So we’re getting a puppy…

Shhhh….don’t tell my kids! That’s the first thing you need to know before reading on. And yes, after 7 years of not having a dog, we’re taking the plunge…because…take a look at this picture I call Exhibit A.

These fluffies belong to my kids. They took this after the dog finished their OLYMPIC GAMES. Yes, this is them…on the podium stand… receiving their “medals”. Now let’s move along to Exhibit B.

Here, the dogs are being taken for a walk. Yep, in a baby stroller because that’s the only way to walk a STUFFED ANIMAL. They love their dogs, and make sure that even in cold,winter like weather, their dogs get some fresh air.

These dogs are definitely loved, and luckily we live on a street with lots of dogs. My kids have pretty much adopted every dog as their own. This has tided them over for many years. But that only works for so long.

Seeing their love for animals, how kind and gentle they are with other dogs, AND and the fact that my husband and I have always wanted a dog led us to cdfinally deciding to get one of our own. Is this a good idea? Well, puppies/dogs are a lot of work, need a lot of care, but….they’re also really wonderful. I’m excited to see where this trail takes us and will post pictures when we pick up our new member in August (if everything goes according to plan).

I wanted to share something fun and light-hearted during this trying times. And what could be more light-hearted than getting a puppy!?!

A soldier, a hero, my Grandpa

On this Veterans’ Day, I feel so thankful to everyone who has served and is serving our country. I cannot even fathom the sacrifice, or the loss of time with family and friends. It’s such a SELFLESS act, to protect one’s country and to give up as much as they do.

My Grandpa served in the Army and was in the second fleet that stormed Normandy. He was 21 years old. I can’t imagine what that would have been like. To have been young, scared, not knowing if you would live, and then see Normandy and its horrific scene.

As a child, I didn’t know what his sacrifice meant. He never talked about his time in the Army. Instead, he worked at GM on their line and never complained. He was a hard worker, a provider, and so so funny. He was the best joke teller ever, with a wit and humor that was unmatched.

In addition to his humor, he was charming and a good dancer. He always had a kind word or nice thing to say to the person he was talking with. At family weddings, or whenever the mood struck him, he’d break out his signature dance move that can only be described as a little bit Grandpa Ray and a little bit Elvis.

When we’d go to visit my grandparents, his face would light up and he’d say “Hi ya sweetheart!” His was forever my cheerleader and supporter. As I got older and went to college, the visits became less frequent. Then one day, I met the man I was going to marry. I introduced my now husband to my Grandpa. I’m so thankful that my husband got to know my Grandpa. We got engaged and told our family…it was around Thanksgiving. A month later, my Grandpa was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was given 3 months. By February, he was gone. I never got to dance with him at my wedding, and my children never got to meet this man, who was larger than life. I still can’t believe how quickly he was taken from me.

So on this Veterans’ Day, my heart aches for my Grandpa….a soldier, a husband, a father, a Grandpa, and my hero.

Friday Faves:. The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers

I feel like I stumbled on a secret treasure with this book! The Night Gardener is the debut novel from Eric and Terry Fan, real life brothers. This story takes place in a dull world on Grimloch Lane that gets transformed by a magic gardener who works at night. Over the course of a few days, trees are turned into works of art, and the community begins to change for the better. No one has ever seen the night gardener, except for a boy named William, who has a chance meeting with the night gardener. The two work together and the boy’s life is never the same. I really encourage you to read this book. The illustrations are wonderfully detailed, and brings the lovely story to life. I highly recommend The Night Gardener! Happy reading!

Monarch Caterpillar Rescue Part 2!

Two at their new home

My husband and kids found more milkweed not far from us. We gently gathered the caterpillars into our bug jars, (a big thanks to Aunt Alaina who got jars for our kids) and placed a few milk weed leaves inside to tide them over….. they’re super hungry! Judging by the size of the large ones, I’d say they’re maybe a day or so away from forming a chrysalis. The small ones need to continue to eat for about 5 more days before they’re ready.

We took the caterpillars out of the jars and placed them on the milkweed leaves. My kids loved helping the caterpillars onto the leaves! They were so gentle and even cheered the future butterflies on in attaching to their new home.

My husband found a milkweed seed pod and once we got home, him and the kids spread the seeds. It literally opens up and look likes cotton or white dandelion fluff. Hopefully soon we’ll have more milkweed and be able to provide a home to future monarch caterpillars. I’m thrilled we got to help nature today and go on an adventure as a family! Simple and beautiful, what a day!