Saturday, June 30, 2012


  • Wanelo is a website featuring unique products and where you can find them.  Looks like a great place to find one-of-a-kind gifts!
  • Occasionally I will come across people with negative things to say about homeschooling. This info-graphic shows some great pro-homeschooling statistics. I am a proud ex-homeschooler and hope to teach my kids at home someday.
  • YAAAAY!!  Tardis Christmas tree ornament! I will definitely be ordering this before the holidays.
  • I love old houses. This website has a great collection of pictures and blueprints. I especially like the English Cottage and the Tudor Revival styles.
  • Free art printables.
  • The wisdom of Albus Dumbledore.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bunch of Cuddlers

We are a family of "cuddlers".  Specifically the furry members of the family. 

Kipper is the dog version of a leech.  No, not the Hirudo medicilinus (gross, wormy type creatures that suck your blood) but the more furry and less slimy Clingtoyu cuddlemuchus. This animal will attach itself to your hip 24/7 if it has its way.  Although I am her first choice as victim, she is not a picky creature.  Wherever there is a warm body, she can be found sprawling out on laps or curling up behind reclining knees.

I call this position "The Pill Bug".  Her favorite method of attack is to jump up on the couch next to her intended victim, worm her way underneath their arm, and crawl into the lap.  Sneaky, sneaky! Beware the Clingtoyu cuddlemuchus!

However, there is a more fearsome cuddly creature to behold.   The dreaded ball of fur, the Snugglewythmi!  This beast is far more dangerous because he is five times bigger than Clingtoyu cuddlemuchus and is therefore more likely to squish and suffocate his victims.  If you are able to tame the Snugglewythmi  he will forgo the squishing and content himself with laying his massive maw across your foot and drooling on your toes.

Luckily, both of these dogs are sweet as could be and their cuddling powers are hard to resist.  Yet there are times when neither Zach nor I are available to snuggle with them.  What do they do when there are no human victims?

Cuddle with each other!  No one is safe when these two are around!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blast From The Past vol. 1

One of my main goals with this blog is to use it as a means of chronicling my life so that in the future I can look back and have fond memories (or not so fond memories, but memories none the less) of where I went and what I did.  In doing so I would like to include old photos I come across from my life pre-blog.  They will be featured under the appropriate title "Blast From The Past".

Sometimes I wish I had a time machine and could travel back to my childhood and experience certain moments all over again.  I feel that the word nostalgia is to often used in a negative manner.  The most common definition is that of  "a bittersweet longing for things, persons, and places of the past" or "homesickness".  To me, this definition is indicative of regret rather than nostalgia.  What is so wrong with looking back upon the past with strong feelings and emotions?  Sometimes we all need to look back upon happy times and remember the joy that we felt during a birthday party, or the sorrow at the passing of a beloved pet.  Our pasts shape us and define what we have become.  You can't change the past but you can retain the memories and I choose to look back on all of my memories (good or bad) with fondness.

With that said, this first installment of the series is from March, 2003.  This is the year I was a freshman in high school.  I played on a home school basketball team called the Trailblazers.  Now, I'm not gonna deny that I was marginally talented at best but I had a great time playing and I made some great friends (one of whom, Tanya, was a bridesmaid in my wedding).  There were also a lot of lessons learned, such as 1) nothing is ever earned without hard work 2) teamwork is achieved when all members show respect for each other, and 3) if the team gives up more than 8 offensive rebounds in a game you will all be running suicide sprints for an hour during the following practice.  Maybe this is why I have become so neurotic about working out?

The pic was taken during our end of season tournament in Oklahoma City, OK.  We rode the Greyhound to get there and here we are standing outside a bus stop while the bus was refueled.  (The bus stop is a story in itself. One that involves pools of urine under benches and offers to purchase marijuana from other Greyhound patrons).  So here I am in all of my freshman glory.

I'm on the far left with the glasses.  Luckily, not all of the team was this short.  Can you imagine being a 5'4" 15 year old weighing in at 108 lbs, and having your coach put you in the game to play Center where you have to post up a 6'1" senior  who is quite possibly twice your body weight?  I've lived it.  It's not pretty.  Thank goodness for the tall girls who were designed by God for the purpose of playing this position:)

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Baaaack

Long story short, Zach and I are finally in Louisiana.  So much has happened in the past few months, and since I don't want to bore you with a novel, here is a brief synopsis.
We found our perfect "First House" and began the long and arduous process of becoming homeowners.  Right when we were about to close on the house.....
... the floods came. This rainstorm could have been classified as a monsoon. It also didn't help that the state of Louisiana is flat as a pancake. Anyway, after lots of discussion and prayer we decided to continue the closing process. Fortunately for us, the renovations to the house were covered under the current owners flood insurance.  They were so sweet and allowed us to pick how we wanted the house remodeled (so long as it fit in their budget).  Here are some pics of the house at the start of the remodel.

 And here is a pic showing the lovely moss green paint that we chose for the living room/kitchen/hallway.
 Our beautiful wood floors.
 My shiny new fridge.  Notice I said MY fridge not OUR fridge.  That's right Zachary Vance, I claim full ownership! Hehe.
 One of the reasons I immediately loved this house is that it has a fireplace.  Not that it ever gets cold enough in the deep south to actually use it.  It's more of a conversation piece.
After the renovations were completed we were able to move in.  A week later, all of our stuff was delivered.  Opening all of those boxes made me feel like a little kid at Christmas!  It had all been in storage long enough that I didn't even remember what was in the boxes.  "Yay, a Cuisinart waffle maker, picture frames, and knick-knacks! You shouldn't have!"
 And somewhere in that labyrinth of boxes and couches this dog showed up. "Where did he come from?  Why is he the size of a small pony?"  Haha, in all seriousness, Zach had always wanted a German Shepherd and when we found a family looking for a home for their 4 month old puppy Zach couldn't resist. 
 I know what you are thinking. "This is a 4 month old puppy?!?"  No good reader.  This is a 54lb 4 month old puppy.  And that was 2 months ago. Now we are the proud owners of a 65lb 6 month old puppy. 
He's been eating his Wheaties.
Since we moved into the house this past April I have been busy making it our home, looking for a job, and trying to control the beast that will hereafter be referred to as Spock (I let Zach choose his name, don't judge me).  We are very blessed to have each other and our 2 furry children.  We can't wait to see what happens next!
More Louisiana adventures to follow so stick around!