If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Reading as a Pastime

Children tend to play showing what they learn.  I loved getting this picture from Bridgette for so many reasons.  It shows me so many things.

  1. Like most children, Luci is looking forward to the day when she can read.
  2. Luci is read to by her parents and sisters - a lot!
  3. She finds magic in books and wants to share that magic.
  4. She is listening and remembering and that is the first step toward learning to read.
  5. She already understands the concepts of print - reading front to back, direction to hold the book for reading, etc.
What made this photo even sweeter is that Bridgette said she was parroting words she remembered from the book being read to her.  The book is based upon the nursery rhyme, Little Boy Blue.  So, she started off with, "Little boy blue come blow your horn..."  Then progressed to something that was not quite accurate but certainly something to which she can relate when she said, "The cows are in the popcorn."  

Love it!  I wonder if Lydia's baby enjoyed the session as much as I did?

Monday, April 25, 2016

Back to Nature

Last week when we were at Mom's cutting grass, I remembered to take a photo of something that we had been noticing for a couple of weeks or more.

I had seen a bird, a Killdeer, protecting it's nest.  There would be that squawking and running and behaving as if it were injured movement away from the nest every time I would go by there.  So, I took a little time to see where exactly the nest might be when the adult bird was sitting still.

Then, when she was away from the nest, I walked down to take a look.
Right there in the gravel at the edge of the driveway was her nest.  See it?  It is pretty well camouflaged isn't it?
What pretty little eggs!  I worry that somebody is going to drive over them, though.  I'll have to check it out the next time we are visiting.  I think it is probably about time for them to hatch.  I cannot say that I'm a big fan of this bird because of the raucous noise the adult makes trying to protect the nest, but I do appreciate that they eat insects.

It was just an interesting find for me and I don't remember seeing a nest like that since I was a girl.  Of other birding interest, our bluebird friends who built a nest in our decorative blue birdhouse on the back porch have returned this year and they have a nest of eggs there again.  The are pretty to watch fluttering in and around the back porch.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Big Like Me!

We so often see younger folks emulating what they see of those who are more mature and experienced.  Sometimes that is a good thing and sometimes it is, well, not so good.  So, it warms my heart when I see the grands guiding and including the younger siblings and cousins.  Here is one such example.

Recently, Bridgette's two school-aged children earned the reward of having a friend sleep-over.  So, on Friday, after school, in troop the girls and their friends.  Yet, little Luci, who is not yet two, was not left out and ignored.
Luci and the big girls playing a fun game of Twister.

I'm sure she thinks she is just as big and worldly as they are and by letting her play and have fun, they are showing a kindness that isn't always shared between siblings.

Oh, don't think this is always the case, I know for a fact that there are times when bedroom doors are closed or when those long legs run off and leave her littls toddler ones, but it is sweet when they do pause and share.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Universal Fun

Some things are universally fun for children.
I think blowing bubbles is one of those things.
If you are not so great at the blowing part, just load the wand and take off running!
Or you could just get serious with it.
Keep on trying!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Racing and Rolling

A while back my parents gave our two oldest granddaughters these racing scooter things.

Long-legged Lillie figured out how to wheel around on it rather quickly.  Lydia, not as much.  However, with a little time, she figured it out and there are races and scooting round like wild things.

Luci has to get in on the act but her version is just to run, run, run round in circles just as fast as her legs will carry her.

There's racing and rolling and running round when the weather is nice and the grands are together.

See, Lydia even plays the wild child and rolls with a Look! No hands! attitude.

Then, it was time to teach the little cousin to ride the scooter.

Just give him a chance and stand back to let him try it out.

Get him started at the top of the rise and just let him coast downward.

Then, give him a little cheer when he seems to get it.  (Look at his face!)

Maybe he doesn't really need to be watching Lydia for pointers right now.

Then, it's back in the saddle and time to glide down the hill herself.

Of course, she also has to do a little curving and swerving to make it more fun.

Now Harris has a turn with Lydia's scooter.

He learned that going up the hill is a little bit more difficult than coasting downward but little cousin, Luci, gives a helping hand.

I think the teamwork approach might be working!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sitting Still

Below is a rare photo of our oldest grandson, Harris.
It is a rarity because he hardly ever sits still like this.  As I was editing photos and came across this one, I wondered what had prompted him to sit there like that.  Then, I saw this next photo...
I remembered that I made the first photo because I thought it was rather funny that he had dragged a chair over next to Mike and climbed up there to sit like Mike.  I wonder what the conversation was that they were having which prompted this cute look of surprise for both of them.
Somehow, I'd bet that one or the other of them was cooking up a little mischief, don't you?
I wouldn't lay odds on which was the instigator and which was going along, though!

Speaking of Harris sitting still...

Earlier this week I had a phone conversation with his dad as I was transitioning from one school to another.  I asked if Harris had been excited about going to school that morning and Bryan shared a tale with me...

The previous evening Harris had misbehaved and been subject to a stern talking-to.  He had popped his mother on the fanny and some other odious crime, I think.  So, following his stern talking-to, Harris climbed up on the couch and was sitting beside his dad.  Bryan knew that this behaviour is not Harris's normal method of operation.  So, he asked him, "What are you doing, buddy?"  Harris responded, "I'm sitting in Time Out."

Bryan thought this was intriguing and dug a little deeper.  Knowing that he nor Harris's mom, Jessica, had never sat Harris in Time Out, Bryan asked, "Where else have you ever sat in Time Out."  Without hesitation, Harris said, "At school."

Bryan thought he should dig a little deeper, still.  "Harris, have you been a bad boy?  Why do you have to sit in Time Out at school?"  Harris's response, "Yes, well, I hit people."

This brought on another stern talking-to.  Plus, a stern reminder before leaving for school (Mother's Day Out) the next morning.

I was chuckling so hard tears were seeping from my eyes as I was listening to the story.  I asked Bryan how he had avoided laughing when all this transpired.  Only to learn, "Well I was furious, Mom.  I mean, we can't have him being bad and going around hitting people!"
C'mon! Look at that face!  Do you think he could be bad?  Grand B certainly doesn't and I don't think Daddy Mike would believe it either.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Random Ramblings Volume 6

Just in case you haven't noticed...

I'm not very organized.

I try to be.

I think if I get certain containers and set them in a certain place to corral the stuff of life I will be more organized and I try that.

But it just doesn't happen.

So, I always seem to have projects to tackle.

Right now my project list is rather overwhelming.

I need to tackle my closets because they are aclutter and overstuffed.
I need to tackle my sewing room because it features stacks here and piles there.
I need to tackle my kitchen because there are 'collections' here and there and everywhere.
I need to tackle the back porch because warm weather is upon us and it has been neglected all winter long.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

So, today I tackled the bed.  I made the bed.  I smoothed the coverlet.  I folded the quilt.  I placed the pillows on top.

And then...

I walked away knowing that the other projects I need to tackle will be there for another time on another day.

I'm so disorganized I'm not even certain that this is volume 6 but that sounded good enough to me.  So, in random news:

I was excited and wondered where to start looking for some of these old favorites.  I wanted to tell Bridgette to place Molly up on a shelf where her girls wouldn't devalue her but I realized that the whole reason for having her is for the girls to enjoy.  I wondered where my first edition Barbie might be and if she looked half as good as the one in the picture.  I wondered if I wound up throwing those old Game Boys away or if they are still in a box in the basement somewhere.  Who knew that some of those things would turn out to be valuable treasures after all this time?

Speaking of Barbie, who knew that she has evolved?  Well, I mean, yes, I knew she had evolved because the ones Bridgette played with looked different than my first edition.  She also had different ensembles and different choices for occupations over the years.  So, I knew she had evolved but I didn't really realize she had evolved and could be curvy and petite and tall and that there were changes that startling and newsworthy to the most infamous body in the world.  Wow!  How about that?
My mother and father's wedding in 1959

While I'm talking about fashion and evolution, have you seen 100 years of wedding gowns in 3 minutes?  My mother could have been the example for 1955!  (above photo) Even though she married at the end of that decade, her dress was almost exactly like the example shown - well, only she looked far prettier, don't you think?  Then, our daughter-in-law, Jessica also could represent her decade - only prettier - and at the end of that 2005 decade.  (below photo)  If I were a young woman getting married, I'd choose to emulate 1935 or 1995, I think.  How about you - which decade do you think is most beautiful?

It seems I'm always talking about reflecting and reflection on my professional blog.  Yep, I keep another blog going as well.  Since the focus of it is educational, I figure not many of the readers of this blog even know about it.  Not that you are not educated.  Not that you are not interested in education.  I just know my family and I know you all don't really care about my ideas concerning education because you already know most of them.  And I think my immediate family is really my only audience here on this blog.  Anyway, I'm an encourager of reflection when it comes to teaching and learning.  So, I love that Emily Freeman shares a reflection once each month.  In her March post, she recognized something that lots of educators have come to realize about doodling and I happened to write about it in a recent post over there on my professional blog.  How about that?  Great minds and all that stuff.  She also wrote about the difference between being nice and being kind.  It makes me want to write down all those things she says about kindness and post them in various places along my routine path to remind me to be kind.  After all, "kindness goes far wider and far deeper than we can ever imagine," she quotes from Corey.  Maybe I need to read his book, too.  I do know that I plan to start asking myself the question she poses in this post: Where did I see God today?

The weather has been beautiful this weekend and I've wanted to soak it all up.  Of course, I did soak up a little too much yesterday while we were cutting grass.  I forgot to re-apply sunscreen and my arms got a wee bit too pink.  Well, really, they leaned more toward the lobster-red look last night and I could feel the heat radiating off them.  So, today, even though I was inspired by Mary and my palms were itching, I stayed inside and just enjoyed the beautiful weather from the windows in my kitchen as I weeded through email and edited photos and prepped this blog post.  I may putter around on the back porch a bit as the sun begins to fade and the back porch is in shade but I am ready to do some flower planting.

Finally, I was really glad to read that "Clean Eating" is total BS this week.  I like to eat.  That is probably more of my weight problem than anything else.  Well, that and the combined fact that I don't really like to exercise.  I especially like numbers 2 and 3 on her list of five important things.  Being a farm girl with a degree in agriculture, I know that sometimes the trendy ideas about foodstuffs such as organic and the labeling jargons sometimes fool folks into thinking a product is something more than it really is.  I mean, when we were looking at fat-free diets, why didn't the milk industry jump on that and begin selling their products differently like 2% milk as being 98% fat-free?  Yet, what I really loved is number 5...Embrace indulgence.  I think we all need to indulge ourselves a little bit more in different ways.  Maybe I need to indulge in exercise a little more and that is okay.  But instead of punishing ourselves for the bad, I think we need to embrace indulgence and reward ourselves for the good that there is going on in our lives.  Maybe that would spark us to make sure that there is more goodness going on and we would become better people!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Grass cutting time!

Two Saturday's in a row we have cut grass over at my Mom's.  It is amazing at the difference just a week makes!
Last week we were wearing a sweatshirts with the hood pulled close around our face and tied under the chin so that we could stay warm.
Today, we ere wearing a short-sleeved T-shirt and got a bit sunburned and sweaty.
Much as I hate getting that grass all over me, I do really like cutting grass.
There is some instant gratification to it.  You can see instant results for the effort you are expending.
My body always feels exhausted from all the jostling round on the mower and hours of driving the mower.
I think Mike and I started at around ten o'clock this morning and both of us mowed steadily until around one o'clock or so.
Then, we filled the sprayer with grass and weed killer and got on the ATV and rode the fields to spray around any big rocks that were sticking up and might be a problem when Mike goes over to bush hog or cut hay.
I think we wrapped up the spraying at around four o'clock or so.
Then, we headed on down the road toward home!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Bittersweet Easter Gathering

Easter will forever have a different connotation for me now.

He is risen! Certainly takes on a richer meaning.

We gathered as a family two times on Easter Sunday.  The first time was to say goodbye to Daddy as his body gave up the fight with Pulmonary Fibrosis during the wee hours of the morning.  Mom called us and my sister, brother-in-law, Daddy's two sisters and their spouses, close family friends, Mike, and I gathered to support her.  Then, my sister's family and my family gathered at lunchtime to share a delicious meal and have a traditional egg hunt for the little folks.  We each contributed side dishes and Mom's lifelong friends, Miss Mamie and Mr. Brent Sanders had delivered a ham for us to enjoy just a couple of days before.

Easter basket treasures had to be checked out and a nibble or two of treats ensued even though a bountiful feast was being assembled on the kitchen counter.
Nobody wants to miss a trick when treat bags are handed round!
Not even the trendiest most stylish diva can resist a treat bag with chocolate bunnies or eggs!
After the meal, the grown-ups hid the plastic eggs full of treats, treasures, and prizes.  Then, the littles lined up and waited in anxious anticipation to hear the word go! (I love that hovering in the background are their parents waiting just as eagerly for the start.)
And then they're off! Racing and dashing in all directions to snatch up the pastel treasures.
The quicker you move...the more you get!
Of course, sometimes a little one needs a bit of coaching.
Well, at least until she gets the hang of it.
And then, all she really needs is a helping hand.
Just somebody along to hold the basket whilst she does the hunting and gathering.
Somebody to hold onto the bounty and prevent the treasures from spilling out.
And then she can hop on down the path to the next treasure!
Meanwhile, this fellow is working his way up the ladder...
...or steps as the case may be...
...toward success and a full basket.
Now, how does one get such a full basket so swiftly, you might ask...
...You look really closely in order to find the treasures...
...and sometimes you scoop them up by the handfull...
...before you start scouting around for some more!
Meanwhile, the two more experienced hunters have moved on to higher ground.
I do mean that literally, too.
You see, they, too, were coached to look for the ones that were too high for the youngest hunters.
So, the more experienced you are, the more you wait...
...and wait...
...before you dash in and pick up the one that is overlooked!
You pick them up coming and going!
Till they are all discovered and claimed.
...last one.
And then, you sit down to see what is inside each one and swallow a sweet treat or two, or three, or more!

Easter is for celebrating life and that is just what we did in our family as we gathered together celebrating twice!