Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. The meal is my favorite meal of all--turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, corn, broccoli, rolls, green bean casserole, yummy desserts (excluding pie, of course) Any other day of the year, that meal wouldn't taste as good. But on Thanksgiving, it's the best.

But Thanksgiving isn't about the food. It's about looking at our lives and seeing what it is that we are thankful for. This year, I am thankful for:

*my wonderful husband. He loves me when I'm at my worst and my best. He makes me laugh so hard at the simplest things, always lightening my mood. He is a wonderful father that loves his girls unconditionally. He works very hard every day to give the girls and I what we need and want.

*my 3 beautiful girls. They are all kind, loving souls. They are always willing to give me a hug or a kiss and aren't embarrassed by me...yet. They are good listeners and help out around the house so we can all enjoy time together.

*our family and friends. They are always there for us, no matter what. They are all such a great support group and source of fun, laughter, and love.

*our house. I know that all too many people don't have a place to call home, that they can decorate and take care of as much-or as little-as they please. In this time of so many foreclosures, I am especially thankful to have our home.

*our jobs. Andy's work is very much dependent on the economy and I am so thankful that he is still employed, when so many people are not. I am also thankful that I am able to stay home with my girls and bring in additional money by doing daycare.

*our health. So many people that I know have been struck with a medical emergency in the past year and I am incredibly thankful that none of those people have been very close to me.

*God. Without Him, none of the above would be possible.

Friday, November 21, 2008


George is the one on the left there, in the blue halter. We got him back on May 10, 2003, when Alayna was a a little over 2 years old. He came from a family that was moving and couldn't take all their horses with them, but wanted to make sure he went to a good home. The wife in the family worked with Andy's uncle John, who mentioned that we were looking for a good horse to start our daughter on. They exchanged numbers, we called, we went to look at him and he came home with us that day.

He was an absolute gem--completely bomb-proof, very calm and gentle, a wonderful horse for Alayna, and then Lilly, to learn on. He was always careful of them when they'd come into the pasture. He would alter his speeds based on who was on his back--he'd do a faster trot for me than for one of the girls. He was the perfect horse for them.

He was also old. When we got George, they estimated his age to be 22-24. Since we've had him for almost 6 years, that puts him near 30. For you non-horse people, that's like being 80 in human years. This past year he had lost a ton of weight and gained some back, but he never lost his wonderful attitude. Every night he'd trot into the barn for supper, when we'd yell hello to them in the pasture he and Cookie would both neigh back in response.

Today, we had to put him down after he fell and couldn't get back up. He leaves a HUGE void in our lives and will forever be remembered. Every horse will, from this day forward, be compared to our perfect, loving Georgie.

We love you and will miss you dearly, George!

Seeing in the Dark

Our power went out for some reason last night about 4:30 (I called the electric co and they didn't know what was up, it came back on after about 30 mins). Well, at that time of night it's already getting quite dark around here. I asked Alayna to run upstairs and grab me something and this is what transpired:

Alayna: But I can't see.

Mom: It's not that dark out yet. You can see to go up the stairs and into the hallway.

Alayna: Fine.

Lilly: Alayna, if you don't want to go, I can. I have dark brown eyes and because they are dark they can see better in the dark.

The Eve of Holy Week

All Christians know that Holy Week is the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, right? Well, here in Wisconsin there is a second 'Holy Week'. It's the week of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving? you say. Yep, Thanksgiving. Why?

Because that's Rifle Deer Hunting! Up nort' here in Wisconsin, almost everyone hunts. If you don't hunt, you can almost guarantee that your husband or wife, child, sibling or parent does. It's a big part of life. Everyone wears their blaze orange, you see bright spots in the woods and fields, you hear the echo of gunfire from sun up to sun down. It's BIG.

I'll keep you all posted on the harvest from our household...I know, I know, you can barely stand the anticipation!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lap Dogs

I think I may be creating a monster! Marley is a great puppy-she hardly ever has accidents, she's sleeping better at night, she hasn't been super chewy or rambunctious. But she loves to snuggle! That's a wonderful thing, right? Of course, except that in a few short months she won't be able to snuggle without squishing me or one of the girls.

This puppy loves to be held. I love to hold puppies. Well, in the 4 days we've had her I have managed to turn her into a lap dog. Right now, she is whining and scratching at my feet because I don't have her in my lap. She looks at me with those big, sad, puppy dog eyes and I just want to pick her up and snuggle. But I can't. I have to stop doing that so much. When she's 130 lbs, I can't have her trying to crawl into everyone's lap for a nap. That won't do. That won't do at all.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Andy is the coolest husband EVER!

It's not often that my husband can surprise me with a gift--I handle the checkbook and am super anal about checking it every day. Because of that, I see all transactions and know, to some degree, what's going on.

Well, yesterday he came home with a Great Dane puppy for me! I was SOOOO excited! I have wanted a Dane for years, probably since I was in my very early teens. I have done research on them and planned and plotted when would be the best time for one. Andy, of course, has known about this all along.

A few weeks ago Lynn and Alicia (my MIL & SIL) took the girls to "Wal-Mart" with them, but they really went to pick out 2 puppies, one for me and one for Alicia! I can't believe the girls kept it a secret for almost 3 weeks! Andy picked her up last night on his way home from work. Meet Marley:

I chose that name for her because I originally wanted to name Mikayla 'Marley.' I loved the name and thought it would be just adorable on a little girl. Andy liked the name, but said it sounded more like a pet to him than a daughter. Of course, I jumped on that and compromised with the promise that our next female pet could be Marley. And so she is.

Marley is 7 weeks old today. She's still a little timid, considering that she left behind her parents and several siblings less than 24 hrs ago. But just this morning she's come along and been a little more playful and interactive. Of course, the rest of us are a bit tired due to some whining all night long, but we survived.

One thing the girls keep commenting on is how tiny she is, and how big she'll get. They can't believe that in a matter of months, she'll be as big as they are and outweigh them by 50+lbs. While the girls took a puppy break (enforced by Mom and Dad) Andy got the idea that we should take her picture with her food bowl at various stages to show how much she's really grown. She's got a long way to go and eventually, this bowl will be tiny compared to her. Right now....not so much.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Them Darn Kids

With three little girls, you'd think that our house would be polite and proper and all ribbons and bows, right? Wrong. If any of you know Andy or I just one bit, you know that the previous sentence just couldn't be the case. Sure, I like girly things, but I also do plenty of things that most women would shudder at. Combine that with my husband, and we've got 3 not-so-girly girls (though they have their moments) They play with tractors and trucks, love to go "farming" with Dad and fart with wild abandon. Yes, they fart, and then they tell us all they did it and laugh about it, too. They don't understand why I don't fart like they do, but love when I let out a big belch. (Yup, now you all know my deep, dark secret!) Sometimes I wonder if they really aren't boys stuck in girl bodies. I hope not, that could cost some serious money later in therapy.

Anyway, yesterday Lilly and I were sharing a Sierra Mist while Alayna was at school and Mikayla napped. After taking a big swallow, Lilly looks at me with a big smile on her face and says, "Mommy, let's drink this pop and then we can burp REALLY loud when we're done!"

That's my girl!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Have you Thanked a Veteran Today?

Today is Veterans Day. I don't feel that I need to write some huge post waxing all sentimental about all the things that Veterans have done for us as a country. The post would just be too large and probably exceed some limits here on Blogger. Besides, most veterans I know would wave that off and say it was all part of the job. So, all I'll say is a very simple and completely heartfelt...


Monday, November 10, 2008

Dear Animal Food Makers

Dear Animal Food Makers:

Thank you for changing the packaging that holds your animal food. You have finally realized that paper does not hold 50 lbs of dog, cat or horse food long enough to make it into the cart at the store, let alone into your car, then across the yard/driveway, into the house and into whatever container it will stay in until consumption. I am glad that you have finally figured that out.

Unfortunately, your current choice of packaging has it's issues as well. I love that you have reinforced the bags so cats, dogs, mice, whatever cannot get into them. However, you seem to have forgotten that us humans DO need to get into them. The rip/pull tags that you put need to come off of the bag in bigger than 1" sections in order for the bag to actually open. When that pull tag is no longer a viable option to open the bag, one normally goes to ripping a hole in the bag itself. I discovered tonight that what you say is true! The bag will not rip open and is now sturdier than ever! It won't ever rip open when you take a screwdriver to it, or a pitch fork. When you do that, it only leaves minuscule holes that you cannot rip to make a bigger hole. Bravo! As a matter of fact, the only thing I could find that worked was to pound and rip at the bag with the jagged edge of a lawn-mower fender. It worked, but just barely. Thank goodness my husband has jagged lawn-mower fenders laying around for just such purposes!

Lastly, I'd like you to write a letter of apology to our neighbors, who were in their driveway. They live far enough away, but I think they may have heard the ruckus of tonight and could possibly think that some foul play was involved. After all, I had the privilege of opening up a cat, dog and horse food bag tonight (let's all run out of food at the same time, shall we?), all by myself, in the barn, with cats meowing, a dog barking, 2 horses neighing at me, and one of those horses pawing at the ground as well. They were getting a bit impatient. So was I. When all the animals quieted down (after I yelled at them to shut it) all the neighbors could hear was the dull thwack and thump of my fender, my curses, and the now silent animals. I fear they may think I did something to them. So please, write them a simple note explaining the cause of my frustration. I'd really appreciate it.

Oh, and make the bags a little easier to open. Please?


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Remember this post, asking for help? Well, you all gave me some pretty spectacular ideas. I had so many wonderful quotes and scriptures to choose from, but something about the one I did choose just stuck in my head.

When people see the quote (it's been up for a few days) they either nod their head, smiling at the concept, or they ask what it means. Well, to do something with abandon means to do something with "unrestrained freedom of action or emotion" So if you do that wildly, you get wild abandon. And who couldn't use some cookin' or lovin' with wild, unrestrained freedom of action or emotion?! I'm just sayin'...

And while I'm just sayin' things, I have something else. If any of you are looking to get some of these great wall vinyls (which were super easy to put up) I highly recommend Fruitful Vines Creations. Tonya, the owner, is a super sweet lady who went completely above and beyond, answering all my silly questions and helping me out tremendously. I am thinking about getting some more of these and if I do, she is most certainly the person I will buy them from. I hope you all consider the same!

Please disregard the rest of the kitchen...I am in the process of peeling that awful wall-paper off between the cupboards and the counter-tops. And don't get me started on the counter-tops. If I get my way, they'll be on their way!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The End of an Era

We looked at dozens of cribs, way back in the fall of 2000, before we found one that we liked. It was perfect--beautiful wood and solid construction, it converted to a toddler bed for future use and had built in drawers to hold extra sheets and blankets. We were so happy to have found the perfect bed for the little one we were expecting and any future siblings he or she may have.

Now here it is, November of 2008. That beautiful piece of furniture above has been in our house for over eight years-the most consistent furniture we've had except for the dressers Andy and I have for our clothes. We have gotten new beds, new couches, new tables. We have changed the sheets and blankets hundreds of times, laid down three different princesses to sleep for thousands of naps and bedtimes. All those years, it's been that crib that has stood in our house. And now we no longer need it.

Yesterday I took the crib over to my friend's house. She is due with #2 in 7 weeks and her oldest (who will be 2 in December) is showing no signs of giving up her crib yet. Like most parents, they aren't pushing her. So the new baby needed a crib and we had one that was no longer in use. The timing was perfect, so we lent them the crib. It is no longer in our home.

It is a very bittersweet thing, indeed. I am so happy and grateful to have three beautiful girls who are thriving, growing and healthy. They are moving into new stages in life and leaving behind the old. Each new stage is wonderful and fun and a learning experience for us all. But now, a very big stage is no longer a part of our lives. The crib is no longer needed, the baby stage is over. There will be no more babies of our own that will sleep in that crib. Our girls all sleep in big-girl beds. They talk and walk and communicate and so many wonderful things. But there's something about that crib...

Monday, November 3, 2008

We Went to See the Wizard

But all we found were some family and friends, lots of candy, a few belly-aches and some tired kids. Don't you just love Halloween?