Sunday, March 29, 2009

4 Classes down....

Wow, I can not believe that we have made it through 4 puppy school classes. Winston is doing super in class. Okay as of our last puppy school post, he was a social butterfly. However, that has really changed. I am not sure if he as started settling down because he is now 4 months old, because of class, or because we had Riley and Teri here for a week. Nonetheless, it is wonderful that he has really become a little less busy and social!


  • Stay

  • Loose Leash Walking with leave it added (this is where we walk and if he begins to sniff we reinforce it with the Leave it we learned last week)

  • Come when called

Alright our biggest challenge this week coming will be STAY!! He has to stay for 15 seconds by next weeks class. Then.....he has to stay for 30 seconds to graduate! You better believe that we have been working on this one. There is no way he will not graduate or make us look bad. Therefore, Chris and I both have really been working hard with STAY! I think as of tonight we can get the little stinker to stay for and average of 8-10 seconds. That is okay but 15 is our goal!!! I also really want to work on the Come when Called. He is okay at coming over when you call his name. However, this afternoon we took him down to the park for some larger area fetching. He loves to fetch his ball and here we can let him off the leash (well Chris does and I worry the whole time he may not come when called). Today out of the 6-8 times we called his name to come he came about was those 2 times he ignored us that make me worry. We must continue to work not so much for Chris but for my PEACE OF MIND!


Here are the past tricks that he really has down amazingly!

  • Sit

  • Lay

  • Look at me

  • Socialization

As you can see from the picture above SIT has been mastered! Occasionally he will lay instead of sitting, but about 90% of the time when asked he sits. Now lay I think is his favorite....he loves to lay. You simply from the sit command point down and poof he is laying! Look at me he, again from the picture above, he does pretty well. This is how we normally get him to stop doing what every crazy thing he should not be doing. REALLY REALLY, do you have to wonder if our dog would be social. Come on, of course he is and has improved. This week at class he actually was able to block out the other friends and focus on his tricks. When he sees other dogs he simply sniffs, looks, and walks away. He has come such a long way from the 1st class. We are very proud of our little guy....and lets just hope 30 seconds is not to hard to achieve for a stay!

Back to work again....

Man what a week it was. I really did love my break from the kiddos at school, but it was wonderful to see their smiling faces on Monday. After taking any type of break it is always a bit hard to get back into the swing of things. However, with only 10 WEEKS left of school.....slowness is not an option.

Oh Monday....for me Monday's are NO FUN! I have morning duty at school, so I have to be there early and in the hall. Most people would love to have duty on Monday not I, I very much dislike it. Mostly because when I walk in on Monday my room has to be ready for kids, as I do not have time to work but instead duty. Therefore the Monday after a week break you can imagine would be hectic, but I had no idea! Per most Mondays I roll in around 7, and try to do a few last minute things till 7:30 when I must move to the hall.

Well when I walked in this Monday I was very sad and happy. Happy because over the break FWISD FINALLY chose to fix my very rippled carpet. I have had this "work order" placed since oh AUGUST.... Normally rippled carpet is no problem, however I have a wheelchair student. We (the therapist and I) have worked now for 2 years (I have had this student for 2 years now) on her becoming more independent as far as rolling around the room to where she needs to be. These ripples cause a very large problem for her, she has very weak upper body strength. Needless to makes it way harder on her than should be!

SAD because my room was in shambles! As you can imagine, putting my room back in order was not on their list apparently! I mean my teacher table was on the opposite side of the room for gosh sakes. All of the student tables were in the front corner by my new PROMETHEAN board (which you must treat like gold...we love it). It is as if these MEN (I have to assume they are men for their lack of detail) did not even pay attention to how the room looked when they walked in. Needless to say, we must strive on through all our small challenges. My challenge was to make a class room that had been emptied, look as it did prior to break. The most wonderful thing about kids though is that they adapt pretty well to new situations. My students were great for the most part with our small obstacle. They helped me move tables and chairs to their normal home, only settings us back on "instructional time" by about 20 minutes.

As for the rest of the week, well it was busy and flew bye. I feel as though now is the point when everything begins to run away and you can't catch it. We still have a lot to do in class to get everyone ready for 2nd grade, but we will make it there I am sure. The thing that is really stressing me out most is not that I have 6 kids who need to speed up their words per minute, but that I still am unsure about my job for next year. I have applied to 6 other districts and without hesitation I am going to begin attending job fairs here in April. Until then I will just hope by some miracle someone at my school either quits or retires...which as of now is about a billion in 1 chances!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jumpy, Water Gardens...what else to end Spring Break?

We took Riley to the Jumpy today...she had a blast, as well as us! It was a wonderful time out there, not to busy at all. She loved going down the super big slide, and the obstacle course. The best was watching her climb the wall then all of a sudden a head just pops out of no where. I added a few of the crazy pictures we took.

Chris and Riley heading down..........

Riley ready to go...

and down she is!

going down the BIG slide!!

After the Jumpy we took a trip to Home Depot. Riley couldn't wait to help pick out some beautiful flowers for Chris' yard. She was a pretty great helper, picking out all her favorites! We gathered up a few things here and there along with the vine Chris has been wanting. Off to the house to plant things we went. While Chris and his mother worked, Riley took Winston out too. Winston is so funny, he is a pretty good digger too! Needless to say the yard looks great. However, Terry and Riley claim they have more to do! We can't wait to see....

A quick break from planting then off we were again. Chris wanted to head down to the Water Gardens. Honestly I can say I have never been down there so it was a fun little trip. We didn't really know what to expect since they had to make changes after those children drowned a year or so ago. It was really pretty though, and Riley liked it. Now I will say I was a little scared myself to walk down the active waters steps...but we did it.

Chris heading down with Riley

these are the steps...see how it can be a little dangerous

this is the active garden....

Riley at the quiet pool

walls of water going down to the pool
Riley had to touch it to see if it really was water.

what a cute family.....

Later Abby, Brian, and the kiddos made it back to town. They were just making a quick stop and off to E C again. However, Brian had not met Winston so we had to take him over. Oh man....Winston loved seeing everyone, but really Little Bear and Riley had a blast. It is too bad they couldn't play longer. As Little Bear left she kept asking when she would see Riley again. She was telling us how she would write her letters and call her. Kids are so cute and sweet. I think it was the perfect way to end Spring Break. The good news is that Chris' mom and sister are here til Wednesday. The bad news, I have work tomorrow.


Winston jumping for joy because his friends came over!

On Saturday Riley and Teri headed over to spend the day with his other sister Whitney. Whitney attends SMU and will be graduating in May! Yeah!!! While they were gone Chris and his cousin took off for golf. However, Casey brought over his 2 puppies to play. Once everyone returned we had puppy-palooza! Casey's dogs are pretty sweet to Winston. Toby the lab is only 6 months old so he is playful like Winston. Now Jack...he would be fine with out Winston bothering him, but put up with it all nicely. Not only did we enjoy letting the boys play, they loved it too!

Here are the boys, Jack, Toby, and Winston! Pre-flash...they were all siting, by the time the camera took it they were all up!

Riley sitting with Toby, he was a good puppy!

After Winston's friends headed home, us girls (Terry, Riley and I) sat down for a movie. Look how much Winston really loves Riley. He jumped right up on her lap and sat there for most of the movie.


Chris, his mom, and sister!

Chris' mom and little sister headed down from MN on Thursday to spend the rest of Spring Break with us. Thursday night we just kind of hung out and let Winston get to know his Grandma and Aunt Riley. He loves to chase Riley around and she loves to take him on walks. Friday, Chris took off and we headed to the ZOO. For those of you who don't live in the Fort Worth area....Zoo+Spring Break=Millions of people. You may think I am kidding however, I am not! On Wednesday they had a record breaking ticket sales at the Fort Worth Zoo of 23,000 people.

Since this is really what Riley wanted to do, of course we were going. The avid zoo goer that I am, knows you MUST be in the lot by 10 am or the parking is gone. Therefore 9:45 we were in the car and off, keep in mind we literally live 5 minutes max from the zoo. Sure enough the lot was already half full, but no worries we don't follow the normal zoo crowd. As stated in the zoo post from E and B's trip....We work the zoo BACKWARDS! This means when everyone else enters they head to the right and start at the gorillas and monkeys. We do those guys LAST! Instead we head all the way down to the reptiles at the other end and work up to the monkeys. This mean we walk up the crowd making it easier to navigate too.

Since we start so far away, honestly we had no idea how busy the zoo really was. That was of course until we got to the end for the monkeys. You couldn't move...people were everywhere and thank goodness we didn't have a stroller. No was another WONDERFUL trip to the zoo. When we asked Riley what her favorite part was she claimed "feeding the birds." Really it is worth the dollar to feed them (only if you are that early) and get a chance to hold one on your stick.

she liked the snakes

oh the sweet penguins

what a great big brother!Time for the birds....Riley's favorite part!
Take a look at Chris' is about to be attacked!
Nice...and the green one won!

Riley saw these 2 acting funny...they wouldn't move to eat. Where they not hungry?

Nope just looking after their egg, they had tucked in the rocks!

What fun feeding the birds.

Now I see where Chris gets it...they all read the info then looked at the animals!

Ready for lunch!
hold on to that baby elephant....
Look at those elephants! They are huge!

Okay please note the crowd.....this was the crazy part. Now look at what a super big brother Chris is, making sure Riley could see the monkeys!

What a super day at the Zoo!
Ta Ta for now.....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


REASON #2 for loving Wednesdays...right now anyhow!

Alright my friends listen up! Stop what you are doing and read on. I am sorry not to have posted this sooner, but you know I have been busy; and only really remember on Wednesday. First and for most let me answer your question....

What is Red Box?

Red Box is a wonderful new way to rent movies. The movies are ONLY $1.00 per night. It is great plus you can rent them at one site and return to any site. Okay where do I find a Red Box, most locations are at Wal-Mart, McDonald's, but recently our Walgreen's has begun to have the machine too. Now you may be surprised when you walk up...Yes it is a vending machine (go ahead and reread for clarification). You simple push the touch screen and pick the movie you want. Swipe your credit card (I recommend registering on Red Box...that way your email and stuff is programed in), and wait as the vending machine pops out your DVD. How long can you keep it for? You may keep it till 8 pm the following night! If you forget it just charges you a whole DOLLAR more....yep only a DOLLAR a night.

Now for the great part: MARCH MADNESS! The whole month of March on Wednesday they give a promo code on their BLOG for a free rental that night. Now last week it was messed up so they extended it through the 1st week of April. Here is were you go (Red Box blog for codes: ) Today I had to scroll down about 3 post to get the promo code. I am always up for free stuff even if it is an old movie I have seen a billion times, still a fun night right? Sorry I didn't' get the info out early this Wednesday, but now you know where to go. Enjoy the FREE FLICK!

Here are my Pros and Cons to Red with most things everyone has some!
  • They tend to get not as many block buster hit movies
  • The machines mess up occasionally
  • The new release sell out FAST


  • GREAT, AMAZING, WONDERFUL customer service!!!
  • If a machine is messed up they will give you free movies galore, I think we got 2 the time the machine was down
  • ON-LINE RESERVATION---you can go only and reserve the movie, that way you don't have to rush out the second the new release is out. Only problem is the credit card that reserves is the only one you can use to pick it up
  • FIND ONE NEAR YOU- if your Red Box is out you can go on-line and see which Red Box has it...then do the on-line reservation
  • The ease of drop off anywhere-this is so amazing. Chris and I can rent her in Fort Worth, but drop off at his parents in Minnesota. Just check on-line and see if where you are going has a Red Box. Movies for the trip, we do this for our drive to El Campo here drop of in El Campo!

CHECK IT OUT, I promise you will LOVE IT!!!!

Red Box site for info about it:

Wednesday night equals....

Puppy School and free movie Wednesday (that will be in a second post). Per any normal Wednesday night we were off to puppy school again...if you will remember back we had a week off, therefore, it has been 2 weeks since class. What does that mean? Well it means Winston should totally rock at all his tricks. Did he? Hum....a few yes, but he is still so social.

This week was great though because Chris was here for class. He missed the last one due to a work trip. He really got a first hand sight of what I meant by Mr. Social Butterfly. We warmed up great, but he wants to lay when we do the sit signal. I just don't get it, I mean really sit seems much easier. Heck who knows, but when you signal to sit, plop down to a lay he goes. That is our current issue.

WEEK #3 Tricks:

  • Lay down- but with the signal higher up, rather than touching the ground

  • Leave it- teaching them to leave something they should not get

  • Drop it- have them drop what ever wonderful "surprise" they have in their mouth

  • Give it- more for when you are playing fetch, or if they have something they shouldn't that you don't mind touching

  • Loose Leash Walk- walking along, dropping "cookies" to teach them to stay close and not want to smell EVERYTHING when on a walk

Of course you still have to practice the other tricks from past weeks....but we are going to fix this sit lay mess. My goal is to have him siting at the correct signal by next week. Then working on the lay. However, the classes are really helping. He does much better at class as far as being social. He does not bark as much, and really loves his friends. When we get to Petsmart he gets all excited. Then when he sees his classmates he doesn't growl, he just runs up and licks them. Tonight we did a fun little activity of pass the pet. I think Winston loved it, well loved the attention any way. You simply pass your dog to your neighbor. Once you get the new dog you love all over it, petting it, talking to it, and just giving it tons of attention. Then we switch the end everyone has had each others pets. Winston really did enjoy it, and it was fun to see which dogs didn't mind. All of our dogs but one, SPIKE, loved it. Spike is a little less social. He tends to only want his mommy. Well off to train for next week. By the end of this Winston will be able to do all the tricks and not be so darn social, or so I hope.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I hope everyone enjoy their St. Patrick's Day as much as Chris, Winston, and I did. Well of course it had to be celebrated with some green beer and Irish Car Bombs. I can't imagine it any other way. We spent our St. Patty's Day with some of our friends. It was a wonderful evening.
Irish Car Bomb #1...

nice ears boys...

Don't you love the look?

Carrie and I

Carrie and Chris

Enjoying the night....

Of course Winston needed some St. Patty's Day beads.....