Thursday, June 03, 2010

Summer, Summer, Summer and Books That Changed My Life

Lots on my mind today. Lots, lots, lots, lots.

I'm going to start with our summer schedule. Remember last year? Yeah, well, it's better this year. Much better. Why? I'm not having a baby. Seriously. I've got energy in spades, my friend!

Anyway, it's great. The kids have to do their school-work and chores before 10AM. After that, it's a party! Sort of. Each day we have things planned, and each day we'll learn something new. This year I'm adding a new activity, though, thanks to the suggestion by my cousin. We're going to have Service Day. Some ideas for our service day include, but are not limited to:
*Weeding a neighbor's yard
*Tying fleece blankets to donate
*Baking for neighbors
*Writing get-well cards or just sending thank-you notes
*Going to the playground or school or walking around the block and picking up trash
*Putting together hygiene kits
*Donating food to the food-bank

Other days include:
Thanksgiving Point Day (we have a family pass!) and Library Day and Park Day and Museum Day and Hiking Day and Water Day and...that's about it. Oh! Craft Day and Chore Day. Some of these days are combined. Of course.

Here's what we do for School:
#1 and #2: Reading, writing (themes, essays, poetry, stories), math (I have #1 converting recipes!), and piano practicing.
#3: Reading, writing, and math
#4: Reading, coloring/cutting, and learning the ABC's

Here's what we do for morning chores:
#1: Load dishwasher, sweep floor, feed cat, get-ready (teeth, dressed, tidy room, make bed, etc).
#2: Empty dishwasher, tidy bathroom, get-ready
#3: Clear table, empty garbage, get-ready
#4: Set table, get-ready

Ta-da! It won't be perfect everyday, but at least we'll get into the daily chore habit. We need that come Fall because this last year was a joke. But I wasn't laughing.

So, the Jehovah Witnesses stopped by this morning. I think they were shocked at my quiet references to biblical passages and stuff. Plus, I learned that Jehovah's Witnesses think Jehovah is Heavenly Father. Confusing.

Anyway, it got me thinking about my confidence in my religion, in my beliefs, and in my experiences. I thought about how my life has been filled with Gospel instruction from my infancy, and how grateful I am for it. Constant guidance from the Holy Ghost rocks, too.

Speaking of which, I'm now going to share with you the books that have, up to this point, greatly influenced me and drastically changed my life. For the better. I love to read and I'm always finding books that uplift and teach and change me, but these ones take the cake. They literally have lifted me up out of Depression, Despair, Frustration, and Apathy.

In no particular order:

The Ensign magazine comes every month and I voraciously devour it. There is always --always --something in it that helps me.

This book was recently given to me as a gift, and dear reader, it is one of the best books ever written, hands down. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful it has been, and although the biblical view-point from which it is written has a few doctrinal points I have a problem with, over-all it is the best book there is out there on developing boundaries in yourself (and your kids). It has been amazing. I only wish I had read it several years ago!

This is the second book by Segullah on mothering (the first was The Mother In Me) and it is phenomenal! I especially love the last essay. I think it will stay with me forever.

No explanation needed for this one. None. It changed my life at 7 years old. Then again at 11 years old. And 13, and 15, and 16, and 18 and 20 and... you get the picture.
I read this a while ago, but I've recently picked it up again to see how I was doing with the kids (and to establish the chores I listed above) and you know what? The book is even more relevant to me now. I love it. Adore it. I seriously think every parent should have it.

This one changed my life while I was in the throws of Depression. I know, I know --everyone loves this book. Or hated it. Whatever. And granted, I don't agree with a lot of the choices Elizabeth Gilbert made, but who cares? Her journey was amazing and it made me really explore the workings of my own soul to see what I needed, what I wanted, and how I could be happy again.

What are you doing with your kids this summer? What books have changed your life?


Steph @ Diapers and Divinity said...

Your summer schedule looks really similar to ours (minus the school part. We just have built-in reading time), and we have a service day, too. Also once a week, we write letters to someone. Having a schedule like that makes it so much easier for me. I'm thinking this year it will almost be like fill-in-the-blank blocks on my schedule so that it's more flexible which days we do which things. (Like last year it always rained on our designated pool day, so I want to move things around more.)

Amanda D said...

Good luck with your summer schedule. It looks intense (but not in a bad way) - structure and plans are good!

I would like to read Dance with Them, but it isn't at our library and I haven't seen it in stores yet. Hopefully, someday! I liked the first one.

I tried to read Eat, Pray, Love but I couldn't get into it. Will you see the movie?

Cardalls said...

Love Jane Clayson Johnson's book "I Am a Mother!" Another is The New Testament, Les Miserables, The Hiding Place and Man's Search for Meaning.

Julie said...

I really need to do a summer schedule. Right now, we're enjoying doing nothing in particular, but I know that won't last for long.

As for books: two come to mind -- Man's Search for Meaning and Precious (or Push, depending on which edition you purchase).

Cheryl said...

Click on the link --you can order it online! It's really inexpensive.

I probably wouldn't see the movie. I know exactly what Hollywood would use to put into it, and I doubt I'd be able to stomach it.

Emily & Co. said...

We're still in school for a few weeks...then we're heading to Utah/Idaho for a month or so (so there won't be a whole lot of routine for a while...). When we're back home in August, we'll do something similar to you. We have a service day during the school year, which has been nice, but also a little hectic to fit in (and plan) every week. My favorite was when the kids hosted a Baby Shower for a local shelter and collected items for new moms there, but we usually do something in the neighborhood, visit a rest home, do secret service for family members, etc.

The Jones Family said...

Thanks for your honest and interesting blog. I look in frequently. I also LOVED Eat, Pray, Love. My favorite part was right at the beginning when she was praying on her bathroom floor and the answer to her prayer was "Go back to bed." I read that part to my family for FHE. It reminded me that answers to prayers are often enough just to get us through the moment of crisis until we can recover enough to really hear and listen to the spirit and see the big picture.

sunrabbit said...

Okay, Supermom. (Seriously, you put me to shame.) But anyway, I used to have two sweet JW ladies visit me all the time at my old place. They came by and I never wanted to be rude, so when they shared their message I would just talk with them--usually agree and comment--and they seemed surprised that I was familiar with their topics. :) There is so much truth in so many beautiful religious beliefs. Why can't we all just have it ALL (meaning, the fullness of the Gospel)? Anyway. I bow down to your mothering prowess.