It's all about the journey

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This video game has brought more families together than nay board game ever has. It sure did it for us this November family weekend. Even my mother got involved. There definitely is something for every age. Here is Gina, demonstrating how it works and my mom and my sister, Tina, listening intently. Julian my 5 year old nephew ended up playing all night and had a sore body the next morning! We are all planning to pitch in to get him his very own Wii for Christmas. That was a fun game.

Gina and Julian
This picture was taken at a mall in Sacramento. The entire family was dressed in white and khaki and we were going to take family portraits. We had to wait in line and felt pretty funny dressed alike, waiting in a mall. Julian and Gina took advantage of this time to get caught up. Gina, in my eyes should have her own child. I think among the three sisters, Gina is probably the one that's shown the most interest to kids. Tina would be next, then me. Although we all are very excited about kids, I see Gina as the one who probably would be most likely to have kids if situation permitted it. She is a very very giving person with a huge heart. So, I feel this picture captures Gina in all her glory. Just sitting with her buddy, Julian, taking a break and having a little chat. It's so lovely.

During our visit, we played with Julian, or youngest nephew. We are so excited to have a young nephew again, as both our nephews, Nico and Mikee are in college already. Julian is quite spoiled. But we can't help it. He is such a good and very smart kid. He is spoiled but he is not a brat. I feel those are two different things. He still has manners and is taught to behave. But we do tend to bend over backwards for him just because we're excited to have him. It's not the worse thing in the world, I think...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Vacation in Sacramento
I'm a bit behind on posting my pictures. This obviously wasn't taken in December. This was taken not too long ago though, in November. Pat and I went to Sacramento for a family reunion complete with all siblings and spouses. We were supposed to come over for thanksgiving but since my sister, Tina, who lives in Hongkong were planning on being in Sacramento a bit earlier, we decided, of course, to come when they were going to be there.
This is what we did the first day. It was so beautiful in Sacramento, we went for a nice long walk. While we were walking, we walked past these horses and they immediately walked up to us and let us pet them. I thought they were super friendly. Pat thought they might have wanted some treats. Either way, they were beautiful animals and they look like they have a good life here.

Speaking of good people.....
I was at Amy's house with Tina and Piper just for a small get together with her friends who Tina and I just get along with very well.
I got a chance to hangout with her after I left that company that she currently works for. I left the company in March and I haven't really seen her since.
I met Amy about two years ago and she has become a good friend. She is truly one of those people who are just plain good. She and I have a lot in common. We wear our heart on our sleeve and we want everyone around us happy.
The little person behind Amy is Lucas. Amy married her husband Colin the same month she started with GSK. Both Amy and Colin have a uniquely great relationship built on strong family values and mutual respect. I love being around them and I love how much they love Lucas and play with him.
In addition to Tina and Piper, we had dinner with Liz and Hal. These are Amy and Colin's friends. This evening was fun. I look forward to spending more time with them.

A Miracle
Miracles happen everyday but it's great when they happen to people in your life! Tina's story strengthens my faith in never giving up and always hoping. This miracle is Tina's baby girl, Piper. Tina has been waiting for Piper for a very very long time. Her story is one that I don't need to print here for me to remember as I will never forget the journey she went on to end up here. We are all so happy for her and just happy, period. Happy that good things happen to people around for us to witness.

Happy Muzzle

As I work with Chance and deprogramming the bad habits he learned while he was in the shelter for a year, I decided to make him wear a muzzle when on walks and in public. I found a great company that has this muzzle called "happy muzzle." They come in different attractive patterns to make the muzzle not look threatening. He looks cute in it and he doesn't seem to mind it at all. He is such a good dog. He just doesn't complain much at all. He's just so happy to have a home that he is willing to go through anything to make it work out.

Fireside Pleasures
This is one of the favorite things the dogs like to do. Sit by the fireplace. Both Ivan and Chance take turns on the best spot in front of the fireplace. Sometimes when Ivan has the best spot, he takes full advantage of it and sprawls out. He is very happy right now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A trip to the Vet

For a dog that's not really afraid of much, he is humbled when he goes to the Veterinarian. I feel sorry for Chance when I see his tail tucked between his legs as the Vet examines him. He is fine later and he starts to relax but is still somewhat cautious.

I love the Vet. She seems genuinely interested in Chance and Ivan and she lets me talk about them freely. She also asks questions about them which I love.

The Vet tech cut Chance's nails in front of me this time, with me holding him. I was a bit nervous because he REALLY doesn't like it when I try to cut his nails. But it's amazing that after a few minutes, I guess he realizes he's pretty much trapped. So, he relents and lets us finish the job. Whew. Thank goodness.

All is well. A nail clipping and few shots later, we're headed back home. Oh, by the way, he has gained 4 pounds since I adopted him a year ago in September. (40 - 44lbs.) Aaah, living the good life!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

This is one of the greatest pictures of Ivan and Chance. Why? It's because it represents so many things about these two dogs. I have had Ivan for about 3 years before I got Chance. I adopted Chance last year in September. The adjustment phase was a bit tough for all of us, Pat included. But between the two dogs, it was a matter of who was next in the pecking order. First of all, I learned how to be the alpha. I learned how to make two dogs realize that they have to make it work.
If it wasn't for Ivan's coolness, it probably wouldn't have worked. But Ivan is so sweet that he eventually mellowed out around Chance. In the beginning they would have a standoff in an several areas in the house. Sometimes, it was because of food. Sometimes it was just to exert dominance. Of course, it got bad before it got better. That's the only way you eyes get open. Anyway, fast forward to a year later and they are comfortable with each other. This picture totally shows it. Ivan is relaxed and Chance is leaning on Ivan...Chance is such a leaner. He either does it to me or Ivan, if he's close by.
It's amazing what a year can do.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Boat...

Well, Pat went trick or treating this weekend too and got a treat of his own. This is quite an acquisition for the Osborns. We have never owned a boat in our lives and I didn't grown up around water or boats. So, this will be a nice change in our lifestyle. It will be interesting how much I will like being in a boat. At some point when we were talking about getting a boat, Pat mentioned something about me and the dogs can join him. We haven't fully revisited this issue but I'm hoping I can bring at least of the dogs so that I can hangout with one. When we talked about it, it looks like Chance might be the better candidate but I'm not giving up on my buddy, Ivan.

I have to say I like this fishing boat. It's roomy for me. I don't feel worried about getting thrown overboard (yes, I do worry about that!) The best part of this boat is how it makes Pat feel. He is very excited to have his boat after waiting forever for it. I'm looking forward to seeing him have fun with it. He is already talking about taking it out for its maiden voyage this month.


Halloween is a holiday that I really didn't grow up with. I think I remember trick or treating once growing up and I was already in my early teens I think. I don't know why I never did it. I don't remember if my siblings did it either.

I didn't start thinking about Halloween until we moved to Coeur d'alene, ID. I started to look forward to kids stopping by and seeing their cute costumes. Although, where we lived, we didn't get that many. 10 kids was a considered a good evening.

At our new place in Spokane Valley, WA we live in a new neighborhood with not that many kids. So, we will get a handful and we hoped we would get more each year. This year, the church that i go to now built a community center right behind our house. They had a big halloween function for the kids and it was a huge success! We really thought we would get those kids to come over our neighborhood after that function but we ended up getting less this year! However, I did get two treats. My coworker Charlie brought his family over to trick or treat. Pat's coworker, Rachel, brought her family over too. We did get a handful of kids later which was nice. They are just so darn cute.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This is Chance
Chance is the newest member of our family. He joined us in September 2007. He is such a darling. He had been at the Humane Society for 1 year when I met him and fell in love with him. Pat often wonders why I couldn't be happy until I took him home. I believe that when a dog steals a part of your heart, you don't ever feel whole again until you are with him.
Chance came with his set of challenges from being in a kennel for so long. It took months for him and Ivan to get along well but it was possible and we never gave up. I learned a lot about being a dog owner and being the Alpha of the group. I get to decide who what where and when. So, that was part of why Ivan and Chance get along well now.
Now, when I work on my laptop, I have a dog on each side of me. This is their favorite position, curled up and asleep. Chance just looks so cute when he's laying like this. He is a very social dog, likes to hang around the party, where Ivan says his hellos and then retreats to his chair or bed. I love them both and am very thankful for them everyday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I adopted Ivan from the Kootenai Humane Society 4 years ago and he has been such a darling. One of the things he liked to do at our previous house is to look outside the window. Our house now has a huge picture window and a window seat which he loves to jump on and bark at the dogs walking by. We have tried to train him not to go on the window seat. So, when a dog walks by our house, he just sits and rests his chin on the window seat instead and quietly watches. Good dog, Ivan!

Happy Anniversary

This is how we ended a full evening of fun celebrating our 13th year anniversary. Don't let this picture mislead you. The evening wasn't as crazy as this picture looked. It was a very nice evening. Good conversation, good food and good wine. Maybe the wine was too good, thus the crazy picture outside the restaurant, Angelo's. This restaurant seems to be our favorite to celebrate our anniversary. This is the 2nd or 3rd year we've celebrated our anniversary here. We ordered the same entree and same bottle of wine (L'ecole Merlot). Some things are too good to change, like Pat and Lizza.

This picture does not do it justice. These trees are fire red and are beautiful. For some reason this is the first year I truly noticed these trees and appreciate them. I am not sure where my head was all these years.
So far, we've had a great fall. Really pretty. Really sunny. I don't remember fall being so pretty. I wonder if its because I have a different job that this fall is different from all the falls I've had in past years. Different job, different perspective. Whatever the reason, I'm liking fall a lot.