Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

My SuperheroFor more Wordless Wednesday participants go here.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A Different Perspective

Oh Mommy of Classy Chaos is one again proving her classiness by sharing her photography tips with the internet. Thursday's post showed how taking pictures from an overhead perspective captures our endearing children in an unique way.

Today I took some classy pictures while my children were enjoying homemade popsicles in front of our house. I enjoyed this challenge because it allowed me to sneak up on my kids and capture the moment without them realizing it.

Girl TimeWashing away the stickiness

She caught me

Thank you Oh Mommy for your photography perspective. I am very happy with the results and will be looking through my lens from this vantage point more often.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

An open letter to Benefiber

To whom it may concern,

I just want to point out that your packaging clearly states...

"Be creative with Benefiber. Try it in your coffee, juice, yogurt, whatever you desire. You won't even know it's there."

Benefiber DID NOT mix well in my mango margarita. I am not sure if it was the ice or alcohol that caused the Benefiber to become clumpy. I would appreciate it if you could do some research and get back to me about this issue.

Creatively regular,

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Girl Who Needed Me

Jeff and I teach the 3 1/2 - 4 year old Sunday School class once a month. Last night was our turn to teach. It was Father's Day, the weather was beautiful and game four of the NBA finals was on TV so we didn't expect a large class. We ended up with nine kids counting our two daughters.

The ninth child to arrive could be heard before she was seen. She wailed as they walked down the hallway. Her mom looked exhausted and frustrated. As they approached the class I hoped that this very sad child was destined for the 2 1/2 - 3 year old class next door. Our class already held eight children that we have taught before, a wonderful group of little people who would listen to the bible story and play nicely with one another.

The ninth little girl, Holly, was new to our class. She was a petite, pretty child with blond pig tails and penguin earrings in her little ears. From Holly's blue eyes flowed tears that would not stop. Holly was hefted over the baby gate into our classroom. Her mother made no attempts to calm her. She seems eager to escape and have nothing more to do with her daughter. I watched as this mother pushed on Holly's little forehead, a rude gesture that clearly said, "get away from me." And then she turned and walked away.

Holly cried. She didn't turn towards the door and cry for her mommy, begging her to come back. Instead she turned to me and cried with all the sadness of a child who was having a rough day and needed to be reassured. My heart broke. I wrapped my arms around her.

I wish I could say that Holly quickly calmed down and played with the other kids. I held Holly for a long time. After 10 minutes she stopped crying. She rested her head on my shoulder and gave me a little squeeze. I squeezed back. I held her as if she was my own child, her head nestled next to mine, stroking her back. She participated in a game of hide and seek, from the safety of my arms. She giggled. Still I held her.

When it was time for snacks, Holly decided she was ready to be put down. She participated in story time, colored and placed stickers on her worksheet. Towards the end of class I loss track of what she was doing and who she was playing with.

Her mom was the first to arrive. Holly was a completely different girl from when she was dropped off. Her mom was the same. My heart broke again. This time not for the girl, but for the mom with the empty eyes. The adult who had spent and hour in church and returned unchanged. A mom who needed to be loved, talked to, understood. I wish it was as easy to comfort adults as it is to care for children.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Hours of fun and frame worthy results.

Ariels Cubist approach
Belle is channeling Picasso

The girls get their talents from their father. For Mothers Day he built me a window box.

This is a vast improvement from what this area looked like when we bought the house 4 years ago.


I am surrounded by artists. They brighten my world with their creativity, beauty, vibrancy and love.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Great Bedroom Experiment

When you are a family striving for sisterly love and togetherness what do you do?

Do you indulge the children with family outings that help them bond and create wonderful memories?

- OR -

Do you move your children from their separate bedrooms into a new space that forces them to spend more time together?

Jeff choose the latter.

We converted our multi-purpose guest room / office / play room / sewing storage into a bedroom for two. It's a big room, one of the biggest in our house and is perfect for this purpose.

Ariel's side

Belle's side

I love the dormers in this room, two dormers big enough for twin sized beds, so even though they are sharing a room there is a wall between them. There is also an enormous area that you can't see in these pictures. An area that is filled with all their toys. ALL their toys. It's messy, unorganized and contains a plethora of reasons not to go to bed or take a nap.

The girls seem happy, and why wouldn't they be. We put them to bed 30 minutes ago, and I can hear the pretend microwave beeping and little feet running across the floor above me. What I can't hear is bickering and fighting.

The sisters are united. They think they have fooled me into believing they are asleep instead of playing. I pretend I don't hear giggles and toys while the clock tells me that I put the kids to bed one hour earlier then usual. Oops!

The Great Bedroom Experiment is going well.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Stories I Won't Tell

Like some people, blogging is a form of therapy for me. It is also a way to record my memories so they can survive a muddled brain that is constantly pushing out wonderful memories in favor of needless information.

I have found a new therapy. Because of high gas prices, I am saving $100 a month by riding my bike to work instead of driving. Biking is my new therapy. I spend over an hour a day on my bike. That is a long time to ponder life, my relationships and God. Sometimes I think of wonderful things to blog about, but those thoughts are gone by the time I sit down in front of a computer.

My objective in blogging has always been to share about the positive aspects of my family. I am going to break this rule in order to explain why this is so important to me.

I don’t have very many good memories of my childhood. I didn’t have a bad childhood, I just don’t remember the good times. There is a reason for this. My family found it amusing to talk about the mistakes we made as children. Remember the time you …

… told your brother to run away.
… got kicked off the school bus for __________.
… blah, blah, blah. You really screwed up that time.

These stories are usually followed by laughter, but it is the strained kind that hides the underlying pain and embarrassment. My childhood memories are made up of these moments, not because they are memorable, but because they are recounted until the memory of me in my younger years only consists of bad decisions, broken relationships and hard times.

I don’t want this for my children. I am committed to not writing about their mistakes and lapses in judgment. I will not talk about how sisters fight, because I don’t want them to remember the fights. I want them to remember the hugs.

So for now, I am silent. Life is good. We are happy and healthy. The peace in our home is a haven found in between moments of strife. It is difficult for children to learn how to interact with their peers in a kind and caring way. It is unfortunate that as children we hone our social skills through conflict with our siblings. It is a blessing when we reach adulthood and are able to put behind past hurt and have a loving relationship with our brothers and sisters.

Maybe I am trying too hard to facilitate a healthy relationship between my girls. Maybe, like everything else that is important in my life, I should give this important task to God through prayer. After all what power do I have over the future relationship of my daughters?

This is something I will ponder on my bike ride home.