Friday, August 31, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Calandria started posting about "Smart Habit Saturdays" a while back. Recently I have been thinking about the idea, and thinking I should climb on board that train. SMART stands for Saving Money, Associations, Resources and Time, and the basic premise is that you do have the power to make new, positive habits in your life if you do so in small steps and with deliberateness (is that a word?). The recommended procedure is to make a new plan every Saturday to incorporate one new good habit in the coming week. Then, you are supposed to blog about your new habit regularly - I think the blogging is supposed to provide accountability, as (in theory) your readers will be eagerly awaiting news on how you did during the week. Sort of a Weight Watchers for life-habits, without the weekly fees or counting points.
Today is Sunday, but I am going to give it a try. Of course, being me, I have about 16 new habits I know I should tackle. Which one first? Is it better to start small and see how it goes, or start with a bang and take advantage of the adrenalin which comes with something new? I think I will start with meal planning. I have been wanting to plan our meals to be healthier, and the boys are willing to experiment with more home-made foods and less processed convenience foods (well, they say they are, we will see how the reality goes.) My hope is, too, that if we fill our bodies with healthier food, we will have more energy to do other things which are on my "future habits" list. I want to move to more organic and locally-grown/produced foods, as I believe nothing good can come of the additives and chemicals found in so many products these days - and while it may be too late to prevent the damage to my body, hopefully I can minimize it for the boys and improve the odds for myself.
I'd like to say I will photograph and report on the meals we plan and make but you probably have noticed a pattern of me forgetting to take pictures until after the food is eaten ... so no promises! But I will report in - and honestly admit my shortcomings as well as my triumphs. And if you have any good tips for me, or recipes, please send them over!
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Both boys loved all the pigeons, seagulls, and geese that we saw throughout the city. They both tried to get pictures of them (I think Ty actually took this one) and we enjoyed feeding them occasionally. I'm sure the Chicago-ans (Chicago-ites?) love that - tourists coming in and encouraging the little beasts to hang around.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Note the parenthetical qualifier ... Not life-size.
A short and sweet vacation -- We had a great time!
Monday, August 13, 2007
Christy's Incredible Cake
One Devil's Food chocolate cake mix
16 oz sour cream (I used light!)
12 oz chocolate chips (this picture is milk, but I used semi-sweet)
Blend all together, place in prepared bundt pan, bake 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees.
Christy served it with no frosting, I dusted it with powdered sugar.
It comes out like a pudding cake. Incredibly moist and delicious! As usual, I forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Here are B & T, just finishing their slices. Their faces tell the story.
I cut the cake at 8:02. It was GONE - not a crumb left - by about 8:09. Next year, I am told, I have to make TWO.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
One thing we discovered this year was that of the 9 kids up there this year, there was a 2 year old and a 12 year old, and then one each of ages 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, & (almost)10! We have, this fall, someone starting every grade - from preschool, through kindergarten and up to 5th grade (and then Ben in 7th.) Somehow we parents never picked up on how orderly we gave birth before.
A fun weekend. One bee sting, but no blood. Success!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Parents need to understand that gifted boys and girls alike benefit from exploring many activities and do so best when they are not expected to excel at or stick with all of them. Social pressure exists for boys to be decision makers—meaning that they need not only to decide but to adhere to their decisions. Exploration without demands for permanent involvement allows decisions to be temporary. Trent only wanted to try out the trombone, but he was expected to make a long-term commitment to it. His parents should have allowed him to experiment with a rented instrument, without private lessons. He could have done so for an agreed-to period of time and just as easily decided not to play any longer at the end of it. Time parameters set in advance permit gifted boys to try their hand at many activities and interests. Indeed, this kind of experimentation should be encouraged and supported as late as the first or second year of college.
Sunday, August 05, 2007
Well, I was just going through the file (in case something real accidentally got stuck in there) and saw a message from a sender with the name "Carla Hickman" and it freaked me out. It can't be coincidence.
Why can't the people who figure out how to send realistic-looking spam emails actually do something productive with their genius abilities?!?
But my point today is he said something in the interview which gave me pause. When asked if he could believe what a great week he had last week (apparently in addition to being named P.L. he also got some other accolade) he commented that he is expecting some bad luck now to balance out the good luck he is having.
Now, first off, there is the whole debate about "luck" ... the old one-liner of "the harder I work, the luckier I get" comes immediately to mind. But I also found myself thinking about the belief that you have to experience hardship or pain in order to fully appreciate joy or success. I haven't analyzed that idea enough to really know how I feel about it's truthfulness, but I lean towards accepting it.
Which then brings me to my own personal introspection. I look at all that has happened in my life over the past year, and it has truly been an incredible mix of good and bad. I have just been focused on getting through the days, without trying to interconnect the dots, but now I find myself wondering if I am balanced. Have all my bad times been tempered by enough good times to keep me balanced? Do I have a positive or negative or neutral balance in my "life account" of luck? And does this mean that the bad things have helped me experience the good things more fully? I like to think that way. It helps put the bad into a more optimistic perspective, and I am all about optimism. (And if this is really true, I am due for some really, really good things after all the time I spent being sick after Africa!) (Or else I was paying my dues for great things that already happened.) (Wonder how you know if it's repayment or prepayment?)
What do you think? Does this theory hold water? Is your account balance positive or negative? I think, overall, my account is on the positive side right now.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Tonight, however, there was a treat! A friend sent me a real letter. Handwritten and everything! I have not talked to her or seen her or even heard from her in a very long time - she sent this note to try to re-connect.
What a wonderful surprise! She sent me her new email address and I immediatly sent her a note, she replied within 20 minutes, and we are going to get together in a week or so (she is heading out of town tomorrow on vacation.)
I was having a boring Saturday night and it was spiced up by the mail. No, it was spiced up by the connection with a friend. Can't wait to see her!
At least that's my interpretation of it.
And here he is in his favorite position ... warming my toes.
In fact, that's where he is right this very minute as I type!
Friday, August 03, 2007
The mom, Michelle (the only non-J in the family, as Dad's name is Jim-Bob [a la The Waltons]) is 40.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Makes me yearn for the time and money to really make my home more cozy. Oh, yeah, I guess I yearn for the talent, too. I mean, old pot lids as wall decorations? I LOVE it - but never would have thought of it in a million years. The colors, the textures, the coziness of it all - hopefully I will find some ways to incorporate some of the best ideas into my house.
- ► 2010 (35)
- ► 2009 (127)
- ► 2008 (329)
- Last night ... totally off the wagon...
- Pull up a chair ...
- State Fair 2007!
- Smart Habits
- “You know, some things don’t matter that much, Lil...
- The Field Museum
- Wedding Bells!
- Puppet Bike
- Millennium Park
- Taste of Chicago, part one
- HP7 Update
- A tantalizing glimpse...
- Make Your Cake and Eat It Too!
- Up North
- The countdown begins ...
- Don't listen to this at work
- On Being Gifted ....
- Two-headed Alien Baby of Sasquatch Eats Printing P...
- Scary spam
- My Grandson!
- Balance between good and bad?
- Unexpected Pleasures
- My Big Dog
- There's no need to fear, Underdog is here!
- The Letter J
- You're The One That I Want!
- Summertime ...
- Small is the New Big
- Africa Update
- ▼ August (30)