Monday, January 23, 2017

A little dog and a big God.

Last week we welcomed a new family member into our home; little miss Ruby Sue.   She started out shy, timid and unsure of her new environment.   We of course smothered her with love and carefully introduced her around the house as we tried to assure her we were trustworthy.  
Both of the kids were interested in her and eager to pet and play with her the first few days.  They had been excited to get her, though nobody was more excited than I.  She seemed very mellow and calm until day three.  All of a sudden she trusted us, knew she was going to get nothing but love from us and began to show off how excited that made her.  
 This boy had reservations about dogs before getting her.  Over Thanksgiving he was bit on the leg and since then had become petrified of the creatures.  It had become a bit crippling when we would go on walks or over to friends houses who had inside dogs.  Our thought was that a puppy would be a good way for him to learn about dogs, love them, and conquer his fears.  Little sis has always been obsessed with dogs, really any animal at all, and so we knew she would adore having a dog in our home.
As Ruby began to open up and become playful Henry retreated into a state of fear.  Though she was only five pounds of fluff her puppy bites, nips and claws were too much for him to handle.  She loved Henry from day one so she of course only wanted to smother him in attention, turns out that sent him into panic mode.  For two days Henry would not leave the couch.  He wouldn't walk into a room where she was and screamed hysterically, demanding that we pick her up, crate her, or pick him up.  The situation left me unsure what to do.  I knew his fears were legitimate but I also knew if he could get over them they would be buddies for all of his childhood.  We prayed together at night, I prayed during the day, our neighbor and fellow dog lover talked with him about having the strength of David and we waited.  
 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  (Joshua 1:9)
On day 5 of Ruby Sue in our home Henry walked downstairs from his quiet time and decided he wanted to look at her and play with her, from a distance.  We praised him for his courage and attitude and thanked God for helping him get there.  From there we have made two steps forward and one step back as he requests to pet her sometimes, runs from her screaming at other moments, and then wants to tell her goodnight.  At one week he chose to pick up one of her toys and play with her for about 5 minutes and told her she was a good dog.  There were times this week where I thought I was crazy for getting a puppy and disappointed that something I thought would fill our family with joy had instead brought fear and stress.  We waited and watched God move and are once again amazed at the ways he can teach us.  He is taking a family pet and showing our sweet Henry how to rely on him to take away his fears and to be courageous in Christ.  
 Mallie Lynn is overjoyed that she has something to play mother to in our house and loves nothing more than to get down on the floor and hug Ruby.  Of course she is helping us boss her around too when puppy teeth meet skin or toys where they don't belong.  She is quick to grab one of Ruby's toys and hold onto it for her while she chews.  
Oh Ruby Sue you're going to have so much love in this life you're not going to know what to do.  

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Cooper Christmas Concludes

Christmas fun continued for us Christmas Day when we headed to the Cooper's for dinner and celebrating.  It is always a time of filled with good food, lots of laughter, gift exchanging and not enough time for all the enjoyment we have together.  
Mallie Lynn enjoyed her favorite activity at Grand and Pops and made "chocit tea" for everyone.  
This family is some kind of special and I'm so thankful God placed me in it.  
Uncle Chris and aunt Danielle probably slept really good Christmas night with all the playing and loud entertainment they endured from their niece and nephew.  
Love our little family so much.
Manniquin challenge goofballs.
We enjoyed a nice song played by the tea time band. 
Last weekend we concluded our Cooper Christmas with a trip to Western Ky to enjoy a visit with Barry's grandparents and attend their big holiday party.  The kids were so good on our trip down.  
Sweet time was spent with family we don't see often enough; one of those nights where conversations spent catching up are enjoyed and gone in the blink of an eye.  
 Mallie Lynn enjoyed playing with her second cousins and cuddling with her Papaw.  Henry was rarely seen most of the night other than the occasional sighting of his blurred body running past us with the rest of the big boy cousins.  
 Our night in one room sleeping together was so precious.  I must say I don't mind being able to glance around a room and see the people I love most all sweetly dreaming.  
We spent the next day pulling out ancient ninja turtles, trucks, and baby dolls, reading comic strips and slowing down for a chat.  Mallie Lynn managed to charm her way into covering Papaw with stickers and I don't think he minded one bit.  

Family that is thought of often and not seen enough brings special meaning and joy to these visits.  You find hugs a little tighter at goodbye's and each moment cherished for the blessing that it is.  Our Christmas season was so full of love and healthy family and it will go down in my history book as one of the greatest.