2

I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I put two and two together that my son's chemistry lab was letting out early.  I realized that I'd be home before my faithful friend would be done cleaning (she started out as a neighbor who agreed to do my house-cleaning when I was looking for help five years ago and has turned into a great friend) which meant, if she agreed, I could leave my little one home with her and have an entire hour to MYSELF!!!!  WOOT!  She agreed, of course (she and my little guy seem to have quite an attachment) and I was happy as a lark sitting back in my van with my bag of books, notebook and a pencil.

I took my books that I've been reading - the two that I mentioned in my previous post - and a couple of others in addition to the new cookbook (cookbooks are an addiction of mine) that I just received the other day!  I actually managed to read for about 15 minutes from the book on the Charlotte Mason method as well as read a bit from chapter 16 of the Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook and worked on some goal planning.  Chapter 16 is on Time Management and what the book has covered so far in my reading is on setting priorities and setting goals with those priorities. So currently I'm working on that list of priorities and making some long-term (life) goals as well as some medium term (something I can accomplish in one to five years) goals.  I'll get to short-term soon, I'm sure.

After I worked on that for a bit, I peeked at the cookbook.

What made me buy this one is the author's menu plans.  She actually included menu plans for at least 7 weeks and included the grocery shopping lists for each week!  That's one of my goals - to develop a few easy week menu plans so that if I simply don't have time to plan I can just grab a menu and an already made up shopping list and GO....  no stress of trying to figure out what can be made on days I don't have a lot of time.  This would have been nice to have during the week of our big move - as it was, we fell to take-out from so local restaurants that have gluten-free options, but certainly not paleo.  My digestive system is still a little upset with me 🙁  So I'll be playing around with some new recipes soon!  And working on more goal planning....

So now I'm feeling a little more invigorated and even found time to post today which wasn't even in my plans!  So I hope you enjoy this little update as much as I enjoyed finding a few moments to write it up!

Have you had any unexpected but pleasant surprises today?

8

I'm an avid reader, as I'm sure you can tell.  Especially if you read my post back at the beginning of the year listing the books I wanted to read by year's end...

I've made progress on that list but I don't foresee actually getting through it.  Especially since I'm barely reading at all these days and the ones I could say I'm actually currently ACTIVELY reading are not ones from my list. Sigh.

There are other books I'm reading...but not so actively - meaning I've started them and they ended up in a stack of other books I've started but got sidetracked because , well, I started others.  It's almost an addiction... book stacks....

But here is what I'm Currently ACTIVELY reading:

1.  The Relaxation  & Stress Reduction Workbook (previously mentioned in several posts such as this one and this one)

2.  Charlotte Mason Education:  A Homeschooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison- I'm hoping that Ms. Levison's book will at least put in my mind the key points of Charlotte Mason's methods.

Yep....that's it.  For me , that is really an extremely short list.  But I'm still unpacking...and searching....  Have I mentioned that I have unpacked (not put away and organized mind you...but ) the majority of our boxes and STILL can not find my son's Leapfrog LeapPad???

 This is a small computer like toy that he uses for educational games and BOOKS that I've downloaded for him.  He is not addicted to it like a lot of kids are with electronic games but we really like it for trips in the car, appointments and for use in general places that he has to sit for longer periods of time than usual....   So anyway... I can't find it.  It seems to be gone.  And that really really bothers me (obviously since I've seem to have found a way to rant about it here in the middle of a post on reading and books....)

So yes, that's my current book list.

I'm really eager to read more of the Charlotte Mason book.  I've just started it and can only get in half a page or so here and there.  I truly am falling in love with this method of homeschooling.  I just don't know how to shake off all those years of public schooling from my memory and let it completely fall to the wayside...  I guess I won't completely.  But I do really want to change my approach for our little guy.  The way he's picking up on 'making words' right now is delightful!!

I also hope to find more time this week to read the chapter on time management in the workbook....ain't that a hoot!  Need to find time to read about time management.... I guess that's a big indicator that I really do need to read it!

So What is on your current ACTIVE reading list?

 

6

Since I posted about challenging myself regarding stress management back on July 4th (Independence Day from stress!), I decided that I should give some updates here and there about what I have learned and what I'm doing to teach myself some stress management and relaxation techniques and how I'm fairing in actually putting them to use.

So far I've done the following:

  •  I've continued my chiropractor sessions for my back spasms.  Whether it's the chiropractor or me consciously trying to be mindful of my stress and making myself take more time to relax, the spasms have lessened in intensity and frequency. Now if I could just take that hour it takes me to drive to the appointment and back 2-3 times a week and do something for myself even when I don't HAVE an appointment...now that would be progress my friends and I'm sure it would lead to less stress induced symptoms. But.....
  • I've started reading both books that I purchased....I know...I keep adding books onto my reading list and sometimes I wonder if I'm actually causing myself MORE stress by doing that but....that's me.  And reading is supposed to LESSEN stress so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Thus far I've only read the introductions and breezed through to see what's there. I think I'll benefit from both.  Anyone looking for ways to reduce stress or add relaxation to their lives needs to be willing to try various approaches. There really is not a single technique that's going to produce great results for every single person, so one must be willing to try several to see what's best.
  • Promised myself to start exercising again....yeah, I know...I've said this before.  But this time I'm trying to be realistic.  I simply can not do 20-30 minute workouts.  I'm aiming for ten minutes - and that INCLUDES time on the bike, jumping rope, or walking AND weight-bearing exercises with very small weights (nothing more until I'm sure the muscle spasm thing is gone).  Exercise, they say, can really alleviate the damage of stress on the body.
  • I've made more of an effort to start my days out right.  I set my alarm earlier to make sure I get up and can follow my routine of prayer time and devotion (about a half hour of various things) as well as get in a minimum of 30 minutes on my writing before my littlest man wakes up - er, uh, well, at least before he's allowed to demand breakfast.  It does make my day seem more productive and fruitful to me.  Doing it first thing in the morning helps me feel more at peace and more control in the day.  This means getting up by 5:30 in the morning when my body just begs to crawl back under the sheet but....it's worth it - it really is.  Yes, TIME MANAGEMENT is a good way to handle stress!

What have you done recently to reduce or manage your stress load?