Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch!

Miranda's class took a trip to the pumpkin patch last week, which Billy chronicled in great detail. By all accounts, everyone had fun!

Miranda with classmate and carpool buddy Blair.

Climbing aboard the haywagon to ride to the pumpkin patch.
In search of the Great Pumpkin!
Feeding an appreciative goat

Preparing to enter the Haunted House -- alone!

Whew -- made it out in one piece!

Schoolmates Blair and Leighton

How tall am I? THIS tall!

Why did the chicken cross the road? To evade the Wunchie!
(Note Leighton waiting on the other side. Apparently preschoolers hunt in packs, like velicoraptors.)

Thanks, Daddy, for making sure I had such a good time.

(See the rest of the pics on Wunchie's Flickr badge.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Before potty training, we have pigtail training

Coming Soon: Wunchie Book Review

As Miranda and I read together throughout the day and before bed, I've been thinking about the messages she's receiving in the books she reads. With all the discussions about children and TV, I tend to think about the shows she watches more readily than about the books she enjoys. But there are layers of messages in even the simplest of tales, and we'll be exploring some of them in the weeks to come.

Are there any you'd particularly like to discuss? Let me know.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A thanksgiving for my Wunchie.....


Today daddy got the opportunity to visit a village called Bai Hua in Sichuan Province, China. Bai Hua suffered a terrible tragedy recently when a devastating earthquake hit it and hundreds of other villages and towns around it. Seven little children were killed at a school that daddy visited, and 700 more people were killed in the village. Overall 90,000 people lost their lives in the earthquake. As I looked at the terrible damage to the school in Bai Hua and the surrounding village, I thought again and again about you and mommy. I am so thankful that I have the two of you, and that you are safe at home. But I was reminded today just how fragile life is and how we can never take anything for granted. We never know what might happen and must live our lives grateful for what we have and for the relationships that bless and grace us each day. So, I just wanted to say that I love you and mommy and am thankful for the life that we have together. I am also deeply thankful for the very special opportunity that I had today to meet the people in the village of Bai Hua and to see how they are rebuilding their lives. Daddy and your Uncle Greg and Uncle Richard are helping to rebuild the school in the village, and we were able to attend the ground-breaking ceremony for the rebuilding. It was a great experience. I hope that you can follow along with us in this work when you grow older. Until then I'll try to keep up the work in honor of God and mommy and munchie......please pray for us...we love you...keep going....give mommy a kiss....

Daddy examining damage to one of the classrooms in the school...though ruined, thank God that overall the school withstood the earthquake.

These are school children who are celebrating the beginning of the rebuilding process for their new school....they were saved when the main school building withstood the quake...seeing them was a very moving experience for daddy!

This is a picture of the washroom at the school that collapsed. Seven children lost their lives in the collapse of the wash room...may I never take my wunchie for granted...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Daddy in china......

Hello Miranda my little wunchie, from China...Daddy misses you and thinks about you a lot every day! I got to spend the past weekend up on the Tibetan Plateau, the highest plateau in the world (referred to as the "roof of the world"), and I wished that you and mommy could have experienced it with me. As I looked at the little Tibetan girls in their pretty little dresses I imagined you adorned in all those beautiful colors, jumping up and down, playing with your Tibetan and Chinese has been a great picture of peace and reconciliation for me to ponder. We're back in the city of Chengdu at the moment, a city of about 10million people, a huge metropolis, big contrast to the placid scenery over the weekend. One funny thing is that my colleague Greg's nephew Christian is living and working here in Chengdu with our investment company, and he speaks good Mandarin. When I showed him your picture on the blog, he said "Woon...Chie" as if it were a Chinese word...he said it really looked like that....we laughed and I explained the nature of the nickname to him. Anyhow, wanted to say that I love you, that I miss you and mommy, and I look forward to coming home to you soon. Here are a couple of pictures for you to enjoy.....will add more soon....can you find China on your globe with mommy and say a prayer for me?


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pictoral Updates

Trying on Mommy's swimcap and goggles

How do these things fit?
Check it out!!

I set up the fort (a blanket over a table and chairs) and went down to the basement, and when I returned I found this!
Batgirl and Isaac

Evildoers, beware!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

It's important that you're able to articulate your feelings on the matter

While out running errands this morning, I asked Miranda if she's like to drive past a construction site and "see the earthmovers working." She was very enthusiastic, so off we went. To our chagrin, they were sitting motionless in the lot (lunch break, perhaps?), and although we waited for several minutes, they never moved. Miranda asked several times if we could "wait for them to wake up."

Trying to find a positive spin, I asked if she'd like to go see the cows instead. (We live near a stockyard, and Miranda and her carpool friend Blair like to drive by and try to spot a cow. We go a couple of times a week after school. Setting the stage for a future discussion on local food economies.) You can usually see a few cows standing around, or at least hear them lowing in the background. But today... nada. Not a single cow, not a solitary moo could be heard, although we drove around the lot and down beside the pens.

As we pulled away and headed for home, I suggested a picnic lunch on the porch. Miranda sort of sighed, and said, "Well, ok. Let's have peanut butter. But, I wanted to see the cows. And the earthmovers. I'm just so disappointed. I'm really disappointed."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mommy's little Montessori helper

Miranda has several friends who are in Montessori schools, and we've been reading some about the Montessori educational philosophy.
One of their main tenets is encouraging children to actively participate in the daily functioning of the household. So, we've been trying to help Miranda find her our routines, adapting what needs to be done to what she herself can do. And we've discovered that eating at her little table enables her to set the table, if I put the dishes and silverware within her reach. Didn't she do a good job? (Note: it doesn't always look this tidy!)

She also likes to "help Mommy cook". I'm not always the best "monitoring mommy" in the world, so I have to be more vigilant in the kitchen. (Even so, she got a little burn on her wrist last month from "helping Mommy stir.") But transferring veggies from a mixing bowl to the casserole dish is a perfect assignment.

I'm realizing that it's as much about educating myself as anything else. I have to reorient my expectations and awareness to fully incorporate her into the preparations. Getting her to enjoy the process of preparing a meal, encouraging her natural willingness to help -- that's what it's all about.