Thursday, December 13, 2012


I lost my buddy, my best friend, the one who truly adores me when no one else did, last week.  My lab, Zeus, would have been 12 1/2.  Hard to believe.  For about the last year and 1/2 he developed a neurological issue with his back legs.  He lost muscle mass, he lost control of what his legs would do, he needed rugs to get from room to room and couldn't climb but two steps.  I loved him no less, I adapted his environment to meet his needs.  I'ts what we do when we love something.  Over the summer, he seemed to digress a bit, it was hard for him to even use those two steps to get outside and if he got caught on tile, he went down.  He was still his loveable self, always waiting for me at the window when I got home.  He is now buried in our back yard, the place he owned.

I miss him so, who knew a heart could be so broken for a dog...but he wasn't just any dog.  I wanted to document some of the things to remember about him here, so I would never forget. 

  • He loved to sleep on the ottoman in our living room, especially if I was in the chair, so I had to buy a leather one (hair).
  • He loved to chase the quadrunner around and around while Bernie pulled the boys on the sled, then the girls...he tried so hard, but it was too much the last couple of years.  He'd just sit and watch...
  • You could tell time by Zeus, 6:30 am and 4:30 pm, as this ol boy never missed a meal!  He always let us know it was TIME!
  • He was a gentle giant, 125# at one time and he never, EVER bit anyone.  He loved everyone he met and was always happy to see you.  He thought everyone was there to see him!
  • He loved grapes, which is really a no-no for dogs, but at his size, it did not harm.
  • He loved to swim in the neighbors lake, chasing geese.  He'd swim half way out chasing them, then have an "oh $hit" moment and realize he'd better turn around or run out of gas.
  • He slept on his bed next to me for 12 years, until he couldn't climb the stairs anymore...I miss the comforting sound of his breathing next to me...or his dreaming!
  • Each time we brought a daughter home, he wasn't jealous, he was kind and gentle.  Abigail was very afraid of him, but he made it easy for her to love him.
  • He sat by the front window waiting for me to come home. 
  • He loved snow. 
  • He loved ME.unconditionally.
  • I miss him so.

Monday, October 22, 2012

First Swim Meet {Phantoms}

Abigail joined the swim team at our local YMCA this year after encouragement from Livi's swim teacher.  They have a large group of 8 and unders and its a mixed bag of skills!  The goal really is to beat your previous time and become a better swimmer.  Her first meet was Saturday about 30 minutes from home.  We arrived and were ushered into the auxiliary gym to wait for her events.  Glad we listened to the pros and brought our chairs, snacks and blanket to sit on.

We played cards, we ate munchies, the girls played in the play area and finally, event #55 - yes, #55, rolled around, which was Abigail's first event.  She did the 50 freestyle, then the 25 breast and ended the night day with a freestyle relay as the very.last.event. 

 {on the block}
 {Ab's feet going in}

{scoreboard - I won't tell which is hers}

SEVEN hours later, we were on the road to home, exhausted but happy! 

After getting over her nerves, she did an awesome job!  Let me just say there is no where to go but UP from here ;)  How cute those little ones are and what a long nice day we had...we are very proud of Abigail!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

An Update {The Thumb}

Olivia's surgery took about three hours on Friday.  The wait wasn't horrible until that last 15 minutes or so, oy vey...Anyway, we finally got back to see her and talk to the surgeon who was VERY pleased with himself how things came out.  He shared a couple pictures, one of which I will post at the bottom for those who don't care to see...its not really graphic and its an awesome sight to behold.  We are very hopeful that it will function just as it is meant to!

 {so sweet}
{waiting patiently for the dr. to come take her back}

Livi's pain was high on Friday and Saturday but I am telling you, this girl is a rock star! 

{in recovery, safe in daddy's arms trying to wake up}

{literally an hour after coming home, reading cards from her classmates}

By Sunday she was up and about, taking only ibuprofen and on Monday, we girls all went to lunch and shopping, and she did great!  I think she just forgot about it.  So I felt it would be okay to send her to school Tuesday, as she seemed fine.  Got a quick note from her teacher that she was indeed doing well and there was no complaining. Not even a mid day need for meds. 

She can wiggle her three fingers AND her thumb, everything is pink and pretty and we have high hopes that this will be a huge success!  Stay tuned!

{her thumb is below, how awesome is THAT?  God is good}

{Before - see where her thumb was removed previously}


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Another Surgery {Pollicization}

Well summer is over, school is on and the leaves are changing nicely here in Ohio. 

Our little girl, Olivia, is scheduled this Friday (tomorrow) for her second surgery.  This one is called pollicization (see below), where they rotate her index finger and drop it down, making it into a thumb.  Then they will also remove her rod, which was inserted back in February to help strengthen and straighten her arm.  The hope is to give her use of her right hand, which she has very little of at this point.  My gut tells me she is a lefty by default and will begin to use her right hand once its healed and ready to go.  And if you know Livi, she will do it with a smile on her face!

Clinical Example: Pollicization of the index finger for thumb reconstruction

Pollicization is the surgical creation of a thumb from a finger, usually the index finger. There are several techniques, but they have in common steps to shorten, rotate, and reposition muscles to achieve a functional and aesthetic result.

Its amazing what can be done in this day and age!  Would you join us in praying for Livi's comfort and for the surgeon's hands to be guided? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

END OF SUMMER {Beginning of School}

We had an exceptionally warm summer in OH this year, very thankful to have put the pool in last Fall and enjoyed it sooo much this summer.  The girls have become proficient swimmers and frankly, got tired of it towards the middle of this month.  Not me though.

Spent the last week before school started with them, shopping, swimming (alittle), fishing, festivaling, lazing about; just enjoying the dog days of summer.

We went to the Main Street Festival in an adjoining town and both girls rode some rides and got their faces painted.  What a joy THAT was to get off them...

Yes, there was a bit of pizza mingled in...

Baba had taken them fishing early in the week and they had caught MANY fish!  Well they wanted to go again so I ventured along.  We didn't have the same kind of bait and the fishing wasn't so good, but they had a great time and I was amazed how well they can cast.  I never perfected that move, its like throwing a frisbee, can't do that either!

The above were from round 1...

and these ^ were from round 2, not so successful!

The following day, the girls went back to school...SECOND GRADE!!!
We have a new superintendant and he was riding on their bus when it came, so they got their picture in the local newspaper as well...pretty cool!
 They were up and ready to roll, there were no tears this year and no looking back!

 Even old Zeus made the trek across the street to wait for the bus!

What a blessing these girls are to me, even though some days are difficult, I am so thankful they are in my life! 

As an FYI, Livi is having surgery again on October 5, it is called Pollicization, where they rotate her index finger and drop it down to make a thumb.  We are not going into this lightly and feel it will enhance the use of her hand.  She is excited and understands, and wants to have this done.  Please pray for the surgeons hands to be guided and for her healing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Locks of Love

I haven't been very blog worthy of late, just a lot of swimming and swimming going on at our place, between work and the hot hot temperatures.  It has been a great year to have a pool! 

Abigail has tried for the last three hair trims to have her hair cut to donate.  When we brought her home, she had had her hair cut VERY short by the orphanage, I'm certain in an effort to control pests.  So, we have let her hair grow ever since, only trimming bangs and two nice end trims, to get rid of split ends.  As I said it's been VERY hot here and I think that contributed to her desire for a cut.  I should also point out that she likes her sisters hair, which is amusing since Olivia dreams to have loooonnnggg hair like Ab one day.  Anyway, she decided it was time.  I got home from work and asked her if it was still time, to which she replied yes!

We headed over to Best Cuts, where we have gone before and the nicest gal was there to take care of us.  She separated Ab's hair into five sections, asked her one more time if she was sure (yes!) and off it came.  She had about 11" of donatable hair as we had about 3 taken off a month ago.  She looks adorable with a little bob and I am so proud of her!  It was very difficult for me to watch, I teared up at one point, but I'm pleased with the outcome, all around.  Baba is out of town, so I texted him a pic, to prepare his heart...and I'm glad I did. 

 Isn't she lovely!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hi there, its been awhile!

"Summer" is in full swing at our place now.  Everyone is out of school, the boys are both working full time and the girls are being...well...the girls!  Let's get caught up, shall we?

In early May, we celebrated Olivia's 9th birthday, first at home on Mothers Day and then the following week with her very own FIRST party, at Chuck E. Cheese.  She was definitely the star of the show!

(waiting ever so patiently for friends to arrive)

The Birthday Queen
(credit to Sarah for pics, I haven't uploaded mine yet)

Memorial Day weekend was the inaugural pool party weekend, we all came away feeling like we had been on vacation for three days!  From swimming, to eating and drinking, to marshmallows over the fire pit, we were so very thankful for this time with family and friends, while not forgetting what we were "celebrating"; so thankful for those who serve or have served. 

Night swimming was in order for the big kids, they had a great time taking underwater pictures and acting goofy!  Thankful we never took the Christmas lights off the barn! ;)

The girls had a final First Grade picnic at school where memories were made.

We also took a trip to the Hartville Flea Market and bought strawberries, so Daddy could make a nice batch of his famous strawberry jam!  It's the best!! (He ain't too shabby himself)

And rounding out the update, what could be better than a night in mommy's bed while daddy is traveling for work {I could think of MANY things}...who knew this was such an exciting event!?

Blessings to everyone for a wonderful, healthy, CONTENT summer~  Let's talk soon!