Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On Moonlight Bay

My grandpa John and Grandma Dorothy remind me of
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.

Supposedly, they danced beautifully together,
and they sang together in perfect harmony.

I would have liked to have seen it with my own eyes.

One song that they always sang on road trips was
On Moonlight Bay.

My parents, although, maybe a little less talented in the vocal department,
passed on the great tradition to my siblings and I.

I now sing this song with my children.

Four generations, and I hope it will never stop.

I wonder if Grandma and Grandpa could have forseen.

I can't help but smile as I listen to my girls singing the song in the other room.
They always respond to this song.

I found a video of the song on You Tube,
to pass along.

This is amazing, as the same man does all the parts.

I thought it did justice to the imagined memory I have in my head
of Grandpa John and Grandma Dorothy.

Sing along everyone.

We always echo every line.

It's more fun that way.

If you really want a blast to the not so distant past
and if you happen to be in love with The Beatles like my Abigail,
go here, and see The Beatles' version of Moonlight Bay.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I am not a zoo fan.

I detest seeing animals in cages.

It seems especially wrong to cage a raccoon.

They are bandits.

Shouldn't they be able to escape?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ways to Hurt Bella's Feelings

Here's is Abigail's latest discipline activity.
I think it goes along quite perfectly with her sourface.

I asked her to write 10 ways that she hurts her sister's feelings.
This was to compliment her essay on what she liked about Bella.

So, I was a little surprised with her finished essay
she entitled Ways to Hurt Bella's Feelings.

Because it seemed so calculated
instead of reflective.

I will hurt Bella's feelings by calling her names,
hitting her, kicking her, pinching her, and biting her.

Other ways I'll hurt her feelings is saying something untrue to her,
taking something away from her, and not caring about her.

Also, I will laugh at her and ignore her.

These are the ways I'll hurt Bella's feelings.

She wrote with such fervor,
it's as if she plans to go and do each of these things.
And, she probably will do at least 6 of the 10.
No matter how good I am as her mother.

And, that, my friends, is the worst part of summer and the only reason I am ready for my children to go back to school every August.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me #'s 4-6

From the book Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me
by Cynthia Copeland Lewis

It's more fun to color outside the lines.

(I think that the human hands would be in the outside the line category.)

If you're going to draw on the wall,
do it behind the couch.

(My Abigail would be the one to figure something like this out.
She is not only super smart, but super sneaky.)

If the flowers you draw don't look like anyone elses, that's good.

(I want all my girls to know that they are uniquely beautiful and so are their ideas.
I hope they NEVER try to be like anybody else, even when the color.)

Happy coloring everyone.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Burning Up in K Town

We've been having some record highs here in TN.
So to pass some time in an air conditioned car yesterday,
we drove all the way to Bethesda to photograph this church sign.
But it was gone, so I had to paint it.
C'mon, you know it's funny.

I found this on the way. I thought they must have copied
and sychronized their sermons.

(BTW - we went to the smokies to see the fireflies a few years back and they are awesome.
But, seriously, they are just as good in my big tree out front.

Bethesda lost a little originality brownie points from this Mormon sign stalker.

But then they saved a little face with this one.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spiritually Minded Women

Some of my friends, doing what we do best: shepherding God's future warriors.

At church a few weeks ago, our Bishop was addressing a room full of women. He asked if we had noticed a moral decline in the world, specifically when it comes to church attendance. He said that he had noticed that many people nowadays just go to church because it's the thing to do, but that they don't go as a way to worship and help them be closer to God throughout the week. Nobody said anything.

I raised my hand and said, "Bishop, I don't disagree with you, because I think that is precisely the way the world is headed, but I think many of us women are fortunate to have a lot of friends who still do care about their God and not just on Sundays."

I went on, "I am personally privileged to have a lot of inspiring women as friends."

I kind of ruined his point, but I wouldn't change my honesty. I have so many wonderful women in my life. They all inspire me to be a better daughter of God. To be a worshipper of my Savior Jesus Christ. To be a mother who loves with all she's got. To be a wife who honors her husband. They inspire me to higher grounds.

They inspire me in real life. They inspire me in my cyber life, and they inspire me with His word. Many of them do all three. Nicole is one of those. I was so grateful for her recent flattering words. Her words were strong evidence for my argument to my Bishop. What could be better in this world then us women who rock the cradle, backing each other up? Not much. Unless that backing was with God. Because nothing can penetrate that. Nothing at all.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me #3

Number three tidbit from the book
Really Important Stuff My Kids Taught Me by Cynthia Copeland Lewis.

"Even if you've been fishing for three hours
and haven't gotten anything except poison ivy and a sunburn,
you're still better off than the worm."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time-Out Time

I just read this article for some great new strategies in disciplining my kids.

After reading the article, I thought that letting the kids play cards with the dog was a really great idea of disciplining with techniques of both distraction and silliness. Let me know if your dog is as good as ours at playing spoons. It kind of runs in the Gold blood. Olive would love to get together with your dog for a card playing play date.

I typically am a go-to time out mom. I am a believer in time-out. We spanked Abigail, our oldest, for a while and found that it did not work for her at all. It just made her more aggressive. I am not saying that spanking won't work for some children, but for me it wasn't an option because I could not spank without anger. But, the older my children have got, the more frustrated I have become with the ineffectiveness of time-out. I have found myself trying to remember what my mom did with her seven kids when I have situations to resolve at hand.

My mom spanked so well without anger that it was a standing joke at our house growing up. There was usually much laughter accompanying our spankings, which were preferably given with a wooden spoon. It was much softer than her hand would have been. She's such a softie. Another good thing my mom did was make my siblings and I sit under the peach tree in the backyard whenever we fought. We had to stay there until we were willing to give each other a hug. How powerful and simple that technique was. I think she may have even used it on some of the neighbor kids from time to time. And, now that I am a mother, I realize how ingenious the idea was for her sanity too. She didn't have to worry or listen to any bickering once we were outside. She also remained neutral and made us work out our own solutions with this effective disciplining strategy.

I was really excited the other day when I had a good parenting stroke of genius. I think my mom would be pleased. The idea stemmed from her insistence that I write "I love my brother 100 times" at least 100 times in my life.

For the most part my kids behave great, but I have one pretty consistent struggle between my two bullheaded children. Abigail is 11 and wants to always tell 6 year old Bella how to do things. Bella resents it because she thinks she can be her own boss. They go at it pretty good from time to time, mostly just verbally, but sometimes they will push or hit.

Well, the other day, after one of these disagreements, and after Abigail's 11 minute time-out, that didn't work a bit, I gave her an assignment. She was to sit at the kitchen table and write down 10 things she likes about Bella. I was adamant that she would not leave the table until she got it done.

I was so impressed and completely surprised that Abigail cranked it out really quickly. She even threw in an extra compliment for good measure.

1. She cleans when asked.
2 She is kind to others. (not me)
3. She doesn't quit.
4. She likes cool music.
5. She leaves me alone when I ask, which is almost all the time.
6. She loves to play.
7. She is strong willed.
8. She dresses uniquely.
9. She takes charge in doubt.
10. She loves to take care of everything.
11. She is organized.

Later Abigail admitted to me that the way that she came up with the list was to think of all the things that she didn't like about Bella and turn them into a compliment. So, when it said, she dresses uniquely, that started out with she dresses awful. She likes cool music was really that Abigail hates her music, etc, etc.

At Abigail's admission, I could have been defeated, but I realized that even though Abigail thought she had the upper-hand, she didn't. I had just succeeded with a truly inspired exercise in cognitive therapy. I taught Abigail how to change the way she thinks. Isn't that what we all have to do to love our enemies?

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Summer Pace

I love summer because it allows for my Southern California beach pace of life to be lived guilt free. I have NO AMBITION in the summer and I prefer it that way. However I do not subscribe to a belief that ALL people should live this way. To each is own. I apologize profusely to you Stacey if my teasing hurt your feelings. We are definitely different animals, but I want you to know that I believe there is room for both of us in the same animal kingdom. Just as there is room for bees and sloths. You would be the bee, I would be the sloth.

I teased my new friend Stacey for her differences and she recently wrote about it on her blog. I wrote a comment back to my friend Stacey in response to her blog post about being teased for her rigid summer schedule, I thought it was worth a good share.

Here are my feelings about a summer pace. I am sure some of you will be horrified and I hope with all my heart that some of you will back me up on my lazy summer lifestyle.
Hi, my name is Alice and I am the teaser. I feel perfectly comfortable teasing people because I welcome them to dish it back.

It is 4:00 and I am sitting here in my underwear reading your blog. I just got up from a 2 hour nap. M yhouse isn't looking so hot today and the folded laundry has been sitting out on my sewing table since Monday waiting to be put away.

I don't have an affinity for T.V. and my kids usually get bored with it after a couple of movies, and by afternoon we explore ideas on what they would like to do with this lazy summer day.

Once a week, I get really ambitious and take my kids to play group and on Monday's we go to the library. Besides that we try to go with the flow and try to underschedule in the summer to make up for the overscheduling during the school year.
I need to teach my kids better responsibility. I probably need more scheduling in my life and even though I tease for fun but also really think you could stand for some flexibility, I think you are great mom. Everyone needs to be comfortable in their own skin and this is what really matters.

When both of your kids get in school and you are scheduled to the second all school year, you may find yourself on some distant summer day undressed at 4:00 and you may even be totally fine with it.

I love you Stacey and I am so glad you are my friend. And secretly I am jealous of all the things that you and your kids are experiencing this summer. We aren't too driven around here. Our only goal is to eat one box of otter pops per week.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Book Review: A Million Little Pieces

A Million Little Pieces A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I want to start this review out with the F word somehow because I probably read it at least a thousand times in this book. I kept telling myself I should quit because of the language and the questionable content but I was riveted as I was transported into a body that was experiencing detox and drug rehabilitation. I felt like every one of my 5 senses were awakened as this book was a chilling piece of fiction. I justified reading the questionable material because it was a part of the typical drug rehab center. The author did an amazing job of helping me to experience the touching, seeing, hearing, tasting, and smelling that druggies engage.

There is so much I could say about what I enjoyed about this book, but the ONLY real reason I kept reading was because I felt completely educated by each word found on the pages. I feel I can understand addicts of all kinds better now. I can love them better and judge them less. In fact, I found myself thinking of all the addicts I know and wishing I could give them a copy of this book. In the words of the author is found the precious key to combating addiction: getting in touch with your inner self and learning how to control your out of control emotions.

I know there is some controversy surrounding this book. In fact the librarian mentioned it when I checked the book out. She wouldn't tell me WHAT exactly was the controversy, but I did glean some things during the course of reading the book. As I mentioned my reading it to friends, they said that the author James Frey had this book published as a piece of non-fiction, when it is very much fictional. I do have to say that it would be much more powerful if it was actually non-fiction, but the fact that it is untrue, does not completely rob the book in enlightening the reader about the workings of addiction. I plan to go and read everything I can about this controversy, but I wanted to write my review before I do, so that I won't be tainted.

There were parts of the book that I didn't like. I wish it could have been written with less offensive language; I don't think it was absolutely necessary. I also don't really agree with the author's criticism of the 12 step program or his agnostic views. However, I did learn some things from the referenced Tao teachings and find those in sync with my religious views. I find myself adding the Tao book to my to read list. For some reason, A Million Little Pieces was a long read for me. I kept telling my husband that I didn't know why it was taking me so long to get through it. I was interested and reading consistently, yet it still took me a good week and a half and I'm not really sure why.

Overall, I would recommend the book to anyone struggling with addiction or with an addict in their life. I would also refer it to anyone having an inner struggle learning about themselves. But, I would NEVER refer it to any of my Mormon friends, as they would probably suffer a heart attack from all the language.

View all my reviews >>

Friday, June 18, 2010

Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me #2

From the book
Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me
by Cynthia Copeland Lewis


Speak up.

My two cents: How else are you going to get your need met?

And, also, if you want to build your self confidence, be confident in what you are contributing to conversation.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mini Me

Recently my sister-in-law posted a status update on her facebook. She was so entertained because Bella had asked her Grammy to turn the radio down in the car to alleviate her headache. Grammy replied that if she would stop talking it would help her headache go away.

Bella's response amused many other FB users that know me as well as Michelle.. "I can't stop talking, I am just like my mom."

I have taught my children to only speak truth. Sometimes it bites me in the butt.

Onto the serious part of the post. I wanted to write this down before I forgot.

There are three things that I have learned recently in therapy. They were key in helping me along my journey with codependency. They were BIG parts of the puzzle in teaching me to fight my codependent need to be loved.

1-I could not handle criticism.

All of these things came into play with my parenting today. You see, Bella is a mini-me, in almost every single way. She is not just my only brunette child, she is a codependent. She came that way. She has an insatiable need to be loved. It's exhausting. God knows what he is doing because parenting her has been vital to my own healing.

Today I decided that it was time for me to share some of my therapy with Bella. If I didn't learn about fighting my need to be loved until 37, how much better will it be for her to understand it earlier? Well, I pretty much botched trying to take my knowledge from my brain to Bella's. There's a reason that therapists are licensed and I am not. I found the story a little amusing.

Bella was throwing a jumbo sized fit because Abigail had wrongfully criticized her. Apologies had been made, but those of you with codependent experience know that an apology never equates the end. Bella couldn't make herself let it go. She can't handle criticism. Remember that was #1 from the above things I learned about myself. She was abandoned and she wanted us to know about it. She also wanted us to hurt because in her jumbled mind, us experiencing pain, makes her pain turn into a sad form of love. She started going on and on about how nobody loves her. She screamed at me that she always does things for me and I never do things for her. You have NO idea how horrible this is unless you have lived through it. And we have lived through it hundreds of times.

I caught my smirk before it surfaced as I finally understood what I had to do. Months ago I quit trying to coddle to the girl while she created her own hell and ours as well. In fact remembering this prior post, I am a little stunned that my love declaration had actually worked. It usually does not. Usually coddling or sympathizing makes things a million times worse. Today was the day to teach Bella about her love tank.

I happened to be making chocolate chip cookies. I told Bella that she would not get to play again until she was ready to have a talk with me. She took about an hour to come around. Just enough time for me to prep my discussion. We sat at the kitchen table.

I brought a pitcher of water, a glass, and a large spoonful of cookie dough. I made sure I had her full attention. As she watched me, I handed her the cookie dough. As I stretched out to her, I said, "As the first part of our talk, I just want you to know how much I love you. I am giving you this abundant amount of cookie dough just because I love you."

She pushed it away. Actually, she whacked it out of my hand. Hmmm. At this moment I knew my assumptions are right. The kid needs to be loved, but just like her mom she is not good at receiving love. Remember that was #2 thing learned on my step to recovery. I said, "Oh, I am sorry, I guess you don't want this. You must not want to know how much I love you." She was still angry. I asked her if she wanted it, and in her "I don't know what the heck I am feeling and why I am feeling this way" mood, she spit out, "No." I give her one last chance, "O.k., that is fine, because it looks really good to me and I will eat it." I put it up to my mouth and she snatched it out of my hand. So, she does want to be loved after all. Progress.

I then explained the theory of the love tank to Bella. I said to her that everyone has a love tank like this cup inside of them. It is what holds their love. People get their love tanks filled in many ways. They can fill it themselves, or they can get love from other people, or even their Father in Heaven or Jesus Christ. It can be filled when someone compliments them, or when they get a hug......etc. etc. Bella was intrigued. She started participating in the conversation, giving me ideas of how people feel loved. I then reminded her that I had just given her cookie dough and that it should add a few drops of love into her love tank. I also reminded her that she almost didn't get that love because she so rudely swatted it out my hand.

So, we physically filled the tank, I mean the cup. Then, I said to Bella, "This next part is really important and I want you to understand this so that you can be happier. Bella, you are a lot like your mom and I didn't learn this until this year and I wish I would have understood sooner." "Bella, you and I, we have leaks in our love tanks." Then, by her suggestion, we got out a plastic baggy and filled it. We cut off a corner and watched the love tank shrivel and die. I explained that because we have leaks in our love tanks, it stays shriveled up most of the time. When someone criticizes us, it hurts more than it does for other people because it's not like them when they just get a scoop taken off the top, it's like they take our shriveled tank and step all over it.

It got through to her because she immediately burst out in tears. "I don't want a leak in my love tank!! Why do I have to have a leak in my love tank?" Yeah for me. It only took 10 minutes to successfully teach her item #3.

I said, "Don't worry, you can fix it."

Bella: "I don't know how to fix it. I am going to have a broken love tank for forever."

Me: "You can fix it. I've been fixing mine."

Bella, crying in agony, "How?"

I then went on to explain that all she has to do are some really simple things. I got out some toothpicks. And demonstrated that she uses tools to stop her leak. At this point, I was glad she had gone back to sulking on the couch because I totally lied and told her that the toothpicks worked brilliantly at stopping the leak, when really they didn't work at all.

I came up with four ideas for her. The first toothpick was that she should pray to her Heavenly Father to help her fix it. The second was to love herself. The third was to remember that people love her even if they correct her from time to time. And lastly, and most importantly, don't forget that she has a leak and when she starts feeling sad, think about the love that leaked out.

So, needless to say, the kid now may not figure anything out for herself until she is past the age of 37 because I just completely screwed up a botched therapy session. But, I tried.

And because I am working on fixing my love tank, I am going to tell myself I did a great job, even if I didn't.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me #1

I found a little gem of a book at our local used bookstore and quite possibly one of my favorite places on earth, McKay's. The book was fifty cents and it's filled with wisdom. A lot of wisdom is funny, go figure.

I am going to try and share the little tidbits from time to time, and of course, I will add my opinion to go with it.

Just in case you want to read the whole book yourself, it is called Really Important Stuff My Kids Have Taught Me. The author is Cynthia Copeland Lewis.

So on to #1

Jump right in or you might change your mind about swimming.

I live by this philosophy. Sometimes it gets me into things that I regret, but because I tend to jump into it and not look back, I get a lot done.

When you jump in wholeheartedly, you can't back out. Are you midjump in something that you need to fully commit to?

Me personally, I need to jump into a freezing cold shower this morning to wake me up.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fight or Flight

Fight or flight...what do you think? Clowns creep me out. I would definitely never fight a clown. And that is how I am starting this post so that I can use one of the limited pictures from my third back up computer.

LG and I have been discussing this theory of fight or flight lately. As I accused him of using fake sicknesses as a way of avoiding stuff..."that would be a flight technique", I told him.

For the most part, I didn't marry a fighter. He avoids contention at all costs, which is a good thing and a bad thing. But, I just love LeGrand. He makes me laugh. He is learning to put up his dukes (as my Grandma Dorothy would say) a little more, which is a good thing because he is an attorney by trade, and for all of my therapy to work, someone needs to put me in my place at times.

Anyhow, back to the fight or flight. LeGrand was explaining this theory to the girls at dinner last night. He had learned in a legal education class that mentally ill people can immediately and easily switch into a fight or flight mode, whereas normally healthy people only do so when in extreme situations. LG questioned the girls after his explanation, "If a big black bear were coming at you, what would you do?" "Run away, or stay and fight it."

Abigail and Bella didn't hesitate to say they would run as fast as they can.

Sophia on the other hand is always our imaginative one. She said, "I would throw gummy worms at the bear."

We all decided unanimously that we need to keep Sophia's hair blonde the rest of her life, no matter how much peroxide it will take.

Where does she come up with this stuff?

Book Review: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Sheila asked if I am being paid to do book reviews and the answer is regrettably "no". Although I will be sharing a book review next month on a book that was sent to me to review, so I guess technically I was paid in a free paperback.

LeGrand was so jealous that he offered to trade me my blog for his law practice. Because we are so poor, he was surprised when he had thought that I ordered a book to be shipped. I nonchalantly told him it had been sent to me to review on my blog. A day later he said, "Alice, I don't think you know how cool it is that someone just sent you a free book to review on your blog!" I guess I don't, but I do like it that my husband is jealous of me.

I have said it a million times that I would never want to be paid for my blog because I feel like it would force me to settle with expressing my true opinion and that would be tragic.

However, I have made it a goal to read more. I have completely quit watching T.V. and I am enjoying more reading at the especially perfect time of year: SUMMER.

I like to share my reviews because it forces me to take a moment
and reflect on each book to completely integrate into my life.

Take them or leave them. Better yet, read the books for yourself.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Besides being a quick read, this book was not only historically rich with a view into Seattle during times where Jazz was new and racism was old, but was also a touching story of first love and family ties. I gained an open window into the history of WWII, especially the shame that surrounds the American government imprisoning our own citizens solely because of their race.

I enjoyed the age old and overall theme of children who have to find their own way among their parents' expectations, especially when the parents are sometimes wrong. Ford privileged us with two generations worth of intertwined plots. I normally don't like books that time travel, but this book was done with such ease that it didn't bother me at all. Reflection was an important part of this book and memories written as if you were there actually left me with an equal desire to read of the past and present.

Most of all, this book was a love story. I am sure that the overriding love themes are probably the real reason for the book's popularity. Loyalty to love, loving your choice, the complexities of love and hopes between family members, and always remembering your first love are all the meat of the book. And of course, the most exciting theme of all is that it is never too late for love.

The only complaint I have for the book is the ending. I always struggle with the end of books. If I ever write a book, the end is going to be perfection because I am all about THE END. This end was good, but not prefect. At least it wasn't a bad ending and that is hugely complimentary from me because I bet 80% of the books that I read have bad endings. Even if the author would have thrown in "and they lived happily ever after" it would have at least given me a little more closure;I am all about the closure, especially when it comes to fiction. When the closure has to be derived from my own imagination, I don't like it; I want the author to dictate his own story, especially the end.

View all my reviews >>

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Drama Queen or Future Writer?

You decide.

Abigail: Mom, look, I did Sophia's hair.

Sophia: It's an everlasting disaster.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Book Review: Cold Mountain

Cold Mountain (Paperback) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book was a little racy for my taste, especially in the middle. There was a lot of inappropriate sexual least for my pretty sheltered mind. I don't tend to like the slow going pace, and this book was especially slow at first, but I am glad I persevered as the author did a good job of portraying the horrors of the Civil War. I guess slow going reading favors the period of time that the book depicts.

I saw into a window of the lives of backwoods people in The Appalachians, but a lot of the time it was a window that I would have liked to walk away from to pretend it was not there. I don't like some of the oddities of the people portrayed, especially as a Tennesseean. It's books like this that make some people think we are still all barefoot and pregnant living off the hog and our veggie gardens. I am sure much of what is talked about it true, but I just don't like it...maybe that makes me a fool, but I would rather pretend stuff like incest doesn't exist in the world as I know it. Sometimes I felt like I was reading an awkward story that was the frame for the awkward movie Oh Brother Where Art Thou.

I really enjoyed reading about the art of homesteading and the author's beautiful and sometimes very detailed descriptions of nature, especially our own gorgeous Appalachian Mountains.

My favorite line by far was the old goat lady who said, "Marrying a woman for her beauty makes as much sense as eating a bird for it's song."

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Meet Piggy Piggy.

My kids crack me up.

Here is an overheard conversation today.

Abigail questioned me, "Mom, if we got a pig, do you think it would eat bacon?"

Sophia almost under her breathe, "That's just wrong."

Why is that so funny to me?

Maybe it's the fact that Sophia knows that bacon is from a slaughtered pig.

Or maybe because she so matter of factly protested.

Either way, I am still laughing.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

First Crush

I love my daughters.

I love my relationship with them.

We always have fun! But, I am able to have the most fun with Abigail. I have discovered that the older my kids get, the more ways I can mess with them.

As I blogged about previously, Abigail's 5th grade year was spent with a lot of teasing because of her first major crush. You can see the side of the face of her beloved smartie pants' boy Google. It's only natural that all of her little sisters have also decided that they love this boy. They regularly say his name to get the baby to smile.

They are both so smart and funny that it's just natural that everyone kind of puts them together. They are smart enough to not take it too serious and funny enough to mess with.

At the end of the year awards ceremony Google was an Awards Hog.

Abigail got a bunch also, but not as many as Google. She wouldn't want to make him look bad. As they walked up a bunch of times to get their different awards, they each displayed the same quick and determined gate. They were each trying to be humble while they were so pleased with themselves.

I just love these kids.

Here is Abigail's glance over her shoulder on the one trip that she ended up standing next to Google.

The look says something like, "Mom, you better NOT embarrass me!"

Hope she doesn't mind me sharing the awesome photo on my blog.

Oh, and kudos and many thanks to my masterful photographer friend Keith Poveda who captured the kodak moment. If you want his number give me a holler.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Eric Carle

This will be a post without a picture because I would never ever dream of breaking the copyrights of Eric Carle. He is BY FAR my favorite artist, writer, and illustrator. You may be familiar with his work. Two of my favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you Hear? and The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

I was moved by this part of his autobiography in The Art of Eric Carle.

In 1935 I started school in Syracuse. I remember vividly a sun-filled room, large sheets of paper, colorful paints, and fat brushes. One day my mother was asked to see the teacher. Convinced that her son had misbehaved - why else would a parent be asked to come to the school? - she was immensely relieved to be told that her boy not only enjoyed drawing and painting but that he was good at it. It was impressed upon my mother that from now on she was to encourage and nurture this talent. This was advice she would honor for the rest of her life.
It struck me as I kept reading how this small experience of a teacher praising a talent in Kindergarten, totally and completely shaped the work of Eric Carle. His mother always encouraged him from that time forward and Eric remembered this as his initial moment of feeling talented.

I want to be the person who inspires others. I want to motivate by compliment. I want someone to do something great because I took a moment to notice something small. And what if I can multiply that by 100? And what if I multiplied that every day? And what if we all just tried to look for the good in each other? Would we all live a life that felt as nice and as happy and uplifting as any page of any book of Eric Carle?

To me, heaven couldn't get much greater.