3.30.2016

The Return of Dave's Cat, Weasel



Meet Dave's cat (our cat now), Weasel! 

We just got her back last week and I'd thought I'd share the fun story of how all this happened. 

Weasel was Dave's cat and she lived at Dave's Mom's house. When we sold the house we weren't sure what to do with Weasel because Dave, as part of the agreement to marry me, said he would take my cat, Milo, who is terribly mean and won't live with other cats. Poor Dave traded his nice cat for my mean cat who didn't like too many people. 

Thankfully, we know the people who purchased the home and they agreed to just let Weasel stay there. She has been there since 2013 and has overall been doing really well. 

As some of you might remember, when we moved to Myanmar we gave my cat away. So, when we moved back to the States we were catless. booo =(  Dave didn't really want another cat, especially not an orange cat that reminded him of my cat. ha! However, I had heard that Weasel was outside more and that our friends who lived in the house where she was at, had some other cats too. 

I decided to ask our friends what they thought about us getting her back. They said it must be the Lord working because apprently Weasel, who is normally nice, had been agressive with the new cats they have. They liked Weasel a lot but felt bad because she was outside more than ever. So, they agreed to let us have her BUT this was a surprise to Dave and he had no idea. 

I told Dave that I had a house warming gift for him. I told him this on a Sunday and we were scheduled to get Weasel on a Friday. I could hardly contain myself all week!!! I was so excited!!! Friday came around and I finally went and got Weasel. Thankfully she remembered me and wasn't too distraught. I put her in our new house and then I had 4 cards for Dave to read and follow until he got to Weasel in her cat carrier. Here is a picture of the last card. 


Dave was surprised! He suspected that I had gotten an orange cat from the humane society that looked like my old cat. ha ha! Weasel remembered him and overall she is adjusting to moving to a new house very well. 

She honestly is the most loving cat I know. She purrs all time time and loves to be pet and held. Oh! And she is named Weasel because she is like a weasel and weasels in to all kinds of places. The first day we had her, I thought she ran away but she had snuck up into the attic and was having a grand old time.  

And her and Static, our dog, remember each other too. They like to cuddle but only when they think people aren't watching. 


Here is Weasel, petting herself against the brick column. =)


So tell me, are you a cat person or a dog person? How did you get your pets? What are their names? Have you ever gotten an old pet back? 

3.17.2016

Life Lately #33 - We have a home!!!

Hi! I haven't done a little update on here in a while so I figured it was time to fill you all in on what is going on with our lives. 

First thing first - we are home owners! Hooooray!!!


God has been so good to us and He has gone before us each step of the way. Something I have prayed over and over and have asked God for is that He would go before us each step of the way, and He did, and continues to do so. 

God is so good because after I have seen Him answer that prayer of going before us time and time again I read in my Bible last night John 10:4 - "And he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice." I love that God put that verse in my Bible reading. 

We plan on moving in tomorrow and are so thankful for family and friends who will help us. 

Also, I had someone ask me where we are living and if you are wondering the same thing we are back in Wichita, KS. =) 

As far as Dave's job goes he is still waiting for paper work to go through. It is a little frustrating waiting on the state of Kansas to process paper work but there is not much we can do about it but keep waiting. 

Since we aren't working yet here are some things we have been doing with our free time:

Mountain Biking //  Okay, I know you can't really mountain bike in the flat land of Kansas but Wichita has a really fun biking trail. It goes through the trees and fields and is so pretty. It's around a 5 mile loop and definitely makes your legs burn. If you are in the area it is called Miller's Meadow. 



Cards // I'm trying to write more cards this year. Hopefully I'll be better about it once we have a place of our own but in the mean time I purchased these cute cards from Letter Me Loved. TJMaxx and The Dollar Tree also has some cute cards too!

Lavender Late // Okay, first I must tell you after visiting a lavender store in Whidbey Island I'm now hooked on all things lavender. I have a little necklace that has lavender EO and it is amazing. A couple of weeks ago some of my friends and I tried a new coffee shop, and although I was hesitant, the lavender latte was amazing. It was the perfect balance of lavender and coffee. 

Something lavender I do not like is lavender tea. I don't think I know how to make it properly. If anyone knows how to properly brew lavender tea please tell me because I tried and it was horrendous. 

Willow // This is Willow. She turned 4 this month so we took her out for hot chocolate. She loves loves loves Dave! Apparently everywhere she go she asks her Mom if Dave will be there because she wants to give him a hug. So cute! She also has kept asking me, "Do you have a house yet?" and when I would tell her not yet she would reply with "Well, we need to pray about this!" 

Static // Dave continues on with the balance series. ha ha! Static doesn't love our new home (yet)! She isn't a fan of wood floors and wood stairs terrify her. She goes up fine but coming down she needs major guidance and then the last 3 stairs she tries to run and just slides and falls right down them. So sad! She does like to guard the house and since we have 23 windows she has plenty of things to keep an eye on. 



I have some fun things planned for the blog next month. I have a couple of really neat companies to feature that will include a giveaway and I plan to share a little more about some of our travels. AND I'll be sharing more about our house. =)


Do you like lavender? Have you gone mountain biking? What is going on in your life lately? Where do you buy cards from? 

3.08.2016

Our Dog - Static


I know I have talked a little bit about our dog on the blog before but today I wanted to share a little history about our dog and some funny things about her. 

First, you must know how Dave got our dog. One day, Dave was at a car repair shop and a stray dog (our dog now) had come into the shop. The guys there were going to use her as target practice. How rude and awful is that??? Dave said he would take her home and see how she was. He said if she was a terrible dog that he would take her to the Humane Society. 

Dave took her home and on the first day there she learned how to sit. That was in 2004 and here we are 12 years later and she is the best dog ever. 


Dave and his sister equally shared this dog when they lived with their Mom. However, when they both moved out of the house, instead of just one person owning her they decided to do a split custody with her. 

Becky, Dave's sister, gets her one week and we get her the other week. Dave and I call her Static and Becky calls her Callie. She responds great to both names. 

When I first started dating Dave I liked Static but after I married Dave and we had Static longer I loved her! She is a good companion and is super obedient. 



Static's biggest flaw is that she loves to poop in public. Seriously! It is so embarrassing. When we are in public she doesn't go in secret. She waits until there are people and cars around and then she goes. 

That is when I slowly walk away, look at Dave and say, "She is your dog." ha! 


Static is around 14 years old and she still runs and is really active. Oh, and she is a Blue Heeler  / Whippet mix. 


She loves to travel and camp with us. Really, she just loves to go anywhere with us. She is a lot of fun. I have never met someone who didn't like her and she gets along with kids really well too. 


And now I must tell you about Dave's new adventure with Static called - The Balance Series.

The balance series is where Dave puts random things on Static's nose and tells her to wait, snaps a picture and then gives her a treat. Usually she gets to eat something she balanced, unless it's a pineapple or something she hates.

Sometimes I feel bad for her but she gets a treat out of the deal and she is pretty tolerant and obedient and really, it's hilarious! Dave and I probably have too much fun with it.


I never knew I'd like a dog so much but she is a lot of fun and I'm thankful we have her. My next animal post will have to be about the pet duck I once had named, Quack. =)


What kind of pet do you have? What tricks does your pet do? If you don't have a pet what would you get? 

3.04.2016

Religion in Myanmar


A couple of weeks ago I shared about politics in Myanmar and today I want to share about religion in Myanmar.  

Religion is a huge part of the culture and it integrates into just about every part of their life. I think the longer we were there the more we would see just how much Buddhism is integrated into their culture.  

Here are some quick facts about religion in Myanmar and as you will see Buddhism is the dominating religion there. 


I know many people view Buddhism as a peaceful religion where people meditate but it is in fact quite the opposite. When you look at Buddhism through the light of The Bible it is so sad to see how trapped the people of Myanmar are. They are constantly doing a good work in hopes of earning a better status in the next life and it starts at birth and continues until the day they die.


The majority of the Myanmar beliefs and practices ares summed up in three big things: Buddhism, fortune telling/superstition and karma. Somehow they mix all three of those into every area of life. It's intense. It is very weird to me and to be honest the root of it is Satanic. It makes me so sad to see the people there so sincerely worshipping knowing it isn't correct. 

Buddhism starts at birth, literally. There are no natural births done in Myanmar. The fortune teller will tell the Mom what day she should deliver her baby on and then she goes in for a c-section. After the Mom delivers the baby she isn't allowed to eat anything but broth for one week nor can she wash her hair for one month because superstition says if they eat or wash their hair they will die. Superstition and it's best I tell ya! But seriously - if I birthed a baby give me all the burgers please! 

Every Buddhist home will have some type of idol in their house that they pray to, burn incense to or offer food to. They also have these beautiful banyan trees that they believe to be holy and will put an idol in the tree. Apparently, Buddha himself became enlightened while sitting under a tree so that is why they deem them to be so holy.


Every child who grows up in a Buddhist home is expected to be a monk at some point during their childhood. How this works is that there is a special ceremony where the Mom will help shave their hair then they got to a monastery for a couple of weeks.

Monastery life isn't just for children. Adults can become a monk for life or they can go in for a couple of weeks or a couple of months. There are times where someone has done something wrong so they go become a monk for a while to pay back for their bad deed.


I don't know what all they do at monastery but I can tell you that they start chanting super early in the morning. They also all have a rice bowl and will get in a line and go through neighborhoods and everyone will put a scoop of uncooked rice in their bowl. Monks don't purchase their food they have to beg for it but of course, people give generously because they are banking on good luck and karma so that they will come back as something better in their next life. 

Girls also get monked and go to monastery and let me tell you, girls and women gotta work extra hard because they are pretty much nothing in Myanmar society. Women can not achieve Nirvana, the highest level a Buddhist can reach, because they are a .... woman! Women work really hard and hope to build up enough karma and good luck to come back as a man in their next life. Even a 90 year old grandma on a bus will have to stand for a 20 year old monk to have her seat. Wrong on so many levels and I'm so grateful Jesus loves women!


Buddhism is in the market shops too. If I was the first customer at the market they would take the money from the first sale and tap it all over the booth. This of course, brings them good luck for the rest of the day. Everything is 'lucky lucky' there and they say that word a lot! Even in bargaining they would say "this price is lucky lucky for me" and I would come down with a lower price and say "Well, this is my lucky lucky price." They sometimes try and pull the luck card with foreigners and after I figured it out I just said it right back. 

Not only is Buddhism in their daily actions but there are pagodas everywhere on every block and in every home. I have no idea how many Buddhas and pagodas are in Myanmar because there are more than I could ever count. 


The biggest pagoda in Myanmar was located in the city we lived in in and is called Shwedagon Pagoda. The pagoda is free for locals but costs $8 for foreigners. When you enter any pagoda in Myanmar you can not wear shoes or socks. This is gross to me because so many other feet have walked there and birds poop there. That is what I would call 'no lucky no lucky'.


You also must be dressed appropriately to go into any pagoda there. A shirt with sleeves is a must and you must have shorts or a skirt that goes underneath your knee caps. If you don't have appropriate dress wear you can rent clothes from them. Dave chose to wear shorts above his knee cap so he got to rent a skirt that day. ha aha ha! And they do indeed have someone checking dress code so no sneaking by!


Shwedagon is circular and has seven major stops. Each stop is a day of the week so whatever day someone were born on they go to that day. Most people go on their birthdays and will pour water over the Buddha, will kneel and pray to Buddha and will place their flowers. There are so many flowers that some times there is also a big trash can where they throw them in after the people who placed them have left. That is also known as a major waste of beautiful flowers God made.


Shwedagon has a lot of gold in it and the top has many diamonds and precious gems.

In the picture below you will see that part of Shwedagon is covered. Every few years they cover it and repair it and sometimes repaint it or put gold over it. I've been told that they always try to fix something on their holy sites or improve their Buddhas.

When I heard that, the first thing that came to my mind was how thankful I am that God is enough! He doesn't need fixing or repairs. In fact, it is the opposite. Jesus came and gave His life to fix us. I'm so so thankful for salvation and that I don't have to fix my God.


There are also countless other Buddha's around and buildings for people to pray and gain karma in. We went during summer once and my jaw dropped open when I saw these people pulling a big rope to fan Buddha. No words.

Can you see the man in the picture below pulling the rope to fan this Buddha? 


There will also be a monk sometimes whose job for that day is to stare into the sun. Why? I have no idea but I'm guessing it earns him karma (and blindness)?

Shwedagon was an interesting place to see because it really allows you to see the depth of their Buddhist beliefs but I will also tell you this: you can feel the darkness there. I really think there are demons there and the other part that is so sad to me is that Jesus is no where. You can feel what it is like for Him to be absent. It is so sad. 

I don't say all that about Buddhism to be mean but to share what is going on there and so you can see how important the gospel is there. There are many children at the school we worked at who grow up in Buddhist homes and making the choice to follow Christ is a really really big deal! It isn't just saying yes to Jesus but it is often saying no to your family. It is saying no to parents arranging a Buddhist marriage for you. It is saying no to generations of traditions and beliefs and sometimes saying yes to Jesus will leave someone ostracized from their family. 

but Jesus is worth all that. 

Why? 

Because He actually has ears that hear. He has eyes that see. He has a heart that loves. He is love! 

With Jesus the next life isn't dependent on the day I was born or how much good Karma I have built but is completely dependent on Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. 

When we were in Cambodia the missionary told us some of the awful things he had done before he was a Christian. He said he would go to the pagodas to pray because he wanted to change. Then he said something to me that I will never forget for as long as I live. He said "Buddha has good teachings but only Jesus can change the heart." 

That statement is so so true! Only Jesus.  

Lastly, please pray for the kids at the school we worked at who have accepted Christ. There is a four year old who went home and told her parents she would no longer bow down to Buddha. That is Christ working in her and that is the faith of a giant, if you ask me. 

Those kids need prayer. Prayer that God will convict them of their sin and save them at a young age. Prayer that they will grow strong in their relationship with God. Prayer that they can stand firm.  

If you have more questions about Buddhism in Myanmar please ask me. I don't know everything about it because it is so complex but I will do my best to answer any questions you do have. 

3.02.2016

Currently - March




Wishing

That people would create a separate FB or IG page for their Plexxus, body wraps, green smoothie or whatever else the fad is right now. I literally hid several people and had to quit following some on IG because it was plexxus overload. I think the pink drink took over their brain or something. =)

I actually have taken Plexxus before and really like it I just don't think it should be in every post or in every hashtag.

End rant.


Craving

Good Asian tea!

When I moved back to America I actually had zero desire for coffee but I did have a big desire to drink lots and lots of tea. However, I can't find tea that is the same here. Does anyone have a good recommendation for tea to drink?


Going

Nowhere! And it feels so good.

I can hardly believe I just wrote that but it is true. I just told a friend how it is funny how your hearts desires can change quickly. I have loved traveling and seeing things but I really want to put down some roots, settle and be one place for a while. Don't worry, we will still travel but it won't be as extensive as before and we will hopefully have a home to come back to. 


Wearing

The same thing over and over! Dave and I are still living out of suitcases so I have put the majority of my clothes away and am trying to simplify by wearing the same things until we get a place of our own.


Learning

All about home buying! More about that later but we are super excited!


What about you? What is going on with you currently? 

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