Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Adrianna's First Track Practice

"Now that I am a great runner, I can ride at least 6 miles without being tired and Daddy can train me to swim, I can totally do a triathlon and even a marathon" 
- Adrianna 10yrs old (right after her first track practice today)

Anna and Lulu

Little Rockstar Runners!
My baby girl has watched me running for the past few years and has always encouraged me, shown interest in an active lifestyle, but has been intimidated with it all, especially with having asthma.  I signed her up for Summer Track last year and after the first practice, we left with her crying because she was out of breath and thought she just couldn't "do it".  I didn't push her and set it aside.  Today, while my friend Martha was over, Adrianna went over to her (she is the fastest woman I know, a true *runner* goddess!) and asked if she could go with her and her daughter Lulu to their next practice which happened to be tonight.

These were some pics from her first practice. She came home PUMPED up and FULL of confidence and excitement in what she achieved tonight!  This meant SO much to me.  I am so so SO very proud of my girl!!    I can't wait to run with her!  Soon enough, she will only ask me to run with her on HER recovery days...LOL!

"Mom, I can't wait for Ms. Martha to pick me up. I am going to do great!"

First Used Curriculum Sale!

Earlier this month I was able to attend my first "Used Curriculum Sale" through my RRHome group.  When I pulled the kids out of PS in January, I was given lots of great advice from a friend on curriculum and sort of piece mealed the rest of the school year for Adrianna and Christopher together.  I learned so much about my children, their learning styles, their comfort levels, where they thrive and where they struggle over the past  5 months and could NOT wait to get started on next year's curriculum!!

Here was some of my loot for only less than $40 out of pocket!

Just like any beginning "teacher" I need to build up some educational "go to items" when they get bored or when I GET BORED and need to sprinkle in some supplemental stuff, especially for the summer!  I scored quite a few things for Sofia (can't believe she'll be 4 next month!) too at the sale which was awesome.  I'm set on what I plan on using for the kids in the fall and am holding back on purchasing some of it until after I attend a couple more of these sales over the summer.

Here's my plan.....

History, Science, Bible:  

Both Kids:                                                             

My Father's World Exploring Countries and Cultures

My friend Heidi, and possibly my friend Jill are both doing this with their kids at the same time so this will be SUCH fun in the fall!!  A sweet friend of mine did it last year and is selling me hers when she is through with it in the next few weeks! CAN. NOT. WAIT!!!  I just have to buy a few of the students sheets, passports, flag books, etc. but will end up paying half the cost of the Deluxe Package when all is said and done....SCORE!!!



Teaching Textbooks

We tried Math U See but she just didn't connect with it. She said the guy creeped her out on the video....ohhhhkayyyyyy.  She took the placement test and did some sample lessons which she seemed to like and kept wanting more so YEP, it's what we are going with for next year!


Math U See Beta

He started in January with Horizons, which is the same workbook style that they use in public school and he just seemed to not be able to "focus" on it.  I don't think it was "hands on" enough so we went with Math U See Primer and he LOVED it!  That said, we are obviously going to the next level.  I think with him not having as much PS influence he was more of a "clean slate" to start with this type of math which focuses more on "mastery" of each level before moving up.  I will most likely use if for Sofia as well.  I'm a fan!

Language Arts:


Easy Grammar:  She LOVED it and while I am NOT a Grammar Geek, I think she just might be! She whipped through the book, continuing to ask for more, which was a HUGE shock for me.  I am excited for her since she doesn't like to read, I didn't think any LA would be her thing. Happy to say I was wrong.

Soaring with Spelling: I used some online K12 lists this year and they worked fine but I'm ready for something a little more structured and challenging.  This girl is a GREAT speller!! She makes me so proud!

Daily 6 Trait Writing:  Thumbed through one of these and am going to try it this year!  I have the Geography book we used a bit this year and I liked it! We'll see!


Growing with Grammar and Soaring with Spelling: We tried First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind this year and it was too monotonous and slow for him and I both.  Neither of us were fans of it.  My friend Amy uses this and I LOVED the way it was laid out so we are giving it a go!

Handwriting Without Tears:  Suprise! Christopher HATES to write, LOL.  That sweet boy can't sit still for a minute and the stress of handwriting was weighing both of us down so I threw it out the window and finally let him do everything orally with me or typed on the computer.  We are working more on Geoboards, cutting and other fine motor skill work until next fall.  I heard GREAT things about this program and purchased it used for CHEAP so I don't have anything to lose! LOL

We will add back in our Composer Studies and Artist Studies as they line up with our MFW curriculum. too.

And I *think*...drumroll.........LATIN will be introduced this year!!!  I'm trying to find the *right* one at the *right* price!

Adrianna will continue with Piano lessons (she is a ROCKSTAR little pianist) and Christopher will also be joining her in the fall.

I haven't ironed out all the details and have learned one thing that my friend Amanda taught me.....when planning, use PENCIL.  The thing I am most proud of is how slow I've taken everything, started small and am building up as to what best fits our family, knowing and accepting it can all change just like that.  Oh and yes, I'm okay with that! HA!!!  This has been such a beautiful experience to walk through with my children, even the hard days, those days that break me down humble me, and show them how to reconcile, forgive, and move on.

I wish I did this sooner.

Best. Decision. I've. Made. To. Date.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013


One of my weaknesses in the mid afternoon in the warmer weather is my craving for something with FIZZ!!  Diet Coke is and always has been my "FIZZ" of choice, yep, sure has!  BUT I came across this today and am planning on picking up a case of small mason jars to stock the fridge with a 12 pack of these instead!

Thank you Nest of Posies for the inspiration!!! CAN. NOT. WAIT. to start playing with some FLAVOR!

Menu Plan

I'm a day late, but here it is! Just planning dinners this week.  We will be doing some sandwiches, corn dogs and canned soup this week!  Easy Peasy!

Monday: Turkey Burgers on the grill with pasta salad
Tuesday: Chicken Kabobs over rice
Wednesday: Easy Enchilada Casserole
Thursday:Lemon Butter Tilapia
Friday: Turkey Melts
Saturday: Homemade Pizza Night
Sunday: Pasta Primavera

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Moving On....

It has almost been a year since we decided to leave the one and ONLY church we, as a family, have been members of. Last June, after many months of feeling something just wasn't right, while on our vacation to Colorado, it hit us and while I tried to ignore it, the inevitable was right in front of me.....we were meant to go on a different path, our time investing in helping with the Resonate Community Church plant was over. There has been a LOT of heartache and lots of hurt done to my family,to me, and even by me.

We are human.

We are flawed, broken.

Yet, we are still hopeful.  Without that "hope" , you have nothing.

Watching this video today made me cry.  I hurt as I watch the facial expressions in each of the people. My heart has ached that so many of our former "church friends" decided to shut us out and "react" to something that didn't even directly involve them, rather than try to see things more empathetically.

 People will always judge, will walk away because of their own insecurities, will shut you out because of fear, instead of doing what we are called to do.....empathize.  Putting yourself in someone elses shoes instead of judging and walking away, THAT is the "right" thing.  As this video shows, there is SO MUCH MORE going on in people's lives than we know.

One of my favorite quotes ever....

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle" ~ Plato

I have forgiven myself, and I've forgiven those who have hurt me, let the ones go that have walked away, and am letting go of the ones that are not true friends to me.

Life is too short.

Life is hard enough without us making it harder.

I'm thankful for moments of clarity.  Watching this video was a GREAT reminder that we are all in a battle.  We need to focus on lifting each other up rather than beating each other down.

Today, I'm thankful for the few friends that didn't "go with the crowd", the ones that did reach out and continue to do so, the friends that are here now, old and new.  But MOST of all, I'm thankful for a loving and supportive family.  At the end of the day, that's really what it's all about after all.

Monday, May 13, 2013

What a fabulous weekend and Mother's Day it was!!  I worked on refinishing my dining room chairs and spent my day relaxing with my family.....PERFECT!!!  Now this morning before my run I'm throwing together this quick menu and writing up the grocery list. LOL  

Have a great week!

Monday: Sandwiches
Tuesday: Bagels, Fruit, Yogurt
Wednesday: Muffin Tins
Thursday: Mac n Cheese
Friday: Sandwiches

Monday: Hot Dogs, Fries, Salad
Tuesday: Chicken Ceasar Salad
Wednesday: Pasta and Broccoli
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Pizza
Saturday: Date Night
Sunday: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Monday, May 6, 2013

I am NOT great at blogging on a regular schedule, obviously, BUT I try when I have extra time. Facebook is EASY, quick and easy so that is where I post most of my stuff to help encourage women, motivate moms, inspire others!  Yes, there are times when I act "bitchy", complain, rant and rave as well but I'm human!  And as I've discovered, those that do not want to see my "stuff" simply unfriend me and for that I THANK them.

My first and foremost focus is on my family, nurturing, educating, and loving THEM.  I learn so much via Facebook and the internet on ways to help do those things for them and I love to share those things with others too!  My God given gift is my ability to put it all out there, imperfections and all!  So, while I'm pretty good at putting my menu up each week (for easy future reference, LOL), I am going to attempt to get better at posting some more over here too!

Tip for today.....


Yeah, yeah, my hubby says "this taste nasty and there it has not been studied enough to know that it really works".  Oh HUSH Chris!  I am all for trying new things, especially if they are all natural so here we go on week 2 of Apple Cider vinegar , Local Raw Honey and Water. (notice I did say we, LOL)

I read this article and thought, "hey, why not?"  

Gina LOVES a Challenge!!

April flew RIGHT by so I was NOT going to let another month go by without a challenge to get me focused on summer and swimsuits!  So here we go...... I'm back on track with my eating but need to get into a fitness groove with something OTHER than running. I have a gym buddy, Amber T. to help with accountability, I have my running buddy to keep me going there along with some cycling and I have Facebook to thank for these! 

First up, the AB CHALLENGE!  I'm on Day 6, and going strong!

Next, because you know I'm an overachiever, LOL, The SQUAT CHALLENGE!

So here's to some new challenges for me!  Care to join? Come on! :o)

Menu Plan Monday

When Chris travels on T-Th, we keep it easy! LOL

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It all started with the Cabbage Patch Kid

I was thrifting with two girlfriends last week and I came across a Cabbage Patch Kid from the 80's.

I had one just like the one above!  My mom will always remind me of the hell she went through getting me one of these (even though I wanted a bald newborn one!) and it makes me laugh all the time the things we do to see a smile on our kids' faces!

Anyway, it got me thinking about motherhood......yes I played "mommy" with my babies just like any other kid. But being a "Mommy" wasn't exactly what I wanted to "Be" when I grew up.  I knew pretty early on I wanted to be a leader.  I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to take care of sick people, which led to some of my early writing assignments "What do you want to be when you grow up?".  There were various things but they were all pretty similiar except for the "astronaut thing" that lasted a minute.  I wanted to be a doctor, find a cure for AIDS, join the Peace Corps......tried to join the army, took ASVAB and everything but medical issues kept me from being able to go and not having the support of my dad and stepmom at the time really put a kink on plans and those years of my life destroyed my self esteem as a teen.

I took that cabbage patch kid that I played "mommy" to and cut her open, yes, and mom about killed me!  Stay with me here, I'm not crazy.  I cut her open to put play dough organs inside her, LOL!  She always had homemade bandages and bandaids on her.  This is when I was 6 or 7...I wanted to be a surgeon, take care of people.

Little did I know that my entire life, I DID want to be a mom.  When I met my hubby, I was 22, struggling to put myself in nursing school and work full time.  I gave up on the dreams of being a doctor and figured if I was a nurse first I could work on furthering my education later.  Deep down what I wanted MOST was a family. I wanted to LOVE and be LOVED so deeply, so completely.  I found that when I met Chris and soon realized that it wasn't the "career" I necessarily wanted, it was a family.

Fast forward 15 years and 3 babies, looking at that cabbage patch kid in the thrift shop made me realize I was LIVING MY DREAM.  I am the CEO of my home. I support my husband while he works so hard to provide for us all, including my mom that lives with us.  I take care of the finances (working on doing a better job at that!), I keep the household clean and running as smooth as possible considering, I educate my children completely now, I ensure their safety, well being, and give them the best memories and childhood experience I possibly can.


I don't have as much time in this season for all the "other stuff" that I so love as well and have come to terms of accepting that I can't do it ALL. I can say for the first time, while I've said it in the past I didn't "really" believe it, but now I can say....I'm OKAY WITH THAT!

I've had to walk away from some stuff and some people, but I know that it's what had to be done for my family, for ME.

I am the leader I wanted to be when I was a little girl.  I lead my family, with the most supportive, loving and giving husband a woman could have.  He leads in the areas he needs to and I pick up where I need to.  Like my friend Kim says, he IS the Ying to my Yang. He is my soul mate.  I can't imagine what life would look like had I not met him.

I don't remember much of my childhood AT ALL, but am able to re-experience childhood every moment, every day with my three and THANK GOD for the opportunity to be their mommy, their teacher, their confidant, their biggest fan!

Who would have thought a beat up doll in the thrift shop would be THAT MOMENT for me? :o)