Monday, April 27, 2015


On February 15th, our family grew by four feet...canine feet that is :) When Maggie passed away in November we didn't make any plans to get another pet anytime soon. We decided to just take it one day, one week, one month at a time and enjoy being together as a family. Occasionally, I would look through the Facebook page of pets at the local animal shelter that needed a forever home. I also found some websites selling golden retrievers but none of them were in our price range, so I started telling myself that another golden probably wouldn't happen. 

Then came President's Day...Josh spent the day off from work and well, if you know Josh then you know that the man can research like no one else. He will go from one website to another and just digest incredible amounts of information when he is researching something he wants to buy. He just happened to look at one of the websites selling golden retriever puppies and saw that there was a litter that had been marked down to a reasonable price. He called and inquired about the litter and talked to the breeder for quite some time. He found out that they were only about 2 hours away from where we lived and that there was one male left in the litter. The breeder sent Josh several photos of the puppies and we both agreed that we wanted to try a male this time. While I'm teaching at school that morning, Josh keeps sending me texts and pictures of all the puppies. I was so excited about the thought of getting another puppy, but more than that I was so excited about Eli having a puppy that would be his. 

We decided to keep it a surprise from Eli and just told him that we were going on a road trip after school on Wednesday. He didn't get to take a nap at school that day because we dismissed early so he crashed pretty quickly once we were in the car and slept the entire way there. When we pulled up to the house where the breeder lived, Eli woke up but couldn't figure out where we were. I decided to play a little trick on him and pointed to some chickens that were in the yard and told him that we had decided to get some chickens. The catch was that he had to go capture the one he wanted to be his. That sweet boy started unbuckling his seat belt because he was so excited about trying to go catch his chicken. I had to quickly tell him that really wasn't why we were there and then we drove to the back where the puppies were. The look on his face when he realized that he was going to get a puppy was priceless! It was the sweetest thing ever! 

The breeder let the puppies out of the pen and we watched them run around, jump, climb, play and have fun together. We showed Eli which one was the boy and he tried his best to catch him but he was really fast. He had lots of fun chasing all the puppies around while we talked to the breeder. We got all the paperwork and then it was time to load up and drive home. Eli couldn't wait to hold his puppy in his lap :)

While we were driving home we started thinking of names for our newest family member. I had originally thought we were going to name him Jake, but Eli didn't like that name. Josh liked Champ but Eli didn't like that one either. I started to think of the names of golden retrievers from different movies I'd seen and remembered that Tom Hanks had a golden retriever named Barkley in the movie "You've Got Mail." I threw out the name Barkley and Eli loved it, so it was official...we had a Barkley.

We stopped by Tractor Supply Company to pick up a kennel, collar, water/food bowls, and a chew toy for Barkley. We brought Barkley inside with us since it was a pet friendly store :) We quickly learned that Barkley loves to be held and cuddled. He was so snuggly. 

When we got home, we set up his kennel and it was time for everyone to go to bed. For his first night,  Barkley did pretty well. He barked and whined until about midnight but then he seemed to settle down for the night. He did better and better each night and seemed to adjust to being the newest member of our family. His first month with us was pretty much spent doing what a newborn does...sleeping. 

Eli and Barkley have really bonded. Barkley LOVES Eli with a capital L. His favorite thing is to play with Eli around the house. Since Eli has never had a puppy before he's had to learn that playing with a puppy is a lot different than playing with an adult dog. Barkley jumps and chews and treats Eli like he's one of his litter mates. It's cute to watch but we've been telling Eli he better learn to be tough with Barkley now or he's going to run all over him when he gets bigger :)


After we lost Maggie, Eli drew a picture of a dog he was going to get in the future. He decided that August 31, 2015 sounded like a good day to get a new dog. After we got Barkley, Eli went to the wall where I had displayed his picture, took it down, and changed the date to the day Barkley joined our family. I thought it was the sweetest thing ever!

Stay tuned for more pictures of our newest family member. He's already proving to be full of spunk and personality :)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

January in a Nutshell

We came back from Grammy and Pop's house on New Year's Eve and made it home just in time to enjoy some fireworks. We didn't do very many fireworks at our house, but we were able to enjoy a huge fireworks show down at our neighbor's house! It was crazy big and I felt like we were watching a professional show. 

Our winter garden was incredibly plentiful this year and we were able to enjoy lots of yummy spinach and mustard greens. Unfortunately, our cabbage took FOREVER to grow so we didn't get enjoy one from our garden for New Year's. We've already made plans to plant them earlier next year. 

I picked mustard greens about once a week and really enjoyed cooking them and putting them away in our freezer. They taste so much better than the ones you get out of a can from the grocery store. I take so much pride knowing that our food comes from our garden and I control all the ingredients that go in it. 

Grandpa E ordered Eli a really cool robotics kit for Christmas and it arrived a couple of weeks into January. He and I stayed up late one night building different models. It's going to be lots of fun for him because he loves building things and the kid can follow instructions like a pro.

The cold weather made trips to the local coffee shop to get hot chocolate a must. Eli and I enjoyed a hot chocolate date there one cold January afternoon. We played checkers and had lots of fun spending time together.

Eli is really good at checkers and this was the face I got after he triple jumped me. I'd love to say that I "let him win" but he definitely was paying better attention than me and earned that triple jump fair and square. It's a good thing he's cute :)

Our school days were filled with lots of fun activities. One of my students asked Santa for a corn snake for Christmas and Santa delivered. She begged me to let her bring him to school and I agreed. It was fun getting to see her tell my other students all about her corn snake. We took turns holding him and even got to watch him eat poor baby mice. Circle of Life, right? After school was over, Eli came to my room and he was so excited to be able to hold a real live snake. We had a big talk about how he was not allowed to do this with any snake he happened to see at home. 

Our whole school celebrated the 100th Day of School and Sarah and I documented that we had survived 100 days in fourth grade. Neither one of us could have planned how we ended up together again but we are both so incredibly thankful. This year in the fourth grade has been such a wonderful blessing! 

When Eli got to my room that afternoon after celebrating the 100th Day of School he was sporting some really cool glasses. It's hard to believe that this cute little boy will be in the 1st grade next year! 

That was our January in a nutshell. 2015 was getting off to a great start and we couldn't wait to make more memories! (Just in case you were wondering, I created our usual "End of the Year slideshow" for 2014, but iMovie isn't cooperating with me at the moment so I haven't been able to upload it...hopefully soon!)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Quick Trip to See Grammy and Pop

Since Eli and I were off two weeks from school for Christmas break, we decided to go see Grammy, Pop, Tinsley and Jameson for a couple of days after Christmas. Josh and Andrea were out of town so our coming actually worked out great because I was able to keep Tinsley and Jameson for Mom and Dad so they didn't have to take off work. Three kids was a lot of work but also a lot of fun! We had a blast hanging out with each other during the day. 

When we got to town we first went to Books-a-Million so Eli could use his gift card he got for Christmas from Mr. Art and Mrs. Vera. He's reading so much now so he tested out a couple of books before he made his decision. I loved being able to sit beside him and hear him read. 

He ended up choosing a Jake and the Neverland Pirates book with a read-along CD and a punch pen. Thanks for the gift, Mr. Art and Mrs. Vera!

I went to a couple of stores to use gift cards I had and then we went to Grammy and Pop's house. It was so good to get to spend some much time with Tinsley and Jameson. We played in the house, visited some stores, and went out to eat some yummy food. 

I loved being able to do Tinsley's hair every day. She let me braid it and do whatever I wanted to it. I really think I'd enjoy having a little girl, but if that doesn't ever happen I'm glad Tinsley lets me practice on her :) 

Jameson was definitely in a "I want to see you at all times" stage which kind of threw me for a loop. I was definitely out of my element in that regard because with Eli I can get ready for the day and not have to constantly worry if he's okay or getting into something he shouldn't be doing. Jameson wanted you to be around constantly and he really preferred it if you were holding him. I just couldn't hold him and get ready so this was how we compromised :) He sat in the Bumbo next to me at the sink so I could put on my make-up and do my hair. 

My dad chose to stay with us during the day and work at night, so one evening Mom and I loaded up the kids and went to Jason's Deli for supper. Jameson really enjoyed the ice cream there. 

We enjoyed the ice cream too!

The rest of our time was just spent playing at the house with each other. I'm glad I got the chance to love on my niece and nephew even if it was just for a couple of days. I'm supposed to get Tinsley for a week this summer so Eli and I are already looking forward to the time we're going to get to spend with her. I love both of those little munchkins so much!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...