Thursday, November 27, 2008

Being Thankful

Today is the day to give thanks. I am most thankful for my husband. This man supports our family, makes us laugh, can maintain a balance (that I often loose), cooks for us, and (besides my clothing choices) rarely utters a word about my quirks and general craziness.

I am thankful for Bridget. She always reminds me of the beauty in things.

I am thankful for Becca. She always makes me laugh.

I am thankful for my mom. She always tells me the truth.

I am thankful for my sister. She always reminds me of the other side of things.

I am thankful for my brother. We may not chat a lot, but I know he is just a phone call away.

I am thankful for my job. It is not glamorous. It is frustrating. It is perfect for our family right now though.

I am thankful for my mother and father-in-law. They always help out with babysitting, repairs, and lawn mowing.

I am thankful for our home. We were able to buy a house this year and I just love it.

I am thankful for my friends. I am lucky to have and know them all. I am especially blessed to have a life-long friend in Norma.

I am thankful for wonderful neighbors. This is a blessing I never thought about having.

I could do this all day. I am also sad today. Thanksgiving Day's of past, always meant a family gathering with Gramma. A big lunch with my family and a big dinner with Schaun's. It was hectic and way too much food with two big meals--but I will always miss that feeling. Now Gramma is gone, I will always miss her the most on this day.

With the loss of one tradition, we are going to try and start a new one. We are going to have a big Thanksgiving Breakfast. It was Bridget's idea and I think it is a great one.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends!

Friday, November 21, 2008

1 bird, 2 bird,and 8 birds more!

Let me tell you something about my husband and myself. We both like pets. It is a great thing we both feel this way--there would be problems otherwise. We both grew up with animals around us. Since we have been married we have had more pets than some people will EVER own. Here is the long story of how it happened.

Let me just start with my apartment in Lawrence. My (at the time) soon-to-be husband and I adopted a couple dwarf hamsters, a rabbit, and a lovebird. Well, wait....maybe the lovebird came later. Oh I'm not sure. Anyways.....then we moved into out apartment and we got married. Joining us in this marriage was my cat Ice (that had been living with my mom while I was in Lawrence), the dwarf hamsters, a beta fish, and aquarium of fish, and the lovebird. Around this time we adopted our first dog, Belle and a kitten, Arthur. The rabbit did not join us--he was a miserable pet. Did you know that rabbits can growl? Well, they can my friend.

After a while the fish and hamsters died, then we gave the lovebird away (she wasn't very nice either, but I think that was our fault). A lady that I worked with was going to take her pet Yorkie to the pound because it wet on her new carpet. She owned the dog from puppyhood. It was 5 and she was just going to dump it. I felt bad for it. It was a Yorkie and I knew Schaun thought they were cool. So of course, she came to live with us too. Her name was Belle (just like the first dog) but because of her oily Yorkie hair that didn't get bathed enough, she eventually got re-named Stinky.

Now unless I'm forgetting--Oh! Mice. Let me mention quickly. Quickly because mice should not be pets. They are yucky rodents. There is a VERY funny story associated with the stupid mice and Ice. (Remember Joanne?) We also adopted a leopard gecko. That was sort of cool, but getting the crickets for it was a pain. It did not live a very long time either. Around this time is when Daisy found us. She was the cutest little Dachshund puppy that wondered into our yard. We just let her in and there she stayed.

For a long time we had the 3 dogs and 2 cats. Then something happened to our cat Arthur. Somehow this indoor cat got hepititis and died from it. That was while I was pregnant with Becca. Around that same time, just a few weeks, Stinky's heart gave out and she died too.

When Bridget was two we set up an aquarium. We never took great care of the fish tank. Most of the time you could see in it, but the water was never totally clear. When we moved this past March, the water looked like a pond--a dirty pond. You couldn't even see in it. You know what though? There were still a ton of fish still alive in it. A nice teacher came and saved them from us.

We moved into our new house this year with a very old cat and dog, Ice and Belle and Daisy. Ice didn't make it long after our move--she was 18 years old though (and I still miss her a lot). So we were down to just 2 dogs. The girls had been after me to have their own pets. I told them that as long as we had Ice, we couldn't have little critters that she might eat. So after Ice we brought home Freddy and Barney, guinea pigs, along with Lucky and Jinx, gerbils. Shortly after we adopted the girls rodents, we brought Ruby the Golden Retriever home. If ever there was a dog that should be with us--it is Ruby! Then we sadly lost Belle. I think that was in August.

Growing up, I had zebra finches. I loved them and have wanted birds ever since. Ice was a sweet cat. Totally declawed, but she was a hunter. I didn't dare have things she could kill (the pet mice were sitting ducks for her). So a few weeks ago I got some Society finches. I wanted the Zebra finches, but Schaun talked me into the Society's. I brought home 2 from the pet store. Then last week a lady on Craig's list needed to get rid of some Zebra finches. I brought home those 3 birds. The pet store said they couldn't tell what sex the Society finches were. Guess what? They are male and female. Within days of setting them up here, there were eggs in the nest. I thought that I could have 2 females. They will lay unfertilized eggs. Nope--not here. Those eggs started to hatch this week. So far there are 5 baby chicks in there (with 1 eggs not hatched yet). It is pretty cool watching them though. The first one that hatched looks double its size from Monday.

This is not the end of my very long pet story. The lady that I got the 3 Zebra finches from emailed me. The 3 she gave me were 3 out of 4 babies that her original 2 Zebra's had. She kept the 4th one because it was a mutation which is all white. Well, it seems that the parent birds were not being nice to the lonely, left behind sibling. All the sibling birds are happily reunited now in my living room.

The end. For today.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You didn't miss much

Things were pleasantly boring this week. Well, almost. Schaun had some turmoil at his job that almost made me hysterical. Things are (hopefully) fine now though. Cheerleading is over, so running around for that is done. The only event this week was dance for the girls. Dance is much improved this year. Bridget's class is learning more techniques and Becca's teacher really has the little ones excited about starting to learn for the recital.

Oh! I did have a Daisy Scout meeting on Monday. I was not prepared for it. I should have been doing that (preparing) the week before. Which brings me back to thoughts of Gramma.

We had a memorial service for her last Friday (not yesterday). It was a very nice service. Since she didn't want a service at all, we probably made her mad. It helped though, especially Bridget. I was feeling like I reached a stable place in dealing with her being gone--until last night. Now I'm feeling very sad about it again. Maybe it was my mom telling me how she is getting paperwork finalized. I don't know. Maybe it is because we tried to go visit on Saturdays and since school started and things were happening on Saturdays, we didn't go often enough. Now my Saturdays are free again, and she is gone. Regrets.

On the other hand, the Holiday season seems to be here. We are doing a Secret Santa exchange at work. I got my person's name yesterday, and that will be fun. I have pulled out stockings to make for Schaun and me. I don't know if I will have time to finish them, but I will try. I bought a couple presents for the girls last night. Now I need to figure out where I am going to hide things until I wrap them on Christmas Eve. Ha! Maybe I will try to wrap presents earlier this year too!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Velma Barbara Rider

Velma Rider, 90 years young, of Overland Park, passed away on November 3, 2008 at Shawnee Gardens Nursing Home. Velma was born May 18, 1918 in Morristown, NJ to Rose and Herbert Copeman. She married her long-time friend, William E. Rider, settling in KC. Preceding Velma in death was her husband, her parents; her brothers Herb and Russ Copeman. She is survived by daughters Kathleen Tuttle, Overland Park, Barbara (Sam) Sangetta, Olathe; five grandchildren Kerry O'Brien, Kristin Greenwood, Kenton Tuttle, Nick Sangetta and Robin Hedstrom; six great-grandchildren; niece Christine Copeman and nephew, Herb Copeman. A Memorial Service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Friday, November 7, 2008 at Valley View United Methodist Church, 8412 W. 95th St., Overland Park. Memorial contributions to Wayside Waifs. Velma was a strong, supportive and loving matriarch to our family and will be sorely missed. She always reminded us that "nothing's so bad that it couldn't be worse from the moment you're born 'til you ride in the hearse". So long, we love you. Your family. Condolences may be shared with the family at (Arr: Cremation Society of KS & MO, 913-383- 9888)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

They just amaze and amuse me

First, the breaking news..........

In a VERY serious voice--running in the house from the backyard where she was playing--Bridget says "Mommy, I'm serious. I'm tired of my name. I don't want to be called Bridget any more. I want to be called wait......I want to be Silver Mist."

Ummmmmm, okay. Can you spell that?

There is a book fair going on at Blue River. After we took Bridget to school, Becca and I stopped in to shop. She picked up a book about the Solar System and was looking thru it. It was a cool but technical book with interactive pages. The front of the book had the Sun and the Planets on it--or so I thought. Becca looked at it, then turned it to me and said "Mommy this is wrong. They forgot Pluto."

I looked at what she was showing me, my mouth gaped open in astonishment. First she was right, but HOW DID SHE KNOW THAT? I looked at her (closed my mouth) and told her that she was right, it wasn't there. I then told her that some people think Pluto is a star and not a planet. I don't know where I got that information from. I don't have any idea if that is really true or not, but that is what I said.

She listened to me and then said "No, they forgot it. It IS a planet."

I believer her. If she can tell me that Pluto is missing when she is 4 , she must be right.

Sad, sad times

Yesterday my Gramma passed away. She was such an important part of my life. I will miss her so much. She lived a long life. She turned 90 years old in May. Here is a picture of us from her birthday.

Wishes and ruby slippers

This year for Halloween Bridget was a Dreamy Jeanie and Becca was Dorothy. We had a lot of activities to go to. First was the Daisy Scout party, then Becca's school party, next Bridget's school party, and finally trick or treating! Since I am working at Becca's school there was some pressure for the teachers to be in costume. So I went an easy route and was a scarecrow. This was the first year in our neighborhood and it was nice to stay home and walk where we live. Schaun had a good time too. He stayed home to pass out candy and hot dogs. dogs. He set up a table and his grill and people loved it!