Tag Archives: family

Ripley! I believe it.

I knew I was in trouble when my spouse came home about a year after we were married and announced we should get a dog.   I was still trying to figure out who was in charge of what in our marriage and a dog was not on my list.   I’d already abandoned the idea that I was going to carry the role of cooking in our household.  This happened one Saturday morning when I melted a spatula into the burnt bacon on the stove and still tried to serve it.

Don’t misunderstand.  I like dogs.  I just happen to be one of those other kind of people.   I love cats.   So the negotiation began.   I lost round one.   He started looking at dogs.    I told him I didn’t want to go look at all the puppies and feel guilt when we leave them behind.  I’d end up dragging home a St. Bernard because I couldn’t say no.   I said, “just find one that won’t shed, or yip, or bite, or shiver”.    He hauled me over to the Portland Humane Society a couple weeks later and we brought home a tiny little thing.   The lady at the pound promised that her breed (half chihuahua, half terrior) wouldn’t shed.   The lady at the pound lied.

When people meet Ripley for the first time they smile and say “Oh just like Ripley’s Believe it or not”.   We smile back and say “No, Ripley, as in the main character from Aliens”.    Ripley, like her namesake, is a tough little woman who’d give everything to protect the ones she loves.   She’s also a tad independent.    As new dog owners, we bought a book all about potty training a new puppy.   Ripley promptly peed on the book.   Clever.

When Ripley was a puppy, she could jump.   She’d take a running start and leap over the coach, from the backside.  This was somewhat surprising when you were sitting unsuspectingly on the couch.   Ripley is eleven.  She’s slowed down a bit.  She can still get up on the bed and does so nightly.  She crawls under the covers and snuggles in right at my side.

My grandmother loved my dog.  She liked to feed her bits of Taco Bell nachos.   She couldn’t remember her name so called her Penelope.   Ripley answers to anything if you’re feeding her.

Like most new mom’s, I was nervous when we introduced Ripley to the new baby.   I shouldn’t have worried.  Ripley routinely checked in to make sure the baby was okay.  Ripley is hard to say for a toddler so for awhile the dog’s name switched to Lippey.  I think it fits her.   Now Ripley will sit and watch cartoons with our daughter.  Its like her second puppyhood.  We tell our four year old that Ripley is a grandma dog so you have to be gentle.

Ripley started breaking a rule.   She gets on all the couches.  She sheds all over new furniture.   Neither of us have the heart to make her get down.  If dogs years really do equate to seven human years than Ripley is 77.  People tell us that little dogs with good health care live to be 14 or so.  I try not to think about it.

My spouse emailed me the other day and said that Ripley was cuddled in front of the fireplace.   This is my favorite place in the whole world to sit.  He said, she’s your dog.   Its true you know.  Sometimes in life we get what we want.  Sometimes we lose the argument.   I like dogs.  I love cats.  But I adore Ripley.   She’s my dog.



Filed under Family

Wondering, Loving and Praying

5:00 Wednesday PM:   Headed home.  Grateful for 4 day weekend.   Praying for friends and family.  Wondering if the traffic could go any slower.

6:00 Wednesday PM:   Putting together chairs.  Grateful for new furniture.   Wondering if anyone will notice if they wobble.   Hubby notices.  Hanging upside down trying to balance chairs.  Huh…made in China.  Praying for the persecuted church in China.

8:00 Wednesday PM:   Still putting together chairs.  Wondering if anyone will notice my hands have permanently cramped into the shape of an Alen wrench.   Grateful for my father who has worked with his hands his whole life.   Praying the doctor can help him with the new treatment for his curled fingers.

10:00 Wednesday PM:   Tucking in my daughter.  Loving her eyelashes, loving her goodnight prayers.   Wondering if she’ll ever have a sibling.   Praying for Christine in Rwanda.  Praying this other daughter will have a good night.

11:30 Wednesday PM:   Making cranberry sauce.   Loving the smells of cloves and cinnanmon.   Loving the sound the cranberries make when they swell and pop.   Making cinnamon rolls.  Grateful for 16 years of cinnamon rolls with this man standing beside me.   Praying for the marriages of friends and family.

8:00 am Thursday AM:    Running a mile.  Cold.  Wondering if a mile constitutes actual excersize enough to work off the meal headed my way.  Grateful for sidewalks, friendly neighbors and a track at the local school.   Wonder if the school tuition in Rwanda is caught up.

9:00 am Thursday AM:     Getting ready.  Blowdryer.   Its pink. Praying for a friend facing tests for cancer.  Loving my daughter’s little toes and big smile.  Grateful for warm clean water.   Praying for the 18 people headed to our house.

10:00 am Thursday AM:    Breakfast with family.    Loving the cream cheese frosting on warm cinnamon rolls.   Loving Greek yogurt, bagels, fresh fruit.   Hoping next year sausage and cheddar are back in my diet.   Praying for family not present at the table.

11:00 Thursday AM:     Cleaning out a turkey with my mama.   Loving 35 years with this woman.   Wondering if the marketing departments know I’m aware that they leave the fat chunks for extra weight.   Praying I get to clean many more turkeys.  Praying for friends who no longer have their mamas.  Missing my grandma, first thanksgiving without her.

2:00 Thursday PM:    Cleaning out the garbage disposal.   Wondering why its only me that clogs it up.   Grateful the only time I cook is at holidays.    Praying for patience.

4:00 Thursday PM:   Nineteen people in our house.   Grinning at the pile of coats and shoes and scarves.    Praying.   Eating.   Loving the full plates and full tables.   Grateful for a place to include everyone.  Wondering where the pepper went.  Praying that these guests feel welcome and loved.  Praying that they know how very much God loves them.

10:00 Thursday PM:   Hugs.  Lots of hugs.   Putting away piles of games.   Wondering whose crystal dish I found.  Grateful for a country where prayer and thanksgiving are free.   Praying for our leaders.

4:00 Friday AM:   Turning off the alarm.  Why was I getting up?   Oh yes, its about the socks.   Wondering if it might not be worth paying normal price.   Grateful for friends who are as crazy as me.    Praying for safety.

1:00 Friday PM:   Tired now.   Wondering why the bank didn’t tell me I had a daily spending limit.   How annoying.   Grateful for a sister who has a debit card too.   Praying friends and family will enjoy the gifts.   Grateful for the first and ultimate Christmas gift.

5:00 Friday PM:    Eating pizza.   Loving pineapple and mozarella.   Grateful for old friends.  Praying for their teen group and ours.  Praying for wisdom for parents.

10:00 Saturday AM:   Running three miles.   Did I already mention the cold?   Grateful for coaches.   Praying I’ll be in charge of my body, not it in charge of me.

11:00 Saturday AM:   Eating a cinnamon role.    I think I already mentioned the cinnamon roles.   Really they are that good.   Wondering when I last blogged.   Praying for my niece and nephews.   Grateful for time to sit.

2:00 Saturday PM:   Craft bazaar.   Wondering where all the hats came from.   Wondering if its right to feel guilty for not buying a pot holder from the little Grandma.   Grinning with my kiddo at the tiny Christmas tree for her doll house.   Grateful for fun days.

5:00 Saturday PM:   Sitting by the fire.   Wondering if I can finish all my shopping this weekend.   Probably not.   Praying that in our house, that the miracle of Jesus doesn’t get lost in the ribbons and bows.   So very grateful for Emmanuel.  God with us.

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Filed under Family, Home

Little Notes, Big Impact

It’s my birthday.  I’m thirty five.   This is a very stable and confident sounding number.    It’s also halfway to seventy.   My maternal grandmother who is ninety one tells me that 70 is young.   I appreciate the encouragement.

I’ve always been the kind of person who thrives on atta girls.   I had a report card one time that actually said “needs too much encouragement.  Can’t work without outside approval”.    People say that those with a healthy self esteem don’t need others to prop them up.    While  I understand this theory, I actually think this is completely ridiculous.    Last night, running around the track in the dark I totally would have quit when I got a stomach ache had it not been for the amazing marathon runner beside me urging me on.   Encouragement keeps us moving foward.  It can keep us holding on when we don’t see a way through the dark.

Growing up, I loved the days at school where mom had put a note in my lunch box.  I got a note from her today.

I’m blessed today with facebook messages, texts, emails and I even got a fax.  This kind of encouragement just makes me smile.

I was missing my paternal grandmother today.  She died on New Years day, just nine months ago.  She never missed a single birthday my entire life.   She also never skipped sending thank you notes or congratulations cards.   I’m sure my love for the written note comes from Grandma.   This note sits above my desk.

When I’m frustrated with parenting or feel like I’ve blown it, I read this note and remember I come from good stuff.

I blogged last week about my teacher who gave me frowns all year.   This note showed up with a whole page of sticker smiley faces attached.

My daughter gave me one of my all time favorite encouragement notes.

It really does come down to that.   I love you.   That’s what people want to know.  Take a minute today, write a note.  Tell someone you love them.  Encourage them on.

My 91 year old grandmother has alzheimers.  She is doing well.  Still knows who we are.   Still tells us she loves us.   We’ve been writing her notes.     Someday she’s going to hear the the best words of encouragement ever spoken.  Word from her Creator.   “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant”.

Be encouraged today.


Filed under Family