our new favorite video

Jon was doing push ups on Wii fit this morning...


Christmas Morning

Lydda Grace did a good job opening presents this year. It took a while but piece by piece she managed to unwrap, she was pretty amazed by the whole process and helped everyone else with their presents as well. Then our little tree fell off the table it was on! Lydda Grace started to cry it was so pitiful, but once we got it set back up and the lights on she clapped and laughed... much better!

Here she is opening the dog that we got her.
She loved her "dogdog"!!

Christmas Eve

Dancing to Christmas music.
Coloring on a BIG piece of paper!
All ready for the Christmas Eve service. (This is Lydda Grace's flower girl dress from Mark and Bethany's wedding. Hopefully I'll have pictures to post from that weekend soon!)
With Daddy and Granna Wylie before church.
Teamwylie Christmas Eve 2009


16 months

Lydda Grace recently turned 16 months and it is just crazy to us how much she seems to pick up every day and the funny little things she does or that get her attention.

What she's saying: wawa (water), juu (juice), haa (hat- she is over her hat phobia now I think), byebye (bye-bye- if she says it while waving or someone leaving), byebye (Bible- if she says it while pointing to her Bible), Jeez (Jesus- it amazes us that she can identify Baby Jesus in her nativity and then find pictures of Jesus in her children's Bible or in other books we have), dog (of course, though as she learns new words the frequency of this one is decreasing), do (doll- we can't get her to say baby), glr (color), hoho (for Santa), muhmuh (moo moo- when she sees a cow), mama and dada, and, nono (always said in sets of two)

Lydda Grace loves to color right now and if she sees paper, pens, crayons, etc. will start to sign "please" and say "glr, glr." The only problem with this is that she is getting brave with the crayons and has learned that they write on the wall, doors, library books, the couch, etc. I think she's just truly fascinated with coloring!

Christmas is a lot of fun with her this year as she is in awe of decorations wherever we go. She says "oohh" and her eyes get wide and her mouth forms a little "o" every morning when we turn the tree lights on, we have a tiny tree, so it's nothing too spectacular, but I love that in her eyes it is always amazing.

Lydda Grace is practically running now and seems to have forgotten how to crawl! At the park yesterday she wouldn't crawl through a tunnel, she kept trying to walk through it even though it was far too small to do so!

Books are still a favorite activity and she loves for us to read to her or will sit and flip through and look at pictures or "read" to herself. She's getting really good at identifying things in books, (i.e. "Where is the pig in this book?")

Her little personality is really starting to show and the vast majority of the time she has such a sweet little spirit and is so content. We are starting to move into the realm of "no's" but usually she says nono when she is doing or is about to do something she knows is not allowed (i.e. she'll stand by the oven, say "nono" and then touch the oven door) Sometimes she is so serious and earnest with her no's that it is hard to keep from laughing!

At her most recent check up Lydda Grace was 24 lbs. 4.5 oz. and has dropped more into the 60th percentile area for weight, but she's 33 inches tall (I'm pretty sure that's right... I threw away the paper that had it written down!... maybe it was 31...) and is in the 95th percentile for height for her age.

This is such an exciting time and we are loving it!


Christmas parade and other stuff

The town had a Christmas parade downtown the other night so we took Lydda Grace. She seemed to get more excited about the little kids in the parade than the flashy floats or lights. Next year I think she'll really get into it!

I was vaccuuming the other day and realized Lydda Grace had wandered off. I found her here. She was in the basket and had taken an old journal of mine and was "reading" it. She stayed there FOREVER! I got a lot done while she stayed there, and when she was done she climbed out and came back to the den!

In finger news, Lydda Grace's nail came off today! I don't know if it was supposed to or not but it was sort of just hanging on so her pediatrician was gracious enough to let us come in last minute on a Friday and he took the rest of it off and clipped the remaining sutures. The new nail looks like it's coming in well.

That's about all for now.


go tigers

Jon's mom came into town this past weekend and we had such a nice visit. She went with Lydda Grace and me to LG's checkup and we got a good report on her finger. She's still got to keep it bandaged b/c she keeps wanting to pick at the stitches, but it's doing really well.

This was also the last homegame of the year. We went out to hear the band play in the amphitheater and Lydda Grace LOVED it! We will definitely be trying this again next year!

Aunt Bekah and Uncle Javi came for the game and ate with us and visited for a while. Jon and Javier of course played some football on the Xbox. Lydda Grace got into the action too.

little helper

Lydda Grace is really getting into "helping" when I'm in the kitchen. She'll hand me silverware out of the dishwasher to put away and always wants to see what's going on when I'm cooking. Here she is with my apron on stirring and "painting" with the pastry brush. As you can see in the background she's a big help with the kitchen dish towels as well!! :)


What is the hardest thing at your job?

Well, I am excited to reflect this week as I read the reading. I say this because of two reasons. One, in chapter 23, the discussion of standards. And two, in chapter 24, building colleagues is complicated.

As I was reading about the different places standards are placed and the different accrediations for students to pass or to accomplish before they become teachers is important. At this point I would like to acknowledge there are down falls to this. However, one thing I noticed through all the standards is the focus on the good of others. Ultimately, the recognition that standards are need to help others is a deep concept. The hard part is deciding upon the standards which at the end of the day do help others. Understanding the knowledge, skills, and abilities need to be a good principal or leader is important but more importantly is understanding how to apply these on a daily basis.

This is what leads me to my question of what is the hardest part about your job? My answer is in agreement with Lieberman, Saxl, and Miles (2007) building colleagues is a complicated process. I am struggling with this at work with the colleagues I work with. So the suggestions given are good ones. The list of building trust & rapport, organizational diagonsis, dealing with the process, using resources, managing the work, and building skill and confidence in others is critical. The two I had not thought about before have given me a new insight at how to understand the organizational environment I am in. Understanding the culture and then being able to diagnois the action needed can be a critical component. It is about working with others to help with change.

This leads us to the second component I am continuely to reflect upon is the change process. This is dealing with conflict and mediation. Something I am realizing I am not good at because I do not like to cause tensions in relationships. The key is collaborative environments need to be created. By doing this then buy-in can be created with the people with whom you work.

I would love more thoughts about building relationships with colleagues.

Grace and peace,


5 domains of leadership education

Since I posted last week on the diversity paradigms, I thought I would reflect on the 5 domains of educational leadership: Leadership, Ethics, Policy, Research, and Diversity.

The lens at which each individual person views life is based on experience, environment, knowledge, and attitude (one's outlook in life). Now being in the educational leadership program I see the value in using the lens of the 5 domains to view how to conceptualize and practically apply the information being learned and synthesized. It is easy to get caught in a rut as Dr. Knoeppel pointed out and just think about the leadership paradigm.

It is nice to see how current and upcoming trends in policy play a vital role in how we view leadership, ethics, research, and diversity. Understanding how to be a leader by making moral and ethical decisions to conduct research by providing sufficient warrants and transparency to understand the world through different view points plays a critical role in my future endeavors and actual survival of the program.

One thing that speaks volumes to me is the idea of not just doing research for the sake of research. An ethical component is needed so that results are not falisfied or misconstrued in order for a researcher to be published or even finish a class in the doctoral program. We have to follow some morals and values in order to contribute to the collective understanding. The interesting thing about this comment is in the servant leadership theory and transformational leadership theory one of the foundations to creating positive relationships is making ethical and moral decisions.

So my challenge to myself is to make sure I continue down this path of approiate and ethicial decision making based on my personal beliefs as well as the institution in which I work.


learning time

Lately Lydda Grace and I have been having focused "learning time" each day. Today we were working on sizes with my set of colanders, big, medium, and small. I was trying to get Lydda Grace to nest them as we talked about the different sizes. This is what we ended up doing with them instead :)

a beautiful day for football

We finally had a non-rainy homegame here on Saturday! It was beautiful out and we had fun tailgating, hanging out and then watching the game.

This was her first time playing in a pile of leaves, very fun!
A student my dad golfs with stopped by and we couldn't resist a photo-op on his motorcycle!
This tailgating is hardcore, reserved parking spots and everything! Lydda Grace loved playing with the cones and walked in and around them for a long time.


Paradigms for Diversity

Banks (1996) states there are 3 different paradigms:

The discrimination and fairness paradigm (assimilation)--Most people from this paradigm are focues on justice and fairness, equal opportunity for everyone within the organization, and also is focues on laws around equal opportunity. Companies within this paradigm provide mentoring or developmental programs for minorities within their organization (Banks, 1996). Common characteristics in this paradigm is where the company uses a top-down approach with directives which implies structure to control processes. The one draw back I thought was interesting is someone from this paradigm might make the assumption everyone is the same because they think that will help decision making easier.

The access and legitimacy paradigm (differentation)--Organizations want to meke their companies diverse with people because it makes business sense. The company will then be able to reach different peoples and serve customers better which will in turn produce legitmacy to the organization. This paradigm has led to new professional and managerial opportunities for minorities. The main characteristic is increased diversity among consumers, slients, and the labor pool (Banks, 1996). The limitation to this paradigm is the tendency "to emphasize the role of cultural differences in a company without really analyzing those differences to see how they actually affet the work that is done" (p. 276).

The emerging paradigm (intergration)--There is a promotion of equal opportunity as well as acknowledging the value of differences among individuals. So almost a combintation of the above paradigms.

I believe the author writes about these paradigms to argue or convince the reader that everyone's opinion matters. The roles of each individual person are of value to the organization they serve. If organizations are able to listen to those that work for them, and empower the employees to make decisions then trust will be be built. And in return this trust will build the organization to grow but also the individuals of the organization to personally grow. This growth will probably look like individuals valuing one another and the organization.

These same concepts have arisen in the level 5 leader as well as the servant leadership theories (note: probably my two favorites).


happy Lydda Grace

I've had several people mention Lydda Grace's pitiful pictures on Monday and she truly has not been like that since Monday night so I thought I should post some updates to prove that she is indeed getting along fine and quite happy!
Getting some love from Gran Wednesday night after we tried to give Lydda Grace a bath and I still ended up getting her dressing wet (even using a plastic bag and duct tape to cover it!).
Thursday morning snack with a freshly wrapped hand courtesy of CVS and Mama.
Lydda Grace oooooooohhh'd her way through Hobby Lobby and all the Christmas decorations.
Notice the change of bandage. Apparently Mama was not meant to be in the medical profession because while in Hobbly Lobby Lydda Grace's entire little mitt came off. So we went back and had the nurse do it again and they tried a different way that gives her finger freedom. She did better this time at the doctor's office and cried horribly but didn't fight and wiggle as before.
We had lots of fun playing in the beautiful sunshine this afternoon! Lydda Grace did great walking around with only a few tumbles. She's getting to the point where she would rather walk than be in her stroller... interesting...


Lydda Grace update

Lydda Grace is doing great!! She has quickly adapted to just using her right-hand and gets around and plays and is getting into trouble just as much as before. It is truly amazing how quickly kids bounce back!

We were so blessed to get an appointment with the orthopedic this afternoon so we didn't have to take her back to the ER (praise the Lord!). The doctor said her finger looked "great" and is healing really well. She has another appointment in one week to change the dressing again and hopefully at that point she'll graduate to bandaids and neosporin. She should have a completely normal nail back in about a year.

Our new prayer request is that in one week that she would handle the dressing change better than she did today. As soon as they touched her hand today she started wailing and trying to get out of my arms. The doctor said it wasn't from pain but just from fear of having her hand messed with. Jon wasn't able to make it to the appointment today so my mom went with me and it really did take the two of us and the doctor and nurse to hold onto her to get the dressing changed. So sad!!!


poor baby girl!!

Yesterday evening was a rough one for us, Lydda Grace in particular. Her ring finger on her left hand got closed in the hinged part of the door. Jon rushed home and we went to urgent care where they told us she probably needed to be seen at the ER. We got to the ER close to 5pm and they were so gracious to take us back quickly. We were also blessed with a truly amazing doctor. Our little girl was a trooper!

Here're the gory details... so if you don't want to see this skip down to the pictures!!

Basically the base of her fingernail had been pulled out from under her cuticle, while the front part of her nail was still attached. Xrays revealed that a tiny chip was also fractured on the tip of her finger. They had to put her to sleep (which for me was almost the worst part of the whole thing) and the doctor reinserted the nail and sutured it back to her finger by burning 3 holes in the nail itself and sewing through her finger. The plan now is to follow up with an orthopedic who will monitor her little finger's recovery from here on out. We are praying that we get an appointment tomorrow (Wed.), otherwise we will have to go back to the ER for a dressing change and then again to the orthopedic later in the week...

Here's Lydda Grace with her bandaged hand eating a little something after the ER visit (this was about 9pm or so last night)
She looks so pitiful!!

Here she is today with her little "sock hand." Covering the bandage with a sock seems to keep her from picking at the dressing.

She looks like she's in pain in this picture, but she's actually been doing really well. And she crawled up into this chair on her own with her juice and I turned around to see her just lounging and enjoying her juice!

Thanks for your prayers for our sweet baby girl!!!


happy halloween

We're not really huge Halloween folks, but the whole dressing up thing sure is fun! Last night they had a Halloween festival downtown where all the merchants sat outside their stores and had candy. There were a ton of folks there and we saw a lot of people from church and work which was fun!

Without further adieu may I present......

Lydda Grace the ballerina!
The flower was not about to stay on her so we resorted to a bow :o)

She was very intent on everything around her and was quiet a lot of the time like she was just taking it all in.

I think she was pointing at a dog in this picture.


Granna Wylie came to visit last weekend and had fun playing and reading with Lydda Grace!
Helping Aunt Bekah grade papers.

I love how she looks so intent in both of these pictures, when she is really focused on something she gets this look!


family portraits

Yesterday we had family portraits done! It was SO much fun! Our friend Carson Snipes is starting out his photography business and wanted some extra practice, so of course we were game! In 45 minutes he, with the help of his wife Molly (they make such a great team!), took 650 pictures. I think Lydda Grace is starting to realize that she likes to be the center of attention because she was great in front of the camera.

If you're interested in having some photographs made we highly recommend Carson!

These little shifty eyes are a classic Lydda Grace look! I'm so glad it got caught on film.

This picture cracks me up! I said, "Lydda Grace kiss the baby in mama's tummy," and Jon was so shocked that she actually did it!

head and shoulders, knees and toes... sort of


Eight Roles of Symobolic Leaders

It is important for administrators, faculty, and students to understand the symobolic nature of leadership so that we can make sure what is being said or done matches the perceptions. Reviewing the different roles opened my eyes to make me think about my actions and words and how others might perceive me in my role as an Area Coordinator. The eight roles include: historian, Anthropological sleuth, visionary, symbol, potter, poet, actor, and healer (Barth, 2001).

In reflecting upon my actions as a leader, my perception of myself is I am probably a potter, visionary, and symbol. As an AC I really try to help form the department to focus on the mission and goals of the department. All that I do I try to give purpose for me personally as well as for the organization as a whole. It amazes me how sometimes I see my directing or forming is guided by the unwritten policies of the department. The doing is different than the words written down.

The pieces are falling into place of the understanding that the way an office is arranged, words written in a mission statement, or even a holiday party can say something without meaning what is said by the event. This is a crucial point to understand as leaders on a college campus because the difference between helping and maybe hurting someone could be something symbolic.


Lydda Grace is practicing

What is she practicing for?

She's going to make a great big sister!


Lydda Grace in pictures

Bundled up in the coat Mama and Gran made.
Taking a few steps.
Pulling all Daddy's socks out of the drawer.
She can fit anywhere and tries to go everywhere!