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Showing posts from February, 2009


There must be more than two hundred of them standing side by side at long padded tables. Children flailing handbells, banging out forte through the mezzo piano section. This side of the room a measure ahead of the other. Eager beavers jumping in a beat too soon, tortoises clanging a beat behind. They forge ahead and eventually music is rung out of chaos. A little music.

Then it is prayer time. Time for prayer because we didn't before and the concert is minutes away.
"Lord, creator of all that is beautiful, it is the desire of our hearts to do our best (Heavy emphasis on the do our best part.) that we may be pleasing to your ears. Help us to be pleasing to your ears."

A rough paraphrase but you get the idea.

And another performance. Play practice, hours on the stage. We push through rehearsals with the tech guys, with missing cast members, dance steps uncertain and lines unsure. We muscle through this gauntlet of misteps and misfortune by sheer willpower and we do not pray.…

Fractions Make Friends

We sit side by side at the table, uncommon fare on our plates, hotdogs and Sun Chips. Stuart's chips are gone. No problem, mine are close at hand. His hand reaches over and he snitches! He snitches just one but just one is not enough so, by and by his hand is back again. And again! I say nothing the first time or the second. What are two chips between husband and wife? But as he reaches for the third chip, I lean my body over to shield my plate. I laugh and he laughs and then he makes off with that third chip. "Get your own!" I gripe and he does, but honestly...How hard would it have been to share?

Today I do math with little girls. Division with fraction remainders.

"How many times does three go into twenty. Use your rods. How many ten rods do you need?"
"How many three rods line up under the ten rods."
"So does three go into twenty evenly?"
"No, there is a little space left."
"What rod fits in…

For All You Librarian Types

Our books are aranged on set of shelves alphabetically by the author's last name. This is a blessing and a curse, a blessing because I can locate Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel in five seconds and a curse because the books must be returned to their proper place in order for this system to work. It is hard for the little ones to figure out how to reshelve so up 'til now they have taken out books and then returned them to the top of the shelf when they are finished for me to take care of when I have a few minutes.

I grabbed the camera and ran down the hall to record our pile of books to be shelved. Unfortunately, it was not very impressive. Some days I have a towering, leaning stack that threatens to topple and takes forever to put away.

In my forays around the web, I came across an idea from the blog that offered the perfect solution to my dilemma. This is why we painted yesterday. We were making book markers or more accurately book shelf markers.
The idea is this: E…

Creative Minds

The kids and I took a creativity quiz the other day and the results were completely predictable. My artists were crowned Hands On and my "Box? What Box?" thinkers were deemed Bright Sparks.

This comes to mind because today we painted.

"You can only paint on these rectangles of paper and you can only use blue and green. (I'm going through a color coordinating phase.) Other than that, you may paint any way you choose."
Charlie immediately got to work and slopped some paint on his paper. He was fascinated with the way the paint swirled through the water when he rinsed his brush. John and Faith painted with exuberance and speed. They were more into the process than results and happily swirled and spattered. Then they ran off to play chess leaving Lauren and Claire at the table. These two continued with their pencils and brushes for another hour.
And the purpose of all this? That has to do with my results from the creativity test. As an Eyes Wide Open thinker I don't…

He Loves, He Loves, He Loves

How does Godlove? Set aside a few minutes this busy love day and count ways...

ABUNDANTLY: You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you." Psalm 86:5

EXTRAVAGANTLY: Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies." Psalm 36:5

SECURELY: How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7

PATIENTLY: The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8

FAITHFULLY I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. Psalm 89:2

ETERNALLY: For great is your love toward me, you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. Psalm 86:13

COMPLETELY: Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

PERFECTLY: A new command I give to you, love one another, even as I have loved you that you love one another. John 13:34

To you who are family...or frie…


The daffodils are so restful to look at that they got me thinking about a post my sister wrote a while back about bits of pretty in the midst of swirling activity. Today I pick up my camera and zoom in to obscure art projects, groceries and dirty dishes to bring you little oases of pretty in my living space.

Nothing I like better than the clean, uncluttered look of a few flowers (albeit artificial) above the kitchen sink. I also love the Willow Tree figurines on the shelf...their peaceful, natural colors and the way emotion is communicated through gesture.

The kitchen table at five thirty. We always light the oil lamps at dusk and the house settles into the slower evening pace. All day my eyes are drawn to the bright colors in the glass bowl.

The coffee table has been scattered all winter with a thousand pieces of different puzzles. Our current project....American Maritime History. The kids work as I read aloud. Sometimes I join them. Cozy, all together.

Another restful spot in the kitche…

For the Winter Weary

I feel a bit left out in the winter when bloggers post gorgeous winter pictures.  Smallville gets some cold days but the mound of leaves on the pool cover, the puddle at the end of the driveway... and brown, everywhere brown do not make interesting subjects for the camera.

But spring comes and it is my turn to share beauty as snow slushes in the north. Seventeen last week, seventy this weekend.  Peepers roar from the ponds and the puddles and a warm wind blows.  The forsythia buds ...

...and the daffodils burst forth through the brown leaves and light a spark in the brown woods. Hang on, you who are winter weary...spring is just around the corner.

Instructions for Water Morons

When we replaced our fridge this summer we deliberately opted out of the water on the door option. The children slop and drop and we end up with our own personal swamp oozing down the door and into a puddle on the floor. We thought we'd forgo that this time around.

Stuart has an affinity for cold water so he set up a two container system in the fridge. For some reason this works. The children can use these without spilling but they still haven't quite got the system down. This bothers John to no end. I'll let the sign he duct taped to the containers explain how it works:

ATTENTION Lackwits and Laggards! THIS and only THIS water container shall be used until empty. Whoever empties it or notices that it is empty shall move this sign to the other container and then refill the empty container and return it to the refrigerator.
~The Water Nazi