The pigeon has several stages… Happy Halloween!

31 10 2013

Kajsa wanted to be the pigeon this year for Halloween–that is, “the” pigeon of Mo Willems’ books, namely, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. She loves the Willems books. And the pigeon. As do I. They’re quite fun.

Our little pigeon had three stages, thanks to three opportunities to wear the costume–Chinese school, Elementary School parade, and trick-or-treating tonight. Whatever the stage, it was a fun Halloween!

Pigeon #2, fabric wings. School parade.

Pigeon #2, fabric wings. School parade.

(different beak, smaller tail, more comfy velcro on the hood)

(different beak, smaller tail, more comfy velcro on the hood)


100th Day & Amelia

24 02 2013

Some pictures to catch you up on two fun things Kajsa did this week:

First, at school this past week, the Kindergarten classes celebrated the 100th day of school.

family project

(This might be a school-wide celebration, I’m not sure.) The kids were each asked to create a project somehow representing the number 100. Kajsa, Jim and I thought up lots of ideas, and finally settled on a photo project–I sent a photo to be made into a poster. A photo of Kajsa’s class, on Beach Day, that I had taken. And, obviously, we cut it up into 100 pieces and glued it onto poster board. Fun.

100th Day of School poster

Second, while I was in York yesterday, Jim and Kajsa got to meet Amelia Bedelia. Sort of.. The Harleysville Book Store hosted an Amelia Bedelia birthday party.  Kajsa LOVES the Amelia Bedelia books, as do I.

Herman Parish with Kajsa

I loved them as a kid, and had no idea, until this past summer, that there is a current series of the books, featuring Amelia Bedelia as a kid. Peggy Parish, the original author of the books, died in 1988. But her nephew Herman Parish took over the writing, and attended the book store event yesterday. So Kajsa got to meet him, get a book signed by him, and get a photo with a girl dressed up as Amelia Bedelia.

Kajsa and "Amelia Bedelia"

7-Steps to a School Snack

6 03 2011

It was Kajsa’s turn to be the leader at preschool again last week–which also means snack-provider. Though it was “Letter Y” week at preschool, I thought that in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, I’d make “Cat in the Hat” hats.

red-hued gummy lifesavers

Step 1: as Jim heads to the store,

green gummy lifesavers

add these items to his list: gummy lifesavers, vanilla wafer cookies, and a tub of frosting.

Step 2: separate the red lifesavers from the greens, and hope that Leprachauns wear stove pipe hats).

Step 3: frost the vanilla wafers.

Carefully. (I’m sure there’s a better way to do this without getting frosting all over your fingers—I just don’t know what it is.)

Step 4: place red lifesaver on frosted vanilla wafer. Spread some frosting on lifesaver. Repeat twice. Add fourth lifesaver for top of hat.

hat #1

Step 5: Repeat with 4 lifesavers per wafer, until you have a tray of Cat in the Hat hats.

completed project

Very fun.

Until Step 6: Read the Preschool parents’ guide. I was looking up something else in the guide, fortunately, and decided to look at “Snacks”, just in case. Hmmmm. Should have looked at “Snacks” before Jim went to the store. Under “Snacks”, there is a list of what not to send. And in that list? “gummy candies”. oops.

what snacks to not send with your preschooler...

Oh well.

Step 7: Jim goes back to the grocery store and buys Yogurt snacks. “Y”.

And, the teachers were gracious enough to let us send the time-consuming hats home with kids.






(p.s. oops… I just noticed that I had put “9-steps” instead of 7… ah, well. .such is life these days.)

Define “Success”

25 03 2010

Define “Success”

Originally uploaded by cathyse97.

Thurs., March 25th

Today I re-read Psalm 118, and was pleased to read this famous verse: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (118:24) But the next verse surprised me: “Save us, we beseech you, O Lord! O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!”.. Give us success? I’ve always heard, probably because it’s what I wanted to hear, “Save us!”. But the success part?

I’m currently reading “My Sister’s Keeper” by Jodi Picoult. There’s a movie, too-I think it came out in 2009. Go here for a synopsis, but suffice it to say that I’m intrigued, half-way through the book as I am, by the different ways that each main character might define “success”. I shouldn’t be, because that’s life, too. That’s humanity. And yet, in the book, at least, people love and care about each other (again, I’m only half-way through).

How do we define success, in our lives? Do we pray for it? If so, what do we expect or hope for? And how would our answered prayers then affect others—both those we know, and those we don’t know?

Mental Health Break

3 01 2008

It’s been stressful. Life, in general. This latest adoption update (see yesterday’s post) hasn’t helped. And, by the way, one thing I forgot to mention about the latest adoption update: a couple who received a referral in this latest batch had requested an infant, yet received a referral for a 3 or 4 year old. Just when I was starting to think, again, that we might actually get an infant, or a young toddler. Anyhow, I digress…this adoption stuff… other stuff… It’s been stressful.

Today I talked with a friend I hadn’t caught up with in too long… That was good mental health, and emotionally nourishing for me, both to talk about my life, and to hear what’s been going on in hers. It was a good thing. And part of our conversation was while I was walking slowly through Michael’s, then Bed Bath & Beyond, and finally Target, and for some odd reason that was mentally good as walk slowly through these stores, through many aisles.. simply browsing, while talking.

Somewhere at Target I lost my list. You know, my “things to buy/places to go” list, scribbled on a bent, torn sticky note. Sometimes I work on these lists for awhile, until I can justify the gas to do the errands. Today I knew I had lots to do and buy, but more than anything, I really wanted to go out and about. So I had scribbled this list down in the minutes before leaving the house. Maybe it’s the stress, maybe it’s being 37, maybe it’s that I just have a bad memory at times. I don’t know. But when I realized I had lost my list, I suddenly forgot everything on it. Good thing I had already bought some items. Too bad I forgot the ones I needed. Oh well.

I did remember, however, that I had contemplated going to Half Price Books. I have been reading The Irrational Season by Madeleine L’Engle, but the copy I’m reading (which I purchased at Half Price Books a couple of years ago) is literally falling apart. So I thought… if I could find another cheap copy, then I could finish the book without having to literally pick up the pages. I never found that book… but I spent two hours browsing the store. I haven’t book-browsed in a long time. Way too long. It was so much fun. Granted, probably half of that time was spent looking at books that could potentially help me in the various stresses I am trying to manage/resolve/ignore… but aside from that, it was so good. So nourishing, so fun, so needed.

Good way to spend time I didn’t really have. And good mental health break.

Madeleine L’Engle… thank you

7 09 2007

I just read that Madeleine L’Engle died yesterday. I read the A Wrinkle in Time series as a kid, and as an adult I have read many more of her books. My favorites? The Crosswicks series: A Circle of Quiet, The Summer of the Great-Grandmother, The Irrational Season and Two Part Invention. Love them.

I count it as an incredible honor to have taken a writing class with Madeleine L’Engle. There were about 12 of us, I think, sitting around a large oval table, sharing excerpts of our writing assignments, listening to Madeleine’s comments and suggestions and life experiences…. It was one of those wonderful seasons of my life: once a week for six weeks I took the train into New York City (we lived in New Jersey then). I loved riding the train into the city.. I loved seeing the Twin Towers as we left Jersey… I loved arriving in Penn Station I loved breathing in the city. I thoroughly needed and enjoyed the healthy soup and bread meal with the nuns (the class was held at a convent), and the evening vespers. And I loved being in Madeleine’s presence. She challenged us, made us laugh, shared some difficult experiences (for example, after “A Wrinkle in Time” was published, she received some not-so-nice mail from Christians…), inspired us. There have been some incredible seasons of my life, and I would daresay this was one of them.

Thank you, Madeleine, for your graceful presence. Thank you for your writings. Thank you for your willingness to share with writer-wanna-be’s… Thank you for taking the time to ask personal questions. Thank you. And Peace be to your memory.

The Enigmatic God

5 09 2007

My friend Dan posted this quote by Robert W. Jenson on his blog over a month ago, and I am just now responding. (Sorry, Dan!) It’s quite the quote. Deep, and challenging. It’s about—in my opinion—God’s presence, revelation, love, and majesty. It speaks to the reality that though God is always present to God’s people, God is also difficult for us to see, to touch, to feel, to know… and to understand. So much about this God we don’t understand. For example, we don’t understand how, if God foreknows all things and wills all things, how bad things can still happen…

A-ha.. my issue. Mine, and that of many others. God is, as Jenson says in the quote, an impenetrable enigma. God both loves us and allows horrible things to happen. “The only real God is the God within whose will all things occur.” Jenson writes. All things. Good and bad. And the things that we think are bad, but God, in his all-knowing majesty might think isn’t quite so bad. I don’t know. I’m not so sure. But Jenson continues, writing that given that this is “the only real God…”, God is a moral enigma. Not only an impenetrable, but a moral enigma. Absolutely. How can a just and loving God be so seemingly mean?

And yet I believe in this God. This moral enigma, this impenetrable enigma.. this constant enigma of a God who loves his people, including me. This strange God who is both hidden and revealed. Sometimes I feel as though God is so distant that there’s a better chance of me traveling at the speed of light than God revealing himself to me. And at other times I recognize him in moments throughout the day. I like those days.

I pray for more of those days, when though God remains an enigma, I am able to focus on God’s majesty, love, and desire to reveal himself to the world.