Thursday, March 27, 2008

In Loving Memory

My Grandpa Val Dean Dalling (II) passed away on March 26, 2008. My grandpa is an amazing man who I look up to and hope to be like as I reach "the old ages."
My tribute to him are my memories through the years. When I was young he is the only person I knew that could play baseball without a glove! He caught the ball bare handed! I couldn't believe my eyes (I am sure my dad did the same thing, I just never noticed until Grandpa did it). He became my hero at that moment in time and will be for the remainder of my life! I felt so accomplished when I played ball with my kids and did not use a glove!
Grandpa was sick and in the hospital through the teenage years for me. I spent many days sitting by his bed while my mom took Grandma Dalling for a break. I remember holding his fragile hand and thinking about playing baseball with him. I was honored to be trusted enough to sit with him and "take care of him." And feel the same way in recent years when I was able to take care of him at my Mom's house and at my Aunt Kat's house. I feel like I was able to re-bond with him by serving him when he was in need.
Grandpa has a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I knew it without a doubt. He bore his testimony every chance he had when his family was present. I have the privilege of hearing him testify of Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith. I am grateful for his testimony and his dedication to the Church.
Grandpa loved my Grandma Dalling more than anything. He always carried her (very heavy) purse around family functions so that she could have her hands free to take picture of the family. He never complained about it, just teased her about putting bricks in it.

Grandpa always held the babies. He loved the little grand kids and would hold them and carry them around while the mothers enjoyed the free time to mingle and eat. I have so many pictures of Grandpa holding my children. Those picture are precious to me.
Grandpa was also the "garbage man" at all family functions. When he was not holding a baby he was carrying around the garbage bag and cleaning up the trash. We never had to clean up after the dinner because Grandpa beat us to it.
Grandpa and sports go hand in hand. He gave his time and energy to coaching many of his grand kids and many of other people's kids. He loved all sports and that seems to have passed on to many of his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He coached baseball, basketball, and football at Ricks College and softball at Madison High School. I always wanted to impress him with my sports skills, but I realise now that I didn't need to try he was always impressed and supportive of what ever I did.
I love my Grandpa and will miss him dearly. I am happy that he is reunited with Grandma Dalling and know he is so happy. I can't wait to see him again!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I Do Believe In Fairies, I Do, I Do!

Faith Hill sings a song that it Titled Fireflies. This song is the theme song for my life. Some people think I am crazy, that is ok. Some people find it highly entertaining, that is good. And some people join in the fun, that is great!
...before you knew me I'd traveled 'round the world
And I slept in castles...
Because I was taught to dream
I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top
To capture Tinker Bell
And they were just fireflies to the untrained eye
But I could always tell
Cause I believe in fairy tales
And dreamer's dreams
Like bedsheet sails
And I believe in Peter Pan
And miracles, anything I can to get by
And fireflies...
In my favorite Peter Pan movie, there is a scene where Tinkerbell has taken the poison to protect Peter and she dies. All the light, happiness, and love go out of Neverland. All is dark and dreary. Peter drops to the ground where Tink's limp body lays and says, "I do believe in Fairies, I do, I do!" over and over. The scene then pans to the world around us. Children of all ages are repeating "I do belive in Fairies, I do, I do!" Then Tink comes back to life. At this point light and happiness come back to Neverland.
I believe in the need for light and joy. I believe we all need something or someone to bring happiness to us. I belive in Fairies! I believe if you don't know how to dream, you don't know how to live your life to the fullest it can be!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Join a Team - Walk Now for Autism Utah

Join a Team - Walk Now for Autism Utah

May 3, 2008 is the Autism Walks Fundraiser at Cottonwood High School. The money raised will go to help with Autism Research. As to date there is no cure for Autism, so all the help we can get to get the ball rolling would be great.
If you are not interested in donating but want to join the walk you are more than welcome to join our team. We are going to have fun and it is a great way to get your exercise in for the day! If you have any questions about joining our team let me know and I will try to help you!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Let me start by writting about my job, my passion, and my mission. Autism, what is it? It is a comunication disorder that stops children and adults from communicating with the "typical" children and adults. What is Aspergers Syndrome? It is like Autism only these kido's have the ability to use language to talk and converse. However, just because they can use words does not mean they know how to "communicate." :)

With the communication disorder comes a landslide of other issues that hinder children with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. A few of my favorite are sensory (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) issues, perspective problems (the world revolves around them or they are the only ones in the world), social sonfusions (why can't I tell people how I really feel?) and problem sovling (how to fix problems without using angry words, hands, or feet).

Why the puzzle piece? To be honest children with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome are a puzzle. In Autism/Aspergers Syndrome there are no 2 children the same. Each day is a different set of problems and hurdles, each day is a different sensory trama, each day is a different "melt down." Just when you think you have it figured out...they do something you weren't expecting. Also, there is not cure. It is a puzzle to figure out how to help these kido's. It is a daily challenge that requires patience and love.

I work at a school called Spectrum Academy. It is a charter school for children grades K-8 with High Functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. I manage the Learning Center at the school and teach P.E. Before working at Spectrum, I worked in the home of a family with a young boy who has Autism. I sort of fell into that job and it became a life changing experience. I feel like it has directed my life down a path that I needed to be on to help my own son deal with his disabilities.
For any of you that do not know someone with Autism or Aspergers Syndrome I have 2 things to say: 1 you are blessed to not have had your life turned upside down by this disorder. And 2 you are missing out on the blessing of knowing these beautiful children and adults. They will open your eyes to see things never imagionable to you before.

For those of you with time on your hands and a willingness to learn things daily research Autism/Aspergers Syndrome, find out what it is and learn something you didn't know before. For those of you that know what Autism/Aspergers Syndrome is or live with someone that has it I give you "props." I love working with children with Autism/Aspergers Syndrome and can imagine doing nothing else. They are a blessing for me and I am grateful that they have accepted me and trust me to enter into their worlds.


Question: Why have I adopted the name capt.jac.sparrow?

Fact: When Peyton (who is my cutest nephew) was 3 years old, I was at his house with the intention of watching a movie with his parents. When the movie chosen was Pirates of the Carribean, I was truly touched and giddy with joy! Within the first 10 minutes of the show Peyton became a bit nervous and decided he did not like this show. No, I did not flog him. But what I did do has changed my life forever. I put Peyton on my lap and told him a "secret". I told him that I was really Captain Jack Sparrow. His mom, Angie, did my hair like that for the movie and Kristi, his Aunt, helped me pick out my clothes. I began to do a play by play of the movie and told him how I did all the cool tricks. I told Peyton that it was all pretend and I had a lot of fun making the movie so he didn't need to be afraid of it. Peyton was a great sport and we sat together and watched the rest of the movie.

A couple months later I got a messge on my cell phone from Peyton. He was in California with his family on their Disneyland trip. The message was "Hey Stefie I saw you and I waved to you, did you see me?" I truly had no idea what he was talking about so I called Angie to inquire. She told me that during the Pirates of Pensance ride Peyton started pointing at Captain Jack Sparrow and waving "Stefie, it's me, it's Peyton." Then the sweet little angel proceeded to tell the rest of his family that it was me, Captain Jack Sparrow. When Peyton got on the phone he asked me again "did you see me?" and of course I said, "Yes I did, did you see me wave back?" And from that point on I have been capt.jac.sparrow!