Sunday, July 7, 2013

Six New Loves

There's some exciting new things happening in my life that I love and wanted to share! There are six of them, to be exact! Here they are, in no particular order of importance: (although they are all pretty important, well except for number 4- that one ranks lower on importance than the others, yet it still gets to be listed because I think it's important. Although it's definitely not as important as number 5, or number 2. Number 6 is important but wouldn't be possible without number 1. And maybe number 3 should be more important since it enables more of 2, 3, 4, and 5 to happen. Anyways, read for yourself, In no particular order:)

1. I love my Nook! I never thought in a billion years I would own an e-reader and never really wanted one, either! However, my husband knows me better than myself sometimes and got me one for Mother's Day......and I love it! The Nook has been life-changing in so many positive ways. I can download books for free and also very cheaply from many sources and read, read, read! I can even read in the middle of the night (when I have insomnia) and not disturb my husband, with my very own built-in Nook light! I also love the apps. One of the most useful free apps I've found is called EEBA Envelope Budgeting. My husband and I have been able to use this app to keep better track of our monthly expenses. It's simple and easy to use, as you just insert money into the "envelopes", then minus the expenses from the envelopes each month when you spend! We like that we can sync it to both of our devices thus keeping track of our family's expenditures together. Another bonus is that neither one of us has been tempted to make any stupid shopping purchases since we started using this app! -Like this one time we were at the mall and I got tricked into buying a Magic-hair-bun-Maker, which I've still never used! If I had been using my EBBA Envelope Budgeting app at the time, I totally would've been more conscious of my money and would've made a better purchasing choice. So yes, this is just one reason I love my Nook!

2. I love my new calling as Primary Music Leader in our church! Every Sunday I get to stand in front of a small crowd of beautiful, smiling children and teach them to sing primary songs. I get to teach songs that are silly, and songs that are fun, and songs that are meaningful, spiritual, and inspirational, too! These songs stay in my head all week long and lift me up  and bring more joy into my life. I love being able to teach the kids how to sing a new song and then listen to their sweet voices singing it back to me. Music has a special way of bringing the spirit into our hearts, and helping us grow closer to God. I love this new calling in my life! Our Children's Primary meets every Sunday from 12:20pm to 2pm and there's nowhere else I'd rather be each week than right there with those kids (and mine!). 

3. I have taken a leap back from La Leche League Leadership for the time being. I feel really good about letting go of this part of my life right now. I obviously feel some sadness and  in parting from such a wonderful organization, but I need to make room for some other chapters that are opening up in my book of life. Maybe someday I will come back to being an LLL Leader again, but for now I will say adieu. Thank you LLL for giving me all these wonderful, valuable tools of motherhood, and for the opportunity to support breastfeeding women! I am so grateful for all the amazing people I've met, and all that I've learned as a Leader these past 5 years. I've loved being an LLL Leader, and I've loved that it's impact has left a deep foundation and knowledge in my mothering that I will continue to cherish forever.
Some of my favrite people at one of my favorite LLL meetups! 2009

4. I love my new longboard skateboard, and so do the boys! I've been wanting one for years but haven't  bothered looking because I never had the extra cash sitting around to buy one. However, the golden opportunity came along one day, without even planning it! I went over to a friends house to purchase a bookshelf, so I thought. She was moving to the mainland and getting rid of nearly everything. I ended up leaving her house with the bookshelf, a paper cutter, 2 baseball mitts, a bag of baseballs, and my dream skateboard! Score! Thanks Kayla! Skateboarding is an all time favorite pastime for this mama and it's coming back full force, thanks to you! :)

5. I love the new family adventure we're attempting in homeschooling this year! I've chosen to sign the 2 older boys up for an online Hawaii Public Charter School, and one of the big perks of doing this is that every school year they will give each of them an allotment of $1500 dollars to spend on community classes, (such as Kung-fu and Gymnastics) plus pay for curriculum, art supplies, and any other consumable, educational materials we might need. Along with the allotment we also get family passes to Imiloa Astronomy Center, The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Gardens, The Pacific Tsunami Museum, the Lyman Museum, and a National Parks Pass.
Signing up was (is) a little terrifying for me, as I don't love planning a schedule, ordering curriculum, or even that we have to check in with a teacher each week, but I am willing to try this out for the awesome benefits. 

I'm a big advocate for eclectic unschooling, or natural-led learning, and never wanted  to compromise my beliefs by following a standardized curriculum. I believe that children can and will learn at their own pace, that education is more than attending school, and that taking tests and doing homework can hinder the process of actual learning.
However, I don't feel that this program will compromise these beliefs!  It feels right to invest this time and energy into my children, in giving them opportunities that we wouldn't otherwise have. It feels right to try something new and still be able to hang onto my homeschooling values within the context of a standardized-state-run program. There is flexibility in the program, which is good! This means that I can choose the curriculum we want for the kids. We can also choose when and how to complete the curriculum enabling me to focus on their individual learning styles and needs. And even though they may have to take the standardized tests from time to time, they will already know full well that the outcome of tests don't measure the intelligence of their minds or the quality of their lives!  All in all, I'm treating this new adventure like a fun, family project-- We're all in this together! And if it totally sucks, we're all in this together! I think it's going to be really good for us!

6. I love Susan Law Corpany. She is my new favorite LDS author. She's written quite a few fiction novels, which I have yet to read, but my favorite so far is her non-fiction book called "Musings on Motherhood."   She spoke at the LDS Women's Conference I attended several weeks ago here in Hilo, and made us all laugh til we cried! She's hilariously funny, genuinely down-to-earth, and spiritually insightful!  Her life as a mother was often difficult and messy, yet she's somehow found the humor and joy in all of it. I went home from the conference that day and downloaded her book on my Nook, reading it cover to cover! This is the review I put on Amazon, after I was done:

"I love the stories in this book and couldn't put it down! I didn't know what to expect from this book, as I've read so many "how to" parenting books over the years on everything from potty training to getting sleep at night--but this book wasn't a "how to" at all! I love that it's about family and all the wonderful joys and pains and ups and downs she experiences in all the many different roles she's played in her own family. Her stories about being an auntie, a new mother, and then a stepmother, and finally a grandmother--Every single one of them was thoughtful, touching, and meaningful. And funny! She truly finds the humor in seemingly ordinary things, and finds creative stories to tell with them.
I feel inspired by her life and recommend this book as an inspiration for any type of mother!"

Thank you Susan for your motherly inspiration! I look forward to reading your other books next!

Well, that's it for now! These are some new things that I love and am looking forward to as of lately! Life is constantly changing, evolving, and moving forward, and I'm trying my hardest to enjoy the ride!

1 comment:

arianne said...

We did a similar program for our homeschool last year and feel it didn't cause us to compromise at all. The money was awesome. And the oversight minimal.