Monday, June 27, 2011

Playful Moments

a leather bracelet I made in VBS
Summer is full of playful moments...

Last weekend was SPC Day at the college, a day for our students and their families at various community campus sites to have an opportunity to visit the main campus.  Many drive several hours to attend.  Meredith had such a good time she said the college should do this more than once a year.

Miles enjoyed the slide in the bounce house.
Meredith liked getting her face painted and a spray painted braid put in her hair.

The previous weekend we visited a dear "old" friend who lives in Nashville (and teaches with me).  Hardly took any pictures.  Just enjoyed my time with her and my kids.  We love her dog Daisy who comes to campus with her.  Every time Daisy comes into the building where my office is she climbs the stairs looking for me.
 I've been playing with Instagram, which you'll see in the next set of pics.  (You can find me on this iPhone app under the nickname "playcrane", of course)
a self-portrait
journaling and reviewing lessons learned from my art retreat I attended last month

stopped on the road by this train
my hubby blew up a bunch of balloons
just because
After I took this photo I realized I had the art photo print upside down.  So in this pic I turned it the correct way.  I ordered it from here.  It came all the way from England.

Most recently, in the evening, I went to a park with my favorite little guy.  We took turns choosing what we wanted to do.  My choice was walking the track around the park for exercise and picture taking.  His choice was to play on the playground.  Our final choice made us both happy: we walked the track and caught lightning bugs.

Can you see the lightning bug/firefly moving in this pic?

Here's hoping your summer is made up of many playful moments as well!

Monday, June 20, 2011


made my me
on the last day of my sister's visit
Home is...
a welcoming porch,
a feast for guests,
a source of calm for my tired feet.
Home is the place where I naturally feel safe
Gathering so much light I need sunglasses at my disposal.
A process for hiding from the outside world.
Home is where I feel strong.
The symbol of all that I value.
(A poem note written from a word list compiled by myself, daughter, son, and an "old" friend.)

Home is these three.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Scenes from a Play Therapy Conference 2

Day 2 of the 3rd annual Appalachian Play Therapy Center conference with Dr. Terry Kottman. 
Topic: Preventing Play Therapy Burnout: Techniques for Self-Understanding and Self-Nurturing 

Such an important topic--really for anyone but especially for therapists who are biggers big givers to begin with.

We experienced much large and small group work, sharing and learning from one another.

We played games.  A fun way to experience some significant learnings.

I loved seeing the smiles on everyone's faces.  Adults, in general, don't play enough.  And, play therapists can get very busy and forget to practice what we already believe very deeply.  We must strive to ensure our values are aligned with our behavior in order to prevent burnout.

One of my favorite scenes of the day was this one.
This young woman danced her way down the line.  She seemed so free, so happy, so bad-ass (pardon the language but it really fits here). 

You don't have to be a play therapist or go to a conference to experience such a moment.
My hope for you is that you give yourself permission to play freely in whatever way you prefer.

Monday, June 13, 2011

THE 100th Post (devoted to a special artist in my life)

Cori's palette from the play therapy conference
It's only fitting that I devote my 100th blogpost to my sister--someone who has been a big influence on my playful, creative life.  She is one of the most creative and talented people I know.  Here's her bio:

Cori Berg is the founder of Sacred Arts Studio and specializes in art for hope and healing. After receiving her Master's Degree in Art and Theology and continuing her studies at the Graduate Theological Union of University of California at Berkeley, she turned to the field of education where she worked as an early childhood teacher, elementary art teacher and early childhood director. Cori now works with organizations in the Dallas, TX area, providing live interactive art experiences for children and adults to explore creativity and life process themes. As a painter, fiber artist, and writer, her work can be followed here.

When she came to visit me in KY in August 2009, she created this lovely piece as a gift for me.  It looks very cool in my dining room against a wall painted soft rabbit brown that looks purple in the evening.  (She very well knows that purple is my favorite color.)

I invited her to be an exhibitor at the recent play therapy conference which was especially good since the bookseller didn't come.  I'm very pleased that she had such a wonderful response to her work.  Here are photos of her display.

While Terry Kottman spoke on the first day, Cori painted.  She told me that the colors reminded her of Terry, and I agree.

Here's the finished product which she allowed me to use as a giveaway.
Here's what she said about it: life can be chaotic at times but by connecting to another person you can build webs of safety that allow you to see beauty in the world.

Somone commissioned this sweet little piece which she finished at the conference as well.
 ~~~Hope her artwork brings some joy into your life as it does in mine.~~~

Friday, June 10, 2011

Scenes from a Play Therapy Conference

The third annual Appalachian Play Therapy Center conference was June 8 and 9 on the main (Columbia) campus of Lindsey Wilson College.  I am taking a much needed rest but wanted to share some scenes from the conference.

Dr. Terry Kottman, founder of Adlerian play therapy (and a fellow graduate of the University of North Texas) was the speaker for the full two day event.  I just love this woman.
photo by Travis Smith
When I picked her up at the airport she had a huge suitcase full of toys.

Play therapists do introductions using toys,

and we play, learn, and practice our craft with toys.

Puppets seem to be a favorite with adults I've noticed.
(I think that could be a blogpost in and of itself.)

I love that play therapists aren't afraid to decorate their nametags.

More to come!

Happy weekend everybody!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

(The) Cranes at the Zoo

Hot, wet, and sweaty at the end of the day
The kids and I visited the Louisville Zoo on Saturday as a final outing with Meredith's Girl Scout Troop.  (Thank you Lori for being such a wonderful leader all these years!)

Meredith tried her hand at zip-lining

over this water

while little brother had to watch with Mom (not big enough).  I was very proud of my girl.  I would have been too scared at her age.

Meredith kept wondering why I took so many shots of the three different cranes we saw.
Answer: Isn't it obvious?
Another answer: Because ya have to take a lot of shots to get just the right one.

Gorgeous creatures, them cranes.

And I'm reminded how lovely it is to spend a day with my children:  rejoicing in their pleasures.  watching them play in the water (didn't post those pics).  getting lots of exercise.  listening to the quiet as they slept on the ride home.  Even if it meant: driving 90 minutes.  getting hot and sweaty.  and listening to them complain when they were tired and hungry.

Priceless memories.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A Walking Meditation

Last weekend was Memorial Day, my 16th anniversary, and I taught a course I created called Creative Play Therapy Interventions.  My goal for this course has always been for the time together to feel like a retreat where the students can experience the techniques and philosophy before applying them to their own clients.  (It was also so very nice to share some things I learned from my art retreat with Liz Lamoreux.)

On Saturday, my class experienced walking meditation as we traveled a couple of blocks from the downtown square of Scottsville KY to a small grassy area where they played with their cameras.  It was a joy to watch these students' stress melt away in the sunshine.  I took the following photos. 

the building on the right houses Lindsey Wilson College at Scottsville

One of the wonderful things about photos is they can immediately take us back to another time.

A time to remember.
A time to play.
A time to wonder.
A time to be yourself.
A time to take your time.
A time to breathe.