Sunday, January 31, 2016

If Only

If only my husband didn't have to go to work so early, I would be able to start my day with exercising.

If only my children slept in a little later, I would be able to get into the habit of reading my bible.

If only I wasn't working full time, I would have more time to read.

If only we had our finances in order, I would be happier.

If only I went to bed earlier, I would be able to get up earlier and get more done.

If only I had our house more organized, I wouldn't have to spend so much time cleaning.

If only I didn't (fill in this blank with just about anything), then I could read more books.

If only things were different, I would be able to enjoy life to the fullest.

The "if only's" consumed my life. 
They dictated my decisions.
My journey was controlled by them.

I didn't even realize it.

Something changed.  I'm not sure what the variation was, but I hear the "if only" whisper to me and I don't let them tell me what to do.

I no longer allow not being able to do it the perfect way, or at the perfect time, to STOP ME FROM DOING IT AT ALL.

I get the extra hour of sleep, and exercise at 10:30 in the morning.  Or 4:00 in the afternoon.  Or, 9:00 at night.

I read my bible while my children are awake.  Sometimes it's first thing in the morning and sometimes it's right before I go to bed.

I exercise three times a week.  Four times a week.  Sometimes, two times a week.

I lowered my standards for a perfect, ready for a magazine shoot ready home.   There are spots where clutter has taken over.  There is dirt on the floor from the kids... and the dog.  Guess what, we live here.  Not just for show. It's for the messy, loving, music making, silly jokes, project starting (hopefully completing), baking, playing, cleaning, stepping over that toy on the floor, LIVE here kind of life.

I won't be happier with more money.  We have all the money we need right now, and I will keep trying.  Spending, saving, giving, paying, sacrificing, splurging, and throwing the whole spreadsheet out the window to start from scratch.

I go to bed when I need to.  I know I need about 8 hours of sleep per night, and on average, that's what I get.  I go to sleep when I need to, and I get up when I need to.  No need to over-complicate my life.

I found ways to read more books.  The Overdrive App and listening to audio-books I've checked out from the library with this app has changed my life.  I listen to them as I get ready, as I clean, as I make dinner, as I drive, and as I exercise.  Yet, I still love to feel the weight of the book in my hand.  The smell of the paper.  The action of turning the crisp pages, makes my heart sing.  So, I read.  I consume books from the library like I have never done before.  I read while my kids are watching a show.  I read while they're in the tub.  I read while they play outside, at the playground, or with each other.  I read until my eyes get so heavy, I can't keep them open.  Then, I turn on my audiobook, set the timer, and wait to fall asleep.

I have a long, long way to go.  There is so much more to learn, explore, experience, and enjoy.

Today I will not wait for things to come in line.  I won't even give the expert's advice a second thought.

The "if only's" belong in the past.  The "going to's" are the present, and the "I have's" are my future.

Friday, January 22, 2016

My Kid In the Kitchen: Boxed Cake with Homemade Frosting

Matthew is nine (and a half), and wants to be the next Master Chef, Jr.  I am his mother and I have serious control issues when it comes to the kitchen.  Can we say OCD?  Yet, I am on this homeschool journey to raise children who are not only academically intelligent, but creative, responsible, and interdependent.

(Please note: you do not have to be homeschooling your children to journey with me.  That little piece of info simply lets you in on my frame of mind.)

He's failed at cakes before by not adding the right amount of certain ingredients.  This time, the cake turned out just right.

The frosting recipe is from my Godmother.  This was the first time I stood back and watched him independently read the recipe and make it...

("I think I know that 8's too high")

...and frost it.

(With a clean shirt.)

Serve it.

I watched as my son felt the thrill of accomplishment.  He successfully completed a life skill from beginning to end, without the help of his recovering-control-freak mother.

The house was still standing. 
The world was still spinning.

All there was left for me to do was to eat cake.

How Young Children Learn Video #3, Encouragement

How Young Children Learn Video #3, Encouragement

By focusing on all the wonderful behaviors and skills that your child displays, and communicating them to your child, you will be giving them a positive association with music and with learning.

You can find the first two videos by following the links below.

How Young Children Learn Video #2, Enjoyment

These videos are designed to explain to parents how to help their child get the most out of the Music for me classes.  This specific video talks about how important it is for the children to enjoy the classes, and how by letting your child go at their own pace will help them feel comfortable, supported, and ready to learn.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My Kid In the Kitchen: Calzones

Wednesday's are super busy for us.  With only 25 minutes between art class and music classes, I try to pack a lunch for us.  Saves a little money and slightly healthier.

I was up first this morning and got the dough ready for the calzones.  Then, I asked Matt to finish them for me.  With a little extra encouragement (he got bored), he completed all of the calzones.  Cutting the dough, rolling out each piece, filling them with cheese and pepperoni, basting them with garlic oil, and sprinkling them with Italian Seasoning.  He got carried away with that one!

Such an easy, portable lunch.

How Children Learn, Preparation

Good morning!  I'm doing a series about how children learn for the parents of the children in the Music for me classes that I'm teaching.

Although I specifically talk about it in the context of my music class, these methods and concepts can be applied to other areas as well.

The first video is about preparing your child for what's to come.  A step that can easily get overlooked in our busy lives.

For more information on the Music for me classes, visit my Facebook page.

Friday, January 15, 2016

My Kid in the Kitchen: Deviled Eggs

I'm a teeny tiny bit of a control freak in the kitchen.  ((Small)). My oldest son, Matthew, is 9 1/2 and wants to be the next Master Chef Jr.  It's hard for me to let go, let him try, allow mistakes to happen, and look at the mess.

Here's the thing- It's good for him to try.  It's great for him to make mistakes, and it's even better that he learns to clean up after himself.

He asked to make deviled eggs and I said yes.  After watching a video about it on YouTube, he was ready to go.

They turned out super yummy!