Keeping Up with Your English

Many of you kindly shared with me your challenges recently, and educational resources for kids rose to the top. If you missed this, I’d love to hear from you too. I’m asking what topics are most relevant to you and what challenges are most bothering you, so as to better focus my writing to meet the needs of my readers. You can let me know here.

I will post a few times this week in order to share some of the resources we’ve found helpful in these areas: English, Math & Science, Observation & Social Sciences, Travel as an education.

Let’s start with a story, since we’re talking about English today: Read more

How Not to Book Last Minute Travel

When my husband’s grandfather passed away, we were living in Argentina. There was no question whether he would travel home for the funeral. We just had to decide how many of the five of us would make the trip. And we had to decide fast.

We don’t live near an international airport – on either end. With the very best connections, travel time from our home in rural Argentina to our Canadian home is 20 hours. Many routes take closer to 30 hours in transit.

This left us with less than 12 hours to book flights and get on a plane.

Just three hours before takeoff, my husband and girls were in a cab, en route to the airport. I was on the phone, still trying to get their flights confirmed.

This was our first time booking international travel in such a hurry. It was intense. Here are a few things we learned:

Read more

3 Things Keeping Me Sane

I’m solo parenting four kids going through a big transition. My default is to put out the fires. Feed the mouths. Clean the clothes. Rush to the appointments. Wipe the tears.  I quickly find myself stuck in a reactive posture.

And if I focus on today, things can look pretty grim.

As we transition to life back in Canada, these are a few things helping me keep some perspective: Read more

Three Versatile Just-In-Case Items to Carry on Every Trip

Any backpacker will tell you to leave the just-in-case stuff at home. They’re right. Don’t carry those fancy shoes and tailored suit for months on the off chance you might get invited to a wedding. The toy, the book, the extra pair of pants, even the extra socks can be left behind.

You can get by. Or you can buy.

I make an exception for three small, but oh-so-handy items. Read more

One Important Clue it’s Time for a Change

When I grow up, I, too, will visit faraway lands and when I grow old, I too, will live by the sea,”

Emily Freeman tells us to pay attention to what makes us cry. She writes, “…maybe our tears are tiny messengers, secret keepers of the most vulnerable kind, sent to deliver a most important message…” A message about what’s going on in our own soul.

This line from a children’s book did it for me. Read more

Home Again, Home Again: Here’s What to Expect

You’ve anticipated this moment. Your people are here, expecting you with open arms. After months or years away, you are coming home!

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Now you can just slip back into all that is familiar. Except all that is no longer familiar.

Do not make this mistake: Expecting life at home to be exactly as you remember it will make for one rough ride.

Thinking through your expectations and experiences can help ease the transition to life at home. Today, let’s talk expectations. Here are 8 things you should see coming: Read more

Make Reverse Culture Shock Less Shocking: 7 Simple Steps

 

Just as astronauts endure tremendous impact when re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, re-entering your own culture can make you wonder what hit you.

The first time I moved back home from abroad, I was unnerved by how poorly I fit in my own life. I’d been eager to get back home. Homesick, even. Yet I landed to find the place I’d always called home no longer felt like home.

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There are ways to ease the transition to life at home. I’ve learned what to expect. Here’s how our family is preparing as our re-entry to Canadian life approaches (for the third time): Read more

Moms Living Through Transition

May my words encourage families walking through periods of transition, in particular expat women.

I want readers to turn to my site for grace filled perspective and hope for the overwhelmed expat, for tips on travel and adjusting. May my words help readers offer grace to self and to their family members when the most basic daily activities threaten to overwhelm.”

I wrote these words as a purpose statement for this blog.

About eight months ago, as we were preparing for an international move, I felt an urgency to write. I’d been thinking of blogging for ages. 

I so wanted to write. To sort my thoughts. To have a project and creative outlet of my own. One thing not tied to a place. Something I didn’t need to leave behind when we move. Read more

Best Find: Screen Free Stories

I am not a homeschooling mom, and yet, I find myself homeschooling.

I am a little out of my element. And I am always looking for help, inspiration, and a hack or two. This month I have discovered a keeper!

I allotted 70 lbs for books when we flew from Canada to Argentina, but many are homeschool texts, so I still find we run short of stories. Read more

The Heart of What We Say

This has been a frustrating season and I’m bothered by how often my mouth has run away from me. I wish I’d spoken differently. Used kinder words. Been more patient.

I take comfort in knowing I am not alone. It is hard to control your tongue. James says only a perfect person could control their speech perfectly. We all slip up from time to time. The frustration boils over and the words spew out.

I don’t want to be that mom. I don’t want to be a yeller. I don’t want the messages my kids hear most, the ones they internalize, to say they are too time consuming, too needy, too demanding. I want to affirm them. I want them to know they bring me joy. We all do.

Jesus pointed out that our words come out of our hearts. Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.

So when nasty retorts fly, when mean spirited sarcasm is on the tip of my tongue, I have to ask what is going on in my heart. Read more