Monday, June 28, 2010

It's not about you!!!

This just happened and I feel I can tell you.

My 17 year old son would be mortified, but he's 17 and thinks blogging is lame and probably will never read this anyway. And, hey, it's my blog I can write what I want.

He was in a play recently and no one that he invited came to see it. Well, except for me of course. But, then I wasn't technically invited. I just showed up as a mom will do.

He was very hurt that none of his friends came to see it. I mean,  break a mama's heart HURT!
I explained to him that maybe his friends legitimately had things to do and really just couldn't make it. I know I've been there before. I want to support a friend's endeavor and get busy and forget or have to cancel. I usually don't give these things an extra thought. I don't because I truly mean nothing by not showing up.

I've come to notice this in people; and my son's problem really just brought it home for me. I was speaking at a Monavie home tasting about a year or so ago and the hostess invited lots of people. At the time of the tasting, her house was packed with people. It was a great turnout but she was beside herself with hurt feelings because none of the people she personally invited showed up. I told her that it was okay. She had a great turnout and it's a team effort, yada yada. She would have none of it and told me that she would NEVER, EVER invite people to her home again!!!! And then she promptly quit her Monavie business! That was her first and last tasting.....sad.

That is just one example. I've seen many more. It's sad because what happens is that when you quit because you take those things personally you allow someone else to decide your future!

THAT is no joke! You've then allowed that person to steal your dreams.

What I want to say is don't let that happen!!! I've found myself in those situations as well. I never have a good turnout when I try to host jewelry parties. Other people get hundreds of dollars in free jewelry for hosting a party and my own family won't even show up. I understand that it can be hurtful. But, it's not about you. Or me.....It's about them. They may have had a legitimate emergency. They may have forgotten. They may have no money and don't want to be embarassed by that fact so instead just stay home. You just never know.

So, if you don't reek or aren't a boorish, obnoxious boob, relax and realize you can't control anyone else's actions. You can only control your own actions.  Others can't MAKE you feel ANY emotion. Only you have power over you. So don't let anyone take that from you. God gave you gifts, talents, and a light that shines and he expects you to use them. I promise he didn't send anyone to take them from you. You allow them to be taken from you all on your own.

As I spoke to my son about his heartache, I learned that he made new friends in the cast from the play. Rejoice in the positive! Own yourself. Follow your own path, regardless whether anyone follows you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

Two nights ago, our a/c went out at 1:00am........


Of course it doesn't go out in the middle of the day when air conditioning workers are actually ...working.

So, in the middle of the night I'm sleeping hard. When I say hard, I mean the sleep of the dead. I'm awakened by a loud, screeching noise. My sleep addled brain can't figure out what's making the noise so my body runs on auto-pilot and thinks the puppy needs to be let out. As I stumble into the living room to release the puppy from her carrier, I notice my son standing there using his phone as a flash light. That confuses me more. I'm standing there wondering why he's using his phone to make a loud, screechy noise. By then, I'm awake enough to realize it's neither him nor the puppy making that noise. Then, I realize its coming from the blower on the air conditioner.

I let the puppy out and go back into the bedroom to tell my husband the bad news and go back to sleep. He decides to check out the commotion and hits it. That must be a manly, technical thing to do. Just hit it.

Hitting it worked for about 15 seconds then it started up again. So, my manly, mechanical husband does what is required and hits it again...and again....and again.

By this point, I'm realizing that it's just insanity and I declare that it's crazy and I'm going to bed.

So, like a sane person, I wait until morning and call a repairman. Luckily he can fix it within a day or two but a motor needs to be ordered and we have to spend a night at the lovely Super 8 motel. Doncha just LOVE the Super 8???

Sometimes, you think how nice it would be to get away and stay at a hotel. Hotels are nice because someone comes in and cleans up after you, makes your bed, and towels magically appear in the bathroom. You can eat in bed and watch tv, leave your dirty towels on the floor, leave, come back, and the whole place is magically clean!!

Yeah. not this time. We were exhausted, hungry, and cranky. I just wanted to go home. We don't have the nicest house by any means. But, here's what we have that beats hotel convenience any day.

We have our whole family under one roof. (My son elected to not stay with us in our motel room and go to a friend's instead.) We have 2 yellow labs, kittens, baby chicks, fresh organic peaches growing on trees, horses, whipper-wills, the smell of fresh grass, the smell of cow (I love the smell of cow!!) peaceful-ness, a big porch with rocking chairs.

We also have dirty dishes, unfolded white clothes (I hate folding white clothes!!), chores, and unmade beds.

But, I wouldn't trade my un-tidy, little home for a hotel stay any day!!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A tale of adventure!!

Once upon a time there was a young man. This man married a young lady and they had two very beautiful children. One child, a daughter, was a remarkabe beauty by all standards.  So much so that people would stop on the street and inquire about this girl. People gushed over her grace, charm, and just overall exquisiteness!!



Are you sure???

Oh, okay, then... *sigh* I guess the girl just likes to think that, and this isn't really about the girl anyway so here's the story.

When the children were teens, the man sat the children down and said to them, as he occassionally did, "Kids! Ya'll are spoiled! We need to get back to basics!" Never mind that they really didn't have any money. They didn't live in a really nice house, or drive really nice cars. In fact, the mother liked to make the comment to the children when asked what social class they fit into "We are in poverty!" It wasn't really quite that bad either. *sigh* The adult child begins to think they exxagerate a little.

Anyway, because the children are spoiled and the father had recently watched an HBO program about Nostradamus... Remember Nostradamus? He was the guy that lived in the middle ages and predicted a lot of stuff that came true. He predicted Hitler and Stalin and also predicted that California would fall into the ocean and we would have WWW 3 by the year 2000, I think. It was the 80's when this was on. I've slept since then. But, back to the story.

So, because the children are spoiled and he had just seen this program, the father called another family meeting to tell the children about this program and inform the children of their spoiled-ness and declare that the whole family would be packing up and moving to Canada, a neutral country and will become hermits and live off the land! "Okay, Dad!" said the spoiled children. They really didn't think they were spoiled just so you know.

So, the parents took the children to their grandmother's house in Amarillo where they stayed a few weeks. The most beautiful girl in the world used that time to practice moving things with her mind. That didn't really work out in case you were wondering. She worked hard at it though!! The girl also refused to go see the movie the grandmother wanted to take them to see. The movie had really good reviews but the girl had been burned by that before. You see, she had seen Moonstruck. So, she wouldn't be sucked in by the critics again. The movie was ET. She has since seen the movie as an adult and it's really a very good movie. Huh.

While the children were busy at the grandmother's house, the parents went to Colorado and secured a home for the family. The father declared that he had been an uphosterer his entire adult life and needed a change. He shall become a bartender! "Okay Dad!" said the spoiled children. As a side note, it only just occurs to me that a hermit really can't make much money as a bartender. Huh.

So, the whole family moves into an extremely cool place in Colorado with a fantastic view of Pike's Peak. The father says "Kids, we're never going back to Texas!! We're going to continue moving north until we get to Canada where we will live in the mountains, be hermits, and live off the land." "Okay, Dad!" replied the spoiled children.

What a grand time that family had in Colorado!!! It was August so they drove up Pike's Peak, went fishing and caught the most delicious rainbow trout ever. They paid some good friends to help them move and the friends stayed a week and participated in the fun. The kids started school where they immediately made friends who said "decent" all the time. The kids thought that was a funny, "ordinary" thing to say and it cracked them up for years!!. Snow fell early. The kids being from Texas had never experienced such a thing and thought it was most exciting! The family lived on a mountain with some of their friends from school and on a weekend day, all the kids would go tubing down the mountain. It's like sledding on big, giant inner tubes. That was great fun for the spoiled children!!!

The family also brought their horses with them and would ride in the mountains of Colorado. They thought the scenery was breathtaking but they also liked to make fun of the silly Coloradoans because of what they called "ranches".  Silly Coloradoans need to come to Texas and see a ranch.

(disclaimer! This is not to offend anyone from Colorado!!! I love it there!! But, seriously......... You wanna see a ranch? I'll show you a ranch. I kid. It's funny cause its true! :)

Back to the story.  Do you need an intermission? Well, then go take one. You're reading! You can stop whenever you want. I'll wait......waiting....waiting......waiting....Okay, done?

The father during this time is going to bartending school. When the family first got to Colorado, there were millions of ads in the paper for bartenders. "Wow! this is going to be goldmine!!!" By the time the father finishes bartending school, the first snow had fallen and all the jobs had been taken. Bummer!!!!!

So, the money starts to get low. The parents are then rethinking their plan. The grandmother of the spoiled children said "Why don't ya'll come back home and stay with me??? I have a great, big, giant house with plenty of room for everyone!" Hmmmmmm, thinks the parents. Could we? Should we? Family meeting time!

"Kids, we can stay here and tough it out and continue with our plan or we can go back to Texas. What do ya'll want to do?" The spoiled children happily replied "Go back to Texas!!!!.......see our friends, and then come back and THEN continue on with the plan!" Between you and me, I don't think the children totally understood the situation.
To which, the parents responded "No, we stay or we go. Not both!" "Oh, hmmmmmm. Okay, I guess let's go back" said the kids.

So, the parents sold some plasma... Well, they needed money. The children waited all day outside the plasma bank because the parents had never given plasma before and didn't realize there would be urine samples involved. The father REALLY had to go tinkle when he got there..... Well, he just had a Dr Pepper. How was he supposed to know???? Don't judge.

The parents then sold a horse and loaded up all their belongings into a 3 horse trailer and pick-up truck along with 2 horses! They loaded up the spoiled children into a single cab and drove from Colorado to Dallas and stayed with the grandmother for awhile. There were more adventures following that move, involving a crazy uncle, homemade tamales, a crazy cousins boyfriend, a small house, and a rooster named Raoul. But, I'll save that for another day.

Suffice it to say, the children never felt spoiled but they did feel loved. In case you hadn't figure it out yet, I am the beautiful girl. OKAY, OKAY!!! I'll stop!!  and the father in the story is.....MY DAD!!!!!!!!!!

That was a great adventure! Our family didn't have a lot of money, but we sure had a lot of fun!! Thanks for all of it Dad and Happy Father's Day! I love you.

*another disclaimer -- No Coloradoans were hurt in the making of this true story. No animals were hurt either except for some delicious rainbow trout!! I don't think they mind though. I have only nice things to say about them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Insomnia help

I personally hardly ever have any trouble sleeping. I do have a new puppy that wakes up in the middle of the night. Having a puppy is like having a baby! But, I have a lot of friends that have trouble sleeping and I have some info that may help.

Honey, honey!!

There are some studies going on right now on honey and here's a short version of why it works.

Honey does a couple of things that help you sleep.
 Number 1, it causes a mild insulin spike. The glucose is then stored in the liver as glycogen. Its then released slowly into your body feeding your brain all night helping you to get into the REM cycle.
Number 2, because you have a slow release of glucose into your blood stream all night you avoid releasing stress hormones into your body.
Number 3, it helps your body make serotonin. Serotonin is a calming hormone and in the dark your body converts serotonin into melatonin which helps you sleep.

There are some ways you can use the honey before bed to increase it efficacy. We all know that chamomile tea helps induce sleep. If you put a little honey in it, it works even better. Lindonberry and Passionflower teas are good too. For centuries people have been drinking warm milk to help them get to sleep. Again, add a little honey to it and you'll sleep like a baby.

I will tell you that we also drink Monavie before we go to bed. I'm not allowed to tell you that we sleep like drunken babies....So, I won't say that. :)

Monavie is a super delicious beverage. 2 oz twice a day is recommended. We choose to drink ours right before bed. Its a food and as such the FDA prohibits me from telling you that any food will actually benefit you in any way. But, I think you can infer from that what you will.

I also know that exercising during the day helps people get to sleep. Not over exercising though. If you workout so hard that you're sore when you go to bed, you'll be in pain and not sleeping.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Even More Food As Medicine

Okay, so back to the food as medicine thing....

I'll stop ranting about the state of healthcare and actually give you some news you can use.....

Food is the building blocks for all of our cells!!!! Did you know that? I'm sure you do. At least, I know you DID at some point before you were brainwashed by television and government. Okay, sorry! I fell back into a rant. I'll try to stop.

Food is the building blocks for all our cells. This is huge because that means if you eat the right foods, your cells will grow, repair, and heal themselves just like they are designed to do. If you put junk in, you get junk back out. You know that cancer is just mutated cells, right? These mutated cells develop a new genetic code and begin reproducing. Also, your immune system goes haywire because the cells aren't strong. We all know that eating highly anti-oxidant foods strengthens our immune systems. They also strengthen ALL our cells.

Here's something else you should know. Drugs only treat symptoms. Let that sink in for a minute. (insert waiting music.) Are you actually letting that sink in or are you just trying to finish reading my article? Geesh!! Okay, do a little yoga for gosh's sake! Learn some patience. Okay, enough sinking in.

Drugs only treat symptoms. They don't treat disease. Heart disease causes high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It's a cycle. You can lower your cholesterol with .8mg of plant sterols a day. The FDA says that's a true statement. A bowl of oatmeal, Cheerios, and 4 oz of Monavie Pulse contains .8mg of plant sterols. Exercise raises your HDL (good cholesterol).

Ginger is wonderful for reducing nausea. You can have it in tea form, in dried candy, in soda or even cookies! It actually works better than drugs.

Honey is highly anti-bacterial and anti-viral. You can actually smear it on a cut and it will prevent infection. It's also great to put into a homemade facial mask if you are prone to break-outs. Seems weird that something sweet would prevent a break-out huh? Crazy, but true.

Fish Oil and Omega 3fatty acids is good for the heart and prevents heart disease. The prescription Lovazzo is nothing more than fish oil. The same fish oil you can buy at the health food store. For a heck of a lot less money too, I might add!

A weed that you probably fight with in your yard every year is dandelion. Dandelion is highly detoxifying to your liver. It's extremely beneficial to detox your body. The liver metabolizes a whole lot of what your body takes in. It's kind of like a filter. You need to clean it out every now and then. If you don't spray insecticides or herbicides, you can pluck the flowers and just eat them. They taste pretty good. They are great in salads and you can find recipes for fried dandelions and dandelion greens gravy. Neat!

All whole foods have some medicinal qualities. There is nothing beneficial about anything artificial or manufactured in a lab somewhere. I can guarantee you that your body is not deficient in artificial color yellow #40 or caramel color or vanilla flavoring.

What the heck?? Why do we need artificial colorings and flavors anyway??? Why not just use real vanilla? How hard is that? Why do we want orange cheese??? When have you ever seen orange milk coming out of a cow? Hello....It comes out WHITE! Cheese is supposed to be white.

OOOPS!!!! I fell back into a rant.....sorry.......I hope this has been helpful. What I'm trying to make people see is that food really does matter. There's a video by that name that's awesome!! Check it out. One more thing.  Real food tastes better too!!!!!

Lemon Pasta

Saturday night is Junk Food Night at our house. It's my best effort at getting my family to eat healthy. I bribe them with junk food once a week. The concept is this: Eat healthy all week and then splurge on your favorite junky things on Saturday. In theory that works pretty well. We've been so busy though with the pool business we haven't had time to breathe let alone prepare healthy meals all week. You would shake your head in pity and disgust if you happen to get a look at my roots!  So, we've been eating fairly junky for a couple of months.

I personally could live without Junk Food Night, but the guys in my house are like rabid dogs on Saturday night. Basically, I just throw food at them and then back up really fast. If not, then I'm liable to lose a hand!

So, this past Saturday night they were having cheese dip with sausage in it and Ruffles. You know the Velveeta and ro-tel stuff? Well, I'm way past ever wanting to have that again. So, I found this recipe on Pioneer Woman's website. Here's a link if you want the real recipe: The recipe is lemon pasta.

I have to tell you that I'm a dumper inner and not a measurer when I cook. All my friends with really great recipes are dumper inners too and we can follow recipes perfectly well. But, if you're a measurer and this bugs you, then don't even try this recipe. If, on the other hand, you're like me, then give it a try because I made it up and its absolutely delicious!!

This made enough for just me in a big bowl, tweak it if you need more:

I boiled a handful of spagetti noodles and when they were done cooking I drizzled olive oil and mixed.
While that was cooking, I melted 1/4 c of butter and minced 3 cloves of garlic. Yes, I said 3!!! I love me some garlic. I also chopped up a handful of mushrooms and added that to the butter. When, all that sauteed, I turned off the heat and added some cream...mmmmmm, cream! Just enough to make it "saucy". Then, I stirred the noodles into the sauce and squeezed a lemon all over all of it. You need that much lemon. The lemon makes the whole dish. It's quick, it's easy, it's LEMON PASTA!!!!!!

It's not super healthy, but it's not full of junk either. So, eat it with no regrets and let me know if you just love it.

*disclaimer*  This is definitely girl food!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Food As Medicine

I was talking to a woman today. She came into our store looking for some pool advice. Just like a lot of people, she started telling me about her many health issues. I ask her if she's heard of Monavie. In case you haven't, I'll tell you briefly that its 19 fruits from around the world with the main one being the acai berry. Its highly anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Its a food with all the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids your body needs. 4oz is equivalent to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables.

She replied that she HAD heard of Monavie and she tried a bottle of it from a friend of her son. But, she wasn't really interested because in addition to the multiple health issues she just told me about, she also has fibromyalgia. AND her adrenals are shot to nothing due to her highly stressful previous profession of teaching.

Do you know what strengthens your adrenals?.......B vitamins. Do you know what contains a lot of B vitamins?.....fruits and vegetables! And what did I just say had the equivalent of 13 servings of fruits and vegetables? Yes! Monavie! But still she's not interested. Then, I tell her about a friend of mine who has fibromyalgia and she started drinking Monavie and it changed her life. Still not interested! I also told her about a book I read written by an M.D. called WHAT YOUR DOCTOR DOESN'T KNOW ABOUT NUTRITION MAY BE KILLING YOU. The author specifically talks about his wife having fibromyalgia and being cured with vitamin supplements! Still ......not interested! Why? You ask? Because she's taking some drugs, instead. She still feels bad but she wants to continue on the drug path for at least 6 more months. Because, if she starts to feel better, she wants to know WHY.
I say, what difference does it make? If you feel better, you feel better!!

I'm not sharing that with you to make fun of that lady. I tell you this because its indicative of our society. People think they need a pill for what ails them. Only pills will work even though they have countless side effects and there has never been a pharmaceutical cure for any disease. When have you ever had a side effect from a food?? The side effect for a lot of prescription drugs is death! They don't make a secret of it either. And yet, people fall over themselves to get these drugs and think they are such a basic need the government should pay for them.

Its like living in a fun house where you and a handful of people can see through the mirrors out into the world while everyone else believes the fun house mirrors are reality.

I don't have hard feelings for the lady because she won't give my product a chance. I feel sorry for her and truly wish her the best. She and people like her are why I started this blog. Its to impart this information: The reality is, the key to imroved health and a longer lifespan is in nutrition......NOT drugs!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Food As Medicine

I was reading the Wellness Journal this morning. It's been sitting on the end table by my chaise. It's my favorite place to sit. It's right near a window and overlooks my front porch and out further into the pasture. I love it! My parents upholstered it for me in silk and leather fabrics with a down cushion for the back. And best of all the whole she-bang was FREE!!!

That's not what I got on here to tell you though. I had a point about the Wellness Journal. It's great and jam packed full of good, healthy information. I was reading it this morning and there is an article in there about medicine and using food as medicine.

I've noticed an ever growing, crazy trend in healthcare. It feels to me like a freight-train racing toward a wall it's fixing to smack into and people keep getting on the train. I know this is going to sound like conspiracy talk but we're being brainwashed by television, the government, pharmaceutical companies, and some doctors. I'm not saying they are all bad, but when you have a pharmaceutical company with loads of money telling you and the politicians, AND the doctors that to be healthy we all need to be on drugs people start to believe it! Do you know that when you fund cancer research where that money goes?? I'll tell you. It goes to pharmaceutical companies. Period. Well, and the administrative costs of the foundation raising the money. There has been ample studies PROVING that diet can prevent and heal our bodies but there is no money in nutrition so you don't see commercials about that on television.

It's a proven fact that if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, drink lots of water, avoid sugar, and get plenty of sleep and moderate exercise you will increase your lifespan.....without having to take drugs. In the next few days I'll be a little more specific.  But, in the meantime, avoid fast food, eat a salad and go outside and play with your kids, or dogs or just go for a walk with a friend.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


See these shoes??? Those are my feet by the way. :) I thought the polish on my toes matched the flowers I have in pots on the end of my porch. Pretty huh?

Okay, enough about my pedicure and flowers.

Those shoes, while not expensive ( I got them while I was on my way to Houston one weekend. I have black ones just like these. It's good for a girl to have multi-colors of her favorite shoes.) they have been hard little workers. I've worn them to Monavie tastings and meetings. I've worn them, along with their black sisters to work, around the house, in the garden, and even while out cleaning pools.

I have been cleaning pools all day. In case you're not aware, my husband and I own a swimming pool business. Check out our website over on the left hand side of this page.

I've been wearing these white little numbers all day long. And then....And then.....And then, would you believe I just stepped in gum??

Who the heck spits out their gum in the parking lot.!?!? My shoes are now ruined. I'm about to throw them in the trashcan and hold a funeral for them. There will be crying and sobbing and wringing of hands. I can't believe that someone would be so thoughtless as to spit out their gum in a parking lot where they know that people will be walking. Not only that, It's 100 degrees here in Texas! I trailed gum with me on my foot all the way to my truck. I was at a store getting a bottle of water, Sobe LifeWater, Black and Blueberry flavored to be exact. There was a trashcan right there!!!!

So, this post is a Public Service Announcement saying "Friends STOP SPITTING OUT YOUR DANG GUM!!!"

This is also a memorial to a good pair of flip-flops that never did anything to anybody. I'll miss you good buddies. Imagine that you can hear an instrumental version of Amazing Grace right now. And let's have a moment of silence please for the poor flip-flops that left this world a little too early because of the heinous crime that was commited against them.

Okay, I know that ruined the silence........Start........NOW!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mocha Latte

This makes a wonderful sugar free, caffeine free dessert for the Chicken Soup I posted earlier today.

Forget the wine in the picture. You don't need wine for this recipe unless you just WANT to put wine in it. In that case, I suggest you omit all the other ingredients and just have the wine! Also, in that case, stop reading this because you're already thinking about the wine and the rest of this post is just going to disappoint you. Go have your wine!!

If you elected to NOT have the wine and you're still here, well, then you're just as boring as I am. I'm not having wine right now either. Maybe we should try and hook up with the fun people that just left. No? Well, okay then.

If you read anything by Suzanne Sommers you'll know that it's okay to have all the fat you want as long as you don't pair it with sugar. I don't know how true that it is, but it really makes sense. Plus, I followed her diet and lost 25 pounds. So, there ya go!

I don't drink coffee anymore, but even if I did, I wouldn't want to have it for dessert. I would be up all night. What would I do? hmmmm.....I could play badminton with the dogs. No, they cheat! I could paint the carport. Well, I'd have to move the stupid chickens first. They've been roosting in there. I built them a very nice coop, too! I could clean house....nah! I'd rather sleep anyway. Sooooo..... Caffeine Free it is. If you haven't ever tried Cafix, it's way good! It's instant so you just add hot water. Here's the recipe:

1 T Cafix
2 T cocoa
1 packet Stevia (add another packet if you need it sweeter)
hot water to fill your cup almost full. Leave room for the cream!!!
Then, duh! add the cream until the cup is full and it looks tan and creamy instead of brown and coffee-y. Is that a word? I think not, so forget I said it and go enjoy your latte!

Chicken Enchilada Soup

Here's a little soup recipe to get you through your day! It's delicious!!! You should try it.

Here's what you need:

2 cooked and shredded chicken breasts (I use leftover chicken. I sometimes plan my weekly menu so that I cook a chicken or have one of those delicious little rotisserie numbers from Wal-Mart. So, what I'm saying is, you don't HAVE to have breasts. If I don't have any leftover chicken, I'll just boil 2 breasts real quick.)

1 can mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 can enchilada sauce ( I like Hatch brand. It doesn't have all the junk in it)
1- 4 oz can chopped green chiles
1 med chopped onion
1 qt of chicken broth
1 T garlic powder
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. chipotle pepper
1/2 t. cumin
2 bay leaves
1/2 lemon
handful of cilantro
grated cheese

Dump all the ingredients except the last 3 into your slow cooker. Cook on high 3 hours or low 6. I sometimes do that in the morning and put it on the setting "keep warm" and let it go all day and come home to a delicious dinner. 30 minutes before you're through cooking, squeeze the lemon into it and throw in the cilantro.

You can make it hotter or milder by using more or less of the peppers. You can also add a little cayenne for even more of a kick!

sprinkle the cheddar on top and enjoy!!!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What's Cool About Homeschooling

When my husband and I were just two starry eyed people in love, with our future ahead of us and talking about having kids as you do, he mentioned that he would like us to homeschool our kids. My reaction was a very sweet, "Nuh-Unh!!! That's freaky amish weird!!!"

I really didn't know anything about it at all. But, then we met some homeschoolers and they were very polite, smart, well-behaved kids.

I thought, 'hmmmmm.....'

Then, we watched a show called How'd They Do That? In that show, the family had 6 kids and the mom homeschooled them from 8-11am every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas. After school, all the kids had to pack up and go work in the family restaurant. At the time the show aired, the 17 year old was teaching college and the 15 year old was working on his master's degree!!!

I said "I wanna do that!"

Alas, I'm not quite so ambitious and my 17 year old just graduated high school. He does work for us in our pool business, though. I like that. But, we didn't do school every single day like that mom did. But, that's really what I love about it. You can go at your own pace, or your child's as the case may be. A lot of people think they have to follow the public school's schedule. You Don't!!!!! That's the beauty! You can also learn whatever your child feels like learning. Those unschoolers are some of the smartest bunch of kids I know!

You might think Unschooling means they just sit around in their undies eating Cheetos and watching cartoons all day. Well....I suppose they actually COULD be in their undies eating Cheetos (that's a plus in my book!). I can assure you they are NOT watching cartoons all day. They are exploring their world and learning a heck of a lot about it.

This is not a bash on public schools. I went to public schools. Go Cardinals! Excuse me while I give a shout out to my Pottsboro homies! I turned out quite well, thank you very much.

But, I graduated not knowing what I want to be when I grow up. I also didn't learn to manage money, balance a checkbook, or vote. Those are pertinent things a person needs to learn before they go to college. My son may struggle with algebra but he knows the difference between a democrat and a republican. I was able to make sure he knows that. That's the real beauty of homeschooling.

Also, because he's been allowed to pursue his own interests instead of what the state says he needs to know he knew what path he wanted for his future by the time he was in the 8th grade. We were able to tailor his education around that. That has been profoundly beneficial. It'll also save money on college. No flipping around majors!

I also notice social benefits to homeschooling. You hear all the time about "socialization"."What about socialization? What about socialization?" Well, I think homeschooled kids are better socialized. That's because they are around a wide range of people on daily basis. They tend to be polite, respectful, and able to carry on a decent conversation with adults. They also tend to be a little naive of the real world. That's refreshing in a world of Jackass movies and sex education in schools. I have some friends whose homeschooled children just got married. Their wedding kiss was their FIRST kiss. Awwwww!!
My son didn't know about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, and The Tooth Fairy until he was 13! He never even questioned them. (no, he's not retarded!! He's special!) Just kidding, he's sweet and trusting. I love that.

Homeschooling isn't always easy but I think the reward is worth the effort. I feel immensely blessed that I was able to experience the joy of shaping my son's education and giving him the gift of pursuing his own educational interests.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Fondest Homeschooling Memories

As my darling baby boy just graduated from our homeschool high school, I'd like to share with you my favorite homeschooling moments.  Here's the Top 10 list:

10.  My husband holding my hand telling me I will be great at this when I felt completely overwhelmed.

9. My son actually ASKING if he can get started on his schoolwork when his new curriculum came in the mail in early August! *sigh....Be Still My Heart!*

8. Jake and I lying on our old couch that we moved onto the front porch (We got a new couch, so the old couch was out there only TEMPORARILY, lest you start making redneck jokes. GAH!! But, I must say, I LOVED it out there!) reading Harry Potter together. ( I love those books too!!)

7. Bookstores!

6. Flipping through curriculum catalogs and spending money wildly on curriculum that I barely used because I transferred my addiction to spending money on shoes to spending money on curriculum. Hmmmm....Now that he's graduated.........

5. Enrichment Classes. I really didn't like it much when I first started. I felt like the "tramp of Gainesville". But, the boy loved them so we went. Now, after 10 years of homeschooling I made such wonderful friends through those classes.

4. After hours of instruction and hours of my darling staring out the window with a glassy look in his eyes, I yelled at him that its very difficult to teach someone who doesn't want to learn. To demonstrate that, I gave him the wipey board markers and eraser and said "Here! You be me and I'll be you and you try to teach me something and I'll show you how hard it is!!!" He looked at me like I'd just lost my ever-loving mind and stood there with the marker and eraser in his hands staring at me like I just sprouted a monster from my belly. I said "Go On!!!! Be Me!!!!! Be Me!!!! and I'll be you!!" Then this is priceless.... He screamed  and threw the eraser across the room.......Well.......Okay.....maybe we need a little break. :) It still makes me laugh!! Homeschooling ain't perfect!

3. Scoring above average on the annual ITBS tests I made him take every year. YES!!! VINDICATION!!!!! We're going to take over the world!!!!!!   Oh! Sorry! I forgot where I was for a minute.

2. Going to the homeschool book fair with my good buddies Mel, Dani, and Barb with walkie-talkies and wine coolers in a backpack. We snuck into the ladies room to drink!!! Here's how it went....Barb and I are going to the bathroom, does anybody need to go? Over and Out. Roger, Roger. What's your Vector, Victor? What's your Clearance, Clarence. Ah!!!! Good Times! and you thought homeschooling would be boring! Here's a disclaimer....If anyone asks.....that didn't happen.(It really did, but who needs Big Brother getting all worked up about it? so.....shhhhhh!)

And finally........wait for it......wait for it......and for the number one fondest homeschooling memory...

1.  GRADUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you, thank you! Do I get paid now??? What? No? What the Heck?? I was robbed! I was told that homeschooling a child would be very rewarding!! 

Okay, okay, I guess it was it's own reward......

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My graduated baby!

Isn't this a sweet baby? He is my 17 year old son that just graduated high school! Not just any old high school either. Oh No...Homeschool High School!

He is very smart (For a boy!) He has mastered the ability to a bowl on his head. You can't really see in this picture but he is being held in the high chair by a lead rope. If you don't know what that is..It's the rope you use to lead a horse. Otherwise, he climbs out of the chair. See?? Smart! 

Even at a very young age, he enjoyed making noise, uh, I mean MUSIC!!

Accomplished Swimmer!

You can't see the horse he's riding but her name is Freckles. She was the best horse ever!! I bought her from a friend unseen because he said she was being neglected. Being big hearted as I am, I couldn't say no. We had to keep her a year putting weight on and trimming her feet (they looked like genie shoes!)before we could ever ride her. I took her to the round pen and discovered she is absolutely kid proof! Great Jake horse.
 That boy loves his Mama, uh, I mean MUSIC!!!! These are his senior pictures. He loves his long hair. I love his hair short!! He looks beautiful with short hair! He really does! If you are a cute girl reading this, please tell him to cut his hair! Please. He only listens to cute girls anymore. Look at the top few pictures again and let's all remember when he listened to his mama.......... *sigh*

I've enjoyed homeschooling immensely and I seriously love this boy!