Love doodles to a stepfather

I just rediscovered doodles my 11 year old daughter made late last year on a notepad Bradley received from the All Things D conference.  She never mentioned anything to us about the doodles, just quietly did them over a short period of time.  His name is printed on each page, so each doodle is like a gift to him.

Maybe we had pie that day?
Bradley was a gymnastics champ in his younger years
We have an inside family joke about eating M&M’s while drinking tea
Rashi 🙂

"Not everything that counts can be counted"

In a test score- / metrics-obsessed world, remember some of the most important qualities cannot be measured:

  • Compassion 
  • Courage 
  • Creativity 
  • Critical thinking 
  • Curiosity 
  • Empathy
  • Endurance
  • Enthusiasm
  • Humility
  • Humor
  • Leadership
  • Motivation 
  • Persistence
  • Reliability
  • Resilience
  • Resourcefulness
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Discipline 
  • Sense of Beauty 
  • Sense of Wonder 
  • Spontaneity 

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” – Albert Einstein

Scenes from home… with a squishy pink smiley face toy

After coming home from teaching an early morning yoga class, my daughter told me she had been taking photos around the house while I was gone.  I love looking at the photographs my kids take as it’s a great glimpse into how they see the world.  Now that they’re older, the photographs provide a view into their creative process as well as a way for them to practice an awareness of their surroundings.

The photo series starts out with a lot of photos of every day objects around the house: the piano, a book, a jacket, a toy, a container of loquats:

Then things start to get interesting as she starts to pair objects with each other:

Pretty soon she starts creating scenes with the squishy pink smiley face toy:

And then somehow the toy finds nirvana:

The Friendly Letter

My soon-to-be 7 year-old daughter has been subjecting us to reenactments of her lessons from school lately, using the whiteboard in the girls’ playroom.  In the moment, these lessons are a mixed blessing; we get insight into what she is learning at school while being bossed around in the evening as we catch up on the day’s emails, finish dinner and clean up, and get ready for bedtime.  The lessons have ranged from “From Seed to Tree” to “The Works of Leonardo da Vinci” to “What is an Adjective?”, complete with lesson, review, Q&A, and homework.

Last week, we had a lesson on The Friendly Letter.  We learned about friendly letter structure, formatting, and proper greetings and closings.  For homework, we randomly drew names of another member of the household and were assigned to write a friendly letter addressed to that person, due in one week.  As if we weren’t busy enough!  We procrastinated, hoping Sophie would forget about the whole thing, but she never does.  She even made notebook paper for us by drawing blue lines on white paper, an orange line for the margin, and punched three holes along the side (I told her I had notebook paper, but she insisted on making it for me).

And then, we started to experience the magic of The Friendly Letter.  I received my letter shortly after the assignment was made, from my father, written in Google Docs and emailed to me.  It was brief, but I was moved by his expression of his love and the sense of permanence and sincerity from his written words.   Over the following few days, notes of love and appreciation trickled throughout the house from one person to another.  For the recipients and receivers of The Friendly Letter, it has been a moving experience, an opportunity to reflect on the goodness evident in our lives, to practice kindness, and to nourish our relationships with each other.

Thank you, Sophie, for the lesson on The Friendly Letter.