Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Good Afternoon All.

I hope that you have made it through last week without too many mishaps.  As we begin a new one, let's take some time to reflect on how things have been and what things we'd like to put our energies towards.  This can sometimes be a challenge--yet I hope that in practicing being intentional each of us is seeing a bit a success in completing things, learning new things and enjoying just being.

As I look over the intentions and plans I set for myself last Sunday, I'm seeing right away that I didn't not give myself to a good number of those on my list.  It wasn't that I didn't want to or that there wasn't enough time. Other things came up and I gave myself to those.

For example, a dear friend, my college roommate to be exact, needed my help sewing some things for her daughter's prom, which was this weekend.  I agreed but upon seeing the material I knew right away that sewing it on the machine would do more damage to this delicate fabric than we'd like and so I hand stitched everything---which took a full day (in between attending to some of the things my children needed).  It was a very calming experience, actually. I haven't sewn by hand in years.  I was also able to help her get all ready for her night out--unexpectedly. I've known this beautiful child since before she was born and have watched her grow up over the years.  This time and energy was so worth it and I'm thankful to have been a part of it all.

So, I will be repurposing the list from last week a bit.

-I have a photo shoot this week and have gathered several 'models' to assist me in adding to my portfolio. I'm excited about it all and looking forward to putting into practice some of the skills I've been learning over the last few weeks.  (I will share a few of the better shots later this week.)

-Reading is still topping my list.  I was just sharing with a friend the other day that in reading one author/book reference is made to another and yet another book.  I'm enjoying learning about some historical events, persons and about native traditions/religions/paths.  I have not yet made time to go into detail about this. I do have a board on Pinterest that I'll be adding books I'm reading to it as I complete them (more for a personal record) but for anyone interested in seeing what they are now, you're welcome to take a look.

-Reading aloud to my children.  We did begin reading an unfinished book last week. It's the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place : the Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood. I hope to complete it this week and then begin another book we need to complete. (smile)

-Each of the children is working on personal reading goals.  Last week, during our library time, I selected a book with each of them to read together.  My eldest and I do this often and use much of these titles toward her literature lessons. I'd decided that I would do the same with my younger two. I hope to do this daily and add to their lists of books read.

-Planning--yes! It's time for me to start evaluating things from this year and begin to make plans for our next year. I've been reading a few blogs and watching vids on YouTube--seeing what other families are doing (and not doing) with their children. This can be a great way to find inspiration and resources.  What it's not good for is comparison.  I'm reminding myself NOW in written form that we are on our own journey and what works for one family may not work for us and does, in no way, reflect negatively on the decisions we're making.  (Sometimes you need that little pep talk! lol)

-Continued planting. We planted some herbs this week along with some wild flowers--from seed. It's gotten cold again and so I'm thankful we started in our pots.  There are some other plants I want to pick up from a local garden and use in our beds.  However, we're going to watch the weather a bit more before getting things in the ground.

-Meditation, quiet time & exercise.  Last week we began a Yoga class and will continue this week. I also started doing a routine workout here at the house/neighborhood.  I'll be continuing with this and involving the entire family in it.  Meditation/quiet time is a habit for me now.

-Food prep. I so wanted to get to that last week. I did make several loaves of banana bread (that will be eaten and shared). But I didn't get to the freezer meals that I had hoped to do. This week I'm going to begin earlier in the week (like Tuesday or Wednesday). I'm finding that if I really want to get things done the top of the week is always better for me.

-Communal Meals -- I'm sure you're aware that I'm into building community. (Should you be interested in learning more about what I mean, you can read these posts and resources.) In talking to some friends, we've decided that time often limits just what we can do together. We've decided to try some new things with regards to gathering together and sharing. I am participating in two communal meals this week. They both will be potluck style--everyone bringing what they have to share. During this time we'll be able to connect, catch-up, share, encourage, laugh, etc. all while attending to one of the basic needs we all have in our families--eating a good meal. I'll let you know how those turn out.  My hope is that this becomes a regular occurrence instead of just a 'special' one.

What things are you thinking you'll do this week? How will you make time for the important people in your lives? Are their ways to incorporate what you'd like to do with what they would?

I'm always interested in hearing how other families utilize their time and make the most of it.  If you have any tips, I'd love to hear from you.

No matter how you're moving through this week, I wish you joy, peace, love and light.

Be well.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Sharing Monday

Good Morning! Happy Monday to you.

Today we're sharing the sequel to the book Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor : Let the Circle Be Unbroken.

We just checked it out over the weekend so have not yet begun reading it.  We all enjoyed the first book, although the ending was a bit hard to hear/read. However, we are sure that this will be another good book and wanted to post it so you can read it too.

What books are you reading as a family? Any book you'd suggest to us?  Comment below.

Happy Reading.

Be well.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Good Afternoon. Happy Sunday to each of you. Thanks for stopping by today to join me in our weekly practice of intention setting.

In thinking about the new week beginning I want to give myself to some personal development. I have been joking with a few friends lately about having 5 streams of income--yet I am very serious about this. Several years ago now, a mommy-friend shared that all women should have 5 streams of income and that she was working on developing doing just that.  At the time, I had never heard of that and questioned her in detail about the particulars. Since then, it's always been part of my thinking and planning for the future. Sure, my husband takes the lead in providing for us financially, yet it is very wise for a woman to always be able to make her own money.  It's easy to become overwhelmed when thinking about this but I am finally finding other women who are also thinking along these lines and we're making plans together to increase our numbers.  To this end, I will continue to develop myself and shore up my cliental base.

The children and I have been reading a few books aloud together. I have been reading aloud for over 12 years now and honestly, it can be tiring. (don't laugh, it's the truth!) The children keep finding other books for us to read but we've got to finish the ones we've started. I will make time this week to complete one of them.

This week, if the rain gives us a break, I hope to do some more clearing and building up of our garden. We visited our community garden this weekend and spoke with the lady overseeing it. She gave me some tips on how to get some herbs started and shared a few more seeds. We have several seeds sprouting on the counter that will need to be planted in soil by week's end.

Bird watching is something I enjoy and so do my children. Just this week a few more birds showed up at our feeders.  We have a pair of cowbirds, three pairs of purple finches and a host of mourning doves now (they're ground eaters, so they've been cleaning up the mess made from the feeder birds on the porch).  I want to make some identification cards so my children can readily identify them on their own. We've already collected the pictures so now I need to print and laminate them.

We again have plans to study at the library. We have been enjoying that new space and all agree that this is something we want to make a regular weekly activity.

Of course meditation and quiet time will be part of my weekly practice. This week I'll be adding a daily workout and yoga class.  I'm excited about getting back to yoga in a group setting. We'll see if the children opt in.

Meal prep is something I've been talking about. I've been planning for and this week I will start making some freezer meals. I'll let you know how that goes.  Wish me well. (smile)

As part of our Georgia Unit Studies we are planning to take some day trips around the state.  I've already made a list of destinations and have done a bit of research on just what to do when we arrive. I've also done some budgeting and mapping. This week I hope to make a schedule of dates. I have invited several other families to join us on these adventures and so I plan to connect with them this week letting them know our intentions (dates, locations, etc.) so that they may join us if their schedules allow them to. April is the month that I'm planning to get a good bit of this traveling in.

I enjoy art. I enjoy creating it and making things with my heart and hands. I have enrolled in a couple online courses to do just that. I have been gathering the needed materials and will pick up a few more items at the beginning of this week so that I can make time to start creating. It's such an important thing for me I intent to make it a priority this week.

I can't forget to mention reading. I need to do an entire post on just what I've been reading and learning. It's amazing to me just how much I am learning and how reading one book leads to reading the next and the next and... You get the picture. Friends and acquaintances have been offering their recommendations as well, so there are several stacks of books on my night stand, on the floor next to my bed and in my back pack.

What plans are you making for this week? How are you scheduling your time and energy? I'd love to hear from you. Please take a moment to comment below.

In all you do, I wish you peace, joy and light.

Be well.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Welcome Spring & New Year!

It's finally here-- the NEW YEAR!!

The signs have been showing for a few weeks now. I'm excited about the newness--letting go of the old and opening up to all of possibilities. I shared at the top of the calendar new year why I wait until Spring to start again.  If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Over the last few months I've read about what others have been doing--choosing a word or theme for themselves/their families as they welcome in the new year. I have been listening and patiently waiting for hear just what I should focus on for myself. This particular word has been showing up over and over in all sorts of places for me.  And so I've decided to embrace it and receive.  Receive is the word and I see the importance for me to learn to really do this by practicing all year long. (If you're been in conversations with me lately, I'm sure you've heard me use it.)

I am a giver by nature. I find myself in many situations in which I am offering, giving and supporting those around me. It's easy for me to remain in that mode. I have learned from personal experiences that there is definitely a time to receive from others, however, this is not my natural position.  Lately I've been longing to find my soul tribe--good sister-friends who I can do life with. It seems that everyone is so busy doing life that it's been quite a challenge to find authentic relationships where all involved can be honest about themselves and give/receive from everyone in the circle--mutual relationship. (Many relationships are so transactional now. "I'll give only once you give." or "You didn't offer me thus and such so I can't do this and that.")

That's pretty risky. I get it. With everything people are striving for--image, position, authority, recognition, power, etc.--it's challenging to show-up as yourself. Yet this is just what I need and am seeking.

I'm learning how to receive assistance, compliments, advice, love, true concern.  I'm learning how to accept others for who they are (and not what I hope they'd be). And I know there is so much abundance waiting for me, if only I'd receive it.

I am opening myself up to all the good, the joy, the peace, the fulfillment, the pleasure and ecstasy and letting go of the pain, hurt, sadness, disappointment, the heaviness of situations beyond my control. I'm releasing the anger and setting down all that extra baggage.  It's such a good feeling to begin anew and pick up only the things that are useful to me now. I've been reading, learning,  and conferencing with those who have already done so.  I'm already receiving tips, encouragement, support and friendship because of these new relationships.  It's exciting! Just like Spring.

Happy Spring & New Year!!

Be well.

I took each of these photos around my yard. Such a pretty place now that things are growing again. (smile)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Book Sharing Monday

Today's book is Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement by Ann Bausum.

We have been studying this and just found this book at the library (a new that just opened--so they have all new books!). It's a children's book and so it written so that they can understand things. It tells the story from both John Lewis' (a black man) and Jim Zwerg's (a white man) perspective with each of them writing a foreword for the book.  We have not finished it yet, but will soon. This is a book we recommend to you in your studies of these rides and this time of history on America's timeline.

Happy Reading!

Be well.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Such a lovely day today. The sun has been out. It's nice and warm. Got to catch up with a sister-friend. Tried out a new black-owned spot close to my neighborhood. Been able to work on some projects around the house/yard. Things are going well.

How are you? How did last week turn out? Was it all the you'd hoped it would be?

Last week was full--of good people, fun activities, laughter, learning and abundance.  I'm grateful.

This week I'm hoping for more of the same. We don't have plans to be out of the house as much as we were last week, but I'll leave the door open to gathering with friends. (smile)

I have intentions of completing the prep work for our gardens this week. The forecast is promising some good days this week and I surely hope that things pan out this way.

The children and I enjoyed using a new library for completing some work and then reading, so we will again spend one day this week doing that.  We were able to get a lot done in a shorter amount of time. Sometimes a change in space allows for just that.

Of course we have our weekly gathering with our homeschooling community. We'll be doing some creative art together and more group learning regarding some gardening skills we moms want our children to hone. I'm looking forward to the talking and sharing time--it's important to have adult time.

Exercise is a priority. We enjoyed a group hike last week and will probably invite folk to join us somewhere this week. Even if no one else can attend with us, we will get out and enjoy some fresh air and the sites and sounds of the onset of Spring.

I have some personal development of skills that I want to make time for this week.

Reading!! Yes, I've been reading several really good books and they've referenced others (which I've already ordered) and hope to get through them to get on to the next ones. I'm learning so much and it's almost mind-blowing just how much there is to know and learn.

Time in meditation and silence daily is what I'm continuing in this week.

What plans are on your list for this week? I'd love to hear a few from your list. Do share!

I wish you each the week that you desire and I hope that your plans fall into place.

Be well.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Highlights of the Week

We've done a lot this week outside of the house, with friends and by ourselves. That's one of the things I enjoy most about learning at home--we are fully in control of our schedule.  Here are the highlights of this week through pictures.

Monday -- Homeschool Co-Op

Tuesday -- Impromptu bowling & rock climbing

Wednesday -- Library Time
Thursday -- Hike w/Homeschool Friends

Looking forward to some new adventures next week.

Be well.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Unit Studies :: Georgia Geography & History

We have been working on a rather large unit studies over the last several weeks. I've mentioned it in several of my most recent Weekly Intentions posts and wanted to take the time to share it with those of you interested.

We began our study at the beginning of February by spending time in our library finding books related to our state. We found a good number of them and checked them out.

One of the library books we've used.
I did some searching online for Georgia History studies for children along with lap books. I found some great free resources and have been using them with my children. I put up a wall time-line specifically for this unit and we've been adding dates/events as we go. Each of the children are keeping their own time-line as well.

A text I used to gather information.
We started with some basic facts: state tree, flower, insect, symbol, nickname, flag, song, coin, capitol, bordering states, bodies of water, famous people (who were born here/who live here), population, weather, etc. I am using several books to piece together a better telling of the history of Georgia (most books like to gloss over the parts of how native people were treated along with the enslaved Africans who arrived on ships. They also paint a complete picture of just who settled here in Georgia.). We are still learning and will probably spend the rest of this month on this.

Georgia has diverse landscapes.
Another thing that we're planning to do and to take some day trips beginning in the next couple weeks to see some of the sites around our state.  We've been working on a list and hope to make it through most of it.  This will go for the rest of the year, although we won't necessarily be continuing with the unit study.

Places to Visit: (not necessarily in this order)
Little Grand Canyon of Georgia/Providence Canyon State Park
Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site
Okefenoke Swamp
Tallulah Gorge State Park
Jekyll Island
Sapelo Island
Chattahoochee Riverwalk
National Civil War Naval Museum
Pine Mountain Wild Animal Park
Flint River Outdoor Center
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
Tybee Island
Historic Savannah

Sites to see again, now that we know more about them:
MLK Site
Georgia State Capitol
Sweet Auburn Avenue
Atlanta History Museum

Here are some of the online resources I found and have been using in part for our lap books and extension activities:

Georgia State History Lapbook
Georgia State Study Grades 2-7
State Lapbook

We've viewed a few of the following documentaries and plan to view the others about Georgia and it's history:

Georgia Outdoors
Chattahoochee River
Georgia Serenade
Georgia On My Mind
Georgia's Civil War
Georgia Stories :: The Battle of Jonesboro
The Geology of Georgia
Civil Rights in the Classroom

We are also beginning our gardens for this season and studying about the whole process with our homeschooling community. In light of this, we watch a documentary on Black farmers that happen to live here in Georgia.

Black Farmers History in American : A Legacy of Landownership

As we're still knee deep in this particular unit studies, I don't have a whole lot of pictures to share at the moment. However, I will be sure to share our completed time-lines and lap books when we do.
(I will also update our list of resources as necessary.)

Have you done a unit studies for your state with your children yet? What resources have you found useful? We have briefly studied several states in the past, when the children were much younger, and I'm looking to revisit a few of them as we continue with learning geography overall. I welcome your insights and suggestions.

Be well.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Sharing Monday

Good Morning!

This Monday I'd like to share a book that I've been reading for awhile. I am using it as one of the resources for teaching my children about the movement. This is a powerful book which is written in a beautiful way.  I highly recommend it as an addition to your personal library.

There is a River : The Black Struggle for Freedom in America 
by Dr. Vincent Harding

My suggestion is that you use it as a way to strengthen your own understandings of history. Perhaps you need to sure up your own learning--which is what I am doing. This is one of the books I'm using. It is written in a way that older children could read it for themselves. Each family can decide how best to use it--but definitely use it! (smile) Also, for those in search of primary sources, this books fall in that category.

What books are you using to teach history? What have you read to expand your own understanding of passed events? I'm always looking for another good resource, preferably a primary source.

Happy Reading!

Be well.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Good Evening. I have to admit that I'm exhausted! We spent most of the day outside. It was another lovely day and having the sun join us was great. It's also the first day we've "sprung forward" and so I'm feeling it right about now.

The weather didn't cooperate much this past week and so I had to want until today to get to much of the yard work I was hoping to do.  But we did a mammoth's share of it. We raked leaves, picked up trash and other broken objects in the lawn (people have a bad habit of walking passed our home and tossing their trash! So annoying!).  We cleared and cleaned off most of the porch. We picked up sticks and pulled weeds in the back yard and also did some raking.  We figured out where we'll be composting and starting getting those items, mainly leaves and other yard debris, to that location.  I cut back the grapevine so that it will produce again this year. Trimmed a few bushes and restrung some string to retrain the ivy on the side of the house.

I also started on one of my painting projects. It was nice to paint--I enjoy it so much. I have been wanting to repurpose an old sink that was in our yard when we moved in into a bird bath. And after a few years I'm finally getting to it.  It will take a few steps but I started today! YAY!

I feel good. It was good to work. As my mother always says, "Work is a privilege. Everybody can't work."

I was able to do most all of other things I listed last Sunday. As I am reviewing this list now, I'm seeing that there was only one thing that I didn't get to in the way I had hoped -- and that's crafting time (although my painting project falls in the category! smile!).

We had a few great days this week. Visiting and assisting my elder-sister-mentor-friend was nice. The children did a great job helping and we learned a few new things while doing it.  I was able to put on the calendar dates this month to gather with sister-friends one-on-one and in smaller groups. I'm looking forward to each connection.  We were able to visit a new library with friends we've been missing for awhile. I think we all had a fabulous time reconnecting and finding books.

How did your week go? What things did you get into? Who did you make time for?

I think the first thing I intend to do is to adjust to the new time. I'm already feeling it--hopefully this will promote more sleep and perhaps early rising. We'll see.

I intend to do more yard work with the children. I'll look again at the forecast to see what days may be rainy or wet and get work in before those days.  (Wet leaves are no fun.)

We have some exploring to do around our Unit Studies of Georgia. I'm writing on that this week to share with you all so you can see just what we've been doing.

Spring is just around the corner and I think we might add a few group classes for the children at our neighborhood performing arts center.  I've heard about some interesting classes. I'll take a look at our options this week and discuss things with the children. We may add some things to our schedule--again, we'll see.

I still have reading to do--and I intend to keep on reading.

I want to continue our focus on learning time--specifically reading & math skills. Each of my children have personal goals for this school year (their idea) and I want to make sure I give my attention to assisting them in meeting their goals. Something everyday keeps us on pace.

I want to take some pictures outside this week.  Just for me. I enjoy nature and capturing it in my lens. I may share a picture or two that I like best.

Exercise! Yes. Making time each day and getting back into the rhythm we have for this time of year. The girls took the dogs for a walk today around the block while I worked in the yard. We all got plenty today but I want to do this on a regular basis.

This week I'm wanting to do some bulk shopping and then some meal prepping for freezer meals.  You've seen all the posts on Pinterest, right? Well, I've been wanting to do that for a long time. It does look overwhelming. I've only done some basic things like chopping green peppers and freezing them (doing the same thing with onions). I've also prep bananas for smoothies and done a whole lot with potatoes. A friend of mine just posted a month worth of freezer meals on FB the other day. She really did it up and I was impressed. She took one day to do 30 meals. Maybe, I will simply organize myself to do so next week.  (That does look like a mammoth job at this moment, but perhaps I'm just tired.)

I intend to take my quiet time for listening, meditating and being still. This is a needed and important part of my day. It not only centers and grounds me but, if I'm mindful throughout the day, it keeps me in a peaceful, even joyful, space.

What tasks, people or things will you be giving your time to this week? With Spring just around the corner, how are you preparing yourself and your environment? Spring always excites me--the newness, the freshness, the world of possibilities...

I hope that no matter what you give yourself to it will be just what you need for this week.

Be well.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Sabbath Therapy

I got my daily dose of vitamin D along with some dirt therapy today!

The weather was beautiful. The sun was out. The birds were singing and found our newly located bird feeders. Several of our favorites made their appearance today for the first time since the cold weather. I'm looking forward to seeing more as the temperatures sustain and Spring officially arrives. Here are a few shots I was able to snag.

House Sparrow



Another look--
love their tufted head feathers


After bird watching for a good while, I got set up to repot some of the plants that have been awaiting this task.  It was nice to have my hands in the dirt. I listened to some music as I set things up on the porch. (Thank goodness the kids were in the back.) I had my own time.

Many of them had been in water since last summer--growing roots. Don't they look good?

All in all, I am good. I've had a bit of quiet. I've also had time alone with nature.  I'm feeling rather peaceful and that's a good thing.

How did you spend today?

Be well.

For family and friends who may be reading this post, I must thank Aunt Lois for giving me the love of birdwatching--for wanting to not only identify them by sight but by song. I'm getting pretty good at it, and so are the children.  Also, my mother for many of these plants (I'm going to need more the next time we come to visit or vice versa!). 

Words to Grow On

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thankful Thursday

Good Afternoon!  It's good to see you today.

I am thankful for such a warm and sunny day yesterday. We were able to catch up with a host of friends we haven't seen in a long time as well as visit a brand new library in the area. Two things I enjoy most!! (friends & books)

Although it is cold today (and will get colder by night fall), I am thankful for singing birds--they've finally found the new places we've hung the bird feeders. Seeing them and hearing them let's me know that Spring is REALLY coming.

I've been enjoying some mid-day quiet time reading a few chapters of a book. I'm thankful for this time.

So what are you thankful for in particular today? Do share!

Be well.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Garden Prep

We went on and started yesterday even though it was cold and wet. The children are getting excited as well.  Here are a few pictures of getting things prepped, taking inventory and talking about all the things we'll need to get done--basic planning. lol

cleaning rocks--for project
counting recycled pots
locating pebbles for potting plants

composting leaves
picked up potting mix
cleaning previously used pots

reading books
looking at seed inventory--ordering more

new gloves
new bird feeder to attracted birds to assist in controlling pests
finding tools

Will share more again. Have a great Monday.

Be well.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weekly Intentions :: A Practice

Welcome March!

I cannot believe we're this far into the new year. Wow.

Last week went mostly as we had planned. Due to the predicted weather for my area (which didn't actually happen), a few of the things I had hopes of participating in were postponed--a book talk/signing and we missed our time at the library due to closures.

We spent the end of the week working on our Georgia History Lapbook and Timeline Study. We've been able to go into a lot of further study based on our interest levels and having time to do so. We made a tentative lists of state sites we want to visit over the course of this month and the next. My hope is that we can do at least half of our list.

I've been gathering necessary supplies and enlisting help from my community in bringing our garden plans to fruition. There's a good amount of work to be done--I'm disappointed that it's rainy today, was hoping to start today. We will do what we can on the porch (thankful for a large one in this case).

How did you do last week? Were you able to get through your promises to yourself and others? Did you have snow at all? My children would have loved to have some to play in.

Here are my intentions for this week:

Repotting house plants -- I have so many that have been 'holding on' that I need to get this done right away. My mother grows and regrows many of her plants. I always snag a few during each visit to her house. Most of them have been growing in water and need to be potted now that their roots have come in well.

Yard work & Garden Prep -- We have a ton of leaves in the backyard (way more than in the front as we've tried to keep them picked up over the fall and winter months). We secured a couple of rakes to assist this process. We already have a compost heap of sorts, but I'd like to sure it up a bit more and make it a bit more structured. We'll be using pallets for this project. My intention is to get this all started this week.  I've enlisted the expertise of my husband in building/constructing our raised beds. My goal is to get all needed supplies for the project this week and get him scheduled for it once he's free and back in town.

Visit with my elder-mentor-sister-friend -- Aljosie Knight Harding is my Uncle Vincent's beloved. She is such a special woman and I am blessed to have access to her. We made plans last month to get together and just spend the day. My children adore her, too, and have been wanting to visit her space. That's on the calendar this week. During that time we'll be viewing and experiencing two of the sites in our state (off the master list). We are all looking forward to it.

Book Purging -- I've been weeding out for a few weeks now. It's hard for me to give away books. However, we really do have a lot. As my children's reading interests grow and as we get and receive more, I have to find room. We've been rereading a lot of the books we've enjoyed over the years, picked out a few that were our favorites and we want to keep and are giving away the rest. They've been well read and well kept so I've explained to the children that someone else will enjoy them too. (But I think that's more for me than them. lol)

Reading Time -- As always, I'm enjoying learning and growing through reading. I have several books I'm working on and will continue to read on them this week.

Personal meditation and quiet time -- The rhythm that I've created for myself is really working well.  I've been using late evenings, after the children's bedtime, for this.  I get in about 15-20 minutes in the morning too, depending upon which day of the week it is.

Plan to gather with my sister-friends -- Each of us has such a full schedule these days with husbands, children, work, etc. Yet it's crucial that I get with each of them to enjoy the special time of sharing, encouraging, laughing and being. I'll be again pulling out my calendar and connecting with them to get dates on this month's calendar.

Exercise -- we haven't been as diligent about this for a couple of weeks and I can definitely feel it. Looking at the weather predictions, it looks like this could be a good week to start our daily neighborhood walk. If nothing else, we can do some basic calisthenics here on the porch.

Crafting -- I have three projects that I want to begin. One is another crocheted hat. Another is a sewing project. The last one is a painting project. I will wait and see how the week shapes up. Sewing can be intense and takes up a lot of the same place we currently use for our learning time here at the house. I'm sure we'll get to the painting project as it involves the children and we've gathered on the necessary supplies. I will update you on just what got started/finished and what will be pushed on to next week.

Group Learning Time w/Homeschool Community -- I'm beginning a gardening unit with our homeschooling community. I've been working on the details of this unit for the last month. We'll be learning about needs of plants (general & specific), soil prep, composing/vermiculture, plant identification, planting schedules for our region, and a host of other things based on the groups' interest and attention spans of our children. There will be a couple of project that will be worked on outside of our time together, but that's what's great about homeschooling--we can all make the time. Most all of the families in this community are planning to do some sort of gardening this year. It will be interesting to see just how things turn out. I am hopeful that we will again have a good time learning and growing together.

Group Learning Time w/the Children -- We are still going strong with our Georgia Unit (will plan some time to start sharing specifics about this in a stand-alone post). We are also doing daily learning with our story (our history); math; reading. We've been using several documentaries for doing history and science. Our local PBS has had several great programs about global warming/climate change, our affects on the earth and how it's changing the land, water and animals. We've had some rather lively conversations about this. My intention is to continue with this and get in a library day or two this week.

Personal/Professional Development -- I'm finishing up one of the online classes that I started at the beginning of the typical school year (back in Oct). I like that it's self-pace so that I don't feel rushed or stressed about it in the least.  I also am completing two classes that will benefit my massage practice--will be adding new techniques to the menu list this week. I am working on learning some new techniques that will benefit my photography clients, too. I got new equipment which will assist me in practicing and acquiring the skill level I desire to have.  And (yes, one more!) I am also watching a video series on better ways of communicating--it's such a good one, I'm taking my time to really get it so that I can incorporate this in everyday life. I will make time this week for each of these things.

Helping others -- This is something that we do often. This week I've decided to add it to the list as I have some intentional assisting that I'm planning to do. This way I'm factoring it into my overall schedule.

As you can see, I have a full week. I'm hopeful that I will keep my promises to myself, that I will pace myself and allow others to assist me as the needs arise.

How are you filling up your week? For what are you making time? For whom will you give yourself? I'm interested in hearing from you. Take a moment to comment below.

I'll meet you back here next week for our weekly practice of intention setting.

Be well.


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