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Around Here

ANNA

ListeningPitch Perfect soundtrack and Taylor Swift's 1989

Reading | READING. It's like magic. Seriously the coolest thing to witness and encourage and nurture. She's determined and not easily frustrated, which in and of itself is a gift. 

Planning | Her birthday party. We're doing a delayed party this year not just because she was sick but because at least four other girls in her grade at school have birthdays this month and every weekend has included a birthday party already. Next year there's talk of a joint kids party. 

Playing | Barbies and fairies and princesses - in all kinds of awesome scenarios. I love the imaginative play all over the house. Two of her favorite places are the spot seen in the photo above and in the bathtub in my bathroom. 

Practicing | Gymnastics twice a week. Love how much she is loving it. Love that she is making friends with the other girls in her class - none of which go to the same school as her. 

SIMON

Reading | Totally into murder mysteries. I think it started with the Clue movie that he has been obsessing about recently - including typing out the entire script by watching it via subtitles (it ended up being 52 or so pages - I call that awesome typing practice). Last week he checked out two different books at the library after searching "murder mysteries." One of the things that is awesome about this is that he's often most interested in books where he has seen the movie first. 

Listening | He's been building his own playlist on Spotify recently and it's so awesome because it is so him. I'm planning a separate post to document that list soon. 

Entertaining | He had his first friend sleepover last weekend and it went really well. Movies and video games for the win.  

Joining | He's all signed up for some horseback riding lessons with a local group called RideAble. We've heard great things from other families who have taken their kids there so I'm hoping it will be something for him to look forward to and enjoy. It's something he's expressed an interest in before but the timing wasn't quite right. Making it happen this spring. 

Choosing | Short sleeves when the sun is out. Those of you who have been around a long time know that's a pretty big deal. 

ALI

Planning | We booked a RV for Spring Break and Aaron and I are brainstorming RV-adventure-with-5-kids strategies.

Obsessing | Currently consumed with the new workshops I'll be teaching this weekend at the Crop & Create event outside Toronto. Obsessing means working really hard (creating, journaling, photographing, writing), thinking about it way too much, and then procrastinating on the handouts and samples by cleaning. I'm excited and nervous and hoping I remember how to do this in-person stuff again.  

Making Space | For kids activities. For quiet. For looking them in the eye. For hugs and silliness and hanging out together without my list being so long and so loud. 

Listening | To his stories and questions (usually about Scooby Doo, Clue, Harry Potter, Star Wars, etc). To her stories and questions (usually about the ups and downs of girls and boys in kindergarten). To NPR. To the hum of the dishwasher and the washer and dryer (sounds of comfort). 

Remembering | I don't have to have it all figured out. 

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58 thoughts

  1. crazystampwoman says…
    02/25/2015

    Having an ASD son the same age, I totally know what a big deal it is for Simon to be okay with wearing short-sleeved shirts. Yay!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. helenhigh says…
    02/25/2015

    Thank you for sharing your everyday! It's important to document the regular as much as the things to celebrate (vacations, holiday etc.) I've always wanted to do this and with your help and Cathy Zielske (LOVE HER)I am starting to not take my everyday for granted and remember that it is worth documenting.

    Also part of you "One Little Word" community and my word is "push". I'm pushing myself to do the things I've had trapped in my head and pushing to be a better person by expressing myself.

    Thank you for what you do. Wanted to let you know that your reach has an impact you may not quite know about.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Carolly says…
    02/25/2015

    So cool about Simon doing horseback riding, my sis was a trainer at a horseback Therapy farm in high school and she helped so many kids, it is totally a unique and effective sort of therapy!

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. angeljade says…
    02/25/2015

    I'm going to be at Crop & Create Markham...and I'm nervous too! I have been scrapbooking since 2003 but this is going to be my first crop (no, I don't know why I haven't managed to get out to one before) and I am going ALONE, so I am hoping I won't be awkward! I am going to be in 2/3 of your classes (one sold out before I managed to check out!) and I am so looking forward to them. :)

    I too have loved watching your kids grow over the years - and as a former rider myself, think that Simon's forthcoming horseback riding experience will be GREAT.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. jenjohnson2 says…
    02/25/2015

    Just love this post. And I just love your blog. I've been reading it for years & years and I always get something out of your posts. Always. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. paulette1980 says…
    02/25/2015

    yay for the short sleeves! yay for Toronto! (& if I wasn't still in Fl I'd be there in a heart beat)and you know, there are horses on our farm, not just apples! (winkwink) thanks so much for sharing your journey Ali:)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. pmmessner says…
    02/26/2015

    all good, all real life.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. DonnaM says…
    02/26/2015

    Smiled at the short sleeves for Simon comment. My 17yo has mufti at school this year. It's very hot and humid (summer) here and he insists on long sleeves and track pants. I always love your posts like this. They help me appreciate the real and the good stuff more.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Davida says…
    02/26/2015

    I'm attending crop & create in Markham this weekend and am registered in 2/3 of your classes. I'm super excited to meet you. I've always been a fan and am especially loving the new website and story kits and OLW :-). Still need to get my homework done but I am really just looking forward to seeing Ali "live". Haha :-). I know whatever you do or bring will be wonderful. What a treat!! Safe travels :-)

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. barefootscrapbooker says…
    02/26/2015

    I remember falling in love with murder mysteries when young too! Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were huge favorites until I finished all of them and moved to Agatha Christie. She is phenomenal - the best mystery writer I have come across, and the fact that everything is early 1900's makes it all the more magical because the mysteries were solved using observation and thought, rather than the helpful technology and science that is used now. It definitely makes for a huge change in speed, and I think it helped nurture my developing powers of observation at the time. Plus, there are tons of movies and tv shows that go along with the books - Poirot with David Suchet is the best. You can find them in the library or online.

    Enjoy!
    Tanya

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. abbypimentel says…
    02/26/2015

    My husband surprised me with the same camera and lens you have, and I'm so intimidated by it. Would you mind telling me what settings you used on that first lovely picture of Anna? If you remember, that is...

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Deb_J says…
    02/27/2015

    I love how much Simon has progressed. Both of the kids are really changing so fast.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. khowardga says…
    02/27/2015

    Simon would probably love some old school Hardy Boys books :-) (and the shows probably wouldn't be too bad to have flashbacks of watching either.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. scrap_horse says…
    02/27/2015

    I also find the sound of the laundry or dishwasher going comforting. Especially in the evening when the day's work is done, it makes me feel like all is well in my home. (I thought I might be the only one!)

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. mjrose says…
    03/01/2015

    Book suggestion for Simon:
    'The Cat Who... (Series)' by Lilian Jackson Braun
    I actually remember these creating a spark for me as I was becoming a lifelong reader about his age. Plus the cat might give him a glimpse as to what George is up to when Simon is at school.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. llorddoucet says…
    03/10/2015

    Hi Ali,

    I realize I'm quite behind on reading this post, but as a fellow lover of the Clue movie and all things "Clue" I wanted to mention that there is a series of kids chapter books based on "Clue" that I ADORED when I was a kid. I'm not sure how easy they would be too find these days, but I'm guessing Simon would really enjoy them.

    Reply 0 Replies

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