Friday, May 6, 2016

The Lion's Tales: belated April edition

We don't go to bookstores often. 

It's looking like my "weekly" recaps have turned into monthly ones. :) Maybe eventually I'll get into a more consistent working/posting schedule... For now, follow me on Facebook or Instagram for more regular updates!

1. Spring break was pretty boring
I felt like 95% of my local friends were gone for the first week of April (or at least the ones who were sure posted a lot about it on Facebook...). I was looking forward to taking the girls to the zoo, working in the garden, etc., but of course it ended up being a rainy, 40-50 degree week. I did take them to see the butterflies at Meijer Gardens one morning, and am soooo glad we got there when it opened at 10am. By the time we left around noon, the ticket line was around the corner and out the door! Apparently everyone else in the greater-Grand-Rapids area had the same idea.

2. I've tried to spend more one-on-one time with Abby
Every so often Abby has a rough morning when leaving for school like she had last fall. No kicking and fighting and being dragged out the door, but definitely tears and "I want to stay home with you -- Ellie gets to be with you!!"

One day I got a call from the school that she wasn't feeling well, so I drove the 40 minutes (one way) to pick her up. She legitimately didn't feel well, but by the time we got to church (I had to work that afternoon, and thought she could rest on the couch in the church office) she said she was feeling "much better".  (insert red, grouchy, angry mom face here)  All afternoon I had to keep telling her to go lay down, read, draw, rest, whatever -- but I couldn't play with her. Hopefully she realized that while Ellie and I are home we don't just do fun stuff all the time...

So during Spring Break I took Abby on a date -- we went to the local coffee shop and got drinks and played games. Then last week I went on a field trip with her class, and spent a longer afternoon/evening with just her too.

Coffee, cocoa, and Go Fish with my favorite almost-6-year-old.

3. I discovered KEEP Collective
There are so many direct sales companies out there now that I think I'm invited to a Facebook party every single week. I always join or say I'm interested if it's just a FB party, so I can browse on my own time. Being part of the direct sales world myself, I do try to support others in their home businesses whenever I can.

One company I'd never heard of before is KEEP Collective. It's part of Stella and Dot, and features bracelets, necklaces, etc. that are very customizable. It reminds me a bit of the charm bracelets that I collected as a kid, only more grown-up. :) I bought a bracelet (keeper) and a few charms (keys) at a party for a friend, then hosted a FB party myself. I love having my designer, Rebecca, create mock-ups of how things might look together on different bands. I'm hooked!

This is a double bracelet, and is black on the reverse side. I often wear it
crossed, with charms on either side of "blessed". I hope to get birthstones
someday, as well as charms that specifically represent each member of my
family (the lighthouse is for Ellie, since Eleanor means "bringer of light")

4. I ran my first Usborne home party where I didn't know a single person.
I've been part of Usborne for over a year now, and had only done home parties with friends (I'd done a Facebook party for a friend of a friend, but that's different than face to face!). For the very first time I brought my display of books to a person's house who I'd only met at a previous party, and she had friends come that I didn't know. SO out of my comfort zone as a strong strong introvert!!

But it went great. It was actually a "Coloring Between the Wines" party, where the guests bought coloring books from me and sat around chatting and drinking wine while coloring on a Friday night. No one bought any other books, but it was a really relaxing hour. I feel much more ready for my next home party this weekend -- also with people I don't know!

5. I went away for my annual GEMS Spring Seminar training.
I've been involved in the GEMS Girls' Club at my church for 10 years, and part of the area leadership training team for 5. Each year the 50 or so Area Coordinators and Leadership Trainers get together for a weekend to learn about the following year's theme, and get encouraged and inspired to go back to our areas to train the other leaders.

It's two nights and about two days away from my family... and I love it. ;-) The sisterhood of this team is SO amazing, and while we pack a ton of information into the few short days and leave feeling exhausted, it's one of those "I'm so blessed" kinds of exhausted!

The GEMS girls aren't the only ones who enjoy crafts. :)

Taking an hour to rest and be still.  

Ellie picked flowers for me as soon as I got home.

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