Monday, September 30, 2013

Okay, here it Change 3 Challenge

I will admit it has taken a lot of thinking on this as I could come up with dozens of habits I would like to change or improve on. Initially one of the things I wanted to do was the Couch to 5K but I am having some pain issues right now so I am going to stick to one of the things I am thankful my family does regularly for excercise. We walk 3-4 miles (flat surfaces...more like 2 when it's a hike) at least 5 times a week. We have been doing this for years and it's to the point that I crave it when we are not able to go. Especially on crisp fall days like today. Thankfully we have been able to do it the last few days and it seems to help with my pain issues. So...the Couch to 5K is just gonna have to wait.

So what did I decide on? 

1. This one is a BIG ONE (for me) I am going to get to bed before midnight this month. Yes, I wish I could say I want to get to bed by 10 or 11, but as a special needs parent the only time I consistently have ME time, alone time, is between 9-12. (sometimes 10-12) It is the only time where I can absorb the joy of complete silence. :) But going to bed at 1 am or 2 am is just not healthy....and  there are many nights that is what I do. I think most special needs parents...especially those that homeschool, can understand this. I think midnight is doable for me!

2. I am going to drink a gallon of water a day. I have to say that I am one that actually likes water...but probably I only get half of what I should. Most people that know me, know that I love coffee (yes love ;) even though I typically only drink two cups a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Sometimes though in the hustle and bustle of field trips, schoolin', work, etc, I do not drink enough liquids period. This summer when it was so hot, I did do some wonderful water infusions with local fruit and from the mint I have growing in our yard. Before I go to bed tonight...before midnight, I am going to fill several mason jars with the gallon I am going to drink tomorrow. I will share some of the recipes I have used in the past too! 

3. What is number three? This is the one replacing the C5k that I originally intended. I tend to be a packrat. I have gotten better but I have a long way to go. So...everyday for the month of October I am going to either giveaway, throwaway, or sell 30 items every day. I have too much stuff. Stuff that does not help me in any way. I have a ton of homeschool curriculum I could sell. (although it is most likely past the prime time to sell it for the year) I admit I hold onto stuff...I get some weird emotional attachment to things but I know that the rooms that are virtually clutter free are the rooms I tend to want to be in. So hopefully I can give away some things to people that need it more than I do, make a few dollars on some things I can sell, and throw away the rest that has no purpose to anyone. How many days are in October? 31. So that means I will ultimately be getting rid of 310 things. I think I could do this easily. 

Does anyone want to join me in the Change 3 Challenge? Check out my last post on ways to link up to it and keep each other accountable. AND give each other encouragement. Link up! 

10 minutes before I turn into a pumpkin...I am off to bed!!! 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Change 3 Challenge!

Change 3 Challenge @Adventures In Mindful Cooking!

I am excited to announce something fun and different I will be doing in the month of November! My friend from Adventures in Mindful Cooking created a challenge to help others to pick 3 things or habits that we want to change about ourselves and replace them with good habits. I am teaming up with 4 other blogger/vloggers for this challenge and hope to see many others join in! Change is hard, but hopefully with support from friends this challenge can be very beneficial!

So what are the 3 things that I have chosen? I can't tell you yet! That will have to wait until tomorrow! I will tell you that on my 3rd one I had a last minute change due to messing up my neck. You know when you sleep wonky and can't turn your neck the next day? Yup. That particular goal will have to wait for a bit! I am going to copy/paste the rules from the challenge that are found at  Adventures in Mindful Cooking.

Rules for linking up with us-
-please follow me on at least on of my social medias!
Facebook     Twitter      Pinterest 
-once my co-host are posted please follow them on one of their social medias
-please add our blog link up to your post to help us grow!
-please only link up family friendly content
-please link to your specific blog post
-please no meat recipes (there are plenty of other places to do that  so I don’t need to add one to it). Recipes with dairy I am fine with becasue those can easily be subbed out for anyone who wants too or needs too
-no giveaways or advertisements please
-make sure you go and visit at least 2 others from the link list you added yourself too! Its a great way to go and make new friends!
-crafts,inspirational posts, non meat recipes,projects,  DYI projects all welcome!
Basically anything you are mindful about we would love to see! 
Each week I will feature some of my favorite links so keep coming back and see if you get featured!
I have been very excited for this challenge to start and I hope to see many of my friends take the challenge!
What else are we doing this week? The weather here in WNC has been an absolute dream. Z~girl and I have been drying and cooking applesauce to can. We are hoping once again to make some strawberry applesauce and blackberry applesauce as we have berries frozen from when we picked them earlier this summer. We have been walking and hiking daily and this week we are looking forward to a field trip at a farm of some dear friends of ours that homeschooled their girls! (they graduated years ago) We did this last year and it was one of my favorite field trips of the year!  With the seasons changing I also hope to be starting the weather curriculum section of A~man's science curriculum he is using this year. He is really loving what we chose for science.
I cannot wait to see some of my friends sign up for this challenge!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Looking back...

Tonight I started to think about when I first started blogging. I have a blog at a different site and I just went there. (back in Jan 2005 and I have 722 entries in that old blog...wish I could import them!) Talk about a flash back! I was looking for a poem in particular about my daughter. She has always been feisty and high spirited. This shocks most people because we are the only ones to see this side of her. She is normally very quiet and subdued in social situations like her mama. Recently we went out to eat with friends and my friend mentioned how quiet Z is. Z winked at me. It's our private joke that both of us are quiet in a group but at home.... we are not so much. I do not have her temper but one on one I can talk a lot and so can she.

Anyway here is the blog entry I was looking for from my old blog. Plus an old picture and a poem I wrote back then.

Oh Princess of Drama... 

Silk hair of rose gold
Temperamental darling
constantly conflict
Everlasting love remains.

It's going to be a LONG day. Zoe denies that she is sick...she has a fever. She's clingy, grumpy and emotional bless her heart.This is starting out to be one of those days I will eventually look back with affection on but getting through it will be a different story. Maybe we will make some playdoh that will make her happy.

I wrote that back when she was 4 and she is now 12. Not surprisingly the poem still applies. I wouldn't change her for the world but it has been a rough couple of weeks with her. I think she has a bit of Peter Pan syndrome right now. I say that half jokingly. In some ways she is mature beyond her years and is very responsible in taking care of the pets, doing dishes, (she IS my nighttime dishwasher ;)  and she practices her violin every night without any prompting. But she is sassy, defensive, and does NOT like to be corrected or for me to watch her do her school work. This is sometimes okay but not when she needs help with her math or writing. OH... and do not mention to her that she is almost a teenager! (she wants to stay little)

This week is looking to be busy once again! With music lessons, soccer practice, a farm field trip, PE and making some vocabulary flashcards we will be staying busy. I'm also reading a new book for a homeschool book review that I hope to share soon. I am also hoping my writing resistant (well...she is right now) daughter will help me out with the newest review! So far it has been a fun book to read.

Here is a more recent photo for comparison of *gulp* 8 years! 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This Time is Precious

Today I learned that a fellow blogger homeschool mom passed away rather suddenly. I know a lot of homeschool mom bloggers but when I heard her name I instantly remembered her even though we have never met. It's amazing how hard it can hit you when you find out another mom has passed away. For me even more so when it is a homeschool mom like myself. She was quite a bit younger than I am and leaves behind a family of two young boys. From her blog I could see she was an amazing mother and wife, and loved God deeply. I love her last post which said-
 II Timothy 1:7
... God hath not given us the spirit of fear ; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
We are not created to fear; God created us to reflect his love and his mind. He is all power and we are created in that image and likeness. What stands out to me is how beautifully God's  power created us to glorify him. We are called to share the gospel and glorify him in all we do, I am grateful for that calling, even if it is to only my children at this season. I know that I am planting the seed that God gave us within the blessings he has bestowed upon us.

Our time with our children is so precious. Many of the things we do each day will be remembered by our children when they are grown up. I sure hope the things that my children remember are mostly positive as...lets face it I am not perfect. I hope they remember my soft patient words happening more often than my loud nagging ones. I hope my children remember a happy childhood where they were very much love and adored by my husband and I. I hope they both grow up knowing how blessed I was to have them home with me to teach and spend time with.

On that note I think I may take a day off tomorrow from our elementary homeschool curriculum and phonics games and make some memories. I have mentioned before that I do not have a lot of photos with the kids over the last few years. Well, actually in the last 4 months I have tried to change it but I still am working on it. I think I will have the hubby take some pictures of the kids and I...even though I still haven't gotten that haircut...and I am still not happy with my weight. In years to come my kids are not going to look back and think "wow, mom had some fluffy hair"...or "wow, mom was pretty fluffy herself". Hopefully they will see a mom that loved spending time with her family more than anything else on this earth.

So, stay tuned for some photos this week. Haha!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Review~Rhythm of Handwriting from Logic of English

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Recently A~man and I were able to try out and review the book The Rhythm of Handwriting Manuscript from Logic of English. Handwriting does not come easily with my son due to his disability so I was very excited to try it out. At 13 he already knows how to form his letters and write some words (he does better with keyboarding) but he was definitely in need of a refresher as some of his letters have gotten a bit sloppy. 

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The Rhythm of Handwriting uses a multisensory approach in teaching the basics of handwriting. Each lesson starts with the child using large motor skill movements before they even start writing in the book. The child is shown how to cultivate the muscle memory needed to form each letter. The child is shown when to pause so they are not pausing at a time that causes the letters not to be formed correctly. To create mastery the letters are ordered by their initial strokes. These are:
  • straight letters
  • drop-swoop letters
  • down letters
  • roll letters
  • slant letters
  • kick letters
  • cross letters
  • upper case letters

This curriculum teaches lower case letters before upper case because lower case is 90% of what we read and write. After the child has mastered lower case letters the upper case is presented and it shows the child when to use them appropriately when they write.

They suggest for children age 6 and under learning one letter a day. Each lesson should include:
  • Introduction to a new letter including its sounds and how to write it.
  • Practice matching sounds to previously learned letters.
  • Practice reading previously learned letters.
  • Practice writing previously learned letters.
For children ages 7 and up they present several possible schedules.

Schedule 1- Learning 2 letters a day starting with lowercase
Schedule 2- Learning 4 letters (this is the one I used with my son as he was already familiar with forming letters)
Schedule 3- Learn all the letters based upon one initial stroke a day.

I have to say I really liked the format of this writing curriculum. Due to my son's sometimes short attention span it works great because we were able to complete it daily in 15 minutes and because it wasn't laborious in length he was very cooperative in practicing his handwriting. I especially liked how in the front of the book it had a section called Ideas For Handwriting Practice that had numerous ways to help our child learn to write. I was familiar with a few of them as when my son was in occupational therapy his therapist had him do them.

The price of a printed student book is $18 (which is what I received) or the PDF version which is $15. The Quick Reference is available for $10. 

Click on the graphic below to read more reviews from Logic of English. 


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Monday, September 9, 2013

A Mama Confession...

What's in his cup you may ask....?

Coffee. I confess that a few times a week A~man gets a cup of coffee. Now if anyone has read how over active my son can be this may seem crazy. But actually coffee noticeably makes him calmer and more grounded. GROUNDED? get it?

When he was younger,on very rare occasions when we had to be somewhere early we would give him a couple of sips and it would always help get his medicine started working faster. He would be ready for his special needs learning.

When we go out to eat breakfast at a restaurant he normally gets one cup. One time a waitress who thought she was doing right said she gave him decaf. Then we explained that coffee actually has the opposite effect on A~man!

Anyway, that is my confession for the day...and look at that smiling face! (with a bit of a mustache, it's been shaved off since the photo ;) 

Hopefully today is the beginning of a great week! After lunch we have Geography Club which both kids always love. After that we will probably finish some of our science education activities and hopefully also go for a long walk or hike before dinner. 


Monday, September 2, 2013

Fair Time!

My family LOVES the fair! We love going to see the animals, going on the rides and most of all we love to enter exhibits! This is something that I did growing up and I am so happy the rest of my family enjoys it as much as I do. But every year I say that I am going to get an earlier start on us getting our exhibits ready...yet every year we are scrambling to finish the last few days before they are due. 

I am entering applesauce and two kinds of jam. I will say that I had these done months in advance but...we ended up either eating them or giving them to friends. So yesterday I made more applesauce, I just now finished up blackberry jam, and after a trip to Walmart (eek...not a fan of that place) I need to get more jars and some odds and ends to display the kids art work and the many photographs all four of us are entering. Tonight I will be making Strawberry Lemon Marmalade!

So for today and tomorrow our homeschool middle school will involve things like baking cookies, framing art, and making sure everything is in order before...*gulp* tomorrow evening. I am thankful that it has stopped raining here in the south but the heat is unbearable right now and I am looking forward to some fall weather. 

Soon we will start back up with Girl Scouts, Geography Club, and numerous field trips that include apple picking, exploring a friends farm and looking for animal habitats which will be much more pleasant once it cools down!