We’re really proud parents this week because of some pretty amazing kids. Plus, I had surgery again…yes, again. Second surgery in 5 months. Here’s your update on the Denton family, complete with video links!
First, we’ll brag on Amelia who’s made it to district in High Jump. She’s surprised us all year with her athletic push. She got her highest jump at last week’s qualifying meet (sectionals). As I understand it from the coach, she’s the only girl in the Jr. High (7th or 8th) to make it to district. Amelia was so excited she stayed after practice on Friday and worked extra on her jumps. It’s cool because Deana & I both did high jump in track as students. A fact we didn’t know until Amelia started track this year and was drafted for the event. (20+ years of marriage and still learning things about one another.)
She advances to district this Thursday at the Wylie H.S. stadium. She’s already thrilled to make it this far her first year out. The picture is of her wearing one of her medals. Each time she’s placed 1st-3rd in a meet, she gets a medal. (Just like the Olympics.) I let her wear it the entire afternoon and evening, but we discussed that she can’t wear it back to school the next day because it’s just bragging. But, I don’t mind bragging a little online.
Over Spring Break the Jr. High students at Burnett had an recording assignment. They had to record 3 assigned songs with another instrument. Because they have an odd number of band students, Amelia volunteered to be in a group of three. She did a separate recording session with each of the other students. It’s great to see a glimpse into your kid’s life like this. Skyler was over to record and made a comment about wanting to record with Amelia because she’s first chair and so good. Afterward, I told her how cool that was to hear. Now she’s lobbying for a piccolo. Feel free, all three loyal blog readers, to help her wish come true by donating to the “Get Me a Piccolo Fund” she’s started. (Her only hope.) Here are a couple links to video clips of those recording sessions:
1. Atlantis with Skyler http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcv7u9NiBUk
2. Dance Celebration with Ailysha http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE9oftybLBI
JJ is also in band. He plays the drums and got a good compliment from his drum instructor today about how good he is on the mallet instruments (bells, marimba). Here’s a link to his 6th grade drum group from Harrison playing at today’s Wylie ISD Fine Arts Celebration at Wylie High School. The last exercise is the best one of the video. Click here –> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2gsl8DcNn4
Deana has been busy with lots of stuff. She helped host a Spring Break Party for the Wave Jr. High students at our house on St. Patrick’s Day with wonderful food that included - green eggs (Margot Palpant recipe with green added) and green cupcakes made my JJ. We also had Belgian Waffles. Yum!
Deana has also been making a “monkey” quilt for the newest member of our extended family. A new nephew on the Ray side of the family has meant exciting baby stuff. So, Deana’s been working on a quilt for the past week. Quilting always takes over the rest of the house, but this one is at least more baby size. (So, it fits on the table.)
Deana also got to sub in as a leader for the Jr. High Believe discipleship conference the weekend of Spring Break. She had a GREAT time helping chaperone a group of 7th-8th graders for a weekend of fun, learning and food. She came back tired and thinking the music was too loud. Hmmm, all a sign someone might be getting a little old.
Yes, I had surgery this week. We knew I had a mass that would eventually have to be removed, but the surgeon assured me 30 days ago it was a slow growing, non-dangerous mass. We’d set an appointment for around Mother’s Day to consider dealing with it then. Unfortunately, it suddenly started to increase last weekend; and by a Monday morning call to the surgeon, it had already doubled in size. He saw me Monday and agreed we had to deal with it immediately. So, in I went Thursday to meet Mr. Knife. I’m glad we moved as quickly as we did because it had tripled in size by Thursday’s surgery and I almost passed out from the discomfort on the way to the hospital. Deana has, again, nursed me very well. This recovery seems to be a piece of cake just because of last November’s surgery that completely knocked me out of commission for several weeks. I feel pretty good and will even be preaching tomorrow. (By the way, the mass was not cancerous. We had already tested and knew that a month ago after the first appointment.) I’m more concerned about what this means for my overall health. What is it about my body that suddenly seems to be falling apart? How could I require two surgeries in less than 6 months? Next thing you know, I’m gonna roll over in bed and break a hip.
Let me get back to bragging about the kids. (Much more fun than discussing my failing physical condition.)…
I have a couple writing projects JJ recently did for school. He thinks in such unique ways. I love his creativity. This first essay was a short project he wrote in class about “Moods.” I love the 5th grade perspective on how moods operate…and the fact that everything in the world can be cured by video games. Here’s what he wrote:
“When I play a video game, I get in my favorite mood. Playing a video game makes me feel so calm and relaxed my mind just blanks out.
The mood only happens when I’m focused on one single thing and I can’t think of anything else. The same thing happens when I play a game on the computer or build with Legos.
I have another favorite mood. It’s a really good mood that all you want to do is play, play, play with your friends outside. Not inside.
Your imagination goes insane. You make up so many things you never, ever, ever want to mood to stop. But eventually it does and you have a quick thing of depression. And then you’re back to yourself again.” – JJ Denton (March 2010)
This next one was a creative writing fiction project done in class. We had a discussion about violence, but the teacher wrote on the paper that his details were good. But, in comparison to the last essay, here she would have liked for him to put more feelings into the story – how did he FEEL when he saw the snakes. (I should probably label this PG for graphic violence.)
“I thought my life was over when I went down to a creek with me and two of my friends. We had our airsoft guns to protect ourselves if we got attacked by a bobcat or something. So we finished the stone bridge we started building a few days before today, then we crossed the creek where the only way out now was the bridge because the other exit was covered with dirt, rocks, and wood, plus a little bit of barbed wire. That’s why we came here to clean it out. But, when we got there it had 10 snakes on it. We decided we would shoot them so that’s what we did. We shot them but we only killed three.
Then we did about a half-hour work of cleaning then we went back to the bridge to go back home. When we got to the bridge the middle was destroyed and the water was freezing cold. We had to jump or surf over which is impossible. So we all jumped and fell in. I had no feeling but, I got home and warmed up right away.” – JJ Denton (March 2010)
Can’t you feel the drama within that story? I don’t need the author to tell me how he feels. He’s described the situation so well that I can feel the situation myself. That’s the sign of a good storyteller who can wrap you into his story so that you feel you’re there. (Or maybe I’m just a dad who liked the story.)
So, that’s the Denton family update for now.
The Unexamined Life and All.