Thursday, April 24, 2014

What we've been up to AND Reading goodies

We spent last week visiting family and friends in our home town. We enjoyed lots of good grandparent time and friend time. We arrived just in time to see everything in bloom. We got to experience true KS weather (dramatic temperature changes, 50 mph wind gusts). We got to celebrate my big kids' birthdays (12 and 10 now--wow!). These weeks home are jam packed full of fun and love.

And this week we have been sick. Maybe no surprise there. We were anxious to catch up with our new friends, but instead we get a quiet week at home. I remember I wrote about a sick week last year. Such good memories! This week looked similar, though unfortunately no fort building. This week, from my couch, I coached my big kids on some household chores so that the household could continue running while I was down. A big advantage to having some big kid helpers! I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Peter and the Shadow Thieves for as long as my voice held out. I snuggled and helped kids with math practice. We watched documentaries on Netflix. I helped one of my littles write a book. I played games with my littles. And I coached my bigs through making homemade chocolate pudding. Sewing, drawing, sculpture, outdoor play, puzzles, extreme dot-to-dot, and other activities happened without my assistance. Again, a wonderful benefit of having kids who are growing up and no longer completely dependent on me!

Additionally, I did a bunch of reading, and I will share some of it with you:
  • This is a wonderful short article about parenting through connection rather than control. If you are interested in a whole book on this topic, this is a great one.
  • We always enjoy learning about artists and cartoonists at our house. Check out Mo Willems' story here and consider this quote:
"You've said that part of the reason that you write these books is that there's no such thing as a good childhood -- what did you mean by that?" Braver asked.
"It's a terrible time, a terrible time" Willems said. "We're born into a world where none of the furniture matches you. You walk into a room and the room is saying, 'You, you're nobody,' right?
"Let's say we're having a good time, right? Imagine if a giant hand came down, plucked you out of the room and said, 'No, now we're doing something else.' And if you complained it was your fault for getting fussy, for being angry about the hand dragging you out of the room."
  •  I spent some time cruising around Roger Schank's blog, a blog about education reform. Lots here to think about, including this and this, but much, much more. I don't know that I agree with him all the time, but he does make me think. I also suspect he does not worry about offending people or feel concerned about what people think of him (ahem, and I do ALL THE TIME). That in itself is a bit inspiring to me.
  • The book I am reading now is Quiet, by Susan Cain. I have wanted to read it since it came out. An important book for introverts, you will certainly walk away feeling validated and perhaps you will come to understand yourself better. Even if you are not an introvert, you are certainly either married to one, raising one, working with one.....something! For you, it will help you see the balance that introverts provide and help you learn how best to interact with the important people in your life.


  1. Kelley, thank you for the links. I have passed on Teacher Tom's post. Always good to be reminded about such things. I find myself struggling with impatience/frustration these days. I don't know if it's symptomatic of parenting (constant interruptions), internet usage (must have an instant reaction/answer), or overwhelm (please just do what I want when I want so I can just get on and do the big mountain of things that I have to do). All around me I see people with the same problem. Sigh. Connection is so important. I heard Jack Kornfield say that we are not here to perfect ourselves, or to perfect others, but to perfect our love. I am trying to remember that whenever I feel in need of correcting someone for their bad behaviour.

    1. Catherine,
      Yes, having patience is a challenge for all those reasons and many others! Thank you for the words of wisdom from Jack Kornfield (I looked him up and am excited to read some of his articles). What a beautiful way of thinking! Thank you for reading and I appreciate your comment.