Monday, August 30, 2010

Colorado Wedding

The wedding was lovely! We managed to get adequately dressed up, Kelli looked beautiful with her sweet baby bump, and the clouds drifted in the sky with hospitable covering, so we didn't melt. I rode down to Colorado Springs with Jeff, Kelli and Bryan. It was fun to be with "the kids" and Grandpa graciously stayed back at our house with Birdie and Bug.

A railroad magnate built this castle for his family and now it is the headquarters for The Navigators. Isn't it amazing?

Do you see April under the tree? She and Brad played the processional on violin and classical guitar. Brad was also a groomsman.

We sat in the back row with Aria. She slept in her car seat.

After the ceremony, the happy bride and groom walked through the green grass.

The dinner was pretty and Bryan and Kelli, Jeff, Brad and April, and Aria and I all sat together.

The red rocks make a miraculous backdrop.

A flower girl enjoys her cake.

And the happy couple smiles.

Oh, I pray that they begin and end each day in humility, realizing how small we are and how BIG God is. I pray they would try to out serve each other, count it a privilege to honor one another, and snuggle in bed every night, appreciating the blessing of partnership.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sweet Saturday

Saturday is full of happiness! It's still early. The magic of free time is before me and I'm HOME. Ahhhhhh! Don't you LOVE the feeling of appreciation? It really is a delicious sensation. Tromping about in the garden today = a simple pleasure. I appreciate it more because I've missed it.

The bird bath is hosting tiny birds

The sunflowers are spreading their wild selves all over the yard, encroaching on other things (like Bill's VERY green grass!) and simply showing off to the fullest extent. Don't you adore them?

Red. Tomato red has to be the loveliest expressions of one of my favorite colors. Pink ties red for me, but these red tomatoes excite me!

But what about blue? I love it, too!

This little lady is hugging the drain pipe. If you were a drain pipe, wouldn't you be honored that a morning glory wanted to wrap herself around you?

I admit to whining to myself, "I love the fall and I'm going to MISS it! I'll be in the classroom for eight hours a day and it will all happen without me!" I must have forgotten about the weekends. Silly me. Autumn is a feeling, isn't it? Smoke smells outside, cool nights with refreshing air blowing in on my sleeping head, pretty squash in the produce section of my local grocery store, Halloween merchandise EVERYWHERE, and football games on television and in stadiums around Denver. I'm not going to miss my favorite season. I'm so silly sometimes.

I'm looking forward to taking the fairy props inside for the winter. I'm going to suds them up, dry them and place them around in the Pom Pom room so I can smile at them all fall and winter.

Wouldn't you like a fairy godmother dress this color? Speaking of dresses, what am I going to wear to the wedding tomorrow? Yikes!

I'm a bag lady again. Yep, I already have papers to grade.

Guess what? Thursday I drove up to Golden, Colorado to meet up with Debbie from Artful Aspirations. She was vacationing with her family and we met at the Capitol Grill. When we were emailing back and forth, setting it all up, I asked her if she remembered what I look like. I told her: white hair, chubby, weird clear plastic glasses and a denim shirt. She came out to greet me so I guess my description was apt! It was amazing how we sat right down and started gabbing. It was so fun to look at a blog friend across a table! I wish I could sit face to face with all of you. We ate chili and talked about kids and schooling, church and family. I met her husband and her youngest daughter, too! Thanks, Debbie!

Can you tell me an end of the summer thing you do? How about telling me what you LOVE about fall? Oh, friends . . . you are so rich with wisdom, love, thoughtfulness, and generosity. (BIG HUG and a caramel apple!) Thank you for stopping in to check on me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Walking and Thinking

Walking after dinner, trying to think of a way to invite one particular class of students into the Wonderful World of Reading and Writing, I really just jiggled my brain and felt myself getting tired, tired and more tired. I have thirty-two kids in a class that likes to (how should I say this?) DO THEIR OWN THING. The sad part is, THEIR OWN THING isn't going to make them better readers and writers. I'll think of something. I'll move them around. I'll give their parents a jingle. I'm SO very thankful this class is in the morning when I still possess a little jazz.

I'll just keep walking along side them. I'll keep smiling and learning more about them.

You know a tree by its fruit, right? A harvest at the end of the year?

Shine a light on the path. Help them find their way . . .

Guide them toward beauty . . .

Hold their hands . . .

Sometimes, spell it out for them . . .

I liked school, but the truth is: I talked a lot. I talked to everyone, so moving me didn't really help. But, school FELT good to me and I don't think school feels good to some of these guys. Can you imagine a day without a nose dip into a good book? They can. Can you imagine a world without fresh, clean, white paper? A world without a slick writing tool? They'd rather text message. I think I'll title the weekend, "Inspirational Teacher Film Festival" and watch Mona Lisa Smile, Freedom Writers, To Sir With Love, Mr. Holland's Opus, and then hunker down to some heavy-duty planning. Do you want to tell me about your favorite teacher?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Apples and School

Hi Everyone! Thank you for all your thoughtful comments. I am grateful for the support. Your personal input is so VALUABLE. I survived day number one of the 2010-2011 school year. Yahoo!

But first, Sunday I went for a nice long walk and found apples. Do these pictures remind you of the Robert Frost poem "After Apple Picking" from 1914? I love that poem.

I think I might need a little Robert Frost this autumn.

School! The halls were noisy. Some of the kids are VERY talkative, so I may have to be a tiny bit FIRM for a few days. They smiled a lot and they wrote. My head is spinning as I try to remember all the names, details, faces, announcements. Yikes!

You can see my friend and fellow teacher Melissa just under the map. She teaches one period a day with me to provide a bit of extra learning support for some of the kids. She's fun and encouraging.

There is so much to do. I can only manage so many details, you know? I'll leave home earlier tomorrow so I can think a bit before the kids come back at 8:00 am. I am feeling heaps and heaps of grace already. Do you have a fun school memory? Do you remember any of your school clothes? Some of the teachers looked VERY professional today. I was so hot as I was getting ready this morning. I felt wilted before I got there. Why don't I have any professional clothing? Must think about this.
Please eat an apple, sharpen a pencil, salute a school bus . . . and keep praying for me. Thank you (love!)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Finn's Picnic

Finn's Picnic (now, I think it will be an annual affair!) was wonderful! This is a photo of Finn at one month old. Look at him now!

Picnic fare!

Dances with cousins!

Lunch in the grass!

Inside and outside, inside and outside! Brad playing Barbies with the girls!

Grampy holding two little princesses!

Fun with Uncle Jeff!

Samantha Rose sticking out her tongue again!

Miss Bug - fun with pudding!

Aria, orange and full of baby joy!

Our friend Deo from Uganda enjoyed all the family craziness. He's on his way back to Africa on Wednesday.


April brought me a special cupcake. Thanks, A!

When everyone left for naps at home and Bill, Jeff and Deo went to another afternoon get together, Jenny put Sam down here and then she and I took a nap on my (oh, and Bill's, too!) bed. It was so nice to take a cozy nap with MY baby.

The sunflower scenery provided the sunniest background for all our fun.

And now the picnic quilts are on the washing line.

What a perfect day. I feel peaceful and thankful.

Now, about Monday (aka THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL) I painted a big picture on the wall, the desks are arranged in groups of nine so I'm calling the groups The Front Nine, The Back Nine, The Driving Range, and the Putting Green. It will make it easy to tell the kids where to sit. I'm going to make flags to hang from the ceiling and paper bunting, too. It will smell of strawberries and they'll write right away and I'll bring a bag of papers home and begin to get to know them and discover how they think. It's still August and August is very, very good and full of LOVE.