Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I am thankful for bright red maple leaves.
For stars that make shapes and full moons.

I am thankful for a funky little cottage to hold us all.
For soft blankets and warm fires.

I am thankful for tender cheek kisses and big squish hugs.
For giggles and laughs and cute little pouts.

I am thankful for good food that comes from hard worked soil.
For steaming plates that gather us together at days end.

I am thankful for grace.
For being reminded that I am weak, but He is strong.

I am thankful for new baby toes.
For family who loves us even though they really know us.

I am thankful for a man, a boy, and two little girls.
For people who I am so in love with that sometimes I cry.

I am thankful for so much more.
For life is truly wonderful, though sometimes I forget.

I am thankful to have a moment to sit down and remember.
For I am thankful, so very thankful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Parties And Programs To Be Thankul For

I sat in the school auditorium for two and a half hours on Friday to watch three programs. Then I made my way around the school to three parties. All full of turkey talk, Pilgrims, and Native Americans. Cupcakes, apple cider, and leaves of thanks. All fun, all important. All part of getting ready for the wonderful holiday we call Thanksgiving.

Sweet faces still holding baby fat sang about Columbus and his three ships. Their eyes wandered and they shuffled their feet. Then the audience stood clapping. They all looked up with big smiles and pride in their eyes. And I just wanted to scoop them all up into a hug, especially that little freckle-faced blond in the middle.

Fourth grade boys are far too cool for school programs. If you watch closely you can see that they are all mouthing nonsense to look like they're participating, leaving the true performing to the girls. Silly boys. But the video is cute anyways, especially the girl who got the role of the turkey.

Finally, I dedicate this video to my sisters and mom. Three people I am very thankful for. And they are the three people who know why listening to my daughter repeatedly rehearse Colors of the Wind for the last two weeks is really funny. You see, my little sister was in kindergarten when the movie Pocahontas first came out and like every other five year old at the time she had her fair share of Pocahontas related items in her bedroom. One of those things was an alarm clock that sang Colors of the Wind. The problem is my little sister can sleep through a tornado, so we all heard that song over and over again every single school morning for about a year. Now when I hear it I start to twitch a little. But it really is a beautiful song especially when performed by my beautiful daughter who is still singing it over and over again long past her actual performance. Thus is life. This is horribly filmed and I apologize but you see why I had to show it to you despite that fact. So for my family, and all of you, I present Colors of the Wind.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Wildflower

( p.s. None of us are really adults, you know.
We are all just pretending we like the order and strain
the rest of the world deems so important.)
-sara sophia, tout-est-des-roses

I like coloring books. I like to draw pretty pictures and paint them in with watercolors. I keep my eyes open for fairies because who's to say they aren't real and I have gnomes in my garden beds. I like witty British comedies and Rockwell makes me smile. This is me. This is me as adult.

My daughter likes coloring books. She likes to draw pretty pictures and paint them in with watercolors. She might just be a fairy. She likes Tom and Jerry and Degas makes her want to dance. This is my daughter. This is her as child.

We share a similar spirit. But where I am strong, she seems fragile to me. And where she is free, I feel restrained.

She is frustrated by life's boxes. She doesn't fit into the system that she's been thrown into. They see her scattered and disorganized and behind. She feels their glares heavy. I cry for this little one of mine. My fairy child with freckled face and hidden wings that give her flight. I want to build her a world of fancy so that she can soar. Right now she feels stapled to the ground. I fear her spirit will die held down so low.

My mind is filled with thoughts and ideas of how to free her. Should I remove her from the school that is stifling her? Or should I let her tough it out? Should I protect the fragility of her young spirit? Or am I supposed to leave her to learn how to thrive in this world? And what if I choose wrong and that beautiful, creative soul is lost in the testing? Why is this so hard?

I like wildflowers. They are strong, beautiful, and independent of restraint. I want her to be a wildflower.

Maybe the answer is in helping each other. I will help her to be strong. And she will help me to break free.

And our world of fancy can exist within these four walls if only when we look into each other's eyes.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Chasing Leaves

my heart smiles when I watch them

as their minds dance across the page

carefree and concentrated

chasing leaves

gold and maple red

orange and withered brown

big piles of decay

made beautiful and light

by little hands and jumping feet

'til they fall to the earth in contentment

and the colors twirl about their heads

in airy halos of imagination

Friday, November 12, 2010

A Look At Our Week...

This has been a busy week. We've had a lot of those recently. It seems like the older the kids get the busier we are. It's the carting them around from one activity to the next that does it. We really aren't one of those families that has the kids in every imaginable club. But with three it adds up. There's also the fact that I'm at the school more this year and trying to pick up extra hours at the studio when I can. And then Steven is working three jobs so he lives in a world separate from us filled with law, law, and more law. Of course we're also going into flu season and we kicked it off with a bang. Sicily has been out for the count since Tuesday. Poor baby. She is the most pitiful thing in the world when she's sick. She has a sad look that makes me want to just hold her in my arms all day. Until she vomits and then I just want to throw her in a bath as quickly as I can. Sorry, was that too much information? Oh well. So what has kept us on our toes? Here's a look:
  • Analiese had Environmental Club on Monday after school. Yes, she's an eco-chick. Next week they're taking a field trip to the Recycling Center. I'm so proud.
  • As soon as I picked up Analiese I took Sicily to Ballet.
  • Steven gives an hour long lecture on Mondays on the basics of the law as part of job #3. That comes after putting in a full day at the courthouse.
  • I spent Tuesday morning waiting around for the heat repairman. But he fixed our heat so I can't complain. At least we've been toasty while busy.
  • Tuesday, Chris had art class and I taught at the studio until 8:30pm.
  • Wednesday, I had a parent meeting, after dinner, about Odyssey of the Mind. Chris is starting that next week. His problem is to build a mobile mouse propelled solely by mousetraps that can complete a series of tests, such as raising a flag. Sometimes I think my son is smarter than me.
  • Steven gives another hour long lecture on Wednesdays on more law basics as part of job #2. Yes the two jobs are really similar. (Note to self: I should write a post soon about exactly what he's doing.)
  • Thursday was Veterans day which meant a day off of school. However, Sicily had a 102 degree fever and Chris had a social studies project to work on so it didn't feel like much of a day off for anyone but Analiese.
  • Thursday I taught two classes at the studio and Analiese had art class.
  • Steven grades papers and tests for job #2 and #3 on Thursday until late into the night. (I'm starting to miss my husband.)
  • All of this includes the daily school routine, work routine, and the school volunteering. (Note to self: I should post about that soon too.) (Note to self: I am really behind in blog posts.)
And that brings us to Friday. Friday is usually my day off, but I'm behind in the chores and Sicily's body is rebelling against getting better so she's gotten a lot of baths this morning. We are very weekend ready. Though Steven's decided to add a 5K and a day in the country with friends to his list for Saturday. And that social studies project has to be finished. And the laundry is overflowing on my floor again.

Sunday is looking great.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Heat is a Necessity

We've spent the last few days living like the Ingalls. Five quilts on each bed and a roaring fire in the fire place. Last Thursday we turned on the heat for the first time this season. But instead of warming us, it blew out cold air that seeped straight into our bones. No one appreciated that as much as you might think. It turns out that we would prefer the heater to be working. Especially if the weather is going to finally drop to a seasonally appropriate 30 degrees each morning.

Thankfully, we come from a family of quilters. So we piled the beds high and crawled deep beneath. Even the cat got cold and stubbornly insisted on working her way beneath one of those quilts. No matter how many times I put her out of the bed within minutes she would jump back up. I eventually gave up because it was too cold to come out from under my blankets to put her off.

We lit a fire, but the flue of our fireplace isn't built to be particularly efficient so the heat was lost in this drafty old house. Though it was a lovely sight and it did warm the living room a bit. I love a nice wood fireplace.

It's come to wearing gloves and scarves in the house. I've been very jealous of my family the last few days. They get to leave and go to other heated buildings. I'm teeth chattering cold sitting here!

Today there is an old man here tinkering with the furnace. He tried to help us out yesterday but the furnace was grumpy and wanted to hibernate a little bit longer. Today the old man is determined to wake it up. I know we will all be very grateful tonight if he can get heat flowing through this funky little cottage. Though we might keep the quilts on the beds and a fire going. Those are comforting cold weather sights that make you feel cozy deep down inside. And when it's 30 degrees outside cozy is just what we need.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Green Eggs and Ham

I was treated today to a little Seuss, the musical version. Oh, the Thinks You Can Think. I was told about Horton and McElligot's pool. And of course, we had Green Eggs and Ham. It was delightful.

So I thought I'd share a little Seussical with you to brighten your weekend. Who isn't cheered by Horton or the Cat in the Hat or even that nasty Grinch? And Dr. Seuss set to music, sung by some pretty awesome second graders, is even better! "Green Eggs and Ham" anyone?

Monday, November 1, 2010


Once upon a Halloween, I came upon a shipwrecked pirate.
He'd seen better days.

It turned out he'd been searching long and hard.
Don't worry. He eventually found Waldo...

who found a forest fairy.

And then Ladybug Girl landed among our trees.

She's Ladybug Girl. She can do anything.
"Feeling as big as the whole outdoors, Lulu stretches our her arms and flies down the hill with her wings bobbing behind her."*

She was hanging out with Little Red Riding Hood.

Make that Mischievous Little Red Riding Hood. You can see it in her eyes. No wolf would dare mess with her.

The ladies were fierce!

They all gathered together in the spooky darkness to loot the nearby houses of candy galore.

They were victorious!

It was a pretty awesome Halloween.

*Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis