Wednesday, December 29, 2010

out of 2010, into 2011-

what a wild year.
I didn't blog much- twitter and facebook have been my outlet for short, random thoughts. I have written a number of blogs only to delete them minutes after they have gone up. I guess I'm becoming more choosy about the stories I tell and share. but its been a great year- one of those years that no one could earn or deserve- but I'm keeping it.

when it came to my new year’s resolutions, I did ok.

• I wanted to go the whole year without using a credit card, and I made it all the way to December, but my trusty explorer found a way to break just before the year ended. It broke earlier in the year too- so did our VW, but in those cases, we were able to pay for those out of our bank account.

• I wanted to go to the gym 300 times this year; but in January, the craziest thing happened: my right ear exploded in a very quiet mixture of pain and ear fluid. I was on pain meds for the entire month. I also added a few evening meetings to my week which made it almost impossible to get to the gym often.

• I wanted to have a great attitude this year, and that went ok. On one occasion, I was actually commended by my boss for specifically having a great attitude; and on other occasions, I had to apologize for not having the best attitude. My attitude-study eventually turned into one of my more popular teaching serieses this year.

• I also wanted to eat NO FRIED FOODS all year. aaaaand, that was an epic fail.

• last- I wanted to take Janie to Disneyland, and I was able to that twice this year- and without using the charge card!

this has been a wild year at work too-

// in middle school, we added a saturday night service to our weekly ministry; which means that I was with students, speaking to them, 5 days a week this year- sheesh!

// we did some experiments with our programming-

:: we went on a new kind of mission trip, focused on ministering to children in need- and it was a blast. we want to do it again this year.

:: we did our first ever summer camp that was just for us. it was the craziest week that I can remember- more on that later.

:: we took our journey program to the next level- and had a ball with it- we want to go bigger and better this year.

:: and I restarted my ministry to kids at Princeton plaza on wednesday mornings.

:: we got a new member of our student team, in addition to saying goodbye to another.

:: our volunteer team added new faces and said goodbye to others-

:: and I celebrated 10 summers at hume lake in July.

personally, this year has been amazing.

• my daughter turned 6! and she and deanna started HOMESCHOOL! jane loves it and does so well. so does deanna.

• I started memorizing bible verses with a friend

• we have cut down debt

• we celebrated 14 years of marriage

• and I still made it to the gym a lot.

• jane is growing up- and had her first “friend-birthday party”

• and she fell in love with the Toy Story franchise. we saw all of the movies, rode the rides, listened to the audiobooks, a trillion times. we also bought a ton of the merchandise.

• jane has also become an accomplished author, uno player and yatzee competitor.

as far as goals for 2010, they are pretty simple:

// continue to aggressively eliminate debt and not go in ANY further.
// continue to have a great attitude
// celebrate TEN YEARS at the church in july
// get to the point where I ENJOY running and look forward to it.
// I want to drop weight and pants sizes

and for the BIG goals:

// I want to see how long I can go no soda, no candy. yikes! (in other words, no 7/11 in 2011)
// I want to be able to quote the entire book of romans by the end of 2011.

a year can bring so much- so much grief and drama, and so much joy and opportunity. we’ll see where 2011 takes the walters, and you.

God is love.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

monterey bay aquarium 11/2010

 this place was fascinating. can't wait to go again!

well, this just blew my socks off!

I do my best to encourage the socks off of the local youth pastors, but this time, a friend of mine out-did me by about a million times!

Monday, October 25, 2010

homemade toys:: disneyland pt. 2

last time we went to disneyland, jane was inspired to create some toy-rides for her hello kitty toys. and ever since we got back from our 2nd trip to disneyland, she has been making more and more rides for the kitties to enjoy. she made a pretty elaborate buzz light year bllaster ride that I wished that I had taken a picture of. it had a blacklight, toy story figures, and all kind of cool features. she also made a toy story mania ride out of legos that had targets for the kitties to shoot at and carts for the kitties to ride through the ride on. it was very similar to the actual ride.

the other day jane said, "what should we make next?" I said, "well, what rides did you really like?" she said, "I liked the swing ride. why don't we make a swing ride?!" that took a lot of thought. deanna suggested that I go take a long shower to figure that out. I do some of my best thinking in the shower. the warm water must warm up my brain. she was right. at the end of my shower I knew how I was going to make it. I made a quick trip to homme depot. I used a lazy susan that we had in our pantry, a dowel for hanging up clothes, some string, some industrial velcro, a bucket-lid, and some clips for hanging mini-blinds as seats. and it works! of all of the toys I have made for jane, I think this is the one I'm most proud of.

being a dad is fun.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

disneyland part 3

this year, jane has REALLY been into toy story 3; and it didn't take us long to decide that our next vacation would have a toy story-focus down at disneyland!

its halloween-time over at disneyland- and kids can come dressed in a costume. on certain days, disneyland closes early to allow for a special halloween party with unique music, decorations, character-meet and greets, trick-or-treating, and a special halloween parade and fireworks show. we were elated when my friend chris surprised us with tickets for this exclusive party! jane got to see her first fireworks show- and she loved it. and she got to dress up in her jessie costume and take pictures with some of her favorite toy story characters:

keeping with our toy-story theme, we also played several rounds of buzz light year's blasters

and we even tracked down buzz and got a photo with him.
we also discovered an awesome new ride: toy story mania! it was broken for most of the time that we were there, and the line was super-long, but we did get to ride it twice. it was worth the wait.

probably the most special toy story moment that we had was during the toy story parade. my friend chris knows jessie and told her that her biggest fan was in the crowd. she made an extra-special effort to wave to jane and blow her a kiss. then she sprayed us with water.

we had lots of other non-toy-story highlights too.

jane discovered the swing ride at california adventure:

after-swings from rob walter on Vimeo.

we also got to see disney's new water and light show, world of color.
jane was in tears when it was over. I thought she was scared- she was sad to see it end.
we had such a fun time as a family. I am constantly surprised at jane's great attitude, patience and ability to adapt to new situations. as usual, we got to take lots of pictures, we got to ride lots of rides, and got to meet some of our favorite characters. here are some more photos and videos of our time together. like I often say, being a dad is fun.

tigger from rob walter on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

jane's point of view

awhile ago, deanna was getting ready for her day and jane was looking for something to do- so deanna gave jane our camera, taught her how to take pictures and let her take pictures around our condo. jane put on her safari outfit and considered it an adventure. the pictures turned out to be very interesting! here are just a few of the MANY pictures that jane took:

pictures of jane reading

for some reason, it just makes me happy to see my daughter reading a book. maybe because it reminds deanna and I of ourselves when we were her age; maybe its because we know that when her eyes are on a book that she is engaging her mind, her creativity and her imagination all at once. here are just a few of the many photos that we have of jane reading books:

here are some as a baby girl:

and here are some from more recent days:

we've also got lots of video of jane reading books, but my favorite of all time is when jane either read or quoted a funny little book about thomas the train called "stop train stop."we've also got lots of video of jane reading books, but my favorite of all time is when jane either read or quoted a funny little book about thomas the train called "stop train stop."
stop train stop! from rob walter on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

homemade toys:: schoolhouse

now that jane is a schoolgirl, she is very interested in her little dolls going to school. so we made a little schoolhouse playset!

the floor is a piece of foam-core that you can get from an art store, with some wood-grain contact paper on top. the walls are also foam-core, with some digital cuts and pastes that I pullled off the web. i used a few photoshop tricks to put the images on the walls seamlessly, and I created the images in publisher. I just printed them out and glued them to the foam-core. all of the accessories are bits and pieces that jane already had. in this scene, the students are playing a get-to-know-you-game with their teacher.

I had lots of fun dreaming this up and making it- and when jane saw it, she flipped. now I'm thinking up other kids of rooms that I could make!

being a dad is fun.