Friday, 13 March 2015

My Habitat Home: The Signs

 I've just about always had long beautiful hair.  This isn't a vanity thing, I just really love my hair.  It's one of the few things I've always loved about myself.  Imagine my horror to find it was thinning.  That was my first sign but I really did not think it was health related.  I just thought, 'Well, you're getting older.  These things happen.'

Then, I started to wake up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and I was always so tired I could barely homeschool my boys.  That's pretty much the end of the line for me.

At that point I scheduled the appointment and was diagnosed with diabetes.  I went back to being a vegan.  My original weight, the first time I went vegan was 260 lbs.  I had gotten down to 220lbs.  I want to make clear that weight took a long time to come back and only 20 lbs came back.  So, I lost 60 lbs, gained 20 of it back, and lost that 20.

Before, my diet had quite a bit of breads and I had not eliminated oil.  I do eat nuts, flax, and avocados.  Oils that I have eliminated do not happen in nature, man made them that way.   I  pretty much stopped eating sugar after the first round except on birthdays bread is now the problem because it turns into sugar.

I have been taking b12, plant based omega-3, and a multi-vitamin. (I haven't eaten fish since 14 because I am allergic so I was probably deficient).  The result of all this, my blood sugar has dropped drastically, I am now 218 and my clothes are falling off of me.  My hair is coming back in.  I need to say that I have not eliminated the sugar in fruit.  Fruit is so important for the vitamins and nutrients and with normal sugar levels, carbs.

My husband purchased Forks Over Knives cookbook for me.  I've gotta say, I love it!  I can't even tell you how many vegetarian books I own and they all add egg and well, I'm allergic to egg.  Forks Over Knives has no animal product at all and that is fantastic!

On to my own creation... I am a cheesecake addict.  It's hard to say no to cheesecake.  I truly love Toffuti cream cheese.  What you do is grab two tablespoons of  powdered Stevia add a little milk of your choice.  I use Silk Coconut milk because it has fewer carbs compared to others I have looked at.  Add a little vanilla and mix into the Tofutti.  I cored some strawberries and even my husband and kids loved it!

You can also make a ground nut and date crust to make a full cheesecake.

Friday, 27 February 2015

My Habitat Home: Fighting Me Fighting Heredity

My great grandparents all had diabetes, my grandparents all had diabetes, my parents had/ have diabetes, I have diabetes.  I know what you're going to say, "Stop eating those cakes!"

Easier said than done when you have been overweight your entire life and part of it was because you were not taught healthy food choices.

It then becomes psychological.  People say mean things to you, you eat.  Happy, you eat.  Watch a movie, eat.  Food becomes comforting even though the damage it does takes a toll.

You grow up, lose most of the "baby weight", get married to a man that loves garbage food and forget loosing that weight.

There are so many branches to this tree and I feel like I get lost in it.  I have been fighting myself for the past two weeks.

I've gone vegan once more.  My cholesterol is high and my sugars were high.  I've brought my sugar down with a low carb, oil free, vegan diet.  I will be taken off insulin soon, my numbers are that good.  I have a little more work to do before I begin lowering my dose.

It's expected that my cholesterol will follow suit.   The cholesterol is actually more serious than the diabetes.  I think I was on a road that leads to a heart attack or stroke.  I've lost 15 lbs in two weeks.  I can't give up my diet this time.  Now, it's life and death and 40 is too young to leave my babies without a mom and my husband a widower.

My husband has finally gotten it through his thick head that I don't need the pop, pizza, garbage in the house.

Other news, I'm wishing the snow would melt for good so I can garden.  I've been so consumed with all this I haven't even thought much about growing food.   I need to think about it more than ever.  I do know I need straw bales, especially if I want to avoid the neighbor's dog from pooing on our food.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Happy at Homeschool: Sassafras Science Zoology

I've purchased our first science curriculum.  We had used living books for most of our subjects and I have combined everything on my own until this point.  

My Boys have not worked on this yet.  I have been reading through this.  What I found, and it sounds crazy, is a book that I love so much it nearly brings tears to my eyes.

You see, I was a public school kid.  Text books are supposed to be boring.  That's what I thought anyway.  This is not boring.  I've had a hard time putting the book down.  

I am not finished with this book by a long shot.  What I have read of it is it's about twins that did so poorly in science, they were sent to their uncle's house for the summer.  Their uncle is a scientist.  

So far it mentions herbivores, carnivores, classification, and camoflague.  It disgusses longitute and latitude to steer the kids on the proper coordinates of their destination.

It's a story that teaches!  There are two seperate books that go with it.  One contains lesson plans and the other is a log book for the animals.  From what I have viewed thus far, it is worth it and like the twins, I am not the biggest fan of science.

Friday, 30 January 2015

My Habitat Home: What We've Been Up To

Found this birdie at my daughter's bus stop.

I know I haven't written much lately.  Life gets incredibly busy.   We are working on planning the garden.  I think I want more blueberry plants, gooseberry plants, and a motion detector water system.  Did I mention how tired I am of the neighbor's dog pooping in my oregano?

I want lots of creeping thyme and Greek  oregano.  There is no way I'm going to mow a hillside when I start getting aches and pains and there is no way I will plant useless plants.  It either has to be edible or attract beneficial bugs.

My kids love Minecraft
We are going to redo the bathroom.  We are leaving the theme of lighthouses behind and we are moving on to a country theme.  One of the changes will be replacing plaster board by the shower.  Why plaster, not intended for the bathroom shower area is there, is beyond me.  We are putting in green board which is intended for the bathroom.

We have to shampoo our living room rug.  Between doggie and kids our rug does not stay clean.  We are going to place a throw rug over top of it.

Homeschool... We've been using Minecraft with homeschool.  My boys are building Fort Ticonderoga which was a British fort that the revolutionaries saw promise in.

I'm considering curriculum.  My oldest is only a few years from high school age.  I need to figure out what to use for those years.  I know we need to explore a language for college prep.  He's throwing algebra and geometry at me already.

Beginning of a creeper
I'm working on learning to save money for groceries and gifts.  I've found coupons from Micheal's with 40%  off.  I buy science kits with these, even if I have to come back later.

Crafts!  I love craft stuff because craft stuff makes gifts and those gifts are what my kids are begging me for.  I appreciate craft stuff given to me as a gift.  I recently made my mom a bath kit with soap I made.  Love it!

My daughter's Valentine's
My kids were disappointed that I didn't make stuff for Christmas so, that is part of my agenda this year.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Happy at Homeschool: Robin Williams Week

Post Contains Affiliate Link 

With the passing of Robin Williams the idea to use his work to learn arises.   I can't completely give credit to the ideas that float in my mind to myself.  When I joined an organization called City Year, we learned a lot from movies like Malcolm X and Patch Adams.  One learned to protest, the other learned to heal.  My kids are not old enough for Patch.  The are old enough for other great movies that are appropriate.
Monday Happy Feet
build a dart game with chalk.  If raining bring it indoors
Watch Happy Feet at end of the day
Penguin Chick By Betty Tatham
write about emperor penguins

Tuesday Flubber
Math and Science
Life of Fred make "Flubber" after movie 
Purple, Green, and Yellow By Robert Munsch
History of Silly Puddy
History of Play Doh
History of Slime

Wednesday Robots
Life of Fred  Robot Math Game
Robots Rodney and the Rusties By Kate Egan

Thursday Ferngully
Walt Disney's Bambi Book A Golden Book
Discuss deforestation

 Friday Hook
Life of Fred  Peter Pan Preschool Pack  Portions of this can be used for first graders/ beginning readers.  Just make sure you look over it.  

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Happy at Homeschool: Homeschool on a Budget

 This post contains affiliate links.

 When I first began homeschooling six years ago,  I had no money at all to do it.  I had no computer and we would not own one because of the bug problem in the  projects in which we lived.  Homeschool was better than the alternative in this case.  My son was in first grade. I thought to myself, 'You can do this! You've been trained to tutor kids his age.'

I started with a workbook called Comprehensive Curriculum.  This book covered every subject I needed to meet my states requirements.  Since, I did tutor, I had already collected quite a few children's books.  I purchased a small dry erase board at the Dollar Tree and a few other odd supplies.

We were in the middle of a move.  We were just waiting on Habitat for Humanity to let us know when we could begin building our home.  Having a tote with a lid marked in very large bold letters "HOMESCHOOL" was a must have.  That was how we got through our first year.

I noticed an issue I was having with my son and had him tested.  The diagnosis was Aspergers.  Diagnosis in hand I thought I could send him back to public school.  His teacher, most wonderful lady, felt he would be better served at home.  He was placed back in homeschool and the following is how I have been coping on a budget:

Every year I allot $500 toward supplies.  Things I purchase in Bulk are markers, pencils, crayons, construction paper, writing paper, printer paper, printer ink, and glue.

I have been dying to purchase Life of Fred which reads like a story.  Five year old Fred, is a math professor at Kittens University.  I've seen the smile when my kid thinks I'm not looking, he enjoys reading about Fred.

Where I obtain the rest of my supplies:

Yard sales, garage sales, and flea markets-  These places all have pretty terrific kids books.  I have some "My America" books, "Little House on the Prairie",  and a few little readers.  Then, there's clothes, computers (my oldest tears them apart and that's learning too),  manipulatives, and art supplies.

Second Hand stores- Sometimes you can find music instruments!

Neighbors- I have a neighbor that's a teacher and she has given us so many books and teaching supplies.

Teachers- I have a child in public school.  Sometimes teachers give me supplies that I can really use. I got a whole bunch of dry erase markers for my daughter's kindergarten teacher and I really appreciated it.  It didn't matter that he used them all year because they still worked and I try to be as eco friendly as I can.

My mom-  I have an amazing support system in place.  My mom has gifted us with encyclopedias, journals, coloring books, history books, math books the list is endless.

Amazon- has tons of free books that you can get for Kindle, PC, or your apple device.  Nook also offers free books.  When you download the Nook program, you can write notes in you book.  The capability of the Nook app has made this a valuable resource.  We read "Number the Stars" By Lois Lowery.  Because of Nook, my son retained the information from the book.

Hippocampus- offers free classes as does Coursera with offerings from all over the world!  No list is complete without Kahn.

Free Homeschool Deals is one of the best sites for free stuff to teach.

Pinterest- Satisfies all my creative homeschool fantasies!

Teachers Pay Teachers has a lot of freebies!

Lesson Pathways has a free curriculum and the books can be borrowed from the library.

Burpee has a garden lesson!

Truly, you can homeschool at almost no cost.  Make sure you get into a group in your region and you will find, your peers have just as much information to offer.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Happy at Homeschool: Themes

I've decided to come up with themes to base homeschool on.  I don't own an honest to God curriculum.  In a way I guess you could kind of say we are unschoolers because I don't believe in learning like a zombie.  Brains!  I need to eat your brains!  Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

I do believe in learning though.  Sometimes that means movies, games, books, worksheets (we do need to make sure our portfolio is in check after all), gardening and whatever tickles our fancy.  In other words, I pull things out of thin air on most days.

Since Discovery channel was hyping "Shark Week,"  I decided doing shark week was a fabulous idea.  We don't own cable so Netflix became our friend.  

We used Life of Fred for math (our only real curriculum),  We keep in mind that we have to cover not just math but reading, history, science, spelling, and English and anything else is extracurricular.

I'm not going to get into what exactly we did for shark week on this blog post because I am merely giving an idea for public school teachers and homeschool teachers.  I will say this much though, next week will be Robin Williams week.  I grew up with Robin Williams and  it's like saying Star Wars never existed which is devastating enough.  Next week we watch Mork and Mindy and discuss astronauts.  We will watch Hook and Read J.M. Barie's Peter Pan.  If I can find Aladdin, we will discuss Arabian Nights.  Jumanji, we can create a board game to learn about animals.  See how I do that?  I just pull things out of thin air.

I'm going to give the list and when I can get around to doing some of them, I'll give you the ideas I had.

Theme ideas

  1. Robin  Williams week
  2. Fall  week
  3. Penguin  week
  4. Butterfly  week
  5. Bee  week
  6. Antarctica  week
  7. garden  week
  8. dance week 
  9. robot week
  10. weather  week
  11. Pokemon  week
  12. Rock/ geodes  week
  13. Bacteria/ Virus  week
  14. Snow  week
  15. Planet  week
  16. Turkey week
  17. Character week
  18. Trip around the world  week
  19. News  week
  20. Spider  week
  21. Lady bug  week
  22. Praying Mantis week 
  23. Bird week
  24. dino week
  25. art week
  26. under the sea  week
  27. Rocket science  week
  28. skeleton week
  29. President's week
  30. Sweetheart week
  31. Math week
  32. history week
  33. Animal week
  34. ice cream week
  35. field trip week
  36. space week
  37. homeschool Olympics week
  38. Theatre week
  39. Debate week- Would a zebra make a good pet?
  40. music week
  41. Architecture week
  42. garden madness week
  43. victory garden week- I have so many garden themes to get my gardening in.
  44. Pirate week
  45. Earth week
  46. Tree Week
  47. Dr. Suess week
  48. Independence Week
  49. Fairy tale week
  50. Jungle week
  51. cooking week
  52. bunny week
  53. summer time fun week
  54. out on the farm week
  55. over the rainbow week
  56. Oz week
  57. reptile week
  58. snake week
  59. camping week
  60. fall week
  61. Hug a tree week
  62. Think peace week
  63. Diversity week
  64. Civil rights/ we are the world week  (covers rights of women, African Americans, Natives and others)
  65. Body week
  66. Apple/ Harvest week
  67. Polar Express week
  68. Zoo week
  69. Manners week
  70. Friends week
  71. Invention week
  72. Women's History Week
  73. Black History Week
  74. Native History week
  75. Big Top circus week
  76. Poetry week
  77. Sun week
  78. Fire safety week
  79. Community helpers week
  80. Beach week
  81. recycling week
  82. wind week
  83. Mardi Gras week
  84. Cinco de Mayo week
  85. Amphibian week
  86. sports week
  87. western week
  88. explorer week
  89. family week
  90. Pet week
  91. owl week
  92. silly week
  93. kindness week
  94. Laura Ingalls week
  95. sticky, icky science week
  96. lollipop week
  97. nature week
  98. Newton week
  99. movie week
  100. library week