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Christina M. Currie's Touch of Spice column appears Fridays in the Craig Daily Press. E-mail her at director@craig-chamber.com

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Christina Currie: NFL blues

To some, it's a shift in the air that blows dryly through the trees, smelling of melancholy.

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Christina Currie: An element of faith

I was pretty excited when the movie "The Velveteen Rabbit" arrived.

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Christina M. Currie: Priorities

I don't find it difficult to find something (or 1,000 somethings) to occupy my time on a construction site, but my children do.

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Christina M. Currie: Car talk

We currently have two houses, and my children, Lord help them, live in the car.

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Christina Currie: Time to hide the remote

I don't know if it's the news reports or the fact that my girls listen to adult conversations a little more closely than they should, but for being 7 and 8 years old, questions about finances come up a lot more often than I really expected at this point.

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Christina M. Currie: Money matters

We have undertaken the overwhelming process of remodeling two houses - one for resale and a new one to call home.

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Christina Currie: Getting motivated

I attended a high school assembly not too long ago and was shocked by the amount of side conversation, obvious indifference and general lack of respect that I saw.

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Christina M. Currie: Taking a gamble

Drive to Hayden, jump on a plane and spend three blissful days in Wendover, Nev. It was the perfect way to escape - for a short while - the mud season doldrums.

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Christina M. Currie: Worth the cost of admission

Being in the audience of an elementary school production is painful.

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Christina M. Currie: Smarter than a 3rd grader?

My father has a theory that I recall often. If you think you're sick, you will be.

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Christina M. Currie: Puppy love

There was only one way to say it. We officially were white trash.

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Christina Currie: Love is in the air

Eight-year-old Katie and 7-year-old sister, Nikki, were fighting in the bathtub. It was one of those "he said, she said" type of arguments that are hard to get to the bottom of because everyone denies culpability.

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Christina M. Currie: Yes, Virginia

It's happened. I'm losing credibility. And who's beating me? Whose words and experience mean more than mine? Pretty much anyone between the ages of 8 and 10. I have to say, I'm a little hurt.

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Christina M. Currie: The art of not listening

If you want to learn anything about kids, you don't ask, "How was your day today?" You don't ask, "What do you think about that?"

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Christina M. Currie: Turkey and urinal cakes

It's the same every year.

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Christina Currie: Dating games

My daughter is 8 years old. She's in third grade.

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Christina M. Currie: Communication breakdown

When gauging the workforce readiness of new employees, employers interviewed by the Partnership for 21st Century skills listed oral communication as the third most desirable skill and written communication as the ninth. And, those same employers said those are two skills that most high school and college graduates are lacking.

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Christina Currie: Sugar and spice, that's my girl

They say that girls are sugar and spice and everything nice. Boys, on the other hand, are snips and snails and puppy dog's tails.

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Christina M. Currie: It's all a learning experience

I'm so glad my children are back in school and can experience the joys of recess.

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Christina M. Currie: What's in a word

I know now why Bill Cosby thought that the things kids say were worth a 30-minute time slot during prime time. Their innocence and the fact that they haven't developed many filters between their brains and tongues is often amusing, sometimes embarrassing and almost always worth listening to.

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Christina M. Currie: Hide and, well ...

It's been quite the interesting week.

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Christina M. Currie: I think it's called displacement

Puppy preschool ended with our little one lying comfortably under my chair, not barking at other dogs or pulling to get free.

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Christina M. Currie: Liar, liar

Children are such bad liars.

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Christina M. Currie: A walk to remember

I've mentioned before that I think the skills I'm learning to train our new puppy would translate nicely into training children (and men).

Christina M. Currie: Double the fun

For the first five years of my daughter Nikki's life, she shared her birthday with her sister, older by 14 months.

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Christina M. Currie: DVD player handy on the road

Even with these gas prices, when you're planning an 800-mile car trip, your biggest concern is how to keep a 6- and a 7-year-old fully occupied.

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Christina M. Currie: The name game

Even in the most surprising circumstances, people have nine months to get used to the idea of having a baby. I have to say the closest I've come to that type of commitment and responsibility - outside of my own children - was getting a puppy.

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Christina M. Currie: An addition to the family

I'm not sure what the motivation was - to give my children something to do or to get a semi-unruly dog trained - but when a friend suggested that one of my girls participate in some agility training using her dog, I had to think about it for a few days.

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Christina M. Currie: Truth behind the mask

I continue to be amazed by how creative hotels are when it comes to those little extras that make you remember your stay.

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Christina M. Currie: Law and order

Two weeks ago, I was in Florida, laughing with glee as I saw pictures of home where cars were covered in eight inches of snow.

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Christina M. Currie: The original copycats

Even her teachers comment, 5-year-old Nikki writes her name very well. Sometimes I am surprised. Sometimes I am not.

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Christina M. Currie: Taking a world view

Again with themes. Maybe it's just me, but I'm still seeing connections all over the place.

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Christina Currie: Worrywart

What amazes me sometimes is how a specific theme works itself into your day. I often find myself talking about one thing in the morning, only to have the topic come up in several different ways throughout the day.

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Christina M. Currie: Seven days of wonder

I'm five days into a seven-day stretch without kids.

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Christina M. Currie: Our little secret

Alright. Who told? Seriously. Clearly, there has been a breakdown in communication. I will try to explain so that there's no confusion in the future.

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Christina M. Currie: The simple life

I haven't decided yet whether children oversimplify things or whether adults complicate them.

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Christina M. Currie: Tis the season

Love is in the air. At least, for my 6-year-old and 7-year-old daughters, it is.

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Christina M. Currie: When push comes to shove

I've decided that the way to judge the quality of a parent is by evaluating how they handle a good, old-fashioned temper tantrum.

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Christina M. Currie: The blame game

It is oh-so tempting to establish yourself as all-seeing and all-knowing when it comes to the way you want your children to perceive you. I'm telling you now, it will come back to haunt you.

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Christina M. Currie: Dream job, sort of

I want a job where I only have to work seven hours a day, 177 days a year. I want between three and six breaks a day. I want to be able to show up regardless of my performance and have a myriad of counselors and specialists at my beck and call ready to help me succeed. I want lunch to be delivered to me and cost no more than $2.

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Christina M. Currie: Baby blues

I've seen studies that indicate the need to nurture is genetically ingrained in those with a female chromosome, and I've seen that need reflected in my two girls.

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Christina M. Currie: Educating the uneducated

I have some questions about the value of educational programming. I mean, I learn a lot, but all my children learn is how little I actually know.

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Christina M. Currie: Bed bugs are the least of my worries

Seven-year-old Katie has a hard time focusing.

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Christina M. Currie: Belly up to the bar

My father and uncle have some property that's ideal for family gatherings.

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Christina M. Currie: The biggest turkey

Twas the night before the last day of school before Thanksgiving break and all was quiet in the house.

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Christina M. Currie: Pass-fail parenting

I'll give teens a warning now: There will never be a time when you don't dread parent/teacher conferences.

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Christina M. Currie: It's all about presentation

It's been a long time since I've checked the score in the nature versus nurture debate, so I've got no idea whether genetics or environment are ahead.

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Christina M. Currie: Sweet tooth

Ever since 7-year-old Katie had the miraculous discovery that her two front teeth were lose, part of our bedtime ritual includes me wiggling them and then predicting when they'll fall out.

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Christina M. Currie: Paying the price

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it'll cost me more than $500,000 to feed, clothe, transport and care for my two girls. That's assuming they move out they day they turn 18, and that doesn't include any college-related expenses.

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Christina M. Currie: Memory makers

One of my fondest childhood memories is of a late, late night coughing so much that I couldn't sleep, but barely aware that I was awake. I remember my father coming in with cough syrup.

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Christina M. Currie: Meeting responsibilities

I was not quite 22 when I got my first taste of the role meetings play in how society functions. I can't imagine sitting down and trying to calculate just how much of my time since then has been spent in meetings.

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Christina M. Currie: Like pulling teeth

When I told Katie that she would have to be 6 years old before she would start losing her teeth, she couldn't wait to turn 6. On that blessed day, I woke her up singing "Happy Birthday" and told her she was 6 years old.

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Christina M. Currie: Consequences: Everyone has 'em

I'm a fairly logical person, which puts me at a distinct disadvantage with children. Like most adults, I like to progress from point A to point D via B and C.

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Christina M. Currie: Good deed gone bad

Touch of Spice

I have to admit that my resolution to become Super Mom this school year hasn't ... well, let's just say I've had my off days.

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Christina M. Currie: Little devils

Seven-year-old Katie was excited to open her folder to show me all the work she's done as a second-grader. Considering the fact that I made her redo all the problems she missed on her math assignment, I doubt she'll be as forthcoming in the future.

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Touch of Spice: Animal house

Ever since I couldn't keep a strong grasp on the foot-long water snake startled awake by the lawnmower, the girls have bemoaned the fact that they don't have a pet snake, belittled my snake-catching skills and basically called me a sissy.

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Christina M. Currie: Busy bodies

"You're the best mommy ever!," 6-year-old Katie said while giving me a hug.

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Christina M. Currie: Family ties

The Fourth of July has always been a special holiday for me and my girls. They really love Christmas and birthdays - you know, holidays when they get presents - but Independence Day, despite its lack of gifts or cake, is special to them.

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Christina M. Currie: The kindness of strangers

Touch of spice

On Sunday morning, I was patting myself on the back for hosting such a successful camping trip.

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