...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.


family journalism: for week of feb 28

*For this week's Family Journalism, I thought I would focus on the rising protests happening around the world.* 

A review of local, national and global current events that can be shared and discussed among families with young children.

People & Places: 
Libyans, Egyptians, Tunisians and Wisconsinites? (oh my) are protesting for a score of reasons. As the world watches - what are we to learn from what's happening? And why?
Source: NPR, Reuters, Politico, ABC News

This is one of my favorite pictures of my Dad, peacefully protesting in the streets of Manhattan in 1980 - against Russia's invasion of Afghanistan - a relevant piece of history in our lives because it resulted in life changing experiences for millions of Afghans displaced by the war - including us. Those who sought refuge abroad continued to help fight back by raising public awareness as to what was happening on the other side of the world.


    I've personally never rallied at a protest - for fear of getting squashed. Kidding aside, the opportunity hasn't presented itself, but instead I have had the chance to voice my opinion through other vehicles - like signing petitions or fundraising for good causes - and most effectively, simply sharing my knowledge with those willing to listen. 

    The kind of protesting happening around the world today has me somewhat dumbfounded. I'm having a hard time keeping track of the anger, the injustices, and the caliber of its widespread growth. Still - it's something that may be positively taught to our children -  

    There have been many times where I have felt myself demand, as a dictator would, that the kids listen to what to me, seems obvious and right. But they will protest with both arms crossed and sing an encore of reasons, or stand defiantly in silence, followed by tears heavy with anger. Ultimately, we are both passionate about what we believe in - and although at times we label this kind of behaviour as "testing their boundaries" - I also think its the beginning of defining their core value systems - which to me is more important than being right as a parent.

    After all, it was the late Ghandi that said, "A 'No" uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble."

    • Table Talk: What does protesting mean? Give examples of when and why people demonstrate for what they believe.

      If eating their veggies is the hot topic at the dinner table right now - like pouting or pressing their heads against their plates - they are in fact, "protesting" against the green stuff. Talk about whether this is an affective or ineffective approach - from their perspectives, and come up with examples together of how each you can better communicate your feelings about veggies, and then after wards, work towards a plan that both parties are happy with (like numbing the taste of broccoli with ketchup?).

    • Educational: Chances are, there is a relative or friend of the family that is either currently residing in a country/state where the protests are happening or has actually been involved in or witnessed a protest or two in their past. Help the kids conduct a formal "interview" - and ask questions that will help them imagine what it is was like to protest with hundreds? thousands? and what people did and said around them... the outcome of the protest and its impact (if any).

      mini art studio - painting with arcylics

      We're at Creative Crafting today...

      Acrylic Paint

      family journalism: for week of feb 21

      A review of local, national and global current events that can be shared and discussed among families with young children.

      People & Places: 
      Earthquake Strikes New Zealand
      A state of emergency has been declared after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch on New Zealand's South Island on Monday - causing fatalities and wide spread destruction. The earthquake was an aftershock of the Sept 3, 2010 earthquake.
      Source: BBC World News and USGS

      valentines week

      In thinking about Valentine's and how this one holiday is really an everyday - I started to think about how we could make the 14th extra special for all of us. But as life unfolds itself - and we got busy with this and that, I couldn't come up with the "party" I had told Ava we would be having {after all, she bought a dress just for the occasion}. So we all went with the flow of everyday.... and as it turned out, everyday was extra special, with highs and lows and everything in between...

      The first change came with the weather. Wrapped in the low 30s last week, the weekend brought us high 60s and clear sunny skies... And it is usually on the weekends when we slow down a bit and get together with Ron and Maggie. Last weekend was no exception - and we took some of the paper flowers Ava made to Papa.

      DFW National Cemetary

      travel as education

      Today I'm writing over at Savvy, sharing what's been on my mind lately - travel! And thinking outside of the box when it comes to their learning on the road... Hope you'll join me at Savvy and share your ideas too.

      SS-travel as education

      family journalism: for week of feb 14

      A review of local, national and global current events that can be shared and discussed among families with young children.

      People & Places: 

      Happy Valentine's Day! In the US today, we're celebrating a day of love and confection - sending sentiments to loved ones, exchanging gifts, flowers and chocolate. But around the world, others celebrate this holiday by varying degrees - such as giving books to each other in Spain's Catalonia region in the month of April. What ever the reason - there needn't be one. Because as my daughter says it best, "Every day is Valentine's Day!"

      2 must-have iphone apps

      While we're still in awe of all the snow, I'm enjoying the warm snuggly I get when I replay videos like these I've taken with my new camera. Check out this app that I just discovered {it may have been out for awhile}, called 8mm Vintage Camera for only $1.99. Oh goodness - you can't even get a deal like this at McDonalds anymore. 

      You can upgrade lenses with additional purchases - but I'm still trying to figure out the ones it came with. With the click of a button, you can even make the screen flickr like the real McCoy and then email or upload it to YouTube and viola....

      weather... no matter how bad

      Today I'm over at Savvy, talking about why its important to get outdoors everyday, and how no matter what's in the forecast, everyone can have fun! 

      planning for valentine's day

      Last week I contributed to the national parenting website, Savvy Source, on Celebrating Valentine's Day with Preschoolers. Check out the article here for simple ideas on how to celebrate and teach our children about the importance of friendship and caring.

      While searching for more craft ideas, I came across some sites here, here and here.

      I imagine we'll start crafting today since we're snowed in again (did I actually just type that about Texas?) Yep, the snow is quite romantic now that we have the fireplace on. Some scissors, construction paper and gold glitter may do us all some good today. Plus, it's always nice to think of "I love you's" and write cards to our loved ones.

      So while I'm thinking and planning how this year's Valentine's will go, I wanted to share some lovely bits...


      We went to the ICU last Tuesday to see Aaron's father. When we learned there was nothing more they could do, it felt as if all the love and sadness inside of us burst and then collided altogether. And Ron took some of it with him - when he took his last breath. Our lives shifted. And I hurt all over.



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