Thursday, August 28, 2008

Gloomy Days...

Today, so far, is dark, rainy and dreary. And that's the mood inside our house as well. We found out yesterday that Colin's kidneys have failed completely, and they were unable to jump start them again. Today, after being shown how to give him hostice care, we will bring him home to die. There's no way to know how long we'll could be 2 days, it could be 2 years.

I'm thankful for my faith. The old me would've been angry with God...demanding to know why. At this point in my life I can accept that He has a purpose beyond my understanding. I'm very sad...crying all the time...feeling like a zombie. But at least I hold no anger and I have a bit of peace knowing Colin will be in God's hands. I told the kids that God must want Colin home, and that maybe He was opening out home and hearts to other kitties who needed us. Coincidentally, the vet has 2 boy kittens who need a home, together. It seems that when God closes one door, he really does open another. :)

And at the same time, I can be thankful that my kids are learning to cope with death this way, instead of the jolt of losing a "human" loved one. Although, it doesn't feel much easier at this point.

Not sure how good I'll be at getting back here for awhile. I'm supposed to be preparing for school to start, but we may spend that time creating memory books to celebrate our time with Colin. Thanks for listening to me work through my grief. Please keep us in your prayers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Prayers Appreciated

I took my "baby" to the vet this morning. Colin was my first pet after leaving home, hense being my "baby". Anyway, he was diagnosed with kidney disease about 2 years ago. Once we got past his "near death" experience requiring dialisys and 2 weeks at the vet, new special food, etc, he's been doing very well. But just yesterday, I realized how much weight he's lost very suddenly, how full his food bowl has been the last week, and discovered he's starting "nesting/hiding" in the back of my closet. Not good signs.

I may be just paranoid, and he's just not feeling good, but I'd rather be safe than sorry. I'm assuming he may need another round of dialisys, which is common for cats with the disease. Worst case...this is the end. He's only 11 years old, but life is a lot harder on the body when you have kidney disease.

Anyway, if you could remember Colin (and his stressed out mommy) in your prayers, I'd be very appreciative!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Family Fun Day!

Partly as a birthday event, and partly as an "educational family adventure," we headed out last week Friday Crystal Cave in Spring Valley. Neither Barry nor I had ever been there. It was a bit of a "tourist trap" with a gift shop for the kids to go nuts in, but it really was pretty cool. And I think that they were a great age to go for the first time. I'm sure I'll take them back again when we get deeper into geology.

Did you know there are only two places where you can experience absolute darkness? At the bottom of an ocean and in a cave. We experienced it....and yes, it is a bit spooky!

Since we were off to the East, I figured we'd grab a picnic lunch and head over to the Lion's Game Park in Menomonie. They have buffalo, whitetail deer (the poor one we saw wasn't looking too good), geese and elk. And they have a nice little nature trail to walk off the lunch you just munched! It was a beautiful day and we had a good time (exept maybe for Daddy, hobbling around on his bumm foot!)

We concluded our jam-packed day at WalMart, getting some groceries and what we needed for the "August Birthday Party" we had with the Crowell family the next day. We were sure tired after that! We came home and crashed on the couch to watch more Olympics. Go USA!!!
Speaking of...did you watch the women's beach volleyball team? They rock! Ever since I can remember, it's been my dream to play pro beach volleyball. You'd think I'd be getting pretty close to giving up that dream. At least I've given up the dream of playing in a bikini!!! :)

Grandma's Birthday Party

See, here's some pics I'm caught up with! :)

On August 10th we gathered at Joe & Heather's house to celebrate my Great-Grandma Louise's 92nd birthday. It was a beautiful day with fabulous (and tons) of food, great conversation and lots and lots of O'Brien hugs! And thank you to my cousin Cindy for sharing a few of her own fabulous pics!

Great Grandma & my mom...

My dad with Easton (he was FINALLY able to pull himself away from Avery!)
My kids in Heaven (oops! I mean the indoor pool)!
Heather singing...she's awesome!
Uncle Dale...."Well, I'm a long, tall, Texan....."

Alana & Easton...he was quite popular that day...

Happy Birthday, Grandma!!!

This Week

I'm so behind! Ugh.

I took Monday, Tues and Wed off of work this week for "teacher's inservice". That's what you can call "taking time off to try to get organized" when you're a homeschooler! :) I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my three days of being a SAHM (stay at home mom) and not working. When I commented to Barry that I feel so much more relaxed and happy, he got that "deer in the headlights" look. I really don't mind working...but some days it does feel like too much, between work, teaching, church activities and normal homemaker duties. But I digress...

I've made some progress...but the kind that you can't really see. In fact, Barry thinks I've just been hiding in my room watching the Olympics! But seriously, I'm a total paper magnet. I love paper. I collect paper. Why? I'm not sure, but the clutter sure causes my a lot of stress! So I'm trying find homes for all of my paper. And if I can't find space, it goes bye bye. I'm on my second garbage bag so far. Yeah! My goal is to at least start the school year ahead of the game.

Anyhoo....another of my goals this week is to get caught up on my pictures. I take WAY too many! And before I upload them to be developed, I touch every one of them to enhance them & change sizes and things. Well, August is always bad for me and pictures...between the Fair, 5000 family birthdays and such, I'm always overwhelmed. So, seeing as I've made some headway, I'll hopefully be making some additional posts this week, catching up on photos of our various August activities. So, stay tuned....

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Buffalo County Fair

Ok, so it took me a week to catch up on photos. But actually, for this time of year, a week ain't bad at all! I'm not a huge fan of the fair. Living a block away from the fair grounds, it just gets too loud, dirty, busy...and we spend way too much money. But the kids love it, so we go. Here are some highlights....

Yes, it's real. Yes, it's huge. Yes, it could eat my kids for snack. Yes, I held my breath. Yes, I hate snakes. Yes, my kids loved it!

Yes, when your kids, your life, is that far up in the air, you do replay every news story involving fair ride deaths over and over in your head while praying constantly til their feet are back on the ground. And then you hug them a little tighter...

We ran into the Lewis' at the fair. Claire is Erin's bestest friend, and all of the kids get along swimmingly. It was nice to have friends to ride with....

Yes, there is a reason that I'm always on the OTHER side of the camera! I wasn't smiling too much when we got off of the scrambler...
And the best part of the fair? Why, the pony rides, of course! The rode both days and loved every second. Well, not totally. There were those dang spotters holding onto the horse keeping the girls from riding the horses home. :) We're actually getting the girls riding lessons for their birthdays. That will give them even more ammunition to use against their poor father in their unending argument to buy a farm with horses. :)

Time is certainly NOT standing still...

You know that commercial with the "Easy button"??? Yeah, I'm looking for one that stops time. Just for a bit. For us mom's who are so behind it feels like we'll never catch up! When you find one, please let me know...

We had a busy weekend...again. Friday (after I worked...I shouldn't have worked) we cleaned all day for Erin's bday party at 3pm. Yes, it does take ALL day to clean our house. And we still had the last minute "stashing of piles in the bedroom", which, by the way, are on my to-do list today. Yuck. Anyway, the party was great and Erin had a great time. ***Pictures will be posted asap (as soon as I find that button!)

Saturday morning, after packing and picking in the garden, we left for mom & dad's. Sunday am we went to church at Eagle Brook. EBC, if you don't know, has now been classified as a "giga church", a far-cry from our small town church. I have mixed opinions about the whole thing, but I'll save that for another post. Regardless, it's a nice change of pace. After church, we headed for my sister's for ice cream cake and presents...Thanks Amy!!! Poor Amy had no idea my kids and hubby don't care for mint (she made mint-chocolate chip ice cream cake). I know, weird. But I loved it!

Then it was off to North Oaks for my great-grandma's 92nd bday party. Beautiful house, gorgeous weather, fabulous food, and lots of hugs! :) ***Pictures will be posted asap! We had to vanish quickly, as Cassie (our dog) had been alone at mom & dad's since 10am, and her bladder is not used to being home alone that long! Thankfully, we made it home in time! :)

Monday am the boys and kids went fishing, and we left for home about 11am. Whew! Then the work begins again! Laundry, cleaning, cooking, etc. Church activities are picking up again (I teach Sunday School, and serve on the Education and Stewardship committees) so fall is always a busy time. Plus, I'm still trying to get organized for "school" to start. Funny, we've been "schooling" all summer. :)

Oh! One happy note (not that my life as a whole isn't happy!) I got an email last night requesting another one of my layouts for Scrapbook Trends Magazine. It's one of my faves....of my dad reading the Christmas Story to the granddaughters. Yeah!

Ok, back to organizing, teaching, cleaning.....where is that button?????

Friday, August 8, 2008

Digging Out...

I know, it's been so long since I last posted. I'm trying to catch up!

Last weekend was the County Fair...I haven't even downloaded the pics yet. See, this week I got bitten by the purging/organizing bug. And when that happens, I just need to go with it! I've made a little progress, but not enough. Add to that the stress over school starting soon, and not being organized...and hense, me being behind on the blogging.

PLUS, today is Erin's kid birthday party. So, today's a bit of a stress. But hopefully the kids have fun. She invited 5 friends (one of those being her best friend's little sister...for Alana to play with...seriously!) Erin's birthday (and Barry's, too) is Saturday....Alana's is next Thursday.

Tomorrow morning we leave for Mom & Dad's again. Sunday is my Great Grandma's bday party in the cities, so we thought we'd just make a weekend of it. Plus, then they don't have to come down here to celebrate birthdays.

So, I guess I'll check back in early next week...hopefully with lots of pictures.

Have a great weekend!