Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Book Review: Improving Your Body Image Through Catholic Teaching. How Theology of the Body and Other Church Writings Can Transform Your Life




So, I was pretty much thrilled beyond belief when Dr. Acquaviva emailed me a few weeks back and offered to send me a PDF of his new book in exchange for a blog mention.  Me? Little ole' blogger me?  

When I saw the title, of his book I was all..oh, yes definitely. This is a book I NEED to read. 

I've written a little bit about body image before.   This is a topic that a lot of women (and men) struggle with.

When I started this book, I wasn't sure what to expect, but when I read it, I almost wept with relief.  It felt like one of the first times that someone was actually saying "you don't have to be perfect."  It felt like one of the first times that someone actually acknowledged the problems with the diet and fitness industry.  The first time that someone actually called a spade a spade and said that excessive concern with one's physical appearance and too much obsession about diet and exercise is not exactly a Catholic/Christian attitude and can even be sinful. The author also acknowledged that going to the opposite extreme and that a sedentary lifestyle and excessively unhealthy eating can also be sinful.  The key is moderation.

But, how to achieve that ever illusive moderation? That is the hard part.  That is where this book comes in.   It offers wonderful spiritual help for healing from body image issues and finding moderation in the areas of diet and exercise.  For some odd reason, it never actually occurred to me to pray for help or to seek out the Sacraments in this regard.  

In addition to spiritual advice, the book offers practical advice for healing....from watching what you watch/read (ie. staying away from certain magazines) to watching who you hang out with or spend your time with.  I think social media can play a huge role in body image issues.  I know for myself, I've had to drop a few friends on Facebook, because they did nothing but post obsessively about their diet/fitness routine and it was not healthy for me to be seeing that all the time. 

The last line in each chapter of this book is:
And remember, if God says it’s good, it is good. 
What an awesome reminder....that God created the body and that the body is GOOD.   So much of our society is geared towards fighting against the body...fighting against it's natural tendency towards aging or soft bellies.  This book can provide one vital step for Catholics in the process towards learning to love your body and see it as good...just the way God says it is. 

This book is available on Amazon...either in paperback or Kindle format.  Go get yourself a copy.  


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Go Midwest Young Woman


Well...I like to think I'm still young at age 36. 

So, this East Coast gal has moved Midwest...again.   I like the Midwest.  It's hard to get used to being so far west that it's still bright, sunshiny daylight at 9:00 PM.  

The move went about as smooth as could be expected.
Except for the one last minute doctor's visit for Elsa who woke up last Wednesday with her eyelid almost completely swollen shut.  Dr. Google said it was periorbital cellulitis (a very serious disease) but thankfully her real doctor said it was just a stye.  It's all back to normal now, even without ever giving her the anti-histamine medication the doctor prescribed (because that's the sorta mother I am). 

Our drive up was smooth and uneventful and we even survived driving through the longest, hilliest, most carsick inducing roads ever in West Virginia.  Ben was a rock star for driving the Penske truck up and down these steep mountain roads.



Thanks to a TON of help from my family we got everything packed and cleaned up back in VA (and we even get our security deposit back....a minor miracle for us) and unloaded and unpacked here in our TINY house in IN.  We are 4 kids, 2 adults, 1 cat and 1 guinea pig in a 2 bedroom home...with no dishwasher, no central air conditioning and smelly, sulphur-containing well water.  The lack of air conditioning is about the only thing that bothers me (and it's not even that hot yet).   Supposedly the sulphur containing water is GOOD for you. and the price is right, so here we are for the time being at least.  

We're all really hoping this is our last long-distance move for...well....forever.  We are so ready to settle down.  I know we'll be moving locally again...but really hoping for no more long distance treks.  Three long distance moves in the span of 13 months is just TOO MUCH.  I am DONE. 

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Greta just walked into the living room carrying a bunch of boxes and informed me that she was packing to move to Kansas.

Well..it was nice knowing you kid.

Apparently,  Kansas is in the backyard and there is a beach (sandbox) there.

Who taught that kid her geography anyway?  Someone is slacking here. 

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For the first time in about 9 years we have a landline phone with long distance (because we bundled it with Internet and it saves us installation fees...blah, blah, blah). .  I tried to call someone today and actually FORGOT that you have to dial 1 before dialing long distance.   The little operator lady who lives in the phone had to remind me.  Who forgets that you have to dial '1" first?

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So...here we are. 

Living near family is nice...it's nice to be able to visit and then go back home again.  It's so much nicer than living super far away. 

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Still asking/begging for lots of prayers...for Ben as he takes the Indiana bar exam and for his job search as he really needs to find a good lawyer job.  Please, please, please.  Thank you. 

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And, since this is an update post of sorts...I'm linking up with Jenna for tl;dr.  I'm not really sure what that means, but I think it stands for something like too long, didn't read and is a way for bloggers to update about their lives, so all their slacking readers can catch up with what's going on.  Not that any of my small handful of readers are slackers or anything. 
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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I'm pro-choice....when it comes to healthcare.

It started all so innocently enough.  Yesterday I called the dentist to cancel an appointment I have for next week...one which I will be unable to keep.  During that phone call, I was informed that I have a balance on my account.  Say what???!!!  I never received any bill. I was only in the office ONE time for a preventative dental cleaning which is 100% covered by insurance.  

100% covered, except for the parts that weren't.  I guess insurance is wising up these days and not covering bogus made-up charges like "oral hygiene instruction."  What honest, trustworthy dentist would actually charge you for telling you to brush your teeth? And let's not talk about the "routine preventative treatment" that "is very, very rarely covered by insurance" which NO ONE informed me would not be covered and which I never actually consented to get...they just did it to me. 

Yes,...I'm mad. 

This basically illustrates everything wrong with health care. 

Which leads me to my diatribe - *I am pro-choice when it comes to health-care.

As in, I should get to choose what medical procedures are done to me or my children.  I want informed consent before any treatment or procedure or test. 

I should be informed of the risks, benefits and costs of those procedures.

I should be given adequate time to read the fine print and not be rushed through the decision making process.

I should be accurately informed of the financial cost to me of those procedures or treatments BEFORE they are performed (barring a life or death emergency that is).

If you're going to charge me $35 to inform me to brush three times a day, give me the courtesy of letting me know beforehand, so I can opt out of that instruction should I so choose. 

Unless it is an emergency, I should be asked permission before procedures are done...rather than just assuming that I will consent to EACH ITEM.

I am an intelligent, capable human being (pre-morning coffee excepted).  I want to be treated as such.  I want to take an active part in my own health care and that of my family.  I want to be consulted on what tests, procedures or treatments are done to us.

I am pro-choice when it comes to our health.  The ultimate choice of what procedures, tests, or treatments is up to me.  My body, my health, my choice.  And, my choice to leave poor reviews on as many relevant web sites as I can find regarding certain dentists. (wink).

*When most people think about choice, they think about abortion.  I shouldn't have to say this...but I am not "pro-choice" when it comes to abortion.  I believe everyone deserves the right to informed consent before having any medical procedure, test or treatment done to them.  That is not the same thing as saying that I believe that everyone has the right to whatever treatment, test or procedure they want, whenever they want.  We deserve informed consent and the right to refuse antibiotic treatment, but that doesn't give us the right to demand antibiotics, whenever we want them. 

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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Importance of a Father


Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there (all three of you who read this blog that this). 


Here is a rare picture of my dad actually smiling in a photo (The photo was taken covertly).

See all that gray hair...that is from all the hours he spent teaching me (and my siblings) how to drive. 

And, all the hours and hours and hours he spent driving us here, there and everywhere.  And, the driving didn't stop when we were adults...he's still spends a lot of time driving...helping us move, driving our stuff around.  He's always been super generous with his time, talent and treasure.  Plus, he's worked hard every spring and summer for the last  40 years or so growing an organic vegetable garden so we could eat lots of vegetables all year long.  I didn't appreciate that when I was a kid, but I definitely do now. 

When I was younger, my parents used to take us on individual dates.  I can remember going to McDonald's with my dad, getting french fries, sitting in the car and eating them (because I was too embarrassed to go inside...heaven forbid anyone actually knew that I had PARENTS) and my poor dad had to suffer through sitting in the car and listening to me talk about The Babysitter's Club, or Sweet Valley Twins.  I'm quite sure he was less than interested in either one of those things.

 He put up with it though and didn't even once try to mention organic chemistry. I bet he is the only dad that used to say things like  "Please pass the triglycerides" at the dinner table.  At least we all know what triglycerides are.  

Despite all his quirkiness (he's most notorious for the multiple sweaters he wears at the same time), he is a great dad!  Happy Father's Day! We love you!

Of course, I also have to say Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband.


He taught me the importance of a father and how much father's matter.    There is a trend today to say that Father's don't matter.  But, they DO.  They definitely do. My kids definitely relate to my husband differently than they do to me. Boys need a good father to learn how to grow up to be men, and girls need a good father to learn how a good mean treats a woman.    I can definitely see how things break down in society when fathers are absent.  That's not to say that children who grow up without a father can't grow up to be productive, happy, well-functioning members of society.  Of course they can.   But, fathers are important and they do matter. 

My kids have a great father.  He reads them stories, he watches movies with them, he plays Frisbee with them, he takes them to chess club, he listens to them, he teaches them about God and all the things their slacker homeschooling mother doesn't teach them. .  He is more gentle and patient than I am.   There just may, may, may have been one or two times where he had to take over a homeschooling lesson because  their primary teacher was totally and completely OUT of patience.   

Plus he's a hard worker. He worked super hard all this year and instead of taking the summer off, he is taking the bar exam for the second year in a row.  Not because he failed the first time, but just for our sakes, so we can move closer to my family and better home school communities.   Pray for him please...for his bar studies and job search.

Happy Father's Day Ben!  We love you!

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Now...because I just can't resist a fun link-up...I'll be joining Kendra again for Answer Me This.


1. What’s something you intended to do today, but didn't?

Well, I'm writing this at 10:00 AM.  The day is still young and hold lots of promise for me to accomplish ALL THE THINGS. I'm so optimistic. 

2. What's your favorite grilling recipe?

We don't have a grill (and have never owned one) so I don't have any grilling recipes.

3. What movie did you see most recently?

Like full-length movie?  It's been so long, I can't even remember.  I mostly just watch shows on Netflix.  Most recently, I'm in the middle of Crossing Jordan. 

4. Would you say your tendency is to over or under react to medical situations?

I overreact in my wild imagination but way undereact in real life.  In other words, I'm pretty much convinced that every little thing is SOMETHING SUPER SERIOUS.  But, I rarely actually do anything about it and seek a doctors consultation.   Because most of the time the logical part of my brain overrides the crazy part and I know that I am WAY OVERREACTING.  For example, I actually spent like 10 minutes last night  reading about children that lock their legs while falling asleep because Elsa did that briefly and it freaked me out. Mostly I found things related to horses....apparently horses do that which is how they sleep standing up. 

Occasionally I overreact so much that I actually do run off to the doctor.  

That happens pretty rarely.. less than once a year. Although this year we actually had TWO sick child visits within the span of a month.  That is  a RECORD for our family...we almost never go to the doctor. One of those visits was totally warranted and it's a VERY GOOD THING we went.  The other visit was totally not necessary as nothing was wrong. 

5. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?

Squeeze.  Do people actually roll it?

6. What are you doing for Father's Day?

Nothing super special...just having steak and mashed potatoes and veggies for lunch.  And, then we made an ice cream cake for dessert. And we'll be packing
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Friday, June 13, 2014

7 Tips for More Compact Packing During Your Move


We're in the mist of our 3rd long-distance move within the last 13 months..  

Yes....I am just as pained by this as you are.


Moving is expensive and tiring and all sorts of annoying.  Trust me..I KNOW. 

One of the hardest parts is trying to fit all your STUFF into a moving truck, the back of your car or in a trailer.

We've done one long distance move where we took nothing with us other than what we could fit in the back of our two vehicles.  Yes...there was LOTS of declutterng and selling of furniture and wailing and gnashing of teeth going on.  But, you know what...we honestly never missed that stuff. 

And, we still had to pack what we did take in the most compact way possible.

So...over the years, I've learned a trick or two. 


1. Get rid of ALL THE STUFF.  Have a yard sale, donate it, give it away, throw it away...whatever you do, just get rid of ANYTHING you haven't used in the last year, anything you've never used, anything broken and anything you have duplicates of.  In my current stage of frantic declutting, I realized we have no less than 5 extension cords.  Do we need 5 extension cords.  No, no we do not.  Off they go. 

Scale back as much as possible.  Does your child really need 24 t-shirts?  Probably not?

That pair of shoes you never wear because it doesn't match anything you own....donate it.

That third winter coat...donate it.

“The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry man; the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to the man who needs it; the shoes rotting in your closet belong to the man who has no shoes; the money which you put in the bank belongs to the poor. You do wrong to everyone you could help, but fail to help.” - St. Basil the Great. 

Pretty convicting...no?  So, donate everything. 

2.

So, now that you've gotten your possessions down to the bare minimum...how can you pack it the most compactly.  Or, in other words, how can you cram the most stuff into the least amount of space? 

Avoid space-wasters. Things like newspaper and bubble wrap are space wasters.  You don't need that stuff.

Use your stuff to protect your stuff.  Wrap your breakables in towels or blankets or t-shirts or pillow cases.  Yes, it might make a few extra steps when you are unpacking..but extra steps is good for you, right?  Just think of it as a way to get more exercise.

3.

No Empty Space in Furniture.  None, zero, zilch.  Pack every drawer full.  This makes it easier to unpack.  Leave your clothes in the dressers (and fold/roll them so they take the least amount of space).  Leave papers, pens, batteries and odds and ends in desk drawers.  It helps if you pack up those odds and ends into bags or little baggies or pencil cases.   Heck..if you have a paper shredder...open it up and put stuff inside it.  Just don't forget what you put in there, so you can be sure to unpack it. 

4. 

No Empty Space Anywhere. Put your silverware in your Tupperware.  Put your spices in your blender. Put your dishtowels in your food processor.  Anywhere you see empty space...stick something in it.  It may be weird, but it works. 

5. 

Boxes are not your friend. Boxes are actually a pretty inefficient way to pack stuff..space wise.  Bags are much better. You can always shove another bag in.  Sometimes one more box just won't fit..but a bag, a bag can be shoved in there.  It's flexible and smooshable and can take up a lot less space than a boring ole', inflexible box.  If you have one last box you can't fit in, unpack it, stick everything in a bag and you just might find that your stuff fits after all. 

6. 

Leave a kitchen box. I'm a real-food, gluten-free, make everything from scratch girl...which makes it super hard to pack a kitchen.  Because I need my kitchen...I use it all the time.   So, what I do is plan out our last meals (that sounds pretty ominous) and then leave one box with things like a knife, a cookie sheet, a pot, a wooden spoon.  Those items which will allow you to do some cooking while most of your cooking stuff is all packed up. 

7.

Think of things in a space/cost way. Get rid of things that take up a lot of space and are cheap to replace.  This includes things like stuffed animals, super large toys and beach balls.  Totally not worth keeping. 

(Linking up with Team Whitaker who is hosting this weeks 7QTF). 
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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WWRW: Two Good Books for Sacrament Preparation

A few months ago, I won these books from a giveaway hosted by Lauren at The Loveliest Hour.   Winning anything is exciting, but I was especially excited to win these books, because the first one is written by Kendra Tierney...whom I consider to be a bloggy friend (but not a boggy friend).  I've been wanting her book ever since it was released.   However, I'm cheap and we're poor...so I was super excited to win it. 


All I can say is that I wish Kendra had written this book back in 2009 when Heidi received her first Confession and First Holy Communion....and again in 2012 when Greta  received her FHC.  But nooooo....it wasn't published until 2014. 

Irregardless, Heidi and Greta both enjoyed reading it quite a bit.   Even though they've been going to Confession monthly for some time, they both got a lot out of it.  The Examination of Conscious is especially helpful.  I love the way it breaks down all the commandments in a way that children can understand.  In fact, I won ANOTHER giveaway on Kendra's blog and she was kind enough to send me a packet of these little examinations.  Which is helpful for the kids because they use it, mark it and then throw it away (or burn it...which is a great visual showing how our sins are gone after Confession). 

Frequent Confession is one of the most important Catholic Traditions to teach your childrenn and this book makes teaching it just a little bit easier.  My kids have enjoyed reading it on their own, and we also went over it together  It's written in a very easy to understand style, but also has a lot of depth and meat to it. It's definitely something I plan to use in sacrament preparation for all the other kids and it does a fantastic job of explaining the sacrament of Confession and gives detailed instructions on how to go about going to Confession.

Greta wanted me to let you know that her favorite part is the story about a saint who had to eat some sort of rotten egg for his penance.  She liked that part. 



This book can be purchased online from CFP Holy Angels Gift Shop .   Unfortunately, I never actually purchased it when I worked there...I had to win it to actually get my hands on a copy.  This is another book I wish we had when Heidi and Greta were doing their Sacrament preparation.  Fortunately, it was still a good read for them, even now.

The first part of the book is a great question and answer format.  The second part talks about Eucharistic Miracles and the third part talks about the saints and the Eucharist.  My kids especially loved the saints' stories.  What's really nice about this book is that it basically contains a little bit of everything....teaching, prayer and stories.  It might be a bit much for your typical 2nd grader to read on their own (depending on their reading ability), but is a great resource for parents and a wonderful book to read together.

I highly recommend these two books for all Catholic children..but especially for those who are preparing for or have just received their sacraments.

(Linking up with Jessica who is either reading books or having a baby).\
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Monday, June 9, 2014

How We Homeschool

Michaela at California to Korea and Back is hosting a How We Homeschool Link-up.   I love link-ups and I love homeschooling (okay, okay, I sometimes love homeschooling, I sometimes hate it), so it sounds like the perfect thing for me to participate in.   She's got the questions, I got the answers. 



How long have you been homeschooling?
We're just finishing our 7th year of homeschooling.  Wow..7 years...that almost makes me sound like a veteran or something (I'm not, I still have no idea what I am doing). 
How many kids are in your family? How many are homeschooled? Are any schooled in a more traditional way?  
We have 4 children...ages 12, 9, 6 and 1.  All of the ones old enough to be homeschooled are..which means we are just finishing up 6th, 3rd and Kindy.  None of my children attend or have ever attended a traditional school.  Not to say that they never will, but so far, no one has. 
What laws, if any, are there in your state regarding homeschooling? How does your family meet compliance?
Hmm...well we've homeschooled in 3 different states so far...Rhode Island, Florida and Virginia..  In RI, we only had to send in a letter of intent each year to the local school district.  In Florida, we had to send in a letter of intent each year and do an evaluation from a certified teacher.  That was a pain (mostly because had to pay for the evaluation), but we just picked a homeschool-friendly evaluator and showed her what we did.  The law says you have to 'show progess' so I just gave her all our work and that seemed to show plenty of progress.
In Virginia, you have to send in a letter of intent, list of subjects to teach and then do testing or an evaluation each year. Most people seem to choose testing, but we are doing an evaluation by a Virgina certified teacher.  Since, I just happen to be married to a Virginia certified teacher, I'm pretty sure he'll do the evaluation for free.  I'm not really sure if they'll take an evaluation from a family remember,but since we'll fleeing* the state anyway, I'm not going to worry about it. 
*Don't worry...we're not running from the law or anything.  We're just moving to Indiana, which is a hands-off homeschool state, and I'm pretty sure we don't have to do anything. 
Switching gears here: if you could summarize your homeschool philosophy in one sentence or mission statement, what would that be?
To survive.

No seriously...I don't really follow one philosophy.  I guess my philosophy is to keep my kids close, teach them to be good, moral people, teach them how to learn, teach them to love learning and educate them without making them a slave to grades.

When people ask me why I homeschool, I usually say something like:

Because in all my years of schooling, all I really learned was how to get an A. 
And, it's true. I feel like all I really did learn was how to get an A.  I learned how to take tests, I learned how to make teachers happy, but I never really learned anything.

One of the good things I've seen from homeschooling is that my kids aren't motivated by grades.  One of the bad things I've seen about homeschooling is that my kids aren't motivated by grades.  My kids are definitely not perfectionists, which is both good and bad.

Whenever I worry that my kids aren't learning enough or aren't doing enough I just remember the fact that my husband has taught 8th grade students who are unable to label the United States on a map. No matter how we do, we are doing better than that.

For us, homeschooling is very much a lifestyle choice. I love the freedom it gives us.

Freedom to go on field trips is awesome.
Heidi went with Ben to see him sworn in
at the VA state bar.  She saids she learned that
lawyers have lots of drinking
problems.  Definitely an educational
trips. 
 I love keeping my kids close  (but not too close, don't worry, they do get out and do activities without me).

Plus, I'm terrified of what I would do with a toddler all day, if my big kids went off to school.  Last night Ben took the older three to chess club, and Elsa just followed me around all night, bored and whining.  Drove me crazy.  I shudder at the thought of sending my  big kids off to school all day just at the age when they start to become helpful, pleasant and able to carry on an intelligent conversation.

My kids are learning to be independent learners, independent thinkers and independent doers.  Of course, they could learn all that in a school as well...but it's nice that they can work at their own pace, they have some choice over what they study and for the most part, don't hate school.

What is your homeschooling style?
Mostly classical with a good bit of school at home tendencies.  I tend to be pretty unschooly for any kid under first grade. 
Do you follow any set curriculum?

We sorta follow Mother of Divine Grace,
 but I switch out their math (we use Math Mammoth), their science (we use Apologia) and their reading/phonics for Kindergarten and First Grade.  I don't do their elementary art, because I could never figure it out and we are always losing the art cards.  So, for art, we just do art...like...go draw a picture or something.

However, this coming year, Heidi is going to do online school through Homeschool Connections.

We also do coops quite a bit.  Coops are awesome..it's like a tiny taste of school without having to send your kids to school all day, every day.  We've done coops in RI, FL and VA and each one has been different, but a wonderful experience.  
What do your best homeschooling moments look like?  What do your not-so-good moments look like?  How do you stay on track?
The best moments are when I'm relaxed and calm and patient.

The worst moments are when I'm impatient and yell too much. Last Monday was a very, very, very bad day.

Thankfully, the rest of the week was much smoother and calmer.  On Wednesday, we even managed to finish ALL our school by noon and then eat lunch and meet a friend at the beach in the afternoon.  Those are the best days.

To be fair, my kids are really good, and almost never fight me about doing school.  Sometimes they don't always do their best work, and we've had more than  few occasions where their work did not meet my expectations, but generally they are really good about doing it. .

The number one way I keep on track is to discipline myself to do NOTHING but school.  To do NOTHING but be present and available to help them with school.  That is HARD for me.  I like to multi-task.  But, I've come to realize that I can't try to accomplish anything else while doing school....no paying bills, no blogging, no emailing, no scheduling, no cooking, no cleaning.  One of the reasons that Monday was such a bad day is that we had just gotten back from being out of town at a wedding and I was trying to do ALL THE THINGS while also trying to do school.  NOT GOOD.  
How do you keep any non-school-aged kids busy?
Good question...I wish I had a good answer.  For Elsa (my only non-school aged kid), the #1 thing is to make sure she is well rested and gets plenty of sleep.  This is a challenge since sleeping is not exactly her forte, but making sure she gets enough sleep helps a lot.  She also has (in my humble opinion) pretty amazing fine motor skills for a 1-year old, and will happy draw or write on the floor while everyone else is doing school.  So paper and crayons can keep her occupied for sometime.  Sometimes she just plays independently by us.

She also loves books, so sometimes spending just 10 minutes with her reading a story or looking at a book "fills her cup" enough that she will then go play independently for 30 minutes.

Sometimes she is pain though...and is climbing in my lap and pulling on our books and screeching.  When she does that, I usually ask Heidi or Greta to take a break from school and take her outside or in their rooms or someplace else so I can finish working with whomever I was working with. 
If you could give any homeschool advice to a new mom starting out, what would it be?
Relax!  You don't have to teach ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME.  And don't worry if your kid doesn't get reading or addition or multiplication or long division right away.  They WILL get it eventually.  I think my biggest stress is because I want my kids to get something IMMEDIATELY and I don't have the patience to let them learn it at their own pace.  If given the chance, most kids will learn what they need to know in their own time. And most curriculum go over everything over and over and over again.  Of course you do have to be aware of the possibilities of learning disorders or things like that, but just because your kid can't read fluently at age 5 is no reason to freak out.  They will likely get it at age 6 or 7 or 8.

And don't worry too much about things like science or history or whatever in the early grades.
Don't forget field trips. 

 They are good to do but your kid doesn't need to learn all the science things in 2nd grade.  And, if they don't *get* nouns in 3rd grade, they will have another chance to learn then in 4th and 5th and 6th.

My next bit of advice is to find a good support group or group of friends and get involved. It's worth the drive, it's worth the hassle, it's just worth it.  In order to make friends (for both you and your kids) you really do have to put yourself out there.  You have to attend the park days or events consistently, you have to make contact with people (email makes it super easy).  However, it's definitely worth it.  You NEED friends and your kids do too!  So, go out there....attend events....find someone you and your kids "click" with and then email them and make plans to get together again. It's so worth the hassle involved. 
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Sunday, June 8, 2014

I hate Jello!


1. Do you have a land line?

No we do not have a land line.  And we only have cheap, pay-as-you-go cell phones.  We have three of them...one for Ben, one for me and one for Heidi since she is now old enough to stay home alone.  She is only allowed to use it to call us, if she is home alone...she doesn't use it to talk to her friends or anything.

This works for us, because we don't talk on the phone much and don't text much.   Since we just have tracfones, I generally prefer to use email as our mode of communication   With this method, we probably spend about $30-40/month total, which is pretty good for phone usage. 


2. What is your least favorite food?

Jello.  I hate jello.  I abhor jello.  I detest it with the hatred of a thousand suns (or something like that). 


Patriotic but disgusting. 

I'm so glad I didn't live in the 50's and 60's when there was a plethora of disgusting jello recipes out there.  Can there be anything more vile than Tuna and Jello Pie?


3. What's on your summer reading list?

My mom gave me this book to read. It looks fairly interesting and I love dogs...so...read it, I will.





I'm also reading this book.  Everyone loves some John Grisham, right?



And, I was contacted by the author of this book, so I'm going to be reading that and writing about it. It looks really interesting.



4. Is there something that people consistently ask for your advice on? What is it?

Yes, I am a La Leche League Leader, so people consistently ask me about breastfeeding.   A lot of people ask me about NFP as well, even though I am not an NFP instructor or anything.  Not sure why everyone asks me about that, but they do. Plus, people seem to ask me about home remedies and natural supplements a lot...well I did write this website after all. I'm definitely not a doctor and not really qualified to talk about anything other than my own personal experience..but I am a big fan of natural medicine. I also get a lot of questions about gluten-free cooking and baking. 

5. What's the most physically demanding thing you've ever done?

That would probably be the 1000 moves we've done since we got married, where we pretty much move everything ourselves. Which means lots of loading and unloading and carrying of furniture and boxes and bricks.  Yes, bricks.  When we first got married, our bookshelf consisted of a bunch of bricks on wooden boards. 
Like this one here.   Classy, no?  And we moved those bricks three times.  Yikes

And, we're about to do it again...less than two weeks!  Although we no longer have any bricks..but yes, we do it ourselves. Why pay for a gym membership and movers when you can just do the work yourself and get a great workout that way?

6. How do you feel about massages?

Not a big fan of them.  I've never had a professional one, and I don't really want to.  I'm too much of a private person for something like that, I think. 

Happy Pentecost Sunday!

In honor of Pentecost...Elsa and I wore red today.







I just love her little pigtails...they are so adorable.   
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