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March 2012

February 2012 entries

New Addition

Last week, an email came through the school system that a teacher's daughter needed to get rid of a Puggle  -- a cross between a Pug and Beagle  -- puppy because she is moving.  I immediately emailed Mike and asked what he thought, then googled Puggles and found that they are kid-friendly.  Mike was open to the idea, so I contacted the teacher, who then put me in contact with the daughter. 

Fast forward to Saturday morning, when the whole family met Tyson the Puggle.  He is a very sweet-tempered dog.  He's 14-months old, so he's the equivalent of Liam in canine form.  (What were we thinking?!  Oops.  Spoiler Alert.)  

And, Dear Reader, we took him home.

He is housebroken, crate-trained, and though he loves to chew Liam's toys, I think he's a great addition to the Connor family.  I even took him running on Sunday, and he did 2 miles, no problem.  In fact, I think he probably clocks about a 7-minute mile in his natural stride.  (Phew!  What was I thinking?!)

Tyson and ellie


It's Show Time!

I have been singing with three of my friends in an a cappella group, Nothing But Treble,  for a few years now, and we are putting our first concert with a male a cappella group from Williamsport called Black Tie Affair at the Community Theatre League.  We each do a variety of pop/rock music.  The men's group has more members -- double our size, actually -- and a beat-boxer, which is a fun element. 

NbtbtaWe originally scheduled two shows, but they filled up so fast (before advertising even began) that we added a show last night, which was nearly sold out.  Michael brought Aidan and Gabrielle, who have been listening to me practice my part for weeks now.  Every time I was on stage, Gabrielle had a huge smile on her face.  They gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  What a great family!

Some of my students, Austin, Caleb, and Sarah, came to the show too.   And, evidently, they liked what they heard, judging by the way they tried to stow away in my truck with their programs and tickets after the show.  (You can see part of my flowers in the truck bed! haha...I put them down to take the photo.)

Groupies

So, it's Friday.  I'm tired but so very blessed with a wonderful family, talented friends, and great students, and I'm looking forward to another show tonight!


My Students Rock

I know this is a common theme on my blog, but last week, when we had to put Duke to sleep, my students did their best to cheer him up. He arrived at the high school after school, and I had gone home early to be with Liam while Mike took Duke to the vet. Miss Hopkins was bringing Aidan home, and she was also helping a group of students tape a Spanish festival video. The kids' video was great -- it was the Justice League of America, complete with Miss Hopkins as Cat Woman and one of my AP kids as the Human Banana. Clearly, it was a natural step for these kids who knew Aidan was feeling blue to put him in the banana costume, too. Love it!

My Students Rock


Moneyball? Give me a break . . .

Last night, Michael and I watched the movie, Moneyball...talk about first world problems! Those poor baseball players were expected to win games with only $38 million as their budget. And -- I'll admit it!-- I darn near cried when they had to PAY for soda in the clubhouse. Wow. How cruel. I don't know HOW they endured such hardship. Brad Pitt probably had to adopt another kid just to ease his conscience about making that movie.

Honestly...I told Mike, on our Facebook conversation that followed my posting the above sentiments about the movie: Seriously. Imagine this scenario: "OK, Mr. Connor. We are going to give you a classroom of 25 students. If you feel the need, you may trade out students for better performing students. You may also cut students from school entirely if they are not pulling their weight. But we are only going to give you $38 million to pay the students and any support coaches you feel are necessary. We expect them to pass the PSSAs with 'advanced' status at the end of over 100 chances to take the test. Good luck."

Sigh.  We would love such problems!  :)


Breaking the News

This morning, the five of us say down for breakfast, and we told the kids that this would be our last morning with Dukey.  I told them that 10 years ago, when Mike and I adopted Duke, we made a promise to do what was best for him.  And what is best for him right now is to end his suffering. 

I am not entirely sure that Gabrielle "gets" it.  She sort of realizes that Duke won't be home when she gets home from school, but she's primarily concerned with our lack of a dog in the house.  She'd be OK with going back to the YMCA and getting a new dog this afternoon.  She's 5.  That's a natural reaction.

Liam, of course, has no idea what we are talking about.  He's just wonders why Duke hasn't been eating the food he drops from his high chair.

Aidan, on the other hand, at age 7, knows what it means when we say Duke won't be there when we get home today.  He's very sad.  He can't remember a time without Duke.

We lit a blessed candle from the church and asked God to watch over Duke and keep him safe today.

In the van, on our way to school this morning, Gabrielle and Aidan asked me what will happen to Duke once he's dead.   I told them that Duke's soul will go up to Heaven with God and he'll wait for us there.  He'll become a doggie angel who will watch over our lives as he once watched over our house when we weren't home. 

Aquinas be damned.  He obviously never had to explain the loss of a dog to his kids. 

When we called my mom last night, she told us that we once put a dog, Muffin, to sleep on February 13, when I was 7.