Friday, December 19, 2014

Poetry Friday



Welcome to Poetry Friday, a weekly celebration for poets and poetry lovers.  Be sure to get your taste of poetry love today at Buffy's blog.  Thank you, Buffy, for hosting our gathering during this very busy time of year. 

One of my favorite Christmas books is a small anthology of poems, Christmas Blessings, collected by June Cotner.  I'm at the airport waiting to join my kids for a few days of their Utah Christmas with Stefi's family.  I wanted to share this poem today before I hop on my flight.  A last minute gate change   sent me by Beecher's, and I had to stop for mac and cheese.


For Christmas

May you have joy
in the mad rush
of preparation:
may you know peace
in the tiny margins
of time around
the busy days;
may you have star-shine
in clear night skies
for looking at:
may you have silence
now and then;
and above all-
beyond all else-
may you have love
to give
and to receive.

- Elizabeth Searle Lamb

Dear blogging friends, I wish you joy, peace, star-shine, silence, and love "...in the tiny margins of time around the busy days..."  Enjoy your well-deserved break!  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Story Time!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by
Take one large collection of Christmas books
Mix in two young mothers

Sprinkle in four attentive young ladies

Blend in several Christmas books

Shake in two active siblings
Add a picture to color
Find the cookie jar

Choose a placemat, mug, and plate

 Add one cup of hot chocolate adorned with peppermint or plain marshmallows
Serve with monster cookies

Embellish with more stories for a 
perfect December afternoon!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Celebrate this week!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
                                    A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

1.  Hot Fudge - Thursday night was our annual night of revelry.  We were worried about the high winds that were predicted to arrive during our party.  We were lucky that they held off for a few hours.  As I finished up the fudge, I asked who wanted hot fudge.  I poured it into small Tupperware cups and returned to the task at hand.  I listened to murmurs of approval around the room as each enjoyed a bit of hot fudge.  Never tried it?  It's an essential part of the fudge making process at our house!  

2.  Progress on the Kitchen Project - We have a start date, the first week of February.  We made a decision on the countertops.  Now it's on to backsplash options.  Lots of gratitude for my husband who nudges me along this path (decision-making is never easy for me).  

2.  Christmas Countdown - I'm continuing to enjoy the daily devotionals that focus on the Savior shared by my daughter through the miracle of technology.  I like knowing that mother, daughter, and daughter-in-law are savoring these words together each day.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Poetry Friday

,
Welcome to Poetry Friday, a weekly celebration for poets and poetry lovers.  Be sure to get your taste of poetry love today at These Four Corners, Paul Hankins' blog.  Thank you, Paul, for hosting this Friday's gathering.


Inspired by Amy's nativity poem and Mary Lee's haikus, 
I pen a haiku and share a picture of our  family nativity puzzle. 
Stationary watch
kept over this gift of light
hope for a dark world!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Come Stroll with Me!

Today I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice" 
to the Tuesday Slice of Life sponsored by
One of the perks of retirement is more time to do what I want to do.  Yesterday, I had the opportunity to serve as a host at our Festival of the Nativities, a combined effort by many congregations in our area.  While I have attended the festival in the past, I've never felt that I could spare the time to host. It was a delight to spend my first shift in the main hall and then spend my last two hours in the Children's Nativity Room before staying to enjoy a performance by the Total Experience Gospel Choir.  This event is free and open to the public.  As a host, I learned a few important details . . .
# of nativities displayed - 544
# of Christmas trees - more than 100
# of poinsettias - 350 (give or take a few)  
and the location of some important items on the scavenger hunt created for families with children.
I spent a large portion of my time in the main hall looking for zebras in nativities.  There were supposed to be four, but I found five.  Once I started looking for zebras, I was delighted to find many other unusual animals in scenes from a variety of countries.  Because I selected an afternoon and an early evening shift where they had the greatest need for hosts (but also the lightest traffic), I took advantage of the time to snap photos of some favorite scenes to share on Facebook, Twitter, and with my fellow slicers.
A moose and a polar bear
An elephant
Bolivian nativity with a llama
Carved from one piece of wood
My favorite - Raku pottery from South Africa
with a giraffe, alligator, monkey, hippo, & others
Created out of horsehair, from Chile
One of the five zebras in the main hall
Cowpokes in the children's room!
A tiny scene on a tree stump
Alaska
Animals at the manger - for Lee Bennett Hopkins, Helen Cann,
and all the poets who contributed to Manger.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Celebrate this Week!

Join us each weekend for Celebrate this week with Ruth Ayres.  
 When we pause to celebrate, we find the joy.
Discover. Play. Build.
                                      A week filled with moments to celebrate and remember!

1.  My top book picks for the 2014 Christmas card -
Firefly July, Dash, and Absolutely Almost.  I couldn't come up with an adult title, but we received a card from a friend who recommended The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry.  It was an adult read I enjoyed, but had forgotten (resolution for 2015 - keep better track of the books I read).  I also liked A Tale for the Time Being.  I do occasionally read adult books, but my heart is firmly planted in middle grade fiction.  I wanted to include Fish in a Tree, but since it won't be published until 2015, I'll have to save it for next year's list.  

2.  A read aloud of Manger -
We were on our way to the outlet mall, and Jan was driving.  I tucked Manger into my bag so I could share it with her.  Nothing beats a captive audience.  Check out Irene Latham's Poetry Friday post with her original poem inspired by the book.

3.  This announcement -
Calling all book lovers!  Join former IMS teacher, Mrs. Behnke, for a new after school club beginning next week on Tuesday, Dec. 9.  Participants will read books that are possibilities for the 2015 Newbery award.  Join us during December and January to discuss books, enjoy cookie bars, and share book love.  Location to be announced.  

  • 4.  Seeing my students in Ms. Mann's 7th grade classroom -  
    I stopped by to give her a copy of The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School.  I was surprised by the number of my former students in her class (I counted 13)!  I whispered, "Does she give you time to read at the beginning of class?"  I was thrilled beyond words with my former student's affirmative reply, "Yes!" Thank you, Ms. Mann, for continuing to nurture the reading lives of my students.  You see, once you've been a student in my classroom, I will always claim you!  

    5.  Mr. B  connected the white lights -
    After several days of asking when I would turn on the deck lights, he took care of it himself! 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Raindrops on Branches!

Welcome to Poetry Friday, a weekly celebration for poets and poetry lovers.  Be sure to get your taste of poetry love today at Anatasia Suen's Booktalking#kidlit.  Thanks, Anatasia, for hosting this week.

Once the leaves finish falling, I watch the drops of rain glisten on the bare branches outside my kitchen window.  This week I use the arun to celebrate the raindrops that arrive after fall's splendor.

Words
cannot
capture the
dazzling glory,
cascading splendor
So
I pause
to cherish
each moment of
exploding color
Soon
branches
stripped of color
shine with winter’s
glistening diamonds.

An Arun: a fifteen-line poem in three sets of five lines. Each set of five lines follows the same syllable structure: starting with one syllable and increasing by one (1/2/3/4/5 — 3x). 
Explore this form with GirlGriot who introduced it to me.