Tuesday, November 23, 2010

General Update November 2010


I guess my blog has become nothing more than a series of general updates. I had saved this blog as a draft back in November.

Cameron read her first real book the other day. We went to the library and she picked it out. Green Eggs and Ham. I love that book! I was tickled she picked that one as her first book. She still misses her neighborhood friend and her play days with other little girls are not as frequent as she would like. Sometimes she talks so much, it wears me out. A few weeks ago, her speech therapist left the meeting exhausted from Cameron's jabbering. I could identify with that look. Cameron told her "I don't know why I like to talk this much!" She enjoys cooking with me and a couple of time she has cooked recipes herself then asks someone to write them down for her in her recipe book. Unfortunately, she has forgotten to turn the eye of the stove off, so it's time for some boundaries!

The boys have improved in their writing skills. I think Jonathan only cries every other time I give him a writing assignment now. No, really. They have improved, especially Robert. He is quite vivid in his writing. They have also started reading more - thanks to their cousins encouraging them. They like Warriors, Percy Jackson, and Redwall series.

November is hunting season, so the days are measured in checking the weather and getting their work done as quickly as possible in the hopes that someone will drop them off in the woods. Hogs have moved onto the land, so Robert has been wanting to shoot me a hog, his latest obsession. His motivation is so I can have fresh ham for Thanksgiving, what a sweet sentiment! He really drops into a zone during hunting season. Jonathan just bears it as much as he can. He's very patient that way. Jonathan is still my biggest helper around the house. I say that, but it's really unfair to Raeley. She's so fast, I think I forget all she does for me. She's cleaning the kitchen for me as I type this. In 15 minutes she can turn our disheveled mess into an orderly environment - the disheveled mess being the entire downstairs.

We've been studying the war of 1812 for way too long. We are finally wrapping it up. Finally. We will spend a few more days to wrap up amphibians, and then on to the next unit - one of my favorites- American Tall Tales! This past unit made me miss Lewis and Clark, it was much more interesting. I did like Carry On Mr Bowditch, the book I read aloud to the kids. It was very inspiring and made me revisit the fact that the kids need to read more.

Raeley has finally gotten the hang of her days, getting through her school work faster, so we can work in some extra classes such as photography classes. She is still working on her photography. Her last expedition was a backpacking trip with the Venturers during the foliage. She took some great shots! She and Mark have joined a photography group here in Tupelo and he was very proud when he got home from the meeting. He got to show off her photos there and see everyone impressed with her talent and her youth.

As for work, I have focused my energy on only two clubs. We have replaced almost all the staff in those two clubs, it's like a staff renovation. I have been working to train them in their jobs, and I've spent far less time with them than they deserve, but they are doing a good job. We are still working on implementing the personal training program in the clubs, but I have bowed out with helping implement the training at the other clubs. I'm only overseeing the personal training with those two clubs. And planning the January advertising. I guess you could say, I'm setting boundaries for myself. I've paired down from 7 clubs to two.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Just an update....

Since it has been so long since I have posted, I thought I would give everyone a brief overview of our last couple of months:

Since school began with the kids, I have been pushed to my limits quite honestly. We started a new program at one of our clubs that I ended up taking over (which is doing quite well and has already expanded), as well as having a few underperforming staff at a club that was not near our home, meant I not only had a new project, I was doing other people's jobs for them -remotely.
Then throw the most involved school year I've had in quite a while, and kids in their activities, and well, that's my ranting for today....
Ok, I'll say one more thing. I've had such a hard time keeping up with housework and groceries, that one morning last week Raeley sent me a text (I was at a meeting) about how starving she was, so starving she couldn't study, no more school. I didn't respond, so she sent another one. Someone, please kidnap me and take me somewhere where there is good food to eat! I am so glad that she turns to humor and has such a good nature about our crazy life. I was at the grocery store by the time I got the second text, so grandma, you don't have to worry, she wasn't hungry long. It's pretty cool that I want to be more like my kids. They all have such great personalities.

So that still doesn't tell you what we have been up to!

The boys are still really enjoying boyscouts, and Raeley is doing Venturers again this year. Venturers is like boyscouts for guys and gals 14 and up, without the badges. It is a part of boyscouts. Raeley is taking dance again, and Cameron is in two dance classes and really enjoys them. She even practices at home! Hopefully we will be in town enough for her to participate in the Nutcracker this year.
The three older kids are all running cross country and Raeley and Robert have had 3 meets this season. Their last meet is this Saturday, and then there will continue to be 5 ks sprinkled throughout on Saturday mornings, which Jonathan participates in also. They really enjoy the social aspect of it, as they get to see their friends twice a week and also on weekends.

I don't think that the boys will do any other sports this year, and Cameron would love to be enrolled in gymnastics, but I can't fit anything else into our schedule. Raeley is also in Jr. Civitan and on Yearbook. Mark is teaching Raeley's Chemistry class and the boys have a science class at the same time also.

Our tutor is working out well, and that gives me a chance to visit the clubs once a week. Mark helps quite a bit in getting the kids to their after school activities. Sometimes I can even stay home when the tutor is here and get caught up on paperwork. Our operational assistant is working out well. Once training is complete with some new staff we have hired, I really think my life will slow down. Really, I do!

I have had such a great week with the kids thus far. It really makes me motivated to fire staff that are underperforming more quickly and replace them so I am not doing their jobs for them and can be more involved in school rather than just checking things off a list.

Mark and I had a great time backpacking in the Beartooth Mountains in Montana. We hiked 33 miles in 3 days. The annual Anytime Fitness conference was also very good this year. Montana was a beautiful place and I felt so accomplished after the backpacking trip - it was amazing being surrounded by such beauty. Yellowstone was amazing also. Understatedly amazing. I had no idea a place like that existed on this earth. I can't wait to take the kids there.
Since I don't have time to post any photos, here is a link to our picasa album of the backpacking trip.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mark and I are about to leave on a backpacking trip and the annual Anytime Fitness conference, which, if you remember from previous posts, we have so much fun! It takes quite a bit of time to prepare for a backpacking trip, and this is our first cold weather one, so it is much more time consuming as we have quite a bit of researching and purchasing to do.
I have a very busy week lined up so I am working hard to make sure I have time to fit it all in.

Here's my to do list/meal planning:
Saturday:
Leave house at 7 for Sherman 5k
Bring Susan get well gift
Finalize backpacking meal list
go grocery shopping
Laundry
Cook meal for family - surgery
start dehydrating
start prep for other food for backpacking
clean kitchen
clean bedroom
Dinner:
Stuffed chicken, peas, pasta with olive oil, fresh herbs, capers

Sunday:
finish laundry
finish loading backpack with everything but food
write out lesson plans for the next three weeks
Bake Creme Brulee with boys for school project on France
continue dehydrating
Dinner:
left overs into chicken pasta, canned veggie
NEED TO CALL INTERVIEWEES

Monday:
Work out at 6 am
Spend all day in Florence conducting interviews.
Tutor does school with kids
Mark takes Raeley to yearbook
Mark takes boys to Boy Scouts
Raeley finds ride to Venturers
Dinner:
pizza (I'm sure they won't want to cook two days in a row!)
PICK UP T SHIRTS ON WAY HOME

Tuesday:
Spend all day in Meridian, stop through in Starkville to implement new system in club YAY!
Tutor takes Cameron to dance lessons
Friend picks up kids for cross country
Dinner:
pork loin in crock pot, squash, rice
LEAVE LIST OF ITEMS TO BE DEHYDRATED!

Wednesday:
Push workout to 7 am unless I wake up with Mark.
Finally a day at home to have school with the kids
Finish all packing
Oversee kids packing
Raeley to dance
Boys to church
Package food for backpacking with food sealer
Weigh packs with fingers crossed!
Dinner:
baked fish, purple hull peas, sauteed leftover veggies that were not dehydrated
UPDATE DRIVERS LICENSE!

Thursday:
Book club meeting at 7
School abbreviated - teacher led school work - accomplish as much as possible
Science class at 1
Phone conference for new system in club at 2
Visit with Tupelo clubs individually instead of group staff meeting
Spartan practice
Last minute packing
Dinner:
Breakfast - maybe omelets and biscuits
CHECK OVER CHECKLIST FOR OVERLOOKED ITEMS!

Friday:
6 am work out
Drop Rae and Robert off at a friend's house
Go to Florence with other kids. Work with staff
Dinner:
Probably fresh veggies and cornbread by my mother in law!
GET TO BED EARLY!

Saturday:
Leave 3:30 am for airport
Arrive in Bozeman, MT at noon
Buy mace (for bears) and fuel for cooking at REI.
Stop by a grocery store for cream cheese (which doesn't have to be refrigerated for 72 hours if sealed), bagels, tortillas
Start on the trail no later than 3 pm! Get to first camp site 3 miles in.
HOPE ALTITUDE DOESN'T SLOW DOWN BACKPACKING TOO MUCH!

Stay tuned for our backpacking agenda.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lindsay's Wedding


This is a post from back in August of my niece's wedding:

We recently went to Texas for my niece's wedding. It is very neat to see my nieces and nephews as they grow up, come into their own as we say, and fall in love. She is the first niece to get married, and I think that made it extra special. We felt more a part of the wedding being on the bride's side of it. I adore her husband as much as I adore my nephews' wives - which is quite a lot.
Her wedding was such a special event. She wanted all of her cousins on our side of the family to have a part in it -which is quite a task since my parents have 16 grandchildren. But she did it! The boys passed out programs, Raeley did an awesome job reading a passage of scripture (1 Cor 13 of course!) and Cameron was a flower girl. Daniel (the groom) has a great family and it was fun getting to know them and know that he has such a good background. His mom had a stroke a year or so ago and I was shocked to see her walk down the isle. It was such a great way to start the wedding and a very special moment. And yes, I bawled. I really didn't think I could make it through the wedding, but I did regain composure. I can only imagine how hard she worked to be able to do this. It was a beautiful ceremony. The bride looked absolutely stunning. She outshone everyone with her beauty by far that night!
Let me just say that the food was delicious and I only wish I could have sampled every piece of chocolate at the chocolate bar! I was miserably full so I headed out to the dance floor. Mark asked me tonight -aren't you glad our boys like to dance with their momma? Indeed I am! The dance floor was full all night. The band was incredible -really in tune with the crowd. You know when the crowd forms a circle and people can dance in it? I couldn't believe it when my mom danced across the circle with Lindsay's other grandmother. A long time friend, Gregg Jones, pushed my dad out, and he was hilarious! Mark broke a move in the middle (which didn't surprise me, I know he's still got his moves!). It was very entertaining!

The night went by oh-too-fast. The finale was the
m driving off in an antique Rolls Royce. I was standing next to my sister (Mother of the bride) when Lindsay stopped to hug her mom goodbye. Denise said, "Oh, you're really leaving!" It was a sweet moment.

A few things on my mind...

Here is a photo I stole from Mark's facebook page (that's why it is so small!).
It is us working at Angelina River Lodge.

I thought I would take a moment to post since it's been so long.
Things have been busy getting into the school routine and there is a big campaign this month with our business in honor of National Childhood Obesity Month. It has kept me busy getting everything ready for it! Check out the Coalition of Angry Kids - A very timely message!

The campaign tugs at my heart as I strive in my business to really help change people's lives - especially moms who are tugged in so many directions, taking care of their kids but not themselves. I have realized how far I have gotten from that as we have opened so many gyms. My focus is on keeping things running, and getting the staff to perform their basic tasks. It seems to stop there and I really want to take our gyms to the next level of customer service.

I also want to take our homeschooling to "the next level" as I seem to have slid into the checklist mentality of making sure we are checking things off our to do list rather than focusing on learning.

So, how do I take both to "the next level"? For starters, we hired an Operational Assistant to help us (mainly me) out. For starters with school, I am not so worried about how much we cover during the day or even covering everything on the agenda, but doing the work with my kids and focusing on them, not work, not cleaning the house.

This had led to me giving up tv in the evenings (the little bit that I did watch) and reading books. Sunday is now a prepare for the week day. There were a few leadership opportunities I was going to take this fall, but those have been tabled. Hopefully I will be able to manage everything more efficiently as the weeks go on. Hopefully I will add in reading again.

With work, I am going to attempt to set expectations with the staff more clearly and require more of them, keeping closer tabs on them which means more meetings and more consistency.
These are just a few things that have been on my mind lately. They've also been keeping me from blogging!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Eldest Daughter's Birthday -15!


Raeley had a birthday last week.
She is now 15.
She has started studying to get her driver's permit.
For her birthday, we started a business for her.
Yes.
A business.
In photography.
Then I took her to have lunch with a friend who is a photographer, Robert Raush.
Now she is learning how to use this fancy camera.

We believe God has given her a unique view on life and she's always been so very observant. She has an obligation to be a good steward of this talent.
But don't take my word for it, check it out for yourself.
(That's not the camera we got her in the above photo, for all you camera buffs. It was a Panasonic Lumix DMC G2)

Friday, August 20, 2010

School Week 2


This week brought forth some issues we will be trying to correct:
Jonathan doesn't like all the independent work with his schedule, so he and I will do history together. He is really struggling with math, so we may change his curriculum.

Cameron is still the trooper and is coming along nicely, but I need to break up the one on one time with the boys to be shorter sections dispersed throughout the day to have her one on one time in smaller chunks also.

Raeley was out of town most of last week and is very far behind. I will spend this week evaluating where she is so we can be a little more structured next week.

The boys have not been diligent to work on their projects like their president page or creating campaign buttons for the president we are studying, so we are trying to figure out how to increase their dilligence on these projects. First thing will be to get them out of their bedroom, second thing will be to get me working less so I can oversee this more closely.

My work took up too much time and kept me from working with the kids as much as I would have liked. Friday and Saturday were spent hitting it hard to catch up.

As we had foreseen the kid's school taking up more time than last year, which creates the need for me to have less of my time taken up by work, we hired an operational assistant for me. She is a former employee who had a baby so she will get to work from home and still be a part of our staff family. I am very excited about this new change to our schedule.

Being this well organized has really helped our weeks go smoothly.

I hope you enjoy the photo of Robert holding a snake.
No, we are not studying reptiles, he's just playing with it.
Yes, he really did lose it in the garage!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our first week of school

On the whole, it has gone over better than I expected. The longer school days have made for a grumpy Cameron, so we backed off of her school some. I have also gotten a little behind with all the kids due to dentist and orthodontist appts and a few surprise meetings for work I had to fit in last minute. I'm not gonna get discouraged that we are already behind on the first week! I am determined this will not be a pattern. And we just hired someone to take a little off my plate at work. Phew!

Here's my schedule, but I still have a little more adjusting to do. I haven't found a good way to fit in cooking dinner and our school days have been long. Here's the schedule I try to stick to:
5:45 wake up
6:15 to 7:30 work out
7:45 - 8:30 Cook breakfast, wake kids, wash dishes from night before(not optimal, but reality)
8:30-9 Get kids started on school, shower quickly
9-10:30 Bible lesson, read aloud, writing, language arts with boys
Check in on Raeley
10:30-12 school with Cameron
12-1 lunch
Check in with Raeley
1-2:30 school with Cameron and
review what boys have done, additional work with them if needed.
2:30 -till ? work related work
6 pm-ish cook dinner
8 pm work more with Cameron while kids clean up.
9 pm bed times, computer work for work
10:30 pm my bed time

We've started school

Clue solvers on our annual back to school treasure hunt

We've started school.
Things are different this year.
I am going to be more prepared each week and although I say that every year, this year I have a specific PLAN for doing that. Many ideas I get from my friend Roan (like the back to school treasure hunt).

Here are a few of the differences:
I touch base with Raeley more during the school day. I enjoy our times of conversation about her curriculum. I even have hopes of reading some of the books on her reading list.

The boys are more independent. Although they spend too long on their computer or making obstacle courses for their hermit crabs, they have kept up very well. I need to add a little more detail to their weekly plan so they use their time more wisely.

Cameron's work has increased substantially. She's shed her fair share of tears. This is mainly because I worked with her so little last year. I am extremely proud of how well she's done. Even with my lack of attention thus far of her schooling, she's doing better in some of the books than her siblings did at her age. That's the beauty of homeschooling. I can't have a lax year with her this year too, but homeschooling is fluid enough to be very forgiving!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On Hiking ..What I Wish List




It has been a long time since I went on the backpacking trip, and although I loved it, I have not taken the time to blog about it like I had intended. It was a great trip and I loved the challenge, the exertion, the feeling of being surrounded by nature. If you have ever thought about going backpacking, here's a list I wish I had read before I left:

What I'm so glad I brought:
My homemade dehydrated food
Biodegradable wipes
Extra pair of shoes
Hydration pack (like a Camelback)
Water filter
Ibuprofen

What I didn't need:
Extra clothes
Cap
Sunglasses
Cool Tog Bandana (didn't work too well)

What I should have brought:
Duct Tape
Deodorant (don't ask)
Better creamer for coffee
Knee Brace
Lightweight knife (ours was too heavy)
Walking sticks (OK, I had sticker shock - if you buy the trekking poles - ski pole looking things, they seem so expensive. I think it would be worth it!)

More on the extra shoes - just think - you are wearing your hiking boots aggressively all day. You get to camp, tired and hungry with food to cook and a tent to set up. I can't tell you how good it felt to get out of those boots and put on my Keens. I saw quite a few people with Crocs -which might have been a better choice due to how light they are.

More on the walking stick- It doesn't look very authentic, in my opinion, to be walking around with an aluminum ski pole when there is no snow around. When I overworked my knee, I found me a good walking stick - my son Robert would have been impressed. I could not believe how much it helped. So much so, that I don't have a desire to go walking without some kind of stick -be it aluminum or tree.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Teaching What's important

As the school year approaches, I find myself constantly evaluating:
What do I want my kids to learn this year?
What are our goals for them socially, spiritually, emotionally?
I mean, I have their educational needs figured out:
SPELLING work, writing faster, math for Jonathan, things like that.

How do they do in "society"?
Do they know their manners in public, at the dinner table, in different situations?
Do they know how to react to kids who are unfair, mean, hurting, nice?
Do they know how to make friends?

How do they do in their walk with God?
How is their prayer life?
Is there any disconnect between their spiritual life and social life?
Can they read and understand the Bible, and are they doing that daily?

I find holding up a mirror at this point is helpful and also daunting. Our children are the best reflection of us.

I haven't been thinking about curriculum lately, I've already done that, and it is arriving in the mail daily. I've been thinking about the important stuff. We are starting a dating book with Raeley and we are going to go through the book How to Win Friends and Influence People with all the kids. Raeley may have the opportunity to attend a seminar called Success Skills which will help her develop her leadership abilities. Raeley, Robert and Jonathan will have a significant increase in their time helping prepare dinner during the week. I'd love to give the kids more background in music. They are very motivated in art. I'd like to keep that going. Raeley's photography is outstanding. How can we support her in that?
We only have three more years of high school with Raeley. It's going to go by very quickly!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just checking in!

Once again I only have time for updates. I have a series of blogs planned about our hiking trip, but that will have to wait. I just wanted to check in with you all.
We just got back from the annual 4th of July with my family, and can I say how blessed I am with such a great family? Leaving them is always hard on me. 9 hours of driving is so far away.

Raeley continues to amaze us with her photography skills. She took some awesome photos during this trip.
Cameron was gone from us for a week and a half. I am so glad we are all back together again. She seems so much bigger now. She did great on the trip and her grandparents and aunts made sure she had lots of fun.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Backpacking

Raeley was on a mission trip to Longbeach, MS
The boys were at boy scout camp.
Cameron went to visit her grandparents.
What were Mark and I to do? Something we hadn't done in years.
Go Backpacking.
So we dusted off our gear (my hiking boots, Mark's backpack, and all the small things were the same).
Mark started researching, and I started dehydrating food.
It consumed every spare moment for a week or two. And I must admit I would wake up at night and worry every once in a while how it was going to turn out.
But the day came and we were off.

Here is a quick overview:
Kids leave Sunday, I return home at 5 pm from dropping them off.
We pack and I clean house (who wants to come home to an unkempt house after being in the woods for a week?).
Mark works on his spreadsheet of caloric/protein/fat intake.
We go to bed much later than intended.
4:30 am came early.
Up and at 'em and the last shower in a private shower for a week.
We leave Tupelo at 5:05 to be exact and head to Georgia.
We stop in Atlanta at REI to see about replacing Mark's pack, but they were just too expensive.
On to Dehlonega GA, a very quaint town we wish we had more time to see.
We met friends of Mark's for lunch at The Crimson Moon, and it was great to get to know them better. Lunch took longer than we intended, but it was all good (both the company and the food!).
We stopped in an irresistible shop next to the restaurant, then one last coffee, and we were off!
We dropped our car at the end point -which is the beginning point for many. We decided to walk the trail south bound (sobo in AT talk) to end at the big waterfall (on a downward slope for it is very steep) at the welcome center.

Our friends asked us if we had a knife for the bears and Mark suddenly remembered what he was looking for the night before and couldn't find - a larger knife -he only had a small one. Mike pulled out this long knife in a case that you can velcro to your leg. My eyes got big. Are bears really that much of a problem? Do you think I would have a knife like that if they weren't, Mike replies. Well, that knife was a little too big, so he pulls out another one that is smaller. I'm beginning to wonder about this whole thing-just joking. I would like to see a bear from a distance I think! You have to admit, that sounds pretty cool, especially since I hear all you need to do is make racket to run them off- unless you leave food out - a big no-no I don't intend to make!
They drop us off at Woody Gap, 28 miles from our car, and leave us there.
And into the wooded bliss we submerge.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer TIme -an update on us

I haven't been blogging much -
I've been making a transition in my life.
Less time on the computer.
No more Facebook - not much, anyway.
Consolidating work and emails into larger time chunks - not spread throughout the day. You won't believe how much time that saves!
Eating healthier - trying to get high fructose corn syrup out of our house
Less TV, more reading
Deciding where to put my time not chewed up by my computer -
currently on the kids and de-stressing my life.

I'm working on a few more things, too:
Exercising harder and wiser (still not there - I'm wimping out before interval training).
Watching my reactions to my kids - working on showing my love more.
Living out my faith more - once again, like with the kids, it's a heart issue.

We are still doing school as well. We are working hard to finish by next week. We will continue with a few writing assignments, spelling, and math.

Our summer plans?
Two family trips to Texas
Mark and I will start hiking the Appalachian Trail (Woohoo! Yes, that is as cool-I mean hot- as it sounds!) Our goal? To go back with the kids once we have the hang of it.
Various camps for the kids. Currently it's swimming lessons.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My Oldest


My oldest daughter, Raeley
is a free spirit
always has been.
I don't know how old she was when I realized this.
It was the way she held picture books
and looked at the pictures
I never could explain it, but she didn't just look,
She saw.
She would point out a small, overlooked detail.
Like it was the reason the book was written.
She was very sensitive about her environment.
It needed to look good. It had to look good.
It was the way she studied people's faces
like she could figure out who they were.
She doesn't mind what people say about her.
She doesn't care about fitting in.
She cares about being true to herself.
Doing what she likes,
and seeing the world through her eyes.
She is strongly opinionated about what matters to her.
Right now it's the state of our country.
Back then it was equality between kids,
Being nice,
and justice for all.
Most of all it was loyalty.
My oldest daughter, fiercely loyal.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

It's so easy, even a 7 year old can do it. I wish I would have timed how quickly this went. And OHHH, the savings! It's also better for the economy. Since I have had the Borax for a LONG time, and didn't save the receipts from the other, I googled the prices.

Cameron actually made the recipe for me, and next time it will be faster because I won't have to measure the water, I just sharpie'd a fill-line on the bucket.

1 cup Arm and Hammer washing soda
1/2 cup Borax
1 bar Zote* soap (I bought a 14 oz bar so I cut it in thirds)

Heat 4 cups of water in a pot. When boiling, bring it down to simmer. While water heats, grate soap. I used a Salad Shooter. Remember, it's soap, so it will wash off easy! Add washing soda and Borax. Mix until melted. Fill a large container (with lid) with 3 gallons of water. I used a paint bucket from WalMart that cost less than $3. Add melted soap and stir. Let sit 24 hours until it gels. Mix well. That's it!

*Fels Naptha is also a natural soap that is good to use, just stay away from perfumed bars with heavy dyes and scents.

Here's the price breakdown:
Arm and Hammer Washing Soda $3.50 55 oz (7 loads) ($0.50)
20 Mule Team Borax $9 76 oz (19 loads) ($0.47)
Zote Soap $1 at Big Lots 14 oz (3 loads) ($0.33)
$1.30 for 4 gallons ($0.015 a load) - that's right - one and a half cents a load.

My laundry detergent of choice cost $7 for 44 loads ($0.16 a load)

I saved the last container of detergent I bought and filled it with the detergent. I use one for one in the measuring cup- really a little more of the homemade stuff.

You just gotta try this!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You don't have to use words to be mean


My twin sister is homeschooling her daughter now.
I don't think she ever thought she would homeschool, but she'll be great.
I mean, really great.
One of those homeschool moms I would look at and go, wow, I never would have thought of doing that with my kids! Of course, that was back in the day when I had time to put a little creativity in my homeschooling. Now I buy creative homeschool curriculum.

Sweet Angela, seven years old. Kissed by an angel on her cheek (birthmark) and teased mercilessly by the kids at school. So unhappy this past year. Now she's happy and safe because she doesn't have to go to back to that place anymore.
But she still cries about it.

Sweet Angela, with the big eyes and charming smile. She had to endure children pointing and laughing at her on a daily basis. She had to endure the kids passing notes about her. Worst of all, she had to endure kids acting as if she didn't exist. She didn't put this into words earlier for her mom to bring her home sooner. Oh, there were teacher meetings, and dealing with bullies who would verbally tease. The kids learned. It's not what they said. It wasn't the words that hurt. Sometimes it's about asking the right questions. Sometimes it's about understanding the definitions.

Bullying. It can even happen in the home. Do my kids bully each other? Do I listen when they tell me about what one of their siblings did to them? Bullying - here is a beautiful post with a recommended book read,The Wounded Spirit by Frank Peretti. I'm getting the book. And I'm going to listen to my kids.

Sometimes it's hard to live so far away when cousins need hugs. And cousins need to give hugs. Daughters #2 and #3 may be coming home next year to learn also. Pray for them, will ya?


Friday, April 30, 2010

Curriculum Time

Curriculum time. I am going to do something I've NEVER done before. I usually analyze, overanalyze, and agonize over what curriculum I am going to buy. As a matter of fact, last year it was so bad (the analyzing and agonizing) with my daughter starting high school, that I totally forgot to order her math, and kept forgetting, and it finally arrived in October! This year, I am going to order my curriculum before the summer. Yep, before homeschool conferences. Before making any trips to the big city to look at homeschool bookstores and hold the curriculum in my hands. Before our school year even ends! I am hoping to sit down this weekend and map everything out and make the purchases next week.

Here's what I am thinking about:
For the boys:
Nothing is really changing.
Continuing with Learning Adventures
Singapore Math
Easy Grammer and Daily Grams
Apologia (Co-op)
Adding: Latin - Latin's not so tough
Typing
Handwriting (copy work isn't working for us. Maybe a bound book will help, maybe)
Adding back in IEW

For Raeley:
Core 2000 of Sonlight
Math U See
Apologia (Co-op)
Maybe adding a course of IEW. I don't think she did enough writing.

For Cameron:
Sonlight World History (Which I already have)
Singapore Math
Handwriting


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

This girl lives for a party!

Cameron is planning Mother's Day. I'm honored. This girl lives for a party. She plans life event to event. She brought me a post it note and a pen and told me to make a list of what I wanted. Here are her suggestions:
Clothes
shoes
high heels
boots
high heel boots.

What was her favorite gift from her birthday? Twinkle Toes Shoes. Her favorite outfit this summer? Tan shorts, brown and blue striped shirt and brown boots.
Once a week we are throwing a party for one of her stuffed animals. She wants to bake them a cake. Not good for my fitness goals!

A+ in spelling!
She wrote my last name on the post it note. Sdevynz. Her preferred way to spell Mommy is Mome. Her nickname Cammi is Came. You guessed it - Daddy is Dade. She knows the silent e rule. That's just the way she prefers it.

Vacations

I need a vacation. Who doesn't? And yes, I said need, not want.
Need so I don't lose who I am.
Need so I remember what fun is,
so I don't forget to laugh.

I've mentioned before that vacations are high priority for us since my husband and I work together. It keeps us balanced - and even if we didn't work together, because we both have such full schedules, the time away keeps us from getting burned out. I need a vacation. It doesn't have to be expensive. Take me camping and we'll eat pb&j sandwiches. Our weekends have been planned to the minute and filled with stuff that I can't fit in during the week like laundry and housecleaning. Glamorous, huh? A quick way to get burned out and lose yourself. I am beginning to wonder what a good, gourmet meal at home is like. But gourmet meals take planning and inspiration and I'm a little short on both. I did enjoy my super quick chicken and dumplings tonight with fresh (dried) basil from my friend's garden, and minced garlic. That's gourmet for today.

Facebook

I've given up Facebook for the most part and I don't really miss it. Two things that are time wasters for me - Facebook and TV. I have started DVRing Glen Beck, recently, though. I'm learning Economics from him. Seriously, I am. My kids need to know this stuff. I am gonna have to start taking notes, too. It's good stuff. He even made a big push in favor of homeschooling the other day. It is hard to even fathom how much money is spent on our totally screwed up educational system. Cut it in half and the financial problems of this country would be taken care of. Doesn't it blow your mind to hear that and then look at all the school districs who are bankrupt? A prime example of what happens when the goverment is in charge of something where money is involved.

Back to time wasters. I am replacing that time with cleaning my house and reading more. I am also trying to do one thing I enjoy every day, even if it is something small (like one square of chocolate or cutting some roses off my rose bush).
I went to the library and checked out a few books. My current reads:
The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership
Endangered Minds - just wait for my soapbox on this one!





What a day.

Today has not been a good day. Last night I stayed up way too late. Mark was taking car of some time sensitive business breakdowns. We had the tv on and I stayed on Facebook way too long. I hate it when I waste time like that.

I am at-my-limit as far as stress goes. I am pulled in so many directions that I have cut out many things in life I enjoy - like this blog. Counter productive if you don't take time to de-stress. My neck is killing me. I carry my stress in my shoulders. Lately my workouts have been high priority so I can just MOVE. Since I stayed up so late, I skipped my workout so my whole body is stiff. My neck is TIGHT.

So today I was grouchy all day from getting to bed late.

I even took a nap and when I got up and saw the disarray my house was in, I went back and hid under the covers. For over an hour. Yeah, I had one of those days. But I did smile when I heard my kids trying to keep quiet. And when my phone rang, I could tell by the ring who was calling. It was a business call and I could hear them whisper yelling - "What should we do?" "Answer it for her?" "Take a message?" "Do you think it's important?" Then big sister to the rescue. "Be quiet and leave her alone."

Tomorrow is going to be better because I'm not going to stay up late and I'm going to have a good attitude. At least I'm gonna try. Attitude is key.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rappelling

One thing I like about where we live
is that it is a beautiful place

with so many fun outdoor activities nearby.

We didn't do much for Spring Break, so that Saturday we took the kids to go rappelling.

A new family to the area met us there.

Oops, Jonathan! We all had a great time.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Top 50 Christian Homeschool Blogs

It's the time of year when many homeschoolers are fighting burnout and gathering resolve to finish the year strong. We were so far behind in our curriculum, that we are still hitting it strong and I feel renewal because school isn't going to drag out in the summer if we keep up this pace. Here's a great list to check out for more encouragement in your homeschooling. I am looking forward to checking out these homeschool blogs!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Conversations with Cameron

January 7

Another Conversation with Cameron:

I was reading the book Angelina the Ballerina to her tonight (Angelina is a mouse). I pointed to the picture of Angelina in 2nd position. I ask Cameron "Can you do that?"

"Yes," Cameron replied in a very matter of fact tone, "but only without the tail."


March 15
Conversation with Cameron:
I hear Cameron say in an exasperated tone: "Dumb Dummy!" "Cameron, what's wrong?" "You know that graham cracker that looked like a diaper?" (She had shown me a graham cracker she had taken a few bites of that looked like a diaper, and she was so excited about it.) Well, I was gonna draw it (she's holding a piece of paper, a pen, and two graham crackers in her hand) and I took a bite of the wrong graham cracker!

March 16
Cameron was talking to me about her day. Mark was helping her ride her bike without training wheels. "Daddy took his hand off my seat. When I was peddling, he would wait till I was on the grass and let go of my seat. I don't think that's right. We should make a deal that he doesn't do that." "So what did you expect, Cameron, for him to run around and hold onto the seat while you rode around in circles?" "Yes. I might fall if he lets go." "Well, how do you think you will learn if he's always holding on?" "Not that way!" Later that night Cameron says, "We should make a deal that he only lets go after I tell him I'm balanced. It's too scary if he just does it. I might fall."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Conversations with Cameron


This was from a while ago, but I am just getting around to posting it.

January 12

Tonight I was reading a book about Quack the Duck in Spanish to Cameron, as a joke to see what she would do. She never complained, but when Raeley walked in the room, she said "I just have to ask, um, do you understand what you are reading?" Cameron said no. I asked her what language it was and she said "Duck?"


1-13
Cameron said today "I like grandmas. You can always stay the night at their house." "Is there anything else you like about grandmas?" I ask. "They are nice and smart and buy you things."
We had fish for dinner. Cameron said, "Did this fish come from the water?" Yes. Blech! Did they wash it good? And did they take all the yucky stuff out? Are you sure they washed it good? In SINK water?"
1-14
I worked all day and I was sad that I didn't have any cute Cameron sayings for the day. As I went to put up the leftover pizza, I found a glass of ice water in the bottom drawer of the fridge. I get smiles from that girl even when she's tucked in bed fast asleep! How do I know it was her? It was her special Star Trek glass given to her as a gift from her BFF.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Snow Day






I don't even remember how long ago it snowed here. Maybe January? Maybe December?
Enjoy the photos!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vacation



Mark and I had a chance for a weekend get away and we jumped on it - and jumped on a plane to Naples, Florida. It was great. It was a nice drive from the airport in Fort Myers to Naples, and we followed the scenic route through the small towns on the coast. We stopped for ice cream and milkshakes and coffee and stopped to look for a few geochaches along the way. There was a great beach with lots of shells where we tried to get to a geochach on an island near the beach. Mark waded out there almost all the way, but when he would have had to swim, he turned back. It was fun collecting shells for the kids.
We stayed at The Inn on Fifth Street, which was a nice hotel. Even though I didn't even peek my head into the spa, we had free usage of the steam room and sauna (I know, what was I thinking? You had to schedule it a day ahead of time - to my defense), but we had fun relaxing in the hot tub. The beach was beautiful and cold so we didn't spend a lot of time out there, but we did watch the sunset from the pier with a bottle of wine one night and went back for a stroll at sunset another night. While we were there, we spent half a day deep sea fishing. I was the only lady, and I think I caught the most fish, 4, but no one caught a keeper. It was fun, though. I'd love to take my kids one day, especially Robert, our in-house fisherman. We also took an airboat ride in the Evergreens with two of our friends, Desiree and Brian, and went walking on a few trails in the Evergreens. Wow, lots of alligators, but we didn't see any on the trails.

Airboat Ride
We went to some great restaurants. Tru Lucks was my favorite - great seafood.
Lots of things on the trip went wrong, really. It was funny after a while. Mark and I got along great and all the trouble brought us even closer. Thinking back, all the things that went wrong on this vacation would have made me so upset ten years ago, but this time, I was so glad NOT to be working and even just sitting in the airport while the rental car mix up was straightened out, I was just glad to be there with Mark and no computers or interruptions.
Mark was going to Naples for business, and so on my last night there, we got to hang out with some of our mutual friends who are club owners also.

Here's some of the club owners Mark had business with.
Mark, Cindy, Desiree, Nathan, Richard and his wife. Brian is taking the photo.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Light at the end of the tunnel

I'm just checking in with you guys. I have been so busy lately, I haven't even had a chance to keep up with my friend's blogs. Life has been busy but good. This is a busy time of the year for us and we opened two clubs in the past three months during the busiest season for us. And it has gone well. Notice I mentioned busy four times in 4 sentences? Um, yeah. Busy.
I am excited about some things that have been happening with work. We've had some great hires lately (one of whom is the daughter of a well known Homeschool Speaker. How cool is that?) and we are wading through the new training. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is so nice to be fully staffed. Say a prayer for me that this will last for a while, OK? Actually, we are lacking in certified personal trainers. My kids are having fun thinking of nicknames for our new staff. HA! Should I encourage this? Inside jokes do bring bonding. We will have a family discussion with our kids about this and see how they feel.
So what's been keeping me busy? Training staff, working hard to keep our clubs in tip top shape, and hanging out with our new staff, getting to know them. Homeschooling the kids. Obviously blogging hasn't been on that list, and I'm not sure if anything that fits into keeping a house is on that list, either. It is so nice that the boys are getting better at being independent with their school work. Unfortunately, I can't even remember the last time I had a reading lesson with Cameron. Raeley and our tutor has, though.
The library meeting was lots of fun. Thanks for your input.
What else have I been doing? I just got back today from a vacation with Mark. It. was. nice. understatement.

Maybe soon I will post the 5 drafts I have saved. Just Maybe.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Library re-design

Imagine for a minute that your library was getting a make-over and you had a blank check to add anything to it that you could. What would you add? What would you change? Think about your library and tell me what your favorite thing about it is. The Tupelo library is making some changes and they are looking for input.

For those of you who are not from Tupelo, reading this blog, as a homeschool mom, when I moved to Tupelo, I about flipped out when I stepped into the library. It is OUTDATED and not a visually stimulating place. The books are also not organized very well. Sometimes I miss the libraries in Houston like a friend.

So, what are your thoughts? What would you like in a library? Rooms for studying? Sunrooms? Teen rooms with what features? How about for the younger kids? What should that area look like? How should the money be allocated, especially when you consider that the state of Mississippi has drastically cut spending to libraries, leaving the money to come from the city and county?

How do you think Kindles and Ipads and books as mp3 files will affect the future of libraries?

What will bring more foot traffic into the libraries?

Who (do you think) are the clients of libraries?

How can businesses use the library?

Thanks for your help!
Kristie

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Cuttlebug giveaway!

Follow this link for your chance at winning! http://svgcuts.com/blog/?p=4939

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Busy time of the year

I've not been keeping up with anything on the computer lately. If you now me, you know how awkward that is for me. I've been so busy, it has been easy, though. This is our busy time of the year with our business, so it's all hands on deck. The older kids have wonderfully surprised me with how well they maintained their school work while I have been out of pocket. I sure am glad Cameron got some educational games for Christmas because she hasn't had a real "lesson" much the last two weeks. I will post about some temporary changes we have made to our school schedule soon.

I have had some great learning/growing opportunities lately with work. It's hard when you are in the middle of it but I love feeling challenged like that and learning so much! Fortunately, everything worked out fine and I was able to stick to my convictions about what was right even under pressure. It's never as easy as it sounds and it's easy to second guess yourself. My staff have had great attitudes and are able to laugh at what is going on. It is keeping me laughing, otherwise I might just cry. Laughter is a great source of stress relief and bonding.

February will continue to be like this also, but that is OK, because the beginning of the year is that important to our business. It is busier than usual for us since we opened a gym last month and we are opening a gym right now. I also think it is a good lesson for my kids - we run our own business, so everyone has to "make sacrifices" and do a little extra.
And can you believe I even cut out coffee some this past week, and when I do drink, I have cut my daily consumption in half! I also feel that this hard work is paying off because some of our gyms are exceeding our expectations!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Challenging Book Club


I was very challenged in my book club Thursday morning. We are going through the book Axiom by Bill Hybels - a great book that is easy to read. We covered these axioms:
  • Always take the high road (sometimes not as easy as it sounds)
  • Read all you can (something I took a break from since it's a busy month - but should make a priority!)
  • Lead Something (great points AND great discussion. I'm praying about this)
  • Arrive Early or Not at All (can I just say ouch?)
  • I'd Never do this for Money (I can't relate to that one. My job is not a charity!)
  • We Need Us All - (Who have I been there for lately?)

I will recap a little bit more:
Always take the high road. As Bill Hybels mentioned in his book, an older man once told him, "I am an older man now, and never once have I regretted taking the high road. Bless what you can bless. Thank everyone you can thank. Cheer on what is appropriate, and be done with it. page 195. Can I just repeat the last part, be done with it? OK, Be done with it. Leave the yucky stuff behind you and move on.
Read all you can. I was challenged by another individual (A founding owner of Anytime Fitness Corporate) with a $100 prize in AF merchandise if I submit a book report in Feb. on a book I read in Jan. It's the middle of the month and I've only read a few pages. I think maybe, even though this is our busiest month, I should pick up the book and keep reading - it's that important!
Lead Something - this deserves a post all it's own. Stay tuned for that one.
Arrive Early or Not At All - I think this is the New Year's Resolution I have not been wanting to acknowledge!
We Need Us All- "Lean into the empowering presence of God and realize that you're not alone. Reach out to God, and he will reach out to you. He will restore your soul. He will encourage you and inspire you. He will heal you up and set your feet back on course." Here's the part I struggle to believe "He will rally other leaders to your side who will pray for you and walk with you." page 204 What am I doing for others? Do I believe that others will be there for me? Will God provide me with EVERYTHING I need?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Conversations with Cameron

January 6

Conversation with my daughter, Cameron: "Mom, do you think Tinkerbell is real?"

"No, I think she was created by Disney like Mickey Mouse."

Cameron said, "Why do so many people not believe in her mom? I think it's because Tinker Fairies never come to the mainland. But maybe we can see a water faire near some water. They are the ones who put water droplets on spider webs."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Menu Monday

For more menus, visit www.orgjunkie.com

Monday and Tuesday -out of town
Wednesday- chili - I love my chili recipe! I'll post soon.
Thursday - crock pot taco beef, Spanish rice from a box (I will be working)
Friday - breakfast for dinner, eggs, bacon, and waffles! (I've been craving waffles.)
Saturday - I'm hoping for a date night. The kids will have pizza.
Sunday - leftovers

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A day in the life of Robert the hunter

Robert Hunting - As you can see, this picture was taken a few weeks ago before the weather turned so cold! Now he'll be huddled in a shooting house!

I thought that today would be a good day to describe a day in the life of my son, Robert. One Saturday morning he wakes up and talks with his grandfather about what all they will do at their land today. He rushes to take his shower in his no -scent soap, runs downstairs to make sure his dad uses the no -scent soap in his shower also. He leaves to go to Lowes with his grandfather to buy some things needed for hunting.
To me, hunting is pretty basic, so if you have a gun, some camo, and protection from the elements, what more do you need? I think it was for parts for the 4 wheeler. They get back from Lowes, eat lunch, then leave for hunting. Robert is fortunate that he lives only 30 minutes from where he goes hunting. Dad and sis will follow later.

They want to scope out some land by the big pond, they haven't been there in a while. Their to do list before heading into the woods:
Work on 4 wheeler
feed fish at pond
scout for tracks
check the deer camera and change out the photo card
ride around on 4 wheeler looking for deer markings

At the appropriate time in the afternoon, my guess is 3 pm, they head out to their deer stand. They see a small spike but aren't shooting the small deer, so they pass on it. That was all they saw, so as the sun goes down, they meet up with other fellow hunters, Dad and sister Raeley. The fellow hunters saw three small deer, but passed also as they were holding out for the big deer they could hear in the brush.

They all convene at the cabin and visit with Doug, keeper of the cabin (it's his home), and play with his grandson, baby Tripp.

Robert heads home with dad and sis, meet up with Mom and other siblings at a restaurant, and then head home. All kids do a quick tidy, then Robert settles in with his wii hunting game to sharpen his skills before bed. While he sleeps, he dreams of the big great buck. Sweet Dreams Robert!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Schedules

A friend of mine, Roan, wrote about her homeschool schedules on her blog, so I thought I would do the same.
Raeley
The curriculum I use for Raeley, my highschooler, has a daily/weekly chart for her, so she knows what she is to do each day. She is independent, so I grade her work once a week (or at least a couple times a month!)

The Boys
I have a checklist with the boys, but I find that it works better if I go over with them what they are to do, then they leave to go work on their assignment, then I look over it. When I was using checklists, I would look at their checklists, not at their work, and would forget to grade their school work! They sometimes ask to go back to the checklist, but what I do is write down what they are to do independently after we finish all of our together work, and they check it off after they do it. The next day at the beginning of school, I review that hand written list with the boys together and look over their work then if I didn't get to it the day before.

Cameron
I would like to make a checklist with photos for Cameron, and that is somewhere on my to do list. I have a checklist for her, but it doesn't really mean a whole lot to her because reading is still a chore for her.
Roan, any ideas on checklists for the young ones? What do you do for Leah?

My checklists are basic, with days of the week across the top and assignments down the side. I also have one for myself that is daily with all the subjects I would like for them to do broken up by time. I use it if I find we are not finishing our work in a timely manner.

Something New
I have started something new this week. Usually I have several issues with work I have to deal with in the morning, waiting for me in my inbox. Here is our new morning routine:
6 am wake up
6:30-7:30 work out at the gym
7:45 - cook breakfast (high protein right after a hard work out)
8 am wake up kids, they eat, tidy up or do a quick chore. get dressed
9 am school starts
Here's what's new:
They do independent reading, memory work, and computer school -like typing lessons for about an hour while I shoot off emails, make phone calls, tie up a few loose ends (or like this morning -blog) or even do laundry. It gives my husband and my staff a chance to get a hold of me on something time sensitive without disrupting our school.
We start school together by no later than 10 am. Now they have my undivided attention until school is out. So far so good, I'll keep you updated.
Another benefit is that I have a sleepy head who just can't wake up easily. This helps him not drag quite so bad and it gives them a chance to read -which later in the day they are pretty good at finding excuses NOT to read independently.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Myers Briggs Personality Indicator

So, I've started another book. That means I am currently reading 5 books right now. Simultaneously. Yeah, I know, not that productive.

Last night, in my effort to start the new year off right, I got to bed at a decent time and read for a while waiting on Mark. And waiting. So much for getting to sleep early, but at least I got quite a bit read.

Anyway, I started a book on the Myers Briggs personality types. It is Please Understand Me II by David Kiersey and I am reading it to understand my staff better. I felt it hit between the eyes last night. I didnt like everything it described me as, but we are who we are and I have quite a bit to ponder. WOW, was it accurate and showed me how very polarized I am. I jst started the book, so I'm not sure if that is good or not.
So, for those of you familiar with the Myers Briggs, what do you think I am?
BTW, Mark was right. He nailed me before we even dated and was right back then.

Here's your choices:
Extroversion or Introversion
Sensing or iNtuition
Thinking or Feeling
Judging or Perceiving

If you don't know the definition of the dichotomies listed above, check them out on this web site.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think I am.

And, referring to last night's post, today was a great day - although we are STILL doing school work, I still have dirty dishes, and I'm still not done with laundry. And even though there were snow flurries (really - I saw 8 flakes wafting in the air) when I left to go to the gym, I didn't let that stop me and still made it to work out.

Menu Monday

How's this for starting the New Year off right?
Mark helped me grocery shop after working out this morning and we got most ingredients in less than 30 minutes!
For more Menu Monday posts, visit www.orgjunkie.com!

Monday:
Baked Fish
Mac and Cheese
Lima Beans
Tuesday:
Crock Pot Chicken with Northern Beans
Rice
Salad
Wednesday:
Hamburgers
Sweet potatoes
English peas
Thursday:
Depends on the snow.
Either leftovers if I visit my clubs
or Orange Chicken from the freezer
Friday:
Having company over, so menu to be determined when plans are confirmed.
Saturday:
Breakfast for Dinner
Scrambled Eggs
Bacon
Biscuits
Sunday:
Pizza

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ready for school to start?

School starts in the morning. Jonathan can't find his books. Robert is missing one of his. The house is a mess because I just helped Mark with two years of paperwork. I feel good about that, but it has consumed two days. Laundry is half done. Not the way I wanted to start the first day of school for the new year, but I knew it would happen because I didn't plan any time to prepare for it. I was just hoping it would happen and knowing that it wouldn't. I'm not gonna skip my workout in the morning, though. I'm just gonna wing it with school. I have one hour before I go to bed to finish the laundry, put all the pulled files and piles of receipts in an orderly fashion, wash the dishes that have been neglected for two (or three) days, and clean my very messy room. Then maybe I'll have a few minutes to pull out the school books and see what we have in store for tomorrow. Can you tell the house is in total disarray? I wish I was better at housecleaning. Hmm, should I stay up late to get it all done? Should I put off school (teacher inservice day)? I'm gonna get off the computer and see how much I can get done as fast as I can, make the house as pleasing on the eyes as I can, and go to bed at a decent time. The kids can journal about Christmas while I review lesson plans. I'm SO glad I planned the start of school at the end of last year's school. Just thought I'd share what's whirling around in my head. Is it this hard to come off of a vacation for you?

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Top 5 Tips for Resolutions

Resolutions are like goals, are they not? And what good is a goal if you don't have a plan? I'm a big believer of resolutions. I love the feeling of a new year and a new start. A chance to make myself better. Optimism unbounded and one step closer to new dreams.
I hope you make resolutions for yourself. Don't jump into it, though. Think it through, turn it into a goal, and make a plan.
Are you going to exercise more?
When?
What will you do?
For how long?
Is it realistic?
What is your specific goal?

Are you going to eat healthier?
How?
What will you change?
How will you fit it into your life?
Is it realistic?
What is your specific goal?

Are you going to grow in your relationship to God? Spouse? Children?
How?
What will you change?
Is it realistic?
What is your specific goal?

Here are my top 5 tips for resolutions:
  1. Set a specific goal and turn it into a plan.
  2. Evaluate after a month and make neccessary changes, and again after 4 months and get back on track.
  3. Reward yourself for good progress.
  4. Don't beat yourself up if don't do as well as you'd like, just start fresh again.
  5. Don't give up!
Happy Resolutioning!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

My post last year on New Year Resolutions is one of my favorite posts.

I'm still undecided about what my New Year Resolutions are. I want to take a few days and pray about it with Mark.

I'm taking this holiday off, though. We've had so much company in town, and we are opening a new gym, and we opened a new gym a few weeks ago, so I just wanted a holiday of no cooking. No black eye peas tradition for us this year. I'm glad I don't believe in bad luck! Anyone have any leftovers they want to share?