Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 2016 In Our Home

Finally, a family photo!
(Annelise is demonstrating her grump-face, which is pretty funny)

34 months old!
       I've really come to relish quiet this month. My soul has craved this state of being. I simply desire less noise and less nonsense, and more calm and peacefulness. We lessened the videos watched. I lessened my viewing of the internet, especially social media. We lessened outtings and gatherings. Meanwhile, we incorporated more instrumental music. We read many, many more books throughout the day. We enjoyed simple activities and playtime together. We've always been a low-tech family, but this month we chose to unplug even more. There is a remarkable beauty in simplicity. How easily overstimulation and overwhelm take hold of life, and we never really realize it until we do finally disconnect from it all. How much more we have enjoyed ourselves this past month!

  One of our favorite simplicities has been playing in the leaves! There are no pretty fall leaves or cool fall temperatures here. (Oh, how I miss that!). Instead, the leaves are just brown and fallen to the ground. The children didn't seem to mind, tough, and enjoyed the experience regardless. It has been a daily activity to go outside to toss leaves in the air and jump in the pile. My heart is delighted to watch them enjoy such things! It's childhood. It's unplugged. It's beautiful. 

One of the cards we created to send to family
as part of our Thanksgiving celebration.
   We did a few of our "Celebrating the Season of Thankfulness" activities this month. I've learned in the past couple of years that it is best to simply choose a few to incorporate each year and allow the traditions to slowly build. Otherwise, the activities become yet another task to complete and loses it's sentiment. This year we:
     * created cards sharing our thankfulness and sent them to uncles, aunts and cousins
     *  used Thanksgiving conversation starters during dinners
     * made a "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving meal" (toast, jelly beans, pretzels, and popcorn) and watched the movie
     * made and enjoyed a fully Thanksgiving meal together (turkey, rolls, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, deviled eggs, and pumpkin pie with whipped cream). 

17 months old!
     There is so much more I would have liked to have done- more decorating, more activities, more intentionality. However, I'm learning how to better match my expectations to reality (a process for this idealist!). Unrealistic expectations can lead to so much holiday disappointment! However, I must acknowledge that I am in a season with all little ones and another to come. In this season, it's okay to simply focus on the daily tasks if that's what needs to be done. The holiday activities will still be available in future years. The children will even be able to better understand and enjoy the festivities then. The holiday "magic" would be lost, not by waiting and taking the celebration slow, but by pushing too much too soon. So, as I pack away our list I take note of the activities accomplished and the ones yet to come. There's a certain excitement in the possibilities awaiting us next year (and those possibilities being so simple that they're actually feasible to accomplish!). 

Such a delight to watch them
 simply playing together!
     Another annual event in our home each November is David parents coming for a visit. They live about 12 hours from us currently, and so it's quite remarkable for them to choose to spend their time, finances, energy etc. to visit for only 2 1/2 days. With their visit also came an early Christmas for the children. I think they're favorite part, though, was getting so much attention! I wish I could say that it was a lovely hospitality moment, but truthfully it was a hospitality fail. This time of year is already very busy, stressful and exhausting for David and I. (This is "peak season" at his job which is rather demanding. My days are quite full with caring for three little ones (because pregnancy counts too) and our home). By the third day meltdowns were happening fairly regularly (myself included). Nonetheless, I'm glad David got to spend time with his parents and the children with their grandparents. However, hospitality may need to be something we work on more intentionally as a family in the upcoming year. haha

       November was a pretty full month in our home. Yet, it was also a wonderful lesson in simplicity. I pray to continue that premise onward. 
Story time!
 While I read a book aloud, they each selected a book to "read."  
New Books We're Enjoying This Month:
(I like to purchase at least one new book for each of us each month. For additional insights into the books we're enjoying in our home, click the "Bookshelves" tab at the top of the page and then follow the links to our various online bookshelves).  

Note: The "*" indicates the inclusion of an affiliate link. I am personally an affiliate with Amazon.com, and as such receive a compensation for purchases made through the links. (Thank you!)

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