Morning Basket Time

If you’ve done any amount of reading on blogs about incorporating the educational philosophies of Charlotte Mason into your homeschool day you’ve probably heard of morning basket time.

When I googled “Charlotte Mason morning basket” this thread came up with a whole bunch of ideas.

https://simplycharlottemason.com/scmforum/topic/morning-basket-lets-discuss/

I choose an Amish made basket we bought on the side of the road several years back. It’s pretty and I’ve also brought it places with us when we’ve gone out. It’s a picnic basket so the top on it keeps everything inside. I keep it on a shelf on the bookcase in our living room.

The morning basket is a tool to help keep your routine flowing in your day. For example, over the last few weeks we’ve fallen into a loose routine of breakfast then chores while listening to classical music then morning time basket. It’s a good chance for me to sit down and catch my breath and pull my children in close for some snuggles. (They are 2 and 4).

Another huge benefit of the morning time basket is that there is no planning or thinking required. It’s all there. Just open the basket and begin. After about 3 weeks of doing this each morning the kids are in a habit of doing it. I also find the break between chores and the rest of our morning makes the morning go more smoothly. After I’ve spent that time with the kids they are more likely to play independently for a little while.

I choose to put just 3 things in the basket which we do every day. As I add more stuff I’ll probably go for more of a loop schedule with it where we pick up on the last item we left off on and start from there. I don’t have any plans to change anything right now though, this is working really well.

My four year old really likes to sit and be read to so this isn’t something I’m making her do. She enjoys it and most of the time my 2 year old sits through it getting up and down to play as he feels like it. We read one Beatrix Potter story. This is great for vocabulary building- there are words in here I have to look up! The stories are engaging and the illustrations are beautiful.

Every day I’ve been singing the same hymn to the children “This is My Father’s World.” I’ll continue with it until they learn it or at least learn some of it. E knows the name of it now and when I ask her what the phrase “his hands the wonders wrought” means she can answer that it means God made everything. Both the kids also point to their ears when I sing “and to my listening ears.” E has picked up on the tune a little bit, I know she can recognize the song now.

We also read one story from The Jesus Storybook Bible. E always asks for one more story from the Beatrix Potter book and this one and the answer is always, “tomorrow!” I figure limiting it will keep it interesting. Plus, Beatrix Potter stories are long and my mouth gets tired!

I’m curious- do you have a morning basket or a similar morning routine? What’s in your basket?

 

 

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My outlook for this monday morning:

My outlook for this monday morning:

People matter more than things. My children matter more than my to-do list. Dishes that need washed are just things. These little people are eternal souls and the loves of my life. Which matters more?

Let them help- they love it. Even if it means more time and more mess. If I can’t get everything done while including my children than I am doing too much and my goals are unrealistic.

Say yes. I have no control over our schedule which has been changing hourly. Instead of making plans for the future just live in the moment for a while. Say yes to tag and yes to reading books and yes to all the things that feel like distractions from what needs done.

Smile. Make eye contact with these little people and tell them that they are my world.

Say yes to spending time on my health. It matters. Even if the kitchen floor stays un mopped, I need to take steps today to preserve my health for the future.

Get outside. Breathe fresh air. Move my body. Take the time to prepare nourishing food and take time to savor it.

Talk to God, read His Word.

Be there for those who need me. Ask, “how can I help?” When someone needs help make what is important to them important to me because I love them.

Put away the phone and other distractions. Be present. Be available to sit and listen. Breathe and be thankful.

Have a happy Monday and thanks for reading my thoughts! As a list making organized person who likes to be in control, I’m learning to let go and be in the moment and live a life that matters! It’s a hard balance, being available for my children but also juggling other responsibilities that have to get done. I only have today with these little people though and I want to make sure I don’t miss what’s most important!

 

 

Life right now and 2017 goals

This past weekend was T.J’s 2nd birthday. My baby is two!! How is that!? I don’t want to touch those curls with a pair of scissors yet. I know those curls may never grow back and I also know that when he gets his first hair cut he’ll look like a big boy. Those beautiful golden curls are my way of having my baby just a little bit longer!

Let me tell you about life right now- 4 and 2 years has me ON MY TOES! In a lot of ways it’s the funnest stage of motherhood I’ve been in. I like to do stuff and experience new things with my kids and the older they get the easier this is to do. In other ways though this is the most intense season of parenting I’ve ever been in!

It’s finally cooled down around here and I am loving the cold weather! My husband is working on building the kids a swing set on his days off and its been exciting to see it take shape. He designed it himself and it’s going to be the swing set of all swing sets! I can’t wait to show it to you completed. You’ll probably find me spending my days playing on it once it’s done lol!

Yesterday I accomplished something that I never have done before. I finished reading the Old Testament! I started back in January using a read through the Bible chronologically reading plan. Typically over the years as I have read the Bible I have skipped a lot of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the minor prophets. It was hard for me to read something that I didn’t really understand.

Three things helped me tremendously this year and I would suggest you try them out. First, reading it chronologically gave me an understanding of where it fit in with the story of the Bible and when it was happening historically. Each time an event would be recorded I would read it each time it was recorded in the Bible before going on to the next event. It helped me keep straight what was happening when. It also gave me a better understanding of why the prophet was saying what he was because I understood the time he was living in and what was going on.

Two, before reading a book I watched a video by The Bible Project on Youtube. These give really good overviews of each book. It helped when reading through detail heavy passages to not loose focus of the main objective of the book.

Three, I read before my kids woke up and I read before I did anything else. With a few exception such as family vacations where I read during the day I have been reading early in the morning when I am free of responsibility or distractions. I also make sure I don’t do anything before I read that way if my kids wake up early I haven’t spent that time getting dressed or whatever before reading. I can get dressed while they are awake and with me, it’s more difficult o read when they are talking to me and needing me.

Also, I should add a number 4. I prayed and asked God to keep me faithful and I believe He did help me. We can do nothing without God including establishing habits of spending time in His Word.

I hope that encourages you to get into your Bible or to keep being faithful! I hope to finish the New Testament by the end of the year.

Oh and one more thing! I had written previously about my upcoming A1C (a measure of average blood sugar) and shared my goal of getting it down to 5.5 before the end of 2017. My first A1c of this year was 5.6 (pretty close!) then 5.8 and this past week it was 5.9. My next A1c will be done in January 2018. I didn’t meet the goal I had set for myself- but that 5.6 was pretty close and I really need to tell myself good job! An insulin dependent diabetic maintaing an a1c in the 5’s for a year without very many lows and without an insulin pump (using old school syringes) is quite a feat! I can be hard on myself and I can be a perfectionist but if it was anyone else I would say, “I’m proud of you!” So, I’m happy with myself and I believe I worked as hard as I could to be healthy this year and really did my best. At my diabetes appointment this past week my doctor (with a south african accent) said, “I’m really quite pleased with these numbers.” He’s not very expressive so it was his way of saying, “This is awesome!”

Share with me in the comments- what helps you to be faithful to reading scripture on a daily basis? Have you read the Bible through? If not, do you have a plan to get started? What other goals are you working on right now?

 

 

 

Some perspective on a “bad day”

Yesterday I was discouraged. I was sad and I was starting to feel sorry for myself. It wouldn’t be appropriate to share here but I received some news that was really painful for me to process and understand. I was mopey and I didn’t feel like trying to cheer up. I didn’t want to clean house or care for the kids. I just wanted to be alone and mope really. I thought to myself that I would somehow have to find a way to make it through several bad days before I started to get over it. Have you ever felt like that?

I opened up the book I’m reading “Happiness” by Randy Alcorn and read these words on page 378-

THE CONTRAST BETWEEN WHAT WE DESERVE AND WHAT GOD GIVES IS DRAMATIC AND HAPPY-MAKING.

Jesus said to his disciples, “When you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done” (Luke 17:10, NASB). He’s saying, in effect, “Lower your sense of what you deserve.”
God told Adam and Eve what would happen to them when they turned from him and chose sin: “You will surely die” (Genesis 2:17, NASB). Based on that text alone, all we deserve and should expect is death. Only when we acknowledge this can we rejoice in the promises of life in Jesus, who said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25)
If we realize we’re utterly undeserving, suddenly the world comes alive. Of course life under the Curse is hard! (That’s why it’s called the Curse!) Instead of whining about everything that goes wrong, we’re thrilled at God’s many kindnesses, and our hearts overflow with thanks that we who deserve nothing but judgment, death, and Hell are given deliverance, grace, and eternal life. Day after day, God favors us not only with leniency but also with beauties, delights, and privileges we have no right to expect.
People who receive a paycheck for services rendered can’t be as grateful as those who are given a pardon that know they don’t merit. Jesus said of the woman who gratefully poured oil on his feet, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven- for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Luke 7:47).
Doesn’t knowing that you deserve eternal Hell but instead will live in Heaven, in unending happiness, put any “bad day” in perspective?

This edification from a brother in the Lord through his writing was exactly what my soul needed at that moment. A moment of being reminded of the horrors of hell and remembering that I should be there but I am not is cause for being happy! Happy because I know I deserve to be there, as my sin has made me a rebel against a holy God but God made a way of escape for me!

I thought about how every breath I breathe on this earth is an undeserved gift from God. I should not be enjoying the gift of life right now, I don’t deserve it! But God in His mercy bought my soul with the blood of His very own Son. Everything good in life really is a marvelous gift all over again when I readjust my googles of perspective through the big picture of scripture.

After reading that last night, my salty sweet buttery spaghetti squash tasted better. I mentally contrasted in my mind what I deserve- hell- to what I was experiencing. Dinner around a table clasping hands with people I love praying to a God that provided a way for me to talk to Him. Instead of the hell I deserve I slept in a soft bed in a safe home and awoke to another day of God gifting me life and breath.

I’m thankful today and I’m happy because I have been given both grace and compassion from God Who I have sinned against. A few weeks back a man in our church said, “Compassion is like sparing the rod and grace is giving us better than we deserve.” So rejoice today Christian that you are an heir of God, free from sin, walking in the light and life of Jesus free from condemnation! Let that truth seek deep into your spirit and revive you and make you to sing joyous praise to our God!

Psalm 136:1 “O give thanks unto the LORD; fo the is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”