Monday, November 17, 2008

Sad Day

This is Cole with the dogs the day he returned home from his mission.
Okay you can chalk up another 5 or 6 trials to add to my list. It seems like everyday something hits our family like a brick, and today was no exception. We have 2 dogs, Ruger who is a brittney spaniel and Keesha who is a Akita. Ruger is the oldest, we got him when he was only 6 weeks old, Scott actually saved his life when he was born, he is now 14 years old. We got Keesha at about 8 weeks old, and have had her for over 13 years. Both of these dogs are great, they are a part of the family. The last few years Ruger's health hasn't been that great, he is deaf and has arthritis, and he has mini seizures once in a while, so Cole really thought he might not be here when he got home from his mission. They both were doing good, but this morning when Scott got up, he looked out our window and saw Keesha laying on the ground out by her kennel, he could tell immediatley that she was gone. He went out to check on her, and yes she had passed away sometime in the night. There were no signs as to why she died, so this made it so very hard. The kids had a really hard time going to school, and we all shed many tears today. Cole and Jen and been here for the weekend, so Scott had Trent and Cole go dig a grave for her on our property. This was very hard on Cole, he is so passionate about those dogs, and gives them the most attention out of all of us. He worries too, as we all do about Ruger, and how he will handle her being gone. After they buried her, Cole had to head back to Mesa to work. He had a hard time leaving Ruger, and just kept telling us to keep an eye on him, to make sure he was eating and drinking. We all wonder if Ruger will be around much longer now that his best friend is gone. He has been whining and crying all day, it is the saddest thing to watch him wonder around sniffing the air and looking for her. I don't think I can stand to watch him be so sad. We really thought he would be the first to go because he was the one who has been in bad health. We still don't know what really happened to Keesha, but this family will really miss her. She was the most loving, sweet, funny dog. She will always have a special place in our family!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday Brynee Boo!

Today is Brynley's 6th birthday, she shares her birthday with a really good friend who she says she is going to marry someday. It is Sterling Sorensen, Sterlin as she has always called him. I think they both think they have to get married since they share the same b-day and are the same age. It is pretty hillarious the way they act when they see each other!! Anyway, she kind of had 2 days worth of birthdays. Sterling invited her to his birthday on friday night. He had the neatest party, they went to a ceramic shop and each got to pick out something to paint. Then they had cupcakes, Sterling was so sweet and wanted to share the Happy Birthday singing and blowing out candle moment with Brynley. It was so dang cute. They blew out the candles together. Then because it was their birthday, they got to put a print of their hands on the wall in the little shop with their names next to it. So cute!! Sterling gave Bryn some flowers, which is now a yearly tradition. She just feels so special!
Because she got to go to the party on friday night, her birthday, we decided to have her party with family on Saturday night. That way Cole and Jen could be here to celebrate with her. She was so excited to open her presents and to have her "Hello Kitty" cake.
Brynley is a very special little girl! She has such an imagination, loves to dance and sing at the top of her voice, loves primary, thinks it is so cool that people call her little Jen, the only one in our family to adore kitty cats. She is a real girly girl, but hates to have her hair done, loves I mean loves school, and is so sad when there is a holiday with no school. She is the top student in her class, and loves to read and learn! We have truly enjoyed her sweet spirit for the past 6 years. She is one of the most precious, beautiful little girls in the world, inside and out, we truly feel blessed to have her in our family! We love you Brynee Boo, don't forget it!!

Sterling giving Brylee the traditional flowers, isn't that so sweet!!

Their handprints on the wall behind them.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Poor Coley!

Wow after this post I will be pretty much caught up on my posting for a few days. Nothing like doing about 2 months worth on one night.
Last but not least of our bad luck lately.... Cole was drawn for a mule deer tag this year which started on halloween day. He was looking so forward to this, not being able to hunt due to being gone on his mission, really made him excited to get out and do it again this year. Well while he was working on Thursday, he was spraying (for bugs) in a back yard and was up on a brick wall, when he stepped down to get off, he stepped in a pot hole and twisted his ankle really bad. I have seen many of sprained ankles in my time, (most of them my own) and this one is by far the very worst I have seen. In fact when I saw it, I worried it might be broken. He insisted that it wasn't, but was really bummed, and wondering how he was going to hunt. They do a lot of hiking up and down mountains, and he didn't know if he could do that. But of course this didn't stop them from going out. He was going to go no matter what. So we just pumped him full of ibuprophen and iced it each night. So far he has done okay, just in a lot of pain at night when he gets home.

Man I hope our run of bad luck runs out very soon!!

Halloween 2008

I'm not a real fan of Halloween, I don't know why, I guess you could call me the halloween scrooge, but I hate all the stuff that comes with this holiday. Trying to decide (or have my kids decide) what they want to be, getting them all ready the day of, then all of the candy they get, which most of it ends up getting thrown away because they don't eat it and it goes bad.
Every year the kids' school has a Halloween carnival the night before Halloween. My kids insist on attending, which is a lot of fun for them, but each booth gives away a cup full of candy everytime they play the game. So between the 3 of them you can imagine how much candy they come home with. Then on Halloween night the stake has a trunk-or-treat at the church, which is very well attended, everyone and their dog comes out to that, so that too means way too much candy. I wonder, can you freeze candy? Will it last until next year? I spend so much money buying candy for the trunk-or-treat, only to come home with more than I have given out. I need to find a way to save it for next year!!
The kids did have fun dressing up for those 2 nights, and of course Scott is hardly ever here each year to help me with this fun task, because it is during hunting season, and heaven forbid they should miss a day of hunting to spend with the kids on Halloween! Oh well maybe when I'm really old I can enjoy this holiday a little bit more.

Kids Awards

When we made the decision to buy a few acres in Cornville, (I know sounds a little hillbilly doesn't it) and build a house, this would mean moving my kids into a new school. All of our older children had attended Dr Daniel Bright Elementary in Cottonwood and we loved that school. Crue had gone there for kindergarten and first grade, so having to put them out in the Oak Creek School was a little scary for me. I had heard a lot of good things about this school, but still was a little reluctant to move them out of a school I knew and really liked. Crue started 2nd grade in Oak Creek last year, and Brynley was in the pre-school. They both really did well and loved it. This year Crue is in the 3rd grade, Brynley is in kindergarten and Kashley is in pre-school. They all 3 are doing great!! Needless to say all of my worries were for naught. The school had their quartley awards last week, Crue was awarded the math award for his class, and was on the Deans list, missing the principals list by only 2 points. Brynley was awarded the writing award for her class. They both are at the top of their classes (if it's okay to brag) and are awesome students. The school has turned out to be great for my kids, the classes are really small, only about 15 - 16 kids in each class and such a close knit student and teacher relationship. I have grown to be grateful we moved our kids to Oak Creek afterall!

Traditional Pumpkin Carving

Another family tradition for Halloween, carving pumkins!! This year we each got our own pumkin. I got the cool stencils to trace onto the pumkins, and we each picked one. Scott and I were the stencil pokers ( you have to go around each stencil and poke holes into the pumpkins following the lines on the image ) Then Scott and I were the carvers. All the kids really do is cheer us on, and they do love getting messy and scraping out all the insides. I do have to say Kashley didn't enjoy this part at all, too gooey and gross!! They did turn out really cool, but we did do it a little too early, by the time we were to take them with us to our stake annual trunk or treat, they were almost too shriveled to see what they were. Good thing we took pics!!

Halloween Tradition

Every year, my kids and I make Halloween sugar cookies the week before Halloween. I usually just make the traditional halloween cut out cookies, then just frost them with orange frosting, but this year the kids are all a little older, so I thought it would be fun to do something different. I bought all new cookie cutters, on the box were pictures of how you could get creative and decorate the cookies to look like the real thing (witch, ghost, frankenstein, spider, etc). This should be a fun way to spend Family Home evening and to get their father involved! He usually would be no where to be found when I've done this in the past.
I got all of the different colors of icing, and a few different halloween sprinkles, to really do it good this year.
We spent about an hour rolling and cutting out all the cookies, and yes Scott really got involved and we enjoyed him helping us. I think he had more fun than the kids. But when it came time to do the icing and decorating, he was "really tired and ready to relax in front of the tv!" I shouldn't complain, getting him to do that much was a treat!!
The kids and I spent another 2 hours at least, decorating and making a huge mess of the kitchen table. The kids had every color of frosting all over themselves too, but we had a great time. Even Kashley did a good job with her cookies. Two weeks later, we still have most of our cookies left, I think the kids had their fill of frosting and cookies that night!!

Trip to The Zoo

So hot had to have snow cones, needless to say they all were covered in
blue before the day was over

This Monkey was so funny, just sat there with his chin on the ledge looking at the kids,
like he was dreaming of having a bite of their snowcones

The week of October 13 thru the 17 was our fall break. This week we were so busy and poor, so we couldn't really do anything with our kids that would cost very much money. We decided to take them to the Phx Zoo, we thought the kids would really enjoy it. The night before we were to leave was when Crue broke his arm, so we weren't going to go. The Dr and instructed us to keep it elevated for 48 hours and keep ice on it as much as possible. This would be hard if we went to the zoo. Well our kids were devastated that we weren't going. Bryn and Kash cried all night. We talked to Crue, he wanted to try to go anyway. So we loaded up Crue, Bryn, Kash and Chaz and headed down to Phx friday morning. We had Crue keep his arm up and ice on it all the way.

We had a great time!! It was a little hot for mid october, 99 degrees when we got there, luckily there was a lot of shade. We spent the whole afternoon there, then took the kids to Chili's for dinner. It was a good memory maker for all of us. Crue was a real trooper and never complained. Just a little painful that night, but not too bad!! The zoo was way better than I ever imagined. Who knew Arizona could have a great zoo!!

Trials are supposed to make us stronger, right?

Fair warning, skip this post if you don't want to read about my list of trials that seem to have come all at once, and I've said it before, since my missionary has been home.
I am listing all of these things not to have anyone feel sorry for us, or to complain, (maybe I am just a little) but to hopefully one day look back at this, and laugh, and be able to pat ourselves on the back for enduring, and with faith and courage.
Let me begin my list of rotten things that seem to be never ending since September.

1st Our Roll Off truck (good one) but we have had problems with it since day one, putting about $30,000 dollars into the things since we bought it a year and a half ago. We lost the engine in the dang thing. We had to frantically search for an engine to replace the bad one. Luckily we found one the next day and had some local mechanics go to work fixing it. The day that Cole got home, which was 4 days after the engine was down, we were told there was not a major part available for this engine. We had just spent $10,000 on the new one, only to be told it wasn't going to work, and we might have to start all over. Story short we have put about $25,000 into it at this point and it still is not working right.
Our roll off boxes because of the really slow economy are just sitting in our yard collecting dust. Last year at this time, we had waiting list for our boxes, and were so busy, running about 5 and 6 boxes a day. Now we are lucky to have about 5 a week.
We were so excited to purchase a little truck for Cole to have to drive when he got home, after a lot of research and checking into this truck, and test driving it, we felt like it was the right one. We purchased it in Phx, on the way home outside of Camp Verde we lost a belt on the thing, Scott was afraid there was some damage to the engine because of some other problems. Anyway we had to put more money into that thing to get it in running condition.
We have had problems another one of our front load trucks almost on a daily occasion, putting more money into it each day, and wondering if we were going to get garbage routes done.
The Container delivery truck lost a starter, which we could not find another one for this type of truck. It was down for about 3 days until our old starter was rebuilt (luckily we were able to do that)
Jentry was headed back to Mesa after being home for the weekend, just outside of Camp Verde she had a flat tire, limped it into Camp Verde, the tire shop there called Scott to tell him the whole tire and custom rim was split and would have to be replaced. They put the spare on to get her back to the Valley. In the mean time those just our luck those custom rims had been discontinued, the company we bought them from searched for a week and finally found one for us. Then last sunday Jen called from Mesa to tell us she had another flat tire, she took it in to a tire shop and that tire was also bad and we had to buy another tire. Finally after 3 weeks yesterday we got her tires all back on and in shape for now!!
I have been having problems with our computer that we just purchased in February. About 2 weeks ago I lost the hard drive. I use my computer for all of our quick books for our business and to run our business with the program for our company. This was devastating! Dell computer company said they could have a new one to us in about 5 to 7 business days. I was so upset, not having our computer for that long would almost be impossible to run our business. They said they would put a rush on it. A blessing did come, the part came to us the next day and the Dell technician was able to put it in on Saturday. But that is not the worst of it..... I do a back up of all our quick books and our business program with an online company everyday. So after losing the hard drive I though I would be okay, I would just restore everything from our online back up company. When I went to do this, I was able to restore our company program, but there were no Quick book files to be found. I was DEVASTATED!!! to say the least. What would I do with no record of our books, payroll, accounts payable, and receivables, for almost 1 year?
I was on my knees in prayer, and with a constant prayer in my heart, hopefull that the Dell Technician would be able to recover my quick books from our old hard drive. He told me not to get my hopes up there was about a 50% chance this could be done. The Lord did answer our prayers, we were able to get these files back. Such a blessing through the trial!!
Our old computer got another virus on it after having it back only about 10 days from having the same virus taken off by the computer techs.
Found out the sleep studies for sleep apnea that Scott's Dr's wanted him to have (they think this is the reason for his atrial fibrillation) Our insurancy company will not pay for it. It is actually written directly into the policy that it will not cover sleep studies. We can't pay for this, so now what?
Crue was at football practice, when we got there to pick him up, his coach was looking at his arm, Crue was crying and in a lot of pain. We ended up in the emergency room, and Crue has a broken elbow, and will not be finishing Football season. He was so devastated by this. One of the games he will miss will be against his cousin and best buddies team. That was so sad, he cried and cried about not getting to play! He did go to all of the rest of the games and cheered from the side lines. What a trooper!!

After getting back from the Emergency room

Our business is really struggling to make ends meet with the horrible economy, and we continue to have problems with our trucks breaking down on almost a daily basis. I wonder if this is our trial in life. These are just some of the things our family is going through right now. Hopefully we will see some light in our future. Before all of this stuff starting happening in our lives, I had just mentioned to Scott how truly blessed we have been. We have really not had any major trials in our lives, and we needed to be so grateful for the blessings that we receive daily. We both agreed that we have truly been lucky.

I would caution all of you to never say anything like this outload!! It might all just come crashing down around you like we are feeling is happening in our lives now. I am sure many of you feel the same, as things are not so good in our world at this time, lots of scary things are going on, and we have been hearing warnings from our church leaders about being prepared, that there is going to be some major things coming our way. I do recognize the blessings that my family receives each and every day. I know that these trials are for our good, and that if we endure them with faith, courage and hope, that we will one day look back and be grateful for each of them. When your going thru the fire, it doesn't feel so good, but we know we must endure with a positive attitude and continue to rely on our Savior for strength and courage to get through.

Thanks for letting me vent and record all of this .

Hope everyone else is having some great and wonderful things happen in their lives at this time!