Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mosaic Monday: Winter Play

It was a snow day this past Friday. I think my students knew more than I did; several asked me on Thursday what time it was supposed to snow on Friday. Hmmmm. I couldn't answer that question, nor did I really, truly think we would have snow. But we did. And the official notice came in plenty of time for us to get ready to enjoy a four-day weekend.

We played in the snow on Friday and went for a walk, marveling out how so many snowflakes would join together in bunches as they fell from the sky. We would eye one cluster high above us, then stick out our tongues and try to catch them... giggling when they would land on our noses or splat in an eye instead.

I'm sure that if anyone peeked out of their windows as we walked by, they would have thought we looked a bit like Maggie chasing after snowflakes.

I'd like to order another snow day and four-day weekend.... Perhaps two weeks from now?

I'm taking part in Mary's Mosaic Monday at Little Red House. If you want a visual treat, click on over!

Friday, February 12, 2010

If you happen to see a heart floating around...

it's from us....
Happy Valentine's Day!


Hannah got this idea from the clever Color Me Katie site. If you haven't met Katie yet, you should go for a visit. But be prepared, you'll want to stay a while.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Getting it Right....

Have you ever thought, really thought, about how empty your life would be without certain people in it? How just knowing certain people helps you stay on an even keel during both smooth and tumultuous times? For me, that person is my sister, Traci. An idealist, a dreamer, a rock-solid realist all rolled into one.

With four years between us, she was often a little too old to play with her little sister, but I remember spending hours and hours in the floor with her, Barbies and Barbie clothes spread out before us....

I remember peering from the stairs to catch glimpses of "Dark Shadows," too afraid to sit out in the open without my sister close by....

I remember my sister slipping me money, so I could buy a slice of pizza at the skating rink.

When she went off to college, I remember writing her pages and pages of letters, many of which were recaps of the latest novel I was reading. But for me, it was a way of talking to her even when she wasn't there.

I remember how she never said one ill word toward me when I went to her house "to help her out" after her first child was born. Me. A skydiving, plane-flying, non-child-rearing person at the time. I got so lost on my way back from the grocery store, I ended up in the next town. She had to get out at night to help me find my way back to her home.

Not long ago, I posted a list of people and things for which I was grateful. Leave it to me to leave her off that list. My sister. My cheerleader. My confidante. My friend. I told her that she was in a realm of her own. That the gratitude list just didn't go high enough to include her. And she should know.

A couple of years ago when she was preparing to go on an Emmaus Walk, I wrote a letter to her that shared my feelings and made it clear how very special she is in my life. She never got the letter. It never arrived. And while I could never come up with the same words that I used that day, the feeling is the same. She is a precious person to me, and I can't imagine how empty my life would be without her.

I'm thankful to be a part of her world and that she is a part of mine... a big part that can't be filled by any other. You know the saying, "you're more than a sister, you're a friend?" It's absolutely true.

The photo is of Traci with her son as they welcome his baby sister into the world. Can't you just see the love?
I have another sister, Parris, who is also a dear and special part of my life. She'll take center stage soon in an upcoming post. xoxo

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nineteen Years.... Really?

I remember
the proposal at a University of Alabama football game
saying "yes," then immediately locking our keys in the car
I remember
finding the perfect dress, but then buying it a size too big in another town
the perfect shoes and veil all within my budget
I remember
walking down the aisle and saying "I do"
knowing it was the best thing that had happened in my life
I remember
Mom and Traci and Parris
Carson, Mikal, and Matt
I remember
how perfect the weather was that day... warm breezes and blue sky
and how perfect the weather was for our honeymoon
a ski trip where buckets of snow seemed to fall from the sky
But what I didn't realize then
was just how blessed my life truly would be
with a comfortable home
and a precious family of my own.
Happy Anniversary to us!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Today Could Have Been a Celebration....

We've been reading and studying poetry the last couple of weeks, a nice repreive from all of the essay-writing we tackled during the fall. It's such a nice change of pace as we peer into the words of poets past looking for examples of alliteration, personification, and imagery... the magic pixie dust of writing.

This week, as we read about Sidney Lanier, we realized that this is his birthday week, and that today, February 3, is his birthday. Oh how I wish I had thought ahead and bought a birthday cake in honor of this amazing poet. How fun it would have been to bring party hats to school and let my students partake in the festivities. But, I thought too late and wasn't too sure I would be willing to pay for a sheet-cake big enough for 93 hungry eighth-graders. And they wouldn't want me to bake one myself.

But it was a good idea. Maybe next year?

In the meantime, here's a favorite of mine...

The Song of the Chattahoochee
Out of the hills of Habersham,
Down the valleys of Hall,
I hurry amain to reach the plain,
Run the rapid and leap the fall,
Split at the rock and together again,
Accept my bed, or narrow or wide,
And flee from folly on every side
With a lover's pain to attain the plain
Far from the hills of Habersham,
Far from the valleys of Hall.

All down the hills of Habersham,
All through the valleys of Hall,
The rushes cried `Abide, abide,'
The willful waterweeds held me thrall,
The laving laurel turned my tide,
The ferns and the fondling grass said `Stay,'
The dewberry dipped for to work delay,
And the little reeds sighed `Abide, abide,
Here in the hills of Habersham,
Here in the valleys of Hall.'

High o'er the hills of Habersham,
Veiling the valleys of Hall,
The hickory told me manifold
Fair tales of shade, the poplar tall
Wrought me her shadowy self to hold,
The chestnut, the oak, the walnut, the pine,
Overleaning, with flickering meaning and sign,
Said, `Pass not, so cold, these manifold
Deep shades of the hills of Habersham,
These glades in the valleys of Hall.'

And oft in the hills of Habersham,
And oft in the valleys of Hall,
The white quartz shone, and the smooth brook-stone
Did bar me of passage with friendly brawl,
And many a luminous jewel lone --
Crystals clear or a-cloud with mist,
Ruby, garnet and amethyst --
Made lures with the lights of streaming stone
In the clefts of the hills of Habersham,
In the beds of the valleys of Hall.

But oh, not the hills of Habersham,
And oh, not the valleys of Hall
Avail: I am fain for to water the plain.
Downward the voices of Duty call --
Downward, to toil and be mixed with the main,
The dry fields burn, and the mills are to turn,
And a myriad flowers mortally yearn,
And the lordly main from beyond the plain
Calls o'er the hills of Habersham,
Calls through the valleys of Hall.

~ Sidney Lanier 1877

P.S. Happy Birthday!
Photo: Sierra Club