Monday, November 29, 2010

Copper's Overhaul

Copper (our beagle) was our first "child". When it was just the three of us we doted on her and gave her tons of attention. We brushed her teeth and got her regular cleanings, made sure her vaccinations were up to date and that she always had a new squeaky toy to play with. But ever since the human children have come around, Copper has moved on down the totum pole and we just haven't taken as good of care of her has we should have.

A few weeks ago, Copper came down with a horrible cough. It was the kind of cough that came from deep in the belly and just sounded miserable for her. We decided it was bad enough to warrant a visit to the vet (where she hadn't been in close to 6 years). She must have understood us when we told her where we were goiing. She absolutely refused to put on her leash and get into and out of the car. As soon as we were in the door she was trembling uncontrolably. She refused to move her legs so I had to carry her the whole time! Poor thing was scared out of her mind, but at least that made it easier for them to examine her. She let them do whatever they wanted without so much as a peep because she was so scared. The diagnosis was possible Valley Fever (which thankfully turned out negative) or some other upper respiratory infection, as well as a raging ear infection in her left ear. When they told me she had an ear infection, it was like a little light bulb went off. So that's why she will sometimes yelp if you pet her head the wrong way, and why she doesn't seem to hear us very well anymore. We had just attributed that to the fact that she is 12 years old.

During her examination, I was scolded about the condition of her teeth. Some people might have been offended by the mild tongue lashing I received, but frankly, I knew I deserved it. They were really bad. Trust me. So we decided to purchase an annual health plan for her that included a dental cleaning and would ultimatley save us money with everything else we needed done that day. We left with many lovely prescribed parting gifts.

Thankfully the cough disappeared pretty quickly and the ear infection was gone in a couple weeks. After getting the clean bill of health, she was ready for her dental cleaning, which we did on Saturday. Nothing is ever as easy as it sounds, is it? During her cleaning they found 11 infected teeth that need to come out. If they don't the infection could spread to her internal organs and could ultimately be fatal, so we of course plan to have that done. Poor girl is going to need Doggie Dentures! They assured me she will be able to continue to eat her dry food after everything is all healed up, even with missing all those choppers, and that removing these teeth would greatly improve her quality of life. So that's next on the to do list. By the time 2011 rolls around, Copper will have had the complete overhaul! She'll be a whole new puppy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The holiday season is officially in full swing, and it couldn't have been brought in any better than it was with our thanksgiving celebration. It was truly a wonderful weekend full of family and friends. We have so much to be thankful for! (Unfortunately, not one picture was taken of the festivities all weekend. I should be shunned from the blogging community!)

I have long ago conceded the Thursday of Thanksgiving to other family members. I love to make the food and have lots of people over to enjoy it, but it just doesn't work out that way with the other sections of the family. So what I have started doing is celebrating Thursday with family at someone else's house and then cooking my own meal on Friday for whoever would like to stop by. This has affectionately come to be known in our house as "Thanksgiving Friday".

This year we spent Thanksgiving day with Andrew's family in Avondale. It is always a blast getting together with the family out there. The kids love any chance they get to play with their cousins, so they were in heaven all day, and loved having their own children's table.

Funny story of the day: We had just arrived at my mother-in-law's house, and people were slowly trickling in behind us. We had been told that it would be a full house for dinner, and often times they will invite friends from church that we don't know, so it's not really a rarity that we would be sharing Thanksgiving with complete strangers. So, we were all hanging out together when the doorbell rings. Andrew answers the door and finds 4 people he doesn't recognize, all carrying side dishes and looking very confident about being there, so he lets them in because, as I said, that isn't unusual. So they all come into the kitchen and start introducing themselves to everyone, and everyone is looking around saying "who are these people". Then my father-in-law starts giving them a strange look and realizes they are in the wrong house. Maybe you had to be there, but it was so funny! We joked that if they were going to crash Thanksgiving, at least they brought their own food!

After filling up on dinner and dessert, it was time to go home and crash for the night to begin the next day's fun!

For our Thanksgiving Friday, we invited our small group from church to come and share in our meal, and they all happily accepted. The total head count was 10 adults and 10 kids. It sounds crowded, but it was so much fun! The kids had a blast playing football and other various games in the backyard, and which left the adults some time for good conversation and fellowship. The food all turned out really well and everyone seemed to enjoy it. I so wish I would have taken a picture of the turkey. it was beautiful. I've made quite a few turkeys in my day and while they have all been tasty, none have turned out LOOKING so good.

After dinner the guys took the kids to the park while the ladies hung back and cleaned up. It sounds so 1950's but it really was a good time, and I was so happy to have the help with the mound of dishes! Then of course it was time to dive into the pie! This year I made my very first fruit pie, a caramel apple pie, and it turned out so yummy! I'll definitely be making that again!

So another successful and fun filled Thanksgiviing is in the books. I am so excited for this Christmas season, and I hope we can make the most of every opportunity to create lasting memories for our family! Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Kindergarten Fun!

A couple weeks ago, Joshua's kindergarten class had planned a field trip to Mother Nature's Farm in Gilbert, and I planned to go with them. Unfortunately, on the day of the field trip it was raining, so his teacher decided to postpone the trip to the next day. Since the kids all had their hearts set on a fun day, she decided to take them over to the Family Life Center on the church campus, where there is none other than a roller rink! This was Joshua's first time on roller skates. All things considered, it sounds like he did pretty well. His teacher, Mrs. Harren, was nice enough to take some photos of their little adventure.

I think there was a lot of this going on that day...


Josh quickly learned that holding onto the wall prevented taking so many tumbles.

His little friend, Ava (who is completley head over heels in love with Josh) is a more experienced skater than most of the other kids. She was trying to help Joshua, and told him to let go of the wall and skate over to her, promising to catch him if he fell. Mrs. Harren caught this precious photo.

It wasn't the farm that everyone had planned, but a fun day was had by all anyway.

The next day proved to be sunnier, and so the farm was a go! It was such a cute little place, complete with hayride, pumpkin decorating and farm animals. It was a blast!

Here's our group of cute kindergarteners!

First order of business was a hayride.

The hayride dropped us off right in front of all of the animals. We found out that a litter of piglets had been born just 5 days before. Aren't they the cutest?

The rest of our day was super fun too. The photos can pretty much speak for themselves.

We had such a great time. I hope I can go on a few more of the field trips this year so I can spend more time with this great bunch of kids!