Today…. I was bitchy.

Today did not start out well at all. I hadn’t bought enough of the things I knew I’d want to eat, my eldest seems to LOVE my cucumber slices… and I woke up hungry, with the wonderfully delicious smell of … Continue reading

It’s my Day 3!!! :)

YAY!!!! I feel wonderful. It’s just that simple, I. feel. wonderful. The simple words, 10 Day Transformation, are the cause of this. Purium is the cause of this. I feel amazing. I know it’s only day 3, I still have … Continue reading

Say Hello

to a “Healthier Me”. Today is the 24 of July and I started my ’10-Day Celebrity Transformation’. I decided, after looking up a lot of things and reading many more items, that this is probably my one shot to being … Continue reading

On-line Dating – Is it better or worse? – Answered

Recently I received a message from someone asking me about On-line Dating – “Dear Ya-Ya, I was wondering what you thought about dating someone you met on-line. My friends know how  I met this guy but I haven’t told my … Continue reading

How could you grow a garden in a small space plus do a compost pile and still have a yard?

The answer my friends is a Keyhole Garden. It is a brilliant idea that apparently has been used for some time in Africa for gardening and composting.

As spring draws near I find myself once again turning to the idea of a nice, green, vibrant yard full of trees, bushes, flowers, herbs, and veggies. I have a pitiful, pitiful yard and have for some time. I have a horrible time attempting to grow anything, I believe I have a “Black Thumb” while all my relatives have “Green Thumbs”, but when it comes to knowing how to use the stuff I’m tops. 🙂 LOL
I know a lot about herbs and spices, both for medicinal and cooking usage, and I’m a wiz in the kitchen  for just about anything, cooking wise,  but I can not grow a thing. This type of garden, though,, appears to be something I could do, and possibly get it to work for me.
I want an herb garden, flowers that can be used for more than just beauty, and veggies with some fruit trees and vines around the yard. Basically I want my own little spot of “Heaven” and this idea for a garden would solve a few things for me.  YaY 🙂
This is a New Year’s Resolution, to have a compost pile and small herbal/veggie garden. We’ll work on the fruits and expanding the veggie part next year, maybe. LOL

I’m a horrible procastinator. There always seems a reason for not doing it or thing that stands in the way of it happening now. This I’ve decided has to stop concerning my “little slice of Heaven”. If you’ve ever cooked with fresh herbs then you understand why I want an herb garden. If you’ve ever looked at just how much stuff that can be recycled or turned into compost is thrown out a day by your family then you can see why I’d like to put a dent in that by doing composting.    When you compost you throw in newspapers (really any papers), cardboard, scarps of veggies and fruits. Just a little water is needed to keep it going and some earthworms. From all of this you get a continuing flow of food for the garden. The garden doesn’t take up much space and would work in pretty much any yard as well as looking fine instead of as an eyesore, IMO.
A common reason for most people in a city, suburb, town setting is that they can’t do things due to it being against the rules of where they live and it can’t be an eyesore. To me a garden is not an eyesore. It’s much more useful than grass and if you’re in a cramped space then it’s much more practical, but that’s not what the community seems to think. To me nothing is more beautiful than an old colonial English garden. These gardens can be small or huge. It all depends on the space at hand and what you want to plant or grow. I do not see how doing these types of gardens could be an eyesore, nor do I see how using a keyhole garden ( as your starting point ) could be bad. But that’s just my opinion.

The Colonial (Revival) Garden has some wonderful symmetry to it. You have separate areas to plant things in, each area encased with a box-type hedge or white picket fences. Herbs, flowers, fruit trees and bushes, and veggies each find a home in the layout. There are paths that wind through the whole and in the center you usually find a sundial, and seriously… Who doesn’t love that? You could put in arbors, gazebos, little garden bridges, just about anything you want to and it will still be beautiful.
The Colonial Garden has spanned time and while it started in the 18th century it has evolved and stayed. It is alive still and while a traditional Colonial English garden would be different, the Revival garden  keeps that spirit and merges it with today’s likes and desires. Truly this is my desired garden and I can’t wait to have one all to myself, well I’ll share with family but it’ll be my relaxation/get-away spot.

As an added interest, while searching for links to put in, I came across a project for kids to do as a school project. Here is that link -> Design a Colonial Garden.
How wonderful is it that kids are being introduced to gardening and history at the same time. I love that. My son’s school, NVVA, puts Art with History so that the lessons coincide and he learns so much more while having lots of fun with the projects. It’s a wonderful idea, and I would love to see more of that in schools. I believe that kids would learn better when the topic is being reinforced by two areas, and fun.

Here is an article that i found as well that tells how they created a Colonial Garden for a customer. It is wonderful and informative. I hope that you’ll enjoy it as well. –> How to Create a Colonial Garden

As always,
Many Blessings and Take Care,
Ya-Ya

New Year’s Resolutionary – Answered

Dear Ya-Ya,
   I’ve been trying to get in shape for this year and seem to have no luck. I take precautions with what I eat and try to exercise a couple of times a week, but I just can’t seem to keep the weight off. What should I do?
Signed,
  New Year’s Resolutionary
Dear New Year’s Resolutionary,
    Many times when we take on a set perspective of what we want to happen and a set time-line for it to happen in it tends to bring us down when the results tend to fall short of what we expected to happen within that time frame. We all seem to do this and in many different areas of our lives, not just weight-loss.
   I’ve done many diets myself, and they all seem to end in the same way. Even with added exercise to what I’m already doing for a diet/change in meals. I’ve set out a block schedule and expect myself to loose so much within that block of time and when I plateau and become discouraged I tend to “cheat”, which just adds the weight back on.
I do not know if this is what is happening with you or if it’s something entirely different.
   I’ve a friend who, try as they might, can’t seem to get the toned look that they desire and recently found out that it’s just the chemical make-up of their body.
I’ve another friend that just couldn’t seem to lose weight no matter what they tried and upon speaking with their Dr, found out they had a medical condition that was easily treatable. Now, with the proper diet and medication, my friend is happily beginning to shed the weight they had worked so hard to lose, unsuccessfully, before.
   My suggestion is to talk with a nutritionist and your Dr before starting anything and make sure that what you plan to do is good for your body as well as making sure there is nothing medically wrong/unbalanced to undermine your good intentions.

All successful “diets” or life-style changes start with knowing for certain what your body specifically needs and can handle. Until your able to see a professional though, I would start with just being sure to eat 3 small healthy meals a day and 3 healthy snacks, cutting out junk food such as chips and sodas (use your own judgment on what you can cut out and what you can’t) and try to walk where-ever you can, if possible. If walking isn’t possible, due to your situation or location, then I would recommend just doing some simple toning exercises (the repetition and movement is what counts) , taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking as far from the entrance as possible so that you have farther to walk to and from your destination.

Another thing people tend to do is denying themselves things which tend to lead to “cheating” on their “diets”. Don’t deny it just limit it to so much, or find a healthier substitute that tastes just as good and sometimes,tastes even better. Little things like this tend to add up and just remember, Don’t give up, the end result is worth all the hassle.
For some great meal ideas and delicious deserts check out “The South Beach Diet“, which is a life-style change that a Dr put together for his patients with heart conditions. It’s full of good advice and, in most cases, won’t hurt anyone to try out.
My best wishes on your success and take care. I hope I answered your question. 🙂
Many Blessings your way,
Ya-Ya 🙂

Man, I just love Stress

Today I had a very rude awakening. I had lain down for a nap while my children were with their father outside in the yard, if you can call it that. My yard is basically just dirt. Which my boys, being boys, love.
My eldest enjoys riding his bike all around it, the dogs can go anywhere with them because it’s, well, dirt. My youngest enjoys it because there are so many rocks to be found and packed into mommy’s house as precious treasures, I could do without this but it just makes him so happy when he shows me.
( I secretly take them back outside where they belong later 😉 Sneaky mommy. )

Anyway, today we got a visit from a social worker. YAY! Just the added stress I needed in my life.
It’s not like I’m not driving myself insane trying to keep up with an autistic child, my 5 yr old, that would make the Energizer Bunny look like a turtle.
It’s not like I’m not stressing myself out trying to be sure that my eldest has the best education I can provide for him, he’s home-schooled.
It’s not like I’m going constantly because I’m trying to be the best caregiver I can be for my mom, whom has terminal breast cancer and is bedridden.  So, thanks to my nursing background. I can do a lot for her.
It’s not like there is so little stress in my life that I needed a little boost of adrenalin and a check to be sure my heart and tear-ducts still work.
And most of all, it’s not like my 9 yr. old is so care-free that he needed to become so worried about being taken away from his family that he started plotting where he could take his brother and him to hide so that if someone came to take them away they wouldn’t be here to be found.
Thank You, you mystery person, that just knew exactly what we needed at this time.

   YES!!! I needed this stress added to my life at just this moment, and my kids, mainly my 9 yr old because my 5 yr old didn’t really comprehend what was going on, were over-joyed to be scared to tears.
Thank you to who ever decided that they would be kind enough to do this for us. It’s JUST what we needed.

Nightmares in Parentville

Nightmares in Parentville

or

Back to School Days & Nights

So it’s that time of year again and while some schools are already back in session others are just starting or getting ready to, while others are still a distance away.

This time of year is every parents nightmare, esp for those that are wondering just how they are going to shake off the “Summer” routines and start-up the “strict bedtimes and get to school on time” routines.

While browsing a few of my favorite sites and some blogs I found a few great suggestions and these two stood out the best for me. They are from a blog site for one of my favorite children’s toy makers Melissa and Doug.

The first blog deals with just establishing a bedtime routine, and while it mainly is talking about a bedtime routine for a young child (think toddler to Kindergarten) it is a great idea for all ages. Bedtime routines are a great habit to get into and definitely help with the de-stressing of the day’s activities and help start off the mornings better due to a fuller nights rest.

The second blog is basically just telling you to take small steps into establishing a deeper relationship between the parent and the child(ren). The mother calls it her “parenting secret weapon“. This is her ABC’s for a Successful Back to School Routine.

 

I hope that these blogs help you journey through this time while retaining some sanity, if nothing else, they both give wonderful suggestions.

Enjoy and Blessings on your journey.

Yaya

 

Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?

The Pros And Cons of Home-Schooling

   My original title was “The Pros and Cons of Home-Schooling” but after a few sentences, I realized that a more apt title would be “Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader”. I’m pretty sure that everyone has either heard about or seen that funny, informative and entertaining show hosted by Jeff Foxworthy on CMT. I’ve even played a version of it at a relative’s house and it was fun, of course my team won though. 😉 Anyway for those of you who haven’t seen a commercial of it, or watched the show the sum of the show is this: An adult basically goes toe to toe with 5th graders to see if they are, over all, smarter than the children in various basic school subjects, such as Math, Science, exc. At the end, and more often than not, should the adult loose they have to proclaim, “I am not smarter than a 5th  grader”.  What does this have to do with home-schooling? Well…. let’s just say this, if you use an online/charter school, such as K12 or really any home-school curriculum, then you already know.

   If you don’t then allow me to say this: Your probably not smarter than those 5th graders and possibly in for a surprise with the younger grades as well. I was. A huge surprise at that. My child is with K12 and let me just state for the record, in ALL subjects ( except Literature ), I’m learning with and brushing up on them. (Link provided at the bottom for those interested in viewing K12’s curriculum)

   Now after a year, almost two, of home-schooling my child I can honestly say that perhaps, just perhaps, I could go on such a show and be “Smarter than A 5th Grader”, but I am in no hurry to do so. These kids are doing Pre-Algebra and Algebra and Geometry in grade school and middle-school. They are studying the Ancient Greeks and Romans, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance in grade school as a general overview and a more in-depth view as they come back to that timeline in History again, after going through to present day history you have to go back to the beginning. 😉 Now don’t get me wrong, the general overview is pretty in-depth its self because I’d love to know how many grade-schoolers can tell you the names of some of these guys and when certain things happened in History and what is the Magna Carta and when was it signed? On second thought, how many people can tell me that one? I know it wasn’t a full lesson when I was in school and most of the history my child is learning I only know because it was a pet interest of mine. My child is learning things in Science that are above his grade level should he be enrolled in the traditional public school setting and well, they offer foreign languages too, massive perk in my book.

   So why isn’t every child enrolled in this type of public schooling? If it’s anything like what I’ve heard as a parent or what I heard as a home-schooled teen, myself, then all I can say is…. They are WRONG!!!! The perks WAY out-weigh the cons.

  • I got to go to school in my pj’s, everyday, and I let my child do that as well.
  • I started my school day later in the day and finished before lunch, my child procrastinates so … depends on the kid. 😉 Still less time then a traditional school day when you add in all the time put into homework afterwards because… there is no homework. Everything is done when you end your school day.
  • I got just as much positive interaction being home-schooled as I did in the public school system. My child gets more positive interactions (with other students and the teacher)  now with the K12 public school system then before and;
  • it’s a self-esteem booster because there aren’t any negative interactions which could cause detrimental issues, both in the psychi and in a future work environment. This is  true for both my son, now, and myself, back then.
  • Take off on a family vacation when you want instead of having to schedule around school breaks, or if there’s a family emergency they wont miss school. (Just need net if you’re using an online curriculum) 😉
  • It’s still free (if you use a public school option like K12)
  • You actually know what your child is doing in school every day.
  • There is a more diverse curriculum for the children.
  • The lessons, for the most part, have games to help them learn the objectives.
  • A support group, composed of other parents whom home-school, the teacher(s) and others. (A lot of home-schooling groups can be found on Yahoo and FB as well as blogs written by veteran home-schooling parents which can offer advice and tricks to get through those nasty days your child(ren) don’t want to do school work.)

   So let’s go over this again,

  1. You can wear what you want to school, even PJ’s.
  2. Start whenever, end earlier then your child’s friends (and their parents), unless they’re taught at home too.
  3. Positive interactions, nothing negative
  4. Self-esteem boost
  5. Take off whenever/Never miss school
  6. It’s still public school so, FREE!!!
  7. Your actually involved?!?! (because we’ve all had those teachers that complained you were to involved? because you wanted to know if your child was getting behind in anything so they could catch up… egad)
  8. More options? What kid doesn’t love options when it comes to non-basic subjects?
  9. Games?!?!?!? To help the children learn?
  10. A support group for the parents

Ok, so that’s ten reasons right off the top of my head that sound pretty good to me for wanting to home-school a child and I honestly can’t see a con in there to any one of them except perhaps #7 and that would be if you had a child that was younger, say k-5th and couldn’t put in the school day required with them because, parents or grandparents or guardians, you are the teachers/learning coaches. Of course, if you knew a couple of other parents that home-schooled/home taught as well and set up a rotation or even asked if they could teach your child on certain days then it’s not really a con, but let’s just list it as one

  1. requires set amount of hours/lessons put in each week (if using a system such as K12 or other home-school curriculum from a school)

That’s only one con. Just one that I can think of. So why don’t more people home-school? My guess is they either don’t know the true advantages of schooling at home or believe that there really are more cons then pros. They might, howsoever, truly not be able to do the time required for their child(ren) to get the full benefit of a home-schooled education and therefore opt for the traditional route.

Here’s a vid from YouTube that talks about some of the TOP myths concerning Home-Schooling/Home-Schoolers 🙂 Enjoy –

   That’s all for now and I hope that I’ve helped, in some way, to show the “Pros” for home-schooling as I’m sure anyone that is debating the issue has a few, perhaps even themselves, telling them the “Cons”. 🙂

Take Care and Many Blessings,

 Ya-Ya

Take A Peek / Sample Lessons < —- Link to K12’s website where they offer potential parents/students a sample lesson to view what it is like.

(I’ve put in the link for K-8th  and not the HS levels but if you wanted to check those out you can also view them.)

Calvert <— For Pre-K – 8th  ( I did a year with Calvert and they supplied EVERYTHING. You pay for the schooling and they give your child everything from the books to the pencils and paper required. )

American High School <— For Middle & High School ( I think this is link to the HS I did but it’s been a few years lol I enjoyed this HS and if it’s the same one then it’s a good program for your child. )

Now I’ve put in the links to what I’m using with my child and what I used myself as a kid in school. There are MANY other options out there I’m sure, but I like the ones I’ve listed and, honestly, if you’re looking into it you have to start somewhere. 🙂