Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Let the Fun Continue

Shaker eggs followed by a rousing puppet show sing-a-long of "Baby Birdie." Puppet shows always bring out the best in us. Don't I have the best view in the house? I get to watch these beautiful children. I get to marvel at their capability and their camraderie, their laughter and their spunk. What a blessing. I'm such a fortunate person. Their enthusiasm, energy and delight are a joy. Especially today. Especially on this day. I just want to sit here and clap and clap and clap for their generous gift to me. They are rock stars in my eyes. They give me a glimpse of tomorrow and that always brings a smile. Posted by Picasa

"Balance" & Growing Up

What started out as one child's idea of how to conclude my "Shaker" song has now morphed into a tradition that stands the test of time. Quite a while back someone had the idea to balance their shaker upon their shoe as the song wound down and concluded thru it's 'out-ro.' I can remember it like it was yesterday, though years have unfolded in the interim. At the time that it happened I say there and said, "Wow! What a great idea!" Now, balancing your shakers upon your shoes is the gold standard for growing up. It's proof positive that what was once an impossibility is now attainable. You should see their eyes light up, when after attempting for numerous, numerous trials, it finally happens and VOILA there it is: balance!!!

[And how about those red sparklie shoes and heart socks? Or are you partial to camaflage fatigues? It works just as well for the boys as for the girls.]

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Shake Those Shakers!!!

A quick zip around a few blocks, turn a couple corners and over to building number two for the second half of the morning. Click my heels & I've landed among the veritable giants of preschoolers. Everyone's so excited!! They squeal and shower me with hugs. It's a show & tell of their new shoes and hair bows.... they ask in unison if I can tell how tall they've grown. It takes all of my expertise and experience to get us focused and singing together. The shakers are always a hit -- especially after a long summer apart. Shake those shakers!!
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Debbie & Her Pips!!

It was a veritable dance-party!! From the wee-tiny littles to the great-big toddlers...... we had a great time together and started our new year out in style. There was some serious singin' & dancin' & smilin' this morning. This is year #14 for me at Children's Hospital. How amazing is that? It's good to be back among friends. Let the fun begin!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

GeeGee for a Day

How fortunate am I to get to spend an entire day with my grand-kiddos?? I realized that it seemed like forever since I'd played "photographer" with them as subjects. They may have felt like the paparazzi had escaped the asylum, as I was following everyone & flashing in their faces over & over -- throughout the entire day. But now I can go about the week at hand, knowing that I've documented a "one-day-slice" of their lives & it's many moods. (It's much easier to pose daisies or my hat, than to capture these peeps-on-the-go..... but it's a glimmer of just how cute I think they are..... and how they are growing!)

Photographer's footnote: all three children fit nicely INSIDE of the family's over-sized, rectangular footstool. With the lid up it creates a lovely black backdrop & the majority of pictures were snapped against that setting. McKenna is not overly fond of the 'pirate ship' that her brothers adore, so many of her individual shots were snapped over lunchtime instead.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Army of Women

Didn't know where I'd go with today's post. Certainly the countdown to Noelle & Zac's wedding would make for a fitting entry..... one week from this minute we will be in the car and headed east to Annapolis & the mere thought of the festivities that await is sufficient to bring a big smile.

BUT..... opening my email moments ago I received a notice from Dr. Love & her Campaign to enlist one million women in research about breast cancer. There is an amazing cinematic competition for the 'best' PSA (public service announcement) being hosted over at Glamour magazine. All four of the one minute finalists are there for your viewing and voting. Click on add your vote. (Sorry I don't know how to 'hide' all the gobble-di-gook of the address. If someone can teach me how, please post a comment, or email me.)

I think their server's not quite strong enough for the interest. Be patient. They're not quite tracking perfectly. Please take four minutes of your world and go and see and vote.

My recommendation is to have some tissues handy if this is a personal campaign for you. Sharing this info seems fitting for this day. As soon as I hit the publish-post button I need to head out to my oncologist appointment. Oh yeah. This is personal for me. This is my regularly scheduled 6 month appointment and I have no new concerns, but driving into that parking lot reminds me of my mortality all over again. We have just lost our Mena to this disease and we are in a vigil for dear young Heidi-Ho whose family stands together round her and waits. Heidi was initially diagnosed at Stage Four just over six months ago and will be leaving her young children so very prematurely. Our current technology failed her utterly, despite her youth & fitness & all the intervention following her diagnosis we have been helpless in her journey. The speed of Heidi's descent has us all reeling. "There but for the grace of God go I." Literally.

I know too many stories. There is too much sorrow. Please vote for your PSA and then consider joining the army of women who are depending on your involvement to move beyond a cure.

Edited to add a picture. This is the t-shirt that I'm wearing today. The caption below says: "Many Strong and Beautiful Women." We play a little game about these necessary appointments, we tease that we'll climb in each other's purses etc to keep each other company, today I have my own army with me -- on my back. Again, literally. [The artwork on the shirt was created by one of my faves: the artist known as Kiki.]

Edited a second time, at the end of the day. My onc appointment was uneventful: whoohoooo! My bloodwork has all come back normal & now I go another 6 months before I see him again.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NAEYC -- DC Here We Come!!

We just received the word from NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) that we have our assignment for this year's up and coming national convention presentation in Washington DC. After five years in a row of co-presentations at the national level for Enrique and I together -- we are ready to make a truly and amazing leap. This year the Enrique & Debbie show is expanding....... there will be a trio of epic proportions: It's gonna be the Enrique, Debbie AND MIMI CHENFELD show!!! Make your reservations now. We are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon from noon till 4:00 on Nov. 18th. We only have four hours for the total presentation.... with all three of us being used to making all-day presentations individually -- I know the time is just going to absolutely fly by.

The top picture is Enrique & I in the Zaner-Bloser booth, (right beside parent company Highlights for Children) after our presentation last year in Dallas. The second picture is the great Mimi and I pretending to be a pair of bookends last spring @ OAEYC in Columbus. I sooooo want to get a picture of all three of us in the same frame. My goal. Mark your calenders. We'll find out the room & location as the day gets closer. It's going to be seriously awesome.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Endearing Enthusiastic Email

Oh. Wow. I've shared some of my emails with you in the past, here's one that really lit up my eyes and my heart. It's so awesome to receive this sort of feedback.

Hi Debbie! You probably do not remember me, but I tried to get you to make a personal appearance at Discovery Elementary in Palm Bay, FL a couple of years ago. Are you still doing school programs? If so, when would you be available?

My kindergarten team absolutely loves your music!!! We have used "You're Wonderful" for our end of the graduation ceremony for the past two years! We play your CD's daily. We purchased one of your DVD's at a conference a couple of years ago.

Your talent has not only enhanced lessons for teachers, but have thrilled students on a daily basis. We appreciate you!

Mary Jo

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Pot of Gold...... the end of the rainbow! There are so many things to be excited about with getting the new school year underway in earnest. Of course I'm excited to see the children -- and the teachers. Of course I love the singing & the dancing. Of course it's fun to see how my pips have grown over the summer. Right near the top of my list of "favorites" is the opportunity to see the children's artwork. A couple of weeks into the new year, the bulletin boards are already singing with color. I just couldn't walk past these two dazzling rainbows. Memorable. Well done, junior masters. Renoir, Degas, or maybe Georgia O'Keefe in the making?

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Air Guitar -- Rock Star

We're getting all warmed up on our "air guitars" so that we'll be ready for a great, big, follow-the-leader stomp in our "Dinosaur Romp." These are the big kiddos of the morning and we can have oodles of fun together, because they are such great listeners. We've been singing together for YEARS now, since they were the tiny tots. They have so many favorite songs of mine that we always run out of time before they run out of suggestions. Stay tuned for more fun ahead.
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Faces, Amazing Faces

It's a true joy to climb back in the saddle again. Today I was nearly overcome with the purity and the innocence of the individual faces. While I love the dynamic of the whole classroom full of children, this morning I was really attempting to see the unique features within the crowd scenes. It's a bit tricky to be leading the group & simultaneously be clicking away on the camera. Either I'm getting better -- or they're getting used to me being slightly distracted. Sweet peeps. Sweet peeps.
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First Day of Fall: Visit

Today's the first day of the new season, the new year, the new series of classroom visits!! It's great to be back with my wittle friends. Those familiar with me from seasons past were just THRILLED to get underway, all over again. Like we hadn't even dropped a beat. We use a lot of muscle power when we're singing -- so we have to get those pumped up -- every visit!!
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Our First Blog-Winner

It's a brand new day. If you look out my window you'd be tempted to play the Carpenter's classic, "Rainy Days & Mondays" but today I'm in charge of my own barometer. I eagerly jumped from bed to get started on this day and it's unique opportunities. It's really amazing to me that due to Facebook, I suddenly have blog-followers..... Good morning, friends!! Pictured above is the first recipient of my blog-follower contest. Meet seven year old Emily, beloved grand-daughter of Sherry. (I've snatched up these two photos from Sherry's FB page to share with you.) This family is 'following' my little diary -- all the way from Oklahoma. Do you just love it?

How awesome to have a reading seven year old join my fanclub! I think you can see from Emily's smile in the first picture that she thinks it's pretty sweet to have a personalized book from an author/illustrator. It's a thrill to me that my work can travel across the country and land in the lap of a mature reader.

As of this minute we are up to a little FB follower-tribe of 86. Here's the most amazing part. There are now actually people 'following' our little steam engiene who I'm neither related to, nor have I met at conferences, nor are they BCO members. OMGoodness. Actual "followers" from the big cyber world!! My widget shows me that some of you have sent followers from your family & circle of friends. Oh happy day!! Oh happy day and an enormous thank you!!

In my thirteen years of music-lady travels, I've received such 'wonderful' support & feedback from those who meet me @ schools & libraries & conferences. People fall in love with my little ditties when they hear them, but for 13 years I'm scratched my brain about how to get my work 'out there' into the bigger world with my non-existant budget and even less existant skills for marketing. Word of mouth apparently only takes you so far. Wouldn't it be wild and crazy if FB's NetWorkedBlogs ap brought me a little further into the light of day??

This is year number fourteen of travels and it promises some brand new potential and that's exciting. The next drawing will be when we reach 113 followers. There's plenty of time to get your family & friends entered. I am now #18 of FB's top 50 blogs with the subject: children. I'm looking for the light of day. Your 'following' me could quite possibly boost me onto someone else's radar screen. Did I say thanks??
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Daisy Redux

Not worlds on worlds, in phalanx deep,
Need we to prove a God is here;
The daisy, fresh from nature's sleep,
Tells of His hand in lines as clear. - John Mason Good
found in the "Naturalist's Poetical Companion"
by Rev. Edward Wilson

The memories of summer receed with each passing day. I feel so fortunate to have been given the gift of time, place and subject matter to remind me of those bright, glorious blue sky days, just barely evaporated -- as the mornings now are getting cooler & cooler. It's been a while since I constructed a collage, thank you Picasa, and thank you Lisa for the prompt..... these bring me a great deal of contentment and dare I say serenity as well.
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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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