Moms, how do they do all that?

This is just the beginning...

Posted by Danny

Last Monday morning I nearly went into a panic.  I received four emails from other moms (when I’m in this mode I consider myself one of them) about signing kids up for summer camp.  I’m not sure why all of them emailed on the same morning.  Is there a national Begin to Think About What You’re Doing with Your Kids All Summer day that I had missed?  Do all mom’s just intrinsically know that the third Monday in January is THE kickoff for beginning your summer plans?  Was there a mailing that I missed?  Is it genetic?  I don’t know.  But I entered that date in my outlook calendar with an annual reminder.  Next year I’m going to email them first.

I will say that without these four women and my other “girlfriends” my kids would be sitting in front of the television with their older sister eleven weeks in a row, June to August.  They have saved my tail numerous times over the past 18 months.

Three days before Lisa died, we were sitting in our hospital room at Duke.  I had written her a letter that I later read at her inurnment.  In the letter, I had worked to capture the essence of Lisa and the essence of our relationship.  I wanted to be sure that she understood how much I loved and admired her.

I had mentioned the letter multiple times that day.  I knew she was very sick and although I had not accepted her fate, something inside was preparing me for the worst.  I desperately wanted to share my thoughts with her.  When she woke after a mid day nap, both of us in tears, I hung a handwritten “Do Not Disturb” sign on our door and crawled in the bed with her.  I read the letter – it was difficult to get through. 

She said, “Honey, that was beautiful.  Put it in the bag with the notes I’ve written to the girls.  Now, get out a piece of paper and a pen and come back over here.”

This was it.  Lisa was going to share something incredible with me.  Perhaps she was going to give me insights into what she thought about death.  Maybe she was going to tell me how much I meant to her (later I discovered she had already written that – she left nothing to chance).  Instead, she said, “List the children’s names down the left side of the paper.  Now, get your calendar and list the weeks of the summer across the top of the page.  Let’s go through the girls’ camp schedule – you’ll  be able to use this as a guide for the next few years.”

With significant painkillers in her system and with a body being overtaken by cancer, my wife was not concerned with her fears.  She wasn’t concerned with moving to ICU later that afternoon.  No, she wanted to make sure that DJ, Stephanie and Michelle would be taken care of last summer and that they would be with their friends.  And with me as her husband, she had right to be concerned.

“Week one the girls are going to the lake.  You need to register for dance camp the next two weeks – tryouts are in March but Kirstie has assured me they’ll make it.  You have Bible School for Annie T. the next week and Catherine can help with the carpool – y’all might share a sitter those afternoons.  I have nothing for weeks 8 or 9 for Michelle but call Maura, she’ll find something for you.”  She proceeded to tell me which friends would be with each girl for each week.  The only thing we didn’t cover was the cost – which I later discovered would be the most painful part of the process.

I really don’t understand how women do it.  My wife worked full-time and brought home a decent salary.  She drove our kids all around the world from 3 – 6 pm and often had our plan for dinner at 7.  She never missed a registration.  She never missed a dance recital or signing up for a tryout.  The camera bag was always packed and the battery charged.  She kept snacks and bottles of water in her car in the event there was hunger, a hurricane or a bomb threat.  In May, there were new bathing suits in the upstairs laundry basket; the beach towels were out and cleaned and the sunscreen packed in the pool bag.  And, she looked like a million bucks whenever she climbed out of that minivan.

Lisa was a swan:  beautiful on the top – no one exactly sure what was going on with those paddling feet underneath.  I look like a whale that never learned how to swim.  How’d she do all that?

“D@#% Math”

Danny's SAT

I got a call yesterday afternoon. It was Danny, asking when I might be swinging by the house. DJ was struggling with 10 algebra problems that were to be turned in for a grade. And Danny was struggling trying to help her.

Danny is doing a fantastic job of keeping the girls’ studies up. I help some. Without getting into specifics, the girls all have very high grades (at least one got all A’s last semester, and there were plenty of A’s among them), and, perhaps more importantly, all have a pretty darn good work ethic. That is a tribute both to their mother and and credit to their father, both of whom instilled in them good overall character.

The school work they get, I would say, is fair and challenging. The girls seem overwhelmed sometimes when first facing loads of homework or multiple tests, but typically they succeed through practically working their way through it.

But I think we’re finding that, in math at least, Danny’s peak as a capable tutor might be 8th grade.

I actually tutor some in math and have done a decent amount over the years, with varying results. So, to be fair to Danny, because of that I’ve stayed much more fluent in algebra–and I’m actually excited for when DJ takes geometry! (she’s going to HATE it)

Danny described one of the problems to me.

“Five to the negative one time three to the negative two. What are negative exponents?”

I told him I could take a look at it that night. We hung up, but when I jotted the problem down, I realized what he was talking about. Negative integers.

I called him back.

“The negative integers send it to the denominator. Or to the numerator if it’s in the denominator”

He said they’d try to use that. I wasn’t getting home until 7:30 and they were going to the talent show at 7:00, so we agreed to meet later so I could take a look at the work.

About 15 minutes later, I receive this email from him. Its subject is (he’s going to be mad at me for saying this) “d@#% math”. Here’s what it said (I’ve cleaned it up a bit):

So I have spent the last hour trying to figure out this math.  The problems that she has, for the most part, do not have an example in the book that shows you an exact pattern to follow.  And, there are answers to some of the questions in the back of the book – there are answers to some pages, some odd numbered problems.  But, NOT ONE OF THE ANSWERS TO SUPPORT THE EXACT TYPES OF PROBLEMS SHE HAS TO TURN IN FOR A GRADE TOMORROW!!!  And I have scoured the internet.

There are 10 problems.  I am nearly certain that three are correct.  The rest, not sure.  In case you are sitting waiting for your thing to upload, these are the exponent questions (*denotes an exponent):

5-1*(3-2*)  we think this answer is 1/45

(r-5*)-4* (do two negatives make a positive?  do you shift them to the denominator?)

p0*q-2*  we think this answer is q2/mn4

a2*b0*(a-3*)   we think this answer is 1/a



And there are two additional word problems.  I think the negatives are what are hanging us up.


I literally laughed out loud at the thought of him typing out all these problems, many of which, as you will note if you care to examine, are correct. But (until I wrote this blog post) I did not spend two seconds reading the problems. When I thought about Danny thinking I would actually try to translate algebra via email, I laughed again. I saved the email and caught up with DJ later.

She had many of the answers right and a pretty good understanding of exponents, positive and negative, multiplying and adding. I’d say she and Danny were at about a B- working together. I showed her a few errors in her answers and she understood and made the corrections. Man, hope it gets a good grade after I signed off on it AND blogged about it.

Here are some other funny algebra pics:

There will be a lot of people who read this blog who will not get this.

The Bro

My kids are really funny.  I’m not sure where they get that. 

This morning, Michelle. hit my bed at about 8 am.  My arms were up over my head.  “Dad, your arms are flubbery.”  Being one who works out on a regular basis, I am bothered by that statement.  And that’s exactly why she said it.

I had a Social Studies teacher in 7th grade, second period, right after homeroom.  I remember two things about that class.  First, several girls in the class paid me $2 to ask another girl named Barbara to “go with me”.  I asked how long before I could break up.  They said I could dump her at 10 minute break which was right after third period.  I gladly obliged and left the school $2 richer. 

I also remember that the teacher, who was actually very skinny, had a great deal of skin hanging off her upper arms.  She often wore sleeveless dresses.  Her “flubber” jiggled as she wrote on the chalk board, it was mesmerizing – made it difficult for an ADHD boy to focus.  From that time forward, I was always concerned about my arms. 

Late at night is the time that I miss Lisa the most.  Once the kids are in bed, the house gets really quiet.  That was never an issue before; 10 – midnight was our time.  When Jesse is here, it’s not so quiet.  But he’s a young dude with a social life.  So last March I began a new routine:  late night push ups.  Last year I lost 20 pounds – grief and stress related.  I was down to a light 155.  I’ve worked hard to put the weight back on (Lisa would really be miffed at someone who had to work to put weight on).  My kids’ response from my hard work?  They tell me I have man boobs.  I’ve worked to explain the difference between man boobs and a muscular chest.  I even pulled up pictures on the internet:

(I found several really good pics of man boobs but just couldn’t bring myself to put them on this website.  We have some level of decency.  You can go to google and search for yourself.)



How did they respond to my explanation?  For my birthday, they made me a “Bro”.  A “Bro”, according to Kramer in the hit TV show Seinfeld, is a bra for a man. 

This “Bro” was made out of cardboard with two triangular cups covered with tin foil.  It was attached with lace and decorated with hearts and glitter.  I was amused…but not enthusiastic enough to put it on, even for a friendly picture.  When you live in this house, there is no telling where a photo of you might show up.

I think that laughter is a HUGE ingredient in healing.  Some may perceive it as irreverent.  I see it as survival.

This All Started Innocently Enough…


We’re eating out for dinner tonight, and it’s not my fault. Well, not REALLY not my fault.

See, there are basically two adults in this house. Danny is one. And DJ and I combine make up the other adult. We have enough grown-up between the two of us to equal one adult. This can be good or bad. In a good way, it means there are three people with “adult-like” qualities, so we can spread ourselves out and cover most things. But the down side is that if DJ and I team up for some mischief, there’s really no one to stop us.

You could, actually, blame it on the blog.

You see, earlier today, Danny concluded his blog post by saying:

Think we’ll just go out to eat for dinner; I’m tired

Only DJ and I (bloodhounds that we are) detected thawing bean and chicken soup in the sink this morning at breakfast. We knew he had no intentions of going out to dinner. He was lying on the blog! We felt justified in taking corrective measures.

This afternoon, just before Danny got home, I called up to her:

“Hey DJ, want to stick the soup back in the freezer so we have to go out to dinner for Valentine’s Day?”

No hesitation from her: “YES! I almost did it earlier, but I didn’t want to do it on my own because I didn’t want to, you know, like get in trouble.”

See what I mean? Team up the two half-adults and we can’t be stopped. She was way too enthusiastic for me not to go through with it. But I had to pretend to be sensible:

Me: “Yeah, but you get out of dance late…”

DJ: “Yeah, but Stephanie already did piano and me and Stephanie already did homework. And Michelle never has homework!”

Me: “Ok…maybe we can convince him to pick up chinese.”

The soup really did look and smell good. I'm glad we have more.

Finally we decide to go through with it, though we’re still not clear on the reveal. Only AS WE’RE PUTTING THE SOUP IN THE FREEZER Danny literally comes through the door. Almost busted! We hastily toss the soup into the freezer as he blows by us to the bedroom (probably has to pee). Maybe too hastily.

Danny ventures back out to pick up Michelle, so DJ and I work on what the excuse is going to be (by the way, she’s waaay to good at brainstorming excuses for a 13-year old). DJ is just about to bolt for her dance carpool. She opens the freezer to check on the soup and WHAM! One of the containers explodes on the floor. A pile of beans and chicken, with soup slowly spreading across the kitchen like the blood of a gunshot victim. Oops.

DJ’s out the door leaving me holding the bag. Stephanie, who was all too content to just shout out suggestions for dining options should we pull this off, is now very interested. She comes downstairs in time to snap some pictures of me cleaning (my blog instincts weren’t sharp enough to grab a snapshot of the whole spill. It was grand).

the "chalk outline" of the soupy victim

Steph asks me:

“What are you going to tell him?”

“I guess I’ll just have to tell him the truth, huh?”

But not before shooting it out in a quick blog post, right?

(by the way, he’s been home 30 minutes now and still hasn’t noticed the soup missing or the smell of beans and chicken in the air. Guess I do a pretty good clean-up job!)

just desserts?

Easier than Christmas

Posted by Danny

Am I missing anything?

1. Napkins and plates, red with hearts, for Michelle’s school Valentine’s Day party.  At the beginning of the school year, when parents are asked to sign up for class projects and events, I push to the front of the line, even over pregnant moms with great intentions of supporting the teacher.  I act as if I have an important meeting to get to right after Parent Night.  My strategy is to put my name on the sign up sheet next to the easiest thing to do.  I’m all about some plates and napkins. 

2. Cards for each child in Michelle’s class with candy taped to the top.  A friend had her draw a card last week that I just had to copy – thank you Maura!  Bought the candy early last week when we stopped by the gro looking for razor blades for DJ.  Do you know how many types of razor blades there are for women?  I had to come back home to regroup before I could buy them.  There should be a standard “one size fits all” razor blade.  If they want to add a ribbon of moisture or a quattro trimstyle it should have to fit any razor out there.  Obama should get on that.

3. School fundraiser “balloon cards” ordered and paid for.  School fundraiser cards filled out and returned (a multi stepped process, double the work!).  I’m working on my school fundraiser attitude.  My philosophy is gouge me out of the gate.  I’ll pay you double if I don’t have to pay you on multiple occasions.  I’m an “all inclusive” sort of guy. 

4. Candy for Stephanie to pass out – but no cards or names.  She’s in 5th grade and needs to be able to hand them out as she deems appropriate on the day of – full flexibility.  Perhaps Cupid will  guide her.  I’m curious to know if any 5th grade boys receive a treat – I kinda hope so!  If your’s does, shoot me an email.  Look for fun dips with no name on the “To” line.

5. A small gift and candy for the girls – only money for DJ who is saving up for a Droid (March 3rd her current phone plan expires – whoa! whoa!).  More ways she can get in contact me when she’s upstairs in her room and I’m in the den.

6. A homemade card for Uncle Jesse (not my idea, Michelle made it at church today).  I do love him, but someone else is going to have to take care of his Valentine needs.  I have a few of my own.

7. Fudge ordered and picked up for the church fundraiser because this past weekend we ate a good portion of the food in the house that will kill us – need to get more in pronto.  Seriously, pizza, Krispy Kreme doughnuts and cheese dip within 24 hours of each other.  All fruit and veggies next week – skim milk, and V8 juice. (On a side note, just had a piece of the fudge, it’s really, really good.)

8. White shirt clean and ironed to wear to church with the annual red and white bow tie – working to keep things festive, plus it’s about the only time I get to wear that one.  A few years ago I was wearing it at a Y functionin December  and an elderly may walked up to me and said, “You look like a candy cane, I feel like I ought to lick you.”  I took it out of the regular rotation after that.  I only pull  it out when I’m feeling frisky.

9. Probably ought to drop a piece of candy in their lunchbox or something cute.  A note would be sweet but one more thing to do… OK, I’m writing the notes. 

Think we’ll just go out to eat for dinner; I’m tired –

Sunday Post 5: The Pinnacle of Despair

Posted by Danny

Does anyone like February?  As I struggle to get through this month, I’m thankful Lisa didn’t die in April.  February already stinks – why not maximize the suffering?  It seems that much of the progress I’d made with my grief has flown out the door as we approach the one year anniversary of Lisa’s death.  I can write about Tupperware, but my mind is on her.  I’ve turned off the car radio this month – too many memories.  There are memories in the den, memories in the bathroom, there are even memories in the refrigerator – her favorite stir fry sauce right there on the door next to the Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls.  Magazine articles take me there; the newspaper takes me there.

I was reading the News and Observer yesterday and was drawn to an article entitled Talk, don’t just treat, docs say.  As I read, I was reminded of our visit to UNC Hospital last February for a second opinion.  I picked up my journal and opened to my entry on February 12, 2010, less than two weeks before Lisa died. 


Went to see Dr. Goldberg at UNC yesterday for a second opinion.  I think what he told us was:

1) Your cancer is very, very serious, aggressive and unique

2) There is not a lot of hope for long-term

3) You have few options

4) Prepare for the worst

Lots of tears yesterday.  Held hands with Lisa in bed, cried and talked about the future – sadness and fears.  I’m so scared; I’m so very sad.  I think I’ve been in shock since September.  Lisa is still on significant pain meds.  In some ways maybe that is easier for all of us – perhaps keeps the intensity of emotions down.  She says she has the easy part – sleep, some sedation – if she dies she’s done with it all.  She says I have the hard part – putting the pieces back together and carrying on.  I’m not sure if she’s right.  I guess it really doesn’t matter.  It’s just hard all around.  In writing, it seems that hard is not a strong enough word.  It is so much more.  The prep work for an emotional colonoscopy – I emotionally ache – to the depths, deep, deep depths of my soul.  I don’t know how much more is in me – is it like boogers?  You just make more?  Or a glass of water that eventually is empty?

I’ve had many hard days over the last 18 months.  The hardest was this visit to UNC.  It was the day that we, together, had to face her impending death.  We’d both had thoughts about her dying.  When one of us wanted to talk about it, the other would dodge the issue.  This time there was no dodging.  We both heard the same thing at the same time. 

Our doctor at Duke was so emotionally attached to Lisa and me that she could not bring herself to give up hope.  Dr. Goldberg was an outsider to our situation.  He felt a responsibility to be honest –

Lisa sat in a chair, black stretchy pants and a white zip up sports jacket.  Her fanny pack of pain meds and her husband by her side.  She had her pad with questions she wanted answered.  I had mine, the proven scribe.  He said, “You’re young.  You have kids.  You need to prepare.  Your last hope is chemo. With your platelets this low, it is very dangerous.” 

Lisa asked, “What if the chemo doesn’t work?” 

He responded, “Your time is limited.” 

“What does that mean?”

“Months, maybe weeks.”

I remember the look on her face.  She sort of laughed with tears in her eyes.  “Well, I think it’s good that your being candid.”  And she changed the subject.  I looked out of the window.  A cold but sunny day.  And yet the fog in my mind allowed zero visibility. 

As direct as he was, I still don’t think it truly hit me that Lisa would die.  I still have a hard time believing it today.  Looking back on it, I don’t believe there is much that could have been said to prepare us for what was to come.  However, I think that day may have been a turning point for Lisa – she may have fully come to grips that this was the end. 

Not me.  I wrote what I heard that day, but still had full faith that she would be spared. 

My grief counselor recently asked me why I thought God would answer my plea for her survival and not all of the other requests that he gets on a daily basis.  My response?  “Because I’m Danny Tanner.”  She told me that grief is the great equalizer.  I liked it better when I thought I was special –

Sadlacks or Bust

Posted by Danny

When I was a kid we lived on Birkshire Road in Fayetteville, NC.  Our house was the one where every kid would spend the entire summer.  The boy across the street would arrive at our house at 8 am and my mom would finally kick him out at dusk.  We’d play hide in go seek, boyland and girlland (I won’t go into the details but let your mind run wild!), and once my older brother had us shoot darts at people’s bare butts – the kind of dart with a suction cup on the end.  Being the younger brother, I was never the target – primarily because I was a tattle tail and he knew better.  I don’t think they ever stuck, but it was a remarkable thing to try.

Lisa and I had talked about wanting to be the house where kids were comfortable hanging out.  I think she thought she’d have a better chance getting the poop on all of the boys.  I just like people and noise.  I also like to think of myself as cool.  My oldest daughter would not concur – but I’ve seen some of her friend’s dads and I’m really not that bad (no offense dudes). 

It hit me late last spring.  With Lisa gone, there was a good chance that my kids would not have the same social opportunities as others.  In our world, Lisa was the inviter – she invited people to dinner, she invited kids for play dates, she invited kids over to spend the night, she coordinated and invited to their birthday parties.  I greeted the pizza man at the door and made sure he was paid.  If I didn’t do something, my kids would spend their birthdays around our kitchen bar with a Food Lion cake and four grandparents cheering them on, period.  I had a new role to play – I’d seen her do it.  Certainly with my background as a Y camp counselor and my  incredible role model in Lisa, I could handle the kids’ social activities.

My first attempt was a birthday party for Stephanie.  We invited 12 girls for dinner at a local pizza joint, followed by popsicles at Loco Pops and then…the sleepover.  I let Michelle have a friend over and threw in two for DJ.  Grandparents helped with transportation.

After we ate, I took Michelle and Stephanie and their friends and headed out on Hillsborough Street near the NC State campus.  It was about a five block walk from pizza to popsicles.  With the grandfolks blocks behind us, the 16 of us started chanting Y songs as we strolled down the road.

Form the Orange

Form form the orange

Peel the orange

Peel peel the orange

Squeeze the orange

Squeeze squeeze the orange

The songs had motions and we all sang at full capacity.  As we walked by the outdoor seating at Porter’s, a local restaurant, the diners lobbed out support – “Isn’t that cute.”

We eventually hit Sadlack’s, an institution in Raleigh:  an outdoor bar with live music, a very eclectic crowd.  I wasn’t sure how the clientele would respond to our fruity melodyies.  I was pleasantly surprised, “Whoa, whoa – way to go old man!”  “Check that dude out!”  “You need this (holding out his beer) more than I do!”  I felt like a rock star.

I’ve tried to continue to support my kids when they want to bring friends in.  Tonight, we have the school cheerleading squad over – about 15 girls.  They are dancing, they are laughing, they are LOUD!  And they are awesome.

I’m really not that cool.  They don’t give me the time of day.  But I know that if Lisa could see this, she’s be smiling from cheek to cheek.

Oh, and rest assured I locked up all of the suction darts before the party started!

The Daddy Handbook

The Handbook (It's in my hand)

Posted by Danny

For years I have carried the Daddy Handbook.  It’s invisible – therefore, it’s always on me. One day a few years back I was quoting from it as we were walking out of Circuit City.  An older gentleman overheard our conversation.  He smiled at me and looked at the girls with a serious face, “I have that book too.  Everything in it is true.”

The girls say there’s an invisible Little Girl’s Handbook, but I don’t believe them.

Tonight I was putting Stephanie to bed.  I told her I loved her.  She said, “I love you more.”  I said, “That’s impossible.”

“Na Uh.”

“It is impossible, and I’ll tell you why.  Look (I pulled out the handbook and flipped it open).  It says right here in the Daddy Handbook on page 548, second paragraph:  Daddy’s always love their daughters more than their daughters love them. If it’s in the handbook honey, it is true.”

“Well I have the Little Girl Handbook and it says:  Girls love their daddy’s more than the daddy’s love their girls.  Page 14.  That paragraph.”  She pointed to her small book.

“Well Stephanie, look here on page 799, the last page of the Daddy Handbook.  Do you see what it says?  It says:  Page 14 in the Little Girl’s handbook is hogwash.  Do not believe anything on that page It’s just not true.”

“Well there’s a secret page in the Little Girl’s handbook that says:  Page 14 is true even if the Daddy Handbook says it is not true. And you don’t know the number of the secret page.”

“Yes Stephanie.  But look.  Down here at the bottom of page 799:  The secret page of the Little Girl’s Handbook has some mistakes.  The main one is about the Daddy Handbook not being true. Disregard the information on that page.”

“Daddy, what does disregard mean?”

“Don’t worry about it Boo.  I love you the very most.  Goodnight.”

I Hate Tupperware

Posted by Danny

I’ve always been able to make my way around the kitchen – cooking about half of the meals we ate at home over our 16 year marriage.  I was the only one who could make a pound cake – a recipe passed on by my mother, her mother and my great-grandmother.  It’s all in the mixing.  I also made a killer bean dip that I could only eat when Lisa wasn’t home.  She said it looked like…well, she said it wasn’t appetizing to her.  It was clear that was a meal to be enjoyed without her.

What I had never encountered at our house was Tupperware.  One of many things my wife handled without my knowing or appreciating. 

We have a corner cabinet that glides in a circle and in it we keep our plastic booty.  We have 28 square bottoms and 23 square tops.  Few of the tops fit the bottoms.  It’s the same with the rectangles and circles. 

Plenty of Lids

One day my dad was in town and got frustrated with the Tupperware corner.  He mustered enough energy to sit his 73-year-old inflexible self on the floor and begin the process of mating the bottoms with the tops.  He restacked and found a large container to hold the tops.  My mother helped him off the floor.  When they returned in two weeks, havoc had reigned once more.  And, he tossed one of my favorite pieces, a soup bowl sized purple number that was perfect for a nice helping of leftover bean dip.  I’d had that piece since right after college.  Boy do I miss her.

The worst part of the corner Tupperware cabinet is that the parts fall off the rotating door as you open it.  Then the cabinet gets stuck mid way around.  It’s convenient if you’re emptying the dishwasher, but it just doesn’t look very nice to leave it that way. 

Nice kitchen, why's your cabinet open? Two quart Gladware with a mismatched lid stuck in the back for goin' on two weeks now.

About once a week, I belly up on the kitchen floor and begin digging under the cabinet door.  Invariably I lose the top layer of skin off of my hand in the process of dragging out the lid that fell and that doesn’t fit any damn bottom within a sixty mile radius of my kitchen.  One time this year I drew blood trying to rescue a Gladware throw away, one of 8,976 we received over Lisa’s illness when meals were being provided by our friends four days each week.

If it is a Gladware throw away, I wonder why I don’t throw it away?   I sort of have this bizarre attachment to these containers.  It’s not like they’re expensive, you can by a package of six from Target for $3. 

I’m going to go throw one away.  Seriously,  I can do this.

“She Is As Pretty As A Flower”


Last weekend I helped Stephanie with a school project. I was fishing around for some unused poster board when I found this:

Michelle's poster

It’s a poster Michelle made of Lisa a few years ago. Danny has some paragraph framed above his desk at home that Stephanie wrote in first grade. The kids were supposed to describe something using their senses, and Stephanie picked her Dad so it says things like “he is squishy” and “he tastes salty” or something like that. It gets read aloud about once a month. It also reeks of something her Dad helped her write, thus the framing.

I’m not sure if this was the same assignment, but it also smells suspiciously of something Danny was helping the child craft. Yes, it is sad to read. But it is also very funny. I laughed because I can see Danny poking fun at Lisa’s elegance and class by suggesting things like “she likes to cook spaghetti-o’s” and “she likes to eat pizza” and “and bring some clothes.”

Michelle is pretty funny. And smart. She probably wrote most of it.

I’m not sure why the one about Lisa didn’t get framed and the one about Danny did. So I figured I’d hang this one on our wall, so to speak. We’re in sort of a “remembering Lisa” mood this month anyway. Oh, and how else could I tell that Danny helped Michelle with this poster? Because it says, “She is as pretty as a flower.”

And she was.

Lisa with nephew Sam at Capon Springs

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