Thursday, February 28, 2013

Casey's Ancestor report

Casey is presenting his Ancestor report today to his class. We have decided not to go and watch because the second grade teachers said it makes the kid more nervous. We had Casey practice for us last night. He was a bit scattered, but he did really well. I wanted to help make him note cards, but no one else used note cards according to Casey, so we had to pass. Casey told us that the most important thing he needs to do to ensure his presentation is a success, is to use a big voice. He said most students whisper their reports and it is frustrating because you can't hear. I hope he finds his big voice during his presentation.
We worked on his poster most of Sunday and later in the week he finally made a beautiful family tree poster as well. I did not draw the tree. Casey can draw so much better than me!
For his report, Casey had to complete several worksheets and he had to interview all of his grandparents. He interviewed some of them over the phone and some in person. They each had to answer five questions. I think Casey learned a lot about his extended and immediate family. We showed him on the globe where his ancestors were from and how far they had to travel to come to the United States. He had to include maps, flags, family pictures and some general information on his poster.
Tonight, after baseball practice, Casey and I will make lefse for the Ancestor dinner on Friday night at Mission. I will also make potato salad and a few other small dishes to share with his class. It's been a crazy busy week. Pedar was out of town for a couple of days and I've said it before, I don't do the single mom thing very well. I love only having to drop off one child and not be in charge of every detail after work. I got to work Tuesday and Wednesday feeling harried and like I forgot something. Pedar got home late last night and my deep breath of relief resonated throughout my entire body. Of course the boys were amped that Dad was home, so Erik fought bedtime till after 9:30 p.m. I was in bed shorty after. I wanted to get a jump start on the food I need to prepare, but I could not stay upright anymore.

Hope you all have a great Thursday. I'm looking forward to wrapping up this week!!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Go with the flow. Accept change. Choose Happy.

“I accept chaos. I am not sure whether it accepts me.” - Bob Dylan

I have found that when I am struggling the most, I am resisting the most. When I want things to STAY THE SAME or don't want to embrace that I may need to learn something, life feels really hard. I know I am not alone in this so I wanted to share this by Leo Babauta, titled 12 steps for learning to go with the flow, click here.

By Leo Babauta

No matter how much structure we create in our lives, no matter how many good habits we build, there will always be things that we cannot control — and if we let them, these things can be a huge source of anger, frustration and stress.

The simple solution: learn to go with the flow.

For example, let’s say you’ve created the perfect peaceful morning routine. You’ve structured your mornings so that you do things that bring you calm and happiness. And then a water pipe bursts in your bathroom and you spend a stressful morning trying to clean up the mess and get the pipe fixed.

You get angry. You are disappointed, because you didn’t get to do your morning routine. You are stressed from all these changes to what you’re used to. It ruins your day because you are frustrated for the rest of the day.

Not the best way to handle things, is it? And yet if we are honest, most of us have problems like this, with things that disrupt how we like things, with people who change what we are used to, with life when it doesn’t go the way we want it to go.
Go with the flow.

What is going with the flow? It’s rolling with the punches. It’s accepting change without getting angry or frustrated. It’s taking what life gives you, rather than trying to mold life to be exactly as you want it to be.

A reader recently asked me to write more about going with the flow, so this is my attempt to share some of the things that work for me. As always, I don’t have any claims to perfection, and I’m learning as I improve, but the tips below should help anyone.

1. Realize that you can’t control everything. I think we all know this at some level, but the way we think and act and feel many times contradicts this basic truth.
2. Become aware. I’ve mentioned this step in previous articles on other topics, but that’s because it’s extremely important. You can’t change things in your head if you’re not aware of them. You have to become an observer of your thoughts, a self-examiner.

3.Breathe. When you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated, take a deep breath.

4. Get perspective. This always helps me. I get angry over something happening — my car breaks down, my kids ruin my microwave — and then I take a deep breath, and take a step back.

5. Practice. It’s important to realize that, just like when you learn any skill, you probably won’t be good at this at first. Who is good when they are first learning to write, or read, or drive? No one I know. Skills come with practice.

6. Baby steps. Along the same lines, take things in small steps. Don’t try to become that Zen Master mentioned above overnight. Don’t try to bite off huge chunks — just bite off something small at first. So make your first attempts to go with the flow small ones: focus on the tally marks (mentioned above) first.

7. Laugh. It helps me to see things as funny, rather than frustrating.

8. Keep a journal. This is one of the best uses of a journal actually. Once a day, try to recall what all your tally marks were for — and then write about those situations.

9. Meditate. If you aren’t good at keeping a journal, at least do a daily review in your head. Do some meditation, or have a bath, or a cup of hot tea, and as you’re de-stressing, go over your day and examine it.

10. Realize that you can’t control others. Ah, one of the biggest challenges. We get frustrated with other people, because they don’t act the way we want them to act.

11. Accept change and imperfection. When we get things the way we like them, we usually don’t want them to change. But they will change. It’s a fact of life. We cannot keep things the way we want them to be … instead, it’s better to learn to accept things as they are.
12. Enjoy life as a flow of change, chaos and beauty.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rite of Enrollment at St. John's

We've been attending St. John's Lutheran Church recently with Pedar's parents, sister and our cousins. We love seeing family every Sunday and grabbing breakfast together afterwards. Children's time is always wonderful. Pedar's Mom's family has had a long history at St. John's. Everyone has welcomed us with open arms.

This past Sunday, Jim, Karen, Jeff and Lisa participated in the rite of enrollment. It was a beautiful ceremony. 33 people signed the book to confirm their commitment and enrollment at St. John's.

Mor-Mor and Pop-Pop signing the book.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Skiiing videos

Week up in Tahoe

Pop Pop enjoys being cozy wozy inside the cabin.
The boys at Chambers

 We rented the smallest skis and boots for Erik! So cute!

Mor-Mor enjoyed some ski time!

Chambers Landing
Just getting ready to ski can be tiring

Erik's first time on the pommel lift. He preferred to ski by himself.

Tubing fun in Truckee

Afternoon in Truckee

Pedar ran into Uncle Mike at Alpine

Family time at the cabin

Taking a break on top of Homewood. I look forward to Erik being able to ski as well as Casey so one of us doesn't end up waiting in the lodge. We all pay our parental dues, I guess. Someday we will ski as a family and it will be awesome.
Sleepy Gavin and Erik

We had a fantastic week up in Tahoe. We loved spending time with family. Casey has become a terrific skier. He loves to go fast. Erik enjoyed skiing down small hills himself.

LOVE sleepy rides home

Cozy wozy

Movie time

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fun times

We are on vacation this week. We arrived at the cabin yesterday afternoon. This weekend in Sacramento was beautiful! It was almost 70 degrees. We rode our bikes to Whole Foods, played at the park, made art projects and just felt really relaxed knowing that we didn't have to rush back to work.

Erik rode his first ski lift today. He skied a bit between Pedar's legs. It started to snow a lot as soon as we got on the lift. It was really cold. The boys and I did a run and then hung out at the lodge while Pedar and Mor Mor skied.

It's snowing outside right now. It is absolutely beautiful. I am feeling grateful and relaxed.