Today, we were mostly inside. (It still gets hot super quick in the day-and also…we are just around a lot of people, currently…so…social distancing!)
One trigger for me lately has been all of the asking “Can I watch a movie” “Can I be on my tablet?” “I don’t wanna _______.”
A lot of days, I let my obstacles get the best of me…
Well, I can’t ______, because of _____.
1. Am I really going to allow ________ to get in my way?! Really??
2. Am I really about to teach my kids to make excuses for why not to do something that is going to be helpful? Really??
So, today, while my husband and the kids were outside for a few minutes…I wrote out 3 pieces of paper that I feel like will help our house run smoother, and will give clear expectations on when the kids can have their tablet and TV time.
This is self- care for me…because, I need a flexible-structure. My kids need a flexible-structure. Also, too rigid of a schedule just doesn’t work for me. I used to be more rigid when I had one kid, but with each kid…too much structure just stresses me out…I don’t know why..it is the way it is.
So, flexible on the timing, but knowing x,y, and z will happen in a day. This is how we work best.
This structure helps with my kids knowing that when they complete x, y, and z…then, they will get to ______.
It helps them to feel like what they want, or how the day will go is not this obscure scene of events.
It lowers the amount of tantrums in a day.
And in return, lowers every one’s stress levels throughout the day.
Our flexible-structure creates self-care all around.
Has the day been perfect?! Far from it…
But, this really does create an atmosphere of peace, calm, and being able to work through problems in a healthy way throughout the day.
Last summer, I wanted to set up (some) structure for my two boys. I wanted my oldest to start practicing cursive, and my youngest to work on his handwriting and letter formation.
In my mind, they would be excited. They would get their activities done quickly, and we would be on with the rest of our day. WRONG. Haha. I got SO much push back. So, I had them do some practice, here and there, but decided not to be too structured about it.
Fast forward to the school year. I began to mentally prepare them how we would be homeschooling “next school year”. Lots of talk about, “next year, when we homeschool”…In my experience, kids do a lot better when you prepare them for what’s to come through conversation.
Little did we know, they would have, sort of a, transition period half-way through the year. I won’t go all the way into all of the uncertainty that the corona virus pandemic brought, including my kids’ last year in public school. But, I will say, that it sort of gave us a transition period.
At home learning gave us a preparation season. It gave us a “dip your toes in the water”. I’m thankful for this. I’m thankful we aren’t jumping in with cold feet.
So, as the school year ended, we took June off completely from any intentional learning, with an exception to a short Juneteenth lesson.
This week, we have started being more intentional. The goal? To work on our homeschool stamina. I want us to have stretched our muscles, before we dive into homeschool, in September.
So, right now…my oldest has to spend some part of each day reading, and practice 5 pages of cursive.
And my youngest has to practice two pages of handwriting practice and read one book.
Right now, they are “advertising” to a frog trying to get it to live in a toy house, so they can keep it as a pet…I’m sure they are learning something from this…right?!
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As we are looking to homeschool next year, I have been looking for an option that will best serve our needs. I.am.so.excited. That I stumbled across School House Teacher.
As I learn more, and begin our homeschool journey, I can not wait to share our experience, tips, and tricks with you.
Stay tuned for more info as this school year closes, and next school year begins.
It’s a New Year!!
I can hardly believe that we are already 4 days into 2020.
Looking back over the last 1.5 to 2 months…I’m in awe.
I’ve enjoyed writing SO much more than I thought I would.
And, I needed some time for reflection and waiting on God.
To reflect on where this blog is going, reflect on what things we need to set up for when we begin traveling, and what things to work on that I am passionate about!!
The details are still being worked out…and I do feel like they are starting to come together.
Before I start releasing any kind of news….
I want to know how your Christmas celebrations were? Did you stick to your plan? Or did you have to adjust?
What about planning for the new year and the new decade?
What goals are you planning for?!
I love the newness and all… I’m also loving to learn the discipline of the day-in-and-day-out. To lean into the mundane….because that is where the real stuff happens.
For the first time, I got us “all the things” to lead up to Christmas Day.
I can not wait until December 1st.
Tomorrow, I’ll go live over on my Facebook page to share what I got and where! And also, go over what we will be reading each day from the Bible.
If you haven’t already go like and follow Rooted Mama- and I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow!
As they are talking, another gentleman and I strike up a short conversation. His order gets called up, so he had to go mid-conversation.
Simultaneously, as we had been talking, another man had caught my eye. He was older, and he had a cane. The younger gentleman I was sitting next to offered his seat, but the older one declined. He waited until the seat became available and plopped down next to me.
By then, most people had cleared out. The older gentleman with the cane very clearly knew the owner. They made jabs at each other back and forth, laughing, and then in between, he would make conversation with me.
During this time, I got to learn a little about the gentleman with the cane, how he had known the owner’s father. But the owner’s father had passed away a month before. He had been sick for a long time. He, himself, had known the owner for a long time.
As we were talking, I get a message from the customer:
“Thank you for being patient. It’s is appreciated and your tip will reflect that.”
“It is my pleasure. Thank you, sir”
As I was telling my husband this story, my eyes welled up…and my voice broke.
Here I was worried about our situation. I was worried and anxious. I, additionally-in my eyes, messed up by canceling this guy’s order. Yet, I got the opportunity to redeem it, and while I waited I got to strike up two conversations. One of them being just the sweetest of conversations. And, I got to bless this man by taking his order to him while he had to work.
And God showed up in so many ways that day.
It is days like that day, that I am glad we have the habit of asking each about our days. I am glad that I got to share what happened in the sweetest moment of that day.
Because on a day where I had a hard time only thinking about myself, and my problems, God opened my eyes. He helped me to slow down, that day. To take time to connect with other people, listen to their stories, and learn about them.
And it’s these stories..the ones that start off with a “me mindset”, that move to an “others mindset”, and eventually the glory goes to a “God mindset”. He gets the focus off of me, back on others and Him…and reminds me that there’s a bigger picture. There’s a story greater than myself. Greater than I could ever imagine or comprehend. A love story. A God story. It’s HISstory.
I turned around, and headed back to the restaurant.
As I was driving, I got a message from the customer.
He said “I know the line is probably long in the drive-thru. It may be quicker to go inside.”
I messaged back: “Thank you. I went inside, but the line was still long. Do you think it will still go quicker even though the line is really long inside?”
“In my experience, it has.” He replied.
“Ok! I will do that. Thank you for the advice.”
So, I drive into the parking lot. Still no place to park.
But, I see one spot next to the dumpster and the exit to the alley way. I pull in, make sure the tail of the bed of the truck is out of the way, and I walk inside.
As I make my way in, I can see a gentleman walking in front of me. He’s a little older, and clearly physically disabled in some way. He peacefully opens up the order, and insists that I go ahead of him.
“Thank you, sir”. As we walked inside, I motion…”Please, go ahead”
“No, you go ahead.”
I wait in line. And, finally get the customer’s meal ordered.
As people’s orders come in, and they leave…more room opens up in a crowded waiting space.
I make my way to sit on a bench where a young man is talking to an older woman he is sitting with.
Most days, I ask everyone in our family a variety of questions. Sometimes, it depends on the day, how many and which ones I ask.
Usually, I start with “What’s your favorite part of today?”
I love hearing my husband and my kids’ responses. I can usually have a guess at what each person will say but sometimes, they surprise me.
And sometimes, they ask me back “What was your favorite part of the day?”
One day, my husband and I were getting ready to pick up our kids from school.
We were scrambling to get ready to head out of town for a weekend to head up to my sister and brother in-law’s house.
It’s become a tradition to head up there in November and go to Silver Dollar City and a festival at a local farm, Sycamore Creek Family Ranch ( https://sycamorecreekfamilyranch.com)
Do you ever have days, and think back….What. Just.Happened?
Today was one of those days.
It started off ok.
Got a little better after church…
And then, went downhill from there.
I don’t even know what happened, except my anxiety kept growing worse and worse.
Every light and sound was over stimulating.
I even missed the mark.
Today, at church, the pastor talked a lot about grace and mercy…and, as I have been laying here, in bed…I read my devotional on YouVerse…and guess what, you guessed it. Giving mercy was the topic of discussion.
I wish that I had read it first thing this morning, though.
Because, even though the anxiety would have been there…maybe, I would have caught on quicker….decompressed quicker, and been able to give my family the grace and mercy quicker.
I’m going to miss the mark. There will be days that my anxiety will go downhill quicker than I can realize, until after its already said and done.
I’ve apologized, and as soon as I realized what was happening…I started the process of calming myself down, and changing my response. That’s all I can do, today.
Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.
I can avoid as many triggers as I can. Use the tools in my toolbox….
And, we can all start over.