Monday's Memory of Mom

March 31, 2008

My mom made my bouquet for one of the happiest days of my life. :o)


March 30, 2008

What a welcome sight, after a long hard winter. :o)


March 29, 2008

And now, the one who started all of my dog insanity. The one who revealed that I was NOT a cat person at all, but rather a DOG person that was waiting for just the right moment to be exposed...Drum roll please....

Clay Louis Jay

Clay came to be part of our family because my darling, wonderful, sweetheart of a husband, wanted to pacify my longing for "just one more baby." Truth be told, Clay was a bribe. He figured that if he suggested a puppy, he wouldn't have to hear me talk about adopting another baby. Poor man didn't know that exposing my inner dog person would cause a whole new set of longings and the next 3 years he would hear me say, "Just one more puppy?" However, three is my limit...I think...Maybe...A girl would be nice…Jude's a great dog...We'll see. *wink*

Clay is a
toy aussie and is the smallest of the bunch, weighing in at only 10 pounds. I didn't want a toy sized pup with 3 rambunctious boys at home, so I picked out Clay, who was the biggest in his litter. His breeder said he would be an over-sized mini (25-30 pounds). Perfect!!! Over the next few weeks, his littermates went on a growth spurt and Clay didn't. He became the smallest in the litter. By this time, I was thoroughly in love and couldn't wait to get him home no matter what his size.

Clay loves to play
soccer in the backyard with the boys, do agility at the dog club (for fun, not competition), go for car rides, and walks. He's fun to take to the off leash park because he never goes too far and has such a huge smile on his face as he runs circles around me. His favorite games are keep away and tug. He will do anything for a treat! Especially popcorn. Out of the three pups, he is my most obedience-trained pup.

As with the other two, he has his issues. (Notice a common factor here? ME!!) He is not a warm fuzzy with people he doesn’t know and it takes him a long, long time to warm up. For the last two years, Clay and I (and Piper) would go to puppy and adult socialization classes. It's been great for two reasons 1) I get to play with dogs  and learn more about training and 2) Clay gets to practice being with other dogs and people. We’ve been doing that on a regular basis for two years and it’s helped him get out of his timid, fearful shell tremendously. One time, a gal came to the dog club who hadn’t seen Clay for over a year.

Gal: Hi, Amy! Did you get a new dog?
Me: No, this is Clay.
Gal: That’s
Clay?? *shock written all over her face*
Me :Yes, it is. *grinning and proud enough to pop buttons*

It made all the hard work, worth it. :o) Oh, he will never be the type to run up to someone and beg for a pat on the head or a game of fetch, but he is much improved and don’t we all have room for improvement? 

Scotty, my middle pup

March 28, 2008

I'd like to introduce you to my middle pup, a Miniature Australian Shepherd that I call Scotty James, however, he has no idea what his name is. You see, Scotty is deaf. That's right. Deaf. He can't hear a thing. It's funny...When I tell people he is deaf, they always ask if I am sure. It's not too hard to figure out. Yell at him while he is sleeping and he won't move a muscle. Gently touch him right after that and he jumps a foot because he was startled. Yup, I'm sure. :-P Scotty is the result of a breeder breeding two merle dogs together, which is a big no-no in the breeder world. Sadly, some do it to get more merle pups, which can be sold for more money. The ones like Scotty, that have too much white fur which is an indicator that deafness and/or blindness may be an issue, are sometimes culled at birth. It's a practice that makes me sick. (To learn more about deaf dogs check out

*~* note: While looking for a web page, I ran across this one. A couple of years ago, Scotty was part of a genetic study. His picture is on the researcher's web page. He is the one standing in the snow. That was fun to find! *~*

So, what is it like living with a deaf dog? Not much different than living with a hearing dog, except for a few key areas. I can't allow him to be off leash at a dog park and if he is barking at the mailman, yelling at him to stop does no good. Trust me, I try. ;o) On the bright side, he's not afraid of thunder or fireworks on the 4th of July.

Scotty loves, loves, loves balls. Did I mention he LOVES balls? He is a fool for a ball! He will play ball for hours and hours. I wear out long before he does. He is convinced that all people who visit are coming over just to play ball with him. As soon as he gets done with his greeting routine (barking and jumping on people *blush*), he runs all over the house to find a ball. Once he finds one, he drops it in front of said guest, sits and tilts his head to the side then begins the very subtle hinting of what he wants. It goes like this: Look at guest, look at ball. Look at guest, look at ball. BARK. Repeat. Most people give in and he is so happy, happy, happy to have someone throw the ball for him. I am very happy, happy, happy to rest my arm.

Scotty never wonders too far from my side. It's pretty common for deaf dogs to need to see their owner, since they can't hear where their owner is. I always know where he is and he knows where I am, or how to find me if he wakes up from a nap and notices I left the room. You know...Like when I have to go to the ladies room.

Here is how it goes:

Scotty: *sleeping*
Me: *walks to the ladies room and shuts the door*
Scotty: *scratch, scratch, scratch*
Me: Yes, Scotty, I am in here...I'll be out in a second. (Yes, I talk to my deaf dog)
Scotty: *scratch, scratch, scratch*
Me: Wait a second, Scotty!
Scotty: *scratch, scratch, scratch*
Me: *big sigh as I open the door*
Scotty: looks in to see if I am there and then leaves!
Me: *shuts door firmly*

What can I say...I love the boy...

Scotty has exhibited some nervousness in the last few months that have been a concern for me. I'm doing a trial run using Prozac. He is using the Prozac, not me....I use something else. *grin* My poor dog and I both appear to have problems with serotonin. Sorry, but that cracks me up!!! :-D He is much more relaxed and seems to be more content. Scotty holds such a special place in my heart. We lose our animals way too quickly as it is, so the thought of losing him before that already-too-soon-time was hard to consider. I want to delay that time for as long as possible.

Next time I'll share about Clay, the one who started it all. :o)

A little birdy told me...

March 27, 2008

A little birdy whispered in my ear about a very special friend who likes to read my blog.
My first thought,  "Poor dear, she must be bored out of her mind!"

My second thought, "I need to write a post that will bring a smile to her face."

I hope it works!!

Hi, Brooklyn's pretty grandma!!!
*kiss kiss* :-) 

Shepherd...Your sheep are weary

This song makes me cry...It's called Shepherd from the CD Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew

Tears of joy, for I have a shepherd who loves me enough to faithfully feed me from the whole counsel of God's Word every week.

Tears of sorrow, for I know there are many sheep who are starving and they can not find a shepherd to feed them. 

Tears of gratitude, for the good Shepherd gave His life for this sheep and Who has called me to be His own. *~* John 10


March 25, 2008

Piper is my youngest pup. I named him after John Piper. He is a clown and always makes me laugh. When I have treats to pass out, he goes through his repertoire of tricks in seconds and repeats them over and over again. Sit. Sneeze. Lay down. Sit. Sneeze. Lay down. The whole time his back end (aussies don't have tails) goes a 100 MPH. I can't get him to calm down enough to teach him anything else!

If there is a squirrel foolish enough to wander upon the backyard fence, you can be sure that Piper will go out the back door with the speed of an Olympic athlete in an attempt to catch it. So far, he hasn't been successful and I am eternally grateful. He also loves to chase the birds, the butterflies and the bees. He hasn't caught any of them either, but he happily hops about the yard doggedly determined to be victorious.

He is always smiling, except.....Da, da, da, dum.....when I get out the mighty, noisy, sucking, purple monster. Also known as the vacuum cleaner. At that time he turns into a shivering bowl of jell-o and seeks refuge to be as far away as possible from this evil monster. 

Case in point. Last week: 

Shhhh....Don't tell the mighty noisy, sucking purple monster that I am hiding here. 
 I can not bring myself to even look upon this mighty noisy, sucking purple monster.

When Clay was afraid of the boys' guns, I helped him get over it my putting treats on the guns. So far, that isn't working with Piper. He WILL NOT take a treat when the vacuum is out, no matter how yummy it is. It can be turned off and just sitting in the room and he will go hide until it's gone. 

So, if you visit and notice that my floors need vacuumed, it's because I took pity on Peeper Piper and kept the mighty noisy, sucking purple machine in the dungeon, also known as the closet. 

Monday's Memory of Mom

March 24, 2008

My mom wrote this letter to me at a very difficult time in my life. I found it a few months ago and tucked it into my Bible for safe keeping. I hope you enjoy reading her words and heart. Then I want you to go write a letter to your daughter(s). 

Behold the Lamb

March 23, 2008

Behold the Lamb

Silent before His accusers

As thorns are pressed into His brow

They lift Him up

Oh see the spikes that hold Him

Redeeming blood flows down

But look again 

The cross stands empty now

And He is risen


Behold the Lamb

See Him crowned with glory

Behold the Lamb

Cast your crowns before Him

Crying Holy Holy is the Lamb


Behold the Lamb

Carrying all our transgressions

He freely takes our place

Endures the lash

The mocking and the laughter

Of those He dies to save

But look again

The cross stands empty now


Behold the Lamb

See Him crowned with glory

Behold the Lamb

Cast your crowns before Him

Crying Holy Holy is the Lamb


© 2000 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI).

Words and music by Mark Altrogge

As recorded on King of Grace


Come People of the Risen King

March 21, 2008

Words and Music by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend

Copyright © 2008 Thankyou Music/ Copyright Control

Come, people of the Risen King,
Who delight to bring Him praise;
Come all and tune your hearts to sing
To the Morning Star of grace.
From the shifting shadows of the earth
We will lift our eyes to Him,
Where steady arms of mercy reach
To gather children in.

Rejoice, Rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice; O Church of Christ, rejoice!

Come, those whose joy is morning sun,
And those weeping through the night;
Come, those who tell of battles won,
And those struggling in the fight.
For His perfect love will never change,
And His mercies never cease,
But follow us through all our days
With the certain hope of peace.

Rejoice, Rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice; O Church of Christ, rejoice!

Come, young and old from every land -
Men and women of the faith;
Come, those with full or empty hands -
Find the riches of His grace.
Over all the world, His people sing -
Shore to shore we hear them call
The Truth that cries through every age:
“Our God is all in all”!

Rejoice, Rejoice! Let every tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice; O Church of Christ, rejoice!


March 20, 2008

Spring is here. :-) It's my favorite season. Everyday I visit each of my gardens to see what has popped up out of the ground. I see my flowers as gifts from God. I also see them as miracles. Think of it, a small, hard seed or a shriveled up bulb, turns into a beautiful flower. It's much like what God did with me. He took a dead person and regenerated me into someone who is now alive...Born again...He now sees me as beautiful because He sees me through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. That is a miracle!

Here are a few of the miracles I have in my garden today. 

I look foreword to sharing the beautiful gifts in my gardens with you over the spring and summer season. 

Deep breath

March 19, 2008

Ahhh...There is nothing like being able to take a deep breath of cool, crisp fresh air. In fact, it feels so good I think I will do it again.

*deep breath*

Six months ago I couldn't do that without coughing and hearing my lungs wheeze. Six months ago today, I became an ex-smoker and in a short time I could breathe deeply again. 

Today I celebrate: 
  • no longer waking up in the night coughing
  • no longer having my hair, my clothes and my home smell like smoke
  • no longer hurting my family with the second hand smoke
  • not having to worry about when and where I can smoke my next cigarette
  • saving a lot of money and being able to buy fun things like clothes and furniture and also being able to help those in need
  • freedom from the shame 
Thank you to all my friends who have prayed for me faithfully as I quit. I appreciate it more than words can express. :-) 

Crazy hair...

March 18, 2008

Brooklyn Kayden (8 months)

Thanks, Jen, for the picture and the update. :o)

Monday's Memory of Mom

March 16, 2008

My mother was cheap frugal. Nothing was ever purchased full price. NOTHING! NEVER! It was the 11th commandment, "Thou shalt not pay full price for anything." She was the quintessential bargain shopper. 

Conversations would commonly go like this:

Me: Mom! What a cute sweater! 
Mom: Thanks! I got it at a garage sale for 50 cents.

Me: I really like your shoes.
Mom: I got them on the clearance rack marked down 75% off at Younkers.

Me: Cute jacket!
Mom: I got it at Goodwill on their clearance rack for a dollar.
*note: you know you are cheap frugal when you won't pay full price at Goodwill or at The Salvation Army. *wink*

Me: I love your new table!
Mom: I got it an action for 5 dollars. It was covered with bird poop and painted 5 times, but I knew there was oak wood under all that paint. 

You get the picture. :-) She knew the price of everything in her home and where she bought it. It drove me nuts as a teenager and young adult. Why did she have to tell everyone how much she paid for things? Argh!! I also didn't appreciate her frugalness. It made me mad that she gave her grandchildren bargain items from her gift closet (clearance items she would pick up over the years to have on hand for just the right occasion) instead of asking them what they wanted. I'm embarrassed that I was so shallow. The good thing is, I grew up and appreciated the thought and the person, more than the gift. 

Once her gift closet got her in trouble. Two Christmases in a row, she gave Holden the same shirt, only in a bigger size the 2nd time around. Holden wasn't shy about saying. "Hey! You gave me this shirt last year." She was embarrassed, but we laughed about it and Holden didn't care. It became the joke every Christmas after that.  

During her last days, she was cold all the time. I splurged and bought her a super, soft, pink sweater jacket to wear. She saw the price tag and exclaimed, "$80!!" I told her she was worth it and to just enjoy it. Of course, my mom told everyone who came to see her. "Look at the $80 sweater my Amy bought me from Von Maur. I've never owned anything so expensive and she paid FULL price!"  I would just smile...That was my mom...

Last fall, I found some cell phone purses on clearance at Tuesday Morning. They were $12.00 marked down to $1.50 (or something like that). I bought 5 or 6 of them to give away for Christmas and to have on hand for just the right occasion.  Laurie turned to me and said, "Your mom would be proud."

I am my mother's daughter and proud to be so....

Girl Time update

Laurie posted about our Girl Time on her blog. Go and check out our matching tattoos! 


Here is what I learned this weekend...The saying, "I laughed until I wet my pants," is no longer just an expression...It's my reality. :-P Gotta love getting older!! 

Girl Time!!

March 14, 2008

I am surrounded by men in my home...I even have 3 male dogs! I love all of my men. I really do, but I need some Girl Time, so Laurie and I are taking off for an overnight to a near by city to shop, to look at girly girl things, to gab, to laugh and to just enjoy being women. :-) 

It's time!!!

March 12, 2008

Don't ya think??

Russ thinks so too, so this is what will be in our living room in a few weeks. :o)


March 11, 2008

Canoecopia, the largest paddling sport expo hosted annually by Rutabega's, was last weekend and I had the privilege of experiencing it myself for the first time. Russ went last year and bought his kayak and all the things he needed for his new hobby. Now that I have a kayak, I needed a few things and Russ convinced me that this is the place to go to get outfitted. It was fun listening to the venders and seeing all the neat stuff that is available to for those who love the sport of paddling. It remains to be seen if I will be one of those people.  *wink*

Here are the things I needed: a life jacket (made just for a woman and sooo comfy), 
a paddle float and a pump. I expect the life jacket to never get wet, and the pump to be only used for water fights. 

Here are the things I wanted and because I am a very spoiled wife, 
Russ bought them for me.

The hat to keep my hair out of my eyes and to keep the sun off of my face...And because it's 
cute. :-)

The Chaco sandals  are great because they are made for the water, they'll  protect my feet from rocks and they match my kayak which is very important.  *wink*  They are the most comfortable sandals I have ever worn! It's all one strap that moves in a channel inside the sole of the shoe, so it's completely adjustable. It's like they are custom made just for your feet. The sticker price is very shocking, however you can find last year's colors on line for almost half the price at REI and Sierra Trading Post
The red wool backpack is my favorite purchase. It's made by Frost River, a company in Duluth, MN. It's all handmade and a true piece of art. It's all lined on the inside, with a  zippered 
pouch for small items, and all the seams are finished to perfection.  I fell in love with it. 

All in all, it was a fun day and I look forward to going back again next year. :o)

Monday's Memory of Mom

March 10, 2008

My mom was an artist. She could do it all. From refinishing furniture to designing her own quilts. From wallpapering to flower arrangements. From interior decorator to tole painter.

I possess what I believe to be the first tole painting that she painted, other than the practice ones. Most of her paintings she signed and dated. This one has no date, so it had to be one of the originals from the very early 70's when she first started her painting. It's always been my favorite picture. If you look carefully, you can see where she took a sharpie pen and created wallpaper for the background of the picture. It was those type of details that she added to her work that made them unique and special.

My mom didn't limit herself to painting on wooden boards. That would be way too boring. If it could be painted on, it was painted on. She painted on furniture, on walls, on slate, on lids of baby food jars, on window shades...Even on floors!!! In her home, she painted a butterfly and a saltine cracker on her kitchen floor. It looked so real that children would try to pick it up to eat it.

My kitchen shelf.
An old card table made with a 3/4" wood top. It was my first kitchen table. I kept it covered with a clear plastic table cloth to protect the painting. Now I have it leaning against the wall in my bedroom as a decoration. It's way too heavy to hang on a wall. I watched her paint it and was so surprised when she gave it to me.
The bird house is painted on all sides, not just the front. Her attention to detail was superb. The black lidded jar is a baby food jar. The other jar is one of my canisters that I use for my dried goods in my kitchen. At her home, she has many gallon size jars with the lids painted for her dried goods. I can't see large jars like those without thinking of her and wishing she could paint some lids for me.
The slate is from the roof of the Mt. Vernon depot that was torn down in the early 80's. She scavenged through the demolition site to get the slate. This is only one of many pieces of the depot's slate roof that she painted on. The painted design on the crock matches her favorite set of Pfaltzgraff dishes.
Even rocks weren't safe from my mom's paintbrush. After my mom's death, I received a sweet email from a highschool friend where she shared her memories of watching my mom paint. She said:

"Countless hours of my youth were spent in your home, many of them in the kitchen watching her paint her newest project or form a new clay piece. Your family room was one of my favorite places, looking at all of the different pictures and plaques that she had done. She is so talented. In my mother's home is one of my favorite of her pieces, a door knob piece that has stores from Mt. Vernon on it. Your mother is a very dear piece of my own memories."

I haven't been to my mom's home since she died. The thought of walking in her home and not finding her there is difficult to contemplate. After finding the few things in my home that my mom touched and painted, I think it would be good for me, healing for me, to go to her home to touch the things she touched and take pictures of her things that have special meaning to me. Maybe this Spring would be a good time for me to go.

Baby Luke is with Jesus

March 9, 2008

Please pray for this family as they deal with the grief of losing their first child. 

To all our family and friends,Baby Luke Robert Shelton peacefully went to be with the Lord on Saturday night, March 8, 2008 at approximately 8 PM. Chandler and I were able to be at Luke’s bedside along with several other family members. We are encouraged knowing that Luke is in the arms of Christ now and will forever cherish the 11 days he touched so many lives. He will be missed deeply. Thank you so much for your compassionate thoughts and prayers during this process. We will be providing additional updates within the next day or so. 

Much Love, 
James and Chandler

Support Homeschool Freedom in California

March 7, 2008

From the HSLDA web site:

"A California Court of Appeal recently decided that homeschooling is illegal in California unless a parent is a certified teacher.

The case arose in a confidential juvenile court proceeding. The family was represented by court-appointed attorneys and HSLDA did not become aware of the case until the Court of Appeal case was published on February 28, 2008.

The Court could have restricted its decision to the facts before it, but instead, it issued a broad ruling that effectively outlaws home education in California. The Court also certified its decision for publication, which means that the decision can now be cited as legal authority by all other courts in California.

The family and their California counsel are planning to appeal to the Supreme Court of California, which could result in reversal.

Another option to keep homeschooling free in California is to petition the Supreme Court of California to “depublish” the opinion. If the opinion is “depublished” then it cannot be used by other California courts and this threat to homeschool freedom will be neutralized for other California homeschoolers.

HSLDA will be formally petitioning the California Supreme Court to depublish the opinion. We would like to show that many other people, both in California and across the country, care deeply about homeschool freedom in California.

Please show your support for this effort by signing the petition today."

Bridge engineer or The proud will be humbled

The previous year's winner went around the class and critiqued everyone's bridge. He told Reagan that his won't be able to hold any weight and will collapse.....Ummmm....he was wrong. :-P 

Love the Brethren

March 6, 2008

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.  Galatians 5:22-26   

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:10

Let's face it...It's not easy to get along with one another in our immediate families every minute of every day. Conflicts arise. Add to that...How much harder is it to get along with everyone in the Body of Christ? How about when you have a family member who professes to be a Christian and they refuse to speak to you? How do you deal with that?? How about when a Christian says to another Christian, "I will no longer befriend you." Can they do that and still profess to love Christ? 

Do you love the brethren? 
Do I love the brethren? 

Father, You have forgiven much. Let me extend the same love and grace to the brethren today. For Your Name's sake and glory, Amen

Monday's Memory of Mom

March 3, 2008

The child that made me a mom for the first time and has the privilege of being my only daughter, is 22 today. :o)
Happy birthday, Haley!! Momma loves you...

Haley and my mom, hours after her birth. Haley hasn't even had her first bath yet! 

Haley (3 months old), and, yes, my mom was always dressed up. 

A little funny about my mom. When I chose Haley's name, I decided to spell it simply. No fancy stuff. My mom, however, must never have liked my spelling because she always spelled Haley's name like this: Haleigh or Hayley, or Hayleigh, or Hailey....Never, Haley. :-P 
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