Daily Connection

Laundry call

When home all day every day with small children, it can be tempting to escape into Facebook to search for adult conversation.  Sometimes that will “scratch the itch”, but lately I’m trying to remember that talking to a real person is far more satisfying. Even if I can’t leave my home, I have this neat gadget called a phone, which enables me to talk to anyone, anywhere, anytime! So my challenge for myself is to call someone I love every day: perhaps a local friend, or long-distance family member, or even an old college roommate!  Even ten to fifteen minutes is restorative. In reality, I don’t make my phone call every day, but if I shoot for making it daily, then at least every few days I do remember to reach out. Now, it can be difficult to schedule time for a phone conversation, but having a hands-free kit makes it so I can fill my social / emotional tank while I do a brainless task, like folding laundry or tidying up the living room.  It’s a win-win! Something a seasoned mom taught me: Teach your children phone manners.  Teach them to be quiet when you are on the phone, and practice warning them that you are about to make a call or answer a call.  Then they will know what is expected, and you can actually have a conversation (barring emergencies, ha!). It really is amazing how much more grounded I feel when I’m living in community, talking regularly …

LauriDaily Connection

Pressing Through to Creativity

Apples-1

I love to line up any new batch of fruit along the half-wall between the kitchen and the living room. There, it serves as both art and storage! Organizing things can be cathartic, beautiful and fun. The problem comes when the process of organizing things usurps my creative fuel so that I pour out that precious energy on organizing instead of creating. When I should be writing, painting, designing, sewing, I’ll distract myself with organizing.  Sometimes the work of creating is scary and intimidating enough that I’d rather sabotage my efforts with being wonderfully productive in every other area of my life! This is tricky: sometimes organizing my space or finishing a project is exactly the direction my creativity needs to take.  That organized space can in turn energize and refresh me.  Other times, I pour out that energy into my creative endeavors and let my space become so chaotic that it sucks the energy right back out. So I find that the creative and organizing parts of myself are at odds, if I’m not careful!  But if I’ll attend to both, and nurture my creative self with happily organized and serene spaces, I find that a beautiful balance follows. With little ones underfoot, I’m finding that I must learn to tidy and clean while they’re awake.  To regularly spend nap time working on my house is exhausting for me.  I need that time to rejuvenate myself and be a happy mother the rest of the day.  I need to spend …

LauriPressing Through to Creativity

Toddler Masterpieces, and how to create them

Painting 3

My little ones love to paint, but a sweet painting quickly turns into mud, doesn’t it?!  My favorite tip for painting with toddlers is to stick with one color family.

If we group colors into mixable sets, the result is always pleasing.  

 

    LauriToddler Masterpieces, and how to create them

    Rhythm of Life

    rhythmic jars

    Eight years ago I heard Kyle Matthews speak on how our souls are like music.  At the very end of his talk, he briefly mentioned Rhythm, and every fiber in me came to attention.  Kyle talked about how our lives need rhythm: regular repeating activities that give it structure.  The concept burned into my mind. Some of those are weekly things: church, choir practice, Sunday-night-Breakfast-4-Dinner.  Some of those are daily things: exercise, dressing to shoes, eating dinner as a family. My ears perked up.  I’d never thought of such a thing. 

    LauriRhythm of Life

    Beginning piano lessons from a professional piano player, part 2

    Simple Piano

    We finally got a full sized keyboard for our home, so in addition to watching my children get piano lessons from their professional-keyboard-player-daddy, last night I sat down to tickle the ivories myself.  It’s been a long time!

    My fingers vaguely remembered the scales I learned as a kid, and then I began to put into practice what Elise has been learning

    LauriBeginning piano lessons from a professional piano player, part 2

    Downtown Story Time, our favorite!

    Downtown puppets

    Libraries are wonderful.  In particular, the Nashville Public Library system is fantastic.  If you ever come to Nashville, come visit our downtown library: grand architecture, vast volumes, serene study rooms and cozy reading corners.  And perhaps best of all: a delightful children’s section, complete with a puppet theater, craft rooms, and the best story hour I’ve ever seen.  

    Most story-hours are a sweet children’s librarian singing a few songs and reading several stories.  This story time includes these elements, but incorporates them into an amazing, interactive show.

    LauriDowntown Story Time, our favorite!

    Kipper, a show for the sensitive child

    Kipper

    Different kids have different levels of tolerance for conflict and scary things, and our oldest’s tolerance is VERY low.  The moment she grows uncomfortable, she wants that show off. This severely limits the amount of plot development that can happen, ha!  (Ironically, her younger sister will comfort and encourage her through “scary” parts.)  With this sensitivity in mind, we have been looking for shows to enjoy rather than endure. Wow!  It’s a lot harder than we expected.  

    Fortunately, we found Kipper.

     

    LauriKipper, a show for the sensitive child