I have been terribly lax in keeping updated on the blog and am going to try to be better. I never know if anyone reads it but my hubby, but it isn't really just about other people reading it, but it is a way for me to put our life in words, and keep in touch with anyone who wants to talk to us! So, I hope this post sort of gets anyone caught up, and makes sense, because it has been busy as always!
Let's see, where to start?
I have been living in mental boxes in my mind, just to keep track of everything. It was "play box", then "benefit box", and now we are in "Christmas box".
Play was great - see last post. Benefit concert was last night - it was amazing! Such great music! Tons of fun silent auction items, great people, all of it was wonderful. We were overwhelmed. I was so glad we were able to share a little about our journey and our plans to help others move forward in adoption. Stepping Stones Adoption Ministry is going to launch in 2012!!!!! I will keep you posted as things come together. Our hope is to be able to be a place where not only can we assist in the financial needs, but also support along the journey, post adoption, linking parents and families. We have said all along that this cannot stop with our family. We have a lot to learn, but have great mentors, so, we will pray for God's wisdom and guidance as we see how this grows!
Now to the Christmas box - final shopping this week, preparations for Christmas dinner at our house. Christmas will be fairly simple in many ways, so much going on. But we are most of all looking forward to spending time together with family and celebrating the reason for the season. The tree is up and decorated, wrapping is commencing, and some surprises are planned. Hooray!!!
One thing we are really working on is decluttering and paring down. Whenever we have been to Ethiopia, we really realize how over the top we all live here. We think we live pretty simply at our home, but we really feel that it is just too much, and so much can be better used. So, we are clearing out whatever isn't used frequently and looking for what we can share and bless others with. Quite often, we realize that we really need to depend on God for the future, not to try to stockpile for the future - whether it be clothing or collectibles or whatever. We have been so blessed and have learned so many ways to frugally provide for needs, that to save up things isn't necessary. Much better that things be used TODAY by people who need them TODAY! The hardest part for me is my books. I likely really, really don't need so many books. But I love them and have so much that I want to read! However the mountains on my dresser probably are a bit of overkill. Hee, hee!
We are so blessed to have the privilege of watching our children grow and develop, and become the people God has called them to be. They all have such interesting passions and interests and thoughts. It is such an adventure seeing what God calls them to! I would never have traveled some of these roads if it wasn't where God had called them. What an adventure.
Oh, yeah, and the skunk. I almost forgot that I promised to tell you about that.
Well, here is the funny farm story of the posting. There always seems to be one, doesn't there?
Well, we have four dogs - yep, four. Again, hadn't really planned on four, but they are a delight, most of the time. Abby - our elderly white German shepherd, Ranger - our four year old black lab mix - finally calming down and not quite as hyper as he used to be, Boomer - Kiley's schnauzer/poodle mix - our first small dog ever and we can't figure out if he is a cat or a dog, and the newest addition, DeeDee - Faith's four month old English Cocker Spaniel/"something that looked like an australian shepherd mix - she is hysterical and adorable and just a pip. Well, four dogs.
Our routine is that we let the dogs out together one last time just before bed. Open the door, four dogs run out, run around for a couple minutes and do their business and come running back in when we open the door and call them in. They everyone heads to bed. Simple. Practical.
Well, Tuesday night. Steve is on his way home from practice for the benefit and picking up Alex from work. It is nearly ten. I am getting everyone ready for bed, and one of the boys shoos the dogs out for their final run. Kids are picking up, I go to the porch door and call the dogs in. They come running madly, as always, run right by me on the porch, as always, and right into the dining room - we always leave the door open and they rush right in and scatter to their respective resting places. They come in, rush by me, into the dining room and living room and screaming erupts! Then the smell hits me. Oh, my goodness, skunk!!!!! Screaming commences and all of us are yelling to get the dogs out of the HOUSE!!!!!! Of course, the dogs are just their usual selves, wanting to greet us and do their usual routine.
Finally, all four are back outside. The inside of the house reeks like skunk. Really, really. Ten o'clock at night. Cold outside. Dogs nailed by skunk. Ugh.
What do you do now? Ugh. Tomato juice right? Yep, in the pantry. Is there enough for all four dogs? I doubt it. Hmm, they can't stay outside all night. It is too cold. Our dogs never stay outside at night. Drat. Vinegar is a great stench reducer, right? So, we grab a large stock pot, put in tomato juice and vinegar and take it outside. Corral a dog, hold it still, wash it in the mixture, then rinse with buckets of warm water the kids are hauling from the house. One dog at a time, every towel in the house. Get one descented and rinsed and somewhat toweled off and allow it back in the house. Then move on to the next dog. Started with big dogs, moved down the line to small dogs. It is COLD outside! We are finishing the last dog when Steve and Alex pull in. According to them, they got a quarter mile away and began to smell the skunk smell. It was very strong down near the end of the driveway (here envision them hoping that this means that a skunk was hit my a car near our property). When they pull in, they see kids in the yard, holding a dog in all the chaos. And it rapidly sinks in what all these things mean! Yikes!
We lit every candle in the house and it actually did help significantly with the smell. Wow. What a nightmare! LOL! At least we all decided to laugh through it all. It was humorous if you looked at it in the right way. Especially now, rather than then.
Sadly, there is no demise of a skunk to report. Likely they scared it off that day, and we are pretty sure that Ranger was the one that got directly nailed as he stunk the worst and needed two washings. Abby must have been next to him, because it was just worst on one side of her, and the little dogs only ran through the mist or something as they didn't smell as badly as the others! I am hoping that they scared it off so it won't come back. We shall have to see. I am going to make sure we have a huge amount of a recipe to get rid of skunk smell. It is likely that this will occur again. Sigh. We will have to make an adventure of it, won't we??? LOL!
Merry Christmas to anyone who reads this. Love your family, enjoy your time together. This season is not about stuff, it is about Christ's birth, family time and celebrating all that we are blessed with. Be a secret Santa to someone! I was reading about the layaway payoffs that have been in the news - what fun to do that! Take the moment to reach out and bless someone, even a little. It makes a huge difference! Be Christ's hands!!!!! Merry Christmas!!!
"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11