Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner
I did get outside and shoot some great photographs like this one and the kids were around me AND I've been doing things outside myself, but mostly I've been this busy, buzzy me--too busy to spend fifteen short minutes playing outside with the kids.
This week is already better than the last two, but not much. I am hoping that cleaning the van counts for tomorrow. At least I see how serious a problem I have. That's something, right?
Don't let this photo fool you. It's from Week 8. Week 7? Officially a bust. I was so busy being INSIDE that I was too tired to go OUTSIDE. Remember that the challenge isn't just to spend 15 minutes outside, but to spend 15 minutes outside playing with the kids. That's the problem.
I feel sufficiently guilty, but I'm still tired enough from overdoing it for a month that I've been spotty this week, too. I wonder if I'm suffering from that obligation based procrastination I wrote about? I was at the park playing tennis with a friend yesterday. The kids were with me, but I wasn't playing with them. I spent tons of time discussing how hot, exhausted, and bored they were though. Does that count? We've had mid-summer temps here lately.
Anyway, there are still several days left of week 8, right? :-)
P.S. Aren't those flowers gorgeous? My husband is trying to take credit for them, but I give all the glory to God.
This week is evidence that the whole 21-days-to-make-a-habit thing is bunk. On Monday, I played tennis outside with Caleb, but forgot to take a picture. I went for a walk with my daughter using her new doll stroller (and for some reason got a blurry picture) on Tuesday. That was it!
I was indoors all day Wednesday through Saturday helping with a speech tournament and spent Sunday indoors recovering. I am glad for blogging my challenge, though, as it is reminding me that it's important. Next week isn't going to be much better though. Lots of all-day, indoor obligations! I'll make up for it when we go on our family beach vacation.
Did anyone else get outside with their kids this week?
I've been flying through life this week and don't plan to land until May! I can honestly say that I forgot to spend 15 minutes outside a couple of times this week. Since I refuse to be a perfectionist with this, I will continue on.
This large flying disk I bought at Walgreens has been a hit with the kids. We tried to create a game with it that involved lots of players (you have to pick a spot and can only move one leg to try to catch it).
I used to be a jump rope fanatic as a kid. It's still a great form of exercise, even if my mother's bladder doesn't think so. I bought myself a new jump rope at TJ Maxx and went at it with my daughter. She got a new jump rope for Easter, which is great because mine is too big for her.
We've been sticking around home a lot for our 15 minutes, so it was nice to travel this week. We enjoyed seeing cars practice at the Indy 500 track and the Creation Museum so much. I highly recommend it if you haven't been!
Easter was a wonderful day to be outside.
I finally got to enjoy my favorite outdoor activity with the kids: hiking! My husband's brother and sister-in-law invited us to hike and it was the perfect way to end a beautiful holiday. Hope you had a blessed Easter and got outside, too! You should be seeing the kids' Easter goodies in use next week.
Have you been outside with the kids this week?
Psychologists say that it takes 21 days to establish a habit. I'm a psychologist and I say that's bunk. If I hadn't committed to this publicly, hadn't had such fabulous weather, and hadn't been enjoying myself, I would quit right now. But it's been a great week. We've moved our tennis lesson outside each week which makes one day a no-brainer.
While the kids keep trying to guilt me into playing outdoor games every day, I am figuring out how to do other things outside. I'm measuring my kids for health insurance forms here.
Even though I started off thinking that I would be in every picture, I am not going to be legalistic about that. I played giant bubbles with Elaina again. You can get this set at Wal-mart and kids of every age love it.
Another benefit of being outside is that I get to play with my other kid more often. Daisy seems just as excited about outside time as the kids. Although, I have to be honest, and say that the kids aren't always excited. They LOVE video games. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by seeing the kids get outside more on their own--even when they have friends over.
Swinging with the kids brings back fond childhood memories, but it also threatens to bring up my last meal. My husband and I have both noticed motion problems with age.
I missed several days of outside time this week due to attending a debate tournament with my oldest, but the last day of the week was the best. We loaded up the bikes and went for a family ride at the park. At 6:00 p.m., the 90F temps had cooled and it was ideal riding weather. I hope we do a lot more biking together this year. I have no idea why my daughter looks so put upon in this photo. She seemed plenty perky the rest of the time.
Linking up to Loving our Children Tuesdays. Enjoy!
Do you go for family bike rides? If not, could you, should you, would you? :-)
I'm starting to figure out that spending 15 minutes outside is easy. It's the "playing with the kids" part that can be a little challenging. I had no idea I looked that awful when I'm unhappy with them. As you can see, my little photographer's skills could use some work. We played with the sticky paddles I bought at Wal-Mart and it was pretty fun.
I'm thrilled to report that my new weighted hula hoop arrived and I can now hula hoop! It's a good workout. Movement in this photo makes me look like I have braces. The kids enjoyed complaining about my new hoop being too big and heavy.
It was loads of fun playing catch with my daughter. Very few of my kids' activities were things I did as a kid, but softball is one thing we have in common. She's got a great arm! I need an adult mitt to keep up with her, though, so that's on the shopping list.
I'm sorry to report that I missed TWO WHOLE DAYS outside with the kids this week as I was away at a conference, getting ready for it, or too exhausted to consider playing. But I did spend at least half an hour most of the rest of the days outside. One of those days I was outside while the kids were, but as my older boys are quick to remind me--that doesn't count. What I have done is enjoy watching my baby ride his bike with no training wheels and the kids make enormous bubbles.
We ended the week playing dodgeball with the neighbor. This seemed like a good idea until three players were sidelined with injuries. It's been another summer-like week and we're fixin' to have another!
Do you ever play dodge ball with your kids?
It's been an easy fun week this week as we've been experiencing summer in early spring. The kids introduced me to the hilarious games of Crocodile and Toilet Bowl on the trampoline. In Crocodile, you have to close your eyes and grap at people. If you grab someone and identify them, that person is it. I did very poorly at this game, but it did make me laugh. Toilet Bowl means avoiding being pulled into and touching the center markings of the trampoline.
Tuesday was very easy on me. I got to play tennis with the kids on the new courts, replaced after the tornado last year.
I went to the store this week and got the kids all kinds of fun, inexpensive gear to get them playing outside. I expected to get the kids going, but not the other homeschool moms at P.E.! We had a blast. I ordered a heavier hoop for myself because I was having a hard time with this one!
What a treat! We got to eat and do art outside with no bugs!
If anything can get my kids outside, it's water balloons. What a blessing those automatic balloon tie-ers are!
What a blessing that we got to do co-op outside. With so many boys cooped up indoors, it's real incentive for me get outdoors! We are studying Australia and had fun playing the game, Kai. It's kind of like balloon toss where you keep it off the ground by attempting to hit it according to all the letters of the alphabet (no one twice in a row). We got to W! The kids have also been having fun playing with their boomerangs.
I'm sorry to say that we didn't get out on Saturday. We were indoors for the church's Easter egg hunt and then had thunderstorms. I could have gone under the drive-through, but sheesh. I'll take a mulligan. Sunday was a wonderful day to relax in the hammock and let the kids show me what they could do with the trampoline, soccer ball, hula hoop, and boomerang.
It's been a wonderful week outside!
This week I've learned how much I will suffer for the sake of this challenge--and enjoy, too. I tried to get away with hanging outside at the kids' PE class and gabbing with girlfriends while the kids played. The photo below was going to be my 15 Minutes shot. My 12yo would have none of it and insisted I play baseball with them and a friend. Even though I was running around in boots, I honestly had a blast.
On Tuesday, we headed out with dad for a day at the Arch. It was warm, but extremely windy.
The day was cooler on Thursday, but reminded me of spring days in my childhood as we checked out the neighborhood daffodils in bloom.
Friday the kids played tag for co-op. I didn't play, but comforted kids complaining that the rules were unfair. We played "stoop tag." You can duck down and not be tagged 3 times. The problem was the taggers would swarm the stooper like a brood of vultures waiting for them to stand up. For some reason, I have horrible facial expressions when taking pictures of myself. Sorry you don't see any kids running around either, but believe me, they're there.
On Sunday, it was cold and rainy, so I decided to have the kids blow bubbles with me in our covered drive-through. We had to use a timer for this one! The kids complained quite a bit, but you know what? It was frivolous and refreshing. I tried to create a game where the first one to pop 20 bubbles won and it became tackle bubble. Not good.
My husband and I recently admitted that screens were once again taking up too much of our family's time. As I looked for substitute activities, I found the book, 15 Minutes Outside. One of the weird things about me, having grown up camping, gardening, and working on a farm, is that 15 minutes outside seems like a long time. I'm not a fan of getting dirty, I can't stand mosquitos (though they love me) and I absolutely, positively hate being cold. Couple that with the fact that almost all of my responsibilities take place inside and it's a wonder I even sampled the book. But I did. Even though my husband is amazing about getting our kids outside to play, I have felt guilty about my indoor ways. First, I know that the sun and fresh air are good for my health (and my kids'). Second, I love the idea of using nature to teach kids. I have the Handbook of Nature Study and I've looked longingly at the great blog that inspires homeschoolers to use it. I did the first outing that was recommended in our neighborhood and it was a terrific time! But sadly, the first outing was the last. Finally, I have been wanting to spend more time just playing with my kids and enjoying them. I tend to teach and train and then I'm often too tired for more.
For those reasons and to entice the kids away from the screens, I announced that I was going to spend fifteen minutes outside with the kids every day. The kids were excited and started thinking of all the fun places we could go. Pathetically, they reminded me of our one and only nature outing. At lunch, we shared the news with Dad, who thought it was a great idea. As my son played with our dog (pictured bottom right), I kept thinking of how I was going to endure 15 minutes on the coldest, wettest days. My husband said, "It's torture for her." I nodded, surprised that my husband knew what I was feeling. Then I realized that he was telling my son not to let the dog get so close to the food on the table. Right after lunch, I donned my jacket and headed out for a game of basketball P-I-G. (The kids reminded me of my commitment--already.) I was shocked that even my homework-addicted teen joined the fun. Not only did he join, but he thanked me later for the invitation. I have to admit that I planned on setting my iPhone timer for 15 minutes. The kids would have none of that, though, and we ended up playing for half an hour. We had a little bit of a nature study in that we tried to identify where the woodpecker pecking sound was coming from. But mostly, it was just good, refreshing fun. To make it less torture for me, I plan to photograph, blog, and scrapbook our 15-minute outdoor adventures this year here on my personal blog. I'll be indoors for most of that! It isn't realistic for me to blog daily, so my goal is a weekly roundup post. I'm also not promising to get outside when there's a tornado warning, it's -50F, or I'm really sick. But I'm willing to get out of my comfort zone. Here are some links with more on the challenge:
Lately I have been struggling to determine how to spend my writing time. I have a limited amount of time and an unlimited number of ideas. I'd love to do it all, but that isn't reasonable when I have a full-time job homeschooling my six kids.
My writing timeline thus far can be summarized as follows:
So I wonder what I should do. I'm over my phase of wondering if I should be writing at all while trying to homeschool. I'm past the idea that I can't try to make money selling what I write simply because I don't need the money. I now know that I can make money to support charities and missions and can make time to write despite my busyness.
But do I drop my blogs completely until I finish my novel? (I do know that I need to finish and publish it.) Do I just blog post haphazardly (which is what has been happening despite my repeated resolve to make my blogs a priority)? Do I spend my writing time on speeches, articles for publication, or even video scripts (which is yet another thing I love writing and developing)? Do I spend my time promoting what I've already written? Do I focus on writing more books which I could sell at my speaking engagements? Do I keep trying to do it all?
For today, I've decided just to write about where I'm at, like I would to a friend.