Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lou Lou!

O.k., please bear with me here; I am painfully aware that because we have yet been blessed with children, our pets are kind of our focus--oh, who am I trying to kid??? They are completely spoiled and they are totally our babies! But isn't Lou lou soooooooo sweet and cute!?! How could anyone ever deny a face like that? : ) Every time she looks at me like this I melt, and whatever she wants, she gets.

By the way, I am feeling rather sheepish for posting this and being so mushy about my guinea pig, but that doesn't matter enough to change anything...She will forever "have me at hello" with this face. (I really am sorry for that last line there from "Jerry McGuire", I know, it's completely aweful, shameful really.) I promise here and now, that I will refrain from using that quote ever again on this blog. : )

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Gabriel Elias Brinkley, born 8/19/07, Right on his due date!

Jed and Emily working hard. Isn't this the sweetest picture? Jed, Emily's husband, was incredible! He didn't leave her side once, and it was a LONG haul!
I got to be there for the whole thing... by the time the baby was born, I'd been awake for 30+ hours. This pic is right toward the end of Em's labor. She was at the end of transition and almost ready to push. She was in intense pain, I don't know how you ladies do this!?! You are amazing!
And here he is, Gabrial Elias Brinkley!!! All Eight pounds, 13 ounces and 20 and 1/4 inches of him!!! He is such a beautiful baby and he is coming into a really wonderful family with a big brother and a big sister who love and adore him, and parents that will do anything to get their children what they need and usher them into their destiny.

It never ceases to amaze me how completely present God is at every birth. I felt like the very hands of God were coming down from heaven and reaching through Emily to bring Gabrial to this world. It is always amazing. It sort of feels like you are walking on holy ground, God's presence is so tangible...I am still in awe.

Emily, you ROCK! Jed, you are incredible. Big brother Daniel, you are such a joy to be around, I have loved getting to know you and I think you are really great! You are such a good big brother and I am so excited for you having a little brother are going to be able to show him all the cool stuff and teach him all sorts of wonderful things. My sweet Olivia, you are such a great person and you are going to love being a big sister. You are going have so much fun playing with Gabriel when he gets a little older. You guys are going to have a very special friendship. I love all of you and I am praying for rest and peace, that you will all gently ease into this new life together. Now your lives are truely blended. Grace, Peace and supernatural rest to each of you.
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Saturday, August 18, 2007

You have to read "The Craziest Story Yet", I promise, it's worth it!

These are all the same bear

I just changed the lighting, etc... so that you can see them a little bit better.
P.S. This little guy was around 400-plus pounds - He was HUGE!!!
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The Big Bad Bear

This not-so-little bear had been a little naughty, so he was trapped by the forest service. I got to get right up to the cage and take several pictures. There were a coulple of times when he huffed and lunged at me, but I was surprised that he was as calm as he was. They had put a five gallon bucket filled with watermelon and apples, pears, grapes, peaches, etc...It sure did the trick, plus I think the bear really enjoyed the variety...he ate it all!

I know that the pictures aren't perfect, but you can see his big ol' head! This is a bear who has obviously been caught in a trap...Sucka!!! They caught him because he has been breaking into houses and he did a lot of damage to the kitchen of some poor rich people's vacation home that they come to maybe once a year. Those poor, poor rich people! (Sense the sarcasm.)

O.k., there is nothing to say that this is the same bear, innocent until proven guilty, right? But I have the best bear story EVER!!! My next door neighbor Dan who works for Mt. Village P.D stopped by our house tonight and told us the best story about a call he'd gone on last night. He got a call to a home, and the home owner said he had to walk Dan through it step by step so he'd really get it. So I'm going to tell it the same way. : )

This guy had spent the previous evening making cupcakes with blue and yellow frosting for his son's birthday the next day. When he had finished, he set the cupcakes on the windowsill to cool in the open window, and forgot all about it. Now, I can tell a lot of you can already see where this is going, but I promise, it fets better, just wait! : ) They all go to bed and sleep through the night. The dad was the first on to get up, so he ambles into the kitchen for some coffee. Just then he sees a 400 lb bear in the middle of his kitchen, sitting, like a person on the floor with his legs strait out in front of him, with the tray of cupcakes sitting on his lap. He, (the bear) had blue frosting all over his face, in his ears. Can you believe that!?! Dan, my cop neighbor, said that the bear had gotten frosting all over his paws as well, and that when the home owner walked in, the bear was liking the frosting out from between the toes of his front paw! The guy said, "shucks, the bear should have figured out our remote, at least then he could have been watching something while he had his breakfast!" : )

Isn't that the cutes bear story EVER? ; ) I just loved the image in my head when I heard the's just so dang cute! He was sitting down like a civilized bear should, with his legs stretched out in front of him and a pan of cupcakes on his lap, frosting all over his face and paws. By the way, the bear quickly ran away and didn't eat anyone or any thing like that. So now he is known as the "Cupcake Bandit", may he live forever!!! After Dan the neighbor finished the bear story, he said that if he got a bear trapped tonight, he'd come get me in his police vehicle and take me up to see the bear! : ) Yippee, it was so much fun, not as much fun as the other night with Ari, myself, the bear and the large orange traffic cone! : ) You will have to read the other bear story on our blog to get that joke! : )

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quick Emily Up-date

Emily's labor slowed down and eventually stopped, so she gave it up for the time being...she isn't technically due until the 19th, so they were ''wishfully thinking" on that one. I really feel for the girl, she is hugely pregnant, and remember that she lives in the Colorado desert. It is over 100 degrees F for months in a row out here! The poor girl, she has been virtually living in the wading pool in their back yard! : ) Keep her and her family in your prayers, they can use all the grace they can find...her husband, Jed, is returning to school in a few days, so she will be on her own with a three year old and a new born for most of the time. Anyway, there's your up-date, and we'll keep you posted.

P.S. When you have the time, read the last few of my written entries, they are QUITE entertaining, I promise you won't be bored. : )

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Craziest Story Yet!!!

On Wednesday evening Ari and our friend Anthony and I were driving to Montrose, the nearest town for restaurants and grocery stores, etc…And you will never, in a million years, guess what happened!!!

(By the way, I initially wrote this as a statement for the Sherriff’s Office so please forgive me for being dry and deliberately factual. There are several points I make in this that I would never have included had this just been for my blog.) : )

We had just turned onto the main highway and gone about three miles when we had to slow suddenly for a black Jeep that was turning left onto a winding country road called Brown Ranch Rd. We were probably fourth or fifth in line toward the back of the line of cars when we heard shots being fired from the black Jeep into the line of cars. Ari was driving, I was in the passenger’s seat and Anthony was in the back seat behind Ari with his window halfway down. Ari had to slam on the breaks hard and swerve sharply to keep from hitting the car in front of us who had just gotten shot. In the midst of all the craziness, we were shot about three times, and at this point we weren’t sure if it was a real gun or a paintball gun. The shots sounded like a real gun firing. Then, as Anthony’s window was partly down, the group of guys in the Jeep shot directly at Anthony and missed hitting him in the head by a fraction of an inch. Now we knew that they are shooting us with paintballs. When the paintballs hit the cars, they hit with an amazing amount of force and they sounded like they could be a .22 bullet, possibly buckshot, or perhaps a strong pellet gun.

After firing multiple shots at multiple cars, the black Jeep sped off up Brown Ranch Rd. Immediately, Ari turned left up Brown Ranch Rd to catch up to the black Jeep to at least get a license plate number. As we wound our way up the steep and narrow road, we caught up to them about ½ a mile up the road. There were no plates on the vehicle, they had removed them on purpose and they told us later that they had placed the Jeep’s license plates in their glove box.

Anyhow, as we caught up to them, Ari began flashing the headlights, honking the horn and yelling for them to pull over. Both he and Anthony were shouting that they were off duty police officers from Telluride. During this, I am on the phone with 911 explaining that we are being shot at by four guys with paintball guns in a black Jeep with no license plates. At this time the guys in the black Jeep had probably shot our car five or six more times while we were following them trying to get them to pull over. I had been disconnected from 911 at this point, so I redialed and that is when all hell broke loose. They fired over 20 shots strait at Ari’s face. I’m screaming, completely terrified that the windshield is going to break, that they are going to start shooting at us with real guns. I was hunched down as far as I could get in my seat and still have on a seat belt. They had plastered over 20 shots right in front of Ari’s face and the paint was very thick, you could not see through it at all. Finally, They guys in the Jeep realize that they’ve messed with the wrong people and they start to slow down, and quick thinking Ari takes the opportunity to pull our car in front of theirs and force them to stop by cutting them off. During the time the guys were shooting all of those rounds into our windshield, I had grabbed my purse, found my keys and unlocked our glove box where we keep Ari’s gun when we travel. I got the gun out and placed it on Ari’s lap, just in case…I had know idea how bad things were going to get. Anthony took the gun since Ari was driving.

Immediately upon stopping the vehicles, both Ari and Anthony jumped out of the car and start screaming that they are off duty police officers from Telluride and saying that they had better get out of their car and lie face down, hands above their heads on the pavement. I didn’t see most of this happen, I only heard it as I was terribly shaken, freaked out and still speaking with the 911 dispatcher…I was still scrunched down as low as I could get in my seat. I did see Ari physically helping one guy out of the Jeep as well as Anthony doing the same with another of the Jeep’s passengers. Anthony had grabbed Ari’s gun before they got out of our car and from what I could see, a couple of the guys were trying to make a run for it and they were being very---well, they weren’t obeying the verbal commands to get out of the car, so Anthony used some force to remove one of the guys. Ari and Anthony kept the guys all face down on the ground and started calling in the guys information/I.D to their dispatch. At this point the San Miguel Sherriff’s were on their way. As this was all happening another vehicle drove up on the scene and parked behind the black Jeep. It was a new model Jeep wagon, deep red, the driver was a middle aged man with two little kids in the car with him…he had obviously been shot at as well. We could see several spots where his vehicle had been hit by paintballs. Within a few minutes of stopping the chase, I got out of our car while giving info to 911 over my cell phone. I could already feel a significant increase in lower back pain, nerve pain down my right leg and muscle spasms in my low back and between my shoulder blades.

Once San Miguel deputies arrived on scene, Ari and Anthony told them what had happened, they also had me give a written statement. I know they also spoke to the other victim in the dark red Jeep. After that we were free to go. I was in a considerable amount of pain by then so we decided to go to Montrose Memorial Hospital to get me checked out. They took x rays and said that the fusion was fine, but that the muscles and nerves were stained and that it was going to take some time for the inflammation to go down and for me to heal up. To help with the pain, they gave me a shot of morphine and torridol and gave me a flexaryl tablet to take. They sent me home with some vicodin and some flexaryl to get me through the night until I could see my regular doctor. I am still sore all over, especially my neck and shoulders, my low back and my right leg. I have to say that was quite possibly one of the most terrifying experiences of our lives. I am still very upset by the whole thing.

As it turns out, the four guys in the Jeep did have a loaded .22 rifle and a 10 inch blade hunting knife, as well as an additional, fully loaded paintball gun. They also had drug paraphernalia. None of us searched their vehicle because that is something that the responding officers do…those are just the things that were in plain sight. Scary!!! If we would have crashed, if one little thing had gone wrong several people could have been seriously injured and probably died. We were later told that 911 had been getting calls all day from all over the county with complaints of these four guys in the black Jeep doing drive by shootings with their paintball guns. Also, while we were still at the scene, one of the deputy’s told us that a truck driver had just called in the same time we had saying that he’d been shot in the head…he was just two cars in front of us on the highway when they first started shooting at us. If the truck driver had lost control, or something worse, it would have been a horrific accident.

I was told by the Sherriff’s office that three of the guys are over 18, and one of them was 16. I know for sure that the three over 18 spent the night in jail and bonded out the next afternoon. Their initial court hearing is on September 11th at 1:30 p.m. and I plan on testifying against them.

The Bear Encounters

I got to go on a ride-along with Ari last week and he took me out on foot patrol to go on a bear hunt!!! : ) As I mentioned in one of the earlier posts, the bears really love to come into town and knock over the garbage cans and do what ever they can to pry the locked lids off to get to the “food.” There have been a couple of times over the past two weeks that we have seen at least two different bears, at different times, right below our livingroom window. It's fun to watch them, especially because we are on the third floor! : )

Anyway, Ari and I are walking along one of the quieter streets down in Telluride, actively looking for bears…and suddenly, Ari whispered, “There he is!” Sure enough, there he was, just about fifteen feet away from us, all 300 pounds of him, just looking at us. : ) It was seriously one of the coolest things I have ever gotten to do! We followed him, giving him plenty of room, of course.

As we were following the bear, some lady in a car nearly hit me…it was kind of one of those, “I see you, so I’m going to speed up and pretend like I’m going to hit you on purpose, and then slam on the breaks because I think it’s really funny” type things. Anyway, needless to say, Ari went over to make a contact with her, and sure enough, she’d been drinking, so while he was dealing with her, I got to watch to bear as he toppled another giant garbage can over and then proceeded to jump up and down on it trying to pop the lid off. I stomped and clapped and yelled for him to go away…I am told that usually works…and it seemed to. I know it sounds like I am insane, but it’s so incredible, you can hardly help yourself, it’s quite surreal.

By then the bear gave up on that garbage can and ambled over to a dumpster that was locked up inside a ten foot high cedar fence enclosure. The bear then started to rip the boards off the fence until he could reach the lid of the dumpster and he flipped the heavy lid open like it was a paper plate! They are so unbelievably strong! By this time, I was about ten feet away from him. On my walk over I had grabbed a large orange traffic cone, it was the only thing around and I figured it could help me make loud noises to scare the bear off…well, it eventually worked. There was a tense moment when the bear was staring at me considering whether or not to eat me. Ari later teased me that the bear was saying to himself, “ I could totally take that girl, she'd make a great snack; except for that stinking traffic cone!!! They get me every time!”

In retrospect, I probably wouldn’t be quite so brazen, but it was still the coolest things I’ve gotten to do in a long time!

Emily's Baby Shower

Em with her big, beautiful tummy and her super fun big pregnant tummy cake!!! Frm L to R;Great Grandma Norma, Grandma Vicki & Great Aunt Kim
And Here is the lovely Auntie Jessie, actually, Jessica and I are the baby's super-great second cousins, but who's counting!!! : )
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Kristen Up-date

Hello Everyone!!! How are you all doing? My sincerest apologies for not having posted a new blog up-date in ages. Life, as you will see, has been quite interesting ever since early spring.

O.k., well, I guess I will just jump on in here: In late Dec’06 I had a CAT scan to find a blood clot. The good news is that by the time we had driven the two and a half hours through a blizzard, the blood thinning medicine they had given me at our urgent care had worked and dissolved the clot. The not so good news is that I later got a phone call from the radiologist at the hospital saying that they had found a small tumor/growth on my thyroid gland and that I needed to see my doctor right away.

The “official” name for what they found is Thyroid Nodule, and all of the research that I did on-line and through my Dad and Mom, etc… all said that they are almost always completely benign. I did go and see my Dr. and she did some blood tests to check my thyroid functions, etc… and then she said that she wanted me to see an endocrinologist in Grand Junction as soon as possible. This was in March, and the endocrinologist couldn’t see me until July 16th! So I had to just let it all rest in God’s hands and not allow myself to dwell on it. By the way, the symptoms are waves of inexplicable anxiety, sleeplessness, and unexplained extreme fatigue. I guess that the growth can cause the thyroid gland to way over produce adrenalin at times and then stop completely; hence the anxiety/exhaustion. The anxiety hits me at random times. Frequently it will wake me up out of a dead sleep. It is completely physiological and not psychological at all, it’s not that I am terrified of being attacked by a T-Rex, so I start hyperventilating. It actually feels like falling over backwards in my chair, but I never land, it feels like I am falling backwards into space. I know that sounds strange, but that’s the best way that I can think to describe it.
To make a long story a little shorter, I saw the endocrine Dr. and he said that he wanted me to get a biopsy done that same day, so he immediately sent me over to the hospital in Grand Junction for a needle aspiration biopsy. That, by the way, was one of the most uncomfortable/painful things I’ve had to go through with out sedation! I was there all by my self and it was rather scary. The biopsy came back, (three weeks later!) that the growth’s tissue is “normal.” Thank You Jesus! However, it is still causing all of these bizarre symptoms and it is likely the reason that I haven’t gotten pregnant yet. So now I have to get another set of blood tests, then get a scan to confirm the diagnosis and then get the tumor removed. I know that I know that at the beginning of this calendar year, God gave me a promise that this was my year for complete healing, and I believe it with my whole heart…this is just one more little bump in the road. Once I get past this, it’s going to be smooth sailing. I have an inexplicable peace about it all. I suppose that is what Paul meant by the peace that surpasses our understanding guarding our hearts and our minds.

So, that’s me…Otherwise, life is pretty good, my back is getting better all the time. I have been able to be much more active and enjoy some of the Summer visiting my Parent’s at their new house on 40 acres and visiting my Sister and Brother-in-law in Moab, UT…the other exciting thing is that my Cousin Emily is having her baby today or tomorrow!!! She and her new husband are so excited to welcome a baby boy into their family! They have chosen Gabriel for his first name, and I think maybe Lewis for his middle, but I’m not sure about that one. They are at the hospital right now walking and hoping that things will happen sooner than later.