Sunday, September 28, 2008

Did You Know?

DR: I watched this video as part of a parenting class at church today. As a parent of young children and as someone who thinks often about the future and appreciates the value of education and diversity, I found the video stunning. Pass it on.

God's love and blessings,
Don, Stacye, and the girls

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Yay Bethie!

Hot off the press! Elizabeth really began walking last night! She just took off around the house, often saying, "Chase you" when she wanted me to follow her. She'd stop on a dime, whirl around 180 degrees and take off the other direction. I was amazed. I told her that she was pretty sneaky, that she was a lot better at this than she let on! She still crawls a lot and doesn't seem real eager for anyone outside the family to see her walk, but I bet this next week or so she'll really be taking off. I also have a feeling that she won't want to walk outside. She seems to want to be really confident before she'll actually do something physical.

In other news, we just rebuilt our computer to rid it of a nasty Spybot32 virus/worm thing. Don, bless his heart, spent two days rebuilding it and stayed up until 4:30 a.m. the other night/morning. He did it for me, knowing that when he's in class this is the only computer available to me.

Hannah loves school. She and I are going on a field trip tomorrow. We'll ride the school bus to Eckert's Farm tomorrow to pick apples. She's so excited about it that she can't even talk about it in a normal voice. She growls like a dinosaur! Here's a picture of her on her first day of school.

Hannah wants me to play with her and we're headed to the library soon, so I'll be a "good mom" and wrap up my computer time! Here's one last picture of Elizabeth trying to become our dinner.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Full of hot air

DR: The third weekend in September, nearby Forest Park (larger than Central Park in New York--believe it) plays host to a "balloon glow" and hot air balloon race. Last year, we went to the race; you can check out our old post about that here.

This year, however, we went to evening-before-the-race balloon glow, where all of the balloonists(?) fire up their...well...their fire. And balloons glow all around. You can walk all around, and under, and sometimes touch the balloons are they are being fired up.

It's an impressive waste of propane, I must say. A conservative estimate suggests it's enough to roast a few hundred million slabs of meat on the grill. I like meat.

And speaking of meat, did you know that the hamburger (and the ice cream cone!) made its world debut at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis? And we've been joyfully clogging our arteries ever since.

Here are some photos from our hot air adventure. Enjoy.

God's love and blessings,
Don and the girls

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Out for a walk...finally!

At 17 months, Miss Bethie is finally, finally, finally taking a few steps on her own! Her first official steps were last Friday evening. We were visiting with friends after a BBQ dinner, enjoying the fabulous weather we've been having. The four adults were talking together and the three kids were downstairs playing. Bethie came crawling up the stairs (she loves "teps") and our friend Autumn was helping her up. Suddenly Autumn wasn't holding on any more and Bethie took three steps to her Daddy! She did it again twice more (to much cheers and applause) and promptly burst into tears and refused to try again.

So we've been taking her outside as much as possible to practice. It finally dawned on us that our apartment is so small that she really hasn't had a lot of practice walking. If she's inside, she crawls and if she's outside, she is carried or is in the stroller. Over the last few days, she has been (mostly) eager and cooperative walking while holding onto our hands. But as soon as we try letting go, she bends her knees and sits on her tush. But yesterday while waiting for Hannah to finish school I was placing enticing objects (my keys! a pencil! my phone!) on a bench and letting her walk about 3 steps to get them. She kept this up for a while and then was done - totally refused to do it again. Can you say "stubborn?" (And yes, she can.)

So we'll just keep trying it and one of these days her brain will figure out that her body's been capable all along and she'll just take off. We'll try to get a photo and post it!

In other news, Don is dropping one class (Pauline Epistles) and replacing it with another. Yesterday was a really hard day for him and he was having a rough time getting all his work done. I think this change will be a good one - we'll let you know.

Hannah is loving her new preschool. Yesterday she got to bring home the "Buddy Bag," containing a Curious George animal and two Curious George books. She gets to take George with her wherever she wants and will tell her classmates about George's adventures tomorrow. Wish I could be there to listen!

Here's reason #105 why you should childproof your house and not let small children play in the bathroom unsupervised! (This was back in June.)

And going even farther back, in case you wanted to know how to dress when going out to get the mail, Hannah and Don will demonstrate (Be sure to note Don's oh-so-cute hat and Hannah's blankie tied around her neck like a cape):

Stay tuned for more fashion tips and walking updates!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

One day at a time

DR: Well, by God's grace, we survived Day One of the Fall quarter. I purposely loaded my schedule heavily on Mondays and Thursdays so that I could have a lighter Tuesday, part of Wednesday, and Friday available to do the significant amounts of reading and writing that I know these 5 1/2 classes will demand of me.

Monday (by choice) is a very heavy day for our family--heavy for me in terms of classes and heavy for Stacye in terms of not having me around to help with our family. My first class begins at 8:00am and my last class ends at 9:30pm. I am in class for nine of those 13 1/2 hours. We we both tired last night.

But it's only nine Mondays, and it does afford me longer stretches of time during the week to get my voluminous reading and writing done, which is a real blessing.

The classes I am taking this quarter include: Pauline Epistles & Acts, Worship, God & Creation, Homiletics I (Preaching), and Theology of Mission. I also have what is called a Lectionary, which is a one-hour once-a-week, one credit class (hence the 5 and 1/2 classes).

There promises to be many moving parts this Fall--lots of diverse reading and papers due throughout the quarter. One day at a time. By God's grace alone.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Love and blessings,
Don, Stacye, and the girls

Sunday, September 7, 2008

D.M., this one's for you!

DR: A friend of ours, D.M. (who has a very active blog of her own), bumped into us at the seminary's Fall kick-off picnic the other night and plainly reminded us, "You need to update your blog!" And then she promptly lamented the lack of iced tea in the beverage coffers, which we jointly affirmed as her empathetic brother and sister in Christ.

So, thank you, D., for giving us the gentle nudge we needed to update our slice of the web. We hope you enjoyed the baked beans, by the way. And indeed, you humble us with your sometimes three-a-day blog postings...we will never measure up to your Royal Blogness. But please know, this one's for you!

And while I'm thinking of it, feel free to mention to your esteemed husband that if it weren't for our professors assigning so much high-fallutin reading, maybe this full-plated sem student might actually get off my theologically-bound duff to do a blog posting once in a while. As if theology was important or something. Geez.

As an aside, I do feel secure in using such a phrase (duff, that is) in this here family-style blog, because "duff" is a theological term, insomuch as God gave us one to sit upon as we read Walther. Who was not a duff. But who likely sat upon his own to write about others he deemed as such. In a theological sort of way, of course. Or it could refer to beer, if you're a Simpsons fan. And I know there are some of those on the seminary campus--Simpsons fans. And duffs.

Well, back to the point of this blog post. Which was...? Oh yes, the need to update our blog with a new post.