2014's word- RETURN, 2015's word- PROGRESS

Word for 2015: Progress

I didn’t know what I was getting into when I chose the word “return” for last year.  I was hoping to return to a sense of calm, organization and control.  Did I ever really have it to return to?  In my mind I did.  I did return to BUSY little ones!  I don’t know about other kids, but mine hit the floor running in the morning and don’t stop until they are asleep at night.  By that time I’m so worn out I’m not good for much!  I am very grateful for healthy active children!!!  I’ve  have been able to spend lots of family time but I’ve fallen behind on so much.  I think I’m looking forward to my youngest children growing up and being more independent.  I will enjoy that time, but I also know I will miss having little ones!  I’m going to need to find some babies to borrow, then give back so I can get some other things done.

So now to find a new word for 2015…… PROGRESS.  I need to be intentional to make progress in all areas of my life.  As I take care of my family, in my little farm and in my volunteer work.  I hope to look back at this post next year and see that I have tried, like the little engine that could, to work on what I’ve been entrusted with.  One of my favorite quotes from “The Flylady” is “progress not perfection“.  I can keep trying and I don’t need to get  it right the first time (or second or third), but I am so much better for working toward something than to be stuck doing nothing in fear of not getting it “right”.

Hopefully I will make progress with my blog and update my “Progress”!!!

2014's word- RETURN, homeschooling

My Renewed Vision of Homeschooling!

Have you ever had the pleasure of having your thought process come to a screeching halt? Just taking that moment to clear your head and truly listen to what God is trying to get through to you?! I have not had that happen in a very LONG time!!!  I’m always going, thinking, moving, needed…if not, I’m trying to sleep or falling asleep while trying to do something else, lol!  I was very honored that my homeschool co-op sent me the the Home Educators Association of Virginia’s Leadership Convention this past weekend.  It was in beautiful Williamsburg Virginia, at a beautiful hotel and conference center.  The speaker, Doug Bartsch, taught so many valuable lessons about leadership, as a parent, in the church and at my co-op.

We had dinner at the president of HEAV’s house.  Her house was so beautiful and inviting. The food was wonderful and plentiful! But the company was brilliant! What a treasure to be able to speak to so many people that are SO involved in homeschooling.  Since this was a leadership convention everyone here not only had a vested interest in their own families, but in the families of many others.  What totally blindsided me was my vision of my homeschooling!

Rick Boyer and my co-op buddy, Elizabeth

Here’s the nugget that I needed:  I didn’t realize until that moment how much the homeschooling movement has changed in my 17 years of homeschooling!  I think the vision of bringing the family together and raising educated disciples for Christ has been lost in the sea of curriculum choices, co-ops and extra curricular activities.  Not that any of these things are bad, but I had lost the vision in the confusion of doing what’s “right” and “better”.  I had forgotten what the homeschooling pioneers had fought for, why I started and the values I held so dear long ago.  What was once worth fighting for, in the right to educate your own children, is now taken so lightly that the vision is lost. I am ever so grateful to be reminded and will work hard not to be so wrapped up in the small details and miss the big picture.

2014's word- RETURN, Trim Heathly Mama

RETURNing to weight loss


I set some monthly goals for myself when I started the Trim Healthy Mama plan in the middle of October.  I promised myself they were just something to work toward and it was ok if I didn’t meet each one.  I did well November 15 and December 15, but then all our food holidays were upon us!!!!  I didn’t meet my January 15 goal, but I MAY come close to meeting my January goal in February and the next one soon after.

I was initially disappointed that I didn’t continue to lose weight during the holidays, but then I thought about it.  I wasn’t 100% eating “on plan” but most importantly…. I wasn’t gaining!  I enjoyed all of our Christmas traditions until ALL the leftovers were gone!  Then it was New Years.  I only stretched that one for 2 days instead of almost a week.

I have learned that I need to follow the plan 100%.  I need to have lots of good “S” meals. I can’t have too much cheese or I won’t lose any weight.  I overdo good carbs on “e” meals, so I have to be careful.

My absolute fav is the Frappe!  This has satisfied all my cravings for sweets and is easy for quick, on the go meals.  Once I added flavored extracts my life changed!  I can have the best flavors without all the calories!  Here’s some combos we’ve done: dreamsicle, root beer float, chocolate covered cherry, chocolate banana, strawberry banana and lots of varieties of caramel!!

My recipe:

  • one cup almond milk
  • one scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder
  • coconut oil ( a little bit)
  • 3-4 Truvia packets
  • extract(s)
  • enough ice to make it thick

I haven’t shared too many pics or any numbers yet.  I don’t want that much pressure! Lol!  But I will say that I have one more pound to lose and I’ll be 20 pounds lighter than I was last year!!!! I haven’t seen this weight/size since before 1999!  That was quite a few kids ago.  Smile

2014's word- RETURN, our little farm, scouts, Us!!!

RETURNed to the Arctic?

Well, to say that it’s been cold in Northeastern North Carolina would be an understatement, but wait a day and it will change!  I woke up today to 0 degrees, the high should get all the way to 37 today!  But…..Wednesday’s high will be 71!  Raining, but 71.  Maybe a trip to the beach will cure our winter blues!


This picture is from our most recent storm.  We got 8 inches and are still snowed in two days later!  Hope to leave the house tomorrow!

Two snow storms one week apart has really affected our daily lives.  My clean, neat, organized kitchen has become the landing place for all things covered in snow! (Think cold, wet puddles).  I was just getting things back in order from last Wednesday’s snow when I slipped going out to feed the chickens.  It was just enough to jar my back and I’ve been nursing my back (read whining and limping) ever since!


This is from the first snow —–^

The two incubators filled with chicken eggs hatched!  We started with 120 eggs, 78 showed growth and stayed in for hatching.  51 hatched, 30 went home with their original owners and the rest are here in my kitchen.  3 (hopefully Black Australorps) will be joining our 3 new Black Copper Marans as a part of our chicken family.  The others hopefully will be sold to their new families soon.  The snow hasn’t helped with people preparing their spring flock!



In between our Wednesday snows we had a busy Scouting weekend.  The Boy Scouts, Venturers and Sea Scouts had a Klondike Derby.  It was frigid outside, the wind was crazy cold, but the kids did great!  Our Ship ran our station all day, they were real troopers.  I was surprised at how many troops camped the whole weekend out there.  I was glad I didn’t!  My son George spent the day outside and I’m so proud of all he did.  He even impressed the new Skipper with all of his knowledge!!!


A few miles down the road, the Cub Scouts had their Pinewood Derby race.  David and I were very grateful for a warm building after dropping brother off in a field!  David did great!  He won first place in this Wolf Den and will race again in Districts on March 1.

pinewood derby

2014's word- RETURN, Us!!!

My closet floor RETURNED!

While in my second zone, the living room, I finally did something with my disorganized coat closet. Whoever came up with these door shoe organizers is brilliant! I’m glad I was given the freedom to put more than shoes in it. This one now holds our hats, scarves and gloves. I have one on the pantry door too. That one has zip top bags, wraps, aprons and other little things. It’s life changing!!!


2014's word- RETURN, Us!!!

RETURNed to my Zones

One of my 2014 goals was to return my house (and life) to order!  Have you ever heard of Flylady?  I love her, I’ve been following her since 2001.  She is so encouraging.  Her “program” is based on The Slob Sisters, I love them too!  Normal people with messy houses who experience a lot of life going on. They don’t always have picture perfects houses, these are my girls!!!  But they share so many down to earth tips.  I’m focusing on my Flylady zones.  Basically, my house is broken up in different areas each week of the month.  First all I do is get all the clutter OUT, then I can deep clean and fix up that area.  My zones are a little different than the Flylady’s, but they work for me.

  • Zone 1 (first 5 days of each month)- kitchen
  • Zone 2 (days 6-10)- living room and outside
  • Zone 3 (days 11-15)- Hallway and family room
  • Zone 4 (days 16-20)- Master bedroom/bath
  • Zone 5 (days 21-25)- Kid’s bedrooms/bath
  • Zone 6 (days 26-end)- laundry room, craft room and attic

I make a list of all the stuff I want to accomplish in each zone and as I get there on the calendar, I try to add them to my day.  So far I have decluttered all the surfaces of the kitchen!!!  A major accomplishment for me!  This is where everyone comes in and dumps their stuff!  I have neatened these piles for a while, but it was time for them to GO! Don’t open any cabinets yet!

I’m not finishing up my Zone 2.  The kids toys in the living room all fit in one bucket again!  I hope to organize the coat closet today and maybe steam clean the carpet and maybe couches if I get to it.  If not, then it will be on the list for next month.  I didn’t get much done outside because of the cold, but I did notice we need some flood lights to replace the burnt out ones and they are on the shopping list now.

It’s slow going, but it’s going!  I’ve even been to the gym once (which was my goal this week) and took a Zumba class.  Oh so I miss good old 80’s aerobics!!!