Midwinter got you down? Are you feeling overworked, over stressed but the possibiity of getting away for a little vacation is remote? Here are some ideas that work for me that might help you rejunvinate your mind and body and hand on until springtime!
1. Make time for prayer time! Just those few minutes in the day or the evening to get yourself right with the Lord can do wonders for your mental attitude!
2. Read something inspiring, challenging or interesting! I'm looking through my Arts and Crafts for Lent: From Mardi Gras to Passiontide, With Prayers and Blessings for Family, School, and Church and getting great ideas to do with the kids in the coming weeks. I'm also looking at catalogues for next summer and reading over on the 4RealLearning forums for inspiration and encouragement. "A Mother's Rule of Life" is a good read during this time of year. Real life books like the "Prizewinner from Defiance Ohio" also entertain and inspire!
3. Get back to exercising!! Even as little as 30 minutes a day can just make your whole body - well ache, but before the pain sets in it's envigorating. I find that the aches I get the next day are eliminated when I exercise again!
4. Try some new recipes. There are tons of good recipes on line. Maybe play around with Mastercook to save your favorite recipes and learn some new ones.
5. Get away from the academics for a while. Do a big art or nature project instead, or find something that one of the kids is really interested in and emmerse yourself in that for a week. It's fun and educational.
6. Do home economics aka - spring cleaning! Have the kids help you get your house back in order and give them some incentives to do it!
7. Take some field trips. This probably isn't very practical if you have very little kids, but if it is possible to get out of the house for something special with your older children, you make a memory with them and a change of pace for you.
8. Go through the family photos. Start organizing them with the kids and tell them the family stories you know! Have the kids start writing or typing some of these down so that they can remember them later. This is the perfect time to organize all of your photos and you can count it as art, history of an intro to geneology.
9. Have a movie day. We just had several! The Brave Writer program recommends movies once a week. One time I got the entire Roots series out from the library and we watched that, coming and going as necessary for food and bathroom breaks. My older kids still remember that and it gave them a good framework for the chronology of American History.
10. Plan something nice for Dad and keep it a secret. It will kill the little ones to keep it quiet and that's always fun to watch! It just makes everyone a little giddy to know that they are planning something special and the big guy hasn't a clue! Maybe it's earning money to get him something special, or planning a Thank You Dad party, or maybe just a dinner with all of his favorite foods that the kids helped with. Be creative! and have fun!
NEW: This year especially with thoughts of my mom and her death still tender on my mind, I decided that I needed to be just be with people more. I needed to get outside of my own head. So far this month, we have had one family over to join us in a Mexican Fiesta! They brought some of the food and we fixed up the meat and some sides and we had a great time with all of our kids around the same table! It was just what I needed. We also asked a couple we haven't seen in a while to go out to dinner with us a week or so later and that was fun too. We picked a family type restaurant and for a reasonable cost had some good adult conversation with friends. I think it's a good thing to take good cheer and socialization we had over the holidays and extend it into the new year, and getting together with friends needn't be expensive or complicated. In fact relaxed and informal was the best! So good in fact, I hope we can have a few more get togethers through the dreary months of February and March.
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