Friday, June 26, 2009

Behind Already...

But determined to check up in one post.

I am leaving for Otter Creek's Camp tomorrow. When I return I will be in camp blogging mode, not catch-up-on-the-last-few-weeks blogging mode. Therefore, I must fill in the gap now before I leave for camp.

Even though I have largely only mentioned Stephen's progress through school, we actually do other things, I promise.

A couple of weeks ago, Blake and Julie let us watch their dog, Bo, for a long weekend.

Blake and Julie are some of our best friends. Blake and Stephen have known each other since they were 7 or 8 years old or in other words for almost 20 years. You could say they are like brothers...well no "like" about it...they are brothers. They find each other absolutely hilarious, can stay on the phone for 20 minutes talking about nothing - but laughing about their nothingness the entire time, have tendencies to engage in yelling wars - even through text messages, reminisce on the past 2o years on a regular basis - laughing about the same stories over and over again, can play the church hymn game for hours on end (if you are ever get bored in the car and know all the old hymns - we have the game for you!) sum this up they basically joke about everything all the time. As you can imagine, Julie and I had no choice but to be good friends too. Luckily, it worked out because I definitely need someone to endure all these moments thank you, Julie.

I just thought I should give you a little insight on our friendship with Blake and Julie, since I am sure they will be mentioned often.

Back to Bo...AND...Here he is:

He loved putting our socks or shirts in his mouth. It was so funny!

I probably should not share this story because I will NEVER be asked to dog-sit or even baby-sit again, but I don't want to forget this incident.

Blake and Julie have a backyard and let Bo out to "do his business" without a leash. Then, on walks (when on a leash), he trots along - never needing to "pop a squat." This was completely new to me due to previous experiences with Stephen's parents' dog, Snickers. A walk for him consists of a 400 meter stretch (I ran track - this is how I compute distances) that takes 45 minutes because of Snickers huge desire to "grace" every tree along the way. With Bo, I was able to go at a great pace and actually get some exercise.

Because we don't have a yard, we would take him out on his leash (he was thinking he was getting a walk at 10 pm) to use the restroom - but he would NEVER go.

On Saturday, I picked him up early afternoon because it was so hot outside (All you dog owners are probably thinking dogs can hack it - but remember - he isn't our dog and we did NOT want him to have a heat stroke on OUR watch). We took him out the rest of that day- on his leash, of course - to pee and even on a walk - but he never "went" for the rest of the day. Finally, at 6 the next morning, Bo is scratching on our door and crying a little. I woke up and thought "this dog has to be about to explode" - so without even trying to take him out on his leash at our house - we got in the car and went over to Blake and Julie's backyard. When we got to their house, it took all I had to keep hold of his leash. I let him in his backyard - he sniffed for a nanosecond - and relieved himself for a good 30 - 45 seconds. Yes, I watched the entire time in amazement.

Needless to say that afternoon when we went on a walk (we were headed to their backyard so he could pee), he peed on his leash within 5 minutes. There I stood, joyfully repeating "good Bo, good Bo, good dog, way to go, Bo!" with a group of other dog-walkers around observing the situation. They had to be thinking, " Wow, lady, he is just peeing!" Too bad after this amazing discovery by Bo, he went home 12 hours later.

I have to say, I can see why people view dogs as great companions - within days Bo was following us around the house. I loved it - but we are not getting a dog in the near future, Stephen. Just had to make that clear, publicly.

Another visitor just less than 24 hours after Bo left was...

Our Niece - Katie Grace

I think she is about 7 months old in these pictures.

A proud aunt...

To give you a little perspective of what she looked like the last time we saw her at Christmas...

Andy, Rachel, and Katie Grace were only here for a very short time. We were so lucky they even stopped by considering all the people they needed to see all across the country. They live in California and drove from California to Texas to Arkansas to Tennessee to Kentucky just to make sure Katie Grace saw all her family (even a Great-Grandmother). Unbelievable. Really unbelievable with an infant in tow.

Stephen, Whitney (Stephen's cousin who lives in Nashville came over), and I were able to hold her, feed her, play with her, listen to all her noises, and she even fell asleep in my arms.

She is so sweet and lovable.

If she only lived closer...Hint, Hint, Nudge, Nudge...Andy and Rachel. =)

I'll leave you with a few other notable "unbelievables" from this past week...

1. Michael Jackson - "King of Pop" DIED. Unbelievable.

2. Stephen passed all his tests this past week with flying colors. U-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-e-a-b-l-e.

3. Jillian, the Bachlorette, kept Wes on for ANOTHER week. Unbelievable.

4. This post has gone on for far too long. Unbelievable!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day


Here are a few reasons why I feel so blessed to be called your daughter:

1. You always loved and supported mom. You showed Jocelyn and me what a good marriage looks like.

2. You were not afraid to be firm with me. It made me feel more secure and cared about.

3. You taught me the value of a dollar, the importance of saving, and the rewards of giving back to God.

4. You taught me the importance of family and the small things in life. I will never forget the words we grew up hearing, "Girls, it doesn't get any better than this." I noticed that you only used that phrase when we were all together as a family and enjoying each other - not when we enjoyed anything of monetary value.

5. Despite all my mistakes - you forgave me. Through those mistakes, you showed me first-hand God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness.

6. You didn't protect me from consequences - you taught me that I needed to learn the painful way sometimes.

7. Everything you promised, you fulfilled. Thank you for never letting me down.

8. You were always consistent. You never confused me or made me lose faith in you.

9. You provided lots of love and understanding.

10. You showed me the benefits of hard work and the importance of commitment - whether we hate what we are doing or not.


Stephen is becoming more like you daily. I joke with him about it on a regular basis and he always says, "If I am half the husband to you that my dad is to my mom, I am perfectly okay with becoming like my dad." As a wife, it is hard to express what it means to know that her husband was raised by such a great father and husband to his mother.

In addition, I cannot thank you enough for treating and loving me as if I was one of your own. You have already taught me so many things I have treasured.

To the greatest men in the world, we are indebted to you forever for all the things you have taught us.
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Jill and Stephen

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Could be the Host of "The Bachlorette"

...Three weeks of school down, two packages of Fun-Sized Butterfinger Crisps down the hatch, close to twenty or more strawberry smoothies savored, and over a thousand notecards later... Stephen is gearing up for his toughest week yet.

I sound like Chris Harrison on "The Bachlorette" when he ends EVERY show saying, "We'll see you next week to witness the hardest rose ceremony in Bachlorette history..." Initially, I think "I can't wait!" But really, no week is any different than the last. There is always something big - but it is TV, of course, there is going to be something dramatic each week. But I have to admit I love the drama- so I can't really throw the show under the bus.

I may sound like Chris, but I am actually for real when I say, "Next week may be the hardest week in the history of the Hasselbring household."
Starting tomorrow, Stephen has an Anatomy written test. On Friday, an Anatomy Lab Test. Then, on Monday, a Physiology Test. Papers due the next two days and another test in Research on Thursday. Phew. I am done. Breathe.

Just in case you wondered what it looks like after studying for 10 plus hours on a Saturday for three different tests - here you go.

[This is posed, but I promise you this is what he really looked like when I walked in the room. He moved before I could get the picture, so I made him pose.]
It is 10:30 pm as I write this and Stephen is still at school studying. Luckly, he has found some people he really studies well with - which makes studying more bearable.
Oddly enough, I think Stephen is more prepared for this week than I am. I am just a nervous wreck. I feel quite useless, so I just pray.
"How will the Hasselbring household handle the week ahead? Stayed tuned to our blog to find out."
Until then, best of luck to Stephen and all his PA school study buddies.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Will there be a class on handwriting?

Stephen has definitely found a method that works for him when it comes to studying. I am actually saying that with great pride because it is not even a month into school. I am thankful I am not typing that sentence a year from now. I would be slightly afraid for his patients, if that were the case.

But have no fear future patients out there! Stephen has discovered notecards - and lots of them. I think it would be smart for us to buy stock in whatever company makes notecards - at least for the next two years. They won't go under - I guarantee it.

When he studies, he reads a chapter and highlights important information. Then, he goes back and writes the highlighted information on notecards. Some notecards even have pictures. He can draw a brachial plexus like none other - I don't even know what that is!

After three weeks of school, here are all the notecards (These are excluding his Netter's Anatomoy Cards).

The only problem with the notecards is that only Stephen, and I mean ONLY Stephen can read them. To give you an indicator of how bad his handwriting really is - I am an elementary school teacher and I read lots of not bad (I don't want to be negative towards my students), but developing handwriting. Let's just say, I have good practice, and I still struggle with reading his handwriting. The combination between the itty-bitty size and the incomplete formations of the letters can ensure a really bad headache.

We quickly discovered after only quizzing him on his notecards twice - that I was more of a hinderance when I helped him than a benefit.

I would think that if you were standing in the room it would be quite humorous. I would try to sound out the scientific word on the front, but not say it correctly. Stephen would correct me and immediately start listing the information on the back of the card. He would finish and I would still be deciphering the first word on the back of the card. Since I basically missed everything he said because I was deep in "deciphering mode" in my brain, I would go back and make him list everything again. Needless to say, he stopped asking me to quiz him. And rightfully so. I'm thinking he decided that our marriage was far more important.

Just so I don't sound like a horrible wife (Stephen has already decided that this blog is for husband bashing), I will go ahead and give you another indicator of how bad Stephen's handwriting is...

On Stephen's first day of work at Elite, Dr. Elrod was reading some notes Stephen had written on a piece of paper. He turned to him when he finished and said, "Steve, we have plenty of paper here at Elite, you don't have to write so small."

Dr. Elrod even mentioned when Stephen left Elite in May, "Maybe they (PA school) will teach you how to write."

Then, just last week, a friend of mine needed her husband to see Dr. Elrod. After their visit, she sent me a message on Facebook. In the message, she explained that she was told to relay a message to Stephen by his old co-workers that "they found somebody who can write."

So for the record, I am not the only one "bashing" out there. For some reason it's okay though when other people do it. Weird how that works!

Bad handwriting or not, I am so proud of Stephen's dedication and the hard work he has put into the notecards and school so far.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My Second - First Post

Let me translate the title. About an hour ago, I finished my very first post - I was actually really proud of myself, so I tramped upstairs to read it to Stephen (who was studying, of course). I read it to him, made a few changes, and pressed "publish post" to find out that I did not have internet access. What does that mean? My very first post was deleted and I had to rewrite everything.

I was mad.

Stephen was laughing.

So here is my second-first post below:

Welcome to our blog!

It is official. We have done it. We have stepped into the 21st century and have a blog. Many of you (the two people that know this blog exists) are thinking finally; we have had one for years.

For me, this blog means more than just "being up with the times." It means I can finally check "create a blog" off my to-do list. (I really relate to Kupono Aweau, a dancer from "So You Think You Can Dance.") I am a to-do list queen, so today is a great day!

A short disclaimer about our blog. I am writing this blog for myself. (Let's be honest, Stephen could care less.) I am determined to keep up with our lives - especially now that Stephen is in school. I am convinced that if I do not document it - it will be forgotten. I have proof that such things do happen. I was talking to my mom the other day about the years my dad was getting his MBA shortly after they got married. She concluded the conversation by saying, "I don't remember much about those days - I don't know how we got through it all."
I refuse to let that happen to us and would hate to have to say those same words.
In fact, I can't wait for 26 1/2 months (it has only been a few weeks and I am already counting down, YES, I REALIZE) from now. We will be able to look back and marvel at our accomplishments and, probably even, laugh at how we got through it all.
And honestly, I want our kids to have proof that we actually had a life before they came along. [My short disclaimer became never-ending.] My point is that I am not a good writer and not very funny, so I apologize if I do not entertain you. Like I said earlier, I am doing this for me (a.k.a. - I am selfish!) This is the best way for me to keep up with our everyday lives.

Oh yes, I can't forget! I am also doing this for Stephen's parents. I think I am pretty accurate when I say they find things out about a month late. Mind you, it is because I call every once in a while to keep them somewhat informed, not Stephen. So here's to you, Dennis and Diane. This blog will keep you in "The Know-Hassel Zone" on a regular, immediate basis. I am not so selfish after all, right?

Thank you, Moriah Farmer, for formatting/designing our blog. I love it!

Looking forward to continually adding to our story...