I have scheduled out our days through December 18th, which will be our last day of school for this year. If all goes well, we will end at the halfway mark (90 days)! Although this is a goal, the real goal is to keep the advent season in our hearts and not get burn out. Notoriously, burn out hits us early-January and keeps us miserable until March, so I want to try to keep the happy meter as high as possible before it plummets after the holidays. One of the things we are doing this year to keep the momentum going is Advent Adventure at Holy Heroes. It is so cute, the kids love it, and we are all learning together. Not only is it a wonderful way to start the homeschool day together, but it also helps our spiritual life stay focused on advent and the real reason for Christmas.
I am using a St. Francis daily devotion to help keep my spiritual life in accord with the season. Advent is one of my favorite times of the year! Although Christmas gets the bling and lights, advent is the time to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. I think of it as lent-lite. Without the extreme sacrifices of lent, advent is a time to prepare, watch, repent, and wait. Sacrificing small things each day will help us grow this advent season, and using a sacrifice manger, as explained at Holy Heroes, is a wonderful way for the whole family to do something together that will make a difference in our lives and our hearts.
It is wonderful to stay focused on Jesus this season, but there is one way I have not been honoring God. Unfortunately, I have not been taking care of my body the way I should. Although I am eating well, I am not exercising. Occasionally we go for walks or have a dance party, but I am not doing much cardio for my heart health. This December I am making it a point to work out a few times a day. I even bought a Jillian Michaels dvd to help me get at least 20 minutes in some days. I started it yesterday and today my body is in pain! I took today as a rest day, but I will be back at it tomorrow during nap time. Even though I hate working out, I know it is good for me and I need to establish a habit not only for myself, but to show my children that working out is important.
I am going to end this semester strong at work! I have an idea to keep kids motivated through the next semester by creating a "race course" on the wall. Students will make it through the race course by coming to lessons, practicing, and working on specific challenges I give them. They will earn incentives as they make it through different parts of the race. It is a cutesy idea, and it would be a great fit for a few of my older students, but they like candy. Candy works for all kids (and adults)!