Homeschool Lunches

I’m rethinking school lunches, in the past I’ve always made kid food for my girls: chicken nuggets, mac&chz, spaghetti with marinara, hot dogs, quesadillas, sandwiches, rolled up deli meat….then I’ve made a separate lunch for myself, something healthier. Often, I’d be too busy or stressed and I’d finish off what they hadn’t eaten and feel guilty about it. But this year I’m going to make a change. Lunches need to be three things, easy, cheap, and healthy. The kids are very wishy washy about not liking things, even if I’ve made things I specifically know they like, sometimes they won’t eat it anyway. So I’m going to stick to a simple soup, sandwich, or salad plan and if they don’t like it, I guess they’ll eat something else later.

Soups:
I like the idea of soups because I can make it in my spare time and it will stay warm in the crockpot for when we get hungry. Also, soups are incredibly cheap. Beans are one of the cheapest and healthiest forms of food, and unlike eggs, they haven’t risen in price yet. I could give them toast along with it and skip the toast for myself. I could have a huge soup making day where I make several different kinds, then freeze them in gallon bags to pull out when we need them.
Hearty Two Bean and Lentil Soup (Darcie’s Dishes)
Jalapeno Chicken and Bacon Chowder (Darcie’s Dishes)
Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup (Darcie’s Dishes)
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Our Favorite Soup (Briana Thomas)

Sandwiches:
With sandwiches, I will need to be careful with bread types so I don’t get too many carbs. I really like Joseph’s Lavish, but their are also several bread in a mug recipes that are low carb. Again, will have to make ahead in large batches, because lunch times are crazy times and I don’t want to put too much thought into it.
egg salad
deli meat
peanut butter and jelly

Salads:
My kids really like making their own salads. I just have several things for them to pile on it and they choose what they like. Boiled eggs, olives, onions, bacon bits, cottage cheese, nuts..

and to finish this blog post, here is my journal entry from yesterday.
Morning:
I am grateful for…
1. It’s nice having the girls do chores around the house.
2. My Sophia has been singing more, especially when alone in her room, this makes me think she might be happy.
3. My husband skipped his video games last night to sit with me. I love that he cares.

What would make today great?
1. I would love to go for a walk.
2. Eating supper together at the table.
3. Getting our homeschool done.

Daily affirmation. I am…a good reader.

Night:
Three amazing things that happened today..
1. we went on a family walk
2. supper together was fun, told round robin stories, lots of laughing
3. we’ve found a way to keep the dog off the trampoline

How could I have made today better?
I wish I had woken early to go for a walk and exercise.

5-Minute Journal Official Website

5 Minute Journal

frogprince
I heard about the 5-minute journal from The 4 Essential Habits of Healthy podcast and decided to try it here today.

Morning:
I am grateful for…
1. cooler weather, it is so nice to go outside and read or watch the kids play
2. Olly, our dog. I love how everyone runs to him as soon as we get home to give him loves
3. having a handy husband, some friends recently pointed out to me that this is not the normal for many wives. I am blessed

What would make today great?
1. to get Solveigh a cheap scooter at the children’s sale
2. to get supper made tonight
3. to go for a walk with Olly

Daily affirmation. I am…a good mom!

Night:
Three amazing things that happened today..
1. I made supper
2. The girls did a great popstar show in Sophia’s bedroom with costumes and pretend headband microphones
3. I got to do art.

How could I have made today better?
I wish we had eaten supper together at the table.

Freshwater Worship This is nice, have been exploring their website. Well-done worship, peaceful, I can lose my worries here.

5-Minute Journal

Weeding

(girls reading on the trampoline with blankets and umbrellas)
(girls reading on the trampoline with blankets and umbrellas)

I’m feeling a strong need to do some serious pruning and weeding in our home. I did a pretty thorough job before the move, but it seems that was only to get me prepared for the real weeding of stuff I’m holding on to.
Also, need to get brave and get rid of the junk food in our kitchen. Why is that so hard? I’m always appreciative when 5:00 hits and I want a junk food fix and there is nothing. I would have to run to the store to get potato chips and brownies. Most of willpower seems to be planning ahead for my weak moments.

We began homeschooling yesterday, I was dreading it, knowing I wasn’t ready, there is still too much to unpack and do around here; but homeschooling was nice. We were all ready for a routine to be in place again, you could feel the relief despite the grumbles. Secretly, it felt better to know what they were supposed to be doing and doing it. I didn’t fix supper though, and they mentioned it, routine isn’t routine without that family meal….will be making supper tonight.

If you say you’ll stop and you don’t, you aren’t in control any more

sunsets
“If you say you’ll stop and you don’t, you aren’t in control any more.” ~Justin

There was a scene in Elementary where Sherlock Holmes was getting his anniversary coin for being sober from heroin for a year. He didn’t want to accept it because he had a secret. While he was in rehab, on that first day off the drugs, he was sick, so he found a way to escape the center, get another hit, then he came back and got clean. Lucy (Joan Watson) said “it’s only a detail, Sherlock, it doesn’t matter, you’ve still been clean for an entire year. He looked at her and said, “I’m a detail person, it matters to me”.

It’s so easy to take our sin and pretend it doesn’t matter. It’s so easy to think we have things in control when we don’t. Christians can learn a lot from drug addicts when it comes to the seriousness of defeating sin. We need church rehab centers.

What sin is controlling you today? What steps are you taking to be free?

give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us from our trespasseses
lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
for Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever
Amen

Healthy People Fascinate Me

My husband and I are big Sherlock Holmes fans, we’ve seen the movies, read the books, and watched several versions of tv shows made about him. Our latest endeavor are the Elementary tv shows, I’ve checked out season 1 and season 2 from the library and we’re currently in the middle of season 2. Elementary is quite a different version of Sherlock than I’m used to, for example Watson is a woman played by Lucy Liu. The man cast for Sherlock isn’t as convincing as being arrogant as most versions I’ve seen, he tries, but I still see him as a nice guy, which isn’t the true Sherlock character.

Something that fascinates me about Elementary though, is their healthy lifestyle. Sherlock and Watson have great exercise and eating habits, they do have some extremely terrible vices (prostitution for example), but I love watching them live a healthy lifestyle. Lucy Liu often goes jogging in the mornings, Sherlock wakes up from a 48 hour nap and cooks up a dozen eggs in a wok because he’s starving. Lucy makes berry smoothies, eats salad from a big mixing bowl, and drinks hot tea. Sherlock is caught doing sit-ups to increase his deductive abilities. Lucy (I call her Lucy, she’ll never be a Watson in my mind) teaches Sherlock to do squats to keep awake during a tough case. I keep watching to see what they’ll do next.

Anyway, I’ve been copying them, I love how Lucy swings her arms when she does squats, that simple motion makes them so much easier.

Health Tip: TJ Maxx has 100 pack boxes of Oolong Tea (in their stores) for around $7. Oolong tea has massive benefits for boosting metabolism, regulating insulin, and losing weight. So toss a tea bag in that water bottle I know you’re carrying everywhere with you.

Health Tip: Did you know you can skip Wal-mart and buy Joseph’s Lavish straight from their internet site? This freezes great if you want to buy in bulk, and shipping was only $3.99 for me. Their Joseph’s lavish pita bread is my favorite, 4 total carbs. I like to cut it in half to make two mini-pizzas or leave it whole for a sandwich.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Phillipians 4:13

Diet or Lifestyle? (The XY Code)

10 Tips For A Great Homeschool Year

homeschoolyearWe are beginning our homeschool in a week, so I’ve been getting ready. This is my 4th year, and I’m getting better at this. I would like to share some tips I’ve learned to make the year go more smoothly.

~ Make the first day of school special, wrap up a pretty notebook or gift, write them a letter telling them how excited you are and what their strengths are, make apple pie for breakfast, take first day of school pictures, read a fun story. Play a fun educational game with them.

~ If you’re teaching the bible, you’re doing better than 80% of schools out there, so don’t give yourself too hard of a time.

~ Ideally, a homeschool parent’s kids don’t realize they’re being homeschooled most of the time. Set up the home as a place of learning, then eliminate distractions. My kids’ books are right next to their beds, so reading happens naturally before falling asleep. I hand science experiment kits and cookbooks off to my oldest and she plays with them. My youngest has a room full of blocks and the alphabet on her door. We have maps in the bathroom and next to the tv, bible verses sprinkled on the walls, we’re going to the gym later today for fun. Timelines, pick a long wall and fill it with a huge timeline of history, just do it, you won’t regret it! Giving oral reports to Daddy when he gets home of what they’ve learned. Even when we’re not teaching, we’re homeschooling because lifelong learning is our goal and the more they do without us, the more successful we’ve become.

~ Protect your learning time by saying no to people and events. I say no to all events that occur between 8 am and noon, I schedule playtime with friends and errands after lunch. This hasn’t been hard to do and people are very understanding when I tell them it is our school time. My kids are too tired to do their intense learning after playing all day, prime brain time is used up. Also, routine makes my job easy.

~ Mondays are my recover from the weekend day, we homeschool but don’t go anywhere and I don’t feel guilty about it. I catch up on laundry, cleaning, and do food prep for the week on Mondays.

~ On Friday, we grab our reading books, flash cards, and workbooks, hop in the mini-van and go on a field trip or to a friend’s home, or invite friends over for the afternoon.

~ Begin the year strict, dress like a teacher, be a vigilante about waking up early, chores, and no computer/tv time for the first two months. Don’t be a nice mom during September or October, this will make the rest of the year go more smoothly. Once these good habits are in place, then you can relax, wear yoga pants, and be their buddy without consequence for the rest of the year. Don’t try to be their friend for the beginning,they will not be happy about some things and that’s perfectly okay.

~ Build up to a full workload, don’t hit all the books those first few weeks, focus more on the routines you want in place…. I like to make lists for the kids and they cross off stuff as they finish. The first week we will begin with bible, morning time, math, reading, writing and a chore each day; second week will add spelling and history. Third week, our outside activities begin kicking in…orchestra, homeschool co-op, and gymnastics. Fourth or 5th week, science and literature.

~ Make the first day of school special, wrap up a pretty notebook or gift, write them a letter telling them how excited you are and what their strengths are, designate a bible verse specific to each child for their desk or room and put it where they will see it often, make apple pie for breakfast, take first day of school pictures, read a good story. Play a fun educational game with them.

~ Wake up early and pray for your children, your family, and yourself. Also, take a break around lunchtime to spend time with the Lord again for strength. An afternoon break wouldn’t hurt anything either, would it?

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

What things do you like to do at the beginning of your homeschool year?

Trim and Healthy Meal Plan

mealplan1This summer was crazy for my eating and exercising, I had a hard time staying on plan while living at other people’s homes and with all the added stress of moving. But now that I’m getting settled, eating and exercising are becoming a priority again.  Also something I’m trying to do is to begin a Trim Healthy Mama group in my city, we’ll see how the interest is, but meeting with other women really helps me stay on track.  I find I do things for other people much quicker than I do them for myself…something about other people watching and my pride….

Step 1: Meal planning!

Monday ~
-Eggs and coffee with half and half
Easy sugar free cinnamon sugar toast (E)
One pan chicken burrito bowl (to keep this one low carb, I’m going to omit the beans just to be safe)

Tuesday ~
-Eggs and coffee with half and half
-leftover burrito bowl
-Greek yogurt with oatmeal
=Marinated pork chops and cabbage steaks

Wednesday ~
-Eggs and coffee with half and half
Chocolate covered PB&J Protein Mess (I use pb powder, so FP)
-Ham and cheese sandwich on Joseph’s Lavish pita with cucumbers, spinach, and mayo and a side of green beans

Thursday ~
-Eggs and coffee with half and half
5-ingredient buffalo chicken salad (FP)
-Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Salad with cucumbers (S)(we have so many tomatoes and cucumbers right now!)

Friday ~
-Eggs and coffee with half and half
Waldorf Salad (E)
-Make your own pizza (mine with a cauliflower crust) (S)

…..and I like to end each day with a fat stripping frappa or a big boy smoothie.

Some other goals I have for this week are to take a daily walk, to keep a pitcher of shrinker tea in the fridge at all times, and to drink 1 protein shake/day.

I would love to have you share some of your goals, your meal plan, or to link your meal plan in the comments so I can visit and get new ideas. Praying for you on this journey.

May the Lord be your anchor, may He be your comfort instead of food, may He be your strength instead of yourself, may you run to Him when you are weak or tempted. His many blessings and gifts every day fulfilling all of our needs.

If you are wondering what Trim Healthy Mama is, here is their website.
 Trim Healthy Mama