It's the time of year when so many people are following traditions and baking those goodies that they love the most. These are a few of our favorites! Fudge, Cherry Popcorn Balls, Coffee & Spice Cookies, and Butterscotch Bars. This afternoon we hope to make Chocolate Chip cookies as well. Normally the older girls all come over to our house and we have a big baking day together. Well this year with the cold, ice and snow, that didn't work out. So Sapphire made the Chocolate Chip/Oatmeal cookies with chocolate drizzled over the tops, and Niki made more fudge at their house too. I don't know? Can anyone ever have too many goodies during the Holidays?!?!
This is Dutchess (on the left) and Duke (on the right - both on Doug's lap). Aren't they cute?!?! After having to put our Saint Bernard down last week, we all missed having a big dog around and it seemed so sad without Bo here. That is when we heard of a litter of pups that had been found by a farmer, suffocating in a plastic bag, thrown on to the edge of the river to drown. Isn't that awful?! At any rate, the farmer took these 8 pups, who didn't even have their eyes open, to a rescue nearby. The rescue family, called RUFF http://ruff.weebly.com/, took them to the vet, began bottle feeding them and caring for them. 2 of them died and were too far gone, but 6 survived! When we saw this, we emailed the rescue center and asked about them. After discussing it with all our kids, we all decided we wanted to get one. That is when Doug surprised us last night and came home with 2 of them!!!! Everyone is sooooooo thrilled! They are part Saint Bernard and part Mastiff (with possibly a bit of Shepard in them from what their vet can tell.) So, Doug just couldn't decided which of these two he wanted, so he got both! The kids are so ecstatic!! So am I! They are wonderful puppies!! I cannot imagine how anyone could try to kill them that way!
Our daughter, Ashley, decided to build her parakeets a "playground." She actually hollowed out a log, sanded and cut dowels, routered the edges of all the wooden pieces, etc. It turned out wonderfully!!! It even fit in her bird cage! They seem to enjoy it. She is hoping to build a couple of them and try to sell them at the Exotic Animal Swap meet in June, if all goes well.
Today we had to say Good-bye to Ashley's Saint Bernard, Bo. He was such a loved dog!!! I cannot imagine our home without him now. He would have been 7 this coming February. He started having mini seizures, losing bladder control, losing his hearing, limping from arthritis, losing weight, etc. We have known for a few months that we needed to do this, but couldn't bring ourselves to do it.
It is now after 12:00 and we are home and have buried Bo. We buried him in a large hole out behind our shed by the horse pasture. We were right in our thinking, as the vet said that Bo had large amounts of fluid in his chest cavity, and the vet could not even find a usable vein that would work on either of his front legs (so he had to do it muscularly), which took longer for his heart to stop, though he was brain dead almost right away. All of this to say that Doc was pretty sure (without doing an actual autopsy) that Bo had an incredibly enlarged heart and was suffering. All the signes were there. He said the theory is, “The larger the breed of dog, the shorter life span.” I had to keep saying to myself over and over and over again, “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengths me.” “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengths me.” Ashley and I stayed with him the whole time in the back room. Then Doc H. and Doc S. helped Ashley carry him out to the back of our truck. We had the hole ready, which is good because it snowed here last night and the ground is frozen. We backed up as close to the hole as we could, and Ashley and I lifted him out and set him in the hole. Then Cory, Ashley and I covered him up. It is so bitter cold out and the wind is just awful, but we needed to do this today. Ashley put large rocks around his grave and a cross she made for him yesterday with his name on it...”BoBo”.
I have to say though, that I in earnest prayed last night that if for ANY reason this is not what we were supposed to do, that God would stop us one way or the other and I would turn around and come right home without question. All the way there I kept praying, “God, see, we’re getting closer. Now would be a good time if we are to stop this.” Well, nothing happened to stop us and so in we went, trusting that God knew what was best for him. Afterward though, something happened...I had gone up front to pay them after Bo was gone, and a couple walked in with their dog in tow. With them they brought a 5-month-old Saint Bernard puppy! One that looked so much like Bo the day we got him! I asked about their dog and they said they had just gotten him because their other big dog had died of cancer. Then Ashley came out of the back room and saw him. She sat there petting this pup and crying while they sat there quietly letting us pet him and talk to him. And the other miracle of this was that…his name is Bo!! And then they said, "but we call him BoBo!!" Tears ran down Ashley’s face while we drove home and then she said, “I think this is God’s way of Bo telling us that he is okay now, by kind of living through their puppy Bo!” That is such a sweet thought! And yet it seemed to be so true all at the same time. Only God could have planned for another couple to walk in, at the exact moment after we finished saying good-bye to our Bo, with a St. Bernard puppy, and one named Bo! For that we will always thank God! So, hard as this is, there is a miracle to be found here, and we are so blessed for that! Now if Ash and I could just stop crying…
My husband Doug and I just celebrated our 20th Anniversary together (on the 25th)! We have been together for 21 1/2 years now, and married for 20. I am blessed that God led us together. At first, I never would have thought we would end up together, (That is a long story in itself! And when this guy first saw me, I was sitting in my mom's apartment, with no makeup on, and a head full of colorful perm rods! What a sight I must have been! He had stormed in (he was the maintenance man for the apartment company there), and went on and on about his "lazy girlfriend" and how she was driving him crazy, and then he turned around and stormed out as suddenly as he had stormed in. However, the next thing we knew, he opened the door a crack and stood there staring at me. Without another word he simply said, "One of these days I'm going marry you!" and he turned around and walked out.Now let me tell you that my comment to that was..."When Hell freezes over!" :+) And look at us now.) let alone for this many years. And to think that his parents both wanted him to get together with my sister and not me!! I was the prudish Christian girl who had an 18-month-old daughter from my previous marriage, and she is/was the fun loving go to the bar and party girl. However, God "worked together for good every thing for those who love Him." We are living proof of that! I would not trade my husband for the world!!! He loves me in spite of my failures, my over reactions to things at times, for the compassion and sensitivity I have for others (even if that means I sit and cry through a normal T.V. show like Extreme Makeover!), for my desire to home school our children, to being a stay-at-home mom, and to being his wife. I am so blessed!!! I pray that we can grow old together for many, many more years to come, and can always enjoy our children, grandchildren, and maybe even great grandchildren some day!
Do you remember doing this when you were a child? All the fun designs you could make and colors that you could use. Then pulling out the wax paper and an iron to melt them all together. It's a perfect winter craft when it's simply too cold to play outside very long.
* And yes, she was being supervised by one of her older sisters. :+) *
We were blessed by one of my husband's bosses to be able to take all the kids to the Musical "The Magic Tree House." It was such a good experience for them! I think that Zach thought it was a little mushy for his liking, but otherwise, they all had a wonderful time!!
We have 17, full grown, free range ducks now! Actually, about 6 weeks ago, one of our full grown ducks, who had disappeared and we thought had possibly been attached and killed by a raccoon, came strolling up behind the house with 11 baby ducklings in tow! It was the cutest site!!! Well, PTL, they have grown quickly, since we were afraid that they would freeze with winter on its way. However, they are all basically grown and doing very well. We have started feeding them dog food to supplement the bugs that they had been eating. Thankfully they love the off brand of dog food just as much as anything else!
This is Shelby, one of the pomapoo puppies that we have for sale. Believe it or not, she is almost 4 months old! She has finally made it to 2 lbs. Whether or not she ever makes it to 3 lbs. remains to be seen. :+) She is the sweetest little pup ever and full of fiestiness!! She has been bottle fed since Day 1. Her sister died at birth, and her brother died at 4 weeks of age from hydrocephalus. She herself is perfectly fine and healthy though. She did have a tiny broken leg on the front of her right paw, but that is now healed and you cannot tell that it was ever broken.
It is with sadness, hesitation and reserve that we welcome in a new president for the United States. Yes, it is a great accomplishment for us to have our first African American man as president after so many years of slavery and prejudice in our U.S. history. However, though this is a great thing in one way, it is far from what our Republican morals and values call for. So, now, what can we expect? What should we prepare for? What will this mean for Christians over all? Will this mean that now abortion will become legalized through all 9 months of pregnancy? Does this mean that we will be forced into one "insurance" for all? Does this mean that now gay and lesbian marriages will become a daily thing across the entire United States? What exactly does it mean?????
Well our first and best weapon of defense is to put on the full Armour of Christ. This is absolutely essential for what the days hold for each and every one of us, and our families. Look at Eph. 6: 11-13. It says this...
"Put on the whole armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."
The apostle Paul is pointing out the solemn reality that the war of Satan against our souls is genuine and that the stakes are forever eternal. Do you see how important this is?!?! It is crucial!
Satan blinds our minds to keep out the greater King, the Lord Jesus Himself! He warns us against false prophets that can deceive us, that can make us think that all of this is for our best interests, for our own good. But is this new "president" a wolf in sheep's clothing? Can we trust him? I think it will totally be for us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and only Him, and not risk trusting in someone whose values and morals are so far different from our own.
Our third oldest daughter, Ashley, has once again remodeled her bedroom and has been working on a Chinese/Jungle Theme. It's an interesting theme to combine together, but it actually looks quite nice together. To add to the decor, she has been making throw pillows to go on her bed.
Last night our oldest son, Zach, and I ended up taking Sheyenne, our youngest daughter, to the ER in Harlan last night. (Doug had taken nighttime Tylenol and was of little help by that point.) We didn’t get home and to bed until almost 1:00 this morning. They said that she did have a fracture, but that there was a blood pocket blocking the X-rays and so it was hard to see it well. So, they half casted it and put her arm in a sling. She was in terrible pain all night and she and I slept very little, if at all. They told us to just give her regular Tylenol for the pain. Well that wasn’t working, so while we were in Woodbine for the kid’s ortho. appointment, I stopped by Dr. Christy’s office and asked what else I could give her. I explained what had happened (as she hadn’t received the medical report yet this morning) and she said that for one, she would give me a prescription for Tylenol with Codeine for her. Then she said that she wanted to call an orthopedic pediatrician right away and get us in as from what I was describing, it sounded like it was over the growth platelets in her elbow, and that was serious! She wanted to be safe instead of sorry. The ER doctor had told us to just follow up with our regular on Friday this week. Well Christy got us an appointment at the specialist for 11:00 this morning. So, we had to go from Shelby to Woodbine (45 minutes), then back to Harlan to pick up her X-rays (about 35 min.), then to our house to get Shey (about 25 minutes), then to Council Bluffs to the specialist (about another 35 minutes), all by 11:00 this morning. Good thing we did though! Sheyenne has a severe break on the bone just above her funny bone. They had to cut off the half cast from last night, and put her in a full cast from her fingers to almost under her arm pit. She is to not play, go to school (which won’t be a problem with homeschooling), stay with an adult 24/7 to help protect her, etc. So, good thing we didn’t wait until this next Friday to take her in, or they would have had to re-break the break to fix it!! We have to go back in again next Monday and see how it is healing and what needs to be done from there. Poor girl. She really was in so much pain. And she’s still so tiny only weighing 35 lbs. And wouldn’t you know it...but that she is our only left handed child out of 10, and it is her left arm that is broken! She is happy this afternoon though because the neighbors sent down their daughter, her best friend Madison, to play with her here for a while. That lifted her spirits!!
Do you just HATE debt? Has it ever felt like a noose around your neck? Ready to come away from the slavery? Here are some quick tips to help you attack that debt and find the freedom that you are longer for! What's in Your Hand? Yep! What do you have in your hand to battle that debt with? Do you have a skill? Do you have stuff? Do you have a product? Do you have equipment? Want your dreams to come true? Well, offer up those "fish and bread" in your hand to the Great Provider. Watch Him do a miracle! He may ask you to use your skill of cleaning to begin an office cleaning business--talk about a great business model with a very limited investment. Maybe you have tons of old books that are just collecting dust--hear the call to sell on Ebay? What about those purses that you make...or books that you have written...or even parts from that junk car in the yard--sell it on Ebay! What about that lawn mower...or that bobcat? Put that ad in the paper and offer up what you have in your hand. Watch God bless! Stop the Leaks! If your money bucket is leaking quicker than you are filling it up, stop everything right now. Find a way to stop the leak! Write down every penny you spend for a week. Shock you? Little things will make a HUGE difference. Just cutting out soft drinks for our family of four saved us hundreds of dollars. Don't believe it? Just do a bit of math-- Family of 4 drinking 2 soft drinks per day--1.25 each--$10.00Hummm..7 days a week all month---$310.00JUST ON SOFT DRINKS! That doesn't count the calories or the health problems! MAKE a budget and LIVE the budget! First, write down all of your necessary expenses--tithing, housing, utilities, gas, food, financial commitments. Decide which part of the month you will need to pay each. Next, look at all of the other things that you spend money on-- Find any of the leaks on your budget and apply the money from those leaks to get rid of debts one-by-one. Not enough money for all of the month? Take a look again at what is in your hand--what can you do to make more money? Nothing? How about looking around you for an extra job--we can truly testify that we always need help with our businesses but few people genuinely want to work hard for money. Debt hurt bad enough? It only takes a little while to catch back up and be free. Find that extra job. Or get rid of of those extras for a little while. There may be things that have to be set aside until the debt is retired. More than likely just using a budget will help to give the accountability needed to get rid of most debt and debt problems. My favorite resources for figuring up a budget (and all of the incidentals) can be found here: Dave Ramsey's Website or at Living On a Dime's Website. "Live like no one else today so you can live like no one else tomorrow!" Anyone know who says that one? Yep! My favorite writer and speaker, Dave Ramsey. Dave is SO right! If we will just tighten our belts for a little while, in only a little while, we can have our dreams! I don't know about all of you, but I cannot stand being in captivity to the debt taskmasters. I want to go for all that God can give me in this life. I cannot do that if I am serving the master of debt too. I remember the day that Harold and I with our children decided that we would commit to live like no one else for a period of time so we could live like no one else later. The dream of having daddy home with us is worth it! The dream of having a business that our children can have as a heritage is worth it! And...it really only takes a little while! Don't presume upon the future. This is one HUGE lesson that God spoke to my heart about my debt. He let me go through a period of not having "enough" to pay off the debts that I owed. It was a long, stressful, frustrating time. At any time, He could have removed that "thorn" from me. Yet, He didn't. He left me in the wilderness--in the heat of the journey. Talk about one I do not EVER care to go through again! If He spoke this word to my heart once, He spoke it a million times--no exaggeration there! Really any debt is presuming about our future. It assumes that we will have another heartbeat--we will have another chance. It assumes that the check will be here. It assumes that the needs for tomorrow will be less than the needs of today--unlikely! Boy! That will bite us! There are no guarantees. Even when people owe us money, there are no guarantees that *they* will be able to pay us--not even employers. We just cannot commit to spend tomorrow's money until it gets here and God gives us a clearance to spend that money. God is so very faithful. I have not finished my study through the entire Bible on money and debt (that is what I am studying right now). However, the very first thing that I remembered being taught as a little girl was to pray that God would give us our daily bread. Remember that? Jesus taught us to pray that request. However, it was not to pray for next year's daily bread so we could have extras today. That is just not how it works. We have to learn to use great self-control with our finances. Every single need will truly be provided faithfully by our Heavenly Father. Plus...watch out! Faithfulness also brings His lavish blessings upon our household. He is certainly our good Master! Hit Debt Bit-by-Bit! Got debt? Want out, but have no idea how to begin? Beloved, first know that it won't take but a little while! Hate the debt and hit that debt! In a little while you are going to be free from the shackles. True Freedom! Get started by stopping the leaks to your finances. If you are going further and further in debt each month, take a long hard look at your finances. Are there things that really need to go? Soft drinks? Eating out? Lessons for the kids? Cable TV/Satellite? Cell phones? Telephones? Those car notes (sell and buy a cheap, good vehicle)? Going too much? Cut those extras! Add up how much all of those things are costing you. For a season, fast from those things. It won't take long and your debt can truly be mastered. Also, simplify everything! Cook meals in bulk--we always save tons with crock pot meals, staples like red beans and rice or soups, and eating sandwiches. We also save on entertainment by checking out videos for free from our library rather than renting, paying extra for cable/satellite, or going out to the movies. Really those things are great money savers, but they also save the family life--you can make sweeter memories with your family all together. What a perk! Finally, also write it all down--be accountable on paper. Every single penny should be logged. Let the whole family see the expenses. Talk about accountability! The kids have helped me to see the waste in Latte's and how much nicer it is to be able to exercise and afford regular family memories every single month with that one commitment! Get God's Vision! Lastly, we want to encourage you to look past the debt for a little bit. Look past the hard times and the struggles to get past this desert in your life. Think about the joy set before you! Can you imagine the difference in your family life? Can you see Daddy coming home for his dream business? Can you see that monthly income without all of the envelopes and threat letters in piles? Can you imagine the joy of seeing your children build their own homes and have their families without all of the debt? Can you see your children's children walking in freedom and liberty? Yes! It is worth it today! This is truly only a small period of time for you. It will be the thing that will make tomorrow a joy and delight. Read Deuteronomy lately? I have been camping there myself this past few months. I have been studying several things in depth in that book. One thing that is an underlying theme of that book of the Bible is God's plans for us financially. They are good plans! He wants to lavish us with blessings. He wants for us to pass on a legacy to our children that distinguishes them among our culture. He wants for us to be the lenders and givers to those who are in need--not to be the ones in need. He has chosen us to be His precious children--ruling and reigning in dominion over the world we are in. And...great news! He has a wonderful plan, complete with how-to's for how we are to get there! So, grasp for His best! Get a vision of all He desires and go for it! You have treasures awaiting you! ******************************* Need MORE Help? Need more help??? Join us for our NEW Talk-a-Latte Seminar with Leslie Valeska, A Simple Journey to Debt Free Living! Learn more and grab your ticket here: http://www.cindysaffiliates.com/go.php?offer=S9969TJZ&pid=7
I have an issue with a couple of families in our neighboring town. Perhaps I am taking it too personally as I know that they do not know me from the man in the moon, but to me, as a Christian, it offends me greatly! As you know, we (Christians around the U.S.), just recently had "See You at the Pole" where those who are Christian can meet around the flag pole and pray for those that lead us - those who run our country, those who are running in this election, etc. I realize that this is not the only time that we can pray for those in need, but it is something that many find very important because it is still something that is allowed at most public schools when normally we are coached, prompted and encouraged to separate 'church and school' now-a-days. Well these families, in the town next to us, have taken to poking fun at this blessed right that we have, and have chosen to put "creepy ghosts in a circle, hand to hand, bowing up and down to their flags as they move round and round the flag pole!" This bothers me. And like I said, I should not take it so personally, but every time I drive by there, which is several times weekly, I see this and think how sad it is, how much it bothers me, and how I feel it is poking fun at Christians, like myself, who truly believe that prayer is essential for so many, many reasons. So, I am left with what to do about this. I have several choices... 1.) Do nothing and ignore it the best that I can. 2.) Write an anonymous letter voicing my thoughts (in which it will more than likely only provoke them to anger). 3) Pray for them, for their salvation, and let God take the lead here. So, I am choosing the third choice as this is what I feel is best. So, be with me in this if you will, and pray for them. Maybe then God can do a work in them.
A few weeks ago, we finally took our raft out to a lake and actually used it! What a novelty, huh? We had fun though and it was quite educational for the kids as we went to the Lewis & Clark State Park while we were there.
This is Landon on the left, tickling himself, and Alona on the right in her Johnny Jump-up. She loves that bouncer!! These two kids are our oldest daughter, Niki's, two kids. They are the happiest little kids, and they just crack me up sometimes!! Landon has quite the sense of humor and can keep his mom and I in stitches for hours!!! With so much going on the last several weeks, we can use the laughter!!
Many of you have been praying for my husband, Doug. We really appreciate that so much!! He has been so sick for weeks now. First it was Bronchitis, then it was pneumonia, which put him in the hospital for several days. Well we thought he was on the mend, but over this past weekend, he got worse again. He just can't seem to shake this being sick. So on Monday this week, I took him back in again to the doctor. She drew blood again and sent it to the lab. The fear was that he may have mono now. Well the test for the mono came back negative, PTL!! However, what they did find is that he has a serious problem with Type 2 Diabetes! His levels were sky high! They started him on Insulin immediately yesterday. PTL that our doctor is so awesome and knows that we don't have insurance, so she has been getting our medicines for us through a grant that they have. I can't tell you how much that has helped! So, now we are in for some big changes around here!! For those who know my husband, he is the king of snacks! He is also a Pepsi-holic from the word go. He gets up in the morning, grabs a Pepsi, and never allows for his cup to be empty until he goes to bed at night. He drinks a good 2 - 3 2-liters a day, if not more. I used to be the same way, but after having gestational diabetes with 4 of our children, being on insulin myself for two of them, and now having Pre-diabetes, I can't do that any more and have become the Diet Pepsi Queen! :+) My husband has had to "mostly" stop drinking Pepsi for the last couple of days, stopped snacking, is checking his blood sugars 4 times a day or more, and watching every bite of everything he eats. The diabetes is why he hasn't been able to get better over the last several weeks. He comes by it naturally as his dad has had it for years, has had his eye lashes frozen, a couple of toes amputated, etc. Doug does not want to go through that! So, we are meeting with our doctor again next week, plus a dietitian, and making some major changes. Please say a prayer for us as we go through this tough transition!
On another note...our oldest son Zach DOES have mono though, and is very sick as well. Please pray for him too! And on same note, our oldest daughter miscarried their baby this past weekend. They are both devastated by this! She does have two other beautiful children, but this baby was loved already in their hearts as well.
Isn't he a sweet boy? He is one of the pomapoo puppies that I have for sale right now. He is 12 weeks old, and weighs less than 3 lbs. so far. He is the sweetest little fella!! He has been vet checked for health, had his first puppy shots and has been wormed. He is $250.00 if interested. Please feel free to ask me any questions that you may have!
SOLD to a family in PA!
*Heaven's Tiny Petals does NOT sell to Puppy Mills or Pet Shops!
This is our oldest son, Zach, with our youngest daughter, Sheyenne.
Very long story short, we were able to get our son in a Christian PMIC facility to get some help for his anger issues, spiritual issues, and so forth. Prayerfully, he will be able to graduate the program within 6 - 12 months, depending on how long it takes him to work on some specific issues. Please keep him in prayer if you will??? This has been one of the hardest things in the world for a parent to do, but so very necessary. It will take God to take control of his life, and him to be willing to turn his will over to the Lord.
My husband, Doug, has been sick now for a little over 2 weeks straight. He managed to keep going to work up through Monday - Wednesday last week, but by Wednesday night, he was much worse. So, last Thursday I made him stay home from work and took him in to see our doctor, who put him on an antibiotic right away. He seemed to be doing a little better, until Sunday afternoon. I really thought he should go to the ER Sunday afternoon, but he begged me not to since we don't have any insurance to speak of, and what there is, has such a huge deductible. So I told him we would wait until Monday morning and then take him back in to see the doctor. She sent him immediately to the hospital for tests. At first they were afraid of a blood clot on his lung. It wasn't that, PTL!! After a chest X-ray, EKG, CAT scans, and blood work, they found that he had Bronchial Pneumonia and a spot of infection on his right lung. Needless to say, they checked him in to the hospital. He has been there all week since Monday morning and is now back home today. He has been so sick, couldn't breathe, chills and then hot flashes, fevers, etc. He has been on IV antibiotic medicines and breathing treatments every 4 hours around the clock. He has been so dehydrated, so finding veins that they could put IVs in for him was nearly impossible. Finally they found one that would work. He convinced the doctor to let him come home (because of the lack of insurance), but he is still on two kinds of breathing treatments here at home, and two antibiotics as well. We have to go back tomorrow (Friday) morning to see the doctor again, and he is waiting to see when he can go back to work.
*The cake is a "Get Well" cake that one of our older daughters made for her daddy.
The Saint Bernard is Bo, and this tiny pom-a-poo is Shelby (named after the town we live in). Our daughter, Ashley, was there when this tiny baby was born. She and her brother both survived, but I believe that their mother didn't make it when delivering her third baby? Ashley took on bottle feeding the two babies left, but Shelby's tan baby brother died of hydrocephalus at 4 weeks of age. However, Shelby is very much alive and well at 7-weeks-old. She has just started getting some of her baby teeth, and though she eats canned puppy food, she still takes a bottle twice a day. She finally weighs about 6 oz., whereas Bo weighs about 180 lbs. Big difference, huh?
*Heaven's Tiny Petals does NOT sell to Puppy Mills or Pet Shops!
What a happy, cheerful, loveable this little boy he is!!! He is sitting up by himself, eating foods (though he still nurses every chance he gets), and says, "Mama" and "Dad" very well. Here he is holding one of the pumpkins out of his Aunt Ashley's garden. He has decided that it makes a very nice "ball." :+)