Here's what I've been up to thinking about this past week and weekend-
Just finished (last night) The Book Thief
by Marcus Zusak. Not my favorite writing style, but it was a fascinating and touching story.
Grey loves 'reading' us Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann and both kids crack up at the ending of the book.
This article over at the Good Men Project: The Case Against Saving for College .
This Defense of Disney Princesses article. Gem is not into princesses (yet) and I've been relieved about that fact, but this was a reminder that there are some redeeming parts of being princess-crazed too. But was good to read this article to balance the former about the Princess Filter that says, "...I wanted to analyze how unnecessary it is to collapse a heroine into one specific mold, to give them all the same sparkly fashion, the same tiny figures, and the same homogenized plastic smile." .
This video about how kindness is a boomerang put out from LifeVest Inside. After watching it myself, I sat down with both kids to watch as a 'movie on the ipad.' I narrated it for them saying things like, 'Look, that man helped the boy up. That sure was nice. The boy is feeling happy and thankful now that someone was so nice to him. He's looking around thinking, hmm, someone was nice to me and now I want to be nice to someone too. Look! He is being nice, to that lady!..." and so on and so on.
This video about Mama Hill from Soul Pancake
Smiling about this video where subway riders make signs for the conductors to make their day better (or at least sillier). Makes me miss living in the city a whole bunch.
We had two meals last week that our whole family loved - as in both kids were markedly chowing down on dinners that didn't include mashed potatoes or pizza (win!)
We had this version of Korean Beef using (just plain) ground beef. I had to leave out the ginger (because we didn't have any) but it was delicious -served over rice- and the kids ate it up without any whining.
We also had this Chicken Pot Pie Soup and everyone happily devoured it. Gemmi at two bowlfuls and then leftovers the following day. I crockpot'ed the chicken first (in chicken stock until it felt apart into shreds) and then just put all the soup ingredients together at the end. I used frozen corn & broccoli (because that's what we had on hand) but the original veggies from the recipe sound awesome too.
Brandon is participating in Movember and will not be shaving his mustache for the whole month. I love when he is able to rock a beard which is only occasionally when he's on vacation since his job has a no-beard rule. He certainly can sport an awesome beard, but he's never only done the 'stache - so I'm anxious to see how this develops. It's to help raise awareness and funds for men's health, so we're proud and supportive of our Mo'Daddy.
And, I attended my first CV Alumni Association meeting last night and was so glad I did. I have lots of brainstorming ideas rolling around in my mind this morning and I'm excited to start the new year working with an organization that is dedicated to our high school alma mater that we still love and want to be a part of as adults.
After visiting with my dear friend, JP last week (Hi, Jess!) I came home feeling inspired to get our home to feel more beautiful and purposeful. Visiting with JP always gives me some sort of inspirational boost (like last year's push to make a family yearbook!) and this year, it was being inspired by her home that really feels like each thing she has in it is either beautiful or purposeful. Since the visit, I've already re-organized our kitchen task center cabinet and color-blocked my dining room built-ins.
I've finished our 2011 Yearbook! Phew, it was rough to get it all done since my pictures were saved all over the place, but it's finally done and ordered from Shutterfly! (eek! tiny Booboo!) I've been working on it little by little all this year, so now I can get started on slowly putting together our 2013 yearbook:) I'd like to go back at least to 2010 when Grey was born so we account for at least the start of a 2+ family time...eventually.
Also, thankfully using up the extra pumpkin puree that I inevitably have leftover after making Brandon's birthday pumpkin roll. I've also made pumpkin gobs and pumpkin & oat morning bread/muffins. Yay for no leftovers!
Starting to think about and plan projects we can do as a family on World Kindness day (November 13).
Running everyday in November (although I missed Nov.1st, bleh). My new running mantra is: It doesn't have to be for long and it doesn't have to be fast, just go run. Greyson and I went together to Roxbury park and he rode his bike alongside me jogging. It wasn't my fastest running (ie. roughly 18 minute miles -hah to stay at his pace) but it was 1.3 miles in and one-on-one time with him- so count it.
Cleaning out more of our 'dumping zone's (like our kitchen task center cabinet above). We have a lot of these dumping zones around the house (laundry room, upstairs office space, our bedroom dresser, etc) and I want to slowly make my way through them in the month of November to get them organized in a way that they can still be used as a dump for things (because inevitably they will be) but in a more organized way that it won't actually look like a dump.
What are some of the things you ruminating on this Monday morning?