Thursday, June 26, 2008

I am alive and spiritually recharged.

This is the way I felt most days at Bible camp. We were busy all day long and running on pure adrenaline becuase sleep was very hard to come by.....

The theme of the week was "Christianity: Uniform or Costume" and it was VERY well executed by the directors and staff! We had at least three lessons per day and all of them were fantastic and so sound! All the staff and counsellors wore matching camo T-shirts each day...a different color for each day as well. That was fun too! I liked the camo!

I made lots of friends, but one really stood out. I'll tell you more about her later. I got to spend much time with my good buddy TRUDY, as well as a few days with her sisters, Heidi and Lavenia.

I want to spend the next hour telling you about my week, but I will save more for later. I will get into details then too!

I also have some pictures coming from the Saturday I left for camp. Brian and I took Nathan to the park along with Helen and my mom and stepdad. There was a festival. SO MUCH FUN! I'll have more about that soon, but here is one pic of my sweet nephew giving me some love....

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Birdies and pawpaw

Well, up in the corner of our front porch, a bird made a mess and a nest. Yesterday I noticed it wasn't just a nest anymore...there were BABY BIRDS! AWW!!

This picture is zoomed in quite a bit to see them. They are actually very very tiny. The nest can't be more than six inches in diameter. And there are at least two other birds in there. These are the only ones I could get on camera. I just love to look at these guys! So does Helen. I wish I could articuate the way she says the word "bird." It's as cute as the birds are!

This picture is for PawPaw and Mimi. It's of Helen sitting at the dining room table (any time Helen sits for an extended period of time---longer than 20 seconds---is an accompishment) She just wanted to sit and look at PawPaw's picture. He's the third person from the left. I thought it was just so sweet! OH, and this picture was not staged....believe it or not, it's a candid.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


I was watching a re-run of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition tonight about the Stockdale family and their four children all of which have a rare (extremely long and hard to pronounce) disease that is incurable. The parents, Ryan and Karia, cannot be any older than Brian and me and they have so much courage and love--not just for their children, but for one another as well. Their story was heartbreaking, but inspiring at the same time. While watching this show, I thought about the tag (which I've fulfilled below) that I received from several of you. It is so hard to sum up one's life in six simple words, but I think I've come up with something that is appropriate for my past and present, but mostly my future. Hopefully we can live and love everyday to its fullest in the same way that the Stockdale family does. May the Lord continue to bless you all!

The Six Word Memoir

This idea came from the book by Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser called Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure . The book is a compilation that is based on the story that Hemingway once bet ten dollars that he could sum up his entire life in just six words. His words? For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Here are the rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like.

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.

4. Tag five more blogs with links.

5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

My six words, not very original, but potent just the same:

The greatest of these is love

I don't stop and take a moment to breathe in the beauty and simplicity of life. God made it easy, we make it hard. I hope I can remember the greatest and most fundamental gift He has given and pay it forward to all those whom I love the most.

Thank you Kelly, Kim, and Katie for tagging me.

I now tag:

Tasha - As Our Alyssa Grows

Trudy - Dan and Trudy

Carol Leah - Word From the Motherbug

Haley - The Gray Family

Liz - The Johnston Five

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Eric's Graduation

Normally when a loved one graduates from college, a picture of the actual graduate is posted and celebrated.....

Well, we are so happy for Eric and his Summa Cum Laude decorations and being given the "Christian Service" award....the only student in his class.

At this time, however, I pause to share something else with you as well.....

It's called CHEEEEESE! And lots of it! HAHAHA!

While we were waiting for Eric's ceremony to begin, Helen and Nathan wanted to sit together. Leslie wanted to catch it on camera. She got more than she bargained for when she asked them to smile. All Helen could muster was a squint, but Nathan made up for all the smiles Helen was lacking! I love these kids so much!!

Leslie, thanks again for catching the best shots!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Thursday...seemed like a Monday all day long

I've been up since 5:45AM and we're pushing midnight by now. I'm sure by the end of this post, it'll be well into Friday morning. I hope you all are sleeping well.

I've prayed a lot today. I'm not saying that in a prideful way, but today my patience has been worn very thin and it was the only way I know to make it through these kind of days.

Not that there has been any horrible or tragic things going on today...just a day when one's body and mind is pushed harder than normal. God is good. I'm alive, my family is well and safe, and He continues to give me strength to make it until the next sunrise. I hope you all can say the same...

Here are some fun pics from tonight:

After her bath she wanted to play with my old jewelry box I put in her room for her treasures. She has bows and barettes in there for now. She is so excited about her box. She let me, or made me, put all the bows and clips in her hair. Then I showed her how to look at herself in the mirror of the lid on the jewery box.... what small things make a child smile! ISN'T SHE CUTE!

(She'd look in the mirror and say "BOO!" and then cackle up a storm!)

Last, but not least, and after I brushed her teeth....


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Holy Dog Leash Batman - Part Deux

....Brian speaks to the animal control officer and comes back in moments later explaining to me that we have to go to court. He grabs is ID and heads back out.

We were issued 3 citations....yep three....for violations to animal control laws. The neighbor claimed the Brodie came onto her property, unprovoked, and barked at her (and her dog) showing his teeth with the hair on his neck raised! The AC officer said that on first offences they normally just issue a warning, but that the neighbor insisted on pressing charges. She wanted him to issue a "vicious dog" citation, but he didn't becuase that would have meant harsher penalty. If he'd issued that citation he would have had to take Brodie away. Thank you for not doing that. He isn't vicious in any way.

Side note: Our property line is only seperated from her driveway by about 20-30 feet. The line is a good distance from our house, but the line is very close to hers.

She said that Brodie has been on her property on at least two other occasions and that this was the only time he "attacked."

I decided before the county came that I was going to suck it up and give her the benefit of the doubt that she was genuinely scared of Brodie. I had decided to write her a nice note and take even take her some fun baked goodies to help smooth it all over in hopes that we could actually be cordial neighbors.

After the county came, however, and said that Brian could possibly be given PROBATION because of Brodie, I rethought my decision. I didn't want to give her any reason to accuse us of something we didn't do. I didn't want to jeopardize Brian's legal status at all.

We were both very upset about this. We are Christians and don't want to do anything to endanger or hurt any of our neighbors. Especially not with our sweet dog. He's a good dog--A little high spirited, but a really good dog.

We had to wait until June 3rd to go to court. (Some counties let you just pay the citations and go on about your life....not so in our county) We consulted lawyers and friends we have in other county animal control offices to prepare ourselves for what could happen in court.

The day of court arrives. I have arranged babysitting for Helen so I can go with Brian to court. I walk into this room and I am expecting Judge Judy's courtroom. You know, a judge's bench with two podiums for the plantiff and defendant and a bailiff, and of course, some bench seating for the people foregoing cases. HA! Double HA! There were a few tables set up, a bigger desk for the judge (there was a bailiff), one podium, and only about 15 chairs for the people who are in queue. Not to mention that the room is about the size of a small office area! I am informed that unless I am on the citations, then I need to leave because there isn't enough room for me in the "courtroom."

I'm thrilled not to have to wait. So I head out and go pick up Helen.

Five hours later, Brian calls me to say that his "trial" is over and he's on his way to work. Apparently, after I left, not only did the 15 chairs in the room fill up, the hallway outside the room filled up with people waiting on their case to be called as well. Did they set up chairs for them, you ask? NOPE. They are all sitting in the floor! I would hate to know how long those people had to wait. Brian waited until 2:00PM. Did their cases even get heard?

Brian said that when his case was called he got up as did the lady sitting next to him the whole day. How hilarious is it that our neighbor, whom we've never seen up close, sat next to him all day long and he didn't even know it was her! Brian pleaded "no contest," so she sat there all day too and didn't even get to say a word. He paid the fine and off he went. The fine was so small that it cost him more to sit there than it did to pay it. He wasn't thrilled, but I'm glad it's over.

We're going over to talk to her this week. We want to get to know her and let her and her family know that we are not here to harm or hurt her in anyway....That if something we are doing is unacceptable, a simple phone call or knock on the door would be sufficient. We are friends with all of our surrounding neighbors, except her. Christians can forgive wrong-doing and we hope that she can forgive us for this simple little issue, especially if she really was scared.

So our little convict was saved from the mean ole dog pound by the gentle nature of our county AC officer! We are glad that Brian didn't have to go to jail too, nor be placed on probation! Can you believe that is even an option for somone who's dog barks at another person!? What is this world coming to!?

BTW, Brian told me that there was this one case who's pit bull got into someone's house and killed their cat and distroyed some of their things. Now THAT is something to complain about!

Thanks for reading....I know it was long

Holy Dog Leash Batman!

To continue with our story....

For my birthday last year, I begged Brian to get Brodie the Invisible Fence collars so that we could let him out and he wouldn't be all over the neighborhood. He's always been a very affectionate dog (the dachsund in him) but he's also been very territorial (the russell in him) so it doesn't take a whole lot to get him to bark or to run after a little kid on a bicycle. He doesn't bark because he wants to bite the kid, he barks and chases them because he's playful and they passed through his line of sight!

So bless his bones when we got the shock collar last year. He hates it, but it does the trick. Now he gets to bark, but he knows better than to go after something too far away from the house because he'll get a good jolt.

The collar is battery operated and last month the battery died and instead of running out to the local pet store and buy another one, we took our time because he's so good for us without it.

Well, about a month ago, he and Helen and I were out on the driveway playing when Brian came home from work. Helen ran up to greet him so I ran after her to keep her from getting in front of the car. Brodie was excited Brian was home, as usual, but I didn't worry about him because he knows the car would squish him dead. I kept my eye on Helen until Brian was in the garage.

All of a sudden, Brian's engine still running in my ear and the wind just blowing full, I hear a voice from up the hill:

This is our neighbor's house. She was standing at the top of this hill just off of her driveway yelling at the top of her lungs, "YOU NEED TO PUT A LEASH ON THAT DOG!"

I look up and see Brodie trotting back to our house and I thought I heard something else. I grab hold of Brodie and put my hand to my hear and say "What, I'm sorry I didn't hear that, what did you say?"


So here I am, in a sort of shock, with a head cold, Brian's engine still in my ear, and she she's yelling at me from over 50 yards away and I still think I hear her speaking to me. So again, I put my hand to my ear and say, "I'm sorry, what was that last thing, I'm having a hard time hearing you."


Since he didn't have his collar on, he made it up to her house and "attacked" her. I'm floored and flustered, to say the least. I go inside and cool my emotions down and about 30 minutes later, we look outside and there in her driveway is the county Animal Control!!!!


Ok, Brian and I are country folk. On our side of the world, we usually just go complain to the neighbor that has a pesky animal or we just deal with it. Why? Because animals are just that....animals.

Well, apparently, she aint kuntry folk.

After her 30 minute complaint to the county, he drives into our driveway and Brian goes out to speak with him....

To be continued later today....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Our little convict

This is our dog Brodie. He is a Jack Russell/Miniature Dachsund mix. Isn't he adorable? He's wearing his invisible-fence collar sitting reluctantly so that I could take this picture. We'll call it his mugshot because today, we go to court today about this "vicious" little dog. More to come....stay tuned!