For Good

June 26, 2014 at 3:28 am | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Photo Tuesday | 12 Comments
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“For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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F is “for everything Thy goodness sends.” See more F’s at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock

And Then She Was 7

October 16, 2013 at 8:13 am | Posted in Lollipop | 21 Comments
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She’s been 7 for three days.

This girl, the one missing her front top teeth. The one who loves sequins almost as much as she loves rabbits. The one who graduated to chapter books when I wasn’t looking.

She roller skates. She backstrokes. She rides her bike, the one with the sparkly purple streamers, without training wheels.

She pirouettes.

She’s wise to this blog thing and suggested I write about “that funny growl Bun makes when he’s cranky, which is a lot, Mommy.”

She has a slight addiction to funny cat videos on YouTube.

She digs in the dirt. She makes her own mud. Her fingernails are a mess. She doesn’t care.

She does this thing now where she rolls her eyes and sighs when she’s exasperated. There’s usually an “aye yai yai” to go with it and, occasionally, a sassy hand-on-the-hip gesture.

She read a book on global warming this summer and decided to start an environmental club. There are 15 members and counting. So far, they’ve planted bean seeds, cleaned up the neighborhood park, and made nature collages. For the next meeting, she’s planning an autumn-focused sing-a-long and maybe some choreography.

She leaves me purple sticky notes on the kitchen counter with reminders like, “Please fix my bird’s wobbly beek” and “I prefer grape jelly for my luntch.”

When she grows up, she wants to run a store called Love Bunnies. She’s got a business plan partially drafted, complete with a social media component. She’ll sell real bunnies, stuffed bunnies, bunny clothes, bunny food, bunny snacks, bunny toys, and bunny bling. There may be a line of bunny ballet slippers. She will oversee things, and Giggles will be her minion. They are both okay with this arrangement.

Last week, she researched bats on the computer and wrote a nonfiction book about them because she had a little time before swim lessons. There may have been a glossary.

Last month, she got an award at school for, among other things, “general awesomeness.”

She’s 7. She’s amazing. And she’s mine.

I think I’ll celebrate with some choreography.

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V is for she’s growing up so very fast, it’s giving me vertigo. See more V’s at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock

Will Work for Chocolate

July 15, 2013 at 7:00 am | Posted in Family, Me, Serial Commas | 17 Comments
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OBJECTIVE
Raise three kind, creative, patient, helpful, empathetic children while maintaining my sanity, marriage, and hidden cache of chocolate.

SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS

  • 7+ years of experience growing, birthing, and raising children.
  • Expertise in multi-tasking, resource allocation, conflict management, customer service, program development, scheduling, chauffeuring, and train-track assembly.

SKILLS

  • Successfully completes numerous tasks simultaneously, including talking on the phone, digging a red Matchbox car out of my purse, wiping someone’s nose, and cutting off sandwich crusts (after washing my hands, of course).
  • Arbitrates disputes over who ate whose Cheerios, who squished whose roly poly, who isn’t sharing the paper-towel-tube telescope, and who pulled the dog’s ear first.
  • Teaches manners to otherwise caveman-like children who resist learning to pee in the potty, share their toys, and color on the paper (and only the paper).
  • Utilizes educational resources including television, computers, and video games to prepare children for school.
  • Possesses uncanny knack for knowing location of missing household items including left red rainboot, yellow cupcake eraser, favorite stuffed bunny, froggy sippy cup, and library book due tomorrow.
  • Treats boo-boos from keeto bites and cat scratches to goose eggs and stubbed pinky toes.
  • Manages four laundry baskets, three toilets, 56 markers, 56 marker lids, and one husband.
  • Able to overcome a variety of obstacles, including sleep deprivation, wasp nests, and refusals to eat broccoli or anything green for that matter.

AWARDS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Clean floors if you don’t look too closely.
  • Record WWF score once of 114 points for the word “zouk,” obtained while children were feeding Play-Doh pizza to the dog.
  • Children who sleep through the night in their own beds. Mostly.
  • Recipient of lifetime supply of rainbow drawings.

EDUCATION

Are you hiring? What skills are on your mothering resume? And would you like to be paid in Cookies & Creme Hershey Kisses, too?

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I is for “I’m an innovator in my industry.” See more I’s at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock

Marking Time

April 4, 2013 at 12:09 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 16 Comments
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“Why not just live in the moment, especially if it has a good beat?” — Goldie Hawn

How do you stop, or at least slow, the march of time? What symbolizes time for you? And don’t you wish you could pull off pink ruffles? (I know I do!)

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“T” is for time … See more Ts at Jenny’s.

Jenny Matlock

And the Oscar Goes To …

January 28, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Posted in Lollipop | 7 Comments
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Around this time of year, I practice my Academy Award speech in my head. You know, for when I win Best Adapted Screenplay. Which I will pen based on my future best-selling novel. Of course.

Always, always, when I practice this speech, I give thanks to the amazing English teachers I’ve been blessed with through the years. The ones who taught me to embrace my creativity — and not to be afraid of doing something differently. The ones who taught me that poetry didn’t have to rhyme. And that sentence fragments were perfectly okay. Ahem.

In third grade, I had a teacher named Ms. Matusiak. She was an ex-nun who played the ukulele and made us bookmarks with Suzy Zoo stickers. We wrote stories and plays and poems while her record player scratched out Miles Davis tunes or tracks from “Nature: Thunderstorms!”

Man, I loved her class.

When I was in college, she mailed a package to my mom that had a few things of mine that she’d saved. A Goldberg-esque inventions book. A report on West Germany. A few chapters from my “Oregon Trail” book, which I’d totally lifted from the computer game where everyone gets cholera and loses their oxen forging the river.

I was amazed that she’d saved these things and had thought to send them to my mom. For the first time — as I was nearing the end of my two decades of public education — I realized that students can touch teachers’ lives, too. That misspelled words in thick, black marker have a charm all their own. That manila paper, no matter how old, keeps the scent of the classroom it came from.

And now, with a child of my own in public school, these memories resurface nearly every day. Every morning, at 7:45 a.m. sharp, she sits in her little blue chair and creates. She cuts and pastes and sharpens crayons. She makes observations and tests hypotheses. She writes and illustrates her own stories.

Like this one:

Planits
By Lollipop

Hie. Do you want to name sum made up planits with me?
Planit Bun is qiyite. [She’s mastered irony at age 6. Planit Bun is never quiet.]
Planit flowr is a flowr.
Planit Bunny olwis ses hipite hop.
Planit Line is a line.
Planit Potchan is havig a partty.
Planit Nuthing is tinee.
Planit Qweshtin is a Qweshtin?
Thers an alein and it is …  [lift-the-flap] YOU!

Maybe it’s the wobbly letters and the sounded-out words. Or the staples and masking tape arranged just so. Or the mixed-media magic of marker and pencil and highlighter. But it does my soul good to see that Lollipop has the same creative spirit that has nourished me all my life.

I can’t wait to hear her Academy Award speech.

How have teachers shaped your creative life? Have you ever visited Planit Potchan? And how does your Oscar acceptance speech go?? 

How He Rolls

October 19, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Posted in Giggles, Haiku Friday | 10 Comments
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Haiku Friday: How He Rolls

 

“It’s my lucky day!”
He shouts, because the toilet
Paper roll ran out.

He jumps down the hall,
The cardboard tube carefully
Cradled to his chest.

He dreams up tunnels,
Giraffes, telescopes, trumpets,
His for the making.

I see one more thing
I need to buy, where he sees
Possibility

The sum total of
What his brain and the craft drawer
Can concoct today.

What household items get your children excited? How would you define possibility as they experience it? And when do we lose that simple excitement about all an ordinary day can hold?  

Shaping Up

October 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday | 14 Comments
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“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

Did I tell you our camera got stolen? In Madrid. At the airport. In literally the last minutes of our year in Europe.

We realized it on the plane. 32,000 feet over the Atlantic. When there was nothing to do but wait for the complimentary snack basket and choke down a tiny bottle of free Cabernet.

I’ve missed it. I didn’t realize how much. (The camera, not the Cabernet.)

There’s just something about clicking to manual, cranking up the ISO, and opening the aperture. Everyday colors and shapes and patterns suddenly appear, amplified, in ways my eyes just don’t notice without a viewfinder. It’s mind-altering, literally, how looking through a camera helps me see the beauty in my own life.

Oh, yes, I’ve missed it.

What do you see when you look through your camera? What helps you notice the blessings in your life? And do you go for the free Cabernet or the free Zinfindel on international flights?

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See more shapes at Beth’s.

Plain and Simple

May 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Posted in Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 13 Comments
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“One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac

Do you strive for a simple life? How? Why? And does it involve throwing pots?

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Fluffy Bunnies in Romania:
Read the tales
.
See the photos.

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See more “simplicity” at Beth’s.

The Borrower

April 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Bun, Family, Giggles, Lollipop, Photo Tuesday, Transylvania | 26 Comments
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“You don’t take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it.” — Anonymous

Are you a borrower, like me? How do you capture the quiet moments, the ones that might otherwise go unnoticed? And don’t you want a pair of those pink boots?

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Today’s Five for Five topic is pictures. Join in at Momalom.

Bringing Haiku Back

April 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Posted in Guest Posts, Haiku Friday | 12 Comments
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Guess what April is …
National Poetry Month!
And to celebrate?

Haiku Friday is
Back. With guest poets! Prizes!

And erudite fun!

First up is Justine,
who knows that a dead wasp can
Cure sore throats. (Really.)

She’s got two girls and
Works and writes from her home in
The Windy City.

And? Her words are as
S
crumptious as her rainbow chard.
Sit down and dig in!

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The Epic Battle
By Justine

She kept saying, “Pink!”
I countered with “How ’bout green?”
or “What about blue?”

This? Our daily dance
between her “I want this now!”
and my “I know best.”

She is defiant;
she’s got personality.
Maybe ’cuz she’s three.

I see her folly,
and so I try to guide her,
hoping she would learn.

But there’s a fine line
’tween giving autonomy
and steering her right.

And sometimes I fail
(a lot) in finding balance;
that’s why we struggle.

Or maybe this is
how it will forever be;
my guidance, her bane.

Her will and my hope
haphazardly colliding —
friction that won’t wane.

All ’cuz she wants just
to be herself, and it’s sad
that I would want more.

How do you balance teaching your kids and letting them learn for themselves? How do you encourage independence? And do you recognize where your hope ends and their will begins?

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Comment in haiku
And you could win something cool …
From Transylvania!

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