Saturday, April 18, 2009

Puppy Heaven

In a weak moment in the Spring of 2007 Chance convinced me we should get a dog. He researched for months about the best types of dogs for our area, for children, for protection, etc. etc. etc. I wanted nothing to do with it. I've never been a "pet" person. I believe animals should live outside ... in nature .. where God intended them to live. I am totally supportive of zoos. Animals and people really aren't meant to share the same dwellings in my opinion. I think my feelings are also related to my younger sister Nicole's need to bring home every available pet she could get her hands on while I was growing up. You can only step in a pile of droppings or cat vomit so many times before it psychology destroys you. Her pets tormented me. (I do admit there have been moments after a seriously disturbing episode of CSI when I've longed for a protective family dog to keep everyone safe, but those moments don't really count.)

But I never want a puppy. Chance bought an adorable little puppy a few years ago. I say adorable meaning that it was really tiny and cute to look at from a distance. We named her Molly. The kids loved her, but she was a puppy and we had problems. She wasn't house broken, she liked to nip at the kids and she often tackled them in the yard. I knew she was just playing like any puppy would, but all that psychological damage from my childhood would combine with the mother in me to freak out whenever Molly pulled my 2 year old to the ground. Because Tyler adored her, I forced down my feelings of revulsion and accepted Molly into the family. I was resigned to my fate. Then a few weeks later, Noah had an accident. He broke his femur - his thigh bone - and was in the hospital for 2 weeks in traction and then came home in a body cast. I lived at the hospital with him and Chance juggled work, the kids and the house every day. Taking care of Molly was too much for us at that time. So, we sold her to another family that could give her what she needed. I was never so relieved in my life. Even now, I think it was all a bad dream.

It has been 2 years since Molly went to another home. The kids still talk about her all the time. Tyler tells me that he knows he'll see Molly in heaven someday. They all want another one named Molly. Emma continually talks about having a puppy:

"I want a brown puppy. It will have five legs and a dog private. And I'll put a pink chain on it and take it upstairs so it can smell things."

I'm not sure why she was thinking about dog privates. I'm trying not to think about that.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boulders and Profanity

Tyler and I had a row yesterday afternoon over homework. After a week-long reprieve over Spring Break, homework is the last thing Ty wanted to do. I tried to be understanding.

"I don't like homework. Math is no fun. Maybe in a couple of years I'll like it more."

"I don't think so, Ty. Sit down, please."

"I can't do this right now! Maybe this summer I'll be able to spend more time working on math. I just don't like it."

"I know homework isn't fun and it isn't what you want to be doing right now, but you need to get it done. Please sit down."

"I'm not going to do it!" (Silence)

"You're just rude to me. You make me do my homework on the first day that I have it! I have a whole week to get it done. But you just turn into a boulder and run right over me. And it hurts my feelings! You're so rude!"

I calmly listened to him rage. My heart surged with pride at his ability to describe so uniquely how it feels to be young and full of limitations, rules, parents and homework. I have felt that crushing feeling as a young person. It feels as though you have no freedom. It may be strange, but I am grateful that he can freely (if not quietly) share his feelings and can do so with such imagery.

So, I listened. And then I smiled. And then he smiled. I told him I would try not to be a boulder anymore. And I thought that the worst was over. And then he said the following:

"Well, I'm not going to do this. I don't have to! I can just throw this homework right into the trash if I want. What do you think about that?"


Spring Break was also full of name-calling. When Emma was busy creating something on the floor, I accidentally stepped backward and ruined her masterpiece.

"Mom! You ... DISHWASHER!"

"Did you just call me a dishwasher? Ouch, Emma."

Noah also told Emma that she was a "Pocket-Head" during one of their squabbles, which caused a surprising amount of tears. Today, Emma called Tyler "Underpants" and I was unable to intervene without laughing. When I mentioned these moments to Chance's Mom, she commented: "I love their profanity." Me, too.

"Love is saying 'I feel differently' instead of 'You're wrong.'"
~ Anonymous

"If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names."
~ Elbert Hubbard

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009

I love Emma's focus and Noah's excitement.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mr. President

Our children are so politically savvy. Here are the latest sound bytes about our president around here:

At the computer:

Noah: "Dad, that's Barack Obama!"
Chance: "Where did you learn that?"
Noah: "On the magazine at 7-11."

"Uh....Barack Obama did this." ~ Emma, after writing on her hands with ink pen.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Longing for The Quad

After the gloomiest March in all my years, Spring is here! And the cherry blossoms are everywhere. Cherry blossoms transport me back to my college days - particularly my first year at UW. I was living in the dorms and walked through The Quad every afternoon. When Spring hit that first year, the trees blossomed overnight. After a long day of classes, I began my weary way back toward the dorm. I stepped into the Quad and stopped mid-step. It was breathtaking. That was probably the first week I skipped classes in my college life. A trend that unfortunately became a habit - especially in the Spring. ( old roommates are not allowed to comment about my class-skipping habits as none of you would find that very interesting in the slightest). It was the perfect place for lunch, a nap or reading a novel instead of your statistics book. See (above) all those students lying about on the grass? I was one of those.

I ran across these pictures online. If you've never seen The Quad in the Spring, check these out and then go have a picnic. And I apologize for all the Quad-envy that will follow if you attended a less-worthy institution. Go Huskies!


"Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems."
~Rainer Maria Rilke, 20th Century German Poet

"Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
~Robin Williams, Comedian/Actor

Friday, April 3, 2009

Tyler's Baptism

Tyler was baptized last Saturday. We are so proud of him! He was extremely nervous about doing so in front of a crowd of people. Thankfully many family and friends attended, which gave him courage, I think. (Chance was nervous, too.) It was a big moment. Earlier in the month I asked him a series of questions designed to see if your child is, in fact, ready to take this step. He blew me away. I am amazed at how much he understands about the gospel at such a young age. Thank goodness for primary teachers. Here is an excerpt from his journal about it:

"I was bathtized. I was so happy. I got the Holy Ghost, too. A whole bunch of people surrounding me. I was so so so so happy. I got to play with my cousin David at the end. All my friends were there and I was a little nervous at the start ... I was happy when I was done." (Some spelling/grammar corrected)

I have to admit that looking at his journal entry was the first time I realized that Tyler referred to it as "bathtism". I found it thoroughly hilarious that after all these months of discussing his baptism and interviews with the Bishop and primary president, no one picked up on this. I love it.

It is surprisingly stressful to plan and prepare for a child's baptism. I'm glad that I have a few years before the next one.

To learn more about our beliefs, please go to the website for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints at or visit to find answers to frequently asked questions.