Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Vocabulary Perception Survey

If you have a moment, fill out this survey please. (It will take about five minutes.) My friend's friend is conducting a survey for a textbook for teaching English as a second language.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dancing with Cinderella

Here are some pieces of my fairy tale.

Watching some March Madness

Grandma bought Jill a new dress today, and Jill was desperate to wear it. Once she put it on, she announced that she was Cinderella, and Danny was her prince. So I got him dressed up, too. Then Jeff came home from work in the middle of our game and became another prince. And, if you notice, Jeff's work clothes that day match Danny's outfit pretty exactly.

As Jeff and Jill danced, I couldn't help but think of Steven Curtis Chapman's song Cinderella. (He wrote the song after one of his daughters passed away at a young age.) It is such a beautiful song, but so sad. It made me sad when I first heard it, but since October and my niece Tabitha's passing, it has had added meaning.

So, as I watched my devoted husband dance with our vivacious daughter while our determined son was pounding the door intent to get outside, my heart was full of joy, wonder, and gratitude for what I have.

And while I bask in what I have, I am also grateful for what I have always had: I love you, Daddy.

And this is my fairy tale. While I may not get to choose to not encounter dragons or poisoned apples or evil stepsisters or goblins, I do get to choose how it ends. And I choose happily ever after.

This post felt a little incomplete without mentioning that my mom is pretty awesome, too. :)

Monday, March 12, 2012


The circus was in town, and Laurie took us all to the show. Jill really enjoyed it. Whenever she is asked, she comments on the clowns. Apparently they made a big impression on her.

I have been trying to think what my favorite part was, but it is really hard to narrow that down. The tigers were beautiful. The elephants were cool. The tight-rope walkers were insane. The . . . silk acrobats (what are they called?) were breathtaking and scary.

There was one act—I have no idea how to describe it—there were two round, open cages on their sides, attached to long weighted metal poles, so they could spin around in circles. (This description is horrible!) And the circles swung around, like a ferris wheel. They went really high up in the air like a ferris wheel, too. And there was a man inside each one. They did crazy stuff inside, and then they jumped out and got ON TOP of the circle. Every now and then it looked like one was going to fall, but I don't know whether they really were or if that was part of the clown dramatics of the evening.

I'm sorry about how horrible my description is. I can't even picture it from what I just wrote. But know that it was crazy.

At one point, there were two men juggling. I was impressed. Then they started juggling back and forth with each other. I was impressed. Then they juggled back and forth, back-to-back with each other, so they couldn't even see where the next object would be coming from. I was very impressed. Then they juggled back and forth, back-to-back while the objects they were juggling WERE ON FIRE. I needed a different word than "impressed" to express how I felt.

It was just amazing. I wondered how long the circus performers had been training at their arts. A lot of them were foreign (at least that I saw up close). Before the show, you were allowed to walk down on the floor and get really close to different acts, and the performers had name tags with their names and countries on them.

The man on stilts was insane, crazy, impressive. I need new words! I couldn't keep my eyes off of him. It was just unreal that he could be walking like that.

And then they lit a man on fire, completely on fire, and rocketed him into the sky out of a huge crossbow. I couldn't help but wonder how that becomes your job. When do you decide that is what you want to do?

I wish I had taken more pictures of the action. I hope Laurie did.

I don't know why, because I knew the venue beforehand, but I still expected a large grassy dirt area with tents all over the place and one huge tent. I just read on the internet that the circus has been using existing venues in lieu of the huge tents since the fifties, so there is no reason for me to think of that when I think of the circus.

Even though it was really nice to have concessions and restrooms and padded seats and heating/air conditioning, I still sort of missed the big tent.

In other news, Danny's walking has really taken off. He's walking the majority of the time now. It's fabulous. And the forecast for the next five days has the weather always in the 60s and 70s, so I'm pretty excited about this week.

I hope you have a great week and that you had a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring . . . ?

 February Showers Bring March Flowers

I have been worrying the entire fall and then winter about my flowers. I spent a lot of time last year (and so did my friends and family) planting bulbs and preparing myself for a fantastic, beautiful spring. Well, some flowers started coming up in November, and I started worrying. They kept growing in December and January. In February, bulbs appeared. I kept worrying that they would all freeze and die, and I would have no flowers. But last week, Jill went outside and said, "Mom! Purple and white flowers!" Sure enough—my crocuses are in bloom.

I guess I don't have to worry about not having any flowers. But I am curious to see if all the other ones will live or whether a huge blizzard is still lurking somewhere waiting to descend.

And because a post really isn't complete without a picture of one of my children, here is this photo of Jill. I said, "cheese," and this is what I got. I wonder from where she learned this pose . . . :)