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BE Blog

wife, mom, coach, & entrepreneur

Batman Confidence . . . Do You Have It?

Traci

Confidence.

Not cockiness. Not arrogance. Not pride.

Confidence.

Confidence is so attractive. Those who lack confidence are often jealous of those who do have confidence and sometimes even say things in an effort to try and make themselves feel better like downplaying or attacking the confidence of others.

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Planted With Purpose

Traci

"Plant your feet toward every purpose you were born for."    Beth Moore, Audacious

I love this quote and the decision that is part of this concept. Planting my feet is more than simply looking in a certain direction or even standing and pointing my feet in a certain, chosen direction. Planting implies commitment and decision.

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Snow Day Fun

Traci

I hope we are at the end of all the snow days. I am writing this on snow day number 8 in our town - iced over roads for the second day in a row. This is finals week and snow day number 2 of this week so it has definitely been a complicator for teachers and students. In fact my son who is a sophomore was all ready for his English exam this morning - all studied up and ready to go - and he is seriously not happy about the weather this morning!

FullSizeRender 7.jpg

I actually love snow days. I just prefer when they are little more spread out and involve things like a foot of snow so we can go outside and enjoy them. Honestly, when the snow days become more of the norm my kiddos (and maybe me a little bit too) become weak about getting up early and a five-day school week just might do them in (assuming we have one sometime soon!)

We have done some fun, creative, and profitable things on snow days and I thought I would share them with you. If you aren't having snow days this can apply to regular holidays where there is no school, summer vacation, spring break, or even some Saturday morning fun. There are tons of ideas on Pinterest and I am sure each of you have some ideas to share too. 

1. Bust a Move and Clean the House
Your kids may not agree, but snow days are great for getting some cleaning projects done. In the busyness of church, sports, school, and life in general sometimes we get behind in the cleaning department. This is a great time to give everyone a task or a list of tasks and hit the cleaning together. AND, it is very important to crank up the tunes! Music is an energy booster for cleaning house and it works for the kids too. Often we clean with a timer. For example: Let's all tackle one room or one area. We set the timer for ten minutes and work with speed. It's actually fun!

The Giant Candyland Game

The Giant Candyland Game

2. Get Creative
My girls like to look on Pinterest for ideas of things to do and create. This is where my older daughter came up with the idea for making a giant Candyland game. She took construction paper and made the squares (adding instructions to some of the squares for missing a turning or going to another square). She made a dice out of an old box in our recycling pile. It looked awesome and it was a lot of fun for everyone.

   No school - learning to make cheesecake!

   No school - learning to make cheesecake!

3. 3-20's
This is one of my favorite things that we first incorporated one summer to help the kids engage their brains, have purpose, and stay off their screens in the morning. They must complete 3 20-minute segments of an activity of their choice before they can get on screens. Some of our parameters: The activity for each segment can not be the same. General cleaning of their rooms does not count. We encourage them to choose something they want to learn, something to create, or doing something for someone else. The only reason they could use a computer would be to write or to do research.

They have done a wide variety of things in their 3-20's. Here are some:
1. Research an animal and write about it.
2. Write notes or letters to friends and family.
3. Plan an activity for the family. (One of the kids created a dinner and movie night for the family. They printed out tickets, researched food to prepare, etc. We didn't do the activity that day, but they spent several days of 20's working on this event and it turned out really cool.)
4. Reading
5. Coloring. Adult coloring books.
6. Creating or inventing using all the recycling materials in the house.
7. Deep cleaning in their room (wash windows, dust, rearrange)
8. Make a craft (Pinterest again is a great resource)
9. Cook or bake something

B and C playing around on ice.

B and C playing around on ice.

4. Family Movie
Avoid regular screens throughout the day and then enjoy a family movie together. Avoiding screens actually makes the family movie even more enjoyable. Don't forget the popcorn!

5. Play outside
When there is snow this is awesome. And, this also works in the summer. Sometimes the kids just need to be made to go out the door. Even if it isn't great weather for playing outside, have them get the mail or take photos with an iPod or iPhone. Moving around outside is always good, and the fresh air is helpful too.

So many wonderful ideas! Please share some of your best ideas with us below.

Be Extraordinary!

My name is Traci, and I love sharing insights that challenge and encourage people to be the best version of themselves. Click HERE to receive updates from Be Extraordinary!

Love Compels Us

Traci

What does Christ's love compel us to know, be, and do?
Christ's love compels me to know and understand who I am in relationship to God. God sent His only son, Jesus, to this world to become a man and live a perfect life, and do the miraculous in saving me! He died for the world . . . and he died for me. If God - and Jesus - could give up so much for me, for us, then shouldn't that love change me?

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I need need need

Traci

This book is stirring feelings within me that I haven't felt in some time. I've been a little numb. Ok, I've been a lot numb. I, who love setting goals and creating dream boards, have been asking myself questions like, "What's the point of goals and dreams?" I didn't like that I felt that way, but after several major disappointments and uncertainty about the future that question was my reality.

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Lift Your Head!

Traci

"I keep waiting to hear what you are going to do next!" These words were said to me with eager anticipation. My friend is waiting for my next extraordinary adventure. I have shared many of my dreams with this friend and after not seeing her for several months, she was ready for the next thing to be in motion. This came on a night when my heart was weary of the fight. The belief in my head and the feeling in my heart were not in alignment. I was feeling once again like God doesn't see, doesn't care, and is not going to respond.

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From Forgiveness to Thanksgiving

Traci

Pain. Hurt. Betrayal. Suffering. Most don't walk many days in their adult lives (or even in their lives period) without experiencing pain. Whether it's intentional or not, we humans have a way of hurting each other. We betray our word to ourselves and others, we cause pain, and we enact suffering. I, too, have experienced pain multiple times in my life. 2015 was one of my most difficult. It was a betrayal and pain that impacted my husband and my children which was part of the incredible intensity of the hurt and the ramifications continued into 2016.

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Surrendered to Your Design

Traci

I think there are two parts to surrendering to God's design. The first meaning I see is a surrender to how God designed me: my personality, my looks, my being, my gifts, my talents, and my abilities. These are all the things God chose to give me and all the the things he chose not to give me in regard to who I am. This is not really looking at any of the external influences in my life, but everything that God has made about my internal and external being.

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Thanksgiving is a Choice

Traci

The answer is the same: Give thanks. It's a choice.
Whatever your circumstance looks like, regardless of how little hope you feel for things to turn around . . . choose thanksgiving.

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Setting the Table for Thanksgiving

Traci

The table is one of my favorite parts of the thanksgiving meal. Ever since I was little I would help create name cards and set the table. This can be a great way to involve the kiddos and it doesn't have to be expensive.

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My Response is My Responsibility

Traci

It does not matter what has happened to you or around you, your response is always a choice. No one "makes" you mad or "makes" you respond in a certain way. You can choose a positive or joyful response, an angry response, a response of avoidance, a physical outburst, profanity, or to stuff your thoughts and feelings inside. You. Can. Choose.

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Inspired Thought

Traci

Have you ever had a million dollar idea? Not just the idea of winning a million dollars from the lottery or the McDonalds Monopoly game, but an actual, original million dollar idea? Regardless of how creative your think you are (or aren't), most people have had at least one million dollar idea. I have had many. From hotels to unique clothing (nose warmer) to kitchen gadgets, I have had a number of ideas that could have earned a million dollars.

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Real Rest in the Midst of the Hair Bump Crisis

Traci

My daughter was in a bit of a frenzy getting ready for school today. Everything seemed to be going fine until a trigger sent things awry. The trigger was a hair bump while trying to put up a pony tail. You know those hair bumps that are invisible to everyone else except the girl putting up the pony tail? It was one of those. This girl of mine is beautiful, with beautiful hair, and I'm pretty sure the last thing anyone would say to her today is that her hair looked bad because of a little, "invisible" hair bump.

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The Yellow Chair

Traci

My husband and I recently began a 13-week goal challenge. We are using the Best Self Journal as our format. When getting started there is information to read that helps in thinking through what big goals to set, what sub goals will help get there, and what main action steps will result in the accomplishment of those goals. One of the other things to set up before beginning the challenge is a morning and evening routine.

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Substitute

Traci Castaneda

Recently I completed all of the mounds of paperwork to become a substitute teacher in the school district where we live. My own kids are in the Intermediate school (4th-5th grade), middle school, and high school and those are the schools where I chose to sub. I want to sub because it allows me to connect to our new community. In the few short weeks I have subbed, I have met countless students, teachers, and staff in our district. They are awesome people and I enjoy getting to know them. I am also here because . . .

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Benefit of the Doubt

Traci

Last week my daughter, Celina, worked on a hand-written letter (with a colored picture) to the two ladies who serve lunch at her school. It was kind and sweet. She thanked them for fixing the food and also mentioned some of her favorites. I didn't think much about the note because every once in a while she will write a note to her teacher.

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Braces or No Braces

Traci

Tuesday, January 19, at 10:20am my beautiful daughter Bethany was scheduled to get her braces off. She is about one month shy of having had her braces for 18 months. This process was much quicker than anticipated, but getting them off was still very exciting. Bethany has been counting down the days since her December appointment, when Dr. Schultz told her the thrilling news:

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