Add a little excitement! Add the “extra” to the ordinary

Our mornings had been dragging and I realized that we were in that “feeling like it’s the end of the school year, not really close to the end of the school year, WISH it was the end of the school year” funk.

I could tell that the kids needed something to look forward to besides reading, writing, and arithmetic. But because we are so close to the end of our school year we need to be using our time wisely. Our homeschool co-op ends in a few short weeks and there are assignments that need to be completed, we are behind where I would like to be with our math curriculum, and in addition to those two items, some of our other subjects have gotten pushed aside on busier weeks.

As these thoughts were running through my mind the realization struck me, giving them something to look forward to doesn’t have to consume our entire morning. We can take an ordinary activity and just add a little “extra” to make it “extra”ordinary. As Mary Poppins would say, “Just a spoonful of sugar…”

Before you go thinking I gave my kids a spoon full of sugar, a different, more acceptable idea popped into my mind. Often times when I sense a change needing to take place in our home I will suddenly be inspired by an idea. Before I allow procrastination to take over… I take action.

So on that particular night, I grabbed a few sheets of colored paper and wrote down several simple activities that I knew the kids would enjoy. The one requirement I had was that the “FUN” could be completed in approximately 15 minutes. (FYI…When the 15 minutes ends I don’t yell “Time’s up! No more fun!”) 🙂

When I finished writing, I cut the papers into strips, folded them, and placed them into a bowl.

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I waited for just the  right morning. A day where we would be home for a good portion of it so that I wouldn’t feel pressed for time. I brought the bowl out from hiding and placed it on the counter. As the kids sat at the island eating their breakfast they noticed the colorful paper and began asking what it was for. The excitement built as I revealed that after breakfast and chores we would get to find out!

I probably don’t need to tell you that breakfast was scarfed down, beds were quickly “made”, and teeth were brushed (hopefully).

The kids arrived back at the counter in record speed and I explained to them that inside this bowl there are activities written on each paper. When they discover the bowl placed out on the counter, that means it will be an “extra” ordinary day.  Turns will be taken as to who draws the one paper for that day. When we read what’s on the paper there will be approximatey 15 minutes for this special activity before our usual schooling begins.

“You mean we get to do this before school?”

“What’s on them?”

“We each get to have a turn picking one?”

“Can I go first? PLEASE!”

Somehow Davis received the honor of choosing our first “fun” activity.


The kids raced off, ran upstairs, and began ransacking their closets looking for just the right outfits. I expected to see super heroes and army men coming down the stairs, but was surprised to discover that the boys had a mature interpretation of “dressing up”. Princess Anna I expected. 🙂


When the timer went off they gathered together and a fashion show ensued. Everyone was given an opportunity to walk the runway and to inform us about their personal selections. Great fun was had, along with many laughs, and without dragging our feet we headed to the school room.

Another day we drew this paper…


And sooooo….


It even provided an exciting area to complete some of our school work that day.

I probably should have come up with a fun name for our bowl like “Joy Jar” or “Boredom Buster Bowel” or “Glass full of Giggles”, but it’s just “bowl”.

On the mornings we need a little pick me up I place the bowl on the counter and allow the kids to discover for themselves that it is sitting out. Before too long I’ll hear someone proclaiming loudly to the rest of the pack, “The bowl’s out!”

Suddenly, without even trying, our ordinary day turns… extraordinary.

I consider how during different seasons of my life my Bible sat on the nightstand waiting to openned. It was never fully ignored. I would use it to complete Bible studies or to have a quiet time (mostly when it was convenient for my schedule). But, I don’t know that I fully grasped the “extraordinary” magnitude of this seemingly ordinary book.

The past few years I have been drawn in to God’s Word in a more intimate way than ever in my life. I see the extraordinary, the magnificence, the power that is found only in His Holy Book. The more I read, the more I want to continue. The more I read, the more I understand of Him. The more I read, the more I want to share with others.

Maybe you don’t have a “Joy Jar” or a “Glass Full of Giggles”, but do you have a Bible? If so, can I encourage you to please open it today, tomorrow morning, as soon as you read this?

Trust me as I say that reading His Word will take your ordinary days and turn them into something extraordinary.


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