Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Woo hoo! I'm on Creative Living with Jamie

I'm so flattered that little ole me was asked to be on Jamie Ridler's Creative Living with Jamie podcast which airs today.  She actually asked me via a message on twitter (isn't that cool?!) that I received on the last day of the APT conference when I was on a play therapy high.  The actual interview occurred a few weeks ago.  I've been a bit nervous to see how it turned out as honestly I wasn't still on my high.  In fact, I was deep in the busiest time of the semester.  So apropos since my main message in the interview is, of course, the importance of play in our lives.

I've enjoyed listening to this podcast for well over a year now every Tuesday morning on my way to work.  One of my favorite parts is the very beginning when Jamie shares a bit of inspiration.  Another favorite part is when she asks the interviewee, "how do you invite your creativity out to play?"  She's had on some of my favorite creative people.  I can't believe I'm in this group. 

So I am Creative.  I am a Creative!

Please take a listen and let me know what you think!

And a special welcome to any Jamie Ridler listeners!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Recipe for a Little Saturday Fun

Recipe for a little fun:

Take small and large marshmellows and uncooked spaghetti.

Grab your friends and family or just yourself.
Set the timer for 15 minutes.
Build the tallest tower you can out of the ingredients.

The boy pretended he was roasting marshmellows.

The girl squished hers together.

After seeing a "blogging moment," the mom spent a few minutes and came up with this:

And the winner was the dad who found this activity in the first place and who had already done it
with one of his college classes at Lindsey Wilson the day before
and tried to recreate what the winning team did in his class.
Therefore, he cheated. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Out of the Box (More Musings on a Play Therapy Conference)


One of my favorite children's books about creativity is called Not a Box by Antoinette Portis.  This hard-cover book feels like a cardboard box.  It is a reminder of how easily children can take a simple box and turn it into a variety of objects through their play.  I'm sure that many of us have memories of taking old, large appliance boxes or the boxes our toys came in on Christmas morning and turning them into a house, a puppet theater, or a car.

This simple message was also clear to me at the APT play therapy conference last month.  Charlie Schaefer, Linda Homeyer, and Sueann Kenney-Noziska were the keynote speakers on "Directive or Nondirective: Is That Really the Question?"  In the field of play therapy we tend to put theories, techniques, and one another in boxes: nondirective or directive.  It's something we as human being naturally do.  Our brains are bombarded with so must information that we judge the information and categorize it as a way to get a handle on it and make sense of it given our own beliefs and experiences.  Are you Democrat or Republican?  Conservative or Liberal?  Gay or straight?  But there are many downsides to putting people and ideas in boxes.

I resist being categorized because I don't like to judged.  When I'm judged I might be judged negatively or found lacking in some way.  When you put me in a box you might make assumptions about me that aren't true based on your prior experiences of said box.  These misassumptions then prevent us from truly connecting on an authentic level where we value one another as human beings and can learn from each other's varied backgrounds.

This year's APT conference had a different vibe for me.  I'm not sure if it's because it seemed to be smaller and more intimate compared to past years.  Or was it the physical arrangement of having to walk through the bar and gathering area of the hotel in order to get to the workshops at the conference center across the street?  I found myself sitting and talking and laughing and networking with a wide variety of people.  Friends old and new.  I learned new things about other play therapists that changed how I view them.  I may not practice play therapy in the same way that they do and that is okay.  Who am I to say that I have THE one right way to believe?  And if I take the time to listen to their story and have an open-mind, how can I argue with their experiences?

When one is starting out as a play therapist or in any field, it helps to have "boxes" and categories to aid in understanding and grasping of a lot of information.  That is a good thing.  Our "boxes" provide a rationale for why we do what we do.  Yet, after awhile it can be helpful to have an open-mind, broaden our horizons and get out of the box.  For me, this is how I continue to grow as a play therapist and as a human being.  In fact, it's a big part of what creativity is all about.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm Baaaccckkk!

My goodness!  Never gone this long without blogging since I started in Sept. 2010.  Seems like the entire month of October and beginning of November has been some of the busiest weeks of my life and I don't like it one bit.  Can't seem to get caught up.  I like to stay busy but not so busy that I feel like I can't breathe.

I bought the shirt you see above when I was at the APT conference.  They are available here.  (No, kickbacks for me, but I'm always willing to promote APT.)  I have to smile or even frown a bit seeing myself in that shirt, because I haven't had much play in my life lately and I see the outcomes of this: cranky, irritable, and complaining.  I have tons of ideas for what I'd like to write, present, and just do but other work and sometimes family-related things have gotten in the way.  I hope to make some changes for the future so I can do those things that I find fulfilling as well as exercise better self-care, because I plan to be around for a long, long time.

For now I'll share some photos I have found on my iphone. 

Like this one my daughter took of herself swinging. 
I just love the feeling of freedom when you're on a swing.

I will admit that one reason for being behind is watching the Texas Rangers who eventually lost in 7 games during the World Series. 
(Perhaps I should have spent that time grading, but it was fun to watch.)
(via Instagram)

Miles wrote TCU (my alma mater) on one of his cars and took this photo of it.

What's leftover when you tie-dye t-shirts for Halloween without using gloves.
Because it's more fun without gloves!

Meredith and friend dancing in our living room. (via Instagram)

First time we've ever bid and won something at a live auction.  This is a basket of stuff from Miles's class with the theme of "Family Night."  Filled with games, puzzles, movies, snacks, and a football.
All in the name of helping out my kid's school.

The kids on Halloween.  Mer is some kind of '80s girl and Miles is a golfer. 

And finally, as rough as things are they could be worse.  Am trying my best to be thankful, especially that I am employed, am relatively healthy (battling a sinus infection), and have a loving family.  Gratitude has been on my mind so much lately it was the theme for my pumpkin at our friends' annual party.  I covered it with things I am grateful for.

Dear reader, I am grateful for you. 
Listening to my rants, sharing in my photos, and following this one, crazy, playful life I have.