Monday, March 29, 2010


The sound of birds singing may be my favorite sound in the world to wake up to. It is such a sweet, gentle and cheerful sound (unlike a rooster, which I've been woken up by before, and that sound tends to be much more grating than pleasant!).

One of my favorite songs at church when I was little was called "In the Leafy Treetops." Here are the lyrics and this link if you want to listen to it:
In the leafy treetops, the birds sing good morning.
They're first to see the sun, they must tell everyone.
In the leafy treetops, the birds sing good morning."

Sweet and simple :0) Although to this day have no idea what it has to do with church...

So this morning I was laying in bed trying to wake up when I heard birds for the first time this spring (hoorah!), and even though I didn't consciously think of the words of this song, my brain assumed it was sunny outside (you see the way this song is ingrained into my psyche). As I ventured out to the kitchen and opened the curtains, I discovered that it was not sunny at all. Light: yes (although actually kind of gray). Sunny: no. It's been overcast and dreary all day. Go figure! I thought that if the birds were singing, it automatically had to be sunny :0).

Oh well, it actually hasn't mattered because just waking up to that bird saying to me in his cute little tweety language, "What an awesome day it is! You really should get up and enjoy it!" has made my day more pleasant. Interesting how starting off right can make a difference, huh?

What about you? What's your favorite sound to wake up to?

Friday, March 26, 2010


I am so grateful for Hope, the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. It is so wonderful to know that no matter how bleak things look or seem (or are), or for however long they seem that way (sometimes soooooo long--years and years), that even if you have nothing else to hold on to, you always have Hope. After a horrible day or week or month (or year), that you can know that things will eventually get better.

You just have to focus on that light and keep going. It's such a good thing we don't know how our lives are going to turn out and how long the hard times in our lives will last! Since I don't know how much longer I have to struggle with something, I choose to believe that it will get better tomorrow. And when tomorrow isn't any better? Well, it must be the next day then. Yes, this could go on for years, but that's ok, because as long as I have Hope, I can keep going. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Yes, today is St. Patrick's Day, so don't we have to celebrate green? :0) It is a fun day to dress my children (and myself, I must admit) in green and make green pancakes (yeah, I'm purposefully not including a picture of them because they turned out looking kind of nasty, but my kids loved them!) But really...I'm grateful for green always; today is just a good day to spotlight it.

Technically, green is a cool color, which means it is soothing and calming, but I love it because it can also be so vibrant and alive. Perhaps it's not as visually dramatic as red or orange, but because green is a combination of both a warm and cool color, it can be both calming and exciting, which is one thing that makes it such a great color!

I love me a soft, mellow sage, a vibrant emerald, a cool olive, a deep forest green. There are just so many greens to love! And have you ever noticed all the different shades of greens you can find in nature--wow! I think God must really love green to make plants, grass, trees, flower foliage all green.

And after a winter of white and brown, green is the most beautiful color in the world! It means warm days are coming: gardens, picnics, trips to the park, family bike know--just all those wonderful spring and summer things. The snow is almost gone from our yard, and I'm not seeing tons of green yet (our highs are still mostly in the 40s), but I know the green is coming: the buds on the trees, the crocus and tulip leaves peeking out of the earth, the green shoots of grass mixing in with the dormant brown, making it more green every day. Hoorah for green!

What's your favorite green?

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Ok, my husband happened upon this gem while reading some news article the other night. After our stunned silence, and voicing some of the thoughts racing through our heads ("Is this serious?" "Is he lip-syncing?" "How can anyone smile that much?" "Does he think he's dancing?" and, "Can you actually make that sound while you are smiling?"), we all laughed our heads off.

We have watched it at least ten times in the last few days, probably more. In fact, my boys came home from school the next day singing it and wanting to watch it again. It's nauseatingly hypnotic and unfortunately fairly addictive for some people. Ok, enough talk. For this wonderful experience, go to this site and enjoy. You'll never be the same.

You might want to make sure you are sitting down and don't watch it after eating a big meal. Oh, go to the bathroom first, too.

Long live Lawrence Welk.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I have always loved to dance. I'm one of those strange people who, when I hear a good song with a strong beat, my foot starts tapping or my knee bouncing, and I feel like getting up to dance (although I usually don't). Aside from a little ballet and some gymnastics growing up, I haven't done much dance.

But I've found a really fun exercise class (Zumba) that is as much dance as it is exercise and it's actually fun to exercise (I didn't think I would ever say that!). So I'm dancing to get into shape--cool!

Also, for the past probably seven or eight years I have really been wanting to learn ballroom dance with my husband. So when I saw in our community education flyer that they were offering a beginning ballroom dance class, I signed us up ($35 for six hour-long classes! Awesome deal!).

We have now completed our third class and are loving to dance together! I am so grateful to have a husband who not only is willing to dance (which many men are uncomfortable with), but who is also a good dancer (I think, but I'm biased :0). We've learned the mambo, waltz, two-step, cha-cha, basic swing, tango, foxtrot (which we actually don't remember very well--need a refresher on that one), samba and a little bit of the west coast swing. So fun!!

It's also so fun to have a cheap and fun date on Friday nights (while our class is going, anyway)and I'm so grateful that I now know how to dance with my honey. We're not experts by any means, but we know some basics and have a lot of fun!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I am the mother of five boys. This comment always elicits some sort of response from people, one of the most common being, "Oh, you have a built-in basketball team!" Yeah, that's true. The only problem is that none of my boys really like to play basketball. Or frankly are really that into organized sports at all.

Sure, they love to be active: riding bikes, swimming, trampoline time, running, all sorts of indoor craziness, skiing looks to be an interest for a few of them, but organized sports: not so much.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it makes me a little sad. I have great memories of going to school or church games to support one or more of my friends. On the other hand, I hear my friends bemoan the time spent travelling to practices and spent at games for months on end (don't get me wrong: they love to support their kids, but depending on the sport and age of child, it seems to get a little life-consuming at times). We have had our kids in a few organized sports, but they never have really lasting interest. Oh well.

Now, if there was a sport of reading, my boys would be all over that. Although, maybe not, because the fun of reading is how absolutely captivating and completely non-competitive reading a good book can be.

Our boys have reading "homework," where they are required (at least the ones in elementary and middle school) to read at least 20 minutes. Are you kidding me? I have to make them stop reading and go to sleep at night! Sometimes my husband and I forget to go down and ask them to put their books down and go to sleep, and we check on them an hour and a half later before we go to bed and they are still reading. Ever notice how time becomes an absolute non-issue when you are immersed in a book? I can't be hard on them for it (even though we all suffer the next day because they were up late :0), because I've gotten sucked into many a book as well.

So, bottom line: even though the current social environment dictates that boys are supposed to play sports and ours really have no interest in them, if I had to choose between having my boys love sports or love reading, I would choose exactly what I have.

I'm so grateful for kids who love to read!

Note: above is my 11-year-old reading 'Rapunzel's Revenge' by Shannon and Dean Hale. It's a graphic novel (comic book, basically) and a fun Old West retelling of the Rapunzel story--boy, is she a feisy heroine! She uses her hair as a lasso and whip! Cool!