Saturday, February 21, 2015

Disney Song Meme - Homeschooling

Since I couldn't actually embed all of the links I wanted to, here is a link to my other blog that allowed me to fulfill my purpose!


Saturday, January 31, 2015

1920s History Submersion

We dedicated one entire day to the 1920s.
It was fun and we will be doing a day dedicated to the 1930s in the near future!

But for now...
We discussed medical inventions like the BAND-AID which was in fact unpopular in the beginning and very large. Three inches wide and eighteen inches long! Over time they became the Band-Aids we know today!
Reeses and Baby Ruth candy bars were brought to us in the 1920s so of course we ate some.


The Caesar Salad also found its beginning in the 1920s. Together the kids read directions and made this salad. Gavin discovered it to be the only salad he enjoys! Perhaps this has something to do with participating in making it?

I prepared snacks for a Mocktail Party and we picked some music to play. Prohibition is still very much in session but they had a great time pretending and so did we! We talked about alcohol, prohibition, voting, and speakeasies. They also learned some of the lingo used. 

A common dessert was orange gelatin with whipped cream. Which sold in restaurants for 15 cents.
For lunch the kids were given pretend money and "ordered" their sandwiches and drinks as they would have from a restaurant. We then discussed money and inflation. The things on a menu which would have been expensive at that time and what those same foods cost now.

I also realized that taking down an order for a sandwich was much easier than asking kids what the want on sandwiches as I'm making them. They all want to speak at the same time and jump around and repeat themselves thus confusing mama. So we put this into practice and maybe my kitchen is a restaurant! But at least my kids aren't jumping around like animals KETCHUP! MAYO! MAMA ... what about pickles? I like pickles, do you like pickles? *sings about pickles* - You know how it is mamas!

So, after the salad the snacking the candy and the mocktails, dancing to 20s music and filling brains with information, this happened. She was certain she wasn't going to make it and blamed it on sugar. 
I think she was right. Poor kid.

Until next time!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Another Life Lately

Life Lately ... again

We've been working at moving around rooms in the house. Is that normal? Or do we have too much space and time on our hands? I could just be restless like that. I seem to torture my husband continuously with moving things around. Anyways, our "front room/dogs room" is now becoming space for books crafts and my computer. I have to say it looks and feels great. You know how when you walk into a room and the atmosphere is just, hell yeah! This room has got it going on! The kids have been really enjoying it, playing the board games and using crafts. I think it is just more welcoming to them.

One set back... We have to set up an appointment to get a new connection in the room for our internet. Dish stole the line for our tv? Switched it outside at the box as opposed to setting up their own... I'm not very amused.  

My office is becoming a play room. We're going to try out not having toys in kids rooms and see how it works out for them.

In continuing to work on donations/minimizing/liberating from our bursting at the seams house we tackled our closet, my clothes and my husband's. Apparently I "squirrel away" things in the closet. I found an unopened box of contact lenses, which means the eye appointment I've needed all month is getting pushed back. I also found long lost leggings, too many belts, and multiple children's teeth. I'm not going to know who's teeth are whose... does that stuff even matter? Do people keep kids teeth? My son has informed me that he thought that I just threw them away. Maybe that's a sign?

With cleaning up, cleaning out, and moving around the house I have other plans in mind as well. The girls room is getting a full make over. I'm excited to get to it and I think they will love it. My son's room will be getting a lift as well but his will come next.

After 9 months of embracing a vegetarian diet and a few long conversations we've decided to include meat in our diets again. I don't have excuses for such a decision. It really just seemed like the best option for our needs, dietary and otherwise. I still fully support vegetarian and vegan diets/lifestyles, no ifs ands or buts about it! I've always played a fairly neutral role with these sorts of decisions because it is so personal. We spent the last week enjoying the meals and meats that we had missed. Rachel - the very worst aspiring vegan. 

I have been reading about the Whole30 and I believe I will be setting a start date in the near future. It kind of eliminates all those extra terrible things(sugar, grains and legumes) that have taken over my diet lately or made me feel awful.

That's life lately for us.
How are you? What have you been doing? Do you have any projects this year?Are you on a new diet in this new year?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

A Long Post On Organizing and Minimizing

With every new year comes change and change is inevitable. I decided to take this change a step further and really tackle some things around the house.
I first started with organizing craft supplies. Let me tell you they were everywhere!

This mess of stuff became this ...

 The containers are now very full as I took the time to gather sources of creativity from all through the house.

In the drawers to the left there are general craft supplies in the top two drawers. Miscellaneous things like poms, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, stickers, oil pastels, hot glue guns, cutting mat, and any other things that don't have a category. The bottom drawer holds paper of all kinds and paint chip cards.
In the drawers on the right there are soap making supplies in the top drawer. I have some candle making supplies in the attic to add but the drawer is too full already, oops. In the middle drawer are some old shirts, fabric, plastic canvas and needles, cross stitching supplies(which reminds me I have pattern books in the attic) and a few odds and ends. I am calling these "tinker tools". The bottom drawer is all fabrics.
The goal here is so that our supplies are more accessible to little children. I want them to feel comfortable and able to open up a drawer and start a project.
Between the drawers is a bin for Playdoh and a metal box that is currently empty but I think I will put magazines in it since we seem to have a growing collection.

This was phase one of organizing. 
Minimizing Clothing! 

In phase two I have combined organizing with minimizing. 
You see my children have WAY too many clothes. Make that had, because I did some serious sorting yesterday and the piles of clothes were insane. These are the clothes that belong to my 5 year old, Arayla.
I narrowed this down to 3 pairs of pajamas, 4 pairs of jeans, 3 comfy pants, 2 pairs of leggings, and 7 shirts. This all fits into one drawer. She has 1 jean jacket, 1 sweater, and 3 casual dresses in the closet. Also there are 4 dresses for special occasions or for dressing up as girls often do.
Her reaction was "Mama! .... There is something messed up with my dresser." Since the bottom drawer is completely empty.
She went on today to tell me that she is upset it won't take very long to put her clothes away. And what if she wears them all. And what if I don't wash them. We'll have to be more open about clothing needs and also with putting them into the basket for washing. I'm excited, I think this is going to work well overall. Here is the after dresser picture.
She does have a full summer wardrobe too that consists of 3 dresses, 2 skirts, 5 shorts, 7 shirts and 3 pairs of pajamas. Again it will only fill ONE drawer.

Next kid is my 8 year old Cambria.
She doesn't really have attachments to things which is amazing and a wonderful quality to have. All of her clothes before sorting. 
 Clothes remaining after sorting. She has 3 pairs of jeans, but none fit properly, she has 2 pairs of 10s and 1 pair of 7s and she is right between sizes. So we will have to find some good sales and soon. she has 6 shirts, 1 pair of comfortable pants, and 3 pairs of pajamas.

I think it is much easier to go crazy with kids wardrobes because of a few different things. For one thing, kids are always growing and there seem to be a surplus of clothing being handed down. Another source are grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends. I know many parents who buy almost no clothing at all for their own children because relatives are always handing them down or buying for them. Which is absolutely a blessing! Although sometimes this is done in such excess the children simply cannot properly wear them all, let alone wear them out before they grow out of them. Which is great for the next kids who get them!
I'm making it a point to try to only keep what will be used and loved. This is going to spread outward in all areas of our life and our home.

I have one more kids clothes to go through but his won't be nearly so drastic. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

To err is human...

I am not a perfect mother. I make mistakes. Just in case you had the wrong idea about me, I'm a total mess up some days. Actually, at least once a day I do something that reflects badly on who I am. What can I say, oh a quote, "To err is human..." 
Really it always seems to boil down to the little things. You know when you finally flip your lid, lose your temper, fly off the handle, or what have you. It seems to be a small thing that keeps popping up that really just makes you lose your shit.
Too often I lose my temper and yell when my kids have done something usually something small and probably for the 15th time. But it happens with a compilation of things happening in a short period of time. Today for example headaches, off and on all day. Kids were having off days with their tempers on high and emotions too. I finally reached that point in the day where I was going to get to be alone with my thoughts. Then the child who spent two hours crying about this and that before falling asleep wakes up again and starts crying some more, about this and that again. One thing leads to another and I'm yelling about things that shouldn't have happened with another kid. I have excuses or reasons if you want them. But to get to the point, I was having a hard time and reacted badly to my emotions toward situations out of my control. I behaved like a jerk.  For what reason? Previous guidelines were set and not respected resulting in a situation that was a disaster because I wasn't listened to. That had no consequences for the child but demanded me to fix it, again. I got mad and yelled and hurt said child's feelings. 
I have work to do. Lately I've been thinking about things that I can change and do better as a parent. Then I go and do the opposite of course, because that makes sense in opposite world.
There always seems to be a last straw and a tiny little heart attached to it. Something worth being mindful of. I cannot forget that my choices and reactions have consequences. This really is the stuff of life, connecting with others and forming good relationships.
Thankfully I can admit fault, explain myself and apologize while moving forward and trying not to make the same mistakes. But also making sure that children fully understand why guidelines are there and helping them to make better choices.
"To err is human to forgive is divine"
Lets talk again about this...

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Restaurant Menus Through History

I am so excited!
We are planning a history submersion day for Tuesday. All day we're focusing on the 1920s and experiencing it to the fullest.

This morning I found a website that linked me to the New York Public Library online that directed me to menus from restaurants with dates for each. There was also an option to look at dishes served by year and by popularity. Now I can plan the meals for our history submersion day based on home cooked or restaurant style.

We can even make up fun little menus and even plan for daily spending with play money. That would put things into perspective!
I couldn't help but share. For the foodies, for the people who love history and culture, for the people thinking up cool ways to to get their children excited about learning.

Here is the link!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Little Dominoes

I've become elusive. You see, I've been struggling lately.
Like big hole, dark place, sadness.
With visiting moments of relief and contentment.
I'm alright, I have some healing to do.
I have improvements to make.
"We were all little dominoes in a cruel joke knock down one and we all fall." - I said that. 
See now, I'm writing this book. This life changing heart crushing book. The quote above from this book, explains it all. When I write I open it all up I live it again, I remember more and it hurts. Like sorrowful pain to the core at times.
I can't do this too often or with too much detail. But when I do, I have to go at it all at once. Allow myself to feel it all and then close up again until I feel strong enough. Strong enough to feel, to remember, to string words together like music or like a mad man pounding on a piano to later come back to and lessen the blows with gentle words and metaphors.

I haven't decided what my intentions are with this writing. If I'll keep it safely tucked away or twist it into something a little more beautiful or a little more cruel. 

 I haven't been able to shake the emotions off yet from this last go of it. I'm hoping for a brighter better day tomorrow. But if I'm not back tomorrow maybe the next day. Perhaps this is an emotional purge, the end of something and the beginning of something new. Perhaps I'm entirely too hopeful that this is going to get easier.
I'll think about some other angles, maybe that will do.