Welcome Gatsby!

It is no secret that Remington P. Cat was my baby. My heart still aches for him and probably always will, I have his picture by my bed and do not go to sleep at night without saying good-night to him, I still cry when I sit and think about him, like right now…

I know that when you lose a pet, there is absolutely no way to replace him. It’s silly to even try. But I also know that the hole left by the loss of a pet can be too much to bear, and sometimes you need a little help to ease the pain. So we took a trip to the Santa Fe Animal Shelter, not to try and replace Remi, but to share the love that we had for him. Remi came from a shelter, so it seemed only fitting that his successor should do the same.

I love being able to help an animal from the shelter, but hate that we have to leave so many behind, especially since they, too, so desperately want a place to call home. Since bringing home all of the kitties was not an option, we had to pick one.

Everyone really liked “Denmark,” a little tabby boy who had spent most of his life in the shelter. He started out at a shelter in CA, and was transferred to Santa Fe when they ran of space. He is about 11 months old now, and just a spunky little thing. Liam had always wanted to name a cat “Gatsby,” and this was his chance.

Gatsby and Hamish took a little while to get used to each other, but now they play just like brothers. One will hit the other then take off running, and the chase is on. Charbie loved Gatsby from day one, but Gatsby was not used to dogs, so he took a little getting used to. Now they act like they have known each other forever.

Gatsby did not have a lot of loving or attention in the early part of his life, so he is still not quite sure what to do when we pick him up or just try to love on him, but he is getting better. He is starting to purr a little more often and lets me hold him for a little longer before he starts chewing on my hair or trying to eat my ears. Every now and then he will crawl under the covers at night and purr, licking my fingers as I pet him, and my heart melts.

Welcome to the family, Gatsby, we are so happy that you are here.🙂

❤❤❤  In loving memory of Remington P. Cat ❤❤❤

Summer Adventures ~ August 2016

August came way too fast this year! Most parents probably love the kids returning to school, but I love my kids home, so the start of the new school year is never my favorite thing.

We squeezed what we could out of summer while it lasted, though. We went to Cliff’s Amusement Park in Albuquerque where the kids had an absolute blast. We spent the entire day there watching them ride everything they possible could. It was strange to remember the days when they were all so small that they could not go on a lot of rides. Now, they are tall enough to ride everything and don’t need us for much of anything. We no longer need to hold their hands or go on rides with them… Sigh.

Middle school football practice started and Liam was so excited, especially after missing summer football camp. Every afternoon I took him to school and watched about 60 boys get ready for football season. After a week of practice, they picked up their jerseys for the year. You could tell the boys felt pretty cool, all officially part of the middle school football team.

Liam got his braces on his bottom teeth, Rob and I both celebrated birthdays, Charbie continued to get cuter everyday. Sweet Hamish, the little 5-week old kitty we found up in North Dakota, turned two! He is still the same adorable butterball he has always been. Perhaps the most shocking thing that happened was that Liam cut his hair! I had thought he was kidding when he went in for a hair cut just before school, but obviously not. He went in with longish hair, and came out with short hair! He looks so grown-up!

Liam had middle school registration as well. We picked up his student ID, got his books, found his locker and all of his classes, paid his fees for the year. He was anxious to get started, I think mostly so all the nerves about not knowing what to expect would go away. The twins had meet-the-teacher, and then it was time for school to start!

We have now completed two full weeks of school and everyone is doing great. Liam has the middle school routine down and loves not being in elementary school anymore. The twins both love their teachers and have good friends in their classes.

Meanwhile, it is awfully quiet back at home… Do you suppose it is to early to start counting down to next summer?

Summer Adventures ~ July 2016

July was another wild and crazy month in the Harper house. It started with a trip to Lubbock, Texas. This was the kids’ first time to Texas, so we were able to add it to our map! While we were there, we were able to meet up with an old friend of mine. Rhonda and I went to middle school together over in Germany about a hundred years ago, or so it seems. We both came back to the US in the summer after 8th grade, and had not seen each other since. It was great to be able to catch up and for our families to finally meet.

Liam’s long-awaited football camp finally came, only for him to be sick from a vaccination and miss almost the whole thing. I felt so terrible. Nathan ended up participating by himself while the rest of us watched from the bleachers. He had fun, but I knew it was killing Liam not to be out there with him. Nathan then participated in a week-long British soccer camp, which he really enjoyed. We also made it down to the Santa Fe Opera, which was amazing! We saw La Fanciulla del West, or The Girl of the Golden West. It was in Italian, of course, but we were able to read the English subtitles on the back of the seat in front of us. It was our very first open-air opera! Well, technically our first opera period!

Let’s see, what else? Regular days were filled with library visits, trips to the farmer’s market, swimming, small day hikes, that sort of thing. We started our back-to-school shopping and began keeping an eye on upcoming school events. The kids started getting excited to see who would be in their classes and who their new teachers would be.

And just like that, July was over. Sigh… Only a few short weeks of summer left…

Summer Adventures ~ June 2016

Since we are now finishing up our second full week of school (already!!), I figured I had better try and catch up on our summer activities! Of course, if I were a smart person (which obviously I am not), I would have been filling you in as we went along, but somehow time just kept getting away from me. So, better late than never… Right? Yea, we will just go with that…

I think the best way to do this is to do one month at a time. So, here we go with June!

We kicked off the summer with some camping up on the mesa, about three miles from home, and we had a blast. The days of June were filled with hiking and exploring, trips to Albuquerque for visits to the aquarium and Museum of Natural History, drives through the mountains. As the month went on, we celebrated Liam’s 13th birthday at Gravity Park, Catheryn took a week long art class at Fuller Lodge and loved it, we made regular visits to the library and farmer’s market, even got some work done on the car. And as the first full month of summer came to an end, my parents came for a visit. We had a really nice time while they were here, exploring the park, taking small drives, and just catching up.

June just flew by, but at the time we were not too worried because we knew we still had two months of summer left. What we failed to realize was that they were going to fly by just as fast…

Here We Go Again!

After a busy and fun-filled summer, it is time once again to head back to school! It was quite a new experience this morning dropping one off at middle school before heading back to the elementary school, but I don’t think it will take too long to settle into a new routine. We just have to leave at 7am in order to make it to both schools on time! The kids all enjoyed their first day, and while I am not yet convinced that summer should actually be over, I think it is going to be a good year.

Happy New School Year!!!

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Happy Day!

It has been many years since we have been able to celebrate my dad’s birthday with him, but my parents just so happen to be visiting right now, and today just happens to be my dad’s birthday!

So, to my amazing dad, Happy Birthday!!! We all love you so very much! Thank you for allowing us to share your day with you. Let’s do it again next year!

Happy Birthday, Daddy!!!

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