Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Quick Takes - #6

August has been cray y'all!  I have missed a few Friday, 7 Quick Takes.  I'm not sure what has made it so ridiculous and September is starting to look just as busy.  Owen and Amelia will be going to school five days a week, I am doing CrossFit five days a week, speech Mondays and Wednsdays, soccer on Mondays, dance on Wednesdays, CWOC on Saturdays, and teaching CCD (now I think it is PSR) on Sundays are all things I have managed to build into my schedule.  Of course there will still be other appointments peppered throughout each month.  I'm not really sure how or why I have managed to take on so much, but I'm making it work for now.  And I am going to have to start saying no even if I really, really want to say yes.  I'm excited about being busy honestly, but I have to get into a groove so I can balance this house.
Sunday!  I beginning my 30 day Paleo Challenge hosted by Gracey at her gym.  Gracey weighed and taped me today.  We took the before picture.  Chris is going to do the challenge too...reluctantly.  I'm glad that I don't have to combat temptation at home since he is doing it with me.  I'm hoping for big results.  Even though I haven't lost any weight I am definitely seeing a change in the shape of my body.  I am starting to think that my belly is too damaged from three pregnancies and a lifetime of being overweight.  But I just hope that I don't end up with a toned body with a sagging sack of skin hanging in the front.  Anyway here's my before picture, though you may have seen it on Facebook.
Left: before I started CrossFit
Right: One week or CF down..excuse the mess...or don't.

7 weeks of CF down.  Starting the 30 Day Challenge
So, yea...come at me September! I am hoping for drastic results since I'm pretty chunky. 
All you medical right knee keeps swelling.  I can walk on it.  There is a dull ache and by the end of the day I can't fully bend it.  It feels funny rather than painful.  I'm sure that this CrossFitting is putting my body in a bit of shock.  I'm hoping once the pounds start coming off and my diet changes that there will be little to no swelling.  You know me, always the whiner.
 If you missed it, you should check out my post on reasons why we might homeschool.  I think writing it down was a good idea.  I have read over it a couple of times and I'm starting to feel at peace about it.  We will see what next year has in store with so many things in the air, but I really have a great support system.  Feel free to leave comment or resources that I might find helpful.  Seriously, my Google searches and Pinterest searches for that matter have about homeschooling.  There is lots of information out there, help finding the good stuff is always welcomed!
I bought the kids some new shoes this evening.  I actually put out a little bit more money than usual.  In general I do not care about name brand.  Especially, when you are talking about children who are growing like weeds.  I will admit that they're cute little baby shoes, but if they are not walking it is just for show and it's just not a priority.  Well, I have been reading and thinking and looking at my children's nearly flat hooves (poor Amelia, she really has some ugly feet).  I am thinking that they might need a little bit of arch support especially while they are growing.  I am probably way over thinking it and trying to justify my purchase.  The kids loved them and they really are cute.
Chris and I are going to be teaching 4th grade PSR (formally known as CCD).  Basically, Sunday school.  Actually, Chris agreed to be in the same room as me while I try to teach the 4th graders.  I'm hoping that the kids like having a guy around.  Especially any boys who are in the class.  I'm a little nervous and I would like him there to help.  If nothing else, just be some moral support. 
Wednesday Amelia begins preschool and Owen starts pre-K.  I am going to have two hours a day with only Simon.  It is going to feel weird for sure.  I will miss those other two turkeys though.  They crack me up.  They cheer me on and tell me good job over the most ordinary things.  And they are so genuine.  Any way.  I hope everyone has a fun, safe Labor Day weekend!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Yea, I'm back.  I guess I'm trying to make up for the twenty days I didn't post anything.  I don't know but....Amelia got into the Orange Room and the CDC.  It's the preschool that Owen has been in for almost two years.  I'm so excited for her. I think she is going to do well.  In the past two years Chris, the teachers, and I have worked together to help Owen learn to manage his emotions and become more independent.  Though, Amelia doesn't have the same issues as Owen I think with reinforcement in a different environment will do wonders for her.  She has been eager to go to school for at least six months.  I am so glad it was worked out so she could attend.

I figure I would use all this school excitement to share with you all our decision about homeschooling.  We are about 80% sure we will begin homeschooling next fall.  I leave that 20% because it's a year away and we don't know what life will throw us in that time.  Our plan is not always God's plan.

I will share some of the bullet points as to why we are making this choice for our family.
  • We want to give our children a strong Catholic foundation.  Assuming there will always be a great Catholic school wherever we may live (which will not always be likely) Catholic school gets expensive. 
  • We would only have to combat with one schedule.  Chris's schedule dictates most of our plans.  If we use a school institution we would have to adhere to school schedule also.  So if Chris is granted leave and it doesn't line up with spring break, summer break, or Christmas break it will not matter.  The kids will be home and we can choose to take a break while Chris has a break also. 
  • Statics show show that on average homeschooled children are in about the 85 percentile in all subjects.  Meaning on average they have a better understanding of the material than 85% of their peers. 
  • The kids can learn the way they are designed to learn.  I think homeschoolers do so well because they have learned how to learn in a way that is best for them. Basically, a homeschooler can more easily discover their strengths and develop those strengths to learn.  If they are an auditory learner then we will incorperate more listening.  If they are a visual learner we will add more visual aids.  I know MANY wonderful teacher who passionately want to help each of their students to develop their skill so they can successed, but in the end they are overworked with 20+ other students to focus on.  
  • We do NOT like the common core curriculum.  If we homeschool we get to choose the curriculum.
  • Socialization.  Most people's question to me about possibly homeschooling is "what about socialization?"  My kids are social.  They make friends.  We will continue to put them in activities like t-ball, dance, and CCD.  We will find a homeschooling group in our area to join.  It is often overlooked that there are negative sides of socialization like bullying, drugs, sex, and school shootings.  Some may feel it's sheltering them, but I think it's protecting them.  Chris and I are fully capable of exposing them to the world and without throwing them into the deep end...sink or swim.
  • Lifestyle.  I have read many blogs, and I have listened to first hand experiences of people who have been or are currently homeschooling.  I want a home environment that homeschooling offers.  Prayer and housework will be part of our school day.  Our older children will be teaching our younger children because they will be sitting at the same table.  We will attend daily Mass (my goal is once a week). The list goes on and on.  
  • Firsts.  You know this just dawned on me a few days ago, but I was/am so excited to watch each of our babies achieve each of their milestones like smiling, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking, clapping, ect.  Well, I still want to be apart of that.  The first time they read, add, subtract, write, think critically, research paper, scientific predictions, experiments, ect. I still want to be apart of all of these firsts rather than hearing about them.  
I know not everyone is called to homeschool their children.  I am not even sure if we are, but these are just a few of the reasons we are highly considering it for next year.  I'm glad we are doing the preschool and pre-k so they are getting help developing basic concepts like holding a pencil.  Owen's teachers (soon Amelia's) have been AWESOME.  And I already have a good feeling about Owen's pre-k teachers.  I am hoping the kids' time in preschool will make the transition into homeschooling smooth.

Still CrossFitting

Holy moly...or is it moley...We all know grammar, from punctuation to spelling, there is lots of grey area.  Well here on my blog there is anyway.  So back to the "holy moly" (I'm going with moly), it has been twenty days since my last post!  I had not intended to go that long without updating my tens of readers about all the blessings and woes of my life.  Shame on me and the month of August.

For real peeps, August has been cray (May was too)!  4 birthday parties, Vaction Bible School, dentist appointments, playdates, yard sales, Pre-K open house, well baby check ups, speech, soccer sign up, and Crossfit are just a few things we have going on around here.  I'm not complaining.  We're just busy.

Crossfit has definitely had the largest impact on my days.  I went from doing nothing in terms of exercise to working out five days a week.  Change is happening.  After six weeks of training I have lost 13.5 inches over my body.  And I haven't changed my diet...yet, maybe. And I haven't lost any weight, but the inches are gone and I can tell I am getting stronger.  So for now I am going to keep at it and TRY to keep my belly aching to a minimum.

But I need to tell you this first.  I was limping around trying to get ready to take Owen to school then head to Gracey's for Crossfit, and I was telling Chris how sore I was from yesterday's workout.  The I proceeded to say, "I hope we don't run today...or jump rope...or squats".  He chuckled and said, "what do you think you are going to do sit around and eat cookies?"


For real, that is my type of workout.  Anyway, it doesn't seem as funny when I read it, but he made me laugh and totally showed me how whiny I was being...even if that wasn't his intention.

Gracey is having little competition within the gym.  We are going strict 30 day real food diet plan.  Basically I can eat meat, veggies, nuts, I think eggs, I'm not sure about fruit, and healthy oils like coconut oil.  Yea, it's going to suck. Sorry, no complaining.  Ok, the first week will, but I'm optimistic that it will get easier just like working out did.  I'm am completely addicted to sugar! Since there is zero sugar (or sweeteners of any kind) in the 30 day challenge, I am hoping to get a hold on this addiction.

I am looking forward to the outcome.  I'm just not looking forward to the hard work...mainly because it's hard.

Anywho, I will leave you with the silly e-card that made me chuckle.  And I will try not to stay away quite so long next time.  Tootles!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blah-blah, ramble-ramble

Well hello interwebs!  After the 7 post challenge I felt like I was all out of material.  Actually, I felt like I was out of material by day 3 maybe 4...maybe.  Hopefully, that challenge wasn't too painful and I still have a reader (hi Mom!!!). 

I still don't have anything worth writing.  Sorry. 

I have been volunteering at vacation Bible school this week.  Owen is in the preschool class while Amelia and Simon are in watchcare.  I think Amelia is just thrilled to be away from me for a few hours.  "I love church school," she said. Simon has been pretty good for them too.  At least they believe me now when I say HE CRIES! Owen has been indifferent about "church school".  The past two days I have taken him to the orange room for the last half of the day.  Today he was a bit whiny so I think I will give him a break tomorrow.  I just want him to soak up as much time as possible.  In a few short weeks he will be in pre-k.

Tomorrow I return to CrossFit.  Gracey has been out of town for the past week and left WODs for us to do.  I am just not a good self motivator in general.  When it comes to exercise I'm even worse at it.  Having the appointment and someone staring at me to make sure I'm working at it seems to be working. 

I am becoming obsessed with homeschooling.  If I'm sitting at the computer then I'm probably reading about homeschooling.  I'm about 80% sure that we will be homeschooling next year, God willing. I know that it's a year away, but I'm pretty sure I am going to need all of that time to choose a curriculum, get organized, create a schedule, begin putting it in place, and plan out the school year.  I have come across several helpful sites.  Plus, I know several seasoned homeschooling moms that I can get advice that I'm sure I will need.  I am positive that making a schedule and sticking with it is going to be the biggest obstacle for me.  Which is why I want to start preparing now and slowly integrate the change of lifestyle for the whole family.  I figure if I am even halfway successful this year then I might have so hope.  There is still that 20% we won't be homeschooling next year, but it will the table every school year for every child.

Chris is about to have 3 weeks of training.  Yuck.  The plus side is that we were given a heads up.  I'm not sure if he will be in the field, but I'm sure he will have 12+ hour days...again.  Like most things the anticipation is the worst. 

Well I better finish up and save Simon from his self-inflicted suffering because he is not being held.  I leave you with this my dear friends....because there are no words!

The picture was found by Paige Kellerman

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Yard sale, Thrift shop, and Clearance

Oh my goodness what a day!

We started with a trip around post.  Two of the four communities on post were having a yard sale so we thought we would take a look to see what was out.  The only thing we were kind of looking for was a bike trailer so we could pull Simon. We also were seeing if there were any bigger toys we would maybe want for the kids. We were surprised that more people weren't participating. One of the first places we stopped had 3 baby gates for $12.  Score!!! We really needed some to block off our kitchen.  Our bigger kids like to troll through the pantry and refrigerator. So we scooped those bad boys up!  We saw another place with an easel for $10.  I got out and took a look at it.  I decided against it because it wasn't exactly what I wanted.  Plus, if we are thinking possible Christmas gifts it would be hard to hide from the kids as we put it in the van.  We stopped some place else that was using a trailer as a rack.  I didn't think they were selling it, but I figured I would ask.  But they had a leotard in Amelia's size for $.50 and this Leap Frog letter toy for $2.  We continued driving. I completely missed the two trailers sitting at the front of someone's driveway.  Luckily Chris saw them.  We stopped took a look.  Both were in great condition.  The one we picked looked brand new for only $50!!!  I was so excited.  I think I got a pretty good deal.  All the ones I have seen posted on Craigslist were asking $65-$100.  If I paid too much please don't tell me.  At this point I would love to live in ignorance and forever think I got a great deal ;)

I remembered that the thrift store on post was open since it was the first Saturday of the month.  It was packed.  They were having a big clothing sale.  Fill a trash bag of clothes for $7.  We didn't bother looking through the clothes.  My kids are relatively set for winter with hand me downs that we have been given.  I felt no need for us to have more clothes just because they were cheap.  I did want to go inside to look an see if there was anything else we could use.  We ended up walking away with three more Christmas presents...a book, a Leap Frog writing game thing, and wooden beads that are strung.  I am hoping the beads and the Leap Frog game will help with fine motor skills.

We later went to Kmart and Target where we found TAG books on clearance (under $5).  Each year we have an "everybody gift".  Basically it is a gift that is shared by all.  And this year we figured we will wrap up the Leap Frog items for Christmas.  The things we have collected already range in age and can be passed down as kids out grow them.  Owen got an Explorer last Christmas that he likes and shares with Amelia.

We have found some great finds.  We will be pulling out what we have so far, making a list of what we have, and then hiding it.  I won't be surprised if we are almost "done".  I say "done" because I shop until December 24th.  Some of these things might be used for birthday gifts as well.

Anyway, I thought I would share our thrifty finds for the weekend.  

Friday, August 2, 2013

7 quick take - #5

I am pretty sure I say this each week BUUUUTTT...I can't believe it is Friday, already.  Not only is it Friday, but it's now August too.  I have this thing each year where I kinda wish away August.  I don't know if it's two months with 31 days back to back is just more than I can handle, or I am ready for summer to end and fall to begin.  I think it's the latter.  I love fall.  I love the cool crisp air.  The food.  The clothes.  The holiday season.  Well here in the northern NY it has not been too hot.  Most day don't every leave the 80s.  Some stay in the 70s.  And we EVEN had a couple that were in the high 60s.  So, I don't have this overwhelming urge to kick August to the curb, yet.  
Every time we say the blessing before meals Simon squawks the entire time.  From the sign of the cross to the sign of the cross he squawks.  I'm hoping one of my kids, God willing, is a priest.  Maybe it's him ;)
Tomorrow is the first weekend of yard sales on post.  There are 4 different housing communities and our community is next weekend.  So tomorrow we are hitting the pavement to see what we can find.  I am on the prowl for a bike trailer so we can pull Simon on bike rides.  I also would like to find a nice kitchen play set.  If you saw my Facebook post you saw that I found one for $2.  And I did.  It's really small.  I think it is more for an 18 month old.  It is fine and Amelia will play with it, but I would like one that is a bit more her size.  We have been trolling the thrift stores and Craigslist to see what we can find.  Christmas shopping!  We have several decent gifts that our kids will love for less than half the original cost.  And the kids will be still be happy. 
I want this! I have been veiling for over a year now.  I was given a black one and a white one.  The black is my favorite and I can't find it.  First of all this one is like a third of the price of other ones I have seen online.  And I LOVE the lace pattern of this one.  Second they will sew in a comb for an extra $4...Simon as started pulling on my veil at church...and third, free shipping!
I think I have been mentioned here and there that we are considering homeschooling Owen when he begins kindergarten.  I have been reading up a storm about what it takes from curriculum to laws to conferences.  It is a bit overwhelming.  I have a year until Owen begins kindergarten so I have time.  But with some programs you can get discounts by ordering early.  Plus, I want to have plenty of time to get organized, since we all know how organized I am.   My biggest fear is the fact that order, schedules, chores, routine, ect are not skills that I have, duh. And I know the kids will thrive if we have that in place, again duh. I really don't know where to start or how to make it happen. So,I think using something like Seton that gives you a curriculum and daily lesson plans would be a good place for me to start, if we choose to homeschool. Then maybe break off and start making my own lessons once I feel comfortable. But structure is what I lack. And I don't want to be screaming at my kids every day because they don't know what to do during the day, because I haven't established what comes next.  But I also really want my kids to have a solid foundation of doctrine, saints, prayers, Traditions, theology ect. I know I don't have it to teach them. But I can learn with them by using Catholic based home study.  We will see what is in store for our family soon enough.  Prayers are welcome :)
Gracey is out of town and left us with WODs to do on our own.  Yea, I need to get on that.  
I'm keeping it short and sweet this week.  I hope you have a stellar weekend and week to follow!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!