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Tot-school | Week 13 | Letter MJanuary 16, 2017

This week’s tot-school
…was stir crazy!

For much of the week temperatures outside regularly dropped into the double figures and our poor little guy had to do with being cooped up all day, sometimes only exploring one room at a time as the doors conserved heat and the hallway linking them turned into a fridge. Totschool was therefore both a release and a chore, something new to explore but one of limited options. Monday went really well but the next 2 days struggled.

Letter M is a great one to explore and we really dwelled in the monkey theme. However the most beautifult moment for mummy came when he was working with the M craft. He took the pieces of map and as they came together he declared with real surpise ‘Look a m!’

The pack I’ve made is available for download at the end of the post.

This weeks read more questions:

The mask was a big hit again, though the hat was a little more hit and miss. The crafts were probably the best learning moments even if the monkeys limbs are all backwards.

The caps page just didn’t hold his interest, perhaps we’ve overdone buttons and stamps and other placement bits and he’s looking for something new.

looking back it must seem like totschool is a big part of our day, but it really isn’t. It’s probably more part of my day as i find activities and ideas but for Adam isn’t often shorter than a couple of his favourite cartoons. It’s rare to be longer than 30 minutes.

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Tot-school | Week 12 | Letter LJanuary 10, 2017

This week’s tot-school
…was back in action!

Though it was still the Christmas season, which for us is sandwiched between 2 Christmas days’ (the second Orthodox) and New year had barely finished ringing us in, I was eager to get back into our routines. Adam took to the activities with gusto, I suspect he’d been missing it. It’s clear that he’s much further on that when we started and so this week I trialled a few new activities.

While the letter ‘L’ is easy to resource we kept this week quite striped down concentration on our new elements and limiting the number of activities. Limiting the mess helped when on Thursday night we ended up carrying the cot into the sitting room and embarking on 3 days of living in one room. It happened just as temperatures dropped dramatically (we’ve been on Red Warning for Extreme Low Temperatures) so it was a real mixed blessing. However, Tot-school suspended on Friday left me realising how much we’d left undone.

The pack I’ve made is available for download at the end of the post.

This weeks read more questions:

Restarting has to be high on the list but the lion mask was soon separated from the rest of the totschool paraphanalia and much played with.

The ladybug trails and the big letter pages were pretty much ignored. I think this was mostly because the letter itself is fairly dull in construction and I’d made the trails too short.

Letter baskets, or sometimes called ‘discovery baskets’ are something I’ve shied away from in the past so it may be odd for me to choose to use them now. Adam loves to empty and fill things rather than root though them. As he gets better at recognising that things ‘live’ in certain places this basket was a litmus test of sorts. He responded really well and I’ll probably continue to do this but they simply wouldn’t have worked earlier than this.

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flying by the seat of our pantsJanuary 5, 2017

Our security is divine, the Lord will provide for all our needs, we will be like a well watered garden, we will flourish under his steadfast hand, the well of Christs riches will never grow dry.

Isaiah 58:11 and Philippians 4:19 are comfort indeed. Mission isn’t really sold as flourishing though, more denial. We should give up, walk away, choose a tougher path. Mission is about facing the unknown sure that God wants you to walk through that door and opening it… is’t it. Our banks shouldn’t know the security of large black numbers, our dreams never tie us down for too long, our stability be held loosely in open hands. It’s true that at times mission is about just that. But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s about living a lifestyle that’s really not all that dissimilar to the one we left, just with a whole lot of substitutes. Sometimes it’s about building a long term life in a place you never expected. Sometimes it’s about digging in your roots, and growing oaks not daisies.

Speaking of Oaks, have you every watched one grow. There is a great 8 month time lapse of an acorn growing into an oak. It takes months before anything other than a crack appears. Mission is so similar. The initial crack with it’s bucket loads of anticipation and potential is often a tough first step but then everything plateaus. Out of sight something could be growing, but we are never sure. Even when we are months and moths down the line, years even, it’s still such a fragile thing, so easily destroyed. It may have a foothold but it’s far from where you’d want to hang a swing.

And one day I’d love a swing. I’d love a house that didn’t come with landlord restrictions. I’d love to have all those normal thing like insurance and pensions and keepsakes to pass onto my grandchildren if we were ever blessed such. So this year I’m pulling the break. I’m not going to live as if any day we’ll be called away, with our seat-belts loose, flying by the seat of our pants into another year of uncertainty. I’ve never had the joy of staying long enough to watch the tree grow ever day, I’ve never seen a full decade in one place. Perhaps I never will, but I’m so sick of always being ready to run. So this year I’m going to invest. I’m going to build by digging foundations, resharpening old tools, putting new ideas aside to develop what’s already with us. Perhaps I’ll find I’ve been sitting on buried treasure, perhaps I’ll get part way through and everything will change, but it’s about time I put my running shoes away and bought some gardening clogs.