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One New Thing – October 1st

In a quest to greater health, I am doing One New Thing every week.

This might just be the hardest yet…

In anticipation of a doctor’s visit later this week, every time I start to get nervous or worried about it, I am going to stop and pray instead.

Sound simple?

It’s probably the hardest thing I could have possibly picked.

But the most important for keeping my sanity.

You see, I had a tough weekend. I was grouchy and stressed. I took that grouchiness out on those around me. A week of that will be a great endangerment to my health – and theirs.

So this week, my One New Thing is to pray when I feel worried or stressed. Ok, go ahead and add “whenever my mind starts to diagnose or make things up about the appointment.”

Looks like I’ll be on my knees quite a bit this week.

What about you? What’s your One New Thing?

Seven Sanity Savers for Summer

Summertime, Summertime, Sum-Sum-Summertime! It’s here! Although we LOVE summertime, there are a few parts about summer we dread. Here in Texas it’s the heat. For mom’s everywhere, we dread the blahs, the bickering, and the “I’m bored!!!” whining. This post is for all moms, with a shout-out to those moms clinging to their sanity and counting the days until school starts again.

1. Schedule and Non-schedule

Some kids thrive on a schedule and feel safe when they know what to expect. These are also the kids who tend to freak out a little if a schedule changes and they don’t have enough warning to mentally prepare. If you have one of these, keep a schedule, or have them make one. It can be as simple as

  • sleep late
  • wake up
  • brush teeth
  • eat breakfast
  • watch tv and swim…

Or laid back:

  • Mondays – library
  • Tuesdays – swim lessons
  • Wednesdays – Church night…

Other kids feel oppressed by a schedule. They have one all day at school and their minds need a break. A non-schedule works for them. Don’t keep one. If  you are the one that thrives on a schedule, keep it, but have room for flexibility and don’t post it if they don’t ask for it.

2. Success Chores and Serving

While kids are in school, they have lots of opportunities to complete assignments and feel good about accomplishments. During summer, they still need to feel accomplished. Chores and serving others are great ways to foster that responsibility and to avoid the mentality of summer laziness. (I’m ALL for having lazy summer days, but when the days stretch into weeks, it’s that much harder to snap the kids out of.) I’m a huge proponent of kids having chores – weekly and daily, so summer chores is a must at our house! Does anyone else notice that the more kids are at home, the more of a mess the house is? Summer is the BEST time to teach and enforce chores. Remember – praise, praise, praise, and thank your kids for a job well done! (or even an A for effort!)

3. School 

Yes. I said school. We have always done “summer school” with our kids, even before we homeschooled. The best part is that you don’t even have to tell them you are doing schoolwork! (Here is where I spare you the lecture of how easily children forget facts or slip back a reading level or two when they don’t practice skills…)

  • Pick a book to read together, out loud as a family.
  • Practice math facts.
  • Grow a garden.
  • Do crazy, messy science experiments!
  • Make a family scrapbook about your summer adventures. Have them write it as a story!
  • What did your child struggle with during the year? Find on-line sites to help you know how to reinforce those concepts.
  • And don’t forget about computer games! There are tons of free educational sites that will keep their minds sharp and they won’t even realize it’s school!

4. Safety

There’s nothing like trying to go through a summer with a cast… Remember the safety rules! Brush up on water safety tips and please make sure your kids wear helmets!

5. Saturate and Sleep

Saturate your senses with water. On the outside and the inside! Have fun at the pool – stay saturated with the cool pool water and stay saturated with sunscreen!

Saturate your soul with water. Find a special Bible study to do with the kids during the summer. If you can’t find one, just pick a book of the Bible to read.

Saturate – don’t dehydrate! It is so easy to forget to drink water when the kids are outside playing. I am learning more and more about how important it is to stay hydrated. If your child complains of headaches or dizziness, have them slowly drink a glass of water and follow-up with water during the day. Tip: Children should drink 1/2 their body weight in ounces of water. My 50 pound child should drink 25 ounces of water a day. I add extra water when they are outside sweating.

Saturate with sleep! Kids need 10 – 12 hours of sleep and teens need 8 – 10.  If you do not adhere to an early bedtime during the summer, allow them to sleep in! Many kids have growth spurts during the summer because they don’t have the pressure of school and usually get extra sleep. One time an eye doctor told me when we had eye exams the first week of summer, to check their eyes at the end of the summer because when children go through growth spurts, their eyes can change prescriptions.

6. Save TV Time

It’s easy to let the kids turn the TV on and stare at it for hours on end. I’m guilty of it myself. If you limit TV time, they are more likely to do chores, schoolwork, or play outside. Here, in Texas, we have many days that are just too hot to stay out for very long. On those days, we save TV for the hot hours of the day. If we don’t turn the TV on in the morning, chores and schoolwork are done quickly leaving time to play outside before it gets too hot. Other days, we read inside together during the hot hours, then follow book time with a TV show.

7. Slip Away

When you’ve enjoyed your kids for hours longer than you are accustomed to having them around and feel like you are going to explode if you hear “She’s bothering me” or “I’m bored!” one more time… slip away. Find a friend to switch kids with (I often find my kids stay out of each other’s hair when there is another child in the mix) or find a sitter and give yourself some “me” time!

Speaking of slipping… I am going to slip one more sanity saver in here. Seriously not serious. The only thing you should take seriously this summer is not being too serious and having fun!

What are YOUR summer sanity savers?

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