Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Mom has not had the easiest year. If you're lucky enough to know her, take her out to lunch or dinner if you want to hear about it. She would prefer to get to tell you about things in person and get to hang out with you at the same time.In this last difficult year, I've found more reasons to admire and respect my Mom. She lost her mom this last year and misses her a lot. She lost her relationship with Dan. She lost her job and hasn't yet found a full-time replacement. But she now spends several hours a week helping a single dad take care of his 4 kids under 7! She's been dealing with these things, on top of being a mom to the 3 of us girls. (Which includes putting up with all of our drama too!) She's a busy lady.
But she's more than busy dealing with life. She's busy learning more about herself and her Savior. She loves Jesus and knows He loves her. After a difficult season, she is learning lots about forgiveness and redemption. This is one of the best things I can think of to learn from my Mom. And I'm so thankful God gave us a real Mom that we can walk closely with through life, the good and the bad.
To celebrate her, we took her out for a nice dinner to Vickery's on Shem Creek. It was a really nice evening!
We love you Mom and are so thankful for you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Spring Birthdays

We recently got to celebrate lots of birthdays in our family!

Mark's birthday was on April 20th. He rocks, and he and Steph are getting to celebrate right now in Vegas!

Steven's birthday was May 1st. He turned 27 and is not too happy about it, but we're hoping that this will be a wonderful year for him! He just got to go on a fun cruise with a lot of his work friends to celebrate.
Picture is from a dinner out at Outback on Steven's birthday to celebrate him and Dad!

Dad's birthday was May 3rd. We are soo thankful to have such a great guy as a Dad.
Today is Matt Earls's birthday, our step-brother. Happy Birthday, Matt!
We love all of you!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our (Current) Fish

I confess that this is one of those posts I'm doing more for documentation than communication. I want to document the 'everyday' of our lives so we can look back on it one day and remember the little things.

That being said, if you're interested in fish, then stick around for a tour of our tank. :)
This is a cardinal fish. He's one of the first we had. We started out with I think about 12 of these but are down to 1. He's a survivor.


Black Ghost Knife is a super-unique fish. Matt has wanted one for a long time, and we finally special ordered one. He's by far the coolest fish we have. He's soooo fun to watch.



This is a Pleco, a cleaner fish. He's one of the most fun to watch cuz he's usually busy eating the algae from all over the tank. He's gotten bigger in the last few weeks since we got him, and he has potential to get HUGE!



We have 3 of these Golden Halfbeaks. They skim the top of the tank and eat with the top half of their mouths which are shorter than the bottom. It's so weird to watch, but their eating is the only time they're interesting. We'll probably be trading them in shortly.


This big guy is a new addition. He's currently the biggest and will get a LOT bigger. I can't remember his name, but I know that he's big, and he helps 'clean' the tank. He's a keeper for sure.



These are vampire tetras, and they like to be together and move around the tank a lot. We had 5 but are down to 4.


This pair is a recent addition to the tank. But we aren't crazy about them. Can't remember what kind. I think there is 'thin fin' in the name.



This is Rosy Barb. She and Blue Ram like to pick on each other. I like her a lot.


This is Rainbow Fish. He's pretty big, and he's supposed to get a lot bigger.


This is Blue Ram. He's kind of the bully of the tank, but his colors are my favorite.


That's all for now. :)

Our Aquarium

Early January, using some of our Christmas money, Matt was able to setup an aquarium for us. I say Matt because he's had several before and has been looking forward to having one again. I always thought it was an unnecessary (and boring) way to spend money, so I've never really been for it. But Matt would mention it every once in awhile, and I could really tell that it was something he wanted.

He has a 55 gallon tank, which is no small thing to fit into our house. I used that as an excuse too. And I'm not a fan of most aquarium stands because they are so heavy looking. But, in our past discussions about the fish tank, I always had an idea of the kind of stand I might like. In my mind, I wanted a stand that was almost like a bookshelf, and black. That way, it was multi-functional. If we decided to break the tank down later, we could still use the piece of furniture for something. Practical, right? But also impossible to find... until one day we were at the fish store looking with Steven for something he needed when he was changing his tank from salt to fresh water.

The perfect stand (in my mind!) was in the middle of the store, even black which is what I wanted (there are few black fish stands). And, the best part-- the owner was having a hard time selling it, so he sold it to us for $50. Uncle Gary who built our kitchen table and was thinking of building us this fish stand, too, said he couldn't even have built the stand for less than $50. We actually didn't have the $50 then, though, so we waited until after Christmas. At first, they asked for $75, but they did end up selling it for $50... and even delivering it to our house for free! Yay!

So, we've had it now for a few months, and I really, really enjoy having it. It's not been nearly as expensive as I thought it would is now incorporated into the 'pets' part of our monthly budget.

We found baskets at Target to use on the shelves to help organize it. Steph said it's a good way to have 'concealed junk', and I wholeheartedly agree. :)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nighttime Activities

I'm getting bored with my nighttime activities. From anytime after 11:30 pm when I get home from work until 4 am which is the latest I like to stay up, this is how I normally fill my time:

Facebook Stalking (and Farmville playing)


Blog Reading (and sometimes writing)


Acquarium observing


Nala snuggling (okay, this one I'm not really tired of)


and TV watching


I think I should start reading. Or something else. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nala Update


The previous Nala lameness post ended with us waiting and hoping no surgery would be necessary. For the last 6 weeks, she's not been to the dog park at all and only on 2 long walks. We haven't even taken her to play with other doggies since she will get too excited and play too hard. We've kept her as calm as possible, but this girl was born to run! Even when taking her out to potty, she will squeeze in a few romps just for fun. It makes me wince every time though.

I never realized before that she truly does not like to just walk. She likes to add in a few hops here and there and prances just to spice things up. Unfortunately, these things (and constantly jumping off and on the bed and/or couch) eventually caused the tendon in her knee to completely rupture.

At her checkup today, one of the vets Matt works with strongly encouraged us to have the surgery. For long-term recovery, it's definitely the best option, though she will probably never be completely pain-free in that leg again. The injury is even causing a lot of fluid build-up in her other back leg because of all the limping she's doing. It's just not wise for us to put it off much longer.

Thankfully, Matt works at a vet, so a surgery that would normally be about $1200 will be considerably less for us. And one of the vets he works with has never done this particular surgery before. By letting her do it as a 'learning surgery' with another experienced doctor supervising, this is also going to reduce the cost significantly. We don't have a price yet. It makes me anxious to think about it, but I'm choosing to focus on the fact that it's going to be much, much less than it could be.

We'll keep y'all updated.

And thanks for at least pretending to care about this update on our four-legged child. :)