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It was certainly not the holiday season we planned for. A flu-filled week of wiping raw little noses, stroking fevered foreheads, kissing flushed cheeks and whispering gratitude that in the grand scheme of things, we are together. Happy. Here.

I’ll admit I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions but in the slow monotony of these past all-run-together days I’ve spent long hours pondering how I might be more intentional in my mothering in the coming year. I am task-oriented. A list-makerlover of tiny checked boxes. Most days, this is more of a hinderance than a help. It is difficult for me to abandon a sink full of dishes to build a tower with blocks. But the truth is, my children are not an interruption. The tasks are. Are the tasks necessary? Of course. But their completion should not govern my thoughts or our day.

In this season with two littles, I’m not aspiring to be super mom, but I’m feeling the nudge to lead us more gently through our days and be intentional about quality time and white space – margins for rest and play. Rather than scribble out potentially vague or unattainable year-long plans, we’ll fill in this chart with ideas (NOT a checklist!) at the beginning of each month and tack it to the fridge. Even if our best-laid plans don’t come to fruition, their momma will still be reminded to s-l-o-w, savour, and say “yes”. You’re welcome to print one for your family. I’ll post a new one for February. Below are some ideas to get you started.

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Print as an 8×10 or smaller for best image quality.
A PDF is coming!

You can see what’s in the January book basket here. Each month, we’ll jot down a few potential family read-alouds. If we don’t get to them all, no worries.  If you’re looking for good beginning chapter books for little people, here are some of our favorites. We’re also keeping track of what we’re reading in our seasonal reading log. You are welcome to print one as well.

Around here, crafting doesn’t happen if we don’t plan for it.
Here are some ideas for January:
Winter Tree Silhouette | Meet the Dubiens
Snowflake Paper Trees | About.com
Winter Window Display | Inner Child Fun
Shadow Puppets / Theater | Rhythm of the Home
Windowsill Herb Garden | Kids Gardening
Printable Nesting Dolls to Color | Dans Mon Bocal
Weather Tree | Se7en

C O O K / B A K E
We love spending time together in the kitchen and I’d like to make it a regular part of our weekly rhythm. We’re looking forward to working our way through Alana Chernila’s book, The Homemade Pantry, as well as Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosentrach, and Rae Grant’s Cooking Fun.

I love being outdoors – except in winter. Planning some special weekly activities will hopefully get us out of the house and into the sunshine more regularly. We’ll be drawing ideas from the book 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca Cohen. And guess what!   She has excerpted the winter activities from the book into an e-book that you can download for $0.99! You can find more ideas for outdoor play at:
Free Winter Wonderland Pack from the Woodland Trust Nature Detectives

– Monthly Calendars from Natural Science Through the Seasons by James Arthur Partridge via the Chuppies.

It seems to me that five is just about the perfect age to begin some gentle instruction in the lost art of letter writing. She is ripe with curiousity and I have plans for a family mailbox to nudge her along. We love The Write Start by Jennifer Hallissy as well as her blog.

The possibilities here are virtually limitless depending on how you want to interpret it. Pencil in local cultural events you’d like to attend as a family, service projects, or day trips. Or perhaps your “going” will be virtual. Who says you can’t travel the world in your pajamas?



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