Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Gift Giving . . . Age 4 and 5

My own sweet Jake is 4, so I am very much in the middle of this gift giving cycle.  If you feel comfortable enough to ask, do.  Most families with more than one child have these toys.  It is also helpful to have hte mom suggest what he would like.  Be sure to attach a gift receipt in the event you weren't able to ask and they already have the item. 

Since Jake has a much older brother Jake plays older.  If the child you are buying for is a first born, first born male or has a sibling close in age, his toy request will be different than Jake's.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

T Minus 2 Days . . .

In December my husband mentioned he would like for us to have all our tax stuff together and ready to go to the accountant by the end of January 2012.  I was in complete agreement, "sure",  "absolutely", "good idea."  WE need to get OUR taxes done.  We meant ME and I knew it would be lots of work for me, but after I got Christmas up there should be plenty of time to do it. Or so I thought!

Just last week while out to dinner with the family he mentioned it again.  He said "hey, where are you on the tax stuff?"  He had mentioned it a few times between December and last week.  He would say things like "are you finding everything?"  "Hows the filing going", he knows I hate to file.  "Do you have the charitable gift total yet?" It was the last time he asked "where are WE on the taxes", he used the WE again, that is when I replied with "enough."  "You said you wanted it done by the end of January, it will be done."  After all,  I still had plenty of time to get it done.

and so, I sit here . . .

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Year of the Dragon . . .

Gong Xi Fa Cai

                         or Happy New Year!

In 2004 our family was considering a move to Hong Kong.  My husband had created a business that a company in Hong Kong wanted to buy and have us live on site for two years during the transition.

Our families were devastated.  At the time we had just the one son, who was two and a half.  The grandparents and aunt were not happy, the mere thought of them missing out on their only grandchild growing up was major. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Gift Giving . . . Age 2 to Age 3

Yesterday, I blogged about Gift Giving for newborns and 1 year olds.  Today is Gift Giving for 2 and 3 year old boys.  You will not find any pink here.  That doesn't mean little girls won't like the same thing, after all society finds it more acceptable for girls to blur the line between sexes and their toys than boys.  You could simply modify the gift but concepts remains the same.

When I started this I mentioned my friend Jennifer, mother of 2 - 1 girl and 1 boy wanted to know what to give a 3 year old boy who was having a birthday.  Since I have had two boys already hit 3, I was again a very good and free source.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giving Gifts . . . Newborn to Age 1

I was recently asked by a long time friend what to give a birthday boy was was turning 3.  My friend has a beautiful little boy who is almost 1, so she is out of her league with what to buy.  She made a wise decision and consulted a most intelligent, well informed, mother of 2 boys, free source!  Me.

I love this!  I love being asked not because people are seeking my advice but because I generally like being helpful.  I like sharing what I know and the groundwork I did to come to this decision.  Since, I have 2 boys, I am well versed on boys toys.  With our first I always, and I mean always, had toys that pushed his intelligence.  They were always, and I mean always, just outside his learning curve and age group.  I learned so much from this!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Who Does This . . .

I raced around this afternoon.

Had to get Jake at 11:45am.  Then off to the most hellish of places where all women who want to burden everyone with their crying baby go to have lunch, Purple Cow.  I am rushing Jake to get his drink order in.  And he changes his mind three times before we can place an order. The waiter didn't want to take our order then, he wants to get the drinks first.

Now if you have every been to, this more adored by children and hated by mother's who don't have crying children, of a placed called Purple Cow you would know they are slow.  I knew it and I went anyway with a very packed day.  See, I thought we would be smarter - we could get in and get out before that noisey group got there.  I was foiled!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The "Did You Know" Girl . . .

I have a really good friend who I so enjoy.  She is a bit sarcastic, a bit of a perfectionist and the perfect amount of snotty!  I adore her for all of these reason.  We met 4 years ago at a new parent orientation.  And we have been tight ever since.

My friend is a bit of a Martha Stewart.  She gardens, makes clothes, not many, for her son, volunteers and at times works at the school as a substitute.  She is also a SAHM but she is far more productive than I am.

My friend is often in the know and when she wants me to know she says "Did you know" . . . and then spills the beans.  I usually love these little chat we have.  She generally operates out of facts, not a real gossip monger type.  She is generally careful with her words also.  I call tell when she calls, her voice gives her away, that she has something she wants me to know.

Monday, January 23, 2012

You Is Kind . . .

Recently I was in carpool line, waiting to drop Jake off.  It seems the car in front of me had a reluctant little girl who didn't want to go to school that day.  As is protocol, you wait in line, you don't try to jump ahead, race around the car to move up to another drop off spot.  After all we are talking about kids, young children getting out of cars and walking into school.  Anything could happen - the kid could chase after their car, drop something, step off the curb . . . anything.

So, as reluctant Sally gets out of the car and the door shuts, off goes mom.  I start to move ahead and some dad in a small SUV whips around me, cuts me off all so he can unload his precious cargo a tad bit faster.  I, of course, throw up the "what the hell" hands.  You know, both arms fly up, no one finger more pointy than the other, palms to the sky.  He ignores me, which I am kinda grateful for after realizing we are in our school carpool and I have a very distinct vehicle, a black Hummer, the big kind. Hard to miss, easy to remember.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Warning Labels . . .

Our oldest son has asked all week to have a friend over to spend the night.  I had kinda put him off with the  "I'll talk to Dad" move.  Then he asks again.  He is totally into this new Wii game that has swept the world and created a back order of game pieces!  The game is called Skylander.

He and his buddies are talking major sleep overs with several kids bringing their Skylander pieces and hubs.  Linking them to several tvs in our house.  How we need to buy more Wii stations so everyone can play at the same time in the same house.

Finally, mid morning Dad and I have talked.  He hears my reservation about this sleep over which has nothing to do with the young man coming over but more punitive on my part because I think our oldest needs to be taught a lesson and the friend is the consequence.  Dad talks me off the mean horrible parent fence and we place a call for a sleep over.

Anxious . . .

I have had some nervous energy, just about all day.  I haven't been able to get settled into my skin.  I even cooked tonight thinking it would normalize things around here.  I am withdrawn, answering with "yes" and "no", not adding much to the conversation.  I know something is bothering me. I think he knows I'm bothered.

I thought I wouldn't get anxious.  I didn't think it would get to me.  I can't believe it is getting to me!  I mean I have been through this 3 times already.  I knew we were going to do this. This is what we want, we want this next step for him!

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Making of a Party . . . Teacher Appreciation

I love parties.  I like attending them, but I really like hosting. 

What I enjoy most about the party is the planning.  I can plan, re-plan and then plan some more!  I am VERY theme oriented - so in the planning I have the think up a theme, decor, invitations, wording, food, party favor and then the master plan - completed concept.

For me, the love of the party comes in all the detail work.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blogs, What I Like . . .

So, I am new to this writing blogs stuff.  I am sure it is pretty evident.  I don't know what attracts an audience, what topics are good and you can believe there is no master plan for generating any revenue with this!

I started this blog thinking I would find some words of encouragement off Pinterest.  I would "like" the words, then "Pin" them to my board.  I would then write about how I applied those words or how it affects my family.  Clearly, HUGH SUCCESS, I have two readers . . . my mother and my sister.  Thank you mom and Julie for thinking this is a good idea! Honestly - don't all mother's have to like what their child does? So Julie might be my only true reader?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Holiday Whore . . .

Not literally, I don't put out just around the holidays or excessively during the holidays.  I am however, a confessed Holiday Whore.  I love the holidays, any and most all of them.

Clearly you understand loving the big one - Christmas.  The day after Thanksgiving the bins come out.  Bins, not as in 2 but as in 12!  12 bins of holiday, sorry, Christmas joy!  Every nook and cranny gets a little bit of Christmas cheer.  Later in the year for this - here is one of my favorite decorating pics from Christmas 2011.

As soon as Three King's Day is over, January 6, down come Christmas and up goes Valentine's Day. 

Payback . . .

I might be raising a mini Superman. 

He doesn't wear spandex, no blue skin tight suit with some red accents.  He doesn't have glasses, he does, however, have that cute Superman hair, although my son's is less black.  He can scale a dresser and the book shelf next to it!  He can get down his brother's 1000 piece lego without breaking any pieces off it, falling or dropping it from 6 1/2 feet off the ground, so he has the - tall building in a single bound stuff down.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Organization . . . Can it be taught?

WHY can't I be Samantha from Bewitched?  I can do the nose wiggle, and no doubt I have the nosey neighbor. I'm a stay at home mom and he goes off to work.  My husband is tall with dark hair, I am blond and our first born is a blond also.  See - I am a perfect fit for her life!

Samantha could fix any situation, Darren's meeting going bad - wiggle wiggle- everything is great!  Nosey neighbor Glady, thinks she sees something that is out of place - wiggle wiggle - nothing out of place.  Darren calls to say he is bringing home clients - wiggle wiggle - dinner in a flash! How I wish I was Samantha.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Summer Camp . . .

I cannot believe I am thinking summer camp, in the middle of January.  Oh, how I wish to be a kid again!  The only summer camps I attended when I was a kid were those through my church.  I don't remember the age, I remember the setting.  Rural, dirt trails, trees, mile hikes to EVERYTHING and lots of worship . . . lots.

My husband attended summer camps but his were either educational or sports in nature.  He is a bit of a brainiac!  He went to TIPS - a Talent Identification Programs hosted through Duke University, West Point, Dartmouth, Baylor and many other sports camps like soccer, baseball, swimming. A bit of a brainiac jock . . . best of both worlds!

We both look back on those esperiences fondly, the friends we made, experiences we had and yet we are both crazy envious of the camp our oldest goes to for two weeks.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Customer Service . . .


LOYALTY - noun - the quality of being loyal to someone or something.

Here in Texas there is a saying, Dance with the One that Brung Ya.  It is one I have know for quiet sometime. Somewhat of a guiding principal. It is easy enough to understand, basically a stick with your date kinda thing.

Or maybe not . . .

Friday, January 13, 2012

It Is What It Is . . .

Wednesday night about midnight I was shopping online.  I came across the sign below, It Is What It Is.  I loved it - so I pinned it.  I say this all the time, and b o n u s it drives my sister crazy! CRAZY!

I realized this sign was popular when over 2500 pinned or liked it in less than 24 hours.  The comments were in either one of two groups - the "I hate this saying, It's a cop out"  or "I say this all the time" group.

My sister and I - who come from the same parents, raise in the same house,and have experienced many of the same things in life  - completely differ on this saying.  We will call the side that agrees with the saying TEAM JENNIFER and the side that COMPLETELY disagrees with it TEAM JULIE.  We shall hash it out, family style!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Blessed Beyond . . .


I just received an email from my 4 year olds school.  It seems his classmate, Chloe, passed away.  Chloe had been daignosed about a year and a half ago with a brain tumor.  She and Jake were about the same age.  When I saw her in December at a birthday party she was much smaller than the rest of the kids.  She didn't have the drive to play, and didn't speak much.

I cannot go into detail all her parents felt, witnessed, experienced or the nights they didn't sleep thinking about and praying for their child.  I don't know those details.  All I know is Chloe was a sweet little girl whose life was cut way too short and her family is doing the best they can to survive.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

5th Grade Girls . . .

I can recall in 5th grade my best friend Heather W. and I were not nice girls.  We would make fun of Jacob F - who couldn't tie his shoes or ever bother putting them on the right feet.  We made fun of Susan D - who showed her underwear when bending over and we made fun of Bonnie W who would pour glue in the well of her desk, let it dry and then eat it.

In 5th grade these were some of the most horrible offenses according to Heather and I.  Seriously - was there nothing better to do than see if Susan's undies were showing or Jacob's shoes were untied?  We didn't limit ourselves to just these three - we shared our special form of attention on just about everyone! We felt it was our right to put people in their place - point out their flaws.  To show them how we were better.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

In the End . . .

I recently learned a neighbor of mine had passed away.  I suspect he was early to mid 80s.  He was kind, talkative, and very well organized.  He would email our street with anything important, bobcats in the area, unapproved solicitors or holiday parties.  I never had to worry about missing something because I knew Gene was on it.

Gene was a gentleman.  He was a good guy from way back.  In fact he was helping a friend into her car when he sustained the injury that led to his death.  Gene was assisting a friend into her car when she lost her balance, fell on Gene who then fell to the ground.  He hopped back up, I am sure out of pride just like we all do, despite being hurt.  Gene said he was ok and everyone went on about their evening.

It was approximately midnight when I was sitting in my office.  I had the shutters closed but knew when I heard a heavier engine than normal coming down the street something must have happened.  I looked up just in time to see the flashing lights come through the tiny openings that was left in the closed shutters.  I hoped for the best, hoped it was just some fluke and that all was fine.

The Things We'll Do . . .

I have always been the cruise director type.  No matter where we live, social groups we are in - I am the social organizer, the cruise director.  Monthly dinners, trips to our lake house, girl's nights out, play dates, game night, swim day and so on.  I am the organizer.

We had a good group of friends when we lived in Plano.  Girls I knew from Junior League.  We were all very similar - stay at home moms, children, volunteers, like minded and extremely sarcastic - you know fun girls!

Since my husband had an online company that worked primarily in Hong Kong we operated on HK hours.  He had very few nights off, mostly Friday and Sunday.  He is very much a home body so I would organize once a month for our friends to gather at our house for cocktails & appetizers, then we would head out to dinner.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Fun Surprise!

My husband and I were taking the boys to visit my mom, Goo last Saturday.  We had just turned onto Beltline when this cute song came on Sirius.  My husband knew the words, he was singing along.

I have mentioned before about my childhood and where I grew up.  My husband's childhood was very different than mine.  His childhood was certainly more metropolitan.  He grew up in N. Dallas.  Went to an elite all boys school.  He went to a liberal college in DC for undergrad and back to Texas for law school. 

My husbands personality is generally very even, not much shakes him to the core.  He is head strong, a master negotiator, and has a love for music. His music taste typically are rap, urban, hard rock and some pop but not the sugary kind!  He is steady and consistent. 

Bless Your . . .

I grew up in a small Texas town.  Everyone knew everyone else and most likely all their business.  My sister and I went to the same high school as our father, aunts, uncle and their uncle.  My great grandmother was one of the first residents of our small town and lived over by the rail road tracks.  By all accounts our small town was semi rural.

My sister, Julie, and I would ride our bikes, play game outside way after dark and never feared a stranger - after all we knew just about everyone.  Church was every Sunday morning and Wednesday night.  Sleep overs happened quickly and often. We would often come home and find friends playing on the trampoline or basketball in the back yard.  It was a close knit community.

We grew up in a time where you used yes mam's, and no sirs.  Where every adult was called by their last name and where children had chores and helped around the house.  I think fondly of those Sunday afternoons when we would race out of church to go have lunch at my grandparents.  The whole family together for probably one of three Sunday special meals - fried chicken, pot roast or spaghetti!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Struggle and He Does It With Ease . . .

I recently got a text from another school mom, Pam.  It read "Please call me when you can talk."  Pam doesn't usually communicate this way so an alarm goes off for me!  I sat back to figure out and digest the text.  BTW -Thank Heavens for text messaging.  I texted Pam back that I was at swimming and couldn't talk - then asked if everything was ok.  She didn't answer my question but only replied, "no problem - just call when you can." Alarm # 2.

We leave swimming but I don't call her back.  I want to get my ducks in a row.  Over dinner I ask our oldest son why he thought James' mom would call me.  He is initially vague, but later says there was an verbal altercation and maybe James' feeling were hurt.

The next day I was up at school doing my cafeteria shift.  I ran into James and I asked him, "Hey, I got a text from your mommy, do you know anything about it?"  He said he did and he told me his side of the story.  The stories didn't match - the only similarity was that the boys had been speaking to each other.  I told James, "you know your story is very different" than my son's.  I want to talk to him again before I talk to his mom.

I spoke with my son a second time.  I shared with him James' story.  He said "but Mom, he was annoying me, every time I spoke he just started talking over me with nonsense. I asked him to be quiet and he just kept going and going."  I told my son, I do not like getting called like this.  I do not believe I should get in the middle of you boys and that the boys should be responsible enough to work it out.

He asked what he could do to solve the problem. I suggested calling James and simply telling him - it is clear we do not see eye to eye on what happened but I want to apologize for hurting your feelings. 

Now anyone who knows me well knows I don't apologize easily.  Especially to those I love. 

I am not sure when it began.  Perhaps in childhood? Perhaps at school? Perhaps it is genetic?  I cannot tell you when me saying "I'm Sorry" became so difficult.  It is like pulling teeth with no pain meds and a bulnt instrument.  Maybe I don't say it because I consider it weak? Or is it a win/lose thing? Or because I feel I am wrong so often why bother!

I      Just       Cannot       Do       It!

Seeing my son call, apologize and putting his friendship first over him feeling he was right was awesome to watch.  My son so effortlessly did what I struggle to do.  I love the man he is becoming.

Happy Pinning!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Passing on Traditions and Culture

Our sons are truly first generation mainlanders.  You wouldn't think that if you saw them, or heard them.  One is blond, green eyed and has a nice tan, the youngest has lite brown hair, brown eyes and tans even more beautifully than the first.  They look like pretty average Americans.  Truth is, their father, grandparents and so on all were not born here in the states but in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

In fact, when both of my in-laws were born in Puerto Rico it wasn't even a commonwealth.  That didn't happen until 1952. Both of them grew up in and around San Juan.  They met at college in 1968, graduated in 1970 and were married in December 1970.  In 1972 my husband came along.  He was born in San Juan and live there his first six months.  He grew up going to Puerto Rico frequently and enjoyed spending time there. 

My husband wants our sons to be familiar with Puerto Rico - he wants them to know that part of their heritage.  So, we travel back there every 1.5 years.  We take the boys to the beach where my husband went as a child, the snow cone cart, the sandwich shop, Old San Juan, the forts, our favorite restaurants and family hot spots.  We tell them stories of our trips there and of his childhood antics.  When in Puerto Rico we fully submerge our family in the Puertorican culture. We try to bring some of that culture and their traditions here to our home in Dallas.

On January 6 we celebrate the Three King's, or Day of Epiphany with our boys.  The youngest doesn't really understand only that the Three Kings bring him a present.  The older son completely understands that Three King's Day is the day the Three Kings found Baby Jesus.  They were told to find the new born baby and to return with his location.  They experienced a dream that they were to take gifts to Baby Jesus and so they did.

We celebrate Three King's Day starting on January 5th.  Our boys get a small box.  Fill it with grass for the Three King's camels as their offering to the Kings.  They then place it on the fireplace.  Some time during the night the Three King's come, feed their camels and leave the boys a little something.  The camels are very messy, dropping the grass on the floor, knocking the box over and have been know to bite the packages they leave for the boys.  In Puerto Rico the day is more of a community celebration.  We are apart of that extended community. 

What I love most about this is how our boys are experiencing a little bit of my husband's childhood and how it opens a dialog about Christ, Church and what that means to us.  The conversations have gotten deeper over the years as their questions have become less about what gift they got and more about what this means and how they should apply it to their lives.

We are headed back to Puerto Rico in late June.  We'll have the opportunity to celebrate the Eve of St. John's Day.  John the Baptist is the patron saint of the Island.  In face, the city of San Juan was named after him.  I have been there before on St. John's day, his day is an odd celebration of starting over.  There is generally big celebrations on the beach at night starting on June 23.   The tradition associated with that day is to walk backward into the ocean and fall back in the water 12 times at midnight on the beginning of the 24th.  This signifies a renewal.  In other parts of the world it is also know as Midsummer.  Our boys haven't experienced this holiday before, but I am willing to bet you - you will find my oldest son and I - in the water - at midnight - falling back  - 12 times. 

What non-traditional holidays do you celebrate and what do they mean to you?

Happy Pinning!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Disorderly Organization, I own it!

Truthfully, I don't own it.  Being "disorderly" is frowned upon, it is seen as a weakness, so I don't own it.  I do privately accept it.  I have a tendency to be "disorderly".  There I said it - Is there a DA group meeting right now?

I am always amazed, she says in a strong sarcastic tone, how "everyone", specifically my husband and sister, tell me how I am so disorganized and how I need to do this or that!  I hear you need to stop pinning and pick this up, or if you filed you could find this, or just file 5 mins everyday, or buy the supplies you need to make this happen,or, or, or - I could go on for days.  DAYS I tell you!  Everyone has "their" system and according to them it is universally the best thing ever! 

I recognize I need more "order" in my life.  My excuses, YES EXCUSES, for this "disorder" are as follows:

1 - I manage 8 to 10 people's needs on any given day!  You see, there is our family of 4 - I need to manage our schedules, meals, household, school, sports, work, charity events, vacations, summer camps, hosting parties and volunteering at both of the boys schools and in our community.  There is my mother & sister - they have to be worked into the system - both want to see our boys - do dinner, get together and I hold their private documents for safe keeping (can you believe the sister trusted me since I have such a "disorderly" office)?  Then the in-laws - he is usually flying, being that he is a commercial pilot - so when Sr. comes into town - things get dropped and moved to accommodate him seeing our boys.  There is Mimi who doesn't require a whole lot but still needs managed - what time is dinner, want to do lunch, when can I see the boys - general stuff like that.  Mimi has a killer travel schedule.  Then there is the only non-family member who I need to manage - our house cleaner.  Schedule changes, never knowing when she is showing up, keeping things picked up for her, making sure she has supplies, and so on.  Keep in mind I AM NOT COMPLAINING I get to "manage" all of this - I am simply "EXCUSING" my disorder!

2 - My husband's business - AGAIN NOT COMPLAINING - when he decided to leave his partnership at a downtown firm and open his own business I became the secretary.  Filing, scanning, emails, follow-up, maintaining records - the paper goes on and on AND ON!  Paper is my nnemesis! Being that we have a personal business I have to maintain impeccable records in the event of an audit - so every receipt, charitable donation, medical EOB, saving account, bank account, check written, home improvement, monthly bill, credit card statements all find a place - in the middle of my desk.

3 - My desire - I have no desire to file, scan, maintain records, followup on request and so on.  No desire what so ever!   Well, possibly a little desire - the desire to not go to jail for a bad tax return. But other than that . . .

I feel my excuses are valid, despite the woe is me comping from the peanut gallery!. 

So, I recently started the yearly process of getting our taxes together - every piece of paper (yes, I know if it has already been filed it could already be done) gets sorted and placed in special labeled enveloped.  Then documents get scanner, spreadsheets created and forwarded to various people.

It was while I was going through my "organization box" a 33 gallon plastic tub from Target, that I found a most exciting discovery.  I found a Christmas present I needed to wrap just short 2 weeks ago.

My "exciting discovery" was a book from a series my husband enjoys.  I had bought the book before it ever came out - was so excited about giving it to him and there it sat in the filing bucket. Damn you filing bucket - got me again.  Why couldn't it be the scarf I had ordered for myself, why did it HAVE to be a gift for him?

I am not sure I will confess this "exciting discovery" was "temporarily misplaced" in the filing.  You see, back when we first started dating in 1988, there was this Christmas gift that I misplaced in the back of my closet.  As a result I didn't have a present for him.  23 years ago it was "misplaced" and it has only been in the last 3 to 4 years the story has died down but now . . . it seems my "disorderly" filing busts me.  You can bet I won't live this one down anytime soon.

What exciting discoveries have you found recently in your disorder?  Assuming, of course, you are not my sister or husband, who both have no disorder!

Happy Pinning

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I think I can . . . I think I can . . .

We all have read the book The Little Train that Could, we all know the story.  A train up against big odds think he can get the job done and he does!  Great moral to the story. It is something I often forget, the power of thinking positive, of believing in yourself!

Recently, Sweet Baby Jake, or SBJ as we call him, turned 4.  We go for the annual check-up where I talk to the Dr. about my concerns. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Day 3 . . . A Possible Code of Conduct?

I decided to take Spanish in high school so I could understand what my boyfriend's parents were saying about me.  Little did I know, it wasn't much!  Fortunately, some of the Spanish I learned stuck and I use it frequently.  I use it when we travel.  I use it when I want to talk to my husband (yup, same guy from high school) about our children. And I use it to tell my children to do things.  Did you get that?  TELL them!!!  I use the command form, I learned in Spanish many years ago, to TELL them to do things.

I will say things like:

Cierre la puerta - Close the door.

Venga aqui - Come here.

Cepillo de dientes - Brush your teeth.

In Spanish and in English the "YOU" being you, is understood.  When I say cierra la puerta - you know I am telling you to close the door.  So, when I read this sign the YOU is understood as well.  You must work hard! You must use kind words. You must remember you are loved!

We have a sign in our kitchen similar to this one.  It read Portela Family Rules.  These rules are commands to my children, my husband, our family and all those that enter.  They are not made to be broken, they must be adhere to. 

As I guide our two young men, that I love so dearly, through life I command them to Work Hard, Be Proud of Yourself, Use Kind Words and Always tell the Truth.  The Portela Family Rules serve as a code of conduct.  This code of conduct provides our boys with something to live by, something to help them conduct themselves, it gives them a safety net to know what is expected of them!

Unfortunately, my Spanish isn't good enough to say to you everything on this sign.  But know, in my best command voice, I say to you . . . remember you are loved!

Happy Pinning!

Day 2 . . . Still going strong!

HA!  Going strong!!!  Who can't keep something up for at least two days?  It is usually day 5 when New Year's resolutions are out the window.  But if you never start . . . you never have to quit!  I've started and I'm committed!

We have just two precious days left home from holiday break 2011-2012.  In an unfortunate/fortunate kinda way we spent much more time than normal with our boys.  My children ADORE their grandmother, my mother.  Technically, they adore all their grandparents and their aunt and each for a very different, but special, reasons.  My mother, Goo, as we call her, hung the moon according to the boys!  She can do no wrong.  The unfortunate part this holiday season is that Goo got sick and the boys weren't able to play or spend the night at her house much.  The fortunate part is that we spent more time with the boys than planned and really got to enjoy them.

So, with just two days left I thought this sign was exactly what I was feeling, what I want our children to remember about this Christmas break, to feel when they think back on Christmas 2011-2012.

Christmas decorations be damned!  We spent the day playing games, playing with friends, watching a movie in the media room - complete with the popcorn bar open for business, hosted friends for a meal, played military, climbed the fort, jumped on the trampoline, ran around in the 60+ temperature and read some books.

There wasn't any unloading of the dishwasher, picking up the game room, or doing laundry.  It was just fun stuff that we did with the boys.  It was a really fun day.  So often I am "requesting" assistance with things around the house - we had NONE of it today.

I absolutely enjoyed just hanging out with them today.  I hoping they remember today as fondly as I do.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 1 - No Time Like the Present!

Day 1 . . . right? 

So you HAVE to go with the HNY 2012!  Not original, that I posted it on Facebook.  Several friends commented on it - HNY to you, Best Wishes in 2012, Much Love to you in 2012, you get the idea. But I took it to the streets.  Everyone I met greeted them with a smile and wished them a Happy New Year.  Most were shocked someone spoke to them.  Almost all said thank you and Happy New Years back! 

It cost me nothing to wish someone some good luck, to engage them and maybe they felt better after it.  What it did do was showed our sons that you extend yourself to others, you wish them well and not only do they feel good but you do also.  It is truly a win/win.  Not many of those come along, but here is wishing you the very best in 2012!

2012 has already been a great year!

Pinning with a Purpose

I JUST recently got on Pinterest.  HOLY COW . . . I am hooked!  My sister is THE person to blame.  I asked her to "invite" me (really, why do you need an invite?!?!) so as every good younger sister should do, she did.  You might say that was the beginning of this crazy idea.

DISCLAIMER - Julie did tell me "you don't need to get of there and waste anymore of your time, you are already on the computer all day."  Thank you, younger sister, in a sarcastic tone : \ 

HOURS flew by and I had so many ideas and so not the energy to do them!  I started my picking the day after Christmas, WHO has energy the day after Christmas with 2 young children, three family holiday parties and so many meals to prepare all in 36 hours!  But I was up and at the computer picking away!

In just days I had 34 Boards, 1397 Pins and 3 Likes I cannot get rid of.  Time wasted . . . I think not! Take THAT Julie!

I have thought and thought about ALL the information available on Pinterest.  I want a practical application for the pins I chose; I cannot do 100+ crafts or make my family eat all those meats, breads, or sweets.  I can however, affect some sort of change using my pins, maybe do some good.  I am going to post a sign/words to live by/funny sayings everyday on Facebook.  I am going to take the advice given in the "sign" and blog about how it made a difference for me . . . in me.

Hope you follow along and maybe get something out of it too!

Happy Pinning!