Friday, November 02, 2007

There is so much FREAKIN' candy in my house!

Trick or Treat!Pixie dust, in case you were wondering.

Aaargh, again!

Potty break at Starbucks...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Our house is ready for Halloween!

How I spent Columbus Day

Tarzan vs. the back door

Score: Tarzan - 0, Back Door - 1

No stitches required, just surgical glue.

The blue around his mouth is from the popsicle he got at the ER.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I turn 38 today - two more years until I'm self-actualized. (I'm choosing to look at almost 40 as a positive thing. So sue me)
I went for a really long, hilly walk today - and it hurt like hell, but it was absolutely beautiful. I'm so grateful for this Indian summer weather. Gorgeous.
The kids "made" me breakfast in bed, then ate it, while I got up and packed their school lunches.
Tonight I have an overnight show at a terrific bed and breakfast place, so yeah, I'm working, but Don and I get a great dinner, a private room (no kids!) and a yummy breakfast. The kids are with St. Granny, and really looking forward to a sleepover. Good deal all around. This has been a good day.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My most recent brush with celebrity

Sunday night we went to hear a couple of musicians at a tiny little coffeehouse. One was Don's friend, William Fitzsimmons, who has a couple of tunes out there on different TV shows. The other was Ingrid Michaelson. Her song "Keep Breathing" was the last song on the season finale of Grey's know, the one where they showed the montage of Meredith cutting Christina out of her wedding dress, and George failing his intern exam, and Izzy sitting alone in the church. She also has a song on a new Old Navy commercial - about sweaters. I really like her music, and she seemed like a pretty normal, decent person, too. I bought a CD and had her sign it. If you want to, check out to hear some of her music. I really like "Far Away" and "Breakable"

ps: Ingrid will be on with Carson Daly tonight, 9/20. I'm having Don tape it for me since I am not a freak who stays up until 2:00 am watching TV. Not when I have to get up for soccer at 7:30!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Back to school

Third grade, Kindergarten, and Preschool.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In Remembrance

Probably most people’s first exposure to Madeleine L’Engle is A Wrinkle in Time. After all, it’s a Newberry Award winner, and appears on lists of “most controversial” books almost every year. One group had even tried to assert that the descriptions of “tessering” in the book actually refer to orgasm. No wonder the book was so popular amongst pre-pubescent! But my first exposure to this amazing writer came through a much lesser known book – Meet the Austins. The first time I read it I was about 11, and I fell in love with the characters. Vicki, the second born child, so much like me. Uncertain, insecure about her looks and her place in her talented family. Her smart, confident older brother, John. Her beautiful little sister Suzy, who’s always known that she wanted to be a doctor. Her precocious baby brother, Rob. And the parents – loving, stable, not without flaws, certainly, but able to provide an anchor for Vicki when her world gets turned upside down. Which it does, almost immediately. A beloved friend of the family is killed in a plane crash, and his orphaned daughter, Maggie, turns up to live with the Austin family, throwing their lives into chaos. Never before had I read a book that dealt with death so honestly. All the characters, even the adults, struggle with this death and the chaos it brings into their lives. But through the love that they share for each other, and are consequently able to extend to Maggie, Vicki is able to come a little closer to acceptance and understanding. The book was special to me, but I didn’t yet know how much its author would touch and change my life through her other works.

I came to discover other books about the Austins in subsequent years. The Moon by Night, The Arm of the Starfish, the Young Unicorns, A Ring of Endless Light, Troubling a Star. I grew, and my age paralleled Vicki’s as she grew up in the books. I even discovered a story about them in a women’s magazine at Christmas time, which was later republished as The 24 days before Christmas. The Austin’s were a part of my psyche – my internal understanding about what a family was and could be. Vicki’s struggle to find meaning in suffering, to find “cosmos in chaos” as L’Engle quotes Leonard Bernstein in another book, resonated with me. Throughout the books, she struggles with growing pains, sibling rivalry, violence and death, and yet the stories are so full of hope, and life, and love.

I soon discovered the science fiction branch – the “kairos” time series of books which feature Meg Murray and her even more precocious little brother Charles Wallace. I joined the millions who’ve been enthralled by a Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, and Many Waters. Again, the struggle to find meaning in suffering. Again, the affirmative stamp of the power of love to conquer evil. What glorious impossibilities lived here! Unicorns with wings, and cherubim composed of thousands of eyes and wings. Countless other planets, angelic visitations, time that folded back upon itself. Heroic rescues and adventures. My soul breathed it in and rejoiced.

And then, oh then! I discovered the non-fiction books. A Circle of Quiet – it was like sitting in Madeleine’s drawing room and having tea with her. (Actually, I’m a coffee drinker, but Circle seems to be more of a “tea” book.) To hear of her personal history, her private struggles, her own revelations of cosmos and kairos. It was such an intimate blessing. And then A Two-Part Invention, the story of her marriage and the death of her husband. Summer of the Great Grandmother, where she recounts the death of her own mother. The less-autobiographical but no less revelatory books the Rock that is Higher, Penguins and Golden Calves, and Walking on Water.

Walking on Water
in particular has become a sort of reference book of refreshment for me. Its subtitle, Reflections on Faith and Art, seems almost too serene for the struggle found within its pages. (Side note: I had a teacher at CMU who used to remark, after people had said that their characters were “reflecting” onstage, “Reflecting??!! What are you, an f#%**ing moonbeam??!!) L’Engle wrestles with the characterization of being a “Christian” artist, stating instead that she is an artist who happens to be a Christian. It is in this book where she articulates the struggle of her protagonists: “An artist is someone who cannot rest, who can never rest as long as there is one suffering creature in this world. Along with Plato’s divine madness there is also a divine discontent, a longing to find the melody in the discords of chaos, the rhyme in the cacophony, the surprised smile in times of stress or strain.”

I’m not sure where along the way I became a “collector” of L’Engle’s work. I just knew that it gave me pleasure to read and re-read her books, and that it was much easier to do that if I had the books on hand. I have in my collection all of the titles I’ve named above. In addition, I own The Glorious Impossible, The Other Dog, Herself, Camilla, The Other Side of the Sun, A Cry Like a Bell, Bright Evening Star, Mothers and Daughters, A Ladder of Angels, Sold Into Egypt, A Stone for A Pillow, And It Was Good, Certain Women, the Ordering of Love, Dance in the Desert. I may have missed a few. She was a pretty prolific writer, and yet spoke of herself humbly as a small contributor to “the lake”. This idea came from Jean Rhys, another writer. In Walking on Water; “Jean Rhys said to an interviewer in the Paris Review, ‘listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.’”

Madeleine L’Engle died last week at the age of 88. She was preceded in death by her husband and her son. She spent the last part of her life on this earth in a nursing home. I’m sure that she is rejoicing in a much more glorious place right now, riding on the backs of unicorns and conversing with cherubim. I however, feel the loss of her bright voice calling out hope and joy and love in this dark world. I have been touched and changed by her contribution to the “lake” and hopefully I am a somewhat better person because of it. Thank you, Ms. L’Engle, for fighting the darkness.

Suddenly there was a great burst of light through the Darkness. The light spread out and where it touched the Darkness the Darkness disappeared. The light spread until the patch of Dark Thing had vanished, and there was only a gentle shining, and through the shining came the stars, clear and pure. Then, slowly, the shining dwindled until it, too, was gone, and there was nothing but stars and starlight. No shadows. No fear. Only the stars and the clear darkness of space, quite different from the fearful darkness of the Thing. - A Wrinkle In Time

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The cat has fleas and the roof is leaking.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Ha! I did forget something!
I didn't line up a sitter for tomorrow night! However, two of my actors told me last minute that they can't make it, so I'm cancelling anyway.
Scooby's first baseball practice went well - he really seemed to enjoy it, although he is once again the smallest kid on the team, and lagging behind most of the others in skills. The coaches seem really great, though, and he had fun. He wants to run laps around the yard every day to practice his running!

Rambling Thoughts

My life is REALLY busy right now. I'm in those last two weeks of crunch time before a show that make me wonder how I get through it every time. I love it, but it's SO time consuming and right now I feel like I'm really stretching my multi-tasking ability. Tonight, Scooby starts baseball. Tomorrow, I have staff meeting at church and they're having preschool Parent/Teacher conferences, so Tarzan doesn't have school. Which means Tarzan and Cinderella both come to the meeting with me. Wednesday night I have Quilters rehearsal. Thursday I have my conference with Tarzan's teacher, then I teach a Shakespeare class in the afternoon, then I have Quilters rehearsal in the evening. Friday I have JURY DUTY, and then a murder mystery show in the evening. Saturday I have an all day Quilter's rehearsal, Scooby has his first baseball game, I'm singing at church, and then I'm going to try to take all the kids to a performance of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at the school where I sometimes direct and teach. Sunday morning I'm singing at church, then we have rehearsal for Quilters in the evening. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday nights are dress rehearsals, then the kids have a "Peter Pan" musical performance in their "My First Musical" class, and my Shakespeare class performs selections from Midsummer Night's Dream, then I have my first show for Quilters. Friday night is Quilters, Saturday Tarzan's going to a birthday party, we have our closing night of Quilters, and Scooby has a baseball game. Sunday morning Tarzan and Cinderella have "Preschool Sunday" where they get up in front of the church and perform, and I have a murder mystery show that night. Monday, May 7th, I get to breathe. In the midst of all this, I have to arrange for sitters, help with homework, oversee piano practice, get money for field trips, and oh yeah, feed everyone, buy groceries, keep gas in my car, do laundry, etc. etc. And right now I have a killer sinus headache. Yes, I'm venting, but actually having it all down in front of me is helping me organize my thoughts a little bit. Although I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Or lots of things, who knows. Pray for my sanity and my kid's patience these next two weeks!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Happy Easter!

Nothing says "Jesus is Risen" more than being forced to sit with all your cousins, paste on fake smiles, and get your picture taken 900 times.

I think this one is my favorite:

Followed closely by this one:

And then, of course, there's the always lovely:

Hope everyone had as much fun on Easter as we did!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring is Coming

So it's about 52 degrees outside today. I am not complaining - 52 is great! Much better than the freaking freezing cold couple of months we've had here. Spring is definitely on the way. However, 52 degrees is not T-shirt weather. Or so I'm trying to convince Tarzan. Tarzan, you see, is aptly named. He would love to run around all day in nothing but a loin cloth. We also call him our little furnace. (Or, if he's saying it, our little foo-niss) Both he and Cinderella requested a picnic, so I hauled out the Steelers blanket for him, and the pink picnic table for her, and prepared said picnic. I am wearing a t-shirt, a sweater, and a light jacket, and would really like to go back in for a pair of gloves, maybe a hat. I mean, yeah, the sun's out, but it's still pretty chilly out there, folks. But is he remotely cold in his T-shirt and nylon, unzipped jacket? NO. In fact, we battle for about 5 minutes about the fact that if he wants a picnic, he has to keep the jacket on. Poor Cinderella tries to emulate her hero big brother, but her little hands get cold, and secretly I think she's quite happy to let me win the battle of keeping her coat on.

Muddy shoes, muddy hair, muddy fingernails.

Spring is coming!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My brain told me to

Riding home from church today, I was giving Scooby kind of a hard time about responsibility. It was a long day for them, as I had a rehearsal after church and they had to hang out with me because Don had a leader meeting for Student Ministry at the same time. So I had told them to go downstairs to the playroom and get a few toys, then bring them upstairs where I could see them, and to play quietly.
Instead, they disappeared downstairs for 1/2 an hour, and never did bring up any toys. Come to find out, they had played in the Preschool room, not the playroom (big no-no) and not even put the toys away! Of course I didn't find this out until we were in the car on the way home. So I was lecturing about listening to directions, and taking responsibility and cleaning up after yourself. And then I added, "You're old enough to be thinking about some of these things on your own." And Cinderella adds, "Yeah, and to reach high things too." So I turn to her and say, "Who asked you?" And she says "Me. I did. My brain just told me to say that."
Can't argue with that!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Long overdue pictures

Here are some photos from Christmas and post-Christmas. Since I somehow posted them in reverse order and can't figure out how to change them, you get the most recent ones first.
Tarzan hanging out on the couch, and no, he wasn't posing for the picture

Beach Day at preschool

Fashionista Beach Day!

We're all doing well here. Scooby got 100% on the Roberto Clemente book report he worked on throughout the month of January. He had about 15 essay questions to answer (essay being used loosely here - each one consisted of one or two complete sentences, with capitalization, spelling, grammar, etc.) a picture of Clemente to draw, and a puppet to make. He chose to make the puppet out of a drinking water bottle, and filled it with kidney beans (since Roberto was a "black American, Mom") and then covered it with a white sock which he decorated to resemble a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform. It turned out really cute, and I think he was very proud of it. It earns him another Pizza Hut coupon, which he's also quite thrilled about. This month's book report is about animals. He has chosen meerkats, and has to do a writing portion, a map, and a three dimensional figure. But NOT out of play-doh. Apparently there have been some bad experiences with play-doh in the past. I wonder if Floam is acceptable?

Uncle J and Tarzan - the matching shirts say "I do all my own stunts"

Cinderella and "Papa"

Aunt Melissa playing Mom's new harp

Tarzan and Cinderella are working on writing their names, learning all about Groundhog Day (GO PUNXATAWNY PHIL - let's hope he's right for a change), making snow globes, and enjoying their classmates. Tarzan went to a bowling birthday party last week, and Cinderella has requested a playdate with "Alana...because I love her." As you saw in the photos, they also had "beach day" in their classrooms - and it was about 12 degrees outside! Tarzan spent the entire rest of the day in his bathing suit as well.

You've gotta love these posed holiday shots - don't the kids all look happy?

This didn't look blurry before I posted it. Oh well.

I've been on the treadmill almost every day, but still not back up to 3 miles. The advantage of running outside is that once you've gone 1.5 miles halfway, you're pretty committed to finishing that 3 miles if you ever want to get home. On the treadmill it's way too easy just to turn it off! But, I'm using it, and there's no way on God's earth that I'd be running outside in this weather!!!
Hope you're all doing well. When am I going to read anything new in East Providence Zoo???

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sophie's Choice

Holy Crap. Okay, I just watched Sophie's Choice for the first time, although I have read the book at least 5 times. This is an absolutely amazing film. Not only is it the best adaptation of a book into a movie that I have ever seen, the casting is incredible, the acting impeccable, the story frighteningly believable and yet incredibly poetic. I used incredibly twice. Oops. If you haven't seen this movie, rent it now. But watch it within reach of tissues and the possibly the hotline to a counselor. I am moved beyond belief. And I already knew the story!
All right. I'm done. Go watch the movie.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

I feel like I'm finally getting back into the swing of things after the Christmas/travel/sickness blur that has been the last month or so. We had a wonderful visit to Mass., and a great Christmas, but once again illness struck and knocked out Scooby, then my sister, then my by one it attacked almost everyone. Tarzan seems to have escaped. Then after we returned, the stomach bug, then Don, then Scooby, then Cinderella...once again, Tarzan escaped. I guess it's karma after being the only one to get sick over Thanksgiving.
Things are just about back to normal here, which means that I'm ramping up to be incredibly busy again. The mystery shows are happening pretty frequently, which is really fun, and I'll be doing a little bit of choreography for the high school. They're doing Little Shop of Horrors, which doesn't have a lot of dance, so hopefully it won't take up too much time. I'm also going to try to co-direct and be a part of a production of Quilters at our church - I'm trying to stack the cast with all my great friends who are also incredibly talented performers. I'm praying it can work out for everyone. We're also getting ready for baseball signups for Scooby, and kindergarten roundup for Tarzan, and preschool registration for Cinderella. I don't know why people feel you have to sign away the rest of your year in January, but it seems to be the way it is.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New Year!

It's a new year, and this is my new toy!!! It was actually given to us by some friends from church, and so far, works great. I've been walk/running about 2 miles per day, hope to up it to 3 miles next week. Skinny jeans, here I come!