Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What To Do With The Scrabble Tiles I Finally Found - Part 2

Last week, I showed you the Scrabble tile words I created with the thrift shop game I found. Today I want to share another fun way to use those tiles - ribbon ornaments perfect for any time of the year.

You'll need letter tiles, glue dots and some wired ribbon. Wired works better than regular ribbon because it's stronger and holds its shape better once you've attached the tiles to it.

Begin by cutting a notch out of the bottom of the ribbon. Then arrange the tiles from the bottom up, either touching or leaving a small space between them.

Once you have all the letters on, flip the ribbon over and cut it long enough to make a loop.

Add a dab of hot glue to keep the loop in place.

 You can then create to your heart's content, making a variety of words. Also think about adding some small stickers, rub-ons or embellishments to the blank tiles. And don't forget - any tile can be a blank tile if you flip it over, since you won't be able to see the letter through the ribbon.

Monday, January 30, 2017

How To Be Victorious Over Temptation

Part of living as a victorious Christian woman is understanding that you will be bombarded with temptation. The enemy would like nothing more than watching you stumble and give in to his trap. He knows exactly what your weak spots are, and he'll hammer at them ruthlessly some days while gently nudging you other days.

You will more than likely be faced with temptation sometime today. Your temptation may be to overeat, to gossip, to lie or to be just plain lazy. Today might feel like an obstacle curse as you try to avoid your stumbling blocks, or it might be a huge roadblock that hits all of a sudden. Each of us is different, but the devil's plan is still the same - separate you from the Lord, steal your joy and strain your emotions.

But God has all the ammunition you need to avoid temptation, protect your testimony and come out stronger on the other side. I pray these weapons will come in handy this week as you head out onto the battlefield.

1. Stop and identify the temptation. It's more than likely you know where your temptation weaknesses are, but there's a root cause of them, too. If it's eating too much or eating junk food, understand how you react in those situations. If it's spending money you don't have, delve into the reasons you feel the need to spend. There's a reason you do what you do, and the devil knows what it is - so you need to, too.

2. Turn to God in prayer. He knows what you have need of in this exact moment, and He is waiting to hear your voice in prayer. Let Him know that you are weak in this situation and ask for His strength, courage and endurance. Then be confident that He heard you and will give you the perfect answer.

3. Remove the temptation completely. Move the food out of sight. Don't answer. Hide your credit card. Delete that contact from your phone. Set yourself up for success.

4. Or remove yourself from the situation. Practice self control and walk away. Close the refrigerator door and leave the room. Bite your tongue instead of saying something without thinking. Go somewhere else until your anger passes. After shedding the old you at salvation, you don't have to react the old way anymore. In God's strength you can do anything.

5. Immerse yourself in Scripture. Have a verse or two handy to use as a mantra when temptation strikes. Try "Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world." Or "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Or "Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee." The enemy hates to be around God's word, so have it in the front of your mind and speak it out loud.

6. Christ is the perfect example of what to do and say in the face of extreme temptation, so reread Matthew 4 and Luke 4. He stood up to the enemy's attacks, and you'll see exactly how He used Scripture to defeat him.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Week Of Studying To Be Quiet

My favorite time of day is first thing in the morning when the world is still quiet. Whether I'm still laying in bed or at the dining room table getting ready to study my Bible, I love the silence and peace that comes before anything begins to stir.

I wonder if you have some of this quiet time in your own life. Is there a special time when nothing is pulling you, calling you or interrupting you? I thank God if you do, and I ask Him to show you where you can find it if you don't.

And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Did you ever think that you would have to study to be quiet? Quiet times in our life don't just happen. We have to plan them, seek them out and determine to guard them. Otherwise we lose them to the hustle and bustle of the day before we know it.

It's only when our hearts and minds are quiet and settled that we can focus and listen for God's voice. It takes a conscious effort to hear and comprehend, but the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Then your heart will crave quiet because it understands the blessings God can give you in those moments.

Make this a week of studying to be quiet. Even if it's only for a few precious minutes, shut down your mind and immerse yourself in God's presence. Use this time to read, pray and have fellowship with your heavenly Father. Don't be surprised if you find yourself recharged and at peace, having quieted your heart and spent that time with the Lord.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Apple Chews To Replace Your Dog's Rawhide

 Today we're going to spoil our puppies a little by making them an all-natural treat. These apple chews are a healthy alternative to the rawhide you've probably been giving them for years, just like I have.

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees. Cut thin slices of apple (as thin as possible - being able to read through them is a good goal) and layer them on baking racks stacked on a baking sheet. It will take at least an hour to get them crispy, possibly longer. Check them at 60 minutes and then an additional 15 minutes at a time until they're no longer soft in the middle.

Molly loves to chew, so these are the perfect treat for her. She was eating them out of the bowl even as I tried to get a good picture of them. That's a pretty good indication that your dog will like them, too.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Improve Your Photos With A White Box

 After reading multiple online articles about the importance of having a white box to take great photos, I put one together recently. I'm still playing around with my camera settings and the lighting that works best, but it's been a fun experiment.

While many people suggested cardboard boxes and window film, I emptied a plastic bin and used that as my base. I also grabbed a couple of spare bedside lamps and a couple of pieces of poster board.

I cut one pasteboard length-wise and one width-wise to fit in the box. This way I can use it either way, depending on what I'm taking a picture of. The poster board is then temporarily tacked in with masking tape.

Moving the lights around until the shadows are just right takes some time, but this worked very well in our sun room.

After experimenting with the white balance settings on my camera, I was able to get some great shots. This example is of a tree slice that I'm turning into an ornament. (More on that another day.) The lighting worked great and eliminated a lot of the shadows and dark spots I'm used to. If you try making one of your own, let me know how it goes!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Fudge

There is very little in the culinary world I like more than chocolate and peanut butter combined. That makes this fudge a definite favorite! It only takes a few minutes to make, so it's super easy, too.

2 cups (1 bag) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/8 cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1 cup (about 10) peanut butter cups, finely chipped

1. Line a loaf pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium sauce pan, heat chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk, stirring until completely smooth.

3. Pour chocolate mixture into loaf pan and smooth the top.

4. Melt the peanut butter in a small bowl in the microwave until pourable.

5. Pour peanut butter over the chocolate and use a knife or toothpick to swirl it into the fudge.

6. Place in refrigerator for about 20 minutes.

7. While the fudge begins to cool, chop 10 peanut butter cups into small pieces.

8. After 20 minutes, press the chopped peanut butter cups into the top of the fudge.

9. Return the fudge to the refrigerator until completely cooled. Pull it out of the pan, remove the foil and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What To Do With The Scrabble Tiles I Finally Found - Part 1

Ok, so I've spent the past five years looking through our local thrift stores for Scrabble games. A week ago I found my very first one, but it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. The result, none the less, was these adorable, flower-embellished words.

This wasn't a regular Scrabble game, but a children's Disney version. It was played with cards as well, so there was a slit cut in the tray behind the trough where the letters go.

Danny cut the trays down for me once I chose the words I wanted, and we sanded them on both ends to look more finished.

For words that didn't fill up the whole tray, I added adorable butterflies to the blank tiles and spaced them all out.

A small line of hot glue on each tiles keeps them securely fastened.

You have to keep the spacing in mind or you'll accidentally run out of room. I ended up just taking the letters off one at a time, applying the glue and tucking them right back in.

I chose several colors of paper flowers to add as embellishments because they fit perfectly into that slit. I put a dab of hot glue in the opening and tucked the flowers in, securing them well as they spread the glue all the way up and down.

 I love the finished products and can't wait to get them up in the Etsy shop. Click here to see the listings.

Monday, January 23, 2017

How To Pray When You Don't Know What To Pray

There comes a time in every woman's life when the circumstances around her turn into overwhelming background noise. Even sitting alone in her prayer closet, she's not sure what to pray, how to pray or even where to start.

If you've never experienced this heart condition before, you probably will be at some point. It's in these times that we just want direction to get our prayers started and to know which words will touch the heart and ears of God.

The best way to find instruction for praying is to read the prayers of Jesus Christ. There are many, many places in the four gospels where we are given very specific prayers that the Son of God Himself used to speak to His heavenly Father. When you don't know what to pray - or you want to be armed and ready when you need these words most - start with these verses of Scripture and make them your own.

* And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39

Nothing in our lives will ever compare to the pain and suffering Christ endured in the last days and hours of His life. But when we're overcome with our circumstances and don't know exactly how to pray, this prayer is a wonderful place to start. Jesus asked, even knowing that His death was inevitable, that God step in and take this cup of sorrow and death away. But even then, He prayed that the will of God be done regardless. This is a very difficult prayer for any of us to pray, but it releases our need to have control over the situation and the outcome. Simply pray that God's will be done in your circumstances so He will receive all the honor and glory.

* And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. Luke 5:16

When the words won't come or you don't know where to start praying for your situation, follow the example of Christ and remove yourself completely. If you're in your prayer closet and don't know what to pray, get out of the house. Find a different quiet place and focus on the Lord's voice. If you're surrounded by people, get away for a few minutes, look for a quiet corner and try again. Jesus knew that He needed that special, quiet, uninterrupted time with God to communicate openly, and we need the same thing.

* And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us... Luke 11:4

Confess your sins to the Lord, those done knowingly and those unknowingly. Release everything from your heart that is weighing you down and renew your fellowship with God. Sometimes we're not sure what to pray because there is entirely too much going on in our hearts and minds. Confession, repentance and forgiveness cleanse us completely so our eyes and ears can be opened to the moving of the Holy Spirit.

* And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. John 17:10

In the depths of despair and in the moments when no words seem to come, pray that the Lord will be glorified, even in this situation. He has you going through it for a reason, and while we may never know that reason until we meet Him face to face, we can ask that we be used as vessels unto honor no matter what circumstances come our way.

I encourage you to read the gospels carefully in the days to come, paying special attention to the prayers of Jesus. As our perfect example, His words are special, powerful and sharper than any sword. Use them to get through the difficulties and confusion and pray with new direction and guidance as you speak directly to the God of all creation.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

A Week Of Being Filled

Some women collect shoes. Others fill their closets with jackets or skirts or jewelry. For me, it's purses.

Pocketbooks, bags, backpacks, satchels large enough to carry a baby elephant - it doesn't matter what size, shape or color. I love them all.

That's why the basket I keep them in is filled to overflowing. It's not even big enough for some of my larger purses, but there's honestly no room in the closet for anything bigger. So it just continues to overflow.

I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. Exodus 16:12

God didn't give the Israelites just enough meat and bread to avoid hunger pangs. He didn't drop a little food here and there for them to stumble across. No, He promised them enough to fill them completely each and every day. And with faith that He would do as He promised, the people would come to Him twice a day, every day, to be filled.

Make this a week of recognizing how God fills you. He doesn't toss out some blessings around and about, hoping you'll find them at some point. He showers us daily with enough love and goodness to keep us filled to overflowing. It's with that overflow that we're able to share and minister to others, letting them know what a mighty God we serve.

How are you being filled this week?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

How Not To Greet A Dog

When you walk into the house and see those sweet eyes of a puppy, it's easy to start the baby talk and the face smooshing. That's why she's there at the door, right? She wants the love and attention as much as you want to give it, right?

Maybe, but this kind of human behavior is what makes puppy behavior go terribly, horribly wrong. It's what tells her that it's ok to jump, run around and bark instead of sitting pretty and waiting for good attention.

Here are just a few ways not to greet a dog:

1. Do not stick your hands out toward her. Imagine how you would feel if somebody walked into your personal bubble with their hands waving in your face. She's already excited you're there, but now she's also a little concerned about your intentions.
Instead, keep your hands at your sides and temporarily ignore her. This will give her the chance to inspect you on her terms, which is better for everyone involved.

2. Do not lean over and start petting her. Again, even if she knows you, this is a little personal. It's also intimidating to have this tall human towering over her, regardless of her size. (Yes, it's not so bad with Molly because of her incredible height, but this goes for all breeds.)
Instead, ignore her for a few moments when you walk in. It will be calmer for everyone if she can approach you instead of you running for her, no matter how much you want to.

3. Do not squeal, shout or begin baby talk as soon as you walk in the door. No one does this to you - I hope - so why would you do it to a dog? A change in the voice she normally hears will get her more stirred up and more likely to jump, run and bark, which are the exact opposite of what you'd like her behavior to be.
Instead, at the risk of repeating myself, ignore her temporarily. When I get home from the grocery store, for example, I bring in the first bags and ignore Molly as much as possible. (Again, this is difficult because of her size, but I do it anyway.) On the second trip, I'll let her walk to the car with me and I'll give her a little bit of a greeting. As I finish, I'll stop and let her sniff for a minute and give her chest a little rub. This way she's getting used to everything I'm doing and is not overly excited. Usually.

4. Do not offer a dog treats when you first walk into the house. This trains her to think that everybody coming to the door is going to bribe her with food, so she's even more excited to get to the door and see what they brought her.
Instead, wait until she's calm and relaxed again before interacting with her. And then only give her treats for obeying a command. Have her sit for a treat or fetch a toy in return for the treat. You can help train her brain to relate reward with obedience.

With just these few hints, you can create a calm, friendly dog reaction to your arrival. If it's your dog in your own home, you'll be thrilled when she doesn't jump or run away from your visitors. If you're visiting someone else's home, you can be a positive influence on their dogs, showing how much you love and respect their puppy's environment.

Friday, January 20, 2017

5 Signs Your Craft Booth Needs

 If you have ever sold your handmade items at a craft or vendor show, you know how important signage can be. Many customers will never ask you any questions, but they'll read a sign and get the same information. And even if they do talk to you, there's no way you can tell them everything about everything in your booth. That's why having these five types of signs displayed will solve those problems.

1. A sign that details what form of payment you accept. Few people carry cash anymore, so it's important that they know you'll accept cards or an online payment. They'll be much more willing to look with the intent of buying if they know the payment options available.

2. A sign that tells bulk pricing. Most of my items have price tags attached but not my greeting cards. That's why I have a sign or two that tells how much the different sizes cost. If customers already know those prices, you'll be able to talk to them about other, more important things.

3. A sign that gives some ideas about how to use your products. If it's not a card or a journal, I try to label my pieces with what they are and how they work. This picture is a great example of that, as many people see the pictures on the front but not the clothespins on the back to attach them. A quick explanation will pique their curiosity and encourage them to pick it up and look at it.

4. A sign that is both informative and fun. I don't have duplicates of anything in my booth, but nobody will notice that unless I tell them. Customers want to give original, handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else has ... so tell them that you can provide that service for them.

5. A sign that thanks your customers for coming to see your work. I have two chalkboard signs that I made specifically showing my gratitude for everyone willing to buy local and handmade. I've had several people thank me for thanking them — I think that makes sense. No one is obligated to spend money on your creations, so it's an easy, heart-felt way to show your appreciation. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Healthy Portable Snack And Lunches

Sweets have always been my downfall in the healthy eating department. I would much rather grab a handful of chocolate-covered anything than celery and carrot sticks. That's why, for me, having healthy food handy and already prepared is a smart idea. It lessens the temptation.

In our fridge right now, you'll find several small containers of healthy food that we can grab anytime. It takes just a few minutes once a week to get them all prepared, and thinking ahead helps me know that I don't have to resort to junk food because it's easier.

To make your own, choose your favorite fruits and vegetables, cut them into smaller pieces and divide it between the boxes. I added a hard-boiled egg for some protein with hummus and Italian dressing as dips. All of these get stored together on the same shelf in the refrigerator. Add some lemon water or another favorite drink and you've got a healthy snack or small meal.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

DIY Wood Burned Cooking Utensils

It's amazing what will spark your creativity when you're not even looking. I spotted a collection of boring, plain wooden kitchen utensils at the grocery store last week, and I couldn't just leave them there. They had to come home with me and be turned into something fun.

After watching Danny use his wood burning pen to create some amazing art for his customers, I wanted to give it a try myself. He is able to put some breath-taking detail into his pictures, but I'm definitely not to that stage yet. These utensils were a great project to get me started.

I started with the words, measuring the space I had to work with on each handle.

 Then I printed out phrases that would fit in each handle.

I cut a strip of carbon paper to fit...

...and lay the words on top.

I burnished the letters on the paper, through the carbon paper and onto the wood.

This gave me the template I needed for burning.

A thin tip let me run in the fine details of the words. It's so important to move slowly and carefully, staying on the lines and not getting carried away. The slower you move, the darker the burning will be - it's not about pressing harder or you'll singe it instead of burn it.

For the dots, I switched to a thicker tip and let it rest longer on the wood. The random pattern here is my favorite, but I have a few other designs I would like to try. Back to the store for more wooden kitchen utensils!

Monday, January 16, 2017

The Thirsty Soul

Have you ever worked outside so long that you feel like you were dying of thirst? What you wouldn't give for a tall glass of ice water, something cold and wet to quench your thirst. Tea, coffee, pop and other beverages just won't do - water is the only thing on your mind.

This is the same feeling David writes about several places in the psalms. No matter his circumstance, no matter the current events in his life, the only thing that will satisfy the longings of his heart is God. He could try - and did try - other ways of quenching the thirst in his soul, but there was no substitute for standing in the presence of the Lord.

While there are several passages of Scripture where David talks about that thirst, one that stands out the most is Psalm 63. While running from his son Absalom and hiding out in the wilderness of Judah, the king writes words that lay aside the situation around him and put the focus on his need for God.

O GOD, thou art my God; early will I seek thee, my flesh length for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; Psalm 63:1

From the moment he woke up, David felt that longing in his heart to be near God. With every ounce of his being, he rose early and sought the presence of the Lord. There was no other water available in the drought of fleeing from danger, so he naturally turned to the God who promised to stand by David in every situation.

To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Psalm 63:2

David was about as far away from the temple as he could be, but he could still praise God for the power and glory He had shown no matter where David was. With no fellowship at the tabernacle, he could have been discouraged and disheartened, but he chose to reflect on what the Lord had already done in his life and how He had come through time after time.

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Psalm 63:3

It would seem like David had a whole lot to praise God for right now, as he was hiding and running and hiding some more. But instead of dwelling on the terrible, negative situation he was in, David focused on the love and kindness God had lavished him with. Recognizing the extent of His love for this man after His own heart, David filled his mind and his words with praises to the almighty God.

Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. Psalm 63:4

There was no promise that this wouldn't be the last day of David's life. Absalom could catch up to him at any moment and kill him, or other enemies could find him while he was away from the holy city. Even in the face of potential danger around every corner, the king is filled with words of blessing and praise. This dark chain of events wasn't enough to stop David from giving God the glory and honor due Him.

My soul shall be satisfied as with morrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: Psalm 63:5

As if that weren't enough, he still has more words of praise. Two or three sentences of joy weren't enough, as David's heart was filled to overflowing and he couldn't keep it in. Instead of turning to the problem at hand and asking God to destroy the enemy - his son - he tells the Lord that it is well with his should because he had fellowship with his heavenly Father.

When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Psalm 63:6

All night long, in the darkest time of the day, David's mind is stayed on the Lord and His blessings. David would lay in bed at night and think back to all God had done in his life up to this point. These memories of God's goodness were assurance to his heart that what the Lord had done previously, He would do again in the present day. Through the night watches he would go over and over each blessing, meditating on every good thing that God had promised and performed. This was how David fell asleep and, as he said in verse 1, how he woke up.

Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. Psalm 63:7

While meditating on God's goodness, David came up with a litany of moments when He had helped him through difficult times. Because he had those events fresh in his mind, David was able to rest in peace in the shadow of God's wings knowing He would be the same today and forever as He had been every moment of the past. It was easier for David to face the future when he was fully aware and grateful for the blessings of the past.

My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. Psalm 63:8

Here David returns to his first thought, that his thirsty soul only needed to follow after God to find refreshment. While his body was running hard to escape imminent death, his soul was following hard after the God who could actually do something about it. The right hand of the power and authority of the Lord would be David's salvation in the midst of chaos and danger.

But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. Psalm 63:9

Notice here that David won't even mention his son's name. He knows perfectly well that Absalom is the danger he is facing, but he only refers to him as "those who seek my soul." Imagine the pain this must have caused David when he prayed about his child, knowing that Absalom's evil heart would have to be judged.

They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. Psalm 63:10

The truth can often be painful, but David is not afraid to ask God to deal with the situation as a just and honorable judge. He also knew that it would take something equally violent to stop the man determined to take the throne no matter who he had to run over to get it.

But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped. Psalm 63:11

The true king, David, promises that he will rejoice in God no matter what the day might bring. He anticipated the glory and protection of the Lord in the midst of these trying times. He knew God would end the lies and deceit in David's family and trusted that he would be back in the place God had promised him so many years ago. For the reasons he wrote here, and so many that he didn't write down but pondered in his heart, David resolved to let God quench the thirst in his heart and then give Him all the honor and praise as He showered him with blessings all of his days, even this dark one.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Week Of Being A Doer

I have so many paper craft supplies stored up in our craft room. There are papers, embellishments, templates and doodads everywhere just waiting to be used. I even have two shelves full of idea and instruction books so I can learn something new and different any time I want.

But what happens when I never go down to the craft room with the intention to get a project done? I just bring more supplies, more books and more stuff and leave it there. It's simply a collection of potential pretty things, but I never actually use any of it.

This is what Paul is talking about in the fourth chapter of the letter to the church at Philippi, only he was talking about spiritual knowledge and wisdom, not craft supplies.

Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do; and the God of peace shall be with you. Philippians 4:9

These believers learned, received, heard and saw, but Paul wanted more from them. He wanted them to take that head knowledge and turn it into life-changing wisdom. They needed to take everything they knew and put it into practice, apply it to their lives and grow in their walk with the Lord. It was like taking the scrapbooking paper out of the racks and turning it into something beautiful.

Make this a week of being a doer. I pray that you'll spend the next seven days taking all of the knowledge you have stored up in your mind and turning it into something beautiful in God's eyes. Use it, apply it and let God change you little by little into the mature, useful vessel He knows you can be. Surrender your week to Him and let Him do the rest.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Celebrating 14 Years With The Sadie Dog

After 14 years as our miracle puppy, Sadie passed away this week. It was just eight months ago that Bailey died, so it was an emotional few days.

Sadie was a parvo puppy, so when we took her to the vet we were told she wouldn't live through the night. When I called the next morning, our six-pound puppy had chewed through her IV. I told them she would be fine and that I would pick her up at the end of the week. That was almost 15 years ago.

Bailey was only four months older than Sadie, but there was quite a size difference in the beginning. There were many places Sadie could go to hide that Bailey wouldn't fit, which was incredibly frustrating for the big dog.

They were sisters in every other sense of word, and they never went anywhere without the other. Mostly, I think, because they were afraid of missing out on something.

 When Sadie turned 1, it was a momentous occasion. She was full-grown by then and we took her back to the vet to show him the miracle he'd given us.

Sadie had the best personality in the world. She was a people dog, and she was always ready for attention. She had a single white spot on her belly that I would "take," making her squirm until I "put it back." Then she'd lick my hand to say thank you.

She was born with hip dysplasia in both back legs, so neither of her hips were in their sockets. This caused her incredible pain all of her life, but that didn't stop her from doing what we did and going where we went. She would just sleep soundly when we were done, snoring louder than anyone I've ever heard.

Bringing Molly home was quite an experience for Sadie. Molly was already twice her size at nine months old, and still just a puppy. Molly adored her and tried desperately to get Sadie to play with her. Most of the time it didn't work, but Molly would always stay close by and keep an eye on her big sister.

Sadie will always be our Little Bit, and we treasure every one of the 14 years we had with her. If there's a special puppy in your home, too, give her a little extra love today in Sadie's honor.