An introduction to the family...

The primary characters because of their demand on everyone's time and attention are our Irish twins, Ladybug of September 2011, and Turkey of September 2012.  Ladybug is just what I called her as a baby; I've always liked ladybugs and I believe a great aunt used that as a term of endearment.  Turkey got her name because she was so skinny and had such long legs as a newborn that I said she needed to be fattened up like a Thanksgiving turkey.

Turkey (L) and Ladybug (R)



(Update 3/14) After all being together under one roof for over 7 months, I'm finally getting around to posting a picture that shows my husband as more than just a face on Skype or GTalk.  But this reason for our move has been successful.  Now, when the front door opens the girls say "DaDa!"  This time last year, because of a travel job, they were learning that the Skype sound meant "DaDa!"

E, a.k.a. DaDa, a.k.a. "The Mechanic"

And here's me.  It was quite difficult to find pictures of me, because I'm always the one behind the camera.  I also hate having pictures taken so I never look at the camera and smile.

Turkey and me during her first Christmas

Ladybug and me at her first trip to the cornmaze

And this is how I look most of the time.  The "how in the world am I supposed to do this, what was I thinking?" look.  This was taken the first day having both girls home, Ladybug was 11 1/2 months and Turkey was five days old.

So that's us.  Never picture perfect, still trying to learn how to make a gourmet meal of just cornbread and beans (neither of which my family likes!), and if we don't get a 2 bathroom house soon we're going to be standing in line!  But we're learning the value of hard work, good love, and real life.  From Rich Mullin's First Family. Welcome to my view of our journey. 

(Update 3/14: I'm keeping these here in memory of our furry friends... and a reminder of why we are pet-less until we own our own home. We had to make the difficult decision to surrender our dogs while in the middle of our cross country move.  We took them as far as the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in hopes of finding a pet friendly rental or a place to keep them temporarily until we could find one.  In what has proven to be the best thing we could have done in the situation, the day before leaving the UP I took them to the Alger County Animal Shelter and left them in tears.  (I was in tears, I didn't look back to see what the dogs' reactions were.)  While driving across North Dakota not 48 hours later, I received a call from someone who had just adopted Kraut.  And within two weeks, I received a call from someone who had adopted Fritz.  As much as we hated to leave them, had we left them in a TN shelter they almost certainly would have been put down.  By leaving them in the UP, they were the only dogs in the shelter at the time.  And after talking to their new families, I'm confident they have spent the winter getting loved and spoiled and warmed by the fire.) These are our furry children, who joined us in October 2009 and September 2010.  They are rescue beagles from the then local animal shelter.  The one became a Tub O' Lard because he looked so pitiful after we brought him home from the shelter that we fed him whatever we were eating.  Thanksgiving really did him in. The dog gained over 10 pounds in his first year with us if I recall correctly.  We have since increased his exercise and put him on a diet and he's back to a healthy weight.  Defective Dog became known as such because he is inbred.  His ears flip backwards and get stuck, he can't learn, and, well... the dog is just dumb.  But he's very good with the girls, not minding a bit if they climb on him, pull his ears, tail, mouth, fur, and is surprisingly protective of them.    

Tub O' Lard

Defective Dog

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