Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pinterest Inspiration

Back in January, I was on a quest to do something, anything, with our sitting room. I had no inspiration for this space. I've had a desk in this small sitting room off of the master bedroom for years and most of my scrapbooking stuff was in this space, but there was still stuff on the floor, there were still piles of stuff that I couldn't find a home for, there was still stuff that just needed to be sorted through, but again, I didn't have a plan, I didn't know what to do and then I found Pinterest. I found this hutch that is very similar to the one I have but didn't look quite as organized.

Then I found this book shelf, so much stuff but so neatly organized with baskets on the bottom.

And then I found this one, this is what I wanted, this is what I needed to do to organize this space and make it a workable space. Notice the work table/desk is in the middle of the room.

Another version of this bookshelf only smaller. You can find all of these pictures on my Pinterest Craft Room board. I just figured out how to put a Pinterest button on the blog.

From one of the links I found out that the bookshelf was from IKEA. I now had a plan and an idea as to how I was going to utilize this small space.

The first thing I did was move my desk from up against the wall to the center of the room. I was always hesitant to do this because I thought the room was too small but it really seemed to work.

Then the bookshelves were built and added. I already had the brown baskets sitting empty in the basement from when they were filled with toys when the kids were much younger. Then I found the green bins at Target.

Remember that big black hutch on Pinterest that looked similar to mine? Well, here is mine all reorganized. The four big file boxes are each for the kids to put memorabilia in until I eventually get it into scrapbooks. The white boxes are my photos.

Here's that same sitting room back in December. Now yes, it was a disaster because of all the Christmas stuff but I just gained so much space by pulling the desk to the center of the room and adding the IKEA bookcase to the left.


 I am presently working on Molly's room. My little girl that absolutely loves the color pink, pink, pink decided that it is now a little girl's color and that she wanted her room painted turquoise. There was lots of Pinterest and blog inspiration for her room as well. I'll try to post pictures soon.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Happy Spring 2012

What a magnificent weekend. This past week we have been sleeping with the windows open and waking up to the birds chirping and the woodpeckers pecking in the backyard. This weekend, I was in Molly's room painting. More spring cleaning as well. Once the painting is finished, I will sort through all her "stuff" and decide what will go back into her room. Her closet will need to be sorted through again, decisions of what clothes still fit and what needs to given away will be made. So after a few hours of painting I needed a break. I felt like I was missing out on this wonderful weather. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few shots in our own yard. It really was a dazzling day and color was bursting everywhere.

I love this time of year. I love this small window of time between having the heat on in the house and it getting so hot that you need the ac. There have been some years that we have gone straight from heat to ac and skipped this small window all together. It's the same thing with the spring blooms. They are only here for a very short time. Maybe two weeks if we are lucky. They pop out and dazzle us with their vibrant color and then before you know it, they are gone. 

 Then I looked at this picture of Timmy taking a break from a few hours of playing basketball in the driveway. I just bought that sitting hammock a few weeks ago for Molly's birthday. She went to a birthday party a few months ago at a place that had a bunch of swing sets indoors. Molly fell in love with the hammock and spent most of the party just hanging out and swinging back and forth in the hammock. Well, all the kids have fallen in love with it. I love that we still have a play set in the backyard. I love that as my kids get older they still have no hesitation to get on the swings and play with one another or even swing by themselves. I know these moments won't last forever, just like the spring blooms. Before I know it, shots like this one, of kids just hanging in the backyard will be gone. With three spring birthdays all within a month of each other, I've been thinking about how much my kids have grown. Shannon, who will be 14 this week, she's finishing up eighth grade and will be on her way to high school. Timmy, who is about to turn 12, my last year before having two teenagers in the house. Ryan, who turned 10 back in January but really has grown this year, not just physically but also as a person. Molly, who no longer wants the light pink room that we painted when we found out she was a girl because she thinks it's a baby color even though I know she secretly still loves the color pink.

The rest of these pictures Shannon took. She asked if she could take the camera into the yard and this is what she came back with. I think she has a pretty good camera eye.

Happy Spring 2012!

Friday, March 16, 2012

After the Dazzle of the Day is Gone

After the dazzle of the day is gone,
Only the dark, dark, night shows to my 
eyes the stars.
After the clangor of organ majestic, or 
chorus, or perfect band,
Silent athwart my soul, moves the symphony true.
                               -Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

I read this poem for the first time in a children's book about baseball. In Deborah Wiles's, The Aurora County All-Stars, 12 year old, House Jackson finds a note from Mr. Norwood Rhinehart Beauregard Boyd, who died before him at the age of eighty-eight. The note read, 

"Your mother gave these words to me;
Now I give them to you as treasure for the days ahead.
Look for me in every atom that you see."

I read Aurora County All-Stars for the first time a number of years ago after I discovered and fallen in love with Deborah Wiles books. The second time I read it was when Timmy was reading it and I decided to reread it so that I could refresh my memory  and Timmy and I would be able to talk about the book together.

Today, I read the first chapter to Ryan's fourth grade class. I love to read aloud in my children's classrooms. It's one of my favorite things to do. Recently I asked Ryan's teacher if I could do something different. Instead of picking up in the middle of a book that she has started to read aloud that I might not have read before which then makes it difficult to read if you don't know exactly what's going on, I asked if I could come in once a week with a book that I had picked out and just read the first chapter. My thinking was to pick books that have great beginnings, read the book in such a way that will get the kids interested, get them "hooked" if you will, and then stop reading to them. At the end of the reading, I leave the book behind in the classroom and the next day, the teacher decides who gets to read the book first. I've been doing a lot of thinking about those "reluctant readers," those "dormant reader," those students that can read but chose not to, and how to get them more interested in reading. Parents and teachers have to be a little passive-aggressive when it comes to getting those "dormant readers" to read. Kids are smart and we can't just tell kids you need to read because it will make you smarter. When I walk into the fourth grade classroom, I am not their teacher or their parent. I am just Ryan's mom who came into read to the class. I don't tell or ask them to read the book after I'm done reading, I just simply place it in a bin and tell them I will see you all next week. No pressure. 

"After the dazzle of the day is gone"...dazzle...what a great word. One of the definitions of dazzle is "to amaze as with brilliance." Synonyms are awe, overwhelm, and overpower. Lately, I have been feeling overwhelmed and overpowered by our hectic schedule, so many places to be, so much to do, so many important events coming up: birthdays, first communion, tournaments, boys trying out and making travel teams. This is all good stuff but instead of feeling overwhelmed by it all, I want to feel dazzled by all this good stuff. 

Today I was dazzled by the attentive listeners in Ryan's class while I read.  I was dazzled by how well Molly's class listened while we painted leprechaun hats and their concern for the student that was absent today and might not get to make a hat. I was dazzled by Timmy at basketball practice and by how much he has grown as a basketball player this past year and the comments that I get from coaches and other parents that tell me how great he is not just as a player but as a leader that generates team spirit. And I was dazzled by the fourth grade musical show. 

The final song they sang was...take time in life, take time in life, take time in life, we have far away to go. I really needed that reminder...take time in life.

As the dazzle of the day is gone, and the clangor of my day of students and basketball and a musical is over, I sit here in the still silence of my study writing this, the symphony that I hear playing in my head is gratitude for this crazy, noisy, dazzling life.

I found this picture on my camera. Shannon took it. She told me she was looking for signs of spring. Isn't it dazzling?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Don't Miss the Rainbow

This post is two weeks of my sweet baby girl turning eight. Lately, I've been feeling like someone has hit the fast forward button and it's stuck and I can't get it back to normal play. Spring is especially busy for us. We have three birthdays all within a month of each other, Easter, spring break, regular season basketball has ended, travel basketball is beginning, baseball, soccer tournaments this weekend and then there is just the normal stuff that has to get done, like making dinner. As much as I love our family time, I do wish I had a cook at times to make dinner while I'm out chauffeuring all the kids around to their stuff. 

Birthday morning.

Dad was the Watchdog Dad for the day.

Messy faces after ice cream.


The daffodils arrived on Molly's big day.

A snap shot from my phone at 2:12...her birthday minute.

Thursday just happens to be my volunteer day so I snapped some shots before they came in from PE. It was a beautiful day.

I took these pictures with the instagram app on my phone which I really love.

Birthday night, cake and present time.

These pictures were taken on Saturday, March 3rd. I was trying to catch up on my project life journal cards and Molly really wanted me to take her to the tree with the tire like I took Ryan weeks before. I really wanted to finish recording our family memories that I had fallen so far behind on, but I had this little girl saying, "Please, Mama, can't we go?" I had a little girl who wanted to make memories in that moment, so we went.

These were also taken with the instagram app on my phone. "Look, mom, no hands!"

 Molly's signature pose, arms outstretched, loving life.

So on the day that I was sorting through pictures on the computer and trying to write my journal cards, there was a little girl standing by my side asking to go to the tire swing on a beautiful Saturday afternoon and while she was standing there, I remembered a quote I read a few days earlier in a book while shopping...

Sometimes you just have to stop what you are doing and enjoy the moment you are in or you will miss the rainbow.