Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Only Constant is Change

Get up, eat breakfast, get dressed and start school work by 8:30a. After school work was complete, I am completely exhausted and barely have enough energy to throw something together for dinner. Focusing solely on homeschooling in attempt to do all I could without perceiving myself as a failure, I forgot about everything else. Basketball season has arrived and with it comes the run here for practice and run here for a game cycle.

What is the mom to do? SCHEDULE, SCHEDULE and more SCHEDULE. I have seen schedules that are planned down to the minute. Not ours. Our schedule is in 30 minute increments and consists of grouping. Example, 7:00-7:30 eat breakfast, get dressed, brush teeth. My decision to utilize grouping is to provide the child with a couple of things to do within a specific time frame while allowing him/her the choice to which they want to complete first and it provides each child with a little lee way. Chores are completed prior to starting school work and after school work is complete.

In the morning, there is NO TV time for the children. TV in the morning causes the children to become distracted and behind schedule. Behind schedule, is not what we want. Our schedule has been in place for two weeks. Not a lot of time, though you can see the difference and impact scheduling has made in our day to day life. For ideas on creating a schedule, search daily schedules in your search engine. There are many, find one that best suits your needs or create your own.

Having a schedule is a tool in managing your daily life. Will everyday go directly according to schedule? NO! Will you make changes to your schedule? Definitely! The only constant in life that is guaranteed, is change. We will always have change. Some good, some bad. The trick is to accept the change and make it work for you.

Cookies from My Heart

I want to introduce you to Cookies from My Heart. Cookies from My Heart is a Facebook page I started which is strictly dedicated to sugar cookies. I will be posting cookies, tutorials and anything else my mind thinks of that is cookie related to both my blog here and to Cookies from My Heart. You can easily find Cookies from My Heart posts by click on the tab above labeled Cookies from My Heart. I look forward to sharing my love for cookies with you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Alligator Tutorial

The Alligator was iced using a technique called Wet on Wet. This term is used to describe the process of adding icing of a different color onto icing that is already wet or hasn't hardened yet. The Wet on Wet technique is fun to work with. My tip to you, work quickly and do not over fill your cookie. Otherwise, overfilling the cookie will cause a "run over" as the new icing is being added onto the existing wet icing.  Causing dispersion in the initial icing. Applying wet on wet allows the second color to 'fall' into the first color leaving a smooth surface and leaving many to wonder, just how you did it.

This cookies has air dried over night. I like to brush off the cookie using a basting brush to remove any extra flour.

I outlined using the primary color of the alligator utilizing a #2 tip.

Now, I flood the cookie. Adding icing over 95% of the cookie. 95%? I know it sounds a little weird even to me. You don't want to cover the entire cookie. The incing will begin to settle and fill in the gaps as if falls into place. You can assist the icing falling into place by gently shaking the cookie from side to side.

For that 5% not covered, use a wooden skewer to pull the icing to the edges. Shake lightly to ensure a smooth surface.

Moving quickly before the first icing starts to dry, begin with adding the eye by placing a small blob of icing where you want the eye. Next, continue to place small dots of icing in the pattern you want. These dots were  created using a #0 tip.

At this point the cookie needs to air dry for about 8 hours. I typically dry the cookies overnight. 

With a #0 tip and icing that is a little stiff, begin making your little "stitch marks" around the alligator.

Lastly add the final touch of color to the top of the alligator. The cookie should be allowed to dry 8 hours or more before being packaged.

I hope that this tutorial helps you along in your cookie adventure.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Happy Halloween

Halloween is almost here. The outside of the house has been decorated and costumes have been purchased. We have been invited to attend two Halloween parties this year. We are looking forward to both. One of the parties we will be attending is a Zombie party. The hubby and I chose to go with the Zombie theme while the kids chose whatever they wanted. Miss D has selected to be a Purple Witch, while Miss C had decided to be a "girly" football player. Mr C has chosen to be our local Ghostbuster and I am Zombie Cheerleader. As for Mr P he is being creative. Mr P purchased a suit for the local Goodwill. He had been working hard at find different ways to give his suit that dead look. So far his suit has been cut with scissors, slashed with a razor knife, buttons have been pulled off and rubbed continuously on the asphalt to give it the worn and beat up look. I believe at one point the kids where dragging the suit across the grass. Hubby has some great ideas to complete his Zombie look. He will be finishing it this week.

Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you dress up?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Did someone say cookies?

I am addicted to Sugar Cookies. Not eating them, but rather, making them. I could spend hours on end and days at a time baking and decorating cookies. I was shocked to realize I have been doing cookies for five months. I feel like I have been doing them my whole life.

I was contacted my a friend and asked if I would do an order of cookies for a baby shower. No need to ask this gal twice. The baby is boy and the theme is Turtles and Alligators. Too cute and different.

The Napkin:

Here is the Turtle Cookie:

Here is the Alligator:

I am delighted at how these cookies turned out. I am positive the recipient is going to love them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Take A Break

During a recent tutoring session with our paraeducator, I mentioned how frustrated I was becoming with homeschooling and what seemed like a never ending battle. Mrs L mentioned that it is OK to take a break and have a couple of days off to regroup. I politely responded with "that sounds like a good idea." All the meanwhile I was thinking to myself, NO we can't take a break. We will just get further behind and then we will constantly be playing catch up to keep us on schedule. That was on a Wednesday.

Friday morning comes along and I awake feeling sick, sore throat and heavily congested. I just could not believe it, here I was sick with no energy and not up to teaching. I managed to complete our lessons for Friday. Saturday was spent on the couch hoping to get better. Sunday comes along and I stayed in bed all day. Nothing got done. Sunday is my prepare for the week day and guess what? Nope, that didn't get done either. Learning from previous weeks.... I am not a jump in and wing it type gal when it comes to teaching. I need my lesson plans ready to go Monday morning, otherwise, the week starts off on a bad note.

Not having any lessons prepared for the week I agreed we would take Monday off and I could use Monday to prepare lessons for the rest of the week. Praying to get better each day and I seemed to only get worse. Then, it dawned on me, the light bulb goes off in my head. Here I was at my last straw and was given the suggestion to take a break. Did I listen? No! Instead of voluntarily taking a couple of days off to regroup, I get sick and am forced to take time off. Coincidence?  Not at all.

I have been praying for days and weeks asking GOD to help me and point me in the correct direction. He was telling me what to do all along and I was missing what it was he wanted me to do. Funny how something can be so black and white, yet, grey. I looked up and said, "I get it now. I hear you." GOD was telling me it was OK to take a break and regroup. Once I "got it", I felt so much better and was able to focus on having some fun time with the kids.

I decided to give us the entire week off. The kids and I hung out for the week and even took a trip to Adventure City in Buena Park, Ca. We had a fabulous time. It was great to see them smiling and enjoying themselves. I felt so replenished and ready to take on the world again. We were once again back on track.
The following week went absolutely wonderful. Mr C had a couple of minor meltdowns, but we were able to quickly move past them. Both of the kids were able to stay on task and got along pretty well. It was a great week and it reminder me of all the positives that come from homeschooling.

Many homeschool for the flexibility and I feel that many moms that are new to homeschooling get so overwhelmed that they forget that. We forget that we don't have to stick to a conventional schedule. So if you are new to homeschooling and are feeling a little overwhelmed, take a couple of days off and not think about it. Clear you mind and enjoy enjoy some fun time with the kids. Remember, If mom is happy, everyone is happy.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Sitting at the computer enjoying a cup of my morning decaf as the overwhelming urge to cry takes over my body. I try desperately to find an answer, to get to the bottom of what it is that has brought me to this weaken state. But there is no one answer.  This is becoming a daily if not multiple times a day occurrence. Wanting to cry that is.  Each time I fight the urge and find something else to bury myself into. After all, I am a homeschooling mom and I don't have time for crying.

Our homeschooling journey has been ongoing for about 2 months. We have been experiencing more downs then ups. I believe I am doing something wrong. How can this be? Homeschooling is suppose to be fun. I should be able to enjoy my time with my children and helping them learn. I have done what I thought to be a good amount of research before beginning and I honestly thought I was prepared. What I was, was clueless. Clueless to the reality of what really happens. Many if not most of the homeschool blogs and websites I looked at depicted homeschooling as this constant loving, warm environment. So what am I doing wrong. I want that glorified homeschooling experience that many of the bloggers post about. I want that! 

Why don't I have that? The answer is two parts. First, I honestly am coming to the conclusion that homeschooling is NOT what it is being portrayed as. I believe that all homeschool families have ups and just as many downs as the next person. They just choose not to air their problems or issues and to focus strictly on the good. As for myself, I wish I was a little more prepared for the battle of homeschooling. I wish I had come across a blogger who blogged the truth about the daily struggles of homeschooling. 

Gone are the days of waking early, getting the kids ready and dropping them off at school for most of the day. Gone is the time I had to run my errands and get all the things accomplished on my to do list. Gone is the life I had and as hard as it is to admit, I am mourning the loss of that life. I miss my sanity. I miss being in control. 

My reality is this... Homeschooling is hard. I have put so much focus on Mr. C and helping him to get to where he needs to be, that I have neglected giving Miss C the help and attention that I want her to have. Reality is, my house is not as clean as I would like. Reality is, even though I don't feel stressed, I am. Reality is, I have lots of fun things I want to do with the kids, but we can't find the time. Reality is, cooking dinner has become more of a chore than something I love to do. Reality is, Miss D and I don't get the time together that we use to have. Reality is, I am exhausted. 

But he said to me, "My grace is all you need. My power is strongest when you are weak." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Reality is, I am weak. Reality is, there are only one set of footprints in the sand. Reality is, this experience is bring me closer to GOD. Reality is, this is all a work in progress. Reality is, Mr C despite our many ups and downs is making wonderful progress and I believe he is beginning to have a love for reading (sshh don't tell him I said that). Reality is, my kids love being homeschooled, despite us having bad days. Reality is, this is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life and as hard as it is, I don't regret it. Reality is, I am finding out a lot about myself and am working on changing me. Reality is, this is my reality. This is my life. 

I have always said that I live my life with no regrets. Everything that happens, good or bad, is a learning experience. I am closing the door on the way life was and embracing life the way it is now. I am not alone in this journey and GOD has brought me here for a reason. It is not my place to know what his reasoning is, but I shall embrace this journey and keep an open mind.