Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fine Dining

Dan & I were treated to dinner at a fine restaurant tonight. We were served leftover pasta salad with fresh grapes, iced tea, and homemade ice cream for dessert.

We were even encouraged to enjoy a romantic moment. (It's not often we get permission to do this!)

But the pinnacle of the evening was the amazing service we received. Isn't our waitress the cutest?

The Argument

Dayna won the "Young Author's Award" for her class. This was the second year in a row. She was invited again to recite her story for the Fine Arts Festival. Enjoy!

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Dayna's First Piano Performance

Dayna recently performed at the Ashland Fine Arts Festival. This was her piano entry, and her first ever performance in front of an audience. Unfortunately, for an Arts Festival, they didn't think to put a light on the piano.

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Happy Birthday, Aunt Sharon

This post is a little late. On March 9, we spent the day remembering my Aunt Sharon. She would have been 70 years old. It's been almost 8 years since she left us and joined our Savior.

In the final 3 years of her life, we packed in so many memories together. I do not regret one moment spent with her. One of my favorites was a trip (my first) to the Amana Colonies with my aunt, cousin, mom and myself. I was instantly enamored with the quaint villages, the family-style German meals, and the shopping.

Since that first visit in the Spring of 2001, I've been back at least once a year. In that time, we've seen a lot of things change. Our favorite restaurant has closed (this caused no shortage of grief in our stomachs.) Some of our favorite shops have moved on. And Rose's Place...the B&B we stayed in on that first trip...is for sale.

But other things are the same: The Kitchen Sink is still my first shop, the brewery still has tasty brews (according to Dan), Amana meats and cheeses are still a tasty dinner after a day of shopping, the fudge at Fern Hill is still amazing...and those little villages have a way of lightening my heart and my wallet.

No matter how much time passes, and how many different people I explore the Colonies with...the Amanas will always belong to Aunt Sharon in my heart. And I'm thankful for every memory.

Thank You, Netflix

The 70's and 80's gave us so many memorable television moments.

Remember the Huxtables?
Or Mrs. Garrett and the girls at boarding school?
Or the Keatons and their son Alex P. (oh...how I swooned over Alex. P Keaton as a youth.)
Or Mr. Drummond and the family that broke so many barriers.
Well...few of these favorite shows are available to watch on Netflix. But Dan & I have been enjoying catching up on The Wonder Years. The innocence of young love and adolescent friendships. (I'm proud to say I'm still close to my best friend since middle school.)

Now...I'm not complaining. Netflix has a LOT to offer. And now that we don't have cable, I'm thankful for the options.

But somehow...I've become a widow to another classic show:


Captain Kirk? Could you kindly beam yourself back to the Enterprise? I kind of miss my husband :)

Endangered Species

Dayna was visiting with her Nana the other day (my mom) who was telling her about a recent visit from Grandma and Grandpa Wilson (Dan's parents.)

Dayna, having never referred to them as "Grandma Wilson" or "Grandpa Wilson" was a little confused, and thought Nana was talking about her Great-Grandparents.

When Dayna's confusion cleared, she exhaled a large sigh of relief and said, "That would be weird...because Great-Grandma is extinct."

I'll Love You Forever...

...I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living,
My baby you'll be.
These are the words that echo through a favorite book in the Wilson house.

Forever.

That's a really long time. It's irrevocable.

I find it curious that on two different occasions this week, by two different children (one in first grade, another in fifth) I was asked if I would ever give my daughter back.

The first time I was asked, I must have looked dumbfounded. I asked her to explain. Her thought process was that if my daughter was adopted, and she came from China, could she ever be naughty enough that I would send her back.

I simply couldn't fathom where these thoughts would come from. But this is a highly impoverished community, and adoption is not something they understand. The closest they come is their experience with foster care and being shuffled between homes.

I so desperately wanted to share with them the grace of God...how He is my Father forever. Nothing I ever say or do can make Him stop loving me or make Him stop being my Father. The same goes for my love for my daughter.

Now, I don't want to make light of the heart-breaking decisions many families do face...when adoptions are disrupted. I do know that there are times when it's just not working...and having prayed with and for friends who have faced this, I have an amazing amount of compassion and know they did not come to the decision quickly or in a flash of anger.

But looking in the eyes of the two girls who posed these questions to me...I have to wonder what kind of stability they face to consider that a mother would ever stop loving her child.

Humor?


So this picture has been floating around Facebook lately. The picture is hilarious. But the caption? I fail to find the humor in it. I ran across another similar "joke" about adoption a few nights ago and couldn't hold my tongue (my fingers?) I typed what I hoped was a comment giving food for thought about the appropriateness of such "insults." (I mean really...is an adopted child any less a member of a family than a natural born child?)

In my new community, I teach an unusually high number of broken children, many in foster care. I can't picture myself looking any one of them in the eye and saying, "Can't you take a joke?" after insinuating they have less value because they are adopted.

The responses to my comment were quite interesting. Many people seemed to agree...the original comment really wasn't funny, nor was it in good taste. Those responses were polite, and simply stated a shared opinion. But the comments that disagreed? I won't even repeat the vulgarities that were directed to me. (Apparently I don't have a sense of humor.) They were spiteful and hateful.

Ah! The joy of being able to hide behind the anonymity of the internet and vilify people you don't know.

It saddens me that so many people can't live in a society anymore where differences of opinion can be thoughtfully shared without resorting to obscenities and name calling.

I decided to end my day by turning off the computer and snuggling with my little darling...giggling quietly while she was sleeping over all the funny jokes she likes to tell. I guess I do have a sense of humor, after all.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Worms

I was transported back in time this morning. It's spring break, so of course it's been raining all week (not that I mind...reminds me of Oregon.) I decided to dig out the old running shoes this week, and I'm starting over with Couch to 5K. Today was week one, day two. (Gotta get some of these pounds and inches off before my 20 year reunion this summer...not that I'm that old!)

This morning, the skies cleared and the sun was peeking through. The daffodils are up, the tulip trees are in full bloom, some tulips are starting to pop out, and I even saw the beginnings of some lilac blossoms (I actually smelled them first.) The wet grass was glittering in the sun, and the streets were just wet enough to make it feel cool and spring-y.

But the sight (and smell) that really took me back to my youth...those days when I first discovered running on the Damascus Middle School track team...were the worms.

Worms. Worms. Everywhere worms. I could smell them, I could see them, and I tried not to feel them slipping under my feet by some artful dodging. I'm glad I didn't break an ankle in the attempt.

Ah! Spring...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's National Pig Day!

Things I've learned from pigs:

Why exercise when you can accessorize? (and orange goes with everything.)

Take some time to splash in the puddles. Cute rain boots help.
There's always time for tea.
If you can't find some roses, take some time to smell the daffodils.
Everyone could use a hug now and then.