Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Hello, again.

spring in Missouri

Every life has seasons of struggle and this has been ours.  My Papaw (mom's dad) passed away about two weeks ago.  A week ago today Sloane dislocated her knee (three times), chipped her patella, tore at least one ligament, and who knows what else.  We are waiting for MRI results to find out the extent of the damage and what treatment is needed.  

I believe that a daily counting of blessings, a habit of gratitude, is a vital component of a joy-filled life.  So, as I always do when times get tough, here's a list of things I'm thankful for.

Counting My Blessings

* Spring in Missouri is so beautiful. * one of the best classes in all my teaching career * the wafting scent of lilacs * the way light in a house window turns golden and welcoming * our school's annual Character Color Run (see below) * working with friends * Sloane's grit * a father-in-law who got our garden ready when we couldn't * a Papaw I loved * a husband whose shares my burdens * a job I love * supportive parents who fill in every gap and help meet every need * excited students * anticipating all the fun events in the final week of school * evening walks through our tiny, old town * a houseful of laughing cousins and grandparents * new babies * finding lost things * His mercies are new every morning. * 

What blessings are you counting today?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Dressing Up

This post was based on Day 16: Ten Years Ago

Sloane , three, in one of my favorite costumes.  (This is the ten years ago photo.)

When I was a kid, I always loved costume parties and dressing up. I wished I had a wonderful granny's attic to explore. It would be full of old clothes and great shoes, and funny things like parasols, opera glasses, and old silver utensils whose use has been lost to time. There would be a beat up old leather trunk.  Inside it would be a clutch of fading airmail enveloped tied with a lavender ribbon and a few pale yellow roses along with an old quilt and a handful of pictures of young and smiling soldiers.  The corner of the attic might house a dusty old telescope and an unbelievably wobbly pile of vintage National Geographics.  Actually
, I still wish for that attic. 

Sloane, seven, at Disney just after our princess lunch.

In the spirit of playing dress up and exploring dusty old things, I always tried to give Sloane many props for her imagination.  When she was little I made sure to have plenty of craft supplies, kid-cooking ingredients, and a high tolerance for mess.  I turned by old toy chest into a cram-packed dress up box, and I refilled it every November 1st during After-Halloween sales.  I stuffed that thing full of costumes, party dresses, sparkly jewels, purses, scarves, wigs, and clompy high heeled shoes. I didn't forget the non-princess adventures and included knights' helmets, swords, a hook, and a few pirate hats.  That treasure box is currently up in our attic, collecting dust and waiting for someday when grand-babies will come exploring. 

Sloane, nine, dressed for Fifties Night and wearing my classring.

I might not have opera glasses and chipped china tea cups.  But I sure do have Mardi Gras beads, ladybug costumes, and cheap jewelry.  Oh, and one pair of really great Christmas socks.  

Sloane, thirteen, on Christmas Sock Day.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Faves

I love spring!

* Quote of the Week: "Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.~ Ranier Maria Rilke

* Blogspiration: Kickcan and Conkers

* Song of the Week: Stars in California by Drew Kennedy

* Images of the Week: Famous Photographers Pose With Their Iconic Images

* To Make You Grin: I love this makeover by Tree Change Dolls

* In Case You Missed It: I've Always Been a Talker

* Truth: Unexpected Diamonds by Ann Voskamp

* A Perfect Post: and I was wondering what I was going to do today by Beth

* Some Things I Love: supportive friends, makeovers, stripes, the way kids love to tell a joke they just learned, this app, movie marathons, pictures of people at a Color Run, asking, "Why?", a clean keyboard, a new stack of library books, listening to a book on tape, cousin sleepovers...

Happy weekend, friends.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Different Kind of Friday Faves

This photo was a gift from my friend, Se'lah.  

I was looking at my calendar yesterday and I realized that Mother's Day is only three weeks away.  To tell the truth, I usually let it sneak up on me and then find myself rushing around like a crazy woman trying to find a gift for my mom and Jeffrey's that can convey what's impossible to say: "I love you.  I thank you.  You make my life possible.  You are wonderful, amazing, nearly miraculous."  You know, just the little thoughts that add up to a speechless kind of love.

And, we really are blessed, Jeffrey and I.  Our moms have been pastor's wives for nearly 80 years between them.  They've raised four children, and enjoyed eight grandchildren.  They've taught me about the kind of home I want to make and the kind of woman I want to be.

Well.  What do you do for two women like that? My answer is, I try to find a gift that is as special as they are.  And, then, I write a card that doesn't say enough - not nearly enough about who they are to me.

As I was shopping for them, I visited one of my favorite stores, Uncommon Goods.  I love their whimsical selections, and I really love their blog, The Goods.  I spent hours following the links from this interview with Richard Upchurch.  We have so many spending options, don't we?  I want to spend my money with a company that tries to do a little good, even while they are selling goods.  I really love all the personalized options, too.  Uncommon Goods showcases the work of amazing artists, and I love their support of Reach Out and Read.

I had so much fun shopping for our moms.  But, I got a bit distracted by all the goodies I wanted to add to my own wishlist.  You know how much I love lists.  Maybe this one will help you as you shop for your moms.  Or, for yourself.

 I've always loved typography; especially the ampersand.  I just adore the whimsy of this.  
I think it's perfect for a mom who just happens to be a wonderful hostess.  

Sloane and I both fell in love with this crazy glowing dinosaur.  
It's full of bio-luminescent plankton and we have GOT to have one!
It might just be perfect for a new mom who has to stumble awake several times a night. 

Isn't this sweet?  I love the idea of tucking pink roses into this tiny wonder  and placing it 
on the nightstand when my mother-in-law comes for a visit.  It could also be a perfect gift 
for the amazing aunt or  older friend you love so much.  Why not use Mother's Day to thank 
the other women who have mothered you?

I don't know about you, but I have been searching for a stylish way to haul around all my library books.  This tote would be great for a bookish mom.  Or one who goes to the farmer's market every week. 

If you ask me, a woman can never have too many pairs of beautiful earrings.  Uncommon Goods has so much gorgeous jewelry.  I finally narrowed my choice down to my two favorite pairs of earrings.  The pair on the left is made from recycled sake bottles - I love that.  The pair on the right are handmade of mixed metals - so beautiful!

OK, I found it - a gift that's a perfect combination of tech and cozy.  This handy gadget can turn a smart phone into a projector.  Perfect for the mom who always has half the neighborhood kids in her backyard.  (Or wishes she did.)  Now you can give the neighbors one more reason to love you - backyard drive in movies.  

Do you have a mom who is always taking pictures?  Is she an artist?  Someone who sees beauty in imperfection?  If she is, let's introduce her to the Diana.  This gift is a perfect combo - a book and a camera.  Add lots of love, and a few sweet words on a card, and Mom is bound to be thrilled.  

I hope you've had fun exploring my little list.  One of my lovely readers is going to be really happy this Mother's Day.  I have a $25 gift certificate to Uncommon Goods to give away.  If you would like to enter, leave a comment and tell me which of my picks was your favorite and why.  Or, tell me what else you found over at Uncommon Goods that you would choose for yourself.

Be good to all the lovely, mothering women in your life this year.

Monday, April 20, 2015

I live here.

Answering Susannah's invitation to "Pause, look around you and 
shoot what you see.  Live inside each moment.  Pay attention to what's there.  Look for the love."

This is the playground at my school.  I often feel as though my school is an extension of my home.  I guess it is, really.  Teachers create an environment in their classrooms the same way women create a home out of a house and a bit of furniture.  I really love my classroom.  One of these days I'll give you a peak of it, too.  I do love my job.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Morning Poetry

in Just-
spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman

whistles far and wee

and eddieandbill come
running from marbles and
piracies and it's

when the world is puddle-wonderful

the queer
old balloonman whistles
far andwee
and bettyandisbel come dancing

from hop-scotch and jump-rope and


balloonMan whistles
~ e e cummings

Friday, April 17, 2015

Friday Faves

at World Fest at Silver Dollar City

* Film Fancies: Trim, a short film by Peter Simon 

* Something to Buy: This Waterford candle is the best I've ever smelled.  I wish it would go on sale. 

* Song of the Week: Here's a little Van to start your weekend; Someone Like You

* Great Read: Beauty Shop For Rent by Laura Bowers

* Because I'm a Word Nerd: How to use whom correctly

* A Little Whimsy: I couldn't really tell you why I love this recording so much, but I do. Neal Anderson on Mule Radio Syndicate

  * In Case You Missed It: A Spring-y List

* Some Things I Love: the way I always have more books waiting to be read, my iPhone, spring!, the yearly miracle of butterflies, old-fashioned mix-tapes, a new lipstick, little girls with pierced ears, giggling teenagers who have forgotten their need to be cool, happy voices sharing and talking about books

Oldies, but Goodies