You may have noticed a little badge down and to the right on my blog. See it there? The one with #WEFamilies on it. Or maybe you never noticed at all. Perhaps you only ever use your iThing and you don’t see anything that resides in the sidebar. You can turn your phone sideways and it should magically appear! (Don’t you love learning new things? I’m a giver! Tee hee hee.)
I’m so excited to announce that I am a WE Families Ambassador!
I decided that today was as good a day as any to announce that, here. I have been sharing all things WE for years now, but I was asked to be a WE Families Ambassador late in November 2016, just before WE Day Atlantic.
Obviously, I said yes.
Then life went a bit sideways. As life is known to do. Sometimes that happens, right? I know you know exactly what I mean.
That being said, I have been working behind the scenes here, (there, and everywhere) and decided that I am going to make WEdnesday* (wordless and/or wordy) a semi-regular thing. Out in the open. See? Right out loud!
I won’t always have a WEdnesday post, but sometimes I will and when I do I will share some of the cool things WE are up to with a #WEFamilies twist.
Now, before this so-called (and lets be honest “wordless” is a pretty glaringly obvious misnomer now) Wordless WEdnesday post gets any longer I am going to hit publish!
I hope this Wordless (Hah!) WEdnesday made you smile and I also hope you will follow along as WE do our best to make the world a better place one action at a time.
I have always loved this Hemingway quote.
Never mistake motion for action.
Honestly, these days I find it is especially fitting. After all, that is what #WEFamilies are all about.
This week has been so weird. I didn’t know what day it was, we had some crazy windy and rainy weather, and I was working really hard on being healthier and more productive.
I was halfway through Thursday when it was brought to my attention that it was, in fact, Wednesday. Blarg. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? That set off a whole well-if-today-isn’t-Thursday-then-that-means-tomorrow-isn’t-Friday general malaise and it went downhill from there.
The upside of the confusion was that I gained a whole day. The downside, obviously, is the exact same thing.
All in all, it was a good week. It was 14 degrees Celsius on the Thursday that was really Wednesday. In February. In Canada! It also rained an insane amount overnight Wednesday into Thursday with high winds and it was a hard wake up for early band. We made it, mind you.
The rainy day was dreamy in a way though and after work and school when we’d all normally be doing typical after work and school stuff – like making dinner – we all fell asleep! That hasn’t happened in a very long time. I guess we needed a little rest. It was kind of nice, actually. I am a terrible napper, so it was nice to snuggle with Thing 2 on the couch for a little while. The fact that I zonked out and actually slept was awesome. Then I made dinner while everyone else snoozed.
Before Friday becomes Saturday (I have had enough of days becoming other days for one week!), I give you five fun facts for Friday.
I am a February baby. (My birthday happened earlier this month.) If I were a Leap Year Baby*, I would be celebrating only my 12th birthday this year. I think that is so fun! If I were a Leap Year Baby, I like to think I would have fun celebrations every four years. Wouldn’t that be fun?
I have a lot of friends who are Valentine’s Day babies! Seriously, it’s uncanny. I can think of at least 6 people right off the top of my head (without a Facebook Birthday reminder or anything). Remarkable!
I have been on a real spinach kick lately. Is that weird or what? I mean, who craves spinach? (This is the point where I hope at least one of you is reading in George Costanza’s mother’s – or Estelle Costanza’s -voice) What kind of person craves spinach? Well, I know some people do. Am I becoming the kind of person who craves spinach? Where will it end? Will you soon find me in the grocery store caressing the kale, looking to get my Freekeh on? Well, now I’ve gone too far, haven’t I? Besides, Freekeh is actually quite gluten full as it is made from roasted green wheat. Whew! That was a close one.
Thing 2 was down with a very yucky virus for a full week. The poor thing! She was sick for Valentine’s Day and Heritage Day.** She doesn’t get sick very often (thank goodness), but when she does it always seems to fall on a special day. She had to miss out on some fun and so we all followed suit and had a very low key Valentine’s Day and spent our Heritage Day at home.
I have a really good Doctor. (I got to see her today because Thing 1 had a check up.) She is kind and funny. She is smart and always has a minute to spare to be nice to my kids – and to me. I had some stuff to deal with and I thought I’d have to make an appointment next week when I got a chance, but after my son’s stuff was squared away, she turned to me to ask, “And you? How are you?”. It was unexpected and so cool of her, really. I tried to deflect any concern and said I’d be back, but she basically said, “We are here now. Let’s talk.”
It sometimes feels like no one cares in this world, but we can’t let that be the norm. We really have to seek out as much good as possible. It sure is nice when the good is present during stressful times. I really appreciate kindness.
*Also known as Leaplings. How cute is that?
**That’s Family Day to some of you. The February, Monday holiday. In Nova Scotia this year it was Joseph Howe Day.
It went pretty much according to plan, except we didn’t eat any pie! That is a travesty!
I have a friend in Texas who hosted a 100% pie Thanksgiving today. How amazing is that?!?
And here we are stuffed like the turkey with no room for pie. Oh! The shame!
We’ll have to train harder for next year.
In the meantime, my unending quest for awesome American side dishes (You know they are amazing, right? Oh, you really must go read my post!) I asked my very best imaginary friend, Sheila (Hey Sheila!) for a recipe to share with you and being the awesome friend that she is she came up with this gem!
Sheila’s Corn Casserole
Shoepeg corn, 2 cans, drained
French cut green beans, 1 can, drained
Sour cream, 8 oz.
Slivered almonds, small pkg.
Chopped onion, half – whole (depending on your tastes)
Ground pepper, to taste
Grated cheddar cheese, sharp or mild,
1-2 cup Cream of something** soup (celery, mushroom or chicken.)
Mix it all up in a casserole dish sprayed with Pam Topping
Tube of Ritz crackers, crushed.
Stick of butter, melted.
Blend crackers and melted butter and spread mixture on top of casserole.
Cook 350 for approximately 30 minutes, until bubbly and top is browning.
(Brown to your liking.)
I am definitely making this side dish next year.
It’s late and I must sleep because Friday will be a very busy day.
I want to tell you a bit more about our Thanksgiving dinner conversation with Thing 1 and Thing 2, but it will have to wait until I have a bit more time. I wish I could tell you right now! I assure you I will share as soon as I can.
I will tell you all about Friday’s busy-ness tomorrow night. Promise!
Meanwhile, pie for breakfast!
I kid. I kid.****
How did you spend your Thanksgiving?
Did you double up on this holiday of gratitude?
What are you thankful for today?
**Can you see now why I love Sheila?
***They all work. Celery is what original recipe called for.
We were away for a the weekend and with the exception of one thing I simply couldn’t get done most of the things that needed doing were completed.
We didn’t turn the radio on for the entire drive to New Brunswick.
We arrived in the dark on Friday.
We managed to take advantage of not one, but two BOGO Starbucks Holiday beverages. Oh yes! Today there was a Peppermint Mocha and there may or may not have been a Cranberry Bliss Bar. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.
The Things were thrilled to spend some time with their cousins this afternoon.
We celebrated a special Birthday today!
We were extremely entertained by our nephew and his mad candle lighting skills, but we especially appreciated his Dad stepping in to really get the show started. (Have you ever seen a musical candle that blossoms with fire and sparklers? We have!)
I think our gift was a hit (though who can ever be sure, really?).
We were treated to an amazing feast of Persian food and I really would like to learn to cook all the Persian things right now.
We left for home in the dark tonight.
It was completely and utterly pitch black out. No stars to be seen, yet the cold night air was crisp and seemed to make the visibility better than usual. There was no haze or fog at all. Unheard of!
We made it home in record time because all the traffic seemed to be going with the flow in the same direction as us and there was nary a dingbat on the highway the whole way home.
Thing 1 managed to study for a science test and upload a video to YouTube after we arrived home. (Motivation is a wonderful thing.)
Thing 2 didn’t get to share her violin playing with her Nanny, even though she made a point of bringing both her violin and her music with her all the way to Moncton. (She will just have to book some time in December. Maybe by then she will have a Christmas carol in her repertoire.)
Normally, I might ask, “How did this happen?” or wax poetic about the day getting away from me, but you know what? Thursday was a bit kooky and I know exactly how this happened and where my time went.
Today was a very weird day. It felt at once like a Friday (Yay!) and a Monday (Boo!). That is simply not a good feeling for tired parent brains.
We had the day off yesterday for Remembrance Day and tomorrow is an Assessment and Evaluation day for teachers, so for the second time this week the Things don’t have school.
Thursday was just a weird day from beginning to end.
The chaos of the morning took its toll and I decided it was better for my kids to make their buses happily than it would have been to have a couple of cranky curmudgeons, stressed to the max, running late.
This meant, of course, that Mom’s Delivery Service was going to have to hit the road with lunches, etc.
This also meant that my morning was gone in the blink of an eye.
Oh well. That’s life as a parent. It’s a constant pull between enabling and teaching.
Is this the right time for natural consequences?
Am I doing them a disservice by bringing them the things they need?
Will they never remember to hand in those assignments that are in their backpacks?
Should I let them squirm a little wondering if they will have lunch today?
Let me save you some (precious) time.
The answer is no.
No. Natural consequences happen naturally all the time. The chaos of the morning was out of the ordinary today and certainly not the fault of anyone in particular. It wouldn’t have helped to assign blame. It would have added to the tension that was already brewing, though, and no one needed that.
No. I am not doing them a disservice by remaining calm and making sure they get to school on time.
No. One day they will remember all the things they need all on their own. (Though, not perfectly and every single time because they are human just like me. Just like you.) Since today was sandwiched between two “no school” days (and because it is a Fake Friday, the last day of the week) it was also the last day of the term and therefore the last day to hand in assignments and have them count towards this term’s grades. No brainer! If you understood executive function, you’d see things (Things!) my way. (Perhaps a post is in order.)
No. No. That’s just mean. I don’t want them to worry that they won’t be fed. Who would want that? No one, right? I hope no one would want that. Life is stressful enough without tossing fear of food security in the mix. No. Just no.
All this to say, I thought maybe I would share some of my favourite parenting blog posts here tonight instead of writing very much myself. (Oops! Too late!) Sometimes the best cure for wondering and worrying about whether or not you are doing the right thing, is to read what other people are doing. Sometimes it makes you think. Sometimes it makes you laugh. Sometimes it makes you cringe. Sometimes it simply takes your mind off of your own private little internal conflicts long enough for you to realize there’s nothing to worry about at all.
So without further ado, I give you 5 blog posts I really appreciate.
First there was this gem from Yummy Mummy Club which made me laugh out loud, lament my own, ever present, Mt. Laundry, and then think, ‘Heeeeyyyy! She’s onto something!’
Next up this touching post from Curtains Are Open that highlights the, seemingly, crazy lengths great Moms will go to for their kids (and everyone else’s, apparently!) and the beautiful outcomes that can happen when you do.
Have you been spending too much time with your iThing and not enough time with your eyes on your Things? Maybe we should all consider this post from Mommy’s Weird a litmus test. We have the power to unplug. We do!
Finally, I enjoy so much over at Schmutzie.com so often, I would be remiss to not include it here. I especially appreciate Grace In Small Things because well, I really do appreciate grace in small things. Who doesn’t? Go read. You will not regret it.
It is Remembrance Day in Canada and I have already observed my 2 minutes of silence, as I do every year – twice actually – here in Bedford, Nova Scotia and again with my Ottawa, Ontario observers just a little while ago.
It is a really important observation, this silence. We remember. We stop – for a scant two minutes – to show respect for fallen soldiers, for wars long since ended, for living veterans.
Two minutes is very nearly no time at all. Yet for some, apparently, it is a torturous two minutes of wasting their time. Can you imagine? Someone who has absolutely no clue what actual torturous things are, complaining about having to be still for 2 teeny tiny minutes? Unreal!
So what would you do when faced with such a person?
This is what singer/songwriter Terry Kelly did.
He carved in stone an experience from his life where this exact situation occurred.
Isn’t this brilliant?
I love when a person takes a negative situation and not only finds a way to turn it into a positive, but goes a step further and creates a beautiful thing that can at once tell us what happened and remind us to never be that person or allow that situation to happen again.
From Terry Kelly’s YouTube Channel:
“On November 11, 1999 Terry Kelly was in a drug store in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. At 10:55 AM an announcement came over the stores PA asking customers who would still be on the premises at 11:00 AM to give two minutes of silence in respect to the veterans who have sacrificed so much for us.
Terry was impressed with the stores leadership role in adopting the Legions two minutes of silence initiative. He felt that the stores contribution of educating the public to the importance of remembering was commendable.
When eleven o’clock arrived on that day, an announcement was again made asking for the two minutes of silence to commence. All customers, with the exception of a man who was accompanied by his young child, showed their respect.
Terry’s anger towards the father for trying to engage the stores clerk in conversation and for setting a bad example for his child was channeled into a beautiful piece of work called, A Pittance of Time. Terry later recorded A Pittance of Time and included it on his full-length music CD, The Power of the Dream.
Thank You to the Royal Canadian Legion Todmorden Branch #10 and Woodbine Height Branch #2 for their participation in the Video.”
Isn’t that awesome?
I think so.
Even though I have heard Terry Kelly songs for most of my life (He’s an Atlantic Canadian, too!) I hadn’t heard this song or the story behind it until a Remembrance Day Ceremony at my son’s school in Ottawa. (I appreciate the irony of this.) Since then, though, it has become one of my favourite ways to commemorate the importance of those two minutes.
We also wear our poppies, of course.
Since Remembrance Day in Nova Scotia is a day off school and work (so that people can observe and take part in special ceremonies all over the province), schools usually have a special observation a day or two before November 11th.
Thing 2’s school had a Remembrance day ceremony on Monday and she was excited to get to sing a beautiful song*** with her classmates. She wore a red dress and had her poppy on. The ceremony, which was scheduled for 9 a.m., was mainly for the students and a few guests. I was happy to hear that Geoff Regan attended. It’s nice when politicians keep their feet firmly planted**** in their communities. She reported that the 2 minutes of silence were successful – except for some cute Grade Primaries who felt compelled to clap for their Music Teacher’s rendition of The Last Post on his sax – once settled though, the silence was observed well.
Thing 1 also took part in his school’s Remembrance Day ceremony on Tuesday. He told me (without my asking) when he walked through the door after school, still in Band Concert dress – complete with poppy – that their 2 minutes was the best yet. He said it was eerily silent and that you couldn’t even hear people breathing or shuffling in their seats. Not a single cleared throat, cough or sneeze broke the silence. He seemed particularly pleased, actually.
My kids get it.
I am so thankful.
We Shall Keep The Faith
Oh! You who sleep in Flanders’ Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew;
We caught the torch you threw,
And holding high we kept
The faith with those who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valour led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders’ Fields.
And now the torch and Poppy red,
Wear in honour of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught:
We’ve learned the lesson that ye taught
In Flanders’ Fields.
– Moina Michael
With that I will leave you for today.
How do you observe Remembrance Day?
**Please visit www.terry-kelly.com.
**When she came home all excited a month ago to tell me they were singing I cried. Not just because she’s adorable and because the song was beautiful, but because I know the songwriter! She is amazing! *tears This could be a whole post on its own.
****I believe this to be true of Mr. Regan because he has been present at so many community and school events. Why, just last spring I was slinging BBQed sausages and hotdogs with him at Thing 2’s former school Spring Fair.