Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Details, Details!

I am eagerly working on organizing another speaking season!  Empowering and encouraging parents to embrace their work in their families is my passion and I simply love what I do.  Planning a retreat?  A MOPs morning?  A local mom's group?  A special tea?  A big event?  It is never too soon to be in contact!

Here are some things you should know:

-Did you know that I am available to speak anywhere and everywhere?  I have even had groups from one area plan together to control travel fees!   Contact me and let's see how we can make this work!  

-Did you know that my Sticks! topic and my Christmas topic are my most popular talks?  The dates in November and December book quickly.  Sticks! can work anytime though is often booked in September and October to assist in organizing a new school year, or in January when implementing new goals and plans for our families.  Check out my topics on my website today!  

-Did you know that I also speak to school organizations to help parents support their kids as they work their way through school.  PTAs and other parent education groups have had me speak on Sticks!, on Education as a Way of Life and on Time to Play Outside.  I also speak frequently on How to Raise a Reader!  As a former teacher, I love these talks and am eager to continue this important work!  

-Did you know that you can peruse my blog and my articles at FamilyFire to get a feel for the spirit of my talks?  This is a great way to share my work with others from a planning committee as you get ready to book your speakers for this year!  I am also on Facebook, on Twitter and on Klout.  I am on google+ too, but never, ever use it because it doesn't click for me.  :)  

-Did you know that you can "like" a blog post to Facebook or Twitter by simply clicking on the links below?  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  I love when you do this because it helps get my work out to people I don't already know.  So click away, friends!  

Yep, this is a bunch of details but I wanted to pass them on.  This is a great time for booking speakers and I would love to hear from you!  

Blessings on your day!  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer and Spending Time

I love a slow summer morning. I am sitting here thinking through the past couple weeks of time with my kids.  So grateful for it all... for time to rest and camps to attend and growth to observe and life lived side-by-side without the schedule of school pushing in.  We are not living an extravagant life.  No, we are reminded again that what is needed is time.  And presence.  Togetherness.

And maybe you feel like you can't measure up to what is offered in other families you know.  Maybe you feel like you wish you could do more, go more, spend more, have more.  I get that.  I really do.  But, the other day I downloaded hundreds of pictures from my camera and all of those pictures show moments.  Moments.  Moments spent, not money spent.  Time together, shared.  Seems to me that every year I am reminded again that summer offers opportunity for that.  Yes, there are times to get away but what I want to remember is that the key word in that sentence is time.

So, I would like to share a few glimpses into what that looks like for us.  Below are some pictures of what we  have been doing... While the vast majority of it was completely free, the memories are priceless to us.

Here we go:

-My mom had nice long visit with us.  We did projects and planned day trips and basically hung out.  I am so grateful that my children have these days with her... days to build memories and to learn things I cannot teach them myself.  It was the first time, though, that Noah was taller that my mom!

-My kids attended and/or helped with our church's VBS.  My two little ones still love to be there, learning and discovering.  My older boys helped with crafts and music and generally getting bunches of children from one place to another.  I love that that they want to and I love that they don't care one little bit about how it looks or trying to be "cool".  This looks a lot more fun!

-Benjamin went off to a brand new camp... though our heart will always belong to Camp Manitoqua!  He had the time of his life and learned new things and even two weeks later is still processing it all.  If there is anything in you that wonders if sending a kid off to camp (especially a Christian camp!) is worth it, I would encourage you to give it a shot.  It is an amazing way for kids to grow and begin to spread their wings... even if their momma misses them an awful lot!

-The rest of my kids were off to soccer camp at our beloved Trinity Christian College.  Noah volunteers there... teaching little kids how to play.  Josiah and EB attend the camp and have a great time while learning some skills.

-Then we were off camping with our dear friends, followed by time in northern Michigan to look for Petosky Stones.  Have you ever seen them?  How we loved  being away, something we rarely do!  Camping and cooking over a fire are both so affordable!  The time together was wonderful, slow, restful and good.  There is something so simple about walking along a rocky beach, feet in water, eyes down, seeking that perfect stone.

-Our celebration for the 4th of July brought family and friends to our home for burgers and dogs and our town's fireworks.  We laughed and ate and lit sparklers and fell into bed, tired and dirty and ready for sleep. It was a good day...

So, now it is July and there are days to plan and far more days to stay home.  I want to be careful what I am teaching my kids about what it is that matters most.  If we rush from place to place and do, do, do, how can I teach them to be?

Summer offers time for us to feather our nests and nurture our kids and find a way to learn (again) to do this life together.  And some days are hard and some days are long and sometimes we wish we could be somewhere else!  But, for today let's catch our breath and look at our kids and make the most of whatever we have.  Let's offer a "Yes." where a "No." would have been and let them try something new.

School and our schedules will be here soon enough.  Let's embrace summer today.

Blessings on your day!