Sunday, January 31, 2010

I'll always take a snow day!

Central Arkansas really doesn't get the snow that North Arkansas gets...we mainly got sleet on Friday. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining. I will never complain about an unexpected day off work! :-) I was hoping for enough snow to play with the pups in though. Sometime Friday night, a little came through and Saturday morning we played a little. It was more of a dusting than anything here. We did discover Stella loves to eat ice! Ha!
(Disclaimer on photo below ~ it was a snow day, not a beauty day and yes, I am still in my PJ's!)
We didn't go anywhere Friday or Saturday. The little country road coming to our house was pretty icy and there is nowhere to go but a ditch on both sides, so we played it safe and hibernated. I finished a book I was reading, did laundry, took naps, scrapbooked, and graded some papers. Pretty productive for hibernation! ha! Kevin made ribs one night and chili...yum!
We finally got out this morning to go to church and the roads and bridges were still pretty icy. But by the time we left church, the ice was melting and they were clearing the ice off the overpass bridge. So, I am gearing up to go back to work tomorrow...although, I hear North Arkansas gets to stay home some more!! Some places got 9 inches to a foot!! I told Kevin next time they predict snow, we are going either to NW to stay with friends or NE to stay with his parents and then playing in the BIG snow with the pups! Any volunteers to put up with us and the dogs? Ha!
Got ice?

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Scarpetta Factor by Patricia Cornwell

*2nd book of 2010

Stay away from this book. I only suffered my way through it because Cornwell is my second favorite author behind James Patterson. That and I have read the entire Scarpetta series and usually love it. I kept waiting for it to pick up and get good. It didn't. There were way too many references to past events and too many characters to follow. It was pretty boring. There is NO way someone who hadn't read a Kay Scarpetta novel could pick this one as a first and want to read more. Oh well, they can't all be good.

Now....what can I read next??

SNOW day! Well, sleet day!

No School today! yay! So far, only sleet here but they say we may eventually get a little snow. You know I want to play with these pups in the snow! heehee!
What to do? What to do? Facebook, blog, scrapbook, finish my Patricia Cornwell novel, not get out of my PJ's....sounds like a plan!
**If it actually snows here...I'll update with pics!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obedience Part III

Who's the rock star? WE are! We are!! These pups ROCKED at doggie obedience tonight!! Oh yeah! Stella really came out of her shell this week and was even called to the center to demonstrate a new command. Kevin was beaming!! ha! And, in the first few minutes of class, the instructor had us do a "sit, stay" and out of all the dogs, only 3 people were allowed to drop their leashes because their dogs would stay. Who was in that group? STELLA AND REX! Cuz they are rock stars! Woot! Woot!
Now, we know heel, sit, stay, down, stay, wait, come, and are learning "finish". Finish is where you call them to come back to you and they automatically walk back into the heel position....yikes! This one could take some work! ha!
And, the Saint Bernard is a 10 times better dog already!!
PS. Scroll on down in the sidebar and check out my new lab bling featuring Miss Stella's picture! Thanks Tana!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Cool Trick!

I am SO teaching Rex this trick ~ how cute is this?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quiet weekend

It was a nice, quiet weekend for me. Sometimes we need those just to restore the soul. It came just in time too!! I almost let myself get down about money and the whole "will we will be parents" thing Friday, but a good dose of some girl time and I quickly recovered through lots of giggles. Then, Saturday, I had one of those days that goes down as much needed for my sanity, our relationship and a happy home....a day completely to myself. I lived on my own for so long and am so independent, that sometimes I just need it to be me. Let's just say that Saturday, I stayed in my PJ's ALL day, caught up on my DVR, read some in my book, and scrapbooked. Then, by the end, I was ready for Kevin to come home. Oh, did I mention that I did all that in a clean house? Cuz I did! heehee!
Kevin was gone Saturday to Jonesboro for John 3:16's media day. He cooked a half ton of chicken for 2,000 folks!!! He was exhausted!!! After getting in late from a day like that, we didn't make Sunday School this morning but we did make the church service. And, it was baby dedication day. Babies galore! The look on Kevin's face when he sees a baby is priceless! I know he will be a great dad someday. And, I think I have finally found some peace with the baby idea. We have not been preventing a baby since April....but I was never sure beyond any reasonable doubt that it was what I wanted. I mean, let's face it, we are not spring chickens. I'll be 37 in just a few weeks! And, my biggest worry was that I have enough to keep up with without adding to it. I wasn't sure how much Kevin would help....ladies, you all know what I am talking about!! Well, I believe everything happens for a reason. And, I believe that God sent us Benton (the sick foster pup) to show me I was wrong for worrying over that. Kevin went above and beyond to care for that puppy and never complained. After much prayer, I know I am finally at peace with (hopefully) being a mom. The scary part is not knowing if now that I know what I want, if it is in God's plan. Time will tell...and until then, we are having fun! :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Choices

I have felt the need for awhile now to sort of "set the record straight" with this journey of ours. So many of you were with me since the beginning of my first blog when Kevin and I first started dating over 3 years ago and all the up's and down's of his alcoholism. Some of you just came in for the happy ending. Some just know he went to a ministry, we got married and all is well. Because of our journey with alcoholism and finding our way to God, we have been able to help others with the same struggles. The need for this post comes from some of the people who have contacted us for guidance, prayers, or just a person who can listen, from their perception that they want our fairy tale ending. I know I post a lot of happy posts, because most of the time, that is our life. But life is not a fairy tale. Every one's story is different and we are each unique in our journeys. No one is perfect. Trust me, while Kevin and I love each other unconditionally, we have our problems. We have stumbled in our walk with God. We have both made mistakes in the past 9 months. Some small and some big. The important thing in life is learning from your mistakes and what you choose to do once you know you have messed up. We can choose to wallow in it or we can get back up and praise the Lord for forgiveness and another chance. Make your journey what YOU want it to be through your choices.
Kevin and I have been through some serious valleys in life but have finally come to a place where we feel blessed to be able to help others. I don't think I am really saying what I want to say...I want to scream from the rooftops, don't want what someone else has...the key to happiness is to follow God and put Him first. Through Him, you will find a love and peace you have never known before. This love and peace will spread to all the parts of your life and others will want the joy they see in you. Tell them it's not you...it comes straight from God.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Obedience Part II

We are all home from obedience school and all four of us are TIRED! I think Stella did better this week, and Rex did a little worse than last week. It's a process! Rex, for whatever reason, gets bored when he has to sit for too long and just lays down. Tonight he got a little stubborn in his "sitting". Stella didn't cry as much but flat out refused to do the "down" command. But they are still not the worst dog in the crowd!! Thank goodness for the Saint Bernard! ha!
We are on week 2 and now know and have to practice these commands: heel, sit, stay, down, come, and wait. WOW! They must "wait" to go through doorways or gates until given the command to proceed. If our dogs pass, they are going to be SMART! ha! I think it is hilarious that both weeks as soon as they get in the car, they pass out like they are exhausted. Rex is snoring now.

Isn't Miss Stella getting to be a gorgeous girl?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Working Dogs

See ... our dogs aren't completely worthless! All dogs are happiest when they are working and our dogs are built-in tillers for Kevin's garden. We won't have to pay someone to come and till the garden for us this year, nope, they have already started on it for us. They are even digging nice long rows for their daddy! heeehee! Just look at 'em go: (ignore the phone conversation going on in the background)



Thursday, January 14, 2010

R.I.P. Benton

Our little foster boy, Benton, didn't make it. He had surgery today for they thought was an obstruction but when they got in there, they found that his intestines weren't functioning properly and part of it had died. It was too much to repair. I am grateful that we were able to show him some love & compassion & give him a comfortable & safe place to rest in his final days. He had rough go of it this little guy, but he sure won our hearts over in just two short days.
If you are interested in helping BoxAR with any of his vet bills, go to their homepage here. We can always use donations. Every little bit helps!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Everybody comfy? (See little foster boy, Benton, tucked in the corner?)
**Benton is at the vet for the night, he isn't doing too great. Let's send him some good doggie prayers that he makes it through this and gets to meet his new mom and live a long, spoiled life!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Obedience has arrived!

Today was the first day of doggie obedience training for Rex & Stella...BIG DAY! Kevin & I loved it and luckily, there was a very untrained Saint Bernard that kept us from being embarassed by our two! ha! We are doing a regular obedience class rather than puppy obedience because the puppy obedience fell on the night we have couples Bible Study. So, they were the only pups, but they did a good job!! I was actually impressed. We worked on heel, sit, and stay....and we have homework to keep practicing. I will say that Kevin thought Stella was going to be a "rock star" because she is a lab. She was no rock star. She actually cried alot. But, I'm sure she'll be a rock star by the end!! :-) In Benton, foster pup, news: He is pitiful and not eating. I am worried about him because he is so skinny that he can't go long without eating. Kevin is working hard to try and fatten him up. Big kudos to Kevin today for taking such good care of Benton for me. I am a lucky girl!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Benton ~ the foster pup

Meet Benton, our current foster pup for BoxAR rescue. He is maybe 3 months old. His owners have let him sit in a kill shelter for about 3 weeks and just didn't come get him. I'm glad though because he is skin and bones! His ribs and hip bones are sticking out...I couldn't really get a picture to show you how truly skinny he is...poor baby!
He instantly became a couch potato! That works for us! ha!
Rex is IN LOVE with him and won't leave him alone for a second!! The boxing has begun...meanwhile Stella is busy hiding all her toys! ha!
The picture below shows you how skinny he is. Makes me so mad!!The good news is that before we even got home and all situated, I had an email in my inbox from BoxAR that he has a furever home already! yay! He is going all the way to Virginia to live!! He leaves on the doggie transport on Friday, so we will only have a crazy household of three pups for a few days. Even better!! I think Rex will be sad though!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I have no complaints!!

It's been a great food week around here. Kevin has really out-done himself. Cajun night and then this was dinner Friday night: (who needs a restaurant when you got Big Bear?)

Friday night, we had a quiet night of dinner and watching Band of Brothers. Kevin got the Band of Brothers series from my mom & dad for Christmas and it is AWESOME! I didn't think I'd like it but I am going to be sad when we are finished with it. It's an HBO series on WWII ~ doesn't sound exciting if you are a girl or non-history buff like me, but trust me, it is GOOD!

Anyway ~ great weekend...I got off track! I had a much needed "girls day" on Saturday. Scrapbook store closing = scrapbook SALE! Bargains! We were THERE! Then, we went shopping for matching PJ's for the scrapbook retreat in February because we are cheesey like that! Follow that great day with a good church service today and finally overcoming all the obstacles that kept us from starting a couples Bible Study to host the first one tonight and you have a weekend with zero complaints! Even got the laundry done! Boo-yay!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rex's Turn!

My sister, Stella, told me she got on mommy's blog over here and introduced herself to set the record straight. After yesterday's post, I decided it was my turn before everyone got the wrong idea about me! Thanks for the idea sis! My name is Rex, which in itself holds some meaning. My name is after mommy's first two dogs, Rocky and Jax, who were apparently perfect. I don't know how I am supposed to live up to them. It's pressure! Luckily, I have my sister Stella, to cuddle with and give me comfort. I didn't have an easy start to life. I lived in a house way different from this one until I was 5 months old. They would lock me, my brother, my mom and dad out of the house and make us find our own food sometimes. We had to get creative sometimes and my boxer dad taught us how to bust through a locked doggie door and how to get out of the fence to search for food. We kept getting picked up by these animal control people and finally a nice BoxAR lady came and took us home.
It was heaven not to have to worry about where we were going to sleep or get our next meal! After a few days at the boxer rescue ladies house, she took me and brother to live with my mommy. That's when I met Stella and learned I would get fed every day, TWICE a day! How awesome is that? We got this big doggie box to sleep in at night that was cozy and right by our mommy's bed. My brother soon went to live with another couple, but my mommy tells me how he's doing all the time. We may even get together every now and then to play. I'm good with that. He was always taking mommy's attention away from me! Now, I get all her boxer loving...I know she loves boxers best! I hear her say it all the time what great dogs we are!
The real trick around this house is being nice to the cat. He tries to get us in trouble all the time. He completely tore that pond up and blamed it on me and Stella. What do dogs want with goldfish? Makes you think, doesn't it? But mom wouldn't listen to reason. She just got mad and put that zapping fence up. I hate it because now I can't drink out of the pond.I admit that I do snore. I guess I can't deny it. My mommy has me on video on here! Jeez! The woman can't get enough of me...she even tapes me while I'm asleep!! Can you blame me for snoring? I mean, life is just so good. I don't have a care in the world!! I do wonder what obedience means though...I kept hearing mom and dad say we are going there next week??? If you know what that means, please tell me!
Now, let me clear up a few questions. First, I do not BOLT or run away and not come back when my mommy calls me. I simply did not hear her. She tends to exaggerate! And, the climbing the gate at my grandma's house, well, my boxer dad taught me that and I said I was sorry that I didn't know any better. I mean, I didn't have the best examples at an early age! And, I didn't realize I came through the doggie door like my butt was on fire. That is how my boxer daddy showed me to come through a doggie door. Again, I blame it on my upbringing. I am learning new things everyday. I know my mommy forgives me when I mess up because I pretend to be asleep and I hear her telling me she loves me. She tells me and my sister, Stella that all the time! She is always buying us treats and letting us up in the bed with her. Yep, I am one lucky boxer! If I could just figure out how to set up the cat.....

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let the pictures do the talking...

My pond BEFORE puppies entered the household...one of the joys of older dogs is getting to have a flowerbed! haMy pond area AFTER puppies enter the picture ~ dug up plants, rocks in the pond and moved and buried under dirt....they were bobbing for fish and apparently trying to dig to the bottom to see if they could get to them there!
I decided I had had enough and declared WAR...this is Rex trying to figure out what I was up to...actually both of them kept their eyes on my every move for the entire afternoon that I dedicated to winning the war and saving to pond.
So far, so good...fido shock installed...holes filled back in...mulch down to TRY to save some plants...most rocks back in place. We will wait for spring for more recovery efforts. ha*Disclaimer: There were no puppies or fish harmed in the making of this blog post. There was, however, one very ticked off cat that got zapped by the fido shock.

Book Talk: I, Alex Cross

*1st book of 2010!

My two cents: You know that Alex Cross is my favorite series and this one did not disappoint. I read it in 3 days - couldn't put it down. It starts right off with suspense and grabs you from the beginning. I can totally see this one being a movie someday.

Summary from James Patterson website:
You can't run
Detective Alex Cross is pulled out of a family celebration and given the awful news that a beloved relative has been found brutally murdered. Alex vows to hunt down the killer, and soon learns that she was mixed up in one of Washington's wildest scenes. And she was not this killer's only victim.

You can't hide
The hunt for the murderer leads Alex and his girlfriend, Detective Brianna Stone, to a place where every fantasy is possible, if you have the credentials to get in. Alex and Bree are soon facing down some very important, very protected, very dangerous people in levels of society where only one thing is certain—they will do anything to keep their secrets safe.

Alex Cross is your only hope to stay alive
As Alex closes in on the killer, he discovers evidence that points to the unimaginable—a revelation that could rock the entire world. With the unstoppable action, unforeseeable twists, and edge-of-your-seat suspense that only a James Patterson thriller delivers, I, Alex Cross is the master of suspense at his sharpest and best.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

R.I.P. Tusk II

From arkansasrazorback.com:
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Tusk II, the live mascot of the University of Arkansas Razorbacks, passed away on Monday at his home outside of Dardanelle, Ark. Tusk II died of natural causes and was laid to rest this afternoon on the Stokes Family farm.

Born Aug. 12, 2002, Tusk II served as the official live mascot of the Razorbacks in football from 2005-09. During his tenure, the Razorback football team posted a record of 35-28. His final appearance as Arkansas’ live mascot came on Saturday at the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl. Arkansas defeated East Carolina 20-17 in overtime at Liberty Memorial Stadium in Memphis. In addition to appearing at football games, Tusk II made numerous annual appearances at other Razorback sporting events and functions.

Tusk II was known for his interaction with Razorback fans. In addition to appearing in thousands of photos, Tusk II would eat grapes and apples from the hands of his adoring fans. Tusk II took over for his father Tusk I in 2004. He will be succeeded by his brother Tusk III in the continuation of the live mascot program at the University of Arkansas. Keith and Julie Stokes and their family serve as the caretakers for the University of Arkansas’ live mascots.

This is a very short clip of him taken by Kevin around noon on Saturday at the Liberty Bowl. I hate it now that I didn't have my bigger memory card because you know Kevin would have kept taping him! :-)

video

Monday, January 4, 2010

Snow day=GREAT day!

I love a snow day! We were out today (although not sure why, we had some flurries and nothing really on the ground). Am I complaining? Heck no!
I managed to get the house cleaned for our dinner guests tomorrow night.
Laundry is all cleaned, folded and put away.
Scrapbooked two pages. Yay!
Read in my new James Pattersoon book and may even finish it tonight.
And, I slept in! (well, I was up and had showered and then they called school off, so I went back to bed....but still didn't get up until almost 9.)

How can that NOT be a good day? Scrapbookin' and reading! yippee!

**Oh, and I forgot to mention, while I'm on a happy post, at the casino this weekend, I got carded to get IN! Yep, I still got it! No one else got carded. I got all giddy and she looked at my id and said, "Jezzzzus!" heehee!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Liberty Bowl

Kevin won us some awesome tickets to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis! He won four tickets to the game on the 50 yard line, 4 tickets to the pre-game buffet, a parking pass right at the stadium, shirts, hats, and 4 tickets to a basketball game on New Years Eve that he sold to pay for our hotel room. We took the Bradley's with us and had an awesome time! The only bad part of the whole weekend was that we were FREEZING! We got there at 11:30 am and left at 8:30 pm and the temperatures were in the 20's with a wind chill of about 15...it was COLD! I had on layers but still couldn't feel my toes by the 4th quarter...AND it went into overtime!
Oh, so COLD!! Some of the idiot young girls were trying to be cute and stylish and had barely anything on...bet they regretted that decision by the end!! ha!
Here is our view of the game from our seats:

The pre-game buffet had Memphis BBQ, of course...but after most people had eaten, both bands came in for a battle of the bands. It was pretty cool!
Love me some Bradley's!!
Jon, Kevin and I all grew up together in Newport. Kevin says Jon is his oldest friend. He was super supportive when Kevin was at John 3:16, and I'm glad we could give back to them by treating them to the ballgame! :-)
At this point, we knew it was cold but we had NO IDEA how cold we would get!
The pre-game buffet tickets said it was indoors, but it didn't say it was in an old warehouse and we would still freeze! It basically blocked the wind. Oh well...
Tusk....GO HOGS!
And, somehow, we managed to win the game! Then, we all headed to Tunica to donate some of our money to Mississippi at the slots and roulette table! :-)
And, drove home in the snow...question is, how much will it snow??? :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolutions

My 2009 resolution check up:

2009 Resolutions were:
*Continue to work on enjoying the moment I am IN...all the little moments too! :-) Sometimes I am much better at this than others! (I think I am definitely more appreciative of the little moments and relaxing more and stressing less....especially since I finished my Master's ~ ha!)
*Start sending birthday and anniversary cards in the mail rather than using the internet and email.
(I totally failed at this! LOL! I started out strong and then just couldn't do it. Internet and email are just easier!)
*Find time everyday for quiet Bible reading & prayer.
(I have only missed my Bible time a hand full of times this year. My Bible goes with me when we camp or whatever now. I love the peace that comes from reading my Bible! Yay!)

And, I challenge myself to read even more books in 2009 than in 2008!!! (Less tv and more reading) (Did it! I have practically stopped watching tv at all...I only really keep up with two shows and have no plans to start any new ones. I don't miss tv at all. And, I read 19 books this year...pretty good since I was still working on my Masters and more than the year before.)


Now, what I would like to accomplish in 2010:
~My biggest goal is NO MORE CREDIT CARD! I had stopped using it but this past year we were so broke that we had to use it. Well, I am going back to not using it in 2010. The only exception is vet emergencies. :-)

~I plan to donate a dollar a day to BoxAR rescue. Even though we sometimes are down to our last dollar before pay day, when you think about just a dollar a day, it seems pretty doable.

~I want to be brave and share with someone in person about the Bible and Jesus and what He has done for our lives and what He can do for them.

~I want to keep reading instead of watching tv!! :-)

I have to keep it simple and short or I'll feel overwhelmed! ha!
Happy 2010 everyone!! May we all be blessed in the new year!