Thursday, March 31, 2011

Weight Watchers, I'm On My Way!

Thanks to a couple of friend's and my sister, I've finally found the right balance of self-motivation and a support group to start getting healthy with Weight Watchers! We went to the meeting and joined today. Thanks Ladies, you know who you are! Here's to a great journey! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

General Conference With Little Ones

Making General Conference fun and exciting is a tradition in our family. We began this tradition almost three years ago and it has only become more enjoyable as the years go by. Every year I have become a little more organized and prepared which is very helpful in pulling it all off.

The following links are the things that I WANT to do this conference weekend. Don't think for a minute that we will actually do all of them. There are four constants to our General Conference tradition: Listening to the Word of God, a Conference Tent, Activity Packets, and Goodies. Today is my planning day as well as our Conference Recap day #1 where we reviewed last year's talks during Home School.

Here are some ideas from MormonMomma’s Blog

Conference Baggies Keeps the kids anticipating the next speaker.

Tents Toward the Temple This year we are going to use our actual camping pup tent. It should help keep the boundaries more clear for the boys.

Folder Fun Keeps papers in one place.

Friendly Finds Put the Children’s Friend to good use.
Law of Witnesses Helps us as parent’s get in the right mindset.

Pray for the Prophet Again, this is good for the parents.

Apostle Count A fun and simple idea!

When Ye Are Prepared Takes work, but worth it!

Sweet Spirit Dedication and preparation. 

I would Love to hear any of your ideas!! Especially healthy snacks ideas!

Home School: Our Habitat Journey

JAKOB: This past week we have journeyed through different habitats around the world. Jakob researched and put together a kindergartener size report about the Aquatic habitat and Sharks. I Loved listening to the different facts that stuck out to him and the story that he put together. To close the week Jakob went on a Habitat Journey. He took the camera outside and documented his own personal habitat. I LOVED seeing the world from his eyes. We made a slideshow of his photos and the captions are in his own words. This week we also used the website ClickNKids for Phonics and reading lessons (this was great during the moments when I could Not monitor Jakob.) This is well worth the small amount of money for a lifetime membership that can be used for multiple children. Awesome!
CALEB: Caleb has benefited from our home school atmosphere just as much as the rest of us. This week I noticed Caleb using a few more words. The cutest being "Amaaazing!" He also surprised us one day by naming all of the plants, animals, and insects that Jakob and I we talking about. This is all good improvement on Caleb's part as he seems to be a bit delayed in his speech. We are noticing though that the knowledge is there. He's just not sharing it readily. Caleb also enjoyed his Your Baby Can Read videos.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Heartfelt Gratitude

  • Tonight I am so very grateful for good sleep! Last night I went to bed when JJ (my 8 mo. old) did. I PRAYED that he would sleep through the night. But I also prayed that all would be according to His Will and that I would be given the strength to follow His plan. JJ didn't sleep through the night. But I woke up feeling rested because I had enough hours of sleep behind me.  Today I took a nap. I woke up and literally took 30 second to register what day it was, what time it was, and if/what/who I was missing at the moment because of the comatose nap I had just experienced. Ahhh, but it was good! And all was well.
  • I would also like to share my extreme gratitude for the talented and generous people who share their creativity with the world on  They are a blessing in my life as I try to find creative ways to share the gospel with my family. Thank You! 
  • Tonight I am grateful for my wonderful husband and his talents. He sang The Impossible Dream tonight for our Ward/Neighborhood Music Festival. It was so neat to hear him sing with his rich baritone voice. And the words of the song are so touching. Loved It! Thanks My Love!
  • And finally tonight before I plunge back in to dream land, I am thankful for good friends who bring me strength. I love to visit and share life's journey with all of you. Keep Going dear Sisters! Together with Him, we Can Not fall! 

General Conference Prep Week for Young Children

We are doing "Seminary" as part of our Home School curriculum. So these activities will fall into that routine for our family. However, these are AWESOME Family Home Evening ideas for the week or so leading up to General Conference.

Recap of 2010 General Conference: Found on General Conference Page

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weaning a 6+ Mo. Baby From Breastfeeding to Bottle Feeding

I am a Breastfeeding advocate! I have breastfed my (4) babies for as long as possible, including pumping sessions in the NICU for one of them. However, eventually there does come a time when you are either faced with saying goodbye to breastfeeding because your baby has grown, or you are faced with the daunting task of having to train your breastfed baby to take a bottle. This was our recent journey. We have succeeded and I want to share how we did it.

Wean Completely or 50/50?
Decide whether you will be weaning from the breast completely or alternating bottle/breast. If you are weaning completely then I suggest doing so slowly. This reduces the risk of becoming uncomfortable or even ill due to excess milk.
If you have to wean immediately, I recommend taking two days aside when you won't have to function much and you have help with the baby (and any other children.) Then take Benedryl around the clock according to the recommended directions (I think medical maximum dosage is 20mg if I remember right.) This will make you very sleepy. But it really helps dry up your milk. I am not a Dr. So don't take my advise as such. I know this from experience. When my baby in the NICU passed I needed help drying up my milk ASAP. The pharmacist recommended this and it was a life saver in many ways. So, that is how you can dry up your milk if you have to. I hope you'll be able to take the weaning process slowly. But if that's not possible. I hope this helped.

- Gather Materials and Set Up a Plan -

FORMULA:Find out which formula tastes best. Here are some parents who taste-tested several formulas (BLESS THEM! eeewww!) Or, if you know your baby has sensitivities choose the best formula for him.
BOTTLES: Buy some bottles. I have a box Full of bottles I've tried throughout my babying years. I have determined that the best nipples are those that are like the baby's pacifier. If they don't take a binky, I suggest NUK or a brand that has tried to mimic the breast. Stay away for the $20+ bottles, especially the adiri Nurser. Maybe I got a defective one, but it was a Pain and a waste of money. The least amount of parts to the bottle the better! Luckily for me, JJ (7+ Months old) chose a NUK pacifier. I also found the BreastFlow bottles that are a neat concept. Also, start with a 4oz size bottle. Breastfed babies aren't used to drinking a whole lot. Use a newborn stage bottle nipple. Breastfed babies are used to working for their food. It is difficult for them if it runs out and chokes them.
BREASTPUMP: An electric double breast pump is heaven sent. If you can not afford one, contact your local WIC office. They usually rent them out for free. Or if your lucky enough to live in a big city (I live in a small town) look in your phone book for a lactation specialist who rents breast pumps. If you can to buy one, look for one on Amazon or or at your local Walmart or Target. There is another little add-on to the breast pump that I will never be without again if I end up having to pump again. It's a Hands Free Breast Pump Bra. I made my own, but you can purchase them online. I took an old bra and slit holes that fit the breastpump shields. Ahhh, so very helpful!!
BABY BOTTLE WARMER: I found that this is actually one of the most important tools if you are going to pump and use breast milk. It is very difficult to warm up breast milk safely when you have a hungry baby without one of these handy gadgets (more on this later). We just purchased to one that Wal-Mart had. But Amazon has a good selection. Never microwave breast milk or formula! It ruins the nutrient content of the milk and it causes possible hot pockets of milk.

I tried for a week to feed JJ straight formula. He struggled and struggled. I knew that breast milk is a lot sweeter then formula so I even added a bit of Xylitol (a very safe sweetener.) But he still wasn't taking it willingly. I so don't like pumping! That's why I tried to go straight to the formula. But once I finally decided in my mother heart that bottle feeding JJ was best for him and me (I need to be able to take certain medication and herbal sups that aren't necessarily safe for breastfeeding babies) I decided that a little sacrifice was in order. So I pulled out my breast pump.

I have the bittersweet benefit of producing ample amounts of breast milk. So when I double pump for 10 minutes (which is the length of time my baby nurses on one side total) then it wasn't uncommon for me to pump up to 4oz of milk total in a pumping session. So, the first pumping session I put 1 ounce of milk in separate storing cups and stored it in the fridge. I used this round the following day. For one week I pumped twice a day when I could hide away for ten minutes. I would freeze one session and store the other session in the fridge for the following day.

For the first week I made every bottle 50% formula and 50% breast milk. And the key to the whole success was the TEMPERATURE of the mixed bottle. Just a Note: Swirl the breast milk to mix it in the formula as shaking causes damage to the milk, it can curdle it. I started with 2oz feedings at first. I found that for the first few days JJ only wanted 2oz at a time. Gradually, he has moved up to about 4oz. Oh! Don't be alarmed if you breast milk separates and has a funky color to it. Believe it or not, it's normal. And, Always! Always! Always! Hold your baby while you feed him a bottle! Never prop the bottle in their mouth! This is not only unsafe, but it is damaging emotionally! Hold your baby close just as you did when you breastfed him. Caress his skin and make eye contact. All of this helps sooth and explain to him that this change is not necessarily a bad one. It is simply that, a change. And letting him know that you will be by his side through the big changes in his life is vital to his healthy development.

Gradually, I have run out of stored breast milk and JJ now accepts formula as long as it is warm. When mixing a 100% formula bottle I simply use warm water to mix the powder. This means that the bottle warmer is not used very often. However, I still warm up unused bottles if it's within the safe range of time to use it.
As I began the process of seriously weaning JJ I realized how much I value the bonding and soothing time that breastfeeding gives JJ and I. I also found that bottle feeding made nighttime a whole lot more difficult. Especially since JJ still wakes often through the night. So, since I haven't started any hard medication yet, I decided to follow a 50/50% plan. I bottle feed during the day if needed or desired and I breastfeed at night or during the day on occasion. And it is working out really well for us. I still advocate 100% breastfeeding. But if it can't be done, do the best you can with your options and love yourself!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Tonight marks the beginning of an on-going journey. Join me as I journey through Gratitude. I will share my thanks in these posts as well as any new insight that I might glean along the way. I hope you will take a moment to share your feelings and thoughts as we go as well.

"How can we cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude? President Joseph F. Smith, sixth President of the Church, provided an answer. Said he: “The grateful man sees so much in the world to be thankful for, and with him the good outweighs the evil. Love overpowers jealousy, and light drives darkness out of his life.” He continued: “Pride destroys our gratitude and sets up selfishness in its place. How much happier we are in the presence of a grateful and loving soul, and how careful we should be to cultivate, through the medium of a prayerful life, a thankful attitude toward God and man!” 
President Smith is telling us that a prayerful life is the key to possessing gratitude.
Do material possessions make us happy and grateful? Perhaps momentarily. However, those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us. Unfortunately, these are some of the things we allow ourselves to take for granted." - President Thomas S. Monson  
May we ever be grateful! Let me share a bit of my gratitude tonight:

  • Oh how grateful I am for the warmth and serenity I feel within my home. It is my comfort zone and my refuge.
  • Words can not express my gratitude for my precious companion. His very presence calms my soul.
  • There are times that it is okay to be grateful for "things." This is one of them: I am SO grateful for my dishwasher! So very!
What are YOU grateful for Right Now!? Share the Love by making a comment!

Foto Friday March Week 4

My Beautiful Baby!
From Foto Friday March Week 4

From Foto Friday March Week 4
From Foto Friday March Week 4
Jakob is wearing a St. Patrick's day hat that my dear friend sent us for St. Patrick's day.
From Foto Friday March Week 4
Jakob working on ClickN'Kids for School.
From Foto Friday March Week 4
Playgroup friend's enjoying the chicks.
From Foto Friday March Week 4
From Foto Friday March Week 4
The sink sprung a leak. Caleb insisted on being right next to Leif as he fixed the problem. 
From Foto Friday March Week 4
Ending the day with a little play time with the chickies. 
From Foto Friday March Week 4
From Foto Friday March Week 4
Caleb kept picking his chicks up and moving them to a certain spot. We asked him to stop picking them up. He responded with a frustrated "they keep moving!" 
From Foto Friday March Week 4
From Foto Friday March Week 4

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anxiety Reality and the Plan to Triumph!

So, a few people around me, and those whom I usually talk with on the phone almost daily have noticed a change in my normal routines and attitudes. Let me share a few of the reasons for the change. Here are a few excerpts from my personal blog:

"When I gave birth to my twins and then lost them, it was no surprise that I was in a state of deep introspection, mild depression, anxiety, grieving, physical, emotional, mental, and all encompassing pain. All weirdness including good, bad, and very ugly days and moments were completely acceptable, explainable, and even expected. I was grieving. And gradually I gathered the scattered pieces, fit them back together again, and called it functioning.

So what do I call it now?" 

I went on to list my symptoms and how they all had come back into my life to haunt me. I will spare you the details. However, in order to make any sense at all I will list the reasons plain and simple for you:
  • I am overweight for my body frame.
  • I am addicted to sweets.
  • I lack exercise in my life for many reasons.
  • HCG Diet didn't work, Gluten Free change didn't continue to help, switching to non-hormonal birth control didn't help.
  • Stopped taking Anti-Depressants. (Yes, I know I've said I wouldn't do it again. Well, I did! Sorry!)
So, all good, bad and ugly reality of my world is in living color at the moment. It is no question that my illness is partially heredity. However, I have wounds and issues that I need to take care of. They have festered long enough and I choose to heal them NOW! 
I'll let you in on my world on a Bad Day, or a Bad Moment. This is what happens to me when I band-aid my problems and forget they exisit:

- Personal Blog- "Let's talk about daily life in my shoes at the moment:

One Word: Yo-Yo! Uuuuuup -Doooowwwn. Uuuuuup -Dooooown. Wanna Ride, really - it's fun?! Uh, not really though!

Today the struggles I faced was Social Anxiety, General Anxiety. A feeling of not being comfortable within my own skin. Irritability and critical judgement: "if only that girl would STOP clicking her pen! I'm going insane!!" I am going to KILL those dogs if they don't stop barking!"  I can't believe he just sat down to that game, dinner's done and the table is a disaster -glare, huf-puf." "There is No Way we'll buy THAT for him. It's not Good for him... Oh, it's for his migraine, sorry!!!" "I'm So sick of ME! Please let me hide somewhere before I cause any more damage!" I can't stand the thought of weaning JJ to a bottle full time. It's makes me really sad, and it's more work. - Ugg, I really hate my jug size, maybe weaning is a good thing after all. Oh shoot I need to warm the bottle. JUNK!" "Jakob's talking a lot about my Gluten Free Diet I hope I'm not creating anxiety within him. Jakob's been complaining of sudden stomach aches. I can't decide if it's food or anxiety related. I am afraid that it might be anxiety..What if I pass on my issues through genetics or example? Good Heavens!" "Caleb's diaper rash is terrible! What foods cause this and how can I possibly find out and keep him away from them?" "JJ's still rubbing his ear, could it be infected!?" "How in the world can Leif enjoy my company, I'm such a mess!" "

I am revealing these realities in hopes that it helps my loved ones understand my weirdness a little better. Don't be repelled, just know that I'm working on getting better. Most of the time, I'm mostly cheerful and my normal self. 

In hopes that this post might help someone else struggling with Anxiety I will share some of the things that I am   doing or plan to do to help me feel the best that I can.

Mental and Spiritual
  • Believe it or not, Home School has helped. It's not always easy. But there is a peace that has come. Peace is good.
  • Kinesiology (Muscle Testing, Touch for Health). Leif is polishing up on his Massage Therapy skills so he can help me.
  • I am reading and will follow Karol Truman's book Feelings Buried Alive Never Die
  • I am re-reading and applying several of the helpful tips and tools given in Patricia Pott's book My Journey from Darkness to Light
  • I will be taking Clarocet ERT. This is a natural supplement to help with Anxiety and Mild Depression. This company has several supplement options available including supplements for children. 
  • I will also be using Bach Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy Natural Stress Relief. This product has over 100 4-5 star reviews. I look forward to having it's help!
  • I will be walking regularly throughout the week. 
  • I will express gratitude openly and more often.
  • I will be walking regularly throughout the week. 
  • Enzyme Supplements. So far the GlutenEase and Digest Gold have made a noticeable difference in my daily life. So I will continue those and add Lypo Gold in hopes for more improvement. -Take the Enzyme Deficiency Test to find out which enzymes you might need. Enzyme Deficiency is a common condition that isn't often taken care of well enough. I love this test because they give you a lot of good information about the enzymes and why and how they can help. 
  • Professional Botanicals: InDigest
  • MutiVitamin

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Foto Friday March Week 3

From Foto Friday March week 3
We have had a great week it's been full of change, improvement, togetherness, and love!
From Foto Friday March week 3
One of Jakob's favorite new school tools is our White Board. He Loves to draw. All of his drawings have a whole story to tell behind them.
From Foto Friday March week 3
A week or so ago I showed the tiny closet that Leif made me in a nook space behind the wall. Well, this week he opened up the opposite wall and we store tools and household maintenance tools there. LOVE IT!
From Foto Friday March week 3
It seems that almost every time I turn around Jakob is in the process of creating something new. Whether it be with paper through drawing, or freezing something, or taping random toys and tools together to create a camera (such as this item) We Love Jakob's creative mind and heart!
From Foto Friday March week 3
Jakob hiding as he waits for his friends to come over.
From Foto Friday March week 3
I slipped away one afternoon to the School Book Fair. I was excited to read Caleb the book that the Librarian helped me pick for him. It's called "Hot Rod Hamster." Caleb loves anything with wheels and he loves animals. So this was a perfect fit for him. Fun and Precious Moments!

One of my close friends whom I grew up with (Heidi (Potts) Hamilton) moved to CC about an hour and a half away from us. We went up to visit them on Friday. It was so fun to catch up a bit and watch our kids and husbands enjoy each other's company. It warms my heart to see our kids together. Sends me back in time...
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
- Jakob, this is a picture of a true friend. She is encouraging you without judgement. Pure! -
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
*** Can't wait til' next time Heidi!***

Our Silky Chicks hatched this weekend. They are so cute and friendly. They walk into our hands and calm down when we talk to them. We found a great Brooder Pen at the local thrift store. It's perfect size and it allows us to interact with the chicks a lot more with no worries of tipping over boxes or heat lamps. Very fun and So Sweet!
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3
From Foto Friday March week 3

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Do You Want My Posts Emailed To You, Or NOT! No Worries Either Way.

So, this post will require a response for some of you. So please read on.

I will be deleting my "email post to..." email addresses next week UNLESS you comment and tell me that you want to keep/start getting my posts sent to you through email. Just know that I honestly will NOT be offended if you do not want these posts as emails!!! I understand the need to be picky about emails, and I publish a lot of posts on this blog. So, send me an email or make a comment here IF YOU WANT EMAILS. If I don't hear from you, I will not put you on the email list. Nuf' Said. Just let me know. Thanks!

JJ! Can He REALLY Be This Old!?

I can not believe that JJ is almost 8 months old. Good Heavens, if I have another baby the poor little soul won't have ANYTHING written about them. I barely have any individual posts about JJ.

My precious Mr. Smiles is sitting up all by himself. He scoots all over, rolls around, and pulls himself where he wants to go. He babels up a storm and sometimes I swear he's saying words that make sense. JJ is the apple of his brothers' eyes. Oh how they love him, and he LOVES them!!

JJ officially became my first baby who required me to feed him in a quiet private place. He became way too distracted to eat otherwise. Now, at 7+ months old I am working on weaning him to a bottle. I need to be able to take things that aren't necessarily good for a breastfeeding baby. And, I REALLY need to sleep through the night. So, we're hoping to help JJ eat more during the day and require less throughout the night. Right now he's drinking 50/50 breast milk and formula bottles and doing well during the day. But I really don't want to bottle feed during the night. So we're working on that. I will stop pumping milk next week.

JJ has had an ear infection for the last month. Uggg! Two rounds of antibiotics. JUNK! I finally started in with the garlic oil drops and On Guard doTERRA Essential Oil blend (THANKS Jared and Heidi!!!) Today is the first day in many many days that I haven't had to give him IBProfin. I hope he continues to get better.

This big little man weighs in at at least 18+ pounds and wears 9-12 month sizes.
Oh how precious he is! He makes me baby-hungry!

Our First Week At Home: Using Moving Beyond the Page Curriculum

I have a moment (a rare occurrence these days.) So I'll give an update on how we're doing with our new routines and happenings.


So with that said... See Ya!;)... Just Kidding.
Let me give a few details.

We had a short week this week. The Big school had Monday off, which meant Papa had Monday off. So our first day was Tuesday (it's Thursday today.) So we've had three days of following the MBTP Program, Seminary, and Math. With playgroup and St. Patrick's Day mixed in. I think it's safe to say that it's been great!

I really enjoy the MBTP program. It's not too easy and not too hard. It doesn't take too long, and it's not too short. It's perfect for our schedule (around 2 hours or less). The only part Jakob doesn't Love is the handwriting pages. But that's just him. H would LOVE it if "Creative" handwriting was allowed. So, it is a tolerated Need for Jakob.

Our school week is Monday through Thursday. However, I'm going to hold school tomorrow for Jakob because one of the lesson's fit in with our family plans (we're going to a discovery park.) I'm really looking forward to the upcoming week as well. Jakob will love it, it's all about exploring our environment. One of my favorite things about MBTP is their Final Projects. The kids are able to create a project that is an overview of all that they have learned in the unit. LOVE IT!
MBTP covers phonics and handwriting. But probably not enough for very beginning readers. So I will be using another program to help me stay on track with Jakob's reading. I'll tell you about that in the future.
Wednesday and Thursday are Jakob's official Math Days. He goes over to a friend's house for a math lesson. THANKS Tammie!!! Randomly through the week I will be using our purchased math program as well.

And Seminary: Ahhh, that has been very special! I call it Seminary for lack of a better word. In reality, it's one hour where Jakob and I play some sort of game, craft, or activity that focuses on the gospel of Jesus Christ. I lay the babies down for naps, whip up a tasty treat, pull out the scriptures and the game, and we visit. This week we talked about the First Article of Faith. I was tickled to find that Jakob already has it memorized from Primary. We worked on a word search and a color by number page, all the while talking about God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and The Holy Ghost. We also talked about heaven, our accountability, life and death, the fact that Father created the Map back to heaven, Jesus Christ established the Way for us to follow the map, and the Holy Ghost is our guide (which tied in to our Wednesday school lesson on What is a Map?  This part of my day is just a big hug for the bit of sacrifice I make to have Home School with my boys. And yes, it is Very Worth It!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Let's Talk About Home School

Mama's PrayerOur home is more at peace when we can roll with the waves of life together rather then sailing the storm in separate ships. I pray that this continues to be so.

If you've  followed my blog very long, you may have noticed that we have suddenly taken Jakob out of "the Big school" and will be starting Home School on Tuesday. Are you wondering why?  Let me tell you all about it.

I'll try to keep the reasoning short, because the fun part is the future.

Let me set and keep the record straight, the Fredonia Kindergarten teachers are Great!! I am a critical mother who expects a lot from anyone who teaches my children. These teachers reached and exceeded my expectations. Jakob steadily progressed while in their care. He has learned the basics of reading (this is huge for me.) His math skills and knowledge are great. I am amazed at how much these teachers are able to teach the kids! I personally believe that the full-day kindergarten program is a good idea for the majority of the students that attend.  The only struggle being the added homework. It wasn't a problem at first. However, it did become an issue for us as time went on. But it wasn't THE issue. A parent can monitor and adjust their child's homework to make it work for their family, that's my opinion anyway.

THE issue was, the lack of peace within our home during the after-school hours. I began noticing a pattern that was developing. The daily routine was smooth sailing from 8A until Jakob arrived home from school. From that point on it felt like the negative energy was a winding top which was eventually released and the house was filled with a frenzy of high strung emotions.

We would ask Jakob to do his chores (gather the eggs) and then do his homework. Immediately he would collapse on the floor in a heep of overwhelmed emotions. In the meantime Snack needed to be offered, dinner needed to be prepared and cleaned up, showers should be taken, and evening clean-up fit in. Not to mention that there is still the homework issue (sit down and read, choose and print out a few pictures for a collage, find something that starts with "B", AND somehow allow Leif the time to write a 2 page paper, Oh, and on occasion there needs to be a grocery or feed store trip during that time too.

So, for some families this is just Life. They have to make it work, and they do. But fortunately, for us, it doesn't have to be. I am home, and home school works for us. Some people have been afraid that we are teaching Jakob that it's okay to "quit" when the going gets hard. The thing is, Jakob doesn't even think of this change as "quiting" or "getting out." School is school for him. Whether it is at "the Big school (public school)" or at home. He studies and learns. The main differences are the lack of a lunch room, an official recess, and extra kids. We took this decision seriously. We all prayed about it and after explaining the reality of what home school is (real reading, math, science, and history lessons, not just fun and games) We let Jakob make the final decision. We were willing to make it work either way.

Luckily, Jakob had one full week where he was sick and needed to stay home from school. He was well enough to have school at home. So I through some things together and we gave it a trial run. We all loved it. The most noticeable difference was the lack of "high strung-ness" throughout the day. We were able to follow a routine that allowed us to meet everyone's needs by the end of the day. It was great! During the week I asked Jakob if he missed his school friends. The fact that he said he didn't was surprising to me, but comforting as a mother who wants her children to enjoy each other's company. As the "sick week" came to a close I talked very openly with Jakob about the realities of home school. I told him what it would be like and what would be expected of him. I then sent him off to school with the assignment to pray about what was best for him and observe how he feels at the Big school, and make the decision. He decided to come home for school.
No Problem! Welcome Home!

Sorry, that didn't end up being very short. But if you're still with me here's what we've planned for the rest of this year and in to the summer.

I spent hours looking through the hundreds of home school options. We wanted something that didn't lean too far one way or another towards faith and studies,we didn't want to be attached to "the system", and we wanted it to feel organized, easy to implement, and EVERYTHING set out and given to us in the curriculum kit. I think we found it!!

We are using Moving Beyond the PagesThe program is a literature based curriculum. They provide all of the lesson plans, activity pages, and manuals online or in tear-out page book form (we chose online.) They also send you all of the books that they use within the year of school and any other learning tools that are needed. Their ages 5-7 program implements reading-handwriting-phonics, science, and social studies within their everyday curriculum. They have a separate recommended math program (which we will be using.) We feel like the program isn't too liberal or conservative either way. We paid $300 for the year's worth of curriculum.

The joy of home school is that we CAN talk about the gospel. So we WILL! We will have Seminary each day as well as the other studies. We have just about enough time to study one Article of Faith each week. That's the plan.

There is one little girl in our ward who was also in Jakob's school class. She only goes to school 1/2 day. So she misses the math portion of the school day. So we are thrilled to have the opportunity to do our math portion of the day with her! I'm thrilled to have support in this area as it it by far my greatest weakness in this whole experience. Awesome!

As summer arrives I hope to include more of our friends into our everyday school. Since we ordered the program in the middle of the year we have several units that we can use throughout the summer. This will make for a Great Summer School program!

If any of you (who live in our area) are thinking about homeschooling any of your children, or you know someone who is, please let us know or send them our way. We will be starting a Home School Co-Op and I hope to eventually have a few families or more that we can rotate with to bring some fun and variety to our home school experience.

Stay Tuned for the Adventure!

Foto Friday March Week 2

We stopped at a huge pile of gravel on our way up North. It was a great distraction from the long drive. 
Good Times, Indeed!
JJ Crashing with Uncle(s) Jared and Nate Hunt 

 Cove Fort, a great little piece of Mormon Pioneer History. Leif and I would love to build a fort like this someday for our family and family members to share. Seriously! (this is the South side view, it wraps around and forms a U shape. It has their gardens (and animals) in the back behind the fort with a large courtyard in the middle. Love It!
This is the upper level, look out balcony.
This Elder (Senior Missionary) was great! He gave us a little toy at the end of the tour.
The missionary had Jakob close his eyes and point to a Book of Mormon, and with a smile told Jakob that this is the place where he will serve his mission someday. He pointed to the Russian Book of Mormon. Look out Russia, Here He Comes!!
I FINALLY found a decent Gluten Free bread mix (Pamela's Products) and made a decent loaf of bread in my Great Breadman Bread Machine. I think it will only be up hill from here as I continue to learn the machine and mixes. Thanks Love for making my life easier (buying the bread machine.) 
MY HERO'S!!! These wonderful men spent the whole day Saturday putting this dishwasher in. Ahhh, I can not tell you how wonderful this gift is. I didn't even realize the difference it would make! As I sit here, the day's dishes are being washed. My sink has been clear for TWO DAYS. I was able to bath the baby without major surgery. Amazing! THANK YOU Leif and Baron Parents for getting this for me! Truly, Thank You!
BTW: Doesn't Leif look HOT! MMM, and he's Mine! I'm a lucky woman!;)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Popular Posts