Friday, April 29, 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

I don't remember life as a little girl where princesses, castles, horses, and weddings weren't part of my conversations.  I was the epitome of 'girly-ness' as a child, and I do believe I knew the relationships between Britain's reining family before I was quite sure who were great-aunts or second cousins of my own.  My mom thought highly of Princess Diana, and my great-grandmother had the wedding dolls of Diana and Charles, which of course were special play things of mine.  As I grew older and began to read, I loved books about British history, and a bit later, Russian history.  Of course, Jane Austen played a huge role in my love of all things British, along with my time in Britain and Ireland as a young teen.  I have always been, and always will be, a grateful American, but I cherish my deep Irish and British roots, and I'm fascinated by my dad's time in Russia.  The entwining of European history and family lines intrigues me to no end, and when the pieces are carefully placed, one brilliant, beautiful, and sometimes tragic picture unfolds that really has shaped the course of all the rest of the nations in the world.

Therefore, it's no surprise that I was interested in William and Catherine's wedding this morning, although my own 'girly' side GREATLY gave way to more of a cowgirl as I turned in an adult.  Yes, I wanted to see the dresses and crowds and the love story turn a new chapter, but more, I wanted to see history made between two people who have the power to influence the world and who are the legacy of over a thousand years of a nation.
There's a deep part of my soul that loves a good, fancy wedding because our Lord is such a romantic and has an even grander wedding banquet prepared for us upon His return (check out Revelation 19 and 21 for a tiny taste). The Word of God, the message of salvation, the way to live in holiness and not selfish ambition, was proclaimed to billions of people today because of the wedding of these two people.  God is beckoning you to the bond of a lifetime-have you said "yes"?  Oh, how I pray that the words of those that spoke at the ceremony will resound in the hearts of the lost, that many will come to salvation because two people fell in love.

Isaac and I enjoyed eating our breakfast in the living room so we could rewind BBCAmerica's wedding coverage and watch the ceremony this morning.  It was bittersweet watching on TV the streets of London that I adore so much.  I loved being the in-house history expert that got to answer questions from my husband and folks at school today.  It's exciting to watch two people so in love enjoy special moments.  They both looked joyous, composed, and thrilled with the decisions being proclaimed today.  I wish William and Catherine all the best as they begin their marriage.  Lord, may they come to know You and exemplify You.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Days like this cause me to wish for a magic button that would transport me to the ESA Cupola off of Node 3 of the ISS.  Sometimes I need a new perspective on things when life upsets me.  I can only imagine the soothing balm this location is to a weary soul.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Christ the Lord is Risen!
 11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.  13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
   “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.
 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”
   Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
   She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).
 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20:11-18

May we not live lives that take advantage of the grace of the cross and of the empty tomb!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring on the Beach

We love to go to Galveston, and we feel so blessed to be 30 minutes from a beach.  Granted, it's not paradise, but the salt air, waves, and sand in our toes are lovely things.  Bailey has adored the beach since his first visit 3 years ago, and his ears perk up tall when 'beach' is mentioned to him.  He gets so excited in the car, and prances all over the front seat once we arrive.  Bailey can't wait to get his little paws and nose in the sand, so today we packed up the truck and headed south.

Aggie Belle sleeps from the second she gets in the back seat of the truck until we wake her up upon arrival at our destination.  She's just like her uncle David!  She had no idea where we were headed, but she slept sweetly, and didn't mind that this was her longest car ride yet. 

After we all ate our respective lunches, it was time to hit the sand!  Off went the dogs, with us close behind!  The beach was a big hit, but the water will have to be conquered another time.  A 6' to 10' strip of seaweed had washed ashore, blocking water access.  We did walk across it to see if Aggie Belle would get in the water, but the surf was rough and crashing well over her head.  The whole island had the seaweed, so we'll just have to go back soon!  Regardless of the seaweed, we had a beautiful time.  It was surreal to run on the beach as a family of four with everyone in step (or paw) together. 
Bailey hit the ground running!
Faster, Daddy!
Big Brother and Little Sister :)
Seaweed is cozy.
We walked about five miles before Aggie Belle had had enough.  Bailey wanted to keep going, but Aggie Belle's endurance just isn't where his is yet.  We stopped for ice cream cones on the way home, and of course Bailey got to indulge in a small bit of his favorite (though rarely received) food (don't judge).  Aggie Belle enjoyed her first few licks of the creamy white stuff too, and then she slept the whole way home.
First taste of ice cream...
...that's yummy!  More please!
Cool treat to end a hot day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Learning to Love

Acceptance of Aggie Belle has definitely been harder for me than for anyone else.  While everyone was enraptured with her cute puppy features, my heart just couldn't budge.  I think my overprotective nature for Bailey and Mommy's heart for that little boy was just too harden to anything that shook up his perfect world.  Seeing Bailey adjust and being to run rodeos, not cower, and share his walk time has helped.  Knowing he would be ok allowed me to relax enough for Aggie Belle to work her puppy magic on this mommy's heart.

Photographic evidence:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Aggie Belle's 1st Vet Visit

Aggie Belle had her first trip to vet yesterday (with us at least).  She needed her first round of booster shots on the 18th, and our vets were thrilled to meet our sweet little girl.

Everyone from the receptionist to the techs to both vets love our family, especially precious Bailey.  With his health issues, we used to be in there quite a lot, but thankfully he's been on a good stretch lately of only needing to visit for routine check-ups.  When I called to add Aggie Belle to our file, the first question I was asked about how Bailey was adjusting.  I love them!

Of course, both of our vets are A&M graduates, so they are thrilled with our baby's name.  :)  I know our vet clinic is a bit more expensive than some in the area, but after spending hours and hours in the teaching clinic at A&M's vet school, I completely trust the training and teaching that Aggie vets receive.  My peace of mind is worth paying a few extra dollars.

Aggie Belle weighed in at 13.6 pounds, which is just right for a 10 1/2 week weim.  She received a couple of shots, and we were told she might be a bit lethargic last night.  Ha!  She was a wild woman!  Then, she got sick to her tummy last night, so next time the vet will giver her some Benadryl in case this was a reaction to the vaccinations instead of a coincidence.  We'll find out in three weeks.

In other Aggie Belle news, we're still only up to 7 potty accidents in the house, so that's good.  She is more often than not sleeping through the night, and the leash is becoming more of a friend than an enemy.  Bailey is learning to ignore her instead of get upset with her when she's hyper, and he still doesn't want to take a walk without Baby Sister.  That part makes this Mommy one happy lady!
It looks like Aggie learned to share my water glass, but she really found a new chew toy.  :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

JAG Withdrawl

Season 9 Cast
JAG became one of my favorite TV shows my last year or two of high school.  It was a sad day when CBS decided to end the show after 10 years.  I know most shows run their course long before the ten year mark, but I feel that JAG had such dynamic characters that there were still plenty of stories left to be told. 
Season 10
Since I missed the first 6 seasons, I began watching the series from the beginning about 1 1/2 years ago.  Between the local library and Netflix, it was easy to take my time and enjoy the plots of each episode.  I had the last DVD in my possession for about a week before I could bring myself to end the series.  It was sad all over again to say goodbye to such enjoyable characters that were part of a mostly clean TV show. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Introducing Aggie Belle!

Two weeks ago today we brought home a very cute 8 week old, 10 pound weimaraner puppy.  As of today, she is officially ours since we didn't decide to send her back during the two week 'foster' period (in other words, Bailey didn't try to kill one or all of the four of us since Aggie joined the family).   I'm still trying to figure out WHY we did this, but we did.  I suppose much of this has to do with the fact that Isaac has wanted a weim for well over 2 years and has looked almost daily on the Houston section of the Weim Rescue of TX website for a puppy.  We only do rescue animals in this house (the birds don't count), so it took quite awhile for puppies to show up that needed rescuing. 
Meeting in our front yard for the first time.

On Wednesday morning, March 30th, Isaac called to say there was a puppy on the rescue site.  By 7:00 PM on the 31st, Isaac was sitting in our front yard introducing Bailey to his sister, Aggie Belle.  The whole time I kept thinking about how we were destroying sweet Bailey's peaceful life (and ours).  We're calm people in the Ozinga family.  Running and jumping and random chaos don't jive well with our lifestyles.  And yet, now there is an ever growing, gray wiggle worm in our family who will charm me with one upward glance of those sea green eyes, even when I'm beside myself that we have her.
Mommy and Aggie Belle on 3-31
All things considered, Bailey is doing a phenomenal job as far as adjusting to sharing his kingdom with another canine.  Keep in mind that Bailey has no idea that he is canine.  He truly thinks he is a human and has all of the rights and privileges of a human.  

The easiest adjustment for Bailey was walk time.  Bailey gets at least 2 walks a day, and he decided that sharing a walk with Aggie Belle was exciting and adventuresome.  Bailey has learned to share the kitchen and is eating like a champ now that he knows Aggie isn't allowed near his bowls, but he can share her water bowl.  Bailey does not like sharing 'his' bedroom.  He still hides and cowers when we're all back there, but with a few training treats, he's getting the idea.  I think it helps that Aggie isn't allowed on furniture while Bailey is.
First bath
Aggie is doing pretty well growing up in the Ozinga House.  She's only had 8 potty accidents in 2 weeks.  I don't know what other people's experiences are like with puppies, but I think that's good.  She's learning to walk on a leash and hardly needs positive reinforcement anymore.  Aggie Belle has gained 2 pounds in 2 weeks, and while she doesn't seem longer yet, she's definitely taller!  The sweet girl mostly sleeps through the night and no longer cries when put to bed in her kennel.  She has realized that her kennel is a good place to be, full of toys and yummy things to chew, so she doesn't mind being in there while we're gone either.  

Mommy (me) is not adjusting so well.  I've had several panic attacks and freak out moments.  I've never had a large breed dog, and while Aggie is easy to transport (ie, she loves 'holdy time' nearly as much as Bailey!) and small now, I can't imagine a nearly 70 pound dog in my house.  The balance of two incredibly need beings versus one feels overwhelming to me.  And, when I see Bailey struggling to adjust, it just does in my heart.  Bailey and I have a bond that can't be replaced because both of us were so horridly ill when we met that we just learned to depend on each other for everything (yes, it sounds corny, but it's true).  Bonding with a puppy is just a more difficult experience for me.  Aggie Belle seems to adore the ground I walk on though.  She follows me almost constantly and noses my ankles to get me to sit and play.  Now it's up to Time to make this work.  

Daddy (Isaac) is in heaven!  He doesn't even mind scrubbing the carpet the few times Aggie Belle has had an accident.  He's learning to balance time with each dog, and he's doing a great job with training.  
There will be plenty of adventures in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Me, Dad, and David outside of Reliant
So, Kentucky didn't win the Final Four in 2011.  Yes, it was disappointing.  As my brother said, this is the first time in our livetimes that UK has made it to a Final Four and not won.  In that context, it was a bit depressing to see them come to our hometown and not one point

Houston members of all 5 military branches

At the same time, I had a blast going with Dad and David (and 77 some-odd thousand) other fans to watch two great basketball games.  Here's to hope for 2016!

Starting Players
Love that Cat!
I used to want to be them.  At least they're classy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Love Spans the Miles

While I was in Zambia, I met Kevin and Matildah.  Kevin is from Vancouver, and Matildah is from Livingstone.  They met about 3 years ago when Banda's (name=long story) family first came to volunteer with CACZ.  That was the beginning of the sweetest of love stories.  :)  Banda is back in Lusaka full time now with CACZ, and when he returned this week, he proposed.  Yay!  I love these two.  Their passion for Christ and the littlest of His children is amazing.  Matlidah is helping with the social work aspect of CACZ, and Banda is a jack-of-all-trades.  The kids love him.  Mostly, I'm grateful for how the helped me feel right at home when I was in Zambia.  No question was too strange for them to answer for me, and they send me messages from my precious Jessy.  I'm praising God much today for all He's doing!

I stole it from their Victoria Falls album.  :)
P.S.  They need to pick a date soon so I can coordinate my next trip with the big day.  :)

Monday, April 11, 2011


Katy had this quote on her blog a long time ago, but I just found it.  Such true words!

"People who are obsessed with Jesus aren’t consumed with their personal safety and comfort above all else. Obsessed people care more about God’s kingdom coming to this earth than their own lives being shielded from pain or distress."
-Francis Chan


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Road to the Final Four

On Friday, Mom, Dad, and I went here:
to watch practice for this:
Yes, it's fun to have a national sporting event in one's adopted hometown, but it was especially exciting because our real hometown boys were here to play! 

Before we went to practice, we stopped by here:
Hilton Post Oak-UK's Final Four Hotel

 We had to drive past here:

We had lots of fun watching:

Yes, I'm a baig Harrelson fan!  Of course, Jones and Miller made it fun too.
More about the big weekend to come!
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