Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Parents Support our Fun!!




Here are a few glimmers of more families who were able to be a part of our fun. We were happy to pose pictures with those who were able to come to school and join our singing & dancing. Aren't those art projects worthy of creating a smile? I think these teachers have a sincere grasp of the sort of 'art' that I appreciate. LOVE the color. Love the shapes. Joyous.
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Tall Giraffe JOY!!





Here we are now, all together. We're reading. We're singing. We're signing. What an amazing morning of fun. Edwina & Glen, my behind-the-scenes grant writer, and tech support team. What an amazing time. The children are prepared for my visit. They've created artwork in my honor: colors & shapes, polka-dots & giraffes. What more could a traveling author ask for, from a school visit?? OH!! And they had parting gifts for me!! Pillow cases and stenciled giraffe bags, laminated artwork, and banners!! Pinch me. It doesn't get much better than this!!
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Clement in Cleveland!!





My return to the Cleveland Co. MRDD facility right downtown was a brilliant & happy day. This year Edwina wrote the grant in such a manner that every classroom received my brand-new picture book, "Tall Giraffe" in advance of my arrival. So the children were already familiar with my song and looking forward to singing it with me. Heaven on earth. The parents were invited to be a part of the festivities and some are pictured above.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dinosaur Romp


"Chomp your teeth now very loud, Tyrannosaurus was mighty proud......... thru the swamp......... join me in the Tyrannosaurus chomp." It's our own little version of 'guitar hero.' Everyone gets to play their own air guitar, with a few choosing air drums. Think AC/DC for the preschool set. Yet within all of this movement and flow of oxygen to the brain, there is definite follow-the-leader mentality. [BTW, I always get to be the leader, that's one reason that I graduated from college -- to be the leader. LOL.]

Big Kids, The Big Kids




"Lucky Duckie Day" As the school year winds down, I let the children 'direct' our time together. It vaporizes all too quickly. When we wind up our 25 minutes together there's a lot of disbelief. "But we didn't do Monsters." Another voice chimes in, "What about Goldie?" Until about six or ten of our favorites are itemized and then I remind them of the good news. Our plan is for me to make one more visit. Next month. This is a good thing, that our repertoire has expanded over the months, over the years. I have literally grown up with these peeps. Or I suppose more accurately, they have grown up with me. In any case, the time is gone in the blink of any eye.

The first picture is a demonstration of the big kids ability to delay their gratification with their shakers. Yes. They can balance, too.

In the final picture of this set, there is a brand-new student, having just arrived to this country from Greece. I take it as an ENORMOUS compliment that the new child is 'up-to-form' with our theatrics, catching up with those who have grown up with me. Language is not so much a barrier when there is drama and movement involved.

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Who Has More Fun??




It's April. It's time for my visit to Children's Hospital. It's time to start with my weeee-wonders. You know what that means? SHAKERS. Of course, every single visit includes a rousing version of my shaker song. I just accompany myself on the guitar with the tiniest of tots. The wobblers & toddlers get the fully-orchestrated version from my fourth CD. We go jammin' on the island with our shakers, mon.

I think shakers with babies, or even wobblers & certainly toddlers is the absolutely ultimate in science experiments. It's the definition of a "cause & effect" experience. Hmmmmm. "Nothin' happens till I start shakin' this thing." The feedback is immediate. The feedback is personal. "When I stop movin' this thing, I no longer hear it, I no longer feel the music. Wow. I can make an impact." Start and stop. Begin and end. Up and down. Back and forth. Don't get me started on the impact of my role as conductor and their following of my directions. That's a whole new post. We'll save that for the month of May.

So who has more fun? Me or the kiddies? Does it matter?
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Earthday Birthday: 2by2!




We drove directly home from Chicago-land in order to make it to the twinsie's official "Earthday Birthday"celebration. I guess that it's genuinely time that I discontinue referring to them as 'da-babeez.' Maybe they can be da-twinzees hence-forth? Anywho. As they say. A picture is worth a thousand words. Then several pictures are worth an epistle, I suppose. Brother & sister. Baby A & Baby B. Yet a Galaxy apart in some ways. Mr. T literally dives in with both hands. In this case, it was chocolate ice cream.... eaten and shared by hand. Proud parents planned ahead and had 'em stripped down to their onesies in honor of the occasion. MissyM is much more of an observer, taking it all in. Tip toe-ing cautiously into the fun. I've always described him as a college student on a continual spring break. I suppose that makes her the professor? It's amazing to see what happens in two years time. They have mini-sentences already. They love to dance. Bring on the TERRIFIC TWOS!!!

Princess



One toddler-tutu.

One princess-mama.

One bloomin' flower.

One pretty smile.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Freezing Frozen Finale



There's something about people that sit in the front row. I just LOVE front-row personalities. They're out-going. They're extroverts. They're helpful. They're supportive. They're encouraging. They help me make the bridge to those who are in the back. It's been fourteen years of audiences in workshops. This afternoon I have a special "shout out" to any participant who has ever selected the front row. Thank you for living up there on the edge with me. Thank you supporters. Thanks for making the investment in my materials. Thanks for taking my projects into your world. Thanks Schaumburg Library. Thanks Children's Aid Society. We are better today due to your support.
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Road Bloggin'




Right this minute, I am fascinated by technology. Even more, I am fascinated by what I have learned on the technology-to-my-real-life continum. At this minute we are in the car, driving thru downtown Indianapolis on their interstate. More accurately, Allen is driving my car and I am sitting in the passenger seat. I have my laptop in my lap, hooked up to the web, thru a series of gizzmos & gadgets that all are ultimately connected to his phone. Voila. Road bloggin'. So I can sit here whizzing by the Keystone exit and simultaneously be reflecting back to last evening and the smiles and personalities that inspired me.

I kept them moving. Plenty of up & down. Lots of energy. Laughter. How I wish I could bottle the laughter and energy. There is a market for laughter & energy. People ask me where I get all of my energy. This world of ours is in need of laughter, that's for certain. Good to capture some of that laughter. ***Thanks Allen for doing all the driving, schlepping and hauling -- so that I can share my brand of happy.

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Fun Among Friends




It's been a long day for everyone. Everyone's taught a full day with children. Then everyone travels to the library. To make the most fun out of such an evening, attend with several of your friends. Laughter among friends. Silliness. Acting like children. The best way to conclude a big day is learning with friends.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

It's TEACHER TIME!!!




After our glorious morning of fun with the children & their families, we all returned to Nancy's Fancy Bed & Breakfast so that I could take an afternoon siesta to rejuvinate for the evening fun. The Schaumburg Library co-sponsors an evening of continuing ed for teachers with The Children's Aid Society a couple of times a year. The maintenance people got the room all reorganized. The tech people got the awesome projector hooked up to my laptop. The AV people had the state-of-the-art microphones operational. Nancy had all the paperwork organized. Allen had all of the handouts readied and all of my CDs, books & DVDs in order. Ring the bell and bring on the participants!!

"It's time to celebrate! We are great!!" Hand-jive pattern making for "Glad I'm at School Today." Then before you know it, it's time for me to don my thrift-shop-lion's-mane-tutu and tell a story or two. Wow. It feels so good to climb back into the saddle again. It's now been just over three months since my surgery. There's a light at the end of the tunnel. Keep moving toward the light. One step at a time. One workshop at a time.

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