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Monday, December 15, 2014

An article I found in my email

 in Disguise
The Five Obstacles to Homeschool Success That are Blessings in Disguise

Do you sometimes struggle to make your homeschool live up to your ideals? Here are five ways in which so-called obstacles to your homeschool success may actually be blessings in disguise! 
obstacles1. Does schoolwork take longer than you think it should?
You may feel pressured to accomplish more as a homeschooling parent, but the truth is that there are only so many hours in a day, no matter who you are! Many teachers, from Tai Chi masters to musicians, will tell you that a task performed slowly and deliberately with awareness is of much greater educational benefit than one performed quickly and thoughtlessly. Say good-bye to high blood pressure and enjoy the freedom homeschoolers have to take our time and enjoy the process!
2. Are your plans continually changed by unexpected life events?
We can only do so much to influence what happens in our family’s lives. Controlling every minute may not be the best option for anyone, not in the least because it is impossible! John Lennon reportedly said, "Life is what is happening while you’re busy making plans." Homeschoolers can stop where we are when unexpected events crop up, and start where we left off when it’s time for schoolwork again.
3. Do difficult emotions seem to block your every move?
Breathe! Yogis, athletes and medicine people all teach that breathing deeply gives strength and improves emotional mastery. Emotions are energy in motion. They’re a vital part of life! Emotional suppression has been linked to physical and psychological illness, but as homeschoolers we can give our children’s emotions (and our own) the attention they deserve, whenever that anger, sadness, or fear rears its ugly head.
4. Does preparing and eating food seem to take half your day?
Or do you find yourself eating junk food to save time for schoolwork? An Ayurvedic proverb states, "When diet is correct, medicine is of no need." Eating well is essential to good health; preparing and eating healthy meals and snacks is never time wasted. Homeschooled children can grow up with real-world knowledge of how to eat well – the time and effort, and enjoyment involved.
5. Does your family seem to wake up later every day?
This may seem like an obstacle to success, but take another look! The media is filled with reports of the many benefits of a good sleep to a person’s emotional, psychological, and physical well-being. Instead of criticizing ourselves, we homeschoolers should congratulate ourselves when we can allow our families to get the rest they need.
The gifts of homeschooling are many. I am always surprised to find another one hiding right in plain view!
-Elise Kennedy is the author of Canadian Winter Homeschool Materials from CurrClick.com

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wax on Wax off...

video
The title... dont ask ;) haha

Guess what?!!! Dakota has received his white belt! He was so excited and we are so proud of him!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Time is My Favorite Time

I don't know what it is about Christmas Decorations and Lights in the house that makes me feel like our home is magical but I LOVE IT!!! We had our Christmas stuff up around Thanksgiving and every night I just sit and take it all in while the kids are asleep.






Don't mind my blue tape at the top of the gray wall. I'm a chicken and waiting for my husband to get that part down because its too hard for me ;)

Friday, December 5, 2014

I Am A Child of Royal Birth


I recently went through some random binders of stuff I had saved and came across this activity that I received when I was living in Fort Worth, Texas very many years ago. I was immediately excited knowing that their was more where that came from!!! One Relief Society Meeting Upon A Time we did a Family Home Evening planning where we got a various array of lessons to teach our families together. We did it as our Scripture Study for school. It came with a great story and this fun crown to cut and decorate and write on the back of each others the good values we see in our siblings. They loved it! Even though they already knew they are a Child of God it never hurts to hear and be reminded of it again and again. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Wow! It has been a while!

The kids and I took a MUCH NEEDED break from school and routines in general. 
They were fighting all the time and misbehaving in public. 
I was going INSANE
The first week we did a detox from schooling, games, AND movies. SO HARD!!! 
 I made them play with their ... wait for it... TOYS and spend quality time together. They hated it the first couple days but they actually started learning to be creative after that. It was nice! The next week we just enjoyed not having a schedule and being able to say yes to anything we wanted to do. We did lots of playdates and family visits. It was nice while it lasted but I'm glad to have schooling back in our routine. The kids are too. They beg for it now haha. 

While we did this 2 week break I started a reward system in our home.  

The Marbles!!!  
They get marbles for doing chores, for behaving in public, for doing nice things for each other, for eating their meals without giving me grief, for putting their shoes away when we first walk in the door instead of just throwing them in the floor where ever they want, for accomplishing a school day, etc. I take away marbles for embarrassing me in public, arguing, getting into trouble. They try to earn the most marbles for a whole week then on Friday night we count them all and tally it up and announce the winner for the week. We do not allow them to count through the week because then they get lazy and uncaring about the system. The reward for the winner is $20! Yes that seems like alot but the perks for me is I am not doing all of the cleaning in the house. I feel like I treat them less like slaves if they are happy about doing the chores haha. I know its their duty as a family to help in the household but I like that this encourages them to WANT to do it and they get excited about something. 


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Once Upon A Time...


Mommy was a little CUNTRY! Yes I spelt that wrong. Just throwing my accent into it ;) My children have no idea how cuntry Mommy grew up as. So when this song came on while driving in the car and Mommy starts singing it at the top of her lungs and dancing and knowing EVERY SINGLE WORD the kids start wondering what the heck is going on. Dakota starts getting embarrassed as he normally does lately when he isn't comfortable with the said situations going on. Lexie and Alexander start laughing at me. Oh well!!! I kept singing! It had to be dun! ;) This was my jam growing up!!!

I find no matter how far from the country I move and how involved I am in my "city" I still miss the 4 wheeler ridin', muddin', hanging out at the lake or deer lease every weekend with a huge fire going. I miss horses and the scenery and the everyone is your family type of towns (...sometimes ;)... )




Sunday, November 9, 2014

A child's prayer!

A child's prayer is the most sweetest and innocent prayer ever! I should start recording our children's. Tonight Alexander said in the middle of his, "Please help us to be so so SO good. Bless us that we may return to heaven." I couldn't help but to giggle with a warm heart!







Wednesday, November 5, 2014

More Meal Prepping




Let's just say I would be doing much better if there wasn't all of this Halloween Candy in the house!!! And I wasn't hooked on soda AGAIN!!! ARGH! I know I know! I said I was going to gut this house and I did... some ;) Step by step.

Anyways. The kids and I did this workout together today and I am a sweaty mess! Wheww!





Saturday, November 1, 2014

Another Lifestyle Change

Here's another lifestyle change that I hope sticks around!!! Adam and I have both talked and have the same goal health wise. He wants to be able to eat more protein and train for his marathon and lift more weights, etc. I want to help my body to continue to loose more weight. I have lost 13 pounds in the last month. 10 of which happened overnight after getting the stomach bug one day. It started something though with me seeing that I lost even more after that. I want to get healthier and feel better and hopefully eventually rid myself of any medications that I have a need for. I want to be able to run a few miles with Adam when I'm in the mood without having to stop every 2 minutes to catch my breath. I want to be my children's example! I have seen a couple blogs and videos about people doing meal prep for a week and eat like every 2 hours and they feed their body the energy it needs to keep going. We tried our first meal prep tonight! I think it turned out fantastic!!! Just off the one side of chicken alone we got 9 meals out of it. So another 9 meals with the other half of the chicken and just prepare sides to go along with it. We both worked on preparing this together so it didn't take a long time. I cut all the meat to make it leaner and all the veggies and made the rice. Adam grilled the meat and veggies for me. So it really felt like it went fast. Now the true test is when you taste it after its all done. YUM!!! I dont know why I was so scared to do this all over again! These are some of my favorite foods and aren't going to add too my waist line if I stay smart!

I marinated half of the chicken in Braggs and some seasonings. The other half of the chicken in BBQ sauce that was under 45 calories. The veggies we just threw on the grill. It didn't need anything added to it. The grilled taste was amazing. The rice is Organic Brown Rice from Costco. I added in a bouillon cube, 1 cup frozen corn and peas and a tbsp. butter. YUM!!

We ate this for dinner and were able to make 4 more meals in Tupperware to eat during the week for lunch.

I also made these little baskets so when the kids are hungry they have the snacks in their baskets for the day and once their gone they are gone. With homeschooling they tend to think their hungry alot more often. Now they have healthier options of an apple, banana, pretzels, almonds, cheese stick and carrots. We are going to do that for ourselves as well but with different options :o)







Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The dreaded question...

 One huge reason I started this blog was so that I could remember on hard days why I wanted to homeschool my children. Why I decided to up root everything I and my children knew and to change our whole world. Another was to have a place to send those who ask that dreaded question of "Why are you homeschooling? What was wrong? Wasn't everything ok in Public School?" At first I wasn't offended by this question being asked because it really was just innocence coming from friends or family who were trying to really understand where I am coming from. I'm glad at the time that they came to me with those questions because it helped me think of MORE reasons why I decided what I did. I had to continue to grow my list. Then there are those people who come at you ready to argue anything you say and just are against WHAT YOU DECIDED FOR YOUR FAMILY! I found myself basically having to prove my point to these type of people. Convince them that what I was doing was right for MY family. Do you know what goes on day to day with each person in my family? No? Well good thing I do! Good thing I know enough to make those very important decisions for those people who are relying on me to raise them. I came home after feeling a little discouraged thinking that I was punishing myself by "forcing" myself to stay at home and homeschool my children. I told my husband that I need to get better at telling people why I am homeschooling my family. That its hard to tell people every reason and remember every reason in those 5 minutes of our discussion. Then I came to the conclusion.. Nope! I dont need to explain myself! This is my business and if you truly wanted to know why you would dig for more information and follow my blog and understand why :)

 Today I came across this blog post and loved it!

From A Homeschool VICTIM Who Obviously Survived!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

My favorite links!

As a first year homeschooler I like when people share information with me since I am so unfamiliar with this whole new world. 
I will continue to add to this post as I find new favorite links! 
Whether it be free printables, games, learning websites, etc. 
I will also post that the list is/was updated when I add to the list. :)

Enjoy!


Curriculum Websites:


Seriously this website has been a life saver in our urgent decision to decide to homeschool. A friend suggested it to me thinking it will be ok for me for a couple of weeks... but honestly I love it, my kids love it! I don't see us switching up as of right now. Alot of people complain that its way to much computer time. My children love games. They learn from it. So why change it?! PLUS its already planned out for you! We do Math, Reading, Language Arts and "PE/Health". The Reading I'm not a huge fan of because the stories were on right now aren't holding my children's interest very well. So we might find something to replace it with next year. As far as History I am doing Famous Americans Mini Booklets and we find things about the person we are learning about to throw in the mix. A video, a book, a website that has information about them and sometimes we do mini research reports. Science, I am using a text book for that one so we have more reading time. We also do Zoology right now. We do mini books with that and also find things to add in about the animals we are learning at the time. We do when we have time Art, Science Projects and Homemaking. We do Scripture Study every day whether its reading or coloring or doing a craft to help us learn. 


This is what I use to get MOST of Alexander's curriculum from. We use this for our Preschool Co-op. Its completely free too. Just a bunch of the cutest ideas and FUN printables. Seriously another life saver!!! 


FREE Printables: 


Not everything here is free but you can find TONS of free printables on this site! I love it!!! 


Videos: 



Support Groups:

There is ALOT out there. You just have to look. On Facebook just start typing in homeschool and tons pop up! You can even get specific and put in your area with the word homeschool. Or your curriculum you use along with homeschool.  Here are some I have discovered that fit to my needs. I haven't taken advantage of them all yet as like I said there is ALOT!













Brainstorm for ideas:



Homeschool Perks:


Halloween Fun




Daddy took us to Trail of Treats while Mommy was busy with Church activities.  Lexie is a "Zombie Bride" (We didn't do make up. Saving that for Halloween night.), Dakota is a GI Joe, and Alexander is a Ninja.

I have to admit shopping for costumes this year was a little crazy! They were throwing out all these crazy Zombie and Death things they wanted to be. Very new for me. Lexie was determined to not be a Princess anything, like she always is.











So we had this whole fun Homeschool Halloween Party planned with some of our favorite Homeschooling Families but Alexander was sick the whole weekend before and the night before and the day of so it was best to not bring the germs around everyone else. We were sad to have to stay home and not join in so I said we can have our own fun party that night with Daddy for Family Home Evening. I couldn't just let all those ideas and items go to waste that I had prepared. ;) So we played Halloween Bingo with Candy Corn for our markers like 3 times. Everyone got prizes. Then we played Bobbing for Apples in the Bathtub haha!!! Because our bucket was extremely dirty and needed bleached down and I didn't want the kids to bob in bleachish water after cleaning it. Then we played Minute to Win it Wrap the Mummies. So we all took turn wrapping each other with toilet paper! It was a fun night.

video


Here is a video of me dunking the kids in the water. Oh! And I SOOO wished I could have caught it to record it but Dakota seriously was trying so hard to get an apple that SERIOUSLY the child did a front flip somehow into the tub and was totally soaked after landing completely in the tub. I could not believe what happened. That child... I tell ya!





We have another fun Halloween night coming up and if I get any photos I will post those here too.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Preschool Co-Op

Today we learned the letter Ee, shape Diamond, number 4, and the color Purple. Preschool is so much fun because look at all these cool printables that you can print out and have the kids do. I laminate them and keep them for Alexander to do while I am teaching the older children when he feels like hanging out in the school room with us.

Writing sheets. I laminated them so I could keep them and they use Erasable Markers to draw on them.

We used these to put the numbers in order.


I laminated this to keep forever. It's a puzzle.

I laminated this to keep forever. It's a puzzle.

We use these to play a matching game. Match the colors!

We use these to put in order and/or I lay them out NOT in order and call out numbers and the kids jump from number to number when they see the number I called out.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

* We have joined the Karate Bandwagon

We found a Groupon a friend told us about for Karate. Dakota has been wanting to join for years buts its so pricey. I didn't want to pay alot of money and it turn out he didn't like it ... like soccer. So this Groupon was perfect. He saved his birthday money and paid for it himself. I told him if he followed through with it and he took it serious we would talk about him continuing each month. He is having a good time with it. I was impressed with just the first class. They are teaching him to listen, follow directions and respect (Yes Ma'am Yes Sir) and too speak up, be confident and have courage and know who you are. Its pretty awesome watching! I have much respect for his instructor. He is really good with the kids and served in the Army. I hope this is a blessing for years to come for Dakota and us! Here is a few videos and a photo to show off some of what he is doing!



video 

  video

video

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Finally! A day of no tears!

If you follow me on Facebook you probably have seen my status updates. Or if your apart of the homeschooling groups I am in you probably have figured out that homeschooling this last week was hectic and not so fun for us. Let me catch you up:

October 14th: "You'd think being up at 7 am getting started for the day that I would be running out of things to do but nope. Going non stop! Wheww!!!"

October 16th: "Yup! Mom of the year! Totally bribing toddlers to clean up and they get candy! Shaking my head as they run off screaming "Yay!!! Candy! Candy!!!" Sorry Adam, all your candy corn is gone!"

October 16th: "I seriously have a freakin elf stealing stuff that is making it difficult to continue with my day. We lost a Reading Journal that needs to pop up... and now a schedule for the week with all my notes and scores on it. I have looked everywhere each time. When it pops up hopefully sooner than later I'm probably gonna feel silly for loosing it."

October 16th (Homeschool group post): "How many of you get through half of the school day and just kinda give up for the day at times? This week I have had a couple of days of that. I have frustrated children because they seem like their brain has just had enough and/or bickering children. We pick the rest up the next day. But it puts us behind for the next day."

October 16th: "Uhh my child! We got fed up with school today (mommy and the kids) so we stopped early. I was exhausted and wanted a nap but thought the kids really needed something fun and uplifting of the spirits so I tiredly said: "How about we go right now and pick out your costumes?" They were excited. We went to walmart (right down the road) and they didn't have what we wanted so we drove 20 minutes to another place to look and found some. Then he left a very expensive costume in Rockwall in a store and forgot it while we were in another store shoe shopping. So we get home and find that out. I start stressing out because I JUST got home from this long shopping trip and am so tired. Thinking I am gonna have to go all the way back I try to make the best of it and see if a friend can just watch the kids while Adam and I have alone time and go back and get it. And find out my friend I called is right by the store we left it at!!! Seriously so grateful! I'm worn out! lol"

October 17th (Homeschool group post): "Do you have a child that just cannot follow directions no matter how many times you sit and look them in the face and say I want you to listen to my directions ... I need you to do this this way.You have to send them off a handful of times before they finally half follow instructions."

October 17th: "I am making a last minute unplanned trip to the Gentle Zoo right now. Any friends want to join me? I will be there for a few hours. Text me!"

October 19th: "It was so nice to get away for the weekend and no worrying about schooling and discipline and just be! Refreshed for a new week!"

So we got away for the weekend. And today went great without any tears, any frustrations and we finished the whole day!!! Sometimes you just need to step back and have a little fun and have a new scenery! I also am holding the kids to them getting "field trips" once a week IF they do all their school work without tears and whining and we finish the whole day that is planned. Last week our field trip was the Gentle Zoo. Maybe this next week we will go see a movie. Who knows! But if bribery works for me then hooray!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

You Are My Hero!

I received an email that I'm sure everyone that is subscribed to this specific blog has received. But it made me feel great and positive and ready to take on the week with school. Hopefully I wont get in trouble for sharing it without asking "copyright issues" but here it is. :o) Enjoy!

Dear Homeschool Parent,
It seems like the word hero doesn't mean much anymore. It's almost a throwback word from America's long past. To make matters worse, the "heroes" our culture does put on a pedestal... seem to crash and burn almost daily. Simply fire up your computer or turn on the TV and it's nonstop scandals involving today's "heroes".
But you know what? I don't think the idea of a hero is old-fashioned at all and I don't believe we should give up on it... ever. What we should do is take a good look at what a hero really is. Personally, it seems obvious that we've let our culture redefine what a hero really is and that's a big part of our problem.
Believe me, as Christians we're blessed with a rich history full of real heroes. And, it's reassuring to know that there are great heroes walking among us today as well. In fact, the number of real heroes today may surprise you.
I don't care if they are volunteering at church, active prayer warriors, doing charity work, working in a nursing home or homeschooling their kids... I see good people doing heroic things all the time.
So how do folks become heroes? How does a homeschool mom or dad become a real hero?
Well, there is a way, a roadmap if you will... along with some good and bad news.
The good news is that what you have to do is for the most part, simple.
The bad news is that what you have to do is kind of hard to do.
So where do we start? Well, first you have to put serious time in. There is no way to cheat the system. You have to show up and you have to roll up your sleeves and get down to it.
If you're a homeschool mom or dad, for example, you have to have your curriculum prepared for each day. Something easy to talk about, but hard to do. Not only that, you have to turn off the TV, close down Facebook, forget your email, stop checking the weather online, shut down YouTube... and you have to do the work of actually teaching your kids.
The next step is even harder yet:
You have to keep growing as a teacher. You have to intensify the family vision and be willing to step outside your comfort zone as an educator. Just as your children grow... you've got to grow as well. Again, easy to talk about, but kind of hard to actually do.
It's important not to retreat into a "safe zone" when it comes to educating your children. There's always a little voice in the back of your head that wants you to stay lukewarm as a teacher, trainer and role model. That's the voice that holds most people back. That's the voice that stops some parents from being great teachers.
And you know what? Everyone's got that voice! But it's up to you to decide once and for all if that little voice is going to rob you and your kids of the greatness God has promised to your family.
Here's the truth: You can't give your children an extraordinary education if you stay ordinary... if you continue to live in your homeschool teaching comfort zone.
And that's your roadmap for a being a true hero. You need to show up every day. You need to work hard at what God has given you to do. You need to keep getting better at educating and keep getting better at training up the next generation in your charge.
And you need to persevere. If you do that day after day, year after year... then I'll tell you how to find a true hero...
Go look in the mirror and you'll see a real hero looking back at you.
I promise.
For Training Up The Next Generation,
Bill Heid
Bill Heid
Executive Producer, Heirloom Audio
P.S. I made a short video about why our kids need great stories now more than ever. The world seems to be almost collapsing right before our eyes. I think it's because we have lost the "story wars" and have no real heroes any more. The new video is short and to the point. I really believe every American family, homeschooling or not, needs to see this important message.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Family Tree

This week we are focusing on 1 Nephi 5 for our Scripture Study. I have an brilliant friend who suggested this craft too me to help the children understand what descendants are. We made a family tree! We talked about family history, descendants, generations, ancestors and our family name. We listened to a couple of talks: https://www.lds.org/ensign/2003/08/one-family & https://www.lds.org/new-era/2009/02/the-value-of-a-good-name Then we went to work on our family tree. As sad as the little tree looks because of inexperience it was fun. Here is the link to this craft if you want to try it for yourself. http://pikadillycharm.blogspot.com/2011/11/paper-bag-fall-tree.html?m=1









Tomorrow we will learn more about the plates of brass. :o)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Columbus Day Yall!

Humm.... I'm just realizing I didn't plan any activities to do for Columbus Day! Oh well... will add that to our list of to do's for tomorrow! Today was a catch up day for us and since Daddy had off work today (Thank you Triump Bank & Christopher Columbus). Its amazing how much and how fast you can do to catch up at home. We did 3 days of Language Art and Math in less than 2 hours! Whoop Whoop! 
My favorite part of today? 
Was this craft: