Friday, August 13, 2010

Shout-Out to Steph!

So, Steph's birthday was over a month ago, and I've been wanting to do a 'birthday post' for her. But it's so late, I think I'll save that for next year. (Sorry, SIL!)

For now, I will say that she's great. She is very generous of time and gifts and loves those close to her very deeply. The most recent example of her helping us out was her coming to Verizon to take us home at midnight when my car wouldn't start. She had already been in bed but came to get us and ended up staying with us until after 1 am when we finally got some help from AAA.So, if you don't know my sister-in-law, you can get to know a little bit about her, here.

Fiona Adventures

To be honest, I thought that Fiona was a small dog. I didn't really comprehend that she was a puppy. I probably would not have been so excited about getting her. Our first couple weeks were pretty rough with all the whining, yelping, barking, and house training. I thought I was going to go insane! Thankfully, she's doing much better now, but here are some of the adventures we tackled:
1. She seems to have come to us with giardia, which is a not-so-fun infection of her intestines. She's had some lovely explosive diarrhea that sometimes greets us in (and out of) her kennel when we come home. Thus, the pictures of her first bath. (Much better than a picture of the mess, I assure you.) Thankfully, Matt works at a great vet and gets good discounts on treatment for her. 2. I think on day #2 or 3, we had a dog bed laying beside her kennel because we thought Nala may want to lay close to her while we were gone. This site greeted us when we got home. Somehow, puppy managed to get the dog bed partially inside the crate, enough for her to tear out the insides and completely ruin the entire (XL-sized) dog bed. The next day, Matt came home from work and found that she had somehow pushed the bottom liner of the crate out and eaten a large portion of the carpet under her crate. (Goodbye, security deposit.)

3. As a result of the above incident, we decided to try keeping both the dogs out together but limited to one hallway. We bought this nice gate from Petsmart. There was nothing shredable. 4. We came home to this: Oh, Fiona...

She proves to me all the time that Nala really is the perfect dog. ;)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Welcome, Fiona Jayne Flagler!

Fiona Jayne became part of our family on July 7th, 2010, our 3rd anniversary!

We found her at the Berkeley County ASPCA on July 5th, but it took a couple of days to get everything worked out with our landlord. We loved her right away! When we walked back into the room of dogs, we saw a dog that looked a lot like Nala. He started barking right away, which caused almost all of the dogs to start barking! Fiona was one of the 2 dogs who did not bark, so we were attracted to her. We took her back into the room to get to know her and wanted to take her home right away, but we had to come back the next day for Nala to meet her to make sure they would get along. They got along just fine. :) And we still loved her (at that time, her name was Maggie), so we pursued the application to get her. We've had many adventures this last month but are very glad that she has become part of our family. Nala seems to love being an older sister, even though she can sometimes seem very annoyed with her 'little sis'. More updates of Fiona's adventures to come...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Video of Nala Eating

Found this video when we were transferring stuff to the new computer. Nala went through this stage where she would ONLY eat her food straight off the floor and had a funny dance she would do to get it from the bowl to the floor. Hasn't done it in awhile, so I'm glad Matt caught it on video! :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Remembering Matt's Mom

(This is similar to last year's post but now with different pictures.)I only knew her as Steven and Matt's mom, Mrs. Debbie. In high school, we knew her as the mom who always brought lunch (something good) to Steven and Matt... and who was always at school early to pick them up. I wish I had known her so much better. The most interaction I had with her was in the summer of 1999, at the airport right before Steven and I went on a school trip to France. She was really funny, though I don't remember everything she said. I just remember she made us laugh a lot. It was during that trip that Steven and I finally became friends. He was no longer so "dorky", and I guess I was no longer so "scary".A couple weeks after we returned from France, Debbie and her sister, Pat, were in a horrible car accident on their way home from visiting with their other sister. Outside of Orangeburg, SC, a bucket fell off of a construction truck heading up I-26. The Honda behind the truck swerved to miss the bucket and lost control of the vehicle, colliding head-on with the van Debbie was driving. They didn't know it was coming.In the Honda, the girl in the front seat was killed instantly. Her name was Amanda, and she and I had become friends the previous year during a weekend retreat. Her fiance, the guy driving the car, suffered some minor leg injuries but was able to walk away from the accident. Aunt Pat's legs were severely injured, and she was flown to MUSC in Charleston, while Mrs. Debbie was flown to Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia. So, the two sisters were separated by a couple hundred miles, both hospitalized, in serious condition.Mrs. Debbie's condition was critical. When the family arrived at the Columbia hospital, they were callously told by the surgeon, "I hope this isn't your relative because this person isn't going to live."The following few days were filled with lots of doctors, lots of surgeries, and lots of hours spent in the waiting room. The family was only briefly allowed to visit Debbie, for short 15 minute periods of time every few hours. The waiting room became a second home and was filled to the brim with friends and family who came to support Debbie in her fight for life.There was also a lot of prayer! Debbie's dad, Jesse Powers, has a lot of church connections in Columbia. One of the things the family remembers most from that time is all the people who visited and prayed with them. Every member of our family gained life-long lessons that week--about God, His will, and about prayer. Some have more understanding of it, and others have more questions. But without a doubt, that week of time was life-altering, in more ways than one.
On July 31st, 1999, Debbie Powers Flagler was released from her earthly body. The effects from the accident would have been debilitating, and everyone who knew her says she would not have wanted to live the life that would have been hers in that condition. And though God did not give her full physical healing, He called her home to be with Him. On that day, 11 years ago, our family lost a precious jewel--and Heaven gained one.
I feel very sad that I don't know her as my mother-in-law. I feel very sad that Matt lost his mom when he was only 14. I feel sad that he's missing her so much right now. And I feel sad that the rest of the world lost such a beautiful person. A woman full of life, laughter and love for her Lord & family. From everything I know about her, she is the epitome of the woman I long to be.Last year, as I was talking to the Lord about missing my mother-in-law and thinking of the grief and mourning of our family, I prayed aloud," God, 10 years! We miss her so much. That's just such a long time." His whisper to me was very clear,"It hasn't seemed long for us. For Me and Debbie, it has been just a moment."May I continue to strive to be a woman like my mother-in-law, and may I continue to grow closer to the God who knows and loves us both. In the meantime, I'll continue to long for the day when we can all spend eternity with our Abba Father--where years will pass as moments in His holy presence!