Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ow Ow Ow

I got my 30,000 steps yesterday! (So did Robyn) We walked and then I gardened all day long. It is finally starting to cool off, which makes it hard to have an excuse not to be outside. I mowed, then started on the killer weeds. I helped Robyn in her yard. (Well I helped her laugh when the wheelbarrow kept tipping over sideways!) It was a good start, my flower bed looks good, but I am going to be out there all day again, hopefully making even more progress. Ow.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

20,000 Steps!!!

When I got my pedometer, I had the goal of 10,000 steps a day. Most days, I have easily exceeded that number mainly because of my morning walks with my walking buddy, Robyn. Last week, I challenged her to hit 20,000 in a day, thinking it would be hard to do. Well, she hit it twice before I had a chance to think about the extra steps. (Maybe if I wasn't such a sissy and would play volleyball with her, I would have hit it too.) Yesterday, we set out for a big walk and walked to the park, let the kids play for a while, ate lunch and walked home. It was 6.5 miles! Later in the afternoon, I went for an easy bike ride. I ended the day with 24,000 steps! I was feeling so good until this morning Robyn told me that she ended the day with over 28,000 steps. I am thinking I am going to challenge her to hit 30,000. Do you think the kids will mind that we will be gone walking all day? I have almost completed the trail, 2,650 miles! I just need to walk across Washington and cross the border into Canada. Sounds easy, right???

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Tinkerbell Party

I made the invitations to Kaci's party while she napped today. It is amazing how much I can get done when she goes to sleep quickly and I don't crash with her! At first, Kaci wanted a "Dancing Barbie" party, but when they didn't have that theme at Target, she chose to have a Tinkerbell party. (Instead of waiting for something to ship from this curious place called "the Internet") I have always thought Kaci has a little "pixie" look to her, so it is fitting!

We are going to have a small party for her. She has a few little friends on our street she is going to invite. I bought some pink and clear pony beads that they can use to make bracelets. I also bought some foam art projects for them to design something with. I think we'll have her pink carrot cake on her birthday and then make some little muffin cupcakes for her party.

Look Mom!

When Shanna got home from school yesterday, I asked her to brush out her hair so that I could fix it for dance. I didn't mean literally brush out her hair. She came back holding a clump of her hair and said with a smile on her face, "Look Mom! This fell out!" Did she think I would be impressed or pleased? I went through all of the logical questions, such as: did you cut your hair, did you have a large tangle, did someone pull your hair at school, was someone sitting behind you in school with scissors, etc... She just kept saying "no". A mother can usually tell when one of her kids is lying, and I wasn't picking up that on my mom radar. So, then I start worrying about what might be wrong with her that would make a large clump of hair fall out of her head.

Later in the night we were all playing a game, and I mentioned to Tyler what had happened. I went and got the hair to show him. He looked at it, and immediately knew what happened. He told Shanna that he could see that the hair had been cut. (I guess I fail my detective exam) She told him that she hadn't cut her hair. He said, "well, hair doesn't just fall out with a clean edge like this" and kept questioning her about when she had scissors in her hand during the day. She said "well, when I was getting ready for dance, I did cut my hair band out of my hair just like you sometimes do when my hair is tangled, Dad!"

I guess sometimes, it just takes asking the right questions to figure out life's mysteries!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Andy the Armadillo.... and Kaci

Last night, Texas Roadhouse had a fund raiser for Shanna's school where they donated 10% of their proceeds to her school. While we were there, they had their mascot, a stuffed armadillo walking around, giving the kids "high 5", etc. Kaci was terrified of him. I explained to her that it was only a person wearing a costume like people do for Halloween, but it didn't help much. Every time he would come around, she would freak out.

The night went on, and Little Miss Sparkle lost her sparkle, and started to show her almost 3 year old fireworks. Tyler told her that if she wasn't smiling when Andy the Armadillo came around, he would get her. So, she plastered this fake smile to her grumpy face! When he would come closer to the table, she would grin her obviously fake smile even bigger. It was hilarious. We were laughing so hard, that we forgot we were grouchy about taking "grouchy" to a restaurant.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Good Monday Morning

We'll try a different approach this week. I am going to tell myself all day how much I love Mondays. I am going to try to be bummed out when the day is over. I am going to embrace all of the Monday craziness and maybe try to add some more, self inflicted craziness.

It is finally cooling off. When I went outside to get the paper, it was actually a little chilly. The girls will love that. They get excited any time they have an excuse to wear a jacket. The problem is... clothes. Little Miss Shanna has grown probably 2 sizes since the last time it was cold. She can almost wear my shoes! With our crazy week, I am not sure when I am going to take her shopping, but maybe since it is Monday, my new favorite day of the week, I will take both of them to shop for clothes, because I love taking them shopping! I think I am feeling better already. See... I love Mondays! Maybe I will even shop for myself too! (I love going into those dressing rooms and trying on clothes, and how the overhead lights and close up mirrors just make me feel so great!)

Also, I will embrace the large pile of clothes that have piled up that need hung and steamed or ironed. I will get busy in the backyard now that it is cool enough to work out there again. I will even try to play with the dog more. There. I love Mondays. Let's see how the day goes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thanks for the tissues

My good friend gave me this for my birthday, and told me I'd probably need them some day. Thanks, Sherry, we broke them open this afternoon. (On a positive note, both the Patriots and "that other team" won today. I wonder who Tyler will cheer for next week??)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Rainy Saturday

Yippee, Wahoo, we woke up to rain!! Not just sprinkling, a hard downpour that you can hear from inside the house! It smells so good, and it is only in the 70s. We drove up the canyon to Zion National Park, and went to the farmer's market for some heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil, zucchini, raspberry pepper jelly and..... some pictures of ostriches!

Last night we went to a high school football game. 2 local rivals were playing, the stands were packed and it was so exciting. The winning team scored 4 touchdowns in 92 seconds in the 4th quarter. We didn't exactly see all 4, because we had to leave due to a very ornery almost 3 year old. She has just been in prime form all week. I can't remember how we survived it the last time around, except for it was traumatic enough that we still remember it! Any grandparent out there want a visit??

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cake Anyone?

If you recognize me, you know my Mommy too. It's her birthday, do you think she'll let me eat cake anymore? This was me when I was small, but now, I have a little brother so it will be double the fun! Call my Mom and wish her a Happy Birthday!!

Get to know Shanna and Kaci

Every now and then, I get an e-mail "get to know you quiz". I thought it would be fun to see how the girls would answer some of the questions:

If you were a crayon, what color would you be? S: Periwinkle K: Pink

What is the last thing you ate? S: Brownie K: Sandwich

Who is the last person you talked to on the phone? S: Dad K: Daddy

What is your favorite holiday? S: Christmas K: My birthday

What is your favorite tv show? S: Hannah Montana (definitely) K:Barney

What is your favorite drink? S: Vanilla Coke K: Sprite

What is your favorite food? S: Whipped Cream K: Chicken Fingers

What do you want to be when you grow up? S: Ice Skater K: Pilot

What is your best memory? S: When I was just barely born K: Drinking Sprite

What is your favorite day of the week? S: Friday K: Every day I get to play with Haylee

What is your favorite game? S: Make believe Hannah Montana K: High Ho Cherrio

What is your favorite sport? S: Skating K: Riding bikes

What is your favorite season? S: Winter K: Fall

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? S: Colorado K:Nana’s

What is your favorite time of day? S: Noon K:Afternoon

Which household chore do you dislike the most? S: Folding laundry K: Cleaning my room

What is your favorite sandwich? S: Toasted bread with butter and jelly K: Turkey and mustard

What is the worst thing your mom ever made for dinner? S: Cooked mushrooms with cooked onions and cooked tomatoes and cooked beans K: Beans

What is your favorite restaurant: S: Mom’s kitchen K: Old McDonalds

What is your favorite musical instrument? S: Piano K: Old McDonald had a farm

What is your favorite song on the piano? S: Jolly Old St. Nicholas K: Old Mc Donald had a farm

What is your favorite song? S: Best of both Worlds (Hannah Montana) K: Buckle Up

What is your favorite Christmas song? S: Santa Claus is coming to town K: Old McDonald had a farm

What is your favorite thing to do with your Dad? S: Going on a date K:Going on a date to Old McDonalds

What is your favorite thing to do with your Mom? S: Going to the Nutcracker K: Going to the park

Now, post a comment and tell the girls about you!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Miss Smarty Pants

Shanna has been saving her allowance money. She saw a commercial on TV for an electronic diary that she really wanted. She counted her money and she had $40. I have told her in the past, that it is her money, she worked hard to earn it, and she can spend it as she wishes. (Of course within reason.) I have also told her that if she chooses to deposit it into her bank account, I will match the amount she puts in.

She found out that the diary cost $20. I asked her if she was sure that was how she wanted to spend her money. I reminded her that if she deposited her $40 and I deposited $40, she would have $80 dollars more in her bank account. Then, she amazed me with her math skills. Quicker than I could snap my fingers, she responded by saying, "so, if I buy the diary, and then put my other $20 in the bank, and you put $20 in my bank, I will still have $40 and I'll have a diary? Wow. That is like getting my diary for free!" I think I just stood there with my mouth open. Did I really get outsmarted by a 7 year old? I might have to rethink my policy!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A blanket apology

I would like to publicly apologize to my parents for everything I put them through as I was growing up. Whenever I complain about my girls being ornery, they say something smart, like "Karma tastes sour the second time around"... or "Isn't Karma a great thing?"

I am sure I was a handful as a two year old, so I am sorry. I remember terrorizing my brother sometime around that age. I know I did naughty things at nap time. I am positive once I hit 7 or 8 I started acting like a teenager, so I apologize. I remember stuffing my shirt in first grade, believing that my friend had a credit card and we could ditch the bus and walk to the candy store and buy a lot of stuff. I am so sorry. Oh, and there was that time I stole my mom's blue eyeshadow in first grade and put a lot of it on in the bathroom during recess. I am sorry for that as well. But what I am really sorry for is all of the stuff I did from age 8-18. I won't list it all, (partially because I know that I got away with a lot more that I got caught for) but I know that more and more Karma is coming my way each day my girls get older. So, can I just issue a blanket apology and maybe minimize some of the agony that I have to deal with?

Wait, I just realized that the girls are only half mine. If I have to try to apologize for everything Tyler did as a kid/teenager too... I might as well just say "Karma, Bring it!!" He only acted like the "good kid". Oh boy... here it comes!!! Maybe I could just issue the blanket apology for ages 2-13 and we'll handle the teenage years at a future date. Mom, Dad, my "other" Mom & Dad, I am sorry for the hair that we caused you to either pull out, or turn gray. I hope that you enjoy hearing about our little angels doing the same to us!

Does this look like a two year old terror?

I have just lost a battle with a two year old. This picture shows a little bit of spunk, but this afternoon, it wasn't just spunk she was showing. I remember having the same battles with Shanna at this age, couldn't I have learned my lesson then? How hard should it be to put a tired little girl down for a nap? How did my sweet "girlfriend" turn into this little monster who kicks and hits and talks back? I was up most of the night with her legs cramping, so I am not at my best after only getting a few hours of sleep. But, come on! I think of myself as a responsible adult who handles conflict fairly well. Why is it so hard to manage my own daughter??? The really scary thing is that I remember a certain 3 year old's tantrums being worse that a 2 year old's tantrums! Did I mention Kaci turns 3 in about two weeks? I might just start throwing my own tantrums until someone gives me a nap.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Quote of the Day

The Three Rules of Life

1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.

2. From discord, find harmony.

3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Attributed to Albert Einstein
As quoted in Real Simple Magazine

Monday, September 17, 2007

Dixie Round Up Parade

It was a hot sunny Saturday afternoon, just perfect for the Dixie Round Up Parade. Shanna had a great time, her dance team won 2nd place for their age category. The male "drill" team which is the dads and brothers, carrying their drills won 1st place for their category. Tyler didn't march because of his hurt knee though. The kids had fun seeing the horses, firetrucks and tanks.

Kaci was thinking pretty hard in the car the other day. Out of the blue, she wanted to know what the words "exactly" and "absolutely" meant. How would you define either word to a 2 year old?

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's 11:00pm, do you know where your 7 year old is?

I can't believe it. We actually stayed up late waiting for our daughter to come home from her Friday night date. Her "date" was with her good friend Shelly at the rodeo. She came home all smiles and full of stories about her fun night! It felt weird not having her around, but it was fun spending quality time with Kaci. We went to the drive through at Wendy's and watched Kaci thoroughly enjoy one of her first Happy Meals at home on a pink blanket in front of a movie. It was so much fun to watch her.

Shanna came home with autographed pictures from the rodeo queen and princess, a glow necklace and a big smile. She got to go out to dinner without Mom and Dad and had some spending money burning a hole in her purse at the rodeo. It was a fun night for her! I am sure Shelly's mom is glad the night is over though! :)

Wishlist: Pink Bike

Kaci and I were talking about her upcoming birthday yesterday. (She turns 3 on October 4th) In her sweetest little girl voice, she asked "Mommy, can I have a birthday party?" I thought that was so sweet of her to ask! Shanna had her first friend birthday party when she was 3, so I guess it is time for Kaci to start having them too! She has a guest list, she has a theme, and she knows what she wants: a pink bike with training wheels with a pink water bottle cage. I guess I better get busy looking for one!

It should be a fun weekend, Shanna is going to the rodeo with a friend tonight and we are having dinner with friends, Shanna has a birthday party to attend tomorrow, and then she is in the rodeo parade with her dance team later in the day. (And then there's football!)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Gardening Commandments

I am getting ready to plant my fall garden, and after some pretty disgusting clean-up, I have started a list of Gardening Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt not plant honeydew and cantaloupe next to the air conditioning unit
  2. Thou will pick honeydew and cantaloupe promptly (even the hidden ones on the bottom)
  3. Thou shalt not plant honeydew and cantaloupe ever again
  4. Thou shalt not plant pumpkins in July
  5. Thou shalt not plan 27 varieties of lettuce
  6. Thou shalt not forget to spray for bugs, even if you think you don't have any
  7. Thou shalt not forget to check your tomato plants for big green caterpillars with eyes all over their bodies
8. 9. and 10. will probably be added after the fall harvest!

At dinner last night, Shanna told us that she had looked up the word "fairy" in the dictionary at school and it defined it a "fictional character from children's stories". She wanted to know how that pertained to the tooth fairy. Shouldn't the school censor the dictionaries for words like that?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How many steps do you take each day?

I had a lot on my mind yesterday, but it isn't noon yet and my brain feels fried. I have spent all morning looking at calendars and figuring out carpools. I think I need a little excitement this afternoon.

Yesterday while Shanna was at dance, Tyler and I took Kaci to the park. Sometimes the simple things bring the best smiles. We used to take Shanna when she was little all the time, just the three of us. Obviously with Kaci having a bigger sister, she doesn't get both parent's attention at the same time very often. We were all goofing off on the swings, laughing and having a great time. It was the best part of my day.

I got a pedometer for my birthday, and am taking part in a virtual walking trail challenge. I have to get at least 10,000 steps a day. Last night, I was pacing the bedroom to get my last few steps in. Some days, I get over 15,000 steps though when I take a good walk in the morning. I have been doing the challenge for 11 days, and already have over 130,000 steps! It is amazing how many steps you take just doing your normal routine. The website that I use shows your progress along a trail you choose. I am doing the Pacific Crest Trail, which is 2,650 miles from Mexico all the way up the California coast into Canada. It shows you pictures and fun facts of where you would be on the trail. I don't think I would enjoy camping on the road, but it would be fun to do a real walking challenge like this someday.

I just read the grossest thing on the news, a restaurant worker in New York was caught stomping on garlic cloves with his shoes on in an alley behind a Chinese buffet restaurant.This is the actual picture of him doing it. Someone saw him do it and snapped the picture! I like the response from the health department: "The health department does not consider a person's shoe or boot a proper instrument to use in food preparation, senior public health sanitarian John Stoughton said Tuesday." Really???? It makes you want to cook every night at home!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Will Never Forget

Dedicated to those who lost their lives; the brave people who gave their lives, and the Heroes that responded to that awful day...

September 11, 2001 God Bless America


I have to do a "Wahoo for me moment", my new goal every day is to simplify and organize. Last week, a costume magazine came in the mail, and of course the girls got excited thinking that Halloween is like next week. Shanna decided she wanted to be her new idol, Hannah Montana. (Which by the way, is actually a pretty good singer. Tyler downloaded some of her songs for Shanna on his Ipod and I was rocking out to a 14 year old while I was mowing the other day!) So her costume was easy enough, as not surprisingly Hanna Montana has her own clothing line. So, we bought some Hannah Montana jeans, Hannah Montana shirt and Hannah Montana jacket, 20% and free shipping. We now have a Halloween costume and a fall outfit. Yeah!

Shanna pointed out one of her favorite cartoon characters from when she was little, "Stephanie" from "Lazy Town" to Kaci, and Kaci loved her because she has pink hair. Yesterday at Target, they were putting their costumes out, and Kaci spotted the "pink hair costume!" It is so cute on her, she could totally do the pink hair thing. It is amazing how much older she looks with a full head of hair! :)

So, it is only half way through September, and Halloween is a done deal. Let's just see them try to change their minds!

Why didn't I think of that?

Yesterday, Kaci picked out a game to buy with her allowance. It was one of those "blasts from the past", a toy I remember from my childhood. It seems as though about 5 years ago, all of the popular toys from the 80s started to reappear. Was it that toy makers were getting so uncreative and uninspired that they couldn't come up with new toys? Or was it that the 80s were so great that they just had to bring back their favorite things from their childhood. I think it is the latter. I have so enjoyed watching my kids play with the same fun things that I liked when I was little. I find it so funny when Shanna tries to tell me about this cool new toy, and I already know the theme song!! Am I cool or what?

Some of the favorites have been Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, Polly Pocket, Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, Superman, Rainbow Bright, Slap Bracelets (which were outlawed as quick in Shanna's school as they were in ours)... I am still holding my breath for the next warehouse from the 80s to be unsealed and they reintroduce Jem, Sheera, Punky Brewster, those color changingt-shirts (You remember in school when you would walk up to people in the lunch line and blow on their shirt to see it change colors in the shape of your lips, or place your hand on their back for a min or so and see your handprint...) Baby Sitter's Club books, t-shirt ties, rap pants and Trapper Keepers. I loved the rad tubular totally awesome 80s dude!! Oh, and I think I still win the prize for the tallest bangs finished off with the pump-aerosol hair spray!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Spot's Taken!

I guess when you don't come to bed with your wife, someone else might...
(she didn't even flinch when he took the picture!!)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Football Sunday

It was a happy day in our house! Both the Patriots and Broncos won! (The Broncos game was a LOT closer, and resulted in me losing a bet, but at least they won!) Afterwards, the fans spilled out to the back yard to play a little catch of their own.

It has been so hot, over 100* still. It will be so nice when it cools off and we can be outside more.

Shanna finished up the cross stitch she has been working on, she is going to give it to her teacher for her birthday. She bought it with her allowance money the last time we were in Las Vegas. She and Kaci have both been working hard to earn stickers on their chore charts and are learning to save their money to buy the things that they want.

I guess I will go get started on making that carrot cake... never underestimate the Broncos!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

They might need a little extra help

I think I will start wearing my Patriots jersey today and not take it off until they win tomorrow. Word is that Tom Brady had to miss half of practice on Thrusday because of a right shoulder injury. They will also be without 2 of their best defensive players (Seymore and Harrison) and possibly wide receiver Moss. I wonder what Tyler would think of some new NFL sheets? It could get ugly this season!!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Welcome To Little!

I have had this domain name for about 5 years, but have never done much with it. Tyler helped me buy it when I was selling baby bracelets on Ebay. The bracelets were "A Little Sparkle for that Little Sparkle in Your Life." I love the name though, and Shanna and Kaci are the Little Sparkles in our life. Since he was so impressed that I am actually using the blog, Tyler took some valuable time today to set the blog up on my domain name! So, welcome to Little Sparkle! I hope you enjoy reading about our adventures!

Our Dog.... The Gardener

In Cocoa's past life, I think he was a master gardener. Or, he has something against gardeners. Maybe his ex-wife in his past life was a gardener, or cheated on him with the gardener. He will not stay out of our plants!!

It all started with our pond several months ago. Every water lettuce we could grow, he would pull out and deposit on our patio. So, my dad sent us a package which helped a lot. (Think wires and electricity) We only left it plugged in for a few weeks, and then moved it to the garden, but kept the stakes up around the pond, so he would still think it was there. Tyler took down the poles last weekend, and guess who noticed their absence this morning?

I mentioned we had to put it up around the garden too. He would get herbs and tomatoes out, and not just eat them, he would put them on top of his food in his bowl, let the flavors marinate and then eat it all! He had even more fun with the cucumbers and honeydew because they look like big tennis balls!

We were already planning on hooking up the charge by the back gate, since yesterday he got out three times when I was taking the trash cans out, and I had to chase him down the canal. I think I might just have to offer to buy the thing from my dad because it looks like we're going to be needing it for a while.

1 for the Colts

We love football. We love to be competitive. So, we each have our team. No one could pick the Broncos, because OF COURSE the Broncos are the greatest team ever. They might not win every game, but they are still the greatest. Last year, Tyler chose the Colts and I chose the Patriots. Not bad, huh? They went head to head in the playoffs, and then the Patriots graciously sent the Colts on to the Superbowl. Oh yeah, and then they won. Tyler is almost never wrong about anything though, so of course they won!

Season opener last night, Colts beat the Saints 41-10. Good job Peyton!

Stay tuned for Sunday night, when The Broncos play Buffalo and the Patriots play the Jets! (On a side note, don't worry Tommy, she didn't really give your son the initals JET, it really is JETM which could be taken as GET'EM!)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Why I hate mornings....

I really hate mornings. Well, I hate the way mornings go. If I only had to get up, exercise and get myself ready for the day, I might actually like mornings. But, since I have to get up, get kids up, take care of the dog, clean up the house, iron multiple outfits, get lunches and backpacks ready, start laundry, make breakfast... I hate mornings. Everything comes at me so fast, I just want to get back into bed and ignore it all. No matter how much I try to plan in advanced the night before... something always needs my attention first thing in the morning!

Also, tell me how it works that a 7 year old knows which mornings to be annoying on and wake me up early and be super demanding, and which mornings to sleep in and be lazy. It never fails, every weekend, I get woken up before dawn, asking me to make breakfast, iron some clothes, go to the park, etc.... but every school morning, it is me forcing her out of bed, force feeding her a piece of toast and pleading her to actually brush her teeth instead of staring at her mouth in the mirror!

Yeah yeah, I know.... in 20 years when it is just the two of us I will wish for a little excitement in the mornings, and I will miss all of the craziness, but I would settle for a little less of it now! I probably wouldn't complain so much and write this... except for it is morning!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Oh Yeah, We have a Blog!

After racking our brains for the login/password for our blog, we found it! Has it really been over a year since I updated it? Well, life is busy to say the least. I think I am the only one who reads it anyways, but it is fun to look back and see how the girls have changed.

Shanna started 2nd grade. She has a great teacher and loves to play basketball at recess. She is dancing four afternoons a week which she loves. It is teaching her to be responsible for her things and have all of her gear ready the night before or there is a crazy person known as Mom who is scrambling 10 minutes after we were supposed to leave looking for the left shoe, or the only pair of tights that don't have holes in them. She likes the fun Mom better, so she tries really hard to keep track of her own things.

Kaci is slowly getting used to being the only child during the day. She is so cute when she says she is lonely because Shanna is gone. We try to do "school" activities to keep her busy. She loves to read and play with her babies and stuffed animals. She likes to do puzzles and is learning to write her name. She is in a ballet class once a week. She looks so grown up when she is in her class. She is fully potty trained which is great, I did the happy dance when the Pampers coupons came in the mail today because it reminded me that I don't have to buy them anymore!!

We now have a dog! All Shanna wanted for her birthday was a dog. I think she had in mind a little yappy dog that she could keep in her purse, but if I was going to give in on getting one, I got to have a say in what we got. We got a chocolate lab puppy named Cocoa. We have definitely had issues with him, but he is turning out to be a good dog. He is a good walking buddy, well, that is when he isn't pulling me over. We're working on his "walking manners". (We also love the book "The Loved Dog") It has really been working for training him! He is an outdoor dog, which helps. Sometimes, one more distraction or mess might just send me over the edge, so it is nice to be selective on when he is around! He does get to come in on the tile when he is on his tie down, since it is so hot outside still. He seems to be appreciative when he is inside like he knows it is a privilege and he better be good or he'll be on the other side of the glass again.

This week Tyler and the girls caught a frog outside on two different nights!They took them out back to our pond and let them loose in the water. Every now and then at night, we'll hear some croaking. Earlier in the summer, Shanna found a frog at Lowe's and we brought it home, but it was so loud we could hear it croaking when we were inside! It is fun to go outside at night and listen to our waterfall and sounds of nature. After struggling to get it started, the water lettuce and lily pads have taken over the entire surface and we had to thin some out so that we could feed the fish. Somewhere in there we may still have some turtles... I haven't seen them for a while.

What else.... Tyler's softball season ended tonight... it was a disappointing season and team, but of course he had some great hits and plays all season long and loved playing short stop... I have been cooking lots and have two great helpers who love to put their aprons on to be "cookers".... I think after 3 years of living in this house, I finally have the garage organized, that feels great.... I am getting ready to plant a fall crop in the garden, the spring crop surprised me and did great! We had a flat tire on the car this week... Cocoa keeps tearing the stuffing out of his toys and beds, and I find myself thinking that the only time I sew anymore is for the DOG.... We have had some amazing storms lately, check out the great picture that Tyler took.....And last but probably the best part of my whole day was when Shanna asked me at bedtime why people on tv like to kiss with their mouths wide open and turn their heads!!