Spring Video, How Does Life Live?

In celebration of Spring, I’m adding a new post every day this week and came across something extraordinary to share. It’s a 12-minute video called How Does Life Live? by Kelly O’BrienIt’s just beautiful!

Kelly filmed her daughters playing while her 3 year-old Willow asks questions about life. O’Brien says, “Kids are endlessly curious and ask about how life works, the ineffable mystery of it, all the time. Their questions reflect that time between innocence and experience as they try to figure out who they are in relation to the world around them.” My favorite question Willow asks is, “Do blue butterflies eat part of the sky?”

It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

If you watch How Does Life Live?, I’d love to know what your favorite question was.

Happy new beginnings, hon.

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Dale Chihuly in Denver, Fifty Shades of Grey

Dale Chihuly, Perennial Fiori, Blown Glass, 2014

Perennial Fiori, Dale Chihuly, Blown Glass, 2014

Many shades of grey exist between black and white.

In my last post, Glass in the Garden, vibrant colors resemble Monet’s Impressionistic paintings. Here, black, white and grey stand in stark contrast to grass, leaves, bees and a wall of water.

Aside from contrasting colors, I am taken with the dichotomy between straight and curved lines borrowed from nature and mirrored in glass and stone at the Denver Botanic Gardens

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As stems reach for the sun, bees drink up the shine.

Nicholas Kadzungura,Chapungu Sculpture Park, Zimbabwe, Africa.

So Proud of My Children, Nicholas Kadzungura,Chapungu Sculpture Park, Zimbabwe, Africa.

This African mother may walk tall and straight , but the curve of her face, tilt of her head, and bouquet in her hand form a circle of devotion around her children.

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I’m passionate about children and reading, so it’s no wonder why this sculpture spoke to me.

The Boy and a Frog, Elsie Ward Hering, stone 1898

The Boy and a Frog, Elsie Ward Hering, Stone 1898

I am always amazed at how material such as stone can be chiseled to look like a person. This sculpture’s curves harmonize with the brick path and bushes.

Surprise! Instead of spires, around a corner were huge, wavy glass blooms. I wasn’t expecting these white flowers. Their clear “petals” blend with the falling water yet, at the same time, they wave upward and outward in an unnatural way. I do like the way they are both opaque and translucent.

Dale Chihuly, Perennial Fiori, Blown Glass, 2014

Persian Towers, Dale Chihuly, Blown Glass, 2014

Dale Chihuly,

“I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in a way they have never experienced. ” (quote by Chihuly)

Hon, what do you think of the black and white glass?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Dahlia.

Dahlia.

Happy Mother’s Day–dedicated to my mom.

This poem was tacked to the bulletin board in our kitchen.

No Child of Mine Poem

My dad and mom with the triplets.

My dad and mom with the triplets.

Me, my mom and my son.

Me, my mom and my son.

Grandma and granddaughter (my Plus One), matching.

Grandma and granddaughter (my Plus One), matching.

Butterflies on Cone Flowers.

Swallowtail butterflies  on Cone Flowers.

I hope you have a lovely day, hon. 

Cake-In-A-Cone

Cake Ice Cream Cone

Cake-In-A-Cone with Icing and Extras.  Yum!

Do you need a cool, kid-friendly dessert?

Cake-In-A-Cones were a hit with the middle schoolers at my daughter’s New Year’s Eve party. You know how much I love a theme, but this pre-decorated or decorate-your-own dessert would be fun at any party.

Happy Sweet Tooth, hon!

Combining ingredients of cake mix.

Combine ingredients to make cake batter.

Line muffin tin cups with foil so cones will stand.

Line muffin tin cups with foil so cones will stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cake-In-a-Cones right out of the oven.

Cake-In-A-Cones right out of the oven.

Cake-In-a-Cone ready for icing and extras!

Ready for icing and extras!

Cake-In-A-Cone

Ingredients:

1 box of cake mix

eggs, however many the cake mix calls for

vegetable oil, same as the eggs, check the box

24 flat-bottomed ice cream cones

regular sized muffin tins

Icing and Extras, such as sprinkles, mini-marshmallows, M & M’s, cinnamon candies, etc.

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Prepare muffin tins by lining each cup with aluminum foil.  This will help the cones to stand.

3.  Combine cake batter as directed on cake box.

4.  Stand cones in muffin tins.  Fill each cone about 3/4.

5.  Bake for about half the time noted on the box, then check to see if cake is done.  If not, keep in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

6.  Cool before decorating.

My Top 20 Triplets Memories

Two months old.

Two months old.

Happy 20th birthday today to our three beautiful babies!

Here are my Top 20 memories of raising two girls and a boy, born within five minutes of each other.

The triplet stroller turned heads.

The triplet stroller turned heads.

1.  Walking up and down our street to get some fresh air. (“Sleep babies, sleep!”)

2.  Watching all three babies nap in one crib, swaddled and warm. (bundled like sausages)

3.  Reading stories together, either at bedtime or on long car trips. (Except when they wanted to read out loud and were at three different reading levels.  Oh, the competition!)

Triplets plus one.

Triplets plus one.

4.  Pumpkin picking, wagon rides, and bringing home cider, doughnuts and apple butter. (looking for those perfect pumpkins)

Halloween.

Halloween.

5.  Halloween–dressing up, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and the elementary school show. (Our attic doubles as a Halloween costume shop!)

6.  Thanksgiving along with many holidays spent with family. (cleaning up, cooking, celebrating and catching up)

7.  Countless trips to Baltimore (shout out to my MD family) and Long Island (Dad’s family).

Train ride to NYC.

Train ride to NYC.

8.  Day trips, especially taking the train to Manhattan. (One of my many mottos:  “Getting there is the accomplishment.  Being there is icing on the cake.”)

Scan 12

9.  Building snowmen, sledding and playing in the snow. (Hot chocolate and cookies, anyone?)

First day of high school.

First day of high school.

10.  First day of school. (School supplies? The right outfit? Ready to go.)

11.  First day of camp (and first time on a big, yellow school bus)

Farm-themed b-day party.

Farm-themed b-day party.

12.  Birthday parties.  (Hon, you know I love a party!)

Skiing.

Skiing.

13.  Skiing. (Almost nothing beats a sunny day skiing.)

14.  Trip to Israel. (I knew the trip was a success when we landed in the US and my son asked, “When can we go back?”)

15.  Vacations, especially Disney World. (The secret to theme park success:  pack snacks and sandwiches.)

16. Significant religious milestones. (connecting roots from one generation to the next)

Bethany Beach, Delaware.

Bethany Beach, Delaware.

17.  Beach vacations and day trips to the Maryland, Delaware and Jersey shores.(sandcastles, sunbathing and seashell collecting)

"Baby A"

“Baby A”

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18.  Watching our determined 2 pound 9 ounce daughter grow up.

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"Baby B"

“Baby B”

Scan

 

 

 

 

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19.  Watching our feisty 4 pound 12 ounce son turn into a young man.

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"Baby C"

“Baby C”

Scan 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20.  Watching our sassy 4 pound 4 ounce daughter morph before our eyes.

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Hon, I’m raising a virtual glass of champagne in a toast to my three 20 year-olds.  Health and happiness.

Cheers!

December Defined (A Short Video)

DSC_3682

Happy New Year!

December 1, the term “December Defined” popped into my head.  Children’s book author Tara Lazar’s PiBoIdMo had challenged me to come up with a new picture book idea every day for a month.  I did it!  And I felt like my new ideas defined the beginning of the month.

piboidmo2013-winnerbadge-700x700

Then, as I’m sure is true for all of you, December surged forward like a crowd of screaming teenage girls trying to get closer to a pop singer.  I thought about December now and in the past, and created a photo montage of family and friends. Mining photos, I included December photos plus a couple others.

My tween came home from middle school chorus practice singing “Simple Gifts,” so the video is set to that Shaker classic as well as a few seconds of the middle school chorus singing “Winterlight” and “Seasons of Love.” I hope you enjoy the 3 minute plus video.  I’m raising my virtual glass of champagne in a toast to a wonderful 2014.  Clink!

Hon, what defines December for you?

Credit for the beautiful version of “Simple Gifts” must be given to the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, in a video posted by James Roman.

 

Thankful on Thanksgiving

Third Grade Poems

Third Grade Poem

Third Grade Poem

Third Grade Poem

Hon, I came across these Thanksgiving poems written by my triplet son and daughter when they were in third grade.  Where’s my other triplet daughter’s poem?  I’m not sure, but hope its already tucked away in her Memory Bin.

I hope you had a lovely long weekend spent with family and friends.  If Thanksgiving isn’t your holiday, then Happy Holiday to whichever holiday you celebrate.

Triplets age , , Plus one age

Triplets age 10, Plus one age 3

Triplets age 18, Plus One age 11

Triplets age 18, Plus One age 11

I had to include a picture with Lucy!

I had to include a picture with Lucy!

Material Girl Metaphor

pumpkin picking

pumpkin picking

Bethany Beach, DE

Bethany Beach, DE

Magic Kingdom, FL

Magic Kingdom, FL

kids and puppy with our old babysitter (and now dear friend) and her baby

triplets before they left for college, kid #4, puppy and our old babysitter (and now dear friend) and her baby

Last week, I lost a necklace.  I put my hand to my neck and realized my necklace wasn’t there. I was 99.9% positive I had put it on that morning. As I searched around my seat, my coat, the parking lot and my car, the percentage fell to 75% sure. In fact, I was hoping to be dead wrong, hoping it was lying on my dresser. When I got home, no luck. I felt like I was losing my mind as well as the necklace. I admit I freaked out a little. Okay, not really a little–a lot. (Losing my perspective is a whole other blog post.)

I know the necklace is only a material thing, not that important in the scheme of things, but I was upset. I thought about the people who have lost their homes and worse in Hurricane Sandy and I was sad for them. Did that help me gain perspective? Not in the moment, not really.

I felt the necklace was a metaphor (Hon, I’m really into metaphors.) for other things I have lost, such as three children who all started college this September and a job I’ve worked at for twenty years that is about to end. I believed that when the triplets went to college, my head would open up, fresh air would rush in and my brain would be rejuvenated. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened.

Back to the necklace search. Losing my necklace reminded me of another time I lost a different necklace. A couple of years ago, before trying something on in a store, I put that necklace on a chair in the fitting room. It was almost closing time so I had to wait until morning to try and find it. If one of my daughters put a necklace on a chair instead of in her pocketbook, I wouldn’t be happy. I was the one who wasn’t thinking, I chastised myself. I rushed to the store in the morning and recovered my necklace. Lesson learned.

Last week, after feeling like I was losing my mind, my daughter and I returned to the scene of the crime (okay, it wasn’t a crime, but I kept saying “scene of the crime” so there it is). We retraced my steps and found the necklace in the parking lot, jump rings and clasp in tact. Yay! And how? How had it fallen off my neck?

I found my necklace but I’ll never be that mom in charge of a constant-house-full-of-children again and I’m not sure what jobs I might find in the future. What I’m really not sure of is when that hand is reaching down from heaven to open up my head so I can clean out the cobwebs in my brain.

I think I’ll stay away from percentages but hopefully, I’ll find a new purpose, a new job and a new perspective in the new year.