Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
First one must change. I first watch myself, check myself, then expect changes from others.
Dog is God spelled backwards. That means something, I’m just not sure what exactly. But human is namuh spelled backwards.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Learning from mistakes is an important part of growing up. It is the basis for my work every day. People think that mine is a tough job because no one looks forward to meeting with me. That is true. But it's kind of like the dentist. No one really wants to go there, either (except the character from Little Shop of Horrors), but people know that they should.
And I am better than the dentist, too, because I don't drill into your teeth. Just into your conscience and your soul.
The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.
When we lived in the residence halls, the girls had to get very creative with their play. While they had resources that other kids might not have (ex: people to buy billions of girl scout cookies), they also had limitations -- no yard, small apartment with a small shared bedroom.
All that said, they did come up with some pretty fun ways to pass the time. Here you can see Elizabeth in their water park. Yes, it is a garbage can. Yes, it was clean. Yes, that is a water bomb in Maddie's hand.
If a couple of kids can play for 2-3 hours with a wastebasket full of water, I don't think there's much room for the rest of us to complain about being bored. Ever.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
A man could not be in two places at the same time
I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
One day Chao-chou fell down in the snow, and called out, “Help! Help me up!” A monk came and lay down beside him. Chao-chou got up and walked away. ~ Zen Mondo
Sunday, August 23, 2009
In the scheme of things, the small people and the small challenges exhaust moments, not lives. It is important to stay focused on that concept when navigating difficult times. Our reactions in those moments can determine our options for the future.
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up.
~ Anne Lamott.
I have some things I need to do. I am glad I did not do them when they first presented themselves. That would not have been the most productive approach. Instead, waiting is what was appropriate.
I once heard from someone that ultimately we all either decide to help others succeed or wait for them to fail. I think I have been called to help someone succeed in the weeks to come.
A mentor recently told me it is crucial to identify the gifts in others and help them to use those gifts. That is what I need to do now. It may not be comfortable because sometimes that means identifying things that are NOT gifts in the process.
I could just sit back and grow bitter(er?) and watch things either explode or implode. I do not think I'll choose to do that. At least not yet.
Tonight I asked the girls if they would rather have a child that was beautiful but stupid or a child that was brilliant but ugly. Maddie struggled with the question, "I would want them to look nice, but if they were stupid and didn't listen to me, I couldn't handle that."
At first Elizabeth said, "Smart." After a short pause, though, she changed her response, "One of each!"
I really wanted Chris to say, "That's what I ended up with, too!" But she didn't.
The master said: “Fu! [Everywhere!]” ~ One word Zen
When I spend the day with the girls, I see things that I would otherwise miss and hear things that I could not conjur up on my own.
Today, going out with them to do photos was a real pleasure. They were patient (with each other AND with me), they laughed and seemed to enjoy one another, and they seemed very caught up in the nature around them.
I am amazed by how their brains work, but am glad I don't fully understand them -- otherwise, where would the fun be?
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly. ~ Langston Hughes
Sunday, August 16, 2009
We spend most of our time and energy in a kind of horizontal thinking. W e move along the surface of things.. [but] there are times when we stop. We sit still. We lose ourselves in a pile of leaves or its memory. We listen and breezes from a whole other world begin to whisper.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Sit just to sit. And why not sit? You have to sit sometime, and so you may as well really sit, and be altogether here. Otherwise the mind wanders away from the matter at hand, and away from the present. Even to think thorugh the implicatons of the present is to avoid the present moment completely.
~ Alan Watts
~ Dr. Mary S. Calderone
Maddie: Why is she [Neko, the cat] doing that [making odd noises and raising her hind end in the air]?
Michelle: Because she's in heat and that is how she tells the male cats she wants to have sex with them.
Chris: And it says here [in the cat book] that the male cat's penis has hooks on it, so it stays in the female and it hurts her.
Maddie: Well, why would she want that, then?!
Chris: I don't know. Oh, and Maddie, just so you know human penises are like that, too.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
MLB: Maddie, how would you feel if your job was hairdresser and your sister was an astronaut?
Maddie: Well... that my job would be a lot safer.
MLB: I like names that can be for girls or boys – Like Chris and Pat
Elizabeth: Or Sam
MLB: Or Max or Alex
E: Or Audra
E: Or Chlorissa
MLB: What are you talking about?!
E: Or Bodecia
The following is from Elizabeth's display about the pyramids. She and her friend did some hypothesizing about their topic.
"I go running after Maddie to get the Abraham Lincoln card so I can pick my colors of play dough and Madie goes flying over the red chair and hit her head on the lamp and falls on the floor."
Nothing in that sentence makes sense to me. But I kind of like it that way.
Elizabeth: Play dough hurts when it hits you hard in the eye. I convinced Maddie it hit my eye in when she threw it at me.
Maddie: No, I was just going along with it 'cause you were crying.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Labor omnia vincit (work overcomes all things) ~ Virgil
Sunday, August 9, 2009
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
Goal 1: Do something with the borrowed children that we were pretty sure their parents would not approve of. We signed Marissa (and Maddie) up for the Ripcord thing - giant bungee flying ride.