Back to School

Getting ready to go back to school

Summer is quickly winding down {tear} and it is time to get ready for the start of a new school year. I’m sad to say goodbye to late nights and even later mornings, the warm summer air and late afternoon tanning sessions, freedom from schedules and the busyness of everyday life that happens ten months out of the year. But I’m excited to say hello to new students, creative learning activities {Thank you Pinterest!}, cooler nights and all the things that fall brings with it.

To get back into the swing of going to school here are a few things that you can do as a family to help prepare your littles {and you}:

1. Talk about going back to school and be excited about it!

Thoughts of the first day of school can bring on anxiety for littles because there is so much unknown–Who will be the teacher? What time is lunch? Who is in my class? Where will you pick me up? Talking about all the new adventures the school year will bring can help ease the anxiety, if you’re excited they will be too. If possible, and especially if attending a new school, go on a school tour, see if there is a “Meet the Teacher” day, and show them the spot you planning on meeting them at the end of the day. There are also a ton of super fun books out there about the first day of school.

2. Use visuals

Create a back-to-school countdown. Kids always want to know how many more “sleeps” until the first day so together create something that lets them know. This will add to all the excitement.  Also, make a schedule for the morning that includes each action that needs to be done before walking out the door. Not only will this decrease you constantly telling them what to do, it will increase their independence and give you some extra time in the morning to get yourself ready. More on making visual schedules soon but in the meantime you can search Pinterest for ideas.

3. Go to bed and wake up at your regular time

We all know that it is very easy and fun to stay up late and sleep in but it can be very difficult to reverse these habits! By going to bed earlier by 10-15 minutes each night, your child will be able to get back into normal sleeping patterns much easier. Start adjusting sleep schedules at least two weeks before the start of school. This will help ease the stress and grumpiness that can ensue those first days of school. Seriously, teachers will love you if you can get your child to school on time and happy!

4. Practice your morning routine

How long does it really take for your little to wake up, eat a healthy breakfast, and get dressed? Is the drive to school only 5 minutes or is it really 10?  By really knowing how long your morning routine takes your family to complete, you can adjust your wake up and leave times before the first day of school. So practice getting up at the right time, get ready and head to school. It took less time than you thought? Great! Now you have a little bit of extra time for those mornings that don’t go as well.

5. Get organized

Being organized will make everyone’s life much easier. Do you really want to waste 3 minutes every morning looking for a lost shoe or book? Is it worth a battle every morning to decide what your little fashionista is going to wear? Before the start of the school week lay out what is going to be worn each day. I love the idea of using a sweater organizer–pick out the clothes, pop them in a cubby and each morning your little can independently grab the stack and get dressed! The night before make sure everything is in backpacks and lunches are packed. This will make your mornings much more peaceful.

And finally, enjoy the last few days of summer! Squeeze in an extra beach trip or BBQ. Have just ONE more late night movie marathon. Swim under the stars. Enjoy ice cream for dinner.

I hope these help! Happy Summer!

Small victory!

I’m still a little sweaty as I write but I am so excited… I just finished my first run in under a 10 minute pace! In fact, my first mile was 9:32! For many that is probably slow, but for me, the girl that 2 years ago hated running, this is a small victory. Sometimes I was super committed and was out running almost daily and other times weeks went by without a single step. Isn’t that the way a lot of things in life go? We get all amped up and go full force into something new and then it gets hard or life gets in the way or we get a cold and all motivation just goes out the window. And then it harder than ever to pick it back up again. And I don’t just mean when it comes to physical health. What about our spiritual, mental, emotional health? When was the last time you read your Bible? Worshipped Jesus? Prayed? Relaxed without a piece of technology in sight? Or spent time connecting face-to-face with those you love? I’ll admit that I don’t do these things as often as my soul craves them. I make excuses instead of making habits even though deep down I know that doing all of these things will make me feel better, filled with joy and the Spirit. And that is what I really strive for. Not breaking a 10-minute pace, but feeling well, whole, loved by the God that created me and knowing I am doing everything possible to love him back. So while today was a small victory in my physical disciplines, its time to find bigger victories in Christ.

What habits are you making today?

To JESUS

It’s funny how when I least expect it, God has something for me to do. I was sitting on my couch yesterday after getting home from teaching summer school and then deciding to pull weeds in the blazing hot sun – not sure what I was thinking…when I get a text from Jill: http://www.littlebigthingsblog.com
I didn’t even have to click on the link, I just knew (sort of) that this was a big thing coming at me. Because I was a little winded and light-headed from the heat, it didn’t dawn on me that Jill had actually started the blog that we had been talking about since before last summer. I read her post and almost cried. I was really proud of her for stepping out and trusting in God. So I had to comment because when it comes to Jill, I always feel this sense of “she needs to here ‘this…’ “- and I know it’s not me talking – it’s God using me to let her know she is on the right track. So I posted a comment and sent her a text “So that’s what you have been doing! Moderate my comment;)”
And then, my sinful nature kicked in – darn…I thought, I really wanted to do that with her. But, she stepped out on her own, and I honestly have not been working at it as hard as she has. So I will support her and pray for her and follow her blog.
But God had other plans because she texted back “…I just did it. I think you need to be the other author of it!”
Heart in overdrive – seriously beating out of my chest. And as I texted Jill back, my six-year-old son starts singing a song he had learned at school that ends with him shouting “To JESUS! To JESUS! To JESUS!”
And that really is how God works in my life. These little moments that suddenly are full of meaning because my son shouting “To JESUS” kept my mind on God instead of on what I might get out of joining this venture with Jill. It’s a constant reminder – everything must be according to His will, and so as I begin this journey with my awesome friend, I can’t help but think “To JESUS!!!

So here I go

So the thing is I have put off starting this blog for about 2 years….It is often on my mind and in my heart–I’ve prayed about it and talked to friends. I’ve read tons of articles on how to get started, reach my readers, the best time to post, promoting…. I’ve started, gotten frustrated or scared and stop. I’ve even written a few posts that are hidden in my phone. But I know that God has put this desire in my heart and I am learning to say yes to the things He puts before me. I am choosing to say yes to His voice instead of the ones that keep saying {inside my head} that what I have to say doesn’t matter, that I’m not crafty {I try} or have the most gorgeous home for all to see {but its my home}, that I am going to fail {who hasn’t?}, or that when looking at others I am not spiritual enough, pretty enough, smart enough. But comparison is the thief of joy, right? And it is in obedience to Him through faith, trust, and hope that we find the most joy. So no more putting things off unless they are sins that hinder. No more being scared to say yes because life is about taking risks. And man this can get risky–putting my heart out there–but I can’t just keep thinking about doing things and not doing them. So here I go….