Our Tennessee winter has been crazy mild this year. We had one brief bit of snow right around Christmas and that is (sadly) all the white stuff that has hit these parts. Lots of 50 degree days (which has been nice) and lots of rain (which has been quite soggy, especially with a puppy that has to go out all. the. time.)
Anne Bogel (of Modern Mrs. Darcy) makes a list in February of things that are "saving her life" right now as she slugs through the second half of winter. While I love cold weather and wish it would get cold enough for me to pull out my big coat, I can relate to the slugging through. By the time you are homeschooling through January, it's not nearly as exciting to crack open the books as it was in September when they were brand new. School supplies have lost their lustre (and usually their lids if we are talking about pens around here) and I'm replacing the first round of dried up dry erase markers. I loved her suggestion of throwing out a few things that bring a smile right now so here are a few of mine, in no particular order:
1) Making a more concerted effort to read. I have appropriated (with permission) one of my girl's Kindle paperwhites and am toting it around with me so I always have a book at the ready. Never fear, there is a stack of "real" paper books sitting on my desk that I'm planning on giving some attention to.
2) Reading aloud. Always my favorite part of our homeschool day. Right now, we are reading Peter Pan. I try to remember to write inside the cover when we read books out loud and the last time that we read this was before the boy was born, almost seven years ago when N1 was his age!
3) Chocolate peanut butter powder. It is not for everyone, but when you need a sweet treat, it sure tastes yummy when you dip banana into it.
4) Puppy love. This was my birthday present this year and she is my new baby. Georgia Rey is a little goldendoodle, she's about fourteen weeks now and just as cute as can be. We are deep into puppy nibbling, lots of trips outside, and the occasional barking in the middle of the night, but she is still the most fun.
5) The Hide Facebook Feed extension on Chrome. I have wanted to take a long, extended break from Facebook for ... forever. However, I have a business page connected to my personal account and deleting my account (and even disabling it) causes wrinkles. The Hide Facebook Feed in Google Chrome fix has been PERFECT. The only reason that I get on FB anymore is to check the occasional group, answer something sent in Messenger, or see what I'm tagged in. Those still reach me through email or I can pull up FB's page and check the left column to see if anything new is posted in the groups I care about. Best use of technology in 2017 by far, in my opinion.
6) Less screentime for little people in general. Do not hear that I am a "screens are evil person." I love my iPhone, iTunes, Kindles, etc. But, truly, we got in a habit with morning screen time on Christmas break and it was great ... for our break. Not so good for school mornings. With small exceptions for a boy who has the privilege of sitting an hour at sisters' music lessons or gymnastics class, screen time has been greatly reduced during the week. It's been good to see the piles of Transformers on the kitchen table and books laid open where someone sets it down mid-chapter. A certain boy also spent one lunch hour perusing the newest Lego catalog and asking for help in writing things down for his birthday list. (His birthday is in October, but nothing like being prepared). :)
There are always other things that are a must on a list like this - coffee, my morning quiet time before little people awake (now punctuated with a playful pup), a new pack of pens in all the colors, but these are the currents for this year!