Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Lisa's Homemaking Corner

Monday, August 30, 2010

A new school year begins

Today was the first day of kindergarten for my middle son.  He is so excited to finally be doing his own school!  The curriculum we use for all the boys is from My Father's World, and if you click here, you can see their K curriculum.  It is wonderful!

Today, we are starting off a two-week introduction by focusing on the seven days of creation.  We started a creation poster and a creation book, after reading about the first day of creation.  I will post pictures when they're complete.  We also sang the alphabet song and I reviewed letter recognition with him...he already knows a lot of them!  We finished our day by learning the hymn, "My Father's World."  It was a pretty short school day...I think it only took us 20 minutes!  But, it's a good introduction to school for him, and once the first two weeks are done, we will take about an hour to an hour-and-a-half, and it will be a little more intense.

My oldest is still plugging away at fourth grade, which is great!  At his age, he's almost a year ahead, and we have taken our time with this year, as it is our first big year of history.  I'm hoping he'll be done before Christmas, then we can move on to fifth grade after a short break after the New Year.

That's all on the homeschool front for now.  We are down to one car, which I have for the day since we dropped hubby off at work this morning...therefore, it's errand day.  ;)  All that to say, I better sign off for now and get some things done!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Productive Day

Today turned out to be wonderful!  I pray the momentum keeps going.  I started today by getting my workout in before I even ate breakfast.  Now, I have to put in a bit of a plug here, because I absolutely LOVE Leslie Sansone's walking videos!  I remember getting her "Walk Away the Pounds" videos years ago.  The workouts are simple, yet they really are effective.  And she always includes levels of intensity from the novice to the veteran walker.  Here is the dvd I popped in today:















Don't be intimidated by the 5 miles!  She always includes "mile markers" so that you can do however many miles you want.  If you're a first-time walker, she even encourages you to try just 5 minutes.  Work your way up to that first mile if you have to.  If you keep it up, you'll find yourself motivated to keep doing a little more, and before you know it, you've got a five-mile walk under your belt (and most likely a little less cush!).  I was able to do the whole 5 miles today, and I'll tell you what, it felt pretty good to not only have accomplished that, but also to have it out of the way right away in the morning!

Another major accomplishment today is that I kept my eating under control.  I have not eaten any dairy (which is a given, I won't touch it anymore after I got sick last time!), gluten, or legume products.  Some days, it's a struggle to stay away from all three...I'm not sure why, since it's a lot simpler to cook without them!  Meat/protein, veggies, and fruit for meals is all I really need to have.  I didn't get advanced menus planned, but I started out today knowing what we would be having for all three meals, so I consider that a start!  Here's what we had today:

Breakfast: Fried eggs (cooked with olive oil) on gluten-free English muffins and topped with organic gluten-free ketchup
Lunch:  Cashew butter sandwiches on gluten-free bread and grapes
Dinner:  Mesquite chicken breasts and corn, and coconut milk ice cream for dessert

I also got some errands run and did some homeschool with my oldest son.  I'm starting Kindergarten with my middle son on Monday, and we are both very excited!  This weekend, I will be going through our curriculum and making sure we have everything we need.  :)

We finished our day with a walk around our neighborhood.  I am very proud of my boys as they were very good all day today!  The Lord has truly blessed us immensely, and I am so thankful to Him for this life He has given me!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Getting back in shape!

Even with year-round homeschooling, a lot of the structure I had previously established has fallen to the wayside in these late summer months.  And I am definitely beginning to feel the effects.  So, in the next few days, I will be working on getting back into shape, and I'm not just talking physically.  Three main things I want to focus on getting into shape are myself (both spiritually and physically), my family, and my home.

I had a good thing going with weight-loss, but that has come to a standstill as of late, and I fear that if I don't get active regularly again very soon, things may take a turn in a direction I'm not willing to go again.  I am really feeling the effects of my lack of activity lately, and I know I need to make being active a top priority right now.  Because if I'm not feeling good physically, it will do me no good to attempt the other things I want to do.  So first and foremost, I will be working on stricter menu plans that are healthy for myself and my family.  Coming in an extremely close second, will be making sure I have time carved out every day for getting a workout in, as well as making sure I get the kids out for a daily walk as long as it's nice outside.

The other aspect of getting myself into shape (and the most important one!) is making sure I am in the Word every day.  I finished reading through the bible a couple of weeks ago, and have decided to start a chronological bible reading plan this go around that I found here.  I've been reading every night before I turn in, so that aspect has been going well.  Now, I just want to make sure that I'm reading daily, and then I will hopefully be able to increase the time I spend doing that.  The one thing that I'm really working on is LISTENING, and not just reading.  I hate to admit it, but sometimes I get so caught up in reading a certain amount every day, that I forget to really absorb what God is trying to say to me.  So I am really praying that the Lord will give me a calm and peaceful heart, and a quiet mind, so that I can hear Him.  :)

As for getting the family into shape, I have a wonderful relationship with my husband...but I really want to make sure I'm reinforcing that, and I plan to pick up the Proverbs 31 study again very soon.  I have a pretty good relationship with my kids, too, but I am really working on my patience (or more like, God is working on it!) and having a meek and quiet spirit.  I really need to learn to "stop and smell the roses," so to speak...to just slow down and enjoy the time God has given me with these precious blessings, and teach them to enjoy and serve each other, as well!

As far as the house goes, I'm really split on how high up on the priority list I want to put it.  Right now, because of the de-cluttering and the fact that our yard sale has gotten postponed until a couple of weeks from now, certain areas of the house are a disaster.  The laundry room has become our "holding area" for yard sale things, and it's really decreased the functionality of that room.  This is one of those areas that comes around full circle back to working on me, because I really have a hard time functioning with a lot of clutter around.  So, I think I will pray that God will either help me to let go of that mental block or give me the energy to get it done without taking time away from the other priorities.  ;)

This post was basically me thinking and planning "out loud."  I also am hoping to put together a list of blog topics and blogging schedule soon, so that I have a more regular stream of posts here.  So, stay tuned and join me on my journey to get back into shape!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Get Excited!

Major progress has been made recently in my de-cluttering quest.  The gradual process spoken of in my last post was not needed.    My hubby got a hankering to de-clutter, and that's when you know it's going to be a DEEP clean.  :)  Now, it's all fine and good when I de-clutter by myself, but there's only so much I can do, not only physically, but also in the way of WHAT I can get rid of.  I know my hubby doesn't appreciate the "Honey, do you want to keep this, or get rid of it?" every 5 minutes, so I don't do it.  :) Not to mention, my husband can get done in a day, what usually takes me a week.  LOL!

So, yes, I was VERY excited when my hubby told me he wanted to get rid of clutter.  And then what happened?  The KIDS got excited and wanted to get rid of some of their stuff, too!  Yay!  :)  They did a very good job of going through their toys, and actually got rid of quite a bit, and were very willing to part with what Mom and Dad suggested, too.  They were also so nice about passing some things down to their little brother.

We now have some things to list on ebay and craig's list, as well as enough for a yard sale!  We love having yard sales, and so do the kids!  They get to help out and be outside all day, plus, we let them keep the money on anything of theirs that they sell.

I'm not totally done going through the house yet, but we are planning on having our sale this coming weekend, so I have the rest of the week to finish up.  My point is, if you want your kids to get excited about something, YOU need to get excited!  It's catchy.  :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Toddler toys: minimize the clutter to maximize the fun!

I have to sigh as I go through the kids' toys...again.  Yikes, there's just too many!  Instead of asking, "Okay, what don't they like to play with?" I find myself having to ask instead, "What can I get rid of that they won't care about being gone?"  Because inevitably, they "like" to play with practically everything!  Each of my kids have their favorites, but are the plethora of toys that get played with once in a blue moon worth keeping?  Unless they're special to you or your child (and that's why they don't get played with), I say NO!  As a mother to three boys, I think I can say, it's just not worth the stress.

Here are my plans over the next week.  Take special note of which toys are out and being played with the most often.  I'm going to try and do this in my head ;) although I should probably write this down...you can make the choice for yourself.  Gradually, take those toys getting left in the dust and stick them in a 5 gallon bin, somewhere where the kids won't be able to get to them.  Just one or two toys (or a handful) here and there.  Once it's full, keep it for a couple of weeks.

Now, the kids may notice toys are missing, but it they can't even really remember what's gone, obviously it needs to go.  Don't ask them if they want xyz back, because of course you will remind them of what's missing!  Just tell them you are going through the toys because they have too many, or something like that.  :)  If they whine, explain to them that if they can't even remember what's missing, it must not have been very special, and now they can have more fun with their favorite toys.  If a child requests a specific thing, tell them you will set it aside, but that you're not welcoming it back quite yet.  If they're anything like my oldest, he remembers everything that was there, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's special to him, he's just resisting the change.  LOL!  If the same child repeats the request a few times, then bring the toy back, but make sure to watch how often they play with it.  If after a week, you've seen him barely touch it, point that out to him and ask him if he REALLY enjoys the toy.  I may even go so far as to ask if it's fair to the toy to be in our home not being played with, when it can live in another home, where it's enjoyed and played with often.  But, really, that's up to you.  ;)

Once two weeks have gone by and the bin is still full, get it out of the house.  Donate or sell, just don't bring it back to the "keep" collection!  Every time a new toy comes in, find one that can leave in it's place.  Either that, or plan to do the above session once or twice a year.

Now, I was thinking about what kind of toys to keep, and I am actually kind of picky in this regards.  If I can help it, I like to have AS LITTLE TOYS AS POSSIBLE THAT REQUIRE BATTERIES.  I mean that with all my heart.  All you who are parents, I do not need to explain this one, it's pretty self explanatory.  :)  I also LOVE good quality wooden toys and puzzles, such as Melissa & Doug products.

Thinking about the toys I like to have around made me want to browse toddler toys, and here, I'll feature a few I think are cool.

My middle son totally wants one of these.  I LOVE pillow pets (instant lovey!), and thought it was so cool they had a moose, since my middle son's nickname is Moose.  :)











No puzzle pieces to get lost!  They're all attached.  :)













Especially fun for preschoolers.  :)  Introduces colors, shapes, and sorting.  Okay, seriously, anything Melissa & Doug, I think, would be cool.  :D  They make really good quality products!  Just do a search on Amazon for Melissa & Doug and you will find all kinds of amazing things.










Okay, and this one is TOTALLY ridiculous, but all in fun, you've gotta admit it would be SO fun to be the kid who got to ride in this!  LOL!  And, it has cup holders, which, as my hubby will tell you, is always a plus for me.  ;)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A new endeavor

Since I love to blog anyway and share my opinions (and really, who couldn't use a few extra dollars here and there?), I have decided to become an Amazon Associate.  Which means occasionally here on my blog, I will be sharing product and book reviews.  Those reviews will include a link to the product on amazon.com, where if the link is clicked through and a purchase is made (on anything, not just the original product), I will get a little commission for the sale.

It's really not much (although there's good potential there!), but my dear hubby has been working so hard lately so we can get ALL of our debt paid off, and I figure it's a good thing if I can do what I'm already doing and contribute just a little to the effort.  :)

Now, back to regularly scheduled programming...