(important) Things I do With my Kids EVERY Day.

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Lately I’ve been asked a lot about curriculum, and where I get my ideas for home school activities. I’ve been asked about how our typical day goes here in our household-schoolhouse, so I am here to put all other Mommy’s minds to rest…

We don’t follow a strict curriculum. 

We don’t have a strict schedule. 

We just wing it. Every single day.

The way I see it, the more you are out and about doing things and taking in your surroundings, the more ideas can come together. So we try to do just that.

However, each day there are certain things I make sure to accomplish with my children, not just because my kids enjoy these activities, but I feel they are the most important for their growth, learning, and over-all maturing as tiny humans.

#1: We read. Some days, especially rainy days, my eyes grow sleepy with the amount of books we read together. Some days, after I have read my max, I suggest Parker “reads” to his sister. There are certain books he has memorized and it’s good practice for him as well. Ava enjoys the time with big brother too.

#2: We do chores. Allowing the kids to “help” with miscellaneous projects and chores around the house may mean that things get done in three times the amount of time it should take, but it’s so important for the kids to feel involved, needed, and doing chores gives them a very basic work ethic. The majority of our chores involve the animals, so that adds to the excitement for all of us. The chickens, bunny, goats, and dogs all need fed and cared for daily so Mama’s helpers are never empty-handed. When it comes to indoor chores, both my kids have found areas inside the house that they prefer. Ava loves helping in the kitchen; putting away groceries, and organizing cabinets are her specialty. Parker enjoys real organization, usually with his toys, or Daddy’s tools.

#3: We eat together. Frequently. Sharing meals is especially important to me. It’s that time during the day when you can all sit and actually be present together. I am, and always have been one of those women who eat all day long, and I am raising my children to have the same good habits with food as well. I enjoy making healthy family meals, so I hope all our kids grow to not only have appreciation for that, but will take my love for healthy food and apply it to their lives as they grow as well.

#4: We snuggle, kiss, hug, and tell each-other we love each other. Sometimes Daddy gets a bit overwhelmed with how lovey his son is especially, but I don’t care. I adore the fact that our family is so loving towards each other. Sure, it may be a tad embarrassing when the kids insist on pulling up my shirt, and my maternity pants down so they can kiss baby brother in my belly while we are grocery shopping, but there’s no way I could ever stop them. Having lost loved ones, I feel it is necessary to never waste a moment to tell someone you love them. And I am thankful my children are learning to do the same.

#5: I scold or discipline. There’s no way around it. When you have an almost 2 year old, and an almost 4 year old, there will be chaos as well as tragedy and tears. I grew up with firm parents, yet they were not overly strict, there was a good balance. However, I was raised to know respect, and good manners, and I expect my children to learn the same. So when they do wrong, we discuss it. Sometimes I raise my voice more than I like, and sometimes I cry as well. However, I refuse to be the parent that lets their kids get away with anything and everything, because those children grow up to be teenagers as well as adults, and they are our future.

#6: We get outside time. This is the Oregon coast, so you never know what the weather will be, and though we’ve been lucky this winter, usually the rain is too atrocious to even think about spending time outside. Lately, we’ve been loving the sunshine, even when the air is brisk and cool, we can bundle and get fresh air. The kids and I have been the beach a few times the last week, and have been feeling overwhelmingly blessed by the lack of wind! Fresh air is needed for keeping their little, growing brains functioning. Fresh air is needed for Mama and clearing her mind. Fresh air is good for immune health, mood, and so much more. It’s a wonderful thing, being able to raise our children on our eight acres that also happens to be within minutes from a quiet beach and having space to explore.

#7: We have “school” time. Though each day the schedule may vary, we do sit down and work on school work. Every day we do something, some days we do much more than others. At the preschool stage, I let my son guide me a bit more than I lead him. It’s important he doesn’t lose interest so I let him tell me how long he wants to focus on school work. When we need a break, we take one. If we don’t accomplish much, we go back to that lesson again. I have a weekly theme each week, and we will do projects based on that theme. Most weeks, we also add in things we’ve learned in the past and do reviews as well. I had a full school-years worth of themes planned out, but have rearranged as needed.

#8: We have REAL conversations. We use REAL facts, and REAL (even sometimes slightly uncomfortable) words. In this day and age, there are nicknames and slang terms for everything. We are very realistic with our children. After all, this is real life. Both Mommy and Daddy are/have been involved in the health care and/or fitness fields and the human body is no joke to us. We use the correct terms, and its actually quite fascinating how fast our nearly four year old picks up things we talk about with him. He could tell you the longest muscle in the body and talk to you about what bones he saw in an x-ray. We don’t use funny cover-up names for private parts, and just the other day Parker drew a picture of him and Daddy, stick figures of course, but they both had penises. (Insert blushing cheeks here…but also very proud Mom for him being anatomically correct.) When we talk about plants, and animals around our house, we make sure we share the correct info with our kids so they learn as we explore. If Parker has a question we aren’t entirely sure of an answer, we look it up and find the right answer.

#9: I let the kids entertain themselves. Not only does this give me a small mental break, or chance to pee without them, but it’s important for the kids to use their imaginations and try to problem solve without supervision and being able to ask for help the second they need it. They learn to get creative. Sometimes they learn what failure feels like. All important things.

#10: We pray and talk about the bible. I cannot express how deeply my children have changed my life. My husband and I both were raised christian, but becoming a mom has only encouraged my heart to grow with the Lord, and for that, I am thankful every day. Ava’s favorite book for her Grandpa Stacy to read when we go visit, is a toddler bible. We pray at bedtime, and we try to throughout the day as well. Teaching the kids to have a relationship with God, helps me do the same.

Whew! 

Seems like such a long list, and after reading through all nine bullets, there’s no wonder I am tired by the end of the day. It’s 100% worth it. My babies deserve as much as I can possibly give them, and I want to be the Mama that gives them unlimited memories as well as work towards raising them to be the best tiny humans they can possibly be.

stay at home mom

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Behind my fit Pregnancies

Mama Mama, Workin' Out

I have always been active. As a kid and teenager I played sports, was involved with horses, loved hiking and climbing trees, and just about anything that kept my body busy. Over the last ten years, I have dedicated my life to being healthy and active, and at the age of 20, I decided to make my love for fitness official when I went to school for personal training.

That was almost 9 years ago now, and as the time goes by I continue to adapt, adjust, and advocate my passion.

I’ve done one-on-one training, group bootcamp classes, trained and coached myself for a bikini competition, coached youth sports, and have learned to keep my body healthy as I go from a long-distance runner to a strong mama who isn’t afraid to lift more than her kids.

Long story short, fitness is a part of who I am. Fitness is a part of my past, as it is a huge part of the future I plan for myself and my children.

During the last five of those 10 years, I have been pregnant three times. Currently, I am 21+ weeks pregnant with my third, and have continued to not only maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, but that has kept me very consistent with my composition and athletic abilities between each pregnancy.

(When I say “athletic abilities” I also mean I am able to move my body as it’s MADE to be moved. Nothing heroic or olympian by any means.)

When I got pregnant with my first, I was mostly still a runner, but did plenty of light weight and body weight exercises to maintain balance. I was right around 110 pounds, and 14% body fat. I continued to walk/jog and do lighter workouts throughout the pregnancy. Parker was born 10 weeks early, and no one knows why to this day.

With my second pregnancy, I was actually pregnant while on stage at a bikini competition where I was 111 pounds, and 11% body fat. Obviously my body was nourished as it should be, or I wouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I lifted heavy throughout this whole pregnancy as well as walked and hiked. I was the strongest and leanest I’ve ever been when I got pregnant with my second. I stopped lifting heavy (and continued to lift lighter weights) ONLY about a month before our daughter was born. She was 38+ weeks and a healthy baby. Labor was quick and as perfect as it gets.

I began this pregnancy at 111 pounds, and 13% body fat. This pregnancy has been the hardest on me physically, as I have had a million more stresses, adjustments in our personal lives, and with having the two kiddos at home full time…one in which I am home-schooling. My body aches more, and it begs me for more frequent workouts or at least more activity. Not only is my body feeling the changes, but my stress levels could use the workouts as well. I also know, if I were to get in even small, less intense workouts, I would have more energy to chase after my two kiddos, the two goats, the two dogs, and make sure the chicks, chickens and bunny all get the attention they deserve as well. Energy is very much needed. 

Regardless, I have still been able to get in 1, maybe 2 workouts a week, as well as a walk or so. With the weather changing, and me being the constantly cold woman I am, our Bob isn’t getting in as many outings as we would all like. Though I am very blessed and thankful for the ability to be even as active as I am now, there are days I have a hard time with either feeling like I need more so I don’t lash out and allow stress to win, or there are people who make it worse by telling me to “don’t over-do it”, “lifting weights isn’t safe during pregnancy” or “go eat a pizza, you are pregnant” and it makes me crazy.

The reality is, my body is used to exercise, and God made our bodies (yes…even as women) with the ability to move and be fit. And most importantly, I know my body.

Here’s the thing: Who wouldn’t want to reap the benefits of exercise during pregnancy anyways?!

  1. Squats help prevent back and pelvic pain, as well as increase and strengthen pelvic floor muscles.
  2. Walking, swimming, and/or light impact activities help keep yours and baby’s weight in check, while also helping to prevent gestational diabetes, regulating blood pressure, and kicking stress to the curb. Walking for me also helps loosen up any aches and discomforts pregnancy might be creating.
  3. According to Ina May Gaskins, you should squat 300 times a day for a quicker birth.
  4. More energy!
  5. Upper body weight/strength training helps improve posture that may be thrown off because of your already changing body and baby belly.
  6. And, once baby is born, you bounce back and heal so much faster! And then, the greatest benefit of all is allowing your littles to witness their mama in action living a fit lifestyle so that they too grow a passion for the same.

For me personally, I will always recommend an active lifestyle. Even during pregnancy. Obviously each woman and each pregnancy is different, so finding ways to adjust to fit your needs is important. Because of my background, I am confident that I can use my body appropriately and safely while exercising. Having good form, knowledge of lifts, and knowing my body’s limits is all crucial…but not something I worry about. No, it’s not a fad, or an attempt for attention. It’s a lifestyle, one that began ten years ago, and only continues to adapt, adjust and one I’ll continue to advocate.

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A few weeks before my first was born, and 7 months post first pregnancy. 

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8 months pregnant with baby #2, and 8 months post baby #2

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5 weeks pregnant with baby #2

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Working out with lighter weights a couple weeks before Ava was born.

 

 

 

Message 2 my Kids #38

Mama Mama

Ava girl, you stink.

Your poopy diapers are the worst. Probably because your Daddy is who keeps pooping in them.

I’m going to have to have a talk with that Daddy.

(Every time I ask Avaley if she’s pooped, she flat out says “no…Dada” which is both adorable, and hilarious, but still, no less stinky.)

Progesterone and Specialists

Mama Mama

My husband and I had just gotten to Gold Beach the night before our baby shower, Friday January 31st, 2014 when we ran into a friend at the store and I started feeling slightly crampy around my lower belly. Our friend noticed and asked in a joking manner, “Are you having your baby now!?”  We laughed, shrugged it off, and returned to my father-in-laws house for the remainder of the night.

Sometime shortly after Javin and I both fell asleep, I was in and out of the bathroom, uncomfortable, on my knees, curled in a ball…nothing made me feel better so I dozed when I could but spent the majority of the night in pain.

In the morning, my father-in-law saw my behavior and called the hospital to see if a doctor would be available to see me, he insisted we go get checked out. I mean, I was bending over the couch and could hardly move, but being as this was our first child, and we still had 10 more weeks until our due date, being in labor wasn’t even an option. Was it?!

At this time, the hospital in our tiny little home town wasn’t delivering babies, they were not staffed or prepared for it. But being as I came in and was already 6 cm dilated and progressing quickly, they made an exception. Yes we were ahead of schedule, and yes, I had a baby shower planned, but we were also having a baby.

Though the circumstances were not ideal, I remember feeling so calm, while I sensed everyone around me was a ball of nerves. My husband and both our moms were emotional, and there was nothing I could do at this point besides play things out.

Labor and delivery was tough for me. My body had began labor the night before (I know now) and when I got to the hospital they gave me I believe indomethacin to attempt to slow/stop labor. They would not fly me because I was already progressed further than they would have like, and so our only option was to wait for a team to fly in from Medford, to assist with the baby and take him to the NICU there once he was born. Because the doctors were trying to somewhat regulate and keep my labor on their schedule, my body was confused when they then broke my water to begin labor again.

Once I began to push, it wasn’t long at all until our son, Parker, was born. 10 weeks early, breathing on his own, and 3lb 12oz of all our love. After I delivered the placenta the doctors then saw there had been an abruption, and I had a large blood clot that worried them enough that they insisted I stay the night for monitoring. The most difficult night in my life was this night. My first born had just been flown 3 and a half hours away and I didn’t get to hold, admire, or nurture him. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect since this was NOT a part of our birth plan.

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Long story short, we spent 6 weeks in the hospital, allowing Parker to mature. I lived in the hospital with him, while my husband continued schooling and working full time back home on the coast. I was his advocate, and I am so thankful I could be there to stand up for him and what I felt was appropriate. I saw many other babies have multiple set-backs during our stay, and we were so blessed to be able to bring our baby home even weeks before his original due date.

Once Parker turned one, we knew we would want to start trying for another baby soon. And when we got pregnant, I was in the best shape of my life. I actually was pregnant with our daughter while I attended a bikini competition and as lean and strong as I’ve ever been.

Our journey with Avaley’s pregnancy was much different than Parkers. I changed midwifes, and knew I wanted a more natural approach to birth this time around. My midwives suggested I go see a specialist and discuss progesterone shots to possibly help prevent preterm birth with this pregnancy since the placental abruption I had with Parker was from an unknown cause.

So I did, and we came to the conclusion that we would begin shots at 20 weeks, and continue them once a week for 17 weeks until I reached “full term”.

These shots sucked. They were a pain in the ass, literally.

Every Friday my husband would stick a large needle into my rear-end muscle, and have to slowly inject a thick, oily, hormone-filled shot over 60 seconds. For two days after each shot I could hardly sit, lay, or touch near the injection site. Down my leg ached, and felt as though I had been injected with cement. I grew moody and grouchy, partly because I was in pain, and partly because of the extra hormones I am sure. Because I was even more uncomfortable, and even more moody, I had less sex-drive. After each shot my stomach would turn, and I’d be in the bathroom the following day more frequently than I would have liked. I also remember having headaches frequently following the shots.

The truth of the matter was, I was scared to have another preemie. We were blessed with Parker, he had no significant issues from being born so early, where in many preterm births, that is not the case. I also felt obligated to follow the recommendations of my midwives because I didn’t want another hospital birth either, and I needed them happy with the choices I was making. So we toughed it out and took the shots.

In addition to taking these shots, I had multiple additional ultrasounds to determine if my cervix ever shortened, which it never did. And it never was short before beginning the shots as well.

Come 37+ weeks, I had no more shots, and I lost my mucus plug. After this, I began very inconsistent contractions. I was so hopeful for a baby on my birthday, or even on Christmas, but that didn’t happen. December 29th, my water broke at about 11:00 at night. True, more consistent contractions began almost instantly and we grabbed our bag and headed to the birthing center. I was so thankful we were to term, I was free of any medical intervention, and I could do as I pleased while I labored. Shower, ball, and bath. Avaley was born in the water at just after 2:00 am and we had a healthy baby girl whom I carried for 38+ weeks. Her daddy got to cut the umbilical cord, and I got to hold her first thing. It was magical. Everything I had hoped for.

Now, here we are, 14 weeks pregnant with our third child, and we’ve arrived at the dreaded progesterone dilemma again.

This time around, I’ve done more research, asked more questions, and discussed more with my husband about what we should do as far as taking progesterone shots goes.

My midwives again are sending me to another specialist. My husband and I will see them in a couple days. I was adamant about Javin coming with me this time, because I didn’t want to forget anything, or feel pressured without him being there. Part of me also knows Javin doesn’t want me to take the shots, and has had strong opinions about that from the beginning. So it will be good for both of us to be a part of this meeting and doctors appointment. I don’t want to take the shots either, not just because they hurt, and are incredibly expensive, but as I said, I’ve done my research. 

During my second pregnancy I received 17 Makena hydroxyprogesterone caporate injections. I began my research at the source, the Makena website. The “negative side-affects” list is never-ending, and many quite severe. Blood clots, yellowing of skin and eyes (which indicated liver complications) etc. However, I already knew how my body reacted so I wasn’t going to spend my time there.

Ingredients: Man-made and chemical form of progresterone (which only makes up 25% of each injection), sesame oil, and preservatives.

Stress level officially through the roof! So, 75% of each injection is actually GMO sesame and preservative junk?!

Okay…moving on.

In a clinical study, certain complications or events associated with pregnancy occurred more often in women who received Makena. These included miscarriage (pregnancy loss before 20 weeks of pregnancy), stillbirth (fetal death occurring during or after the 20th week of pregnancy), hospital admission for preterm labor, preeclampsia (high blood pressure and too much protein in your urine), gestational hypertension (high blood pressure caused by pregnancy), gestational diabetes, and oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid levels).

This was taken directly from the Makena website. I re-read that paragraph multiple times, and even had Javin read it to make sure my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me.

“complications occurred MORE OFTEN in women who recieved Makena.”

I realize that clinical studies are very difficult to utilize for true results, because each individual is so different that there is no way to actually compare these women properly. So I began a full-on obsession with digging deeper into this. To spare you all the never-ending data, I’ll just say I came out of this feeling frustrated, and discouraged more than anything. I know my brain and my heart say these shots aren’t necessary, and there’s absolutely NO WAY of telling if they did or didn’t play a part in Avaley’s full-term pregnancy. Pharmaceuticals scare me for a lot of reasons, and I chose to use them as little as possible in our lives. (We don’t even take ibuprofen.) And where are the studies showing that these shots are not affecting the babies, and that down the road there wont be learning complications or some other negative side-effect because of the progesterone shots?!

There’s no way of truly knowing these things. The only thing we can do is pray for guidance, and trust God’s plan.

So we are meeting with a doctor at Maternal Fetal Medicine in just a few days, and after that appointment, I’m not going to trust a specialist or anyone else. I am going to follow my gut.

It has gotten me this far. 

 

 

 

 

Bless Our Home

Mama Mama, Our Homely Farm

This last week and a half the tension and chaos has been through the roof. We spent a full 7 nights away from our home, 3 being on a mandatory evacuation because of an out of control forest fire, the others because I didn’t want to return with the kids if my husband wasn’t going to be with us, just in case the fire grew our way more.

The Chetco Bar Fire, it’s growing daily and is still after all this time, 0% contained, and it is waaaayyy too close to home.

So, since Javin has this week off for hunting season, we came home to check on things and clean up a bit.

While we were home we got a call that the drywaller was going to be coming, so I felt it was time we do something to really make this home ours while we had studs opened up. It was time to do something that could help bless this house and those who live in it.

In almost every room there are walls opened up and no flooring. So I grabbed a sharpie and list of bible verses I’ve had stashed aways and went to work.

The kids’ bedroom, their playroom, our bedroom, the kitchen, the kids’ bathroom, the laundry room, and the living room all have verses within them. They will be covered up, yes, but they will always be a part of the house now.

It’s actually pretty amazing how good a small project like this can make you feel even in a mess of emotions.

 

Park Workout with the Kiddos

Workin' Out

Welp, I got my workout in. It wasn’t as structered as I had hoped, but it got done.

It only took until nearly dark, and a family trip to the park after yet another busy day, but that’s alright.

Even though the actual workout was a bit scattered, my muscles now feel fatigued and I’m certain I’ll be slightly sore come morning. Mostly because I haven’t worked out in a week!

Each exercise I did between 12-20 reps. Somewheres around 3 rounds of everything. To be honest, I lost track and just kept jumping into different exercises as I went along while the kids and Javin were playing.

Playgrounds actually make really good gyms. Just have to get creative.

And, it’s another way for the kids to see Mama live an active lifestyle.

 

A Healthy, yet Comforting, Family Meal

Nutrition & Good Eats

You know those days when the only dinner that really sounds good is a comfort meal? Something warm, and hearty, and just feels like home. Growing up I hated meatloaf, but it was a common “comfort” food in our house. As my cooking has evolved, I’ve adapted to find ways that I actually enjoy meatloaf. The secret is, no bread, no large and soggy loaf, and add veggies when at all possible.

Last night the kids and I stayed at my father-in-law’s since my husband was on call and I decided I should invite Grandma and Grandpa over as well so we could all share a meal together and they could play with the great grandkids. Grandma and Grandpa also make for extra hands so that Mama has a better chance of preparing dinner without too many interuptions.

Anyways, the dinner menu looked as such:

Bacon wrapped mini meatloaves, greenbeans and onions, mashed potatoes, and homemade elk and onion gravy. Our side salads would be spinach, strawberries, cranberries and a tiny sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.

From just the name, you might think bacon wrapped meat loaf doesn’t sound healthy, am I right?

Here’s my recipe, it’s a bit different from your typical meatloaf. Remember, it has to be in order for me to like it.

(The recipe was doubled last night since we had a total of six adults and two kids eating)

1 package organic, ground turkey

1 package ground elk burger

1 large carrot grated

2 eggs

A combination of spices

Uncured, nitrate/nitrite free turkey bacon

And that’s it. Hand mix that all together, form into large patties, wrap with the turkey bacon, and set onto a foiled cookie sheet (or use a broiler pan) and bake at 425 degrees. Depending on the size of the patties, cook for about 15 minutes, flip over and cook another 15. If you want to add a lititle crisp to the edges, broil the last couple minutes.

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Now, for the sides.

Who doesn’t love green beans cooked with onions?! I had some freshly frozen green beans that needed to be used, so I sauted a full yellow onion and a little garlic until tender and beginning to turn translucent, and added the green beans. Seasoned only with a little garlic powder and black pepper, I put a lid on these guys and let them cook a little while.

The potatoes can be where healthy turns to unhealthy, so whenever we have potatoes it’s more about portion control for me than anything. Simple mashed potatoes, a little butter a little milk, and salt and pepper. (I like to leave the skin on my potatoes if they are red or yukon gold)

The gravy base was leftover from a roast we just made a couple days ago so the flavor was full and spectacular. Full of onions and garlic already, all I had to do was thicken it. I didn’t have any organic corn starch here at my father-in-law’s so I used a pack of organic brown gravy mix.

And there you have it, a comfort meal for a family event that won’t leave you over full and feeling guilty about over eating. Unless of course to go for seconds, but that would be your fault, not mine. 🙂

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Natural Wasp Killer/Repellent

Our Homely Farm

We love bees and are teaching our children to respect and care for them as well. I believe they are necesary for our environment, they help pollinate our food, and so much more.

And then there are wasps.

Gnarly, ugly, just plain mean!!!

We knew we had a wasp nest in the ground behind our goat’s pen, and had every intention to take care of it but got busy and realized since it was out of the way, it wasn’t high on our priorities. And then a few days ago, we were working the property, and our son started screaming and we had no idea why. He wasn’t using his words or explaining anything to us (as I don’t think he knew exactly what happened) and it finally hit us that maybe he got stung!

Sure enough, we had a second wasp nest! This one closer to the house, under a wood pile we started digging into.

I picked up Parker and ran with him around the front and up the stairs and across the deck and into the house and those suckers followed us, chasing us down the whole way! It wasn’t until we got inside and Parker was still crazy that I realized there might be a dang wasp inside his clothes!

There was.

Poor guy got a total of 5 stings, I got 2 and Javin got 1. Thank goodness little Avaley didn’t get any because it was quite the fiasco at our house for about an hour trying to calm down after the sting. The thing was, we knew Parker wasn’t overreacting because the stings hurt! They hurt bad!

Okay, Mama was officially on a mission. Those things had to die!!! They hurt my baby.

Initially my husband wanted to dump gasoline over the first nest we found but I had told him I never liked that idea. So I researched effective ways to get rid of wasps and really wanted to be as natural as possible while still getting the job done. I came across something that seemed easy enough. So we tried it.

Instructions are as follows:

Boil a large pot of water, or even two, depending on how large you suspect the nest to be. (We had no idea how big the nests were, but since we had two nests, we made two big pots.)

Right after the water is done boiling, add peppermint essential oil.

Pour the boiling water with oil directly on top and into the wasps nest and remove yourself from the area quickly in case they come a flyin’!

***Note: don’t attempt to poor the water unless the wasps aren’t swarming or flying in and out. We chose to do this whole thing just before dark, the wasps were in bed at the time.***

(In our personal experience, no wasps flew out after we poured the water.)

The next day we kept observing the area and never witnessed any wasps flying around. So when evening came, we decided to poke at the area a bit. After we saw no signs of life, we dug up the ground a bit to destroy whatever nest was left.

Oh, what a relief!!! We were able to kill both nests, and do so in a manner that did no harm to our land and without using chemicals.

That’s a win in my book!

Sight Words to Learn

Homeschooling, Mama Mama

Sight words.

What are they, and what are the importance of them?

Sight words are commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode. 

The level before reading, that’s where sight words come in handy.

Many kids learn sight words best through memorization rather than phonics. I plan to play it by ear and see how Parker takes on this challenge. If he shows me he should advance a little, we will add more phonics into our daily sight word lessons. Either way, I believe that for early readers, memorizing sight words is invaluable for literacy.

There are many words our son already knows, can recognize, spell, and write himself. However, in order to help encourage growth we are beginning a list of sight words once we start home-schooling in a few weeks. The list of words I have put together are ones that are small enough so that they are not overwhelming, but common enough to be used frequently in stories, and workbooks he may use and come across. I also added words that tie easily into biblical teachings, because for our family, that is important as well.

This is a rough list of the words I put together this morning. I say “rough” because I am sure I will adjust, and add at some point in our lessons. I am sure I have forgotten or not thought of a few important words, so those will be added in as necessary. My plan for the words is to split them up evenly through out the school year, a new letter every week. Because the school year is 43 weeks long, and there are only 26 letters, we will repeat them for review.

Parker wont be four until February, so again, the fact that I get to do these lessons with him already just blows my mind. The kid has a brain for learning. 

 

sight words

*Note that there are not many “x” words, so I added a couple that still use the letter, just not at the beginning. *

I am uncertain as to how I will utilize all the words. I have a few ideas. Either I will make flash cards, use dry erase boards, use magnet letters, or one of the many other creative ideas I will pull out of my hat! To be honest, I am sure each week will be a different strategy, to keep interest.