playing legos

October 8, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

I’d estimate that Henry spends an hour (or two) playing with Legos each and every day.  The way that I homeschool allows for free play at various times throughout the day (read:  we school for 20, play for 10) and Henry’s preferred “play” is Legos.  I’ve yet to break it to him that he’s actually learning SO much while he plays.

How Legos provide a great school experience:

  • Lego provides tools that develop lateral thinking in a fun environment.
  • Teaches kids to think in three dimensions.
  • Improves literacy as kids work with instructions.
  • Develops problem-solving, organization, and planning by construction.
  • Improves creativity.
  • Enhances communication and critical thinking.
  • Boosts kids motor development.

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As a mama who wants all of those things for her son, I’m SOLD.  And Henry is SOLD as a builder.  This kid, you guys.  He is amazing when it comes to building with Legos.  Yesterday (like most every day), he invited me into the front room to watch him build.  I usually brush him off because …you know, I’ve got a billion other more important things to do like play around on Instagram or watch New Girl.  But yesterday I chose a different path and plopped my pajama-clad bottom down with my son.

When you “play Legos” one person is the builder (Henry) while the other person is the helper (me).  The helper simply picks up the Legos that are needed next and holds them in their hand while the builder goes to work.  In being the helper, I was able to just sit there and watch my son’s brain work.

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I learned a few things.

Henry is patient.  He took his time and didn’t become flustered when the pieces didn’t line up correctly or something fell apart.  Twice I noticed he calmed himself down by taking a big breath and refocusing.

Henry has a great memory.  The set we worked on yesterday was one that he’s done probably 10-15 times.  He didn’t need to look at the instructions (but he did because he wanted to make 100% sure it turned out right – Type A like his mother).

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Henry is really fun to be around.  As he built and as I sat helping, he cracked a couple of jokes that made me genuinely laugh.  The kid is six years old and I enjoy hanging out with him.  I know you’re rolling your eyes and saying pat yourself on the back, you like your son….but have you ever met a six year old boy?!?  They aren’t always the best.  But he IS.014

I also learned that if I don’t take the time to be more of a “YES mom” to my kids I’ll be missing out on some really important stuff.  Overall I’m pretty good at being present these days (that’s taken quite sometime to learn if you’ve been following along for the past few years) but I can always use a reminder.

“Playing Legos” – it’s been added to my task list.

QUESTION:  Ever play with Legos??  What was your game of choice growing up?

splendid…lindsay

an easy reader

September 30, 2014 in Blessings, Blog, Faith, Family, Homeschooling, Intentional Living, Kids, Motherhood by lindsaymwright

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The process of teaching a child to read is …. interesting.  A struggle at times but with THE BEST rewards for both mama and child.  The foundations are laid loooong before the child ever reads his or her first word.  I’m already teaching Porter to read.  That may seem silly but studies show that children who are read to during early infancy have a better aptitude for learning letters, their sounds and then piecing those sounds together to form words.

Last year was our first homeschooling year.  I wanted to prove that I could do this – that I could teach my children.  That’s the sad part – there is a level of success that you need to show.  You must beat the critics.  Any homeschooling mom feels this pressure – any teacher feels this pressure.  So with the help of my MIL, I set out to teach Henry to read.  I gave us until Christmas (because I can’t half-ass anything).  Using Sing, Spell, Read & Write and as many workbooks as I could get my hands on, Henry and I set out on this adventure.  He won.  He learned how to read.  I helped but only in the most minute way.  I realize not all learning experiences have that satisfaction – we certainly had our own moments of frustration and angst.  But we stuck with it.  We read book after book after book.  Then we read some more books.  I got to watch his little brain work, sounding out each letter and then forming those sounds into actual words.  Oh my word.  It was (still is) a beautiful, GRATIFYING thing.

A year later and my son is reading chapter books with ease.  Yesterday I came up with the idea that our afternoon assignment would be to create an easy reader book.  From storyline to spelling to illustration, Henry did it allALL!

I just sat back, mesmerized by the grace that God has poured out on this endeavor.  He’s blessing this decision to teach.  To be home during these precious years.  He’s blessing this time.  All I can do is humble myself and lay down all my notions of perfection and the idea that I must prove myself because that’s so ridiculous.  All I can do is open up my arms and ask for more.  Because I have nothing to give.  Read that again: I have nothing to give.  I need more.  Patience, drive, grace, love, desire. 

More God.  MORE.

And He just keeps pouring….

splendid…lindsay

weekend scenes + the home improvement project you don’t want to take on

August 25, 2014 in Blog, Family, House, Kids, Love, weekend by lindsaymwright

Hi, hello and how are you?!?

I sometimes feel like a broken record with these weekend recaps (“it was great…it was short…can we please have more time together”…) but I really enjoy sharing a few pictures of our family time.  This weekend we tackled the home improvement project from hell.  There’s just no other way to put it.  The project?

We painted our basement floors.

Except we didn’t.

We painted like a quarter of what we’d hope to paint.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever done this type of work yourself, but the process of painting concrete is exhausting (and expensive!).  We set out to paint about 1,000 sq. feet of floor (which in hindsight was just way too much) and ended up painting around 300 sq. ft.  <-even this took a lot of time.  I’m sure it didn’t help that we’re inexperienced and have a 70-year old basement floor but I still think it would be a hard project for anyone (or maybe it’s really easy and we’re just wimps?).  The actual painting was a breeze – the preparation work before you can paint…that’s the hard part.  Anyway, lesson learned and now we’ve got this neat little (out-of-place) patch of beautifully painted cement in the corner of our basement.  Hehe.

Live and learn, right?  I’ll try and remember to share the finished look when it’s completed (we still have one last step to do).

Here’s the weekend in pictures (no particular order):

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^^We’ve been having “Smoovie” night every week.  I make a big batch of peanut butter-banana smoothies and we drink them while watching a movie.  It’s the best.^^

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^^Review to come this week– still learning all about this new Polar F60.^^

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^^Had to.^^

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^^On Saturday morning, the Track Stars group completed “Hit The Deck.”  They LOVED it (I think….).

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^^I like to document our group through pictures but we’re kinda running out of poses. Smile^^

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^^Buy these!!^^

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^^Meal prep.  For more time saving tips, go here.^^

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^^Like puttin’ lipstick on a pig.^^

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^^Postpartum hair loss is no joke.  I think this past month has been the worst.^^

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^^I just ordered these.  I’ve yet to put them on.  Have you tried Jamberry yet?^^

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^^This x2 plus allllll the coffee.^^

QUESTION:  Best thing you ATE all weekend???

splendid…lindsay

weekend scenes (plus #15minutesforyou WINNERS!)

August 18, 2014 in #15minutesforyou, Blog, Family, Happy Birthday, Kids, weekend by lindsaymwright

I kinda feel like I need another weekend to rest from the weekend.

Ever feel that way??

Sometimes Henry will wake up for the day and come and say to me –“This is a BIG day today, Mom.  A big, BIG day.”  The day might not hold anything spectacular but he craves those “BIG” days of excitement.  I’m afraid I disappoint him 95% of the time.  Smile  Anyway, we had a BIG weekend – Clara turned 4!  Saturday we had her party and another birthday party to attend, we went to a special breakfast, had birthday pedicures, and made everything Clara-themed.  The weekend slipped by in an instant and now I’m wondering how on earth it’s already Monday!?!

Here’s everything I caught on my phone from Friday through Sunday – not a lot – I tried to stay present as much as possible!  Enjoy!

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^^Muscle Ropes sent me these battle ropes to review.  We used them Friday & Saturday during Track Stars – a great training tool!^^

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^^I talked Travis into something.  Stay tuned….^^

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^^Mom watched the kids while we had a date at the track (we’re training for an upcoming mud run!).  We did this workout and again, it whooped my butt.^^

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^^Our best “Arnold”…except it’s all wrong and we have no idea what we’re doing.  Birds of a feather.^^

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^^I order this pretty much every Saturday morning: eggs, bacon and tomatoes.  Salt goes on everything.  Coffee on the side.^^

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^^Part of her “birsday” present:  a trip to the salon.  She’s all girl and loves getting her nails painted.  After much debate (probably 7 minutes worth), she chose silver glitter.^^

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^^For almost 6 years now, we’ve had a cupcake bar at our parties.  I can’t take any credit – Katy does all the baking.  She makes bottoms and icing and then we just let the kids go to town, decorating their own cupcake.  Always a hit!  Katy also made Clara her very own heart-shaped cake you saw above!!^^

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^^I’ve been eating ice cream like it’s going out of style.  But that’s impossible – ice cream will always be stylish.^^

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^^A friend sold us this table seat for Porter and he LOVES it!  We just don’t have room in our kitchen for a high chair plus the Bumbo was just way too small for his thighs.  Here’s the one we got.^^

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^^I think I had more fun playing with Clara’s presents than she did.^^

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^^Planning out September and we’ve already got a few too many activities for my liking.^^

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^^Nursing and snoozing.  Our favorite.^^

QUESTION:  What’d you do this weekend???

splendid…lindsay

P.S.  The #15minutesforyou Challenge winners are K. Daniels (Arctic Zero prize bundle) and Sarah (Onnit gift card)!  Congrats ladies!!

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back to school with finish line

August 11, 2014 in Blog, Homeschooling, Kids, Review by lindsaymwright

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Clara:  Shirt and shoes, Nike. Backpack, Under Armour

Henry:  Shirt and shoes, Nike.  Backpack, Under Armour

Finish Line recently sent us some goodies to help the kids’ back-to-school wardrobe.  One of the perks of being homeschooled is that you can literally sit around all day in your pjs, but I still try to make an effort to get us all dressed and ready for the day even if we’re not leaving the house.  (Which in all honesty rarely happens.  I am the stay-at-home mom who never stays home.)

We took a couple of weeks off from formal school during our beach trip (and the week after) but start back up again TODAY.  Armed with coffee and some freshly sharpened pencils, we’ll start Henry on his first grade assignments and Clara on some Kindergarten fundamentals.  I’m using a mish mash of curriculums (Sing, Spell, Read & Write, Reading Eggs, Math Seeds and a few Kumon workbooks) and I actually have a PLAN for how this year will look.  This same time last year, I was so sick with Porter’s pregnancy that we struggled through a lot of the first few months.  Luckily my children just went along with the ride and retained a TON of information – Henry learned to read chapter books and Clara can do most anything I ask of her.  (Except to stop singing “Let It Go” off key.  She most definitely will not stop doing that.)

I’m truly excited to see what this year of homeschooling will bring!  Exciting times ahead for us Wrights!

QUESTION:  If you have kids, when do they start back to school?  How old?

splendid…lindsay

*I received free product in return for a review. All opinions are my own. 

conversations with clara – episode II

July 25, 2014 in Blogging, Conversations with, Favorites, Kids by lindsaymwright

Well – tonight WE DRIVE!  My feet will be in the white sand tomorrow!  (pray, pray, pray that we make it down to Destin in one piece!)

I leave you today with a conversation with Clara.  Travis has a knack for capturing her that I just do not (in fact, he has a way communicating with her that I haven’t fully mastered).  As I watch, she seems SO grown up to me (here’s the last “conversations” video that I posted!).  I just pray every day that I can be the perfect mother FOR HER (and Henry and Porter) – so far, that equates to listening much more than I’m used to (and doing ALL THINGS GIRLY, which is also a stretch for me).

I have some posts scheduled for next week so please check back in!  I’ll be taking my digital detox but will have some vacation pictures to share when we get back.  Have a wonderful weekend friends!