Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

Thursday, the day we get around the table and ask....What's your gratitude? (or as my young nephew says "What's your Great-Attitude?")

Today I am Grateful for the last day of school. Besides the very first day, it's the only one I don't have to coax everyone out of bed for!

Your turn. What's your Gratitude? Post in it a comment, you might just brighten someone's day!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Challenge for 100!

I'm throwing down a challenge for The Space Between Raindrops. The challenge is to raise the number of followers to 100!

Everyday, I receive e-mails and messages thanking The Space Between Raindrops for providing some perspective, a reminder to keep positive or a simple laugh.

I get these notes of gratitude and I think...I wish I could do this for everybody!

Ok, everybody is a tall order. I've decided to start with 100. I want to see if we can get the number of FOLLOWERS to 100!

But I am going to need your help...

1. If you haven't already, click the "FOLLOW" icon on the right side of the page  (its the one with the little pictures under it)

2. Tell your friends...Tweet it up, Share to Facebook, Email a link to everyone in your contacts list. Why not sent them your favorite post!

3. Watch the "FOLLOWERS" count grow!

If The Space Between Raindrops has ever brightened your day, made you laugh or helped you think about things from a different angle...help us share that feeling!

I have a theory that gratitude is just as infectious as misery...Thank you for helping me test the theory.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Breaking A Leg

E-man is about to break out of his comfort zone, in a very BIG way.

You may remember my request for school age appropriate humour. The request came in an effort to help E-man prepare a routine for the end of the year school talent show. (you can revisit that post; "Is This Thing On?" )

I can not speak for all of us but I can tell you, that I myself, am absolutely amazed at his interest in putting himself on display. This is my young man who suffers from debilitating stress induced migraines. The boy who can chew a red ring around his lips in less than an hour in reaction to nerve wracking circumstances. He is the very last of my children that I would have pegged the family Thespian. Yet here we go...

He stated his desire, he asked for our support. We scripted a 'bit'; A Rick Mercer inspired comedy news skit. We made props, sourced wardrobe and solicited practice audiences. E-man has been practicing his heart out!

Auditions were held two weeks ago for the talent show. When I inquired about how the audition went, E responded "I think I nailed it!"

Nail it he did...he secured a spot in the show and the real work got underway. More practice, more rehearsals, more pretend performances, He has mastered the timing and the choreography of the 'Bit'...He is ready! The show is Thursday, I've booked time off work to see it unfold, Lula has her video camera charged and  ready to capture E-man's stage debut.

I am still trying to figure out how a child who can't call his Grandpa on the phone has found the nerves and ambition to perform in front of an audience of a couple hundred peers and teachers. I understand that certain performers like Tom Hanks, Lucille Ball and Jim Carey where once upon a time, incredibly shy people. What I can't figure out is what possessed them say "Hey, I'd like to perform for people!"

Regardless of whether or not I can bend my head around it, I am incredibly grateful that he is feeling confident enough to take the risk. So many of us carry that nagging conversation around in our hearts..."If only I had....(insert that thing here). 

I think I just learned one of life's biggest lessons from my super shy, nervous wreck of a boy who has committed himself to breaking a leg (and hopefully a life time cycle of apprehension)

Stay tunes for the video after Thursday's Big Show!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Milestone for KJ...and for Mom

KJ graduated from grade 8 on Thursday or rather I should say she graduated to highschool. Entering Highschool and enjoying the freedom and Independence it promises has been a driving force for KJ especially during those arduous math classes.

In preparation for Graduation (here on referred to as "the Event") KJ and I skipped off school and work last Friday for a day at the mall. Did I say mall, as in singular? I misspoke. I should have said 'every single retail establishment within 100 km of our home!' We searched for a dress, found a dress then searched every other location for said dress in the correct size, settled for a very beautiful dress, ate lunch (do mall fries count as lunch?) searched for shoes, searched for shoes, and searched for shoes, we found shoes, we thanked the nice lady for ringing us through after the store closing. We arrived home just before 10pm where the rest of life was waiting to be cared for. I was proud that I had survived 12 hours of shopping without a single tantrum! (KJ was pleased too, those moments are so embarrassing for her.)

Event shopping complete, KJ packed her bags and was off to Ottawa for 3 days for some year end celebration and relaxing with her classmates. Those poor teachers returned visibly exhausted! That made "the Event," on the day following their return, easy I would imagine. A little fuel to get these kids out of their hair for good!

KJ with big sis Lula and Little Bro E-man
Event day arrived and KJ had the entire afternoon to prepare. She painted her nails and arranged for her cousin to pop by to curl up her hair. She was beautiful and ready on time (strange for a kid who is perpetually late for everything) I finished pressing her dress and helped her with her final details, then she was off to to school with her BFF. Giving me time to get ready myself.

Before she left she leaned in close to me and said "Promise you won't cry." she remembers Lula's Event, at which I was crying. KJ is not big on public displays of emotion, so I promised. I wasn't sure how I was going to manage it... but it was important to her, so I promised.

I did really well. I watched with dry eyes as the kids entered to gymnasium. Although when the procession music started our entire row looked directly at me and I heard Lula inquire "Is she crying yet?"  I listened with dry eyes as various teachers gave speeches on the accomplishments of the graduating class and the promise of their exciting futures. A sideways glance from Mike every once in a while to check on my progress. I was surprising everyone, mostly myself actually!

KJ & Dad
Then they started recognising students for special achievements. They began calling to the stage, the 10 students being honored with the Citizenship Award and there was my KJ's name! I looked at Mike (which I shouldn't have done.) his eyes reflected what I felt in my heart...Tremendous pride! I choked a little there but I quickly regained my composure. Reminding myself that if my daughter can demonstrate excellence in upholding the four pillars of Citizenship; Respect, Leadership, Academics and Teamwork, I could find the strength to suppress my emotions as requested. I did it! It was not easy, that was a curve ball neither one of us knew was coming!

I held it together while she crossed the stage later in the ceremony to collect her diploma and I held it together through the video highlight montage. I successfully exited the gymnasium with my kleenex still tucked carefully, accessibly and dry in my pocket.

Outside we located KJ and I hugged her, congratulated her and told her how proud I am. I did it all and a tear never escaped my eye!

We left her at the school for her dance as we returned home, a heart filled with pride and a head filled with the intense inter cranial pressure of uncried tears.

So I did well, better than I imagined actually. I've managed to write this entire post with only 1 box of tissues!

Mom & Dad with the Graduate!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Tuesday Foodday

It has been a while since I did a Tuesday Foodday post. That is because I created a space just for food posting. Smothered in Butter.

However, today I'm going to do a Foodday post because I really need your help!

Please click on the pic below to check out me dilemma and help a mother out!


Taking you to Smothered in Butter for a Mother's cry for help
 
Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

How My Kids Ended Up With the World's Greatest Mom.


Remember last month when we celebrated ILYFD? If you missed this post and are feeling utterly in the dark, you can read Happy ILYFD

This month we celebrate Father's Day, the real deal. There will be no attempts to morph Father's Day into something more pleasant, in my opinion there's not much need. My kids have an amazing father. I say that rather boastfully and without shame for doing so. Michael is a great dad! He takes the responsibility of being a dad very seriously with a hands on - heart in approach. His devotion to parenting has taught the kids that they can come to him for help and healing.

Mike's passion for his job as father,  is also how my kids ended up with The World's Greatest Mom.

Just take a look....

I get to talk to our teenage girls about hair and makeup and music because Mike is not afraid to talk to them about their relationships, drugs, sexuality and commitments to work and school. He is willing to go to the mall and hold purses and shopping bags while the girls try things on and change their minds and ask his opinion.

E-man and I are able to work on talent show projects and play in the kitchen because Mike helps him tackle his homework and clean up his room. I get to cheer like a hockey mom for bicycle and skateboard tricks because Mike has instilled a sense of confidence in E-man and a sense of 'don't panic, everything will be okay' in me.

I get to be patient because Mike takes kids to the park and fishing, out for road hockey and ice cream; leaving me with some solitude to recharge my batteries, pamper my spirit or wash the floors.

My children think I am funny. Mostly because Mike never fails to make light of my absurdity, which is actually okay with my. I've learned that life floats along a lot easier if you don't take yourself too seriously.

Everyday I am able to encourage our kids to pursue what makes them happy because Mike believes that you will always get what you need but nothing is as valuable as your happiness.

Mike is a master of creative discipline, employing cleaver tactics like the famous Darth Vader Time-Out and a household favourite; the Les Nesman Door (the LND deserves its very own post one day. For now let's just say that knocking on the place where a door used to be is a very effective strategy for halting repetitive door slam) As a result of Mike's creative approach, I spend a lot of time granting permission for activities and adventures and not much time negotiating with grounded kids.

Perhaps the single greatest thing Mike does to make me look like the World's Greatest Mom is to treat me like I am. He loves me the way he wants our children to love each other. He respects me with the same level of respect he expects from and gives to our children. He allows me to put our family first above everything else because he does the same.

So today we are celebrating Father's Day because anybody who works this hard to make me look this good deserves a holiday in their honor!


Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday...Your Turn @ The Table

Thursday and I know that my very busy June schedule is making me rather negligent on the Blogging front. It has been 2 weeks of rather lame subject, content and posting. My pride is not the only thing suffering, my mental goodness is suffering too. I've promised myself a date of serious writing indulgence this weekend.

Despite my haphazard sporadic attention to my habit, I wanted to stop in today and ask...What is your Gratitude? It is Thursday after all and there is always gratitude.

So share yours, won't you? you might just brighten the day of someone you didn't know needed some sunshine.

For my gratitude, I leave you with the best thing I have written in 15 days.

Being yourself is the hardest thing in the world. Most of the time you have to figure out who you are first... then you have to give that person the complete right to happiness. Follow what brings you joy, give attention to those who are there without invitation & never be afraid to say "this isn't for me."

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Caught Up in June Blur!

June has begun! Anyone who has school age children knows that June is filled to capacity with scheduling.

If you've been missing posts from me....here is why....

In these 30 days we will...

  • Prepare E-man for his talent show comedy routine
  • Send KJ on a 3 day excursion to our Nation's Capital
  • Attend a local gallery to celebrate 2 pieces of surrealism by Lula
  • Find and return all outstanding school library books
  • Study for exams
  • Find a graduation dress
  • Complete highschool summatives
  • Find shoes to match a graduation dress
  • Remember to dress appropriately for 3 separate field trips
  • Attend graduation
  • Find awesome end of the year teachers appreciation gifts
  • Attend a talent show
  • Negotiate summer supervision routines

These are the HAVE TO's on top of work and our normal daily routines

We're also trying to squeeze in

  • Motorcycle lessons
  • Berry picking and jam making
  • Preparing for a teenager to drive
  • Gardening
  • Father's Day
  • Summer Clothes shopping
  • and Doctor's appointments
Should be an easy feat! If you happen to read some peculiar postings in The Space or Smothered in Butter, if you come upon a tweet that seems to be twittered in tongues, if you struggle to make sense of my Facebook status on any given day in the next 30....I'll warn you now that I don't handle sleep deprivation well. I tend to loose focus and clarity, my all ready off beat humor follows a vein of greater off-beated-ness. I opt to laugh my way through chaos....

The remaining days of June might be a little challenging to follow but I'd be ever so grateful if you continued on anyway. I have a feeling I'm going to require some encouragement!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!



Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thursday Your Turn @ the Table

Michael and I planted this beautiful climbing rose near the front porch last year. We chose this particular rose colour because it reminded us of where we first lived when we were newlyweds.

Here is this years first bloom! I came home for lunch and there it was in all of it's glory!

The thing about this rose bush is that although it produces gorgeous blooms... it STINKS to high heaven of that sickly artificial rose smell they use in cheap perfume and air fresheners!

Today I am grateful for our rose bush...everytime I see it I am reminded that sometimes life stinks but it is always beautiful.

Today is Thursday, the day we like to get around the table and hear from everyone in The Space.

What's your Gratitude today?

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Bathroom Might Not Grow-up & Leave Home

Today I cleaned the powder room. Okay that doesn't sound like a life event to celebrate, but I am. To understand my joy there is probably some back story to explore. First, I hate cleaning, not strongly dislike...Hate. I have a little sign that hangs in my laundry room that says "Martha Stewart doesn't live here"

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for cleaning I also hate a messy house. I tolerate it and weep inwardly that I am unable to keep things sparkling and orderly like so many of my friends. There was a time, long before my children arrived, when my house was sparkly. Then Lula was born and my mother's friend sent me a note expressing her joy and advising that I would do well to worry about enjoying my children, ensuring me that "the bathroom would still exist and require cleaning in 18 years." That made sense to me. It certainly made the demands of housework easier to excuse, it made the untidiness tolerable.

As children get older the house doesn't get cleaner. Even with the division of chores I have come to understand that my friends who's homes do sparkle are A...very likely sucking it up and doing is all themselves or B... testing the limits of their voice box and nerves through ceaseless nagging.

This is when I am grateful for the advise of my mother's friend, it keeps me sane. I also have two sayings.

Come to see me not my house.
and
Friends leave, dishes stick around till morning.

I know that people are not impressed with my house keeping prowess and I'm good with that. I'm also good with the level of clean my kids are able to accomplish in their chores. To me it's the act of pitching in that matters.

There comes a point though at which my blind eye is assaulted beyond my tolerance level. This brings me back to the powder room. On an ordinary day there are 6 people frequenting that room. Everybody does a pretty good job with their aim and their bathroom etiquette. I can whip in there with a spray bottle, some paper towel and spruce it up with little effort.

The point comes when we've had our bi-weekly house guests. Suddenly there are 9 people using that room, 6 of which are male, 4 of those males are under the age of 10. There are also the 'friends'

Today despite the heat, despite the longness of the typical Monday...That powder room needed to be CLEANED! I hated doing it but boy am I grateful to have it done... It was one bathroom that wouldn't wait 18 years!

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Remember When...

...Life was this easy?



Wishing everyone a weekend where the living is easy.


Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday, Your Turn @ the Table

Thursday, the day of the week when we get around the table in the Space and ask "what's your grateful?"

Today I am grateful for a lovely birthday yesterday, an afternoon of work sponsored by my very nice boss, dairy queen ice cream cake, kids who like to celebrate, many wonderful birthday wishes and a dog named Max who sang me Happy Birthday! It's true and yes I was sober, I didn't imagine it! Max you need your moment on YouTube!

Your turn...What's your gratitude?

Spend some moment everyday in reflection of gratitude and happiness. Even if the time found is standing in line for coffee...use is wisely.


Michelle


Did this post brighten your day? make you smile? If so I'd be ever so grateful if you shared it on Facebook or Twitter. Someone else might be in need of a smile - Thanks!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday's Example of Domestic Bliss #10

Remember when a jellybean was a jellybean? Before the popcorn and watermelon flavours of JellyBelly came on the scene? Long before Hogwarts' inspired barf and bat dropping flavours were all the rage? Way Back when a jellybean was a gelatin gumdrop candy covered in coloured sugar and coated in confectioners wax? Things were simple then....when green tasted like green, yellow like lemon, orange like a can of soda, and purple tasted like a crayon, those were the days!

Back when a jellybean was a jellybean!

Lula brought home a box of old school jellybeans this week and we've been grazing on them. Not surprisingly red was the first to vanish followed by green which is almost wiped out. I prefer the pink and orange ones myself. Evidently the age old issue of finding someone to eat the black ones remains a problem even in today's modern world.

Gratitude today for the good ole' days and kids who are amazed with "retro" candy. (this isn't helping me feel younger)