Friday, October 5, 2018

Poetry Friday: Poems in the pages of Hello!

Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
is hosting this week's round-up of poetic goodness. 
She shared "Ginkgo Bilboa"
by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, written for his friend Marianne.
I love the gingko leaves at the bottom of the poem.

Grandson Jack and I love watching for the arrival of his Highlights Hello magazine. This month's issue about shapes is perfect.
He's currently obsessed with circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles. I was thrilled to discover a poem by Heidi Bee Roemer "Let's Make a Snowman" (to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat").  I find myself checking the authors and illustrators in each issue as I look for names I recognize from the world of children's poetry.

Let's Make a Snowman
by Heidi Bee Roemer
Art by Julissa Mora
(To the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Roll, roll, roll the snow
Watch the snowballs grow.
Stack three high,
Add nose and eyes-
Your snowman says, "Hello."

(Jack thinks an emptied drawer in Grandma's kitchen makes a perfect reading stand.)

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Spiritual Journey First Thursday: Humor

Welcome to Spiritual Journey First Thursday,
a group of friends who blog monthly about our spiritual journeys. 
Jan, our October host who blogs at Bookseedstudio,
has asked us to write about humor this month.

Jan gave us plenty of advance notice about our topic for this month, humor.  I've enjoyed looking at Biblical injunctions to have a merry heart, mostly because I don't think of myself as a humorous person, but I do see myself as someone who has a merry heart. 

" merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance..." 
-Proverbs 15:13

"... he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast."
-Proverbs 15:15

"merry heart doeth good like a medicine..."
-Proverbs 17:22

And a few quotes from a book I just picked up today at the library, (Laugh Your Way to Grace: Reclaiming the Spiritual Power of Humor by Rev. Susan Sparks):

"Laughter is God's soothing touch on a fevered world."
-Kenneth Hildebrand

"Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon."
-Winnie The Pooh

"Laughter is carbonated holiness."
 -Anne Lamott

"Humor is not a trick, not jokes. Humor is a presence in the world, like grace, and shines on everyone."
-Garrison Keillor

What makes my heart merry?
The laughter of children, family stories, the changing of the seasons, libraries, comics, bookstores, cookies, dear friends, and hot chocolate to name a few. 

As he headed to bed my dad used to say, "Goodnight! See you in the funny papers, on the animal side." 

Like him, I love comics. Here are some favorites I've clipped in the past.

Humor is a valuable tool for dealing with life's challenges. When you face trials and frustrations and conflicts that are an inevitable part of life's journey, remember to pick up the comics section of the newspaper. It's a guaranteed way to a merry heart for me. And if you no longer subscribe to a newspaper, buy a 2019 calendar with a tear-off comic for every day of the year. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Slice of Life: My Not-So-Secret Addiction!

I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice"
to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to Stacey, Betsy, BethKathleen,
Deb, Melanie, Lanny, and Kelsey
 for hosting this meeting place each Tuesday
and nurturing our writing lives.

I try really hard.

I rarely buy them.

I know that I don't need them.

I don't have any room for them.

But my friends know my weakness for them.

They put me in charge of the children's book section.

And before I know it . . . I've fallen down the rabbit hole.

And filled my dining room table with treasures from our library book sale!
They are not all for me, I purchased two for a tutor looking for The Traveling Pants series.

I should probably mention that volunteers at the book sale get 50% off their purchases.

I purchased The Three Trees, a favorite Christmas picture book to give away.

I purchased five for the family who sits in the pew in front of us at church.

I purchased many marvelous picture books for grandsons Jack and Teddy.

I purchased I'm A Big Brother for Jack (who'll need it next spring)!

I purchased a stack for Melissa who teaches sixth graders.

And Brown Girl Dreaming is in that stack.

I purchased Leaf Hunt because it's fall.

I purchased a few just for me.

You can't beat the price.

$39 of pure delight!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Celebrate Two Months!

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.

It's been eight weeks since I wrote a Celebrate post. I've missed this weekly gathering of friends. So I'm back this week with a commitment to share a Celebrate post at least once a month.

August and September have brought more tomatoes, lovely sunshine, gorgeous flowers, exuberant fall color, and delightful family time in Oklahoma. I can't resist sharing a few pics of our celebrations in August and September. Who am I kidding? It's more than a few! Actually, since I've never been a scrapbooker, I've come to rely on my celebrate posts as my online digital scrapbook.

Pics from my son's family in Virginia
Teddy ready for church in front of his new house
 Checking out the puffins on his shirt
 Stefi and Blake at Hamilton in DC
 Teddy's mom does instagram movies,
and sometimes I just have to grab a screenshot!
 Teddy at the museum
 Teddy goes with Dad for a haircut
Teddy with Aunt Amy at a Nats game
to celebrate her birthday!

Lance w/ siblings in KS 
A celebration of cousin John's birthday 

 A few pics of Mr. Jack
Hanging out with his stuffed animals 
Kid's Quest Museum
Train table play at B&N when
it was too smoky to play outside
He looks so grown up in this pic!

Gathering at Safeco Field
We joined 49,089 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
at a devotional to hear talks from Pres. Henry B. Eyring, Sister Wendy Nelson, 
and life lessons from our prophet, Pres. Russell M. Nelson.

 Pics from our trip to Oklahoma
(We missed having Blake's family at our gathering
due to the death of Stefi's grandmother.
We were blessed to know her and see the 
influence she had on the the lives of so many.)

Kara with her favorite niece at Roseanna's
We were relieved when Allison's family survived the 
torrential rains and arrived on Friday evening.
Allison, a favorite babysitter and adopted big sis, 
lived across the street from us in Houston.
Cousins take a movie break so Sara can bring everyone
slices of a favorite family pastry - chocolate roll!
Jack and Sara read books from 
the bin provided by Aunt Kathy.
Rylee and Ruthie entertain Mr. Jack.
Jack may always remember
Aunt Kathy as the bubble lady!
... but the grownups among us 
love her homemade cookies
(and sausage gravy)!
Happy the rain stopped long enough 
for us to stroll through the cemetery 
before church Sunday morning
A pic with daughter Sara and best friend Jan.
James' family with Grandma Kathy and Aunt Kara
Love this pic Kara took of
me and my brother, Karl.
The back of our VRBO with a view of Lake Eufaula
The VRBO as we loaded the car
for an early morning departure.

 Fall color
(back home in the Northwest)!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Poetry Friday and Slice of Life: S'More Time

Amy at The Poem Farm is hosting this week's round-up of poetic goodness. Be sure to stop by to see her poem, "a quiet boat."I love how Amy says that repeated words layer like cozy sweaters. I'm letting the poem I wrotefor Slice of Life do double duty this week. 
I join my fellow bloggers in "serving up a slice"to the Tuesday Slice of Life (SOL) community.
Thanks to our friends at Two Writing Teachers for hosting this meeting place
each Tuesday and nurturing our writing lives.

S'more Time

My first camping trip in years
and I loved our nighttime s'mores 
 of crunchy graham crackers
with golden marshmallows toasted to perfection,
and melted chocolate oozing out the sides.
But as I reflect on that culinary delight,
I realize that I need . . .  
 s'more time to gaze at the crackling flames of our campfire,
s'more time to linger in the starry night,
s'more time to watch Sara's and Will's outdoor expertise, 
s'more time to sip hot chocolate around our morning fire,
s'more time to throw rocks into the ocean,
s'more time to dig in the sand,
s'more time to watch Jack and Grandpa take walks together,
s'more time to snuggle a sleepy boy as he sings with me,
s'more time to watch Jack's explorations,
s'more time to savor the magnificent outdoors together.

-Ramona Behnke

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Spiritual Journey First Thursday: My Path

Welcome to Spiritual Journey First Thursday,
a group of friends who blog monthly about our spiritual journeys. 
Donna who blogs at Mainely Write and our host for September,
has chose the theme My Path as our focus.

When Donna invited us to write about "my path," I ended up thinking about paths that have mattered in my life. In Proverbs 4:26 we read: "Ponder the path of thy feet and let all thy ways be established." I came up with five meaningful paths: my family path, my reading path,
my baking path, my friendship path, and my discipleship path. 

Anyone who reads this blog knows how important family is to me. I'm blessed to be close to my siblings - two sisters and a brother. Even though we lost our parents when they were quite young (both were in their 60s), we have managed to stay close even though we live thousands of miles away from each other. I'll always be glad for the love I share with my husband, for our two fantastic children,
their wonderful spouses, and our two delightful grandsons!

My reading path is one that I've nurtured my entire life. When I became a mother and heard women say they hadn't read a book since they'd had children, I vowed that I would not become one of those women. So I started a book club with friends from our church congregation and neighborhood. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest, it was less than a year before I started another book club. We are currently celebrating our 20th year together. And it's impossible to think of the years I spent as an educator without remembering the books I shared with students and the joy that filled our classroom
as we shared the words of favorite books.

I'm not sure why I decided that my baking path was significant, but it matters to me. I'm not a gourmet baker, but I love 
to share cookies, breads, and cakes from my kitchen 
with friends, neighbors, and loved ones. 

My friendship path is tied up with my reading path and my baking path since some of my best friends are those that I share books
(and baked goods) with frequently. 
"What are you reading?" is my favorite way to greet a friend. 
I hang onto my friends as long as I possibly can. 
I've adopted a quote from a book I once read: 
"If you're ever in my life, you're always in my life."

The path of a disciple of Christ is one that can be challenging and demanding, but so fulfilling. I've chosen to share a poem that I wrote forty years ago as a young missionary in Hong Kong.

I meditate
        Listening to the rhythmic ocean
        Watching the white-capped waves rushing to shore.

I remember
        An Oregon coast
        My first love
        Days forever gone.

I realize
        As the waves rush to meet the shore and subside
        So must the days of our lives
        The woman I am today carries only the
        memories of the girl of yesterday.

I wonder
        Heavenly Father in His wise purposes knows me.
        What small lessons am I being taught each day?

I awaken
        A figure clothed in white brings me to here and now
        A group of the Lord's servants meet for a rebirth
        That birth most important, of water and of the spirit.

I ponder
        A mission is only the beginning of my life
        What will Father ask of me in the coming years?

I pray
        For the strength to always say I will
        And faith to walk with Him by my side.

Thanks, Donna, for encouraging us to ponder our paths. While my paths may seem rather ordinary, without any surprising doors or amazing opportunities, I'm grateful for the lessons I've been taught and for the opportunity I have to walk with the Savior by my side.