Thursday, February 25, 2010

Slow and Steady wins the Race!

Well, I started my 'new way of eating' (because who wants to say *diet*? Bleh) a week ago today and I must say I am so pleased so far! I have really noticed a difference in my tummy. Its much more slim and less 'poochy' in the morning.
It is still a struggle to make and feed my children and hubby all of MY favorite foods but seeing results so quickly has been a big motivator. I plan to start adding cardio and weights in this next week. I can't WAIT to see the results! My girls actually love to exercise w/ me when I do my exercise videos (we have 'The Firm' and LOVE it) so they can do it with me, or when I do the elliptical downstairs they come with and we watch the Duggars together (they are BIG fans).
I love the fact that food is not my main joy in the day anymore and not constantly on my mind, and I love that my jeans are fitting better!
HOWEVER my girls scout cookies are being delivered tomorrow, so.....I'm praying hard tonight for will power!! =)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

'The Mother' works!

After reading so many of the benefits of taking Apple Cidar Vinegar orally, I decided to give it a go! Now, I am WEIRD in the fact that I really don't mind the taste of ACV (that is only one of the 142 things that make me weird), but if you aren't used to it, it may be wise to take it while hanging out by the kitchen sink. Or the toilet.
I started taking it last night. I took a few tsps after my dinner last night and then read later that evening that its best taken BEFORE a meal, and not to take it straight, apparently the acidity in it is bad for your teeth. Oops.
So today I have taken about a tbsp mixed in a few ounces of water before every meal. It gives me a slight tummy ache for about 10 min but it goes away and I have found myself not quite so hungry, as in I didnt eat so much at a meal.
Apparently, you can lose weight by taking ACV before every meal, even if you don't exercise!
You do, however, need to take the GOOD apple cidar vinegar. We buy Bragg's brand as its raw and organic and has 'The Mother' which is a whole mish mash of goodness and amazement.
It has many other health benefits too.
So I thought I would try it and see what happens.
Hopefully I dont end up smelling like a well tossed salad!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Food Addiction

I don't know about the rest of you internets, but I, for one, am a serious foodie. Not in the fact that I am snobby and only eat 'froo-froo' kinds of foods, but in the fact that I Love. My. Food.
Jesus, Help me.
My hubby knows that the way to make me grin from ear to ear is to bring home some Chili's take-out. Or a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
Or both.
And the problem with me is that I don't stop when I am full, I love the taste so much that I eat and eat and eat. And then I eat when I am bored. And when I'm happy. And when I'm sad (which thankfully isn't very often). Or on a sunny day, or a cloudy one for that matter.
SO, all this eatin' and snackin' and gorgin' has made quite the impact. I'm not so much concerned with my weight, but when I think muffin top, I like to think of something tasty coming out of the oven and not something spilling over the top of my jeans! I'm just sayin'!
So, I decided to put myself back on the diet I was on while I was nursing my 4th baby who had a lot of food allergies. I went from 120 to 95lbs on this diet in a matter of a few months and felt great the whole time (physically at least, mentally, I thought the world was ending without my pizza and chocolate shakes).
PLUS, a great side effect was that my stomach shrank. A lot. As in I could wear a size 0 shrank!! Needless to say I was thrilled. But when I was done nursing I went right back to my old ways with so much as a second thought. And of course, the weight came on again, QUICK.
I think too that I find too much joy in my food, not that it is my idol, but I think its close to toeing the line and that is something I definitely want to change.

So I decided last Thursday to go back on the diet again and already I am noticing a difference in my tummy! Not quite so poochy and squishy. By seeing a change this quick, however slight, has motivated me to continue. I can not TELL you how hard it is to prepare pizza and cheesy chips and casseroles for my family knowing all the while that I will NOT be eating any of it *sad*
So hopefully in a few weeks I will notice a marked difference and I can post some before and during pictures of this process!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Books will take you places! =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The School Room

See that green thing hanging in the door way there? Hubby had NO idea how much this would be a benefit to my schooling when he installed it over a year ago. Josh LOOOOOVES to swing in there while we do school.
I love this map! First of all, its HUGE. The back side also has a map of the whole world. I got it at a yard sale last year for $3! One day I WILL get it hung up....

This blue tapey stuff on the wall is amazing! It sticks great and peels off easily but I can put their pictures up on it and then change the pictures out anytime I want w/out having to replace the sticky stuff! We love it!

This is my 'teacher corner' I have our school schedule for the week, our 'Day in History' Calendar, our 'Whats the Weather today?' calendar, a yearly calendar, our KONOS schedule and that paper on the top on the bookcase is where I write down things I need or want to order as I think about them

We refer to this as the 'game cabinet' the main doors house our games as well as some of my stamping supplies. The top looks like a mess but its organized, I promise! There is a box of craft supplies (pipe cleaners, paper towel rolls, lunch sacks etc), and 4 boxes of 'blanket time' toys for the boy. He gets one box a day during school time. Also a box of book (I rotate thru the ones he has so he doesnt get bored of them). And his 'blanket' for blanket time is up there-interlocking pieces of foam. He LOVES that big mirror next to it while he is on blanket time, and occasionally I will set that tent up that you see hiding there in the corner on his 'blanket'.

The 3 drawers house markers, stencils and our Learning Palettes and Little Touch Leap Pad games. The small door on the bottom has playdoh, our air-dry clay, Color Wonder markers and our felt pieces for the felt board we don't yet have....

Here is a better picture of the other side of the school area.....

Here is my other bookshelf. On top is our Judy Clock and globe. First Shelf, is our McGuffey readers and books I frequently make copies out of, or extra workbooks. Second shelf is books that they are going to use in the future. Third Shelf is a SMALL portion of the vintage school books I collect. 4th shelf, vintage encyclopedia set that we LOVE to use (from 1955), 5th shelf is just a hodge podge of their books.

This is our main set of school book shelves. Top shelf: mommy supplies, library books that go along w/ our school and extra paper. Second shelf: teacher manual, read aloud books, book it books, more teacher-y stuff in that small 3 drawer unit. Third shelf: school books, easy readers in the blue basket, my homeschool binder, Spelling Power and my Control Journal a la Flylady. Fourth shelf: more school books and 'teacher helps'. The 2 doors of the cart have 'how to draw' books, tracing paper and my weight for whenever I remember to exercise *blush* On top is the radio and on top of THAT, is my file box that holds a folder for each month of the year and I file ideas to use during that month for school. Oh, on top of the book case are 2 baskets, each has different toys for the younger 2 to play with during school, and the newspaper because I cant seem to find another home for it.

This is the other end of the room (please excuse my children, they were playing horse or lasso 'em or something of that nature). We have 2 tables down there in an L shape. One holds 2 computers (one mine and the other for the kids to play their educational games on). It also has a printer/copier/scanner on it as well as a 3 drawer unit that holds paper. I also do my stamping over there, so most of those units under the table hold stamping supplies. (Will be closer up picture of this area later on).

These are our 'School Boxes'. I put the school in each one that they will be doing the next day and set it at their place at the school table so its all ready for them in the morning. Keeps the table more tidy!

*Please excuse my bloggy novice-ness. I didnt know that it would post everything backwards! The captions go with the pictures ABOVE them!**** Here is a picture of the main part of our school room (also our diningroom, but we have an eat in kitchen so this is really only used for school and on holidays). We have 2 white boards, the higher one for me and the lower one for the little ones to draw on. Also on that wall: a numbers chart, 'parts of speech chart, seasons chart, calendar, clock, months of the year chart, books of the bible chart, Handwriting without Tears ABC and numbers strip.

The 4 drawer units have been VERY useful. The one of the right is for the girls, each one has her own drawer to keep their crayons and 'treasures' in. I like them to clean it out ever few weeks or it starts to burst at the seams =) The top of it houses their School Boxes (I'll post a pic of them next), a purple box that holds pencils, colored pencils, tape and scissors, this is always on the table during school. Their is also a 3 drawer unit on top that holds construction paper, white paper, and white board markers.

The other one has a variety of uses. The top drawer holds glue and rulers as well as my stuff (stapler, staples, small hole punches, adhesive, small school supplies), 2nd drawer has our Math U See manipulatives and large punches (for crafting), 3rd drawer is art supplies that they have free access to (yarn, googly eyes, tissue paper, popsicle sticks etc), 4th drawer is painting supplies.

Works for me!

(The picture above is explained below)
(Picture above is explained in the post below, I'm new to this bloggy picture thing so bare with me) =)

School has been going quite well these last 2 months due to a new system that has seemed to work for us! I am currently schooling my 9.5yr old, my just turned 8 yr old and my 6yr old. My 4 yr old also joins us in our reading and I am teaching her to read as well thru 'Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons'. I have been scheduling our school the Tuesday before. So this past Tuesday, I worked on our school schedule for next week. We have a few set things we do every day and everything else is from 2-4 days a week. Wednesdays are 'Worksheet Wednesdays'. I print out fun learning worksheets online thru Enchanted and thats their Wednesday school (except they still do Math U See). (This is the day I am most busy with cleaning/chores so it works for us).
On Wednesday I go to our local library website and request books that I will need for the following weeks school and they are usually ready for pick up by Saturday or Sunday.

Then on Friday, I fill up my daily worksheet folder. I have an expandable file folder that has sections and I have labeled each section for a day of the week. On Friday of the week before, I go thru and fill each day w/ the worksheets or papers we will need for that day by looking at the school schedule that I made the previous Tuesday. (this file folder is pictured above).

I also have a 3 ring binder in which I keep a LOT of worksheets, which is also pictured above. I pull from this binder to fill the expandable file folder.....

Also what has seemed to work well for me is getting school ready and laid out the night before. So on Sunday night, I get everything out of the Monday section of the file folder and put them at the girls' spots at the school table along w/ the their School box (upright magazine holder that I use to store their books/papers/worksheets for that day) and then I put the things at my spot that I will need to use (read alouds, our bible and bible devotional books, teachers manuals etc), then school is all ready the next morning.

I also try to have the girls help each other when they are able. In the picture is my 6yr old Skylar, 'teaching' 4yr old Jaidyn w/ the little Brain Quest flip charts. These 2 are the best of buddies and Skylar really enjoys helping her.

Schooling 4 now and having a VERY active little boy has made me realize how much I need to organize and streamline how we do school. I will post pictures of my school room (aka diningroom) next. I love to look at other peoples school rooms, so link to yours if you have pictures!