Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Funny Joke

I wish I had written this because it's darn funny. Somebody forwarded it to my mom, you America lovers will like this:
Abu al-Zarqawi died and George Washington met him at the Pearly Gates. He slapped him across the face and yelled, "How dare you try to destroy the nation I helped conceive!"

Patrick Henry approached, punched him in the nose and shouted, "You wanted to end our liberties but you failed!"

James Madison followed, kicked him in the groin and said, "This is why I allowed our government to provide for the common defense!"

Thomas Jefferson was next, beat al-Zarqawi with a long cane and snarled "It was Evil men like you who inspired me to write the Declaration of Independence."

The beatings and thrashings continued as George Mason, James Monroe and 66 other early Americans unleashed their anger on the terrorist Leader.

As al-Zarqawi lay bleeding and in pain, an Angel appeared. Al- Zarqawi wept and said, "This is not what you promised me."

The Angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you in Heaven. What did you think I said?"

Tomorrow's a big day. We're leaving for the airport at 5:30am to head out to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and spend a week in

Lincoln In Flight
Scottsdale with Grandma Laura, Grandpa Dave and Auntie Haley. Thursday's forecast suggests that it will be warmer in northeast Ohio than in Phoenix... we just can't catch a break! But it's supposed to be very nice otherwise, though Jenn's definition of "very nice" and my definition of "very nice" differ slightly. It will be warm enough to get out to the pool. I'm looking forward to visiting a spring training facility or two, and we'll certainly make it to the Phoenix Zoo.

We've got a direct flight, so we'll see how that goes. Lincoln has had some flying adventures, or better stated, we've had some flying adventures with Lincoln over the years. Our prayer is that God will decide that we don't need a lesson in patience and that He'll grant us a peaceful trip.

So our Easter weekend will be spent in Arizona. Wherever you spend your Easter, take some moments to reflect on the event, that Jesus not only died for our sins, but that He also gave us victory over death.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

The School Bus!!!!!

Auntie Em came for a visit and a Birthday Celebration last week.

On this Special Saturday, when Jenn and I were at work, Grandpa Doug and Grandma Paulette took Lincoln on a walk over to my old stomping grounds, CVCA, to see the... wait for it... the SCHOOL BUS!!!! Yea!!!! The School Bus!!!!

And at the end of the walk, Lincoln scrubbed the mud off of his shoes.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Great Dinner & Friends

Last evening we thanked our friends for helping us move back in November. We didn't want too much time to pass. Ha! So Jenn made an appetizer of baked, homemade Taquitos, then a great meal of Citrus Salad; Pork Tenderloin Kabobs with red pepper, pineapple and red onion; a Black Bean recipe that had me going back for seconds; Venezuelan Rice with yellow pepper; Fried Plantains; and then she broke out Grandma Mullen's Apple Dumplings for dessert. Yum.
Many thanks to Kevin & Aynsley Keller, Andy & Courtney Ucker and Michael and Annie King for their help and friendship!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mid March

Things are buzzing along very nicely at the Gates Home. Work is staying busy, too, which is very good. Along with keeping busy with veterinary medicine, we're also launching a web presence at the end of March/beginning of April. Our website is looking awesome (it's in the design process right now, and when Jenn saw the proofs, she said, "It looks like your clinic is huge, with 12 doctors and a big hospital."), and we'll be on Facebook (fan us!), Twitter (follow us!), and Flickr (for our fun and cool photos). It's a giant step for us, and it'll add a new dimension to work for me,
but I'm excited about it. It'll give us an opportunity to make connections with pet owners in new ways. I've been watching and talking with a few clinics that do this very well, so I've got some role models. Granted, those clinics have larger staffs and budgets than we've got, but you have to aim high, right?

Lincoln is now stringing multiple words together. Not quite sentences, but he's communicating really well, and that makes it so much easier on us now that we can say, "Lincoln, what's wrong?" or "Lincoln, tell Daddy what you want." or "Do you want to read Farmyard Tales or Swiss Family Robinson?"
He's pretty able to tell us what's going on in his little mind.

We've heard from a number of family and friends recently given some of the big changes at our place, such as the news that we're expecting #2 & Gretel's arrival. Please feel free to leave comments on the blog. Thanks so much to the folks that do, especially the regulars... you know who you are!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gates Wish List

I've said in the past that for a variety of reasons I'm not a big fan of posting a wish list on our blog, but we've decided to do so as a matter of convenience for our families. Our list has been updated, so for Jenn's upcoming birthday (in 2 weeks!) and Lincoln's in less than 2 months (can you believe he'll be 2 years old?!) there are some ideas for you if you're interested.

(BTW, I've used the web space at our ABF's website for the wish list so you won't have silly advertisements at the top of the page.)

Zoo 2010 #1!!!

2009 Flashback:

We took our first trip of 2010 to the zoo, and we had a lot of fun. Lincoln was on the move in a big way and was full of funny thoughts and phrases. He's been on a monster Panda fix lately. Grandma Paulette has a big stuffed toy Panda that he loves, and he's been all about Pandas. When we were on our way to the zoo, we asked Lincoln what animal he wanted to see he answered, "Pandas!" Well... the Akron Zoo doesn't have Pandas, but they have a Red Panda, so when we told him we could see a Red Panda he said, "Blue Panda?" No... the Akron Zoo doesn't have Blue Pandas...

What got Lincoln most excited wasn't any of the animals, but the big construction equipment that was scattered around the zoo!

Half-way through the zoo, Lincoln started saying, "Jellies, jellies!" So when we got to the Jellyfish exhibit we thought he'd be excited to see the Jellyfish. He was mostly interested in the disco ball that was flashing lights around the darkened exhibit, but after we got past the disco ball, he started to pay attention to the actual animals.

Besides the Pandas, Lincoln informed us that he wanted to see the Flamingos. The Flamingo exhibit is the last thing to see before the Zoo store and the exit, so that gave him something to look forward to. The Flamingos were especially chatty today!

Just a few more weeks until our trip out to Arizona! Jenn and I are looking forward to it a lot.

Also, we've mentioned it verbally to so many people now that I don't even know who knows and who doesn't, but in case you haven't heard yet, Lincoln will be a big brother sometime in October (for Jenn's sake, hopefully not in November!). Yes, we're very excited. (This news is part of the reason that we wanted to bring Gretel home when we did so that we could have a puppy house-trained before a second child comes home.) You may recall that when Jenn and I first got married, she was not interested in our having kids. But as time passed, and we befriended some really great couples who were really great parents, our desire was not just to have one child, but several. We believe that this was more than just a conclusion that we came to on our own. So we're looking forward to adding to our little Gates family in the very near future! Yes, we'll be ultrasounding as soon as our baby is big enough to see, and we'll share those with you as the weeks and months go by (we weren't blogging when we were ultrasounding Lincoln [holy cow, time flies by]).

And speaking of Gretel, things are going great on the Boxer front. We still miss Bridget greatly, but we know that life goes on and that death is a part of life. While Gretel cannot replace Bridget, Gretel has already carved out her own niche in our home. She's got loads of personality, she drives Betty nuts, and she's just darn cute with her black mask, floppy ears, and little nub. The house-training is coming along pretty well, and her fear of going down stairs is long gone. She now launches herself down the stairs and bolts around the house like she owns the place. She's also taken to crate training at night light-years ahead of Bridget (I remember many sleepless, loud-pitched-yipping nights with what was to become my favorite dog!), though she's still not the quietest during the day in her crate. She's growing well, too, weighing in at just under 14 pounds at 9 weeks old. We'll see where she finishes up, but she's pushing Betty around with ease now.

So that was more of a catch-up blog post than I originally intended for it to be. Consider yourself up to speed with the Gateses!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Running Around Like A Silly Boy

What's really funny is that when Lincoln watches this video, he runs around like a crazy boy at the sight of himself running around like a crazy boy.

Gretel is figuring out life at the Gates Home. She's doing well, Lincoln has accepted her now (we weren't sure there for the first 36 hours!), and Betty has been nothing short of an All-Star with her. As I write this, Gretel is curled up at my feet, and Betty is sleeping with her head rested on Gretel. This will no doubt be a theme for the rest of Betty's life, as Gretel will tack on an extra 50+ pounds and dwarf Betty over the next year or so.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Addition to the Gates Home

Jenn and I found a breeder that has had a reputation of producing the type of Boxers that we like: big, barrel-chested, box-shaped-headed licking machines. They've been at it for a while, and we saw a couple of generations of their Boxers, and we liked what we saw. Last Saturday evening, while we were down south in Columbus for the Midwest Veterinary Conference, we drove a little further to Laymani Boxers to visit with Guy and Denise and their pack of Boxers. We were impressed, and we found a puppy that was ready for a home, that was well-socialized, and was not too mouthy (much like another certain boxer a little more than 7 years ago.

A pooped-out Boxer pup after lots of running around.

So we met Guy and Denise in Dover to pick up Gretel! She's adjusting quite well, and Betty has behaved admirably, as well. (Thank goodness!)

We're working on teaching Gretel to not jump, and Lincoln is working on getting adjusted.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Weekend at Grandpa Doug and Grandma Paulette's House

First of all, thank you for extending your sympathies regarding Bridget's passing. Jenn and I have had an interesting week. There have been hard times, like when Lincoln points to where Bridget's cage was and says, "Bridget's cage?" Or when I asked him at Grandma's house, "Who are we going to see at home?" I anticipated his saying, "Mommy!" but he said, "Bridget!" He's not sad, as he doesn't have the concept of death yet, but it's hard for Jenn and I to know that Bridget won't be greeting us when we get home.

But there have been some good, memorable times between the two of us when we recall the particularly fun times Bridget gave to us. There were many. We got a good laugh remembering the time she took the big lick out of the chip dip at our Super Bowl party two years ago. She had never taken food off of the table, and Jenn and I just laughed. We scooped the top layer off and kept the rest of the dip for the two of us for the rest of the evening. We miss her loyalty and her good behavior. She was special. For those of our readers who knew Bridget, you'll be interested to see our next post. Jenn and I have been working on something that we want to share with you, but I can't do it just yet.

On another subject at the Gates Home, Lincoln's vocabulary and articulation of that vocabulary is increasing exponentially. Jenn and I got back from Columbus and he was emphasizing syllables that we'd never heard from him. Grandma Paulette took a bunch of photos this weekend, and I'm able to share them with you here: