Friday, August 17, 2012


So as you read in my last post, we decided this year to homeschool for the very first time ever!
I spent this last spring into the early summer researching different curriculum to find the options that seem like they will be the best fit for our family.  There are SO many great programs out there to choose from that at first it was quite a bit overwhelming.  We did manage to narrow it down pretty quickly considering I am not the fastest decision maker out there.  Everything arrived at our house over the last two weeks and now I am having a hard time keeping myself from just diving right into all of it.

Here is a list of what we chose for the year:

Sonlight Core F - Eastern Hemisphere.
This covers History/Social Studies, Language Arts, Reading, and Bible Study.  We will be learning all about China, Japan, India, the Middle East, Australia, Africa, Antarctica, and Russia.  We will be reading A LOT of historical fiction this year and she will learn how to research, and map, and all of that good stuff.

Saxon Math 6/5.
This program is very repetitive, making sure that you truly grasp whatever it is that you are learning at the time before moving on.  Exactly what Alyssa needs.  It's more of a 5th grade level, but from what I have seen is a bit advanced from what she learned in public school last year.  Math is a subject that I would like to continue to work with her on year round, so maybe we can jump into 7/6 before the beginning of next year.  We will see how it goes.

Handwriting without Tears.
This program teaches cursive writing, something that they don't spend much time on in school anymore as they break away from traditional handwriting into more of a computer based education.  It also teaches grammar and a few other writing concepts.

Sonlight Science F.
All about the inner and outer workings of the human body.  She will also learn about food and nutrition, and a bit about survival.

An online typing course.

Mark Kistler's Draw Squad.
It's basically an art program that teaches you how to draw.  This is SO right up Alyssa's alley!  Plus there are a few other art projects that we will be working on as well.

We are really considering enrolling her in the homeschool PE program at the YMCA.  Because you have to sign up for the program, she would be with the same kids every week, twice a week, and could potentially build some friendships there as well.

She will also be participating in her old school district's elementary choir and school sports.  She will still be active in Girl Scouts and she also landed a spot playing select softball for Stealth this year!  So plenty to keep her busy and definitely NOT hidden away from the world.

This evening and all day tomorrow I will be taking my qualifying course so that way I am "legally" able to homeschool in the state of WA.  Funny how the day our children are born, we become their teachers, but once they are old enough to enter the public schooling system... we all of a sudden are no longer "qualified".  ???  Anyway, I am really thankful though that I live in a state that makes it relatively easy to homeschool your child.  After all, I could live in California.  There, you have to actually be a licensed teacher in order to homeschool.  Again... ???

So many people have asked me over the last few months why I made this decision...
It's not really hard for me to answer if you have an hour or two of your time to give me. :)  I realize though that most people do not want to listen to me go on and on and so it seems that I end up giving everyone a different reason.  And really that's just it, I have no reason NOT to homeschool.  Since I started playing around with the idea, reasons to do it started surfacing left and right, and honestly, my reasons are all over the map.  Because of that, I know I am making the right decision.  And even better... I am so totally excited about it!!  I cant wait to see what this year does for Alyssa.  And I am really just excited to be a part of her learning experience and that I get to spend extra time with my daughter, learning more about her.

By the way... We start "school" this coming Monday! :)

Alyssa and all of her school year goodies :)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

School... an end, a beginning.

Tomorrow marks the last day that Alyssa will spend inside of an actual classroom at what has been her school for the last 6 years.  That's right, with one year left of elementary school, we have finally decided to start homeschooling.  While I am perfectly content with our decision, have most of our curriculum picked out for next year, and am really excited for this new journey, I must also admit I am feeling a bit sentimental... there is much that will be missed, and many memories that will always be treasured.

Here's to new beginnings, endless possibilities, and knowing that this decision is one of the very best I could make for my daughter.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

I really hate days like today.  Days where feeling thankful leaves you feeling guilty.  I know that God has a plan for each one of our lives, but still... ugh, it's hard.

Today is the anniversary of Jason's car accident.  Twelve years ago today, Jason lost a very good friend in this accident and almost lost his own life as well.  If you listened to his list of injuries from that day, you would honestly be surprised that anyone could recover so well.  He still has complications... and then there are the scars, both physical and emotional. 
There was really nothing that could have prevented it from happening.  No one was drinking, no one was speeding.  They were simply kids, traveling on an extremely icy highway in January.

But today, I AM thankful, even if it does leave me feeling guilty and sounds extremely selfish.  I am thankful for the opportunity to live this life with such a good man.  I am thankful for the love he gives me on a daily basis.  I know that if the events of that horrible, horrible day had been altered in any way for him, life as I know it would be much different. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Random Thought...

Sitting here nursing Landon gives my brain free time to roam.  The other day I started thinking about Jason's 10 year reunion coming up this next summer.  And then I started thinking about my own that took place a couple of years ago.  And then I started thinking about how fast those 10 years actually went by, and how now I only have 7 more years til my next one.  The older I get the fast they years fly by, so these next 7 years are sure to pass pretty much in the blink of an eye.  And then I had a really scary thought....
Just a quickly as my next reunion will be here, my daughter will also be grown.  Yep!  She will graduate from high school the same year as my next reunion.  Oh my.... at first I was sort of looking forward to that summer, now I am not so sure.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Excitement, hope, sponsorship....

I've been wanting to make a difference, a real difference.  I want to make life a little easier for people out there who are hurting, and hungry, and thirsty.  For those who are sick and do not have access to or cannot afford medical treatment.  For those who long for an education.  And while I do not have the time, education or resources to make a difference on the level that is my hearts ultimate desire, I can start small and make a difference in the life of one child.  I've been searching for ways to help on a level more realistic to me and my current situation, and what I have come up with really excites me!!  Actually, Jason and I are both really excited.  As I was telling Alyssa about our plans, she cried.  I'm not sure she was quite aware of the desperate need that so many experience in our world today.  She has such a tender heart.  But as we finalized our plans, she grew as excited as we are.  She even plans on writing about it for the "Good News Box" at school tomorrow. :)
We have decided to sponsor a child through World Vision!  A six year old little girl from Ethiopia, named Meskerm.  She even has the same birthday as Alyssa!  I'm so excited to learn more about her, her family, her life.  We all are.  And I cannot wait to see the positive changes that happen in her life from our sponsorship.  I look forward to becoming great long distance friends.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's a good day...

I woke up this morning to sunshine!  Beautiful, bright sunshine that has lit up my house all day long, I love it!  If you've been in my house, you probably know we don't get a whole lot of natural light in here.  We have no windows facing west and with the add on in the back, well it just keeps a lot of light from entering in to our main living area.  But today the whole house has just been filled with light and it makes me smile.

I love weekends.  Yes, I stay home everyday.  I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to do that.  But at the same time, it gets really lonely around here.  So I'm always excited when Friday gets here cause I know I will get to have Jason home with me (and Alyssa too) for two whole days.  Today I found out though that Jason will actually get a 5 day weekend for turkey day!!  Yay!!  I mean, I was super excited for 4 days, but 5!!!  I don't know, I'm just really looking forward to that. 

This weekend I did some grocery shopping for my new diet.  No potatoes, or derivatives from potatoes, which can I just say is SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS!  And no fruit/sugar combos.  Ugh.  I have been so frustrated.  It's quite the adjustment to make, I will eventually get around to posting another blog about it.  But today, I took my new potato free ingredients and made myself a truly glorious sandwich and savored every single last bite of it!  I didn't even miss my beloved pickles, which I can no longer have due to the crazy fact that even salt, yes salt, has stinkin' potato in it!  It tasted like heaven.

My son is currently napping... he's been napping now for two hours.  After his napless day yesterday and the crankiness that came along with not napping, I have truly enjoyed these peaceful two hours.  Yep, today is a good day.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A trip to the naturopath...

Since being diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis last April, finding a good naturopath doctor has been on my list of things to do.  I'm not too trusting of most "regular" doctors and I don't really agree with a lot of medicine that is out there used to treat people for various reasons.  I don't even like to take Tylenol or ibuprofen.  It honestly just isn't good for your body.
My colitis has really been flaring for a week or so, although I have been in a mild but bearable flare for a few months now.  So I decided that it was finally time that I take a trip to the naturopath.  A few people my mom knows actually recommended this doctor to me.  Her father was a naturopath, she took over his clinic, and previously he had taken over the clinic from his mentor.  It's the oldest naturopath clinic in the United States, so I figured, why not?
The visit was interesting.  Some things were pretty typical to most doctors office visits.  Checking blood pressure, temperature and knee reflexes.  But that is where the similarities end.  I didn't even know that doctors check reflexes in your ankles.  A delayed reflex may mean that you have thyroid issues.  My ankles were good. :)  I also had my blood oxygen level tested, not sure how common that is.  Another test we did was Iridology.  I'm not 100% sure exactly what it is that she was looking for, but she was looking for some sort of irregularities in the fibers of my iris.  Different sections in the iris correspond to different areas of the body and a break in the fibers or some sort of other abnormality shows stress or inflammation in that area of the body.  Some areas in my body that show signs of stress are my liver, small intestine, lower colon, and lung (most likely due to the cold I have).   Also she noticed that I have what is almost a fluttering affect with my pupils when exposed to light.  Most people's pupils change rapidly when exposed to light and dark, mine sort of flutter back and forth.  This is a sign of adrenal fatigue which is most likely caused by stress.  Go figure.  Stress is a huge trigger for my Colitis symptoms as well.  We did a food intolerance test.  I learned that I have an intolerance to... potatoes!  Potatoes!!  Of all the things in the world.  I LOVE potatoes!  Baked potatoes, grilled potatoes, fried potatoes, french fries, mashed potatoes, roasted garlic potatoes, sweet potatoes, twice baked potatoes, veggie hungarian goulash from Old European... oh potatoes, how I will miss you!!!  I also have another intolerance, but it is only when these two are paired together... sugar and fruit.  So in a day, I can have one or the other, but not both.  This could be a tough one, but honestly it doesn't make me as sad as losing my beloved potatoes.  I am interested to see how cutting these things out will make a difference in my body though.
During the visit I also learned that I am possibly anemic, which really doesn't come as a surprise due to the amount of blood I've been losing.  I'm also vitamin D deficient, sodium deficient, and I need to really up my intake of omega 3's (funny...I just ordered some fish oil yesterday).  Going in for a blood draw tomorrow to confirm the anemia and vit D deficiency.
I go back for a follow up appointment in a couple of weeks to discuss all of the findings and set forth a plan of action to heal my body.  I'm looking forward to feeling better and getting this disease under control without the need for crazy medication.  I even got to check out the movie SICKO, from the doc office.  Cant wait to watch it.