Having Fun Just Because We Can

I had to take Juliana to an appointment today and as we were leaving I noticed this fun sculpture and asked J if she wanted to play on it. 

Her initial reaction was, “right now?” and of course I said, “yes, it’s not like we’re coming back here tomorrow and the moment is now. It’s right in front of us and looks like fun.  Are you in?”

She didn’t hesitate for long and humored me for a little minute.  

   
       

I love this kid in so many ways and love that she’ll still play with me. I loved the sculpture and the trees and the lighting too. 

On to another subject, we had our first successful pasta night and I loved it. I loved having all the kids together and all the parents too.  I loved that everyone brought something to share, especially fresh tulips.  Thank you friends for sharing the night with me and for the wine and goodies.  I love this!!

 
Hope you have a great, relaxing weekend!  NamASTE. 

Mini Fun

Tonight I laughed so hard watching Charlie play with his friends. We had a BBQ dinner and afterwards I loved just listening to the kids play together.

They decided to do a little skit, one that I shared with Charlie from my childhood days awhile ago.

One child sat on the lap of the other and then the show began. The person that can be seen has his arms in front of him, with shorts on up to his elbows and shoes on his hands, and a blanket over his lap. The person from behind hides and places their arms in the oversized shirt sleeves. Then the ceremony begins where the two become one and the hands and arms from behind start performing tasks.

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They brushed their teeth, brushed their hair, drank water, danced, ran in place, did jumping jacks and sang the head-shoulders-knees-and-toes song.  

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They itched their face and tucked their hair behind their ears. I couldn’t get them to pick their nose.  They went to sleep and did yoga. It is the funniest thing to watch, and all gathered around and enjoyed the show.

Life is good. Live it up and Laugh!! xo

Laguna Beach Volleyball Weekend

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We are 16+ volleyball moms and 12 of us are spending the weekend together with no drama. The group has been meeting weekly for ten years, with some old timers and some newer members. It’s really cool to see all the connections and to share and learn from one another in a fun environment, united by our love for outdoor volleyball. The oldest child of our group is 23 and the youngest is 9. We are good together.

Every so often we take a weekend trip together to play at a beach instead of our weekly grassy playing field in the park.

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This weekend we are enjoying Laguna Beach together. We have had so much fun playing volleyball, bodysurfing, snorkeling, playing games, sharing food and drink, going for walks, laughing and enjoying the sun and surf.

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Women friends are priceless and I am thankful for the relationships we share.

Life is good.

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Happiness Is

Here I Am is my life story. It’s about just being – in the moment and the pursuit of happiness. I happen to spend a lot of my time being home with my kids and family and working out and volunteering and playing, so I share these type of daily events because that’s what I do. For some reason, I find joy in sharing this journey, hoping that maybe my one life might spark something in you that helps to add joy in your life, your way.

I love my life and am always seeking ways to make it even better and I’m constantly reading and learning and adapting and changing. I tend to share the joys because those make me smile and everyone has there own burdens and don’t need anymore. I don’t like drama so I don’t write about that, even though it’s there on a daily basis. I like to smooth over those messy parts and focus on the good.

I considered stopping writing after my vacation, thinking maybe my life is “boring” to others. It has more of a routine now that we are not expats anymore. Jeff reminded me that most of the news on TV and on the internet is boring and repetitive, yet we still watch it and read it. We learn new things and have opinions and feelings and share our ideas and thoughts, and make connections, based on what we see and learn.

I decided that I want to keep on writing, because I think I know something about positive living and the pursuit of happiness and I hear from so many of you that you like what I have to say. This is rewarding to me. I don’t have life all figured out, but I love that you write to me via comments or text or private Facebook messages and private conversations and validate what I share. I love the feedback loop and hearing about your lives too. We are connected and I love this. So thank you for continuing to follow along and for sharing this beautiful life with me. You are loved.

I hope you had a wonderful day. My day was simple and rewarding. I worked out, met with some people to plan the details of an 8th grade graduation dinner next week, had lunch with a friend who just had surgery, and then picked up my kids from school. My daughter and I played tennis together, and my son and I played Connect Four after dinner.

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No one had to be anywhere tonight and Jeff was home early because he has been sick. All my work is done for the day and it’s only 7:30 pm. This makes me extremely happy. I get to go to bed early tonight and catch up on sleep!! Life is good.

Have a great night!

Playing

How often do you really get to play? And I don’t mean on your computer.

Do you play with your pet? Your kids? Your friends? Your partner?

How do you play?

Today I played in the kitchen making a new recipe I found on the internet. I had some red lentils and wanted to make soup out of them. Here is the mix of spices swirled slightly before heating to release their essence and aroma.

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The soup turned out ok and will be a healthy quick meal to enjoy the rest of the week. I also made chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight while the kitchen was already dirty. Having dinner ready early before the kids came home gave me more time to play when they came home.

We had homework club at my house today with 7 kids participating, including all three of mine. Juliana helped by making fresh chocolate chip cookies and CJ helped Jessie with her homework until he started on his. We listened to and sang and lip synced to the Frozen soundtrack before getting started to amp up the energy a bit after being in school all day. We were all laughing and singing, playing and working together. Too bad I didn’t take a picture.

I challenged the kids to focus and get their work done in 45 minutes and told them I’d go outside and play with them if they stayed on task. They won the challenge and we moved outside and played tag, dodgeball tag and Mother May I? I think I had just as much fun as the kids. I loved their creativity and laughing along with them as we played.

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Did you notice the Dutch flags flying in the backyard? I put them up for Halloween and liked them so much I never took them down.

On the way to drop off the kids, Charlie and I had a half hour to spare. I keep tennis gear in the car and saw the lights were on at the local courts AND a court was available. Charlie and I decided to spontaneously play together and had a blast. He’s really good and told me he wants to be on a tennis team too! I’m so excited about that.

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Today was so much fun and I shared this story to hopefully encourage you to play too. It’s great to be a kid!

PLaY.

Day 271: Have You Filled A Bucket Today?

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Have you heard of this book? Charlie’s class read it recently and he came home talking about it and shared it with me. He asked me to play with him and invited me to just come hang out with him. We then played foosball together and laughed and had fun, doing something I didn’t expect to do. I, of course, had 100 other things I “had” to do, yet I stopped to play and was so happy afterwards, mostly because he was happy and also because I had fun sitting on the floor and enjoying my kid. Afterwards he asked if he had filled my bucket? It’s a connection to the story that teaches children the meaning of bucket filling and bucket dipping and encourages positive behavior. I loved that he was thinking of ways to make me happy.

So today we were at his school, and giving our family friend, Darryl, a tour of the school. The kids were excited and proud to show him around. Charlie wanted to show him his classroom door that was decorated with the book cover and mini buckets that each student wrote on and decorated, explaining how they filled someone’s bucket. Charlie wrote about how he filled my bucket by playing my favorite game with me. I love it!

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Darryl said that his son also read the same book and shared that with him. What a small world.

Watching the kids give Darryl a tour and showing him the art displays, music rooms, food tech, design tech, Dutch and humanities classrooms was very touching to me. I love that they were proud of their school and that Christian was taking pictures so he’ll remember it after he leaves one day. They filled my bucket today!

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This picture is a piece of art from outside the Dutch classrooms.

It was very comforting having a friend from home come and take the time to drop in on his way to a business meeting in Delft. We enjoyed making dinner together with the kids and afterwards went for a walk to the park and played until bed time. I love that Darryl was open to just flow with the kids and enjoy just being with our family for a few hours, and played outside until near dusk. Thanks for coming, Darryl and for the British treats! But now you’re making me miss home!

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Life is good!! Have you filled someone’s bucket today?

Day 195: Time Together

My house is a mess! It looks like a whirling dervish came spinning through in just one day, as yesterday it wasn’t this bad. I was gone all day and when I came home with the kids after school, and actually noticed the clutter and chaos, I started to get short and snippy with the kids, hoping they would magically make it all disappear. Of course my agitation, created their agitation which was counterproductive. So instead, I changed my approach and apologized and offered hugs instead of demands. Then we worked together to make our “castle” a bit more organized again so we could enjoy it. And then we did.

We made dinner together, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and then had time to play again. We all felt better, although I can’t say the house is spotless, but we’re better than before.

Juliana and I made a small batch of rice Krispy treats in her new heart pan. She loves to bake and I am planning to spend more time with her baking, like we did when she was little.

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After dinner, Char and I made time to read together on the couch. We’re reading a traditional Dutch chapter book about the characters Jip and Jannike. I just love their names and their black and white images. After we sat together reading, he wanted to see pictures from home. We looked at old pics from my Facebook account, and re-liked one that made it new again in my photo stream. We then looked at my online photo library. Luckily I’ve categorized a few chapters, but most are just sitting in folders. How do you organize your digital prints? I am so not good at this! We took some selfies to add to my uncategorized collection!

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And Christian is now at an age that he’s happy on his own. He finished his homework and then was building his dream stadium using the Sketch Up application on his computer. He wants to be an architect someday, and so hopefully through his play he also learns a few skills. It’ll be cool to watch and see if his path takes him in this direction.

It’s so hard for me to play together at the end of the day, when all I want to do is be done and clean up and relax and write. But today I’m happy that I chose to play. How have you played today??

Namaste.