Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Some of Our Favorite Mistakes

Would you like to give the gift of a mistake this holiday?
We've compiled a list of some of our favorite storybooks and movies. We hope you enjoy them, mistakes and all!

 Beautiful Oops! by Barney Saltzberg -

"When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful".

From those very words, this books takes flight into creativity. You will never look at a spill, a ripped page, a smear or a smudge the same way, again. 

Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!!! And you will fall in love with Rosie, too! This wonderful tale teaches kids to celebrate their mistakes and never give up. GO ROSIE!!!


Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Jones

Curious about mistakes that worked? Read the fascinating stories behind popsicles, potato chips, silly putty and more! This fun book takes you through 40 familiar inventions and the amazing stories behind them.


Meet the Robinson's by Disney Pictures DVD

Everyone thinks THEY have a crazy family but have you met the Robinson's? Join a brilliant young inventor named Lewis as he sets off on a time-traveling quest to find the family he never knew. Our family loves to laugh with this movie and the lesson to keep moving forward and never stop believing is a winner, too! (We've got a running theme, here:-)

 A Boy Named Charlie Brown by Charles Schultz/Paramount Pictures DVD

I have a very special place in my heart for all things Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang. Having said that, I have to admit that poor ol' Charlie Brown goes through the wringer in this film. But what keeps me holding on is the ending. Linus, dear Linus, will offer Charlie Brown a few words - the last lines of the film - that are truly, sage advice.

And we can't forget....

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving by Charles Schultz/Paramount Pictures DVD

Two slices of toast, a handful of jellybeans and some pretzel - it's a different kind of Thanksgiving meal when the gang comes to Chuck's house for the holiday. This time, it's Peppermint Patty who get the lesson on the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

Bonus points...some DVD's also include the Mayflower Voyage featuring the Peanuts gang.

Happy Turkey Day!!
We'll be back next week to introduce December's Rule!! 

Monday, November 24, 2014


 November's month of double dares and mistakes is nearly over and we wanted to share a little bit of ART we made.

We were inspired by the movie, UP! (love it) and created a visual for all our hard earned mistakes this month. It was just another way to be curious and change the way we thought about mistakes. 
If you can learn from your mistakes, where will they take you? Up. Up. UP!

This month, everyone took ownership of their mistakes with a fingerprint and together, all those fingerprints became something more - all those lovely balloons!!! 

Reese even made her own special little house!

It's a work in progress but that's kinda the beauty of it all.
Success was hearing the kids talk more freely about their mistakes, almost at times, to the point of excitement.  It's a different kind of share and we like it!
So, even though November is almost gone, we're gonna keep at it, noticing mistakes and adding balloons and hopefully we will grow just like our artwork.
Happy Monday!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Truth Is...

I don't know what you make of all this "wrecking" business.

 That we choose to throw books across floors

and scribble wildly on pages with borrowed pens
and crack spines of books, all on purpose.


Sometimes, I wonder myself.
But then, I notice something else.
For all the ways we destroy our little book,
in other ways, it comes back to life for us, again and again
(find a way to wear this page)
 And we can't deny that we want more!!
Rest assured, when we are all done,
this beaten and battered, "best fun ever" book
will have a very special place, just waiting for it, in our china cabinet.  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

When Curious Is Hard

Some mistakes are harder than others. Being curious is much the same.

All this month, we had been collecting mistakes and feeling good. Mistakes had been making appearances in our dinner conversations and little chats here and there.

It was all feeling easy until it wasn't.

Ethan and I hit a brick wall this week on a repeat offender, a mistake that kept cropping up. Scott Berkun would call this an involved mistake for Ethan but honestly, it felt like I had more intertwined or "involved" in it. 

It was all about homework. Ugh!

I have to admit that as a parent, I struggle with letting my kids make mistakes about school matters.

It's hard for me to let them deal with the consequences of forgetting a book at school or handing in an incomplete assignment. They never forget their lunch or miss the school bus because I am always double checking.

Hi, I'm Nancy and I am still a recovering perfectionist.

So, needless to say, Ethan's choice to let the whole weekend slide before he looked at his homework left me feeling a little unsettled.

I told myself that he'll get the work done. That would be the end of it but then SURPRISE, he made the discovery that he still had a notebook project to do. It was now late, too late to cram it all in and the realization at the 9th hour left us both OUT OF CURIOUS.

I was upset. He was embarrassed and apologetic. We went to our emotional spaces and for a while, we just went in circles.  It was hard to pull out of our roles, parent and child. I knew I couldn't do it.

I'm so glad that Ethan could.

Somewhere in the midst of my parent speech about responsibility - or maybe it was perfectionism talking, it's still up for debate - Ethan just stopped me and said,
"I guess I made a mistake, mom, a really good one."

The awareness in his voice was a jolt. It was all I needed to hear to get out of my parent trap - I am the adult, listen to me - and meet him in that moment.

And can I tell you, it felt so much better to find curious again, to see what was next. To hear what he was feeling and what HE was going to do rather than hold on to my perfect hard lines that told him what he HAD to do next. 

Thanks, Ethan, that really was a good mistake, for you and me, both.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Curious Finds


This is my china cabinet. 
It looks like most cabinets except for one detail.  
Look closely....can you see it? 


 Light on china, heavy on books, my china cabinet is a glorified curio of words.
This is fine by me. My life was shaped by these books, these many stories.

Some books took me away from my everyday world...

...while other books brought me back to myself.

And still others are just precious memories that I never want to forget.

I have always loved books. STILL DO.
To peek into another life - real or imaginary - mistakes and all. 
Yes, you can bring on the mistakes!!

I can handle all the broken hearts of Austen.
I can rally and fight with the Three Musketeers, despite the odds.
I can laugh at the comedy of human error in Shakespeare.
I can sit with Linus in the pumpkin patch. 
I can hold on till the very end of every great story, every great mistake.
Dear Kiddos,
In honor of great tales, big and small, don't let go of your mistakes,
this week. Be curious of them, turn the page and keep going because
you, my dears, are the heroes of another great story!


Friday, November 14, 2014

What's a little mud between friends

For all my talk last week about mud, I wanted to share with you another side...SWEET EATS!

My plan was to share a Mississippi Mud Pie recipe but all Reese had on the brain this week was milkshakes. Lo and behold, I found a Mud Pie Milkshake recipe! It just wasn't the type you find on a kid menu. 

No worries! Reese took a desserts cooking class at school last year and assured me she knew how to KID-I-FY this treat. 

All she needed was a little bit of DIRT.


1 pint of chocolate/vanilla ice cream - all chocolate, even better! Slightly softened.
1/3 cup of very cold whole milk
12 plus Oreo cookies (depending on how much DIRT you want in your drink)
Mallomars cookies for your topping


Place 6 Oreo cookies in a ziploc bag. Get your fists ready and break them up, Wreck It Ralph style, till you have what looks like DIRT.

Place ice cream, milk and 6 more Oreo cookies, broken in pieces, into blender. Mix until you have a smooth consistency. 

When ready, pour into glasses (or Olaf's head) alternating layers of DIRT and milkshake. Don't forget, like we did, to save some DIRT for the very top layer of your drink. 


Top off your creation with a tasty Mallomar cookie or two!


It's not the ultimate foodie pic but quiet children and empty glasses
are the final word at our house on good eats.

After they slurped these milkshakes down, more sweet combinations and toppings came to mind for our next DIRT Milkshake. We'll definitely be making these again. Stay tuned!
For those interested, here is the original Milkshake recipe by Bobbly Flay that originally caught my eye.

Mississippi Mud Pie Spiked Milkshake Shots by Bobby Flay

Still a keeper amongst adult friends! Happy Friday!!