Monday, December 30, 2013

Currents - December 30, 2013

Last 'current' of 2013:

Time: 1:40PM
Location: at bedroom desk
Watching: Natalie Jill Fitness video
Listening: to Kaitlyn watch Christmas movies
Eating: Potato Corn Chowder
Drinking: water 
Reading: nothing
Needing: a body massage
Wanting: new bath towels
Crafting: desperately needing to catch up with Project Life
Enjoying: the calm before the storm of 2014
Loving: feeling better physically than I have in years!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Our Hilton Head Vacation book from Shutterfly:

I do a book a year with our more 'posed' pictures.  This is this years:

Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly offers exclusive layouts and designs so you can make your book just the way you want.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Homeschool Curriculum 2013-2014

We are down to 2 students.  Brandon graduated and is attending Urshan College.  So proud of him.

So - the plan for two is easier:

Kaitlyn is in 8th grade.  
This is a transition into harder subjects, more detailed analysis of work, and honing her learning & listening skills.

We will be doing the following subjects:

English:  Rod & Staff English 8 as well as Applications of Grammar.  This should give solidify grammar for her this year as we transition into putting it into practical application with literary essays next year.

Reading:  She's got 4 major books and study guides that accompany them as well as additional reading that will be mostly classic literature.  These particular books just accompany the history themes she'll be focusing on this year as well as completing the ones she didn't complete last year.  SHAME on her!  :)

Bronze Bow
The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Johnny Tremain
The Eagle of the Ninth

Her classic literature list includes the following books - which will be a precursor to actually doing essays and literary studies on them her Freshman year:

Call of the Wild - by Jack London
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
How Green was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Anne Frank:  Diary of a Young Girl by Anne frank
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Religious Life of the Negro by Booker T. Washington
Anne of Green Gables by L. Maude Montgomery
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
Shane by Jack Warner Schaefer
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

She will read the majority of these by the start of her Freshman year.  FRESHMAN???  NEXT YEAR???!!!!  Crazy!

Vocabulary:  We went with Wordly Wise 8 and will include spelling from her reading...with words that she encounters that are new to her.

Writing:  I really want to build up her writing this year as next year will include a TON of essay writing.  I found this at the homeschool curriculum fair and will be including it.  Jump In by Sharon Watson.  I spoke with the author and discussed my concerns and she felt this would definitely address the issues I see with Kaitlyn as far as writing goes.

Math:  We are starting Teaching Textbooks Pre-Algebra.  For Kaitlyn, this is the best program we've found thus far.  It's the only math that hasn't left her feeling hopeless.

History:  She is doing American History through Compass Classroom this year with supplemental books (Story of the World 3Story of the World 4, & Streams of Civilization 2) that will accompany the DVD series as additional reading.

Science:  We LOVE Apologia Science. This has been the one constant throughout all of our years thus far.  She's doing Exploring Creation with Physical Science.  We added in the Student Notebook this year which should help her enjoy staying on track.

Bible:  We will be doing joint daily devotionals and Bible readings at the start of each day with Zachary.  They will then break off and do their own personal devotionals/studies.  We will do various ones throughout the year as well as completing her Read The Bible in a Year plan.

Logic:  We will be introducing logic to Kaitlyn this year through The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox.

Music:  Kaitlyn is wanting to learn to play the guitar. We will be purchasing her a guitar and starting off with basics using a program we purchased for Brandon a few years ago.

PE:  Kaitlyn will be including 3 days a week of gym or yoga.

Zachary is in 10th Grade.
As a Sophomore, we are really pushing him to progress speedily this year.  He needs to increase his writing/grammar skills as well as focus on math more diligently.

The plan is this:

English/Literature:  We love For Such a Time as This and will continue with this program this year by using the American Literature bundle.  Dr. Stobaugh grades all of Zachary's essays which is a huge help to me.  We will also be including Easy Grammar Daily Warm Ups Grade 10 to just make sure his grammar is on a solid foundation before taking the ACT test.

Here's the books he will read and complete essays on this year: 
History of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
Walden/Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
Billy Bud by Herman Melville
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Ethan Frome by Edith Warton
Collection of Poetry by Ezra Pound
Collection of Poetry by E.E. Cummings
Collection of Poetry by Robert Frost
A Farewell to Arms by Earnest Hemingway
Unvanquished by William Faulkner
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Pearl by John Steinbeck
The Emperor Jones by Eugene Glaston O'Neill
The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman
The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
"Everything That Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Conner
"A Worn Path" by Eudora Welty
"The Jilting of Granny Weatherall" by Katherine Anne Porter
"The Chosen" by Chiam Potok
"Cold Sassy Tree" by Olive Ann Burns

History:  We will continue with For Such a Time as This American history as well.  It accompanies the American Literature program so well by following along with the same timelines.  This definitely helps make the history stick better.

Math:  This year we will go with Jacob's Geometry since we already had it.  Zachary will also be completing his Teaching Textbooks Algebra II.  That was a harder subject for him last year with a few things that needed to be redone.  He got behind as a result and just needs to complete the last 6 weeks.  He'll do that slowly with additional review.  Jacob's Geometry will be completed 3 days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) while he does Algebra II on Tuesdays and Thursdays until it's completed.

Science:  We will be using Apologia's Exploring Creation with Chemistry.

Bible:  I added a complete curriculum for Zachary to use this year for Bible, Apologia's I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Athiest.  This one teaches defense of your faith and worldviews, which Brandon and he both were introduced to through For Such a Time as This.

Foreign Language:  Zachary wants to do French instead of continuing with Latin or completing Spanish.  Will do, bud...whatever makes you do it, lol!  We are doing Rosetta Stone French.

College Prep:  Zachary will be preparing to take the ACT in the Spring of this school year for the first time.  We will be doing preparation using these two books:  College Preparation Course for the Christian Student and Cracking the ACT.

Music:  Zachary will continue to focus on piano with the addition of lessons as needed.  We will include theory from various online sources.

PE:  Zachary has fallen in LOVE with the gym and is definitely getting his PE credits completed easily by working out 4-5 days a week.

We obviously have fuller days this year and will have to stay on top of it.  I'm hoping that I'll be able to keep them pushed through until the end of the year.  :)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Menu Plan for July 15-20

For Alicia  :-)

Breakfast options
Egg/Ezekiel Toast/fruit
Spinach Egg cups
Baked Egg with Salsa/Ezekiel Toast/Avocado slices
Banana PB Oatmeal - substitute stevia for brown sugar
Pina Colada Protein Shake
Cereal/Greek Yogurt

Lunch Options
Avocado Chicken Salad
Thai Chicken Slaw
Brisket Tacos (warmed up brisket with taco seasoning on white corn tortilla with slaw)
Hummus and veggies/string cheese
Guacamole and Sweet Potato Chips with string cheese

Grilled Chicken (Orange Balsamic Glazed)/Farmer's Market Veggies
Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers OR Crockpot Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers
Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls with Baked Potatoes (sweet and white)
Turkey Burgers/lettuce & tomatoes and fruit salad
Fish Tacos with slaw
Spaghetti Squash and meatballs
Roasted Shrimp & Broccoli

Snack Options
Ants on a log
Cheddar Carrot Balls with grapes
Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
Cinnamon Honey Fried Bananas
Almond Butter Oat Balls

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday report on Friday

I've been weekly updating my private weight loss blog that helps me see progress and records all the ups and downs.  It's been a year since my last Weigh In Wednesday report.

The last report left me VERY frustrated with an endocrinologist that essentially gave up on me.  In fact, she saw me for my next scheduled appointment in October of 2012 and that was the last time she saw me.  When I went to schedule next appointment in January, I was told she no longer wanted to see me and that my Primary Care Physician could see me.  So - THAT was great.  It's just great when a doctor gives up on you.  BUT, I'm convinced it was the Lord...because you see...I had been WANTING to see Dr. Lisa Kellogg (a friend of ours from our old church and the wife of my then primary care physician, Mike Kellogg who had sent me to that endocrinologist).  She specializes in metabolic conditions and unlike the endocrinologist, she actually DID an extended blood glucose test to see EXACTLY what my blood sugar was doing.  She understood that my weight woes have left me feeling hopeless and actually TALKED to me about the issues (both mental AND physical) and encouraged me despite my results.  We talked about a change for my HEALTH NOT my weight...and that approach started me on a journey that has been MUCH more successful for me.

Amanda Daniels, my previous endocrinologist, was a great 'listener'...or appeared to be.  I broke down in her office in TEARS on one occasion after being SO frustrated with the lack of progress.  She seemed to listen, but obviously didn't believe or understand my frustrations.  She apparently thought my LACK of progress was due to LACK of effort on my part.  HOWEVER, let it be noted now...I might not have worked AS HARD as I have recently, but in the beginning I worked AS HARD NOW as I did then.  The only difference for me was the fact that Dr. Lisa prescribed Victoza to aid in the blood sugar fluctuations that my body has after eating.

And I saw immediate results.

Not a GAIN of 5 pounds the first 17 days WITH exercise and low-carb...

NO...a LOSS of 5 pounds the first WEEK with NO exercise!

Then the exercise started and the pounds started coming off.  Slow and steady.

I am now well over 100 days into my new journey.  I've slowly and steadily increased my exercise quantities and methods.  I've been consistent with my diet (which I've ALWAYS done before when on a restricted diet plan).  I've taken the medicine daily and increased per my doctors orders.  I've been closely monitored and talked openly and honestly about any issues as they arise.

I am now 45.8 pounds less than what I was at the end of March 2013.  I am over 25 inches smaller in the few areas I measure (neck, chest, waist, hips, thighs).

I'm halfway to goal.


And at my appointment last week I spoke reservation in my ability to get to goal because I've not seen that weight since BEFORE I was married to Thomas.  And, Lisa...being the ever optimistic doctor and great support for me on this journey, said...WHY NOT?  I don't see why you can't make goal.

And I believed her.

And left feeling positive and not negative about the process.

And the little fluctuations aren't bothering me AS much anymore.  The weight loss HAS slowed down, but every time I start to freak out about a days weigh-in numbers, I pull up My Fitness Pal or Body Media and do a quick report.  I see the little 'fluctuations' but I ALSO SEE the steady decline of numbers...despite those ups and downs.

Do I still get frustrated when I weigh and see a number go up despite giving it my ALL daily?

Why, of course...


Then I open up those records and THIS record and discover that the last time I weighed the weight I am right now I was SO excited that although I was the same WEIGHT my measurements were much smaller than what they were before at that number.


Because of my super intense workouts lately, my measurement numbers at the SAME WEIGHT 5 years ago (when I was excited about them being smaller than before) are EVEN SMALLER than then!

Yep - this intense strength training combined with cardio intervals is working.

And I'm satisfied.

Do I weigh more today than I did yesterday?


.4 ounces.

And I've only lost 1 pound this week.


And it's ALLLL GOOD!

I'm for SURE following through with my One Little Word of the year and RELENTLESSLY pursuing health.  Not weight loss (which is finally a grand achievable blessing) but HEALTH.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Currents: 6.24.13

Time: 9:02PM
Location: in bed
Watching: nothing
Listening: to Olivia and Cooper whine about something
Eating: Better...but much less
Drinking: water and feeling like I need more after today's sweatastic exercise sessions
Reading: blogs
Needing: a body massage
Wanting: new bath towels
Crafting: trying desperately to catch up with Project Life
Enjoying: the cool sheets and the quiet 
Loving: feeling better physically and the fact that I'm losing weight...FINALLY!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 13-17

(a list of was put in the hospital on Monday and then played catch up the rest of the week)

1.  Thankful for a great team of leaders at GPC.  They truly are phenomenal and phenomenally led.
2.  Missionaries - who go and work to share God's love with those who are far away.
3.  Lists - WITHOUT lists I would be oh so lost, lol!
4.  Washing machine - I hate doing laundry, but I would REALLY hate doing it without a washing machine
5.  A dirty kitchen - it means we've eaten...which across the world and the US there are those who aren't.
6.  Photoshop - and having the skills to make it work for me.
7.  Instagram - helping me capture everyday snippets of life.
8.  Project Life - simplifying scrapbook/memory keeping for me in a way that is SO MUCH MORE DOABLE!.
9.  Self-grading math for the kids...enough said.
10.  My dad - although he's stubborn, I'm glad he's still here...which after Monday's scare, he might not have been!
11.  Doctors - and aggressive doctors who don't allow a stubborn patient to take over.
12.  Family and friends who check in, pray, and stand beside you when things are needy in your life.
13.  20 years of WONDERFUL MARRIAGE to the love of my life - Thomas!
14.  Sleep-by-number bed - the best anniversary gift we could have bought each other.
15.  My dogs - my sister had to put hers to sleep this week, so that makes treasuring mine all the more special.
16.  My husband working from home helps make difficult days better.  He has truly stepped up and helped while I was in 'limbo' land for this week.
17.  Time alone with Thomas - we might be getting old...and our time alone is somewhat less creative than it could be, but I cherish the time...nonetheless.
18.  A good word from the Lord from a wonderfully Bible literate speaker - Raymond Woodward (loved his Healing in His Wings sermon...something I've actually studied on!)
19.  Water - and my 10 bottles a day habit...okay, so that's a bit extreme...almost?
20.  Medicine - I wish Thomas and I didn't have to take any, but since we do...I'm glad we have it available.
21.  Freedom that we have today - might be less I'm thankful for todays!
22.  Folded laundry - especially the kind that I didn't have to fold!
23.  CLEAN SHEETS - freshly clean, on a freshly made bed...and crawling up in the sheets...aahhhhhh....
24.  A hot shower after a long tiring day...perfection.
25.  Japanese Habachi grill - so glad I stepped out and tried it several years ago...LOVE it so much that we went there for our 20th anniversary dinner.
26...because I just can't stop being thankful.  I loved seeing Thomas and I choosing the same card for each other...I ALMOST bought it, but put it back because it felt too 'masculine' to buy, and then DIED laughing when I opened the same one from him.  SERENDIPITY!
27.  Back scratchers - especially when you've got a spot that you can't reach.
28.  Webinars for Zachary - that will hopefully make him a better essay writer!
29.  Dual Enrollment for Brandon - love that it's made him become much more responsible.
30.  Teaching Textbooks for Kaitlyn - she's finished an entire year of school already!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - November 12

scrambled eggs/bacon/toast
fruit smoothies with yogurt

grilled sandwiches
corn dogs
peanut butter & jelly roll-ups/bananas
pork tenderloin sandwiches

Parmesan chicken, mashed potatoes, corn on the cob
Spaghetti, green beans, garlic bread
Potato corn chowder, chili-cheese corn muffins
Hamburgers, tator-tots, baked beans

30 Days of Gratitude - Days 8-12

25 things to be thankful for (5 for each day):

1.  Staff retreat - AMAZING...such wisdom shared and unity gained.  A beyond fantastic experience!
2.  A clean home - I love knowing I've left a clean home for my family to come back home to.
3.  Food - I like food...and I love experiencing new foods...and I love cooking.
4.  God's amazing presence - He's such a big God yet he chooses to reside in me.  BLOWS MY MIND!
5.  My parents - I was raised so well and with such great parents to teach me the things of God, which TRULY matters in the long run!
6.  My doggies - I love them both so much!
7.  A nice vehicle - makes traveling so much more comfortable
8.  Autumn - GORGEOUS COLORS AND favorite season, by far!
9.  Instagram - I love sharing my passion (photography) with others...and seeing peaks into my friends lives
10.  SO thankful that Brandon is developing his inner leadership abilities.  He's becoming so strong in his beliefs...and makes me SO proud!
11.  Laughter with friends - I love spending time with my friends and just getting to know each other better.
12.  Shopping with the girls - again, just the spending time with them makes it special!
13.  A weekend away - even though it was at staff retreat, the retreat being away left me feeling so refreshed, body and spirit!
14.  My parents - who watch my children for me whenever I need them to!  So THANKFUL they are close and so THANKFUL they are here for me!
15.  Kaitlyn and Zachary - who made sure the house was as clean to come back home to as it was when I left...they are so good!
16.  Biblical teaching - I love gaining more insight and wisdom about the word of God.  There is such a wealth to be discovered if we only spend the time seeking!
17.  Leadership - I am blessed with a great pastor and great leadership that leads by example.  Pastor pours into his people and I'm blessed to be one of those recipients.
18.  New purchases (such as a new shirt) that help me feel just a bit better about matter my weight.
19.  Learning to love myself - I'm thankful for some fantastic teaching of late that's helped me develop a healthier outlook on ME.
20.  Being in tune with God's spirit and allowing Him to use me as a vessel to speak into someone's life.  PRICELESS.
21.  Prayer - it's so vital, yet so forgotten at times.  I'm THANKFUL for a pastor & church that believes in the power of Prayer!
22.  Healing - It's the little touches from God that are sometimes quickly forgotten.  I don't want to forget God healing my back last night.
23.  Singing - I LOVE to sing praises unto God and I'm thankful to have been a part of music ministry for 26 years now!
24.  Coffee - silly, but my Keurig rocks the coffee making!
25.  Home - I LOVE my home.  I love being in it.  I love decorating it.  I love my family in it.  I'm a homebody and that's okay.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

30 Days of Gratitude - Day 7

1.  I am so glad that I have learned somewhere in the course of time HOW to clean even a little bit.  I wasn't blessed with an organizing, cleaning fact, I probably have more hoarder than organizer in me...yet, I feel compelled to keep things REMOTELY clean.  I might not be the BEST housekeeper, but I'm definitely the WORST, like I was 20 years ago!
2.  I am thankful, that even though my president of choice didn't get elected, I still live in a nation that is free...and it's up to ME to make the most of what I've been blessed with!
3.  I am thankful for the Word of God, which is a continual source of strength and life that springs up within me when I'm feeling anxious, worried, or in need.  It's a lamp, for sure!
4.  I am blessed with this lovely thing called iTunes...and it's ability to create 'genius' playlists?  GENIUS!
5.  I am reminded today of how important connections are...whether on social network or in real life.  We help sustain each other...and we NEED one another.