Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Mila's Story

When we were in Korea we came across a Facebook ad trying to find a home for a Husky. An American sailor was being deployed to Spain and huskies are on the aggressive dog list there so he couldn't take his dog with him.

We debated and we agonized but we eventually send the sailor a message. We agonized a bit more and then they brought Mila to see us.

My husband met the sailor at the McDonald's and they drove back to our apartment together. He said as soon as Mila saw him, she licked his face.

When they got to our apartment, Mila strode right in and plopped down on a chair. Like she'd been there all along.

We adopted Mila and slowly adjusted to a routine with her. She loved going for walks at the track in the park. Children loved coming up to her. They thought she was a wolf but once they realized she would play they were delighted. Mila was too, she loves children.

Once, we came across a toddler wearing squeaky shoes and Mila couldn't decide what to do! She couldn't decide if the wee one was a child or a giant squeaky toy.

Some adults and older children were mean to her, throwing stones or trying to kick her. Pets are still are relatively new thing in Korea and most people saw her as dirty and scary.

Mila was very well trained. When we first adopted her she was trained to ring a bell when she wanted to go out to pee. We quickly ended that ritual when we realized she was ringing the bell when she wanted to go play outside.

She would play with a giant tug of war rope, she'd "dig" in her giant blanket and play keep away. She had a tiny stuffed giraffe that we called her baby. She couldn't sleep if the giraffe was in a different room and she was always trying to take it out to pee with her.

Mila came at the perfect time as my husband and I were both struggling with different issues. Mila taught me about love and about sacrifice and I'm sure she taught my husband some things too,

One morning we woke up and our electricity was off. I walked the dog and left Mike to sort it out. When Mila and I returned, I let her off the leash. Mike took me out into the hallway to show me the fuse box and to explain what had happened to the electricity (long story short on that one- we lived next to a divorced women whose drunk ex husband would show up late at night and bang forever on the door. We think he shut off our electric, thinking it was hers.)

During this process, Mila came and stood in the hallway with us.

And in the blink of an eye, she was down the stairs and out the door to the apartment building (Another long story short: our downstairs neighbor liked to go crank his car and then  go back inside to wait for it to warm up. He always left the apartment building door open in the meantime. Between me going up and Mila coming down, he'd gone out, started his car, came back in and left the door open)/

We searched, we papered, we called. We posted. We hiked around the river with her treats, her toys, her bells. My husband hiked with one of our flyers posted on his back.

We cried and we searched some more. Our dear Korean friend, Vanessa, drove us for hours around the city, around the river where we'd gotten a report of sighting.

A military friend reported that the security guards at her apartment complex had tried to catch a female husky but she was too fast. It had to be Mila.

And then Animal Rescue called Vanessa. They had received a call from someone who reported that their neighbor was keeping a husky locked in an outdoor closet. The man was famous for eating and selling big dogs for meat.

We went to his house with Vanessa and Animal Control. They yelled at each other.

He had another dirty, big dog chained up outside. The dog flinched whenever the man approached.

The man showed his empty closet. Vanessa translated that he did have Mila but that one day when he opened the closet door she bolted and he couldn't catch her.

My Mila. My sweet, smart Mila. I hope he was telling the truth. I hope she ran. I hope she ran and ran until someone kind found her and helped her. I hope someone with children found her and took her home. And that she has beautiful children to play with.-children who don't have  squeaky shoes.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Book Review: Everything is Possible by Jen Bricker

Wow! What an encouraging read.

Jen tells her story in her debut book, Everything is Possible. Jen's life is a living embodiment of Philippians 4:13. Born without legs, and abandoned by her birth parents Jen found a way, to not just survive but to thrive. Jen lives a very full life with Christ at it's foundation.

Jen doesn't think of herself as handicapped and has never let her missing limbs slow her down. In fact, she seems to prefer moving around without her prosthetics better than with them. Jen learned to play sports and drive just like any other child. Now, she's an aerialist who toured with Brittany Spears! Jen published a portion of her dream list inside the book and I believe she will accomplish it all. She lives fearlessly and tries to teach us how in her book.

I breezed through reading Everything is Possible because it was just like chatting with my best friend. It's tone is bubbly and conversational. It's easy to fly through, soaking in bits and pieces of Jen's story and  attitude as you go. Although it is an "easy read" it contains great "meat" and is a book I anticipate coming back to again and again and taking away new lessons each time-just like spending time with an old friend!

I'm truly thankful that Jen was inspired to write such a book and have followed her on Facebook to see what she does next!

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Book Review: Successful Women of the Bible by Katata Washington Patton

Successful Women of the Bible takes us through the lives of both well known and lesser known women in the Bible. It explores the lives of women like Miriam and Deborah as well Lois and Eunice and the values that can be derived out of their words and actions in order to teach us how to successfully live as biblical women.

I found this book really refreshing. It was approachable, not preachy. I liked how Patton told each woman's story, give each woman a modern "voice", explained the woman's story and the importance of her life and actions and then follows up with an "action plan" or "mission statement" for how we can try to live like the role models she discusses. I've read other books that venture to give Biblical characters fictionalized voices but push the limits of either belief or scriptural credibility and Patton's account does neither.

I think Successful Women of the Bible is a great jumping off point for a study focusing on women of the Bible. It's a book that encourages us to read God's Word and grow in Christ.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Meet Sweet Sadie

One of the big differences between my husband and I is that he is a animal lover and I am well...not. We had pets growing up-golden retrievers and stray cats by the handful as well as my favorite, EB, our bunny.  However, they were outside pets. I could spend time with them if and when I wanted but they never really entered into my domain.

Since we've been married, my husband has really wanted a pet and I had been adamantly opposed. That's why, a few years ago, I made it my goal to adopt a pet that wasn't of the the rock genus. That's why we adopted our husky Mila. whose story I will tell later.

So it's been a while since we've had a pet and I could tell my hubby really missed having an animal around. While I've warmed up to the idea of having a pet, I really am 100% fine without ever being a pet owner again, and truthfully, I still feel like I could leave it. I enjoy them, but for me the payoff just isn't there but since it is there for my husband and he has agreed to do the majority of the messy work, we decided to adopt a pet from the Humane Society.

Enter Sadie:

She is a two year old golden retriever and basset hound mix.

She's a goober who likes to sleep with her head slightly under the pillow.

You can see her tail wagging in this picture. If someone is talking, her tail is wagging. It doesn't matter that you aren't talking to her.

She's tired after a long walk. 

Sadie had pretty bad separation anxiety that we are trying to ease with crate training but other that she is a pretty sweet dog. 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Book Review: JumpStart Your Priorites by John C. Maxwell

This book is broken down into 90 page segments. Each segment contains two pages. The first page contains an inspirational quote or verse and the second page consists of an assignment or exercise with space for writing or journaling. The topics fall in twelve different categorizes including attitude, health, family, faith and growth. The exercises range from self assessments to writing goals to writing declarations.

I really like that this book is broken down into bite-sized pieces. It makes making an improvement plan seem a lot more manageable. I think the premise of the book- that your success depends on your daily agenda- is very true. I also liked that the book has a workbook where you can apply the principles that Maxwell talks about.

However, a found the book to be a bit repetitive. I felt like it was more "90 days of advice on how to start getting serious about your priorities" than an "90-day improvement plan". But I guess, if the sole goal is after 90 days that you are more focused then it is an improvement. I guess from all the "hype" about Maxwell being a #1 author I expected a little more. All in all, it's not a bad book, but I wouldn't buy it for a friend.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Try Around The World Box 2: Sweden!

As, I mentioned in last month's post I signed up for Try the World on a promotional deal. I received a free box with purchase (take advantage of that deal HERE). My first box, was from Brazil.

My free box was the Sweden box. It contains a card explaining the Swedish traditions of fikka and smorgasbord. Fikka is basically a tea break. Smorgasbord, a more well know term, means having a variety of foods out. The card broke down the best ways to use the included ingredients as either fikka or smorgasbord.

In my Sweden box, I received:

A box of oatmeal chocolate sandwich cookies (they included a recipe for a cookie milkshake I can'r t wait to try!), flat bread crisps and a box of licorice 

A good sized bottle of elderflower syrup-a $13-$18 value!!(Any good baking recipes, anyone?)

Nordic fudge (yum!), Lingonberry jam-a $10-$12 value (also yum) and sweet and hot honey mustard
Not pictured: a bag of coffee

Again, I think Try the World hit it out out of the park on this one. I received 8 different items in different food categories (treats, ingredients and condiments). I wish the fudge bag was a little bigger but overall I think the value was definitely there! I am excited to see what my September box holds.

If you'd like to take advantage of the same free box with purchase promotion, use THIS LINK.

For other Try the World reviews, click HERE.

For other subscription box reviews, click HERE.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Book Review: Feisty and Feminine by Penny Young Nance

Penny Nance is the CEO and president of Concerned Women for America and her book inspired me to be just that-concerned-for America, along with those who do not share my faith.

Nance's book is a rallying cry of sorts, for concerned, conservative women who have stayed silent for far too long. We've remained silent for a variety of reasons including fear. Nance's book is filled with statistics and stories to motivate as well as useful strategies to help enact change. Her book covers topics ranging from the devaluation of women, marriage, abortion, women in foreign policy and life balance. Each chapter is broken into two sections, the facts about the topic and ways that Nance encourages conservative women to change the world around them. The book is also peppered with profiles of successful women who hold conservative values,

Many of Nance's arguments had me chanting "yes yes yes!" as I realized that she was articulating ideas, emotions and beliefs that I had but couldn't express. Other topics, I didn't know as much about going into her book but Nance managed to bring me quickly to speed and left me with a passion to know more and do more.

If you're a conservative woman who's sick of having her values and opinions pushed aside or even mocked, this is definitely for you. If you're a conservative woman whose been fueling a silent fire, this is the book for you. If you're informed or uninformed about the issues in today's world, this book is for you. If you're informed you're glean new strategies and if your're uninformed you'll be prepared and educated. I've already started texting my friends pictures of this book as a must read. It is educational, inspirational and confirmational all in one book.

* I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.