Archive for March, 2015

Bike Rodeo 2015

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Carter participated in the Bike Rodeo at his school today.

The first challenge was to bike as slowly as possible without touching either parallel line or putting your feet down. The score was your total time.  The higher the time was, the better.



The second challenge was to bike through two very narrow lines without touching or putting your foot down.

The third challenge was to maneuver your bike in a circle.


The final challenge was to weave your bike carefully through evenly placed cones.





I enjoyed spending time with Carter for a bit at school today.


Treehouse Masters

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

The other day, I heard tapping outside Harrison’s window.  I opened it up to discover Carter and Harrison building a tree house.  They said that they wanted to be like Pete Nelson of Treehouse Masters.  You can see more about the television show HERE.



Carter is intense and has a lot of vision.  He gets frustrated at times, but the boys work well together.  Harrison really listens well and does his best to execute the plans.

I can’t remember exactly what Carter is saying, but I think he was giving Harrison a choice between marking the spot to nail with a pen or using the multitool to make a hole.



112 Songs

Friday, March 13th, 2015

I gave my music-loving 12 year old daughter 112 songs for her birthday.

It ended up being one of the best gifts I have ever given.  The list includes historically important songs and personally important songs.

It includes some beautiful melodies and less serious songs.  Some of these songs I knew Emmie would like just because of their harmonies.

Many of these songs are part of the soundtrack of my own life reminding me of different seasons.  I have really enjoyed talking to her about why I picked each song.


( My dad was so enthusiastic about this gift that he offered to help me give it.  Thanks, Grampy!)

Here’s the list of what we now call the 112 Playlist:

  1. What It Takes—Aerosmith
  2. Down to the River to Pray—Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris
  3. The Lucky One—Alison Krauss & Union Station
  4. Melissa—Allman Brothers Band
  5. You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman—Aretha Franklin
  6. Love Shack—B-52s
  7. The Weight—The Band
  8. God Only Knows—The Beach Boys
  9. Something—The Beatles
  10. Blackbird—The Beatles
  11. A Day in the Life—The Beatles
  12. She Talks to Angels—The Black Crowes
  13. Like a Rolling Stone—Bob Dylan
  14. I Can’t Make You Love Me—Bonnie Raitt
  15. More Than a Feeling—Boston
  16. Mandolin Rain—Bruce Hornsby
  17. There’s a Stirring—Caedmon’s Call
  18. O Love That Will Not Let Me Go—Christ Community/Indelible Grace
  19. Under the Milky Way—The Church
  20. God Put a Smile upon Your Face—Coldplay
  21. Strawberry Swing—Coldplay
  22. Cowboy Take Me Away—Dixie Chicks
  23. Wide Open Spaces—Dixie Chicks
  24. The End of Innocence—Don Henley
  25. Foggy Mountain Breakdown—Flatt & Scruggs
  26. Sliding Down—Edgar Meyer, Mike Marshall,& Bela Fleck
  27. Home—Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
  28. You are My Sunshine—Elizabeth Mitchell
  29. Lights—Ellie Goulding
  30. Your Song—Elton John
  31. Rocket Man—Elton John
  32. Gabriel’s Oboe—Ennio Morricone/ The Mission
  33. Miss Clare Remembers—Enjya
  34. At Last—Etta James
  35. More Than Words—Extreme
  36. Take a Picture—Filter
  37. I Want to Know What Love Is—Foreigner
  38. Fly Me to the Moon—Frank Sinatra
  39. In a Daydream—Freddy Jones Band
  40. Singing in the Rain—Gene Kelly
  41. The Chair—George Strait
  42. Orphan Girl—Gillian Welch
  43. By the Mark—Gillian Welch
  44. Be Thou My Vision—Ginny Owens
  45. Tongue Tied—Grouplove
  46. Welcome to the Jungle—Guns N’ Roses
  47. Paradise City—Guns N’ Roses
  48. Sweet Child O’ Mine—Guns N’ Roses
  49. These Dreams—Heart
  50. Kid Fears—Indigo Girls with Michael Stipe
  51. Get Up Offa That Thing—James Brown
  52. Carolina In My Mind—James Taylor
  53. Purple Haze—Jimi Hendrix
  54. The John Dunbar Theme—John Barry/ Dances with Wolves
  55. Imagine—John Lennon
  56. Don’t Stop Believin’—Journey
  57. Merry Go ‘Round—Kacey Musgraves
  58. The Rain Song—Led Zeppelin
  59. Over the Hills and Far Away—Led Zeppelin
  60. Tangerine—Led Zeppelin
  61. Stairway to Heaven—Led Zeppelin
  62. Cripple Creek—Lester Flatt
  63. California Dreamin’—The Mamas and the Papas
  64. What’s Going On—Marvin Gaye
  65. Billie Jean—Michael Jackson
  66. The Way You Make Me Feel—Michael Jackson
  67. Man in the Mirror—Michael Jackson
  68. Below My Feet—Mumford & Sons
  69. Torn—Natalie Imbruglia
  70. Born—Over the Rhine
  71. Crazy—Patsy Cline
  72. Maybe I’m Amazed—Paul McCartney
  73. Graceland—Paul Simon
  74. Under African Skies—Paul Simon
  75. Where Have All the Cowboys Gone—Paula Cole
  76. In Your Eyes—Peter Gabriel
  77. Wish You Were Here—Pink Floyd
  78. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic—The Police
  79. Every Breath You Take—The Police INXS instead?
  80. When Doves Cry—Prince
  81. Man on the Moon—R.E.M.
  82. I’ve Got a Woman—Ray Charles
  83. Georgia on My Mind—Ray Charles
  84. Creed—Rich Mullins
  85. Unchained Melody—The Righteous Brothers
  86. Brave—Sara Bareilles
  87. The Sounds of Silence—Simon & Garfunkel
  88. America—Simon & Garfunkel
  89. Back in the High Life Again—Steve Winwood
  90. Superstition—Stevie Wonder
  91. Higher Ground—Stevie Wonder
  92. Isn’t She Lovely—Stevie Wonder
  93. Shape of My Heart—Sting
  94. If I Ever Lose My Faith in You—Sting
  95. Wild Horses—The Sundays
  96. Here’s Where the Story Ends—The Sundays
  97. I Dare You to Move—Switchfoot
  98. Sowing the Seeds of Love—Tears for Fears
  99. Everybody Wants to Rule the World—Tears for Fears
  100. Shout—Tears for Fears
  101. Turn! Turn! Turn!—The Byrds
  102. Walk on the Ocean—Toad the Wet Sprocket
  103. Nightingale Song—Toad the Wet Sprocket
  104. Shadows—Tony Rice
  105. Africa—Toto
  106. Fast Car—Tracy Chapman
  107. One—U2
  108. Red Hill Mining Town—U2
  109. Long Time Traveller—The Wailin’ Jennys
  110. One Headlight—The Wallflowers
  111. Stardust—Willie Nelson
  112. Intro—The xx

There are so many stories hidden in this list:

Seeing the Allman Brothers Band at Starplex when B.B. King opened or when Toad the Wet Sprocket opened for the Cranberries.

Jumping into my dad at the neighborhood pool as a 4 year old or heading to Galveston with the songs of Beach Boys Endless Summer on cassette tape.

Driving through British Colombia, Canada with my grandparents, brother, and cousin listening to Graceland.

Building Legos with my brother in his bedroom listening to Tears for Fears.

Ending every middle school dance with Stairway to Heaven.

Lying under my friend Alexis’ bed listening to U2 with grafitti markers in hand.

Fishing on Lake Fork.  George Strait seemed like the only artist the radio played in East Texas.

Drifting in a pool float in the summer heat as Joshua Tree played over and over.

Building clay pots on a potter’s wheel in Mr. Brady’s class as R.E.M. flowed out of a slip-encrusted boom box.

Hiking through the Swiss Alps surrounding Zermatt with “Maybe I’m Amazed” playing through small speakers connected to my WalkMan tucked inside my Swiss Semester backpack.

Dancing with Greg during our wedding reception.

Grabbing a picnic lunch for a hike on our honeymoon with “Torn” in the background.

And. . . driving a two day old Emmie home from Presbyterian Hospital as “Wide Open Spaces” played.


We also gave her this journal:

journal pic

You can buy it HERE on Amazon.

Nana and Pa topped off Emmie’s birthday with two pieces of luggage.  She wheeled and spun it happily around the kitchen.  I’m looking forward to the adventures she will take using these suitcases.




A Dozen Years: Emmeline’s 12th Birthday

Friday, March 13th, 2015

In keeping with tradition, Emmeline and I snuck away for a 20 minute photo shoot on her birthday.


Emmeline is earnest and sincere.  She is faithful and thoughtful.



This girl is on FIRE!



It is such a privilege to be her mom and to know her as a person.

I’m just going to go on record and say if she ends up getting married–and I certainly hope she does–that man will have hit the lottery.

The Community Garden 1.2015

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015



It always amazes me to see adults in our community take the time to get to know my kids and teach them about gardening when we spend time here.



On this garden work day, we had the help of several students and members of the staff of St. Mary’s University.