Living intentionally with a summer schedule

Copy of beauty review (1)

I don’t know about you, but I am super excited that summer is upon us! Last year I established a summer schedule and it was very helpful in structuring our weeks and limiting the chaos. I decided that it was a good idea to continue the tradition this year.

In addition to a weekly schedule, we like to keep a routine going. Our routine hasn’t changed that much from last year. Our day generally goes in this order:

  • breakfast & morning devotional
  • AM choretime
  • free play
  • lesson or discussion
  • lunch
  • PM choretime
  • quiet time/silent reading
  • snack
  • afternoon nature walk
  • quick house tidy
  • bathtime/dinner prep
  • dinner
  • reading with Dad
  • bed

We like for our summer schedule to be theme-based. Here’s what we’ve come up with for Summer 2017:
Summer Schedule

At our house, Mondays must be mellow! We seem to have so much catching up (and calming down!) to do. Today’s the day to do some laundry, straighten up the kitchen, bake bread, plan our week and menu plan.

Tuesdays we like to go to Panera Bread for the Baker’s Dozen deal. It also happens to be our allotted day to take our trash to the local dump, so we’re in the car already! This summer we are going to focus on reading and going to the bookstore this day too.

We’ve decided to open our house to friends on Wednesdays. If the weather is nice, our friends know that they are welcome to come over and play outside with us.

There’s so much science to learn in the summer! Tinkering Thursday is set aside to do just that– science experiments, gardening, scavenger hunts, bird watching. Today’s the day we will also work on large creative projects like building, drawing & crafting.

Field Trip Friday is the day we will venture out the playground, zoo or creek. We might also go hiking or for a walk in the park. On special occasions we’ll check out a local museum or wildlife preserve.

How about your family? Do you like to structure your summer? What do your days look like?

With excitement,
Jenny

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Stitch Fix review

Well, friends, I took a leap of faith and signed up for Stitch Fix! If you’ve never heard of it, here’s a little bit about them straight from their website:

“Stitch Fix is an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, just for you. Fill out your Style Profile and a personal stylist will hand pick pieces to fit your tastes, needs and budget—and mail them directly to your door. Each box contains five items of clothing, shoes and accessories for you to try on at home. Keep what you love, send the rest back in a prepaid USPS envelope. Shipping and returns are free—even for exchanges!”

I found out about Stitch Fix a few years ago from a fellow blogger, scheduled my first Fix and then chickened out. I cancelled! I figured I’d just do my best to keep picking out clothing pieces from Kohl’s, ThredUp and Goodwill (no shame!). However, I am in love with my first Fix! And here are a few reasons why:

1. The stuff is just super good quality and will last for a long time.
2. My stylist did an awesome job at listening to my wants/needs and hit my style to a T. She clearly visited my Pinterest board that I linked in the initial questionnaire.
3. Everything fits! This was my biggest concern– that stuff would arrive, I’d love it but it wouldn’t fit. Each piece fits even the pants!
4. I am confident that with just 1 or 2 more Fixes I will have a nice, capsule wardrobe. I’m happy that I will finally have a few quality pieces instead of lots of cheap pieces that I don’t love and are of lesser quality.

Without further ado, here’s my Fix! Please excuse the poor quality of the pictures, I summoned my 8-year-old to help me out! 😉

Top left: Glenview Crew Neck Blouse by Kaileigh and Adorra Skinny Jean by Just Black
Top right: same paired with Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan by Pixley
Bottom left: Judie Knit Dress by Le Lis
Bottom middle: samepaired with Martina Slub Knit Open Cardigan by Pixley
Bottom right: Poppyton Crochet Bib Top by Collective Concepts (Gap jeans not included in Fix!)

My items varied in retail value from $34 to $88. Because I will be keeping items, the $20 styling fee that I initially paid will be credited back to me and because I will be keeping everything (all 5 pieces), I get the 25% discount. So, overall I am getting each piece for under $40/each.

If you feel like giving Stitch Fix a try, I highly recommend it and if you use my referral link, I’d be so appreciative! Go here and let the fashion fun begin! 

Living life with a smile: in memory of Justin

May 1 holds a lot of precious memories for me. Mostly good ones but some sad too. It’s the day one of my childhood best friends, Justin, passed away from a hard-fought battle with Cystic Fibrosis.IMG_8801

Although my memory tends to be pretty poor, I remember the day very vividily and even the week leading up to the day. I remember a strong feeling in my gut that I needed to go spend time with him the day before, and the tear-filled night that followed as my heart was heavy and the Lord was preparing me for his passing. And then the next day, and that same strong gut feeling telling me I needed to go to the hospital at the first chance I got.

And how when I arrived there, I stood outside the room waiting to get the okay from the family to go inside to see him. The nurses’ eyes told me that Justin, body and soul, was no longer there but in heaven. Still I prayed as I waited.

When I walked inside those heavy doors, many relatives stood around and his sweet mom sat at his side. I had the chance to touch his cheek and pray over him and offer my condolences to the family.

The passing of a 16-year-old is emotional and it is never easy but through Justin’s passing the Lord taught me so much. And, little did I know, was preparing my heart for another loss– the passing of my dad– that would happen only 3 short years later.

But I write this post not to bring tears of sadness or pain flooding back but to bring memories of joy and happiness to the forefront.

Justin was a special soul. Anyone who knew him, knew him for his cheeky grin (which usually meant he was up to no good), his signature CF rosy cheeks and his laughter. His life, of course, was littered with the difficulties of managing a terminal illness but it was just as peppered with happiness and optimism.

His life and death taught me to not only make every day count but to not hold back and to act now. In some of the last moments I spent with him, I gave him an early birthday gift that I had been holding onto for a few weeks. I didn’t know that he would be gone before his birthday but I did know that the gift would bring a smile to his face and I wanted he and I to enjoy that moment now and not later. In those last moments he also showed me a card covered with signatures and messages from our classmates. The time friends took to pen a short message to a sick (dying) friend mattered. And rewind all the way back to our elementary school days, when I made the decision to befriend this little, blonde haired boy who was different than everyone else mattered… not only to him but to me.

So, on May 1, I try not to think about what might have been, because truly nothing might have been. His being born and his dying, that was all planned out ahead of time by Our Father. He gave Justin just the exact number of days that were intended for him and I believe Justin used them to be a vibrant, shining example of life-to-the-full even– especially—  through the suffering he endured.

May Justin’s life be a reminder to us all that life is short, that God is good and that joy is possible.

With a heart full of fond memories,
Jenny