Friday, June 19, 2009

Seven Quick Takes





Dawn has posted another File Crate Post- I've been considering doing something like this for awhile. It always seems that I find great Christmas ideas in February and great summer stuff in November. So having a place to keep it all until it's the appropriate season really appeals to me.





Ender has been in swimming lessons all week this week. We've learned to get in and out of the pool safely, how to blow bubbles, floating on our backs and bellies and kicking with a kick board. Yesterday we went underwater for the first time and he was NOT impressed. He really wants to "swim like a big kid" but is really afraid of going under. His teacher spent some time with him to show him that if he blows bubbles with his nose it keeps the water out of your nose (since that's one of his worries) but he's still really unsure about the whole thing.





I've been going around and around about what we should do this year for school with Ender. On one hand he's ready for something more, but he's still just 3 1/2- certainly not ready for a more traditional Kindergarten experience. He really wants to learn to write, so I'm trying to sort out the best way to do that- maybe starting with tracing some cookie cutters or something? Tracing lines?

So this year we're going to continue to follow his interests, continue with phonics and introduce a few math concepts to see if he has any interest yet.





We've read dozens of picture books since June 1, all because of the summer reading challenge at our local library. For kids Ender and Ezra's age they earn a free paperback picture book by listening to 20 picture books, and they can do that up to 5 times over the summer months! We're just a few books away from finishing our second list. We usually read 3 or4 picture books in a day because we read at a few different times each day, but Ender is really motivated to read "just one more" to be able to add it to the list. Before quiet time yesterday we read four in one sitting!





We had great hopes about a serious offer on our house this week, but it didn't go through. I'm very discouraged about this whole thing, so I continue to pray. We need more space, so I need to get really creative about finding some. Any small house owners with advice?





I finally got a copy of Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross. Now I have a really long list of projects I want to make for myself, in addition to the 80 gazillion projects already on my list! My sister recently promised me a day of babysitting- I may have to take her up on that soon and have myself a sewing day. I love the Summer Blouse pattern and after Soule Mama's generous praise for that pattern I'm convinced- that has to be the first project out of the book. It'll be my first time sewing with cotton lawn- I love first time sewing of any kind!





Guess who's interested in the potty? Ezra! I'm so excited. He'll be two in just a few weeks and in the last 3 times has started a sudden around-the-clock interest in sitting on the potty. We'll see how long this lasts. :)



Go visit Jen for more Quick Takes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Choice and Reward

When my students are preparing for a performance we talk about how scary it is to be up on stage. But there is a part too performing where you just have to go for it and let the performance be what it is. You have to play with all the heart that you have, the great sound, even though you worry-"what if I hit a wrong note?" I can guarantee that if you play too controlled and too carefully your piece will only sound "okay" even if every note is perfect. It will have no soul, no emotion, no drive behind it. But a piece played with emotion and depth connects with the audience even if the performance is less than flawless. We get to see a piece of the performer laid open and vulnerable on stage, and music is about that honesty and conection.


It's a scary thing, taking a leap like that, but so very rewarding.


Would you like your life to be different than it is? Change it. Go after a better job, make a radical decision to move or homeschool or go organic, choose to slow down on the weekends or leave your laptop in the other room a few nights a week, then do it. Just like in performance you have to go for it in life. It may not work the way you expected, you may not get that job, but at least you tried. Without the effort I can GUARANTEE that you won't get the job! At least by trying you gave yourself the possibility of something great happening.


You can make your life what you want it to be. The time you don't have? It's there, but it means less time online, a little less sleep, a re-prioritized plan. The money you don't have? Be creative. Living the life you want doesn't mean having what everyone else has- it means creating your own. That's where the reward is.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Changing Routine

Jumping in on the summer routine fun found over at Amongst Lovely Things and Three Plus Two . . .


Daily schedules and routines are really important to our family. I have a husband and son who thrive on routine and structure, one son who doesn't seem to care either way, and then me- the artsy, keeps all hours, spontaneous one.


Can you spot the one that doesn't belong? Yeah, that would be me.


One of the things I have had to learn over our years of marriage is how to actually keep a home. My mother demonstrated very little domestic life- the house was almost always a disaster, real cleaning was a once a month event (involving everyone and usually taking 3 days. HATED that!) and my mom's version of homemade food was typically a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As we start to add more things to our lives- more children, homeschooling, diet changes etc. there is so much more to keep track of. I, like Sarah, realized recently that the cleaning routine that has worked for us for ages just isn't working anymore. We're constantly piled up with laundry by Saturday (and I don't want to spend every Saturday consumed by laundry!), meals aren't planned far enough out because of my time constraints, the house just isn't as clean as I'd like it to be.


I think I've figured out that it comes down to two things for me. First, If I get up no later than 6 a.m. that is enough time for me to get a shower and spend a little time reading and praying. My day starts off that much better, I'm ready for the day before my early riser even makes a peep, and I go into the day prepared.


Second, I just don't do well with a "to the minute" schedule and I think it's time to admit it. There's something about having that time attached that makes me want to push against that limit or else plain old ignore it! Instead I'm spending a few minutes at night putting together a short list for the next day of what we want to accomplish- in any order I please. The items that are always on the list (not in order of importance or anything):

  • Time outside

  • Something Creative

  • Something Educational

  • At least 1 picture book

  • 1 chapter of our current Read-aloud

  • Rest Time

  • Time for  paperwork (for me, at least 15 minutes)

  • Kitchen clean

  • Laundry (at least 1 load)

  • Beds made

  • general pick up before lunch and before dinner


Another contributing factor to all this is that I'm working while Superman is finishing school. During the summer It's less than half time, but during the school year it is full time. There are drastic changes coming this fall in order to start schooling PreK with Ender, and hopefully there will be even more changes the year after that as we move to cutting my student load down in order to really devote time to homeschooling as Ender starts Kindergarten.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Birthday Bliss

The day started without a toddler hollering for me to rescue him from his bed at 6:30 a.m. Superman got up with him and I got to sleep in for a ridiculous amount of time. That in and of itself was a great gift!

We had a wonderful afternoon with my side of the family, a great cake, lots of game playing, and some gorgeous yarn (ready for sock making in September!). My big plans for the evening involve curling up with my birthday present from Superman and enjoying a tiny bit of cherry cobbler. Or a whole cobbler- whatever.
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