Friday, May 11, 2018

One year down...

Well it's here. The. Last. Day. Of. School.

WHAT?!?!?!

We actually completed our first year of doing school at home! I've got to be honest, I'm pretty shocked that we did. I fully expected to have the boys enrolled back in school come Christmas time. Okay, maybe not, but I wasn't too confident in my ability to do this, so the fact that we completed the first year is pretty great! 

Here are some things I have learned:

1. Teachers for reals deserve to get paid way more than they do. I realized this early on. After spending just a few hours helping Owen with his school work. I couldn't imagine having an entire class full of students to have to deal with! Yikes!

2. Apparently I need alone time. When the boys were going to school I was already getting it so I didn't realize that I needed it. Now that they are home all day, I don't get it as much, so i am in need of it much more often! Even if it is just a few minutes of being alone in the bedroom or on the front porch. 

3. My kids are freaking geniuses! Ha! Seriously though, their teachers always told me that they were smart, but getting to work with them one on one has been eye opening on just how smart they are! I love it!

4. While we have the freedom to do school whenever we want, doing school in the morning seemed to work out best for us. If we didn't do it shortly after we work up it just didn't get up it just didn't get done. Which lead to more work the next day. 

5. Set my expectations low so when they are met and passed we will be happy! This can pretty much apply to anything in life though really. I had a lot of art projects planed and wanted to do some field trip type activities, and those things never got done. 

There you have it. Our first year of doing school at home is over and I couldn't be more happy. Now for a couple of weeks of relaxing and sleeping in, hanging by the pool, vacationing and spending time with family! 

Monday, April 30, 2018

New Recipe...

Tonight I made a new recipe and I thought I would share it on here, mainly so I would have a way to go back and remember it when I wanted to make it again. Next time I will take a picture.

Cheesy Bacon Alfredo Chicken

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of Alfredo sauce (I used Bertolli brand)
3 oz Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits
3/4 cup Frigo shredded Parmesan cheese

1. (preheat oven to 425) Use a tenderizer to make chicken breasts thinner. This seems to help the chicken breasts stay juicier. In my opinion anyway. I like to get them really thin. That way two chicken breasts can feed the four members in our family.

2. Spray an 8x8 pan with non stick spray, place chicken in pan.

3. Combine the Alfredo, bacon and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Top the chicken with this mix.*

4. Bake @ 425 for 25 minutes.  I served ours with a side of green beans. 

*If you are making more chicken, I do think that this mix will cover more than just the two chicken breasts. It would probably cover four.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Alexa and Katie...

Thank you Netflix! Thank you for making a show that is clean and cute and enjoyable to watch. I've got to be honest, it doesn't happen too often. The show is called Alexa and Katie. I recommend watching it! I've thought up some questions that you might ask about it and I've already answered them for you. So here ya go...

1. Can I watch this with my kids? Yes! While there may be some teenage and young kid attitude issues, I still think it is good enough to watch with the kids. I'm very picky about what I let my kids watch, so you can trust me on this one. 

2. Isn't it geared for a younger audience? Probably. But I didn't care. I started watching it one night when my husband was out of town, because honestly I didn't think he would get into it. Well I was wrong. When he got home he ended up watching it with me and enjoyed it too! Watching this kind of a show as an adult brings new appreciation for the parent rolls. 

3. Comedy or drama? I'd say both. I laughed and cried. 

4. How many seasons? So far there is just one season. I'm hoping that Netflix sees that they did a good thing with this show and make more seasons!

So there you have it! If you have Netflix, go and watch Alexa and Katie. You will be glad you did! Let's support clean shows! 

*I am reviewing this on my own. I was not compensated by anyone to review it.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Migraines...

I hate migraines. I mean is there anyone out there that really likes them? I'd say probably not. 

For me, I seem to have three stages of migraines. I thought I would write a little bit about them so those who don't understand can get a better understanding of what I go through. 

Stage 1 migraine: This is typically the way most of my migraines start. I try to take my migraine medicine as fast as I can. If I don't take it then it will almost guarantee that it will move on to a worse stage. I sometimes consider this a functional migraine. Basically I have stuff that has to be done and if my migraine stays in this stage I can do those, even thought I am in pain. Sensitivity to light and sound are also present, but not super severe. 

Stage 2 migraine: I don't usually start at this stage during the day. It is possible that I wake up with a stage 2 migraine though. If I reach this stage during the day it is because I didn't take my medicine quick enough or it just didn't work. I typically have to lay down with this migraine. The couch will work, but I do prefer the bed. If I have important things to be done they will have to wait. Ice packs help in addition to an eye mask. For sure have sensitivity to light and sound. 

Stage 3 migraine: This is for sure the worst. Like stage two it doesn't start like this if I am awake. If I reach this point during the day it is because I didn't take my medicine quick enough or it just didn't work. I have to lay down for this one. It has to be in bed. For sure sensitivity to light and sound. Nausea big time. Often times it results in throwing up. If I can take some anti-nausea meds before it gets bad then it will help. If I wait to long then I can't take it because of the nausea. This type of migraine will cause me to be exhausted the next day too. 

If you deal with migraines, I am so sorry. If you don't, count yourself blessed. Maybe this will help you understand someone who struggles with migraines. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Supporting your kids...

My kids are currently leaving home. 

I'm not crying at all. 

Does this make me a bad mom? Nah. You see they are 9 years old and 7 years old. I know they will be back. They have talked about it all afternoon. They packed their backpacks with clothes and toys, water bottles and snacks. 

Let me back up here a minute. It all started when they thought I was being unfair in saying their leapster products will now count towards screen time. They really tried hard to make the point that their leapster products should not count as screen time, but the more they tried, the bigger the hole became. They then tried to use the excuse that they should be able to us them because they are educational games. I still said no. After that they decided that doing school would count as screen time too (we do online school), which means they can't do school anymore. 

HAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry, I had to take a second to laugh. They really did try to convince me that I was wrong. Once we got home they said they were no longer going to do school. That's when I informed them that they would need to either get a job or move out. Because only kids who do school can live here for free. 

That is when they began to pack their bags! I decided at that point that I could either squash their dreams or support them. Now please note that I am not actually going to just sit around and let me kids leave our property. My version of supporting them is this: 
  1. Talking them through what they will have to do if they really move out. Example: get a job, a way to get to job, a place to live, pay bills, buy food, make food.
  2. Let them see that the things that they are wanting to take from our house is not theirs to take. Mommy and Daddy bought the food and water, so if you want to take it you will have to pay for it. 
  3. Make sure they know that if they decide to leave the property they need to inform us. (They may think it is for us to say our goodbyes, but it is really for us to follow them or talk them down.)
Allowing them this time to be outside is good for them. They may not realize it, but they are playing right into my hands! The reason we limit screen time is so they will use their imagination, which they are currently outside doing!  We limit screen time so they will get up and play, which they are currently doing! We limit screen time so that their attitudes are better (Is it just my kids? It seems like the more they play video games, computer or tablets, the worse their attitude gets.), they currently have a positive attitude. 

Now think about how all this could have gone down if I had just knocked down their idea? There would have been fighting, whining, and probably sending them to their room. I would have been exhausted from dealing with the arguing. 

Now let's move a few years down the road. Let's imagine them going out and applying for a job. What kinds of words do you think might be going through their head if you shot down their decision to move out and get a job as a young child? Perhaps it is "You can't get a job you're too young" or "No one is going to hire you." The things we say to our kids now, will run through their minds as they get older. I hope that when it comes time for my boys to actually move out and/or work, they will remember the things we taught them. That our words were "I think you can do anything you put your mind to."

Now, just because they are super cute, here is a picture of my sweet boys with their backpacks and stuffed animal. I sure do love them!



Thursday, October 5, 2017

Reward system...

We are now on week 5 of doing school at home! I've got to say, most days I am loving it.

Most days.

We have had some rough times, but even on those days we are done with school by 11:45! It really is amazing. I am enjoying being a part of my kids education. (words I never thought I would say)

When we first started talking about doing school at home, both boys asked if we would have a reward system like they had at public school. After thinking on it I decided it would be beneficial to have a reward system.

We call them care bucks (this is what they called them at public school). They can earn them in many different ways and not just during school hours. They have earned them for things like doing school with out complaining, doing chores, being respectful to mom and dad. They pretty much can earn them for whatever my husband and I choose they can earn them for. Ever two weeks we have a store that they can "spend" their care bucks on. We have toys and candy (most of which were on clearance, I don't spend much on these things), as well as things like extra video game time or an extra show to watch on netflix.

The kids can also lose care bucks. Misbehaving or complaining about school are a couple of ways they can lose their care bucks.

At first I was going to print off some cute little emoji bucks (the boys are obsessed with all things emoji). Then I had a light bulb moment! Someone told me you can get raffle tickets for cheap at Dollar General. They even have multiple colors! I figured this would be a good idea, because I could re-use them once they turn them in.
We will have our "store" every two weeks. Our first shopping day was last Friday and the boys seemed to really like it! Added bonus was after the store closed they were on their best behavior because they wanted to earn more care bucks!

Here are the other things we had that were non toy items:



Extra Netflix Show                                                          5
5 minutes video game time                                            10
15 minutes video game time                                          20
Redbox movie night                                                      30
Game night (your choice of game)                               10
Stay up 10 minutes past bedtime*                                15
Do school outside                                                           5
Mom’s drawings                                                             3
Toys and other items in store                                 ask mom
*Can only be used on nights that we are home for 7:30 bedtime.