Monday mission: be an example of thankfulness

Monday Mission: be thankful - SimpleKids.net

Last week I shared with you the personal mission I gave myself to let something go during the holiday season.  I invited you to join in and accept the Monday Mission challenge if you wanted to and it sounds like quite a few of you found some task or event that you were going to let go of this year for the holidays.  I think we’re all going to be a little happier for it.

This week, building on that momentum, I’m giving myself another Monday Mission:  to be an example of thankfulness.

I know, I know, that is an often used phrase during the month of November, being thankful, but let me ask you this:  if someone asked your kids what you were thankful for, what would they give as an answer?

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The Friday Five: 5 Cool Things about Travel With Kids

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What a month!  Earlier we were in California and today I’m saying hello there from gorgeous South Carolina! We’ve been on airplanes and behind the wheel on the open road in October and  it has been spectacular.

My family and I are on the road this week so that I can attend Allume and on the way home we will be exploring some parts of the country we don’t often get to see. We’re turning this week into a mini family road trip, hopefully one that will lead to longer journeys next year and beyond.

So, since I’m blogging from the road for this week’s Friday Five I thought it might be kind of fun to share 5 cool things about traveling with kids.

5 Cool Things about Travel with Kids

1. Traveling with your kids lets you see them in a whole new light.  Earlier this month I was so impressed with the way my eleven year old carried herself and the ease with which she moves through the world (certainly more poised than I was as an eleven year old) and I’m not sure I would have known that about her if I didn’t have a chance to see it in action.   It was neat to see her in an environment we aren’t normally in.

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Baking as a lesson in perfect imperfection.

bakerMax

The weather turned cooler this week, and the calendar officially welcomed Fall, so right on queue my baking instincts have started kicking in.

Now, I’m not much of a cook and I’m certainly not a food blogger (as my non-Pinterest “worthy” pictures will attest) but I do love to bake. I have ever since I was a teenager.  I love measuring and mixing and the chemistry aspect to it.  I like recipes that tell you step by step what to do, and I even love baking complicated things. When I need to relax, if I’m not reaching for my knitting needles then I’m probably reaching for my oven mitts.

I remember, not that many years ago, when baking was something I did at night after the kids were in bed.  Sometimes it is still that way, long solo baking sessions where I can make every thing just so.  But more often than not, these days I share the experience, and the resulting havoc, with my kids.

For me, baking with my children can either be about forced efficiency and picture perfect results (and major stress) … or it can be about purposefully deciding to let go, live in the moment, and practice all of that patient, mindful, uncomplicated parenting that I preach.

In other words, I think baking with the kids is as good for me as it is for them.

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Tweens, temper tantrums, and what I want to remember today.

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My oldest daughter and I seem to be butting heads lately.  It isn’t a major issue between us, thankfully, but rather several small things (usually misunderstandings) that sneak in to our days and take root so that over the course of a day we’ve gone from a pleasant “good morning” and happy chatting over breakfast to a tearful “good night” after a day of bruised feelings.

When we are getting along, it is pretty fantastic!  She’s really a cool kid to hang out with.  I’m blessed as a parent, and I don’t forget that, even on those days when it seems like all we do is run over each others hearts.

Some of it is her, these prickly in-between years and all the changes and challenges that they bring.

Some of it is me, forgetting how to speak her language, forgetting that even big kids are still kids.

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The Friday Five: Making Back-to-School a Little Simpler

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Would you believe the kids and I are  already back-to-school?  We set our own calendar as homeschoolers, but actually many local schools are currently in session, too.  I would wager that some of you are reading this after sending your own kids off to school this morning. I raise my coffee mug to you, mamas and papas.

After a wonderful, whirlwind summer it seems a little mind-boggling that it is time once again for backpacks and books.

My own kids are taking classes and are participating in more clubs and activities outside of our home this year and it has been a little shocking how quickly our calendar switched from block parties, play dates at the park, and mornings at the creek to meetings, classes, and practices.

In many ways, this return to steadier routines is actually kind of nice, and we do limit the number of activities the kids participate in, but I can see how things could get overwhelming in a hurry this school year.

So, for this week’s Friday Five I’m sharing five resources to making going back-to-school a little simpler, and know that I’m sharing this list for myself just as much as for all of you.

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