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learning

for the three of you that want this

I’m blogging! First post of the year! Wahoo, it’s only…*cough cough* june…that starts with the same letter as january, give a girl a break…

There is a new computer in the house, or I should say there is a computer in the house (a free one, thanks baby!) We have been mostly a tablet family for a while now. Which honestly, I love, for most everything, but NOT for blogging. More importantly though, there is a new keyboard! I feel like that line in Fools Rush In, you are everything I never knew I always wanted, dramatic pause as I make out with my new keyboard, not really…probably. Seriously though, the ability to think and type the words at virtually the same speed, it’s a writers dream. Notice how I snuck that writer in there, I did it, I called myself a writer. Now don’t get me wrong I can thumb type a text almost as fast as a teenager, but after a doing a few posts like that, it gets old, fast. There is also virtually no editing, even I don’t enjoy my mental diarrhea with no editing. So as I’ve claimed more times than I’d like to look back up on this blog and count, I’m blogging again! We are going to blame the previous meager diet I’ve been feeding you on a tools issue. It was lack of a good keyboard. Totally. Really. I feel this is totally legit. I should perhaps stop trying to convince you. I’m trying to hard aren’t I? But I just can’t stop writing on this beautiful keyboard, ladadadadad, I don’t even care what it says. Ok perhaps this is not a good thing, hmmm…topic…yes…that would be good.

Our first year of homeschooling has come and been completed! The first day of summer when the kids turned to me and said “so we’re homeschooling now right?” was just over a year ago. Let me just say I LOVE THIS. I know this sounds trite, but I actually feel I was made to do this. There is finally a purpose and use for all those previously useless facts my brain seems intent on picking up everywhere I go. I can now implant them in little people brains ALL DAY. It makes this homeschooling thing so fun. Everywhere we go, everything we do can turn into a learning experience. If I don’t already know about where we are going or what we are doing, i get to learn it right along with them (you know everything, but spelling, there is really no hope for me there, know thyself). It’s this little IB nerds dream. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our fair share of tears and whining and I don’t want to do this, but we had that almost daily before, this is mass improvement.

Reading. OMG. It’s an incredible high for me watching my children read. Grant was already able to read virtually anything before, but now he will actually pick up chapter books, of his own will, read them and enjoy them! Jena could not read at all last year, and as much patience as it required to sit with her as a beginning reader everyday and read, it has totally paid off listening to her rattle off her books to the ‘little kids’ all day, where ever we are. It is absolutely amazing to me, to watch the process of learning and loving to read. Jacob is just now starting and we are up to 16 site words and every time he gets one right I’m not sure who is more excited me or him. It thrills me to no end. I’m looking forward to this next year. We are going to have a writing focus for the coming year, I can’t wait to see if I have a little budding writer in the ranks. Who knows what their creative minds will come up with. I can not wait to find out!

cause I don’t have enough to do

So I have announcement, one that I fear may confirm everyone’s suspicions that I am, indeed, crazy. We’ve decided, or rather I’ve decided and used my magical powers of persuasion to show Neil that he should decide too (which he did, I make a convincing case when I believe in something) to home school. Why? Well because I get bored easily and I need a challenge, ha ha ha. No really, I’m beginning to wonder if that isn’t the real reason, though I have an entire page of other more legitimate reasons (part of that convincing case). It really boils down to family lifestyle. Right now we have the availability to not have our family life consist primarily of running from one place to the next and not having our kids see each other near as much as they want to (yes they actually WANT to play together, most of the time). So seize the day! right? Right?

Anyway. For those that are already homeschooling I would REALLY appreciate some pointers.

I know I need to send off a letter of intent, but after that…well there seem to be a lot of options after that. What did you chose and why? What are the differences?

And curriculum pointers please, specifically reading. I am a bit nervous about that one. I learned young enough that I don’t remember a thing about the process, so I’m starting from scratch! But some sort of Bible that would cover all their ages somewhat would be fantastic as well. Anything else you’ve absolutely loved or feel has helped you out in your process, I’m all ears! Advise away, I’m asking for it! Now how often does someone actually ask for advice, seize the day people!

recipe fun!

We’ve made a few diet changes around here recently (in the last 6 weeksish). We are attempting to substantial limit our refined foods (basically to when we are not at home) and add more plants into our diet, fruits, veggies, beans, legumes (look a new word I got to teach my family), seeds, nuts, and the like. This has meant most of the meals I had actually learned to cook over the last year, (since I’ve only been cooking since we took Grant off gluten/dairy almost a year ago) are no longer optimal.

For my personality, this was actually exciting. I get bored with the same thing over and over, and had felt like I’d actually gotten the style we’d been eating down to a science. So getting to learn a whole new realm of cooking has been exciting, though not without its pitfalls. Main pitfall being it took over a month for us to have a dinner anyone would actually request again. Can we say learning curve?! But I am discovering so many foods I’ve never cooked before to try, some of them I didn’t even know existed, exciting! I love new foods. Quinoa would be one of those I didn’t know existed, it’s a seed, that functions similar to a rice or pasta. I’m hoping that was news to at least some of you too!

After finally finding a winner I decided I had to share successes with all of you, someone needs to benefit from all that trial and error! So here is the first one we had at least one kid devour, no one refuse to eat, and Neil and I both would request again. It’s originally from the book Eat to Live, though I am posting my slightly modified version below.

It is a bit labor intensive, which is why I tried it on a weekend first, but we were able to eat it all week (I also put the veggie mixture on my lunch salads and it was really good) so it made it worth while for me. Plus it just tasted so good!

Vegetable Bean Burris

2-3T water

(All vegetables below chopped)

1 head broccoli

1/2 head cauliflower (had already used ours, so I left this out)

2 carrots

2 red bell peppers

1 zucchini

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

1 1\2 T all spice seasoning (recommends low or no salt variety)

1t dried basil

1t dried oregano

1t dried parsley

1c raw cashews

1/2c soy, hemp, or almond milk (we used almond)

1 1/2c pinto beans (1 can rinsed)

6 whole wheat tortillas or 6 large romaine lettuce leaves (works better than you’d think!)

Place the water in a saute pan or large pot and add all ingredients except cashews and milk. Saute for 15 mins or so until veggies are tender, add more water if you need it to prevent burning (learn from my mistakes!). While that is cooking put cashews and milk variety in food processor or blender (we have no food processor so blender it was) and blend until smooth. Add to the veggies and mix. Then scoop it onto your tortillas or lettuce leaves and enjoy!

This recipe is dairy and soy free however you do it, gluten-free if you use lettuce leaves instead of the tortilla or hard shells like we did for Grant and over all very low in calories, especially if you use the lettuce. A completely guilt free pleasurable meal, now how many of those have you had?

Hope you all enjoy!

10 things i’ve learned at home

So I’ve lost track of how many days into this we are, which is really a testament more to my counting skills…or lack thereof…than the actual amount time that has passed. I do know this, we are rounding out the first month. I have learned some things here at home, I’ve decided to share, briefly, yes it is possible.

Here goes.

1. Sleep is not an option for this job, way more necessary than any other job I’ve ever had. I MUST have a good nights sleep or a nap or it’s not pretty.

2. Wearing your hair lots of colors is awesome, dyeing it lots of colors slightly less awesome.

3. I have so much nail polish it’s ridiculous, also I have a hard time deciding on one color.

4. I really do enjoy challenges, I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to finish a day doing something that stretches you.

5. Being caught up on the laundry is pretty cool, doing some form of laundry almost every day of the week, yeah not so much.

6. Having margin in your life rocks as much as all those books said it would.

7. Bottle feeding is for the birds!

8. Babies are cuter than I remembered.

9. This job is way more active than an office job, I’m so out of shape

10. ok maybe I couldn’t think of another at the moment…

I’m interested to see what the six week point will bring. It was the point, with all three children, when I was screaming to go back to work. A few more weeks will tell.

i quit

I’ve been trying to write this post for almost two weeks now. For some reason I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I quit my day job.

I’m going to be working at home watching a 6 month old baby girl. It is an answer to prayer in more ways than one – we were losing our childcare and in want (I have a hard time attaching the word need to money here) of more financial breathing room, check check both taken care of – but I am dreading the transition. Not the end point, I think I’m actually going to enjoy that. In fact, I have a whole list of reasons why¬† I’m going to like it. But the leaving everything I’ve known partially terrifies me some days, today being one of them. I’m losing my escape, my support structure, the few remaining friends I still have that haven’t moved across the country or the world (and no I’m not being dramatic, they really did), my adult time. There are going to be rough points in this transition.

On days that aren’t today I would have told you I’m looking forward to the flexibility (even though I’m kinda losing some at the same time). I’m looking forward to naps, going out in the evenings without guilt (is that possible?), being outside more, taking walks, doing crafts with the kids, organizing our home, blogging more, being semi-caught up with house work (at which point all SAHM laugh, let me have my delusion for a little while please) and watching these little guys grow up. It will be good, this I know.

It just feels really strange. I feel like I was raised to work, I was not taught ‘mommy’ things, I had no plans to marry and have babies. I had and still have dreams of careers, yes plural. This past year has definitely been the death of that dream, for a variety of reasons, and it has been a hard one to let go of. It has been harder I think because I don’t have a clear new one yet, I don’t know this dream. I have a vague idea it will be good, but I’ve never owned it and don’t really know what it feels like, except that it doesn’t really feel like me…yet. Can I get a degree in parenting? I feel under-qualified.

So tomorrow or next week I’ll be excited again and counting down the days till my last day at work (four more working days by the way), but tonight I feel like I’m still trying to find my way.

So all my SAHM and SAHD too. How do you do it? How does this work? Teach me oh wise ones.

 

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