Monday, March 5, 2018

(Stuff Francie Made) - A First Book of Short Stories

For Christmas this year, Francie (and I) made a book of short stories with accompanying art for Mimi/Papa and Daddy. She was the brains and beauty, I was simply her recorder and editor. The following results are from her masterpiece ...

The Magic of the World: Stories By Francie Lynn Close

By FLC, December 2017, age 5 1/2 years

Once upon a time, there lived a queen and king.
They never wanted to go outside because there was lava right outside their front door.
No one ever came in or went out because they were worried that they would get hurt.
And the butterflies always stayed on flowers, they never landed on the ground because the ground was lava.
There was only windows at the top of the castle because they didn't want windows to fall out
and crack on the lava.
The End.

Once upon a time, there lived a Mama and a Francie.
They loved each other.
One day, they went in to the forest and then, out of their face, or, out of their mind,
jumped a hungry pack of wolves and a hungry pack of coyotes and a hungry pack of foxes.
They looked at each other with a glare and started to attack the people.
But then the people's Daddy came and jumped in and defended them.
The End.

Once upon a time, there lived a hungry giraffe.
He was a very nice giraffe, he did not eat people.
He only ate plants, leaves, and applesauce.
Then one day something changed.
He liked to eat weird stuff, like bugs, ears, earrings; and most of all his favorite food was poop.
But the next day something also changed - his family went away.
But a new family came. He had very happy times.
On the first day he met his new family, they went out for ten million scoops of ice cream.
Bug ice cream.
And then he wanted to find his real family.
He set off for 10 days, but no sign came.
The End.

Once upon a time, there lived three monsters.
And they loved loved loved each other.
But one day, one set off to find another monster.
But all the others were like, "no, no, stay here! Stay here!"
But that third monster just kept going and going and going.
But he was nowhere to be seen.
And then the next monster left.
He went off to find another monster.
And the one was left behind.
So that one decided to set off also.
The first one who left came back with a smile.
He said, "Crew, crew, I'm back with some more!"
And then the next one came back.
"Crew, crew I have some more!"
The little monster stayed there all night, cold and shivering.
Then a fox came to sight.
"Oooh, I finally have something good to eat, mmm."
So the monster rose, and the fox was really frightened.
He got his big claws and teeth out and tried to bite the monster,
but he turned into a ghost and flew back to his crew.
The End.

Once upon a time, there lived a mermaid and her family.
The mermaid loved most of all to jump off of rocks with her fins.
She tried to stand up one day, and she finally got herself up, when "Plop!" into the ocean she rose.
She just kept swimming back floats, around and around a circle.
But then, rose a big hungry Great White.
The mermaid called to her family and said, "Family! Family! You must come now! The big shark is trying to rise!"
The little mermaid jumped and jumped so the shark did not get her.
And her family rose from the ocean and they all jumped on to a beautiful rock.
The shark couldn't handle any more, so the shark wanted to attack,
but knew if he jumped too high he'd unbreathe.
He tried once, but then, with a 3 and a 2 and a 1 and a 0, the shark went to death.
The End.

Once upon a time, there lived a family.
The first one was named Mama, the next one was named Francie, and the other was named Daddy.
But the family could not handle the family anymore.
So one day, they said goodbye with a tear dripping down their face.
But then they decided to keep each other forever, and they would never say something like that again.
The End.

There once lived a princess and her little sister.
They never got lost.
One day, they went into the forest and saw a big, big something.
They tried to figure out what it was, so they ran home and they got their supplies.
They accidentally dropped it. It was a big grizzly after hibernation.
Then their parents came and scooped the two up and brought them home.
The End.

Once upon a time, Santa was with his reindeer.
And Rudolph leaped out of the crew and then Santa was really really sad that Rudolph ran away.
Because then he didn't have another reindeer to lead his sleigh that night.
So he got a red pompom and put a red light inside and put it on Dasher.
And then, he was like "Ho Ho Ho, I will have a lovely Christmas."
And then he jumped in his sleigh.
And as fast as a whistle, he went into the night sky.
The End.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Advent Calendars 2017

Francie does the dab in her new holiday llama PJs.

Thanks to Beebee's genius idea six years ago, the shoe holder advent is a December tradition at our house, and now at my brother's place, too. We have aimed to make the daily surprises age appropriate, and include more activities and acts of kindness than simply things. It's kind of a big undertaking to prepare, but one we spent most of Thanksgiving planning and preparing. For posterity (and next year's prep work - so as not to reinvent the wheel), below are the lineups for both Hazel's and Francie's 2017 advents. And some photos, too.

Hazel, 1.5 years old, in her CO beanie at their place in Telluride.

Hazel's 2017 Advent:
Dec 1 - hot chocolate packets and Christmas movie recommendations for a Family Movie Night
2 - toy blocks
3 - kid book with audio CD
4 - cookie cutters with instructions for making salt dough ornaments for friends
5 - elf hat a
6 - playing cards
7 - recommended family outing for 12/8 to a Rock n Roll Academy winter concert at the Sheridan Opera House
8 - cookie mix and instructions to bake cookies for 911 dispatchers/firefighters
9 - recommended family outing for Telluride Mountain School Holiday Gala on 12/10 at the Sheridan Opera House
10 - cash (from Beebee) to buy a Toys for Tots item to give to a kid in need
11 - gloves and "go sledding" activity recommendation
12 - large dreamcatcher, handmade by Francie and Beebee
13 -  "H" ornament
14 - Frozen nightlight
15 - recommended family outing to the Mountain Village holiday gala and Santa visit
16 - CO beanie
17 - Colorado map
18 - mini candy canes and instructions to "candy cane bomb" cars in a parking lot
19 - toy stackers from Thinker Toys
20 - toy animals to accompany stackers
21 - Lifesaver candy
22 - favorite Hartman family cookie recipes
23 - Heiffer International donation (from Beebee)
24 - Night Before Christmas book (from Beebee)

Francie's 2017 Advent:
Dec 1 - fancy holiday dress
2 - supplies and instructions to make button tree ornaments
3 - cash and shopping for Toys for Tots gift
4 - foam holiday stickers
5 - pre-printed Letter to Santa
6 - new holiday llama PJs
7 - materials and instructions to make a photo ornament for Hazel
8 - popcorn and hot cocoa packets for Family Movie Night
9 - stick-on earrings and family outing to see Annie play
10 - special brunch date with Mama at Original Pancake House
11 - materials and instructions to give out bean soup mix
12 - Heiffer International donation (from Beebee)
13 - Christmas Bingo game
14 - holiday headband and instructions to hand out the button tree ornaments and bean soup mix to teachers and staff at school on the last day before Winter Break
15 - new beanie and family outing to watch the Christmas Ship parade on the Willamette
16 - Cinderella craft and girls' outing with Morgan and Mila to a teddy bear breakfast show in LO
17 - gingerbread house kit
18 - instructions for buying and putting together "homeless bags"
19 - cookie cutters and mix to bake cookies for local firehouse
20 - family outing recommendation to zoo lights
21 - new gloves and family outing recommendation to go sledding or ice skating
22 - Christmas tin and instructions to bake and bring holiday cookies to the neighbors
23 - "C" ornament
24 - new notebook and thank you cards
*** other advent ideas include: writing a letter to "orphans," something for foster children, participating in collecting socks or serving food at a soup kitchen, visiting Santa, the Menne's annual cookie party, reading Night Before Christmas, new Christmas book, something for Hanukkah, making a birdfeeder for the birds, doing something kind for the earth like picking up trash, any other holiday crafts, love bombing, annual homemade ornaments, sledding, ice skating, skiing, donating blankets and socks for the cold, gifts for postal workers, Nutcracker, Alpenrose, holiday craft bazaars, researching acts of kindness

Beebee and Francie on Thanksgiving crafting a dreamcatcher for Hazel

Francie and the finished dreamcatcher

Mama and Francie making button tree ornaments

Button tree ornaments and cards all packaged to give teachers and staff

Completed gingerbread house

Francie in her new holiday dress and Mama heading out on a girls' date

Francie and Mila before the holiday teddy bear brunch show

Letter to Santa

Pacific University, Speech-Language Pathology, and Dementia Care: A Short Movie

I am proud to be a part of community-based programs that otherwise would not receive these kind of services. This movie stars one of my former graduate student clinician's, Allie, who is now in the field and likely doing very good work.

These images are stills; the link to Pacific University/Speech-Language Pathology/Waterhouse Memory Care video here.

(For the record, the filming and release of the video, via Pacific University, was done with the obvious permission of the residents/loved ones seen here.)

Additionally, I discovered that there are a few more great videos from Pacific University, including one about Aphasia Camp, which you can watch at this link. And another about the Communication Sciences and Disorders program in general, here.

Monday, January 22, 2018

(69 Months) - 5;9

5 Years + 9 Months:

Sitting down to family breakfast a day after Thanksgiving:
“Instead of looking at the news (I was reading a magazine), we should talk about what I want for Christmas.”

Taking a walk, talking about skunks: “I just don’t want to get stinked.”

Thanksgiving celebration with Daddy, Mama, Beebee, including crafts, advent calendar prep, traditional meal courtesy of Alex, and a whole month’s worth of TV including Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving and later, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

“You know what I want for Xmas? 10 million candy canes.”

Falling asleep (while wearing her Wonder Woman beanie) after watching The Trolls holiday special.
“I know what we should be for Halloween next year! I'll be Poppy, you be Branch, Daddy will be the blue guy with the Wormy, and Birdy will be the wormy! Because you're always lazy like Branch, I'm always hyper like Poppy, and daddy's always like the blue guy and Birdy is like the wormy.”

Art like drawing and coloring - markers or pens - all the time

Mama: “So we’re gonna go back to gymnastics this winter, at Garden Home?”
Francie: “Yup.”
Daddy: “What about basketball? I thought you wanted to play basketball?”
Mama: “When was that? She’s never expressed interest.”
Francie: “I only like playing pretend basketball at school, like this (mimes dribbling a ball).”
(Parents laugh).
Daddy: “There’s got to be a theatrical troupe, maybe a mime class, for her to join.”

(Worried about bad guys):
“Well let's think some good thoughts before going to sleep, just in case. Like eating leftover pumpkin pie for a snack today.”
“How about eating cupcakes all day and never dying? I know, eating cake for every meal.”
“How about going to the movies with your best friend tomorrow?”
“Yeah, and eating popcorn and not listening to your mom or dad. And not cleaning your room.”
“Ok, one more, then time for sleep.”
“Are you thinking too?”
“Yeah, I was just thinking about one of my favorite things, shopping for other people.”
“Speaking my of shopping, how about buying things for myself!”

Saw Coco - and the Olaf Holiday Adventure - movie in theater with Mila, Lincoln, and Kadence


“I actually want to be a bird because I like laying eggs.”

“I like looking at myself in the mirror. Because I have a great imagination and I pretend it's my sister looking back at me and she looks just like me and we see each other through the mirror.”

She went pee when we got home, and wouldn't wipe after.
"You don't like to wipe?"
"You just wanna have a soggy vagina?"
"Yeah.  That's my superpower."
"Oh yeah?"
"Yeah.  I just put it to people's faces and then they run away!"

F has been playing with my old nativity set a lot since we got out the Xmas decorations. A bunch of wise men and lambs were scattered all over our coffee table, so I was cleaning up while she’s in the bath. I had to get a new plastic baggie because she ripped the other one, and I realized not all the pieces were there.
Me, shouting to her from the living room to the bathroom: “Where's baby Jesus?”
Her, shouting back nonchalantly: “I dunno."
Me, kind of annoyed: “Seriously? You lost the baby Jesus?”
Her, shrugging: “I think he just got stolen by the bads or something.”

At Laughing Planet:
“I have so many friends …. I'm gonna have a panic attack.”

“I wish Abby didn't like me so much because she always wants to play with me. I don't want to be mean but I don't always want to play with her.”

Came home sick from school.
Me: are you sure you didn't come home just to get out of Art4Life?
Her: I'm sure. I would never lie!

“Can you go to jail even when you're the president?”

So excited to watch the first Star Wars movie with Daddy.

Learning to do the monkey bar rings at the school playground, working on her confidence

"I do love you but why do you touch me when I am mad?"

Baby Evie (Evelyn Hoagland) was born.

LOTS of holiday decor, activities, and celebration, thanks in part to the advent calendar.

Liking to draw all things "royal."

Mama's always on the couch these days.

Gotta love when your daughter draws a family portrait and sounds out the word herself; and her depiction of her father is somewhat spot-on.

Mama Erika and Baby Evie

Sweet Baby Evie

BBQ turkey for Thanksgiving!

Beebee and Francie making a real dream catcher for Hazel's advent.

The Thanksgiving master at work.

All this, in sweatpants, too!

Low-key, but traditional, Thanksgiving celebration.

Mama and the Bean couch time.

Daddy and his Little Bear fast asleep.

Day after Christmas tree hunting!

Mama, Francie (and Birdy) with their favorite tree.

She's got the Christmas spirit.

My Big Girl.

Famle tree pic.

Francie telling Santa about her wish for a new pink doll stroller.

She insisted that Mama sit with her, too.

Santa, his sleigh and presents, and Rudolph with two other reindeer helpers.

That plush tree plays "Rockin Around the Xmas Tree" on repeat - thank goodness the batteries died.

Francie loves to wear my glasses and pretend to be Mama.

Her first short story? "Welcome to the dark forest."

Annual Menne Cookie Party with Finley, Dash, Logan, and Max.

Reindeer art from Maplewood School.

Saying "hi" to Baby Birdy.

'Tis the season. We love Xmas. And Elf.

Mila, Francie and purple donuts at Alpenrose.

Mila, Francie and Lincoln.

Whoa belly.

Dear Santa, This Christmas I am 5 years old. This year I have been nice. The three things I would like most this Christmas are: baby stroller, Madeline doll (from Michael's), and train set. Love, Francie Close

I discovered that "playing with lotion" results in an awesome foot and calf massage.

Francie's card to her kindergarten teacher, Ms. Thomas, to accompany a gift of a button tree ornament, books for the classroom, and a book for her daughter Wyoma- 
"tel your baby Hape Chrismis, Love, Francie"

Kindergarten holiday PJ party.

Gingerbread houses! With Natalie, Francie, Breanna, Luke, Jack and Max.

Ms. Thomas kindergarten class, 2017-2018

All dolled up and ready for a Girls' Date with Mama, Mila and Morgan for a Teddy Bear Breakfast show.

Francie and Mama (and Birdy).

She looks beautiful!

Besties Francie and Mila.

Creepy teddy bear. At least the girls loved it!

Creepy elf.

Licking the container I had put the Xmas cookies in. Like father, like daughter. Like mother, like daughter.

Santa's workshop!

Meeting Baby Evie!

Francie in the knit mermaid tail and new knit hat from Shanon.

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