Thursday, August 28, 2008

Frequent Visitors

Ok, I just had to post this. Throughout the year we have some frequent visitors to our yard. On this particular day, three gentlmen (or gobblers to toms as male turkey's are called) trot into our yard trying to impress a couple of young female turkeys or hens as they are called (The girls are the ones with their feathers flat in the bottom picture). It was quite funny to see them walk around slowly and proudly with their feathers and chests all puffed out trying to impress and get the girl, and as if they were saying "my chest is bigger than your chest". We have seen some baby turkey's around sooo I guess it worked!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This Summer and Recently...

Today is officially our 8th anniversary, last night John took me to Shanghai Red’s for dinner (this is a picture of Shanghai Red’s taken from the water looking at the restaurant). It was very good and I highly recommend it. We had NY Steak with vegetables and a baked potato. Then we took a walk along the waterfront and over to the Naval Shipyard Museum late at night (here is a picture of the naval shipyard during the day), it was so nice to spend time with my husband without the children.

This past Sunday we got together with some old friends of mine that I hadn’t seen in about 15 years. This is Branson, Philip and Peter and of course me and John. I met both Peter and Philip (the twins) and Branson at EFY at BYU Idaho just before I finished High School and we would hang out all the time. When we moved to Buffalo last year, it was fun to find out that Peter and his wife Megan lived in our ward. His family came to town and we all got together, it was great!
John is busy doing his research months in residency, he has one more month left and then he will be in the hospital full time and then some… Although, he is doing research he takes call on the weekends, so he still is pretty busy.
Even though John is so busy, he finds time for his household projects; his next one as you can see is the basement. Below is a picture of our basement and the stairs (Lydia is on the stairs and Jack is on our makeshift slide), He has already framed in the stair railings and then he will frame in the walls to build an exercise room and a large playroom with storage closets for the toys. I will keep you updated on the progress.
Throughout the summer, Jack and Lydia have been taking ice skating lessons, swimming lessons and some soccer. They have truly enjoyed it. Jack had little scare in the pool during the summer where he almost drowned, we have continued his lessons and he is getting more and more comfortable in the water and is comfortable swimming in the shallow end (as long as he can touch!). I plan on taking them swimming throughout the winter to keep him comfortable and work with Lydia and her fear of putting her face into the water.

Jack and Lydia are also taking ice skating lessons, considering that Lydia spent her first lesson on her rear end crying this video I took is a huge improvement, (sorry the video is sideways, but I hope you get the gist. It is of Lydia skating backwards and Jack comes up behind her) They both seem to enjoy it and it is fun to have this resource so close.

In my slideshow up at the top of the blog, you can see some of our beach pictures, we went to two different beach party’s for the residents and the kids had so much fun. The water is like bath water and it only goes up to our knees, so it is perfect for the kids. I consider it a gigantic kiddie pool!

Oh yeah, we decided to name our cat Trixie, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

8 Fabulous Years!

This August, John and I celebrate our 8th anniversary and it has been wonderful! In the 8 years we have been married we have had a major carreer change, had 3 wonderful children, lived in 2 different states in the east where we have met so many wonderful people, and that is just to name a few. My husband is my greatest support, my love and I couldn't imagine spending my life with anyone else!
This a close up of our engagement picture, man don't we look young!!

The New Kitten

This is our new cat, we haven't officially landed on a name yet... We have kicked around KitKat, Felise, Loraine, Cinamon, Jasmine, nothing seems to click, if you have any ideas let me know!

I have to say that she is very nice and sweet, such a change from Ginger, and puts up with Lydia and Jack quite well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

June 10, 2008

I felt an update on our family was long overdue. Last year about this time we were moving into our new home, here we are a year later and a lot has happened. First of all it feels good that this is Johns last month of his first year of residency, four more to go!

The weather is warming up and I have to say that our first Buffalo winter wasn’t to bad and I actually quite enjoyed having snow on the ground that would last more than a couple of days, and it was neat to see what Niagara Falls looks like in the winter.

John continues to enjoy what he is doing, although the schedule is nothing to be desired. He is on-call every 3rd day and if he is lucky he might get one full day off a month. He is doing general surgery right now and according to the laws, they are supposed to get one 24 hour period off per week and their idea of 24 hours off per week is that John will come home at 8:00am, after being on-call for 24 hours and getting maybe an 1 ½ of sleep, and they will tell him he doesn’t need to be back in until 8:00am the next morning!! He is worn out, sleep deprived, and will be glad to have it over. In some ways, I look forward to having him back on Orthopedics, at least he will be home most nights even if he does get home at 9:00-10:00pm.

Even in my husbands sleep deprived state, he finds time to do his crazy projects. His latest and my most feared was that he decided that our trees in our backyard needed to be trimmed… now these are no small trees they are roughly 5 stories high and the branches that needed to be trimmed were huge. When they had the infamous October storm here last year, a lot of the tree branches fell and some didn’t make it all the way to the ground, they were actually stuck on other branches of the tree. So John decided he would make home-made tree climbing spikes, which he did and attached them to his old brown boots. He wore a long sleeved shirt, long pants, wrapped dish towels around his legs and harnessed himself to the tree with just a rope that went around him and the tree. He forgot his hand gloves… and oh yea, a hand saw was attached to him with a pull saw waiting down at the bottom of the tree that I was to lift up to him when he got high enough. Once he got about 10 feet high, he reminded me that falls from about 10 feet have a 50% survival rate… yep, I was feeling right comfortable about this. I had the nurse next door on-call and the phone in my hand. So, he climbed about 3 stories high when he lost his right foot spikes but somehow he succeeded in getting the two large branches down and made it most of the way back down when he lost all traction and slid down the tree like it was a pole, did I mention he forgot his hand gloves. Our neighbor came out to try to help him out and stayed the whole time that John was in the tree. He said to me, “it isn’t every day that you get to see a doctor up in a tree.”
The birth of Emily has been the highlight of the year. She is so cute and is beginning to smile and coo. She has her 2 month check up this Friday. We had her blessed this past Sunday and Grandma Sue and Grandpa Hugh were here for it, it was such a treat to have them here.

While Grandma and Grandpa were here we took a trip out to Palmyra and toured some of John’s old mission in Lyon’s NY, which was his first area. It is also the area where Solomon Chamberlain, my great, great, great grandfather lived. His story is important to our family and to early church history. Brigham and Phineas Young stayed in his home as they traveled through, and some of the first church meetings were held here. It was fascinating to visit the home and to also learn that the old Erie canal was just across the street from his home. I knocked on the door and met the guy who lived there, he told me that a professor from Brigham Young University was interested in the house and that the church had thoughts of purchasing it, we will see.

Jack is doing well and is in his last few weeks of Kindergarten. I can’t believe that he will be in 1st grade next year. He is reading well and even had his first spelling test, which he passed with flying colors. He is looking forward to the summer as he will be starting ice skating up again, swimming, soccer and baseball. He is a big help around the house and absolutely adores baby Emily. He has a wonderful thirst for knowledge and loves to teach others what he has learned. Here he is with Lydia and one of Lydia’s friends from down the street, he is telling them all about the Titanic.

Lydia is doing well; we just learned that she was accepted into the Universal Pre-K program that NY State offers. So, she will be going to preschool 5 days a week 2 ½ hours a day following the school calendar next year and it is free for us (well I should say that the high taxes we pay here pay for it). We feel so blessed that she was accepted! She is wearing her glasses more religiously now and so far we have only lost one pair, let’s hope we don’t loose another! Lydia has just finished the first few months of ballet with the American Academy of Ballet and she did a great job in her recital. If any of you watch So You Think You Can Dance, the studio she goes to is where finalist Neil Haskell was trained. So far, I have been very impressed with their studio. For the summer, we will take a break from Ballet and she will start ice skating with Jack along with swimming lessons. Lydia is adjusting well to the new baby and loves to talk to her and give her kisses. Although, I did catch her in my office cutting her hair, not sure if it was an attention getting stunt?? I was devastated, because it has taken so long to get her hair long enough to put it in little pigtails. She cut both sides off and gave herself a mullet.
I am doing well and have recovered from having my third C-section. Emily is such a joy to have in the house. She is waking up, on average, only once a night now. I am still helping with the monthly radio show our stake is in charge of; our next few shows will be Emergency preparedness and family history. I have also been called to the Hill Cumorah Pageant Public Relations Committee. Our house is the Buffalo depot for the printed material that goes to the wards and such. I am also in charge of answering all of the e-mails that come in about the pageant and will be spending the night up in Palmyra with another committee member to be there on media day that starts at 5:00am. That won’t be fun, especially with all three children.
John and I have been to a couple of Black Tie dinners which were fun. One of them was for the 5th years graduation, a friend of ours that is graduating this year told a cute story in his short speech, he said that his daughters now 10-years-old and 8-years-old came down to his office and told him that they were not going to eat any more apples, when he asked them why they said because “eating an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. That gave me some insight on how Jack and Lydia might feel when we get to that point. It is hard to believe that when we finish residency they will be 10 and 7 ½ - years - old as well.

Goodbye Ginger

A funny story to tell with a sad ending.

Emily and I went up to work the Hill Cumorah Pageant for one night this past Wednesday and stayed with a lady who was also on the committee up in Fairport. While I was gone, John put himself and the kids to bed, at about 3:00am he heard Ginger throwing up in the hall. (This is typical for her, she had terrible GI problems) He ran out to keep her from throwing up on the carpet and chased her down the stairs, this is when she went into psycho mode and John tried to calm her down and pick her up, she then took her hind claws and clawed him in both arms pretty badly. The next night when I arrived home, Ginger would still hiss and freak whenever John or anyone would get near her. She had also gotten outside that night and we figured we would leave her out throughout the night. Then John heard two cats fighting and it turned out to be Ginger and another cat, so we got her back inside. She ran down to the basement and John went after her to see if she was ok. I thought I would be nice and take her some water, so I went down too, shutting the door behind me. Once downstairs, we found the cat in psycho mode doing high pitched screeches and hissing, then suddenly she bolted up the stairs. But, I had shut the door and she was trapped, but then again so were we. In psychiatry they have the saying “never let the patient get between you and the door”. So here we were down at the bottom of the stairs and Ginger at the top by the door, hissing and screeching like a wild animal. John and I look at each other wondering how we were going to get out of this. So, John grabs a sleeping bag and slowly approaches Ginger, meanwhile I picked up the cup of water, I had brought her, to use as my weapon of choice. Ginger then bolts down the stairs past John towards me and then around the corner. I then run up the stairs and we both get through the door and shut the door behind us locking the cat down in the basement.

John and I had a long talk, discussing how it is truly time for this cat to go. John had hopes of the cat blowing it over and chilling out the next day… I did not, and even if she did I had truly had it and John was beginning to understand. So, the next day came and I had made arrangements with the SPCA, all we needed to do was to get her into the cat carrier. So, John with his high hopes and all goes down into the basement and finds Ginger in the same psycho mode as before and helps me get her into the carrier. He had to wear a coat and gloves to protect himself. The cherry on top of all of this was that Ginger pooped all over John and the floor when he was trying to get her into the carrier.

The SPCA had to tranquilize Ginger just to get her out of the carrier to put her to sleep.

Even though the cat was so mean, we gave her a good 7 ½ years chance to change and I am sad to see her life finally come to an end, but I know it is for the best.

We will miss how Ginger made life interesting and how she gave us good stories to tell.

So, today we said goodbye to Ginger.