Friday Introductions: Zach

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you all are enjoying your day and looking forward to the weekend. Also, happy December 1st! (Yay! Now I officially don’t have to feel odd for listening to Christmas music- not that I did anyway in November.)

Today is another #FridayIntroductions post, and you all get to meet my amazing husband Zach. Please forgive me if I gush just a little bit in this post.

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Zach is a Lancaster County native, having actually lived much of his childhood in the house where we live now. He is 23 years old and is a hard-working, loving husband and father.

He is my opposite in nearly every possible way. As a child, he was one of those very boisterous, sometimes naughty boys. He was maybe also a bit too smart for his britches. He now tells me about all the ways he sneaked candy and did other things he knew he wasn’t allowed to do. I’m sure his mother would cringe if she heard some of the stories he tells me. He spent his childhood building bike ramps and teepees, picking on his sisters, and doing all sorts of other adventurous boy things.

In elementary school, his teachers couldn’t figure out how to keep him quiet and in his seat. In high school, he was still as talkative and social as ever. He irked me just a bit because while I studied hard for my good grades, he never studied and still got good grades. But I forgave this injustice when he spent his study halls helping me with Advanced Math homework.

Ever since graduating, Zach has worked as an electrician. I am very grateful for his hard work ethic, since that is one of the main reasons we are able to afford having me stay at home full-time with our little girl. He is also a great handyman, and he loves to be presented with a problem and come up with an out-of-the-box solution. He always has home-improvement projects going around the house, and I have to remind him frequently to take time to relax. (His response is usually, “But then I won’t get anything done!”)

One thing that surprises most people about Zach is his eye for colors and decorations. He is very detailed and organized, and he puts that to use in what our house looks like. He picked most of our paint colors and has done more of the decorating than I have. While I love having a nicely decorated house, I am not good at envisioning a final product. That’s why I’m glad he can help with the details!

Fun Facts:

  1. What he may lack in compassion, he makes up for in his faithfulness and determination.
  2. When we got Mia, he declared she wouldn’t be allowed in our bedroom. A few months later, he was the first one to cave and invite her onto our bed to sleep.
  3. He enjoys reading.
  4. He enjoys hunting- Mostly deer, but also pheasant and small game.
  5. He badly wanted a son but now has fallen head over heels in love with his daughter.
  6. He LOVES winter! The colder, the better!
  7. He hates clutter. I can ignore clutter, but it drives him nuts.
  8. He enjoys gardening and flowers. While he rarely buys me flowers, he often brings me fresh cut stems or bouquets from our flowers in the summer.
  9. He loves camping and being outdoors.
  10. He restored an antique John Deere B tractor that he got from his grandpa. He enjoys using it to plow our garden and do hayrides in the fall.

Enjoy these pictures and your weekend!

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Zach & Reese camping this summer


Quality time with his favorite little girl


Working on the nursery before Reese was born


Hunting selfie


Shooting clay birds at the cabin with his family


Successful pheasant hunt with Duchess



Plowing our garden with his tractor


Friday Introductions: Kristen

I’ve decided to do a few fun posts for #FridayIntroductions. (I’d like to do a post for each 2-legged and 4-legged member of the family. Don’t expect a post every Friday, though. I’ll probably post these sporadically as I have the time.)

I have had this blog for a little over two years now, and my list of followers has grown quite a bit during that time. Many of you know me personally or have at least met me, but there are a few of you who only know me through my blog. I realized that since most of my posts focus on my dogs and puppies, some of you may know very little about me.

So here I am! A 23-year-old momma to an amazing little girl and four very special dogs. I am married to this pretty awesome guy- Zach.


Here are ten fun facts about me:

  1. I am an introvert, and I love getting quiet “alone time.”
  2. The job I’ve had most ill-fitted to my abilities was a part-time waitressing job I had during high school. Waitressing is a job that’s good for an extrovert. I found it stressful and draining.
  3. I hate socks. And shoes. I can tolerate flip flops, but I prefer to be barefoot year-round. (And, yes, I have gone barefoot in the snow on multiple occasions.)
  4. I love a good story, whether it’s a book, movie, or children’s story.
  5. When I am home alone for an evening, I indulge myself by making a snack and binge watching documentaries.
  6. I am not a very creative person.
  7. I had a pet raccoon as a child. And, yes, his name was Rascal. See what I mean about creative?
  8. All of my chickens have names- Mabel, Maggie, Emma, Sadie, Henny, and Penny. (We are on the the second Henny and the third Penny thanks to the neighborhood cats.)
  9. I want to get some Nigerian Dwarf Goats.
  10. I love to eat peanut butter. I pretty much eat it every day. In fact, I’m eating some while I’m typing this.

I am blessed to come from a loving home with, honestly, the best parents. I grew up (and still am!) a Mennonite. For those of you who are not familiar with the Amish and Mennonites, we are a conservative Christian community that strives to live out the principles of the Bible in our every day lives. Although we are certainly far from perfect, we do our best to live simple, godly lives full of love, family, and community.

As a child, I was always a homebody. I didn’t like going new places, unless there were animals there for me to play with. I have always loved animals, and my parents blessed me with a childhood full of them- dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, fish, salamanders, chickens, and, of course, Rascal the raccoon.

I am the youngest of three children. I have a brother and sister who are 12 and 9 years older than I am respectively. Without any siblings close in age, I spent a lot of my childhood playing with my cousins who lived next door. I also liked to read and write.

I thrived in school, as I loved to learn. I committed my life to Jesus Christ in middle school, and my relationship with Him grew during that time and especially in high school. (It still is a growing process!) It was in high school that I met this outgoing and irritating guy. It took a couple of years, but my initial judgment softened a bit and we started dating after 11th grade. (Spoiler: I marry my high school sweetheart a few years later!)

During my senior year of high school, I took a Teacher Apprenticeship class. I spent one period a day at the neighboring elementary school, working and teaching under the direction of one of their teachers. After graduating, I accepted a opportunity to do volunteer service as a teacher in a very small church school in northern Pennsylvania. I taught third grade and had four students. I taught school there and helped with some ministry work in the community for one school year before returning home.

After that, I began teaching second grade at a local private school- Shalom Mennonite School. My class size grew from four to seventeen! During that year, Zach and I got engaged and started planning our wedding for the following summer. Thinking I wouldn’t be able to balance the pressure of teaching and keeping after a home, I moved over to the school office after we got married. I spent the next few years working as a secretary at Shalom Mennonite School. I thoroughly enjoyed my quiet hours in the office. I still had the opportunity to interact with the students, but I didn’t have as much of a workload as a teacher.

I stopped working in December of 2016, preceding the birth of our first child in January of 2017. And that gets me to where we are now! I am currently a stay-at-home mom, and I am extremely grateful for the chance to stay home and raise my baby girl. Being at home full-time also gives me the ability to invest more time into our dogs and puppies, which is such a joy! During the summer months, I did a good bit of canning and freezing various fruits and vegetables. We got a lot of these, though not quite all, from our own garden. Now as we approach winter, I plan to do some scrapbooking and de-cluttering while I don’t have as much outside work. We’ll see how much I actually accomplish by spring.

That’s my 23 years of life in a small nutshell! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!


My tiny classroom from my first year teaching


Wedding picture- June 14, 2014

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Hiking with Mia and Duchess


My first chicks


Pheasant hunting with Duchess


The most recent picture of me with Reese!

National Dog Day 2017

Happy National Dog Day! In honor of this special day, here is a mish-mash of pictures of my dogs from today.


I just love that happy Golden smile and the distracted setter stare.



Timber and Mia having a good chase.





I finally got some decent pictures of this handsome boy. He’s always on the move, so it’s hard to catch him in a nice pose.


There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a setter on point! (This isn’t a true point, but he’s alert and scenting something interesting.)

Of course, I can’t do a blog post without a puppy update! Duchess and her babies are doing very well! Duchess is back to her happy, lively self; and all the puppies are growing and active. In comparison to the first week, the last two weeks have been a BREEZE! I feel like we are back on track and back to normal. Praise God! The puppies’ eyes have opened, and they are on their unsteady little feet. We have added a potty area for them, and they are already beginning to use it and keep their bed a little cleaner. (These setters are going to be some sharp little pups!)







This is my happy place.




Enjoy this beautiful, sunny weekend! Post a picture of your dog on National Dog Day in the comments- I love seeing your furry friends!



Summertime Happenings

Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of my puppies. Some days, anyway. So here is some photographic evidence of my life all crammed haphazardly into one post.

Zach loves to garden, so each spring we plant a large garden. This year we planted strawberries, lettuce, potatoes, carrots, onions, green peppers, sugar peas, hull peas, corn, green beans, yellow beans, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and sunflowers. (The sunflowers are just for fun.) This is in addition to our apple trees, black raspberry patch, and concord grape arbor. Even though I didn’t grow up with a garden, I have learned to enjoy gardening. It’s so rewarding to pick the produce that we planted and maintained ourselves.

Summertime means a lot of time spent outdoors. It’s not unusual to find Zach, me, Reese, and all the dogs outside in the evenings. Sometimes we are working, and sometimes we are playing. Especially since having a baby, I have really begun to cherish the time we can spend together as a family, even if it’s just a few minutes after working outside.


Life is a gift, you know. I’m thankful for every day that God gives me to spend with these two wonderful people.

Last weekend, we took Reese and Jade hiking on some trails near our home. It was a bit humid and sweaty, but the ice cream afterwards made up for it. Unfortunately, Reese and Jade missed out on the ice cream.

And this little girl is growing so quickly! At five months old, she is rolling like a pro, reaching for toys, giving slobbery kisses, and being the best and smiliest little human I could ask for.


My days are busy, but my heart is full. And, it’s about to get fuller… because, guess what, MORE PUPPIES ARE COMING! (I try to tell myself I have a life outside of puppies, but these puppies are honestly trying to take control.)

My beautiful red fur baby is going to be a momma for the first time in a few weeks.


She’s looking pretty good for halfway through pregnancy, don’t you think? Our vet confirmed her pregnancy today, and we are so excited to welcome our first litter of setters later this summer.


This handsome boy here gets to be a daddy, although I question whether he’s emotionally mature enough for the job. What do you think?


Hmmm, it’s a good thing mom does all of the work. 🙂

Well, that is a look at my normal summertime life in a very small nutshell. I hope you all are enjoying your summer and taking advantage of the time to spend outside and with your family! To close out this post, here are some pictures of the puppies playing this afternoon.


Oh, Baby!

I try to keep my blog mostly dog-oriented, but this news is too big not to share here. 🙂

On Saturday, January 21 we welcomed baby Reese into our family. She was 6 pounds 14 oz, so she is just a little peanut.


We are so grateful to be blessed with a beautiful and healthy little girl. The past ten days have been the biggest adventure of my life thus far. It has definitely been a huge adjustment, but I have the greatest husband ever. He has done so very much to help this new momma keep her sanity as we both adjust to a new baby in the house. We also have had great support from friends and family. I have a refrigerator full of food and several meals in the freezer that people have dropped off for us. Today is actually the first day that I am alone with Reese. My mom, mother-in-law, or Zach have been home with me other days.

It hasn’t been all sunshine and happy thoughts in the last ten days; but overall, it has been good. Reese is a very content, sleepy newborn. She is finally starting to be awake more; but for the first couple of days, we hardly saw her eyes at all. As for me, I’m hanging in there. The nights are long, but she actually sleeps well for a little baby. I really can’t complain. I try to take a nap during the day, and I usually spend most of my days right now in my pj’s. That’s allowed, right? 🙂

Dear Mia is adjusting well, too. She is very forgiving when her breakfast doesn’t come until 11:00 am or when I accidentally step on her on my way to the nursery at night. She is excellent with Reese and checks on her periodically throughout the day to make sure she is okay. Mia likes to know where Reese is, and she doesn’t like when we put her someplace new. The first night that we put Reese in her crib in the nursery, Mia was very worried about her. When we lay Reese on the floor, Mia likes to snuggle with her. The other dogs have only had an introduction through the glass door, but they are very intrigued by this new little bundle.

Here is a picture of Reese in her carseat to come home from the hospital. She looks a little lost in there!


And this is a post-bath picture. She may look happy now; but, believe me, she HATES baths. img_3161

This sweet little girl looks just like her daddy’s baby pictures. I haven’t been able to claim much of her appearance except for her ears. 🙂Version 2img_3128img_3163img_3150img_3153

Have a blessed week!


Happy Fall & Four Weeks Old

This week’s blog update is going to be mostly pictures. I have some pictures of the big dogs enjoying the beautiful fall weather, of Duchess hunting, and of sweet Noel, of course. Enjoy!


Pennsylvania is truly beautiful in the fall!


Way to go, Duchess!


Little Jade isn’t so little anymore.


My 60 pound love bug.


I lied. We’re not selling a real puppy. She is a stuffed teddy bear.


Noel enjoyed exploring outside one warm afternoon.


She started eating a little bit of softened kibble this week!


This is Noel’s new favorite toy.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

My Promised Review & Summer Catch-Up Post

Is it really July already? It’s been much too long since I have posted, but that doesn’t mean things haven’t been happening around here! Summer is such a fun and busy time in this house. 🙂

But before I get started on that, I want to give my final review on Wondercide. A few months ago, I had posted about this flea, tick, and mosquito repellant that I was trying on our dogs. Now that I have been using it for awhile, I want to talk about it again and give my final opinion. If you’re new to my blog, take the time to read my original post about Wondercide.

I suppose the best way to give my opinion is to tell you that after more than three months, I am still using Wondercide and plan to continue doing so. It works well, but it is definitely not for everyone.

The main drawback is the fact that it requires thoroughness and consistent application. Frontline and other monthly treatments are great, because one treatment protects your dog for thirty days. It’s super easy. However, Wondercide needs to be applied 2-3 times per week. I find this manageable, because all three of my dogs have long hair that should be brushed a few times a week anyway. I simply combine grooming with the Wondercide application.

I also learned that thoroughness is key! After a mild winter, we have seen an unfortunate increase in the ticks on our area. When I first began using Wondercide, I avoided rubbing it on their faces and muzzles. Then, I found a few ticks- on their faces and muzzles. 😦 Since I have learned to be very thorough and to rub the spray ALL over, I haven’t had any trouble.

Over all, I like this product and will continue using it for myself. It is cost effective, and it works well if used properly. It’s natural and gentle. However, I don’t recommend it for everyone. Wondercide takes more work than your average flea and tick prevention. Sometimes easier is just better!

Ah, now that business is taken care of, I’d like to share some of the fun things that have been happening around here lately!

Little Jade has been growing like a weed! She is such a laid back sweetheart, and I love her dearly.

These pictures are already out dated, but they were too cute not to post. We had a cookout by a lake with some friends, and we did some fishing. Jade came along on our outing and was very interested in the fish we caught and the cups of peach tea we weren’t watching.


When she wasn’t trying to steal our bait or drink from our cups, I managed to get a few pictures of her. Is there anything cuter than a Golden Retriever puppy?

Now that it is getting warmer in the summer months, it was time to give Mia her summer hair cut. I like to let her hair get longer over winter; but when summer time comes, all that hair gets HOT!

This is before the hair cut.


This is after.


We also had one not as good happening this summer. We had a very unwelcome guest make an appearance in our yard. My husband was outside working one evening when he noticed the dogs were crowding and jumping around something in the back yard. When he went out to investigate, he discovered a large snapping turtle!


We don’t have any creek on our property, so this guy was wandering pretty far from the water. I am thankful Zach saw what was going on before any of our dogs got hurt! A bite from a snapping turtle could do some serious damage to a curious dog. Mia did get bitten on the nose, but luckily the cut was minor and superficial.


I made sure to clean and sanitize the cut, and it healed well within a few days. As far as the turtle, we captured him in a bucket and released him. I’d really prefer if he stays in his creek now and doesn’t make any more visits to our backyard. 🙂

Now, you are almost caught up on our adventures. I do have one more recent picture and a video of Jade to show you all how big she has gotten! The past week has been very hot and humid. Zach thought the dogs might enjoy some cold water, so we filled a kiddy pool for them. Duchess was unimpressed, Mia waded in it for a little bit, but Jade LOVED it!


Enjoy these dog days of summer!

Growing By Two Feet!


The next little munchkin we add to the family will not be of the canine variety. In January, Zach and I are expecting our first child!

(In case you are wondering how we managed to get all three dogs sitting nicely in a line for the photographer, please note that it is extremely convenient you can only see them from the neck down. Two of the three dogs are on leashes. Only sweet Mia, sitting right next to me, is obediently sitting without any help. 🙂 )


We have a new furry face at our home! I would like you to meet Jade, an 8 week old Golden Retriever.



We picked up Jade on Thursday evening and brought her home to meet our other dogs. I was very interested in seeing how the dogs would react to each other. From her litter, we were told that Jade has one of the most laid back personalities, and we thought this would help her adjust to living with two older dogs. With a laid back temperament, she shouldn’t mind being bossed around so much.

The introductions went better than we anticipated. Mia and Duchess were THRILLED at seeing a puppy. Jade was a bit scared at first of these two bigger dogs licking her and knocking her over. However, once she realized she wasn’t in any danger, she began to play.


I took some time to make sure that Jade was all settled in that first night.


The next day was a big day for Jade. She got her first bath and had to go to the vet for a check up. I think she liked going to the vet more than getting a bath.


After those two things were finished, she was free to play with Mia and Duchess for the rest of the day. Mia absolutely adores Jade and spends all of her time “mothering” her. She doesn’t let Jade out of her sight.


Jade and Duchess get along great as well, but Duchess isn’t quite as interested in Jade as Mia is. This next picture is the perfect description of our dogs. Mia and Jade are playing together close to me in the yard. Meanwhile, Duchess is racing wildly up and down our property doing her own thing.


Jade desperately tries to keep up with the big dogs, but she often just gets run over. This was a new toy, and all of the dogs wanted it for themselves. Poor little Jade didn’t stand a chance, but she got an “A” for effort!


Eventually, the big dogs forgot about the toy and busied themselves doing other things. Jade was then very pleased when she got the toy all to herself.


As it got towards evening, everyone was tuckered out, especially little Jade.


Have a blessed week!

Kiss Me… I’m Irish!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s an important day for an Irish Setter.

“Kiss me! I’m Irish.”


“I mean it. I need a kiss!”





These pictures are back from October when we still had Mia’s puppies, but I couldn’t resist posting them anyway!