Thursday, December 18, 2008

One of these things is NOT like the others..

Bella and I are visiting Elisa's house for the next week...

Bruce and Elisa got their girls a puppy for christmas and are babysitting her sister until she goes home (Greg and Brooke's house).

I was excited to see how much bigger Bella was since they are all (to the best of our knowledge) the same age; Sadie and Shay are golden-cockers and Bella is a pure golden.

Can you tell which one is mine and which are theirs!?! :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bella's Tricks...

So, I'm trying to train Bella to do all sorts of things. I might have started a few too many, so I'm not going to add anything just yet. But, if you have anything you can think of that would be fun for her to learn, feel free to let me know! :)

Here are her tricks so far:

Shake (shaking hands, not her body)
Lay down
Roll over
and Jump

Some of these need a little more work. I want her to be able to eventually do some of them without the hand signals (especially lay down and crawl... those ones hurt my hands because she scratches them all up). She can sit without a signal now!

It's so much fun to train her, cause she's a lot more motivated by food than my rat was. :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rat Olympics 2008!!!

Well, it finally happened... the semester is now over! I had a great time learning all sorts of things this semester. I'm sad some of my classes are over, but happy that I get a 3 1/2 week break before starting another BUSY semester! :)

Yesterday morning we had our Rat Olympics! I was pretty nervous and figured Splinter wouldn't do much of anything under pressure (mostly because of the people standing around and all the noise). We started the hour getting Splinter all warmed up...

There was a rat that went through the maze in 16 seconds and I figured we were doomed on that one. We gave him a couple warm up runs through the maze while the teacher checked other tricks. When she came back we were ready. I put splinter at the begining and he made it to the end in 9 seconds!!! No one beat it!

Next Splinter got to show off his Skinner box abilities (pressing the levers for food), he did well with this one too! Each rat had to show the maze, Skinner box and then their special trick. Splinter actually did his special trick! He didn't do it too well, but he did it and I was definately a suprise!

For his special trick, Splinter showed them how he could get up on his wooden platform when we said UP. Then he would stand on the platform real tall when we motioned to him. But his best trick by far was how he can walk. He didn't walk too far, but when I worked with him before he was walking all the way across the table (which is about three feed wide)!

Well, now it's time for Christmas!! I need to potty train Bella and then I'm going to be traveling and visiting family!!! :) Hurray!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Day 2!!!...

Okay, I'm not going to post every day of Bella's life, but I had to post some pictures today...

Well, I went shopping this morning for couple/few hours. I went to four different stores in order to try and get the best deals. Well, after going to get food and a dog carrier I came back with a few extra things! :)

I got Bella a cute sweater and coat, but when I came home I found that they didn't fit at all, so I took it back and got an even better (and bigger) sweater and the same coat, but bigger. :) The coat is a little too big, but the sweater is so cute on her!

Here's her pink and brown coat...

Here's Bella sporting her new sweater...

Here's a side view of the sweater. It has X's and O's all on it.

The fact that some are big and some are small reminds me of Nacho Libre.

Here's her new harness. It's quite large, but I want it to last a long time.

Here is Bella's harness and leash hanging on my wall.

Bella wanted me to stop taking pictures and just play.

She has such a cute puppy face!

She loves playing with the leaves!

I love when her ears flop when she runs! :)

Mom decided to take some pictures of us together!

Last, but certainly not least...

Grandma had a fun idea to put the dog on our horse, so this is for all my nieces and nephews!!! I love you guys!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Meet 'Bella!'...

Isabella Grace

Well, here are her first pictures! :) Sorry it took me so long to put them up!

She is so much fun! I can't wait for you to meet her!

I can't wait for you all to meet her!!! :)
Thanks for an early Christmas present Parents!!! She's soooo cute!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

One more thing...

I just remembered another experience I was going to add to my last post...

Yesterday morning our Principles of Learning teacher came in while we were working with our rats and wanted us to help her solve a problem.

She said that her daughter (age 13 or 14) is in a Home Ec type class and does not like it at all. She has not been doing the homework and has been getting a D in the class. Our teacher doesn't care about that particular class, but doesn't like the grade. She made her daughter give up her phone and said she couldn't get it back until she got at least a C in the class.

Anyhow, now her daughter still isn't handing in homework and she doesn't think she'll be able to pull up her grade. She can't back down, but at the same time she wants her daughter to have the phone for convenience sake.

So, my last piece of advice... choose your battles wisely. When you do pick a battle to fight don't back yourself into a corner like that and then make sure you WIN!

There is nothing more frustrating to a chick (rat, dog, horse, or possibly even a child) than a teacher that isn't consistant!

Thanksgiving break!!!

Well, I am officially on Thanksgiving break! I have loads of homework to do before the break is over, but I thought I'd take today off (being a Saturday and all), especially since I had to take two exams on thursday and one on friday and my brain is a little tired.

Well, in my nutrition class we are just learning about food safety. There's a lot I could say, but it isn't the most exciting use of blogspace. However, if you have any questions I'd love to answer the ones that I can (having taken a similar course three times before now).

The main things I would recommend are:


Every home (especially those with the elderly, young children, or pregnant women since they are the more at risk for getting illnesses from food) should own a simple dial thermometer and use it correctly.


If you enjoy eating cookie dough or cake/brownie batter (especially for those at risk as mentioned above) buy pasturized eggs. These could be used for home made egg nog as well! :) Tis the Season!

Dates on foods ("best if used by" or "best when opened by") are completely ambiguous when the food item is opened (depending on what it is) somewhat prior to those dates; remember that freezers do not kill bacteria, let alone a fridge. So, you count from when you open the item, not from what the date says (unless, of course, the date has passed).

Okay, enough of that....

In my Principles of Learning class we have learned all about reinforcement and how amazing it is in teaching.

Well, we started with chicks. The chicks took a lot of patience! However, once you got a hang of them it wasn't as hard to have the patience.
This is not a picture of my chick, because I forgot to take a picture.

Then we switched to rats. I felt as though I had to learn patience again, but I really didn't. They have more room to roam and so the control is harder to gain. However, once again, you really do get the hang of it.
These are both pictures of my rat. He's doing lots better now days. I got him trained in the skinner box (with pressing levers) and in the maze over the past week and a half! Big progress! :)

We still have the rats, but are also learning about bigger animals. We were able to learn about training horses. They are hard because of how big they are, but it's still pretty much the same process as with the chicks.

We also had the opportunity to help assist the Psych 111 class while they were training their chicks. This was a rather interesting experience! I didn't feel like I was helping to train chicks, but that I was training the students!

In class we took a couple days to watch this movie:

Disney's The Miracle Worker (2000)

If you haven't seen it, you should rent it! They have so much of what I've been learning in my class in that movie (uses of reinforcement, patience, skinner box and all)!!

Okay, now for my last piece of advice (if that's what you can call all this), is to Enjoy the Process! Whether you're training a chick, a rat, a dog, a horse, or a child, you need to learn patience and then enjoy every minute! If you use reinforcement correctly you will save them a lot of frustration and you a lot of time in the long run.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Birthday, Grandma!!!

Yesterday was my grandma Craner's birthday, so I decided to take her a little something. For those of you who don't know, my grandma and I have been talking about how we're "basically on our way to Australia" for the past few years.

Disclaimer: In order to truly appreciate the meaning of the phrase above you will need to have watched this:

...and read this:

Well, for my grandma's birthday I got a grand idea to give her some fake airline tickets for our trip! :)

After searching on the internet for a photo of a ticket and then using my mad 'photoshopping skills' in my very simple Paint program...

WellI hope you all have pleasant dreams of beautiful sunsets and whenever you have a 'terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day'... just remember that I'm basically on my way to Australia too! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Rat has a name!!! :)

So, I realized that I never told anyone what my friend and I named our rat. It's name is Splinter. However, Splinter (from the Ninja Turtles) is an ugly sewer rat and ours is not so much that. I wish I could introduce him to you with a picture, but I keep forgetting to take one with me!

This picture is actually pretty close to what he looks like, only the part that is black in this picture is a little more grey on him. Then where most the others have a stripe down their backs ours has three dots.

He's starting to actually be fun to work with, so I'm excited to see what he'll do!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Conference Weekend!!!

I went down to Provo for conference weekend to spend time with friends. I had a homework assignment to observe a young child at meal time, so Bruce and Elisa let me and three friends come for dinner and then we stayed for a girls night while Bruce went to the Priesthood session! It was fun to be there! My phone stopped working that night and so I didn't get the various messages from Elisa saying that I had forgotten my backpack.

Sunday after the first session I went down to retrieve my backpack and while I was there the girls all dressed up in their Haloween costumes while I went outside to get my camera! :)

It was so fun to see them all!!! What a great and relaxing weekend amid my crazy semester!

This one just makes me laugh, but mostly smile! :)

For the Milk Lover in ALL of us...

I'm still learning super interesting things, but haven't had the time to blog. But, I thought I'd take a moment to discuss Milk! :)

You know the "don't put your baby to bed with a bottle, or sippy, of milk" line that has been passed down through the ages? Well, it's true!

You know how milk is very important for bone growth? Well, if left in your mouth it can also destroy bone growth! These are examples of nursing bottle syndrome:

I don't think this would apply to only infants either... this is why we learn to brush our teeth before bed and throughout the day!

Also, I learned today that calcium and iron fight for the same spot in cells. So, if you (your child) drink too much milk the calcium will win and you could become iron deficient!

"A deficiency of iron limits oxygen delivery to cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance, and decreased immunity. On the other hand, excess amounts of iron can result in toxicity and even death" ( anyone could think that the WORD OF WISDOM was not inspired is beyond me! We've seen many instances since Joseph Smith received that revelation where science finally came around to explaining why such a 'diet' is good. :)

For example:

Doctrine and Covenants 89
10 And again, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man—
11 Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with aprudence and thanksgiving.
12 Yea, flesh also of beasts and of the fowls of the air, I, the Lord, have ordained for the use of man with thanksgiving; nevertheless they are to be used sparingly;

Science has found that calcium is found in milk products, green leafy veggies, almonds, fish (with bones), legumes... And the found that Iron is in red meats, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, dried fruits, grains...