My eldest child was an infant when my friend over at aseedinspired.com gave me a littleBIG piece of advice to cope with Pennsylvania's long fall/winter seasons.
E M B R A C E I T.
This girl has weight in her words. It was blunt and I love it.
Seasons were a'made to change. So, if you are like me, let this list compel you to EMRACE IT. Seasons were made to change, warm months and all.
10. Mark down on your iCal all the traditional holidays celebrated by the postal service (they observe all of them). Then, make plans to do something extra special on those days. Teach your kids a lesson about the holiday (that will make you and them feel super smart) or watch a video about it on YouTube.
9. Eat seasonal food. I get so excited when I know fall is settling in and I can makes soups every week. Comfort food. Something so hardy and PA Dutch. I may be scarfing down chicken and wild rice soup as I type. I may.
8. Plan your summer vacation. Somehow, planning for the summer makes me not want to wish away the colder months. No one wants their vacation to come and go, so plan for it when it's cold. Dream about the tropical. Look at all the pictures of the waves and sand.
7. Thank AmazonPrime for providing you with free shipping, a.k.a., every product under the sun at your fingertips. Yup. Do it. Buy new slippers. They scream fall. Buy a scarf. You'll thank me later. Buy your kids adorable scarves that they'll never wear, but at least they will look cute in that one picture you threatened them with their lives to get. (I'm just kidding, of course, calm down.)
6. Make best friends with leaves and snow. I know what you're thinking. And yup, you're right. BUT, what I'm saying holds true as well. IT IS A LOT OF WORK, but you will sleep bettersweeterhappier knowing that you raked a huge pile of leaves and listened to your kiddos laugh long or looking out the window one more time at that less-than-perfect-snowman. Best. Friends.
5. Light some candles. Another friend of mine would meet me at Kohl's every fall for our yearly candle hunt. Not sure why we went to Kohl's, but the moral of the story is, if your house smells like fall or Christmas or fresh new year (does that smell like cotton?), you will be happier and cozier. Promise.
4. Read. You'll be inside for plenty more hours than the warm months. Make yourself a cozy reading corner or add a new pillow to an old chair. Claim it. That space is yours for the taking.
3. Catch up on the list of movies you haven't seen or TV series you haven't finished. And don't feel guilty. Don't feel guilty (preaching to myself). With the amount of educational television out there these days, give yourself permission to let the kids watch a couple episodes while you read in that corner or make purchases on Amazon. It's ok, really.
2. Get your game face on. We've already played an embarrassing amount of Twister since the temps have dropped. Apparently games are a great way to teach your kiddos about taking turns and being a "good sport". And sometimes, games may even lead to a competetive match between mom and dad, while the kids sit on the sidelines. Wait. Just our family?!
1. Turn your mourning (of summer) into dancing. You may never love the cold, and that's ok, but your frown will turn upside down when you start to count the things you are thankful for. Like a warm home, healthy kids, comfort food, dance parties, and quality time inside with friends and family.
CHEERS to embracing what we are walking through, even if it's snow!
We listened, and our hearts sank, at shocking news about someone we know. We didn't know the person on a daily basis or even have them to our house, but we have reaped enough of their wisdom to want to call them a friend.
The news was shocking, disheartening, and to some maybe even unforgivable, but to us, it was an immediate picture of the size of grace and vastness of love.
We heard the news. We stopped everything and prayed. We prayed because we aren't going to let the devouring one have the upper hand in this anymore. We aren't going to join the masses that beat down what's already been broken. We prayed because we have hope, and it's bigger than the shock.
God is bigger than what shocks you.
He loves deeper than what breaks you.
I've seen texts and heard calls and I'm surrounded by ones also in this holy war. A war against slander and judgement. A war for truth and the future. Could we believe that this will leave an imprint, more beautiful than what it looked like before? We can. And we will.
Instead of making things complicated, today, let's love the lost. Let's place eyes on them and burn with what He sees. The lost may be a neighbor or a relative, it may be you and it may be me. Jesus, dissolve our shock and fill our lacks with unconditional love.
Here we are, day 2, complete. Today was smoother than yesterday. I got smart and wrote in "recess" to our schedule. That made everyone a lot happier, including me. Wednesdays we incorporate cooking into Kindergarten (phonics and math wrapped up in one recipe), so without further ado, checkout Eva's Roasted Pears drizzled with honey and caramel.
Pears (picked from our back yard!)
Leslie's homemade caramel sauce
Wash pears and slice into halves. Place pears on parchment paper and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Drizzle with sauce or honey and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and serve over vanilla ice cream or yogurt. Delish!
This is it. Schooling my firstborn at home officially begins this week. No pressure, just her entire kindergarten education is on the line. Eek! But alas, I am a teacher. I am the right one for the job (say to myself again and repeat). Whatever choice you make concerning your children's education, own it. Believe in it or change it. Cheers to a new season!
It all started with a guy and his gal in the garden. I'd like to think I'm like them, tending the fruit that's been given to me and learning to capture the beauty all around. It's in my husband. It's in my 2 kids. It's everywhere. These are the revelations I dig up while meeting with the gardener. I'm recording what is in this garden family and what He says to me. Come and join us! You're welcome here.