Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Remembrance & Gratitude

After nearly 15 years of love, devotion and companionship, my precious kitty Jasmine passed in the early morning hours.
Although the memories will last forever, right now the pain of the loss is too much.
I will always love and miss you Jasmine kitty.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~Kahlil

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Recently, I've been struggling with Amira's perceived attitude. What I seem to hear most often is all the things she's unhappy about (i.e., I didn't get to watch my show, how come I always have to take a shower, I don't like my sandwich, I didn't get the right kind of Gold Fish crackers I like, etc.) Note: Most of the things she complains about are an after affect due to not voicing her desires or thoughts ahead of time. Almost as if waiting, then complaining.

Perhaps it's not that bad, but it's what my ears seemed to be attuned to lately, and quite frankly it bothers me. So, I decided to recently add another little "ritual" to our daily lives to see how that might change the mood direction. I asked her the other day what she was grateful for, and she asked me what "grateful" meant. So, I explained to her that it was our way of acknowledging all those things we are thankful for, for example---I'm thankful that the sun was shining today.

She proceeded to ask me why we needed to do that, and I explained because it's our way of acknowledging and thanking God for our countless blessings we receive everyday.

So, Tuesday, this week, on our way to school, I asked her "Ok, so tell me what you are thankful for today". Her response was, "I don't know, the day hasn't started yet". To which, I laughed and said, "baby the day started when you opened your eyeballs this morning". Then, I said, "I'm thankful for the beautiful birds that were singing this morning". She said, "can I tell you after school today?"

After dinner that evening I decided to ask once again, "so, what are you grateful for?" And the response I got was priceless.

Amira-"Can I first tell you what I'm not grateful for?" At this point I wanted to scream because I was getting so tired of this perceived negativity, but decided better. Decided I should allow her to express this thought, so she'd be free to express something positive.


Amira-"I'm not grateful I had to twirl the jump-rope all day at recess while the other kids jumped."


Amira-"I'm grateful I got Ms. Peggy this morning when we drove through the car line at school."

She rattled a few more off, then asked me what I was grateful for to which I shared. By the end of dinner there was a definitely change in attitude. Felt lighter.

Here's for being grateful!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Artist in the making

Amira has recently shown an interest in art, so found a school in a nearby town that offers art classes to children of all ages.

Yesterday was her first trial class and here's the results of her first project.

She seemed to really enjoy herself, so she's been officially signed up and will continue attending classes on Saturday mornings.

Looking forward to sharing future Amira works with you.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Monterey/Pacific Grove/Carmel by the Sea

This past weekend, Amira's class was having an "optional" family field trip to Point Reyes, CA, which is located on the coast of California.

Due to the weather (rain), we opted to pass on the field trip, and instead headed to Monterey, CA to explore the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Figuring Amira would still be able to explore the oceanic sea life, but under drier conditions.

The weekend weather turned out to be absolutely perfect for the field trip, thus allowing us to take in so much more than the aquarium. We also ventured to Pacific Grove, which is noted for being the Monarch Butterfly capitol as well as to Carmel-by-the Sea, famously noted for Thomas Kincaid's work.

After visiting the breathtaking landscape of Carmel-by-the-Sea, I understood Thomas Kincaid's art much better-----for he depicts the actual beauty on the outside, but not the beauty on the inside of the town's people because there wasn't much beauty to capture upon. Although esthetically the little village on the sea was breathtakingly beautiful the people themselves were somewhat snobby and rude. Of course not all as we encountered some lovely people, but I would say as a general consensus the majority were snobby.

Here are some photos that captured our weekend.