Years ago we took our children to Universal Studios and California Adventure in California. We decided to hit these theme parks and Knotts berry Farm because a few years before this we had done Disney Land and only Disney Land.
On this special trip (the last where we would share a room with our two children in a hotel) we found the ride “Soarin’ over California“. If you have been on this – you will immediately know of what I am referring. Those of you that have not – this is similar to an IMAX experience – only you are strapped into seats that move up and down – high in the air, giving the feeling of actually being a part of the action on the HUGE screen in front.
What’s so special about this ride is this: To enhance the enjoyment of all the senses they spray things into the air to make you feel like you are there smelling them in person. On this particular trip they sprayed pine into the air during the part where we were soaring over pine trees. It was an AMAZING sensory experience and like a wide-eyed little kid – I excitedly said to my kids, husband – and yes everyone around me, “Do you smell the PINE?”
I loved that ride so much – we did it again that afternoon. It wasn’t until later in the day, on our way back to our hotel room that my own dear SWEET children decided to have a good time (at my expense) and tease me UNMERCIFULLY about my, “Do you smell the PINE?” – imitating my voice in a much higher pitch than their own, all the while collapsing into fits of giggles.
Needless to say, they have NEVER let me forget about that trip – even though it’s been at LEAST 10 years since we took it. And I’m so glad to be able to offer amusement to my now GROWN-UP children, every time they remember that trip to California.
I must admit though, I’m pretty much like a kid again when the leaves turn in the fall and when the first snow of the season happens. If I have students here – I will be the one to stop what we’re doing and look outside, saying, “Look at the weather! It’s SNOWING!!!” And even though it has not happened yet – the fall weather reminds me that the seasons change and it will come around again – just like last year.
And like that trip where I smelled the pine – I can tell by the smell of the air that it’s going to rain, breathe in the cold, crisp air of fall and feel something else is coming – and LOVE the smell of snow in the air.
What do you love about this time of year?
Can YOU smell the Fall?
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Sometimes I lay awake at night and ask, ‘Where have I gone wrong?’ then a voice says to me, ‘This is going to take more than one night.'”
Ever feel like Charlie Brown? I know I have. I used to love watching the ‘bumbling through life’ character – who never hid what he was feeling – good or bad. But now I have to admit – it’s painful to watch him try to ‘slug it out’. Because I feel like I’m looking in a mirror. Ouch.
I used to like to identify with the other characters instead – Schroder who says nothing – but just sits and plays the piano – YEARS above where he should be playing. *Sigh* – but I am NOT Schroder.
Sally is shy and sweet – naive and innocent – but still with an attitude. And much as I want to think that’s who I am – (I have been accused of this) sadly I am not.
And what about Linus? Linus who doesn’t have great personal hygiene – but who knows how to be a friend and how to give great advice. Someone dependable and true. I’d like to think that this is who I am – not the personal hygiene part – but you get the picture. But I’m not always like this either.
I have WAY too much to say – like Lucy. And NO ONE wants to be like Lucy. Lucy is loud and opinionated – quick to judge – first to abandon – slow to forgive. VERY narcissistic. But that is not me either – or is it? I hope not.
In the end – I am mostly like Charlie Brown. At least inside. Bumbling through life – trying to get people to understand me – trying to fit it – saying all the wrong things – trusting too much – expecting things will always be good – or always be bad – down on myself – totally pessimistic and then totally optimistic. That’s me. And it’s probably you too. Living in a Lucy world. Trying to impress – do something great – leave my mark – only to have all the “Lucy’s” of the world say, “You’re a blockhead, Charlie Brown”. Yeah – that’s how it feels some days.
Are you also a Charlie Brown living in a Lucy world? Cheer up! Charlie had a lot of problems – but he was the most authentic and real person – never down for long – always ready to pick himself up and try again – no matter how many times he got it wrong. No matter how many times Lucy told him he couldn’t do something – or how stupid he was. Charlie is not the brightest – or the best looking. But he’s real – and he knows who he is. He’s just Charlie Brown – nothing more. We can learn a lot about him – and be encouraged.
It doesn’t make all the “Lucy’s” in our life go away – but in a way – it’s a nice reminder. Be yourself – when you stumble – get up.
Here’s to you Lucy – GOOD GRIEF – You will NOT win.
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I have always LOVED babies. I remember being about 10 and begging to help take care of them in the nursery at the little church our family was attending. It was a little young – but if there was an adult there, usually they would let me help from time to time. I have always loved how babies smell – like powder and sweetness. And how I could rock them and stop their crying. There was a precious baby boy named Nathan that I was in love with. Big brown eyes and curly dark hair. He would look for me on Sunday morning and I couldn’t wait to hold him. It’s amazing to me to think that this ‘baby’ that I cuddled and rocked is now about 40 years old! Ugh.
The ‘baby’ phase disappeared over time and as I grew up I developed new interests and became busy. I married young and wasn’t ready to even to consider having babies of my own – until we had been married about 5 years. We had been married 6 years when baby Ashlee was born – and then 4 years later – our baby Shawn was born. They were quite enough baby for me – there’s nothing quite like your own child in your arms.
But children and babies have always liked me. I smile and pay attention to them – and children LOVE that. I think that’s why I have always had success teaching young children – because I genuinely like them – and they can tell!
The other day I was waiting for my appointment at the Chiropractor’s office. There was a nice young couple there with a baby, one year old – complete with a cute little dress, shoes and braids in her hair. She was sitting on the lap of her father, and she spotted me and I smiled at her. She was one of those really pretty babies with the big eyes. She squirmed and tried to get away from her father. He held her fast, even when she struggled and tried to go. After a while he handed her to her mother and she tried in vain to distract the child and stop her from whining and wanting to get away. Finally they could not detain her anymore and let her carefully walk around the coffee table, all the time staring right at me – in an attempt to come over to me. She would not be dissuaded – but kept coming until she had finally reached me and then, would you believe it, she actually crawled up into my lap?! I’ve never witnessed anything like it before! She was not shy at all – but kept looking at me and wanting to be held. She even put her little head on my chest and did NOT want to be parted from me. It was really something. Her parents did not appear to speak much English – but clearly they were amazed too. I managed to find out the baby’s name and how old she was – before they called me for my appointment. Getting up I handed her to her mother and this was not received well at all – she fussed and cried! I was really amazed by this display of affection. I guess you’ll just have to call me a ‘baby magnet’. 🙂
But although I really like babies and children I can safely say, no more babies for me, thank you very much – but I will really enjoy being a Grandma someday – especially because I know that it will be okay – they seem to like me. And no I don’t think I like the word ‘Grandma’ – it sounds old – and I AM NOT! I think I prefer ‘MiMi’ instead 🙂
So bring on the babies – they can sit in my lap and I will coo and fuss over them. Just make sure you DON’T call me Grandma.
Image by ex.libris via Flickr
I was inspired by a few of my students this week. I love talking to children about Christmas – to see their eyes light up and the excitement on their faces as they tell me what they are asking for – hoping Santa will bring for them.
This last week has brought joy, excitement and laughter as each student has come for their lesson – with a brightly wrapped present for me. They love to watch me open their gift (I’m pretty much a kid at heart) because I get so excited to open it! It makes them giggle. And it proves that Christmas is WAY more about giving than getting.
I try to make Christmas special for each one of them. We sing and play only Christmas music in the month of December after the recital is over – and it is REALLY fun! Last week my grown-up married daughter, Ashlee was here during some of my afternoon lessons – and I invited her in to sing harmony with us as we sang Christmas carols for most of the afternoon. Special memories.
I have many memories from my childhood as this season approaches. I remember taking my very first airplane ride the Christmas that I was 10. It is forever etched in my memory – and nothing else will likely compare to that Christmas for me. We were flying from Seattle to Calgary, Alberta – where I was born and lived for the first 8 years of my young life. My Grandparents lived there – and we were flying up to spend that Christmas with them. Calgary is very cold in the winter – and we were greeted with a ‘winter wonderland’ of snow! Our taxi driver was very nice – he could see our excitement and stopped by a Christmas light display at a neighborhood park – turned off his meter and let us get out and enjoy it. I will never forget that Christmas.
However – we make new and unique Christmas memories every year – without knowing it. As I look back over my life – I’m sure what I’m doing right now in this season with my students will rank right up there with the most special memories. And I do have many wonderful memories when our own children were small.
Sometimes we are not even aware that we are ‘making memories’ while they are happening. It is only as we look back on them – some years later that we truly recognize it – smile and remember.
I’m not sure if we should try to recapture the past – as great as some of those memories are. Life is ever-changing – and we are all on a journey, good and bad. The present and future are still there to write upon – and I for one can’t wait!
What are your favorite memories? Do you think the best is yet to come? Do you try to recapture the time when your children were small – or still with you? Or do you see the future as an opportunity to meet new friends and share yourself with others that need your encouragement and warmth?
I am praying for each one of you this holiday season – that you will surround yourself with those you love, who love you and those that cross your journey this season. That you will have your heart open to embrace and love – and be in anticipation of the wonderful things ahead. That you will have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those you come in contact and share your life with. That they will be drawn to the love of God just by knowing you. This is my prayer.
May God truly Bless you!
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I live in the Pacific Northwest where snow during the holiday season used to be a rare thing. But in recent years it seems we get snow every year at this time. As a child growing up in Canada – snow was expected and NOT a treat. It was really cold from October until well past my birthday in March. In pictures from my childhood – I can see snow on the ground out the window while celebrating another birthday.
Here in the Northwest we don’t get tired of it – at least at first. It’s a novel thing and can make you feel just like a kid again. Especially the first snowfall.
As I am writing this – the snow is falling in a beautiful cascade of different sized crystal flakes – making the street and yard all white and ‘Narnia-like’. And I can’t stop myself from taking pictures of it – and just staring out the window. It is truly one of nature’s most AWESOME treats for us to feast our eyes on.
And so with ‘holiday’ music playing on my Pandora radio – I am a very happy girl today – and may not get a whole lot accomplished – but it is VERY understandable – as anyone who lives in the Northwest knows: It just may not last long – or even be here tomorrow, so we will relish the moment and dream of being a child again – where things like Santa, mistletoe, Christmas trees, surprises, warm crackling fires and hot cocoa were always something fun to look forward to.
And for your listening and viewing pleasure I have added a video of one of my favorite’s from Michael W. Smith‘s first Christmas album entitled, ‘First Snow Fall’.
Enjoy and God Bless!