This week has seen been all about new starts! The kids started back at school and Ethan back to Judo on Tuesday. Megan finally started Gymnastics, and then last night they both started swimming lessons. Its been rather busy and full on, but I am excited that they are getting active and throwing themselves into some new interests and extra-curricula activities! They’ve been delighted with each thing, and I have loved seeing it.

Grateful for…

This week I am grateful for my mother in law and one of my sister in laws (I have 6).

On Tuesday I was planning an “Alice in Wonderland themed” night for the 11 year old girls at church that would be moving up to my class this year when they turn 12! We call it “New Beginnings” and it is an opportunity to tell them about the programme for 12 – 18 yr olds, as well as welcome them. I had a whole list of things that needed to be done, and things I wanted to include and by Monday I was feeling a little under pressure.

With the kids back to school and so much to do, I asked my sister in law to help me with the baking for it. She was delighted to, and we had a lovely day making a Victoria sponge, butterfly buns and brownies, that all went down a treat!

I was grateful that she not only helped me, but that she came in the evening to help me set up for it too. During our baking sess, Nath’s mum had Alice so I could just get on and also made me a gorgeous Pepper, lentil and chilli soup for lunch! I felt well and truly looked after and helped, and I felt so blessed to have them close by.

Succeeded at…

As well as the aforementioned evening going well, I would have to say that my biggest success this week has been with getting the kids to their individual activities on time and by public transport! It’s not ideal not having a car midweek, and to add to that there has also been a train strike!

One of the classes (Judo) is at 8am…the others over dinner time (hello potential whining!), and it’s blumming hard work with 3 of them in tow, as well as to get them changed and fed. But we’ve done it! I felt a great sense of achievement last night that they’ve been able to get to all of these great classes with very little drama, and (the biggest success of them all) – on time!

Found Beauty In…

I thought it was really beautiful to see Alice sat reading with Grandma by the AGA for warmth! It was like a scene out of some oldie film, and was just lovely. She doesn’t tend to like being with anyone but Nathan or I, so to see her there happy and content was a gorgeous sight to see this week!

I am so glad that this week has come to an end. At the start of it I was a little anxious and now I am just worn out! I have a bit of a cold, but I am looking forward to our new routine, and all of the things the kids will be learning and experiencing in their new classes.

If you would like to share any achievements and nuggets of gratitude from your week, then please do link up below! I will comment before next week!

 

#MyHeartyLife Rules

You can link up one post a week that fits into either or all of the “Prompts”, and I ask that you at least comment on mine and one or 2 others too. Kindness costs nothing and a comment on your blog feels amaze!

Please use the #MyHeartyLife on Social media whenever to share the goodness and cheerful moments in your life that day! It might also help when summing up the week into a blog post to link up!

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I wrote recently about how we let our kids choose 2 things to do each term as an extra curricula activity, but both Ethan and Megan have only being doing street dance since Megan decided she wanted to attend Gymnastics elsewhere (yet to be found) and Ethan couldn’t decide on a second activity to pursue! I have suggested anything from football to gymnastics and athletics to karate. I have offered him most sports I could think of in the area as well as musical theatre, and beavers. It has been a “no” to them all!

He initially asked to play football, but after setting up a football taster and not even making it to it, he decided it wasn’t for him, and has since also declined a second offer of beaver scouts too. He has however expressed a keen interest in learning to play the piano.

Whilst I don’t want to be a pushy parent, I do want my kids to be using their time well, and just feel that a couple of classes each week can help with this goal. And so Piano lessons are at the top of list!

I figured initially that this would be an easy thing to get him into and lessons would be easy to access since Mr Smiths family are all very musical. Unfortunately with busy schedules all round, my initial idea to pay an aunt to teach him isn’t possible at this time and so have resorted to outside of the family.

In my hunt for finding piano lessons for the new year, I came across a nifty website “Bidivine” where you can search in your area for anything from a cleaner or plumber to piano lessons. It is super useful in situations like this to get a list of people to access for the things you want.

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How the site works

Once you have selected what it is you are searching for, the site then asks you a series of questions to narrow down the right person for the job. I quite enjoy doing little surveys and found that the questions were very good and applicable, and some questions even surprised at how specific they were.

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After telling them about music experience, age of the person the lessons are for, your goals and type of music you want to learn. It then asks your access to (in this case) a piano. Next it narrows down your availability and how soon you want to start.

The final step is using either email or Facebook you create an account before receiving teachers that match the criteria. For me it was a notification email that they will be in touch by a certain date.

I absolutely loved using it and the idea of it to save time and connect local businesses. I will certainly be trying it again in the future for various jobs and pursuits we have. It was easy to use (and maybe a bit fun too), as well as being quick and specific. As a busy parent it takes out a lot of work and google searches that potentially could lead to dead ends! I like that when I am contacted by the teacher, they will already know exactly what we want, and how hold he is etc without asking lots of questions.

He may or may not be the next Mozart, but it is exciting he is so into the idea of learning music. I am excited to strike whilst the irons hot and get him into music whilst he is young and keen and am really hoping this is something he sticks at, as having music training is such an asset to the family and church. It will also give him many opportunities in school too and I am sure be attractive to the girls when he is older!! Not to mention a confidence builder, talent and hopefully a passion. A little pianist…how exciting!

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Yesterday both Ethan and Megan went back to school here in Yorkshire, and of course for Megan it was starting full time in Reception! They were both little eager beaves with Ethan up and in his uniform by 7am and Megan not far behind him. I was impressed with how naturally they strolled in, how positive they both were, and aside from a brief “I’m scared” from Megs thoroughly enjoyed the 1st day of Yr 1 and Reception. They say very little about their days, but from hearing they played together at lunch and seeing them in their Pjs by 4pm vegged out. I think its safe to say that despite previous emotions, this chapter is going to be Okay!

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So now they are back in school, we also find ourselves at that time of year again where they are choosing what (if any) classes, sports or interests they want to pursue outside of school. Last year it was Street dance for them both which they seem keen to pick up after the summer break, and which was brilliant to see whenever some dance tunes came on. And then on a Saturday morning, Megan also did ballet, which she quickly packed in back in June when she found out she was to do a show…she had been doing it for almost a year and I imagined perhaps she was in it for the long haul, but the show seemed to scare her off and I was happy that she had given it a chance, and so let her have a break…she now however is undecided if she wants to go back as is missing it.

I never did Dance as a kid or Teen and so I guess I don’t know how she feels, for me it was all about drama and I was never put off from doing shows as I loved performing, and then along side that it was attempting to play sport. I loved to play hockey and Netball though I was never particularly good at it, it didn’t stop me trying! I gave rugby a go and would have liked to have learnt an instrument too. But in high school I got a lot of enjoyment and learning from being in the Air cadets, and as I was growing up, and long before having kids I knew that if I was to have any, that I wanted any extra curricula things to be their choice. I wanted to be a parent that would be willing to let them give anything a go as long as they stuck at it for at least a term, I wanted to give them opportunities and find out early on what they were into, whilst learning too that you can always try new things if it takes your fancy!

I felt early on that to give them the condition of at least a terms commitment, it would mean it was ample time to get a feel for it, we weren’t throwing money away as you usually pay upfront, and they would learn to stick things out and give them a chance. I really think its good for them to pursue an array of interests to really find out what they will be into, and I hope that now it is our reality, by giving them that “At least a term” condition, it will teach them to take ownership of choices and learn to think about things and not quit too soon.

I think taster sessions help in making these choices, and a couple of weeks ago during the holidays we were invited to the Hilton in Leeds to participate in “Get kids into Golf” hosted by Online golf. It is a sport I have never played (other than the crazy variety on dates) and therefore something I probably wouldn’t have previously suggested as an option to the kids as an extra curricula activity. This however was a great opportunity for a taster for them both and whilst neither of them were particularly good they had fun and were VERY enthusiastic, and have shared the experience with many people since.

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Whilst they have mentioned several classes they want to enrol in this term, this morning brought golf into the mix too and I have seriously considered it for them as an option because of how much fun they had and also because of the reasons Online golf give as it being a great option for kids

  1. More kids can play golf! For golf you don’t have to be tall, strong or fast or lean. Successful golfers come in all shapes, sizes and ages.
  1. It’s low-risk! Chances of injuries in golf are very small to non-existent compared to other popular sports like football or rugby. Being no-contact, golf is a very safe, respectful sport.
  1. It’s healthy! Golf is an outdoors sport giving kids the opportunity to exercise al fresco whilst enjoying nature.
  1. It creates bonds with friends & family! Whether your kid plays golf with family members, friends or takes lessons with a pro, mentoring and playing together will create unique and close bonds that will last a lifetime.
  1. Your kid will learn important life lessons! Playing golf, kids will experience highs and lows, from the first hole-in-one or birdie to a misplaced shot in a bunker. Golf will teach your kid that though we can’t always win, we always have another shot in life and skill comes with practice.

Whilst I like all of these reasons, of course it isn’t solely my choice and at the moment it would seem they don’t want to sacrifice other options to pursue it. I was thinking though that perhaps in the near future when I don’t have a babe in arms and can join them, they will be keen to give it a go on a more regular basis and we can make it a family affair. I really imagine that would be a lot of fun for us all especially with the laughs we had when trying the various skills!!

But as for this new Autumn term I have said that they can pick 2 classes each, firstly because we probably couldn’t afford much more than that but mainly because if we are not careful we can over schedule kids and not give them time to just chill and this is something I worry about. Even the one class they were doing last term became tiresome for them towards the end and they got the point where it became a chore, I can only imagine what things every night of the week would do to them over time. And so we are going to try just 2 a week, and after much deliberation for the last 6 weeks, Ethan is keen to do football and continue in Street Dance (though I was hoping he would look into musical theatre) and Megs is flitting between Ballet, Street Dance and Gymnastics, with only a week to go she really needs to settle on something!

Either way I really love to see them enjoying time with peers doing things they have taken an interest in, and having opportunities to attain things to share in their Praise Assemblies and show family too. I love that they have their little hobbies that they have chosen and I am so very much hoping their commitment and enthusiasm for school and learning continues and that through it they will soon find a passion they can throw themselves into for years to come, whilst not being afraid to try new things along the way.

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What classes and hobbies do your kids like to do out of school and how do you approach it?

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