Teaching Together: Thankful Hearts {November 2016}

Welcome back for another round of Teaching Together.

We are so glad that you could join us

Work It MommyTickled Pink,

Last month was a small link up but we still had some really great posts. 
Here is one of my favorites.

Whitney from Polka Dotty Place shared a super simple playtime idea using a 15 bean mix.
It doesn’t get much easier or cheaper than that.
Thanks for linking up Whitney.
This month I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart, thankfulness.
I believe a thankful heart is something that is taught.

Sure some kids may learn easier than others or naturally be more thoughtful. But I believe the act of being thankful is something that needs to be taught through our words and actions. 

We like to take full advantage of the month of November to talk about having a thankful heart. Today I want to share a few simple ways we teach thankfulness in our home.
Our Thankful Tree
We started our thankful tree tradition about 2 years ago. The first year it only ended with a few leaves, last year we made a major improvement and didn’t miss too many days. This year Marissa won’t let me forget, she loves filling out and hanging the leaves. 

Instead of traditional leaf shapes I cut out hearts this year.

Every day when we write on our leaf we talk about why we are thankful for what we chose. Our tree may be pretty empty right now, but I have a feeling that won’t last long.
Grateful, Thankful, Blessed Painting
One of my favorite, super simple art projects to do with the girls is a secret painting. When they were younger I would write or draw something in white crayon on a paper, then they would use the water colors to reveal the message. Now that they are a bit older they like to do some of the drawing or writing on their own. 




Walk & Talk

The other day the girls and I played hookie for a bit and went out to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. It was awesome to watch the joy in their eyes. We live in a part of town where there are very few large trees, so to be immersed in the beautiful fall colors was amazing. It gave me the perfect opportunity to talk to them about the beauty of nature, our creator and how blessed we are. 

All reasons to be thankful.

Simple ways to plant seeds, water them and trust that in time they will grow. 

How are you teaching thankfulness in your home?

A Thankful Heart Is A Happy Heart.

Click here to download this free printable

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Monthly Goals {November 2015}

November?!
So I know there is something about kids that makes everything go into warp speed.
But seriously, November?!
I had a heart palpitation while typing that, not even kidding. 
As shocking as it may be November is here and with it is the arrival of my favorite time of the year, the holiday season.

Goals might have to slow down this time of the year to keep things realistic. Or I might change them to things I know I can do like decorate trees and eat cookies. Before we set new goals let’s take a look at how we did in October.

Blog-

*Continue blogging 4-5 days a week.

*Participate in the Count Down to Halloween Link-up weekly

*Launch a new blog design by the end of the month

*Participate in a new link-up


Things have been pretty busy around here so posts have not been an issue. I managed to join the Count Down to Halloween link up 3 out of the past 4 times, so I’ll call that good. My new blog design launched mid October, a couple weeks earlier than I expected, I LOVE it. As for new link-ups I began co-hosting a monthly educational blog hop/link up, Teaching Together. Our first month was a blast and we would love to have you join us for round two on November 5th!


Family-
*Family Bonfire
*Family trip to the Frisco Trails
*Attend a fall festival
*Attend a car show or cruise night
*Almost complete our fall bucket list
I guess the trail will just have to wait until spring at this point.

We did have a few fires and went to the Maple Leaf Festival where they also had a huge car show, two birds one stone! Our bucket list is super close to done, but you will find out more about that tomorrow.

Fitness-

*Exercise at least 5 days a week

*Begin and complete Stage 5 of the new rules program 

*Try again to keep a written food journal

*Complete The Pumpkin Run


I have officially resigned the idea of food journaling. At this season in my life, it just isn’t for me. I’ll talk more about why when I finally update on some fitness stuff later this month.


I think most weeks I hit the 5 workouts per week goal. As for the ‘New Rules” program I am half way done with stage 6 and expect to finish the last stage in early December. The Pumpkin Run was so much fun. It was great to run a race again, it had been way to long. 


Spiritual- 

*Continue reading Women of the Word

*Try to make connections at a church we have decided to attend weekly

*Keep up weekly meetings with Sarah


I read a chapter or two and met with Sarah a couple times. We need to meet again soon though. I think we have decided that meeting every other week is more realistic for us right now.

Making real connections isn’t really my thing. I always feel so awkward around people I don’t know well so I end up talking a lot, which I am sure can make me appear annoying. I did attend a womens event so I am putting forth effort. UGH! It will all work out. These things just take time. I know, I know.

Home School-

*Stay on track with lesson plans

*Plan one field trip

*Plan a fun picnic lunch



Not only are we on track, we are one week ahead in math! But don’t tell a certain 7 year old that. A field trip that involves a picnic lunch is planned I am just hoping the weather cooperates!


Random-

*Fun photo shoot with Anna

*Decorate for Halloween

*Make Halloween costumes

*Stay on top of keeping the budget done, weekly!


Weekly budget balancing, ugh. I think in order to stay on track with that someone would have to use drastic measures and force me to do it every week. I thought making it a goal would help, no luck.


My photos with Anna were a blast. Decorations were made and put up and Halloween costumes will be shared tomorrow!


I’d say October was a success!

Blog-

*Continue blogging 4-5 days a week.

*Plan some fun holiday posts

*Reach 1,000 Instagram followers

*Participate in a giveaway

Family-
*Family movie night
*Family game night
*Put leaves on our thankful tree each day
*Donut date

Fitness-

*Workout 4-5 Days a week

*Complete Level 6 of the new rules program

*Miraculously do one chin-up

*Share about my journey the past 6 months


Spiritual- 

*Continue reading Women of the Word

*Keep trying to connect at church

*Bi-weekly meetings with Sarah.
*Begin to focus hearts young and old on being thankful and the reason we celebrate the holidays.

Home School-

*Stay on track with lesson plans

*Go on a field trip

*Have a blast on Thanksgiving break

Random-

*Deck the halls

*Begin Christmas Shopping

*Get scripture and book advents ready

*Make a Christmas Bucket List

*Bake a coconut cream pie

You see that last one, that might just be the one that I am the most excited about and if you’re lucky I’ll make a blog post about it. Because nothing says November like coconut cream pie?!

What are you most excited about this November?

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It’s The Little Things: Our Thankful Tree

Last year we started a new November family tradition with our girls.

I have seen so many options of how to make a thankful tree on Pinterest for several years now. After searching I decided something simple would be best for our family. I found a stick from the tree in our front yard, a vase and some rocks to fill the vase holding the branch in place. 

Ta-da, our thankful tree was complete.

For leaves we cut simple shapes out of colored construction paper, punch a hole and tie a string of yarn to hang them. 

Every day I spend a moment with the girls talking about thanks. What is it, why should we give thanks, and to whom should we be thankful?

Then they tell me what they are thankful for that day and we write it down. 

I try to encourage Marissa to be thoughtful in what she chooses. So far a few from this year have been: Emily, Daddy, Awana, Papa and her friend Jonathan.

Emily is a bit more unpredictable but she melted my heart the day she said mommy. A few others have been, the sun, food, Minnie, Meme and God. 
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good ~Psalm 107:1
After our leaves are made, we go hang them up on our tree.
 Somedays Most days this requires a little bit of help. 
Such a simple tradition that has brought so much joy. I love walking by the tree and catching glimpses of thanksgiving. 

I definitely see this tradition sticking around for many years to come.
Do you do something special to give thanks with your kids?

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