Life. Love. Family. Our Perfect Imperfection. Living life as a Catholic, homeschooling family with three amazing, unique boys, a too-oft serious, frustrated and anxious but also loving momma, and a fun-loving, hardworking dad.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

It's been a long, cold month

and honestly, I forgot all about our goals! And my blog!

Looking back at our list for the month made me a little sad, because we had some good ideas on there.

As far as our family goals, we did watch a couple of movies together, even if I don't remember which ones. There were no new recipes tried, but we did eat a lot of good food this month ;)

The boys played Minecraft together a lot, and we took turns playing Battleship a couple of times, so while not technically "game nights" we did have some together time. I am counting that as a win!

My favorite activity this month though: taking the boys to the bounce house. They played for 90 minutes on a bunch of different inflatables set up inside a HUGE building, and had a blast.

While we didn't make any crafts together, Alex did make Valentine's cards at catechism class for each of us.

I would say he practiced his pattern at least ten different times, as well as kicking and punching. He got to break a board this past Monday, and now has a white belt with PURPLE stripe. He was upset about having to "retire" his blue stripe, but I explained that purple was a higher rank, and next month he would have a chance to earn red! Jackson is learning so much from Choi. They go over the principles with the kids, and really try to teach them. He is learning self-confidence, gross and fine motor skills, building endurance, even working on his counting during stretches.

He didn't practice with his letter "J", but there is a neat app on his Kindle Fire that shows him how to form letters and has him trace them. Jackson has really liked playing it. I think it's a Super Why game.

Potty training is taking a turn in the right direction. He's going on the potty at least once a day most days, and trying to tell us just before he pees in his pull-up, though sometimes he misses the cue by just a little bit.

Three books were an easily attained goal for him this month. He read Spirit Animals #4:Fire and Ice, Little Town on the Prairie (a Little House book), and almost all of Hunger Games, which he plans to finish today!
He didn't finish his geography or map and compass belt loops, but he did finish his religious requirements, earning him his Webelos badge. He was also awarded the Citizenship, Science, and Geology belt loops, Geology pin, and Citizen and Scientist activity badges. Parvuli Dei got pushed back again, as it's not a requirement. If he chooses to work on it, we will probably do it over the summer/fall.

E seemed less focused on reading and more on video games, which led to him a.) not tracking the books he read and b.) not reading much at all. After spending quite a while thinking about it this morning he knows he read 3 books: Top ten things about everything 2000, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the Long Haul, Timmy Failure: Mistakes were made. All of which are easily read, and 2 of which he has read at least once prior. I am glad he's reading. But I am disappointed because he reads at a high school level and chooses easy books. This month, I will be pushing him to pick some novels or harder, new-to-him books, especially with it being National Reading Month.

There were some goals or activities that were the same on both lists, and Choi was one. Outside Choi practice didn't happen at all this month, as it was replaced with a lot of screen time for all of us. Orange belt testing is getting moved to March, because the testing fee is now included in the monthly fees.

They also both wrote one letter to their pen pals in Ohio, although mom keeps forgetting to mail them out.

Today is the last day of the month, and since we have yet to have an activity planned by either of the older boys, I am going to have them plan our day. One will choose a fun activity, and the other either lunch or dinner at a restaurant.

As far as my goals, I did cut back on pop, and went nearly 2 weeks with none at all. The last two weeks, I've had a few but not every day. I did have a few snack size candy bars in the last week or so after doing really good for awhile. Progress, not perfection.

Menu planning happened, sort of. We went off plan a lot this month. I find my motivation to stay on plan is better when I remember to share on here.

I can not wait for the warmer weather, because I may actually get off my butt and exercise. I see walking and bike riding in my future, hopefully sooner rather than later. I also couldn't decide on a hair cut or tattoo this month. Just no motivation. This dreary weather is seriously kicking me in the butt.

My 365HDG posts haven't been shared on here but I have been posting on IG and Facebook, even if there are days I'm sharing two days' worth of posts quite frequently.

When I say that there was "a lot of screen time for all of us", I am definitely included in that. Rather than picking up a book to read, I spent most of my days catching up on my DVR'd shows. Not even one book finished. If I am a little disappointed with E, I am highly disappointed in myself. Not only did I not read, I set a bad example for all the boys by relying on keeping my boredom away with a screen.

On a final note:
I am very proud of my husband. Not only did he continue to exercise throughout the month, he made healthy eating choices. The night we stopped at Culver's for dinner, he asked me to bring him a salad with grilled chicken and a cup of chili, over a Cheddar butter burger with bacon and fries! I should have followed his lead. He has definitely won our "challenge" this month, not just in actual weight loss, but in spirit. He didn't give up or give in. Jason is my knight in shining armor in so many ways. I love you, honey!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

As promised

here is our January update!

As far as the family goals, we didn't really fulfill them but did do some things together. We watched 3 movies together, and played paw patrol a few times, and Jason and the boys played Minecraft together several times. We only went to one family outing, which I shared about (the water park) but have had fun this month.

It's been so cold most of the year so far that we haven't spent time outside, so our walks didn't happen. I also found that while I like the idea of doing crafts together, when it comes to actually planning, and doing them, I dread the implementing of it! I worry about the mess too much, or it turning into a not-so-fun activity :( So our crafts in January did not get attempted. This month we WILL be doing one craft for Valentine's day, but it's just going to be something little to send to grandparents.

E read or finished 4 books: Middle School Ultimate Showdown, Minecraft Hacks, Children of the Dustbowl, and The Outsiders (this one was a book they were reading in class with partners or alone). He also wrote once to his pen pal in Ohio, and received a letter back! So while he didn't reach his goal of 4 letters, it was encouraging to him to get a response. Who doesn't love mail?

A also finished up 4 books in January, just meeting the deadline by getting to the end of Spirit animals #3 last night! He also read the rest of The Savage fortress, Spirit animals #2 and Divergent!  He wrote to his pen pal just once but was also very excited to get a letter back. I know he is planning to write at least twice this month.

When it came down to their physical fitness and choi goals, E and A went to all 12 classes, practiced their pattern and speed drills several - although not 3 times a week - and came very close to being ready for testing, as well as being able to do between 10 and 15 sit-ups and push-ups with good form!

Alex also worked on his belt loops and while he didn't quite finish Map & Compass and Geography in January, he did do some of the requirements. With his den, he did earn his Citizenship belt loop and Citizen activity badge. We didn't take time to work towards his Parvuli Dei religious emblem, so today we decided to pick 2 of the other religious requirements in place of that so he can earn his Webelos badge this month. He still wants to earn his religious emblem and religious knot but now we don't have a set deadline, and can take our time, enjoying it.

J went to all his Little Dragons classes, tested and received his new belt, even getting to break a couple of boards! Since he learned his first pattern, he wants to practice nearly every day. We haven't pushed the potty training, but he will go if asked and he needs to go.

All 3 of the boys went to the dentist and there were no cavities to be found. Jackson did well for his first appointment but only got a partial cleaning. It appears that the tooth that we noticed "missing" on the top never formed, and is congenitally missing. Not a big deal, but does make his teeth off-centered. As he gets older and loses his baby teeth, his permanent teeth may need adjustments or pulled or something. He is also teething, getting some 2/3 year molars. Alex got sealants on his molars, and Ethan got 3 sealants and goes back in February for the final one, as his fourth 12 year molar was partially in.

While my food choices were not ideal, I did try to pay attention to triggers for overeating or cravings. I also followed along and participated a bit in my friend's facebook group. I call that goal semi-successful. It made me think. I failed to exercise but February is a new month and bring new motivation!

Menus were written, and while I forgot to link up 2 of the weeks, we followed them for the most part. Even when we did switch up the exact days we had specific meals, or decided to go out to dinner, we used the meals planned on different days or the following week. We tried four new recipes, but I think the only one we really plan to keep in our rotation will be the chicken verde. It was so easy, makes for good tacos and pretty inexpensive as well. Great for a busy weeknight.

31 days of declutter final tally = 24 bags and boxes! While not the full 31 I was working towards, I'd call getting rid of things we don't need a big success.

As for my other goals:
  • I shared a photo each day (or the following day - oops!) for 365 Happy Days Growing.
  • I didn't write any "original" posts.
  • I didn't go to the dentist.
  • I finished one full book (The Dark Unwinding), 80% of Screamfree Parenting, and started The Maze Runner.
Not perfect but I'm proud of the boys for their work toward the goals mom set for them (with input from them of course!), and they certainly did better than me. Looking back on the past month, I see where I need to work on things. That is part of the good thing about having goals, they are there to help you grow, learn and make positive changes.