Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday Home School

Mark & Luke both got enthused about cartooning today & spent hours working on designs, mostly a pirate theme. (That's besides their regular lessons - wow! I was impressed!)  Nathan decided to "read" to Ben, who was trying to look at least a little bit interested.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Nathan, age 5
Ben, age 11

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Time For Another "Anti-Perfection" Shot

Yes, this is the way my laundry room/ mud room looks this morning. What a shock - both mud & laundry are present! 
I love the photos in magazines of perfectly organized & sparkling mud rooms, but seriously, this is a mud room
I'm going to leave the mud on the floor awhile longer 
in personal protest. :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Big 8 !

Mark had a belated birthday party & cake this week since my accident happened just in time for me to NOT get his cake made. 
I can't believe he is 8 - my precious first born rascal son!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Man Chores"

John started doing "man chores" (as Mark named them) with Mark several years ago. They would work together but also hang out & discuss guy things. It was a time that meant a lot to them & also to me. I loved that they were having meaningful Daddy & son time, not to mention that I got to be alone for awhile. :)

Seeing all four of my guys doing man chores the other day was such a delight to me. It was so much more than shoveling mulch. For me, it was a beautiful picture of answered prayer.  It's so cool how an ordinary event can equal something so awesome! I love how God does that!

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Morning (Warning: NOT a lesson in good parenting!)

I was tired this morning. Certain family members woke me up multiple times while it was still dark. At 7am I groggily instructed the boys to go pick out a video to watch for awhile so I could stay in bed a bit longer. (Always a bad idea, at least at my house)

It went like this:

*boys running to living room - bang, slam etc.
*one boy running back (waking me up again)
*"Mom, he always picks out the movies!"
*Me: "Wait and see what he picks. See if you like it."
*"OK"  - bang, slam, back to living room
*Feet running back to my room again - bang, slam, tap, tap on my shoulder. I am awake again.
*"Mom! Mom! He's going to pick a movie we don't like! He always does that on purpose!"
*Me: "Has he picked anything yet?"
*No, but I know he will!"
*Me: ##$%##*#!!!!! 
 (OK, not really, but that was my general mood!) 

Just keeping it real...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First Easter Eggs

Our first Easter together! We have all been home from Ghana for six months now - can you believe it?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Moving On...

It's hard to know just how to move on with posting after my last one about our sweet Hunter. But life does move on, like it or not, & honestly I am thankful it does. 

We went hiking with friends on the Appalachian Trail Easter Weekend and had a wonderful time - 80 degrees, sunny & many friendly wild ponies. I'll post pictures soon. On the way down though, I slipped on a large rock & sprained/tore my ankle. Ouch! My very chivalrous husband with the unstoppable biceps (he wanted me to add that last part!) got me back down the mountain to our van - 3 miles away! Now I find myself the "proud" driver of new wheels - a red wheel chair! It's all been such a good reminder to me that I really don't know what each new day will bring. Thank God I know Who will walk with me through whatever comes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

In Memory Of Hunter

Look at that sweet guy leaning up against John.

Our sweet, sweet dog, Hunter, died today and it was by our decision. We are crushed. We adopted Hunter at age 4 months. He had been found abandoned at 8 weeks old & had spent the next 6 weeks in an animal shelter. He temperament tested very well & we were thrilled with him. He was the softest tempered German Shepherd I had ever worked with. Sweet, sensitive, & kind, with a lot of "goofy" mixed in. I did a lot of training and socialized him well. He passed both his "CGC" (Canine Good Citizen) and his "TDI" (Therapy Dog International) tests just after he turned one. The testers at the dog training club kept asking us where we got this fantastic dog.

At about age two he began showing atypical and un-Hunter-like behavior. He would "see" something dangerous on a spot on the floor where there was absolutely nothing. Then he started to show anxiety in enclosed areas, like in a hallway or a small kitchen. We talked with our vet & got the diagnosis we suspected, but found so bizarre: canine mental illness. People can have mental illness, but animals? Yes! The vet said it wasn't really common but he had seen it before. The theory is that maybe it is caused by irresponsible in-breeding. That could easily be the reason in Hunter's case since we rescued him & don't know about his origins.

So, today, we had to make a horrible decision. We had tried medication.
We had done our work already with his training & socialization.We had prayed. (Some might think it's weird to pray for a dog, but I pray about everything.) Two aggressive incidents happened this past month- so unlike our sweet boy!!!! John & I just decided that we were not willing to risk the safety of our children. We knew it was the right thing but oh the pain... if you're not an animal person you have no idea of the pain.

Today at the vet clinic our sweet, kind, dog growled at the vet. That was NOT our Hunter. That was him very sick. I so HATE mental illness! I HATE it! It is such a robber of joy & life in so many people & even, I have learned, in animals.

I am coming away from this, with even more hatred for this cruel form of illness & with even more compassion for people who suffer from it. I think there is still a lot of ignorance regarding mental illness & that is so sad.

Let's go do it!