Friday, August 28, 2015

Slammed with

Well, I am a day...or two...late...oops. We were running around all week like chickens with our heads cut off. And over the weekend we went to the Natural History Museum. I have been diligently picking away at things that needed to get done for the major school this week. We started weeks ago, but this is the big start. All classes in full swing. Everything is ordered and on its way. I only wish Boo and Bear were as excited I am. I haven't ordered religious ed yet, I am struggling with choosing. I had one picked, but there are just so many, and I do not like dealing with the unknown.

I am getting my binder all in order so I have the lesson plans, school paperwork, and all that good stuff in one place. I am also in the process of getting a file box ready with file folders for their work. I am keeping everything at my fingertips. 

My binder will include, but is not limited to:

State legal information {affidavit, homeschool laws for Arizona, annual testing results}
Activities {sports, field trips, clubs, church groups, etc}
Current curriculum list with a current school year calendar
Book wishlist along with other curriculum to look at {if needed}, as well as class wants for the next year.
Boo's tests from all her classes
Bear's tests from all her classes
Nani's...well, er uh...everything just so she feels like a big girl!

*Please note, the legal information you keep should be based on local laws for your area. I am in Arizona, we don't need records, but since I am divorced I keep these items for the ex to see when he is just good co-parenting.

Like I said, we are all out of control over here! In addition to my notebook I created a spreadsheet to docushare with the ex as is my grade sheet. I have all eight {yes EIGHT} classes listed, as well as the curriculum, what I paid and where I got it, PLUS I have the attendance sheet there for him. I am toying with sharing it here on the site for a time for FREE.

I am also custom building a Home Econ curriculum for the big girls. I will go along with the Geography and cultural lessons. We are just swamped with the start of school the past few weeks.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Mommy on a mission ~ Clean eating

Healthy living, clean eating, natural lifestyle...

All of these are very common today, especially with ADD, ADHD, Diabetes, Autism, and other various health issues on the rise. Because we homeschool, and we are together so much, I have a little more control over what my children eat. No unhealthy school lunches or vending machine meals.

Starting this week I am re-overhauling our food intake:

NO high fructose corn syrup allowed...
YES fresh fruits and veggies galore
SOME and chicken mostly
We are LIMITING carbs, but not so much the amount, more like the kind. I am using whole grain only


This is all, of course, in addition to multivitamins and smoothies we normally drink. 

It is important to note, most medical professionals will tell you that a great many of the issues we have today with the health of our children can be helped a lot with a more controlled diet. Bear's anxiety dropped a great deal, while not totally because of, but at least in part due to a change in diet. 

I also have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), and more vegetarian diet helps immensely. I have less mood swings, and less pain. No secret fad diets, no special pills or drinks, just vitamins (I use Melaleuca) and healthy eating. 

This week I am following a one week clean eating routine. Basically I have a menu laid out, ready for the week (we usually do anyway) and I am starting with five days. Then I will add more as I go. I will build a habit again...

Who wants to join in?

Hop on over Tuesday morning for a list of recipes, and feel free to join in and follow along!

Friday, August 14, 2015

How I manage to still do Adoration

Adoration questions I hear:

-An hour of silent adoration?
-What do I do?
-How do I stay focused for a whole hour?
-Do people really do this?

These are all good questions, with very basic answers.

*An hour. That is all Christ asked of his Apostles. One hour. Pray with him.
*You pray. You adore the God who gave you life and forgiveness of your Earthly sins.
*You take up a rosary, you can read a book meant to strengthen your relationship with God, or just pray...a lot.
*Yes. We do. I go at least twice a month. Once I drop my children with their father I head over to adoration.

What do I do?

Pray. That is the easiest way to put it. But, because dropping my children off can be stressful, I am usually found doing an examine of conscience before entering adoration. I know what I have done, and what I need to repent for.

Generally, I will spend the better part of 30 minutes repairing the damage I have done with God. I take books in, assuming I am working on a retreat or reading a book to strengthen my relationship with God. I focus my energy, all of it, on Christ. I am human, my mind wanders, and when it does I treat it like a child and simply redirect. Liturgy of the Hours is an amazing option as well, and I use that on days I am especially unfocused.

What can you do if you have small children?

Children should not stand in the way of your relationship with Christ. It is important, as a mother, to know Him and love Him. When I am in need of adoration I have a set up in my home ready for use. A small nook, or crevice in the wall, a built-in shelf, or a small table off to the side somewhere is all you need.

A photo, or statue of Christ can help immensely while adoring at home. I use a small photo as a quick redirect or reset button when my mind wanders. It reminds me what I am supposed to be doing at that moment. If you want, add a small pillow or something to ensure comfort (I know, I know sacrifice and all that...but that is coming), you may choose to do this the full hour!

Finally, adore early. Before your tiny lovelies wake and start their day. Wake before every one and pray. Read a book, read daily readings, say a rosary, do what feels right for you.

And finally: Enjoy the gifts God gives you in return for your small sacrifice!

That is, after all, what true worship and adoration are...SACRIFICE for God.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015-2016 Homeschool Organization

As we slowly progress back into the groove of school, we get more organized for the year. I am organizing the girls with 3 inch binders, and myself with a 3 inch binder and some smaller 1.5 inch binders as well. We have the house organized for homeschool as well. When we moved in I bought a china cabinet, we use it for school books and crafty stuff at the moment. Here is a quick look into how we will be organized for the year.


Each girl has a notebook for a reading log, and will be given prompts for book reports, journaling, and reading logs. In each notebook she has three reading logs, once she reaches a goal she will get a pizza dinner with Mom.

Each girl has a 3 inch binder. Each of these binders will have the following tabs for classes:

Language Arts
     Literature {Boo}

     Each week/unit has a sub-tab for work

     Each chapter will have a sub-section for work
     Field trips

     Sub-sections as needed {we have never worked with this, so this will be a work in progress}

     Basic notes
     Laminated speed tests

{I have not yet found a curriculum I love though}

{Second semester we will be adding a language!}


I have 1.5 inch binders for each girl. These will be used as daily attendance reports, test storage, and final book reports. Sections:

Laminated school year calendar
List of subjects and corresponding books {for Dad's house}
Copies of weekly lesson plans for each child
     Kind of like this, but for a whole week because they need it for Dad's place
Pre-printed copywork and pages as need for Dad's place
Copies of current grades for Dad
Laminated copy of all websites and current passwords

I also use {for my own personal use and planning} the Well Planned Day planner.

Monday, August 10, 2015

33 Days to a Calmer Mommy

33 Days. That's all it takes.

I enjoy my rosary. So much so that I have several, and intend to make more. I am becoming increasingly interested in the different types of rosaries available to pray on. I want my own children to have an interest in revering the Holy Mother. I want them to look at her as I do and see a woman that God saw fit to not only bear, but raise His Holy Son. I am in amazement that such a person has ever even lived.

I want to be like her. I want to have her grace. I want to feel her love.

I want the same for my own children. I want them to know this level of grace exists.

I am rereading 33 Days to Morning Glory. I also found a podcast I plan to use as well this time around.

Join me for the next 33 days. Consecrate yourself to Mary.
Join me and make this a retreat for your own homeschooled children.

I will leave you with how I taught my children to recite the Hail Mary with meaning:

Hail Mary, full of grace 
The Lord is with thee

God filled Mary with grace. She loved him. She followed God at any cost.
God is with Mary during her pregnancy, experiencing every moment she experienced.

Blessed art thou amongst women,
Blessed is thy fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

God blessed Mary with a child. God gave her himself.
Jesus grew within her to become man, like us.

Holy Mary, mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death.

Even God sees Mary as the Holy Queen. He sees her as his mother.
Mary prays for us daily. She answers our prayers as she sees fit. 
Mary prays for the sinners. She pulls you in and loves you to redemption.