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Think on These Things #9

This week’s belated Think on These Things is a reminder that everyone needs hugs. Hug someone you love today. Maybe several someones. A hug is a gift that you give and get in the same instant. For what are you waiting?


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Words to Live By #16

My nephews have become accustomed to doing homework when I’m around and were delighted (and confused) when I told them we’d be taking a break from homework this week since it’s the last few days of school and they don’t have any assigned homework.

Plus, my sister brought over D for a surprise visit so I told the boys that they could thank their baby cousin for no homework since if I made them do homework they’d have less time to spend with their baby cousin. N kept asking if he should get his math book so we can do a page of homework. LOL – do I have these kids trained or what? He was in disbelief every time I told him that we were going to take a break from homework this week. I reassured him that we’d have time to read and do math homework when we head to the mountains for Canada Day long weekend.

In other news, we all had a blast playing with D, who is crawling like a madman now and who is fiercely independent – he only likes to be held if he’s being fed and even then, it’s best to let him try to hold his own bottle because he is no longer a baby. E&N are really good with D – they watch out for him, let him crawl all over them, share their toys with him (I’m really proud of this one because D still spits up a lot and the fact that E&N love him enough to still share their stuffed toys is really incredible), and just generally enjoy being around him. It probably doesn’t hurt that D is absolutely adorable and has new “tricks” each time we see him – the latest one is he knows how to wave good-bye and he wears a devilishly handsome grin as he waves his little fingers.

This week’s belated Words to Live By is “Let the children play.”


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Words to Live By #15

This was meant to be posted yesterday. I hope to get back on track with my blog now that I am caught up again. I hope today’s Words to Live By help you to step out of your comfort zone and live life fully. I know today’s image gives me plenty of food for thought.

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Think on These Things #8

N has a two-part spelling test this Wednesday and Thursday. We have been practicing the 120-word list since June 6th. Yesterday, N brought home his spelling scribbler from school and as I flipped through the pages while we got ready to review another 60 words (I am a slave driver, I know!) I was amazed to see that N has been getting at least 80% on all of his weekly tests since October. More often than not, he gets 100%. And the times he got one or two wrong, it’s only because he mixed up a “b” and a “d” or he reversed two letters (like “re” instead of “er” in the word over).

I am constantly in awe of my nephews – the fact that they perform as well as they do despite the fact that they only do homework a few days a week. I know they are both wired for positive reinforcement (aren’t we all?) and when I told N that I was very proud of his achievements and that seeing that he had gotten such good marks all year, I said, I expected him to do just as well on his spelling tests this week. He, of course, negotiated how many wrong would be okay by me. I told him I expected him to do really well and that if he got a few of the tougher words wrong then it would be okay but that we were going to focus on those words until Wednesday so that he could have a very good chance of getting them correct on the test.
I am learning over and over again that N performs exactly as those around him expect him to and that his sense of his own abilities is completely aligned with the cues he gets from the adult role models in his life. So after I told him I expected him to do well on last night’s 60 words, he got more than 40 of them right – even ones that he found tricky (his word) last week. And of the 15 or so that he found challenging, they were words like “would” and “which” and we practiced spelling them out loud a few times and I think he’ll remember them when we review them tonight.
It is scary to realize how much influence I have over my nephews and to know how big a role I am playing in shaping them into the men they will become. I have said before that I have incredibly high expectations for both E&N and those two kids not only live up to those expectations, they frequently exceed them. I really hope and pray that most of what I am doing is going to help make E&N strong, independent, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, and successful men. And I am really looking forward to a summer that tips the scale towards a bit more fun (although we will still be doing some math, spelling, and reading throughout the summer). C & I are kicking off their summer (and rewarding them for another great school year) with a camping trip. We’re all pretty excited. 🙂

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Think on These Things #7

Belated post for last week. I had prepared something and never got around to posting it. This is, in part, because the past few weeks have been very busy – just the usual life stuff and to add to that it feels as though I am on the brink of lots of change. And so the post I meant to publish was going to focus on those very things – taking risks, embracing change, and overcoming fear.

Change is what gets us where we need to be, what drives us to do things we wouldn’t have done otherwise, and what helps us to see things more clearly. Change wakes us up, keeps things exciting, and makes us try harder. Change brings on appreciation for where we have been, makes us more careful about where we are going, and helps us weed out everything that is not good for our lives. Change is good. Sometimes it’s really scare, sometimes it’s really uncomfortable, but change is good. ~ Brave Girls’ Club

As I stand on the brink of change I am consciously making efforts to shift my thinking towards hope, optimism, opportunity, excitement and not allowing myself to linger on fear, risk-aversion, uncertainty.

Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
~ Neale Donald Walsh

And as I push myself to the outer edges of my comfort zone I am allowing myself to realize that “failure” is a possibility and that all experiences are an opportunity for learning and for growth. And that is pretty exciting.

In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail.
~ Anonymous




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Words to Live By #14

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them” – another lesson taught to me by my nephews.

I am incredibly proud of E&N for completing yesterday’s 5 km walk in the rain. And for a long time to come, I am going to remember how excited they both were and how brightly their eyes shone when I told them I was so, so, so proud of them for doing the walk in the rain and for doing it rather quickly (less than 90 minutes).

I am especially proud of N because I know how important it is for me to celebrate his successes – for my own sake as well as his.


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Think on These Things #6

Time got away on me this past week and I kept postponing my usual Tuesday “Think on These Things” post. Turns out this was a good thing — and helps to reinforce for me the reality that things happen for a reason. I say this was a good thing because today was the 28th annual World Partnership Walk. And my nephews, E&N were able to join for today’s Walk despite the inclement weather and some earlier uncertainty that we’d get to spend the day with them. So for this, a fitting quoto:

The above quote is a reminder that when I set my intention and do so with a very clear purpose, then the Universe conspires to help it come to fruition. Also, the sun DID break through today. It wasn’t until after the walk was over and we were already on our way home after a long day. However, today’s rain made for an incredible teaching moment for my nephews and for my teammates – we realized that we are so blessed to be able to CHOOSE to walk 5 km in the on again off again rain in an effort to show our support for global development. We did so with warm clothing, proper footwear, and the knowledge that a delicious BBQ lunch awaited us at the end of the route. The people for whom we were walking often have no choice but to walk long distances for clean(ish) water, education, sharing of resources, medical attention, crops, etc.

I generally don’t grumble about the weather because I have come to accept that it is beyond my control. I have even learned to be glad for the rain because it gives me an excuse to wear my funky rain boots and my lime green rain coat. But today, the rain became another lesson in gratitude. And one that I could share with my nephews – and any time I can positively influence my nephews is a blessing and a gift.

And tonight, as I created my nightly gratitude post, I also had the amazing experience (AGAIN) of realizing just how blessed I am to be surrounded by generous and incredible people who support my vision for thriving communities and people in Asia and Africa.

And on that note, I conclude with quotes from two of my favourite and most inspirational  role models.

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Words to Live By #13

A key message from The Lion King popped into my memory tonight and so became the topic of this week’s Words to Live By.

Remember who you are. ~ The Lion King


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