Thursday, April 2, 2009

Long time, no see!

Ugh. Sorry for the massive delay in updating the blog. Here's the latest going on with all of us...

MARC: we just found out he's been promoted to MAJOR!!! We're so excited! He won't pin on the rank (read that as...get the paycheck) until next September, but at least we know it's on the horizon for him. In addition to the promotion, he found out that he was selected for the Air Command and Staff (ACSC) schooling that's here at the base. Basically, it's a required course for new Majors, and to get an in-residence (versus correspondence) slot is awesome. From what I understand, it means he was among the top 10% of newly promoted people to be given a school slot right off the bat. Everyone else will have to "compete" for their slots. SO cool. We're hoping that they will add that one year to the end of our assignment here...rather than integrate it into our time. Marc still wakes up at night with pain in his feet, but not as often. He did change his running he's only running 3 days a week. He seems to have figured out that if he rubs the back of his knee and upper calf, the pain will subside and he can go back to sleep. Weird. He has some big physical fitness test to pass this month, and after that's done, he'll go back to the doctor and see what they can do for him. Otherwise, things are same-o same-o for Marc. Work is good, he's had to start cutting the grass already, and slowly the garage is getting re-organized.

TYLER: This kid loves school. He has so much fun! He's reading like a champ; in fact, his teacher told me he reads better than most second graders! He can read really big words (satellite, astronaut, different, somewhere); stuff that most Kindergarteners aren't "supposed" to be able to read yet. Yeah. Now they've met Tyler. He has his daddy's brain! He's also doing some math, and likes that quite a bit. He's still our little computer and gadget freak. When we got our new computer, we put the old one in his room. He doesn't have the internet, but he can watch movies, play games, and dink around in MSWord. He can get that computer to do things I didn't even know it could do. It's freaky. We enrolled him in soccer through the YMCA...he LOVES soccer. It's one sport I have no problem with him is OUT! He spent Spring Break with me at the barn; he was in the Horse Camp we had going on out there. He rode Ranger every day...all by himself! He learned how to go, stop and turn. They went on a trail ride, did lots of arts and crafts stuff, and generally just had a blast. He wears a riding helmet (we all do), so when he fell off those two heart only stopped for a second or two... :) He is growing like a weed...jeans that fit him at the beginning of winter are getting too short. We measured him the other day, and he's 44 1/2 inches, and he weighs about 40 pounds. He's no longer in his old car-seats...they've been replaced by high-back booster seats. They're much easier for him to get in and out of, although I'm still nervous about him not being in a 5-point harness system. He's finally able to enjoy a lot of the stuff he got for Christmas, since the weather is warming goal, bow and arrows, etc. We're scheduling him an appointment with a doctor in Atlanta...a pediatric cerebral palsy specialist. We need someone to coordinate all of his care...someone who can tell us what needs to happen and be done, instead of us trying to be in charge. We also want to make sure that what's currently being done is the best for him. He's supposed to have OT therapy (for his hand) once a week, but we're lucky to get in once a month. I'll keep you posted on all that...

SHANNON: I'm still working at the barn, although I'm there 5 days a week now. I totally love it! I keep it clean and organized, help the barn owner with special projects, and now that the weather is better, I'll be riding horses in addition to Ranger. I'm learning so much about everything involved with a boarding facility...hopefully I'll have my own facility some day! I come home tired and dirty, but I've never been happier at a job in my life. As for scrapbooking, that kind of went on the back burner for a while. I've done very little this year so far, but am starting to get back into it. Otherwise, my life is full and happy these days!

RANGER: this guy continues to amaze me. Some of you may already know that on March 8th, we celebrated his 25th birthday with a party at the barn. It was so much fun! We did it as a potluck, and there were so many people there! I was so thrilled that so many came out for us. I made Ranger a carrot cake, and he LOVED it! He ate dang near the whole thing! We have lots of photos, and some video. The following weekend, we had an Equine Chiropractor come to the barn...she had 11 horses to work on, Ranger being one of them. She was blown away by how fit he is! She said there literally wasn't a bone in his body that is showing his age. His lumbar spine should be starting to stick up, and his is still flat as a board! He needed very little adjustment, and he seemed to enjoy what she did need to fix. It's quite a treat for us to get a specialist like this at the barn; we're now on her "route" so we'll be seeing her again. Needless to say, my head was too big to get out the barn door that day. In February, he injured his right front foot, and he couldn't be ridden for a month. I had to go to the barn every day to take care of the wound and re-bandage it. He was on stall-rest for the first two weeks (not a happy boy) because the mud was so bad I was afraid he'd contaminate the wound. Since then, it has healed nicely and there's no visible sign that it even happened. In the 16 years I've owned him, this is the worst injury he's ever had. Knock on wood. A LOT of wood...

PIPER: he hates the rain. Poor PeeWee...we've had so much rain lately that he's forced to go out in it to take care of his business. I swear, if we had a litter box, he'd use it! He's our little snuggler, and will sneak into my side of the bed in the mornings to get warm. He plays very, very well with Tyler, and has learned that if Tyler gives him a command, he needs to listen. We had an issue with that for a while, but P caught on. One thing I find interesting, though...he gets very distraught when Tyler is crying. He'll come to where Tyler is and sit with him. If he gets the chance, he'll lick Tyler's face. We don't know what this means, but it sure makes Tyler stop crying. We just tell him Snot-Puppy is there to clean up his face, and he starts laughing. Nice.

FAMILY STUFF: this year we're planning to take Tyler to DisneyWorld. They have a deal this year for military members...Marc gets a 5-day Park Hopper pass for free, and we get ours for $99 each. That will save us a huge amount of money! We can drive there in about 7 or 8 hours, so that eliminates plane fare. We don't know when we're going yet, but it'll be in June or July. Tyler has NO IDEA we're going, in case something happens and we don't go after all. We don't want him to be disappointed. As for the rest of our travels this year, we have no idea. I still want to go back to Abilene for a visit, so I may take Tyler and we'd go without Marc (he could care less about going). There have been too many times that I've been "this close" to going out there and never make it. Grrrr. Everyone is, of course, always welcome to visit us!

HOUSE: we love it! It's coming along really well. I'm slowly getting Marc to let me replace light fixtures...what's in here is SO ugly. We have some landscaping issues to tackle both in the front and back yards, and we need to add concrete to the driveway to make it wider. We're going to get new shutters and maybe a new front door. If we don't get a new door, we're going to paint the existing one. I do want to add a screen door of some sort, though. I love opening the windows to get air through the house...especially when it's not humid out. We have yet to paint the kitchen. I don't think we've actually agreed on the color yet. We have to prime it first, though. At least that hideous border is gone...yuck.

Well, that seems to be all that my pea-brain can remember right now. I promise to be better about updating, and I'll get some photos uploaded one of these days. We hope all is well with you!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Various updates...

First off, the neighbor's dad seems to be doing better. He's off the ventilator and breathing on his own, but is still on oxygen. He may be suckin' on an air-hose for the rest of his life, but at least he'll be alive, right?! The lab results from his lung biopsy are still not back, although his lungs are clear and there's no sign of pneumonia. He's still in the hospital, but his spirits are good, and the family is visiting him every day. Hopefully he can go home soon.

So, instead of Disney, we went to the farm for about 4 days. The goats had babies! One was born Christmas Day, so he's named Christmas Spirit (Spirit is what we call him). The other two were born the day we got to the farm. Number two is a girl, named Bella. The third birth was a nightmare. I'm telling you...if we weren't there, this momma and baby would've died. I heard her bellowing around the side of the barn, and she didn't sound sounded like pain. So, we hustled her into the barn and got a light on her (it was really dark out) was WAY too big for momma to deliver on her own, as well as momma too young to have been she's got this little pelvis and big honkin' baby. So, to save you from the gross details, it took three of us, but we got the baby out and both he and momma are doing fine. Momma wouldn't talk to us for a day or two, but she eventually "got over it". The baby boy is snow-white and has a tuft of white hair smack in the middle of his George named him Snowball. We call him Lucky. Other than that, the time spent out there was productive...we got equipment moved, sheds cleaned out and rearranged, leaves burned and some fence work done. The indoor horse stall was set up, and now all we need to do is cut the door in the side of the barn so they can get into it from their paddock outside. We always have fun down there, and we haven't been there in a while, so it was a good four days. Tyler LOVED the baby goats, and he also got to brush and play a little with his goat, Leo.

My horse trailer is gone!!! :) I am so happy!! There's a girl who lives about half an hour from me who called the other day, very interested in the trailer. She came by the house today to take a look at it, and fell in love. It's exactly what she's looking for. So, we drove it to her place, to make sure her big honkin' horse will fit into it...he did. She has a trailer that she's trying to sell, too, for the same price as mine. In fact, her ad was the one directly below mine in the local classified paper. Her trailer is basically what I'm looking for. So, we traded! We swapped titles, did a bill of sale for each trailer for one dollar, swapped out the license plates, and now there's a nice trailer in my driveway that I get to "play" with and put all my goodies in. I'm so happy it worked out! Ranger will be so happy to see it, I'm sure...

Marc continues to have pain in his feet at night. This is really getting annoying. He also dang near blacks-out every time he stands up; that's because his heart rate is so low that the blood can't zip up to his head that fast when he stands. But, just to be on the safe side, he's seeing a cardiologist on Tuesday. Tonight, however, he discovered that there's a large section of the outside of his left thigh that has no feeling. He had me poke him with the pointy end of a tweezer while he closed his eyes. He definitely can't feel anything, cuz I was pokin him pretty hard. :) The saga continues. My theory all along is that he has a nerve pinched either in his neck (which he cracks all the time) or in his lower back/pelvic area. I hope it can get figured out soon; he's starting to stress out about it more and, too.

Tyler participated in the fun-show at the barn this past Saturday. He rode Ranger in the leadline class. Basically, you plunk a kid on top of a horse, and you walk next to the horse leading it around. Tyler was the only one in the class, but was SO excited when he got a blue ribbon! He said he got it because he has such good posture when he rides. :) It was really cute. He does have awesome posture, though. He's really been showing a lot more interest lately in riding (be still, my heart!). He knows how to hold the reins, make Ranger go, turn and stop. I walk next to Ranger while Tyler does all these things. What Tyler doesn't know, though, is that Ranger will follow me anywhere, whether I have him on a lead rope or not. So, Ranger follows me around while Tyler is "steering"...that way, Tyler gets the idea of what to do up in the saddle, but his confidence is boosted because Ranger is "obeying" him. There's nothing worse than a frustrated kid on top of a horse who won't do what the kid is asking it to do. Gradually, I'll let Tyler have more in, I'll stand in one spot and Tyler will make Ranger do the stuff. Ranger WILL listen to Tyler, but he'll stay close to me since he knows he's packing the boy up there. He's the perfect horse for Tyler to learn on...

One of my best friends, Leah, is having weight-loss surgery on Tuesday. It's been a long-time coming for this, and she's both nervous and excited. It's being done via laparascope, so her recovery time will be quite short. Getting the weight off is essential to her health, since her blood pressure has been affected, and she also has diabetes (controlled by diet). She has good eating habits...healthy eating habits...but has tried for so long to lose the weight to no avail. She's been to the gym, she's made lifestyle and diet changes, nothing has worked for her. So, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. I'll update you on her progress. We have a mutual friend who had the same surgery last summer, and has lost 70 pounds so far. Her energy is up, she's more motivated, and can play with her two busy boys now. We're all looking forward to the same results for Leah!

Marc heads back to work tomorrow (the 5th), and Tyler goes back to school on Tuesday the 6th. I'll be at the barn every day this week except Monday...I can't wait!

On a great job note...the new manager hired for the barn sucks. She's not motivated, not interested, seems to have no initiative, and generally seems to do just the bare minimum required. The barn owner, Anna, whom I love to death, is so stressed out and upset by it. We had a nice talk after the show on Saturday, and she told me that she's giving the new manager one more chance to do better, and if she fails, she's gone. So, we discussed ME working out there five days a week...feeding the horses breakfast and turning them out for the day, doing all of the regular stuff I do now, and riding horses for her. I would totally LOVE that! So, I'll keep you posted on that...cross your fingers!

New Year's Eve was spent at a restaurant getting crappy service, and therefore the waitress got no tip. Then I find out they charged my debit card twice. Ugh. We're not eating there anymore. We got home after 8, and we both felt like crap. Thank God we have two bathrooms, you know? Tyler was fine, and he crashed at about 9. We watched a movie, and then watched the ball go down in Times Square. We hit the hay at about one; nothing special about NYE for us!

Christmas was great...Tyler was SO excited. He got lots of wonderful gifts, and has played with everything. He got a lot of games, which we were really happy about, since we had virtually none. We've decided to institute game night every week...probably Friday nights. Tyler really liked the idea. He got a few games for his computer, so Marc is busy cleaning all the extra crap off his hard-drive so the games will run without problems. Then, Marc has to install the internet for him...that was our "big" gift to Tyler this year...he's been asking for it for months. He likes Playhouse Disney and Noggin. So, when that's all installed, we'll load the games and he'll be all set. We're loading the games after the internet because some of the games have things you can connect to on the internet, and our techno-geek child will want to test that function out. :)

Well, off to watch a movie. Dances With Wolves is on; although it's one of my favorites, it's a long sucker...four hours. I'll be lucky to get through most of it before I have the DVR take over for me.

I hope everyone's holidays were great, and that you're looking forward to 2009. I'll be happy if the gas stays cheap and the economy gets better!! I like paying $1.39 for a gallon of gas, but not $4 for a gallon of milk............