Friday, July 24, 2009

Fruits and Veggies GALORE

I adopted a new food regime early this year. I go to our local fruit and veggie stand and fill my cart up once a week. Each week, I try to add 1 new fruit of veggie that we have never eaten. We have tried some very interesting new things this year including Bok Choy, Eggplant, White Peaches, White Cherries and several others things I can't remember at the moment. Anyhow, my rule is that all the fruits and veggies must be eaten by the end of the week. It forces me to cook super healthy and to eat super healthy because a full cart only costs me 40 bucks and this is what I got today for that price.......
  • bananas
  • apples
  • peaches
  • plums
  • kiwi
  • eggplant
  • corn on the cob
  • 2 pks mushrooms
  • cilantro
  • peppers
  • bell pepper
  • yellow onions
  • red onions
  • grapes
  • cabbage
  • Romain lettuce
  • assorted lettuce
  • asparagus
  • cherries
  • lemons
  • limes
  • a giant watermelon
  • oranges
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Roma tomatoes
  • avocados
  • walnuts
  • yellow squash
  • zucchini

The typical week at our house now is pretty healthy. We do not say no to junk, but we have only 1 week to get through all that produce so there isnt much room left for junk in the end. I dont do it for thinness though, I just do it because I have energy and I feel well when we eat this way and I know my family benefits from eating lots of produce, however, dropping pounds has definitely been a good side effect! Just wanted to share

Friday, July 10, 2009

Abeka----Gasp, Curriculum?

My kids have never been pushed to do workbooks and typically never had much interest. For Christmas though, a well meaning relative who knows we home school, bought a gazillion workbooks of every kind for my kids. There are grammar, math, states, fun facts, ABC dot to dot and reading and writing type books. My kids were have been bored a lot since Maddy was born and pulled them out. They have been plowing through them and have been so proud to show me when they finish an entire workbook. They come to me for help with these books often as they are pretty tough books and my kids have never had formal grammar lessons so lets be honest, they are foreign concepts. I asked the kids about this coming school year and whether they want to continue unschooling or if they wanted me to get them curriculum and if so, what kind. CRAZY as it is, they WANTed curriculum. I couldn't believe my ears. They begged me to get them something with lots of fun and interesting WORKBOOKS.....yes I am laughing too. What child asks for curriculum and workbooks at that? They talked about why they wanted it and what types they thought would be fun. I searched the Internet and workbook oriented curriculum's and found Abeka seemed to be almost all workbook type stuff so I ordered them each their own stuff. We spent 650 for the older three kids and Tanner is only 4, but he begged for his own work books too so he will be doing K math and K writing. We will see how we like this curriculum. I have always been super flexible with school, but Nate thrives on structure and I always did as a child, just not as an adult. I am realizing though that the older my kids are getting, the more they create their own structure and I think they enjoy the accomplishment of getting some sort of tangible "school" work done each day. Unschooling has afforded them opportunities to explore and learn through osmosis, but oddly I think they are moving past that and wanting to SEE what they have done and know they are learning. They are still very much in charge of their learning as I am following their leads, their interests and their desires for workbooks. We picked everything out together. It was a long afternoon. I do appreciate the fact that Abeka is all Christian based as well and has neat character building workbooks and things. I think the kids are really going to enjoy it. They already keep asking when it will get here because their current workbooks are almost done. It should be an interesting and fun year, but also a big shift from our unschooling. We have done a little here and there with curriculum's over the past 4 years, but I would say 90% unschooled. This will be a 100% school at home type of situation if they complete all this curriculum we bought. I have no expectations though, just excitement for the kids to get their new stuff.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Plethera of Summer Fun!

The regional much fun!

Our summer has been so jampacked with fun, its hard to beleive. We have been the the $ movies, water parks, pools, skate parks, riding horses nonstop, church bbq's each week, library time with neat things. We have lived, laughed, loved and learned! Its been a fascinating summer with lots of opportunities presenting themselves at every turn. Our homeschool group has had a lot of amazing outings this summer as well. We are truely blessed and I can't beleive all the free/ultra cheap fun you can have when you really look out for the opportunities. Nate has been working on our new house on all his days off so it will be done by summer's end for us to move in, so I have really stepped it up this year, looking for ways to keep the summer enriching and fun without Daddy around much. Its really paid off and I think this really a summer my kids and I will cherish and remember for many years to come.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Sweet Nurslings

Kenna chillin in her cloth dipe
Madelynn....her eyes are still blue! 3 months old now

She loves the exersaucer now that she is finally big enough:)

Just thought I would share a few recent pics of the girls, they are getting so big. Gosh, how times flies.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Postpartum Weightloss Update

Just a quick update: 123~~~!!! YAY! I am so excited. I havent really bothered trying to loose anymore, but low and behold its coming off anyway:) I am not trying to loose anymore though. Really for a 5'5" medium frame, this is pretty thin, esp since I have DD boobies. lol. My sz 4's are falling off!

The New House

Well, the new house is coming along! The addition is all done, our new bedroom is beautiful and the girl's room is enormous. We have nice french doors and a private patio off our room along with a big walk in closet and canned ceiling lighting. The bathroom has been ripped out and restarted. The hardeebacker is up and everything has been bought for it. Nate starts tiling there Monday. After he tiles the shower, he will tile the entire house, paint, put new kitchen counters/sink in , put the new bathroom countertop/mirror/lighting in and then we will move in. The outside has a few things that need done too. We want to put an arena in for the horses and cross ties, but we will worry about that after we move in. I am so excited to be there. Its not far from our home now, but I want to live there so that I can walk out and see my horses every single day. My chickens will have more room there too and obviously the kids and dog and cats are going to love all the space as well. God has truly blessed us.

Trading Up

Isn't she just beautiful?
My sweet girl, Jersey
Tanner, Maddy and I with Jersey after we bathed her
Dont mind the shorts and boots, its been hot haha!

Well, I agreed to get rid of 2 of our so-so horses for one good, expensive one. I wanted a really good barrel horse with good lines and I wanted a mare. Geldings just aren't my style. I ended up finding Jersey on Dreamhorse and picked her up the next day. She is absolutely AMAZING! I got her for a very good price too because of the bad economy. She has great lines with Bar and Skippy so I am thrilled. She is also double homozygous so she is guaranteed to throw a paint if we breed her! She is only 6 and was trained 1.5 years ago so I love how youthful she is. She is just the kind of horse that you point her in a direction and she goes, nothing scares her or bothers her. She loves water, crosses busy streets and will REALLY get up and go when you barely nudge her. She is just so awesome. I cannot wait to go to our first gymkhana together. We are gonna clean house! So we now have the pony(Dandy), Jersey, and Speck(our appaloosa mare). Life with horses is a life I will never again live. I am truely living now. I can't beleive how much these animals complete me as a person. They are who I am.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Unschooling for the Skeptics

I have found an ingenious way to unschool, all while keeping my husband's nerves at bay so I wanted to share. If you print the content standards for your state for each child for each subject and keep them in a folder, you can mark off each subject throughout the year as you complete life completes them. Its good because you can glance at them maybe once a week and know what is still missing and try and find innovative ways to entice your kids into finishing off these standards. It is the only way to keep Nate's reservations at bay with unschooling so I do it. Its actually nice in my own mind as well though to know that they are getting an education up to standard even without a standardized curriculum. Its hard though because the last thing an unschooler wants to do is measure their child up to other "public schooled peers." I don't do this, but my husband is prior military and now a cop so his nature is to have order in life so I must appease him in this as his helpmeet. I do think as years wear on, he will understand the beauty of no standards to measure against though. I always remember though that things can be done naturally and as part of life and try to make things flow with life, with a little nudge or excitement here or there to make sure certain things get done. As a parent, it is my duty to make sure my kids do get a fulfilled education as much as I do love unschooling and we still do it. I still consider this unschooling because I wouldn't make it boring, regular curriculum and I wouldn't do anything extreme to meet standards. I just do my best to pick these standards out of real life or create opportunities for these standards to be somewhat met. Just an idea for those trying to appease a skeptic! :)