Sunday, November 1, 2015

Our Year of Rules

We did it!! We reached our goal... One Year of House Rules

Ready, Set, PLAY
I Double Dare You to Make a Mistake
Get To Know SLOW
Color Your Daze
Yes, You Can Break It
Do Nothing
Count Me In
Waste Your Time Wisely
Be Like Water
Power Up With Little Words
Wear Gratitude on Your Sleeve
Bite The Lemon

So, the million dollar question,
can rules be FUN??

YES and...

play-full, intense, amazing, silly, slow, inspiring, embarrassing, colorful, challenging, amusing, inconceivable, hectic, humbling, euphoric, enjoyable, exhausting, blessed and bittersweet

All thanks to these smiling faces. 

And this new one...
I started this blog with a superheroes pic, so let's end it with one more.
Plain clothes, glasses, mild mannered...trickster sticking out his tongue!
(Yeah, he's one of us!)
He knows FUN, how about you?
 Thank you for hanging out with us the past year.
It's been SUPER!

Friday, October 30, 2015

How To Jumpstart a Lemon

Kids don't like to be told what to do.

It's an obvious fact and yet, I seem to forget it every time I nag nudge my kids to a task. I think I am helping them out but really what ends up happening is little movement and lots of yelling up and down stairs.

I could tell you what the experts would say on the topic of motivation but that would make for a very lengthy post. Instead, I'm going to share with you what my husband always says (from one kid to another) to break up the stalemate.

"Ethan, WHEN do YOU want to do your project?"

"Reese, WHEN do YOU want to play your flute?"

That "when" and "you" make all the difference. Words no longer become a heavy reminder or an absolute decree. We simply ask a question and it's for our kids to decide.

With freedom and a greater sense of control, everything changes. And that immovable, big lemon suddenly starts to roll.

Happy Friday:)

Monday, October 26, 2015

To-Do Lists are EVIL

Did someone say EVIL? For devoted list makers, the above title can read like blasphemy.

Who dares? That person would be Cal Newport, author of "So Good They Can't Ignore You".

And honestly, I'm so glad he did.

For some, to-do lists are serious business. I leave a paper trail for everything I want to accomplish. And that's the problem, because the most important items don't happen due to busy work.

You know busy work, the little to-do's on your list that hijack your day. Newport calls these items shallow work. "Most of us are drowning in shallow work."

At home, my husband, David makes fun of my to-do lists because I sometimes write down banal things like "eat breakfast". In my defense, I like to see check marks but really, who am I kidding? I've padded my lists with enough shallow (read between the lines, procrastination and lemons) to edge out those bigger, deeper items.

So what does Newport propose? What are we, to-do?

Read Eric Barker's interview with Cal Newport entitled,  "How to be the most productive person in your office - and still get home by 5:30pm."

It's an amazing "list" of possibilities to help you Squeeze the Day:)

Happy Tuesday!!

Note: Here's the direct link if you have trouble opening the above article.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Lemons and Frogs

Before you ask, no, this is not a blog post offering recipes... NO frog legs delicacies here!

But "frogs" were our jumping (or hopping) off point for this month's rule, Bite the Lemon.

It all began with a book, Eat That Frog! Again, not a cook book but rather a how-to-book filled with techniques to break one of their procrastinating ways.

Via: Eat That Frog!

"Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.

Your "frog" is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don't do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.

The author explained that if you can commit to "eating your frog" FIRST everyday, you create the habit needed to tackle those hard jobs. And each time you succeed, you set off a release of endorphins in your brain. You know, that high that comes over you when you finally complete a task you've been avoiding?

Who doesn't want to feel good?

After reading a few more chapters, I felt confident that I could inspire the kids with this information along with a few other nuggets I culled from my reading. Lemons, let me at 'em!!

Yeah, you already know where I am going with this... it didn't quite work.

Turns out my kids weren't impressed with my "info dump" or swayed by the discoveries of neuroscience.

It kind of bummed me out that they weren't as interested in all these details as I was. But that should have been my first clue. The way I think is different from Ethan which is different from Reese which is different from David.

It's more than just comparing apples to oranges, more like, lemons to frogs.

And that old slogan of "Just Do It", is going to need some work.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Inspiration Art

Better late than's some inspiration art for October.

"Squeeze the Day", a fun play on words. 
"Seize" a little humor where you can get it...Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

What's a lemon?

Our first round of business this month has been identifying our "lemons". You know, those activities that we put off doing for a million and one reasons.

Lemons fall under many categories: things we Have to do, Need to do, Should do and even Want to do BUT don't.

I talked to the kids about it over a snack of sweets one day (cuz I'm no dummy). Our conversation triggered a memory, a tell for some of their lemons.

It's the ole answer a question with a question....

"Ethan, did you make your bed?"
"Um, what's a bed?"

"Reese, did you practice your flute?"
"What's a flute?"

"Are we doing homework?"
(In unison, without missing a beat)
"What's a homework???"

You see? Lemons, lemons, lemons!

I asked David about how he handles lemons.

We started talking about David but honestly, I don't know what happen because when the conversation was over, it was all about me. I lost the conversation but not how David deals with deflection and avoidance.

And me? I found my lemons on the bottom of my to do list. My lemons make the list, again and again, but never seem to get done....not exactly a TO DO List!

So, how about you? What lemons are lurking in your day to day to day to day...?

Sunday, October 11, 2015


This weekend we had our first "bite" of lemons....

Lemonheads were easy...

  Lemons slices were harder...

Reese talked a good game but then lost "it" laughing...notice the drops on her sleeve.

Cheater, cheater, lemon eater...David coated his lemon with sugar.

It wasn't enough!
And me, I like lemons...sort of.