Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread - Proverbs 30:8

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks


taking a moment to find joy in the little things

We had the wonderful opportunity to get away again for a few days last week. My husband recently cut back hours at work so we could spend more time as a family exploring and adventuring and building a life together. We had all sorts of weather while we were in central Oregon this time...rain, blue skies and snow. So we got to enjoy several different activities.

{pretty}











{happy}

We went to Fort Rock state park, which was new to us. It was pretty cool...such a different landscape than we are used to seeing. Walking next to the rim rock, we found lots of pellets that were droppings from some sort of bird of prey. The girls have dissected owl pellets at our science museum, but it was cool to see them here in the wild and try to identify the bones that remained. Homeschooling at its finest!





We also managed to find a winter wonderland to play in one day.



And we took the time to stop and gawk at one of our favorite places...Smith Rock state park.



Black and White Wednesday

Today I give you three nature shots in black and white....


a feather



birch bark from my backyard



and snow on curly branches...this one is not edited in black and white -
this is really what it looked like.





and a bonus photo...
this is how we homeschool
I particularly like the stripes of the blinds and the stripes of her shirt.


Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A New Perspective on Decluttering




I just finished reading Marie Kondo's book "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" and loved it. It has such a different perspective when it comes to decluttering, and it's message is just what I needed to hear.

Ms. Kondo is very specific in how to declutter, and her advice is somewhat contrary to the messages I've heard from others. I find it intriguing because after more than five years on this journey of pursuing less, I still feel like I'm fighting clutter on a daily basis. Ms. Kondo suggests that if you declutter and tidy your home correctly, it's a one time endeavor. And, according to her, her way is the correct way.

Here are some highlights that I found helpful:

  • know why you want to declutter - know your motivation
  • order is important - clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous, mementos
  • one category at a time - do ALL your clothes, ALL your books, etc. Don't declutter and discard by room or shelf or drawer, do it by category
  • hold and handle each item - ask yourself, "Does this bring me joy?"
  • declutter/discard first, THEN figure out where everything goes.
  • recognize when an item has already fulfilled its role
According to Ms. Kondo, this whole process can take up to six months. She claims that her clients have such great success in following her method that they never relapse into living amidst clutter again. 

The most freeing advice I found was to recognize when an item has already fulfilled its role. For example, I buy quite a few books about motherhood and parenting. Sometimes I read them, but I currently have two on my shelf that I've had for more than a year and have not yet read. When you have something that long, it's not likely you'll get around to it someday. Perhaps its role was to help you realize you don't really want or need to read another book of that topic. Each item you keep or discard can teach you a lesson about what brings you joy.

I enjoyed seeing the Japanese culture and thinking come through this pages of this book. Ms. Kondo actually talks to her possessions, thanking them for their hard work or for their role in her life. I don't see myself doing this, but it does give a new perspective and perhaps attitude towards the possessions we have in our lives. If we have fewer possessions, perhaps we will value and appreciate them more. 

I highly recommend getting your hands on this book and reading its message. It's short and easy to read, and full of general and specific ideas and examples to help motivate you.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for a review.

for more book info, go HERE
for author bio, go HERE



Monday, November 24, 2014

Monday Manifest ~ Hugging


This is the eighth installment in this series. A couple years ago I ran across a list called "a parenting manifesto of joy" on Ann Voskamp's site. It's a beautiful list of essentials when it comes to parenting, and as a homeschooling mom, I desperately need to inhale and exhale and absorb this list. Each Monday, I've been sharing each idea individually in an attempt to get myself to focus more intently on that idea during the week.



Today, I will hug each of my children as many times as I serve them meals - because children's hearts feed on touch. I'll look for as many opportunities to touch my children today as possible - 
the taller they are the more so.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Early Winter


taking a moment to find joy in the little things

{pretty}
Like many other Americans, we experienced some pretty cold weather this past week from the arctic blast that came through. We got a wee bit of snow which quickly turned into ice and created a wonderful mix of autumn and winter. 











{happy}
My girls will take any opportunity they get to play in the snow...even if it's not much!




{funny}
I don't even know...this is how I found her practicing this week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Black and White Wednesday ~ Autumn


One of the things I love most about autumn are the colors....

reds, greens, yellows, oranges, browns...so warm and vibrant and beautiful.

I decided to take the color out of some of my favorite fall photos and found a different kind of beauty. 
When an image is lacking color, I often notice new details. I love how these images turned out.








Linking up with  Black and White Wednesday 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Manifesto ~ Drawing Near


This is the seventh installment in this series. A couple years ago I ran across a list called "a parenting manifesto of joy" on Ann Voskamp's site. It's a beautiful list of essentials when it comes to parenting, and as a homeschooling mom, I desperately need to inhale and exhale and absorb this list. Each Monday, I'll be sharing each idea individually in an attempt to get myself to focus more intently on that idea during the week.



Today, the moment when I am most repelled by a child's behavior, that is my sign to draw the very closest to that child.