Posts Tagged ‘5 Sensory Detail’

birthday10“Old people are respectable in spite of themselves” (1934 movie, Patsy Patterson, Lady by Choice). I don’t know if that’s true, but it made me smile the day after my birthday.

I celebrated with what I call “Big Dinner.” When I tell the boys we’re having “Big Dinner” – it’s not a cook-out, or kitchen island eating. It’s dinner at the big table, decked out, me cooking (who else cooks when you have 5 sons – just mom)- and it is a sit-long-talk-much, eat slow, linger kind-of-dinner.

Around the big table, the conversation between these boys-to-men happens in its own time, punctuated by humor and laughter, politics and faith. Saturday was like that.

Go out? Not a chance! Where else can my granddaughter pour me a cuppa tea from a Mrs. Potts’ tea set, let me sit with her while she tucks in for a nap ten times the only doll I’ve ever had a chance to buy in 28 years, let my mom visiting from states away work her brand of magic on my floral arrangement and set the table, and enjoy talking to my daughter-in-law-to-be while she helped me with the dishes.

While setting the dishes out, I saw my 6 ft 4 son, sit at the little table and let his 2 1/2 year old niece pour him tea.

I didn’t want restaurant-rushing. I wanted intentional savoring of those God’s given me. Maybe when we seek God in the every-moment – maybe that’s how we somehow become respectable – in spite of ourselves.

I know that faith and hope cannot be based on feelings – or 5 sensory detail – but I believe that we can choose to find God in the midst of the 5 sensory detail. By choosing to find God in it, good, bad and in-between moments have the ability to be filled by God’s grace, have the ability to become something more than they are. It’s not easy – this God-choosing. It takes being intentional and vigilant, determined in our faith and hope to be present right here, right now. Maybe that is the greatest gift of growing older.

Living fully, intentionally
right now
in the 5 sensory living
in a God’s grace revelation that redeems
or the inhale of a Lord Jesus Christ
exhale Have-mercy-on-me moment

No what-ifs invited
No looking back
No looking forward
Just looking the moment in the eye
And challenging it to
Bring the God-in-it-on
Knowing He’s got my back
He’s got the plan
He’s available in each

so I soak it in
right now
soul-eyes wide open seeing
my sweet heart’s eyes crinkle when he smiles
The freckles on my boy’s nose that tell of moments in sunshine
red blooms in a weed bed
seeing words in red, spoken for me
choosing to see goodness
in the midst of a challenge

Sadie2Hands and feet feeling
summer-time hotness, toes in the grass, hands pulling blueberries
still reaching to hold hands after 31 years of I do
dirt from the floor stuck to sensitive feet
evidence of a dog shedding love everywhere
and boys mowing, kicking a soccer ball,
grass and wet from the brothers coming in
after playing soccer in the rain
on a celebration day
choosing the love interpretation of an any-moment
like goodness of a hug not yet given
rather than the gritty dirt under my feet

hearing a son reach out, speaking life
in his very own brand of saucy humor
while hearing so much in the 15-year-old’s controlled silence
not anger, not manipulation – just so much control
hearing I love you in a boy cleaning my kitchen
for my birthday
laughter from the outside of a conversation
between 5 boys being brothers
the turtle dove’s reedy call from roof top perches
the sound of peace and hope in a rare silence
instead of fear and trouble borrowing
hearing instead God’s whispers, God’s words.

bday4ctasting raspberry tea as it travels down my throat
cooling a heated moment
chocolate-orange squares comforting
in a long afternoon of choosing to bloom
where I am planted
sweat in a weed-pulling moment under a hot summer sun
communion bread pulling me back
to the roots of who I am
when I’ve forgotten or feel

the smell of rain in the cumulonimbus creeping up behind the trees
tomatoes and cucumbers pulled from the vine
dill and sage, lavender and thyme
on fingertips and counter top dishes
Learning how to savor, keep and store summertime smells
for days needing warm savory reminders
when metallic smells herald ahead
of a white blanket chill

Being fully present
No day-dreaming
No dissing the daily

finding His take in
5 sensory living
of  right now
There’s always something worth keeping
In the present – no matter how it feels

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13)


rain tree seeds

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This is an ice-breaker assignment I used for my university Composition I class. Students loved it – and it is a fun way to study sensory detail collection. It would also be ideal for your homeschool student.

Description is not only used in stories, poetry, and Charles Dickens books. Engineers, chemists, police and detectives, nurses, and even NASA scientists describe in the writing of business. However, in order to write descriptively, attention to detail and the layers of detail need to be developed. One way to begin building this skill is by describing the tiny, flavor-packed, colorful JellyBelly jelly bean.

This is a two part assignment. The first part requires detail collection. The second part requires turning that collection of information into one paragraph (yes, a long paragraph) with a topic statement and a concluding statement. This will teach you to keep you content loyal to a point statement.

The wonderful part about this assignment requires Jelly Belly jelly beans, a partner, and a computer.

First, study the jelly bean. Use the 5 sensory detail: sight, sound, taste, touch, smell. DO NOT TASTE YET! However, when you are describing, do not just say, “Red,” or “Pink” or “Yellow.” Go deeper. Is it red like a cherry, a red Bic pen, a fire engine? Don’t write, “Red like a fire engine.” Write, “Fire-engine red.” Consider the image you want to convey when you pick the word. The word should convey your attitude toward that particular sensory detail. Do the same thing with sound, touch, and smell. Put qualifiers. Bounce it on the table, roll it around. Sniff it. Study your Jelly Belly!

Now it is time to join up with your writing partner. You are going to take turns eating the Jelly Belly. That is right. You are going to take notes watching your writing partner eat the jelly belly from the moment it goes into their mouths until it is swallowed. Keep in mind that your partner needs to be taking notes about how it tastes at the same time. Describe your partner’s facial expressions. After they have swallowed, finished up their notes, then it is your turn to be observed eating your Jelly Belly.

You will also need to keep notes about what you are thinking while you are watching your writing partner eat the Jelly Belly. Keep notes about those thoughts. Sometimes that is where the real story is. One of the most important parts of a story is the tri-alogue (what the partner says, what you say, and the conversation going on in your mind). Did I say story? Yes, sometimes detail collection can turn into action and thought collection.

Once you have collected the sensory detail, described the process of eating a Jelly Belly, then go to your computer and Google Jelly Belly. Find 3 interesting facts about the Jelly Belly Company. I highly recommend going to careers to discover all the interesting college degrees needed to run this highly successful company.

After you have collected all this information, you need to create ONE paragraph. There is no limit to the size of a paragraph. A paragraph always needs at least 3 sentences, but one paragraph could be 3 pages long. There is no pedagogy (writing theory) to suggest paragraphs should be short. Beginning writings need to develop organization skills like creating a topic statement (point of paragraph) and keeping all content supporting that one statement all the way to the conclusion. That is pretty challenging at times. Actually, those are the hardest sentences to write in an essay. That is why this is a one, very long paragraph assignment.

When you get done, please come back and post your paragraph. I would love to read it!

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