Dog Days and Life Lessons

Most of you are aware of our new family addition… Yes, she’s cute and yes, she is too cuddly… However she is only 5 months old. So that means potty training is top priority! Do you already see the fun we have… We take Dottie out every hour or so and chant, “Go potty Dottie, go potty” – wonderful rhyming isn’t it? But now onto the real story… Dottie had but once again potty’d inside the house. My youngest, nine-year-old Caleb, was tasked with the job of clean up. After the clean up, Caleb thoughtfully approaches me to share his insightful revelation… “Mom?” “Yes, Caleb.” “I think I know what it feels like to be a parent.” “How so, Caleb?” “Well, I had to scold Dottie. I have to teach her the right thing (to go potty outside), but I didn’t enjoy doing it. I really just wanted to hold her and cuddle her, but at that moment I knew she needed to be corrected, so she would learn where to potty.” “Yes, son I suppose that is a bit like being a parent. Why did you want to teach Dottie?” “Because that is what you and Dad say we should do.” Well… it’s always good for the kids to follow our model, even when they don’t understand – understanding is illumined more over time and experience. However, I did proceed to share with Caleb that we chose Dottie to be part of our family-life and therefore we teach her because we love her and she is under our care – her survival and life depend upon our care...

Shirley Top 10 List (from 2003)

Posted in honor of a few of my special “sister sojourners” of the last nine years. I love you, and am thankful for each of you! The laughter, tears, and prayers are special treasures! 10. Your youngest son, who admires Steve Erwin (the crocadile hunter guy), catches a worm in the back yard and says “Mom! Mom! Look! She’s a beauty!” 9. You realize you’ve lost touch with reality when you recite to your daughter why we don’t do something. After speaking nonstop, without taking a breath for 15 minutes, – Emily tears up and says truthfully “Mom I can’t remember all that.” 8. Laundry is an adventure. Silly putty, lego men, chapstick, rolley polleys are all potential pocket dwellers. 7. “Mom! Jack (the family dog) wanted some of my food – so we played follow-the-leader and I led her to her food and she ate!” – life inside the mind of Caleb. 6. Moments of irony… Emily says “Mom I want my hair to be darker like yours”, while mom is sitting in a salon chair with aluminum foil in her hair – her highlighting treatment. 5. You know your youngest is growing up too fast when you tell him (Caleb – 3 years old) “No snacks – dinner is almost ready.” With advanced reasoning skills he replies, “Mooommm… What if I was the adult and you were the kid… and you wanted a snack and I said no… Would you be happy at me?” 4. Family phrase of the year – “Are you happy at me?” 3. Your daughter is going to be a woman of determination...

Water, Water… Every… Where?

There are weeks and months that are busier than others. Well… May, June and early July were like that for our family. Speaking at three CC Parent Practicums that were out of state, a CC leadership team meeting on another week, and throw in a couple of family birthdays, and well… Let’s just say we were way out of our routine. Finally, on a quiet afternoon in July, after a couple conference calls and a long walk, I decide it is time to take a nice warm shower. Once I was in the bathroom and ready to hop in the shower, I turned the knob, and …. nothing… unable to process what was happening, I turned the knob several times from off to on, off to on… nothing. I yell for my daughter to go check with our neighbors, to see if they had water. She runs out the door. A thought flashes through my mind… did I miss my water bill? I quickly jump online to my bank account, and the record shows that I DID miss my payment! The nine years in this home, and really over my 17 years of marriage, I had not ever recalled paying a bill late, much less ever missing a bill. I mean totally missing a bill! Sheepishly, I called the water company and promptly paid the bill over the phone. My water was back on later that evening. I called my friends and my husband, who all proceeded to laugh at my expense!...