Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Anticipating Improvements for 2011...

As the year 2010 closes I look with great anticipation to 2011. This past year has come with some very hard lessons to learn, not all of which I am happy I had to learn them, but I'm sure I will prosper from their knowledge in the future. Each year at this time many set resolutions for themselves, perhaps kicking an old habit, learning a new skill, or most often a resolution to live a healthier life.

I too am looking to make resolutions and set goals to have a healthier life, but I believe it takes more than just the exercise I do or the calories I count, or even whether or not my food is local, organic, and fresh. I think a healthy life comes from working on various aspect of oneself such as your mind, your body, and your spirit. Here are my thoughts on my goals for 2011

Mind- I hope to embody a peace of mind this coming year. I hope to allow for time of healthy reflection, meditation, thanks, and in general positive thinking. To accomplish this I believe that taking a page from this post by Simple Homeschool will point me in the right direction. I am still contemplating my words for the year but so far "SIMPLE" and "PEACE" are definitely on the list.

Body- Oh I have many goals for my body this year, some realistic and others possibly not so much. Mainly I want to strive to train my body to be in a healthy condition as we have decided that we might possibly be ready to expand our family. Although there are many factors involved I know that I must do my part to get myself as healthy as I possibly can and everything else will fall where it needs to be. To help me be accountable I have signed up for a challenge inspired by a dear friend. I will be striving to run 500 miles in the year 2011. If you would like to join sign up here. There is an option for 500 hours of fitness as well.

Spirit- My spiritual journey is in definite need of attention. To accomplish the level of knowledge that I hope to gain of my Creator I have joined Mom's Toolbox in her Bible in 90 days challenge. I must admit that I have never read the entire Bible, Revelation being a scary book for me, and all that history I'm not sure I have been ready to embrace until now. I pray that this will spur me on to a better spiritual relationship and understanding.

These are all very lofty goals for me to aspire to. I hope that by engaging myself in these various accountability sites this will make attaining these goals a reality.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Things were different this year.... A Reflection on Christmas

The Christmas Holiday was very different for the Fambro Family this year. For one, we were altogether and in our own home for the first time since we became "The Fambros". With traveling completed at the first of the month it gave us a bit of time to relax and breathe and just enjoy the time. Most importantly I was engaged this year. I lost last Christmas. I was in my own fog of despair and loneliness from my miscarriage and literally cannot remember any part of the Holiday. That saddens me to think I missed such a special time with my family but I respect myself enough to know I had to go through what I had to go through to get better.

This year was much better! As we had a slew of firsts (snows for the kiddos, real tree that we cut down, a completely made by me Christmas dinner, etc) we truly enjoyed the moments we could share. As Christmas approached I was very excited to give my children the gifts that Mike and I had made for them. We chose each gift for its meaningfulness and simplicity as we have begun to embrace these ideals for our family daily life. The volume of "stuff" was not nearly as immense as in past years, but truly no one noticed. Each person received something special to them and was able to give something special to another. That is all that mattered. I must say that I feel the most blessed this year as I learned the true joy that comes from making meaningful gifts by hand. I almost felt like I was cheating because the peace that came from each thought and time I put into gifts meant more than I could ever express to its recipient.

Christmas Eve brought its own newness as we were not partaking in the "usual schedule". We instead prepared dinner as a family and then spent the rest of the evening reading the Birth Story of Christ and singing all of our favorite Christmas Hymns. There was even a small production as I sang Drummer Boy and the kids "drummed" their parts for Mike. It was all so peaceful, touching, and real. And I was there, really there. I don't think I can really express how much that means to me.

I pray that these celebrations always stay new and meaningful. And here's a peek into what all of it looked like for us.

The Fun....

House Building

Angel Making

Gift designing

The Gifts...

Quiet Book for Nephew

Wreath for Our Guardian

Bag for Niece- inspired by this tutorial

An attempt at slippers

To hold treasures

For Jakob (Complete with a bag of Marshmallows)

Pajama Pants (from pillow cases)

Lab Coat- inspired by this tutorial

Santa's Lot
Two other gifts not pictured were handmade woodblocks inspired by this tutorial and peppermint lip balm inspired by this post.
I also knitted a bunch of gifts for my family but did not get any pictures of them before I wrapped them and gave them away. Oh well they enjoy them.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Week In Review- Dec 13-17

This was the week that would never stop!! We returned from North Carolina and literally hit the ground running. This is the first time that I have been able to even sit down and update!

Ok so looking back at the subject goals for the month I realized I over estimated how much we could actually get accomplished. Especially since a whole week was taken off the month to visit family, and homeschool kids (and parents) get the before Christmas ADD too! But we were able to accomplish a bit.

Math- working on multiplication tables 1-4,5, and 10. Measuring ingredients for various goodies made this week.

Reading/ Spelling- Progressive Phonics

Language Arts-Here I was really excited about my ideas for Christmas LA, but we are not having the time or the concentration level to work on that right now, so mainly we are reading various Christmasy stories, poems, and finishing up some writing requirements for Boy Scouts.

Science- Weather was on the list for the month but again we have had no formal work here. We are ALL very (im)patiently waiting for a good snow storm so most talk of weather has revolved about the fluffiness of clouds, what snow is made of, freezing points, and general checking of the "weatherbug" for updates on the possible arrival of the white stuff.
I also decided that I would begin to pull out one of the many science kits that we have laying around and we would just do the experiments. I really need to use these up and they are so fun, somehow I just forget about them. :-/

Bible- This is the one area we have definitely not been slack in. Taking some activities from Hubbards Cupboard. I chose the ones we could feasibly get to between now and Christmas and we have added them to end of our Calendar time.
(Our Christmas activity chain-we take a link each day)

When visiting in North Carolina, I was able to obtain a couple of song hymnals and we have spent most of the week singing the Christmas Hymns. This has by far been my favorite part of the week. I love Christmas Hymns, they just take me back to my childhood and I want to share that with my kids. Since we have not really found a church here, I was really happy our hometown minister allowed us the old copies of hymnals. It has been funny this week though to try and sing some of these songs for the kids as I don't read music and my voice is less than stellar at times. But hey its, "Make a joyful NOISE unto the Lord" right? Never said it had to be pretty ;-)

(using Crayola window markers to decorate the name Jesus)

Using cotton balls and finger prints to add to our nativity scene

Handwork- The kids have been helping me this week with the makings in the kitchen from bread to cookies to chestnuts, we have all had our hands busy. We also took a bit of time to make some popcorn and cranberry garland to round out our tree.

All of that in between the massive amounts of crafting, trips to the post office, and various Christmas events have kept us on our toes for the week. Now that most of that is done hopefully we can spend the week in a more relaxed studious fashion (hahaha) before Christmas.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Confessions... Not So fat Tuesday

Ok so I totally skipped last week, since we were in NC with family. The day after we got back was my self imposed weigh in day. I was nervous. More than nervous I was sick. I ate like a pig on vacation and even ate some pig. (North Carolina Bar-B-Que is the best anywhere I couldn't pass it up.) I didn't log a single calorie with Sparks People. I just stopped.

Well I started back about 2 days before we left when I remembered this little app on my Ipod I had downloaded and forgotten about for months. Its called Lose It. It tracks your calories, weight, and adjusts for the calories you burn while exercising. (yeah, didn't do any of that either) Why this app is easier for me than a pen and paper I have no clue but it is. I logged the last two days of the trip and have been logging ever since. Wow the difference it has made in my awareness. I just wish it gave me that little pie graph that Sparks People does. I like graphs. Or maybe its just the ones that look like pie. Whatever.

Anyways I reluctantly got on the scale Friday and was shocked to see I had lost 3lbs! the same three pounds I gained before! YAY!! Just for good measure I weighed myself again today and I have lost another pound! YAY for keeping myself in check!

I'm not going to get on the scale again until New Years. I have enough to handle between now and then I don't need that annoying white box in my bathroom ruining my focus. I will continue to run (4x a week) and log my calories at least 3 days a week. I will shoot for 7 but the minimum is three. I think these are reasonable goals as we head into a Holiday noted for lots of yummies.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mission- December

Mission of the Month

November's Missions were all accomplished! Family members in North Carolina have their gifts and I must say it was just as much fun to make them as to give them. Scarves, tutus, felt food, pillows, and hats were all received in good cheer.
Mission Accomplished

We will be here until Thursday so when I get back I have a shortened amount of time to get all my crafting accomplished. So Here's what I got for December. Some of this Mike will assist with but nevertheless its a mission.
Presents to make:
Jakob- pajama pants, marshmallow shooter, buy Santa
Hazel- pajama pants, Olivia Tutu, branch blocks
Mike-knit or sew slippers
Niece and Nephew presents
Florida Family Presents

Other "To Do"
Mail said presents including Grandparents
Mail Christmas Cards
Go through bedrooms and remove any broken or no longer loved toys
Have the best Family Christmas around our very own tree EVER!!!

I love lists! They make some sort of my life organized! Linking up with Mama Jen!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Weekly Wrapup.....2 in 1 issue

Ok so we did a little bit of work last week and a little bit of work this week but mainly we just enjoyed our time as a family. Daddy was off for four whole days back to back and we are leaving tomorrow for our early Christmas with my family in North Carolina.

We worked through the Button Box and pulled out my box of buttons and sorted, categorized, described and counted in different ways like by 2's, 3's, 4's and so on. I also brought out my old Wrap Ups from when I was learning my multiplication tables and Jakob was thrilled to see that he could do most of them. We will begin the formal memorization of multiplication tables in Dec as he seems ready and confident enough for the task.

He had his final Inventions class and made a couple of models out of recyclable materials. He came out with a brain scanner, a two headed snake, and a stack of papers of things he wants to invent. These were just the things he thought of in this class. His teacher was thrilled to see he already had a notebook of inventions started. This class really brought to light for him how all the pieces of machines work together. So much fun!

We read a lot about the Native Americans, our Progressive Phonics books (Hazel has her own now and is reading!), Made place mats out of paper and wove them together to demonstrate how the Native Americans made the things that they needed. We also learned that mashing deer brains into the hide is an essential part of tanning. Who knew? :-)

In Scouts Jakob learned knot tying. He is a self proclaimed professional square knot tier. lol

Most of the rest of the week we cleaned, packed, organized, and cooked. Now we are off to make our final preparations for our flight tomorrow. Have a great week!

Confessions... Not so fat Tuesday

Man this whole not getting on the scale thing is liberating and frustrating at the same time. But I have another week and a half.

This week I have tried to keep up with my tracking of food. My "requirement" is to log 3 days a week. This way I begin to get into the habit and don't feel overwhelmed and quit (not that I have EVER done that before)

I was amazed to see how inconsistent I was with eating. One day I would eat way over my allowance and the next way under. I didn't even attempt to log Thanksgiving. I have also noticed that I am a plate cleaner. My kids plates to be specific. If they don't eat it the I do and they know I will. Case in point today Hazel brought me her half eaten biscuit cause she was full. Don't most kids just throw it away? Not mine. Give it to Mommy she will eat it. *sigh*

I discovered another cool tool this past week though. If you are using Sparks people then when you are finished logging your food it asks you if you want them to "calibrate" or break down the foods you eat. You can immediately see where you are getting most of your calories from, how much protein you are getting and things like that. They have various pie graphs with calories, fats, vitamins and minerals etc. Its really good to see how all of this rates with one another. We as a whole are a less meat eating family. This means that I generally only cook a meal with meat in it once a week. This began as purely a budget friendly move that turned into a preference. Although I cook mainly veggies I was surprised to see on the pie chart how much of my food is carbohydrates. I have since made a more conscious effort to have protein in our diet in the form of beans, dairy, soy, and of course meat. The goal is to begin to even that pie chart out and then work on lowering the amount of carbs present.

Well. That's my nugget of knowledge for the week. Workouts stalled to nill since I gave my knee a rest. Mike and I have promised one another we will run while in North Carolina next week and I have already packed my hand straps to have a go with the punching bag. Happy Not so Fat Tuesday!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Homeschool Goals For December

Seems I was a bit overzealous in what I thought we would accomplish last month. We never made it to a full out study of the Pilgrims, mainly just a discussion on who they were and why we celebrate Thanksgiving. Our focus was mostly on the Native Americans and reading books about them. We also never accomplished any extra inventors, but that's ok. Jakob had a blast with his inventions class and I am sure we will revisit this in the future. Everything else we hit.

So here are this month's Goals

Science: Weather- how to read a thermometer, tracking weather, names of clouds, reading weather on a forecast, climate vs weather, any other boyscout requirements. I am also hoping to get to Stars and Constellations, but it is the Christmas season....

Language Arts: Reading various storybooks on the birth of Christ, Where Saint Nick comes into play, the story of the Candy Cane, The Christmas tree, and so on. I also want him to focus on point of view and rewrite the Birth Story from the eyes of a random character. This we will work on all month, but I have a skit that I want to read to him from Joseph's view that I think he will find interesting.

We have also been talking about parts of speech and I want to fine tune that knowledge by creating posters for nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc. I plan to hang them up and we can add to them as we learn new words. (This will also help with spelling so I don't have to spell out loud every word)

Reading- We will continue with Progressive Phonics and begin focusing a lot more on reading cues with punctuation.

Spelling- Will be taken from the words learned in Progressive Phonics and any vocab learned

Social Studies- Being that it is Christmas, Language Arts and Social Studies will mingle. This means I want to look at how Christmas is celebrated in various parts of the world. We will also explore the meaning of the Winter solstice and how that is celebrated. (If you can't tell I like to party :-> ) These are also personal interests of mine and may totally flop when presented but we will see.

Geography- He will Continue with his 50 states discovery at the Library.

Math- We will continue going through Marilyn Burns' suggestions for math as well as officially begin putting those multiplication tables to memorization. There will also be loads of exploration with measuring as we make our holiday goodies.

Bible- We will be following Hubbards Cupboard and their suggested activities as well as our own family traditions. Did I tell you this will be the first year we celebrate at home? SOOOO very excited. Some of these "traditions" will be new to the kids but they are a mixture of memories from my husband and myself.

Art-This will be sufficiently satisfied with Hubbards Cupboard Christmas suggestions

Now looking at all of this is really a lot. Especially since we leave Wednesday to go visit family in North Carolina for a week for an early Christmas. Oh well, it will keep up busy as I am sure the weather will not cooperate for being outside. I mean its 37 degrees right now. BRRRRR!!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Confessions... Not so Fat Tuesday

Yes its a day late again but just ignore that. That's what happens when you plan to get something accomplished in the evening and then have unexpected guests.

So, I have no weight to report since I'm taking a break from the scales. I ran 11.8 miles last week! So excited about that. I have run a total of 34 miles so far this month. I was hoping to break 41 like I did last month but my leg is hurting pretty bad from I think a pulled muscle so I am giving it a rest for the rest of the week. I plan to supplement with beating up my Wavemaster and some Yoga.

The Big news comes in what I have learned this week. I have begun tracking my food. Just writing it down at first to see what it is that I am eating. Then I go to Sparkspeople.com and input the food to see where I am caloric wise. Man has this been an eye opener! I am consuming a load of calories! The first day I tracked was Sunday when I went to a friend's house and had a tea party. Man oh man snacking on those goodies and the French Bread and dipping oil REALLY added up. It put into perspective for me what my eating unawares is costing me.

The next day I wanted to focus on doing better and I did. Eating that is. I found out what people mean by drinking their calories. I hardly ever have anything in the house other than water and coffee and on the weekend we have Diet Drinks but calorie wise those are all extremely low or free. Enter the Egg Nog. I love Egg Nog. As a family we drink as much of it as we can because its only in the stores for such a short period of time. Until I logged it. A serving of Egg Nog has approximately 180 calories. Ok fine, not great but fine. Do you know what a serving is? 1/2 cup or 4oz Do you know what that looks like in your glass? I didn't. Here let me show you...
That's a juice glass. The short ones that come in the box of glasses see?
When I saw that my jaw dropped. That's it? That's a serving? My glasses look more like this...
I had two of MY servings on Monday so that's actually 4 servings of Egg Nog. In case you don't feel like doing the math that's 720 calories! 2 glasses of Egg Nog in a one day period!!! Crazy!

So do I go nutso and restrict myself to a ridiculously low calorie goal? No. I also found this week a site that tells you how much calories you much ingest to maintain your current weight. Go Here. On the site it tells you that to lose a pound a week you must burn 3500 calories less than what you're body requires. That's 500 calories a day. And if you are doing exercise even less. Totally a doable situation. Sparks people doesn't recommend you lose more than 2 lbs per week so I am going to try and be continuously aware of eliminating the necessary calories. That means I can still eat. I'm a big girl so going from what I eat to stay this weight (well over 2,000) to say 1200-1500 calories was difficult. Just cutting 500 seems more doable. I know that I am still learning so I am not going to punish myself if I go over. But I am enjoying all the new information. Makes me feel like this is really achievable. :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekly Wrapup- Nov 15-19

Ok This week has been fun for us and rewarding for me as a mom. Sometimes you just need weeks like that to reaffirm that you are doing the right thing.

Calendar time- We actually got to this a whopping three times this week. Kids still love it. I'm bored. I have to find something fun to add in there. Plus side Jakob is really starting to understand and appreciate the value of learning to skip count and has told me how it has helped him in his math multiple times this week.

Math- Marilyn Burns is a flippin Genius! We read One Gorilla and How Big is a Foot this week and worked out group adding of more than 4 numbers (like 15+12+13+16+18) and how to break those numbers down and make them more manageable. We also worked on converting measurements by measuring things with our own feet and then measuring our feet, and then figuring out how many ACTUAL feet that is. Super fun, especially since he got to make Mom lay down on the cold cold floor.

Science- We attempted to make recycled paper. It was fun while it lasted but in the end it stuck to the pan and tore. I was bummed, Jakob says we should try again next week. Love that kid.
Step 1: Tear up Paper

Step 2: Pour in water and make mush

Step 3: Figure out the best way to dry paper so it doesn't stick and rip (you're on your own there)

Social Studies- Lots of reading and discussions about the Native Americans. Reading traditional Poems, looking at their Calendar System in comparison to ours, and beginning discussions on Longhouses. We also talked about how some tribes communicated with drums as signals as well as using them for ceremonial music. Then we made drums out of a salt box and an Oatmeal Box and jammed up the day with our own beats. Jakob also experimented making his own drum signals (meaning he tapped out the syllables and made me try to guess what he was saying)

She dances to the beat of her own drum... with crayons.

Beginning his picture story for his drum. "An arrow pierces through Day and Night"

Writing- We have had discussions about whether he feels ready to take a stab at cursive again. I am worried since last year he would cry and scream everytime he brought home writing practice from school because he couldn't make it look just right. We agreed we will wait until the New Year. So instead he wrote a letter to his oldest friend (whom he still thinks that he will marry someday) in Guam. We edited it and rewrote it. I was thoroughly impressed with the length of the letter (a full page) as this is usually a toughie for him.

Hazel discovered a couple of weeks ago that she knows how to write her name and is writing it on everything. Sometimes are more legible than others but still. Today she called me downstairs frantically and wanted to show me what else she figured out. How to write a lowercase "e" she was super proud. So was Momma.

See the "e"? And of course the "H"

Scouts- They had a visit from a Police officer who talked with them about his really cool job, how much he LOVES coffee, and fingerprinting. Jakob loved it!

Inventions Class- This week they learned about flying and what makes things fly and did various experiments with paper planes, cylinders, and twirlys. From what I can gather there was a "BOOM" of some sort with one of the experiments but he was so excited he couldn't find the words and just ran off flying his papers.

Miscellaneous- You could call this Art, but art is more of a inspired part of our day. We do things was we see the need there. This week there was a need to keep the kids at the table while I took a phone call concerning an accident my Dad had been in (Thank goodness he is fine). I sometimes pick up books at the library to leave around for Jakob in case he might be interested an this week's winner was a how-to draw sea creatures and forest animals. Kept BOTH kids at the table for a good 30 min. I actually had to put a limit on the paper, they were just so excited by the ability to draw these things!

Jakob- Angler Fish

Hazel- Deer... I think :)

Well, that's our week how has yours been? Don't forget to head on over and check out what everyone else is up to at...
Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Confessions.... Sometimes she knows more about this than I do

This week brought with it a peace of sorts. Probably a storm calmed in my own soul that allowed me to appreciate all that has been happening around me. And my children have utterly amazed me this week.

Case in point Hazel:
The week began with her earnest requests that I teach her to read.

Um ok you sure?

Yes I need to read Mommy. Learn me now please.

While most people I have talked to have been all excited for me that my not yet 4 year old is asking to read, I was terrified. I had decided a while back that I wanted her to really focus on the job of being a kid and that there was plenty of time for formal instruction. So I dropped any planning for her. She could participate or not no biggie. I just knew this would be the best for her. Of course she countered with requests for work pages and specific things for her to do (amid all the playing and having fun of course).

And then she asked me to teach her to read. I was so scared not because I have any doubts of her ability, or her readiness, but my own. I fear that I will get caught up in the process and end up teaching it out of her. Why I'm not sure but this is my fear.

So I asked her if she wanted a reading book like Jakob. She replied, "Yes Mommy, that's how I learn to read!" So I went to Progressive Phonics and looked to see what they had and printed her the first Alphabettii book. She immediately wanted to get started. So that night we read a little. She got that letters made sounds but not too much that they all make a word. I was becoming frustrated, she kept telling me to read it again. Finally we decided to go to bed.

Today she wanted to "learn from her Reading Book" again. Really? Didn't you have enough last night? In all honesty I put her off most of the morning having her help with chores and cleaning up around the house. She was happy with that but each time would say, "Now can we learn?" I felt horrible. Here my daughter was begging me to teach her how to read and I was putting her off.

So we set down, book in hand on the couch and began again. I went through the first few pages and same ole' same ole. She really wasn't getting it. I asked her if she was done (since she was playing with her "knitting") and in the calmest and wisest of tones she said, "No I need you to read it again. Read it again so I can learn. Start from the beginning."

So I did. And then she looked at me and said, "That's good! We will read it again tomorrow so I can learn. I want to go play in my room now."


This Moment- Preparing for the feast

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Inspired by Soule Mama

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Confessions... Focus (Not so Fat Tuesday a Day late)

Ok I didn't write this post yesterday. Honestly I wasn't going to write it at all. I was so angry and frustrated with myself

I gained 3lbs.

And I'm not even going to try to make excuses. I KNOW EXACTLY why I gained the weight. Bloomin' Onion, Snacks, Pumpkin Cream cheese Dip, and a Smore's Cake Dessert. Oh and don't forget the Family Deluxe Pizza that is suppose to feed 6 which fed our family of 4.
Hubby was home so we ATE.

My problem is I give up after one stumble. When I snacked too much at a night out I figured, "What the Hay? I will just have some ginger snaps and dip with the kids, they are making it look soo good." Which turned into, "I'm too tired and behind in my work to cook let's order out." which led to, "Let's just go out to eat after church that way I can make something for dinner."


Anyways that's how I felt all day yesterday when I jumped on the scales. Which led to more poor choices. But today is a new day. At the suggestion of my friend Angela (did you ever think you would have so much advice Ang? lol) I will not be weighing myself for the rest of the month. Actually I will not weigh myself again until I come back from my trip to North Carolina the first week in Dec. Although this makes me nervous not having evidence of success or failure I think the focus on the failure is too much right now. I was happier celebrating my fitness achievements than my weight.

For instance. Did you know that I have run 68 miles since October 1st? I ran 2.7 miles TODAY! In 33.3 minutes!! And finished it up with some yoga.
Also almost every pair of jeans I have clearly shows in the legs and the butt that there is a bit missing. Most pants I have to hold up. Which is a total shocker for me, the spokeswoman for "Baby Got Back" (hehehe)

I know I need to keep track of my food intake so I am going to spend this time really educating myself on the whole Calorie and Serving subject. I think that information and its implication is tangible enough for me to be satisfied.
I may not lose a tremendous amount of weight but I think I will create a firm foundation and without the pressure of the scales each week. I need to not be under anymore pressure right now.

Or I could be totally off base. In the end I will have learned something which is awesome either way.

And because I am a total nerd here is what I am giddy about right now... :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Confessions... I want to remember today forever

Today was a wonderful day here for us. Things went right, nice tones were used, explosions of understanding were happening everywhere. Little hands helped all day preparing pumpkin, bread, and tea. The veil lifts a little more everyday on those most difficult words, definitions, math concepts. And momma got a full workout in. No pictures to prove it all because we were fully engrossed in the moment all day long. But I just want to leave it here... today was a great day.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekly Wrapup- Nov 8-12

My, my, the weeks are flying by!!

This week found is doing a bit of "regular work". Mainly, various worksheets and games and of course our journey through Marilyn Burn's books on math. Jakob also discovered a protractor and spent an afternoon just drawing various circles and coloring them in. He made a pretty awesome owl eye when it was all said and done.

Because it has been terribly wet and cold for most of the week we did a lot of talking about the trees instead of experiencing them. We looked through the parts of the trunk, perfected the word "photosynthesis" and inscribed in our minds what that tongue twister means. We also discussed various forms of fuel used for heat (including trees) as we happily watched the oil man come and fill our tank so that we can be warm again!

We went to two play dates this week with Hazel's playgroup and made ornaments, and painted canvases for gifts for Christmas.

Our study of the Native Americans is going a bit slow as this is a subject I decided to go through and not Jakob so there is not a ton of pre-interest to build upon. So I have begun to read the kids a few traditional poems and songs from a book we found at the library and this has definitely sparked some interest as to various tribes, their cultures, and storytelling.
On our weekly trip to the Library I showed Jakob how to read the shelf location of a book and find the subject and asked him to pick me a few books he thinks are interesting on Native Americans. I am hoping that this will broaden both of our knowledge and understanding and interest.

Tuesday's Invention Class is going well and Jakob is really enjoying the various models he
is building and the things he is learning to do. Only downside is Momma doesn't get to see.

Thursday and Friday Daddy was home so we really did the minimal as far as book work goes, visited an Herbal Pharmacy and experienced our very first Hockey Game. All in all the week has been wonderful.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Confessions..... All workout and no Diet Means.....

Momma's scales don't move.

At least they didn't move up. :-/

And the fact that this is not happy news for me means I really need to get it together. Running has been GREAT! I ran 11 miles last week and plan to do the same this week. 4 of those miles I ran on my Birthday and was joined with people all over on Facebook to run for my 30th. That made me grin ear to ear.

Back to the scales.

I always gravitate more towards exercise than diet because I feel its something I can touch, feel, do. The main thing I should focus on is my diet. Calories in vs calories out. Ugh! I hate to even think about it. But I HAVE to become more conscious of what I am putting in my mouth. And its not the meals... its the snacks.

I have a confession to make.

I. Eat. Chips.

Lots of them. I am a chips and dip girl. Wavy please with ranch dipping sauce. Which is RIDICULOUS!!! The meals I cook are extremely healthy. Case in point my Husband. He's dropped 20lbs since I changed my cooking methods. And you know why? No chips...well not as many as me.

So just like the fast food challenge I am going to challenge myself not to buy any chips and dip for the rest of the month. And that means no crackers either (Tomato Basil Wheat Thins to be exact). This should help me look for healthier snacks and most importantly be aware of what I am eating and not mindlessly eat. Another LOVELY trait of mine.

Ok so to recap. Keep working out like I have been. No Chips. Make sure I eat my happy foods and drink my water. Oh boy. Pray for me this week.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Handmade Holiday Idea... Enlist the Kids

We are rolling right along here making the family's gifts for Christmas.
I wanted to enlist the kids' help to make an extra special gift for My Grand-ma and their Great- Grandma.
Hand prints are an extra special memory of mine and Grandmothers. I remember my Grandma taking me to visit my Great-Grandmother's house many times. Each time we visited two things would happen. She would make Chex Mix and she would trace my hands.
My hand print would be proudly displayed on the refrigerator until the next visit when she would trace them again.
My Great- Grandmother passed when I was in High School but there are so many memories I still hold dear. I want to pass on this tradition in a special way.

And now I present you with the Hand Pillow made mostly by Jakob and Hazel.

Trace Hands onto an appropriate fabric (found this in the remnants sale)
Knot the Yarn (Very important)

Let your little dear sew the lines. It is helpful to use a yarn needle and to have something to keep your own hands busy and let them do THEIR work. ahem I chose to knit :-)

Encourage your kids to finish but gladly take over when they want you to.

Measure, Cut and Pin a back fabric right sides together
Sew. (pic by Jakob)
Turn work rightside out and stuff. Pause to laugh at your Florida dog hovering near the heater... poor puppy
Sew up hole(s) after stuffing and voila!
We are all soo excited with the way these turned out! The only thing I would do differently would be to use either smaller yarn or more "holey" fabric. I picked this idea up from a myriad of places and blogs. I think the one book that talks the most about kids embroidery is Handmade Home by Amanda Soule. She is the author of the beautiful blog Soule Mama.
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