Tag Archives: Stay at home mom

A salesperson I never thought I would be!

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So, it’s official… I am an Usborne Books consultant. I fought it for about 3 months and could fight the urge no longer! I am terrified, haha I will never confess to be a good saleswoman and in a past life I would have said I would never do such a thing but I am shocked by my kids love and my love for these books!

They seem to be special!!

As a homeschooler books are obviously a little more of a treasure in our home, these are the things that nourish my children’s need for knowledge when I’m at a loss for what to introduce next. They find things that expand their interest when I have given up on searching for information.

We love books but we especially have a special place in our hearts for Usborne books. Today my friend was asking me some questions about Usborne and I sent her a video of the exact book she was looking for… because we had it in our library of books. I loved this experience, I loved being able to help someone with something that I was actually passionate about and excited about sharing.

I realize this is a small blog but I still can not contain my excitement about these books. Below is a picture of one of the books I recommended to someone today. It’s called All Better! It has 5 sticky “bandaids” on the inside cover and each page has a different animal with an ouchie that the child needs to put a bandaid on. We love this book!!

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There are so many amazing books, both fiction and non-fiction for newborns to young adults, that will deepen your child’s love for reading and learning and I really do stand by them… (fyi.. I don’t stand behind many products… or any… except for turmeric, love turmeric!!!)

Anyways, I’m sure I will have my up and down battles of the aspect of selling these books but I’m really just excited to talk about them more!! So if you want to talk to me about them go right ahead, I will be here!!:)

 

 

If interested in looking through Usborne books, here is a great link to search for books, get ideas, or buys some amazing books. Usborne Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Things I learned in my First Year of Homeschooling.

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Our first year of homeschooling will be over in a couple months and I’ve found myself reminiscing ( and yes I’m using the correct word here) about all the worries and anxieties I had leading up to the beginning of the school year.  Here are 5 things I’ve learned about myself and homeschooling.

1.I AM NOT A TOTAL REJECT!! 

To explain, I have never been very confident in my ability to make friends with women as an adult woman. Now to keep me from sounding like a recluse I will add that I have a lot of women friends but the difference is that I made these friends when I was just a girl. When we were just girls. I still have friends that I’ve had since elementary school, those are some of my closest friends. I have friends that I made when I was in a youth/college group at church and a very good friend that I made at my first ever job, Hobby Lobby. But the entire realm of women makes me shutter. Now as a homeschooler, you might not think I meet very many grown ups or see anyone at all ever that is over 4 feet tall but in all actuality I do and it was one of my biggest fears going into this. The kind of homeschooler I wanted to be was not the one that came natural for me. (Hey look, I have social anxiety and I was public schooled… more info on this in # 4.) We got out of the house, we joined a co-op where we knew practically no one going into it. We have play dates consistently and guess what… I am surviving. I sweat a lot but not as much as I did those first couple months of Thursdays, meeting people and trying to get to know all the different mothers.

I like the word mothers better, makes me sweat less than the word women, lots of different women. Eek. And I really can’t explain the fear because I am one.

2.HOMESCHOOLING CAN GET REALLY EXPENSIVE!! 

I didn’t really realize this until I started searching around for next years curriculum. We are doing My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum right now (which was not so cheap itself) and looking at future purchases with them would be going into a lot of several hundreds of dollars, not just several. I’ve realized through blogs and blogging myself that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to teach your child. You don’t have to get one big curriculum package. You can buy used, which is what I’m looking into for this next fall. Going cheaper does not mean you will lose any of the quality that you are wanting. My son is only 5 and we are doing 1st grade this year. He is amazing and a super fast learner, I don’t know if all my children will learn at this rate but if so I shouldn’t have to spend much on anything else right? :/

All that being said, we do absolutely love My Father’s World so may still get the bulk of it through them.

3.IT’S NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!!

Going into this I really didn’t know what to expect but I had a feeling, after hours of searching for curriculums and subjects and grade levels that I was in for quite a ride. And it really is hit or miss. Some things that we have loved this year and last (preschool) others have not so much. For instance we absolutely loved almost everything about Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons, my child really took to it and the only thing I had a real problem with was the stories got kind of repetitive. My son got a little bored with it so we skipped a few here and there. He picked it up quickly though. Now once I started talking to other mom’s in our co-op I learned that some of them didn’t care for it because it didn’t click for their kid and they found something else that did. I think I will find this happens a lot more as we go along and my own children have a different way of learning.

4.MY CHILD IS STILL NORMAL AND I BELIEVE HE WILL CONTINUE TO BE!!

I’m not gonna lie and say this wasn’t a huge worry I had, probably because it’s one of the most common misconceptions people have about homeschooled children. They will be socially awkward or they seem just a little different. Honestly it’s really funny now that I think about it. I went to public school and I was a a little weird and awkward so if my kids ends up like that it’s most likely genetic. Here is a great post about this very topic. It’s Because They’re Homeschooled: No, Actually It’s Not. I know several homeschooled children and several public schooled children and you know what… I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. Some kids are shy, some are not, some are very active, some are not.

Personality, Personality, Personality!!!!

5.IT’S A LOT HARDER AND A LOT MORE REWARDING THAN I EXPECTED!!

Don’t get me wrong, I had a feeling it would be hard but it’s a different kind of hard once you are deep in the thick of it. Before we started I was worried about all of the above, about curriculum choices and normal kids and me being the biggest, nerdiest mom ever. But now those have pretty much faded away, every once in awhile they will pop up again but it’s nothing I can’t handle. What was unexpectedly hard is realizing that there are some days when neither of us want to do school. Somedays my temper is a little shorter than I would like. Some days showing grace doesn’t seem like much of an option. While we make school as yell free and stress free as possible that doesn’t mean that some days aren’t harder than others. There is a fine balance in being the mom and the teacher of your children. I don’t think I have quite gotten it down yet but I’m working on it. Another hard thing is just wanting them to succeed, wanting to do the best thing for my child and when they are struggling with something or not figuring it out the thought pops into my head, “Maybe I’m not good enough to do this job.” and then that’s about the time the rewarding part comes in. I have found that about the time when I am starting to second guess our decision to homeschool there is a grace that blankets our house and it’s definitely not from me. Whether it’s just peace that washes over me or me seeing my son figure something out that he’s been struggling with. I’m reminded that I didn’t go into this decision lightly. Lots of prayer and thought and discussion went into this and I know that at this time in our lives this is what we should be doing and God never fails to remind me of that when I am starting to get a little stressed out.

I really was not expecting or planning on writing down all of my thoughts that I have been having this last month or so about schooling but I’m so glad I did. It was a great way to reflect and see that the prayers and worries I had earlier on were answered in one way or the other, which then gives me hope and faith that the worries and struggles that come along now and in the future will not overtake me.

If you are struggling with a decision about homeschooling, whether it be to try it out or not or just how in the world to start off, I’m always here. I definitely don’t have all the answers but sometimes it’s just nice to talk to someone who gets it. Support is a very necessary thing, whether you homeschool or not!!

My Oh So Messy Table ~ Priceless

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Today was one of those very stormy spring days. Dark and gloomy with thunder and lightening that kept my 3 year old’s bottom on my lap and hands over her ears.

Today was one of those days that mommy had things to do. While the laundry had been washed and folded and even put away there were still so many other things on the to-do list.

Today was one of those days that didn’t go as planned. Storms had us inside, frightened children kept chores from being completed.

Today my 3 year old crawled up into my lap and buried her head in my chest. I closed my eyes and rested my check on her forehead. When I opened them that’s when I saw it, straight ahead was a sight that made me give a great big ole sigh. The table was cluttered with more than the eyes could take in. The motivation inside of me to clean kicked in and I almost jumped up to tend to the mess that blanketed the table when my 3 year old clasped her fingers tighter on my arm. I Hugged her tighter and gave my messy table the stink eye. I started to put each thing that didn’t belong back in it’s rightful place in my head. Not sure what that was going to do but I’m never in cleaning mode so didn’t want to lose my momentum. As I categorized and planned my attack for cleaning that table I realized something.

I loved everything on that table. I appreciated everything on that table and besides the clutter itself, everything on that table was priceless.

Here’s why…

Cup of Coffee – There are no words…

That large stack of library books – we get to go and pick through hundreds of books at our local library any time we want for free. My kids love books and they learn so much from them.

Wipes – the ability to clean up my disgusting babies in one fell swoop.

Adult bible and bible for children – the most important part of our day and sometimes it’s the first thing that goes forgotten or pushed to the side, but not today.

Dinosaur bag – this was my oldest sons first back pack that made him feel like a big boy, my youngest son who is 1 year old today gets to feel like a big boy with this same bag. (This mama is getting all teary eyed up in here.)

Venom Cup – these hold my children’s precious drinks. Usually water and milk, (thank the Lord for a child who prefers that over juice;)

Centerpiece – we all need something pretty to look at.

High chair tray – this keeps my youngest safe while he eats.

Materials for kids crafts – crafts that teach my children how to be creative and artistic and most of all it’s our happy place.

Purse – this precious thing holds almost everything I need while I am on the go with all my kiddos.

As I looked ahead and had my aha moment, I suddenly didn’t feel the urgent need to clear away all of these priceless things from this priceless table that I used to eat at with my parents when I was little.

So I sat and held my daughter until the storms passed.

Sometimes it’s okay to look at a mess and appreciate the beauty in it!

School Madness at Home

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Today I got My Father’s World 1st grade curriculum for my oldest son. We won’t start until fall of this year but it has been between this or Sonlight for about a year and I just couldn’t go back and forth in my head anymore (I’m about to go nuts!) so I went ahead and jumped the gun and bought MFW.

My reasonings for this was because they both have great reviews, they both have a schedule laid out for me, the only difference and really deciding factor was the price. This being our first full year of homeschooling I just couldn’t imagine shelling out almost a thousand dollars when I’m not sure how it will even work for us and at this time I’m only planning on homeschooling the elementary years but I’m always open to whatever comes our way.

All that being said I got this box of books and worksheets and ideas and activities and although there is a laid out plan I can’t help but feel overwhelmed. I’m sure once I get it organized I will feel a little better. Lets hope anyways.

So what are your thoughts? Has anyone ever used or is using My Father’s World? How does it compare to other curriculums? I realize that I have already bought it but would still love to hear some feedback.

Here’s to over preparation and uneasiness!;)

Burnt Out and it Feels so Good

I have a confession…. I’m burnt out and I’m proud to admit it.

A little back story…

I don’t like to complain, I don’t like to be tired with what I’m doing. I don’t like to be ungrateful.

I’m the type of person that has a bad day and always tries to thank God that he even allowed me to have it. Every day is a gift. My kids waking up everyday is a gift, my husband kissing me goodbye in the morning and kissing me goodnight in the evening is a gift.

I know this.

I’m a stay at home mom who will and kinda is homeschooling, that is my choice, that is a blessing and while some days I wanna cry, I pick my laundry basket up and try to be the best mom/wife I can be. Who knows how long this special gift will last right?

I try to show love and kindness to everyone and I try even harder to love people, actually love them. I will admit there is a handful of people that are pretty much a constant in my life that make it very hard sometimes.

But this last week and I know probably several times in the past, I’ve been just done. There are a lot of balls in the air and I feel like right now they are at my feet. I am not arrogant enough to believe that I’m the only one to go through this, everyone does and I’m not trying to play the woe is me game. But I will say that in the past I haven’t let myself admit when I’m tired or in a funk or burnt out and this time around I kinda feel like shouting it to the roof tops. Not complain but accept that this comes even with the most exciting of lives.

I’ve realized I shouldn’t be ashamed of feeling tired and burnt out. I shouldn’t go into hiding or pretend mode. I shouldn’t feel like the dead beat mom who isn’t stoked to pick up toys for the 11 hundredth time! It’s okay to be tired, it’s okay to feel burnt out and I should feel good that I have things that keep me busy and burn me out.

Honestly I’m just happy that I’m able to have balls in the air in the first place. I’m happy that I have food in the fridge that I’m too tired to prepare. Yes I’m ending this on a positive note because as I’ve explained I can’t help myself….

Just because I’m tired or burnt out or feel like curling up into a ball and sleeping for 12 hours doesn’t mean I’m a failure and it doesn’t mean I’m not grateful. It just means I have that much more to hold onto. That much more to embrace and that maybe a weekend away is well overdue.

So to the rooftops I sing….

I’m burnt out and it feels so good!

A Sweet Little Sight

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“The joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.” -Elder M. Russell Ballard

With the baby finally going down to sleep and a little toddler who fights a nap everyday but actually gave in early today, I slumped against my kitchen cabinet with a little sigh of relief.

Fingers rubbing my forehead vigorously, trying to workout a headache that I could feel crowding in.

When I looked up, this is what I saw, my oldest sitting there eating lunch.

His cape clad back turned towards me and his dog standing close, waiting for a drop of food and a pat on the head.

Today I looked up and saw the light in my life that always shines the brightest right when I need it to. While my other little blessings were cozy in their beds leaving me just a little deflated I looked up and saw a sweet sight.

Oh how thankful I am for the sweet little sights all around me and even more grateful when I actually open my eyes enough to notice them.

Makeover Monday – Painting Over Potato Chips

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Last week there was a day where all 3 children had quiet time and nap time at the SAME time! This is an unheard of day so what was a mom to do?

Well what I wanted to do was open that bag of potato chips my husband snuck into our cabinet, sit on the couch and turn on Netflix. I kept peeking into the cabinet, contemplating my options and consequences. I glanced at the picture that was hanging in my dining room and back into the cabinet. Oh how I wanted to tear those chips open and slump on the couch. I’ve done it before and it is quite nice.

But….

It’s January and in January I should be doing no such thing. In January I should be sticking with my goals a little more strictly. Which means that I should choose the painting over potato chips. My goal for the year is to update our house as frugally as possible which basically means, paint everything. I’m trying to lighten up all the brown so other than my table DIY project in January there was also this picture that I wanted to paint white. So the struggle,

Potato chips or paint, potato chips or paint?

You would be so proud, I certainly was. I chose… Drumroll Please

PAINTING!

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This is the final result. I’m not gonna get too close with the camera because sadly it isn’t as perfect as I would like and probably needs another coat but for now I’m liking the look of it and how it kinda brightens up that wall. And I’m liking that I didn’t have to explain a half empty or (lets be honest) a completely empty chip bag.

Here’s to painting over potato chips!:)