Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Direction We are Headed

We finally decided after a lot of discussion what direction to head with our search for a new Service Dog in Training for Jeremy. Our decision is to go with a trainer who spent time with all four boys, Jeremy, & Banyan last summer. Her wealth of knowledge in all animals & passion for our four-legged friends makes it a great match. Not only does she know Jeremy but she truly wants the best dog possible for him with as little out of pocket expense to our family. She knows every step of our journey up to this point. I hope that we can work together with Michael's Angel Paws .

Thank You all for your prayers as we are still grieving our loss of Banyan. It has helped that we have received picture updates from his new family. I know he is happy & loved which makes it a little easier. I ask now that you continue to keep us in your thoughts & prayers that as we move forward God will place the right SDIT with our family. That Jeremy will be happy again to be working towards the goal of having a dog with him in his everyday life.

 That's about all for updates for now on the dog front. Stay tuned & as soon as we have a new puppy we will share it with you all here & on Jeremy's Journey Facebook page.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thankful Moments

I know everyone is listing what they are thankful for this time of year. I was doing that as well & after the past week I have decided I need to step back and remember everything I have been blessed with all year long. There is something in every month that I can list so I am going to do just that for you folks. If I have a picture I'll post it to go along with my thankful moment of the month.


I am thankful for my beautiful friends who made sure I got out of the house while Paul was deployed. The top picture is from an early birthday night out. The bottom is when we took Tena out for her birthday.


I am thankful to live in a community that cares about my family.
This was a fundraiser put on by Jeremy's friends from Boy Scouts for Banyan.


This may sound trivial to some, but I am thankful for Pinterest . I was hosting an Easter Brunch and found out how to make this beautiful centerpiece.


I was so thankful to be able to take my boys to the beach over Spring Break. We had so much fun!


I was so thankful & grateful for the support of our community again when I started the wear blue Memorial Day run/walk in Yelm.


So Thankful to God that Paul made it home from Afghanistan & deployment number four was over. 


I was so thankful for a chance for the first time in 16 years to go on a vacation alone with my husband to Hawaii. 


 I think I am the luckiest mom in the world because my son wanted to go hike Rainer with me on a Saturday. He asked to go with out me asking first.


I was so thankful for another sunny day on the lake with the kids.


Very thankful for the chance to spend time with family in Colorado.


This month is such a mix of emotions. It started off with me being so thankful that Banyan was in Nebraska getting the training he needed for Jeremy. Then it turned to despair & devastion. Now it has come full circle with me being so thankful for the wonderful friends & family I have. Everyone who has reached out from here at home all the way across the country in PA. Friends we know in our everyday life to people we now call friends who we met on Jeremy's Journey.

For those whom much is expected , much is often given. God must trust me with so much it's over flowing. Because I feel so blessed with so much in my life. I hope I show my gratitude all the time everyday all year. I try to live my life with the motto of " what you put out will always come back to you". So I sure hope I am putting out smiles, laughter, helpfulness, & happiness. 
I hope you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving . Take a moment to please remember the chair at the tables around the globe that are empty. Maybe they are empty because the soldier is off fighting while we enjoy our turkey. Maybe the chair is empty because a Hero Fell for our freedom. But never forget those who are missing a loved one & be thankful to have your loved ones with you today.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

So Many Tears

I never imagined in my wildest dream that on November 12, 2011 that this wonderful cute cuddly golden would work his way into my heart like he did. I also never thought that almost exactly a year later he would be given away to a new home. Banyan could not pass his Service Dog training and was re-homed today. My emotions are all over the place. When I look at pictures I weep so many tears.I question every choice I made from the time we brought him home.

Did I some how contribute to his failing as Jeremy's dog. Did I cause the pain in my chest or was it no fault of my own. I can't stop wondering and wishing I had never gotten on that plane to Colorado back in October. I honestly felt I was doing the best thing for Banyan & Jeremy. Now I wonder if it was the stress that made this awful situation happen. I hate that I couldn't jump on a plane the minute we found out to go pick him up to bring him home. 

I wish we could have brought him home to just be our pet, but we couldn't and now he is gone to a new home. I am at peace with the family who is getting our beloved Banyan but I can't help but wonder if this somehow could of all been avoided.
Now where do we go what do we do to get a dog for Jeremy. Options are limited and funding as well. I just hate feeling like I failed my child & Banyan. It is not a good feeling. Thanksgiving week is usually the happiest week around our home. Instead I can't stop crying.

Here are a few of our favorite Banyan & Jeremy moments from the past 11 months. I ask for prayers from our family & friends that God takes care of Banyan. That he is loved and safe now in his new home. I ask for prayers for me as I try to naviagte this world of Service Dogs with integrity and do what is best for our family.

Banyan's first time swimming at our lake . I got soaked & he loved it!

Banyan turns 1

Thank You Banyan for allowing us to love you for the past year . You have forever changed my life.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Banyan Updates

Banyan was off to a little bit of a rocky start to his training. But with the patience of his trainer Tonia he has made huge improvements over the past few days. Noelle's Dogs Four Hope has very strict guidelines and expectations for their pups. In order for Banyan to graduate from their program he will need to
work harder then I ever worked him here at home. I have received constant emails & phone calls with how his progress is going daily. At times I've wanted to cry because he wasn't behaving in the manner that I have known for the past 11 months. At times like last night & this afternoon I've wanted to jump in the air with a fist pump!! I knew he could do it he just needs a little extra time / patience. Thankfully the cards are aligning and we are hopeful he will get the hang of the way things work in Nebraska.

Below is a short video that shows Banyan retrieving the medicine bag should Jeremy ever be seizing & I need his Diastat.  He also helped carry the purchase out of wal-mart for Tonia today. His retrieving skills are still amazing & I am one proud momma! We will still pray daily for him & Jeremy has added it to his goodnight prayer. That Banyan works hard so he can come home soon. I really believe God has big plans for Jeremy & Banyan I am just not sure what they are yet. But I am trusting God to show us the path in his own time. Enjoy the video & a few pictures from Nebraska.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I Fought For You

Today we honor all Veterans both Past & Present who have served in the Armed Forces to protect our great nation.

Today I share photos from the years of service I have been privledged to take or receive while Paul was deployed. Thank you should be said everyday, but if it only comes once a year let me remind you what these amazing men & women do for you 365 days a year.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Ideas for Veteran's Day: Guest Post

I recently had one of my Blog follower's ask about writing a guest post leading up to Veteran's Day. I meant to post it yesterday but time got away from me . Courtney wrote up a nice little piece about Veteran's Day as well as some ideas you can do to help say Thank You . I hope everyone remembers that on Sunday November 11th it's a time to remember those who make our everyday freedoms possible.


Veterans Day 2012
Did you remember that Veterans Day is coming up on the 11th?  Do you have plans to celebrate the day?  So many people have Veterans Day off but do nothing to celebrate because they don’t understand the significance or importance of the day!  Make this year different by learning about Veterans Day and participating in fun, patriotic activities.

The basis of Veterans Day goes back to November 11th, 1918.  On this day, at 11am, the United States signed a peace armistice with Germany that signified the end of World War I.  In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson called the day “Armistice Day” and declared it a holiday.  In 1938, Congress officially ratified it as a federal holiday.  Years later in 1954, Congress changed the name to “Veterans Day” to include the celebration of not just WWI vets, but also those who served in World War II and the Korean War.  Today we celebrate all veterans who have ever served in the US Armed Forces and we spend this day honoring them and the sacrifices the make for our freedom.  This day is often confused with Memorial Day, but is quite different, as Veterans Day is a day of celebration and Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those that died in the service of their country.

Celebrating the Patriotic Way
There are so many fun activities that you can participate in that will help you have a great Veterans Day this year.  Here are a few ideas that you can do with family and friends:
1.       Patriotic Arts and Crafts – Spending time with your kids making patriotic arts and crafts is a good way to spend a few hours.  Paper flags, patriotic banners, and red, white, and blue treats are all fun ideas that your family will love!  Patriotic rice crispy treats are a favorite.
2.       Parades – Many cities and towns host parades to honor the local community members who have served or are currently serving in the Armed Forces.  Parades are usually free and can be a blast for your whole family.  This is also a great way for you to meet your community members who have served and give thanks to them for their efforts.
3.       Give Service – There are many VA hospitals or homeless shelters that are in need of volunteers to visit with patients, help with food service, or do other tasks.  Homeless shelters often work with veterans who have no homes and who struggle with PTSD and other difficulties.  There is a significant amount of opportunity to participate in these programs and help those in need.

Make sure that you get involved in the festivities of Veterans Day this year and that you remember the history behind the holiday.  Also keep in mind that because Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year, it will be observed on Monday, November 12th.

Courtney writes about VA news for MilitaryVALoan.com, a resource for veterans to find the lowest http://www.militaryvaloan.com/”>VA home loan rates
and save money on their VA mortgages.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Remembering Our Veterans

 Today was the first time in three years my husband was able to attend a Veteran's Day assembly. For the past three years he has been deployed or on a "trip". Jeremy & Jacob where both all smiles to walk into the gym and spend some time before the assembly with their dad, their hero.

It was a very touching assembly where Jacob's 5th grade class performed many songs to pay tribute. We watched a slide show of all the children in the school who had parents or family members in the Armed Services. It was so touching I had tears when about a third of the students stood up in place of their deployed parent to receive recognition. 

I know so many think the soldiers are home now more then before. But today in that little gym the emotions from children whose dad or mom couldn't attend was palpable. The littlest soldiers in this war doing the best they could to honor their loved one. I hope everyone takes the time to say thank you every time they see a man or women in uniform. They work 365 days a year to protect our freedoms.  Today was an amazing special day for my boys & their dad. I am so glad they had that chance to spend it together.

Jacob's Fifth Grade class reciting the Battle Hymn of Gettysburg