When I think about my childhood, I often find myself thinking about memories of the local public library. Some of my earliest memories are of attending Summer Reading and other programs such as pajama story hour with Mrs. Pickle. I also remember getting super excited as a kid when I could have my own library card and check out books in my name! Two of my favorites that I checked out over and over were Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Father’s Day by Steven Kroll. They were such big favorites of mine that Mr Kisby surprised me with them as gifts one year!
My love of libraries wasn’t contained to my local branch. Both of my grandmothers had libraries in their small towns, and I loved to go to those libraries too. In fact, my grandmother in Kansas lived across the street from the town librarian. I always thought that was so cool! Plus, since she knew the family, she’d let me check books out of their library while we were there visiting in the summer. This made me feel so special!
As I got older, libraries became a place to use the Internet and study. I never thought much about checking out books for probably fifteen years. Then one Saturday morning many years ago, Mr Kisby and I went to the local library for a morning date of checking out books. I thought it was so sweet! From this date, I became reacquainted with our local library. For the past several years, the library has become a staple in our lives. One of the things that I was most pleased to learn was that the library is no longer just about checking out books and using the Internet. Our library offers a plethora of classes, activities, and even movie and music checkouts for free! Bonus, the classes and activities are for literally all ages! I’ve also been amazed at how much they do for families including Book or Treat and Milk and Cookies with Santa. The first of which has been a hit with LilKsby, and the second of which has made him scream. They also always have games that you can play as a family and a puzzle that you can work on while relaxing!
So why am I talking about the library? Because February is National Library Lovers Month in the US! Libraries are a forgotten gem, and they need to be utilized so they won’t become a thing of the past! For more ideas on how to support your library, checkout this article: https://ilovelibraries.org/get-involved/. In the meantime, go visit your public library!
I am a champion at starting things and forgetting to make time to finish them. One of these projects has been completing LilKsby’s baby book. Lately, I’ve been putting a renewed effort into completing it, and tonight I was working on the page where the prompt was listing gifts that people gave me and Mr Kisby for LilKsby. Even though he’s almost four, I was able to recall enough of the gifts to fill the page. We were VERY blessed by the AMAZING people in our lives! The page was filled with items such as picture frames, clothes, toys, bouncers, nursery furniture, and feeding sets. We were also very thankful to be brought meals by our closest family and friends. These were essential during the first few sleepless weeks!
After I filled out that page in the baby book, I was flipping through notes on my phone. One of them was titled Gifts of the Magi. In the note I had written the following:
Gold – most valuable metal, symbol of divinity
Frankincense – medicine for many ailments
Myrrh – Used as medicine and embalming royalty, a gift reserved for kings
I’m guessing that I looked them up one year after hearing or reading the story of the Three Wise Men coming to visit Baby Jesus. I’m sure I made the note so that I wouldn’t ask myself again in the future what frankincense and myrrh were. I’ve always thought that they were strange gifts to give to a baby, but when looking at what they symbolize/were used as, it makes sense that they would be appropriate gifts for a baby king. So I get it, but I do wonder if Mary would have appreciated a warm baby blanket or the back in the day equivalent of Pampers. I’m sure I’m not the only mother who has every thought, “Man! Those Magi gifts were not practical!”
That’s enough of my curious thoughts for the night. Time to go back to comparing toilets on Home Depot’s website, registering for an event, and considering starting another Coursera course while listening to The Big Bang Theory all while the toddler snoozes next to me.
There’s a song by Rascal Flatts with the lyrics “This much I know is true/That God blessed the broken road/That led me to straight to you.” The song is aptly titled “Bless the Broken Road,” and though it came out a number of years ago, it has been in my head today. I saw a post from a Facebook connection (sometimes it seems weird to me to say Facebook friend when it is someone you knew years ago that you’re not really sure if you were friends or acquaintances with then much less now) reflecting on the journey of their life and how some of the must unexpected parts yield the biggest blessings. That post moved me because I felt like it was talking to me in that most of what I thought would be my future 22 years ago hasn’t been my path at all; however, I could not be more blessed and happy than I am today on this road.
When I look back on those days, I think of a person who just really wanted people to like her. At times I felt like I would do anything just to try and get/retain friends. As a smaller kid, I was always heavy set and far from the “pretty, popular type” which meant not always having a lot of people want to be around me. Looking back, I realize that this need for people to like me could occasionally come at the cost of hurting others. It was never intentional, and since I haven’t seen a lot of those people in a long number of years, I hope they have either forgotten or forgiven the wrongs I did to them. If they haven’t done either, then I get it. Sometimes I wasn’t the nicest way back in the day.
Thankfully, a long my journey through various roads, I have learned to like me for me. I’ve met a wonderful tribe of friends along the way thanks mostly to theatre, LARPing, teaching, and Mary Kay, and a long the journey I met an even more wonderful husband! I know that Mr Kisby is the absolute best husband in the world because he’s my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and so much more. I could keep going, but the lovey dovey overload might make you sick at your stomach. The best way to put it is we love each other and like each other. Mr Kisby is also the one who gave me the biggest blessings in the world: the baby in Heaven that taught me just how much I wanted to be a mom and the sweet little boy here on earth that calls me Mama. ❤️ As the boy and the husband lay asleep next to me, my heart could not be more filled with love and joy! Thank you God for leading me to them!
Personal growth aside, there are a lot of other parts of life that I never would have imagined 22+ years ago. You may not believe it, but at one point I wanted to be a lawyer. What can I say besides Clueless and Legally Blonde made it look glamorous? I would have been a terrible lawyer because I absolutely do not like conflict. In fact, having conflict with people has been know to make me so upset I get physically sick. Then, I started college with the intent of getting a double major in theatre and journalism with a minor in sociology. I ended up changing schools because I didn’t like the college and I missed home with all of my friends. That change led to a couple of business degrees and eventually a teaching degree. All of these led to job changes which saw me through various relationships and a lot of time LARPing (these I’m confident enough with who I am to admit publicly how nerdy I am). Each of those choices were little roads that also brought me to where I am today.
Today, I am on the best road I ever could have imagined! I absolutely love being wife and mama, and I am so thankful to be in a position where I am able to be home caring for them full time. Each day with them is an adventure, and as I am watching LilKsby grow and change, I feel like I’m also watching myself grow and change for the better each day! I love the person I am becoming, and I believe that allows me to love all of the important people in my life that much more!
I realize this is pretty deep for a Friday night, but I feel like turning 40 this year is going to be filled with a lot of similar reflective retrospection. I’m not one of those dreading 40. It’s actually quite the opposite. I feel like 40 is going to be fabulous! Since the broken road has led me to where I need to be, some of the greatest chapters are still to be written!
If you have been following me for a while, then you know that back in May I published a blog about 39 things I want do while 39. Well, it is now January and the big birthday is getting closer every day. A lot of times right now I look at my list and start to panic because I am behind on my goals. However, this year I am very pleased with how my goals are going. So far I have…
Rode a roller coaster – rode a super fun adult one at Dollywood and the kids one! I love wooden roller coasters!
Rode a train – did this at Dollywood too! Really cool train ride up the mountain!
Taken a vacation – I’ve been able to go on a few of them! Highly recommend making the trip to the America’s Historic Triangle!
Hosted Sushimas – We hadn’t had this event with friends since 2019, and it was wonderful to get back together!
Gone Kayaking – Nothing like the open water for relaxing, planning, and thinking!
Played Pool – one of the best perks of our cabin in the Gatlinburg area! I hadn’t played pool with my parents in years.
Gone to a Cave – Took our nephew to Mammoth Cave for the lantern tour. Highly recommend! Other recommendation? Don’t give the lantern to a teenager who will walk fast and leave you behind!
Entered a Creative Competition – Entered the city Christmas tree competition! 12th place of 31 is not to shabby in my book!
Made a Scrapbook of LilKsby’s 2021 and 2022 Calendars – put this in the category of things I previously never made time to complete!
Completed LilKsby’s First Year Frame – Same as above!
Saw Dr Strange 2 – Loved this movie! Then again, I was a HUGE fan of Wandavision!
Saw Thor Love & Thunder – I laughed so much that I wanted to cry!
Watched Young Sheldon Seasons 3 and 4 – Not as good as TBBT, but the supporting characters are a lot of fun!
Watched Step By Step – I love seeing all the old TGIF shows again! Fun fact, Staci Keanan who played Dana is now a hot shot lawyer!
Attended GenCon Online – Love gaming! Miss going in person!
Gone to Gatlinburg – We made it to that area twice! The time we drove through Gatlinburg, we totally saw a bear crossing the street.
Completed 5 Paintings – I’m so happy to have gotten back to the canvas!
Saw the BSB DNA Tour (again LOL) – Almost 30 years and they are still amazing!
Completed NANOWRIMO – I love writing, so this is always a fun challenge!
Gone to a Pumpkin Activity – We went to the Pumpkin Wagon, painted pumpkins, and carved pumpkins!
Wrote 10 Fan Letters – As a kid, I loved writing fan mail! So I thought why not try it again? I wrote 10 letters and sent them. We will see if I get any responses!
Gone to the State Fair – Worked it and went as a visitor!
Got a Casey’s Taco Pizza – I’ve had two, and they are still the most tasty pizza on the planet!
Something you will notice from my list is that some of the goals were not on the initial list as some of the initial goals have been removed and replaced. I account this to changing circumstances in life and my priorities shifting. Once I switched over to Work from Home Mom life and homeschooling, I started realizing just how much I enjoy goals that can be completed at home. Along the same line, I also realized that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to be able to complete goals. Plus, as we grow as people, the things we want to do change. So even though I haven’t met all of my goals yet, I think I’ve already learned the most important lessons from 39 Things While 39: Your goals in life will change as you change, and this is an acceptable part of personal growth!
Stay tuned to see what all gets completed by my birthday!
In all of the years that I have been in my business and attending conferences to motivate and inspire, I have frequently heard a lot of words of motivation. One that I’ve heard a lot is “It’s not what is taught; it’s what is caught.” Another saying that I’ve heard a lot is “What you think about you bring about.” When hearing these at conferences, I knew that they were accurate. However, it wasn’t until I started paying attention to what my own child was saying that I realized just how much what you say will become what you hear.
If you have a child of your own, are close with a friend’s child, or have relatives that you’ve witnessed grow through the toddler years, then you know that children pick up on the things you say. Usually you learn this the first time your kid drops something and says, “Shit.” Maybe it was the first time you called someone a “Dumbass” when they cut you off in traffic, and from the backseat you heard, “Dumbass.” While these things make you giggle (because you know we’re all secretly 7 some days), you know that you have to make a change so that your child will not think that it is acceptable to be three and cuss like a sailor. Even though this change can be hard to make, most of us are willing to do it or start using alternative codes for the betterment of our children.
But what about those words and phrases that we don’t think about that are causing our children to have negative thoughts? I started thinking about this one a lot lately with how much LilKsby has been saying “I’m scared” or “I’m afraid” when starting a sentence. He will apply it to things he’s completely not afraid of like “I’m scared of the garage.” He’s not the least bit scared of the garage, but I’ve realized how often he hears those phrases. Because of how much he hears them, he seems to just think that is how you start a sentence even though the emotion doesn’t apply. I caught myself today saying, “I’m afraid it’s going to be moldy” while washing dishes with LilKsby. I immediately corrected myself and told him that “I’m afraid” was the wrong phrase to use and that I should have said “I think.” Really, I could have cared less if the peanut butter jar full of water had become moldy. If it was moldy, I already knew that I would just throw it in the trash and recycle next time. Also, I’m not afraid of a moldy jar. Yet there I was making a hypothesis yet making it sound like I was scared of a jar. Instances like this make me realize just how much I need to be careful with my speech around a toddler in formative years.
With LilKsby being in his formative years, I am always fascinated by how much I am learning from him. I’m starting to think one of the greatest things about having a toddler is the life lessons that I am learning to make myself a better person. Am I perfect? Far from it! Are my words always the ones I want to hear repeated back to me? That is a HUGE work in progress! But I know that I’m doing something right when he tells people, “Thank you, have a blessed day!”
Happy New Year and welcome to 2023! We’re two days into this new year, and if you’re like me you’ve spent some time reflecting. As the minutes ticked down to midnight, I found myself writing down my highlights of 2022. There were quite a few (more than the previous two years), and to list them all here would take a while. However, some of the biggest were all of the family travels, holidays because LilKsby finally understood them, and our household career switch. When the clock struck midnight and 2023 began, I kissed Mr Kisby, and we both started thinking about what we want to 2023 to look like. One of my goals? Blogging more! I’m shooting for once per week, and to help I’m not going to limit my topic choice. I’m going to write whatever is on my mind which is also therapeutic. Today’s topic? New Year’s Superstitions!
I’ve never been someone to believe in superstitions. I’ve never been afraid of Friday the 13th; I’ve always loved having black cats and think they are adorable; I walked under a ladder when I was like 7 in a Waldenbooks store, and I don’t think I had bad luck until I was 14. However, I’ve always found New Year’s superstitions intriguing because my grandma always insisted on having black eye peas and cabbage for lunch on New Year’s Day. She said it brought luck in the new year, and I thought it smelled funny. This year I wanted to honor my grandma (she’s been gone 12 years this month) and have the “luck” foods. So I started looking up New Year’s superstitions out of curiosity. You can see the full article that I read here, but if you want the funny version of them, continue reading!
The Midnight Kiss – This is one that I had heard of for a long time. The idea is whoever you kiss at midnight will love you for the rest of the year. This one is nice in thought, but if you’re like me, then you kissed your spouse which means (hopefully) that you want them to love you for a lot more than a year! I plan to kiss my husband at midnight for at least the next 50 years!
Eat 12 Grapes At Midnight – The thought is that you eat one grape for each month, then you will get luck for all 12 months of the year. If you eat 11, I guess you get good luck for 11 months. If you eat 13, then I guess you need to work on counting or maybe you should’ve had a snack before midnight so that you didn’t feel the need to eat that extra grape! Also, when is it safe to eat the rest of the bag of grapes???
Those New Year’s Day Foods – This is the one I knew about, but I didn’t know until this year how much the “lucky” foods vary depending on where you look. So we covered as many bases as possible by having broccoli slaw (it had the cabbage), black eyed peas, pork, and spinach (it is green, therefore, to me it counts as having greens). I forgot about the corn bread, but we had some dinner rolls that were best by 1/1/23 and didn’t get sick, so I call that lucky! I also believe that you can count egg rolls for the cabbage and bacon or sausage for the pork. That’s my philosophy!
Don’t Leave the House Until Someone Visits You First – We did this one, but we also didn’t leave the house today either. This one struck me as the funniest because I’m pretty sure it was just a way to get people to stay home on January 1. If you think about it, if ever single person waited for someone to visit them first, then no one would be able to leave the house. We’d all be waiting! Then I thought if you live in a neighborhood, maybe you draw names to find out who has to be the unlucky one for the year. Then you send that person to everyone’s homes in the morning so that they can leave and still have luck. Still thinking this one was just meant to keep people at home. Also, what if you were out celebrating New Year’s Eve and weren’t even home? Does the stay at home take effect once you are inside your own house, or do you count as your own first visitor?
Full Cupboards – We also achieved this one, but only by accident. We went to the grocery on New Year’s Eve because I needed the New Year’s “lucky” food, and I picked up some other things while in the store. Allegedly, having a full cabinet on New Year’s Eve/Day ensures you will have full cabinets all year. I just call it smart because it’s winter and you never know when the weather is going to bad, or you never know when you are going to end up stuck at home because of illness, a broken vehicle, etc. Along the same note, you’re also supposed to start the year with a wallet full of cash to ensure wealth during the year. If I start the year with a wallet full of lottery tickets, does that mean I’m going to win the jackpot? I think that’s a great question!
For more of the superstitions and the reasoning behind them (beyond my semi-sarcastic reasoning) checkout the article I linked. Bonus, if you check it out now, then you have 364 days to get ready ready for next year! Happy 2023!
Winter Storm Elliott has brought many of us an unexpected gift for Christmas: change. When the forecast was made, many of us never dreamed that it would impact our Christmas plans. Even yesterday after the 53 degree temperature drop, the icy snow mix covering the ground, and spending the majority of the day at a wind chill of -17, I kept thinking there would be some Christmas magic that allowed our planned Christmas events to occur. Alas, I was wrong. The roads are still a mess, the temperature is 15 degrees with a wind chill of 0, and I don’t even know if salt works in this extreme. The result? Change for Christmas.
Let me preface this by saying that six out of ten times change is hard for me. That said, even though I know it is better to be safe at home, I got a little in my feels cooking breakfast this morning. Had things gone to plan, we would have already been having family gift time and been eating Chinese for lunch. Instead, I had already cleaned vomit (cats will eat anything even if it won’t stay down), started a crockpot of soup, and began a load of laundry. However, along the same line, if things had gone to plan, then I wouldn’t have been able to let LilKsby spend an hour laying in bed and “reading” his Christmas books to me. This was absolutely precious and priceless! Other things have also occurred this morning that made me glad to be home instead of out and about. So even though it wasn’t what we had planned, change for Christmas hasn’t necessarily been a bad gift for 2022.
As I was writing the previous paragraph, I started having memories of other times we’ve had change for Christmas. There have been a couple of times that my mom has missed out on Christmas festivities due to illness; there were Christmases (yes, plural) spent in the hospital with my grandparents. There was even one Christmas where my dad had to work because his job was essential. Thinking back on these changes, I realize that my real problem with change for Christmas is that I don’t like things that are out of my control or that I cant help fix. When my mom was sick, I could take care of her. When my grandparents were in the hospital, I could visit them. When my dad had to work, I knew that we could have things ready for him when he got home. However, in this case I can’t control the weather or how fast things are cleared. As much as it can be hard for me, I just have to wait.
So while we wait for improvements, I feel like this is a great time to slow down (the holidays can be a lot of rushing) and be thankful. Even with change for Christmas, I have A LOT to be thankful for this holiday. The first one of those is a loving like minded family also wanting to put safety first! It’s also a great time to just enjoy the moments now instead of pondering on what was supposed to happen. If you’re struggling with this gift of change for Christmas, then I invite you to also reflect on what’s going right today and for the things you have to be thankful about.
There is a song from School House rock called “Three Is a Magic Number,” and one of the main lyrics is this: “A man and a woman had a little baby, yes, they did. They had three in the family, and that’s a magic number.” This lyric has stuck with me since I first heard the song last spring. At the time it stuck in my head because of our little family of three: me, Mr Kisby, and LilKsby. Now the song keeps popping in my head because three has been such a magic age so far for LilKsby!
The first reason it has been magic is the increase in communication. LilKsby wasn’t much of a talker before turning three. However, he must have been quietly listening and observing because he went from just a few words to using complete sentences with A LOT of words and singing seemingly over night! Now he can repeat anything – and I mean anything – after hearing it once! For a while I was concerned, but it turned out that three was his magic number for speech!
Another reason three has a been a magic age? The amount that LilKsby loves learning! We have opted for home school for preschool, and since starting two months ago, he has learned so much! He’s working on obvious things like numbers and letters, and he enjoys them. He also loves math, science, music, yoga, shape art, painting, learning the states, and working with the calendar. His thirst for knowledge is absolutely magical!
Something else that is absolutely magical is how much LilKsby understands holidays now that he is three. Since around August, he’s been working on his list for Santa! (In case you wondered, he wants noodles, an orange pencil, and a blue notebook.) He’s super excited for Christmas for the first time ever. Mr Kisby and I love this given it is our favorite holiday! LilKsby has also been super psyched for Halloween. For the first time he picked his own costumes, and he has been elated to wear them trick or treating. So far we’ve attended five different ones, and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down! Bonus, he’s loving trying new to him candy! It’s been so magical to watch him understand holidays for the first time!
He’s not even three and a half yet, but so far three has been magic! I can’t wait to see what the rest of this age brings! What’s been your favorite age?
Today is one of those days where I know I want to write, but I’m struggling to come up with one topic on which to focus. So, I’m just going to share a few thoughts with you.
1. Three-nagers! Anyone else currently have a three-nager? It is a very interesting phase! On one hand there is still the adorable toddler-ness where they want to help and spend all day with you. They don’t want to miss out on anything. However, they also frequently yell “I do it! I do it myself!” I’m pretty sure negotiation situations would be over a lot quicker if three-nagers were sent in for talks!
4. Never go in a grocery store hungry! We went to the grocery today for one thing, and we came out $114 and a bunch of things later. At least we did get the one thing, and I now have breakfast and toilet paper for the next two weeks.
5. Fall is beautiful! Leaves are changing, sweatshirts are out, and there is a chill in the air. It doesn’t get much better than this weather wise. Unless there is snow up to my knees. I do like massive amounts of snow!
You know those moments where you can always remember where you were and how you felt? Last week, we experienced one of those moments! I would tell you where I was, but some info has to stay classified; however, I will tell you that I was so excited, I couldn’t stop laughing and shrieking with glee! What was so exciting? Princess Zippy crossed 100,000 miles! Princess Zippy is the third car I’ve ever owned, and she’s the second one that I remember excitedly waiting for 100,000 miles! I’m not sure why I feel like this is such a major event. Perhaps because of all of the joy that she’s brought into our lives!
Princess Zippy came into our lives at a time when we were desperate for a new (to us) car. Old Blue had become to expensive to repair, and we needed a car that could take us on a business trip in five days. Luckily, I had started looking and test driving the last time Old Blue gave us fits. Plus, I had a dream of owning a Kia since they first became popular (you know, back when if you looked at them wrong they would dent). We were very lucky to find a Kia with extremely low mileage (she’d been a dealer car) under our budget! So the memories began quickly!
Since we got Princess Zippy, she’s traveled the country! She’s taken us to Dallas, Myrtle Beach, the Poconos, St Louis, Nashville, Gatlinburg, and more! During these road-trips, some of the best conversations have been had! For as long as I can remember, one of mine and Mr Kisby’s favorite things has been the philosophical and passionate discussions on car trips! These trips have also involved more laughter than the law should allow! Some of the best laughs have been had during those slap happy late night hours! These conversations have also seen goals set, affirmations made, and business tips exchanged! Oh, and the music! The music of road-trips has been so much fun! There’s nothing like flying down the interstate jamming out at the top of your lungs! Bonus, Princess Zippy even survived two break in attempts while in overnight parking (in a place not mentioned above). The score? Princess Zippy not getting opened up two and potential robbers zero! I cannot wait to see where else she travels!
Beyond trips, Princess Zippy is part of the greatest event of our lives: she brought LilKsby home from the hospital! Boy, talk about a terrifying drive! Never ever has 35 MPH felt so fast and dangerous. Princess Zippy has safely gotten us from the infant seat stage to the rear facing convertible seat phase to the current forward facing convertible seat saga, or as unlike to call it, “The now I can throw things at you while you drive” saga. Side note: never let anyone tell you a car seat can’t be put in the middle of the backseat of a Kia. It can too! Princess Zippy’s been a school on the road, helped LilKsby learn locations (by the way it would be GREAT if every McDonalds couldn’t be seen from like two miles away), and been a major part of his ever developing since of direction. He’s only three, but he can tell you if you’re taking the wrong (not normal) way somewhere, and he’s also mastered traffic lights, stop signs, and which roads we use the most! I love our family time in Princess Zippy!
In addition to family fun, Princess Zippy has been my main business transportation. She taught us the value of hatchbacks when I was at an outdoor vendor event, and it started raining. We literally threw everything in the hatchback and sat watching the street turn into a creek! She’s my advertisement on wheels, and she’s become a conversation piece when I meet mom’s at toddler/preschool events. How cool is that?
I realize it may be weird to be so excited about a car, but Princess Zippy has been with us through a lot. I can’t wait to see where the next 100,000 miles takes us!
Yesterday, I was cleaning out our garage. It was about as thrilling of a job as it sounds like. While I was cleaning, I came across the old flag that needs to be taken to the American Legion for proper disposal. My grandfather was part of the group that did this at his Legion Post, and I started thinking about him as I folded the flag. I hadn’t thought about him in a long time.
Fast forward to this afternoon. I’m at the zoo riding the carousel with LilKsby, and I get a call from an unknown number. I don’t answer it thinking if it’s important they will leave a voicemail. When we got to the car, there was indeed a voicemail. To my complete shock and awe (seriously, that’s an understatement), the voicemail was from the sister my grandfather never knew he had. I couldn’t believe it! I had sent a letter to a stranger on a whim as part of a library summer reading challenge thinking that there was a slim chance the stranger could help me with genealogy. This was months ago!
I called my mom right away and was like “I just got a voicemail from the aunt you didn’t know you had.” She was as shocked as I was. Then this evening, together we called her. I can’t begin to tell you how amazing it was to start having some gaps in family history filled in! I’m still in awe and still processing so much! In fact, I’m writing this more for me than anything. I want to always remember that I was sitting in the driver’s seat of my car at the zoo with LilKsby in the back when I learned that I have a great aunt! Talk about once in a lifetime opportunity!
Yesterday, we officially started our homeschooling journey! LilKsby is officially working on PreK at home with me as his teacher. Already, we are both learning some great things! Here’s a snapshot:
1. LilKsby can tell you what street we live on and the streets his grandparents live on by memory. He’s also working on our exact address. Although right now he’s saying a 9 instead of a 5, so hopefully no one shows up at the neighbor’s house down the street looking for us!
2. I have to work on patience. I’m used to teaching high schoolers who are juniors and seniors. Now I’m working with a toddler. There’s a lot that he can’t do just because he’s not learned basics yet. I have to remember that when he doesn’t recognize something right away.
3. LilKsby is taking the first steps towards reading! Yesterday, he started recognizing the word “Friday” in multiple places! He was even more stoked when today actually was Friday!
4. I’m pretty sure he’s going to be left handed, so I’ve really got to work on my own left handed skills. Hooray for being ambidextrous! At least that’s a start.
5. LilKsby enjoys yoga, and hearing him say “Namaste” is adorable. Equally adorable? He told me he wants to be Santa Claus when he grows up!
6. The flexibility I’ve always used when lessons don’t go as planned in the classroom and for tutoring will need to be used in the homeschool setting. Yesterday, I was attempting to assess his levels, and we had to take lots of breaks because he just wasn’t having it. Guess how we got through it? Lots of positive praise!!!
7. LilKsby loves “Pete and Cat” as he calls Pete the Cat. To be fair, the illustrations are amazing, and the stories are a lot of fun! We had to reread yesterday’s Pete the Cat during story time, and we had to watch the YouTube version! I love that he’s already taking ownership of his lessons!
8. I am excited to plan our lessons! Teaching him is fun because everything is new!!!
I’m looking forward to our homeschool journey, and I’m super excited to see how LilKsby continues to progress! If there are any resources you think I need to checkout, please post them in the comments!
This evening I was listening to a recent conference from my direct selling business, and there was a concept that really stuck out to me. In 2017, Pamela Waldrop Shaw discussed three things that drive change. Her three things were as follows: 10 – Significant Events, 7 Critical Decisions, and 5 Influential People. When I heard this, I immediately thought about the recent change in my life to Work From Home Mama and how the 10, 7, 5 Principle applied to that change. Here is my reflection so that you can see the Principle in application!
10 Significant Events
First Pregnancy & Miscarriage – 2018
Princess Court of Sales Achievement – 2018
Second Pregnancy – 2018 and 2019
Birth of LilKsby – 2019
Mr Kisby Layoff – 2019
Covid Pandemic – 2020-Present
Pandemic Teaching – 2020-2022
Mr Kisby Graduates – 2021
Mr Kisby New Job – 2022
Social Issues and Injustices – Ongoing
7 Critical Decisions
Mr Kisby deciding to go to school instead of finding “just another job”.
Keeping LilKsby at home during the 2020-21 school year. This made me realize how much I longed to be at home with him.
Realizing that I don’t like being made to feel expendable. Also the existential dread associated with starting the last two school years during Covid peaks was mentally overwhelming to me.
Deciding that homeschool feels like the best option for us as we want our child to grow up with an education that reflects our values. This means more than just intertwining faith and academics. It means teaching equality, respect, fairness, and how to be an ally!!!
Determining that an abundance of money is not as important as living a fulfilled life by our priorities. Yes, I know things cost money. Yes, I know you have to have enough money. Yes, we like to play the lottery. However, money is not the most important thing to us.
Realizing that it is more important to live by our priorities than the priorities others give us.
Making the choice to leave teaching after 11 years.
5 Influential People
The Holy Trinity – I prayed a lot over the decision to make the change from teaching to work from home mama. Ultimately I was able to follow what was put on my heart, and even though my brain wants to panic sometimes, I’m doing my best to follow FAITH over Fear! When change is imminent, I highly recommend praying to your Deity. Not religious? Then I recommend lots of self reflection!
Mr Kisby – My husband, my partner in life, my biggest cheerleader!
LilKsby – My Sweet Boy and the one who learns more from watching us than anything else.
Homeschool Friends – I see the magnificent wonders they have worked in their children’s lives, and that is what I want for LilKsby.
Entrepreneur Friends – Seeing them live their truths by their priorities is impacting!
So there you have the 10, 7, 5 principle! My 10, 7, 5 spanned a four year time period. For others their time period might be longer, and for some it might be shorter. Also, a lot more than 5 people influenced me, but that gives you the concept. As I’m embarking on this change, I think it is good to reflect. It keeps the perspective fresh and the path set right.
In the song “I Am” from Kid Rock’s self titled album there is a lyric that asks “Have you seen the Nothern falls, ot the Midwest seasons changing? A Montana storm, or a warm Kentucky rain?” While I’ve never seen the Northern falls or a Montana storm, I can attest to the beauty and calm of a warm Kentucky rain. One of my favorite things to do in summer is be outside when it is raining. There’s something naturally refreshing about having rain pour down your skin on a hot day. I can’t put it in words, but it is a feeling that I hope everyone can experience at least once a summer.
Today, we got to experience our warm Kentucky rain for the summer. It hasn’t really rained where we live in almost four weeks, so when I saw the rain clouds today, I figured they would be like all of the others and pass us by. Thus without thinking about the weather, LilKsby and I started on a parking lot walk while Mr Kisby had to run an errand. As we’re walking, it began sprinkling. In my mind this was all it was going to do, so we kept walking. To our surprise a warm rain shower began! It was over quickly, but it had enough water to make some puddles. So we took advantage of the occasion and went “puddle hunting” as LilKsby loves a good rain puddle! As we were “hunting” a deluge came! The deluge wasn’t as warm as some rains, but it was so fun! We splashed; we laughed; we got thoroughly soaked. It was peaceful and calm while also being thrilling! The deluge gave us five minutes of fun that will be remembered for a lifetime! It was 100% worth driving home shoeless and being chilly in the AC for a little bit!
If you’ve never played in a warm summer rain, then I suggest putting it on your to do list. There’s nothing like it in the world! If you’ve planned in a warm summer rain, did you enjoy it?
Captain’s Log – 28th of May in the year 2022 – Daily Journey 14 Hours
Today we began the journey of potty training. After one day I’m far from an expert, but I thought other toddler parents might like to know they aren’t alone in the journey. So here are my learnings thus far…
1) Don’t force the potty on them if they aren’t ready. We were guilty of this last summer because we thought as soon as LilKsby turned 2, we needed to push potty training. Well we pushed too much, and he stopped going to the potty all together. He was not ready for the potty, so he quit using a diaper too. It took weeks of doctor calls for advice and lots of pleading to get him to pee regularly again.
2) Wait until they understand what the potty is for. We’ve spent the last few months in preparation by modeling to him how to use the potty. We even verbalize what we’re doing so he would be familiar with the steps. By this I mean saying things like “I’m going pee in the potty. I peed now I get to use toilet paper! I used toilet paper, so now I’m going to flush! Now I get to wash my hands!” This repeated modeling sunk in because today these were the steps he wanted to follow.
3) Don’t let a book make you feel like a bad parent. I read most of a potty training book. At one point it made me feel like a horrible mom because according to the expert, I had failed my child by missing the perfect window of 24-30 months old, and I failed my child because he didn’t have the speech skills of his same aged peers. Side note: the book was written pre-pandemic, and I recently noticed that the CDC has updated their language milestones to levels lower since the pandemic had limited so much socialization and verbal communication without masks. In hindsight I realize that I shouldn’t let a book make me feel like a bad parent, but at the time I wanted to throw the book against the wall.
4) Some tips from books/online articles are helpful. For example, having little potties upstairs and downstairs was helpful. Having him go without a diaper for the first day was also helpful because we could watch more closely for potty signals. It was also beneficial to explain at nap and bed time why we were using a diaper again after making such a big deal over getting rid of it.
5) Potty training takes commitment from the parent(s)/guardian(s). For potty training to be successful you have to be willing and able to commit enough time for them to get the idea of going potty in an environment where they are comfortable and won’t be embarrassed by an accident. To do this, we waited until we had a three day window with no plans which meant for me waiting until school was out. I’m hoping that three days at home solely focused on time together watching for potty signals will give us enough of a window to realize how often we need to go to the potty, how long we can leave the house without the potty, and what trips will require taking the little potty with us. Also, we had to be committed to not getting upset about accidents. We knew they would happen, so instead of getting mad, we addressed what to do different next time. Finally, knowing his love language helped. LilKsby loves words of praise, so you can bet every little tinkle got lots of positive praise!
I’m sure there will be more wisdom learned along the way, and I’m prepared for varying levels of success. Captain’s log signing off…