The summer has zipped past me and we are officially in school mode. At the start of the summer our family listed some goals for our adventures, then it seems like we all looked up and time just got away from us. Now it's already time to plan for our next season of adventure!
Here's a fun video about "18 summers" with the premise that we only get 18 times before our children are off to set their own path, so it's important to make each summer memorable.
Last week, my oldest daughter and I were riding in the car and she started asking me random questions.
At first, her inquiries threw me off and caused me to zone in (instead of out as I tend to do, lol), and really focus on my responses. After I took time to engage in this conversation, I discovered that she was reading me questions from a gum wrapper! I found this to be quite clever as conversation starters and it really prompted me to think outside my normal way of functioning.
Sadly, most of us keep our brain in overdrive in a certain pattern and we must concisouly redirect our attention. This got me even more interested in a recent local discovery call MindFit. Here's a little link about a "Brain Recharge" with more:
Do you have some mental fitness exercises you do to diversify your brain functions? Please share and I'd love t check them out :)
For years, I've adopted a "Pick Your Battle" mentality. Riding throughout life on an emotional roller coaster is NO fun, so I tend NOT to get bent out of shape easily. Sometimes this is easier said than done and most recently this proved to be the case....
As my oldest son is preparing for a residential high school for the next 5 1/2 months, we set out to accomplish several important tasks. On the top of the priority list was a family outing that he initiated. After we agreed to a compromise consisting of an outing to the Lake versus "Floating Down the River" with our family of 12, I began with the planning. I had made arrangements from lunch to childcare for the littles, while juggling another dozen plus list of preparations for his Academy transition. I was actually exhausted by the time we were set to leave then my son complained that he stayed up too late with his "friends" and wasn't feeling well?!!
I was initially beyond disappointed and frustrated, but I gathered my wits and didn't feel the need to put pressure on him (this time). Instead, I rounded up the other children that were anticipating the trip to the Lake and we had an amazing time.
Ultimately, I know that I could have pushed the issue and I also know that plans change. However, I knew this was a battle worth passing up and I chose to dismiss it this time and cherish the other opportunities to spend with the entire family.
Can you think of a battle that you should probably let go? Sometimes, it takes a bit of wisdom and maturity to know when to "Let it Go!" Trust me, I'm given daily opportunities to live my words.
Consider these statements from the movie:
Hector and the Search for Happiness
When was the last time you had a good belly laugh?
We’ve likely all heard that laughter is good medicine and I’m happy that laughing it is relatively common for our household. Whether it comes from the shenanigans of my littles or the antics of my older kiddos, we laugh hard and often.
Most recently, my 10 year old daughter told me a story that I considered to be quite hilarious. Although my recanting of the details may not do this story justice, I’ll share anyway with hopes that you’ll create imagery to fill in the gaps….
Last month, my daughter was attending the birthday for her friend’s younger brother. At the party, the birthday boy’s grandfather deceided to play a prank on his 7 year-old grandson by wrapping a “special gift”. As the eager birthday boy began to open his presents, he anxiously started unwrapping the one from his grandfather. To his disappointment, he revealed a carefully wrapped can of corn! The shock of this big reveal was more than funny according to my daughter. I can only imagine the look on the little boy’s face as room burst into laughter. I’m told that the grandfather went along with the joke for some time before revealing the “real” gift which happened to be a much appreciated fishing kit.
Even those this little antic was a classic prank, it also left me to ponder just how materialistic our society has become and how much we, (myself included), take for granted. I’m sure there are thousands of kids around the world that would be delighted to receive that can of corn even though many from our society's younger generation would be left in a state of confusion and dismay.
I admit, this gave me a good laugh as I considered the little boy’s shock, but it also has me wonder: “How can I instill an attitude of gratitude in my children?”
For the past week I’ve really been able to tap into my nurturing nature as I embrace the role of nurse for my post-surgery patients. Two of our children had tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy’s and I recognize that my extra dose of hormones from nursing baby Seylah has allowed me to be extra supportive during this healing process.
This experience of taking time to slow down and help nurture my little ones has also given me a chance to really explore the importance of hormones and the role they play in our relationships. Of course there are many factors that contribute to feeling “imbalanced” or “overwhelmed, ” but I must admit that I’m grateful for these little healthy doses of oxytocin along the way. These little natural boosts have translated into happy care for my little recovering patients!
P/S I’m happy to share that our 4 year-old was upside down on the monkey bars in our backyard just 3 days after surgery. I think it’s safe to say that she has improved much since the above pictures were taken :)
Stressful Chaos or Peaceful Balance....which do you choose?
For several weeks, I've been simplifying my life and establishing new habits. As our children get older, I find it more important that I have balance in many aspects of my life. This acknowledgement has been my priority and I shared this activity with a few Facebook friends earlier this week with hopes of helping assess the areas that could use some improvement (below):
Essentially, this activity is to help you examine 8 major areas of your life and set goals to achieve overall balance.
This personal priority wheel is the example from a book I started reading entitled, The Acorn Principle. The illustration below shows some spokes that are weaker than others, such as body and career.
If you're interested in taking a few moments for self assessment, I've included links at the bottom of this post. Here are the simplified instructions:
1- Rate your fulfillment in each category from 1 (lowest) – 10 (highest) by writing the number on each spoke with a dot to represent the placement (Zero is toward the center, five in the middle, ten is on the outer wheel with the other numbers aligned similarly).
2-Connect each dot to emulate a circle (likely unbalanced and crooked)
3-Get an average fulfillment guage by totaling all numbers and dividing by eight. Record this total with the date and reassess over time.
4-Assess the areas of weakness, then create a plan with goals to become more fulfilled in these areas
Wow! Two months passes by so quickly. I admit that I'm guilty of neglecting my little blogging nook, but I remain creatively motivated and eager to share updates with my family and friends from afar.
Prior to my shift back into the workforce 6 months ago, I would get these little sparks of inspiration to share with my blog visitors. In order to keep my thoughts straight, I'd jot down little reminders and share a few posts at least every two weeks. Now, I'm a bit overloaded with projects, activities and general family commitments, so I've not retreated to JJ (Joyful Junction) as often. Regardless, I am grateful that you've taken time to visit our family happenings and my little ramblings here. I hope to get back to blogging at least once a month.
In the meantime, I hope you are embracing your season in life and cherishing your loved ones!!
Much love from my lil' neck of the woods,
This nook is a bit of reflection and inspiration from me, a Joyful Mommy of 10 with hopes of encouraging others along their journey :)
A Few Family Pics: