Team Lina T-shirts

I could spend this post telling you about my day yesterday, when I lost one of my Mother’s Day rings at the Target checkout and had to hunt it down, then realized I’d locked my keys in the car on a day I’d forgotten my cell phone at home, then had to try to comfort a five-year-old who fell and cracked his head on the floor while we waited for daddy…

But really, I’d rather tell you about the Team Lina shirts we’re offering to support the Buddy Walk. The design was hand-drawn, and I think they are terribly fun. Wear your shirts to the Buddy Walk, or support Team Lina in style from afar! They come in a full range of kid and adult sizes and are $18/each, with all proceeds going to our Buddy Walk fundraising efforts.

Order your Team Lina shirts today!!

Buddy Walk!

Yes, we’re all still sweltering in the summer heat, but good news: you can start planning for the Buddy Walk in October, when it will (hopefully) be delightfully cool and clear!

This year’s Nashville Buddy Walk is October 31, and we’re hoping local friends will join us for the event. It is such a fun time, and we’d love for you to experience the acceptance and joy the event offers. And of course, the Buddy Walk raises funds for the Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee, which is a cause very dear to our hearts.

Register to walk or donate here!!

Accidental gender studies

I’ve mentioned I’m working on a visual schedule for each of the kids.

You know what makes for an interesting exercise? Doing a Google search for line drawings of morning activities – like waking up, eating breakfast, getting dressed – for a boy, and then doing it again for a girl.

A search for “drawing of boy eating breakfast” turns up exactly that: cute or silly drawings of little boys eating breakfast. A search for “drawing of girl eating breakfast” turns up a few cute pictures of kids and a whole lot of subtly and not-so-subtly sexualized drawings of young girls and women. Don’t even get me started on “drawing of girl getting dressed.”

Let me illustrate.

Here is the top Google result for “drawing of boy eating breakfast:”

Here is the top Google result for “drawing of girl eating breakfast:”

Top result for “wake up boy drawing:” (awkward wording, but for some reason the way I typed it in)

Top result for “wake up girl drawing:”

I could keep going, but you get the picture.

This was particularly interesting on the heels of uproar this week in my own Seventh-day Adventist denomination over a global vote denying division offices the option to ordain women to the ministry. (Women currently serve as pastors with a separate “commissioned” credential that, among other inequalities, excludes them from holding the highest level of church executive offices.) I will refrain from delving into my thoughts on that particular issue but will say this: we still have serious societal problems with how we view and treat girls and women. Hyper-sexualization and marginalization are ages-old practices that are discouragingly tenacious for those of us who believe women deserve a better reality and girls deserve more to aspire to.

Don’t believe there’s a problem? Try a few Google searches of your own.

4th retrospective, and a four-legged good-bye

Thought I’d drop these off from our 4th of July weekend, which also included a celebration of Grandma’s birthday. (Corin: “How old is Grandma going to be?” Me: [a number that sounds pretty high at 5] Corin: “Oh my. I’m not ready for that yet.”) Lots of fun cousin time for the kiddos and lots of good food for everyone.








Radnor Lake from a quick. slightly rainy hike on Saturday afternoon


I knew when I took that last photo, of my dad with his guide dog, Chief, that it would probably be the last one of the two of them together. Chief is retiring from his life of faithful service and this weekend will be going to join his new family in west Nashville, where he will spend his retirement relaxing and playing with his people and their other two Vizslas. After that very painful parting, my dad will be heading up to Pilot Dogs, where he will meet his new guide dog and spend two weeks training before they travel home together. I think my dad would say partings are by far the hardest part of the otherwise remarkable experience of having a guide dog. It is no small thing to say farewell to a friend and companion who has been by your side nearly every moment for so many years. We’re all losing a member of the family. But Chief is 10, has arthritis and has earned his leisure years. We will miss you, buddy, and hope your days are full of love and joy. Don’t boss those young pups around too much.

K minus one month

In just over a month, my oldest will head off to his first day of kindergarten. This proves denial is not working, so I’ve decided to embrace looming reality. For this reason, we are currently making a picture schedule for Corin’s school morning routine. This will hopefully take the currently unachievable goal of being ready to leave the house by 8 a.m. and make it a calm and effortless daily reality. Stop laughing. This needs to work.

My dad called this morning as we were shopping for paper and magnets to make this magic picture schedule. He was subjected to a constant stream of asides: “No, Corin, we’re not buying a 1,000 piece puzzle. Because it’s too many pieces for you. Why don’t you choose a 300 piece one? No, you don’t like any of those? Okay. We’ll go without. Please stop whining that you want a puzzle. No, we’re not buying minion flip-flops. Do you have the money for them? No? Neither do I.” (Can someone tell me why they need to carry minion footwear at the Jo-Ann register?) My dad seemed wildly entertained. I was not.

On the plus side, we’ve been checking out lots of early reader books at the library, and Corin is doing great with them. Teaching an almost-kindergartner to read is reminding me how terrible English is at following its own rules. “The silent e at the end makes the vowel say its name, except, you know, when it doesn’t.”

Lina has also fallen in love with books. When she was very little, I worried her short attention span would mean we’d have a hard time reading books, but I guess persistence has paid off. She will gladly bring you a book to read, and she spends hours every day flipping through pages on her own. She can be rough – I’ve taped more pages back together in the past few months than I ever have with Corin – but I figure it’s a small price to pay for a bookworm.




(Full disclosure: Corin had already read the book in this video at least once. The first time through was much slower. Also, the dog’s scratching is super annoying. Sorry.)