Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloweenyness 2008

Halloween is never complete unless your 7 year old wakes up at 6 am and is too excited to sleep. It isn't complete until there is always a last minute costume change or lost pieces to someones costume and they are in tears. There always seems to be way too much fuss about the holiday for 7th and 9th graders who feel the need to wake me up in the wee morning hours to spike their hair, apply paint to faces, and rip clothes because they must look cool. Why do I send them to school on this day?

Then there is the elementary school festivities that brought me to and from school multiple times but I seem to enjoy it and volunteer for the duties. However, when I buy my almost-too-old-to-trick-or-treat children costumes that they do not wear at the last minute, well that inspires the giant toilet costume with money going down the drain that I threaten them with for the next Halloween.

We never seem to have time for a meal on Halloween and every year seem to be going through some drive through window. We actually carved our pumpkins the night BEFORE Halloween for the first time ever which was so much less chaotic. With all the fuss, it is this halloweenyness that makes for such special memories for my children. Each year I seem to flash back to when I was a kid on Halloween and remember it all over and over again. Now I know why I do it all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


About a week ago I heard the heartbreaking story of Emerson White. She is the daughter of a girl that went to high school with me in Michigan. Eme is a very sick little girl recovering from a huge transplant operation that brought her 3 new organs in an attempt to save her life. This operation was done in Omaha. Her mother has been by her side since the operation in June. This dear mother's husband and other two children remain at their home in Colorado. I can't imagine the strength it takes to endure such a process of waiting and hoping and separation. She keeps a blog which she updates pretty much every day. She needs everyones prayers! I will add the link below.
The reality of this sweet girl holding on to life has changed the way I look at my kids, hold my kids, and appreciate them. It makes me grateful daily to have children that can eat and not be fed by a tube. They can breath without a ventilator. They can move. With every day I am more aware of the fragility of our mortal bodies and strength of our spirits.
Isn't this why our Father in Heaven organized us into families? Who else but our family could endure such difficulties and stand side by side through good, bad, and impossible odds never giving up! To want to take the struggle away and place it on themselves instead. What a beautiful thing are families!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shilo Gets Sick

For everyone who wants to know what's going on with Shilo...
It's the strangest thing to see an animal as big as he is be helpless and about as close to death as any animal ever was. He collapsed after a run with Tony on Wednesday, October 8th around 4:30 in the afternoon. The time is only significant because it meant that it was too late to get him to a vet and because of course that was the day I was in charge of a big dinner at church and had been decorating and cooking for it all day. When it rains it pours!
After running the dog to the emergency vet with Christian in the makeshift stretcher (a big beach towel), our big healthy 105 lb dog was a mystery. The vet tried to run tests but his blood was so thick that he couldn't get it through the machine. His temperature was way to hot. He hooked him up to an iv and left him there overnight expecting that bad news phone call all night. In the mean time, I brought the girls to church and put them in a room to play. Conducted my meeting with an escaped daughter hanging on my leg begging for more beans and acted like I was in control. That was an oscar winning performance if there ever was one. What a night.
The next day they ran more tests, xrays, and tried to solve the mystery. We got possible answers such as rat poisoning, tainted dog food, toxic shock, dehydration, and finally today we are at snake bite/scorpion sting. Each day he was at the hospital we thought we'd have to go and say goodbye and everyday they saw improvements but told us not to be too hopeful. Tony never gave up hope on his puppy, it was just heartbreaking.
We brought him home on Saturday, October 11th after the vets told us there was nothing else they could do. Tony has been at his side cheering him on and force feeding him hourly. What an amazing act of love for that dog. Today he is still weak but walks around and is drinking and eating little bits on his own. The sad news is that the vets suspect organ damage. Who knows what that means for recovery. We decided just to enjoy him day to day and see what happens. If tlc and love can cure than this dog is gonna be fine.
The joke is the cost of all this. We say he has gone from a Golden Retiever to a PLATINUM retriever. Ugh...