Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Waukegon Wakes up Well!!




Launching a new school year is an awesome responsibility. Yesterday I had that assignment for the Waukegon area Head Start. I got to launch their week of professional development and had the whole first day of fun to talk about all of my favorite issues: crossing the midline, combining music & movement, choosing books to support my songs and introducing my brand new, not-quite-yet picture book.

Here we are getting the day underway with sign language. The reason that I fell in love with this staff? They are huggers!! I was already there in the conference room as the teachers were returning, seeing each other for the first time after their summer vacation. It was one explosion of hugging after another. It was so much fun to see reunion after reunion after reunion. LOTS of hugging!!
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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Odometer Milestone






I'm of an era where we watched the odometer on cross country trips. We've just hit a real milestone with the big green machine: 9,999.9 miles..... in a mere 12 years of riding together. Actually, the bike is mine. Officially that's true. I bought it for him for his 'big' birthday and the title is in my name. LOL. The granny-biker. Anyhow, while this amazing weather holds we've been making treks here & there. We watched very carefully & pulled over on our favorite Route Q to document the excitement. Another two-tenths of a mile and the backdrop would have been my favorite grove of birch trees, mixed with some tall strands of pine.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

'Restorative' Yoga






Today's Friday. You know what that means!! Back to the yoga mat. I forgot to label the pictures before posting them, but I think you can follow the photos to get the idea. The first thing is to have a yoga strap with a buckle. Two 'yoga-blankets' make for a gorgously supported pose. It is officially known as: Reclining Bound Angle Pose, or for the absolutely accurate: Supta Baddha Konasana. This is SERIOUSLY restorative...... as in truly & fully & completely restorative, to the very bottom of the soles of my happy feet, I feel restored after even just a few minutes. Remember: deep breathing, matching the inhale to the exhale. Go ahead, restore yourself!!

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kweezletown to the Rescue

Today was a perfect day for bike riding. I was out enjoying the gorgous weather and riding up behind the fire station around the park. All of a sudden there was a bicycle crash behind the hockey rink. (Yes the same hockey rink featured in the closing scene of "Feed the Fish" that we saw a week or two back at the cinema.) I looked up to see three sweet girls, with one in tears.

Once we determined that there was no permanent damage, I decided to introduce myself and offer some happy 'distraction.' Dad took injured Lauren on home to grandpa's and I led Anna, cousin Mikala and mom all still on our bikes, over to our place. I told them I was kinda-sorta famous and I would be happy to donate my DVD to Lauren's recooperation. Well one thing led to the next and then I'd promised to put our picture up here on my blog...... but then we decided we needed our five year old star in the picture too. So they led the way biking over to grandpa's. Here we are all smiling. The newest branch of my fanclub, the start of my WI fans.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Going, Going, Gone








It's at times like this, that I long to be a poet. A word-smith. More than a dinky tinker-of-the-tongue. Breath taking. Awe inspiring. Affirming. Proof positive of a Creator of epic capability. I pinch myself. I squint my eyes. I breathe in deeply and hold my breath. I turn around three times. I stand on one foot. I giggle internally........ All while taking in this amazing view in an effort to soak it in into my very bones.
Will I remember the majesty in the morning? Will I recall the exact glint of the splashing waves as the sail boat passes? Will the colors of the after glow be on the tip of my fingers? The combination of the clouds with the colors..... It's new every night. This show was worth the price of admission. What? They didn't sell tickets? This was all for a walk to the water.


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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ride 'Em Cowboy!!!


Look who's growing up!! They're ready to hit the trails with the rest of the trail crew!
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Sign Language Chart





Another big check off of the "to-do" list. Here are the drawings for the sign language chart to support the text of the song & my upcoming book, "Red, White and Blue." We got it scanned at the end of the week. The pieces of the puzzle are coming together. Piece by piece. I have one endorsement for the back cover and am tracking down two more. I have just written & rewritten my acknowledgements page. Check. Piece by piece. I am hoping to have all of the pieces at my fingertips by this weekend.
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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Summer Sighs




I'm feeling the need for some color today. I'm feeling the need to soak up the splendor of the season. The gifts are proof all around of our being cared for by a brilliantly creative Creator. I just need to remember to look for the evidence at my fingertips. This is one of those days to reflect and recall the joy that eminates from a single bud.
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Proud Mama, Four Words





This is a story about the power that we all have. The power that we have inside. The power of following our bliss. The power we have to support one another. You have to go back just a mere ten weeks ago. I could mark the exact date & time, if I had a calendar in front of me. It was the Saturday of GCAC's annual mega-whopping arts festival. Down in the museum district. Overcast skies. The three of us set out on an adventure, leaving Scott behind to tend the tribe and Allen always game to chauffeur..... Sarah & I were out for some fresh air with inspiration.

We were going booth to booth when we became particularly enamoured with one artist's bright, cheery paintings. The coloration captured my attention, the subject hers. They were all fuschia, Granny Smith apple green and kerpow cherry colored dogs & cats. Some with polka dots, others with stripes, all my favorite graphic details, as I recall. Anyhow, I turned to my daughter and said four words. Four words with sincerity. I quite genuinely said, "You could do that."

She stood there stammering her disbelief over my assessment. We went on about our morning of exploring, but kept coming back to those four simple words. She kept denying the possibility. I continued to reiterate that I knew she was capable. Well that weekend continued to unfold & I told her I was willing to put my money where my mouth was..... and the two of us went off on a field trip to JoAnn Fabrics. I bought her paints, brushes and some canvas -- a belated Mother's Day present and a launch.

Anyhow, that's the back-story & I'm claiming all sorts of credit for her renaissance. In the ten weeks since this interaction, she has gone on to paint dozens of paintings. The more amazing thing is that she has followed the family entrepreneuralism and she's sold lots & lots of her creations. Already! She's taking commissions for her friends nurseries and living rooms.

If you have need of a gift, you'd better ask her sooner rather than later...... she's still VERY affordable currently, but at some point she'll have to start raising those prices. This is the perfect connection of her creativity to her need & desire to contribute to her family's finances as a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom.) Their first born, my WonderBoy, is likely to benefit from a variety of support & therapy opportunities. Sarah's painting commissions have already enabled them in getting WonderBoy into some ongoing equine therapy. [Now granted I think being near the horses is just as much a benefit to Sarah, as to her son, but she swears it's primarily for his development.]

What a joy that four simple words have launched an entire emerging artist. Knowing my JoyJoy, she'll have whole whirlwinds sprout from her efforts before I get my next project launched. She has very few available minutes at her disposal so she's got to leap into these paintings. And what leaps she has taken.

Who could you give your four words of support? Who would benefit from knowing that you believe in them? What if we all supported one another's capabilities? Unconditionally? What if we put our money where our mouths are? How can we delve deep inside and pull out what is uniquely our very own? How do we assure that all of our children have the opportunity to develop their own talents and potential to it's very zenith? What are we waiting for? It does indeed take a planet.... and sometimes it just takes four words and a fieldtrip.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So Long Humidity

What a glorious sundown. There was genuine & sincere applause. Nice color. Great cloud formations. Sweet memories. The season is waning. The sun is now going down at least 45 minutes earlier than when we arrived mid-June. Allen's t-times are also getting later. The days are shrinking. Eeeeeeee-gads.
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Monday, August 16, 2010

FINISHED!!!



Here it is!! The last two-page spread to cross the finish line, to get completed. This will be the companion piece for the city-scape illustration. How many years have I been working on this project?? I'll have to see if I can figure out the answer to that question. I know that I will be asked by students and teachers as I make my various 'author' visits to schools. Curiosity got the best of me...... I just went and checked the year that my first book rolled off the presses. The publishing page reminds me that it was 2004. I'm not sure that I knew that. It made it's premier at Concordia's conference -- which was just last week. So, it's now six years and one week old. I think it's realistic to guess that I've been at work on this for at least five years now. Seriously. Wow.

I've started to work on the chart for the sign language with the goal of having it finished by the end of the week. The other details are the acknowledgements page, the publishing page, and to get the three endorsements for the back cover. Creeping, creeping. Closer, closer!
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