Thursday, September 05, 2019

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

Happy first week back to school! I realize this isn't the case for anyone but it definitely is in this family with three kids in three different schools (primary, middle and high) and two teachers. One thing I have been doing each morning is some brief journaling of my stresses and gratitude's (which I'll talk about below) and I'd really encourage you to try it out if you think it would be helpful. It only takes about two minutes/day and I feel it really helps to reset and focus.

Being that it's Thursday it's time to share my thankful list of the week! I am thankful for:
1. Getting out on a hike with our kids. We used to hike every weekend but really pulled back this year as we had a lot of sports and working each day meant I wanted time at home. On the long weekend we did an easy two hour walk on the Crystal Falls trail, it was a great way to reset. I forgot how much the kids love being in nature.

2. Deleting Instagram and Facebook off my phone each day. I download IG twice a day when I want to check my messages and do a quick scan through the stories. For Facebook I can check on my computer in our office. I would say this has freed up ONE HOUR of time each day. Isn't that wild?! If you have a "problem" with just scrolling and wishing you had more time, I'd encourage you to do this. When you don't see it, or it's notifications, it helps a lot. I would do it for longer but I do value the social connections and the great information/resources that I get from it.

3. All-you-can- eat sushi. We do this once a year because our kids LOVE sushi and can eat a lot. We used to go to a place in Langley that was very affordable but it is no longer available so we went to Midori in Abbotsford for a weekday lunch before school started. Still nearly $100 for our family (cheaper on weekdays and lunch) but we all really enjoy it!

4. Sporing activities for Kai. He was able to golfing with his uncle AND the neighbour boys last week. Grateful for relatives that invest in our kids and neighbourhood friends that have similar interests. Seriously, having boys next door that LOVE sports (hockey, basketball etc) is such a blessing for Kai. He has tryouts for volleyball and soccer next week as well as evaluations for hockey so it's going to get busy but I can't wait because this kid does not do "down time" well. 

5. Nya falling in love with reading. I love reading. When I open a book I am transported back to my childhood and every book I opened and immersed myself into. I can't even explain the feeling. Koen really enjoys reading (graphic novels) and finally over the past four months or so, Nya started reading on her own and can spend hours doing it! I'm so grateful. It started with Junie B. Jones books and now she's reading her brother's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books too. 

6. Little Libraries. Talking about books, we have about five Little Libraries in our neighbourhood. We found a whole bunch of Junie B Jones books as well as so many great ones for myself. I have a hard time letting go of books but because I've found so many great ones, I've been able to pass some along too. Here were our finds on Tuesday when Koen needed a little one on one time--we just walk the route of the 1 km route to each one.

7. Journaling. As mentioned above, Gary and I started a new morning routine of getting up at 6 AM. This involves a run from 6-6:30am (between warm up and stretch it is "just" a 3 km run). After the run I journal my stressors and gratitudes for the day. Once I write down the stress it brings perspective, it's very interesting to see it in writing. One stress is what I'm teaching in January (it will be fine but it's a little out of my comfort zone re: curriculum but I love the grade 8's). As soon as I wrote it down I was like "I'm going to worry about it in December because I can't do anything about it right now". 

8. Getting up at 6AM with Gary to run. I'm glad Gary is one board with this. We weren't able to do it before now because we've always had toddlers (our own or fostering). We run together as this is both accountability and security. Gary is a faster runner than me but he runs behind me as it motivates me to go faster. We won't be doing this on the weekends but this allows us to be showered and ready for the kids at 7AM so we can devote all of our attention to them. In the past I was trying to drink my coffee from 7-7:15 while doing Nya's hair and getting the kids ready and it was too stressful. We need to be out of the door by 7:35AM so this system works for us. I'm nervous about my foot but if I wear my best runners with my orthotics and only do the 3km with proper stretching afterward, I should be okay. 

9. Photobook 2018 complete! On the day before school Koen said "Mom, when are you going to do the 2018 photobook?". They love looking through them and I do one per year. I gave myself the afternoon and put it together! Done. I use Picaboo each time. It's not the cheapest or best but it's super easy for me to navigate and I use discount codes etc. My photos are organized by month on my computer already so I just do one page/month except the summer and spring break get three pages each. Done is better than perfect, yo.

10. Teaching Anatomy and Physiology 12 (Biology 12).  I love the course. I love grade 12's. I have great classes again and am trying to learn people's names currently. I enjoy teaching so much especially about the human body which is mind boggling. The hard part is that the expectations in the B.C. schools and then our own private school just keep changing and it feels like there is so much on our plate that is not clear (I'm talking about curricular competencies on learning reports via proficiency scales and how that all translates to something like what our tests look like in grade 12). I'll figure it out and I know it's important but I miss the old days sometimes where there was so much more freedom.

11. Positive mind set. I wish I had read this before I started parenting and teaching. I grew up with a pretty fixed mindset and did not deal with failure well. I would say that by grade 11 I learned that I could practice, improve and try new things and this has morphed to today where I do love learning and improving all the time. I can see how I can change simple things in parenting for example saying " You must have put a lot of effort into that" rather than "You're so smart". I feel like I contributed to our oldest having more of a fixed mind set at the start and we have been working on this! Failure is okay and we can work on anything.

All right, that's it for the week. I would love to hear one thing that you are thankful for!!


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