Monday, January 23, 2012

Caleb: Mycosis Fungoides update

My son, Caleb, was diagnosed with Mycosis Fungoides back about 4-5 years ago.  He had been to the doctor many times over the few years prior to this because he always seemed to be getting rashes or infections on his skin.  Usually the doctor would just prescribe some lotion or steroidal cream to try to treat the condition.  Finally, a new doctor we saw that was a Dermatologist, Dr. Kang, decided that maybe Caleb had something else going on.  He asked if Caleb could be part of a study group that was through Oregon Health Sciences University.  We agreed and Caleb went there as part of a special group where 3-4 doctors at a time would examine him and see what they thought.  Perhaps 20-30 total doctors were part of this study group.  One or two of these doctors said that Caleb had a rare type of lymphoma called Mycosis Fungoides.  This was then confirmed by more testing.  Dr. Kang then told us all about this condition.  He said it is extremely rare in children (that is more typically seen in 50-year old males, etc.)  He said there wasn't a lot known about treatment for children and long-term effects, etc. because it's just so rare.  He recommended - based on consulting with some of the other doctors - that we do ultraviolet light treatments (in what we called a "light box").

We proceeded with these treatments, which started with very brief times of exposure and gradually increased.  Caleb got in the light box with nothing on but special goggles over his eyes and a little cup thing over his penis.  For us, this treatment worked very well.  The places where his skin used to show signs of the cancer gradually went away.  The best news is that since these treatments, when he goes in for follow-up visits, there has been no recurrence of anything visible.  We are told that he still has the cancer -- that it will never really go away -- but that for now his is basically in remission and we just have to do periodic check-ins to watch for any signs.  We used to see Dr. Kang every 6 months, but now are only going in once a year.

Personally, we are big believers in prayer and the power of God to care for and heal people.  We had lots of people praying over Caleb and we now give thanks to God for his healing.  We are thankful that a certain doctor decided to not just treat the topical condition on Caleb's skin, but to bring him as a patient to share with his study group.  We are thankful that a doctor who had seen this before was a part of this group and helped identify this very rare cancer in a child.  We are thankful that the light treatment or God's hand of healing or both have somehow put his cancer into a type of remission.  And we're continually thankful for Caleb's healthy life.

Today Caleb is a freshman in high school.  He's a 6'5", 195 pound healthy kid that excels in the classroom and is very competitive in football, basketball, and track.  We don't know what all the future holds, be we are blessed with good days right now.

If you'd like to talk sometime, you are welcome to contact me either through email or on my cell phone (if you comment here, I'll get in touch with you).  I've had several other parents of mycosis fungoides patients get in touch with me.  It's a difficult disease and especially hard for everyone when it shows up in children.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer 2011 update

We're enjoying summer vacation in Oregon.  Lots of nice 70-80 degree days these last two weeks.

Our whole family attended "Challenge by Choice" at Camp Yamhill this year.  It's kind of a ropes course with lots of high and low elements.  We had a great time.  You can find pictures on our Facebook pages or at these sites:!/media/set/?set=oa.10150304453900862 (you might have to be a member of this group to view the pics, but let me know if you'd like to join).

I have a new job assignment for next year: I'll be the Activities Director for Sam Barlow High School.  Looking forward to being back in a high school building and supporting lots of student groups and activities there.

All the kids are at home currently.  Hannah is back from living in San Diego and plans to attend Multnomah University this Fall; Micah will return for his sophomore year at Oregon State; Caleb is going into high school at Gresham H.S., and Levi will be in 7th grade at Clear Creek Middle School.  If you haven't seen them in a while, Caleb is now 6'5" (at least today!) and Levi is 5'8".  We go through lots of milk and food!

Well, that's a quick update for now!
 Here we are with the Wagner and Maki families at Camp Yamhill in early July.
Grandma Gladys (Lani's mom) with Dan & Lani, Brian & Eryann Maki, and Troy & Shauna Wagner.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Labradoodle Puppies!

Our labradoodle puppies are 8 weeks old today and ready to start going to new homes! Here are some pics we took today with the puppies in our front yard.

 If you are interested in having one of these puppies, let me know and check them out on my puppy blog:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Puppies are now 1 week old!

Molly's puppies are now 1 week old! This next week should be exciting as they open their eyes and start hearing too. Watch for updates on my labradoodle blog:

Monday, September 06, 2010

New Puppies at Our House!

Molly had her puppies last night! I'll be posting updates about her and her puppies at our puppy blog:

Friday, May 21, 2010

Future Admin Angst

Here's the problem: I aspire to be a school administrator. I've completed my admin program. I've done hundreds of hours of practicum experiences. I've immersed myself in courses, books, and workshops to shape what type of administrator I'll be. I've dreamed about places and ways that I might serve. But now I have to interview and land that first job.

I guess I could choose to only look at the up-side of things. I have applied for three admin jobs and I've interviewed three times. So, I'm batting a thousand, right? On the other hand, I have not been chosen as one of the two or three finalists either time and now I'm wrestling with a persistent, bothersome angst in my gut and speaking out of the shadowy corners of my mind.

Where do I go from here? What am I doing wrong? What can I do better? How can I improve my interviewing skills? How am I going to convince someone (usually a whole group of someones) that I really am the next great person that they want to hire? When will I get another chance? What should I do now to stay sharp or get sharper? How do I overcome my quiet nature and shine brighter?

Here are some things I'm reflecting on after three interviews: First, I don't really like the interview process. Oh, I don't mind the dressing up, the meeting folks face-to-face, or even the questions thrown at me. It's just that it's all one-sided communication after they pose each pre-formulated query. There is no back-and-forth, no dialogue (would I be out of line if I asked questions back to my interviewers in an attempt to engage them?). I generally give thoughtful, but succinct responses and then catch myself wondering if I've said enough, if I've gone where they wanted with my response, or if I need to expound more on the brief things I've said. All I can do is try to read their faces and other non-verbal signs to see how I'm doing. I've wished that someone would cue me somehow with comments like, "yes, tell me more about that",or "what else might you do?" or "that's good, but we are actually wanting to know more about. . ."

My second reflection is that some people are probably interviewing better than I am, even when I might be able to do a better job serving in the position. I have a quiet confidence in my decision-making, skill-set, experiences, and work ethic; but I'm thinking that some others - the chosen "finalists" - must know how to talk a better game. I don't mind saying that there are some things I simply don't know enough about yet (and that I will learn by asking colleagues, experts, or through experience). But there are other things that I'm pretty confident about and know I can do well. Somehow I've got to learn how to paint a more complete picture of who I am.

And finally, I'm becoming more aware that I do have some holes in my experience; I have a certain naivete as one who hasn't yet served full-time as a school administrator. This is partly due to the set of practicum experiences I've been allowed to have (I've been welcomed to take over lots of supervisory duties, but seldom pulled in on the big inside things like expulsion hearings or FTE cuts). I hope to get future opportunities to sub in high school buildings - which should help. And I suppose some things will just be learned once I'm on the job.

Thanks for letting me share my personal frustration here. If anyone reads this, you're catching some of the wrestling match going on in my heart and mind as I hopefully move forward to my next administrator interview and ultimately a place to serve in my first admin job!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Christmas/New Year Letter

Happy holidays from our family to yours!

We have enjoyed reading cards and letters from so many friends during these holiday times and now we’re finally getting our own letter written! Hope you are all enjoying some quality family time. We went to Missoula to spend Christmas with Lani’s mom and her brother Brian’s family. Now we’re relaxing back at home for a few more days and getting a chance to visit with some friends. Though it wasn’t forecast, we got a nice little snowfall this week so I included a couple pictures from that fun event. Hope you enjoy reading about our family as much as we like hearing about yours!

Dan & Lani’s year. . .

Early 2009 had many challenges. Dan’s dad, Dick, lost his battle with cancer and moved on to that heavenly choir on Feb. 15. We were touched by the outpouring of memories and sympathy from so many friends and family members.
As Spring came to full bloom, many Oregon school districts found themselves faced with massive budget cuts due to the downturn in the economy. Lani’s job remained secure but Dan’s district made some program cuts; after a few weeks of uncertainty, Dan was offered a new assignment as a half-time choir director at Gordon Russell M.S. and a half-time district instructional technology coach. While it was a stressful transition, it has been a blessing.
We helped Dan’s mom, Sue, move over to the Portland area during June & July and later in the summer celebrated our 22nd anniversary with a nice getaway to Seattle.

This Fall we made a church change and are now part of the East County Church of Christ. We’ve stayed plenty busy keeping up with our kids and their activities.
Hannah – After spending her freshman year at Chapman University in Orange, CA, Hannah came back to the Portland area and is a music major at Concordia University. You can also find her serving up the best ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery in Gresham. We are enjoying having her back living at home, but don’t see her too much as she stays busy with school, work, friends, and church.
Micah – This is Micah’s senior year and he has really bloomed as a performer at school. He played Lazar Wolf in Gresham H.S.’s production of Fiddler On the Roof (and was fabulous!) and he will sing in the All-N.W. Choir in March. Micah has also grown past his dad and now stands 6’6”! Micah will graduate on June 10 this year.
Caleb – If you haven’t seen him in a while, you might walk right under him! He’s growing like a weed and is now a smidge over 6 feet. He is a great student, plays tuba in band, and is really improving as a basketball player. When not doing those activities you’ll find him either reading a book or playing video games.
Levi – Levi is in 5th grade this year (hard to believe it’s the last time we’ll have a child in elementary school) and is a great student! He’s been growing a lot too and is now up to 5’ 3.5” – not long until Lani looks up at all the rest of us! Levi plays football & basketball and just like his big brothers he loves to read and play video games!

Looking ahead. . .

We pray God’s blessings on each of you! As this letter goes out to friends far and near, we remember fondly our times with all of you. For our farther away friends, please know that you are always welcome to come visit and stay with us! Oregon is a beautiful place to go on vacation and we love showing our visitors around the area. We also hope that we might see some of you that live nearby too; if we haven’t seen each other for a while, let’s find time to get together.
This coming year may bring job changes (Dan will begin applying for Admin. jobs this Spring and of course who knows what will happen with state school funding), but God continues to be faithful and blessing in all that we do. Micah’s graduation is on June 10 and he is in the process of applying to colleges right now; we’ll see where he ends up in the next few months.

A Final Blessing: Colossians 1:9-12

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance in the kingdom of light.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Memorial to My Dad

Obituary for Richard Lyle Dalzell, Jr.
Feb. 1, 1939—Feb. 15, 2009

Richard Lyle “Dick” Dalzell, Jr., 70, of Meridian, Idaho crossed over from this life to Heaven on Feb. 15, 2009. He passed over with his wife, Sue, and brother, Ron, near his side.

Dick was born Feb. 1, 1939 in Portland, Oregon, the first son of Lyle and Gertrude Dalzell. As the son of a preacher, his family moved often and he attended grade school in Weiser, ID, Jr. High in Seattle, WA, and graduated from Caldwell H.S. (ID) in 1957. He was baptized in June of 1951 in Seattle. He entered Abilene Christian College in 1957, came back to Idaho to attend Magic Valley Christian College in Albion for a year, and then returned to Abilene where he graduated with a BA in applied music, summa cum laude, in 1961. He received a Master of Music degree in voice and choral performance from the U. of Idaho in 1964. He did further studies under such well-known choral conductors as John Finley Williamson, Robert Shaw, Norman Luboff, Helmut Rilling, and Eric Ericson. In 1976 Dick was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities stipend in early American Music, which led to a summer spent in Lawrence, Kansas at KU.

Dick met a young lady named Sue in the fall of 1957. Sue was one of the Idaho kids – she was from Lewiston – that rode together down to Abilene. Apparently, there was a girls’ car and a guys’ car traveling together, but the guys’ car had too many people so somehow Dick managed to volunteer to ride with the girls. By March of that year they were dating and then Dick “recruited” her to come with him back to Idaho to attend the newly opened Magic Valley Christian College for their sophomore year. It wasn’t long before he was showing her around to family as his fiancĂ©e! Dick wed Margaret Sue Bauder on March 25, 1959 at the Church of Christ in Twin Falls, ID. They would have celebrated their 50th anniversary this March.

He preached for the Church of Christ in Lewiston and then Nampa, ID before beginning a long (34+ year) career as a choral director and music educator. He taught at Ontario H.S. from 1965-67 and at Treasure Valley C.C. from 1967-79 where he served as the head of the music department. In Portland, OR, he was professor of choral & vocal music from 1979-93 at Columbia Christian College where his groups appeared numerous times at state and regional conventions. At Columbia, he mentored many young music education majors as well as nurturing the spiritual lives of perhaps hundreds of students. The Dalzell home was always packed full of students for Wednesday night Bible studies and many other nights for games and fun. In 1993 he received the Columbia Christian College ArĂȘte Award in recognition of excellence and achievement and the Carolyn Farris Service Award in appreciation of dedication and outstanding service to the students of CCC.

After Columbia closed, he became choral director at North Salem H.S. (OR) from 1993-2001. He received the Music Educator of the Year award in 2001 from the Oregon Symphony Association of Salem.

An active member of the Oregon Music Educators Association, the American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, he served in many leadership positions, including terms as the Oregon and the Northwest ACDA President. He was on the OMEA State Board of Control for eighteen years, including terms as District IX Chairman, Collegiate Membership Chairman, and OSAA Liaison. He was a frequent choral & vocal adjudicator and directed over 30 honor choir festivals throughout his career. After retiring and moving to Meridian, he directed the Mountain States Tumor Institutes “MSTI Melodies,” a choral group of cancer survivors, caregivers, and MSTI staff. Throughout his lifetime he has been active as a leader at church, serving stints as an elder at the Central Church of Christ in Portland and at the Boise Church of Christ. He most recently served on the boards of the Biblical Studies Center and Camp Ivydale.

He is survived by his wife, Sue; his two sons, Dan (& Lani) of Gresham, OR, and Randy (& Charlene) of Portland, OR; three brothers, Ron (& Cathy) of Oxnard, CA, Dave (& Joyce) of Abilene, TX, and Doug of Birmingham, AL; seven grandchildren, Hannah, Micah, Caleb, Levi, Allison, DJ, and Matthew; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held at the Boise Church of Christ, 2000 N Eldorado St., Boise, ID, 83704 at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 21. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Biblical Studies Center or Camp Ivydale (c/o the Boise Church of Christ).
Memories & Lessons from my Dad

(I read this -- as best I could -- at his memorial service.)
If you ever set off walking with my dad, you know he walked fast! I remember as a young boy having to almost run to keep up. Walking across campus at Columbia, you’d find yourself huffing and puffing to keep up. Even just last year when we went to the ACDA NW Convention in Vancouver, BC, I recall having to walk fast to keep with his pace.

More about dad’s walking later, but allow me for a minute to just recall some of the special and perhaps unique things about my dad. . .

Colorful ties! Oh yeah, you all remember the wild colors and patterns. Christmas ties, scripture ties, Jerry Garcia ties, music ties. I guess it’s fitting that the Dalzell tartan tie is a bright pattern. And did you know he wore colorful socks too? I only realized this two weeks ago when I was here for his 70th birthday. I went to look in his dress socks drawer for a plain dark pair of socks and all I could find were all these plaids and argyles and such – not a solid color to be found!

Popcorn! Sunday nights were always popcorn night (& sometimes other nights too). Now when we were little, after church we’d take an empty gallon jug to the Red Steer Drive-in in Ontario and get it refilled with root beer. Then we’d take it home to have with our popcorn. Later dad started buying his popcorn by the 50 lb. bag from the Crookham Co. in Caldwell! He’d go through one of those in about a year. After we moved to Portland, he’d buy a bag whenever he was on a trip over this way. He even had my friend Phill Hurley, who’s from Caldwell, pick it up for him a couple of times.

Cooking. Dad liked to cook – especially on holidays, but other times too. He exposed Randy and I to things like homemade Chinese food – egg foo yung and chop suey. He made overnight refrigerator rolls. I can hardly remember a holiday for quite some time that he didn’t make those. And things on the grill, most notably salmon. Whenever my family has salmon now, we almost always think of “grandpa”.

Jam in little jars. This was mostly in the last decade or so. He made a bunch of different kinds of jams & jellies each year and then at Christmas time, family member would each get a box full of the various varieties, all with neat little labels telling what kind and when it was made.

Singing in church – loudly! Whether sitting right next to my folks as a kid, or across the auditorium in later years, you could always hear dad (& mom too!) above the rest of the congregation.

Some other memories from my younger days. . . Dad staying up late each Christmas Eve to play Santa. And often he might be out in the garage or shop making something. Randy mentioned the ping pong matches, but I also remember him shooting baskets with us at Alameda Elementary school after work. Those were some special times.

And then there are the many times you’d find him watching the late news, or most often sitting in a recliner with his eyes closed and his mouth wide open. This must be genetic, because I do that too!

There are other things I do like him to. There are many things he taught me.
The love of singing! He was my constant example. His was the voice I heard as a boy and tried to copy as a young man. He was my first voice teacher and my favorite choir director. Some choral directors don’t make it very enjoyable for you as a singer, but dad was nearly always fun to sing for. The expectations were high and we worked hard, but the performances were always exciting.

Then there was the joy of building things and doing home improvement projects. My whole life I saw him remodeling a room, or fixing things, or even building his own home. Dad was the total do-it-yourself home handyman. And each house I’ve lived in, he came and helped me repair and remodel. With his example and instruction, I’ve learned to be a total home handyman too.

There were some things that dad did that most of my friends’ dads didn’t – I mean besides singing and directing choirs! Dad did a lot of the grocery shopping and, as we’ve recalled, liked to cook too! The ladies – which is pretty much everyone – at the elementary school I work at think it’s odd that I like to do the grocery shopping for my family and often cook dinner. They don’t know that I’m just being like my dad.
Dad was a God-loving, spiritual man. He served God with the gifts he was given and claimed God’s grace for the times he missed the mark. I think I’ve tried to follow that too.

So, remember how I talked about how fast my dad walked? Well, that’s kind of how he taught me and Randy and many of you too. He led by example. He set a fast pace. He put the bar up high. He showed often that he could do something and inspired each of us to try it too. I learned from my dad to not just do a job, but to do it to the best of my ability. I learned to pay attention to the fine details. I’m thankful for the many experiences and lessons learned from him. Dad was not a perfect man, but he was a man who aimed higher than most and did well at what he set out to do. I’m going to miss him a lot, but he lives on in all of us. So when I stay up late on Christmas Eve, or lead others in singing, or tear into something on my house, or go grocery shopping, or just try to walk faster, I’m going to remember my dad and be thankful for his example and the time with him.
A Celebration Service of Christian Hope for
Richard L. Dalzell, Jr.

Saturday, February 21, 2009  3:00pm

Welcome & Scripture Reading – led by Kevin Skidmore

Opening Prayer – led by Stan Kilpatrick

Congregational Song– led by Scott Shappard
“To God Be the Glory”
Special Group Song – “Blessed Be Your Name”
Joe & Pam Burris, Kent & Kim Hamilton, Rob & Nancy Quick, Phill Hurley, Kathy Stanley

Obituary – read by David Dalzell

Congregational Song– led by Scott Shappard
“Wonderful Grace of Jesus”
Special Music Solo – Phill Hurley
“How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”

Sons’ Reflections – Randy and Dan Dalzell

Special Group Song – “There’s a Stirring”

Eulogy – from Kevin Skidmore

Special Music Solo – Bonnie Salewski (of MSTI Melodies)
“Great is Thy Faithfulness”

Visual Memorybook – prepared by Marsha Strange

Congregational Song– led by Scott Shappard
“How Great Thou Art”

Remembrances / Open Mic Time – led by Kevin Skidmore

Closing Prayer – led by Rudy Morrow

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Dan & Lani's December Letter

I always like to write a "Christmas Letter", but this year it just didn't get done by then. So here I am on New Year's Eve with a letter finally written and just getting ready to mail it out. I thought if I posted it here, some friends would get a chance to hear what we've been up to. So here it is:
Dear Friends and Family,

What a busy year we’ve had! And then this last few weeks were especially crazy with record wintery weather, lots of days off of school, relatives staying with us, and concerns about Dan’s dad’s health.

This year we have five different school schedules to keep track of! Hannah is a freshman at Chapman University in Orange, CA, Micah is a junior at Gresham H.S., Caleb is a sixth grader at Clear Creek M.S., Levi is a fourth grader at Hollydale Elementary (where Dan teaches music), and Lani still teaches TAG students in the David Douglas Schools.

Here’s a bit about each of us: Hannah graduated from Gresham H.S. and is now a music major at Chapman. She’s doing well there, but we miss her since she’s far from home. She’ll be going on choir tour with their University Choir in early January.

Lani & I drove her down to school in August in a combined trip with our good friends, Paul & Linda McDonald, who were taking their son, Ian, to Pepperdine. We also got to stay with Troy & Shauna Wagner for a couple of days in San Diego where they had just moved as Troy began preaching for the La Mesa Church of Christ. On the same trip we stayed with good friends Rex & Jennifer Hamilton in Huson, CA and Keith & Kimberly Cox in Campbell, CA. It was a fun trip with friends, even if it was hard for both families to drop their child off at college.

Micah is enjoying a very busy junior year. He’s in Concert Choir and the Overtones vocal ensemble, the Symphonic Band, and was also a part of the school musical and is doing other theatre productions. He has made some good friends and they can often be found in our family room playing their favorite video games. If you haven’t seen Micah in awhile, you might be surprised to know that he is about 6’5”!

Caleb, who is now over 5’8”, is doing very well in academics and activities as a middle schooler. He is playing baritone horn in band and was recently honored for receiving all A’s on his report card! He also loves playing video games and is quite an avid reader too!

Levi is now in a 4th-5th looping classroom at Hollydale Elementary. He and Dan walk over to school each day. Levi is singing in choir and is also a “Nature Habitat Leader” (helping care for the school gardens and animals). Like his older brothers, he also (surprise!) likes playing video games and he enjoys the Cartoon Network.

Lani is teaching 2nd-5th grade TAG students again and enjoys the special projects and activities she gets to plan. She has been involved in a ladies’ Bible study and some special singing activities at church. It seems like she ends up doing a lot of extra things to keep up with all of our kids and their activities (like sewing costumes, going to practices, etc.).

Dan is in his third year of teaching elementary music and is taking classes for his Administrator’s License. He’s also still singing in the Portland Symphonic Choir and in a small group called “Offering”.

Dan’s dad, Dick, is struggling right now with cancer and pneumonia, so please keep him in your prayers. We hope this letter finds all of you blessed by God. May you enjoy His peace and joy this new year!

Dan & Lani, Hannah, Micah, Caleb, & Levi Dalzell

503-492-6405 home - 503-927-2210 Dan’s cell - 503-927-2211 Lani’s cell
And you can find Dan, Lani, Hannah, & Micah on Facebook!
Here are a few recent pictures too:

Friday, December 05, 2008

Christmas Singing

December is my favorite time for singing! Our course, it's always a busy time -- too busy really -- so I don't do things like just go caroling with friends or have friends over to sing in our living room (things I've done in the past, but seem to have let get squeezed out the last few years).

However, I am singing with two groups in the Portland area and here are the details:
Portland Symphonic Choir presents our "WinterSong" concerts on Saturday, Dec. 13 and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 7:30 pm at St. Mary's Cathedral (near 18th and Burnside). We asked a guest high school choir to join us this year and it just happens to be the Gresham H.S. choir that Micah sings in! You can check out the Portland Symphonic Choir website (and even order tickets!) at:

"Offering", the six-member male acappella group that I sing in with my friend Phill Hurley, sings twice this Sunday, Dec. 7. First is at 4:00 pm at the new Happy Valley City offices (160th & Sunnyside Rd). The mayor speaks, then we sing for 30 minutes, then Santa appears, then the Clackamas H.S. choir sings. Should be fun (& free!). Later that same night we sing at the Grotto's Festival of Lights at 9:00 pm. It's always a treat to sing in the reverberant chapel at the Grotto. See their website for details:
"Offering" also sings for two morning services on Dec. 14 at Portland's First Christian Church in downtown PDX.

Of course, I've got school performances with my kids at Hollydale Elementary. The 2nd & 3rd graders present a musical, "December in Our Town" on Dec. 11 and my 4th & 5th grade choir will sing that night also. The choir also sings at Pioneer Place (downtown PDX) on Dec. 17 at 11:00 am.

Here's one other fun thing. I'm putting together caroling groups to sing for all nine of Abundant Life Church's Christmas Services (on Dec. 20, 21, 23, & 24). These groups will just sing carols in the lobby before and after each service. If you're reading this and intered in singing with us, let me know. You can learn more about our church at:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Prayers for my dad

I called my folks home last night just to see how they were doing and found out that dad is in the hospital. His cancer treatments (both the radiation and chemo) have really wiped him out. His immune system is down to almost nothing and he's been in a lot of pain. He went to a regular appointment with the radiologist yesterday morning and that doctor called in his oncologist. Together they both agreed that he needed to go into the hospital. He has had pretty strong pain in his chest and esophagus and this makes it really hard for him to eat anything. In addition, he started getting some pretty serious sores in his mouth.

Basically, they want him in the hospital to monitor how he's doing, work on adjusting some medications for him, help ease his pain (he's getting morphine now), and make sure he gets enough nutrition to not lose any more weight.

If you live near the Boise area, he's in St. Luke's Hospital and can see visitors (if you're not at all sick yourself). He'll be in there at least through this whole weekend.

Thanks for joining us in prayers for his healing and comfort. They have decided not to do any more chemo until at least January now and are hoping to just let his body recover from these treatments. They're calling it a "holiday break". We're hoping he gets well enough to be able to travel at Christmas time, or at least have family come visit him.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Oct. 22 Updates

OK, here's some personal news and also an update on my dad's cancer:

Monday & Tuesday this week I got to serve as the substitute principal at West Gresham Elementary School! I'm currently working on my Initial Administrator's License through Concordia University and I'm also part of an "Aspiring Administrators" group in my school district. As a part of this district group, I can be asked to fill in for an administrator when they are out on leave. I had a very good experience and hope I get more opportunities in the future. It was nice to see how things run in another building, to get to observe several classrooms, to process student referals (OK, that's not the funnest part of the job!), and generally just feel what it's like to be a principal.

At home, I've been trying to finish up some trim work and painting on the floor to ceiling bookcases I've built in our family room, and then also finish painting and doing the tile work on our family room fireplace. We have new carpet coming within about two weeks, so there's a timeline for getting a bunch of little things done throughout the house!

Thanks for your prayers about my dad's lung cancer (& lymphoma too). He's had a pretty trying experience with his radiation treatments, but finally had his last one earlier this week. They weren't able to ever start any chemo, because his blood counts (white cells, red cells, etc.) have been too low. Hopefully they will start two types of chemo next week, as long as his counts go back up. So there's something you can join us in praying for!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last Day of Summer Updates!

OK, so today - Sept. 21 - is the official last day of Summer. And we've certainly had a nice one this year! Now for the cool, damp days of Fall. . .

Prayer updates:
My dad is three weeks into his cancer treatments. He has only been able to have one chemo. treatment, because his blood component counts have not been high enough. They gave him drugs this week to boost his counts and we're praying that he can receive chemo. tomorrow. He has been getting the regular radiation therapy. Thanks for your prayers on his behalf.

Please join in praying for Hadley Fox and her family. You can read her story and get updates about her condition at: (this will direct you to her Caring Bridge site). Make sure you scroll down to read Angela's most recent journal entries. At this point it sounds like Hadley just has a week or two to live.

Family news:
Levi and Caleb are both playing soccer, so it's the time of year where we have lawn chairs in each vehicle (and umbrella's soon!). Levi's team has won three and tied one, while Caleb's has two wins and one loss, I believe.

Micah is in Concert Choir, Overtones (select vocal ensemble), Symphonic Band, and has a little part in the musical (they're doing "Beauty and the Beast"). He'll be plenty busy this year!!!

Lani's TAG students started coming to her this week. She only had students three days a week last year, but now has groups all five days. This will be a lot tougher year for her!

I've begun my Initial Administrator License program through Concordia. The cohort I'm with seems like a great bunch of people and I'm feeling good about the chance to do this. I'm sure there will be some big challenges this year with trying to get the assignments done while doing the rest of life! I did get asked this week by my district to do my first admin. sub job! I'm going to do two days as principal at West Gresham Elementary.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Asking for your prayers

Dear friends (or anyone who comes across this blog),

Tomorrow my dad (Dick Dalzell) begins 6-7 weeks of chemo and radiation treatments for lung cancer. Please join in praying for his healing and for strength for his body and spirit during this time.

Earlier this summer, while doing more routine scans to check his lymphoma, they discovered a growth in the upper part of his right lung. About three weeks ago they went in to try to take it out, but found that it was bigger than anticipated and had spread into the lymph nodes outside the lung. So they decided right then that it would be better not to try to cut it all out, but to go with chemo and radiation.

God is our healer and an ever-present help in times of trouble. Thanks for joining us in prayer.

Other quick notes:
Hannah is two weeks into school down at Chapman University.
School starts tomorrow for all the rest of us (except Micah starts Wed.)
I begin an administrator's license program through Concordia Univ. next week.
This year we have one in elementary school (Levi), one in middle school (Caleb), one in HS (Micah), and one in college (Hannah); plus Lani and I work in two separate districts. That's a lot of calendars to keep up with!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Time flies!

Once again, I've gotten busy and not posted to my blog for awhile. So, lots to update. . .

Hannah graduated on June 5. We had lots of family and friends celebrate with her that night and weekend. We're proud of all that she has done and are now getting ready for her to head off to college. We plan to take her down to Chapman Univ. around August 17; she can move into the dorms on Aug. 19.

We realized that next year (and the year after that) we will have one in college (Hannah), one in high school (Micah), one in middle school (Caleb), and one in elementary school (Levi)!!! Wow!

Micah got his first real job; he's a courtesy clerk at Safeway.

Hannah is currently at the Oregon Bach Festival Youth Choral Academy. It's a very select, 12-day choral program in Eugene, OR. Micah and I drove down and heard them perform Thursday night and they were really good. Hannah had a solo too, so I was really glad we were there. They wrap up tomorrow night (July 6) with a performance of the Bach Magnificat, so we will drive back down for that.

Lani, Caleb, and Levi have been at a challenge course camp all week at Camp Yamhill (bro-in-law, Troy, is the director). They sound like they're having a great time and get back today.

PRAYER ALERT: Please pray for my dad's health and healing. He found out this week that he has a ping-pong ball sized growth in his upper right lung. They will biopsy it this coming Tuesday to find out exactly what it is. His bloodwork also shows that he needs treatment again for his lymphoma. I'm sure he and my mom have found this news difficult. Thanks for joining us in prayer for God's comfort and healing.

Lani took this picture in our front yard in May.

Here is Hannah right after graduation with my mom, Sue, and Lani's mom, Gladys.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Hannah updates

Today we sent off all the documents confirming that Hannah will attend Chapman University next Fall (along with the first two of many checks $$$). That also means we sent "not coming" letters to George Fox and Pacific Lutheran. It has been tough trying to help her decide. All are quality schools with great music departments (she plans to be a music ed. major, but may also pursue music performance). I probably would have liked to have her at one of the closer universities, but she got set on Chapman.

Now starts the beginning of "how do we pay for all of this?" There's no way to do this without Hannah and us taking out student loans. We'll do all we can and see what happens. . .


Hannah ended up 12th at State (out of about 36 mezzo soprano contestants that made it that far). She was quite disappointed to not finish higher. I think I was too, because I really thought she was better than that (I'm NOT biased or anything!). She has improved a lot over the last year or so and we're proud of her!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Senior Prom Snow!

Last night Lani & I "chaperoned" or "chauffered" Hannah & her date and another couple for their Prom. We dropped them off for dinner at a nice place in downtown Portland's "Brewery Blocks/Pearl District" called "Henry's Tavern", then we strolled around the Pearl District on foot, stopping to eat at a small Mediteranean restaurant. Then we drove them up around and through Washington Park, letting them enjoy the lovely older homes and the incredible gardens. Their prom was in the buildings at the Oregon Zoo, so we went over the hill to drop them off. The parking lot was full of limos, party buses, kids' cars, and quite a few parent-driven rigs like us! We met another parent friend, Des, and she got in our car to hand with us. We had popcorn, cookies, and a laptop to watch movies (we watched "Amazing Grace", which I can now highly recommend).
The coolest part was that around 11:30 p.m. when the kids were all coming out, it started snowing these big, thick flakes! It was gorgeous and memorable! I'll bet they've never had another prom where it snowed on them.

In follow-up news:
I ended up calling AT & T about the cell-phone charges. After much hassle and speaking to a couple different people, they took $250 off the phone bill and made us pledge not to let our son do that again. Of course, they tried to sell me an "internet access" plan, but I told them we didn't want that. I also found out that you can't turn off the internet features, if you still want to be able to text message (which we do; we have a family-unlimited plan for this). All in all it was a hard lesson learned for my son and all of us.

Hannah now has about two weeks to make her college decision. She is going to try to do a music scholarship audition this week at George Fox, but if that doesn't come through in a BIG way, then she wants to go to Chapman and then PLU in that order. We still may need to check with Chapman about actual costs and any other possible aid.

Hannah sings at the Oregon State Solo Contest (held at Lewis & Clark College) this coming Saturday. I know she can do quite well if she's rested and healthy. The following weekend, she and Micah sing in the Gresham Concert Choir at the State Choir Contest (which is held at George Fox). These will be some busy and important weekends!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ah. . . Spring!

So on Friday (Apr. 11) Spring finally, really arrived here! It was sunny and got up to about 70 and then yesterday it topped out at about 78 (at the Portland Airport; on our Yukon's thermometer it read 84 at one point while we were driving around).
Today it started out still sunny and nice -- I think getting into the mid-60's -- but then it has cooled and marine air and clouds have returned and are supposed to be around for the rest of the week. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted! I took a run yesterday evening while it was still about 70 (did my favorite run up to Butler Creek Park) and then this afternoon Lani, Levi, Caleb, & I went on a bike ride on the Springwater Trail.

Hannah is now trying to decide (along with our advice & concerns) about where to go to college next year. She's been accepted to Pacific Lutheran U., George Fox U., and Chapman U. All are quality schools with excellent music departments. Chapman is in L.A., while PLU is in Tacoma, WA and Geo. Fox is nearby in Newberg, OR. Fox is the most expensive option since they seem to provide way less financial aid (at least for us as we compare their offers); Chapman & PLU will cost us about the same, although travel and expenses in the L.A. area would be higher. We have to let the schools know whether Hannah is accepting or declining their offers by May 1st, so something must be decided soon. We appreciate your prayer-support in this matter.

One of my kids ran up a HUGE bill on a cell-phone, apparently not knowing that our family plan does not include any internet access. We have unlimited messaging and way more voice minutes than we ever use, but no coverage for internet use. We just discovered this tonight as I was checking out some bill payments (our cell plan payment is an auto-pay right from our checking account, so I often don't even open the statement when it comes). What would you do?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Sunday night buzz

So, this marks the third Sunday in a row that I've found some time to post on my blog. Maybe I should make this my goal to regularly post on Sundays.

Tonight "Men in Black" sang at the Hinson Memorial Baptist Church Talent Show (yeah, really big-time! About 75 or so in attendance). It was our first non-Christmas performance. We're still trying to learn some more arrangements so that we can get out and sing more. Here's a picture of the group from back when we sang on Christmas Eve at Abundant Life.

Hannah got home today from the Oregon State Thespian's Conference in Medford. Sounded like the Gresham kids did well and had a nice time.

Here's a prayer request: my mom had to have a second surgery on her eye (which was severely injured a few months back). They removed scar tissue, reattached the retina, and had to put silicone oil in it for now. We're praying for healing in the eye and that she may eventually regain sight in this eye. God is faithful and able to heal! Thanks for joining us in prayer.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spring (?) Break

What a strange week here! Today marks either the fifth or sixth day in a row that we've seen snowflakes! And it's the second to last day of March! We've only had a shower or two that dropped enough to slightly whiten the ground, but still, it's just been weird to see snowflakes every day. You'd think this was Christmas Break instead of Spring Break!

It's also been a little odd with Hannah & Micah gone to NYC on choir tour. They left early Wed. morning and don't get back until tomorrow night. From what we hear, they're having a great time!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Day post

Happy Easter! I hope you all find a great hope in the resurrection of Jesus!

Wow. . . I haven't posted on my blog since Christmas Day! Life has been busy, to say the least. Here are some of the big events:

Micah was baptized on Feb. 3!

And then Levi was baptized on March 2! I had the great joy and privilege of baptizing both of them at Abundant Life Church.

Micah and Hannah have both been very busy with choir and other performing. Hannah got 2nd in the District Solo Contest as a Mezzo Soprano and will compete in the State Solo Contest on Saturday, April 26. We're very proud of her!
She has also been busy with college apps and has been accepted at three schools; hopefully we'll get the right scholarships and student aid and make a decision soon about where she goes next year.

I coached both Levi's and Caleb's YMCA basketball teams. We just finished up their seasons last weekend.

We are on Spring Break this week! Woo-hoo! No big plans. . . clean out the garage, do some serious house cleaning and small projects, rest, go running, etc.

Hannah & Micah leave early Wednesday morning for a six-day choir tour to New York!

This morning I sang on a praise team in our "Traditions" 8:30 service at ALC and then went over to a small church (Living Streams Church of Christ) and led worship. It was a rare opportunity to be involved as a worship leader. Later we enjoyed a nice Easter dinner in our home with the Wagners (my in-laws) and Linda McDonald. I even snuck in a little time watching NCAA basketball! All-in-all in great day.

OK, hopefully my next entry won't be until Summer break or the 4th of July!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Rare Christmas Day

Merry Christmas!

We had snow in the Portland area today!!! For a couple of hours, at least, it was snowing heavily across the whole metro region. The Oregonian says that the last time there was measurable snowfall on Christmas Day in Portland was 1937. Wow!
They say it may snow a couple of inches overnight, but we'll just wait and see.

Another rare thing on Christmas for us was that we got to be with Lani's mom (& her brother Brian's and sister Shauna's families) and later the same day with my parents too. We had a nice time opening presents in the morning with our kids, had a nice Christmas feast (shared with the Maki & Wagner families) and played cards tonight with the three grandparents all here. It was a blessed day!

Last night I sang with "Men in Black" for Christmas Eve services at Abundant Life Church ( It was lovely. . . some acappella singing, candlelight, harp, a nice message. We also did the same thing in four services on Sunday. It made for a busy last couple of days (what with my last-minute shopping & wrapping to do to), but it was nice to be included there. Maybe we'll get to do it again sometime.

Blessings on you all!

Friday, December 14, 2007

A couple of pics from this week

Here are a couple of pictures from this week. The first is from last Saturday when we went to cut a Christmas tree (Finally! We're usually doing this on Thanksgiving weekend!)

The second is of "Tucker", the labradoodle boy puppy that we're still selling. Here he is on a red background on his 9-week birthday. He's all ready to go home with someone for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Singing Opportunities!

Here are some fun singing opportunites I have coming up. Maybe you'd like to come hear one of these groups!

"Men in Black" just found out that we'll be singing on 104.1 "The Fish" for their Christmas show next Thursday, Dec. 20. We're the kick-off group at 6:00 a.m. (and have to be there at 5:30 -- whew!), so get up and tune in early to hear us sing. I think we get to do three songs on air!

Later that evening, we're singing a second time at the Grotto's "Festival of Lights". We got some rave reviews from our first performance there and they had an opening that they needed filled. One cool thing is that Hannah & Micah will be singing there right before us with the Gresham H.S. choirs. They sing at 8:00 p.m. and we sing at 9:00.

This weekend, Dec. 15 & 16, I'm singing with the Portland Symphonic Choir. This is our annual "Wintersong" concert and should be a great one to watch and hear (and I do have a solo in one piece!). You can get tickets at
In other news, we sold two more puppies today and now just have one cute little guy left. He's a really nice one too, so I'll be surprised if he doesn't sell pretty quickly.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are my big thanks for this year:
Caleb's healing as his cancer was discovered and is now in remission!
Celebrating 20 years of marriage to my sweetheart, Lani!!!
Lani getting a full-time job (she has a great job as a TAG teacher!).
Singing opportunites -- with Portland Symphonic Choir & Men in Black.
Healthy, blessed children.
A nice job that I love.
Blessings of good friends and extended family.
Puppies! And my running partner and now mama dog, Molly.
And for the enduring love & mercy & care of God.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Labradoodle Puppy Pictures are Up!

Check out to see the pictures of my labradoodle puppies.

These puppies are Available for adoption to their new homes as soon as Dec. 7 (eight weeks old) or any time later in December including pick up on Christmas Eve!

Keywords: labradoodles, labradoodle, puppies for sale, Christmas puppies, Portland, Oregon, F1b labradoodles, labradoodle puppies

Friday, November 09, 2007

Christmas Labradoodle Puppies

Our labradoodle puppies will make great Christmas presents! If you know someone who'd like one, let us know.

I'll be posting individual pictures of the puppies this weekend. You can see them all at

In other news. . . Hannah & Micah are in the Gresham High School production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". Opening show last night went well. Next shows are tomorrow night (Sat.) and then Sunday afternoon; next week again on Thursday & Saturday nights and again on Sunday afternoon. Hannah is a "Narrator" and gets to sing quite a few solo parts! Micah is an Ishmealite (sp?) and wears a cool costume, long beard, and glasses.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Molly had her puppies!

Our beloved labradoodle, Molly, had seven healthy puppies last Friday night!

I've started a blog about her and her puppies at

I'll be posting info there about the puppies, pictures, etc. We hope to sell several of them in December.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Lots of singing!

Besides singing a lot every day with my elementary music classes, I'm also singing with the Portland Symphonic Choir and with a six-member ensemble we call "Men in Black". Monday nights it's PSC and Tuesdays it's MIB.

Last night the MIB group really started to sound like it's coming together. We're rehearsing a bunch a different stuff right now for December singing. We've got some pop, jazz, barbershop, and classical arrangements -- just a lot of variety and a lot of fun singing. So, if you're available on the Wednesday night after Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), come hear us at the Grotto's Festival of Lights. We're the 6:00 p.m. group that night!

As I've mentioned on here before, you can check out the Portland Symphonic Choir (view our performance schedule, buy tickets, or even find out how to join) at

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Getting into the Fall season

OK, now we're all getting settled into our back-in-school, Fall schedules.

Lani and I are both teaching full-time, two kids are in high school, two go with me to Hollydale -- everyone is back to their own school/work routine.

I'm singing in two groups this year. Still a staff singer with the Portland Symphonic Choir (see and singing in a small group we're calling "Men in Black". My good friend, Phill Hurley, actually started up this group awhile back to sing a couple of times at church; toward the end of Summer he asked several of us if we'd be interested in singing together and so the group was resurrected. We currently have six guys singing, but may look to add a couple more. We are booked to sing at the Grotto's "Festival of Lights" at 6:00 p.m. on the Wednesday after Thanksgiving.

Caleb and Levi were both playing Gresham Youth Football, but Caleb had to drop out after his skin got some kind of infection/condition. His dermatologist thinks it's something different than the cancer, and is trying to clear it up with a steroid cream (and it looks WAY better since he began using the cream and stopped football about 10 days ago). Levi is working hard in his first year of tackle football, practicing three days a week and then playing games on Saturdays.

Hannah and Micah both tried out for the musical at Gresham HS. Lani and I were surprised that Micah tried out! He's coming out of his shell! Neither one got the big parts that they might have liked, but both have small roles. They'll be performing in November in "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".

So, there's a little update on our current activities!