I'm so surprised by how I felt today. I knew 9/11 was coming, but I didn't expect to feel so emotional about it! I cried at the end of church when we sang America the Beautiful. I think I would have been OK until I looked at the fireman who had come to church in his dress blues. (After church, he said that he had been trying to organize a group of firemen to come in their full gear. Now that would have completely done me in!!!) Then, since it is the first Sunday of football (!), I spent the day watching the games and managed to cry during each one of the 9/11 memorial ceremonies that they had. And they were all essentially the same! My husband just shook his head, but I am fairly certain that his eyes were a bit bleary when a little boy started talking about being born a month after his dad died!!!
OK, I think that this is absolutely astounding, and I mean that in a bad way!According to research done by McCann Worldgroup (as cited in Real Simple September 2011 under "the simple list"), 53% of 16- to 22-year olds around the world would rather give up their sense of smell than their favorite personal technology device!
I don't even know what else to say! Don't they realize they could keep their sense of smell and still use their second favorite device??? (Maybe they need more "philosophical" conversations!!!) Maybe that's the difference between a 46-year old vs. a 16-year old, but wow!
Anyone else feeling less astounded and able to put a coherent sentence together?
So hopefully none of you are thinking that I have some weird eating disorder! But here I am with another possibly unusual take on yogurt as dessert. The good news is that I did not dream this one up on my own but read it in the September issue of Real Simple. I love this magazine! It's one of those where you can sit when you are completely dazed and just gaze at the pictures and still feel that you are an upright human being!
Healthy Snacks for Every Attack was a very helpful article, but I will say it is much easier to read in the magazine itself than online! There were some interesting ideas on what to eat for a snack--some things I probably won't eat, but others I might try if I think about it! But the one that really grabbed my attention was under the "for your desk" option. For me, it should read "for the couch, when everyone is asleep, and there is a good TV show on that you just really want to sit and enjoy" option. And that would be 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt, 2 Tablespoons canned pumpkin and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice. And I've actually got all those things in my cupboard! We love pumpkin pie--although most of the time I just cook it as a custard and skip the super fattening pie crust! We call it pumpkin pudding. But this will do just fine during a warm summer when the idea of turning on the oven to bake a dessert is really one of the last things I want to do! Sure sounds better than 2 carrots cut into sticks with 1 Tablespoon of peanut butter!
This is the title of an article by Lora Shinn that is in the September 2011 issue of Kiwi magazine. The subtitle is Raising kids who think. Of course, I honed right onto that one and started reading right away! She talks about trying to answer the Big Questions that our children ask us while fostering their ability to think things through, and yes, even get a little philosophical.
Now some days, the last thing I want to do is get philosophical with JJ! He wants to get to the bottom of everything and be sure that he really understands it. Some days I just want to tell him to stop thinking! But on a good day, if there is time, I think that some of the ideas that Shinn presents are good ones. She says that when your child is asking these Big Questions, "Your child is demonstrating his natural inclination to speculate, reason, and persuade. ANd if he were in college instead of second grade, he's be considered a philosopher. So go with it: Encouraging philosophical conversations can boost a child's creativity, language, and critical-thinking skills." But she's also not some parenting advice wacko (perhaps I could have put that a bit more nicely!) who is telling us to have conversations like this all the time. She believes it's OK to just say "Lights out because I said so!" and talk about the big issues later.
She's got some suggestions on how to get these conversations started, one that involves Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. She suggests that after reading this, you might discuss: Is it possible to give too much? Can we love books and paper but also dislike chopping down trees? I've got to say that both of these intrigue me! I already worry about Sarah sometimes as she is often so readily willing to give whatever she has got to someone else. And I know that's a fine trait on the one hand, but I also don't want her to be the kind of young woman who gives other people what they want in order to keep them happy if it doesn't make her happy. (Maybe I'm the parenting advice wacko now for worrying too much about this!)
Back to the topic at hand . . . But I also love the question about paper and books and trees! And I would love to hear what my kids have to say about this. I could see a really fruitful conversation coming from this. And speaking of books, the article also references a blog Wondering Aloud that has more ideas like these. But what I really love about Wondering Aloud is the books and ideas that are listed! I just ordered Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox because of this site! And here's the irony . . . As I was writing this, Sarah just came in and told me that she and JJ are playing a game called "Old Lady," and then when I saw the author's name, I just laughed too. This is the first author that Sarah's class will be studying this month. I love how the Universe works!
Believe it or not, I am still trying to clean off my dresser from some of the stuff that I brought home from vacation. And it doesn't help that I was actually gone last weekend too in Portland (with my mom again!) for my cousin's wedding! So there is even more to organize and put away!
And I can't remember what store I was in, but I bought something and saved the bag. Obviously, at this point, the bag is more memorable than what I bought! Yikes! Anyway, the bag looked like the classified ads page from an old newspaper. And one caught my eye . . .
Creating Charm Is the real accomplishment of the facial wonder-worker, Dr. Campbell's Safe Arsenic Complexion Wafers. These wafers are beauty's first sincere aid--adding charm, while doing away with all possible harm. The wonder-wafers build one up, clear the skin quickly and bring out all charms. Thoroughly guaranteed safe and non-habit forming.
Wow! If that doesn't sound like it would do the trick, what will? Clear skin and charm? Our husbands would all be such happy men, wouldn't they?
OK . . . Back from a short Google break! Check out this post about this stuff! Women of this day and age are still doing some crazy sh*t to look good (and still with poison!), but I think I'll skip both options and be happy with my skin and my (ahem!) charm!
Yes, another vacation would be nice! Don't you usually feel like that after you get back? Re-entry, my friend Janis calls it. It doesn't help that my mom is on another one and calling to tell me all about it, being that she is back in Washington. But then that reminded me, for those of you who read my blog to see what is going on in my family's life, I never posted about our vacation. So here goes . . .
Eight days in Washington state, staying at Discovery Bay on the Olympic Peninsula, was fabulous! The weather was nice but cool, which we appreciated! We were super busy which was kind of different from our usual Santa Cruz, hang out on the beach trips, but it was still amazing! And we had my mom as our personal travel agent, so things went very smoothly for the most part!
We rode on lots of ferries! The kids loved driving the car on to the boat. On this trip to San Juan Island, we walked on and off since we didn't really need the car while we were there. (Don't you just love Sarah's choice of clothes???)
This is Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. I plan on buying a house here when I am a rich and famous writer!
This was the one freaky thing that happened on our trip. And although the captain on the ferry said these were "routine exercises," it was actually quite unnerving to be riding in a ferry next to this! We actually watched them uncover the gun (or whatever you call it! missile?) and get it ready, turn and point it. We wondered if someone important (other than us!) was arriving on the island.
We went to an amazing Marine Mammal Science Center in Port Townsend. And what was really cool was that we were the only people in the place! So we basically had our own private tour and explanation of all the cool things in the tanks and displays. Since we were the only ones there, the kids even got to feed some of the special fish!
Are you totally cracking up at the look on JJ's face? Every time I look at this picture, it makes me laugh! We ate at a really fun crepe place in Port Townsend. We actually shared this Nutella and banana crepe, but JJ took it down to the wire! If I would have let him, he would have licked the plate! As it was, he scraped it with the knife and the fork before finally retreating!
We went whale watching when we were in Friday Harbor. If you ever get up there to do this, take my advice and take your trip with the Western Prince. You won't be sorry! This is the 9th time that J.R. and I have gone out with them, and this day, we were the only U.S. boat to get out to the orcas. We were well in Canadian water, and if they hadn't have been willing to go that far, my kids would not have gotten to see the orcas that day. (And I would have been devastated too!) As it was, we saw a super pod--which means that all 3 of the resident pods who live around these islands were out at one time. We saw between 40 and 50 orcas. You could hear them blowing. Sarah was sitting on my lap, and she just looked up at me with big eyes and said, "Mommy! This is amazing!" It was very cool!
These guys came very close to the back of the boat! We were so lucky that day!
Sarah pooped out on the way back to the United States! We had gotten up at 5 a.m. to catch two ferries to get there that morning!
We also went kayaking when we were there. It was quite fun! JJ loved it and wants to do it again. Even Sarah did well! "No lily-dipping!" as the guide would say! It was low tide, too, so we got to go into the old ferry moorings and see lots of sea life on the sunken piers.
Sometimes I think we truly are a family of dorks! In Anacortes, we went into an old marine hardware store. Here is JJ in heaven with all the rope around him! What kid do you know who wants rope as a sourvenir from his trip? For his birthday, I am going to suggest that people just give him a gift card to a hardware store or just some old tools or nails, etc. from their garage! He loves stocking his shed with this stuff! But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. J.R. came up to me and said, "I could stay in here for hours and spend quite a bit of money!" Uh, yeah, and we have to fly home, so no souvenirs for you!
Sarah chose to try on hats. I think she tried on every hat that they had there! And believe me, there were quite a few to try on!
Anacortes also has all these cool murals painted all over this little town. I think there are over 100 of them. You'll have to ask my mom. She can tell you!
The day we left to fly back home, we stopped in a cute little Viking town called Poulsbo. And look where we ate lunch--J.J.'s Fish House! He thought that was so cool!
So there you are! Hope those of you who needed it got a nice little fix!