Monday, August 31, 2015


Some days it seems the dreams in your heart take wings and just want you to fly to their fulfilled destination. Other days seem lacking in the ability to dream at all. I've been dreaming a lot lately, and thankfully not of the while-I'm-sleeping variety.

Dreaming can be a tricky thing. It is hard to have hope and faith mixed with a healthy does of reality without cynicism.

What is it that you are holding close to your heart?

I love taking those close-to-my-heart thoughts to God. To lay them at His feet and to see what He would choose to do. I'm learning to take small steps of faith and listen to the things that are burdening my heart. I want these things in my heart to be from Him and for Him.

There are moments when it seems my heart will burst with feeling God's presence and inspiration pouring ideas as fast as I can write them down. Those are the highs. And, there are lows too. When fear and comparison steal my peace.

I am just about to finish 31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and Doer. It has been so good, I may just close the back cover and open the front cover to start all over again. I have realized how much I love that phrase "dreamer and doer" and how I feel so at home in that description. It tells you who I am and it "gets" me. 

Just a few thoughts from my calm and quiet thinking tonight.

* Above sign was a recent Hobby Lobby find!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Slowing with Littles

Recently I received a question on Instagram about how to slow down with kids. It's a great question and one that I've pondered in the days since then.

I think it is important to remember that as a family, we have been practicing slow for a few years and practice is what it takes. It doesn't necessarily happen naturally or all at once. 

First of all, I decided to ask my kids what they thought about Slow Day at our house - there is nothing deep here, but I'll share their thoughts.

If you were going to tell other kids what Slow Day was - what would you say?

That we do our Home Blessing Hour, less school and have a slow breakfast.

What is a slow breakfast?
Something pretty, hot breakfast.

What is your favorite part of Slow Day?
Science, Family Fun Hour. {note: because we do science projects at CC weekly, we don't do much science at home - but they love these Science in a Nutshell kits and we just finished one on Bubble Science and I found a second one on Magnetism at a thrift store so that is next!}

Why do you think we have Slow Day?
To go slow, do fun things, Tuesdays are busy and we need a slow day after that. Slow Day is fun day.

Is there anything you don't like or would change about Slow Day?
Sleep in; no school. {ahem, good luck with that..}

In thinking on these answers, I think that talking together about what slow is and isn't and what it means to our family is a good place to start. Honestly, it doesn't matter if my kids know why we have Slow Day or not if we are slowing together we will still reap the blessings. Starting small and practicing this slow being together is another great place to begin.

I think maybe the number one best way to have slow with kids is to model it ourselves. If they never see us sit still, rest or slow down - how will they know what that looks like and that it is worth imitating? 

I'm still thinking on this idea and have a few more ideas - what ideas do you have about slowing down with kids?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Slow Day


A little note about the timer on my phone - one of my favorite ways to do clean up is called Timer Tidy. Together, we will choose an amount of time we think it will take us to tidy up a room and then we try to beat the timer - we all dash around like crazy for just a few minutes and voila, the room is refreshed!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Girls Birthday Gift: Tea Party in a Basket

Here is a fun and *free* gift I came up with for a recent birthday invite my girls were thrilled to receive and attend!

I had an ice cream bucket in my recycling bin and pulled that out - some cute wrapping paper taped around and colorful yarn dressed it right up!

I filled it with ingredients for putting on her own tea party:

* vase for flowers {recycled spaghetti sauce jar with paper and string to decorate it}
* flowers from our yard
* muffin mix
* cloth napkins
* a little tea pot
* lemonade
* muffin papers
* paper straws
* wooden gift tag {free piece that comes with canvases to hold the back into a frame, stamped with metal stamps}
* two apples

Muffin Mix recipe and printable can be found here.

Cloth napkins were *super* simple! I used pinking shears to cut squares of a thrifted Shabby Chic sheet - then ironed them and tied with twine.

I included a little card about how to serve her own tea party:
- gather leaves, flowers, grasses, berries for the center of the table
- set out the napkins and make the table pretty
- make the lemonade and muffins, slice the apple
- turn on pretty music
- invite your family and enjoy serving and fancy manners

Monday, August 24, 2015

Slow School: Nature Walk

As the homeschooling years add up, I think I get more and more relaxed about my expectations of school. This year, I'm really trying to bring slow even more to our school experiences. My kids absolutely love going on nature walks and sometimes they turn into play or distraction which in my mind kind of feels like wasted time.

Last summer, I bought these great Nature books on Amazon. {Please note: they are not from a Christian perspective, so use at your own discretion.} And, I lightened my expectations of finishing the book in a year. We just worked on the book when we worked on it and set it aside the rest of the time.

It was fun to pull them out again early in this school year. We walked to our little neighborhood lake and found a pear tree we'd never seen before, a variety of mushrooms, interesting leaves and pinecones.

When we got to the lake, we opened our books and each wrote down ten things going on around us in nature right then. It was fun to hear and observe what each of us saw or heard and how some of those things were the same and some were different.

There was also a suggestion to collect goodies and then make an arrangement from it when we got home. These sorts of ideas give me purpose for nature walks {and, yes, I realize we can go for a nature walk without such a set purpose!} which helps the teacher-mama side of me.

I also suggested they might have fun slicing into some of the unusual mushrooms they found just to see what they were like on the inside and that was a huge hit as well. We all washed hands super well afterwards and had fun in the hands-on-learning. My little students just seem to glow under this kind of freedom and opportunity to explore.

And, I will continue my brave exploration of marrying slow and school together.