Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Special Day!

My baby girl turned 31 today... wow! She is an amazing woman and her father and I are SO very proud of her. Hard to believe she arrived during a blizzard in 1979 in Grand Rapids, MI. After giving us a scare and showing up 7 weeks early, she proved herself to be a very scrappy 5#4oz. bundle of joy! (Imagine Katrina at about the size of your basic small bag of flour!)

This morning we called her on iChat and got to watch her open her gift from us... and it made us SO happy to see her onscreen if not actually in person. So here's to you, Katrina! May your next 31 years be as wonderful, exciting, and blessed as your first 31!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Birthday, Dear Papa!

There are A LOT of candles on the flaming German Chocolate confection! (also, please disregard my finger on the lens in the first few seconds... got a new camera and didn't know where best to hold it right away!- I'll get better at it. I promise.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

"When I Have Fears"

Taught a rather profound poem to my ever earnest seniors this week. This crowd is the AP bunch, the highly motivated ones who plan on building bridges and perfecting cures and doing things that we can only imagine and all by their 30th birthdays.

Well, there was this fellow John Keats, I tell them, and he had watched and nursed his brother through the traumatic illness that was tuberculosis in the 1700's - and he saw his brother die. And by his own 28th birthday, John knew he himself had contracted the illness.. and that his days were numbered. And his response? He wrote a sonnet about it.....
When I have fears that I may cease to be, 
before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain....
Beautiful stuff, really, and John came to a startling conclusion. That fame and love, and things temporal really don't matter all that much in the long haul. That what matters is contemplation of the "big" ideas... like life and death and mortality and immortality.
And today... in amazing clarity... my kids' faces lit up and they got it. They made a connection with our friend Keats, a guy who never saw the backside of his 31st birthday. And it was amazing!

This is why I teach.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love is in the Air

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!
We're sitting here in the family room, watching the snow fly and the Olympics on television. Very cozy and very relaxing.

Had a special treat for Valentine's Day this year... Sydney came to spend the night last night and the morning with us today. Her parents were supposed to go for a night on the town... but it didn't work out that way. Gretchen caught a bug and it made thoughts of going out something for another time. However, our Syd date remained a go and we had a blast. She's so much fun these days. Our big entertainment of last night was going grocery shopping. She LOVES to push the mini-carts that they have at our local IGA... we go "hunting" for things and then we track down Papa with the big cart and dump our treasures into it. She gets all excited at the idea of hunting for cheese and counting out oranges! You'd think we were at an amusement park!

The neatest thing happened last night... an elderly gentleman walked up to Syd and said, "You are such a good helper! I am getting my own granddaughter from China this week... This is for you!" and he handed her a Dollar! Syd, having no idea what money is, just looked at it and handed it to me and we did our "thank-you's" and he moved on into the store.  It struck me as he walked away, how much we take for granted... and made me savor the moment even more.

So here's to a day set aside to love the ones who are precious to us, both near and far. It's commercial, perhaps, and perhaps a tad silly... but it's also and excuse to celebrate love.... hugs to all of you!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

You get an Inch... You Slide a MILE!

Syd came over to play on the sled this morning. Our next door neighbor has a modest hill in his yard that has become the "orientation to sledding" hill for the newest generation of intrepid snowbunnies! (It seems like yesterday this was Gret and Katrina! In fact, we think our sled might be close to 30 years old!) Here's a collection of shots of all the fun a little snow can bring!