Tag Archives: joyful

Unschooling today and yummy snacks

Standard

Some public schools near me started back today. That is almost hard to believe. It is so early! It is summer! I continue to be glad for the choices we’ve made to keep the kids home. 

This morning started out with an oatmeal bar. I got the idea from Our Muddy Boots Facebook page. If you don’t follow her already, head straight over and check her out! The kids made their bowls of oats with their add-ins of choice. 

After breakfast, Hailey picked up a workbook we have laying around. She found these at the store a couple of years ago, and works in them when she wants. I call them activity books. She’s really enjoying practicing her spelling lately, so that’s mostly what pages she chose to do. 

The majority of the rest of day, the kids spent in the computers together. They u watched some shows, played starfall, then some PBS kids games. I’d bring snacks and check in. They’d show me their computer creations, and songs they made. The toddler was running around doing toddler things like building blocks and making messes. 

On the way to taking Hailey to her martial arts class, I mentioned I was stopping at the store while she was gone. She asked me to pick her up a couple of things because she had an idea of a treat to make. 

I grabbed the groceries, and then picked her back up. I made dinner, while the kids played and chatted about their plans. Immediately after dinner, Hailey set to work on her recipe idea. She wanted to create a bar with marshmallows, peanut butter, pretzels, and chocolate chips. 

She had me help her with the peanut butter and breaking the pretzels, but she did everything else herself. The recipe was completely made up by her. 

We baked it. It was hard to wait for it to cool. 

Hailey was disappointed that they weren’t as sweet like a dessert, more like a granola bar. She decided on less peanut butter and more marshmallows next time. 

Elijah had fun making some creations with the extra supplies. 

That was our day. Please feel free to share about your day in the comments. 

The joy in moments

Standard

I have been thinking often about cultivating joy in our lives. What a difference it makes for me when I am actively trying to find reasons to be joyful, even if those reasons originate from the small, or seemingly insignificant moments. Then I came across this post and it put into words what I only had in my head.

It is so easy to feel overwhelmed in life; so many responsibilities, the stressors of adult life, many people vying for your attention. When discussing life goals, I have heard “think about the big picture… long term goals” so many times. I am not saying that it is not important to do that; However, oftentimes, I find myself stuck in those long term thoughts. It then becomes all to easy say that I do not have time to stop and focus on this little moment of time. I have too much to do to get to my goal. It is much more difficult to stop and really give myself permission to be mindful of the present moment.

But when I do, sometimes amazing things can happen. Amazingly simple, little things, that bring joy to my heart. I notice the smile on my child’s face as they play. I see that light-bulb moment go off in their head as something truly clicks. I really stop and taste the coffee in my cup instead of quickly guzzling it for the much needed boost in energy it provides.

12438997_10208737085371517_1859399620437221133_n

A few weeks ago I took my kids to the library. My kids love going, but it is difficult to go as much as they’d like due to the toddler knocking books off shelves, and the constant worry that their voices may be too loud. After a few minutes of general exploring and random book grabbing, my 3-year-old settled in at a table to build Legos. The baby was wanting to nurse, so I sat down in the rocking chair to nurse him (note to self: I would really like a rocking chair at home), and my 5-year-old pulled up a chair next to me and began looking at pop-up books. As I nursed the baby, I looked at my other kids and they were both so immersed in their actives. They looked so grown in that moment. I looked at my tiny infant and just appreciated his smallness that I know will be gone ever so quickly. I rocked him, and I just soaked up that moment. Nothing extraordinary was happening, but I felt so connected to my kids, so much love in my heart. Even a few weeks later, every time I think about those few minutes it invokes a smile. Such a small moment has impacted my mood in a positive, lasting way.

This is a life lesson that I seem to need to learn and relearn again many times. So go ahead and stop. Give yourself permission to enjoy those moments. Draw on the good feelings when you are feeling down. The big picture is important, but for me, I am constantly being reminded that it is really the everyday stuff that matters the most.

Why I started a blog

Standard
blog

I found this image with a quick search. Original source unknown.

Starting a blog has been a long time goal of mine. I put it off for years because I was intimidated to start. I wasn’t sure how to set it up and I used that as an excuse to not start. Truthfully, I think most of my fear centered around how starting a blog might change my natural desire to write. I don’t really do well under pressure. I had concerns that once I started I would feel pressure to constantly write new posts or write nothing at all. One of my faults is that I can resort to that black and white thinking.

I am not sure exactly what finally pushed me to take the leap. I guess I was feeling now or never (see more black and white thinking). I have loved to write since I was a child. It has always been an outlet for me. From fictional stories as a young girl, to dramatic poems as a teen, and even a small novel (which I have no idea where I put that!). I want this for me. I want to put my thoughts and feelings down. It isn’t about how many people choose to read, or trying to become famous, or even making money. This is for me. I don’t really do many things just for me nowadays. I think I may need to read this post from time to time, if that pressure to write like this is for someone else creeps in.

The name of the blog came to me almost instantly. Crazy is kind of obvious. Life is crazy unpredictable. Kids are crazy in the good kind of way, making everything very different. Crazy was just the first word that came to mind. So why joyful? It certainly is not because I am always joyful. If I am being honest, I have struggled with anxiety and depression much of my life. I think joyful felt right because I want to remind myself to find the joy. And if I can’t find it, then to cultivate some. It is up to me to make the most of this crazy life. Joyful is a reminder word as well. A word to hold me accountable for my thoughts about things that I cannot control.

So that is how I got here. I will write when I feel like I need an outlet to think out loud. I will write about what I feel like I need to say. This is for me and only me. I welcome any readers along my journey, maybe we will learn something together.