Monday, July 19, 2010

Post 17 of 100 - A List

I'm tired, we've been busy, but I can't put together a long coherent post, so I thought I'd make a list of things that have crossed my mind that would be funny or interesting to share.

1. Did you know that grasshoppers are exhibitionists? Several times a day I take Cindy Jae for a walk toward the construction pond in our neighborhood. At least once every day or two, there is a grasshopper brazenly mounting another one in the middle of the sidewalk. They spurn the seclusion of the tall grass only inches away, choosing instead the wide open vistas of the sidewalk where people cannot help but notice them. Especially small people of 6 who have to ask what those grasshoppers are doing. Thankfully my explanation of "they must be playing" seems to satisfy her.

2. I love the way small children will change an unfamiliar word to something they know that sounds similar. For example, today we went to our local amusement park and the security guy checked my bag on the way in. L asked what they were looking for and K explained about "weapons", guns and stuff. L's response was, "So they don't allow 'Webkins'?"

3. I love the book, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. It's a great read and as soon as I finish it, I'm passing it off to K who is always looking for something new to read.

4. Cindy Jae's latest puppy training was a trip to the airport. We all brought our dogs and met in the baggage claim area where a member of TSA came out and brought us all boarding passes for a flight to Las Vegas. We had to have the boarding passes to get through security, where TSA was using it as a training exercise for their people to learn to deal with guide dogs. Just think, all the hassle of going through security and we didn't even get to go to Las Vegas! USAir had personnel ready to work with us, the cart guys at our disposal, and they even had a plane sitting at an empty gate for us to board and work in. They were awesome! Cindy Jae was not too thrilled about the small spaces on the plane, but she did fairly well. We even went into the bathroom and shut the door. All I can say is thank goodness she's fairly small for a labrador!

5. One of my very good friends may be moving from TX to NC soon. Her hubby applied for a job out here and I can't think why this company wouldn't want him. It would be 3 hours away, but 3 hours is closer than 16 hours and we might actually be able to see each other more than once or twice a year now. She once told me that there are friends that are put into our lives for a season and friends that are put into our lives for the long haul and I'm one of the latter. I feel the same way.

6. We had a fabulous vacation. We were out of town for about 10 days and had a wonderful, busy time. We came home and had most of last week to just be home. No commitments or plans. We swam and cooked and stayed up late and went to the movies and just rested. It was a wonderful way to spend a vacation.

7. On Wednesday morning, the girls and I are going to pick tomatoes at a farm for local food banks. Yes, it's hot, hard work. Yes, we'll have to get up really early to drive over there. But I want my kids to get into the habit of charity. I want them to see a need or hear of a need and to say, "Of course I can help!" without worrying about the inconvenience to themselves.

8. The one thing I've learned teaching children (and dogs) is that they won't learn anything until they're ready. K refused to believe she could count higher than 12 until she went to kindergarten. No matter how much we worked on it, she couldn't even tack on 13 because she didn't want to. L refused to learn to write for 2 years. She had all the ability and skills she needed to take that next step, but she didn't want to. They both had to decide that knowing how to count or write was worthwhile. I had to let go of my expectations and stop frustrating myself and them by trying to teach them what they didn't want to know. When they decide they want to learn, it's like a light switch gets flipped. They go from not caring to simply being able to do it in one or two steps. This past week, L has gone from fear of the water to swimming like a fish all over the pool. She has also gone from whining that it's too hard to reading. She just decided that it was more valuable to do than to be afraid of it.

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