Sunday, July 15, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Summer Fun!

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.

Summer traditions:
Book club outside, parades, visits from family and so much more! 

One of my favorite summer evenings is book club at Shannon's home. We invite spouses and friends to join us for dinner outside and our book discussion, with Lake Washington in view and Mount Ranier in the distance. While I didn't love this year's choice, Douglas Preston's The Lost City of the Monkey God, I always love this opportunity to enjoy dinner with friends followed by a lively discussion. Here's our host Shannon posing with her monkey collection and her favorite monkey from childhood.
 The parade at Island Celebration -
Jack (on his Dad's shoulders
with a hand from Grandpa)
watches the parade beginning as
Old Glory is carried by local veterans.
Jack liked the parade. His favorite
parts were the big trucks and the fire engine. 

Jack, full of grins, for the camera
(or maybe for his mom?)
Gorgeous hydrangeas discovered by Jack and me 
in the neighbor's yard on our morning stroll
 Pics of grandson Teddy who is two 
and loves to send videos to Grandma & Grandpa
More finds from the library book sale! 
(I highlighted the poetry books on Poetry Friday,
but here are some more of the treasures I found.)
The little book between the two middle grade titles is 
A Friend Is Someone Who Likes You by Joan Walsh Anglund, published in 1958. I love this little book!
My niece, Kara, is visiting from Oklahoma. 
She is unimpressed by our "heat wave"
with temps in the upper 80s.
I love this pic taken after church
with daughter Sara and niece Kara.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Poetry Friday: Poetry Finds at the Library Book Sale!

Sylvia Vardell at Poetry for Children is hosting
this week's round-up of poetic goodness. She has
news of her latest book with Janet Wong, Great Morning!

I worked at our library book sale from 6 - 9 pm on Thursday evening. One of the benefits of volunteering for the book sale is looking through the bins when things are slow and selecting books for me and for my daughter. I'm always extra excited when we find poetry books in the bins. Here are the books I purchased yesterday.
 And here are three poems for summer days from Shel Silverstein's
A Light in the Attic:

Here's hoping you'll have some summer days to put something silly in the world, to swing in your hammock and to enjoy gentle showers before "Whoosh - shiver-" summer's gone!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Slice of Life: Reading for Pleasure!

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.

This is one of those weeks when I'm in search of a slice. When that happens, I generally read other slices and before I know it, someone's slice of life inspires mine. This week's spark came from Mandy's slice who shared what happened one day when she stopped all reading to pick up a favorite author, Nicholas Sparks: "I was charmed by the story the characters were living.  I found myself choosing reading over chores. . . I need to remember these feelings and foster them again for myself."

I'm in two book clubs, but every once in awhile, I need to break away and pick up a book that I read just for me. I find these books most often at the Choice Reads section in our public library. I love the serendipity of discovering a new-to-me author just by browsing these shelves. This past spring, I read and loved Bookshop at the Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry. And in June it was The Library at the Edge of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. Do you see a theme here? I find it difficult to resist a book about bookstores or libraries. And both of these were delightful, and reminded me that occasionally I need to indulge in the sort of books that I love, books that as Mandy put it, have me "timing other activities and mapping out reading breaks." I hope that your summer includes some time to indulge yourself in something that you choose to read just for fun! (And please tell me about your recent favorites in the comments.)

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Seven Pics for 7/7

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.

In honor of 7/7, I'm sharing seven photos from the past week!
 I finished the ARC of Woodson's 
newest MG book on Friday.
You'll want to read this one, 
coming out in August.
 Jack loves playing with these
puzzles that his dad played with 
when he was a little boy.
 Teddy kicks off the 4th of July 
with some flag waving at his
great grandma's house in Utah.
 Teddy's all decked out for the
neighborhood parade.
 My son-in-law, Will, made this patriotic 
fruit pizza for the Fourth of July!
Jack visits his first splash pad.
A gorgeous day at the park!
 Grandpa and Jack love hanging out at the 
train park on Fridays. But Jack's favorite
attraction this week was the man mowing the 
grass with an industrial riding mower.
And the man trimming trees!

FYI:  7/7 has special significance for me. Forty-one years ago, I began my service as a missionary in Hong Kong on 7/7/77.
I've slept a few nights since then, but memories of my time 
there remain precious pages in my life story.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Poetry Friday: "Moments of Summer"

Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect is hosting
this week's round-up of poetic goodness.

When we kicked off summer a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to share a favorite poem that combines summer and reading and parental love. I couldn't find it published anywhere on the internet, so I sent an email to the author, Rachel Hadas, asking for permission to share her poem "Moments of Summer" from the anthology Enduring Ties:  Poems of Family Relationships edited by Grant Hardy. The author readily granted permission for me to share the poem. And here it is, with my wish that you might savor the sweet nourishment of reading with someone you love during summer's moments.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

SJFT: Look Back, Look Forward, Pause, Reflect!

Welcome to Spiritual Journey First Thursday,
a group of friends who blog monthly about our spiritual journeys. 
Doraine Bennett, our host at Dori Readshas chosen
the pause in the middle of the year as our focus for this month.

When I first received Dori's topic for our July blog post, I was a little discouraged. A pause in the middle of the year to look back at what has been accomplished? I felt despair as I realized that I'm still struggling with the same things that are my ever present challenges.

These words from Robert Warren resonated with me as I read Dori's post - "Remember, this is not to be an inquisition in which you criticize yourself for how you have failed, but a trusting review before the One who is for you. The purpose is to listen more fully to the One who is Love." I've spent some time meandering the links Dori provided, and I'm coming to this post with a new outlook.

I love the way that Dori describes the earth's breaths in this post: "The summer solstice is that point in the year when time and creation itself pauses at the top of a long slow inhalation. It began in January with a hopeful rising of the chest, a gentle filling of the earth with ever-greening light and heat. And now we have come to the pause before the breath, the calendar, the year turns around and begins its slow easy exhale toward winter." Doesn't that quote just make you want to be in one of Dori's yoga classes.

With the words, "a trusting review," in mind, I look back at 2018 so far. In January a dear friend in our congregation lost her eleven year battle with multiple myeloma. And the next month, another friend's husband lost his very brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Political situations continue to weigh heavily on my heart. 

But as I look back, I also see events of true delight (my OLW for 2018) - Jack's first birthday, a Hamilton performance, a celebration of our book club's twentieth year together, a trip to visit my brother and family in Oklahoma, Naomi Shihab Nye's lecture at Western Washington University, a visit from Blake, Stefi, & Teddy, and a birthday trip to a friend's cabin with two dear friends.

And I can report progress on a personal goal to become more fit. I was delighted to be released by my physical therapist. I'm now able to walk more, and I've been gradually increasing my steps in an effort to reach 10,000 steps a day four days out of the week. I'm now doing 9,000 and hope to bump up to 10,000 next week!

So I give thanks for what has been good as well as for my struggles. And I thank God for his presence with me in my joys and my struggles. And I go forward reaffirming my commitment to walk in faith, remembering the One who is for me with a desire to listen more fully. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Slice of Life: Literacy Observations!

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.

Watching my almost eighteen month old grandson Jack interact with the world is exciting. Every day brings new learning, whether it's adding new animal sounds to his repertoire, driving his car (in reverse only), or increasing his fluency with books. 

When I was reading a book on Thursday, Jack took it away from me. He promptly sat down on the floor, checked out the cover, looked at a few pages of print, and closed the book to examine the back cover. I was thrilled to see this fluency with books.

And later the same day we read the new board books that I had picked up at the library. When we finished Loud Lion, Quiet Mouse, Jack disappeared into the other room. I was amazed when he returned with a puzzle piece of a lion that he promptly placed on the cover of the book beside the illustrated lion.

I love watching this young man interact with books and discover the world around him. And watch out, he has a gentle but ferocious roar to match that lion figure too!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Small Pleasures

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.

This has been a tough week. Political decisions have been made that weigh heavy on my heart. And I didn't really think I could celebrate this week. But my daughter came over for Sunday dinner and asked about my post . . . and so I looked back over the week and found several small pleasures to celebrate. 

Lunch with two friends to celebrate a birthday!

Singing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" in church today (with a bit of a heavy heart), I was heartened to hear four year old Imi belting out the "glory, glory hallelujahs" in the chorus.

These sweet blossoms spotted on a walk with a friend!

Teddy's joy at being in Utah with so many cousins, 
many of them girls!

Jack's joy at being in the driver's seat, even if he only knows how to go in reverse so far. A guy has to start somewhere!

This book!
I'm so grateful that authors like Jacqueline Woodson are writing stories like this. Thanks to my local indie, Island Books,
I'm fortunate to be reading a galley copy. Put it on your must read list for this summer, available in Aug. 2018.
"Ms. Laverne said every day we should ask ourselves,
'If the worst thing in the world happened, 
would I help protect someone else? 
Would I let myself be harbor for someone who needs it?'"

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Celebrate This Week: Delightful Doings

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.

Discovering my summer mantra at Jama's Poetry Friday post:
“All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
—L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dreams

While I can't control the weather, I can orchestrate delightful doing with delightful friends and family to make beautiful memories this summer. 
A lovely mid-week getaway to 
a friend's cabin on Hartstene Island
Every trip to the woods needs at 
least one deer sighting. We saw 
twins, but only caught one on camera.
Teddy turned two on Friday!
Warm weather in the NW let Jack try out
his pool and summer wear.
 It took me awhile before I could disassemble 
this tower created by Jack as he carefully stacked
bowls one by one from Grandma's cupboard on Friday.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Poetry Friday: "...never again be so green..."

Michelle Kogan is rolling out the green carpet
with this week's round-up of poetic goodness and 
welcoming Margaret Simon's latest book, Bayou Song.
Be sure to stop by for this delightful interview with 
Margaret and to read several poems and
see the illustrations from the book.

After the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, it seems like we should honor summer with a poem. The poem I'm sharing today is new to me, but these lines resonated with me and seemed made to match the photo I took this past week of a luscious shade of green I noticed while hiking with friends.
" . . . The green will never 
again be so green, . . . "

You can read the entire poem, "More Than Enough" by Marge Piercy at the Poetry Foundation along with other summer poems.