Thursday, November 27, 2014

Giving THANKS!

This week my sista' friends and I over at BLOG HOPPIN' are hosting a "Giving Thanks" linky series!  Each day we are focusing in on a different letter of "T..H..A..N..K..S" and sharing what we are most thankful for.

Well... I was so busy being THANKFUL for all of my teaching responsibilities this week {wink! wink!} that I fell a bit behind in getting my initial posts up.  SOOOO... I have decided to just be THANKFUL for your patience and understanding with me... and play a little game of "catch-up" right now! #keepinitreal

So... Let the THANKFULNESS begin!

Oh yes!  If you know me, you know I'm a bit "tradition obsessed!"   I think traditions are so important! Traditions can be BIG, small, serious or goofy...but their value, in my opinion is ENORMOUS!

Besides being down right fun, research shows traditions are incredibly important for families.  They provide a source of identity and can "tell a story" about your family and cultural or religious history.  Traditions have proven to strengthen a family's bond and provide comfort and security.  Traditions teach family values.  Traditions connect generations... and traditions create lasting memories.  {Wanna' know more about the value of traditions?? Click HERE to check an awesome blog post by The Art of Manliness Blog!}

I have intentionally started dozens of traditions in my little family including:

If you follow me on Instagram (@hollyehle) you've already seen our weekly family fun adventures.  Enough said.  

* Dates with Dad 
Since Lexi was about two, Troy has taken her out on "dates" to spend special time with her and show her (in action) how a real, Godly man should treat a lady (opening doors, pulling out chair, etc.) so Lexi grows up knowing how a man should treat her. (We do mother/son dates too! You'd better believe my sons know how to hold doors and pull out chairs for their momma!)

*While I'm Away Box
This is a little tradition I started when I had to travel away from my little ones.  It takes kiddos from crying and begging you not to leave... to "How soon can you leave, Mom?!"  LOL  Click HERE to see a previous blog post about it!

*Family Value Keys
This one may be my FAV!   I have had this little display in a hallway at my house since the kiddos were tiny. 
{It's NOT the best pic...but you will get the idea!}

  Each key you see is engraved with a specific "value" that we, The Ehle Family, believe is important to teach/pass on to our children.  
When we catch one of our kiddos showing or "living" this value, we take the key and "give" it to that child.   When they were young, I would string the key they "earned" on a ribbon as a necklace, and then that child would wear it around his/her neck for a day.  When their friends, preschool teachers, or even strangers would see the key necklaces and ask the kiddos what they were for... my kiddos would then explain that they are our family value keys and then explain how they earned that specific key.  As they grew a bit older, they were less fond of "wearing" the we would hang them on their bedroom doors and they would be exempt from chores for a day. LOL We also have a special box that we keep a candle and a journal inside.  At dinner, on the night that someone earns a key, we light the candle "in honor" of that child and the value they exhibited and record it in our family values journal.   A little bit cheesy, you say?  Yes.. perhaps.  But INCREDIBLY meaningful... and I've already begun my key collections to pass on to my kiddos when their first children are born.   

Ugh.. I have dozens more to share...but ya'll may get tired of them.  So I'll stop here!  {But if any of y'all are ever looking for a new tradition...just leave a comment!  I love sharing ideas about traditions with other tradition lovin' peeps!  Umm.. I may or may not have started a blog a year ago called "Traditionally Speaking"... that doesn't have a post up yet.  TIME! TIME!  Anyone know where I can find an extra day in the week??}

Anyways... In my heart, T is definitely for TRADITIONS.

My "H" for this thankful week is "HIM."  I am so thankful for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.  He has showered me with countless blessings, none of which I am worthy to receive.  I am so thankful for the endless grace, peace and mercy He grants me each day.  To God be the Glory.  

Piggybacking on Elizabeth's BLOG HOPPIN' "A" post... I am thankful for "A Good Book" every day of my life!   Of course, the best "good book" is "THE GOOD BOOK," the Bible....but I have some other FAVS too!

As any avid reader would tell ya, my FAV list of books changes monthly....but here are some books on my FAV list right now:

1. Train the Brain to Hear
LOVE this book!   Seriously people, if you are a teacher... you NEED this book!  This book helps you with "those" students we ALL have in class.  You know, "the ones" that struggle...but we can't seem to figure out exactly why!   It's all about helping those kiddos who struggle to stay focused and explains how to use brain training techniques to encourage development of more effective auditory learning connections.  It also focuses on showing you how to reach those kiddos who struggle with ADD/ADHD, low spectrum autism and auditory processing disorders. In my opinion, it's basically a teaching course we all SHOULD have had in college...but never did!  

2. Crash Course
Crash Course: The Life Lessons My Students Taught Me

My #1 BEST READ of the year, my blogging friends, is this little gem!   It will change your life FOREVER!!!   If you aspire to re-ignite your passion for teaching and become THE BEST teacher you can be...simply read this.   TRUST ME.   

3. Set the Stage 2 Engage (TPT E-book)
Student Engagement: A Guide to Teaching Outside the Box
My girls, Babbling Abby and Cara Carroll, sum up the AWESOMENESS of this e-book with these reviews:
"If there’s one resource you purchase this school year, let it be Set the Stage to Engage! Not only is it packed with detailed descriptions of lessons, ideas, and engaging activities, but it is accompanied by pictures to help you visualize them at work in a real classroom! Hope will inspire a renewed sense of creativity and passion within your teacher-heart, and I guarantee she will spark the enthusiasm you need to make this your best year yet. With a focus on kids, creativity, and content, Set the Stage to Engage is perfect for first year teachers and seasoned veterans alike. Add to your cart NOW!"

Babbling Abby
Teacher Blogger
The Inspired Apple

"Set the Stage to Engage is a MUST HAVE for every teacher!! Whether you're in need of ideas & activities that engage & inspire, or just a breath of fresh "teaching" air, this comprehensive resource has it ALL! Hope has thought of EVERYTHING you need to engage your kids in fun, yet meaningful & effective, learning. If you invest in anything this year, invest in Set the Stage to Engage and in turn, you will be investing in an unforgettable school year for both you and your students!"

Cara Carroll
Teacher Blogger
The First Grade Parade

I know I'm preaching to the choir on this one, blogging friends....
But this girl is wiped out!   I love, love, love teaching and I dedicate countless hours to trying my best to make every day a magical, yet rigorous, learning experience in my classroom.  I sleep very little, and often don't spend as much time as I want to with my kiddos and hubby, all in the name of dedicated teaching.... so this weekend, this girl is going to take some time for the "N" in THANKS.... Needed rest!  

What about K and S, you ask??  Well, you will have to wait until the 28th and 29th for those posts!  

Until then... if you need me, I'll be snuggling with my kiddos in my PJs, playing Pictionary with the fam, or just plain sitting in my comfy chair taking a minute to just watch my family, taking in all the blessings that are sitting right before me.... 

Oh... And I'll be thanking God for YOU too!   Blogging has changed my life and provided me with the best, most inspiring friends a girl could as for!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today...


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