Hey, It's Jade! and family

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Homeschool Recap, July 27th (Week 3)...

In my life this week...
My goodness, life is busy.  I hear you saying "Amen!" to that.  Geez.  Anyway, this week flew by, as usual.  I got a last minute call to sub in for Mother's Day Out at our church, so on Thursday we spent the day with some 4 and 5-year-olds.  I was really nervous about spending 6 hours with a classroom full of kids.  Turned out to only be 4 plus my two and we had a lot of fun (minus the part where Preston stepped on a nasty, jagged piece of glass while we were outside having "splash time" and cut his foot quite badly!  I swear, that kid!).  I was nervous because despite being a "homeschool teacher" I know I'm not cut out for teaching a bunch of kids at once... I just ... yeah, not my thing.  Lol.  I do Wednesday nights at church with the 3-5 year olds and they are too much for me most of the time, haha.  Anyway, thankfully, it went well. 

After all day doing that, Michael and I went on a "date night" to eat and then to the FreedomWorks (FreePAC) event at the AAC in Dallas.  We heard some fantastic speakers, and even though that's really not my "scene" I had a good time. 

Today I had another booth event, here in Grand Prairie... it was a Health Fair and I got to share information promoting literacy and Usborne Books & More.  Met lots of nice people... and animals(?).
Blue Cross/Blue Shield Bear w/Cuddle Bear!
Rascal the Raccoon w/ a book about Trees!

In our Homeschool this week...
We had to reschedule Thursday completely because of Mother's Day Out so we ended up squeezing in a lot of school on Friday.  But, since it was still relatively cool on Friday morning, I started the day off by taking the boys to a park we don't usually go to. They had a blast.
My new favorite picture of them!

Thankfully, we still got to do some of the Olympic activities I had planned even though Friday was so busy.  I am not much of a sports fan, really, but I LOVE the Olympics.  Have been counting down the days till Opening Ceremonies. I  wanted to get my kids pumped about it too, so I made use of some great resources.  We read Story of the Oympics, which covered the origin of the Games and then how they were resurrected and turned into the modern games they are.  I had Callen create a little book of Colored Rings and he did an Olympic Rings puzzle (well, he kind of did it, I did most of it, but he liked looking at it!).  Preston did a color-by-numbers Olympic Ring page and we talked about the meaning of the Rings.  And the boys both did an "O is for Olympics" craft using Cheerios.  We were gonna use Froot Loops, but Daddy ate them all before I could tell him I wanted to save 'em, haha!  Most of the printables we used came from 3 Dinosaurs and I Can Teach My Child!.
This ring is Purple.
Mama, you do it!
O is for Olympics!
Taking it very seriously, haha.

Tot School: This week involved lots of running around and coloring, of course.  We also continued using the Mama Jenn Education Cubes Alphabet Movements. Callen has these memorized now... so that when it lands on one, he'll say "It says... hop on one foot."  Love it!  We read several books suggested for Callen's age in Honey for a Child's Heart, like Fix-It Duck by Alborough and Little Fur Family by Brown.  Oh, and last weekend we taught Callen how to play the card game Uno.  He can easily match numbers and colors, this is the perfect game for him as long as he's in a cooperative mood!  Ha!

Bible: We continued our first Name of Jesus this week: "Jesus - The Lord Saves."  and looked up some Old Testament verses in The Discoverer's Bible that spoke on the name "Jesus" and how he came to "save" us.

Reading/Writing: We continued Spelling by Sound & Structure.  Continued handwriting practice with the letters Kk through Rr.  Preston read aloud to his little brother.  Sweet boys.
Well, not overly sweet... sigh.

History:  This week we discussed Jamestown and Pocahontas!  Added to our History Notebook and Timeline.  We read from Story of America and American Pioneers and Patriots that come with MFW.  We also read Pocahontas by Raatma, Pocahontas: Princess of the New World by Krull, Jamestown, Virginia by Fradin and Who's Saying What in Jamestown, Thomas Savage? by Fritz.

Math:  Preston had his Chapter One test and completely aced it!  So proud.  I just handed him the one-page test and left the room, he read the instructions and filled it out on his own, and got every answer correct!  Woo hoo!  We then moved on to a review of telling time, including minutes and past/till.

Science:  Did a few pages of Science with Air this week, talking about how air puts pressure on things.  Did the 'ole hold a glass of water upside down and the cardboard keeps it sealed trick. Ha!
The cardboard stays stuck to the cup!
Music/Art: We continued the My Very First Art Book, this time the focus was "coloring in."  Preston doesn't enjoy coloring all that much, especially coloring things in... but he did great, his creations were quite nice!  We also did a page in the My Very First Art Coloring Book where he used different colors on the same picture to create different moods.
Coloring in.
Different moods, same picture.

Spanish: Preston and Callen both enjoyed the next two episodes of Salsa, which continues the story of Goldilocks & The Three Bears, but has moved way beyond the typical story... emphasizing colors, numbers and describing words.  We reviewed words having to do with "El Jardin" in our First Thousand Words in Spanish.  And we started the first lesson of La Clase Divertida!.  After watching the DVD once and listening to the CD once, both Preston and Callen walked around with the "Los Vocales" song stuck in there.  Pretty cute to hear a 2-year-old singing A-E-I-O-UUUUU!  Haha.  Love it.

We are using Adventures in My Father's World. See our curriculum here.

[This post contains affiliate links for Usborne Books & More and Amazon.com.  By clicking on those links and purchasing items, you are helping me continue to be a SAHM so that I can focus on homeschooling my children!  Thank you!]

Monday, July 23, 2012

What Would You Do?: Not So Great Meal Leftovers

I am curious to know what you would do in this situation.

The other night I tried a new recipe for a Spinach & Artichoke Pasta Bake.  It looked really good in the picture, and seemed like a good way to get all of us to eat some veggies we don't normally manage to consume.  Michael and I both like fresh spinach leaves, but aren't that crazy about canned/frozen spinach and well, we don't care for artichoke either.  And the boys... uh huh, right.  Yeah, I dunno what I was thinking, to be honest.  Bottom line: Callen ate a bit of it, Preston tried a bite or two and gave up, Michael and I ate our portions but weren't thrilled.  It was a "not so great" meal (ie. was edible, but certainly not something we enjoyed greatly).  Well, then... of course the recipe made 8 servings and half where left.  Since we didn't particularly LIKE this meal... do I just throw it all out and waste the food and money spent on this meal?  Or do I save it to be eaten again?
Spinach & Artichoke Pasta Bake
Being the frugal mom that I am, I saved it.  Knowing full well my kids would not eat it, and the husband would probably not be overly joyed to find it in his lunch box, I went ahead and ate it again for lunch this afternoon.  Again, it was edible, but certainly not something that I liked and/or ever want to taste again.  I ate my portion and have now thrown the rest out.  

All of this made me wonder: "What would you do?"  Yes, you.  If you make a less-than-stellar meal and have some leftover... do you keep it and serve it again?  Or do you just face the facts and throw it out right away?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homeschool Recap, July 20th (Week 2)...

In my life this week...
Getting my recap post up a bit late.  Friday got away from me, as did most of Saturday.  Friday, after we finished school, we met with a friend from our home school group and the kids played at the indoor playground at McDonald's.  Yay for getting some energy out INDOORS when it's 100+ degrees outside!  Today was at least 105, I believe.  Yuck!  Today I had a booth at a Mom's Only Homeschool Boot Camp in Granbury, put on by Heather Mac.  It was a small event, but was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed getting to meet fellow homeschool moms... and of course, show off our awesome Usborne Books, haha.
My Usborne display at the conference!
I got to meet Connie from Smockity Frocks (whom I've blog and twitter stalked for a few years now) and ran into Tina from Shema Homeschooler, who lives around the corner from me... and yet, I had no idea was speaking at this event.  Lol! 

In our Homeschool this week...
Our second week went a bit smoother, as we didn't have nearly as much going on to distract us from school.  And we're getting into our new groove.  Emperor's New Groove fans say it with me, "beware of the groove!"... um, nevermind.

Peek into my prep work.
Because I'm not letting Preston write in a few of our curriculum books, I'm copying down some of the info/problems into a notebook for him to use.  This creates a bit more prep work for me than is really necessary.  However, it's going to save me in printing costs and from having to buy books again when it's Callen's turn.  We do a lot of writing on a sheet protector with a dry-erase marker too.  So, just a peek at what my table looks like on Sunday night after the kids go to bed.  Fun, huh?

Tot School: This week, with Callen, we did more Dry-Erase activities, but he also decided since he liked the Dry-Erase Crayons, he would use the regular crayons more too... so that was nice (and less messy).  I have to tell you, after praising the Dry-Erase Crayons... they still do make a giant mess on your kid and surrounding areas, BUT... it is SO much easier to clean up.  So, still worth it!  IMHO.  Anyway, I realized that he was holding his crayons PERFECTLY!  I didn't teach him, or specifically show him how to hold it, so I was really proud to see him coloring like this:
Perfect grip!
We also continued using the Mama Jenn Education Cubes Alphabet Movements. We read several books suggsted for Callen's age in Honey for a Child's Heart, like The Bremen Town Band, Christina Katerina and the Box and Brown Bear, Bear, What Do You See?

Bible: We started our first Name of Jesus this week, our little cut our says "Jesus - The Lord Saves" and we added it to our Advent Tree.  I decided instead of a poster board, we would use that.  Mostly because... we don't have any space on our kitchen wall for another poster board, ha! We talked about what that meant and looked up some Old Testiment verses in The Discoverer's Bible that spoke on the name "Jesus" and how he came to "save" us.  Preston loved being able to look up real verses in his new Bible! We read the beautifully illustrated book Jesus by Brian Wildsmith.

Reading/Writing: We continued Spelling by Sound & Structure.  Again, the words are super easy, BUT I didn't catch Preston not adding the extra "l" on a few words, like "bill" and "bell" so there was something we needed to work on!  Continued just practicing our letters, c-j this week.

History:  This week we dove into Columbus!  Added to our History Notebook and Timeline.  We read from Story of America and American Pioneers and Patriots that come with MFW.  We also read A Picture Book of Columbus by David Adler, I, Columbus: My Journal edited by Roop and Pedro's Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus by Pam Conrad.  We used some of our bath boats to show how wind helps sail a boat.  The boys thought this was great fun... making waves and wind for the boats as they tried to get from one end of the bath tub to the other. 
The boats sail from Spain to The New World.

Math: Finished up the first chapter of our Math Mammoth workbook and did the review. He's doing really well with starting to memorize some of the math facts so that he doesn't have to figure them out each time.  Yay!  Preston will have his first quiz on the material on Monday!  I'm interested to see how he handles it!

Science:  Did a few pages of Science with Air this week, just talking about how air is everywhere.  We had a paper race.  We put a couple of sheets of paper on the floor, then used some cardboard to fan air at them to get them to move.  I won.  Ha!

Music/Art: We continued the My Very First Art Book, this time drawing animals out of basic shapes.  Preston drew a fine monkey.  We also did a page in the My Very First Art Coloring Book where it was a page full of random lines and marks and Preston created a scene from that.

Spanish: Preston and Callen both enjoyed the next two episodes of Salsa, which continues the story of Goldilocks & The Three Bears.  We reviewed words having to do with "La Cocina" in our First Thousand Words in Spanish.  Callen was sitting in his chair coloring while we were doing this and every once in a while would pronounce a Spanish word along with us, so fun!  I am so pumped, because at the conference I was at on Saturday there was a full Spanish curriculum, La Clase Divertida!, on the "free" table.  Someone recently told me about this particular curriculum and I meant to look it up, and then there it was FREEEEE!  Thank you, Jesus, for that blessing!  I brought it home and it fits in perfectly with what we already have planned... so we'll be doing a little more Spanish that I first anticipated, but I think it's going to be great!  Woo hoo!

We are using Adventures in My Father's World. See our curriculum here.

[This post contains affiliate links for Usborne Books & More and Amazon.com.  By clicking on those links and purchasing items, you are helping me continue to be a SAHM so that I can focus on homeschooling my children!  Thank you!]

Monday, July 16, 2012

Boy Mom Blog Hop 2012!

I'm linking up with The M.O.B. Society and their Boy Mom Blog Hop!
Me and my boys!
Howdy, from Grand Prairie, Texas! I am Jade, Boy Mom to Preston (6) and Callen (2) and wife to Michael (we've been married for 10 years now!).  We are a Christian, homeschooling family and my blog here reflects that... it is normally a mix of crazy things my kids do or say and posts on homeschooling with the occasional rant or rave about something or other.  I've been blogging for a long time.  I find it a fun way to look back on things we've done, gone through or accomplished in our lives.  I started this blog in 2010 after Callen was born and I became a stay-at-home-mom.  I formally worked in radio for about 9 years, and I still do off and on.  I know also work from home as an Independent Educational Consultant with Usborne Books & More. My boys enjoy helping me with my business - reading books, telling others about books... anything to do with books!

This captures them perfectly.
I love being a Boy Mom... my boys are full of energy, inquisitiveness and hilarity.  While they drive me completely bonkers on a daily basis, I wouldn't have it any other way!  Preston is too smart for his own good, always using big words and proving me wrong about this and that.  He's also rather sensitive and emotional for a young boy.  Callen is my Tasmanian Devil... just sheer chaos!  You literally cannot leave him alone for 30-seconds before he is into trouble!  But his little toddler babble "I love you, mama!" can instantly melt my heart just the same.  They make me want to be a better person... I am definitely working hard at patience and gentleness as we continue to grow together.  And, well, I need a lot of work on the other Fruits of the Spirit while I'm at it.  And so do they, lol!

Our favorite things to do are read aloud together, work puzzles, play ball (all kinds!), run around in the backyard and just generally be silly!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, please feel free to click around, visit various areas and leave me a comment or two!  Blessings!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I want to play with you, Baby, but...

I let Preston play a game on my iPad while I was trying to get Callen asleep last night.  When I got back to the room, Preston handed me the iPad and said, "Here, I made a video for Callen."  So. Stinkin'. Cute!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Boy Talk in the Backseat...

Callen (pointing to the Geico Gecko billboard): Yay!  On teebee!

Preston: Callen, I'm going to send you to Geico to live because you love that lizard so much.

Callen: No!

Preston: It's insurance, ya know?  Do you even KNOW what insurance is?

Callen: No.

Preston: It guarantees you won't crash.  Like, if you have it, you can't crash at all.  Orrrr, then you have to pay money.

Callen: Oh.  Twaash.  Peese-man?

Preston:  Noooo... not a policeman.

Callen: Um... fi-yer-twuck?

Preston:  No firetruck.

Callen:  Batman?

Preston:  Nooo... not Batman.

Callen:  Yeah, BATMAN!

Preston:  Stop talking, Callen....you make no sense.

Cow Appreciation Day 2012

We take our cow days seriously...
Moo, y'all!
Yay for FREE food!

By the way, would you vote for the Clark "Herd"?  Lol.  It does require you to use a "Facebook app" but you can always delete it later.  Thanks!  https://apps.facebook.com/cow-appreciation-day/gallery/photo/838

Friday, July 13, 2012

Homeschool Recap, July 13th (Week 1)...

In my life this week...
Oh, you know... busy, busy.  Early this week, we were playing outside in a rare moment of cooler weather and Preston got ant bites on his arm.  He FREAKED OUT!  Got them off, got him calmed down, told him to go take a shower because he was all squirmy and felt gross, he said.  After that, he came back outside and said he still felt all itchy.  I looked at his stomach and nearly freaked out myself!  He had hives across his front and back and very thick up his neck.  It was scary!  Thankfully, after some Benadryl, they calmed down and were gone completely the next day.  The ant bites blistered.  Yuck!  Poor guy... it was crazy.
Chest and neck were covered.
Back looked awful!

In our Homeschool this week...
Our first week was a bit wonky.  Not in a bad way, just a busy way.  We ended up having to rearrange most of things I had planned out for each day so that we could do OTHER things.  Hello, that's the fabulous thing about being a homeschool family... we have time for OTHER things and can rearrange school!  Awesome!!! We got to do a P.E. Day at the gym with our homeschool group on Wednesday.  And Thursday we had to fog our house because Michael keeps getting eaten up by something so that took most of the day... leaving while it fogged, then coming back and cleaning everything up.
Ready to start school. Or at least have breakfast.
Tot School: I am still working on what I plan to do with Callen.  I have started printing and preparing the A-Z pack from 1+1+1=1 and I think he'll have a lot of fun with that.  He LOVES dry-erase.  A friend of mine introduced me to Crayola's Dry-Erase Crayons... oh my word, y'all... life changer!  Wayyyy less messy, doesn't get all over hands and clothes (and if it does, WASHABLE!).  So, he's been coloring this week.  And we started using the Mama Jenn Education Cubes.  Right now we are doing the Alphabet Movements.  We take turns throwing down a cube and do whatever it says.  For example, "U is for unicyle..."  and this is what we did, lol:
They both had a blast with this activity!
Bible: I introduced Preston to his new Bible that we'll be using this year: The Discoverer's Bible.  He is so excited because all of his previous Bibles were written as stories, not actual verses and he was always using mine to read verses!  This week were talking about the importance of names.  We talked about his name and I wrote him a letter explaining how we chose his name.  We didn't do the "name activity" this week because we just simply did not have time and I didn't really ever make a plan for it, ha.

Reading/Writing: We started Spelling by Sound & Structure.  The words were super easy and we zipped right through those lessons, no problem.  I also started Preston on just doing some alphabet writing practice because he still has some letters that just do not come out right usually.  Like the letter 'a.'  He is very stubborn when it comes to writing and wants to do them HIS way, which usually means... you can't tell it's an 'a.'  Sigh. 

History:  We started off our study of American History by reading America: A Patriotic Primer.  We also reviewed how to read maps... Preston and Callen colored maps of the U.S. and a map of the World.  The first two days of school we learned about the Pledge of Allegiance.  Preston already pretty much had it down, but we went over some definitions of big words he wasn't completely sure about.  We also read a couple of little books that helped bring home the message: I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin and I Pledge Allegiance by June Swanson.  On Friday, we learned about vikings including Eric the Red and Leif Ericsson and how he sailed to North America and we put good 'ole Leif up on our Timeline.  We read Who Were the Vikings?, Eric the Red and the Magic Treehouse Book #15 Viking Ships at Sunrise.
Coloring the "other states" in. 
Coloring "sates!"

Math: Started up our Math Mammoth workbook.  He is doing really well with adding and subtracting... we reviewed simple things like ordinal numbers, fact families, even and odd, etc.  Nothing too exciting.
Working on some Math.

Science:  We read several pages in our Encyclopedia of Science about what science is and what scientists do.  Did the floating egg experiment, which Preston thought was SO COOL!

Music/Art: We started our My Very First Art Book with doodling and line drawing on Friday.

Spanish: Preston and Callen both enjoyed the first two episodes of Salsa, which is the story of Goldilocks & The Three Bears, but in Spanish, obviously.  And I sat with Preston and reviewed words having to do with "La Casa" in our First Thousand Words in Spanish.  I love that we can use the online pronunciation key... because every once in a while I can really butcher a word.  Lol.
Using the iPad to pronounce words for us!
And there we are... the first full week of school is history!  No major catastrophes (school-wise, anyway) to report, no serious meltdowns... so far, so good.

We are using Adventures in My Father's World. See our curriculum here.

[This post contains affiliate links for Usborne Books & More and Amazon.com.  By clicking on those links and purchasing items, you are helping me continue to be a SAHM so that I can focus on homeschooling my children!  Thank you!]

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tomorrow, We Start Again...

My sweet ones!
Tomorrow is our first day back to school for the 2012-2013 school year. Preston will be in Second Grade. Callen is a preschooler. I am excited about our new beginning, and am praying for that excitement to be continuous, for me AND the kids, throughout our entire year together. 

I get so wrapped up in school prep, all these brilliant ideas to try to incorporate (or, often, cram in!), and how things play out in my head... and then I sit down with the boys and they are grumpy, they don't find it as fascinating as I do, or we just hit a rough patch... all bets are off. I lose my cool, I misplace my motivation, I am disappointed in them and myself. But as long as God's mercies are new every morning, so, too, must my homeschool mom's heart refresh and reload each morning.  Mama Hall offered this free printable prayer on her blog last year . I have it printed and framed up on the top of my hutch in the kitchen-classroom. It is a great reminder to read on a regular basis. 

I want to enjoy my children at this age, not merely survive against them. I want to be a gentle, peaceful mother-teacher, who is given respect and authority. I want our "school" to be fun and exciting, where my boys learn about Jesus, life, values, history, math and all of those important lessons. But my main prayer is that my sons will look back at being homeschooled and be appreciative of the experience. 

My crazy-headed ones!
Here's to a new start!

Friday, July 6, 2012

2012-2013 Curriculum Choice...

Not Back to School Blog Hop
I have this info as a static page on my blog, but wanted to make it an actual blog post too so I could participate in the link-up!

2012-2013 2nd Grade (with my 6-year-old):  Adventures in My Father's World, Deluxe Edition (most of it anyway).  I am very excited to be continuing with My Father's World.  Preston and I really enjoyed it last year and it seems like a great fit for us!  So, starting July 9th, 2012, we'll be diving into...

History, Bible & Science
Pictured here is the core of the curriculum... the history, science, Bible and read-alouds that came with the set.  We will be learning American History, including detailed 50 state lessons, and the Names of Jesus as our main focus.  Not pictured, but have to give props to MamaJenn and her wonderful memory verse printables we'll be using along with our program again this year!
Extra reading & study
These are read-aloud and other specially themed books I have collected so far to go along with our studies... lots of American history as well as some science that I know Preston will enjoy.  Some of these books are from my Usborne collection: Sing, Nightingale, Sing!, The Story of Inventions, From Pie Town to Yum Yum, Who Were The Vikings?, Who Were the First North Americans? and Who Came Down That Road?  These are just the books we already own... we, of course, will be making our bi-weekly trips to the library to stock up on even more reading material.  Love the literature-based learning!  I also have a ton of additional supplements downloaded and ready to go if I find that we need them.  I do plan to do several American History type lapbooks through the year... and we'll see what else we can find to go along with our curriculum as we go!

Language Arts
As suggested by MFW, we will be using the first half of Primary Language Lessons for language usage, composition and dictation and Spelling By Sound and Structure to cover vocabulary.  And yes, we'll be reading, reading, reading!

While MFW suggests using Singapore Math, I have decided to use Math Mammoth.  I didn't really like the way Singapore was set up, and preferred the laid-back approach these worktexts use.  We'll also be using Wrap-Ups and Usborne Activity Cards, like Math Puzzles.

Fine Arts
I am using the music suggestions from MFW, which include the Celebrate America CD of patriot songs and the Tchaikovsky CDs and book.  However, I decided not to use the suggest I Can Do All Things, and instead use Usborne books I had on hand: The Usborne Book of Famous Artists, My Very First Art Book and My Very First Art Coloring Book.  I will also be using a downloaded unit study and lapbook on "World's Greatest Artists" from Confessions of a Homeschooler.

La Clase Divertida, Level 1 Curriculum
Foreign Language: Spanish
I originally planned to take Spanish really easy this year, and, honestly, not do much of it at all.  BUT... I was blessed with La Clase Divertida, Level 1 curriculum (for free at a book swap, OMGosh!) and am now so excited to use it!  So, each lesson is spaced out over two weeks, and there are 15 lessons.  We'll also be watching Salsa videos on a weekly basis, as well as working through First Thousand Words in Spanish and using the Spanish Words and Phrases Flashcards as needed/wanted  Also, I purchased a used audio lesson pack on cassette a while back and have yet to try it out.  I plan on popping that into the car every so often... hope it works, lol!

Continuing from last year we will be using our workbox system and Morning Board.  I'll provide a photo of those when we have them all ready!

2012-2013 Tot School (with my 2-year-old):  We will be working through the 1+1+1=1 Tot School Pack, which goes from A-Z and focuses on various vocabulary development themes, colors, shapes and more! I also won a membership to MamaJenn's Education Cubes and am excited to use those with him and Preston this year!  We do lots of Dry-Erase books and activities, he LOVES them.  He enjoys "writing" and coloring a lot, and adores any chance to use the Discovery Toys Giant Peg Board... he's doing great recognizing the colors and different shapes on that thing.  Love it!  Hopefully we can get Callen to cooperate more during "school time" by getting him involved, giving him his own lessons to do or otherwise keep him out of brother's hair!  Lol.
Previous Curriculum used: My Father's World First Grade, 2011-2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

No way to describe it...

...you would have just had to have been there.

I previously promised I'd sit down and write about Usborne Books & More National Convention.  Well, I don't think that's really going to happen; not in the way I want anyway.  You'll just have to take my word for it... it was so much fun, and certainly motivating, challenging and genuinely well worth it!

For my own memory's sake, a quick rundown of how it went...

Thursday, June 21st
- Headed out with Holly at 1030am, drove for just under 5 hours to "Paradise."
- Arrived at hotel, received an awesome bag of goodies (ie New Titles!) and got settled in, met our roommates and suite mates, including my Team Leader Deb for the first time (and Carol, Julie, Christine and Nancy)!
- Had dinner with the Champion Texas Team (meaning us and the Walles) and Christine (who enjoyed trying to imitate our accent; she is from Massachusetts) at the Oriental Buffet, which left most of us... uncomfortable.
- I hit up the Bargain Book Store (spent $11) and the More Store for supplies. 
- Went to watch karaoke and dancing.  Took a while to heat up but once our CEO, Randall White, took the mic... watch out!
- I did not sleep well at all, as the three women in my room were snorers.  =/

Friday, June 22nd
- The morning started off with a bad news phone call at 5am... our Team Leader's father-in-law had passed away.  =(
- We had breakfast at Panera, a few blocks away.  This was my first time to eat there, funny enough.
- The Walles, Holly and I had a great time showing off our Texas Team shirts and wearing our cowboy hats.  Lol!
- General sessions kicked off intro of the Usborne Books & More staff and company info.
- Then we were handed over to Julie Anne Jones, who is absolutely phenomenal.  She enchanted us and completely schooled us in the ways of direct selling and home partying.
- Super quick boxed lunch and then right back into general session with more of Julie Anne Jones.
Peter Usborne
- Guest Speakers Peter Usborne, founder of Usborne Publishing, and Michelle Nelson-Schmidt, author and illustrator or Dogs! Dogs!, Cats! Cats! and the Jonathan James and the What If Monster.
- We were given our iPads!!!!  Oh man, so awesome!
- We had a little bit of a break, then got ready for our Champion Team Murder Mystery Dinner.  I went as Audrey Hepburn, y'all!  Wow.  It was an interesting experience... I had no idea what was going on, to be honest.  Haha!
- We went back to the Bargain Bookstore to spend our $50 in free books - it was a mad house!
- I certainly slept better because I was just so tired after the full day!

Saturday, June 23rd
- Woke up early and had breakfast at IHOP with some teammates.
- Jumped right into workshops!  I did "Get Connected, Not Frazzled," "Maximizing Your Booth Opportunities," and "Running Your Business to Make a Profit."
- Celebration Lunch, where we ate, learned more about the Mediterranean Cruise, heard guest speakers Kira Lynn, editor for Kane Miller, Rafiq Ahmed, founder of Demibooks, Inc., and Susanne Gervay, author of Butterflies and I Am Jack!
- Right back into workshops!  I did "Simple Systems for Making Reach for the Stars Fun!" and "Connect for Comfortable Recruiting."
- Then we got gussied up a bit and attended the Grand Awards Banquet and got to see how successful you can be with this business... such high sales numbers, so impressive!!
- That ran pretty late, and by this time, since the day had been so packed with very little slow down, a few of us, were a little bit... shall we say... delirious?  Lol.  Holly, Julie and I spent the rest of the night laughing hysterically.  We had to leave our room so we wouldn't keep our suite mates up, because we literally could not stop laughing at everything.  Around 3am we were down in one of the lobbies and lots of people were coming out of the karaoke and dancing.  Tom Dean, who, along with his wife, won nearly every single award that night stopped to chat with us.  He ended up hanging with us for a good, long while and giving us all kinds of advice and tips (we had stopped giggling uncontrollably by now, thank goodness!).  It was just so nice that at 3 am, he'd take the time to answer our questions and remember our names!  Anyway, I can't remember the last time I laughed and laughed like that... it was so nice and it just felt great to do it!  We got to bed around 330, I think.

Sunday, June 24th
- We got up and around, packed our stuff and said some sad goodbyes.  We only knew some of these people for a few days, but it was like leaving behind dear friends!  
- Holly and I drove over to the EDC Home Office and took a tour of the offices and warehouse.  It was really neat to see how things worked.  It is a modest place in a warehouse district, no fancy offices with a view or anything like that.  It really reminded me of Power FM studio/offices because it just felt like home.  It showed that all the effort and money went into making a great product and keeping consultants happy instead of having fancy stuff for the "higher-ups!"  Love that!
- We made the 5-hour drive back home, stopping in Atoka to have lunch with the rest of the "Texas Team."

So much more happened... lots of fun things to remember and look back on, but I just wanted to at least get down some of the experience so I could look back at it!  Hopefully I can steal some photos from my teammates to post soon, I didn't get that many!  I came away feeling much more equipped, much more motivated and assured of my business and with some friendships I didn't have before!

Oh, and my kids and husband survived without me!  Praise God!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

June 2012 Tweets to Remember...

June 1st - Date nite food has included a chorizo omelette, fudge with mushrooms and a $4 spearmint push pop. What?

June 4th - My 1st ever call to poison control, Callen got stung by a scorpion while just sitting on the couch w/Michael. He's fine, but geez!

June 5th - Breakfast picnic watching the Queen's carriage ride back to Buckingham.

June 6th - Preston said his lunch was so good, I cooked so good, I should open a restaurant! His lunch... was canned spaghetti & meatballs. Yep.

June 8th - My new phone background - my boys are so big! Wow! 

June  10th - Our 6.5 year old lost his 1st tooth today!

June 13th - I keep asking Callen "why?"... I just like the way he says 'because'... "beh-duz!"

June 15th - Sooooo, Callen just pointed and said, "Bug!" and it was, in fact, another scorpion in our living room! WTHeck?!

June 22nd - The iPad is in my hand. Just not out of the box yet!

June 30th - You should hear my kids oohing & ahhing at the . Cannot wait for the !

June 30th - My iPad background. Would u expect anything less? My couch is denim... Heck, my prom dress was denim!