Friday, September 26, 2008

Craving Some Culture?

Tomorrow is Museum Day 2008 sponsored by the Smithsonian Magazine, didn't you know? If you click here, you can find a list of participating museums and even print off a free admission for yourself & a guest. It's only good for tomorrow, Saturday, but if you're looking to squeeze in a bit of culture or even some place free to take the family, this is your ticket.

I was surprised to see that a few of the "lesser known" museums (or not) were on the list for Colorado. If the weather is decent, I plan on packing up the girls and heading to the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Go out, breathe in some culture!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Momma could use a new bag!

Could you use a new, free handbag? I know that I could, even though I'm not the type who has a gazillion of them stored in the closet for each occasion. I've had mine for about 2 years now and well, it's time for a change. Judy alerted me to this contest over at Handbag Planet. They are launching their new website soon and in honor of this, are giving away a brand spanking new handbag every hour for 24 hours! It's 100% FREE! No shipping, no credit card needed, nada. So, set your browser to Handbag Planet and register to win! You'd be crazy to turn down FREE!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ikea's Coming, Ikea's Coming!

I'm so psyched! Sometime, in the not-so-distant future, Colorado is going to get it's first Ikea store just down I-25 from us in Centennial, CO! I've been admiring Ikea's stuff from afar (online) as I haven't had the fortune to be able to travel to Phoenix or the Salt Lake City suburbs, home to the closest two stores, nor do I want to order online and pay crazy shipping costs. I am anxiously awaiting the day when I can go and just browse, eat at their bistro and make a day out of it. Since an opening target date hasn't been set, who knows how long I'll be waiting, but at least it's coming!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Evidence that people are still thinking

Jerry Seinfeld - "A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking."

With that in is what I'm currently fueling my thinking brain with--

The Freedom Writers' Diary
I saw the movie with Hilary Swank, and was intrigued by the story, so I'm now reading the book.

Friday Night Knitting Club
I heard a brief plug for this book on a web cast for New York's public library. It's also been listed as a book club favorite and a staff pick at our local branch library. So far, I'm liking it. I'm only a few pages into the book but am getting a glimpse at the lives of each of the characters. It should prove to be a "soul warming" read.

Finally, The Godmother This book is spunky, smart-alec British chick lit and since I just love me some Sophie Kinsella (The Shopaholic series), I'm laughing out loud with this one too. Although, I occasionally have to wrack my brain to figure out what a snoot or a bugaloo is, it's a light and hilarious read thus far.

Usually, I have a couple of serious reads and one laugh-my-bum-off light read but, it just so happened that more of my chick lit picks happened to become available from my hold list these last few weeks. What can I say, I can use an off-the-wall, another realm story to take me away from reality from time to time. Then, we I need something to pick me up out of my mommy-brain-mush days, I'll read something that gets me thinking. It's a good balance, in my opinion.

What are you all reading these days?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Does it pay?

I was reading this post on one of my favorite blogs--Goody Blog--a product of the wonderful staff at Parents Magazine. It got me thinking, about how we reward people, in general, for good work. CEO's get very cushy bonuses, hourly employees get raises and things of that nature. So, is it a bad idea to reward our children for their good work in school the same way. What I mean is, is it a good idea to pay kids for good report cards?
Parents on Goody Blog pointed out the pros and the cons. I, personally, happen to think that paying children for grades can take away from the pure joy of learning, unless that concept is somehow embedded in another way. Learning should be fun and not something that you have to bribe your children to do. But, on the flip side of the coin, I can see how money (or toys, books, what have you) can be a motivating factor, especially for older kids. And, I've had weak parenting moments where I've bribed my girls to behave on a long car ride with new Crayola Wonder books or snacks. Bribery is sometimes necessary. I can only hope that my daughters' education continues to spark and hold their natural curiosity and interest so that bribery isn't necessary.
In my household, growing up, we were expected to try our best, giving our all to every subject & every assignment. As long as my parents knew that we were doing the best that we could do and making improvement every marking period, we were not expected to get straight A's, nor were we rewarded for them, beyond my parents' love and praise. For me, that was enough. I worked hard and did well for myself, my own sense of accomplishment. I longed for positive feedback from my teacher, that was award enough for me.
It is my sincere hope that these same principles are being instilled in Caitlin as we begin the educational journey with her. She may roll her eyes when I make her re-do a line of "K"s because they are not up to par, but I know that she wants to get that sticker or smiley face of a job well done from her teacher as well as a "good job" from me. I think it is an essential of good parenting that will teach a good work ethic in our children. That it is important to do a good job, regardless of whether we can expect something, in a physical form, for our efforts. One should be proud of their work, and that alone, should be enough to encourage future work of the same, or better, caliber.
I hope that we never have to resort to paying our children for grades, but I have to say, I will most likely resort to anything that will keep my kinds motivated and loving to learn. But, I have to wonder, can you pay a child to love learning?

Anyone care to chip in their two cents?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Blog Love!

I received this wonderful and much appreciated award from my dear blogging friend Judy. I am so thrilled to be chosen and hopefully, expand Mountain Chronicles' readership.

In order to accept this award, here are the steps--

1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.

2. Link the person you received your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs. **I can't do this, as I don't have enough people to nominate--yet! I did the best that I could**

4. Put links of those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated.

So here are the 3 very worthy blogs that I to whom I have chosen to pass on this award:

Lauren @ How Bourgeois. Lauren & her husband Jon have a wonderful hodge-podge of a blog filled with just about everything you can imagine including adorable pictures of their handsome (and smart) little man, Noah. Lauren & I have been IRL friends since we both worked together at a busy Metro Detroit library.

Vidya @ Mamameo. Vidya and I both have kiddos with hydrocephalus but she is also extremely crafty and insightful. I am blessed to count her amongst my friends!

Sarah @ Violet's Journey. Sarah was the first person that I "met" when we found out about Cara's diagnosis. Although she lives many oceans away in "the land down under", she has been beyond supportive and helpful. Her blog details her sweet daughter Violet's journey with hydrocephalus and all that goes with it.

Congratulations you guys! Now, it's your turn to share the fame.

Hydrocephalus Walk-Denver 2008

We were priveledged to be able to participate in the Hydrocephalus Association's benefit walk in Highlands Ranch today. It was a beautiful day (in the low 70's) to get out and walk for a good cause. I would guess that there were over 100 people there and, all together, we raised $15,000 to benefit research for hydrocephalus! So, a big shout out to those that helped us raise the funds that we did. I told you, every little bit would help! On a side bar--it is sad though, that less than $2 million is provided yearly from the federal government for a condition that effects 2 out of every 1,000 people (especially children).

We met up with our good friends Vidya, Aaron & Solan at the site and then walked the 2.5 miles around a beautiful park and wetlands area with stunning views of the foothills. It was nice to get some exercise and catch up on the happenings in our lives. Ben was the "Daddy engine" and pulled about #120 worth of children for the duration of the walk. He was one pooped out pup when we finally made it back home.

After the walk, we chowed down on some wonderful hot dogs and fixings and let the kids play in the awesome playground and pond (where we, of course, had to feed the ducks hot dog buns) at Redstone Park. Vidya managed to collect quite a few names of families interested in starting a support group, so we are excited to get something going! All in all, it was a wonderful day!

Click here for some pictures of the day. I will have more once a CD comes from the walk's photographer who took several family pictures of us and lots of the events at the walk.


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