Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Elf on the Shelf

So, with the arrival of Christmas decorating, along comes the Elf on the Shelf.


For those not “in the know” about this propaganda, click here to learn all about it. The Facebook posts for and against this little dude and his antics started today. So, I felt obliged to share my thoughts and personal experiences. First, I must say that his eyes are just creepy. Maybe that is on purpose since he watches you all the time. I keep waiting for them to move like those blinking baby doll eyes, again totally creepy.

The idea that an elf that magically moves (read: mom has to remember to move him nightly, because we have NOTHING else to do) to watch your child’s behavior and report whether you belong on the naughty or nice list is absurd…. for a few reasons.

  1. Shouldn’t children behave year round and not just before Christmas? The Santa (and God) that I believe in wants us to be nice all the time, not just when someone is watching.
  2. Why can’t children behave for parents instead of an elf?
  3. We are giving control for rewarding behavior to a stuffed animal.
  4. What does this teach our children? For more on that, click here for a Washington Post article.

Related to be watched during the holiday season, I remember when my oldest child was in 2nd grade and one of his teachers told the class in December that there was a video camera that went straight to Santa. When they misbehaved, he would call Santa from the classroom phone to report them. I am not lying folks. I immediately thought of what his classroom management strategy was the rest of the year, and then how awesome it would be to be Jewish that month of the school year…. you could get away with murder because Santa isn’t coming to your house regardless of your behavior.

We need to be more honest with our children. They deserve it. Don’t make them grow up being paranoid of Big Brother (AKA the Elf). They are smarter than that.





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holiday decorations: done

Although the weather did not feel like it was time to put up the holiday decorations this weekend, we did it. Then played basketball, scootered, rode bikes in the sunny 70 degree weather. Here are some pics of how we say the holidays in the Woods of Wild Azalea Lane.

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The day after Thanksgiving

This day used to be the day that my mom came to visit, year after year, to help us put up the Christmas tree and other holiday decorations. We continued the tradition this year without her, but imagine my surprise when I looked out the window to the back yard and saw our blue bird family from this summer visiting their bird house. Today. I have not seen them since I wrote this last post about the fledge in August.

Folks, there are no coincidences. I believe in my heart that my mom visited us in a special way today. Our special day, and one that I will miss celebrating with her.

I did not get a picture today, because I was heading out to meet with a parent who needs some help advocating for her son at school. But the rest of my family saw them, so I know it was real.

Here is one of my favorite pics of my blue bird family from this summer. I hope they continue to visit us and help us heal.


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Friendsgiving 2015

What a difference a year makes. Last year we spent 7 hrs in the car (for a 4 hr drive) only to arrive to a complicated and difficult relationship with Rahul and his brother. If my stomach was in knots on the drive there, it only intensified once we arrived, and lasted the entire trip.

Fast forward to this year. Most folks who know me, or read this blog, know that I have had a bad year. 2015 was not my year, but I learned a lot about myself. Life is short and there is nothing wrong with doing what you need to do to make yourself happy. Living just to please others is not being true to yourself, like I teach girls to do each and every week at Girls TALK. So this year I decided to take care of me and invited our family to my good friend Liz’s Friendsgiving. It was AMAZING in every single way. Relaxing, honest, and truly fun. Here are some pics of our fun evening. I hope this becomes a tradition for us.


Hanging out by candlelight.


My boy.


The place setting.


Jamie’s caffeine inspired fire pit.


How the kids did dessert. A little pie with the whipped cream.

Craft time. I love Liz’s snowflake. Unique just like her 🙂

Super grateful for my family tonight and our Friendsgiving. My heart feels so full tonight, and I am relaxed in a way that I have never felt at a holiday.

Thanks to Liz and all of her UConn crew…we love you!


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today’s zen tangle

The no’s have been getting to me lately with my book publishing. I know that I only need one yes, but waiting for it can be a painful process. It WILL happen. I just need to believe it.


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International Potluck

The Shimpi family is preparing for the International Potluck at Carolina Friends School. From Guatemala, Samantha made Arroz con Leche. From India, Aidan made Jeer Aloo.

The task was to make a dish that represents your family culture. Well, this was a bit complicated for our family and our multicultural roots, but I was determined to participate. Here is our take on the activity –

Samantha emailed her foster family in Guatemala to ask for an easy dessert.

Aidan talked to his grandparents who were also born in India like him and asked for an easy, but also spicy dish.

So, our sweets loving daughter and spicy food loving son are contributing in our special way to the potluck!

And some pics of our extended family. Here I am with Samantha and her foster family when she was only 5 mos old.


And Aidan’s grandparents. The most supportive grandparents anyone could ask for.


Our family is eclectic, and to some different from the “norm,” but it works for us. So as we head into Thanksgiving this year, I am grateful that my children attend such a wonderful school that celebrates everyone. And, they do this with academic rigor as well. On Aidan’s most recent self-evaluation, this is what he wrote about his science teacher: “I love the projects we do and my teacher makes me use my brain.” Wow. That is all that I could ever ask for from a teacher.

Feeling grateful,


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Been busy

I have been super busy with writing lately.

writerI am happy with my progress. The no’s are hard, but I get potential leads daily. So, chin up and I will keep on trying. A friend shared that Dr Suess was rejected 27 times before getting a yes. That is what keeps my chin up.

It will happen. I know it will. The waiting is the hardest part.


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