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2 weeks in…


I’m now two weeks into this sabbatical thing. Probably at some point I’ll count in months instead of weeks….it’s still kind of like a newborn baby to me right now :).

Today this is what I’ve decided…I always knew there was a whole other world out there that I was missing out on while I was stuck in my classroom each day and I was right! I have fully immersed myself into this sabbatical thing and I can tell you it’s lovely to be able to meet a friend at the drop of a hat. Or to go to yoga on Monday mornings. Or to walk in the park with friends at 6am and come home and water your flowers just because you can and don’t have to rush off to work. It’s lovely to shop during the day and not have to go in the evening. And to have almost every meal with my kids. It’s lovely to actually grind whole bean coffee and make it, sit down and have time to enjoy it. I was generally one of those people who made a cup quickly and rarely had time to finish it before it was time to head out for the day.ย It’s lovely to volunteer to help someone just because they need it. And it’s wonderful to create and homemake.

Which leads me to my next realization…

For the longest time I always thought my small kitchen was more than adequate…but these days, now that I actually use it regularly…it seems small. (No plans to change it…just an observation.) I’m ย actually considering starting to “can” some fruits or vegetables. I’m still in the dreaming phase.

This is how it works for me.

1. I get an idea. Just a glimmer of a thought.

2. I process it in my brain and it grows and I become passionate about it. (The dream is conceived.)

3. So passionate that I go to Amazon and buy a book because I feel the need to read about it more.

4. I find in the book that it really doesn’t look all that hard. (I’m fairly optimistic when it comes to dreams.)

5. I start purchasing supplies and getting excited.

6. I talk to my girls about it. (They give me the thumbs up or down sign…of course I’m already committed at this point, but it’s still a helpful step in my dream realization ๐Ÿ™‚ )

7. I Facebook about it…seeking advice from everybody far and wide.

8. I’m pretty clueless but jump in and take it on.

9. I have this lovely sense of accomplishment…or at least ideas of how I might do it next time to make it better when I’m done.

10…I get an idea…and repeat ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’m headed off to Michael’s Craft store because…(drum roll) I am now fully immersed in the “Body Scrub” experience. My kitchen has been filled with sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, epsom salt, essential oils, safflower oil, grapeseed oil…and olive (although I decided I don’t really care for olive if I can use the other oils instead). I’ve got a list of scents (16) and a list of which base and oil and size of jar I’m putting them with and today I’m headed to Michael’s to purchase tags to make them look cute and then wala…I’m in business. I think my first step will be to take a picture of them and put it out to my Facebook world…and blog world…and then whoever else might be interested.

I’ll post a picture here too ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve even sat down and figured up my expenses and what I will actually sell them for and on paper it looks swell ๐Ÿ™‚ We’ll see how it all pans out, we might have a lifetime supply of body scrub ๐Ÿ™‚

Soon…I’ll have my soap supplies to make bars of soap…oh the places I’ll go then ๐Ÿ™‚

Today I’m also going to learn to change my windshield wipers…how hard can it be?

I hope you’ve got a great idea brewing in your brain too. Life is so much more fun with some dreams to follow.


Starting the week well.


Yesterday my girls and I had our first “No Screen/No Headphone” Sunday. I’m happy to report we all survived ๐Ÿ™‚ Admittedly, we had to check ourselves a few times just because we are so used to migrating to the computer chair (me) or migrating to ipod/ipad and headphones (my girls).

So…instead of starting my day on the computer…I started it on my porch reviewing the sermon I was going to give yesterday. (Which went well for a first go round I think ๐Ÿ™‚

Instead of coming home and watching any tv after church we all took a long, restful nap. Nothing like a Sunday afternoon nap to make you feel like all is right with the world.

Instead of getting up and going to our separate areas and not being able to hear each other we all found a book we wanted to read and sat around in the same room together reading. It was like the good old days I’m telling yah :).

We even eventually played a card game together and then headed to the park. Imagine that…we spent some time outdoors together! We had some loaves of bread to get rid of so we thought we would feed the fish. The only problem is that the pond we chose only had tiny fish and not many at that…so we left them a meal that will probably last them a week! But we had great fun in the process. We took time to just sit on the bench by the pond and watch the people fishing and playing at the park until it got dark.

Then we ended the day with a trip to DQ. It was necessary since our local DQ has been remodeled this summer and we had yet to check it out. It was way past time.

We then came home and read some more…I admit it, my girls were hoping I would cave by that point in the day and let them listen to their music on headphones…but I held steady and we made it through the day. Whew!

This is what I noticed.

Without screens.

We rested well…

We read books that were good food for our minds (Lydia picked up the Five love language book yesterday and is currently trying to figure out what each of our love languages is. I read through 3 books on making soap and am thinking I’m going to give it a go…soon. And Lauren read her book from the library just for fun.)

We spent time together.

We played together.

We had plenty of conversation…talked until after 11pm!

We focused on each other instead of diverting to Facebook. And…we didn’t seek outside validation for our day.

For a day experiment it was worth it. In fact, I think next Sunday we might give it another go. I’m sure my girls will be thrilled.

And now getting ready to head out for yoga. Love my Monday mornings on sabbatical.

Actually…I love every day in my life right now. Good news…I picked up a new piano student yesterday. That’s always encouraging.


The first week…


Today marks my first official week of sabbatical.

For the record, I am thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve worked on my house in big ways in the past week. Worked in the yard, felt sweat dripping down my face. I’m just crazy enough to enjoy that kind of thing. I’ve baked cookies and banana bread. I’ve run errands and thought of new ideas. I’ve made more DIY stuff at home… so far laundry detergent, homemade dish soap, hand soap (liquid style), and toothpaste. I have recipes to try ketchup and mustard and when my supplies are actually looking low I’ll give it a try ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve purchased books on how to make bar soap, a variety of it, anticipating that I would enjoy the process and also be able to make a supply this winter to sell at our local Farmer’s market next summer. I’ve cut back plants outside and right now have a huge bucket full of pieces off of my ivy plant which I hope will take root. I think I will be able to replant them in small pots and again sell them at my local Farmer’s market next summer if all goes well. If it doesn’t work, I haven’t lost a penny. I was going to trim them back anyway.

I’ve redirected my girls this week. So yesterday my youngest participated in my monthly bill writing and is now acutely aware of my budget and how much cash should be spent each week so that we don’t go over. She’s aware of my emergency fund and of what is in ย savings. I had no clue of any of that when I was growing up, but she expressed an interest in learning how to budget and I couldn’t think of any reason for her not to, so she is. She actually gets excited when bills arrive in the mail box…crazy girl :).

I’ve signed up my girls for art class this fall down at our local art studio. So both will be taking knitting in September. (I’m secretly hoping they can teach me too ๐Ÿ™‚ Lydia will take drawing in October. She really showed some talent in her general middle school art class so I am looking forward to seeing her develop in that area. Lauren is taking collage which will be right up her creative alley. Then in Nov/Dec. Lauren is taking intermediate pottery…I hope she loves it, I think she will. Lydia is taking a photography class. She’s hoping to learn how to use all of the buttons on the camera beyond the auto one ๐Ÿ™‚

This week I will be purchasing a paper for Lauren to start clipping coupons, and an organizer. She wants to be more in on the grocery shopping/saving side of things and if she’s willing to give it a go, I’m in full support. She’s also cutting out her first pattern today in the process of learning to sew. Lydia is making her first recipe tonight, she’s going to make something every Tuesday and Thursday and already has recipes lined up for the next six weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

All of this is the kind of stuff that wouldn’t be happening if I was working full time right now. There are only so many hours in a day and teaching is exhausting work.

We even got to throw in a field trip to the Botanical gardens this week which was good for my soul.

I’m preparing to preach this Sunday, and I feel like I’ve actually had adequate time to prepare.

I’ve been able to help others this week. I even started yoga on Mondays.

When I sit down and think through all that has happened in this past week I’m amazed. Just a week ago my oldest had just gotten her drivers license and I was nervous about the whole thing. In one weeks time I’m amazed at how much less nervous I feel. She’s driven several times now for small errands and has even driven completely on her own. She’s doing just fine ๐Ÿ™‚

My continued theme for this time in my life is pure gratitude. ย I’m finding that it’s an incredibly good place to be.

Not everything is perfect. I haven’t started nearly as many students as I would like in my private voice and piano business this fall, but I’m hoping and trusting that will grow as time goes on.

My girls have had to work through some interesting emotions this week with public school starting and learning how to be homeschooled and still have some friendships which has led to some interesting conversations. I know God will help us to work those things out. We just need to initiate relationships in a different way than we used to.

Overall…life is incredibly good. Today is Thursday and it’s going to be a lovely day. No countdowns, no dread, no wishing for other days…this day is good in itself.

On to week two…I hope to power wash my house, paint my bath tub and probably the walls in my bathroom this next week. And who knows what else might come across my path ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m open.