When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
Monday, March 23, 2015
If the title or anything my mom may have written above didn't allude enough to the author or content of this post, this is me (Noah) guest posting about my experience of accelerating in math and English to eventually be a grade 8 student in a high school setting. And although it seems like this probably only started last year or so, it goes back quite a bit farther.
This post is part of Hoagies' Gifted Education Page's Blog Hop for March. The blog hop shares various bloggers' perspectives on a different topic related to giftedness each month. If you are looking for information to help you support a gifted learner in your life, Hoagies' Facebook Page regularly provides helpful resources, interesting news, and discussions on all aspects of giftedness.
Monday, March 16, 2015
The One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale in Toronto is a perfect place to find beautiful handmade items that celebrate the creative spirit of the season. Held from March 25 - 29 this year, the show will be featuring a number of talented Etsy artisans, some of whose work I've represented below. (Click on the highlighted seller's name to be taken to his or her Etsy shop for more information.)
Handmade Soy Candles from CampyHome:
Wednesday, March 11, 2015
The sign has remained taped to the entrance of his collection-laden boy cave ever since, serving as a caution to the rest of us who live in this house, and speaking volumes about the lively sense of humour and the mature self-awareness of the person who created it.
Today Will will need to make himself a new sign; he's turning eleven years old. The universe has been reminding me of his upcoming "golden" birthday (eleven on the eleventh) for awhile now, although at first I didn't recognize the connection. So often my eye has been drawn to a clock when the time has read exactly 11:11 in recent weeks, and even this morning, when the timer beeped to let me know Will's birthday doughnuts were ready to come out of the oven, four "ones" glowed brightly across the face of the stove clock. I'm taking this as a happy sign that the year ahead will somehow be a remarkable one for my youngest son, who grows more creative, thoughtful, entertaining, and wise and makes me prouder to be his mom with every passing day.
Being the parent of a self-proclaimed mischievous child can be exasperating at times, it's true. There is almost never a dull moment in our house.
Even so, I can't wait to see what escapades Will will dream up next, and what exciting places he will discover as a result.
A very happy 11th birthday to you, Will! I hope all of your birthday wishes come true. May you never lose your enthusiastic sense of adventure, and wherever you go, may you never be afraid to share the kind heart and wonderful mind that make you so special. Thanks for always making my life interesting (and I mean that in every good way).
With so much love,
Monday, March 9, 2015
Our washing machine died yesterday. It was in the middle of a load of laundry, and something went wrong with the sensors or the mechanism that shifts things from one cycle to another. The washer was trying to spin the clothes dry while it still had a tub full of rinse water, and that brought a sad and untimely end to the motor. The machine, a high efficiency top loader with no agitator, was only three and a half years old.
This is the second washing machine of ours that has bitten the dust in the seven and half years we've lived in this house. Our previous washer was a high efficiency front loader, and one day, we heard a frighteningly loud THUNK from the laundry room while the machine was spinning. The drum had somehow separated from its housing, and the repair bill was going to be more than the cost of buying a whole new washer. That machine was just under four years old when we bid it farewell.
Now I think I should say here that we are not especially careless or violent laundry doers in this house. We do wash a lot of clothes, to be fair, and sometimes the odd thing that shouldn't go through a washing machine ends up in there -- forgotten Kleenexes or quarters, for example, or, just last week, both boys left their USB sticks in their jeans' pockets and they got a good soaking (uh oh!) -- but we generally do not place our washing machines under undue stress. I am scratching my head today, trying to understand how we're already needing to buy yet another device for laundering clothes.
Matt and I spent a long time looking at washers yesterday and reading reviews, and we're not feeling especially hopeful about any of the options out there, as virtually all of the types of machines seem to have their own problems. It seems to us that the best washing machine we know of is the basic one we had when we were first married. It lasted us ten years and was still going strong when we sold it to the new owners of our last house at their request. (We should have kept that washer; I bet it's still working.) A salesperson yesterday told us the horror story of a couple whose newer front loader spontaneously released one of the cement bricks housed within it for stability; the brick smashed through the glass door of the washer while the drum was spinning, and it was travelling with such speed and force that it ripped a hole right through the laundry room wall! Who knew that washing clothes could be so dangerous?
After much thought and discussion, Matt and I have decided we're going to go back to basics: tomorrow a new "old school" washing machine with an agitator and no fancy electronic components will be delivered to our house. This seemed the most logical choice after our recent experiences, because a) in theory, the fewer bells and whistles the machine has, the less opportunity there is for something to go wrong, and b) I would really rather my obituary read something other than "Death By Laundry". I know that the older style of washer is not a particularly energy efficient option, but somehow putting a busted up hunk of steel out to the curb every three or four years doesn't seem all that environmentally friendly to me, either.
Will is highly disappointed in our choice, disgusted even. He scoffs that we are living in the 80s, and can't understand why we are buying a washing machine that operates using "gears and pulleys". I told him this morning that he hasn't seen anything yet. If we discover that they just don't make washers like they used to (wow, that line makes me sound really old), and this new machine doesn't last as long as it should, I'm going to invest in some wooden buckets and washboards next. The concept of family chores on weekends could take on a whole new meaning around here....
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
When I was growing up, my mom would often bake homemade tea biscuits when she was making chili for dinner. Those biscuits, served warm right out of the oven, were oh so good that I can still remember how much I loved them, even though I haven't had them for years. Today I decided to try baking an almond flour version of the biscuits to go along with some homemade chili I was having for lunch. I'm so glad I thought of biscuits today -- these tasty almond flour ones really hit the spot!
Monday, March 2, 2015
In the hours leading up to the show, Will had been feeling both nervous and excited. This is his first year in competitive dance; the showcase and the parade of performances in front of judges that it will lead to in the coming weeks are all new experiences for him. When Will stepped confidently onto the stage to perform, though, there was no sign of anxiousness on his beaming face. Up there under the bright lights, the music beat in rhythm with the heart of a boy who deeply feels all of life, and his body radiated pure joy in its movements, the kind that comes from doing something he truly loves. I could not help but feel exuberantly lifted up myself just watching him. As we gathered around a grinning Will after the show to congratulate him on his wonderful performances, he told us he couldn't wait for the first competition so he could do it all over again. It's these kind of moments, when we know that our children have discovered a bright light within themselves, that are some of the best parts of being a parent.
I was inspired by each and every one of those talented young dancers yesterday. They moved their bodies with such grace and positive energy, the beauty of their performance giving no hint of the hours of hard work they put into creating something so striking and lovely. To be a dancer, these young people open their tender hearts up, leaving themselves incredibly vulnerable as they share something personal and meaningful with others. It is hard not to be moved by their courage.
This morning, with the memory of yesterday's dancers fresh in my mind, I chose a spot to sit in yoga class where the sunlight streamed in from the window, making a bright path of warmth along the floor. It was an encouragement to rediscover the light within myself, and to be brave enough to let it be seen. As adults, we should not allow ourselves to get so bogged down by the things we must do that we forget about the things we love to do. It is not only the young who have something beautiful to offer the world.