Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodbye Sweet Girl

Our dog has died.

Our girl Boxer, Lucy, passed quietly in her sleep last Monday.  She had been suffering from a very bad case of pancreatitis that did not improve with treatments.  It didn't take long.  Two weeks and she was gone.  We were terribly afraid we were going to have to make the horrendous decision to put her to sleep.  But then she saved us from that and passed that morning. 

It has been so very, very sad.  The boys have been weepy, distraught and confused.  Full of questions about death and Heaven and what she is doing with God.  We do our best to explain.  But how do explain how sweet Lucy actually gets to Heaven so she can play fetch with God?  It's not been easy.  An important life lesson, yes.  But certainly not easy.

Super Hubs has been very sad.  We realized through this whole process that he has not lost anyone close to him in many, many years.  His father, though struggling with his disease, is still here.  I've lost a friend's son and others.  But together, as a family, this was our first death of someone close.  A blessing in some ways;  other ways, not so much.  It's been hard.

Thoughts of her come to me occasionally and really catch me off guard.  I did not expect to grieve quite like this.  I grew up on a farm.  Animals die.  But I realize now that I've never had a family pet, who I lived with, slept with, cuddled and loved so greatly, die.  Growing up, our pets never entered our house.  Pets living in your house?  A different story.  A member of your family.  Most certainly.  And I miss her. 

The boys are entertaining thoughts of a new pet.  We have a male Boxer who is sad now.  They think he needs a new friend.  But hubs and I aren't ready yet.  Not quite ready for a new puppy to overtake that part of our hearts or home.  We feel like we owe it to sweet Lucy to give her a little more time to be the 'other girl' in the house.  So we'll wait.

Have you lost a pet?  Were you too, surprised at the pain of the loss? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It works for me....


It's what Works For Me.

I'm happy to get back in on a WFMW post with friends over at We Are That Family.

Because we too, are one of THOSE families.

And what works for me is prayer. Prayer every. single. day. Sometimes more than once a day.

I've often really wondered about people that have no faith in Christ. Those that are not believers. It is beyond me. I don't ever remember not having faith. Not having a relationship with Christ. Not being a believer in Him, His Kingdom, His Word. I don't criticize those that aren't believers. I just simply don't understand it.

This week, because we are ONE of THOSE families, I've been challenged to stand faithful and strong. Challenged to lean on Him more. Through some of life's everyday happenings, I lean on Him. And through those not-so-everyday happenings, I lean on Him.

Prayer works. One of my favorite quotes is here on my blog. "I pray because I doesn't change God. It changes me." I got it out of a movie called Shadowlands, when Anthony Hopkins portrayed C.S. Lewis. Mr. Lewis had just lost his beloved wife and was grieving terribly. His friends were trying to console him. He could not be easily consoled. If you have not seen this movie or read any works by C.S. Lewis, I would highly recommend it. His writings were and are, phenomenal. The movie was fantastic. His writings have deepened my faith and helped me explore areas of my Christianity that I had not yet looked at.

So try it. Prayer that is. It works. For me.

Join everyone else on over at We Are THAT Family to find out what else works!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cleaning....otherwise known as my prescription for anxiety....

Who else cleans like Martha Stewart when faced with a difficult decision?  Who else falls in love with Mr. Clean when life deals you a deck of crummy cards? 


Definitely me.

I hate to admit it but I'm most effective at cleaning when I'm anxious.  Or mad.  Or both.

When I have a situation that looks bleak, my stainless steel is screaming bright!  I can accomplish more in 30 minutes when I have a difficult situation I'm facing than I can accomplish in 3 hours when life is easy peasy.  It's just the way it is.  Beats eating chocolate.

Except for the times when chocolate goes hand-in-hand with said cleaning.  Then it's just. not. pretty.

But my friend over at Thrifty Decor Chic is asking for cleaning tips.  Cleaning shortcuts.  Genius ideas for cleaning.

Mine?  Other than cleaning my house rather than taking a massive dose of Ativan? 


Playlist is a free site that lets you build a playlist of your favorite songs and play them on your computer.  I have several lists.  One for massive amounts of cleaning.  One for relaxing when done cleaning.  Great kids music.  A really cool set of Christian music.  All I have to do is define my mood and hit play. 

Here is one of my favorite playlists right now.  Feel free to use it next time you gotta get something done.

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Works for me.  Every time!

Join all those other creative peeps on over at TDC for more great cleaning tips!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

It is THAT time of year....

Another little peek into one of my FAV-O-RITE pleasures....


And in one week, these guys

will play against these guys

And that makes this house, one crazy, hyped-up, football frenzied HOT MESS!!

New Year--it is still January, right?

 It is still January so technically, ahem!  I can still say

I've thought many, MANY days about catching up on the blog but then doubt would interfere and I'd ask myself, "What do I really have to say right now?"

I am at a crossroads of sorts.  Not quite sure what to blog about.  My life has changed.  My focus is much different than it was six months ago.

Or is it?

I went back to recap on some of my blog entries from the past year.  They reflect a woman who was driven in many ways.  Driven to create the best home for her family.  Driven to feed her family well, AND frugally.  Driven to be a better wife, a better Mom, a much better follower of Christ.

Those things have not changed. 

My daily routine has changed.  But those goals are still there.  Still REALLY there!  With some new challenges mixed in.  As you all know, I work Monday through Friday again.  A new career focus.  New challenges professionally.

But the depth of who I am remains the same.  I struggle to make sure our marriage is growing.  I want to show my husband that he is the head of our family.  I want to get better at giving him the reins in which to lead our family and lead our marriage.  That means that I continue to learn to let go.  Let go of my selfish will.  Let go of my stubborn emotions.  Let go of my need to control!  Go out of my way to encourage him, to support him, to listen to him and to show him how much he means to me. 

I continue to work at this Mama-gig.  There are still numerous lessons to teach our sons.  Many kisses to send their way.  Hugs too.   I still want SH and I to lead their education and growth.  It helps that we absolutely love the Christian preschool that they are attending.  Every day they come home reciting a new Bible verse, talking about how they learned about Christ that day and singing songs over and over and OVER again!!  We are very comfortable that we made the right choice of schools for them to attend.  And they love it so that helps us to feel so very comfortable with the decision.   We are learning more and more every day about their personalities and how that is growing in to the young men they are.  They are set in many ways.  Big Boy continues to be emotional, very sensitive and very thoughtful.  You cannot get a single thing past that boy.  We must carefully choose our words and actions, every day.  Because he picks up on them every. single. time.  Little Guy continues to be the free spirit.  He is goofy and enjoys to be the life of the house!  We must be careful not to assume that means he is silly and reckless because he is not.  He simply does not take any part of life too seriously.  That will help our Type A driven home, A LOT! 

There are goals that I have for 2010.  Every year I try to identify things that I want to accomplish, both for myself and for our family.  This year is no different.  So in no sense of order at all:

1)  Strengthen our family bond with Christ.  SH and I have talked about this and have made some concrete measures to include God in our daily lives.  We pray every day on the way to school with the boys.  We pray at meals.  We pray at other times too.  We talk about our behaviors and how they either please God or displease Him.  We don't attend church as often as we feel like we should.  Let's face it, church is a habit.  And one I feel like we need to strengthen in our entire family.  We are somewhat torn as to what church to attend so that is a journey we must attend to.  We talk about God daily and His sacrifices for us.  We don't talk about our sacrifices for Him nearly as much.  Room for growth in this area, definitely.

2)  Remove ourselves from $50,000 of debt, which will include remaining credit card debt, home equity, student loan and mortgage.  We won't be debt free but we can be closer to the prize!  Definitely something we can do if we really focus.  REALLY focus!

3)  Take charge of my health.  Let's face it.  I'm almost 42 years old.  42 folks.  That is, ahhhhhhh, close to middle age?!  No matter how young I feel.  No matter how late I started with the whole parenting gig (so I feel like I'm 30 with preschoolers, when in reality I'm almost 42 with preschoolers!).  The body is just not gonna hold up like it did 12 years ago.  Time to really start looking at ensuring those healthcare dollars are well spent on prevention!

4)  And as always, there is a smattering of decorating projects, garden plans, weekend trips to plan.  Little things to make family memories.  Those change every other week so I'll keep those on the back burner.

5)  Keep up with the blog.  Even the mundane, inconsequential things.  Because someone may find them mildly entertaining.  And I love going back to read where life has taken us in the past year.