Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review: Notes From A Blue Bike

I finally finished this book that has been sitting by my bedside for the last month or two.  I have not kept my promise to read every night at 9:00.  Lots to do around this house.  Ironically this book is all about intentionally living, and I am doing everything but.  I am living from one major event to the next. 

The book, Notes From a Blue Bike, by Tsh Oxenreider, appealed to me for several reasons.  First my bike is blue and I love riding my bike.  2.  I read Tsh’s other books, One Bite at A Time and Organized Simplicity and I loved them.  3.  Her new book is about intentionally living, a topic I am interested in. 

Tsh recounts the last few years of her life and what has lead to the decision she makes, but when it really comes down to all her experiences there is a underlining purpose.slowing down and living the life she wants to live. 

Tsh defines intentionally living as “staying true to yourself and your family.and making daily choices so that your life lines up with your passions and values.”    She writes that we can make little changes each day to make choices to live a slower life. 

Where do you start creating a life that is intentionally.of course you need a plan.
1.  Write a purpose statement.  Name the things that are important to you.  

For me intentionally living will mean --- taking care of myself first.  It sounds selfish, however my children are all above the age 25 and they are capable of taking care of themselves.   It is just my husband and me and together we need to start thinking of slowing down, working less, and focusing on taking care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually.  We are also in a place where we can “discover the blessing of living for something beyond” ourselves.  We are in a place where we can give more.and we have. 

My favorite part of the book was when Tsh wrote about the importance of reading to your children.  (This has been my theme song for years with my four children and with my students at school.)

She quotes a friend, Rachel, who is speaking from a parent point of view, “Although we don’t teach them the details of what they learn, we teach them how to learn.  We do this by reading, reading, reading and more reading.  We do this by modeling lifelong learning, by teaching them how we solve problems and discover solutions.”

Tsh writes about the most important item they, as parents, have in their household,  BOOKS. 

“People who read more are naturally better inclined to learn, and people who make reading a habit at a younger age are more likely to spend the rest of their lives reading.”   AND  “Students whose parents often read books WITH them during their first years of primary school showed markedly higher scores”  on standardized tests.  
No Kidding.most likely because with the reading, comes conversation and learning. 

I am going to use this quote in my parent presentation at the beginning of the school year and for my son who is expecting his first child.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Change Number Four

This week my little habit change will be simple:  Add a vegetable to my lunch. 

I am a bit fussy when it comes to veggies however I am going to make this work.  My favorites are:  cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and spinach.   So I am going to search out what I can do with those.  Wednesdays are going to be salad days. 

Hopefully this simple little change will help improve my health.

I am on Easter Vacation this week so I have had a few minutes to read with breakfast.  I found on my iphone a book I started but never finished:  The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. 

Today I read a really good idea to incorporate into my daily journal; it was something Ms. Brown picked up from a friend during a Twelve Step Meeting.    I may find this a neat idea because I am a first grade teacher and I spend a lot of time teaching vowels.

A  = Have I been Abstinent today? (Pick something to give up each day!)
E  = Have I exercised today?
I   = What have I done for myself today?
O  = What have I done for others today?
U  = Am I holding on to unexpressed emotions today?
Y  = Yeah!  What is something good that’s happened today?

I am going to give it a try this week and see if it will help me focus.  I really like the idea of giving something up each day. (I'm thinking sugar, wheat, after school snacks...Starbucks.)   Give up a little sacrifice each day that I can turn into a blessing.  

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Pink Flowers in Mason Jars


I am taking a mental break from my house work to day dream.  It was a beautiful day today and I was stuck inside doing school work and housework.
So I am giving myself permission to daydream for 10 minutes on Pinterest.  What I am most interested in looking at today in pink flowers in mason years.  

They are so soft and fresh looking and they make me want to be outside.

Hydrangeas are one of my favorite flowers.  



I love these pink mason jars.  It gives me an idea for the Baby Shower.  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

22 Changes to a Healthier Me

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health and mind.”
Leo Babauta

As you may already know I am focusing on Leo Babauta’s book 52 Changes right now.  I don’t know if I will have 52 changes when all is said and done, however my goal is to create some real healthy habits that stick with me no matter what.

My first change was to add stretches into my daily routine.  Ideally I would like to do this twice a day.  However for right now I will settle for in the morning when I wake up. 

Last week, my second change, was to drink more water.  I am trying to drink water instead lemonade, orange juice, and Starbucks Iced drinks.

This week will mark my third change.  I will commit to walking after school each day, in addition to my regular workout schedule.  I will walk before I make dinner. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Change One: Adding Stretches Daily

In order to simplify my life I am starting with my list of responsibilities and wants.  This is a general list of the things I do weekly and what I want to do weekly. 
All the things in my life
(in no particular order)
1.      My Husband Joe
2.     My Four Grown Children
3.      My Full Time Teaching Job
4.     Correcting Papers
5.     Lesson Planning
6.     Class Website
7.     Classroom
8.     House Cleaning
9.     Laundry
10.   Daily Dinners
11.   Daily Lunches
12.   Mine/His Parents
13.   Blogging School
14.  Blogging Personal
15.   Exercise/Biking
16.   Reading
17.   Creative Projects
18.   emails
19.   Daily Kitchen Cleaning
20.  Baby Shower
21.   Soon to be Grandma
22.  The Wedding
23.   House Projects
24.  photo books

 Now after some carefully thought I am listing my top five responsibilities/loves.  
The most important right now
1.      My husband and family
2.     My health and well-being
3.      Reading
4.     My Clean/Well Managed Home
5.     Teaching

I spend a great deal of time on my teaching responsibilities and taking care of my home but now it is time to take care of myself. 

What am I willing to do starting NOW……
This week I am starting with morning and evening stretches. This is something I will do daily.  
Start tiny, with a simple but unbreakable promise to yourself to do one small thing every single day.
Every sacrifice you make will become a blessing to you.