I Need an Attitude Adjustment

We have been hit by one thing after another over the past few months and it’s been physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally exhausting.  I mean it folks, I’m pooped.  Since we moved, we had one week of calm before the storm of Appolonya’s skin condition started and have since seen 7 doctors, we had to go gluten free for about 10 days, then the muffler fell out from under our car, we thought the transmission went out in our 267,000 mile van, Appolonya and I got a nasty virus (I’m talking gross-nasty…), my husband hurts his knee in a Wiffle Ball tournament (yep, you read that right, a Wiffle Ball Tournament) – but his team won! – and has to be on crutches and in a knee brace for a couple of weeks (he says it’s worth it since they won), all while still trying to settle in from a big move and adjust to a new homeschool co-op group, and Tommy tries to keep up with his graduate studies while starting a new ministry.

Drained.

But you know what, I’ve been focusing so much on all the little “fires” I’ve been putting out, I’ve forgotten to see the positive.  I saw War Room last week.  Twice.  I realized that I seem to have forgotten who was in charge…..  So, last week I started googling positive motivational sayings and Bible verses and printed a bunch of them out.  I looked specifically for quotes (and photos) from movies and individuals that our children are familiar with.  I took them to Office Depot and got them laminated and wah-lah!  This is what I got!

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Now, I am aiming at putting these reminders all over our home as reminders.  I’ll take some photos after I’ve gotten them hung.

In the meantime, I’m looking at the positives:
1.  Appolonya is doing better – she doesn’t have any serious or life threatening illness

2.  Tommy is off crutches – no serious damage to his knee and no surgery required

3.  The van ended up only needing a $17 part that a family member put on for us

4.  The car was fixed by a friend at church for $30

5.  I have a ton of new gluten-free recipes that I love

6.  We love our new homeschool group

7.  My amazingly smart husband has got a 4.0 in grad school

See?  Lots and lots of positives!  And #8.  Our house is finally settled in and put together (but don’t ask about the garages…. they are currently in “enter at your own risk” condition…..)

It’s all coming together.  I just needed an attitude adjustment and a reminder that God is in control.

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Our New Homeschool Room

There are so very many differing ideas behind homeschooling and how (or if) to set up school in your home.  A lot of people don’t set aside any particular space for it and some have immaculate setups very similar to a traditional classroom setting.  Just look on Pinterest and you will find a plethora of ideas.  I’m organized but not all that creative so you’re not going to find fancy charts and a bunch of “Pinterest-y” things in our classroom but this may give you an idea of how we do it.  It works best for us to have a learning space separate from our living area.  We are renting right now so we have little to no wiggle room on how to decorate the basement (thus the 1/2 paneling on the walls and no carpet) – but with some throw rugs and creative placement, I have made quite a little pleasant learning area.

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                                Our school in the basement…..

 

 

 

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                   Math Area
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            Reader books and                    Dylan’s work box system
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Social Sciences and Geography
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Curriculum / Teacher Shelf         Appolonya’s work boxes
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               Teacher Area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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           Language Area
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         Art / Music Area
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              Science Area

Spending Fast Update

I’ve been gathering my notes on our spending fast last February. If you are thinking of doing one of these, here are a few tips we learned…

First and foremost – AND MOST IMPORTANT…….

1. Stock up on toilet paper!! – You can “make do” with just about anything else in your home but this is one that you simply cannot substitute. Buy more than you think you could possibly need.  Then add one more package.

2. I went the last night of January and purchased my fresh foods like spinach, bananas, apples, kiwi, oranges, pears, etc. Spinach and bananas only last about a week (you can also freeze the ripe bananas) but apples, kiwi, oranges can last longer especially if kept in the fridge and pears can last a little longer if you buy them not entirely ripe.

3. Meal plans were a must for us. I wrote out all 4 weeks of menus while looking through my freezer and pantry. If I had frozen hot dogs, I knew I would need to buy a package of buns.  A great alternative to bread and buns are tortillas – they last much longer before going “stale” or growing green mold and can be used as buns, taco wraps, peanut butter roll ups or just plain sandwiches. It was important to buy the things I would need to use up the stuff in the fridge / freezer / pantry (i.e. buns for the hot dogs, etc.).

4. We also didn’t go to restaurants or out to eat the whole month either so it was important for us to keep snacks and bottled waters with us at all times. We looked at our calendars and double checked for any events that would call for pot luck meals or any special spending situation (birthday party invites, etc.) that would cause us to spend extra money and took steps to resolve or avoid it being an issue.

5.  We didn’t change our habits when it comes to milk.  We often drink almond milk which has a shelf life of up to a month.  We also buy raw cows’ milk from a local farmer.  We drank the cows’ milk the first week, then drank almond the rest of the month.

All in all, we did pretty good. We are going to be doing the same thing again next February. Let me know how yours spending fast goes!  Be sure to leave comments and recommendations for the rest of us!

Stay tuned to see how this project goes…..

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Tammy Lanham

 

Tammy Lanham is the wife of That Preacher Tommy Lanham, Momma to That cute little artist, Appolonya and that adorable engineer, Dylan.  She homeschools them both.  In her free time, she….. wait – she has no free time…  nevermind….

Thanks for reading!

State Fair Homeschool BINGO

I’ve had a lot of people inquire about our homeschooling.  We always start school the first Monday of the Kentucky State Fair.  We make it a field trip fun day to kick off our school year.  Each child has their own bag of snacks, a water bottle and a BINGO sheet I made to challenge them to look for new and exciting (as well as some old favorite) displays at the fair.  I decided to upload a copy if anyone is interested!  Enjoy!kystatefair

Empty Gas Tank

This has been a good week!  I’m still working out on my eliptical 20 minutes every day (except Sundays) and I’m using myfitnesspal.com (it’s FREE) to track my calories and exercise.  I’m making good food choices and incorporated some new flavors into my eating habits (recently discovered asparagus – oh my goodness – how good that stuff is!).  I have lost 24 pounds in 12 weeks!  I’ve lost 3.2 pounds just this week.

One of the things I’m noticing is that I’m focusing a LOT on my exercise routine, my health habits and eating habits.  When I first started working with Brian Osher, my life coach, a couple of years ago, he shared with me his idea that life is a bunch of gas tanks.  We work hard to keep those gas tanks from running empty (by keeping balanced) but sometimes we get low in one of the tanks and our lives start running rough.  I’ve been working very hard to keep my health tank full and the rewards are visible and fulfilling.  I also think I’ve been neglecting some other tanks of mine and they’re getting low.  One tank I’m worried about is my relationship with my children tank.   When I mentioned this to Brian, he said, “So change it!”  Don’t you just love the honesty of my life coach???  🙂

By nature, I cannot sit still.  I HAVE to have lots going on and a big to-do list where everything is scheduled.  I schedule school with my children every day (they’re homeschooled) but I have a hard time remembering to schedule Mommy time with my children.  So this week, in addition to keeping my eyes on my health tank, I’m working on refilling my kid tank.  I’m actually scheduling time in my calendar to sit down and play with my children.  I now know it won’t happen unless I make it a priority and schedule it.

So that’s it for this week – what tanks are you neglecting?  What can you do right now to start refilling that particular tank?  See you again next week….