Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Slow Down & Find What Feels Good - January 10-18, 2015


It seems to be a thing on social media to pick a word for each new year.  I've never done this before, but at the end of last year and the beginning of this year, a word kept coming to me: SLOW.  Slow down.  Don't take on so much.  Do less and dig in to what you are doing.

I have been participating in a 21 Day Meditation Challenge (I am hoping that I am in the habit of meditating after yoga and will keep finding time for that even after tomorrow!) and a 30 Day Yoga Challenge.  Adriene, who runs the youtube channel Yoga with Adriene, has a saying, "Find What Feels Good" and I am taking that into not only yoga, but other areas of my life.

Credit: adrienelouse on Instagram

What Feels Good

Preparing nourishing food for my family feels good.

I made kimchi.
Some of the homeschool moms in our group got me started on fermenting vegetables and now I can no longer eat store-bought pickles--homemade fermented pickles are SO much better!  I've made sauerkraut many times, but kimchi is our favorite.  I have been discussing growing and juicing wheatgrass (something I used to do but got away from because of mold issues) with my boss, who is Chinese and very knowledgeable about Chinese medicine, and she said wheatgrass was cooling and good for summer.  She told me I needed warm or hot things for winter--so it seemed like a great time to make kimchi!

Sunday dinners and game nights with my parents and grandmother feel good.
Jason and my dad made homemade pizzas for the family on January 11.  Jason made the dough and my dad made this awesome no-cook pizza sauce.  We played Headbandz and Apples to Apples.
This past Sunday, January 18, Jason made spinach lasagna with his homemade pasta noodles and we brought it over my Grandma's to share with her and my parents joined us there.

Spending time with Jason and the girls in fun places feels good.

We spent a few hours Saturday at Liberty Science Center.
We saw an IMAX film on the dangers of warming in the Arctic and we explored the Touch Tunnel.


We were going to work on a World Religion project, we had started this a while ago and never finished it, but I realized that the girls were not as interested in it as I was and it didn't feel good or right to force them to do this, so we scrapped it.  For now.  Or for ever.  Who knows.  I am okay with that.  


s   l   o   w

Piper's been struggling with Greatest Common Factors and Least Common Multiples, so we have been taking it s  l  o  w and going over this together.  We've done this before.  Sometimes we need to slow down and focus on a concept a little longer than our curriculum does.  And that's ok.

Allie has been working with Rational Equations in her Algebra and she has been doing well with it.  

Writing Strands

Since we aren't doing the World Religion study, I dug out the Writing Strands.  I really enjoy this program because it allows my girls' creativity to flow, but I find that just like with a  lot of things, I like to take breaks from this program and do different styles of writing and then come back to it.  The lesson this week was all about organizing writing and it was a great exercise.  We talked a lot about organizing writing in a logical manner, which was something the girls had never really thought much about before and I saw it all click and connect and it was pretty darn cool.


The Word Up journals feel good.  They are working well.  The girls enjoy them.


letting Jason take the lead

Jason and the girls do Chemistry on the weekend.  He's much, much more interested in it than I am and his passion translates to the girls.  It feels SO GOOD to let this go.  I feel blessed to have a husband who is good at things that I am not good at and passionate about things that I don't really even understand or care to understand better.
Credit: adrienelouise instagram

Film Study

My original intent with this was to expose the girls to classic movies that are often referred to in conversation.  I do love The Art of Watching Films but the further we get into it, I am finding that it is a little too advanced for the girls, so I am reading it, selecting classic films and discussing topics a little bit more simply with the girls.  This feels better than having them frustrated with a book geared toward college-age students.

Allie had to read William Goldman's The Princess Bride for e-cubed, so naturally it felt like a good time to watch the movie.  We discussed satire and how satire is different from parody.  After watching the film, the girls were able to give examples as to why it was a satire and why satire was a better term for it than parody.

We also watched Almost Famous.  I know, I know, it's rated R and there is a lot of drug use and sex and they use the f-word A LOT.  I am sure some people will judge us for allowing our 13 and 15 year olds to watch it.  Allie really wanted to watch this movie and Jason and I felt watching it together was appropriate.  There are a lot of topics in the movie that provided material on WHAT NOT TO DO.  We were able to discuss drug use--the guy standing on the roof screaming, "I am the golden god!"  and saying these might be his last words, do you see how much drugs can screw you up?  How willing this guy is to die?  What a fool he makes of himself?  Did you hold your breath when he jumped because he could have died?--and of course the sex and how the girls allowed themselves to be used but fooled themselves into believing that they were not being used and how hurt they were when they realized that they were being used.  

Jason and I had some fun yesterday morning figuring out more movies to watch with the girls.  


This might be my favorite thing.  We are using Rosetta Stone and I am doing it along with the girls.  I have not taken a class of any kind in years and it's just fun for me.  After dinner, I get in my jammies and get in bed with my laptop and do a few lessons.  I really like the way it is all laid out and I have been keeping ahead of the girls so I can help them where necessary.  I also realize how driven I am in terms of getting things right.  


Art is just feeling really, really GOOD right now and so we are doing a lot of it.  Drawing in our sketchbooks, art journaling, learning about new artists, being inspired by new artists...
Allie and Piper have a dog-walking business.  Half the money they make goes in the bank, the other half they keep and some is used to buy bedding and food and things for their gerbils, hamsters, fish and hermit crabs.  Allie saved some money to buy a big set of Prismacolor colored pencils and spent a lot of time this week using them.  On the left is her finished James Rizzi-inspired picture that she finished coloring this week; on the right is the picture she drew of me for Mother's Day last year, but she took her pencils and colored it in.


Possibly the thing that feels best is giving my girls time to do things they love and are passionate about.  Allie is passionate about creating things for her room that she finds on Pinterest.

I am trying not to force things right now.  I am trying to back off from what doesn't feel right or what doesn't feel good.  I am trying to make space for the stuff that feels good.
Allie had netting over her bed, but it was cheap and got holes in it from her tossing and turning in her sleep.
She saw this idea on Pinterest and created it out of some white curtains and pages from a book I found in the discard pile at the library.


Piper is really enjoying this class.
I am LOVING the center that it is offered at.
The teachers and the head of education introduced themselves to all of the parents the first day.
We get weekly emails with photos of the kids in the studio and a description of what they did/learned.
It is the most well-run art program we have been part of--and we have been part of several art programs!