What to do in Spokane WA – February 2019 Edition

I didn’t want to wait too long into the end of this month to share February events as some of them can fill up and then you can no longer register for them. there might be a few shared from my last post in this post, but only because they are ongoing and/or still open in case you haven’t signed up yet.

Also, most of the events I share will be homeschool and/or family related. 🙂 Since I am now in the homeschool world we do try to do a few things through the month that fall on week days to get us out of the house and engaged with those around us. Since starting music and dance classes back up, the first two days of the week are a blur, but I also want to have some other trips with other families/kids through the month.

The events below will be linked to the event directly, which are 99% on Facebook.

There are a series of Free Ice Skating lessons at Riverfront Park on Saturday and Sundays between now and Feb 28th.

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If you also homeschool and are in the Spokane Valley area, check out Hub Sports Center. They host a Homeschool PE Class  twice a month. Also right now you can register for the February through May semester or do a drop in when you are able to. The next dates in February are Feb. 6th, and Feb 20th at 10:30 AM.

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February 2nd at 9am you can join Home Depot for the kids to make their own Heart Candy Box. This one is at Liberty Lake, so you will need to see if there is one closer to you depending on where in Spokane you are.

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Oh my goodness and this one is just precious! Daddy Daughter Date Night at Trailhead Event Center in Post Falls on February 2nd at 6:30pm. Hurry and get your tickets!

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Wednesday February 6th take the kids to go to see The Snow Queen at the Spokane Children’s Theatre. Exploring Families is a great page to follow for homeschool events and outings as well. Tickets are $8.25 per child and $12.25 per adult.

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Go tubing Thursday afternoons at 1-3 PM on Mt. Spokane. they are offering discounts on Tubing Hill, Lift Tickets, Ski and snowboard rentals, and ski and snowboard lessons! Be sure to check out the event and get your tickets by deadlines!

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For those homeschooling in the Spokane area, if you are not already connected with Spokane Area Homeschool Community group on Facebook, connect with them now so you can join in any events they are doing. There is an upcoming Valentine’s Day Exchange and Potluck.

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If you have any Bee enthusiasts, check out The Bee Girl at Mobius Science Center on Sunday February 10th at 1 – 3.

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Do your kiddos love Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood? Check out Kin for a Day at Emporium Presents on February 22nd at 6:30 PM. Tickets are more pricey than other events, just FYI, starting at $25 and on up from there.

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February 23rd West Valley Outdoor Learning Center is hosting Scientist for a Day Open House from 10 AM – 2 PM. This will help explore careers in science. they will have activities to see what it’s like to be a botanist, geologist, hydrologist, wildlife biologist, and astronomer.

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Be sure to check out your local libraries and what events they offer!

Hope this helps keep you busy in February! I will do my best to post some March events about the middle of February so you have time to register/signup.

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Unschooling – What is it?

I am not an expert in any area of homeschooling or unschooling. I do not have a degree in child development, nor teaching. But I am an expert in my own children, and I have talked to various friends about their homeschooling methods or curriculum and what they have learned.

I should also say before we get too far into this, though I don’t plan on this being a long post, is that each state has their own laws and regulations around homeschooling, so be sure to check those out before you jump into anything.

The basic principle of unschooling, is not doing a structure school teaching process. Your child(ren) will lead by their interest in how they want to learn, which actually helps them learn more and could, in the long run, even help them in knowing what they want to do when they are ready for work/college.

So much has changed in school. There is no longer a home economics class. Seems like PE is something that has become more of a playtime instead of actually working the students with physical activity. Depending on the type of school your child goes to means even more classes have disappeared and possibly even sports/extras.

In class they are so focused on making sure students pass certain tests they cram so much into the learning time it just falls right back out of the students heads. they can’t hold it all, not to mention they miss prime learning time for that subject by overdoing it. If children are falling behind, they meet with the parents to lower their child’s educations instead of challenging and finding out why your child is not learning with the rest.

In unschooling, there is no set standard on your child. I have seen both of my daughters learn more math in 20 minutes or less a day then they have in a traditional school setting. They are learning more about history being able to dive deeper in eras that catch their interest than being force feed based on the chapter that has to be done by the end of the week. Their interest in baking and cooking has sparked up more with more time to devote to that.

As a parent, who has gone to school and has had my girls in a school system, it’s hard to wrap my head around not having set subjects every days. That’s ok. But really think about it. When they are babies, they are learning every day through experiences, and we accept that. they learn that crying means they will get a diaper change, bottle, cuddles etc. As they get older they learn to use their muscles to help them hold their own bottle, crawl, sit, walk etc. Once they start playing with toys they learn about colors, shapes, problem solving comes natural in their playtime with toys, siblings, playdates with friends. This continues until society has deemed them appropriate age for school. Then we force a standard way of learning/teaching on them.

Just like we are unique, our children are unique. They each learn differently and have different interests. They still learn every day in what they are doing. It’s ok to break the mold on how to school and do it your way.

While I am not fully following the unschooling method, I am fully following our method lol. I am learning how my two girls best learn, what they are interested in, and how to ensure they keep growing by their interest and not killing their interest by force feeding them something else.

I use Kahn Academy to make sure they are progressing in areas like math and grammar. These are big areas that kids can fall behind on in the school system. Why is this a concern to me? Because while I am working from home right now, if anything should change causing me to have to physically go into an office again, I want to know that they can fall right back into their grade. Of course reading is something else they can also fall behind in, but, they are reading everyday. Their bible, anytime they do anything online, books of their choosing, books for history, you get the point. So outside of math and grammar my focus is them finding what they are interested in learning about and getting whatever I can, be it a book or activity, to help them learn more about it.

There are so many great resources out there, and some are even local. Check out library events, set up tours of local businesses, connect with homeschool families in your area, and don’t forget about kits. Our newest addition right now is Eat 2 Explore. It combines some geography with a little history on the country, and hello, cooking and baking are both scientific and you need to use math for how much of what you are adding. I will throw in questions like how much of a cup is 1/4 cup? How many 1/4 cups would it take to make 1 cup etc.

Make learning fun, help them grow their interest. You might end up with a Doctor, engineer, culinary chef, who knows! Just focus on your child as an individual, and don’t force learning. It happens naturally, I promise. Just be there to encourage and build on it.

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It is What it is

I had pushed myself to finish something that had been on my heart and I fear I went to fast and didn’t produce quality. It can’t hit the people it was meant to if I don’t wait for the timing and the right words. I got excited at the possibility of putting an eBook out there and starting to earn something extra. However, I don’t think that is the right venue for me, at least not at this time. I do have a vision, for an eBook, but when I sit down to start on it, my mind keeps going blank. So maybe that is a vision I need to let go of.

So in the mean time, since words usually flow to me as I am working on my blog, I will just keep sharing here.

My oldest daughter, who is no out of the house, was a struggle for us. I am sure we were a struggle for her and there will be different stories you hear depending on who you talk to. Being past that now, I can look back and I see a point in time where I just stopped living stressed. I am fairly sure that my husband and kiddos might have a different story ha! But I had a friend who asked me at the time what happened, did everything just start going right in my life because I didn’t seem bothered anymore.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when it all clicked for me, but I try very hard telling everyone if you cannot change don’t hang on to it. We can only control ourselves. How we react to something, how we move on from something, how we feel, etc. We can spin our minds all day long about the actions of others and get lost in the emotional roller coaster of those thoughts trying to figure out a fix, or figure out why. What does this do for, or rather, to you? It steals time from us.

Time is so valuable. We cannot get time back once it’s gone. Sometimes the only thing we have to give to someone else, is our time, and that can be the most valuable thing we can do for them. Be careful how you spend it, who you spend it with, and who you spend it on.

The biggest thing that has helped me when something happens is “It is what it is”. I have used that in my work life and personal life. When I calm down from something, I remind myself it is what it is. Then I figure out if I can do anything about it, if not, I have to let it go and move on. If I can do something, I need to make sure it’s positive, helpful, and moving in the right direction.

So I did mention a difficult child, and that is something I will dive into in later posts. Just know that if you are dealing with a difficult child, stay strong, don’t give in, pray, and remind yourself it is what it is. They are choosing their actions and you need to be careful in choosing yours. Pay attention to who their time is being spent with. You have every right to change who they spend their time with and if you need to then do it. Just don’t stay caught in that seasons because you are letting emotions control you and causing you to loose valuable time.

I think more than anything else, saying “It is what it is” helps me accept what I cannot change. Try it if you need to. Keep yourself moving forward and spending every bit of that precious time on people and things that matter, that you can control.

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What to do in Spokane WA

So, for those who know me, you know I have a hard time not overbooking myself, all in the name of keeping the kids active lol. They are only with us for a short time, then they want to do their own thing, and then they are out of the house. Waaahhhh…..It goes by so fast.

We moved back to Spokane at the end of November, but haven’t lived here or in this area for about 17 years. So I am getting reconnected to some family and friends in this area. I am also figuring out what goes on, when and where.

With homeschooling the girls now, I try to get us out of the house so we are not just home 24/7. Starting this week the girls will be back in dance classes and I have added a voice class for Arianna and Guitar lessons for Makaylah. They are both excited this.

We haven’t done too many events since moving, which I think my husband is thankful for lol. After being here a little while though, more events are popping up in my FB feed, oops! So I thought I would share a few things for anyone else who is looking and is unaware of some of the upcoming events. Please comment with more family events if I have missed anything! I know this isn’t a complete list, but more of what works for us.

The events below will be linked to the event directly, which are 99% on Facebook.

There are a series of Free Ice Skating lessons at Riverfront Park on Saturday and Sundays between now and Feb 28th.

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West Valley Outdoor Learning Center is hosting a Winter Survival Open House on Jan 12th at 10am.

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If you also homeschool and are in the Spokane Valley area, check out Hub Sports Center. They host a Homeschool PE Class twice a month. The next one we are signed up for is on Jan 16th at 10:30.

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Umm….Yummm! There is a Mac & Cheese Festival on January 19th in Coeur d’Alene.

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Oh here is another homeschool event. I recommend you follow Exploring Families if you do not already for more fun events.

This one is Outdoor Education at Lutherhaven. The kids will play some broomball on the ice January 18th at 10am.

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Christian Family Home Educators is another great page to follow!

There is a field trip to Spokane County Water Resource Center January 25th at 10am.

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One of our favorites is Monster Jam! This is going to be at the Spokane Arena Saturday January 26th at 1PM. I have not looked to see if tickets are sold out, so hurry and grab them if they are still available!

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February 2nd at 9am you can join Home Depot for the kids to make their own Heart Candy Box. This one is at Liberty Lake, so you will need to see if there is one closer to you depending on where in Spokane you are.

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Oh my goodness and this one is just precious! Daddy Daughter Date Night at Trailhead Event Center in Post Falls on February 2nd at 6:30pm. Hurry and get your tickets!

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I will create another post later this month for more February events. I hope this helps you get out with family!

 

 

Set Your Mind on Things Above

Today in church, one of the songs we sang was ‘In my Father’s house, there’s a place for me‘ and part of the upcoming message already hit me. The Holy Spirit spoke to me and said stay focused on above, not on the earth around you, there is a place for you.

In past conversations, and even a recent one, with friends we joke about once we become an adult, it seems harder to make friends. As kids, you play on the playground, and you are instant friends. Of course there are silly little fights but then the next day you’re back to friends. As adults, you don’t just walk up to someone in the grocery store because they like the same brand of butter and ask them to hang out. You could, but I would imagine that they would give you a funny look like you might be slightly crazy lol.

We weren’t meant to do life alone, but sometimes, some of us struggle a little more to find our place with others. I highly recommend, if you find this is you, to check out the book I am Number 8 by John Gray. You might just find out why it seems harder, why you feel overlooked and not appreciated.

I know there have been times where I see someone seems to draw people in, but for some reason, you don’t have that connection with them, and we want to blame ourselves. Why am I not friends with them, why do they not like me etc. Well, it might not be anything other than you are not suppose to be in their circle nor they in yours. But we get caught up in wanting to be friends with the person everyone else seems to be friends with that we aren’t focusing on where God is trying place us.

This is where we dive a little more into the message given today during service. We have to stay focused on the things above, heavenly things, and not earthly things. We see this group of people we don’t fit in with, and get hung up on why and what can I do to fit in. We will stay in that struggle because there is nothing we can do if God does not want us there. Instead, we need to stay focused on God and His plan and in time, things will click so much easier than us trying to fight our way in. We won’t have to fight, the door will be open.

Stay focused on where you want to go, on God’s plan for you, and you will stay the course and end up where He wants you. If you get focused on the side of the path you end up off course and struggling to get where you should be.

While I can’t say that staying focused above will result in instant friends, I can say that you find yourself more at peace knowing that the right people will be placed in your life, and you in their life, by not fighting to fit in with the world around you.

I leave you with the verse from Colossians 3:2

Screen Shot 2018-12-30 at 1.45.23 PM photo credit to Illustrated Faith.

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Overcoming Emotional Insecurities

We are human, as as such we can have emotional ups and downs based on our own insecurities. Sometimes I think I am done with being insecure, and then something happens, an event, depression creeps back in, etc., and I am right back to fighting the insecurities I thought I left behind.

In these times, right in the height of emotions, I am not thinking about God or His word to us in these matters. I usually don’t think about that until I am back to “normal” and wondering why I got so worked up.

Why does this happen? Well, it’s a weakness of ours, and who likes to exploit our weaknesses? The enemy.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy;

Now that being said, sometimes the enemy can just sit back front row and watch us do the damage ourselves. It’s easy to say we are under enemy attack, and there are times we are, but sometimes we are our own worst enemy. I think that was my case yesterday. I started off with a thought in my head and spiraled down from there.

It is important for us to know our own weaknesses, so that we can pray for strength in those areas. Then we can also go to the bible and mark the verses that help us, write them down, memorize them, and keep them in our hearts for when we need them.

Philippians 4:6-9 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me-practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Thinking of what is worthy of praise, the good times, etc. is what helped me overcome depression. It takes time to make it a habit to think of only positive, or as much positive as possible. Our minds will eventually grab on to negative, but we have to be mindful of our own thoughts and change them when necessary. When we start to feel the insecurities sneak in and take hold of our emotions, we need to snap back out of that spiral downwards, replace those thoughts with only good/honorable thoughts, and choose to feel happy instead of sad/angry/etc.

I leave you with this verse in Romans and ask that you take some time, think about what grips you from time to time, and head to the scriptures now, to prepare for your next emotional battle.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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Image from Tell The Lord Thank You.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time……Wait, is it?

This is a time of year where depression soars and most of us, those who have never battled it or maybe are over through it ourselves, don’t even think about it. We are busy in our day to day activities getting ready for the holiday’s ourselves. Finalizing plans with family and friends. We are caught up in gathering what we need while out and about we don’t pay attention to those around us (and more than often we don’t pay attention to those around us any time of the year).

I woke up with the baby this morning, and had horrible acid reflux and some lower back pain (thanks kids lol). So I got up so that my restlessness didn’t keep her or my husband up. What do you do when you get up? Scroll through social media. I saw a post that said I wish someone would tell me I am not as worthless as I think I am. This was not shared by a person, but rather a page. But it caught my attention because I have felt that way may times myself. I started to share it and started to type a post to go with it and thought nope, I have too much to say for a simple post, let’s turn this into a blog post.

We have got to get our minds off of ourselves. I often share on my Facebook page that we should shine so brightly during our day those we come into contact with through our day can’t help but smile. I have ready many stories where someone was ready to end their life and then a simple hello and smile was what stopped them. Someone finally poured into their darkness with a ray of light.

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Picture credit to Mandy Freeman

If you suffer from depression, I understand, I have been there. I feel like sometimes it’s still a daily struggle, and other times I feel fine for months. Sometimes I don’t even realize I have slipped back down that depression slide. It can be a horrible circle that people don’t understand. We isolate ourselves because we are depressed, but then because we are isolated, we slip further down. Or, we do go out and about, but look for reasons to tell ourselves that we are not worthy, confirmations if you will.

Sometimes the best thing is to seek counseling and go on the medication. I do not advise anyone one way or the other. I went on medication, and hated the way it made me feel. I felt like counseling wasn’t doing anything to help me, it was a constant how are you feeling, how do you feel about that, how was this week, how does that make you feel.

I chose to go off of medication and to be self aware of how I was feeling. I decided I would choose happiness at the start of every day, and check my thoughts to make sure I was not getting lost in thought of anything to make me go back down. No, it was not easy. No it was not a quick process, and no I have not avoided ever having those feelings again.

I have avoided ever getting so low I wanted to take my life again though. Yes, I have felt that way lots of times in the past. I get so frustrated when people say suicide is selfish. Do you know why? For me, I cannot speak 100% for anyone else but I know this is the same for other, I thought it was best if I wasn’t in the lives of those around me. I thought I was a horrible person, causing pain to those I love by being alive. If I was gone, I would stop causing them pain, I would stop being a burden to them, and that they could live a happy life. I know now, that those thoughts were wrong. I know now that had I ever taken my life, I would’ve set my kids up to be more likely to commit suicide. It was learning that about my kids that snapped me out of EVER wanting to take my life again.

I had a pastor who talked about our thoughts and taking them captive. One of the most memorable things that worked during his message was a mind game. I doubt it would work reading it but he had us think of a horse running in an open field. Once we had that image in our mind he then went on to talk about a dog and then asked us if we still saw the horse. I no longer saw the horse. That is what we have to do with our thoughts. When we are spiraling down due to “feelings” and thoughts of worthlessness, we HAVE to focus on something else. We have to think about a time we were happy, or what we are looking forward with a coming event and stay focused there.

I had another pastor who said he set alarms on his phone to remind him to check his thoughts. I believe he said every hour to help him through the worst time. To this day he still has a few alarms set to remind him to check his thoughts.

Our thoughts are powerful. Our actions are powerful to those around who get lost in these thoughts, who are just looking for a ray of light in their darkness. Be that darkness.

I am not a counselor, I do not want to replace a counselor. Medication and counseling can be a great starting point to get out of the darkness. I share this so you know you are not alone, and that there are other ways to deal with depression if you find medication does not work for you or if you do not want to stay on it forever. Please do not stop taking your medication without your counselor’s knowledge, or the provider helping you.

Please keep these scriptures below on hand.

Psalm 3:3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.

Deuteronomy 31:8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Psalm 34:17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.

As christians, we need to remember to stay God centered, focus on His word, and show love to those around. It is not about us, but others. If we change our mindset, choose to be happy, and focus on others, we find that we aren’t focused on the lies that run through our head of worthlessness. The more we retrain our thoughts, focus on good things, the easier it becomes and the less we struggle with it. I won’t say you will never struggle again, but it will be less, and you will be equipped to fight it when you feel yourself slipping.

Life is messy. We all have at least one thing that we can use from our own life to help someone else. Don’t be afraid to share with what you have battled. It doesn’t define you. It’s about how you choose to move forward. God can turn our messes into a great message. Let Him.