Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Pics and Ideas

 Sam keeps growing. The kids adore him. He is trainable, but very full of puppy energy.
Mom and Dad are adapting :)
The Moncton Tapper Arena has been built. The weather has been a bit crazy--extreme cold, then thaws, then too much snow... But we have had a few nice evenings for fun on the rink!
 And there's always air hockey in the basement...

Or a little foosball action!

 We have had a couple days off school because of the blizzard conditions this week. I enjoy the days with the kids home. Today, (after shoveling for a couple hours and doing some indoor chores, too) they set up the tent in the basement and played together for a long time. I love that.
And just to be clear, it does not always happen that way. We have been having some challenges lately with respect and kindness, etc. I've initiated some mandatory family character-building lessons, including time focussed on gratefulness, attentive listening, working hard, speaking about emotions and such. While these can be frustrating exercises at times, I do see results when I take the time and effort to address the issues in creative and specific ways.
For example, we have been struggling with a lot of interrupting lately. So we talked about it--how interrupting actually shows a selfish motive: "What I have to say is more important than what you or anyone else is saying or doing!" We talked about practicing unselfishness by being considerate of others. And we set up a practical plan for how to communicate that you have something important to say without interrupting a conversation already in progress. We also talked about a silent way to acknowledge that person while continuing a conversation until a natural break when the other person can be directly addressed. I hope to see our plan work in the near future!!
Life is full, and we are blessed.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday!

Today, we celebrate Andrew's 12th birthday! And he did it with style...earning a game MVP medal at this weekend's hockey tournament.

What a joy and privilege it is to be a part of this growing young man's life! Some of Andrew's current favourites include the following:
-big meals with lots of meat
-sporting events (especially the kind that involve lots of body contact)
-youth group
-joking, teasing, being lighthearted
-Did I mention sports? :)

Andrew, we love you--always and forever, no matter what!!!