Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Brunch

Today I was lucky enough to host our neighborhood Military Spouses Christmas Brunch. We had I believe fourteen lovely ladies attend. We had all kinds of good homemade treats to try. From white chocolate peppermint fudge to applesauce pie & mocha brownie bites! Yes folks the healthy eating went right out the window today! This was all washed down with coffee or Mimosa's - YUM! I enjoyed meeting four new ladies who I knew lived out here but had not met face to face  yet. We laughed talked "shop" about our spouses, shared some books to read & just enjoyed being in an environment where we all knew exactly what the other lady was going through at any given point in their military life. I have to say when my friend started this group up over three years ago we hoped it would take off & now to see it come to fruition is great! We all live about forty minutes from Post but have a neighborhood full of military families. We have created our own form of an FRG with out any drama. We have a super active Facebook page that gives us all a connection & support when needed. I am pleased to call these wonderful ladies friends & look forward to the next event on the calender- Secret Santa's! I have my first gift all set & ready to go- I just have to figure out how to sneak it over to the lady's house with out getting caught ?....Hmmmm I am sure I can come up with something!


Setting up the table


A quick snapshot of some of the ladies as they arrived to chat

Monday, November 28, 2011

Until Next Year

I always enjoy it when my parents visit for Thanksgiving but not near as much as my children. It will be hard on my boys to say goodbye later tonight after dinner as I take my parents to the hotel in Seattle close to the airport. They have an early Tuesday morning flight so they are opting for a good night's sleep. I can't say I blame them. With Paul deployed I hear every little thing around the house. Sleep is hard to come by & when your mom get's up three hours earlier then you have to be up- well let's just say tonight I hope I sleep like a baby as well.

We've all had fun doing Christmas shopping,movies, decorating the house,& eating out together. Yesterday after church we saw Mr. & Mrs.Claus while at Applebee's. It was the second time we had encountered the couple in four years. They where just "vacationing" as they told the boys. On December 1st they had to head home to get ready for the Christmas Eve. Jeremy & Jacob where in Awe over the couple who drove a mini-van with a license plate that said North Pole, Alaska- Loved their smiles. My dad & I also drove all over my neighborhood as they explore the option of purchasing a lot by the lake here in WA. That way they can come stay for a longer period of time with out being so packed into my small house. Because right now after a week we are all sleep deprived & getting a little cranky. I hope it works out so the boys can enjoy seeing their grandparents more often. It's hard when you have moved so much & never lived by family. I feel like our children have been lucky that my parents always take the time to visit as often as possible, but they have missed that connection of having extended family close.

As we say goodbye for another year or at least until this summer we will have smiles & happy memories. I will also get my house back & some much needed sleep I hope. The holidays are fun but man do they make you wish you could take a vacation after they over!


Friday, November 25, 2011

Shopped Until I Dropped

Yes folks I am one of the crazy people who get's her favorite girls together & head out into the madness that is "Black Friday" almost every year. This year was no exception except for all the stores decided to take some of the fun I thought out of it by starting at mid-night. I only had one very specific item that I was afraid I would loose out on if I didn't trek out at mid-night. So even though I was puking because my body had a minor reaction to all the really rich food I consumed after months of clean eating- I grabbed a friend to head out to Gamestop. We waited about forty minutes in the drizzle then where in & out of the store with our purchases in thirty minutes! I got home and managed about three hours of sleep then up & out the door for some more shopping! 

The BEST thing ever was when we arrived at Kohls our favorite store to start with on Black Friday we got a super close parking spot! Then when we got inside we realized there was NO LINE!! NONE at ALL!! We asked & found out it was super crazy packed from mid-night until 4Am then it was quiet! It was just like any other shopping day of the week except we where still getting fabulous deals!! We bought so much fun things & saved HUGE!! We continued on to several other stores with the same outcome. HUGE savings with NO LINES!!  I was so happy, relaxed & pleased with our haul! After we finished all on our lists we hit up Red Robin for some much needed food. Our waiter was so sweet & fun. We had a fun time eating & re-charging. We hit up one last store before heading home. Man was I wiped out! But I got home to find the older boys had put up the Christmas tree for  me so we could decorate like we always do every year. I took about an hour off before helping them decorate.
Now we are all laying in pj's watching our favorite Christmas movie Elf- it cracks me up every time! We have watched it so many times I have lost count- but it is hilarious! Now I am ready to sleep & hopefully sleep well. Tomorrow we will try for some outdoor decorating & more fun family time. Have a great weekend everyone!




This was at lunch & my eyes are beginning to drop- but we still had fun!


Let the Christmas Cheer begin!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Gooble Until You Wobble

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!



Happy Thanksgiving to all our Soldiers serving away from home & their loved ones this day.I know for my family we are  missing my husband terribly. It's just not the same cooking so much tasty food knowing he will not be here to enjoy it with us all. We love you & miss you my sweet.

 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Handy man, I mean Daddy

Happy Thanksgiving folks - I know I have been a slacker in posting but we have been so busy. My parents flew in on Monday which was only yesterday but it feels like we have been going non-stop! They only come on Thanksgiving when Paul is deployed so the boys & I have some family around. I save all my household fix-em up projects for my daddy as well. Yes folks I am almost forty & I call him daddy still. My dad & I where at Home depot before 9Am today gathering the supplies on his list. He walked through the house Monday evening to see what damage the four boys had done in the two years since he had been here. Well & one girl doggie named Heidi who chewed through my bedroom door frame this summer .  I now have a new door,door frame, picture frame around my world map,& as I type he is repainting the boys bathroom. It doesn't matter that I told him they will have it trashed in a week after he leaves. He still wants it to look nice for thanksgiving day when I have a houseful of guests . I forgot to mention all the little fixes as well- but I am Thankful for every little tiny thing he has done today so my house doesn't fall apart while my soldier is deployed. I am just not a handy girl & thankfully I don't have to spend a fortune to have repairs done.

Mom & I took ourselves into town while dad worked to gather the supplies for Thanksgiving feast. The turkey will be done by our Turkey guru Nathan so we where picking up things for sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pies,green beans casserole & a ham. We bought enough that I was actually given a FREE Turkey from Safeway! Now I have Christmas Dinner in the freezer already! Plus we used all my electronic coupons & regular coupons so I saved us $103.65 on our final bill!! I was super excited! I am also thankful that I have both my parents still to share holidays with some years. I love that they love my kids & take the time to see them as often as possible. It isn't easy as they live in Tennessee but they never let the distance stop them. They see my four boys at least once a year even if they don't see me or Paul.My boys just don't know how lucky they are to have a set of grandparents that treasure them so much & want to be apart of their everyday life from thousands of miles away.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. I will be missing my soldier & it breaks my heart to hear how much he is missing us this week. But I know God willing we will have many more holidays to spend together with him in the future. I have his Christmas packages all wrapped I just need to grab a few more little items to put inside his box. I cried while we wrapped his gifts because I hate that we won't get to see  his face while he opens them. I know he will like them all & I pray we can SKYPE at some point. Holiday's for an Army wife stink when they involve deployment. I will enjoy my family time with my parents & my children this week. Then deal with Christmas the best I can. One day at a time, one day at a time.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

For as long as I can remember we have gotten snow in WA right before Thanksgiving & this year is no different! We woke up to a winter wonderland outside. So very pretty to look at until the boys decided to go play! They where out the door by 7:30 AM to play with the dogs. Banyan was not to impressed at first but eventually realized it was great fun! They enjoyed making an itty bitty snowman, snowball wars & jumping on the trampoline in the snow. Then we tromped inside to take off all the gear that took forever to put on them. I made some hot chocolate & let them eat poptarts while watching Shrek. A great way to spend a Saturday morning.


Jacob all bundled up 


Banyan looks mean but he was smiling for us-haha


Jeremy is tethered to Banyan who is ALWAYS working- this way they could both have some snow time fun!


video


A service dog is always working & not allowed to do a lot of "normal" puppy play. As part of his training Banyan is tethered to Jeremy when he is home. He must learn that Jeremy is his person who he stays with at all times. In order for Jeremy & Banyan to enjoy the snow we let them go out tethered together. Banyan soon learned that snowballs, little boys squeals all mean everyone is having FUN! All these experiences are new to Banyan so he seemed a little shy at times. But with some praise he soon enjoyed all the madness with Jeremy. Now mom must groom him so he stays super clean.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nisqually Valley News

Banyan & Jeremy made our local paper. They came out to interview us last Monday & the story ran on Thursday in the Nisqually Valley Newspaper in town. Here is the article : Training Dog  We are not sure why I didn't think to turn the TV off behind Jeremy when the reporter was snapping pictures?? So there is a crazy TV commercial on in the back ground- but it' s still a good article on our mission to raise funds for Banyan's training. 

Today a friend & I took our two dogs to Camp Murray to meet with a local Wounded Warrior that has a lot of Dog Trainers that are nationally certified to help us work locally with the two dogs. We chatted & learned about each of our trainers he specifically picked for our dogs based on their ages/personalities.  I am excited to meet our local trainer & get more help to make sure I am doing this all right. It is a bit overwhelming at times with all the commands/rules. Banyan as sweet as he is can not be a "normal" pet in our home. Once again today I was told the reasoning behind a lot of the rules that we are using in our home with Banyan. Right now as I type he is tethered to Jeremy for the second time today. This is for two reasons, one is so Banyan learns that Jeremy is HIS person- not me. Even though I do a most all the training, Banyan has to realize he is for Jeremy & Jeremy only. SO they are bonding now for at least one hour a day with the tethering. Since it's a Friday night we are watching movies I thought why not one more time- so they are laying in the floor together. Second  is so Jeremy can learn to control Banyan as well as I do. It will take time but hopefully at the end of all this training is a boy who has a loyal ,loving well trained Service Dog.


After a couple hours my friend & I headed out for a field trip to Banyan's first ever restaurant . We stopped at Red Robin with James & Banyan in tow. They both did great not shaking at all during the meal. But instead laying under our table until we stood up ready to go. I was so nervous in the beginning but soon realized we have been given a great pup. He will accomplish great things as long as we are consistent with his everyday training over the next twenty-three months. For now we are watching Air Bud a s Jeremy is enthralled with all things Golden Retriever- what is hysterical as Banayn is actually watching it with him! Every time one of those dogs comes on TV he get's super excited- so cute! Hope everyone has a great relaxing weekend- I sure plan to try.


Under the table with James at Red Robin for lunch

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's ALMOST TIME!!!

I have only 1 more day until the movie premier of Breaking Dawn pt1!!  There is a large group of us Army wives who bought our tickets ahead of time the day they went on sale. We have been patiently waiting for the 12:01AM showing-it'll be my first midnight movie premier. I am so excited!! I am thinking at some point I will need a nap tomorrow, just not sure how that will happen? I am going to watch Eclipse while the kids are at school in the morning. I will try to snap a couple pictures of us die hard Twilight fans in line. One theater is already sold out, so we will be in line early- YAY!!! Is anyone else going to a premier?? If so I hope you have as much fun as we plan on having.





Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Goodnight Hugs


Jeremy has to give Banyan hugs every night before bed. "Mom he might get sad in that kennel all by himself, I would ".

Today went OK, banyan had a Kennel day which breaks my heart but he has to learn. Tomorrow we start a little bit of the clicker training which is new to me. Hopefully we get it figured out together.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Means No Fun Day

We had an amazing weekend getting to bring home our new pup & playing with him whenever we wanted. We also got in some good training on his first field trip to church. He did an amazing job sitting with either me or Jeremy for a long period of time with only minor corrections. I admit I was nervous but-YAY- he did AMAZING!! 


Banyan sitting at Jeremy's feet for an hour of Church. I know I should have been listening to the sermon & I did after I snapped a picture for documentation.

Now it's Monday and we have a few errands to get accomplished. I am anxious to see how me working out goes with Banyan ? Hopefully I can get him to lay down & wait while I get my sweat on! If not then he will be kenneled for awhile until I finish. Monday is NO FUN Day  as I have to then finish cleaning the house. We have an interview with the local newspaper right after school this afternoon.  I did get the carpets steamed clean so they look better. Hopefully they stay nice looking until my parents arrive next week. But mostly until at least the reporter leaves later today. Can't have him think we live in a crazy pig sty house-haha  Even though my friends know other wise.

Anyway not to much fun going to be happening this Monday but I am thankful for a slow day while the kids are at school. I know Jeremy will miss Banyan but I will enjoy a little much needed quiet time. Check back  in tomorrow to see what happens during the interview later today. Please keep your fingers crossed that the dogs & children all behave.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Home to Washington

We traveled back to Oregon today to check on Banyan & we where so excited to get to bring him home with us! Jeremy was thrilled to learn we would get to take him home in the van to stay. We had another two hours of class & then off we went with Banyan & James. James is a friend's Medic Alert dog who was in Oregon for some extra training. He needed a lift back home to his Josh so we let him hitch a ride. The pups where so well behaved I almost forgot they where even in the van. Jacob came along with us & had a lot of fun. We are now all adjusting to the new puppy. Heidi is mostly unaffected & Panzer is not thrilled even a little bit! Hopefully after a few days everyone settles down into a good routine. We have lots of hard work ahead!


They gave Banyan to Jeremy- he was so happy


Jeremy was telling Jacob that Banyan was all his!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honoring our Brave

"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." -Elmer Davis



Some of my favorite Heroes Around, I say Thank You




























 Thank You seems hardly enough to say about all these Brave & Wonderful Soldiers my family is so blessed to call friends. But today we say Thank You for protecting my family & all the families in our Great Nation.

A great Video clip to watch with your children, I Fought For You


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tune Time Thursday

I am taking a break from puppy news to do my regular Thursday post. If your new to my Blog feel free to back up a few posts to catch up on all the exciting news about our new Service Dog , Banyan. Now I have had zero time to listen to any music this week with the exception of other people posting things on Facebook. With that said I decided in Honor of Veteran's Day tomorrow November 11th I would post a song I love. 


May we never forget that my freedom & yours is protected 365 days a year , 7 days a week, 24 hours a day! As some would say our Military are on duty 24/7  so thanking them just once a year isn't to much to ask. I personally think we should have to thank them everyday!! I have seen first hand what it is like when the soldier misses birthdays, holidays, weddings, births,misses life to Protect US! So even if it's a small post on a friends Facebook Wall today, tomorrow, or next week say Thank You- let them know you haven't forgotten the sacrifices they have made for our great nation. Now go link up with Amber over at Goodnight Moon to see what other lovely Bloggers have been listening to this week.


Here is Lee Greenwood with God Bless the USA

 


Here is a picture of some of my Favorite Veteran's Thank You All Who Served & our Serving



My husband with our Boys

 
Bekah & Nathan Thank You both for serving


Fork or Dork  he goes by both -  we Thank you   ;0)


Jason who is retired - Thank You


 My brother - he introduced my to my Soldier 17 years ago- Thanks!



My Amazing mom & the best role model a girl could ever ask to have- Love you mom


Paul's dad & the reason his son, my husband has served Proudly for 21 years.
You might say Army Blood runs through out both side of the family.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Training in Oregon & in Washington

 Today has been another day of all things Banyan & Jeremy. I did sneak out to get my oldest to the Orthodontist for his braces but then right back to phone calls. We received some more good news that a local soldier out of Camp Murray  has a Service Dog organization that helps soldiers get a trained dog. Well he found out about us as he put it  from a friend, of a friend, of a friend- so we are getting the word out folks-YAY!!  Anyway he called to let me know he was able to talk to Banyan's trainers in Oregon & they agreed that a mom of four with a deployed husband should not be asked to drive to Oregon up to 3 times a month on Saturdays- Hallelujah! Don't get me wrong I was committed to doing it for the 23 months they asked, but was not to excited about rearranging everything on the weekends. Anyway back to the story. He got the OK from our trainers at Oregon Assistance Dogs to agree to let him use his trainer up here in WA get this AT MY HOME!!  Sometimes we will meet at other places like a puppy field trip but if I need the trainer whose name is Debbie-  she can come to me!


Now he only agreed to this for the first 12 months or so of the training, but by the grace of God my soldier will be home by then. We just have to abide by the trainers in Oregon's rules of how he wants Banyan's training to continue- No problem says the nice soldier.  He also is providing a grant to cover a large portion of the fee we owe to OAD- So excited! We still need to keep raising money for future costs like Vet bills, food - they eat a lot & expensive food! Also training treats alot of training treats. I will also make the occasional check in with Oregon maybe 3 or 4 times while Paul is gone. Then more as Banyan finishes his advanced training. God has made this way to easy for us which makes me so nervous. I can't help but ask 1. Is Jeremy about to get really sick in the future so we really need Banyan NOW? 2. God is just proving a point when you ask you shall receive?? I hope it's #2, because I am not excited to see if Banyan can live up to his task anytime soon!


Anyway I wanted to share & let everyone know we are so thankful for all the emails, LIKES on Facebook. I'll share the page again for you all . If you want to follow along on Facebook go here: Jeremy & Banyan "Our Journey"  . Fill free to like our page & you will get more up to date information. We do have our PO BOX listed there if you want to send words of encouragement to Jeremy & Banyan. We are truly blessed & we know it- thank you to everyone & to God.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tuesday's Tidbits

I woke up today at the same time my body just can't adjust to this time change. Plus all the stress going on in the house has everyone a little on edge. I did work in an hour of "me" time at Pilates for the first time ever this morning. Let me tell you it is not as easy as you think. I barely got off the mat to roll it up after it was over. My friend worked my hips,abs, & glutes like they hadn' t been worked in years. It hurt but was good all at the same time. That was the last of the quiet for my day, so I was glad I got it it done.

From there I went to the post office to get Jeremy & Banyan their own PO BOX that anyone who wants can mail letters of encouragement, donations of any kind to so my home address isn't floating around all over the place. We have had such an overwhelming outpouring of love & support I am at times in tears. It is taking a lot of my time but it is so worth all the leg work ,emails, & phone calls. The boys are feeling the stress with one minor breakdown at dinner. We had to have a quick attitude adjustment over the " why does he get a dog we have two & I want this attitude". I wasn't mad I understand that everything is all about Jeremy at the moment & that has to be hard for the other three boys to understand. So after some discussion on the importance of Banyan in Jeremy's future we seem to be back on track with a more supportive attitude.

I spent the afternoon rearranging the younger boys rooms . I went threw toys tossed old & broken ones. vacuumed, made beds, sorted everything I could. Why you may ask? Well Banyan's Kennel has to fit in Jeremy's room by his bed- so I had to clean it :0(  Then I scrubbed the donated kennel down with Bleach & water outside in the cold. My hands where numb by the time I was done. Then it was quite comical to the neighbors as I wrestled this huge heavy wire kennel into the house & down the hall into Jeremy' s room. But I DID IT!! Glad that is done, one more thing checked off my to-do list before Saturday arrives.

Next on the To Do list is scrubbing any open surface in my house before Monday. Why again you may ask? Because our local newspaper Nisqually News has picked up Jeremy & Banyan's story.They called today & asked to come over Monday after school to interview me as well as take a couple of pictures of Jeremy with Banyan. So my house now needs to sparkle in case they need to go into see where Banyan will be sleeping. So I am being a busy beaver cleaning mad women the rest of the week. Veteran's Day is Friday so the kids will be home- so it may be a losing battle with the kids at keeping the house clean, but I have to try.

We are so happy that everyone is being so generous with the economy stinking the way it does. But just having a lot of our friends go get the coupon for the puppy's food off their website yesterday will be a big help. Saving $5 for each bag of puppy food is HUGE right now. So thank you to all our friends who have let me know a coupon is on it's way!

Wrapped up my day chatting with an old friend on the phone who reminded me to bring the van over so her husband can look under the hood BEFORE all the roundtrips to Oregon begin. So I promised I would come if it was on a day she was off work so we could have coffee while her hubby took a peek at the van. Thank goodness they have always been so helpful when Paul is deployed with car maintenance . I don't know where I would be with out their generosity.They have worked on all our cars multiple times & only ask we pay for the parts- such a blessing to our family.

Now here is the picture for the day of "All things Banyan". It is of Jeremy showing his dad via facebook where the kennel will go in his room. Once you see the picture you will see why I said my neighbors got a good laugh today at my expense. Have a good night everyone!



Sorry I forgot to post the address for my non-facebook friends -thanks for the reminder  :0)


Jeremy & Banyan H
PO BOX 1164 Yelm, WA
98597

Monday, November 7, 2011

Raise Your Hand

Raise your hand if your EXHAUSTED...do you see me waving frantically ? I have gone non-stop since Saturday & it has caught up with me this evening. I haven't even been able to work out since Friday  :0(  That really stinks because I love to exercise & relieve my stress. But there are only so many hours in this tired mom's day. I did do some more leg work on getting the paper work Faxed off to the Chelsea Hutchison Foundation who may be able to help us off set the cost of Banyan. Please keep prayers going that all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place in order for us to get the financial aspects taken care of for Jeremy's Service Dog Banyan. We have been blessed with the wonderful friendship of another Warrior mom who has been there & done that with all the process . She has been a wonderful guide along this crazy map. Making things so much easier when I don't understand or start feeling overwhelmed. God has truly blessed us with a great support system.

We had one wonderful family who are friends donate the wire kennel we where told Banyan would need for at least 6 or more months. Just until he learns his place is with Jeremy & Jeremy alone. That was a great relief as the purchase of new kennel is quite expensive. We've had another family who has a huge heart for animals & is an old colleague of my husband's make a personal donation as well to go towards Banyan. We are truly feeling loved & encouraged that we can do all things through Christ. He is providing after we prayed to open the doors that needed to open if this was suppose to happen. Well they are flying open almost faster then I can keep up! 

We will work on getting Jeremy a medical trust bank account opened ASAP for all the other wonderful people who have been inquiring since visiting Jeremy & Banyan's  page on facebook.  Every time I log in there are new LIKES- Thank you all so much!! I promise it will get more exciting after we pick up our new family member on Saturday. He will have a handsome fire engine red leash that was donated by another sweetheart who has his own Service Dog James. He knew we had no idea of the right type of leash to purchase. There where hundreds & I was confused!  His mom & him stepped up & handed one over for us to have- Thank You! Jeremy went & bought a red collar to match for the big day!

For the rest of the day I am laying around & letting my oldest make the mashed potatoes for dinner. I am laying low & trying to go to bed early. Hopefully to get a good night's sleep. I hope you all have a great evening as well & thank you for stopping by today.


 For our non-facebook friends- this is Jeremy yesterday shopping at Petsmart. He picked out a new bowl and other items for Banyan.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We Got HIM!!!

I could not sleep in today even though we had the extra hour. It was nice to get up make my coffee & enjoy the silence. I decided to check my email first & I am so glad I did. I received an email around 11PM on Saturday night saying that  Heather & Paul the two trainers we are working with to get a Service Dog where giving Banyan to Jeremy. Not only where we getting him we would get him next Saturday if I wanted to have him neutered by Monday. Of course we said yes please go ahead & get him ready to come to his new home ASAP. I could hardly wait to tell Jeremy, but no way was I waking him or the other boys up at 6:30AM on a Sunday morning. I of course posted it on Facebook & waited patiently for Paul to get on-line & the boys to wake up.

Finally about an hour later both happened at the same time! I wish I had the camera for when I told Jeremy the  news- he was so excited! He really hasn't stopped bouncing all day! Now the task of Fundraising begins because of the enormous financial costs of Banyan's training we will need to ask for help. We have several friends who are helping us turn in grants in hopes some of the cost is covered. We will be doing good old fashioned fundraising on Veterans day we hope. We will see if Starbuck's in Dupont will let us set up a both to collect donations for baked goods. There was also talk of Smooches for Pooches-LOL We have set up a facebook page so anyone can follow along the journey of Banyan & Jeremy even you just go here : Our Journey. 
You can follow along as we pick Banyan up,go to trainings,introduce him to our other two fur babies,& raise funds for one boy to have a life long companion who could one day save his life.

I am sure there will be hiccups along the way as well as tears mixed with laughter. But we are so excited for Jeremy & our family to start this new journey while sharing it with the world.

video

Enjoy seeing Jeremy play with Banyan after waiting 3 hours in class very patiently.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A New Journey Begins


This is Banyan a 6 month old Golden Retriever who Jeremy, Sam my friend, & I traveled three hours to Oregon to meet. We went to start the process of finding Jeremy a Service Dog that would give him the safety my husband  and I wanted while giving him the Independence he deserves as a growing young man.

We where referred by a friend to the Oregon Assistance Dogs  organization & immediately liked the warm friendly responses to my constant emails late one Friday night. Heather one of the trainers didn't have to answer me back as quickly as she did since it was a weekend but she did. She also continued to email me several times after the initial email to answer all my questions. We sat up today as the day to go to Oregon to see if we would all be a good match since a Service Dog commitment is quite extensive for any family let alone a child.

We arrived & where immediately allowed to sit in on two classes. Both where for the younger pups- 1 year or less. I learned a ton of very useful information I wish I had known for my two dogs we already own. Jeremy was allowed to meet Banyan the pup in the picture right away, but not allowed to talk, move, giggle, during class. I really didn't think we had a chance of lasting for three hours with that going on- but Jeremy did great! About two hours in we went for a lunch & bathroom break then he came back to sit for the last hour. Afterwards Jeremy & Banyan where rewarded with lots of love & play time while I did the interview process.


Play time while I sat on the floor talking with Paul & Heather- Jeremy plus banyan where in heaven.
After we all left to drive home I was so glad Sam had come along. We discussed everything we both talked about with the two trainers. We talked about possible scenarios as they had two dogs in mind for Jeremy- Banyan or his Sister Belinda. Not only did we discuss what we thought the best dog would be for Jeremy and our whole family but money is an issue as well. We are not paying as much as we thought we would so that is very generous of the organization who is totally non-profit. All money goes back into training the dogs & their health costs. But a deposit was required tonight which I made- so Christmas shopping is done for the rest of the month-LOL But Paul & I feel strongly that this Service Dog needs to happen for Jeremy so we are willing to make concessions to make it work. Anyway I am super excited to head back to Oregon next Saturday to attend more training , sign final paper work, figure out the final money situation - please pray on that- & get this new chapter in Jeremy's life started.

I promise to check in with more details after our next Puppy Kindergarten class on Saturday- Stay Tuned!


P.S.
 One of the cutest things ever was after school on friday Jacob my nine year old came home very excited! He opens his back pack to pull out two books he checked out from the school library. One on Golden retrievers & one on Service Dogs. I am so happy he is interested in everything in hopes it is a smooth transition for us all.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fitness Friday is Back

It's been a few weeks since I've had time to write updates on my Fitness. I am still having regular work outs at least three times a week with a group of ladies who live in our neighborhood. It's so nice to have a break here at home once the boys are safely at school. We completed our training for our last 5k Obstacle run & did the race as well last Saturday. It was a super hard obstacle course but easy run. We where definitely in better shape then I have ever been going into one of these events. I do believe it was the mix of cross fit & cardio that got us through the course easy peazy. The new girl who has been training with us for about three weeks did the run & loved it!! I created a new Mud Monster like myself!  Now the only thing is the next event she wants to train for doesn't even happen until Summer 2012 sometime but you must start training now!  CRAZY, INSANE, these are just a couple of the words I used to talk about her & this new goal of hers- not sure about me yet.



It's called Tough Mudder  
If you have heard of it, then you know why it's INSANE!!
I have never claimed to be a runner & to even sign up they say you must run at least 6+ miles with ease- with EASE folks!!  Who runs 6+ miles for fun & with EASE??  Not this Girl!!
Now I talked with my husband who had way to much time on his hands yesterday. He watched hours of the events videos on the Web & now he wants to do the Run!!  He says it'll be fine those people where walking a lot of the course. I asked him if he saw the video I saw of them running a steep zig-zag hill, because they most certainly weren't walking!!  I told my husband & new workout crazed friend I would most definitely work out with her like I was going to run, but the jury was still out on my verdict. I just don't see any part of that run that looks simple. I guess that is why they call it the hardest Mud Run around. It was designed by ex-special forces guys, so insane.

In order to even think about doing the run we have to do mostly Cross Fit type workouts. I am not a huge cross fit girl but promised to do the WODS at least three times a week. Thursday was my first real day back at the work out. I took a few days off to just rest. All the hard training took it's toll & I was exhausted. Yesterday consisted of doing almost everything at least once some twice on the training WOD that Tough Mudder has on their web site for us- we printed it off. It was hard, alot of upper body with every kind of push up you could imagine. I am not a girl with a lot of upper body strength so this will be quite the challenge. My strength lies in my legs, which I hope don't get massive from all the lunges & squats. At least my booty will get to be amazing! All those squats hurt!! 

So if your like me & looking for a HUGE challenge- go watch the Tough Mudder videos to see if the event is coming your way.Get off that couch, put down that junk food & WORK!! Even if your like me & unsure if you will participate in the run you can still do the work outs. It'll get you in super shape all over. Cross fit is all about all over body fitness not just one part of your body. It'll work every muscles you've ever worked & then the one's who have never done any work as well. It will hurt, but if you push through it you will feel amazing after wards.

Here is a quick picture of my motto for while we are doing all this training, because remember I love my cardio & I AM a Gym Rat! I would much rather jump on my elliptical then run outside in the freezing cold air like we did yesterday. When I saw this little picture it summed all this training up perfectly.


I am definitely UNCOMFORTABLE!!

Remember to GET OUT & MOVE today !! Even if it's only for 30 minutes- you'll still be lapping whoever is sitting on the Couch!!

One last fun picture from the Gladiator Run last Saturday.


Yes I am reaching for the mud- I was planning a sneak attack on Bekah who had already pelted me with a hand full of mud earlier. My new work out crazy is the lady in the picture with me- she is the new insane Mud Junkie!


P.S.
 I forgot to mention all the crazy friends of mine who are pushing doing Tough Mudder are being so unfair in their ploys to get me to agree. All the money raised goes to the Wounded Warrior Project- yep they know how to pull at a girls heart strings. When so many of our friends have benefited from the WWP- hard not to help the program out,ugggg

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tune Time Thursdays

This week has been a huge blur. After the run on Saturday & all the Halloween parties I was wiped out! Monday I literally sat in my husband chair almost all day with out doing anything more then laundry.I was so tired I'd be typing on the computer & tears would form for no apparent reason other then I was exhausted. I didn't even feel bad that no work out was taking place. Now I am rested & almost back up to speed. It's amazing what a few days of doing nothing but sticking close to home or enjoying coffee with an old friend will do for a girl.With that being said a song this week never popped into my head until yesterday morning.

I was driving to pick up my friend when our local radio station had a contest going to win Kathy Griffith tickets for her show this weekend. You had to identify who was singing this version of Queen's  "Fat bottom girls". Well I knew who it was instantly but didn't call in because I figure if I got it that fast someone else most likely would .  Nope, the contest went on for twenty minutes, I was shocked & driving down the road screaming at my radio-LOL  But never pulled over to try & call in to the radio station- wish I had now. I love Kathy Griffith- us red heads have to stick together.Anyway that song has been stuck in my head ever since hearing yesterday morning. We love to sing it on Rockband as well when we have a gathering. 
So today's song link up with Amber from  Goodnight Moon
is "Fat Bottom Girls" by The Band Perry & the original by Queen. I like both versions but they actually sound like two different songs. I hope you enjoy!






Now to hear more great song pick from other amazing Bloggers head on over to Goodnight Moon  & link up yourself!
 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Comforters, Boots,Coffee, & More

I loved getting out of the house today with a good friend once the boys where all safely in school. We have a hard time connecting our schedules due to school, life, & medical mumbo-jumbo- so today was GREAT! First on our list was head to Sears to see if they still had the comforter I had seen in a flyer on sale. They DID!! Jeremy got a new comforter that is super soft & thick to help keep him warm. He has no body fat & gets cold very easily. It was a much needed purchase. While heading to the cash register we where glancing at the new winter boots when we both noticed a pair we loved. It has that fleecy fur on the inside & a super soft sole. It was marked one price on the tag but the sign above said $19.99?? I asked the sales clerk & the sign should not have been there. We where bummed UNTIL she said but since it's our fault we will honor the sales price-YIPPIE!!! We both got a pair of new boots in brown & my friend also got black! Then it was off to Costco.

Once at Costco we perused the books & both picked up a couple for gifts-her's for a birthday mine for Christmas. Then we decided it was time to hit up Cutter's Point to warm up with coffee & girl talk. We had a good time talking, discussing issues that only we could relate too. There was much needed laughter, a few moments with teary eyes, but over all a much needed break from our daily reality for over two hours.
 
It was soon time for me to take her home & head to pick up the boys from school. But before I left we took the time to make a tentative date for two weeks from now. We will let the boys all play & maybe we can sneak off for coffee again. I've said it before & I'll say it again, there are just some friends who are more like family then your own family- she is one of them. I am so glad we where able to meet up today & enjoy some down time. Now off to stir the pot of chilli on the stove & relax with the kids for the rest of my day.




P.S.
Tomorrow or Friday I will let you in on the totally INSANE  run my friend has somehow talked me into training for,uggg I have really lost my marbles this time!