Thursday, June 26, 2014

summer plans

if we filled our life with little stuff - watching tv, running errands, shopping - we might not  have time for the bigger stuff - learning to drive, summer jobs, and fun times together.

this summer my family made these jars of our plans.  we wrote on the big rocks our most important goals, and little ones the not-quite-so-important activities.  We still had room for lots of sand.  the little stuff might not be urgent, but it can be relaxing, and we have little time for that during the school year.  

play sand, rocks, and chalk labels from michael's crafts.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

stormy times

 running for home, dodging raindrops.  everyday beauty.  joy to you. 


heading to an evening run of hill repeats at 85 degrees f, I realized the water bottle was at home on the counter. that left two choices-skip the workout or ask for ice water from a nearby restaurant. here's the surprise. it was lovely. the staff was warm and kind, and I look forward to visiting again to relax and enjoy.

(trying to fit blogging into life means using an iPad. Things might look a little different -for instance, it keeps putting capitals where it wants them regardless of my artistic preference.)  

joy to you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thursday, June 19, 2014

the power of habit

i'm rereading and enjoying the power of habit by charles duhigg.

this interesting book is divided into three parts:
- how a person's habits emerge and can be changed, 
- the habits of successful companies and organizations, and
- the habits of societies.  

the prologue has two interesting stories.  

the first story tells of a woman who started smoking and drinking at 16, had always struggled with obesity, and had never held a job for a year.  in her mid-twenties, debt collectors had hounded her.  however, now she was in front of researchers healthy and debt-free, a marathon runner who neither smoked nor drank alcohol.  how did the change happen?

that's the story of this book.  

she set a goal (to travel the desert in cairo), with a date (in one year), and importantly decided she would have to quit smoking to do so.  

quitting smoking was a "keystone habit", and led her to replace smoking with running, and this changed her weight.  through the experience of stopping smoking, she taught herself how to change other routines in her life as well.  

the second story is about a major in the u.s. military serving in iraq.  he saw the behavior of individuals and groups as habits, and was able to stop riots due to small changes, such as asking local government officials to prevent food vendors from selling on the plazas.  

Understanding habits is the most important thing I've learned in the army…
It's changed everything about how I see the world.  You want to fall asleep fast and wake up feeling good?  Pay attention to your nighttime patterns and what you automatically do when you get up.  You want to make running easy?  Create triggers to make it a routine.  I drill my kids on this stuff…  Not one person in Kufa would have told me that we could influence crowds by taking awey the kebab stands, but once you see everything as a bunch of habits, it's like someone gave you a flashlight and a crowbar and you can get to work.   p.xix

tomorrow i'll have the author's flowchart for changing a routine..

see what you think.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 2014

newport aquarium june 2014

 cousins from far away are a great excuse to stop working and visit the newport aquarium.  there's a show in the shark tank, and before it begins the kids can get right up to the glass.
 this ray shark came to say hello.
 the first part of the presentation was about turtles. 
using video screens, the instructor compared sizes of these animals to humans.  leatherback turtles are much bigger than the average woman.  
 when the bubbles stopped, you could see the two scuba divers behind the presenter.  one diver engaged the audience, while the other watched the sharks.  at one point a shark came too close, and she used a long, gray stick to direct it away.
now that's an interesting job!

educational adventures.
joy to you!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

5 ways to stop the summer slide

Five Ways to Keep the Academic Momentum
Going During the Summer

Have you ever heard of the “summer slide”?  Many children lose a month or more of their academic progress during their time away from school.  Let's keep our children progressing.

 Here are five great ways to keep your child on the learning track:

1.   Read aloud.  Whether your child is a fluent reader or not, hearing stories read by a parent or special person has multiple benefits, including bonding, vocabulary skills, and generating interest in reading.

   2.   Have your child read aloud and silently.  Although it takes time, listening to your child read is worth the effort.  With an adult’s help, your child can read slightly more difficult stories.  Also, you can make suggestions occasionally.  For example, “Take a breath after a comma.”  For fun you can log the pages read and have a treat for every 500 or 1,000.  

3.  Model reading for pleasure.  Children value what’s important to their parents. 

  4.  Reduce screen time.  The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 2 hours of media entertainment per day. 

5.    Spend time learning together.  Cooking, gardening, building things, and family vacations – you can encourage curiosity and keep math, spelling, and science skills fresh.

this educational post got correct capitalization.  

may your summer be full of adventure.
and joy! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014


 summer's here when you go to the rose garden, the morning sun shines through the trees, and the whole is a brilliant green.
   few people are about at this hour.  
 you can't pick the roses, but little ones can make necklaces with these free ranging flowers.
school's out.  it was a wonderful year, and i'm missing our students already,  
but now there's rose gardens.

fresh air to you.
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