Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
In my current life as a mom of the most fabulous three year old, I was told that Ryder introduced my mom and dad to Shakespeare.
I loved teaching my freshmen Romeo and Juliet every year. I was shocked that the Shakespeare unit would become one of my favorites. There are so many difficulties teaching Shakespeare to kids with literacy skills that are overall (for the most part) quite unimpressive. But after a couple of years, I anticipated the groans of anxiety when I told the kids we were going to start the Romeo and Juliet unit because I knew that by the end, they were going to LOVE this story. So maybe most of them never left discussing the advantages of free verse and iambic pentameter, and I'm sure they did not realize how heartbreakingly beautiful the images and wordplay and characters were, but they were so with me on making fun of traditional romantic hero Romeo.
I loved watching the kids rush in to class to sign up for parts and watching the boys fight to read Juliet's part, because every year in at least one class, I had a group of boys who thought that reading Juliet's part was funny. Different kids every year (well, mostly, I had a few who loved me so much they came back for seconds of the same class :); same responses to Shakespeare. And the end...oh, the end, when we were all just over it, and ready for fickle, sissy, whining Romeo to just die in the most tragic of death scenes, and the kids would be realizing how useless the deaths were, and lamenting the decisions the characters had so quickly made to be brought to the tombs. And of course I loved that after we had read, discussed, interpreted, dissected, and then reassembled the story, and we would watch the movie, I would always have at least a couple of kids who would be yelling at the TV, "No, don't drink it....she's NOT DEAD!" (The first experience I had of this was watching it with Jonie when we were teenagers, but Jonie did not KNOW that they both died before watching the movie. Imagine how sad the movie is when you don't know they both die). So, before I started teaching, I loved Shakespeare for his beautiful writing and timeless stories, but now my reasons that Romeo and Juliet will always be one of my all-time favorite stories are reasons such as Ashley, and DeMario, Jessica, and Justin, and many other similar names.
But as much as I loved introducing those kids to Shakespeare, my best teaching efforts were no match for Ryder. He was sitting on our front porch with Mom and Dad, and Shakepeare (our furry, gray and white, neighborhood wondering version who meows in perfect iambic pentameter) came to visit. Ryder said, "Granna, this is Shakespeare," and then, "Shakespeare, this is my cousin, Granna." Ryder totally understands Shakespeare, but we may need a lesson on grandmothers vs. cousins :)
So, Ryder really loves Shakespeare, the wandering cat, and this is huge because he used to scream and hide and be terrified of cats (just ask Hokey, Kyle and Kellee's cat). He has full conversations with Shakespeare. I overheard him talking to him the other day: "Jonie's coming over here. Do you like Jonie, Shakespeare? (Meow...he is a very talkative cat). You do? I like Jonie, too." I asked Ryder after one of his conversations with Shakespeare who his favorite pet was, and he said Shakespeare was. I was feeling bad for faithful Aprilia, who has so patiently allowed Ryder to climb over her since he was born, so I asked, "What about Aprilia?" Ryder looked at me like I had just asked the silliest question ever. "Aprilia's my friend, Mom. She's my buddy." (Ryder really does have real, live people friends for those of you that are concerned about these friendships with cats, dogs, and imaginary squirrels).
And finally, Ryder does know about the playwright and poet Shakespeare, and that he is different from the cat. We can ask Ryder who whe writer Shakespeare was, and Ryder will reply "Milliam Shakespeare." And then when we ask what he wrote, Ryder quotes the witches from Macbeth (sort of). "Bubble, Bubble, toil and trouble. Fire burn and called him TROUBLE!" (And he laughs because he knows the last word is bubble.) He's known these lines for about a year now, because that is what I say to him every time I put bubbles in his bath. I know that it's not something that every mother does, but I thought I was introducing him to Shakespeare in a sweet and cute way. However, I never knew in all the years I planned lessons to introduce Shakespeare to kids, that I would be waitingforRyder to introduce Shakespeare to us.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Mannienewt running down Ryder's arm
Mannienewt, the pocket squirrel, passed away on July 12, 2010 due to unknown causes. When not living in Ryder's pocket, Mannienewt resided at 890 Yorthsite. A picture of his house can be seen on the trivet given to Cody and Kristy by the Rowley's as a wedding gift. Mannienewt came to live with Ryder's family a few months ago,
Closeup of Mannienewt
and spent most of his time with Ryder. Mannienewt had a troubling history of going outside by himself, going in the road, or getting up from the dinner table before everyone was finished eating. He spent much time in timeout and being disciplined by Ryder. His favorite activities were going down the slide at Deer Park with Ryder. Mannienewt was often left behind, but Ryder would diligently go ALL THE WAY back down the stairs to pick him up, and then climb back up the slide, so that Mannienewt could go too. Mannienewt also liked to go fishing and to be thrown in the water at Papa and Granna's house. Mannienewt was a good friend to Ryder and was always there when needed. Ryder informed many of Mannienewt's friends that he was sick at the 4th of July part at Tommy and Brittany's house. We had no idea his illness was so serious, and many friends were saddened when Ryder informed us that "Mannienewt is dead." Services for Mannienewt have not been arranged yet, but....oh...wait...Mannienewt is in your pocket, Ryder? YIPPEEEE!!! Nevermind, friends, Mannienewt is NOT dead!!!! That crazy Mannienewt. He's just waitingforRyder to open the door and let him back in :)
Ryder telling us "Mannienewt is siiicckk."
(with classic Ryder wink expression)
Monday, June 28, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Moms everywhere celebrated Mother's Day today. But not me. I celebrated something far more special than Mother's Day. I celebrated Mudder's Day.
The most beautiful blond headed, blue eyed boy to have ever come down the stairs from his sweet pirate nursery (that now has a big boy (toddler) bed), complete with messy sleepy hair and footie pajamas was so happy to announce to his mother "Happy Mudder's Day!" He was holding the hand of his so very handsome daddy, and we were not even running late. *Morning Bliss*
That very handsome husband had thought to get a card that was made just for me: it had a spelling joke (he knew I was such a nerd and yet married me anyway :) *True love*
Two striped ties later, we were in the van heading to Bible class on a beautiful day in a beautiful place with my beautiful boys. Ryder's hair wasn't even sticking up. *Perfection*
The first words I heard when we got close to Ryder's Bible class were sweet Carter's voice asking for "Ry Ry," and I got to hug my own beautiful Momma who helps teach Ryder and Carter's Bible class. I remember Mom reading stories to us from a Bible storybook that is an image in my memory. Daniel in the Lion's Den is always the page I see when I remember that book because that was always my favorite, and now my mom is there teaching my boys (I share Camden and Carter :) those same stories every Sunday morning. *God's plan*
I was able to sing to my Savior and worship God the Father who as Jeff preached, shows His children the compassion of a mother, with my family all together (we were missing Papa Bear and Gigi, but knowing that they would be back later in the day made them seem not so far away while they spent the day with Granny Bill). Joe's mother was with us, and having Nana sit with us adds joy upon a time of joy. *In truth and spirit*
After services, we were able to add Granny to our group of mothers, and we all went to Tako Yaki to eat at the habichi table. My Granny and Papaw are tangled up in so many of my favorite childhood memories, and I am so thankful that she is a part of the boys' childhood since so much of my childhood was shaped by time with her and Papaw. We even got to share the day with an aunt and uncle we don't get to see very often. *Precious memories*
Unfortunately, Ryder decided that the show put on by the habachi chef was a little too high thrill for him. He tried to escape the scary vent (I don't like that vent!) and the volcano flames (I no like that fire!) by several trips to the potty. Last time we went, he was interested and fine, but this time was a little much for my not-quite-the-daredevil son. His report of the dinner: I cried because I don't like that vent. Well....that's my Ryder....*shrug*
Ryder's terror of the vent was replaced by his current favorite pasttime: riding with Jonie! So off with Aunt Jonie and Uncle Joe and Carter he goes to Papa and Granna's new house on the lake. The house is getting close to completion, and it is gorgeous. Ryder loves playing on the porch, and he was happy to talk about the trees and the sticks and the scary vent and the terrifying fire and butterflies and Mannienewt his imaginary squirrel. *Happiness*
A short not-a-nap later, we were back with our East Side family for evening services. We then went to eat with friends and returned home with to an evening of hide and seek with Aprilia. The game works pretty well when I hide and she and Ryder both look for me, but then Ryder decided that he needed to hide with me and let Aprilia find us. He is the worst hider ever. He laughs and moves and giggles and talks, and then springs out as soon as Aprilia comes into the room. He thinks it's fun anyways, and laughs like a maniac, and well, Aprilia didn't complain about it or tell him how bad he was at the game :) At some point during my Happy Mudder's Day, my son's hands turned blue. Don't know exactly how or when it happened. Don't know exactly or even roughly what caused the blue of Ryder's hands, but it's something that is stronger than two rounds of Dial soap. *Mysteries*
I'm now spending the rest of my Mudder's Day in a quiet, still house. Cody said he was sorry that he didn't have a present for me today, which was my choice because I picked out cushions for my porch chairs and got a quilt for my bed recently (and they are so pretty and covered with flowers!). What presents could compare with a Mudder's Day spent as a granddaughter, and a daughter, and a Mommy? What Mother's Day present could come close to an arm hug from a blue handed little boy telling me Happy Mudder's Day as we hide not so quietly while we are waitingforAprilia to find us cuddled under a blanket in his night night room? I may spend my life waiting for Ryder, but today I wasn't waiting for him at all...today, I was just enjoying being a very happy Mudder. *Blessed am I*
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Yes, AFTER services, AFTER Camden and Ryder had walked up to the pulpit, climbed the step stool (stoodle, as Ryder would say :), led their songs (and Cam said his verses), climbed down and came back to sit with us with a big hug. AFTER it was all over, I finally realized why I was so nervous.
I had willingly, knowingly, and purposefully allowed my TWO year old to walk by HIMSELF up to the pulpit in front of everyone (and we were at Central, so it wasn't even our home congregation) during worship services-a time meant to be respectful, with a MICROPHONE, where he was SUPPOSED to sing loud enough for everyone to hear, and the closest adult was not in INSTANT grabbing distance (although John was very close, and he is VERY good with kids), and then Ryder was once again was supposed to walk by HIMSELF back to me. At that point, I realized that ANYTHING could have happened.
ANYTHING. I will name just a few that I thought: He could have ran across the other side of the pulpit screaming, or happily began Old McDonald, or decided to not come back down after realizing he was finally up at the pulpit instead of quietly on the pew beside me. And that doesn't even include the not-bad things such as getting scared and crying or leading "Jesus Loves Me" instead of his song or just going blank.
No wonder I was nervous! I had given away control of my baby, but I just didn't realize what I was doing. I'm just happy that I realized WHY I was so nervous AFTER he had done such a sweetly perfect job of leading his song. And it really was sweetly perfect. Because right now, it doesn't matter what his voice sounds like with the tune, or if he skips a word or jumbles red and yellow together. The little baby voice proudly proclaiming that Jesus loves all the children of the world just lets you know how very true that is, and how very meaningful it is. Hearing Ryder sing those words, even when he is not at the pulpit, puts the picture to Jesus telling his disciples, "Let the little children come to me."
So next week, the boys will be leading services at East Side. I have no idea if I will be nervous or not, but I do know that listening to the girls lead the women in songs and prayer and lessons, and then hearing the boys lead the worship service lets us know why we should be as little children. I am so proud of all our kids, and so thankful for the leadership at East Side that makes it a priority to give our kids, our babies, a chance to become leaders, to write the word of God on their hearts, and to develop their own faith, from which we ALL can learn.
I've watched Ryder playing on the pulpit for two years now from crawling to jumping, but I never expected that I would be sitting and waitingforRyder to walk himself up to the pulpit, and lead the congregation in a song, all by himself, and do such a perfect job so soon.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Jessica's blog is a fun mixture of useful, insightful, playful, and random. Perfect for my blogging tastes. She writes about the joys, the struggles, the life revelations, and the realness of being a mommy, and she digresses a lot, which I personally like since I also tend to meander around the point of my intended posts on a shamefully frequent basis. She is also very crafty...not shady and sneaky, although that may also be true, but crafty in that she can do amazing things with glue guns and pretty paper and ordinary objects, rather unlike me, so she gives lots of fun ideas.
So, now I'm going to avoid sharing the joys of being a mommy with you since my current joy involves taking care of a pretty potent diaper, and advise you to make a new bloggy friend.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
*Sit on potty... this may or may not result in producing anything potty worthy
*During potty time, Mommy is asked to sit on bath tub, close door, sing songs (which Mommy always does for a little while because the cuteness of Ryder singing is almost irresistible)T
*Wash our hands...even if we've just gotten out of the bath tub
*Change diaper and into pajamas if we need to
*Pick up heavy, huge baby, and rock him while sing songing together "Oh, Baby, Baby"
*Cover up Ryder, tuck blankies under his feet, cover him with blue blankie on top
*Say our prayers...and we are thankful for so many things depending on what has been going on or is in line of sight....Mommy, all our b'essings, doors, Jesus, church, pants, shirts, jackets, socks, shoes, a list of friends and families, and even once pee and poop
*Give big hugs, and little hugs, and big kisses, and little kisses
*Turn out the light, shut the door, while calling out sweet dreams, and love yous, and more hugs and kisses in the morning/when you get up
*About halfway down the stairs, a small victory dance and a big sigh that I hope NOONE ever sees.
He is the best, sweetest, most wonderful child, and still I feel like I have accomplished feats of unusual bravery, cunning, and heroism EVERY time I put him to bed. And it's not like he's even asleep yet.....I get a few minutes of listening to second prayers or songs or conversations until he falls asleep all by himself. I guess part of my ritual is also listening to those sweet baby words as I'm waitingforryder to go to sleep in the blessed stillness and peacefulness of being a Mommy who knows that naptime/bedtime is FINALLY here.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Due to the screaming, crying, and general uncontrollable sadness that Santa brought to Ryder's young life last year, we started talking about Santa early this year. Ryder has been watching Frosty all summer in Papa and Granna's van, since it became a favorite of Camden's last Christmas (and the idea of only watching a favorite movie one month out of the year is just obviously absurd), and I held Ryder, and talked him through Rudolph to maintain his interest. So with the help of the appearance of Santa on Frosty and Rudolph, we were able to convince Ryder that Santa was really very sweet and nice, and an overall good friend to have.
Before going to see Santa, I asked Ryder what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas. I expected: a ball, a train, a car, a book, a game, a ...fill in the list of normal 2 year old boy toys. I heard a ball as the answer one time, however, every other time Ryder was asked, he said, "a W!"
We visited Santa when he was at the Cleveland Mall, and Ryder sat with him, without screaming or crying, and talked to him, and asked him for a W. Apparently, he surprised Santa because Cody heard Santa say, "a W?"
So Santa had many friends help him look for a W, since his elves had not prepared to make a W. There were suggestions made on Facebook, and an elf must have visited Papa Bear's shop because a handmade wooden W appeared during the gift exchange at Papa Bear and Gigi's house, and Jeff (friend, preacher, and Santa's helper) even played Santa with a phone call when he spotted a W while out shopping. Santa found: a W notepad, a W magnet, a wooden train with an engine, a W car, and a caboose for us to paint together, and with Aunt Jonie's help, a W shirt for Ryder's favorite bear. Santa also threw in a Mr. Potato Head, the Word Factory DVD, a puzzle, balls, some crayons, markers, and notepads (for writing Ws, the only thing Ryder wants to color, of course :), and a few other toys.
Ryder's response to his Ws? "LOOK, it's a W...(turn it upside down)...and a M!"
Cody and I have always loved the season of Christmas, but never more than when we were waitingforRyder to wake up and share with us blessings that are sometimes overlooked, such as Ws.....and Ms.....and Ws.......and.....