Saturday, September 18, 2010

Why........NOT??? might ask what does a person need that already has four kids (the youngest with SPD), 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 horse, a full-time appraisal business, a husband with a full-time career and a part-time football coaching job, and a home with large yard?  If you say "happy pills" I would tend to agree.  Or maybe sleep?  But a puppy???  Why.........NOT?

Go back and look at the list of animals we already have and you can tell that we are animal lovers.  Let me take it a step further and state that I believe strongly in the power of animals for children.  Before I was a parent myself, I was a 4-H Horse Program Superintendent for years.  And then the boys showed dogs in 4-H for many years, each earning a 4-H State Obedience Championship in different years with their Shetland Sheepdogs.  (Yes......we still have the shelties.  Note "2 dogs" above.  But they are geriatric and rather crabby, and Parker has a severe hypothyroid condition for which he has to take two pills per day for the rest of his life.  Sigh.)

Over the summer, with the rollercoaster experience that was soccer, I began contemplating the benefits of getting Jennica a puppy.  The opportunity to have some responsibility......the perpetual wagging tail regardless of how rough her day at school was........blah blah blah.  Once we started looking into breeds, the poodle crosses immediately came to the forefront due to their temperaments, and reputation for hypo-allergenic, non-shedding coats. 

Long story short.......over a little time, I became fixated on Goldendoodles.  And then, we decided to wait until next Spring/Summer.  Enough on our plates right blah blah.  And then, we got a call from a breeder that we had been speaking with.  A female puppy that had been professionally temperament tested and, subsequently, specifically reserved for a 4-year-old autistic boy with 6 brothers and sisters was suddenly available!  For whatever reason, the little boy's family couldn't take her at the last minute.

And so.....we have a puppy.  She is not quite four months old and the girls named her Sophie.  Cute cute cute!  But what was my free-time is now my puppy training and poop-scooping time.  :)  Oh well.  When you're already this busy...........Why...NOT???  And Jen LOVES her!

Hallmarks of Fall

You know that mental list we all have of things about "home" that we love?  For me, one of my earliest memories of football was RHS home games in the pouring rain.  Last night........I watched my sons play in one of those games.  This photo of Dane in the rain really tugs at my heartstrings.  My little blonde boy is growing up.  Even all sweaty, wet, smelly......I love this kid.  (He also got his HSPE results this week, which are brutally important in the State of Washington and can effect whether or not you graduate.  I'm very proud of him for not only passing all four sections in the highest range, but earning the highest possible score in writing.  By passing all four sections the first time, he earns a 0.5 additional credit on his high school transcript, and gets to take a huge deep sigh of relief to have it behind him.  Way to go, Dane!  I'm going to miss him when he moves away to college in two years, but I'm so excited for the opportunities he has ahead of him!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back to the grind

Dane, #54 on the left, with three of his teammates.  Going out for the coin toss before our first game of the 2010 season.

My sisters tell me that they can gauge my "busy-ness" by how much I am blogging.  So I guess they have figured out that I've been BUSY!  Just usual Back-to-School stuff for the most part.....but what a mad scramble it is!  I intend to post some things soon about Jennica and how her first few weeks of first grade have gone, but this post is dedicated to my boys.  They are happily buried up to their eyeballs in football.  We've had two games so far...and the scoreboard has not reflected much success in our direction.  However, this group of young men has a large number of team members with extremely disrupted home lives.  They have rallied around their own in situations of severe verbal abuse from an inebriated parent and drug-use allegations--all before the season has really even begun.  And note in the pictures that I'm posting ...See the small black sticker with the white #31 on the rear-left side of their helmets?  That #31 honors a teammate that they lost to suicide in January.  So.......these "Boys of Fall" are an extraordinary bunch. 

Dane, running the "starting line-up"
As for my own boys and their roles?  My oldest son, Dane, is a junior this year.  He finished wrestling season in February at 152 pounds, and then made a commitment (to himself) to "build" for football.  All through track season and summer, he lifted weights a minimum of five days per week.  He weighed in for football season at 205 pounds.  No kidding!!  He honestly looks like he weighs maybe 180-190, but 205???  WOW!  He desperately wanted to play center, and worked hard to get his "snaps" consistent.  So.....I'm very proud of him for earning the spot of center on offense, and middle linebacker (AKA "Mike") on the defense.  In the first two games of the season, he has been out of the game a total sum of about four plays.  Go #54!!

My younger son, Grant, is a freshman this year.  He also has gained weight since February, and the 25 pounds he put on sits him at about 160.  Not bad for a freshman that used to be a "little guy."  He won't get a huge amount of varsity playing time this year, but he's played a bit in both of the first two games, and has managed to get a tackle in each game.  He's a very versatile player, and you never quite know what position he's going to show up in.  Go #52!!!

And then there is Mike.  My husband is an Assistant Coach for the team.  He throws his heart and soul into the job, and has a great relationship with some of the boys that don't have a solid male role model in their lives.  I'm very proud of what he does for the team! 

My husband, Mike, talking to some of the team.
Grant, #52, bringing down Willapa Valley's quarterback.