Breeder vs Rescue: Your Pet Doesn’t Care.

My fur-babies

We all just need love!

Breeder vs rescue is a topic that I’ve seen escalate lately on social platforms, advertising, and even movies/sitcoms. It got me thinking about my pets and which ones came from where and if it made any difference where I got them after they passed over the rainbow bridge. Did it matter that I paid upwards to $500 for a pet that I believed would be healthy for a long number of years? Did it matter that I paid a nominal fee to a shelter for updating vaccinations and performing sterilization on the pet I was rescuing? To answer these questions for myself and let you in on my process, I’ve taken a memory walk through all the pets I’ve had up to this very day. Spoil alert: Your pet doesn’t care!

Fluffy: Rescue

My first pet, besides a couple of wily escape artist hamsters, was my beautiful long haired grey cat, Fluffy. She was the only fluffy kitten from a litter of short haired black ones and she was the only girl. A co-worker of my grandmother had this litter of kittens that she needed to find homes for. I remember my grandmother (who was raising me) being unhappy with my choice but she gave in after seeing the absolute love-at-first-sight look in my eyes.

I L.O.V.E.D. that cat! She slept with me at night, she taught me to meow (those that know, know), she was so precious to me. It didn’t matter that she was a surprise to her cat momma or human momma and it didn’t matter that she wasn’t registered in the Cat Fancier’s Association. She was my precious gift. She didn’t really fall into either category of rescue or breeder so for the purpose of this article, I will put her in the “rescue” camp.

Fluffy! I would antagonize her until she would chase me through the house! LOVED HER!

Roxanne (Roxie): Pet Store

Skip ahead nine years and my second pet was also my very first dog! My now ex-husband and I would visit a local pet store in Broken Arrow and look at the puppies for something to do when we were bored. One day we walked in to find a cage full of wiggly Scottish Terriers! I had been obsessed with Scotty “stuff” for years and was immediately smitten. Wanting a girl, I couldn’t believe it when they reached right in the cage full of puppies and pulled out a little black hairy female! We took our little-bodied, big-headed, gigantic-eared baby home and named her Roxanne.

She would become my best friend and my lap buddy until her old age, tumors, and pain took her away. Her personality was rich, her attitude was sassy, and her loyalty was beautiful. One day while walking through a garden store, I found a statue of a Scotty that was the exact image of Roxie – complete with the small crook in her tail. I still have that statue today!

Queen Roxanne! “Do I smell squirrel?”

Abigail (Abby): Breeder

As Roxie got older, she became depressed because she was at home alone – a lot. We were serving in Youth Ministry and spent many nights and weekends with the students. I remember we got a crazy idea to get our dog… a dog. haha. Enter, Abigail the miniature Schnauzer. Hands down the sweetest natured dog I’ve ever been around. She didn’t like to problem solve, fight, or calculate anything… she just craved love, love, love, and more love.

We found a breeder in the newspaper and drove out to see the puppies. Abby really did choose us. Her siblings were running all over the place completely ignoring the two strangers in the room. This particular puppy kept wiggling her little body over to us, planting herself at our feet, and looking into our faces. Yep, she came home with us that day and lived a long life. She eventually lost her hearing and became very allergic to a lot of environmental things but she never lost her love of chasing birds (one time catching mid-air) and getting loving’s from her people. Over the years I have searched far and wide for a statue of a Mini Schnauzer to add to my Scottie statue but none have the specific little pixie girl look that Abby had. Maybe one day I’ll find one.


Buddie: Breeder

During the last few years of Abby’s life, my son began asking for a weenie-dog. After months of begging we visited the pet store and discovered that they had a litter of Dachshund’s. One was the perfect little black and tan boy with a bit of dapple on his chest. He was so freaking cute! My son named him Buddie and he ended up being THE most difficult dog I’ve ever owned, hands down. Adjectives to describe Buddie would be smart, tenacious, calculating, food motivated, tenacious, and did I mention tenacious? lol

There was never a dull moment with Buddie. He loved destroying toys the millisecond he got ahold of them, and could sniff out a speck of a crumb inside a gun cabinet. He terrorized poor Abby to no end, and would burrow deep under any and all blankets, everywhere. We would beg guests to remember to push in the dining room table chairs because that long bodied runt would climb up onto the table! He also managed to scale a rolling cart and climb onto the kitchen counter, eat a tray of brownies, and then jump down before we got back home. Anyone ever see a green doxy? I have… he was miserable. haha Buddie lived a very long life until tumors, old age, and pain finally took him away. He will always hold a very precious, albeit enlightened to the breed, place in my heart.

Cutest little rascal!

Stanley: Rescue

It was in a season of extreme emotional pain that my son and I visited the local Broken Arrow shelter and fell in love with a cute little black lab. We had gone to visit a different black lab but someone adopted him before we arrived. The staff asked if we wanted to look at other dogs, so we did. A small black lab with the sweetest eyes was in one of the cages. We asked to visit with him and fell madly in love.

Right before the trip home with this no named, small black Labrador, they gave him some kind of bath before we could load him in the car. We drove about 2 feet from the shelter and had to roll down the windows as fast as possible! It stunk so bad! We quickly drove to a dog wash station attached to a car wash to try and get the smell off of him. It did NOT work! It is still one of the funniest memories we like to laugh about.

We named him Stanley and he became attached to me in a different way than any other pet I’d owned. Unfortunately we lost Stanley to lymphoma which came on suddenly and full force. I still can’t believe that we only had him in our life for three short years.

My heart! My Stan.
(The day we learned we had to help Stanley over the rainbow bridge. We were devastated but trying to hold it together so that Stanley would stay calm. He kept touching the doorknob.)

Baxter Bruce: Breeder

The heart trauma of losing Stanley weighed on me daily and almost a year later I found a Chocolate Labrador breeder. I was still incredibly hurt by the health issues that Stanley had that I wanted to get a pet that would be strong and live for a long time like Buddie, Roxie, and Abby had. We drove out to the breeder and chose this rowdy little bitey squirt of a chocolate kiss. We named him Baxter Bruce and just fell head over heals in love. Then reality kicked in. We lived in an apartment. He had more energy than the entire apartment building. I worked full time and was in college classes at night. I had made a very big mistake!

Apartment life was not fair to Baxter and I felt like such a bad parent, one of “those” people who get and get rid of pets constantly. I’ve never done that, but the guilt with Baxter was excruciating! I am forever thankful that my aunt fell in love with him too. She and my uncle agreed to take him and he is now living the best life ever! He has acreage to run, a creek to swim in, and he freaking adores my uncle. Looking back, I often wonder if I was supposed to get Baxter for my uncle? Either way, I am so thankful they have each other and we are able to visit him anytime we can!

Don’t be fooled, this is really a pic of a baby T-Rex! lol

Archer: Rescue

About a year later we were blessed with a house and a fenced yard. It was time to get a pet! My son mentioned rescuing a Rottweiler. I was quite frankly surprised and nervous but we began the search. We did meet a male Rottie before Archer and he certainly had issues from his previous situation. We knew within 15 minutes that we were not a good match.

A few weeks later Pet Angel Rescue contacted me about another male Rottie that she would like us to meet. They videoed him interacting with the staff which I found professional and helpful. Well, yesterday marks the one year “Gotcha Day” anniversary of Archer. We learned after a week of adopting him that our big boy has hip dysplasia. This means a life of medications and treatments, but that’s just the way love is. We don’t know or care how he came to be at the shelter because he is now our beloved Rottie bear. By the way, we believe that Archer looks to be a purebred Rottweiler who just happened to somehow end up in the wrong place at the wrong time one day.

He is perfect for us! We are perfect for him! True Love.

My Verdict.

My verdict of breeder vs rescue is 100% YES to either. Each of our fur babies needed our love. I’ve experienced no difference in the love and devotion of a pedigreed animals over a rescues, even though some believe the rescues have a smidge more. I won’t argue, because love is love in any degree. There have been expensive health issues with either type of pet we’ve owned and some of the issues of the pedigreed ones were very surprising!

I would love to have another lab someday. I’m not sure if I will rescue or not, (probably will, though). But today, Archer needs undivided attention, funds, and love. We really don’t care about his yesterday; he is 100% perfect for us today no matter what!

The Surprising Truth of COVID-19 – Personal Story

I can’t definitively say where or at what exact moment the COVID-19 virus entered my body and truthfully this many weeks out, it doesn’t really matter. What I do for sure know is that my body freaking freaked out and this is my story; the surprising truth of COVID-19.

Labor Day is when I woke up with that feeling that something was not quite right in the body of Tammy. Honestly, it felt exactly like I was in the very early stages of a Ragweed allergy attack. Itchy eyes, drainage down the back of my throat, and just a general sense of hazy that those with allergies can identify with. I looked up the stats on the news and sure enough the Ragweed numbers were crazy high. I totally checked that self-diagnosis box and went on with my day. That night I was extremely restless and by the next morning I felt like that allergy attack had kicked into full blown sinus infection. My head was killing me, my body ached all over, and I felt the first tickle of chills.

Ugh.


Covid-19 Denial – Stage One

Still in complete denial but, in my defense, I have an allergy attack which turns to sinus infection every year at this time!!! However, I was hopeful that I could get into the doctor and get my antibiotics going before it got too bad.

Then Wednesday happened.

Because it’s the year of COVID, I went to get a test. I did the deed, which was awful! Who thought of that torturous devise! OHMYGOSH! Anyway, I entirely believed (denial anyone) that it would be negative. When I got the call the next day (Thursday) I sat with my mouth hanging open…. and I’m not gonna sugar coat this…. I said a couple of “words”.

Thursday – Sunday was a rapid decline in my stamina. The fever would not go down and hovered between 99-101. I’m old school in that I feel that we should allow our bodies to fight using the fever and not try to bring it down unless it gets over 102, so I didn’t take any pain meds. Sleeping was horrific, my appetite went to zero but, praise God, I was not throwing up.

Then Sunday night.


Covid-19 Anger – Stage Two

Friends, that’s when my body began attacking itself. I would stand up to walk to the restroom and my breathing would plummet! Scariest feeling, seriously! I literally would feel like I was going to drop to the floor at any second. I would try to get back to the bed as quickly as I could. Heavy panting, trying to get any air inside my lungs and just the awful feeling that I was in distress.

Then the stomach issue started. Down – not up.

I would have to go the bathroom, hyperventilate trying to get air in my lungs, become so lightheaded the vision would start to tunnel, and I would have to quickly get back to bed. I wish I were exaggerating; I wish I would have had a camera on me, (not really – well, kind a, nah-never mind) but it was all too real.

By Monday night I was scared out of my mind and knew that I truly needed help. Even though I was utterly rattled about paying for an ER trip. I also had a strong feeling that I would have to go into the hospital. I knew in my heart that it was bad.

So, my son drove me to the ER and sure enough, I was in bad shape. Within a week of feeling like I was having a Ragweed attack, I was being transferred to the hospital in an ambulance because my body was trying to drown me. The admitting physician told me I was experiencing ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome) and when I gave him the sick bed look of “huh?” he dropped it down to Pneumonia. Oh, okay…. I understand pneumonia.


Covid-19 Bargaining – Stage Three

Basically, ARDS is a condition in which fluid collects in the lungs’ air sacs, depriving organs of oxygen. So, I would stand up and my oxygen would hit the ground and then I would be gasping for air. I can’t even begin to explain how difficult it was to remain calm during these episodes. I now have a crazy awareness of those that suffer from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Emphysema, or any other health issues that require Oxygen assistance.

The medical team hooked me up to all the wires and started me on low oxygen Tuesday afternoon. They also discovered that my Iron was very low, my potassium was wacked, and my phosphates were in trouble. They started me on IV Iron, pills, and massive steroids for 10 days. From what I remember the team telling me, the steroids are the number one way to help counteract what my body was trying to do to help itself. Like I said before, my body freaked out with this COVID virus and went full on war. My lungs were like WAIT! WOAH!

IVs for days
IV’s For Days

Covid-19 Depression – Stage Four

I was in the hospital from Monday night to Sunday afternoon. During that time, they were able to get me from having to use a bed side potty (ugh) to unhooking me from the pulse oximeter so that I could use the restroom again. That was a huge moment for me!! It’s the little things, ya’ll.

So, at this point in the journey, I have been on the COVID rollercoaster for over two full weeks (September 7 – September 24). I’m able to breathe on my own but I am crazy lightheaded still. Standing for more than a couple of minutes is difficult and I’ll be talking to the doctor about that.

The hospital team did one more COVID test on me right before I was released and I’m hoping to get that result today.

The surprising truth is this — I know people that have contracted COVID and did not have the health issues that I had/have. This virus hits everyone uniquely. I wanted to tell you my story so that you would know that some people react with mild symptoms, some with medium symptoms, and others may escalate into something shocking and scary. We must love on each other and be extra careful when we speak our views about this virus. I read recently someone saying that we need to get over it, this is just the flu. Well, I’ve had the flu, which is zero fun and very terrible, but this was a whole other dimension. My body took it up a notch for some unfathomable reason. There may be others around you that might nosedive quickly too. They will need you! Please be there for them.

Room under construction.

It’s about all of us!

I don’t know a lot about this virus….but I will continue to be vigilant in my hand washing, wear a mask where I’m asked to, and know that it’s not about me, it’s about all of us. That is a truth that should not be surprising!


Covid-19 Acceptance – Stage Five

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. 

1 Corinthians 13

I see you, tired parent! Part 4.

Why you must stand your ground!

Standing your ground can be difficult especially if you don’t know on which things to stand firm and which things to let go. My top three stands after raising my son and working in youth ministry for over twenty years are:

  • Adhere to a solid and realistic curfew.
  • Set weekly family times that can fluctuate depending on the season of life you are living.
  • Require respect toward you and show respect toward your children.

Curfew isn’t a curse word.

According to many young people a curfew is much life a type of confinement or policing of their time away from you, the parent(s). In actuality it is a safety net to establish boundaries and protect them from things they are not wise enough to know yet. Having a set time to return home is the first stage of learning to self-discipline their days and nights in addition to showing respect for their family. But curfews can also be a way to place a wedge between parents and their children when there is no communication or flexibility. Routine conversations about curfew times should take place. Summer vs winter; normal weekend vs special event…these are areas that need to be decided together.

Some families believe in a dictatorship style of parenting, “I say and you obey because I pay for everything that touches your life” but I’ve seen that this type of parenting opens the door wide for flight rebellion. Homes that foster communication and parents listening and taking into consideration the thoughts of the child have much greater success of consistent follow through. But how do you set a curfew that is fair and doable? An article on Healthline.com does a fantastic job of explaining the how-to of curfew setting. You can read that article here.

Family time really is important.

T.V. sitcoms and movies make sport of family time on the regular. Typically it is visualized as a barrage of uncomfortable questions from parents to their children, fighting among siblings, and ends with everyone feeling it was a waste of time. The reality is that family time is the number one way to stay connected and create a bond with one another!

I love this article from the Focus on The Family website which talks about how food brings families together! My favorite quote states, “Food allows us to feel safe by decreasing the sympathetic ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ response.” I come from the generation that ate at grandma and grandpas table at every meal but started sitting in front of the T.V. when at home. I can personally attest that the conversations and bonding at my grandparents is something I treasure and miss! You can read that article here. Now we have the added pressure of cellphone interruption. There are many families I’ve talked to that have initiated a “no-phone” rule at the dinner table which has made a huge difference in their quality time together.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Did you sing that heading? I did as I typed it!

Singing aside, the fact is that respect is required, respect is earned, and respect is a two way street. Scripture is clear about this matter.

“Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.” Ephesians 6:1-3

“And now a word to you parents. Don’t keep on scolding and nagging your children, making them angry and resentful. Rather, bring them up with the loving discipline the Lord himself approves, with suggestions and godly advice.” Ephesians 6:4

“Fathers, don’t scold your children so much that they become discouraged and quit trying.” Colossians 3:21

We should be treating the other person how we would want to be treated. Where have we heard that before? OH, YES! The Golden Rule! Matthew 7:12 — “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”

You are a Foundation

So we can clearly see that standing your ground does not need to be a war to be won at all costs. Standing your ground means that you are a safe place, a consistent foundation that can be relied upon and looked to for stability. This is a good thing when done with love and respect.

I see you, tired parent. Part 3

5. Classrooms and friends.

Following the rules is difficult for parents. At the kindergarten meet-the-teacher night, she told us parents that one of the best things we could do for our precious babies was to teach them to walk to the classroom by themselves by the second day of school. So, because I wanted the very best for my little, I walked him the first day and then the next I let him out in the drop off lane in front of the school. I watched his little boy body walk warily into the school for weeks! It was awful!

If I could go back in time, this is one thing I would do differently. I would walk him to his classroom door until HE was ready for me to stop. Many years later he randomly asked me why I wouldn’t walk him inside in Kindergarten like the other moms. I was shocked! Come to find out, the mothers that were more seasoned (aka – not their first rodeo) kept walking their baby to the door because they knew the secret! It all goes by so fast, my friend. Of course, by the time he was in older elementary grades he did not even want me to wave at him from the car when I dropped him off! Walk your baby to the classroom door and enjoy their love and lack of embarrassment while you have it!

That brings me to the impulse to pick your child’s teachers. Many of my friends were adamant about having their fingers in the picking of their little’s teachers. The rules of the school state that you can’t choose your child’s teacher but you CAN choose which teachers you do not want. I can share from experience of watching what happened with them and what happened when I did it… don’t. Just don’t. God is much better at picking which teacher your child needs. God know which teacher will be a detriment to your child’s learning. God knows what areas of growth your child needs. Let God. Scripture says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

6. Be THAT house!

The house with all the bikes parked outside. The house where the yard football games happen. The house where slumber parties take place. Being THAT house will help you:

  • know where your kiddo is – always.
  • put eyes on your kiddo’s friends.
  • have a heartbeat on the social activities and paradigms of your kiddo.
  • allow you to be a witness and a mentor to your kiddo’s friends.

I loved having the bicycle ramps in front of my house. It was so much fun watching the kids on the slip-n-slide or running through the sprinkler. I still have such amazing memories of listening to the squeals and yells of hide and seek games and the laughter way too long into the night when friends stayed over.

A nugget of mom advise that I would love to share with you here is to keep your feelings and comments about their friends/girlfriends/boyfriends to a bare (almost non-existent) minimum. The adage “You want what you can’t have,” is so true even for adults. The more a person feels like something is forbidden the more enticing that “thing” is. If you see something troubling, steering questions are the most effective way to handle the situation.

I remember meeting one of my son’s friends and almost instantly feeling a terrible vibe. I kept my calm and when the opportunity arose, I made small talk with that friend. During the conversation, I asked a couple of generic questions and then just one or two follow up questions based off this friend’s answers. A few weeks later this person was no longer a friend. I asked what happened and my son just said “yeah, he was kinda mean.” I inwardly cheered at the discernment of my boy, but I outwardly kept my face neutral and told my son that I was glad he was making those decisions on his own. Was this easy for me? No way! Was it rewarding? Absolutely!

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.” James 1:19


Come back for Part 4

where we will discuss the final topic in this series,

Standing your ground.

I see you, tired parent. Part 2

3. Eating should be easy, right?

Well… sometimes. Perhaps your little is having trouble with breast milk, or a certain type of formula, or has a reaction to a pureed food, maybe even a finger food. You will figure it out and you will be the very best advocate for your baby’s nutrition. Trying to discern what works and what doesn’t when feeding your baby is a daily struggle at times. Remember that often it takes up to three times of introducing a food to your little before they decide they like it. Truth be told, there are a couple of things that my son would not eat until he was in his teens!


It’s not…

I was raised to eat what was served or wait until the next meal to eat.  This didn’t work for me as a child and it still doesn’t today. There are some foods that just do not sit well on my stomach. Okra is one of them. I was either four or five the first-time fried okra was set in front of me to eat. I ate it, it came up. My stepmother was angry as all get-out and set another plate in front of me. I don’t remember what happened after that, but it wasn’t enjoyable. Another time, my grandmother gave me a plate of food to eat that had something I did not like the texture of. I was told that I couldn’t get up from the table until I had finished my plate of food. I sat at the table -alone- for a long long time until finally my grandmother realized that I would rather go to bed hungry.

Understandably, I am a huge advocate for not making your children eat something they don’t like. Of course, always coax them to try new foods! Fighting over food should not happen, but neither should you becoming a short-order cook. It’s easy to plan meals that each of your family members will eat and enjoy which creates better mealtimes and less stress on you. I promise, one of these days your picky eater will start eating something that they refused to touch their entire lives and you will about fall to the floor in shock! Then you will laugh, and all will be fine. 😊

4. The clothing war is a real war!

The day that I found out I was having a boy, I had visions of picking out clothing for him without having a daily all-out war like many of my friends. Wow. I was not prepared for the three-year-old boy that did not want me to pick out his clothes. I wanted to dress him in plain t-shirts with a button up shirt (unbuttoned) thrown over the t-shirt and blue jeans or khaki shorts. He wanted athletic shorts and a hoodie. I wanted him to have a lesser version of prep style and he wanted anything, and everything relaxed. I would grab one style of tennis shoe; he would grab another. By the time he was going into kindergarten, he picked out every stitch of clothing he wore. I just had to decide to let it go. (Way before Elsa told me to!) No more war! Well, about that anyway.

Speaking of fighting a three-year-old, I encourage you to give your preschool child two (but no more than three) choices of whatever it is you are asking them to do. Choices will be your friend, my friend! I PROMISE! Preschoolers are supposed to be developing their own likes, dislikes, preferences, and ideas but the way it comes out can create the opposite of celebrating those developmental milestones.


Additional Resources:

http://studmonkedtech.com/blog/know-early-childhood-developmental-milestones/

Have you enjoyed the series so far?

Come back for PART 3

We will discuss parent rules and becoming THAT house!

I see you, tired parent. Part 1

Encouragement for this season.

I see you, tired parent, as you sigh and drag yourself out of bed, off the couch, out of the chair, to take care of your family for the billionth time today. I want to give you a virtual hug and an air high-five for opening up this blog series. Just knowing that you are not alone in this parenting whirlwind will give you the encouragement you need and the fresh mojo to tackle whatever season of “little’s” you find yourself.

“It all goes so fast!”

Goodness, if I had a dollar every time I heard that phrase. I heard it from seasoned mothers that I trusted, but truthfully, I would usually nod my ponytail wearing head and blink my exhausted eyes, giving a wisp of an indulgent smile. I knew what they were sharing was true (sort of) but the broken sleep and the hours of my crying baby just didn’t seem to be going “fast” at all. It felt like each hour stretched to five (or more). The good news is that I made it through and so will you. I am thrilled to share a sip of what I’ve learned about raising little’s in a way that, hopefully, will be a balm to your weary soul. BTW – IT DOES ALL GOES SO FAST! 😊

1. Teething babies equals broken sleep cycles.

Just when you finally have your little on somewhat of a routine sleep cycle, those pearly whites start moving under the surface of those gums. Suddenly, your sleeping angel becomes a middle of the night terror! This stage takes a couple of weeks for each new set of teeth and some children will have multiple sets coming back to back. Mine did. Heavens! The encouragement for you, dear beleaguered parent, is that this type of teething will be mostly over before they hit that second birthday. The number of products available to help your baby with sore gums is awesome! Teething beads, frozen gummy toys, and Motrin are best friends to you and your little. Check out this article for some fantastic choices of teething products which is a few years old but oh-so-relevant still today. https://www.themillennialsahm.com/natural-teething-remedies/

2. Sleeping???

If it isn’t teething waking your little up at all hours of the night and day, it’s them wanting to eat or having scary dreams. Those babies literally grow while they sleep! Like inches at a time…. almost while you are watching them! Growing requires lots of calories which means that just when you have that breast put away, that bottle washed, the dishes back in the cupboard, it seems your kiddo is tapping you on the back asking for more. I remember thinking that my child could surely NOT be hungry again. I mean I had only eaten an equivalent of one meal in the last 24 hours so surely my boy wasn’t wanting to eat again. Well, he was. Now, there were times during my nursing months that when he was teething, he wanted comfort over food, but I now know all the saliva he was creating was messing with his tummy. Having some extra milk during the night was helpful to him! Even though this was a difficult phase, I cherished those quiet times of snuggling with him, especially when he hit the next stage — running!

Let’s talk about those scary dreams that come with toddlerhood!

Dreams are a natural product of our minds trying to process the events of the day as well as normal cognitive development. Things we see on TV, conversations that happen around us, events that happen to us… all jumble together in our subconscious and create often bizarre dreams. I’ve included a link to StandfordChildrens.org. It is a very good article about the differences in night terrors and nightmares for little ones as well as techniques to soothe.

My son ended up coming into our bedroom often. At first I would tuck him back into his bed, eventually we would allow him to climb in with us, and finally he grew to the age that he stayed in his own bed and would tell us about the dream the next day. At the time, these nightmare stages seemed eternal but, in reality it was only a few short years. My friends made we aware that during this time their little experienced bed wetting. Be patient and kind and diligent with keeping this low-low-key. Your child may feel embarrassed or even scared that you will be angry at them. I promise, none of my friends are still changing sheets with their middle-schoolers or college kids. 😊 It’s just a dot of a season.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Psalm 127:3-5


Come back for PART 2 of “I see you, tired parent”

where we will look at picky eaters and clothing wars!

God’s Crayon Box

Years and years ago, my now ex-husband and I were planning a vacation to Dallas then a drive down to Corpus Christi. Neither of us wanted to look like we had never seen a ray of sunshine, so we each purchased a tanning package at a local tanning salon to hopefully give us a kiss of a tan by the time we were to leave. About the same time, he came down with a sinus infection. The doctor prescribed him medication that advised to stay out of the sun.  We thought surely a tanning bed was a different type of exposure than the sun, so he used two visits of his package and proceeded to break out into hideous hives!

Instead of losing the money, the tanning salon allowed us to transfer the remainder to me. I ended up using all my package and pretty much all of us! By the time we were packed and ready to go, I bet you would think that I was a nice golden color and ready to model for a summer mag shoot! Yeah, no. Not even close. At the end of all those days of lying in that buzzing bed with the oscillating fan, wearing those funky little eye covers, I was still the most European shade of white you can see on me today.

Those eye shades, tho….

Apparently tanning beds, laying out on beach towels with baby oil slathered on, or hanging out at the pool for days on end was not going to miraculously change the color of my skin now matter what I decided to do.


What does the Word say?

According to God’s Word, Psalm 139 starting in verse 13, David says, “You (God) made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.”

We are God’s workmanship.
(Elena Mozhvilo – Unsplash)

The hard-honest truth is that I was literally created to be white. I didn’t choose, I didn’t ask, I didn’t get to vote on my favorite shade in God’s crayon box. I just…. am. The same is true for three precious families that are close to me who have such beautiful brown skinned children. Each of these children have the most amazing shades of brown skin! They look stunning in so many of the colors of clothing that I could never wear with my skin tone. They can lay out in the sun for hours and become an even more glorious shade of brown. Our creator created their unique skin tones and I see them with amazement and appreciation.

BTW – My favorite color in the crayon box is Periwinkle.
(Jeff Siepman – Unsplash)

I have another friend that has an exquisite color of olive skin. No matter what time of day or night I see her, she looks like she is glowing with health and vitality. She looks so good in colors that just don’t pop the same on me or even on some of my friends with brown skin.  I’ve also noticed that this skin tone seems to not require any makeup (or very minimal) to look crisp and alive unlike mine. Seriously, when I don’t wear makeup, I am asked all day long if I am sick. Ugh.


We are precious in His sight.

White, brown, olive, black, pink, we are all beautiful colors in God’s crayon box of life. To say that God doesn’t see in colors is just depressing. God loves color! (remember the children’s song, red and yellow, black and white, we are precious in His sight). He created so many shades of skin because He loves His beautiful creation. The rainbows, the birds, the flowers, the fall leaves, the ocean creatures, the mountains and valleys, and certainly the people, all display the vast color palette of the Holy and Living God.

Breathtaking and awe-striking colors!
(Riccardo Chiarini-Unsplash)

I can’t change my skin tone. Furthermore, I don’t really want to anymore. Yes, I finally gave up on that tan idea. 😊 You can’t change your skin tone either. Nor can anyone else. Only God has the ability to pull that other crayon out of His crayon box. What if we focused on changing something that could actually be changed? What if we looked at each other as beautiful, unique, perfectly formed in God’s design…in the secret place? What if we looked at one another and believed with our entire soul that what David said is true, God’s workmanship is marvelous! I believe we could make a significant change in the culture around us which in turn could change the culture of our state and then of our nation. That’s not too lofty of a goal! In the words of an OG camp song, “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…”

“Jesus loves the little children of the world.”
(Charlein Gracia – Unsplash)

One more important thing…

This morning my pastor, Dr. Alex Himaya, spoke about this topic and I invite you to listen to the service/message by clicking the link here. He gave a challenging message with truth and light in an era of division and darkness.

Archer the “Rotten”weiler

Archer showing his teefers.

The “getting to know you” stage.

When my son first mentioned that he really wanted to have a Rottweiler, I was not a fan. I had heard all the usual dangerous descriptions that are also associated with Pitt Bulls. I had heard that Rottweilers were unpredictable, vicious, and aloof. We have children and babies within our family and friends so a mean type of dog was not one that I wanted to bring into our home.

However, I wanted to be educated on facts before I gave a final answer one way or the other. I researched the breed, I watched an unbelievable amount of videos, and I snooped around on several breed specific websites. Want to know what I learned? Rottweilers are big derps. lol

Archer showing his teefers.

To be completely honest, the first Rottie we met ended up not being the right one for us. Ruger had been treated poorly by men and didn’t react well around my son. Surprisingly, he was not overly friendly to me either. Feeling very sad about the abuse that poor dog had received but knowing that we would not be the best place to rehabilitate him was difficult. It was several weeks later when we were contacted about Archer.

Pet Angels Rescue

Archer had been pulled out of a animal shelter by Pet Angels Rescue in Oklahoma City. He had contracted kennel cough while he was at the animal shelter and was finally healed enough to find his new furever home. The staff at Pet Angels knew that we were looking for a Rottie and called us to come and meet him. Truthfully, we were a smidge hopeful with a dash of pessimism. That changed within one minute of meeting Archer. He was adorable, loving, obedient, and amazing! He was supposed to be my son’s dog and it was so sweet how quickly Archer took to him. Yes, even though Archer loves me too, he adores my son much more.

On the way to Archer's furever home!
Social media on the way home!

Total buds from the start.

The bestest buds

Supervising!

Supervising

He is ours and we are his.

The last eight months has been a time of getting to know each other. We learned that Archer had been trained on everything by his previous owners. He has a vocabulary of approximately 20ish words and he greets men and women strangers with positive expectation instead of fear. He is ready to get all the love from his new friends. I’ve had almost 7 foot men to barely 5 foot women as well as a squealing toddler here with him and he is gentle and fascinated with everyone. Sadly, we discovered after a week of having him that he has mild hip displasia. But, this means that we are the perfect furever home for him because we are a pretty chill household. (no, not lazy…. just chill) haha

He gets along great with other dogs also which is a tremendous relief to me! If he wanted to be the big dog at daycare, I would be mortified. ; ) Bouse Fur House assures me that he is a big goofball who demands laps to sit in while he is there. I’m a proud mommy.

Final Thoughts

Since Archer become part of our family, I joined two Facebook communities. It’s fun learning even more about this breed which goes against ALL the steriotypes I had mistakenly listened to over the years. This breed is large which means they need training immediately. This breed is smart which means their people need to stay two steps ahead of them to keep them out of harm. What I mean by that is… they can counter surf, they can problem solve, they can calculate risks and rewards – hence the title Rottenweiler. Finally, this breed is loyal, loving, and so much fun. I went from being overly nervous of having this breed of dog in our home to being head over heels in love and missing him when I’m at work.

If you have questions about Archer or want to know more about the groups I subscribe to on Facebook, please comment below and I will share what I’ve learned. I would also love to hear about YOUR furbaby(s) whether they are Rottenweiler’s like Archer, another breed of dog or other pets!

Tongues out Tuesday for Archer
100% derp and love bear.

https://www.facebook.com/PetAngelsRescue/

https://www.pinterest.com/oklahomaslices/archer-and-friends/

Intended for His Glory

Bible Study

Have you ever been inspired to do something that was scary and outside your box of comfort? Perhaps you’ve said yes to that inspiration and then as the days went along, in the nitty gritty of finding your footing, a slight shift in the original idea took place?

This happened to me recently. I was inspired to start a blog that would be a place of encouragement and community. A place where others could visit to find a helpful tip, discover a place to travel, or put a smile on their face. Then I got into the weeds of the thing! The details of the how and the what, the figuring out of the technicalities, and then rubbing my temples at the mistakes and redo’s that inevitably happen the first month or so of a new venture.

The drive of my heart has always been to create and restore peace. Totally tall order for this big ole world, but one that is knit into the very fabric of my being. (I’m an Enneagram 9 if you are into that stuff!) So, quickly, I found myself stressed and over my head with the minutia. Has this happened to you?


https://www.instagram.com/p/BsdlPo-nq11/
Here is a really cool graphic from “madewholecollective” about the “9”, and if you are interested, we can do some blog posts about the Enneagram numbers in the future!

But then, this morning I was reading Romans 11 and Paul’s words jumped out at me as if they had become 3-D! “For everything comes from Him and exists by His power and is intended for His glory. All glory to Him forever! Amen.” I felt a strong nudge in my heart that I had derailed a bit from the original inspiration. At first, I tried to counter with “but….” however, I shut that down quick and agreed that I had become more consumed with getting content on the site that readers would like than getting content that would be impactful.

All day I pondered on this revelation and asked what would be HIS best for this blog going forward. Consequently, once a week – Lord willing and the creek don’t rise – we will share practical application devotions that come out of the scripture. We will be able to share what God is doing to use it in our lives and for His intended glory. I am confident that His Word will go out to you and it will not return to Him void.  He promised it would be so! 😊

With all my heart I encourage you to seek God and ask Him what areas of your life were meant to give Him glory. The areas you have been tempted to make about anything except Him. Is it your career, your family, your education, your friends? All these areas are meant to provide an avenue to share Christ and bring your own special kind of life.

Maybe you’re asking what’s wrong with fun/simple blog posts about everyday things? Not one thing! My gentle nudge was about the lack of a spot for Him. Much like setting a place at the table for a loved one that you are expecting to show up! My desire is that there is a place set each week for Him to show up and speak to us – you and me!


Please leave a comment in the section below sharing ways that you have been encouraged to modify something in your life that He intended for His glory. Until next time….

What’s with all the coffee?

Dr Pepper is my go-to drink choice over coffee any time!

Blogging = Coffee. At least that is what I notice first when I visit blogging sites. There it is, soft morning light, open laptop, possibly a pen and paper, and then yep…. right there, coffee.

Classic Blog Pic

You might be a coffee drinker. You might even be a coffee aficionado, but I can’t stand the stuff! I might be one of the very few people on the face of the earth that feels that way but I’m sorry, not sorry. 😊

I’ve long wondered why someone would choose to drink something so incredibly bitter, however I can understand that some palates prefer bitter. That said, I am amazed at the number of people that load “stuff” into their coffee to make it less bitter, essentially making it more like a dessert. Why not just get a dessert?? To each their own and I support all my unique friends who like all the frou-frou coffee drinks.  I promise, I don’t love you any less.

Coffee Mug

What is my go-to drink?

If you don’t know me, you may be asking. If you do know me, you are yelling at the computer right now. lol

Dr Pepper

Dr Pepper is my jam. It’s my elixir of life every morning! (sad FYI fact: Disney World and Disney Land do not carry Dr Pepper.  They believe that Mr Pibb (Coca-Cola) is an acceptable trade off. It is not, Disney. Smh)

Wouldn’t you like to be a Pepper too?

Featured is a tin sign from the Dr. Pepper Soda Company with a gorgeous woman on it.  The sign says Dr. Pepper will give you “Vim, Vigor, Vitality” and the drink is “Free From Caffeine”.   This sign is very early and hard to find.  Circa 1895.

I was introduced to Dr Pepper by my grandmother way back when I was about seven. She kept ordering me Root Beer to drink when we would go out, but one time she caved to my begging to try HER drink.

The clouds parted. Heavenly music began playing.

Rainbows appeared all around me.

Actually, no, I just completely fell in love with the flavor of Dr Pepper. It hit me in the feels, and I’ve been feelin’ it ever since. Also, no, it does NOT contain prune juice. It never has. 😊

Forrest is chugging a Dr Pepper! From the movie Forrest Gump

The Dr Pepper Snapple Group has the following information: a young pharmacist, named Charles Alderton, in Waco, Texas invented the drink in 1885, making it the oldest major soft drink in the United States! It originated at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store where the first Dr Pepper fans asked for a “Waco”; it was later named Dr Pepper.

Follow this link for a fun look at the historical timeline and advertising logo changes over the centuries!

https://www.drpepper.com

I like my Dr Pepper from a can or fountain with lots of ice.  I’ve met fellow Dr Pepper lovers that prefer it out of a bottle. I don’t really care how my beloved tribe likes to drink theirs if they are enjoying it as much as I enjoy mine.

In honor of this first blog post dedicated to the oldest amazing delicious soft drink in the USofA, I will have fun taking new photos for my blog and social media pages that show not one drop of coffee anywhere near. (unless I’m having a guest who likes to drink coffee then I may show a tiny corner of their mug out of love for them. Lol)

Dr. Pepper is a better choice for me than coffee! BTW, love that West sun!
Gotta go get some pebble ice! BRB.

Tell me, what is your favorite waking up, writing, relaxing, cooling off beverage? Let me know in the comments below!