Monday, September 22, 2014

Homeschool, Healthiness & No Debt Part 2

So, hey! Look at me blogging, continuing on this journey with you in less than a week! The second half of this craziness in record time for me. Sometimes my mind wanders back to the times when I blogged on an almost daily basis. Then, I think, Facebook happened & keeping in touch was a bit easier than blogging.

So, Yay me, for some continuity!

This time I want to share about the debt-free weirdness. We have been listening to Dave Ramsey. Yes. The totally weird millionaire who once went bankrupt & then changed it all around again by using common sense and wisdom gleaned from wise money people. And is, again, a multimillionaire. Because he had the courage to be weird.

This being weird stuff is not for the faint of heart.

It's not easy being weird.

Just ask the Amish. Their lives are hard without all the benefits from technology.

Steve & I have been talking about working to get debt-free for forever. Y'all, it is hard to get started. We haven't gone through Financial Peace University, but we do have Dave's book "The Total Money Makeover" & are working our way through it. We also listen to The Dave Ramsey Show almost daily to keep us on track & motivated!

We are working it, though. Imperfectly, since we're just learning, but we are passionate about it. We know that it will only benefit us, our family, and honor God in the long run.

Add in the healthiness thing, and people look at us like we are Amish. Ha!!

Note: I have linked a few things to Dave's website because I just believe that much in his ministry. We are not affiliated with his website in any way, which means, I'm not compensated for those links or sharing anything about Dave Ramsey whatsoever. I just appreciate someone else who is weird like me.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Homeschooling, Healthiness & No Debt Part 1

Y'all... I have to admit something. I'm weird. I've always kinda known it. I don't mean "weird" to be a bad word or in a negative way, either.

Oh, no.

I'm redefining weird. Or... maybe I'm just redefining normal.

Yeah, that doesn't sound as weird. (I realize I'm a dork!)

If you've ever read this blog before, you know that I homeschool our kiddos, who are now 10 & 6!! I can't believe how time flies!!

But that's not really the "new" real weirdness that is me...

It's all about health & becoming debt free around these parts lately.

Like, zero debt & hippie healthy.

It all started one night on pinterest... Doesn't it always? I was starting to think about beginning a low carb diet again, and was searching for recipes... which lead me to "Trim Healthy Mama."

"Weird," I thought. "That is the dorkiest name I've ever heard of... What is it?" (you can see the words "weird" & "dorky" italicized, because I have already always referred to myself as weird & dorky, so it should've been a clue early on for me!). I guess what I really meant was, "That looks even weirder & dorkier than I am willing to be!"

So, one blog led to another, and another, and I finally found a link to some Facebook groups where I lurked for a l o n g time. Like, months & months. And, none of their lingo made any sense to me. But I didn't want to shell out the $35 for a BOOK. A BOOK. A GINORMOUS book. And, the Kindle version wasn't "cheap," either.

I kept reading so many great testimonials, though, on the Facebook groups. So many who sounded like me, who were losing great amounts of weight after years of struggles, and then they would mention a weird ingredient like almond flour, and I'd keep scrolling on past.

But, I kept reading, kept talking about it with Steve, and got to the point where I was like, "It's not like I haven't spent that much money doing Weight Watcher's even when it didn't really work!"

Obviously, I did eventually buy the book. February 2014. And the first week I lost 7lbs. SEVEN pounds, people!! That is unheard of for me with all my weird issues. (Think PCOS, hormonal issues, and Weight Watcher's NEVER working, and I'm talking about when I worked the program WELL). I have lost a total of 20lbs, and then sickness, a rough summer, and vacation hit me, but I am back on track, now. And, even though I didn't lose any more, I didn't gain any back, either, and actually am still losing inches (because I bought a size smaller in jeans last week!!). Probably because I have still worked the plan at least 25-50% of the time even during this weird summer.

And, now I have almond flour, coconut flour, flax seed meal, protein powder, and all other kinds of hippie ingredients in my kitchen... and starting to get more & more organic.

And, I won't even go into the essential oils I'm excited about!

Maybe I will go a little more in-depth on what has really propelled this new healthy lifestyle, but I think I've weirded you out enough for now! Next time, I'll share about our debt-free goals... New weirdness is best in small doses.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

So, totally jumping back into blogland, at least for today...

Life has been busy, not only for me, but for all those other bloggers in my blog list on the side of my page, here. Some of them haven't been active for a couple years or more! And, I guess, some of them could be *ahem* old links I haven't updated.

Seriously, how do people do it? There are homeschool bloggers who knock my socks off! I mean, they get up earlier than their kids to spend at least an hour in the Bible & prayer, plan out their lessons, most even make their own printables, presumably have clean laundry (I count it if it's still in a pile in a basket or on the floor in front of the dryer NOT folded, I'm not a stickler), are cooking gluten-free Paleo meals for their family, taking amazing pictures of clean kids while they're doing an exciting Science experiment, and THEN blog about it all.

Now, I am not picking on anyone, for real. Honestly, the "perfect" bloggers are usually the first to tell you they are NOT perfect, nor do they pretend their pictures actually tell the whole REAL story! Yet, I can still let these pictures of perfection totally trip me up. I can start picking apart what my house looks like compared to so-and-so's; second-guess the curriculum or lesson plan that's still obviously working for our kids because it doesn't seem as "advanced" as others; and feel like a failure as a mother and home educator.

Sound familiar to you at all?

A couple of years ago I was put in a position where it was obvious to me God was asking me to step in the gap and teach our youth group on Wednesday nights. It was not an easy decision, for so many reasons, yet it was what it was. So, I began kinda arguing with God, "You know, it's been a while since I was a teenager. And, you know, I was SO not a cool teenager. In fact, we both know I was a pretty big dork." [think: Sue Heck]

"How can I relate at all, teach them about you to where they will actually hear You & not my dorkiness... I seriously think you've got the wrong lady."

Do you know what happened? We went to a homeschool convention. Not the youth group, my family! HA! Like any expo, there were lots of free magazines and literature being passed around. You know what I found myself doing? Gazing upon a homeschool magazine cover, there was a family of 8ish, the Mom was nice and skinny, the family all in jeans and white collar shirts. And, I started comparing. Then, I was reminded that I had done the SAME thing when I was a teenager. Remember SEVENTEEN? I poured over that magazine & wanted to look like those girls SO badly.

Not much has changed, has it?

That little lesson taught me that we are all just trying to fit in with others. We're just trying to be "normal." Because, when I shared that with those teenagers, I could sense the interest behind the looks of indifference. If you've ever been a teenager, you know what I mean!

And, now that I'm an old Mom, I think Sue Heck is awesome!

Am I the only one who falls into the comparison trap? What do you do to combat this?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Saw It On Pinterest

I have read blog posts that are not big on using that phrase. The idea is that Pinterest didn't do it, the blogger/original creator did/made/took that picture of that thing. I get that. But, I have been introduced to a LOT of new bloggers, new ideas, and products all because of Pinterest. So, I have to say, let's give credit where credit is due! You GO, Pinterest!

It is always good, though, to identify original sources and ideas. There is a reason Pinterest is so popular, and it's because of these original sources and ideas! All the creativity and information is amazing to me!

I guess I should've just called this post "Ode to Pinterest."

I have done some really cute things, some not turning out like they *should* and some that turned out better than I expected. I have used the basic concept of things and made it my own. I have printed out that free printable and have cute frame-able wall art for all seasons and occasions.

I love Pinterest.

I have had so much fun and comical moments because of Pinterest (and yummy stuff, too! And, not so yummy...).

I thought it would be fun to share the ups and downs of actually trying some of the stuff I have so much time pinning! It's fun, and I just want to inspire you to try out that new recipe or craft or decor or ingenious simple trick I wish I'd thought of first. (haha)

Since it's the start of summer, I wanted to share what we actually did tonight! Our old fire pit is rusted out and yucky. So, it had to go. Bye-bye Summer S'mores. Bummer.

Then, I came across this pin.

Nest of Posies to save the summer!!

Such a simple idea, so yummy, and cheaper than buying a new fire pit! And, fun!!

Her directions are great, so just click on her link up there, and you can have your very own table top s'more fire. I forgot about that little paver, but we will use that when we do this again.

Definitely cheaper than a new fire pit (although we have that coming up in our own little DIY), and not as messy (or HOT) as a big ol' firepit on an 80 degree summer night.

Honestly, I was a little scared I'd used too many bricks, and too big a pot!
 But, it went down pretty quickly.
 See, the fire went down to a nice little guy... No worries.
 Aren't those toasty marshmallows pretty? 
We had a lot of burned up ones, too! We're not picky!
See? They were LOVING it! 
They had just had a water balloon fight and playing with their squirt guns.
Then we topped the evening off with catching some lightning bugs.

I love summer.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Monday!

SO oxymoron-ish.

I'm thankful for this new week, though. It's another day to enjoy my children, to learn and to grow as we teach each other and learn how to do life together.

We had an awesome weekend! Father's Day weekend was so much fun! Steve had the awesome idea to go to Cincinnati to the Bass Pro Shop. They were having a Children's Summer Camp kind of thing, with crafts and special activities.

Abbey as Pocahontas! :)

The Great Abbey and Daddy Shoot-Out!
(they tied!!LOL)

Abbey shot it in the bullseye area!
The guys working the shooting range were calling her Annie Oakley! 
They said she was the best shot they'd had that day!

Eli wanted no part of the shooting, bb gun or arrows... He wanted to fish!

All that out-doorsy stuff gave me the idea to make this for Father's Day. Warning: It is extremely addicting! By the end of the night, there were not even crumbs left! Even my brother-in-law Matt loved them, and he does NOT like chocolate, or s'mores... It's seriously yummy.

Here's a teaser in case you didn't click that link up there...

Oh, yeah, it's that good, folks. Amazing, really. 
It's a s'more without the fire and hassle. It's amazing. 
And, yes, Cuz Friends, I am taking this to Reunion this year.

I hope you all had fun celebrating the fathers in your life this past weekend. I sure did. I am so thankful for my Dad and my Husband, who I think are the best Daddies in the world :) I've been blessed with quite a few good men who have been Godly influences in my life, in the form of Uncles and cousins. 

Feeling Blessed, my friends, feeling very blessed.