Monday, October 13, 2014

Good and plenty

Life has been busy but happy lately. I love being back in the school routine. After two months back in school, everyone seems to be doing well with the daily schedule and expectations. I've been particularly proud of my GB. I was anticipating more bumps as she adjusted to her new life as a kindergartner but she's doing great. Both small Bears are learning a lot and having fun, at home and in school. I don't think I can ask for more than that. We just finished the kids' fall break. We enjoyed the first taste of real fall weather with two different storms rolling through. I wore slippers! It was cozy, the kind of family time we like - cooking, crafting, listening to NPR and just hanging out.

I'm doing better with my resolution to chill out about things I can't control - the drama and chaos in other people's lives. It isn't easy for me - I'm a fixer by nature - but I'm learning to focus more on the things I can control - the ones I enjoy and treasure in my own relatively untroubled life. It's an ongoing journey but I know I am getting there. There is so much to love! That includes all of you, and the kind things you say. Thank you for being supportive. I'm glad I'm not boring! I strive for peace and predictability in my own life and I'm proud to share this here. I have simple wishes. I don't really wish for things I don't have (well, not often). I like to stay home. I enjoy domestic pursuits. I finally feel really good about these aspects of myself, and blogging has been an important part of that. So, lately...


We've been enjoying our portable fire pit - a warming blaze in the backyard, complete with s'mores.


The small Bears and I visited the local aquarium. We all love the coral reef tank. I really could spend all day looking at it. I feel mesmerized and drowsy. I would curl up and sleep there, if it wouldn't make me seem all vagrant-y.


It's the season when my kids want to drink tea. They have their (decaffeinated herbal) tea in their favorite cups while I drink my high-octane Irish Breakfast tea.


It's soup season too. I made this minestrone, my own hodge-podge recipe, in the slowcooker and enjoyed the leftovers for lunch. I love soup.


We've been playing a lot of "store" lately. Both small Bears need the play-money practice.We sell everything in our store, from magazines to play food to stuffed animals standing in for food. Come on down!


We gave the GB a set of string lights for her birthday and they've been a major hit.We ordered them from IKEA after seeing them on our famous visit to the store this summer. We hung them on the wall just recently, and she enjoys them before going to sleep at night, but before that she was happy to lie under the bed with them.


I had a really fun opportunity to attend a local retail/media event. Lakeshore Learning invited me to attend their new store's opening here in Albuquerque. Our new store is their sixtieth location, opened in honor of their sixtieth anniversary as a company, and is the first of their stores to open in New Mexico. I was invited as a local blogger. There were local state and city dignitaries and people from the Lakeshore company, as well as local educators and media representatives. There were light refreshments, crafts for the invited kids, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony (with giant scissors!). The store is bright and colorful, filled with fun, interesting teaching and learning materials. I was given a very generous gift bag full of games and toys to take home. This store is sure to be a great addition to our city and I was honored to be part of this special event.


And finally, a scary sight just for you. Pretend vampire teeth + Elmo doll = Draculelmo.

38 comments:

  1. I love draculelmo !!! He reminds me of when I was young... (a long, long, time ago.... ;-)))
    The store you wrote about, Lakeshore Learning, sounds like a really nice store - too bad Albuquerque is just a bit far away for me :-(... (Hubby ? Please ? I've never been to New Mexico...)
    And the photo of your minestrone makes me realize I'm hungry and that it's time to start cooking dinner !

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  2. Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing, I love all these little glimpses into your family life!
    Have a nice week!
    Ingrid xx
    myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  3. Dear Jennifer,

    I am quite certain that were we to meet for tea - herbal or breakfast blend - we'd have lots to chat about! I always dread summer's departure but once autumn is well established I relish tea drinking (my children enjoy a cup of chamomile or apple and cinnamon infusion in the evening before snuggling into bed with their hotwater bottles) and making soup too.

    It's good to take a step back from the things beyond our control, Jennifer. You are so wise to endeavour to do so.

    Warmest wishes to you!

    Stephanie x

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  4. Oh girl, do I ever hear you on the learning how to chill out and not deal with other people's chaos and drama! I am introverted and also have some empath qualities...so it's very hard for me to draw the line at trying to "fix" certain people or even reason with them, and learning to just let it go. A couple of things that have helped me - so just passing it along - are yoga and meditation and also reading the advice from a couple named Marc and Angel Hack. They have a web site if you're interested.

    Your soup looks so yummy. That's my go-to in the fall and winter, too. Very cool how you got to go to that store's grand opening and that you even got a goody bag. Looks like a great store!

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  5. Glad to hear your small bears are having fun. If they're happy then they'll learn effectively. Mine are preparing for Harvest Assemblies in two weeks and are loving to sing songs about scarecrows, combine harvesters etc! Peace and predictability are good :-) x

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  6. Draculelmo made me laugh. Sorry, I know he's supposed to be scary. I enjoyed the rest of your post too. Lakeshore Learning sounds like a fantastic shop. What fun to be invited to their shop's opening! x

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  7. Haha I love Elmo with his teeth! :)
    I used to love playing shop when I was little!
    Good to know you're enjoying your Irish tea!!!
    V x

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  8. That first photo of the 'smore is absolutely beautiful. I have been staring at it for quite a long time. I love the combination if cool and warm colours, and think you caught the dusky light perfectly there. I would love to drink tea with you one day. x

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  9. Well, Piper loves Elmo but I'm afraid Dracuelmo would scare her to bits so I think I'll skip showing her although I think he's cute! I so enjoy visiting your blog Jennifer. I think we have a lot of the sames likes and dislikes. Too bad we don't live closer and could visit over a nice cup of tea.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  10. Fire, soup and hot drinks, lovely. You are doing autumn beautifully. I'm in love with the simple things here too, I think that's one of the reasons I love your blog so much. It's warm and comforting and I always enjoy my visits here. I'm laughing at Draculelmo, scary indeed! CJ xx

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  11. My girls used to love playing at shops. They used to sell anything and everything they found lying around. Fun times! :oD

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  12. i too am trying to let things go.. to chill out. i'm a work in progress but not having to stress out about every little thing is a great feeling..
    mm soup, one of my favorite things about the cold

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  13. I am so excited for you being invited as a blogger! Go you!
    Now I have a question. What exactly is s'mores ? I think I get the general idea but do you buy a kit ? Is it a set "recipe" ? Is it just random bits of yumminess hodge-podged together ? Please enlighten me, this has been one of life's great mysteries to me .... I could just google it I guess but I'd rather a real person explained it!!
    Jillxo

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  14. So nice to see you play, "store", at your house. I teach 2nd grade and money is such a big deal!

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  15. In so many of your sweet posts, I always see glimpses of "us" as young parents with young children, and it makes me a bit sad that those times are gone, but also grateful that we have such wonderful memories.

    We have a Lakeshore store here, too. It is a grandparent's dream store for gifts. We always have a blast looking at all the different things. It's super that you got to go to the grand opening!

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  16. Hi Jennifer! I enjoyed every bit of this post. We all need to not let ourselves get swept up in other people's drama. Now I want a S'more and soup! LOL! That store sure has neat colorful stuff, but I've never seen or heard of one. You guys rock. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  17. LOL Love Draculelmo ♥
    And your soup looks wonderful and really enjoyed reading your post today too.

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  18. Its my favourite time of year for soups and stews, yours looked delicious. How exciting to be invited to an event as a local blogger.

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  19. I know how hard it is to let go of situations you can't do anything about. I call myself a control freak... you call it being a fixer, which sounds kinder!

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  20. Soup, despite its mostly liquid nature, and because of its chunks of goodness, is always a hearty staple in the cooler seasons and your minestrone looks delicious!

    Poppy

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  21. I love Draculelmo! He is cute and scary all in one! :)

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  22. Don't tell the little bears: my two older ones are going to spend the night in the local aquarium, sleeping under the tunnel tank. They are very exited! I wish I could go, too. Your soup looks inviting, is there any left, I am on my way. Cx

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  23. Ha ha, Draculelmo made me laugh. I used to love playing at shops when I was little. The outstanding memory I have of my Grandpa was him emptying my Grandma's pantry of tins so that we could use them in our shop, then I'd be the shopkeeper and he'd come along and ask for half a pound of tuppeny rice and half a pound of treacle. Such happy memories.

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  24. Draculelmo is too funny to be scary. That looks like a great new store you have and I'm sure you'll enjoy the goodies you got from it. I really must get into making soups again, now that autumn is upon us.

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  25. Great post - I love the way you write. How honoured to be invited to the opening of that store! Some of my favourite things about autumn is that of making soups and drinking hot drinks!! Draculelmo is about as frightening as I can handle - I seriously can't handle being scared! J9 x

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  26. What a lovely read, and I'm still laughing about draculelmo :-) xxx

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  27. It isn't easy not to worry, but it is good that you are working on it. I think that if it is your natural tendency you will always have that in you, but you can perhaps gain more perspective through the years as to whether or not things are worth worrying about and direct your worries to where they can actually make a difference and be appreciated. I hope that will happen for you in any case, I know it is hard, but I also know that if you can do it, it will be good for you. I would rather have a friend who worried than one who didn't care! xx

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  28. I think when we worry about the things we can't control it tends to make us stronger when we come out the other side. I can remember a few years ago something major that was happening in my son's life and I spent months worrying but focussing on how to make this better. We won and I was then able to advise others on how to fight a system. It feels like there isn't any light at the end of the tunnel, but when helping others and listening, the calmness that you set helps others in all sorts of situations. Now as for draculelmo - we still have one of these in the loft so I have a feeling that he may make an appearance on our bench outside on Halloween with some fangs!! Take care xx

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  29. Hi Jennifer,

    Lovely to read of what you and your family are up to. Sounds cozy settling in with hot soups and tea.
    I also loved playing shops when I was little and my children did the same.
    Hope you are having a great week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  30. Loving the Draculaelmo. And that soup just looks so delicious. I really should use my slow cooker more.

    What do you burn in your fire pit Jennifer. We are having no end of trouble finding fuel for ours that doesn't smoke too much.

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  31. BigR loves the aquarium too - although we haven't been for a while. The soup looks fab...maybe I should get a slow cooker? I see so many delicious looking things others have made. I love Draulemo! The stuff of nightmares!! :)

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  32. The pictures you show us are so beautiful, full of family and love. I am a control freak, so letting goof things I cannot control is so hard for me. I am deep, way too deep, I need to lighten up.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  33. I like to be in control of things too. As I've gotten older I've had to learn to let a lot more things go. It's hard though, especially when it comes to things with my kids :) Love the photos, your kids always seem so happy in all your photography!

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  34. You had me at the S'mores! Hehehe...love NPR... I understand about being in control. Yes, I do! I'm thinking we would do well meeting for tea or coffee! ;) xoxo Jen

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  35. Lovely post and and gorgeous photos. Those s'mores look so good! I have never tried one...think my Brownie group would love having these at camp.
    Marianne x

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  36. I love soup too. I love your outlook on life, I have been trying to do the same. Craft is the only thing I can really control so that is why I am so prolific at that! Love to you Jo x

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  37. Ahhh good old control...sigh. It is such a good reminder for me to read your resolve to release yourself from useless entanglements that waste you time on unproductive worry, Jennifer. Cheers for you!!!xx

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  38. Ah, soup... :-) A lovely, gentle post.

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