On Monday night Mel went out to coffee with Mandie to talk about wedding stuff. Tate and I stayed at home to guard the ranch. As a quick side note with no real correlation to what happened Monday night, when canyon-folk refer to leaving the canyon to run an errand, to go buy groceries, or to go get coffee, they say they're "going to town." Before moving to the canyon I thought this expression had died about the same time coon-skin caps went out of fashion and cars replaced the horse and buggy as a primary means of transportation. Boy was a I wrong. "Going to town" is still very much a part of the canyon vernacular and it can be used interchangeably as a general way of explaining any reason for leaving the house. Having said that, Mel went to town Monday night while Tate and I (Bauer too) had a guy's night (well, more like a guy's 2 hours). It was a pretty nice evening so I decided to set up Tate's swing in the front orchard (canyonspeak for "front lawn"). The swing's directions said it was for 9 months and up but Dr. Trotter said that Tate was pretty advanced for his age at his last checkup and I thought of would reward him with a 3-month early, 9-month birthday present. He loved it. I tried to teach him how to "pump" his legs but he was more interested in chewing on the straps. He's a man of simple means. A canyon boy, born and bred.
He likes the swing. He's tired of the swing. He opens his mouth as the spoon gets near him like a baby bird. Cutest thing ever.
I got that text from a student who was running late to class on Monday. Awesome. So glad they stole my cell phone number. Yesterday marked the beginning of my 2-week countdown for the end of student teaching. That's right folks. Only 9 class days left. It will be a bittersweet but welcomed end to this chapter in my education. Yesterday also marked Tate's 6 month life anniversary. He had his 6-month check-up on Tuesday. The doctor said that he is about 2 moths ahead developmentally and that we are in trouble. Roughly the same speech the doctor (same guy) gave my parents when I was that age. He gets to start eating different types of baby food now. It has become a fun form of torture, feeding him various concoctions of mashed up human food. Most of it is stuff Bauer would turn his nose at and Tate seems to be having the same reaction. He is however stoked to be sitting eye level with us at meals. As you can see he is in a big-boy high chair now. The doctor gave us all of Tate's stats, none of which were surprising. Length: 40%; Weight: 55%; and head size...96%. In short (literally), he is built like his parents. Luckily that means he will also be in the 100th percentile in terms of adorability. Ask any doctor and they'll tell you the same.
This weekend was pretty impactful for a number of reasons. On Friday the Ton and I went to see Expelled. The movie (a doc about Intelligent Design and evolution) is pretty ballsy. Ben Stein, a Yale valedictorian, Richard Nixon speech writer, and actor turned movie-producing saboteur, created a documentary that is provocative, antagonistic, funny, and compelling. Throughout my time student teaching I have grown more and more concerned for today's students. Their education is so on-sided in terms of the information that they are given to learn through books, articles, and media. This movie posed many of the same thoughts that I have had about our educational system. Hopefully it will generate some sort of open dialogue and debate in the public school system. It will undoubtedly piss some people off and it makes no effort to do otherwise. My only fear is that it will be used as ammunition against liberal, non-Christian folk by ultra conservative people. It is a pretty polarizing movie and is definitely biased but it is really well done and I would recommend it for sure (Mel and I saw it on Sunday as well). On Saturday I had the opportunity to go with a bunch of VBC folks to the Tenderloin with an SF-based ministry called City Impact. They are working on renovating a building to turn it in to a school. Since my wrist is still jacked up I opted to help in a nearby school tutoring kids and assisting with the San Francisco Rescue Mission's VBS-style ministry. It was a lot of fun playing with the kids but the real powerful time for me happened after the kids took off. A group of us (Tim, Darlene, and co.) took groceries door-to-door in 3 different apartment buildings. We split up in to pairs and knocked on doors and offered to pray for the people as well. No one turned us down. The people that I encountered were super poor and many were in bad health. One man, named Cleo, asked me to pray for his health and he told me that he had Valley Fever. For those of you guys that are familiar with Rob Willson's situation, you know he has the same thing. I prayed with the guy and told him about Rob. Cleo was crying and it was a really powerful time. Pray for Cleo and his health. Also, pray for Frank and his battle with alcoholism and Michael, for the health of him and his family. It is easy to forget about the povery and desperation that is only 20 miles from here (and even closer in some cases). It was a great reminder of what it means to live a life like Christ. These people, many of which offered to pray for me as well, were less in need of help than me in some cases and I relish the opportunity to spend time with them again. I am thankful for what I have. I am thankful for Melissa and Tate and for our health and I hope I don't take advantage of that. A group from the church is going out there again next Saturday. If you have the time you should go. Better yet, make the time to go.
The past couple weeks have been pretty busy. However, I have managed to spend more time than usual with Tate. I even gave him a bath by myself the other night which was a first. He is getting really vocal. He has developed a fake cough. It's funny. One of the highlights of the last week was the VBC 20th Anniversary Dinner. I think that everyone who went was really blessed by it. It was cool to see how much the church has changed through the years and how God has consistently blessed us. The video highlights were pretty classic as well. Jamie Fox shared about what the church, and specifically Mark Porter, has meant to him, which was an especially meaningful part of the evening's festivities. It was also good to see a bunch of people that I hadn't seen in a while. Melissa helped organize and set up for Melissa Foster's baby shower that day so essentially we (Mel, Tate, and I) were at the church from 11am-9pm. Mel and Tate took a nap in the MSM room on one of the nappy couches while I corrected papers prior to the dinner. Funny stuff. I went to a couple job fairs last week. Nothing too promising but it was good to get my resume out there and to meet some principals. The Foothill. Dublin Unified is doing invite-only interviews and I got called today for an interview next Saturday. We'll see what happens. I only have 15 days left of student teaching. My students are pleading with me to stay until the end of the year. I remind them that I am not getting paid and as much fun as it is to put up with their "stuff" each day, I am going to have to pass. In truth, I will miss them and have had a very positive teaching experience but I am looking forward to having my own classroom.
Curious Tate. Foster baby shower workers (not all of them). VBC HSM Graduates. Green eggs and Tate (Tate says thanks cousin Heather!).
Last night I went to see Mae with my brother and Jake. Laura Wetmore went too. We ate sushi first. I like sushi (don't tell 10 year old me that I said that). This is about the gazillionth time that I have seen Mae but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Between the Trees, The Honorary Title, and Far-Less opened for them. Between the Trees was amazing. Sounded just like their CD. I highly recommend them for your listening pleasure. I had X-Rays on my wrist yesterday for an injury that I incurred during last Friday's softball game (against an all deaf team no less). They spanked us. The preliminary diagnosis is that I have a sprained wrist. Same one I have broken twice. Looks like I am headed to the DL. Hicks and I are putting together a blog for our softball team.That will be up shortly. I let a student (junior girl) borrow my copy of the book we are reading for class yesterday. I saw her giggling and truning to the other students around her to show them my book. Confused, I started to apporach her. And then it hit me. I had written my phone number on the front, inside cover of the book (a habit I developed in college). Long story short...I have been receiving random text messages for the past couple days from unrecognized numbers. Lesson learned - high schoolers can't be trusted. That leaves me with about 13 more years of being able to trust Tate.
When I was growing up, my family used to go to a cabin in Twain Harte each winter and summer with the Tutino and Miller family. My childhood was filled with a lot of estrogen. Last weekend my family returned to TH for the first time in about 13 years to go to one of the cabins that we used to go to. It was surreal to be back in the same place I spent a lot of my childhood. Much of it was smaller than I remembered but still held the memories of my adolescence, including watching Shiloh getting bitterly frustrated after realizing that she just wasted 2 hours of her 12 year old life when she found out that snipes do not in fact exist and witnessing Justin playing with pine cones, somehow covered cheek-to-cheek in dirt and grime. Those were the days. I also recall the fact that I was roughly the same weight that I am now but about 6 inches shorter. Portly, yet charming, as I recall. My mom cried the moment she stepped in to the cabin, peering at the upstairs loft where her little squirrels and squirrelettes (Justin, myself, and the girls) once hibernated. If you told me when I was 12 that I would be back in the same cabin 13 years later with my wife and son, I would've slapped you. Maybe even pinched you. One of the trip's highlights was taking Tate to the snow for the first time. His initial reaction was that it was cold and upon further investigation he discovering that his initial reaction was in fact correct. We bundled the little bugger up and he asked if he could sit in the snow. Naturally, we obliged. He is continuing to bring a lot of joy and sleepless nights to our lives and we are increasingly grateful for the little guy. Upon being told that Tate is 5 months old, a gentlemen at a restaurant the other day said that he thinks Tate is humongous and will likely be a basketball player someday. I demonstrated some of my basketball prowess briefly on the sidewalk and the gentlemen recanted his previous prediction, surmising that my genes may in fact hinder Tate's basketball abilities. However, my genes may allow Tate to one day grow a beard like Baron Davis. Sorry for the tangent. Enjoy the pictures: