Monday, May 12, 2014

One Year Ago Today: Broken Axle Thank Yous

One year ago May 12th was a Sunday, Mother's Day. We went to church, worked on packing and finally left for our graduation in NY/ family reunion in WY trip sometime late in the evening.

We made it about an hour down the road when the rear axle on our minivan, Winnie, broke. We sat in the van waiting to be rescued wondering what we were going to do, if we were going to be able to make it to Glenn's graduation or the family reunion, how that was all going to play out, etc.

As is often our custom when trials come into our lives we decided to pass time by sharing and writing down things that we were thankful for. The following list was found in the first few pages of our current, almost full, thank you book. I never took the chance to record them on our blog so I decided to do that today, one year after the incident:

- we were only an hour from home
- Caleb heard it so we didn't have a major accident on I-30
- we stayed safe on the side of crazy I-30
- 2 nice police men ferried the kids and I to the next exit to Denny's
- the kids could use the bathroom at Sonic
- We didn't buy a house so we have cash available to buy a new to us car
- Geico is paying at least part of the tow fee
- Melissa could come get us so we could sleep at her house and since we wouldn't all fit in the tow truck.
- God is in control
- the tire didn't pop
- the axle didn't break catastrophically (the recall "fix" did help with that)
- I was able to get the tires onto the pavement
- the tire didn't pop moving onto and off of the truck
- Geico covered the entire tow
- the security guard is willing to let me stay here this evening
- all the help that Hayley from Geico was
- Glenn has internet on his phone
- Number 5 is with Amber and TJ and not with us
- that sign was down so we could walk on it
- we were packed in 2 TMI bags and really didn't have that much stuff in the car
- our car didn't catch on fire
- we could go to the monthly medical missions Monday
- we got to try a peanut butter fudge shake at Sonic
- I could sing praises in the middle of it - God working through me
- the tow truck guy gave me his card and a recommendation of a junk yard and a mechanic
- God's safety and watch care over us

Over the next few days we looked at vans, were ferried back to Fort Worth by the Phillips and were lent Kris's car, didn't get any answers. Glenn's grandparents gave us a generous gift that enabled us to rent a minivan and then headed to NY for graduation after saying a tearful goodbye to Winnie, still not sure of what we were going to do with her or if Ford would claim responsibility for the broken axle. We ended up deciding to get her "fixed" while we were gone because she would still be of value to someone even if we wanted to sell her with a fixed axle she'd get more than a junk yard would give us for her.
Our "So Long Winnie" picture
A year ago I would be shocked to know that in a year we would still have Winnie today but we do. Something in her frame still doesn't sound right after being "fixed" but we pretty much trust her to get us around the Metroplex and we have taken her all the way to Lake Charles once. We've decided that for longer trips we'll just rent a van for now because it puts less wear and tear on a vehicle we own and a rental van is less likely to break down when we go on long distance adventures.

I am so thankful that God has enabled our family to look for the good in our trials. The very first thing the kids started doing when we pulled off to the side of the road was start spouting off things that they could see that they were thankful for in our situation. I am grateful for this. I know that this will help them throughout their lives. God is so good to us.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How We Became Dog Owners - Happy birthday Rahab!

Last year May 10th was a Friday and we had just been in our rental house here in Fort Worth a little over a week. We went to Frontier Forts Days at the Stockyards to learn some Texas history, check out the Stockyards for the first time and take a break from setting up our house. When we pulled into our driveway we saw a German Shepherd dog run across the street and into our yard and hide behind a bush. Glenn warned us to stay in the car to gauge what the dog would do. Seeing that she just looked scared and didn't attack he shooed us inside then, since it was such a hot day, went in to get water for her.

After drinking some water she laid down on our sidewalk and settled in. I guess she felt like she was safe with us. She was bleeding, whether from fights with other dogs or from wounds inflicted by humans we don't know.
We didn't know what to do with her. She had a collar on so we put her picture out on Craigslist as a found pet, contacted the city and the humane society and left her description. No one had reported her missing. We had just moved in and had told the landlord we didn't have any pets though we had discussed with him what we would need to do if that changed. We didn't want to let her into the house.

The kids were smitten with her. Initially they called her Voda because her ears were so funny and she reminded them of Yoda. We took her into the back yard and the kids set up a tent out there thinking they'd sleep with her out there.

In the morning she was still there so we took her to the Humane Society and found out that she wasn't chipped so no luck on finding her owner that way so we had a dog until someone claimed her. We decided to call her "Number Five" since she was playing the role of our 5th child and since we didn't want to give her "a real name" so we didn't get attached. The only problem (besides we didn't have a pet on our lease) was that we were leaving for a 3 week graduation in NY/ family reunion in WY trip on the 12th and we didn't think it was a good idea to take a new to us dog on a several thousand mile road trip. We looked into kennels but not having any idea of her shots history, or any history really, she was not a candidate to stay at any of them. What were we going to do with a dog in this city where we knew no one? God provided once again.

We contacted the German Shepherd Rescue to see if they could help since the Pug Rescue had been a help to my brother in the past with my aunt turned niece Tootsie. The first couple of people we heard back from said they couldn't help and then a lady contacted us asking if she could meet the dog. She told us that if she didn't clash with her dogs she would watch her for us for the whole time we were gone provided that we promised to take her back when we returned from our trip. She told us she already had 3 German Shepherd and 4 Pugs and she really couldn't adopt another dog long term at this time. We agreed to her conditions and drove up to meet her. The meeting went well and Amber even agreed to go and take her to get her first shots. We are so grateful for God's provision of this lover of dogs who was willing to take on one more for 3 weeks for us.
Number Five's first car trip - you can tell the kids don't like her at all, right? haha
She was kind of confused that we were leaving her and stared after us at the gate.
Well, we got 3-4 responses from our Craigslist ad but they were all either looking for a dog that didn't disappear until after we'd posted the dog's picture, didn't meet her description or we could tell they were just spam so we were now dog owners. Since she was actually going to be a part of our family we decided to give her a real name and the kids thought the name Rahab would be appropriate since we rescued her from the streets of Fort Worth just like Rahab was rescued from the destruction of the city of Jericho in Joshua 6 (not to mention that she may have lived a similar lifestyle out there on the streets before she came to live with us).
A quick family pic when we picked her up after our trip.
Lydia, our animal lover, is so excited to have a pet!
I think Lydia liked the kennel more than Rahab did. Rahab didn't do well in the kennel so it went into the garage.
Everyone loves Rahab.
 So, we've had a dog for a year now. There are pluses and minuses but we are so grateful for her. I was especially thankful after our break-in that God had already provided a guard dog for us, we had just taken her with us, not left her at home when the break-in occurred. She still needs a lot of training but she is a good dog and we love her. She is not the dog I would have chosen nor would I have chosen to go out and get a dog but God decided she needed us and we needed her. He knows best.

Finally, I leave you with some pictures from Rahab's first camping adventure to Dinosaur Valley State Park. She did great.
I'm so cool I need to wear shades
Dino tracks are much bigger than dog tracks!

Happy birthday, Rahab, we love you!

Five Minute Friday: Grateful

One of the things I am most grateful for is one piece of marriage advice Glenn and I were given about 15 years ago, just before we got married. We were told to get a journal and write down 3 things we were thankful for everyday, neat little things that we'd experienced or ways we'd seen God work in our lives. It is the one piece of marriage advice we've kept most days of our married lives together and as the kids grew we included them as well.

Our current book is nearing its last few pages and as I looked back at the beginning a couple of days ago I noticed that we'd started that book on 5/8/13. The kids excitedly asked me to read what we'd written. I read that day then they wanted me to share what we'd written on 5/10, the day our dog walked into our lives. It was fun to take a bit if a walk down memory lane.

Over the next couple of days I'm planning to share a few things that I read in the first few pages of our book when we saw God work in amazing ways. He has been so abundantly generous and faithful to us. I'm glad we have a box full of books where some of it is recorded.


Linking up with LisaJo's Five Minute Friday.