Monday, February 28, 2011

Canada Basketball STARS

I see that I am slowing down in the blogging department again. I suppose because I don't have much to report. Same old, same old. I am getting very tired of the cold weather. I am usually not one to complain too much about the long winter, but I think this one is going to get to me! They are talking COLD temps again. Not that it ever warmed up here. There is also some snow in the forecast. Great!

The kids started basketball last night. It's mostly a skills camp that goes for 9 Sunday evenings. They brought home the registration sheets last week and when I asked them if they wanted to do it they both said no. Then when I questioned that, Gage said, "Well, it doesn't happen at the same time as football does it?" I assured him it would not interfere with his plans to sign up for football next fall. (We'll see about that!) So, he decided he would like to do that. Emma continued to say no, but I signed her up anyway. They enjoyed it. It was very basic stuff, which is what they need. This program focuses mostly on the fundamentals of basketball, instead of playing games. At this stage, I think that is what they need anyway. The coach did say they might divide up into teams and play a little, but mostly it is about the fundamentals. Emma had 2 classmates in the group, so I think she liked it more than she wanted to admit. Gage is the tallest in the group. Since there were so many kids, he asked all of the taller kids if they would like to go up into the next group. Gage said he would, but I really don't want to. If he does, that means we'll have to be there for 2 hours instead of 1. I think being one of the bigger kids, it might help him to stay interested. He likes being bigger and faster. They will meet Sunday evenings from 6-7p at Stonewall Centennial, which is the middle school here. They need activities to keep them busy, otherwise all they want to do is watch television or play on the computer. Oh, and FIGHT!
The coach had asked the kids to show him the BEEF. I must admit that is an acronym I have never heard of in basketball. It stands for Balance, Elbow (under the ball when shooting), Eyes (on the back of the rim) and Follow through. I will do my best to not laugh when he yells out for the kids to "Show me the BEEF!" LOL!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Family Vacations

I am wondering how so many people can go on so many family vacations...........and big ones!?! We have never been on a "real" family vacation. Unless, of course, you count Southwest Iowa a vacation destination. I don't. We did go to Colorado a couple of years ago as a "mini-vacation", but since that was really a work trip of Scott's that we tagged along on, I don't really count that either. Especially since Scott was in meetings the entire time. It doesn't count as a "family" vacation when Dad isn't present!
As many of you know, we started saving to go to Disney World over a year ago. (I'm wondering if I have posted about this already as I am having a bit of deja vu? If I have, just nevermind. I'm getting old and forgetful!) Every time I heard of someone going to, or had been to Disney World, I would ask them how much money we needed to save. Not to be nosey, though. I just needed an amount to set as my goal to save for. And since we have never really been on a vacation before, I really had no idea how much we should be trying to save. We were told about $5,000 each time I asked. So, $5,000 it was! We reached our goal in December and we are planning to go to Disney World over spring break, in March. We are SO EXCITED! However, there is bad news. We have already spent our $5,000 (+) on reservations, etc. WE HAVEN'T EVEN GOTTEN THERE YET! OMG! So, as we continue to stick as much money as we can away before our trip of a lifetime in 27 days 9 hours and 28 minutes, I wonder how do people do it? Do they actually save money over an extended amount of time, then go (like we have)? Do they just have that amount of extra money to spend? Or, do they put it on a credit card and never pay it off? Because we are still paying (hopefully for only 6 more days as we are supposed to close on our house in Bismarck on Feb. 28) 2 mortgages, 2 electric/heating bills etc, it's not easy to stick much money away right now. But we're trying!
We have great plans for our vacation, and we'll most likely need a vacation when we get home! Once we land in Orlando, we will pick up our rental car and head east. We will be staying in Cocoa Beach our first night so we can spend the next morning playing in the ocean. (We will also be meeting up with a good friend of mine who is in Florida spending time with her family while we are there!) Around noon that next day (surely 4-5 hours will be enough for frolicking in the Atlantic Ocean!?) we will head south. Our destination is Chokoloskee Island for our Everglade Area Tour in KAYAKS!! We will be doing a sunset kayak tour that evening, and then doing a boat-assisted kayak tour the following morning. Later that day, we will head back north to Orlando. We will be staying at Universal Studios' Hard Rock Hotel for the next 3 nights as we take 2 days to spend at Universal Studios' Island of Adventures Park, where we will go to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!! I don't know if we will spend our 2 days at just Harry Potter World, or if we'll spend some of that time doing other things in the park. With our special package, we will be allowed to enter the park 1 hour earlier than the general public, so we're hoping to get some of the things done that require alot of wait time during that hour, before the park fills up. We also have reservations for breakfast at The Three Broomsticks, which is inside Harry Potter World. We are going to try out some Butter Beer. ;-) After these 2 tiring days, we will then move to The All-Stars Movie Resort located within Disney World!!! We will spend the remainder of our trip here and have 4 days to spend at Disney. We plan to attend 1 of each of the 4 parks each day. I didn't realize there were 4 parks (Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios) within Disney World. Thankfully, an old friend from high school saw my cry for help on Facebook and has helped us make reservations, etc for this trip.
I'm not sure when or where our next vacation will take us, but you can believe that the Disney Fund jug will turn into savings for our next big family vacation destination. Now that we have an idea how much these kind of vacations cost, we'll try to save more money next time! OUCH!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Laser Jungle

What an AWESOME place! Gage had his first experience with Laser Jungle a few weeks ago when he attended a friend's birthday party. He came home all excited and wanted to go back. We tried to go one night a couple of weekends ago, but it was booked solid! They said that unless you call ahead it will almost always be full.........especially on the weekends. Now we know why! OMG! That is THE most fun I've had at a kid's birthday party. EVER! I'm so glad I played. I wasn't going to, but Scott said he was playing, so I figured I might as well play too. It's not necessarily cheap, but it wasn't too much more than I've spent on birthday parties in other places. They have different party prices, depending on what all you want. The Parrot Party is $9.99/person which includes 2 games of Laser Tag, one drink, one 2 for 1 coupon and party room. The Panther Party is $11.99/person and you get 2 games of Laser Tag, one drink, one hotdog, one treat, one 2 for 1 coupon and party room. The Python Party is $15.99/person and you get 3 games of Laser Tag, one drink, one hotdog, one treat, one 2 for 1 coupon and the party room. If you have 12 or more people, you can make it a private party in which no outsiders can join in the game. I think we were the only people there for the first game anyway and I believe that there were 2 people that joined in our 2nd game.

So the way this game works, is that everyone is outfitted with a vest that has special sensors on each shoulder, chest, back and then the guns have a sensor on each side. The guns are designed so that you have to have both hands on the gun to operate it. You have to squeeze two buttons on the end of the barrel as you pull the trigger to shoot. If you get shot, you are out of the game for 5 seconds. You know when you've been shot because the vest will tell you you were shot and start your 5 second countdown, and you will also stop blinking. The building is set up with all kinds of mazes and you can go up ramps, hide behind walls. It's quite a challenge to sometimes find people, and you can never really hide completely. One time I thought I was hidden really well and then someone shot me. It's dark in the room and all of the painting on the walls is in a glow in the dark paint, which glows really well in the black light they have. If you wear light-colored clothing, you will also glow! It's funny when you find people because everyone always has a huge smile on their faces and their teeth will also be glowing! ;-)

The first game is everyone for themselves. You shoot anyone and everyone. The games last approximately 15 minutes. After the game, they send you back to the vesting room to remove your vest and then you go into the pre-game room to learn your score. This is all computer operated and each participant gets a print out of the game. Everyone has to choose a Code Name to go by. I was "Supermom". ;-) Scott's Code Name was Big Red, Gage was Lank and Emma was Ally. On your printout, it gives you your score and rank and then has a grid showing you who you shot, and how many times you shot them. It also tells you how many times you were shot and by whom. In our first game, my score was 890 and I ranked 4th. Scott was 3rd, Gage was 5th and Emma was 10th (there were 11 of us playing). I shot Gage 2 times, Scott 9 times and Emma 8 times. I was shot by Scott 5 times, Gage 8 times and Emma 4 times. Scott shot me 5 times, Gage 1 time and Emma 5 times. The 2nd game is divided into two teams. The teams are computer generated and it will even out the teams by the information it compiled from the first game. Each team will have either red or green flashing lights on their vests. If you shoot your own teammate, it won't register. The guns even have a place on the back that will tell you which one of your sensors got shot and who shot you or who you shot. Very high-tech! During our 2nd game I shot Scott 9 times, Gage 8 times and Emma was on my team, so I didn't shoot her. Scott shot me 5 times and Emma 5 times. Scott and Gage were on the same team. Emma shot Gage 2 times and Scott 1 time. Gage shot me 15 times (he was stalking me!) and Emma 7 times. Scott won the 2nd game and I came in 2nd. Gage ranked 4th and Emma ranked 10th (She is consistent!) This was by far the most fun I've ever had at a birthday party!
Before the 2nd game, all of the kids line up and get their hair spayed with a glow in the dark spray. They get to choose what their design is. It then glows in the game area. Neat idea.

After the 2 games of Laser Tag, then we went to the party room where they had hotdogs and treats. The only outside food allowed is cake.

If you come to visit, you can be sure you will get a chance to play in the Laser Jungle!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I can't believe my little girl is 8 years old! She's 8, going on 18! Her birthday list did not have a single toy on it. :( Emma doesn't really play with toys. She does play with her stuffed animals, though. She loves stuffed animals. I remember liking them too, but I don't remember having alot of them. Certainly not the number that Emma has! Emma's big ticket item on her birthday list was luggage! What 8 year old do you know wants luggage??? Maybe she wants to run away, and do it in style? She found a pink/purple plaid rolling suitcase at Walmart and that is what she wanted. It was a set of three, and I planned on buying them for her. Scott didn't want to, however. He thought they were probably cheap and would fall apart. What isn't cheap at Walmart, and doesn't fall apart?? I decided that I would check out the luggage at I found a rolling duffle bag that was blue, green and black plaid that Emma liked, so I ordered it for her. Of course it will be late, since I just did that yesterday. Hopefully it will make it before our trip to Disney World. As slow as things are coming and going from Canada, it could be close!

Emma's birthday party will be tomorrow (Tuesday) at Laser Jungle. She invited 8 friends from school, so we're hoping they can all come. I believe 4-5 have RSVP'd, and one of them will be coming home from school with us since she wouldn't be able to come otherwise, as she rides the bus home. I've never met or seen her parents (or them me) so I was surprised they decided to do that. Emma wanted a Peace Sign on her birthday cake. She drew out a whole design on paper and wanted the whipped topping in a can to put little stars around the cake and put a cherry between each star! Quite a vision she had! I talked her into a White cake with strawberry Jell-O poured over it. We will frost it with Cool whip, and I am going to attempt making the Cool Whip tie-dyed. Not sure if I can pull that off, but I won't know until I try! If I can do that, then we will just do the Peace sign with white cool whip stars. If Emma is happy, then I will be happy.

We will be going to Winnipeg this evening to go out for supper in celebration of Emma's birthday and Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day for the rest of us (well, all but Gage) kind of gets forgotten about. Lucky for Scott! We aren't sure where we are going to eat in Winnipeg yet, as we don't know what all restaurants they have there. Booster Juice is one place both the kids want to try. I think it's just a smoothie bar, but not totally sure. It has a bright and colorful Booster Juice sign, which is the only reason the kids even noticed it, let alone want to go to it! You gotta love marketing schemes!

I sent a lunch for both Gage and Emma that was almost completely red. Of course their sandwich isn't red. If I could have figured out how to make a red sandwich I would have. I could have put red food coloring in their egg salad, but that seemed kind of gross and over the top to me. They had red raspberries, strawberries, red bell pepper and Babybel cheese in red packaging, along with a strawberry/watermelon fruit strip. I also sent a little note, in case they didn't happen to notice that everything was red, symbolizing Valentine's Day.

The best gift of all, happens to be Emma's gift to us. When she was 5, she wrote out a contract and signed it. The contract stated, "When I am 8, I will travel better!" The actual note is quite a bit harder to read, as she wasn't the best speller at 5 years old. However, we all know what it says and I can't wait for our next road trip to test her out! ;-)

Friday, February 11, 2011

What you don't know......

I've always liked the saying, "What you don't know, won't hurt you." I wish I would have went with that as my theme this morning.
I was out of bread this morning. Nothing I wasn't aware of last night, however. In my mind, yesterday, I was trying to decide if I needed to go get bread for the kids' lunches today or not. We had some bagels that we had gotten at Costco, so thought I would just use those to make the kids' sandwiches. I actually had one for my lunch yesterday and it was delicious! I put cream cheese on it and then also put some shaved turkey on it. It's a different kind of bagel than I've ever had before. It has sesame seeds and poppy seeds on it. I think maybe it has some onion flavor in the bread too? It's actually called, "Everything Bagel". This morning, when I got up, I was actually a little "excited" to make the kids' lunches. I guess because I had something "different" for them today. I informed them of what I was going to do, and they were both okay with it. As I was standing there making the bagel sandwiches, I thought, "Surely these don't have nuts in them?" Then I decided I should probably look at the ingredients, just to be sure. The ingredients started out: wheat flour, water, salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, garlic, malted barley flour, yeast, wheat gluten............then all the things you can't pronounce or spell, which actually weren't very many. Then the next highlighted information says, "Contains: wheat, sesame seeds." So far, so good! Well, unless I haven't been informed that there is also a wheat allergy at school and we actually aren't supposed to be sending any sort of sandwiches. Then the label says, "May contain: milk, eggs, almonds, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, soya, sulphites." GOOD GOD! What other kinds of nuts even exist..........besides peanuts??? UGH! So, I have all of these thoughts going through my head: "Maybe the allergy aware program at school really means just peanuts? Surely these other nuts are okay? Maybe I can just not tell the kids and then no one will know? But what if the lunch monitors already have banned these bagels and they take them away from the kids? I don't want them to go hungry! Maybe I should just tell the kids and then tell them to be sure and wash their hands when they are done eating (which they should be doing anyway!). I could just go get the kids and bring them home for lunch. Damn, why did I even look?" I know...............I'm mental. As I am getting the other items ready for their lunch boxes, I decide I should tell the kids about it. I read them the ingredient list and Gage said the allergy aware program means all nuts. UGH! So now I'm trying to decide what I should do. I don't have any bread. The grocery stores don't open until 8:30, after I have taken the kids to school. Well, I guess we have cinnamon and raisin bread, but that didn't sound too good to have with ham or turkey. Emma had already mentioned to me this morning that she wished she could use the thermos I bought for hot foods and wanted to take "Kraft Dinner". I hadn't done that yet, and thought I could do that, but it's not the most nutritious meal. Then I thought I could heat up the chili that I made for supper last night and send that with them in their thermoses. Although, I really didn't want to do that because I wanted the chili for myself for lunch. HOW SELFISH! I love reheated chili! I usually make enough to last all week; however, not this time. :( So, I decided to just give one of the bagel sandwiches to Scott to have for his lunch and I kept the other one and sent the chili with the kids. Why do I have to have such a guilty conscience? Why did I look at the dumb label? Well, I know why...............because I am a rule follower. The school has sent home notes about reading labels, and re-reading labels because sometimes ingredients change. Just because it didn't have nuts one time, doesn't mean it won't the next time. PLUS........there was a recall on granola bars because the outside box label said it didn't contain nuts, but then on the inside, it contained an assortment of different granola bars and some of them, did indeed, contain nuts. That is always why I have liked the saying, "What you don't know won't hurt you!" However, I guess in this case, "What I chose not to know might have hurt someone else." :(

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Recorder Karate

Whoever thought up Recorder Karate was a genius! What a way to get a child interested in PRACTICING their recorder! When we moved here, Gage's class had already started playing the recorder. Gage's teacher had sent home a note asking that if Gage has a recorder, please send it to school. We happen to have a few of them, thanks to a friend and "hand-me-downs." His class in Bismarck had started learning the recorder a couple months ago, I think. Since moving here, I remember Gage telling me on the way home from school, "Mom, these kids are really advanced at playing the recorder! They sound like professionals!" He was concerned. Apparently he hadn't gotten to this recorder playing level in Bismarck. I'm thinking that's maybe because they don't have Recorder Karate as part of their Recorder Curriculum. I had no idea what Gage was talking about when he mentioned Recorder Karate. Finally, he pulled up a website for me to look at. Basically, the kids learn to play different levels of songs for different colored "belts". For each belt achieved, the instructor ties a colored piece of ribbon onto the end of their recorder. White Belt = Hot Cross Buns. Yellow Belt = Gently Sleeping. Orange Belt = Merrily We Roll Along. Green Belt = It's Raining. Purple Belt = Old MacDonald. Blue Belt = When the Saints Go Marching In. Red Belt = Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Brown Belt = Amazing Grace. Black Belt = Ode To Joy. Gage said that many of the kids here had advanced through many of the belts already. He brought his recorder home and started PRACTICING! Without me even mentioning it!!! He's been practicing EVERY DAY. Without me even telling him to! In fact, this past weekend, we were busy with activities and the Superbowl, so we hadn't thought about the recorder. Monday morning he started playing his recorder in panic practice mode, and was worried that he wouldn't pass. Thankfully he didn't have music on Monday. He came home Monday and Tuesday and was practicing like crazy. Each day they have music, they have the option to "test" for the next leveled "belt". In the few short weeks we have been here, Gage has already advanced through many of the belts and is now practicing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star for his red belt! When they test, they can only make 2 mistakes. If they make more than 2 mistakes, they do not earn the belt. Apparently Tuesday he tested for his Blue Belt and didn't get it. He asked the music teacher if he could come back during recess and retest. She told him he could. He tested and passed! I'm just amazed at how this little twist on the recorder has inspired Gage to want to practice and pass through the belts. I don't know if this is because he was in Taekwondo in Bismarck, and he had been passing through those belts (at a MUCH slower pace!), or what? There are only a couple other kids who are a belt ahead of him now. Even one of his classmates commented on how quickly he was passing through each level. I love this "competition" Gage has going with himself! At the beginning of 4th grade, Gage joined orchestra in Bismarck. He chose to play the cello. He was doing well and learned how to play a few different songs for their Christmas program. I know the teacher had tied some curling ribbon onto their instruments, and maybe this was the same concept? I recall Gage telling me each time they played a song in front of the group, they would get a new ribbon. It obviously didn't mean the same thing to Gage as this Recorder Karate does here, because I don't think he practiced his cello at home more than 2 times. I don't know if the orchestra teacher was implementing the same concept, but not making it a competition, or what? I can tell you that making it a competition has made it much more exciting for Gage!
I'm not sure if this is good or not, but Gage is not really learning the notes. He's learning to play by ear. The sheets he brings home from school just have the notes and Gage has found that the Recorder Karate website has the notes and the letters, telling what the note is. That is how I have to play too. I never learned to play the notes, despite taking piano lessons for a very short time. As he has advanced to the higher belts, the website has also stopped listing the letter for the notes. Gage asked me if I could go through it and write the letters down so he could learn them. I did it, but mostly because I also wanted to learn how to play them, and I need the letters. So, as Gage is practicing, he isn't even looking at the sheet music. He's just playing by ear. I know there are many musicians who do this as well. I'm not sure if I should be allowing him to continue doing this or not? What are your thoughts?
I really do just love how this Recorder Karate has encouraged Gage to practice. I'm not necessarily thrilled that I have the tune to Old MacDonald and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star stuck in my head for most of the day, however. I'm wondering if I can devise a Chore Karate list? For each chore he masters, he gets a belt. The harder the chore, the higher level of belt. Brown Belt = Cleaning toilets and Black Belt would mean that Gage is now making supper! Woo Hoo!! Do you think it would work?

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Saturday the kids wanted to go to the Interpretive Center at Oak Hammock Marsh. This also happens to be where the Ducks Unlimited office is. Neat place. We went snowshoeing while we were there. I had never been on snowshoes before, so it was a new experience. The kids have tested them out before at a Cub Scout Winter Fun Day, so they had at least tried them before. Scott actually owns a pair of snowshoes, as he needed them when he was hunting deer a time or two. Guess who was the first person to fall over. HA! Not me! We had a nice time. There are all sorts of different activities that go on there. The kids played a game of Shuffle Duck, which is like shuffle board, only it's played on ice with rubber ducks that are glued to hockey pucks. You use a walking stick (cane) to push the hockey puck and duck to the Momma duck decoy. Whoever's duck is closest, wins. The kids enjoyed that. We also went to a 25 minute movie about tracks in the snow, and checked out the different displays in the interpretive center. Around 3:30, we decided to call it a day. Unfortunately the day wasn't quite over, as we discovered that the keys were locked in the van when we tried getting in. UGH! Scott never locks vehicles. I don't know why. It irritates me. One time he had over $500 in cash hidden in his truck and he never locks it. Another thing that bothers me about that is that the garage door opener is in his truck and it would be awfully easy for someone to steal the garage door opener from the truck and use it to gain access to the house. He doesn't seem to care about that. Anyway, when we are together, as a family, Scott typically drives. He always gets out of the car and never locks it, so I have taken on that responsibility. Unfortunately this time, he also decided that leaving the keys in the car would be appropriate. Since I didn't realize that, I locked the doors, as I typically do. Poor Brie was locked in the car. Our neighbors, who also happen to be about the only people we know, were out of town for the weekend, so we couldn't call on them to rescue us. Thankfully there were some decoy carvers that were at the interpretive center who were just getting out of a decoy carving seminar and Scott was able to get a ride to our house in Stonewall. Thankfully the garage door wasn't locked, otherwise we would have been in a mess. Regardless of the unfortunate events, we had a good time.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy 49th Anniversary!

Happy 49th Anniversary to my Mom and Dad! You have given us everything we've ever needed and wanted. You are the best parents I could ever ask for, and I want you to know that we love you with all of our hearts and souls, forever and ever! Only one more year to hit the big Golden Anniversary! Just keep doing what you're doing! You're the best!


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Check marks

I learned a very important thing Monday. Check marks do not mean the same thing here as what I am used to everywhere else I've lived!

Each day the kids bring home planners. Basically it's a spiral bound calendar that is a communication tool for the parents, teachers and students. The kids write down assignments or important things that are happening at school. It's a neat thing. We used them in Bismarck too, but not until they enter 3rd grade. So I like that Emma now has a planner as well. Each day they are supposed to bring them home from school and the parents are to sign it and send it back. Showing that you have read the information and know what's going on. There's no excuse (if it's written in the planner) for not knowing about assignments or what's going on at school.

Monday when Gage gave me his planner, I saw a note written by Gage in the planner for that day to have math paper signed, then return to school. So, I found some papers in Gage's planner and nearly had a heart attack when I saw Gage's math paper! EVERY PROBLEM was marked wrong! Then, at the top of the paper, it said, "Way to go!" I thought, what kind of smartass writes "Way to go!" on the top of a paper that has everything checked wrong!? Upon further inspection, I realized that checkmarks actually mean the problem is correct. WHEW! An "X" means it's wrong. That doesn't seem right? Maybe they just like to waste red ink? I don't know, but that is just plain weird. I have seen teachers use a "C" before, just to signify that they looked at the work and it was correct. However, they just put one big "C" at the top of the paper typically, not a "C" on every problem! It really only makes it more difficult to find the problems that are wrong. You have to look through every problem to find either the check or the x. Just a waste of red ink in my opinion. BUT......they didn't ask me, did they?

Another thing I am seeing is that the kids do not bring papers home. I have yet to see a paper of Emma's. I guess I do see little 1/3 sheets of paper with math problems on it from Emma, but that has been it. I also saw Gage's one math paper, which about gave me a coronary. They have spelling tests every week and I haven't seen any of Emma's, and I've only seen one of Gage's, and that's only because I threw a little fit about not seeing these papers. Gage brought one home and said he had to take it back. I wasn't very happy when I saw it either. Gage is an awesome speller. (Takes after his mother! ;-)) He rarely misses a word. We typically only go over the words once, and he knows them, so I don't really worry about quizzing him on spelling words each week. PLUS, when we got his first list of spelling words, we discovered that they are words he's already had before, so are very easy for him. When he did finally bring home that first graded spelling test, he missed 4 words. HUH?!?!? Well, he didn't actually miss the words, he just writes his cursive o's without the little loop at the top. They counted his wrong because he is supposed to have that loop at the top. Gage says that's how they learned to write it in cursive in Bismarck. He could have missed ALL of the words if they wanted to be difficult, since the spelling list was a list of long o words, but thankfully they didn't. The teacher just told Gage to be sure to put the loop on the o's. I haven't seen another spelling test come home, so I have no idea how he's doing. I'm not sure how they do things here, so I'm going to have to ask. I'm not sure why you would wait until Parent/Teacher conferences to show any of the school work. I mean, if there's a problem, isn't it a little late to be telling the parents?

I guess I'm going to have to do a little investigation work!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I have never had laminate flooring before. The only place we have it in this house is the front entryway, hallway to the kitchen, and in the office. This is not good flooring for dogs. It is slick and there is no texture for them to get traction. Brie has been having troubles on this floor. It wasn't a problem until a couple of weeks ago. The guy who came to install our blinds arrived at our house just before Scott got home from getting his driver's license. (I was still at at the place getting my driver's license.) He rang the doorbell as Scott was driving into the driveway, so there was no one inside to holler at Brie for barking and tearing through the house to the front door. When Scott got to the house, he unlocked the door and came in with the blind installer (I had been calling him the "blind guy" but decided that might not be the best use of terms.) Anyway, when they came inside, Brie was in the doorway where the hall meets the kitchen. Scott tried to get her to come with him upstairs, but she wouldn't cross the doorway. At the time, he didn't know what had happened and was getting frustrated with her that she wouldn't come so he could put her in the bedroom upstairs so she wouldn't bother the man who was here to install our blinds. Scott ended up dragging her up the stairs. I didn't know any of this until much later in the day. The guy finished his job just before lunch time and I then went upstairs to let Brie out of the bedroom. I wasn't paying much attention at the time, but she went down the stairs and sat on the third step from the bottom for a little while, then went back upstairs. This isn't unusual for her as the steps were her favorite place when she was a puppy, and it didn't matter to her that she had outgrown the step and hangs over the edge when she lays on it. Anyway, she was pretty quiet all day and I was enjoying it. She wasn't bothering me to let her outside every 10 minutes and she wasn't following me all around the house like she sometimes does. I left to pick the kids up from school and she continued to sleep upstairs beside our bed. I was LOVING THIS! It wasn't until awhile after I picked up the kids from school that I realized there was a problem. Brie is ALWAYS underfoot when I'm cooking supper. But still, I continued on with what I was doing. Scott was late coming home from work, so I put supper on the table and the kids sat down to eat. I heard Brie bark upstairs. Weird!? Then the lightbulb turned on in my head and it finally really registered to me that something really was wrong, because she is ALWAYS pestering Emma at the supper table (that's what happens when you sneak and give the dog scraps under the table!) Anyway, I got up from the table and filled her food dish as I knew this would get her to come. Brie is what you call a CHOWHOUND! She will NOT let you miss feeding time. She still didn't come! As we were going to get her, Scott came home. I told him something was wrong with Brie and she won't come into the kitchen. He then filled me in on what had happened earlier that morning, or at least what he thinks happened, as no one was in the house at the time. He thinks she bolted to the door when the doorbell rang and wiped out on the slick, laminate floor. She will not walk on it now. I feel bad for her, as she stands in the doorway to the kitchen watching what might be happening in the hallway or the front door. The other day when my office furniture was being delivered, she REALLY wanted to get some attention from the guys, but she would not walk to the front door. Poor Brie. However, I am LOVING this! She can't pester people when they come to the door. She can still be obnoxious with her barking, which seems to have increased. I suppose she is making up for the fact that she can't jump all over whoever has come to the door. Because she won't walk on the floor, it means she can't get upstairs. Hmmm......I can handle not having dog hair all over the upstairs. I do feel bad that she can't lay on the steps, which is one of her favorite spots to lay. I suppose I'll get over that too. I've thought about getting a long runner rug for the hallway, but I think we'll just stay like this for now. It's kind of nice. Alot of people don't necessarily appreciate a big dog, who is more excited to see them than they are to see the dog, wallering all over them as they walk in the door. Now I just need to find people who want to come visit! ;-)