Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Not OK

A few weeks ago I went to the beach with my college girlfriends. We stayed in a beach cottage of sorts. And, the bathroom provided complimentary loofas, obviously used before. This is just not right.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Am Pleased

My son's first year of school has been nothing but positive! I am so pleased with our public schooling choice and experience. He went from knowing his letters and sounds to reading at roughly a 2nd grade reading level. He has a bettehttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifr handle on phonics than I do! When I ask him math questions I see his brain making problem-solving decisions. There is meaning behind the numbers and calculations; I love that. The variety of art and science and social studies that he's been exposed is really phenomenal. I guess that is what you get when you get an expert teacher...something districts should work hard and retaining.

I've been going into his room every Wednesday afternoon since September. Let me give you a glimpse into a typical afternoon:

The kids move fluidly from station to station, choosing what order they accomplish the tasks in. There is no arguing or confusion. Each child makes it to each learning station, but they feel the power to chose the order. Love this. The class is so accepting and encouraging to others. The teacher has created a positive, learning environment, teaching class behaviors and establishing clear, consistent boundaries.

At the yellow table kids were working at writing in their writing journals. I still think its impressive that this teacher gets kinders to write. Writing is not an easy skill. I love reading their entries and seeing them sound out words and put thoughts on paper.

At the blue table, my table, we were comparing and contrasting pill bugs and sow bugs, Isopods. This was a great activity to teach kids to notice details and sort and identify characteristics, and of course, expand their vocabulary.

At the round table kids were reading to their teacher and she was checking the books that are in their book bags, checking for appropriate reading levels and progress etc.

Another group of children were reading on the floor of the classroom to each other and to themselves.

The last station was "Buying the Farm." This is a very fun project that my child is very excited about. It involves math and money. I wonder if it is a version of Farmville? On Wednesday they were buying their green grass acreage and their farm houses. Then they had accounting sheets that they were gluing paper money on to representing the cost of the items they purchased...so concrete and developmentally appropriate. On the board were lists of all the things you need to run a farm, so I know they will be adding more to their farms as they go. Kids were spread through the room gluing their farm pieces on to their large, white papers.

All that was going on in an hour and half. That's a lot of creative learning and thinking for a room full of 27 six-year-olds, right?

This is just one of many terrific afternoons my son has spent in school this year. His days have been filled with literature, song, P.E., recess, lunch, library, computer class, assemblies...what a day of rich learning that is so age appropriate!

We are ready for summer, for a change of pace. But his first year has been a foundation for success for future school years to come. I look forward to 1st grade.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

They Do Like the Beach

I was wondering if we weren't really a beach family, but guess what...we are! The trouble in the past was that we always ended up at the beach when it was freezing and terribly windy so that we thought we were going to loose someone out to sea.

Still, the boys couldn't seem to pose without props in hand. But at least for this one we are all looking in the general direction of the camera. Remember the other shot of our family at the beach?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Miss Rumphius

I haven't done a book recommendation in a while, but I had to comment on my latest find Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney. Reading this book made me tear up with hope for mankind and for lives well lived. I love the Lupine Lady, the main character in this book. She starts out as a young girl named Alice with hopes and dreams and guess what....Alice achieves her dreams. She travels the world and sees exciting places. She is a progressive woman in her time, choosing to remain single and live a full life. As an older lady she decides to make the world more beautiful by planting Lupine seeds. The story is told through the eyes of her niece. I love it and don't want to return it to the library.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Good discussion going on over at Just Moms,the Facebook page. Love to hear your thoughts.

How much control do you take over your children's appearance and what they choose to wear? Melanie worded this question a bit differently and then added her own current experience dealing with this topic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Vanity and Insecurity

Vanity and insecurity: my motivations. A factor: my age. Seeing my picture in the paper: my devastation. There was no way my hair was that brown. I was a blonde. I am a blonde. It is funny how hair color really does define a person. I’m no different than any other woman. For me, blonde wasn’t dumb. Blond was beauty. I had been that blonde haired girl since my youth, and even though my lovely locks had slowly faded over time, my image of myself hadn’t. Then I opened the paper and saw my larger-than-life image of very brown hair. Shattered.

I rationalized that it was the lighting that caused this debacle. At Zumba a gal came over to congratulate me on the article she had read in the local newspaper, Brownsville Times, about my book release of Just Moms, and then remarked, “I almost didn’t think it was you. Your hair looked so brown in that picture.” And then instead of the conversations being about Just Moms, it became about my hair. Should I highlight it? Did she think of me as a blonde? Really? So, you don’t think of me as having brown hair? But that picture? It was so dark in that picture.

Even though many reassured me that my hair was still in the spectrum of being blonde, my confidence had been shaken. The last time I had tried to highlight my hair was six years ago when I convinced my husband to pull my hairs through that home-coloring-cap. He pulled way too many through and then, to make sure it really took hold, I kept the deadly chemicals on twice as long as I should have. I was still pretty scared from that horror show, and so had decided I would be all-natural from there on out.

But that newspaper picture? It was so bad. So blatantly not blonde. I took the plunge. Made an appointment. Refused to ask how much it would cost, so that I wouldn’t back out, and drove myself to the hands of a professional---eager for the hair of my youth.

“So basically, I want to walk out of here and know that you did something to my hair, but I also don’t want to walk out looking like a floozy.” My stylist knew exactly what I wanted. She delivered.

After my hair was all dried, cut, and styled I felt like the most beautiful girl in the world. It was me staring back at me in the mirror, not that stranger from the paper. There was Rebekah, the Rebekah I had always known and loved. No one could mistake that for brown. I smiled, “Perfect. It looks like I just experienced the full month of August!”

I walked with confidence back to the mom-mini-van and caught my sexy reflection in a storefront window! Oh yeah! Check me out!

This new dependence and appreciation of something not natural is a big step for me. I’m the girl, who at 33, still does not have her ears pierced. Never had a cavity. Still have my tonsils and appendix. Only think make-up looks good if you can’t actually tell I have it on. I gave up on tans years ago, and instead cheer on my summer glow of freckles. Still, I’m pretty sure I’ll never go back to drab winter hair ever again. I found myself, in a bottle, and it’s all good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Farmer Boy: Friday Photo

Our youngest exudes joy whenever he gets to be near living creatures.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When On the Radio...Learn to Laugh

I had my radio blog interview yesterday. I don't think you can tell from my voice how excited and nervous I was. I had my husband practice asking me questions the night before, and it was terrible. My responses really were lacking something, like knowing I was actually on the air? Anyway, once noon hit yesterday I wasn't much good. I was told to call five minuets before 3, and so from noon until three I tried to make myself useful. I worked on the school newsletter, folded laundry, empty the dishwasher, and actually did rest a bit on the couch and mindlessly flip through the newspaper.

I decided to go over to my mom's house to do the interview. Can you imagine trying to conduct a phone interview with three children lurking somewhere near? You must know how that might have sounded in the background. Not sure how your children deal with you on the phone, but it always seems like my boys can sense when I'm on a very important phone call.

I went over for some peace and solitude and to pull myself together. I dialed the number. I was committed.

It went fine. Actually, it went better than fine. After the interview was over, I listened to it again and was quite pleased. For my first live interview ever I think it was smashing! (Don't tell me otherwise, or I'll be crushed.) I do hope I was an encouragement to moms and that I did a good job describing the joy that Just Moms has been for both me and all the contributing writers.

The only real evidence that I was nervous was in my shirt. It was quite stinky from all that sweaty angst, and so I rewarded myself with a change of wardrobe at 4 o'clock.

Also, a little bit of advise for anyone getting a radio interview in the near future: work on your radio laugh. Mine is not so good in this venue. I breathe too much on the first note of my chuckle; it doesn't translate well. I noticed that Maxine and her co-hots had lovely radio laughs that lilted and carried well over the airwaves. Must work on that.

(This picture is of Melanie and me at the Brownsville Reading)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Calling All Listeners

OK readers, faithful and true. I could use some listeners now too. I'm going to have a radio interview on Monday the 9th at 3. Please follow this link for listening information.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


I would say our first book signing and reading extravaganza was a success! Did we really have 11 of our contributing writer's there? I think we did! Four of our writer's read: Nancy Thomas, Lisa Graham McMinn, Marta Sears, and Paula Hampton. We are hosting our second event this Friday at the Brownsville, Oregon library. It starts at 11, and the bonus is that we have a fabulous teacher coming in to do a Mother's Day craft and story time with the kids: free childcare! Bonus: you walk away with a Mother's Day present.

Feel welcome to come if you are not a mother. There were many men at our Chapter's reading last night.

So, how can you support us? Become a fan on FB, write a review on Amazon, or attend an event.

You can follow this link to find us on FB and see pictures of our Chapter's Reading event. It is always fun to put faces with names.

On our FB page you can be part of the discussion, responding to posted questions, and you can also leave encouraging comments for our writers. We've also posted links to various newspapers who have covered our book release.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sharing the Limelight!

I love seeing our contributing writers get some news and writer love. Here is a great article featuring Emily Chadwick who wrote "Digging for Answers" in Just Moms.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Upstaged by Osama

I was shocked to see a huge picture of Osama bin Laden on the cover of my morning newspaper, and then I was even more surprised to see an article on the second page about Just Moms. My husband wondered if I was bummed to be overshadowed by the death of this man we've been hunting as a country for over a decade. "No way, now people might actually keep commemorative copies of this paper and in doing so, commemorate Just Moms on page 3."

We were also featured in the Newberg Graphic.