Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Big Lie

I've subscribed to The Daily Groove for over a year now. It's an email that I get daily from M-F and it's all about parenting and enjoying it. The one that Scott sent today is one of my favorites - it sums up what I've personally been actively working on for the past few months. I'm definitely not there yet (unconditional joy), but I feel like I'm getting closer.

edited to add: Yes, I have control issues... but now I'm going to think of myself in terms of being passionate intelligent & creative, thanks to Scott.
THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

:: The Big Lie ::

Do you have "control issues"?

The good news is that being a "controller" is a symptom of being intelligent, creative, and
passionate... AND duped into believing the Big Lie of our culture: *conditionality*

The Big Lie is that you can't be happy or feel worthy except under certain conditions. If you've bought into it, then naturally you will use your personal strengths to try and control those conditions.

For example, if you believe your children have to behave a certain way in order for you to feel good
(about them or about yourself), then of course you will try to control their behavior.

Once you realize the purpose of the Big Lie -- to control *you* -- you'll stop believing it.

Practicing the Art of Unconditionality dissolves the Big Lie (and the "need" to control conditions) by
affirming the Ultimate Truth: that you have the power to focus your mind in ways that feel good...
under *any* conditions.

Try it!


Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.)

Copyright (c) 2007 by Scott Noelle

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dance class collage

My friend, J., sent me a collage she had done with pictures from the kids' dance class. I love these pics - she is doing a great job of documenting it all. And her son loves the class as much as our kids do.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Fashion Statement

Today's plan was a trip to the mall for some shopping. The plan was a success, but not before the kiddos made it known what they wanted to wear. I present to you...
kiddos in tie-dye & plaid...

Friday, September 21, 2007

September 20th

Taisim decided to collect our neighbor's papers

September 19th

The kids like talking on the phone... to each other... in the house

An apple phone, and a self-portrait

September 18th

Visiting the Medina Toy & Train Museum before picking up Ama & Akon at the airport

September 17th

Playing with our new Marble Run

Having fun at dance class

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Alfie Kohn article

So, I had no idea yesterday was talk like a pirate day, and Yuta didn't even bother telling me until the end of the day. Fortunately, it didn't take long for me to exhaust my pirate vocabulary (ahoy! arrr! shiver me timbers!) and I felt like I participated.

You might be inclined to say, "Good job, Karen!" But don't. Here's why: Five Reasons to Stop Saying Good Job, an article by Alfie Kohn, whose writing has inspired me in a lot of ways. He's got a lot of other great articles, but I just re-read this one today and thought I'd share.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Avast me hearties, tis International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so get ye some grog and talk like a pirate!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Not quite a quote, but...

I came across this today and wanted to post it here, because it helps me to remember that alternate views can be taken on just about everything.

I often wonder whether or not Taipan watches too much TV (ok, not technically tv, but videos and DVDs really), and when we had the Wii and X-Box set up on our big tv, I wondered if he played too much.

But, would I think that same thing if he were reading books all day? Um, no, most likely not.

If Games Had Come Before Books

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Johnny Appleseed Festival

I guess fall is here. The high today is supposed to be 58, and it was in the 40s overnight. Quite chilly when the sun is behind the clouds. I think it will warm up again over the next week, but the cool weather is a reminder that fall is on its way.

Today we took the kids to the Johnny Appleseed Festival at Mapleside Farms. It's pretty cool - they have a neat treehouse/slide/hay area for the kids to play in, and it also has a small corn maze. And there's a huge inflated slide, which the kids didn't really want to try out, though Taipan did spend some time in the bounce house underneath the slide.

The festival has about 80 vendors and horses, and face painting and music and food. We looked at tie-dye shirts for the kids, and the play area. We didn't get to see much else. I had fun with the kids, but as we were leaving I thought it might be a nice place to visit without the kids too.

On the way out we stopped and bagged half a bushel of apples. Taipan wants to make apple pie and applesauce like we did last year. I think we'll do the much easier applesauce first. We also got some yummy cinnamon donuts and a huge bag of popcorn.

We're hoping to go apple picking withing the next month or so. There is a a small orchard not too far from our house that we picked apples at last year, and I'd like to go there again.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Football Kickoff 2007!

September 9th was the home opener of the Cleveland Browns vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers, so football season had arrived (granted, there was a game Thursday night, but it just doesn't seem right starting football season on a Thursday). We decided to watch the home opener at my parents' house since they're out of town, and they have cable :) The game left a lot to be desired, but my family was the cutest bunch of Browns fans! We also had fun with some oversized stuffed animals.

After the debacle usually known as a football game, we headed home and started on our own little project called "Styrofoam Cleanup." We brought the shopvac from the garage to the loft, and started sucking (much like the Browns). Of course, the kiddos wanted to help.

Here's hoping the Cleveland Browns get their act together soon. They've got too much talent to be so bad, and it's going to be a tough schedule. If anything, they can only get better... they couldn't get much worse than Sunday. GO BROWNS!

September 8th

Taipan enjoyed ice skating so much last year that we decided to see if he would want to have skating lessons. Of course, being the prudent consumers we are, we figured we'd go to an open skate to see if he still really wanted to skate. Best laid plans and all, Taisim fell asleep on the way there, so Karen went in with Taipan while I drove around Northeast Ohio giving Taisim a decent nap. It ended up being a short trip, as though they both had ice skates on, Taipan was content just watching other people skate. So no ice skating lessons this year. Anyways, here's a cute pic...

Later that evening, Karen was on her Mom's Night Out, so the kids and I played around at home. They had bought some feather boas the last time they were at Target, and they've gotten some good use. Here are the kiddos dancing to The Police, all alight in glasses and boas.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Better than Blair Witch

For those who don't remember, a few years back there was quite the fervor over an independent film done by a group of graduates from the University of Central Florida called The Blair Witch Project. The story goes "In October of 1994, three student film makers disappeared in the woods near Burkittesville, Maryland. One year later, their footage was found."

The movie was basically footage shot with camcorders, no Steadi-Cam or special effects. It won accolades from various film festivals including Cannes and Sundance, and opened to a lot of hype (especially in the Orlando area, where we lived at the time).

Now, you've seen some photos that Taipan has taken here on our blog, and some are actually pretty good. Well, he has now progressed to taking video as well, and I've chosen some short films here to showcase. His videos can run from 4 seconds to 10 minutes, and he's gone from just shooting random things, to almost narrating. To me, they're like a window into Taipan's world... from his point of view... or at least his hand's.

I present... a cat trilogy...

"Hello Winston"

"Hello! Winston!"

"Run, Winston, Run!"

Fun with Styrofoam!

In our computer populated (some would say infested) house, we had a decade-old PowerMac for the kiddos. They could watch DVDs, look at their own photo library, and stream music from our media server. Well, a couple of weeks ago it decided to go on the fritz, and I couldn't recover it :( I found a great deal on a younger PowerMac (dual 867MHz G4s/1GB RAM/160GB HD for you geeks) on eBay, and it arrived on Friday! We were all quite excited, and decided to unbox and start configuring. It just so happened that the PowerMac was packed in a box full of Styrofoam peanuts... and the crowd went wild...

It started out as a pile in the middle of the loft, and it progressed as the day went on. Taisim even felt compelled to serve some for lunch!

The best part was discovering what air pressure can do to Styrofoam. We have an old Hasbro ball popper, and the kiddos found it tons of fun stuffing it with Styrofoam and pressing the button...

Next science experiment, Diet Coke & Mentos!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Pukey kid

Taisim woke up Tuesday night around 11 and threw up. She was up and pukey for the next hour and a half or so. She went back to bed, but got sick two more times overnight. The next day she seemed a little better, but sleepy.

Taipan had issues, um, at the other end. I figure they had some sort of stomach bug and it affected them differently.

Anyhow - nothing too exciting around here the past couple of days. The kids are better. Today our sitter was here and brought her ten-year-old sister. Man, I love those girls, and so do the kids. They have so much fun together. I'm glad we found them.

I've also been very busy at work this week, and I think it's going to stay that way for the next month or two. I've been wrapping up work around 6:30 this week, but then logging back on after the kids go to sleep.

Gotta go.... Taisim just woke up.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Family dance class (and Taipan's haircut)

Tonight was our first family dance class. A mom in one of the local homeschool groups is a dance teacher and started an hour-long family dance class. Given how much dancing we do around here, and how much the kids love learning new dances I thought we'd give it a try.

The kids had a wonderful time, though it wasn't quite what I was expecting. We did a dance with scarves (no, not a veil dance), some animal imitations, a bubble song, a song with hula hoops and a lot of other movement dances.

The teacher (Miss Leesa) holds another class before ours for 4-6 year olds, and they do tap/ballet/movement. Next week we might take Taipan early to see if he enjoys that class as well. We're sticking with the family class no matter what.

Oh, in the pictures you might notice that Taipan's hair is shorter. On Saturday night he put lotion in his hair (to copy Taisim, who had a mess of lotion in her hair) and said, "Look! The hair's out of my eyes." So I asked him if he wanted me to cut it and he said yes, and that he wanted me to cut it all, not just the front. So, yes, I'm beginning a second career as a children's hair stylist. For the next cut I think I'll take him to a professional.