Thursday, March 22, 2012

Puppies! They do more than just make you happy!

Leia Lola Oreo

Ah puppies! They are so cute. Just seeing that sweet little face makes me smile. What about you?

It has been more than four years since we have had a dog in our house. We waited a long time. To be honest I was the last hold out. I was still working through the fact that our much loved dog was gone and I wasn't sure about replacing him. BUT this week we added this little sweet girl to our family. She is only eight weeks old. She is still learning to do everything, like go to the bathroom outside, walk on a leash and sleep in a crate but she is already settling in nicely. My two girls already love her to bits.

I was thinking today about how great pets are for kids. Both my girls were young when our last dog passed away and so they didn't really know much about the responsibility of taking care of a dog but now they are both going to chip in. So I am thinking about some of the great things that a new puppy does for kids, families and our overall feeling of happiness.

1. Strengthens the family bond
 We have really been working as a family unit since this sweet little dog joined our house. We are a close family already but it is amazing what a new pet can do to make that bond even tighter. We are spending more time together, talking, and playing with the puppy.

2. Teaches kids they are not alone in the Universe
Having a puppy or any kind of pet shows children there is something outside themselves that needs to be cared for and loved. Now there is something in their lives more important then themselves.

3. The LOVE cup overflows
A puppy is just LOVE. They want to be with you, they want to love you and you want to LOVE them. It just feels great to pour more love out into the world and give it to another living thing.

4. Teaches kids responsibility
Kids learn to take on jobs. A puppy takes work and kids have an immediate responsibility to take care of this little bundle of life. Already my kids are on a job schedule. My oldest daughter is on poop duty and the youngest is on food duty. Next week they are going to switch.

5. Teaches kids to be loving, caring and generous with their time
Puppies need to be played with but they also need to be loved. Having a pet I believe teaches children how to love another living thing that is more needy than them. The lessons they learn as children taking care of a pet will stay with them for life. This will teach how to be more compassionate, loving, kind, generous and understanding adult.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Nature In Our Own Backyward

This is what we found in our backyard. Can you see it in the tree? The Hawk. What great camouflage!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Get Outside and Soak It Up

Today was simply just a gorgeous day. I could smell spring in the air. The sun was shining and it was just balmy out. The kids kicked off the boots and slipped on the crocs ( no socks). How great was that. If you are like me and live in a place that gets snow and cold temperatures during the winter you know what I mean when I say it is great to finally shake off the winter.

I had to keep reminding myself today to stop doing the housework and get outside to enjoy the beautiful day with my kids. I just needed to breath in the fresh warm air and feed my soul with a little bit of nature, even if it was from my from porch. I shouldn't need a reminder to get outside and enjoy life but sometimes we all need to be reminded. So here are a few things to enjoy outside that will feed your soul, make you feel a bit happier and just bring you a bit more bliss in your life.

1. Soak up the Sun.
And I don't necessarily mean slip on the bathing suit and fold out the lounger. I am just get out there and enjoy the sunshine. A little bit of Vitamin D will do your body good.We all need a little bit of sun to be healthy so get outside and enjoy it.

2. Smell the Roses
Get outside and just soak up nature. At this time of year there is so much great stuff coming up. Just today I was out with my youngest daughter and we both marveled at home many little crocuses are coming up. It just takes a moment to enjoy the amazing nature all around us.

3. Take a Walk ( or a ride)
Today I needed to go to the bank and since it was so beautiful outside I decided to walk so that I could really enjoy the day. My youngest daughter hopped on her bike to come with me. It is a great way to get a bit of exercise and enjoy the weather. It felt great to spend the time with my daughter, the two of us alone and time to talk.

4. Just Relax
Weather like today is perfect for sitting with a good book on the front porch. Add a coffee or tea and it is a great way to spend some time just on me.

5. Just Play
What a great day to get out and play with the kids. They know how to really soak up a beautiful day like this. We adults could learn a lot from our kids when it comes to getting outside, really enjoying the beautiful weather and just forgetting about the housework.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Post by Ruth Kaiser a.k.a The Smiley Lady

Love is a Verb 
By Ruth Kaiser
a.k.a. The Smiley Lady of

Beatles Smileys
It’s easy to recognize that love is a feeling, a really, really good feeling. Poets write rhymes, musicians sing songs and we all can recall the intense surges of emotion that accompany feelings of love.

Clarinet Smiley
Yeah, so that’s easy. We all get that. What a lot of people don’t get is that love is also a verb--a thing you do and with the doing, you give someone else the feeling.

Drum Smiley
When you say, “I love you” it can either mean: I feel [insert song lyric], when we’re together OR it can mean because you make me feel [insert song lyric], I do things to you/for you that are motivated by my desire for you to feel [insert song lyric].

Sourdough Toast Smiley
Love the verb takes work. One chooses to behave in loving ways. I am loving you when I run to the store just to get you fresh sourdough. I am loving you when I don’t interrupt your umpteenth telling of that same old story. I am really loving you when I laugh at that old story. 

Ooops, I Forgot to Wrap & Refrigerate the Rest of the Smiley Onion
But, yep. I'm Still Lovable!
I am loving you when I remember a thing that bugs you and then try not to do it. You are loving me when I forget that thing, but you smile instead of being bugged. One of the ways we can best love someone is to accept them as they are 24/7 

Aw, You Drew Me a Bubble Bath Smiley
Loving someone is a job, with a job description. Here’s a cool assignment, write that job description thinking about the people you love. How about if you wrote that job description as if you were seeking someone to love you? I’m not talking personal ad here, rather the things you’d like someone to do to actively love you. This second list, is not one to be kept a secret. Don’t suppose others know what it takes to make you feel loved!!

I'm So Grateful You Always Help Me Find My Smiley Cell Phone, and hardly tease at all.
And when you feel like you might not love someone anymore, ask yourself if you have been doing your job. When you stop doing loving things for the other person, they feel it and respond with less for you. If you tried to once again do the love, you might once again feel the love. Sometimes when they’re most driving you crazy, making yourself do a loving thing for them, reminds you (and them) of how much you feel love for each other.

A Gentle Goodnight Touch by a Smiley Hand
I make it a practice as I first snuggle into bed at night to ask myself, did I act lovingly today? On a good day I can recall lots of little things. Other days what I remember is missed opportunities and I vow to be better. And since it’s never too late, and my lovable husband is right there beside to me, I do something loving. I simply reach out for one last gentle touch.
Did you act lovingly today? Will you tomorrow? It’s a choice.
Smile. Be happy!

Ruth Kaiser blogs as the Smiley Lady.  She shares her observations about choosing to view life more optimistically. Ruth is a teacher, author and  mom. The next time you or your child need a giggle break, check out the Smiley Gallery or sing along to “Smile. Be Happy!” or “Do You See What I See? A Smiley! A Smiley!” songs Ruth co-wrote just for kids!  Ruth has taken her message to TED as a speaker. She is also the creator of the popular online art project Thousand of people find, photograph and share Smiley Faces they find in everyday objects. The Spontaneous Smiley Project is a joyful community of people of all ages from all over the world.
 The project is as much about finding happiness as it is about finding Smiley Faces.