Thursday, October 17, 2013

Grandpa Burnham's Passing

Danny's maternal grandfather passed away February 3rd of this year after complications with a stomach surgery.  We were happy to celebrate his life at a short graveside service and will miss him very much!  One of the hobbies he was known for was pigeon racing, and some birds were released as part of the service.  He was a very hard worker (building pigeon lofts in his backyard until just before his passing), had a good sense of humor and a great love for animals.  He kept dogs, horses, cats, rabbits, goats, and more on his "one acre ranch" in Mesa, Arizona.  Grandma Burnham now carries on the legacy of love for family... and all of his animals.

Accidents Happen

Accidents do happen.  This one was the result of a high speed chase right into the corner of a wall at our house.  Luckily, kids heal quickly, and Micah is one tough little dude.

Danny's Achilles

At the very end of January, Danny's life took a sharp down-turn.  While playing church basketball, he tore his Achilles tendon and the next few months were some of the toughest we've had in a while.  His grandpa passed away just the next week, then an operation to repair the tendon, then bed-rest, then a cast, then a boot with crutches, and finally walking (or at least limping), and bam- it's May.  It sure seemed like a long recovery while we were in the midst of it.  Except for a few days after surgery, Danny was at school, showing his students that he would still chase them down - in his wheelchair, and not letting this trial get the best of him.

Here he's at "College Night" in a wheelchair just after his injury.  The kids and I show up anytime there's a free hot dog dinner at the school.

Sadly, this was the last day of my much loved Nikon SLR.  My sweetheart accidentally dropped it and the lens broke.  I couldn't even be properly mad at him in his current state.  New lens purchase on the horizon...

Serving in the Church

Evelyn took this photo of her dad conducting a Ward Missionary Meeting one Sunday, and I thought it would be a nice reminder of the many hours Danny gives weekly in the service of his church responsibilities or "callings".  He brought focus, direction, organization, and some great leadership to our ward's missionary efforts.  A few weeks after this particular meeting, he was issued a new calling, and now serves as a Stake High Councilor and Stake Young Men's President.  See this link for more info on our church and our responsibilities within it.

The greatest part is that we serve because we feel so blessed, and the more you serve, the more you feel God's blessings raining down on you.  And you finally realize -- you'll never catch up, but we can show our gratitude by giving our very best in service to others.

A Real Latin Birthday Party

Our next door neighbors on one side are from Peru and had a bunch of family in town for a birthday party for a little girl.  Micah and Evelyn made it on the invite list and had a GREAT time.  There were fun games, a bouncy house, hot dogs, loud Latino music, women wearing bright wigs, Danny was offered several beers, and best of all, the kids got to practice their Spanish skills.  What more could you ask for?

Joy School: A New Year

We've continued with our Joy School (preschool co-op), and the group continues to change as families move in and out of the area.  I've really liked the values-based curriculum and hope to be giving the kids a moral foundation they can draw from when they begin public school.  We take a school picture at the beginning of each "semester", and it's been fun to watch them grow!  (Ev was feeling a little moody on picture day and wanted to skip having her photo taken this time.)

One of our activities was on the theme "Repenting and Erasing", where we learned that fixing our mistakes helps us feel happy again.  I started at one end of the table and let the kids pick their pencil color and then reversed the order for picking erasers.  Pink is a very popular color at our house solely because Evelyn has determined that it really is the best of all colors.  Micah picks up on this and wants pink things just because Ev does, too.  We had numerous disputes over the pink plate, pink cup, etc. until I picked up another set from Ikea.  (Sidenote: now Evelyn wants the "new" pink plate.)  For this preschool lesson, Evelyn picked the pink pencil, but the pink eraser was chosen by Micah before she had the chance.  I put the kids names on them so they could take them home.  Not too long after preschool I found that Evelyn had carefully re-appropriated the pink eraser.