Posted in Friday Favorites, Homer

Friday Favorites: Happy Birthday, Homer

For this edition of Friday Favorites, I’m celebrating Homer turning O N E!

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea, Narci, and Erika, so make sure to check out their posts too!

I’ve previously posted about getting Homer being a highlight of our summer! Also, I wrote a post about Homer at his six month milestone.

Two of my favorite things are birthdays and Homer, so here’s a little Happy Birthday tribute to Homer.

It’s my birthday!

Of course, we don’t know Homer’s actual birthday because we adopted him from Tails of Hope OH. He was listed as possibly being 12 weeks old, but after the first vet visit, he thought Homer was closer to 10 weeks old. So, based off that, his birthday would be around mid-March. Dogs in our family get a vanilla ice cream from Dairy Queen on their birthday, so we will get Homer one this weekend! Then, in the future, we may just celebrate his “gotcha” date of June 8.

10 weeks vs 1 year

Homer: month by month

My friend Natalie got a Golden Retriever pup a few months before we got Homer. She had the idea of monthly pics based off of the @goldenpeanutpupper account on Instagram. I loved the idea (and remember: I treat Homer like the third child I never had!), so I took monthly pics as well. Homer will pose instantly for a treat, so the monthly pics weren’t too hard to take. It was so fun to watch him grow this year!!

Months 3-7 (month 6-7 amazes me how much taller he got!)
months 8-12

Homer’s DNA Results

I wrote a post about Homer’s DNA results here, so check that out if you’d like. We were looking for a lab mix, and that’s what we got! Even the first time our vet saw him, he mentioned he thought Homer had some Husky in him…and he does. His break down is:

  • 25% American Staffordshire Terrier
  • 25% Great Pyrenees
  • 25% Labrador Retriever
  • 12.5% Chow Chow
  • 12.5% Husky

Hobbies:

Since we got Homer, I’ve joked about his “hobbies.” They include, but are not limited to:

chasing his tail, trying to catch lightning bugs, chewing shoe laces, licking dirty dishes in the dishwasher, unlocking his kennel while he’s inside of it, stealing food off of the counter, licking lotion off my legs, running full speed onto the couch, licking the shower door, chewing (and destroying!) the remote control, licking icing off of a cookie cake, chewing up stuffed animals, getting into the outside garbage and littering the backyard, playing in the mud, dragging the toilet paper down the hall, destroying Trav’s wallet (x2!), tearing up school work, running around in the snow, dumping his water bowl over and bringing the empty bowl to us, taking receipts out of jacket pockets and tearing them up, destroying baseball hats, eating a tub of Parmesan cheese, and giving us KISSES (I had to end on a positive note!) #homerisahandful #buthecute

Homer by the Numbers…

  • years old: 1(ish)
  • Pounds weighed: 55
  • # months in our family: 9
  • # of nicknames: 4 (probably more!): Homster, Biscuit, Pooks, Sweets
  • # of dead birds he’s brought into the house: 3
  • # of breeds in his genetic makeup: 5
  • # of scarves he wears to be stylish: 7
  • # of things that have been #Homered: too many to count
  • # of hearts who love him: 4 #wehearthomer

Fave Pics of Homer

Our Dogs are Our Family

My love for pups runs deep. The greatest gift my parents gave my brother and me was showing us what a dog can add to a family. Growing up, we had a German Shepherd named Maggie and then a couple years after she passed away, we got a Doberman named Jake. They were such an important part of our home and taught us about unconditional love, responsibility, and unwavering loyalty.

While we currently heart Homer, we’ve loved two other pups in our family as well. After our one year anniversary, I tricked Travis into thinking that the standard one year anniversary gift was a dog! We didn’t have kids yet, but we knew Boxers were great with kids. We got Shiloh in August of 2006. In the spring of 2008, I convinced Travis that Shiloh needed a friend…We stuck with the Boxer breed, and we got Scout!

Shiloh and Scout meant the world to us…when both of them passed (Scout in April 2018 and Shiloh in March of 2019), I thought about all the times they were there for us. Their unconditional love helped us through some tough times, and, in general, they brought such joy to our lives.

I’m not sure what they would think of Homer. Scout would probably enjoy playing with him, and Shiloh would probably have had zero tolerance for him πŸ˜‰ (She was known for her rested B face!)

We miss them fiercely, but Homer has helped our hearts heal.

“A dog is the only thing on Earth that loves you more that he loves himself.”

Josh Billings

#truth

Top left: Scout; Top right: Shiloh

Happy birthday, Homer! There’s a vanilla ice cream pup cup headed your way this weekend!

Thanks for reading today’s Friday Favorites post. We sure do love Homer, and he certainly is a favorite of ours…especially when he’s behaving…or sleeping (He’s so cute when he’s sleeping!)

Have a great weekend! See you back here on Monday for a favorite recipe of mine!

Posted in Life Lately

Life Lately

Happy Wednesday! We are slowly getting used to the time change. Once I make the adjustment, I do like it being lighter longer, but now it’s odd to wake the kids up, and it’s dark outside. It will all start to even out as the days go on, and it will be summer before we know it!

We’ve been up to a little of this and a little of that, so thought I’d share about our life…lately!

Activities

Hadley’s volleyball session finished up, and Hayden’s baseball season officially started. Thankfully, Travis helps coach baseball, so while I always write the practice schedule on the family calendar, it’s Travis who gives up so much of his time helping with the team!

Books

I finished reading American Royals last week. In this twist on history, the US won the revolution and Washington became king. Set in modern day, Princess Beatrice is being prepped for the throne. I think this book is technically “young adult,” but I loved it. The sequel, Majesty, comes out this fall; I can’t wait to read it too.

I finally finished The Broken Girls yesterday. The story is set in Vermont with chapters taking place in 1950 and 2014. There is a girls’ home called Idlewild where girls who aren’t wanted or who are trouble makers are sent back in 1950. In the 2014 setting, journalist Fiona Sheridan is investigating the details surrounding her sister’s death twenty years earlier. Her sister’s body was found near Idelwild. When renovations begin on the property in 2014, it has Fiona wanting to learn more and put together the pieces of two different puzzles.

Recipes

I read Andrea’s blog daily, and she shared her recipe for 7 UP biscuits. I made them last week, and they were a hit. They were easy to make and so delicious.

Homer

Newsflash: Homer has energy to burn! Travis decided to take him to a local doggy daycare on Thursday. The first session was a “Meet and Greet” session, and he stayed all day. I picked him up after school, and he was sooooo tired. Hadley was super concerned about how exhausted and well-behaved Homer was! We hope to take him a few times a month…Dogtopia wore him out…and he was able to work on his social skills! πŸ˜‰ Double bonus.

Tuckered out pooch!

Hadley

Friday evening, Hayden went to a birthday party, and Hadley and I had dinner at A&W. I thought a root beer float sounded good, and Hadley loves their chicken tenders. We had a good evening together.

I volunteered to be one the of chaperones (and drivers) for Hadley’s Girl Scout Troop field trip to COSI in Columbus, OH. COSI stands for Center of Science and Industry. I’d never heard of it until signing up to chaperone.

Hadley is so blessed to be in a troop with so many sweet girls. Some of my best mom friends are because of the moms I met when Hadley joined this troop in kindergarten.
We left Saturday afternoon and drove to Columbus, OH. The girls were participating in the COSI Camp-in that started at 6:00. Apparently, there were around 1,000 Girl Scouts there that night!

We arrived a little early, so the girls played on the playground outside the science center. Then, we checked in and were escorted to our area for the overnight. We were so lucky because we were assigned to the Simulator Room. The Simulator Room was closed for the evening, so we were able to house our belongings and had a private space to ourselves. Other troops were sleeping in the hallways, the large meeting rooms, and other nooks and crannies of the center.

After we got settled, we had dinner in the Atomic Cafe. Then, we went to the Welcome Meeting in the theater where we got our schedule and other information. From 7:30-11:00, we explored all the things. Our first stop after the Welcome Meeting was the Planetarium. This was my favorite part! I love a good planetarium πŸ˜‰ Then, we went to Progress Town where the girls explored through the different time periods and decades. They loved the news station the best at Progress Town. We also visited the Ocean exhibit, the DC Super Heroes exhibit, the Just Dance party, the Electrostatic Generator program, the Hands On gallery and much more.

They provided us with a snack at 10:00 and then the girls explored some more. Around 10:30, we went ahead and set up our sleeping area. Then, some of the girls went to the dance party from 11-11:30. They made an announcement for lights out by midnight. Someone (a guy named Jake!) came around to turn the lights off. We were all tired, so everyone pretty much fell right to sleep. Of course, with Daylight Savings Time and an early 7:00 wake up call, that meant we got about six hours of sleep…on the floor…#Imnotaboutthatlife πŸ˜‰

The lights came on at 7:00 while the “Good Morning” song played. We packed up, took our things to the car, and then came back inside for breakfast. A few of the girls were dying to ride the Tightrope Unicycle, so I stood in line with those ladies. It’s a popular attraction and each person’s turn is around 5 minutes by the time they check their height, strap them in, tell them what to do, share fun facts, and then say go! So, some girls decided not to wait any longer…and would rather explore. Again, I hung with the four girls who wanted their turn. I was proud of all of them…they were excited and then had to put on their brave face when it was their turn πŸ™‚ Hadley had a great time and was glad she did it.

After the unicycle, it was time to go, but the ladies hit up the gift shop first. Then, my group of three wanted to look at the dinosaur exhibit, so we took a quick spin through there. Then, it was time for a quick snack, and we left!

The girls were awesome in the car. Of course, they watched a movie or two, but I loved that they wanted to play “Would You Rather” or the Alphabet game. It’s good to know they don’t need technology to be entertained.

I’m not sure if they realize it, but they are certainly blessed to have such a great group of friends.

Sweet little troop
For fun, a sweet little flashback pic of the girls when they were in 1st grade. There have been a few new members as the troop as grown. So much fun to see them all together.
Top left: Welcome Show; Top right: in the news station; Bottom left: the view in our room at night; Middle: Hadley at the Electrostatic Generator; Bottom right: a couple of super heroes!
Bottom left: Hadley on the tightrope unicyle; Other pics: dinosaur exhibit

School Stuff

Springtime in education means testing–field testing, ACT, KPREP…My kids as well as students at my school took a field test a few weeks ago, and yesterday, all high schoolers took the ACT. It seems like this time of the year is test after test after test. Now that I have my own kids at the age where they are taking tests, it’s become apparent to me how early all of this starts and the pressure that kids face all too often at school!

Hayden

Hayden brought his artwork home from school yesterday. They were to draw a fruit person…Hayden drew β€œLil Fruit X” πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Flashback

Facebook memories kill me! Look at little H&H prepping for Easter 2010!

I hope you are having a great week. We are prepping for a visit from my dad, the Major, as well as the Homster turning O N E! Come back for Friday’s blog post…it will be all about Homer! πŸ™‚

June 8, 2019

See you back here on Friday. Take care,

Posted in What's up Wednesday

What’s Up Wednesday

Hello! It’s the last Wednesday of the month which means I’m linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday.

WHAT WE ARE EATING THIS WEEK:

We were spoiled by the sunshine this weekend, and now we are back to overcast and rainy skies…so I thought soup sounded good. Also, I always try to make something on Sunday that we can have leftovers on Monday. Mondays just always seem so difficult getting in the swing of the week, so not having to think about dinner on Monday evening is always a bonus.

Sunday/Monday: Taco Soup

Tuesday: Trader Joe’s Fried Rice with Honey Walnut Shrimp and Mandarin Orange Chicken. I love Trader Joe’s. What I love most about Trader Joe’s is that I usually just wander the aisles to plan a meal or two. Whereas, when I go to Kroger (or place my online Kroger order), I always feel like I need a list! This was a quick and easy meal last night that we enjoyed overall…but I didn’t love the sauce that came with the shrimp. I wish I had left it off. The chicken (& sauce) was delish!

Wednesday: Baked chicken thighs, bagged salad, and Bob Evans mashed potatoes.

Thursday: We now have a basketball game tomorrow night #tourneytime , so we’ll probably have leftover baked chicken with Trader Joe’s Roasted Potatoes. We’ve never tried these before, so hopefully everyone likes them. Every time I go to TJ’s, I pick up one or two new things to try!

Friday/Saturday night: I’m sure we’ll eat out.

Did you see my Monday Meals post with two quick (and easy!) pasta recipes? Both are delish!

WHAT I AM REMINISCING ABOUT:

I can’t believe we’ve had Homer for almost 9 months. He was about 12 weeks old when we adopted him. So….Homer is almost one! Whew! Homer is a handful…and I tell him every day that he’s lucky he is cute! This week alone, I’ve found him licking my facial cleansing brush, he snatched a glazed donut out of the box on the counter, and he ran around the house with the kitchen towel in his mouth. Also, my hairbrush is missing. He swears he’s innocent and Hadley denies borrowing it…so I’m still on the lookout for it! I swear he’s like having ten toddlers!

June 8, 2019. Little Biscuit!
February 2020. Sweet (and ornery!) Biscuit

WHAT I AM LOVING:

At the end of the summer, I started buying the single wick candles at Bath and Body Works. I love that the three wick ones are more aromatic but sometimes they were almost too strong of a scent…and the three wick ones take up more space. So, for fall, I bought three single wick fall fragrances and did the same for the holidays. This way, I can place the candles around the house easier since the single wick ones take up less space and provide just enough of a refreshing scent. Of course, I always use a coupon (or hit up a sale) when buying the candles whether it’s the single or three wick ones. (I feel like I just used the work wick more than I should have. Sorry!) These three scents are my newest purchase for spring.

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

It’s basketball tournament time, so that sports season is wrapping up. Hayden is prepping for baseball season while Hadley continues to dance two days a week. Both kids went to birthday parties last weekend which kept us busy on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, Hadley attended the Mardi Gras party at our church while Hayden had basketball practice. Next month, Hadley has Academic Team competition, so she’s been prepping for that as well.

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Honestly, I wasn’t dreading it but I was overwhelmed getting Hadley’s Girl Scout cookie orders out. She surpassed her goal of selling 350 cookies by selling 441 boxes of cookies! I just never want to mess up an order, and it’s a lot of money to collect and sort! I’m glad the bulk of the ordering is past us!

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m working on getting back on track with my eating and exercising. I was off to a good start in 2020 and then I got the flu. After that, my eating was ok but I wasn’t really working out. So, I’m back on my Lean intermittent fasting program combined with carb cycling, tracking my macros, and working out. This program works for me…when I do it! So, getting a handle on my eating window and exercise before spring break is a good goal for me right now.

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

I’m excited about spring break! It will be here before we know it. We decided to go to NYC…but all we’ve done so far is purchase plane tickets. We are waiting to tell the kids once we firm up our plans/itinerary. What are some “musts” for us while there?? Give me all the ideas, please! I’ve always wanted to visit NYC in the fall, but we didn’t have our act together at that point to plan a trip. I’m excited to take the kids as I think they will enjoy it and appreciate it…and are able to walk/keep up with whatever we do.

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

Y’all, I’m in a slump. Or a February Funk…I started two books this month and haven’t finished either. I like them…I just have been so tired at night, I go straight to bed. Plus, our weekends have been a bit busy, so I don’t know…I’m not off to a solid start with reading in 2020. The two books I’m reading are The Broken Girls (on my Kindle) and American Royals (hardback). Again, I’m really liking them and hope to finish them this week…and start fresh in March. Do you have any good book recommendations?

I’m excited for Good Girls Season 3. The show just started back, and I hope to get caught up on it this weekend. There aren’t many shows Travis and I watch together, but that’s one of them!

Also, I found a show Up and Vanished on the Oxygen Channel on Hulu and have watched a few episodes.

And…we watched about half of Jurassic Park earlier this week…It’s one of those I remember watching as a kid and thought Hayden and Hadley would like it…but when I looked over to see Hadley crying as the dinosaur tried to eat the kids, I started to think I must have been over ten-years-old when I saw it. πŸ˜‚ Hayden wants to finish it, but Hadley will probably pass. We may not have time to finish it until the weekend anyway…maybe Hadley’s trauma will subside by then!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

I still listen to a few podcasts when I can. I regularly listen to include Willie Geist’s Sunday Sitdown and then usually add other podcasts of interest based on who is being interviewed. I’m excited because Landyn has a podcast in the works. I’m excited to listen to it when it become available.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

I bought these slippers at Target right after Christmas, and I love them. I had thought about buying the Ugg version as I’ve heard great reviews, but didn’t feel like spending that kind of money on slippers. These have been the perfect thing to put on my feet when I get home! Nice and cozy. (One of my slippers has even survived almost being #homered!…so I guess you could say that they are good quality!) πŸ˜‰

Also, I recently had to wear this pink gown…twice. Since I turned 40, it was time for me to have my first ever mammogram. While it wasn’t the best thing I’ve every experienced, it certainly wasn’t as painful as I expected it to be. As I left my appointment, the mammographer mentioned that it’s very common to get called back for an ultrasound especially to establish a baseline since it was my first mammogram.

A week later, I did receive a call to come in that week for an ultrasound. Thankfully, I was somewhat prepared for the call, so I didn’t panic. (Although, I am a worrier by nature!) As soon as the sonographer called me back to the room, she immediately told me she thought everything was fine, but they just wanted to confirm all was good. Her reassurance combined with the dimly lit room and the warm blanket she gave me, put me at ease. I had a couple of cysts as well as a fibroadenoma, which I learned is very common in women and benign.

I was actually relieved to have the mammogram scheduled. I’ve known women who have had breast cancer even in their early thirties. That being said, it was almost scary for me to be in the 35-39 years of age…where doctors say, “You are too young to worry about _____” when I know people who have had their lives changed in an instant at a younger age.

I’m thankful for a healthy report, and I’ll also be very grateful for that yearly appointment and peace of mind.

mammogram day & ultrasound day

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

Hadley has a tournament game on Saturday (and both could still be playing if they win), but other than that we don’t have too much planned. It may actually be a lowkey weekend which we haven’t had in awhile.

I think Travis is going to take Hayden to the UK basketball game on Saturday. I hope to read, get caught up on house stuff, groceries, etc.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

March means that the Homster is turning 1! We’ve always gotten our dogs a vanilla ice cream cup from Dairy Queen, so he has that to look forward to. Since we don’t know his actual birthday, in the future, we’ll probably celebrate him (w/ the ice cream) on June 8. His gotcha day!

Also, March means St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve got a little bit of Irish in me, and grew up having corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread to celebrate March 17th. I make those recipes now for my family, and we always look forward to the tradition.

That’s it for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday. Make sure to check out Sheaffer and Shay’s posts too!

Take care,

Jen

Posted in Three things

Three Things

While I tend to write about what’s going on in our family in some of my regular posts, I thought I’d write a Three Things post to dive a bit deeper into what’s been going on in our family.

Red plate tradition – great report card & completion of Science Fair project
  1. Hayden’s sport right now is basketball. I guess we are halfway through the season. While this appears to be a “growing year” for his team, I enjoy watching him play πŸ™‚ Believe it or not, baseball season is right around the corner.
  2. Hayden’s still basking in the glow of Honorable Mention on his Science Fair Project. I think he’s secretly patting himself on the back—he did enough to get the special certificate and medal, but he doesn’t have to go through the interview process again at the district level…He’ll let Hadley do that. haha
  3. Hayden loves to read. He just finished the book Hatchet, and he loved it. He finished it Monday night…and was probably up a little too late for a school night, but the kid loves to read and couldn’t wait to tell us all about the book.
Red plate tradition- for great report card, dance tryout, & completion of Science Fair project
  1. As mentioned in previous post, Hadley’s science project earned her a spot in the district’s Science Fair next month. She also just started Academic Team at her school. Hadley loves the social aspect of any team, activity, or hobby. Girlfriend loves to talk and make new friends.
  2. Hadley tried out for dance in the Gifted and Talented program at her school, and she made the cut. I’m still not sure what all it entails, but she was excited to try out, I was nervous for her (I’d never tell her that!), but, of course, we’re proud of her for pushing herself to try out!
  3. Hadley’s become quite the baker. On Monday, we were making a brownie/cookie mix from a box. She got all the ingredients out, and then said, “Mom, we are working on fractions in math. Let me see if I can do this on my own!” I gave her minimal guidance, and we all enjoyed a delicious dessert!
  1. The horse business continues to keep Travis busy. Also, he’s one of the asst. coaches on Hayden’s basketball team. I do think Hadley misses him coaching her team…maybe next year?
  2. Just when I was back in the swing of things at school, I got sick. I’m getting back in the groove again this week. Also, I’ve made it a priority to get back on track with my intermittent fasting and meal tracking… I’m taking it slow getting back to working out, but will do so next week.
  3. Homer—is a full. time. job! haha. I always say, “Thank goodness he’s cute!” He finds any muddy spot we have in the yard, continues to chew the tv remote, destroys homework, and even pulled the toilet paper roll down the hall recently!!

That’s a little recap on what we’ve been up to lately. The month of January has definitely felt slower compared to November and December. We’ve watched movies as a family, been able to sleep in a bit, and I’ve kept up with my reading. I’ll take it while it lasts!

I hope you are having a great week.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Homer

Homer’s DNA Results and Family Tree

It’s been a good experience adopting Homer, but my type A personality has always wondered what breed(s) he is. My brother mentioned that there are DNA tests for dogs (I had no idea this was a thing). The past few months, I’ve had a few friends say they’ve done DNA tests of the dogs they’ve adopted and how interesting the results were. Most of them had mentioned Wisdom Panel as the brand they used. One of my Christmas presents was money from my dad to buy the DNA kit, so I did. The kit I bought was $50 on sale on Amazon (price is usually $80). I probably wouldn’t have rushed to purchase one, but using Christmas money made the expense a bit more justifiable. πŸ™‚

Getting Homer’s DNA was easy, and the kit provided very detailed instructions. There were two swabs, and I used each one for 30 seconds rubbing between his gum and cheek. Then, the swabs had to air out for five minutes before putting them back in their packets. I had to get online and activate the kit. Wisdom Panel did ask how old Homer is and his weight. I sent the kit off on a Monday, received an email they had received it on Friday and about eight days later received his results via email.

We were all so excited to see the results. Based on an idea a friend had given me, I had everyone write down their top three breeds they thought Homer would be. When we adopted him, the people at Tails of Hope said he (and his brothers) was a lab mix of some sort. Our vet, from the beginning, thought he may have some Husky in him.

The picture from Tails of Hope when Homer was up for adoption. I used the Pet Finder app to search for lab mix puppies within a 100 mile radius of Lexington.

Our Guesses:

Hayden: Lab, Husky, and Wolf!

Hadley: Golden Retriever, Yellow Lab, and Husky

Travis: Lab, Husky, Heeler

Me: Lab, Golden Retriever, Shepherd

The Results:

  • 25% American Staffordshire Terrier (I hadn’t even heard of this type of dog!…and I always thought all terriers were small in size!)
  • 25% Great Pyrenees (Once I clicked on the pic of this dog type, I could totally see it in Homer…and it must be where he gets his long legs…as this breed was the tallest of Homer’s mix)
  • 25% Labrador Retriever (Thank goodness he has a bit of what we were looking for in a dog! :))
  • 12.5% Chow Chow (This one still surprises me!)
  • 12.5% Siberian Husky (I guess our vet was right!)

Online, you can click on the link for each dog and it provides pics, traits, physical features, and even history about the breed.

  • American Staffordshire Terrier – Hard-working, loyal, stoic, intelligent, usually good with children, enjoy sports. Bred to guard people and property.
  • Great Pyrenees – Intelligent, watchful, generally calm (maybe Homer is easing in to this trait? haha), can be standoffish.
  • Labrador Retriever – Gentle, trusting, happy-go-lucky, good family dogs, enjoy retrieving (we know Homer knows how to do this!) and swimming.
  • Chow Chow – Loyal family dog, reserved, wary with strangers, independent spirit, bred to guard people and property.
  • Husky – Intelligent, hard-working, active, social, friendly, do well with children, energetic, stubborn, long history of helping humans, engage in digging and chasing wildlife (after reading about digging and chasing wildlife, I think Homer should have a higher percentage of Husky in him! haha) Also, cute story–Hadley was reading about each dog and the history/traits…for Husky, it said they are used to herd reindeer. Hadley said, “How hard can it be to herd reindeer?” I looked at her like, “Huh,” and she said, “There are only eight reindeer. I guess nine if you count Rudolph!” So sweet.

Family Tree

The family tree showed both parents, grandparents 1-4, and great grandparents 1-8.

Parent 1: Terrier, Lab; Grandparent 1: Terrier; Grandparent 2: Lab; Great Grandparents 1 and 2: Terriers; Great Grandparents 3 and 4: Labs
Parent 2: Pyrenees, Chow Chow, Husky; Grandparent 3: Pyrenees; Grandparent 4: Chow Chow and Husky; Great Grandparents 5 & 6: Pyrenees; Great Grandparent 7: Chow Chow; Great Grandparent 8: Husky

I’d say Homer is a sweet mix of all of these breeds. He’s loyal, intelligent, energetic, happy, independent, stubborn, watchful, active, and social. He’s a handful, but we love him. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a puppy, so I think I’ve forgotten what that takes, but he’s worth it (most days!) Sometimes, I feel like we are still getting to know each other. I’d say I feel that I was always the most attached to Shiloh and Scout. Now, I joke that there are four of us and I’m probably fourth in line to love Homer. (haha)…probably because, at times, he’s like having ten toddlers, and he’s one more thing for me (us!) to take care of.

That being said, it was my idea to get him….it’s just in me to know the love, loyalty and joy a dog brings to a family…and I know the time and will come when he quits destroying things (that time is going to come, right?), stops putting his paws on the counter, and will eventually leave dead birds outside (right?!).

He’s a good one though…and it’s been great for my kids to have a dog at their age to help and play with while also learning about the responsibilities it takes to own a dog.

Special shout out to Travis who walks him daily (the kids help sometimes too as an after school chore) and takes care of him when he’s driving me crazy.

I think the DNA kit does help give us a better understanding of our sweet, handful of a pup as we continue to get to know each other.

And, while he does drive me bonkers sometimes, I think it’s sweet that he wants to be where we are and as close as possible to us at all times. Also, he loves a routine…like every night, he hops in Hadley’s bed for a few minutes…before she kicks him out after he smothers her with his love. If she shuts the door on him before he can at least hang with her a few minutes, he whimpers and slides his paw under her door. It’s one more thing to add to our bedtime routine, but it’s Homer, so we let him have his moment.

Our sweet, playful, handful of a boy is 10(ish) months old.

Last thing, if you are a dog lover, you’d love this Dogs magazine from Life. Travis knows me so well, and it was in my stocking. It has the sweetest pictures and stories and had me tearing up from time to time.

“Dogs have given us there absolute all. We are the center of their universe. We are the focus of their love and faith and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

–Roger Caras, A Celebration of Dogs

This is most certainly the truth. We heart Homer. (AKA: Biscuit, Pooks, Homster, Homer, stop! Homer, drop it! Homer, kennel! Homer, be a good boy!) #wehearthomer #homerisahandful

Have a great weekend.

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Life Lately, Trader Joes

Life lately

Well, I’m off my Monday, Wednesday, Friday posting schedule because Life Lately included both Travis and myself being sick this week. We are both on the mend and hopefully back to our normal selves ASAP. Thankfully, the kids are old enough to somewhat fend for themselves…but I joke it’s mostly Hadley doing the “fending” for both herself and for Hayden. Who else would warm up Spaghetti O’s for dinner? #Haydenwouldstillbehungry

Trader Joe’s

I stopped in to Trader Joe’s last weekend and picked up some of my regular items, but I also picked up some holiday edition items as well.

  • Chocolate peppermint cake mix (can’t wait to make this!)
  • Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s …I love getting these every year.
  • Jingle Jangle–I’ve heard so many good things about Jingle Jangle and wanted to try it for myself. It’s a mix of all kinds of chocolate-y goodness.
  • Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper soup
  • White Cheddar Mac and Cheese (We always have multiple boxes of this at our house!)
  • Sesame Crunch Chopped Salad (I love these bagged salads–they usually provide me with two days of lunch at school)
  • ONE bar–gingerbread flavor. I thought I’d give this flavor a try and enjoyed it.
  • Black bean and cheese burrito- I usually buy a couple of versions of these.I usually eat half of one–and give the other half to the kids.
  • Mini chicken tacos- family fave

2nd Christmas tree

For the past 4 years, we’ve purchased a real Christmas tree. This year, as we hauled decorations down from the attic, Travis mentioned that maybe we could bring down the artificial tree, and put it somewhere else in the house. I decided to try it out in our sun room because it’s about the only extra space we have, and we can see it from the kitchen. It was also a good place to put our leftover ornaments. It’s tough to get behind it to plug it in. I remembered Carmel at Our Fifth House mentioning she bought The Clapper for her tree. I found one at Walgreens…two claps and the tree turns off and on!

Homer turned 9(ish) months recently. Since he’s a rescue, we don’t know his exact birthday, but I’ve been taking monthly pics (thanks to an idea from my friend Natalie who does the same with her pup!). It’s fun to see how much he’s grown. Only a few more pics and he’ll be ONE (ish)!

Gingerbread houses

Our elf usually brings a gingerbread house for the kids to decorate. This year, one of our neighbors bought them for all the kids when our families got together last weekend. My kids weren’t there when the others decorated, so they did the decorating on their own on Sunday night. These houses were already assembled (#praisehands), so they just focused on the decorating!

Red

Speaking of our elf, Red is back! The kids still look forward to his return and finding out what he’s been up to each morning. When Hadley saw him, she said, “Mom, he shops at Trader Joe’s too!” I wasn’t sure how to take that, so I said when I saw Red had returned, I realized I had forgotten to give them the chocolate advent calendars.

Southern Lights

Monday night, we made our way to the Kentucky Horse Park to see The Southern Lights. We’ve done this every year for as long as I can remember. The kids (and adults!) love it. It’s fun to see the traditional lights (like Santa playing basketball, Keeneland, and the 12 days of Christmas), but each year they add something new. This year, they had some Star Wars lights that Hayden loved.

What I’ve been reading

At the end of November, I finished One Day in December and really loved it. It’s was such a sweet book.

Then, I started the Winter Street series and have read the first two books: Winter Street & Winter Stroll. I just started the third book, Winter Storms. I now hope to read Winter Solstice as well to wrap up the series. I’ve been enjoying the Quinn family as well as the charming Nantucket setting at Christmastime.

It’s not that I’ve had that much time to read…I technically finished One Day in December in November as we drove to KC. Then, there was the nine hour drive back!! haha. The Winter Street series books are pretty short as well. They’ve definitely been perfect reads for this time of the year.

That’s just a little bit of our life lately. Never a dull moment !

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Homer

Homer – 6 months old

We added Homer to our family on June 8th after I found him on the Petfinder app. Homer and his two brothers (the three dogs were “named” Glorious, Notorious, and Victorious for adoption purposes) were found on the side of the road malnourished and had worms. Tails of Hope nursed them to health and thought they were about 12 weeks old. At his first check up, our vet thought he was more like 10 weeks old, so we’ve gone with that time frame. So, at this point, he must be about six months old. It has been a long time since we’d had a puppy and last time we did, I didn’t have two kids. So, Homer is a sweet addition to our home, but he is a bundle of energy. We had a fun summer with him, so the timing was just perfect to get him when we did.

Milestones/Phases

Amazingly, getting him house broken wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be! That actually didn’t take too long. We have one of those strings of bells by the back door, and he does jingle them when he wants to go outside. During the early puppy phase, he thought they were a toy and would shake them with all of his might. Luckily, he didn’t have any problems being in his kennel and sleeping through the night (as I think he was so used to doing so at the rescue)

While he still steals your shoe, or will find a stuffed animal under the bed, he thankfully has quit drinking out of the toilet, chewing on random things (like my coffee table), and getting into the trash can. Unfortunately, he continues to put both paws on the kitchen counter quite often, so we have to stay on top of him and push all food to the center of the island if we don’t want to him to get it.

“Hobbies”

I feel like with each passing month, he’s doing something else that’s funny or a way to get our attention. Some of the funny things he’s done include: biting and chasing his tail, trying to catch lightning bugs throughout the summer, chewing his way through multiple pairs of flip flops, standing on the open dishwasher door, licking the dishes in the dishwasher, UNLOCKING his kennel while he’s inside, stealing food off of the counter, licking the lotion off my legs, chewing on an orange marker and getting it on his paws (& my couch! 😳), running full speed at you when he jumps on the couch…and this morning took a Poptart right out of the cabinet and tried to devour it before we could get it from him! #neveradullmoment

He also barks at almost any food that he sees. I guess he thinks he has a right to any and all food that anyone has.

Real talk: there are moments in the day that he drives me crazy…but it’s mostly because his energy is high right around the time I’m begging my own kids to go to bed! Also, if Hayden didn’t bounce a ball all throughout the house multiple times a day, maybe Homer would have the chance to be a little bit more chill. πŸ™‚

Nicknames

Homer has accumulated many nicknames. He definitely knows his name, so I don’t think we are confusing him with our many terms of endearment. The kids tend to call him Homie (and then Homer when he’s doing something he shouldn’t be!), but Hayden also calls him Sweet Cheeks. haha. I tend to call him Homes, Sweets, and Pooks (Pookie). I guess we all just love him so much that we call him whatever affectionate name we like at the time.

Love his heart

He is so sweet (especially when he’s tired πŸ˜‰ ) I love the mornings with him as I get up before the others, and he sits by me on the couch (at this point, I’ve given up telling him to get off the couch #choosingmybattles ) and I will hand you a lint roller if you sit on our couch. πŸ˜‰

In the morning, he also follows me into each kid’s room when I wake them up. He usually sits on Hadley’s rug on her floor until she gets up. At night, Hadley shuts her door, so he doesn’t go in there but he usually ends up on Hayden’s rug for a bit until Hayden goes to sleep. It’s very sweet. Although, he hops all over them and can be a handful, I know he’s a sweet tempered dog who loves the kids.

He’s been a perfect addition to our family as our hearts (especially mine, I think) needed help healing after losing Shiloh and Scout within a year of each other. When I think of everything Shiloh and Scout helped me (and our family) through with their unconditional love and sweet support, it’s good for my soul to know Homer can be there for us too during the ups and downs of life. After Scout died, my dad said what a good dog he was and “He was great with the kids. Pets never let you down. Something that can’t be said about humans.” That seems to be ringing true with Homer as well.

This is our first rescue experience, and I’ve had a few friends who’ve adopted dogs say that rescue dogs know the owner saved them. Therefore, there’s a special bond and love because they know their lives could have been very difficult if someone didn’t rescue them. I hope that’s true. I feel like he wants to be around us all the time (Shiloh was so sweet but good on her own–didn’t really need much attention and Scout was as loyal as they come). I see a mix of both Shiloh and Scout in Homer, and I hope he knows what he means to us. He certainly has our heart (and sometimes my sanity!).

6/8/19 – the day we picked him up from Tails of Hope Rescue. I’m sure he wondered where the heck we were taking him.
Such a good boy on the first day home…even posed for a picture.
He’s a very photogenic pup, and my phone is always nearby πŸ˜‰
Go Chiefs!

β€œA dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” – Josh Billings

#WeHeartHomer

I hope you are having a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea