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Showing posts from August, 2015

Journey Homeschool Kickoff ~ 2015/2016

Today was our first day of school! Woo hoo! We had a crazy, busy summer with graduating one child and marrying off another. We took a little extended break the last three weeks to recharge and gear up for another fantastic school year. It is so hard to believe that we are starting our 6th year of homeschool! Each and every year I am more and more thankful for the opportunities we have with home education.

We had a totally rad first day of school, and I will share all about it on Thursday. (And it will explain why I just used the phrase "totally rad".)

But, for today, I will just share a couple of photos of my two amazing students. Eli is now in the 6th grade and Brynne is in the 5th grade.




Let the school year begin!!! It's going to be a Journey to Excellence. Come along!

Random 5

1. Oh, I am SO tired of seeing nothing but sorority posts on social media! I am glad to see all these girls having fun at college ... but where are the textbooks? Am I the only one wondering if these girls are participating in anything educational? Oh, but they have found their family. Geez.

2. Dawson completed his first week of college. To say that he did so without a ridiculous amount of moaning and groaning would be a complete lie. For the first time in his life, and I mean IN HIS LIFE, he had to actually sit down, more than once, and do homework! He was appalled that he has a paper due on Monday ... in Comp class! I sure hope we make it without one of us bashing our head against a brick wall. I am thinking I might be the first.

3. Today is our last regular day before we start back to school on Monday. There is weeping and gnashing of teeth going on around this house. But it is time. My dear little ones, it is time.

4. We have finally done it! After three years of living apart the…

Ketogenic - Becoming My Norm

I have been on a full Ketogenic diet for a week now.

I am not sure I can call my version of the diet truly Ketogenic. I am not sure my carb levels are low enough to actually be kicking me into ketosis. And I am not going to be one that checks my ketosis levels with a meter or testing stick every day. I am not that bonkers about it.

But I do know that I have adjusted my carbs down from my normal 40-50% daily to 10-15% daily! And that is HUGE! In fact the past two days I have been closer to 10%.

I am not going to lie. It took some adjusting.

1. I had to get over the detox headaches. Yes, I was definitely addicted to carbs and sugar because I had a raging headache for a couple of days and slept horrible. But I am beyond that now.

2. I have had to make adjustments for the drastic decrease in magnesium and potassium that a low carb diet entails. I was having jittery legs at night and even caught myself right before I had a full-on leg cramp. So I am taking a magnesium citrate supplement o…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's hard to believe but next week's Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What's one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends? I honestly can't think of a thing. Summer is my least favorite season of the year so I am completely okay with the activities to end. We have swam enough, vacationed enough, lounged enough, and I have certainly mowed and watered enough. Maybe we will need one last trip to the DQ for ice cream, not for me but the kids would love it, and maybe another trip to the lake.

When were you last at 'your wit's end'? It would definitely have been the two year child support hoorah with my ex-husband. But perseverance won out and the court definitely took care of the kids so it was all worth it in the end.

Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into 'the deep end'? To me being thrown in the deep end would entail a period of panic and trying to get to the surface to get to some air as so…

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today ... Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Outside my window ... Oh my gosh the cooler temperatures ... in August! The highs are in the 70's this week! It's awesome, especially since the sun is also shining!!

I am thinking ... that I am thankful that my biopsy results came back showing all benign tissue. No worries!! I have a new mammogram scheduled in 6 months to establish a new baseline so we can carry on as normal.

I am (also) thankful ... for "perfect" days like yesterday. I was up at a reasonably early time and had plenty of time to do my Bible study, get caught up on my blog and e-mails, and just sit on the couch covered in a blanket (it was chilly ... in August!), and drink my coffee until the kids woke up. Kyndal stopped by to chat after her first day of work. I went for an afternoon walk to the grocery store to pick up some bananas after fixing the kids some lunch. While walking by my mom's house I saw her outside so stopped to chat with her for about an hour. …

Ketogenic + Restless Legs = Insomnia ... Um, No!

Okay, I have been eating ketogenic for five days now. I have gotten through the carb detox headaches and have settled into a macro plan of 5% carbs (no grains), 20% protein, 75% fat.

The upside is that I like the idea of limiting my body of all of the glucose which will help my minor health conditions.

But there are definitely downsides!

The first is that I am having a hard time getting in enough fats under the strictures of the diet. Who knew it would be hard to eat fats? The real problem is that the fats I want to eat then include a consumption of protein and/or carbs and then throws off my percentages. Still working on that one.

The bigger issue is that for the past couple of nights I have had trouble sleeping, and I have had restless legs.

Sleeping is one of those things that I do well. I go to bed at the same time every night (for the most part) and get up at the same time each morning. I can fit in a 15-30 minute power nap in the afternoon and have no trouble going to sleep at n…

Why I am Taking on a Ketogenic Diet

I am just not one who has ever gotten on a bandwagon when it comes to diet. I try to have a good balance of foods and nutrients and have relied on some of the science behind Trim Healthy Mama. It has treated me pretty well in relation to keeping my weight down and feeling good.

But a certain word keeps popping up in my health exams, and has been for the past few years ...
Pre-Cancer. I have had a couple of separate bouts of pre-cancerous cells in my cervix. I have had one pre-cancerous spot removed from my nose and now appear to have another one forming. And then this week my follow-up mammogram showed some indeterminate calcifications that were troubling enough to necessitate a biopsy.

There is a better than good chance that the calcifications are nothing, completely benign. But with the tiny amount of family history I have with breast issues, and the fact that there were more calcifications present together than what could be classified as definitely benign, I went for a biopsy yest…

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Way back when (the Hodgepodge bicentennial to be precise) several of you submitted questions as part of a giveaway I was hosting. I went back to that list for inspiration today and found a question submitted by Marla who blogs over at Marla's Musings. Thanks, Marla! She asks, "At what age did you feel like a grownup? What keeps you young now?" The day after graduation from high school (when I was 3 months away from turning 18), I moved into my own apartment, by myself, in my college town 30 minutes away from my parents. I had a full-time job working at a law office and went to school full-time. I definitely felt like an adult for the first time. I was completely responsible for myself and everything I did or didn't do (until I got sick one time and had to go back home to my mom!). What keeps me young now? I definitely feel the youngest when I am eating healthy and exercising regularly. I have also always said that my youngest, Brynne, is either keeping me young or m…

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today ... Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Outside my window ... I see some cloud cover. Will we get the rain that is predicted?

I am thinking ... about my baby brother whose 36th birthday is today. Wasn't HE just 10?

I am thankful ... that we did not move Dawson into a dorm room this week but that, instead, he will be attending a local community college and living at home for the next several years.

I am wearing ... my pjs (Girls on the Run 5K t-shirt and striped pj shorts).

I am creating ... a purged basement! Yes, I am finally doing it, with the help and motivation of my mom. Yesterday we cleaned out all of the toys we have accumulated over the past 15 years or so. Ten trash bags of junk and six cardboard boxes of items to donate to our church's garage sale and we have a totally revamped one half of the basement. (I have plans for that empty space!) We are working on the other side of the basement today, and it is not nearly as daunting a task.

I am going ... to have additional scans…

Just Keep Swimming

Brynne had her birthday party this past Friday night. We rented the city pool for the evening and she invited all of her friends and their families. We served popcorn with flavorings, cupcakes, and pink lemonade and the kids swam and swam and swam. (I actually got very few photos because I was busy talking with friends.)






After the swimming party she had her two best friends over to spend the night. They did as little girls do playing Beanie Boos and watching Barbie movies and staying up most of the night talking and giggling. I love how these two friends bring out the little girl in Brynne.


I've said it many times over the past week or so ... where in the world did the last 10 years go? In the blink of an eye she'll be 20.

This was the conclusion to her birthday celebrations. She had a great 10th birthday!


Random 5

1. Yesterday Kyndal got her wisdom teeth extracted. She had access to her phone in the back seat on the way home and posted some very interesting Instagram and Snapchat posts. Oh my! They were hilarious! Today she's not feeling so good. My poor baby.

2. Tonight is Brynne's birthday party. She is having a swimming party at our city pool and is very excited!!

3. I am pretty sure Eli has not gotten out of his pajamas this week. Well, he has showered and put on new ones, but has pretty much worn them all day every day. That's real summer break for ya!

4. Today Dawson and I are going back to the financial aid office for more paperwork that we thought we had already gotten done. Truly, it is so annoying, especially since the kid is not entitled to any financial aid. Maddening!

5. Our public schools started back yesterday. I AM SO GLAD WE HOMESCHOOL!!!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

When was the last time you relocated? Did you move yourself or leave it to the professionals? Are you happy staying put or is there a move in your future? Best thing about moving to a new city or town? Least favorite and/or hardest thing about moving house? In August of 2012 we moved from Oklahoma back to my childhood hometown here in Missouri (in fact, it was three years ago this week). We had a professional move us ... his name is Rick Taulman. Ha! Rick knows how to move! I have learned in my life to never assume that where we are is where we will always be. But, I do hope that we will keep this house forever as our base home. I want to always be able to come back here even if we are out and about. What do I mean by this? I would like to have a few places were we can go, but always be able to come back here. My dream is to have a pull-behind camper that we can use to travel and stay wherever we want (a nice one that feels like a home) ... a few weeks in the summer in Colorado, a fe…

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today ... Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Outside my window ... it is a beautiful day! The sun is shining but the temps are only going to be in the low 80's. We have had some rain so the grass is green again (and also needs to be mowed).

I am thinking ... about some of the kids we knew in Oklahoma that graduated from high school last year and how consumed their lives are with getting into the "right" sorority. It is mind-boggling to me how that is the focus of their kids' futures. It seems so pointless. I can't imagine spending that kind of money to send my child to college to be involved in anything other than academics. It is just another way I see such dramatic differences between how I raise my kids and how others do.

I am thankful ... for the contentment of a simple life.

I am wearing ... a Baltimore Maryland t-shirt and gray sweat knee-length shorts.

I am creating ... a care package for my Mother-in-Law who starts another round of chemo tomorrow.

I am going ... to t…

What Some Might Consider an Abnormal Birthday for a 10 Year Old Girl

This past weekend was a whirlwind of fun as Brynne turned 10 years old. I could get all sappy here and post pictures of her when she was an absolutely adorable 3 year old (and, OH MY, was she an absolutely adorable 3 year old!). I could show you how we used to dress her up in all of the fashionable boutique outfits with matching shoes and a hair bow ... always a hair bow. She was precious.

But that is not who she is now.

Brynne is a crazy mix of tomboy and video gamer who absolutely adores to play with her puppies and stuffed animals, is most comfortable in running shorts and a t-shirt but loves to wear a nightgown to bed. She is a sports fanatic, playing every sport all throughout the year, but also loves to sit and color. I am not sure I can really describe her fully. She is unique.

She had a few very specific requests for her birthday this year.

1. She wanted to have a family fish fry. She loves Collin's fried fish, so he and Papa delivered! With it we had potatoes, corn on the…

Random Five

1. Whewwwww, the Republican Debate! Fun! Oh, Donald Trump. My goodness ... made me laugh!

2. For the past couple of weeks I have eaten horrible and by Monday of this week my stomach was feeling pretty blech! I found a Citrus Detox drink that looked promising to me and picked up the ingredients mid-week. It includes fresh-squeezed lemon, lime, and orange juice, turmeric powder, and fresh ginger root. I put all these ingredients in my Ninja and gave it a quick blend with some ice. Although a glass of it plain tasted very refreshing, I decided I liked it better with one packet of Stevia in the Raw. It is really delicious! I read up on the anti-inflammatory, antioxident-rich, health boosting and cleansing effects of these ingredients. I plan to drink between one and two glasses of this a day.

3. On the same note, I have done really well this week with my diet (and by that I mean, nutrition). I went back to what I know and that is tracking all of my foods on MyFitnessPal. I made sure I st…

Weekly Wrap-up ~ Before the Week is Even Over

Last week and this week have been the regular summer school weeks that I always plan for us to have. It is important to me that the kids continue with reading, math, and grammar, because math and grammar are subjects that can have concepts "lost" after a few months of break. We only do two hours of school a day in our summer weeks, and more than an hour of that is reading.

Yesterday I told the kids how absolutely proud I am of them for what they have accomplished in their work this summer. They have been doing some complicated addition of fractions, mixed numbers and uncommon denominators. It's not really something you want to do in the summer. But they have done their math lessons like champs and have mastered all of the skills they have been confronted with so far.


Fred is in the house now, too! We started Life of Fred: Fractions last week. We will do one chapter of the book two days a week.


The kids are also one week away from completing the first level of Fix-It Gra…

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today ... Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Outside my window ... is another sunshiney day. Thankfully the temps are in the high 80s right now.

I am thinking ... about how much better I feel when I do things the right way, you know eating right, drinking lots of water, exercising, reading my Bible, getting my housework done, taking an afternoon power nap.

I am thankful ... for the weekend we had together as a family. Rick got to come home a day early so we were able to just hang out on Friday. On Saturday my family treated me to a fabulously fun birthday. And on Sunday my MIL and FIL came for a visit and for dinner. It was a family weekend, and I loved it.

I am wearing ... a hot pink "Gotta Run" tank, running shorts, Brooks tennis shoes.

I am creating ... our school days and breaks schedule for the new school year to make sure we get in all of our hours while still getting that much-needed time off.

I am going ... to shut my computer and go for a run. I have got to stay on track so that…

First Day - August

The First Day of August was also my birthday! Since it was on a Saturday we had the whole day to have fun.