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Monday, December 31, 2012

I Want To Let Go of Insecurity in 2013

I want to let go of insecurities that keep me from enjoying my life....
  • I want to not think my husband is just being nice when he says he thinks I am beautiful.
  • I want to accept an invitation from a friend to go on a short one hour trip, and not wonder if she really wants to be in a car with me that long.
  •  I want to know that I am still liked even if I am not invited to every party with every person I know.
  • I want to be happy when I am invited to a party, and not wonder if it's obligation or that they like my husband and we are a package deal.
  • I want to believe a friend when she says she values me, instead of thinking she must not really know me if she likes me.
  • I want to not think everyone who loves me will stop loving me if I say or do something wrong.
  • I want the sins of my past to remind of the Grace and Redemption of my Savior and NOT how far and often I have fallen short.....
Sometimes I wonder why I hold onto these insecurities like a warm blanket.  I think because familiarity feels comfortable.  Because of abuse in my past I don't remember ever feeling secure, ever knowing I was loved unconditionally.  When I failed, it was nor forgiven.  When I said the wrong thing, I was then reminded of it every time I failed after that.  I was taught that continually replaying my sins and never forgetting my grief over those failings meant I was repentant. My true road to being a Christ-Follower is based on me finally believing Grace has nothing to do with me at all.  Beth Moore says it best when says, "Even if you are filled with self-loathing, you are filled with yourself."

My prayer to my faithful and loving Heavenly Father is that in 2013 I be filled with YOU, and not my own insecurity.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

FAMILY~Grandparent Christmas Present

My sister-in-law and I came up with a joint present idea for my in-laws.  I have two children and she has four, and since grandparents already love grand-kid pictures, what  better than ALL their grand-kids in one picture?!

By using free boxes from Aldi, and discounted yarn for the letters, this whole gift came together for less than $35!   The frame was the most expensive part of the whole gift.

My mother-in-law cried tears of joy as she opened it.  I was so very thankful we could give her this!

Materials Needed:

1. Cut letters out of cardboard
 Tape printed letter (link to free printable above) to edges of sturdy cardboard.
Use  X-ACTO Knifeto cut on lines to create the letter silhouette. Don't forget to put a  Cutting Mat underneath or you will damage your table.

2. Wrap letter with Yarn 
 We used hot glue to start on bottom of letter, then secured with glue on back as you wrap.  A good tutorial can be found here

Tip : On edges, cut the yarn and glue in lines,like this,  instead of wrapping around difficult corners.  You will see on the "L" we had an unattractive big bunch around the corners, but on the "A" we glued them in diagonal  lines.  You may have to click on picture for full size to see difference.

3.  Take & Print Pictures
 For consistency in your pictures, use the same background for each of the kids.  We just used a wide tree in the front yard.

When Printing, I highly recommend black and white, it really makes the letters pop.   We printed  in color and in black & white to test out which we like better. We found the color distracted you from the fact that you were trying to make a cohesive collage that spelled ONE Word.

4.  Mat and Frame
We used buy a six opening collage frame that includes matting at  online. It comes in 3 opening or 4 opening also.  Depending on the amount of grand kids and  you could spell out any type of word:
  • JOY
  • LOVE
  • I <3 u
If you have more than 6 kids in your family, consider doubling up in each frame.  For example, have the eldest hold the baby, and the baby holds the letter. Or each child holds one side of the letter.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

What I want to be when I grow up...

When I was six years old, I told anyone who would listen that I wanted to be an artist and a teacher.  Let me be clear, I didn't want to an art teacher; I wanted to be an artist AND a teacher. I was very clear in my first grade All About Me book that they were two different jobs.   

 Recently I received some somewhat not kind opinions about the fact that I "only have an Associate's degree".  I was also once told that Associate Degrees were "a dime a dozen and would get me nowhere in life".  I think these opinions were spoken from an earnest belief in my potential to "do more", I  respectfully disagree. While I am extremely proud that I have an associates degree for many many reasons ( a few being that I earned it while being married, paying for college completely by myself, maintaining a 4.0 AND without taking out a single penny in college loans), the most important it has led me to what I want to be when grow up....

I am a Teacher.  I used the student teaching of the A.A in Early Childhood to get hired by a prestigious college's Preschool/Kindergarten and teach along some of, in my opinion, the best teachers in the country. Now I am in the roles I know God has shaped me for since my youth. The skills I learned teaching children 2 years old to kindergarten at the preschool has enabled me to contribute immensely to teaching and help shape my church's kid's ministry .I am also a teacher of my children as we home school.  While I don't at all think you have to be a "certified teacher" to home school your child, I will praise the Lord in how my training has given me the preparation I  personally needed for this challenging call. As an extremely insecure and impatient person, if I had not been given those early opportunities to learn from talented teachers, I would probably have ignored the call to home school.

I am an Artist.  My time working with so many great preschoolers led me to know I never wanted to miss a moment of my own children's preschool years. As my twins grew up I found myself framing pictures  in my minds eye at every wedding I attended.  I saw possible locations for senior pictures wherever I drove. Now I run a successful part time photography business that I began when my twins were two years old.  Now after almost 4 years in business I have grown leaps and  bounds in my abilities and  leaning on God for his leading.  God brought me to something I never knew I loved, and He knew I needed to seek His glory and not my own to be successful.  I have learned so much  how He is sufficient as I rely on him to turn His creation into art. 

I am Teacher.  I am an Artist.  I am everything I wanted to be when I was six years old and so much more than I could have ever imagined. And most importantly, I am everything God wants me to be at such a  time is this.... I know I have a lot more growing up to do :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stamped Personalized Bookmarks/ Necklaces

I love the industrial look of washers as necklaces, and also the personal touch of names.
 These can given as necklaces, or just as easily be used as bookmarks. Make sure you buy  several extra washers because there will be a certain amount of trial and error.

Main Lesson learned was to use a HEAVY HAMMER.  Do no use a cheap light weight hammer or you will have to pound 20 time for one letter, which leads to the  stamp slipping.


1. Stamp letters onto washer

Make sure you use a very heavy hammer.  I tried a cheaper hammer and ended up hitting about 20 times and still not make a clear letter.  With the heavy hammer only 5 to 8 good hits would make the  letter clear. The more  hits you make, the more chances you have of making a mistake with the stamper slipping or dropping the stamper...or worse hitting your finger

Personalization ideas:

  • my niece's name
  • my sister's married name and year of they were married on smaller washer
  • meaningful phrase. For two of my young nieces I put the phrase from The Help that the main characters tells the little girl over and over: "U R Kind, Smart & Important" 

2. Use Sharpie on to add contrast to lettering

After using the sharpie, if you mess up a bit, you can wipe it off quickly with wet wipe to get off of surface but leaving the sharpie in creases of stamped letter)

3. Attach to make ornament, necklace, or bookmark

To Make Necklace: In each bag I also included a second length of leather  or second necklace ribbon so they could change the color of necklace depending on outfit.  
I personally think this looks best as just a bit longer than choker length , but I included different and longer lengths so recipients could decide how long they wanted the necklace.

NO SEW~Tie Snakes

Great present to wrap around the tree for Christmas morning!

This project came from having two sons & two nephews who all asked for gifts they could use on "adventures". I threw in a pair of inexpensive binoculars, and you have hours of imaginative fun! I also found a few pink ties, and made these for my nieces!  All kids loved them and played with them all Christmas Morning.

Materials needed:
  • old tie (s)
  • hot glue gun 
  • stuffing from an old pillow
  • googly eyes
  • red felt
  • scissors
  • un-sharpened pencil  and marker

1. Stuff Tie
I first found an old pillow we didn't use anymore and cut it open to harvest the stuffing.  Then  I used the pencil to slowly put small pieces in the snake.  Stuff from one end, and push till you get to the middle; you will need to bunch the tie over the pencil.  Once one side is stuffed, stuff from other side of tie. Push slowly so you don't tear the seams of the tie.

TIP: At the smaller end, do not over stuff end and even leave the end empty to make gluing easier. At larger end leave room to refold side of tie to original triangle shape. A marker is good for ends to, but the pencils gets the stuffing to middle of tie better without breaking seams.

2. Glue Ends
  I used the hot glue guns to close the ends. Make sure when stuffing to not to over stuff because it could tear seams of tie.  I ended up hot gluing middle seam for extra security since I knew the snakes were going to active boys.

3. Decorate
 Glue googly eyes and red felt tongue  to the large end of tie.  If you are giving to girl you could even add some yarn hair or felt bow:) I am thinking if I find a pink tie at the thrift store that my niece may be getting one of these next year:)

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Craving Carrot Sticks

Before the Thanksgiving that celebrate over the unrestrained pleasure of indulgence I am reminding MYSELF of a truth I learned last year from Lysa Terkeusrt:
You Crave What You Eat. When you eat junk you crave more junk. I have never just accidentally craved a carrot stick, but I have learned to INTENTIONALLY break the junk food cycle.   When you eat healthy food, you begin to crave healthier food. 

No one becomes healthy by accident.  You will not wake up one day and just not ever want a hamburger, chocolate, or whatever your personal favorite junk food is. When I first married my husband I actually ADDED SALT to my salt infused Ramen noodles.  It took me years to wean off the amount of salt I was used to in-taking on a daily basis.   I still "fall off the salt wagon" and find if I eat my personal Achilles Heal of ruffle chips, I will over indulge and want salt for weeks. Your Achilles heal may be some entirely different.   But I learned you will never change your body if you don't first change your choices.

I had a friend asked me how I lost the 40 lbs I lost last year, and before I could answer she interrupted and said, "oh wait, you are gonna make me all salady healthy stuff."  I knew then  she was not ready to loose weight because she still wanted her cravings more than she wanted to loose the weight.  I was there for a long time and I really really get it. The weight was worth it as long as I could keep the comfort food I loved, and emotionally relied on. I had to emotionally heal to get the point where I was willing to give up my food so that I could get physically healthy.  

And by the way, healthy food actually does tastes good.  if the only "salad" you know if iceberg lettuce and cheese, then you are missing out on so much. You won't know until you brake the cycle of craving the junk you eat.  Healthy not does equal flavorless.  As I have learned to cook healthy, I have actually seen the opposite is usually true.  I can't even believe the junk I used to think was good, when all I was tasting was salt and grease.   God designed you body to work with the food He created in our world.  Once you learn to crave real food and meat with spices that God created, you will not settle for high fructose corn syrup anymore or bland man-made chemicals.

During this holiday remember food is not the enemy, and eating yummy is not wrong.   But go into parties knowing your limits, and make choices  that will make you proud of yourself on Friday.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I Don't Like.....

I don’t like exercise, but I love when my pre-baby pants fit.
I don’t like jumping jacks, but I love having the energy to ride bikes with my kids.
I don’t like mopping, but I love a clean house.
I don’t like weeding, but I love fresh vegetables from my garden.
I don’t like laundry, but I love climbing into fresh sheets before bed.
I don’t like cleaning up play dough for days, but I love watching my kids’ imagination at work.
I don’t like sand in my hair, but I love watching my kids play in the waves at the beach.
I don’t like sleeping outside, but I love the relaxation that comes from being unplugged from society during a camping trip.
I don’t like being in a car for 2 to 3 hours, but I love spending time with my in-laws and seeing them with my kids.
I don’t like giving up “my” time in service, but I love serving other parents at church and teaching children God's Word.
I don’t like having to find the babysitter just to see a movie in the theater, but I love spending a night with my husband without kid distractions.
I don’t like that I don’t get to watch all the most popular movies, but I love focusing all that is pure and right and brings peace to my soul.
I don't like telling someone "no" when they really need me, but I love that my husband and children know they are my first priority.
I don’t like holding my tongue when I want to vent, but I love keeping a refining relationship even after the anger has pasted.
I don't like having to confront someone or being confronted when I am wrong, but I love the wisdom that comes from honesty spoken in love.
I don’t like forgiving someone when they really hurt me, but I love receiving the grace of forgiveness.

 I don’t like a lot of things…but none of them are worth loosing out on all the things I love.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Unity in the Body of Christ in Regards to Homeschool versus Public School

“In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty.   In all things, charity." 

 Parenting is the most personal path you may ever walk; our hearts are so raw when it comes to our children that defensiveness can be our knee-jerk reaction.   There is so much defensiveness on both sides of homeschooling that it easily leads to bitterness and resentment in the Body of Christ.  Satan is working hard to divide the women of the church through issues like school choice. 

I love Homeschooling.  I believe with all my heart that my family was called to homeschool.  I think I could talk to you all day about why we homeschool and how rewarding it has been for our family.  I can and probably will write why we home-school in other post, but this is not an explanation of why we home school.  I pray for this issue to be an open dialogue with prayerful and wise conversations. I attend an amazing church of people who have become my family, but I am in the minority as a homeschooling family. While this can be hard some days, especially Back to School Season, I want it to always be open to conversation.


To ALL Christian Parents:
The response ,"That is why we ___________ (insert homeschool or send our kids to public school)" is NOT an appropriate or helpful response when a fellow believer is sharing a struggle with their child.
  Seriously, both sides, stop this.  I have been on the receiving end of  "That is why we send our kids to school" more times that I can count; it is hurtful and judgmental. When a fellow believer ,who has a different schooling choice than you, confides a parenting struggle, please prayerfully answer with scripture and encouragement, or keep your mouth shut.

I want to urge Christian homeschool parents:
I have lovely sisters in Christ who public school ,or who teach in public school, who have shared a big concern with me that needs to be shared. Homeschooling parents must not guilt public school Christian parents. Be careful not to imply  that public school parents are lazy or unconcerned with the spiritual or emotional welfare of their children, because this is is furthest thing from the truth.  They want the very best for their specific children, and believe public school is the best way to accomplish this in their family.

I want to urge Christian public school parents (or teachers):
Be careful  not to imply that homeschool parents don't teach their children to boldly share their faith by not yet fully immersing them in a secular environment. Serving and living in our communities looks different for us as a homeschool family, but it still is a priority for most Christian homeschooling parents. Implying that fear is our main motivation for homeschooling is hurtful and usually very untrue. We want the very best for our specific children, and believe homeschool is the way to accomplish this in our family.

Random Sidenote: Public School parents, please note that the correct term  for Public School is not "real" school; it is public or traditional school.  By calling public school "real" school, you imply ours is a fake school. Thanks!

As much as I am sure God called my family to homeschooling, I know God called a close believing friend of mine to send her kids into public school.   I respect and support her as she steps out in faith into the scary unknown, and encourages her children to be light in a dark place of public school.  I also believe she respects and supports me as I step in the scary unknown of schooling my children at home.

There have been times we run into miscommunication, or false assumptions on both side.  We do have different lifestyles, but we remain friends. The friendships I have are important enough to seek dialogue and sharpen each other as sisters in Christ.  We may have different callings in regards to school for our kids, yet we both believe that our children are called to stand out and share their light in a world of darkness.

 To see a more in depth study of distinguishing essential to Non- Essentials see Reclaiming the Mind.

“In Essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty. In all things, charity."   These are the words of obscure reformer Rupertus Meldenius and the basis of my home church's mission statement.  I praise our Pastor for seeing the necessity of discerning where divisions in non-essentials can easily split a body of believers. There is no wavering on The Truth when it is clearly spelled out in Scripture. Not all things are clearly spelled out in Scripture and we must work to discern these essentials versus non essentials.  Satan is working hard to divide the women of the church through issues like school choice. 

Essential for salvation: These are the most essential doctrines of all essentials. This includes what every Christian should always be willing to die for. In essence, if someone does not believe the doctrines that are “essential for salvation,” they are not saved.
  • Belief in God (there is no such thing as an atheistic Christian)
    All issues pertaining to the person and work of Christ:
  • Belief in Christ’s deity and humanity (1 John 4:2-3; Rom. 10:9)
  • Belief that you are a sinner in need of God’s mercy (1 John 1:10)
  • Belief that Christ died on the cross and rose bodily from the grave (1 Cor 15:3-4)
  • Belief that faith in Christ is necessary (John 3:16)

Non Essentials:Choose Your Battles Carefully.  Just because something is non-essentials, does not make it unimportant, but  these are the issues that can trip us up, and I believe Satan uses to Divide the Body of Christ.   We are to seek Unity and be at peace whenever possible. Yes, Jesus says The Truth will be divisive (Luke 12:49-53), but He is referring to the division between believers and unbelievers.  The Word does not contradict itself and there is a clear emphasis on Unity in the Body of Christ.  (Ephesian 4:1-5) I believe it is essential that that we teach our children Jesus is the one and only way to Salvation, but how we do that we have liberty in.

The following are very important ideas, but not essential for salvation. Some examples of the non essentials that we have liberty in are:
  • Schooling Choices (home-school, Christian school, Public School)
  • Belief about particular when Jesus come in Revelations(Pre/Mid/post post tribulation)
  • The order of books in the canon
  • Which translation of the Bible to use from the pulpit
  • Which Gospel was written first
  • How often one should celebrate the Lord’s supper
  • What kind of music to play at church
  • Whether to use real wine or grape juice at communion
  • Whether to hold Saturday night services

 Public school and homeschool parents alike must be diligent to write the Word of God on their child's hearts as often, and as soon as possible, so that they may shine in the darkness.

You as a parent are ultimately responsible for your child's spiritual education, no matter your choice of academic education; we can not outsource it to children or youth pastors.    There are 168 hours in a week.  Children's Church/Sunday School is only ONE of them.  I personally teach Children's Church at my home church, and while it is a very important part of being in a church, I believe that your children's view of God will be shaped more by the other 167 hours of the week than the 45 minutes to hours I spend with them. Your example of spiritual discipline will speak louder to your child's heart than any Sunday School Teacher ever will. 

 My public school friend mentioned above has Scripture all over her house, they do no neglect gathering with other believers each week for church and small group, and  most importantly she lives out her beliefs.  She shows her kids what bible study looks like by doing it herself. She disciples them in the Word and teaches them how it applies to their every day lives. I hope that I can be this to my children, no matter my choice for education. 

 I grew up in public school with  non-Christian parents.  While  many of those public school experiences led to my decision to home-school, the truly committed Christian teens and Youth Leaders coming to my  public school helped me see a difference in them from their secular counterparts.  I wanted what they had.  Of course, not ALL children of Christians were these examples to me, which is why I stress above that we can not take our children's spiritual education for granted.

Even though not all Christian kids stand up for their faith in public schools, the ones who do make an eternal difference in the the unbelievers around them.   Homeschooling parents, please pray for your public schools, the students in them, the administrations, and the teachers.  Your child's future spouse is could most likely sitting in a public school classroom right now. 

While I do not believe that homeschooling is an essential for Christianity, if you are feeling the call to home-school please do not ignore it I was terrified when I started, but obeying the call has reaped unimaginable rewards in our family.

If you feel led to send your child to public school, seek God's face in how that will play out in your family. Seek him in how you disciple your child, so that he/she may be able to stand firm for their beliefs in the public school.

No matter what your leading, live out your faith in front of you kids by supporting and encouraging other sister in Christ. Christian women need other women. Do not let the enemy distract, destroy, and divide us.


Security in my choice to Homeschool

Satan is a Mean Girl, How He Divides Women of the Church

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kindergarten Homeschool Curriculum

We have begun Kindergarten! For our 2012-2013 School Year we are using My Father' World Kindergarten curriculum, the basic package.
First Day of School!
First day of School!!!

Homeschool Style
 I love Unit Studies, and the Charlotte Mason Approach. MFW combines both approaches, along with a little traditional.

Teacher's Manual
The Kindergarten curriculum is easy to teach , open and go curriculum.  I spent A LOT of time looking for curriclum, and even started to piece together Sonlight.  But once my friend put the Kindergarten Teacher's manual into my hands, I felt relief wash over me.  It was SO easy to read and even easier to implement.  The materials were not weird items I had to buy each week.  The books were classic books, very easy to find at any library.  The student sheets were easy to navigate, and included everything I needed to teach my child to read!

I had the first edition manual

Morning Routine
 The lessons take us only 30-45 minutes a day, which is 100% developmentally appropriate for a kindergartner!  I am no doctorate, but I do have a degree in Early Child Education.  My biggest draw to this curriclum was the fact that My Father's World truly understands Early Learning and Brain Development.  Kindergarten is a time of learning HOW to learn, fostering the love of learning through experiencing and making hands on connections with the world around them, through play and reading.

Our day starts out with a 100's chart, calendar, and short math lesson (all included in basic package).We then study the unit theme for the day. The beauty behind Unit Studies is how every subject has meaning, because they are all related together.  Kids genuinely learn information only when it has meaning to them.

An example of a Unit (takes about a week to finish):

  • Alphabet- letter T for Turtle
  • Science-Fiction and Non fiction books on turtles
  • Movement- Pretend to move like a turtle, then other animals
  • Art/Fine Motor Skills of cutting- Make a Turtle out of a paper plate
  • Reading- Aesop's Tale "The Tortoise and the Hare" & other books about perseverance 
  • Bible & Character Training- "I do not quit, I persevere", with a few verses on perseverance 

Learn to Read
After our Unit study for the day, We then moved into our reading lesson for the day. The learning to read approach is WONDERFUL! It is a gentle approach that is developmentally appropriate for a kindergartner! The lessons themselves follow a simple routine that is following each week for each letter and blend. I highly recommend the student sheets with the curriclum; they are essential if you are using this as your main learn to read curriclum!

Many critics claim the MFW Kindergarten is too light, but unfortunately  I believe this is because the frightening trends in early childhood to dismiss play and push inappropriate standards on brains that are nor ready. Kindergarten is a time to learn HOW TO learn, and to foster a LOVE OF LEARNING.     Do we really want a child who graduate kindergarten reading on 2nd grade level, but hates school?

Days of Creation at the beginning of the year

Optional Supplements  to My Father's World

MFW includes a lot of fun tactile ways to learn letters, but at the very beginning of the year, my boys were struggling (picture a lot of crying) with writing with the small pencils and tiny lines of the student sheets.

For some reason, they did better with the white boards. I think the problem stemmed from their perfectionism.  They would erase so many times on the paper it tore, but the white erase gave them a little more flexibility to make mistakes. IOnce their confidence grew, we were able to use the student sheets and pencil majority of  the time.  


How We Survived & Thrived Our First Year of Homeschooling

Why we Chose My Father's World Homeschool Curriculum 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Deep Thoughts from the Batman and Spiderman....2012

Just some quotes from my awesome boys...


Me after finding undies in living room,"Is this underwear dirty or clean?"  Batman(in all seriousness) "I don't know, does it feel like it has any farts in it?" 

 I just said "Please stop picking your nose." His response was, "I'm not picking my nose, I'm just getting something out of it that doesn't belong there.".....he should be a lawyer.

"Mom! My foot hurts from kicking my brother in the face!".....really?!?! 

  Batman while helping me make lasagna,"This is my favorite food because I love ri-cottage cheese!"

 "Mmmm! Mom, potato wedges are my favorite type of wedge!" 

Just had a funny conversation with Batman that the tuna he was eating was NOT a type of chicken....I still don't think he believes me.



" Mommy, I put on clean underwear! You want to smell them to make sure?" ...ummm, no thank you!

  "Mommy, you need put our candy up higher because sometimes Batman and me sneak it." Me, "Well, then how about you not sneak them?" Spiderman ,"Umm, yeah I think I will sneak them so you should just put them up higher." Well at least he is honest!!!!

"You know what be really hard? Rock climbing while eating soup." Good to know... good to know.

 "I want to be a swim teacher when I grow up, but I am pretty sure my Lighting McQueen swimsuit wont fit then."

 During a game of opposites Spiderman said, "I think the opposite of plants is a shovel, because that's how we get to no plants." I love hearing how his mind works:)

 Overheard at dinner, "I'm a noodle tornado & I'm about to be eaten by the mouthinator!"....oh to be five again:)

 "Did you know that 'ouch' in spanish is 'yowzers!'?"  Not sure where he comes up with this stuff:)

  "If I don't get a prize at vbs tonight then I wont whine...I wont be happy about it....but I wont whine." I think he is 5 going on 45 sometimes:)

 "Mommy, did you know there are things you know that  I don't know?" .....I really hope so.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

What your Doctor isn't telling you about your weight...

I just read an article in the NY Times how many doctors don't address weight with patients because most patients will just find another doctor because they get offended.  I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism two years ago, and I looked at a visit summary from last year's endocrinology visit and was surprised to see he records obesity as a chronic problem of mine.  I was not surprised because I already knew I was overweight, I was surprised because he has never once mentioned it to me or even mentioned to me to loose weight or how it would affect my! Even after I lost over 30lbs!

While of course  think loosing weight to be healthier is somewhat common sense, my endocrinologist deals with my metabolic disease and I thought he should be the one addressing my weight.  He had given me under the impression that my over weight issues were due to my disease and I had to get my thyroid fixed before I lost weight.  While that was partially true because my levels were so bad that exercise actually made me MORE tired when my metabolism was off, but now that my thyroid levels are back in the normal range I must exercise to keep a normal energy level. The phrase I have coined during this process is I have to earn my energy.  My kids wake up with energy, but if I want energy I must earn it! If you have a broken leg, you of course must let it heal before you can use it.  But after it is healed the only way you ever regain full use of that leg is by exercising those muscles.

So I guess what I have learned from the experience of being surprised with that ugly word OBESITY on my doctors chart  is we must be the ones responsible for our weight and exercise, because apparently some doctors are no longer feeling it is their place to tell us.  I am not blaming the doctors because we live in a society that somehow not only accepts unhealthy weight, but gets offended if you point it out.  We also live in a  quick fix society who view self-sacrifice as against the American Way of  life. And of course I recognize BMI is not the end all be all of how healthy you are, but it is a starting point. I have heard too many times (from myself and other really overweight women)  how BMI just doesn't take enough factors enough to place, and yes that is partially correct.  But make sure if you are making those claims that you have truly examined your health before you try to say that your BMI is not accurate of your health.  No I wouldn't ave considered myself  obese at BMI of 32, but I WAS NOT HEALTHY!  Look past those ugly words of obesity and overweight, and try to pray for discernment of how obedient you are being in taking care of the body God gave you.   We must be our own advocates and let our doctors know we want to hear the truth, no matter how hurtful it may be. It is the first step out of denials and into a healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Family Camping-Packing Lists & Organization

Camping can be a great way to have quality family time and not spend your college savings! Camping can also be a great way to drive mom crazy and dad crazy with all the packing and meals you have to prepare.  The way we enjoy family camping is to be as organized as possible. Organization also saves us money on last minute items we forgot.

We use the Tub System to streamline the packing and unpacking process. I was sick of packing the same thing over and over every year, just to forget one important item that I could get from the dollar store, but now have to play inflated prices at the Camp Store. 

We use 20- gallon CLEAR tubs from Walmart.  With my list (below) I bought and packed items from the dollar store or garage sales that STAY in the tub all year long. 

These tubs contain NO FOOD so they can be put under the table each night and no raccoons would get into them.

For Menus see my post on Family Friendly 4 Day Camping Meal Plan, with Grocery Lists
TIP- Buy items from dollar store, and after each trip replenish items you used (trash bags, alum foil) so next time you can just pull out tubs and be ready to go.

___Canteen/water bottle/coffee pot
filters/purification treatment               
__Stove with fuel/propane
__Charcoal/firewood/buddy burner
__Portable Gas Grill
__Fire starters/newspaper
__Tablecloth/thumb tacks/table clips
__Plates & bowls/paper plates & bowls
__ Real Coffee Mugs (silver ones too hot for us)
__Silverware/plastic silverware
__Measuring cups
__Heavy-duty aluminum foil
__Paper towels and wet wipes
__ MORE wet wipes (you can't have too many of these) 
__Trash bags
__Dish soap
__Clothes pins
__Cooking oil/Pam spray
__Containers for food storage
__Potholders/oven mitts/fire resistant gloves to hold pie irons
__Pots and frying pans with lids
__Cook utensils-spatula, knife, spoon
__Skewers/grill forks
__Can opener/bottle opener
__Folding table
__Dutch oven
__Pie irons
__Mugs/paper cups
__Mixing bowl
__Cutting board
__Ziplock bags-gallon and quart sizes)
__Napkins/paper towels
__Dish pan
__Dish rags/towels
__ two five gallon buckets for washing and rinsing
__ Biodegradable dish detergent
__Scrub pad/brillo
__Seasonings/sugar/condiments (keep in cooler with food, far away from site)
__Potato peeler
__Cutting knife

List for a Modern bathroom campground, plan accordingly if camping at  primitive campground.  
Some of the items listed are bigger than the tub, but they need to be on a checklist somewhere. 

__Reservations info./confirmation
___ Tent & Tent polls
__ Tarps-enough tarps to set under each tent to keep dampness out & rain cover
__old door mat to use at tent entrance
__small broom to sweep tents etc
___fire starter/matches
__ firewood/kindling
__Work gloves/heat resistant for working with fire
__ flashlights (bring one for each of your kids, it cuts down on arguments, trust me)
__Extra batteries/bulbs
___first aid-kit
__Hand wipes (you can never have enough hand wipes when camping)
__Small sewing kit
 __Small shovel
__Safety pins
__Thermacell Mosquito Repeller Lantern & Refills  (We seriously LOVE our thermacell Lantern!!!)
__Backpack for hiking or bike riding
__Camp chairs
__Rope or twine/clothes line
__Tent Fan (we bougth this one that hangs from the ceiling with the light, it is a great nightlight for as the kids go to sleep, we turn the light off once we go to sleep ourselves)
__Extension cords if electrical site
__ 2 rolls of toilet paper (camp bathrooms always run out!)
__Bungi cords/straps
__Duct tape/electrical tape/masking tape
__Extra Rope
 __Pocket knife
__Plastic grocery bags (for soiled clothes)
 __ Pop up laundry basket- get one from dollar store, great for kids because they can throw dirty clothes in easier than having to find a bag.

See post on Camping with Kids for more Info about keeping kids entertained while camping.
__ Book light (for reading in tent and not waking anyone else up)
__ Games/Playing Cards (include direction for any card games you might need)
__Hobby related activities (sketch book, knitting, whittling ) 
__Park map/guidebooks/trail maps
__ playdough for kids
__ Toys for kids (stay away from plush anything, needs to be easily washed
__radios/walkie talkies

Some of these can go into camp site tub if room.  I tend to put it in my big suitcase.

__Sleeping bag

__Air mattress/sleeping pad/cot
__Air pump
__Repair kit for air mattress

SUITCASES or CLOTHING TUBS-Clothes for each person

 __Shower shoes/flip flops 
__Play/Mud shoes for kids and hiking 
__Socks/tall socks for hiking
__Sleep clothes
__Rain gear
__Swim suit/towels/washcloths


__Soap in plastic case/shampoo
__Tooth brush/tooth paste
__Feminine products
__Other personal items
__Personal medications
__Sunscreen/ aloe vera
__ chapstick/
__ Cell phone/charger
 __Camera/battery/memory card
 __Money/ID/credit card/quarter

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