Here are five things that make me smile:
1) Books by Gail Carson Levine
Levine writes young adult fantasy. I love the way she makes old stories new, yet keeps them fun. Her books deal with real issues, and offer real solutions; yet she creates characters I love and fabulous worlds at the same time.
Her book "Ella Enchanted" is about a young woman who had a terrible curse cast upon her by a fairy who thinks she is being helpful- the requirement to obey whatever she is told to do. Her mother and fairy godmother try to protect her from the consequences of such an evil spell. However, her mother dies and her father remarries a horrid woman with two horrid daughters. (Recognize the tale of Cinderella?) The story of her escape from the spell and the step-sisters is both delightful and full of harrowing adventure. (Sidenote: The book has been turned into a movie, which I thoroughly enjoyed. However the movie is not as good as the book.)
2) Saturday mornings
My dear, sweet, awesome and oh, so sexy husband lets me sleep in! Isn't that fabulous? Yes, if I need to be somewhere (like wickedly early to Farmer's Market) I get up. However, if we have no plans he lets me sleep in basically till I wake up. He hangs out with the girls, or takes them on fabulous adventures. He's a good guy.
3) The computer game Enchanted Island
I have LOVED this game. I started it rather tentatively because I'm so NOT into computer games. I have too much real life to get heavily invested into fake life. And I already have an addiction to books.
However, I have loved the sweet simplicity of this game. The game play is so sweetly simple: I am a magician gaining powers to grow magical seeds. My goal is to gain more abilities, and work through quests.
I offer this smile with a little bit of trepidition because the game is changing. For the last 12 to 18 months it has been in trial form, and will now be undergoing a huge change. The game is currently shut down to new players, but in about three months will open up to new players. I don't know what the new version is going to be like. I am looking forward to trying it, but also sad to see the game as I have known it disappear. http://theenchantedisland.com/
4) My job as a reading tutor
I have struggled with the job this year as a result of my surgery and being tired all the time. However, I honestly smile when I see my students. I thoroughly enjoy seeing them grow and get better at reading. I work at my daughters' school, so I get to go home with my kindergartener. I get to see my girls at school, and know many of their friends.
One part of my job I've been unsure about is the recess monitor. Some days I enjoy it, and some days (particularly at -18) I hate it. I've ended up sending kids to the principal, and I've put kids in time outs. I've talked to kids about a variety of subjects- their home life, friends saying they hate each other, friends destroying stuff somebody else made, Pokemon, loners wanting to play with other kids... I'm thankful for my job, and most of the time, it makes me smile.
5) My button bracelets