Archive for July, 2014

Where I Give

We have all seen pleas for donations – they are all around us – Facebook, the television, magazines, flyers, billboards.

But how do you decide where to give your hard-earned money?

Personally, for our family, we start with prayer and a decision about if we are making a one-time/short-term commitment, or if this will become something that our family chooses to partner with for the long-term.

compassionlogo

Many years ago, when our Boy Caterpillars were very little, I made the decision to sponsor two Compassion children.  I did lots of research on charities that did this type of work, and while I had no direct contacts in the ministry, I read quite a few “mommy bloggers” blogs and trusted their assessment of Compassion.  As of right now, our family has been with Compassion as a sponsor for over 7 years, and we will continue our involvement until both “our boys” graduate from the upper level school in Brazil.  (Both are Brazilians.)  Each Compassion child sponsorship is $38 a month (and is completely tax-deductible).

For quite a while, that was our only long-term commitment.  We budget for miscellaneous giving each month (which mainly goes towards our scouting groups and the local preschool, but is what we use for those fundraisers for neighborhood kids and such as that).  We also set aside a specific amount each month for what we call “Christmas Giving”, so we can adopt a family during the holiday season and provide a meaningful Christmas for them.

AideLaVie-Logo

Recently, we prayerfully made the decision to make another long-term commitment to a charitable organization, Aide La Vie Nutrition.  This was different, as we met and became friends with the President and his wife (the CEO).  We have had amazing talks about their mission to eradicate malnutrition in Africa, starting in the country of Benin.  This is a couple who have made the decision to forgo the ease of life here in the United States and move their family (three children) to the country of Benin, build a factory, and change the lives of people.  We know their hearts and as a family we could not be more excited to join them on this journey (even if our contribution is merely that of a small amount of money and prayer every month).

As you are making your decisions this year, I would like to encourage you to research these two organizations: Compassion and Aide La Vie Nutrition.  If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them.  But these are what we firmly believe in and are pleased to come alongside and share our financial gifts with.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

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Fostering Puppies

This summer we made a huge decision (I doubt we’ll do this again – at least in THIS house), to foster puppies with a local rescue.  Angels Among Us is a well-known cat and dog rescue in the Atlanta area, and is where we adopted our St. Bernard, Esther, from.  I had been approached a few times about fostering, and finally – we got the call that there was a momma puppy who had given birth 24 hours before, she and all six puppies were set to be put down that afternoon – would we be willing to take them?

It was a crazy 24 hours of filling out forms, home checks, assembling supplies – and low and behold we brought home seven dogs.

That was almost seven weeks ago.

In all this we have learned that Reuben is NOT a dog dog.  He isn’t aggressive towards the puppies, he simply lays on our bed with an aggrieved look on his face.  “WHY, Mum, did you bring MORE fuzzy potatoes into this house?  AM I NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?”

As for the puppies and Mum?  They are doing fantastic.  Yana (the mother) is a sweet terrier mix.  She’s 25lbs and beautiful.  We are almost positive she was someone’s indoor family dog.  A family that simply didn’t put any money (heartworm prevention or spay) into her – so when she got pregnant, they dumped her at the kill shelter.  She can walk on a leash, does her business outside, and even sits on command.  She is going to make someone a *great* family dog after her heartworm treatment (she is HW+, but Angels pays for her treatment).

We got to name the puppies – and B10 was thrilled to be the one to come up with the “winning” suggestion.  The Chess Puppies are evenly split – 3 girls and 3 boys.  Two of our beautiful girls, Rook and Queen, have already been preadopted and will go home at 8 weeks.

Four puppies are still looking for furever families, so please pass along this blog post if you know anyone interested:

Bishop on my knee.

Bishop on my knee.

Look at those EARS and that PUPPY BUTT!

Look at those EARS and that PUPPY BUTT!

Bishop is the largest of the litter.  He has a sweet disposition and loves to play.  His paws are already huge – so Daddy was most assuredly more than 25 lbs!

LOOK AT THOSE EARS!

LOOK AT THOSE EARS!

Love to seem them romping in the grass.

Love to seem them romping in the grass.

Sniffing it out.

Sniffing it out.

Castle is the second largest, and is the biggest cuddle bug you have ever held.  He wants nothing more than to find a lap and snuggle down.  He loves to be scratched behind his ears and is developing more and more spots every day!

This puppy can't wait for to have his own human.

This puppy can’t wait for to have his own human.

Look at those tiger stripes!

Look at those tiger stripes!

Checkmate is our brindle baby.  He is the most gorgeous tiger-striped puppy you will ever find, and he is the most adventurous of the litter.  He’s also not the brightest.  He’s the one we can’t let near the stairs, because he would take a flying leap off.

Pawn searching for a boy to chase.

Pawn searching for a boy to chase.

CHASING THE BOY!

CHASING THE BOY!

Pawn is our last little girl who needs a home.  She’s as sweet as her sisters, and especially loves to be put on GO’s top bunk so she can lick her ears and wake her up.  (It’s also GO’s favorite way to be woken up!)

All the puppies are great with children (they have played with all of them), are learning to do their business outside (though, as expected, it’s a slower process with six puppies!), and they are super-friendly.  Yana is a young dog (we are pretty sure less than 2 years old), house trained, walks great on a leash, good with other dogs, and great with children.  If you are looking to add a puppy to your family, or know someone who is, you can go online and fill out an adoption form to request more information.  (Just list what puppy/puppies you are interested in.)  None of these match your style?  Let me know, and I am happy to help you navigate the almost 500 dogs/puppies currently saved and in Foster homes with Angels Among Us (or the 100-150 cats, if felines are more your jam).

AAU

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Visiting Granddaddy and Lala – Days 3 & 4

It was an early morning, so we could be at the local city pool.  It was a lot of fun: two slides, water rock wall, diving board, net walk, dump tunnel, plus a kids play area and a splash pad.  By arriving at opening, we were able to get nice chairs in the shade, and really enjoy the water.

By lunchtime, though, we headed home to change clothes – the to Which Wich for sandwiches.  At that point, GO asked if she could go home and hang out with Lala, rather then spending the afternoon gocaching again.  (That worked out well for her – she and Lala put up a mural and had a great time).

The boys and I headed with Granddaddy to a local park to do some geocaching.  This was CW’s first chance to actually have his own geocaching name, so it was a really fun outing.  We stopped at the Nature Center (and met turtles, kittens, snakes, a possum, and a baby owl), before hiking almost two miles.

Finally getting some time out of the stroller!

Finally getting some time out of the stroller!

Walking the trail (B10 is searching for critters).

Walking the trail (B10 is searching for critters).

Here?

Here?

Caching

Caching

Caching

Caching

Visiting the Turtle Tank

Visiting the Turtle Tank

For dinner, we made individual pizzas and enjoyed our last evening together.  GO showed everyone her mural of Ursala (no idea how THAT came up).  It’s always hard to leave, but it’s so nice to be close and see Granddaddy and Lala so much more often.

We left early Tuesday morning – and headed home to our puppies (and only watched Frozen twice in a row)!  Big goodbye hugs all around!

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~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Visiting Granddaddy and Lala – Day 2

We started Day 2 off visiting Granddaddy and Lala’s church.  The preacher is excellent, and I appreciated his clarity in speaking.  I like sermons that are easily outlined.

For lunch, we had Red Robin.  I confess this was my suggestion, as I am a huge sucker for unlimited french fries.

We all headed home to nap/rest, before Granddaddy had a special treat for us – a place to play in the river!  B10 and CW were wonderful and didn’t get wetter then allowed (they were told up to their knees, which in B10’s case, is pretty deep).  Went landed on his bottom a couple of times, but we had a change of clothes in the van for after.  GO fell down once, but she was so busy finding her pretty river shells (and collecting them to bring home), that it didn’t really bother her.

B10 contemplating the river and critters.

B10 contemplating the river and critters.

GO searching for shells.

GO searching for shells.

Went getting his feet wet.

Went getting his feet wet.

CW was all over the place having a blast.

CW was all over the place having a blast.

The traditional "feeding of the birds".

The traditional “feeding of the birds”.

Helping to fill the bird feeders with Granddaddy.

Helping to fill the bird feeders with Granddaddy.

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Not sure THIS is helpful...

Not sure THIS is helpful…

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Taking a short break to play in the backyard.

Taking a short break to play in the backyard.

THIS is much more helpful!

THIS is much more helpful!

On our way home for dinner we (of course) did a little geocaching.  And afterwards, it was time for the traditional “filling of the birdfeeders” with Granddaddy (one of my favorite traditions). Then bathes for everyone and bedtime (it’s tiring playing in the creek – but bathes are REQUIRED!).

Another wonderful day!

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(

Visiting Granddaddy and Lala – Day 1

The stars (and vacation times) aligned this year, and we were able to spend four days with Granddaddy and Lala in Tennessee.  B10 and CW returned from their dad’s house today, and we spent the morning being lazy.  Well, most of the adults were being lazy, GO was going to the door every five minutes and asking when brothers would be home (and crying because they weren’t there).  This extreme case of missing her brothers lasted exactly 2.5 hours, before they were back sniping at one another as siblings do.

After the boy Caterpillars got home, we loaded up the cars and headed to Jason’s Deli for lunch.  We adore their salad bar (everyone but the littles and Lala got the bar), and the free ice cream for dessert.

Lala headed home to rest, while we took the Caterpillars out to Stones River National Battlefield.  Granddaddy had the idea for us to do a special geocache called a Whereigo.  When doing the geocache, we were able to also see the Civil War Renactors shoot cannons (GO HATED that part) and then they had set up camp, where we could wander.  The Caterpillars could do different activities and earn trading cards, which was *way* cool.

Gathered at the Stones River National Battlefield Visitor's Center.

Gathered at the Stones River National Battlefield Visitor’s Center.

Playing a gambling game called "ChuckaLuck".  Popular on payday during the Civil War.

Playing a gambling game called “ChuckaLuck”. Popular on payday during the Civil War.

GO trying her hand at ChuckaLuck.

GO trying her hand at ChuckaLuck.

She was intent on winning the trading card!

She was intent on winning the trading card!

B10 and CW searching for a solider - the Laundress sent them to find someone who owed her money to earn her trading card. (Laundresses were the only women officially allowed in encampment and were paid by the Army.)

B10 and CW searching for a solider – the Laundress sent them to find someone who owed her money to earn her trading card. (Laundresses were the only women officially allowed in encampment and were paid by the Army.)

B10 in Civil War garb - he was lucky, the jacket actually fit him!

B10 in Civil War garb – he was lucky, the jacket actually fit him!

Otto at one of the oldest Civil War memorials still standing.  This was erected by Civil War soldiers to remember their fellow troops who died here.

Otto at one of the oldest Civil War memorials still standing. This was erected by Civil War soldiers to remember their fellow troops who died here.

CW getting his legs moving.

CW getting his legs moving.

The monument in the back was erected by the railroad.  The Railroad ran Civil War tours that actually stopped and let people out to visit Civil War sites.  Discounts were given to Civil War widows (on both sides).

The monument in the back was erected by the railroad. The Railroad ran Civil War tours that actually stopped and let people out to visit Civil War sites. Discounts were given to Civil War widows (on both sides).

Again, on a cannon.

Again, on a cannon.

After grabbing a few more caches (we are seriously on a caching streak – with over 50 in the last month!), we headed home to a delicious dinner that Lala cooked.

It was a nice and relaxing day – with only one rooster who tried to “catch” us. 😉  I am always excited to have my big boys home, and today was no exception.

~Mummy Butterfly  )i(