Friday, August 8, 2014

Five for Friday {Aug 8th}

Here's to another Five for Friday!  This past week and this upcoming weekend, I'm spending a lot of time with family.  This is so important to me, a value I cherish and want my kids (well, only one kid now) to treasure forever.  So with that in mind, here are my Five for Friday, family themed!

Family is so important, but how can we manage to balance our teaching careers and our family life?  It's tough, isn't it, but it's a must!  I found this great article that gives us 5 tips and tricks to help balance that very difficult line between family and career.  It's important to take back your non-teaching time and not let school hijack your whole life!  Easier said than done, I know, but in 25 years from now, would you prefer being known as an amazing teacher and an ok parent/spouse or an amazing parent/spouse and an ok teacher.  Obviously I want to be remembered as an amazing teacher AND parent/spouse, but if I had to pick one, I'd definitely pick amazing parent/spouse.  

This weekend, we are going to our annual family reunion.  Every year, we choose a location and my whole extended family gets together for at least one weekend of the year.  Since we live so far away from one another, it's nice to have this time together.  It's always the second weekend in August, and something  we all look forward to.  My cousins were my first friends, and I'm still close to most of them today.

It's interesting to see family grow.  We started this when I was 13.  We were 12 cousins,10 aunts/uncles and my two grandparents.  A total of 24.  We have now grown to a clan of 40. We have lost a couple of members along the years, but have gained some amazing people as well.  (And that's only my dad's side of the family!)

This article here outlines what I've known for years - the importance of extended family.  We might not live within a 5 kilometer (yes, I'm Canadian!) radius of one another, but we're still there for each other and love each other no matter what the distance.

Quirky?  Not my family! Oh wait... never mind.  Yeah, we all have quirks, and we all do weird things.  I'm pretty anal about the way we fold towels.  I don't know why, I just like them folded a certain way.  My mom loves to speak in baby talk.  Yeah, not to babies, just in general.  She says it keeps her young.  Does it bother me?  Not anymore!  It used to, especially in my teens (man, was she embarrassing!), but I've embraced those quirks. 

Here's a great lighthearted article on one woman's journey to come at peace with her family's quirks.  Because in the end, it's the only family you've got!

My own little family is still fairly new - married for two years and my son is only 4.5 months, but that doesn't mean I don't think about ways to spend time together!  Although my son does dictate pretty much all of my time right now, I am looking forward to the days when we can read together (instead of him only wanting to munch on the books) or go for a bike ride together.  We value family time together, and we will always make that our #/ priority.  

With that in mind, I have found an excellent article that explains the top 10 ways you can spend time with your family.  #7 Eat Together is something that I take from my own childhood.  I am the oldest of 6, so all 8 of us would cram around our kitchen table every night and talk, talk, talk.  With 8 people, the table was NEVER quiet!  It was a time to share our day together, talk about what we wanted to do, our ups and downs.  It was amazing, and I can't wait to share that with my son one day.  

What values do you find important in your family?  In this article, the author lists 10 essential family values that are important in her family.  #1?  Belonging.  That means spending quality time together and making sure everyone feels like they fit.  Kinda like how you make sure your students all feel welcomed in your classroom, same thing goes for your home.  Get off the computer (I know - I should take my own advice) and get a board game out and spend some fun times rolling the dice!  

What other values are important to you? #10, Traditions, is really important to me.  I find that as we get older, it's traditions from our childhood that we remember most.  That Christmas supper with the whole clan, stuffing our faces with mémé's jello?  Yup, that was us.  I miss her jello a lot.  Or the annual "Let's get in the car, drive and see Christmas lights" time?  Yup, LOVE Christmas lights, and still do! 

Wow, now that was definitely one of my longer Five for Fridays, but when it comes to family, it's hard to stop!  I hope you've enjoyed muddling through all of this and hope you spend some amazing quality time with your family today.  

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