Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cozy Cousin Cuddle

After all the running, exploration, chasing each other, and enforced-sharing of playthings, can you believe we caught an image of these two hunkered down and exchanging highlights from the day? A picture saves a thousand words, at least. The day evaporated all too quickly and we were all too soon exchanging farewell hugs to last longer than we wish.

Pilot and Future Pilots

The next generation of pilots out for an exciting adventure, posing in the engine pod of Scott's cargo plane..... out at Rickenbacker Air Force Base, Scott's home-away-from-home. Grand-dad seems to be having a great time as well. I stayed behind with the bambinos, but understand that one of the favorite parts of the afternoon was running laps in the cargo portion of the plane.

Finn, Happy Camper Fun

Here's just one of the many images in my mind of happy-camper-Finn. We can all use some of his easy going, full of smiles, laid back, eager, delightful attitude. Quick to adventure forth, easy to change directions, pleasant under all circumstances: this Finn's a winner!!

Double Trouble, Indeed

Here's the wind-up for the big rice cereal noon-time, extravaganza. No pies for these guys. Double Trouble indeed! Kudos to the inventor of the Bumbe-seat, which is Trevor's happy throne, more often than not.

The Three BIG Boys!!

If I hang on to them with both hands, you can get a glimpse of our three 'big boys' wildly exploring all of the fun. Ewan is FIVE years old and had a great day building and rebuilding the marble run and racing his favorite green marble from top-to-bottom. Then there's Keegan mid-squeal and a very engrossed Finn happy to be on a big adventure!! Wait till you see where the big boys went on their afternoon field trip...........

Blooming "Christmas" Cactus

So just in time for Thanksgiving and turkey and pies, look who's sitting up -- all on their own!! What a fun day was had by all. (These guys got to have warm rice cereal..... from an old secret family recipe.) At this point in time, little-Missy is able to motor on her own, at will across the floor, by doing a series of inch-wormesque-downward-facing-dog maneuvers. Big, bulkie, boy is sitting up with a little bit more stability all the time. Gobble, gobble. And if you look carefully you'll see that my birthday cactus of a couple years back is blooming(!!) just a little prior to Christmas. Is there such a thing as a "Thanksgiving Cactus?" And if you look REALLY closely you'll see that 90% of the blooms are white with a few peachie exceptions. There's gotta be some cross-pollination horticultural explanation for that, right?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fall Fun: Bitty Buds

It may have been cold outside, but inside we were laughing, singing and have the best of times together. Here's a glimpse as I move from room to room, from one end of the hall to the other. Can't wait to see what sort of fun we have next month. I know I'm looking forward to it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The "Mentor" Family

We took a road-trip up to our northern-family to share goodies, unbirthday wishes, omelets, salsa, a Cleveland Browns debacle..... yes I think that's how you spell crushing embarrassment. I'll double check thru spell check to be certain, but I'm quite sure that I can spell: "sorry mess." Well at least our Buckeyes were triumphant over our arch-nemisis. Nicole gave me a tutorial on Facebook. I can really be savvy, now.

If you look carefully behind niece Lisa's plaid you'll correctly surmise that she is due with their fourth blessing, any day now. We got entered into the family pool and have made our guesses on sex, date, time and weight. Now we hover near the phone awaiting the news. Any day now.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mid-Michigan Family Fun

OOOOOOPS. In all of my preparing for my Chicago adventure last weekend, I completely forgot to share my adventure into the heartlands of MI from last week. My brain was joggled, what with all of the local discussion of the OSU vs. MI annual football-extravaganza this weekend. So even tho it's entry is chronologically out of order, I wanted you to see a peek over my shoulder: to share the fun of my under-3 year old fan club, their parents and a smidgen of the happiness we created together. [If there's a blogger-pro out there, that can teach me how to rearrange posts, I'd sure appreciate that tutorial.]

"Ride My Bike"

It's time to pass out the "good sport" award to SDE Kindergarten participants. Pictured here are the three finalists for the award. They are all deeply engaged in my new song, "Ride My Bike" and are in full biking mode -- on their backs!! (How wild is that carpet?) They've even strapped on their helmets, but you have to use your imagination for that part. We were all in complete agreement that this is a great song approach to work on building some 'core strength' and we only did the first half of the song, just imagine..... whew.

Chicago SDE: K & PreK

Two full and complete days of fun!! We started off with the very mature Kindergarten teachers and I got to deliver their keynote in the ballroom (very first pictures) and from there I had four workshops thru the day. Then on Wed. the preschool contingant arrived in full force. We had to squeeze in more chairs for sure..... it was a standing room only sort of day. A big hug to Pat for all of the photos capturing happy participants in the act of learning, signing, singing, dancing -- you name it. What a joy to have 'people' to help share this experience with you.

Chicago Art Institute Trip

Inspired by my field trip in Dallas to their aquarium, I got even further motivated to plan for a field trip in Chicago. I invited my dear friend Pat to join me.... (she gets all of the credit for selecting the Institute as our destination of choice.) What a brilliant idea! So I arranged for my flight to be as early as possible on my travel day. In all of the excitement of our rendez-vous @ Midway airport, I somehow forgot to get my camera for the excursion. Fortunately I can share from their website collection. It was a perfect outing. We closed the place down. The picture above is of Pat and I just before saying good-by to one another at the end of our 3 day, girls-in-the-big-windy-city-adventure. Look very closely at her name tag. It reads: "My People." This is my first SDE excursion to have my own people! Pat helped lug, schlep, unpack, hang, plug things in, repack, schlep some more, took pictures, held my hand, kept me focused -- well maybe you get the idea: priceless.

Now for all of you Art History buffs in the audience..... Pat's family was involved in the recreation of Seurat's painting on their own Beloit, WI shoreline. Pat and daughter Molly are seated on the ground -- right in the middle of the reinactment. Son Luke is in the sailboat and husband Greg with family dog Willow is in the back right corner. This is all in celebration of Seurat's premiere painting entitled: "Sunday on La Grande Jatte" which has long had it's home in Chicago.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family Reading Togetherness

Look at all the fun that a brand new book can bring to wee readers! Start them young. Start them early. Surround them with good literature. Start a collection of good books. Encourage reading at every opportunnity. I just love the excitement that these pictures have captured. What a treasure of memories. Reading's the best fun you can have together in a crib on a cloudy afternoon.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Canadian Kinder-Quilters

Sometimes life is just so incredibly kind -- that it takes your breath away. Last week in Dallas, I was sitting eating lunch with Enrique after our four-hour long presentation for NAEYC. We were happily comparing notes on our participants responses, when I feel a tap on my shoulder and then a subsequent hug-fest ensued.
It turns out that my hugger is Canadian kindergarten teacher, Trish. She went on to thank the two of us for our presentation at last year's NAEYC in Chicago. From there she continues: to tell how she was so inspired by the quilts from my first picture book, "You're Wonderful" -- the quilted fabric illustrations that I created for my book version of my song by that title.... that...... are you ready for this? Drum-roll please.....................
Here's the most amazing part.... the response from her kindergarten children! She directed each of her 35 students to sew together their own artwork, creating their own individual quilts in the process!! This task required over five months of work and included each child learning how and then each child using an actual sewing machine!!!!
I was overwhelmed at the mere thought. Here are a couple of the pictures awaiting me in my in-box. How amazing to think that I was the inspiration for this momumentally creative project. If there is an award for hard work in kindergarten, I would like to nominate Mrs. Draper for this year's prize!!!!
Let me give you a little peak inside the book -- to see my original quilt/fabric illustrations, that served as Mrs. Draper's inspiration.

"You're Wonderful" by Debbie Clement, fabric: quilted interior illustrations!

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Youngest of my Pips

Look at my happy morning. It always starts with the very youngest. I call them my "Pips." I go into their classroom and we have a guitar-based "sing-a-long." (Of course not one child has said their first word on Planet Earth yet.) With today being my third visit of the new school year, they're getting braver. We had a volunteer that was willing to play/strum my guitar! Then I move across the hall into the large muscle room and the toddlers come to me. Before every new surprise that I pull out of the surprise box, I have the children cover their eyes to heighten the suspense. The last picture is of the oldest of the toddlers participating in their favorite verse of the 'Hokey Pokey'..... can you guess? You put your tongue in, you put your tongue out. Oh what fun we have together. Am I fortunate or what?

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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