how to set goals with your kids

•August 31, 2015 • 1 Comment

I feel like I talk about goals a lot for my out of a business office atmosphere. I’ve never quite understood why the concept of goals seems to be so heavy in business work environment, but so lacking in a home, family or personal environment. Aren’t the later actually more important, more valuable, more worth setting goals for? I know there are some of you out there that feel me on this, I’ve heard you talk about them too! Especially my homeschoolers out there, setting schooling goals for each kid every year.

Since this is something I may or may not be a tad obsessed with, I incorporate the family into my own personal goals every year. No these are not new years resolutions (aka wishes), these are actual, measurable, tracked goals for the year. This year I decided the kids were big enough to participate as well, and we picked something we all could work on together as a family. Flossing.

Yep, simple, easy, but something that is often overlooked for all five of us.

First we set a measurable goal and made it specific – 30 days of flossing, all five of us, no missing a day or we’d have to start all over.

Second, we set up a way to track it and put it in a highly visible place – here is our completed 30 day sticker chart of awesome!

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This was right outside the bathroom they flossed in, only three feet from the floor so it was at their eye level. Every morning the kids got to mark off another day done and see their progress. I was honestly expecting to have to restart this a few times as they got in the habit, but they did not want to miss a day once this chart was up.

Finally, we picked a reward to celebrate our success!

This is the hardest one for me, once I’m on a roll I have a natural tendency to add more to my goal, make it bigger, stretch farther. I try to stop myself from doing this, especially with the kids. It’s so demoralizing for them to have an end be almost there and then watch that end move (it can be for me too!) But, I’m getting better about leaving the original goal the goal and celebrating it’s success, THEN setting a new one and starting all over.

We all need a chance to celebrate actual accomplishments (and yes I feel flossing everyday for a 5, 7, and 9 year old is an actual accomplishment!) Kids are often lacking opportunities to celebrate something they actually accomplished on their own. Not just showed up to, but actually participated in and achieved. It really doesn’t hurt the adults in the family either! We all need wins.

So here they are celebrating, they picked Menchie’s for their reward. It was oh so yummy.

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Being a goof, as per usual. Get one of me with my spoon like this mom. Ok, let me see that.

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Mmmmm….it’s so good mommy.

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This picture was immediately followed by “I want more!”

Time to set another goal! We are trying to decide what our next family goal will be over here, mommy has a few ideas, but we need whole family buy in!

What goals are you tracking right now? What would you like to set?

what ‘first day of school’ pics look like when you homeschool

•August 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

It’s not really our first day of school, I’m a slave driver and I don’t give them summer break (or at least that’s how they like to sell it to anyone that asks how they are enjoying their summer break!) I do however, enjoy seeing how the kids grow from year to year in ‘first day of school’ pics so I try my best to remember to take them.

Ironically we are actually not doing “school” per se this morning. We are field tripping it. We are kicking off our Year of Science with the Mummy’s at the Orlando Science Center. It should be significantly less crowded with the rest of the child population back in school. There are perks to being different. Less crowds for one. We get so spoiled during the school year. Parks mostly to ourselves, stores emptier, most field trips cheaper during the day when there is little to no demand. Love it.

Anyway here’s our ‘first day pics’

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The professional shot

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The personality shot

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They were all personality shots with this one. This was the most “professional” of the bunch.

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This is what I get when I say smile nice, lol.

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He was very upset about something, I can’t remember what at the moment, look at those puppy dog eyes.

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A momentary laugh for sister caught on blurry camera, it was that fast. Now you see it, now its gone!

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All of hers were this cute. Stepped right up, put on a smile. See kids, you could learn something from the little one.

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The official class photo of our 2015-2016 school year.

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Lord help me.

We are going to have some fun this year!

I really do love this gig.

we now interupt your regularly scheduled broadcast

•August 17, 2015 • 2 Comments

Hey everyone! I know it’s monday, and there’s usually a new post up by now. I’m really trying to crack down on these grant applications so I’m here at Panera about to finish the next one up! *and there was much rejoicing, yay* (please tell me someone got that Monty Phyton reference…)

Anywhoooo I have more stuff planned for you! It’s just going to have to wait, at least for this week. In the meantime I’ll leave you with this cat video. That’s what all the peoples are watching these days, right?

Till next time!

homeschool planing, help!

•August 10, 2015 • 2 Comments

Let me start this with saying, I love homeschooling my kids. I love having them home with me during the day. I love getting to teach them things and watch them grow in their ability to learn on their own. I love seeing them pursue their own interests that don’t even involve me. This so far has been one of the most satisfying and enjoyable jobs I’ve ever done. Most days I do feel like a super hero.

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It is challenging. It has its hard parts. Most things worth doing are difficult at times.

School is starting. I’m already seeing first day pics from private schoolers and homeschoolers, public school’s first day is just around the corner!

Our little school is entering it’s third official year. This year we’ll have a 4th grader, a 2nd grader, a Kindergartner and a Preschooler in our ranks. We don’t really take off the summer, but we do ramp up the motivation and introduce new routines in the fall. So far I’ve managed to get through planning 2 of those kids and group time for the next few weeks. That still leaves a bit lacking. I actually am the type that likes to plan, but I’m starting to wonder how this planning things is supposed to happen as the children get older, more children are added and the subjects get more involved. These last almost four years I’ve been working out of our home we’ve grown accustomed to decent dinners cooked at home and mostly clean and usually put away laundry. I’ve grown accustomed to having my nights available for social activities or exercise or reading. But this homeschooling thing is turning into more and more of an actual job and I already have a few of those.

So tell me all you seasoned homeschoolers. Where do you fit in planning? Do you go out somewhere? Is having evenings a pipe dream? Does the house just fall apart during planning season? Does your spouse take the kids for you? Is there some group for this? HOW DO YOU FIT THIS IN?

throwback thursday

•August 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

long long ago in a galaxy far far away I had a shy son, a reserved son, a son who hid behind my legs when we were out in public and wouldn’t be caught dead being goofy. We thought it was a phase, we thought he was just growing up and changing. Then we brought him home from school and he reverted back into himself. Our laughing, goofy, confident boy. This weekend we stumbled upon this little gem. As I watched this again and again and ok again I was so grateful for our boy. Grateful for our boy that brings so much laughter and life to our family. Grateful we have the opportunity to have him in an environment where he can bloom. Grateful I caught this on video!

Then I thought I should be kind and reshare ;) It was an all time fav on its first run on the blog so I’m sure you’ll indulge me a replay. There also so many new people that never even knew my awesome 9 year old as an awesome 3 year old. So you’re welcome.

Lady Gaga fan or not, you will enjoy. Trust me.

5 ways to know it’s training season

•August 3, 2015 • 1 Comment

it’s time to train for this years half marathon! Disney is NOT happening again, but the Lake Nona one was smaller and easier and overall wonderful. It was also the first inaugural run, kinda feels like the start of a tradition to me. Even if this time of year I question why I run. I can’t believe I do this to myself. I’m pretty sure that I’m crazy every time I come back. It just gets better from here. It is amazing to me the shift that occurs when a training schedule clicks in.

1. There is no more “I should run today”

It’s on the calendar. It is happening. They are scheduled in and around.  I run in the heat. I run in the rain. If I can make it through the rain filled frozen hell that was Wine and Dine, I can make it through a little training run in some rain.

2. I run in the morning.

Should anyone be deceived, I am not a morning person. I do not wake up early voluntarily. My preferred sleep hours would be somewhere around 1am-10am. My body, society and life in general has not appreciated or allowed my preferred hours. I I have adapted as best I can. This has not made me a morning person. But if we have plans in the evening, as we often do, runs must happen in the morning. If it’s training season, they will, morning person or no.

3. The miles start racking up!

The beginning of the training schedule is still mostly low mileage runs. Consistency however is even better than longer runs. Those miles just start piling on and the goal actually moves into site. It’s pretty exhilarating.

4. My house smells vaguely of a locker room, pretty much always.

I already have boys. We already live outside, a lot. Bycemaster is on another workout kick himself and now I’m training. Sweat stinks. My bathroom has sweaty clothes in it. The laundry room has sweaty clothes in it. Also, in Florida summers especially, running clothes don’t ever really lose that smell. Can I get a witness here? Ok, for those of you about to tell me your magic way to get smells out. I CAN get it out, if I put a lot of extra work into it. I know how, it’s been done. I also know that is way too much work for clothes that are just going to smell again 5 minutes after they’re put on. There are designated sweaty clothes, that’s all they’re used for. They’re just going through once people, and not in the 2 hour cycle.

5. I start feeling really good.

Regular exercise is awesome, no matter what you’re doing. I would highly recommend it, walking, yoga, whatever you can do is awesome! But even more awesome is exercise when working toward a goal. I love goals, they fuel my life. Exercise goals are just a double win.

So what goals are you guys working towards? Anybody else training for something? 5K? Half? Full? (you crazy people you, but you go!) If you don’t have any goals currently…what do you want? What goals can you set? I should really write a post on goals, good goals, real goals, not wishes…I seriously love them. They are awesome.

5 things I’ve learned “in the waiting period”

•July 27, 2015 • 2 Comments

This was originally intended to be a very different kind of post.

Under normal circumstances we don’t know if our profile is being viewed. It could have been shown 100 times already (not likely). We only find out if we’re picked. There are however, “special cases.” Sometimes they do not have the amount of books they’d like to show for a certain situation.  Sometimes you requested being asked first about certain circumstances. These we get emails about. There’s been more of these than I’d expected. However, we didn’t feel any of them were ones we should submit for until last week. Last week’s email felt almost too good to be true. A little girl due to be born soon (all we knew was before September for sure) circumstances something we were totally ok with.

I cannot begin to tell you how I excited I was. Just reading the email. Waiting around for hours for Bycemaster to get home. Then sending the email saying put us out there! Most of this process has seemed surreal. I know eventually there will be a baby. I know this. But there is so much waiting. In every step of the process. When you are waiting with no end in sight, it’s hard to believe the end is just around the corner. Even though it could be.

But for us it was not this corner. I’ve been obsessively checking our email for days. This morning I got an email saying we weren’t chosen. We did not tell the kids about submitting at all. We knew what has happened was a very real possibility. So it’s a quietly mournful morning over here. Upon reflection here a few things we’ve gleaned from this waiting process so far.

5 things I’ve learned in “the waiting period”

1) Some days waiting is easy.

You hear it’s hard. The waiting is so hard. It’s the hardest part. That’s all we’ve heard. But there are some days it is easy. Days go by and it’s not been agony. Then there are days like the past few where you know something is close, but you don’t even know when you will know anything. And then there’s todays. It’s hard.

2) You’re not as ready as you think you are. 

We’ve gotten so much stuff for Baby Girl Byce. We’ve washed and folded clothes, set up pack n plays, gotten car seats. Then OMG IT COULD BE TOMORROW! And you realize how unprepared you really are. We still need to set up a hospital plan for our current kids. I need to figure out what I’ll pack in our stay bags (what do you wear to something like this!?) I don’t have the Lact-Aid nursing system I’d already done research on, but never purchased. I haven’t even given any thoughts to what we want to give to the birth mother. So many more things.

3) Longer waits are better for grants.

We’ve only gotten 1 grant application all the way to submission. The rest are in various stages of not done yet. But even the 1 that is in would not have mattered for this baby. The current one was a minimum of 90 days past deadline to even find out. And grants only pay out before placement, if you even get any. After placement, you’re pretty much screwed. I have renewed motivation to get the rest of the applications in ASAP. Any takers on references? We’re gonna need some more.

4) Things don’t always turn out like you thought.

So this lesson has really been in process longer than just the waiting process. The whole adoption process from picking an agency to being in waiting has not been like I’d originally envisioned. But see I’ve been envisioning this since long before anything in my current life. I also never envisioned my current life. And my current life rocks. This process has morphed and changed so much from my preconceived notions. But there is peace it’s as it’s supposed to be. This is what it looks like for us, not me, us. That’s important and so much better.

5) Good people are gold.

Bleeding off the last point. Life is not meant to be lived in isolation. What dreams I may have are not meant for ME, just me, all about me. We are all connected and the dreams we have are also meant for the people our lives intertwine with. We are are all in this together. I could write a whole post about this one. From the gifts to support to prayers you are all so important. Having people super excited with you at even the chance of a placement is gold. Having not a single person say well don’t get your hopes up, is gold. Knowing there are so many of you praying for us in this journey, is gold. You all are gold.

I am sad and disappointed I’m not gonna lie. I’m also grateful I allowed myself to be excited that this could be it, it really could have been. Ups and downs are part of life. Someone who has been in waiting is super happy and excited this morning. This is a loss, but it is not a death. There’s a little balm in a loss that is someone else’s gain. Maybe next time it will be our gain.

 
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