Leave a comment

Pre-K at Home!

I remember over two years when my mother-in-law asked me to sit down as she had something to share with me. As she shared with me things she saw in me, she quickly said, “Now don’t freak out when I tell you this, but there will be a time in your life I see you homeschooling.” And yes, I laughed out loud. I was a working mom and staying at home to teach was not in my plans. However, I am in month 7 of “homeschooling” my five and two year old boys. I write “homeschooling” because it is only Pre-K and I am not implementing a particular curriculum, but in my mind school is school.

So what got me here? I became a stay at home mom when my family moved to Texas and my oldest son was approaching Pre-K. At the end of 2013, he had begun our church’s Pre-K class two days a week and we were now approaching the fall of 2014. But due to a late birthday, he would remain in the same class at the church, which meant he would be receiving the curriculum again for the 2nd time. Therefore, I knew I needed to add to what they were doing or I could pull him out of his current class to attend another Pre-K school. Since we had recently moved, I did not want to remove him from a place he had become familiar with and really enjoyed attending, so I went with the other option…homeschool! (And yes I saw my mother-in-laws face as I made this decision. LOL) I decided I would reimplement what he was learning in his church class and add to it by including science, history, and math as the church’s class was more focused on writing, recognition and phonics.

So in August 2014, Pre-K began in our home. I remember the night before the first day of school at home, I sat in my chair wondering where do I even begin as I felt my brain had been stuck. Then it happened, it was like a literal lightbulb went off, I opened up excel and started creating lesson plans for the week. I started with letter A…genius I know. I began thinking of words that began with the letter and went from there. The word chosen would lead, for the most part, the art, science, math, and reading lesson. For example, A is for apple would include writing the word, apple art prints, learning about how apples grow, guessing and counting the seeds within the apple, using the seeds in a science experiment, writing the letter A using the seeds, reading Ten Apples Up On Top by Dr. Seuss, and more. Many of my ideas would come from a google and Pinterest key word search like “apple pre-k or kindergarten lesson”. I also purchased workbooks from Target and the Dollar Tree that were Pre-K and Kindergarten specific. Below is a link to what my lessons look like.

Pre-K Letter A Lesson Plan

There is definitely much to improve on and more to tell when it comes to what our days look like including have a two year old involved, but I wanted to give you a glimpse into homeschool for our family. I hope this helps you think through homeschooling as an option for you even if it is just Pre-K.


Leave a comment

JUICING

This word “juicing” was not ever something I was interested in learning more about. I remember someone asking me once if I had ever “juiced” and my response was simple, “I would rather chew my food than drink it.” I have always been one that thought juicing was something that I would dislike as I love to eat food, taking in the flavors and spices. However, my “juicing” perspective changed when my husband began a 10 day juice fast last year and I decided I would make one for myself at breakfast. Well that did it. I immediately became a juice fan. The taste was bearable and after I finished drinking it, I was actually full. I had a quick lesson for myself, which I ironically teach my kids everyday… “You cannot say you don’t like something until you try it.”

Now that juicing was not such a “bad word” to me anymore, I began juicing during the week more and more. So with the new year starting, my husband and I began a juice fast. When we started the fast I didn’t know much about the pluses and negatives to juicing, but by day 5 of juicing breakfast, lunch and dinner, I could tell my body was needing something. At around 3 or 4 pm everyday, my body would be tired and I would just want to lay down the rest of the day. However with two boys, ages 2 1/2 and 5, laying down for the rest of the day was not an option. These feelings and other reasons led me to begin researching, which is what I want to share with you today. Now let me state this, I am no expert regarding juicing and your body. Therefore, I definitely encourage you to research for yourself and also keep in mind that everyone’s body and health is different.

Here are a few things I discovered personally and through research:

  • Juicing is a great way to give your body lots of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, especially if you do not eat the amount of veggies and fruits you need each day.
  • When you juice, it should be mostly veggies; about 75% veggies and 25% fruit. This helps to reduce the amount of your sugar intake. Juicing only fruits actually contains more sugar than eating the fruit itself.
  • A juice fast was the first time I saw my husband stay healthy. Fasts he has completed in the past always ended in sickness. But both juice fast he has completed gave him energy and kept him healthy.
  • Juicing is a great way to give your digestive system a break as it does not have to breakdown food. However, juicing over an extended time can cause your metabolism to slow down.
  • Majority of the calories in juicing come from carbs, including high amounts of natural sugar from fruits and some vegetables.
  • Most experts say only juicing is not good for your body and suggests to simply incorporate healthy eating into your everyday.
  • Completing a one to three day juicing plan is something, in my opinion, would be your best option.
  • If you are having a juice, remember the juice is your meal.

Here are some articles I would suggest reading as well:

http://mothernaturesdiet.me/2013/05/26/how-does-juicing-fit-into-a-paleo-diet-and-lifestyle/

http://balancedbites.com/2013/08/flax-chia-juice-cleanses-green-smoothies-juicing.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/juicing/faq-20058020

To sum it up, I recommend juicing, but would not recommend juicing for a long period of time. Your body needs real food. If you are looking to lose weight, I would encourage you to try a juice for a meal, but do not depend on a juice for health. Health comes from eating real foods and living an active life whether it is exercising, sports, running around the yard with your kids, etc.  Again, I would encourage you to do some research on your own and if you do try a juice fast, listen to your body. During my fast, my body was telling me it needed more. So on day 7, I began incorporating vegetarian meals in my diet to begin jumpstarting my metabolism. My husband on the other hand, completed 14 days before he knew his body was in need of more. (Note: This was a beginning of year fast for us and the length of this fast is not something we will do all the time.)

What is your experience with juicing? How did your body react? I would love to hear how juicing has affected you.

P.S. – Stay tuned for some of our families favorite juice recipes.

IMG_4022


Leave a comment

Devotion or Discipline or BOTH!

Devotion and discipline have been two words that I have been pondering the past few weeks. I have been wondering if the two are related or are they opposites? Is one more important than the other? What does it mean to be disciplined at something versus being devoted to something? Most of these question arose as I began to decide what my beginning of the year fast would entail and as I thought more and more, I felt God bring these two words, devotion and discipline, to my heart and mind. Was I going to be fasting out of devotion or was my fast going to be about my disciplines? For me, becoming disciplined at something can almost become a trap as I find myself more concerned with sticking to the rules than anything else. I will beat myself up if I don’t reach my goals and/or if I “fail” at one of my rules. For these reasons and more, I believe God is trying to bring me to a place of devotion for something than discipline at something. Now by no means am I saying that being disciplined at something is bad; however, for me I want to be fueled by my devotion rather than my disciplines.

As I began looking at these two words further, I came across this quote by Luciano Pavarotti, “People think I’m disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a great difference.” See this legendary man was devoted to his art and it was because of his devotion that he worked hard, practiced and produced excellence. It wasn’t the discipline he had, but the devotion he had that drove his disciplines. I think if many of us were to think of the disciplines in our lives that have lasted, we would conclude that it was because we were devoted to it. For instance, the devotion to health will last, while the discipline to diets will fade away. If out of our devotion to health we make a lifestyle of eating heathy and exercising, then health in our lives will last.

Here are a few of my nuggets about devotion and discipline:

  • Devotion is from the heart. Discipline is a matter of the mind.
  • Devotion will keep you, discipline won’t if not attached to something deeper.
  • Disciplines developed out of rules will fade. Disciplines developed out devotion will last.

Therefore, this year I want to determine what I am devoted to and work from there. I do not want to be a person that creates disciplines for rule/boundary sake. I want to be a person who if asked why I do this or that, I will be able to respond, “because I am devoted to it.” Therefore, determine what you are devoted to; determine what you are passion about and create your disciplines from there. I pray this year you will not be caught up in the rules. I pray you will live a life that honors what you are devoted to.

I have decided…

  • I am devoted to God.
  • I am devoted to family.
  • I am devoted to health.
  • I am devoted to living a generous life, not just with my finances, but with my time, talents, love, and kindness.

And now from these decisions of devotion, I need to spend my time, develop my goals from and live daily with these at my forefront. What are you devoted to? Does your disciplines stand alone or are they attached to something deeper?


Leave a comment

Cheers to 2015!

Here it is day 6 of the year 2015. I do not know about you, but there is something so refreshing and exhilarating and at the same time something a little scary about stepping into a new year. It is exciting and thrilling that we have another 365 days of newness ahead, but that newness carries many unknowns. I guess that is why I continue to exclaim that “it’s all adventure.” Approaching life as an adventure has continued to help me navigate my days.

Adventures will teach you, strengthen you, make you laugh, make you cry, cause you to think and cause you to question. The year 2014 was full of many of these moments as I started playing soccer, homeschooling my sons, moving into a house, traveling with my family, building new friendships, trying new recipes, and so much more. Many of these moments I plan to share right here with you. (A sneak peek of some upcoming posts will be about pre-k lesson plans, devotion vs. discipline, quick breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas, juicing, parenting tips, and more.)

So I hope to encourage you with this: Do not sit out  2015. Engage in this year. Be fully alive each day. Approach your moments with adventure. Because no matter how scary an unknown adventure is, I would not want to sit out 2015 and let all my adventurous moments pass me by and I pray that you won’t either. CHEERS TO 2015!

10849972_10152889192477440_810473017688131058_n