Friday, January 28, 2011

Life Lessons: Learning to be a mindful parent

Mindful parenting is the practice of using self-awareness to know when it is time to self-intervene:  to slow down, think, and decide the course of action that will keep your child close to you. Rather than home life feeling out of control and overwhelming, the Mindful Parent creates a home that is a secure and stress-free zone — a place where people feel loved, accepted, and calm. Mindful Parent Happy Child 

I want to be mindful, to live in the moment and live with intent. I haven't a clue how to stop my racing thoughts, multi-tasking in my mind even when being still. I'd like to play a game with my children and be IN the moment, and not planning out the next night's dinner or worrying if we are studying enough/the right things/to their potential/etc. I've gotten some book suggestions and am even searching on my own. I feel good about this realization, I need to enjoy the moments as they are really happening. 


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rainy Day Art

It's another rainy day here, and as much as I'd love to be going to the playground, we are stuck indoors. Mostly. I did just happen to find a really cool rainy day art project in the Publix magazine, so that is what we started the school day with. All you need are crumbled watercolors, paper, and rain! Smash your little watercolor pancakes and set on paper, then put paper in the rain to see your colorful abstract painting being created. This is Nic's multi-colored creation. 


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Table scraps: Scholastic Dollar Deals Curriculum Sale!

Thanks to my friend Gina, I was able to add to our ever growing and changing curriculum for the tiniest investment. I got 9 e-books for 9 dollars!! I was a bit miffed when I saw a book on the list that I paid $12 for on Amazon just last month, but too late now. The good thing is, I was able to score other books that I can print at home. This saves a LOT of paper as well, since these books aren't bound paper, just files. You print what you need, like the worksheets and not all the needless title pages, etc. Scholastic e-books Dollar Deals I just downloaded my files and started printing off some idiom mini-book pages for tomorrow. Yay for a good deal! I've heard that this is in annual sale, can't wait till next January to see if it comes back around. This years sale ends January 31st, get it on this deal while you can!


*edited to add, this site is having problems with their pricing and also, apparently, their customer service. The first 12 times I tried to add books to my basket, the prices jumped from $1 to normal price. I emailed customer support, tried again and magically the prices stayed $1, and then 2 days later got a follow up saying "This sale is over." Yeah. According to the ad it's not! If you have problems, try try again. And don't bother with customer support, as they don't even know there IS a sale. Awesome.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Every Little Bottom - our 1st charity of the year

Diapers needed, who knew? I knew. Once upon a time I didn't have the money to buy diapers and had to ask for help. It was a humiliating time for 2 parents trying to find permanent work and keep bills paid and go to school, etc. etc. This article states that "One in three mothers in the United States has to cut back on household necessities in order to afford diapers." I had to ask for help from family and my boss, thankfully they were able to come through for us.

So, I've found our first charity for the year! The plan is to involve the kids in coupon cutting and sales hunting and to collect diapers for the year. The average price per diaper is 25.5 cents, I found this information by googling it after I did my own "research" using the Walgreens sale price divided by size 4 diapers per pack. I'd like to set a goal of 1000 diapers for the year, but in order to achieve that goal I will need to drastically reduce the price, hence the coupon clipping and such. The diapers will be brought down to either the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia or Atlanta Food Bank.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Life Lesson: Humanity on the Highway

It didn't take long before an opportunity to show compassion reared itself. Only the 2nd day of the new year, and a car slams into the side rail of Hwy. 85 just a couple hundred yards in front of us. We were heading back from dropping Granny off at the airport and looking forward to a sit down lunch. I wanted soup because I've been fighting a cold that may have turned to something more. We were just about to the exit when Jeff's exclaiming "Oh no, oh no!" made my head snap up from my daze and see a 4 door car heading sideways towards the wall. Honestly, what I saw made no sense to my brain - it was like slow motion as I saw the car slam to a stop when it hit the wall head on. Jeff asked if we should stop, there was one car ahead of us pulling over, and that's when I saw the booster seat in the back of the car. "Yes! Stop, there is a baby!". She wasn't a baby exactly, more like 3. Her older sister was driving and lost control, the mother was in the backseat with the little girl.

I called 911 and the response team got there within minutes. Meanwhile, Jeff and another man were checking on the family. They were also directing traffic, as the tail end of the car was sticking out in the slow lane. Jeff got the little girl out and held her until the ambulance was ready to take the family away. They came to the van to get a coat, borrowed from Sydney, because it was cold. It was probably around this time that I cried. She looked so unbelievably scared, her mother bleeding in the backseat and her older sister pulling paperwork and belongings from the totaled car. I was so proud of my family. I heard not one complaint from my own backseat, no whines of "taking too long" or "I'm still hungry". Nicholas was ready to move farther back in the van so that the little girl could ride with us (he didn't know where she would go), Sydney lovingly gave her coat to a stranger (we did get it back when the older sister was able to get hers from the car, but when it was handed over, Sydney couldn't know that) and we all did what we could, even if that just meant being patient while Daddy helped.

The kids were pretty shaken up by the experience. I don't think they had ever seen a person on a stretcher before. It lead to such a great discussion on how it is our job to help one another when we can. I love talking to them about charity, and that topic will be blogged again in the near future, but actually DOING something feels so much greater than giving money. I think it's time for me to look into what we can do to help, something hands on.