Archive for April, 2006



Tuesday, April 25th, 2006


I’ve always enjoyed getting flowers. All colors. All sizes. All kinds. It never really mattered. I just love flowers. Surprised? Ha! Look at my scrapbook pages!

Recently, though, I am realizing that there is one kind of flower I really love more than the others. I’ve developed a bias for wildflowers. Put me in a field of wildflowers and my sense of sight will just zing.

Imagine my delight when we walked into Elkhorn Slough and fields of wildflowers bombarded us. Ah. It doesn’t get much better.

Wildflower at Elkhorn Slough


All the Little Critters

Monday, April 24th, 2006

“Oh, look!” Jennifer exclaimed. “It’s a Roly Poly.” She bent down and watched the little isopod crustacean. He could curl up into a ball, but he didn’t. He just walked on and on.

rolypolywhite.jpgWhat is it about small creatures she loves? I’ve been watching and noticing her fascination with small creatures like worms, ants, spiders and butterflies. On our vacation to Elkhorn Slough, Jennifer picked up a Roly Poly and let it climb up her arm. Just today, she came racing through the house to release a spider back outside.

I’m too busy and too focused to notice these little things anymore. They are important, though, and maybe that’s why I smile when I see Jennifer so excited about them. I’m glad she notices. I hope she continues to notice and continues to care.


On to Plan C

Wednesday, April 19th, 2006

Spring break 2006 proved to be a different experience this year. We went from plan A to plan B to plan C trying to make something exciting and fun happen during that week.

  • Plan A: The original plan to visit San Diego over spring break. Plan A fell apart when Merlin hurt himself in March. We didn’t feel we could kennel him so we waited to see if he would improve. He slowly improved but we didn’t want to be far away from home in case he hurt himself at the kennel. Then, as it turned out, everyone got sick and our plans would have included lots of tissues and bathroom breaks.
  • Plan B: We planned two short one-night trips. One would take us north to Marine World and the other trip would take us south to Monterey. Short, overnight trips but not too far away if something happened with Merlin. Our first hurdle was the fact that the kennel was all booked up already. Our next hurdle was the fact that Jackie was very sick. 4 days before Spring break she came down with the flu. She remained tired and weak through the weekend. Then, as it turned out, it rained all week and our plans would have been tainted with buckets of rain.
  • Plan C: Our plans moved to something about as low key as you can get. We make daily plans based on the weather (it rained almost every day) and the health of the family. In plan C we did visit the Lawrence Hall of Science, Sunset Gardens and took a soggy, muddy hike at Fremont Older Open Space Preserve. We filled our days working on items on the “things to do” list, playing games, reading, listening to Bill Harley CD’s and dying Easter eggs. Most days we stayed home, but we did have a eating plan. Each person chose a restaurant and during the week we dined at his or her restaurant. The one restaurant we kinda chose randomly because the weather was nice and they had outdoor seating was Crepes Cafe. The girls really enjoyed the strawberry crepes there. We ate at:

It wasn’t a typical spring break but it was relaxing in its own way.


Decision Made

Tuesday, April 18th, 2006

Another mail day and another letter arrived. But on this day there was an envelope as well. I big one marked from North Star Academy. I held the manila envelope for a moment.

We had been going back and forth about what school to send Jackie to next year when she entered sixth grade. Should we send her to the traditional middle school,h all her friends from Orion would be attending? Or should we apply for North Star Academy, the “academic” school?

I visited Kennedy. I thought it was a good school, but there was nothing that impressed me or made me go “cool.” Jackie also visited Kennedy and the visit didn’t impress her either. I could see why. Although many programs were good, the things they shared with her were not the things that spark her interests. So, she left feeling it would be “okay.”

Mike and I visited North Star. There were things at North Star that appealed to us – enrichment programs, smaller environment, differentiated instruction and parental involvement. All these things seemed to suit Jackie very well. We told Jackie about them and she seemed quite interested in some of the enrichment programs and the differentiated instructions. We were impressed enough to fill out the application, which including test scores, and letters from both Jackie and us.

Appling didn’t mean we would get accepted. Jackie was entering at sixth grade while most North Star students start in third grade. She would have to get one of the spots left open by a non-returning student. There would only be a handful of those spots. It would be a time to wait and see.

I opened the envelope and immediately the words “congratulations” leaped out at me. Jackie has been accepted. I took the letter to the living room with the rest of the family. Jackie seemed pleased but mostly relieved that a final decision had been made.


Dinosaurs Good Dinosaurs Bad

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

“I like the plant eaters,” Jennifer said definitively. “I don’t like the meat eaters.”

Jennifer has mixed emotions about dinosaurs. She likes the plant eaters and thinks they are the good dinosaurs. She doesn’t like the meat eaters, though, and refers to them as the mean, bad dinosaurs.

As we walked through the robotic dinosaur exhibit at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley Jennifer adored the plant eaters and cringed at the meat eaters like the T. Rex.

As we were leaving the exhibit, she said, “I want a picture of the dinosaur.” So, she took me back to the meat eater eating the plant eater. We took the photograph.


As we left she said, “I want you to write about how I like plant eaters and not meat eaters and put it in your scrapbook.” Gotta like her foresight for producing scrapbook material for me!


Need Energy!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2006

While visiting the Lawrence Hall of Science, Jennifer reminded us of the importance of food for producing energy.

As we traveled around the Lawrence Hall of Science, the girls engaged themselves in the displays and interactive exhibits. As time wore on, though, Jennifer became increasingly less interested and more moody. Was she tired? Was the bored? We were almost done. Would we be able to get through it all? I glanced at my watch and noticed the time. 11:45 a.m. Hmmm. I leaned over to Mike.

“I think someone needs lunch,” I said. He nodded.

We left the museum with a cranky 7-year-old who, on the way out of the museum to the car, complained fiercely about the cold weather. After a picnic lunch in the car, we returned to the museum. This time, Jennifer joyfully ran from the car to the museum. Although the temperature had not changed, it was no longer cold outside to Jennifer and she spend the another 2 hours in the museum, mostly in the outdoor part.

What a difference a little energy food can do!



For Better or For Worse

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

Could it be true? Really? Could Mike also be sick?


He has a stomach flu, though…completely different from the rest of us.

In reflection, I guess it is good we didn’t go to San Diego for spring break. A bunch of sickies and Mike on an airplane with stomach flu. Not a pretty picture!


Finding Inspiration

Saturday, April 8th, 2006

Writing blogs, articles, journaling and designing scrapbook pages involve a mysterious creative process. For me, I can be inspired by a word, a photograph, music or any number of experiences.

A title for my blog was not coming instantly into my creative side so I turned to my iTunes. In there, I found an old song by Out of the Grey, circa 1991. (Yikes! Is this song really 15 years old!) As a writer, I’ve always loved this song and its appeal to trusting and watching God’s work in my life…even my creative life. So, this song became the inspiration for my title.


I try to write a rhyme
To reveal my feelings inside
I search with every word
To find the perfect line
But just like a little child
I hide behind a clever line
You take the pencil
I’ve been holding much too tight

And I’m watching
You write my life, Lord
I’m seeing Your hand in all I am
I’m watching You write my life
And learning how to trust

I struggle every day
To finish this my own way
Then try to scribble out
The pain of my mistakes
But You take my hand in time
And You paint a simple line
Erasing each mistake
The pages come alive

And I’m watching
You write my life, Lord
I’m seeing Your hand in all I am
I’m watching You write my life
As only You, only You can
Oh I’m watching
You write my life, Lord
And telling the story of Your love
I’m watching You write my life
And learning how to trust


10-years-old and Waiting

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

I know it’s coming. Maybe it will be a few years. Maybe it will happen suddenly or maybe gradually. Regardless, those years of pre-teen and teenage behavior are coming. I am especially anxious about her relationship with Mike and I. It happens to all teens, doesn’t it? The “I know more than you” and “You don’t understand me” attitude. How will it play out? Jackie won’t like me or maybe she’ll think I don’t have anything worthwhile to say. Or maybe she’ll think I’m a nag or too restrictive. I know it’s coming.


Today I asked Jackie whom she felt she could trust telling anything. She named one friend’s mother, Mike and I. I felt special but told her I wished their were more adults with whom she felt comfortable talking.

“Why?” she asked

I hesitated.

“There may come a time when you won’t want to tell dad or I some things,” I said.

“Why would I do that?” she replied.

I told her about “teen attitude.” She laughed.

“That’s ridiculous!” she said. “You and dad have lived much longer than me. You know more than I. Why would I think I know more than you.”

Sigh. Is there any chance she’ll stay this same girl – loving us and trusting us?

Truly, we can only pray.


Illness in the House

Thursday, April 6th, 2006

Jackie’s fever spiked to 103 degrees yesterday. Jennifer’s been grabbing tissues left and right for a runny nose. I’ve been having headaches on and off. Mike? He appears to be fine. This is good because we really need him to be well right now!

Mike allowed Jackie and I the pleasure of sleeping in this morning even though it is a school day. Well, it was a pleasure to me, but Jackie was very upset when I told her. She had wanted to go to school! A quick check with the thermometer told us that she shouldn’t go back to school. She called the thermometer “dumb” then directed her anger at Mike and I for not letting her go to school.
Statistics. A phone call to the school gained me a bit of interesting information. Not ony has she been sick but 8 other classmates were sick and her teacher was sick as well. So, really, she wasn’t missing anything. Of coarse that didn’t matter to her because she had really wanted to be in school with her friends.