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Friday, December 29, 2017

Planning A Homeschool Graduation Step One


So, my oldest is graduating in 2018. Back in the Summer I jotted down some things I needed to research, but now it is time to get going, and planning. I will be posting about this journey, as it will be a learning experience for all of us. Since I have another child that will graduate in 4 years, this will be a plethora of info for me. I hope it will go smooth.

So, what should be step one? In my mind step one should be picking the date, and the venues for both the ceremony, and the party. We actually completed this step, this week. We looked at all our options, including the big Homeschool Graduation that FPEA puts on each year, and since we didn't see that one working for us, we have decided to have a small ceremony at our church. I have asked both pastors if they could do the ceremony, more on that later, just in case one was not available. Both said yes, so that is awesome. So, that is the venue for the ceremony. Since it is our church, it is free, but we will give a love offering to the church as a thank you for their generosity.

Picking the date was a little trickier. Since graduation isn't technically until May, for most schools in our area, but in early May is Shrek the musical, which my son is playing Shrek. That is 3 days gone in the first weekend of May. Plus it is Mother's Day, another weekend used, and I am back to working at least every Sunday, and some Saturdays. So, with all that said, we decided to have it in April. He will be going on his last youth retreat the last weekend in April, yep another snafu. So, we will be doing it the 3rd Saturday in April. Why is it so important to set the date so early? Because most of our family lives out of state, and they need time to plan, so they can come if they want to, and some are.

Now for the party venue. Most people would probably rent a hall, or have it at their home. We considered all that, but DJ loves the idea of having it at the springs. Since it is warm by April people can swim, but not too warm where the bugs will be awful, or melt from heat. I hope the Love Bugs won't be out yet. Ugh, didn't think of that. Oh well date is already set. Now, I have to post it to FB so out of state family will know ahead of time. It is too early to send invites, so this will suffice for now. DJ decided he wanted to have the party at Gilchrist Blue Springs state park. It is affordable for people to get into, and lots to do, with covered pavilions and picnic tables. It is a beautiful park, and just was made a state park.

Are you planning a homeschool graduation? Share your thoughts.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Time to Plan A Graduation and New Years Resolutions

I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas. We were busy right up to Christmas Eve. Christmas Day I relaxed and binge watched shows I haven' t watched in weeks, or even more than a month. Now it is time to get serious again. Yard work, and decluttering is on the list of things to be done while we are on Christmas break. Today, we started and got a lot done. I also need to get back to a proper diet, and exercise routine.

Our first writing assignment for the new year will be making resolutions. I will ask them, and myself, to write 3 resolutions and how they plan on sticking to them. I already know mine, but that will be for another post. I can't believe next year I will only have one child to homeschool. It just seems so surreal. With that in mind, I have learned a lot from my first child, who is graduating in 2018. I know the programs we have hated, the ones we have loved, and the ones I would like to try. One program I would like to try, for History, is Big History Project. The more I look at it the more I like it. So, for 9th grade, next year, my daughter will be using it for History class. Plus, I have already decided to use Aleks, for Algebra 1 for her. I love it when I can plan this far ahead. It takes a lot of pressure off.

We will be having DJ's graduation ceremony and party towards the end of April. He got the lead role in Shrek, and that happens in early May. So, we needed to work around that for planning his graduation. I have so much planning to do, but we have already decided on some things. He has chose his colors, theme, and taken his own pictures for graduation. Him and his girlfriend decided to do the pics themselves. They may not be professional, but they had a ball doing it, and saved a lot of money. I will be sharing all the things we are doing. I have never even been to a homeschool graduation let alone planned one, so this will be an experience for all of us. We also chose the venue for the ceremony, and party. It should be fun!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Surviving the Holidays with CKD!

If you follow this blog, or even read it occasionally, then you will know that Christmas last year started a very rough time for all of us. I thought I was getting the Flu, but come to find out one of my kidneys had been slowly become atrophied, and began to fail. Since I didn't know it was my kidney, I was taking flu meds, and cough meds, all bad for the kidneys. Anyway to make a long story short, after we finally discovered the problem, some very drastic lifestyle changes had to occur. I am optimistically healthy now, but managing the disease can be tricky, especially during the holidays. Halloween through New Years, are very tricky months. I ate way too much candy at Halloween, chocolate and nuts are not good for kidneys. I had to get back on track, and it took a lot of will power to not eat that candy lying around the house. Thanksgiving wasn't too bad, I did quite OK. But, Christmas is proving to be a challenge. So many parties, and get togethers, and tempting delicious things to eat, most of which are not kidney healthy. So here are some tips from what I have been trying to do for Christmas holiday.

1- If you are going to a party, potluck or other Christmas event, be sure to bring a dish that is kidney safe, so at least you can eat something that will be for you. I use Davita for great recipes, some aren't great, lol, and an app by the National Kidney Foundation, that I love. I put in all my info and it tells me how much I should eat per day, and meal, for all the triggers like Sodium, Potassium, Protein, and Phosphorous. For example, I started a new job, and the lovely lady I work for loves to eat. She is older so she buys a lot of already made meals, that are typically very high in sodium, and phosphorous. She made a Mexican pizza the other day, and I was careful to eat only 2 pieces. But, I brought a nice large fruit salad, for us all to share. I used kidney friendly fruits like strawberries, grapes, one small orange, cherries, and a banana could be added for anyone that wanted it. A few sliced almonds, and whipped topping to be added if desired. This gave me the ability to eat a good healthy option, but not hurt her feelings too. We will be doing this again next time I work, but I am supposed to bring potato salad. I will leach my potatoes before making the salad. I do this by soaking the potatoes for two hours, rinsing, then soaking again for another 2 hours, then rinse again, add new water and then boil the potatoes. This decreases the potassium by up to 50%, and red potatoes have less potassium than other potatoes. If you peel them it decreases the potassium even more.

2- Try to eat half size portions of items that you know are not kidney healthy, especially items full of sodium.

3- Try to find items that are made from scratch, or fresh ingredients, rather than processed .

4- I am not diabetic, so sweets are not really too much of an issue for me, it is the salt I love. Salty, crunchy snacks, are my favorite things to snack on. So chips and dip, or veggies and dip, are things I would need to avoid, or eat in small amounts. If there is any Hummus, that is a better option than say ranch dip. I do not care for Hummus, so I would have to eat just a very small amount of other dip, or avoid it altogether, which probably won't happen, lol. If there is popcorn, or pretzels, those are better options, but still watch out for too much salt.

5- Avoid large amounts of alcohol. I do have a bit here and there, but one glass would be my limit. Why avoid alcohol? Because, it has no real nutritional value, and it can raise your blood pressure which is a big no no for CKD.

6- Avoid dark sodas, they contain large amounts of Phosphorous.

7- Avoid processed meats, used in a lot of appetizers, at parties and events.


You can still go to parties, and enjoy yourself, just be careful, and moderate. If you are stage 4 or 5, you need to be even more careful when at parties or events. For me, if I do eat too much of something I shouldn't, I try to increase my water intake. Not everyone can safely do this. If you are on fluid restrictions, you should not be doing this without the guidance of your doctors. None of these tips are medical advice, and should not be taken as such. They are tips, and ideas for things I do to help keep my CKD under control.








Monday, December 18, 2017

A Math System We Love, Finally!

I have so much I have not updated on this blog, for this school year.  But, this item is something I want to be sure and share.  My son has struggled with Math, since Pre Algebra.  It isn't that he can't do it,or was failing, but he just could not retain the Common Core stuff.  Now, as a homeschooler I don't have to teach Common Core.  However, due to the fact that he wants to go to college, I felt it was very important.  So, to make a long story short, we have literally tried almost every Math program out there, from textbooks, to online, and even some tutoring.  Even though he can achieve a low level B, and didn't do totally awful on the Math part of the SAT, he still just was not retaining, or feeling confident about Math.  This is his Senior year, and while discussing options for a 4th year of Math, it was suggested to us to have him take a Math for College Readiness class.  So, I looked at those options.  The only problem was that almost all of them were only 1/2 credits, not a full credit course.  That would leave me with trying to figure out how to get another 1/2 credit in Math.  Since he already was using FLVS, I decided to look at their Math for College Readiness course.  It was a full credit course, so we signed up for it.  This is the nice part.  I really can't give FLVS credit for this course, because it is actually done on a completely different website called ALEKS.   I had never actually heard of this website, and I thought I knew them all.  Right away my son said he loved it.  The layout was good, the way it was taught was helpful, and most important he was retaining the info.  Whatever ALEKS does different than other curriculums, it works!  He still is loving it, and even is getting A's.  I can not tell you how pleased I am with this website.  I definitely will pay the 20 dollars a month for my daughter to do Math on the ALEKS website starting next year.  I could start it this year, but she is currently working through the Easy Peasy Middle School Math, and I don't see any reason to stop.  She is pleased with it, and doing well.  If you have a child that struggles with Math, check out ALEKS.  I did not receive anything for posting this.  Anyone who reads this blog know I love to share awesome resources when I find them.  My daughter and I are on Christmas break, so I hope to catch up quite a bit of info here on this blog, including surviving the holidays with CKD.  

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