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Walking in the woods with dad

1 min read

Walking in the woods with Dad.

Had the day off yesterday so the kids, Grace, my dad and I went for a walk. It was a lot of fun. Grace was in heaven - walking off leash in the woods with a nearby stream...it doesn't get any better for her.

 

I should read this when I'm feeling like a deficient parent.

1 min read

How to Get Rid of 'Mommy Guilt' (or Daddy Guilt) Once and For All (via Lifehacker)

Great post with lots to remember when I'm feeling overwhelmed or like I'm not being the best parent I can be.

Pinola lists five steps to try that may help with parenting guilt.

  1. Decide if what you've done is something you really should regret.
  2. Resolve to let some things go.
  3. Remember that the grass is always greener on the other side.
  4. Pause before you react.
  5. Find practical solutions to the big things that make you feel guilty.

 

I'd be scared if I saw a bear

1 min read

The youngest's preschool class has been talking about emotions this week. It is Valentines week so it makes sense.

Today her teacher sent home a list of the class' emotions during the week. I guess she asked each one how he or she was feeling and wrote them down. Some of the children mention what makes them happy (my sister, Valentines day, school etc.) others, what makes them mad or sad.

My daughter's response:

I would feel scared if I saw a bear!

That's my girl! I would too.

I wish I knew what the exact question was. I'll have to ask her about it tomorrow.

 

Jack and the Wonder Beans!

1 min read

Last Saturday I took my kids to a great Library program!

Some students from Theatre VCU put on a great show at the Gayton Library. It was an Appalachian rendition of the classic fairy tale Jack and the Bean Stalk titled Jack and the Wonder Beans. They did a great job and all of the kids in attendance seemed to really love the show! A lot of the adults did too.

It was very fun. There was a lot of crowd participation, singing, dancing and loudness. It was perfect for kids! They are doing another show at the Twin Hickory Library this Saturday and we will probably attend it too. My kids liked it THAT much. It didn't hurt that my oldest daughter was asked to be in the show. The director asked her to be the cow that was sold for the beans. She absolutely loved it!

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Vermont 2010

2 min read

We had a great time in Stowe this year! Every year we have a good time but this year seemed extra special. I don't know why exactly. It could be because I didn't hear the phrase "I'm bored" once. Or perhaps because we didn't rush around trying to see dozens of people. Maybe it's because Kindergarten is just around the corner and my little girl is growing up. For whatever reason this was a great trip to Vermont. I hope that we have more trips like this one.

Some of the highlights were:

  • Ben and Jerry's - We didn't take the tour this year but we discovered that the girls love Phish Food
  • Taking the dogs on the Stowe Quiet Path - twice
  • Riding bikes on the Rec Path
  • Seeing our cousins - my cousins and my wife's
  • Going to the Champlain Valley Fair - the girls loved playing games, riding rides and their first funnel cake
  • Getting donuts and cider slushies at Cold Hollow Cider Mill
  • Meeting Jessamyn West - had a great time talking with her on the porch of the Stowe Free Library - she's great
  • Swimming at Lake Eden
  • Most of all we enjoyed simply hanging out with my father-in-law and his wife -  they are great people and I always enjoy visiting them

I look forward to returning next summer. Of course I always look forward to visiting Vermont. It really is one of the loveliest places I've ever visited.

I've included some pictures from my phone below. I will add pictures from the camera to Flickr soon.

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Mission

3 min read

[caption id="attachment_1836" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Sunrise at School"]Sunrise at School[/caption]

I'd never thought about a personal mission statement until recently. I began considering it after I read a post  about library mission statements. The author discusses why mission statements are important for strategic planning and shows examples from some different libraries across the country. It made me think that it may be beneficial to have a concise statement to help guide my decisions.

I have heard R. David Lankes discuss a mission statement for Librarians before. The statement he has come up with is very good.

The Mission of Librarians is to Improve Society through Facilitating Knowledge Creation in their Communities.

It is a very motivational statement no? I like it professionally but it doesn't quite get to what I need on a personal level.

This is where I try to decide wether this statement is going to be strictly professional or more comprehensive. I guess I could have two. One for work and one for home. But is that fair? My work and home life are pretty tightly bound together. The goals with one should complement the other. Right? You can't completely separate the two. At least I can't. I think a personal mission has to incorporate all aspects of your life in order to work.

So, now I have to think about my priorities. That's pretty easy.

  1. Family
  2. Work
  3. Everything else

Pretty general huh? Well that's ok. I don't want to bore you with a detailed list of priorities. This post is already getting long. So here goes:

To raise my children to be happy, healthy, productive members of society. To do this I need to set a positive example. I will be a loving husband, faithful son and loyal friend. I will demonstrate the value of work by taking pride in what I do and doing my best always. When I am home, my children will receive my complete attention because they won't grow up as happy, healthy and productive as they can be without it.

So there it is. I'm not sure if it's a pure "Mission Statement" but I think it will work. It's short enough for me to remember and that can't be bad. It definitely covers the things I find important. I like it. Now I just need to keep it in mind. I think that will be the hard part.

 

Beach Week

1 min read

This week I was able to spend a few days in Duck, NC with my wife, kids and parents. It was a great time! I really didn't want to come back to work. But, I don't think their libraries are hiring at the moment and I think my boss would kill me. I also like my job.

Anyway, I've posted some pictures I took with my phone below. The ones taken with the better camera will probably be on Flickr soon.

I had such a good time. It was very relaxing and quiet. We will definitely be going back!

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Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens

2 min read

This is a race weekend here in Richmond so today we did what we always do on a race weekend; try to stay as far away from the race track and do something outside with the kids. Today's outing was to the Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens. This is always a fun thing for us. The girls enjoy all the flowers and the Children's Garden and my wife and I Iike watching them have fun in a beautiful environment.

Today we had the unexpected bonus of the Spring Plant Sale to enjoy. While we didn't purchase anything we did enjoy looking at some of the different varieties of things for sale. Maybe next year...

We did have a great time in the gardens! Instead of going straight to the Children's Garden we took the long way and saw a part of the garden we haven't seen before. I don't know the official name of that section of the garden but I'm going to call it the wooded/tranquil section because that describes it very well. There are lots of trees for shade and small streams running through the area. It is very peaceful and relaxing. I enjoyed all the varieties of rhododendron (I'm a sucker for rhododendron) and the girls really liked the streams. The youngest kept wanting to throw leaves in the water and the oldest wanted to swim.

We did get to the Children's Garden eventually and had a good time. We forgot to pack the girl's swimsuits so the water area  caused a bit of strife but we promised to let them play next time.  They did get to climb the tree, play in the sand, play in all the houses and pick up some free pinwheels! We had a nice lunch in the picnic area and played some more. By the time it was time to go home everyone was ready. We were all tired and ready for rest/nap time. I know we'll be visiting there again many times this summer.

I've included some pictures below of some of the interesting and pretty things we saw.

[slideshow]

 

Rainbow song

1 min read

Download now or listen on posterous

Rainbow Song.m4a (1063 KB)

Looks like posting audio to posterous works pretty easily. So here's a recording of Daughter #1 singing a song she learned at preschool.

Posted via email from Matt's posterous

 

Growing

1 min read

The bear you see below is Little Bear. For over three years she and my oldest daughter were inseperable. They went everywhere together and were best friends. Now she is five and my daughter is leaving Little Bear behind frequently and isn't playing with her as much. She hasn't been completely forgotten but she spends more time in my daughter's room than she used to. There were times when we couldn't leave the house without her and forgetting her on long trips was misery inducing for everyone. Now, Little Bear pretty much stays on the bed waiting for my daughter.

I'm saddened that she's outgrowing her favorite toy. It means she's one step closer to growing up. I realize that she's only five so there are many more steps for her to take. Many will be  difficult and heartbreaking. Many will be joyful and uplifting. But this is one of the first. I knew this would happen but it doesn't make it any easier.

I'm glad she's growing up. I wouldn't have it any other way. I guess I'm morning the loss of a reliable friend and comforter.