{JEI} What’s the deal with Thanksgiving? (in five minutes or less) #thezeliegroup

 


The United States is celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend and I’m a bit jealous since Canadian Thanksgiving was last month. It’s a good thing – we had our first snow yesterday! The leaves mostly fell. The sky has the washed tones of winter now, even on sunny days.

 
Some of our European friends asked me, “What’s the deal with Thanksgiving?” So, this is Kerry’s quick explanation for my curious non-American readers, including the history, traditions and the gritty truth.
 

Thanksgiving is the North American version of a harvest festival when we traditionally celebrate a good growing season and the end of winter preparations, like storing up food.

Harvest festivals are celebrated all over the world. At our house we celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival, Canadian Thanksgiving and then American Thanksgiving vicariously through our geographical neighbors. By the time American Thanksgiving rolls around I’m stuffed like turkey.

“Thanksgivings” were days of prayer widely practiced among the Christians who settled America. Religious leaders organized their communities to give thanks to God when the community received blessings like a victory in battle, a good growing season, or recovery from an illness.

United States President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863. Since then, Thanksgiving Day has been celebrated. It’s on the fourth Thursday in November in the United States. Canada followed in 1879 and celebrates on the second Monday in October. In both countries leaders dedicated the day as a holy day of thanksgiving to God. Today, though churches emphasize thanks during services on that day, it’s mostly a secular holiday.

In Canada, since we’re such close neighbors with the United States, we’re used to seeing Thanksgiving motifs like turkeys, pilgrims, pumpkins and corn in November. This is especially true for homeschoolers because a lot of curriculum products are from the United States. The traditional Story of the First Thanksgiving, that was taught to kids in the United States, is the one I learned in school in Canada. It’s the source of most of the decorations so I’ll share it with you.
 

The traditional grade school version, spoiled by prejudice and inaccuracy, goes something like this.

 

Pilgrims, illustrated as Puritans in the big black hats and bonnets, came to settle with their families in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Life was harsh. They had trouble building houses and planting crops because the land, materials and crops were different from what they knew back home. The winter was unforgiving and they didn’t have access to doctors or medicines. They lived in fear of the indigenous people, illustrated as half naked, wild savages.

Throughout that first year the settlers made peace with their neighbors. They learned how to live from the indigenous people, who had mercy on the settlers and helped them hunt, gather seeds, plant crops and treat the sick. By the time the harvest of 1621 came they had plenty and celebrated together, at a giant feast. At Thanksgiving we remember that feast and celebrate cooperation, love and charity.
 

Of course, we now know that the first such feast likely happened between the Spanish and French settlers in a different time and place. Also, the relationship between European colonists and the indigenous tribes across North America was mostly exploitative. History is rife with the atrocities committed by colonists. For this reason, many people are abandoning the traditional Thanksgiving fairy tale, though the motifs are still popular. Many modern Thanksgiving stories for children avoid history and multiculturalism completely and shine the spotlight on ideas like family bonds, generosity and inclusiveness.

 
That’s why the choice of decorations seems so strange.
 

With that, it’s time for another JEI! The JEI (Just Enough Info) link up happens every Thursday. If you want the questions ahead of time like The Zelie Group on Facebook.
 

JEI Linkup Thanksgiving

image source PublicDomainPictures at pixabay.com

 
This week’s questions are about Thanksgiving.

 

1. Do you have to cook for Thanksgiving? If yes, what’s on the menu? If no, high five!

Yes, I cook for Thanksgiving. I cook turkey every opportunity I get because it’s actually pretty frugal by time I use all the leftovers and make stock in the slow cooker. This year we had roast asparagus and baked sweet potatoes with our turkey. Growing up my mother never made sweet potatoes and she certainly would never have followed the popular recipe with melted marshmallows. This year in an attempt to get my six year old to eat the potatoes I tried it. I liked it, but not enough to do it again. As usual, my daughter would only eat the turkey. We had pumpkin pie, though, one of the huge ones from Costco. Everybody loves pumpkin pie.
 

2. What famous person would you like to invite to your family Thanksgiving?

I always find these questions hard. I’m not a people person. Given the opportunity I’d eat alone! If I had to choose one famous person, though, it would be Julia Child. I think that she was so cool – being a spy and liking butter. We could drink wine and swap recipes.
 

3. Excluding family, health and basic needs met – what are 3 things that you are thankful for?

I’m thankful for The Zelie Group! It’s so great to have friends to help me navigate the blogging world. It’s so nice to put ideas out there and have people join in. Blogging isn’t lonely any more.

I’m thankful for my church. It’s nearby so it’s easy to get there. They have lots of things going on when I need a boost. Our church is accepting and welcoming. When I returned this year I’m sure I would have been scared away by some other church.

I’m thankful that my husband still loves computer games after all these years because he understands my obsession with The Sims. He looks for sales on expansions for me. When he gets them for me he knows that he needs to hand over the computer and find something else to do!

 
Please join us! Answer these three questions on you blog, on Facebook, even on Instagram and link up below.

 

Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

The Zelie Group’s Christmas Gift Guide #thezeliegroup

 
The Catholic Mommy bloggers at The Zelie Group want to help you with your holiday shopping. We teamed up to share our favourite items in this Gift Guide Blog Hop. Just use the links at the end of this post to visit each of us. We love your comments! Don’t forget to tell us that you visited.
 
1. We love getting Lego advent calendars at our house. Each day from December 1st to Christmas your child can open a new door to find a tiny holiday themed Lego kit inside. They are so small and easy to build that my five year old was able to do it. It’s a nice alternative to the typical chocolate filled advent calendars. Buy it now from Amazon Canada or Amazon US.


2 & 3: We get excited about devotionals at our house. Would you like to do a year long devotional alongside your child? They make great Christmas gifts because you start using them in the brand new year. I love both of these.

Devotions for Girls Ages 6-9: God and Me by Diane Cory (Buy Amazon US | CAN) promotes God as our special friend and is laid out just like a grown up devotional with short writing activities throughout. There aren’t enough devotions for each day of the year, but there are about 100 and they’re several pages long.

Veggietales’ God is with Me 365 Daily Devos is a great choice for younger kids because the devotions are shorter, the pages are more colourful, and it features some of the most lovable characters in Christian kids television (Buy Amazon US | CAN).


 

4. If I had to pick one favourite Christmas gift for myself it would be gloves. I love getting gloves! I like leather or elegant fitted fabric gloves in dark colours and classic styles.


5. Are you looking for something educational for your kids this Christmas? This kit lets your kids read about the human body, it’s bones and organs. Then they can build their own skeleton from the durable cardboard pieces. The box is a nice size and shape for gift wrapping, too. There are other themes to choose from like dinosaurs and sharks. Find it at Amazon Canada or Amazon US.


6. April Cornell is my all-time favourite designer. Her recognisable style is inspired by watercolor painting, the countryside and the time that she spent in India. You can add her delicate and whimsical prints to your home with these lovely tablecloths and placemats.


7.Do you have fussy eaters in your house? Maybe if they cooked it themselves they would eat it! Buy this slow cooker book as your kid’s first cookbook and enjoy teaching them about making food the easy way. Just about every recipe has a giant, full color photo. We made beef alphabet stew from this book and it was awesome (Amazon US | CAN).

Make sure you check out the other Zelie Group Gift Guides below.



 
I’m linking up at 7QT – Seven Quick Takes. Go and check out all the great posts weekly.
 
Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

{JEI} things in my closet with #thezeliegroup

 

The Zelie Group, a few Catholic mothers who enjoy blogging collaboratively, are hosting another blog hop this week and the topic is clothing. Join us every Thursday and get the questions in advance by liking The Zelie Group on Facebook.

 

Fishbowl Fortune JEI Clothing

image source Republica at pixabay.com

 

1. If you had to wear the clothes from another time period, when would it be?

I don’t have to think about this one very long. The 60’s. I would love to be able to dress the way they do in Mad Men all the time. Did you watch any episodes of Mad Men?
 
Here are some of my 60’s inspired picks:
 


 

2. What are you embarrassed that you wore but used to think was cool?

I dressed really conservatively so I don’t have a lot of regrets. I can’t believe that overalls with bibs were ever in style and I can’t believe that they keep coming back! I had a few sets of overalls in my early teens. The one I remember most had Kelly green stripes and gigantic green buttons.
 

3. What’s your favorite article of clothing in your closet right now?

My favourite thing in my closet right now is a thin velour, dressy tank top that I got for June’s baptism. It matches the floral velvet skirt by April Cornell that I wore when I got married. I’ll be wearing it again when we get married in the church on Boxing Day.
 
Baptism
 
Sadly, the April Cornell shop near me closed many years ago. I used to stop in just about daily after my morning walk and catch all the sales. She designs housewares, too.
 


 


What is Advent and Why Should I Keep It?

When I think about the Christmas season I think of the tale of Befana the Housewife. Befana was a hard working woman. Her neighbors, on their way to greet baby Jesus, kept knocking on her door and inviting her to come along, but she always had to do one more thing. She was distracted. Eventually, she makes her trip, but she missed her chance and never got to see Jesus.

Have you ever put a lot of care into the gifts, the decorations and the food only to feel empty by Christmas evening? Every year people talk about how we can take back Christmas – and our sanity. A lot of these tips focus on lessening the impact of Christmas on our health and pocket book through moderation. For some Christians these efforts still miss the mark. I can stay away from the sweets table, eat my veggies, drink my water, respect my budget and still find myself empty on Christmas Eve. The Boxing Day mommy meltdown isn’t about what I did, but what I didn’t do. I never really understood Befana until I was a mother.
 
Distracted by the bounty of the holiday and the wish for perfection, it’s easy for even the most faithful Christian to miss the joyful announcement that Jesus is born!
 
During Advent we prepare and anticipate Christ’s arrival in the past and in the future. Advent is our opportunity to make sure that we don’t miss out on Christmas Day. We’re so distracted that we need four whole weeks of reminders to slow down and look for God in our lives.
 

Keeping Advent, Advent

image source silviarita at pixabay.com

 
We’ve been discovering the mystery of Christmas slowly over the last few years.

I used to covet the Christmas holiday as a private family time, but after a few years I realized that Christmas isn’t really a time to rest. It’s a time to celebrate the love of family and friends. So, my parents come to visit for Christmas dinner every year.

I used to spend weeks planning the holiday meals. I would spend a fortune at the grocery store stocking up for the holiday. Then I would spend a lot of time cooking fancy and unfamiliar food that nobody really liked. Now, I keep the sides and desserts simple. I buy a cook-from-frozen-turkey, and I’m never going back. I’ll use the extra time for some quiet reflection and prayer.

I’ve got a big tree that I don’t always set up. We’re using it this year! We’ll decorate it with simple, homemade ornaments over Advent.

I saw a lot of beautiful Advent centerpieces and I really wanted one. I did all the justifying. I’ve never had an Advent wreath. I should buy a nice one. It’s our first Christmas as a Christian family we need something nice for our daughter to light. Nope. It wasn’t in the budget. Our church is having an Advent wreath workshop and we’ll be there with bells on. I’m sure it will be a more meaningful experience anyway. It’s times like these that I’m thankful for our humble apartment that doesn’t really suit an expensive pewter ornament anyway.

I’m also excited that Advent is the beginning of a new year of scripture readings. I’m going to study them at home and keep up this year.

Thanks for reading. I’m linking up with The Sienna Sisters Blog Hop and the Family Joy Linky Party.
 

Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

Keeping Advent, Advent

Sad But True Stories of a Struggling Blogger

 


 

At the risk of sounding jaded, I’ll start by saying that I was blogging back around 2000 when the diarists ruled the blogosphere. I think that back then it was easier to see that bloggers are real authors telling a story for their readers. Sometimes I’m writing an autobiography and sometimes it’s journalism, but my intent is to reach my readers and communicate my truth. It’s ironic that more bloggers are being paid to write, while the notion that blogging is literature has become uncommon. Just as your favourite magazine got thinner over the years, the number of blogs producing content of literary value dwindled. Paid or not, are we writing autobiographies, articles, fiction…or just elaborate ad copy?

I’ve paid my dues as a writer in terms of time in the field. I’ve had three failed blogs before this one. The first was moderately successful. It was anonymous, very candid and deeply personal. I was an undergrad at time. It read like a soap opera. It relied heavily on being controversial and salacious. When I bought this domain I was hoping to copy the success of that first blog, but I’m fifteen years older and a Mom. I was, and still am, a little afraid that Mommy-blogging will never have such reach. That brings me to my point which is that bloggers, like all authors, struggle with integrity. In fact, bloggers and other self-published authors grapple with integrity more intensely than traditional authors. The temptation to trade values for money is greater and the decision rests solely on their shoulders.
 

Sad But True Stories of a Struggling Blogger

image source ponce_photography at pixabay.com

 
How can a Mommy blogger produce creative content? Some might think that the drudgery of motherhood might dampen our creativity, but it’s just the opposite. First, we need an outlet. After the twentieth rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star most of us would give our right arm to write, paint, dance, or even have an adult conversation. Second, we are the captive audience of the most glorious and most terrible creative force on Earth. Bored children. If their antics weren’t enough material for our creative work we would still be powerhouses of ideas. Homemaking is creative. Entertaining, teaching and nurturing a family requires our creativity. Finding ourselves in the mess takes a lot of imagination, too.

There are so many Mommy bloggers. Whether or not you identity as a homemaker, taking care of kids does something to a person. I think that raising kids makes us feels like we need to band together and the internet is one of the big ways that people reach out. Being a mother feels lonely and we need a community of other mothers, not just for companionship, but to make our voices louder in the world. The world needs to hear our stories because they are about suffering, sacrifice, unconditional love, and hope – all things that the world must hear right now.

I founded The Zelie Group, a collaboration between a handful of Catholic Mommy bloggers, because blogging is lonely. The bloggers in support groups swapped likes and shares, but they always seemed detached and irritable. The groups were milling with activity, but I couldn’t imagine finding a friend, someone who cared about my life and my blog. One of the first tips that authors will give is that you should find a writer friend or a group of friends that you can trust and support each other. As bloggers we need to do that better. If you are a Catholic Mommy blogger and you would like to join us in blogging and friendship inquire by messaging us on the Facebook page.

 

Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

Tropical Carrot Smoothie

Tropical Carrot Smoothie
If you love lemonade, you’ll love this smoothie. It’s thick and frosty with a summery flavour. It’s also a great way to use up extra carrots.

juice of a small lemon
1/2 tsp coconut extract
knuckle of ginger root, peeled
1/2 cup water
2 tsp chia seeds
2 tsp rolled oats
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
2 cups strawberries
1 1/2 cup mango
1 tbsp honey
 
Blend the first 7 ingredients until smooth.
Add the last four ingredients and blend again.
 
Serves 4.

{JEI} The Year of Mercy with #thezeliegroup

This week’s JEI Linkup with The Zelie Group is about The Year of Mercy. If you enjoy these posts please take a few minutes to join us by commenting or answering the questions on your blog. You can help us spread the word by linking up. If you would like to use a button grab one here.

Pope Francis declared this year to be a Jubilee Year of Mercy celebrating acts of mercy concerning the bodies and souls of our fellow human beings. It ends this month, so we wanted to take the opportunity to look back on the year.
 

JEI, The Year of Mercy

image source 1192864 at pixabay.com

 

1. What did you do (or can in these last few weeks!) to mark the year?

If you aren’t familiar (as I was not prior to this year) the acts of mercy are:

  • giving food and drink
  • clothing the naked
  • sheltering the homeless
  • caring for the sick and imprisoned
  • burying the dead
  • teaching the ignorant
  • admonishing sinners
  • being patient and forgiving
  • being comforting
  • praying for the living and the dead
  •  
    When we started attending church this year we began donating financially and some of that money goes to charities like the Society of St. Vincent de Paul that provides support to the poor.

    We began searching for a ministry that is right for us, and I’m sure we will find something in the future. I started my blog this year to provide information for people who don’t know a lot about Catholicism and to guide the doubtful (as I was) in the direction of Jesus.

    I read A Call to Mercy: Hearts to Love, Hands to Serve by St. Mother Teresa. You can read my review. I read books about Mother Teresa to my six year old and we enjoyed using these printables by Tara at This Sweet Life of Mine.

    I had an interesting experience on All Souls Day this year. I went to the church for Adoration only to find that it was cancelled. Generally, I would shrug and go home. I heard people in the church and I was curious, so I went upstairs and saw that they were getting ready for mass. Then it occurred to me that this was the All Souls Day mass in honour of those who had died, especially this year. I felt compelled to stay. People were well-dressed for this mass. Probably because they received invitations if members of their family had died that year, so most of the people there were not regular church-goers, but were there for their families. I, on the other hand, was not well-dressed, even by my own low standards. I felt out of place and wondered at my decision to stay, but I did. I felt humbled and honoured to be there so coincidentally to pray for the dead and to shake hands with the grieving families that surrounded me.
     

    2. What Work of Mercy is easiest or most challenging for you?

    Teaching is easiest for me. All I have to do is tell people about my own experience. Doing it well is a matter of practice.

    The most difficult Act of Mercy for me is being comforting to people.

    I’m a practical person, I have fairly low expectations of the world, and I’ve suffered from anxiety my whole life. It can be very difficult for me to accept that one’s perception of suffering is relative to life experience. I have a hard time seeing the person through the whining.

    It’s difficult for me to find something comforting to say. Even if it’s true, most people who are in pain don’t want to hear it. A lot of suffering has no words, and you can’t just go around hugging people.
     

    3. Do you have a story of mercy in your own life to share? Or do you have a favourite saint/quote/resource about mercy to pass along?

    Even if we have never been devastated or destitute we receive mercy from others all the time.

    The person who ignores my saucy child, or better yet prays for us.
     
    The weekly Buddhist potluck where they accepted my insignificant contribution and let me eat when I was a starving student.
     
    The priests at our parish who seem to know just where we need to be led.

    We are all invited to ask and receive the mercy of God. Someday, I’ll write a whole post about my experience with God’s mercy and how He and The Virgin Mary gave me everything I needed even when I was too blind to ask.

     

     

    Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

    JEI, Year of Mercy

    8 Simple and Easy Ways to Find Good Hashtags

    Hashtag Tips

    image source Foundry at pixabay.com

     

    Hashtags. You know, those words on Twitter and Instagram with the “#” in front of them. The right ones look so trendy. They’re kind of catchy. Sometimes they make me want to run out and make a #hashtagmoment. They help people find your content on social media.

    Even if you aren’t a blogger, if you use social media, you probably use hashtags. Have you ever wondered how to pick the best hashtags? It isn’t hard.
     

    1. First, be polite.
       
      Do a search for the hashtags and see how they are being used. If it’s being used by only one person or company don’t flood their hashtag with your content.

      Also, don’t use #jordanwedding. Instead use #knbjordanwedding2016. There’s room for everyone.

    2.  

    3. Frequently used tags get more searches, but posts get pushed down on the search page faster.
       
      At least some of your hashtags should have between 50K and 100K posts. That way you know that people are using that hashtag, but your post won’t be so far down on the page that no one will ever get to see it.
    4.  

    5. Keep an organised list of hashtags to draw from in the future.
       
      If your posts fall into certain categories make a group of hashtags for each category.
    6.  

    7. What words are your target audience typing into the search box?
       
      Hashtags are similar to keywords on a blog or in a database, but they aren’t exactly the same. Keywords are a good place to start, but consider whether someone is likely to actually search for the word. If they aren’t, then that word is a waste of space.

      Are you looking for people like yourself? People like your friends? Other Christians? Clients to buy your product? Define who you want to meet on social media and use their search words as your hashtags.

    8.  

    9. What additional hashtags appear as suggested searches?
       
      Take some of the hashtags that you came up with and type them into the search. Can you use any of the additional hashtags that are automatically suggested?
    10.  

    11. Use the trendy phrases in your area of interest.
       
      People who identify with a particular trend will be searching for that slogan on social media. You can attract a very specific audience by using slogans as hashtags. For example, #choiceineducation is popular in Canada right now because of upheaval in the homeschooling community in Alberta. Using this hashtag will make your content accessible to a niche audience.

      Don’t forget to make the most of popular sayings like #tgif, #sundayfunday and #seizetheday.

    12.  

    13. What hashtags are the popular people using?
       
      Can you use any of those? Branch out and look at their favourites and followers. What hashtags are they using?
    14.  

    15. Are you still looking for more hashtag ideas?
       
      Go to GetHashtags to see the overall most popular hashtags and to search for more hashtags on your topics.

     
    If you do these things you’re well on your way to helping interested readers find you on social media.
     

    Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

    What We Did At Alpha Weekend

    Day 1

    Since midsummer my husband and I have been looking forward to taking Alpha this fall. Alpha is an ecumenical faith formation program. This was a rare opportunity for us; an Alpha with children’s ministry, so that we didn’t have to worry about childcare for our six year old. She’s been able to spend some quality time with her favourite friends and she’s met some new kids, some younger and some older. As homeschoolers, that’s the kind of situation we prefer. Seeing her own behavior reflected back at her by younger kids, while she has the attention of older peer role models has been eye opening for her. An environment where she needs to manage the situation without running back to my arms is an excellent learning experience, too.

    What We Did On Our Alpha Weekend

    This weekend she is staying with Grandma and Grandpa while my husband and I go to the Alpha Weekend. We’re doing Alpha because my husband will be continuing, afterward, to do that Rite of Catholic Initiation, catching up on the sacraments and becoming Catholic. Though I was kindly invited to tag along for that as well, I won’t be able to go with him. I’ve already done my sacraments and I don’t want to hire a sitter. So, this opportunity to follow along with Bob as he makes this huge life change is precious. To be called to the church, when I was a lapsed Catholic turned Wiccan and Bob was an atheist less than a year ago, is an amazing journey.

    Alpha starts off slow with two hours a week of song, prayer and lectures. The atmosphere is apologetic, for the benefit of the curious non-Christians and cultural Christians in attendance. I can tell that some care has been taken in planning the dinner seating, because everybody at our table is more or less in agreement in terms of belief and our level of understanding. Take all the faith discussion away and it’s still a fun evening for me. We don’t do babysitter’s, so having someone watch June, while my husband and I enjoy dinner that someone else cooked, in the company of other adults is a welcome break. It’s almost extravagant, week after week. I feel so pampered! Now, here we are, on the road to the weekend retreat that contains most of the content and marks the halfway point.

    The buzz says that Alpha weekend is notable in that people often have their first encounter with the Holy Spirit. People from the parish who are active and involved, part of supportive groups of friends, made their connections at Alpha. I hope that we have a great time and I hope that it lives up to the hype and fulfills Bob’s expectations.
     

    Day 2

    I wrote yesterday about my experience with Alpha, so far, and about my expectations for our Alpha weekend. I didn’t have a fantastic, life changing experience, but it was an emotional rollercoaster for me.

    Driving to the venue was a treat for us. We got to retrace part of the route to New Brunswick where Bob and I spent some of our most memorable days in our early relationship when he was a graduate student and I was a research assistant.

    That high was short lived because when we arrived at the retreat centre our room was small, cluttered and cold with a shared bathroom. We had hoped for a comfortable Saturday night to talk and rehash the day, but that wasn’t to be. The food turned out to be kind of heavy, too, nothing like the lovingly cooked and almost healthy food at the weekly Alpha nights.

    Unlike the Alpha evenings, the daytime lectures seemed less heartfelt and a bit rushed. We ended up in a discussion group with strangers and the vibe of that group wasn’t as accepting as our usual group. I couldn’t get immersed and I wasn’t physically comfortable.
     
    I spent a good part of the day in my own thoughts.

  • Why can’t I be chosen do something great for God?
  • Am I meant to expand my family and how will it come about?
  • Why can’t I be understood and cared for spiritually?
  • Why must I feel so angry when people base their religious views on fantasy and pride?
  • How can I sift through all the information in my life to actually move forward?
  •  

    I guess that’s some pretty heavy self-examination, but to be honest, I was hoping for a more uplifting sort of gift. It was an eye opening experience, but not in the way I had hoped. This weekend Alpha felt like an argument, both inside and out, but what I need from the church at this time is love and nurturing. My husband seemed to find that connection during the opportunity for prayer ministry, but I felt kind of alone.

    The friendships that I had made meant more to me than I realised. Simple familiarity brings a lot of support. After the weekend, I’ve gained a new perspective on my group, as part of the larger picture of the community.

    After being away from my six year old daughter for more than a day, I came back with a new appreciation for her, too. I hope we can hold onto that.

    If you’re curious about Alpha and would like to talk to an average person who did it I’d love to share my experience with you. Ask away in the comments.

    I’m linking up at the Christian Bloggers Linkup. Go check out the other posts.

     

    Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.

    {JEI} Sports with #thezeliegroup

    It’s Thursday and that means another JEI Linkup with The Zelie Group. If you enjoy these posts please take a few minutes to join us by commenting or answering the questions on your blog.

    I’m going to come clean and admit that I am anti-sports. There I said it. Cue the mob with pitchforks.

    It’s a lot of fun to get together and play sports for the joy of movement and to be in each others company. It’s fun if you have that, but it’s very rare.

    When it comes to children, I cringe at competition. Even at entry level lessons the emphasis is on excelling when it should be about tenacity, mutual respect and fellowship. Kids are pushed from one activity to another and cast aside if they’re not flourishing. That’s how the professional sports leagues work and we’re teaching sports, right? Not enough effort is made to make sure that kids (and adults) know the difference between play and work.

    The sports culture makes me unhappy, too. It’s rude, aggressive, and raucous. I’m tired of hearing that it’s kids being kids. Just because kids tend toward being wild doesn’t mean that we need a club.

    That’s not to say that if my daughter begged to play a sport that I wouldn’t support her. It would be a minefield for us to navigate, though.

    On to the questions:
     

    JEI Linkup Sports

    image source jarmoluk at pixabay.com

     

    1. What sports do your kids play?

    I prefer dancing. In ballet my six year old learned a lot about being conscious of the needs of others and respecting their space. She was focused on her personal best. She still got to exercise, but in an environment that promoted thoughtfulness, positive attitudes and decorum. I think we’ll be doing more dancing in the future.

    This term I caved to popular pressure and we tried tennis. It was disagreeable, for both June and me, on the court and in the stands.

    There is a family taekwondo class that we may yet try before we go back to the safe and pleasant haven of dance lessons.
     

    2. What do you do for exercise?

    I’ve been running on and off since 2003 when I met my husband. Now I run on the treadmill in our bedroom while watching Gilmore Girls. When I run it makes me feel like I exercised a lot for the amount of time that I invested.

    I also like pilates and yoga. It’s both weight training and stretching together. When I have sixty to ninety minutes to myself it can be very rewarding.

    Sometimes, when I’m bored I like Sparkpeople. They have lots of exercise videos for everyone.
     

    3. In the Mom Olympics, what would your event be?

    Though I don’t like junior sports, I do enjoy watching the Olympics, especially skating.

    My sport in the Mom Olympics would be the triathle – shooting, swimming and running. It happens two times a year during the mad cleaning drive when my parents are visiting. My shooting targets are the toy bins. The swimming segment is when I get drenched while rushing to clean to the bathrooms. The running is a race to the laundry room so that I can occupy it from 7 AM to noon.
     
    Does your family like sports? What are your favourites and why? Share in the comments.
     

     

    Keep in touch! Sign up for updates and they’ll be sent to your inbox.