Category Archives: Toby

Trying something new this year…instead of typing, printing, and sending out our annual Christmas letter, I have decided to post on my blog a recap of 2009 in the Recke household.  Of course, as a courtesy (and because I love getting them in the mail) I will also be mailing out the mandatory photo card to make sure relatives and close friends see how big the kids are getting! :)
By the way “C” and “E” represent the kids’ names…we opted to protect their privacy since this is a public blog.

Ok to recap…
C is now a 5 (almost 6) year old little guy.  At the beginning of this year we enrolled him in preschool (opting to hold him back from kindergarten for another year to acclimate more to English & school structure) at Silver State Christian school.  He was off to a rocky start and got into various kinds of trouble nearly daily.  We did get him evaluated through the Colorado public school system and in the end determined that he needs some speech therapy to work on enunciation, but otherwise it’s a wait-and-see approach to whether he has extreme hyper-activity.  We have experienced a dramatic turn in his behavior though.  We see him trying harder to “control his energy” and listen more to his teachers.  It’s really encouraging to see his English get better and better and to be able to recognize certain letters and numbers.  Rewards like seeing movies and playing at an indoor amusement center called “Monkey Bizness” definitely keeps him motivated!  He also adores his little sister, E.  He is just so extremely kind and gentle with her, it makes me melt.  What a great kid we have! :)

E is now 1-1/2 years old.  Hard to comprehend, really.  She is growing like a weed and at 12 months we began buying only 24mos or 2T clothing.  She is off the chart in height, so she is definitely following in Daddy’s footsteps in that department!  E stays home with me these days so it is fun to see her developing day to day.  Her favorite activities are talking on the phone (fake or otherwise), climbing furniture, chasing C around the house, babbling (another of Daddy’s traits, hehe), and really just exploring with the natural curiosity of a toddler.  She is truly a bundle of joy and has really completed our family!

Tom is doing great with his Pillar To Post franchise.  He continues to grow his business even in the midst of a recession (amazing feat, really) and his dedication to his work is impressive.  We can only look forward to the future when (hopefully) the economy rebounds and his business explodes.

Even in tough times, his business ethic and hard work has enabled me to be a stay-at-home mom.  I quit my job at Wm Ohs in February and have been enduring enjoying commute-less work ever since.  There have been days when I question my decision as it seemed so much easier to design kitchens than to herd children all day.  But then…I see my daughter take her first steps or see C’s joyful face when I pick him up from school, and it is so worth it.  It reminds me of the song “You’re Gonna Miss This” by Trace Adkins.  It just passes by so fast!

Some other 2009 highlights worth noting:

  • We took our first family vacation to Yellowstone & Jackson Hole in August
  • C played in both soccer & T-ball leagues.  Surprisingly, he liked t-ball the best!
  • C lost four teeth!  He truly wants “two front teeth” for Christmas. ;)
  • Auntie Erin visited and took C up in her plane where was a “hero” for flying it.
  • We had nice visits from Nana & Papa Fedraw for E’s 1st b-day and their yearly pilgrimage west for a break from the B&B world.

It was also a year of some sadness.  I lost my beloved 13yo Golden Retriever, Toby, in October (you can see my tribute to him HERE).  He had been ill and was diagnosed with tumors on his spleen that was causing some internal bleeding.  It’s typically remedied by surgically removing the spleen, but for such an old dog, it just seemed cruel to put him through it…with no guarantees.  So, the very difficult decision to put him down was made and I cried for days.  I still miss him terribly and am realizing that this is the first Christmas in 13 years that I won’t be seeing him tear open the wrapping on his gifts.  Bitter-sweetness.

Anyway, that’s our year in a nutshell.  I pray that this holiday season finds you surrounded by your loved ones and filled with lasting memories.  Have a blessed Christmas and happy New Year!

“Toby”
May 3, 1996 – October 26, 2009


“I lost a special friend today
the kind you can’t replace,
and looking at his empty bed
I still can see his face.

I know he’s in a special place
our Lord has for such friends,
Where meadows, lakes & flowers
help make them strong and whole again.
I know he’s watching over me
He’ll be with me when I cry,
So with one more kiss on his beloved head
I told my friend goodbye.

Today I said good-bye to the best dog I’ve ever had…and ever will. Tobias Oliver Jared was released from his life here on earth, to rest in peace and in our memories.

My Dearest Toby,
I love you with all of my heart…you were my first “baby”. I’ll never forget holding your 2-week body in my hand and telling the breeder, “this is the one”! From day one you had an independent streak that told me we were a perfect pair. And we were. I hold tight to the days when we ran together, hiked the California trails, swam at Chatfield dog park, and played in the neighborhood park…chasing your beloved tennis balls with everything you had. And boy you loved to swim! You could sniff out water a mile away and I was often found running after you, frantically calling your name while you ignored me and bolted for the beach. You saw me through a lot of changes in 13 years. You accepted Tom when I got married and you (begrudgingly) put up with two kids climbing all over you. You were a trooper! But now, now you are no longer imprisoned by a body that is in pain. You are free…free to run, free to swim, free to lay in the sun. That said, I miss you more than you can possibly know.

Thanks for memories, friend. I’ll forever cherish them.