Tag Archives: Family Time

Childhood Recollection – DoWoo #111/365

Watched the Jim Carey version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” tonight as a family. I have fond memories of sitting on my dad’s knee, when I was about Greg’s age, to watch the original cartoon version when it came on the boob-tube!

I asked Greg at the beginning to figure out the lesson and explain at the end for us. They were at the point of singing when Greg said “It’s not about the presents, it’s about family.” How true my little man…how very true! 

Interestingly though, today Gregory asked Walter if they could go out to purchase presents.  He came back with a present for his friend, toys for his dog and a present for Walter – to which he said “Daddy said he would forget”. 

Earlier this week Gregory was going on and on about the holidays. I asked him what he liked better: Halloween or Christmas. After a few moments to ponder he answered Christmas because you only get candy at Halloween but at Christmas you get candy AND family!

This is the first year Gregory has not wanted to write a letter to Santa – and in actual fact has not brought the big guy up once.  He has however no such qualms about the tooth fairy – she still rocks when it comes to replacing his tooth with moola!   The house understanding is the cleaner the teeth then paper money but if not as clean as it could be…coin money! This past week the smallest denomination we had was $10 so we gave him $6 to have a bit of fun with him.  When he came down from his room he held out the tooney with a sad face and said this is all he got. Really? Whoa! And it looked so pristine!  How could this be?  He immediately held out his other hand with the 2 $2 coins and exclaimed he tricked us. 

By my calculations there are 20 teeth which fall out for adult replacement – so at $5 per that’s only a $100.  Much more reasonably priced then the dentist!   What do you think?

A Matter of Degree – DoWoo #110/365

I am so loving my 2 men!

On top of all the technical “opportunities” we have been working through this last week, I have had the good fortune to have contracted a cold bug.  This has resulted in a slow down today for insightful observations from my end.  In typical supportive fashion my 2 men each gave me an idea for a DoWoo.  I am blessed.

Greg came into the room this evening and shared his explanation on time: It goes quickly when you DO something or use your imagination. BUT if you are not involved in doing something or just sitting there bored, letting your mind think of all sorts of things, then time seems to go at a normal speed.  He gave me the example of someone who forgot their gym clothes and they have to sit on the bench, watching everyone else.  For this person time seems to go slowly. For the others in the class, who did bring their gym clothes, they are having fun and time goes quickly.  I complimented him on his observation and asked him to share what the lesson we were supposed to learn from it.  He said just DO!

Walter shared with me his observation that we do vision boards every day – successfully bringing that vision to completion. It’s called a shopping list.   First – we are spurred on by desire (typically hunger) so we make a list of what we need. We then put a plan of action into place whereby we set a time to go to the grocery store. We then methodically go up and down the appropriate aisles picking up everything on our list with some of us being organized enough that we cross the things off as we go. We then complete our task until the new vision board is pulled out and compiled.

I was one of those people who did not always make a list.  When I went grocery shopping it was inevitable that I would bring home other stuff simply because it was there in front of me – being enticed and distracted. Now, when I go with a list, I concentrate on getting what is on the list. Could this not be the same for those who do not have a clear vision for their future?  When they go out into the material world, they don’t have a plan of action with clear ideas, and so it may be inevitable that they get distracted or enticed off course.

If we extract a drop of water out of the ocean, is it any less ocean? It is all a matter of degree: How time is perceived to proceed and how we make our desires realized into actuality through vision lists!

I dedicate this to my men who are always there for me – in so many ways. Turns out they are my Agents of Fortune – who would have thunk?

“A male muse is called an Agent of Fortune. He is a Traveler not anchored by standard materialism. Although he may desire material things, his position actually influences and inspires other people to make decisions beneficial to their future of physical and spiritual needs.” 

Decorative Observation – Dowoo #98/365

2014-12-07 14.44.51Yesterday we went out and purchased a real tree as we do each year for Christmas.  Today we put on Christmas carols, dug out the ornaments, lights and sparkly decorations and trimmed the tree together. It was the first year I did not try to oversee the “correct’ placement of every ornament. OK – I’ll admit. I’m a bit particular when it comes to designing or decorating and things need to be “just so”.  This time I actually encouraged Walter and Greg, to put the decorations on the tree without my feedback.   And when we were done, I did not go back in and rearrange anything. I stood back and appreciated the tree for exactly as it had been trimmed.  We did a great job together! 

DoWoo! I observed and did not have an opinion about the ornament placement.  It was rewarding to recognize the shift within. AND it transpired unconsciously – recognized only upon reflection of the experience.  I am blessed.  The shift is afoot….I just needed a tree trimming exercise to recognize it.  

Consider this holiday time, especially when you are spending time with your loved ones, is your opportunity to grow your character within.  Is whatever is going on of any long term concern or can you just allow it to be as it is?  The holidays are a HUGE opportunity to observe without opinion.  This is our time to shine.  Use the tools we have been given and make this THE best year ever! Both for you and those around you. 

May you all be blessed with an abundance of patience and timely reflection. 

? marks the spot! – DoWoo #74/365

Was looking for a particular video of our son when he was younger but came across the one below.  Greg was just under 5 when we went back to the Dominican Republic to show him where Mommy & Daddy got married – and to enjoy a few weeks on the beach. We watched parts of the movie Pirates of the Caribbean.  The next day Walter explained that he overheard pirates at the eatery by the pool talking about misplacing their treasure map. They went in search of it. What transpired could be indicative of all our hopes and dreams.  

An alignment of where we are relative to everything shown.

A trek out to the farthest point to get perspective.

A run down the coast line until you spot what you are looking for.

Careful examination of your new position.  

Purposeful strides to…you guessed it…X marks the spot.


Out of the mouths of… – DoWoo #69/365

I’m amazed every day as a parent.  I truly wish everyone could experience the joy we feel each day being able to be there for our little man.  When one thinks of their “dharma” – their purpose in life – I believe many of us think it to be some thing we do ourselves which leaves an impact on others. Sometimes though, upon reflection, I can believe MY purpose may be to be Gregory’s mom – so that what we may be able to guide him to be, will allow him to have an impact on our humanity in some way. Moments after birth the nurse turned to us, as she held our son up for me to get a good look at him, and said “He is an old soul”.  I embraced this then and still do. He teaches me…us…so much. 

treeToday during our evening chill session I asked Greg if he was enjoying life? Yes. Was he happy? Yes. What makes him happy? “Mya, you and Daddy.”  Less than a minute later he said that he was happy for his grandparents too: Dido & Bunia…Nana & Grampie. Because they met, they had us. And then we met and had him. 

My sister commented to me a few days ago that he will eventually rebel…as all kids get to a point where they rebel against all that we’ve taught them as parents. Her hope for me was that I would be strong enough to allow him to rebel and be himself.  

I struggle with this concept. He is a good kid.  We’ve taught him to understand there are always more than one perspective to consider and ll actions have a cause and effect.  We’ve taught him to negotiate and tolerate, be strong and compassionate, focus and hang out, to express himself knowing we are listening. If this results in a child who wishes to ‘rebel’, possibly due to whatever stage in his life he happens to be in, we will continue to be who we are now. We will allow. For now though…this is my now.  And it’s all that I imagined it to be…and then some! 

dont-count-every-hour-in-the-day-make-every-hour-in-the-day-count-2Before I had a child I imagined being a parent and envisioned my motto being “Lots of Love and Rules” .  Then for a time I thought I would not be able to be a parent and so convinced myself it was best: I may not have been able to be selfless enough.  When Walter and I knew we were pregnant….we agreed the only other rule was to “Make Every Day Count”. 

I enjoy today. I see our future. Our son is exactly who he is meant to be. I see our future reality. I feel the peace, the love, the joy and am overwhelmed by our blessings.  If any part of my dharma includes me being Greg’s mom, I say….as loudly as I can for all to hear…Thank you! Gracias! Merci Beaucoup! Mahalo! 

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Steve – DoWoo #59/365

2014-11-16 10.24.23Today was a first.  Gregory went to a Halloween party at Scouts dressed in a costume we made: Steve aka “Minecraft Steve” or “The Player“.   I don’t understand the game but if he meets a new person, one of the first questions asked (to qualify the person as a potential friend) is whether they play Minecraft.  

So – we put it together – pixels and all.   I’ve put together costumes for myself or Walter but never “made” something for our son – he’s always worn purchased costumes. So this was an interesting ride to go on with him.   We all ended up working on it and it was a huge hit.  

Halloween is still one of my all time favourite events throughout the year.  AND I observe that our son appears to have picked up the torch.  


Pillow Fun – DoWoo #50/365

I was going to entitle this DoWoo “Pillow Fight” when I stopped myself. We were NOT fighting. We were having FUN! Hence the revised title and perception of what we did. 

Gregory has been a very understanding little man with all the commitments Walter and I have made these past few months. We ensure we have some time spent together – focusing on quality and not being too hung up on the quantity. 

family-photos-durbanville-cape-town-vanessa-14I set aside a 20 minute window to spend with Greg  – just he and I regrouping at the end of the day.  This is what ended up being our pillow fun time.  It was hilarious with the both of us back and forth and off and on the main bed, ending up in pillow tussles with the dog gurgle growling beside us – she being unsure what was going on and who to protect. 

I had a blast!   Best 20 minutes of my day.  I am grateful for making today count. 

Is new better? DoWoo #44/365

Walter and I are currently on a crazy schedule with our businesses and being Certified Guides within the Master Key course and all the other wonderful things I have said “yes” to recently. I’m blue! What can I say? One of my Personal Pivotal Needs is Helping Others. 

OK…now to my point.  Even with all the additional scheduling going on we know we must include quality time with our son. So this evening we walked away from our phones and our computers to have dinner out (plus no cooking and no clean up!)  On the way there, Walter asked to stop at the pet store to pick up something for Mya.  When he came back to the car, Walter explained he had been delayed because both he and the store clerk had challenges finding the product – the package looked totally different. He showed me the label which said “New Look”. 

Change-to-something-completely-new-for-better-dating.-There_s-nothing-to-lose-and-everything-to-gain.Greg pipes up from the back seatJust because it’s new does not mean it’s better”. Wow! Where did he get that one from?  He calmly explained: When he buys a new pack of Pokemon it does not always contain better cards in the pack – sometimes they are better, sometimes they are similar and sometimes they are less than what he already has.

Ergo ‘new is not necessarily better’. 

While his explanation is totally in line from his perspective, the philosophy he shared has the potential for so much more depth.  I am scheduling time to ponder this one a bit further. 

What do you think? 

Thanksgiving – DoWoo#43/365

canadian-thanksgiving-turkey1It was Thanksgiving here in Canada today. Before we sat down to dinner Walter asked me whether we wanted to eat in the dining room. Our son piped up that this would be wonderful. Originally he was pushing to watch a movie for our holiday dinner. However, he loves it when we eat special dinners in the dining room.

He then asked to light the candle he made in summer camp. Walter explained it was a candle which could easily drip on the dining table.  For the next few minutes our 9 year old opened cupboards (wow he can reach them all) and grabbed all sorts of small bowls trying to get something which he could put the candle in. He needed something big enough to capture any wax drippings which may fly off (yes – he made a very interesting candle). 

It was glorious ambiance. There was still enough light outside for us to see the fall colours in the yard and watch the neighbours cat come up to our window. Jimmy (our resident pet cricket) chirped along with us. Mya, Greg’s dog, was under the table keeping our feet warm.  

We paused to share what each of us were grateful for.  Greg started off the round of thanks with “I am grateful for a loving family”.  Wow! I am grateful to have a son who is grateful for his loving family. What a wonderful circle of gratitude we have woven.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone! 


The Mask – DoWoo #41/365

We have a family tradition of watching a movie together once per week.  It’s typically on Friday evenings where I make home made pizza and we eat while we watch.  About 5 months ago we cancelled our TV subscription so we now either watch something we can get on-line, purchase reasonably or rent.  

mask.jpegAm finding Greg is at an age where there is not a lot to choose from with the current releases. So, a few months back I started looking for and introducing some of the classics (Jurassic Park, Back to the Furture, ET, The Goonies).  One such movie we found was Jim Carrey’s 1994 The Mask.  We watched it tonight and Greg giggled himself silly.  It was a hit! 

This got me to thinking of a conversation I had with Walter this afternoon.  I was explaining how last night’s networking event went.  I had thoroughly enjoyed myself – and did not hold back. I was my boisterous, outgoing, friendly and caring self.  I allowed my true self to shine brightly without any of the worry I used to have about whether I was either not enough or too much of anything else. 

screen-shot-2012-09-26-at-140737Jim Carrey’s character Stanley Ipkiss was all about bringing out the true person (on comic steroids) within whenever he donned the mask – there was no holding back. Imagine being so confident in yourself to show your feelings on your sleeve (or out of your chest in this case).  

When I sat down this evening to consider what I had observed today I found I had truly enjoyed myself last night because I had shed the mask I used to wear.   I was true and honest with myself and ultimately to those I connected with.  The reality: “being” is like anything – some will like who I am, some may not. Neither really matters as long as I stay true to myself. 

Chocolate or Fruit – DoWoo #35/365

I got to thinking of how blessed our son is, who at the age of 9 has 3 of his grandparents still around.  I had only 1 out of my 4 when I was little and that grandmother was gone when I was 5. My mom had lost her father when she was nine and my father had lost his mother when he was 5.  My husband did not meet his grandparents as his grandfathers died in the war and his grandmothers were back home in the Ukraine which he did not get to while they were alive.  

This evening I came across a picture of my husband, his sister and parents. Walter was maybe 1 or 2 years older than our son. His parents are now 71 years married (say it with me…WOW!) and his father just turned 92! 

I truly feel blessed to be a part of my husband’s family and I am beyond grateful my son has this opportunity to know his grandparents.  I then allow myself to embrace the vision of us being grandparents – being here to help with our grandchildren.  

The question which then comes to mind: When they come to visit, will I give them chocolate or fruit? I may wish to ponder this question for some time. Дуже дякую.   What would you do? 

sokil familya


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Find your Happy Space – DoWoo #30/365

One of the teachings of our mentor Mark J is to identify a “happy space” – a visual or other form of reminder to put yourself into a good space so you can readjust whatever is going on at the moment to bring you down.

Our family has such a “happy space” – and it ALWAYS brightens any moment.  We even went so far as to include it in our wedding renewal ceremony which took place earlier this year in Kauai. How can one not smile when doing the limbo?

So….What’s your happy space?

A Full Day of DoWoo – DoWoo #27/365

Greg has read of number of my DoWoos and has even been featured in a few.  Today we went on an adventure to another part of town to have a professional photographer do a photo shoot of our family.  On our drive home he kept saying that everything was a great DoWoo – and we were having a fantastic DoWoo day. He asked whether this was a good DoWoo or whether that was a good DoWoo.  What would “we” write about.  

I love that he has embraced my journey as a family affair.  

I write this at the end of our full day of DoWoos.  We picked up his friend on the way home and they are ensconced in the tent in the back yard – with mattresses and sleeping bags – 2 flashlights and their favourite books – the fire is crackling slowly burning to coals suitable for s’mores.  What a way to round off this day of enjoying every moment without opinion.  We are blessed beyond what I could have imagined.  


James T Cricket – DoWoo #23/365

Walter found a cricket in our basement the other day.  He brought it upstairs to show me – excited that we could show our son this fantastic little creature when he arrived home from school. Then Walter decided we would put the cricket in a glass jar home to allow him to acclimate and see if we could keep him.

James TJames Tiberius Cricket as himself:

We looked up how to set up their space – ensuring there was a place to hide, a q-tip dipped in water to allow him to quench his thirst and something to nibble on.  He did not chrip that evening and we agreed we would give it a few days.  If he had not sang within 3 days we would release him back outside.

James T sang the evening of the 21st – the evening before the 3 days was up. Hurrah! He chirped all night long. The following evening James T began about 10 pm and was chirping till about 6 am the next morning  Greg was impressed at how loud he was.

We have decided to allow James to stay with us for as long as he desires.  We have not put a lid on the jar we have given him.  It’s totally up to him if he stays to sing to us each night. For now this is our experience.

Are crickets good luck? It depends on whether you believe in luck.  Are crickets a sign that good things are around the corner? Who knows.  I like the idea that James T has come to visit us for a while. It certainly makes for an interesting evening of song.

Mother Nature’s Stairs – DoWoo #21/365

kelsoWe went to Kelso Park yesterday for a hike – the family and the dog.  It’s an area of Ontario known as the Niagara Escarpment.

Upon our arrival the dog chose to share her mid day apple with Gregory’s lap – luckily he handled it well and we had a pair of pajama bottoms in the trunk he could swap out for his jeans which were no longer wearable. He commented his pjs were more comfortable! 

P9204055aWe hiked in about an hour and a half, stopping a few times to appreciate the scenery including a view of the Toronto skyline from over 60 km (or almost 40 miles) away.  We paused for a picnic under the tree canopy to which Gregory commented it was “great family time”.

We had stayed to our right the whole way in – picking up different trails in order to get to the edge of the escarpment. On the way back, I chose not to stay left at one point as I had observed on the way in an alternate path which was less steep.  Greg asked why we were not going the way we had come in. I pointed out the route in front of us would join up with the other at the top of the next rise, but that this path was easier to navigate than the rocky version we had climbed down earlier.

We started up the hill when Gregory noticed all the roots of the trees had created a stepping path which was indeed more easy to navigate. He exclaimed with enthusiasm “Look! Mother Nature’s Stairs”.

To top it off, when driving back home he commented that today was going down in his book as one of his best days.  I truly cherish our son’s ability to accept, adjust and move on.   The dog barf in his lap was forgotten in the joy of spending the day hiking in the woods with his family.

I dedicate this DoWoo to my two men who consistently provide numerous opportunity for inspiration and aspiration. 


Gregory’s DoWoo – DoWoo #16/365

Last night Walter went in to tuck Greg in and said to “You are the best kid in the world”.   Now – just so you know – this is our regular routine.  Our philosophy is if we tell him, he will believe and then he will know and he will be.  

Gregory responded “And you are the best daddy in the world.  Mommy is the best mommy in the world.  Mya (his dog) is the best….” there was a significant pause here “…Mya in the world.”

MyaWhile Mya is sometimes a rather intense almost 2 year old Belgian Shepherd, she is doing the best she can with what she knows. Gregory recognized that she IS the best Mya!  

Are you being the best YOU?  

Gregory’s DoWoo from me to you! 

R2A2 – DoWoo #14/365

neriumintternational1During a regional training for my business yesterday I found myself stopping to remind myself to observe without opinion.  Each reminder was a shift in real-time.  I was able to be at peace and truly listen – hearing numerous points which resonated. Met some fantastic people and I thoroughly look forward to seeing how these connections evolve in the years ahead. 

Afterwards I was completing a few errands when I found myself getting frustrated with others (in hindsight – recognizing frustration with myself). This resulted in my being snappy and rude (not an opinion – truly an observation) with my husband and son when I returned home.

b55a6cc90fcad4d053c22be5b8f020889b14c5c447fb841889f50534ee271ebaIt took me till the end of the day to R2A2 (Recognize & Relate; Assimilate & Apply) my actions and realize I needed to halt the negative pattern and get back on track. The point of recognition came when our son and I were having our just-before-bed “family time” cuddle/conversation. We were almost done when he reminded me to “keep my body away from the computer” as daddy had suggested. He then went on to comment that I work too much and maybe I needed to schedule “family time” during the day.  I wholeheartedly agreed and thanked him for the idea. 

We’ve been teaching Greg about enjoying different activities during the day so he does not get too much of any one thing – living with a healthy balance.   Right back at me!   Well done him!

mario-kart-sd-21630396During this morning’s “family time” cuddle/chat I apologized to Greg for not being my best the previous day when I snapped and was grumpy with him. He said “That’s ok”, smiled and then hugged me tight. I explained that I would be better going forward. I would not ‘try’ but I would do it. I thanked him for helping me to become a better person.  I then suggested he teach me how to play Mario Cart so I could do my “family time” in the middle of today.  The rest of our cuddle was spent listening to all the things I needed to know before I picked up the Wii remote.

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No opinion! – DoWoo #12/365

question kidIf you’ve had kids who are grown up now, this may resonate…

Our 9 year old son came home from school today.  We were standing at the kitchen counter chatting while he had his “Mya” snack.  He calls it this as he has something to munch on before or after he walks his dog Mya after school. He looks up and asks “Is ‘sexy’ a bad word?”

Whoa!  Readjust.  A small voice whispers quietly inside my head “Careful…no opinion.”

Best defense for a parent to buy time to formulate an answer to any question…respond with a question of your own. “Do you know what the word ‘sexy’ means?”  “No” he answered.  Phew! I let out my breath. No wait! I still haven’t dealt with his question have I?  

Allow! Allow! Deep breath…jump!

“Well…sexy is an adult word for attractive. Mommy thinks daddy is attractive so I think he is sexy. Daddy thinks mommy is attractive so daddy thinks I’m sexy.  That’s one of the reasons we got married. But it is not a word kids use – it’s a word adults use.”

Hope this works…. “Do you think you should use it?” “No”. “So, the use of the word by you and your friends could be considered ‘bad’ but just so you understand, the word itself is not.”  He’s nodding his head looking at me attentively  I search for a 9 year old connection.  I remind him of the joke he made up for school the previous year: What did the screw say to the magnet? You are very attractive.

OK – I think I hit my objective: To walk the fine line of delivering facts while giving only enough age related detail AND to avoid setting up unreasonable beliefs which could be considered contradictory later on. 

Turns out he was goofing around in the school yard singing “Eh, sexy lady” from Gangnam Style. And since the only words everyone seems to know include ‘sexy’ – it appears someone from his peer group pointed out he had used the ‘s’ word which is a ‘bad’ word.  I reiterated that every family has different consideration for what is and is not a ‘bad’ word.  Just like we believe ‘hate’ is a strong, negative word and avoid use of it, his friend’s family believe ‘sexy’ is a bad word and they should not be using it.    

I suggested he may wish to choose to no offend his friends by singing this at school – but if he wants to be silly at home and sing while he dances – this would be allowable in our household. No further questions from my little man at this time.  Yeah! 

Would love your feedback on this one.  Any other questions you know they will ask that you have a great suggestion for us in advance.   I welcome others opinions.  

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Blessings to all those who have survived parenthood – the legal ability to form another human being without instruction manuals. Ours did it with us. Ours will do it with theirs.

Question of the Day – DoWoo #10/365

question_of-the-day_iStock1-630x486I had just completed my morning sit when our son came and cuddled up on me.  He was explaining to me about his preference in pajamas – in that he prefers the pull overs tops with circular necks compared to the V neck and button up kind. 

He then asks “What is better: A loving life or a rich life?” 

WOW! I paused and asked him what he thought and why. He explained that it would be a loving life.  A man could be rich and he could live in a big house, like a mansion, but if he has no friends or family he would not be happy. 

41QmW03xfwL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I observe a child who understands the lessons we are living and teaching him.

I thank the universe / my source for all our blessings – and most especially my loving life!

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AWESOME – DoWoo #5/365

Today was an AWESOME day!  My DoWoos were enjoyed by making extra time for our family.

lightning_stormWe hit record highs – one of the warmest days of the entire summer.   After work we all climbed in the pool and played together. Fridays are family movie nights with homemade pepperoni, bacon, mushroom, garlic and extra cheese pizza! We just finished watching the movie when the thunder & lightening storm came through in full force.

Greg and I stood at the front door watching the lightening brighten the entire street. He said “That was so cool“.  It’s a “regular natural firework show!”   How very apt.  How very enjoyable. I paused and just allowed.  Wonderful observations. 

No1-trimmedI want to say thank you to the Universal Source for all my blessings today, with my family being #1.  Everything is truly “Awesome”! 

I looking forward to learning more tomorrow! 

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Carolynn Sokil             @IDoWooDoU