Saturday, September 17, 2016

"The Creative Meltdown"

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” ― Thomas Merton

My daughter and I went to "The Creative Meltdown" last night. This unique event was a solo art exhibition of Lindsey Strehlow, author of the Creative Souls Blog. Her heart-stirring paintings, scultptures, and dance-designed art are meant to provide a glimpse into what it is like to live with both creativity and mental illness. I hope you'll check out this artist online or at any upcoming exhibits because these few photos will never do her work justice. 

One wonderful aspect of last night was to be reminded that art is created to make us feel something and is not just a meal for our eyes. In fact the sculpture below brought me feelings of whimsy giddy! However, I journeyed around the entire room and had many unspoken conversations with certain pieces. I met a few times with two paintings positioned on opposite walls. (paintings above) Viewing them was so rewarding the first time that I wandered over again to each one and enjoyed their company even further. The textures, shimmer, brush stroke motions, moving. After our time together I found myself feeling more smoothed out and unruffled.


Last night the art, and people, that pulled me close into conversations had movement, deepth, and understanding. I especially loved the moments spent with my elegant friend, Maryanne, who shared about the art that spoke to her. Suddenly I realized that I was moved by those specific pieces because they give me feelings opposite to how I feel as I work to climb out of the boxes society and culture tosses me into each day. I'm a creative. I will always long to follow His Spirit, for trust and truth, and for grace-filled relationships. So during the quiet reflection of my Coffee & Cozy time this morning, two reminders were whispered: 

  • to keep myself fluid and soft 
  • to remain bold and vulnerable, especially when so many are watching (Lindsey taught me that)

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.” ― Martha Graham

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"Mom, I need money!" - Teen/Tween Chore Chart

When it comes to being a single mom, in my book, household chores are everyone's responsibility. I've expressed to my teen and tween that we have to work as a TEAM to keep the house flowing smoothly! However, I do still want my kids to learn the value of working hard and earning money. 

Last week I created a chore chart for them to have a way to earn some spending and saving cash. I prayed, looked at my budget, and decided to set aside $50 a month that I'm willing to pay for certain chores. My kids can each earn (in $5 increments) between $20-$25 in a month. I designed it so that some chores could be fairly easy while others are more challenging then split chores into sections of monthly and weekly.  

This list is easily adjustable with the seasons or within any given month. I implemented the chart this month and so far one kid has earned $10 and another $15. That equals 5 different additional chores completed by my kids (the cat litter boxes, all the vacuuming, and all the outdoor sweeping and cobwebs) and these are on top of the others they natural do. That helps me out, for real. Woo-hoo!!!  After they complete a chore, I simply write their name in the corresponding box that shows they've completed it and pass them five bucks! Easy-breezy. Below is the chart I created.

I do state that they can only do one per week but I have let them complete multiple "monthly" ones, like all the sweeping, so it could be all done at one time.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fall Season: To-do Ideas

With the coming of September, both I and my kids have been chatting about fall activities. In light of these talks, I put together some tween/teen focused ideas for my family for the Fall season. It's been fun to search for fresh, local events happening throughout September, October, and November. Here is a quick list of our fun plans:


·  S’mores and Scary Movie Night

·  Zombie Apocalypse Paintball (Zom-pocalypse)

·  Conquer a Corn Maze together at night

·  Tent Camping/Glamping

·  Take Evening Walks as a Family

·  Decorate the Front Yard for the Holidays

·  Anime/ComicCon Annual Convention

·  Visit a Haunted House

·  Deliver Goodies to Local Fire department

·  Have a Family Pumpk'n Chunk'n Competition