Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poor Auld Beastie

My poor old doggie. He is 12 yrs old this month. It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing our little piglet home from the 4th of July Amish Auction back in the day (I guess that would have been 1997!).

We have always jokingly referred to him as an Amish dog. He has bad teeth and not such great eyesight. His joints are terrible and he has been riddled with arthritis since he was 4 or 5. Supposedly he blew his ACL at some point and that made his knees worse. It surprised me that dogs have knees...and that they can have a season-ending injuries.

Brutus was a very handsome dog in his heyday. Here is how he looks now:

Not too shabby for a beast who is the equivalent of an 84 yr old man!

Last summer he developed a gianto tumor on his throat which turned out to be the Big C. The vet removed it and told us that he expected one to grow back at some point. It could be 6 months or 6 year for all he knew though. We are coming up to a year from that incident and the beast is still going strong.

Nowadays he spends most of his time sleeping. He is like a thick, black throw rug on my floor! I have been trying to make the most of him these days since who knows how much longer he will be around?

Apparently I'm the only one who feels this way though. The girls are busy planning for our next beast. According to them (and Joe), we will end up with a Welsh Corgi.

Poor, poor auld beastie!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day in Radnor

Every year we do the same exact thing for Memorial Day. Every year, I enjoy it more than the last. I think that as I age, I appreciate more and more the significance of Memorial Day.

Our day starts with Sarah and I getting up at the butt-crack of dawn and going to church to set up for the breakfast that the church hosts. We work like dogs for a few hours and then get to enjoy the parade.

The parade is exactly what you would expect from a very small, rural town. Lots of tractors, hod rods, fire engines and the BV Alumni Marching Band. It is very quaint. The girls look forward to the parade every year because we end up with a crazy amount of tootsie rolls, double bubble and smarties. It is enough to last us until I can throw it all away at Halloween.

After the parade, everyone congregates in the Radnor cemetary for their Memorial Day service. I am always amazed at how they can find keynote speakers year after year. They generally choose people who grew up in the area and are now career military. I think (in turn) that the speakers are always amazed at how much effort this tiny community puts into celebrating Memorial Day.

As part of the service, they call forward all people who are currently in the military or have served in the military. This is where I usually get a bit choked up. I think part of it is watching my father-in-law go to the front to be honored. You see, shortly after Sarah's birth (one week to be specific), he had a decent-sized stroke so walking is a bit of an effort for him now. For this one moment each year, he refuses help so that he can stand proud with his peers. Each year it is more of a struggle, but he still manages to get up there.

I also spent the service this year contemplating my friend and her family while her husband is deployed. She never ceases to amaze me at what she can accomplish while home alone with several young children. I believe the families serving at home during a deployment are just as brave as our soldiers overseas.

For all who have served or are serving now, a big thank you for your sacrifice and bravery.

Since I couldn't possibly end this without some pictures, here is a nice one of Sarah and her grandpa:

Just the three girls in their outfits from Aunt Lori. You couldn't possibly have a Memorial Day celebration without the proper attire!

And here are some that I thought were kind of cute:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Darn, missed it again!

Every year around this time the circus comes to town, but that isn't what I missed. Well, I DID miss the circus, but I don't care about that. I find them to be dirty, nasty, expensive affairs. Approximately every 5 years I go to one to reaffirm that I don't really get enjoyment from them.

I digress. When the Ringling Bros are done with their shows here, they have an "elephant parade" from their venue to their rail cars. This just happens to go past the soccer fields where Sarah plays. Sunday was the day for this year's elephant parade! Sarah and Joe were able to stay and see it after her game. Even though we suspected it was on Sunday, I left the game early with Mary and Leah because we were freezing our arses off in our summer attire (and yes, it is Africa-hot today).

Joe had the foresight to bring along the camera and snapped a few pictures. Here are a couple of the elephants (one close up, one to give you an idea of just how many elephants they have):

and of course, we can't possibly forget the horses!

When Sarah arrived home, I asked her what was her favorite part of the parade? Her response: the giant pile of elephant poo. Of course.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What a whirlwind!

I was thinking the other day that it had been a week or two since I last posted some of my ramblings. Imagine my surprise when I realized it has been an entire month! I have a list of posts I want to do...I just need to do them!

I feel like most weeks just fly by in a whirl of activity. Most of that (I think) can be blamed on the fact that I'm a girl who cain't say "no". Each week I think "It will get slower paced if I can just get past _____________" filling in the blank with whatever the activity du jour happens to be.

Right now, I'm just hoping to get through this hump at work and the craziness that is the last month of school. Of course, then I will be striving to plan vacation, regularly go to the pool, take Mary to Safety Town, transition Mary and Leah to a new day care, get Sarah to Girl Scout Camp, plan vacation bible school, do back to school shopping, get Mary ready for Kindergarten...

The list is endless.

People who have multiple kids in school keep telling me that this is the tip of the iceberg. When exactly does life slow down to a manageable pace? When I'm in a nursing home?

Boy am I a whiner tonight. I need to just stop for a second and reflect upon all the wonderful things in my life. I have a wonderful husband, 3 healthy, beautiful, mostly well-behaved children, a job I love (85% of the time) and a decent living.

Of course if I stopped to reflect upon my blessings then I would miss some deadline or another!