Thursday, November 19, 2009
I’ve misplaced it.
And even Scott can’t find it.
It is forfeit now.
By default it is gone.
Others has questioned it’s disappearance.
But it remains absent –
Hidden from view.
I can’t tell you where it went,
But it is irrevocably cast away.
I pray I’ll never find it.
Some things are left for lost.
I’ve mislaid twenty-five pounds.
And I’ll never get them back!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I know most people associate their mothers or women with lullabies, but I don't. I associate lullabies with my father!
One of my earliest memories is of my dad singing and rocking us to sleep every night. My sister, brother and I would all lay down on mom and dad's bed waiting for our turn on my father's lap. Dad would sing two songs to each of us as he held us and rocked us in the wooden chair. The other two siblings would eagerly await their turn in dad's arms.
Dad sang six songs every night. His rich voice made the songs magical. We were all entranced in the lyrics. We rejoiced in his musicality. We were caught in his spell - a spell that made us feel happy, comfortable and loved.
Dad still keeps lullabies alive. Even now, his own children have children of their own, he continues to carry on the tradition of tranquil, alluring music to his grandchildren. As each grandchild is born, they receive an original lullaby. The joyful, safe, loving feeling that I felt as a child is now instilled in my own daughters, as they listen to their very own song.
Katia, my youngest daughter, listens to "Katia Come Home" her lullaby every night before bed. She always says she KNOWS Papa loves her because of her song. Kiara begs me to play "The Grand Valley (Kiara's Song)" for everyone we meet... even her classmates!
I'm grateful for the legacy I have of listening to lullabies. I'm thankful my father sang to me as a child and continues to sing to my own daughters! When I struggle with insomnia, I listen to lullabies and beautiful calming music to help me sleep. And unlike Brahms, I do sleep like a baby when the music plays.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Waiting for my daughter's name -
Enthusiastically listening -
Impressed by her achievement.
Other scholars are announced...
Their accolades are not why I'm here.
My beautiful child is beaming as she, too, waits.
I'm blessed to be here.
I'm honored to be her mother.
And still, I wait...
Then, her name is proclaimed.
I glow with pride.
Knowing that the true gratification is hers!
She earned the grades.
She labored diligently.
The honor belongs to her, alone.
I share in the joy because she is MY girl!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here's the writing prompt I gave my choir students: Singer and songwriter Barry Manilow is well known for his pop music hits. But Manilow has written other tunes that millions of people hear every day: the jingles for products including Band Aids, State Farm Insurance, Stridex and Chevrolet. What is your favorite commercial jingle? Have you ever purchased the product it advertises? Why? And this is my reply:
Commercial jingles are so much fun! I find myself singing them all the time. My husband says I’m susceptible to them. Maybe it’s true. But I think in some WEIRD way, they have enriched my life!
One of my favorite commercial jingles from when I was a kid was Oscar Mayer’s bologna commercial. I loved that the little boy would sing about his bologna’s first and last name. I still sing this song when I fix sandwiches.
“Plop, plop, fizz, fizz Oh what a relief it is!” That little melody always pops into my head when ever I have a stomach ache. Alka-Seltzer is a life-saver sometimes!
I can’t stand Dr. Pepper. My husband likes it. But I want to be a Pepper when ever I hear the song “I’m a pepper. He’s a pepper. She’s a pepper. Wouldn’t you like to be a pepper too?”
Coco-Cola’s classic ad “I’d like to buy the world a coke” brings tears to my eyes. It was simple, yet refreshing. But it hasn’t made me a coke fan. I still prefer Diet Pepsi.
I’m allergic to cats. So is my husband and daughter. I’ve never been a real cat fan. But Meow Mix commercial can definitely get stuck in your head. Singing “Meow Meow Meow Meow” really can drive you crazy! But it’s a lot of fun too!
And one that drove me absolutely crazy was Desert Automobile’s add in Las Vegas. They took the Ghost Buster theme and sang “Who you gonna call? Call Desert!” My daughters loved the song, but didn’t realize it was really a rip off. I had to rest Ghostbusters for them so they could hear the “real” song!
So yes, commercial jingles have enhanced my life! I hope I get to hear many more memorable ones!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
We converged at the contemporary site
Assembled for pep talks and positive orations
Words like “World Class” and “Excellence” are tossed around
Inspiration dispersed on imported, vogue, paper plates
My eyes compete to stay open
Weariness and fatigue struggle to be overcome by exhilarated vitality
But relief comes, through thoughts of the Harry Potter movie this evening!
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
An extraordinary book is an intimate friend.
An enjoyable book is an exceptional playmate.
An enlightening book is a reliable comrade.
A motivational book is a dependable companion.
A melancholy book is a tender confident.
A dramatic book is an arousing buddy.
An ambiguous book is a mystifying neighbor.
A memoir book is a candid pal.
My attachment to books may be peculiar,
I treasure my captivating relationship with my books.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
I was feeling frustrated with some of my students at the end of last year. I had a 6th grade class that showed no respect to ANYONE. All the special teachers (Art, P.E. Technology, etc.) were moaning about how they didn't know how to teach these students respect. It was bad. This poem was my way of dealing with the lack of respect and lamenting the fact that my daughters were growing up with these 6th graders as "examples"....
Respect is fanishing,
A lost virtue,
Without this courtesy,
Life is full of entropy.
Control, self control, is ended.
I mourn for my daughters.
I sorrow for their generation.
Civility has been wrongly sentenced to life.
Decency has been brutally assassinated.
And the golden rule is being savagely slandered.
Is it too late for a metamorphosis?
Can respect ultimately triumph?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
How can we obtain a more enjoyable life of balance? What we really need to put balance into our lives is more TIME. Unfortunately, we can't control how many hours are in a day. And so we must try to control how we spend the hours we do have.
You might be wondering what organization skilss have to do with putting more balance into our lives... You might wonder what difference does it make to be organized.
I believe that it makes all the difference in the world.
Organizational skills can help you cope with the world around you. Organization provides structure and creates a semblance of order. Being organized helps reduce daily stress levels.
I've also learned that organizational skills save time and effort. I learned the importance of this kind of organization when my first daughter was born. I was overwhelmed by the responsibility of a new born. And so the last thing I wanted to be doing was looking around for blankets, burp cloths, baby wipes and diapers. So, I kept all of those supplies on hand in the family room, upstairs, in the car, and in her room. They were handy and convenient anywhere I spent time. I always KNEW I could find whatever I needed when I needed it.
I learned to do the same thing with cleaning supplies. For example, each bathroom has a cleaning basket with Windex, Lysol, Comet and other cleaning supplies. It's easier than lugging around my supplies, and it's a little bit quicker. And if you think about it, I'm not really spending any more money on the supplies I use. I do have more, but I'm also not buying them as frequently.
Organizational skills are the keystone to having a more balanced life.
There are two components to being organized; there are teh STRUCTURES and the REGULAR ACTIONS (habits). The structures are the physcial tools you use to hold things in which you are organizing such as your filing cabinet, desktop sorters, baskets, etc. On the other hand, you can have all the structures in the world, but if you don't actually have the habits like filing papers into your files, or opening up your planner to see what's on the schedule, you won't be organized.
Disorganization can quietly eat away, day by day, at your productivity. You may wonder, does anyone really care if you are organized? Heavenly Father does. He said, "Establish... a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God." Without some organization, these qualities are difficult or impossible to demonstrate.
To become an organized person, you need to start thinking like one. The following is a list of tips to help you become organized and stay ont eh path or organization.
- IT'S ALL IN THE PLAN - Proper planning gives the overall picture of teh task or tasks to be completed. It saves time in the long run. I use a VERY large calendar to keep my family organized. It's from moretimeformoms.com. I recommend it!
- TIME MANAGEMENT - Successful people spend their time wisely. Did you know that the average human being in our society loses an HOUR A DAY due to disorganization? Just take a minute to think about it - that's more than 2 weeks per year! That's a whole vacation!
- DON'T PUT IT DOWN; PUT IT AWAY - An organized person will come to realize that it is always easier to put something away rather than set it down "for now." I really struggle with this principle, but I'm lucky that my husband picks up the slack for me here! :-)
- A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE
- LET CLUTTER ANNOY YOU - Start to act out against clutter; throw it away or donate it. Act now!
- FILE IT; DON'T PILE IT - I love my filing cabinet. And once I created a filing system that worked for me, I use it much more. The fun part about getting organized is helping your children learn the skills too. Both of my daughters received filing cabinets for their birthdays last year, and love learning how to file their own report cards, award certificates, and other special things.
- OPEN AND PROCESS ALL MAIL - I once heard a smart person say that you should open all mail over the trash can so youc an file junk mail immediately where it belongs - the trash! :-)
- BREAK LARGE PROJECTS DOWN INTO SMALL SEQUENTIAL STEPS - Kiara nd I did this with a skeleton project she created a couple of weeks ago for school. First we drew the skeleton on the fabric. Then we cut out the skeleton. Then we glued the pieces together. After drying, we stuffed the pillows and finished by labeling each bone. SMALL STEPS! :-)
- KEEP SUPPLIES WHERE YOU USE THEM
- DATE AND TITLE ALL MATERIALS
Sometimes there are somet higns that make organization difficult. Knowledge of these "monsters" makes it easier to wage a war against them and stay organized!
Watch out for the PROCRASTINATION MONSTER. Don't put things off. Just do it!
Watch out for the monster, INTERRUPTIONS. Interruptions reduce motivation to continue to work. Try to reduce the number of interruptions you get while working on organization.
MISMATCH BETWEEN TIME AND ONE'S CAPACITY is a frightening monster. When people ovestimate or underestimate time taken to perform a task it leads to disorganization. When we try to do too many things in one time slot it can be frustrating. It reduces our pace. On the other hand, when we do too little in a given time period we are wasting valuable time.
Another monster to watch out for is SETTING THE WRONG PRIORITIES. We all have priorities that should be set up in the order of importance.
All anyone needs to be organized is just 15 minutes a day. That's all it takes. Organizing your home doesn't have to be thiss all-day, all-week event. Just set aside 15 minutes every day to tidy up and you're well on your way to an organized home. I like to put on our family "WORK" CD and make the "job" of organizing fun!
Take it one day at a time - 15 minutes at a time! Rome wasn't built in a day. Take baby steps. If your dining room table is now a flat filing cabinet... Work for 15 minutes creating piles to file. If your idea of being organized, is multicolored Post-it notes, invest in a good calendar and use it! I promise life will be better! You will be happier!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
It’s not easy…when
All I see are imperfections
All I hear from everyone is criticism
All I feel is doubt
Being accomplished isn’t good enough
I fall short
If I can’t forgive myself…
Who can?My emotions are THINLY veiled
An imaginary smile that doesn’t reach my eyes
Desperation covers my heart
What will heal my soul?
I prayerfully implore, “Father, remember me?”
I silently sing
Psalms of hope in Christ
At peace? Most assuredly.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Oh, remember the glorious story
Of America and all her glory!
Unfortunately now that Obama has won
A hopeless and frightening new future’s begun.
Looking around; indecency abounds
It’s everywhere: schools, governments and towns.
Socialism is the new way to be “free”
Palosy will tell you just how to be.
It’s Satan’s plan for homosexuals to marry
But Liberal actors say gays should be “we.”
Crime has reach colossal heights
While main street Americans Loose their rights.
Terrorists will be allowed to see more free days
While Joe, the Plumber, will be the one who pays.
Taxes are raised for the “greater good”
Corrupt politicians making laws just ‘cause they could.
Viciousness and suffering cause people to fear
People with morals and values should shed a tear!
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
But mostly, I wanted to write a couple of book reviews about the last few books I've read. My daughters are lucky to be a part of "Battle of the Books" at their school this year. "Battle of the Books" is a "club" where they form teams to read 6 different books. Then they get to be in a quiz like game show about the books they have read. Since they were reading books I had never heard of, let alone read, I decided to read the books with them!
"Dicey's Song" by Cynthia Voigt was the first of the books that I read in the past two months. I actually started with "Homecoming" which is the prequel to "Dicey's Song." I'm glad I read "Homecoming" first, but "Dicey's Song," which won a Newberry Award, works well by itself too! After walking with her younger brothers and sister for months and months to their grandmother's house, Dicey Tillerman and her siblingss have finally found a home with their "crazy" Grandma Tillerman. Grandma has made it perfectly clear that she enjoys their company, regrets some of the mistakes she made with her own children, and is willing to adopt them immediately. As the eldest, Dicey is pleased but being adopted isn't enough to ease her day-to-day worries. Younger brother James is making himself appear like an average kid in school (rather than the genius he truly is) so that he'll have friends. Little Maybeth has never done well in her classes, though she's a whiz at music comprehension. And youngest child, Sammy, is constantly pretending to be a "perfect" child at school. While Dicey is worrying about these things, it's not as if her own life is perfect either. She shuns friends and cares mostly about scraping the paint off an old sailboat belonging to her grandmother. Still, as things come to a head, Dicey's gonna learn what it means to hold onto the people you love, what it means to let go, and when to decide which action to take. This is a great book about a young woman learning how to grow up. I've also read the third and fourth books in this Tillerman series. They are fabulous too!
A COMPLETELY different book would be "The Lightening Thief" by Rick Riordan. But this series is no less GREAT than the Tillerman series. I couldn't put the book down. And I read books two and three already too! :-) I think one of the reasons I loved this series so much is because I enjoyed my high school Greek mythology class and the stories that came with it. This book brings Greek mythology to a modern world! The hero, Percy Jackson, is in fact the son of Poseidon. Kids that are actually children of Greek gods and goddesses are called "half-bloods" in the book. Unfortunately, there are forces of darkness - monsters - whose aim it is to destroy such kids. They are only protected at a special camp - "Camp Half-Blood." Percy lands at this camp, but must eventually leave it and risk the monsters, to fulfill a Quest. Each book is more exciting than the next. And the references to all the fun Greek legends makes this even more fun! I had to go back to my notes from the class for a refresher on who each God and Goddess were. But my daughters have never taken a Greek mythology class and they love the books without the prior knowledge. (Although we did bring out the movie "Clash of the Titans" and Disney's "Hercules" for them to see this past week....)
Katia had me read "Frindle" by Andrew Clements. She begged me to read it and told me "it's an easy read!" I laughed at her expression. She was right. I read the entire book in less than two hours! But it is a book that is well worth two hours of anyone's time! :-) I only regret that I didn't read it years ago, so I could've been recommending it to all my friends and their children!
Like most successful books for kids, "Frindle" works on many different levels. It's funny, fast-paced, and while the main character, Nick, is kind of a class clown, he has qualities that even a mean teacher like Mrs. Granger would like. And even though Mrs. Granger has a reputation for being strict, she also earns the respect of children and parents. With "Frindle," we get a glimpse how a seemingly insignificant event at a small town elementary school through a media-frenzy becomes an international phenomenon. Can anyone say "fad?"
I just finished reading another book today, that my eldest daughter, Kiara, insisted that I read. "Once Upon a Marigold" byJean Ferris is delightful! I finished it in one day! I absolutely loved this book! I loved that it was a fairy tale, and I loved the fairy tale. Christian is a boy that ran away from home and was adopted by a troll and his two dogs. He grows up admiring the princess Marigold from across the river, and when he is 17 he starts coresponding with her. Eventually, Christian takes a job at the castle, to be near Marigold. I don't want to give away the story, but it's a fabulous fairy tale in the same league as "Ella Enchanted!"
I hope my reviews are something that will encourage you, my readers, to read today! And I highly recommend the books I've mentioned. They have appeal for young and old alike! :-)
Monday, August 31, 2009
Dig those sassy sounds
Satin tones rushing over the ivories
Hot-buttered jazz harmonies rock the joint
Flashy beats with rat-a-tat-tat rhythms
Tickle the eighty-eights, Daddy-O
Fresh motifs with righteous riffs
Frisking the whiskers
Jamming with the cats
The Duke beat it out on his storehouse, brother!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Today is examinations, the Arizona way.
I feel like I should wax poetic, on this special day.
I’d rather be home sleeping or reading in my chair,
Instead I’m vigilantly policing – life really isn’t fair!
I’m arduously trying to make this ordeal pleasant,
But students are despondent while engaging their brains at present.
I’m curious what would happen if I stood upon my head
On top of an enormous rhino, who slumbered on a bed.
The pupils probably wouldn’t notice anything out of place
They’d focus on their answer sheets or gaze out into space.
So I guess I’ll be content to rhyme and pen this measure –
Perhaps someday this creation will be someone’s literary treasure!
Monday, August 24, 2009
When candidates run for office, they often choose a theme song for the campaign. In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt chose “Happy Days Are Here Again.” John F. Kennedy had “High Hopes” in 1960. For his 1948 run for the presidency, Harry Truman picked “I’m Just Wile About Harry.” If you were running for office, what campaign song would get your vote? Why? If you can’t think of a current song, what would be the title of a NEW song? Why?
If I were running for election and had to choose a theme song, I would definitely have Donny Osmond and Jack Johnson sing the song together! Wouldn't that be awesome?!
And because I absolutely love Broadway music, I would have to choose a song from a Broadway show. I would vote for the song "This Is The Moment." The lyrics are perfect for a campaign, or any important choice you have to make. I wish I had written the words! They deserve to be heard, believed and felt by everyone!
This is the moment!
This is the day,
When I send all my doubts and demons
On their way!
I have made - ever -
Is coming into play,
Is here and now - today!
This is the moment,
This is the time,
When the momentum and the moment
Are in rhyme!
This is the moment,
When all I've done -
All the dreaming,
Scheming and screaming,
This is the day -
See it sparkle and shine,
When all I've lived for
This is the moment -
My final test -
I never reckoned,
I won't look down,
I must not fall!
This is the moment,
The sweetest moment of them all!
When I look back,
I will always recall,
Moment for moment,
This was the moment,
The greatest moment
Of them all!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Musical styles change over the decades. The hit of 1946 was Perry Como’s “Prisoner of Love.” The top song of 1956 was “Don’t be Cruel” by Elvis Presley. The 1966 favorite was “The Battle of the Green Barets.” In 1976, it was Wings’ “Silly Love Songs,” and in 1986, Dionne Warwick sang “That’s What Friends Are For.” What was your favorite hit song? Why? What do you remember about the year it was a hit?
Favorite is a difficult word for me. I have a hard time choosing favorites because it depends on my mood. But - ONE of my favorite hit songs is Def Leopard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me." The song was really popular when I was 15-16 years old. I remember cruising North Avenue with my girlfriend, Mariann Konakis and my sister. We would turn the car stereo on as loud as we possibly could, roll down the windows and sing along with the song! It's a happy, and crazy memory. Later, I actually used the same song in a silly Seminary video about D&C 25:12. I portrayed a "bad" girl auditioning for heaven with"Pour Some Sugar On Me." Of course, I didn't make it to heaven in our skit. Mickey Matlo and Damon Sheneman auditioned with the song, "Like Unto Us" and St. Peter let them throught the pearly gates! :-)
Saturday, August 15, 2009
It’s just a place…
Why do I feel so melancholy?
Memories made there
I slept alone – but was never lonely.
Seven years of hopes and dreams.
But things change.
A stranger lives there now.
I treasured my Vegas abode.
But I choose family.
HOME is where they are!
What do cars think about all day in the parking lot?
Do shelves feel lonely when not in use?
My elbow needs a Kleenex.
I wonder if there are little people inside outlets?
What is their job when I plug in my toaster?
My ear needs a Kleenex.
What if 7th graders had three noses –
One for smelling, one for breathing and one for show?
My toe needs a Kleenex.
Why don’t posters of musicians sing?
Why don’t poster of athletes trash talk?
My chin needs a Kleenex.
Who is the big bad wolf’s hero?
Do glasses really work? Or are they a conspiracy?
My belly button needs a Kleenex.
What if rubber duckies tried to take over the world?
Why can’t a law be passed making EVERYONE wear yellow?
I like yellow.
My brain needs a Kleenex.
Friday, August 7, 2009
Blissfully fitting into order
Truthfully keeping math honest
Gratefully making life joyful
Jubilantly leading us to God
Loving caring for us all – with numbers!
Melancholy sneaks up behind me
It surrounds me before I realize
The atrocious time has arrived.
Pretending it’s nothing,
But an “extra special week.”
The abominable malady attacks.
Leaving behind devastation… misery… unsightly gore…
desperation… irrational feelings…
But it doesn’t last.
Only to be antagonized again –
Every month –
By the worst of monsters –
Sunday, August 2, 2009
On the sidelines
Desiring to join in
Yet only being allowed to watch…
Youthful games to
“Show what you know.”
Purpose versus power.
I choose purpose.
I envy the #2s.
I covet the silent opportunity
To think and write
To bubble and contemplate
To report and ponder
Please! Please! Please!Just give ME the test!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
I smell yellow –
My nasal passages
swell to the size of footballs.
The aroma around me is green –
My schnoz feels like
The stench of orange is in the air –
My adenoids are
fussy, inconsolable children.
I catch a whiff of pink and red –
A traffic jam has
found my snout.
I really dislike the colorful scents of allergies!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Listening intently for
Reading between the
sheets of dittoed paper
endlessly copied for
needless, necessary information.
Is there relevance in this
continuous drivel we are
supposed to find essential?
The judgment proclaimed
declares whether I am:
- fair or askew -
- right or wrong -
- honorable or improper -
based on one flawed individual’s opinion.