Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend in Review

This is the picture of someone who did not get enough sleep this weekend.

The little girls did some sort of amazing race/fear factor/lock in with the girls scouts on Friday.  They were proud to inform me that they didn't sleep even one single wink. 

Thier troop leader confirmed this with a little less enthusiasm than the girls had. 

The next couple of nights involved other late night haunted halloween things and dressing up and collecting enough candy to put me into a coma. 

Here we have a French artist.

a lovely vampire

and tink

Tink is posing for her painted potrait and doesn't seem to notice the vampire draining her blood.
So creative. 
And only slightly disturbing. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Today's Scrapbook:

Concrete job I had to wear a hard-hat for to help out.

Tookie and her 4th grade social studies project that I helped with.  "We" are making globes.

Helping Marz with her tinkerbell costume.....that would not be possible without the help or our GREAT and AMAZING friend, Debbie.....

And what you don't see in today's scrapbook is me editing an amazing biography of a Holocaust survivor to help out a young author with "A Book By Me."  

And me making spaghetti. 

So...after further review of today's scrapbook, I ask I have ADD or am I just that good at a whole bunch of things?

Some would argue that it's a toss-up. 

But I'm pretty sure it's ADD. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011



i have so many "things" going on right now.
money things
life decisions things
major medical things
serious medical things

and all i can seem to think about is one "thing."

one person

and i have SO much to say about this....but it is time to turn on my filters (bet you thought i didn't have any!)....and just say to this one's okay.  It is going to be okay.  I love you no matter what.  I'm not going anywhere. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"If You Can't Say Something Nice....."

".....type it into your macbook and let your computer say it for you."

The kids came home from their dad's house tonight....and one of them told me she had a "story" to tell me about another. 

I'm all for a good story.

So we got out the computers....and fought it out. 
It's kind of like texting. 
Only they are all in the same room....typing in their story or response to one....

....and it's pretty funny when the computer voice reads the "story" out loud.
Sort of buffers the impact of trying to get things out in the open.

Right now, Mars has the best "story.
I would expect nothing less from my young author. 
Only she just figured out that I am blogging the whole thing.
And I have 3 computers all yelling at me now.  

How's that for some genius parenting skills?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dear Worst Case Scenario,

My name is Robin. 
We have met before--but under different circumstances.
I am familiar with you and your work. 
And I must say, I am not much of a fan.

You looked different when our paths last crossed. 
I have faced you on behalf of a friend.
I have confronted you on different issues in my personal life.
And we have had our fair share of compromising. 

It isn't your fault you are the Worst Case Scenario.
And I can objectively say that even though I hate you,
I appreciate the balance that you bring to your opposite: the Best Case Scenario.
It's like a dose of reality.

But I have to say
That when I'm dealing with thoughts of
the Best Case Scenario
and even your second cousin--Most Likely Scenario,
I hate how you seem to be able to creep into my thoughts.

So Dear Worst Case Scenario,
I know you are real
And I mean no disrespect
But I am not going to let you ruin my day and the days to come.
Afterall, you are only One of many Scenarios.
And even though this is the first time we are meeting up under these particular circumstances....
Don't think I won't kick your ass. 


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl

Dear Claire,

Happy 11th Birthday.

I feel bad that I had to ask you last week how old you were going to be.  Because it seemed like you could have been 11 already and going on 12.  But deep down I really wanted you to be like 9 going on 10....max. 

Let's talk about numbers. 
You are a math kind of girl.  You dig numbers.  You understand them.  Love math.  In a way that I can't even understand. 
But you were always that way with numbers. 

For example:  You were due to be born on October 19th.  Because your older brother and sister were beyond normally huge for newborns, I chose to have a scheduled c-section with you.  That day was to be October 11th. 
(far ahead of your due date....i was thinking, you know)

You had other ideas about the time and day you were to arrive into my world.  Waters broke on October 6th around 7 or 8 pm or so.  But it wasn't in that obvious water-breaking way that you see on t.v.  So I hung around home until 10 when I knew that this was the real deal and you were ready.  I went to the hospital and the doctors asked me about doing things the "natural" way since you were WAY early.

Me being mental and that I mean "mentally prepared" for the c-section...I refused.  YOu were born on October 7th at 4:59 a.m.  (the only time you were ever a morning person)
You were 9 and a half pounds. 

These are some impressive numbers, girl. 

The doctor actually felt bad for suggesting anything other than a c-section. 

We showed him, didn't we? 

You entered the world YOUR way and in YOUR time. 

And my world has never been the same since. 

I love you with all of my heart. 

You are a true middle child.  Middle of the family and middle girl. 
You don't see this as being a good thing.
Recently I have become aware of just how special of a role you play, as the middle child, is.  And I'm trying hard each day to show you how special you are. 

A lot has changed in the last year.
A year ago your life long plans were to grow up and live in a  huge camper that was parked in my driveway.  YOu were absolutely NOT going to ever get married, but you wanted to have three girls and name them all "becky." 
You gave me the job of 'babysitter.'
While you are off being a teacher.

This year your life goals have changed.
You want to be a lawyer and live in a mansion that is not located in my driveway.
You want two girls and they have different names (christina and christin?)
And you are open to the idea of marriage. 

You continue to challenge me
And while it may seem frustrating to me at times....
I recognize this as being one of your best qualities. 
It's hard being in the middle.
You will not get lost there.
You will not allow it.
You WILL stand up for yourself
When it matters
And I am counting on that. 

Dear Claire-Bear,
Your mama loves you with all that she is. 
You are teaching me to be a better mama
And stretching me outside of my natural bents.
This in itself has enriched my life beyond what I could have ever hoped my life could be. 

I'm not as good with numbers as you are,
But I know that my life with you in it equals beauty far beyond what my brain can imagine. 
Your life goals will change over the years.
But your goals will always matter to me
And they are always an element of my own life goals....
Even if I have to ask you how old you are.
Because, you my sweet middle child
Are a true gift to me.

If you will let me
I can park my camper
In your driveway
And if I have a cat I will name her "becky"
And we
Can hang out
with you. 

Happy Birthday. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Power of a Personal Story

The power of a personal story is something I have always believed in, but this idea has really begun to hit home in the last few months as I have been given more assignments for the Quad City Times, and most recently, becoming involved with "A Book By Me." 

Reporting gives me the opportunity to visit with someone about their own stories and their own passions.  I get to paint thier stories with words to share with others.  It is inspiring to listen to people who are so intent on sharing what they have with readers.  Even though I don't become a part of their own story, sharing these makes me want to live my own story better. 

Recently I have been given the opportunity to become a part of A Book By Me.  The book series features true stories of holocaust survivors, WWII vets and righteous gentiles (non-jews who helped the jewish during the horrific time of the holocaust).  Besides the stories themselves, the special thing about A Book By Me is that they are written for children, by children.  Marisa had a chance to be a part of this last spring. 
Marisa with WWII Vet Dr. Paul Hauk

The people featured in these stories are dying.  But their stories are a part of history, deserving to be told, recorded and preserved.  And I love it that children get to jump over a big generational gap in order to get into the world of these survivors and liberators. 

There is another series about Refugees and human rights. 

Nasiba is the author of the first book in the Human Rights Series: "From Royaly to Refugee"

What will I be doing with A Book By Me

Thank you for asking!  I get to be a writing coach.  I get to step into the stories of young authors and illustrators as they jump into a little bit of history.  Stories that have historical significance and also share messages of courage, tolerance and respect.....issues that are relevant no matter what the day or age. 

And I may even get to visit schools.

And help out with young writers' workshops. 

And I'm excited. 

I will share more as I do more. 

But for now, I have something for you to think about.
What is your story? 
You have one.
We all do.
And even if you may think that it isn't one worthy of sharing with the world, I want to encourage you in something:  Your story is important.  Live it out with passion.  And even if you don't share your story with me or can inspire all those around with you just by embracing it. 

The End