Saturday, May 31, 2008

Behavior Chain 1

A local service dog trainer puts her golden, Maisie through a behavior chain.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Red Being Red

I read recently that Greyhounds sleep for 18 hours out of every 24. For Mr. Red dog, I believe it is more like 23.5 hours out of every 24. Tayja calls him the "laziest dog in the world."

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Tayja 's Summer Plans

We try to go to the park a couple times a week, even when it is cold and or rainy.

We'll hit some tennis balls, toss some (soft core) baseballs and Tayja will work on her batting a little bit. Sometimes we play catch with a nerf football or dribble a basketball or kick around a soccer ball. We spend 10 minutes on something that is easy for Tayja and then switch to something hard for 5 minutes then do something easy (that is different than the first thing.) Then we'll work on the same hard thing again for another 5. We'll end with something extra fun - which could be just running around being goofy.

This summer, along with the weekly Kempo karate class in June and July, Tayja will attend a tennis camp (June), a basketball camp (July) and a multi sport camp (August). The camps are a low key, week of 1 to 3 hour sessions (depending on the camp) put on for her age group by the local parks and rec department. The multi-sport camp covers fundamentals of soccer, baseball and basketball. The camps are very affordable and run from $48 to $109 for the week.

She will also be a member of a track club for K to 3 rd graders that meets for 90 minutes twice a week for six weeks (June - July). She has asked to take a Tae Kwon Do class later in the summer (Aug) when track club ends. (We went to a Tae Kwon Do school's open house last weekend and the kid got to try a couple of classes and broke her first board. We will not however be enrolling in that school. They wanted us to sign a THREE YEAR contract for classes at $600 a year - for a six year old! Our Parks and Rec does TKD for $6.00 a class!)

This may sound like a lot. Last summer she attended a all-day (9 to 5:30) day camp the entire summer 3 to 5 days a week and spent much time there watching movies or playing video games. It was good for her in that she was new to the school district and got to make some friends before school started. I worked *a lot* last summer. This summer I will work much less (only on Mondays and some Fridays) so she'll go to day camp once, maybe twice a week.

We plan to do a lot of stuff together this summer including learning primary Latin (a review for me), sign language and the times tables - and review addition and subtract facts. We'll get back into our twice weekly trips to the library where they have a boat load of free stuff to do with your kid.

She and Roxana plan to work their way through the dictionary as Tayja thinks that she'd like to go to the national spelling bee. Tayja is always asking that someone give her a word to spell or trying to give you one to spell. Her all time favorite movie is Akeelah and the Bee, a movie about an inner city girl who goes to the national spelling bee. We took Tayja to see her own school's spelling bee. She and Roxana, had a blast. I, on the other hand, was bored spitless.
It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Cheryl Zuccaro

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Kidlet Sparrs and Gets Her Yellow Belt

Kidlet sparred for the first time and was promoted to yellow belt.

I asked her if she liked sparring. She said, "No! I LOVE it! And I got all the points!"

Of course she smiled her way through the entire match.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Tayja Waters Her Plants

Photo by Roxana Saad

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nest Lake

Photos by Roxana Saad

Tayja and Roxana visited Nest Lake in Spicer, MN for Memorial Day. Nest is a moderate sized (945 acres) lake located in Kandiyohi County. The maximum depth is 40 feet.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Tennis with Tayja

There isn't a ball in the picture because I can't serve to Tayja and take photos at the same time. She was very patient with me.

My garden

This is my veggie garden. I have pumpkin, sunflower, eggplant, artichoke, peppers, cucumbers, radishes, potatoes and tomatoes. Tayja started the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in school. We will also plant some sunflower seeds along the fence across the bottom of the back yard.

photos for May 23

Who parked in front of our house? Do you have a tennis ball?

Raw chicken wings. The breakfast of champions.

I love the white of the crab apple blossoms against the cloudy MN sky.

Thursday, May 22, 2008