Well, our school year is winding up.  We just finished up with our Biola Star classes, the 3 youngest are done with their charter school but we have another week of charter school for my two high school students.  I feel like my load has lifted a lot, but like I still have a lot hanging over my head with finishing up the high schooler's year.  We have some essays and projects to finish up and record before our last meeting. This homeschool year was not my best year.  I am clearly going to have to dedicate myself this Summer to super-organizing for next year.  With that in mind, I am planning on using My Father's World next year for everyone but Meg.  Meg will be in her Senior year next year, History as a subject is over for her and we already have a really full course planned for her.   I really, really liked the schedule pages for My Father's World.  The schedule grid looked about the same as the History course we area already using, but- it had spaces for all subjects on the page (A.D.D. mom does not do well having to flip around to other schedules) and also some helpful little notes in some of the squares reminding you to do something or telling you where to find something.  I really need that.  The best part was the facing page- It listed the days of the weeks with directions on what you should be doing each day.  } This works with how my brain thinks.    I have figured out how to line up our History plans with what MFW is offering.  I think/hope it will be a really good change.  [Worksheets].  I saw ample worksheet offerings and narration sheets and coloring sheets...swoon. I am so glad I was able to see this curriculum in person, otherwise I would not have realized how much I like it.

I am still going strong with watching what I eat and exercising daily.  I am now up to level 3 of the 30Day Shred and I can run more of my mile & a- half route.  I've lost six pounds already and feel so much better.  Here's the neat part, yesterday while I was doing my Shred, one of the kids was watching me.  In the past, I would exercise in the privacy of my room, using the laptop but something is wrong with the disc drive and I can't use it, it's the desk-top in the front room or the t.v in the living room.  Well, this un-named kid was watching me and watching Jillian Michaels and laughing at me when I couldn't do the full-on sit-ups with my legs straight (those are hard!)  She asked if she could do the workout with me the next day.  I am really happy over this.

Here's where I struggle with how much to share on-line and with how much to be real- and how to be helpful to other moms.  I think I am okay sharing this.  One of my kids, (I will not name) is a butter-ball.  I noticed from the start that she is built differently then the others, she has always been more sturdy, bigger-boned; I guess you could call it.  The last few years she has put on the weight and I've been distressed and unsure of how to help her.  My big handicap is the fear of giving her some kind of horrible body-issue- struggle for the rest of her life.  As a society, we've become really sensitive about body -issue problems with girls- and not contributing to them...but I feel left in the dark about what to do when your child does have a problem.  At first, I figured it was our problem, not hers.  She needs to just be a kid, we as the adults in her life needed to handle it by getting her more physical activity and watching that she eats more healthy.  Sounds good, but really hard when you have four other kids in the house who are built like you were as a child- athletic and can eat anything, all day.  We've tried to watch her like a hawk and remind her to only take 3 cookies, not the 8 she suggest fruit, to make her eggs instead of cereal for breakfast.  We've put her into after school activities just to watch her put in the minimal effort.  We've taken her out because it was a waste of money.  When I was a kid, I was almost always outside playing.  Here, there are no other kids on our block.  It's been a real struggle.  I don't know how to change it without singling her out, and I'm afraid of the issues I could cause if I deny her a snack but let the other kids have one.  I worry if I stop all snacks but healthy stuff, that she will begin to hide food and binge.  I worry she will resent me.

I've tired little efforts- taking her on mile long walks more regularly, trying to get out and play tennis at the park..but it isn't happening every day.  So- having her ask to workout with me is huge.  It's something she wants to do, not something I am pushing on her.  Jillian Michaels, you rock- and I am so glad that my daughter has found something in you to compel her to emulate you.  After we finished our first workout I pulled up a photo of Jillian in highschool, when she struggled with show my daughter that we all have our struggles but that we all can also get healthy.

Thank you, Jillian Michaels.




My Fitness Pal - a great diet tool

So, I saw a photo of me a few weeks ago and didn't realize for a minute that it was me. Yes, it was that unflattering.

Something must be done and now.  I asked around at my favorite online homeschool mom hangout and noticed many were talking about p90X -a series of hard-core video workouts.  I decided this is for me; But first, I needed to get up off the couch and do some kind of exercising, because doing p90x straight from couch-potato status probably would lead to my quitting exercise all-together.

Know thy enemy: My enemy is myself.

I went ahead and made an account over at Beachbody (publishers of p90x) and found an online coach (another homeschool mom)  I asked my coach about counting calories, something I haven't ever attempted because I know I would stink at it... She told me about My Fitness Pal - which is a really cool smartphone app and website.  I don't think calorie counting was ever this easy or addicting.  I think of it as my own online video game...of sorts.

You can sign up for an account, it will ask you for your height, weight, sex, level of current activity (does walking to the computer and fridge count??) and your goal -weight loss, maintain, gain?  The site will then calculate how many calories a day you should be eating to make your goal.  The neat part, as you enter in everything you eat, it subtracts calories and lets you know how many you have left for the day.

This is diet journaling at its finest.  It's sadly eye-opening to realize how much junk you stuff your face with, and how little 1200 calories is compared to what you have become used to.  [ahem]

Your smartphone app and desktop will synch, which is really cool- if you are out at a restaurant, you can add to your food diary and even look up dishes to find nutritional content and to help you make a healthier choice.  I love that when you look up food items, they are usually already in the database with all the nutritional information already entered.  I also love that it remembers all the things I eat, and so, since I am a creature of habit, I can easily check off foods I've already entered as I eat them. You can also scan food packages with your phone and the information will pop up. How cool is that?

The online video game part?  You can sort of bargain for calories.  Go for an extra run, enter it and My Fitness Pal will add extra calories you are now allowed to have.  It's a if I get up off my butt and run I can have a bigger dinner?  Yes. Maybe.   I've discovered that at least for me, adding the extra calories slows my weight loss to almost nil, so I am staying with the base 1200 calories and not entering in my exercise.  But...if I really wanted dessert, I might play the game once in a while :)

The diary also keeps track of your water intake...I really need this.  With my anemia, I am often dehydrated - my hands often look prunish- like after you get out of being in water for a long time, except I haven't been in water.  And yet, I don't drink enough water.  Having the prompt on my screen is helping me to make sure I drink water.


You can make a profile at My Fitness Pal, track your weight and eating goals and make friends.  If you have an account (which is free) let me know in the comments and I will send you my username if you'd like to friend me.

So far I've lost 5lbs.  It's such a slow race, kind of frustrating.

So, internets, any fitness advice?

*not a sponsored post