Friday, January 31, 2014

Thursday, January 30, 2014

wishful thinking

Last Friday, we had our first "snow day" round these parts.  We didn't tell the girls the night before b/c we didn't want them to disappointed with what the locals around here consider snow.  The kids were so excited when there was some white stuff on the ground, more sleet than snow, but it was enough to have a lesson in cold weather.  Ben told them there was no way the sled would work, but I told him we home school for a reason and this seemed like a hands on lesson to be learned.  Unfortunately Daddy was right, but it was a cute photo opp anyways.  Outdoor play only lasted about three minutes and they were ready to come back inside.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

another marathoner

So, apparently we have two marathoners in our family.  On Monday night, LE asked me for a new book.  I told her about the box car series, (reading level 3.2) which was my favorite as an elementary student.  We laid on my bed, after about twenty minutes, she was professing her love for the new book and it was the "best book ever."  The next morning, I heard her alarm go off at 7 a.m. and she was up reading again.  Around noon, she came into ask if we had the 2nd in series, she was finished with the first book.  Unfortunately, I don't have the 2nd, but what about reading another one of my favorites, Sideways Stories from Wayside School.(reading level 4.9)  After school she began reading the book and at 10pm last night she came in my room asking if I would lay down with her.  I asked her why she was still up??!?  "Because the book was so good, I couldn't stop reading it".  Two chapter books in 36 hours, my friends.  Today's choice, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle (RL3).

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

a Richards runner?!?!?

Over the weekend, the girls and I participated in the Key to Free 1K and 5K.  I have been sick since Christmas with allergies and vertigo so my running schedule has been off.  I still finished pretty good especially since the race was in the dark.  I finished under 32 minutes, not sure of my exact time, but the BIG news was Boo.  My girl is a runner, and apparently a pretty good one.  She placed 4th overall and placed 1st among the girls.  LE did not finish the race b/c she got a cramp in her side and it scared her.  She came walking up almost in tears a few minutes into the race.  After a really good start her side started hurting and since she has never ran before wasn't sure what it was or what to do.  At that point, we had no idea what to expect for Boo.  I figured she got scared when she didn't see LE and was probably walking, so imagine our surprise when she finished with the leaders.  So proud of both my girls for trying something new, and in the dark and cold of January.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Duncan's Story

Ben got me Duncan for our two month anniversary b/c we had just moved to Fredericksburg and I had no friends.  His parents lived a couple blocks away, and other than that I never made a friend the time we lived there.  I wanted a dachshund b/c my mom had black and tan chihuahuas (Ben does not like little yelpy dogs, so that was out) and his grandparents had the funniest, fattest brown dachshund I had ever seen.  When I was at the pet store getting meal worms for my hedgehog (class pet) I fell in love with this black and tan mini dachshund.  He was so long and friendly.  When he ran his back legs would pass his front end and I was smitten.  I called Ben, but since pets were not allowed at our rental home, he said no.  So, I tricked him into going to the store and he fell in love too.  B/C of our rental situation, I would take him to the babysitter i.e. Verna's house each day when I went to teach and while I was going to school in San Antonio so he couldn't get into any mischief.  He would spend the day in the garden and sunshine and was spoiled rotten.
Some of my favorite memories are from his puppy days.  He was known for eating things.  He ate my cousin's $100+ mouth piece that she had taken out while we were eating supper, he drank half of the used grease out of a fry daddy and ate 20+ flour tortillas.  The tortillas were a problem b/c my tiny puppy grew double his size and the vet wanted me to make him throw them up by getting him to drink salt water.  Yea right.
When I graduated college, I got a teaching job in Kerrville and we moved back to my hometown so I could be at school longer days, and I was really homesick.  B/C Duncan couldn't go hang out with Verna each day we decided to get a second dachshund, Chloe.  They were best friends, and as Duncan grew, we learned he was not a miniature dachshund, but in the words of our vet, the longest dachshund he had ever seen.
Around his first birthday, Duncan was diagnosed with epilepsy and he was on very strong medication for it.  He took phenobarbital, which was terrible on his kidneys.  He had seizures at least once a month, and often they lasted for five minutes or longer.  When he was around five years old, the doctor recommended a milder medication, potassium bromide for his seizures.  The seizures continued even with the medication, so around age 10 we decided to take him off the medication completely and by age twelve the seizures stopped altogether.
When LE was an infant, Duncan jumped off the couch and a vertebrae in his back broke and collapsed onto his spinal chord.  We took him to an emergency room in south Austin and for $2000 they fixed our Duncan Dog.  Yes, $2000 was a lot, but we had been saving for a new fridge and I could not open a new fridge knowing I had put our dog to sleep.  A few years later the same thing happened again, and we had prepared ourselves as we driving to the same surgeon that we could not do the surgery again.  But, when we took him out of the kennel at the vet's his legs had begun working again.
His legs and back finally gave way at fifteen years of age and Ben and I had to make the worst decision I think we've ever made as a married couple.  We both cried and knew Duncan was tired and miserable.  After years and years of vets telling us, he probably would not live past seven years old, he not only lived longer than that, he doubled his age adding so many memories to our family.  He is already so missed by each of us and his sister dog, Chloe.

Friday, January 17, 2014

another reason for eating clean

Today, I had my six month check-up at the dentist except that it has been more
like 2+ years since I had a check up at the dentist.  Oh, I've been to the dentist, but for fun things like crowns, three of them to be exact.  At my last visit, the week before Christmas when I broke a huge chunk of  molar I decided I needed to schedule a cleaning for both Ben and I.  See it is not that I don't like the dentist, I don't like the dentist telling me EVERY time I go to see him, I have another cavity or that I have periodontal disease (gum disease) and that will be $100's+++ out of pocket expense.  Between Read and Harrison I discovered I had this periodontal disease with a rating of 1 to 5 (five being BAD), my gums were predominately 3's and 4's with several 5's.
WELL, after giving up soft drinks and sweet tea last year,today at my dentist appt, my gums were all 2's and 3's.  The dentist said it was such an improvement he feared submitting it to insurance b/c they would think he lied last time to get more money out of them for my treatments.  I have not been treated in over 2 years!!!
My kids have zero cavities and the doctor congratulated us that they only drink water and milk (juice is  mainly at grandparent's and parties).
I am never going back, I have spent thousands of dollars at the dentist over the years, thinking it was genetics, which it could be but nothing has changed, I still brush and floss as I always have in my adult life.  The doctor said this was solely a diet change that made the difference!!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Duncan Dog 1998-2014

Our sweet Duncan went home this morning.  He has been struggling with his back legs for over a month and the past two days he hasn't been able to walk at all.  He spent the morning cuddling on the couch with the girls and I watching back to back movies.  At 11:30 he took his last breath and went to sleep.  He was 15 years old (105).  We'll miss you, Son.

special moment

Over the Christmas holidays, my grandmother stayed with my parents so she could be with us for all of the festivities.  One evening I caught LE sharing a special Christmas book with her great-grandmother, a special memory for me.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

2014 Goals

So, a few years back we gave up resolutions and decided to make goals for the family.  On New Year's Eve we each decided what we wanted to see happen this year for ourselves.
Mama- #1 to yell less
#2  Read my Bible more.  The pastor this weekend said we should read our Bible to know the author, not to read the book.  I loved that, and it has really changed my perspective on my daily quiet time.
#3 body fat down to 19%
Daddy- #1 to get in better shape
#2 to spend more time with his family
LE- to pick up after herself (source of much yelling)
Boo- to have more fun with her family

Ben and I read a book last year, which inspired and encouraged us both.  Cleaning House, a mom's 12 month experience to rid her home of youth entitlement.  One of the experiments she tried, and we have tried in the past and failed was for her kids to earn a $1 each day for their responsibilities.  If they don't earn it, Mama does.  Ben and I want to encourage the kids to pick up as the day goes along instead of mad scramble at bed time to pick up their rooms, shoes from the living room, books everywhere, etc.  So far it is working well.  The girls made these clips as a visual reminder outside their doors to hold their dollar each day.  The reason it didn't work out in the past was b/c we kept forgetting to get the girls' dollars to them each night, so hopefully with these visual reminders by their doors it will help both the girls to remember and us to reward.

Thursday, January 02, 2014


2014 has not started too well for me.  Last Friday, I spent the afternoon at the dentist and then the evening being nauseated, with the room spinning and no there wasn't any alcohol involved.  The next five days have not been really different except add a migraine to the mix. Today, I finally got dressed and ventured out of the house.  I am so grateful for a husband who has taken care of the house, cooking, me and the girls for taking care of and entertaining their little brothers.