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Monday, June 30, 2014

Honey 5/4/2004-5/21/2014

Way back before Beau and I were married, he had a professor that worked with a mastiff rescue and he would bring his medical dog - a bullmastiff to class with him each day. Beau got to talking with him and he was actively looking for a home for a 4 month old French mastiff pup (as seen in the movie Turner and Hooch) as she was the bottom of the pack and very timid and would do better as the only dog in a home. Two sets of puppy eyes (hers and Beau's) were able to convince me and thus Honey became a part of our family. She was the most laid back puppy I'd ever seen - at 4 months she didn't like any toys (we tried and she sniffed them then ignored them) and and was content to just lay near you for the most part. I'd never been around mastiffs before but I quickly was convinced about what a great breed of dog they were. As a big bonus she was a big deterrent to anyone who might think about coming in the house. At that point in our lives Beau worked late nights and then into overnights and we all felt more comfortable that she was around. Even if she might have her tail tucked and hide behind a chair if Beau was home, if he wasn't she took it as her personal mission to protect us from any noise she might hear outside.

I'm pretty convinced there isn't another dog out there quite as tolerate of toddler abuse and gentle as Honey was. Abby (my total animal loving girl) was quickly best buds with Honey crawling all over her as soon as she could scoot. 

This quickly turned into toddler antics of being covered with blankets, food and water dished delivered to wherever Honey was laying down whether she wanted it or not. 
 And toddler piggy back rides (while Honey was laying down)
They really were best buds.

Micah wasn't quite as obsessed as Abby but he loved on Honey too and she him. 
He definitely enjoyed feeding her - it was especially easy and his high chair was the perfect height for her head. 

 She was never far away when the kids and I were playing outside.

 Or when Beau was smoking meat…. I'll never forget the time Beau was smoking all this (ribs, brisket, two chickens) and he didn't close the door all the way while bringing it in once it was done and she swiped herself one of the chickens. So thankful that the bones didn't harm her as she scarfed much of it down before we could stop her.

 If she wasn't laying in her spot behind Beau's chair, the kids loved to use her as a pillow and 9 times out of 10 she didn't mind and stayed right there until they moved.

 She always ending up with confetti on her with the cascarones. I think the kids loved smashing them on her more than on each other.

 She also loved a good mud puddle in the summer. I would often buy her a baby pool to lay in during the summer as well. Such a good way to cool off - though once she found the shady mud puddle at our current house she preferred that much to my annoyance because it meant more work for me when I let her in during the day as she had to get hosed off every time.
 Lexie wasn't as quick to warm up to her as Abby and Micah. She was a little worried about the size of Honey compared to her and for about a year (6 months - 18 months) she would squeal if Honey so much as looked in her direction.

Finally seeing Honey on a leash made her brave and as gentle as Honey was, Lexie was fully capable of walking Honey with no issues. 

Until the last week of her life you'd have never guessed she was 10. She still acted like the same puppy we'd had all along (being a mastiff she was never that active so there wasn't much to slow down from though!) and she was still running around with the kids in the backyard. She never greyed in her face either like you see in many elderly dogs. Those last two days she had just stared walking a little slower, a little more like an elderly dog and passed away in her sleep. 

She will be deeply missed and has left a big hole to fill. For the first week Abby didn't want to play outside in the backyard because Honey wasn't there to play with.  

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Papa Murphy's: Your new pizza night go to

Friday night is most often pizza night around our house. The littles and I love a good pizza (as does Dad but he's just not as crazy about it as we are.) Often I make my own dough and we do a homemade made pizza which the littles love to help with. However there are always those days that we get busy, or just plain don't feel like going through the trouble and that's when we get on our phone and order from the local pizza place. That's not a bad thing but it's always greasier and not as healthy as homemade. 

I have the solution though to those nights we want the homemade without the effort of homemade. Papa Murphys! I was invited to go on a behind the counter tour last week of our local store (1604 and Bandera) and see exactly how fresh everything really is. When you walk in you can see the counter with the ingredients as well as the to-go  selection of cookie dough, fresh salads and kids Mini-Muphy kits (so they can make their own!) 

We go to see a little more than just over the counter though. The owners told us a little about them and a lot about the pizza and we got to see everything! This is one of the two lines where the pizzas are made. You can add whatever you want to your pizza and you'll always get the same amount no matter who makes your pizza because everything is measured either by scale, counted or by a measuring cup to make sure your pizza tastes and bakes exactly as it should. Too many ingredients can cause it not to back properly - resulting in you not able to enjoy your pizza and too little is just going to leave you wanting and they don't want that! 

Look how fresh (and nicely chilled!) everything on the line is! 

Most pizzas you can pick what you want when you order and they'll bring out the crust and top it with whatever you want (can even be 1/2 and 1/2, or even a 1/4 with a something different!) Behind the register in the glass doors of the freezer are also a few Fave pizzas ready to go (great if you are in a hurry) along with dessert pizzas (cinnamon or s'mores - yum!) and breadsticks. 

Then we headed back into the back area. This is the large freezer that the glass doors in the picture above also open into. In here you'll find all the dough balls sitting a proofing after they've been made as well as tons of freshly shredded 100% whole milk mozzarella cheese. 

We watched as they mixed up a batch of dough - right there. No frozen dough shipped in. It all starts with flour, the right amount of water that's at the perfect temperature and yeast. While the dough mixed in the giant mixer. We saw how the dough balls that were ready are sheeted (no rolling pin needed here!) and placed onto the baking trays - ready to be topped however you want. 
Then we saw the giant dough ball and how it is weighed out into the perfect sized dough balls for all the various sizes of pizzas. 
Finally we ended back where we started and got a lesson in making our own pizzas. The perfect amount of sauce, plenty of cheese (but not too make where it won't bake in the center) and toppings galore to choose from. We all tried our hand at pizza making and went home with dinner. 
Come dinner time all we had to do was turn on the oven, unwrap and bake the pizza. No photos of the eating because everyone was so hungry it was eaten before I remembered! 

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I was provided with the tour and pizza to take home but all opinions are my own.  

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