Monthly Archives: September 2013

Entering My Third Living And Active Week

Living and Active

So at the end of the second full week of the Living and Active challenge I have to say that I was not able to do it last week. Between my itching, prepping for chickens, and a general slump I did not complete the second week the way I should have. I was able to get it 25 minutes on two separate days, biking. My third day I went on a long walk with the family. My fourth day I attempted to move and exercise on a couple different occasions but it just was not happening. I realize that leaves 3 other days I could have done it but let me point you back in the direction of where I said, “slump.”

I was able to memorize the verse for last week though…. or scratch that. I thought I had it memorized until I went to go type it out here. As soon as I did that the verse became a jumbled mess in my head. Anyway I do know it was Matthew 6:34. I also know that the verse tells us not to worry about tomorrow, because today has enough worry of its own.

I am hoping that this third week will go better. While I am no longer in the running for a prize, I am still committed to finishing this challenge. It is good not only for my body but for my soul. I love that I am feeding myself daily and multiple times a day as I am learning the scriptures that come with each week. Even when I don’t fully memorize the scripture, like this last week, I am still tucking away truth from the Lord in my heart.

So that brings me to sharing what the verse for the next week is, “For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16

As I prepare for my next week please keep me in prayer. I am battling Impetigo, and personally praying the medicine will cure the infection and relieve the itching. That and I sincerely pray I am able to keep this from spreading to the hubby and the kids. I would hate to see them with the painful itchies.

So at the end of the second full week of the Living and Active challenge I have to say that I was not able to do it last week. Between my itching, prepping for chickens, and a general slump I did not complete the second week the way I should have. I was able to get it 25 minutes on two separate days, biking. My third day I went on a long walk with the family. My fourth day I attempted to move and exercise on a couple different occasions but it just was not happening. I realize that leaves 3 other days I could have done it but let me point you back in the direction of where I said, “slump.”

I was able to memorize the verse for last week though…. or scratch that. I thought I had it memorized until I went to go type it out here. As soon as I did that the verse became a jumbled mess in my head. Anyway I do know it was Matthew 6:34. I also know that the verse tells us not to worry about tomorrow, because today has enough worry of its own.

I am hoping that this third week will go better. While I am no longer in the running for a prize, I am still committed to finishing this challenge. It is good not only for my body but for my soul. I love that I am feeding myself daily and multiple times a day as I am learning the scriptures that come with each week. Even when I don’t fully memorize the scripture, like this last week, I am still tucking away truth from the Lord in my heart.

So that brings me to sharing what the verse for the next week is, “For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world.” 1 John 2:16

As I prepare for my next week please keep me in prayer. I am battling Impetigo, and personally praying the medicine will cure the infection and relieve the itching. That and I sincerely pray I am able to keep this from spreading to the hubby and the kids. I would hate to see them with the painful itchies.

***How are you doing at the end of your second week? As we start this third week is there any area of your life in which you could use prayer?***

Living and Active

Update: I don’t know what happened to this post. I am pretty sure I had posted this on Monday. Anyway I apologize if you were trying to look for my post from Monday.

Welcome to My Home

With all my talk over the last couple months about preparing for a move, moving, unpacking, and getting settled in to my new home, I thought I would take some time to show you around my home today. (Click on the images to enlarge them.)

Thank you for taking a virtual tour. Now dear friends if you ever want to visit me for real my door is always open. Please just call first to make sure we will be home.

 

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge

Yesterday kicked off Week 2 of The Living and Active Challenge. My first week did not go anything like I imagined it would when I started the week. I pictured being able to carve out 25 minutes a day 4 times a week easy peasy to do the routines suggested at Peak313. Instead I found myself getting creative and doing things that involved the kids and things they could get excited about.

My first day we went for a long walk. While a walk may not sound like much of a workout at first blush, I would say that it all depends on what you do to challenge yourself during the walk. I walked with the 16 lb baby strapped to my chest, while we trekked up and down hills. So with this walk I was really able to get my blood pumping. Also on the first day I spent a couple of hours in our garage lifting and moving  boxes. While the work in the garage was not a set routine it was still just one more way to be active.

On my second day of working out for the week the girls and I held a dance party. I set up some music and for 30 minutes we moved and we grooved. There was lots of fun and silliness to be had. ūüôā

My third day of working out last week was on Saturday. Since Rusty was home I was able to find time alone (at least for part of it) to workout. Still instead of doing a prescribed routine I made up my own. I marched ¬†(knees high) around the house for 20 minutes. When I was done there I did crunches, scissor kicks, and honestly I can’t remember all that I did. I know I did calisthenics¬†and stretching though.

Sunday, my 4th day, I got to the end of the day and I realized I had not done a workout routine up to that point. I had a decision to make. Go to bed early, and give up on successfully completing the challenge before the first week was even up.  I decided it was only 25 minutes I was just going to go for it. My workout  was the same as the day before.

By the end of the week, I had got four workouts in. I was sore and exhausted. Not only had I done four workouts I had been busy in the yard most of the week.

The verse for this next week comes from Matthew chapter 6 verse 34, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

*** How did your first week of  The Living and Active Challenge go? Did you complete all four workouts? Did you memorize the scripture verse?***

Living and Active

 

Previous posts in this series

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

Fall Is Here

When spring arrives the rains come, the weather warms up, the days get longer, and children start to feel the itch for summer. As wonderful as the promise of spring is I love the fall. Come September the nights start to cool off, the harvest is here, warm soups and other comfort foods find their way back on menus, sweaters, piles of leaves to jump in, bonfires, hot cocoa, corn mazes, apple picking, and so much more. There is something wonderful about being able to say, “Fall is here.”

A cookie pie for Thanksgiving.

A cookie pie for Thanksgiving.

For school age kids those words signal another school year is here. There are new lessons to learn, facts to memorize, and friends to be made. For those who do not homeschool there are first days and the last first day of school to be had, bus rides, dances, pep rallies, first day jitters, and the excitement to see your friends every day. For those who homeschool there is the excitement for Moms to regain a routine, and to explore the new curriculum.

When fall is here it brings with it football games. These games have the almost magical ability to bring two strangers together, to cheer for the same team, or to divide a closely knit family with school rivalries. When the game is done families and new-found friends can still come together and enjoy the food and the fun in retelling and rehashing how a game went.

This is my favorite season. It may be because my birthday is the first of September, or that my husband’s is early October. But I like to think it is because it is the start of a season of family. Labor day may signal the end of summer for some. For me though labor day is September’s family holiday. With labor day there is remembrance of the past, but there is also cookouts, swimming, camping, hiking, and outdoor fun.

Swimming over Labor Day weekend

Swimming over Labor Day weekend

October is the month of Halloween. All through October there are fun ways to celebrate dressing up and the harvest. You can find corn mazes and apple picking, even when you live in a city. It just takes a little creativity and a drive and you can find some of this fun for yourself. Churches hold trunk or treats. In small towns main street’s shoppes will pass out candy to the children. In big cities shopping mall’s have trick or treat experiences.

November continues the celebration of the harvest as we transition into the winter months. Before November leaves us though for the cold winter months, we get one more holiday (at least here in the US,) Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays. With Thanksgiving we remember all that the Lord has done for us through out the year and we remember the history of this young nation. Around the Thanksgiving table though it is a time to catch up, reminisce, and dream for the future. As new family members are welcomed into a family new traditions are brought with them, and they learn new ways to do old favorites.

So as this fall as the weather cools and the days shorten look to make new memories, try new recipes, and rediscover old favorites with your loved ones. If you are far from your family invite friends to get together and celebrate. You never know whose day you will be brightening, it may just be your own.

Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkin Picking

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

***What is your favorite things about fall?***
TheBetterMom.com

Now This Is Something New To Me… Church Schools

Moving has provided me an opportunity to learn more about homeschooling and how different states do things. Michigan is one of the most free states in the nation in regards to homeschooling. (If you want to know more about homeschooling laws and your state, refer back to my post on September 3 titled Homeschooling Laws. That post has some references to help you learn more.) Alabama has more regulation regarding homeschool than Michigan, yet the only regulation it has is that you must report that you are homeschooling. (In Michigan, it is optional whether or not you report that you are homeschooling.)

Now This Is Something New To Me... Church Schools

Coming from Michigan my frame of reference for reporting that I was homeschooling was simply filling out a form and sending it back to the state. Alabama takes a different approach and it has thrown me a bit of a curve-ball, at least at first glance. In Alabama you can homeschool via a (cover) church school or if you have a ¬†teaching license under the title of personal tutor. The church schools are something new to me and each one is so different from the next. It seems each school provides a different level of oversight. Some say that the children must be taught by one parent who does not work outside the home, they must attend ‘school’ for 175 days out of the year, they get 5 sick days, 5 teacher development days, the parent turns in lesson plans and grades, the students must undergo regular standardized testing, and the family must provided a statement of faith. Then there are church schools that provide a legal cover and that is all, you are free to school under their cover in any way that you wish.

Honestly while I am not opposed to parents choosing a higher level of oversight for themselves, I am thinking our household will be looking for a school with no oversight. I want, if need be, to teach my daughter  at seven years of age kindergarten/ 1st grade English, because that is where her skill level is at and not be told she is failing. I want to foster a love of learning, and not make it a chore. I worry that if they must perform to some preset notion of what level they should be at and instead of the level they are, then they will start to see themselves as a failure.

That being said I am not opposed to challenging children. I plan to challenge mine. It is through challenges and even struggles that we learn and grow. I just want to be able to set the bar for the challenges at an attainable level for my children. Basically I just want tailor my children’s curriculum to their individual needs.

My other big thing is I want to be flexible as to when we do school. By that, I mean if we are really sick for two weeks straight, I would rather focus on getting well than on studies. Or perhaps I would rather just take off for a vacation mid year and visit family. Flexibility in scheduling is part of homeschooling, to our family.

At the end of the day I will just need to pray and do research to find the right cover school. Perhaps the right school for us is not one with no oversight but rather one with more than I am currently comfortable with. Perhaps the Lord will use this as a learning experience for me.

 

Living and Active Challenge Week 1

"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:12  Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12
Accountability is important when trying to achieve any goal.

I have decided to participate in¬†Peak 313’s¬†¬†Living and Active Challenge. I want ¬†to invite you to join me in the challenge. It may have started yesterday but it is not too late to join. For the record, while I am naturally thin that does not mean I am in shape. So I am using this challenge as a spring-board to living healthier, getting in shape, and finding another avenue to getting into the word.

This week’s verse is: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

You my dear friends will be my accountability partners. If you decide to join me in this challenge I would be honored to be your accountability partner.

So if you want to join me in this challenge, I encourage you to click the link I provided, and learn a little bit more about it. I think you will find that it is manageable, and there will be much encouragement along the way.

At this point I plan on trying to go with the workout routines provided, but considering the issues with my left arm that may not be completely feasible. I will more than likely have to modify the routines to fit my ability. I will also be walking with the kids as another form of exercise and getting moving.

Another before photo.

Another before photo.

***So will you take the challenge and join me?***

LAButton

Bible Study

So I am not quite ready to give you my book review just yet, but for those of you interested in learning what it is I am reviewing I will tell you. I recently was selected to receive an advance copy of Courtney Joseph’s¬†book Women Living Well, so that I could review it and share my insights from it with you. I will let you know that so far I am finding the book inspirational, in fact it is the book that inspired today’s post.

The view from my favorite spot for my quiet time with the Lord, my front porch.

The view from my favorite spot for my quiet time with the Lord, my front porch.

 

I want to joint together with other women and have our own bible study/ quiet time. The beauty of this bible study is that this will not occur at a set time or location, but rather when you can find 10 or so quiet minutes to yourself each day. I know each of you lead such very different lives. Some of you may work outside the home and feel as if you are busy from the moment your kids wake up to the moment you go to bed. Others of you may be a college student with a part-time job, and free time that I could only dream of for the last four years.

What these differences mean is that your quiet time will look different depending on your stage in life, and your circumstances in life. For example I have finally found I am able to rise before my children and that is the best time in my day to carve out 10-20 minutes quietly with the Lord. Although some mornings the children still rise within minutes of me, on those mornings they crawl in my lap and we quietly read a chapter of the bible together and pray to start our day. Maybe your quiet time occurs in a stairwell at work over your lunch break, because that is the only quiet spot in your whole office. Or perhaps your quiet time occurs during nap time or maybe it happens after everyone else has gone to bed.

Together we will have our own private Facebook group and we will email each other. It is in those forums we will ask questions of each other, hold each other accountable, learn more about one another, and dive deeper into the word with one another. So if this sort of bible study appeals to you message me on Facebook, email me, leave me a comment, or in some way, just contact me and we can get the ball rolling on developing a deeper relationship with the Lord, and with one another.

Taking a Break

Taking a Break

Dear Sweet Reader,

We are moving in to our new place this weekend. We do not have the internet there yet.  I will be taking a break until we get the internet in the house. When I return you can expect a book review, pictures of the new house, encouragement, random thoughts, and more recipes. I look forward to sharing all sorts of new thoughts with you. I hope you check back often, and if you are not yet a fan on Facebook join me there. You can expect that I will first announce when I am back on Facebook.

Thank you for reading.

See you soon.

Blessings,

Sara

Personal Thin Crust Pizzas

Today I just want to share a fun idea for lunches that even your youngest children can help you make, personal thin crust pizzas. To give you an idea how your kids can help you make these I will share what mine did when we made them. Chloe, my three-year old, put all the toppings on her pizza while I supervised, as to make sure she didn’t go over board. Paige, my two-year old, sprinkled the toppings I had already set out for her after I had put her pizza sauce on the pizza.

I also want to note that these are great for lunches because they come together quickly, and take only a little bit in the oven. I also think they are great because they can ¬†be made according to each person’s preferences.

So today here is my recipe for the one I made myself.

Personal Thin Crust Pizzas

Fresh Mozzarella and Spinach Personal Thin Crust Pizzas ( 2 pizzas)

Fresh Mozzarella Pearls ~ half a small container or two handfuls

Italian Blend Shredded Cheeses ~ enough to lightly sprinkle on each pizza

Fresh Baby Spinach Leaves

Freshly Grated Garlic ~ 2 small cloves

Pizza Sauce ~ approximately two tablespoons

Small (taco size) Tortillas ~ 2

1. Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Place your tortillas on a small pan. Spread your pizzas sauce on the tortillas.

2.  Spread your handful of mozzarella pearls around each pizza, one handful per pizza.

3. Lay out your fresh spinach leaves on top of the mozzarella.

4. Sprinkle your Italian blend cheese lightly on top on of spinach.

5. Grate one small clove of garlic over each pizza.

6. Place your pizzas in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Check pizzas at 5 minutes. If the cheese is melted and bubbly they are done, otherwise let cook for another minute. Then enjoy!

 

***What sort of toppings do you like on your pizza?***

 

 

 

Homeschooling Laws

If you are just now considering homeschooling, you may be curious about homeschooling laws in your state. I hope in this post to help point you in the direction of resources that can help you  learn more about the laws in your state. While homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, each state has varying degrees of regulation. There are states with high levels of regulation such as Pennsylvania, and then there are states that require no notification of your intent to homeschool such as Michigan.

USRegulatoryMap

Red is high regulation. Orange is moderate regulation. Yellow is low regulation. Green is no notification of intent to homeschool required. If you want more details click on the picture to go to the HSLDA site.

 

Overall, the HSLDA is an excellent resource in helping you in your homeschooling journey. You can join them and they will be your legal advocates if you face opposition from your state. Their website will help you get started with everything from finding laws to helping you connect, with your local homeschool community.

A2Z Homes Cool is another page that I have found that may be able to help answer questions. The link I provided directs you to a portion where answers and more links are easily accessible. Now, the author of the piece I linked to is not a lawyer and should not be interpreted as legal advice, but it can help you to understand the basics.

No matter what resource you use though, the best resource is your own state’s laws. Read them over carefully. You will want to make sure you’re not missing anything. ¬†If you run into a situation that you need legal help, don’t forget that every homeschooling parent has access to the HSLDA. (To learn more about the HSLDA and membership go¬†here.)