Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Here we go again...

So, since I last posted on my blog, we moved to Missouri, moved into my parents house in Missouri (thanks goodness that is over!) then to Georgia, then off-post in Georgia.  We tried public school again (long story short--it didn't work out), tried K12 (again, didn't work out), got back to traditional home-school and have been struggling to get with the program ever since.  I lost my log-in for the other account that I was posting on here with... I just figured it out after much trial and error.  I gained another 15lbs, making me a total of 40# overweight... and we discovered that my mystery stomach illness was actually a side effect of my birth control.  Moral of the story--if at first you don't succeed, try try again.  So here I am:

One of my goals this year is to get a move on again!  

I've been working hard the last few weeks and I'm at that point where my fat and my muscles are staring to separate and it makes me look and feel EVEN FATTER!  But I'm trying to stick with it by telling myself things like "when you make it down to 165# you can get your hair done" and "you need new running clothes" and buying myself a niftly little fitbit flex tracker thing.  I actually rather like it, it's small, not exceptionally accurate, but it helps me feel motivated and like I'm working on the days when I'm doing stuff.  It also helps me to keep up with tracking, I really need to track if I'm going to get anywhere this body project.

My plan is simple:

Track what I eat and do.  And DO what I like to do--I bought a trampoline (for the kids *wink*) and a pair of roller-blades (for which I have no excuse), and have started doing yoga again thanks to Grokker!  I make a point of doing some kind of exercise everyday, so far so good. 

Another of my goals is to get my kids caught up on school and moving diligently to where they need to be.  


There have been a few big huddles in this area, one of them being Mo needs speech therapy and it's been nothing but drama the past 4 years trying to get him into it.  Another being that Izz has a reading delay and a diagnosis of ADHD which may or may not be what is actually going on with him.  The short version is that no matter what I seem to try, reading just doesn't stick in his head and he has the attention span of a squirrel on caffeine. 

My plan for this is pretty straight forward:

Contact and harass Tricare and the local school district until Mo gets the speech therapy he needs.  Take Izz in for a full psych evaluation (the appointment has already been made for later this month--I'm sure it will get it's own entire post on here) and look into occupational therapy and/or a reading tutor.  Actually use the curriculum we have.  Be patient.  Keep trying.  Pray often.  Play often.  Focus on the basics.  Field-trip Fridays--I have an awesome friend who is planned out pretty much the whole summer of field-trips and we are excited!  (The pic is from our first trip of the summer--we went to Oatland Wildlife Center and we WILL be returning!)

Lastly for now, I want to get back into my writing and limit my time melting my brain on facebook.  


The plan: 

Start blogging again!  If I use my blog to keep in touch with my family and friends, then I don't have to spend as much time on FB... and the other part is just self control.  Wish me luck.   

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Home-made Laundry Soap--A Sensory Experieince

I have been making our laundry soap for about a year now and I LOVE it!  This was the first time I tried it with liquid soap--and it takes way less stuff to make it and takes less room--awesome!  I'm all about saving space and having enough for like 6 months at a time.

This is my recipe:

1 Bar Pink Zote Soap (or FelsNaptha)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Baking Soda

  • Grate bar of soap--from what I've read you can use about any soap for this part, but I wanted to try out the Zote Soap--it's PINK!   
  • Melt soap in a large sauce pan with at least 4 cups of boiling water.  If the water is boiling and then pour in, you'll get fewer suds then if you try to bring it to a boil before adding it.  I did this by boiling it in my tea pot and adding it as I stirred the soap. (I know I should have pics of these two steps, but I honestly wasn't expecting to blog about this today...)
  • Add Dry ingredients--stir till dissolved. 
  • Before setting overnight.
  • Pour into 5 Gal bucket and let set over night.  If you have a lid, don't put it on tight--just set it on top.  
  • After it sets it will be super thick--thicker then I expected.  I tried to break it up with a spoon a little, but found it worked much better to reach in there and squish it by hand--so I called in my team of highly skilled squishers!
After setting overnight it looks and feels like Jello!

"I'm squishing under the pink sea jellyfish into angel barf!"
  •  It will be lumpy--my three boys each had two turns and took as much time was they  wanted per turn and it still took a while. It was also super fun!
  • After all the big lumps are broken up, just add pour it into and old laundry soap container--fill container half way, add 4 drops of essential oils if you like.  I used 2 Rosemary and 2 Tea Tree oil (I'm still loving the DoTerra oils!).  Finish filling the container with hot water, shake and use.  
  • Replace lid on the rest of the concentrate and store at room temp.  Easy enough?  and I don't have 20 bottles of this stuff all over my house! 

    The cost of the whole thing was under $6 and it will make 10 gallons of laundry soap!  Not bad for a days work!  Should last about 6 months. 
My boys were super proud of their soap--Izz wouldn't turn around so I put a smiley face on the back of his head.

 That's all!  Thanks!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

DoTerra to the Rescue Today!

So I ran out of my DigestZen sample and my new shipment isn't supposed to be here till tomorrow.  Do I even need to say here that I got sick?  I went out for a run yesterday and got HORRIBLE cramps and nausea and the whole nine yards--it was BAD.  I was digging though my little baggie of samples and found out that I have just a tiny bit of DigestZen left.  I stuck it on my tongue and smeared the bottle on my tummy in the hope that it was enough to help out...  Here I am a few minutes later and I'm feeling WAY better--still a headache (didn't notice the headache the nausea was so bad) but I am not having the extra saliva pouring into my mouth that is a precursor to puking.  I am feeling my better--doTerra worked today!

Friday, May 3, 2013

My doTerra Experiment

As all my family knows, I have this phantom digestive ailment that's been around since the birth of my first son 7 years ago.  Every year I go into the doctor and they tell me something different, I saw a chiropractor until my pee turned YELLOW and my poop turned GRAY--NOT cool!  I had a my gall bladder out--that didn't fix it.  I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and lived gluten-free for over a year--that was fun.  Most recently I had a full Colonoscopy and Endoscopy (for those of you who don't know what that means--I was THOROUGHLY scoped out from both the front and the back) after a few weeks of recovery from that, I was told I have Colitis.  A diagnosis of Colitis is like a diagnosis for migraines--they can tell something hurts, but they can't tell you why.  They gave me meds and now I'm supposed to be on medication for the rest of my life assuming it doesn't get worse.  My symptoms came back and they gave me another medication and told me to scale back on my other medication...   And that they now think I have something called "Sphincter of Odi" disorder, they can operate to see, but there's a 15% chance I'll get pancreatitis from the procedure.
The short version of the story is that medical science isn't really sure what's wrong with me and wants me on drugs for the rest of my life. 
Enter in my awesome friend Jennifer, she sells these doTerra Essential Oils and says that's what I need.  To be honest, the first time I heard her talking about it I thought she had lost her marbles--as I'm sure all my friends and family that have heard me talk about it since have though of me.  I did a bit of research, asked my mom and my sister-in-law who is a massage therapist, got some samples and gave it a try.
  • DigestZen--ginger, peppermint, tarragon, fennel, caraway, coriander and anise--I started putting in my tea and strawberry water to help nausea and constipation and my other digestive symptoms.  So far it seems to help.
  • Balance-- spruce, rosewood, frankincense, and blue tansy with fractionated coconut oil--I put in the bottoms of Izz's feet for his ADHD.  (See Serenity for effect.)
  • Serenity--lavender, sweet marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla--Also put on Izz's feet for his ADHD.  My husband is convinced that I could rub peanut butter on their feet and it would have the same effect.  However Izz doesn't actually want me to rub his fee--he throws a fit each time I do, but I think it helps him be able to control his emotions and get over this quicker, which is a HUGE improvement.   
  • DeepBlue--wintergreen, camphor, peppermint, blue tansy, blue chamomile, helichrysum and osmanthus--I put this on my aches and pains.  I am a runner and I'm training for a half marathon in two weeks, this winter I've had a series of injuries and pains.  In short I used it all up!  I went for a 10 mile run last weekend--the run was horrible, hurt and tired from the first step, and when I got home I used up the last of my DeepBlue and did not feel sore at all.  I'm pretty impressed with it.  
I am not ready do say this stuff is awesome, a miracle, or everybody should try it.  But I am impressed enough to invest in some of it and see it if helps me not to use the medications that seem to be the only answer I can get from my doctors.  The way I see it, if all I will be able to do is manage my symptoms for the rest of my life anyway--I'd rather manage them naturally then by using medicines which will eventually give me serious side effects from kidney failure to diabetes to cancer.  
So I bought the book and have been learning everything I can about this stuff!  There is a bit of education that come with it, but I am willing to learn what I need to know to be able to be off the sentence of drugs for the rest of my life.  I'll keep you updated on it as I get my kit and keep using it all. :-)  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Do I Really Suck at Homeschooling?

Ever meet other homeschool mommies and think "wow, I really suck as a homeschool mom"?
I feel this way ALL THE TIME!  Pretty much every time I meet another homeschool mommy, I think to myself--"why don't I do ________" or "how come I'm not better at ________"  and occasionally  "why do I suck so much as a homeschool teacher?" 
Today, ladies, I'm proud to say that I actually acted like a "real" homeschool mommy and didn't give a crap about the "routine" for once!  We stayed in bed late (maybe not the most "real" homeschool mommy thing, but it works for us) and spent the day doing things we LIKE to do that are actually good for their brains too! 
Mo with his first masterpiece of today!

 First we started with some painting--it was glorious!  I did dishes while they painted many different sheets of paper--so much fun!

We followed that with some interpretive dance and music making--here's some stop action photography of part of it.

 Last, but certainly not least, we went outside and planted the early spring crops for our garden.  It was quite cold, but we got it all in the ground--and then I took the tomatoes inside to live in the kitchen for a few more weeks.  (Sorry the pics are sideways, nothing I do seems to keep them the right way up...) 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Bible Basiscs for Mormon Mommies: Adam and Eve AND Cain and Abel

Better a week late then not at all, right?  It's been a busy couple of weeks here in Homeschooling Mamma Land--first we FINALLY got a new car!  Isn't she beautiful??  She's a Hybrid and Lilly (the Great Dane) can fit in her comfortably! 

Second we have been shopping for  a tablet for our kids and I got a membership to in an effort to help with reading.  So far, so good, my big reader is loving it and goes back all the time to use it. 

Third, my phantom stomach ailment that is not gall bladder disease, not celiac disease, not ulcers, not diabetes and not thyroid disease, has been making itself known to me again...  Even whilst I take my medicine...  Yay.

Forth, my soldier hubby got orders that were for 5 months earlier then we had expected to be moving--chaos broke out in my house.

So, now that the excuses portion of this blog entry is over, I would like to say that not only did I have some fabulous excuses, but I am also inherently LAZY!  I have however been thinking about this entry and doing the morning devotionals...  Mostly.

Bible Basics for Mormon Mommies:  Adam and Eve

Day 1--Show this pic and tell in your own words the story of Adam and Eve. 
Day 2--Made in God's image.  Explain that they look like Mommy and Daddy and that is what being "made in someone's image" means--we were created to look like Heavenly Father. 
Day 3--We were all sick so we skipped this day.  It was supposed to be The Fall--it was combined with Day 4.
Day 4--The Fall and  leaving the Garden of Eden.  The Fall, why we call it The Fall.  Read 2 Nephi 2:25  Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.  Explain that Adam and Eve couldn't have children before The Fall and that they didn't know right from wrong.  Tell kids that Satan did not flat lie as much as he told a half-truth.  Be sure they understand that Eve chose to eat the fruit to gain knowledge and that there was no other way. 
Talk about the Garden of Eden and how plants just grew without farming, animals were all friendly and gentle.  Explain that when they left the garden, the world changed, thorns grew and predictors became predictors.  They had to learn to work the land and to hunt and farm. 
Day 5--Blessings of the Fall.  Remind children that work is good--Heavenly Father wants us to work to provide for ourselves.  In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve didn't need to work.  Explain Heavenly Father commanded Adam and Eve to have children and they couldn't do that in the Garden of Eden.  Tell kids that in the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were like little children and when they left, they had to become grown ups. 


Bible Basics for Mormon Mommies: Cain and Abel

We didn't really do daily devotionals this week, but we did go over the story and make sure certain points were understood.  I would also like to say how disappointed I was while researching this story for my kids--it seems to be left out of most kids bibles and lessons.  I think it's an excellent story to teach about brotherly love and following the Lord instead of Satan. 

First we talked about the story--I showed this this picture and reminded them that after The Fall, Adam and Eve had children.  Two of those children were named Cain and Abel, Cain was a farmer and Abel was a shepherd.  We talked about the commandment to sacrifice lambs and that they had to be the best, most perfect lambs to be a good sacrifice.  We talked about how Cain and Abel both brought their best to sacrifice for the Lord, but that Cain was a farmer so he wasn't bringing what the Lord asked for for his sacrifice and the Lord didn't accept it.  Satan came and convinced Cain to kill his brother--it was the first murder on Earth (my son really liked that point).   Heavenly Father knew that Cain had killed Abel and did not accept his sacrifice and gave him a dark skin so everyone else would know it was him. 

When we reviewed the story, we talked about how Heavenly Father wants us to treat our brothers, and whether it made him happy that Cain had killed Abel.  We talked about how it would make Mommy and Daddy feel and we finished up with how we can help each other to be good and follow the commandments. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bible Basics for Mormon Mommies: The Creation

First off, I'd like to explain the title:
As a home-schooling parent we were having some difficulty with my #1 son's reading.  On a trip to visit my sister and her family, I whined about the trouble and my sister took me to see her classroom and the curriculum they use in her private Christian school.  I loved the curriculum, but was a little hesitant to order the Bible Pack that goes along with it as we are practicing Mormons and I didn't want to have to weed out the places where the theology is not exactly the same.  That said, I started looking for a good Bible book or FHE book to help add in that bit of Gospel learning that I feel we've been missing out on.  My husband is what I'd like to call a "home-study-generic-christian" meaning he has a strong Bible foundation and beliefs, but doesn't go to church and is VERY guarded about his religion.  His contribution is that he wants the kids to know at least as much or more about the Bible as they do about the Book of Mormon.  I'm inclined to agree with him--there seems to be a deficit in basic Bible concepts for Mormon kids.  I know I only vaguely remember learning bible stories as a kids, granted we didn't always go to church and I frequently hid in the mothers lounge, but still--I feel it's my duty to help them understand their religion as much as possible and gain a testimony of their own.
Having not found exactly what I was looking for--I decided to write my own.  We'll be doing morning devotionals and studying basic basics so when my kids meet other christian kids who know the bible stories--so will they. 

Here we go, week 1 of Bible Basics for Mormon Mommies:



Day 1:  This lesson was based on the nursery lesson about the creation (one of the ONLY lessons I could find on the subject.)   We looked at pictures pictures of the creation, Earth shots from space and paintings that had lots of animals and plants.  Read Genesis 1:1  "In the beginning God created heaven and earth." and we basically introduced the idea that the world being made is called the creation and that we'd be talking about it this week.

Day 2:  Who created the world?  Jesus Christ Created the world for me.  (Read Moses 2:1- "... By mine only Begotten I created the heaven, and the earth upon with thou standest.") Again, we looked at pictures of the creation and talked about Jesus creating the earth and Heavenly Father telling him how to do it. 

Day 3:  What was created on what day?  This time we read Genesis 1:1-27 and Genesis 2:1-3.  We stopped at every place where it says "and the evening and the morning were the _____ day" and talked bout what happened that day.
  1. Created light.  Divided the day from the night.
  2. Created the sky (firmament) and the sea--my boys understand science little bit so we went into water in the air and the atmosphere and water on the earth.
  3. Divided the sea from the land and created plants.
  4. Created the sun, moon and stars.
  5. Created birds and whales.
  6. Created cattle and land animals--AND Adam and Eve. 
  7. Rest!  We also talked about how this was special and the reason we now have the Sabbath.
Day 4:  The Creation shows God's love for us.  We talked about the things on the earth that my kids like the most--like God created dogs so that we could have pets, plants so we could have fruits and vegetables to eat, and animals so we could have meat. 

Day 5:  We made a picture of the creation and talked about it a little more. 

Thanks for stopping in, I hope this helps out a little in your morning devotionals with your kiddos!  Next week we'll be talking about Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden!  See you then :-)