Saturday, March 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Andy!

Just wanted to wish Andy a quick Happy Birthday. I know he won't see this until he gets home tonight, but he left before I was awake this morning.... so I didn't have a chance to wish him Happy Birthday.

We have our big branding day (290 calves) today so he had to leave early to go get everything ready. He said he wanted to brand on his birthday, so that's what we're doing. We are going to celebrate tomorrow (Sunday) night here at home.

Hopefully I will get some good pictures today. It's a little drizzly so hopefully it clears up so I can take my camera out.

This is a picture of Andy about 33 years ago with his dad, Chet. Behind the camera was his mom, Pam. So Happy Birthday to Andy, and congratulations to Pam and Chet!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Drake's going home today

Just a quick update on Drake... he's supposed to be released from UCSF hospital today and is heading home for a couple of weeks. He finished the three-day chemotherapy last night and the 12-hour hydration therapy this morning. Everything went well. He will be home with his family for about three weeks and then will have another chemo treatment. I believe he will have three more chemo treatments and then the doctors plan to remove the tumor. After that, he will need a stem cell transplant. I think I got the information correct... hope so. Anyway, keep praying for Drake... he needs all the help he can get.

This is a picture I took of Drake and his Grandpa Mark about 6 or 7 weeks ago.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Happy Birthday Chet!

Today's is Andy's Dad's Birthday! Just for fun here are pictures of him with Abigail at three months old.... she looks happy doesn't she?

And here's one of Chet with J.T. at less than an hour old.

Happy Birthday Chet! Love, Andy, Sarah, Abigail & J.T.

Got 'em both!

I am hardly ever in any photos with both of my kids so we tried a few with my remote. The biggest challenges were to keep JT looking at the camera and to keep Abigail's hair out of her face. This was probably the best shot that we got. Not too bad....

Abigail's turn

Abigail let me take a few of her while we were practicing with my new remote. She is very photogenic and will do most of what I ask of her.... once she forgets about the ground being wet, the bugs crawling on the grass, the bees flying around, etc. Yes, she is a bit of a princess!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Torturing my son

I bet JT was sorry he didn't have school today. I finally got the chance to practice with my new remote for my camera. He let me torture him for a little while and then I had to resort to bribery (a.k.a. the treat bag!). Now I just need to find a time to do some pictures with Abigail and I. It is more difficult since she's in school almost all day. Maybe this weekend....

When you look through our family photo albums or the kids' scrapbooks, I am hardly ever in a picture. Of course you know why that is.... I am always behind the camera!! That's okay because I love capturing all the moments of their childhood.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Another update on Drake

Please continue to keep Drake and his family in your prayers. I just got another update and things don't look good at all. The pathology report from the biopsy came back and shows that this is a very aggressive form of cancer. Even though it hasn't spread to his liver, kidney, or bone marrow, it is present in his blood. This is a bad sign. This means that the cancer can deposit itself anywhere in his body. Apparently he could have been born with this, but the tumor has most likely presented itself within the past two months.

They plan to start a very aggressive form of chemotherapy in the next few days. However, it doesn't sound like the doctors are very hopeful. Please join me in praying for a miracle for Drake. He is four months younger than JT and I can't even imagine going through this. Please also pray for his parents and family that they find strength as they go through this. I will post more when I hear something. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Update on Drake

I have had lots of people asking me how Drake is doing so I thought I would post an update. Sara (his aunt, my best friend) said that they have done quite a few tests and here is what they have found out...

The cancer has NOT spread into his liver, kidneys or bone marrow. They are doing a bone test today, and a full body scan today or tomorrow. So far the tumor seems to be contained in his abdomen, near his adrenal glands. They will most likely begin chemotherapy on Wednesday night or Thursday morning. They can't remove the tumor until they shrink it. The doctors expect that he will have to go back to UCSF for chemo every couple of weeks. Drake and his daddy, Greg, are headed to the barber tomorrow to get both of their heads shaved....

Thank you for the continued prayers for Drake and his family. I will post another update when I know more.

More birthday surprises...

I thought the bouquet of flowers yesterday was my birthday gift (see previous post). Last night Andy came home and said, "Get dressed (not that I wasn't already) and we are going to dinner!" He wouldn't tell me where we were going, but he had arranged for his dad to come over and babysit the kids. We got ready to go and headed north. He still wouldn't tell me where we were going. He tried to convince me that we were going to Mazzottis which is an italian restaurant in Eureka that we had boycotted almost a year ago (another story for another day...). He even parked in their parking lot and started to walk towards the restaurant. I knew he was kidding, though.

We got back in the truck and headed towards Arcata. It turns out Andy had made reservations at Tomo, my favorite sushi restaurant! We had a nice, quiet dinner. Then he wanted to take me out for dessert so we went and had creme brulee at Abruzzi. It was so good!! It was raining when we got out of Abruzzi so we had to run to the truck.... well not exactly run since I had high-heeled boots on... but walk quickly. We were getting ready to leave Arcata and he told me to pull over. From under the seat, he pulled out a gift certificate to The Spa at Personal Choice. It was for a Aromatherapy Pedicure (which is my favorite kind of pedicure) at the nicest day spa in our area! He did good, didn't he??!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy Birthday to me

a day late! Yep, yesterday (the 18th) was my 32nd birthday! Andy and JT brought me these flowers today... it's okay if they were a day late. I don't mind. Yes, Andy knew it was my birthday yesterday... he didn't get the date wrong. We had decided not to exchange gifts (his birthday is March 31st) but apparently he decided to get these for me anyway! They are even more beautiful in person and they smell wonderful.

I really don't feel any different at 32 than I did at 31. It's been a busy year and I am sure this upcoming year will not be any different.

We had a nice birthday dinner last night with all of our parents. Apparently they all think I am addicted to coffee, because I got THREE gift certificates to my favorite coffee place. I am so excited!! It's fun to have someone else buy my coffee for a month or so! And I also got my favorite girl scout cookies (2 boxes!!) from my parents. It's become an annual tradition. I like the Samoas.. they have chocolate, coconut and caramel. It doesn't get much better than that! I did put them in the freezer so I will be a little less tempted to eat them all in one sitting!

I also got some other fun gifts that I am excited about.... wine, a candle, lotion, a gift certificate for a pedicure, a photography book, and a remote for my camera. Andy's not too excited about the camera remote because he knows that it will be time to try for another family picture again soon! Maybe we will do the torturous family photo session this weekend! Sounds like a great idea to me....

Future cowgirl and cowboy?

We went to another branding over the weekend... someone else's this time. The weather was beautiful too! Abigail had a great time practicing her roping. She hasn't quite made it to roping calves but a post in the ground is a great place to start!
JT was really excited about going to this branding. He got to go in the branding pen with Daddy, get on Salty (the horse), and even (help) brand a calf for the first time.
My favorite picture of the day is this one.... These are JT's hands holding onto the saddle horn. It is amazing how small JT looks up on the horse, all by himself. He will grow fast, though. Someday I can look back and see how small his hands were at age 3...

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Prayers requested

I just found out that my best friend's nephew, Drake, has been diagnosed with cancer. He just turned 3 years old on February 22. He has been flown to San Francisco for further diagnosis and possibly surgery or treatment. That is all I know right now. Please keep Drake and his family in your prayers. Thanks. Here's a picture I took of him about a year ago.

Monday, March 12, 2007

First branding day...

The new boss...
Yesterday was our first branding day. Not only was it our first one this spring, it was the first time when Andy was "in charge." This is our first branding since we took over the ranching operation last November. Everything went really well. We had a great crew and beautiful weather! And my dad was more relaxed at a branding then I have seen him in awhile (I think he likes not being the boss anymore). I guess retirement must be going well...
I took almost 200 photos so I haven't gotten through all of them yet. Even though the weather was beautiful (I bet it was 70 degrees!), the bright sun and shadows from the trees made for difficult photo taking. And the shadows caused by the guys' cowboy hats didn't help either!
Both kids were excited to get on a horse at the end of the day. J.T. isn't afraid of anything and didn't want Papa to put him down. Abigail, on the other hand, is much more cautious. J.T. rode Tiger with Papa, and Abigail rode Salty by herself.

Overall it was a great first branding day. One down, two to go...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

How fast...

do they grow? I came across this picture of the kids (Emily, Madisyn, Cody, and Abigail) when they were 2-3 years old (August 2002). They look so little compared to how they look now. They have managed to stay a part of each others' lives.... Emily, Madisyn and Abigail play basketball together (on opposing teams, though). Cody and Abigail are in the same 1st grade class. All of their mommies went to high school together and have remained friends all this time....almost 14 years since we graduated. Wow! That makes me feel old. I know, however, that we all have many happy memories yet to make as friends.

Remember when....

I have a hard time remembering Abigail when she was 3 (J.T.'s age). Today I went back and found some very cute pictures of her at that age... She has lost most of the curls in her hair, but the attitude is still there!
She and I are so similar that sometimes Andy calls her "little Sarah." I am not sure it is always in a positive way.... He says he sometimes feels like he lives with two of me.... poor guy!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The dog days of... WINTER!

Winter can be a very blah time of year. We had a fairly easy winter up until the last couple weeks. All it's done is RAIN! Everyone gets a little tired of this weather, even the dogs. The other night Andy went to a meeting and I felt bad for our dog Molly so I let her in the house. This doesn't happen too often, but when it does she is supposed to stay on the little rug by the sliding glass door. I have never really been a "dog in the house" kind of person, but I never felt too bad about it because we've only had cow dogs. On this particular night, she was so very happy to be let in out of the cold rain. I tried to put her outside but she would not go! She wouldn't even stay on her rug that night. At one point, I just open the sliding glass door, and said "Out!" Do you think she listened? No way! She would just turn her head the other way and not look at me. Then she jumped up onto the couch in the office! She has never done that before. It was so darn cute that I couldn't make her go outside. JT wanted to sit with her so I had to get my camera out. Here are a few shots from Tuesday night...She seemed so happy to have the attention and be part of the family. She will be 10 years old this July so I know she won't be around forever. We should let her in more often, I suppose.

The funny farm

Last night, the four of us were on our way to pick up Andy's truck from the shop and Abigail asked where we were going. I said, "We are going to the funny farm.... oh wait, we already live there!" Her response was, "I look like a pig but I say quack, quack. That's funny!" Maybe you had to be there....