Little Things Thursday

Hey Friends! It’s time to celebrate Little Things Thursday!  My little things are coming in the Instagram format today, and I love Instagram’s ease in capturing all those little daily moments.

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On this past Saturday I declared that, “I hated Saturdays”. This was a bit strong in the emotional department, but I was needing a good airing. My husband caught on and promptly whisked us out of the house for a day in Atlanta.

We played in Grant Park, briefly, because there isn’t much there. We stopped by Atlantic Station to walk around. We caught a school performing arts showcase, or something. We enjoyed Italian Ice, and just basically sweat like pigs. We love going there, though.

As dinner approached, we drove to Midtown for Indian at Desi Spice and the shopped for groceries at Trader Joe’s, which the kids think is the best thing ever.

School is going well as you can see by that Ace of a science test! We are enjoying the freedom to learn this year as well, which feels really good. I’m keeping regular office hours this year, which keeps every email or correspondence from becoming the “Tyranny of the Urgent”.  I’m totally loving those boundaries, for my own good.  I love to be available a little too much, which can keep me distracted.  I’m finding more balance this year.

Each of those is a little thing, but combined feels like bounty.  I’m so thankful.

Where’s your bounty this week?

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.

 


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Landslide

Well, I’ve been afraid of changing

‘Cause I’ve built my life around you.

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But time makes you bolder
Even children get older

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Daily life as a mother at home can feel like a landslide. There is never a lack of someone or something to care for. I know I have struggled in the past with feeling as if there was never a moment to breathe. Even as I walk around my home today, there are slight feelings of being overwhelmed at the accumulated mess. The day started with a clean home, but it rarely lasts. Let’s make that never lasts.

Because we live and learn here…all day.

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Like most moms, I feel the tug between duty and the desire for life beyond the home. But lately I have been reminded by sheer observation that these days don’t last forever. The day will come when our home is no longer like it is today. Because of that, I can be free to enjoy what we are right now. The day for me time will come, but now is we time.

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The days of folding little clothes are fleeting. Lovingly making meals for 5 will give way to 2.

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There is battle in the midst of these “raising” years, but they will surely end. I don’t want to wish them away. I want to enjoy them.

Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

It is just a season.  It’s a good season.

The next season may be good, too…but each season should be savored.

This year I am feeling more freedom to focus on being present right where we are.  I’m tuning out outside voices that suggest that there is more.  I do want more, but that focus is shifting to less of what the world defines as more.  I’m remembering that life is more than just what is in it for us.  It’s about serving and impacting.

I can do that right here, and I can do that out there…but right here comes first.  Sometimes putting right here first will mean me going out there as an example.  It’s a paradox, but I understand it.

And I’m getting older too.  

And wiser.

Linking up with Songography| Landslide | Fleetwood Mac and Good.Random.Fun.  and Wednesdays Around the World.

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Little Things Thursday

Welcome to Little Things Thursday once again, Friends!  I hope that this week has been good to you.  News this week has been on the bleak side, and we could all use some little somethings to smile about.

I began to go shopping for things to wear while traveling this fall.   Thailand is pretty darn close to the equator, so summer clothing will be non-negotiable.  It’s the perfect time to hit the end of summer sales for the things I need.  However, even with sales, there were a couple hurdles with shopping.

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I did find a few things, but I will need clothes for 12 days…and those clothes need to be within certain guidelines.  Shopping for what I need made me realize how much skin we like to show around here.

I need tops that cover my shoulders, and dresses that both cover my shoulders and reach the knees.  And the items mustn’t be for fuddy duddies (personal guideline).   That’s kind of a tall order if you look around at what is available.  Shorts aren’t worn in public, and I don’t want pants with heavy fabrics.   I bought what I could today, and now I’m scratching my head on where I’m going to find the rest.

I was counting on you, Loft.

It’s not going to be found in my closet, sadly.  My closet is full of heavy denim, and sleeveless tops and dresses.  I’m not giving up, though. There are more sales racks to scour before the fall clothing arrives in full force, but I better hurry. The summer clothing sections are growing small.

Even with this little light and momentary “trouble”, its fun to begin tangible preparations for travel!

What’s making you smile this week?

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.

 

 


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Currently

I love this time of year when everything seems to be a fresh start.  I really don’t feel that January 1st brings about the same feelings of newness like the start of a new school year.  I get a sort of recharge and fresh look on life every August.

It’s like I get a chance to refocus on what matters.  For me, that has been less time online, and more time seeking to be mindful of what is going on in our home.  It’s tiring, but good. Very good.

I’m seeking balance in duty and delights. I’m saying yes to those things that fall within my vision, and letting what doesn’t fit slide.  It’s not always easy, but it is needed.

One thing that has been an absolute delight was this recent session with a precious family.  This one honestly recharged me in so many ways, and I’m so grateful.

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I felt very free to be the photographer that I am.  That’s a gift when that happens.  It makes me want to try to reach my vision even more.  And aren’t these two darling?

I have also been spending a good deal of time preparing for my travels to Thailand in roughly 7 weeks! I know that time will go so quickly.  It still feels unreal to think of going back after 7 years away.  This is the longest I have been away since 1994. It’s really exciting!

I’m really looking forward to just being free to enjoy and experience that time.  Again. A gift.

Things are currently looking up and it is so encouraging!

Linking with Songography|Try, Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.

 

 

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It’s Monday Y’all

We are having a Monday’s Monday.

Our new dog, Rosie, thought it would be fun to chew through the wires on our outdoor AC unit and thus leave us without air condition in August…in Georgia.

Ugh.

We were kind of promised that she didn’t chew on things, and well let’s just say that she may not chew on typical things, but she does chew! And her potty training skills are a little lackluster.

Thankfully, we were able to get the air conditioner repaired today, but it made for a very disrupted and expensive day.  It all worked out after a few hours of unbridled chaos.

I’m reposting an old image of said dog, because I need to remember her cute face at moments like these.  She’s on a bit of thin ice.  I tried to make a dog shaming photo of her, but as irony would have it she refused to sit or stay.

Summer Days

She is being such a toddler.

Linking up with Good, Random, Fun.   What else could you call this?

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It’s okay. And other thoughts on disability.

We are finishing our first week of school for this new year and it has been great! Truly great.

But ya’ll, I’m learning some things that are sometimes difficult to accept and talk about.  I’m feeling brave though, so I am going to give it a go.

I think my kids may have some mild learning disabilities. 

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You may or may not know that I have a degree in Early Childhood Education, and while I do let that background weigh in, it’s my mama gut that tells me this might be true.  As a homeschooling mom I am able to see first hand what issues are present, and that is a blessing.

When my daughter was 4 someone casually made an offhand remark that they thought my daughter was ADD.  I wanted to pop that girl right in her unsolicited comment.  However, being a mom, I cried instead.  Her assessment was due to the fact that my child was more active than the other kids around us, and didn’t like to sit and color in the lines like they did.  My child is very out of the box in her creativity.  There was a cultural difference of thoughts about these things due to the fact that we lived overseas. The cultural differences didn’t matter, she simply labelled my kid publically.

And I was mad.

My daughter struggles in math.  So did I.  Her tutor recently suggested that my daughter might be ADD.  My mama bear instinct started to rear its head again, but I simply stated that I did not know if her assessment was true. She did not have that diagnosis and we wouldn’t be seeking one…thank you very much.

Again, I was upset that anytime someone struggles there is this need to slap an acronym on them in order to make heads or tails of it.  I decided to just entertain the thought though, after I cooled off.  Maybe this assessment would actually serve us? Even if it is not true, what is the take away for us?

My daughter said to me that she didn’t think she was ADD, but if she was, she couldn’t do anything about it. She was not going to worry.  It’s not a big deal, she said.

She is right.  What does it matter?

Yes, my daughter is a dreamer.  Yes, she struggles to pay attention sometimes. Yes, she doodles when she should be working. Yes, she struggles in math.  Some of this is just personality. Some is distractibility.

But okay, let’s deal with it. Let’s find strategies to refine those things that need attention without seeking to alter who God has created her to be.

Additionally, I see signs of dysgraphia in my youngest.  At some point last year, he began to cry whenever he had to write thoughts on paper. It was if the world had ended.

At first I chalked it up to being a young first grader.  Then I thought he was manipulating me.  Then it was a lack of confidence and a thousand other thoughts.

He complained about hand and arm fatigue.  He cried he didn’t know what to say.  He developed “stomach aches”.  If you ever had a conversation with him, you’d have a hard time believing that this boy with a huge vocabulary couldn’t write any of his thoughts down without tears. We made progress, but the situation hasn’t gone away.  Even though we are having a good start to school, he has cried three out of five days when time the time to write came.   Yet, he so desires to write! He really wants to be able to write.   He cries if he has to draw something representative.  His drawings are not at the second grade “level”.  Something is up.

My instincts point to dysgraphia. 

He reads well.  He speaks well.  His math skills will knock your socks off.  He remembers everything.  He is focused.  He is determined.  He is bright. He wants to please.   But, I think he has a slight disability with writing.

What does it matter?

There is no shame in not being able to do everything perfectly.  So why do we instantly feel guilt, shame, and as if we are failing our kids when they show signs of weaknesses? Why do we see that look in the eyes of others that seems to suggest, “Well, if they were in a real school…”.   Why do other people want to assign blame for disabilities as if any of us have any control over our natural abilities? Or those of our children.

Who cares? Learning disabilities do not equal dumb. It means you have a few hurdles to jump and may need to work a little more intentionally.  I worked hard for my A’s and B’s and I think the return on that investment is character and perseverance.  I don’t listen to can’t.

We have to pay attention to the needs we see in our children and not hide them because we might lose a few bragging points among our peers.  Personally, I love a little adversity.  I love kicking a challenge in the butt.  If my kids have weaknesses, we will kick those challenges in. the. butt.  Those who feel superior, pity or ashamed can kick rocks.

I’m so happy that I can be right here identifying needs and personally addressing them.  If my youngest needs to play with playdoh to strengthen his hands, we can do that. If he needs any sort of therapy, we can do that. We can do exactly what we need to do, and that is a great feeling. I actually feel so encouraged that I can say, “Ah ha! I see what you need. Let me help.”  We all have forms of disability.  We all need help from time to time.

I think a lot of the initial discouragement goes back to this fierce mom competition that we see on a daily basis. You only need a quick scroll through Facebook to see it.  We all have experienced those parents who have all of their significance and security tied up in the abilities of their children.  There’s a lot of need floating around to be the best, the most, the smartest.

But that’s not us.

We are going to be honest about our needs, and tend to them.   So far I am loving this year that is just freeing us up to love learning right where we are.  I’m seeing such a spark of enthusiasm to grow already.

That’s what education should be.

We are on our own track, and do not need the comparisons to pace ourselves.  Learning is an intrinsic reward.

I do not know for sure whether we have clinical disabilities, but we will own whatever is there.

We won’t feel anything other than blessed to be able to come alongside our children as we prepare them for the calling on their lives.

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Little Things Thursday

We are knee deep in adjusting to the school year around here.  So far, we are doing really well and I’m learning a few things that I hope to share as time allows.

For today, I’m just celebrating little comforts like pets that make learning at home fun.

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I’ll be sharing some deeper thoughts soon about life and learning. I’m kind of excited about what I’m discovering!

How’s your week?

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.


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Toothless

Our hot fun in the summertime is over.  School is back in.  A new year equals a new look.

toothless

toothless

Now we are toothless.

Linking up with Songography, Wednesdays Around the World, Black and Wednesdays.

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Currently.

Today is our first day of school!!!  I hope we are off to a great start.

Time was so short this week for personal planning so I spent all afternoon on Sunday trying to make it happen.  I got in a grocery trip, which is kind of a big deal.  I felt very accomplished to have food in the house.  Hubby even remarked that he hadn’t seen our fridge so full in such a long time.  I kind of winged grocery runs this summer.

I reviewed today’s lesson plans and tried to wrap my head around our new schedule.  We are doing some new things this year and I feel a bit lost.  However, I think it will be a good change once I get the hang of it.

So, today I am figuring this first day thing out.  The kids are figuring this first day thing out.  I hope they aren’t too disappointed to see summer break go.  I’m relieved.  I think.  Ask me after coffee.

To wrap summer up we:

Early August14

Became parents to a teen.  Started wearing makeup. Lost a tooth. Readied ourselves for school.

That’s our good.random.fun. for the end of summer 2014.

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Little Things Thursday

My husband took our kids this evening to give me a little break.  I’ve been knee deep in details, and really just needed to have a little downtime as summer comes to a close.  Even if only for two hours.

Also…my kids will not stop bickering.  That’s a sure sign that we need structure and work.  Our days need purpose.  Summer has had its purpose and now it is time to move on, for my sanity.  And might I add their well-being?

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My quiet time of sorts was used just to tie up loose ends around the home, put out fires in my email inbox, and journal about what changes we need to make in this coming school year. I felt like someone had to pull me to the finish line this past year.

I really need a time of getting centered before new beginnings.   While I know that I have such good intentions about changes this year, I know that distractions are such a thief.  I want to live more intentionally about so many things.  I want my family to a priority and that means saying no to things that don’t fit our vision across the board.  I don’t want us to live as warm bodies, but as purposeful beings who use our time and talents wisely.

I’m realizing that I’m a person who paradoxically needs quiet to think  and loads of creative stimulation.  When I don’t get either I can feel caged very quickly.  So I want this year to provide more balance in these two areas.  I don’t know how that will look yet, but I’m praying that I figure it out.

One way might be in giving ourselves more freedom to not have to be slaves to checking off boxes.  I don’t even want to be slaves to “normal”.  I want this year to be about the journey of enjoying life as art.

Because life is the artwork of our creator, even though we try as might to mess it up at times.

I’ll need y’all to remind me.

So yeah…all this from a little quiet and a cup of tea.  I hear the garage door opening and that means the troops are home. Quiet time is over.

I’d love to hear how you are seeking to live artistically.

Link up with Little Things Thursday:

◾Post your Little Things Thursdays on your blog. Link will go live at midnight on Thursdays for linking up.

◾Please include my Little Things Thursdays button or a link back in your post. You can grab it on the sidebar!

◾Submit the URL/permalink for your post, not your home address, please. Flickr entries welcome!

◾Visit other blogs and leave some encouragement! We all love feedback! Please visit as many others as you can.

◾Please do not submit giveaways, inappropriate content, images other than your own, or link more than one post per week, thank you!

◾May I humbly request that our posts include images that you have personally captured as this is primarily a photography link up? Personal Journaling +Photo is A-OK.

 


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