Friday Fill-in #48

1. When my blog is broken, I can easily find something else to do until it's fixed.

2. I saw the most amazing people this morning! (My DH and kids ;) )

3. Enchanted is the new movie I'm most looking forward to seeing. Yes, I still really enjoy fairy tales.

4. Work: Necessary and rewarding.

5. Of all the new tv shows, I enjoy _____ the most. I wish I knew, but I rarely watch prime-time TV because my kids control the remotes. LOL

6. If only I was already at my goal weight.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a good night's sleep, tomorrow my plans include going to a local art stroll and holiday parade and Sunday, I want to decorate our tree!

Yay! I did it! I actually posted something here every day this month. I can hardly believe it myself, but boy am I glad I did this. I've found some wonderful new blogs to enjoy, and I know now that I will continue to blog more than I used to (probably not every day though). I will free my mind of all random ideas and unleash them into the blogosphere. So expect a continuation of posts that are only related by the fact that I did them. ;)

Big congratulations to everyone else who completed this, and sympathetic underestanding to those who didn't. :)

A Really Good Reminder ;)

Dew knot trussed yore spell chequer two fined awl yore mistakes.— Brendan Hills


Thirteen Things that I want to do for Christmas.

1. Bake cookies with my kids and deliver them to friends

2. Drink mulled cider and listen to Christmas music while decorating the tree

3. Make and send Christmas cards

4. Make sock monkeys for my younger nephews and niece (5 of them)

5. Create some new ornaments for our tree

6. Crochet and felt a handbag for my mom

7. Sew tote bags for my Bible study girlfriends (6 of those)

8. Knit socks for my husband's mom

9. Go to church

10. Make a folded magazine tree, like this:

(directions here)

11. Fit into last year's "holiday" clothes

12. Savor quiet times with my husband and kids as much as possible

13. Remember to breathe if things don't turn out as I plan, and remember that all is well.

Wish me luck! ;)

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Pictures of My Life

As if my last post didn't have enough random photos, I thought this meme at Diana's blog looked fun, so here it is! All you have to do is Google images for your answers to the following questions.
1. Age at your next birthday: 43
2. Places I'd like to travel: the world!3. Favorite place: anywhere with my kids. :)
4. Favorite objects: craft supplies, or books, or my laptop. I can't pick! 5. Favorite food: isn't everyone's CHOCOLATE?!?!6. Favorite animal: another one I can't decide, dog or cat.
7. Favorite color(s): purple, green, and blue (fyi: you can purchase this lovely bag for a mere $300.00 at KateGroves.com)

8. My nickname(s): Dee and Mom

moar funny pictures

9. Town where I was born: Portland, Maine. Yes, I really am a maniac. ;P

10. A bad habit I have is: procrastination. Here's what I need:

Tag, you're it! Let's see your life in pictures. :)


My Son's Collections

My eight year old son loves to collect things and display them for all to see. I'm not sure if he is leaning toward museum curator or window display artist. (I know; there is so much more he can do with these talents!) I'm just impressed by how he has done this from a very young age. It's clearly a part of who he is. Anyway, here's a little tour of just a few of his collections. The pet rock friends - displayed on a spice rack, on a bookshelf so to increase the available display area.
All the wooden toys my son has built or assembled (puzzles), plus the model motorcycle he and my husband put together.
Most of the Z-card models are displayed on this corner shelf (also built by my son).
My son's shark tooth collection has special display "stands", which he crafted out of Fimo clay. (Notice the biggest tooth has a place of honor.)
This is a close-up of some of the Z-cards.
Now we just have to find more room to display the rock collection, the shell collection, the miniature alien collection, the coin collection, and probably a few more I'm forgetting! I'm thinking maybe we should have rotating exhibits.


How Many of Us Need Boot Camp?!

Korea now offers multiple forms of rehabilitation for "internet addiction", including the Boot Camp described in this article. The definitions of addiction seem to be encompassing almost any activity that others deem as too excessive. Is the issue really the internet, or is it a lack of meaningful connections in the "real" world? I sure hope this "rehabilitation" trend doesn't continue to expand without examining the underlying issues that lead to extremes of behaviour. If it does, we could see almost any "passion" that people pursue labelled as an addiction.


Well, I Did It!

Or I guess you could say "I didn't do it." What I DID was avoid going to any stores, or shopping on-line at all today. What I DIDN'T do was buy into the hype about Black Friday shopping. I was tempted, believe me, when I saw some of the deals out there! But I know from experience that my family would rather have ME, than have me out shopping. And in return for staying home today, I received gifts that you can't purchase anywhere. As we swam, read books, played games, performed magic and music, I revelled in the gift of simply being together.


Keeping Your "Daily Groove", Even When Holidays Disrupt Your Daily Flow

A Post-Modern Thanksgiving by Scott Noelle, posted on 2006-11-23

Transforming your life experience (including parenting) from a grind to a groove leads to a peculiar realization: It's all GOOD... even the "bad" stuff!

There are hidden blessings in every situation. You may not see some of those blessings for quite some time — perhaps years — but who's to say you can't enjoy them before you know what they are? Don't you enjoy receiving a gift even before you've unwrapped it? :)

So if you're celebrating Thanksgiving today, try giving thanks for things that don't normally garner your gratitude:

Your child's crying, whining, aggression, etc.

The person who judged or criticized your parenting.

That thing you said or did to your child that you promised you never would.

Allow yourself to appreciate that LIFE IS GOOD... all of it! Acknowledge the gift of shadows, without which the Light would have no depth.
Have fun! :)

(Check out Scott's site for more parenting wisdom and inspiration.)

It's really true! Life IS good. When we can see all things that happens as valuable, everything takes on new meaning. The trick is learning to listen to the message that we're getting from life's twists and turns. It takes mindfulness to be able to step back from situations and to examine them for what meaning they have for our life. This requires us to be fully present in the moment, so that we can observe what is really happening, rather than what we "think" is happening.

Being fully present ironically allows us to remove our "selves" from the situation so that we can observe what is happening, rather than just reacting to what is going on. From this vantage point, we can CHOOSE how to view and handle a situation. We can choose to see the light that shines even in the darkest of moments. But first, we have to be looking for it! ;)

Here's to a Thanksgiving that "shines" for all us! Cheers!


So I Never Forget....(revisited)

This is a post that I wrote almost a year and a half ago. I thought is was appropriate to take another look at it for Thanksgiving. It's great to know that I still have ALL this to be grateful for, and MORE! (I added a few more things in orange italics for this year.)

I hope Thanksgiving finds you with much to be grateful for too. Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

I am so grateful for my life, for being able to use my body to walk and swim and jump and dance and sing and climb stairs and sooooooo much more.

I am grateful for the gift of faith which has carried me through difficult times and given me the courage to change and grow.

I am grateful for my husband, whose devotion to our children matches my own. I am grateful that he is willing to work hard and yet knows how to play. I am grateful for all that he has added to my life, all that I have learned from him, and for the opportunity I have had to be there for him.

I am grateful for my children, without whom I cannot even imagine what I would be doing now.

I am grateful that I am able to live and learn alongside them everyday, and for who I am becoming by being their mother.

I am grateful that my children are alive and healthy today.

I am grateful that I live in my own home, where I feel relatively safe, and I can sleep each night without fear of losing my life or belongings.

I am grateful that all our basic needs are met as a family, so that we are able to share with others.
I am grateful to have friends whom I know I could call in an emergency. ( and for the wonderful community of on-line friends who inspire, encourage, and make me smile daily.)

I am grateful that our family has made it safely through 3 major hurricanes in the last 2 years! (I'm grateful that we're almost done with the hurricane repairs, and that we haven't had to evacuate since I first posted this in July 2006!)
I'm grateful for my past, even the bad stuff, because all of it led me to where I am today.

I am grateful for having worked in the field of occupational therapy. I was fortunate to work with so many amazing people, who showed me that every life is valuable, no matter how compromised it may appear. I am grateful for having worked with Hope, who survived a botched abortion. (I'm grateful that I can be home full-time to live and learn alongside my children.)

I am grateful for the generous unschooling community at large, which helps me in my journey towards being the best parent I can be to my children.

I am grateful that I haven't "arrived" yet. I am glad to still be on a journey, still learning and growing. (Yep, I'm very grateful that I can still say this is true!)

San Francisco Shopping (Sort of)

Just a few days ago, I excitedly received my first package from The Sampler. It contained all these goodies from indie artists based in San Francisco!

I had been wanting a Sampler ever since I first found out about them, and finally I could no longer resist. Here are my favorites.

If you want to find out about some of the wonderful independent artists and crafters out there, The Sampler is a great way to do so. Even if you don't get your own Sampler, their website will introduce you to the works of their wonderful contributers (whom you may want to order from individually). ;) Go ahead, take a peek, and see if you can resist.


Re-creating Myself

(Crocheted and shrink art jewelry by me.)

One of the best things I've discovered, or re-discovered, since having children is my own creativity. I spent so many years working to be "professional" in my field, to be taken seriously as an "adult", and making "work" out of being the best parent I could be. I'm only recently coming to realize that to be my best at any of these things requires me to honor and accept all parts of myself. That especially includes the parts of myself that I tucked away in order to be more "mature" and adult.

The part of me that LOVES arts and crafts, and enjoys appreciating others art and creativity, is making a strong resurgence. This is what brought me joy when I was younger, and it is no less joyful now! Thanks to all the wonderful resources at my fingertips (via the computer), I am able to nurture this part of me and be inspired by countless others. It feels like a whole new world has opened up to me. But in reality, it is re-visiting of a part of myself that has been fallow for some time. Now, I am definitely enjoying the harvest, and looking to further cultivate my joy in creating.

Today's Daily Om spoke so eloquently about this that I wanted to share it. Here's an excerpt:

In certain times and places, developing a creative ability was considered an important part of being a well-rounded human being. It was not necessary to be a professional or a masterly genius, because the act of creativity was valued in and of itself. It gifts are manifold—from the sheer pleasure of allowing our imaginations free reign to sharing and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Children share drawings and songs freely, without self-consciousness, and there is no reason why we cannot do the same thing. (Read the entire piece here.)

This has been so true for me! Why not see if there's a part of you longing to create? You can find instructions for just about anything right here on the Internet. ;) Try something new and you might find something old and familiar inside that's been dieing to get out. Let me know about it too. I'd love to hear about it!


It's Called "Blifaloo"

It's a site meant to provide "temporary boredome relief" through various stimulating activities, including lots of games. I don't usually get bored, but I am good at using fun and games to procrastinate. This is the one that has me hooked lately. I also like their solitaire game. I can actually complete it.

When I was younger I was always intimidated by puzzles and brain teasers. I gave up so quickly that I think I may have deprived myself of essential challenges. So now, I'm making up for it by playing every day. ;)

Check it out. I'm sure you'll find something to amuse you!


My First Sock Monkey

Here he is!
I think he still needs a little embellishment, but my son already swiped him to sleep with. This was fun, but next time I'm definitely using the sewing machine. You can find a really good tutorial to make your own here.


Friday Fill-in #46

1. The things I give thanks for this Thanksgiving are my life, my faith, my family, my friends.

2. My Thanksgiving traditions include my dad cooking the turkey and stuffing, my mom and I each making two side dishes, and my dear husband providing the bread and desserts. We've done it this way for quite a few years, and it allows all of us to share in the preparations, without any one person being overwhelmed by it all. I love it!

3. The best part about Thanksgiving is that we all focus on gratitude in a big way.

4. My favorite Thanksgiving food is pumpkin pie, of course!

5. I can't recall the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me on Thanksgiving. I must have blocked it out. ;P

6. After the meal, I load this dishwasher, then relax, leaving the rest of the mess for the next day. :D

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having the kitchen fully stocked again from food shopping, tomorrow my plans include just enjoying the beautiful weather, and Sunday I want to go shopping for my son's birthday(which just happens to be on Thanksgiving this year).


Thursday Thirteen #3 -----13 From My Teen Years

In celebration of the fact that I just purchased a new turntable (record player as I used to call it), and can now listen to the records that have been out in the garage for many, many years, here is a list of my favorite record albums from my teen years. These are the albums that I played over and over, and now serve as the theme music for my memories of being a teen. Here they are in random order.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

WOW............ wow!!!

No, I'm not referring to the popular World of Warcraft game. It's the World of WearableArt. Here are just two amazing examples from the annual show held in New Zealand.

Wow....that's all I have to say. ;)



This time of year it is very easy to see nature beginning a Sabbath of sorts. The leaves are falling, some animals are preparing to hibernate, while birds begin their journey south. Many people see the winter as a time of hibernating too! At the same time, with all the fall and winter holidays approaching, it can become a very hectic, sometimes chaotic time for people. I greatly value the lessons I've learned when I am able to be still and quiet, in spite the frenetic pace that modern day living can result in.

One of my very favorite books of all time is Sabbath, by Wayne Muller. The following is one of my favorite passages from this book, although truth be told, it is one of those books in which I seem to have more pages dog-eared for being my favorite, than there are pages left straight.
Sabbath honors the necessary wisdom of dormancy. If certain plant species, for example, do not lie dormant for winter, they will not bear fruit in the spring. If this continues for more than a season, the plant begins to die. If dormancy continues to be prevented, the entire species will die. A period of rest--in which nutrition and fertility most readily coalesce--is not simply human psychological convenience; it is a spiritual and biological necessity. A lack of dormancy produces confusion and erosion in the life force.
We, too, must have a period in which we lie fallow, and restore our souls. In Sabbath time we remember to celebrate what is beautiful and sacred; we light candles, sing songs, tell stories, eat, nap, and make love. It is a time to let our work, our lands, our animals lie fallow, to be nourished and refreshed. Within this sanctuary, we become available to the insights and blessings of deep mindfulness that arise only in stillness and time. When we act from a place of deep rest, we are more capable of cultivating what the Buddhists would call right understanding, right action, and right effort. In a complex and unstable world, if we do not rest, if we do not surrender into some kind of Sabbath, how can we find our way, how can we hear the voices that tell us the right thing to do?
I just loved how this book examined the idea of Sabbath, the rhythm of work and rest, as practiced in many religions and cultures. The author provides ample justification for us all to take the time to just be. He also gives many practical examples of how to incorporate the idea of Sabbath into our everyday lives. Ultimately, he writes, we can be Sabbath for each other. What a beautiful thought. I hope you all find a way to rest and enjoy this wonderful time of year.