Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween's Six Word Saturday

Ugh. I messed up, click here for todays (November 14th) 6WS

Six Word Saturday: I Was Progressive Flo for Halloween!

Go here to see other spooky Halloween 6WS

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shock Value

Mrs. W and Mrs. W taught our three oldest kids for two years each in a 2nd and 3rd grade multi-age classroom. They are phenomenal teachers and their teaching methods legendary. For years they couldn't escape us as one kid followed the next into that classroom.

One of the things they required once a month from each student was to memorize and present a poem of their choice. Our kids frequently used things from Shel Silverstein -a family favorite!

One day near the end of the month Beaner realized she hadn't memorized a poem and it was her turn to present.

I should have known she would do it someday. But in second grade? My cute quiet little peacemaker with a heart the size of Texas? Gentle and loving to all things living...

Yes, yes, she did. This would be the first of a life filled with little shock value actions.

She quoted her fathers favorite poem.

A Bird in the Snow

I was on my way to school
When what do you know?

I spied a birdy
Lying in the snow
It's wing was broke
and it couldn't fly

It was gonna lay there
and it was gonna die

So I neared him close
with a piece of bread

and I STOMPED on his little head.

That's it.
I hate it.
I sit there and wait for the bird to be loved and cared for when my sweet little girl laughs shyly after her shock ending.

The teacher told me about it the next day when I went in to help at school. She said, "It was so funny I had her do it again for the other teacher and the rest of the class."


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Poetry or Rock and Roll

I took a poetry class in college.
There is just something about the written word in prose.
Things like
And I, I took the one less traveled by
-And that has made all the difference.

Just gets you right here doesn't it?

Well, writers block had set in
and I had a poem due.

My friend Mike said, "How about this:
There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the Maples want more sunlight
And the Oaks ignore their pleas."

"Wow," I exclaimed, "That's really good!"
Starting to write, I thought I could make something of this!

Chuckling, he said, "Yeah, you better not use it.
It's a song."

The Rock Group who sings this song is
one of the most talented I know of.
They have been dubbed: Heavy Metal Goes to College.
There are three men in the group
Drums, Guitar, and Vocals/Bass/Keyboard
The drummer writes all of the lyrics-
deep thought provoking poetry
The other two write all the music.
They have been together for probably 40 years
and still touring.

Their name?
Did I turn in the poem?
No. I have to admit that I thought about it, I was pretty sure my professor had never heard Rush before, but, well, you know that whole integrity thing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Alarm Clocks Warning

I wonder if it's possible that anyone actually likes the sound of the alarm clock going off in the morning? I guess maybe on a special adventure/Disneyland kind of day it might be a happy sound, but I'm talking about a regular work/school/life kind of morning.

We have a very cool clock in our room. It shines the digital time on the ceiling so anytime in the night you can sneak a tiny little peek between your eyelids and catch a glimpse of the time. VERY little effort and then you can much more easily close them up and go right back to sleep. No rolling over necessary!

I found out recently that even in it's ease this clock causes a plethora of emotion for my husband.

He gets up very early for work each day. It's saves time on the commute because the number of folks on the road that early in the morning is far less than the number at times when regular people start their day.

This dictates a need for him to be in bed by 10:00. When he first looks at the clock as he crawls between the covers and discovers it's before 10 he feels great relief knowing he will get more than six hours of sleep. On the other hand if the clock shows it's after 10 when he climbs into bed that feeling of exhaustion is multiplied by the knowledge that the night will be short and the awakening painful.

Taking a peek in the dark of night thinking it might be time for the alarm and discovering that it's only 1:00am is peaceful joy and yet taking that peek at 3:55 brings fatigued sorrow with the knowledge that he only just beat his alarm.

Of course 3:55am on a Saturday holds a completely different sensation. Bliss. Banana Pancake kind of pleasure.

The emotions are especially exquisite in the summer time when nobody else in the house has to get up early. Night time in the summer is often the start of fun for teenagers. Kick the Can doesn't work during the day and movies are always more fun at night whether in the theater or on the couch. This can mean his sleep is compromised numerous times as different kids "check in" and others quietly hang out down stairs.

When said kids aren't home when expected that glance at the time brings anger, worry, and impatience hopefully soon followed by relief when you hear the sound of the garage door opening and the car pulling safely into its spot. Unless of course the sound you hear is that of the phone and someone asking to please stay out even later. That's when annoyance sets in. The word "No" is frequently put into practice at those times.

Once his sleep is disrupted, he has to start over on getting it back. I, on the other hand, don't have that problem at all. Maybe it's from years of waking up with babies in the night, but I don't have any problem being interrupted from sleep, saying good night and drifting right back into peaceful slumber.

The emotions a person journeys between in the course of a day can be many and varied and caused by a multitude of factors. At times even inanimate objects. An alarm clock being one of them. It can be a valuable tool although at times we may not value it's presence.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Night Mountain Biking: My "New" Cycling Love

Cycling is one of those sports where all you need is a bike and you're on your way! Just a one time expense.

Or is it?

You also need a pump, and a helmet, and if you ever plan on riding more than an hour at a shot you'll also need some nicely padded, very smelly sweat producing germ growing shorts, and a water bottle, and a 3 pocket jersey (love them!) and clipless clip in shoes(?), and special pedals, and lights, and a rack for the car, and a *trainer or *rollers, and a *bike computer (gotta know your speed, because if you don't know how fast you're going, how will you ever get speed wobbles just by glancing down?) Oh dear. So much for that one time purchase.

Listen very carefully. Cycling is a blast. It is so much fun you'll never want to stop. It's the funnest way known to man for getting from point A to point B and you will become addicted. Just walk away.

I think it's an addiction that you just have to keep feeding. Riding helps, but can it really be enough?

I never understood the freakishness dedication of cyclists. Like why they need (?) more than one bike.

Until I tried Night Mountain Biking.

We have a little green belt in our neighborhood starting at the park across the street and going around the backs of the houses. It's a dirt trail about 1/2 mile long where Braxton loves to run.

Cycle Guy recently ordered me a special flashlight for my helmet so we can ride together at night. We decided for the maiden voyage we would try it on a mountain bike. Sounds crazy but Cycle Guy reads about some guys who love to go mountain biking at night. (Can you say feeding the addiction?) He really wanted to try it. For some reason I let him talk me into his crazy adventures. So off we went.

I kind of figured we'd go around the loop once and that would be it. Try it out, make the man happy.

Can you say Exhilaration?! I think I need a mountain bike!

I rode Coolio's bike. It has dual suspension and rotten brakes and it was a BLAST! You know when you see teenage boys riding their BMX bikes around always standing up? I was like that. I stood most of the time and screamed through the trail. For the first time in my life I told CG he was slow and tore past him. (Something had to be wrong, I never go faster than Cycle Guy. Don't worry we're all about to find out it was the bike~ not me.)

Out of breath and laughing I heard myself say, "Let's do it again!"

This time we traded bikes. I rode CG's suspension free, older mountain bike and he got on Coolio's. Not quite as fun on the bigger bike and somehow even with it's shorter cranks Coolio's bike was much faster. Maybe it's because I was closer to the ground, but I had more courage on the smaller bike too. I even went over a log once.

I don't know how many times we went around. Enough to be out of breath, but it was worth it.

We took the kids a few days later, just two at a time since we only have two lights but they also had a blast. Thing 1 even took off lightless once.

My advice to you is, "Be careful, be very careful." If you aren't careful you could be like me and I've fallen in love. I think I need another bike!

*If you're noticing prices on these links. Never fear~ we have NEVER paid full price for anything. Don't Do It. Never buy anything on a whim. Study it, watch for sales, be patient and go downstairs at REI, their go back section has been a treasure trove for us and not just for cycling goods!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

He grew a foot or two

The day arrived in a down pour of rain. Maybe it was a reflection of how I would feel later, but at the onset I felt excited and happy.19 years old, ready to conquer the world (or at least parts of South America) and leaving home. My boy, lover of Frisbee and Risk, Capture the Flag and Kick the Can, Tennis and Baseball, Street Hockey and friends stepped into a suit, short hair and "good" shoes as he got on a plane heading south.I will forever have the vision in my mind of the man I left in the security line at the SeaTac airport. After going through security and putting his shoes on ready to face the world he looked back one last time to see his family and raise his hand high in a final farewell.
We love him, we will miss him and we know that he will do amazing things as a missionary in South America. Now I just can't wait to get that first letter.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Read, Read!

I have many favorite writers. Most of them write children's books. Dr. Seuss, Patricia Polaco, Beverly Cleary, Richard Peck, and E.B. White to name a few. Some of them keep online journals in the form of a blog. Ryan Ashley Scott is one of those. Today she talked about her addiction to bookstores and sharing that with her son Monsoon.

I share this addiction. I love bookstores too, especially the children's section. Most of my favorite series even to read to myself were written for children. Narnia, Ramona, Magic Treehouse, Rangers Apprentice, Horrible Harry and Anne of Green Gables to name but a few.

I also love the library. We frequently put books on hold and then wait anxiously for that book to come available; cheering aloud when we get the phone message stating our book is now waiting on the shelf.

When our kids were little we could sit for hours reading aloud together. I know. Hours? But it's true. As long as I could stay awake, they could stay focused. Even when they were tiny.

One of them would say at the beginning of a story, "Once a time a time..." and then at the end, "Read End." When reading a frequently repeated favorite I sometimes had a hard time staying awake and then they would say, "Read, Read!!"

We still read aloud together sometimes. I wish more often.

Cycle Guy used to say it doesn't get more Norman Rockwell than this. And I would smile because one of my dreams had come true.

Friday, October 2, 2009


"Mom, come look at the fence. Is that a squirrel tail hanging over the edge?" Thing 1 called from the kitchen. It took me a minute to focus into where he was pointing and sure enough two little squirrel feet and a bushy little tail were squirming over the back fence.

Mesmerized we watched. With great effort the rest of the squirrel soon appeared on top of the fence. And in his thieving little hands he was carrying an apple from the neighbors tree. With great care he toddled on two feet to the corner post where he immediately started chomping away. Bits of apple flew as his hungry little face attacked its juicy prey.