Monday, March 29, 2010

what I've got they used to call the blues

Ditto on the talking to myself and feeling old. Good news, anyone?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

sweet sixteen

This is a card my boss and friend Rich sent me a few years ago for my PRI anniversary with a bouquet of flowers. I tucked it away and forgot all about it. I've written before how he wanted to have a big celebration for my anniversary last year, but he passed away before the actual date and it was a really hard day for me without him.

A couple of weeks ago this card fell out of the back of a notebook where I'd placed it for safekeeping. Am I surprised that it "found" me just in time for my 16th anniversary this year? I see a hand at work here... and I love you, kiddo.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


(I'm posting an older entry from 2005 today - it still really speaks to me. Maybe it's something you need to hear today as well.)

by Jo Sorley

It takes courage to be crocus-minded.

God, I’d rather wait until June,
Like wise roses,
When the hazards of winter are safely behind,
and I’m expected,
and everything’s ready for roses.

But crocuses?
Highly irregular.

Knifing through hard-frozen ground and snow,
and sticking their necks out,
because they believe in spring
and have something personal and emphatic to say about it.

God, I am by nature rose-minded.
Even when I have studied the situation here
and know there are wrongs that need righting,
affirmations that need stating,
and know also that my speaking out may offend...
for it rocks the boat...
Well, I’d rather wait until June.
Maybe later things will work themselves out,
and we won’t have to make an issue of it.

God, forgive,
Wrongs don’t work themselves out.
Injustices and inequities and hurts don’t just dissolve.
Somebody has to stick her neck out,
Somebody who cares enough to think through and work through hard ground,
because she believes and has something personal and emphatic to say about it.

Me God?


Could it be that there are things that need to be said, and you want me to say them?
I pray for courage.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

now with a side order of cute

Allow me to present Sophie's lunch! This proved to be such a hit at school yesterday that she has requested the same lunch for the next two days as well. Some of the girls at her table didn't want her to eat it because it was too cute! I forgot to show her little bottle of water... My goal is for her to have healthy lunches, but if we can get in an extra helping of cute then so much the better. It's amazing what a few strokes of pencil or a fun shape of food can do to make lunches more appealing. :)

Sunday, March 07, 2010

illustration Friday: Brave

This is Ruby Bridges. One of my children brought home a worksheet about her from school, and I realized that I already knew her story, and if you're an artist, you may recognize her too. Norman Rockwell painted her walk to school, escorted by federal marshals, in 1964 as "The Problem We All Live With."

It really hit me in the gut reading about her again, and probably even more now that my kids are her age - how incredibly brave she was to go to school in the face of all that opposition, and just as a little six year old. I don't know how her parents managed to let her leave the house every day! This is the part of the worksheet that really got me:

"Many white parents took their children out of school. I was the only child in my class. My teacher, Mrs. Henry, was my best friend."

That just kills me. The incredible thing is that years later, she went back to the same school and volunteered there. Forty years later, she and her first-grade teacher, Mrs. Henry, now speak to other parents, educators, and students. I find Ruby and her bravery so inspiring.

Who is inspiring you today?

Saturday, March 06, 2010

the 6th annual michelangelo project

Today, March 6th is Michelangelo's birthday! To celebrate the birthday of one of the world's most inspiring artists, I invite you to participate in this project.

What you do:
1. Do something creative today, March 6th. It can be something you love to do, something you've forgotten how to do, something you've never done and always secretly wanted to try. Here's your excuse! Some ideas are:
- paint/draw/collage
- sculpt (like the master)
- write a poem, a short story
- take a photo
- visit a museum or art gallery
- sew
- cook something exciting you've never made before
- see an art film, foreign film, or movie about an artist

2. Come back here and share your experience!
Post a link to your creation, write about your trip or creative process - share your creative story with others. How creative can we get?

3. Link back with the above graphic if you've written about it on your site.

4. Have fun, for goodness' sake! This is not about being perfect or creating the best piece of art. It's about embracing your creative side in whatever form it happens to take.

I can't wait to hear your stories!

Friday, March 05, 2010

poster children

The kiddos with this year's poster for the Mother's Retreat.

This year, for the first time in a long while, I'm not going to the Mother's Retreat. It's just honestly way too much for me this year, I would wind up spending the entire thing crying or over-anxious and I wouldn't enjoy a minute of it. There was no way I was going to skip doing the poster though, I've done it each year for the retreat even before I had kids of my own! I'll do my praying here at home... and if you are reading this, won't you please send a good thought for the moms on this retreat this weekend and the other special mothers in your own life?

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

now we are six

Peter and Angela turn six today! We were not originally supposed to have all three children's birthdays in the same week, but the twins had other plans. Instead of being born in May, they came 10 weeks early and spent months in the NICU. It is certainly not an experience I would ever wish on anybody but you'd have to agree they're well worth it all.

Angela is fiery, dramatic, mercurial, angelic. She makes Sophie look calm. Angela is the one who goes through 5 outfits in a day, some of them bathing suits, some involving complicated scarves, or requiring face paint. She would probably be happiest if she could wear nothing at all and takes off her socks the instant she doesn't need to wear them anymore. She's the girl who sings into the microphone, who gets up and dances, and who I am pretty sure is going to end up on a stage one day. She is the girly-girl in our house. The other night my mom and dad brought her a shirt that had a pony on it, in sequins, and you have never heard such gushing. "OH! How I love it! It's so sparkly! I'll wear it on my birthday with this scarf! OH! How did you KNOW I would LOVE THIS SO MUCH!" She's turning into a great reader, and just yesterday learned to tie a bow. (We're going to demonstrate to the class tomorrow.) And she really enjoys drawing faces and tries so hard to get in lots of detail. I'm rather impressed with her artwork and I love that she does her own thing - her sister and brother don't draw like her at all! And she writes me notes - when she's sorry for something she's done, or just because. I cherish them.

Peter is adorable. He has just taught himself to whistle and spends every spare moment practicing it. He has a very good sense of rhythm for such a little boy and is always tapping out the beat, pretending to drum, or trying to beatbox. And that's when there's not even any music on! He loves a cappella music, especially the Bobs. My favorite Peter thing is how he dances when he thinks nobody is paying attention - he has soul, this kid. I'll put on Stevie Wonder, or maybe some 80's music with a loud electronic beat and then occupy myself with some task so the attention's not on Peter (but I watch him out of the corner of my eye). Then the shoulders start shaking and the hips are next and then he's into some cool spin or dance steps. I just love it. He's such a foodie - loves to eat, loves to try new things, and even had my dad's pasta con sarde and asked for seconds. He's also turning out to be quite good at art - the more meticulous, the better! He loves to copy pictures of machinery or draw complicated landscapes. I also call Peter "Eddie Haskell" - he is so incredibly complimentary that sometimes it's just funny. I predict that Peter is going to have the phone ringing off the hook when he hits puberty.

Peter and Angela, my favorite surprises. I love you with all of my heart and I'm so proud of you. You make our family complete.

Monday, March 01, 2010

green eggs and cookies

Tomorrow is Dr. Seuss's birthday and also Read Across America day. These are the cookies I made for Peter's class - unfortunately, they looked much more egg-like before they went into the oven than when they came out.

What's your favorite Dr. Seuss poem or book? I have a soft spot for "Too Many Daves."