Welcome Back…. You do strictly homeschool, right?! Uh… Uh…

This summer has been a whirlwind. We have been here there and everywhere trying to make as much out of the summer as we could. While summer isn’t over, we do have to start getting back to our regular schedule.

I’ve met alot of people this summer and had alot of conversations about homeschooling and what that means. Since so many people concern themselves with labels I thought I would clear up how we run our school at home.

I have a Master’s Degree in Post Secondary Education and spent alot of time writing and auditing curriculum. This included developing mixed media classes where a portion of the classes were online and on ground. As I took my conversations from this summer and compared it to what we do in our own home I had an aha moment. While obviously our children are still in primary school; in our home we do what could be considered a mixed media learning environment. We are enrolled full time at K12 and like the structure, curriculum and support of the teachers and staff. However, I also choose to supplement with my own lessons – generated from a variety of resources. I would say that we teach our kids mixed media via virtual and home school. (Whew! There! I said it! Now we have a label too…..)

What I find interesting is that people are so quick to label the type of education without taking the time to understand the format of it; and how it applies to what the child truly needs. Our kids need opportunities to explore subjects more (for example last year we started a virtual Science lesson about the layers of the oceans and what animals are in them; then we spent the rest of the afternoon talking about all those creepy critters on the very very very very bottom of the ocean. How did they get there? How do they see? What do they eat? Do they get cold down there? How can they make that blue light glow?) On and on the questions went, we kept looking up information. This is called understanding a child’s curiosity to learn; and NOT ignoring it. The love of learning is like a fire which must be stoked; and never squelched because of a label or particular predetermined view you have of a delivery style/type of education. Questions are the fire; the fuel is the way you respond.

Please don’t let the label of the educational delivery style deter the way you teach your children, please allow the children’s curiosity and love for learning to drive the path of the education. Ask yourself this, if you were at my home and we were doing a K12/Virtual lesson on triple digit addition – would you not allow your child to participate because it isn’t pure homeschooling? If the answer is Yes, wow – guess what all kids have to learn triple digit addition, does it matter if it comes from K12 or pure homeschooling? If the answer is NO, bravo your an open minded educator.

Be open and understand that every child learns differently, it’s all hard work but if mixed media works – don’t judge others, support others – everyone’s is on a path to educate their children and help them become strong, smart, free thinking, open, well-educated and successful adults. (And success doesn’t always mean marrying a billionaire, having a Stanford education, developing the next successful IPO and wearing a perfect Prada suit to work. For some it means virtual/homeschooling, climbing Mt. Everest and calling home for money because you’re trying to decide if you want to be a fashionista or a famous rock star).

Hope everyone has an amazing school year!! ūüôā

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” – Buddha

Oak Meadow Curriculum Giveaway

Remember the awesome iPad Giveaway DenSchool had a couple weeks ago? What an amazing organization and now they are partnering with others to giveaway something to help prepare your curriculum for next year!

We have teamed up with DenSchool and Teaching with Cents to bring you this great giveaway from Oak Meadow! Enter today on the Giveaway Tools form below.

One lucky reader will receive a Complete Curriculum Package (of their choice) from Oak Meadow. Imagine that, everything you need for homeschooling your child next year – for FREE!

Complete Curriculum Package Review

Oak Meadow has specialized in homeschooling curriculum for 35 years! They are committed to providing creative, innovative, and child-centered educational materials that can be utilized towards every family’s needs and routine.

We believe that true intelligence arises when children are given opportunities to engage not only their heads, but their hands and hearts as well. Our curriculum includes assignments that ask children to read, write, and think, and also to paint, draw, play music, write poetry, and build things, encouraging balanced and healthy development.

Oak Meadow

Have you begun planning your next homeschooling year and not sure where to start? Stop by DenSchool to read reviews for some of your favorite curriculum packages! There, you will learn all about Oak Meadow and what this great giveaway has to offer you!

Visit DenSchool’s Oak Meadow Reviews

DenSchool has reviewed curriculum packages for Grades 3, 4, and 6 – with an 8th grade review coming in August!

Contest Information:
*This great giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada, ages 18+.
*Giveaway ends on July 24th at 11:59 p.m.
*DenSchool Contributors, immediate family members, and group giveaway bloggers are not eligible to enter DenSchool giveaways.

ibotta App

Well this is interesting…. Normally I don’t do these types of apps because I find they are too much extra work for little reward. However, weekend before last another super saver Mom was telling me about a new app called ibotta.

Today during grocery shopping I put it through the paces I bought a movie, drink items, food items, etc… In the app you choose the offers to take advantage of, most even offer more than just one offer. For example I bought a movie, the coupon was for $5.00 – watched a 30 second video, took a quick one click poll and a post on Facebook. Total time less than 2 minutes to complete the offer. After verifying that the Proof of Purchase matched the offer (which you can do through the app), I scanned the receipt and sent in the request. Funds are deposited in a PayPal account.

So easy! What’s even better is you can use coupons on your purchase and it won’t change your ibotta offer. Double the savings.

I thought it was too good to be true, truth is it’s easy as they say!

Earn $10 cash just for trying the free Ibotta app. It’s simple: Ibotta pays you cash for buying your favorite products in over 40 stores. Users have already earned over $1 million. Sign up here! http://ibotta.com/r/BnJEPw

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IPad Giveaway from DenSchool

ipad-homeschooling

‚ÄúYou have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

….and you could learn anywhere with a

brand new IPad Mini from DenSchool!

 

DenSchool makes online schooling easy breezy with FREE lesson plans, Creative Learning in a Pinch (CLIP) and tons of resources to make learning fun, creative and easy to manage.

Record keeping  & Lesson Planning · Online Courses

DenSchool provides free tools, record keeping, lesson planning, downloadable courses and live classes for homeschooling families. Record keeping can be concerning, but you can take control with fast and easy to use online tools which will help with your state’s record keeping requirement.

Summer Classes Start June 17th – (Early Bird Discount!)

This summer DenSchool will be offering self-paced, teacher supported classes. Some of the classes are Accounting, Algebra, Art, Beginner Guitar, Social Studies, English, Science, Journalism, World History….the list goes on and on. Remember these are not just for High School learners. Normally these classes are $59.00, but if you order by June 10th the cost is only $29.00; that’s more than a 50% savings!¬† These classes offer flexibility; with a 9 week format and learners are free to complete the class at their own pace taking more or less time. They have a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all the courses.

mobileSchooling

Creative Learning in a Pinch (CLIP)

CLIP classes are free and there are some fun ones to choose from….Remember National Doughnut Day on June 7th? Oh boy we did in this house!¬† While we enjoyed the doughnuts, it would have been more fun to have a lesson. From Summer Solstice to 4th of July there are lots to choose from.

 

 

So what are you waiting for?

 

Oh the places you’ll go with an IPad Mini and

4 DenSchool Online Classes from DenSchool.com!

Ready to win? Enter here!

 

Note: This is a sponsored post by DenSchool. Please see a full disclosure on giveaways.

 

 

Summer fun!

I’m all about sharing BLOG love and ideas, and I couldn’t pass these two ladies up. As I started writing a “to do” list for this summer of fun activities I’d like to share with the kids I ran across this post: Summer Lovin Bucket List for the Pacific NW!¬† Oh the places we will go…. some of them I forgot about, some of them we’ve done….and some I’ve had on a wish list for a while. Hopefully we can cross off a few more, and add a few of our own (like Olympic Game Farm Park in Sequim, Wa.)

As I was reading that post, I came across making Glow in the Dark Bubbles! Our twins will be all over this one, as they love to play at night. We might even do the glow sticks in the pool this year, so they can swim well into the night.

We’ve been doing a lot of work in our yard so we can spend the summer having fun and not laboring in the hot weather. our strawberry plants have finally flowered – and boy are there a ton! Yesterday the Hubs spent sometime securing a fence so the birds and the rabbits don’t chomp them down before we get a chance to. This is one of the kids favorites so it will be great for them to hop out and grab a chemical free snack. In the meantime, we’ve had a few bbqs with friends and family the last couple of weekends and have noticed the mosquitos have gotten bad. So, in an attempt to try to keep a bug free back yard…. I’m thinking of trying this homemade mosquito trap…hope it works!¬†We’re trying to attract humming birds, butterflies, lady bugs and pollinating bees; as well as¬†keep out wasps, yellow jackets and mosquitos…. the battle of the bugs! ūüôā Should be interesting….

Enjoy the day! Namaste.

Checking In

Wow what an amazing month this has been! I didn’t even realize I hadn’t written in a while. We have met at TON of new people and are so excited about all the amazing friendships we’ve made. I can not wait to share some of the amazing blogs we’ve read over the last couple of weeks. The stories are so inspirational, the recipes look amazing and the crafts are inspiring.

We participated in an amazing P.E.¬†program through Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA)¬†in partnership with Pacific Lutheran University. The program involved student teachers and a visiting professor to PLU/WAVA High School teacher running a 5 week physical education program, twice a week for about an hour and a half each time. The girls learned a bunch of new ways to work out, they loved their student teachers and made some really great new friends. In the end they got the cutest rewards for all their hard work and “sweat”.¬†Hopefully the program will continue and allow the kids to progress through, as they get older, through various stages of new lessons. What a great program!

I got to participate in my first blog hop.¬†That was a fun way to meet new people, and Katherine from Katherines Corner was so patient¬†with me while I got the ins and outs of html code. I just recently started learning, in very limited fashion, how to write and manipulate some of my own html code. Which has opened up a world of doors as far as adding things to Word Press. However, it also at times has added to frustration when I can’t get a code to work, or try to add something and it shows up – but the code shows up to. This blog has been a true learning experience and continual work in process for me. Hopefully I can resolve my most current issue which is, how to add a Instagram¬†widget – so confusing….an yet so challenging. (hopefully¬†there aren’t a bunch of computer engineers sitting around laughing at me right now – ūüôā )

I have been exercising quite a bit in the last couple of years and recently made the goal to start running again. My overall goal is to walk the Golden Gate Bridge on my 40th, but for a closer goal I had hoped to run a 5k in February 2014. Well, that plan has been botched as recently the pain in my knee got pretty intense. After trying about every home remedy I could think of, I gave up and went in for XRays. Apparently I have osteoarthritis and bone spurs in both my knees. (well that would explain the shooting pain – thinking of bone spurs in painful period!). My doctor said it comes from too much sports when I was younger, along with the impact of current exercise, and not enough concentration on building the muscles in the leg to support the impact to the joint. Interesting….so old age is starting to kick my butt. Not for long – I have a 6 week treatment plan which includes some anti-inflammatory meds, yoga, low impact exercise, as well as starting to work on building leg muscles. So, lesson learned – proper strength training is important. In the meantime, I’m also headed to see a physical therapist whom I hope can help me become stronger overall so I don’t have to keep having an argument with my knee every time I want to walk a couple of miles in the sun.

In the meantime as well we have been working on doing a little more revamping to our diet plan at home. I use diet in the sense of food consumption – not being on a diet. The way a person eats is a lifestyle choice, and while ours is a constant evolution – I’ve recently been motivated by not only LaLa’s desire to be a vegetarian, but by my own desire to cut out the crap food (what little was left). I’ve had a lot of fun trying new recipes and chatting with people about food and meal choices. One of our friends Dottie shared this amazing recipe which we tried the other day¬† – and LOVE IT! We used vegan chocolate chips instead of blueberries (because we’re about blueberry out with smoothies) and it was SO enjoyable! Jump over to her blog and check out the recipes!¬†Thanks Ms. Dottie!!

Almond Pancake Recipe
5 T. Almond Meal (I buy Trader Joe’s) 2 t. Flax meal (I buy Big bag at Costco)
1 T. Sour Cream …
3 T. Water
1 egg
1/4 t. vanilla
1/4 t. baking powder
Mix all together and cook like regular pancakes. I add blueberries to the mix. this recipe is 1-2 servings. Robby eats the entire batch 4 pancakes

Well, off to the races! Another day of school and finishing up a sewing project tomorrow…pictures to come. Enjoy the day!

Namaste

Blog Hop Fun!

Happy Thursday!! Today is blog hopping day, so fun! This is my first invitation to the hop and I feel so honored that Katherine from Katherines Corner¬†asked me to join. I can’t wait to meet new people and gain new inspiration for writing. ūüôā

I couldn’t decide what my favorite thing was; I thought about cooking, kids, family, friends and all the things I love so much. Then I thought I would post about my¬†travels¬†which has became Zen…. being a Mommy.¬†I am honored to have the privilege to not only write about our personal journeys through our blog, but also learn more about other families as well by writing for Ooh Belly. ūüôā¬†¬† So, I don’t do giveaways, but what I do is write about¬†crazy cooking experiments, fun home school field trips¬†and funny Monday Listicles¬†– and Motherhood is truly my Thursday Favorite thing. ūüôā

So hopping is easy-peasy! The rules are below (yes there are just a few!). Enjoy and have fun!!

KCThursBH

Its Time For Thursday Favorite Things! Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things and share it with old and new followers. You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Please share the hop with your readers and let Katherine know if you would like to co-host with her.

Remember to leave her a comment if you are a new follower so she can follow you back

Thursday favorite things is where you can link your favorite post or write a post about your favorite things You gain visibility for your blog and make bloggy friends too!

Here are the¬†rules, yes there are rules. But just a few: Please¬†DO NOT¬†link and run…visit a few of the wonderful blogs that are sharing at the hop.

  • Follow¬†Katherines¬†Corner¬†preferably through Email it‚Äôs on¬†her¬†right sidebar¬†(or¬†facebook,¬†¬†twitter,¬†bloglovin,¬†¬†etc. they are on her sidebar too)¬†And¬†My Blog too
  • Visit¬†as many blogs in the list as you can, please ¬†¬†¬†¬† leave a comment so they know you stopped by!
  • Share¬†the button¬†or¬†a linklback on ¬†¬†¬†¬† your post.¬†Grab the hop button code from¬†Katherines¬†button page¬†It‚Äôs always nice to have the hop button ¬†¬†¬†¬† on your post. It¬†IS NOT¬†mandatory; but a Link back to ¬†¬†¬†¬† Katherines Corner is always appreciated
  • No adult content blogs or links directly to your shops ¬†¬†¬†¬† please
  • Yes you can link giveaways ( they are everyone’s¬†favorite thing) Add your giveaways to the¬†Win¬†It Page¬†at Katherines Corner too!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here¬†to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

10 Chapters in My Crazy, Bumpy, Messy, Endering and Incredible Life

Well this is a rather on point Listicle¬†this week. Perfect for getting back to writing. I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching¬†the last two years, I think part of it is because I am approaching that mile marker of 40. When I was a kid I had set all these goals for 40, so that after 40 I could start new goals. So here’s this week’s listicle, 10 Chapters In My Life…

1.) Grandma’s Girl.¬† This would certainly sum up from birth to 13 when my Gram passed away. She was my rock, and quite an amazing, proper, formal and in her own way funny lady. (Emphasis on the word lady.)

2.) Traveling the Beltway. Thinking of the years of 13 through the beginning semesters of my freshman year at Ole Miss. They were fraught with family tension, parental alcoholism, struggles for independence and trying to understand trust and friendship.

3.) An Uncomfortable Personal Paradigm. Struggling to separate, defy and overcome the last 8 years, while facing my own addiction demons.

4.) Dating Dos and Don’ts. (Self Explanatory – whew, I can pick ’em!! LMAO!!)

5.) Meeting Zen. This would be my early to mid 20s when I met not only my Best Friend, who is now my sister-in-law, but at the time my soon to be partner (who 12 years later became my husband). These two people not only changed my life, but accepted me for who I am, not who they wanted me to be. Acceptance is the first step in healing. (I have the tattoo to prove it. :))

6.). Doing It Backwards: Pregnancy, Marriage and In Laws . All I have to say on this chapter is we’ve all been there, done that and have our own embarrassing, funny, sad and eye-opening stories to share!

7.) My Loves. All about our beautiful twin girls and how they taught me the meaning of true and untainted love.

8.) A Kaleidoscope of Self. A view through personal history to understand who I am and where I stand in the world. Learning gratitude and love all over again.

9.) Consenting. Laughing out loud, enjoying life and taking in the light and the dark of life equally.

10.) On The Corner of 39 and 40.¬† What’s next?

Whew! That was fun, you know how they have the saying “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming — WOW– What a Ride!” That’s me, I just keep changing the ride, Can’t wait to see what 40 has to hold. ūüôā

What are your 10 Chapters?

Namaste.

100th Post: Monday Listicles – Ten Proudest Moments

Well, how appropriate that my 100th post would be a Monday Listicles. Such a great one too, although it’s difficult to wade through all the great memories and figure out which ones rank higher than the others.

Ten Proudest Moments

1.) Giving Birth to the Twizlets РI was scared to death to be at a hospital, but I made it and here they are 7.3 years latter with love, fun and their own splash of attitude.

2.) Day I Married The Hubs – We were together for 13 years and the birth of the twizlets before we got married. Neither of us was really huge on the concept of marriage, we were happy living together and being successful. My Dad and Step Mom did the same as well, until, like us they had the realization that in WA your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together, has no say in what happens to you in an emergency. Obviously today that’s changed. ūüôā

3.) Our “pup” Bunker¬†– she goes by so many names Bunk, Bunkie, Bunk the Dog –¬† The hubs named her after a Sand Bunker in Golf….she is a nervous bundle of overly excited and unconditional love. I couldn’t imagine any part of the last 11 years without her.

4.) Being a Mom –¬†If you read my post Becoming a Mom Changed Me¬†you’d know it’s not been an easy road, but I wouldn’t change one second of it.

5.) Completing three 5Ks in 2011 Рthey were rough, but I set the goal and I did it. I hope to do more this year or next we will see.

6.) My Cooking – I have rarely if ever followed a recipe, it’s annoying to me to be restricted by rules. Usually it works out, sometimes not so much! It always provides either a good meal or a good laugh!!

7.) HomeSchooling – I never thought I could achieve this, but I’m doing it with the support of the Hubs. Accepting my own ability to derive inspiration from my kids,¬†and being fearless has helped.

8.) This Blog – which to be honest I never thought would amount to a hill of beans. Hopefully it brings people some joy and laughter, or at least something or someone they can relate to.

9.) Our home – it’s comfy, safe and cozy – old yes, cramped yes, but it’s our first home, where we got married and where we had our babies.

10.) My Graduate Degree – I can safely say to myself that I achieved my goal. Next?

 

 

What was I thinking buying THAT?!

I started cracking up when I was thinking back about this weeks Listicles. I have always been sucked in by those As Seen On TV ads…. I’m that marketers favorite person. See the thing is they make it seem so easy, so I’m thinking it really must be that easy and make my life that much better…. yeah no not so much.

So in tribute to horrible purchase and Monday Listicles, here are some of the 10 Dumbest Purchases I’ve ever made

1. The Thigh Master – Seriously just because Suzanne Summer looks amazing, doesn’t mean the damn thing really works….it’s a little weird-looking if you think about it.

2.) Wonder Hangers – they are not wonderful, they do create space in your closet, but only if everything you own is a size 0 pant made of linen, or a t-shirt that has mostly see through material. Hang a sweater or a pair of jeans and the thing breaks.

3.) Ab Lounger  Рyeah NOT! More like the laundry lounger

4.) Epilday – oh my fricking cheese balls! I think that thing must have been a torcher device is some mid evil kingdom at some point. Thanks anyway, I’ll stick to wax.

5.) Shoe organizer from Ikea, yeah it doesn’t really help to have to cram your dress shoes into a space taking up valuable real estate for your clothes. ugh!

6.) Store bought bread. I know it sounds silly, but I can make 10 loaves of bread each 1.5 lbs, fresh for 1/2 the cost a loaf of good bread costs at the bread store. The time it takes to set it up is less than 10 minutes, it cooks in 2.5 hours, and if you set it up overnight or first thing in the AM you have it when you need it. Bonus is it has 5 ingredients, and nothing weird or that you can’t pronounce in it.

7.) Playpen – I have heard parents used them regularly and we thought we would. We took it a couple of places, used it as a time out space, but it never really got good use and we resold it, it was practically brand new.

8.) Emotional toy purchases. I am a sucker for my kids, and in the past if they would ask for something usually if it was a reasonable price and they seemed truly interested in it I would buy it for them. Major error, I have given away so many of those toys its silly. Now their favorite thing is library books!

9.) Here’s one from my hubs: White Ceiling Paint. In the past we always bought the one that was tinted purple, until we painted our bedroom ceiling. For some reason we didn’t get the one that was tinted purple (and dried white) and we must have painted and repainted the ceiling ten times. ugh!

10.) A pair of super cute pants from Old Navy that were 1 size too small. This is an open invitation to myself to say, get real. You are the size you are and while those pants are cute – you should have waited to buy them when you were that size. Clothes don’t motivate me, so I should have known better.

We’ve all had some crazy purchases in our life. The one thing mine have in common is most of them are emotional purchases, which is never a good way to buy things. Now I take the time to ask is that really something I need to have, or the kids need to have. If the answer is maybe, then more than likely it’s no….

“Some people pride themselves on their riches and power‚ÄĒtheir wealth, honour, and social position. But these are only transitory. Nothing will remain with you in death.” – Ramakrishna