Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February Rebooting Update

The month of February has flown by for us.  I guess that is what happens when you move.  I don’t have a ton to tell you because we have been so busy with the moving, but I wanted to give you a general update as promised.  I have no clue if I lost or gained weight this month as I packed away my scale and I am not sorry about it.  The scale is living in a box somewhere in the new house right now and I am kind of happy it is living in that box.  It is freeing to not be worried about what that little box that displays numbers will say.  So I am not quite sure when I will unpack it, but trust me finding it is not really a priority for me.  My eating plan has not been on THM at all because most days it was eat whatever I could get fixed for dinner before we had to work on the new house.  So this is an area where I really need to get back on track in March.  I knew that February’s eating plan would fall apart and there wasn’t much I could do about it.  Living in between 2 houses is C-R-A-Z-Y and we did the best we could.  I also really need to get back on track with drinking water.  This past month it has been way too easy to keep myself running on coffee and soda just for the extra energy caffeine gives (or that my mind tells me it gives).  The thing I have done really well with this month is getting my steps in.  My daily tracker is now at the point where it consistently tells me I need 7000+ steps every day.  Before February it was telling me between 4000-5500 steps each day so I have really increased it and been pretty consistent with getting the steps in.  I guess that is one of the benefits of having a second floor in your house.
A Glimpse of Normal Blog, Rebooting
As there are every month there are some things I want to work on for March.  We can always improve and do things better right?
  • Eating plan – March will be the month I get back to eating the Trim Healthy Mama (THM) way.  I plan to restart this eating plan just the way I did before – 1 meal at a time.  Now that we are getting settled it will be easier for me to think about my meals and I won’t have to eat so many on the go.  I want to make sure I am getting a good mix of meals in as far as E, S, and FP go (these are the types of fuels you give your body in THM).  I am not going to beat myself up if I get off track.  I will just do better for the next meal.  I also need to work on cutting out the sugary food again and eating the THM way will help with that.
  • Water, Water, Water – I need to cut the soda habit again and get back to water.  I know my body needs the water and it will help me greatly.
  • Steps – I would love to keep my tracker telling me that I need 7,000+ steps consistently so I will be continuing to focus on getting the walking in.  I would love to have my tracker yelling at me for 10,000 steps by summer so I better keep up with the consistency.  I also find that I sleep a lot better when I hit and go over my step goal for the day. 
The things I want to work on are pretty simple and haven’t changed much since I started my reboot in November of last year mainly because life has been a little crazy for us with the buying of our new home and selling of our old one.  So now that all that has happened it is time to focus once again on making the changes I want to make to get healthy.  I am hoping to come back at the end of March and tell you there have been major improvements, but until then I am just going to take it one day at a time.  That is all we can do right?

Are there life changes you are trying to make?  I would love to hear about them and encourage you along the way too.  Do you have any hints to get more water in?  I would love to hear them too.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Our Barn Home: Progress Part 1

Happy Friday!!!  You haven't heard much from me lately because we have been busy, busy, busy fixing up our barn before we move in this weekend.  I knew that getting the barn where we wanted it would be a lot of work because it really needed some love, but whew, we are tired!  We have been working there every night and weekend since we closed on the barn.  You can see the before pictures I posted HERE.  I am very thankful to all the friends and family that have been coming to help.  They have painted, cleaned, brought food, and just been a blessing to us.  So please don't think we have done all the work ourselves.  It has been quite the group effort.

In two weeks time we have: cleaned and painted the bedrooms, cleaned and painted the loft, mudded and sanded the guest room, painted ceilings in all the bedrooms, loft, living room, and out into the open area above the living room, installed wood siding in a bedroom, made lots of drywall repairs, started cleaning up the outside front  pasture, and more.  Wait did she just say pasture?  Yes, I think I forgot to mention that at one time the new property we bought was a horse farm.  Since it was a horse farm it has a couple of small pastures on it that are fenced in nicely, but super overgrown with briers and random shrubs so there is a lot of outside work too.  Anyway, the barn is coming along nicely and we are just about where we planned to be for moving day which is today.  We are super excited to sleep in our new home tonight and get to set up our bedrooms.
Living room

Guest room - there were 2x4 boards on the walls that were just hiding where someone chose not to mud and tape.

Tile in front of the front door came up.

Little Miss' room.  I don't know what the people before us did to the walls, but they weren't kind to them.

Buddy's room


Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Living room

Loft with color - it is a blue/gray

We ate our first meal here!

Little Miss and her Peacock Teal paint.

Buddy Painting

Handsome Hubby has so many areas to fix around the beams

Little Miss decided to add a gray accent wall in her room.

Buddy and his grandpa put the wood siding on his walls to make it feel like a lodge.  Buddy chose how he wanted to do his room and it is turning out really cool.

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Mudded guest room

If you look close you can see the 2 different colors - the loft color and the living room color

Hallway near the guest room

I painted the closet in Little Miss' room

This bathroom wall had a crazy ridiculous amount of texture on it that had to be knocked down, scraped off, and sanded.

Guest room freshly painted

A view of my new island that will go in the kitchen.  If you want to see it closer, check out my Instagram page.

Buddy's room with new carpet

Finished bathroom wall - this was the crazy textured wall

Out front - crazy overgrowth

The fresh painted ceiling is what I was trying to take a picture of, but got a picture of Buddy's shadow waving at you instead.

Color going in the upstairs bathroom

Guest room carpet

Master bedroom carpet

Loft carpet

Buddy's carpet

Little Miss' Carpet
Me - crazy tired, but still loving this home and our new journey
We still have quite a ways to go on our barn, but we LOVE it!!!  It is really cool and it has been fun to see how little changes, make a big difference.  What do you think I would love to hear it?  #ireallyliveinabarn

P.S. - If you comment and I really hope you do, I will be reading them next week as we are switching internet companies and will be without internet access for a couple of days.  So I am not being rude and not responding, I am just waiting for the internet man.  😁

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Review of HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece by Home School in the Woods

History can be a dry and boring subject especially for younger students since they are reading about events that took place so long ago, but it doesn't have to be boring.  We learned that history can be fun and exciting when we recently received HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece from Home School in the Woods to review.  The digital download version that we received is packed full of hands on activities, projects, and reading on Ancient Greece.
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study, Hands on (hands-on) history; lapbook (lap book); notebooking (note booking); timelines; world history timeline; world history study; history projects
Home School in the Woods is a family run company that was created when the Pak family began their homeschooling journey.  Amy saw a need to make history come alive and not bore her own children, so she dove in and started pulling together resources.  She used the resources she pulled together and others she created to start the business.  Now her whole family is involved and they each have their own unique role at Home School in the Woods.
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece is Home School in the Woods' latest Project Passport Hands-On History study.  This new study unit includes 25 "Stops."  These "Stops" spread out across 8-12 weeks.  They help your child learn about the events, people, and culture of Ancient Greece through reading, creating a scrapbook and timeline, and the various hands-on activities.  These activities cover many different topics like Government, every day life, business, transportation, medicine, education, and more.  This unit study is available as a digital download or you can purchase the unit on CD.  It is recommended for grades 3-8.
Little Miss working on pop-up project for her scrapbook
Little Miss has been using this study on Ancient Greece. She was very excited to have her own Home School in the Woods unit to work on and it really fits with some of the things we have already been learning in our history this year, but our other history did not cover this subject in depth like this unit study does.  I started by downloading our copy of Ancient Greece and then I found the "Start" document which is a FANTASTIC cheat sheet for parents/teachers.  It is a quick guide to printing each page, "Stop," and project.  It has everything listed in order and there are pictures you can click on that show you what the finished project should look like.  I am so glad it was included as it made it easy to get the right things printed for each stop.  I printed up the reading for each of the "Stops" we have completed.  This was easier for us as we use the computer for several subjects between my 2 students, so by printing the reading, Little Miss could highlight important facts and it freed up the computer for other things.  Each "Stop" also has a "Travel Itinerary" that gives the details for each project to be completed during the "Stop."  The first travel stop takes the longest because it is where you set up the basics of the Scrapbook, suitcase, and timeline for the entire project.  Once you have these items set up, the other stops go faster.  We worked through travel stop a week and broke our weeks up between the reading and projects each day.  Some days I would have her read and work on a project and then on other days she would do one or the other, but not both.  Little Miss is in third grade and did need some help pronouncing some of the words, but for the most part, she could read through the reading on her own.  The reading is full of facts, but it is interesting at the same time and it held her attention while she was reading.  Her favorite part of this unit study has been the hands-on activities and projects.  She keeps telling me she likes it because she likes completing each part of her scrapbook and getting to see the progress of each stop.  I feel like she is understanding the material and she is able to tell her dad facts that she learned about Greece each day.
Little Miss liked having the reading printed so she could highlight facts she thought were important.
I have really enjoyed this study of Ancient Greece because I see the versatility of it and even though my 8th grader isn't currently using it, he could and I could just print the blank sheets where he has to write the information he learned from the reading rather than using the pre-printed sheets I have been using for Little Miss.  I like that it keeps her attention and she has been bringing her History to me first thing every day and saying that is what she wants to do first for school.  This is a first for us as she usually saves History for last because she tends to dread it.  I am very thankful for the "Start" guide which makes my job as a teacher much easier because it is so well laid out and has links to everything you need to print and do for the unit.  This study is extremely thorough and well-written in my opinion.  I find myself learning as much about Ancient Greece as Little Miss is which is a great thing.  We have completed 5 "Stops" and we are working on "Stop 6."  We have taken this at a little slower pace because we are in the process of moving, but next week once we are moved we are kicking up our pace so we can finish this study and we can get to the recipes, more crafts, and finish up our Greek Newspaper which Little Miss is enjoying writing and I am enjoying her creativity with it.

We highly recommend HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study: Ancient Greece from Home School in the Woods.  They also have several other products in their Project Passport World History Studies line  of products.  These products include studies on Ancient Egypt, The Middle Ages, and  the Renaissance & Reformation.  These products start at $33.95 and in our opinion they are worth the cost.  We will definitely be checking out their other products for our history needs in our school.  You can learn more about Home School in the Woods on their website, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, and Twitter.  You can learn more about the Ancient Greece study we received here.  You can also learn what my friends on the Homeschool Review Crew thought of the products they received from Home School in the Woods by clicking the banner below.  We got to review many of their products so definitely check out what my friends are saying.
HISTORY Through the Ages Project Passport World History Study Reviews

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Our Barn Home - Before

Last Friday we closed on our new home, which is a barn and I was finally able to share that with everyone.  I have been having such a hard time not shouting it out to the world, but I wanted to make sure everything went through before I shared our exciting news.  Now I know you are all curious to see more of our barn and I am ready to share it with you....at least the before pictures.
A Glimpse of Normal Blog, Barn Home
This is one view of the living room

Laundry room and that color...ick.
This is currently the tiny pantry

The kitchen

Other side of the kitchen

Guest bedroom...another one of this color, what were they thinking?

Another shot of the guest room

The other living room wall

Storage closet

First floor bathroom - it has a claw foot tub that I love!

1st floor bathroom sink...it has seen better days I'm sure.

Our wood burning stove with the brick all around that I love.

The dining room

Under the stairs

Another view of the dining room

Little Miss' room

Another shot of her room

She has a view of the pond

Looking out into the downstairs

Buddy's room

Another view of his room, he also has a view of the pond.

The loft....this will be a reading and sitting area.

Another view of the loft...I love the beams in here.

Another pic of the loft, can you tell I love this area?

I love the peg construction on the beam and those ax marks where the original builder back in 1900 cut the timbers for the barn....oh, the history there.
Upstairs shower....it is enormous!

Upstairs bathroom

Upstairs bathroom

One area in the Master bedroom...we have a view that looks out over the other side of the pond.

This is a nook in the master bedroom that I think will be a sitting area.

Master closet - it's huge!

Master bedroom....that carpet came out, whew!

Beams over the living room

Looking up towards the loft

Another shot looking up to the loft...I love all the beams and wood in here.

I know it is a little rough looking and there is a lot of work to be done, but I can totally see how beautiful it is now and I can picture what it will look like when it is done.  I will definitely be sharing the progress with as we go, so keep checking back in.  What is your favorite feature that you see so far?  I would love to know.