! She's growin up so fast. What a beautiful lil angel she is!! I'll be sure to take lots of pics. And, as a super huge bonus, they're making chicken tacos and homemade salsa and all the other goodies for the party! Oh Heavenly days. And, Kristi says Mike is making the birthday cake! My mouth is already watering. AND, Kristi got a jumphouse for the party, too!
Dave says the boys are at their Dad's house this weekend (who lives down the street from us), so hopefully we'll get to see them and hear all about their trip to the coast!
Well, at this moment, I need to start doing my part of the Saturday chores. The kids have already been cleaning for an hour and a half. "Bless their hearts" LOL. Funny how they can take a set of chores that should involve no more than an hour and drag it out into 5 or 6 hours. Oh well..it's their day to waste! Until it starts interfering with ours and then it's not so cute anymore.
Sure do love you guys. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the blessings and the challenges..there are joys to be found in both. :)
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Thursday, August 14, 2008
Ash is excited cuz they're having a "lock in" at church for the teenagers. They all get to spend the night at the church and play video games and board games and karaoke, and eat their hearts out...etc. Of course the alarm is set so if any of those lil buggers try to sneak out the alarms will sound! She's also looking forward to joining the Teen Bible Quiz team. Because they get to travel together. Last year they went to Arizona and Montana among other cool places.
My Auntie and her family come in today from California. I will go see her for a few hours after work tonight. Haven't seen her since Matt's wedding! I love my Auntie, can't wait to hug on her!!! Oh, and our friend Neil is also in town. His brother is the one we talk about who is the doctor in Africa..remember? And his father is the one who married us, and my parents. Anyhoo, it's always great to see him. He has an awesome family, always a great example.
Squeezing in a Mother Daughter trip to the fair on Monday night. As in ME and MY Mom! Chris and I used to take the kids every year but it's just gotten way too expensive. So last year I started just goin with my Mom. It's GREAT! We just go, get a snack and then walk around and look at the exhibits & ANIMALS!! WOOOHOOO!!! I LOVE piggies and cows :)
I promised I would make blueberry pancakes this morning for my sweet hubby, so I better get on it. Have a wonderful day! OH, and congrats to Armstrong on her big win for the US and Boise!
Love you love you
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Howdy y'all, hope everyone is doing dandy. Lots and lots of happenings lately. We took Ash to her new middle school last night and she got her class schedule and locker assignment. Then we toured the school and found all her classrooms. She also signed up as a volunteer at the school store and picked up some info on joining the Pep Club. Still shying away from sports but whatever, maybe she'll decide later that she wants to do them again...if not that's fine too. We have an open house on the 21st where she can go around and meet all her teachers and move into her locker and then D-Day is on the 22nd. I can't believe summer is already over and the kids are starting school again.
J starts the same day and is also supposed to be having an open house and class list postings soon, although no details yet. Actually I should check that now that I think about it, hold please.........
...........ah well guess what? His open house is the exact same night and time as Ashley's. HA HA, perfect. Well we have a two hour window so I guess we'll just have to split the time between the two. J's probably won't take as long since he only has one teacher and we already know the school so we can probably afford to dedicate a bit more time for Ash. Looks like elementary class scheds will go up this Friday as well. Cool stuff.
So besides school and work, we have a TON of stuff going on this month. We are pretty much booked solid. Some highlights:
Sarah's aunt visits this week. Sarah will be heading over to see them on Thurs. and then proceeding to go shopping for wedding/b-day gifts and a dress for this weekend's festivities.
Friday is poker night
Saturday I take the kids to see the new Clone Wars movie, then Sarah and I have a wedding to go to that evening. Mom will come over to watch the kids and then I think stay the night.
Sunday I guess I was volunteered to make a big breakfast, then church, then our friend's daughter's b-day party
Monday continues birthday week. Sarah goes out with her buddy Jess on her b-day that day, Wed is our friend Leanne's b-day (you may remember her from the Rock Band vid), Thurs is Amber's b-day
The weekend of the 22nd, after the kids get out of school and Sarah gets off work, we are (hopefully) going camping. YAY! Our first, and seemingly only at this point, family camping trip of the year. I really hope everything pans out and we get to go.
Last week of Aug will see school getting into full swing and our schedules switching back out of vacation mode. All new adventures and the such. Last weekend of Aug we have plans for our 13th anniversary. Nothing fancy, just dropping off the kids and going out to a nice dinner. It'll be great to get out together and spend some time alone, its a rare commodity. I can't believe we've been married for 13 YEARS already!! Hooray for us!!! Sheesh....look how far we've come it after all, sure wouldn't want to be without you (that's an inside one for you babe, ha ha).
Well that's about it for us...for the time being anyway. But wait, there's a whole wide world out there too. In case you've been in a cave, you've probably heard about the Olympics. We've been watching them off and on...not religious or anything, but enough to keep up. Big happenings recently.
Michael Phelps won his 11th gold medal yesterday making him the winningest gold medalist in Olympic history now. Way to go. The dude is a machine. Still trying to break the record for most golds in a single Olympics so we'll see how that goes.
Not so great night for the "women's" gymnastics team. I say "women's" cuz most of them are still teenagers, but no less talented. Came down to the US vs. China (as usual) and the US team just couldn't hold it together. They made some costly mistakes and allowed the underage China team to take Gold. US won silver, but in a less than stellar performance. Hopefully soon the true ages of the kiddies on China's team will be revealed and the gold will be stripped and given to the US. Might sound harsh and I'm sorry, but there is ABSOLUTELY NO F-ING WAY that the girls on that China team are at least 16. One of them looked like she was still losing baby teeth for crap's sake. Everyone knows it, but China has produced "documentation" to prove their age....yeah, whatever. The truth is out there.
Oh, big news for Boise. A Boise woman triathlete won a gold medal in cycling at the Olympics last night. Super cool, we're on the world map now! Congrats to her.
Well that's about it for now. Have a great humpday and I'll catch everyone on the flip side!
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Monday, August 11, 2008
Well, she doesn't really understand that she's a 60+ lb dog. She's happy to be held n cuddled. And, has no problem whatsoever climbing up into your lap, even if she is suffocating you with chest hair (that's usually all you can see if she does this..a wall of chest hair). She's just a sweet lil girl and I love her to death.
When company comes over I want to kill her, though. She has to be center of attention (as is the norm for goldies..whatever). As in she wants you to pet her AT ALL TIMES. She must be loved on. And she slowly walks from person to person..pacing around..until someone gives in. Drives me INSANE. But, it's my own fault. Because when no one is here, she gets constant love and attention, and I do stupid things like encourage her to sit on Momma's lap. Hmm..I guess that's a fair deal. I'd rather have a loving dog than one that is scared of or hates people.
Our new goal this week is to not let her get up on couches downstairs. They are fabric. And they are covered in her hair. I vacuum them, but it doesn't help it much. When we first got her she was never allowed on those couches. But then as the whole house filled with hair, I figured, what the hell does it matter. The hair is on the couch anyway, might as well let her on them, it couldn't be THAT much worse. WELLLL That's like saying, "I'm already dirty from camping and not showering for a week. Might as well never shower again. Couldn't get much worse". Now they might as well be fur couches.
SO begins the battle.
She goes out and sneaks up on them, and we go out and tell her to get down. We repeat this several times every 2 minutes. We're contemplating becoming alcoholics so that we will be too drunk to care that she disobeys and messes crap up.
Well, that's my update for the moment. Now I'm off to watch Jurassic Park with our tiny son while Ash is upstairs playing with Nikki.
|What did you think?|
Sunday, August 10, 2008
ROCK BAND NIGHT!!!!
Apparently there was some kind of brouhahah last night. It seems that there was an "event" of extraordinary magnitude in our small town. Something of such epic proportions that its hard to completely fathom what really transpired. Details are sketchy but from all reports it seems that a most amazing phenomenon ocurred. We have managed to get our hands on some ultra top secret footage and it is.....sensational. You will not believe your eyeballs (or earballs) but everything you are about to see is true.
Due to the extreme amounts of awesome rocking and overall supreme nature in the following footage, I caution you to proceed at your own risk.
Don't forget to stay through the credits. Enjoy!
|What did you think?|
Church was great today. Mom n Dad came out and went with us. Nice to find a church where people are alive and allowed to clap/dance/raise hands, etc if they feel like it, or just stand and have either one be ok. Ahhhh, what a breath of fresh air. And more than that, to be in a place that embraces our beliefs, is fantastic. Hard to find churches like that here in Idaho.
Anyway, after we got home we got ready and I took Ash back out to the horses. Jon and DeAnna, Monet, Mom and Dad were all out there. Terry n Lana were home this weekend, too. So it was nice for me to have people to talk to while Ash had her lesson and rode around. Plus, it was a perfect day. Not too hot, not to cool..jusssst right.
Now we're back home. Chris is going to make us up some homemade fried food tonight. It was Ashley's idea. It's called "FRY FEST". He's going to make fried zucchini (fresh from my neighbors garden!), onion rings, mozzarella sticks, and chicken nuggets. I'll be making up the ranch to dip it all in! And then as we're enjoying it, we will all take time to pray safety over our bodies from all the crap we're ingesting..that we don't fall over from heart attack after eating! Joni, what was that we were saying about us eating in moderation and healthier? Hmm..guess I'll get back on the wagon TOMORROW! heehee ;)
Oh, last night was so much fun. We bbq'd with Leslie & Ryan and baby Cooper and then after that Jeff & Leanne came over and we all went upstairs for our Rockband festivities. Ash got some of it on tape, Chris is putting together a video of it now. I'm sure it will make an appearance to the blog very soon. :) Kept hoping that all of the noise and moving around would make Leanne go into labor..but no luck! Oh well..anyway, when everyone had had enough we came downstairs and ate some lemon bars that Chris had made earlier and then they all packed up and left us. As they were getting in their cars I thought it was the perfect opportunity to prune back one of my bushes as it is completely covered in bees all day. Had to chop off the flowers. Ryan thought I was crazy to be pruning bushes at 11:30 at night. Well, maybe just a little :) But anyone who knows me, knows that I do my best work at night! AND, this morning there was only one bee on the bush, so I call it MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! But, anyhoo..here's a pic from last night. Captures some of us at least (Jeff & I didn't make the cut)!
Hope you've all had a great weekend, and that the week to come will be wonderful, too. Love you!
|What did you think?|
Saturday, August 9, 2008
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Friday, August 8, 2008
Joshua is doing well. His platelet count was 117 last week and it was up to 308 this week! woohoo!!! So excited about that. Unfortunately his hemoglobin was down to 1.2, and they like for it to be about 11-14. So, he is considered neutropenic this week which just means he is VERY suseptable to infection. Good handwashing and hygene is a MUST!
|What did you think?|
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Two years ago today Chris' Aunt Kathy died suddenly. Exactly one year after Aunt Kathy passed, our dog Tess died suddenly. I'm praying nothing tragic happens today on the one year anniversary of Tess' death. I'm not superstitious, it was just a weird thing to have happen. Still miss both of them everyday.
Anyway, just wanted to post pics of them today and remember how wonderful they were in our lives!
Aunt Kathy always brought a smile to my face and I enjoyed all of our chats, especially when I was living in Texas. She & Uncle Tim were always there to let me know that even though we'd moved so far away, we still had family who loved us.
And, Tess..well, Tess and I fought like only mother and daughter (dog) can! But, we loved each other like crazy, too. She was a quirky lil dog..Chris would make fun of us b/c one of us would do something to offend the other and then we would quit talking to each other for sometimes weeks at a time. But, sooner or later we always came back to each other and cuddle time resumed. I'll never forget the last 2 horrendous days leading up to her death (she was gone within 4 days), or how she looked at me, how she couldn't eat or drink unless I spoon fed her..she couldn't walk unless I helped her. I'll spare you the other details..but it was just horrible.
I guess we all hope that the ones we love will go peacefully in their sleep, and at an age we deem appropriate. That didn't happen for Aunt Kathy, or for Tess. But, in both deaths we learned to hold those in our lives very close to our hearts and to not let anything stand in the way of our relationships. Because we truly never know when our last moments with them will be.
Unfortunately there are always a few relationships where you hit walls and won't be let in, for whatever reason..or sometimes for no reason (seemingly). But, even if some are shut off to us, it doesn't mean we can't show love to them, right? I guess it's just like the Lord with His children..even when we shut Him out and act as if we don't need Him or want Him around, He never leaves us. He never forsakes us. He loves us unconditionally. And, we can do that for our family and friends, too. In fact, that is what we are called to do in His word..Love one another, as He has loved us.
I hope that today brings you joy, and that even for those of us who are still mourning..that we will also be able to find the happy memories coming to mind throughout the day. Every time I see a beautiful garden (or a squirrel!), I think of Aunt Kathy. And, every time I look to the side of my bed, I think of Tess and how she'd lay right there while I slept..always there.
Sending up balloons to heaven and doggy heaven today as we remember our 2 girls!
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
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I got lots of really fun pics the other day while Ash was riding horses at our friends' house. I feel like I may have already blogged about this, so I'm gonna stop. But, hopefully as the days go on I can post a few of the pics for you.
As Chris told u, we went down for our yearly trip to the Roaring Springs water park. We take the kiddos one time every summer during their vacation. He's right, for some reason this year the vacation just zoomed on by. Can't believe they're almost back in school already! It was a great day, though. Wish I could have had a highly qualified assistant with me to take all the pics! No matter.. I'm not entirely sure that I would have posted pics of me with a tank top and beach capris all wet and suctioned to my body like the intestine casing on an italian sausage.
Worked all day today and then went out to Nampa to water Jess' lawn, they're at church camp. I was trying to get home in time for us to go to church, but it didn't happen. We will, however, be able to go out and get some ice cream very soonly :)
Went to the plastic surgeon yesterday morning for my shoulder. He agrees with the other 2 docs I've seen, thinks it's a lypoma. He says he believes it's the size of a baseball. Woohoo! Either the RM-10 is working and it's shrinking, or the other 2 docs I've seen are idiots b/c they both told me it was the size of a softball. At any rate, he wants me to go get an ultra sound done so that we can be positive that it is indeed a lypoma and not something else. He doesn't want any surprises when he cuts me open! That's a good sign. LOL So, I think I'll shoot for having the surgery done on the 3rd Friday of October. He also says that he believes the other docs and the folk I've talked to are exaggerating a bit on the pain level after surgery. He said it's definitely painful, but that I will have pain meds and that I shouldn't lose any sleep worrying about it. So, woohoo! All good news there.
Having a Rockband night with our buddies this weekend. We've been trying to schedule this get together with the 6 of us for months now. Excited it's finally happening. Will be sure to take pics and post them (in theory).
Trying to think if there's anything else exciting goin on, but I'm at a loss.
This month is CRAZY. I know I always say that. But, really, it is. Maybe I should start posting pics of our wall calendar so you can see our insanity! Oh well, I'd rather have a busy life than one that is dull.
Love you all!!!!!!
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As summer begins to come to a close and we start counting down the days until the kiddies go back to school (16 in case you were wondering), its time to start making good on all the promises we can no longer put off. One such promise was to take the kids to our local water park, Roaring Springs, before school started. So that's what we did yesterday afternoon.
Jaden's kindergarten class all received a free day pass last year and ever since he brought that golden ticket home, he's been bugging us regularly to take them. We kept saying "we'll take you guys sometime before school starts again", and for a while that coasted us by. Well the other day we were looking over our calendar for August and we realized that our time was almost up. August was filling up fast and we were running out of days to fulfill our promise. It actually came down to only two or three days that would work before school started. As it turned out, Sarah got off work early yesterday after she went in early, and my afternoon schedule was pretty clear so we decided we'd head out and enjoy some watery goodness.
I didn't tell the kids our surprise....I just made them lay down and take a nap after lunch then we woke them up when Sarah got home and told them to put on their swimsuits. They immediately got excited and hurried around to get ready. The day was pretty warm but it was overcast so the sun wasn't punishing. We headed out around 2:45 and arrived a little after 3 to take advantage of the 3-8pm specials. Ticket prices are comparable to Disneyland (ok, not THAT bad but close) so its always best to go when they have one of their promo's running.
As we drew close, we saw that the parking lot was packed, as was expected. That place is always busy. After finding a spot in one of the satellite dirt lots we trekked over, got our tickets and entered the aqua paradise. Both Sarah and I had forgotten sunscreen, but the kids were coated so we were set. Fortunately, as I stated before, it was overcast so we didn't burn to a crisp.
The kids were bursting to go play but first things first, we had to secure a life vest for Jaden. After that was secure our first stop was the wave pool. We hung around in there for 10 minutes or so and then the kids wanted to hit the rides.
First up was Pipeline Mines. We gathered up our 2-man rafts with J and me in one, and Sarah and Ash in the other. Pitch dark, enclosed tunnel with waterfalls, twists, turns and drops before blasting out into the pool. Jaden hated it and screamed all the way down.
Then it was on to the Viper's Vortex. Another 2-seater with me and J together, and Sarah and A in the other. This one was "meh". You drop down a 4 story tube (which was fun) then shoot out into a sprialing vortex bowl (we call it "the toilet") where you casually drift in a circle or two before going out the drain into the pool. The first part was fun but the slowness of the spiraling kind of detracted from it.
Next we hit the Racing Ridge. A 350 foot slide down on a foam mat, racing all the way to the bottom. I won due to my awesome aero-dynamicity. Kids loved this one!
After that it was onto the standard drop slides. Ash and J went up together but then Sarah sent me up to accompany J since the drop at the end was into a 10' deep pool and J's swimming skills are still developing. We waited through the line but I couldn't go down with J, so we walked back down and A took the plunge.
Then the kids were off to the kiddie play area while Sarah and I lounged in some chairs for a bit. J wanted to hang around a bit so I stayed with him while Sarah and Ash went and got into the Endless River. J took a kiddie slide then decided he too wanted to get in the river.
The Endless River is the perfect way for parents to enjoy the water park. Its just a huge circling river of water that moves around the park. You can swim or float and just lounge and relax. If you are lucky enough to grab a tube then its close to perfect....all I needed was a tropical drink to seal the deal. Its got a couple swift parts and some waterfalls to keep the kids interested. We hung out in there for a while and then Ash decided it was time to move on.
Our next stop was The Avalanche. Sarah and J refused to go on this so I took Ash. Its basically a giant water half-pipe that you ride on in a 2-man raft. However its like 5 stories tall and is pretty much a 180 degree drop straight down. Ash had been on it before with her aunt and she was still totally scared to go on it again. It was pretty thrilling for sure, not for the faint of heart. The best part is the drop down when you and your raft actually lift off the ground a bit and free-fall.
By now our trip was winding down so we had only two rides left. Sarah was done so I took the kids to the Mammoth Canyon which is still one of my favorites. This is the ride that scared the crap out of J the last time we went, but he was ready to go this time. This one always has the longest line but you go down in a multi-person raft so it moves pretty quick. By the time we got to the top however, J was rethinking his decision. He toughed it out though and ended up loving it. You start with a little waterfall then go about half way down in a dark tube, spinning the whole way, around some twists and turns before coming out into the open tube. A few more crazy turns and then out into the pool. Fun times!
After that was one last trip on the Racing Ridge with the kids and then it was time to pack it in. We had to swing by the gas station so Sarah could get herself a fountain drink and she grabbed a surprise Icee for the kiddos. Then we headed home and showered. The kids didn't understand why they needed a shower since they were just in the water...but Sarah explained (quite graphically) how the water is so dirty at those places and why showers are needed. By the time we got home they were arguing over who got to shower first.
Sarah and I whipped up a tasty dinner of guacamole-bacon-cheese turkey burgers, tater tots and special sauce. YUMMO! Then we all sat down and relaxed to watch one of our favorite shows, Wipeout. Well, THEY got to watch it...I am still on call and of course I got phoned and had to work. Anyway, all in all it was a pretty great day. Everyone had fun and enjoyed hanging out with each other which is all we can ask for. Its nice to get out and do things like that as a family...gotta enjoy it while we can since the kids are growing up so fast. We tell them to stop but they just don't listen. It was also a nice way to start closing the summer down. It'll be our last big family outing before school other than our camping trip at the end of the month, so I'm glad we were able to finally do it.
Well that's it for us, now its back to the grind. Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Talk to all you dudes later.
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Monday, August 4, 2008
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Sunday, August 3, 2008
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Friday, August 1, 2008
Here's the famous video we've been speaking of that my hubby made for me a bazillion light years ago..Ok, it was actually Feb 14th 2002..but that seems like light years ago! Anyway, as you can tell the quality of the pics is horrendous, but this was before we entered into the digital camera world! Regardless, it's the best video EVER and I hope you enjoy it :)
OH, and there's music that goes along with it, so be sure to go to the bottom of our blog to mute our playlist before you hit "play" on the video!
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As you probably know from Sarah's last blog, one of the hard drives on my pc totally crapped out yesterday. Completely out of the blue. I hadn't changed anything, hadn't installed anything new....nothing. In fact, we had just been watching videos stored on it the night before with no problems.
So anyway, I had gone out of the office to make lunch for the kids and when I came back I saw that my pc had blue screened. Not the BSOD thankfully, but a message just telling me that a problem had been detected and that my pc needed to reboot. I thought "uh, ok...strange but whatever".
I rebooted and when Windows started to load it stopped and went into a disk check screen. It was saying there was a problem with one of the drives and a disk check needed to be performed. So I let it run and it started scanning my storage drive. So glad it wasn't my primary drive...I totally hate re-installing the OS and then re-installing all my programs.
So the disk check was chugging along nicely and then it started throwing up all these record unreadable errors. Not good. When it was all done I had a ton of unreadable/corrupted/damaged sectors on my storage drive. The first thing I thought of were Sarah's pictures. They are all stored on that drive and if I lost them I better start looking for a boys choir that needs a freshly minted soprano. I still remember the threats I got when Dave lost Amber's pictures, and that didn't even involve us. Sarah made me very aware that nothing like that better happen to us, which was one of the reasons I had moved them all to my pc in the first place.
With a new found fear for my loins I quickly went into disaster recovery mode. The pc was able to boot after the check which is good. I checked out the disk manager and both drives still showed up....still good. The primary drive looked fine, however the secondary drive was not showing as being formatted and was showing 100% free space....in other words it was empty. This is not good.
A small amount of crap may have entered my pants.
So I thought, ok well the check completed and the drive is still visible. I'll try to reboot again and see if it all comes up ok this time. So I did. And it didn't.
Again it went into disk check mode flagging errors on the secondary drive. All the same record unreadable messages came up. And then it finally booted up and started Windows. At the same time I had been scouring message boards and help sites on my laptop to see if there was any avoiding the inevitable outcome....all signs pointed toward the same conclusion I had already arrived at. The drive was completely tits up (technical term...seriously, look it up).
With this in mind and thoughts of ways I could break the news to Sarah that would involve the least amount of bodily harm, I moved back to my pc. Checked the disk manager again and saw a change. Now the secondary drive was no longer visible at all. Ooh boy, that is not good. Not good at all. Considering that all of the possible software options I could use for data recovery needed to be able to access the drive, having it not appear as available anymore put me up that proverbial creek we all love so much.
Now I was starting to sweat a bit. Before I was still in the realm of "ok" as long as the drive was available, but now I was rapidly entering the "soprano zone" yet again. With nothing much else to lose at this point, I just employed the old Microsoft cure all and rebooted. I swear, if Microsoft were around during the days of elixir panhandling, its Reboot product would be touted as a relief for every possible ailment to man, both known and unknown.
This reboot played out much the same as the previous ones...however this time the disk check took a lot longer, flashed up a lot more errors and seemed to be updating several different logs and tables. I had hope, but also fear. I could be fixing things or speeding them even faster toward irrevocable damage. I prayed for the first thing.
Finally it finished and booted me into Windows. When I opened the disk manager there was my beloved secondary drive again. My nether regions did a quick dance for joy as they descended back to their normal position. The drive still showed empty and unformatted but at least it was recognized again. Now to test my software.
I had downloaded a couple of different apps to help with my recovery. The problem is that the makers of these apps know how important your data is to you. And knowing that they have a product that you will require when you find yourself in such a dreary situation as I did, they also know how to exploit it. Nothing is free as we all know. So the "free" demo's I found, while seeming to be quite promising, only hinted at salvation. In fact they are meant to entice you and then force you to pay dearly for their services by first showing you that, yes, they can indeed find every scrap of precious data that you so longingly wish to cradle in your arms again. And after they show you, they hold it for ransom and demand that you pay in order to get it back. They are virtual kidnappers. Or possibly virtual drug dealers...they give you a taste for free but when you want the main course you gots to pay brother. Either scenario applies...but in the end they are still money hungry assmongers preying on those in dire straits. Fortunately, I am not some helpless babe on his first journey to the pc world. I have tricks up my sleeves too.
For legal reasons, and so that you don't think lesser of me, I will spare you all the details. I will simply say that I have ways around this bait and hook stuff these companies try to swing. Bottom line: I obtained working versions of the software and was ready to try the first one.
So, I install the first program with no problem. Start it up, easily traverse the menus and in a few minutes it had read my damaged drive and found a complete list of all the data I needed to get back. SWEET! So I moved onto the recovery phase. My biggest problem was disk space. Since my storage drive was blown, the only other drive available was my primary drive. Typically I avoid storing much data on the drive other than the OS and apps, but in this case it was my Obi-Wan Kenobi (my only hope for all you readers not versed in Star Wars). Since I had a lot more stored data than my primary drive would accomodate, I was forced to pick and chose only the most critical stuff. Sarah's pics were first, followed by all of our tunes. Those together came out to about 40gb and I had about 43gb free space to save it to. Pretty tight fit. The nice thing about this program was that it allowed me to zip all the data to reduce the size. Very handy. I queued it all up and executed. The software took off and the process was underway. And it ran better than I expected it to......for a while.
I left it to run and came back and checked it a bit later. My hopes were quickly dashed as I returned to software errors and found that the program had terminated. It had actually gone through about half of the data and recovered it but since the program terminated abnormally it was all corrupt. I deleted it and tried again. Same thing. So it was either a problem with the software, or a conflict with something else, or both. I didn't really have time to play with it since I was under the gun. I still had not told Sarah anything about this yet. I was trying to determine if I could get the data back or not before I broke the news otherwise she'd just be upset and stress over it. I now had a little over an hour left before she got off work and would be calling me, so I had to rush.
I removed the first program and installed the second. The second was a much more rudimentary program that did the same basic thing, but did it very.....basically. While the first had all the bells and whistles and was the Rolls Royce version, this second one was its poorer cousin....the Pinto on cinder blocks if you will. But it was now my last shot at avoiding the first class seat to unich-ville. After it was loaded, I rescanned and found most of the same data. There were some things that were reporting as too damaged to recover in this version, while they had shown as available in the other version. But I put that on the back burner cuz the meat of what I was after was still there. Pics and tunes.
Now this being the lesser version, I had no option but to direct copy to a new location. That means no zipping. That means no reduced size. I cleared as much junk off my primary drive as I could and was able to free up a couple more gigs. Still it would be a close fit and my drive would be pretty much full afterwards. I kicked it off and...........it didn't work. Told me I needed to buy the full version. CRAP!!!!!!!!!
The method through which I obtained this program had included everything I needed to run it with no additional cost. But it seemed that was not working. Images of high pitched singing while adorned in a blue satin robe and attending Christmas concerts flashed through my head. Then I remembered that when I first installed the program, I had gotten a message stating that a newer version was available and I had accepted it. AH HA! The code I had probably only worked with the original version. Quickly I uninstalled and reinstalled the software, this time passing on the update. I set everything up again, started it off and this time it ran flawlessly.
The data was being retrieved from the damaged drive and stored on my primary. I verified that the files were there and were accessible and then breathed a sigh of relief. I tried calling Sarah but didn't get an answer. Tried again, no answer. She must be talking on the phone to someone more important than me (happens more than you'd think). So I left a message. When she called back I told her what had happened but not to fear cuz I was getting it back. Crisis averted. Nuts will remain intact. Sorry choir, I won't be joining you this time.
Now that the immediate dangers were past, I went back to review the data that had reported as too damaged to retrieve. Searching through the folders I saw nothing of much consequence. Some temp files, some old crap I didn't care about, yadda yadda yadda. Until.....I came across one folder that showed a video valentine I had made for Sarah several years ago. Its a basic slideshow put to music and has pictures of us from when we were dating up to current as of when I made it. Wedding, kids, stuff like that. It was one of my first attempts and was pretty rudimentary but it took me a while to get all the photos, find the music, time it all out and all that jazz. It was a labor of love and Sarah totally adores it. Lots of sentimental value. And now its sitting in a possible no man's land never to be seen again. Hello, we're the Vienna Boys Choir and we have an opening in our soprano section, would you be interested?
I left the program running along merrily while we got ready to go to Kailey's party. I filled Sarah in on the day's frustrations and she was relieved that it appeared to be working now. We had to rush to unload and put away groceries when she got home though so I didn't really get too in depth on the details of everything. Once we were in the car and on the road we started talking about it again. She asked if there was anything I wasn't able to get back yet. I told her there was some things I left off for now due to space issues and I would try to get them later once I had someplace to store it all. For the time being, my priority had been the photos and the music. Then I told her about her valentine being in the possibly unrecoverable category. Not good news. She immediately started crying and I promised I would do everything I could to get it back. Suck. I worked so hard all day to prevent her from freaking out or getting upset and here we were with her bawling over her lost valentine. I felt pretty bad and vowed to try my best to save it. After some comforting she pulled it together and we went on to the party.
When we got home I checked the process and it was still chugging along, although much more slowly. I feared that I might be running into disk space issues and that the speed decrease was probably due to the fact that the drive was nearing capacity. But I had already gotten the pictures back and was only working on the music now. That could wait if it had to. I decided to let it run through the night and follow up in the morning.
This morning everything was done and recovered nicely. HOORAY!!! It was a pain in the ass but in the end it was all worth it. Saved the photos and all the music. Still have some extra stuff to get back when I have the space, but it can wait. Now we need to find a new hard drive and replace the old one. I'm thinking of going with an external but we'll have to go out and look around this weekend. Not too happy about having to spend extra money since we're trying to save for school supply shopping, doctor/dental visits, camping and whatnot, but dem's da breaks sometimes. Could have been much worse and it gave me a challenge to overcome. Hopefully I'll be able to get everything moved to a new device and sorted out this weekend. It'll be a nice little project for me and nowhere near as stressful as what led up to it.
Oh and in case you were wondering, I was able to save the valentine video. It still works fine and a copy has been sent to Sarah for safe keeping as well. I'm sure duplicates will find their way onto all of her video/photo storage sites in the near future.
Until next time loyal readers!
Hero For The Day
Almost my peeps.......
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