Martin Luther King, Jr. and Davey

I work with second graders, and today they went on a field trip to CWU to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.  Their teachers kindly invited me to bring Davey, and I am so glad that I did.   He learned so much.  The college students talked to the kids about Martin Luther King, Jr.  The kids shared what they knew about him, and they asked many great questions.  This was followed by three break-out activities where Davey made a poster, wrote about his own dreams, and talked about respect for others.

This all made quite an impression on Davey.  We talked about MLK on the way to the presentation, and I tried to explain the idea of segregation.  I gave him some examples like Black people had to use separate water fountains, had to sit separately at the movies, and had to go to different schools.  He couldn’t really understand it, but he definitely decided that it was not right.

The students were asked to write about their own dreams as well.  Davey wrote about his dream of being an oceanographer. He wrote that “When I grow up, I will help coral reefs heal”.

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Then today when he got back to school, he checked out a wonderful book written by MLK’s sister called My Brother MartinAfter we read the book, he had to write about it in his reading journal.

Davey usually does not like to spend too much time writing, but tonight he was inspired to write quite abit.  He wrote:

“We are all the same.  They shouldn’t have been treated that way.”

He was also inspired by an excerpt of King’s speech, and he wanted to copy it down:

“I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.  I have a dream today.”

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It’s pretty special to hear that sweet 7 year old voice read Martin Luther King’s speech and to see what an impression these words made on him.

Knitting: Sometimes it’s all good and then there’s Grandpa Davey

I had a chance to knit quite a bit over the break.  I came across a fair isle pattern for a Seahawk hat, and I knew I had to make it for a friend who is a major devoted fan.

It was so fun to knit, and it turned out nice.  The pattern is called the ‘Hawks Hat, and it is a free pattern on Ravelry.

I got Davey to model it for me.

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Unfortunately, now I notice that the above picture shows the end of the round part of the hat so that the nice jog line is visible where I made the color changes.

I also got the chance to catch some different Davey expressions.  It’s funny how varied they are.

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It’s pretty obvious that Davey’s eyes are brown, but I swear that I didn’t know what color they were for the first four years of his life.  They were a mix of blue and brown and sometimes green.  I think they are done changing now.

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I am also in the midst of knitting some socks.  I went through a phase where I knitted a whole bunch of socks, and I grew weary of them.  About three years ago, I got some awesome Signature needles.  I love them, but for some reason the sock project I’d started with them languished in the basement.  I’m kind of on a mission to finish some of these projects (I say kinda because my knitting moods change like the wind, and because of that, I don’t want to commit too strongly) so I got the socks going again.  I think this yarn is a wool nylon mix that I bought at some point somewhere.  I can’t remember.

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The yarn is fun, and the needles are a joy.

So then I was working on another project. It began with mini-me.  I thought she turned out pretty nice.

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So I decided to make a mini – Davey next. It was all going well.  I even made him some little cargo pants, because Davey pretty much lives in cargo pants.

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But then I finished knitting his head, and I started working on the face and hair.  That’s when it all went wrong.

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Davey took one look at the eyebrows and said, “Mama, those eyebrows are for an old person.  Not for me!”  I disregarded his advice, because they really pretty closely matched the color of his eyebrows.

But then, I didn’t stuff the head enough which left him with a rather shrunken appearance.  I could also not get Davey hair going to save my life.  The way I did his eyes also contributed to him having a rather elderly appearance.

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He’s a cute little guy, but he is definitely not too youthful.  I have kinda lost my gumption to continue with this project, so I am moving on for awhile.  Maybe I will come back and redo his head, and then maybe make David.  But if I don’t, that’s ok too.  I hold myself to no rules in my knitting world.  🙂

Celebrations

We’ve done a lot of fun celebrating in the last week.  It began with my birthday.  David and Davey celebrated me well with cupcakes, time together, and gifts.

We continued our celebration (my sister-in-law supports the idea of a birthday week, and I like that idea!) with a short trip to Seattle.

We had dinner at the Crabpot.  Davey tried everything, and he declared it to be the best meal of his life.  He even tried the steamed mussels and clams, and I have to admit those freak me out a little (I didn’t tell him that.  I also don’t tell him that I think celery tastes like dirty feet, because he really likes it!).

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We spent one night near downtown Seattle.  That Davey loves to stay in hotels.  This time he wanted to write a note to the housekeeping staff in order to properly show his appreciation.  I thought this was a pretty nice idea; I have to admit I’d not thought of doing this before, and I stayed in way too many hotels in the 90s!  The picture doesn’t show it, but the top of the page says “From the Pepl” (people).  I liked that salutation.  I wanted to keep the note as a memento, but that kinda defeated the purpose of writing it.  I am glad to have the picture.

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We took Davey to West Seattle to Alki Beach too.  We’d never been there before.  It’s not exactly a huge sandy beach but that didn’t phase Davey.

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He got right in there.  We have got to get that kid to a nice white sand beach.

Apparently you also can watch for whales and other sea life from there.  We looked for awhile, but we didn’t see anything.  It was probably the wrong part of the day (or year!). So I took a picture of David and Davey instead.

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When we got back home, we finished getting ready for Christmas.  We’d already made these cookies.  It’s an annual tradition that goes back to my grandmother when she was a little girl.  Maybe farther?  We just made one batch this year, because it is too easy to eat too many of these almond flavored delights.

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Christmas with Davey is always very fun.  He doesn’t do anything halfway, and this includes his mighty reactions.  Here he is when he saw his first toy on Christmas Day morning.

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He was overcome. 🙂

Happy New Year!

It’s almost Christmas!

It’s been a busy few weeks!  Today was our last day of school (for Davey and me).  We are all excited to have a couple of weeks off.

We’ve had a fun month with lots of fun activities.  This included a CWU craft day.  CWU students had at least 40 craft stations set up in the Student Union.  We could have done crafts all day long if Davey would have wanted to.  He didn’t.  He enjoyed it for a little while, and then he was ready to go.  I think his favorite craft was making a wreath with this nice CWU student.

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One of his favorite activities for the month was preparing for his Christmas program.  He loves to sing, and I loved to listen to him practicing his songs.  One morning he was telling me about a jazzy type song they were preparing.  “Mama, we are supposed to snap.  This is terrible, but not a single first grader can snap!”

He was happy to have a special part for the program.  During one song he got to pretend to play a trumpet at the front of the stage, and he liked this.  There were about 8 million people at his Christmas program.  It was really neat to see so many people there, but David and I were nearly at the back.  Next year we need to get in line about 1/2 hour early.  I was so happy when a very nice friend told me she’d taken a few pictures of Davey.

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We’ve also been busy with Winkie the Elf on the Shelf.  We don’t pretend that Winkie is here to keep an eye on Davey for Santa.  He’s just here to hang out and get into mischief every night.  Every single night.  So every night at about 11 pm, David and I come up with our daily Elf adventure.  So far I am proud to say that I have not resorted to pinterest, but I have a feeling I am going to be going there for the last week.  One night Winkie got confused and thought he could do “kung fu” if he put on Davey’s yellow belt.  Another night, he wanted to get in shape and was doing pull ups on David’s pull up bar.  Davey nudges us in the direction he wants to go with Winkie.  “Mama, I want Winkie to write me notes,” but then from his reaction you’d never guess that he didn’t completely believe that Winkie was getting into trouble all on his own.

One night Winkie got into the candy!

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Winkie is just trouble!

Davey has had a lot of fun at school as well.  They spent the month learning about Christmas traditions in countries all around the world.  Davey shared all that he learned, so it was fun for all three of us.

Yesterday, Santa Claus came to visit the kindergarteners.  While he was there, he stopped by Davey’s first grade class.  It just so happens that Santa knew Davey by name, and he declared that he knew Davey had been a good boy.  After Santa left, Davey’s friends and his teacher asked him if he’d been surprised, and Davey said something like, “Nope, he’s my neighbor”.  We are fortunate to have a great neighbor who is also Santa Claus!

Davey makes celebrating so fun.  My birthday is coming up, and Davey wanted to pick something out for me.  He wants it to be big surprise, so he keeps talking about it “in code” with David.  “Daddy, uh, Daddy, it’s time to go look at the bread at Fred Meyer.  Yeah. The bread.  Let’s go get some bread.”  He thinks this is great fun.

Finally, there were tears the other night after I told Davey the forecast for next week.  He is just beside himself because he does not want what he calls a “Green Christmas”.  “Mama, why won’t it snow?  It’s not fair!  It should snow on Christmas.”  It’s not looking like there is much of a chance of snow right now for Christmas, but I will keep my fingers crossed!

 

Cottonwood Pass and Vacations Past

I have spent the last few days going through about 225 pictures from when I was little.  Mom sent them to me, and they include pictures of our family which date back to 1967, when I was born.  I think there are probably more of our family childhood pictures out there, but this is a good start. I scanned them in, adjusted the color as needed (there was a definite need since there were many aging pictures from the 70s!), and I have now compiled them into a photo book.

Some of my favorite pictures are the vacation pictures.  We went camping somewhere every summer when I was a kid.  We often went to Colorado or New Mexico, and later we went to the National Seashore in Padre Island and to Florida.  One of the things I remember about Padre Island was looking for scallops in the bay.  I’d never known before that time that they had dozens of bright blue eyes.  Our friends, the Leggs, showed us how to scoot our toes along the sand and to feel for those scallop shells.  After we were done gathering them, we returned to our campground to cook them.  That was a memorable trip.  We walked along the beach, tried to avoid those purple man o’war jellyfish, helped the park rangers release baby sea turtles, and made new friends.

My dad is famous for finding things.  We can walk across the same parking lot, and he will come across $10.00 richer, while the rest of us will not have found anything.  When I was a kid, Papa would come home from work and empty his shoes.  He found change every day (we Potters have high arches which allow for the ability to store coins in our shoes).  He’d save all the change throughout the year and then use it to pay for the gas on our trips.

In the picture below, I think we were in New Mexico, where we met up with the friends whom we’d met the summer before on Padre Island.

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We lived in northeastern Oklahoma, and I always loved the drive across western Oklahoma.  In later years, I used to love the drives David and I made from Dallas across west Texas to Colorado.  I have always loved the big open spaces and blue skies.  When I came across the picture below, I shared it, and my dad told me how much he also loved those drives across Oklahoma to New Mexico.

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Then I came across this picture of us on Cottonwood Pass in Colorado.

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I realized that we’d taken Davey across Cottonwood Pass just a few years ago, and we’d taken a very similar picture.  So now I had two pictures. First me with my dad, and then Davey with his. I love this “tie” through time.

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I have come across other family pictures where I don’t really know the stories that go with them, and so I learned some new stories and perspectives from my brother, sister and parents.  I love stories.  It’s primarily why I write this blog. Now that we will all have a photo book of our family pictures, I would love for us to share and maybe write down more of our stories.  Maybe over the next year, we can begin to just jot down some of the memories we associate with the pictures, because we all have different memories and perspectives even about the same picture.

Maybe I can create a new book which includes our written stories.  That would be a very big treasure for me.

Moments to Remember

Each year, on the day after Thanksgiving, our town organizes an event called “Moments to Remember”.  There are activities planned for the entire day. There is a craft bazaar and chili feed.  The downtown businesses declare it to be Plaid Friday, and they have sales. There are Christmas light lightings (that sounds redundant!), caroling, dance recitals, camel rides (last year we saw reindeer), and a cookie scavenger hunt. The kids collect cookie toppings from different businesses, and then they return to a central area where they decorate their cookies.  Davey is not much on crowded spaces, so he didn’t want to participate in the cookie scavenger hunt this year.

One of the best parts is the “Walk through Bethlehem” which is performed at night.  The performers set up along a long alley, and they act out Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.  The Three Kings bring their gifts and sing “Oh Holy Night, (which reminds me that I need to look up frankincense and myrrh and make sure I explained them correctly to curious Davey) and the angels also sing. It ends with one of my favorite Christmas carols, “Joy to the World”.  When the performance opened, there was a line that went all the way around the block so Davey and I went home.  We came back after an hour and got there just in time for the last performance. Davey loved it.  There are goats, sheep, chickens, turkeys etc., along the route.  He likes to see the children who perform as well.

The craft bazaar was at the fairgrounds.  It was not too big, but I enjoyed it.  I tend to stop and chat too much with the vendors, and David and Davey get bored with me.  It’s fun meeting the artists though and talking about their work. On our way home from the craft fair, I took another one of my favorite types of pictures.

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There is a historic building downtown with huge windows, and the local dance groups performed there while we watched through the windows.  It’s really fun, and this year they performed several selections from ThNutcracker.  Davey really enjoyed watching them dance.  He recognized a few friends, and he liked that as well.

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Davey likes to attend all the lightings.  There were three of them spaced out over an hour. First, we went to a lighting at the Fairgrounds.  Then we went to the Safeway parking lot and listened to a choir sing as they lighted the Christmas tree.  Finally, we went downtown (all three of these things are within a mile of each other) and watched them turn on the lights there. The organizers handed out candles, and we sang Christmas carols and listened to the choir sing.

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It’s a fun day, and is just one of the reasons we love living in a small town again!

7

Today Davey is 7.  It’s been quite a year of learning, accomplishments and fun.

When Davey turned 6, he had just started kindergarten. He couldn’t read.  He couldn’t ride a bike and he did not like to even put his face in the water at the pool.  He was probably 3 inches shorter, and he had all his teeth.  He’s lost 5 teeth now.

This year Davey learned how to read, and he has just recently exploded with his reading.  It’s amazing to me how kids learn to read.  Last fall, we were learning sight words, and now he is reading us stories. He also discovered that he really likes Math. He likes to try to add up numbers in his head, and he likes to think about multiplication.  Numbers are quite interesting to him.

He has decided that when he grows up he wants to be a marine biologist, own a cookie store, be a veterinarian, and I think he may have mentioned pediatrician as well.

This year Davey learned to ride his bike.  He’s grown so much that he had to get a new bike which he immediately hopped on and took off.  This led to mastering the scooter, and he loves to go “scooterin'”.

Davey is learning to swim.  When we started swimming lessons at the beginning of the summer, he was very reluctant to put his head under water.  By the end of the summer, he was swimming under water.  He gained so much confidence and found that he loved the water.

He started taekwondo this fall and has discovered that he loves it.  He and David are doing it together which makes it even better.  Davey loves sparring, and he almost has his first form down.  He can’t wait to test for his first belt.

This kid is so curious.  I love that.  We went to the eye doctor, and Davey wanted to know what every machine was and how it was used.  He loved seeing the pictures of his eye and learning about the different parts.  He is curious everywhere we go.  We went to a friend’s house the other night, and our friend has a lot of really interesting objects.  Old record players, clocks, artwork, and Davey wanted to know about all of it.  I learn a lot hanging out with Davey.

Davey is still an outgoing kid who has never met a stranger.  His heart is big, and he always wants to make sure his friends are doing ok.  If there is an unhappy child, Davey is right there to see if he can help.

Davey’s a good boy.  I tell him that he is the best little boy a mommy could ask for, and he kindly replies me that I am the best “medium sized mommy” a boy could ask for.

Happy Birthday Davey!

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Harry and Hedwig – Halloween 2014

This morning Davey asked me what he dressed up as on his very first Halloween.  I was able to easily remember that one.  We dressed him in an orange body suit type thing that had a monster guy on the front.

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Then he wanted to know what he was the next year.  I wasn’t quite sure!  I was thinking Superman, but then I was afraid that I was getting my years mixed up.  Sure enough though, he was Superman (David knew right away when I asked him). This was the first year he trick or treated.

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I had to go back to my blog to remind myself that after that he was Spiderman, Captain America, a Jedi, and Robin.  Thank goodness for my blog.  All that to say, I figured I’d better blog about Halloween 2014!

This year he was Harry Potter.  His aunt and uncle had sent this Quidditch robe earlier in the year.  He has had a lot of fun with it.

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They also sent Hedwig the owl who accompanied Davey on his trick or treating.  Not a great picture but I love how he carried Hedwig along.

 

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He had a great evening trick or treating with friends from the art department.

I feel much better to have Halloween up this point all straight in my head!

 

Lion’s Rock Attempt #1

I have wanted to drive up to Lion’s Rock for awhile now.  It’s just north of Ellensburg.  I think it’s a big rock, and that there is an incredible view.  I don’t know for sure because we still haven’t made it.

I had the great idea for us to drive up there this morning.  I have been wanting to take a new family picture, and the fall colors are so pretty right now.  So we loaded up and took off.

Ellensburg is at an altitude of about 1,500 feet.  We drove up into the hills and up the mountain to about 5,000 feet.  It was a quick climb.

It just so happens that it is also the height of elk hunting season.  We must have seen 50 trucks filled with men dressed in orange. It was one goofy clueless little family and jillions of hunters.

When we left Ellensburg, it was a beautiful sunny day, and it was about 50 degrees.  We climbed up a ways and it looked like this.

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Fifteen minutes later, the temperature had dropped 30 degrees and it looked like this:

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The road had gotten slushy, and we had to put the truck in 4 wheel drive.  I had no idea we were going to be driving into winter. We finally saw a sign which said we still had 3 miles to go.  The road was getting pretty bad so we decided we’d better turn around.

There was a big fire – two summers ago I think, and it left a lot of trees charred.  It was sad to see but beautiful in an eerie way with the snow.

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We went back down part of the way and stopped a couple of times to take some pictures.  We should probably have worn orange.

Trying to get a picture of this goofy kid is not the easiest, but we got a few nice ones.

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The family picture was tricky too.

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I tried to get a picture of Davey and David, but Davey was not real interested.

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And I think it might be wrong of me, but this picture makes me laugh every time.

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I figured it might be the last year I could pick him up for a picture, so I wanted to try once more.  I did get a better one which I like but which does not make me laugh as much.  I like catching the not so sunny parts of Davey’s personality.  He is sunny most of the time though!

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It was an exciting beautiful drive into winter.  Although we didn’t make it to Lion’s Rock, we managed to avoid the hunters, and we had fun (mostly!) taking pictures.

A Field Trip

I have not blogged in almost a month. That feels very strange. It’s definitely time!

So today, I went with Davey’s class on a field trip to the fire station. It’s not far from his school so we walked there. This involved crossing a grassy field, walking down the side of a road for a short distance, crossing onto a gravel trail, and then shortly after that, we arrived at the station (we came in from behind!).

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Davey and his class learned a ton of great information.  I did too.  For example, I learned that your nose doesn’t work while you are sleeping.  You can have someone stick a big freshly baked pan of brownies under your nose when you are asleep, and the firemen told us you won’t smell it.  That’s why we need working smoke detectors.   I found that fact fascinating.  It’s probably the one fact that I will not forget.

They talked about escape if there is a fire.  Davey got the chance to be rescued from a bedroom.

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Davey had told me this morning that he thought firemen were kinda scary when they had all their gear on.  I guess the firemen were used to this because one fireman demonstrated putting on all his gear and then showed us how he breathed like Darth Vader when he had his air tank on.

The kids thought that was pretty cool.

We had to get a picture of our little group!

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We were waiting to see the ambulance when all of a sudden they had a call to go to a house fire.  All of a sudden, they were putting on gear and hustling like crazy.

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They started their sirens –

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and then they were gone!

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It was really neat to see them in action.  The kids got to see how quickly they prepared and were gone.  (although I do feel bad for thinking it was neat to see them in action because that meant that someone needed them which of course wasn’t good.)

Such a fun trip.  Davey couldn’t wait to come home and tell David all about it!