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Friday, July 6, 2018

Anticipate Fun

Stacks of books ready to travel with us!
I am packing for vacation today!  Hooray!

Although what I'm actually doing is writing a blog post about packing, when I should be just madly packing, hah!  But I have stacks ready to put in bags, so that's a start, right?

I am a terrible over-preparer and usually pack way too much for one week.  For example, for this one week beach trip, I have packed 7 books for myself, 4 books for my daughter, and an audio book to listen to in the car on the way.  Plus several writing and art projects, and some summer academic prep for my daughter.  That's totally do-able in one week, right? 

I think part of the reason I over-prepare for a trip is that I love anticipating fun.  I love looking forward to the lazy moments, and I relish in the fact that I will get to hang out with my family by the ocean, and stay in my PJs as long as I want, and do nothing but read for hours on end, and see beautiful sights for a whole week. Sometimes I get more happiness from looking forward to a trip than I get while actually on the trip!  Which seems silly, but as a creature of habit and a homebody, it can be stressful to travel, even to a well-loved place.  So, sometimes the anticipation of a fun time can bring just as much joy as the actual event!

What about you, do you find that looking forward to good times can sometimes bring as much happiness as those times in and of themselves?  

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Read Thematic Books After the Fact

Beautiful page from Olivia Forms a Band
Do you ever notice that we, as parents and teachers and decorators, tend to love holiday themes and decor before the fact, but often dismiss the theme immediately after the event?  We decorate for Christmas starting in October, but it's a faux pas to keep your decorations up past New Year's.  We wear red, white, and blue the whole week before July 4th, but put away the patriotic clothes on the 5th.  I used to do the same thing with my speech lessons.  I would read trick or treating books leading up to Halloween, but never after.  I would make heart crafts before Valentine's Day, but never after.

But I've noticed in this, my 16th year as a speech language pathologist, that children will often talk more about an event or experience after that experience.  Just by accident, I stumbled upon this bit of knowledge this year, when I left some egg and nest books out after Easter and had some children request the books saying things like, "Oh, those are like the eggs I hunted!" or, "Hey I did that-- let's read that one again!"

So let's slow down in putting our thematic unit activities away so quickly after an event or holiday.  I myself plan to read these two fireworks books -- Olivia Forms a Band, and The Very Lonely Firefly-- for the next few days in my speech therapy sessions, in hopes that it will help my patients be able to recall more details, vocabulary, and concepts about their own experiences with fireworks this week.

What were your favorite family traditions for July 4th?  What traditions do you hope to pass on one day?

Neat page from the Very Lonely Firefly

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Enjoy a Day of Rest

Flanna's friend slept over last night and joined us for crepes!
Hi, friends!  It's been a while since I've blogged, but today, we have a day off mid-week and nothing, I repeat, no.thing. on our schedule!  So, I had time to do all the little things I love to do:  cook, eat at a table with my family, tell stories, laugh, go for a walk, take a long bath, read, and now, even blog!  Hooray for a little down time! 

It's been a nice lazy day so far.  My hubby and daughter played Minecraft a bit, my hubby serenaded us with his guitar from his office/music room, and we ate crepes for breakfast (my favorite recipe from the Moosewood cookbook) and my favorite fancy cheese and crackers for lunch.  Yum. 

Homemade crepes with blueberries and homemade whipped cream.  Yum. 
Tonight, we're going to see some fireworks, which will be fun.  And until then, I have a wide open bit of time to rest and relax.  The terrible thing is, though, that any time I have a bit of time off from work, I see it as a failure if I don't get a few projects done at home during that time.  It's like I know that my time at home is so precious that I don't want to waste it, but then that precious day off becomes just another day of "work."  So, today, I'm trying to fight the urge to open my planner and check off one of my to-do items.  (I need to set up my soaker hoses outside.  I need to sort the piles of papers collecting on my kitchen counter.  I need to find school shoes for my daughter.  I need to do laundry, of course.)

I know that checking those things off would be helpful, but I also know that I have been feeling exhausted, not just physically, but mentally exhausted, with work and all of the zillions of things pulling me in this or that direction. So today, I am going to keep that planner in my bag, and keep that to-do list waiting for a bit, because sometimes, I need to actually rest on a day off! 

Do you have a strange urge to fill your "down-time" with tasks, too? To accomplish things every single day, even on your days off?  Often, that drive can be helpful, but some days I really do need to just rest and re-set.