for so very much- ordinary and extraordinary.
Wishing you and yours a wonderful day of thanks!
This morning I listened to a podcast from the Good Life Project. The host, Jonathan Fields, asked one of my favorite writers, Brené Brown, "What does it mean to live a good life?"
Her response was simple or not, "Gratitude".
She went on to say, "A good life happens when you stop and are grateful for the ordinary moments that so many of us steamroll over to try to find the extraordinary moments."
Holidays bring a number of gifts and challenges. Thanksgiving for me is a mixed bag. We are far from family, but we have good friends surrounding us. We are appalled by pilgrim and Indian dress up and tales, but we celebrate harvest time, and love gathering with those we love to eat good food.
The biggest gift and challenge during this time of year can be our focus on being thankful. We try to hold gratitude with both hands, year round. Before meals, before bed, when we're scared, happy, celebrating, just being.
But in the season of Black Friday and presents and what will I get...well...it can be hard to hold as well as we should.
Tomorrow is another day to celebrate gratitude, not "the day" to be thankful, but in the spirit of the season, let's take a moment to linger in the ordinary moments in our days that bring us joy. Let's ask our children and partners about their moments. What will we discover about ourselves, each other?
~ the motor that purrs in my ear no matter where I am sitting or sleeping- my Lilo girl is always near
~ my first sips of coffee, knowing a new start has begun
~ how he gently rubs my head while we lie in bed processing our days
~ the sound of the women I love on the other end of the phone
~ a blank page, a journal, colored pencils and a good pen
~ soup, slightly salted, the ease in making, the comfort in my belly
~ twinkle lights on all year round
~ wandering on trails, through creeks, finding critters and treasures
~ early morning quiet
~ snuggling in a pile of blankets and books
~ a lit candle or many
~ dinner blessings where they boy's voice leads us
~ giggles and snorts
~ a glass of wine to sip while cooking dinner
~ the house just after vacuuming
Gratitude for you, dear friends, everyday! Wishing you joy in your ordinary moments and your celebrations.
we head out on warm days to look for letterbox clues (and sadly find few) but enjoy the adventures along the way.
There are critters and creeks to explore,
and of course bridges and anything really to climb.
A few days pass and here we are wandering together again; this time somewhere new. But this time we are bundled up tight, despite protests that it's not really that cold, because it is that cold. Snow is heading our way
The salamanders we uncover know this, the birds and critters we no longer see know this and soon...
sooner than soon, we hike with leaves crunching under our feet and snow misting our noses.
Yes, snow is here! Mixing with fallen leaves and pumpkins left out for Thanksgiving.
And while we remember just yesterday walking in Autumn and just last week days where we could (if we are children who hate clothes) get by with just a tee-shirt,
We really couldn't be more thankful.
Wishing you joy and play with whichever of Mother Nature's gifts you are receiving.
Locals- check out the Sycamore Land Trust site for guided hikes called Lil Hikers. We had a great time last weekend exploring one of their many preserves.
Want to know more about Letterboxing? Head here.
Shop Craftsy's Mystery Markdowns now! Enjoy special savings on popular yarn, fabric and project kits. But act fast because this limited supply won't last! Offer expires at midnight on November 14th, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop Craftsy's Mystery Markdowns now for surprisingly big savings.
~ Two nights of story and courage, truth telling, and light in the shadows
~ Realizing MOST of my in-post links for my affiliate sites aren't working... and beginning to fix them
~ Finding a lot of joy in our renewed spaces and the gentle pushes to keep going
~ Realizing after a couple failed attempts at something I love, I'm needing to try again
~ Ready for the slowness that comes with chills and darkness; ready for the extra blankets and time spent reading, knitting, being extra still
Happy mid-week to you and yours. Wishing you joy as your moments unfold.
*The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.*
One of the learning spaces that didn't get a makeover was this corner. For eight months now we've been gathering to go through our Little Passport's suitcase, add a postcard to the wall, a sticker pin to the map, and travel with Sophia and Sam to a distant country.
Little Passports has been a wonderful place to start talking about geography, travel, and culture. We dream together about which countries we'll visit first some day. The kids love the treasures each month's country brings. A trinket that often finds it's way into play, also brings conversation about which country it's from and why it's important.
Little Passports has a wonderful new program for preschoolers, called Early Explorers. Children ages 3 to 5 can experience the joy of learning about new cultures.
Each month, your child will be introduced to a new theme like animals, music, and landmarks. Early Explorers is designed with preschoolers in mind and provides fun and educational activities, souvenirs and stickers. During the first month, a Traveler's Kit arrives in a fun orange suitcase. It holds everything a child needs to start learning about the world:
After the first month, a monthly World Theme Kit arrives, which contains:
Early Explorers makes a unique holiday gift for children ages 3 to 5. Learn more about Early Explorers from Little Passports.
There is so much goodness to be found in a little box of exploration. Whether you're a grandparent, aunt, uncle, parent, or good friend- any of the Little Passport's subscriptions will encourage the children you love to see the world beyond their little piece of it.
Links on this site are affiliate links. Our family only supports businesses we love and products we use.
My Playful Learning Spaces class started last Tuesday. It's the push I've needed. The visual guidance I've been seeking. I can keep things picked up, organize, throw things away, sell and give, recycle. I don't shop much. I hate it really. I try to use what we have.
But, we still have too much to have it OUT all the time. Even if it's in bins and boxes, it's out, seen, filling up our spaces and energy.
The truth is, I am always purging, but I don't want to get rid of it all (even if it feels that way sometimes.) Most of what we have, we really like.
I've tried toy rotation before. I've always done baskets and things in their place. It's all worked... somewhat well.
This time, because of this class, it feels different. The house looks different.
I've never really dived in to this extent.
Our home is starting to feel cleansed.
So where did it all go?
Well- some of it is here. Every bin is organized according to a theme or item. I've always kept the kids' toys in bins this way so it wasn't hard to gather all the bins and begin the jenga stacking.
These toys will now, unless asked for specifically, be rotated in and out. It looks a little crazy, but somehow I'm okay with it being so. These toys and things are no longer being seen, collecting dust, giving us too many options to choose from.
Some things were thrown away. Others added to the yard sale or donate piles. (Like I said, I do this often. I'm not a keeper of things. This always feels good.)
Our "lessons" these days are play based, project, interest led learning. I need to be facilitating and inspiring. Our space helps me do so. Our materials and toys help me do so, but they can also hinder our time together.
It's taking time and thought. It takes all of us re-learning how to learn in a new space.
It's worth it to have these tools and toys on our side instead of working against us.
This week I'm going to be working on our Learning Tab. I'd love for you to head over to see what's happening!
Excited as always to share our learnings, along with the work of other mamas, with you. A work in constant movement is this learning centered life.
So thankful there is always room to move and grow!
BTW- I know I should/could have taken before pictures...I was too eager to begin. Peruse the blog for before glimpses. I'm sure there are many.
Find a huge selection of workshops, lessons, and classes at Playful Learning!
Links on this page are affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on them, our family benefits. Thank you for your support.
A box of supplies
Steps to Follow
Reading for information
A motor is built
This is learning.
(This post contains affiliate links through Amazon. Your purchases through these links, help our family. Thank you!)
The temperatures are dropping, extra blankets are out and piled on beds, and we are finding the need to snuggle down with a good read a little more often.
Here are some of the books we're loving-
Kibble Talk, our current family read aloud, is a wonderfully funny account of what happens when you're dared to eat dog food and in doing so are able to talk to dogs. A modern day Dr. Doolittle meets Judy Blume's Fudge, this book series is one we're extra excited about because the author is local and we get to meet her soon!
The Hunger Games is the first YA novel our son has finished solo without having read the book before with me or seen the movie. Being eight, I wasn't sure how it was going to go, but as a lover of this series, I was more than thrilled when he picked it up and I continued to find him up at ten and eleven with the light still shinning. (Oh one of the many perks of learning at home- no need to go to bed early to get up early.) He'd look up, place his finger on a word, I'd get a quick fragment of what was happening, and then back he'd go. Clearly captivated with the book and arena, he's made a model of it in Minecraft, out of boxes and papermache, and has started Catching Fire.
Married to a Bedouin is still my go to bed story. Having lived in Jordan for three years and been to Petra many times, I love how quickly I am taken back each night to those years and setting. A love story and ethnography of sorts, it's reminding me of another favorite of mine, Guests of the Sheik.
And there is
Good reads are such a necessity for every season, but these chills finding their way here so suddenly are making them seem even more so.
What's in your hands?
Happy week's start with one more hour (feels lovely at 6am 5am) to you!