Friday, March 28, 2008

What am I thinking?

Being the type A person I am, I enjoy structure. Nothing wrong with that. Structure in my mind provides comfort. I know exactly where things go. I'm good with that. I come home each day to the ritual of straightening first one carpet runner then the next. I know exactly where they should hit the floor. I start each day at work straightening the binders on the shelves so they look organized. My desk at work looks the same in the morning and at night. Again, works for me.

So what the heck was I thinking. A DOG? Do you people have any idea what is involved in house breaking a puppy? Yeah, well clearly I have lost my mind.

I had already determined we would kennel the dog. That matches my personality right?! Kenneling the dog will give the dog structure and security. It will feel safe and understand the boundaries of our home. Who am I kidding? It will eliminate mess and destruction and give me the control that makes me secure.

However, do you realize that I voluntarily signed up for potty wake ups every three hours while Koda is a puppy? What is the matter with me?

I determined before giving birth to Maddy and Hunter that my children would be schedule fed. Demand feeding was not for me. Wow does that topic open a can of worms! Anyway, I chose this because, well, hello, I'm type A. Both children were sleeping through the night at 6 weeks of age. Perfect!

Do you realize that puppies whimper incessantly if they feel alone, scared, etc.? Yeah that doesn't work for me. Should have thought about that sooner.

Well let me tell you dog no matter cute and cuddly will break my will for structure. It will not sleep anywhere but in its kennel. It will not run the house or control the family. It will follow the rules of our will...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Benefits of Pet Ownership

For years Paul and I have gone back and forth over becoming pet owners. One year, I want a cute cuddly puppy. I come to my senses and realize, given my need for order and structure pet ownership may not be a good fit. Then, the transition occurs and Paul decides a pet might be a great addition to the family.

We have never agreed simultaneously. Until now...

Gathering the mail one day recently, I received my copy of Wonder Time. It's a great magazine with articles about home and family. One article in particular caught my eye-"Why your children need a dog."

I read the article. I was obviously the target audience. It contained five simple facts that made complete sense. The arguments were logical. They lacked emotional charge. As I read I realized that my children could benefit from the responsibility that pet ownership demands. I became compelled to bring up the topic with Paul.

I was looking for a sign that this was a bad idea. I knew that Paul would shoot the idea down because he wants a golden retriever or a lab. Well, not only is our house not conducive to such a large dog, Hunter and I will suffocate from asthma issues while Paul and Maddy will tear up and sneeze due to allergies. To my surprise, Paul thought that it was a great idea. He thought the kids were ready to have the responsibility and pleasure a puppy would bring.

So we embarked on the journey to pet ownership. After much research, we decided on a Bichon Frise. Easter morning the kids received the news that on or after May 18th, Koda will join our family.

Any thoughts on pet insurance?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

East to West

Hunter: "Hey Nana, you know where the Rocky Mountains are?"

Ashliana: "Yeah"

Hunter: "And you know where the flat roads are?"

Ashliana: (Perplexed look of contemplation) "You mean like to Tennessee?"

Hunter: "Yeah, that how far Jesus takes our sins away."

Ashliana: "Wow!"

That's perspective for you!

Here's the Before

Notice the lovely, unpainted wall behind the frig.
Front view of the kitchen here.

As soon as Paul uploads the pictures of the frig I will post them. We are anxiously praying for Mr. Steve and his family to return from their missions trip safely. Nothing like self motivation. Pretty pathetic I know. At least I'm honest?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We can all take a breath

We made it. No bad words. No yellows. No lost gems. Now if we could drive the point home that you can't "win" girls in football games.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Third Times a Charm

You'll never guess. Hunter brought home a yellow today. Shocked I'm sure. I am hopeful that this will end the cycle of shall we say less than desirable choices.

He did however spill the beans prior to hearing from the teacher. We are making progress. I hope.

Apparently, we are neglecting the poor child. At least as he reports it.

Today during PE he told the gym teacher that he had hurt his arm and as a result had had surgery. This of course caused concern on the part of the teacher, given the amount of activity required during PE. She wanted to be sure that she was not asking him to do things that would further his injury.

In her diligence she followed up with Hunter's teacher. She was also unaware of the surgery, as surprisingly so were Paul and I. Imagine. So she too followed up with Hunter. He confessed that he had lied because he doesn't feel that he is getting enough attention. Pretty sure Dad can take care of that!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I Lost Two Gems Today

Today at pick up in the infamous kiss and go lane, Hunter got in the car and announced in utter indignation that he lost two gems today. He said it as though the horror of it was too much to bear. As though shock and awe should have filled my soul. What-ever!

Those of you close to us know that we absolutely adore his teacher. She is by far the best teacher in Douglas County, aside from our Saysa of course. If she has a favorite, you would never be able to tell. She is characterized by fairness and consistency. Knowing this you realize that there is NO WAY she randomly took not one but two gems in one day.

Hunter claimed that he lost one because his group was too loud during writing groups. Absolutely the truth. We are quite sure whatever Hunter decides to do for a career it most certainly will require talking. I am not sure the child takes a breath the first 15 minutes of his day.

Hunter is quite possibly in the range of gifted. Saysa says absolutely, I say then he better get it together. He may test in the 98th percentile, but to whom much is given much is required-especially if you're my kid!

I am 100% sure that given his ability to rationalize, he believed he honored our family rule about the truth-That is a entirely different blog. He told the truth about how he lost one of the gems. So, he was off scott free on the other-again WHAT-EVER!

The second he claimed he lost because he brought a hard ball to school, and they are not allowed. He proceeded to tell me that he and another boy lost the gem because they had the hard ball at recess.

Well, I felt horrible. I had given him permission to bring the ball to school. It is small like a baseball but soft for T-ball. So I understood how the teacher mistook it for a baseball. Taking responsibility for my decision, I assured him that I would email the teacher and explain it so that the boys could have the gems back.

This got the, what I like to call, Hunter guilt look. I won't describe it. I need it in my mommy pocket. SO I responded with, "Hunter, if I send this email to the teacher and get a response that says you lost the gem for something other than bringing a hard ball to school, you will get consequences for lying to me. Do you understand?

Apparently, I was clear. Crystal clear. Suffice it to say we won't be bringing any sports equipment to school for awhile. But we avoided undivided attention from Dad again!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

You Can't Handle the Truth

Well, we experienced our first major "oh dear" this week in parenting. Those of you that know Hunter are keenly aware of should I put this...intense behavior.

Competitive-yes. Type A-oh yeah. Focused-absolutely. Easily swayed by others-not so much. Leader-usually. Strong sense of Justice-second only to...well...probably God.

Being that he is the younger brother of a relatively popular girl at school, Hunter enjoys the pleasure of playing with the older boys at school during recess. Given his apparent natural ability in sports, the boys generally welcome him to the game.

Great you think...Yeah not so much. Especially with the tween behavior that the girls in fourth grade display at a moments notice, and Hunter's absolute impatience with the interruption this creates in the lunch time football game. Hunter is down to business. Girls are ridiculous and annoying. The fourth grade boys, however, don't mind the interruption.

Hunter is quite sure the boys have lost their minds when they T the game (For those of unfamiliar with T that's short for Time Out) for the annoying girls interrupting the game. This occurred, as far as he was concerned one too many times this week. So to grab attention, my precious, innocent, little baby boy dropped a new catch phrase to end the madness.

Oh he grabbed attention alright. Undivided attention from Dad. Amazingly none of the students in the game were phased by the phrase. They were essentially unmoved. We learned of the tragic episode via his honest little broken heart. Thank God for that, but Mommy is still in horrified shock. I can't handle the truth.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Step one...

Officially our kitchen is under construction. We removed the cabinet above the refrigerator to prepare for the much anticipated stainless steel frig.

I should confess that this is the second time the frig will be delivered. Why you ask? Well, apparently when you measure for a frig before you install new flooring the measurements change. Huh? Who knew?

Measurements pre-hardwood floor, perfect fit. Measurements after installation, not so much.
We were off by 1 and1/8 of an inch. Oh well, it will make a great story in the end. If we can skate by with that as the only hiccup. Wahoo. Yeah, that could happen.

Big surprise in all of this, the builder didn't paint the wall behind the cabinets. I know with the quality homes in Highlands Ranch you are all mystified that this could be the case. I am sure with all the cookie cutter neighbors in the area ours is the only home that this is the case. Right!

Stay tuned for more including can't miss photos of the before and after.

I may even post the picture of the unpainted wall. I know hard to believe.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Well, phase one, of what has potential to end in complete disaster or utter beauty, will begin this Saturday.

We are redoing much of the bottom layer of our house. Pretty cool, right!? I'm not so sure. I know the parts that Steve will do will be great. However, Paul and I have decided to do some of the work ourselves.

This has the potential to be a disaster. After 14 years of marriage, we can now finally be in the kitchen at the same time. Working on a home improvement project could be risky. The last time we did a project together, I did the prep work. He swooped in slapped a couple of practice sponge strokes on the wall and pronounced himself ready to go. EXCUSE ME!

Not this time buddy. We are working the entire project TOGETHER. We are stripping and staining the cabinets. SCARY I know! Adding hardware to them. Could be a disaster I'm sure.

Steve will do all the really hard stuff you know extending the hardwood floors to the front door, adding the deck, and the granite.

We can't wait or can we? Time will tell. I will post the before and after and along the way so that you can share in the horror, humor and of course the finished product.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Spring Forward-Forget it!

Yet again it is time to move the clocks forward, to deprive ourselves of yet another hour of sleep, and to rush our already busy schedules ahead one hour. Why, well, so we can start our day sooner, pack more activities into an already over scheduled day, and have less time to sleep so we can become more stressed than we already are.

Didn't you get the memo?

Well, I have decided that I will march to a different drum. I am not changing our clocks! The Worley's will be an hour late for everything. We will not try to cram one more thing into our already stressed schedule. We will not deprive ourselves of sleep and spend the next week cranky.

Who am I kidding?

Do you have any idea what you can get done in an hour?

Monday, March 3, 2008

Project number two-Colorado History

It is officially done! Maddy completed the very extensive project assigned to all 4th graders as a sort of right of passage. I now know more about Colorado history than, frankly, I ever wanted to know. Don't get me wrong, Colorado as a state is growing on me. Granted it took a while-10 years, 3 months and 14 days-but who's counting. I just think a nice little report with a poster of the symbols would suffice. Oh no!

Maddy wrote 3 different papers on 3 different topics, made a time line from 300 A.D. to 2008, wrote and illustrated a poem, charted a map, created a shadow box of the 8 ecosystems, created a board game (eat your heart out Milton Bradley), researched the big horn sheep, made a poster board of 13 state symbols and illustrated a travel brochure to one of our fine travel destinations.
I'm sorry but fine travel destinations? WE"RE LAND LOCKED! HELLO?!

Did you know that Grand Lake is the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Forest? The Columbine was chosen as our state flower to represent the blue sky, the snow and the gold. Oops sorry.

She really did an amazing job. We only had two melt downs. Those resulted from the fact that she is sure she has the meanest parents in America. We wouldn't do her project for her. Can you imagine? Oh sure Paul held the paper to the light so she could trace things and supervised when she used sharp objects. But she had to do the reading, researching, and writing. She had to plan how it would look and what she wanted to use to decorate her posters and pictures. Why you ask? So she would feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Oh, yeah and so I could start the bidding for all you poor souls who have yet to experience 4th grade projects at a decent price. Do I hear $50? It looks great and you can tell an actual student did the work.

Walking in the Light

Wow! This year year has been a whirlwind to say the least. I am shocked we are near the half way point in February. Part of me wants to dance. If the start of the year is any indication of how it is going to go, I am happy it's flying by. I will usher in 2009 with bells and whistles.

Yet, I am humbly reminded that every day is a gift, and I need to walk in the Light. I need to let Him guide me through each day. I need to listen to His still, quiet voice...Yeah I know for me that's a stretch. I'm never still long enough to catch my breath.

As I write this, our dear neighbor of ten years is fighting stage 4 pancreatic cancer. I am awed by the faith she has in God. I am humbled by the fight she has within her to beat the demon we know as cancer. Hunter, in his six year old wisdom said to me, "Mommy, why are you sad? We are just going to pray and Jesus is going to make her better." The faith of a child and the living testimony of one who is dwelling in God's amazing grace reminds me to walk daily in the His unfailing light.