Friday, July 31, 2009

Daddy Time

Dayna & her daddy have been working on "projects" in the garage this week. I love how seriously Dayna takes the process of marking and measuring. What precious time for them to spend together.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

10 Reasons I Love My Daughter

1. That face...seriously, how could you not love it?

2. The bridge of her nose between her eyes...the most kissable place in the world!

3. She is so stinkin' funny. We must be laughing dozens of times everyday at something she says. She's not even trying to be funny, and her "mad" little face when we laugh only enhances the effect.

4. She's incredibly clever. Her imagination is amazing, and her vocabulary is filled with very large words for a four-year-old.

5. She's so compassionate. When she was only 16 months old, she witnessed a nurse give me a flu shot. I thought she was going to take out the nurse. She doesn't want ANYONE hurting the people she loves.

6. She's very helpful. Our newest game is "10 Things". It's very easy to play. She has to pick up ten things. She asks if she can pick up 12 instead. She helps fold and put away laundry. She helps fill the washer and flip the wet clothes to the dryer. She hands me clothespins when we hang stuff outside. She helps put dishes away. It's not just a preschooler trying to's truly helpful!

7. Who doesn't love their baby when they're fast asleep after a long day? She's so peaceful and makes the cutest little snuffling snoring noises.

8. She is a great musician. She sings in tune and has some pretty musically intuitive improvisations. She tells me several times a week that she wants to be a music teacher someday!

9. She's a good traveler. This is important in a family that loves to take road trips. She can entertain herself in the back seat.

10. She loves Jesus. With all her heart.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

10 Things I Love About My Husband (in no particular order)

1. His unconditional support of my working part-time outside the home. He finds money for me to travel to conferences, and often accompanies me to those conferences. He writes piano accompaniments for my programs. He goes shopping with me for school supplies and gets out his power tools and computer expertise to find ways to make my classroom experience easier.

2. His helpful spirit in our home. We work so well together. What takes me 3 hours to accomplish seems to only take 20 minutes when he's helping. Floors get mopped, dishes get done, laundry gets folded.

3. His work ethic. This was something I always admired about my dad. I'm so thrilled to see it in my husband as well. It seems the man never stops. He leaves for work shortly after 5 am, returning shortly after 5 pm. He finds projects to do at the house. On his day off, he traipses around town with the family going grocery shopping and to Sam's Club.

4. His sense of humor. Dry. Very punny. We love the same movies and television shows. One of us can simply say a few words from a favorite scene, and we both erupt in deep belly laughter. Every time.

5. He's an amazing Daddy. Dayna has been Daddy's Girl from the beginning. He knows when to wrestle and play, but also when to be authoritative. He can get Dayna to take on responsibilities and think they're a game. Just last night I saw her toodling up and down the sidewalk on her tricycle while he was working in the garage. I couldn't hear what they were saying, but could tell that they were just "visiting".

6. His talent and knowledge of music. He'll hear a piece of classical music on the radio and identify it's key, composer, form and which movement we're hearing. He's usually right. He listens to the same music I do (which is a wide variety of genres) and is usually in the mood for the same kind of music I am. I love to play duets with him, and we don't do that nearly often enough.

7. His eyes. 'nuff said.

8. His do-it-yourself mentality. Most of our home repairs, car repairs, toy repairs, etc. are done by Dan. He doesn't always know how to do a project, but he will research it until he does. Very few things are hired out to professionals.

9. He complements me. My weaknesses are balanced by his strengths. When I have nothing left to give, he steps up to the plate.

10. His faith. Definitely the most important one on this list. His faith is unwavering. Solid. Quiet and unassuming, but uncompromising. I can't think of anyone who doesn't like my husband, which makes him dependable and approachable. His faith is not a secret, and many people are drawn to him who wouldn't talk to other Christians.

I love you, Dan!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Do the Right Thing

We had some houseguests this week. I can't begin to tell you how proud I am of Dayna. One of our guests was a two-year-old cousin who had a hard time taking turns and sharing. Not that this is one of Dayna's strong points...but, this girl never ceases to amaze me.

Toward the end of our guests' visit, the little girl was not taking turns with Dayna's small Magna Doodle toy. A foreseeable struggle ensued, with the two-year-old wrenching the toy away from Dayna, sending her sprawling backwards. Dayna looked at her little cousin, calmly walked into her room and brought back the big Magna Doodle toy. I was prepared for the smug look on Dayna's face for figuring out that she could use the bigger toy. But...Dayna sweetly walked over to her cousin, handed the nicer toy over, and went to play in another part of the room with the smaller one.

Ironic that the very next day, Dayna's Sunday School lesson was about Elijah and doing the right thing when the world around you is doing the wrong thing.

Dayna...YOU GO GIRL!!!! I'm so proud of you!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Be Prepared

On January 15th of this year, Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger successfully landed his troubled aircraft on the Hudson River, with 155 passengers and crewmembers on board. I know, I know...this is old news. I'm writing about it over 6 months after it happened. But here's some food for thought:

Captain Sullenberger made this successful landing, losing no human lives in the process, based on life-and-death decisions he made in the span of a few very short minutes. How was he able to make these decisions? Because he paid attention to an element of his training that he hoped he would never have to use. He knew the prepared him for this life-changing event.

Hhhmmm....could it be that God gave us His Manual to prepare us for life-changing events, present and future, so we'll know what to do? We can anticipate our future and make wise decisions in the present...if only we pay attention to our training and know the Manual inside-out.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

First Race

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

I ran my first 5K this morning. Finished in about 32 minutes (just over a 10 minute mile). My goal was to never stop running...secondary goal which I was too proud to admit was to not finish last. I'm happy to report that I reached both of my goals.

Remembering the girl who couldn't run 3 minutes in place a few months ago. Thanks for giving me the endurance, God!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Farewell, Childhood

Dad built me a playhouse when I was eight. Last week it was time to tell it goodbye. It's apparently no longer safe, and they want to make room to put a small barn in the backyard. Farewell, dear playhouse! Thanks for the memories.

Yes...there's a bed, and electricity, and even a phone!

My dad...the telephone guy, built it on old telephone poles. There used to be a staircase on the left side.

View from the park behind the house.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Traveling with a Preschooler

We're on the home stretch of a 4 1/2 week vacation. Traveling from Ashland, Nebraska to Damascus, Oregon...1,650 miles the "quick" way....with a four-year-old. Over 1,800 on the return trip.

A few ideas that made our trip AWESOME!!!!

1. Postcards, postcards, postcards...we've sent home a few dozen. The picture quality is great, and transcribing Dayna's thoughts will be a fun reminder not only when we get home, but also years down the road.

2. Tickets...she gets a baggie filled with brightly colored tickets each morning on the road. There are enough tickets for every 50 miles. She turns them in as we go and can see that we're getting closer as the tickets dwindle. I also printed a map of every state with a sticker every 50 miles or so. She can "connect the dots" and see our progress.

3. Special treats for every state. I printed a coloring sheet for each state we visit. (Just google "state" coloring page.) She also gets a snack (some healthy, some not so much). On our way out, we had Cracker Jack in Nebraska (College World Series time), trail mix in Wyoming, honey sticks in Utah, potato chips in Idaho and gummy fish in Oregon. For our return trip (a different route), we had cheese curds from the Tillamook Cheese factory in Oregon, apple chips in Washington, potato chips again in Idaho, Rocky Road candy bars for Montana, beef jerky in Wyoming and Corn Nuts in Nebraska.

4. My mom bought Dayna a clipboard and sprayed it with chalkboard paint, threw a few pieces of sidewalk chalk in a baggie, and we're good to go. It also makes a handy desk for all those coloring pages.

5. Games, games, games...a different one for each day. Today we kept track of all our slugbugs. I printed a spreadsheet with different colored boxes at the top. We made a graph (early math skills!) of the colors we saw. Bingo, scavenger hunts...all good ideas. I have a new favorite website:

6. Childrens' music that we can stand listening to...I made a playlist years ago of Dayna's favorite songs from my school's music series. Over 200 songs, no repeats, high quality. This music teacher mom doesn't go bananas with the same 10 songs over and over. When I get tired, she can listen to whatever she wants on her own CD player.

7. If you can splurge (Dayna has generous grandparents who provided this for her birthday), a kidproof digital camera. Who cares if the pictures turn out (you might be surprised how good some of them are)...she entertains herself for long periods of time taking pictures of her animals, out the window, the back of our heads, nothing in particular.

So...what do you do in the car?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Green, aquamarine, beryl, bice, chartreuse, emerald, fir, forest, grass, jade, kelly, lime, malachite, moss, olive, pea, peacock, pine, sage, sap, sea, spinach, verdigris, vert, viridian, willow...

Who knew God would be so inspired to create so many shades of green?

These pictures were taken on a picnic up the Clackamas River.

Where the water is so clear

it reflects God's lovely green.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Anniversary, Dan!

It's been ten years since we said "I do." A lot has changed, hopefully for the better, and we've definitely tried out some of those "for poorer" "for worse" phases. Thanks for sticking by me, Dan! I love you so much.

I'll try to post a wedding picture when we get home.