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November Hits the Ground Running

I hope everyone is doing well! The beginning of November has been rather interesting (but looking at how the whole year of 2020 has been rather intense and interesting, it shouldn't be all that surprising). We had the US election this week, and it's proven rather divisive. I have family members that feel extremely strong and passionately on both sides of the spectrum. It's sad that people are becoming so fixated that they can't see anything other than "ally" and "enemy." So many people are all wrapped up in the black/white mentality (but there's actually a whole range of colors--it's not either/or; it's a spectrum). Everyone's getting so riled up. As I was tutoring this week, the kiddo's social studies class touched on the election/electoral college. While working, he suddenly spoke his mind and asked why we didn't have a council of like four or five people running the country instead of one person--he emphasized that it would eliminate a lot of the issues we have right now, and I'd have to agree. Collaborating and cooperating as a team would be much more efficient. Children are a lot more intelligent than some people give them credit for; why don't we actually listen to their ideas more often? They have such merit.

I enjoyed tutoring this week. Children definitely keep things interesting. I found a drawing of Brother Bear (pretty sure it was created during their class zoom lol). They wanted to discuss Skylanders (and organized their collection); it was a lot of new information for me, as I while I have heard of Skylanders, I don't have any background knowledge on the subject. They also wanted to talk about InuYasha and the new YashaHime; it's pretty funny because they've only seen a few clips of the anime (their favorite being the scene where the grandfather is found on a hill because he's "fallen and he can't get up" because it makes them think of Life Alert), but they're so passionate about it, wanting to know all about it. During lunch they decided that there should be a mash-up of The Nightmare Before Christmas and InuYasha. Specifically, the idea I was presented with was putting the faces of the characters from InuYasha on top of The Nightmare Before Christmas characters. The confrontation scene between Jack and Oogie Boogie was singled out. I was informed that Sally was Kagome, InuYasha was Oogie, Jack was Sesshomaru. When it came to casting Santa, there was a pause to think for a bit. All of his thoughts were coming out so naturally like everything was blatantly obvious. He finally decided that Santa should be Shippo, and I about nearly lost it 🤣 He decided Shippo needed to be saved (despite attempts to inform him that Shippo is a boy, he always refers to him as "that little fox girl"). It was extremely difficult not to fall to the floor with laughter; these kiddos are extremely serious about these things, and I don't want them to think I'm making fun of them (I'm not in any way). They always bring out genuine humor and amusement. There was another incident where Corliss sent me a picture of one of her aunt's crystals; her aunt wanted to know which it was, but Corliss was struggling with remembering which one it was. To be honest, I was stumped and wracking my brain for the answer for a bit, not even thinking to consult the internet. He saw me and asked what I was looking at. I told him I was trying to figure out what type of rock/crystal a picture was. He wanted to see the picture for himself. He looked at it, announced, "I don't know. It's a rock," and then returned to organizing his Skylanders 🤣 These kids... life likes to throw me these humorous curve balls 🤣 While on a zoom apparently his teacher wanted him to get a broom to cross the midline. He came back with his brother's sword, going on about how it belongs to Cloud from Final Fantasy. When on a search for a broom, that was what he decided to come back with. Yep, that's definitely a broom 🤣 I am so grateful to have them in my life. Their dog was acting up, too; while I was helping them with their zooms and school work, she got ahold of a pencil and apparently decided to destroy it. Life is definitely interesting and full of surprises.

I also happened to see April and Iris this week (the boys wanted to hear all about the new stories I had about my time with Iris; they love her). Iris had been wanting to see me. We ended up walking to a nearby park. She was super excited, pointing out all the things we saw on our way to the park. After pointing out a tree she noticed a car, saying that it was someone else's car. I asked her if it was the tree's car, but she told me it wasn't. Curious as to her reasoning (I mean, I knew she wasn't wrong, but what made her so adamant about her answer?), I asked her about it; she replied, "Only a baby tree could have that car. That tree wouldn't fit." Her reasoning was so sound (but I hadn't expected that specific reasoning). While at the park, she kept launching herself into my arms to run away from "the big, bad wolf" (aka April). She's just so cute. There happened to be a little library box and picked out a book to read about penguins. While leaving the park, April asked Iris what flavor cake she wanted for her birthday (her birthday is next week). Iris replied, "Heart." This confused April immensely (she had texted me earlier about how Iris had been talking nonstop about how she wanted a chocolate cake for her birthday); looking for clarification, she asked, "You want a heart flavored cake??" Iris replied, "Yes, mommy. I want a heart flavored cake." (The boys loved this story, and frankly, I love it, too--it's hilarious. We're pretty certain that she meant heart shaped rather than heart flavored, but Iris was quite adamant about wanting a heart flavored cake that day.) When we returned to their home, Iris decided we both needed to draw on her chalkboard. She would have me draw a cat, and then she would add hair. There was a lot--I mean A LOT--of hair (check out the picture below). She'd then laugh, erase the board, and then tell me to draw a kitty to start the process all over again. Before leaving (it was getting a bit late and I had tutoring early in the morning the next day) Iris had April read the penguin book. It started off normal enough. April was reading the book word for word until she added her own flare to the book, "I'm a penguin. I live in the Antartic where it is very cold. I am a bird, but I do not fly. Instead I swim in the fiery pits of hell." Life and its darn curveballs and humor! It keeps catching me off guard! I can only imagine what that scene would look like... Gosh... I will admit that I appreciate the humor so much, especially with all the drama, wounds, and darkness coming up right now in the world. I can't wait to spend more time with them; they keep things extremely interesting and fun. (Happy almost-birthday, Iris!)

I've been working on creating some gifts. If anyone has some ideas of some projects/gifts to make, I'm open to them. I have a bunch of Perler beads (the kids I babysit enjoy making things with them, so I keep a large quantity of them for them to be crafty with), and I figured it'd be fun to use them to make presents for the upcoming holiday season.

This weekend my sister, parents, and I went to visit my brother in Springfield (his birthday was last month, so we went to go see him when our schedules lined up). My sister had completed the "one chip challenge" a while back, and after my brother watched her challenge and proclaimed it to be "easy," she got him one of the chips for a present. He decided to dive right into the challenge when we arrived. He hadn't eaten at all yet that morning and refused to drink a beverage like milk. His choice of beverage did not help matters (the heat of the chip combined with the bubbly of the drink on an empty stomach--not a good combination). He seemed fine for a minute. Then he was very much not okay, and the chip decided to reverse course. My dad and sister kept laughing at him and his choice, as it led to his nose burning. After he decided to eat actual food (a sandwich) he said that he wanted to go to Bass Pro Shop to see the holiday lights that they have up, so we did. It was pretty neat, but I'd imagine it'd look cooler in the dark. We stopped by the alligators before leaving in honor of our aunt. We ended up spending a good portion of the day at a park; the lake was beautiful. There was this massive flock of birds we kept seeing, too. It seemed like they would come out of nowhere before disappearing suddenly; we saw them multiple times throughout the park. It was a bit surreal. The sunset was breathtaking, as well. We all decided to try Marco's Pizza, which was pretty delicious--my brother decided that is his new pizza spot. While we didn't do all that much, it was nice to spend time together.

It seems like this year is only going to become more chaotic, so it's important to find joy and savor the blessings in our lives. Spend time with your loved ones (I hear lockdowns are starting again in Europe). Savor the calm when it appears. Venture out into nature when you have the opportunity; it's so peaceful (especially compared to the chaos that is currently erupting on social media). Find the humor and laugh. We might be in the midst of a storm, but every storm passes. Plus, every storm has a silver lining (what exactly it is, is up for us to find). 2020 has not gone the way I anticipated. Sure, there are things I would have preferred to play out differently, but there has been great experiences, too. I've had a lot more "small" moments that are incredibly meaningful that I would not have been able to experience if this year had been "normal." There's a reason for everything. I may not know what that reason is, but the universe has the divine plan. The universe has our backs. It might not be easy, but we need to learn to let go and stop trying to force things. We often think we know best, but what we "know" is only a fraction of what the universe/source/God knows. Breathe. Take it easy. Relax. Have some fun. Follow your passion, and listen to your heart. Everything will work out. Somehow. Some way. It'll be okay. It's crazy right now, but there's a purpose and meaning in everything. Have faith. Trust the universe. The universe has great blessings in store for each and every one of us. Stay blessed, my friends; love and light~

Here's some food for thought from Spirit Science:

Here's some food for thought from Ralph Smart on Infinite Waters:

Some food for thought for the week:

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