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!


williamsburg trip

Jon had a conference meeting in Williamsburg on Sunday and Monday so we made a long weekend of it and went with him. We drove to Richmond on Friday and spent the night with Aunt Barbara and Uncle Dwight and went to Williamsburg Saturday and Sunday morning. Then while Jon was in meetings on Monday Aunt Barbara and Uncle Dwight came to Williamsburg to spend time with Lydda Grace and me. This was our first "big" trip with just the three of us and it was wonderful... and tiring!

Our little colonial baby.

Time to meet the horses... or as Lydda Grace says, "dog, dog, dog, dog"

There was a great reenactment going on while we were there.
Lydda Grace in a pudding cap. People put these on their kids when they were learning to walk so if they fell they wouldn't hurt their heads! Apparently they were so common that children have them on in old family portraits. So funny.
Dogs were the highlight of our trip. Lydda Grace spotted them everywhere and when we went to the toystore it was no exception!
Playing with some cute dolls at the toy store.
With Aunt Barbara on the porch at the Chicohominy House after lunch on Monday. It was delicious!
With Uncle Dwight after lunch. Thank y'all for treating Lydda Grace and I to such a fun-filled day!!
This was also Lydda Grace's first trip in her "big girl" carseat. (Somehow I missed the memo that we could turn her around at a year and we had still been lugging her in her infant seat!!) Look how tired she is on our way home (perhaps that's because two nights she woke up at 1:30 in the morning and stayed up for a couple hours each time!!)

Leadership Styles

This post is a little late this week because Emily and I have been in Williamsburg at a conference.

This week I am going to discuss several different styles of leadership.

1. Coercive--the leader demands compliance.
2. Authoritative--the leader moblizes people toward a vision.
3. Afflitative--the leader creates harmony and builds emotional bonds.
4. Democratic--the leader forges consensus through participation.
5. Pacesetting--the leader sets high standards for performance.
6. Coaching--the leader develops people for the future.

These styles and defintions were taken from the book we are using for class Educational Leadership the 2nd edition from the chapter called Understanding Change by Fullan.

I would use each one of these depending on the situation in which I am given. I use afflitative and coaching the most. These are natrual talents or strengths which I try to work on every day. I try to use both of these to build trust when I am talking with students and colleages. I also think it is important to remember with coaching even baby steps in the learning process are critical. I would be coercive if I just need people to get a small task done such as turning in one paperwork form. I do believe if you are coercive all the time this will hurt the change process. Authoritative is important when trying to get an organization on board with the future plan or vision. I would like to be more of a pacesetter in that I believe this style can produce results at a higher level because it pushes people past what they think they are capable of accomplishing.

I believe each one of these can help or hurt an organization depending on how it is perceived by those with who I work. Coercive and Authoritiative tend to be negative in my mind because most of the time when I use them it is me trying to use force or power to get people to do their jobs. The other for I believe lead to an environment of trust and respect where communication and results blend well together.



dog dog dog

Lydda Grace LOVES dogs. We're not sure why because we don't have one and she's not around them that often. This is one of the words that she definitely knows what it means though, because when she sees one she says, "dog dog dog dog dog." Rarely does she just say it once! Her little voice also gets deep which is hilarious! Aunt Bekah dropped by today and we showed Lydda Grace some pictures of dogs online which she loved.


first steps!!

We are officially saying that today is the day Lydda Grace took her first steps! There have been a few times where she'd take one step and then fall, or fall into our arms, but today she WALKED!

Jon and I were sitting on the couch and we stood her out in front of us and tried to lure her with a toy. Twice she took about 4 steps to get to the toy and then we moved her further back and she took about 8 steps to get to the toy! Of course once we pulled out the video camera she promptly sat down and crawled.

While crawling is still her preferred mode of transportation we're thinking that's not going to last too much longer.

YAY for Lydda Grace!!!

What do you stand for?

1. How do I define my role as a leader?

I define my role of a leader as a person who has the best interest of the organization and people with whom I work to be a top priority in every decision I make. I enjoy listening to the people with whom I work so that the team can make decisions for the common good of all people. As you saw from one of my post before I would argue I am a relational leader who thrives on having human contact. I am ardent in making sure I provide an opportunity for every person to have input so that buy-in to departmental goals are a shared task by all people in the organization.

2. What inspires the best in staff?

A leader who will get into the trenches. A leader who will walk the talk. A leader that gives credit to those people with whom they work is another key characteristic I believe inspires staff. Confidence is another characteristic that is needed to help inspire a group of people. Finally, I believe relationship building inspires the best staff because then the staff know something about each other and the environment created is one of trust (when done correctly).

3. What are my strengths?

Harmony--I like for everyone to get along and try to find common ground between all people I work with.

Responsibility--I tell people that I am going to do something and I do it. No if ands or buts.

Includer--I try to make sure I get everyone involved in what I am doing. I try to create opportunities to utilize everyone.

Developer--Small steps of growth in myself and others are accomplishments for me. This is what I try to do on a daily basis.

Belief--If i do not believe it I will not say it or do it.



Our girl is really growing!

She is talking more: Mama, Dada, nini (night night), dog (in a very deep voice which is so funny), bye bye, this, that, and walk. She also does a good job just copying a lot of sounds of words.

She knows a lot of her body parts: nose, ears, mouth, head, feet and can point to them and pat her head. (I'll try to get video of this up soon).

Still no real walking yet though there have been a few half steps where she will sort of step and then fall into our arms or then immediately sit.

Lydda Grace is also becoming much more willful with clearer ideas of what she wants to do and when and how she wants to do it. Thankfully these episodes are few and far between... we really do have a sweet baby girl.
Dada brought this cup back from a football game and Lydda Grace LOVES it. She is really into drinking out of a straw now, especially if it's from Mama or Dada's cup.

Before church in the new dress Gran smocked for Lydda Grace. I love the blue with her eyes!!

My mom (Gran) was up for a few days this week as I've been wanting to work on sewing a winter coat for Lydda Grace but have been nervous about it and haven't found the time. We sewed and shopped and played... very fun! And the coat turned out beautifully! Pictures will come later I'm sure :) With all the busyness I don't have any Gran pictures, though she did take this video of me and Lydda Grace (yes this is what I look like in the mornings before my shower and I'm posting it online for the world to see! yikes!)

world of coke

Yesterday we took a little family day trip to Atlanta to visit the World of Coca Cola and to do a little shopping in Commerce. Lydda Grace did SO well! This was a good trial run for our big trip to Williamsburg a week from today.

This room had a ton of Coke paraphernalia from around the world. Lydda Grace is taking it all in!
Not so sure about the Coca Cola Polar Bear (she's scared of the Tiger mascot so we weren't sure how she'd do) The bear was really sweet and sat down so he was more on our level.
She eventually patted his nose.

Wylie Family with the bear.

Here's Lydda Grace waiting to go on the 4D ride. I thought she'd be scared of the seats moving around and stuff but she loved it. She wouldn't wear her glasses so she didn't get the full effect.
Her prize at the end, a bottle of Coke.

Eating fries at the Varsity.

Overall a super fun day!