November 25, 2008
November 23, 2008
November 21, 2008
November 20, 2008
Turns out a shoe box is kind of small. But it is provoking some pretty big thoughts in my small, but quickly growing big, Bella. We have been on Operation Christmas shopping errands all week. Pushing a myriad of carts through the monstrous halls of all the places I generally try to avoid with the kids in tow. Places overstocked and teeming with toys, toys, toys.
So we have been talking incessantly about the little girl, and the little boy who will receive these gifts. And it is really getting Bella thinking on many levels.
The day before Halloween, someone stole our pumpkin right off our porch. And we have been talking about it every day and night since then, as Bella is broken-heartedly struggling to reconcile all the details. And we repeat the questions and answers again, and again. And when I am patient, I see that her list of questions is becoming more nuanced by her thoughts, and I am getting little glimpses of compassion, and her growing heart. But it is breaking mine. What happened to our pumpkin? Did someone take our pumpkin? They should have asked us? Stealing is mean. It makes God sad. I am sad that someone took our pumpkin. The other night, she paused and asked: would we give them our pumpkin if they asked? I paused, struck by her struggle with compassion, and replied, well...it was your pumpkin, so we probably would have let you decide what to do. Pause, no answer, the end of the Alphabet game we were playing, and then bedtime. But the situation still percolates in her heart and thoughts. And the questioning further grew yesterday, on one of our car rides to yet another toy store, If they would have asked, I could have given it to them. Why would someone take it? Maybe they didn’t have a pumpkin. Pumpkins cost money. What were their names, mommy?
Into the next toy store to try find a baby doll of color that is beautiful, toddler appropriate, and clothed. And further, one that will fit into a shoe box. The associate on the floor helping us complimented Bella for being able to shop for a little girl, and to buy something that she herself would love to bring home, and to be so well behaved in the store and generous to give it away.
And I thought, you have no idea. Thank you, but you have no idea about this girls tender heart today. It is provoking. We have been talking about how these presents will go to kids that don’t usually get presents. Kids that don’t wake up Christmas morning to a small pile of wrapped packages nestled under a lit tree.
On the way home, Bella continued to talk about our pumpkin. And mulling over the contrast of the have’s and the have-not’s. Those that have pumpkins, and those that do not. Those that get presents for Christmas, and those that do not. And just when I find myself quietly sobbing in the front seat, heart broken with her over all of this.
We are still going to have presents under our Christmas tree this year, right Mommy?
And I am about to laugh, when I hear a soft:
No one will take them?
The joy and pain of watching her heart grow. It is bittersweet to see her growing. Painful, but full of hope and promise.
November 19, 2008
After visiting a favorite read of mine, Angry Chicken, I was further linked to a site that lists name translations into Elvish. So, I worked up Team Craun, and here we are in Elvish:
Isabella [see Elizabeth] Oath of God is Eruwaedhiel
Bella Beautiful is Vanya [and further means strong]
Nathaniel Gift of God is Eruantien
Jennifer White-faced is Nimthiriel
David Beloved is Meldarion
I love that both the little Craunlets start with Eru. And that both Dave + my translations sound so much older to me, and the wee little Craunlets roll off the tongue as more sing-song and somehow younger. Ladies, get your translations here. Gentlemen, translations here. Of worth to note, the Elvish translation disclaimer: Names are not 100% accurate. The purpose of this name list is to give you a close Elvish translation of your name, without being long, unpronounceable, or "non-Elvish-sounding". All non-elvish sounding options are off the table, of course.
I am not sure exactly what White-faced is to mean...but the rest of the Team seems pretty regal. So, should you receive a holiday card from Meldarion, Nimthiriel, Eruwaedhiel, and Eruantien know that it arrives from the elvish workshop of Team Craun.
November 18, 2008
November 14, 2008
November 13, 2008
November 12, 2008
November 11, 2008
November 10, 2008
Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the gripping account of a group of brave and visionary women who demanded peace for Liberia, a nation torn to shreds by a decades old civil war. The women's historic, yet unsung achievement finds voice in a narrative that intersperses contemporary interviews, archival images, and scenes of present-day Liberia together to recount the experiences and memories of the women who were instrumental in bringing lasting peace to their country.
November 9, 2008
awe. wonder. exploration. hope. excitement. joy. watchful curiosity.
Playing with the Craunlets is one of the most engaging ways to appreciate the created world. Bella and Nate at the Cleveland Rainforest on Saturday with daddy. Left, watching turtles. Right, mesmerized by monkeys. To see more of our recent adventures, click here.
November 8, 2008
Jennifer, you are somewhat left-hemisphere dominant and show a preference for visual learning, although not extreme in either characteristic. You probably tend to do most things in moderation, but not always.
Your left-hemisphere dominance implies that your learning style is organized and structured, detail oriented and logical. Your visual preference, though, has you seeking stimulation and multiple data. Such an outlook can overwhelm structure and logic and create an almost continuous state of uncertainty and agitation. You may well suffer a feeling of continually trying to "catch up" with yourself.
Your tendency to be organized and logical and attend to details is reasonably well-established which should afford you success regardless of your chosen field of endeavor. You can "size up" situations and take in information rapidly. However, you must then subject that data to being classified and organized which causes you to "lose touch" with the immediacy of the problem.
Your logical and methodical nature hamper you in this regard though in the long run it may work to your advantage since you "learn from experience" and can go through the process more rapidly on subsequent occasions.
You remain predominantly functional in your orientation and practical. Abstraction and theory are secondary to application. In keeping with this, you focus on details until they manifest themselves in a unique pattern and only then work with the "larger whole."
With regards to your career choices, you have a mentality that would be good as a scientist, coach, athlete, design consultant, or an engineering technician. You can "see where you want to go" and even be able to "tell yourself," but find that you are "fighting yourself" at the darndest times.