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Frustration-Free Shoe Tying with Magic Fingers

Kids learning to tie their shoes… it’s a big deal. For some parents, it may be a bittersweet time, but for others, like me, who have been tying someone’s shoes for the last 16 years (almost), it’s one more step towards independent kids. It’s beautiful.

My oldest three boys were taught to tie their shoes by their dad, so when it came time to teach Peanut, I wasn’t sure where to begin. He wasn’t at all interested in learning either.

Well, this not being my first rodeo, I’ve learned not to push the issue until he was more interested.

Except he never got more interested.

Knowing that there’s a 95% chance that Peanut will be going to public school next fall, I knew that we had to get going on this. The boy’s teacher was NOT going to appreciate him asking her to tie his shoes all day long.

A couple of days ago, I laid down the law. “Peanut,” I announced, “you have only 10 shoe ties left from me, so you’d better get interested in learning how to tie them yourself.” His brothers were instructed to give him only 5 shoe ties.

Punkin helped Peanut out by making a tying shoes practice box. He took an empty tissue box, punched holes along each side, and threaded a long, thick shoelace through them.

Then, we introduced him to our secret weapon…The Magic Fingers Method of tying shoes. While it took my other children a week or two (or maybe longer. I’m old and my memory isn’t so good anymore.) to learn to tie their shoes proficiently, it took Peanut less than 20 minutes total over two days.

The best part of this method is that the laces stay tied, and did I mention it was easy?? Go now. Save days of your life by learning this and teaching your children this method. Even Punkin has now switched to tying his shoes this way.

So see? All the cool kids are doing it.

I’m taking a vacation

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or simply a great day with your loved ones.

I’m taking a small vacation from blogging, but wanted to remind you of a couple things.

First, the Family Friday Link-up is still live! You can link-up your family friendly posts here.

Next, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for *free* wellness coaching. You can win one of 5 individual 3 month wellness coaching packages or one of 5 spots in a group wellness coaching 3 month program beginning January 20, 2014. The giveaway is below, and winners will be notified by January 3, 2014.

Also, now’s the time to start on your SMART Goals! You can read about them here (and use the free printable)!

Lastly, make sure to come back here January 1, 2014. I have another great surprise for those who didn’t win the giveaway but are still interested in letting me help Make 2014 the Year of the Best You!

New Year, New You!

Happy New Year everyone! I just love January 1. Even though it’s just a date on the calendar, there’s something to be said for the feeling of optimism, starting over, and creating new goals for the year to come.

One of the most common ‘resolutions’ made is for people to lose weight. Well, I say stop making that resolution and make being healthy a PRIORITY for 2014. Make 2014 the Year of the Best You!

My giveaway for 3 months of wellness coaching just ended, and if you didn’t participate in that or didn’t win, I’ve got a solution for you.

First though, for those that are new here, let me tell you what a Wellness Coach doesn’t do:

  • A Wellness Coach doesn’t give you a plan to follow.
  • A Wellness Coach doesn’t tell you what to do.
  • A Wellness Coach doesn’t do the work for you.

A Wellness Coach does:

  • work with you to discover what YOUR version of wellness looks like.
  • listen to what that is and helps you create a goal or a series of small goals to help you reach that place.
  • guide you in creating an action plan to move you toward your goals.
  • hold you accountable in whatever form works best for you.
  • take into consideration the whole ‘you’ and looks at areas outside of wellness (relationships, career, etc) to help you discover how one area of your life may be affecting others.

Why would you need a Wellness Coach?

There are many reasons people seek the help of a Wellness Coach. The top reason is weight loss. You know the drill-you’ve tried all the fad stuff, but nothing has worked long term. Or, you just can’t seem to lose a pound no matter what you do.

Other reasons are suspicion of food sensitivities, unexplained or excessive bloating, fatigue, and ‘cloudy’ brain. Some people want help with feeding their families healthier food or encouraging their kids to eat better and move more. Some may want to address issues of sugar dependence, depression and anxiety (all of which are often related). Even others have issues that conventional medicine hasn’t been able to help with.

Perhaps you’d like the help of a Wellness Coach, but you just can’t afford the $200 a month fee.

I’ve been there. I’ve wanted to take advantage of a program so badly but simply didn’t have the money in the budget for the program fee. You’ll hear coaches of all kinds say that if you want it badly enough, you’ll find a way. Sometimes there just isn’t $200 in the monthly budget for a coach no matter how badly you want it!

I don’t want you to go into debt in order to receive coaching, and I don’t want to take advantage of people in order to make a buck.

For me, it’s not a matter of ‘charging what I’m worth’ (which is what every coach of any type is told to do). It’s about getting the message of wellness out to every working mom, stay at home mom, single mom, every woman on a budget. (And for the record, I work with men as well…especially dads!)

Here’s my solution.

I’ve reworked my coaching fees for programs purchased during the months of January and February. Instead of charging $200 a month like I have been, I am drastically reducing my monthly rates.

Here’s how it goes:

For a 6 month individual program (12 sessions), the monthly fee through January is only $75. Pay in full and the cost drops to $400. (Compare that to the regular 6 month cost of $1200!) Programs must be committed to by January 31, 2014, with the first month’s fee paid within 7 days of commitment and sessions scheduled to begin by March 30, 2014 to receive this very special price. If, after your 6 months are up, you choose to continue with coaching, the same reduced fee will apply.

For a 6 month group program (12 sessions), the rate has dropped from $100 to $50 a month. That’s only 10 lattes! Groups are done in a rotating fashion so that new clients may begin with the current group at the beginning of each month and still receive the full program. Two group times will be offered-Monday evening and Saturday morning.

For those who have won the giveaways (winners will be announced after they have accepted the prize), the above rates will also apply if they choose to continue with 3 additional months.

What if you’re not sure you’d like to purchase a full program? You can make an appointment for a complimentary 30 minute Wellness Consultation to see if we’re a good fit.

Are you ready to dive in or still needing more information?

Kalanderson Academy for the Intellectually Awesome: Homeschool Update

Since the new ‘semester’ began after our Christmas break, I thought this would be a good time to give a homeschool update.

Don’t we have a cool name for our school? The boys came up with that one.

Peanut Update:

  • Peanut is about 3/4 of the way through the Kindergarten year of ABCMouse. Some of the things on ABCMouse are way too easy for him. But, it’s good to give him some of those easier things to build his academic confidence.
  • Reading is hit or miss. He doesn’t absolutely love it, but he’s getting better. I’ve found that if I’m not consistent at this stage, he forgets many of his sight words and his reading ability diminishes quickly.
  • At math, Peanut is amazing. I’m not just saying that as his mother either:) He refuses to count on his fingers and does all his adding and subtracting in his head. He is counting by tens and fives and is moving onto twos.
  • I’ve been using a lot of packs for 3 Dinosaurs and also Royal Baloo. We’ll be using more from Royal Baloo for the second half of the year.
  • As long as there are no major life changes before next year, Peanut will continue to homeschool.

Sweet Pea:

  • By far my most challenging student this year. SP gets bored easily and often lacks focus.
  • We’re still working through the Saxon Math 7/6 book. I feel we’re behind, but we spent quite a bit of time reviewing a couple of concepts that tripped him up. It’ll all work out and he’ll know his stuff.
  • SP started out with Robinson Classic Curriculum, then went to Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool, but then made the switch to Georgia Virtual Learning for 6th Grade.
  • He is lacking on Social Studies/History right now, but I’m not too concerned about this. He’s making up for it by reading stories from different time periods.
  • SP will also continue to homeschool next year if we are still in our current city. He has said though that if we move, and if he likes the school, he wouldn’t mind going back to public school.

Punkin and Jeremy:

  • I put these two guys together because they are both on the same track with slightly different classes.
  • They are doing very well. We did change curriculum about 2/3 of the way through last semester. Both boys felt Saylor was difficult to follow with having to go to many different websites and texts/courses being in different formats.
  • They are both now also doing Georgia Virtual Learning. They are enjoying this style of learning more as everything is on one website and there are more electives to choose from.
  • Punkin is taking an Agriculture course, and Jeremy is taking an Energy course for electives.
  • The only problem with this site is that because we aren’t in Georgia, we don’t have access to exams and some texts. If the boys want to take any AP courses, we’ll have to explore other options.
  • Even though they are self-teachers, I am requiring them to report to me what they’ve done each day. I find that it’s easy for them to ignore the subjects they don’t enjoy as much (literature).
  • Both boys have reported that they enjoy homeschool and want to continue as long as we’re here. If we move, they also said that public school would be an option if they liked the school.

Overall, I am already counting our first year of homeschool a success. Sometimes the boys get on each other’s nerves (a lot of times they get on my nerves), but I have noticed that Jeremy and Punkin have learned to talk to each other about their common classes and help each other when needed.

If we do homeschool next year, I’ll make sure to find a coop or homeschool group to join. The one in this area had some issues at the beginning of the year, and I didn’t check it again until just recently. It was already too late to sign up for coop classes. We don’t necessarily need ‘socialization’ because they get that every time they leave the house, but it would be nice for the boys to know some kids their own age who homeschool.

We’ve been able to take a couple of mid-week field trips as well as long weekend trips north to visit family. The kids have really enjoyed the freedom and so have I. I like not having to get my 6 year old up super early to make the bus. I also enjoy knowing that if we don’t do something one day, we can get to it the next.

Of course there are days when I wonder what the hell I was thinking, and it feels like I’m swimming upstream. There are days when I feel I am fighting simply to get the kids to start on their school. Feet are drug. Attitudes are shitty. Yelling commences. No one is happy.

For the most part though, homeschool has been the perfect fit for our family. I don’t regret it one bit.

Saturday Soapbox #2: Blog Awards

Weekly Wrap-Up

This week we started our new Family Economy. In a nutshell it’s a way for the kids to earn a wage, not an allowance. You lucky individuals will get to read more about that next week.

Homeschool was just a typical week. My older boys are still doing very well, although I’ve learned I really need to encourage better writing. Sweet Pea is getting caught up on his lessons. He’s behind since we switched curricula 10 days in. Peanut has had a reading breakthrough this week. For whatever reason it’s finally clicking, and I see some excitement in him when he reads sentences. I’ve also seen him ‘reading’ books where he looks at the illustrations and paraphrases with what he sees. That’s awesome! I think that’s a great way for him to become interested in books.

I was contacted by Carina from www.midfulground.com about her 30 Day Living Mindfully Blog Challenge. Since living more deliberately is one of my desires (you can read about that here), I’ve decided to sign up. It’s free and best of all, you have the chance to win 4 1:1 coaching sessions with Carina by entering your blog posts. Bonus and bonus.

Don’t Be a Blog Bully was the post that received the most views for the week. I was nervous hitting publish only because I was worried you all would think I was a whiner. I also didn’t want anyone to think I was trying to get an “Oh, poor Missy,” response. It seemed to resonate with quite a few people, and that makes me feel, well, giddy! I love love love that I could write something other people can relate to. That’s why we blog, isn’t it?

So I lied. I really don’t have a Soapbox for today. What I do have are all the nominees for the Awards I wrote about here.

Blog Awards

The Sunshine Award

For the Sunshine Award, the blogger must:
  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger. Chaos with a Curve and Enjoying the Life
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself. You can read those here.
  • Answer 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you. Same place as above.
  • List 11 bloggers.  They should be bloggers you believe deserve some recognition and a little blogging love!
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate answer & let all the bloggers know they’ve been nominated. You cannot nominate the blogger that nominated you.

Here are the 22 nominees.

  1. Wine-y-Wife
  2. Blessed Learners
  3. Surviving Toddlerhood
  4. P is for Preschooler
  5. Pary Moppins
  6. Hint Mama
  7. Happy Kids, Inc.
  8. My Style Spot
  9. Mami Bliss
  10. This Momma’s Ramblings
  11. Independent Travel Cats
  12. Life as a Field Trip
  13. From the Burbs to the Boonies
  14. Growing Up Madison
  15. Called To Be A Mom
  16. Bee Tree Studios
  17. Renew Your Space
  18. The Liebers
  19. Kimberly Vensel Photoagraphy
  20. Making Our Life Matter
  21. Words I Wheel By
  22. Avec Mes Zèbres

Here are your 11 questions to answer:

  1. Paper or plastic?
  2. What’s your favorite movie of all time?
  3. When do you begin decorating for the holidays? (whichever one you celebrate)
  4. What is your earliest memory?
  5. Have you ever named your vehicle?
  6. What’s your favorite Fall activity?
  7. What music genre is your favorite?
  8. What would your ideal day look like?
  9. How do you relax?
  10. What was the best meal you ever ate?
  11. What’s one thing you’d like people to know about you?

versatile-blogger-award

Versatile Blogger Award

  • Upon receiving the award the blogger must acknowledge the blogger that has presented the award. Mami Bliss
  • Name 15 deserving bloggers.
  • Let em’ know they’ve been nominated.
  • List 7 Interesting facts about yourself. Did that in a previous post.

Here are 15 more awesome bloggers!

  1. KoKoa Magazine
  2. A Dish of Daily Life
  3. In Him Inspiration
  4. Experienced Bad Mom
  5. Creative K Kids
  6. Forever Fitting In
  7. Doofy Dizee
  8. Revel and Design
  9. Brielle and Me
  10. Camii Soul
  11. Zucchini Summer
  12. Things in my Head Blog
  13. Life with Lorelai
  14. Confessions of a Pastor’s Family
  15. Fashion and Fun After Fifty

This is a really long list of blogs! Each one of these blogs are written by people who have commented on my blog posts in the last week. Have I mentioned how grateful I am for the time and attention that each of you pay my blog? Because I am grateful, so very grateful. Some of you may have received these awards before and even received it from me. You are just that awesome.

IF I missed you, it wasn’t intentional, and I’m so sorry. I have another blog award to post about ;)  so I’ll try to get you on that one.