Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fergus: The Artist?

Fergus is totally a puppy.  You can't walk without having a little head attached to your shoe.  He is always ON. Full speed. 100 miles an hour. OR he is off. You know, in a puppy coma.  Every day when he wakes up he is SO happy!  Every day is the BEST DAY OF HIS WHOLE LIFE!  Every food is the best food he has ever tasted, even if it is just dirt.  You have to admire that puppy attitude.  If we could ALL be that happy, think how awesome our world would be.

And puppies are not scared to try new things, either.
Fergus is willing to do anything. 
Make a break for the street?  Sure!
Climb in the tub to try and get the water off your feet after your shower?  Sounds like fun! 
Attack that plant in the flower bed?  Awesome!
Bark at the strange puppy in the mirror?
Arf!!  Arf!! Arf!! Arf!!
Jump from the couch to the coffee table?  Yeesssss... Ouch.
Try jumping from the couch to the coffee table again?  Okaaayyy...  Ouch! 
Try jumping from the couch to the coffee table again? 
No, Fergus!

So when I noticed his recent interest in the arts, I tried to encourage it, while also keeping a close eye on him.  One man's paintbrush is another dog's snack.

He helped Jessa work on her poster for Student Council:

And he is totally willing to try any medium. 
Pencil on the poster board, of course.

Markers are always a fun choice.

Or colored pencils:
He seems to like yellow.  Bright and sunny, like his personality.
 And then there are crayons, these are his favorite...

Y'all, I couldn't figure out where he was getting these tools for his "artwork."  I would come home and there were crayons bits of crayon all over the place. 
He is carefully choosing his color.  Is it pink enough?  Too pink?  Is it Blush or Bashful?

So one evening, I found him chewing on a crayon.  I know I should encourage him and nurture his gift, but I hate when he devours his tools, so I took the crayon and threw it away. 

He was not the least bit upset.  So when he walked away, I followed him and discovered his "stash."  A cup of writing and coloring utensils from Spencer's desk had fallen.  They were spilled everywhere on the floor under his desk, but the chair was pushed in!  I couldn't even see the tools, but Fergus could.  I would take one away, and he would simply go back to his hidden treasure and choose another color.  I have now moved the utensils.  I am trying to control how much of his time he spends creating.  I want a well-rounded puppy, after all.

Now, when he got out the paintbrush, I had to draw the line at fetching him some paint.
This is not staged.  I promise!

Before I close, may I take this opportunity to give a shout out to Crayola for keeping it real, keeping it colorful, and most importantly, keeping it non-toxic.

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's all French to me!

Ever since I was little, there have been little bits of German sprinkled into conversation.  You know a "danke" here or an "auf wiedersehen" there.  And my parents NEVER said "Bless you" when we sneezed.  Nope, we were firmly in the "gesundheit" camp.

And of course all of these common German words were reinforced when David and I lived in Germany.  We added more phrases and words to our repertoire.  I even have this sign on the back of our front door:
We like telling people "bye" in German without saying a word.

The kids, especially Jessa, LOVE to hear stories about Germany and see pictures of places we visited.  Jessa loves to eat brotchen and feel like she is a cool German kid!  And even though they both take Spanish in school, we still use lots of random, broken German at home.  "Want some milch with your cereal?"  "Set the table, bitte."

So Jessa took this little thing we do to school.  When her teacher would hand back a paper, she would smile and say "Danke."  Her teacher was intrigued.  She asked her what did it mean.  Jessa told her "Thanks" in German.  So her teacher asked her, "How do you say, 'You're welcome.' in German."  Jessa told her "Bitteschön."  Other children sitting near her heard this.  Other children started saying "Danke"  and the teacher started saying "Bitteschön."

Now, I think that is pretty neat, don't you?  Our little trendsetter!  Teaching her teacher and classmates a little bit of German.  And they must think she is pretty cool to want to emulate her.  Isn't imitation the highest form of flattery??

The other afternoon, Jessa says, "Mom.  Do how do you say thank you in French?"  I thought for a minute and said, "This is more Daddy's area, but I think it is 'Merci'."  She said, "Oh, OK, Mom.  Do you know how to say "You're welcome in French?"  "No, honey.  I know how to say it in Spanish."  She looked disappointed and said, "I don't need Spanish."  I didn't think much of it.

A day or so later, Jessa asked, "Mom, do we have a French and English dictionary?"  I told her, "No, I don't think we do, honey, why?"  "I just wondered," she said.

The next day, she asked me again.  So I finally said, "Jessa!  What gives?  Please tell me what you need it for."

She looked pained and said, "Well, Mom, now everyone around me is saying thank you and you're welcome in German."  I said, "Uh, OK, and?"  And she paused and said, "Well, now it isn't special anymore.  Everyone is doing it.  So I was thinking about starting to use French to say thank you and you're welcome.  Then I will be special again."

Bless her heart!  I tried to convince her it was super cool that she started something neat in her class.  And to be proud of herself for teaching everyone something new.

She wasn't hearing any of it.

So here's to our special girl!

I may need to start learning some Mandarin to keep up with her.
How much is Rosetta Stone again?