Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekly Intentions

Good Morning! I hope this Sunday finds you in good spirits and health.

Most of the country has been experiencing rather cold temps, storms and snow. There are a few of you who are in places that have sunny skies and are warm. Wherever you are, I do hope you're enjoying the weather.

This week I am intending to give myself whole-heartedly to planning my gardens. Yes. Gardens with an 's'. I've been talking things over with my dh and we've come up with a practical plan--I'm glad he'll be assisting us this year in building some new things. I will keep you posted as we begin building and planting.

I'm also working with several of the members of the communities in which I belong--with gardening, in particular as well as working towards the greater good of our individual families and overall community. I have plans, to be worked out further this week, in assisting others in some DYI projects. But instead of doing it ourselves, we'll be doing it together (DIT). We've already come up with the ideas/plans, located the materials and will get some specific dates on the calendar this week to make it happen--the fun part, I must add! 

My children and I have intentions of completing more of our unit on Georgia. I've identified some places within our state that we'd like to visit and see in person. We'll be inviting some of our friends to travel with us and hopefully be able to convince a few of them to do so. We're working on a lap book for this unit and will be making a few more parts of it this week.

Library time--for learning and reading is always on our weekly schedule and this week will be no different.

I have intentions of continual personal reading, exercise and meditation time as well as working on my professional development classes. I have a professional gig this week and so I'll be preparing for that.

I have been able to complete a few more of my handmade items. I got some new yarn and material to work with and hope to start another hat or two this week. (I'll say one to be safe--there's so much going on and I want to find success by week's end.)

I have a critical conversation to have this week. You know, a conversation that's extremely important but needs to be had in a delicate way. Part of me hates these kinds of talks because, inevitably, someone typically walks away being/feeling misunderstood, having hurt feelings, or enraged or some sort of combination. However, as much as these conversations can be challenging--they are necessary and in the end, good can come (through personal and relational growth). Avoiding them doesn't make things better in the long run--it just prolongs an unhealthy interaction. I am hoping for a favorable outcome--no, expecting it!

So another full week ahead for me.

How did last week go for you? What intentions and plans are you making for this week?

I hope to see you next Sunday when we engage in this practice again.

Be well.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Book Sharing Monday

Although this book was one we just recently became aware of--yes, yet another find at the library (smile), we've been learning about the Freedom Riders and Freedom Rides for a while now. I participated in the screening of the documentary film Freedom Riders: Could You Get On the Bus? by Stanley Nelson.

After watching it I looked for further age-appropriate resources to use with my children. When we went to the Center for Civil and Human Rights just a few weeks ago, that particular exhibit really struck me. All those faces plastered to the remains of a chard bus--that grabbed my attention (among other things). You can read more about our visit here.

When we found this book we knew we had to read it.  This is the book we're sharing with you today:

Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders
by Eric Etheridge

The book is laid out by rides. Each section begins with a date in the summer of 1961, lists the cities the buses originated in and where they headed. Then shows the all the mugshots of the students/people who were arrested on that particular ride.  

Each section then features a few of those riders showing us a photo of them now along with their mugshot. Information is share about who they were in 1961 and a quote or two about why they believed in what they were doing. The second part tells a little about their lives today--what they're involved in presently.

Pauline Knight-Ofosu
Price Chatham
Frank Griffin
Margaret Leonard 
Catherine Burks-Brooks
John Lewis
Jean Thompson
At the end of the book there are extended interviews with some of the featured riders giving more details about their experiences--first hand accounts of the rides and what was happening to them and the people in Mississippi.  If ever you are looking for a primary source, this is definitely a good one.

If you have younger children and are not yet ready to share on the specifics this is still a good book to use as simply a picture book. My younger daughter enjoyed just looking at the photos and seeing who looked similar to what they did as a younger person. We could definitely see the resemblance in many faces. There were others that we could tell have had a rather hard life since then. A few look nothing like they did.

What books are you reading today? Care to share? We'd love to get a book recommendation from you.

Happy Reading!

Be well.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Weekly Intentions

I have been having the most FABULOUS weekend that I am reluctantly here this evening.  I am such a Daddy's Girl and my Daddy surprised me with a visit this weekend. I cleared my schedule and have been thoroughly enjoying some Daddy/Daughter time.

So, I'm going to give a quick list and get back to enjoying him before he leaves. Fair enough?

Here are the promises I'm hoping to give myself to this week:

  • meditation; quiet time
  • rest
  • reading
  • creating -- handmade work, primarily
  • group learning time -- unit studies
  • our history studies -- continuation
  • rescheduling meet-ups with friends (that were kind enough to adjust for me--thank you!!)
  • business planning 
  • working on personal & professional development classes
I hope that you were able to get through your intentions last week and that you're being thoughtful about what you'll give yourself to this week beginning.  I'd love to hear from you.

Be safe this week, keep warm, especially with all the weather changes predicted over the next few day across the country. Enjoy some family time.

Be well.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Sharing Monday

Happy Monday! It's another great day to share a book.  Here's the book we're presently reading. We found this at the library last week and began reading towards the end of this weekend.

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America 
by author/illustrator, Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

The book starts off with a lengthy chapter on Benjamin Banneker, Surveyor of the Sky.

I'm looking forward to reading the chapter about El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X) to the children. Just flipping through it I can already tell there will be a lot of great information shared through his story.

There's also a chapter on A. Philip Randolph, Always Striding Ahead.

The book ends with a timeline spanning the years of all ten men written about in the book.

This book also has chapters on:
Frederick Douglass-Capital Orator
Booker T. Washington--Polished Pioneer
W.E.B. Dubois--Erudite Educator
Thurgood Marshall--Mr. Civil Rights
Jackie Robinson--Game-Changer
Martin Luther King, Jr.--Nonviolent Visionary
Barack H. Obama II --Holding on to Hope

Each chapter is more than just a blurb you might be used to reading in other books that feature several people in them. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this book with my children and having good conversations about what we learning. It's already started out well so I am confident in recommending this book to you and your family.

What books are you reading today; this week? Would you recommend any to us? Take a moment to post a couple in the comments section below. We are always looking for new books to enjoy as a family.

Have a great day reading!

Be well.

Want to join in with us and share a book weekly? Click here for further information. We'd love to have you join the list.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Good Day. How are you? How did your week go? Did you keep the promises you made to yourself?

I was able to keep my word to myself and even got in a few things I was secretly hoping to do. That is always an added bonus to the week.

This week I'm looking to continue in the following practices as well as get to a few other things:

  • Daily silent/quiet/meditative time--whether at home or in nature.
  • Being present with the people who are with me.
  • Giving myself less time online--a few weeks ago I shared that I hadn't been on social media--specifically FB--for a good stint of time. Over the past two weeks I've been back and already things have become a distraction--even with the time limits I've given myself. I think that I will again scale back and ask for some assistance in keeping group items updated and posted.
  • Daily reading time--still have lots of personal reading to do--for learning and for pleasure.
  • Weekly writing time--last week I figured out that this is something I will need to spread over the course of the week instead of coming up with a daily schedule.
  • Connecting and spending time with each of my children individually--again, another practice that will be spread over the course of the week instead of a daily happening. The kind of time I am looking to have requires more uninterrupted, undivided attention.
  • Purging, sorting and organizing--I've completed most of the tasks given in the daily housekeeping challenge and am also doing additional tasks around the house. A personal goal is to get through the rest of our learning materials and books. I need to go on and let them go. Honestly, I've kept them because I was hoping to offer them directly to a family or group of families instead of donating them. I'm not realizing that my space has become more important and need to release these items. (I have offered them and will be taking some with me for our weekly homeschooling community's space to see if anyone is interested before dropping them off at the Goodwill.)
  • Fleshing out our plans for gardening this year--we've already been talking about it. I've been making notes and plans. We've cleaned our last year's containers and located some others to get/purchase. Tomorrow I will be speaking specifically with another mother who intends to garden as well about swapping seeds, creating compost containers and discussing what, if anything, we'll go in on to grow and share.  I'm already part of a few networks, so I know that I don't need to grow everything myself. There are three urban farms in my neighborhood alone that offer food boxes and set up at local farmers' markets. But the kids and I really enjoy growing things, so we will continue to do something. (smile)
  • Make time to connect and be with my friends--I have some really great friends. Some I've known for years; others we've recently met--but all of them add something special to my life. I need to honor this and so each week I'm attempting to make time to continue to cultivate our relationships. It's great to get a text/email with them but I do better interacting face to face. As I've shared in previous weeks, I have to be intentional about making time to do this. There are too many things that happen over the course of a week that can keep me from doing so (as well as for them). This year I want to make the most of the time I have and enjoy the people who matter most. I have two 'dates' set up for this week and I'm looking to schedule some others for the rest of the month.
  • Continue in daily exercise--last week wasn't too bad.  I have a running joke with a friend regarding exercise--you may have it too.  It's not 'official' unless you post it somewhere online. This seems to be true in our lives now--but although I may not post something daily, I want to make it happen. (smile)
  • Getting adequate rest--my sleeping pattern may be different than most, but I want to continue to honor my body's rhythms with regards to sleep and rest. The mid-afternoon/early evening nap is really working well for me. 

What practices and tasks do you want to give time to this week?  Why not take a moment to share a couple below? I'd love to be able to encourage you in them and hear the progress that you're making.

I wish you well in this new week. Hope you'll stop by next Sunday and check in.

Be well.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Words to Grow On

This spoke to me, especially with it's references to community and being connected. Relationships to and with others are important--so is one's relationship with herself.

Be well.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Parenting On Purpose : A Reminder

Here's a simple reminder today:

This can be challenging, especially when you're right in the middle of things. You are their example. Calm yourself first then assist them. (Like they say on flights, "Put your own mask on first, then assist someone else.)

Be well.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Sharing Monday

Today we're sharing a book we share a few years ago. Since this is the month that the rest of our country focuses on our history, I decided that we'd share books to assist any of you looking to add to your reading of history through the experiences of African Americans--there is so much to learn (why we do this year round).

Let it Shine: Stories of Black Woman Freedom Fighters, illustrated by Stephen Alcorn

The book shares the stories of these women: Sojourner Truth, Biddy Mason, Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Ella Josephine Baker, Dorothy Irene Height, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Shirley Chisholm.

This book is a good starting point as you will find that there are many, many women who were part of the movement towards freedom.  We enjoyed learning about these women and hope you will too.

What stories/books are you reading with your children today? This week? This month?  We enjoy getting book recommendations from you. Leave it below in the comment section.

Happy Reading!

You can find the original post here.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Weekly Intentions

It's later than I'd planned to post for today. It's been a full day--reading, cooking, preparing for the week, talking, laughing, resting....But I'm here now!  Hope that you've already had some quiet time to reflect on the week past and look at how you'd like this new week to shape up.

This week I plan to:

  • Meal planning--this is a task I've been working on and have plans to gather with some other mothers to share recipes--get more ideas on simple, wholesome foods to prepare. I'm excited about the possibilities.
  • Quiet time--I'm promising to make this time for myself each day this week.
  • Exercise--I am gently moving into this. My body has been through a lot over the last several months. 
  • Reading time--I have been doing so much of this lately. Thoroughly enjoying it!
  • Engaging my children individually--it's easy to group everyone together but I want to be intentional about giving each of them time with me; to talk; to laugh; to be. This is a goal I'm looking to make over the course of the week, rather than each day.
  • Connect with friends--although this was not on my list last week, I've reached out to several folk and have things on the calendar for this week. I'm looking to hear back from a few more so that we don't miss out on special time we can have this month.
  • Errands--I have a good number of them to do this week, so I'm adding this to my overall list. It's easy to put things off and only deal with what's pressing. However, I need to get them done this week and stop 'making do.' (I also have the upcoming weather this week as an incentive!)
  • Mail three hand-written letters--I love getting letters in the mail. Sadly hand-written letters is a lost art. But I do have people in my life that can appreciate them, even if they are unable to return the gesture. I want to write to at least three of these special people this week.

What promises are you making to yourself this week? How will you be intentional about bringing them to life? You're always welcome to comment below. I'd love to be about encourage you as you encourage me.

Have a purposeful week.

Be well.


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