The Hamsters are Dead and Other Fun Stuff

Little Debbie died. Hostess is still hanging on.  What? You don’t name your fish after snack cakes?

My oldest came down the stairs with her limp fish, visibly upset about her beloved pet. We hugged her and said our “I’m sorry’s” and quickly changed the remaining fish’s water just to omit any further owner-error. My daughter bounced back quickly. Because in her words, “It’s a fish.”

But later that same night we heard a shriek and this same daughter discovered her hamster had gone to Heaven. Tears. This was obviously a bigger deal and I sent my bewildered husband into the garage to seek out a hamster-sized casket. A definite first for this family.

We said a few words and buried the business card box in the yard.

I tried to soothe my oldest and said “What would make you feel better?” <——–thinking a snack cake and praying to God she didn’t say another hamster. She said, “there’s only one thing I can think of that would take away my pain…………Can I have a cell phone?”

I patted her on the back and said No. (After I laughed hysterically). Yep, that girl will be fine.

The next morning before school my son came downstairs, lip trembling.

Yep, same story, last hamster.

My son was relieved because in his words, “Rodents are a lot of work. Now my room will smell good again.” Which is debatable considering his athletic shoes.

I’m not sure what caused all the pet deaths, but I might have caught my dog and cat googling the Pet Apocalypse.

This sort of narrows down the list of people wanting us to pet sit for them.

We’re choosing to laugh around here.


Make Your Wrist Happy {Giveaway}

UPDATE: Congratulations, Jen (comment 91), you have been selected as the giveaway winner!

(Disclosure) I’m not sure if that last one is still in the store. I might have bought it. Ahem.

Few stores pull me in like the Adopt Shoppe. I think it’s because I know I’m shopping really cute stuff for an amazing cause! Kate and her precious family are trying to bring their child home from Taiwan and your purchase helps!

So, shop for your naked wrists, shop for a great cause.

Today, one lucky reader will win $50 to this inspiring store. Tell me what you love in the comments to be entered.

Happy weekend!


Get to Know Your Spouse: Questions to Ask

He rushed in from work, worn from a long 12 hour day. Kids met him at the door, one asking for help with math homework, the other for basketball pointers. Our youngest held onto his leg with a death grip. We quickly kissed and I worked to get dinner on the table, knowing we’d have to shorten our family devotion, so we could make it to community group on time.

Our eyes locked with a long glance over the math book , one that said, “I want to connect with you.”

We both knew we had Mercy House reports to finish once the kids were in bed.

It’s a typical day at our house.

There’s a lot of talking in our house, just not so much with each other or privately.

I think that’s why we both push everything aside to make date nights possible. But let’s face it, connecting once a month isn’t enough. We make a habit of taking time (sometimes it’s over the phone or under the covers in the middle of the night) to ask each other questions.

I’ve been married to this guy for 17 years. We renewed our wedding vows six years ago during this difficult season and exchanged these rings. His has a special inscription on it. I’ve always known it was important to him. The other day he took off his ring while working out and called me frantically because he couldn’t find it.

I asked him, “What would you do if you couldn’t find it?” He said that’s not an option. And then he said, “it’s the most important physical possession I own. It represents so much to me.”

I had no idea.

But discovering this small bit of information made me feel closer to him. I tucked it in my heart and I’ve thought about it more than once.

Marriage takes work and communication. If you don’t ask, they won’t tell you what’s happening in their heart.

P. S. I searched the house while he was at work and found the ring in his pocket. Sheer joy returning it to him.

I’m wrapping up this little marriage series–for now. Thanks for sharing your hearts and being committed to love your spouse better. 

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15 days of marriage in review:

I Respect Him, He Loves Me

{Dear Mr. Welch}: On Writing Love Letters

100 Ways to Make Your Marriage Rock (pinned over 20,000 times on Pinterest and brought a dose of controversy)

Old Married People

Fun Ways to Say I Love You

{Dear Mrs. Welch} What I Love About You

The Key to a Good Marriage {Free Printable} 

A Marriage Redeemed [Our Story]

Getting Along: Marriage

200+ Date Nights


WFMW: 200+ Date Night Ideas

We have at least one date night a month. But I’m pretty sure we have just about talked our dear friends into a second dating co-op, so two date nights a month (without paying a babysitter) is looking good.

What is a date night co-op you ask jealously? It’s just babysitting swapping with friends. You take a turn. They take a turn. It cuts down on costs and my big kids who don’t feel like they need a babysitter, but don’t really stay by themselves yet, can play or help our friends with younger kids.

There’s really no excuse not to have a regular date night with your spouse! No money? Can’t find a babysitter? Get creative with the following ideas:

What date night ideas work for you? (p.s. alternating picture linky with text each week)




Getting Along: Marriage {Giveaway}

UPDATE:  Congratulations, Lauren Plummer (comment 73), you have been selected as the winner!

I love my husband. Always.

But every once in awhile, there are *moments* when I don’t like him.

Yikes. Can I be that honest?

I’ve always said the line between crazy wild love and a crazy wild anger are close.

Here’s the deal: you are probably a robot if you get along with everyone living in your home 100% of the time. It’s just not possible to agree on everything, every day of the year.

But it’s how you get along that’s key.

I’ll give you a for instance: my youngest was playing with my phone a few months ago and accidentally (or either she’s got a wicked sense of humor and she’s just way more techy than me) changed my husband’s ringtone to the “Alien” ring, which sounds a lot like, um, aliens are invading.

The next time I was searching for my phone in my own house (a weekly occurrence) I asked my hubby to call it. When he heard his Alien ringtone, he was slightly offended. I quickly explained and we laughed about it, but I didn’t change my ringtone. What can I say? I’m a simple girl and it had a ring to it (drumbeat).

He casually asked me to change it. I told him no, and I might have said, “Baby, your out of this world.”

(I’m on a roll).

So, a couple of days later, he changed my ringtone to a song he thought was romantic. And I guess it was a little, except HE CHANGED MY RINGTONE. This irritated me. Why? Who knows. But I changed it back.

And we continued this ridiculous back and forth for awhile.

The point? I have no idea.

Oh yes, the point is we could have made this a huge battle. I believe when marriages end for “irreconciable differences” it’s often probably about ringtones. After 17 years of marriage, we are still learning to pick our battles and  not make everything a war.

The bottom line: we are in this for the long haul and getting along takes two. It really all goes back to forgiveness for the little stuff and the big. And usually when I’m irritated or angry at my husband, it’s an issue with me.  If I step back from the situation and look at the big picture, I know my husband loves me deeply and the little battles shouldn’t become wars.

P.S. His ringtone is now a motorcycle revving up. He will be so proud.

One little way I’ve tried to get along with my hubby in the every day stuff is by thanking him for the small things he does. I married a great guy and I tend to take him for granted. So, when he fills up my van with gas or brings me a sweet tea, I’m trying to show him my gratitude more.

I saw this on Pinterest and created my own variety. It’s next to our bed. It’s fun to wake up and see a little note to each other occasionally.

You can make one too!

You just need :

  • pretty frame
  • a piece of scrapbook paper
  •  a dry erase pen (write on top of the glass and it just wipes right off!)
  • velcro (optional) I attached velcro to my pen and to the back of the frame to keep up with the marker.

I created one for a lucky reader today. Just leave a tip for how you get along and I’ll draw a random comment and send you a romantic framed message board and pen.