Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Fishful Thinking Thanksgiving!

This is what we've been up to this morning...

family, friends, toys, job, health, golf course, animals, fish,
church, school, USA, Christmas, Jesus' birthday,
Mom, Dad, Noah, Abby, house, trees,
flowers, ocean, sun, stars, music

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

PSF - In a galaxy far, far away...

In a galaxy far, far away, Christmas has begun.

Hundreds walk the garden path lined with lights galore.

An illuminated wonderland for all to come explore!

The journey comes to an end with a certain someone.

Hat on his head and dressed in red. He petrified my son.

(...although he did manage to tell Santa that he wants a racing car scooter for Christmas as he clutched Daddy's arm. So much for the free Santa photo opp.)

"May the force be with you" this holiday season.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Sue

Fishful Thinking Thursday - You've gotta see this!!!

 *Add some Fishful Thinking bling  to your blog & I'll add YOU to the 
Fishful Thinking Mama blogroll on my sidebar!

Over the weekend, I went on the Fishful Thinking website to watch Dr. Reivich's Optimism workshop from the Oprah magazine's O You event in 2007. Click here - It's found under RESOURCES, then Video Center (scroll about half way down to part 1). It was awesome!!! Well worth the 42 minutes. It's broken into eight segments and was so intriguing that I kept clicking one right after the other.

One of the key questions Dr. Reivich answers is  -
Can you be too optimistic?
 Yesiree, Bob! In part 4 of the workshop (@ 6 minutes), she discusses unbridled optimism vs. healthy optimism. Being an ostrich with his head in the sand vs. being able to see the good and the bad and then figuring out how to deal with those things (aka Fishful Thinking). She also gives proven strategies that help to overcome everyday obstacles like our inner critic, time urgency, and the negativity we are faced with every day just by turning on the news.

One of the ideas that I really liked is creating an AWE Wall. Posting cut-outs, photos, drawings, and/or notes that feature something awe inspiring on a wall in your home helps to make space for more beauty in our lives.  I found a spot in our kitchen where our AWE Wall is going to be, along with our Grateful Sayings poster that we'll be doing over Thanksgiving. What a perfect time to create these visual reminders of the things we are thankful for and that inspire us.

Watching this workshop reaffirmed why I am a such an advocate of Fishful Thinking.  I am grateful to be a parent ambassador and to have this opportunity to spread the word about this great resource.  I have been so inspired by all of you Fishful Thinking mamas out there who strive to instill optimism and resilience in your kiddos each day. You gals rock!

More than anything, I am truly grateful for my amazing kiddos who inspire me every single day. 

*Done any Fishful Thinking this week? Thanks for sharing!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WfulW - Ever heard of a Corn Crib?

Before Abby's pumpkin patch field trip a couple weeks ago,

I had never seen (or heard) of one of these.
A Corn Crib, they call it. Thousands of corn kernels for the kids to play in - sandbox style. They had corn in their socks, their pants, their shirts...the kids thought it was hilarious.

Before this trip, I'd never seen a tractor slide either.

That was one gigantic tractor.
I'm sure Noah would love to have one in our backyard.

I doubt the neighbors would mind. There are several chicken coops and a cow pasture just around the corner from us.  A John Deere tractor slide would probably fit right in.

*For more WfulW pics, click here!*

Monday, November 16, 2009

"Not Me" (or my mom) Monday!

This is not my very first "Not Me" Monday.

I have not been lurking around this meme for awhile now mulling over what I'd be comfortable fessing up to. :)

I would never finally be inspired to play along to exploit a little mishap that my mom had this morning. Nope! Not me!

My mom most certainly did not text me this morning saying that she accidentally swallowed her dog's heart worm pill. (There's no way that she would be holding her thyroid pill in her other hand and mix them up. Not her!)

I did not call her and start laughing hysterically when she told me that the only adverse side effect would be a strange desire to scratch behind her ears or lift her leg when she went to the bathroom. :)

She did not tell me that when she called her doctor's office, the receptionist told her to look up the number for poison control in the phone book because no one in the front office knew what it was.

I did not immediately realize my magnet with poison control's phone number was no longer on my refrigerator.

Of course, I have never had to call poison control, especially not that one time when I thought Noah swallowed a Tylenol that was loose in my purse.

My purse would never be left on the floor so my two-year-old son could dump everything out of it while I was making dinner.

Luckily, that pill did not turn up underneath the corner of the couch a few minutes later.

After hanging up with my mom this morning, I did not find that magnet and put it right back up on the fridge.

Not that we wouldn't have time to go looking up the number for poison control in case of an emergency or expect our doctor's office to know the number if someone just happens to swallow a heart worm pill...

Still just in case, the number is 1-800-222-1222.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Reality check...

I had high hopes for this NaNo thing.

High hopes that I would be able to type away madly on my keyboard and watch my NaNo word count rise to 5000-6000 words each week reaching my down-sized goal of 20-25,000 words by the end of the month.

High hopes that my natural inclination to go back and revise, spell check, and correct punctuation would be overcome by my outpouring of cleverly written prose.

High hopes that my kids would play happily by themselves, the dishes and laundry would magically get done, my son wouldn't spike a fever, my daughter wouldn't get a cold, the kids wouldn't be waking up all hours of the night, and that my chronically sleep deprived brain would function at full capacity at least for these four weeks of novel writing frenzy.

Did someone need a reality check?

Um, yeah...that would be me.

I'll still keep working on my story. NaNo did help to jump start the process. I've actually got the first couple of chapters written (and somewhat revised - I couldn't help myself!). So thank you, NaNo. But I think I'm better off going at this at my own pace - in between taking the kids to the park, pumpkin patch field trips, making hot cocoa with marshmallows, pitching tents in the living room, and reading extra stories at bedtime. (And yes, those infinite loads of laundry.)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fishful Thinking Thursday - Take a DETOUR...

Every have one of those weeks days when you just feel kind of  blah? Laundry is coming out your ears (as always), the dishes are piled in the sink, toys are everywhere, cookie and popcorn remnants speckle the carpet that you just vaccuumed less than 24 hours ago....ugh!  Not to mention your little boy was sick all weekend and would only sleep if he was draped across you all night, but still woke up every half an hour. Sigh.

So when Noah and I picked Abby up from school the other day, I decided to take a detour. First to Sonic for a Cherry Coke ( I really needed one!) and a couple $1 oreo sundaes for the kids. Then on the way home instead of just waving at the cows in the pasture that we pass every day on our drive, I decided to pull over into the grass, unbuckle the kids, and roll down the windows so that the kiddos (and the cows) could have a better look.

There were probably five or six baby calves out there grazing together, and they were looking right at us. The kids really got a kick out of it. Noah insisted on taking a picture with my phone:

Of course, then Abby (and her thumb) wanted to take one too:

Then I figured I might as well get in on the act:
I'm sure those cows were wondering what in the world we were doing.  The brown one on the right was totally staring us down. :)

It was pretty funny and definitely helped put me in a better mooooooo-d.

(hahaha! Sorry, I couldn't resist.)

***Taken any detours lately? Learn more about "beauty detours" and other optimism activities, by visiting Fishful!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

WfulW - We have a winner!

We've had a bit of excitement around here this week! Abby received a big, beautiful ribbon at Monday night's PTA meeting for her giraffe picture that she entered in her school's Reflections contest - Beauty is...

From the first day she heard about this contest, she had set her sights on winning a ribbon. It's no wonder she could hardly contain herself as she waited for her name to be called. Jumping up and down, grinning from ear to ear... She was beyond excited!

To Abby, "Beauty is animals."
She's been big into drawing giraffes lately.

She even took a few extra steps with this one by drawing it, cutting it out, and then gluing it down on another piece of a paper and adding a few extra touches...

Cutting and gluing have been big around here lately too.

And in case you noticed that little brown pile underneath the giraffe's tail,  Abby insists that it is a ROCK with a bug crawling on it.

I'm sure that's what the judges thought too. At least, I hope so.

Congratulations, baby girl! You believed in yourself, drew an awesome giraffe, and won that ribbon! We are so proud of you!!!

* Empowerment, or self-efficacy, is believing in oneself. It is knowing what your strengths are and how to use your strengths to navigate challenges and reach your goals. To learn more, visit Fishful!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Shine on!

Last night, the kids and I watched Akeelah and the Bee on Disney. Loved it! And the kids did too. While we were watching, Abby got out a piece of paper and asked me to help her spell some animal words (lizard, guinea pig, turtle) so she could start practicing for a spelling bee. She can already spell DOG and CAT by herself. She was a little disappointed to hear that I had never won a BIG spelling bee.  Sorry, kiddo.

I tell ya, I didn't know what two thirds of those words meant, let alone how to spell them, once they got to the National Bee. Those kids are amazing.

There was a great quote in the movie that Akeelah's tutor had her read aloud before they started preparing for the Bee. One that I want to remember and want my kids to remember so I thought I'd share:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 
Our deepest fear is that we are 
powerful beyond measure. 
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be 
brilliant, gorgeous, 
talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be? 
We were born to make manifest 
the glory of God that is within us. 
And as we let our own light shine, 
we unconsciously 
give other people permission 
to do the same.

- Marianne Williamson

Friday, November 6, 2009

I've never been much of a daredevil...

As I was updating my sorry excuse for a word count yesterday(2328), thinking that all the other NaNo participants have left me in the dust, I was re-inspired after reading this on the NaNo homepage:

"It's so great seeing the word-count numbers rising upwards! If you're among the 70,000 authors who've signed up but not started writing yet, I applaud you.  That's the kind of cheeky daredevil-ism that this event is based on. Please do have a word count by the end of this weekend, though, or we'll cry."

No tears will be shed for me! 2328 is better than ZERO!!!  Still, I've got some major catching up to do. And I have to stop revising. I'm breaking the rules, I know. A NaNo rebel. I keep reminding myself that this is supposed to be "literary abandon!" I'm working on it though. That's one of the main reasons I wanted to embark on this noveling frenzy. I just need to WRITE!!! Not rewrite!!! The first step is to admit there is a problem, right?

Honestly, I really doubt I'll hit the 50,000 mark. Most middle grade novels are usually closer to 25,000 words, if that. Seriously, if I finish a 20,000-25,000 word rough draft during this process, that will be a major accomplishment for me. Of course, I could try to write two of them. Set my sites on a series, perhaps?

Now that would be daring!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fishful Thinking Thursday - Banners, Wallpaper, & More!

Have you been wondering how you can get a Fishful Thinking banner for your blog or maybe a copy of  "The Goldfish Guide to Raising Optimistic Children" (a printable version of this cute video)?

Wonder no more!

Go to the Fishful Thinking site, click RESOURCES on the top menu bar, and then click DOWNLOADS. Under RESOURCES is also where you will find the links to the Storybook Maker, Book Club, Video Center, Keeping Kids Active, and more!

Or if you want to go straight to the printable guide - click here!

I tell ya, there are so many cool features on this site! Just cut out the booklet and staple it together - VOILA! Or you could even use it as coloring pages for your kiddos. Can never have enough coloring pages in this house!

Speaking of this house, here's a little Fishful Thinking follow up from our Halloween Savoring activity from last week's post. I modified it a bit since the kids were so excited about their treats they didn't feel much like coloring or writing the words, but I did ask them to pick out some of their favorites and describe them. I had to help them a little bit since they are so young, especially Noah, and ask "is it sweet?" "what color is it?" etc...

Abby picked a Laffy Taffy because "it's pink...and sweet...tastes like's chewy."

Noah was all about his lollipops. "I got lots of lollipops!!! That my favorite! They tasty!" he said as he tried to shove two of them in his mouth at the same time.

My husband and I both picked candy bars as our favorite - chocolate, creamy caramel, fluffy nougat. (Just typing this is making me hungry!)   

Too bad candy isn't one of the four basic food groups. :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My boy and his sweet tooth...

As soon as the sun came up Halloween morning, this was the scene:

Noah:  (jumping up and down on our bed) It's Halloween! YAY! It's Halloween!

Me: I know, buddy! Are you excited?

Noah: YEAH!!! I 'cited! It's Halloween!

Then a few minutes later...

Pat: Noah, what do you want for breakfast?

Noah: WHAT??? It's Halloween! You don't eat breakdast. You eat CANDY!!!

Luckily, he settled for my pathetic attempt at pumpkin shaped pancakes with chocolate chip faces.

Needless to say, the kids could hardly wait to go trick-or-treating! I'm pretty sure we were the first ones out that night, and the kids got PLENTY of candy. Between the candy that Pat brought home from work, our leftover candy (we didn't have many trick-or-treaters), and the kids' treats, The Halloween fairy may need to pay us a visit!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

NaNoWriMo - Here I come!

My heart is a flutter....
The thought makes me shudder...
But I'm doing it anyway!

Wish me luck!
I'm going to need it.