Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First Day of School...and Farewell to Simon

Chris is sort of today's guest writer on the blog. Yesterday we sent an e-mail to his Dad who is serving a mission in the Philippines. I thought it would be perfect for this entry. 

August 5, 2014
Okay, we have now moved 98% into a house that is about 20% smaller and 50 years older. Short 6.5-7 foot ceilings. Just a bit cramped or cozy, but the kids aren't calling it that.

It is a very beautiful area with numerous trees, birds and wildlife. You know how you used to joke with the dogs about the bunnies would be outside sticking their tongues out at them? Well, here, they actually do.

Unfortunately, our Dachshund contracted cancer just before we had to move. Today we put him to sleep because he was so miserable.  He would have loved chasing the rabbits around the big yard we have. It's about 1/3 of an acre. It cools down real nice here at night as we are right off of the Hassayampa river. That's why there are all the critters, but of course that means bugs too. It's a bit like upscale camping.

I had the family start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning and have offered Hostess Ding Dongs to anyone that can identify parallels from Lehi's family's experience and our current circumstances.

The kids are not happy at all due to the moving, cleaning, organizing, repairing and unpacking that never ends. Mikelle, as a teen often does, is convinced we are ruining her life. Christian thinks that we have stepped back in time technologically 200 years. Today is their 1st day of school. We will see when I get home how that went. They were both rather apprehensive. I am hoping that given some time, things will get easier and more enjoyable for them.

We are disappointed that the construction hasn't begun on our house yet and we haven't found a renter for our Queen Creek house yet. The bank has given us conditional approval for construction, but there is still another month before they will let us start building.

I am getting more sleep but the energy that would give me is being siphoned off by the aforementioned moving requirements.

So yes, as Chris mentioned in the e-mail to his dad, Christian and Mikelle began their first day of school yesterday. I took their picture, but I'm not going to post it because Mikelle does not look happy in it. It wouldn't be fair to her. I didn't take a picture of them separately.

Christian seemed happy when I picked him up and he likes his teacher. He was placed in the right classroom with his learning needs and requirements. Mikelle seemed okay when I initially picked her up. She was even invited at lunch to sit with some 11th graders because they recognized her from church. But she still seemed apprehensive and shy about everything. Then later she said she hated the whole day. I asked her why and she replied, "Because it sucked." I know most of her attitude is not being with her friends at Queen Creek High School. I knew this would be an adjustment for her. But it was better to start her at Wickenburg High School now, then stay in Queen Creek another year and then pull her out of Queen Creek High School. That would have been much tougher.

She begins seminary next week. It is different that she will have early morning seminary instead of Release Time Seminary as she would have in Queen Creek, due to the higher population of LDS students who would be attending seminary, which isn't the case here. 

I went to Gilbert High School and I had Release Time Seminary as well. However, I am excited about seminary for her. She and I went to a stake fireside about it last Sunday night. I became choked up as I recalled my experience with seminary and realizing how long ago it was.  And I looked at this beautiful young lady sitting beside me and couldn't believe she was already in high school and already going to be attending seminary. How did that happen?

And yes, on a somber note, as Chris mentioned in the message to his dad, we did put Simon down yesterday. I was waiting for a day that Chris could do it, but it wasn't working out with the demands of the Queen Creek house and a training schedule Chris had that messed up his usual days off. I noticed Simon yesterday morning had very labored breathing. He wasn't whimpering, but he looked so miserable. He wouldn't even eat. The night before, he acted interested at one of Chris's sandwiches. I heard Chris say, "I've never given a dog the food off my plate before, Simon, but I will for you."

I prepared the kids of the plans that morning for me to take Simon in to be put down. They seemed to take it okay. They were prepared because when these tumors became apparent and he was diagnosed, we told them it was going to happen soon. 

I called the vet that is almost directly located behind our land where our house is going to be built. They said they usually don't euthanize an animal unless they've had it as a patient before. I told them our situation, that we had just moved to town, and that we were going to be building a house behind them in the next year (knock on wood). I said Simon was seen and diagnosed previously by our vet in Queen Creek. I explained his symptoms. They agreed and I brought him in a couple of hours later. They were so sweet about the whole thing. But I had Alexander with me. That was going to be tough. I had Alexander give him a hug and a kiss. I didn't want to be in the room with Simon when they euthanized him. Plus, Alexander, while calm as he was drawing pictures, isn't a toddler to leave unattended - even with a couple employees right there. 

Mikelle made this montage tribute
We wanted to bury Simon out on our land later that evening when Chris came home, so they put Simon in a box for me and sealed it. Alexander was busy drawing and showing his pictures to one of the office ladies, so I used that as a distraction to sneak out and put the box in the back of the car. When I came back in to get X-man and we were leaving, he asked where Simon was. I wasn't sure what to say. Well, I did know what to say, but I wasn't ready to say it. I said, "He is sick, so we had to take him to the doggie hospital." That seemed to satisfy his inquiry for the time being.

I drove to our land (which as the crow flies, is close by, but it's more than a mile to drive around to it from the vet) and placed the box with Simon's body in our storage shed that is already on the land. When Chris got home, we drove out there and buried him. Christian seemed to really have a hard time once he saw the box, and we were digging the hole.  I don't blame him. Simon was here when Christian was born. I have a lot of different pictures of Christian growing up with Simon. I'm not able to get them together now, but I want to.  

Anyway, we put a lot of big rocks and boulders on top of the hole after we filled it with dirt and we went for ice cream afterwards.

Until's Mikelle's birthday!

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