Friday, June 25, 2010

how about some organization?

i've been giving a lot of thought to the disorganization of my blog. the banner of my blog proclaims READ.LEARN.GROW., so duh, i think i'll organize in that fashion. each post will be directly related to one of the three options. maybe i'll connect a post to more than one at a time. it could be about reading and learning. oh, oh, oh, maybe i could even do all 3! YES. brilliant.

i will return soon with a new, updated version of my sad little blog. wish me luck.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Miss You Already

pink chair, duh
wish we could have sat in it

this was painted on the wall in the lower level of the museum as part of a children's books exhibit

(this is not the museum)

I am too tired to compose witty captions for these photos. Yesterday we took Chloe to the art museum in Chicago.

The importance of the day:
1. time with just one kid
2. gettin' outta fairtucky
3. an epiphany... Chloe would rather spend time creating art than looking at it (well all right then)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Beautiful Park Remembered

A Lovely Walk

Many weeks ago I had the opportunity to support a friend in a walk for Autism awareness. I arrived at the location early (very early, I feared getting lost en route). While I waited for the remainder of our group to arrive, I went exploring. Armed only with my cell phone camera, I traipsed around looking for beauty in nature. This is at Minnetrista cultural center in Muncie, IN. I am not sure if this is a central focus or feature of the property, and I really can't tell you what it is supposed to be, other than fabulously lovely. I considered scaling the fence, abandoning the walk, and meandering around the property.

Beauty is all around us. Remember to open your eyes, ears, and heart. Thank God for the ability to appreciate his creation.

A Walk in the Park


Walk No. 1
Chloe is enrolled in group tennis lessons at the public park in Marion. While she learns the finer points of slamming a small, bouncy ball back and forth over a net, I've been lounging in the early morning 9:00 sunshine, reading the varied works of Andrew McCall Smith peppered with glimpses into The Compassionate Carnivore. Alright then, today I took it upon myself to walk on the paved path that meanders through the park. I must confess it is L.O.V.E.L.Y. This path is a perfect mix of sun and shade. Birds and squirrels populate the area in just the right proportions: pleasant mix of chirp and squawk, easy on the bird poo. This walk put me in one of those all is right with the world moods in which I imagine walking for endless miles, burning every calorie I had ever consumed, and emerging 45 minutes later with a perfect figure and long, blonde, cascading curls. No such luck. I did, however emerge 30 minutes later refreshed and grateful for God's blessing of nature and fresh air.

Walk No. 2
This walk included 2 munchkins and a hot, cranky mama. Fortunately the kids were mostly engrossed in the discovery of a playground at which they had never frolicked. (don't your kids frolic?) This gig was earned by taking the Honda for an oil change and tire rotation by our ever faithful Mike at Upland Tire. We love him. Sometimes if I take the Honda myself, Mike and I chat about NPR's Car Talk (Click and Clack). I daydream that he is our own personal Click AND Clack, all rolled into one. We swap stories about the Honda he let go and how the current teenage owners drive past his shop daily, reaping the benefits of his labor some 5+ years later; he laments giving it up for a minivan.
We're supposed to be at the park/playground, though. Somehow I became disoriented in Upland and couldn't find my way to the public park, so the kids and I hoofed it to the school playground. This play area boasts some sort of freestanding rock climbing wall which the kids climbed about 3 times before succumbing to the oppressive heat. I wanted to remind them that we are only in early June, and if they thought this was hot, wait until August. August, however, will come in its own time and we don't need to bring undue worry upon ourselves regarding dog days of summer. Speaking of Dog Days, I heard the Chicago Cubs announcers discussing this very idea awhile back. Apparently the Dog Days refers to a time in late Summer, and under no circumstance can that phrase accurately describe any weather, no matter how unbearable June heat/humidity may feel. hmmph!
Now that I've lengthened an already long narrative to a super long story, I just need to express my thankfulness that we have the freedom and ability to walk and play in outdoor parks at our whim. We don't need to ask permission of any government or the police. No passports or vouchers are needed to roam the county. We can just walk, ride a bike, or drive to wherever we would like to go, at any time we would like to get there!

I'll leave you with my short prayer.

Thank you, God for the freedom and the ability to travel with my children. Thank You for the sunshine and warm weather. Amen.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Currently Reading

I started book 1 on Monday. Late this afternoon I am 1/2 way through book 3. These are quick and entertaining reads. Great for a taste of life somewhere other than where you currently reside. (unless you are in Scotland, duh)

This comes from the same author as the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. Those have been made into
films for HBO.

Next on my list...

For an exclusive FB by invitation only reading group! My first ever!

thoughts on raising a boy

Today we celebrated Jacob's 12th birthday. Wait, we took him out for lunch on Sunday. (3 days ago) Grandparents will arrive bearing gifts in 4 days. Jacob has the privilege of extending his celebration over the span of many days. In our effort to keep him from feeling slighted, we may err on the side of overindulgence. That is not to say that we over-shop. Certainly not. About an hour ago he unwrapped 2 presents. Yes, only 2!
Let me backtrack 12 years to explain how this extended celebration came to be.

Jacob's predicted due date: ??? sometime near the end of May, 1998 ???
Almost date of birth: Indy 500 Sunday (Memorial Day weekend)
Actual date of birth: June 9, 1998
Actual size of baby: 9 pounds, 2 1/2 ounces (giant) 22 inches long
Actual size of mommy: 5 ft. 2 in. (pre-pregnancy weight around 115 pounds)
First words spoken by Dr. Swan: "Hurry up and weigh this kid! He's huge!"
Actual words spoken by night-shift nurses: "You'll never have enough milk for this baby. We gave him a bottle in the nursery."
Actual milk production: enough for that kid to eat for 20 minutes on each side everyday, on demand for approximately 3 months. (then we found a schedule)

Sorry for the digression. So, why do we celebrate Jacob's birthday in such a scattered, spread-out fashion? Because my husband is the director of admissions at a university who holds a new-student enrollment fest every year in early June. No matter what day of the week June 9 happens to fall, it always conflicts with the 3-4 day spread of registration at the college. Boo-hoo, poor us, I know. If Jacob had been born over Memorial day weekend, well, lots of things would be different (like his birthweight). After 12 years I would like to report that I'm "over it", but sadly, I have barely come to terms with this fact. (9 pound babies should be born to mothers closer to 6 feet than 5) Well, that's my birthday complaint, and I'm stickin' to it!

I have grown up a lot while rearing our 2 kids. I've had a lot of help from my wonderful husband. ( I can't imagine doing this alone. )

Maybe tomorrow I'll have some great and wonderful insights to share regarding raising kids. There might even be a recipe of two thrown in. We just devoured half a dark chocolate cake smothered in Nutella ganache, and I am feeling a bit sluggish.

Good night.

Happy 12th Birthday Jacob!

Happy Birthday Jacob !

This post is short and sweet. I will post some more intriguing thoughts and observations later.