Thursday, April 30, 2009

Frightening Bird and Play-Doh

The kids at school (8th graders) probably lose cell phones on a regular basis, misplace their iPods, leave MANY coats and jackets in places they can't remember, but if I have a tiny can of Play-Doh to give as a prize they'll do ALMOST anything to get it. I don't understand this. One day, for Writers Workshop, I gave each of them a little can of this hot commodity to play with and they were THRILLED when I said they could keep it. And they think they are so cool! It reaffirms to me that we never tire of the small joys of life. Bubbles are fun, too. Silly String makes people mad, but it is VERY fun! All kinds of goo are irrestible until they get hairy. Bubble gum is delicious and blowing bubbles is a real talent. In my active Pom Pom the Clown days, I made big buckets of bubbles with Karo syrup and Dawn dish soap. I used toy store jumbo wands and we made lovely, wiggly bubbles and gooped up peoples' patios and front porches. Ooops! And then there are those moments of wonder when we see something astounding like a field of horses (they are so big and pretty and seeing so many at once feels like a treat!) Or, a huge sack of gummy worms - now that is lovely! I huge sack of gummy worms only costs 7 dollars! They are so moist and friendly when you open the bag! One time, I found a HUGE green worm (a real one!) in the garden. I have never seen one since, but I had a shivery feeling of discovery as I looked at it. Fields of tulips in Washington State are another "WOW!" sight. We saw a big whale in Hawaii and even though I was seasick, I felt as if someone had told me an amazing secret when I looked at it, there in the Pacific, taking up so much space! The other morning, I went into the kitchen to get a coffee fill-up and just beyond the patio, there was a red fox sitting up straight, staring at our cat. The cat was sitting by his food dish, staring back! We see foxes frequently, and it is still thrilling. Big birds are fun, too. Jeff took the picture of this ugly African bird. They are like vultures that fly around eating dead things. It's not a "happy" joy but it's a bit of a thrill to see those long legs hanging behind the giant inflight bird. Snow cones are delicious and red licorice is one of the best tastes in the world and worth the stomach discomfort that always accompanies my overindulgence. Book stores are perfume-y paradises and stacks of stickers make me feel happy. School buses are perfect looking and I'm thinking about drawing and painting one in honor of how much I love looking at them, even though I know they can be nasty environments for bus drivers! Kids don't just sit there are stare out the window! One of my students picked up the broom in the back and threw it out the window. He was not welcome on the school bus for the rest of the year. Anyway, a fleet of buses, all lined up together is a gorgeous sight! Another nice feeling is when you drive by a car that is the exact same make and model AND color as YOURS! It feels like you have found your long lost twin! Well, maybe that's a stretch. Small wonders, free and simple joys, they aren't going any where! I hope you have a long stretch of fun VERY soon! Here's a recipe for homemade Play-Doh:
2 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp. cream of tarter
2 tbsp. oil
2 cups water
a few drops of food coloring (you choose a robust color!)
Stir all this over medium heat until it pulls away from the pan. Cool. Knead it. Have a great time!

We should all do what in the long run gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry. ~ E.B. White

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eat Your Veggies

Our neighborhood grocery stocks lovely veggies, don't you think? I don't really like eating veggies, however. Sometimes they taste good to me - with lots of fatty dip! And during the holidays, I make some special vegetable dishes - with cheese, mayo, cream, and deep-fried onions on top! But, if someone told me that I couldn't go to bed until I ate a cucumber or a pepper, I would grumble, because I view veggie eating as a "have to" instead of a "get to" and I only eat them for my own good. If someone said, "You must drink this mug of creamy hot chocolate before bed," I would say, "Yum! Thank you!" I am not hungry (we went out for Chinese food) so I don't need any hot chocolate, but I could tolerate it right now, when I can go a good week without experiencing a yearn for vegetables. I ate some carrots today and a little cabbage (in an egg roll!) That's all the veggies I want. Maybe when I grow some squash, carrots, peppers and peas this summer, I'll fall in love with them. Maybe I'll stop eating bread and cookies forever! But, for the time being, I am chubby anti-veggie Pom Pom.

Grab the Broom

This is a day to work. I'm a little lost as to how to implement the writing project at school. But, it is a day to WORK. . . get some stuff done . . . make some progress. Do ONE thing. It doesn't help that I have a cold AND two meetings before the teaching day even begins. When there is a big mess to clean up, my first reaction is to cope later. My mom used to say, "Just start." So, I'm going to get in the car, arrive at school, and pick up the broom. I'll "sweep" all day and then come home and TRY not to over-think, because I don't want to drive myself crazy. I'm just gonna do it. I hope the tasks at hand in your world are do-able, enjoyable, and character building.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If I were to write my truth I would say that I doubt myself and I am not as nice to myself as I think my Creator would like me to be. I really do "should" on myself a lot and so often I don't take time to allow the Lord to cradle my soul, smooch it, sing it a loving little song. I take over and give it "to do" lists and force it to make frightened excuses. I quite think that Jesus would make me a cozy, downy nest and enlist an angel to gently rock me, singing another wordless song of celebration and give me an occasional pat and squeeze. P.S. I'm not sure how long I would need this to last.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bear in the Bed

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod, one night sailed off in a wooden shoe;
Sailed off on a river of crystal light into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going and what do you wish?" the old moon asked the three.
"We've come to fish for the herring fish that live in this beautiful sea.
Nets of silver and gold have we," said Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song as they rocked in the wooden shoe.
And the wind that sped them all night long ruffled the waves of dew.
Now the little stars are the herring fish that live in that beautiful sea;
"Cast your nets wherever you wish never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three - Winkin', and Blinkin', and Nod.

So all night long their nets they threw to the stars in the twinkling foam.
'Til down from the skies came the wooden shoe bringing the fisherman home.
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed as if it could not be.
Some folks say 'twas a dream they dreamed of sailing that misty sea.
But I shall name you the fisherman three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

Now Winkin' and Blinkin' are two little eyes and Nod is a little head.
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies is a wee one's trundle bed.
So close your eyes while mother sings of the wonderful sights that be.
And you shall see those beautiful things as you sail on the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

Yucky Dinner

Hello and Good Sunday! I have felt borderline blah all weekend. Now, Monday morning is looming and even though I accomplished a respectable amount of grading, I still haven't planned precisely for the week of writing. I ate too much licorice and my stomach feels turbulent. I'm feeling sad for my sister because her father-in-law died. He was a true patriarch of her husband's family and I'm sure they are all feeling shocked and weak. The dinner I'm making sounds gross to me and I wake up every morning with a stiff neck. I regret my mattress choice. We need a soft, cloud-like mattress instead of the rock hard one I foolishly purchased at the log furniture store. And it's raining. I'm going to go upstairs and put the flannel sheets back on the bed and hunt around the house for a better pillow. Yahooo for the night guard I was fitted for at my last dentist appointment. It can't come back from the lab soon enough. I have to laugh at the picture of my sleeping self, grinding away at my teeth all night. Maybe I need a rocking bed and a nice massage every night. I'll ask Bill. Ha ha. Anyway, we are going to eat fat bratwurst and canned chili for dinner. Yeah. Blech. We'll go to the church and meet with the family (and who ever else shows), sing, drink tea, talk, listen to the girls roar around and come back home to snooze before we meet another week. Oh! I really dolled up my journal this morning. I made it pretty and wrote a bit - reminding myself that writing daily is just the therapy I need. Thank you so much for stopping by today. Thank you for your comments, too. They really are like a present - a sweet gift of encouragement to my heart! xoxoxo

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Scruffy Trees

It doesn't spell spring, does it?

Oh! If you look hard you can see some blossoms!
Really, my spring-o-meter is experiencing quite a challenge. Here it is April 25 (Happy Birthday, Bryan!) and the trees still don't have their leaves. Out on the walking path today, my friend Mary and I experienced cool winds that made gloves necessary. Even though I've been a Colorado woman for going on eighteen years, I guess I still have early spring expectations left over from growing up in the Pacific Northwest. With six weeks of school left, my aim is summer and how can that be when we're still shivering? I won't complain anymore. We had sunshine all week. I just can't see it from my classroom. I AM thankful for the beauty in the city. The walking paths here are lovely and our grass is Easter green,thanks to all Bill's landscape work. Soon enough - Mother's Day dirt, planting, and waiting for the seeds to sprout. Meanwhile, the birds are singing up a storm, building their nests. Doves are cooing on the wires and the peonies are shooting up red beginnings. The iris are also showing a good start and hopefully, the roses weathered the winter well enough to grace the gardens with their sweet scent. I hope I'm THIS motivated two weeks from now when the dirt arrives!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Magic Morning

Upon sunrise this morning, the pink sky drew me outdoors with my camera. I have no idea how the lone bird on the roof turned out the way it did, but it delights me. Doesn't that old saying go, "Red sky at night, sailors' delight. Red sky at morning, sailors' warning"? Maybe some heavy weather is brewing. Meanwhile, after school I'll stop to buy birthday cake, drinks and cards for Bryan's birthday dinner here. Tomorrow, I shall walk with my friend Mary and in the evening, Bird and Miss Bug will stay with us so their parents can have a date. Sunday, we'll meet again at church for SOMA. Monday will begin the last six weeks of school. Only six more weeks with the Eighth Graders of Now. Sigh. I do long for summer though. Garden, kiddie pool, cool mornings, a bit of travel, cook outs - all loved and appreciated. I must try to go outside a bit during the school day. I might buy lunch in the lunch line and walk across the grass, escape the florescent lights for a moment. I hope you have an "eyes wide open" day. xoxo

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stay at Home Mom

It was so fun being a stay at home mom. I loved the marathon Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, Reading Rainbow mornings. We'd go for walks to the park, sometimes on roller blades (not me) and saunter back (me carrying the roller blades) for peanut butter lunch. I'd make a pot of coffee after we ate. I didn't care that it would keep me up late. Now, I have to go to bed early to make it through the teaching day. The neighborhood is different during the day - slow, flowery and lazy. After work, it's cars, cars, cars and an occasional bike riding child - one's who is lucky enough to avoid programmed youth sports. I miss going to the grocery store in the morning and listening to the kids beg for treats and toys. It's a good thing to experience the sun moving across the sky. I get tired of florescent lights. Because, now I spend the day in a building with 1200 kids, but I do like the community in that. I like my fellow teachers, whether I see Cindi in the library for a quick chat, or I talk to Don, Brad, Ann and Kathleen while we eat our sack lunches in the teachers' lounge. So, even though working saps my energy, there are up sides to it. And, I am kind of amazed I can do it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friendly Faces

This morning I found Muppets in Space at the grocery store for four dollars. I watched it as the kids came in for third period. "Hi, Mrs. M! Whatcha watching?" "Muppets in Space," I replied matter-of-factly. It got some chuckles and some smiles. It made absolutely no sense and eighth graders love that. We plan and organize, trying to help them learn and remember stuff, but it is VERY hard to make an impression. I turned it off quickly, so we could get to the media center and continue our research, but because of the smell of strawberries (I use that yummy smelling lamp oil from The Body Shop), a Lemon Head or two, and a brief gander at Muppets in Space, they were cheered and ready to sit in front of the computer screen for forty-five minutes. Some really GOOD teachers emphasized Earth Day, kept the lights off and wore green t-shirts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Can't Explain

If you remember, this gnome was in the flower box between the houses. Did he think I wouldn't notice that he parked himself by the daffodils? I had to move him back! He cannot stand there in the daffodil grove, waving at dog walkers and middle school kids walking by! Someone will take him! I snapped this shot and then carried him to his little hole. Rascal! The snow brought despair as he stood buried in the drifts until yesterday afternoon. With the hot sun melting his previous oasis, he must have hopped down and dabbled in the dirt a bit too long this morning, caught by the sunrise without enough time to get back to his post. Who can blame him for wanting to huddle under the trumpets of spring?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Your Companions: Sorrow and Suffering

Hinds Feet on High Places, again. Hannah Hurnard says that the development of hinds feet is a private process and there should be no onlookers (70). This morning, Bill and I were sitting in our green chairs, by the window, having our coffee, talking about purpose. We ARE so cultured. We let the world squeeze us into its mold and we gauge our progress based on productivity standards. To simply be. That's tough. Because, we forget that "it" whatever "it" is ISN'T about us. I read a book a long time ago (twenty years or more!) and it talked about raising successful children. I'm not sure where I got it but the only thing I remember is the mentioning of "the invisible audience" and this concept has stuck with me. When we raise our children, we may try to please decision makers and shift our focus from the unique characteristics of our children's souls to what the world out there wants from them, teaching them to please. How often do I play to an audience that simply does not exist? Why do I feel judged so much of the time? I am growing some hinds feet and I am in the habit of believing that faceless, nameless, audience members are watching and taking notes. This affects how I behave and sidetracks me. It is very difficult to lay aside productivity expectations, so I'm wondering if we are seeking answers "out there" instead of "in here" and neglecting to acknowledge that the journey is a lonely, private one. When the Shepherd gave Much-Afraid the companions, Sorrow and Suffering, she was upset and afraid. She was afraid to experience more sadness and she was fearful regarding suffering. She wanted Peace and Joy instead. The Shepherd challenged her, asking her if she thought Peace and Joy would be the best choice. She accepts Sorrow and Suffering and begins the scary trip. Stay tuned.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Come to the Fireside

“The old-fashioned home with its fireside companionship, its religious devotion and its closely-knit family ties is my idea of what a home should be."
~Father Edward Flanagan
Father Flanagan started Boys Town. He INVITED children into love, warmth, belonging. Bill had a fire in the fireplace when I came downstairs at 5 am. It smells like the beach to me. It reminds me of the bonfires we had on Guemes Island when we were kids. Mom and Dad rented a cabin a few times so we could spend a week at the beach. The fishing cabins were sparse. Mom brought all the food, packed our bags, filled the car with gas and we would rush to catch the ferry boat that left every hour from Anacortes. I smell it now, thanks to Bill's industrious morning and I wanted you to see our little fire of hearth and home. I went to Camp Lutherwood when I was a child and we had a campfire every evening. We'd dress in long pants (I wore royal blue corduroys and an orange crew-neck sweatshirt), buy a Pepsi at the snack shop, and hunker down to sing new songs with our fellow campers. I liked looking around at the kids in the firelight. I felt such a sense of comradery. Later, we'd pad back to our cement floored cabins, crawl into our sleeping bags and drift off to sleep, the smell of firelight still in our stringy hair. Years later, at Malibu Club, when Bill was running the program or speaking at Young Life camp, I'd take the kids back to our cabin and if it had rained all day (British Columbia is wet) I'd try to rustle up a warm fire to while away the evening. That smell again. So true, so warm, so inviting. Yes, it's spring and yes, the ground will remain covered in white until tomorrow, and today I am blessed with a fire.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


So, this is me . . .
and I try to be something else . . .
When REALLY, I'm a sheep among many sheep.

We struggle with the ghosts of what we want to be. If we were just an "also ran" in high school, don't we try and try to become one of the stand out "kids" in the crowd? If we were a decent athlete, but still unsatisfied, do we try to somehow/someway get the kind of accolades that we STILL want so badly? If we were a stocky kid (this is me!) don't we want to somehow/somehow transform into a skinny person? I do. It's so dumb. Isn't our "wannabe" our thorn in the flesh? Think of our children or our friends or our siblings, for that matter . . . if we knew they wanted to be something they CAN NEVER BE, it makes sense to say to them, "I LOVE YOU the way you are and I know that what you are striving for is highly unlikely, so please rest and give up that futile quest." Or we might just try to love them harder, so they'd know that they ARE ENOUGH. We just don't feel like we are ENOUGH so much of the time. But, that lamb huddled up with the LION, that looks like ENOUGH to me. Lord, I need you. I need you REAL bad.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Flurries and Flutters

It's coming down again, but no snow day this time. I think it's a day to watch a film at school, not listen to Mrs. M explain the multi-genre research project. Decision made. The sweet peas are getting another generous drink as they stew and pop beneath the dirt in the whiskey barrel. Bill's perfectly groomed grass, receiving an icy coating, will be even greener when this storm passes. I shall don my clunky boots, smile a lot, make rice for the Writers Workshop class, usher the kids into their weekend and go with the flow myself. Spring is funny - she likes to throw us curve balls.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

I'm a Grasshopper

You know that fable about the ant and the grasshopper? The ant is busy storing up food for the winter, working his little tail off. The grasshopper is enjoying life and sort of scoffing at the ant for working so hard when he could be having some fun. That story makes me mad. I like the grasshopper. He is relaxed and enjoying the moment and I feel sorry for him that he has to listen to the ant brag about his productivity. I know the grasshopper gets really hungry and almost dies because he didn't plan ahead. Yeah. Yeah. Whatever. I feel this way at school sometimes. I'm fifty. I have nothing to prove. I love the kids and I want them to engage and respond to the world. I do plan, but not as much as I should. I hate packets and I hate the restrictions of schedules, but I do sort of "starve" when "winter" hits and THEN I realize how I could have approached the unit, lesson, activity with a little more foresight. I cheer for the grasshoppers. I'm a little jealous of the ants. Maybe it's because I have a little of the sloth in me.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

HIgh Places

This is the book I'm trying to read in our twenty-five minute literacy period at school. I have read it before, but this time I want to digest it by reading it slowly and annotating. The verse in Habakkuk 3:19 appears just before the preface and reads like this, "The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like Hind's feet and he will make me to walk upon mine High Places." In the preface, Hannah Hurnard says, "But the High Places of victory and union with Christ cannot be reached by any mental reckoning of self to be dead to sin, or by seeking to devise some way or discipline by which the will can be crucified. The only way is by learning to accept, day by day, the actual conditions and tests permitted by God, by continually repeated laying down of our own will and acceptance of his as it is presented to us in the form of the people with whom we have to live and work, and in the things which happen to us. Every acceptance of his will becomes an altar of sacrifice, and every such surrender and abandonment of ourselves to his will is a means of furthering us on the way to the High Places to which he desires to bring every child of his while they are still living on earth" (12). Deep. Hard to understand. I'm only just beginning to grasp surrender. Acceptance goes against our cultural pep talks. You know the drill. Don't accept any thing less than YOU deserve. Don't settle! Don't back down. Go for the goal. Take life by the throat and get what you want. Never give up. I'm thinking that the contrast between what our world's voices tell us and what God wants for us, is one of the reasons that Jesus said that the road to heaven is narrow and few will find it. Not very many people will accept circumstances when it means surrender and abandonment of self. I guess we don't REALLY believe in the High Places of the earthly journey we are required to take. How often do YOU think about the metaphorical High Places? I DO believe this life is a training ground. I DO believe we are transforming, shaped by our daily living and varied experience. We are headed toward the High Places. I do not know what the High Places look like. I am reading to seek out a definition of the High Places. It feels like I am on a mystery tour, unsure of the stops along the way, innocently trusting the guide.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Supermarket Blooms

This morning I stopped by our neighborhood grocery store to buy some snacks for my Writers Workshop kids. I've taken to carrying my camera in my purse so I can snap shots when I see pretty or interesting images. The floral department is like a buoy for a drowning woman. I like to think that every juicy bouquet is purchased for a very deserving person. Maybe a bunch of tulips are snatched up for a tired teacher. Maybe an orchid is chosen for a pretty sister. Could it be that a dozen roses are carefully placed in a small shopping basket, tagged for a sick wife? Chances are a well-crafted arrangement is removed from the cold case so a faithful and efficient office manager will know he or she is appreciated and cared for. Quite possibly, a happy homemaker buys two mixed bouquets because she knows that flowers make every room more inviting to her well-loved family. I hope people-weary check out clerks treat themselves to some posies occasionally, too. Soon, we'll buy our truckload of topsoil and spend Mothers Day weekend planting zinnias, hollyhocks, pansies, snapdragons, and sunflowers. I vow to cut more, bundle more, and give more.

shhhhhhhhh . . . there are gnomes about!

Without this playing with fantasy, no creative work has ever come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable. ~Carl Jung
This little gnome weathered winter peeking out of the boxed flower bed that used to hold an aged maple tree. I put him there to see if my neighbor would notice him as she pottered around in her garden. Lemon Balm is just beginning to poke out its head and he told me that he'd like a few pansies in his garden this year. He hates the roar of the lawn mower even though he appreciates the short grass when he hops out of the flower bed to snoop around the garden. He does this at night, after our lights are out and we have gone to sleep. When the tree was still alive, we'd wake up to bird song (a lot of it!) but now I'm sure that if I wake up early enough and listen hard enough, I'll hear him scramble back to his post. Of course I will plant pansies for him and my sweet, gardening neighbor will tenderly tuck in a few surprises for him as well.
Poke around today and find some new growth. Look in the "bit of earth" you call your own or peer into your very soul. I'm sure you'll find some healthy sprouts.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Morning

Jeff took this picture in Minsk. I love the old wagon, don't you? Home from the market she goes. I have never been to a European city. I've only been to a few Asian countries and Australia, but there is something timeless about this woman and I like timeless. All my life, I've longed for the past. I preferred old houses, old clothes, old furniture. I like Donna Reed, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, The Patty Duke Show. I'm not sure if I like the simplicity or the images of all things happy. I don't gravitate toward conflict, so I like to live in a happy world via television, books, and movies. However, I'm finding myself less drawn to artificial worlds as I get older and choose to descend rather than ascend. As I look at this week, I feel equipped to take it as it comes instead of trying to put a positive spin on it. I am moving away from "responsible for your own life" toward the obscurity of surrender. It feels wobbly, but right.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Long Day Over

I DID make a little cross!

Grandpa with Miss Bug!
Silly Birdie in her Easter dress!

Jenny, Scott and Beans
It rained! Oh well, Easter is special even in the rain. Honestly, I sort of dragged all day and was happy to get the potatoes, salad, and flank steak made. I took a nap after reading At Home in Mitford for a while and visited with the kids. Is it possible that the weekend is over and I return to school already? I drew my most memorable Easter dress, made a cross with some pine twigs, but I didn't go for a nice walk - too cold and rainy. Everyone was a little tired and blah today, maybe because of all the togetherness (!) and noise. Sometimes, it doesn't sound fun to add bells and whistles to the festivities. I really don't want to be depended on for that. We will have our family gathering at the church next Sunday - and life will be back to "normal" once again. I hope your Easter brought fun and laughter. I felt encouraged to see that The Sound of Music was on television, so simple, sweet and friendly. Bed is beckoning me. Take care.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Full House

Jeff (above) Kelli and Birdie shopping(below)

Below is a photo of my evolving artsy journal

Hello! We had a busy day today shopping for food and gifts for Jeff's 23rd birthday and then having everyone over for dinner. Yahoo! We had lots of squealing and jumping and running! CB and Birdie loved their Easter gifts from Auntie Jay and everyone was actually in high spirits as we celebrated Jeff's birthday. Remember how yesterday I said that I wanted to carve out some individual celebration time? Yeah, I hope I can. Preparing big family meals takes so much longer than I think it will, but just the same . . . I wish to find the time to have a few precious moments alone with my Savior. Part of our shopping day was taking Birdie and Miss Bug to the outdoor mall so Kelli could get some jeans and other fun things. I had Miss Bug in the front carrier and Bird in the stroller. I looked like Super Grandma with two g-babes in tow! Whew! I did not get a nap today and now I am ready to snuggle into bed and read. Finn and CB are going to their other grandparents house for Easter. I am so glad we got to see them tonight. They are happy and excited when they are around all the commotion. Bird and Miss Bug will be back for dinner tomorrow. Jenny and Scott (and Beans the Fox) will come, too. We will have enjoyed such a joyous Easter weekend. I'll let you know about my little celebrations tomorrow evening. I pray that you have a peaceful and encouraging Easter Sunday! Thank you so much for stopping by!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Blessed Easter

Hello, hello and happy Friday! Good Friday. Did you know all the international stock markets were closed today? I like that. A few of the kids at school asked me what I planned to do for Easter, but most didn't even mention it. Hmmmmm. I'm not sure what that means. There are so many joyful Easter songs. I hope you have an opportunity to sing some of them this weekend. We are having as many as can come over for dinner Sunday and before that, on Saturday, we'll celebrate Jeff's birthday since he was in Germany on his actual day! He won't give me any serious suggestions for gifts. I'm not so good at gifts anymore. My lack of planning ahead skills often manifests itself in mediocre gifts. I'll let you know if I get a great idea . . . before tomorrow! I'm so happy to have Bill and Jeff home. Bill has already mowed our lawn, done all his laundry and sent Jeff to the grocery store for our Friday night steak dinner. I would much rather be with my dear ones than hang out at home alone like a hermit-y little poet! Although, I LOVE that in small doses as well! I took a photo of the weather-beaten bird church in our front garden, because of Easter and the place we can gather to celebrate our RISEN Lord. I also included a photo of the sturdy little beginnings of my one bunch of daffodils! Aren't they suggestive of all the flowers we can look forward to? Yea! Jeff took some powerful photographs and I will post them tomorrow. He captures such thought provoking images. You'll love them. My wish for you is a sweet and holy weekend, filled with reminders of the Savior. I think I'll try to have a little celebratory moment to myself on Easter Sunday. Maybe I'll take a sunrise walk or write about my most memorable Easter dresses and all the yummy Easter breakfasts we had at church when I was a child, all because my mom and dad tried so hard to remind us of the sacrifice made on our behalf. Or I might make a cross from two twigs and some hemp. How about we all try this : go into the bathroom alone, close the door, look in the mirror, place your hands on the sides of your face and say to your image, "Jesus died for you. He loves you with an everlasting love." Rejoice!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


After Newspaper Club at school, I dashed off to pick up Bill and Jeff at the airport. Yes! They are home! Yahoo! Home feels more like home with these two here! I can sleep better, leave in the morning with less stress, and look forward to some sweet conversations in the next few days. I'll post some cool Uganda and Belarus pictures as soon as I can talk Jeff into putting them on my laptop. He took zillions of shots and I'm sure you'll like gazing at a few of them. Bill is already putzing around the house, doing helpful things. Smile!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Lovely Wednesday!

Today was peaceful. Even though we had a meeting during our first planning period, it was fun to spend some time gathered around a table with my teammates. They are kind and dear. The kids did a spectacular job in their book circles, too. They love governing themselves. This was one of those days when the rapport with them was sweet. They love to talk to each other and when they don't have to restrain themselves from their natural tendency to talk, they feel better about being at school. I love them. I love the quiet ones, the shy ones, the exceedingly confident ones and the loud and naughty ones. When I arrived home, I sat for a minute waiting for Kelli, Birdie and Miss Bug. They had some dinner with me and then Birdie and I played while Miss Bug and Kelli worked in the office upstairs. There is something about "hump day" and with a good week at school, so far, I am feeling cheerful. Bill and Jeff will arrive home tomorrow evening. Yipppeeeee! I've been reading some blogs and I find it encouraging that so many people excel at photo-journaling. This venue goes way beyond scrap booking and women (and men) who access it amaze me with their creativity, vulnerability and artistic perspective. I watched some kids in the yearbook class playing around with Microsoft Publisher and they were creating beautiful stuff! One of my Writers Workshop students showed me her blog. Have people ever communicated in such an efficient and aggressive way before now? Many say that the technological way of building community is a cheap substitute for face-to-face friendship and while that can be the case, the opportunity to read and write our way into relationships is exciting! When I read poetic posts that share joy and sorrow, funny commentaries on artistic craft, musings about life in the country, I feel invited into peoples' worlds and I am inspired and encouraged in my own creative life! So, thanks for blogging and bless you for sharing your insight and joy with me! Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful and sunshine drenched day. The pink tulips on my desk are so beautiful and fresh - thanks for those, too!