Thursday, July 15, 2010


Oliver's Amazing Marble Shooter, inspired by something he saw in the gift shop at the Frontier Culture Museum. Oliver's shooter has several different settings. I didn't even know he was working on this!:

The birds around here have been busy creating, too! Notice the lovely Lichens woven into the nest:

Do you see the Amazon warrior hiding in the bushes? Oliver made a spear and matching "dress" :

Here is the tip of the spear:

And here is his Mace. I hate to say it, I didn't know what a "Mace" was until Oliver made this. He redesigned his Mace so that he could "safely" swing it without the head falling off. I don't think I want him swinging it,anyway!:

Emily has been creating space! She decluttered her room, and moved two twin mattresses together to make a king sized bed for Mary Margaret and herself!:

I have been creating cropped pictures on my camera. It's so neat to be able to redesign pictures right on the camera! :

Mary Margaret created this glittery coaster:

And we were having fun with the rock crayons that come in a little velet pouch. Even John Paul found them quite appealing!

We did create some messes, too, in the process of making new creations! Most of the messes are cleaned now, with the little ones tucked in bed, but I did find a remnant of our creativity : a little gathering of glitter and leaves swept neatly into a pile on the school room floor. The dust pan and brush were cast off quietly to the side. There is a Mockingbird singing out the window on this dark night. Anna is asleep on the floor next to me, warmed by her sheep skin rug. Somehow I feel like Long Fellow in his poem "The Day is Done." I know I have put this poem on my blog before,but I love it so much, I thought you may like to read it once more. I will leave you with that.

The Day is Done

The Day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.

I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:

A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.

Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.

Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.

For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.

Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;

Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.

Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.

Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.

And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Picture....

Is Worth....

A Thousand...


Ben was reading a book about Amish culture the other day, and he told me that one of the children pictured had never seen a picture of himself before. Ben and I were discussing why old order Amish discourage picture taking in their communities. One of the main reasons for shunning photography, so to speak, is because of pride. The book mentioned that the Amish felt it was vain to have pictures taken.

Looking at some of the pictures on Face book and other places around the web may certainly confirm that theory! However,there is such a deep level of memories portrayed in a single photo. Details are captured that certainly would have faded away over the years. I posted a few random photos to make my point.

In the first picture, I see a sweet moment captured of two loving sisters. Knowing my girls, I am also struck with the memory of Anna wearing a bathing suit 24/7! She usually always is dressed in a bathing suit. Would I have remembered that without a picture? And are these little details important? Yes, they are. The little details are what give life to our memories. They are the salt and pepper that flavor and enhance bygone moments.

On the next picture, of Sam holding the book, I chuckle at all the little nuances captured in the picture. First of all, Sam was wearing gloves, because he didn't want to touch the fish Ben caught. Second of all, he is wearing his super hero PJ's (at least the top!) that he picked out when he could have had any outfit in Target. I am reminded how we bought the PJs in Richmond when Oliver was in the hospital. The kind woman at the Ronald McDonald house was picking us up from Target and taking us to the hospital. By the time we arrived at the hospital, Sam had changed into these PJs in the back seat of the car! Never mind that it was forty degrees out, and he wore the matching shorts in the set...not the pants!

I am also reminded in Sam's picture of our reading times together. Sam has chosen on his own to use the McGuffey readers to learn how to read. On this particular day, I was busy doing something, and Sam was hunting me down, armed with his "reader," saying, "Mommy, now will you please read with me...."

In the background of the picture I see Roy sleeping under the van- one of his favorite spots. And I love Sam's expression. Will I remember his awkward, toothy smile after he has braces in a few years?

And then there's the picture of Tommy. No matter how much we remember of an event or a person, a facial expression captured on camera truly stirs the heart. I look at Tommy and can feel his joy and enthusiasm as if I am right there in that moment.

Lastly, I am with Mary Margaret at one of our favorite spots: the Pioneer Village on Skyline drive. How many times have I glorified this humble little dwelling in my mind? As much as I know that I wouldn't have wanted to be a pioneer woman, I long for the "simplicity" of earlier times.

So, Yes. As much as I admire the Amish and their ways of living, I must respectfully disagree about picture taking. I am so thankful we have this amazing way of putting the life back into our memories.