Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Just wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a very Happy Easter! I hope that however you celebrate the day, it includes the love of family & friends.

Do you have any fun traditions for Easter? My mother is German, so we always have branches with decorated eggs hanging from them. Nothing quite like this family though! I couldn't imagine storing over 10000 eggs! lol

This blog post from Romantique and Rebel reminds me a lot of my visits to see my grandmother, as well as the boxes of Easter treats that would arrive from Berlin. I've been thinking about her a lot and missing her tons. I hope that she is having a wonderful Easter with some of her siblings and friends and eating a Lindt truffle egg for me. Oh my goodness, Germany is THE place to go if you are looking for Easter sweets and decorations. :)

Unfortunately this year I didn't have time to put out many kind of snuck up on me and this week has been a whirlwind! But we did dye and decorate some eggs last night, with only one dropped (you can see it in the picture, the blue one on the left)...and in the end Davin liked the look - it reminded him of a spiderweb. I'm glad he's generally a go-with-the-flow kind of kid. :) We had some cool double sided stickers that we put on the eggs and then covered with glitter and flocking powder...they loved that!

We did a little egg hunt with the kids early this morning before I had to dash off to work. Once I head home I will be making a quick dinner...our original dinner plans fell through because of an illness in the family so I offered to host a small dinner instead. Here's hoping a ham doesn't take too long to cook! lol It will be a little nuts, but it's worth it - my family is small but it's very important to me.
And Happy Easter from Cheeks! I think she is ready for a forever family who won't humiliate her like this! I just couldn't resist, though. And the cats would never tolerate this anyway.

I hope you all enjoy your day!

p.s. This is my 100th post! Hurray! :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Working through my sadness over Google Reader

At first I wanted to believe it wasn't true - not my tried and true Google Reader! It couldn't possibly be going away! *sob* Say it ain't so!!!

Then I thought, no way, they will change their minds! Have a change of heart, right?

Ok, I'm now coming around. Change is inevitable, right? Change is good, right? *sigh*

I guess now I am resigned. Reader is going away. So I've been doing a little bit of poking around to find an alternative reader. I love reading blogs, and based on my activity, I probably love reading blogs even more than I love writing my own. You bloggers are amazing and I get excited that I can vicariously live with you for even a few minutes...see you craft, see you cook, see you DIY, see you parent. It makes me happy. :) And I hope that down the road I will be at a point that my blog could make someone else happy like that, be a bit of an escape from their dirty laundry, or unswept floor, or cranky child, or bad day at work. Or maybe none of that at all, just a place that they get new ideas or chuckle over some silliness or sympathize with some grumbling. Whatever you like, it's all good. :)

So with that being said, I finally jumped over to Bloglovin, for those who like a "Follow" button. One of the other purposes of this post is to officially "Claim" the blog. If I can figure out how to add the button, you will see it over on the sidebar (or somewhere else for future readers who might visit after a design revamp that could/should eventually happen). Either way, I'm glad you stopped by, and hope you'll come by again! :)

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I'll keep the Google Friend Connect link till the bitter end though, because who knows, right? As a personal reader I am trying out Feedly, and though I still need to get used to the layout, it's fine. I need to seeif I can tweak it so I can sort by blog, rather than just having them all listed by published date. I just haven't set aside the time to really play around with the settings yet.

How are you dealing with the Reader closure? Any readers you prefer or have switched to?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Making bows from thrifted clothes

Just a quick post today!
I was checking out a local thrift store and came across a pair of brightly colored floral capris. I'm not a huge fan of that many flowers decorating my bottom half, but the cotton material and print size called out to me anyway!
It would make the perfect material for hair bows!

I took one of the legs apart and cut off a short length of fabric. I hand sewed the edges and created a loop which I gathered in the middle and tacked down with some thread. Then I wrapped the center with a small piece of a mango colored fabric froma  thrifted skirt, attached a hair pin, and voila!

A perfect little bow with a pop of color as we limp through the gray days before spring finally makes its way to Michigan. We had a beautiful day in the 60's yesterday, and a gray day in the 50's today, but we'll be dropping again and whisperings of snow have been floating through the air. I really can't wait for's not usually such a big deal for me, but this year I really have cabin fever! How about you?

One last thing...I wanted to share a picture that my son made at school. We had the school book fair last week and as I was setting up, I looked up and saw this on the wall. I love their art. :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Meet Cheeks!

We have decided to become a foster family for this sweet girl!

Her name is Cheeks, and she is a 2 year old Staffordshire Terrier/Shepherd, possibly Boxer mix as far as they can guess. We don't know a whole lot about her, but we do know she was found by a woman at a gassing shelter in Georgia. The woman brought her to Michigan where she found out that Cheeks was expecting puppies! She fostered her until her puppies were born and weaned, and they have all been adopted through a shelter in Grand Rapids. The woman couldn't keep her any longer so she was given to a rescue group in the Detroit area.
Whew! This girl has covered a lot of ground!
We applied to be her foster family and the next day I got a call telling me I could pick her up from the local vet where she had just been spayed. So off we went to meet this little girl and bring her home.

She is a pretty timid, submissive dog so we have been working on her confidence. Each day she comes out of her shell more and we get to see how sweet and silly she really is. She is a total love bug who loves a good snooze on the couch (she even snores!):

She wasn't too sure about getting a bath the other day...what a sad doggy face! :)
She walks really well on the leash, although she is still unsure of loud noises on the road and people walking around. She bumps against my leg periodically as we walk for a little reassurance that everything is alright.

She doesn't really know how to play, and has no interest in balls or chew toys yet. But she will run and jump with me in the yard a few times when we go out in the backyard. I have to initiate the play though, she is still unsure how to do that on her own.
We're working on her basic commands, and she is quite smart. She wants to please, although when she doesn't want to follow a command, she will flop down belly up, being submissive and looking darn cute in the process. Little stinker. :)

We discovered that she had some separation anxiety, particularly with me. When I would leave the room or the house she would either immediately follow me, or whine that she couldn't get to me. The first few times we left the house, she was a mess, and caused a mess. She urinated on the carpet and damaged a door trying to open it. The rescue group brought us a crate for her, and we tried that, although it was rough goign for the first couple of days.
Turned out that she hadn't been crate trained before we got her, and the first few times she was in the crate she tried to dig her way out. Once I found out that she hadn't had any crate training, it made sense why she panicked the first few times she was in there. But we have worked on that, giving her meals in the crate, nights in the crate, and short periods of crate time during the day when we are home (kind of like "tummy time" for babies), so that she learns it's not a scary place to be. A few days in, and this is how she reacts to the crate now:

She still isn't thrilled when I leave the house and will still whine, but she doesn't urinate on her bedding anymore, and only messed up the blanket with a few swipes of the paw at the door before she settles down.

She's awesome with kids. That was one of the requirements I had about taking her. We had friends over for Oscar Night and had a total of 6 kids in the house, from a crawler just a year old to Davin who is 7. We had only had her 2 days at that point and she was great with all of them.

She also couldn't care less about the cats. The kitties, however, weren't as convinced. Noodle (my tuxedo cat) settled in after a couple days, but Jewel (above) is still a little unsure about it all. Neither cat is afraid of Cheeks (or any dog for that matter), and in fact Jewel stepped right in to show the dog who was boss. Poor Cheeks ran into her by accident and came out of it with two small scratches and a piece of a cat nail in her muzzle. Needless to say, she gives Jewel wide berth now! But Jewel officially came out of hiding after 5 days of self imposed solitary confinement in the basement (beyond a head poking out of the cat door to give a hiss or a growl if the dog walked by). I think her need for attention finally won out. lol

Who wouldn't fall in love with this sweet face? We've been asked a lot if we are going to adopt her. At this point I can't say yes. She's an awesome dog and will be a great pet for a family, but I also know that at this point, she is such a submissive dog, that I think a family with another calm, stable dog would be so good for her. She could learn a lot from another dog; how to play, how to keep her anxiety down, etc. Without trying to sound like the Dog Whisperer, I really think she would benefit from a "pack". She looks to me as the leader (smart girl! lol) which I think is why she gets upset when I leave. I would love to see her as happy and comfortable with any person as she is with me. Hopefully we will keep helping her move forward, to fulfill her true potential, and if that happens I will be so proud to see her with the perfect family who will love her as she deserves to be loved.