Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bad news for AUTOBAHN

My little dachshund doggie has been acting wierd.  It's hard to really put a finger on what, exactly, he is doing strange, but he's just not himself.  Then he started having seizures and tremors.  We originally attributed it to the fact that our foster child was poisoning him (as we suspected and she later admitted to the police) but we soon learned that was not the case.  In fact, her giving him copious amounts of chocolate may have actually been a good thing as it caused us to take Autobahn to the vet. 

At the vet, they drew blood and ran some other tests.  The bad news came on Saturday when the vet reviewed the results.  The vet called to say that Auto had critically low Phosphorus levels.  He said this is not caused by cheap food, chocolate poisoning, or anything else.  In his research, the only thing he can find that leads to LOW (this is a very rare problem...usually, in both humans and dogs, the issue results with levels too HIGH) Phosphorus is Thyroid Cancer.  Poor little Auto!  He is truly his mommas baby!  He's so friendly and lovable...everyone that comes to our house leaves with a new friend in Autobahn. 

Look at that cute mug!

Handsome boy...with devil eyes. 

If you can't find Auto, look under blankets.  He loves to snuggle down and cover himself up.

Opening his Christmas gift

One of his favorite things is to go camping with us.  The few times we have went without him, he got so upset as we loaded the camper and he wasn't in it.  Here he is relaxing after a long day spent sniffing through the woods and trails.

Auto loves popsicles

We started Auto on new Phosporous building meds this weekend.  He goes back to the vet in two weeks for another blood draw to see if there is any improvement.  Dr. Miller said there is not much we can do if it IS cancer, just keep him comfortable as it spreads or gets worse.  So, as silly as some of you probably find this, I'm asking if you would please pray for healing in my little buddy Autobahn!   Thank you!

Ugly Sweater III

Well, lets try this again.....  The conclusion to the Ugly Sweater night!

First game of the night: the Banana Thrust game.  Contestants were to tie a banana to their belt and roll an orange across the finish line for the win.  This game was not limited to males, but for some reason the men all thought they would excell at this and volunteered.  Chris (in the middle) won the game with a loud shout of "It's all in the hips, men!"

Paul, Carl, and Chris in action

The next game required contestants to wear pantyhose with a ball in one leg on their head.  The original plan was that they had to swing the ball to knock down little army men.  However, I didn't think to try it prior to the game and quickly learned that the army men would not stay standing.  We improvised with them rolling the orange again. 

Thanks to Mandy, Maria, Trent, and Renai for playing!

All the pantyhose SAID they were the same size but we suspect Mandys were mislabeled.  The legs on hers touched the ground! 

WINNER!  Trent!

This game was followed by a drawing game that everyone participated in, many games of Pictionary, and Flippy Cup in the barn. 

Carl was the over all winner of the night!  He won the UGLY SWEATER award AND the BLOGGERS CHOICE award!   His name was added to the pot of the ugly little Christmas tree trophy!

A little musical entertainment in the barn

Where else do you enjoy a concert?  In a boat, of course!

All in all, a GREAT night!  Can't wait to host it again next year! 

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Many of you know that we have been going back and forth on the idea of adopting.  Its something we WANT to do but it just seems so scary.  For those of you who do not know, we have been considering an Embryo Adoption.  I know this is a bit controversial in some ways, I know there are many arguments for adopting a living child rather than an embryo, I know that some of you will not agree with this.  I know its risky; the odds of it working aren't that great.  But, it appears that this will be the only way that I can ever carry a child and to experience child birth.  And really, if you are of the mind frame that abortion is wrong, and life begins at conception, than how can you be against embryo adoption?  Those embryos are children, too!  Hopefully one of them will be MY child! 

So, with both excitement and fear, we are embarking on a new adventure.  We will be adopting thru the National Embryo Donation Center in Tennessee.  This will require two trips to Knoxville, which will be a little tricky to maneuver with Dustin's work schedule, but we will make it work! 

This is not an inexpensive adventure.  Seeing how EA is not a traditional adoption, we do not qualify for any type of adoption assistance, tax credits, grants, etc...  So the cost of this is completely on us.  In an attempt to afford this, we are making some big changes in our household:

*Dropping our satellite
*Lowering our cell phone plans
*Cutting out many of our numerous family vacations
*Hopefully selling our camper this spring (for those of you who know me, you know this is probably the hardest one for me!!)
* Goals of paying off our vehicles soon and putting that money towards our child

While I am not working a traditional job outside the home (so that I can raise our foster children) I AM now a consultant with Gold Canyon and Thirty-one gifts.  My goal for these "jobs" is to put every cent I earn into our adoption fund!  So, if you would consider hosting a show for either (or both) of these companies, that would greatly help me out!  Thirty-one has their new spring products available in January and a GREAT January host special right now: as a host, you get DOUBLE the hosting dollars!  The new 31 products are really neat: lots of new organizing products and in new bright and cheerful patterns.  I'll post more about this in a few days and will include links to both my websites.  Please just consider hosting in the next few months.  Its a win/win:  you get great products for free or at a discount and I get money towards my adoption goal!

Thanks for following along on our journey with us.  Your prayers and thoughts are much appreciated!

**Any of you who have experience with EA, I would love to hear from you.  I'd love to hear your stories and also any financial tips you may have**

Ugly Sweater II

***Take note:  the voting for the Bloggers Choice ugly sweater award will close tomorrow, Monday, the 17th.  Please take the time to vote before then ***

I had planned on posting more pictures from our Ugly Sweater party but I have now attempted this blog post probably 4 times and for some reason I cannot upload the pictures :( 
I'll keep trying.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Bloggers Choice Award: YOUR UGLY VOTES NEEDED!

This past Friday night was our annual Ugly Sweater party.  So much fun!  I can't speak for everyone else who attended, but I can say for myself that I HAD A BLAST!

I have decided to do something a little different this year: I'm going to let YOU vote too. We did hand out awards at the party (I'll do a post about that in a couple days with more party pics as well) but I'm adding a BLOGGERS CHOICE award based on your votes!  So, check 'em out...and vote in the comment section, please.  Pass this on to your friends...the more votes the better the prize ;0)

JULIE put a lot of time into her "bow sweater" and spent the evening not being able to sit down or lean back on anything for fear of losing or smashing all the bows in the back.  A+ for effort!

CARL is sporting the lovely, three sizes too small, sweater vest that LIGHTS UP and is complete with personal touches.  (See below)  LORIN is wearing the American Dream, which includes apple pie, baseball, flags, and corn on the cob.

The back of CARL's vest.  It lights up and someone (who knows who) took the time to cut out what we can only assume were their family members faces and added them to the tree as ornaments.  See the little white circles?  Those are pictures.  We assume the cows were not family members....or were in-laws

JEREMY and MARIA in their great get-ups.  Jeremy's was even complete with Christmas stockings for shoes.  Check out both of their Christmas pants!  Maria's has multicolored starbursts embroidered all over.  They go with the Christmas colored jeweled belt.  These two have such a great sense of humor!

MANDY came dressed as a Christmas tree.  She certainly wins the award for enthusiasm, as she entered the house singing "OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE..."

Carey's sweater also lights up.  She spent hours shoving little lights thru the front to light up the tree on the front.  She also sported a matching Christmas tree watch!

CHRIS and SHEA were looking grand in their Christmas pretties.  I love the "matching" ties!

Jerry's shirt matched his thoughts on the contest.  Rachel was all decked out...from her sparkly earrings, to her belt, to her bracelet!  LOVE THE ENTHUSIASM!

I love that Kermit's sweater is borrowed from his neighbor lady!  What a trooper to make that effort!  Renai accessorised with an adorable hat!

You can never go wrong with a sweater vest and a log cabin with lights all over!  Sure to be warn again  :)

Tony says the sweater may be ugly, but it is actually very comfortable.  I love the Loretta is sporting a coordinating scarf and earrings!

Lisa is head-to-toe gingerbread.  Literally.  Even her socks, turtleneck, and earrings!  WOW!  Phil is sporting the snowman sweater with pride.  His homemade snowman belt buckle is classic and ingenious! 
The first and last time I wear leg warmers!  Note that said leg warmers are actually the sleeves from my sweater.  :0)  Dustin is looking HOT in the lovely, handmade, latch hook tree skirt circa 1972
It's too bad our Christmas cards are completed for the year.  You may be seeing this again next year....
This picture looks full of love.  If you could hear the photographer, you would be laughing as you hear her yelling at him "Kiss her!  Kiss your wife!  Oh come on...you can do better than that!"  So funny!
This sweater and glitter fuzzy shirt combo are SNOW much fun!

So....let the voting begin!  I'm so excited to see who you choose!

I will post more pictures and also the winners from the party (and this contest) in my next post.




Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Life here has been a little (more) hectic than usual this past week.  We were placed with a new foster child on Thursday of last week and have spent time doing the typical "first week of fostering" things.  This includes: buying her clothes, shoes, school supplies, registerring her for school, discussing with her the expectations of her behavior while she is here, case meetings, Dr's appointments, etc..

This little girl has a very sad story (don't they all!?!) and, according to her therapist, really needs to be shown love.  So, I decided that our little Christmas tree that usually is naked (other than lights) would be decorated.  By us.  With homemade ornaments.  **SIGH** 
Cutting them out after measuring out all the ingredients herself.  She doubled that batch and I helped her figure out the measurments.

Watching them bake.  I wish I could show you her face so you could see how cute she is.

Painting her ornaments

The finished ornaments


All in all, even though it was a huge project that took ALL DAY, I think she really enjoyed it!  A fun bonding experience for us.