Monday, June 20, 2011

Yesterday I started the online Weight Watchers program with my friend, Ellie.  I'm not really sure how it's going to go.  Ellie says to me, "Oh come'll be easy!"  Well, trust me, controlling what I eat has NEVER been easy for me, and in the last year and a half I've gained 41 pounds. Now, part of that weight gain is due to medication, but it's still hard to realize just how much I've gained.  At this moment, I weigh as much as I did when I gave birth to my first child, almost 19 years ago. So, the time has now come to do something about my weight. And maybe my family will benefit from me at least trying to make better food choices...

According to the Weight Watchers program, I'm allowed to have a total of 31 points per day, plus an extra 48 per week.  The online program makes it so easy to keep track of points.  Each food is assigned a certain number of points; you enter what you eat, and they do the rest!  That part is easy!

So far today, I'm doing okay.  I have 9 points left and just a few hours before I go to bed.  I'm thinking that I'm gonna spend those last points on a chocolate ice cream cone!

So with all that said, drum roll, is this week's menu...short a couple days because we're going out of town later this week.

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas with Spanish Rice
Tuesday: Stuffed Green Peppers, Tossed Salad, Watermelon
Wednesday: Grilled Ribs, Oven Roasted Potatoes, Fresh Green Beans, Tossed Salad
Saturday: Honey Mustard Chicken, Spinach, Fresh Fruit
Sunday: Eat Out!

You can find more menus at!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Flexibility is the Key

Yesterday was a Field Trip Day for Silas and me.  We planned to visit The Shedd Aquarium with my friend Ellie and her kids, since it was a free day.  Wow!  The entire city of Chicago must have had the same idea!  The line to get in had to be a mile long....okay, maybe a quarter of a mile long, but still way too long for us!  So, we decided to check out the Adler Planetarium instead.

Great idea!  Silas and I had never been there before, so it was all new to us.  Our passes (which included all the exhibits and 2 movies) were $26 each.  That was a little steep, but at the end of the day I discovered that I could by a year-long family pass and they would subtract the fees I paid for that day's passes.  So, by spending an additional $40, I purchased the family pass which is good for 2 adults and up to 6 children.  Awesome!  I can't wait to take the rest of the family back.

At first, I was disappointed to not be going to The Shedd Aquarium, but the day turned out great!  We took the train and walked about 15-20 minutes to the Planetarium.  Silas absolutely loved it!  He learned so much about our solar system.  When we got home, he looked up the Apollo 13 movie on NetFlix so he could learn more about the space mission that nearly turned into a tragedy.  This is what homeschooling is all about....learning things that we are truly interested in!  He also bought a Dover coloring book on weather that he has been working in all day long.  I'm so thankful for the freedom to learn in our own way!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tea Party Days

No, this isn't a post about the grassroots political movement.  This is a post about finding creative and  fun ways to teach your kids to value other people.  Our homeschooling has always included an element of community service, but some years it has been hard to find a fun project.

So, I was ecstatic one day last fall, when my friend Dana, who also homeschools, invited us to hold a "Tea Party" with her family at the local nursing home once a month.  It's turned out to be the perfect opportunity to teach my kids how to serve others, while enjoying fun and fellowship.

Each month, we choose a different theme, based on the season or a holiday.  So far, the funnest day was our April Fool's Day Tea.  The kids brought along a whoopie cushion, and the residents just loved surprising their friends with it as they came into the room!  Each month, we bake snacks and decorate the tables according to our theme.  Dana has an awesome collection of eclectic teacups and teapots that she packs up to bring every time.  We've discovered that the residents love to play board games and put together simple crafts. All in all, it has been a wonderful experience for our kids and the residents.  What kind of things do you do with your family to encourage serving others?  I hope this post inspires you to start a new project with your kids!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 6/13/11

This is going to be a harder than normal week...since I'll be working every day, cleaning at the church.  I was able to switch my schedule around, so that I can work one week, then have one whole week off for the rest of the summer.  I think I'll like it, once I get to the one week off part!  Since I'll be so busy this week, I'm going to take advantage of my crockpot as much as I can.

Monday:  Bar-b-que Chicken, Buttered Potatoes, Broccoli
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Tossed Salad, Garlic Bread
Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas, Spanish Rice, Corn
Thursday:  To Die For Crock Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus Spears, French Bread
Friday:  Sloppy Joes, Macaroni Salad, Baked Beans
Saturday: Eat Out or Order In
Sunday: Asian Lettuce Wraps, Egg Drop Soup, Egg Rolls

Hope you all have a WONDERFUL week!

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