Last Monday I posted about the importance of finding happiness and joy in the little things in life, no matter how insignificant they may seem. I shared a few things that brought me joy over the weekend and received such positive responses from you readers that I decided to make it a regular occurrence. Every Monday I will share something(s) that made me happy over the weekend, no matter how small or insignificant. A freshly wound skein of yarn, a particularly fragrant flower in my garden or a pudgy toddler hand with dirt under the nails clasped within my own. These are the “little things” that make life beautiful.
Her: Three months ago, she was my baby. Always on my hip, a cuddly barnacle in my daily life. Now she is a walking, talking individual entity and I just can’t deal. Her vocabulary increases by the minute and her sense of humor and enthusiasm for life and all things Sam related make this house a happier place. Yesterday she insisted on dressing herself and this is what she chose. I have to say, while it certainly wasn’t what I would have chosen for her (pink top with purple spandex shorts? Please.) I was quite flattered that she chose to wear the socks I knit her a few weeks ago, and insisted that they made her feel “like a pin-sess.” (She meant princess.)
Oh. And that hair. I heart it.
Food for the soul: We don’t eat pork in our house (on account of the whole being Jewish thing) which often stumps guests when they are tasked with bringing over an appetizer for dinner. Most people don’t realize how many appetizers have pork in them until they have to omit it. Bacon-wrapped something or other? Nope. Cocktail weinies? Sorry. Potato skins? I don’t think so. On Saturday we had friends come over and they had the ingenious idea to make jalapeño poppers (which typically have bacon in them) and instead used smoked salmon. They. Were. Amazing.
In the garden: Despite my lack of attention, our garden seems to be thriving, and we have had artichokes and tiny pole bean blossoms pop up in the last week. We have had steamed artichokes every night for the past few nights and hopefully in the next two weeks we will have fresh green beans for dinner.
If anyone else wants to share their weekend with us, please do so. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Maybe a particularly delicious dinner or a new yarn purchase. Whatever it may be, if it brought you joy, it’s worth sharing. Provide a link to your blog or just a quick blurb in the comments below. Whatever you prefer.
Have a good Monday, friends.
Last week was our first week of “doing school.” Sam is four and I thought it was time to incorporate a (very) loose preschool program into our schedule. We are still members of our Friday co-op, and while our membership has doubled in size these past six months, many of the children Sam’s age will be attending private preschool this fall, and the younger children (ages 2-3 years) will begin participating in our co-op as opposed to just playing on the floor during “lessons” like last year. Because the majority of the children are younger, the lessons will be tailored to their level, which means that it won’t be nearly challenging enough for Sam, thus the reason for our own program “on the side,” so to speak.
Our lesson is twenty minutes, three days a week. Twenty minutes is about all the undivided attention Sam can give me, and that’s on a good day. I use the Starfall website, which is $35 a year and worth every penny. We play an interactive game based on the letter or number of the day, and then do a few worksheets from our Brain Quest Pre-K workbooks that I purchased from Costco. So far, he is doing well. He likes the interactive games and while he certainly doesn’t know all his numbers and letters (not that I expected him to), I was surprised to discover that he knows all his colors, most shapes and is able to quickly figure out other basic pre-k skills like matching, sorting, and phonics.
I have read that having expectations for a four year old, especially when it’s the first year of homeschooling for both the mother and the child is unreasonable; that it leads to nothing but disappointment and frustration. I am trying with all my might to keep this advice in the forefront of my mind, but I find myself starting to worry:
What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m a terrible teacher? What if he won’t listen to me, and then he never learns his letters, and then he never learns to read, and then he can’t find a job because he’s illiterate and he ends up spending the majority of his adult life in my basement smoking weed and playing video games all day because he’s a worthless member of society and it’s ALL MY FAULT?!
You get the idea.
It’s only been two weeks, and he’s doing well. Great, actually. I know there will be hard days, days that will affirm these fears. But I’ll try to keep telling myself to worry about those days when they come, and not before. When I decided to homeschool, I knew it wasn’t going to be the easiest path for our family but I did believe and still do, that this is the best path for our family.
Enjoy the weekend everyone!
I once heard someone say that the difference between happy people and unhappy people is not necessarily life circumstances, but the ability to find joy in the little things in life. Happy people find joy in the mundane and see the light in times of darkness. They make games out of their daily chores and find the good in a bad situation. Whether this attitude is derived from their faith, their family or just a God-given ability, happy people make the world a better place. I feel that it is a moral obligation to myself, my friends and my family to be a happy person and I do my best to find joy in even the littlest of things; whether it be a pile of freshly folded laundry, the smell of fresh cut flowers in my dining room or the sound of my children laughing hysterically together in their bedroom when they should be sleeping soundly. (At least they’re getting along.)
This weekend Gabe was gone on a fishing trip and I spent most of the weekend by myself with the three children. In an attempt to keep a firm grip on my sanity I made a point to capture the little things, no matter how small or insignificant they might seem, that brought me happiness. I thought I would share them with you all.
In the garden: fresh herbs, bees jumping from stalk to stalk on my lavender plants, and my first heirloom tomato of the season
In the orchard: Morning light washing over the Eastern field and the apple trees.
On the needles: My Rosewater shawl is finished and I blocked it yesterday. I’m so in love with how it turned out and I can’t wait to show everyone.
Selfie: I bought a new red lipstick and I wore it all day Friday. Some people might find it ridiculous to wear red lipstick at 9:00 in the morning and they are probably right. But it felt fresh and young, and made me feel more like Sarah, and less like Mama.
I hope everyone else had as good a weekend as I did. Happy Monday, my friends.