Saturday, August 22, 2015

We Are Back! Starting 6th Grade

Life in our household has changed a lot since I was regularly posting to this blog.  Bradley, whom I have always called Bear in real life and on this blog, is off being a United States Marine!! My husband and I are so proud of him!  His brothers are very proud too.  Look how handsome and strong he is!!!!  He is a Combat Engineer in California and is super excited he got the job he wanted.  It doesn't look like he will be deploying anytime soon so that makes me really happy!!!

Noodle is going to be starting the 6th Grade on Monday. Which just blows my mind. It seems like 1st Grade was just yesterday.

Last year was a crazy year. I was teaching high school English at local private school, Noodle was enrolled there full time from Feb - May while we took a break from homeschooling. It was what we both needed at the time.  We have taken most of the summer off and now we are ready to start our new routine.  I will be working M-F part time at a new private school and Noodle will take PE, Reading and Math during the hours I am working. We will both head home at noon, have lunch and finish the rest of our homeschool day.  I am praying this schedule works out well for us.  We will not be participating in co-op this year, which seems really weird, but with my work schedule we just can't do it.

Here is a quick rundown of Noodle's curriculum this year:

Bible - God's Great Covenant from Classical Academic Press
Latin- First Form Latin from Memoria Press
Math- Saxon 6/5 at the school
Grammar - We are going to finish up all the part way finished stuff we have so in this order BJU Grammar, CLE (3 books left) and First Language Lessons Level 3. If those all get finished before May we will move on to Rod and Staff English.
Writing- Writing Aids from TOG and lots of outlining ala The Well Trained Mind
Spelling - Rod and Staff 6
Vocabulary- Wordly Wise 6
Reading- TOG Lit at the school
History- Abeka and TOG (I know that sounds weird) Noodle is a textbook learner much to my disappointment. So, I am going to try to combine the TOG that I love with his textbook style learning that he thrives on. UGH!  We shall see how that goes!
Geography- TOG and Steck Vaugh Grade 6 Map Skills
Science- Abeka Science 6 as the spine and the Apologia Elementary books for extra reading and projects.
Health- Abeka Health 5
Art- Artistic Pursuits Elementary book
Music- composer studies
Logic- Fallacy Detective

I am going to really try to commit to blogging once a week, mostly focused on our homeschool. However, since I have gotten healthy and am very passionate about health issues, I can't promise I won't throw some of that in the mix!

Here's to a great school year!!

Friday, August 21, 2015

The Low Carb High Fat Ketogenic Life

I am so passionate about this that I just can't stay quiet. My success thus far compels me to share and talk about what I have been doing. I am not on a diet. This is a way of life for me and will continue to be until God takes me off this earth. I am committed.

Seriously, it is a lifestyle change. It requires a paradigm shift and dedication.  The first thing you must do is stop believing the lies of the so called experts who tell you fat makes you fat. Fat does not make you fat. Carbs and sugar make you fat and they make you fat because your cells become addicted to them. They are poisoning your body and your brain. When eating carbs and sugar you never truly experience hunger. You think you do, but true hunger eludes you.
I know many will stay in denial and they will make statements like, "I can't live without carbs." or "I eat healthy carbs."  or "Healthy grains are good for you."  NO - all lies.  In today's food climate there is no such thing as healthy carbs unless it comes from a vegetable.  Carbs are evil. I am serious.
Carbs and sugar gave me Type 2 Diabetes (I claim to be cured now - because I am! I am no longer on meds, don't require them, and have completely normal blood sugar and A1C)  My doctor said at my current weight and current numbers that no way, no how would I be diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.  My blood pressure is also now normal without any blood pressure meds - bye bye Losartan!
Carbs and sugar fatigued me, made me look older than I was, gave me cavities no matter how much I brushed, gave me high blood pressure (but part is heredity in my family), gave me sleepless nights, sleep apnea, acid reflux, no energy and so many other unhealthy consequences.
All that is gone. I am healthier and happier than I have ever been! I feel energetic, excited, and FREE. I workout lifting weights on a regular basis, my brain is healthier - I have a better memory and I am HAPPY. I look better than I did in my 20's when I actually weighed less.  I no longer have carb and sugar bloat, which makes me look like I weigh less than I do - so I will take it! I also have more lean muscle which accounts for my weight too.
I started at 260 and my body was full of carb and sugar TOXINS.  I am now 1639. I would like to lose at least three more pounds, but if I don't, I could stay happy where I am at. I started at a size 20W and am now a size 6 in jeans and size mediums in tops and dresses. I love shopping in the regular clothing section - no more plus size for me!  Shopping is my new hobby!!!

260 pounds - CARB FACE
After- No carb face here! Wow- there's my eyes!
I am 168 here, but today I am 163.

Weight loss doesn't have to be a chore, painful or depriving. You can live - you can eat well, feel well and be well by eating low carb high fat foods. The inner aisles of the grocery store are largely your enemy. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store.

Places you can get educated on the Low Carb High Fat lifestyle: I am a contributor here and the blog is run by my good friend.

If you are Type 2 Diabetes, I am here to tell you the ADA guidelines will keep you Diabetic. I was diagnosed in 2008 and since dropping 97 pounds I am no longer exhibiting symptoms of T2 Diabetes. This is due solely to a Low Carb High Fat/Ketogenic way of eating. My fasting blood sugar this morning was 77.

Once you cleanse your body of the toxins that are carbs and sugar, your physical cravings will subside and then you just need to get your head right. You must not fantasize about unhealthy foods, you must talk kindly to yourself everyday and remind yourself daily, hourly, minute by minute if that is what it takes, that you want to be healthy, whole and free of sickness, disease and obesity.Think about food in a new way - it is not comfort, reward or entertainment. It is fuel for your body - strictly fuel.

You can do it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Saturday, December 20, 2014

School ~ What We Have Been Doing

It has been months and months since I did a weekly wrap up post! I am going to try to do them weekly again, but I thought I might do a catch up post of sorts.  So much has happened and changed in our homeschool and our lives!

As I told you recently, I have been teaching high school literature at a local private school. It has been interesting and fun. My students, for the most part, are sweet and cooperative. We have our days. The hard part for me is it puts Noodle and me out of the house smack dab in the middle of the day for a little over 2 hours.  This has sort of wreaked havoc on our school routine, but we are adjusting accordingly.

I also make the time to workout everyday now, so that is taking time up that I didn't used to put in, but I am adjusting to that too. I love the way it makes me feel and I am setting an example for Noodle with my commitment to health.

So, what have we been up to?

Bible- Noodle is still reading a chapter a day and his daily devotional.  He attends bible class at a friend's church on Wednesday evenings.

Math- Every morning from 8:55 -9:30 Noodle is taking a 5th grade math class at the school where I teach.  (Yes, I make two round trips there a day!) They use BJU Math and it seems decent. He is doing okay, he has an 86 average.  The problem is it moves fast and unlike the way we usually do it, he is forced to move on when he doesn't fully understand something. I am not liking that part.  We struggle to get other work done so I haven't figured out a way to incorporate working with him more, except for when he works on his homeowork - which he has almost every night.

Spelling- He is almost done with Grade 4 Rod and Staff  Spelling. We should be done with it, but..... well....we aren't.  He has one more lesson!  Then, I am not sure what we will do.  I might buy Spelling Workout or I might find free spelling lists on line for awhile and have him write sentences with them. I might go ahead and get Rod and Staff Grade 5 Spelling. Or I might use TOG for spelling. (say what?)  Who knows? Anything could happen!

Grammar- I am embarrassed to say this has been off the radar for the most part. I dumped Rod and Staff in favor of simplicity. Yes, I love their grammar program, but we just can't do it all. We are doing First Language Lessons level 3 and are halfway through it. We do it every couple of weeks at this point. It has been so bad that Noodle even said the other day that we needed to do it. Fortunately, he did really well when we did it regularly and he still remembers the definitions of the parts of speech, but his diagramming might be rusty.

Writing- Noodle has written a few stories and "reports" on his own. We are almost finished learning about basic outlining.

Health- ?????

Latin- ????? I really want to get back to this.

History/Geography- Still plugging through TOG very slowly. I was thinking of just moving on to year one already, but Noodle wants to finish Year 4 - he loves U.S. History. Our time constraints with my working out of the house, are preventing me from really giving TOG our all. It saddens me because this is our favorite subject and my favorite curriculum. I am tossing around some ideas on how to work smarter with TOG and incorporating other subjects centered around our history. For example, using the vocabulary word as our spelling words for awhile. However, there is no rhyme or reason to the words as far as phonics or spelling rules go, so I am struggling with that idea.

Science-  We started Apologia Zoology 2. We are still on Lesson/Chapter 1. I am using worksheets I found online for free, instead of doing the student notebook this year. Instead of the CM way it is sort of designed to be, I am using it more as a traditional textbook.  I have also been entertaining the idea of letting Noodle read it independently, do the experiments and projects he wants to do and then using the Abeka science for our formal science.  See? I am all over the place and feeling like I have homeschool multiple curriculum disorder!!!

Chinese-  Ever since we got the opportunity to review Middlebury Languages with The Schoolhouse Review Crew, Noodle has been learning Chinese. He really likes it. We will finish out our subscription and then I may invest in Rosetta Stone Chinese for him.

Art- When we get to it, we are still using Artistic Pursuits. I may incorporate free art lessons on YouTube one of these days, but I obviously need to be more organized for that.

Piano- He takes one lesson a week and practices almost daily.

We are now on our Christmas break, but hopefully in January I will start doing weekly updates again - or every other week!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Bear and the USMC

My Bear is in San Diego for 13 weeks of boot camp with the United States Marine Corps. I am so excited and happy for him, but I already miss him and he has only been gone for six days!!
I expect to get a letter from him in a couple of weeks. I might get a phone call on Christmas Day, but I don't know yet.
Prayers for him are appreciated!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake and Another Progress Picture

Over the Thanksgiving Holiday I experimented by trying a new recipe and it turned out perfect and delicious!!  Pumpkin Cheesecake!!

Here is the crust before baking:
¾ cup almond flour
3 tbsp coconut flour
2 egg white
¼ cup coconut oil or butter, melted (I used butter)
8 oz cream cheese (let it soften)
5 eggs
1 cup Splenda (I used 1/2 a cup of granulated Splenda because I don't like to use a lot of fake sweetener and 1/2 cup was just right, but if you like a sweeter taste use a whole cup)
1 15 oz can of Pumpkin
1 tblspoon cinnamon
1 tspoon vanilla extract
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add all the other ingredients and beat until smooth.  I use my Kitchen Aid mixer.  Pour into your crust and bake on 350 for 40 minutes. Chill in fridge before eating. I let it chill overnight.
It is sooooo good!! You can top with Sugar Free Cool Whip or make your own whipping cream.

Also, I have taken a sabbatical from the scale so I can gauge progress by how I look, how my clothes fit and by taking my measurements. I will not be getting on the scale again until December 24th - that will be thirty days without weighing.  The last time I weighed I was 196.  This picture was taken on Friday and I hope I am less than when I last weighed. I feel like I am and I noticed my stomach is finally looking more normal. I am not even sucking it in!! That makes me happy!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Getting Fit

As you know, I am on a weight loss journey. It is not a diet, it is a new way of eating and living.  I can never return to the habits I once had or I will return to the weight I once was. Choosing to do restricted carbs is very controversial I am discovering.  So many people buy the lie that you need to have a lot of carbs so your body has fuel.  Sigh.

I am a carb and sugar addict. Like the alcoholic, I can't have just one taste. Making the change is at first physical, because until the cravings go away it is sheer willpower.  But once the physical cravings subside, it is all mental.  I have to keep my mind right in order to keep making the right choices.

One thing I have always struggled with along with making bad food choices, was not being active. I am one of those people who has always claimed, "I hate exercise."  I won't say I love it yet, but I don't hate it anymore. I feel like I hate it when I am getting tired, but the exhilaration afterwards is becoming addicting. I can think of worse things besides exercise to be addicted to though.

Anyway, so here I am, a fairly new exerciser with a mission to get fit. I don't want to be "skinny" or "thin" - I want to be FIT and healthy. I want to ride a bike for a long distance with my kids or with a friend and not feel like I am gonna die.  I want to chase a ball in the outfield  and actually be quick about getting to it. 

I want to be able to do push ups and pull ups. I want a healthy heart and normal blood pressure.

I am already seeing results in muscle tone, smooth and clearer skin and improved breathing when I exercise.  Starting was so hard. I wanted to kick something, throw something and cry because I would get winded within two to three minutes of any physical activity. It was awful.

But now?  Two days in a row, I ran/jogged for 15 minutes straight and when I was done I didn't need an inhaler or need to fall down on the couch to return to normal breathing. It was awesome and amazing.  I am on a mission to beat my best! I have a goal to run a 5k with some friends of mine who are runners. I am not there yet, but I will be.  Yes, I am the girl who at 260 pounds got winded in the Walmart parking lot walking from my car to the front door of the store and then had to lean on the cart while walking around. No more! I don't freak out about far away parking spots or drive around in circles waiting for a spot up front. That is something I consider a victory.

How did I start?  It seems silly, but since I am not coordinated and can't follow dance steps etc., Back in August I just began with movement. Any movement.  In my house, I slipped on my earphones with my iTunes playlist and just began bouncing, dancing, jumping, kicking, twirling around my house. I went up and down my stairs, I did leg lifts, wall push ups and sit ups. Then I bought a pair of five pound weights at Walmart and did bicep curls, tricep curls and lots of squats.

Squats. Oh my. I despised them at first and getting through 3 in a row was torture. Now I can do 25 without stopping.

I did some walking with a friend, bike riding around my neighborhood.

Then I went on vacation in September and I stopped for about 3 weeks. I noticed a difference in how I felt. When I started back up at the beginning of this month, the first couple workouts felt hard, but then it all came back.  Now, I have joined the gym and I have taken up running/jogging. I am not very fast yet, but I ran 1.24 miles in 15 minutes. The first day my pace was over 13 mins a mile, but days two and three I am only 12 mins a mile. I hope to get faster and I will work towards that.

At the gym I do about 45 minutes of strength training with the machines and free weights. It feels really good. The gym is 24 hours so I can go whenever it is convenient for me. Speaking of which, one of my biggest and long term excuses was, "I don't have the time to workout." It is a lie. A lie from the pit of hell.  Anything we truly want bad enough, we can find and make the time for.

So, am I an expert now? No. Not even close, but I know what I know so far and I know what my goals are and what it is going to take to reach them. I am constantly seeking answers and looking to people I know that have experience doing what I want to do and I get answers.

Challenge yourself to move today - whether it is a quick dance around the living room with the kids, or parking at the far end of a parking lot - do something to get your heart rate up and feel the exhilaration.
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