27 June 2011

Happy Birthday Princess!

24 June 2011

When it gets warm again, we'll be making great use of our Deluxe Kid Wash. We got the idea from my favorite kid magazine Family Fun. I came home from work one day to see a bunch of PVC pipe on the back of his vet truck. The next day Ryan spent the afternoon with the PVC pipe and the printout instructions found here. Curious kids sometimes helped and sometimes hindered.

The next day, even though it wasn't super warm out, the kids played in the kid wash. As I watched them run through having a blast, I had one thought going through my mind:

No more official baths at our house this summer!

I figured if I just take some shampoo outside, they can just get their hair washed out there and call it good. What do you think? I'll let you know how it works.

So this is the picture from their website and magazine of their finished product. For some reason it looks a bit cooler than ours. Here's the modifications that Ryan made on his creation. First of all, no cool pool noodle (3 double-o words in a row, wow) on ours or the cute sign. I mean, it's cue and all but it really does nothing for how the actual thing works. The sponges are hung by a hole through them and then strung up. I suggested to Ryan a short piece of of PVC pipe through the whole so the string doesn't rip the sponges. The cute little nylon strips can be a variety of things. Ours currently doesn't have anything hanging but hopefully that will get added. It can be nylon strips, or rubber webbing stuff for non-skid mats, or cloth that can be removed and washed and stored at the end of the year. No cool stop sign on ours either. I'm wondering if there's something cool we can add there. If you have any ideas, let me know. Thankfully we have LOTS of water pressure but you might have to drill smaller holes for it to work... or to waste less water!

22 June 2011

My husband is a rockstar!

Recently while trying to organize my hard drive, I found the following article (it's a few years old now) and thought it would be fun to share.  He is amazing.  I've also included a picture of him at work, although it doesn't go exactly with the story.  Happy reading friends.

The Interesting Life of a Veterinarian

            Everybody has some interesting stories when it comes to their jobs.  I think I seem to have more than my fair share of interesting stories.

            Allow me to give you an example. . .   About four years ago my parents were living in Arizona but had bought a house north of Decorah.  Because of this I would drive up there every other week and mow the lawn. 

            Every week my wife and I attend a Bible study on Thursday nights.  One of those weeks our Bible study was going to have a social at a dairy farm north of Calmar so I thought I would run up to mom and dad's house to mow the lawn before the social. 

            So I drove up early with the vet truck to mow the lawn and then swung by the farm on the way home to enjoy the social.  When I arrived everyone else was down at the calf condos so I made my way down there to see what everyone was talking about.  As I chatted with everyone the farmer walked up to me and jokingly said that he was glad I had brought the truck because he had a cow who had started to calve and wasn't progressing as quickly as he thought it should.

            That was all that was said and we continued on with our social.  A couple of hours, and a couple of burgers later, we were sitting around the fire enjoying the nice spring evening.  The group was starting to break up and my wife and I were talking about heading home when I heard someone come up behind me.

            "Ryan, I hate to bother you and I will understand if you don't want to, but that cow still hasn't calved and I think the calf is backwards.  If you don't want to help I'll understand and call my vet, but I thought since you were here. .  . "

            "No problem.  I know that if I pulled onto a farm at this time of night and later found out that another vet had been there the entire time, I would not be happy with them.  I'll get my stuff."

            "Now I just want to make clear that I am very happy with my current vet and I am not looking to change," he informed me.

            "Understood," I replied.

            It did not take long for the news that "Doc Ryan" was going to be pulling a calf to trickle through the group.  Most of them had not grown up on a farm and if they had it was a beef farm so they had not gotten in on any of this excitement before.

            Next think I know it looked like lemmings heading to the sea as a line of onlookers filed into the barn.  Some small kids were present so all on lookers were encouraged to stand several feet away.  I have found this to be less scary for the kids because sometimes the cows make a lot of noise when I get to pulling.  Plus if the calf is dead, which is very possible in a breach calf, it is easier to convince the kids that it is sleeping.

            While I was getting my equipment together I could distinctly hear

            When I checked the cow I was delightfully surprised to find that it was a pretty straight forward breach calf.  With minimal time and effort I was able to reposition the calf, get my chains placed, and hook up the puller.

            The addition of the puller lead to some excitement amongst the onlookers.  They really got to talking when I started using it to pull the calf, but I don't think I really understood the impact it had on them until I read an email from one of them the next day.  It was obvious that he had not been in on many pulls before.

            All in all I thought the night was a success.  I enjoyed good food with good friends, had the opportunity to show off some of the nicer aspects of veterinary life, delivered a live calf without much trouble, enjoyed the short lived status of local hero, and to top it all off I got paid.  On time!

16 June 2011


Like I just mentioned on my other blog, I've been busy with everything but blogging.  Life has been fun, and annoying lately.  The annoying part is likely due to the fact that I'm busy and not making much time for disobedient children's attitudes.  Thought I'd share a few quick funnies from the last week:
1. Bethany cried and whined when I dropped her off at Grammy's on Tuesday.  Mom informed me that night that it only took 3 shots of coffee to calm her down.  Yes, this child loves coffee.  She's been known to steal my mom's cup and then go hide while she drinks it.  Not even the black coffee keeps my daughter at bay.
2. Bethany again.  She was so excited about having her teeth cleaned.  Overly animated and chatty, I could hear her the entire time she was in the other room.  When finished, she came to the room I was in and boldly announced: "Sandy tickled my teeth and I got PRIZES!"  She's a doll.
3. Scott, normally our perfect child, is full of piss and vinegar lately.  Well, maybe not the first one.  He's really struggling to keep his promise to the GI doc this week and we're getting really sick of the accidents. 
4.  Speaking of those types of problems, Judah has been like his brother this week.  Twice.  The first time I found a puddle in front of the toilet.  Come on son... you were so close.  The second time I found him in the hall holding himself from peeing more.   Arrg.  Not fun.
5.  My kids are fun though.  Scott continues to be interested in biographical stories of people like Harriet Tubman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, etc along with classic tales like Tom Sawyer, our current read. 
6.  Last night after we heard about a great ministry called Chain of Love (www.chainoflove.org), my 2 littles were found in the basement of the church playing make-believe Go-Fish.  I saw them, chuckled and let them continue playing.

7. Okay, that's it for now.  If you want to hear more about our trip, we'll be doing a community-wide presentation on Saturday at the Elgin FBC at 6pm. 

10 June 2011

Met Them

One of the goals of my trip to Ethiopia was to meet Judah's birth mom and brothers.  I knew that we would be in the general area of Judah's mom.  I didn't know if that would mean a 2 hour drive down a dirt road or what.  What I didn't know is that she was a 20 minute drive from where we were staying in Soddo.  On Sunday, Tuto went out on his motorbike with the information and a picture in his hand to find Ms. A.  Four hours later after my hopes were slim, he arrived at Shanto and gave us all a thumbs up.  Who knew such a simple gesture would make me cry!
On Monday morning, our driver took us back to Ms. A in his landcruiser.  My emotions were overwhelming as I watched the local village people break branches along the foot path so the "ferenge" could get through in the landcruiser.  While one woman walked along the path that led us to Ms. A, I was overcome with how wonderful the people of Ethiopia are. 
We did meet Judah's birth mom for a second time.  And we met the brothers.  And I'm so, so thankful.  In addition to that, my friend, Dr. Jo went along with us to check on our birthmom who said she'd been very sick.  Jo happily reported that mom and boys were well and then proceeded to treat 30+ people for MMR.
Thank you FOVC staff, Dr. Jo, and Guillermo (our driver) for blessing us in such an incredible way!!!
For the other AP's reading, there was no involvement of Holt for this meeting.  They didn't have the staff available.  We did not take her anything except the one picture of Judah.  She had received the letters and pictures we sent in the past.  Great news. 
More from me later...

in DC

Welcome to the United States.  Oh, how I love those words!  We're in DC and just had lunch for breakfast.  Thanks to the wonder worker Dr. Jo, I slept well about half of the flight!  In just a little bit, we'll be loading for our last flight.  We'll land in Minneapolis, then pray that our shuttle guy and luggage find us quickly, then start the 4 hour drive home... oh, I'm eager to be there.

09 June 2011

home stretch

Just wanted to share with everyone that we're on the home stretch of our trip.  After a bad start to the morning, we just arrived back in Addis Ababa, where we'll fly out from.  It was an amazing but difficult few weeks.

Please continue to pray for our team.  That everyone will arrive in Addis safely and then return safely.  Pray for God to bring Shalom to our team!

from the guest house where the kind lady lets me sneak on her computer...