Pumpkin Fun

Pumpkin Fun

Pumpkins oval, pumpkins round;

Pumpkins tumbling on the ground;

Pumpkins giant, pumpkins small,

Pumpkins lined against the wall;

–Virginia Kroll

Pumpkin books, pumpkin recipes, and pumpkin activities. The last two weeks of school have been centered around learning about one of fall’s favorite, brightly colored fruits as we said goodbye to October and hello to November!

I kicked off our Pumpkin Unit with an introduction and challenge to memorize Virginia Kroll’s “Pumpkins” poem. The poem is full of descriptive words and rhyming couplets.

On the first day, we read the complete poem (see link below.) We created hand and body motions to accompany the rise and fall pattern of the words as we read them. I found some great (and free) reading comprehension activities that went along with the poem and picked the activities that I thought would best be appropriate for the girls to complete.

Each day we worked on the poem, adding two lines at a time. We recited it at lunch, we recited it at dinner, we recited it over Skype, in the car, when we walked, at dance, just about everywhere we went. Even my two year old was reciting the opening line. By the end of the two weeks, the girls and I were able to recite the whole poem from memory.  It was an accomplishment for all of us.

PUMPKIN BOOKS:

When I was teaching in the public school system, I bought a lot of my own books. Consequently, I now have a great homeschool library.  Some fall and pumpkin books get pulled out every October. Here are a few favorites:

Pick a Circle, Gather Squares- A Fall Harvest of Shapes by Felcia Sanzari Chernesky

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum

From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer

The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis

Too Many Pumpkins

Too Many Pumpkins is one of my favorite, favorite pumpkin books. It is about a white-haired-lady named Rebecca Estelle and her cat Esmeralda. Rebecca has an unexpected encounter with a splattered pumpkin that causes a bit of a situation. A shift in perspective allows her to notice the goodness of her position and she is able to bless those around her. (Sounds a little like A Fierce Flourishing)

With this story, we worked on characterization, cause and effect, and sequencing events. You can get the same materials I used online at The Mailbox Education Center.

PumpkinsToo Many PumpkinsToo Many Pumpkins

FIELD TRIPS:

Our first pumpkin unit field trip included a trip to Rhode Island to visit my family and the Roger Williams Zoo’s Jack-o-Lantern Spectacular. The Spectacular was founded in 1988 by a former mail carrier who has put a team of professional pumpkin carvers together, called Passion for Pumpkins. The carvers spend 6 – 8 weeks creating 5,000 pumpkins to be displayed on the Zoo’s Wetlands Trail amid special lighting and themed music. 1 Some of the pumpkins were amazing (see below, Mother Goose and the Sound of Music.) The creativity is worth seeing. A word of warning though, the path is very dark, there are a lot of people, and some of  the displays are scary. If you have children (or adults, for that matter) who are sensitive to noise and crowds, this might not be the best place to take them. We quickly pushed through the crowds to avoid seeing the more spookier displays.

Mother Goose Pumpkin Sound of Music

The second trip we took was to the pumpkin “patch” (aka Garden Center.) We walked around trying to find all the pumpkins described in the pumpkin poem. After much deliberation, the girls each found the perfect pumpkin to take home to carve.

At home Dad took over as the art teacher. He helped the girls scoop out the seeds, pick a design, and show them how to carve their pumpkins. The pumpkin carving took a long time to complete but the final products- Mater, Puppy, Panda- came out fantastic.

Pumpkin carving Pumpkin Carving Pumpkins

PUMPKIN MATH:

After the carving, it was time to wash, count, and roast the pumpkin seeds. I read How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara. It is a great book to explore estimation and skip counting.

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin

The girls estimated how many seeds they had and decided the best way to count their seeds were by skip counting by 10s. They got busy creating groups of 10s. I cut out circles, pumpkins, and square mats to help keep the groups separated. When all the counting was said and done, our pumpkins contained- 400, 562, and 466 seeds.

pumkin seed counting

Counting Pumpkin SeedsCounting Pumpkin Seeds

PUMPKIN RECIPE:

We like simple recipes. One day, we made Pumpkin Patch Dirt Cups. They were super easy to make and delicious. My kids got a kick out of how real the “dirt” looked. This idea and recipe came from Paintbrushes and Popsicles.

Pumpkin Dirt Cup Pumpkin Dirt Cup Pumpkin Dirt Cup

THE GREATEST PUMPKIN LESSON OF ALL

Finally, the best pumpkin lesson came from my husband’s sermon two weeks ago. During the service, he carved a pumpkin as he describe how we are the pumpkin and God is a brain surgeon, a heart surgeon, and an internist.  He explained that God needs to do brain surgery on us, scoop out the “junk.”  Our junk is then placed on the cross and we are forgiven through Christ’s sacrifice. Next, God performs heart surgery on us. He takes out our dark, broken heart and replaces it with one of love and light. He gives us the Holy Spirit so that we can shine our light bright in a hurting world. The kids were kept in the service and I think that everyone was engaged. It was a great visual with a great message!

 Pumpkin Guts Pumpkin


Tot-Time Tuesday- Scavenger Hunts

fall scavenger hunt

Last week, we took advantage of the great fall weather and made an effort to get outside every day. One day, we went on a nature walk and brought a scavenger hunt along with us.  Scavenger hunts are fun, inexpensive, and easily modified for all ages. They are an excellent activity in the practice of observing and the skill of noticing goodness.  There are many great scavenger hunts already created and easy to find online. I printed this one from “The Bird Feed NYC” and placed it on clipboards- one for each child.  I liked that this hunt uses both words and pictures of items that are easily found in our backyard.

Fall Scavenger Hunt

As soon as we were out the door, my girls excitedly began to find and check items off their chart. My son bounced along, happy to be outside. He was glad to have his own clipboard and his own marker. Never underestimate your youngest children and include them in as many activities as possible.  With a little assistance and some modeling, my son quickly got the idea of looking for an item and crossing it off the chart. Using the marker was a big incentive too. Due to some past unfortunate incidents, say a mural on a white window sill, we have kept the markers out of his reach and out of his artistic fingers. He was thrilled to have it back in his hand.

Fall Scavenger HuntScavenger HuntFall Scavenger Hunt

We searched and explored for about 20 minutes. It was just enough time to keep everyone’s attention and interest.  We ended up finding 19 out of the 20 items. No matter where we looked, we could not find any animal tracks.  It really did not matter if we found one or all the items, it was so nice being outside with the kids and spending time together.

   “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.”

 [Notebook, Oct. 10, 1842]”
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks

Fall Scavenger Hunt Fall Scavenger Hunt

Fall Leaf

Check out The Bird Feed NYC’s website and other scavenger hunts here.


Timeless Comforts

timeless comforts

She rummaged through her wallet searching for something specific. Her soft, aged, wrinkled hands worked tediously through each pocket and in and out of every fold. She knew that it was there but where it was she was not certain. The rest of us looked on in great anticipation as to what object would be pulled from its hiding place. With a smile and a sigh, she pulled out what seemed to be a photograph. She motioned me over and gently placed it in my hand.  I looked down to see a handsome man dressed in 70’s fashion. His brown eyes twinkled. His smile was warm and welcoming. Pointing to the picture, she told me it was her son.  I turned over the picture to find words scribbled on the back- “Husband. (man’s name.) Married 67 years. Three children (children’s names.)”  The program director broke the silence with a little light-hearted humor and reminded the aging woman that the picture was not of her son but of her husband. A funny statement was made and everyone laughed.

There was great care and respect in the interaction between the director and the woman. A familiarity and trust in the way they looked at each other and spoke. The elderly woman smiled warmly at me and gave me a silent nod.  I handed her back her treasured photograph and smiled back with a lump in my throat. Sixty-seven years with a man, three children later, and a whole life lived and the details were blurred and hard to recall.

old photos

I wasn’t supposed to be there. Through a series of unplanned, God-orchestrated events, I was found myself filling in for my pastor husband at our church’s monthly non-denominational church service that we facilitate for the residents of the dementia and memory care home in our local community.  I had never been to the service before and my husband had given me a 5 minute orientation about how to get there, what to do when I got there, and then told me to come up with some short message to share. One other church member, Evie, would be leading the singing. She had never been there before either.

We were led through a maze of hallways and locked doors, and invited to enter a bright, warm room. There were about ten comfortable chairs placed alongside the walls. Four residents silently occupied four of them. One other resident, a friendly, animated man was seated in a wheel chair near the door. Fall decorations were hung from the ceiling and wooden crafts the residents had made were displayed along the walls. A big, bright window and large ,framed, New England foliage pictures added light and cheer to the small room.

Fall Leaves

A few introductions were made and large-print hymnals were passed around the room.  Evie announced the page number of the first hymn and started us through the first verse.  In between the familiar words and phrases, I glanced over at the residents singing. Their mouths moved at different times. Wrong words and phrases escaped their lips. With the exception of Evie’s voice, each song sounded off-key, off pitch, off melody, and sung with poor rhythm. BUT each song was sung with great enthusiasm and joy. The residents sang from their hearts with confidence and peace.

With great reverence they listened to and joined me as we recited Psalm 23 and The Lord’s Prayer. We talked about Jesus and the greatest commandment to love God and love others. There seemed to be a trust and familiarity with the songs and the passages for the residents. It was a sacred place and moment. There was unity as we were connected together to a past of a rich tradition of faith held by all those who have gone before us.

With their worlds becoming blurry and details slipping away daily, these timeless truths woven beautifully into hymns and passages, have been locked and stored in the hearts and souls to serve as anchors of hope and comfort.

When everything is gone and has been stripped away, the thing that truly matters remains… love and Jesus. 

I have been thinking a lot about this and what is going to matter when I get to the end of my earthly journey. What legacy will I leave? The hours spent worrying about things out of my control. Petty arguments and disagreement with others. Guilt, shame, bad decisions, and fretting over dumb stuff.  Things that seem so important now, when they are stripped away what will remain? Certainly, not earthly comforts or physical strength.

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”  Matthew 24:35

My visit with these sweet, elderly people did more for me than I could ever do for them. Before I left, I took each one of their velvety smooth, wrinkled hands in mine and I looked them in their eyes as if I could see deep into their souls. I hoped with every part of me that they felt loved and filled with comfort and peace.  In the short time I spent with them they helped me put things in perspective. They set me on a path to continue to think about what is important in my life and how I am spending this precious time I have on Earth. But most importantly, they were a testimony to me of the kind of things I should be setting my eyes on and storing in my heart and soul for a future that one day will come.

It is Well With My Soul by Horatio G. Spafford, 1873

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Refrain:
It is well, (it is well), with my soul, (with my soul),
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


October Stitch Fix Review (Fix #12)

Stitch Fix October Review Fall is finally here! There is a crisp, fresh chill in the air. The leaves have started changing colors and gliding off the trees creating unique, mosaic-like patterns on the ground as they lay.  My Uggs and a few other cozy fall items have been pulled from storage with joyful anticipation of fall adventures to come. Fall in New England is the best!

I was so excited to receive my October’s Stitch Fix. I had made some specific notes to my stylist. I wanted a warm, cozy sweater to wear with leggings and boots. A tunic with leggings would be nice. I asked for a black blazer to wear over dresses for church and speaking to groups. I told my stylist that I love receiving dresses but I STRESSED the importance of a sending me dresses with conservative hem-lines (in the past this has been an issue.) Finally, I took time to add a few new pins to my Pinterest Board.  I tried to cover all my bases.

When the box arrived, I only had a minute or two to see what was sent. At first glance, I loved everything. I couldn’t wait until the afternoon when I had more time to try everything on. I hoped that the items would fit as good as they looked.

Item #1-

skies are blue flannel        flannel outfit

This navy blue, flannel tunic is soft and warm. I paired the tunic with Kensie skinny jeans and my Uggs. The Kensie jeans came in one my first fixes and are still my favorite jeans. They have held up nicely which proves that paying a little extra for better quality clothing goes a long way.

Item #2

kensie rebekah blazer

I asked for a black blazer and I got a black blazer. Basic, versatile, comfortable, and well-made. This is the same designer as my favorite skinny jeans. What can I say? It is just what I wanted and my stylist did a great job listening to my notes.

Item #3

papermoon kallan dress  Kallan Dress  papermoon dress with blazer

The burgundy color of this dress affirms that fall has arrived. I like the fit and style of the dress. It actually reminds me of a dress I had in high school and I love that. It felt familiar when I tried it on. I first paired the dress with a pair of Sam & Libby’s Bow Flats (from Target) to complete my 1994 look. 🙂  Then, I decided to add ankle boots and the Kensie blazer for a second look. The only thing that I do not like about this dress is the material. It is on the thin side. I am not sure how it will hold up after wear and care. In my opinion, it is also a bit pricy for the quality of the dress.

Item #4

loveppella howella knit topDSC_0967loveappella howella knittop

This is what I love about Stitch Fix! I would have never picked out this item for myself. In the store, I would have said too busy, too much pattern. But at first glance, I loved the colors in the shirt (corals and aqua) and the material felt nice to touch. I was curious to see how it would look on and I was pleasantly surprised. The material is soft and stretchy. Not only does it fits great and it feels good on!

Item #4-

rd lois turtle neck sweater

I really did not need to try this on because I had already decided that I was keeping it when I first laid eyes on it. It is a perfectly, cozy, warm, well-made sweater. There is nothing more I can say but open my arms and welcome fall in!

FINAL DECISION:

Skies are Blue Primmie Tunic  –KEPT

Kensie Rebekah Blazer —KEPT

Papermoon Kallan Dress—KEPT

Loveappella Howella Knit Top —KEPT

RD Style Lois Turtle Neck Sweater —KEPT

This fix gets an A+. My stylist did a great job taking into account what I wanted and surprising me with a few new looks.  The only item I would have sent back (due to the individual cost and quality) is the Kallan Dress but as I mentioned in my last post, if you keep all the items in your fix you get 25% off the total. Economically, it made sense to keep the dress. I will admit that I am not “totally” sad about it though. I love the idea of reliving part of the 90s.  🙂

Would you like to try Stitch Fix? If you do decide to try it out, I would appreciate the referral. Please use Shanna’s Stitch Fix Referral link when signing up.

Read more about here www.stitchfix.com  Read my last review here- August Stitch Fix Review

And just for fun…check out Fall Fashion Trends Across the United States- http://www.today.com/style/fall-fashion-trends-most-googled-fashion-state-t48021


Tot-Time Tuesday-Autumn Mixed Collage

Tot-Time Tuesday- Autumn Mixed Collage

The first day of autumn was last week but the warm weather continues to linger in parts of New England. I am ready for autumn to make its full, glorious appearance and stay for good. Rainbow leaves, over-sized, comfy-sweaters, UGGs, fresh apples, and bright-orange pumpkins are some of my favorite things and I cannot wait to be reunited with them.

Last Wednesday, to get us in the right mood for fall, I read It’s Harvest Time by Amy Beveridge. It is a short, early reader that highlights all of God’s blessings in the season of autumn. I love these little, inexpensive Happy Day books (Tyndale House Publishers.) They incorporate faith, family, and values in interesting stories with brightly colored pictures.

It's Harvest Time

 After the book, I modified an idea I found in our Boz’s MOPPETS curriculum. I provided my son with a red paper plate and a variety of fall colored materials. The materials included pieces of orange curling ribbon, yarn, pipe cleaners, twine, sparkly leaves, and pumpkins (that I had purchased on clearance at the end of last season.)

fall collage

I put some Mod-Podge in a cup, gave my son a paint brush and demonstrated how to paint with the glue, then stick the item to the plate. I think that he enjoyed painting with the glue more than placing the items. When my girls were his age, they would have enjoyed placing the items (A LOT of items) on the plate over the gluing part. The differences in my children amaze me and makes me smile!

 Fall Collage

Unfortunately, I forgot to get a picture of the final product. BUT we will be doing this project again with real items we find outside. I am hoping for brilliant red maple leaves, yellow birch leaves, artistic designs of sassafras leaves, and brown acorns. We just need fall weather to come and stick around. It shouldn’t be too long now. Mark Twain was very correct when he said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England now, just wait five minutes.”


MOMcon 2015- Unpacking At Home

MOMcon2015

Whoa! What a whirlwind this last week has been! Just one week ago, I was sitting among 3,000 MOPS leaders in Indianapolis at MOPS International’s Leadership Convention worshipping with Matt Maher and soaking in life-changing messages and teachings.  There is nothing like being with that many like-minded women who are also moms and leaders. A smile and a hug are always waiting for you around each corner.

This was my third time at MOMcon. Preparing to leave was a ton of work (more than I ever remember) -homeschool lessons completed, five different people lined up to watch my kids, laundry and packing to be completed.  I had a lot on my mind and heart before I left.  I was exhausted before I even arrived, but I held on to the truth that God’s work is powerful when there is little of  “me” left. When I am too tired to fight for my own agenda and wants, that is when I start to hear His voice whispering into my tired mind and heart. That’s when I hear Him inviting me to “RISE up” and go forth to do the good works He has called me to do.  I was excited and a little anxious to see what was in store for me in the time away.

During MOPS Coach Training and the conference sessions, the speakers and worship leaders kept asking us “How is God speaking to you?” “What will you commit too?”  For me, there wasn’t an immediate answer to this question. No clear cut instructions or big directions to take. In every prayer, I asked God to reveal what it was he wanted me to hear. For a few days, I did not hear anything but felt at peace and filled with joy.

Sometimes when you stop expecting to hear from God, that is when you do.

At some point, I stopped straining my ear for His voice and I started to relax, recharge, and take everything in. Themes started to resonated within my heart. Confirmations came in form of words and people of things that I had been thinking about and praying about for weeks prior. My expectation changed from waiting to hear something new to noticing the good work God is currently doing in my life.

Here are the things that spoke to me:

1.) Live in grace. Walk in Love. Love everyone always! I had been looking forward to hear Bob Goff speak as soon as I found out that he was going to be at MOMcon. What an incredible encourager and messenger of love! I think I laughed from the moment he stepped on the stage until the last word he spoke. You can not help but have a huge smile on your face after you have listened to him. This guy is for real! And he is just as gracious and authentic when you meet him. He looks you in the eye when you talk and makes you feel like you are special, an instant friend. But it was what Bob said that left the impression in my heart. He shared from the book of Galatians about living in grace and walking in love from 2 John 6And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” He spoke about the differences between an invitation and a welcome. It made me think of the invitations I extend to people and what it means to make them feel really welcomed, encouraged, and loved in what I am inviting them to do.

Bob Goff

2.) Be Kind and Be a First Clapper- Cheer on another’s undeveloped best!– Jodi Detrick.  Jodi Detrick is the author of The Jesus-Hearted Woman. She spoke on “healthy leadership being a journey of influence in a community with others, not a solo trek of independent efforts and self-importance.” I loved the themes of community and teamwork in her talk. Her quote about being a first clapper made me realize how much I love cheering on the under-dog and fostering developing skills in people. It was not so much of something new to learn but a reminder to keep cheering on those around me.

3.) Be available and authentic- Gina Moran, Director of Leader Care and Church Connection at MOPS International.  Gina spoke on MOPS desire to inspire a faith journey in moms all over the world. Her talk included practical implementation of components used by MOPS in inspiring a faith journey.  Although, she was mostly talking about MOPS groups, the components laid out can be implemented in one’s life- inviting, hospitable, intentional,authentic, investing. Both Gina and Sherry Surratt (CEO and President of MOPS International)  referenced The Art of Neighboring: Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door by Jay Pathak & Dave Runyon.  Prior to coming to MOMcon, my husband and I had spent hours and hours talking about community, getting to know the people in our church on a more personal level, raising up leaders, and being a light in our neighborhood. When Gina said “be available and authentic,” it went straight to my heart.  I know that sometimes the pace of my life is too fast and it inhibits me to being available. Although I am constantly reevaluating my time and priorities, I know that there is always time for what is important for you.  Reaching out, developing more genuine and authentic relationships has become what is important to me and realizing this is a step forward towards this goal.

4.) Look at your pace in life.– Bob Goff, Crystal Paine, Sherry Surratt, Amena Brown, ALMOST everyone! A reminder to continue to look at my schedule and commitments, make adjustments, continue to work on protecting time, and saying “no” (oh, that is so hard for me.) I desire to be a model to my children of what it means to keep a healthy schedule and be available for loving people and building relationships. Amena Brown said “you need God to break your rhythms so that your rhythm will be in step with His.” Amen! Lord, break my rhythms!

Amena Brown

5.) JOY! “Joy is the sacred jingle of God in you.” -Margaret Feinberg.  I had never heard Margaret Feinberg speak before but WOW!  What another amazing encourager! She is brave fighter (she is currently battling cancer) and a champion of joy! Joy radiates from her as she speaks and not in some overly-cheerful, sickening sweet way. Joy that is real and inspiring.  So often we get caught up in all the things that do not matter, we take life for granted. Margaret’s message was not a promise that bad things will never happen to  you but more of when bad things do, “fight back with joy.” “Joy is a weapon!”

So themes of love, grace, joy, community, rhythms, time and relationships. Those are the the things I will holding in my heart and hope to fiercely flourish in this year. Until MOMcon 2016 in Milwaukee, live in grace and walk in love.

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A few other highlights from MOMcon. I got to arm wrestle (long story!) and meet a reader of my blog who also happens to be a MOPS Coach too. I am happy to now call her a friend.  She blessed my heart with her smile and encouragement. Love you, Tammy!

celebrate

Time with my MOPS Coaching team was a HUGE gift to me. These ladies are amazing and I love each one of them. We are all so different but we come together to make a one super, great team. We stayed up late talking (about everything), laughing, and enjoyed each other’s company. They pour prayer, encouragement, and life into me and help make me a better leader and person.

MVS Team

Finally- STARBUCKS! There was only one place to get coffee at the convention hall so the lines were very long! 3,000 moms need their tea and coffee!! I met a ton of great ladies while waiting for my latte and I loved eavesdropping on what others were taking away from the conference. God is good!

Starbucks


Homeschool Week #2 Wrap Up-Measure of Success

Measure of Success

Well, this week was not as “successful” as last week. My attention was divided into a thousand different directions as I have been preparing to leave for the MOPS International’s Leadership Convention- MOMcon.

There is so much to do before I leave. Between church ministries and meetings,  MOPS start up plans and Coaching, finding childcare for the kids while I am away, packing, household chores, laundry AND homeschooling, the week went by in a blur of checklists and details. Before I knew it, Friday had appeared and I found myself saying there’s just not enough TIME!

Feeling a bit defeated and comparing this week to last, I started asking myself what exactly does success looks like in our homeschooling. Is it the amount of material that we cover? The number of skills the girls master in a week? Staying on task and lesson objectives met? Having fun together? Spending quality time? What is it?

Every day we completed all of our reading, language arts, and math lessons.  We managed to do some fun Labor Day activities and made some fantastic smelling playdough. Science and social studies lessons flowed naturally through our days and we read a lot of books together.  That sounds successful, right?

There is an incredible amount of thought, research, and writing about success. Briefly, success is the accomplishment of an goal or purpose. It can be measured in terms of objective (measurable terms, salary, promotion, accomplishments) or subjective (emotional and psychological responses- happiness, joy, pride, feelings ) situations.  Within areas of your life, you can have both objective and subjective goals and success. “Subjective success is an individual’s response to an objective situation. “1  A Harvard Business Review article gives an example of a corporate lawyer who has a great compensation package and position but has not met her life-long goal of becoming a Supreme Court judge so she doesn’t feel successful.

This is what happened to me this week. We met all of the objective goals I had for homeschooling. Academically, we were right on target and I was happy with the amount of curriculum we accomplished.  But it was my subjective goals that left me feeling less than satisfied. One of the biggest goals I have for myself is to be more present and less over committed. This week, I felt like I did not do this well. Therefore, I felt unsuccessful.

Timing is everything. Not every week will be one like this one. I travel only once a year! The details of church ministries and MOPS start up are not usually happening all at one time. This just is a very busy time. It is important to keep evaluating how I am spending my time, keep saying “no” when presented an opportunity that will stress our schedule, and making time to rest and connect with people in a way each person deserves. Beyond that, I also think that it is important to look at homeschool success with the whole picture in mind and look beyond those subjective feelings. So reevaluating, I think that I should rephrase my first sentence and say that this week was certainly different (and BUSIER) than the first but it was equally successful measured in different ways.

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A Few Highlights:

1.) POM-POM SORTING: I made something new for my littlest one to do during school. This task works on fine motor, sorting, and color recognition skills. It took about 5 minutes to set up and it was inexpensive! I had everything I needed in the house and it is completely reusable. Just have to change the color on the top of the lid and the color of pop-poms to sort!

Sorting Pom-Poms Sorting Pom-Poms

2.) APPLE PIE PLAYDOUGH- A new recipe that I found on Pinterest, this playdough smells AMAZING!  A small, welcomed whiff of fall in the abnormal, ninety degree weather we are having in the Northeast. You can find the recipe here—> http://jugglingactmama.com/2014/09/apple-pie-scented-play-dough.html

Apple Pie Playdough Apple Pie Playdough

3.)ANTONYM WORK- We did a lot of work with antonyms this week. We defined antonyms and identified pairs when we read. The Foot Book and Old Hat, New Hat  are great books for this activity. After we read The Foot Book, I traced the girls’ feet and they illustrated a pair of antonyms they chose.

Antonyms

Antonyms Antonyms

How was your week?