Outside my window... it's a beautiful sunrise, with big, puffy stripes of lilac, rose, aqua and golden cream...and glimmery frost, everywhere. Today is supposed to be another incredibly warm day (for Chicago!) near 50 degrees...we will definitely be spending some time outside enjoying it, while it lasts!
I am thinking... about ways to simplify our life and home...what to pare down, or cut out altogether...what activities are important to us. Making our life small and manageable, so that there is a margin of time and energy in our days. For clarity, simplicity...and room for the important things a Mama just can't plan or schedule. Room for joy, time for love...less stress and more peace.
I am thankful... To finally be feeling better, in time for school to get rolling again! Still coughing a bit, but my sinuses are not throbbing this morning, so that's a good sign. I am really hoping to get through this one without having to use antibiotics... So, specifically, I am thankful today for things like garlic, honey, echinacea and ginger tea...things that are both healing and yummy :)
In the kitchen... Now that the holidays are over, I am anxious to get back on track with cooking and eating healthfully! But I confess I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of information "out there" on how to go about it. So many different theories...it's hard to figure out which is "the right" one for us. So for now, I'm just going back to what I already know to do, and what has worked well for my family in the past. (It's also what makes them happy!) Meat, veggies, fruit. Potatoes, rice, occasional pasta. Lots of chicken soup. Limited sugar. Whole foods. Cooked in the good old Italian way. And, for now, good old white Italian bread...since I now know, beyond a doubt, that using whole wheat was definitely causing problems for both Little Monkey and myself.
I am wearing... Jeans, my new comfy-fuzzy slippers (one of my favorite Christmas gifts, from my niece...thanks, Lynette!), long-sleeved turquoise tshirt, and a fringy-scarf that a good friend of mine made from an up-cycled t-shirt (very cute!)
I am creating... I know the season of Lent is still many weeks away, but I pulled out our Jesus Tree over the weekend to get a head-start on updating my printables. Last year, I put together a quick collection of ornaments for my kids to color, using clipart that I found online. It worked out very well, but this year I'm hoping to surprise them with a set of hand-drawn ornaments. (Especially since we've been working on our sketching and drawing in the past few months!) It isn't taking as long to make the sketches as I thought it would, so if all goes well, and they are finished in time, I'll post the new printables. We'll see how it goes! ;)
I am going... to stay at home sweet home, getting our school-week off to a good start. Hoping to make a quick trip to the grocery store after dinner tonight, while Hubby is home with the kiddos.
From our Schoolroom... This semester I've decided to pare down our curricula a bit (we've been using Tapestry of Grace) to make things a little more manageable during our school weeks. We've been enjoying the unit studies that we've completed so far, but it has taken me a lot longer to get into a good routine with this curric than I thought it would. So I'm making my own planning sheets to work off of each week, and only choosing a few books for each child to read, one project, one writing assignment, etc. I think this should help our days flow a little smoother! I'm also thinking this will free up a little more time to work on the extra things I've been anxious to do with my kids this year - especially our art and nature journaling, learning practical skills, and some crafting. Little Monkey has been asking about his "Alphabet School" so I am working on putting more of those units together for him, too.
I am reading... Still working my way through Imitation of Christ (Thomas a'Kempis)...but other than that I've decided to close up any extra books for awhile! Spend some time just practicing the good things I've learned so far...
Mama culture... I'm taking small steps in the next few months, toward getting back into good habits of eating healthfully and exercising. I know from past experience that a little goes a long way in both areas, so I don't need to feel overwhelmed or try to do anything drastic. Right now I'm still deciding whether I'll go back to my good old, tried-and-true The Firm workout dvd's (this one is my current favorite), or try out the TTapp system... I've heard great things about TTapp, but The Firm only takes about 35 minutes and I know it works very well for me. We'll see!
I am looking forward to... cleaning out my daily planner and getting everything freshened up for the New Year! I usually like to spend some time doing this over our Christmas break, but between my sinus infection, Peanuts' teething and cold, and everything else going on, I just didn't have the energy to think about it. So today I'll be printing out enough weekly pages to last for a few months, as well as getting rid of my old goals/plans from last year and making fresh new lists and planning sheets in my tabs.
Around the house... I really need to declutter and organize, a project I started in the fall, but decided to save the majority of it for after the holidays. I figure winter is the perfect time to tackle indoors projects, so I'm going to take my time, work on one small area at a time, starting with the worst closets...until it's all done. I was able to finish up my kitchen before Thanksgiving...and already it has made such a difference in our general upkeep/daily cleaning, just having that one room all neat and organized. I'm excited to get to work on the rest of the house!
A favorite quote for today... you may have noticed this one over in my sidebar, from Mother Teresa... "We can do no great things, only small things with great love."
One of our favorite things and a peek into my day...
We found this set of wooden swords and shields over at Vision Forum, as a Christmas gift for Little Monkey and Peanut...but all of my kiddos have been enjoying them, playing knights-and-dragons-and princess, nonstop since Christmas. I'm pretty excited about it, because the next several units in our history will be covering the Greeks, Romans and medieval times....love mixing creative play with our studies!
To read more Daybooks - or to join the fun and write your own! - visit Peggy over at Simple Woman's Daybook.
Have a blessed Monday!