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12.18.2007

the photo shoot-07

Every Christmas ever since 1999 I've {tried} to get all the kiddos in the shot....some years went better than others. The results are usually hysterical and I can bet on one good shot in 50 to be usable for the traditional card.....but lately I've seen the beauty in the not so posed shots because they show the side of the kids that is "real"and so fun. Well, I can tell that they are either getting used to the whole "mommy needs to take a "nice" picture idea" or they are simply growing up {gulp, no way} so they are more apt to play along. For a little bit at least.

So this year marks the first year that I only took a limited number of shots {probably like 14 instead of 50} and on the very first try I actually have all three looking at the camera!!!!! That is so major cool!!! So, I've neglected blogging for a while this week to finish up the cards....having a little trouble with walgreen's quality and cvs prints.....finally just did them up here at home with our Epson printer. I'm a little behind as usual :)

Slide show below......I converted some of them to black and white on my software...then there is the last one...of my two oldest just cracking up at lil'guy. I'm sure he will get his revenge some day.


12.07.2007

"I foh ears ode"

No honey, playing peek-a-boo with the candles doesn't make them disappear.

I love, love this picture. He's been playing with his new plastic kitchen food, toy cars and race track all week :)
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12.04.2007

Christmas Card Illustrations


"What Girl Elves Dream About"
by maria

Shoes of course, duh?
I bet she gets so tired of wearing green and red. Red and green. Good thing for that touch of black on the belt buckle. Oh, and everyone knows that good elf shoes are sooo hard to find.
Give the girl a break.

ooooh, I get to add to one of my new categories, Today's Doodle....the doodles were actually done over the course of several days {and evenings.}
This is the first year I have tried this.....putting the "doodles" to good use that is.
I just always put my doodles away in a personal art journal. Okay, I decided not to this year. Instead it will be on some of our holiday cards. But I'm so chicken of my own work :}

I finally had the chance to sit down and finish the doodles that lead to the idea for this Christmas card this morning while keeping little guy {just turned 4!} busy with his own set of pencils and paper.
I Love to bring out all the colored pencils and color!
Because I tend to doodle on different sheets or scraps of paper I have to clip my favorites from the various pages and get them together in a cute arrangement. The next step is to then scan in the artwork.

The December 2007 issue of Good Housekeeping has a ton of holiday planning guides and lots of tips and ideas for this cheery time of year. One of the articles {pg. 141, if you have it} rates the 5 Best Sites for Holiday Cards. On the list is this site I've never visited {might try it this year} It says that the site, zazzle, will let you scan in your artwork or your child's to have printed as part of your card's border or background. Sounds interesting...going to check that out later. Also, if someone else wants to use your design, zazzle will pay you royalties. That's new, don't know of another card site that does that.

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11.29.2007

Handmade Stamps




It has been a joy to watch my husband's latest project, for his graphic design class, Hand carved Stamps. This is the same guy who cringes when he sees me online at addicted to rubber stamps, the same one who sees the bag from one of my favorite local craft stores and says "oh, not again." So for his final he has to study a famous typographer, he chose Frederic Goudy, and copy one of the fonts onto a stamp which they craft themselves. "This was actually fun" he says later.

These photos show what he calls the "rejects" --- I was like
"WHAT?, People pay good money to have that distressed, grungy look on big honkin' letter stamps!" and I quickly stole them to add to my stash. I love how they look!!!! He's looking at me, thinking, exactly how much money have you spent? The kids are having a ball with the rubbery material {made by Speedball} although it is a bit messy while carving. And since they aren't allowed to use daddy's carving tools they are using various sharp pointed pencils to achieve their look. Yea, its been a little messy. Our daughter his making one that looks like a cow. Its still in the production and manufacturing stage :)

This week we are getting the Christmas tree up and preparing for little guy's 4th birthday, I just can't believe its that time again! {Sunday} so its time to return to decluttering the house for our December guests and activities. Once the house is clean for the small simple gathering it tends to stay that way much of December because of more guests or neighbors popping in. See, for me its a nice motivator to keeping it semi-tidy knowing that people might be over. {we go back to slacking in January, heehee} Christmas music will be on in the background to make it go faster :)

I do love this time of year so much, even for all the extra stuff we do "just because its Christmas" ..... for all the pretty-
glittering-Christmas-tree reasons as much as the getting together with family and friends reasons and always, always trying to keep the true meaning of Christmas tops around our house with just little touches of Santa and more about the spiritual side of why we have so much to celebrate this particular time of year. Keeps it real -- not material or fabricated. I wish there was one day {or all} without all the ads and marketing promoting the buy buy buy, shop shop shop mentality!

This December I would like us to do more together, just simple things, just the 5 of us, and start bringing some new traditions into our little {now complete} family. We'll keep visiting the large toy train display that starts every December {little guy's favorite} and I am on the lookout for what else to do in Rochester.


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11.21.2007

The start of {toy} shopping season! Scary!

This year's shopping will be so much different than previous years....now more than ever I really am going to go the handmade, artfully {thoughtfully} crafted route. The information on unsafe toys has given me plenty to think about this week as I start looking for that special something to put under the tree. Our kids know that they will get maybe one or two of their most special "wants" even though their lists are usually very long. This year the older two went through the all the "toy" books that have been delivered to the house. I was flipping through it the other day and was like, "No, probably not, nope, probably has lead, oooh, maybe, oops, that's been recalled...." and so on.

This will probably be my one post this week now that the kids are home for vacation. I had to check a few things off my to-do list for my son's cub scouts group. One of which was to prepare for next weeks collection of Toys for Tots. I set out to do a little research so I could put together a reminder flyer....the official website and other communities across the country clearly put emphasis on toy safety this year more than ever.

I discover that the list for recalled toys is incredibly scary! More so than I thought. So as I am reading through the various recalls when I notice one of our polly pocket toys is on the list {that one's gone from the toy box}. One statistic I read was that 80% of the toy market is in China. Not everything from China is bad news of course, but that number is way higher than I ever thought.

So I think my "reminder" flyer ended up sounding more of a public service announcement for the parents of our cub scouts. {I just hope no one thinks I am being preachy}

I decided on including a list of resources and links they could go to for more information and I also added a little blurb about what not to get.

With this year’s growing concerns over unsafe toys for our children we ask that everyone continue to be diligent in carefully selecting appropriate toys. There is a huge amount of information on the internet regarding unsafe toys and what to look for. Here are some of the tips:

Sometimes the toy will show the following labels that indicate the product met testing standards. Look for signs that the toy met standards...American National Standards Institute (ANSI),ASTM International (ASTM)

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Choose from responsible companies; those doing a lot of quality assurance. Stay away from toys with small parts, magnetic pieces, Aqua Dots, and toys containing play jewelry or charms. After reading the lists on several recall websites I would also recommend you check labels of craft kits very carefully and stay away from “dollar type” stores or discount toy stores.


Who are the responsible companies, I thought? Brands I trust? Two of the names I didn't see on those recall lists were Hasbro, and Playskool. Well, I hope this is a serious wake-up call for the toy giants. There are those being extra stringent now, but what about during the production and manufacturing process??? I also hope that this opens up more doors, somewhere in the future for the folks here in America and Canada who are making wonderful handmade toys.


Helpful Resources for Parents [The following helpful resource is from lists that were already complied on several of the websites below. I found it very useful and I added my own at the bottom.]

Federal Govt. Recalls | Recalls.gov

Toy Hazard Recalls | CPSC

American Academy Of Pediatrics Recalls

Lead Poisoning: What It Is | WebMD

Toy Information | ToyInfo.org

Toy Directory Recalls | TDmonthly.org

Mattel (Fischer-Price, Barbie, Hot-Wheels)

RC2 (Thomas) Recalls

About.com Toy Recalls

Toy Safety Tips | Toytips.com

Toy Safety Tips | Dr. Toy

Spot Lead Posioning Signs | Parents.com

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio

Toy Wishes Magazine

Toy Industry Association


Some additional sites I found useful:

www.toysfortots.org

www.greenlivingideas.com

www.thebostonchannel.com/toy-troubles

www.wbztv.com/consumer



11.16.2007

christmas tree craft





Help, little foam trees are overtaking my table.....and naked quirky tree is growing on me. I think he looks good white. He will need to be white of some sort. Entirely too cute. Okay, after quirky tree I'm done. really.

Incidentally, walking through the mall the other day I noticed a lot of shop window displays using big cone shapes, all decorated a little differently. Lerner New York had sequins and the Gadzooks' tree was made with recycled magazine pages slightly rolled up at the ends. A grunge look. I'm thinking that could work with scrapbook paper or pretty wrapping paper.

night.

Almost done....

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Loved how the sequins overlapped nicely to fit the little tree shape.

Seriously, as I am doing these I start to think of all the different embellishments that could work on these cones.....reeeaaaally addicting.



buttons, buttons, and more buttons

At this point I was starting to worry that it wasn't looking too good {not looking like the picture}, but one by one as the buttons are added it starts to take shape :) Lots and lots of buttons! oh my! I went back to the website after this to check some details.











I tried trim from the sewing department -- but the ribbon it was attached to just wasn't happening with the little tree shape. So I detached all the sequins and began pinning them to the tree without the ribbon. This was too much fun.


















This......turned to this {below}.........had to save the tiny beads for the top of the tree. I had various pins to use -- but ultimately, I liked the tree with the white pins instead of the mix of different color ones. Way too fun and the kids enjoyed it too. No pin injuries either.

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christmas decorating

I finally rotated some of the out of season decor items to make room for a more Christmas holiday look. I've never done the christmas stuff this early...partly to blame may be the cinnamon scented pine cones from the craft store. Since I have been smelling them all week I decided it was time to give them a proper home. Various sized glass jars are on top of our TV cabinet....each has its own color. Very neutral this season -- lots of browns and beige and whites.











These Styrofoam cone tree ideas are from 2peasinabucket

I first saw the cones on Ali's site, then after I realized I really needed a little more visual guidance I found the original post on the 2 peas website. The designer {tia bennett} has several ideas to work with. At the store I decided to get one tall cone and several small mini sized cones.




















I stacked 3 of the small to get a "quirky" tree look. Haven't put any thing on that one yet. But I have a sizzix die that cuts tiny button shapes. That's one I bought last spring and haven't even used yet so I am going to try it.
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11.13.2007

when I look out our sliding glass doors















this is what greets me...a whole row of Maple Trees with blazing yellow leaves. There is so much bright yellow you can't help but feel all happy when you look at it.
It catches me by surprise on some days. Like today when I opened the blinds -- it was like a blast of yellow. I hadn't realized how much they had all changed colors already. For the most part of October they were green, or mostly green.


































Another happy sight for me is when I see this particular box waiting in my mail.
Those are some of the newest additions to my library. A very good read, cool projects and simple instructions {just like the title says, go figure!} Good for getting rid of that creative block.
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creative block + sewing smallish things

11/9/07 creative block + sewing smallish things

I didn't have time to post on the 9th, but I jotted this down...it goes along with the new craft books that have been making me so happy :)


The dreaded dry spell, the creative slump, the writer’s block. It’s been here. Sitting side-by-side with me. And, what an awful time. Right as I am supposed to be starting those Christmas cards. Right in the middle of trying to get all the projects in my head out of my head. Ahh, I thought the other day, therein lays the problem. Too much planning, not enough doing/creating.

Last time I was not feeling so craft-worthy I dove into other forms of artsy craftsy things like learning about printmaking, screen printing and painting on fabric. Then the block vanished as soon as I was making something again. So this time I turned to something besides card making and scrapbooking or painting.

This time the block led me to ---- Sewing and Needle Felting--- {felting supplies have just been added to the yarn-crafty sections at my AC Moore and JoAnns within the last month} Perfect timing I say.

Needle Felting is so cool - and in the process of finding out more about needle felting I discovered this whole new world {new to me anyway} of felting with wool fabrics. Several cool sites/blogs later and I am hooked -- man!! the amazing things you can do with it!! and it is just so beautiful to create with.

But although I grew up with a seamstress mom {I think one of the original crafty girls} who can make anything out of a piece of fabric, I really haven’t embraced sewing as a form of creativity throughout my life. In fact, I ran from it. Until now…I found some folks that could explain sewing with my attention span in mind. There are several fabulously written books on the whole “simple sewing” theme. Even magazines, I discovered. I’m feeling happy again to have made something. Even if sewing all those little stitches was a pain in the @$*#. It actually was very relaxing. I found that learning something new plus getting the hands working again {even if it was with a sharp needle that tends to draw blood} was just what I needed to help slump girl out of this slump.

Now the problem is, I want to hoard all the pretty fabrics I see. heehee.





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more of the girls' cards

Yes, a little construction paper, yarn, glue, glitter and beads go a long way...
My little girl made the flag grouping....it included a big paper flag, a card with stars and red, white and blue ribbon, a beaded "bracelet" and a keychain beaded thingie.....as we were packing the items away she says to the scout leader that it is a "set" and do not separate the pieces. The leader was like "okay sure" while looking at me and smiling. I couldn't help but be so proud of my little future designer. "Like, don't split up my line, okay?"

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from make a difference day

Our girl scout troop project -- crafting cards and flags to send to the soldiers.

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10.27.2007

Make a difference day + autumn days

Today my daughter's girl scout troop is participating in Make a Difference Day by making cards and care packages for our men and women in Iraq. One of the families has a son that is there. Can't wait to see what the girls come up with. Pictures to follow.

So much "fall" going on that I haven't been in the mood, or had time, to make those christmas cards. Enjoying our finally autumn-like weather. There have been too many 80 degree days in late October, nice, but....at the same time I really wanted those chilly days. I guess they will come soon enough.

Cute, Rusty pumpkin lanterns out front.

Thank You cards I made as a gift for our PTA group. I used a download from 2peasinabucket made by one of their digital designers (tia bennett) The school paper look was just so perfect.

Pumpkins painted by my three pumpkins :)

Pumpkin decor in sepia tones. This is right outside our front door.

10.16.2007

Today's Doodle: #1, #2

#1 Pink Mums from the front yard make a wonderful "real flower" or dandelion stamp:
This was a test to see if they really looked good once stamped. I've seen this technique in many stamp/craft magazines. Not only did the flower's petals image show nicely, but it also reminded me of dandelions. Specifically, a rubber stamp of a dandelion that I have seen on many of my shopping trips. I didn't use paint as some articles suggested, it seemed too gloppy for a smallish flower such as this. I did use just a basic stamp pad [and I just happened to find the black one first, any color would look nice] hand drew the stem but now I think stamping the stem would look better.

#2 'Twas Doodling before Christmas:
Done over the course of many days. While shopping the internet for stamps to use on our Christmas cards this year. I love anything with branches, trees, leaves, wreaths, vines, etc. This one scene from the Basic Grey -- Figgy Pudding line of papers gave me the inspiration. It was so cute...It had a vine or wreath with almost bare branches; the middle of the image looks like a house. I chose to go with a quote behind the stamped image [idea from another site]. It's coming along. Found the perfect wreath stamp through the angel company...in a set named "christmas joy" And one more note: there will be some sort of hand drawn element on the cards this year.

a little messy...I know...fuzzy, sketchy lines and such, but that's how i doodle.


additional note: I will include more of the steps in the next posts. This just shows the "doodle" phase.

One week ago...

I started a blog post....then the kids got sick. Do I need to say more? Can't believe how time flies when you have a good idea in your head. Or, how the idea never really comes back full force the second time you try to express it. So, I had a pretty busy week and weekend with no, repeat, NO! fun creative time in between. Could make me cranky, if I let it.


I ended up just jotting down my thoughts in my idea journal and in a quick word document until I could get back here.

So, from the book of scribbles, I add here....


Tuesday Oct/ 9

#1 today

I sit remembering all the things I thought about in the car ride today.

Things I wanted to blog about --- my brain starts to wander and all of a sudden I have a blog post, but no where to record it. It’s a dilemma.
I think I should get one of those mini voice recorders so I can just talk into it with all my ramblings. Today I chuckled as I thought about that. It would make me feel ultra cool & hip. Like I was on some secret agent mission. Sprinkle in little Jason Bourne aka Matt Damon. And what if I had me some of that secret spy gear stuff on. On the other end, a person with a first letter for a name would receive my transmission.

That’s it - I gotta get one of those.


#2 today

I thought about redundancy in my life. I was returning a fleece blanket at the store. Why did I feel like I needed more blankets/throws? Why do I have so much stuff? I mean, why do I keep buying the same thing over and over? Well, in the case of cool plates and bowls and platters shaped like leaves, I love to collect those. But blankets? Really, I didn’t need anymore.


#3 today

There are some brand new ideas I have in mind for my blog and it all started with the idea from her newsletter of sharing what you love to create, or sharing how you create something. So, mainly staying true to scrapbooking, cardmaking and handmade art related stuff I will be adding some ideas called:


Today’s Doodle Not one everyday, but I find that while I am on the internet or chatting it up on the phone I am in some extreme-doodling zone, some are cool, some are just plain goofy, some bring more inspiration. Why not add them here.


How-I-Do Not a how-to, there are plenty of those out there, but more of a- this-is-how-I-do-it thing. I find that sometimes I try to re-create a card look I see in a magazine, but I might not have all the same materials. So its been a way of using inspiration I find in other places and brainstorming on how the same idea can be applied to a card or scrapbook page using a different technique. I simply think that I do this sometimes to save a little money since I can't go buy ALL the stamps/pretty paper I love, and there are just soooo many I fall in love with. Or maybe, a little bit of that DIY in me that comes from growing up with a mom who wanted to make everything from scratch [she still does-she thinks its very "practical"]

Still working on the names {actually, I’m liking those now}

I will find some of the latest doodles in the idea notebook and post it next.
The how-I-do will probably be the project I'm into now, which is Christmas cards.



10.02.2007

Guardian Angels and Picture Day


















October 2nd is known as the feast of Guardian Angels. So I took a moment today to thank my family's guardian angels. There have been many moments, as many moms or aunts, uncles, grandparents etc. also remember I'm sure, that have me thankful & amazed that even through a fall or something more serious sometimes, surprisingly, the little ones remain unharmed or come through it just fine. Even as adults sometimes we wonder how we made it through. So, yep, a huge thanks goes out to our guardian angels all around.

Now on to why this picture is so significant:

October 2nd 1999, my first lil'guy {above} was 6 months old. I was trying out my husband's very cool {but very confusing} Minolta camera with all the do-dads. {the pre digital days}
I propped the little one up on the blanket covered couch and hoped he wouldn't topple over. {he was just learning the sitting thing} Well, after a few toppled-over moments I decided to put two pillows on either side of him behind the blanket. A few more minutes of adjusting and we were good to go.
This was my favorite shot from those precious moments when it was just me and him in our pretend photo shoot. I thought nothing of the meaning of the day. Only thoughts those days were that my grandmother had just passed away and that I just wanted more time with her. How I wanted her to get to know my children, watch them grow, but knowing that was never going to happen was hard to take. I was just so sad all the time. I tried to focus on my little guy and the brand new baby that was growing inside me.

After I had the roll developed, days later, I took the pictures to work to show friends. A friend of mine was looking at this picture and commented that it was a beautiful picture and she liked the "shadows" and "They look like angel's wings" she said. I wanted to know what she was looking at because I didn't see that. She pointed them out. Right there behind him, on either side, the shadows looked like wings. As soon as I saw them I had chills. Good chills. So I have always loved this picture.

Fast forward to Today --- October 2nd 2007 --- its picture day today at their school. How funny is that? He has his most favorite shirt on, his thick, black hair is shiny and tousled, he walks out the door ready for school, he's 8, he better smile :)

for this I used my photo editing software, antique frame downloaded from designerdigitals, font is CK Becky from creating keepsakes, background color and little dots are made in the photo editing software.

9.27.2007

some days are just like that + why tears are good for you

A weepy day yesterday -- don't like to journal during that - only after - after reflecting.

Started in the wee hours of the morning when I was shocked awake by some dream about spiders. ICK. Then it seemed to progress throughout the day. While typing an email, while rushing kids from school to religious education classes, while sitting through the parent's "spirituality session" in the chapel {the one I had forgotten all about!} Thats where the tears really started to flow. Rushing home knowing I had to get home to whip up a quick & simple dinner so we could make it to our first girl scout's meeting by 6pm. I was exhausted by the end of the day. not physically -- mentally.

And you know, it was all because I was thinking about my grandmother. {uh-oh, here i go again} She passed away 8 years ago yesterday and all day I knew she would want me to say a little prayer. And I kept pushing it back to later in the day, or after I got the kids to school. I miss her dearly. Not a day goes by that I don't think about her at least once. I didn't light a candle, as is customary for our family. This is because little guy makes it a little tough -- any time he sees a lite candle he thinks "birthday" and wants to immediately blow it out. I'm sure grandmother {nonna} understands this though.

The quiet prayer and reflection time in the chapel was just what I needed. The person leading the group talked about how we live by, and drive ourselves nuts by, the "ought to's" in our lives. I ought do to this or I ought to do that but maybe another time. Man it really sunk in. Although I could've done without the "okay, now lets turn to each other in groups of 3 or 4 and share what the quiet prayer time felt like for you" um, there was no hiding red, wet eyes. Oh, God. People I didn't even know. So she #1 from the group asked "were they happy or sad tears?" probably trying to understand if I needed medical assessment. I share with them about being reminded of my grandmother while listening to one of the comments the women who was leading the prayer group shared. Sharing like that is not my most favorite-y thing, but it was good to just let it out there.

I felt better after that.
Feel better today.
I love you nonna, and I feel your presence sometimes.
so good to remember how you used to deal with life's little trails. With prayer and faith.
so simple.

9.21.2007

blog banner has new look

So I was going for a little something new -- something that would add the crafty side of me. Possibly the font combination took me a tad bit too long to come up with this afternoon {the downside of being a font-addict, is that I just have so many to choose from} but other than that I immediately was drawn to those photos from my stash. And gosh I am so long winded -- I was trying to say something about the blog contents. Blah blah, deep thoughts, blah. Finally satisfied, I saved and well there it is.

I added two of my favorite pics of homemade "crafty" gifts that we gave the kid's teachers this past June. They were fun to make -- mental note made today after finding the photos that I want to make more.

We gave them a theme {the teacher was a fan of turtles} and so I labeled the set of glass marble magnets the "swimmy sea turtles" set. I found a nice quote and typed it on card stock then cut it out to include as a tag on the pouch. I set them up in a little shimmery pouch bag {sold at acmoore for like .69 cents} and labeled a mini jewelry box with the name. She was like "wow, you guys made these?" Well I hope she did like them, I think she did. Useful, I hoped. Then a card I really enjoyed making; it turned out so pretty because of the paper flower. I got the idea about the magnets from the not martha site {real good creative site}



























I just love how this flower turned out! This is easy and made of varied round paper shapes cut into with scissors with a brad in the middle -- but any cute thing could be in the middle really -- button, fabric flower, felt shape.


9.10.2007

Portraits of a Full Weekend






1 -- Rochester's Best Combination of Art Festivals
the long running clothesline art festival + the new indie market = so much creative energy.
On Saturday after our outing I felt like coming home and making something.

2--our 8 year old boy in awe of the ivy covered buildings near the memorial art gallery. even though there was some kinda shmutzey stuff on my lens and the sunlight was blazing over the top of the building I like it -- looks very mystical. he really wanted to climb it -- thought the ivy was very, very cool.

3--fresh veggies that I have to cook and or freeze. I decided to cook {for a change}. Peppers, potatoes, onions, garlic. All grown right around here {fall is always a better time to do this domestic task called cooking in my opinion :)}

4-- Reflections on a visit to the Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall. it is a replica of the memorial in Washington DC and it is traveling the country -- in Rochester this weekend and someone had said it was very beautifully done so we went.
among all the emotions that come to mind while we were there we also
tried to find a way to explain to the kids what they were seeing to help them understand that its not just a wall with names on it. {we haven't been to washington, DC with them yet so this was a first for them}
I have one child that asks alot of questions {our daughter} and one that listens and takes it all in {our son} So as we made our way down the walk I overheard her say to him -- "All these names are soldiers that died, and all these people are in heaven" and he says, "Yeah, I heard about it, there is alot."

I was a little kid while the Vietnam war raged on, my parents being nearly new immigrants to this country were not personally involved, and I never knew anyone who had been in this war until much later in my life. But this is what I remember from the early 70s; I played with one of the neighbor girls and her brothers and other siblings during those earliest summers I remember. They were a fun family - lots of kids. My little sister was not born yet so I was an only child pretty much and It felt so good to play with a bunch of kids. The dad would always talk over the fence with my dad, possibly comparing gardens of homegrown veggies and compost piles or maybe how he made homemade wine. Whatever they talked about it was always friendly.
One day they were gone.
Just moved out and left. They left a void where the friendly used to be. No one knew where they went. Then, later, but I don't know how much later, we found out that they moved to Canada. Took the family out of here.

I missed my friend. I didn't know and understand until later just why the war would make someone do that. But I still missed out on a friend back then. I don't think the neighborhood was ever quite as fun.

All that makes me wonder about the long-lasting effects of war on us.
As I got older I met other kids that had dads, brothers or uncles involved. When I was older still I worked with a woman whose husband had been in the war. I commented one day on my plans for the weekend that included going up to Toronto to see Miss Saigon. She got this look on her face. Said she could never go see that after what her husband told her about his time there. My husband currently works with a Vietnam vet, he will occasionally share things with the guys but mostly says he "doesn't like to talk about it."
These days positions on the war are so varied -- and I'm not trying to make a commentary here.
But I wish leaders would learn from the past. Wish some of them would reflect more on what long-lasting impact is taking place right now in our current generation.
Kids get it in their own way. They shape their views from our reflections; good and bad. I hope we will we have a generation someday that does not rely on wars to solve problems. Will we ever have that? I wonder.

So the word for me this week is Reflect.
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