Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Favorite Curriculum

Favorite Curriculum

TLC ~ April 24, 2019

We spent the evening sharing some of our favorite curriculum.  This is not all-inclusive, by any means!

  • Masterbooks for Bible, History, Science and Literature.
  • Writing will stay with Bravewriter, using their Help for High School and the Boomerang book studies. We have done the book studies for years now and Rhaelyn loves them.
  • Teaching Textbooks will remain for math.
  • Simply Charlotte Masons handcrafts and we will be using their Shakespeare 12th Night study.
  • **For those with younger kiddos, I highly suggest: for nature study this summer. I have been using her free curriculum with the boys for about 4 months now and they love it.
  • Spelling Power
  • Apologia (for science)
  • Mystery of History - Vol. 1-4 - (for multi-age level world history studies)
  • High school English Composition
  • The Power in Your Hands: Writing Nonfiction for High Schoolers by Sharon Watson (essays; research paper; and more nonfiction writing)
  • Writing Fiction (in High School): Bringing Your Stories to Life by Sharon Watson (creative writing)
  • Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance Kit for Homeschool, High School edition - Excellent!
  • Vocabulary Cartoons - I and II (SAT Power)

  • Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing
  • Handwriting with a Reason

  • Reading/Phonics/Spelling/Skills - Reading Eggs (online; annual subscription based) 1 lesson every day
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • Dive CDs for Saxon Math

  • Five in a Row by Jane Claire Lambert
  • Incorporate geography, science, social studies, language arts, etc. with picture books read 5 days in a row

  • Geography/Social Studies -- Winter’s Promise

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Stretched Too Thin

Stretched Too Thin

March 27, 2019

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive
By Jessica N. Turner

Chapter 4: Practicing Self-Care
Mental and Emotional Care
"Have you ever been so busy with work and caring for others that you ended up feeling mentally or emotionally frazzled? When we don't practice proper self-care, our minds experience a never-ending roller coaster of emotions. Unexpected challenges easily push us over the edge when we're feeling stressed. And our good intentions quickly fade when we become angry and impatient with the people we love most. I know that when I work too much and am stretched too thin, I become short-tempered, moody, and not very nice to be around. To mitigate these feelings, we must take time to nurture ourselves mentally and emotionally" (Turner, p. 69).
  • Pursue Your Passions - What do you love to do? Make time and space to do it.
  • Journal - Free-form, prayer, list, gratitude, and electronic journaling → brings clarity to thoughts
  • Seek Out a Counselor - Get an unbiased perspective and gain new tools for living well

Physical Care
  • Listen to Your Body - Pay attention to your body and take the necessary steps to take care of it
  • Drink Water - The body is 60% water and needs water to function at its best. Drink up!
  • Exercise - Do what you love to get stronger, feel less stress, have more energy, and have fun
  • Eat Healthily - Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits/veggies, lean protein, and whole grains.
  • Rest - Sleep is critical to overall health; you’re more productive and happier when well-rested.

Spiritual Care
  • Meditate and Practice Mindfulness - “Be still, and know that I am God.” Quiet inner chatter; trust.
  • Read Spiritual Books - Foster spiritual growth and deepen one’s faith. Turner’s favorite books: One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp - seeing life through a lens of gratitude and A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman - transforms perspective about God, art, and creativity
  • Keep a Prayer Journal - Beneficial to spiritual health; writing reduces distractions and increases focus
  • Gather with Other People - Select gatherings that fill you up rather than drain you to encourage your faith; can be a source of encouragement

Prioritizing and Practicing Self-Care
“Focusing on your family and career is not enough. You must take time to practice self-care. Don’t become so busy that you forget to love yourself well. Doing so is going to make you a better wife, mom, co-worker, and friend.

“If you are someone who finds it challenging to prioritize self-care, schedule time for yourself in the same way you schedule meetings at work. Put going to the gym, gathering with friends, or having a quiet lunch by yourself on your calendar. You may also want to consider having a friend hold you accountable so you don’t push yourself aside. These simple acts can ensure that you take care of you” (Turner, p. 87).

And now, a special (and ancient) self-care secret... LAUGH!

Who Switched Off My Brain? (Controlling Toxic Thoughts & Emotions)
Dr. Caroline Leaf
“Having fun will detox your through life, improve your health and make you clever to boot. It’s one of the most powerful antidotes to stress you will ever find, and it’s free. Fun is a tremendous resource God built into your brain to bring perspective into your life, help surmount problems, add sizzle to your relationships, and make you feel good.

“Many studies show why laughter deserves to be known as ‘the best medicine.’ It releases an instant flood of feel-good chemicals that boost the immune system and almost instantly reduce levels of stress hormones. For example, a really good belly laugh can make cortisol drop by 39% and adrenaline by 70%, while the ‘feel-good hormone,’ endorphin, increases by 29%. ...Other research shows how laughter boosts your immune system by increasing immunity levels and disease-fighting cells” (Leaf, p. 133).

This is why we had so much fun at last month’s TLC Night. We laughed together, reduced our stress, and brought healing into our minds and bodies!

How can we add more fun and laughter to our lives?

Cathlyn shared the following...
  • App called Calm -- it tells stories; helps boys and her fall asleep; by paid subscription; her kids love it; reads and slowly quiets until it automatically turns off; nature sounds; white noise
  • Games
    • Spot It
    • Pie Face

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Tips and Tricks for Moms

Tips and Tricks Night
January 23, 2019 and February 27, 2019

Possible Areas:
Cooking and baking
Hygiene, hair, and makeup
Grocery shopping
Clothes and accessory design/shopping
Household chores and cleaning
Exercise Workouts
Tending to sicknesses
Financial budgeting/planning
Time management/organization
Home decorating
Great resources, websites, and books

  • Lunch Meals
    • Buy two whole chickens on the weekend; roast on a rotisserie; eat one for dinner and de-bone the other for the week’s lunches (served with fresh vegetables, rice, etc.)
      • Keep carcasses to make bone broth
    • New Kitchen Gadget: InstantPot
      • Make ginger broth for winter months; healthy to drink
      • Make Immune-boosting soup once a week
    • Cook up a big pot of rice for the week’s lunches
    • Kids prep their own lunches; a creativity break
  • Sicknesses
    • Use Homeopathics
      • Don’t touch with your finger (oils); dissolve under your tongue
      • Highlands liquid form for kids - best nighttime cough reducer
    • Echinacea tea with lemon, honey, and oregano (Anything else? I may not have captured all of the ingredients...)
  • Costco
    • Order non-perishables online and its delivered to your home
    • Shelly’s husband orders Costco through Google Express, where you can order from other places, as well (like Target…)
  • Messy house: take a big box around the house; whatever is not cleaned up in 10 minutes goes in the box; kids earn back by doing chores

  • Sicknesses
    • Use Essential Oils --
    • Exposed to germs, put “Thieves” or “On Guard” (clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary) behind their ears
    • Purification - bug bites
    • Lavender - burns
    • Peppermint - tummy aches (rubbed on stomach)
    • Peace & Calming - migraines; anxious kids or adults needing to relax and sleep
      • DoTerra and Young Living (high-quality companies)
      • Distributors - Tish, are you an essential oils distributor?
  • Health
    • Olive Leaf
      • Pill form or liquid to fight all kinds of nasty things; you can’t overdose
      • Order through Seagate
    • Colloidal Silver - eye drops that kills pink eye; spray that kills germs/preventative

  • Sicknesses
    • Use honey in your tea!
  • Household Chores
    • Start a load of laundry every morning (if there’s enough to do) -- stays on top and caught up; can finish it by the end of the day
    • Make your bed!
  • Cooking
    • Buys ½ beef and a 1 pig to feed her family each year -- much cheaper than buying at the grocery store
  • Grocery Shopping
    • Shop for paper goods through -- i.e. napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. - free shipping; prices comparable to Wal-Mart (you can also order online from Wal-Mart)
    • Susan heard Wal-Mart in Frisco is delivering to Kremmling once a week. Does anyone know more about this?
  • Hygiene
    • Have good hand lotion stashed all around - everywhere!
    • Alternate cuticle treatments because nails dry out
      • Favorite: Mary Kay Satin Hands
      • Wool Wax Cream
  • Reading
    • Get your pleasure reading books through library used book sales or at the thrift store and recycle
Dave Ramsey helps you keep a budget and stick with it.
FREE app called EveryDollar
Enter an initial budget (income/expenses) into your app
By the 3rd month, it’s spot on as you enter in your income and expenses
Changed their lives -- from overspending to saving money
Buy iced tea at Kum & Go in their large plastic cup. Wash the cup and bring it back in to fill it up. You receive a big discount for re-using your cup!
Colloidal Silver shortens their sicknesses

  • Grocery Shopping
    • Now doing most of their grocery shopping online with City Market (called the Click List). Order and pick up in the Dillon (Summit County) store.
    • You can add special instructions for each item when you view the cart
    • Pay online -- apply digital coupons
    • Select a window of time for pick-up
    • Park in a designated area and call the phone number on the parking spot’s sign
    • Staff bring your order out to the car and help you load it up
    • Saves time!
      • Shelly’s advice: Avoid scheduling a pick-up on Saturday or Sunday until the bugs are worked out and especially during the busy season.
  • Sicknesses
    • Drink lots of green tea and Oolong and white tea and rest
    • Drink pickle juice (Shelly’s family uses apple cider vinegar and calls it “Grog)
  • Kitchen
    • Always keep your kitchen stocked with the basics (if out of fresh produce, canned are in the cupboards)
    • Cut carrot and celery sticks and store in a glass jar with water in the refrigerator. It enhances the sweetness of the carrots and makes them taste sweeter.
    • Wash and re-use glass jars to store food inside the refrigerator
  • Baking
    • Add flax seed and a variety of flours in baked goods
    • Baked a double recipe and put half in the freezer for later
  • Exercise
    • Exercise in the mornings! It’s a great way to start the day with ”me” time. It often doesn’t get done if put off until later in the day.
  • Prefers to do her grading in the morning when it’s quieter because its better for focus and then it’s not weighing her down with dread through the rest of the day
  • Household
    • Boxes in closet - dress clothes and thrift store… keeps them there to have time to decide
    • Blue Dawn on oil stains rather than prewash; takes stains out easily
  • Cooking & Baking + Kitchen Chores
    • Make quick breads healthier by replacing oil with an equal amount of applesauce
    • Teach your kids to cook and give them responsibility for a dish or meal each week. The invest pays dividends -- for you, but also for them by teaching them how to run a kitchen, menu plan, cook and bake, and have confidence, independence, and beneficial skills.
  • Communication/Organization
    • I created a Monthly Family Calendar on a whiteboard that we drilled into the closet door of the school room. I color-coordinate it - a different marker color for each family member. I used thin black removable tape strips for lines, so I don’t have to redraw those each month.
    • The kids depend on this to know what everyone is up to, where they are, what their own commitments are, etc.
    • It keeps everyone informed.
  • Check out FREE Access Grand Passes through GCLD on with your library card!

  • Cooking & Baking
    • My tip has to do with weekly meal prep and adding extra veggies to the week for family.
      • I like to make a big batch of browned ground meat with added veggies.
      • I brown ground meat and then for every pound of meat I add about 1/2 a pound of shredded or finely diced veggies (onions, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, zucchini)
      • When I add the veggies I add 1-2 cups of broth (i use bone broth)
      • I let it all simmer until the broth is reduced and veggies are soft.
      • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
      • I use this during the week as a base for taco meat, pasta sauce, to stuffed potatoes and other recipes I use ground meat. I love having it ready to go and knowing there’s are veggies already in it to add to what ever other veggies I’ve made.
  • Health
    • Ears popping -- ear candles (brand Spiral Fire from a lady in Paonia; buy in bulk)
      • Popping when have colds; swimming; air pressure changes when traveling; etc.
      • Light on fire; burns slowly; heat pulls the wax out
      • Chinese Ancient medicine
  • Laundry
    • Dry all laundry on the line - even in the winter!
    • Wash socks in a lingerie/laundry bags and toss in the washer; keeps socks together; can hang outside to dry or toss in the dryer
    • Tomato spots on white napkins and towel; washed and stains still there but hung on the line outside and the stains disappeared