I find I've almost been dreading certain days of the week, like Monday for example. It seems a bit dreary to head into Monday after a fun and relaxing weekend. There's cleaning, shopping, meals to be made and on and on and on... Anyways, I've decided to enjoy everyday no matter what, to notice daily pleasures and even to find joy in monotonous routines and I have to admit, it is nice that I don't have to work on Mondays.
So here we go, first day of a new month and first day of the week: Monday.
Bye, Megan! She's going into her classroom, and what's that in the bottom right corner? Some of the kindergarten kids came right back out of the classroom to see,
Aw!!! it's a brand new puppy that one of the Kindergarten families just got on the weekend.
Okay, time to head off now...
Yep, it's time to grocery shop, just Myles and I. Now grocery shopping actually can be pleasurable (even if it is Superstore). There's the clothes section, the free sample from the deli for Myles,
we usually have a look at the crabs, lobsters and tilapia, and we often run into friends and chat too!
It's great to have a little help at the till.
As you can see, Myles thoroughly enjoyed his complimentary chocolate chip cookie...
And there's Myles running and running WAY down the ramp back to the parking lot. I am usually moving forward with my shopping cart at a very rapid pace to catch him because then he runs, yes right into the parking lot! AHH!!
After that, there's cleaning the fridge and putting away the groceries, while Myles played outside in the sandbox. Then we picked up Megan. The kids usually play in on the playground for awhile and I chat with the other K moms. Egg sandwiches for lunch, nap time and I got started on a bit of mending and scrapbooking while Megan played with play dough in the kitchen in her room. After picking up Miranda, I the kids did their chores: cleaning the hamster cage and recycling, while I made stirfry for dinner. I have to tell you the best sauce is: soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Mmmm!!!
Then one of my favourite parts of the day. It was my turn to do the parent and tot with Myles.
Go Myles!! I don't know what it was about photographing the day, but it made me feel practically giddy and I was laughing all day long. Thanks for joining me on this journey!
What do you enjoy about your Mondays?
Tune in next week for Tuesday!!
I admit. I worry about my children. My oldest in particular. I know she's completely wonderful, talented, very smart, and yet I worry. Perhaps it's because she's the first. I worry about her when she's at school, I worry about her friends... I know this is not at all helpful to her or to me. When I start to worry, I head to my favourite parenting books. In his writings, William Glasser talks about success identity and failure identity. I definitely want to foster a success identity in my children, and in myself as well. Some other words I love are from Barbara Coloroso. She talks about six critical life messages to be given every day:
She says that "through love, acceptance, and encouragement, children's sense of self is recognized, valued and esteemed."
The opposite of worry is trust. I have to trust my children to succeed, to solve problems, and trust that God will give me the wisdom to know when they need my direct support and when they can work things out on their own. I do trust that God is working out all things for good. In fact for great.
"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" 1 John 4:18
I just found a wonderful little video of Barbara Coloroso sharing her six critical life messages. Have a look!
I thought I'd take this opportunity to say a few words about parenting. One morning when I pulled the van up to the curb and let the kids out at their school, one of the other moms called out to me: "How's it going?" I responded, "Well, I've been pulling out the parenting books again!"
I don't often find parenting an easy thing, but I do believe that it's perhaps the most valuable thing I will do in my lifetime. Raising great kids is the dream of any parent, I imagine. I can't remember where I first got the idea of "thoughtful" parenting, but to me, it is the opposite of "reactive" parenting. So often when I parent, I am parenting in reaction to the moment, to my own childhood experiences, to what I think is right at the time, to what my friend would agree with, and to my initial response at slamming doors, shouting, pushing, whining, ignoring, arguing, mess, running late, and toothpaste smeared on the edge of the sink (and a bit on the bathroom mirror). In fact, even as I am typing this post a Build-a Bear is flying over my head and then on top of the keyboard, and a child has talked to me, strutted around the table, sat cross-legged on the table, whined, stuck out her tongue at me, and done the hula. That's just an everyday moment in parenthood for me.
For each of these moments is my reaction as a parent, but to be a thoughtful parent, I am careful about my words and what I do even if it's contrary to how I am feeling inside. Only parenting could have brought out such a huge range of emotions in me: fear, guilt, helplessness, great joy, delight, wonder, anger, confusion and so many more. I have reacted in all the wrong ways as well, repeating "love is patient, love is patient" over and over to myself. The reason why I wanted to create these family beliefs is to keep myself focused on the kind of parent I want to be and the kind of family values my husband and I want to hold. When discipline is happening, those beliefs can be the focus: "Do you believe in respect? Then what are you going to do?" Discipline should be empowering, not punitive and humiliating. But there are also guidelines and boundaries to be defined by a parent.
So often Christians refer to "the rod of discipline": "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." (Proverbs 13:24) Punishment is actually a misreading of that verse. To discipline means to "disciple", to teach, to guide, and a rod was used to guide the sheep, not to hit them. So to me, thoughtful parenting, is parenting not out of the past, but in the present, and to the individual child in loving discernment: "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6) So easy to say, not always as easy to live out. Parenting is definitely a journey. Well, having said that, I'm off to read my parenting books now and to attend to a boy who is feeling a bit distraught about his bedtime.
In September the class and I brainstorm "class beliefs" which replace the old concept of class rules.
Our values and beliefs have so much influence on our outlook and actions.
We came up with a list of beliefs for our own family too.
These are our family beliefs,
featured on our new gallery wall as an aesthetic reminder of what we want to value the most.
What are your family beliefs?
After a fourth of July weekend in Pt. Roberts, and a week of VBS at our church, I am ready to settle into some blogging. I've had some fun using film to take photos while our camera is in for repair.
frequent trips to the river
the beach with friends, even on cloudy days,
painting in the garden,
and open-air evening performances.
Hope you are enjoying your summer as much as I am!
I have been enamored by a book, Sense of Wonder, that I ordered through the mail. It
was published in the 1970's by Rachel Carson The pictures show their age, most are
black and white, but the words have brought me unending inspiration.
I thought I would share my favourite quotes with you along
with photos from a weekend away at our beach house in Pt. Roberts, W.A.
"A child's world is fresh and new and beautiful, full of wonder and excitement. It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision,
that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood."
"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it,
rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."
"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder,
so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength."
You may have noticed an adult "figure" pictured throughout this post and the last post. He is a dad who cares deeply about our kids. He listens, helps, uplifts, understands, shares, encourages and loves. Happy Father's Day, Mark!!!
And Happy Fathers Day to all the dads!!!
And Happy Summer too!
I haven't had much time at the computer lately. The weather has been fantastic and we are wrapping up the end of the school year, which means lots of celebrations both at my school and for my children at their schools: picnics, get-togethers, parties, tearful farewells, pot lucks, report cards, homemade gifts and cards, school plays, Miranda's dance recital, Sports Day, etc.
At the end of each year, I wonder to myself, where has the year has gone?
Has it only been taken up with cleaning, errands, activities, laundry, paperwork, and driving from place to place? One day I was sitting around the staffroom table lamenting about how much work it is to take care of a household with three young children. (and this is why I love to work on a staff with women who are more experienced than myself).
and these are considered "the rainbow years".
when our children are growing, discovering, flourishing, questioning, exploring,
When I look back over the school year, I remember, the friendships, the faces of the students, walking in the woods, feeding the ducks, moments of laughter, playdates, rainy days, playgrounds, curious conversations and all those small, but meaningful daily moments.
These definitely aren't years to be wished away, but ones to truly enjoy and cherish.
Happy end of the school year and looking forward to a fun-filled summer!!
Thank you for your comments on my Morning Start post! It was interesting to read about all of the various charts you have made to aid your daily routines!
I have to say, our mornings are getting smoother and smoother. Routines are well in place, the kids are waking earlier with the sun and they are just faster and more capable. I'm quite a bit calmer too.
There really is a pleasant bustle of play in the morning after breakfast, before it's time to leave for school.
I have never turned on T.V. at this time and I find the kids entertain themselves just fine with colouring, building and other sorts of activities.
I don't know why this age seems even more important than age six.
Maybe it's because you can do so much now, read novels and write your own stories,
but you still have that innocence, believing in fairies and making wishes.
You love to play with your friends, but now it's up in your room and whispering about mysteries and secret places.
I can see your growing independence, mixed with that childish loveliness and laughter.
I'm so glad that you're my oldest daughter, proud to see you grow, and pleased to celebrate your seventh birthday, Miranda! I love you so much!
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory..." Ephesians 3:20
Please, I ask that you do not reproduce any of my pictures, ideas or writing without asking my permission. Thank you!