Saturday, July 30, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Still

(So, it was Friday when I wrote this, but before I could publish it, Gabriel started crying in is crib so I went up to take care of him and fell asleep myself before I could come back down and push the 'publish' button!)

It's Friday and I am going to meet up with Gypsy Mama to join in.  Feel free to join us, too!  It's lots of fun!

The rules? Write for 5 minutes without stopping to edit or proofread (although I will edit a little since my 'h' key is not working well today, tanks to Gabriel...)

The topic? STILL!

Ready?  GO!

Still:  As in

ELIZABETH!  Are you STILL in bed????  You have to get on the bus in 15 minutes!  I woke you up 45 minutes ago!


Jo, you STILL haven't finished emptying the silverware from the dishwasher?  Your sister's going to do it and get your quarter if you don't get a move on!

But then there is also:

Be still.  Just being.  Still.  We are being.  Still.  Everyday.  I wake up and I am being.  Still.  I get up and be and go to work and be and move through the day and be.  Still.  I'm still being.  Being me, being hot, being tired, being frustrated,

then coming home...

and being loved and being needed and being patient and being Mommy...still.  Everyday.  To the fullest.

And sometimes, to retain my sanity, I need to take all those times of being and step out of them for just one moment and be


Soak it in.

Look to God who in His own mercy and grace has given me the ability to be


and to

Still be!


Let's see what happened today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What's Been Going on Around Here

I'm not really sure if the title of this posting is a question or a statement!

But....this is what has been going on around here:

We found a box turtle in the road and brought it home.  But, when I did some research online, I found that the numbers of box turtles were decreasing because they do not reproduce rapidly and so many people were taking them into captivity to turn them into pets.  Also, I found that they really need a lot of space and they are stressed and therefore made ill by little kids and pets. 

So...we took him to a stream near where we found him and let him go the next day.

We also harvested our carrots...

...which tasted as bad as they looked...or worse.  That was a disappointment, but...

...Our sunflowers are amazing!  I planted 2 seeds in front of my in-laws window to give them some shade, and one seed didn't sprout, but the other took of like crazy is almost tall enough to shade the window on the second floor!  (That's the first picture of the 3).  The other ones that are just seeds that I dropped here and there for fun have come up and are either blooming already or getting ready to.  They are so pretty and their blooms last so long!  What fun!  It's been a few years since we have planted these, and now I wonder why we waited so long!

At work...
Aliza and Jenna (our boss' daughters) made us some awesome cupcakes, which were quickly devoured by the group.

And Sunday was a day of fun and relaxation that ended late in the evening with a splash in the pool!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Five Minute Friday - Full

Seeing that's it's Sunday evening, I figure that I will hook on up to

This is where you write for 5 minutes without stopping to correct of edit.

The topic of the day?  FULL!


The first thing that I thought of when I saw the topic was just plain full.

Like my stomache with its gradually increasing roundness as it expands to fill with new life.

But then, I moved on past the physical stuff to the deeper stuff.

Like the full that my life is now and the fuller that it is going to be with the new baby that is coming

And then the fullness of my heart with the 3 kids that we already have and how do you make room in there for one more?  But I know I will and I know that it will be easy to shift and rearrange and fit everyone comforatbly in my heart and then it will be full to bursting with the love of family

and our house will also be full to bursting.  Well, it already is, but it will be even more so and where do we put one more little life with its little diapers and its little clothes and its little toys?  But we do and we shift and we move and we share because that is what life is all about.

Living fully, loving fully

and therefore

being full of love

and life!

DING!  Well, that was a fast 5 mins!  Let's see what came out this time.  It was somewhat interrupted by little kids in jammies, so I'm not sure I really made sense, but then, do I ever REALLY make sense and besides, that's the point of the whole game, right?

Friday, July 22, 2011

What's a School Without BOOKS?!?!?!

I got this off of the most amazing incredibly awesome book blog of a friend of mine, and although it is 5 Min Fri...I just had to put this in instead....

From Danielle Bunner (Frenzy of Noise)

While I was in classes a few weeks ago, I had this huge (kinda funny to me) realization. All week everyone kept talking about community. Saying "this is the place you'll build a lifeline." All week I was that smug girl who's said to myself: I have that. Because I do have that. I have it in bloggers, in readers, in writers, in authors, in twitter. I know I have people. I know I'm part of a community that bans together to stand up for literary injustice, backlash, plagarism and everything in between. We build hashtags on twitter and give small ideas a way to be big. We're awesome.

That's why when the director of my MFA program sent us an email about a book drive, I knew I had to bring the need to my community. This community. Why? Well...

"The literature section of Ballou Senior High School's library in Washington, DC has 63 books, not enough to fill five small shelves. In the area marked "Pure Science," there are 77 volumes. The generally accepted standard for school libraries is 11 books for each of Ballou's 1,104 students."

It's completely unacceptable that a high school is lacking a basic need of life, a need that opens the doors to education, creativity and imagination---books. And this is the time for all of us to step up, to ban together, to help out. No matter what genre you read, because they need everything.

This selection I take out of the email from my program director because he says it better than I ever could.

"It's a challenge for kids to take their literacy seriously when they don't even have books to read. Ballou is located in the most dangerous ward in our nation's capitol. Right now, the library serves as a physical safe space and a refuge for students in off school hours, but wouldn't it be great if they had something to read while they were there--even choices across genre?....This is not the only school in the country with needs, but when the flare went up we saw it and chose to respond."

What they need:
Everything. From Shakespeare to Octavia Butler to Richard Wright. Fantasy, sci-fi, YA, adult fiction, history books, poetry, classic literature, science.

She said they would take anything as long as it is in GOOD condition and has no writing in it.

I've asked if they would accept ARCs, and the director of the book drive, Lisa, said YES.

How to donate:

If you have books you want to give, please mail them directly to:

Perry School
c/o Margaret Pegram
128 M St. NW suite 318
Washington, DC 20001

Inside the box put a note that says "c/o Lisa P. Ballou Book Drive".

The school will be accepting books until August 22nd.

Also, if you'd like to include some kind of quick note for the kids, words of encouragement, that would be awesome!!

Spread the word!

Reblog this post on your blog. Tweet this post. (we're on twitter at #HSBookDrive) Tell everyone. Send books.

This is a chance for our community to step up, to reach out and to provide teens with books. This is why we are here so I challenge you to be part of this.