My Big Life Change!

Picture taken by Abby Austin of 1000 Miles on my own two feet.


To transform my life, with God's help of course, one step at a time.

1. Get healthy & honor God with my body

Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

2.Become at least 50% sustainable with emphasis on doing our part to take care of God's planet.

3. Live life as an adventure, experiencing new places, things & people.
18 out of 150 bucket list goals accomplished

4. Become debt free & build security for my family, so we can then bless others financially also.

5. Continue to grow closer to God, building My family's faith & sharing the Gospel with those we meet, by using the talents and gifts God has provided us.

6.Continue to make money by creating and sharing my thoughts and beliefs through artistic expression: all the while hoping that my art will impact others. "Holly Kennedy

: All I know is, if you don't figure out this something, you'll just stay ordinary, and it doesn't matter if it's a work of art, or a taco, or a pair of socks! Just create something... new, and there it is, and it's you, out in the world, outside of you, and you can look at it, or hear it, or read it, or feel it... and you know a little more about... you. A little bit more than anyone else does... Does that make any sense at all?" Quote from PS I LOVE YOU

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Friday was my 32nd birthday! Man I feel old! As we are in the middle of Financial Peace University, we didn't have much money in the budget to celebrate my birthday. So for my gift I wanted a game night. I cleaned all day and my sister and nephew arrived. Deb brought snack food and  a german chocolate cake( My favorite cake). My friend Sharon arrived with the canasta tools and after snacking on my famous guacamole and toasted ravioli, yum, we set down to business. My friend Sharon earned Canasta from her family and has played many times. So she set at the hard task of teaching me and my sis the game. I can tell you it was hard to understand at first, but after a few hands I fell in love with it. I was absolutely no good at the game because you have to think ahead and plan out your moves, but I improved a little every hand. I wish I could tell you how to play but I can't begin to explain that. So I will just tell you that you will have to come play with us and learn yourself. If you like card games you will love this. I have absolutely no idea why this game went out of style.  

Its a dog's life!

Oh, somedays I wanna throw in the towel. But, I don't have any clean ones left. A normal morning in my household starts as my husband leaves for work and my two foster dogs come in from outside, my nose clenched up as I smell Jazzmine who obviously has been rolling around in poo and eating dead things. So after feeding Joslyn a quick breakfast I grab Jazz and head to the tub. I hoist her in, nearly pulling out my back and turn the shower on. While holding her with brute force one handed, I scrub her down with shampoo. I make sure to keep calling Joslyn's name the whole time, praying she isn't getting into the trash or eating the dog food again, or dumping the dog's water bowl again. After I rinse her off and dry her off I let her go and get Joslyn out of the dog food. Jazzmine then runs to the couch and proceeds to rub every stray wet hair on my couch. I yell at her to get off the couch and then yell at Piper to put down what used to be one of Joslyn's board books and is now shredded wet slobbery cardboard. I pick up the pieces of the chicken book. Good bye chicken book, enjoy the trash! turn around and pull Joslyn out of the dog food again. Things settle down for an hour and then I look over and someone has left a poopy present in my livingroom. So out go the dogs and out comes the carpet cleaner. I am deperately trying to clean up the mess before Joslyn toddles into it. I throw away the mess and call the dogs back into the house and in comes Piper and Jazzmine who have found mud on this beautiful dry day. So I decide to put them in their crate to dry off a little and again pull Joslyn out of the dog food. I feel bad that I am sticking them in their crate without getting a chance to eat and drink, so I put a small bowl of water and food in there. About every five minutes I am going back to the crate to calm down fighting dogs. Piper is mad that Jazz is eating her food and Jazz is protecting her bone. Joslyn has found a new place to get dog food, by sticking her hand through the bars. Once dry the dogs come back out of their crates and again someone leaves a poopy present. Back outside go the dogs and back out comes the cleaner. Later, during naptime my red cocker starts shaking her head a lot. That is my cue that it is ear cleaning time. So in she goes to the bathtub, she is much lighter, and I proceed to clean her ears. I very messy procedure, where I get very wet and dirty. After the ear cleaning she runs around with her head to the ground, rubbing off the clean smell I just applied and leaving a fresh scent of wet dog on my furniture and carpet. So if I am lucky I then get a shower before Princess wakes up and maybe I get to do a load of dishes or laundry. The rest of the day is spent chasing my daughter around, making sure her needs are met and that she doesn't swallow something she shouldn't. Along with taking toys away from Piper and Jazz and throwing the ball for red dog and giving ear scratches to all. Piper comes in from outside smelling worse than Jazzmine did this morning and I absolutely have to give her a bath. I decide not to let them out again till nightfall, and once Joslyn went to bed I let them out and leave the door open so I can keep an eye on them. I finish the dishes start the laundry and make me small dinner as I never have time to eat with my daughter. When Joslyn gets a bath, I have to put up all valuables that I don't want eaten while they are unsupervised, and I usually get to clean up the trash that has been pulled out of the trash can. 

So, why am I telling you this? Do I love owning and caring for foster dogs? Sometimes, but most days are a pain. I am not the best dog trainer, but we take it one step at a time. I may not love the work, but I do love the dogs. Like human foster parents, our foster children have sorted past and have been left with the scars of being unwanted. Sometimes the scars are on the outside, where they have been beaten and abused or neglected. And some are on the inside where they are dealing with being abandoned, hurt, and feelings of untrust. We speak for those that can't speak for themselves. Some dogs were unwanted puppies from a mother who had babies and the owners didn't want the responsibility of more mouths to feed. Some animals had to live in hostile environments where the people took out there anger on them. Some were loved for awhile but the families situation changed and the animal got forgotten or left behind. Jazzmine and her brother, had a family once. We know this because they were patiently waiting buy the road where they were abandonded and left to starve for weeks before we found them. We don't know Piper's full story but we do know that the foster person that was taking care of her had so many other unwanted dogs and cats that Piper was boarded most of her life. Stuck in a kennel almost all day. Needless to say she doesn't like being in her crate anymore.

So what can we do? We keep moving forward. Slowly working with our foster dogs and the wonderful organization Best Friends of Pets. To make sure that these animals always have a loving home and that we do our best to inform everyone we can about their responsibility. Get your pets spade and nuetered, please. Don't let more animals die in shelters. I used to breed my cocker spaniels and I loved every minute of it. But I was ignorant to the thousands of animals that are needing a home already. I am not gonna harp on breeders, but please if you have a heart for animals check and see if there is an animal out there that is already perfect for your home. Or go to and see if you can donate to the wonderful cause of stopping animal abuse and putting the abusers behind bars. Together as a community we can put and end to this. Just like our children, we have to stand up and stop the abuse and the violence. God commanded Adam to take care of the animals, and now it is our turn. Wouldn't it be wonderful if animal shelters didn't have any animals in them. I think it would be great if breeders had to get a licence to breed and were required to take responsibility for all of their pets. That animal abusers would get strict punishment and each animal had a loving home. I wish it were true!

So no my days aren't easy, but I will not stop giving baths and taking toys away and cleaning up poop until I can do it no more. My house will continue to smell of wet dog (thank God for Fabreeze) and my furniture will always be shabby and chewed on. I am an animal lover. I am a dog foster mom! Love me as I am.

Well I'm off, Piper just peed in the hallway! Dang it!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday traditions!

Isn't Christmas wonderful? When I think about Christmas as a whole, my body shivers with delight. But, when I see people around me around Christmas time, I am very saddened. Hustle and bustle = frowning, lines, traffic, and kids screaming they want, want, want. For the first time in my life, I am looking at Christmas in a totally new way. Joslyn, my soon to be one year old, is technically having her second Christmas this year, although she was 4 days old for her first one. And as my husband and I look at our budget, sadly, we are perplexxed on what we should do for Christmas. For the first time in a long time, none of my family will be coming over for Christmas day. Sure, we are having CHristmas with our families on other days, but it leaves Christmas Day completely open. So what do we do? Do we start a new tradition? Do we find a place to visit? Or do we maybe use this opportunity to serve God? After all isn't that what Christmas is about?

When I think of Christmas's past, the food, the presents, and the holiday hangovers, I can't believe that was my life. Before, John and I would drop a load of money on Christmas presents, that were barely remembered. Heck I don't even remember what we bought, but I remember that the surprise reaction we were hoping for never seemed to be as good as we imagined. The food hangovers that we were left with made us sleepy and grouchy. When everyone would go home, or we would go home we were tired and left with this sense of wanting. Well that is not how I want Joslyn to experience Christmas. What are the things I want her to feel? Excitement, love, peace, joy, happiness, and full of Christ. Well I know that those aren't things I can order on E-bay, so how do I give those gifts to my daughter. I am not 100 percent sure, but I do know that I have a few ideas. For starters I want to share with you somethings my friends are doing that I know are on that track.

I have had the wonderful opportunity to get to know some of the wonderful people of Oklahoma. And the one thing I can tell you is that they are giving people. If I observe these people carefully I can see so much of Christ in their hearts. Some of them and some of my other "family" members are doing some wonderful things this Christmas season that I want to share.

1. Put Christ back into Christmas. My new friend Megan is doing a Jesse Tree this year, to teach her kids about Christ and what Christmas is all about.
2. Invite someone new. We got invited to a Christmas party from some people we barely know. I was super excited to get an invite from them. The idea of spending Christmas with new friends intrigues me. I have no idea how it would turn out, but it seems like such an adventure. Super excited!
3. Give it away. My brother and his wonderful wife have bought a goat for a family across the world for Christmas. They are thinking globally. What better gift could you give then the gift of survival! This goat/ sheep (can't remember the exact animal), is going to provide revenue, food and so much more for a family that doesn't know what it is like to stuff themselves silly for Christmas. They just need to survive.
4. Do domething different. I have met families that serve the homeless on the holidays, have a scavenger hunt, play football, go to church, see a movie, go caroling and so much more. If you are stuck in a holiday rut, try some of these ideas, they are sure to liven up things.
5. For my side of the family, we are just getting some small gifts for the children and we are trying to come up with ways to serve each other for Christmas presents. Like my sister is going to give my dogs a haircut and I am going to babysit my nephew a couple of times. I have asked my husband for things like watch a girlie movie with me and play games with the family, which are things I love to do and I hope to find some things he likes to do also. Be Creative with your Christmas, when money is in short supply. After all, I really think those gifts will last longer.

So what will we be doing for Christmas? Stay tuned.... but I hope that it is full of God's love and joy, peace, happiness, .... you get the idea!
Merry Christmas!!!