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Mountain goats, baseball, slime, and an Escape Room!

Welcome to my weekly post I share a peek into our lives, talk about things I’m loving, share links to interesting articles or helpful ideas I’ve collected throughout the past week, and just talk about whatever is on my heart! ?

One of the highlights of Breckenridge was getting to see mountain goats out in the wild!

My niece, Emily, came up with a creative way to carry her dolly around while we were walking around in Colorado.

We climbed up this fairly big rocky hill… and then the girls had the idea for me to take pictures of them looking like they were falling off the side of the hill.

After I took pictures of them, they wanted me to get in on the fun. And this was one of the pictures Kaitlynn took.

Only problem was, after I laid down flat on my belly on the rock to take it… I couldn’t figure out how to get back up without actually sliding down the hill.

I finally did make it back up on my feet, but it took me a good long few minutes and I was inwardly thinking the whole time, “You’re going to be the news report about the blogger who fell down the rocky hill while trying to get a photo for Instagram!”

Lesson learned: before you decide to stage some crazy photo, be sure you know how you’re actually going to get up from said crazy position. 😉

Kaitlynn was trying to get a contemplative photo of me… but I kept laughing because I felt ridiculous trying to pose for her! 😉

We came home from Breckenridge on Tuesday and the kids went back to school and normal life on Wednesday (read about our Wednesday here). On Thursday evening, Kathrynne’s school had a Meet the Teachers night.

I didn’t know what to expect as she started at this school halfway through the year so we missed all the beginning of the year stuff including this night. I guess it’s a common thing at many schools, but in case you’ve not heard of it, it’s where you get to go through a Day in the Life of you student — the bell rings and you got to their first class with their first teacher for 10 minutes and they talk about what they are teaching, expectations, and just introduce themselves.

Then the bell rings and you move to their next class with their next teacher. And so on and so forth.

We loved getting to hear from all of her teachers and getting to sit in her classrooms and get a feel for what her everyday is like there. It helps us have so much more context for her life. And if your child’s school has this, I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Silas started baseball up again on a new team this year. Jesse is an assistant coach and one of his good friends is the coach. It will be fun to get to hang out with good friends at the baseball field every week for his games!

Kaitlynn had a new friend over this week and they made, you guessed it, homemade slime. Because, of course. Kaitlynn found out that this friend hadn’t made slime successfully before, so she had to remedy that! 🙂

On My Heart…

I’m learning one of the greatest gifts to open up communication with my kids is to be a good listener.

Instead of trying to fix or preach, I’m learning to practice the art of being a quiet listener.

I often ask them, “What was the highlight of your day? What was the hardest part of your day?”

Oftentimes, questions like these will open up a trickle of frustration. Sometimes, it’s more than a trickle… more like a torrent!

Their frustration used to scare me. I’d jump to worst case scenarios: “What if the teacher senses my child isn’t enjoying their class?” “What if my child can’t hold their frustration in and it all boils out in an ugly way when others are around?”

My fear was ultimately about what others would think. Fear of how my child and my parenting would be perceived.

This fear caused me to jump all over my my kids’ frustrations & preach a mini sermons & tell them why they needed to get over it & stop having a bad attitude.

This only served to shut down the communication lines with my child and make them feel like they couldn’t share their heart with me or open up in any way.

God has been doing a work in my heart, helping me to stop parenting out of fear or for behavioral modification.

I’m learning to see the heart of my kids, to truly listen to them, to be okay with letting them air their frustrations & struggles without feeling like I have to go into fixer mode.

The unexpected result is that my kids now often come to me first with their frustrations. I don’t even have to ask!

When they open up to me, I’m learning to listen, ask questions, listen some more, ask them if there’s anything else they are feeling, empathize with them, and ask if I can pray with them or just sit with them and let them know they are loved.

If they ask for counsel or input (or I feel it’s a case when it’s necessary), I will give it — but usually in the form of asking them more questions, processing with them, & sharing what I would probably do in their situation & encouraging them to seek God & think about how He wants them to respond.

It’s a beautiful journey and I’m grateful for how God is changing my heart as a parent.

We celebrated Jesse’s birthday by going to an Escape Room and out to dinner as a family. We thought we actually weren’t going to make it out of the room this time, but we did it — with only a tiny bit of time to spare!

2018 Goals Update

Personal Goals

1. Read 100 non-self-help books that will build me up/encourage me/inspire me/recharge me. (Fiction/story-driven/biographies/inspirational living books/devotionals.) See the list of 44 books I plan to read this year.

**Progress: 55 books read so far this year

2. Read through the entire Bible.

**Progress: I’m using the Robert Murray M’Cheyne plan and am all caught up— yay!

3. Write one handwritten note to someone every week.

**Progress: 33 notes written so far this year

4. Run 500 miles.

**Progress: 335 miles run so far

Marriage Goal

5. Go on an overnight trip with Jesse without the kids.Jesse and I went to NYC together in January.

Family Goals

6. Read 10 books aloud with the kids.

**Progress: We’ve finished three books so far.

7. Take the kids to South Africa. We took this trip in July. What a memorable experience!

8. Go on a family road trip.

**Progress: We’ve been researching some options for this and are planning to make this happen over Fall Break. Stay tuned!

Financial Goals

9. Save up to pay cash to finish off an office for me and workout room for Jesse and me in the basement in our new house.

**Progress: The workout room is DONE and the office almost done!

10. Replenish our Emergency Fund (we dipped into it to replace my car when it got totaled because of the carpet beetle infestation.)

Business Goals

11. Increase our gross income from the business by 8%.

12. Launch 5 new courses.

**Progress: We launched 4 Weeks to a More Productive Life launched in January, Content Creation 101 in February, 4-Week Blog Coaching Program in March, Email List Setup 101 in March, Make Over Your Mornings LIVE in April, the Facebook Live Masterclass in May, and we launched Build Your List 101 in June!

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  • Sarah says:

    Like you, I love the opportunity to visit my daughter’s school. Because I was homeschooled myself and because we homeschool our other three it’s a relatively foreign environment. So helpful to get in there, talk to the staff, see her space, and get a picture for her day!

  • Amy F;) says:

    Has anyone found a hot deal for escape room games that you do at home? We had one in a date box and it was very fun for the whole family, but I haven’t found anything else reasonably priced since then. (We don’t live near any actual ones.)

  • Laura says:

    I have heard that listening is the best parenting strategy going into the teenage years. You are going to ace the upcoming teen years!

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