Saturday, April 30, 2011

Watching my food Day 2

Overall intake: 10783 kJ

Overall exercise:  neglible (sat around watching gymnastics competition for 5 hours)

High point:  We had dinner at home when I really wanted to get pizza and just sit around more.

Low point: I ate too much junk food during the day.  I could have prevented this by making some home made biscuits and taking some fresh fruit and sandwiches.

Total kJ for Saturday: 10783 kJ

Best wishes

Homeschool Mother's Journal 30 April

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…
We did absolutely nothing... okay, well not nothing... but it sure feels like nothing.  I managed to get everyone to help with chores this week.  So often I try to do it all on my own, but It Ends Now!!!   I have drawn a line in the sand and it is not going to be blown away by the next big blow.

We also helped set up my ds2's PCYC for a gymnastics comp.  That accounted for an hour's worth of exercise.  Another line in the sand... my weight loss goals.

Well, I guess maybe there has been a lot going on this last week but it has been all in my head, so to speak.

In our homeschool this week…
No school this week.  I decided 3 days crammed into the end of a week was just a pain.  I still need to finalise some Preschool Activities but just about all set to go for next term.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
We went to ds2's first gymnastics comp and he did really well.  He got 3rd for 5 out of 6 events and 3rd over all.   I am very proud of him.

Some friends of my mum dropped in today on their way home from a long trip to Tasmania.  They took a cuddle for Grandma and a photo or two of my garden.

My favorite thing this week was…
I managed to take baby and a CD of my favourite music out for a long drive while dh cooked dinner.  It was so nice to be able to just have quiet (well, sort of, the stereo was up loud) and be able to complete a thought.  I came home much refreshed.

What’s working/not working for us…
I am not sure yet if anything for this coming term is working or not, but overall I am very impressed with the Sonlight Core that my eldest is doing.  He pulls some of the books off the shelf to re-read just for fun and that can not be a bad thing.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
I am realising that I really don't like how unschooling works in my family.  My dh and I watch too much television to ban the kids entirely without feeling like hypocrites.  If I let my children lead their learning they watch way too much junk and it is Not Good.

I like structure myself and I am determined (yet another line in the sand) to make sure it works this term.  My 2 middle children will do well with me being in charge.  The toddler will learn to go with the flow as I learn how to keep him busy.  Now... the 12 year old Aspie could be fun.  But I do not need to fight him.  I can walk away after telling him what is needed and he will soon learn there are consequences.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
These were 2 of the songs on my CD for my long drive.  Both worthy of singing loudly and off key to in my opinion.  lol   The first was one of my favourites in my senior year.  Oops, showing my age!  And the second was from the album I had to play to get ds2 to sleep.  I had buns of steel dancing to this every night for about 6 months.  Kids!!  The others liked gentle rocking or even just being laid down to go to sleep on their own.  Go figure!


Best wishes

Friday, April 29, 2011

Watching my food Day 1

Overall intake:  8389 kJ

Overall exercise:  1735 kJ  (included grocery shopping and helping to prepare a gymnastics hall for a comp tomorrow so an unusually big bit of exercise on my part)

High point:  I actually remembered to add vegetables to tonight's dinner which otherwise would have only been crumbed fish and potato gems.

Low point:  I ate some of a leftover chocolate Easter egg after getting cranky with  my whiny 12 year old.

Total kJ for Friday: 6654 kJ

Best wishes

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My weightloss goals

So I will be hitting the big 4 0 this year and I have decided that I don't think much of having gained about 15 -20 kg more than I would like.

I know trying to lose the whole 20 kg could be an uphill battle, after all my metabolism is probably going to work against me a bit at my age.  I would like to be down to 65 kg by summer when we go on family vacation to the Gold Coast.  It would be nice to be able to go to the beach without embarrassment.

Here is the plan:
  1. Add some extra exercise into my day.
  2. Eat healthier snacks, eg. more fruit and vegetables.
  3. Watch my portion sizes.
  4. Journal the whole thing because being aware of my activity and my food intake is a big part of the issue. 
As a busy homeschooling mum with a 2 year old I know from experience that getting out to a gym regularly is almost impossible.  My ideas on how I can add some extra exercise to my day are to add weights in the form of lifting my 18 kg baby up and doing deliberate repetitions up and down, and doing repetitions when lifting the washing basket also.  I can also get an upper body workout by making bread by hand every day and an aerobic workout by walking for at least 1/2 hour every day possible (and if it rains add in an aerobic session with some favourite music with the boys).

I think I will be more motivated on the healthy snacks if I remember I am doing it for everyone.  Some of my children need some training on attitude so we will see how long I can stick with it with opposition.  I already like to eat healthy snacks, I just don't always make an effort.

I really do need to stop eating while preparing food, stop eating the toddler's leftovers and make sure my serving size is a bit more reasonable.  My meals can be about the 2000 kJ mark and snacks around 800 kJ at 3  a day, giving me about 8400 kJ a day.  That still seems quite a bit but I am breastfeeding so I can't skimp too much without having a stressed hungry little person which will make me stressed, and there we go, back to baking lots of unhealthy snacks that disappear too fast.

Journalling won't be much fun, probably a bit embarassing, but from what I read accountability and awareness are 2 big factors in successfully losing weight.  I won't always do kJ counting but I will try to stick to a smaller plate and think about the serving sizes recommended in the food pyramid.

Oh, and another thing, apparently if you are getting enough sleep it can also help you lose weight.  Hmm, bed time!!

Best wishes

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bathroom safety tips!

* never store plugs on the bench or where anyone under the age of 4 can reach (ask how I know not to do this! lol)

* store only bath mats, hand towels and face washers under your sink, avoid nasty and dangerous chemicals down low

* keep all razors up high above the height even an 8 year old can reach (my second shaved his eyebrows thanks to mum's razor when he was 8 years old!)

* spread the shower curtain out when finished, don't leave clumped at one side of the shower to grow mould

* use a small coloured plastic basket per child for their toothbrush, a cup and any other little personal cleaning items; place each on the tiled shelf usually at the end of the bath or next to the shower

* never put fancy soap beside the basin, and definitely not soap with a plunger

* keep benches as clear of clutter as possible as it makes it easier to clean up the inevitable puddles

Best wishes

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Homeschool Mother's Journal 23 April

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…
We have still been on holidays so things have been moving at super slow pace.  I managed to get our grocery shopping done before the rush due to our upcoming 5 day long weekend.

In our homeschool this week…
The boys have been playing or watching each other play Smarty Ants.  It successfully crashed my poor computer a few times so instead they are using Starfall.  I am impressed by how much my 6 year old wants to learn and I am wondering if he is going to pass my 9 year old soon with his reading skills.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
At this time of year we stay put as much as possible.  It just seems to be such a busy time on the roads with people travelling for the long weekend so we try to stay off them.  Safer that way!

My favorite thing this week was…
My boys' glee as they hunted for the Easter Eggs we hid all around the house.  108 mini eggs makes for a lot of fun for 4 boys.  We all hunt together and then after dh collects them in his basket we divide them up evenly.  It helps the boys to focus on helping each other have fun without being competitive.  We don't even check who got the most.  Just have fun!

What’s working/not working for us…
School-wise not much happening, but with  me personally I am finding that my monthly menu plan is helping a lot.  As long as I check it so I can defrost meat for dinner it keeps on working.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
My big homeschool thought for this week is wondering how I am going to get these boys working again next week when there will only be 3 school days, or should I just leave it until the following full week.  Most of the decision will hinge on whether I get all the school books tidied and the schedule sorted.  Chocolate fuel will help!  lol

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
OK, stuck here.  No idea what to add, must be my chocolate addled brain.  Need something more substantial to eat so will sign off now.

Best wishes

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Groceries breakdown 21 April

This week's shopping corresponds to Week 1 of my monthly plan.

Fresh Produce $12.64
Dairy Products $23.80
Frozen Goods $8.68
Meat $24.39
Bread $8.22
Pantry Items $56.08
Bath and Baby $0.00
Dog $0.00
Treats $7.47

Spent in total $141.28 at local supermarket.

Meat $61.80

Spent at the Steggles outlet for 6 kg of thigh fillets and 4 whole stuffed chickens which will last a fortnight.

Although this looks like I ended up well within my $250 budget I must admit to having fast food this last week.  We had Hungry Jacks one night when I was just too plain tired to think beyond Meatloaf in oven, d'oh, I need vegetables and the kitchen is a mess.

Having a monthly rotation has helped a lot to reduce our fast food but I am finding that making plans is not the only part.  Something I remember from my old Amway days... You need to work the plan for the plan to work.  Oh boy, does that bite me where it hurts!!

Best wishes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Are you invisible?

I loved this video.  In a busy house of 4 boys I often feel invisible, working hard to keep up with all that needs to be done.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal - 18 April

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week…
We returned from a 4 day trip away to a lovely location in the foothills of The Great Dividing Range south of Tamworth, NSW.  It has taken some time for me to catch up on all the washing created by a family of 6 going gold panning, trout fishing and just general adventuring.  Even harder when the weather has been wet.

In our homeschool this week…
We learnt alot about gold mining, gold panning, old woolen mills and trout farming while away.  Just need to blog it in the kids' blogs.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
After a short trip away we didn't go far from home, just down to the local Bunnings for plants for our vegetable patch.

My favorite thing this week was…
I was really glad to get some laminating sheets.  I had run out a while ago and I hadn't realised how many things had piled up that needed laminating.  Can I just say I Love My Laminator?  lol

And I also loved the visit to the Mt Misery Gold Mine.  (Ironically this is in a place with a road called Happy Valley Road.)  It was fun reading all the old newspaper articles about how gold was discovered.  And I loved browsing through this store where I bought myself a pudding bowl for my next Christmas pudding.

What’s working/not working for us…
We are on school holidays while my dh is off work too.  But I have realised that I am not getting the boys to read out loud to me often enough.  And there are some good stories to read too that I can read out loud to them.  We really need to finish Charlotte's Web soon.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have…
I am wondering how mums who read aloud manage to keep their voice.  Is there a suggested drink or technique to not losing my voice, because believe me, with 4 boys I do not want to have "no voice" when it is needed?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
My favourite blog post I read this week was this one at Sheila Wray Gregoire's Blog.

Best wishes

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Grocery breakdown 14 April

This grocery shop is for Week 4 of my menu plan rotation.

Fresh Produce $19.29
Dairy Products $32.22
Frozen Goods $0.00
Meat $58.41
Bread $3.79
Pantry Items $40.55
Bath and Baby $33.82
Dog $2.35
Treats $9.99

Spent in total $200.42 at local supermarket.

Meat was up a bit due to dh wanting a roast every so often and this is the week.  I had to buy a box of nappies for the baby.  Considering the cost it may be about time to really get him toilet trained.  Haven't been too serious about it as of yet.

Fresh produce was down as my fridge was still quite well stocked and my supermarket has been having some great clearances.  They park a trolley near the check outs and you fill a bag from the trolley for $2.  Tonight's win was 2 bags of seedless grapes and some chunks of cauliflower.  I also managed to get 2 bags of slightly bruised bananas for $2 each and with the current price at over $12 per kg I was very happy.  My eldest uses bananas in shakes so he peeled them and removed the damaged portions before freezing them.

Best wishes

Managing our homes, our school and ourselves

I know it isn't usual to view ourselves as anything but home schoolers, just a mum with extra jobs.  I am realising lately that viewing ourselves as managers is a more broadening experience.  I have many 'projects' under way such as home chores, home maintenance, personal projects, homeschool planning and prep, etc.

As a homeschooling mother of 4 I find a lot of the problems covered here are things that apply to me.  As I  read more about the skills a manager needs I am learning to view myself as a manager of a unique group - my family with all sorts of priorities, goals and projects.  I find the author's style of writing very easy to understand even though I have read these ideas before and I recommend a good browse around his site.

If we can view ourselves in this light, a manager of people and projects in a home environment, there is so much out there to help us.  We just need to adapt the 'male business' words to fit our 'female home' management situation.

Best wishes,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


A mode of conduct, a standard of courage, discipline, fortitude and integrity can do a great deal to make a woman beautiful.

Jacqueline Bisset

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A site of interest about Australian early history

I have been reading about kanakas this morning.  Here is one site I found along the way that could be a good resource.  I am yet to read all of it so am not sure of any biases or inaccuracies.

This is another resource on Australian topics that I am yet to fully explore.  So far the lessons I have looked at have been directed at late high school students.

Best wishes

Friday, April 1, 2011

Groceries break down 1 April 2011

I try to break down my grocery docket into categories.  Over time it shows me which areas are large, and which areas are overspends eg treats.

Fresh Produce     $42.66
Dairy Products     $34.26
Frozen Goods     $19.65
Meat     $18.45
Bread     $8.37
Pantry Items     $60.60
Bath and Baby     $11.47
Dog     $2.55
Treats     $10.38

 Spent in total $208.39 at local supermarket.

Meat     $23.40

Spent at the butcher next to the supermarket.

This shopping list coincides with Week 2 of my menu plan with a little adjustment here and there for some expected visitors.

Best wishes
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