I spotted these words on my son's bedroom chalkboard wall this morning: Think of Others.
At first I wondered if his dad had written it there to inspire him... but no. It was in his own 11-year-old handwriting.
He must written it there to remind himself - I can think of no other reason for it.
Sometimes your kids surprise you in wonderful ways. This made my day.
Also making my day was the sound of silence resounding in my house at 7.40am this morning. This lot were all up and ready, breakfasted and dressed, with lunchboxes made the night before... leaving for school under their own steam. Scootering, walking to the bus, leaving me in my PJ's contemplating a Day Off.
Oh there are some truly wonderful aspects to your kids growing up!
Hearing them say, "Mum it's your day off so we'll scooter to school so you don't have to take us."
And when the big one begs for a ride because he's lugging three boxes of cupcakes for his class's bake off, hearing your daughter say, "No Josh, it's mum's day off. You should just take them in a bag and walk."
So he does, without a fuss.
Making my night last night were these two Baking Buddies. Dash comes running into the lounge after dinner in a fluster: "Mum! I forgot! It's the BakeOff competition tomorrow and I have to bake something for my whole class! Can you help me?"
Me, I'm really not in the mood to start baking at 7.15pm.
So I suggest he asks his sister - a dab hand at cupcakes - to help him bake something.
Bless that girl, she's a wonder, coming to her big brother's rescue and helping him whip up a batch of mini-cupcakes - and then cleaning up the kitchen as well!
I got to chill on the couch and enjoy the sounds of cooperation and teamwork coming from my kitchen.
It wasn't too long ago that those two were at each other's throats, as he found her completely annoying and she (feeling rejected) would constantly annoy him in retaliation. It drove me crazy.
But lately? He's been really beginning to appreciate his sister.
Take for instance the other day. We were watching XFactor and it was "judges homes" where the boys were going gaga over J-Lo. One of them says to the camera, "I mean, she's amazing. So beautiful. the most beautiful woman in the world...!"
Quick as a flash Dash blurts out, "Well you've never seen my sister!"
I LOVE IT.
Something else which Made my WEEK was an email I received from Katherine, the reader who won my Book Giveaway.
I also wanted to share with you what my best ever use of your blog has been to date. Three of my sisters have children, so as a gift for each family last Christmas I gave them each a family fun night, based around some of your family night and birthday party ideas. They were totally stoked with the gift of time together and shared experiences. For example, one sister has 4 kids (2 boys, 2 girls, aged 5-9 years) and I gave them the Cowboy Cookout with Truth or Dare, complete with nerf guns for playing cowboys and indians, ginger beer with your printable labels, marshmallows for their brazier, and an instruction sheet for cowboy food and the Truth or Dare game. My 9 year old nephew's face was all lit up as he recounted their evening to me - the highlight for him was drawing a face on his tummy and making it talk to each family member! And my brother-in-law appreciated the questions that gave him the chance to get to know his children even better.
The flow on effect from that gift was that my other sister started creating her own fun nights based on her kids current interests. She's done Angry birds, Lego, and a couple of others I can't remember...
You have such great ideas - keep them coming!
Is that the BEST or what?! I was totally blown away that Katherine had been able to use my humble ideas in such an amazing way.
She also wrote:
[My sister] had 3 girls under 5 years and so for their family I gave them the Fairy Pass the Parcel Poem from your fairy party. I wrapped up the parcel with the clues for where to find each treasure in between the layers, gave my sister the gifts and told her where to hide each item. I suggested they dress up, had dainty fairy food for tea, did the pass the parcel and did some fairy dancing. It was a total hit and the next morning my nieces got dressed up in their fairy gear and wanted to do it all over again. Even my brother-in-law, totally outnumbered, got into it and raved to me what a fab time they had all had.
I think this is a BRILLIANT idea for a family gift. This totally made my week.
If you've never seen them before, here's the blog posts Katherine was talking about:
One final thing that made my day this week: I found my Christmas Book on Book Depository!
You know what that means, right? FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING!!!
I had no idea you could get my book on Book Depository; I've been frustrated by the hideous shipping costs to this part of the world on Amazon, and I'm not even sure why I decided to search for my book title while I was on Book Depository the other day.
Blow me down when my book came up! I think I squealed, then raced to post it on Facebook.
And now I'm telling all of you - you can now get my book delivered FREE anywhere in the world!
That'll do for now; there's a whole bunch of things that've made my day this week.
Anything made YOUR day lately?