April has sped by like a Shinkansen. Let’s check-in, shall we?
We had our initial meeting with our new lawyer. We’re finalizing our new wills later this week.
We got our new credit card in the mail (1.5% cash-back on international purchases).
Sadly removed Sri Lanka from our wish list due to the Easter bombings.
We talked with the oldest kid’s school about the school board’s “Reach Ahead” program so that he can start grade 9 online courses in grade 8. We really liked the sound of the online courses TVO / ILC provides. The first talk with the guidance counselor ended with a “no.” We’re hoping to meet with the principal later? If it doesn’t work out we may just homeschool over the grade 8 year and do it ourselves. Hack your education!
I really enjoyed this video from Max Joseph about how to read more books in your lifetime. Lots of sweet bookstore eye candy here!
I just read an interesting paper in the journal Psychological Science that shows a parent’s view of failure is more important to a child’s growth than the parent’s views on intelligence. Specifically, the paper concludes that, “Overall, parents who see failure as debilitating focus on their children’s performance and ability rather than on their children’s learning, and their children, in turn, tend to believe that intelligence is fixed rather than malleable.”
In other words, it’s important that parents don’t let kids think that their minds are fixed (i.e., they can’t do better simply because of who they are), but rather can always grow and overcome their failures if they keep trying.
If you’re visual, like me, you should click on the following image from Carol Dweck’s book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. It does a great job showing the difference between the two mind sets.
Just a reminder that it’s never too late. Even the great Morgan Freeman didn’t get a big movie role until he was 52, with Driving Miss Daisy and Glory, and previously he had several careers from being in the military, being a dancer and acting in the theatre. And even though he never got any respect, Rodney Dangerfield didn’t get his first big movie role (Caddyshack) until he was 59, and sold aluminum siding before that.
Here’s a quote from Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar that hit home recently, saying that, yes, deciding a single future is hard but the sooner you do it, the sooner your life can begin (otherwise, you might lose everything):
“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Click read more to see the full quote in beautiful comic form (by Zen Pencils).
Thanks to everyone who read through my horror posts leading up to one of the most fun days of the year! Assuming the rain stays away, the kids will be out there collecting all sorts of goodies which their parents will have to, ahem, sort through carefully.
The horror movie posts were a lot of fun to research and write, so hopefully they were interesting to a few of you out there! And if you missed them, here are the links:
Also, a new website just started called Reel Scary, which lets people rate horror movies based on three criteria: disturbing, gory and suspenseful. Take a look if you’re still stuck trying to figure out what to watch tonight! Happy Halloween! 🙂
As you may have guessed, I am the Mother-Unit 2000 in this here family. Wifey to JBot and mum to G-Man and Trex. I couldn’t be happier or more proud of these dorks and I feel grateful everyday to know and love them.
When we were throwing around this blog idea with G-Man he got very excited as we talked about what we might post. JBot had already started working on his Halloween movie project. We had suggested that G-Man write a review of his new Lego Dimensions game. And G-Man was like, “And Mom, you can write about house stuff!”
Just a reminder from the perspective of a kid, no matter how intellectually active and cool you think you might be, if your main job consists primarily of cooking and cleaning you are the one who does “house stuff.” Which is incredibly boring compared to all of the exciting things that a kid gets up to in a day.
As a friend or family member to us, you know that I have been home full-time since G-Man was born. Making housework and child-rearing tolerable, let alone fun, has been my main challenge for almost a decade now.
So yes, I will probably talk about “house stuff.” What I won’t talk about too much after today is what I consider to be the gender politics of the issue. Claiming the mantle of “radical homemaker” is a feminist statement for me, and to be honest, what has brought me happiness over the past nine years. I am also happy that I have so many more of the domestic arts to accomplish in the future!
What I will probably talk about is how being a homemaker is helping us prepare for our big trip. Living in a more affordable community was a big reason for our recent move to the Niagara region. Not only do we now have a yard in which we can grow our own food, but we also have a basement and room for a big chest freezer and bulk item storage. Living in a tiny condo in Toronto just didn’t allow for that level of thriftiness.
Speaking of Niagara, this region is completely new for us. We haven’t lived in this part of Ontario before and we’re excited to explore it! I plan on blogging about the hiking trails that we have found, the local history that I have been learning about, and, of course, the food!
Until then, I leave you with a little message from Carol Channing and the “Free to Be You and Me” album:
Indeed, hello world! At least, that’s what we plan to be saying in five years time. For those that are just joining us (i.e., everyone), this blog will be a semi-random assortment of posts related to not only our family having fun, but also posts leading up to a year-round trip around the world! All four of us – Jbot, T-Rex, G-Man and MegaMommy are exciting to take this trip in five year’s time.
This blog will help us organize our thoughts and plans, shedding light on how we’re saving our money, where we’ll be going and what we’ll be seeing. But, in between those posts, we’ll be writing about everything from video games, toys, movies, gardening and whatever else our family is having fun doing.