Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Random thoughts on a Tuesday morning

--I am loving my mornings! Yes, it is hard to wake up at 5:00 in the morning, but that feeling lasts for only a few minutes. The results of waking up early lasts all day. I am able to have some quiet time to myself to prepare for the day. I get some one on one time with Henry because he is the first one up and out the door. Then Seth and Caroline get up, and I can focus on them. Evan is the last to get ready because he goes to school last. I love the staggered design because I feel like by the time they need to go, we've had enough time to get each of them prepared. Sending the kids off to school well inspires me to be more productive when they are gone. So, all in all, the mornings are what they need to be. :)

--Caroline and I went out to dinner together and then to Secret Keeper Girl LIVE! on Friday night.What's a secret keeper girl, you ask? According to their website, "A Secret Keeper Girl values modesty, she surrounds herself with wise friends and she embraces Godly beauty. So, she keeps the deepest secrets of her beauty for just one man. But she also knows that she can share all of her heart secrets with her mom at any time. The coolest thing for you to know is that a Secret Keeper Girl is a masterpiece created by God." Many of Caroline's best friends went. It was fun having a special night with her. We danced, we talked, we laughed with friends, and we prayed. All in all, we learned a lot and it was definitely a Friday night well spent.

--Getting the master bed and bath painted inspired me to get other things checked off my to-do list. Yesterday, I tackled the "out of control" playroom, bagging up garbage and games or toys that had missing parts as well as toys that have been outgrown. They immediately went to our garage, where they will be given to my nephew, Robbie, Goodwill or thrown away. Caroline's sleepover birthday party is on Friday night, and there is nothing like entertaining and the threat of an "influx of new toys" that motivates a mom to get organized. :) I am finishing the playroom today, and hope to tackle the basement and kids' rooms next.

--I have been reading Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother lately. It's been on my list of books I want to read for quite a while, and finally I have gotten around to reading it. One of the concepts I am taking from it is the fact that a very important way to show your love for your children is to make sure that they are well-prepared for their future, and not letting anything stand in the way of that. One of the areas that we are focusing on right now, drilling morning and night, is math facts. There have been some complaints and the kids have not had as much free time, but because I love them, I am not letting that stop us. We have been using a website called xtramath.com, and what I like about it is that it tests each child on their facts and figures out which facts they need extra practice with. The kids visit the site once or twice a day, and have practice sessions tailored to them. Finally, it keeps track of the facts that they've mastered on a chart. One more thing...it's FREE! We've also been using flashcards, as well as doing drill sheets from math-drills.com. I am really pleased with the progress the kids have been making!

--Henry has also been working on improving his keyboarding skills through a website called freetypinggame.net . Before school he works on one of the typing lessons, and after school he gets to play one of the games. It's been working for him because he is typing 10 words per minute faster than before he started the program!

--I had a great conversation with my little brother a few days ago. I haven't talked to him in too long, so it felt really good to catch up.

--Caroline cleaned her room yesterday, with Evan's help (!), and it looks beautiful.

--Dave worked late last night, so I did the carpooling, dinner, helping with homework, and getting the kids ready for bed by myself. I'm thankful that most nights he's home and in the trenches with me.

--I'm thankful for my runs. They definitely help me keep my sanity. There are so many things that I love about being a wife and a mom. HOWEVER. ;) There also are many frustrations and stresses that can eat me up, bog me down, and cause me to not see the beauty and enjoy this season of my life. Going out on a run helps me to work out some of those frustrations, gives me time to thing, and helps me to feel strong and capable.

--On that same note, I am thankful to be running outside. About a year ago, my brother-in-law injured his knee. He asked if we could trade our elliptical machine for his treadmill for a while. It worked out beautifully. He was able to recuperate with the help of the elliptical, and I was able to get back in to running because of the treadmill. Just a couple of weeks ago, he asked to exchange the machines again. The elliptical is sitting in our garage. We're going to take it to a Play It Again Sports and exchange it for our own treadmill. Having a treadmill is a really good thing, especially when its cold or rainy outside, or if I can't run until after the kids are in bed. However, not having the treadmill right now has gotten me running outside. Being out in the fresh air, soaking in some sunshine, and seeing the beautiful fall color is so therapeutic!

--I'm thankful for our fall sports (cross-country, football and soccer). We've really enjoyed them, and they have definitely helped us to budget our time well. Being busy with practices and games has forced the kids to use their time wisely. That fact was especially evident in Henry's life this fall. He has been such a busy kid with cross country practices, meets, and the increased homework load of middle school. He has been working his tail off. It has been hairy at times trying to fit everything in, but he has risen to the occasion. Our son is getting all As! Now that middle school cross country is done, he is joining a running club. As soon as Seth is done with football, he is joining it too. Since parents can participate as well, I'll be able to run with them sometimes too! I am loving the whole idea!

--That's all for now...the kids are up and it's time to start our morning! Have a good day! :)


Monkee said...

Way to go, Sarah! Sounds like things are getting on track for you! :P

Jackie said...

Henry might also try Learning Games for Kids (http://www.learninggamesforkids.com/keyboarding_games.html) for more keyboarding games. It's a pretty neat site with good educational games besides just keyboarding, and best of all, they are FREE!

Jackie who stays busy homeschooling a high-spirited 14 year old dyslexic sweetie.

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