Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pupppy Trial

I started looking for a new dog right away--all our reasons for getting a dog were still there, and my way of coping with the sadness of losing Josie was to find something else to replace her. Through we found a listing for a 5-month-old Labradoodle mix. His mother is a standard poodle and his father is a labradoodle/retriever mix. What we liked in his picture, though, was that his fur looked more like a retriever than a poodle (although Nolan wasn't too excited that the dog is a "doodle"). He is black with some brown highlights. In the sunshine, he has an almost plum-color to his fur. His breeder is selling him because she had hoped to breed him, but then he started shedding a little bit, which means she couldn't sell his puppies as shed-free. All of this made for a great deal for us! We met the breeder and Berkley (although we want to change his name) in Troutdale on Wednesday evening. Poor Berkley was so scared! We couldn't really see much of his personality because he was so nervous, but I was impressed by how much he clearly loved his breeder. The breeder agreed to a 14 day trial period with him, so if he doesn't take to us we're able to return him. The poor thing was very nervous and frightened last night, but gradually took to me. For some reason he's very distant with Nolan, but we're slowly remedying that by having Nolan give him cheese (his favorite treat as we've discovered). Wylie and Sophie have actually warmed up to him really quickly. Within a half hour of being introduced to him, they both were bathing themselves and chasing bugs within 5 feet of him! Berkley was so scared of them he tried to hide behind our vertical blinds! If he keeps progressing the way he has this evening, he could turn out to be a great dog! We'll just have to make sure he passes the kid-test.

Monday, March 23, 2009

On a Lighter Note

There is new life springing up in our home! Nolan's mom started several rosebushes for me last spring, and we enjoyed planting them all summer. When it as time for me to prune my bushes back this year, there were a few that Becky asked me to make some clippings of. I put the clippings in a jar of water hoping to see at least one survive. I can't believe the growth we're seeing!

The first three are the "St. Patrick's Day" rose and the last one is "Dream Come True."

A Sad Day in the Nelson Household

Today Nolan and I took Josie back to the Linn County Dog Control. Yesterday Josie bit Josiah (4-year-old nephew) without any provocation or warning. Thankfully, Nolan was able to pull her away quickly and Josiah only received a minor scratch. We could only imagine how much worse it could have been. We loved our dog, but know that she could no longer be trusted, especially around children. It was a hard decision to make, but the right one. I'm so proud of Nolan through all of this.

We will be looking for another dog. We'll definitely take our time, though. We don't want to have to go through this experience again. Josie brought a lot of fun and joy to our lives--especially Nolan's. We'll either find a puppy (which means it'll be a while since we would need me to be home with it), or a slightly more mature dog where we can know the ins and outs of its history.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm Headed to Chicago!

Tomorrow morning my team from work (Lucy-my Early Childhood Director, Jared-Elementary Director, and Caleb-Intern) will be flying to Chicago for the Willow Creek Association's Conspire Children's Ministries Conference! This will be my fourth year attending and my first year speaking! I'll be presenting in two break out sessions on what we've been doing with our 4th and 5th graders. It's a huge honor and a dream come true. Check out my whole story on the road to Conspire here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pictures from my phone

I just uploaded a bunch of pictures from my phone, and thought I'd share.

Good times in Maryland over Thanksgiving.

Poor Josie, wearing her cone after getting fixed.

Cami happy and playing on the couch. She was fine as long I was between her and Josie.

Micah in his "Corvallis Cap" from Uncle Mike. This was when the kids spent the night right after we got Josie.

Wylie wanted to look at my laptop too!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

What We've Been Up To

Nolan and I haven't had much excitement in our life lately, but have had plenty going on!

-Nolan is spending his evening studying for the Professional Engineer exam he'll be taking in April. It's an 8 hour test and will be a huge accomplishment in his career, so he's taking this studying very seriously. Already he can't wait for the day when his evenings are just full of relaxation again.

-We'll be closing on refinancing our house tomorrow. While we had a good loan to start with, we thought it'd be nice to lower the interest rate and save some money each month! It'll be nice to have the process over with.

-My work has been busy lately--we've gone from averaging around 260 kids per weekend to 290 kids. I love seeing our ministry grow! We also had our third Family Movie Night on Friday where attendance is free and we offer a low-cost snack bar. The families at our church are loving it!

-Life with the animals is improving. Josie is learning new disciplines each day (how to obey Nolan better on walks, that she doesn't get attention until she sits, etc.), but the cats still aren't ready to be her friends yet.

-We're officially signed up to go on a mission trip to Latvia in August with our church. Our team will be helping staff an English camp that our missionary there puts on for teens. Most of the kids who attend the camp are orphans. We're excited to have this opportunity to serve together. It'll be my 4th mission trip and Nolan's first. But it'll be both of our first times traveling so far.

So that's what's up with us these days!