January 31, 2010

The Waiting Place

Christian had an audition yesterday for the Regional Band. The school that was hosing the auditions was 45 minutes away so Kenneth and I took all the kids. I went in to the audition with Christian and Kenneth took the kids to a train park a few minutes away. The kids got to take a train ride.

The audition went ok. It was a learning experience, next year he will have a better idea of the competition. I was really proud of how hard he worked and that he intends to try again next year.

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Why buy toys?

This week we got a big box in the mail and Hazel has spent most of her free time coloring on the box and pretending in the box. It has been a dog house, a doll house, a cave, a tunnel, a fort, and a store. This makes me wonder why we spend money in toys? My thought was yet again confirmed when our kids and an assortment of friends and neighbor kids spent hours yesterday at our kitchen table with scissors, glue, a pack of construction paper and a stapler!

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January 29, 2010

Half Way There

DeJay is in Phase #5 of his training! We are so proud.

Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inc.
There are ten phases of training through which our dogs progress
during their training cycle:
Pre-training physical exam, neutering/spaying (with the exception of potential breeding stock dogs who are who
are under evaluation at this time), X-rays, eye checks. First walks on leash. Introduction to the kennel environment
and schedule. Relaxing walks on the campus and play sessions with instructor assistants. General daily care and
Preliminary harness and obedience training. Introduction to distractions (toys, food, other dogs, cats, etc.).
On-campus training of leading into harness (pulling forward in harness) utilizing the BEST program and
responses to guidework-specific commands such as "Forward," "Halt," "Hopp Up" and "Steady."
Introduction to campus obstacle course on leash.
Harness training in quiet residential areas; frequent rides in the training vans. Teaching new guidework commands
and responses, such as "Right," "Left," and "Over Here," as well as continuing to work on commands learned in
Phase 2. Curb checks and street crossings are introduced. Progressive obstacle course training on campus.
Obedience training continues. Mall exposure walks and introduction to dog social sessions. Those dogs who are on
the breeder-watch list but are not selected for the breeding program are spayed or neutered.
Guidework training progresses on more difficult sidewalks in busier sections of downtown areas. All curb types and
more complex street crossings are introduced. The dogs begin to show clearance awareness, and begin to guide
their instructors through the campus obstacle course. Preliminary obedience testing and an evaluation of the dogs’
reactions to head collars are also performed.
Preliminary guidework testing is performed with the instructor under blindfold. Complete medical history review.
Guidework training environments become more challenging: pedestrian traffic, stairs, different flooring surfaces,

January 26, 2010

Cake At Last

Kenneth's Birthday was on the 20th and we have celebrated it in pieces. We finally had the cake and candle blowing out last night. He has been a really good sport! Hazel did the decorating after I frosted it. The cake was a recipe from his cooking for engineers magazine. It was complicated to make but turned out really good.

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January 24, 2010

"Talking" to Grandma and Grandpa

Kenneth and the older kids went to a fireside given by the man who is in charge of the Organ in the Tabernacle on Temple square. I had a busy week and a long day at church today, and I didn't put my kids to bed two nights in a row. So I volunteered to stay home with Nate and Hazel who couldn't care less about the organ at the church. Nate had this great idea to call my parents and he could be on one extension and Hazel on another. They were too silly and after 5 minutes of silly knock knock jokes the conversation had digressed to making animal sounds. I had a nice conversation with my Mom while I waited for the cake to bake. Now the kids are in bed and Kenneth's group are still not home, so it is quiet here!

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January 21, 2010

Meet Mickey

We are trying to keep up our puppy raising skills by puppy sitting Mickey. His raisers are on a cruise, and the kids are really happy to have a puppy in the house again. He is a really nice dog.
In case you were wondering how DeJay's training is coming, he is doing great! There are 10 phases of training and he is in the 4th level!

January 9, 2010

DeJay Update

II got another email today from one of the puppy truck drivers, about DeJay. It sounds like our pup is doing well!

Hi Megan,
I've just returned from a Puppy Truck trip to Oregon and Washington, and wanted to make sure I said hi to Dejay. As I was heading into his kennel I asked where Dejay was, and they said to just look for his 7 ribbon collar on the kennel!! He came bounding in from his outside run, along with his "girlfriend", and I spent a few minutes getting his wags, happy smiles and "nudgies."
It was great to see him - he's doing fine and having a fantastic time. The seven ribbons from seven kids, and his personality are a hit on campus!!
Best to you and the family - and we'll be sure to check in on Dejay on our next trip early February.

Good Looking, Looking Good

Abby has been telling me since the end of October that she needs glasses. She said she can't see to board in class and she really needs glasses. I told her that I would get her an appointment in January because we would have vision insurance. Rebekah mentioned in passing that her teacher told her to get her eyes checked because "I can't read the yellow dry erase marker". So Thursday, I took Abby and Rebekah to the eye doctor. Abby was in having her eye exam and Rebekah and I were reading things in the waiting area. I picked up a pamphlet called, what to know about kids and glasses. One of the points was "frequent headaches", Bekah says "Oh, I have headaches everyday." "Why didn't you say something?" "Ummm, I didn't think about it." I am starting to see the light and ask "Is it really just the yellow marker you can't see?" "Actually, I am on the front row and I can't really see any of the colors." It is these moments when I think I really dropped the ball. So the outcome of the appointment was that Abby has 20/20 vision and yesterday, we picked up Rebekah's new glasses. All the way home she was saying things like "I have memorized that the red fuzzy sign is the Old Chicago Restraunt, but with my glasses I can read the words!"

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Kenneth's Christmas Masterpiece

I collect nativities, and this year for Christmas Kenneth made me this beautiful one. He put it in an old pomegranate shell from my tree. The figures are only about 3/4in tall. The best part is that I got to be totally suprised.

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January 5, 2010

Arizona, Glorious Arizona

Today was the day I have lived for all year! I was listening to the news about all the cold weather, and I put on my sweater. I walked outside to find the sun shining. 72 degrees! For dinner we roasted hot dogs and marshmallows, barefoot in the backyard. Just thought I'd share :)

January 3, 2010

Christian 2009

Christian (aka Peachy Cream)

Favorite memory of 2009: My favorite thing was traveling to DC (that's even better than marching band)

Favorite color: Crayola Yellow-green (not green-yellow)

Favorite food: Chicken with brown rice

Favorite book: Foundation

Favorite Author: Orson Scott Card

I like about school: I like my math teacher, because he is really cool and has interesting stories.

I don't like about school: I don't like stupid kids in my Chinese class.

My plans for the future: I want to be an artist and an author. Mission, married college, be a cool Grandpa (I don't know what makes a cool grandpa)

Sydney 2009

Sydney (aka Syd)

Favorite memory of 2009:
I think that my favorite memory was I was so nervous at battle of the books that I used the bathroom 4 or 5 times before it started.

Favorite color: Pink

Favorite food: Pear

Favorite book: Lord of the Rings

Favorite Author: Jim Kjelgaard

I like about school: I like doing morning math and getting grabbers for being the fastest.

I don't like about school: I don't think there is anything I don't like

My plans for the future: I want to be a Paleontologist or an Archaeologist and have a family at some point in time. I think that I would like to do guide dog raising or just have a puppy.

Abigail 2009

Abigail (aka Abby)

Favorite memory of 2009:
Raising DeJay, He was fun because he was obedient

Favorite color: Purple

Favorite food: I don't have one I like everything you make

Favorite book: Black Beauty

Favorite Author: Daisy Meadows

I like about school: My friends, Cailee, Stephany, Patty(Patrick), Lily.

I don't like about school: I like it all

My plans for the future: I will be a famous Veterinarian. I wanna go on a mission. I wanna get married and I wanna get kids.

Rebekah 2009

Rebekah (aka Becky or Bekah)

Favorite memory of 2009:
"We went to Washington DC I really liked going to the top of the Washington Monument"

Favorite color: Brown

Favorite food: Apple Pie

Favorite book: Little House on the Prarie (the series)

Favorite Author: Dr. Seuss

I like about school: My Teacher Miss Vickers. She reads to us a lot, and we get a lot of work. I am not bored.

I don't like about school: I don't like that we have a long time to finish stuff and sometimes we have to put our head down when we are done and I have to put my head down for a long time.

My plans for the future: Go to college to be a teacher and then be a teacher. I want to teach Kindergarden. I want to learn to play the french horn even thought I already kind of know how to play one. I think the only other thing is to get married.

Hazel 2009

Hazel (aka Hazey Daisy)
Favorite memory of 2009: "Starting preschool I'm in the monkey class"

Favorite color: Pink and white and red and orange and yellow

Favorite food: Mac and Cheese

Favorite book: Fairy Books

I like about school: Eating snack and making a big big big big gingerbread baby cookies

I don't like about school: I like all of it

My plans for the future: I want to be a horse when I grow up. I am going to marry Tim, because I like him and he is handsome. I'm going to have 1 baby. I'm going to get a job where I clean my room and do the dishes and the books and clean up all the stuff I get out for my babies.

Truman 2009


Favorite memory of 2009: Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. I really liked the stunt planes.

Favorite color: Green (forest)

Favorite food: Salmon and Clam Chowder

Favorite book: The Graveyard Book

Favorite Author: Tolkien

I like about school: I enjoy the cool book projects. I only missed 2 points on my Graveyard book project, but then I got 8 extra credit points. It was cool because it had glow-in-the-dark special effects.

I don't like about school: I don't like in Math that some kids were confused so the whole class had to start over.

My plans for the future: I want to keep playing the tuba. I want to be an engineer or airplane mechanic. Get married and have 8 kids (so I can beat my mom).

Nathaniel 2009

Nathaniel (aka Nate)
Favorite memory of 2009: "my favorite memory was the Lion King! I liked it because when I saw it there was a whole bunch of funny stuff! Fun funny stuff!"

Favorite color:

Favorite food:

Favorite book:
Cam Jansen and magic tree house

Favorite Author:
Dr. Seuss

I like about school:
My Teacher Mrs. Childs (she sings a lot and she does funny stuff, like saying stop loosing your teeth or you will talk funny)

I don't like about school:
I don't like the playground aid who tells you that you only have 2 minutes to go to the bathroom.

My plans for the future:
I plan to be a Thespian-Train Driver-Teacher. I am going to marry Meadow. I'm going to go on a mission (I hope to England)