Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Date at the Zoo

Hubs and I spend a lot of time together. Almost every evening in fact. But, we don't hardly go on dates. You know, the kind of date that you actually plan something to do and it is out of the ordinary?

Hubs and I also seem to have a thing for zoos. We have been to the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha twice and early this year went to the San Diego Zoo. Both of these zoos are top-notch. So, to continue a trend, we tried out the Sedgwick County Zoo.

Both Hubs and I set our expectations low, but it ended up being a really nice zoo and it will rank as one of the best trips for me because we were able to see one of my favorite animals at feeding time!

Usually when it is 90+ degrees out, all the animals are snoozing. We got to see some action, though, because they were feeding the Grizzly bears!

Above us, keepers were tossing down vegetables - heads of lettuce, stalks of celery, apples, carrots, etc. The bear in the water was hysterical. He would catch food in his mouth and put his whole face in the water looking for food he may have dropped.

There was a thick piece of glass between us and this bear. I have never been this close!

I, of course went on and on about how cute they look - their ears look just as soft as Ransom's - but Hubs continues to insist that they are not nice.

We also were able to see the lions, tigers, and gorillas - all were quite active, or at least close enough to get great views. Actually, while watching a peeved gorilla, some little kids taunted it (instructed to do so by their mother). Made this gorilla even more made. He punched the glass once; then kicked it. Wow - that was some major force against some really strong glass!

The hot air wore Hubs and I out (that, and the fact that we both worked out before we drove to the zoo). I watched in amazement as these parents seemed to still have plenty of energy despite the heat - I suppose you learn that when you have kids.

We had a nice date and I am determined to plan them more often. I'm thinking once a month. How often do you go on a real date with your spouse?

Monday, August 30, 2010

What next?

I have never met a dog that ends up in the odd situations that ours does. From eating through his crate to running away in a foreign place; from unfortunate treadmill experiences to kissing a skunk - we sure have seen it all!

This stoic, confident labrador has had quite the week. After last Monday, complete with 1-mile walk, 3-mile run at a fast pace, and 1 hour swim he developed a limp. His front left paw seemed to be hurting and it ended up that he probably stepped on it wrong at some point and strained or sprained a muscle. Within 3 days he was back to normal - jumping, leaping and running.

Last year at this time, Ransom was super itchy which we learned was allergy problems. Nothing a dose of Benadryl can't fix. It has started up again and we neglected to give him his dosage on Saturday night, on in to Sunday. Sunday afternoon I looked at his paws and this is what I saw:

Normal, right paw:

Mutilated, left paw:

Yes, he ate his paw. Ate the pad right off of there. It itched that bad. Can you imagine something itching so bad that you eat yourself?

So, being the good owners that we are, we did not take him to the vet again. We bandaged it up ourselves. Don't judge us for this - most times we go to the vet he does exactly what we would have done, expect in a more expensive manner. I love and respect our vet, but 2 times in 1 week is a bit much. Besides, I think it turned out kind of cute:

The itching got bad again this morning, so the pups is officially on a Benadryl regimen, which helps him so much. When I left this morning I had no doubts that this wrap and tape would be chewed off. What I didn't expect however, is that he would eat it all. Just chewed it up and swallowed the whole thing.

Can't wait to see that come out in a few days...

My reading list right now

My reading list is exhaustive right now:

Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands, by Paul David Tripp
I really love this book, though it is taking me a long time to wade through it. I feel like I want to absorb everything he is saying because it just makes sense. After 6 months, I am only on chapter 5 of 14! He skillfully guides us to learn where change is needed in our lives and how to minister to others, who also need change in their lives. It's great.

Lee: A Life of Virtue by John Perry
This is the next book I am reviewing for booksneeze.com. I chose a biography and am looking forward to reading this one.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog by Nikki Moustaki
I told you I fell in love with this dog and now I am beginning my research into the breed. The more I learn, the more excited I become. This book is not only full of great information, but also tons of pictures!

The Bible
This is my life book; seriously, there is nothing more important to read than this book, yet sometimes it is the one I am tempted not to pick up. Satan is at work, tempting me to read other books, telling me God's words are not important. The precious words of my Savior will ALWAYS be on my reading list.

The Whelping and Rearing of Puppies by Muriel P. Lee
I actually haven't begun reading this one; but I have skimmed it through many times. The pictures are very vivid and making me realize I have a lot to learn before I try this puppy thing on my own. I'm determined to do this the right way when I begin to breed, so much research is necessary.

The other two workbooks are Bible studies I am going to. Which require reading and workbook-ing. And, of course my Kindle is always on my list. Some of my favorite books are on there, ready to be read at a moments notice.

Notice I have no fiction on my list right now. Shocker. But, fiction seems to take over my life and so I have taken it out of my life for a while so I can accomplish other reading. Hubs has a few books he wants me to read still, too! I think I will have plenty to do for awhile...

What are you reading? Anything I should add to my list?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

News Flash - what you should not ask

There is an issue of clarification that I feel must be brought to attention. It may well be considered a personal pet-peeve, I also think there is merit to really thinking through what we ask other people, particularly women of “child-bearing age.” It boils down to two main things.

1.     Women, basically between 20 and 35, can state, “I’m not feeling well,” without automatically being pregnant. We could have eaten something, we could have a stomach sickness, we could just have constipation and prefer to not shout it to the whole world. But just because we may tell you, “Yeah, I haven’t been feeling very well,” does not give you the cue to ask the dreaded question, “Are you pregnant,” or the statement, “Maybe you are pregnant.”

In fact, we can also have hot flashes and not be pregnant. We can have crazy dreams, and not be pregnant. Our “mammaries” can ache, and not be pregnant. We can even get sick in the morning and feel better in the afternoon – and NOT be pregnant.

2.     Women can also crave certain foods and still be completely childless. No matter if we want Mexican for breakfast or ice cream at midnight – the question of pregnancy should not come up. Pregnancy is not a pre-requisite for desiring a certain food!

I’ve been in my child-bearing years for a while now, and since I have been married (the past 4 years), I have been asked whether or suggested that I was pregnant hundreds of times – I wouldn’t even doubt thousands. It. Drives. Me. Basserk. And so, I wanted to give you some practical reasons why a) it is none of your business if someone is pregnant and b) you should not ask someone if they are pregnant.

Saying, “maybe your pregnant” can be insulting. In most cases a woman knows her body and how it functions pretty well. If she was pregnant or if it was a possibility, don’t you think she would have explored that option already? She doesn’t need random outsiders to remind her that each month a very identifiable check comes around to tell her whether she is or is not pregnant.

Asking, “are you pregnant” can be hurtful. You are not inside this woman’s brain and you may not know that she wants to be pregnant so bad, but it just isn’t happening. Asking her can remind her of that fact and make a simple comment become painful.

Being asked if you are pregnant can be annoying. Really? Why does every conversation have to revolve around pregnancy? Especially to the woman who really wants children right now, it would be great to be cared for as a woman and friend, and not just seem like everyone is waiting for you to have children before they can have a real relationship with you.

And, asking, “Are you pregnant” can simply cause someone to lie. So maybe I am pregnant, but I’m not ready for the whole world to know. Don’t make me have to lie to you and then come back and ask forgiveness later. Don’t put me in a hard place where I choose to sin or tell news that I am waiting to share.

You know what? If a friend says she isn't feeling well, why don't you ask her if there is a way you can make her day easier? Take her a cup of tea, or even a meal! Rarely do we get asked something like that. Usually we get asked if we are pregnant, or if "so-and-so" is pregnant. I know pregnancy seems like fun, light-hearted inquiry at times, but I just don't believe it is appropriate or the loving response we could have.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Long time in coming

I wrote this months ago and never posted it. Enjoy a little bit about my 26 (almost 27) years of existence.

When people learn that I have lived in many places, usually the first question is, "Why?" I never really have a good answer for that, but just as some cannot imagine moving from their lifelong hometown, I cannot imagine living in one place for my entire life. Each move, in my mind, reflects a different time of life. In each place there are vivid memories that mark my time there and now looking back, I see that each stage molded me and taught me.

Birmingham, Alabama - 2 years
The place of my birth. Although I hardly remember anything from this city, I love it. All I can go on is memories heard from my parents, but I know I would have loved this place (I mean, look at it!). Can a birthplace really shape you? Probably not. But it was here that I learned to walk and to talk (with a high-pitched southern accent) - two very important motor skills.

Kingsport, Tennessee - 3 years
The memories here are a bit more vivid; very much like 30-second video clips. I remember my babysitter. I remember our church and preschool. I remember when we got into a little car accident. Here, I probably developed my love for dogs; I even remember dog-sitting for somebody's dog (Bear, I believe was his name). As a preschool-aged child, I don't remember what the weather was like or what stores they had in town. I don't recall my bedroom or any other room in the house. Instead I remember specific events that must have had an impact on my little mind.

Kernersville, North Carolina - 1 year
We lived here only a year. Thus, I only have polaroid snapshots of this home. I remember the street we lived on and learning to ride my bike. I remember thinking that our neighbor was such a big kid (like 4th grade). I remember bits and pieces about kindergarten. I remember lying about when I got in trouble at school. And, of course, I remember the neighborhood dog, Jake, that would come and play fetch with us.

Findley Lake, New York - 5 years
When people ask me where I grew up, this is immediately where my mind goes. Some of the happiest times of my life took place in this super small town. There isn't much I don't remember about Findley Lake. To this day, I could drive you to many of my favorite spots even though we moved away well before I could ever drive. I learned to swim, in a lake. I rode my bike, everywhere. I. was. a. kid. No worries. Little responsibility. Lots of fun. Somedays it seems like my life in Findley Lake was just a movie or a book that I read - it was that good. I dream of taking Hubs to visit this special place someday.

Current City, Kansas - 9 years
Actually looking back, this was also a good place to grow up and probably where I did most of my growing up. I got a great education and had some wonderful experiences. I learned to work and make money. I learned to drive, I graduated (twice), and I had many of those "first" experiences. Lots of life lessons and lots of godly instruction. But, I was never content here. I moved away, on my own, after 9 years. I was always looking for the first chance to move away and change my life. And, so I did.

(Hubs proposed to me right by these pillars!)
Lincoln, Nebraska - 5 years
Who doesn't have a special place in their heart for their college town? It's the same way for me. I moved to Lincoln without knowing another person. I moved in with people that I didn't know. I planned to stay for 2 years. Max. It was a new experience and I was excited to be in an environment of learning. I had always loved school and this was no exception.

Mainly, though, this is where I met my dear Hubs, fell in love and we had a blast. We got married and still had a blast throughout four trying years of dental school. I loved my job and our friends. It was in Nebraska that I really became an adult, being on my own and learning responsibility. I know I will always love to go back and reminisce.

Current Home, Kansas - 1+ year
I said I'd never do it. But, I came back. It was different this time. I came back to a place where I had kept in touch with no one. I came back when my parents had moved away. I came back married and we met new people. People who only know me as my married name. It's actually even been fun to see people that know me by my maiden name too, but there are 2 things that have made this hot, ucky, dry, yellow town home. The first is our church. I completely believe that your church is your extended family and I feel that way for sure. We are both learning and growing so much here, providing great foundations for whatever life brings us next. The second is our friendships. We have such wonderful friends that took us in immediately. I have learned that if you have a great church family and great friends, you care less about what the town look like.

I've loved moving around. It has taught me to make friends pretty fast. It has taught me to be ready and willing to go wherever God leads. And it has given me so many great memories and experiences. Really, I don't care as much where we are anymore. I am at home when I am with Hubs and that is all that matters.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dog's Day at the Pool!

Every year, after our local pool closes for humans, it opens for dogs! They turn off the chlorine and filtration systems and let people bring their dogs for a fun time of swimming together. Hubs and I learned last year that you want to arrive early - no chlorine + dogs peeing in the pool = nasty water very quickly.

Ransom hasn't ever been a huge fan of water, but (like good parents) we force him to face his fears. We tried doing Caesar's was first, of gently coaxing him in by pulling his leash. Then, he began manuevering out of his collar, we Hubs just picked him up and put him in.

And then, we swam:

Hubs would stand on one end and I would stand on the other. We would just call for Ransom and he would happily paddle to us.

Is it sad that this was Hubs and I's only trip to the pool together this year???
If he puts his mind to it, he can swim pretty fast.

Ransom even started getting excited about a ball whilst swimming. He would chase it and even open his mouth and pick it up! You can't really see the ball in the water, but it's there and he is headed for it.

Unfortunately, injuries were incurred during this trip to the pool.

My leg after Ransom panicked about going into the pool. It's even more black and blue now.

And somehow Ransom has hurt his foot. We get to go to the vet tomorrow to see what is really the problem, but our guess is a strain, sprain, or break. Poor little guy barely can walk, but he sure is more cuddly when he is hurt!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Operation Hot Bod continues!

Operation Hot Bod continues, as I know it will for many months. Hubs and I joined the YMCA, which has helped the cause.

In the past 12 days I have worked out 8 times. Although I think that statistic can improve, I did not start this plan on the slowest of weeks. Actually, the past 2 weeks have been extremely hectic in many areas of life, so I am very happy that I have worked out as much as possible.

I am adding new workouts to the mix, not just heading to the cardio equipment for 30 minutes. Most of the time, I am at the Y for at least 45 minutes, more like 75 minutes. I have tried out 2 different classes and even swam laps this week for an amazing workout. I have always loved being in the water, so it makes the workout fun. Plus, it is some hard work. I have some technique issues to work on, but I will definitely be getting in the pool more often.

As far as the results go...

The belly pooch is still noticeable. Boo. I am not happy with this, but I also realize that it can take more than 2 weeks to see results. But, I have felt so much better these past two weeks. More energy, mainly. I am excited about continuing on with the operation!

Have you been taking strides to be active these past weeks?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


...It's been true Kansas weather. Sweltering heat last week, cool 60s today. I began thinking about pumpkin spice lattes and long sleeves. Then I saw the forecast for next week - sweltering again.

...I've learned to read upside-down and sdrawkcab. My phone is dying a very slow death. When the screen is not upside-down and backwards, it is completely black. My MIL sent me her old phone (THANK YOU!), so soon (read: when I have an hour to spend at Verizon)I will be back in the world of communication via text. I will admit, it has been nice to be out-of-touch.

...I stumbled upon a very cute used bookstore (old books = excitement; old books + strong coffee = a perfect day). It is a little hole-in-the wall, one-room place with lots of character and a very nice owner. A new way to spend my day off.

...I've fallen in love with this puppy:

Hubs doesn't make it any easier. He sends me emails with the subject line of "AWWWWWW" and attaches adorable photos, videos and facts about this animal. His motive may or may not be to keep my mind off of real children, but it doesn't matter. I. want. this. puppy.

Meanwhile, I still love our happy, playful, lover-of-food pups. And, he has once again proved his smarts to us. No matter what, he always remembers where he put his ball. So, when we ask him to "Get your ball," and we see half his body disappear under our bed, we now realize that there really is a reason behind his crazy behavior.

...I've been marveling at what God has been teaching me about myself. My weak areas. What my life is to display and pursue. And though I still have moments of "why am I here Lord!" I rest content knowing that He knows.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Book Review: The Jesus You Can't Ignore

[I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program.]

MacArthur takes us through the four gospels, particularly looking at Jesus's interactions with the Pharisees. In a day when the "Christian" world is intent on not defining truth or taking stands on issues, MacArthur has brought as back to the quesiton, "What did Jesus do?" And when we look at how he interacted with the religious false teachers of His time, we see that His "harshest words were reserved for the institutionalized religious hypocrisy." After reviewing Christ's life and the way in which He combated against false truths, it is clear to see that we are not to simply smile and nod at false doctrines, half-truths, and flat-out lies.

This is an important topi today. I mean, we are bombarded by the media, politics, talk shows, and even our friends on how we should be more accepting of other beliefs, or not question their walk with God. As long as it is "right for them" or they are "at least going to church somewhere," we become okay with that. But, if we really love others like Jesus did, we will speak the truth that is clearly seen in the Bible opening and honestly. Because really, this is life or death - heaven or hell.

This was not only a great book expositing Jesus' life from all the gospels, but it was a start reminder of how important truth is to God. I would recommend this book to anyone.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


This week:

The pups and I were in the paper for the 2nd time.

I received a call from a stranger, at work, who has read my blog.

I worked out.

I had more energy in the morning and evening (because I worked out).

I worked. A lot.

I talked with two local printing companies. One exhibited spectacular customer service and helpfulness. The other exhibited the opposite.

The (real) temperature was over 100 degrees, everyday. Reaching all the way to one-oh-eight.

We are going to the city today to buy new silverware!

I think I am going to attempt THREE new recipes for our guests tonight.

I will must complete the book I agreed to review on the feather files.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Going through the breeds, part 2

This time I am going to introduce you to a few of my favorite possibilities. Actually, one of the following breeds I love so much, that I am ready to buy my first one today and start my business! Can you guess which one?

Look at this cute puppy:

This isn't a golden retriever, although it is just as cute as one. This is a Hovawart. It looks like a golden retriever with a lab's head. But, it comes in black, blond, or black and gold. They are "determined, obedient and affectionate, especially toward their master. Loyal to the family. Excellent with children..."

It's not bad looking, but that is one ginormous tail! Cute head; but, the tail ruins it.

This little fluff ball IS a golden retriever. An English Creme Golden Retriever

How could anyone pass up this little guy? That snow-white fur and black nose and eyes. This is a gorgeous dog and the breeding of them is a lot more selective than that of regular goldens. These are the creme-of-the-crop.

A golden retriever is always a good choice of dog - so loyal and gentle and playful. I would be delighted to breeding them for families!

Now, take a deep breath before gazing into these sweet eyes:

Floppy ears? Check!
Cute? Check! Check!

The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, is "a happy, jovial breed with an enthusiastic nature and strong affinity to people and children. They are strongly dependant on people and crave attention and physical contact."

Um, can we say perfect.

Stoic...yet, playful.

I think I may have found the breed I was looking for.

But, since it is so fun to learn about other breeds, I'll keep looking. Just for fun.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

True or False?

True or False?
I have been to 27 states and 4 countries.

True or False?
I haven't grown an inch (taller) since junior high.

True or False?
I went on a mission's trip to Italy.

True or False?
I once wanted to be a forensic pathologist, a doctor, a nurse, a missionary, and the Surgeon General.

True or False?
I am not grossed out by blood and guts.

True or False?
I love to fill out forms and surveys.

True or False?
I never lived in a dorm.

True or False?
I took swimming lessons in a lake.

True or False?
I broke my arm jumping off a table.

True or False?
I once was the keynote speaker to various members of the KS Board of Education.

True or False?
I am closer in age to my aunt than my youngest brother.

True or False?
Snot makes me gag.

True or False?
I am going to be in the children's musical at church this year.

True or False?
I think it would be nice to own a black bear.

True or False?
I used to think that thunderstorms happened when God and Satan were fighting.

True or False?
I seriously considered joining the military.

True or False?
We adopted another puppy.

True: all of the above (okay, except the last one)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Faves & Day 1

A few of my favorites sites.

www.picnik.com: For photo editing - read post.

www.mpix.com: For photo printing (I just ordered my first prints today but am excited after talking with a friend about her experience.)

www.retailmenot.com: Living in a smaller town means more online shopping. Before I place an order, I always check this website to see if there are any coupon codes to use. A few months ago, I got a coupon code for an extra $10 off of my GAP purchase and today I got an extra 15% off my mpix.com purchase. It is definitely worth a quick search to see if you can save a little moolah!

www.tastykitchen.com: I have had great results using recipes from here and it is always the first place I look.



Today was Day One of Operation Hot-Bod, which is what I have affectionately nicknamed my goal of getting in shape and healthy, again. Have you ever noticed that when your life is chaotic, it trickles down into all areas? To me, this is more than even just getting in shape. It is about getting back into a routine in all areas of my life.

So, I stepped on that scale for the first time in 9 months. I told Hubs my current weight of ###, and I know my goal of ###. Today I headed to the gym for my first real workout in weeks. I spent 45 minutes on the elliptical and felt so refreshed.

My plan for exercising is to head to the gym each day, straight from work, not even passing by our home - no need to tempt myself to sit on the couch or cuddle with the pups.

My plan for eating is simple. A good breakfast, a light snack, a good lunch, a light snack, and a good dinner. Portion sizes will be average, and most foods will be real, not packaged. Less fats, more good stuff.

I am excited to get back into this routine of exercising; I am even more excited about the prospect of my pooch shrinking and my thighs not touching. I'm counting on you to keep me accountable!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Work Day!

Hubs and I rarely have house projects. We rent. So, yesterday we spent the day at my parents' home working on a major transformation.

The mission: cover this out-of-date blue house with blue trim with white paint
Hours worked: 12

There is a lot of blue. It was a big task and didn't necessarily get started on track. Finally, the first of the paint was applied:

When we started using the sprayer, progress sped up!

Getting dirty also sped up.

That's not a glove on his hand...

Wedding ring, watch...all sacrificed for the project. Or, inadvertantly sprayed by Jake.

I was content to work on the railing. All. Day.

Only my mother seemed comfortable high on a ladder, though we all were up there at different point in time. Hubs and I even ventured on the roof to get some hard-to-reach spots. It only took me 5 minutes to gain up the courage to actually get back on the ladder and come down. Finally, we reached our goal for the day and began the clean up. We used a lot of paint.

You may have noticed that we painted right over the windows...

Watch this...

Just cut...and peel.


Hubs thought it was cool too.

The railing turned out pretty well.

Mission: Accomplished!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Going through the breeds, part 1

Many of you know that I have gone through a multitude of career options. At some point in my life I have wanted to be almost every occupation - well, not quite, but it sure seems like it. I never dreamed I would not finish my bachelor's degree, or continue to even more school after that.

But, "a man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."

It turns out, I am pretty good at administrative tasks and it turns out that may come in handy one day as a dentist's wife. God has given me great work experience that will, hopefully, allow me to help Hubs with his career. And, I have learned to be content where I am at. But, there is still a dream I have and still am pursuing.

Someday, I hope to own my own dog breeding business. You can't be surprised. From the moment I first laid my eyes on a dog, I have been attached. And, they seem to like me back. I hope to breed wonderful, affordable family pets.

Knowing my administrative mindset, I have in my head, the packet of information I will give out to all my customers. I have thought about my return policy and how the facility will look. I am just giddy thinking about the information that I am going to include. It just excites me to no end.

The most important detail, however, is still yet to be determined. What type of dog to breed?

Surprisingly, I am not interested in breeding labradors. Although, they could very well be considered my favorite, I believe that they are overbred and not bred wisely. There are so many labs and lab-mixes out there that I really don't think we need more. Contact me if you want more information on that soap-box.

They are such a great looking dog, though, and will surely forever have a special place in my heart.

So, in the search of my breed, I have some qualifications. I tend to go for larger dogs, so it will be. The usual temperament of the breed should be one that fits well with a family, like I said, I want people to enjoy  the fun and love of having a dog as part of their home. And, of course I melt when I see floppy ears, so I assume the rest of the world will as well.

In my research, I have found some fun and interesting possibilities:

This one may be a tad TOO big and slobbery. But, oh my, what an adorable photo. I probably will not go for a Saint Bernard:

This is too many wrinkles for my taste and do those paws belong to a lion? This giant Spanish Mastiff will not be my final choice:

I like the stately look of the Rhodesian Ridgeback, but the puppies aren't quite as good-looking as the adults. Plus, I'm not sure that the personality is what I am going for. 

I will post more of the dogs that I find. It is fun researching the MANY dogs God has created!