Thursday, December 30, 2010

When you wish upon a star

When You Wish Upon a Star
from Pinocchio
Music and lyrics by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington
When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything you heart desires
Will come to you
If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

the famous Cinderella castle at Disney's Magic Kingdom--Dec. 21, 2010

yours truly

the castle all lit up in my favorite color

Was looking for a video of the classic song when I came across this version

What are your wishes for the new year?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Peace and Patience

sign at store in United Kingdom section of Epcot at Disney World

I may have been praying for PEACE this holiday season but the universe/God continues to bring lessons in patience.

Miles and I are/have been sick with different illnesses for the last 5-6 days including time that we were on vacation to Disney World = patience
Going to Disney at Christmas time means long lines = patience
Going to Disney with a slow moving 5-year-old = patience
Going to Disney with a mother in a wheelchair (due to a knee she'll have surgery on in a few days) = patience
Being in the airport 5 hours before our flight = patience

I'm reminded that I must look at the bright side of all of this.

All of us were together at different moments--my family of four, my parents, my sister and brother-in-law, and my brother-in-law's parents.
Miles being sick meant that he was super good in the airport and on the plane.
Miles being sick means lots of cuddle time.
My being sick means I've read 3 books in the last week.
My mother in a wheelchair meant that we were able to bypass long lines for some rides and her lap became a stroller for Miles.
All the people at Disney, especially from other countries, meant a spiritual feeling of connectedness at various moments.  When tons of these people left Magic Kingdom about 10:30 at night on Christmas Eve, it was cold, it started to rain and we didn't have an umbrella.  We were one, long, thick, slow-moving snake waiting to board the Monorail.  All I could do was laugh.

I've lots more to share, but that is enough for now...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace, love, and PLAY

Merry Christmas
from my family to yours!
Peace, love, and PLAY,
the Cranes

Peace & Merry

Maybe I'm starting to figure out all this photo editing stuff!

Star light, star bright
First star I see tonight
I wish I may I wish I might
Have the wish I wish tonight.

I wish you peace!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Peace 10

And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host praising God,
and saying, Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Luke 2:13-14

Monday, December 20, 2010

Peace 9

our Christmas house flag on a snowy day

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor,
The mighty God, The everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Peace 8

To every thing there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under heaven...
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peace Crane

I love my last name (married name), because cranes are a symbol of peace.

I'm sure you've heard the true story of Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Sadako was a young girl who developed leukemia after the bombing of Hiroshima. While in the hospital she attempted to fold 1000 origami paper cranes due to the Japanese legend that said a crane would grant a wish to anyone who was able to accomplish this feat.  She died before reaching her goal, but her friends added to her 644 cranes so that 1000 were buried with her.

A statue of Sadako holding a golden crane was unveiled in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial in 1958.  The statue is called the Children's Peace Monument; at its foot are the words:

This is our cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world.
And please check out Sandy and the 1000 Paper Cranes mission blog. Her cranes are beautiful, the words are inspiring, and it's so fun when someone finds one.

Peace 7

Peace begins when the hungry are fed.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Peace 6

Peace cannot be achieved through violence,
it can only be attained through understanding.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Snow Day!

Is it still a snow day if it falls on a Sunday?

What's more fun than the first true snowfall of the season?!

Look at that happy face!

snowball fight

Friday, December 10, 2010

Peace 5

a funky new peace sign dove ornament
All we are saying is give peace a chance.
--John Lennon

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Peace 4

a Hallmark UNICEF ornament from years ago
Nobody can bring you peace but yourself.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, December 6, 2010

Playful Christmas music

In case you haven't seen or heard these fun songs: (Complete with lights because who doesn't love that?)

Toy Sack - RockinChristmas 2009 in HD from RockinChristmas on Vimeo.

12 Days of Christmas - The Northern Lights 2009 from Jeff Holmes on Vimeo.

A little Christmas fun

A little bit of Christmas fun for today.
Miles's crazy reindeer from school

Miles wants a globe, a journal, and a toy car

cheery art made by the older kids at Miles's school

Miles thinks Bugles corn chips look like cornucopias. For dinner one evening he had put a pea in one. He must have also remembered them from Thanksgiving discussion at school. So this weekend he drew this one complete with carrots, peas, and lettuce. Must be a cornucopia for a rabbit.  Look how proud he is!

someone's not so sure about the Santa Claus at his school

Here are the little people who keep me from having PEACE and quiet in my life sometimes.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Amazing Peace

“If we wish to create a lasting peace

we must begin with the children.”

--Mahatma Gandhi

This is a beautiful book by Maya Angelou, Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem.  The book is illustrated with gorgeous paintings by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher.  Ms. Angelou read this poem at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 1, 2005.

Some of my favorite lines come near the end:

Come and fill us and our world with your majesty.
We, the Jew and the Jainist, the Catholic and the Confucian.
Implore you to stay awhile with us
So we may learn by your shimmering light
How to look beyond complexion and see community.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Peace 3

Nothing is worth more than this day.
- Goethe

This time of year is usually so stressful for me.  Partly because of the holiday activities but also because it's the end of the semester and I'm about as motivated as my students.  I know I'll get it all the grading done, but I've also got to take care of myself or I get sick.  Like I am now.

So today I'll rest.  I already spent the morning napping and reading a novel (one of my favorite forms of play).  The house is quiet for a little while longer.  I am at peace.

What are you doing to find a little peace?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Peace 2

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  ~Mother Teresa

Photo of peace ornament from The Children's Art Project of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX. Throughout the year I purchase items from this project because it's for such a good cause and all the items include the art of the cancer patients there.  Each year I purchase this lovely calendar to hang in my office at work.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My wish...

art by yours truly

Every year my wish is the same.


Peace, however, is not the absence of conflict.

Here are some definitions of peace according to
1. the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
2. an agreement or treaty between warring or antagonistic nations, groups, etc., to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting or antagonism: the Peace of Ryswick.
3. a state of mutual harmony between people or groups, esp. in personal relations: Try to live in peace with your neighbors.
4. the normal freedom from civil commotion and violence of a community; public order and security: He was arrested for being drunk and disturbing the peace.
5. cessation of or freedom from any strife or dissension.
6. freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity.
7. a state of tranquillity or serenity: May he rest in peace.
8. a state or condition conducive to, proceeding from, or characterized by tranquillity: the peace of a mountain resort.
9. silence; stillness: The cawing of a crow broke the afternoon's peace.

art by Meredith Crane, age 11

Throughout this holiday season I plan to continue to share some images of peace.

About the artwork:
Mer and I felt like being artistic one recent afternoon, so I got out the acrylic paints and canvases.  Neither one knew that the other was going to make a symbol of peace.  My first idea was to make the letters PEACE in a patchwork design using scrapbook papers but then discovered it would be too hard.  So I ended up with something resembling a sort of dove.

Much later little brother who must have been either feeling left out or rebellious about something else, wrote the words "not good Mer!!" on her artwork with a purple pen.  She tried covering it up with another layer of paint but as you can see, it is still there.  How ironic.  As much as we try to keep the peace, there will inevitably be conflict.

PLEASE share your thoughts below.  Either about the artwork or your own definitions of peace.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Give Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

GIVE is full of items that one can give.
THANKS is full of people I am thankful for.

Monday, November 22, 2010


new wreath I made for the holidays

How do you welcome people?  How do you make people feel welcome?

taken with iphone

The above photo is of this poster that hangs outside the play therapy room at the Appalachian Play Therapy Center at Lindsey Wilson College.  It is hung low at the child's level.

Sure, at holiday time we do lots to welcome people into our homes: special invitations, decorations, and food.  But what about the everyday kind of day?  A smile, a warm hello, a personalized greeting to show you care.  My shy, reserved self sometimes just wants to go hide away from people and read a novel; yet, it's those genuinely thoughtful, welcoming people to whom I feel attracted rather than repelled even on days when I'd rather be left alone.

As a play therapist, I pay particular attention to how I welcome new child clients.  I am a stranger to them.  I am careful about entering their physical space.  I bend down to their level, smile, say "hi," and tell them my name.  I am unhurried and patient, waiting for the child to warm up to me.

The playroom itself is so welcoming with its colorful toys and materials at the child's level.  How could a child not want to enter this room and experience this special time with me?  I am all too aware that it is a privilege to spend time with the child in this way.

How do you welcome others through the physical environment, your body language, and your words?
How will you welcome others this holiday season?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Playful Weekend List

This morning as I ate my eggs and toast made by my darling hubby (DH), I was thinking of all the things I need to do this weekend and feeling a bit of dread. So in the spirit of artsyville's whimsical lists and Alisa Burke's beautiful sketches, I decided to create this list for the rest of my weekend only feeling partially guilty that my DH was cleaning the kitchen while I made it.

Please keep in mind that this is the first time I have attempted such a project. The finished product is definitely not as beautiful as artsville and Alisa's. Silly me. I know not to compare my work with others. It's one of the cardinal rules of creativity. But knowing that I would put the list on my blog and share with others, I am compelled to say that. Oh well.

Back to that dread: the first four items on my list involve some sort of play. And yet, I'm not sure if it's the sure amount of time I know these items will take me, but I'm not feeling that playful. I'm reminded of Stuart Brown explaining in his book, Play, that even play can involve work as I mentioned in this previous post. So I knew I needed a quick attitude change. I am forever wanting to do more art and be creative (for the sheer fun of it) so I put aside the look-at-all-the-things-I-need-to-do-this-weekend attitude and got to work playing by making the list. 

More specifics about each of the items on the list:
1. I loved Eat, Pray, Love the first time time I read it thanks to my Pilates instructor Pamela. (These days I'd rather refer to her as my friend Pamela knowing that I rarely have take the opportunity to attend her class on Mondays at the Y.) I have been suggesting the book for FORM (Fellowship Of the Red-hot Mamas), a group of ladies from my church who gather once a month to eat yummy desserts, chat, pray for others, and discuss a book. Well, be careful what you wish for. We've been reading it the past 3 months and I've been behind the whole time. I think I can post what FORM stands for. It hasn't been a secret for years. The funny thing is that in some ways I have enjoyed the book even more the second time around. Probably because I'm in a different place than I was 3 years ago when I first read it.

M & M, April 2006

2. We've had beautiful 70s-degree weather here in Kentucky this week. Today might very well be the last of this warm weather so I ought to take advantage of it. I absolutely love, love tulips. And as much as I enjoy the season of fall, my favorite time of year is definitely spring. Having spring flowers in my yard makes me insanely happy, not to mention my favorite place to take pictures of my kids is on Easter in front of those very same flowers.

3. Patti Digh's latest book is Creative is a Verb. I highly recommend all things Patti. Enough said.

4. We are a 3 computer family, 4 if you count the ipad, 5 if you count my laptop from work and 6 if you count my DH's work laptop. And there's only 4 of us. What's wrong with this picture? Miles has inherited my husband's old desktop computer. He's even set up his own "office." While I've been writing this blogpost, they've been buying and setting up a computer desk for his very own. Miles is insanely happy.

**I'll add pics of Miles's office later.**

5. My students write reflection papers over Childhood, Adolescence, and Adulthood in my Lifespan Development class at LWC. While I'm definitely not pleased with the actually grading of the papers, I do enjoy reading them. I particularly feel it is a privilege to read this Adolescence set, because many of the students share some very trying and inspirational stories in them.

6. Due to my strange work schedule that allows either my DH or myself to be home to greet Miles and Meredith at the bus each day, I often have to do work on weekends. Those Lifespan students are looking forward to dreading their scores. Oh look, I'm back to dread.

Meredith is away for most of the weekend for the first time ever at a church youth group event. That's a whole 'nother story. My baby is growing up.

What's on your list? Post in the comments below or post a link with your own blogpost.

Time get to those tulips.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Have you...

Have you played with a child today?

Here's a place to find bendable smile men.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Empty Bowls Project

Many came on a cold and sunny November afternoon.
With soup, bread, drink, and dessert to feed us
In beautiful handmade bowls from a potter's hands.
Because too many are hungry
Who happen to even be in our own community.
What wonderful things can happen
When we all work together.
Each doing our small part.

the man in the middle is the potter who made most of the bowls
homemade vegetable beef, pinto bean, potato, & chicken & rice soup
homemade bread
a family affair for us Cranes
working together
the old and the young
To learn more: the Empty Bowls Project