Friday, April 27, 2012

Taking care of mom; T-tapp

Check out my other Taking Care of Mom posts too!

After having my 6th baby I realized that the "baby fat" was just not coming off like it used to....welcome to the 30's!  I struggled with finding time for a work out though, and the best I ended up doing was some long walks with the baby.  Those walks helped, but not to the extent that I needed.  By the end of my pregnancy with my 7th I knew I needed to find something that would help me get in shape.

My goal was not to get to a certain weight or even a certain size, those things were not the problems.  The problem was that I knew I was not being a good steward of the body God had given me.  I wanted to get myself in better shape so that I could feel better doing the job God had given me, and just take care of the body God has given me.  I had been hearing about T-Tapp for years.  It seems to be popular with moms of many for several reasons.  It does not take much time and there is no special equipment needed.  It focuses on toning muscles, something most moms of many need help with. ;)

I started doing T-Tapp in November.  I was faithful to keep it up everyday for about 10 days, then went down to every other day for a couple more weeks.  By mid-December my clothes that had been tight fitting after baby was born were now fitting very nicely.  The end of December and early January were rough and I was not able to keep up with doing T-Tapp for couple of weeks.  Once I got back into it though I started feeling much better and I've even been able to go down a size (and since my clothes had been a bit tight before I'll say I went down two sizes!).

I've still got a ways to go, but I've been very encouraged by the steady progress I've been able to make so far.  Something I really like about T-Tapp is that the focus is not on weight loss, but on taking care of your body, getting it functioning properly, and toning it.  I've noticed that when I'm faithful with it I feel much better.  Right now my goal is to continue with T-Tapp three times a week, sometimes that does not work out though.  I've found that if I'm faithful to do it at least once a week I'm able to maintain the results I've already achieved.

I'm not an expert.  I'm just a mom sharing what I'm doing, and what has worked for me.  As with any sort of workout you must be faithful with it to see results, and those results differ from person to person.  You may want to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine if you are in doubt as to whether this is right for you. ;)  I was not compensated for this post, though links are affiliate links.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Links I love

I ran across some wonderful posts this past week or so and I thought I'd share the links.

The irony of the empty nest over at The Mom Initiative was a good read and great reminder of our goal.

I love reading A Wise Woman Builds Her Home and this week she posted links to 10 Ways for Moms to Respect Sons and 10 Ways for Moms to Respect Daughters.  Both were great reads and got me thinking.

I'm wanting to try this recipe on how to make an herbal first aid salve.  I love finding natural replacements for the stuff that fills our medicine cabinet from the store.

And this post on Five Herbs That Benefit the Garden gave me so things to think about for next years garden (or maybe even this year?).

While I hope you enjoy these links as much as I did, they are here for my benefit as well.  I want to be able to find them again!

Edited to add in this one on Sharing and socialism, I just love Smockity!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Taking Care of Mom; Spring/Summer wardrobe

Check out my other Taking Care of Mom posts too!

I've been working on de-cluttering my closet.  There were too many things in there.  Many of them were ok, but I didn't love them.  Many did not fit quite right.  Others just didn't work well as team players.  I wanted my wardrobe to work together as a team, and more importantly, work for me.  Here are some steps I took to minimize the clothing I needed, and to help them work well together, and for me.

1.  I wanted everything to be simple to take care of.  I've got too many sweet grubby hands, cute runny noses and silly messy faces to have to worry about hand washing or dry cleaning.  I do iron, but I'd prefer my clothing only need a quick once over for that.

2. I prefer to wear skirts most of the time.  I found a pattern that I liked from Marie Madeline Studio and made all of my summer skirts.  It can be hard to find modest skirts, and then to find them with pockets? That is hard (If you don't sew, or don't want to take the time NewCreation has great skirts, and many do have pockets!). Once I found this pattern I decided I'd just make my own summer skirts!  ***I do have some jeans, sweats and capris for the times that I need them, but those are put away in a drawer and only come out for big work days or things like camping.

I'll do a post later on how I messed with the pattern just a bit to make these skirts accommodate my waist line that seems to be in a constant state of flux.

3. I settled on some basic colors for my spring/summer wardrobe....white(or off white), brown/tan, and denim.  I also chose an accent  I chose red because of these skirts.  In a couple of years when all of the girls have outgrown their skirts and mine is looking tired I will pick a new color.

4.  I wanted to limit the number of shoes that I need as well.  Limiting the colors of my clothing made that much easier.  I decided that a good pair of walking shoes was in order for around the house, walking and most other casual times.  Having one nice pair of sandals would most likely work out just fine for my errand days as well as church or just about any other dress up time.  If I need to go to a ball I'll get myself a pair of glass slippers or something, until then I think these two pairs should work out just fine.  I also have a pair of fuzzy pink slippers that I love to wear in the evening and on slow Saturday/Sunday mornings. ***I did keep an older pair of shoes for hiking/camping/gardening.


5.  Accessories help make an outfit.  You'll notice that most of my clothes are very simple, I like it that way. I usually have the ultimate accessory on of my kids. ;)   While I do like jewelry it does not work so well for me at this stage in life.  Necklaces can get in the way while cuddling or nursing and they tend to get yanked or pulled.  Earrings can really hurt when yanked on.  I do have a couple of special necklaces that are saved for special occasions.  All of that being said, here are my accessories that I've been using....

I tie the scarf around my neck or in my hair as a head band.  I love the flexi from lilia rose, they are jewelry for my hair!  I like the lila rose hair bands as well when I feel like wearing my hair down.


 My mom picked up a couple of cute purses for me that blend well with my clothes, but add some color and fun.

Of course there is always the diaper bag.  I don't carry it with me as much now as I would with a newborn, but it always goes in the car when we go out.


Lets not forget the hat!  I've had this hat for years, but I didn't wear it much.  It is getting more use here in Arizona.  It is a ribbon crusher hat, I love that I don't have to worry about it getting bent, squished or even sat on.  I think this is the one I have.

I've been using this wardrobe for about two months now and I'm really enjoying the simplicity and flexibility.  Since I like everything in my closet it all seems to get equal rotation and I've not yet had an "I have nothing to wear" day yet.  Any one have tricks they use for simplifying their wardrobe?  What are some of your favorite items of clothing or accessories?

What?  You want to SEE my closet?  Since it is all cleaned out and nicely organized now; I'll be happy to show you!  Keep in mind that my fall winter clothes are pushed to the middle where they are out-of-sight-out-of-mind.  In a few months I'll do a post on what I've picked for those seasons.


The bin at the bottom holds maternity clothes.  I'm wondering if I'll be able to get rid of some of them if my expandable waistband skirts work out well.  I'll just have to wait and see though.  

Growing Home

Friday, April 13, 2012

Teaching many levels at once; lapbooks for The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Butterflies

We enjoy doing unit studies for our group school times.  As my older kids get older and I still have little ones I'm needing to tweak how we are doing this.  As we are getting back into the swing of things I put together a unit study on butterflies geared to two different levels.

My younger kids love The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I figured putting together a lapbook based on that book would be fun for them.  I wanted to include a memory verse and I wanted to keep my first grader interested.  I made sure I had some handwriting for him to do, and planed to have him help teach the younger ones (he is a leader, so this was going to keep him interested!)  We made our own Very Hungry Caterpillar books, and I used this link for many of the pintables.  This lesson included days of the week, shapes, colors, a puzzle as well as talking about foods (healthy vs. junk) and the butterfly life cycle.

I had my older kids make up their own lapbooks doing a study on butterflies.  I checked out plenty of books for them at the library, and I printed up various pages and ideas for them to use.  This link had some good printables.  We used many parts from this lapbook.  The big kids presented their lap books to us at the end of the week.  This allowed my big kids to share what they were learning and an opportunity to show off their hard work.  It also gave my little kids a chance to see what their older siblings had been doing so they could learn from them and be inspired by what they saw.

I'm linking to The Modest Mom.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Old Navy Ruffled Maxi Skirt

I was in Old Navy today and ran across this skirt in the store on sale for only $15!
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On line it is listed at $25 which is still great for a long skirt that has pockets!!!!!  I'm not sure if it is on sale like that in their other stores, but thought I'd pass on the tip since I'm always on the lookout for long modest skirts with pockets.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Getting back on track (large family scheduling/planning)

Most of us have our rough patches, the times when life seems to be a struggle.  When you know that you should be able to do more, but it just is not happening.  Durning those times our family tends to fall back on our basic schedule, which goes well enough.  Things are maintained around the house, school is done (but not as much as I would like).

We've been on that schedule for nearly a year now.  That is too long.  First we prepared for a move, then had a baby, then my husband finished his PhD, then we moved.  Just as we were feeling like we were settling in and maybe life would look "normal" my dad passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly.  The last few months have been rough, but things are starting to go better again and it is time to buckle down, get a new schedule going, and dig into school.  That can't just happen though, it takes prayer, lots of thought and some dedicated time.  Here is what I did these past couple of weeks to help us get back on track.

Prayer- I prayed about this for a while.  I asked God for wisdom, asked him to show me how we should be using our time.

Husband-  I talked to my husband about these things.  Did he have any thoughts/advise?  I thought about the things he wants our kids/family to be doing.  What things are important to him to have done.

MOTH- Years ago I had purchased the MOTH book, used it and liked it well enough but it just did not seem like I NEEDED it, so I passed it on.  It seems this large family/homeschooling thing gets harder as you have more kids and they get older....go figure!  I purchased a new copy and re-read the book.

Schedule breeze- This is a computer program designed to be used with your MOTH book to help you put your schedule together.  It has a $15 a year fee, and so far I feel it is well worth it.  I enjoyed putting our schedule together much more than I remember doing so in the past.

Planning week-  We took a week off, sort of.  I planned our days well.  Kids had activities/jobs planned all week.  I paired little ones up with big kids.  We pulled out games and toys that are not played with often.  They did yard work.  I also made sure that I did not neglect them, I planned in times to spend with the kids.  This planning was done with our fallback schedule in mind with large chunks of play time, not much school so it was easy for me to plan out in a short time.

Quiet time- I also asked my husband if I could go out every evening to do some of that planning in peace and quiet.  I headed to our local library or Starbucks each evening for about an hour.  Just long enough to get some good work done, but not so long that I missed out on family time in the evening.

Test week- Next week will be a test week for us.  I expect that there will be some excitement about this schedule, I planned in some things I know my kids have been wanting to be able to do, but have not been able to regularly.  I expect there will be some bumps and a learning curve that will require extra attention from me.  I expect there will be some things that will need to be changed.  I'll watch what is working, what just needs more practice and help, and what needs to change so that I can tweak things on Saturday.


Have you had those rough patches?  How did you get through them?  How did you bounce back?  What are some of your favorite tools for managing your family A-Wise-Woman-Builds-Her-Home