Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baby chickens and other typical Mom stuff

Today is gloriously sunny and a balmy 47 degrees F!!! Everyone in the city have left their coats at home and are walking around in light sweaters and some in t-shirts. After a long, grey winter, today is the perfect promise and reality of spring. Last year, on the Thursday before Easter, I noticed the first signs of Lyla's soon-to-be-labor and delivery. This year, there is no baby with my DNA that we are welcoming into the world, but our family DID just grow!

Last night, Eric came home with our new "girls."

We have ten chicks, four different varieties. All for egg laying purposes (obviously). They are currently living in a tub under a heat lamp in the house (and away from the cats). Eric will build the chicken coop in the next few weeks, just in time for them to be old enough to move outside. 

Lexi got to stay up super late last night to get acquainted. She is holding Lulu.

We also have a Gloria, Marigold, and Bellatrix (which is extremely appropriate because she likes to peck at all the other chicks eyes and is constantly picking a fight). More names to come.

I am finding it rather funny (I laugh at my own jokes a lot, actually) that I am turning into this natural loving person who makes almost all our food from scratch, sews my own curtains, uses vinegar and baking soda for cleaning supplies, washes my hair with baking soda, drinks green smoothies, brews kombucha in the pantry, raises my own chickens, and am about to plant my garden for our fresh produce this summer. I do all this, while my kids eat cheerios from a box for breakfast, and munch on cheesy goldfish crackers from a box for snacks. I also love snickers bars and Netflix and store-bought clothing. And my smart phone is pretty much an extra appendage which I use 24/7. It's like pioneers in the big city with smart phones and minus the jumpers and prairie boots. 

Enough about how weird I am. 

You are probably thinking, "Hey, cool, they have chicks," while at the same time wondering what on earth happened to our pending placement of human children, D and baby DJ. The thing is, during the weekend that that were here with us, something changed at their current home, and the placement has been stopped, or at least put on hold for a while. This may or may not be in the best interest of the boys, but it is completely out of our hands. As far as I know, people at the agency have a lot of meetings to hold before we will know anything, but it is looking like the boys will not be joining our family. We are bummed, but at the same time happy for their sakes that they may not have to make yet another transition. So we are still awaiting the call telling us that we are licensed (should be any time now) and then we will hopefully be hearing about a placement soon. I am not worried. I know that when God called us into this, it was going to be done His way and all in His time. For now I am enjoying parenting my two girls and now ten chicks (haha) and am looking forward to my family's arrival from Mexico in a few weeks! They will be here in the Chicago area for the next six months, so my summer is looking extra sunny!!!! :-) The hardest time of my life was moving away from my family when I had a three year old sister at home (and now my own daughter is almost three!!). I am so looking forward to re-connecting with them in the coming months!

I mentioned a dog joining our family in a recent post. Yes, it is finally set in stone. Sami, short for Samantha, is my family's dog and will be living with us for the duration of the time my family is in the area. Unfortunately  the mission home they always stay in has a no-pets rule. So since I love to take in all the homeless members of my family, we offered to house Sami. Lexi is especially excited. I am more excited about the fact that she is already trained (there is a bit of family history with that regards to the fact that I took a dog through training school once many many years ago...and she left our family nine-months after she arrived due to having a screw loose in her brain...never the less, I was kind of scarred for life). 

But today, for the moment, the house is silent-ish while the girls sleep, the chicks peep, and I sit here in the sun with the fresh air wafting through the windows and yummy smells coming from my crock pot in the kitchen. I kind of sound like I have it all together, but don't be fooled! My floors are covered with crumbs and sticky blobs of who-knows-what, my jeans are ripped, my shirt has baby snot smeared on it and there are toys all over the floor. There is rubble in the yard, mold all over my shower curtain (I hate that) and sewing items completely covering the table. Lexi's time in time-outs today have probably totaled an hour and a half already and it's barely two o'clock (that's what we get for letting her stay up late for the chicks welcome home party), and I have changed enough poopy diapers from my eleven-month-old this morning to last me the week. Oh, and I caught one of my children (I won't say who) peeing in my lawn today for no apparent reason other than her explanation of "I wanted to go potty in the grass." I mean, ok. I guess that's fair. Maybe it's time for a privacy fence?

Just your regular mom stuff. We just like to keep it real around here. And with the lovely sun and relatively warm weather, it is going to be a great afternoon outside! 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Butter by the spoonful

I have a clock in Lexi and Lyla's bedroom that has a light bulb inside it that turns green when it is 7:00 AM, signaling that it is an appropriate time to get up and out of bed in the morning. The intent of this clock was, of course, that I can get more sleep, resting assured that Lexi will be in her bed until 7. I think this works with some kids. But my independent little girl cannot stay in bed once she wakes up in the morning. There are just too many things to do! If I drank coffee, I promise you, she would be making it for me every morning and would do it well.

So despite our best efforts, Lexi hasn't really been successfully trained to stay in bed until 7 AM. She has merely been trained to stay out of the master bedroom until 7 AM. Which is what I realized this morning when she came bursting through the door at 7:01 this morning cheerfully declaring, "MOM! IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP! MY SISTER IS AWAKE AND SHE WANTS YOU! OH, HEY DADDY!" (and then proceeded to talk non-stop to Eric for a full 40 minutes while he dragged himself out of bed, through all his morning routines, and out the front door to leave for work). Anyway, during the 40 minute monologue, she proudly informed me that she fed Lyla leftover french toast in her crib (which honestly, is probably why I was able to sleep until 7 in the first place). There was Lyla, happy as a clam, sitting in her crib surrounded by torn up bits of french toast. Lexi was even making sure she did her sign language to ask for "more please."
This (in addition to some teenage-level sassy vocabulary she was pulling out for me yesterday) makes me really wonder if Lexi is really 2 going on 3 or 2 going on 16..

But despite her extensive vocabulary and too much independence, Lexi has been full of little kid questions this morning.

"Where are my hard bones? I don't see them."
"Do I have hard bones all over my body? Or just in my leg?"
"Did my muscles go away? How do I find them again? Do I need lotion to find my muscles?"
"If I have muscles then I don't have anymore hard bones!"
"Are the muscles hiding?"
"OH! I have muscles AND hard bones?"
"Wait a minute! I have muscles all over my body? AND bones all over my body too?!"
"Oh! That's cool. Can I have a snack?"

After she assured me that she loves me like a peanut loves an elephant, she went into the kitchen while I was changing Lyla. Hearing some crinkling noises, I went into the kitchen to see her spooning a heaping mound of butter (carved from a new stick from the refrigerator) into her mouth.

"Lexi, are you eating BUTTER? With a SPOON?"
Lexi: "Oh! YES! It's SO GOOD! It's such a good snack. I love it. Eating butter is good for me."

But one can only eat so much butter, so we added a few cutie mandarins to the snack to balance things out a bit.  :-)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

There is something brewing in my pantry

Things are getting a little weird around here. 

Aunt Alli has been brewing interesting healthy concoctions in our pantry for the past two weeks. After a week of sitting fermenting in my dark pantry, the Kombucha was ready for drinking.  You can read more about Kombucha and it's health benefits here. There are also numerous places on the internet where you can learn about how to make it once you obtain your very own "Mother." (And if you are really interested in a "Mother," my sister will sell one to you and then mail it.)

Alli is showing off the "Mother" to Lexi. To me it kind of resembles a slimy mushroom.

Separating the new "Baby" from the "Mother." A new "Baby" grows with each fresh batch you make. Now we have two Kombucha batches going at the same time.

 Here is the Kombucha ready for drinking and looking very delicious. Don't be deceived by the bright sun and green plants. It is FRIGID outside today. Not even making it to 20 F. I feel like we are in Little House on the Prairie's The Long Winter book...minus the snow and endless prairie.

Lexi LOVES Kombucha!!! Here she is guzzling hers from a mug. She was much too absorbed to look up at the camera. The result from our Kombucha was a fizzy sweet drink that resembled a fruit cider. It was remarkably delicious and is excellent for probiotic health. 

We are also brewing Water Keifer at the same time. Not quite as appetizing, let me assure you. However, it IS fizzy. And better if you lace it with juice (or rum, perhaps?) or some other fresh fruit once it's done brewing in the pantry and is ready for drinking. Lexi, of course, BEGS me for it. I find this funny, but for a little girl who almost exclusively drinks water, anything fizzy or flavored is the biggest treat EVER in her opinion. :-) That's probably why I can still get her to drink my green smoothies most of the time too. 

Here's the Water Keifer ready to go back into the pantry. It has raisins, a lime, and a few dried apricots floating in it. 

Next on the list is to get the beginnings of our "urban farm" underway. We are planning out the garden this week and will be ordering some seeds. We aren't starting everything from seed this year (we had too much going on and should have started weeks ago), but things like herbs, zucchini, beans and cucumbers, etc, we will sow in the ground. We are starting small this year, with the hopes that we can keep the squirrels out of it. If we succeed, we may go bigger next year.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Irony, Vegas, and a little bit in between.

This was by far, the most hilarious part of the weekend. Talk about irony. 

But D, who didn't get the joke, insisted on being like the other kids, and wore the bib proudly (while I tried to suppress my laughter every time I looked at him). 

I have come to the happy conclusion that while I am not technically allowed to post pictures of the boys on the internet, there is nothing that states that I can't post drawn pictures of them. So I think you may be seeing more of my quick watercolor sketches as the days go on and their visits eventually turn into living here full time. 

Lyla continues to be busy scouring the floors for any tiny inedible objects to put in her mouth and gag on until I come rescue her. She likes the subtle thrills. Along with choking, her new favorite game is pulling everything off of shelves, out of drawers, cupboards, etc. and then sitting in the pile of her plunder and laughing. I am still not getting the joke.

I learned how to bottle feed two babies at the same time. Lyla was jealous of baby DJ's bottle drinking habits and threw herself woefully on the ground in front of me crying "MAMA   MAMA!!!" in her most pitiful whiny baby voice (and then tried to pull it out of his mouth to put it in hers) until she got one of her own. And then they both drank their bottles happily propped on my legs, while I played peacemaker with D and Lexi over and over and over again.

If you ever wondered what it feels like to be called "Mommy" or "Daddy" by a child who is biologically not your own, let me tell you. It is an interesting experience. D is very confused by the whole transition that is gradually unfolding, but being that he has no male influence in his life, he has taken to calling Eric, "Daddy," and LOVES being around him. Something that neither of us anticipated so soon. I get really emotional whenever I think about it, and I have a lot of thoughts on this actually, that have been brewing in my mind all weekend, but I will wait until a later time to share them here. That said, Eric loves that D calls him "Daddy." Lexi doesn't get it at all (and why would she?) and keeps asking D where his Mama is...

I have started the weird habit of entering blog give-aways. I never win anything, and I am already a reader of said blogs, but still. There is always the chance of winning. I have a feeling I should always stay far away from Vegas. My most recent entry was to win a rug that apparently is stain resistant and was even tested in the zoo for a week with elephants and still washed out completely clean! See what I mean? I may be in real trouble here. Good thing I never fell for the Sham-Wow towel (although I do hear that it actually works!).

Lexi and I could eat whipped cream cheese out of the container with a spoon. Every day. This may or may not be part of the reason why my pants are getting a bit tighter these days...if only it would warm up outside so we can actually be active again! How I am going to be active with four children four and under I am not yet sure...I am just thankful for a double stroller, a baby carrier, a four year old with a bike, and a large city yard that has plenty of room for lots of energy!

Planning my garden needs to happen NOW. Hopefully. I have no idea what I am doing, but I am so determined to grow my own tomatoes this summer that I am going to do the best that I can.

Eric found out a few months back that we are allowed to have chickens in the city for the purpose of eggs. He has been planning our coop ever since and plans on getting the coop built and the chicks bought within a matter of weeks. I am excited about urban farming. But boy, do I have a LOT to learn! Lesson 101: How to keep a plant alive longer than five days....

And now that I have hit all the random points I can think of, I will now assist my daughter in painting, who has suddenly decided that her hands are a better canvas than the paper...

Friday, March 15, 2013

God doesn't call us to be comfortable.

Eric sent this email out to our close friends and family describing what our intentions are with foster care and what that will potentially look like for our family. I thought it would be appropriate to have it here on my blog just in case it might answer some questions you may have about why on earth we are doing this. And chances are, if you are reading my blog, I am sure you have at least one or two questions or doubts...especially since we have kids of our own. We will need all the healthy support we can get. Please lift up our family in prayer whenever you think of it. :-)


Hey all, If you are getting this email it's because you are family, or close enough ;). As many of you know we have been completing the process of becoming a licensed foster home over the past month. As we have finished the class and have our final home visit today we wanted to fill you in on whats next in our lives. 

First some background. As foster parents in Illinois we are part of a team working to "protect children and strengthen families." This team also includes our agency, social worker, the courts, and the birth parents. Over the last several years Illinois has increased it's focus on the 2nd half of that objective. As a result many preemptive programs have been given more attention to prevent disruptions in the family. Additionally this means that the first goal for every child coming into the foster system is to return home. It's important for you all to know this as we will be actively working with, and championing the birth parents for as long as this remains the goal. Often birth parents have simply never learned what a good parent is. Behaviors that seem obvious to us may not be to them because of their own past. There will be times when a child can't return home, but until the court changes that goal that is what we are working towards. We have had to come to grips with the fact that our perspective of a "better" home is not necessarily part of this decision. 

And that brings us to the other end. We have discussed with our agency that our home is a long term home, meaning that if return home is not an option we would very likely adopt the child who is living with us. This is very important as every time a child is disrupted it severely sets back development in many areas. Imagine a child already ripped away from his family beginning to adjust and then being disrupted again. He's now learned twice not to form attachments because they probably won't last. We want you all to understand that we are making a long term commitment to the kids we take in. We will be working towards return home while also working to ensure that if return home is not an option the child has a permanent place in our family.
Bearing these in mind a few things below that we want you to be aware of.

1) While we are foster parents we are the children's caregivers, and we may feel like we are the only ones meeting the childs parental needs, but we are not their guardians and do not have parental rights. This means major (and often minor) decisions are still made by either the birth parent or the state. This can include everything from religious services to medical decisions to hair style. 

2) Any child in foster care has experienced trauma and loss, at the very least when they came in to care and were removed from their families. This means that they may be vulnerable and sensitive to things that other children are not. Things like coming up from behind and grabbing them, tickling, etc could trigger things from their past that we are not even aware of. This can also effect transition times such as mealtimes and bedtimes. IF you notice any strange reactions or behaviors while interacting with the child it is important that we know about them so please tell us.

3) The child's situation, history, and goal (return home or adopt) is confidential. We will be able to speak in general terms, but we can not share specifics of the child's case, so please do not feel offended or slighted if we aren't able to tell you the why behind the needs the child has. Also images of the child should not be posted online, definitely not with names/details. Thanks for understanding.  

4) We have gotten alot of questions about "is this what's best for our family?" The honest answer is "no" but then "yes." Many times we have discussed that this will be hard on our family. This will be hard on Lexi and Lyla, this will be hard on our marrige, it will stretch and test us, and we aren't so naive as to think it won't be hard on some of you, as part of our family. But...We know that we are called to the ministry of reconciliation (2cor 5) and we know that reconciliation is something we live out daily. A dear friend shared this quote with us yesterday and it so perfectly surmizes our call to foster. “God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.” We believe that what is "best" for our family is ultimately not the question we should be asking, rather we should be asking how is God glorified through our family. Because ultimately, that is our purpose, and so what is best.

5) A child in our home is a part of our family. They may be here temporarily, but they are no less a part and no more disposable. We need your support in this. On the days when we come to you saying I don't know what were going to do "Send them back" is NOT what we need to hear. We need to hear the same things you tell us about "our" kids.
 To take a deep breath, remember that they are children, laugh about it, pray about it, love them anyways. We are making a commitment to these children because we believe that is what God is calling us to. Please hold us to that. Rest assured we have a team of professionals, therapists, social workers, and licensing representatives that will monitor if something is beyond our capabilities. From our family we need support to press on in what God has called us to. 

6) We want you to be a part of our family's life! There will be struggles, but we are inviting you to join us in the mission. God has called us to this but we know that we can not do it alone. We are ALWAYS willing to talk about what is going on as much as we are able so please don't hesitate to ask questions.    

Our Family is GROWING!!!

Once upon a time, there were a lot of exciting things that began to happen in too short of a time.

Snot began to pour like rivers out of everyone's noses. It shows no signs of stopping.

Our family size is increasing with two more children, a dog, and baby chickens. All within the next month. Not to mention my sister already lives here, along with our two cats that we have finally decided need a new home. Actually Eric decided that a long long long time ago. Let's just say there were many tears on my end until I finally admitted to being truly unable to care for them properly. And they're annoying. (Mostly that.) Our house (that was big when we moved into it not even a year ago), is starting to bust at the seams.

But speaking of busting at the seams, we finally finished our basement (minus a few rainy day touch ups), and it is pretty awesome. Other than the initial work that Eric's brother did back in January, the bulk of the renovation we did completely ourselves. It's not perfect, but we are extremely proud of it. Pictures to come. Sometime. Anyway, my sister moved downstairs, and we finally go the crib and twin bed we needed for our extra bedroom. (Yes, I said crib. I think we're crazy too.)

My eleven-month-old (who I swear was just born a few weeks ago...) has decided that being a picky eater is the new trend. She lives on a diet of black beans, bread, and large quantities of grapefruit. (Ironically, that's pretty much all I ate during my last trimester pregnant.) This makes the whole weaning process rather difficult...

Lexi has been (rather aggressively) "dancing ballet" in a tiny pink leotard every day without fail. Fortunately, she inherited my athleticism. Unfortunately, she also inherited my strength and flexibility without an ounce of grace. I'm guessing real ballet probably won't turn out to be her profession.

My crock pot is going to be my new best friend. I am determined. BBQ chicken cooking at the moment. I am hoping to find a lot of different types of food I can cook in there that are things other than 'chicken chili,' 'taco soup,' and pork roasts that are running rampant on the internet.

We are having a weekend visit with our potential (and most likely) placement of two brothers. We are still waiting on our license to be processed, but we got the call about these boys the very same night that I wrote my last blog post. Fortunately, because of their situation, we are able to ease into the transition of them living with us over a few weeks so we can all get used to each other, and our license can be finalized. It's extremely frustrating that I can't go into details about the boys, but what I can say, I will.

Both boys have names that start with the same letter, so I will call them D and Baby DJ for the time that they are in our home.

D is four. He is bright, spunky, and full of energy. He has an adorable smile, huge dark eyes, and an infectious laugh. He craves positive attention and loves to have fun. He is a little overly obsessed with cars and loves to "cook" in our play kitchen.

Baby DJ is four months old. I know. We are crazy. With an eleven-month-old daughter that is still extremely clingy to me, this will be an extraordinary challenge. The thing is, there are very few foster parents who will take sibling groups, and this happens to be their biggest need. If they can't find anyone to take the kids together, they get separated. We are one of the few families that agreed to take a sibling group in order to avoid sibling separation. So we are. And DJ is ADORABLE. The most beautiful black curls that I have ever seen on a baby in my life! He is easy going, hardly ever cries, and smiles all the time. He giggles at just about anything and has two deep dimples on his soft brown cheeks. I will be honest. I CAN'T. STOP. TOUCHING. HIS. HAIR. :-)

While they have already had two visits in our home so far, this weekend is our first overnight stay. We are not sure what to expect, but both Eric and I are at peace and surrounded by an incredible community that is offering us prayers and support. And due to the fact that D and Lexi have very similar independent personalities, I can, without a doubt, promise you lot's and lot's of exciting kid stories in the very near future!!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Sure Foundation

The prospect of being a foster parent can be a bit daunting and also really frightening, since I'm being completely honest. And the fact of the matter is, once there is a child placed in our home, I can't share much with anyone because of all the confidentiality stuff. No pictures online or personal details. Stories have to be carefully guarded and no one but us and the caseworkers will ever know the background of the child. It's a lot of heavy information that we are going to have to carry somewhat alone. We do have support groups and a whole team of people working with the kids and their families, but the daily responsibility of the child is ours.

Every child coming in to the foster system has undergone some sort of trauma - be this physical abuse or neglect, or something else that has led to the child being removed from the parent by child welfare. A child dealing with trauma is going to act out in a lot of different ways, but none are cookie cutter behaviors, and you don't receive any sort of manual on how to deal with said behaviors. Also when a child is new coming into the system, many times you will have little to no information about the child and what you are looking at if you choose to accept that child into your care.

So I'm a little terrified by all this. And rightly so. This is probably why most normal people advice against fostering when you already have your own biological kids in the house. Trust me, I went through the classes and I know the risks. But at the same time, my heart is breaking for these kids. And as parents, with an extra room in our house and as someone who is already full time parenting, I WANT to do this and know that God has laid it on our hearts for the last several years for a reason.

It's scary not knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into, though.

When I graduated from high school (and was living in Mexico City at the time), I was given a Bible filled with notes and promises and highlighted scriptures from my missionary friends and family as a going away gift. Over the years in college I also had my new MK friends (missionary kids) write in it as well. Last night, as I was looking up some verses for a study I am doing, I found the following scripture, with the note written underneath from a dear friend of mine. Although the note was written back in 2007, I honestly don't know that I had ever read it before.
Here is the scripture in two different translations. Each one rich and meaningful.

Isaiah 33:6
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store or salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure. (NIV)

And he will be the stability of your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the Lord is Zion's treasure. (ESV)

A portion of the note beneath reads:
The thing I love about the Lord, probably more than anything else, is that he is constant and stable when nothing else is. He will never leave us or forsake us. Nothing can separate us from his love. No one and nothing else in our lives can say that. Cling to Him... 

I am always amazed at God's goodness and how clearly He speaks into our lives when we are listening! (And I doubt my dear friend knew that her words would be such a sweet blessing to me years later!) Even in the midst of incredible unknown, God is always constant. He IS the stability or our times, of our every day. And He has given us His abundant treasure - salvation, wisdom, and knowledge - Himself!

When God calls us to walk in obedience, following His heart and letting the Gospel change our daily lives, we MUST go. We are compelled to. No matter how frightening it seems.

Another former missionary friend of mine said the other day that based on Romans 12:1-2, "There is nothing that God could ask me or you to do that would be unreasonable."
In view of God's character, who He is, who He has proved Himself to be throughout the Old and New Testaments, and what He has called us to in following Him, I wholeheartedly believe that my friend is right.

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God - this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will." Rom. 12:1-2

Today I am thankful, and no longer so scared or anxious at what our future holds. I don't have to know all the details. And I have a good Father who is the sure foundation and stability of today and tomorrow and every day after. And no matter what happens, no matter how our lives are shaken and changed and uprooted by leaving behind our figurative nets and following this counter-cultural dude named Jesus, I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can trust Him.

For He is constant and stable when nothing else is... No one and nothing else in our lives can say that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snow drippings and spring thoughts

Yesterday was all snow snow snow. Ten inches later, our city world is completely covered with a fresh white blanket.
I bravely trudged through the snow covered sidewalks this morning pushing my girls in their stroller on the way to Lexi's gymnastics class. The world always seems a bit quieter on snowy mornings. Or maybe we are just hushed in awe of the all the lovely white.
Shovels are scraping against the concrete sidewalks.
And the sounds of melting snow and chattering birds are overwhelming.
The ten inches of snow seem just as determined to melt away today as they were determined to cover the earth yesterday. Dripping dripping dripping.
The perfect time to build a giant snowman, if I had a helper that was taller than 3 feet, that is. ;-)

Despite the snowy setback, spring is on it's way. There are some snow crocuses coming up in one of my vacant (or so I thought) beds, and I am beginning to make some gardening plans. Since I am a little late to start from seed and we still have to build the beds once the ground unfreezes, I may be buying some of my plants this year instead of starting them myself. Then comes the test to see if I can keep them alive....(unlikely, but it's worth a shot!).

I always love spring. I love swapping out my dreary dark winter clothing for light, bright colors and skirts with ballet flats. I love the smell of the earth and the warm sunshine on my skin. I love being outside and not needing to spend twenty minutes bundling the girls up in all their snow pants, hats, mittens that never stay on, coats, etc., only to put on my coat and turn around to find them unbundled....and do it all over again. I have really enjoyed this winter (I really have), but I am ready for the earth to be reborn again. But since we have ten inches of snow on the ground, and it's not spring yet (obviously, since I just spent the last half hour shoveling), there may just have to be a snowman in the works this afternoon. With or without the extra help. ;-)

And now, if you are still reading this, and you like reading my blog, will you do me a huge favor? If you are not a follower already, will you look on the right side of this page, scroll down to where you see the blue rectangular button that says "Join this site", and push it? It will ask you to sign in with a google or yahoo or other account (it will tell you how to make an account if you don't have one). Once you have done that, it should tell you that you are now following this blog. This is not a money-making scheme whatsoever, but will help me to know who my audience is, as well as how many people are actually interested in reading my scattered thoughts. And hopefully the result will be that I will then be more motivated to keep writing. :-)

Thank you thank you.
And happy almost spring.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Dog Marley

Remember that dog with the dreads I was telling you about? I wasn't lying. It really does exist. My friend clued me in on the name and background of this breed yesterday. Turns out, these MASSIVE dogs are called Komondors and were originally a Hungarian breed designed to be a guardian of livestock. Their fur cords by itself! 

Unfortunately, they don't make the best family pet if you have close neighbors or lots of people who come over all the time due to their guardian tendencies (you can rest assured that this guy will NOT be joining our family). And talk about high maintenance hair! 

Here is some more hilarious proof about this dog's existence.

And finally, some more facts to make you smarter. And just in case you are suddenly thinking that this mop of a dog just won it's way into your heart and (ahem) home, this little video is for you. ;-)