About Ruby

My big-eared friend

My big-eared friend

I find myself calling her “Ruby-Lou.” She is recorded as a stray in California and was transported to the Humane Shelter up here, because the ones down there are overcrowded. She’s listed to be a German Shepherd/Husky mix, which seems right, except she is super mellow and has spotted feet. Also, they guessed she is two years old and healthy, although at her vet check, the vet guessed 2-4 years old.

When you walk through a echoing, concrete room full of dog kennels, you know those pups are under some serious stress. Although they are safe, fed and given necessary veterinary care, it’s just not a relaxing, homey place. All the dogs respond in their own way. Some are vigilant, some are watchful, some whine, some bark, some come up to be petted, some come and jump on the gate, some stand wary, some ignore you and some just look plain scared. Ruby sat. She sat not far from the gate and looked up at us. She got up and came to us when we stopped at the gate and permitted what pet we could manage through the fence. She looked about as happy and relaxed as could be possible in a place like that.

Ruby walked to the visiting room with very little pulling on the leash. Tongue hanging and eager to get out and about, she came right up to us once she was in the meeting room. She came so close, in fact, that I found her pretty much on my lap… not shoving herself there, but somehow just being there. Reminds me of my kids… how do they end up on my lap with a book that I’m reading when I am sure I said “not right now” two minutes ago? So, she’s a bit of an opportunist and a little needy for companionship. But she didn’t wiggle or behave obnoxiously, so that was good. She’d been spayed just the day before.

So she came home with us. We’ve just had her for five days. She has never been house trained and she has more energy than she did at first… poor thing going through all those transitions after a spay. She loves to just be with us and she is great with all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood. Only sad thing is that she’s not loose to play with them like she’d love. (Our house is the only one with a fenced yard.) I’ve been grateful for the dry weather so I can leave her outside for awhile now and then. I really enjoy the relaxation of sitting outside with her (often with her next to me) but I am really just hoping she’ll go potty so we can go back inside. She’ll catch on.

Twice she’s been loose when our chickens came through the fence into her part of the yard. Both times she’s chased them, but backed off when I hollered at her. Neither time did she do anything but look curious when the chicken went to ground and was still.

So…. I’m hoping. Hoping, hoping hoping. I’m hoping we get to keep her. I’ve never seen a sign of anxiety out of her and she just loves all of us, even Jordan who hasn’t learned to be nice. Her German Shepherd therapy dog side is strong and I’m hoping it will overpower her youthful tendencies. Honestly, I’ve fallen in love with her and I’m scared it won’t work out. I really love a furry shadow in the house, even that yappy, nippy tiny Missy that we had for a couple months.

Here’s hoping! And praying.

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Thankful

Anna is getting close to 8 years old!

Anna is getting close to 8 years old!

I’m thankful that Anna’s neighbor friend had the presence of mind to run for help when Anna cut her leg on the barbed wire.
I’m thankful for kind neighbors who carried her home.
I’m thankful that the urgent care was open to stitch Anna up. (they were locked up when we left)
I’m thankful that the doctor and the nurse were patient and kind.
I’m thankful that the pharmacy was open to fill Anna’s antibiotics prescription to fight possible infection. (they locked up while we were in there too)
I’m thankful that a frightened heart was encouraged by a $1.49 caramel steamer from Starbucks and the memory of doing it before with her Grammy.
I’m thankful for a husband who held down the fort and had hot waffles ready when we got home.

Anna’s cut was just shy of 5″ long and needed 19 stitches. It took eight novocaine shots to numb it and that was really hard… Anna is amazing. Love her. Phew. First set of stitches ever for anybody in our family, including Brian and myself.

Four days after stitches:

The outside of her right leg.

The outside of her right leg.

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Blah blah blah

Hello world! I don’t know why I haven’t blogged. Been busy with just living everyday life, I guess. And I’m out of candy at my desk. Helps me to focus. Just kidding. Last night I took a deep, hot bath at 8:30pm and went to bed at 9pm. After just a couple tuck-ins of Carolyn, we got up for the day at 8:15am. I think I am still running a little slow. Brian and Anna are at church but I’m in my pajamas putting Carolyn’s cape and dressup on while my tummy grumbles for breakfast.

Ok, I just uploaded some pictures and videos from the camera to the computer and are my kids ever cute! I’ll share in just a minute. The most absorbing excitement for me these days is anticipating my parents’ visit…. just a couple weeks away now! They get to be in the states for some weeks and I’m really looking forward to being on the same side of the planet for awhile. Yes, we talk on skype and chatting, but there’s something intangible and disagreeable about the looooooong distance between us. They’ll arrive on my Dad’s 57th birthday! Think I should let them rest from jet lag a little before making the carrot cake? Maybe I won’t… then more of the cake will be for ME. ;-)

Most of the pictures and videos were taken by Anna as she wandered around getting pictures for our “Field Guide” that shows plants and animals on our property. Our septic clogged (oh no!) and they went out and took lots of pictures of the septic man who unclogged the drain pipe. Peee-yew, it was stinky.

Anna was taking pictures of birds to add pages to our [homeschool] Family Field Guide

Anna was taking pictures of birds to add pages to our [homeschool] Family Field Guide

Anna is getting close to 8 years old!

Anna is getting close to 8 years old!

Carolyn is so cute in the size 5 coat. (She is 2)

Carolyn is so cute in the size 5 coat. (She is 2)

Carolyn "digging"

Carolyn “digging”

Our poor, cute, fallen-apart mailbox, looking up the hill at the neighbors and a beautiful sky.

Our poor, cute, fallen-apart mailbox, looking up the hill at the neighbors and a beautiful sky.

Somebody confused the weather and the grass is growing, the frogs croaking and trees budding!

Somebody confused the weather and the grass is growing, the frogs croaking and trees budding!

Our loaner vacuum. SO HAPPY to have my vacuum back from the shop!

Our loaner vacuum. SO HAPPY to have my vacuum back from the shop!

Everybody knows that Carolyn is cute. Anna even takes pictures mostly of her.

Everybody knows that Carolyn is cute. Anna even takes pictures mostly of her.

Blurry adorableness.

Blurry adorableness.

Carolyn isn't interested in having her own pillow. Brian was trying to sleep in here...

Carolyn isn’t interested in having her own pillow. Brian was trying to sleep in here…

Anna found bird tracks.

Anna found bird tracks.

I think she called these deer tracks, but I'm not so sure.

I think she called these deer tracks, but I’m not so sure.

Brian has been developing a tabletop RPG that the kids can play too. I've never played any kind of tabletop rpg, so it was fun to watch.

Brian has been developing a tabletop RPG that the kids can play too. I’ve never played any kind of tabletop rpg, so it was fun to watch.

The papers show the "rooms" and they were one room away from the big boss, the Giant Slime! (They are fighting snakes here)

The papers show the “rooms” and they were one room away from the big boss, the Giant Slime! (They are fighting snakes here)

Legos rule! These are our characters. Sorry, I don't remember the names just now, but I know there's a Kung Fu Panda, a Phoenix, a Nameless Warrior and two others.

Legos rule! These are our characters. Sorry, I don’t remember the names just now, but I know there’s a Kung Fu Panda, a Phoenix, a Nameless Warrior and two others.

This is what Carolyn does when the big girls go to AWANA.

This is what Carolyn does when the big girls go to AWANA.

More morning snuggles.

More morning snuggles.

See! I took this just now - Carolyn getting into dressup while I type the blog post.

See! I took this just now – Carolyn getting into dressup while I type the blog post.

So I’m still taking medication for depression, which is good, though I wish we managed to get the perfect medication on first try. I still have occasional counselor appointments and I find them very helpful. We’re still homeschooling and it’s going well. Anna wrote a short story about Unicorn Land (“Unacon Land”) that was pretty great. I find I wish I had more second-graders to compare her to so that I’d know how we’re doing. But I try not to worry about it too much. She is learning to read, write, and do math. She is learning to be more competent in home chores and is learning lots of interpersonal skills within the family as well as with friends. I think she is learning “how” to learn…. how to research, how to take notes, how to “try” something (experiment), how to dance and she is learning to type and play computer games too. Ha.

Brian and I sat down and wrote down a family goal. You know, the thing that’s even more important than all the extra stuff we do. It tried to give substance and encouragement to the unspoken mission/purpose of our family.
Family Goal: To learn and practice agape love with grace.
Agape love is a Greek word that is used in the Bible. It describes a love that focuses on doing what is best for the other person. Everybody in our family needs to learn and practice doing that. And we added the grace bit at the end. Grace is a hard word for me to define, because it can be applied in so many ways. A gracious gift is a gift that is given freely, without being earned and without strings attached. We want to offer agape love to each other with grace. Also, we want to accept agape love with grace… grace for ourselves in particular. Sometimes it is hard to accept love that is offered, but with a little grace… well, I hope you get the idea.

Let’s see. There is a mess of Valentine cards and candy hearts that I was suckered into buying sitting on my desk. There is an email in my inbox about an older Golden Retriever that we are considering adopting. We’ve considered a great many dogs, so my hopes aren’t up too high, but I do love a furry companion who adores me. Who wouldn’t? Aw – just ate one of the candy hearts and discovered I bought the tart kind. Rats. The girls are still hoping for snow this winter. So far it’s rain and frogs. It’s been in the low 50′s every day lately. So strange. I have a tiny spot of winter toes on my right foot. Guess I should have worn socks. Oh! I need to get some meat out of the freezer, because I am cooking today. I read an old “letter” from my dad last night about the trinity or not the trinity. It was interesting. Sorry there’s not much representation of Jordan in this post. He’s getting big and liking school and continuing to grown and develop. We love him. :-)

Obviously wrapping up here. I’ll post videos below when they’re uploaded:

Cute kids playing outside being video-taped by… themselves 3:30:

The girls outside digging holes 2:07:

The more typical quality of our kid-taped videos 3:28 (I don’t recommend you watch it all… you’ll get motion sickness):

Carolyn watching her abc song/movie before bed:

Goofy kids doing what they do best 1:37:

Video of the family playing the RPG for the first time 0:39:

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Two Carolyn Videos

I think two might be the most adorable age ever.

Resident two-year-old

Resident two-year-old

Didn’t know stuttering could be adorable, did you? Here’s Carolyn in my bedroom this morning:

“Don’t take picture me!” Mom and Dad – see that giant pile of blankets in the living room on the cedar chest? It’s always there. The kids use it for book time and for making forts, but I think you’ll find them wonderful for wrapping around your shoulders soon!

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Christmas and New Year!

Christmas was really special and not stressful this year. Brian had two weeks with almost no work… the first was full and busy, the second was quiet and involved lots of computer games and sleeping in and hanging with the immediate family stuff. Good, good times.

Time to unstuff stockings!!!

Time to unstuff stockings!!!

Watching the kids look at their stocking gifts was so much fun this year. They were all so into it!

Watching the kids look at their stocking gifts was so much fun this year. They were all so into it!

Carolyn was SO, so so so SOoooo cute! She kept saying, "Oh my goodness!" and when we asked her what else was in there, she would say, "I don't know!"

Carolyn was SO, so so so SOoooo cute! She kept saying, “Oh my goodness!” and when we asked her what else was in there, she would say, “I don’t know!”

Jordan woke up just as the girls finished their stockings! He loves to slide down the stairs this way.

Jordan woke up just as the girls finished their stockings! He loves to slide down the stairs this way.

Piles of presents and lots of love.

Piles of presents and lots of love.

Where is Maggie?

Where is Maggie?

Mid gift-opening, Carolyn got sleepy and shy and snuggly and curled up in Brian's arms.

Mid gift-opening, Carolyn got sleepy and shy and snuggly and curled up in Brian’s arms.

Grammy and Anna with her new scarf from Grammy and some gifts.

Grammy and Anna with her new scarf from Grammy and some gifts.

Jordan opened his gifts in a quieter room when we were done.

Jordan opened his gifts in a quieter room when we were done.

He loves all his new singing toys!

He loves all his new singing toys!

Carolyn loves her new dolly from her Papa!

Carolyn loves her new dolly from her Papa!

Anna took many photos of all the cousins, trying to pose them.

Anna took many photos of all the cousins, trying to pose them.

Very few kids were willing to be bossed around for photos, but there are a few cute pictures!

Very few kids were willing to be bossed around for photos, but there are a few cute pictures!

Family hiking is SO FUN when you get to look at Carolyn every minute of the time. She was so stinking adorable.

Family hiking is SO FUN when you get to look at Carolyn every minute of the time. She was so stinking adorable.

It was cold, but clear and still and beautiful.

It was cold, but clear and still and beautiful.

Watching a little waterfall (I'm on the side of it) and getting to climb on stuff!

Watching a little waterfall (I’m on the side of it) and getting to climb on stuff!

Stomping down the path!

Stomping down the path!

Anna is an amazing helper. I keep having to find new ways to say "thank you" to her. Here she is helping Carolyn down the slippery downslope.

Anna is an amazing helper. I keep having to find new ways to say “thank you” to her. Here she is helping Carolyn down the slippery downslope.

Vision of a memory.

Vision of a memory.

Videos:
Carolyn opening her stocking cuteness 1 and 2

Jordan opening his stocking (he participated!!!!!!!!!!!)

Jordan with his two favorite stocking gifts:

Christmas afternoon:

Trying to get a picture of the cuteness of Carolyn running on the trail and capturing the sights and sounds of the northwest:

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