Self-care + Academic/Artistic Wholeness

How to Enjoy the Art of Building and Baking

This month has five Sundays, which means this week’s Self-Care Sunday will focus on art. And freedom. Sheds, Crackers, and Art As a teacher, I have the freedom for eight weeks to go on adventures—at times, academic, at other times artistic or physical. Part of my summer vacation adventure this year includes spending time with the entire family—including my parents. By Friday of last week, everyone had arrived in Wasilla, and our artistic adventure could begin. The adventure? Build a…

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The Politics of Freedom and What it Means to You

One important aspect of self-care lies in our responsibility to continue to develop our intellect beyond the four walls of the classroom. Wheels of Freedom I remember my first bicycle—a shiny green Huffy with a saddle seat and coaster brakes. The back wheel had a set of smaller training wheels attached. I eventually learned to ride by myself (thanks, Mom and Dad), and experienced new freedom. I cut pieces of cardboard and attached them to the bike frame with a…

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How to Avoid the Disaster of Bored, Whiney Kids

This week’s installment of Self-Care Sunday continues the theme of vacation. Not only do vacations play a huge part in our well-being, helping our kids learn to put their learning to use over vacation helps us enter into the spirit of life-long learning. A win-win situation for everyone! Bored Kids=Vacation Disaster “I’m soooo bored!” Nothing strikes fear and frustration into the heart of a parent faster than those three words. Except maybe, “There’s nothing to do!” Part of us wants…

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A Manual for Life When Bipolar Disorder Invades Your Family

.May is Mental Health Awareness Month. For this week’s edition of Self-Care Sunday, I thought I would reprint a post that first appeared on Blessed (but Stressed). Head knowledge helps us understand and change our heart attitudes. Many of you have contacted me and told me how difficult it is to explain to family members why a person with a mental illness can’t just ‘Pray and get over it.’ This book acts as a manual and provides a valuable resource…

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Photography, the Other Art

Not Everyone Can Draw Not every month has five Sundays, so I’ll take the opportunity to explore the other A in MAPS (you can find more about this series here). Last week, I shared how having a learning mindset helps us conquer things we thought we couldn’t do in our younger years. Today I’ll share some tips for upping your artistic quotient with photography. Next week, I’ll tell you about my latest physical challenge. Artistic expression baffles me at time.…

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Lifelong Learning—Math Hacks for the Kitchen

Lava Cake Lessons in Math You might wonder what lava cake has to do with math. I’ll explain, but first you need to know about my tumultuous relationship with numbers. I confess that I didn’t do well in math as a youngster. In fact, even though I scored in the 13th percentile in math on my ACT (or maybe the SAT), my university somehow overlooked that fact (maybe because I scored in the 98th percentile in English?). My second quarter…

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3 Surprising Reasons Why Birding Can Help You

Birding and Alzheimer’s Prevention During my impressionable growing up years, my mom ran a respite care business in our home. The ladies she cared for introduced me to the problems with aging: forgetfulness, fading memories, and loss of dignity through dementia and Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know many kids my age who could identify ‘Alzheimer’s’ as a proper noun, and not a Southern rendition of ‘Old Timer’s.’ Ever since those days, I thought that memory loss and odd behaviors went hand-in-hand…

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