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21 posts from April 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Favorite Things


The other day, Kathleen asked me to make a list of my favorite things and then she wrote them all over a Renoir painting.  Sorry, Auguste, but my daughter is creative like that.  I wanted to share her story with you that she published on her new blog: Katrunk (an abbreviation for Kathleen's Trunk).

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It's a Beautiful Day in This Neighborhood


It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

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Monday, April 27, 2009

And then I Turned 50


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Irony is a Strange Bedfellow


This is supposed to be a happy day.  Today is my 50th birthday and will hopefully be the day I get my second wind.  But, for the last 25 years I have thought, in the back of my mind, that I would not live to be 50.  Death seemed to knock at the door of my subconscious.  Well, death is knocking at the door, and the call came at 3:00am as we were all sleeping.  Not mine, but my mother-in-law's.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Making Beautiful Music Together

Saturday was an interesting day, the best part of which was listening to the children play music.  Thanks to a very nice tax return, we pumped up the creative processes in our music room by hooking up the baby grand piano to a midi interface and a MacBook laptop with Logic Express so that Sarah could create and turn her music into notation, record, and then upload it to iTunes.  Right now, she is the only one working the hardest to get her beautiful compositions on iTunes.  Matthew still has a way to go.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Here I Go Again


I know, I know.  I'm never satisfied.  Actually, I'm sorta satisfied - with the layout and design of my site.  But, I've been told by several people that I have too many sections and they don't know where to go first.  Okay, I hear ya people!  But my life is so complicated and complex that it's difficult to narrow down my life into a few sections.  But, I'm going to give it the old college try - to make it easier for you and me and whoever else wanders over here to my place.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

African Safari - "No, this is Not the Zoo"


In 2006, Big Bear went on a safari.  A real one.  It was a business trip, so he was obviously employed at the time.  I was so jealous.  He went for 10 days to Africa and brought home some of the most beautiful souvenirs, the best of which were the pictures and the movies.  Since yesterday, I have been going through the pictures and wanted to share some with you.  As I finish editing and uploading the videos, I will share them as well.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Motherhood's Identity Crisis


I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my life and motherhood.  Too much thinking if you ask me, but enough that I wanted to talk about it.  You see, I'm going to be 50 in one week, and the strange thing is, is that I did not think I would make it this far.  Actually, I haven't yet - I still have a week to go and just about anything can happen in the course of a week - let's hope it's all good.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

How to Protect our Children from High Tech Abuse


It wasn't too long ago that I, as a parent, thought that technology was a good thing - for parents and children alike, but the more involved my own children have become in social networking, chat rooms, myspace, facebook, cell phones, twitter, instant messaging, and God knows what else, I realize we have a whole lot more we need to do to protect our children from predators - those sick bastards out there who think nothing of luring our children into their web of lies and abuse.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Beautiful Days - in Bed


I almost didn't post anything today, but then I thought "What the goober" I'm going to write something.  That's because I am sitting in my bed looking out the window at an absolutely gorgeous day that I can't seem to enjoy.  Why, you ask?  Because I've been laid up sick as a dog all week with the flu.  It's been nasty.  Kathleen and I seem to be having the hardest time shaking this illness and we both look like walking, moaning, miserable, sniffling, coughing, droopy, disgusting creatures.  Kathleen really needs to find some other activity than Twitter.  Every few seconds, I get a twitterific pop up.  Her latest tweet ...

"Ok, I've buried myself in tissues, time to come up for air and clean up a little."  Ya think she'll come to my room and clean up my mountain of tissues while she's at it?  Probably not.  Her's are gross enough.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Word Collector ©


Yep, that's me, I'm a word collector.  I love words.  If I'm reading or writing, you can be sure I have a dictionary and a thesaurus close at hand.  It's what I do.  It's my thing.  Frustrating is having a lousy dictionary and thesaurus on my computer which is where I need it most, so I find myself seeking out my big, heavy books - you know, the real books, not the digital ones, to find my answers.  Not that that is a bad thing, I just like convenience, and if it isn't at my fingertips, it's not convenient.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring has Sprung ©


Nothing is more beautiful than the sights, sounds, and smells of Springtime.  This past Easter Sunday, before we all fell ill and wanted to die a congested death, we enjoyed the sunshine, the breezes, and the colors of Spring in our community.  Kathleen and I grabbed our cameras and took pictures throughout our community.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Sick and Blessed


Yep, I'm blessed.  Blessed to have a husband who waits on me hand and foot when I am sick.  He brings me juice, he brings me Advil, he rubs my feet.  I may feel like crap, but I sure am lucky to have such a great guy in my life.

We've all been sick in our house - well, almost all.  Sarah and Matthew seem to be holding out, but the rest of us have been down for the count. 

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jesus of Nazareth


Every Christmas and Easter we, as a family, watch the 1977 epic movie "Jesus of Nazareth" with Robert Powell as "Jesus," Olivia Hussey as "Mary," Anne Bancroft, Ian McShane, and Laurence Olivier, just to name a few of the incredible cast.  The movie is extremely powerful, and every year it is as though I am watching it again for the first time.  The production, cast, and story, bring to life the life of Jesus beginning before the Nativity and extending through the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sarah Vaughn - Pianist, Composer ...
and full of Giggles


Sarah has come a long way with her piano, thanks to her dedication and her teacher, Claire Ritter, who is a renowned Jazz composer and pianist.  In the last couple of years, Sarah has been composing music that reflects her inspiration from nature and the seasons.  It has been wonderful listening to Sarah play daily, especially when we know that she is creating something altogether new for our listening pleasure.  We couldn't be more proud.

The other evening, Sarah participated in her high school talent show.  She was one of 14 acts.  Of course, we thought Sarah's was the best - but then again, we're biased. 

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Monday, April 06, 2009

SixApart - Wanna Hire Me?



Ever since I started my first TypePad blog, Red Easel, I have had an overwhelming need to learn web design - or maybe that's just blog design.  Whatever it is, I wanted to design and build a site that I was proud of and I hoped would eventually grab the attention of visual artist readers,  I wanted it to grow to be a special place on the internet.  It has grown slowly, but that's my own fault for not dedicating more time to it.  I have over 500+ subscribers to my email newsletters and almost 100 visual artists in the gallery.  That's a good thing.  The bad thing is that I redirected my attention away from Red Easel to start Raisin Toast and this site has become my baby you might say, surpassing my wildest expectations for a personal blog.

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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Peanut ButterFinger Cookies Anyone? ©

Oh my goodness - Beth's at it again - making my mouth water.  She's teamed up her favorite peanut butter cookies with pieces of Butterfinger candy bars, and wow are they delicious.

Take it away Beth! ...

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Friday Night - Movie Night

Friday night is movie night at our house.  Every Friday, we all huddle up in the family room and enjoy a movie together.  Last night was no different and we took in the movie Marley & Me.  We loved it, and of course, being the schmucks that we are, we all cried at the end.  The only disappointment is that the last dog that portrayed Marley didn't look anything like the other dogs.  The producers did a fairly good job of creating believability until the last dog.  But it didn't matter all that much - well maybe it did a little - but we all still cried.  Plus, Jennifer Aniston's character never changed her hairstyle, Owen Wilson never changed his hair either, and although Marley was a puppy just before they had their first child, the oldest child in the movie was about 8 I suppose when Marley died.  In other words, it just didn't all fit together that well.  Oh well, the kids enjoyed it.  We all did.  And, we always enjoy "Friday night movie night" no matter what's playin' on our big screen.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Smile Blind


Sometimes Kathleen will write something or do something that is so profound I can't quite wrap my brain around it.  Yesterday, when Kathleen got up, I had to ask her if I could publish her story.  She wrote a story that I knew took a lot of guts to write.  After placing her head in my lap and shedding a few tears she agreed to let me publish her story.  I ran my fingers through her hair, kissed her on the forehead and told her she was very brave - and I was proud of her.

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Grammar and Writing - Tools for our Children ©


Every time I hop on over to the Growing Scholars homeschooling store I spend hours looking through every section and glancing over book after book trying to find the educational material that is "just right" for my child's learning style.  Not every child learns the same.  Some are more visual.  Others are more critical thinkers - and I've got a child for every learning style, including one that is a real challenge to stay focused because of ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome.  That is the best part of homeschooling my children - is being able to tailor their education to their needs, their speed at learning a subject, and their struggles and strengths.  I love it.

When I come across educational material that I really like, I pass it on - to you.  If I write about any material here, you can bet I've read it, used it, and have an opinion about it.  Today, I'd like to share with you 2 books that have been passed down from Sarah to Matthew and now to Glen.  I've bought these same books for each child at some point during their homeschooling experience and the children love them. 

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

It's All In the Game of Love and War


Adolf can't get any rest around here.  He tries, but the love of his life keeps upsetting his rest to play.  Hannah has him pegged.  She's got him all figured out.

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