Thursday, February 20, 2014

And Then There Were None...

Hamster Drama, Part 2

(RIP Izzy, Chips, Gentle, Fluffy, and Sunny)


So when we left off last time, May 2012, Goldie had passed on to Hamster Heaven. That left poor Izzy as the lone survivor.

Things went well for Izzy, until...

Part 9, July 30, 2013

Izzy died.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was a wretched experience.

Did I mention it was my daughters' birthday? Not one daughter, but BOTH of them! Same birthday, two years apart. But that's another story.

This is how it went down -- my girls got cameras for their birthday. So they are running around the house taking pictures of EVERYTHING. Then one decides to take a picture of Izzy. They both run to her cage, excited about capturing the perfect Kodak moment. And that's when the screaming started...

So, we decided to take a hamster break. Which, of course, didn't last very long. A mere five days, to be exact.

I walked into the room and found her sitting in front of the empty cages.

Part 10, August 4, 2013

Meet Chips and Gentle.

I have to admit, they are pretty cute.

This is one of them. I don't know which one. The other one looks just like this one.



They are actually very interesting, as far as hamsters go. They are social, and when you walk up to the cage they come and greet you.

They like to escape too. This terrifies the cat. The hamsters will run clear across the house and fill their pouches with cat food, then run back to their cage. One day I'll have to tell you more about our cat.

Things went well for Chips and Gentle; that is, until things started to go bad. Very bad.

Part 11, January 14, 2014

Gentle died. Out of the blue. I couldn't bear to tell the girls. I made the hubs do it. Yes, I am a wimp.

I think it was less than 3 hours after Gentle was buried that we had a new friend. Seriously.

Apparently I am not the only wimp.

Meet Fluffy.


Very tiny. Very fluffy. Very cute. And very scared.

So...

Part 12, January 16, 2014

Meet Sunny. Fluffy's friend from Petco. Ugh.

Apparently I have no pictures of Sunny.

Part 13, January 22, 2014

Fluffy and Sunny are sick. Very sick. Since we're still within the 14 days of purchase, we take them back to Petco, and they send them to their vet. Fluffy and Sunny spend the night at the vet and come home to us with medicine that we have give twice a day.

I am not kidding.

Shout out to the hubs for taking charge of this task.

Fluffy bounces back quickly but Sunny struggles.

Fluffy taking her medicine like a good girl.


Part 14, January 27, 2014

Sunny died.

But on the bright side, Fluffy is healthy, happy, and no longer scared.

Part 15, February 4, 2014

Inexplicably, Fluffy died. She was fine in the morning, and then just up and died.

On the bright side, the kids are no longer shocked.

Part 16, mid-February, 2014

During the past few weeks, Chips has struggled. We used some of Fluffy and Sunny's leftover medicine and gave it to Chips. She perked up and seemed healthy, though wouldn't run in her wheel and seemed somewhat lethargic.

Or lazy.

Part 17, February 19, 2014

Chips died.

That's it -- there are no more hamsters living in this house. It marks an end of an era. Or the end of an error.

Hopefully the hamster break lasts longer than 5 days this time.

Conclusion

Lest you think we are terrible hamster parents (okay honestly yes I am -- I don't touch them or feed them or clean cages or anything), we eventually discovered the cause of the rapid demise of these last four hamsters.

Before Gentle died, the hubs tried out a new kind of bedding -- corn cob. It's supposed to work more like kitty litter and soak up the wet stuff. We didn't make a connection when Gentle died. And since Fluffy and Sunny got sick at the same time, we assumed they were sick before we brought them home. But then when Chips started getting sick, we realized it had to be the bedding. So we got rid of that, and Chips got better, but never fully recovered.

Moral of the story -- don't buy corn cob bedding.

Or better yet, don't buy hamsters.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hamster Drama

(The Rise and Fall of Hashbrown, Goldie, Goldie the Second, Isabella, and Izzy)


(Yes, this story began 2.5 years ago. But I've wanted to compile the complete story for awhile -- it's just too funny not to document. And besides -- it's not over yet.)

Part 1, January 2011

Leah's class at school has a hamster and the kids take turns each weekend bringing it home. Leah has been (sort of) patiently waiting for her turn, and was SO excited to finally have her turn this past  weekend. I went and picked up the hamster Friday after school and we came home and the girls played and played with Hashbrown. I think Rachel was more excited than Leah, if that's possible. Saturday Leah was sick all day with a bad tummy ache, so Hashbrown didn't get as much attention, but still was a form of entertainment. Sunday we stayed home from church to make sure Leah was fine and because the weather was really nasty. Jesse says that's where we went wrong.

After lunch the girls were playing with Hashbrown upstairs in the gameroom...it's an enclosed room so there's nowhere to lose the hamster. Or so we thought! Jesse ran up to Radio Shack, and shortly  after Leah said they couldn't find Hashbrown. So the girls and I got flashlights and searched the room...she was nowhere to be found. The  girls said they last saw her behind a toybox...my dad made it for me when I was a baby and it now stores about 40 pounds of exercise weights. They said they picked up the toybox to let her out. I can't even pick up the toybox when it's empty (solid wood), so I know they didn't pick it up with 40 pounds of weights in it.

Jesse called about that time because Radio Shack didn't have what he needed and he was going to have to go to other stores. I told him we couldn't find Hashbrown, and he said to empty the weights out of the toybox and look underneath. No way that hamster was under there! So the girls emptied the weights and tilted the box forward. Leah said she didn't want to look. I didn't either. Brave Rachel...she looked! I was so relieved when she said "no....no...no hamster". Then there was this gasp and a scream. Sure enough Hashbrown was under there, flat as a pancake. Jesse heard all this commotion on the phone, and I asked him to PLEASE come home. Turns out the girls had tilted the toybox forward to let Hashbrown out, but instead she went underneath.

So...what to do next?

I called Leah's teacher and left her a message. The hamster is shared by both 2nd grade classes, so after a bit Jesse called the other 2nd grade teacher. The teachers had talked and were already working on a plan. They didn't actually want the hamster in the first place (I understand!), but the kids really enjoy having it in the class. So their decision was...whatever is best for Leah, let's do that. They understood it would be very hard for Leah to return to school without a hamster. So off to Petco we went...found an adorable teddy bear hamster for $10. We had the girls split the cost...not as punishment but just for them to realize there are consequences for their actions, even if they aren't intentional. I think the girls thought $5 was a steal to be off that hook.

Monday morning, we took the new hamster (Goldie) to school. Leah's wonderful teacher put it in another room, and met and prayed with the kids. She talked about "a time" for everything, and this was Hashbrown's time to die. Then she said Leah wanted her friends to still have a class hamster, so she went and bought one with her own money. The class erupted in applause for Leah! After school, the other 2nd teacher told me "Hashbrown is but a distant memory". Whew!!

And this is really the funny part...last week we went to Petco...the girls were begging for a hamster. We said, let's wait till after our weekend with Hashbrown and see how that goes. I'd say it didn't go too well, wouldn't you?

And also...if you have kids at Providence, please don't share this story with them! Leah and Rachel don't want people to know the details, and the teachers are on board. We are saying Hashbrown died, and if there are any questions...the girls say "I don't want to talk about it". I also suspect it won't take Rachel long to say "we squished Leah's hamster", but hopefully she'll wait at least a week or
two.

Jesse and I are having a good laugh about it now (out of earshot of the girls, of course). But at the time...lots of drama!! I'm so thankful he wasn't on a trip at the time!

Part 2, May 13, 2011 (Friday)

The 2nd grade teachers had a drawing for who got to take Goldie the hamster home (for keeps) at the end of school. Not surprisingly, Leah got picked. So today in carpool, her teacher passed off the cage and supplies. I think Rachel was most excited!

So we got home, and the girls wanted to play with Goldie right away. But alas, she wasn't in the cage! I looked closer, and the cage wasn't put together quite right and there was a gap she could have squeezed out. I don't know when anyone saw her last, so she may have been out for awhile.

I called her teacher and she had already left school but she called the other 2nd grade teacher who went on a hunt, to no avail. I'm pretty sure they think we lost it. I mean -- we don't exactly have the best track record.

So tomorrow, we get to go hamster shopping. Again.

Part 3, May 14, 2011 (Saturday)

We bought a new hamster. Her name is Goldie the Second.

Part 4, May 16, 2011 (Monday)

The teachers found Goldie in the classroom! I just ran up and got her. She is hungry and thirsty, but otherwise okay. I am surprisingly happy!!!! And thankful that now her teachers don't think I'm crazy and totally irresponsible. Hopefully.

But now we have two hamsters. :(

Due to the unexpected return of the original Goldie, the girls decided to rename Goldie the Second. Now we have Isabella.

Part 5, Date Unknown

Late one night Jesse had both hamsters playing together on the Lego table. To his surprise, he discovered they weren't both females. Oops.

We told the girls to NEVER have the hamsters out of the cages at the same time. We said they tend to fight, and we didn't want them getting bitten.

Part 6, A Few Months Later

Leah got a hamster book from a friend who is a vet. She studied the book daily. After awhile, she asked why Isabella's rear end is so much bigger than Goldie's. Oops.

We explained the pet store made a mistake, and Isabella is actually a boy.

Part 7, Sometime After Part 6

Isabella's name changed to Izzy.

Part 8, May 4, 2012

Goldie died. Oh the weeping and wailing. And of course Jesse was out of town.

Thank goodness for awesome neighbors who come respectfully bury a $10 hamster in the back yard.




Thursday, March 15, 2012

May my "Yes" be Yes

I just finished up the Beth Moore Bible Study of James.

I loved it!

I needed it! :)

I hope you have an opportunity one day to do this study as well.

So...over the past few days, I've been thinking over the whole study, wondering what stood out to me most. I had never studied the book of James in depth, and wow there is so much information there!

So here's my prize, my morsel, my new found daily goal and objective:

May my "Yes" be Yes

James 5:12
Above all, my brothers, do not swear - not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your "yes" be yes, and your "No," no, or you will be condemned.

I was totally convicted of all the times when I've added "I promise" to a statement. Like my statement alone wasn't enough truth. Like adding "I promise" makes it more truth.

Convicted of all the times when I said I would pray for someone, and then promptly forgot.

Convicted of all the times when I told my kids I would do something "tomorrow", simply because I didn't feel like doing it today (typically with an emphatic "I promise" added on).

Vows and oaths are serious business. Truth should be my standard.

Ecclesiastes 5:4-5
When you make a vow to God, don't delay fulfilling it, because He does not delight in fools. Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it.

I was in the car with my husband and kids and we were talking about this. I told them I was no longer going to say "I promise" and asked them to correct me if I said it. They have done a lot of correcting in a short amount of time!

I have my work cut out for me...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lacking Boldness

If someone was meeting me for the very first time, how long would it take them to discover I was a Christian?

The possible variety of answers troubles me. It isn't that I think I would immediately come off as a non-believer. But more of that middle-of-the-road lukewarm kind of person. Nice, quiet, friendly, reserved, unassuming... blending into the wallpaper.

I long to have boldness. A fire burning in me that others can see. As Paul said in Acts 21:13 "I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus." Whoa! That's what I want.

I feel my lack of boldness comes down to two things:
  1. I am freakishly shy. I mean it's bordering on craziness. I've passed up job promotions where I knew I'd have to speak during executive-level meetings. Just thinking about it makes me tremble! I can't even read a book to a small group of 5-year-olds. I volunteered to help out at the library at school once, being assured that I was only helping the children check in and out books, and I would NOT be reading to them. WRONG! I was so distraught (and sick) that I spent the rest of the day in bed and my husband had to come home from work early to take care of the kids. Did I mention crazy? Seriously.
  2. I feel I lack Biblical knowledge. This is probably the bigger issue of the two. I have been a Christian for many (many) years. I was baptized in January 1978 (most likely before you were born). Yet I don't feel I have the Biblical knowledge to hold even a mildly-intelligent conversation. My kids are constantly kicking my hiney, asking me all kinds of questions I can't answer. I have discovered (finally!) that my best way of learning is through Bible Studies. Okay well DUH. But I mean the kind with workbooks where you do homework and really study. I've tried countless times just reading the Bible, but it simply doesn't work that way for me. So now I'm in catch-up mode, trying to absorb all I can in the short amount of time I have left. I want to leave a legacy for my kids, and to have the knowledge to answer their questions and guide them in the right direction.
So how do I get the boldness of Paul? I don't know. But if you see me hopping from Bible Study to Bible Study, you'll know I haven't given up hope yet!  :)

PS -- what is your favorite Bible Study?

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Husband

I have the best husband ever.

Seriously, I do!

Is he perfect?

Nope. But neither am I.

The Bible commands husbands to love their wives. And that's just what my husband does. How do I know?

He kills all the bugs, even the teeny tiny ones, without complaining or rolling his eyes.

He cleans the kitchen after dinner and lets me go take a quiet bath in peace.

He will eat anything I cook as long as it doesn't have eggs or mayonnaise.

He will attempt any project I ask except for indoor painting.

He tells me I look nice, even when I don't.

So in addition to all those wonderful examples that pertain just to ME, here are more:

He has integrity.

He loves the Lord.

In a job field with an extremely high adultery/divorce rate, I never doubt his commitment to me or question his whereabouts.

He honors his parents.

He keeps his word.

He accepts advice.

He is patient with the girls, teaching them life skills that I am too impatient to teach, like vacuuming or washing dishes.

I could go on and on, but I wouldn't want to make you jealous... :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wings Like an Eagle

Where did I come up with this name for my blog?

Logical question.

The obvious answer is Isaiah 40:31:
31 but those who hope in the LORD
   will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
  they will run and not grow weary,
  they will walk and not be faint.

But there's another reason. When my brother Alan was at LSU (1978-1983), he was in a band. I thought that was so cool! They even cut an album. Even cooler! The band's name was Sojourner and the album title was Wings Like an Eagle. I still remember sitting in the gym at our old church in New Orleans watching them play. I was so proud!

This is Sojourner - Alan is in the middle

Alan is in the red shirt - doesn't he look cool? :)


And here's the front of their album

video

Click above to listen to "Wings Like an Eagle"

Now aren't you impressed? :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Submission

Wow - that's a tough word to swallow. Especially in today's world of liberalism and equality. Don't get me wrong - I want to be respected and taken seriously. But I don't ever want to be my husband's equal. I want to be his partner. His helper.

Here's what the Bible says:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Colossians 3:18

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives. 1 Peter 3:1

Three commands. One message. Wow.

Now for my thoughts...

Being submissive does NOT mean being a doormat. I learned that the hard way (see here).

To me, being submissive is sharing my thoughts and opinions, but leaving the final decision up to my husband. Along with that, and this is sometimes the hardest part, is supporting his decision even if I don't agree with it.

But think about it this way - he has the burden of making the decision and suffering the consequences if it's the wrong decision. I would never (at least I hope I would never) throw anything back in his face. I don't think I've ever said "I told you so" over a wrong decision and I hope I never do.

The best advice my dad ever gave me was this: "do your research, make your decision, and don't look back." Put your efforts into your decision and go with it. You can't spend your time looking back and saying "what if". Keep looking forward.