Monday, April 25, 2016

Emily's Spring Piano Recital

Yesterday was Em's recital.  I always enjoy going to these.  She was very nervous for some reason.  The last song she played was challenging for her, so maybe that was scaring her.  But, her teacher and I both pushed encouraged her to play it as she'll never grow as a pianist if she doesn't challenge herself.

Here she is looking so grown up.

And then, I lost all control and she went bonkers for a minute.

Ok, serious and beautiful again...

And silly again....  Photo shoots are never easy.

Here she is playing at the recital.

Here are all the girls.  Stacy has 8 students now!  Isn't that amazing!!!

And here is the video of her performance:
She played Be Thou My Vision, How Great Thou Art and Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.  And then, she does a duet of Chopsticks with Alissa.

She did such a great job and we are always so proud of her.

Friday, April 22, 2016

He's Married?

Every week, Noah brings home love notes from this little girl named Viola in his class. They are always cute and profess her love for her.

This week, the note took it to another level.

Apparently, they are married. Noah has no knowledge of this, which is good because my feelings would be a little hurt if I wasn't invited to his wedding.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Flash and Valley Fever (again)

Ben and Noah were watching The Flash last weekend. When I walked by the art table, I saw this drawing.
I thought, oh that's cute of Ben.  Then, come to find out, Noah did it!  I was shocked.  What 6 year old makes bubble letters.  I couldn't even master those in high school.  When Noah said it was his, I didn't believe him and had to ask Ben.  How bad is that?  But, it's a compliment to Noah, so he forgave me.

In other news...we are having Rocko issues.  We took him to the vet last week for a routine check up and to get caught up on shots.  He has a mole by his eye and we were curious about removal and what we thought was a little fatty tumor under his arm.  Then, the vet pats him on the head and says, "I'm more concerned about the lump on his eyebrow".  What lump?  It blended in with his brow bone and was about the size of a cranberry, so very easy to miss.

So, he wants to biopsy it.  Okay.  It comes back as a single organism of Valley Fever.  Oh gosh no.  Forest had Valley Fever. It's a disease prone to Arizona as it's carried by a fungus in dirt and gets spread in the wind. Dogs are sometimes on medication for the rest of their lives.  And the bad news, in 2013, the price of this medicine skyrocketed.  We paid about $8 a month for Forest.  Now, they want $85 a month!  What!  And the vet says if you are done with medicine in 18 months, consider yourself lucky.  That's $1500.  Plus $230 blood tests every 6 months.  We did find a place with cheaper medicine, but it's still a significant amount of money, and we can't say for sure that it would be done in 18 months.  This could be for the rest of his life, which on a golden retriever is typically 10-12 years.

Rocko is almost 9 years old, but he is the picture of health.  We know how dogs act with Valley Fever, no energy, no appetite, coughing, etc.  Rocko doesn't have a single symptom.  The doctor did a blood draw to confirm the results and his titer ratio of 1:64 shows he is a very sick dog.  What?  We walk 2.5 miles every day.  Forest couldn't do that when he had valley fever.  It's just very bizarre.  I mean, it isn't like Rocko is acting like he's fine for our benefit.  He's a dog.  If he's not feeling great, you know it.

We just have a lot of questions at this point.  How can we commit to over $2000 worth of medicine and blood draws for the next 18 months when our dog seems totally fine.  Humans can be carriers or have valley fever and their body doesn't register symptoms.  Can dogs do the same?  We aren't really getting a lot of answers as our vet has had 3 cases of this up here.  It's more prone to Phoenix and southern areas.

The vet also recommended teeth cleaning, mole removal, etc, which is close to $1,000 since they have to put him under for all of those procedures.

So, we go back and fourth on what to do.  We may just let him ride it out and keep giving him the best possible life we can.  We have no clue when symptoms could present themselves...a week, a month, a year.  Who knows how long he's had valley fever, and he's the happiest dog around right now....so???

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Around Our House

Things have been busy around here.

We've been spending some time in the pool now that the weather is nice. Although, it turned again this weekend and it's back to rainy and cold. It'll change tomorrow though, that's how it rolls in Arizona.

Believe it or not, Noah likes being thrown like this.

We had a block party and I made fruit and a yummy fruit dip.  I don't make the dip often because it's dangerously good.  It's just a thing of cream cheese and marshmallow fluff mixed together.  Emily had never tried it and she was in love.  I learned this recipe from one of my best friends in high school, Diana Howard.  I lived a lot at their house and her Mom made it for us.  So, now I call it Mama Howard's dip.  

Ok, this is not a good picture of Mrs. Kim, but Emily had her second violin lesson and was doing some fingering and plucking this time.  She's really enjoying it so far.

Our Easter got postponed since Suzy was sick.  So, we went down the week after.  I forgot my camera, but here are some pics I took with my phone.  

Suzy had out a wonderful yummy spread of food.  It was delicious.

She also got the kids some really nice baskets.  She spoils them!

This morning Ben made his own version of paper dolls of all the Harry Potter characters.  
We love his creativity.