Friday, July 25, 2014

If I had loads of money...

These are the things that have been grabbing my attention lately.  Actually, the first two have been on my list for a long time.

1.   2.Glacier National Park Blanket


1.  A cowhide.  I don't know where I'd put it, but I still want one.
2.  A Pendleton blanket.  In this pattern.  I am not normally a primary color type of person, but for some reason I just cannot handle these blankets!
3.  A Kitchen Aid mixer.  My mother in law swears by hers, and I don't really have the counter space for it, but I saw a copper colored one and I was kind of sold on it.
4.  A fiddle leaf fig that doesn't just grow up but out.  I have one in my room that started out tiny.  But it doesn't branch out like this one.  It just grows straight up. Architecturally a lot more boring than one with branches.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

$2 Nail Polish Beats Chanel

Did you guys see this article by Consumer Reports?  Where the $2 Sinful Color nail polish lasts longer than Chanel's $27 polish?

I actually buy Sinful Color (what a horrible name!), so I have to say that I felt pretty darn good knowing that it came out on top.  Chanel was actually 6th.  Let's see $2 vs. $27.  It's not even a competition!

I will say that a couple of the Sinful polishes actually dried matte, which I am not a fan of, so I recommend quick swiping your nail to see.  But other than that, love them, and they dry fast too, which is a huge plus for me.  I don't have minutes and minutes to wait for my fingers to dry!

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Been Rough

5 trips to the clinic in the last two weeks have resulted in:  2 people with strep throat (myself included, first time as an adult), 1 ear infection, 1 bizarre, highly infected toe infection with a possible strep throat, and one "well" child visit.  I love to give my money to clinics.

I started to offer convenient, affordable and confidential access to prescriptions for those of us with busy lives and tight budgets.
Too bad Chris can't just switch from engineer to doctor....

Needless to say, with sickness rampant in the family plus school, I haven't had a chance to blog lately.  We're just trying to stay afloat.

However, school is going better than I thought it would which makes me extremely happy.  And we decided to officially start Kembia in kindergarten because she is whip smart, knows all her letters and numbers, and won't stop asking for it.

It's very, very basic.  We do Horizons K math.

Horizons Math, Grade K, Student Workbook 1   -     By: Alan Christopherson

For reading we are using the book How to Teach your child to ready in 100 easy lessons.

Product Details

And we are using A Reason For Handwriting.

A Reason for Handwriting, Level K, Complete Homeschool Set  -

And that's it for her.  It takes about 20 minutes max per day.  She was a little bummed at first because she was wondering who her teacher would be and where the playground was.  And when I told her I was her teacher and the playground was our swingset she was a little doubtful, but she's adjusted now.

And remember when I talked about the lizard we brought back from Missouri that was missing a tail?  Our salamanders ate him! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Do You Paleo?

Vacations can almost always guarantee you one thing:  weight gain.

Enter Paleo.

Actually, to be totally honest, I am not sure I am cut out for Paleo.  No grains, no dairy (what is life without cheese?), no beans, and no alcohol.  It's like Atkins gone insane.

But, I am willing to try.  For a while.  Until I can't handle not eating cheese again.

Here are a few great Paleo websites, if like me, you find yourself wondering what in the world you can do with eggs...again.

1. PaleOMG

2. Taylor Made It Paleo

3. Cave Girl In The City

Monday, July 14, 2014

Sixth Grade Homeschool Curriculum {Ava starts!}

Well, we've got a week of our new school year under our belts.  And it's starting out great. (Ask me in a month or two and who knows!)

Anyway, I spent hours and hours researching curriculum.  And then I decided that rather than following a box curriculum by one publisher, I would create my own.  It took a long time to compile it, but I am so glad I did.

Ava's 6th Grade Year:

Math:  Horizons grade 6
Horizon Mathematics 6 Student Book 1
She doesn't really like math even though she is good at it.  We used Horizons with Owen last year and liked it a lot so we're giving it a go for Ava.  So far so good.

History:  Mystery of History Level 1: Creation to Resurrection

Mystery of History Volume I (Second Edition)

We love this curriculum.  It can be used with multiple kids at the same time.  I read the lesson out loud to Ava and Owen and then the kids have age-appropriate activities to do.  My favorite part about it is that it teaches history, but also teaches what was happening in biblical history at the same time.

Grammar:  Rod and Staff Progressing With Courage 6

Grade 6 English
I'm not gonna lie.  This one is a doozy.  It's tough, but widely considered to be the best grammar homeschool curriculum.  It is put out by the Mennonites.  Ava is very much self-taught in general in school, but with this one, I have to watch a little closer.  She reads so fast that sometimes she isn't comprehending as well as she should be.  Simple subjects and predicates anyone?

Vocabulary/Spelling:  Wordly Wise 6

Wordly Wise 3000 Student Book Gr 6, 3rd Edition   -     By: Kenneth Hodkinson, Sandra Adams
This takes a group of words and has you do a daily small activity with them to help expand your vocabulary.  We also use the list as her spelling list.

Science:  Apologia Exploring Creation with General Science

Exploring Creation with General Science, 2nd Edition, Textbook  -
We love this too!  It takes a creationism approach to science and explains the issues that arise with evolution, carbon dating, finding soft tissue in supposedly 50 billion year old fossils....  This is technically started in 7th grade, but lots of people start it in 6th.

Literature:  Good books

Here is my post where I listed out the books on her list.  She is expected to read at least 40 during the school year.  Instead of worksheets that ruin the fun of reading, she has a small journal where she jots down a paragraph of two as she reads- things she likes, doesn't like, etc, about 4 paragraphs for the whole book.  Ava excels at reading, but we do the journaling as a way to keep tabs on reading.

World Geography:  Expedition Earth by Confessions of a Homeschooler

We're doing a modified version of this curriculum.  She does geography every day and rather extensively.  We do it three times/week, and pick and choose what we do from her curriculum.

Art: World's Greatest Artists 1 by Confessions of a Homeschooler

We're loosely following this curriculum.  She does art (and most things) daily, and we only do art 1x/week.  At first I didn't like the little books she uses for the studies- they're pretty cheesy, but Owen and Ava both like them.

Music: Piano Lessons

There you have it.  We may start a composer's series in January to flush out music class, but for now this is what we are rolling with.  Ava is very self-directed and does just about everything on her own.  I help with math issues and new concepts, and run through some grammar that is to be done with the teacher, but otherwise, she does all of her school on her own.

Easier than I thought it would be, but I think I am lucky in the fact that she can do most of it all on her own and has the personality for that.  She's not the type of kid with boundless energy and who needs to be brought back to the table.  That'll be Truitt for me and I will totally have to rethink homeschool!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Peppermint Tea- A Yummy Summer Drink with Health Benefits

After 8 days of being away from the house, my peppermint plants have grown like crazy. Which is good because I have been drinking peppermint tea daily, and if it hadn't of been for our Missouri trip, I quite possibly would have harvested the whole plant!

Here is a recipe for Peppermint Tea.  I make it hot, drink some and then let it cool and finish the rest as iced tea.

Peppermint Tea

- boil water
- take two 4-5 inch peppermint sprigs, muddle slightly and place in teapot  (you'll want a teapot that is 6 cups if using that much peppermint)
-pour boiled water into teapot
-add one black tea bag, steep for a few minutes, stirring occasionally
-add sugar to taste
-drink hot to enjoy immediately and cool the leftovers for iced tea

Here is a list of the health benefits of Peppermint Tea.  I don't know about everything on this list, but we have used it for stomach upset, headaches and to bring down body temperature from a fever.

Health benefits of peppermint tea (Good thing I drink this stuff like water)

And this has nothing at all to do with Peppermint.  But I thought it was funny, and since technically it's nature....

junk in the trunk... #captionme
Does this bark make my butt look big?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Treating Swimmer's Ear Naturally (at home with no doctor visit)

Ava spent much of her vacation time in the water.  Which led to Swimmer's Ear.  A very painful bacterial infection in the outer ear- from the eardrum all the way out to the part you pierce.

Just keep swimming! Always move forward even if you are getting bullied,you are having family probs or whatever just keep swimming!!!
Her motto.

Because she ended up going down with my parents almost a week before the rest of us went, I was late in getting to the swimmer's ear.  If your kid has symptoms, and it starts out with an itchy ear, you want to get to it immediately.  If not it becomes extremely painful, and will result in a lot of tears.

Because we were out of state, our insurance costs would have been astronomical.  A typical urgent care visit costs about $300 not including medicine.  And an ER visit will easily set us back $500 minimum.  Sooo, we were trying to avoid that at all costs.

Enter Pinterest.  What, oh what did we do before Pinterest?

And she totally came through.  A diy swimmer's ear remedy is equal parts alcohol 70% found in the medicine section of stores, and white vinegar.  Mix it up, 5 or so drops in each ear, wait a minute or so and flip and do the other one.  I did it three times a day, sometimes up to 5 times because she was in so much pain.

Swimmer's ear remedy

I also rubbed lavender essential oil around her earlobes on the outside because she was in so much pain and lavender is supposed to be good for pain.  Her ears got red and swollen and she would literally cry when I touched them.

We did this for 1.5 days before we noticed anything working.  On the night of the second she woke up and was remarkably improved, but we continued it for the next 2 days.  No doctor was needed and thus no antibiotics to be used.

Had I been able to get to her right away when first symptoms appeared, I feel confident that it never would have gotten as bad as it did.

And in case you don't believe everything you read on Pinterest, which you should be wise not to do so!- here is a Mayo clinic article on the exact same remedy.