Weekly Meal Plan: 29 September to 5 October

Weekly Meal Plan: 29 September to 5 October (a humble place)

I feel like the last few weeks have just been a complete whirlwind that’s finally coming to an end. There have been a lot of work things, which is both satisfying and tiring. I love the thrill of completing a job and doing it well, but I don’t love when I’ve overextended myself and I feel as though I’ve been doing that a lot lately. Still … the extra income is very welcome right now.

Here’s to hoping things quiet down a bit. I’ve got posts simmering in my head that I’d love to pound out one of these days. Thoughts and ideas and, hopefully, new ways of thinking for myself. I think I actually need time to think, though, before I can get them out. I also have some ideas for a new design brewing as well … have they figured out how to clone people yet?

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week:Continue Reading

System Status: September 2014

System Status: September 2014 (a humble place)

Pssst … today I’m also over at Keeper of the Home sharing what a day in my life currently looks like!

So we’re going to try something different for the system status this month and join others for the What I’m Into link-up. Because link-ups are fun!

Among other things happening in the month of September, I turned 34 on the 19th. This was the first year in a very long time that I didn’t build my hopes up to epic proportions for the day of, only to have them crash down in a big, messy pile of tears and self-pity. And it ended up being an okay day. Imagine that.

In the end of September, I’m into …

Books.

I finally finished A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Amazon had the Kindle version for $.99!) this month. I liked this book. A lot. I think it opened a lot of interesting doors for me to explore in the realm of Christianity. I like exploring.

I started What Alice Forgot per the recommendation of Sarah Bessey. I love it so far, partially because the story is very engaging and well-written and partially because the narrator of the audiobook version has a cute, perky, Australian accent. It makes me think about how I may have changed since I started my 30s and hoping that it’s been for the better.

TV.

New fall previews and football have dominated our TV-viewing time (which is very limited these days) this month. E actually records some of the football games on his computer and we try not to look at the scores (we don’t have the TV on when B and C are awake) so the game is a surprise. Silly, I know, but these are the types of things that get us through the long days. In our Hulu queue we have The Blacklist, The Middle (for some strange reason, I love this show – also, Sue looks pretty much exactly like me when I was in high school), Modern Family (I’m eh about this show, but E likes it), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which got a LOT better at the end of the last season), and then a few new ones: Manhattan, Forever, and Gotham. We canceled our Netflix subscription when we restarted Hulu so I have until October 6th when it ends to watch the entire third season of Call the Midwife, which they just added. So much to watch! What a horrible problem to have.

Music.

The Transfiguration by Sufjan Stephens is the newest song in my collection (aside from the U2 album that’s free in iTunes but I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet).

Movies.

Jane Eyre. This is one of my favorite books, but I’ve never found a movie version that really does it justice. It usually just makes the whole story look like a really shy young girl falling for the first older man who shows her attention who ends up being a little psycho. Okay…that’s sort of what the story really is, but there’s so much more to it! This one wasn’t bad. But I think in order to really capture the book, the movie would probably have to be about ten hours long.

Captain America: The Winter Solider. Pure fluff! Also, Scarlett Johansson looks hilarious on the cover. System Status: September 2014 (a humble place)

New feeds in my Reader.

Lunar Baboon. I subscribed to this after E showed me a few of his comics. I’m completely hooked now.

Coffee + Crumbs. I different kind of mom blog. Very honest and refreshing.

Enjoying.

Twice! I’ve kind of become obsessed with clothing resale places lately, especially as I’m still working on losing baby weight but don’t have a lot of any extra money to spend on clothes that fit. I just got a box of clothes from them and the overall experience was fantastic. (I’m thinking a post about this is probably in the works. :))

And there you have the state of the Reb. System Status: September 2014 (a humble place)

Weekly Meal Plan: 8 – 14 September (and a sale!)

Weekly Meal Plan: 8   14 September (and a sale!) (a humble place)

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is coming this week!

Twice a year, through my job as a VA, I get to help with these bundles and I always get excited when I first get the list of books and bonuses to see what the next one will offer!

What’s an Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle, you ask?

A bundle is a collection of ebooks, resources, and bonuses that generally fall under the same or similar topics. This particular bundle includes ebooks with topics like fitness, green cleaning, alternative health, cookbooks, special diets, as well as resources and bonuses from various companies for either free products, deeply discounted products, or store credit. All of these things are bundled into a nice little package that, if purchased separately, would cost in the $100s, if not $1000s, of dollars. With the bundle format, however, it all comes together for one very low price (in this case, $29.97).

Honestly, in my opinion, the bonuses are worth the cost alone as they’re valued at $200 by themselves and they are the thing I always get the most excited about. Weekly Meal Plan: 8   14 September (and a sale!) (a humble place)

The catch is that the bundle is only offered for a few days and then that’s it. There are new bundles every few months, but they’ll all have different ebooks and different bonuses.

This time around, we’re doing something new and offering people the chance to earn a free bundle. Click here and sign up to receive an email when the bundle is available. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll get your own link that you can pass on to friends and family. If one of them signs up to receive an email as well, you get $5 off your bundle. If 5 of them sign up, you get a 12-Week Healthy Living Audio Course for free. If 10 of them sign up, you get a free bundle!

I’ll talk more about the bundle on Wednesday, but wanted to let everyone know about the opportunity to get a free bundle today!

And now on to food… this week is going to be light as I’ll be working quite a bit on bundle-related stuff.

I’m going to include links to the recipes that are available online, otherwise I’ll include links to the resource where I got the recipe. Here’s this week:

Continue Reading

Excited About a…Curriculum?

Excited About a...Curriculum? (a humble place)

Type A all the way!

I know, I know. It’s ridiculous. But I am.

As with just about everything else we do, we’re not going the traditional education route with B and he isn’t heading off to preschool this fall. This is true for several reasons, but right now the main one is cost. Lack of a main income and the fact that we’re both home right now makes preschool an unnecessary expense. In all honesty, we probably wouldn’t have done it anyway, but the cost factor keeps us from even really pondering it as an option.

In preparation for B eventually reaching preschool age, I’ve spent the last few years looking around for a curriculum I could use when the time came. Last year I picked up Oak Meadow’s preschool books which aren’t really curricula, but rather an introduction to how to educate your children as well as how to establish rhythms and routines to our days and incorporating things like art and music. They have kind of a Waldorf-y approach, but without the weird anthroposophy stuff, which I very much appreciate.

They also emphasize the fact that children under the age of six or seven really shouldn’t be taught how to read just yet which pretty much blew my mind. The mantra I’ve heard over and over again when it comes to reading is the earlier the better! So this was a little out there to me, but, after reading the book and seeing their basis for this approach, it makes a lot of sense to me to use this method with our family.

So with that in mind, I started to look for a real curriculum that could give us at least a little structure to our days. Obviously I’m not interested in drilling B on his numbers and letters or having him sit down and do worksheets or anything like that. In reality, I wanted a curriculum more for myself so that I had at least a few activities planned out for him each week (that someone else thought of since my brain is mush these days) and all the better if they followed a theme.

I ended up with the Wee Folk Art preschool/kindergarten homeschool curriculum and I’m probably a little unreasonably excited about it. In its favor:

  1. It’s FREE! She recently released a second edition that you can buy in magazine form for $12, but the first edition along with a page that outlines the changes is still available for download on her website for free.
  2. It doesn’t emphasize reading readiness or learning written words. She does include introductions to letters of the alphabet through coloring pages, but by no means is this instructions on how to teach your kid to read. We’re actually just leaving that part out altogether this year and I may do it with him next year (along with the art appreciation section) when we repeat the preschool curriculum.
  3. The craft and field trip ideas are budget-friendly. I started to follow another Waldorf-y curriculum several months ago and while the activities were awesome, the supplies needed were expensive. This one is mostly local free places and items we have around the house, or at least art supplies that don’t cost an arm and a leg.
  4. It’s not so structured that we can’t do anything else. It’s such a simple, basic guide that we can fit it into our schedule whenever we have a gap. Obviously this approach won’t work when B is older and doing more actual schoolwork, but it’s perfect for us now.
Excited About a...Curriculum? (a humble place)

Salt dough “veggies.”

A few weeks ago, I actually sat down and started planning out the first 12-week section. I set aside a file holder and made a folder for each week of the section and put in one journal entry page and one planning page (both from the curriculum printout). Then I looked on PaperBack Swap to see which, if any, of the books were available there and grabbed them (the rest we’ll get from the library). As the books have come in, I’ve put them in the appropriate folder for that week. Then I loaded up Google calendar and took a look at our schedule to see where we could fit each of these things in. Every week, I planned out the following:

  1. Introduction of the books and poems in the unit. This is usually very brief on Monday mornings where I read the books and poems to B. This week we read Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens as our fiction book and The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons as our non-fiction book. She suggests one poem for each month during the section with the idea that it’s repeated often throughout the month, allowing the child to memorize it and this month’s is Little Boy Blue. Along with this, she mentions a flower fairy alphabet poem to read to the child each week as well and this week’s is the bugle fairy.
  2. Craft or activity. E does consulting or class work two mornings per week, so during that time B and I alternate playdates with the craft or activity for the week. This week we made “veggies” from modeling compound (recipe from Oak Meadow’s Learning Processes) and then painted them. B absolutely loved this. Excited About a...Curriculum? (a humble place)
  3. Field trip. We plan a family activity during the day once per week now that E is home. Not every week has a field trip idea, but most of them offer up free or very cheap ideas to follow the theme of the week. This week she suggested a trip to the produce department in the grocery store and having the kids ask the produce person questions. I decided a trip to the local farmer’s market might be a little more fun for B since it’s more out of the ordinary, so that’s what we planned.
  4. Repeat reading throughout the week. We try to read the books and poems to B at least once per day since repetition of stories is key to reading and language development. It’s also been fun to read the books and pull random things out of the fridge and pantry like beets, carrots, and potatoes, so B can compare the book to the real thing.
  5. Journal pages. We haven’t done these just yet so I’m not sure how this part will go, but I may just have B try and recite the fiction story back to me and maybe draw a picture if he’d like. I’m sure these ideas will evolve as we go.

It’s been somewhat of a challenge, but a fun one, in figuring out the field trips. Next week, the book is about milk and I contacted our dairy to see if we could make a trip out to get a tour. It’s things like that that make this fun in that we’re doing things out of the ordinary each week and I don’t have to be too creative in coming up with ideas.

We’ll see how the rest of the section goes!

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