So this week I found (maybe with the help of my husband) a couple of interesting posts and articles. Hope you find them interesting as well.
Slate – Growing Up Unvaccinated
This is a very interesting article about a woman who grew up unvaccinated. It makes a very compelling argument for getting your child vaccinated.
Huffington Post – This Woman Filmed 100 Days of Working Out, And The Change Isn’t Just Physical
This is a truly inspiring story that ended up being noted on Jillian Michaels’ facebook page as well as the Today show and a bunch of other places. She found not only a good habit but love for herself.
Forbes – 10 Incredibly Simple Things You Should Be Doing To Protect Your Privacy
This is some really great information, especially after issues at Target.
What things have you read recently?
It is funny. There are places I would go to “before children” that I don’t frequent as much anymore. I haven’t all out stopped going but it is harder to get out to those nice restaurants we used to enjoy. But since having children, there are all kinds of new places I go.
I find places where we can see toy and model train set ups. We have taken our children to the pumpkin patch or to see children’s theater. I found a wildlife refuge near us. I found a kite festival and a building festival for the family to check out. We have attended a great fire prevention day hosted by our local volunteer fire department. I found museums geared specifically to children and one for aviation. All of these new places found because of two little people in my life. Many of these places I found just as interesting, exciting and cool as my children. Many of these places I probably would have not attended on my own or even with my husband. Thank goodness for places you go with your kids. They take over your life in the best way.
Where are some of the new places you have gone with your children?
I have some great resources that I am using this year to try to keep myself organized in 2014. Hopefully by being more intentional about getting organized in my life, I will have less stress and maybe a slightly cleaner home as well.
The Confident Mom – 2014 Confident Mom Weekly Household Planner
This is a great planner and she has one which is a prefilled plan and another you can edit as you wish. More importantly, this year it is free.
Home Storage Solutions 101 – Free Printable 2014 Declutter Calendar
If you are looking for a way to thoroughly declutter your entire home (and life), this calendar can be very helpful. It gives you 15 minute challenges to do each day.
Wait resources have you found to keep you organized in the new year?
Intentional. That is the one word I want to try to remember each day in 2014. Just a day of living intentional can change a blah day into a great day. And this year I especially need to be intentional as I have a mountain of goals before I turn 45 at the end of the year.
So for me this year I seek the intentional path. I want to be intentional in all my relationships – God, husband, children, family, friends and even those chance encounters. More intentional with my health and taking care of me. More intentional in my writing and finding my path. And to make it happen, I just need to be reminded of that one word every day. This will be my #OneWord365.
Here’s to 2014! Be intentional!
What is your word of the year?
A lot has been made about how UPS/ FedEx dropped the ball on getting packages out in time for Christmas. I was one of the lucky ones and got everything I ordered. (Although I had some concern for an American Girl package that was a day late.)
However, everything I ordered from Amazon Prime came quickly and easily. I became a Prime member about two years ago and I can say it was money well spent. First, pretty much everything I order is a “prime” package and comes to my home within 2 days at no extra expense. Second, I have access to tons of free movies and tv shows (which means if I can’t get something on Netflix, I can go to Amazon). Finally, I also get to “borrow” tons of books for free. Truly it has been great.
Do you have Amazon Prime? What do you think?
Christmas Day has gone. It wasn’t long after the children were in bed that I began to reflect on this Christmas. I had wanted a slower Christmas but it felt rushed to me. I had wanted to make more crafts and ornaments. I had wanted more time to do for others this season. But God willing, there may be a chance next year to do it a little differently.
The day after Christmas I read this great article about reflecting on Christmas and writing down what worked and what didn’t work. I asked my husband, what would he do differently. He pointed out that he wished we didn’t visit so many homes during Christmas Day. I told him I would agree. And I would plan things out a little better for the holiday season, maybe invite everyone over for Christmas, and probably lower my expectations.
When I began to rethink what we did, we really had a lot of fun. We saw the Christmas trains, created a paper nativity scene, read some great books, drank lots of hot cocoa, made a gingerbread house, danced to lots of Christmas music, watched Christmas movies, saw Santa for the first time, got new Christmas pajamas and made Christmas cards for family.
I think sometimes we have unrealistic expectations of the holiday. Maybe we didn’t do everything I wished we could do but we had lots of fun. And, in retrospect, it was so much better than the year prior when I had strep, the flu and a migraine the weeks before Christmas.
I had so much to be grateful for this year. What a blessing! If God wills for another Christmas, it will be a little different next year and hopefully a little better but I am still grateful for this one.
How was your Christmas this year?
So as of today we are 18 days away from Christmas. I already feel behind. However, our advent countdown is going well. Yesterday, we watched Veggie Tales Saint Nicholas and Polar Express.
Below are a few of my favorite posts I have come across over the past few weeks. This first one reminds me to put the phone down. I love the title…. “be where your but is”…. not on Facebook, Gmail or Twitter. The next two follow on my thoughts of trying to help our children learn the importance of gratitude and kindness.
‘Be’ Where Your Butt Is! – Pick the Brain | Motivation and Self Improvement.
How to Give Thanks For What You Have | Grace Full Mama.
Giving is Good & Educational | Kids and Causes | Generosity | Life As Mom
Have you read something good online?
Advent calendar countdown
Last year we started an advent countdown tradition. There are lots of advent countdown ideas on the internet and Pinterest. I found this one and made the envelopes which we hang on the tree for our countdown.
We have also included Star Wars Lego Advent Calendar for my son and a Playmobile Advent Winter Wonderland Calendar for my daughter. Each of these countdowns include a small toy each day to open and put together. I will say I am not sure I like this toy advent countdown one combined with the one we do from the tree. The one we do from the tree contain family and kindness activities and activities celebrating the birth of Christ. The kids wake up and open the toy and then my son grabs a number from the tree.
On Monday (day 2), after putting together a Lego and Playmobile toy, it was a Christmas music dance party day. We had a Christmas music dance party that began in the morning before my son went to school and has continued every day since. It has been great and it always seems to start with my favorite song, “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. Now whenever the song comes on Pandora, the kids and I look at each other and then jump up and dance.
Tuesday (day 3), we had a picnic dinner in front of the tree. Yesterday, I printed out a great paper nativity scene that we colored and set up (I can definitely place that on my pinned and completed board). The nativity scene was the perfect chance to talk about the real reason behind Christmas – the celebration of the birth of Jesus.
I am hoping that as this countdown continues there will not only be fun but more discussions and understanding about the true meaning behind this season – not the sparkle and twinkle and toys but the love.
Are you doing any advent countdown this year?
One of the things my husband and I want to do as parents is teach our children the importance of gratitude and kindness.
We want our children to know and understand the importance of kindness to others because I believe kindness begets kindness. The kindness you extend to another may translate in that other extend kindness to yet another – the”pay it forward” factor. And who wouldn’t want to live in a community or a world where people are always paying it forward.
We also want our children to understand gratitude. It is said that grateful people are happy people. And who doesn’t want their child to be happy. But more importantly we want our children to understand their blessings come from God.
Both of these things are important enough for me to add to my bucket list. I am pretty sure these items will extend beyond my 45 before 45 list but I want to really get in the habit of making this part of our daily lives over the next year and the bucket list encourages me to do it. We have started with our kindness jar writing down acts of kindness the kids preform during the week. Also this holiday season we are going to be incorporating some random acts of kindness actions in our Advent countdown. To encourage gratitude, I want to start a family gratitude journal. It will be a simple art journal where we can write down words or draw pictures as they come to us of things we are grateful for over the course of a year. However, the most important step will be for us, as parents, to set the example.
I am hopeful that these small steps will begin to instill in our children the importance of kindness and gratitude in the world.
It has been awhile since I have posted but as you see I have finally moved from Blogger to a hosted WordPress site. After the initial move, I had issues with the WordPress blog that my overworked mind just couldn’t take the time to resolve but I finally decided to sit down and resolve it. I really need this site to keep me honest if I am going to do my 45 Things To Do Before 45. In fact, I can say I am making progress on my list because making a more attractive blog is part of my 45 things. Another item on my 45 things list is blogging twice a week for a year and obviously that part starts this week as soon I will be just a year away from 45.
So I am continuing with my Favorite Things series because I like to share information about cool things I have come across the web, the library or wherever. And if you have something to share as well, then please let me know I am always interested.
So here a few of my favorite things …..:
1. The Scaredy Squirrel series from the author Melanie Watt I picked up the first Scaredy Squirrel after looking for funny books my 5 year-old could enjoy but might interest my 2 year-old as well. This book was one of several listed by the bloggers over at No Time For Flashcards who have great book recommendations for every kind of interest, issue, holiday or subject for your preschool or elementary age child. Once we read Scaredy Squirrel, I returned to the library to try to get my hands on every available book in the series. Both of my children laughed throughout each book we could find and wanted them read again and again. Even I enjoyed them. We haven’t read all of them but I would highly recommend reading them for a laugh.
2. 7,000 Reasons Your Uniqueness May Be Plagiarism from Lark and Bloom.com This is a great post about really thinking about what it takes to be unique and special. I think we all have something that makes us special to the friends, family and people around you. And maybe we should also concentrate on “being meaningful, helpful and kind” to the world.
3. Why God Told Me to Ruin My Life from Storylineblog.com Right now we are in the midst of trying to make a few big decisions for our family’s future and this post really spoke to me. Sometimes we spend too much time worrying about making the wrong decision that we make a “safe” choice rather than the risky but better choice. Maybe we need to have the faith to take the risk and realize we may not ruin our lives but if we did God is with us.
Thanks. What are a few of your favorite posts or books?