Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Go veggies :-)

So, for the next month or so, I am going to be trying out the vegan lifestyle. Not full fledged vegetarianism,probably the next step down.Right now I am cutting out all meats completely,but eventually I will introduce fish and chicken in small amounts. I am also giving up bread, not pasta, just bread....lol. I will do my best to report my progress here, but I think overall, I will be pretty successful. Today is Day 2.A couple of years ago, i gave up beef and pork completely,and it went really well. I am not sure what happened, but slowly I gave into the burger temptation, and even now I have to have one every once in awhile...........wish me luck

go veggies!!!!!

I wanna be like Mike

Its been a sad, sad week in the world of celebrities. They seem to be dropping like flies. First, it was ed macmahon, then Michael Jackson and farrah fawcett on the same day. Then Billy Mays,the oxi clean guy.While the death of Ed was emminent, because well, he is old, and farrahs was as well,because of the cancer, the other two were not. People die everyday..........some expected, some not. We all have a designated time on this earth, and we all have a purpose. My own personal belief is that we dont die until that purpose is fufilled, should we choose to fufill it, and sometimes we may live long after our purpose has been fufilled.In life, we are just passing through. it is a temporary assignment and test. Life does not end at death. Michael Jackson, as well as the others, will be greatly missed. They will also be remembered. Especially Micheal Jackson. Not because of who he was but because of the good things he did while he was here(speaking of his music). I didnt have the privilege of growing up in that decade,but still enjoyed his music. I cant remember where i was when this song came out or that one(probably tugging at my diaper and sucking on a bottle....lol), like most people can, but I can remember the way his music made people feel................ I am not sure where I was going with that, but oh well. I want to be like Michael Jackson. I dont mean I want to get the plastic surgery and have a pet chimp....lol, although plastic surgery would be nice....lol. When I say that I mean I want to leave behind something great, that people will remember. A legacy.Legacy. let that word resonate within you for a second. What will you leave behind? What will people say about you when you are gone?
Thats all........................

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Mommy Monday

Yes, I do realize it is Tuesday,and am a little late in getting this out.My next blog will be about procrastination, but I think i will put it off until next week.....lol.
This weeks featured mommy is my friend Crystal Allison from Michigan. Our paths first crossed when i was looking for a pen pal for my daughter. She is one of my closest internet buddies, and I even got to meet her a few months ago. Her kids are the cutest, as you can see from this photo.............

Tell us about your family: We are a family of five. Chris and I (crystal) have been married for going on 10 years. We have three kids- two girls and a boy, in that order.

Why did you decide to homeschool: For me, it was a mix of personal reason and religious reasons. Probably the biggest motivator in my mind was situations and people that I had to endure when I was in public school. Some may say "kids will be kids" and laugh it off but for me it was truly hurtful and at times unbearable- yet having no choice in the matter I had to grin and bear it! I decided I did NOT want my children to "bear" going to school, I didn't want them to feel as trapped as I did. I wanted freedom and a love of learning for them that I felt I never had. Also, I wanted God in their lives. Homeschooling gives me the opportunity to incorporate the Almighty Creator in our every day lives and whatever they are learning (that is helped greatly by the way many Christian curriculums are set up!) We don't believe in evolution, yet it is taught as fact in public school. Why would I want my child being taught something that goes against what we as parents believe? We stand firm on our faith in the literal six day creation/ seventh day rest that is presented in the Bible.

What do you feel is the best thing about homeschooling your children: I could list about a hundred things here but I'll try to keep it to one or two. =) For one, my children are comfortable in ANY social situation....whether it be with a group of elderly grown ups or a room full of kindergarteners and younger children. They have never known the segregation of the public schooling system that teaches to only associate with those that are in your "age group". I see a joy and enthusiasm in my kids that I don't see in other kids, mostly because those other kids are just plain exhausted! During the school year they have to get up at 6 am and are expected to spend HOURS sitting in a desk listening to instruction and reading books.....for my kids they get to sleep in some, we can sit in our desks, or relocate to the floor, go outside on a sunny day or even just play a bit before we "do school" so they can wake up fully and be alert. And one more thing, I LOVE that I get to have my kids with me all day! I truly don't understand these parents that dread summer vacation because they don't know what to do with their own child. I'm around mine so much I KNOW their likes and dislikes, I KNOW what kinds of activities they will enjoy, I KNOW what to do with my kids because I've already been doing it all school year!

What is the hardest thing: I do have my days when I just don't "feel" like doing school. On those days its a real inner struggle to make myself be disciplined and just - DO IT! There are other days when I can't wait to get down to it and yet my kids are being less than cooperative. There have been days when we have had to not do school purely because we were becoming too frustrated and it was impeding on the educational process.

Your favorite website(can be homeschool realted or non) and why I'm a huge fan of currclick.com and homeschoolfreebieoftheday.com - that is where I get all my free downloads of educational material. My girls enjoy starfall.com - its entertaining to them and helps them to read.

Advice for someone interested in homeschooling(something you wish someone had told you when you first started out) When purchasing material, if you buy a teachers guide that breaks down the material into lessons for you....you DON'T have to follow it exactly.....you can break it up more if need be or you can double up...do what works for YOUR family...they are providing the guide but YOU can tailor it to your families learning style/ability

Something you or your family like to do for fun(include links if you have them) As a family we enjoy going to the beach in summer, we don't make it often so its a treat when we can go. Also, Chris has taken the girls to hockey games before- they loved them and can't wait to go back. Most of the time we just like to goof off at home, play in the yard, or maybe watch a good movie here and there.

*anything else you may like to add :-) Homeschooling is one of the best choices I have ever made! Each year that goes by I fall in love with it more and more....I love watching my kids grow and learn! I love seeing how happy they are when they "get it" in an area where they have been struggling. I love knowing that they are safe, happy, and well cared for- because I am the one doing it for them! God gave me these precious gifts and I get to enjoy them all day long....what could be better than that!

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Crafty Corner : Crafting-Its not just for girls

I am very excited, today is my first edition of crafty corner!!! I will feature different crafters from all over every week who i think have some amazing things that you should check out.
But before I start,a little bit about my crafting experiences. I got the bug about 12 years ago, in my senior year of high school. It all started with scrapbooking, and Ive dabbled with various things through the years, but that has been a constant for me, with little bits of sewing in between...........
Earlier this year, i was introduced to Swap-Bot through a fellow postcrosser . Swap-bot is a community of crafters who swap their handmade stuff, and even things non handmade. I have met such wonderful people through this ite, and it has really made my love for crafting blossom. I have moved on from scrapbooking to making just about anything,but my current love is making stuffies and recycling things into works of art like cds,old records,etc.
But enough about me,every week in my crafty corner, I will interview a fellow crafter...............this week it is Jolene & Alasdair Martin (MadeStuff) from
Leadhills, Scotland. I wanted to feature them this week because they are a husband and wife duo who craft together, and I thought that was amazing...............Many people think of crafting as a girly thing, and that is soo not true.........I smiled when Jo told me about their business because it took me back to a time where my husband and I were dating, and we constructed this doll house made out of popsicle sticks....lol. We added little miniatures to it and everything. was it the greatest? Heck, no but it was made with love and we had soo much fun putting it together. We havent done anything like that since,but I think that will change soon.............this couple has really inspired me to go do something crafty with my husband, and perhaps it will inspire you too, to get your husband or significant other involved in a project of some kind...... here we go:

We started crafting in earnest around the end of 2007. It was around this time I found out about and became addicted to Japanese craft magazines and started to make gifts for family and friends. Also, at this time Alasdair became hooked on wood carving and paper crafts. Our house was very quickly getting filled with wood carvings, amigurumi and half finished dolls (yep, I've still not mastered doll making!).

To keep ourselves occupied in the evenings we sew, carve, knit, or crochet. I started to post about my handmade items to my now defunct personal blog and Alasdair was posting about his wood carvings and papier mache bowls on his also now defunct personal blog. It seemed a natural progression to merge our talents into one site. We decided towards the end of 2008 to set up an Etsy shop and started the MadeStuff website to support the shop, which we finally opened in March this year.

Our methods and materials are continuously evolving. I've discovered how easy felt is to work with and don't think I'll ever go back to cotton fabric. Alasdair has spent many hours perfecting his papier mache mix and his methods for finishing his wood carvings. I don't think we'll ever stop experimenting and improving.

Since March we've been on a steep learning curve and are very excited to be in the throws of preparing for our first craft fair next month, which is why our blog hasn't been updated in a few days.

When did you first get the crafting bug?

When I was a little girl I begged my gran to teach me the crafts I would sit and watch her doing; sewing, knitting, crocheting. I always loved crochet and have progressed from granny squares to miniature amigurumi over the past few years. I started sewing again when our son was born almost 6 years ago but wouldn't say the bug really hit until we moved to Leadhills almost 3 years ago. Our house was once the highest house in Scotland and we have amazing views that definitely inspire and we are surrounded by some very talented artists and craftspeople. It's hard not to be creative up here.

What do you consider to be your main area of expertise?

I will always be better at sewing and embroidery than paper crafts, but I'll have a go at anything.

Alasdair works mainly with wood, lovingly hand carving each piece over many, many hours.

How many hours a week do you spend on crafting?

Time is limited due to me having a day job, but I create most evenings for a couple of hours and sometimes all day at the weekend. Probably around 15-20 hours.

Alasdair spends around 30 hours a week on his crafts, although his work is bitty due to waiting for varnish to dry and his thumbs to heal! Hours can vary wildly though whilst crafting around two small children.

You are on a desert island and can only have three items to craft with, what do you have?

Felt, scissors, threads - oh gosh I don't have a needle! Can I have four? Ok, pre-cut felt, threads, needle!!!

Favorite Quote or saying?

Jolene: "You can't stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. ... You have to go to them sometimes." Winnie the Pooh

Alasdair: "arrgh! bugger! ... where're the plasters!" Haha, thats funny :-)

favorite website?

Jolene: I'm addicted to whipup.net. That's my daily muse.

Alasdair: I could spend hours browsing through DeviantArt.com, indeed this was my first creative outlet and I maintain an account there where I continue to post my work and discuss related topics with fellow deviants, my account there is goji-berry.deviantart.com

Visit our Etsy Shop

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Change is Gonna Come

So, how do we like the new and improved look? A bit bright for my taste,but for now, its ok. I am starting to finally get this blogging thing figured out, and i am trying to be a bit more creative. Lots of good changes to come, contests,weekly features(more about that in a minute), and a whole ton of fun.
Two of my passions in life are homeschooling and crafting, So a new feature i am going to have is Homeschool Mom of the Week............I will feature a weekly interview from various moms across the US. This may be a bi-weekly thing, it just depends. And this is the most exciting part, at the end of the year, you will get to vote for our first homeschool mom of the year................If you have a mom you know who homeschools who you think wouldnt mind being interviewed, or if you yourself would like to be interviewed, I can be contacted at ishodandrachel@gmail.com. Im still trying to work the kinks out, but overall, I think it is going to be great :-)
I am also going to feature fellow crafters and their etsy shops from time to time..........so if you are a crafter or know someone who is,please contact me or have them contact me. They dont have to have a shop,but it would be nice if they at least had a blog so i can put a plug in for them here:-) and as always bribes are accepted.....roflol.
And lastly, i am looking for others who like to write about stuff, and would like to have it featured here. I am looking to have at least one article a month not written by me.
So, thats it for now,Im excited, and hoping it all works out for the best...........

Thursday, June 11, 2009

90 in '09

Greetings from the world of weightlossland...............Im here to report my discoveries and findings, since it has been awhile since Ive done that. I am a third of the way through to my 90 in '09 goal..............but at this rate I will be happy with 60. To lose 60 more pounds I would have to lose ten each month for the next 6 months,and that is completely do-able but not without torturing myself . I have been pretty sucessful at non torture thus far,giving in to my cravings from time to time.Pizza, Burgers,DQ brownie batter Blizzards, its ok to have these, but in moderation.........Me and the hubs are going to have chinese this weekend,where i will meet with a new love of mine:sushi......lol.
So, up until this far I have been semi sucessful without the aide of exersize .Here more recently I have dealved into the world of protein shakes. I got excited when the label said to mix with your favorite beverage but quickly learned that it does not taste well with iced tea....lol. So, i have been mixing mine with good ol' OJ,Sunny D to be more specific. It has a somewhat gritty taste,and for some reason they do not sit well with me. I have a sneezy, sore throat type of reaction going on,so i have to do it in moderation..........
So, like I said, i have done well without exercise up until this point. I recently added some in. I have been scrimping and pinching my pennies for months, and purchased a wii for my birthday, or as i like to call it, exercise in disguise....lol. I am totally digging the boxing, probably a little too much...............even my daughter, who needs the physical activity as much as I do is digging it, and has shed a few pounds. Im telling you, whoever came up with this concept is a genius...................you get your physical activity in while playing a video game, what an idea!!!! I am sure I will grow tired of it eventually,I know right now my body is already tired of it....lol. I am hurting in places I never even knew existed :-)
Ok, Im back :-) So, I am going to try to get a gym membership next week, and go at least once a week with my hubby.It will be nice to have a pool to go to as well. i am hoping to find a gym buddy. I know several people who go there, so we shall see............He keeps doing the "belly slap" thing as if its some kind of rite of package or medal of honor.....lol(my husband)
So, thats about all i have to report on the diet/exercise front. For awhile there, I was doing the 6 small meals a day, and if you can swing it, I highly reccommend it,it really does work. I just found it hard to stop what i was doing ever 2 hours to stop and eat.......
Thats it, and remember, if I can do it, anyone can............

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summertime is Here!!!!!!!!

Monday, will officially be the start of summer for us..............if you are like me and have children, you are probably thinking, what in the heck are we going to do with all this free time? Like i said, if you are like me, but unlike me, most people have a life, are vacationing this summer or doing something equally exciting. Might I offer you a few suggestions?
Check your local paper. there are always a ton of things going on for kids in the summertime, whether it be camps, Vacation Bible schools(a personal favorite of mine), or something else. Try this summer camp locator to find local camps in your area. Check your local phone listings and call the churches in your area to see if they are doing anything for the kids this summer. Better yet, if they have a website, go to their websites.You will find a ton of stuff, espcially if you live in an area with alot of churches. There are a slew of day camps, sports camps, music camps,etc.
Do you have a GPS? If the answer is yes, have you ever heard of geocaching ? What you do is use your GPS to locate caches filled with little treasures, and then share your experiences online. You go to their website, and enter your zip, it will show you caches that are nearby. Its fun for the whole family!!!! We are definately going to try it this summer, and I will record my experiences here.
Keep your childrens brains sharp by enrolling them in a summer reading program, Here is a great list of reading programs across the nation:

Half Price Books: Feed Your Brain!
Kids can earn a $3 shopping card each week for reading just 15 minutes a day. Maximize your savings by selling your books back to the store once you are finished with them! Don't forget, you can also sell your magazines! (Sign up instore for this one)

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading will reward kids with a free paperback book when they read just 8 books this summer!

Borders Kids Reading Challenge allows kids to save 50% or more on selected items when they read 8 books this summer!

Scholastic Summer Challenge gives kids a chance to read books, earn points, win prizes and sweepstakes, help a worthy cause and achieve a world record!

H-E-Buddy Reading Club lets kids earn a cool T-shirt for reading 10 books this summer! While you're there, don't forget to click on Clubs & Contests to register for other great clubs for even more fun and prizes!

TDBanknorth will make a $10 deposit into a Young Saver Account for your child when they read 10 books this summer! This offer is available at TDBanknorth locations in CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, and VT.

The AAPC is sponsoring a Sensory Gang Summer Reading Program specifically for kids with Autism. Upon completing the reading log, kids will earn a certificate of completion and a $25 AAPC gift certificate!

Special thanks to Karrisa for this compilation

So, as you can see, there are plenty of things(besides video games and TV) to keep your kids entertained over the summer. I hope you have a good one!!!!!