Passport Process / Dog Shopping

*Yawn* I’m sleepy.

Well, we got the ball rolling on our passport paperwork today. The kids had early release so as soon as I picked them up from school we went and picked the husband up from work and drove to the post office. We had filled out the paperwork ahead of time and printed it off, so we got through fairly fast. Though we were there for nearly an hour, it was mainly because of the young girl in front of us.

The post office lady kept asking her questions about her adoption and why her name appeared differently on certain documents. I felt bad for her because there she is, airing her dirty laundry in front of us. I just pretended not to pay attention hoping to ease her embarrassment a bit.

We had to buy the passport books, as opposed to the card. That cost more money. Bummer. But, now we’ll have passports that are good for 10 years (though the lady said that technically, they’re good for 15 years until they expire) and if we need to renew them, we don’t have to actually go back to the post office, we can do it by mail. AND, it won’t cost as much. So who knows, maybe we’ll need passports again in our twilight years.

She also kept our birth certificates. I wasn’t expecting that and in fact, I sort of freaked out walking out of the office without them, but the lady said they would mail them back to us, separate from the passport books, so … I hope that happens. I’ve spent the majority of my life keeping careful tabs on our birth certificates so to not have them, is … disorienting.

Oh, by the way, if you need to know how to apply and what documents you need to apply for a passport, you can find that information here.


The husband and I are seriously talking about the dog issue. And I’m still a reluctant participant in all of this, but if I can arm myself with as much information as I can, beforehand, I think I can handle this better. We didn’t get a chance to talk much last night about it – we don’t want the kids to know we’re seriously talking because if it doesn’t go through, I don’t want them to be disappointed.

I’ve been researching. In fact, I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon researching. I’ve got a few breeds in mind already, and when I read up on their characteristics and how trainable they are, I’m really liking my selections.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Oregonsunshine for all of her advice/information!!!! We’ve been exchanging emails – well, I’ve been asking questions and she’s been kind enough to answer them (and then some!) so she’s given me PLENTY to think about.

I’ve also been researching training methods and dog mentality. I never knew they were so complicated! But a lot of what I read made sense to me and now I think I understand the importance of correctly handling a dog – my action directly affect how they act and respond.

I do have some questions for you, dear reader. But before I ask these questions, let me tell you what the husband and I would like in a dog:

1. Good natured / easy going.
2. Loveable
3. Intelligent
4. Playful (but not overly so)
5. Active (but not overly so)
6. Mid-sized, but smallish (large dogs are OUT)
7. Preferably short, soft hair but I’m not opposed to taking it to get groomed periodically, especially if the animal has longer hair.
8. Not a yapper
9. Fairly easy to train
10. Gentle

We would prefer a puppy, simply because we think it might be easier to bond with a puppy (?), but we’re certainly not opposed to an older dog, if it’s the breed we decide upon. We will absolutely check the pounds, but we’re also going to look into breeders.

We have no intention of buying a dog until after June, so there is plenty of time to really do the research and look around before we make a final decision.

My questions for you are:

1. Based on the above criteria, can you suggest a breed?

2. Male or female?

3. Can you suggest any training books? Remember, I’m a total newbie here.

4. Do you have any idea where I can find breeders for southwest Missouri?

5. What sorts of “extras” would we need to get started? Crate, toys, etc.

6. What sort of food is best for a puppy? For an older dog?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I’m learning a lot from my research, but it really helps to hear from experienced people.

Crap. I just remembered, I need to take my movies back, they’re due in two hours.

Have a great evening, everyone.


Religion and Children

Can you raise moral and ethical children without God and without religion?

Personally, I don’t think so. However, there is no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on your personal beliefs. I will not sit here and preach to you about what I think is right for YOU. It’s presumptuous, arrogant and quite frankly, none of my business. Only YOU know what is right for YOUR family. Only YOU know what’s in YOUR heart (well, God knows, if you believe in him).

This profoundly personal and private issue was brought up on Dr. Laura’s YouTube channel. And considering I hope my children/grandchildren read my blog in years to come in order to learn a little more about me and my choices, I’d like to share my personal experience with you.

If you don’t like Dr. Laura, then don’t watch. I know she can be arrogant, self-righteous and even flippant at times, but don’t pay attention to the theatrics, pay attention to the message behind the theatrics. In fact, I even wrote my own personal disclaimer about Dr. Laura, if you care to read it.

Either way, this post is not about Dr. Laura, it’s about the issue she talks about. I’m simply using her opinion as a springboard for this topic because I do think what she talks about are issues that should be addressed, in general. So, if you have a problem with Dr. Laura, the person, then please, take it elsewhere. If you just feel compelled to go off on a tangent about Dr. Laura and don’t stick to the topic, then your comment will be deleted. Thanks.

If you’re new to this blog – HI! I’m a Christian, welcome to my blog. Given this knowledge, it shouldn’t come as any surprise to you that we have raised our boys to love and respect God and His wonderful, perfect son, Jesus Christ.

But it didn’t start out that way.

I’ve talked about how I got involved with the Truth or Tradition ministry in the past – I certainly won’t go into it again. In a nutshell, we don’t go to church. We haven’t stepped foot in a church in oh gosh, decades. And we have no desire to go to church. Church, the institution and on the surface, is a good thing. It’s an opportunity to bring together fellow believers, to minister and bless the body of the church, Jesus Christ. That’s a good thing.

However, what we don’t like about church is the politics, the corruption, the tendency to get off topic and even use the word of God as a personal platform to promote personal agendas. It’s also astounding, to me, how often the word of God gets stretched all out of proportion therefore misguiding people and God’s nature and His intentions for us.

I’m not saying all preachers/pastors are like that. I’m only telling you my personal experience. My husband and I personally prefer to study scripture, to break it down and study the content, traditions and God’s original meaning. We really enjoy tracing the origins of the Bible back to it’s original language so that we may correctly divide and understand the Word of God.

Because of our feelings about church, we’ve never taken our children to church. And in fact, we didn’t really start getting serious about teaching our children about God and Jesus until about ten years ago.

I remember the exact moment we decided to start actively getting our boys involved in religion. We were at one of my husband’s family gatherings. As is our custom, we were all standing around the table preparing to pray. All of the nieces and nephews were pretty young, most of them older than Dude and Jazz, but a few younger, and all of the kids bowed their heads, except for ours. They looked around at everyone curiously, they didn’t really know what was going on because we hadn’t prayed in our own house.

I was ashamed and embarrassed that our children didn’t know how to pray.

As if often the case, my husband and I left the gathering thinking the same thing – it was time to introduce our boys to our wonderful Lord and Savior.

My husband contacted the good folks at Truth or Tradition and they sent us videos and various other teaching materials so that we could get started with our Bible study classes at home.

And that’s what we do, every Sunday, I wake the boys up at 7:30 to make sure they are good and awake for our session, and at 9:00 a.m. SHARP (my husband is rather particular about this), we start our study session while sitting around our dining room table. We watch a teaching presented by John Schoenheit, and then we take turns reading a chapter out of the new Testament, followed by a discussion about what it means and how it affects our lives.

I can honestly say, with conviction and utter confidence, that our boys are better people because of our initiative to raise them knowing God. They are confident, kind, considerate and God-fearing (which is actually translated respecting – you shouldn’t fear God) Christians who know how they should live their lives. They are motivated to please God because it ultimately blesses them and the people around them.

They understand that God has commanded them to respect and honor us, their parents, and as a result, we have a better relationship with them.

We are very aware that our children watch and mimic us, so my husband and I work very hard to set good examples for the boys by living our lives according to God’s will.

We exercised our free will, WE CONSCIOUSLY CHOSE, to learn more about God and to accept His son as our personal Lord and Savior. As a result of our willingness to live more Godly lives, we are truly happy and truly blessed.

It’s my firm belief that our children will grow up and lead successful lives because we made the effort to introduce them to God and His wonderful, exalted Word. They know right from wrong. They have developed a moral compass (and I’ve seen proof of that this past year). They are better people because of our God.

So my personal answer to the above question? Sure, you can raise children without knowing God or any sort of religion, but do you think the children are better off NOT knowing? I would much rather give my children the advantage of some sort of starting point – if, later in life, they choose to reject what we’ve taught them, that is their choice. But for now, they have something to base future opinions, and decisions, on.

Thanks for reading.