Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Two for Tuesday

Creating an "I'm Done" jar, similar to the "I'm Bored" jar.....I may title mine "Keep me busy!" as we will use it in all these scenarios.

Opinion Writing Worksheets as we are talking about the difference between fact and opinion, these are nice!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Flashback Friday: Four

Four is about to turn 5!  *shakes head*

First hair cut (14 months old)

Christmas 2010 (18 months old)

Second birthday

October 2011

October 2012

December 2012 (Still one of his favorite activities, digging in the sand.)

Spring 2013

Christmas 2013

Spring 2014

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Lazy Housewife: Poster Parent

Occasionally, like this morning, I feel like the "Poster Parent for Homeschooling."   I don't know if this is something the homeschool community would really approve of.  I'm probably sort of the 'black sheep' of the family.  I'm not conventional.  And, mostly, that's because I'm NOT weird.  Ok, I am weird.  But not in the way MOST homeschool moms are.  

Let's be real.  Most homeschool moms are completely totally devoted to their kids, their husbands, their homes, and their Jesus.   That's ok.  It just is NOT me.  I love my kids.  I love my husband.  I love our home.  And, I love Jesus.  But, I'm the most self-centered grown-up I know.  I'm excellent at the art of taking care of me, and you've all heard me get on my soap-box about it here on my blog.  I believe in order to best serve my family, I have to take care of ME.  I'm quite the expert.

Also, my kids are SO NORMAL.  For homeschoolers, they truly are.  I've had people be surprised when they found out my kids were homeschooled, because well....they don't give off that vibe.  C'mon, you all know what I'm talking about.  Even I find myself picking homeschoolers out at the store, or on a field trip.  How can I do it?  There is just a vibe.  It's my own personal version of 'gay-dar.'

Now, for some...THIS is the exact reason we are friends and they come to me.  I've defied the odds.  I've held on to myself, and I've managed to turn out relatively normal offspring AND homeschool.  I prove that it can be done.  For others, I'm the ONLY person they know that homeschools, and therefore I'm the default choice.  In the last 3 months, I've been approached by 4 moms about homeschooling, or the decision to pull their kids from school.

I pass a long all the knowledge that I've learned over the last 14 years (yeah, I've been at this for 14 years....my eldest is about to turn 16 *sobs* but I homeschooled my nephew from the time he was 12 and he just turned 26.)  And, I reassure them that it WILL all even out in the end, and I can be sure of it because I have the proof living in my house.

I have a child who read at 2, and a child that didn't really read until 8.  I have a child who had to start over with math--back to addition--in 5th grade, but is now spot on grade-level wise.  It does ALL even out in the end.

I get to tell people that you WILL lose your shit.  You will scream and shout and bang your head on the table (so will your kid.)  You will think you were insane for choosing this path.  You will want to pack them all up and put them on the school bus tomorrow morning.  You will doubt your ability to do a good job.

I get to tell people that you WILL get through it.  You will have days where it goes so beautifully smooth that you feel like the GODDESS of all things homeschool.  You will get to watch the 'lightbulb' go on over your kid's head (and in their eyes) and know that YOU helped get them there.  You will watch a bond form between siblings that simply isn't possible when they are spending 8 or more hours a day apart.  You will get to snuggle your high school students and watch the billboard music awards.

While I may not be who the homeschool community at large would choose to represent them (throwing up a sign language H, represent!)  I don't feel like I'm doing a bad job.  At worst, I show some families how they don't want to be, and I'm cool with that.  At best, I show that balance can be found, I'm cool with that too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: I AM A WARRIOR!

Oh guys. I'm so flipping excited. It's been 5 days since I finished my Warrior Dash. And, I'm still having completely reveling in the euphoria of being able to complete it. I feel like a badass. Not because my time was GREAT (although, it wasn't bad either) but because I DID it. It was definitely the hardest thing I've done to date. Also, the most fun I've had at a race to date!!!  

Here I am (59200) with some of our team.  Before all the fun!  Our shirts are "safety orange" and they say "if you can read this, flip me over..." Printed upside down on the back. 

The guy next to me-without his safety orange shirt-was my partner for this event.  He and I stayed together the whole time.  The race is providing us with free pics, and I can't wait to see the fire-jumping, Goliath (the final obstacle, which is really more like 5-in-1,) and crossing the finish line photos.  He and The Bestie have literally known each other their whole lives. 

Here we are AFTER (or at least part of our group, I'll post a shot of all of us later, this one is cropped in so you can see just how dirty we are. 

Can you tell I was freezing?  I was FREEZING. I was dripping wet, covered in mud, my shoes were full of water/mid, and the air temp was 65 and breezy. F. R. E. E. Z. I. N. G.  Then we went over to the "warrior wash," which was popping out frigid water for us to wash off in....I was literally shivering even when we made it back to the hotel for a HOT shower. Brrr. 

Here I am, covered in mud, and super proud of my finisher medal! (Oh, my sports bra that you can see in the pic?  Was WHITE. WAS.)

A close up of my current most prized possession!  Seriously, as much as you can love an inanimate object.....I LOVE it!

Here's the full shot of our group. 

We. Are. Warriors. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Skinny Housewife: I Am A Warrior!

So, this song has been stuck in my head.

My Warrior Dash run in on Saturday.  Less than 48 hours.  I packed my bag, and I printed my release paperwork today.  I am beyond excited.  BEYOND.  It's CRAY, ya'll.

Five months ago when I signed up for this run, I was TERRIFIED.  Excited, but terrified.  I'm in good shape, speaking from a cardio perspective.  But, strength? Nah, that ain't me.  I made a plan to train and train hard until race time.  Why?  Because I'm a competitive bitch.  *shrug*  25 days ago I started the Bikini Body Mommy challenge (I spoke about it a couple weeks ago, and it's all on YouTube, check it out.)  I feel LOTS AND LOTS stronger.  For the first time in my life, I have defined muscles in my ARMS!   My ARMS!!!  I have been doing weights (8 and 10 lbs...nothing crazy) and I'm more tone, and more strong.  Now?  I'm not terrified.  I'm just excited.  I feel like I"m going to KILL IT.

If I can finish strong enough to make myself happy, I will do a Spartan in 2015, and a half marathon before my 40th birthday.  What the what??  I'm pushing myself.  I'm working hard on ME.  And, I love it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordy Wednesday: YES!

"It’s hard to overestimate the power of Yes—it is a medicine that uplifts and frees our spirit."  a quote from: The Practice of Saying Yes

I'm very "in" to YES right now.  For one thing, in the last year, my life has become amazing LARGELY because of saying YES.  And being HONEST.  Like, RAW honest.  Things that I knew would be painful to say, painful to hear, and possibly blow up in my face.  But I said yes anyway.  I have lived MUCH of my life making my decisions based on fear.  I'm afraid that I might get hurt.  I'm afraid I might fail.  I'm afraid I might not get what I want.  I'm afraid.  I decided I was just done making my decisions from that place.  I don't want to come to the end of my life and look back at all the things I 'wish' I had done.  It's terrifying.  And gratifying.

I have tried to be a positive parent (with the second set of children.  I was younger and dumber, much less happy and not at all the same person as when I had the first set.   I have guilt about this.  I feel like they got slighted.)  And, I can see the positive outcome of that.  Instead of "Don't touch that."  I say "Let's leave that alone."  It's a small change of phrasing, but I think it gives the kids less of a feeling of being controlled, and I can feel a difference in myself.  I'm not perfect, and sometimes, I can feel the negative sneaking in.  I have to manually reset my brain and remind myself to rephrase.  And we are all happier.  It's simple, right?  Give it a try.

Last week, a friend of mine lost a child.  A happy, healthy four year old girl.  I have been heartbroken, and I cannot begin to imagine the pain.  From pain, comes growth.  It has cemented, for me, even MORE the power of YES.  Life can be gone in a split second.  Forever changed.  A large group of my friends are all being struck with this same notion.  "Can I have ice cream?"   YES!  "Can we read ONE more book?"  YES!  "Can you rub my back/belly for a minute?"  YES!  "Can we have a family movie night?"  YES!  "Can we just snuggle for a few minutes?"  YES!   Because we have all been slapped in the face with the reality that even our LITTLE children can be very suddenly, heartbreakingly GONE.

I feel like often our 'knee jerk' reaction is "No."  When in reality, there is no REAL reason to say no.  If we give it a three second thought window, we would realize there is no reason to say no.  I am guilty of the knee-jerk no.  But I am also the type of person that will think about it and then say "You know, there is no reason we can't do that.  I change my mind.  YES!"

I'm encouraging all of you to change at least one knee-jerk no, to a resounding YES today.  Find a moment and just allow yourself to BE IN IT.  Enjoy it.  Cherish it.  

Tomorrow is NOT guaranteed.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Skinny Housewife

This post has been rattling around in my head for several days.  I am currently "in training."  In the month of May I am doing two obstacle runs.  One is more challenging than anything I've done to date, and is the litmus test for doing an even HARDER one in 2015.

In training for ME consists of more body weight exercises than I've ever done.  And, I've added weights (10 lbs...so nothing MAJOR) to some of them.  I'm using the weights with squats, lunges, and calf raises so that I am lifting my own body weight PLUS an extra 20.  I'm focusing a lot on strength, so that I can manage the obstacles.  I'm not too worried about the running, but last week was the first time I've run a full 5k since last summer (I think July or August?)  I've been focusing on 1 mile stretches, since the obstacle run is more of a interval activity (run, obstacle-which often involves a wait, run, obstacle) I will have recovery time and be able to run more.  However, I needed to prove to myself that I could run a full 5k still...because I'm strange like that.

At the same time, I decided to join another DietBet.  I've joined 2 before, and won.  I have this 15 lb window that I fluctuate around in.  Currently, I'm at the high end of that window and I'm really unhappy about it.  I thought the DietBet would motivate me more, since it has in the past.  What I didn't account for was how much strength training I'm doing and how that might actually counteract my weight loss.

Watching that scale number NOT move at all, can be daunting.  We tend to be really caught up in the number we see.  Normally, that is not true for me...as I try really hard to gauge my health in terms of how my clothes fit, and how I feel rather than what the actual number says.  Because of the DietBet...I'm extremely focused on my weight.  I feel GREAT.  And, I can see muscles where I didn't before.  I KNOW changes are happening.

I need to get out of my own head.  I need to tuck the scale under the bed until I *must* weigh-in for the DietBet.  I need to realize that I may LOSE (I'm super competitive in nature, which is part of why DietBet has been a success for me twice before, so this is a BLOW.)