Saturday, March 26, 2011

cherry cola candy sticks

For the last half hour I've been staring at the following sentence:

"The work of Lev Vygotsky has been hugely influential to early years practice, especially in understanding the role of the adult in supporting children's learning."

I am apparently incapable of adding anything to it. I have even put Mozart on in the background in hopes of helping my brain focus...

I feel a bit like Kevin, except instead of "Squirrel!" I'm being distracted by snacks, facebook, my own train of thought, and generally everything. Blaming my inability to focus on my allergies...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Shona!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

There is a wonderful article on the 24-7 Ireland website today about St. Patrick. You can also link to all the things I've shared in the past about St. Patrick by the label with his name at the bottom of this post.

I'm working this evening which meant that I couldn't join my friends from 24-7 Ireland at the gathering in Dublin this evening. So I've decided to set the day aside for some prayer and reflection. That somehow seemed a better way to mark the day then going in to town to see the environmentally themed St. Patrick's Day carnival in the city centre.

May you always be blessed
With walls for the wind.
A roof for the rain.
A warm cup of tea by the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire.

PS (a bit later in the day) I've just watched a lovely little documentary St. Patrick: Apostle of Ireland. The link is for amazon, but I got it from iTunes. Really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

raise a glass to turnings of the season

It's late and I need to go to bed. But first I wanted to share this:

Today I saw the first butterfly of spring! It's not officially spring yet and the weather hasn't made it out of the 40s so I was absolutely shocked to discover this little guy flying around in the tree outside my window. Nevertheless, there he was, happily soaking up the sunshine and some sweet nectar from all the pretty blossoms. He was difficult to photograph as the morning was breezy and the window was dirty, but I was determined.

Happy Spring!

yarn along

This week's yarn along is all business, business, business. I'm finishing off the second sock in the pair I'm making for my Dad's birthday. His birthday is tomorrow. If only we lived in the same country they would be right on time... unfortunately Royal Mail and the USPS will determine how late they actually are... And I'm reading (well, skimming for relevant details is more accurate) Young Children's Personal, Social, and Emotional Development and Observing Children and Young People. Lots of paper writing coming up in the next several weeks...

Monday, March 14, 2011

catch phrases

I was just thinking about catch phrases. Everyday catch phrases not advertising slogans or super hero exclamations or anything potentially copy righted. Just funny or memorable things people I know and/or love say or have said more than once which makes me think of them when I hear it or am reminded of it.

Sometimes it's little things like a lady I worked for always used the phrase, "Like I said." Or the family friend who introduced "horrid" into my vocabulary. Or Rosie's famous "sinner!"

I was randomly thinking of two in the last week or so:

"I have to watch my girlish figure." - my Grandma, used as an explanation for not eating the yummy goodies she had made for us.
"The natives are getting restless." - Another lady I worked for/friend when the kids were cranky/hungry/tired.

A third popped into my head while I've been writing:
"And we have great hair." - a friend I used to work for, used as the end of many conversations.

Any everyday catch phrases you'd care to share?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

wednesday is the new saturday

Now that I've finished the ICT class I was required to do for my course I don't have to be at college until 2:30 in the afternoon. This is bliss! The same is true on Monday but I usually set Monday mornings aside to do any school work due in during the week. And now that I've started working I don't always have Saturday off, so Wednesday has become my new Saturday. Except for the hour and half I'm in class I spend it doing things like taking pictures of the beautiful flowering tree outside my window. (This is surprisingly challenging because the windows are not clean and they do not open.)

I'm so thankful for this tree! Charlotte, my home town, is absolutely covered with flowering trees and bushes and gardens definitely all spring and to a lesser extent all year long. Having a flowering tree right outside my window helps me feel more at home here, and it has beautiful red leaves in the fall.

I also do things like make big lunches, and then document them by taking pictures. I also baked a cake. A strange cake. A rosemary and olive oil cake. My feelings on this cake are undecided... I do not have any pictures of it because it took longer than expected baking and I had to rush out the door as soon as it came out of the oven as waiting for it had made me late for class.
After my class I head over to Starbucks. Wednesday afternoons are when my knitting group meets. This particular Wednesday was the launch of their new branding. Look at the fabulous new cups! It was also momentous because I discovered a new amazing combination; chai tea and caramel waffles. Y-U-M!!!
Once I sat down to knit I realised that my pattern had not made it into my knitting bag... thank goodness for free wi-fi and ravelry. I was able to pull the pattern up on my iPod and I successfully turned the heel on my first sock.
From knitting group I went over to Boojum's on Botanic to meet my lovely friend Laura for dinner. Boojums is a burrito bar. A burrito bar that actually bears no small resemblance to places like Qdoba and Chipotle. A burrito bar in Belfast. This. Is. A. Big. Deal. The whole time I lived in England myself and my American friend Rosie were desperate for Mexican food. It just wasn't available. But here in Belfast, they have burritos! It was a happy evening.
After Burritos I had home group, it was a lovely way to round out a lovely day, with old and new friends and some good, solid Lenten reflections.

Normally my Wednesday's aren't quite so full. And despite the cold and wind and rain, and the fact that my boots seem to no longer be water proof, it was a good day!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

turning heels and the life of pi

This week I'm knitting a pair of socks for my Dad's birthday. (They're gonna be late, bother!) This is my first pair of socks and I'm just getting ready to turn the heel. Fingers crossed!

I'm reading The Life of Pi for my book club this month. The club is meant to be focused on classics and while I love this book I'm not sure it quite qualifies as that, yet. It's been a few years since I read it and I don't want to give any thin away (especially as there's no know how accurate my memory may be.) So I will just say that it is a beautiful and beautifully written story. It is self described as a story that will make you believe in God.

On this reading I'm intrigued by the descriptions of Jesus by Hindu eyes and I love this quote:

"The presence of God is the finest of rewards."

All the other lovely yarn along posts can be read here.

st. patrick and pete greig

I never saw this until now, it's from 24-7's birthday celebrations last year. Hil-arious!

lenten season

This year for Lent I am making a commitment. Instead of my normal daily routine of praying while I shower and reading my Bible while I eat breakfast I am going to increase the intentionality of how I spend time with the Lord and how I start my day. I'm going to begin each day with half an hour of prayer, worship, and reflection. I like this idea a lot. It involves a certain amount of sacrifice; sleep is something I love and crave and loosing even half an hour of it in the morning is a sacrifice for me. It also involves adding something to my life instead of merely taking something away. My hope is that this forms a habit which will continue after Easter. And it is realistic and doable, leaving no excuses.

As a part of this I will be using 24-7 Prayer's Prayer Spaces for Lent video podcast and readings. I find that a bit of structure when beginning something is always a good thing, as I move forward in this (after Easter) I can give myself increased freedom in what this time looks like.

For now I'm off to make an appropriate playlist. I'm excited about the journey!

PS (a couple hours later) making 30 minute playlists with worship songs proved challenging, it only takes a few to fill the time as most are longer than your average song. In the end I have 10 new playlists falling either under Loudly: Behold, Blaze, Caught, and Rend or Quietly: Beautiful, Closer, Holy, Open, Presence, and Surrender. Should have plenty of options to meet a variety of morning moods!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

blue banjo

tomorrow I'm heading down to Dublin to see the Decemberists. I'm so excited!

world book day

Fern, Wilbur, and Charlotte heading out the door for World Book Day!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

sing with your child

A couple years ago I completed Music Together's teacher training program. I haven't become a teacher yet, too busy moving back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean. But someday, hopefully not too far away, I would l-o-v-e to have a Music Together studio. March is Sing With Your Child month and they've posted some great videos on their youtube channel. I love this program as it allows families to all come together and really focuses on the parent's role! Plus, their music is fantastic!

pig pieces and the peace process

This week I've knitted up a pink piggy. Tomorrow is World Book Day and I'm dressing up as Fern from Charlotte's Web. Hopefully my Wilbur will be stuffed and sewn together in time to accompany me to nursery tomorrow!

I'm reading The Real Peace Process, Worship, Politics, and the End of Sectarianism by Siobhan Garrigan. Still in the beginning chapters, but excited about what's to come!

If you'd like to see all the other lovely knitting projects and interesting books in this week's Yarn Along you can find them here.