Friday, March 6, 2015

Adventures With Scout

For those of you asking how things are going for us as we adapt to life with a dog, well, let's just say it's been an adventure!

Are we all surviving?  Barely.  Is it more work than we thought?  Possibly.  Is he the cutest dog we've ever seen?  For sure.

So funny how a one-and-a-half-pound ball of fluff can turn a family upside down.

The first several days had us busy cleaning up messes and tuning out the crying, but Scout is getting the hang of getting trained, and keeping us laughing as well.

We've learned a lot already, including what's going to work for us, and what won't.  For instance, we bought this awesome crate for him before he arrived, but even though it's made to adjust to different sized dogs, we found out pretty quickly it was still too big for him.  Plus, with his small paws, he somehow figured out how to open the latch-- three times!

So, we started putting him in this crate which has been much better for his tiny self.  It was also a great deal and a much better color than the ones we had seen in stores (which, of course, is a huge priority).

And then there was the challenge of finding a gate for the laundry room door that would be both functional and attractive.  After a little searching, we found this one, and thought--"It's perfect!"  

So, we popped it in the doorway, and let Scout try it out.  Here's a little video to show you what Scout thought of it...

Clearly, he thought it was perfect.  But, we needed to modify it just a tad to make it work for us since he's such a tiny little pooch.  So, Dave added a little plexi-glass and: voilá!  Style and functionality are friends again.

And speaking of style, this little sling a friend gave us is going to be perfect for both of us.  It even has a little cell phone pocket!  

Click here for the link with all the details and color choices!  Love it!

So, yes, life with Scout has been an adventure so far.  We all still have a lot to learn, but we're making it.  And as my dad says, Scout will have us all trained soon.  

Thanks for your kind comments and helpful tips!  Maybe some of Scout's favorite must-haves will work for your furry friends, too.  

Amazon links are affiliate links and products are those I recommend based on my own experiences.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

It's a Good Day

I know this might come as a surprise to many of you, but as much as I love decorating and design, I rarely watch decorating shows.  In fact, I don't have time to watch much TV at all outside of Downton Abbey (which, by the way, I will be pining for all over again until next January). 

But, I've had a few people asking me in recent weeks if I have ever seen Fixer Upper on HGTV with Chip and Joanna Gaines.  I had never heard of them, actually, but with our extra time at home lately, we tuned in to see what the fuss was all about, and now our whole family is totally hooked.  Friends and family had told me they thought my taste reminded them of Joanna Gaines, and whether it's that or the fact that Chip and Joanna work so well together, I just know it's a great show.   

They take run-down, sometimes nearly-condemned houses and remodel them into beautiful homes for families in Waco, Texas.  The results are always amazing, and always inspiring.  In one of the episodes, Joanna spelled out a quote similar to this on a wall in a family room, and since I loved it so much, I decided to chalk it out...

The lessons we're learning in this classroom of life right now--they're just too numerous to share them all.  But one of the main themes that keeps resonating (no matter how I resist it) is that I must live fully in each day, not trying to take on the burden of what the next week or month may hold for us, but simply living in today.  This is a huge challenge for a girl that likes everything planned out.  And though I've heard it said for as long as I can remember, what I'm starting to really get is that God will give each of us just enough grace for what we need to do today. 
There's nothing like standing beside someone you love on the brink of eternity to make you realize what a gift each day really is.  Some of the first words that cross my mind as I open my eyes each of these recent mornings are those of Psalm 118:24:  
"This is the day which the Lord hath made;  we will rejoice and be glad in it."  

Today is a good day to have a good day.  If you'd like a little printable reminder of this, download it for free here.

This is not a sponsored post for HGTV or Chip and Joanna Gaines, but we thank them for giving us a little light-hearted entertainment on days when we've needed it.  You've probably been watching them from the beginning, but if not, tune in to watch some of their episodes here and learn more about them by visiting their site here.  You'll love them.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

While I Have a Few Spare Moments...

Let me start by saying I can't tell you enough how much it has meant to me that so many of you have taken the time to reach out to tell me you're praying as I've shared with you the journey my family is taking right now.  Even if I don't respond each time, please know I am reading every message and comment and they help me so much.  I know that many of you have walked this path and when you share your stories, it's just one more way we connect across these type-written passageways, so thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Just a few more major life events to get you updated on:

Yes, Scout is home.  We picked him up on Saturday and things have been pretty lively around here since.  He's a Yorkie-Poo (emphasis on the "poo"), and I'm definitely feeling the déja vu like it's the first time we brought home a baby.  It's a constant swing between "He's so cute!" and "What was I thinking?", but we are all surviving.

Of course, we gave the obligatory responsibility speech to all 4 kids before we brought him home, and they've been doing a great job with him.  Probably the biggest surprise is that our youngest, Lola, has turned out to be a bona fide dog-whisperer.  (Ironic, since whispering has never been one of her strong suits.)  She's only 8, but she is giving this pooch all she's got, working hard to get him trained and cleaning up the mistakes, which we all hope will become fewer before long.   

And did I mention today is our 9th snow day?  If we hadn't needed every hand in this house to help with either my dad or the puppy, I'd be going crazy by now.  But, as things are, I'm pretty sure this is just another demonstration of God's grace to us in the most chaotic circumstances we've ever known.

My dad has had a few good days this week, showing great signs of improvement from his mini strokes, despite the absence of hospice visits due to the weather.  He has gone from being completely incapacitated and barely able to swallow or speak 10 days ago, to being able to sit up, carry on conversations, and eat his favorite foods again.  There seems to be no protocol for rehabilitating a late-stage terminal cancer patient suffering from strokes.  And since he's made all these improvements with only us to help him, we know it's just one more way God wanted to prove Himself to us all.  And He has, over and over again.

Tomorrow, our beautiful Lily turns 12 years old and we are excited about that.  We may be celebrating with cake and snow cream, but we will make it a great day for this girl because we love her so much.

For now, we will now resume our life of Froot Loops for breakfast and not bothering to brush our hair.  Lola may or may not be wearing her "Best Day Ever" shirt for the third day in a row and I don't even care.  There are some things that are just more important right now.  

And for one last random P.S...

Just a little update on our new-fangled trash can I told you about here.  It has worked overtime with the house full of people who have been in and out of here since we first got this baby from   And for those of you who were wondering, the batteries lasted a full two months, even with all the extra use!  It has definitely come in handy, and I think you'd like it, too.