Monday, October 30, 2017

Pumpkin Patch 2017

Well just like everyone else on social media, we headed to the pumpkin patch this month. Our kids were just not feeling it this year; I was kind of surprised.  Before going we read books and did activities so I knew they were ready and I thought, of all the years so far, this was going to be the one where they were most excited.  Well, I was wrong.  I'm not sure it if was because we were getting hungry or the 100 degree weather (or both really), but I think we were there for about 15 minutes before the kids were over it all. The Mr. & I ended up picking out our pumpkin for the year and the kids each picked out their own mini squash, and that was it.  I don't know what it is about squash & gourds, but Dutch has wanted one more than a pumpkin every year.  Maybe I should just start there next year?DSC_0190DSC_0195DSC_0197DSC_0198DSC_0200DSC_0201DSC_0206DSC_0215DSC_0225DSC_0229

As we started the tradition last year, we continued to the Houston Audubon afterwards for a little hike. It was great, though really hot.  I don't know if I will ever get used to the Houston heat in the fall.DSC_0241DSC_0251DSC_0253DSC_0259DSC_0260DSC_0262

I am loving this comparison through the years at the Pumpkin Patch!!!

Check out our previous visits to the patch

2014 ~ 2015 ~ 2016Pumpkin Patch through the Years- Life with the Hawleys

Did you head to the pumpkin patch this year?

What did you little ones think of it?

xoxo Darby

Friday, October 27, 2017

How to Superhero the Tough Days

Have you heard of a power pose?

It is a real, statistically supported, concept of the mind-body dichotomy.  Did I just get a little too neuroscientist on you? Sorry about that; I can't help it sometimes. What I mean though, is that our brain influences our environment, and our environment influences our brains; they interact.Power Pose- Life with the Hawleys
There is this research that suggests that how you stand can boost your self-confidence.  By standing with your hands on your hips, your chest out, & chin up for 2 minutes, like Superman, you can convey a message of confidence to your brain to help you tackle the major challenges of life. Your body language can impact not only others, but also yourself.  By having the body language of confidence you can perform better on a task & decrease stress; a self-fulfilling prophecy if you will.
.....see it is a real thing ;-)w630_greysanatomyseason11episode1405-1425418117
This is something that I find myself doing a lot lately, & I thought I should pass it along to you.  So before the next test, presentation, meeting with your boss, or argument with your toddler.....power pose it.  Give yourself a moment to physically pose yourself to tackle it.
Remember, we are Superheros!
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Pudding Letters

Morning friends!  I am CONSTANTLY trying to think of new ways to talk about the same thing ALL THE TIME!  In our home classroom we've been working so hard on our letters (recognition, phonics, & handwriting) lately, and I want it to be exciting for Dutch.  I know that I get bored with the same things over and over again, so I don't want Dutch to get bored with learning also, and I just don't want to push worksheets at him all the time.  I never liked that as a kid, and I honestly don't like it now.  I want him to find the learning experience as exciting, engaging, & fun, and so that is the environment I want to cultivate in our home classroom.  In order to do that, I'm constantly trying to think of creative, fun, and affordable ideas to teach the same thing in a new way.  So let me tell you about these fun pudding letters :-)Pudding Letters- Life with the HawleysHawley Homeschool
The first thing you need to do is buy a box of pudding and make it (following the instructions on the box).  After the pudding is made (and chilled) put it into a gallon ziplock bag, making sure to push as much air out at possible.  Next get these letter pages for handwriting practice and laminate them so that you can use them again (and just in case you get pudding on them hehe).  When you're ready for school, put the bag of pudding over the letter pages and let your little one practice writing their letters.  Or Teacher/Mama/Daddy could call out a letter and the student could form the letter in the pudding.  Another thing I did was put the bag of pudding over an alphabet puzzle so Dutch could practice writing the alphabet.DSC_0342DSC_0343DSC_0348DSC_0346DSC_0070DSC_0068
See, isn't that a fun way to practice letters???? Much better than worksheets, right???? Try this at home with your preschooler and let me know what they think :-)
xoxo Darby

Monday, October 23, 2017

Where I'm At + My Response to You

I want to check-in and be pretty authentic and raw today. I want to address two things: how I'm doing with my "rerooting" and my response to your survey answers.

In January I mentioned that my word of the year was "rerooting".  What I meant by this was that I was going deeper with the healthy relationships in my life & giving relationships that didn't match up with my values or hurt my witness "the ax" (for more details about this check it out here).  This has not been easy in some ways, and in other ways has continued to be a huge relief.  Some of my relationships that I got rid of have removed a lot of strain from my life and I'm so grateful for that.  I'm not as worried about how my relationships reflect my love for Jesus and I don't have the conviction about my friendships.  It is very clear that my desire is to follow Christ, go deeper with God, and protect my fruit especially by what I expose them to.  Unfortunately, several relationships that I ended have confirmed my decision.  Many do not understand my decision to sever some relationships and those individuals have chosen to bash me on Facebook or to other mutual friends.  I don't mind people talking about me for standing up for what God has convicted my heart of.  I am committed to walking in friendships that honor the Lord, and I have continued to glean through my relationships this year.  One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of mercy (Romans 12:8) and this is something that has made me completely weary the past couple years.  I have continually encouraged, prayed for, & checked in on others so much so that I have ended up with a bunch of one-sided relationships where I feel taken advantage of.  Not establishing healthy boundaries has been my fault completely and I take full responsibility, but I'm completely empty now because I'm giving others so much that I'm not being filled myself.  So this is another area of my life that I have had to revisit this year, since about August, and add to my theme of "rerooting".  I am not a licensed counselor or life coach, I'm just one person that is very empty.  I cannot keep pouring into others to the point that I am empty for my mission field at home.  So for now I am forcing myself to cut back a little and have boundaries that are healthier.  I'm not going to cut it out completely because it is a gift that I have been given and one that I'm expected to use for the Kingdom, but I need to be smarter with this gift.  All-in-all though, I can honestly say that I have stayed true to my rerooting theme for the year, and I hope to continue for the rest of my life.  I am in a season of my life where it is incredibly important for me to protect my fruit, my children, and I will continue to do this with God's help.

Next I wanted to address the surveys that y'all completed back at the end of August.  While I LOVED hearing your feedback, initially it was a small pill to swallow.  I know that I was the one who asked for the feedback but some comments still sting a little.  I'm aware that I'm not perfect & I don't intend to have a blog that meets everyone where they are, but still sometimes my pride can get hurt.  Know what I mean?  Anyways, I totally get that your comments were genuine and honest, and that I LOVE about you guys, so when I got over myself, I was ready to answer some of the things that were mentioned more than others: Ellis & The Mr.

It seems like many of you are dying to hear about Ellis' birth story.  So far I have shared pictures from her birth-day with you but that is all.  This was not an accident.  Honestly, I am STILL not at a place where I can express my emotions related to that day.  I briefly mentioned before that I was still processing her birth, and to be frank with you, I am still dealing with a lot of postpartum trauma.  Vocalizing how I'm feeling, requires acceptance, and I can't do that yet.  I'm still angry, hurting, and grieving.  I can't even really do it with my husband, so I certainly am not at a place where I can publish it here.  That day was crazy in that I received one of the best gifts I have ever been given for which I'm incredibly grateful, but I was also broken and knocked down in more ways than I thought possible all in one day.  So I know you want to hear that story, and I too want to be at a place where I can acknowledge all of the details of that day, but I just can't. Yet.  It is still very raw for me.  One day; I hope.

The second thing y'all asked the most about was The Mr.  Our marriage is in a really good place (getting ready to celebrate the big 10 years!) but you don't see it often around LWTH.  That is also not an accident.  The Mr. is a very, very, private person.  He is one of the rare people that is not even on Facebook, or any other form of social media; very different from most.  In fact, there is a girl in our Sunday School class who reads my blog (Hi Holly!), who is convinced that The Mr. works for the FBI.  hahaha he doesn't, I assure you, but he is a very quiet and private person.  He respectfully let me know that he was uncomfortable with a blog about 5 years ago.  After much discussion, we decided that I would not include as much about him on here anymore.  I don't mind honoring that request; that was so easy actually.  Now I know what you're thinking, "This blog is called 'LIFE' with the Hawleys'" so it may seem odd that he, being such a crucial member of our family, is rarely mentioned.  Yea, I get that, but I do share the other major parts of our life that he is comfortable with and some pictures occasionally.  I talk extensively about recipes and homeschooling, because honestly that is my entire life right now it seems.  I cook. I clean. I teach. Repeat.  It's not the most glamorous life, but this is where I'm at and I love it.  Also, I know that it will change again, many times, and I guess that is just one favorable part of a lifestyle blog, that the blog evolves with the writer.  So please know that The Mr. is still around. We are still married. He just doesn't like being discussed here, or any where else for that matter.

Okay so there you have it: some deep, raw, emotional, gooey-ness. That's enough for one day, right?
xoxo Darby

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall Fun For Your Preschooler

Phew! I just spent the past 2 weeks sharing some ideas with you of what we're doing in our homeschool classroom to celebrate fall.  I'm going to wrap them all up for you today! Fall Activities for Preschoolers- Life with the Hawleys
xoxo Darby

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Pumpkin Cup-Cake

Monday was a really bad day.  The day was dragging & so were the bags under my eyes and my patience.  I can't even really pinpoint what was bad, it was just not working.  It was a day where I just wanted to go back to bed and have a do-over but mamas don't get do-overs......we get cake ;-)  So I made myself this super festive fall cake and I tackled the rest of the day like a bosssss.Pumpkin Cup-Cake- Life with the HawleysFrom the Kitchen of Darby Hawley
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
4 tbsp organic pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp organic maple syrup (not cane syrup)
1 eggs
powdered sugarDSC_0394
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.
2. Pour into TWO greased coffee mugs (microwave safe of course) & cook for 2 minutes in the microwave.
3. Sprinkle with powdered sugar (and some more maple syrup)
4. Enjoy!DSC_0406DSC_0409-2
xoxo Darby

Monday, October 16, 2017

Science Letters

As a lover of the sciences, and neuroscientist myself, I try my best to incorporate science & as many hands-on activities as I can into our homeschooling.  We've been doing "a letter a week" in two week units since about May and I've been looking for science activities to do that match up with each letter.  Over the summer I got a new book and it has been such a great resource.  Let me tell you about it!Science & Letters- Life with the Hawleys- 2
Hawley Homeschool
This book is filled with science projects of varying degrees.  There are more simple variations for preschoolers, but there are also more complex options for older children.  I have started saving these activities to do when the Mr. is home so that we can all participate in the fun (and I have more adults to help me hehe).  We will sometimes do them in the evenings or on the weekends.  I'm finding that my husband really looks forward to doing an educational activity like this and so it really is a fun family project.
What I do is select 2-3 ideas to go with each unit, which again is 2 weeks for us.  When we were working on the letter 'C' I selected growing Crystals & painting Coffee filters. 
We did these during Hurricane Harvey when we were stuck at home for about 2 weeks and this really helped with cabin fever!DSC_0120DSC_0122

These really were easy & fun for everyone to watch throughout the week and allowed us to talk about our letters while doing something with our hands.  Sometimes when we're working with our hands it allows for a lot of organic conversation, so just talking about letters & practicing the phonetics of each letter is much easier during an activity.  I highly recommend this book of science activities (get here stat!)Science & Letters- Life with the Hawleys- 1
Obligatory Blogger Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this post, I just really like the brand.
xoxo Darby
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