Saturday, February 27, 2010



1. Size 7 Blue & Black double layer coat, boys
2. Size 4 gray Dora jacket, girls
3. Size 6 dark green jacket, boys
4. size 7 lime green coat, girls
5. size 6 yellow soft zip hoodie, girls
6. size 9 Black winter coat, boys

The above list includes a few of the outerwear items lost by my children over the past year or so. Thank goodness that, besides the size 9 coat which was “lifted” at a community event, all have been found- and returned. (A shout out of thanks to scout leaders, friends, and neighbors involved in the “keep the Whitehead kids from freezing” effort)

My high school English teacher taught us that in order for a piece of literature to be considered “classic”, it must have stood the test of time. As seasons have passed and my children advanced in coat size, I have come to understand why one particular nursery rhyme has stood the test of time…

“The three little kittens have lost their mittens.”

I am obviously not the only one out there who can identify with Mother Kitten. Observe this comforting (or should I say disheartening) exhibit…

“Oh mother dear see here see here, our mittens we have lost…”

This phrase undoubtedly fills another requirement of classic lit. It speaks to a universal audience. Anyone who has sent a child to school with layers, or lunchboxes for that matter, has likely experienced something similar to the kittens’ apologetic refrain. I would wager that I could walk into any elementary school in the U. S. of A. and find a stack similar to the one pictured here. If your children are past 3rd grade and their belongings have never ended up in the coat mound, you could probably write a book on “Teaching Young Children Responsibility” that would give the Eyres a run for their money. And I would be the first to check it out.

I conclude with a request to my readers. I have moved to purchasing replacement outerwear at thrift stores so as to decrease the economic impact of the loss factor. If I had to pay 35 bucks every time we lost a coat, my kids really would have to go without their pie. My son is currently sporting a dark/ light blue retro style 7 dollar “Savers” special. I am hoping that it doesn’t get tossed somewhere and forgotten. But just in case I must request, PLEASE RETURN IF FOUND.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I dare you.

In case you missed my facebook plug a few weeks ago...

Watch this movie!

John Alden and I found it worthwhile. We love movies with a message, and anything faith promoting.

Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church and executive producer, said: "We believe good stories can have a good effect. This film was made by a small army of people who poured into something bigger than themselves - into not just a movie, but a movement to restore and uplift marriages across the country."
Go to for more info.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Polar Express Review/ Feedback

If any of you board the Polar Express next year, you'll have to let us know whether or not they took any of our suggestions. It was fun, but with some tweaking could have been even better... Yes, I sent them a copy.)

Dear Heber Creeper Management, Jan. 2010

My family and I were delighted to be able to board the Polar Express in Dec. 2009. It was a splurge my husband and I decided to surprise our children with because we realize that they will not be young forever. All of us have thoroughly enjoyed the Polar Express tale for years through means of reading or watching it together. Our family consists of 4 children ages 8, 6, 4, and 18 months.

During the drive home from our train ride, my husband and I discussed in detail things we especially liked about the experience, and also some improvements we felt would add more of a magical, storybook feeling. We hope you will take our suggestions into consideration.

Outstanding Elements of the Polar Express Experience:
• Costumes- including the elf hats, chef hats, and conductor’s uniform
• Delicious hot Chocolate served at just the right temp and in a cup with a lid & straw (good for kids)
• Help on and off the train by the gentlemanly chefs
• D├ęcor on the train (garland, lights, and ornaments)
• Happy Mrs. Claus
• Ample time for photo opportunities with staff, all were friendly and willing to pose
• Music with reading of the Children’s’ Book, The Polar Express, multiple copies so all could see
• Proper warning before Santa was spotted in snow (so that kids knew exactly where and when to look and didn’t miss seeing him). Santa waving his lights in the darkness
• Interactive Songs during ride home
• Letting kids tell jokes, sing in microphone
• Cute ticket punch had by conductor, added to ticket souvenir
• Santa handing out silver “believe” bells

Suggestions to add energy and magic to the experience:
• Someone needed to signal the start with a loud proclamation: “ALL ABOARD THE POLAR EXPRESS!”
• Announcement reminding families that young children who were not charged for tickets should be seated on LAPS. (We ended up not being able to sit as a family because we didn’t realize the seats were first come, first serve. In addition- when we got into the car, there were only 3 seats left. We had paid for 5. It was rather “cooped up” ride).
• An initial peppy and even theatrical greeting/ welcome on the microphone once we sat down would have made the moment of departure as exciting as we had imagined.
• I wanted to hear the “Hot Chocolate” song from the movie!!! My kids and I LOVE that song. It makes everyone feel light, and spoiled, and giddy! I wanted the servers to tap dance!!! I was envisioning the tap dancing, or even just some simple form of choreography.
• More dialogue during punching of the tickets- more of an imitation of Tom Hanks’ character. This would have thrilled my kids.
• The “Just Believe” song. People identify so much with this beautiful song which is the anthem of the Polar Express.

We hope that you find this feedback helpful. May you enjoy spreading the spirit of Christmas to all of the families who excitedly join you on the journey of the Polar Express!


John Alden and Julia Whitehead

It was negative four outside . Brrr! I guess that's typical temp. at the "North Pole!"

Christmas Greeting (It's still Winter- so I guess I'm not too late to archive this here)

Flipping through my calendar to review the year 2009, I have concluded that the word I should use to update you on our family life it simply- full.

Our days are full of building homes (Dad), books & homework (Mom & kids), scouts (Dad & now Will), and continuous household tasks (hopefully everyone)!

Our weekends are full of worship and working together in the church. We also enjoy playing games or taking outings as a family. Old maid and yahtzee are two of our latest favorites. Nathat especially loves all those cards and dice.

Desi learned to ride her 2 wheeler this year and Nathan finally took his first steps. The older 3 kids spent the summer preparing and performing a "Frog and Toad" play at the Arts Center. Will and Cara also made their Dad proud behind the boat on the kneeboard. John's other pride was the plump, juicy peach crop that our tree produced! We are enjoying those, as well as pears, salsa, and apple pie filling this winter.

Our home is full of hair bows & binkies, legos & laundry. We hear laughing, crying, piano practicing, and some form of technology most often all at the same time.

Albeit at times exhausting, a life of abundance is a blessing for which we are very grateful to God. They say the glass being half full is a good thing. I think the calendar being mostly full is too. We hop your holiday season and the coming year are warmed by love, blessed with peace and absolutely- overflowingly FULL of joy.