July & August Wrap Up

Wrapping It Up:  July & August 

So I've stolen a few minutes away downstairs in my "office" to try to get out a post.  I know I won't finish it on this pretty Saturday afternoon but I also know if I get this started now, I'm more likely to finish it and at least get it out sometime in the week to follow (fingers crossed).    It's been two months since I've written ANYTHING and the last post was another wrap up for two months time - sigh-  so here it is :  the second post in 4 months and my July & August wrap up.

My Writing World

Again, it's been vacant.  It hasn't happened.  Sure I've written a few bible verses and put up a few links on the Facebook page but that is NOT WRITING.

But I have done a lot of thinking.  I do have some ideas brewing both for my manuscript writing  and for the blog (s).  Did you read that right?  Yes, I'm actually thinking about branching into several blogs....hmmmmm......  I've actually considered this for a while.  There are 5 main categories I blog about here:  Writing, Books, Homeschooling/Parenting,  Food and Natural Health, and My Faith.  I'm thinking of starting blogs for each category (though I'd probably put writing and books together - they fit) but STILL keep this one going too.  That way if someone wants to JUST follow the ones on a particular category they can, but I'll put all the posts and other miscellaneous things on this one as well so the followers I have that enjoy many of the categories can still follow just one blog.  I haven't decided yet.....   (WHAT DO YOU THINK??)  But still, as of now,  I don't have a lot of time to devote to my writing....  I am hoping that as the school year progresses and I get more of a schedule developed, I might find a little time here and there....maybe???  (fingers crossed again)

And I do have some new ideas developed in my brain for manuscripts.  I think I'm going to focus what little writing time I have to the new ideas I have that pertain to books for children about my Orthodox Faith.  I think that's the most important avenue I can follow now and since my time is limited I should follow that avenue.  We'll see what happens.  (Prayers please!)

My Book World

I enjoyed my summer reading.  I seem to have drifted back into more studious type reading now as most of my books are dealing with my faith and with homeschooling.  I do have a couple of fiction books going but honestly I haven't picked them up much in the last month or so.  Here's the current list:

I've included some of the books I'm reading with my youngest child (George Washington and Little House) though of course, we are reading others too!

Our Parenting/Homeschool World

If I start writing up to date posts again, this would probably be where I'd start because most of my time these days is right here in this area.  And I'm LOVING it!  We started with year one of the Ambleside Program  (http://amblesideonline.org/) -  A Charlotte Mason online group that is run by mothers who have used the Charlotte Mason method for years and have a curriculum guide for each year.  I am not following it precisely, but I am using their year one as a very close guide.  I'm doing my own thing for religious studies but am using their suggestions for history, literature selections, geography, nature study ideas, etc.  There's just too much going on to include in a short synopsis here so hopefully I'll get more time to write soon!  It's an amazing adventure already and we are only in week 6 of the year (we started very slowly through the summer to get our feet wet).

2015-08-30 14.20.15

 

My oldest officially started school at the beginning of August to allow for time he'd need for football practice (there was a whole week of 12-8 practices during August and a couple of 8-4 days) and to allow more flexibility in the school year.  He's doing better than last year already -  he's actually AHEAD now instead of being behind as he was much of last year.   We are not using much Charlotte Mason with the oldest as it's not something I or he is used to and I feel it would be too much of a change and too much time for me to use the methodology with a high schooler at this point.  But we are using the oral and written narration technique for several classes.  I think this will be a HUGE time saver and benefit to my son as well as myself.

Our Food and Health World

My husband continues to have super results with his weight loss and health goals following the Paleo Diet.  He's been really great at following the Paleo/Whole 30 guidelines without many 'treats' and we are all very pleased with the obvious results.  I love his determination!  It's a great motivator for me to not give in to those tempting processed foods and sugary foods as well.  I feel so much better when I don't give in!

We found a great way for me to enjoy coffee without using dairy too (When I do use dairy at home, it's always raw dairy that we acquire from our wonderful Amish neighbors just down the road but when I'm out, I do enjoy an occasional latte made with half and half for a treat). Now I make my own latte at home but with coconut milk! I find plain coffee with coconut milk added does nothing for me....  I really don't care for it.  But we discovered that if we put it in the vitamix and whip it up- it becomes a wonderful mixture that is frothy and delicious!  I guess it's just a better mixing so that fat of the coconut is mixed in well with the coffee instead of being in separated little chunks in the coffee.  I just love the froth!  YUM!

Our time at camp went really well.  My husband and I did great at not being tempted by those processed foods around us and we discovered we had more than enough Paleo food to get us through the week.  We've had several discussions since and feel we can go back to preparing a meal for the family next year and still remain Paleo for us.  I think we are really getting a knack for this lifestyle.

Our Faith World

We are continuing to try to keep Sundays as stress free as we can and devote it to worship and family time.  We are working to make sure we are not spending much time at all, if any, doing chores or meal prep.  In fact we spent time today preparing a casserole for tomorrow (Sunday) so all we have to do tomorrow afternoon is put the casserole in the oven.  I used to make Sundays my leftover days thinking at least I wasn't 'cooking' but really with all the clean up and cleaning out the fridge we realized that was sometimes more work and stress than just cooking!  So now we are moving to trying to make Sunday meals ahead of time.  I think I'll make it a soup and "sandwich" kind of day so I can have extra batches of soup in the freezer (in canning jars) and we can make 'sandwiches' (my son still uses organic bread) or paleo wraps that are super easy  and quick to throw together.

I absolutely LOVE the book I'm reading  Ask For The Ancient Paths.  It's written for non-orthodox people, but I am LOVING the very basic writing of how we must look back to the ancient church to guide us into understanding the bible and the teachings of Christ.  There is so much perfect wisdom in this very easy and short book. I highly recommend it to both Orthodox and non-orthodox people.

Other Parts of My World

Well, there really isn't many other parts of my world these days.   While I have enjoyed the summer, I'm sad to say I haven't necessarily made the time to do some of the things I had intended to do such as a trip to the beach, camping outside with my son (that's still a possibility though!), hiking trails in the area, more reading (yes, I had even loftier goals than what I accomplished), making meals to put in the freezer, and visiting family and friends (most particularly a certain couple I finally met back in December that I would love to get to know better.... they've been more of a blessing to me than they will ever know!)

Well- that pretty much wraps things up.  There's much more I could say but haven't the time for....but wow!  I actually finished this the same afternoon I started!  Now for a little editing and it just may get out before or by Monday!

What did YOU do this summer?  I'd love to hear from you all!