Tag Archives: love

Websites for Homeschoolers…or for Anyone!

12 Apr

I’m not sure if I’ve ever technically been considered a homeschooler, but I do know that even before my kids were born, I never intended for them to wait until they got to school to start learning.

Their entire short lives (they’re 4 and 6), I’ve stocked up on educational supplies, created lesson plans, and scoured the internet for craft ideas.  We’ve made countless trips to museums and zoos, attended story time, and sought out just about every educational opportunity at our disposal.  Long ago, I also turned our office into a “classroom”—so maybe I am a homeschooler at heart!

Part of our "classroom" at home

Now that my son is in kindergarten full-time, and my daughter is in preschool part-time, I don’t need to put so much thought into planning out educational activities for them.  But I don’t think I’m capable of leaving everything in the hands of their teachers – it’s just in my nature!  I like to be involved as much as possible, which also includes volunteering at their schools whenever I can.

So from time to time, I still hit my favorite homeschooling-type websites for ideas on lessons, activities, crafts, and other ideas for fun things to do with my kids.

Check these out – I guarantee you’ll be inspired!

www.notimeforflashcards.com – craft ideas, book suggestions, and songs from a homeschooling mom

www.confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com – activities and downloads from a homeschooling mom

1plus1plus1equals1.blogspot.com – lesson plans from a homeschooling mom

belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow – art activities for kids of all ages

www.artprojectsforkids.org – art activities for kids of all ages

www.preschoolexpress.com – activities and printouts for preschool kids

familyfun.go.com – crafts, activities, and recipes from Disney’s Family Fun magazine

sippycupcentralmom.blogspot.com – crafts and activities from a homeschooling mom

www.schoolbox.com – educational supplies

www.learningpage.com – lesson plans and worksheets for various ages

www.worksheetlab.com – free printable worksheets for preschool and Kindergarten children

I like to have as much of a role in my kids’ education as I can.  Much of the time, education comes in the simple form of fun.  My kids won’t be little forever, and I want to fill up our time with as many enriching activities as possible to create a lifetime love of learning!

Inspirational Yoga

23 Nov

I am frequently inspired in yoga and this weekend was more of the same, only different.  There is an instructor at The Yoga Project that I have grown to love.  I say “grown” because I used to fear her and her Sunday morning class. I only continued to go, because it was literally the only class I could fit into my busy schedule.

To illustrate my point, her nickname among yogis has become “The Velvet Hammer”.  She works you on a physical as well as intellectual level.  She challenges you to go further, work harder, find more, never settle, all with ease, grace, and balance.  The kicker is that she does it all with a big smile on her face and a bubbly, friendly tone of voice.

While I feared her before, I love her now.  While I was sweating away this morning, focusing on the negative voice in my mind, telling me I should cry, I should just give up, I can’t do this; I heard a snicker.  I quickly realized the snicker was actually a giggle and it was coming from the woman practicing beside me.  In that moment, I shifted my perception.

In that moment, hearing the laugh, I felt gratitude; gratitude that I am able to practice yoga, gratitude for the opportunity to challenge myself, gratitude for some time to myself doing something I love, gratitude for the ability to shift my perception.

In every given moment, we have the ability to shift, to move, to change our perception.  We fight against ourselves when we allow those negative thoughts to control what we think about ourselves and our environment. The only thing required for peace and happiness is a shift in perception.

Transitions and shifts in awareness on the mat translate to change in real life.  This morning yoga helped me to realize that it was only my perception this morning that caused me to feel I wanted to cry.  Perception is not reality.  The moment I changed my perception, was the moment I could move forward with the class in joy and gratitude!

52 FEATS – NUMBER 35 (Valuing Myself)

5 Sep

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.


This has been one of my favorite Feats!  Giving myself a daily ego boost not only made me feel better about myself in general, it also inspired me to be MORE.  More productive, more motivated, more everything – but not for the usual reasons.  I didn’t strive to be better because I felt like I was falling short; rather, I did it because I felt like I was awesome and I could accomplish anything.

This was easy and make such a difference in my outlook.  Give it a try yourself and see what happens!


I recently started reading a book recommended by a friend called The 10 Habits of Happy Mothers: Reclaiming our Passion, Purpose, and Sanity by Dr. Meg Meeker.  I’m not necessarily an UNhappy mother, but I’m always on the lookout for ways to improve things (which is why I also love Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project).  Anyway, I only got through one chapter – Habit 1 of the Happy Moms – when I realized I’d had the book so long it was already due back at the library!  Such is my life, and probably yours too – a stack of books on my nightstand just begging to be read, and not nearly enough hours in the day to get through them.

But, back to my point.  Even though I didn’t get through much of the book, I did read (and thoroughly enjoy) the first chapter, which is about understanding your value as a mother.  Happy moms accept the fact that they are valuable – we are valuable because we are our kids’ moms, and they need us and love us.  That’s enough.

As the author made the point about how we all tend to de-value ourselves, I realized that this whole 52 FEATS thing is kind of like that.  I’m trying to make my self different, trying to be “better” in the multitude of ways that I feel like I’m failing.  Very seldom do I think, “Wow, I’m doing great!” or “I’m an excellent mom!” or even simply, “Boy, my kids sure love me!”  Today’s woman is all about trying to do more, achieve more, be more.  That’s me, and most days I just feel like I’ve fallen short.

Remember that old SNL character, Stuart Smalley?  He always used to look at himself in the mirror and say, “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!”  He was a joke, but daily affirmations of a your self-worth can drastically improve the way you feel about yourself.

So this week will be about telling myself I’m good just the way I am.  I am going to tell myself every day (maybe even write it on my bathroom mirror!) that I am a great mother, wife, person, and friend – whether or not I spend too much money, forget to take my vitamins, or need to lose a few pounds.

And soon, I’m going to get that book back from the library and read the whole thing!

Warrior Mother Alert!

12 Jul

A few weeks ago, I came across this statement by Bob Mayer on the Writer’s Digest website:

“We build our greatest defenses around our greatest weaknesses in all aspects of our lives, and that includes writing.”

Did that ever speak to me!

I think about my life in its entirety: wife, daughter, mom, writer, friend, Christian, homeowner, Texan.  What do I encircle with my strongest personal weaponry—vigilance, time, intentional action, even worry?

My kids!

Are they then my greatest weaknesses?

In matters of the heart, undoubtedly.  They’re the only two people on the planet for whom I’d sacrifice my life.  Like King Asa in the Bible, I pray without ceasing for them, hoping to fortify them on their daily journeys.  As a practical matter, I’m certain I hover.  The expansive love I have for them knows no limits.

So, yes. Paige and Chip are my big weaknesses. On their behalf, I plumb the depths of my psyche to find my greatest strength.

I’d wager most moms could say the same.

I Am

18 May

This Mother’s Day I am taking time to reflect on what’s important in my life.  My mom heard about a movie called “I Am,” and she invited me to see it last weekend.  It was put together by a Hollywood producer (whose productions include Ace Venture and Bruce Almighty) who had a profound epiphany he’s determined to share with others.

This film sets out to answer two basic questions: what’s wrong with our world and what can we do about it?  The producer interviews several of today’s great minds to try and find the answers.

I have been on overdrive in my spiritual quest since my girlfriends and I began The (February) Prayer Project (click here for the blog).  The ideas introduced in this movie were not news to me; however, I feel they are so important, I wanted to share this with our readers.

This movie provided a lot of science-based (although skeptics will still try and debunk “quantum” physics) explanations for things Eastern philosophers and religious leaders have been saying for centuries.

One of the main lessons from the movie is connectedness.  We are all connected to one another.  There is no denying it.  As a result of the connectedness, what people say and do matters.  Every single interaction a person has has power: the power to promote love or fuel hate.

If you’re looking for change or need a jump start in your own spiritual quest, I highly recommend this movie.  Viewers will never be the same.  It’s playing now at the Landmark Inwood Theater in Dallas.  For movies times, click here http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/dallas/inwoodtheatre.htm

To view the I Am trailer, click here http://www.iamthedoc.com/.

Loving Guidance

30 Mar

This week, love has been coming up over and over again as a theme for me.  Some mothers and I were discussing Loving Guidance as a form of discipline at a meeting.  I had completely forgotten that I keep this simple guide posted on my fridge.  (Since we moved, we have a fridge that doesn’t allow magnets to stick, so I’ve had to stick everything to the side of it.  Now, I don’t see everything daily.  It’s obviously time to move this to a new location!)

I got this from a friend of mine, several years back, and I want to share it because it’s been so helpful to me, especially while raising toddlers and preschoolers.

What is Loving Guidance?

Look at the child.

Offer choices- small ones for small people

Very quick distractions are helpful

Include your child

Need freedom within limits

Get your home safety-proofed

Get to the cause of temper tantrums or misbehavior

Unconditional love and focused attention

Interesting opportunities for activity to limit TV viewing

Don’t ask- state what you mean

Attempt to child size their life to make it easier to “do myself”

Nursing- your child needs you to receive him with joy and enthusiasm most of the time

Constant safety supervision

Expectations & Environment- Are they realistic?

I really like it, because it’s so simple.  It only takes a few seconds to review it daily, weekly, or even monthly!


27 Feb

For the original 52 FEATS blog entry, click here.

DAY 7 (Sunday):

Well, my week of giving extra love to my husband has drawn to a close.  I don’t know if he noticed a difference, but I did.  I found that trying to be especially loving made me more patient and understanding.  I frequently stopped when I was about to say something snarky, and put myself in his shoes.  I was always trying to see his side of things, and give to him as much as he gives to me.

Patience is something I struggle with, and it struck me as interesting how closely it was tied to love in this week’s Feat.  I hadn’t realized that one is really an expression of the other.

I drove by a church yesterday, and the sign out front had a message about “fervently” loving one another.  Awesome!  What’s the point in loving half-heartedly?  You might as well give it your all – it certainly won’t hurt anything, and will likely make life more beautiful in the process.

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