Thursday, February 24, 2011

Trying My Hand at Poems

I'm not poet and Don't I Know it!

But I"m curious about the craft of writing.  Recently I have decided to expand my learning curve to include writing picture books and poems.  I have completed a few picture books and I have already submitted three.  Still waiting to hear the news on those. 

In my research I found a great blog by Laura Purdie Salsa.  She has exercises weekly for writing poems.  They are quick and fun.  Hop over and check it out for yourself. That said I thought I'd post a few of my recently written poems to your enjoyment.

Snow Ball Fight
Snowball, snowball, flying through the air
Ever wonder how it got there?
Whoa look out---Oops
Well, I told you to look out.

S’mores Delight
Toasty warm
Crispy and light
Golden brown
A S’mores delight

Apples in a Basket
One, two, three
How many apples in the basket can I see?
One, two three, four, five maybe more
Oops one fell on the floor
Yummy in my tummy
Nope only four.

My partner in crime is plain to see
He’s my brother, my brother, who else would it be.

We sneak and creep so our parents can’t see
Our fingers in the cookie jar
Nope, it wasn’t me. 

My partner in crime is plain to see
He’s my brother, my brother, who else would it be.

We giggle and laugh under the covers at night
When the lights should be out
And then we do fight.
He kicked me
He pushed me
We say to the judge
Who rules over bedtime, our parents
Oh Fudge.

I know they aren't great, but hey, it's fun and I'm trying, and trying counts!  Share with me some of your own.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Lion King

On February 19th my family went to see The Lion King. It was a Christmas present from my in-laws.  My family, in-laws included went to see the matinee show.  My job was to find us a restaurant after the show for dinner.  The trick, was to find a restaurant in the area that wasn't to fancy and to be comfortable for my boys.  Finding a place wasn't as hard as I thought and the it was a success.

Now if anyone has not seen The Lion King on stage I strongly recommend that you do so.  If you get a chance to go, go.  It was well worth it.  But, I already know the story, you might say.  I don't care, it 's not about knowing the story already, it's about seeing the amazing things creators can do with make up, costumes and music. As the show opens the actors walk down the isles in full costume singing the opening song.  That was when I lost it the first time.  No one told me I was going to need tissues.  Yes, you heard me right, I cried.  The beauty of it all just got me to.  I'll give you a little spoiler, it was the last time during the show that I cried either.  I was happy to find I was not the only one.

I was very pleased with the the performance of all of the actors.  They did a fabulous job, and the singing was superb.  The only compliant I have was the actors portraying Scar and Mufasa.  While these actors were very good in there own right, I felt like they were trying to be Jeremy Irons, and James Earl Jones.  These two actors in my mind just can not be recreated.  There voices are very distinct and wonderful. (can you tell I'm a fan?) and should not try to be re-created.  I would have preferred if they took more confidence in their role and made the characters their own.  But this is only my point of view and you are free to disagree, besides, the actors might have been different when/if you saw it.

Okay, back to the praise.  There were only two other times I saw tears, the first was the scene where Rafici tells Simba he knows who he is.  This scene touches me every time.  With me it's a personal thing.  If you have ever lost someone very close to you, I think you know what I'm talking about.  Love that scene, such depth, such emotion, such love.  Okay enough.  the other thing that got me in this scene was the way they created the clouds to look like Mufasa.  Obviously it wasn't really clouds and other material was used, but it was brilliant all the same.  I think I know how they did it, but I'll never be sure.

The last scene I cried was at the end.  How can you not?  The hero wins in the end, we all know that. The main character prevails.

I love children's stories.  I love the depth of their characters, the emotions they have to deal with, and the change in their characters as the story develops.  I swear I have cried at just about every children's movie I have seen.  Many times I go to see these plays, movies, etc.. and people walk away from it and say it was great, with smiles on their faces.  I walk away with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.  Did they not get the bigger message of the story?  Did they not peel back the layers and see the brilliance of it all?

The message in these stories are so much bigger then what we imagined it would be.  Did you miss the message?  Tell me.  I know I didn't miss it.  I live it every day.  Do you?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

But I don't want to go to ...........

This is something every parent hears at one point or another.  Sometimes it is only once in a while, for the less fortunate it can be heard once a week.  I fall into the less fortunate category.  I usually hear this whine once a week from one or the other of my kids (Yes, I'm really lucky, they take turns. ) when it comes to piano class.

My husband and I decided to offer our kids music lessons in addition to signing them up for sports.  Of course we asked our kids if they wanted to, and they were very excited about it.  That of course was before they realized that it involved, dare I say it: work. Right away they no longer wanted to play the piano. They want to play the guitar, drums, violin, flute, you name it, anything but the piano still not realizing that they still  have to practice. So we did a little research on the idea of which instrument to start with.

Many of our friends are very musically inclined and play many different instruments, my husband and I? Not so much, so when we asked out friends advice on where to begin, every single one of them told us to start with the piano, because it is easier to switch to another instrument after you have learned the piano instead of the other way around.

The Deal.  Now my husband and I are totally willing to compromise on this switching instruments thing. Learn piano and once you have it down, you can switch to any instrument you want, except the drums.  Not that I don't want the banging, I just don't have room for it anywhere in my house or garage. 

But I don't want to play the piano anymore!  Still I hear this statement all the time, you know what?  I've learned not to listen. Why?  Because these same kids who whine about not wanting to play the piano or go to lessons, practice on their own every weekday morning before school, and when we go to someone's house who owns a piano, where do you think I find my kids for most of the time we are there?  That's right, in front of the piano, making beautiful music. Everyone is always blown away at how good they are at such a young age.

I believe they actually love the piano, really I do.  It's just like anything else, you hate having to go somewhere, but once you get there, you are so glad you went that you don't want to go home.  Have you ever had to deal with a child who didn't want to go to lessons for something?  Share with me, I'll be listening to my kids play Jingle Bells, Oh Christmas Tree, and Yankee Doodle Dandy one more time..

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Amped Up

I want to tell everyone about a new non profit company that is slowly making the rounds in my area.  It is a small company that is striving to bring a little bit a sunshine to kids in need.  The name of the company is call Amped Up.  I found out about this company when I took my kids to their ever famous now piano lessons.  Amped Up is owned and operated by a friend of mine who decided she wanted to make sure kids  in need have a chance to experience music. 

The company sells T-shirts, sweat shirts, bracelts, stickers and pencil holders all with the Amped Up logo.  The cause is a great one.  Instead of listening to me ramble on go visit them on Facebook and friend them.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Super Bowl and The National Anthem

 I'm writing this post as the super bowl is starting.  So a quick FYI, if you are looking for results or praise for either team you will not get it here.  I am not a super bowl fan, although I do like watching the game.  It is pretty much one of the only games I watch all season long and I don't even watch all of it.

No, this post is really about the entertainment.  I love watching the entertainment before the show.  It is usually short, but the message is very strong.  I listened to the actress from Glee sing America the Beautiful and I was touched.  She did a wonderful job and she has a beautiful voice.  And when Christina Aguilar sang the National Anthem, as usual I got teary.  Yes I'm one of those people, I am very patriotic so when ever I hear our National Anthem, sung or instrumental I get teary eyed.

My Dad was a Sea Bee in Vietnam so I think that adds to my personal feelings.  But I'm getting side tracked.  What I want to talk about is the National Anthem.  For those of you who don't know or forgot this song started as a poem.  A poem written by Francis Scott Key, a soldier who wrote the American Anthem  in the middle of the war of 1812.   The poem was originalyl titled Defense of Fort M'Henry.  If you would like to read more on the history click over to "The story of the Star Spangled Banner." Mike Todd does a great job of explaining the history in detail.

Francise's Scott Key probably never thought his poem would be s sung or such an inspiration , never mind that his poem would touch so many lives for so many generations.  As you read the words, or hear the song sung, you can't help but to picture the American Flag standing tall in the early morning dawn as the smoke from the gun fire and rain is lifting off the ground.  It is a powerful image.  How can you not feel the emotion and the pride in the words.  It's impossible.  Just to prove my point read the words for yourself.  I clicked over to scout songs to get the words.  I was happy to find that they have the entire poem on their sight.  I wonder how many people have read the entire Anthem?  I know I have, but it has been so long, it was nice to read it again. Thank you for the information and the little information before the words.  Don't forget to tell me what you think after it.

The Star Spangled Banner

In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the poem, Defense of Fort McHenry. The poem was later put to the tune of (John Stafford Smith's song) The Anacreontic Song, modified somewhat, and retitled The Star Spangled Banner. Congress proclaimed The Star Spangled Banner the U.S. National Anthem in 1931.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov'd homes and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ground Hog Day

I don't care what the ground hog said yesterday.  It's still winter here in New England and it is oh so cold.  My kids school has closed five times so far and today they had a two hour delay.  Two hours!  Even my daycare center had an hour delay today. What's with that?  I went to drop them off at 7:30 this morning and had to turn around and go home with the boys in tow.  "Did you watch the news this morning?  Because it was on the news."  The grounds keeper told me. No. I didn't watch the news.  Your a daycare, your supposed to be open when parents go to work.  Mind you at 7:30 the roads were fine. No ice or anything. 

I left work at lunch to walk my little Rascal.  Poor puppy, even he is tired of the snow.  Anyway, when I left at lunch time it felt like the temps dropped.  It's freezing out there!  I'm so ready for spring.

How are you guys holding up with all these snow storms?  Are your loving the snow, or are you hoping the ground hog is right and spring is around the corner?  Share.  I know I can't be alone.

Stay warm and dry. I hear more rain and snow for Saturday.  That's my GNO, and I do't want to cancel!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tony the Tiger

No. I'm not talking about Tony the Tiger from Kellogg cereal,  I'm talking about Tony the tiger from Louisiana. Tracy over at Forever Endevor posted this horrible story about Tony on January 13th. For those of you who are animal lovers, and I know many of you are, you want to venture over to Tracy's blog and check this out.
Once there Click on Big Cat Rescue in Tampa and visit Tony's Facebook page to see Tony's Page.

Tracy does a great job with the post, so go check it out!