For weeks, I've been hearing a chirping sound at random intervals. At first, I thought it was a bird trapped somewhere in the porch or attic. Then, I heard it in the middle of the night...

Was it a mouse? A mouse was caught in the trap, but it was still happening.

Was it a cat trapped somewhere? Odd sound for a cat.

I started hearing the chirping more often... still, it was only one once. Grr.

Then, I was in the laundry room when the chirp happened again. Super loud! There was a smoke detector in the room, so I took it up to Bob to change the battery. But... it happened again!

Bob looked all over for me and couldn't find any thing (he even looked above the ceiling).

The other day, I had some extra time and decided to clean the shelves off. Most of the items had been left by the previous owner and I just hadn't done much with it yet. I picked up what I thought was a decoration or a toy and it chirped! I about dropped it! lol

Ladybugs. Big, noisy ladybugs.

As it turns out, they are handy water detection devices that would have been useful if they had been on the floor when we had the water in the basement. Now, they were letting us know they need new batteries. Now that I know what they are they have been put in place on the floor.

We have added another member to our family... meet Bear. He is a Malinois. Our youngest is thrilled - he has wanted a Malinois and a Shepsky (Jericho) for years and now has both in under a year of getting our own place!

Time to release the car from the confines of the snow!

Our youngest decided that he wants to start using the car on nice days, so he removed the snow from around it. Then, Bob used the truck to break it loose from the ice, which was a bit difficult when the truck was spinning on the ice too! (The car sustained no damage from being buried or from breaking it loose.) It took some time, but they have it loose... just in time for it to snow again.

I saw this in two places this morning (neither shareable, so I downloaded it), so I figure it must be a message that I need today.

Speaking up is one of the hardest things for me to do! I've come a long way the last few years, but it is tempting for me to climb back into my shell and give up on my personal development and business goals because I certainly make waves along the way. Yet, I know the Lord has called me to learn and to share the lessons I have learned. Some days, though, I do need to take a step back and rest.

I put my Transformation class on pause so that I could get my certificates in aromatherapy and crystal healing.

Now, I have the minimum amount of "training" (3 modalities) to be considered a qualified holistic life coach.

I have wanted an aromatherapy certificate for nearly 20 years, so this is certainly a small milestone for myself. I am grateful that all of these classes that I am interested in have become available at affordable prices versus the cost I found when I first started looking oh so long ago!

There are still around 20 courses that I am interested in, but most of them will have to wait until next winter as I will be focusing on horsemanship as soon as this white fluff melts to a manageable depth.

Yesterday, the question was posed to me:

What is your biggest challenge in growing your business?

My automatic answer was: time.

However, upon reflection, a lack of time is no longer my biggest issue. For months, I have been waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning. No matter what I try, I fall asleep before 8pm and wake up super early. Just a few weeks ago, I decided to embrace these extra morning hours instead of attempting to get back to sleep.

I could blame a lack of concentration and brain function, but those have drastically improved this past year. (thank you lion's mane mushroom!)

What is really holding me back is the negativity I have encountered. It doesn't seem to matter what I share, there are people just waiting to pounce and be hateful. I recoil from it and find myself shutting down when I am targeted like that. It is a very unpleasant experience for me and I do have a hard time putting myself out there knowing that it is waiting for me.

However, I find that as I continue to grow stronger (mentally, physically, and spiritually) the desire to share also grows stronger. I have, after all, decided to embrace my gift as a teacher.

My prayer then is that, at some point in the near future, I will be free from this personal blockage and be able to move steadily onward and forward.

I was writing right along, making good progress on my project when, suddenly, my brain skidded to a halt. Guess it's time for a break!

Every time I think I'm going to ditch my newest project, something comes up. Just this morning I read a comment (on someone else's post) that depression and anxiety don't exist in Christians. It is just a trick of the devil. The insinuation being that the ailing person needs to pray more.

I have much to say on the subject, which is why I am writing an series: Tools for a Victorious Life (hint: there IS more than prayer). I have been working on it off and on for a month now. I thought it would be just a few posts to share, but when I got to 20+ pages of NOTES I realized there would be more. My oldest thinks I'll have a book before I'm done, but I'm guessing I'll be a couple hundred pages short of that! lol

I know I'm going to be treading on toes with some controversial topics, but people are being shamed out of the church with this type of misinformation and lack of understanding. It may take me another month to finish collecting my thoughts, but I thought I'd announce what I'm working on.

The kids and I gave Bob an early birthday present - he loves it!

Valentine's Day was a month ago, but so much happened that I didn't share what we did!

My youngest wanted to go visit his Dad in Oregon and wanted to take Jericho with him because the dog is an escape artist and doesn't reliably listen to us (yet - though it has improved dramatically). The nearest airport that would take such a large dog was in a city 3 hours away.

While 3 hours (one way) isn't a terribly long road trip, it is the longest one that Bob and I have taken together. AND, we crossed into four states along the way (how fun is that?).

My anxiety level spiked when we took the truck into the parking garage. It was even worse when we went back to retrieve the pair a week later. Bob did say it was a VERY tight fit and an extremely confusing setup.

Bob was a rather tense on the second trip as there was a blizzard brewing, but we got home just before it hit. Whew!

Despite the hiccups that we encountered (what road trip doesn't have them?), we enjoyed our time together. Who knows... with the lack of fighting, I may eventually find myself having fun traveling to new places again (hopefully avoiding parking garages)!

Ok. Spring is here. I am officially tired of snow.

What a great way to kick-start spring!

I have heard some serious negativity from Christians about personal development and how it unnecessary (God does all the work for us) and based on pure self-centeredness. Yet, I look at the growth of non-believers and wonder:

If God will bless those who deny Him yet put in a genuine effort to change, how much more will He do for those who glorify Him if we would just make the effort?

I showed Bob the header image for my new website last night. (He has known that I have been working on something big, but I hadn't shown him anything yet) He says I'm fixing to slash my way to the top.

I'm not sure where the "top" will be, but I'm finding this journey forward to be rewarding.

Yesterday morning, I asked Bob "Do you smell that?" No. Of course, it was pretty faint and we figured it was just the cat box. So, I replaced the litter and started the air purifier. Yet, the smell was still around last night and strong enough for Bob to notice too.

This morning, I woke up early with headache, stuffy nose, puffy eyes, and aches. Allergies. Lovely. Once the medicine started working, I could smell e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Dead mouse.
Bob checked the closets and, finding nothing, we figured the creature was either in the attic or the walls. This was going to get worse before it got better. I had already planned on leaving next week anyway, so the guys could enjoy this aroma without me.

While I was packing, I thought I'd take a quick peek under the bed. We hadn't looked there yet because if the mouse was accessible our feline hunter would eat it. So, I wasn't expecting the sight of one very large, dead mouse under the bed. I guess this present was too impressive to eat.

We also caught a mouse in the kitchen trap last night (we have kept it prepared since we moved in and I check it every day), so Bob took care of both carcasses. The house is already starting to smell better.

Taking the pup out for a little fun in the snow...