Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Parenting On Purpose :: Challenge Follow-up

Last week I challenged you to saying some positive things about your children to another and allowing them to overhear you. I'm so curious to hear how things went for you. What sort of things did you talk about? How much of the conversation did you let them overhear? What things did you notice afterwards? How many days did you participate in this challenge?

Well, since last week, I have made it a point to speak to several friends over the phone. I did what I normally do by stepping out of earshot, behind a closed door, etc. only this time I spoke a little more quietly. It did take a few minutes before any of them noticed that I was on the phone, but once they did I said one of their names and went into sharing how they'd been doing over the passed few days. How proud I was about this and that; how I noticed that they were improving, getting along, helping out around the house without being asked, etc.

After each of the calls, they asked who I was talking to. They also asked if I was talking about them because they heard me say their names. I didn't answer their questions, as I normally don't, however, I could see their eyes were brighter and the overall tone around the house has become lighter.

Over the weekend I typed an email and left it up (I have little eyes that like to read over my shoulder now). I 'caught' my big girl reading it. When I said, "What are you doing?" She just smiled and walked away. Later that day she came around for hugs and cuddles--something she doesn't do with me very often (big girl and all). It was nice.

Another evening, I spoke to their father right after putting them to bed. I told him all about the great things they got into (learning activities, helping around the house, cooperating). The next morning everyone was in a great mood and we sailed through most all of the things we needed to with little to no issues.

I'm thankful I was right about just what a positive impact it could have on our lives. Now, I need to make this a regular practice. It's important that we remember that our children need to hear positive things about themselves. Not only from time to time but regularly. These things can be said directly to them, of course, but isn't it nice to overhear good things too?

I hope you'll take a moment now to share how things went in your home. I look forward to seeing how you incorporated it and the positive feelings your children relished in. It won't take but a moment (smile).

I'll continue this practice and looking for other ways to let me children know just how proud I am of each of them.

Be well.

P.S. Should this be your first time on the blog reading for Parenting On Purpose, hop right over the the initial challenge and join in. Each Tuesday I share a quote and ask a question. A simple yet powerful way to assist and remind ourselves just how important it is that we parent with purpose and intention. I hope you'll join me weekly.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Hello there.

As I give myself time to reflect on the week gone by and look at this new week coming, I am encouraged that this little intention setting practice has taken hold for me. Last Sunday I shared a little bit from a friend about his take on intentions.  I've been thinking about it more and want to further hone just what this practice is for me, and perhaps, for any of you who are considering it or doing it already.

Setting intentions--the act and practice of it--is nothing new. Even writing them down and posting them where they can been seen by you is something we're all familiar with. Going a step farther to share them with another for accountability and feedback is also common place. This practice that I've been cultivating here on the blog is about this--but not only this.  It's also about learning to keep my word to myself.  I am important. The people in my life are important. The things I want to involve myself in along with the things I want to create and learn--all hold spaces on the list of my priorities. By being intentional each week and honoring the things that rate for me, my time and my family, I'm purposely teaching myself that I matter and that keeping the promises I make to myself is paramont.

I'm sure we all can attest to a time when we've put OUR wants/needs/desires on the back burner for someone else. There are definitely times when this is necessary and expected, especially as mothers of young children. But this need not become a default mode. It's too overwhelming and the consequences of not caring for and attending to ourselves are too great.

I'm beginning to see my friend's point about intentions not really mattering if you never get around to doing any of them--if there is always reason or excuse why you were unable to fulfill them. Lists are nice to create but that's not the point either. I'm encouraged to continue in this practice with the focus being on keeping my promises to myself. My hope is that one of you is able to find encouragement in your practice by changing your focus a bit too.

Last week I was able to get to most everything on my list. I did not make the time to complete the hats I had wanted to. I did work on one though.

These are the promises I'm making to myself this week:

  • Read--I have received so many good book recommendations that I need to stop accepting them for a while (smile). I'm thankful that my library holds many of the titles I'm looking to read.
  • Write--Last week I started on scheduling in dedicated time to give to writing. I have a meeting scheduled this week with my writing partner--another layer of accountability--and hope to flesh it out a bit more.
  • Rest--I am a night owl. There is no getting around that. But finding a resting rhythm that works is key. I've been napping in the evening and that has really been helpful. I will continue this.
  • Quiet, meditative, contemplative time--Over our 'Winter Break' I was able to regularly be in this space alone daily. While I cannot always get 'away' or be on vacation, I can find time each day for this. I need it.
  • Begin new unit studies with the children--we will be doing several studies that all begin this week. I will share in a seperate post on the specifics on this.
  • Garden Planning--for those of you who garden, you know that this is the time to get started. I have already been collecting my containers, have some seeds from last year's crops to use. The children and I will be doing some prep work this week. I'll be looking through my Pinterest Boards for the saved resources and might come up with a new thing or two for this year's gardening experience.
  • Complete two hats--I've already begun one, so finishing up that one and then starting and finishing another. 

What promises to yourself are you making today that you'll fulfill by week's end? Take a moment to write them down. I invite you to share one or two below. I'd love to encourage you as you encourage me.

We'll meet here again next Sunday to check in.

Be well.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Highlights of Our Winter Break

We've made it a point to change up our routine a bit during our Winter Break. It began about December 16th, just before Winter Solstice, and we're wrapping things up this week.

So much fun just being together. We did a lot of learning and working together--mainly the children learning how better cooperate. (Yeah !)  Decided to share collages of photos--since they're worth a thousand words, right ?  (smile)

Baking to share with neighbors, librarians & postal workers

Mini retreat in the mountains
Working together to complete a puzzle
Working together to decorate
Little Miss baking cookies
Christmas day with friends
Playing Uno with Friends
Another game night with family
The boy getting his baking lesson
Touring the Center for Civil & Human Rights

Making her first cheesecake

Made 3 hats--1 more than my intended goal.

Unexpected, but much needed,
visit with my mentor-elder-sister-friend

Personal reading, writing and planning time.
In a prepared environment. :)

Time creating with my #2

Selfies with The Boy--#1 isn't feeling it.

Starting new traditions--'All About Me' Form
Getting inspiration from a new book

Heading back home!

As you can see, we got into a lot of fun stuff. I didn't keep the camera out the whole time though. There was lots of reading, playing and creating with Legos, drawing, enjoying good food and spending time in nature--albeit cold. We enjoyed our time away, seeing some family and just being together.

There are lots of new things we'll be getting into for the second half of our homeschool year. But this break was well needed and used.

Did you take a break? What things did you do (or not do) to make the most of the time? Breaking is necessary and helps everyone involved. If you haven't yet taken a break, I sure hope you have one planned in the next few weeks. This is the time many of us find ourselves dealing with 'burnout.' Be proactive and avoid it, if you can.

Be well.


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