Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm a Mother.

Just A Mom, You Say?

"I'm just a mom,"
I overheard her say,
With eyes downcast
And a look of dismay.

I turned with a start
And enthusiastically decreed,
"A mom, did you say?
Oh, can it be?"

For a mom is a beacon
Shining so bright,
A landmark by day,
And a light by night.

She listens to stories
Woes and concerns,
With her eyes and her heart,
She quickly discerns.

Questions she asks,
To draw children out.
Building godly ones
Is what she's about.

She gives the gift
Of encouraging words.
With courage and strength
Their souls she girds.

She cheers them up,
When they are down,
And turns sad days,
Completely around.

She says, "You can do it!
I know that you can!"
And develops a boy
Into a man.

She builds self-esteem
Into young hearts.
Jesus Christ's power,
She thus imparts.

"Who am I?"
She hears them say
"You are God's child,
Loved - come what may."

Foundations of love,
Walls capable and strong,
Valued, adored,
They know they belong.

She sows seeds of Scripture,
Day after day.
And sows seeds of prayer,
That help point the way.

She guards information
That goes in their heads
And whispers a prayer
As they're tucked into beds.

She sets an example
Of how they should live,
Of how our Father
Can quickly forgive.

Love, joy and peace,
Is what they see,
Knowing the example she sets,
Is what they will be.

She never gives up
When life gets tough.
And doesn't give in
When kids get rough.

A warrior, a fighter,
She diligently prays,
And then at God's feet
Her children she lays.

"Just a mom," you say?
What an honor bestowed,
A beacon, a builder,
With many seeds sowed.

A listener, encourager,
Diligent too.
A mom, how blessed.
"My hat's off to you!"

I finished my sermon,
Not making a scene,
And transformed before me,
She looked like a queen.

Her eyes now beaming,
She sat tall and erect.
"Excuse me, sir,
I spoke incorrect.

God gave me a job,
that compares to none other,
Esteemed and chosen by Him.
You see, I'm a mother."

--Sharon Jaynes

Being a Great Mom, Raising Great Kids

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The LION KING on Broadway

Last Saturday afternoon, you may have noticed my Facebook status update: Hakuna Matata. That's right, we were headed to THE LION KING live, on stage, Broadway style. Before leaving the house, the tiegkndy watched the animated, class act, Disney version of the Lion King. Ready to go! Broadway: Downtown Sacramento A special day out with just my little ladies.
This photo was taken during our 15 minute intermission. We had great seats, front and center, row D. (Thanks, Gramma.)
Showtime: When the lights finally dimmed, there was a stunning parade of animals. The first ten minutes, we twisted and turned in our seats to see what marvel would enter next: giraffes, zebras, gazelles, lions, wild beasts, elephants, a rhino, and so many others. The cast performers with twirling, diving birds took over the mezzanine. African animals poured into the auditorium along the center aisles, and assembled on stage filling it from side to side and top to bottom. It truly caught me off guard, even though I had some knowledge of what to expect before the curtain raised. The entrance down the aisle was over the top. The girls were smiling from ear to ear. I was left misty-eyed; overwhelmed by the production effort to create this epic film and make it theater; and musical for that matter.

The costumes were brilliant, depicting African culture. Simply amazing, I thought. And the essence of each character was captivated either by his "dominant" trait or stage presence accompanied by African-influenced music. The entire show was phenomenal. It was diverse. It was comic. It was incredibly emotional. SPECTACULAR! "Nants' Ingonyama Bakithi Baba!" "There's more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done!" "Til we find our place on a path unwinding in the circle, the circle of life." Simba? Zazu? Has anyone seen the girls? "Oh, I just can't wait to be king."

Lion King Memorabilia

"A ballerina."

Our Kennedy had her BIG night two weeks ago. For the past month, she has been practicing her songs for the preschool celebration. She was very intent on her singing too. We loved every minute! All of the kids were asked to arrive 15 minutes early; only to be corralled into Room F until "the walk" (procession) began. A sea of proud parents, grandparents, friends and family could be seen hovering with their video recorders and cameras... ready to capture every moment of something said or silly moment. Once the kids were all seated, they began singing their songs for us. It was music to our ears. (Yes, some of us cried.) And there were some kids who didn't let us down and even made us laugh hysterically. Moments to remember. Then it was time to take care of business. Each child was called by name up to the front. When they arrived at the microphone, they were asked, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" As Kennedy came forward, her hat blew off. She gracefully picked it up and placed it back on her head. Atta girl! She proudly walked up to the microphone and was ready to answer her question. Kennedy, what do you want to be when you grow up? She softly said, "A ballerina." We all applauded. She happily took her diploma and returned to her seat. Some of the other children said that they wanted to be a policeman, an animal doctor, a soccer player... BUT, the one that got the thumbs-up cheer was the little girl who said she wanted to be a ROCKSTAR when she "growd" up. It was all so cute. Afterwards, we celebrated with refreshments and cupcakes.

Kennedy, we are so proud to be your Mommy and Daddy.

Introducing the Class of 2022!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kennedy's Preschool Celebration Songs

(Melody: Yankee Doodle)

Welcome, welcome everyone
To our celebration
We are so proud of this day
It's our graduation
Friends and family hear us roar
For our work is done
Next year we will all go off
To Kindergarten.
(Melody: I've Been Working on the Railroad)

I've been going to my preschool
All the whole year long
I've been going to my preschool
And I've learned a lot of songs
I can count and say my letters
I know all my colors too
I've been going to my preschool
All the whole year through
Graduation day, graduation day
Graduation day is finally here
Graduation day, graduation day
Graduation day is finally here.
(Melody: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)

Learned my letters ABC-ABC
Learned my numbers 123-123
I can even write my name with ease
Aren't you very proud of me
Proud of me
Kindergarten here we come
Here we come
Kindergarten here we come
Here we come
So long preschool
It's been fun
Kindergarten here we come
Here we come!
(Video of Kennedy singing her graduation song(s) coming soon. If I am lucky.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I teach.

I teach.
I am an open blossom
And my students are the bees.

With each landing, they collect some dust
And leave some off on me.
The bees fly away and are forever changed.

Bees are my students,
And I am a blossom, open.
I teach.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day... to me... to YOU!

My friend, Carol, sent me the following video from CNNBC: "Sharleen Young Announced as 2009 Mother of the Year."

Watch it here:

(Click on this address link below:)

Happy Mother's Day... to me! ... to YOU!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Never judge a book by its cover

I so wanted to share this video of Susan Boyle. She wowed the judges with her performance in the auditions for Britain's Got Talent, singing I dreamed a dream from Les Miserables. A beautiful moment. Love this! Yay, for her. I dare you not to cry.

Click here:

Here are the Lyrics:

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used
And wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted.

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame.

And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms
We cannot weather...

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell
I'm living so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Painting of Jesus

This is simply remarkable. The video is about 4 minutes long. But it is a MUST WATCH ALL the way to the end. I did not see this one coming. Who would have thought throwing paint would depict a talented work of art? A God given gift? I think so. Unbelieveable.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Here's to being a "pinch" Irish
O'Kennedy and O'Tiegan

Kennedy is celebrating the leprechaun's birthday with her school friends. Not lucky, Just cute! Tiegan made this St. Patrick project @ Kindergarten. Never thought I would actually be encouraging grass growing and watering in the house. O'Braden

Love these kids to the moon and back!
Papa Bill says I am 1/12 Irish. Erin Go Braugh!
This "wearing of the green" holiday is full of fun, mystery and lots of messes! For the past few days (between home and stories from the girls' school), Patrick, the leprechaun has: tipped chairs, forgotten to clean-up his toys, left his green foot prints everywhere, and lost his shoes. The kids were determined to find this mischievous little guy. No such luck! Their curiousity was detered when they found a note next to the chocolate gold coins he left. "Time to move on. Thanks for cleaning up the toys, fixing all the chairs, and finding my shoes! It's been fun!"

"For each petal on the shamrock brings a wish your way: Good health, good luck and happiness for today and every day." - Irish blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy 30th Anniversary, Mom and Dad! We love you, Gramma Jackie and Papa Bill!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Denice makes me laugh!

Is anyone else exasperated with hearing the "PC" phrase, "Tough Economic Times?" Albeit fact, the mere mention and constant overuse is almost bordering on abuse to the ol' ears. Please take a minute to read this eloquently written blog post.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just playin'

Note to self: A child's work is PLAY! When I'm building in the block room,
Please don't say, "I'm just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play
About balance and shapes.
When I'm getting all dressed up,

Setting the table, caring for the babies,
Don't get the idea I'm "just playing."
I may be a mother or a father someday.
When you see me up to my elbows in paint,

Or standing at an easel, or molding and shaping clay,
Please don't let me hear you say, "He's just playing"
For you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm expressing myself and being creative.
I may be an artist or an inventor someday.
When you see me sitting in a chair "Reading" to an imaginary audience,

Please don't laugh and think, "I'm just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a teacher someday.
When you see me combing the bushes for bugs,

Or packing my pockets with choice things I find,
Don't pass it off as "just playing."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I may be a scientist someday.
When you see me engrossed in a puzzle,

Or "plaything" at my school,
Please don't feel the time is wasted in "play."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning to solve problems and concentrate.
I may be in business someday.
When you see me cooking or tasting foods,

Please don't think that because I enjoy it, it is just "play."
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning how my body works.
I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.
When you ask me what I've done at school today,

And I say "I played,"
Please don't misunderstand me.
For, you see, I'm learning as I play.
I'm learning to be successful in work.
I'm preparing for tomorrow.
Today, I'm a child and my work is play.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tiegan's Friday morning conversation...

Tiegan: (6:30a.m. upon waking up) I need to pee.

Mommy: Okay, then you better get in there. I'll start making your breakfast.

Tiegan: (excusing herself from the breakfast table) I have to go poop now.

Mommy: Um, okay... go ahead... take care of your business.

Tiegan: (7:30a.m. before heading out of the door) Mom, I have to pee one more time.

Mommy: Really? Okay, then you better go before we leave for school.

Tiegan: (grimacing) Guess what, Mom? THAT is an A-B-A pattern.

Mommy: (Laughing hysterically! Because I KNEW EXACTLY what she was referring too) You are so right!

Can you guess what they are working on in math? As I laughed and hugged my girl... I realized how important it was for me to take in THIS wonderful moment with her! We laughed all the way to school. She asked me not to tell her teacher this story/conversation. (She didn't say anything about sharing it with you, and you, and you.) Isn't learning great!

Here is a recent picture of my silly girl. Her Kindergarten class wore their pajamas on Friday for spirit day!

Mother of the year award?

Kennedy was invited to Raeya's 4th birthday party yesterday. I decided to take Kennedy with me to pick out the birthday gift. On the drive to the gift store, we talked about who we were there to buy a gift for. (It was my attempt to mentally prepare her to avoid any meltdowns. I am not one of those mother's who buys the kids something everytime we go into a store.)

Happy and excited to spend the day with her friends, she grabbed my hand and we skipped our way into the store. After about 30 minutes, she finally made a decision on which gift she wanted to buy. So we headed toward to the cashier. She happily put her items on the counter. Whew! Then out of the corner of her eye, she spotted an Ariel phone that she wanted. Of course, I quickly reminded her that we were there to buy Raeya's gift. In my motherly voice, I asked her to give the nice lady the toy phone, so that we could pay for the "other" stuff. I could see her eyes start to tear up, but she did as I asked her to do. We walked out holding hands. As we left, I watched the passerby's faces. Most looked at Kennedy and could see that she was sad. They passed me without saying a thing, just a pouty lip as if they felt sorry for the poor girl. And all I could think was, what about the poor mother who is trying to teach her child the value of money, appreciate giving to others, etc.? Next time, I am going to wear a sign that says, "Mother of the year!"

How many of you would have given in and bought "it" anyway?

(By the way, she had a blast @ the "princess" party!)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Braden's 1st haircut

Look @ the new haircut Mommy gave me.
Mommy's secret crush finally gets his FIRST haircut. This was a long time a comin'. I had to come to terms with the possibility of losing his baby curls. The whole process lasted two minutes from start to finish. Whew! And he's still my handsome secret crush.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I have been tagged on Facebook by my friend, Aprill. So I thought I would also share this with all of my blogger friends and family.

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

Here goes... enjoy!

1. I am the oldest of six brothers and sisters.
2. I am a retired military brat. Go, Air Force!
3. I hesitate to admit this one… Old enough to probably know better, I believed that our family German Shepherd could actually jump on a pogo-stick. Can you say, GULLIBLE? Thanks, Dad!
4. I learned to double-dutch in the 5th grade. I can still hold my own with my 6th grade class/students today. I have the “COOL” teacher factor, now.
5. I have never broken a single bone in my body, but I have bruised a bone and pulled a rib from my vertebrae. OUCH!
6. I twirled the baton in middle school; won States and Western Regionals.
7. I had my first child @ 32.
8. Being a mom has made me a better teacher. And being a teacher has made me a better mom. Figuratively speaking, I SEE things through DIFFERENT eyes.
9. German police stopped me because I was riding my bicycle on the sidewalk. I guess that is not allowed in Bonn.
10. I got out of a “ticket” for doing a California stop because I was brutally honest.
11. I still cannot prove why a circle is a circle. Uh… because my Kindergarten teacher taught me so? Geometry did not bring out my best!
12. I survived a 360 on the freeway! And NO, I was not the driver.
13. My longest childhood friendship has endured 31 years of great memories.
14. I hope to see all seven wonders of the world one day!
15. One day, on my list of Mommy things to do… is to take all of my children to my birth place.
16. If there is one weather element I could live without, it would be the wind. And I do not like to feel cold.
17. I CRY! I cry over other people’s happiness. I cry when any of my kids make me proud. I cry over movies. I cry when I cut up an onion.
18. People often ask me if we are done having children. Can’t say yes or no. Hmmm, what does that mean? Seriously though, I am one of those mother’s who gets VERY SICK during pregnancy. And although it is temporary… it scares me. It is probably a good thing, otherwise, I would probably have a baseball team.
19. I want a smartboard like Aprill.
20. Originally, in my “professional student” college days, I pursued a career in medicine to become a pediatrician.
21. I have no regrets…
22. I hope to write a children’s book one day … illustrated by Karin Schwettmann, my baby sister. (She is the artist in the family.)
23. I look @ life as the “glass is half full.”
24. I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHY! I have about two dozen pictures from MY childhood. My children, on the other hand, have about two million photo memories @ this point and they are only 5, 4, and 1. Do you think there is any relativity to why I capture every moment on film?
25. Whew… this was an eye-opener. Not an easy task to write about me.

Please do share a few random things about you!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Fairytale Town

Spending the day at Fairytale Town is the BEST $4.50 you will ever spend. The kids literally could have stayed 'til the cow jumped o'r the moon. I love watching the kids experience the magic and fun of being a kid. It truly is a family friendly place! They have turned our fairytale stories that we grew up reading into a playground.
At the Humpty Dumpty Gate...
On the crooked mile... hiding out!
"To fetch a pail of water... Jack and Jill"
Face painting
Fairytale town has over two acres of ENCHANTMENT and FUN! It is a nonprofit family park with more than twenty five, bright, dimensional child-sized play sets based on favorite fairytales and nursery rhymes. These give young children a backdrop to act out their favorite stories, to encourage creative discovery, and to exercise on child-friendly slides throughout the lush grounds. A family of friendly animals and children's gardens nestle in this safe and colorful place. Their mission is to promote the imagination, creativity and education of children.

P.S. Make it a full day... bring a picnic lunch and afterwards feed the ducks!