Wednesday, February 22, 2006

original score by Cooper Welch

This is an original song that Cooper wrote on his guitar. He had me write down the lyrics for him. I can't read, let along write, music, so I can only give you the lyrics. But here they are.

Jamen on Hime

Who is dat, flying up in the air
He's not St. Nicholas, no he isn't there

It's only just Jamen on Hime
It's just Jamen on Hime

He is here and there
He is everywhere

He makes quilts
And he made one built

I met him before
I didn't just do a tour

I'm making the times, for the rhymes, in da city

He doesn't wear any hat
But he met a bat

Oh yeah, what a great time to do it

And time for me to go
And time for me to go, whoooo yeah

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

death by suburb

I have ordered books for our small group called "Death by Suburb."

The author identifies 8 toxins of living in the suburbs and 8 spiritual practices for battling those toxins and living, what he calls, the thicker life.

On the website, under toxin 6, "My Church is the problem" one of his discussion points is this:

"You should feel disillusioned with your church. That’s the starting point for great spiritual progress."

I am excited to read and study this book.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

my neighbor totoro

Friday Cooper was off of school. So I decided to take him to the children's museum. I think he had gone there once with his mother when we first moved to Minnesota, but I had never been there. Also, I wanted to go while the Jump to Japan exhibit was still there so we could see totoro.

We had a great time at the museum. Every room was his favorite until we went to the next room. The last room we were at was the city, where Cooper got to be a mailman and a police officer.

After 4 hours at the museum we went to the Mall of America to eat at one of Cooper's favorite restaurants, the Rain Forest Cafe.

I realize this is our last outing with Cooper as an only child. So I have been doing some reflecting on the last 6 years. The first 18 months in Louisville that I basically slept walked though. Our little 2 bedroom house with our horrible neighbor. Moving to Illinois and officially being not just the primary care giver, but a stay-at-home dad. Finding out a lot of people consider that to be an "alternative" lifestyle. Our church family there. Our house that was much too big and formal for our life style. The grumpy old neighbor who wouldn't make eye contact with us. Being close to family and being able to celebrate holidays with extended family.

It has been a long journey to get to the point we are at today. I don't know where it goes from here. But soon we add a new life to our family. And it seems like other worries are starting to melt away. Maybe this will help me refocus on what is really important. With one child gown to school age I may understand my roll as a stay-at-home dad better this go around.

I am a stay-at-home dad. It is my job. It may not be the norm, it may seem foreign to some, but it is my job. And I want to do the best at it I can.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

cooper tv

For those of you that have known us for a while, you may know that Cooper does not have an imaginary friend, but he does have an imaginary tv audience. For years Cooper had periodically talked to the television audience much like Steve (for those of you with younger children, this was the classic Blue's Clues host)

So the other day Cooper hired a camera man, and although his editor still needs some time with it, I present Cooper TV.

Sorry, for those on dial-up, this is probably not going to work or take forever.


For those interested, this move was encoded using H.264 at 15fps. The audio is AAC at 32.000 kHz

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Cooper joins choir

This saturday we took at trip out to the headquarters of the land of lakes choirboys. They have choirs for boys starting as early as 5 years old. The younger kids, or prep choir doesn't require a tryout.

So this tuesday Cooper will start going to choir practice. He will likely perform in May at the Benson great hall on the campus of Bethel.

We were really impressed, not just with the choir/singing aspect of the program, but the work they do on manners, respect and responsibility. This was something totally unexpected to me.

Cooper enjoyed the time we spent their on Saturday and is looking forward to becoming part of the choir.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Pancakes @ school

It is Friday morning. Today we had breakfast at Little Mountain, Cooper's school.

It was very fun to go to Cooper's school and hang out. Cooper had to say hi to the principle. They had center pieces made by some of the older students. Cooper asked if the one we were sitting by was made by his buddy (meaning his 4th grade buddy, a system at the school where they pair up kindergartners with a 4th grader)

After we ate we took Cooper's stuff to his locker in his classroom and spent some time talking to his teacher. After that we took him to the library where kids were watching a movie until it was time for school. Their we got to spend a little time talking to the person who is running Cooper's social group he started attending at school.

I just cannot express enough how grateful we are to have such wonderful people running our local school system. Even the bus driver will share information with me if something has gone wrong or if Cooper seems out of sorts.

Thanks to everyone at Little Mountain.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Cooper's issues at school recently and our weeks without TV have taught me some things.

One is that we can live without television. In fact, I think we are going to try to cut out TV during the week. It is harder to get things done, but I think it is well worth the cost.

The other is I need to find the right balance in my life. I realize there have been too many times where I have sacrificed Cooper in order to do other things, good things, but other things. The number one thing is stuff for our church. I don't want to get misread here, I think it is important for me to serve at church, I enjoy serving at church, but I can't sacrifice my son for it. I really don't think that is pleasing to God.

So I need to find that balance. I need watch my checkbook of time more carefully. I need to stop using the television as a baby sitter while I just need to get this one more thing done.

I think sometimes people really don't understand Val's schedule and sometimes forget that I really am a stay-at-home DAD. Sometimes I think I have forgotten it.

With #2 on the way it has started to make it clearer that I can't live the way I am right now. So I pray for God to help me see the things I need to do and the things that I need to say no to. To help me find that balance in life so that I don't relinquish the responsibilities I have to my family.