Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Final School Days

Ella's Field Day..
 The girls beat the boys at Tug of War - Four times!!!  Way to go girls!
 Alyssa with her teacher, Mrs. Keorkunian
 Best Friends
 Only in our town, does a farmer show up with a traveling zoo.  He had baby goats, a bunny, chickens and something in a box.
 Last soccer game, she had the best coach ever!  Mr. Heller

Last Day of School

Miss Taylor took off with Austin way too early on the last day for pictures!  So I am going to get one this week and pretend it was taken her last day.  Sssh, don't tell! :)

The younger ones are always about photos and love a great photo shoot, so their last day was easy to document.
Last Day of 4th Grade
 Last Day of 2nd Grade
 How does one celebrate the kick off of summer?  With left over color run packets, of course!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

10th Wedding Anniversary

Brendon and I recently celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary!!  It's been quite a ride and I can't wait to see what the next 10 years bring us!  After Ally's soccer game we took off to a town just north of Muskegon called Montague.  We stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast called Amanda's Bequest.  It was in the country and certainly did not look like much.  But they were wonderful people and Valerie is an amazing cook!  Our room was adorable; the theme was 1920 Front Porch.
Valerie's pies have won awards!  And our breakfast the next morning started with pie!!  She said and I quote, "If Kellogg's can call a Pop Tart breakfast, then I can call pie breakfast!"  Now who is going to argue with that?!  It was the best pie I have never had!!
The first night we walked the pier at White Lake and had dinner at Old Channel Inn - which I do not recommend that place for dinner.  It was stuffy and the crowd was something you'd see at a Florida VFW.  But the pier was nice!
 Later we had drinks on the patio, downtown Montague - someplace with the word Harbor in it - that was a great place.  Great food, great drinks, great service...great views!
 Lighthouse on White Lake
 We took our time coming home and decided to stop in Grand Haven.
 Grand Haven Lighthouse

 It was a kite flying weekend, super fun to see all the different kites!
The weekend went much too fast but we had a great time!  A huge thank you to our niece, Jess for watching the girls so we could get away!!!

When I Grow Up....

This is hard to see, but so very sweet....

Foster for Dogs
By Alyssa

When I grow up I want to be a foster parent for dogs.
I want to help dogs that have had a hard life with people.
I want to turn dog's fears into beautiful things.
I mostly just want to help them find a better home.

Everyone once in awhile I catch a glimpse of something, and I know in that moment I am doing it right.  This is one of those moments.  I am a very proud mommy!

3rd Annual Mud Run!

The Kalamazoo Mud Run has been going on for 4 years and I am happy to say that I was in it for the third year in a row this year.  This time the girls did it with me.  Ella was pretty nervous, and quite upset to get mud under her nails!!  Ally was a demon and ready for all of it!!
 She was super excited!!
 It had rained a lot beforehand and the "mucky" mud was extra mucky.  It was so bad that there were patches of quick sand.  I got stuck once and it took two people to pull me out!  The second time all three of us got stuck!  Ally lost her shoes.  Ella started to cry and panic and I was not able to help her until I could get myself free.  I had to dig my feet out of the muck with my hands.  It was very hard!  But we did it!!
Pastor Solomon was there from Uganda and it was great to meet him.  He said that the money raised from these mud run events has given them the opportunity to drill 23 water wells in Uganda.  Each of those wells service 4,000 people daily.  Pretty cool to see that something so fun, also has a wonderful cause behind it!  Very proud of my girls!

Meet Sashi

Our newest foster dog came with a sad story.  At age 3 her owners had moved out of their house and left her locked and confined in a small kennel.  Neighbors had found the dog but sadly, they left her in the crate - while giving her food and water, they never let her out!  She spent several weeks in that crate.  Through word of mouth, a lady found out about her and took her with hopes of finding her a new home.  The lady ended up keeping her for four years.  Fast forward to earlier this month, the lady was transferred to this area from out of state rather immediately and the apartment that she rented does not allow dogs.  In the Kalamazoo area, there are several apartments that will accept dogs, but she chose one that did not.  So this sweet dog of 7 or 8 years old is once again being abandoned.  In fact, when the moved here she went to a family who has highly allergic and was made to stay outside 24/7 for 10 days.  Sashi is a sweetheart!  She's house broken and super sweet.  Other than her hair - she is the lowest maintenance dog ever.  Hopefully we will find her a loving truly forever home soon!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Hardest Part

While most of the work with the rescue is very rewarding, sometimes challenging, but mostly rewarding....I knew their was a heart wrenching down side too.  We've all heard stories, the ones with the not so happy endings.  I knew coming in that I would experience both great joy and great sorrow.  I knew one day I would experience great loss and heartache.  What I didn't know was that it would happen already.  I wasn't prepared for it, but then who is when the time comes?  My first foster Kiki was put to sleep by her new owner's yesterday.  It's a long sad story that I don't want to get into right now.  It hurts.  I will tell you I spent all of the last two days trying to find her, worried about her and wondering where she was.  Until the news came direct from her new owner last night by text.  Here is my struggle.  I chose these people.  I chose this family to take care of Kiki, to love her, to do what is best for her.  I had several families to pick from.  But I chose them.  I trusted them.  I rescue dogs to save them, not to hurt them.  Kiki was a part of my family for a month.  We all loved her.  And now she is gone because I chose the wrong family.  Hindsight is always 20/20, if only I knew then what I know - oh, how different things would be.  Last night was a very hard night for me, but in the end I know that I did the best I could with the information I had at the time.  And I have to believe that the family did everything they knew to do.  I need to pick up the pieces from this heartbreak and figure out how I am going to trust my judgement again.  How can I trust that I will do the best for Gracie when I thought I did the right thing for Kiki?   I know that I will.  I will continue to do the very best I am able to.  Any pray every time my fosters go that I did the right thing.  In rescues, there is always a chance for these devastating outcomes but I must hold on to the ones that end up where they are supposed to be.  To be a part of the good, a part of the happy endings, is worth the handful of bad.  Which is very hard to say when I am hurting over the loss of sweet Kiki but that is my focus; to be a part of the good.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Many Faces Of Rescue

I have this idea for a book.  Realistically I know that I will never have the time to sit down and write one, so how about a new blog section?!  Chronicles of my experiences as foster mom.  Today's feature, Gracie Sue!

Now Gracie hates men.  And has no memory.  If she is able to make friends with Brendon, she will eat up the attention and lovings, only to forget him moments later and try to bark him out of the house when he comes out of a room.  I have also learned that Gracie suffers motion sickness.  Unfortunately I learned this the hard way.  One night while on the way to the park to meet another volunteer she threw up all over the back seat.  To make matters worse, she had eaten grass before we left!  Slimy, green, grassy vomit all over the back council, inside it, down and in the seat.  And all I carry in my car is Kleenex.  (Now I have paper towels and other supplies on hand)
This morning I was putting on self tanning cream on my legs when she came up and started licking the lotion off!  I quickly washed my hands and tried to scrub her tongue with a wash cloth. Yeah, picture that.  Not.  Easy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Foster Dogs 2 and 3

It's hard to believe we are on Number Three already!

Number 2, didn't last long at all.  His name was Lewis and his owner surrendered him because he had two bigger dogs that were picking on him.  Lewis was a 10 pound Chiweenie.  Chihuahua ears and legs, weenie dog body.  He was a hospice therapy dog and he just wanted to cuddle.  He was 5 years old and slept under the covers.
I posted a picture of him on my Facebook and my cousin chimed in saying she wanted him.  Not knowing if she was serious or not I asked her after a couple of days and she was very serious!  Her hubby not so much, but she brought out the family and Lauren fell in love with her and soon the hubby did too.  Beth is a rehab/PT nurse and Lewis - now Chappy - gets to go to work with her!  It makes my heart happy to know that he is loved and in such wonderful hands!

Right now we have Gracie!  Gracie was found dumped on the South Haven baseball fields with two of her puppies.  Not sure what happened to the other puppies.  She is a beautiful girl who has a strong fear of men.  Sadly she was obviously beaten by a man.  Even one of her puppies had the same fear of men.  She has been with us for a month and still barks and cowers with Brendon.  He is very patient with her and tries to makes friends with her daily.  He's such a good foster daddy.  When she came to us she was in heat, which was a first for me and a little challenging.  But she is such a sweetheart, definitely loves attention and has no regard for your personal space.  She is quite clumsy, so I call her Gracie Sue - since she is not full of Grace. We are hoping to have her adopted in the next week or two. 

Ally Says

This morning Ally asked me how old she would be in 2080.  I told her and she says,
   "Will it be like all Rock N' Roll?  Like in the real 80s?"
Last night I told Ally she needed to clean her room.  Her reply?
  "It's not my fault that I like jungles! YOU raised me!"
And finally my favorite from the week:
  "Every time I wear underwear I die a little inside"
(Yes, this really is a daily struggle!)