Showing posts with label enthusiasm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label enthusiasm. Show all posts

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mommy, Take My Picture!

She seemed fascinated
with the toilet.  I thought
she’d train early. 
She didn’t.

She took off
after she turned one. 
How cool to
move herself
with her feet, to go
from room to room. 
To explore. 

                                                      She collected balls and rocks.

Whenever we’d go
out walking she would climb
on fire hydrants and
pick up anything
she found in her path. 

She loved roly-polys. 
They resembled small balls. 
She did attempt
to put one in her mouth.

                                            She collected whatever she could carry.

She started preschool
when she was three. 
We’d walk to school. 
She would balance
on the way, walking over walls
as though she was on a tightrope. 

I would entertain her
with imitations of circus music
and emcee her “daring moves”
and I would take her picture
She dawdled
as she explored every yard
between our house and the school. 

                                                    She collected rocks and pinecones.

She loved each season
and enthusiastically greeted
anything that was new. 
The wind,
crunching leaves,
snow banks,
 fascinated with
every part of nature. 

                                                    She collected rocks and leaves.

Today she dawdles
much as she did when
she was three.  She explores
whatever God has created. 
She climbs trees and
snow banks and continues
to make snow angels. 

She continues to
balance on walls as she did
when she was three
and asks for me to make the sounds
of the circus as she performs
on her “tightrope” and ask
"Mommy, Will you take my picture?"

                                             She collects Pokémon cards and rocks

She will stand on top of
 rocks and stumps and ask me
to take her picture
lying on balls and
fire hydrants still exploring
as she had when
she was three

                                                        She now gives her rocks faces.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Design by Jenna

            My daughter LOVES arts and crafts.  In school she made a paper mask of a female skull.  She is quite proud of it and so wanted me to have my own skull, which she tried to make identical to her own.

            She decided that when we boarded the bus this morning, we would hold up our masks over our faces.  She made up lyrics on the way to the bus stop and sung them to the tune “Carol of the Bells”

            She made me learn her song before the bus came so that we could sing the song before we held up our masks.  I learned the song but told her that we would not be able to sing its entirety before boarding the bus.  And so she sung only the last line as we held up our masks.  Our bus driver laughed.

            Twin Skeletons, Twin Skeletons
            Found here and there
            Twin Skeletons, Twin Skeletons
            Both have yellow hair

            Twin Skeletons, Twin Skeletons
            Both wear a flower
            Twin Skeletons, Twin Skeletons
            Together we have power

            Twin Skeletons, Twin Skeletons
            Each wearing braces
            Twin Skeletons, Twin Skeletons
            We have skulls for faces

Okay, maybe it’s not exact, and the tune did change a bit as she sang.  But you get the jest.

            I love my daughter’s enthusiasm.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Garden Enthusiast

When Jenna was three she discovered some blue gravel that had been dumped by the shed.  Biff had left it there after cleaning out a fish tank.  Jenna thought that they were beautiful seeds and wanted to plant them.  I tried to explain that they weren’t seeds – but she was insistent that we bury them so that they would grow into a beautiful flower.

Everyday she would check the spot where the “seeds” had been planted – impatient that the flowers had not bloomed overnight.  Again, I tried to explain to her that even if the seeds had been real seeds – flowers do not spring up overnight.  It takes time.  Especially in our family, it seems.

Jenna did not stop checking.  She was determined that her flower would grow.  She watered the area.  She talked to it.  She was certain that a flower would grow.  I really did not want her to be crushed and so devastated that she would not want to try real seeds later on. 

I went out and purchased two pinwheel type garden decorations and put them in the ground above where the gravel had been “planted” – real as the seeds.  Jenna was thrilled.  And so when the time came for the preschool students to grow their own seeds she was not at all reluctant.  Her bean would grow just as her flowers had.  It was very exciting.

Jenna also liked snails.  They were very fascinating creatures.  She would watch them and talk to them.  One day she found a whole family of snails.

“Look mom!” she pointed with sheer excitement, “A mommy, a daddy, two teenagers, and a little bitty baby.”

She stopped to talk to them.  I gave her about ten minutes before I reminded her that we had barely just left the house and had to continue on our way to school.

“Bye snails,” she waved and continued on her way.  She was so disappointed that they weren’t there as we walked back from school – nor were they there the next day. 

Perhaps a week or two had gone by before she found three snails out on the sidewalk near our house.

“Do you think these are the same ones?” she asked.  “I wonder what happened to the parent and the other teenager.  Maybe they’re out looking for food.”

It was a year and a half later when Amber’s mom asked if she could leave Amber with me as she a mandatory class for her work.  I told her that I had planned on going to Midvale to pass out invites for my mom’s surprise birthday party but I could take Amber just as well – and that was fine.  Amber came with car seat and I strapped both girls into the car.

It was nice having them with me as I could just hand each of them invitations and give them direction to take it to this house or that and then I didn’t have to keep stopping the car and turn the motor off to do it myself.

When we got to Ruby’s house, I had only five invitations left.  The girls found a haven in Ruby’s yard, and I asked Ruby if it would be okay if I left the girls with her while I went and got the last five.  

Ruby was working in the garden and her yard was lovely.  She was digging holes and making remarks about “all the snails” Both Jenna and Amber perked up and assisted Ruby by picking up snails and each started her own collection.

When I returned, the girls had lined their snails up on the table and were eagerly watching them “race” as they’d speak words of encouragement hoping that one of her snails would win.  Jenna announced that we’d be taking them home.

“Snails don’t belong in the car!” I said firmly.  “Not my car anyway.  Even if they’re in containers.  We are not taking the snails home.  Sorry”

I think Ruby distracted them with something else.  I believe we threw the snails away.  Ruby and I told both girls that snails are bad for the garden.  I don’t think Jenna believed me.

She wasn’t reading when I purchased a kid’s gardening book at a thrift store. We looked at it.  I pointed out that snails were in the “pest” category.  But then so were caterpillars – her absolute favorites creature.  A book against snails and caterpillars certainly was not a book that she was interested in.  I put the book away and forgot about it.

 Recently, while searching for something else, I came across the Kid’s Gardening book.  She has been reading it and telling us everything that we’ve been doing wrong in our home garden and how to improve it.  She still loves snails and caterpillars but has accepted that they do damage to gardens. But they are fascinating creatures and she loves them.

Some of us are gardeners that plant and sow seeds.  Some of us plant actual seeds.  Some of us bury gravel or “magic beans” in the ground and leave it at that.  Some of us work like lady bugs or bees and help the garden.  Some of us are like snails and caterpillars that crawl through life expecting free handouts without working for it.  And it doesn’t matter our capacity.  God loves each of us.  He doesn’t attempt to throw any of us away.  His love for us is perfect. Even more than Jenna loves snails.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Bread Box and the Coveted Cowboy Cup

After the pathetic attempt of a yard sale, I loaded the trunk of my car with a few items that hadn’t sold.  Two of the items I brought home with me were: the practical bread box and the fun cup full of memories.

When I was younger, I remember getting bread out of a white tin box with copper trim.  The box could hold up to four loaves and then some. 

Mom also had two canisters that held sugar and flour.  I don’t know if the three came together, or if it was just coincidental that there was a very similar appearance.

I don’t remember what happened to the tin bread box, but I remember it had to be replaced.  I remember mom and I had to hunt hard to find one – and then the only ones we could find were less than half the size and made out of wood.  This one holds only two loaves at best.

The bread box is quite a practical item for me as we live in this cracker box house in which all the furniture and appliances are squashed together.  Our back door does not open all the way because the dryer is in the way, next to that is the washer, next to that is the stove.  Our loaf of bread seems to move from counter to stovetop to table to washer – it really needs a more stable home.  (I hope the breadbox will be able to stay put)

I took the cup to give to Jenna and hoped she would find as much pleasure as Ellen and Kimball had.

The cup itself is not all that special, but the memories are.  The cup is plastic coated with silver and the initials WJW are engraved in fancy letters.  I don’t know if at one time it belonged to someone with those initials or if that was the manufacturing company or what.  I have no idea where it came from or why it was in my mom’s cupboard.

The bottom was clear – and so you could see the consumer’s face as he/she drinks – and likewise the drinker can see you.  I don’t know who it was that told us (maybe it was my mom) that the reason why it had a clear bottom is so that the cowboys who were playing cards could spy on their opponents while they drank.  Patrick and Sunny’s oldest two thought that was the coolest thing ever. 

I remember my mom and I had hunted around to find at least one other “cowboy cup” so that each child would have his/her own.  Alas, we searched in vain.  If we did come close, the price was just too outrageous.  So Kimball and Ellen took turns using it.

Jenna’s enthusiasm isn’t near what was expressed with Ellen and Kimball.  Never has been.  But we still have Anna and Garrett to explore the wonders of this “cool cup” - and watching the excitement on the faces of my dad’s posterity is mainly why I took it.  Because the memories of the cup far outweigh the bread box. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Joy of Learning

          I attended a PTO meeting yesterday.  When it was over, the only father who was present was commenting on his son’s vocabulary.  The son had asked him to answer the question about the velocity of something.

          “He actually used the word ‘velocity’ and he’s only in first grade.  What first grader goes around using the word ‘velocity’?”

          I laughed.  My Jenna’s always had quite the large vocabulary.  Even at three there didn’t seem to be any word too sophisticated for her vocabulary.  She thrived on learning not just words and meanings but usually welcomed whatever else came her way.

          Not only did she know how to pronounce the words, but took on meanings as well.  I am reminded of a particular time when she told me that she was going to demonstrate (that’s right – demonstrate) how the armadillo protects himself.

          She puts a silver ball on the floor and says, “Now pretend this is an armadillo” and then backs up a bit and raises her arms in the air and makes an angry face. 
“Now pretend that I am a predator,” she says with her still angry face and creeps toward the ball getting ready to make her pounce.

“Now when the armadillo sees his predator, he will turn himself into a ball,” she then kicks the ball, “and it rolls away.  That is how an armadillo protects itself.” She says matter-of-factly.

          “Oh,” I say with admiration not only of her knowledge, but her ability to turn herself into what I thought looked like a dinosaur.

          Jenna is a sponge.  She soaks up information and enthusiastically shares her knowledge – though I didn’t have to pump her so much for information just a few years back.  She doesn’t go into detail like she did just a few years back.

          Even before she talked, she processed information.  We could never read a book from cover to cover without her stopping every few pages to match the animal in the picture with one of her own stuffed animals, or demonstrate her counting skills, or point to other objects of the same shape and/or color.  She really is a fascinating piece of work.

          Corey was that way, too.  Still is.  Absorbing and processing information and keeping it on file to pull out of his head – usually on demand. He’s always had a rather large vocabulary, too.  Great knowledge and understanding.  And he can speak to almost anybody on his or her own level and use the vocabulary that will most be understood. He could help our baby sister Kayla with any of her school work – except for penmanship.  Mom had specifically requested that Corey not teach Kayla how to write.

          I love the enthusiasm.  I am grateful for those who are excited to learn and to share and assist those of us who aren’t quite as knowledgeable and have smaller vocabularies.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

more on Giving Gifts (and crushed enthusiasm)

          When I asked Jenna what she wanted to get her dad for Christmas last year, she did not even hesitate with an answer.

          “A Bow Tie,” she announced proudly.

          I visualized an elastic and paper doily all bunched up.  

          “What kind of a bow tie?” I asked.

  “A Black one.”  And so it was.  We purchased a black bow tie for Roland – the only black bow tie that we found.

          I was reminded about gifts – precious to the child’s mind, but very impractical.  For instance my wanting to buy my dad a pink Batman shirt for a gift.  I don’t remember it, but my mom said that it happened.

          First off you need to understand that my dad was very conservative.  At that time he would never wear a t-shirt out in public nor would he ever wear the color pink. There are several family photos in which dad wears a crew cut and a blue-green-gold patterned sports jacket – the same sports coat in every photo.  Well, not every photo.  But anyone who saw him in a family photo could tell right away that he was not the pink Batman shirt type.

          My mom steered my brother and I in a different direction to pick out a gift that was much more practical – and then wondered why he didn’t do the same whenever we would go shopping to buy a gift for her.

          Plastic flowers.  I saw the most gorgeous plastic flowers – the entire arrangement was just so pretty and unique – I thought.  Imagine flowers cascading in a long arrangement.  Why it could fit nicely on a door! 

          Actually I didn’t know what it was for. Obviously I had no sense of what the display was really used for.  I remember my maternal grandma letting out a laugh and then covering her mouth as mom unwrapped her beautiful funeral spray. 

Had I known what it was for I don’t think I would have picked it out.  But then again, maybe daddy did tell me and it just hadn’t sunk in – even though I had been to many funerals before.  Even though I had probably seen them on caskets, I obviously hadn’t really paid much attention.  I saw it as something to be displayed – and appreciated.

          I remember mom had arranged the flowers in a bowl – but in order to make them fit properly, she had to cut off the ends.  I was crushed.  She wanted to show appreciation for our thoughtfulness without offending me.  But she did.  I mean, the bowl she had chosen looked nice and everything – but the beauty just wasn’t complete anymore.  But now I do understand why she did it. 

          Jenna beamed as Roland opened his gift.  He gave her an enthusiastic “Thank you” and put his bow tie on before we finished unwrapping gifts.  He wore it to Church which pleased Jenna quite a bit. 

          We were unable to find it so that he could wear it to the Christmas dinner this year.  But Jenna hasn’t said anything since 2011.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Aunt Gertrude’s Dolls and . . . Jenna’s Rocks

          Kayla and I took the kids for a visit to Aunt Trudy’s house.  She had two dolls that reminded her of Kayla – and she wanted her to have them.

          Aunt Trudy is a collector of dolls.  She has TONS of them.  There are two display cases which house a lot of dolls.  The larger one holds her story book collection and the smaller one contains the dolls which represent various countries.  There are also dolls displayed on the dresser, her bed, and other shelved areas.  I shouldn’t have been surprised about several others that she had downstairs – but I was.  20 – 40 more boxes full of Madam Alexander dolls.  It is mind boggling really.

          Every girl in the family (including Roland’s oldest two – amazingly) has been in the “doll” room and has coveted various dolls and a few have even made dibs about which ones they would like to inherit.  I’m at the point now where I just don’t care.  If I don’t get any of the dolls, it will be okay.  I don’t have room for the things I want.  It seems wasteful that the few dolls I do have (or ones that have been sent to Jenna) are tucked away in boxes in the shed. 

          Aunt Trudy rarely ever lets guests leave her house empty handed – especially the children.  She has always given us shirts, stuffed animals, knick knacks, and of course dolls. 

          One year she asked if Jenna would like a doll.  I said I didn’t think so.  She was still young and curious and was entertaining herself with examining polished rocks from a bowl that Aunt Trudy kept on the coffee table. 

          “I think I have some more of those rocks in my garage,” Aunt Trudy said. “Would she like to have those?”

          “Oh, I believe she would love them more than any other has ever loved any doll that you have given to anybody”

          And she did.  Never has Aunt Trudy received such enthusiasm or appreciation for any doll than the amount Jenna expressed for those rocks.  She would entertain herself for hours each day as she would sort the rocks by color, by size, by shape and by favorites.  Five or six years later (I don’t know how old she was when she received them – but it was before pre-school I think) she still has most of them.  And she loves them. 

          Jenna has ALWAYS liked balls.  I think she was born LOVING them.  And she has always thought of rocks as “Nature’s balls” – or anything which is round.  She discovered a curled up potato bug when she was one.  That was pretty cool.  She was barely starting to talk when she decided to chase the moon as she held out her arms and called it a “ball”  She’s still never been much into dolls though – especially dolls designed for display only.  How boring.

          Kayla accepted the dolls and took them out to her car.  I don’t know if she will put them on display or not.  Unlike me, she actually does have casing for them – but like me, she finds them impractical.  They are “fun” to look at – but the novelty is short lived.  They become dust collectors for a lot longer than the “fun” lasts. And those two – though the looks themselves really do resemble Kayla, Anna and Garrett – are porcelain.  If I’m to collect dolls, I would rather they weren’t porcelain.

          Bless Aunt Gertrude and Jenna for their love and enthusiasm for treasures and for the desire they both have in sharing their joy.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Like a Fly to Cowpie

That’s how she described her passion for family history: “like a fly to cowpie”.  She had been raised on a dairy farm – it was a natural analogy – though I could think of better ones: “a duck to water” “a monkey on a cupcake” or Roland’s favorite: “like Godzilla on Tokyo”

        I don’t even have a passion for genealogy or family research (from an earlierpostbut wouldn’t have compared it to manure.  Family History is a good thing and works for a lot of people.  And there are many aspects of family history that I do enjoy – but research is a far cry from being one of them.

          It’s not just family history that gets her fired up.  I believe that it is everything that comes her way.  She greets it with her heart which shines in her smile.  I think she may have an even bigger love for life than my sister-in-law, Sunny, whom I truly admire. 

Sunny teaches pre-school.  Parents put their children on waiting lists and feel very honored when they get in.  Sunny is awesome at introducing children to their first steps to life.  May her students always remember her enthusiasm. I wish I had even just one ounce of that passion.

          In addition to the family history class, Hannah also has a calling as the enrichment leader.  She is so prepared and so excited and gets to know the sisters and invites them in and makes them feel welcome.  I think there have been some major awesome turn outs since she’s been put in. 

          Hannah and Sunny.  Share the joy.  You can’t help but smile along with them.