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Christmas Family Traditions

Growing up my extended family did not live near us. Often times holidays were spent with just my immediate family of my mom and dad, me, and my sister. My family developed strong Christmas family traditions because it was just the four of us. Christmas Eve wasn't Christmas Eve, it was my dad's birthday. For as long as I can remember we'd get him a puzzle for his birthday each year. We'd spend the day (and the week after Christmas) putting it together as a family. For dinner my mom made a spread of appetizers and we'd snack while playing games. One of our favorite games was Uno. "Blue to you" became a family joke and a "disease" my sister often got as she never had blue cards. Instead of birthday cake we'd eat Ice Box Pudding, a traditional birthday desert handed down my dad's family for five generations. Christmas Day my sister and I would wake early and open our stockings. We'd then go wake our parents and eat Christmas Morning Sticky Buns for breakfast. After breakfast, … [Read more...]

Pet Insurance Provides Peace of Mind

The Healthy Paws® information below, product, and gift card, have been provided by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance®. All opinions are my own. Hubby and I have owned 5 dogs in the 16 years we've been married. Until 2 years ago we were lucky when it came to vet bills. We co-owned retired show dogs and shared the cost of care with their co-owners. That made stomaching large vet bills much easier. In November of 2014, we decided to foster (and eventually adopt) from a rescue and we learned the true cost of owning a dog... Bentley came into our family malnourished and very under-weight. Fattening him up proved to be more difficult than anticipated as he developed pancreatitis from the "rich" food we were giving him. It took multiple visits to the vet, multiple tests, and a prescription diet to finally get him to a healthy weight. We spent money we didn't have to help Bentley but he has proven to be well worth the cost! Had we known about pet insurance when we got Bentley, we … [Read more...]

Family Game Night Wednesdays #RealCheeseRealLife #ad

This post is sponsored by Jack’s Pizza through a campaign with The Motherhood. All opinions expressed are 100% my own. A few weeks ago I told you about Pizza Thursdays, our family tradition since Hubby and I were first married. Today I'm going to tell you about Family Game Night Wednesdays, a tradition we started last winter. Hubby worked long hours last summer. Between working during the day and paperwork at night (he owns his own business) the girls complained that he wasn't spending a lot of time with them. The girls were also complaining that I was on the computer too much in the evenings. One Wednesday evening last fall Hubby started a fire in the fireplace and asked the girls if they wanted to play a board game as a family. After an enthusiastic "yes!" Family Game Night Wednesdays was born. Every Wednesday, starting the first Wednesday after school starts and going to the last Wednesday of school, we do something together as a family. Almost always it's playing … [Read more...]

Bentley’s Story Part 2

Last week I wrote my first post in a series called Bentley's Story. It is the story of how we adopted our boxer Bentley. He has been with our family for almost a year and lately I've been feeling compelled to share his and our story. Bentley adored human attention when he first arrived at our house. He still sleeps like this at times! I ended my first post with him joining the transport from North Carolina to Minnesota. Across America Boxer Rescue rescues dogs from all over the US. They have this awesome transport team that drives dogs from the southern states to families in the northern states. I'll tell you more about it in another post. As I said, Bentley was found as a stray and was pulled from a shelter and placed in a temporary foster home. He was in his temporary foster home for one week before joining the transport to us so his temporary foster family gave me little information on him except that he was about 1.5 years old, super friendly, good with other dogs, and … [Read more...]

Bentley’s Story Part 1 #PedigreeGives #ad

Bentley's Story Part 1 has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and PEDIGREE®. All opinions are my own. Please note, this post is the first in an ongoing series. Unless otherwise noted, this is the only post that is compensated. #PedigreeGives #CollectiveBias If you're a regular reader of Toys In The Dryer, you know that my family adopted a Boxer named Bentley about 10 months ago. I first introduced you to him in a post titled Introducing Bentley. I was so excited about him joining our family that I wrote that post less than 24 hours after he joined us and used crappy cell phone photos. I really knew nothing about him either! Now that he's been with us for a while, I can finally tell you his (or rather, our) story... Bentley's "mug" shot as I call it. This is him in the shelter.   Bentley is the 4th Boxer that Hubby and I have owned. Our first three were retired, champion show dogs from the same breeder/handler. Hubby and I had always considered rescue but had a good … [Read more...]


My family and I are proud to introduce our newest member...Bentley! He's an (approximately) 1.5 year old Boxer boy who we are fostering-to-adopt. He was found as a stray in North Carolina and transported to us in Minnesota this past weekend. The rescue group, Across America Boxer Rescue, is based out of MN but takes dogs from across the US, thus we got a dog from NC :) Despite him being here for less than 24 hours, he has definitely made himself at home and is blending beautifully into our family so far! We can't believe how calm and gentle he is for his age! Don't get me wrong, he's still a puppy and easily excitable, but he's neither a jumper nor a mouther (bonus!). As you can see, we've got some work to do to fatten this boy up. Right now you can see all his ribs and his back bone. Once he puts on some weight and fills out to his full grown self (boxers finish "filling out" around 3 years old), he's going to be one BIG handsome boy! We had some concerns that … [Read more...]