Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Happenings for July

Hi everyone....sorry I have not posted in a while. We have been really busy playing this summer!!! The kids swim every day and I think we are all getting very suntan;-). I decided to take a picture of the top of their hands compared to their palms. I was a bit surprised at how extremely suntan they all are...LOL!!! They just don't seem to tire of playing outside and swimming in their pool.

The kids love to eat outside at their little picnic tables. One picture I took just makes me laugh!!! Just as I went to snap the photo of Katie Aunna and Karissa eating...Katie points her chicken leg at Karissa and says "BANG...your dead!!!" Of course, I said "Honey, we should not shoot our sister with our chicken leg." All the kids burst into laughter...naughty kids;-).

Let me say that the Fourth of July Celebration was fabulous. We had our annual picnic at Green Acres Lake (more like a pond...LOL). There was so much food that day and the fireworks were wonderful. The gathering with family and friends is always something we look forward to each year. There was so much to eat as everyone always brings something delicious. I love my cousin's egg-rolls and chocolate covered strawberries!!!

As I sat there enjoying everything, Katie came over to me, crawled into my lap, and wanted to talk. Being there rather gave Katie Aunna and I a flashback to last summer. We had been home from Russia a little over a month at this time last year. She fondly recalled coming to this park and watching the beautiful fireworks. It was one of her very first outings. Then one thing led to another in our conversation and she began to recall our first few months at home.

Katie Aunna told me about how she understood what we said to her last year. But, she found it difficult to respond fully in English. Then she put her arms around my neck, sweetly kissed my cheek, and said the nicest thing in my ear..."Thank you Mommy. Having a home is so nice!" Now how darling is that??? She has been an amazing little girl full of happiness and joy. Katie Aunna has really blended well into her family. Our life without her seems to never have existed for us. God has been so good to our family and so perfect in giving us the children that He has. He is truly a great and wonderful God worthy to be praised!!!

More good news....Last week I flew to Dallas with Karissa for another check up with her surgeon. We had a good report that she has healed well from her surgery and she is tumor-free. Another moment to praise our Lord for His generosity. She does have a little more moisture than he would want to see on her eardrum. However, Karissa has been swimming daily with her custom made ear-plugs. The doctor wants to see her again in January. He said they usually follow a child with reoccurring tumors for two years following the surgery. She does have a loss of 40 decibels in her hearing. He says this is not a bad thing when we consider she had no hearing before surgery in her left ear. So, some hearing is better than none;-).

On the lighter side of things....We went to see the 3-D movie "Ice Age 2" and it was really cool. I recommend it highly. The children were so adorable sitting in the theater's afternoon matinee with their 3-D glasses on. John-John was amazed and his little body moved with the show. It was difficult to watch the movie as I kept watching the reaction of the children...LOL!!!! Well, I guess that pretty well updates July for us. Gotta go play with the kids now;-). Many blessings!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Burrowing Owl

"Tuffy The Owl" so named for his remarkable skills at surviving. This is not our owl....but, a picture of one just like Tuffy. In person, their eyes are more green than yellow. But, the one pictured above, has fluffy down on his chest like the young owl we rescued on Monday.....

Day before yesterday I was sitting on the patio watching the children swim. I heard a crying noise that was similar to screeching and crying. Initially I thought it was some of the baby Prairie Dogs fussing with each other. They often make a crying type of screaming andbarking noise with each other when they fuss;-). I guess kids will be kids no matter what!!! So, I just ignored it for a while. But, as it continued I became concerned.
When I went out into the driveway, behind our house, I found a baby (just old enough to begin learning to fly) Burrowing owl lying in a small area of shade. The hot summer sun was just about to be fully upon him. I was so shocked as I squatted down next him. He was making direct eye contact with me and whining. I felt so sorry for him and asked "Awe...poor little you want me to help you?" He tipped his head to the side and continued to look at me and cry.
Usually, an injured animal who is wild will bite....he just laid his head down on my out stretched hand and cried. I have NEVER seen anything like this in a wild animal!!! Just about that time, Weldon came into the drive, bringing Gracie home, from her grooming. He takes Gracie for me and then brings her home to me each Monday. He got out of his truck and said "Oh, Mama, he is hurt. Look how he is looking at us!!! We have to do something for him. I can't believe he is acting so friendly. Does he need some water?"
Weldon, went into the house for water and a towel, while I shaded the little owl from the searing hot sun. This baby owl lapped up the water like a little dog would drink. We had a small plastic milk crate we placed him in and I began to make phone calls to find someone who could help us. When Duane got home from work and saw him it touched his heart as well. Turns out that Duane knew his secretary's mother is a conservationist. This wonderful woman set it up for "Tuffy" to go to the South Plains Rehabilitation Center in Lubbock, Texas.
They think he may have flown into something and has neurological damage as he can not fly. He was dehydrated and somehow managed to collapse in our driveway and there he cried for mercy. Now he is in professional hands, as the girls and I, drove him over to Lubbock for their expert care. These owls (like our tarantulas and horny toads) are becoming very limited and are on the endangered species list!!! They live in the tunnels of Prairie Dog holes and are nocturnal feeders. The Burrowing owls can be seen sitting on the edge of the holes next to our property in the early evenings between the months of about March through October.