Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Here's Looking at YOU

Hello to YOU! Oh man, Pom Pom is tired after the picture taking experience! Birdie was funny! Kelli read somewhere that twos sometimes ignore others and she did. She snooped around behind curtains, found old ratty things that could not join her in the photos. The sweet photographer was so patient and skilled at adjusting the prints so that the house baby doll was cut out of the pictures. Birdie loves EVERY baby doll. Miss Bug, on the other hand, enjoyed her photo shoot! She looked right at the camera, obediently perched on the pillow and sweetly stayed awake! It resurrected memories of mine. I took Brad and Kelli to Sears or Kmart for their milestone photos but Jeff and Jenny had their baby pictures taken at school. Thinking back, that was very nice of the school to include little brothers and sisters!
We enjoyed (!) a crazy dinner at the food court, stopped to buy sweet smelling stuff at Bath and Body Works, picked the pictures, and headed home. Kelli's a good mommy. She speaks so sweetly to her girls. I'm so proud of her.
Oh! I'm excited for April because she is considering practicing music therapy again in the future. I love this idea! She sings to people and soothes and teaches with music - songs, tunes, games. Art and music do wonders for the soul and I hope April is able to bless people with her special talent. Jenny is feeling a little woozy at work, so barely pregnant. I get to see her on Thursday when I go to the dentist for my new golden tooth! I'm going to bring Because of Winn Dixie to watch while he drills. I watched part of it (again!) today while I rode the exercise bike. India Opal and Winn Dixie cheer me.
Bill and Jeff are enjoying friends in Minsk. I'll post some photos when they return. Jeff will also have photos on his site www.thewindsweptsky.com when he gets home.
I am going to spray lavender on my pillow and rub chamomile oil on my wrists before I go to bed tonight. I don't sleep as soundly when I am not teaching all day.
Did I mention I rode the bike today? Time for some pound cake and a cup of peppermint tea! Thanks for listening. Blessings!


Kelli and I are off to the mall to have Miss Bug and Birdie's pictures taken!

Lots of CREATIVE Women

I love to look at blogs. There are a gazillion talented women in the world and I find such inspiration blankets me when I read them! I am completely inspired by photos of knitting projects and gardens, recipes and organization tips, photography that blows my mind and play lists on blogs that bring new music into my heart! I must say that I do not feel the same inspiration from teacher sites. What does that mean? I must consider this. When I read about ideas teachers have used, I don't feel the wave of encouragement that I feel from the creative ones who write and post photos from the beauty of their lives. Maybe, as a teacher, I am NOT operating from my talents, maybe I function as a teacher using skills I've learned and because of this, I hunger for creative inspiration way outside of the education world. I experience dissatisfaction every time I have a break from school. Every time. I shall keep praying for wisdom. I believe that the Lord has a map for me, a game plan, a bend in the road. I do feel guilty saying that I am not 100% content working outside my home. That's weird, huh? I am grateful for my job. I am fascinated by eighth graders and I love reading their writing. I function better one on one, though. The big God I love gives me some supernatural confidence every time I stand in front of the classroom - it's outside of my natural talents and somehow I stay afloat. Occasionally, I say something that makes them laugh and they are a TOUGH crowd! But, it exhausts me. The day, the adults there, the "shushing" all day, the clean up, the grading, the redistribution of graded work (hate this part) and ultimately missing the day in my home and in my neighborhood. Five years of teaching, I still feel this. So I continue to sniff around for answers . . .

Monday, March 30, 2009

Lunch with the girls and Finn!

Here's a glimpse of the fun we had today! Our waiter has a little baby Clara's age, so he hung around quite a bit, peering at Clara and trying to bring the girls breakable plates! Cadence munched on her sandwich and Sophie ate rice. Finn chewed on toys and smiled!

Little Hands

"If one writes about oneself, the real motive must be, I think, to give reassurances to other people."
~Christopher Isherwood

After a noisy lunch at the Chinese restaurant we came home so April and Kelli could nurse their babies. As the little ones nursed, the toddlers played, stopping occasionally to connect with each other.
There's another Bundt cake on the counter cooling. I savored the last one and this time I added almond flavoring. Yum!
Bill and Jeff's quick stop in London provided rest and a break from long plane rides. They go from the hot, humid air of Uganda to the cold air of Belarus. So, I'm holding them in my mind and heart, praying for important conversations and lots of smiles (the universal hello) because not very many friends in Minsk speak English.
I'm off to craft a few pages in my journal. I need to feed on some sacred words. Thanks for stopping by. May you notice something hidden in the world around YOU today and have a blissful and enlightened moment.

More Snow

First of all, the security alarm went off last night because the cat jumped on the table. Yikes! I'm pretty brave, though. I went downstairs, turned it off, thought about what I should do for five seconds, and then went back to sleep (with the lights on!) I have a sinus headache and it began snowing again during the night. Sigh. Oh well.
Kelli, Sophie, Clara, April,Cadence, Finn and Jenny are all coming over around noon. We'll have lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant and then come home for naps. This is the good life!

I copied a sonnet (Shakespeare's Sonnet 29) into my journal, so I'll share it here:

Sonnet 29 by William Shakespeare

When in disgrace with Fortune and men's eyes,

I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries,
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possessed,
Desiring this man's art, and that man's scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven's gate;
For thy sweet love rememb'red such wealth brings,
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.

Any thoughts on this, Shakespeare lovers?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sweet Sunday Night

I am completely ruining my sleep schedule by staying up late and reading and writing all day. I loved seeing my friend Elly tonight. I brought her along to worship and take communion with the little SOMA group, but I didn't tell her where we were going. She was sick of March Madness and wanted to get away. Her cute daughter, Keely was dying of curiousity, "Pom Pom, where are you taking my mom?" Ha ha! Elly's so great! She fits into any group and we laughed at each other and ourselves. We're weird and wrong and silly, us humans, but it feeds the soul to KNOW each other and honestly share our hearts. Brad taught at three churches today before coming to SOMA and leading us in song and communion. We had bad wine and too much bread, but I was blessed by it. We laughed about how awkward communion can be. When do we go forward? Do we all take the bread first and then the wine? Dip or sip? Jesus - so true with his friends, so hospitable and intimate.
I'll never forget my Sunday school teacher who told of the elation she experienced at communion. She said it filled her with joy. I loved her exuberance, her breathless reading of the scriptures. I thought of her today as I have so many times. She made an imprint.
Elly and I went to dinner. We had so much to say and what she said to me resonated, soothed, inspired and entertained me. What a sweet, spontaneous time it was.
Sophie and Cadence love playing with April. They do crafts and pound around the big room in the basement of the church. We finish praying just as they bound up the stairs. Finn smiles. Clara sleeps. We get to see each other again.
Tomorrow (after I sleep in again!) Jenny and I will go out for a Chinese food lunch. Kelli and the girls will join me for dinner. Bliss.

From youngest to oldest!

Miss Bug! She's a good sport! She likes all the action at her house! She loves us!
Finnegan the wonder boy! He's smiley, he's tolerant, he's full of love!
Full of laughter, peaceful and restful, loves to dance . . . THE BIRDIE!
Smart as can be, sensitive, funny, interested and and a true SUPERSTAR!

Ahhhhh Spring Break

I love the gift of spring break. Days of responding to students and working at meeting their needs are both invigorating and exhausting! I am thankful for God's great grace each day, because I know the energy needed at school does not come from my own fuel tank! I'm very grateful for my job, but I sometimes resent the hours it demands. When I am home, I can read and read (and read some more!) and journal and draw and clean a little. I can exercise (after talking myself into it - this requires a variation of standard pep talks!) I can partake of long and lazy conversations with our kids and I can cuddle the grandbabies during the day if they are free to play! I can meet friends for coffee and shop for food in the morning! Anyway . . .
I miss my best friend and my sweet son while they are away in Uganda and Eastern Europe. I love what they do: encourage, teach, smile and hug, remember names that are hard to pronounce, laugh and care. Lord, bless them.
The wind is blowing and the sweet "snow day" icebergs are melting away. The sweet pea barrel in the back corner of the lawn will bear blissful blossoms in a few short months because I remembered to plant them early this year!
My house smells like coffee and my perfume. I'm happy. My prayer for you: simple pleasures today, whispers of wisdom from the WORD (ya gotta read it!) and someone to listen to you and love you, some art, some music, a hug, and maybe a little chocolate. Thank you for comin
g by!