In March 2008 I began Finding Pennies. In December 2008 I began sharing these "Penny Tales" with a few close friends. They encouraged me to blog the Penny Tales such that more people could enjoy the Adventures with Penny Angels.

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Joyfully, Tina

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day #327 - Veterans Day

Some days I have NO ideas for a title. Today there are too many options: Overcoming Fear, Eat My Words, Wall Climbing.

I don’t know what to do with days like today. There are sooooo many exciting moments to Share with you, but I don’t want to write a Novel which you won’t read. Where do I begin?

First let me share an email from a colleague. I am attending his engineering class this term (and then I will be teaching it next term). He has set a goal to run in a Marathon in December and has been teaching the students about goal setting. This morning after his run, he sent a log of his running data (for Doc to read) and the following message for me:

This is the first time I ran over 10 miles. After 10 miles I felt a little different. Everything was silent. I didn't hear anything. The sound of traffic, people, all disappeared. I had a great rhythm going and I didn't want to stop. Fortunately there were no traffic lights so I kept going. I couldn’t imagine anything that would break my pace. Then I saw this shining penny about 20 or 30 feet in front of me. I really didn't want to stop. For a moment there was this debate in my mind whether to stop and pick up this penny or not. As you have guessed, I did stop. I picked up the penny, put it the inside pocket of my water belt, and continued my run.

This man has a severe case of PENNY FEVER!


The students in the class I am attending were assigned to introduce themselves to their faculty advisors or other instructors during Office Hours. I figured I should do likewise. A Lesson in Overcoming Fear. So I called the author of the textbook we are using and had a breakfast interview with him this morning. J

Doc and I needed to stop for cash at the bank and were in a hurry, but Doc said, “Just quickly walk through the In N Out”. I did. Nothing there ;-( Everything was washed down. So I followed the path of water and found a dime, then a shiny penny! (Coins #1 & 2).


Today we had a day off school and so did the Twins and Ashley. So instead of our usual 4 PM Play Time, we picked them up at 11:30 AM and headed to Santa Ana for the Science Discovery Cube.

Note: I had asked the Penny Angels to help each kid find a coin, because it is such fun when they do.

We were all hungry so we stopped at a little deli near the Discovery Cube. Brandon finished his lunch fairly quickly and I ate very little (after the big breakfast). He wanted to go Penny Finding in the parking lot while the others finished eating. I told him this was more of a professional center (chiropractor, escrow, offices, etc.) versus a place where people are buying stuff. Not as likely to find coins in this type of lot. Within one minute he said, “What about this one?” He was standing over a shiny new log house penny. (Coin #3). I had to Eat My Words!

We returned and were telling Doc and the others about our amazing find. Doc listened when I said coins were not likely to be found here … Then he walked a few feet, picked up a dime and said “What About this?” Again I had to “Eat My Words”.


The Science Discovery Cube was amazing. The kids ran at fun speed the whole time. There was so much to learn, see, and do! There was a mock-up nosepiece of the Shuttle Discovery, a “Bed of Nails”, “Dinosaur Digs”, a Science of Hockey exhibit and more than I could tell you about.

We, of course, had to schmush a penny with the Cube logo on it.


Ashley spotted the Climbing Wall and was drawn to it. Initially the boys didn’t have any desire to attempt it. Ashley impressed me. At 5 years old, she was outclimbing older kids and seemed to have no fear. The goal was to work across the wall from Left to Right. On her first attempt she was quite awkward in figuring hand holds and foot placement. She fell off numerous times, but I was there to break the fall. She would immediately climb back up at that same spot and proceed, each time climbing to the top of the wall versus staying at a lower, safer level in order to proceed to the Right. She did not need to climb that high in order to accomplish the goal of advancing horizontally across the wall. What was driving her?

After “conquering” the Wall I was exhausted (from catching Ashley) and was ready to move on to something else. Ashley got back in line to climb the Wall again! The second time through, she was more sure-footed and faster. I still caught her a few times as she missed her target and landed on the carpet.

She got back in line and went for a Third Climb! This time, at the half way point she said, “Aunt Tina, you can step back. You can move away now.” WOW! Powerful Statement.

Those three climbs occurred shortly after our arrival at the Discovery Center. As we were leaving, Ashley insisted upon one last climb. What an amazing transformation of skills and confidence in just 4 hours. This time the two boys participated as well and it was a joyous moment to see all my kids “Climbing the Walls”.

So many lessons in that story:

l You may slip, but it’s OK. Get back on the Wall

l Climb high, the view is better there

l It’s good to have a trusty and loving friend “covering your back”

l Be Persistent. You will Conquer!


It was dark as we were leaving the Discovery Center. The boys had gone on ahead and I was telling Ashley that we were not likely to find Pennies in the dark parking lot. 60 seconds later I had to Eat My Words as she picked up her Penny Find (Coin #5). Then Nicolas came running back to us to show us HIS coin - a Chuck E Cheese token. Again: Eat My Words.


We had a wonderful dinner together, then a very animated debriefing to mom and dad. The kids could have talked for hours about their experiences. They said it was way better than Disneyland, Chuck E Cheese or Jump ‘n Jammin! Awesome Reviews!

In reflecting about today, we DID each find a coin - just like I asked of the Penny Angels. And the dozens of lessons we learned (from friction, to dinosaurs, to wall climbing, to manifesting) were truly life CHANGING. Every day is a learning day.

Today’s Total: 5 coins P (3), D (2) = $0.23 + one Chuck E Cheese token (25¢)

1 comment:

Mandy said...

I loved this story! Especially about little Ashley going for that wall at full speed!!! What a great reminder for us to look at things with no fear, to be just like a kid, innocent and free!