Valentine Recap

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. It was a very festive time in our house. But in the midst of the busy schedule and endless to-do list we made time to appreciate the people in our lives that mean the most to us.

Here’s a look at 3 events that we participated in last week.

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1. Random Acts of Kindness Week Ornament Drop

At the elementary school my daughter attends they focused on doing acts of random kindness. This was promoted with spirit-dress week and the end-of-week project.

For this project the students created an ornament with a positive message to be delivered to someone of their choice. They were to take a picture with their ornament and let their teacher know who they chose and why that person was selected. My daughter’s teacher challenged the kids to choose someone they don’t know very well.

Instantly, our daughter thought of our next door neighbor. She’s a single, middle-aged woman who tends to keep to herself. Whenever we have the rare opportunity to see her we wave and smile. Aside from doing yard work or shoveling snow at the same time we haven’t had many opportunities to interact with her.

Following our daughter’s lead, our whole family went next door and delivered the ornament. The neighbor was so grateful and let our daughter know that it made her lonely Valentine’s Day so much better to receive that gift.

 

2. Classroom Party

Weeks ago my daughter and I scoured Pinterest for the perfect Valentine’s Day box. Then, using my Cricut and a few supplies from Michaels we put together a pretty cute unicorn-themed box. With her craft skills she used blank heart-shaped notecards, stamps, and stickers to create homemade valentines cards for every member of her class.

I had the opportunity to attend her class party on Friday afternoon. My job was to bring healthy snacks for the class. Oh Joy! helped me out with a blog post about a healthy snack craft. My daughter and I used Thursday night to prepare our cupid-stricken oranges. These were a big hit in the classroom.

 

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3. Speed Dating in the Library

This last event I can take absolutely no credit for having put together. The librarian at my school put lots of planning and energy into the idea, but I have to share because it was so awesome.

On Valentine’s Day my classes reserved the library to pick out new independent reading books. Instead of turning them loose to select books on their own our librarian organized a speed dating session. Students were exposed to an array of books and got to know the one’s that caught their eye.

After the process was done they were to check out the book that they connected with the most. Many of them also took pictures with their books in a photo-booth themed heart. I snagged some of my teacher friends to jump in with me for my photo.

I’d love to see some of your Valentine’s Day crafts and boxes. Comment a picture or description below.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Build: Five Minute Friday

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I’m getting my butt kicked by my February schedule.

Can you relate?

For some reason I keep double-booking myself even with my efforts to keep a bullet journal. There just isn’t enough time in the day to get everything done. That’s why it is even more important than ever to build into that schedule some time for me.

A few months ago my husband and I agreed on an arrangement that allowed both of us ample time to focus on our hobbies. On an ideal day, we would each get ONE HOUR to ourselves. For him, it would look like a run to the gym or a drill session with five basketballs. For me, that time would be sitting in front of the computer like I am right now and allowing myself some time to write.

Now, it doesn’t happen this way every day.

There are days when my kiddos interrupt that time and days when my husband never makes it out the door. But, our goal is to make this time a priority every day.

As parents it can be so easy to lose ourselves. I could spend over half a day cleaning messes or changing diapers. But one thing I’ve learned after six years of this gig is that I am a much better mom when I’ve taken some time to focus on¬† me.

I am thankful for a husband who is supportive and encourages me to take that time.

I am grateful for a daughter that understands when Mom is writing she really needs to be left alone.

This ONE HOUR trade-off with my husband has helped to curb my anxiety and given me a renewed sense of purpose in writing. I’ve taken time to dream again. I’ve taken steps toward reaching that dream. And I’ve begun feeling more accomplished than ever.

How do you build time for yourself during the day?

*This post is part of the Five Minute Friday prompt for the week. Be sure to check out the link in order to see other positive writer’s explore the same word prompt.

The Ameri Brit Mom

We Escaped!


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1 Murder+3 Suspects+6 Friends+2 Strangers+60 minutes= a lot of fun and laughs (and a wrongly convicted murderer)

If you have never gone to an escape room you are missing out. Some of our friends had a Groupon for Lockology Columbus Escape Room and invited us to join them. It was a blast.  Aside from the slight panic I felt as I signed the entry waiver there was nothing scary about the event.

Once our party was gathered the creepy employee tasked with making us all nervous led us into a small office–the location of the murder.

A video explained our mission and the rules. Then, the door was locked and our one hour began. In order to unlock the door we had to name a suspect and find the combination to the door’s lock.

I can’t reveal anything about the actual case and clues, but I can tell you that it was tricky. In the end we guessed the wrong murderer, but did break out with the correct code. So we were 1 for 2.

Now, while I learned that I’m not quite cut out for the life of a CSI agent, I did enjoy the mystery of it all. I’ve seen a lot of Twitter posts where teachers have used the tactics of the Escape Room in their classrooms. I can see the appeal, and I’d love ideas for making this fit into my high school English or History curriculum.

I am very thankful for my friends and the chance to get away with them and share hours of laughter.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

 

 

Where: Five Minute Friday

I’m snowed in for another day in Ohio. I would be going stir crazy if it wasn’t for the week I’ve had. Today I am thankful for more time at home.

On Tuesday I awoke to my 11 month old having a seizure.

SCARIEST FIVE MINUTES OF MY LIFE!

The moments that followed her seizure were even scarier than the event itself. She laid unresponsive on the floor and police officers, paramedics, and firemen paraded into my home. Nothing can prepare you for moments like this.

God was with us that day. She spent most of the day resting in the hospital and slowly coming back around. She was diagnosed with febrile seizures which were caused by the onset of a fever. We didn’t even know she was sick! The thing with these seizures is that oftentimes the episode is the first indication that something is wrong.

So, yes, I am counting my blessings on snow day #6. I’m happy to be home with my babies and to have my baby girl back to herself.

For my Five Minute Friday post I am writing a poem of thankfulness for God’s peace through all that I experienced this week. To join the FMF community or to check out their posts be sure to check out the site. This week the prompt is Where.

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In the middle of the battle you were there

Wrapping me in your arms of care.

Time stood still and I was scared,

But You were everywhere.

You brought peace and healing

In Moments when my heart was reeling.

 Hopelessness was all I was feeling.

Thank you, Lord, for intervening.

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The Ameri Brit Mom

 

 

 

Cookies for Kairos

Serving alongside my family is one of my favorite things to do. Over the past week I’ve had several opportunities to work in the kitchen with both my true family and church family.

Since last Sunday I’ve been blessed to be a part of the process of baking close to 200 dozen cookies for the Kairos Prison Ministry. Our church is sending several representatives to a local prison where the gospel will be shared with inmates. That program involves sharing homemade cookies with those they visit. In the process of baking I learned so much about the Kairos ministry.

You get to know people even better when you are rubbing elbows with them in the kitchen. But even all those cookies later I am convinced that God is blessing our congregation with amazing people at Village Chapel.

The first 70 dozen I helped with was alongside the youth group. Watching a group of high schoolers sacrificing their time moved me. They worked together better than most adults and they kept themselves motivated with mini competitions and games.

I was able to witness God’s love being spread through the simple act of cookie baking. What may seem like a small luxury to us can make a lifelong impact in the life of someone else. I will be in prayer over the next few weeks for those participating in this ministry opportunity.

Be sure to check out more about Kairos Prison Ministry

The Ameri Brit Mom

She Got Game

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The anthem of my winter will be squeaking shoes and whistle blows. It will be the chant of the ball as it bounces atop the hardwood. It’s the call of “I’m open” and the family surrounding me on the bleachers where I will always be her number one fan.

We are starting our third year of basketball. I am looking forward to not being nine months pregnant this season like I was last year. I am also looking forward to watching my little girl grow as a player. She’s already improved her passing, shooting, and dribbling. With a father who performs as a side hustle it should come as no surprise that she’s got game herself.

Two years ago I wrote about her first ever basketball practice. (Check out One Happy Player.)

So much has changed since her first days on the court. I’m looking forward to many, many years as a basketball mom and I am cherishing every practice and game as an opportunity to be thankful. I am blessed to have a daughter who enjoys such a variety of activities. I am blessed to have a husband who is in his element coaching little players. I am blessed to live near so many family members who support our girls and come to their events.

I am blessed to be a BASKETBALL MOM

The Ameri Brit Mom

Family Photo Session

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Thanks to a friend from The Mund Life Photography our family was able to get some awesome pictures over the holidays. It was time to update our family shots since our oldest was a bald baby approaching her first birthday in the most recent photos. I wanted a canvas this year of all FOUR of us.

Josh did a great job capturing the love of our family.

The picture above is the one that we had made into a large canvas as part of my Christmas gift. It was hard to choose just one picture though. In the hour we spent at the studio we collected so many amazing snapshots into our life.

There were so many perfect shots:

 

But my favorite photographs were the unstaged, unedited ones. I love how he captured our REAL personalities with these fun, candid shots:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To wrap up this post I wanted to share my meme-able photo. Below, share a meme that would be perfect for this picture. I can’t help but laugh every time I see this. Who else thinks a falling baby is hilarious!?!

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The Ameri Brit Mom

Better: Five Minute Friday

I’m kicking off my 2019 FMF streak with a late post.

In Ohio, I spent my Friday preparing for the imminent arrival of this weekend’s snowpocalypse. After school yesterday I joined the rest of the state at the grocery store stocking up on necessities. If you want to join in on the weekly fun over at Five Minute Friday or check out others’ posts be sure to click on the link. Here is my five minute uninterrupted response to the prompt: Better.

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Fuzzy socks, wool blankets, hot coffee, and good books…does life get much more relaxed?

Sure, there is a mound of laundry beckoning me to wash and a room full of toys that need to be boxed up, but today I chose to hibernate. The steady rhythm of the snow outside is the perfect backdrop to my reading adventure. The laughter of the children forming snow men and throwing snowballs can not be outweighed.

I was scheduled to attend a writing conference today, but the weather forced me inside. I was excited to focus on my writing today (I haven’t done anything like that since I had the baby last year.) But if I’m honest having this perfect day at home turned out better.

There will be other conferences.

Today I am choosing to embrace the tundra and enjoy the benefits of this house arrest. I’m taking time to read, write, and make memories with my family.

If you were snowed in how would you spend your day?

The Ameri Brit Mom

Aldi Delivery

 

One month ago my life changed…

My husband and I found out that Aldi, our favorite grocery store, was now doing home deliveries.

Aldi uses a program called Instacart. Basically, this is Uber for your groceries. Each area has a list of approved shoppers and those people take your list to the store and shop for you. If your location does not have a particular item they can alert you and allow you to make a substitution. If you would rather not substitute you receive a refund for that product.

I haven’t even told you the best part!

Yesterday, I ordered my groceries while home alone with a sleepy baby. The idea of going out into the cold did not excite me. Dinner time was nearing and I really needed to get milk beforehand. Normally, I would have taken my whiny child and braved the aisles while she fought sleep like a boxing match.

Instead I took ten minutes and put a whole week’s of groceries into my Aldi Instacart and in less than two hours everything was unloaded, sorted, and dinner was on the stove.

If you are interested in giving it a try please click my link before you shop. By using this direct link I may receive compensation for referring you. It costs you nothing.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Still:Five Minute Friday

That last week before Christmas break makes all of us teachers go a bit crazy.

Case in point, it’s Saturday and I’m reviewing my week and somehow I managed to get just about NOTHING off my to-do list done. I survived Monday-Friday and that’s all. No, there were great moments for sure (like the one in my post below), but by Friday afternoon I felt like Miss Frizzle-crazy hair and all.

This week I’m joining in late to the Five Minute Friday prompt. This is our last regular prompt of the year and so I can’t let it slip by without contributing. The prompt this week is Still.

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I awoke to cooing…the happy sounds of a baby who has yet to decide that 6am is too early to babble. My body drudged through the house with the weight of sleep still on my eyelids. At the sink I fixed a bottle and prepared to let her soothe herself back to sleep.

When I made it to her room and her voice jumped an octave in excitement my heart changed it’s song.

Instead of leaving her I picked her up. Held her close. And I rocked her like I used to before she was too busy to let me cuddle her.

I fed her a bottle and looked into her eyes as she slipped back to sleep.

It’s been several months since she’s let me do this.

And in the way we adults do–I’ve forgotten to be still with her like this.

I’ve forgotten to be still in so many ways.

The routine of being a working mom has kept me from moments like these. I get caught up in what I need to do and I don’t always appreciate those mornings when my babies just want my stillness. So many days I focus too much on preparing for the day and not enough on those moments.

We all need to be still. To take in those unscripted smiles. To look into the eyes of someone we love. To drop the lists and expectations.

This holiday season is the perfect time to drink in the stillness.

The Ameri Brit Mom