I’ve been thinking about regularly updating this space again. So, here I am!
Things I’ve been doing lately:
Homeschooling: We’ve finished this last year strong. And I am so encouraged by that. The next school year is planned, which we are starting in one week. More books are arriving to our door daily. We will be following the Ambleside Online 36-week curriculum and we are adding a few things like a stronger bible curriculum and themed lapbooks. There’s so many things we’re excited about studying this year.
We follow the Charlotte Mason homeschool approach (mostly) and the part I focus on the most in that is ‘spreading a feast of ideas’. It includes exposing children to lots of the best things, good literature, art, classical music, and stories that capture the heart (termed ‘living books’). Our feast of ideas this year is broad and lovely. We’ve got lots of award winning picture books lined up, some great classic painters, composers, and writers.
One thing we have added to the curriculum that the kids are especially excited about is lapbooks, which are small themed curriculums that cover a lot of subjects and involve lots of crafts, activities and projects. I thought my kids would grow tired of the cutting, pasting and assembling, but this is one of their favorite parts of the day! And they are so proud of the ‘lapbooks’ products, they pull them out and look at the regularly and show them off. I have decided to do lapbooks about things they are interested in, the first one we did was about Hermit Crabs, the second was about Dinosaurs, which we are just finishing and next is Rain Forests. I was looking for a ‘living book’ to go along with our rain forest theme and found one about a missionary living and working among the people and animals in the rain forest. The amazon reviews are amazing and when I told my second grader about it, his eyes got big and he said, ‘I want to read that book!’. You can find it here.
Growing a Baby: We have about 8 weeks to go before we get to see our new baby! It’s already a very wiggly little person. I am having mild kidney problems along the way, which my Doctor is monitoring well. And I have reached the point of not being able to bend, which annoys me. I have never loved being pregnant and this one is no different. Those 8 weeks cannot come soon enough, and then I’ll be on the road to fit, thin and feeling like myself again, while we get to know this new member of our family!
Planning and Routines: I’ve been following a home and chore organization system called Flylady for years now, on and off. This is an on season. I’m following the home organization stuff from Flylady, and the homeschool routines we have in place are streamlined and working great at this point. I got a planner in January of this year, and I’m happy to report that I am still using it regularly! And it’s pretty! Which might be a large motivating factor for me 🙂 I’d like to do a post about it some day soon, as I FINALLY found a system that is working for me and it’s so fun to talk about it!
Pedometer: I got a pedometer a few months ago. Some days my pregnant body screams out for rest, but other days I kick butt and take names! On those butt kicking days, just doing all of my planned routines I get in around 3500 steps, which is amazing! When I add 20 minutes of walking in there it jumps up even higher! On quiet restful days I hover around 1500, but I am so motivated by it. I LOVE competing against myself, so this definable result is very motivating for me.
Mixed Media Art: I’ve been into zentangle for a few years now, it’s doodling patterns and it’s quite low stress for me in relation to the flower and animal paintings I was doing years ago. Here’s my latest one, it’s quite different from my normal, but it was a whole lot of fun:
Dealing With The Heat: Something I never realized the extent of before – skinny people experience summer in a much different way than round people. My whole life, winter has been something I dread. Which is kind of hilarious in Southern California. As a kid I remember wearing my 90’s stretch pants under my jeans so I could stand at the bus stop in the mornings without shivery from head to toe, and never once getting hot enough (even though the highs were often in the 70s in February) to think about taking off one of my layers. So, when we moved to the high desert, I was shocked when it was routinely cooler in the summer and had highs in the winter in the 30s! We’ve been here five years and I still end up wearing my big puffer coat in the house for a few weeks in winter just so I can survive. But in all that, summers, even the days well over 100 degrees, were my thing. In a tank top and some jeans I was always happy as could be. This summer, however, I am miserable, and I have two thoughts about that: oh you poor round people who feel like this every summer, and oh poor me! who will be thin again by winter and gets a double dose of misery this year!
Praying: In May I found a prayer booklet outline, where you fill in details to pray for in a bunch of categories including world, nation, immediate family, extended family, friends, personal, vocation, etc, and I’ve mostly stuck to praying through it every day this summer and it’s been amazing! Both because I don’t feel burdened down by the prayers I’m not faithful in, and because I am actively looking to the Lord to answer these prayers – since I’m actually being faithful to pray them regularly! It’s also been amazing to pray intentional prayers instead of emergency prayers. I still pray emergency prayers, but looking at things that are on going problems when I am not emotional about them, and bringing them before God, that’s been very healing and I can actually see His provision in those places. It’s been amazing. It is a discipline, but one who’s benefits are so great that every day it’s easier to push through and make it happen. And it’s always a blessing when I do. (Here’s a link to the prayer journal I got the idea from)
That’s a good update I’d say, here’s to this happening more regularly!