Monday, 30 April 2012

The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Anchor

This weekend we went to a swim meet in Fernie. For this meet the kids all go on a bus together and the parents follow in their vehicles. This means I had about four hours all to myself! It was bliss.

I listened to a book on CD called The Happiness Advantage. It's science behind Art Williams principles of always be positive. One this website it says:

Most people believe that once they become successful, then they'll be happy. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology and neuroscience have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive at work. This isn’t just an empty mantra. This discovery has been repeatedly borne out by rigorous research in psychology and neuroscience, management studies, and the bottom lines of organizations around the globe.

In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor, who spent over a decade living, researching, and lecturing at Harvard University, draws on his own research—including one of the largest studies of happiness and potential at Harvard and others at companies like UBS and KPMG—to fix this broken formula. Using stories and case studies from his work with thousands of Fortune 500 executives in 42 countries, Achor explains how we can reprogram our brains to become more positive in order to gain a competitive edge at work.

It was really great stuff. His seven principles are:

1. The happiness advantage--the way we can retrain our brains to maximize positivity and provide our the biological advantage needed to optimize our productivity and performance.

2. The fulcrum and the lever--the way we can adjust our mindset (fulcrum) to be able to have the power (lever) to be more fulfilled and successful.

3. The tetris effect--the principle by which we retrain our brains to spot patterns of possibility and opportunity, instead of getting stuck in spotting patterns that focus on negativity.

4. Falling up--how we can not only get ourselves up after failure or suffering, but also become happier and more successful in spite--and because--of the fall.

5. The Zorro circle--the principle by which we can regain control when feeling overwhelmed by focusing on small and manageable goals, and gradually expanding the circle to achieve increasingly bigger ones.

6. The 20 second rule--how we can decrease the "activation energy" of forming new (and healthier) habits by rerouting the path of least resistance.

7. Social investment--the principle by which we can invest more in our social networks, which are one of the greatest predictors of happiness and success.

I started working on this with my class today. I explained to them that I had listened to this book on CD and it said if we write down the great things that happen each day we will find we will have more great things happen. It was heart warming to see the things they wrote down. We are going to continue this!!


A sure sign of Spring: the kindergarten class has little ducks in their class! The kindergarteners are across the hall from me. Today the teacher sent out the news that there was one hatching right then! I took my class over to have a look. I just went again, after school and that little guy is all out and fluffy and there's another one hatching!

Sunday, 29 April 2012


The meet is Fernie is always a lot of fun. There is a lot of swimming and a lot of fun that goes on!

It was a good morning for Jill....three PBs, number six in her age in 200 breast, and number one in her age group for 200 fly, 100 back and 200 IM!

After a heart breaking DQ in 200 IM Peirce pulled it together and bounced back by taking 5 sec off 50 free, 7 sec off 100 back and 14 seconds off his 100 back!

There's lots of cheering done by the parents....

Saturday night we had a Minute To Win It style competition. Lots of fun!

And it was a good time to visit with friends!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Splurch Academy by Julie Gardner Berry and Sally Faye Gardner

I don't know if it's from working in primary where we had so many boys in our senior primary, or having my own 9 year old boy, or the delightful little boys at school - but I really get a kick out of little boy humor - and this book really fits the bill for that. It reminds me of The Fourth Stall - kids living a life where it seems like it's adults against the kids...and the adults are usually villians.

This is about a boy who ends up being sent away to a boarding school. He uncovers a secret: the people running the boarding school are actually really. Monsters!!

The great thing is, it's a series. There are more Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys books.

I wish I would have thought of it.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Elephant Stew

The Calgary zoo, after having elephants for decades, has decided to relocate the elephants to a new zoo.


When the story was on the news my kids were doing what they do best: only half listening. They asked me what was going on and I told them the zoo found a recipe for elephant stew and it will attract thousands of tourists and be very good for the zoo....and one elephant can make enough stew for a year at least so they have a 3-5 year marketing plan for how to bring more traffic to the zoo.

They were horrified.  "We have to do something!" they said, and they started making plans. They we so mad at me when they heard the news story again and found out they had been had.

Sometimes I think I should be a better mother.

I just can't help myself sometimes!!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Happy Birthday Peirce!

Peirce's 10th birthday is approaching and so early this month the discussions began. What should we do for my birthday party mom? I have to say, planning birthday parties is not one of my favorite things. When I had a look at our calendar for April I realized every weekend was already full....there was no where that we could fit in a party....until I realized there was an early dismissal day this month on the same day I had a half day. Then I happened to come across an Aggie Days email. I asked Peirce if he would be interested in doing that, and he was. Yippee!! (or should that be yeehaa!?!)

We ate pizza on the way the, then did all we could for the afternoon at Aggie Days.....then it was off to McD's. Apparently 10year old boys still like playing in the play place...especially when there is a gang of them! Not only that, the McD's near our house has self serve pop - and you know what that means?! Refills!! They were thrilled. We had a great time!

He invited four friends: Jeromi, Anthony, Kaylan, and Ben.