In My Pocket this Week, Volume Six

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I feel a little like I want to play catch up with you all. My life feels drastically different than it did even a year ago, and yet it's very much the same. We're still in Waco, while Cody continues work towards his PhD in Religion. At the beginning of May he will complete his 3rd year. And suddenly, it feels like it's all going by so quickly. Cody and I will celebrate our 8th anniversary in May, and I am beginning to see that the formation of a family is complex and takes patience, purpose, and time—lots of time. We're starting to see the fruit forming (or maybe it's just the buds) on the tree we planted a long time ago and have watered and watched, as well as neglected and abused. Lately I've been a bit in awe over this as I see my interests change and take better shape, as our boys grow and mature, and as Cody nears the completion of a very long, arduous, and meaningful education. I do not long for Cody to be done with school. I like our lives here in Waco. We're always seeking to do things better, trying to live fully right where we are, but still dreaming a lot about what might be possible.

INTERESTED IN

Camping. This idea has been stewing in my mind for a couple of years now, but I think we're ready to take the plunge. I think I'll love the challenge of it, even though everything in my nature is against being in close proximity to wild critters. I'm half afraid that our first night sleeping outside will fill me with unknown levels of anxiety. I just have no idea, but I'm determined to do it because camping will give us 3 things that I desire greatly. First, it will get our children out in nature and give them the tools to be knowledgable campers (unlike their mother). I feel like this is a really important gift to give our kids who are growing up in such a tech-centered world.

I'm not against technology, but I want our kids to love nature more.

Second, we can finally be rid of those really awful 17+ hour through-the-night roadtrips. We might actually take our summer drive to South Carolina FIVE HOURS AT A TIME. Sounds like all the luxury I need to make up for sleeping on the hard ground with the wild things.

Third, camping will help me in my ongoing self-imposed training to be a better traveler. I'm not good at accepting the discomfort that comes with traveling, but I love the adventure, so I've been practicing for years at becoming better at dealing with discomfort and letting the challenges roll of my back.

READING

Prince Caspian aloud to the boys for the second time, and The House at Pooh Corner. I am reading Planet Narnia, and just last week finished The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (highly recommend!).

If you've been reading aloud to your children and they just don't seem interested, don't be too discouraged. Last semester I read both LWW and Prince Caspian to the boys and we really trudged through them. But now they are both so interested! It's been a delight to see them responding to the stories with excitement. Do not be afraid to re-read a good story to your kids. It might actually be more fun the second time! If you're just starting your chapter book journey with your kids, or wondering if it's the right time to start, you may be interested in my thoughts on introducing them to your pre-readers.

RECENT GOOD LINKS

How to Homeschool When Your Child Only Wants to Play - Yes yes yes. Did you all notice that I didn't end up sharing much of our school year with you? That's because telling you that my 6 year old only did a portion of his math and reading curriculum, but mostly played LEGO, learned to ride a Ripstic and used his imagination doesn't sound very much like "school." And yet I think last year was exactly as it should have been.

Screen Time Studies Parents Should Know About - For the first time in my journey as a parent I am really happy with the way we do screen time. However, this article jumped out at me because a) it's from a trusted source and b) because I don't want to get so comfortable with our screen time routine that I stop questioning it on occasion.

Do You Fall For Any of These Common Clutter-Clearing Myths? - Ummm yea.

And a couple of old but good links for Holy Week!

Holy Week In Handprints - I do not love disposable crafts, but I do think we should be engaging our senses as we practice our faith with our little ones. These super simple handprint crafts are great for a quick and easy way to bring your child into a discussion of the events of Holy Week. Perfect for those new to observing Holy Week!

What is Maundy Thursday? - Because we've all wondered.