Even When It’s Not Easy

I read in a book that when given the choice between right and being kind we should always choose to be kind. Both boys understood that concept. Wouldn’t it be great if we could teach it to the whole world?

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here. You, my reader, are kind. You probably show kindness wherever you can, whenever you can, to everyone you can. I don’t need to tell you not to judge others because they wear mismatched socks, or yell at their kids, or cut you off on the highway, or took the last bag of storm chips. I don’t need to tell you to use words of encouragement, to lift others’ spirits, or how a smile can change someone’s day. I think my readership already understands the power of kindness.

You do, don’t you?

However, the words”you can” from that last paragraph leaves us a bit of a loophole, doesn’t it? If you can, you do. If you can’t, you don’t. It is really tough to show kindness that arsehole who just told you you’re a bad parent. It’s really tough to show kindness to the jerk who just flipped you the bird. It’s really tough to show kindness to the idiot who just drove a front loader through your house. But if you can, be kind.

I see it as paying it forward. I’m kind to someone and in return they’re kind to someone else. Eventually, that chain of kindness will return to me. Or you. Or all of us. I think that’s how karma works.

I can honestly say, as much as the boys can drive us absolutely mental sometimes, one thing they fully understand is kindness toward others. Crash looks out for his classmates with special needs. He makes sure they get outside safely when the fire alarm scares them. He sees that they have all their belongings while they’re on field trips. Bang knows how people people laugh. He has adopted all the ladies of the church choir as friends. Sure, they can be total jerks to each other. They’re brothers. However, when it comes to others, I’m proud of them.

*Kindness is one of the greatest attributes one’s character can possess.

*An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

*When you lift others up, you also lift yourself.

Please share your favorite quote on kindness in the comment section. It can even be one you made up…

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Sunday Share: Year 2, Week 3

Hard to believe we’re starting the third week of the new year. Hard to believe that I skipped my regular sharing for the first two weeks, too. I’m back on track now. How old does a new year have to be before it’s not longer a new year? I’ll say three weeks. After today it’ll be an old year. Been there, done that, though the year is far from over.

You still have 344 days to get your Christmas shopping done.

Elen GreyElen Grey
Being a Gerbera daisy…

Sounds Like Life to Me
On a trip around the sun…

Tracey Tobin
Making plans and goals and trying to stick to them…

Dorky Mom Doodles
Yo Momma Yo kid so funny she made you cry (laughing)

A Momma’s View
Making the world a better place one act at a time…

Wonderoak
On a good idea going bad…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go flush an ice cube and wear my pajamas inside in hopes of the big snow they’re calling for tomorrow night.

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Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep Four Million

I’ve been reading the book Wonder to the boys. We’re about 90% of the way through it. As soon as I remember I’m going to have them draw a picture of what they think Auggie looks like. Tonight I asked them what they have learned while reading it. I was truly afraid one of them would answer about the farting nurse that made a brief appearance way back in the third chapter. I was pleasantly surprised to hear their answers and hope it sticks with them for a long time.

1. What was your favorite thing about Christmas Break?

Crash: Nana and Pop Pop coming over. It was their first Christmas in Cape Breton
Bang: Seeing Nana and Pop Pop

2. What was your favorite Christmas present?

Crash: My ukelele and camera (so I can make videos for my YouTube channel)
Bang: My Hatchimal and Nana and Pop Pop

3. Is there something you were hoping to get for Christmas but didn’t?

Crash: Two things acutally. A Lego Minecraft set and Cappy.
Bang: I got everything!

4. Is there something we didn’t do that you wish would could have done?

Crash: Eat more cinnamon rolls
Bang: Play another game of Life because Nana only played one game

5. What is one thing you learned today?

Crash: That I like Dad’s cheesy chicken cauliflower casserole!
Bang: The song “King of Spain” by Moxi Fruvis

6. What is something you want to learn?

Crash: How to play the ukelele
Bang: Actual algebra and times tables

7. Why do people have different skin colors?

Crash: It’s just the way they were born
Bang: Because they live in different places

8. What’s the best thing to tell Alexa (Amazon Echo)?

Crash: To play Castle on the Hill by Ed Sheeran
Bang: Make a fart noise

9. What does Mom want for her birthday?

Crash: Guppie
Bang: Lipstick

10. What have you learned from reading “Wonder”?

Crash: That everyone is special in their own way
Bang: About sticking up for my friends like when Amos bulled over Eddie

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No Excuses

Some of us find a way. Some of us find an excuse. Maybe you’re putting off that check engine light because you just don’t have time. Perhaps you want to start that new diet… tomorrow. Your knee hurts. Your backs hurts. Your shoulder hurts. You’ve got a headache. This month ends in Y.

The list of excuses is only limited by our imaginations. I have witnessed some expending more energy at making excuses than it would take to just do whatever it is they’re making excuses for.

When our oldest brought home some math homework last week, I rejoiced at seeing that it was multiplication. Double digit times a single digit, to be a exact. I knew he could do it. However, we were kind of taken aback when he told us that the rest of the class had to complete two rows (10 problems) while he had to finish just one (5 problems). We knew what the teacher was thinking, and I don’t blame the teacher at all. He has ADD so they were trying to make things manageable for him.

However, we knew better. We are not about to let his diagnosis be a crutch. Naturally, he argued with us. He’d argue with Satan himself, so the arguing wasn’t anything new to us.

My teacher said I only have to one row!

“We know what your teacher said, but you can do this multiplication. You are NOT going to use ADD as an excuse to not do the work we all, yourself included, know you can do.”

He didn’t get it at first. He couldn’t understand how he was using his diagnosis to get out of doing work. His teacher assigned fewer problems for him specifically. Instead of looking at the work and thinking “I can do this” he looked at it and said “HA! I only have to 5 problems instead of 10.” Because he has two teachers for parents, we made him complete two rows. School was out the next day because of a snow storm. We made him do two more rows anyway. School was out the day after that, too, because of a power outage. We made him do the last two rows.

What we fear is that he’ll see his ADD diagnosis as a crutch, an excuse, a limitation. I highly doubt Justin Timberlake, Jim Carey, Will Smith, Michael Phelps, Sir Richard Branson, Howie Mandel, Michelle Rodriguez, and countless others see their ADHD has a limitation. They certainly wouldn’t be where they are today if they did. The world already sets so many limitations that we don’t need to start imposing them on ourselves. I don’t ever expect him to say “Give me more work,” but I will expect him to do the work I know he is capable of doing.

 

All That Jazz

It’s over.

The tree is down. The inside lights are mostly down. I left the winter scene atop the bookshelf because it’s one of my favorites. The outside light are still up because it’s colder than Hell out there.

In Hell, Norway it’s currently 0C. It’s -9C with a windchill of -15 here.

See? Colder than Hell.

My last posting was The Daily Elf on December 21st. You see, my parents arrived on the 22nd and the blog got put on hold. It really doesn’t seem like a week has passed since we were opening gifts. For their arrival, we got a giant refigerator box, wrapped it in wrapping paper, and stuck a bow on it. Shortly before my parents got here we sent the boys to DW’s mom’s house. When my parents got here, we had the box in the living room by the tree and in it my parents went. Then the boys came home and unwrapped them.

Seriously, if you are in need of a smile, go watch the short video. The boys had no idea what they were were unwrapping.

Bang was stuck to my mother all week long. Every chance he got he was snuggling her.

We got to do some stuff while they were here, though certainly not all that we wanted. They got to go ice skating with the boys. Or at least my dad did. My mom has a tendency to break her ankles, so we kept her off the ice. She got to watch them, though. They got to see Bang sing with his church choir friends at Christmas Eve mass. They got to open presents with two three very excited boys. DW’s mom and stepdad joined us and we had a big unwrapping fest. We enjoyed a big Christmas turkey that my parents brought with them. They made their traditional trip to Baddeck. They never come to Cape Breton without going to Baddeck. We also took them candlepin bowling. Bowling in Canada is a little different than it’s American cousin. The pins are tall and skinny and the balls are the size of softballs and you get three rolls. The 6 year old won both games.

My brother-in-law and his family arrived Boxing Day (that’s the day after Christmas). The boys love playing with their cousins. There were 12 people in our house! I would call it a happy chaos.

The night before Nana and Pop Pop (my parents) left for their 1100 mile drive home, Crash and Bang said good bye to them. Bang quickly gave them hugs and tried to hurry to the basement. When I stopped him I could see his eyes get watery and his lip quiver and suddenly he couldn’t hold it in any more. He sat hugging his grandmother with tears flowing and heaving sobs. He managed to bring tears to a few eyes that evening. His only consolation was that he could call them via Facetime. And he has done so every day. Even to read them a story at bedtime.

When the kids woke last Friday morning, my parents had already left. DW’s brother and his family left around noon. Bang suited up and was ready to leave with them because they were stopping at McDonalds for lunch. Suddenly we had gone from a 12 person house to 4. It was strangely quiet. I wanted the noise back. The noise meant the holidays weren’t over. The noise meant family. Like Seuss said, “It’s not what’s under the tree that matters, it’s who’s around it.”

Our family may have left, but the New Year is here, now. Hello 2018. Time to get back to our version of normal. The tree is down. The inside lights are are down. The decorations are down. The elves, Woody and Elfis, are back at the North Pole thinking of new ways to cause mischief. Christmas is packed away for another year.

However, I still have Christmas spirit, joy, and all that jazz in my heart.

The Daily Elf: December 21st

They were hungry for sweets today. Probably because it’s Nana’s birthday and she’s not here (yet) to have cake and ice cream. So this morning we found Woody and Elfis in the bag of chocolate chips.

Fortunately, they are smart little elves and left a few set aside for our chocolate chip pancakes.

Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep 58

I think I can let the cat out of the bag now. My parents are joining us for Christmas this year! They are serious about their traveling. Hence they left at 2:30 in the morning so they could drive for about 14 hours in one day. They have stopped for the night and will be here around lunch time tomorrow. To say that I’m excited would be an understatement. The boys know nothing about them coming. It has been so hard keeping the secret, but the secret is safe. Just before they get here we’ll send the boys to DW’s mom’s (three house up the street). We got a refrigerator box to wrap with Christmas paper to hide them in to surprise the boys. I can’t wait to see their reaction. You will get to read all about to tomorrow. There will be video, too. Now to get these questions done and get a bit more cleaning done!

Whoo Hooo!!

1. How can you tell if two people are married?

Crash: If the girl has a ring or you catch them kissing. Actually, no, they may not be married.
Bang: I hear a big kiss happen… it’s really loud

2. What do mom and dad have in common?

Crash: You both fart, have glasses and Fitbits
Bang: You both have really hairy legs and you both wear jeans a lot

3. When is okay to kiss someone?

Crash: Either at a marriage or anytime after that or shortly before that
Bang: When you’re getting married or under a mistletoe

4. How do you make a marriage work?

Crash: Don’t make your gf/bf angry before you’re married because then it’ll be cancelled
Bang: Just like them and want to live with them forever

5. How many elves does Santa have working for him?

Crash: 1,347
Bang: 7 billion

6. What is Santa’s favorite food?

Crash: Most likely cookies
Bang: meat pie with tomato soup and garlic bread

7. Why did Dad marry Mom?

Crash: Because you love her and she’s a good helper and looked like she would get her kids to do stuff.
Bang: Because you were both pretty

8. Why did Mom marry Dad?

Crash: Because she loved you and you were funny and cool
Bang: Because she thinks you’re handome

9. What’s the funniest thing that you have ever done?

Crash: At school yesterday there was a sing-a-long with Christmas songs with a teacher who could play guitar and we made a remix and it was funny
Bang: I drank mom’s really thick, gross coffee milk (35% heavy whipping cream)

10. What is something we should do over Christmas break?

Crash: Go sledding and use my skis for my scooter
Bang: Build an igloo if there is snow

The Daily Elf: December 20th

They were up to no good, again. As predicted, the closer to Christmas we get, the more trouble they like to cause. This time they were vandals.

They graffitied the boys school pictures! They made Crash a devil and Bang a pirate…

Then while we were at school, Guppie (DW’s Dad) got a doodle upgrade as well.

Life With A Good Pair of Socks

dad's work

So much can be said for a good pair of socks. Like people, they come in so many varieties. All the colors of the world. Short, tall, and every size in between. Some are fuzzy. Some aren’t. Some are thick and some are thin. There are thermal socks to keep you warm and barely there socks to keep you cool. There are even socks with capes.

Anyone who knows me even a little bit, knows I love socks. I’ve never met a pair socks I won’t wear. Stripes or polka dots. Adorned with candy canes or cows. Toe socks that fit like a glove. To me, there is no such thing as an ugly pair of socks.

They are down there tucked into shoes and covered by the legs of jeans and yoga pants minding their own business. They keep us from getting blisters. They sacrifice themselves all in the name of our health. Sometimes they get holes. Sometimes they stink.

Many times they lose their mate in the wash. Poor things with no sole mate. It’s heartbreaking. However, if you enjoy mismatched socks, your socks are never without a mate. There’s someone for everyone.

Sometimes a pair of socks comes into your life and you just know they are going to be in your life for a long time. They are strong socks. They feel good in your hands and even better on your feet. They are like the comfort of a best friend.

If you caught my post last year, Life’s Too Short to Waste Time Matching Socks, you know that I don’t believe in matching socks. A sock company from Sweden found that post and sent me a pair of their socks. They asked me if they could send me socks! For free! (if I wrote about them). The only thing better than socks are free socks.

I must say I was a bit skeptical at first. However, they shipped right away and ten days later I had my first pair of socks from Sockamore. After browsing their colorful website, I was expecting something funky. Especially, since the post they saw had me wearing knee high mismatched socks – one striped, one polka dotted. The socks they sent were of your basic variety. Black with some multi-colored stripes. I can dress them up. I can dress them down. What caught my attention (and DW’s) was the feel of them. They feel well made. I highly doubt I’ll wear through them any time soon. It’s a great way to add a little bit of flair to an outfit. Check out Socamore, they amore socks way amore than me. Pick out a couple pair while you’re there so you can mismatch them. Life’s too short to spend time matching socks.

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The Daily Elf: December 19th

Less than a week away…

Our Christmas concerts are over (more on that later).

Woody and Elfis, like most days, spent the day hanging out. Today they were literally hanging out. They set up a zipline and had some fun in the kitchen zipping back and forth. They performed a few tricks for us, too.