Mothering is a Marathon with Keri Vasek

Mothering is a Marathon with Keri VasekIt had been a while since I had Keri on the show. Actually, it had been a while since Keri and I had talked in real life. It was good to catch up with her and hear what was on her heart. Keri took a few minutes to catch us up on her home and family.  She has been a busy lady since we last chatted. Next, Keri asked about my suggestions for sibling disagreements. I admit that I don’t know all the answers on this one, but I did have a few thoughts and suggestions to teach children to be kind to one another.

 

Keri and I spent a good amount of time talking about a statement I often make during my speaking engagements, “Mothering is a marathon.” I do say that a lot. I really want parents to understand that it isn’t a sprint, it isn’t just getting them to kindergarten, or high school, or even adulthood. It is a long, tough journey that has ups and downs… highs and lows. It will test us, require patience and definitely demand endurance. It will be worth it. It is worth it.

We chatted a little bit about the popular TV show, This is Us. If you haven’t seen it, you should. I am pretty sure my twin is the writer for this show. I know you feel the same. It is so true, so raw, so needed. We can all learn valuable lessons from this show.

Thanks for listening. If you have topics you would like for me to discuss or people you would like to hear from, let me know. Just email me at kathy@thehomegrownpreschooler.com or shoot me a message on social media.

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

 

Hitting Reset in 2018

I am still blown away that it is 2018! I was just texting a friend that I met back in 1988 during a summer mission trip to Daytona Beach Florida. Thirty years… what? How has it been thirty years since that magnificent summer? Okay, I digress. Back to the show.

 

This week I wanted to talk about the need to RESET before we take on this New Year. If you are like me, there were some unmet goals n 2017 and the holidays have turned my fairly routine life into chaos and clutter. How do we get back on track in 2018?  Here are my thoughts…

 

  1. R – Remember how far we’ve come.
  2. E – Evaluate 2017, honestly. What can we learn from our mistakes?  I shared that one of my mistakes in 2017 was not caring for my health as I should. I mentioned a new program I have started called Plant Paradox. You can read more about Dr. Gundry and his program at http://drgundry.com/

the Plant Paradox

 

 

  1. S – Stay Focused. I start off focused, but tend to fade as the year goes on. Staying focused can keep us from making some of the same mistakes this year.
  2. E – Expectations. This one gets me. UNREALISTIC expectations ruin relationships. Don’t expect something of someone without talking to him or her about it first. That goes for your friends, your spouse, and your kids.
  3. T – Take time to reflect, plan, be alone and move forward.

 

 

With a little effort we can RESET our homes, our minds, our schedules. Take some time to be still and be honest with yourself. Set some goals, set a routine, and move forward. You’ve got this!!!

 

 

Kathy

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

 

 

 

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this podcast! Their wonder based curriculum is on SALE right now and includes a free stocking stuffer!! Check out The Farmhouse Schoolhouse to read one mom’s experience using THGP’s curriculum, A Year of Playing Skillfully.

 

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

 

Setting Intentions for 2018 with Christy Montes

Setting Intentions for 2018I can’t believe 2017 is coming to an end. It seems just yesterday I was ringing in 2017 with family and sweet friends, including ASH A LEE. I remember last year, Ashley and I decided that FORWARD would be our word for 2017 and I think both of us lived out that word in our lives. As we thought about 2018, Balance kept coming to mind. I need balance in all areas… work, home, health, relationships. I plan to work on balance in 2018. My best girls, Christy and Ashley also decided to make balance their word for 2018. What is your word?

On this episode, Christy and I talk about setting intentions for 2018, deciding what our focus will be and writing it down. We talked about vision boards, journaling, good books, and daring to grow. Do you have plans to work on your self as 2018 approaches? If you need help, let me suggest some good resources:

1.  Brazen by Leanna Tankersley

Brazen

2.  The Gifts of Imperfection, Braving the Wilderness, and Rising Strong by Brene’ Brown

3. Start Where You Are by Meera Lee Patel

Find some time to be quiet and reflect on 2017. After you do that, think about the next year. Plan some time for you, for you and your partner, for you and your family. I hope 2018 is your best year ever!

Happy New Year,

Kathy

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

Holidays on a Budget with Lesli Richards

Holidays on a Budget with Lesli RichardsOn today’s show, I invited my business partner, Lesli Richards from www.thehomegrownpreschooler.com to chat with me about enjoying the holidays during the lean years.Lesli and I have both experienced years when we had no idea how we would pay for Christmas. However, with a little creativity and lowered expectations we did it.

 

The gifts…

  • Think about the child’s interest.
  • Have a date night at a thrift store. Think about adjusting items you find to make a fabulous new gift for your child.
  • Post on social media if you are looking for something classic. We had a friend give us a dollhouse that we saved for months. It was the perfect Polly Pocket Village.
  • Have a re-gifting swap, might find the perfect stocking stuffers.

 

link to generic playstand:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/275493702189493906/

 

link to teacher gift idea:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AfokEwPQU1_2mW96j1L08gWuTH8bKMjuBQ_LXSqZNUdD5cv-M_Wd8TA/

 

The food…

  • Keep the food simple. Chili or Stew with bread and salad make a great, inexpensive Christmas meal.
  • Include the children. Bake together. Makes excellent inexpensive gifts for friends, teachers, and neighbors.
  • It is about gathering, not the menu.
  • Don’t miss out on the memories because you are in the kitchen.

 

 

The decorations…

  • Find greenery from your yard (or a friend’s yard).
  • Don’t completely change decor, just add Christmas sprinkles.

  • Have a Christmas decoration swap at the beginning of the season.

 

The reason…

 

  • Be honest with children about the lean years.
  • Get involved in a community project to give back.
  • Find a great devotional to keep you focused on the reason.

Unwrapping the greatest gift by Ann Voskamp

Come Thou Long Awaited Jesus, by Nancy Guthrie

https://www.amazon.com/Come-Thou-Long-Expected-Jesus-Experiencing/dp/1433501805/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1512151859&sr=8-1&keywords=come+thou+long+expected+jesus+guthrie

  • Find a family that could use your help this year.

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Kiwi Crate!

KiwiCo has monthly subscriptions of hands-on projects that make learning fun! Their core offering is projects that make learning about STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art, and math — accessible and are designed to spark creativity, tinkering, and learning. Some recent favorite crates are the Slime Lab, Physics Carnival, and Paper Circuits.

Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network is excited to be able to offer you the chance to try them for FREE. To learn more about their projects for kids ages 2 to 16 AND to redeem this exclusive offer, click here to get your first month free today (just pay $4.95 for shipping)


Q & A with Ashley Smoot

Q&A with Ashley Smoot and The Real Kathy LeeWe had some great questions come in for this episode. I will be the first to say that I don’t have all the answers, but I usually do have an opinion. Hope you enjoy this candid Q & A with one of my besties, Ash-A-Lee!!!

1. Jessica asked…. “How do you follow the lead of your children in learning in an organized manner – when your 3 year old has simultaneous interest in volcanoes, bugs, the moon, rainbows, rocks all in a 24 hour period to circle back around to the topic again the next day.

2. Jennifer asked… “ How do you encourage a young child (3yrs) who is a perfectionist and at times explode into tears when things don’t go well or aren’t the way she desires them to be. There are times when her emotions can be polarizing and she makes her needs immediate. I am sometimes at a loss when it come to encouraging her, defusing stress and making sure that everyone else is getting attention too. I should mention these moments always seem to be at home. In public I think she’s too shy to express that much emotion.

3. Lauren asked… “ Tell me more about the nature journal. I have the binoculars, magnifying glasses and desire… but no idea where and when to start. Is there a handy backyard guidebook?

Also, we’ve been having fun playing but I want to do more read alouds. The only thing is that my youngest is just too noisy. Is that something about discipline or just age? Should I do read alouds when he’s asleep?

4. Amanda asked, “ Do you, and if so HOW do you find time for yourself to avoid burnout? I feel like I can keep it together for a couple of weeks – getting up early to get a jump on the day, spending much needed time with the Lord, being patient and sweet with the kids (LOL!), saying yes and playing skillfully, keeping up with laundry and cleanup, cooking meals… by 3rd week I start feeling spent and the laundry starts slipping, I’m inclined to order dinner out every night and my best-laid school plans fall behind. Do you have a strategy for self-refreshment?

I loved answering all of these questions on the show. If you have questions for me, submit them via FB or instagram (The Real Kathy Lee) or message me through the website.

Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


Top Ten Things Your Preschooler Wants You to Know

Top 10 Things Your Preschooler Wants You to KnowTomorrow, I get to share my passion for preschoolers with about 100 preschool teachers. I am sharing with them the Top Ten Things Preschooler Want You to Know. I thought you might enjoy hearing this list, as well.

#10 –Just because I use potty talk does not mean I have to go potty.

When I child calls you poopy head, simply say something like, “What? I have poopy on my head. Nope, I don’t think I have poopy on my head.” Children use potty talk to get the attention of others. Once they realize that their words don’t shock you, they won’t use them as often.

#9 – Just because I can hold a pencil and spell my name does not mean that I am ready to read and write.
If I begin counting in Spanish…. Uno, Dos, Tres, etc…. you might assume I speak Spanish? I don’t. Just as counting in Spanish does not mean I speak Spanish, holding a pencil and spelling their own name, does not mean a child is ready to read and write. Reading predictable books, Reading quality books, asking good questions, journaling, making books, recognizing that words have meanings, inventive writing, scribbling, and manipulatives all help prepare a child for reading when it is time (somewhere between 5-8).

#8 –Children need a variety when they are outside. Many children need to run, jump, climb, and ride when they are outside. However, some need to be on a blanket with a book or building blocks. Offer them a variety!

#7 – There is more to forgiveness than “I’m Sorry!” In the early childhood world, it is often said – “Don’t force a child to say I am sorry.” However, rarely is an option given. How should we handle those hits, ugly words, and moments of anger? The goal is to help children understand that their actions have consequences. What they do impacts other people. When they hit their friend, their friend is hurt. When they say unkind things, their friend is hurt. Children should be encouraged to use their words and express their feelings.

#6 – She is not invited to my birthday party. Preschoolers are trying to figure out who they are, what they like, and how to establish boundaries. This is an important time for teachers to help children put their words to their emotions. This is a gift we can give children. We would all say that we want adults that can work out problems and strife in their relationships. This needs to start early. Just like #7, helping children express how harsh words make them feel will them in the long run.

#5 – We learn through the process and not the product. It is in the process of discovery, experience, and wonder that children learn. When we focus on an end result, we often miss the actual lesson of the process.

#4 – Please listen, we have something to say. –We can learn about children’s needs, stresses, developmental areas, etc… if we will take the time to listen to their stories, their pretend play, their questions, etc… If we don’t give them time during the small moments in their life, they will not give us time when the big topics arise.

#3-We need to experience to explore a topic. – “Being a kid is dirty, messy, noisy work. It is in the experience that we actually understand the topic. Whatever we hope to teach children about, the brain needs to experience through the senses. It is in the touching, smelling, hearing, tasting, and seeing that the brain builds synapses.

#2 – We are ALL different. – Honor who your child is! Our goal as a parent is to help a child become who they were already meant to be.

#1 – MEMORIES will be made! Bottom Line, what do you want children to remember in 5, 10, 15, 20 years? What impact do you want to have on them?

Find a way to #sayyes today.


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


Living on the Offense

As the holidays approach, Kathy Lee gives tips on how to stay on the offense as a parent.The past few months have been exhausting… physically and emotionally. Although lots of great things have been happening, they have taken their toll. I have found myself moving from living on the Offense to living on the Defense. Have you ever been there?

I don’t think any of us make a conscience decision to live on the defense, but it happens slowly. We get off our routine. We stop taking care of ourselves because everyone else’s needs are more important. We decide that we can do “that” tomorrow. Some other reasons we move to the defense are:

  1. We make small concessions with our life that slowly eat away at who we are.
  2. We stop planning and start reacting.
  3. We believe (often because we are often told by others) that our dreams are unattainable and frivolous.
  4. An event (vacation, moving, etc.) takes us off our game.
  5. We make excuses for why the timing is not right for us right now.
  6. We fail to say yes to opportunities when they arise, believing we can do whatever it is later.
  7. We say YES to everything, even stuff that will take us down emotionally and physically.
  8. We believe we always have tomorrow.

As the holidays approach, I suggest you do the following to stay on the offense as a parent:

 

  1. Keep up with your routine. Bedtimes, exercise routine, and eating plans all matter.
  2. Set Priorities for you and your family. Decide what is important for this year. Christmas Cards might need to go on the naughty list.
  3. Don’t be afraid to say no. Yep, the queen of YES is telling you it is okay to say no. You cannot do it all. I repeat. YOU CANNOT do it all.

 

Find a way to #sayyes today.
 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


Creating Inviting Spaces with Your Little Ones

When my sweet friend, Misty sent me a Marco Polo (a cool video app) asking my opinion on her child’s playroom, I thought it would be a good idea to share my thoughts with all of you on creating inviting spaces for your little ones!

Everyone is worthy of feeling as if they belong, especially our children and most definitely in their own home. Before you begin designing an inviting space for your children, I suggest you get on your hands and knees and crawl around your home. YEP, literally get on your hands and knees. Spaces look so different from a child’s eye level. Ask yourself, how do things look and feel from that level. Are there enough “small” areas for your children to work, play, discover and explore?

  1. Work – Children need small ways to contribute to the family. They need work. Create spaces for their belongings on their level. Have a drawer for their cups, plates, utensils, and special cooking items. Have a bucket with basic cleaning supplies and cloths. Place hooks low enough so that children can hang up their own coats. Creating good habits at a young age pay off.
  2. Play – Children are meant to play. How easy is it to say YES to their ideas for play? Less is definitely more in this area. Children do not need 20 containers full of toys in a playroom. During the early years it is likely that everything that is in a container will end up dumped on the floor, all at once. Buy quality toys and items that inspire open-ended play. This is more engaging for the child. I suggest you keep it basic. Some quality blocks, some arts and crafts materials, something that inspires pretend play (dress up, kitchen, baby dolls, etc..) and a cozy corner with books. Put everything else in a large plastic bin and keep it for a month. During that month, move anything your child asks for into a different bin. Whatever is left in the original bin after a month, donate.

3.  Discover and Explore- Kids need permission to get outside in search of discovery and exploration. Do you have a space for them to do that? Do you have materials such as nature journals, pencils, binoculars, and bird/flower books to inspire them? Keeping these type of items handy will help you say yes!

Creating inviting spaces is worth the time and effort! Get down on your hands and knees and start crawling around your space today!

 


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


 

 

Fangirling over Brene’ Brown at Catalyst (Catalyst Leader, Atlanta)

Fangirling over Brene’ Brown at Catalyst (Catalyst Leader, Atlanta)

As I mentioned last week, I recently attended my first ever Catalyst Leadership Conference.  Day one of the conference was inspiring and convicting, however it was Day two that I was really excited about. If I am being honest, the only way my business partner convinced me to attend was by telling me that Brene’ Brown was one of the speakers. Yep, I was going to that. It didn’t matter that I was hosting a big party around that time or would be packing up my house for a move the following week. BRENE’ BROWN, people. I was going to be there.

Fangirling over Brene’ Brown at Catalyst (Catalyst Leader, Atlanta)

First up on that Friday morning was Christine Caine. This woman flat out preaches. She tells it like it is regarding love and faith. She challenged us to stop talking and start doing; to make a difference, to believe big things, and live out our faith.

Next, Andy Stanley was back for more practical life lessons on leadership. Andy challenged us to think, What Would a Great Leader Do? This one really hit home as a mom. I am a leader in my home. How do I let my emotions fog my decisions? Do I lead my family to love, to accept those different from us, to step outside of our comfort zones, etc… Loved this talk so much.

JOHNNYSWIM…OH MY!!!! If you don’t know about this duo, shame on you (I didn’t either before this event ).  Johnnyswim is a lovely husband/wife music partnership. Listen to them TODAY. You are welcome.

Carlos Whittaker – Carlos put it all out there. After he showed this video of his family, he dared to be vulnerable and share some life mistakes. He referred to some of his decisions as spiders and recently wrote a book about his experience. I have such respect for this guy for taking off the mask of perfection and being real.

And…

Finally, BRENE’ BROWN. When I say that I was on the edge of my seat with excitement, I was not exaggerating. I was screaming like a 10 year old girl at a Taylor Swift concert. 

Brene’ talked about our need for belonging. She mentioned how we are hard wired for connections. She encouraged us to hold hands with strangers.

Brene’ talked about her love for Maya Angelou (I am also a huge fan) and specifically the following quote:

I am always inspired when I watch, read, and listen to what Brene’ Brown has to say. As a big believer in the WORDS matter campaign (that I am officially starting right now ), I loved when Brene’ said that WORDS are dehumanizing and we need to speak truth to BS.

Brene’ hit home with the encouragement to have a strong back, a soft front, and a wild heart. YES. Will you join me? Let’s be tough and soft and full of love!

Lastly, Brene’ dared us to BE OURSELVES, BE SEEN and BELONG.

I hope you will find time for self -renewal this year. Whether it is a conference or just a weekend trip away, take time for YOU. YOU matter! YOU are worthy!


Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!


We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor Sony and their new movie, The Star, the Story of the First Christmas – Coming in Theaters November 17th!

Visit TheStarMovie.com to learn more.


You’ve Got This! When Motherhood is Hard

You've Got This! When Motherhood is Hard with The Real Kathy Lee If you have listened to my podcast for very long, you have heard me say… You’ve Got This. You might have wondered what in the world I actually mean by that statement. Today’s podcast explains my thoughts as I share such an empowering phrase.

Motherhood is hard. We become parents through pregnancy or adoption, both are hard.  Before the baby arrives we are often exhausted physically and emotionally. Next, we stay up all night and are expected to be happy and function the next day. What? How? By digging deep, by realizing that you are making a difference for eternity. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t challenging and very lonely at times.

I suggest the following for moms who struggle believing that they can pull off this thing called motherhood:

  1. Don’t be scared to ask for help – Reach out to a close friend and share your feelings.
  2. Say YES to taking time for yourself. You won’t regret it. You and your family will be happier for it.
  3. Say NO often. Motherhood can overwhelm us, especially when we take on too many things outside the home during the early years.
  4. It is okay to have your own tantrum from time to time. I suggest going in the closet for a good cry or toddler style fit.
  5. Time flies. Try and lean in to these years, savor them. It sounds ridiculous, but you will miss the middle of the night feedings and early morning snuggles on the sofa.

 

YOU really, really do HAVE this!!

Comment on my post on FB at The Real Kathy Lee or The Homegrown Preschooler for a chance to win this journal!!!


Find a way to #sayyes today.

Don’t forget to subscribe to my podcast and leave a review on iTunes!!!

Thank you to The Homegrown Preschooler for sponsoring this Podcast! Check out the blog post Kathy mentioned, Farmhouse Schoolhouse, to read more about A Year of Playing Skillfully.

Also, to thank you for listening, you can receive a 10% discount on any purchase at

The Homegrown Preschooler by using the code, THEREALKATHYLEE.

 

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