Monday, December 29

Spencer's Six Month Cancer Check

He is clear again of all cancer! He had his blood work done and an ultrasound, both showing no signs of illness or irregularities. Life can now resume for me and I can breath a little freer and think a little clearer. It has been 4.5 years since he went off the I.V. chemotherapy and 4 years from the pill form of chemo he had been taking. My little miracle continues to baffle doctors and make his mother run around like a chicken with it's head cut off. Ahhh, life is good.

The pictures below were taken in October but I thought they were cute since Spencer won't normally tolerate these types of rides. He rode on two this time. Pictures were also snapped with John's cell phone, so the quality could be better.

Saturday, December 27

Christmas 2008

I am truly hoping everyone reading this had as fabulous a Christmas as we had. This year was near perfect. Of course, I do wish my brothers could have shared the day with us, but they were in my heart that is full of other Christmas past memories.

We shared Christmas Eve with our good friends Tammy and Brian and their two boys. Tammy made homemade pizza. It was delicious!

Opening gifts. Spencer loved his new Slinky. Must have tasted good!

Note the bag Brian's gift was wrapped in. I had nothing to do with this; John is a twisted individual. **cough, cough**
Christmas Day was hosted by my sister, Tanya and her husband Rich. Going to their house is always a treat, especially when you get to spend time with family you wished you saw more often. Tanya's house is beautiful and warm and cozy. The perfect atmosphere to spend Christmas Day at.

My Dad and I.

Tanya's Corgi, Sophie.

My nephew, Sam. He not only plays electric guitar, but the sax too!

Spencer playing with Grandma and Sam.

Helping Daddy open a present.

Spencer actually took interest in his gifts this year. My family is so wonderful. Aunt Tanya got him a frog book. It's super cute.

Remember my sister Robin's wedding I stood up in this summer? Here's the happy couple.
We are such a blessed family.

Monday, December 15

Taking Some Good When Times Are Bad

The economy...on a downward spiral, going fast. Almost everyone I know has taken on a second job/side job to help make ends meet. We are no different here. I have been laid off for 1/2 a day, a week, for a few months now with extra time around the holidays. I will admit, I LOVE the time spent at home and with Spencer, but it hurts the bank account. John took a second job a few months ago along with extra hours at his current job at the hospital. I wanted to help also, but refuse to spend any more time away from Spencer. I love this kid and it would break my heart not to see him or be able to put him to bed at night. So, I went back to the very first job I had at age 13. Babysitting!

Meet Kayla. She is 14 months old and adorable to boot. We love having her at the house. Her mom and dad are both nurses and work long shifts, so we get to enjoy her while they can't. She and Spencer are very jealous of one another and fight over everything from sippy cups to my lap. Then they kiss. They make me laugh and it is actually quite nice to have another wee one in the house.

I sat between them at dinner time. I want to make sure Spencer isn't feeling left out or as if he is being neglected. He is having a bit of a hard time understanding any type of sharing. I think it is healthy for him to interact with Kayla also as she is one smart cookie.

Not liking sharing his mommy at all...

What a mug!

A little sulker we have here. Lounging in his bean bag, giving me the sad puppy dog look. With each visit, Spencer is warming up to her more and not throwing as many tantrums for attention.

See...good things can come from bad, Kayla is just what we needed!

Wednesday, December 10

Ban Me...Now!

I need our local pet store to issue a "NO SHERI" policy ASAP. I usually need to stop by there every week and a half to get crickets for my frogs and toads. I honestly, despise crickets (OK, I'll be honest, they are creepy and scare me!), but it is the main diet of my babies, so I suck it up and deal with it.

My baby frog I wrote about a few weeks ago, died after only a week. I think he wasn't it good health when I got him though. It really bummed me out and was quite sad to watch.

A forum I am a member of (of course this forum is for frog owners) frequently has pictures of members other pets. Cats, dogs, snakes, lizards, boyfriends, etc..and bearded dragons are quite popular. I learned they are gentle, easy to care for pets and are good for young children due to their calm nature and love of affection. Unlike my frogs which shouldn't be handled often, beardies love the attention and to be petted and held.

I had an empty 30 gallon tank already, sooooo, I came home with two baby bearded dragons tonight. Samson and Delilah. John loves them and already wants a colony. I think two is fine. They can reach 20 inches and I don't want to have to rent a storage unit, just to keep them. HA! They really are beautiful and very curious.

At times like this, I think of how much my nephew Colin would love to come over and play with my critters.


I am starting to feel like a backwards cat!

Sunday, December 7

The Lord Knew What He Was Doing

When he gifted me with the cutest boy on earth. For if my son was not so stinking adorable, I might have put him up for free on craigslist this weekend. Spencer has made leaps and bounds with his understanding. Many phrases he used to need a lot of guidance understanding, he now clearly knows exactly what you mean. Yeah!

Lately, though, he has been testing me constantly. I am not sure if he doesn't comprehend right from wrong as a whole yet, or is just a turd in disguise and could care less. Since, I don't believe hitting a child is a good form of punishment and I can't see needlessly yelling either, I work with time outs, finger pointing (this one helps let off steam for me) and raising my voice. Most of the time Spencer laughs at me. Can you believe this? I usually laugh back, I mean, who passes up a laugh?

While folding laundry in the basement today, I heard a muffled thump. That thump was my Christmas tree! Here is the end result. I nearly cried! Cute boy gave me a hugenormous lip pout and I ignored him for .5 seconds. I think he learned his lesson. Pretty sure he did; nope, don't see him doing this again. **Insert large guffaw here**

Oh yes, our neighbors are green with envy, I'm sure.

I think I will just display the ornaments on my coffee table in a Glad bowl. Starting new trends is a passion of mine.

This did start out with fake snow and beads. Sometimes less is best!

Saturday, November 22

Giving Thanks

As I mentioned, we had Spencer's first parent/teacher conferences not that long ago. I don't think I stopped smiling until the following morning! God has blessed us yet again with another wonderful teacher for Spencer. He adores Georgia (all the children call the teachers and aides by their first names) and she adores Spencer in return. Something I did not expect was for Spencer to also respect her. My little boy is growing up and trying very hard to impress his new teacher. I saw Spencer listen and concentrate more in that short time that I ever have before. I saw the delight on his teacher's face when she showed us what he could accomplish. I hung on her every word...I am thrilled at all the new things he is trying and learning. Spencer also has a real, true friend. He has taken an extreme liking to a slightly older very autistic boy and likes to mimic Elias. Elias is more advanced in numbers and letters. Spencer follows Elias around and likes to do what he does. So Spencer's teacher has allowed Spencer to sit and learn with Elias and he is catching on some!

Our house has been ringing with the sounds of "Where is Thumbkin?" recently as these seems to be Spencer's new favorite song. I sing it too!

This is how Spencer greeted his teacher.

Making himself at home; off go the shoes!

Showing us his matching skills.

Tuesday, November 11


Hello my friends! It has been lightly snowing here on and off for the last few days. Nothing that accumulates but just enough to remind me that very soon I will dread every morning and evening driving to and from work. I don't like snow EVER! I have my first cold of the season. It's seriously trying to kick my butt!

We have Spencer's first parent/teacher conference tomorrow night. I am very excited to go. Spencer is still loving school and I see so many good changes in him. He is maturing a little. He counts on his own up to ten quite clearly and recites the alphabet with very little prompting, again saying his letters nicely. He is learning how to draw straight lines, play with his peers and how to follow directions. He is understanding more what is being said/asked of him as well. I see things click for him more often. Yeah!

Of course I have to talk about frogs. I mean you would expect no less of me right? I have been keeping myself busy creating new environments for my babies. I also received the cutest early Christmas gift this weekend. He/she was shipped to me now instead of Christmas time due to the cold temperatures. See below for the cutest baby you have ever laid eyes on!

This is Little C. (until I know what sex he is). He is a baby Waxy Monkey Tree frog. He is the cutest little fella.

Instead of hopping, he prefers to walk.

The fire belly toads got a new home. They love water, so they got their own pool. If you look closely, you can see a couple of them over by the plants.

How are you all doing? I don't have much to blog, so I have been MIA lately. Would love to hear from you all!

Wednesday, October 15


Fall is here in the northwoods bringing with it all the beautiful colors along with the crisp cool air that helps us sleep so well at night. No matter how many autumns I have seen, I never take for granted the plethora of colors I can behold just by looking out my window. I love to see the ideas and crafts people decorate their yards with at this time of the year also.

Spencer and I took what will probably be our last walk for the year, this Sunday. We were delighted to wear shorts again and not have the bulk of a jacket to hold us down.

What's the weather like by you?

Monday, October 13

Lily and The Gang

This is Lily. Lily is a fire-bellied toad. Lily is sitting in the tank right next to me taking a bath as I type this. Lily and her three posse members have been distracting me constantly since John surprised me with them a week ago. He knew I would have an empty tank after I put my White's Tree Frogs in their new home. He knew I would fret and research until I could no longer see, on my next frog. He couldn't have made a better choice. Even though they are toads, they are just as adorable as frogs! Fire-bellies are active all day and hop around onto everything, even themselves. I find them quite entertaining and adorable.
Here is to give you a size comparison. This is Lily last week just before I transferred her to her new home. Isn't she the tiniest cutest girl?! She and her tank mates are full grown! They were skinny when I got them. Nice and round now though!
I say that she is my only female out of four because of how much bigger she is than the other three. She is a round little lady.
Here are the three boys. They are smaller and more slender. They do croak but so quietly that I have to stop and listen carefully. They sound like a small dog barking a long ways away!
They are a community toad and love to be around each other. They are also semi-aquatic (that is why the water dish is so dirty). I am looking forward to making 60% of their tank water, like a small pond.
One of the males posing. They are also very friendly. They do give off toxins as most colorful toad/frogs do, but I wash my hands before and after handling them. They really only cause a reaction if you try to eat them, which I don't plan on doing for at least a few years, LOL!

Saturday, October 11

Yummy Chili

One of my favorite comfort foods during the colder months is chili. YUM! When I used to snowmobile, I often stopped at this out of the way restaurant/bar. They had the most wonderful chili. I never did try anything else on their menu because the chili was so good! I have tried for years and years to replicate their recipe and have failed miserably. Finally last week, I got very close. Persistence does pay off!
2.5 lbs. ground beef (cooked, drained and crumbled)
46 ounces tomato juice
29 ounces tomato sauce
15 ounces kidney beans, drained (I substitute HOT chili beans)
25 ounces pinto beans
1.5 cups chopped onion
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1/2 black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chili powder
Mix in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Tip: If you like spicier chili, add 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper and adjust the cayenne pepper to a higher level to suit your tastes.

Thursday, October 9

A Woman and Her Frogs

As I mentioned earlier, finding a new hobby has greatly reduced my stress levels. While I call it a hobby, I consider my frogs a healthy obsession really. Since John is allergic to most mammals, I am limited to what pets we can have. Be it my decision, I may have a petting zoo worth of animals running around our house and yard! So having loved frogs since I was a young whippersnapper, I am actually grateful that a pet of a different kind found it's way into my heart.

I have added to my brood. This is Milo. Poor Milo was at the pet store for about a month in a tank with a beautiful but mean chameleon. I stopped to visit him each time I was in. The store owner said he was croaking all the time in his cage. Ironically, John and I were in separate rooms of the house calling the pet store at the same time to see if the frog had been sold or not! This is so typical at our house! Needless to say, we brought him home. He is very active and vocal. Here he is sleeping in the lagoon I bought for them.

After bringing Milo home, I realized how cramped the three frogs (getting bigger and fatter every day) were in their 25 gallon home. I searched craiglist every night looking for a bigger tank I wouldn't have to sell an arm or a leg for. Last weekend, we went to look and price out tanks. I wanted at least a 40 gallon permanent tank for these guys. Our luck was good; Petco forgot to take the sale price off a 60 gallon tank and stand. It was only a bit more than the 40 gallon. I was so excited, I started having hot flashes in the aisles! John, being the sweetheart he is, offered to get it for me for my birthday (early). WOOHOO! This picture does not do it any justice. It is gorgeous and huge! I have all live plants on the bottom and can't wait until they fill in the tank. I will be added many things to this as I figure out how to do new things. I have a lot of creative (positive) energy and can't wait to put it to use!

This is my first frog, incorrectly named Xander and she is most definitely a girl. She is a cuddle bug and loves to sit just below my elbow (a.k.a. weenus) and wrap her front legs under her. She is wider than my males also.
This is the incorrectly named Simone. HE is hiding under a leaf because he is a scaredy ape. Simone is very shy but has much bigger eyes than my other two, which makes him super cute.
You think this is bad...just wait until I show you what I filled my 25 gallon tank with after I moved the White's Tree frogs to their new home!