Friday, December 21, 2012

Mati's class "winter" party

Paper snowball fight:
The highlight of the party for the kids!
For the adults I think it was when I read the Christmas orange, which i could hardly get through and thankfully wasn't the only one in tears.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Newtown, CT shooting

These are not my words but the words of a mother who's blog I follow.   I wanted to share and inspire as I felt her words were perfect.

I have written this post in my mind countless times.  Searching for the perfect words…but the reality is that there are no words that I can find that truly capture how I am feeling.  I don’t share much of my personal life here on The Idea Room.  I try to keep many of my feelings,  trials and struggles (which we all have) behind the scenes.  Not as a way to pretend that they don’t exist, because they do, but I do it because I want The Idea Room to be a place of light.  I want to have a place of happiness and creativity where I can share some of the things that bring me joy with others.  A place of sharing and of giving back.
In light of recent events in our Nation, and all over our world, I struggle with feelings of fear, anger, compassion, confusion, sadness, and empathy.  My heart breaks and mourns for all those affected by these horrible evil acts of violence.  So many questions.  So much political debate and sensationalism in the news.  It is all too much.
I want to remember the sweet and innocent children, their families and their brave and heroic teachers.  I want them to be the ones we focus on.  How can we heal them?  How can we ease their pain?  What do we do as a society to heal us all?  What is our role in this?  What can we do to make a change?
I don’t believe the answer is in more politics or gun control.  An evil person will find a way to carry out their selfish acts.  No one can control someone who is intent on evil.  There has been evil from the beginnings of our history.  The solution in part, I believe, is to increase our forces for good.  We need to be the solution.  We need to be the change.
We need to be kinder.  We need to show more love.  We need to show more compassion.  We need to care more for one another and less for ourselves.  We can only win the war with evil if we are combating it with love and kindness.
One day recently I was taking my bed-ridden friend into a Target to get some much needed pain pills.  She can barely walk or stand for more than a few minutes without being in terrible and excruciating pain.  She and I were walking slowly, with careful and determined steps, across the CROSSWALK in front of Target.  She was leaning on me for support and my 5 year old daughter was clinging onto my other hand as we crossed the road.
A woman in a SUV “slowed down” and was impatiently waiting for us to cross while talking on her cell phone.  Before we had barely cleared the front of her car she gunned her car and raced around us (inches from my daughter) while shouting out her unrolled car window… “If you would stop talking you could cross the street faster!”
I was shocked!  If that woman had taken 30 seconds to survey her surroundings and get off her phone and pay attention to DRIVING…she might have noticed the intense pain written all over my friend’s face  and which she carried throughout her entire body.  In the wake of the recent events, I realize that experience has no comparison.  But, I do feel it is a good measure of our society in general.
I have no doubt that we have all been “this person” at some point.  The truth is, our society is losing our respect for others.  We are all so caught up in our own lives and our own needs, that we need to slow down and pay attention!  Pay attention to OTHER  people.
Be kinder.  Be more understanding.  Be LOVING.  Be compassionate.  Look for the good in others.  Find a way to give back and do more in your community.  Yes, we all have differences.  Different religions, political beliefs, economic status, etc…., but we have so much more in common.  We all have a need to be loved and to be treated with kindness and respect.
And it should start with our families.  Love them.  Spend quality time with them.  ADORE them.  Cherish them.  Be there for them.  If there has been a falling out with a loved one, please try to reach out and make amends with them.  You never know what tomorrow brings.  People and their relationships, not things or schedules, are what matters in the end.
I choose to give back.  I choose to share and be a positive force in my little corner of the universe.  I choose people.  I choose LOVE!
I will remember those who lost their lives.  I will pray for their families.  I will pray for the parents whose aching arms are now empty.  I will also be praying for those children who have special needs and mental challenges.  I will pray for their parents.  I will pray for them to get the help they so desperately deserve and need in our schools and institutions.  I have spent years working with some of these sweet children.  I have dear, dear friends who are raising these amazing children, who love and struggle day in and day out to provide them with what they need.  They need not only our prayers, but support and help too.
And although I believe in the power of prayer, I also believe in action.  We need to do!  We need to be a positive force.  If we want change, we have the be the ones who make the change.  We can not sit back and wait for someone else to do it.  I chose to post today so that I could do something.  I know this is not the direct and immediate answer but it is a start.  It is going to take some serious discussion and change in our nation and the way we are currently doing things, but I believe it is a part that all of us need to do to get us headed in the right direction.
Start in your circle of influence.  Find ways to share and be more loving and kind. Then if you are able to…move beyond that circle.  Be the individual who is making a difference.  Be THE difference this world needs.  I, for one and making a concerted effort today, and from here on out, to DO more and BE more.   Who is with me?

Gift for Mati's teacher from 9 kids in class

Gift card and bracelet


This just made me and Pili laugh!  Not sure how long Nicoletta wore my lips before we realized she had them on


Not sure what he enjoys more than burning woods especially when he has in son-in-laws home to help.
He loves teaching them the ropes :-)
(no third degree burns yet)


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ice-skating with Sister Jessi

There was something magical in the air! (or on the ice)
I haven't been ice-skating (that I can remember) since I was 19!
Today on the ice with Matias, Jessi, Leila, and Lucas was magical!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Bulgarian Culture "Name day"

Yesterday Zaharina called me and invited us to come over to celebrate name day with Nicole.  I honestly had no idea what she was talking about and told her I didn't see how I could make it.
We had spirit night at Fuddruckers and basketball practice.
She insisted and said all Nicole wanted was for Matias to join her.
So we ended up skipping out on B-ball and I'm so glad we did because I had a great time with Zaharina and Adrian and their parents, and the kids had a blast playing as well.
Name day refers to a religious belief celebrating the "Saint Nicolas".   So all names that stem from Saint Nicolas celebrate on this day by eating fish and drinking a lot.
Here's to my NICO!!

Catfish and Vegetables
it was delicious

Mati's first time on ice-skates
with Adrian and Nicole

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

25 christmas activites

DAY 1-  Chistmas parade
DAY 2- Paper snowflakes
DAY 3- Color a Christmas picture
DAY 4- Make hot chocolate and stir with candy canes
DAY 5- Make goody bags to send to Ecuador with Maria Belen
DAY 6- take missionaries out to dinner
DAY 7- Make a Christmas decoration (christmas tree using hand prints and reindeer using footprints)
DAY 8- Ward Christmas party (give Christmas basket to the Missionaries)
DAY 9- Ice Skating
DAY 10- Work on Chistmas cards
DAY 11- Listen to Christmas music
DAY 12- Drive around and look at Lights
DAY 13- Camp-out under the Christmas tree (or basement) and watch Christmas movies.
DAY 14- Wrap Christmas cards
DAY 15- Bake Gingerbread Man
DAY 16- Secret Santa someone
DAY 17- Help someone in need (Sunshine box for Emilie Parker)
DAY 18- Gifts for children at Homeless/transitional shelter
DAY 19- Make goodies for Mailman

Nico and Mati's fabulous snowflakes.
I couldn't ever get mine to turn out :(

Stirring Hot Chocolate with candy canes didn't end up being my kids favorite "cup of tea"

Goody bags for kids in Ecuador with Maria Belen and Sebastian and Nico

Dinner at Fuddruckers for Spirit night with Missionaries


Ashburn Ward Christmas party.
Maria Belen had to work so Nico and Seba came with us.
Nicole was a special guest!
to many flashes?????

Christmas basket from several of us ladies in the ward for Elder Cannon and Wilson

Nicole and her grandmother who was visiting from Bulgaria.  Zaharina and Adrian had a dinner date with friends so they came with us to ward Christmas party

Vanessa Cornell

Ice-skating with Adrian and Nicole

Brownie Gingerbread Man

Secret Santa