So last week I shared with you a growing new interest called Bible Art Journaling. This week I thought it would be cool to share with how you can use art journaling not only for yourself, but to help the kiddos pay attention and grasp what the Lord is saying through His precious Word too!
This particular project we did while reading through Jonah(I know shocking right?) I always have little projects, or just simple coloring pages ready, when I do the morning devotions with the youngsters. They art while I read.
This project was especially fun as I didn’t critique they’re color choices or placement of their shadow box characters. I simply showed them mine and then read the Bible, while they, completely unchecked, decided how they wanted their masterpieces to look.
The below projects we used to keep interest in a rather boring part(to the kids anyway) the Genealogy of Christ. So we made family trees. We also used it as a review on the stories and characters we had already learned about(we’ve been reading through the Bible for about a year now). So don’t be daunted by “hard” and/or “boring” passages of Scripture.
In the end all that’s really important is that you’re spending time with your kids, rearing and training them in the way they should go. And the most important thing is that they are hearing God’s Word and seeing the importance you’re putting on it by making it a priority.
Welcome back to the ole blog! I cannot believe that this weekend is July 4th. It frankly doesn’t even seem possible. And since weather in Wisconsin has been the equivalent to the rainy season in the tropics it doesn’t exactly feel like summer.
I realized I have never done a post dedicated just to nannyhood in the summer. It looks a lot different than nannying at other times of the year. Super busy and yet somehow laid back and more at ease. (Note: I have done a few nanny related posts last summer here and here but not one totally dedicated to the summer perspective) So here are four easy tips/tricks/things I have learned going on 4 years of being a professional live-in nanny!
#1 Never Ending Activity
I feel like summer is misleading. You naively think, “Oh, school is over! The calendar will empty!” Yeah no. Swim lessons, swimming, dance lessons, family visits, community events(outdoor movies, water shows, live concerts) and the list seems to go on and on and on.
For me personally this month next month and August are booked solid as far as work goes, which quite honestly has spilt into my personal life. So much happening!
My advice is to go with the flow as much as possible, but do not let yourself get burnt out. If it is getting to be too much say “No.” No I can’t cover an extra hour. No I don’t want to come the fifth pool party this month. (I mean seriously?!) It gets to be much. Even for people who are super sociable, which I am not. LOL
So allow yourself the grace to say, “No.”
#2 Don’t Forget to Have Fun
That’s my philosophy this summer. Whether I am working or not I intend to enjoy every second of this season. (I’ll let you know how it works out) so yes you’re gonna be crazy busy and the endless stuff can easily become overwhelming(remember it’s okay to say no) but instead of looking at the list of “to do” look at all the crazy, amazing opportunities you have!
One of the greatest benefits of being in this kind of profession is having the access to life experiences you might never have gotten to enjoy otherwise. I for one am extremely blessed for all of the things I have learned, heard and seen in my tenor as a nanny.
#3 Give Grace
To the kids, to the your boss, to your friends, to you… to the kids… to the kids… Emotions can run high in the heat and remember the overwhelmed feeling you have in your chest when looking at the calendar is the same exact feeling everyone else has. The kiddos especially are feeling the strain of long, hot days packed full of adventure. So allow yourself and them days where you do nothing. And if you can’t do that allow for mistakes, frayed emotions and quick tears. It’s gonna happen.
#4 It Won’t Always Be This Way
My final bit of advice is to remember that life is constantly changing. Moving. So enjoy this time, it’s ups and downs and quick turn around while you can. You have no guarantee of tomorrow. So have fun with those kids and yes go for that late night paddle board ride with your sister. This summer is going fast!
Hello all! I hope everyone had a fabulous Easter. It has turned out to be a very wet week here in Wisconsin, but I personally love the spring showers. One, because they mean green and growing things and additionally they remained me of fairy tales, an English countryside and simpler ways. Which as I find I am more and more drawn too. Anyone else?
While I am super excited to get outside once the rain has passed; rainy days are practically made for arts and crafts. Below are four of my all time fav crafts that I have done with the kiddos.
I guess I should have said these are the top four projects we’ve done in the last six months. And most of them tie into whatever we’re learning in school, but are still fun and simple crafts you could do with your littles.
First up are these awesome Greek shields(we were learning about Greece obviously) and they were very fun to make. The easiest way would be to take pizza cardboard circles, then google Greek shield patterns and paint. I outlined the designs for the kids and then let them paint in the blank spaces. It was loads of fun.
Next is this visual representation of the Four Seasons by Vivaldi(again school related) that turned out a lot better then I thought it was going to. Using oil pastels and then coconut oil on q-tips to blend the colors. We “arted” while we listened to Vivaldi’s composition. It was a really relaxing Saturday morning. Again I drew the tree and then let them have at it. Just directing them to think of the colors of spring. And what colors make other colors. We talked lots about color and picking them with purpose for this project(A color wheel is very helpful to have handy)
This project was from last year but was also school related and was just so much fun to do! Using painting tape you cover up the bridge and then just using acrylics and our fingers we blended like Monet. Once dried we coated it with Modge Podge to give it the nice sheen.
Finally if you want endless rounds of laughter grab your favorite Barbie Doll, dress her in her best and roll her in t.p. Make sure you do the recommended three wraps(like the Egyptians did) and then wrap her in a blanket(or felt sheet) before taping on your carefully colored death mask. If you aren’t in stitches at this point burry your mummified Barbie in a cardboard box sarcophagus, which you can also decorate. One of the littles took this project even further and buried his mummy under his bed with treasures, statues and extra clothes for the afterlife. I unwittingly stumbled upon the burial ground when cleaning a few weeks ago. Let me just say it made my day!
So there you have it, some fun activities for you and your littles to do. Let me know if you do any of these projects I’d love to hear how they turned out for you.
So I had an interesting conversation a couple of weeks ago from a mother, who was considering homeschooling and what that would look like for her family. When she found out I was homeschooled and am now helping to homeschool two first graders, she had many, many questions. I thought it would be fun to do a quick interview with myself based off what we talked about and share it here.
What has your experience with homeschooling been?
So I and my siblings were homeschooled from kindergarten all the way through high school. Some families choose to let their kids to go to public or private high school, and while we were all given that option none of us chose that route. Which I think speaks volumes about our experiences.
So you enjoyed being homeschooled? What do you think you gained by being homeschooled?
For myself I loved being homeschooled! Yes it was super nice to not have to go to school(and therefore get dressed) And it was nice to have your school day go from 9am-1pm. What kid wouldn’t like that? Plus we followed a traditional school year from Labor Day to Memorial Day with a nice long summer break.
However if I was to pick one thing as my chief advantage, or take away from being homeschooled it would have to be: the ability to learn. If I don’t know something both in an academic and practical sense, I know I can learn it. Because I’ve done it before.
Homeschooling requires discipline on the student’s part to sit and get your work done. Especially as we got older our school work became a list of required reading, tests and worksheets, papers written and essays turned in. Our Mom(and Dad) didn’t sit there beside us and make sure we did it. On Mondays we got our assignments for the week and then on Fridays we had to turn it in. This taught us time management and organization in addition to the discipline to learn. I now have the ability to be like, “Yeah I don’t know anything about this subject but I know the steps to learn it.” This is undoubtedly the greatest strength homeschooling taught me.
So what was the biggestdisadvantage?
With homeschooling your topics can play(and normally do play) to your parents strengths. So for instance I can’t play musical instruments or read music, but I’ve written six novels and I wrote three of those in high school. (One for school and two just cause) My history and language skills are very cemented. Can you guess which were my parents’ strengths? Yep history and language. Neither of my parents are musically talented and so we had a disadvantage there. These of course can be supplemented outside the home.
What’s one stereotype of homeschoolers that you’ve run into the most?
Do you feel like you’re socially inept? I have been asked this sooo many times.(which frankly I find the question quite rude) And the answer is no… Do you think I’m socially inept? Being a homeschooled kid doesn’t mean I was locked in the basement until I turned eighteen. We went to church, AWANA, I was a Girl Scout, my sister played softball, etc. So no I am not socially inept.
Anyway I hope this was informative! If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask me.
Hello all my wonderful readers! As I write this post(which you will get next week as perusal) I am laying in my bed on my yearly work trip to Pittsburg, PA.
We usually visit the Steel City in the summer, but because of the crappy year formally known as 2020 it got pushed back all the way to 2021… yay…
Being a live-in can require traveling with the family you work for, which I have covered here. As well as a bonus post about being a nanny when just the parents travel(here) This is probably one of my favorite things about nanny hood. I have always been up for adventures and exploring new places and to do that for free? And to get paid to boot!(not that there’s not work involved- there is) Such a cool and rewarding experience.
So without further ado here are some of the picks from the trip. Hope you enjoy!
Not a lot of pics mainly because the family I work for just visited family and everything else was pretty much on lock down. But it was a really nice trip.
Also guys be sure to check out my “Nannyhood” section on the website for even more info on my dream job. Or if traveling is more your thing(wanderluster over here) then check-out all my many travel blogs and look books.
I’ve had the idea for this post for quiet a bit now but haven’t been that inclined to finish it. But I thought I would make a quick list of skills a nanny/governess should consider investing in.
I mean when could you not benefit from learning another language? Any employer would be excited to see it listed on your resume. As far as languages to learn go, of course any of the more frequently spoken: Spanish, French, and if you’re very adventurous Mandarin. But maybe if phonetics aren’t your thing learning ASL is a plus or Latin(from a homeschooling perspective this is a plus. Homeschoolers love their Latin)
Another plus from learning another language is that many families are specifically looking for a traveling nanny(one ad I saw said they traveled six months of the year- but you had to be speak another language) So if that kind of job peeks your appeal definitely invest in the bilingual experience.
Much like learning another language, when wouldn’t you benefit from learning an instrument? Homeschoolers love this(governess material please) and many families want their kids at some point or another to pursue a musical instrument. The ability to read sheet music and bang away(even if you’re not Mozart) at a tune is a plus!
Arts and Crafts-
Just a little added bonus, but if you have a natural inclination to arts and crafts this is definitely something to list on your resume. Many parents would love you to be able to stimulate their littles’ minds with art and creating things. The kiddos I work with love the “projects” I throw together.
We’re talking tennis, soccer, running, etc. Much like arts and crafts if you have a natural inclination to a sport or a particular physical activity(like swimming) this is something you could also list on your resume. I guess just a big thing to remember is that some of your hobbies can be beneficial for your career.
Another thing I want to stress here guys is that you don’t need to possess all of these skills, nor do you need to invest in all of them. These are merely ideas for you if you wanted to add a little something, something to your resume.
And that’s it guys! Have a great day and a very happy Thanksgiving!
For the next two months the family I work for will be beside a lake, enjoying the sun and the wildlife. It’s a new experience for us all and has been a bit stressful. But now that we have been here a week I’m praying things will settle down.
In approaching this new experience as a nanny I thought I should shed some light on what(if you’re a nanny yourself or considering becoming one) a two month stay at a summer house could look like. I say could since obviously each situation is different. My two month stay in the Wisconsin lake country may look totally different to your four month stay in Europe. But extended vacations like the one I am currently on are often apart of the nanny experience in some way or another. And therefore need to be considered.
A few tips…
Okay let’s just jump into it, shall we? I think if there’s one piece of advise I could offer up for any situation/change in nannyhood it would be this: Go with the flow and don’t feel like you have to do it all!
I am so guilty of this it isn’t even funny. For some reason I think it’s my mission in life to make sure everybody gets from point A to point B all by myself. While I am certainly expected to help(with packing, planning and often driving one of the vehicles) that in no way means I am expected to do it all. It’s my employers vacation after all and not mine. If we’re late and/or forget something(as long as I wasn’t in charge of packing it) that’s not on my shoulders. Does that make sense?
Tip #2 would have to be: Show grace. Everybody is stressed. As I mentioned before this is not only a new experience for me but for my employers as well. So guess what? We have no idea what we’re doing! As I have said in previous posts, normally(not all the time mind you) the stress you are feeling your boss is feeling as well. Not only them but your chargers might be out of sorts too. They’re excited to be on vacation and might be a little high strung and moody until things settle back down. So let’s be patient with one another.
Tip #3: enjoy the adventure! Let’s face it going to a lake house free of charge and being paid to swim and boat and spend all day outside is the equivalent of a dream job. (Though as discussed in this post nannying is not a walk in the park) So let go of the things you can’t control, try your best to be patient with those around you and enjoy the work vacation. Yes it’s stressful, but in the end if it’s your calling count your blessings instead of naming your grievances.
I hope this was informative. As always if you have any questions about nannying leave a comment below or on any of my social accounts. Also for a look at “nannying on vacation” click here.
With everything that’s going on at home and board I thought it would be interesting for you guys to see how this crisis has effected my job and presumably fellow nannies. I imagine my circumstances, while having slight difference are still somewhat standard for others in this same line of work. Anyway in this brief post(well it was supposed to be a brief post) I will cover how my job has changed and how it hasn’t changed since Covid-19(CCP).
Different but the same…
First off as a live-in nanny(which is different from a live-out nanny and which I have covered here) has been very good in the since that I haven’t had the learning curve that many of you have had to go through in regards to working at home and juggling everything that means.
Learning how to prioritize what needs to get done when; how to work 9-5 alone and in the confines of your own four walls. To wear pj’s all day, or get dressed and actually attempt to look human. How to still get exercise and not gain the dreaded pounds with the TV and fridge so conveniently located next to you. And since you’re not seeing anyone for the foreseeable future who cares if you eat all the pizza??(Not that wearing pjs all day is wrong. Nor that eating all the pizza is bad, but maybe not wise??)
Being spared these troublesome questions, since I have worked where I live for the last two years now, has left me somewhat out the loop of my friends. They are all struggling to find that balance and productive contentment in an “at home” setting. With that being said I thought I would just briefly share a few things I have learned about working at home. (These things have helped me so I’m not going to say that they’ll absolutely work for you. But if you’re a morning person with a bit of OCD and an obsessive people pleaser they might work for you!)
Set a routine- Now you could do this in your head like a sane person. Or write out a calendar and write down everything you need to get done just so you can have the thrill of checking it off, like me. Whatever floats your boat. My daily routine basically looks the same everyday, because I’m obsessive like that.
Get dressed- Or at least change from your pjs to your sweats. I feel totally gross and super unproductive if I wear me pjs all day. Even if I get a lot of stuff checked off my to-do list, if I’m not wearing actually clothes it feels like all my accomplishments are null and void. And I have randomly selected Wednesday as the day I actually get dressed dressed and put on makeup(which I haven’t been doing at all to be honest) I’m not sure exactly why Wednesday, but… I’ll go with it.
A daily to-do lists- Sort of attached to the above point, but every work day I make a list of things I need to get done. This ensures I have tasks to get done over my 6:30 am to 4:30 pm work day. I tend to get my biggest tasks done early just because that’s when I have my peak of energy. But I want to make sure I have productive activity to do all day, which to be honest is normally never a problem.
So what’s different?
School work- Having the twin, six yr. olds attending 5k five, full days a week and then suddenly not has been a bit of a challenge and has probably been the biggest change. However since my boss already home schools her two older boys and being a homeschool kid myself it hasn’t been too bad. In fact we’re having fun. Maybe I’ll do a crash course post on homeschooling for all you haven’t had to do it before. Let me know if that is something you would be interested in.
Off hours- I am a homebody and enjoy my me time, so I don’t mind the solitude too much… except at night when I’m tired of talking to myself. It has been fun though hanging with my sister(so blessed she’s here with me) and my work family. We’ve been playing games and just hanging out.
Pay/employment- A big change that hasn’t happened to me, but definitely could be looming ahead for any nanny. My position as a nanny is a luxury in a way, so I can imagine that me and my fellow nannies know that our jobs depend on our bosses and in the end might not be considered a necessity. My boss owns several businesses and with the way the economy has stopped it has made all small businessmen worried. I am so thankful for my employers and how they have been very transparent with me and so far so good. I know some who are not so fortunate.
These have been the biggest changes for me personally. I hope this was at least interesting a killed a few minutes of your time.
Being a nanny(as previously covered here) requires one to have great communication skills and the ability to work well with a team while also being a self started, who can still accomplish goals on your own. You will normally find the above listed skills in almost any ad in some form or another.
I am best working on projects or tasks alone, simply because I am perfectionist and hate to be micromanaged. That being said working in and with a team is a vital skill for anyone pursuing this kind of work.
You will be expected to work with the parents and let them, well, micromanage you. They get ultimate say in whatever, since they are the parents and these are their kids. You will also be expected to work with other staff if they have any. Cooks, cleaners, house managers, other nannies(if any) etc. This again requires strong communication on your part.
If you are the “lead” or head or only nanny, it is your job to know what the kids will need from all of these other staff members. You will also need to learn how the chain of command works. In the household I work in everything goes through the mom’s personal assistant. She handles what meals get made, when the cleaning lady comes to the house, family appointments, and any workers for house maintenance. If I need something or have a suggestion it all run first by her.
Now there exceptions, like a kid is sick or having trouble in school. These things (9 times out of 10) I will take directly to the mom. So one of the first things I would consider mastering when you land a new position is how the chain of command and communication works. Don’t be afraid to ask! Who do I ask about an extra cleaning of the kids’ rooms? Who do I talk to about making a special meal for the kids? Johnny needs his teeth cleaned do I have to go through anyone to make this happen or can I handle it myself? You get the gist.
A final point which has come up lately(namely with covid-19) is being able to wear other hats of the team. With the desire to quarantine and keep the traffic in and out of the house to a minimum has meant the remaining staff to perform other duties. Like cooking meals and cleaning bathrooms. This can happen for other reasons of course, so being prepared and willing to flex into other roles is a good skill to have.
Anyway I hope this was informative, or at least interesting. As always if you have any questions do not hesitate to DM me, or leave a comment down below.
I just made paper dollhouses for the kiddos. And we had a blast creating our houses and families. Did any of you make paper doll houses? For the uneducated a paper dollhouse is normally created by taking/making a binder and then cutting out furniture, decor and sometimes even people from magazines. Or if one is very creative and patient drawing it all by hand.
My Mom used to purchase JcPenny’s yearly catalog, which if anyone remembers was absolutely ginormous! After she was done perusing it I was given an extra notebook, scissors and glue to create a world with. My Mom made paper dollhouses when she was a child and I loved making them. Every year I made a new one. My last paper dollhouse however was undoubtedly my favorite. I still remember it.
In honesty it was more like a paper village than a dollhouse. My Mom also used to get a Victorian magazine of some kind and inside was a page of Victorian style, little furniture and gorgeous glass dolls. I carefully cut out the tiny piece and drew a house in which they could fit. Next I drew other houses and other tiny people. Before long I had an entire village. Logically I made up my own Jane Austin type story revolving around four, poor sisters: Anastasia, Mary, Jane and Elizabeth.
They were much like the sisters from Little Women. Anastasia was the eldest and had fiery red hair. She was an aspiring artist and also the prettiest of the sisters. Her love interest was the neighboring Lord’s son, who every girl in the county was after but who only loved her. But Anastasia wasn’t perfect. When her widowed father was dying and only she and Mary were at home to care for him, Anastasia could not take her grief and fled from the home. Mary sent her to live with the afore mentioned Lord and son until their Father had passed. Now her sisters never blamed her for this, but Anastasia always saw it as a failing and never forgave herself for not being with her beloved father when he died.
Mary was also a red head and had a very fiery temper. She could be crass and had a good head on her shoulders. After the untimely death of her father, Mary really came into her own. Anastasia quickly married her wealthy husband, so Mary took over the running of her family’s small farm and with the help of her father’s shrewd lawyer turned a profit. Unfortunately her strong will and merciless tongue kept her from love, cause honestly she was a little too hot to handle. In my story her happy ending didn’t come to the very end. After watching all her sisters eventually settle down and have children, Mary longed for her someone to call her own. That’s when her long time friend and lawyer, who had stuck with her through thick and thin finally confessed his feelings for her. He hadn’t wanted to slow her down and he was a good deal older than her, plus they fought so much he thought their marriage would be disastrous. But he could no longer hide. How romantic is that?
Jane being the third sister was very quiet and dreamt of being an author. She was delicate with soft blonde hair. She was the first sister to marry, marrying her life long love and moving to the city. She tried her hand at writing, while her husband tried his hand at business. Neither endeavor was very successful. Not long after the birth of their son the family fell ill. Jane’s husband died and she would remain sickly for the rest of her life as would her son. After the death of her husband Jane moved back in with her sister Mary. Her depression and grief lasted long and was very bitter, but she ended up challenging all her pain into a book for her son, so he could know who his father was. The book ended up being very successful and made her somewhat wealthy in her own right. After this she was able to move on and eventually fell in love with the county doctor, who had been her husband’s best friend. And they lived happily ever after. (After many dramatic close calls of course)
Finally Elizabeth. She was dark headed and for most of her character arc very fool headed. She almost eloped with a solider but thankfully Mary and the family lawyer were level headed enough to stop her. She took a year long trip as a companion to her wealthy friend to London and Paris and New York. She tried her hand at acting and singing. This is where she met a wealthy American manufacture and finally settled down. Incidentally her future husband was one of Mary’s biggest investors. Small world isn’t it?
These are just the main characters. I had many side characters and subplots going as well. It was very intricate.
How to make your own paper dollhouse…
Anyway… so I don’t know if you guys wanted to know all that, but hay. When it comes to making your own paper dollhouse all you need is a notebook, scissors, glue, a magazine and a healthy dose of imagination.