Monday, July 30, 2012

Suprisingly Satisfied

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."  1 Timothy 6:6-8
 With our recent loss of our beloved Koda Bear, I ended up telling a lot of people who wanted to know what happened to her.  With one person in particular, the breeder where we got her from, I found myself saying that I have no regrets with Koda.  I can't say that I wished I had walked her more, wished I hadn't yelled at her, wished I'd love on her more, played with her more.  With an exception of a couple of weeks where the weather was too hot to be out for walks or our busy week at camp, she responded, "She was just happy to be lying next to you..."

That's contentment, if you ask me.  Just being happy to lie next to someone you love, getting the occasional ear scratch and when you're lucky, going for a car ride to nowhere in particular.  What more could a dog want?  I took Koda's story as a lesson learned: to be happy with life right now, with what I've got, with what I'm doing, no matter where I am.  I know I've heard myself say to my kids, "Just be happy with what you've got, at least you've got something, right?"  I can preach that lesson to my kids, but can I accept it for myself?

"I want to lose 10 more pounds..."  Guilty!
"I wish we had a little more on payday..." Guilty!
"Our bed set is getting old, I want a new look..." Guilty!
"There's 'nothing' in the house to eat..."  Guilty!
"I want a bigger car...."  Guilty!
"I've got nothing to wear..."  Guilty!

I've heard myself say these things at least once in my life, and I will be the first to admit it's harder than heck to not always want more.  When I look back on pictures of me at the time I wanted to lose 10 more pounds, I wonder what I ever complained about now that I need to lose 20 pounds.  We never seem to have enough money, but if we had a little more money I would want to go out to eat, go shopping, or get my hair done.  When there was nothing in the house to eat, it wasn't because our cupboards were literally bare, it was because I wanted Oreos or chocolate.  We humans have been conditioned in this life to always want more, to never be satisfied.  God never intended for us to live like that on earth.  What we think we WANT is not necessarily what we NEED.

"God can be trusted to grant you the supply you need to excel at His purposes.  So if you don't have it, whatever it is, it's because you don't need it.  You may want it, but it's not necessary in order to accomplish what He knows is most important for your life today."   ~ Priscilla Shirer, The Resolution for Women
 Do you have a special need or joy in your life that need a prayer?  Blog about it (or leave a comment) and link up with me to help get the prayer chain rolling!  I look forward to praying and rejoicing with you!


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Joy at Create With Joy and a few others for another week of Wordless Wednesday blog hop!  This week, I'm honoring our beloved German Shepherd, Koda Bear who passed away July 19, just 5 days ago.  She was the most perfect dog:  very sweet, a mother-hen to our children and granddaughter, very smart and just all around the best dog ever.  You can read about her story here.  In the meantime, enjoy some of the best pictures we got of her while we had her.  Thanks for stopping by!
The day we brought Koda home

I eventually didn't even mind all the shedding

Chillin' out with her best doggie bud, Shelby

She'd do anything for the girls!

The morning of her surgery

She loved her bones

Koda and her little "pups"

Your turn to link up with some of your fabulous photos!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Koda Bear's Story

I didn't want a dog.  Especially a dog who's going to sniff my butt every time I turn around, lick my hands, bark at the door when everyone walks by and shed all over my house.  After much convincing from my children who pretended to be a dog for months and a lot of persuasion by my husband, I eventually reluctantly agreed, right before Christmas 2010.  Koda Bear came from a breeder who had to be spayed because her uterus was weak and her puppies didn't survive.  She was already house broken and basically trained.  I agreed to get this dog promising myself that I wouldn't get attached, especially if she was going to shed all over my house.  What little did I know that she turned out to be the perfect dog.

Koda didn't eat people food, let alone beg.  If you dropped food on the floor, she'd show no interest.  Koda didn't go upstairs.  That was my only dog and dog-hair-free zone and I liked it.  Koda's favorite spot was under my computer desk.  She'd keep my feet warm while I worked and if I needed any inspiration, I'd just reach down and give her crooked ear a scratch.  Koda and I would enjoy a very quiet morning together but once the girls woke up, she'd start running around the furniture and wagging her tail trying to get them to pay attention to her.

Koda would keep me "company" laying on the rug right in front of the stove while I cooked... at least until I kicked her out of MY area.  She would freak out when the girls jumped up on the counter to get into the snack cabinet.  She'd greet us at the door every time we came home, and I was told that she would lay by the back door the whole time I'd be gone and wouldn't move until I got home.  Koda watched the girls with a very close (almost freakish) eye.  It was comforting to know that I had an extra set of eyes on them while they played outside. 

Koda rarely barked, even when the doorbell rang.  Sometimes when certain dogs would walk by, she'd bark at them through the window and her back legs would skate on the carpet as her hair stood up.  It was really funny to see her "running" in place and not go anywhere.

Koda was trained off leash.  She was an almost great listener (as long as she had her training collar on).  She loved us so much she was willing to do anything for us, even stand on a fire hydrant.  Koda loved the water.  Even the girls at Petsmart loved bathing her.
Poor Koda!  She made a lovely ballerina!

Koda Bear always ate laying down.  What a goofy dog!
I could go on and on about how Koda was the perfect dog.  We'll never know why she was taken away from us at only 3 years old.  But I have to believe that God has a plan for us.  Sometimes, we may think we know what we want, but God knows what's best.  We have to have faith and if we're patient, God will reward us for trusting Him.  I don't always like God's plan and sometimes it's harder than heck to accept things I don't want, but I believe there was a lesson for us to learn through Koda.  Koda is now in Heaven playing with her pups and being a mother to them like she was meant to be.  We will miss her so very much and we're so thankful that we were the ones who got her even if it was for a short time.


Koda Bear is leaving paw prints in Heaven.
October 19, 2009 - July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blogger 411 - About Me!

I found Becky's link-up through the grapevine at From Mrs. to Mama.  I couldn't resist so here I go....

1. How long have you been blogging? And what got you started on blogging? Has your blog changed?

I've been blogging for almost a year and a half.  It started out with needing to put down all the junk and ideas that spun in my head all day long but recently, I decided to change it so it wasn't like everyone else's. I turned it into a spiritual blog with devotions about everyday life of being a stay-at-home mom.

2. Did you go to college? If so where, and what did you study?

I did!  Ohio University of Zanesville for one year.  Took basic pre-reqs and absolutely hated it!  Then I went to Columbus State Community College where I got my Associates in Sign Language Interpreting, then I loved it!

3. Where have you traveled?

Lots of places!  All over the east coast, Arizona, Cancun, Cayman Islands, Bahamas, Jamaica, St. Thomas, St. Maartin....  I'm sure there's more.  That's all I can think of right now.

4. If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?

Liposuction and tummy tuck!  Ok, that is my answer after I deleted my first response.  Actually, I would divvy the money up to my family and favorite charities and then I'd travel the world.

5. What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?

Screaming in the house
Sticky floors
Cell phone use in restaurants and movies

6. What is your favorite movie?

Oh geez!  I'll be here all night thinking of one movie.  I love classic Hailey Mills movies (Parent Trap and Pollyana), Anne of Green Gables.... ok ok.... Fine!  Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan.... there, I said it.  Any feel-happy movies that have happy endings and don't have bloody violence.

7. What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?

Margaritas!  Lemonade

8. What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?

Play iPad games, read, check email, call a friend, crafts

9. If you could have a $10,000 shopping spree to one store, which store would it be?

Bed, Bath & Beyond!  Michael's is first in running, but $10,000 is a bit much for craft stuff!

10. Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past? Or present.

I don't embarrass easily and most of the time I try my best to finesse my way out of it.  So I'm sure I have my fair share of embarrassing moments, I guess I just choose to mentally block them out.  Sorry!

11. What day would you love to relive again?

My wedding day.  Not very unique there, but it really was a perfect day. 

12. If your life was turned into a movie... what actor would play you?

Jennifer Aniston.  Several people told me that we look alike and I think we'd get along great.

13. What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?

I started at Red Lobster and stayed there for over 6 years.  Then I got my first real job interpreting.

14. Show us a picture from high school or college.

This is the only one I can find without having to dig through a mountain of crap!

15. If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?


16. Show us the most current picture of you or you, or your family, or anything of meaning to you. 

17. Where do you see your life 5 years?

We'll be married for 15 years, both kids in school full time.... so I could be home actually getting things done, like cleaning out closets and organizing photo albums, or I'll be back to work but I have no idea what. I'm super happy now so I hope not much changes.  Maybe we'll be traveling more.

Now go add your Blogger 411 or leave comments below!  I love hearing from my readers.  If you like what you've read, please vote for me at Top Mommy Blogs at the top right!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking up with Create With Joy for Wordless Wednesday.... Ok, it's a day early but who's keeping track?  It's summer!

This will be the most random Wordless Wednesday ever.  It's been awhile since I was able to participate in WW so I'm uploading what I have for the time being.  Maybe I'll get working on a better one for next week.

M 4 year old took this picture of me.  I don't take pictures very well lately, but I really like this one.

My girls at camp.  I love camp!  So much fun!  I don't care how hot it gets...

Poor Koda, she puts up with so much!
Our dog, Koda Bear.  She doesn't care if a baby got in the pool.  She loves water and there's no stopping her.

It pays to know people in high places.  That's our car, along with a long row of police cars.  We got to park there for Fourth of July fireworks.  First ones out and no waiting in long traffic lines.

Now go link up with Create With Joy and post some pictures of your own!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Birchbox and a Mug Swap


I just love getting mail!  Well, the mail that makes me happy.  It's not too often I get a package in the mail or a letter from a friend.  But today when I got the mail, I got my first Birchbox!  I skipped home and immediately grabbed the scissors and ripped the box free, giddy like a child in a candy shop.  Samples, samples, I love samples!  I heard about the Birchbox from Lovely Life of Leah when she got her first Birchbox.  You have to sign up and get on a waiting list.  Birchboxes are packages you get in the mail with samples of really nice products.  If you like what you got, you can order more from their site.

 So I got 5 nifty little things...

 Those band-aids are for real women.  They have some chic designs on them, I almost can't wait until I get a boo-boo!  I've tried all of the stuff already.  Rose scented face toner/freshener, very expensive perfume, lip stain/gloss and soap.  I could immediately smell the soap before I even opened the box.

So there you have it.  I'll get a box for the next 3 months.  I can justify spending $10 a month on lovely samples that make me feel happy and pretty.


I found Natalie's mug swap at He Me and Them and couldn't resist.  She hooked me up with Jennifer at Finding My Way in Texas and this is the mug she sent me.

I absolutely love this mug!  It's plain, yes, but the inside is really cool.  What I like the most about this mug is the way it feels in my hands.  It's a soft square, it's lightweight and it doesn't make me drool coffee on myself when I drink.  Oh, and it's big, too.  When I sit down in the morning for a coffee break, I want a coffee break!  Like 20 minutes break.  No little tea cup espresso sip and you're done kinda coffee break.  Thanks, Jennifer for sending me such a cool mug!  Now head on over to He Me and Them and get into the coffee mug swap action!

That's all I got for now.  Just catching up with all the craziness we've had all week.  Have a blessed day!

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, We Went to Camp, We're Home!

I was MIA this week because my daughters and I went to Girl Scout camp.  At first I wasn't very motivated to go.  Perhaps it was the weather, the lack of energy from being pitifully out of shape or just that I wanted to be lazy, period.  But of course we went and ended up having a blast!  I saw old friends, met two new friends and even my daughters made friends, too.  The weather was perfect and for having such a large group this year, everything went very smooth.

Creeking is one of my favorite camp activities.  We found all kinds of critters and crayfish and the girls earned their creeking patch.
The preschool unit got to swim everyday, blow bubbles, eat popsicles and go on little hikes.  They did some pretty neat crafts, too.  If it weren't for the preschool unit, I'd never be able to volunteer myself!

So Marcella made a new friend, nicknamed "Dolphin".  She brought to camp a little dolphin costume and Marcella fell in love.  She made her own today but we don't have any pretty blue paint.  So once we get to the craft store, we'll take a picture of that to show you.  Our advanced campers really made an impression on these girls!

Just a bit of camp fun:  What is this a picture of?  The water was low enough to see something, but there was a debate...  what do you think?  Hint:  It's NOT a turtle!

And lastly, my hibiscus tree was loaded with flowers this week.  After a little sprinkle of rain this morning, this is what I saw.

It was nice to lay around and be lazy today.  I woke up this morning and felt like a truck hit me.  If I wasn't so sore and tired, I'd go back for another week of camp!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

10 Things That Make Me Smile - A Linky-Do!

 My blog has been looking very lonely lately. It's been a very long time since a comment has been posted and I'm missing my readers!  Where are you all????  It probably doesn't help that I haven't had much time to post new stuff, with little time to read other blogs, and this coming week is not going to be any better.  My daughters and I have Girl Scout summer camp so we'll be hiking in the woods, making crafts and cooking over an open fire.  I'm so thankful that we didn't have camp last week where it was over 100 degrees outside.  This week is going to be much nicer and a little cooler.  SO!  Since I'll be MIA most this coming week, I'm adding a Linky!  I want to hear from YOU and your friends, and your followers, and anyone else out there who doesn't have a blog who can at least comment.  Let me know you're still out there, folks!

Link up with me!!!  What makes you smile?

10 Things That Make Me Smile

1.  Waking up to sunshine

2.  Seeing my husband walk through the door when he gets home from work

3.  Getting a hand-written letter in the mail

4.  Watching hummingbirds and butterflies in my garden

5.  Children's laughter (and hugs)

6.  Chocolate chip cookies

7.  Shooting stars

8.  Watching people dance

9.  Christmas morning

10.  Seeing my daughters get along and playing nice

11. The ocean and everything about it

12.  A clean house

13.   Our dog, Koda Bear

14.  Fresh line-dried bed sheets

There are a lot of things that make me smile so I couldn't stop at 10.  I want to hear from you!  What are 10, 5, 20 things that make YOU smile?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Lost, the Least and the Last


Since school's been out and summer has set in, my "normal" schedule got pretty out of whack for a while.  The kids were out of control, the house a mess all the time and my husband has been working a lot lately.  It was easy for me to fall into bad habits while the world started to fall down around me.  I can't seem to understand why my kids aren't listening anymore and I'm actually tired of talking by the end of the night because I've repeated myself so much throughout the day.  Okay I'll admit, that last part has to lie on my shoulders.  I shouldn't have to repeat myself to get my kids to listen and consequences should've happened in the first round, but OOOOOOOH boy!  My kids would spend the whole summer in the corner if I did that!


My feet were starting to stick to the kitchen floor, which was the only motivation that lead me to actually grab the mop and use it. I looked at my clean-spanking kitchen floor and sighed in pride.  It smelled good, it looked good.... it was good!  Then my little tornadoes came whizzing through and I was reminded why I don't mop the kitchen floor as often as I used to.  I came to the realization that cleaning house is like working for non-profit.  Now, don't get me wrong.  I used to work for non-profit.  People who work for non-profit don't work it for the money. They're there because they care, because their job means something to them.  But the problem with non-profit is that the job is never done.  There's never an ending to a task because once one part of a task is completed, you have to take that task and apply it to another perspective and file it, record it, then file it.... again.  Once you actually finish that particular task, you turn around and there's another one your desk.  IT'S NEVER ENDING!  Why bother cleaning the house if my little shadows are going to create the destructive path again right behind me?


Well, I'm always last.  Everyone gets to eat first and once I clean up that meal, I'm finally getting to eat mine, but only scarfing it down because the kids are right back in the kitchen asking for a treat or a snack before I swallow my first bite.  I've adopted the term "KITCHEN'S CLOSED".  I'm last out the door because everyone else needs to be ready first (then I'm blamed for making everyone late).  Once I clean up one kid, they're messy again before I finish the second one.  Last to bed, first one up... well okay, there's a glitch there.

My point to all this madness?  God blesses the lost, the least and the last.  God sees what we do all the time.  Moms don't always get notice of all they do, let alone a "thank you".  Most often, mom is not quick enough, not clever enough, or not even good enough...  Our job never ends, it's hard and it still needs to be done even though we're dead on our feet.  Why do we do it then?  Because our job means something.  It's important.  Keep an honest heart, do the best you can and pray for guidance, and God will pour blessings on you. jdurham
"But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first."  ~ Matthew 19:30
  Is anyone out there?  Anyone?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

I recently visited my sister and noticed a picture frame on her end table that I made for her and her family a few years ago for Christmas.  I had forgotten all about it but didn't give it too much thought.  The second time I visited, I noticed the picture frame on a different table.  We started talking about it and I told my sister how honored I felt that she still has the picture frame out in a place where it can be seen.  It was the easiest Christmas present to make but the message meant a lot to me and wanted to share it with the people I love in a creative way.  Now I want to share it with all of you. 

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. ~Phil 4:13
For nothing is impossible with God.  ~Luke 1:37

Ten Secrets to a Happy Marriage

1.     God has you here to serve one another.  Love acted out is serving.

2.     Women need respect and nurturing. Love your wife so she knows you’d lay your life down for her. Continue to date her and admire her. Share a hobby- find something you can do to have fun together.

3.     Laugh often.

4.     Be patient.  Love crumbles quickly under the weight of unmet expectations.

5.     Spend more time trying to fix yourself than your spouse.

6.     Keep short accounts.  Do not let the sun go down while you are angry.  Make it a habit to forgive.

7.     Determine up front that divorce is not an option.

8.     Learn about love languages.  Not all people show love or receive it the same way. You want a back rub and your spouse wants a clean kitchen.  The love languages are fairly simple:  acts of service, time, physical touch, gifts, and words of affirmation.  Learn them.  Love is better received when it’s in the language that person speaks.

9.     Words of affirmation are a love language for all men.

10.    Men are born to be leaders.  He cannot lead unless she gives him the confidence to do so. Confident men do not seek love outside the home.

God is always faithful, whether a person is in a season of blessing or a season of growing, whether in triumphs or trials.  Life is a better ride when you let God take the wheel.  Because along the way there will bound to be unexpected turns; and some turns only God can maneuver.

Karen Kingsbury
Firstborn Series 

Join the Prayer Station!  What are you praying about?

For all my family and friends that they may have blessed and happy marriages. That they may overcome any trials and tribulations, love and depend on each other.