Category Archives: exercise

Weekly Wrap-up . . . A Week Late!

I didn’t manage a weekly wrap-up last week. I’ve been ill off and on for the past couple of weeks, and then last week, I broke my glasses!!! All is well on that front though, this week I got a replacement pair, though I’m still waiting on my prescription sunglasses (a needful thing in a state with at least 300 sunny days per year).

Anyway, back on February 7, we had another co-op day with our church homeschool group. This time, it was all about nutrition, manners, and physical activity.

My friend Aimee, one of our fabulous homeschool moms, was in charge of putting this one together, and she really made it fun! Here, she is teaching the kids what would NOT be good table manners, LOL!
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Aimee discussed with the kids the importance of good nutrition, and of drinking enough water every day, especially living here in the desert.
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The kids learned about the importance of good posture, and in this video, you can see some of them attempting to practice USING good posture!

After all of this, we moved to another room, where we worked on stretching . . .
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Exercises . . .
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And a game to work on good sportsmanship!
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This is one of MY favorite photos of the day, two of our toddler friends! 🙂
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So, this was a good homeschool day, in the midst of my not feeling well off and on. My kids really enjoy our co-op!

This post is being linked up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers. To get the guidelines for the weekly wrap up link-up, click the graphic below:

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Filed under Church, education, exercise, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Group Monthly Activity, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, Weekly Wrap-Up

We’re FINALLY Back to Park Days Again!

Since I had surgery on BOTH of my feet in May of this year, the boys and I have not been able to attend the weekly home-school park days all summer. 😦 First, I couldn’t walk, or drive, then, I could walk only using a walker, then eventually a cane.

In the meanwhile, there had been a change in where the weekly park day would be held, so we’re at a new to us park. We like this park, and it’s a little easier and quicker for us to get to! 🙂

Happily, two weeks ago, the boys and I were finally able to go again, which we did for the very first time since before I had surgery back on May 15. I took my camera with me. And then, I forgot to take it out and actually USE it!

Last week, we didn’t attend. As you know, last Thursday we had company, friends who came in from Oklahoma to go to the International Balloon Fiesta.

So, yesterday, we were able to go to our home-school park day again, after another week off. It turns out though, that last Thursday, with the wind and rain in the area of the park, it pretty much didn’t happen anyway. THIS week, I remembered that I had my camera!

Here is the “The Batman”, waiting for a ball to be sent his way . . .

ABQ Park Day 001

“The Puzzler”, on his way to join the game (and unfortunately, it’s the only shot I got of him, which is why it’s somewhat blurry) . . .

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“Mr. Loquacious” was walking around, looking for “things to build stuff with” . . .

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And “The Artist” was just walking back to where we were to get some water and a snack . . .

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Meanwhile, *I* was sitting with a bunch of other moms . . .

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. . . truly enjoying the time I get each week to interact with other homeschooling moms, while my kids spend time with other home-school kids, and the added bonus that they are out in the fresh air, playing, running around. We do not have a good yard to play in, or a park right by our house, so they don’t get this all that often, unless we can get to a park day.

It’s also great for me to be with other moms on a regular basis who “get it” when it comes to my special needs kids, who have varying disabilities, including developmental delays and mental retardation. 🙂

If you are achomeschooling family, I strongly encourage you to become involved in a local park day group. This group is a pretty good bunch, and my boys and I are quite happy to be part of it!

As always, I would love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information at the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update again!

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Filed under 2013,, Albuquerque, education, exercise, family, health, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Park Day, homeschooling, Kids, moving, special needs education, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

A FUN Play Date!

Well, I must say, before my family moved here to Albuquerque, New Mexico last year, I NEVER thought we would be having an outdoor, swimming play date on September 20th! After all, back in Michigan by that date, we were generally breaking out the hoodies and such!

But THIS year, we spent the day (on September 20th!) with another home-schooling family from our church, who had invited the boys and me to their new home. We ate lunch outdoors on the patio, and the kids spent the day swimming in their (unheated!) pool. On September 20th!

As you can see, the kids had a WONDERFUL time, and they (right along with me!) really, really like the milder weather here! 🙂

Here are “The Artist”, “The Puzzler” & “Mr. Loquacious” . . .

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Here are “Mr. Loquacious”, “The Batman” & their friends having fun in the pool . . .

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“The Artist”, floating around . . .

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The “Artist”, drying off for lunch . . .

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“The Artist” back in the water . . .

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“The Puzzler” & “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” with one of their friends . . .

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All of the kiddos had a great time in and around the pool . . .

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Here is “The Batman”, riding the whale!

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“The Puzzler” . . . “in? or Out? That is the question!

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Apparently the answer was “out” for a bit, but the others were all in, and having a blast!

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I had planned to swim as well, but had cut my finger pretty badly the night before. We thought it best for me to stay out of the pool that day. 😦

What a great time we all had, and what a benefit of home-schooling, that once again, we get to work school in around life, instead of the other way around! 🙂


Filed under 2013, Albuquerque, changes, exercise, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, moving, NM, Transitions

What we did Last Friday With our Home-school Group

So, our church has a number of home-schooling families, and so we have a pretty good home-school group, too! We try to plan at least one activity per month, and this month, on Friday, September 6, 2013 we had a wonderful Birds of Prey presentation, given by the organization “On a Wing And a Prayer”, a wild bird rehabilitation educational program. The presenters were Mikal Deese, CWR and Steve McKibbin. They can be reached at:

Mikal Deese: POB 29, Corrales, NM

Steve McKibbin:

Here is most of the group waiting for them to get here . . . they were SO good, having been warned ahead of time that we needed to be in our seats and being quiet when the presenters arrived, so as not to frighten the birds.



I think they did an awesome job staying calm, too! 🙂

We did not know what kinds of birds would be brought, having been told that it would depend upon which ones were being well-behaved that day. MY kids were hoping for owls, as we have had plans to do an owl lap-book. However, I have found a nice (free!) Birds of Prey lap-book here, and since they brought both hawks and owls for the presentation, along with the fact that we’ve done other lap-books from homeschoolshare and had a good time with them, I think we’ll use this one this time around. We’ll also be dissecting owl pellets that I had purchased some time ago, even before we moved here to New Mexico, so the boys are definitely looking forward to that, now that I have also gone to the Dollar Tree for the supplies needed for doing them. Be watching for an upcoming post about the lap-book and the dissection! 🙂

Here is Mikal Deese, laying out a large tarp, just in case, lol!


First up, we had the Swainson’s Hawk.


She’s quite beautiful, isn’t she?

Next, we saw a Red Tailed Hawk . . .



Then the Barn Owl . . .



The children were fascinated by the Barn Owl, which is just gorgeous! They thought it was very cool that the barn owl can fly silently, and were surprised to find out that this large bird weighed only about one and a half pounds, being mostly feathers and hollow bones.

Here we have Steve McKibbin holding the tiny Burrowing Owl, which nests in a hole in the ground.


We very much enjoyed this presentation! Ms. Deese and Mr. McKibbin were SO patient with all of the questions the children (and the parents, too, actually!) asked, and spent a lot of time answering them. I was pleased to see how many questions that our children were able to give correct answers to when the presenters asked them if they had any idea why something was so about a particular bird, and I was told afterward by the mom who organized the whole thing (thank you, Holly!) that Ms. Deese and Mr. McKibbin really complemented our children on being so well-behaved, and especially on the fact that they were willing to ask questions. 🙂

If your home-school group is local to this area, you should give them a call, it’s well worth your time, and the cost was truly negligible. All they asked us for was $5.00 per family to help cover the cost of food for the birds and transporting them. As Ms. Deese said in her presentation, this is NOT a career move, it’s a labor of love, and one does not make a living as a wild bird rehabilitator. And we could certainly tell how much they love doing this, too!

So, that’s what we did for science last week!

After the presentation, we went to a local park to have a picnic lunch and some play time . . .







We had a very good day! 🙂

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Filed under Birds of Prey, education, exercise, family, home education, Home-school Group, homeschooling, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church

Transitions Part 4: A 1700 Mile Adventure

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Well, I should have mentioned this yesterday, but I didn’t even realize it until I was going to bed last night! Yesterday, August 6, 2013, my kids and I had officially been here in NM for a whole year! Honestly, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a whole year since we arrived! It’s been a year full of change, and has had its ups and downs. My husband and I have, between us, gone through three surgeries, we found a wonderful church family, my kids and I got booted out of the first home-school group we joined (which turned out to be a good thing, but I digress!). Our first winter here was the best winter I’ve ever been through, as you can guess, having come from Michigan. We really do like being here! So now, let’s get on with our journey from Michigan to New Mexico, with our day in St. Louis, MO!

We had a very nice sleep Thursday night, in our beautiful room that my cousin Anne had gotten for us, and woke ready to have a great day in St. Louis! After everyone was showered and dressed, we went to the very good breakfast that came with our room. I think the hotel lost money on the breakfast that my boys had that day, lol! Then, while waiting for Anne to arrive, we went ahead and got packed back up and put our belongings back into the minivan.

When Anne arrived, we piled into the minivan and headed to the St. Louis Arch . . .


Which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and is a National Park.


We parked on what I *think* I was told is a levee, right at the river, where we saw this riverboat cruise boat.


Stretched across the area where we parked were many of these very heavy chains. You can see in the picture of the riverboat that they are used for mooring. The boys found them interesting, and were pretending to try to lift them (they were, of course, way too heavy!)


So, we walked along the river front to a point where we could get to the Arch, which is really quite beautiful, as you can see in the picture higher up in this post. There are a TON of steps to climb to get to the Arch!

Here is “The Artist” stopping on the way up . . .


and here am I, with “Mr. Loquacious”


I’m going to stop right here and tell you, I was really nervous about this excursion! My improved health from my weight loss was still relatively new, and I worried over whether I would really be able to handle all of the steps, etc. Well, as you can see, I did! I was also able to get through all of the little turnstiles inside, as well as fit into the tiny little carriers that we went to the top in. Here are pictures of each of us inside the one they have set up for photos . . .

First, “The Artist” . . .


“Mr. Loquacious” . . .


“The Batman” . . .


“The Puzzler” . . .


And me!


Now, you can see how small those things are, right? Now imagine all six of us, crammed into one for the ride to the top. A year previously, I would never have managed, not at 320 pounds. I also would have been quite miserable upon moving to Albuquerque, where we are almost a mile higher in elevation than we were in Pt. Huron. The weight loss journey is one I am so glad to have taken, for many reasons!

Anne went and got our tickets to go to the top of the Arch, and then we had a little over an hour before our scheduled ride, so we used that time to walk through as much of the museum as we could. We really enjoyed it!




All of the boys in front of one of the exhibits . . .


all the boys with Anne . . .


Anne and me . . .


one of the views through the windows at the top of the Arch . . .


After we had finished at the Arch, we drove back over to the hotel to pick up Anne’s car, and then went to eat an early supper at a restaurant nearby, for BBQ. It was very good, I’d never had BBQ done the way they do it! I don’t recall the name of the restaurant, but it was right across the parking lot from the hotel, and we loved it!


After our dinner, we said our good-byes. Anne headed off to her home, and we headed on to Republic, MO, where we spent the night at a motel and then the next morning, Saturday, we spent the morning visiting with another cousin, Anne’s brother Ed and his family. Unfortunately, I forgot to have my camera with me during that visit, so I have no pictures. 😦

From Republic, we headed toward Oklahoma, where we would be spending the night at the home of a long time dear friend of mine, which I will tell you about tomorrow, if you come back! 🙂

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Meanwhile, please, hop on over to the main crew post to see what the other Summer Blog Hop participants are up to!

Summer Blog Hop

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, exercise, family, health, Kids, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, Transitions, Travel, weight loss

“J” Is For . . .

Jumping up and down in excitement, which my kids were doing today, first, this morning, when we did another fun experiment for the “Matter” unit in the online science program we have been reviewing (post on that program coming within the next couple of days, people!), and second, because we went to our first home-school park day In I’m not even sure how many weeks! Between my husband’s TWO back surgeries within FIVE weeks, coupled with some sort of plague stomach virus that has been going through our family, and our church . . . add all that to the fact that I hurt my own back a couple of weeks ago, and was hobbling about on a cane until last night . . . well, we’ve not made it to park day in quite a while. So today, my kids were just about JUMPING for JOY, because we did go, finally, to park day, and if I could have, I would have been JUMPING for JOY myself, because I got to spend time with the other homeschool parents who come to park day. YAY! 🙂

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Filed under Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2013, education, exercise, home education, Kids

A Fresh Start in the New Year…

As we begin the new year, I want to get a fresh start to the home education in our family. Flexibility is very important to us, for a variety of reasons. We like to be able to pick up and head out to the park if it’s a nice day, so it’s nice to not feel wedded to a specific, rigid structure in our home-schooling.

We use a relaxed/Unschooling/Charlotte Mason method of home education, or what I’ve occasionally heard called the “wing-it” method. 🙂

Now that I’m a member of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, being flexible is also helpful when it comes to being able to add new things into our educational program when they become available to us. For example, we’ll soon be adding in a beginning Spanish program, which makes us very happy, because we’ve recently moved from MI to NM, and feel that learning the Spanish language would be a good thing in our new life.

As part of our fresh start, we will be getting into the History of Classical Music from Beautiful Feet Books. We bought this shortly before finding out we would be moving, so until now, had done nothing more than check to see that all the components were in the box before taping it back up for the movers. 🙂 This program, along with the Early American History package that we also have from Beautiful Feet, are put together from a Christian viewpoint, which I prefer. We’ve been slowly working our way through the history package over a few years. I also have the guide for Teaching Character through Literature from Beautiful Feet, and several of the books.

We’ll be adding in a math CD program for one of my kids who is very behind in math, to see how it works for him.

My kids love, love, love doing lapbooks, and there are tons of them online, free to download and print out.

For Bible, we are going to use the guide for reading the Bible in a year that our church is giving us.

Several years ago, I received via a grant program online, a huge set of prints of American art. I intend to use them for Art Appreciation with a Charlotte Mason style slant.

other thing I’m looking forward to is getting involved with our church’s home-school group. The home school moms in our church will be having a meeting this coming Tuesday evening to brainstorm activity ideas for the rest of the school year. This is important to me because I want my kids more involved with kids from church.

I also want to look for opportunities for my kids to become involved in service to the Lord, which I think is even more important than academics. More than anything at all, I want them to love the Lord and want to serve Him in whatever way he calls them to serve, not to mention the fact that the more involved one is in service to the Lord, the less opportunities one has to fall for sinful temptations.

Now that I have my NM driver’s license, I can get a library card. Once I do that, we can take advantage of some of the free enrichment classes they offer, not to mention the fact that really, one can home-school with a Bible and a library card.

We want to add walking into our program, beginning with walking the length of our block while my husband is recovering from spinal surgery, building from that, to walking around the block, to eventually long walks throughout our neighborhood.

I will be rebuilding our supply of board games, concentrating on educational games, and instituting a family game night once a week. We have Yahtzee, which we will begin with, as it will help with math and strategy.

We’ve been here in NM for five months now, and finally feel like we’re home, and ready for this fresh start. I’m excited to see what this new year brings to us!

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Filed under adoption, Christian faith, education, exercise, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, unschooling

Hey, spring!

Welcome spring! Hear the sarcasm there? Spring officially began this past Sunday, and we had a winter storm last night. It is so beyond time for winter to give it up and move on.

On the plus side, I’ve lost about 30 pounds since my surgery, to add to the 20 I had to lose before the surgery. The other day I cleaned out a whole load of stuff from my closet. None of it fits anymore. I’m down from a size 30 to a 22/24 in most things. I did have to buy a couple skirts and tops, and am getting a new swimsuit so I can exercise in the pool at the Y, but I’m not buying much as it will be too big in a short time.

I’m off of most of my Meds now, the only things left are thyroid and cholesterol pills, and my night time insulin.

So, hey, spring, let’s see you here…like now!


Filed under exercise, health, weight loss

Crunch time!

My scheduling appointment at Henry Ford Hospital is fast approaching, it’s August 20. I have not managed to both lose the 15 pounds they want me to lose AND keep it off.  I’ve lost and regained it at least twice, which is discouraging, and is the reason I need the surgery in the first place! This is making me feel like a failure yet again.  My HAP nurse who calls me every Thursday is helping me. Today she went over some of my choices I’ve been thinking were OK and showed me why they aren’t right now.  She wants me to continue the exercise DVD’s, but only until the 18th, and to lay off cheese, pickles, lunch meat, anything with salt in it until after my appointment, and to try really hard to stay off the scale as much as I can, too, so I don’t get discouraged. Tonight I made spaghetti with ground turkey, heart smart prego, mushrooms and onions, which she said was a good choice as long as I didn’t put grated cheese on it (difficult for me, but I managed), and to weigh the spaghetti noodles to get a correct serving amount (2 ounces!), and check the serving size for the sauce (1/2 cup!). I did do this, and it was just fine, though as soon as we can afford it I will be replacing our dishes so the plates will have a smaller eating surface. So between now and the 20th I will be upping the amount of water I drink, taking my water pill EVERY day, eating breakfast,  replacing lunch with my cut up protein bar and 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, a sensibly portioned supper, and a protein powder drink if I need something between supper and bedtime.

I’ve decided to become a Mary Kay lady. I really like the product a lot, and I feel so much better about myself when I use it. My self image stinks, and has done so for a lot of years, so it’s nice to have something that helps me in that area, and nice that my husband wants to support me in doing this.  I’m hoping to sign up within the next couple weeks.

Prayers for real success between now and the 20th would be so appreciated, I really want to leave my appointment with my surgery scheduled, even though we have to have it scheduled for after the first of the year due to time/money constraints.

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Filed under exercise, health, weight loss


So, my Sweatin’ to the Oldies DVD set arrived about a week ago, but I didn’t learn how to use all the remotes my husband has for the TV, Blue Ray, Satellite, etc…, until yesterday. In addition, last week I foolishly came downstairs with nothing on my feet, stepped on a small plastic toy, and cut the bottom of my foot, so I wanted to get it healed up before trying the DVD’s. But yesterday I put Sweatin’ to the Oldies 2 in and did the whole thing.  Today, I did it again. My plan is to do the same DVD all week, and switch to a different one each week. It was easily 40 -45 minutes of good, low impact cardio, and it’s very aptly named (SWEATIN’ to the oldies, LOL!). I did not do the floor exercises, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get back up, and because my back is not strong enough for the floor work.  But when they moved to standing stretch exercises I did those. During the cardio, whenever I couldn’t keep up with the steps they were doing on the DVD I just kept moving anyway. So, I’m pretty proud of myself for finally getting going on this. One of the requirements in the bariatric program is intentional cardio exercise as close to daily as possible. I’m stil struggling with diet, but it’s a journey, I can’t change every habit overnight. I can do it a piece at a time, over a period of time.

Tomorrow (the 21st) is our 20th wedding anniversary, and I want the next year of our marriage to be physically healthier. I’m working hard on that.

I’m working on remaking myself in many ways, with the exercise DVD’s, trying to make small changes one at a time in my eating, taking care of my face (I’ve been using Mary Kay again, when I can afford it).

I want to be here for many more years, and this is the only way I can. I’m working on saving my life.


Filed under exercise, health, weight loss