Wednesday, January 28, 2009

10 things you should know about Cooper

Cooper is the spotlight student in his class this week. As part of the festivities, parents are asked to write a letter to be read to the class. Here's what Steve and I have shared:

Cooper is very strong! Before he was 2, he went to the Fort Worth Zoo with his mom, aunt and cousin. His mom was holding him up to see the bears. He was so strong that he almost pulled himself away from his mom and almost fell into the bear pit below! His mom and aunt were very scared, and they took Cooper away quickly.

Cooper loves adventure! When he was 3, he and his mom were in the elevator of a very big San Francisco hotel. His mom walked off the elevator, but Cooper stayed behind. The doors closed, and he was all alone in the elevator! When the elevator stopped at the next floor, he walked off and talked to the ladies at the health club. They helped him find his way back to his mom.

Cooper is very helpful! Just this week, he was at the grocery store. Another shopper dropped the onion she was holding, and it rolled away. Cooper didn’t hesitate to chase after the runaway onion and return it to the shopper.

Cooper is very friendly! He and his family were on vacation on Mackinac Island, Michigan, a couple of summers ago. A group of teenagers was playing baseball on an open field. Cooper just walked right up to the big kids and asked if he could play. They let him, and Cooper was happy to have made new friends.

Cooper is creative! He has always loved to tell stories. Here is a story he told when he was 5:
The Eagle and Its Owner
By Cooper Damm
There was a daddy going to outer space. But first he had to go to the beach to pick up his pet eagle. He had to go on a sailboat to get to the eagle's home. But the eagle went to get some food for its babies. The man waited and waited. Then one day the eagle came home, and the eagle was surprised to see his owner there. They went together to space.
The End

Cooper has a positive attitude! His mommy and daddy can’t help but smile when they see Cooper smile.

Cooper loves games and puzzles! When he was 5, he could do 400-piece puzzles by himself. He is excellent at chess, Monopoly and Battleship, too.

Cooper was a giant baby! He was 9 pounds, 6 ounces when he was born. His head was covered in dark hair.

Cooper has always loved Tex-Mex food! When he was 10 months old, he devoured an enchilada and side of rice and beans at Mi Cocina. His plate was clean! And he was really happy.

Cooper is funny and loves to tell jokes! Here’s our favorite riddle that he’s invented:
Why are thermometers so good in college?
Because they have so many degrees.

Roy Finney (1950-2009)

My dear choir director from Belton Junior High passed away yesterday.

Mr. Finney created a family in his choir room. He was funny, strict and encouraging.

I wasn't a good singer, but he did let me participate in just about anything I asked -- musicals, contests, ensemble choir.

He was part of a small group of Belton teachers who made life better for me.

I remember so many songs from my three years with him. One of my favorites is the English folk song "Early One Morning."

Early one morning,
Just as the sun was rising,
I heard a maid sing,
In the valley below.
Oh, don't deceive me,
Oh, never leave me,
How could you use
A poor maiden so?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Person's best friend

A few mornings ago, the kids and I were talking about friends. Katie said that Margie couldn't be a friend because she's a dog.

I told her that she is our friend and that, in fact, some people call dog "man's best friend."

She thought about this for maybe one second.

"Mommy, can they also be woman's best friend?"


On Monday, Cooper became ill quickly. I took him to the doctor, and we learned that he had strep throat.

Margie apparently knew he was sick before we did.

She usually cuddles up with Steve. We're certain that she does so to help him feel better.

But on Monday afternoon, before I realized that Cooper had a fever, Cooper and Steve were resting in bed. Margie chose Cooper as her pillow -- instead of Steve.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Meteorologist Cooper

It's college week at Cooper's school. Each day has a theme -- hats on Tuesday, sweats on Wednesday (though just about every day is a sweats day for Coop), career day today and college shirt day tomorrow.

As you may recall from last year, Cooper hopes to be a meteorologist. Or scientist. Or inventor. Last week he decided he wants to invent a combination telescope and microscope that would allow you to see very small details of something very far away.

He dressed as a meteorologist and gave us the forecast this morning.

He takes his job very seriously. I tried to get him to smile.

Friday, January 02, 2009


I have two measurable resolutions for 2009. Both are designed to reduce calories and reduce spending.

No matter how much I run and walk, I can't seem to lose weight that I put on last year.

Plus, Steve and I deliberated for a while about our church pledge for the new year and decided to increase our annual giving by almost 15 percent. That money isn't going to just fall out of the sky!

1. Buy a drink from Starbucks only twice a month.
For about a month this summer, I boycotted Starbucks altogether, in recognition of Uncle Greg's job loss. (He was laid off as part of a national cost-cutting measure in August.) In the fall, I had started drinking lattes again, about one drink a week. And then they introduced the holiday flavors, and I fell under the spell of the Peppermint Mocha Twist. I couldn't resist its call. I was buying a drink three or four times a week.

The trick will be to not use up my two drinks too early in the month. Tomorrow, for instance, a group of us are running to Starbucks. We'll stop for a drink. I will ask for ice water. I do not want to use one of my two chances on the third day of the month!

2. Buy a restaurant meal only once a month.
We eat out as a family once a week usually. I eat out with friends for lunch once or twice a week. I don't expect we as a family will have too much trouble following this resolution. I will have to change my social habits. Liz and I were talking about social meals today -- maybe we could just meet at someone's house for sandwiches?

The one contingency on both of these resolutions is a hospital visit. If Steve has to be admitted to the hospital in 2009 (and we're all praying that he won't!), then I give myself permission to temporarily break these resolutions.

Good luck to you and your resolutions for 2009!