This year I have sought out counseling in order to better understand myself and my relationships. I have attended weekly individual counseling, as well as couples counseling with my husband. I share this because I feel like there is a stigma that if you need counseling or go to counseling there must be something wrong with you. Truth is, there is something "wrong" with all of us. I am choosing to work hard on becoming a better person; and counseling is helping me.
In addition to counseling, I have expanded my horizons on books I am reading. I will blog or podcast as I revisit them and can provide clear summaries of what I have learned. Most recently, I read that when we communicate, there are actually four things going on:
I am calling this a communication epiphany; because it is so simple, yet so complex, and very true; that what we mean to say is not always what is said, or what the other person takes away from the conversation.
Keep this in the back of your mind when you are communicating. Try to think of things from the other person's perspective. Repeat back what you are hearing, and most importantly, listen to the other person.
Our oldest kid should be starting Kindergarten right now. We did a homeschool co-op for preschool, but this year we are choosing to go a step further and "unschool." Unschooling has a lot of definitions, but to our family it is learning what we want to learn, when we want to learn about it. It is about parent/child mentorship, and passion instead of pressure. I am a student of homeschooling while my kids are students of life. We are both learning as much as we can.
In order to provide a little more "structure" to our "unschool," we have started a series of goals around tracking how many hours we spend on key subjects to Kindergarten and Preschool.
The average minimum hours of instruction for Kindergarten is 450 (in Idaho). If we do 500 hours in a year for each subject; we will far exceed instruction requirements, and I think our kids have fun seeing it this way (I know I do). For additional reference, instruction time for grades 1-3 are 810 hours and grades 4-8 are 900 hours.
The subjects that we are focusing on for each of our 500 hour goals are as follows:
Other "subjects" we try to touch on daily but don't track progress on are as follows:
Download a free copy of the 500 hour tracker here:
The title of this video does not do the content justice. There are so many great revelations; it speaks to me. Listen and listen again.
This is a great activity to do with your kids to teach them about capillary action.
Start with white flowers of your choice (we used Gerber Daisy's). Place them in water with food coloring and watch it take action! We also split one stem and put it in four colors to get a multi color flower. Pro-tip: the more food coloring the quicker you will get color into your flowers (we learned this as the 3-year old was the one who colored the blue water and it was the first to show color).
Capillary action is when the forces of cohesion, adhesion, and surface tension move liquid up through a solid, like a hollow tube or spongy material. Other ways to illustrate it are with string or paper towels.
It is a rainy Sunday afternoon and we are stuck inside with the kids. It is the perfect time to bust out the science experiments and teach the kids a thing or two about density and non Newtonian fluids. I love both of these activity as they can be done with things we have around the house and clean up is sooo easy.
First Experiment - Rainbow Density Jar
Supplies: Jar (preferably with a lid), Food Coloring, Honey, Corn Syrup, Dish Soap, Water, Vegetable Oil, Mixing Dishes and Spoons
Instructions: Color your liquids then then layer them in the jar as follows - honey, corn syrup, dish soap, water, vegetable oil. Allow to separate and put on display as long as you want.
Second Experiment - Is it Liquid or is it Solid?
Supplies: Work surface you don't mind getting wet/dirty (we use wax or parchment liners), Corn starch, Water
Instructions: Knead together 1 cup cornstarch with 1/2 cup water. It will become a solid that acts like a liquid. Dribble it around, roll it up; try adding water from a dropper to see how it changes. Dig holes in it and let them fill back in. Punch it to see how it acts.
I am so tired of scrolling through recipe sites to find the perfect cook time and instructions for my Instant Pot. I have not had my Instant Pot for long, so it is an experiment every time. Here are some recipes that I know work and use frequently (honestly posting so I can find them later):
Hard Boiled Eggs - place eggs on trivet with 1 cup water in bottom, manual setting 5 minutes, release when cook is done and place in cool water
Rice - 1:1 ratio water/rice, manual setting 3-5 minutes (1-2 cups), natural pressure release 15 minutes.
Pea Soup (with Ham) - Sauté 1-2 onions in olive oil, add 1 cup dried split peas, 3-4 cups broth or water, manual setting 18 minutes, natural pressure release 15 minutes, stir in chopped ham.
If you work for me or any other reasonable manager; here are some tips on how to keep your job (and maybe even excel at it).
I currently "grade" my employees 1-5 during performance reviews twice a year.
If you are rated a one or two during a performance review with me; feel lucky you are still on the team. I communicate issues in real time and if you have not taken into account feedback received and made improvements/changes, you will not be around much longer.
Most of my team is typically rated with a three; all star performers are rated with a four. I have never given a five, but when I do, it will be for the person who is taking my place in the company.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies... the man who never reads lives only one." - George RR Martin
"If we encounter a man of rare intellect, we should ask him what books he reads."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." - C.S. Lewis
"Never put off til tomorrow the book you can read today." - Holbrook Jackson
"Reading is a discount ticket to everywhere." - Mary Schmich
"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."
- C.S. Lewis
From the podcast:
"Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary." - Jim Rohn
"I kept always two books in my pocket, one to read, one to write in."
- Robert Lewis Stevenson
"If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book." -JK Rowling
"The man who does not read good books is not better that the man who can't."
- Mark Twain
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
Now... Turn off the TV and go read a book!
Smithsonian Article on Thanksgiving Myth and Interview with David Silverman https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/thanksgiving-myth-and-what-we-should-be-teaching-kids-180973655/
Book summary and highlights of “The New One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson. So many great things to learn about being a better manager. Set goals. Give praise. Redirect and clarify.
Science, Solutions, and Sprinkles (SSSprinkles.com) is the personal branding site for Sara Jane Weidner (now Bellocchi). It is the confluence of all her businesses, thoughts, knowledge, and a way to give back... through distilling information into an interesting and entertaining content pillar.