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Looking Back

Introducing Marvel

Marvel sitting on Munchkin's shoulder

As soon as Graham passed away, Munchkin started looking for a new guinea pig in our area. Guinea pigs are social animals, so she didn’t want Alvin to be along even though he was getting tons of extra attention and love from all of us.

Marvel and Alvin sitting on Munchkin.

After about 2 weeks, she found this sweet little guy and brought him home. After a great deal of consideration, she decided to call him Marvel. She was happy to have a new guinea pig before Christmas.

Alvin and Marvel cuddling with Munchkin

Alvin helped Marvel settle in and allowed him to eat a little extra share of veggies. Now that he’s settled in, Alvin is making sure that Marvel knows that he is the boss. lol!

Wiley and Alvin hanging out

Marvel is very active, so he tends to capture the attention of our other furry pets. Wiley and Alvin are friends (although Wiley needs to be carefully monitored to be on the safe side), but Wiley isn’t seeing Marvel as part of the family yet. Marvel is just too little and crazy. All that sudden movement is too much for Wiley. Wyatt seems to understand that Marvel is family as he often puts Wiley in his place. 😉

Sweet little Marvel

While no guinea pig could ever replace Graham, Marvel has been a welcome addition to the family, and he’s helping sooth some of the pain that goes with the loss of a dear pet.

Remembering Graham

Remembering our sweet guinea pig Graham

Today, we said goodbye to our sweet Graham. He was a loving, cuddly guinea pig who was always happy to help Munchkin with her school work and keep her company when she wasn’t feeling well. He will be missed.

The day started off on a bad note for Munchkin as she was feeling a bit out of sorts. She headed to classes and things only got worse. She ended up coming home early to try to collect herself before her Physics exam. As is her normal routine, she went to get Graham out of his cage as he always helps calm her down, but this time, he wasn’t moving. Some time between when I left to get groceries and when she got home, he had passed away.

Needless to say, she was heartbroken. Tears flowed. This momma did what she could to sooth her aching heart, but that’s something that only time will mend. I was able to help her calm down enough that she was able to focus on her Physics exam later in the afternoon. When she arrived home from class, she said that she thought the exam went okay, and then all the emotion of the day flooded over her.

Our evening was spent watching light-hearted shows to try to lift her spirits. In time, there will be mainly fond memories, but for now, it hurts. Our pets are all special members of our family. They all enhance our lives in their own little ways. I am thankful that they were each brought into our lives. Is it worth it when you know the pain that comes with their passing? We all say – absolutely!

Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine

We’ve recently entered a new season in our lives where homeschooling is behind us. We now have 2 family members in college – Daddy and daughter. I’m starting to look at some non-traditional ways that I can bring in some extra money to help with not only the college expenses but also to pay down our mortgage faster.

Money Making Mom takes a good look at the variety of ways a mom can make income whether it be from a traditional job or non-traditional job, inside or outside the home. Crystal also dives into the reasons why we might want to make money and why getting rich shouldn’t be our primary focus. I really liked this quote as it sums up the feeling on the entire book.

We should focus on making money to impact our family and loved ones for the better. In addition, our focus for making money should be to help those who are struggling in our community and around the world.

At the time I’m writing this, we’re heading into Thanksgiving, so it was a good reminder that we need to focus on the end goals and not just on the here and now as we make various decisions relating to our finances. This seems to be the season to spend thanks to things like black Friday, cyber Monday, and just Christmas spending in general. If we make plans and a budget ahead of time with a specific goal in mind, then it tends to be a little easier to stick to those goals.

Money Making Mom helped me focus more on the hows and whys of providing for my family and helping others. I like that it’s not about getting rich, but rather making life better for those that I care about – whether family, friends, or neighbors. It gave me a great deal to think about for our plans for the future.

One of the things that I really like about Crystal’s books, this one included, is that she makes them very personal. She doesn’t try to act like she knows it all or has arrived. No, she says she, like others, is a work in progress. She talks not only about her success but also about the failures along the way. In other words, her books and the stories within (whether hers or others) are real.

Giving Thanks 2015 – Week 4

Beautiful Thanksgiving Day

It’s hard to believe that the final week of November has come and gone. It was a busy but good week. I’m thankful that I was able to move around the kitchen well enough to get the full Thanksgiving meal done. We had plenty to eat and the leftovers meant that I didn’t have cook as much over the weekend. 🙂

Both Munchkin and D had off on both Thursday and Friday, so we were able to enjoy extra family time together. Yes, they still had some school work to do over the long weekend, but having a little extra time allowed us to have more flexibility in our normal weekend schedule.

Our Thanksgiving was relaxing and enjoyable. We ate our main meal around noon and started our Christmas movie viewing as per our tradition. We then headed off to the theater to watch a movie. I was done cooking for the day, so we enjoyed leftovers for dinner and just relaxed. Making many of the baked goods in the days leading up to Thanksgiving allowed me to focus on spending time with my family after making the turkey, potatoes, and stuffing.

Once again, I was reminded how fortunate we are to be together as a family. We have plenty of food to eat and a comfortable house in which to live. We have reliable (for the most part) vehicles to drive. We have cute dogs, crazy horses, and adorable guinea pigs to keep us company. They are also rather entertaining with their funny antics.

Thank you Lord for our many blessings. May we never take it for granted.

Wordless Wednesday: Thanksgiving Baking 2015

Gluten free baking for Thanksgiving has begun with homemade bread for stuffing, coffee cake for breakfast, cornbread, pumpkin pies, and multi-grain dinner rolls.

Drying out gluten free bread slices for stuffing.

Gluten free coffee cake for Thanksgiving morning.

Gluten free cornbread for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving gluten free pumpkin pies fresh out of the oven.

Multi-grain gluten free dinner rolls are also great to use for sandwiches after Thanksgiving.