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Grow Where You're Planted

Life is like a garden and is filled with both flowers and weeds. It can be a beautiful. It can be unpredictable. Grow where you're planted.

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Learning

Bullet Journaling – Organization for Creatives

Okay, I have a confession to make. I am forever trying to figure out how to stay more organized. While I LOVE organization and truly desire to be the type of person who has a tidy desk, clean house, and uncluttered purse, I am just not organized by nature. So, I have to work hard at it. Very hard. I have tried binders, sticky notes, calendars, ecalendars, etc. But there never seems to be one method that is a catch all for all of life’s going-ons.

I gave a tour to a prospective parent the other day at my preschool, and when I presented her with a few dates to come in for her visitation day, she pulled out this very nifty little journal. She opened it up and jotted in the appointment. I began to investigate and ask numerous questions about this little book she had. It had dates, notes, calendars…and even an INDEX! WHAT?!?!? She was eager to share about her “Bullet Journal” and even sent me the link on how to create one for myself.

That night, I looked up the video link she sent, and then went off on the bunny trail of endless YouTubes on the subject of “Bullet Journaling.” It definitely isn’t for everyone, but I think it is definitely something that will appeal to many of you creatives out there. This is an analog system (pencil and paper) in an age where most things are digital. I work in a preschool, so everything we do is about hands-on experiences and creativity. Using the Bullet Journal system, you can organize, doodle, draw, track, make appointments, set goals, create collections of ideas, and so much more!

Check it out for yourself:

Click here for the original Bullet Journal video. (This is about 5 minutes)

Click here for another link to a more creative, colorful, and truly beautiful journal. Both a great…just different. (This is about 20 minutes…and there are ENDLESS links to others on the side bar!)

Again, this isn’t for everyone, but I know a few of you will be as interested as I was. For me, this is an opportunity to grow in an area that challenges me. Happy investigating!

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A Celiac’s Infographic

Over the past few years, my son experienced several frustrating symptoms that we attributed to a plethora of maladies: tummy aches (he must be eating too much or is playing sick to avoid going to school), feeling sick after eating milk products (he must be lactose intolerant), a resistance to writing (could it be a processing disorder?), moodiness (that must just be his personality…well…except for the fact that he is a fabulous and joyous kid…it didn’t mesh), lack of focus (better get him tested for ADHD), headaches (hmmm….is his eye prescription okay?) and more. I began to read a lot about the possible correlation between ADHD-like symptoms and consuming gluten. I {finally} decided to take him off gluten to see if it would make a difference. Magically, these symptoms disappeared (or were at least significantly reduced)…immediately…like within 24 hours. WHAT?!?! He is more focused and alert in school, he has a newly discovered “can-do” attitude, and he didn’t have a tummy ache for weeks! We are just in the very beginning stages of this new discovery, but so far, it has made a believer out of me (and most certainly out of his teacher!).

Now, we are still investigating whether my son is Celiac or simply has sensitivities, but in my research, I found this fabulous infographic outlining the symptoms of Celiac Disease on glutendude.com and wanted to share it with anyone who is also facing a variety of symptoms that they can’t seem to explain. In some people, the effects of gluten reach farther than most people would ever expect.

Gluten intolerance was so new to us that we didn’t see the writing on the wall. We didn’t even know what we were looking at or what to look for, for that matter. It took personal research, time and thinking ‘outside the box’ to finally figure out why he was suffering. Not once did the doctors “hear” what we were saying nor did they recommend any courses of action related to changing his diet. Most everyone else (including ourselves) jumped to inaccurate conclusions about why he was feeling the way he was. At times, we need to solve our challenges using our own devices. Think – research – probe, then grow.

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Live, Learn and Journey On

Over the years, “Keep Calm and Carry On” has become a motto of sorts. I also live by old adage that there is a season for everything and a purpose for everyone. I am a wife, a mother, and an educator. This blog is definitely a reflection of my here-and-now, my own experiences in education and in raising kids, my ‘what’s trending’ now, school days, parties, fun and pain. It is a reflection that how we react to life is greater than what life throws at us.

Though this journey called life provides enough fodder to fill many pages of this blog, the main reason for starting this blog was the realization too many times we get caught up in the little stuff and let it take over the big stuff. People often ask how I can stay so “calm” when the bigger challenges come along. Simple – I see the forest through the trees. I look at the big picture and realize that there is a reason for everything…even is we aren’t privy to that information yet.

A few years ago, our school principal told me that we may want to consider ADHD meds for my son. I was not totally opposed, but the thought of him being on meds for the rest of his life was a tad devastating. As a last ditch effort, we tested out removing gluten from my son’s diet as we suspected that gluten was exacerbating some of his symptoms. We took him off gluten and he had a profound transformation. Not only did his focus improve (somewhat), his stomach aches went away (he was throwing up several times per week), his mood improved, he was happier and the spring in his step returned to his life. His instant transformation was so profound that it made me step back and think how one challenge led us down a path to discovering a food sensitivity that had been negatively impacting our lives for YEARS. In the end, this challenge ended up improving our quality of living and it restored emotional balance, health, and happiness in my son. Living gluten-free presents its own challenges, of course, but the blessing of health and happiness outweighs that struggle by leaps and bounds. We found the flower amidst the weeds.

 

 

Monkeys Can’t Swim

I love animals because their talents and gifts are instinctual. Fish swim, monkeys climb, and cheetahs run. We accept animals for who and what they are. We don’t expect to mold them into something they are not

Yet, we expect all children to conform to the highly “left-brained” educational system we currently provide. Those who can’t conform, can’t succeed. As an educator, I love this video because it reminds us, in no uncertain terms, that kids are unique, and should be valued as such. It is hard to meet the needs of every child in a classroom, and asking students to glean a common knowledge of all subjects helps to provide a rounded society, but at what cost? Do we continue to jam square pegs into round holes or do we seek alternatives for the square pegs to be built into architectural masterpieces? The face of education is slow to change; so for now, simply remembering that each child has a special and unique gift that should be praised and fostered, will help bring forth their value.

Animal School Video

 

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