Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Guiding Eyes Beginning

When we lost Aspen last June, we were all terribly devastated.  Cameron perhaps took it the worst, and even now, I will find him with tears in his eyes thinking of precious memories.  For a while we thought we just wouldn't get another dog, but then all of a sudden things changed and we all (even Jeremy!) began wanting the presence of a dog in the house.  We wafted back and forth between wanting to rescue and adult dog to wanting a fancy purebred puppy and after many months of searching and researching, finally settled on fostering a guide dog puppy.  I remember a girl in high school who did this and I was always jealous of her experience, and I've known several others who have raised puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and loved it.  A big part of our decision came down to the fact that Jeremy wanted a puppy and I wanted this new pet to be a family dog- not "his" or "hers" and I knew if i talked him into getting a dog he didn't want that it would always be "my dog."  Also, we thought this would be such a great opportunity to teach the kids about an act of service that will completely change someones life.  When we finally did look into it, everything just fell into place.  There are only a few areas in Virginia for puppy raisers to meet and for us it was right in our county.  Also, they only hold the pre placement classes a couple times a year and they were starting a new one up the very next week.  It just felt right and we all began to get excited.  At this point, we have all (even the kids) finished the placement classes and are just waiting for our puppy who will come the end of March or beginning of April.  He will be a male lab and that is all we know.  Until then, we have to do some "puppy-sits" with other guiding eyes dogs so that we can use the training we've received until we get our own dog.  This weekend we kept 6 month old Margie who was such a doll!  She was very well behaved and great with the kids and did great with us novices.  I think we were more afraid that we would ruin her!  Now we are more anxious than ever to get our own dog.  Everyone that we have told we are doing this asks the same question, "how are you going to be able to give him up?"  The answer is that we just don't know.  I am sure it will be terribly painful but we hope also terribly rewarding, enough that we will want to do this again and again.  Who wouldn't want an adorable puppy as a constant in their home?  And the pass rate for these dogs is only 45%, so there is a chance that we will be able to keep him in the end if he is a complete failure :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Love day

Valentine's day was awesome at our house.  The kids really look forward to this holiday and I was thankful to Pinterest for all of the great ideas I got to make their Valentine's unique.  Mason got cards that say "I'm glad you AR-MY Valentine with a green army guy attached.  Gavin got super hero tootsie pops dressed up like Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash and Wonder Woman (for the girls).  Cameron got Star Wars ones with a glow bracelet attached to look like the light saber.  They were all pretty amazing.  A special thanks to grandma for helping me put them all together!  Our breakfast was heart shaped cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk which is a rarity in our house.  The kids all got a new wii game and some chocolates.  For dinner Cameron requested salmon (it's pink!) and I'm happy to say that Mason finally decided he likes salad so we all had that as well along with some apple pomegranate sparkling cider.  Up until now when the rest of us had salad I would just give him cucumbers and carrots to munch on, but this week he has been trying to eat all the colors of the rainbow for school and our lettuce was green and purple so he tried it out (with plenty of ranch) and loved it!  Dessert was a rocky road fondue (also from pinterest) which everyone enjoyed.  Jeremy special ordered me some chocolate covered cinnamon bears from Utah which are my favorite!!  I love having a day to show my family how much I love them, especially when most of that love revolves around cooking ;)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Dear Mason

Last, but definitely not least is dear Mason.  Kid, you have shaken our family up!  At times you can be stubborn beyond belief, but you also make us roll on the floor in laughter.  You are so clever and I am often in awe of how your little mind works.  I love/hate how you insist things be on your terms whether it be how you put on your shoes, or your lengthy ritual of saying goodbye when anyone in our family leaves the house.  I have to trick you into telling me about preschool, because if I just ask you about it you resist and keep your mouth clamped tight.  I have learned how to charm information out of you so you don't realize you're actually being compliant.  Just yesterday on the way home from church you told me that Sister Bennin has a policy that if you get to a three in her class you don't get a treat.  Then you told me you had gotten on a three and proceeded to tell me exactly what you had done (getting out of your seat, laying on the floor, talking too much).  I was about to go home and call her to apologize for your behavior when you impishly grinned and told me it was all a big joke!  You hadn't even gotten a one.  That was quite the story to tell your mother...  You can throw a fit with the best of them, but also love your snuggle time.  My favorite time with you is when you get up before the boys and come crawl into bed for a few minutes before it's time to get going.  You put your little hands on my face and tell me you love me because I'm beautiful.  I think you have a future in theater because of all of the expressions you make, I love it.  You are my little shadow and want to be doing whatever I am doing, whether it is cooking dinner or folding the laundry.  It isn't often that you will go downstairs and play alone, you are so social.  You love math and ask me to give you "math questions" (addition) in the car when we are driving.  You also are starting on those Bob books that Gavin had when he was your age and I have been shocked at how easily you are able to sound out the words.  In our puppy classes, Gavin asked one of the ladies if her dog was a boy or a girl and she said boy.  You promptly looked underneath and loudly exclaimed "That's because he has a penis!"  Embarrassing but hilarious.  It's beginning to hit me that next year I won't have you or anyone else here to keep me company each day.  As much as I complain about having to tote you around with me and think that I will enjoy my freedom, I know it will be difficult to be without my little buddy.  I love the spark you add to our family, I hope you never change.