Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

The youngest yogi at the ashram

Charlotte and I have started taking yoga classes together. We are lucky enough to live near an ashram. The energy there is beautiful and the yoga studio looks over a mountain lake. The teacher, Jennifer, is a giving, loving soul and we are so blessed to have her as our teacher.
I thought yoga class would be good for both of us. Even though I have a yoga dvd, being in Jennifer's class let me hear from some muscles I haven't talked to in a while.:) I signed up Charlotte so she could better handle her stomach pain that she has had for years.
Charlotte LOVES yoga. She loves the quiet time most of all. She is the youngest student in the class. When she is skipping around the ashram grounds with her hot pink yoga mat and her hair in a ponytail, the other students (from all over the world) smile and say Charlotte will be the youngest yogi at the ashram.
The ashram is such a wonderful resource. Not only does it host an internationally acclaimed yoga school, a vegetarian cafe, speakers from world philosophies and religions, but also houses a school of ayurveda studies. I'm hoping when my time substitute teaching comes to an end my schedule will allow me to attend some of the classes.
Until then...peace everyone...OOOhhhmmmmm

Monday, March 18, 2013

When you turn 13...

you get to have birthday cake for breakfast :)

Last week it happened, I became the mother of a teenager. I couldn't be more proud of this little woman!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Charlotte's school had a Science Symposium night this week.  All the kids were encouraged to participate. We didn't go last year, so this was the first time Charlotte was involved. From the size of the turnout, I think the whole village showed up. I know parents whose kids did not do a science project still showed up to encourage the other children! Amanda and her 7th grade friends even came...they WANTED to!
It's not a competition. The children are expected to develop a hypothesis, follow an experiment and draw conclusions.  Miss Charlotte made a pasta/marshmallow bridge to test which was stronger spaghetti (cylinder) or linguine (flat). When each grade was announced, our local "scientists" - teachers and high school students dressed in their lab coats - went from experiment to experiment.
Charlotte had to explain her experiment and answer questions. Again, and again, and again! By the end of the evening, my little girl was pooped!
For me, the best part of the evening was seeing the little ones learn from the big guys!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Need peace in your heart?

From Chaos to Calm: 15 Weeks to a Happy Home | A Virtuous Woman

My cyber-friend,  Melissa is starting a 15 week daily devotion to help bring peace and calm to our hearts and home. She is also recording podcasts to go along with the series. I loved Melissa's sites, I've been visiting her for 5 or 6 years now.  I stopped by for the vegetarian recipes, stayed for the lovely company. Melissa is a gentle, fierce woman of God.
I've been thinking of the changes and challenges I'll be facing in 2013. I'm hoping to gain discipline and focus over the next few months. Stop by, she has the welcome mat out.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

I can't create the life I have just reading about the life I want

My's like cheese, or chips, or brownies, I could really let myself binge! And so it is with surfing around on the net.  There are so many wonderful, inspiring women out there. I could just read their sites for hours.


I ask myself...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The best 45 minutes a day

There are SO MANY things that we have to make sure our children do daily; brush their teeth, school work, eat their fruits and veggies, some sort of artistic pursuit, play outside for an hour, play with siblings, chores, creative writing, build, explore plus I'm told they need at least 9 hours sleep! And I'M supposed to find time to clean, cook, work, exercise, walk the dog, bills, study, read, husband is around somewhere. Aaaauuugh. I only have 24 hours folks.
It can be tough to prioritize.  And all our shoulds can make parenting stressful and overwhelming. I have rarely hit all the marks, most time our daily shoulds turn in to eventually we'll get there. (And yes, I've sent a child to school without brushing their teeth...they lived.)
There is one activity I want to stress the importance of - reading aloud to your children! Reading aloud is so important. As an educator, I have learned that reading aloud is perhaps the most important activity in the teaching of reading. Children need to hear the best literature read aloud to them everyday.  And not just when they can't read it for themselves, but through all of their school years!
I don't think read alouds are time for the children to just lie back and float off to dream land. During a read aloud we model to our children how to think sequentially, we comment on characters and the reason for events, we predict, we retell the story, etc.  We model all of the strategies they can use as independent readers. This does not take a PhD. It boils down to reading the story aloud, letting your child know you enjoyed it, making comments along the way ("Oh, I didn't expect that to happen." "Why did she go there?") and asking your child what part they liked/disliked and to tell you about it. Reading together shows a child this is an activity you value and you want to share it with them.
Hubby and I have always made time for reading in our lives. Our house is full of books, we checked out the local library first before deciding to move to our little village, we join in the girls' excitement when a new and wonderful book is discovered.  Okay, you get the picture - we are book people, folks! We wear the love of reading on our sleeves.
When they were little we grabbed little bits of time to read to the morning while we were drinking coffee and wanted a quiet activity, while waiting for lunch, rainy days, bedtime, bath time, potty time (do you?), anytime.
Now that they are older and reading on their own, I've forgotten the importance of reading aloud.  I still do during sick days and summer break, but that has been it.
This year reading aloud is going back on the list of important activities!!!! Tatatada! (can you tell I've been thinking about my priorities this new year?) Will I do a daily read aloud? No way, just not in the cards.  But I'm going to look for those moments when we can share a few pages and meet new characters together.  There are plenty of on-line resources that suggest excellent read alouds for every age group. I'm gonna get a paperback version, put it within easy reach, read it aloud, and draw power and peace and strength from reading. What a great thing to share.