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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Everybody Loves a Good "Chase"

This is Sammy's motto.

Is it the motto of every 6 month old puppy? I don't know, but it certainly applies well to life with Samson.

This is a lesson I learned all too well on Friday night....Get ready, you know what's coming: a long....involved....animal story.

SO, Mr. Sammy-Whammy, being a pup adopted from the Kent County Animal Shelter, has a mysterious background which is unknown to everyone but Samson himself. Since he has yet to learn English and therefore cannot explain life pre-Heemstra family to me, I decided that it would be a good idea to get his medical records (from his stay at the shelter) to the vet, and make sure that we are all up-to-date on vaccines and boosters. After much debate, it was decided that Samson did not need further vaccination at this point, but my awesome vet wanted to see him for a “puppy wellness exam” to make sure that he is healthy and all systems are a go. Most of you might say this is just a way to get more money out of me, but being a doting animal parent, and considering we know nothing about this dog's background, I figured it was a good idea to do it just this once. (I also get a great discount from my vet since I am an adoptive parent of one of her rescue kitties from Crash's Landing, so my vet bills are never very high (http://www.crashslanding.org ))This all sounds fine and dandy right? Take the new puppy to the vet for a little puppy exam- we get in, we get out, and Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas we're all set.

Right? Wrong.

Here's why: Mr. Whitaker is due for his rabies vaccination and needed an appointment as well...I, being the confident pet owner that I am, decided that it would be best to just kill two birds with one stone and get them both in at once. (whats one cat and a dog when you've worked at a Ranch with a herd of fifty horses, four goats, three mini horses, a gaggle of chickens, kittens, bunnies, one sheep, and llama?).

Um, I guess I never tried putting them all in a car.

Here was my plan that I worked out on the way home from work: I'd run in the house (I was running late, of course), let Samson outside to pee, grab Whit, throw him in the cage, cover the cage with a blanket, put him in the backseat of the car, gather up Samson, throw him in the front seat, and we'd be on our merry way. This should have worked fine. HOWEVER, I did not take into account the broken cat kennel or the fact that Whit would begin yowling the moment the cold air of the outdoors hit him smack in the face. By the time I got Samson in the car he had a pretty darn good idea of what was under that square-shaped blanket in the back and he knew that it was his first and best chance to get a really good look at one of those elusive cats.

Our ride to the vet was spent with me steering with one hand while holding Samson in a choke hold by the collar in the other. At stop lights I'd reach back and try to shove Whit back in the cage by the face while Samson inevitably knocked the car into neutral or park. Oye.

When we reached the vet I let out a big sigh of relief and gathered up both animals to head inside...until we reached the front door. Whit, terrified as he was, had apparently been plotting his escape during the entire car ride and while I opened the door to the vet's office and was greeted by the nurses, Whit made a run for it...Followed by Samson.The next few seconds where punctuated by my screams and the sound of crashing bushes. Poor Whit- my big old fat cat – was tearing helter-skelter along the side of the building while Samson barreled after him with a big grin on his puppy face. All I could see was the blobbule that is Whit running, followed by a streak of black and tan.

I lost sight of them until I reached the back door where I found Whit cowering by the glass door, no doubt thinking: “Let me in- this thing is gonna murder me!!” followed by a string of obscenities, and Samson a few feet away preparing to do his business. (Good Boy, go potty:)

One of the nurses came skidding around the corner just as I was scooping up Whit. She grabbed Samson and it was decided we better just go inside through this door. The lot of us paraded through the entire office; surgery rooms, kennels, exam rooms, while I blushed furiously and muttered something about how “they aren't quite used to each other yet.”

No kidding.

I have to say, Whit actually took the whole thing quite well. Being a past stray, I think he did not like the prospect of life as a street cat and therefore headed for the nearest door. If it had been Louis, I'm pretty sure I'd never have seen him again. Once in the examination room Whit sat quietly on the table while Sam bounded up and down trying to see the cat, then perched precariously on an old scale (all four feet on the little square foot of space. 43 ½ lbs, mind you), and the vet grinned at me like this is totally normal. (it probably is for her.)

When all was said and done I had one terrified kitty who sat quietly in his cage the whole way home; freshly vaccinated, and one large puppy; who's nails it took three people to clip, passed out on the front seat.

So, for those of you that think you'll lose your mind when your kids are “fighting like cats and dogs,” take to heart the fact that they actually are NOT cats and dogs. :)

From now on, it's separate appointments for all!!!

Merry Christmas!!
The Heemstra Family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Offering a Helping Paw

I know, I know. It's been too long. But life has been hectic and I rarely have the computer! Since my last post we have gotten new windows (yay!), had a couple of random pet-peeing incidents, and about twelve Christmas parties. Samson has also grown and is getting smarter by the day.
The best story I have of Samson is that he has now learned that if a toy "wanders" into the bedroom, he is allowed to retrieve it. So now, rather than the occasional rolling ball followed by Sammy tentatively picking it up in his teeth and backing out of the room, toys of every shape and size often come flying into the bedroom "of their own free will." Sammy, acting coy, sneaks in after them and pauses to sniff around. This is happening more and more frequently and I've now caught him on several occasions nudging toys covertly into the room.
Oh the joys of having a smart dog!!!

Today he helped with picture hanging by bringing Dad the hammer. Here are a few highlights:

and the finished product! ignore the nail hole...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

surprises around every corner

It's just been one change after another in the Heemstra household over the last few weeks, but hopefully this will be the last for awhile. Today, we entered puppy-parenthood! While we were planning to get a dog eventually, we did not intend to bring one home on November 29th.

My wonderful hubby was planning to get me a dog for Christmas but decided to go to the Humane Society today to check out the situation and see what went into adopting. Apparently the Humane Society does not hold dogs and you are allowed to bring a dog home with you upon your first meeting (I've never heard of this before). So, when Andy ran into Tweedle, a dog we had seen on the petfinder.com website a few weeks ago and fell in love, (awwww) it was do-or-die time. "Tweedle" was sitting quitely in his cage watching Andy walk around when all the other dogs were barking their heads off. When Andy asked to see him in a visiting room, he jumped all over Andy and made it very well known that he wanted to be taken home. After much deliberation, we decided that Andy should return to the Humane Society this afternoon and bring Tweedle home.

It has been an afternoon to remember, the first time I met our new dog he did not even give me a chance to say hi, he immediately began licking my face. At a visit to PetSmart he wanted to meet all the other dogs and had fun entertaining all the sales people as he dragged us around the store. We purchased all the puppy necessities- a cage, food, food and water bowls, a brush, a chew toy, rawhide bone, collar and leash, and of course, treats...and headed home to meet the kitties. Just kidding, they are hidden away in the basement at the moment. Not, however until after Louis caught sight of him and immediately every hair stood on end and he let out an unearthly hiss.

Anyways, Tweedle has since been renamed so meet Samson!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"it's beginning to look alot like christmas!"

So...I fully intended to make do our first Christmas as husband and wife with the two strands of lights and twenty or so miscellaneous ornaments that i've collected over the years, but my usually uninterested husband suddenly decided that we simply must go all out and decorate more than anyone else on the street. upon finding (some) deals at meijer this evening (10pm by the time we got there) his spirits were not dampened when we had to settle for two "net lights" and a large lighted garland for the front door. our bill was raised slightly by the 16 cans of soup we bought (they are 8 fro $10 right now, Campbell's Chunky-highly recommended, we go through a lot of soup), but still, we were reminded that nothings is cheap during the actual season and we will have to finish stocking up at a few "half off the half off" sales come January 1st.
So, tree decorated, stockings hung, and garland waiting by the front door to be hung in the morning...i'm off to bed. Louis and Whit, who have both tried on the reindeer antlers this evening, thoroughly hating them and then getting into a meowing/tackling fight to burn off their frustration, will hopefully join us in a looooong slumber.
pictures will follow once the decorating is done, but at the moment my cheif decorator is passed out on the couch.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Transformation Begins

Just a little before and after for your Thursday evening enjoyment...
hello (from Andy)


And After....

Monday, November 12, 2007

finally...the lived-in new house!

Welcome home!! (This is my plug for Uppercase Living:))
Our new sofa!! "Stone"-colored microfiber and sooooo comfy! And the loveseat :) For lovin'

Our new dining room table! It is counter-height, so it requires stools, not chairs, and they swivel!! Note, the white shelves you see in the background will soon be painted black!

A close-up of the turned post legs.

Our authentic Mexican plate that we got on our honeymoon hangs in the kitchen. It goes perfectly with the green walls that we didn't have to paint!

My trivets, that I have decided serve me better as wall art.

The living-room. This room is obviously not complete, but it's on it's way!!

If you have to use the restroom...here you go. It's still peach, and yes, that will be changing.

AND NOW...a squirrel chowing down on our pumpkins.

He finished the last one today. White was his last choice in flavor.

There you have it! More to come...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Whatever Happened to the Craft Shows?

What do...
100 Women with their Hubbie's checkbooks and Christmas lists in-hand,
Home made goodies and cheap coffee,
A Christian school gymnasium,
A bunch of Christian School Childrens' mothers with lot of time on their hands,
and many, many homeshow enthusiasts have in common?
They all turned up at a small private school tonight for "Ladies Night Out," a fundrasier for the school. I'm sitting here with my sister "helping" her peddle her trade amongst the local moms and grandmas. As Bradi said, it seems to be the longest two hours ever...not that meeting people and selling Uppercase Living isn't fun, but it would be a lot better if some of the other booths were a little more interesting.
I was hoping to pick up something fun and hand-made for our house but everything here is either handmade and ugly, or manufactured in a factory or perhaps by people in China that don't understand "Pottery Barn" or "Shabby Chic."
Whatever happened to the good ol' craft shows that grandma used to take us to when we were little? The ones that smelled strongly of cinnamon and nutmeg, dried flowers and quilts saved away in an attic. Does anyone else remember going to those? They too were usually held in a school gymnasium or church basement, except that these women had rough hands from hand weaving baskets and wore sweaters that they, in turn, had picked up from a similar crafting excursion.
Usually I trailed along behind my grandma wondering what on earth she saw in all this stuff and how we always seemed to leave with so much junk when I hadn't seen anything that I thought was worth buying. My standards at that age were based primarily on an item's ability to entertain me for as long as possible and this usually meant that it was made of high density plastic and probably plugged into the wall. However, nowadays I wonder where all those handmade items went, and should I really have to go to Shipshewana or Goshen to find them? And then, honestly, unless I buy it out of the back of a buggy from a rather plain looking woman and her thirteen children, can I really be sure that it is authentic Americana merchandise? It still could have been shipped here brand new from Japan having been dropped a few times along the way giving the item it'd distressed appearance!
Ok, maybe that is a bit overboard, but as I get older I'm really starting to appreciate the authentic. In fact, though I know it is almost humanly impossible (given my dutch backround) to NOT buy the knockoffs for the benefit of a less-expensive item, I'm determined to purchase all my home decorating, at least the rustic or antique-y items from a truly rustic or antique-y place.
So now, step two is to set about finding such places as I've mentioned in this blog. I'm sure they still exist, you just need to know where to look. Maybe I should ask my grandma...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Things are sneaking up on me. We close on the house a week from today and I have not even begun to pack. I suppose it's not a big deal because we had to give thirty days on the apartment so we have until the 10th to be out. However, I don't really want to stay here any longer than we have to. Tomorrow we're going to go look at paint colors so that I can get over there and paint whenever I have free time. Since Andy will be gone off and on there is always that possiblity. I'm so excited to spend some time over there!

Monday, October 15, 2007

New House, New House, New House

Check out our New Place!!Ok, just kidding.
Welcome to the Heemstra's!

This is the 3-Season Porch. And the garage for year-round 'stang storage.

Formal Dining Room with Built-Ins. Living Room with Fireplace!

Kitchen with, er, fabulous appliances? jk

Great pic of the Master Bedroom
Roomy, but VERY peach bathroom.
....aaaaand the bar!

Lots 'o Storage. Oh yeah, and a free Christmas tree?
...time to decorate!!! Ikea anyone?!?!?!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Just a quick update because it's been a little while but I'm tired right now...
We are HOMEOWNERS!!!! yay!
So check out our new house on GRAR, it's 2444 Belfast Avenue, Grand Rapids MI 49507.
Here are a few reasons I'm so happy to be a homeowner:
I finally get to paint the walls any color I want, and I'm not required to return them to standard white when I'm done!!
The cats' litter box will be out of my pantry and in the basement.
Andy will ALWAYS have clean socks and underwear because I'll be able to throw in a load of laundry in my VERY OWN washing machine any time I want!!
We can start using all our wedding gifts that have been sitting in my parents' basement since we got married.
I can decorate how IIIIIIII want!
We can store extra meat in our basement fridge.
We won't be on top of eachother all the time- figuritively of course, we can spread out throughout the house.
We can get a puppy!!!
I'm nearby my friends :)
Talk to you soon!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

One Thing After Another

Hubby is finally back!! Aaaand out with Chris for the evening. Brat. Nah, I'm just kidding, we all went out to dinner and a movie tonight, when, at about 6:30 pm I was all about heading downtown with them for line dancing at (uhg) the Margarita Grille (uhg) ... until after the movie when I decided that my looooooong week had caught up to me and I no longer felt like making it a late night. So...I told them that as long as they came home at a reasonable time, behaved, and I got Andy for the rest of the weekend, then they could go have a little fun without me.

So, although I am home alone for the rest of the evening, I'm determined to enjoy it since this week was just a tad frustrating.
Here is the low-down on my "fun" week:

Almost lost my cool with an overly frustrating customer, "passed her off" to one of my coworkers so that I didn't really lose it.

Aided a friend or two with relationship difficulties.

Dealt with another difficult customer who had two cabinets come in wrong. Said customer then proceeded to unload his frustrations on the entire accounting department by telling them that the 29th Street location needs "more knowledge and less eye-candy." I'm not going to even START on trying to explain this customer.

Missing Hubby every step of the way

Found out that Andy is leaving again on Sunday for "a couple days" after being home for only 3.

Had my internet and cable turned off because of "back payments" from the cable company for which I never recieved a bill, then finding out that said bills supposedly totalled over $200. (it was a mistake by the cable company, but a pain in the butt nonetheless)

Running out of refills at the pharmacy for my medication, leaving a message for the doctor asking for refills, a message which he never got. THEN when I finally got him to call them in, finding out that the pharmacy wouldn't fill it because they had record that someone had done it the day before (probably tried when I called the first time) and arguing with them until someone figured out what really happened. Give me my drugs!!!!
So, that's it. There were other frustrations at work, but I'm done complaining for now I suppose. I'll leave you with a wonderful blonde joke I got from a friend of mine (a great example of "eye-candy" no doubt):
A blonde's boyfriend decided to take her to a football game and hey had great seats, right behind their team's bench. After the game the boyfriend turned to his girlfriend and asked her how she had liked the experience.
"I loved it, especially the tight pants and all the muscles, but I don't know why they all tried to kill eachother over 25 cents"
"What do you mean?" asked the boyfriend
"Well, at the beginning of the game they flipped a coin and then the rest of the game everyone kept yelling: 'get the quarterback, get the quarterback!' Hellllloooo it's only 25 cents!!"

:)P.S. I may be a blonde, but I know the difference between a quarter horse, a quarter back, and a 25 cent coin:

Saturday, September 29, 2007

a little bit of everything.

Well, it looks like I'm not the only one not posting like I should, as I just checked two other blogs whose latest posts are as old, if not older than mine. However, I finally have a moment of internet so I am going to take advantage of it! It's been frustrating with Andy gone for so long, not only is the loss of internet (he took our only working computer) a little frustrating, but I cannot believe how bored I've been! There are times that all I want is some time alone and can never seem to get it, now I have plenty and don't know what to do with it. I guess it's a Catch 22, the grass IS always greener on the other side. Ok, enough cliches.
Tonight I am watching Alissa's girls, Morgan and Ryleigh, they are adorable and a lot of fun. Plus, its really more fun than I could expect sitting at home so I'm happy to do a little babysitting. It's been a long time since I did this for anyone besides my own neices and nephews! Not only does this give me something to do (i'm pathetic, it's Saturday night!!) but I also get access to internet- fabulous! So I'm quite content at the moment.
I think I'll spend a little time researching houses and trying to find something that Andy and I can both agree on. Anyone have a suggestion of where to look? I want a single-family home, though the option of a duplex is not out of the question. More than anything, I just want a safe location for when I'm home without Andy, and a house that doesn't require major work. Remodeling I can handle, but things like roof, electrical, heating...that worries me a little more. Keep your eyes peeled I guess...

Friday, September 21, 2007

neglectful me

Well, for those of you that do not know, we did not get the house. :( I'm trying not to let emotions get too high over the loss of the house, it was somewhere that I really thought I could see us calling "home." Rather, I am looking at this as an opportunity to continue having "fun" looking and to find an even better option. The house had it's faults, but I loved the area and the layout. As I have been told countless times however, I know that God has something else in mind. Sometimes it's just trusting Him and being patient that is the hardest part.
Anyways, on to more fun things, I have been super busy this whole week. That has been wonderful as Andy is away in Texas studying to be a cowboy. While I definatly miss him, I had high hopes of using his absence as an opportunity to get back into a stringent workout routine to work off my post-wedding chub. Alas, my wonderful friends and family, realizing that I would be alone so much, have stepped in to fill all of my freetime. (I love you all!) And work has proven to be extremely busy and wearing on my energy and schedule all week. So, as often happens, working out has been postponed to a later date. And I'm FINE with it! :)
In addition to plenty of time catching up with family and friends, I am also taking the opportunity to get back to my favorite bar: The Bresa http://www.thebresa.com/ . While Andy does not necessarily dislike the Bresa, it is much more fun with "the girls" since we actually dance and our main perogative is not to sit at the bar and drink beer. The boys tend to get bored real fast if the band is not playing songs to which they know the dances and thus the band "sucks" and dancing is "gay" and bad attitudes reign. Tonight is GIRLS NIGHT!!! And I am much looking forward to an evening spent with my Rachel and Allison. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

woo hoo!

Tomorrow night at 7:45 pm we will be meeting with our realtor to make an offer on our first house!!! We are hoping for this:Of course, the likelihood that they will accept our offer right off the bat is probably not that good. The house needs some updates, ie. new windows, updated kitchen and bath, and new cement in the driveway, however, we really like it and we're more than willing to build some instant "sweat equity" fixing those things ourselves, (Andy's got the concete backround and, well, we all know what I do for a living...) IF we can get the house at a price that will allow us to afford those things sooner rather than later.

i'm sure i don't have to tell you that we will offer less than the asking price...

So anyways, my biggest fear right now is that Andy is leaving Monday for two weeks to Dallas for training at his new job, http://www.northernair.net/ and I will be left to handle the "negotiations" (one reason I'm VERY happy we are not doing this on our own.) So! Pray that this all goes smoothly and that we will not end up:

I'll let you all know how it goes!!!


P.S. I thought this cartoon was cute, though probably the reverse of reality... (if anyone is likely to use something so much that it breaks off, it is NOT the female in the relationship ;)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

sleep deprived

So, I feel badly for not posting in awhile, but I haven't been sleeping well (no, nothing is wrong, just keep waking up at night!) ...and I'm too tired to be overly witty. So here are some fun pics to make you smile!

Picture #1 is in honor of Bradi's new mini van. Braids, figure out how all the seats and do-hickies work before letting your kids (or any pets) play with them...

*scuze me...dooh Iah haf anyfing shtuck in my teeff?
"nope...looks good to me!"

21st Birthday (that's 3 in dog years)

Ok, now Andy likes to play "chase" with Whit and Louis, but this is kinda ridiculous...
Have a good day!
-Krista :)

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Budget Woes

Writing a budget is not my favorite thing to do. Unlike some people, it is not sticking to the budget that is a problem (though the amount of money allotted to me in the budget may rub me the wrong way, I'm still fairly able to stick to it), no, it is rather the ACT of writing a budget that really irks me. I don't much understand it, really. Aside from saving every single receipt I get, and spending hours in front of a spreadsheet, there is really no good way to go about it. Everything else is just guessing.
Plus, who honestly spends the same amount month-to-month? I know it is supposed to all "even out in the wash" over time, but the stress of watching myself go drastically over one month, and then steadily slightly under the next five- in my effort to make up for that one month- is just too much for me.
Perhaps it is the entire story that really gets me. I could tell you roughly how much I spend a week on groceries, gas, and what my rent costs, but can I get close enough to stake my entire budget on it? I don't know...what if this week I needed lots of condiments? (things you only buy a few times a year) but last week I only really needed milk? Do I find a happy medium? You can sense my dilema here.
So here is my preference. I want hubby to watch our finances and come up with a schedule of what we typically spend, he likes that stuff anyways. Then I want him to lay it all out nice and easy for me so that I can look it over, pretend I totally understand, nod my head and go on my merry way with what I would affectionately term an "allowance" for what I can spend on groceries, myself, and him (as I inevitably buy his clothes as well as my own) each month.
Is this wrong? I have no ambitions of being a 1950's wifey with no clue as to what is going on, I'd like to be kept aprised of the situation...however how much I am actually involved is not really of any concern to me. I'd just be happy to spend the money...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I love Sundays

Mmm. I love Sundays! It always starts off the same way: Coffee and something baked and yummy. We've started our first tradition of buying something like muffins or danishes or coffee cake on Saturday to eat Sunday morning. While I'd like to make it a sit-down affair where we enjoy a cup of coffee together at the breakfast table, most of the time it ends up being a treat on the way to church, but we're getting there.
There is something so nice about going to church, seeing everyone with their families, listening to a message for an hour and then stepping out into the narthex for fellowship and catching up. Today we had a bit of a surprise that on the church bulletin board there has suddenly appeared a full 81/2"x11 piece of copy paper with a photo of our wedding (thanks mom), that drew some attention. We also stayed after today to listen to a missionary talk about his work in Oman, where our pastor and his wife went on sabbatical last year. He was interesting and inspiring for sure.
The rest of today is spent making salsa together with our new food processor (yay! although it did take some trial and error), checking out the open house for a home we've been eyeing, going to the church picnic at the Paarlbergs, and (hopefully) dinner and a round of Settlers of Catan with Rachel and Aaron.
Did I mention my best girlfriend is engaged and I'm in the wedding!?!? woo hoo! So excited ;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

krist-A heemstr-A

Tomorrow it will be official. I mean officially official...or whatever. Contrary to what my new hubby thought, your name does not automatically change when you sign the marriage license...whether you sign it with your married name or not! :)
So, since I've been married for almost three weeks now and have yet to have more than one free hour (which I know is not nearly enough when dealing with governmental matters) between the hours of 8am and 5pm on a weekday, tomorrow it is.
I must admit, though I am a whole-hearted believer in taking Andy's name, I do have a few hesitations. My maiden name has served me well over the last 23 years. The Rottschafer clan is not huge, and is relatively well-respected. It has also been an asset when it comes to working at Standard, of course only when dealing with a customer that knows "the boss," not when it comes to other employees. I also regret the fact that both my first name and my new last name end in the letter "A" and therefore are subject to some sort of english term like aliteration or whatever that makes saying the two names together rather awkward. PLUS, the emphasis "hEEM-stra" keeps ringing in my head, said in a rather steroetypically "special person" way, and it bothers me...a little.
All in all though, I'm ready to do it, I've started to think of myself as "Krista Heemstra" and I'm ready to make it official...12 more hours ;)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"The rule of creating a blog...

...is that you must keep it up" -Bradi Kreider
My sis and I have been talking about my starting up a blog for quite some time now, although originally it was to revolve around the everyday lives of my two feline companions, Louis and Whit. However now that I have gotten married, I may have things to write about that people will actually read. (without emailing my nerdy blogs to their friends)
Stay tuned for what will surely be the rollercoaster ride to come!