Every good and perfect gift is from above...James 1:17

Monday, February 29, 2016

Doggone Crazy

When we adopted Frito Pie she started out so normal. 
All was right with the world--The Daniels had a dog! We even bonded with our doggy.
We were a few years in when girl started goin cray cray. At first when the kids jumped on the trampoline she would dig at the legs, trying to find something buried under there.
Then she decided there was something under the slide that she just had to get. When it started the kids were on the swing set, making it move. 
This has been going on for a couple years now and it keeps getting worse. It progressed to digging and barking even when no one was on the swing set causing vibrations.

It has progressed yet again. She now barks and digs at the table and chair legs when they're sitting on the grass. We know this and try not to leave them on the grass. Wellllll, it has reached an all-time high. Yesterday I heard her barking like crazy in the backyard. I was in the front and even asked if one of the kids was back there on the swing set. No one was. When we went back there later I discovered why all the barking:
Abe said he walked by earlier and banged the top of the table to get Frito going. She barked and dug and the table while it was on the sidewalk long and hard enough to knock it onto the grass. Then she went to town digging. Bless her heart; she is driving herself crazy trying to find something that will never be there. It's almost like someone with alzheimer's who is looking for their mother who passed away 20 years ago--no matter how hard and how often they look, they're never going to find her.
At the end of the day she was all tuckered out and had a very dirty nose.
Here is the question that is haunting me: is  DanFam5.2 so nutty that we drove even our dog crazy?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Climbing The Walls

For Christmas Zekers got a gift certificate to go rock climbing.
We finally got around to going last weekend.
Zeke loves to rock climb and is a natural at it. This was the first time we have been to a special facility for it; in the past he has climbed on the traveling structures, or the little one in our backyard. This one was a lot harder. At first Zeke was frustrated because he couldn't do it immediately like usual .  But once he got to the top of one, there was no stopping him!
I was a different story. Once I was totally that scene in 'Frozen' where she struggles and climbs and struggles and is barely able to grunt the question, "Is the air thinner up here?" The boy answers no, and we see she is about a foot off the ground. Yep. I totally nailed that. 
I don't think there was a wall that Zeke started that he didn't master. He was very determined and persevered.
 Our forearms and hands were spent, but we continued to climb!
I did make it to the top once. It is so much harder that it seems like it should be.
 It took him more than one try on most. One time he stuck with it 4 or 5 times until he finally made it to the top.
 We was like jelly for a few moments after that one.
 But then he tried a few more.
 He even climbed one without a safety harness. I moved a mat underneath him without him noticing. When he got to the top I made him wait until I could take his picture. He was slipping as he was waiting on me. Then accidentally dropped to the ground (onto the mat). His look of surprise was priceless.
 We had a super fun day together.
 We were also hot messes when we were done. But that didn't stop us from ending our date with dinner together.
I sure do love my big boy!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sharing The Love

Me and my Valentine have decided the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day is to share the love. Abe and I continued our tradition of treating the kids to a fancy Valentine meal. Why not shower the products of our love with our love?
We were busy in the evening which meant no time for a candle light dinner, so we treated them to a fancy lunch. It was a beautiful winter day that felt like spring so we dined al fresco.
Daisy and I had fun playing restaurant, but the boys were not as fun. Zekers told us once that we could quit pretending. But we didn't.
The Mom n Pops restaurant offered cheesy garlic bread as an appetizer, followed with baked spaghetti, which was loved by all. Chocolate cake with chocolate icing rounded off the meal, sans the cake part. Really, why waste your time with cake when you can just eat spoonfuls of frosting?
We took a minute to remember Uncle Steve on his birthday. Daisy thought we could go fishing and put the fish in a box. Since it stops breathing once it's out of the water, it could be a birthday gift for Uncle Steve in heaven. 
I love my DanFam5.2!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Rejoice In The Lord Always

As I sit at my keyboard, I am at a loss for words. A year has passed since my brother went to heaven. Something about a year makes my mind go back to that instant when everything changed. As much as I don't want to revisit that awful moment when reality hurt so much that the pain was physical, my mind keeps going back and my heart aches.

I miss my brother.
This past year I have noticed so many people suffering through loss and serious illnesses. Sometimes our family feels alone in our loss, but I know my family is just one of the many hurting. I don't know why God allows bad things to happen. But what I do know is that he is with us when they happen, and he wants to help us get through them.

He is here; it's up to me if I let him help me:
•For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. ~2 Cor. 1:5
•Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. ~Matt. 11:28
•The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. ~Deut.31:8
•The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save. ~Zeph. 3:17
•The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18

God not only promises to help me in my sufferings, but he will give me the strength I need when I don't feel I have it:
•I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~Isaiah 41:10
•Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. ~Eph. 6:10
•Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you. ~Psalm 55:22
•God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. ~Psalm 46:1

The Lord never promises that we will not suffer in this world, but he is with us to get us through it:
•For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ~Rom. 8:18
•And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. ~1 Pet. 5:10

When I stand firm in Christ, my focus of earthly loss will turn toward eternal life:
•You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. ~Psalm 30:11
•Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. ~James 5:13
•Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. ~John 16:20

This world is temporary and our eternal home is in heaven, along with Steve and all the others who have went before us, and most importantly our Lord and Savior:
•But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. ~1 Thess. 4:13
•And this is the promise that he made to us--eternal life. ~1 John 2:25
•I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. ~John 10:28

Our God is loving and good:
• Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. ~Phil. 4:4

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Making History in 4th Grade

I'm so proud of my Zekers for bringing home the gold from the District History Fair! 

Zeke and his buddy Israel partnered up to research something that fit the category 'Explore, Ecounter, Exchange.' They chose Neil Armstrong. The boys wanted to do a documentary, which I thought was a great idea and volunteered to help them create an iMovie. Hence the birth of the documentary 'Neil Armstrong: Creating History on the Moon'.

The boys did their research at school. We brought Israel home from school one day to get started on the movie. I discovered they had strayed off the prompt, so I got them back on track with the goal of doing more research the following week focusing strictly on the prompt of explore, encounter and exchange.  

At one point, a group of moms from school were texting asking questions about it. I asked Zeke if this was a big deal. The other moms seemed to be freaking out about this project, and should we be? His response was that moms freak out about a lot of stuff, so how was he supposed to know if this time was legitimate. 

We met again with Israel the next week. It was a long weekend, so we met on Friday when there was no school. The boys worked hard for several hours. Click here to see the final product.

Judging took place at school. There were categories for 4th and 5th grades for individual projects and group projects. There was a separate documentary category combining both grades since there are not as many of those. We were thrilled to learn that Zeke and Israel won 1st place! 
His project was entered into the district competition. He was very excited and nervous going into it.
 It started with Honorable Mention, 3rd, and 2nd place. I whispered that he either didn't place or he won it all. That was when he became really nervous.
Here is his reaction as they called "Neil Armstrong: Creating History On The Moon." It took him a second to realize they had won.
Then he ran up front to accept his gold medal.
He was quite chuffed, skipping around on Cloud 9 the rest of the evening.
 Several Carlson kids won awards. Here are the 4th graders who were awarded for the individual project, group project, and a documentary.
 Shout out to Grannie who was there supporting Zekers.
I was so proud we had to stop by Braum's for some celebratory ice cream.
 God is present in the big things in life as well as the little things; the good things as well as the hard things. I am praising Him for reminding Zekers of this tonight. Last night Zeke asked for us to pray for him to do well. Tonight he exclaimed, "God answered our prayer!"

'Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.' Psalm 73:23