Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was mostly an ordinary day this year.  We recently returned from an out of town trip to celebrate a parents 50th anniversary.  Errands still needed to be run, basketball still needed to be practiced, allergies still had to be dealt with…and so on.  So we did what had to be done.

There were flowers and card, greetings and eating treats.   I was able to honor our mom’s and aunts, though some a little late.

I wanted to relax more and decorate, but I guess I wanted to do the other stuff more.  Hopefully I’ll get to relax and splurge another day to celebrate the occasion and enjoy my family more!  I’m positive I will.

How was your Mother’s Day?  Hope everyone had a good one.

Gratitude and Contentment

In April …

I want to eat out more,  instead I will cook something I enjoy, or snack on something I enjoy.  I will eat only foods I reasonably like,when hungry, and when I have time so I can appreciate my food.   I will think about paying off our house and our yearly vacation.

I want to travel more, instead I will read about the places I want to visit.  I will look for inexpensive activities I can enjoy during our yearly vacation that I can look forward to.

I will enjoy and appreciate my family’s presence, their humor, and their singing.

I will be grateful for my kids basketball practices and games.  I will share in their victories, improvements  and their defeats.

I will enjoy and appreciate my children’s growth and their end of the year ceremony, at the end of the month. I will enjoy and appreciate all the moms and kids in our co-op, the program itself, and the opportunity to homeschool (which I also try to do throughout the year).

I will be grateful and appreciative of my faith as I celebrate Easter.

How are you planning on practicing gratitude and contentment in April?

 

 

 

Persistence

We’ve been participating in recreational basketball for three seasons now.  It hasn’t come easy to the kids, but they don’t want to stop. They are ok with just participating.  I am not.

Maybe for some things I would be fine with just participating.  Maybe if the other kids weren’t progressing so well, it would be ok.  But the other kids have gotten better and I feel there is no reason that my kids can’t also.

I know it sounds bad.  I know I shouldn’t use the other kids as a benchmark.   What matters is if my kids are doing their best.  And they are not. (If they were, I might try to persuade them to do something they would be better at.  That sounds terrible, but that’s also another topic to deal with separately.)

So we have been going to the gym to practice more.  We also signed up for an 8 lesson basketball class at the gym.  And they are finally showing some improvement.

No, I didn’t enjoy having to go to the gym even more frequently.  And it was pretty discouraging this past year.  I worried that they wouldn’t get better despite even more practice.  But we kept going and finally there were signs of hope.

What made me not give up? Well, it took the youngest a long time to get the hang of swimming.  He’s still not great, but he’s much better then before.  And then there’s reading which the youngest really struggled with for a long time,  but he is much better at it now.  And then of course there’s my personality, I don’t mind working at most things even if it takes a while.  When it got so discouraging, I set goals for them, along with a plan.

But what if they didn’t get better, or if they don’t continue to do better?  Well, they were definitely better than when they first started.  Either way, we learned valuable lessons on values, persistence, goals and time management.

How much time do you give to learn a new skill?  How many times do you keep going despite lack of progress?  What helps you to persist despite lack of progress?

 

Monthly review and Goals

Time to check in. I can barely remember what happened in February.  We were busy with basketball games and our weekly Classical Conversations homeschool classes.  I was able to stay focused on my goal of kindness by thinking of the kind people I admire.

I was able to enjoy something, however simple, every day.  Continuing a simple schedule and decreased spending has continued to help with that, along with making the time to notice nature more.

I was able to delay my needs (till the end of the day, etc.) to give my children the attention they deserved, most of the time. Continuing to sleep well, eat better,  along with paying attention to nature, slowing down, and setting aside some time to destress has helped.  I spent some time researching homeschooling and college.

I was able to mostly keep God in the center of my days.  Having some time to reflect helped. Long days also had me seeking his help.  I borrowed a Bible Study ebook and read it only for a few days.

I dug out some of the paperwork for our taxes.  I continued to spend time researching saving/making money along with  researching investing.  I was able to save more than usual, by continuing to make do even more with the clothes I already had, and decreasing eating out and convenience foods with fairly simple and healthier homemade meals. Continuing to read how others saved, helped.

Habits helped.  When I would be tempted, the habits of eating healthy, going to sleep early, doing chores at certain times, going to the gym with the kids, because “it’s good for us”, would push me forward most of the time.

Should I have decluttered more?  Finished our taxes already?  Have our summer school plans set already?  That would have been nice.  But then I think our quality of life would have suffered.

What about our March plans?  It looks like I am ready for and badly need a planner, so that’s in my list.   March should be easier as there is a short break in basketball and the seventh grader no longer has weekly presentations.  I plan on working with the second grader more with basketball (he is not progressing as well as I want him to).

I would like to prepare for the start of basketball practices again and the end of school year busyness that happens in April.  I need to research school plans for our summer and the following year.  Eighth grade is a critical year.

I would like to plan for the rest of the year.  I would like to find a Bible Study book that I am drawn to.

How was your February?  What are your plans for March?

 

 

Simple Family Life

In our Classical Conversations’s homeschool group they do family presentations, where they share about their family.

When they do these presentations, I usually think, wow, why aren’t we doing those things.  There are so many activities we could be doing.

Since we’ve always signed up late, we haven’t done any family presentations.  But it has been on my mind.  I have also read of creating a family shield, which also sounds good. In addition to creating unity, taking the time to reflect on your family’s characteristics can lead to appreciation, contentment and gratitude.  It can make it clearer what is missing and what kind of family we want to become.

While I haven’t taken the time to write one up, I have some ideas.

Our family consists of…both kids participating in recreational basketball, a husband that loves watching sports, a mom and a tween that are bookworms,  kids that love video games big time, and also love utube and Netflix,  Star Wars and Disney Parks/Universal Studio fans (mostly), a curious kid that loves Legos , a tween that enjoys technology and big words, kids that enjoy riddles,comics, and beating me badly in basketball.

We all enjoy eating out inexpensively or cooking on  the weekends, though our taste in food varies. We enjoy seeing our out of state families and friends once a year, and we have enjoyed science museums on our past trips.  Although my  husband enjoys rock concerts, we haven’t because of the kids.

Pretty boring and basic, I know.  But that’s who we are.  We could do more, do different things, but would it be better for us? Some of it would, some of it wouldn’t.  I would really like more time on good literature with the 2nd grader.  I would like the 7th grader to spend more time on being creative.  The 2nd grader might enjoy theater and piano lessons, but he doesn’t want to give up basketball and I don’t want him to be that busy.

I would like exposing them to different activities and interests but they are not interested, though some of the activities are beyond my husband’s and my knowledge (like hunting). Some of them we don’t do because we have allergies.  And some of them, like computer camps, do not seem worth the expense with our budget, so we will have to get creative with that.

Have you reflected on your family’s activities and characteristics?  Have you found doing it helpful in planning and increasing contentment and gratitude?

 

 

Motherhood

Motherhood is constant.  It doesn’t stop when you need a break.  And while we are not always in control we do have influence.  Do we react with denial/inattention during those times we badly need a break?  I know I do.

Sometimes it works, and inattention at the moment was the best, but most times it is not ideal.

Do I really need a break, or do I just need to stop my negative thoughts and just do what I know I should be doing?  Do I  do my best to take care of myself by getting enough sleep, eating healthy, cutting back on the unnecessary, and getting support, so I can react well?  I know, it’s easier said than done, but we can give it our best.

I am realizing just how big a responsibility motherhood is.  But I am realizing it comes with joys just as big, if we’re paying attention.

What has helped you the most in managing the constant demands of motherhood?

 

Simple Living and The Amish

They are human and I can’t put them on a pedestal as I had hoped, but I have a lot to learn from them.  Their practices vary but community, but their strong work ethic, importance of community and family, practices of equality, spirit of cooperation instead of competition, and their non-material ideals all appeal to me.

Family and community gatherings and support, efforts towards equality such as same clothes and buggies, minimal focus on material things, together they lead to simpler living.

Will they be able to continue their ways as the world continues to change?  Will we be able to use some of their ways, or are most of them impossible considering today’s circumstances?

I think it’s worth a try.  Board games, shooting baskets,reading, good simple food, nature and conversation for entertainment.  Simple clothes, home decor, toys, etc.  Spending time with others that share  common beliefs/ideals.  Are the things we give up worth it?  I think so.

What simple things do you like that the Amish do?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Motivation

Goals, to do lists, good intentions. Unfortunately some days they just don’t work for me.

Some people use music for fun.  I think I’ll start the day off doing something fun with my child.  Today we did a little Monopoly Jr. instead of math.

When needed, I plan on reading a poem or scripture,  reading about and enjoying a piece of art,  looking out the window to find beauty in nature, and thinking of fun future plans.  I’ll probably have my kids join me.

What helps get you going when you need some motivation?