Saturday, November 17, 2007

Simply Breathtaking...

The sunsets this week have been unbelievable! I managed to actually be home and have access to my camera on two of these days! I set up the tripod on my back patio and started firing.
If you click on these photos to blow them up, you can REALLY see the detail of this amazing sunset. And down toward the bottom, are the rugged peaks of the Rocky Mountains. *sigh* I DO love my view!

A special visit from an old friend...

What a WONDERFUL surprise I got last week when the people we sold our Eclectus to called to say they were in town for a bird show, and wanted to know if we wanted to keep Dobby for the weekend! YES! YES! YES! Of COURSE we want Dobby for the weekend! YEEEEEEESSSSS!
You see, I ordered Dobby (yes, we named him after the little green house elf on Harry Potter) as an egg from Florida about 5 years ago. He came to me with no feathers. Gregg and I bottle fed him from day one. He was our little angel.
Sadly, we had to sell Dobby last November when Gregg began working nights. It was just too noisy for Gregg to sleep during the day with a bird in the house. I know , I know. Should have sold my husband instead! Anyway, after being gone an entire year, my angel came home for the weekend. I was worried that he wouldn't remember us. That we would just be some strangers that he gets to go visit with. I brought him in and familiarized him with the layout of the house. Then, to my AMAZEMENT, he called out for Gregg! Then he called out for Borris, my cat! HE REMEMBERS US!!!!! OH HAPPY DAY! He called for Ashli and even called for another bird we used to have named Gus~ AMAZING!!!!!!!!!
Dobby always has been the sweetest little bird I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Since the day I brought him home, he has NEVER and I mean NEVER bit one person. Never even THOUGHT to apply pressure with his beak. I know Dobby VERY well, and I am 100% OVERLY confident in his temperament. (Not to mention that he is a therapy bird too). This is why I'm posting these OH SO SWEET photos that I took while he was here. Never in a million years would I EVER advocate putting a parrot anywhere near a young child, let alone ON that child. But, as I said before. I know MY bird. I know his tollerance and how to read his mood. I also know my daughter's abilities when it comes to handling this particular bird.
Long warning short - Don't EVER let any child hold, or get too close to any bird. Birds can be very very dangerous.
*Stepping off my soapbox*

Oh how I miss him, but I know he has gone to the most WONDERFUL home! They love him, like 'I' love him and that is all that matters. Not to mention, they will bring him home to me whenever I want him. Since they live about 5 hours away, they've also insisted that I can keep Dobbs with me whenever and for however long i'd like! AND, They are writing us into their will! Should something happen to them, Dobby will come home to us. God blessed us, and Dobby when he sent these people our way~ Man, I love this amazing bird.
BTW - Dobby is a Male 5 year old Soloman Island Eclectus.
Thanks for looking~

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Can I get a re-do?

Why YES I can! After our little cemetery outing (see post below), I've been thinking A LOT about a few shots that I just KNOW I could have done better had I brought my tripod with me. (I always leave SOMETHING behind you know!) Anyway, I moped about it for almost a week thinking that I could have done better, and contemplating WHAT I could have done differently. I went over certain shots in my head and recounted what I would do different next time. So today Gregg got home from work and I sprinted out the door to try to catch the sunset at the cemetery. (Sans kids--- YAY ME!) Yep... Karin turned me into a graveyard junkie. Yeeesh. Now I'M the creepy one! I have to say though, when you are at this beautiful cemetery, and there are no crazy kids running through the graveyard SCREAMING and scaling tombstones, it's a very peaceful and quiet place! Mental note for next time - No Kids. =o) Anyway, long story short. Re-shot some photos that had been haunting me *pun was SO intended*, and got another dose of utter tranquility. If they could just throw a few massage chairs and a pedicurist out there, I'd go weekly! *sigh*

This angel seems to have been calling me this past week. If you read my post below you will see how this beautiful piece of art affected me. This was the MAIN reason I returned to the cemetery. I had to photograph this stunning piece again!
I saw this scene as I was driving through. I hopped out of the car, set up the tripe and started firing. Not until I got home did I realize there is a statue on top of a tombstone of what appears to be a person sitting and mourning? Guess I'm going to have to go back and photograph the front side of that one... maybe next week? heehee

This is another of the photos that I felt I could do so much better on. I really wanted to get a good shot of the soldiers cemetery. How very grateful I am to each one of them, and also to their families. They gave their lives, so that my children can live free. How do you thank someone for that precious gift???

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Voice

So, 'THIS' post is decidedly VOID of photos. Why? well, because I'm an idiot. Truly.
A long time ago, after a remarkable life altering experience with a pack of wild mustangs I promised myself to NEVER be caught without a camera again.
That lasted all of 4 months.
Fast forward to last week when I had a sudden insatiable craving for Schlotzky's (WHO came up with THAT name?) I grabbed my keys and that little annoying voice in the back of my head says "Hey, grab your camera." I say, "Voice? I'm not taking my big heavy expensive camera to Schlotzky's. I just want a sandwich." The voice pipes in again, "I SAID - Grab your camera!" I roll my eyes, ignore that annoying voice and leave.
WHY don't I listen to that thing? It's ALWAYS right!!!!!!!!
I pull up to a stop light and my head rolls to the left and what do I see on the 'STREET CORNER' eating grass? A herd of DEER. Seriously. DEER! On the flippin' street corner! I'm talking PRIZE antlers here folks, and I would NOT have had to hike to get em, they were right flippin' there!!!!!! I bang my hands on the steering wheel and VOW to NEVER ignore that voice again!
Meanwhile, I hear the voice --- "Toldja so."
TODAY - I was leaving to go to Linen's and Things (which by the way is in the same shopping center as Schlotzky's) and after packing a diaper bag, changing Mason and ushering my urchins out the door I hear it. Uh huh... that damn voice. "Hey, go grab your camera." Seriously? "You want me to go BACK into the house just to get my camera so I can take it to buy a shower curtain?"
Voice - "yes. I said get your camera."
Me - "Uh, no. Made too many trips already, I'm leaving."
Voice - "You said you were going to listen to me remember? I'm always right."
Me - "You're annoying, I'm in a hurry, I'm leaving... please shut-up."
Voice - "oooooooooooooookaaaaaaay."
On my way home ---
What is sitting on a fence literally 3 feet from the road?
A Golden Eagle.
Voice - "Dumbass."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You want to go WHERE?

Yeah, so Karin calls this afternoon and asks, "Hey, do ya wanna go to the cemetery today?"
I of course, choke on my lunch and say, "Do I want to go WHERE?"
Yes, I heard her right. After she repeated herself for I don't know, the twenty seventh time, I finally grasped the idea that she was trying to get me to pack up my children and go with her and HER children to the cemetery. No, not just 'A' cemetery, rather, THE cemetery. The oldest in Denver I believe. And not just this 'AFTERNOON', rather, at dusk.
***creepy right?***
So yeah, sure I'll go. I have no other weird, creepy plans. And I would love to help her teach her daughter about cemeteries not being... eh.. creepy.
As it would turn out, and who knew... this was a GREAT idea. Not only did the kids see a real cemetery. But IN that cemetery they saw beauty, nature, peace and art. Sure they didn't grasp the concept or the depth of what this sacred place was really FOR but I think in some way, it actually may have helped my neice Lexi get over her uneasiness about what REALLY goes on in a cemetery. Now, Karin going at DUSK... That was pure genius! Well, as far as the lighting for photography was concerned. The landscape, the sunset, the beauty. It all just worked. So Karin,while I did at first think you were, well... creepy. Turns out, it was a good experience. The cemetery may just be the new Saturday night hang-out with the kids.
Okay, only in the fall. =o)
Peaceful Tranquility

I think this beauty speaks for itself.

Ashli and her cousin Jessi, together. Beautiful.

An amazing sunset shot of Ashli. It looks as if she's so deep in thought. So peaceful.

I saw this beautiful statue in the children's garden today. What a peaceful, yet awful place it was. I have had so many not-so-subtle reminders in the past two days that have truly shown me... that no matter WHAT I am facing with my children, it could be so much worse. I could 'NOT' have them. A HEAVY dose of perspective has been thrust into my face, and I 'get it!'
This statue is beautiful in so many ways. It instantly made me think of the 6 precious baby boys that I have in heaven, playing with the angels, waiting for their mom
to come home.

So I say, go all of you and visit your local cemetery. You may be surprised at what you learn not only about yourself, but also about those who live there.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

It's official

Many of you know that Mason was evaluated back in September for some developmental delays. The therapist that saw him were very concerned about Autism. We took Mason to Children's Hospital on Monday, Oct. 29th for his formal evaluation. After nearly 5 hours, the team came back with a PDD-NOS (provisional) diagnosis and want Mason to be restested in six months. PDD-NOS stands for Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified. Basically, it is a dumping ground for children with MANY of the classic autism symptoms, but not ALL, or not as SEVERE. Of the three basic categories that define autism, Mason is not severe in ONE. Which is the repetative actions. Though he will gaze quite often out the windows, has a definite affinity for pens and doors, they did not feel it was severe enough to warrant a true Autism Diagnosis at this time. (Mind you, they had to close the blinds in the testing room because Mason would not stop staring out the window~) I thought I would be a little more happy with a PDD-NOS diagnosis, but really after researching a TON, I've discovered that it is quite like autism. The docs have told us time and again that Mason will benefit GREATLY from the same therapies offered to children with autism, but with the PDD diagnosis Mason is not allowed any additional services! It's appalling! If he were given the autism diagnosis, he would be put onto a wait list for a government waiver and within 6-9 months he would be granted $25,000.00 per year in additional therapies and services. This would bring his developmental therapy up from ONE hour per week to 8-12 hours per week. But, because the diagnosis is PDD-NOS (Still on the autism spectrum) he is entitled to nothing.
SO, Gregg and I are getting mason immediately into Speech and Physical therapy. Our ins. will allow 60 combined visits per year, and we are currently awaiting approval for a neurological psychiatrist to give a second opinion on Mason's condition. We will of course do the restest in 6 months as well. This is all so very overwhelming to us as we are officially in the 'NO-MAN'S-LAND' of the autism spectrum with a toddler who is very much in need of intense early intervention! I was told time and again in the past 2 months, that if Mason were given an ASD (autism spectrum disorder) diagnosis, that I would be fighting the biggest fight of my life to get him what he needs. I guess those people were ALL right~ But ya know.... I'm up for it. I 'm not losing my boy to Autism. So , in honor of that statement I am going to post a scrapbook page I did on the matter entitled, "Dear Autism.. "
I will post updates as they come in! Please keep the little bubbs in your prayers!