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My 16 month old son chugs water from my glass as we sit and watch my middle son’s football practice on July 19, 2012.

 

Yesterday was the third practice for the Falcons in our area’s pee wee league dispite the blistering temperatures outside.  The board has mandated eight hours of conditioning before these young all-stars can suit up in pads for practice so our middle son’s coach has strategically scheduled four, two hour practices this week.  Tonight, the five and six-year-olds will fulfill their last hours in the coaches back yard in-ground pool.

Last year, this team’s coach was amazing.  From the first night with the boys, he gained their respect and attention by firm, yet encouraging coaching.  He encouraged team and unity along with hard work and attention to football technique.  It was really amazing what he was able to do with such young boys.  He actually lead them all the way to be league championships to claim first place!  This year he moved up to the next age level with his son but the assistant coach for the team stayed back to coach the other team members who didn’t move up.  SWEET!  We have had good practices with similar leadership as last year.  I can’t wait to see what happens this season with this team!

Pee Wee Falcons at the start of their 3rd practice, first practice getting on the line.

 

They worked for about 10 minutes and all of the kids were successfully lining up as if going to war with their coaches.  I think this year is going to be just as amazing as last year!  The only thing they need to work on is their hustle to and from each play, but honestly, it’s to be expected this early in the year.

They are proving to be trainable! That’s awesome!

 

My oldest son was placed on a developmental team this year, the TITANS!  He is VERY excited because last year his coaching was lacking.  They didn’t get the sweet taste of victory last year, not one time.  He wasn’t confident that he wanted to play this year because let’s face it, it’s not fun to lose all the time.  Because we want him to be involved in something we encouraged him to give it a go one more time and he is very thankful that he did.

Tuesday when I sat in on his practice, I could tell that he had some learning to do.  This team is hand selected and trained up to be the best.  Never once did I hear any of the coaches shouting or yelling.  The boys are there because they want to be.  They try hard because they want to be the best.  They work hard for their coach because there’s an unspoken respect there.  It’s truly amazing!  They spent their first practice breaking off into groups containing three to four boys to work on technique.

Detailed Technique Drills and Coaching

At the first water break, the boys hussled over to their water bottles, filled up and then ran back to the field with a training mission on their minds.  This picture was taken after less than a half hour of practice.  Take note of his soaked head and focus in his eyes!

Mouth full of cold water, he takes a minute to rest before going back out for another rotation of drills.

 

I am so proud of my boys.  I can’t wait to see what personal goals they blow out of the water, the excitement and pride in their little eyes as they defeat their fears and reservations.  I am looking forward to those chili mornings at the football field, the caravans to out-of-town games and the smell of window chalk!

Cheers,
Andrea

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Just two weeks ago, my oldest son turned nine years old!  Next month, my husband and I will have been married for 10 years!  10 YEARS!  What a big summer we are having this year!

The night before Jackson’s birthday, I was sitting on the couch crocheting while my husband watched television.  As if I had just walked into a brick wall, the realization that Jackson was turning nine really hit me.  I mean nine…that’s half of 18.  That means I’m half way done raising him.  I know that raising a child doesn’t end completely at the age of 18, but I am half way done with the time God has given me to mold him and shape him into the man he will become.  My timeline for instilling morals and teaching him how to keep a home, treat a woman and be a friend is half done.  That was an uncomfortable, unsettling feeling.  Yes, I shed tears that night.  I couldn’t believe we were to that point.  I swear I had just given birth to him.  This realization made me stop and analyze what I still have left to teach him and how I was going to get there.

One thing that has been on my mind and heart since he was born was my desire to raise my kids in home education.  We brought Jackson home after his first grade year because he was increasingly board and the teacher just had too many kids to teach.  I wanted more for him than he could get from the setting he was in at the school he was attending.  The first day of his second grade year was spent around our kitchen table.

That same year, I was running my in-home childcare (4 kids), was pregnant and transporting our youngest at the time to preschool in the public school system.  We were able to get speech help for him there which was a HUGE blessing!  At semester, my husband felt like Jackson should go back into the public school system because I had SOOooo much on my plate and was about to have a newborn to take care of.  I was so heartbroken.  I cried for months but kept the faith that one day, I’d be given the chance to bring him back home, and, God Willing, Gage (our middle son) too.

This past winter during Jackson’s 3rd grade year, he began to have social issues with kids at school.  Bullies are a HUGE problem these days and unfortunately my son fell victim to their harsh words and ways.  So much so he wanted to “go to sleep and never wake up.”  He BEGGED to come back home to homeschool again. As a work from home mother, I wanted to pull him right away and resume home education.  My husband encouraged me to allow him to finish out the year and to get help for the issues he was having.  He is so smart.  Through the next several months we learned that he had depression issues but those were from undiagnosed ADD.  Well that makes sense!  It also explains why he was so bored in 1st grade and why he had such a hard time paying attention long enough to get any homework done throughout the years.

We had begun to look into home education again just in case we, as a family, felt like it would be a good fit for our family for 4th grade.  With what I experienced the day before his birthday and my longtime desire to educate my kids myself, I have come to realize that I need to step up my Miche game.  We have fees and curriculum to purchase  before August should we decide to bring him back home.

That’s where YOU come in!

I need 4 people to host shows in July in order to be able to meet my goal of providing for my son’s education.  We all want what’s best for our kids.  For me and my son, home education is what I feel like is best for him.  Please help me do that!

Comment below if you would be interested in hosting a home/online/catalog/skype show.  I’d be happy to get that set up for you as soon as possible.  Our July shells will be announced tomorrow and you could be the first one to get your new shells and accessories for FREE!

Thanks for your help.  Thanks for your support!

LOOK! Extra hostess rewards for July!! Earn an extra $20-40 in free product!

Cheers,

Andrea



All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.  – Pablo Picasso

As a kid, I was taught to pick up crayons or markers and put color down to convey ideas and feelings.  Isn’t that what art is?  Of course it is!  It’s a way to show others who you are, what you do, what you like and what inspires you.  It’s a catalysis some people use to heal from hurts and celebrate achievements.

This coming fall, I plan to homeschool my oldest son and in time, I may bring home our middle son.  A few months ago as I was creating a giant world map and other art pieces for the room, I gave the boys empty canvases to paint whatever they wanted to.  Jackson, my oldest, had been given an assignment a month or so ago in art class at his public school to use oil pastels to recreate a still life picture of flowers in a vase of sorts.  When he brought it home, I asked where he got it because he had done such a good job it didn’t occur to me at that time that he had done it himself.  I was so impressed by the piece that it’s not hanging behind our dining room table, which is a focal point when you walk into the room, and our home for that matter.  You could just see the pride in his eyes as I gave his masterpieces it’s place of honor.  What do you think he painted on his empty canvas?  A recreation of the original oil pastel.  That accomplishment of being able to do such a good job has stuck with him and he, as a result, recreates it many times over.  It creates

warm fuzzy feelings for him. It’s a way for him to channel a good time/feeling/accomplishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let me ask you.  How do you express yourself artistically now that you’re an adult.  Has your catalyst of self expression changed?  I know for me, I use different art forms.  I love to crochet, knit, sew and cook.  Yes I believe cooking is an art form!  I also very much enjoy making my outfits a piece of art.  I have also explored ways to use my body as a canvas…no not body paints or tattoos.  Just accessories!

I have learned so much about accessorizing in the last few years and it has taken my boring worrobe to new heights.  A simple grouping of necklaces can

Use a color wheel when accessorizing! It will help you to pick things that go together and ensure that you look amazing!

make all the difference in the world.  Add a pop of color by way of a summer shoe and a handbag.  You don’t have to purchase the expensive names and high-priced tags to look amazing!  If pattern on clothing scares you, pick a solid top

in your favorite color of the season. In art class as far back as grade school, we were shown a color wheel, right?  Remember that pie shaped poster your art teacher would hold up to show you primary and secondary colors?  Well get yourself one and post it in your closet.  That will be your best friend when learning how to accessorize!  If you want more instruction on how to use a color wheel to put an outfit together, click on the color wheel to the right and it will take you to an amazing write up on the subject.

When you apply this concept, you will realize how invaluable Miche handbags are!  It can be expensive to have to purchase a whole collection of designer handbags in all different shades, colors, patterns, textures and styles.  With Miche, you purchase one of the four base bags that fits your lifestyle and then shells to compliment your wardrobe.  You can take it a step further and purchase additional handles and purse charms to totally change the look of your shells when you need to refresh your stash of shells.  Not only does Miche make it easy to accessorize and stay in style, there’s no more dumping your bag out when you want to change your handbag.  You simply take detach the outer shell from your base bag and replace it with another!  What used to take 5 minutes can now be done in as little as 5 seconds, no kidding, no exaggeration.

Your mom used to encourage you to be creative as a child didn’t she?  Is she creative now?  How well does she transfer creativity into her outfits?  If she’s having trouble with that, why not get a Miche for her for Mother’s Day?  We have a great promotion going just for moms!  Not only that, with a qualifying purchase you can get vintage shells to go with her new base for a fraction of the list price!  She has taught you well over the years.  Remind her that she’s still smart and creative and that she’s beautiful!

There is an artist in all of us now just like there was on in us as a child.  Figure out how to ignite that passion to create and explore color as an adult.  If you don’t think you’re crafty or have drawing/painting talent, try to incorporate some color and texture into your wardrobe.  Make your body a canvas of sorts and see how much better you feel!  I promise it is really hard not to smile when you’ve put together and wear an amazing outfit!

Cheers,

Andrea



{January 19, 2012}   Two Boys, One Room, HUGE MESS!

Who knew that two boys could make such a HUGE mess?!  Good night!

Our family has recently started using a family schedule.  My oldest boy is in the process of being diagnosed ADD, my husband is ADD and the rest of us have the responsibility to help them function as part of the group.  My husband and I sat down and decided the best way to do that was to set out guidelines of when certain tasks would be completed each day of the week.  This is what we came up with:

6:30 am: Wake up and do morning routine (make bed, feed dogs, let them out to potty, brush teeth and get dressed)

7:30: School

3:15-4pm: Free time

4-5pm: Chores

5pm: Dinner

Following Dinner: Homework

7:30 Night routine & Free Time (shower, brush teeth, set clothes/school supplies out for the morning)

8:30: Bedtime (get drink, go potty, hugs/kisses, lights out)

So far it’s worked pretty well.  We have a chore chart that the boys use for the 4:00 time slot.  I will post pictures of that another day.  The other items are routine responsibilities that have to be done everyday.  For each of these areas on the schedule, we award poker chips for work completed.  At the end of the night, we allow them to count their tokens and change them in for something in the prize box if they have gotten 20 (or any multiple of 20) or save it to cash out on payday.

HOWEVER…there are moments I still want to pull my hair out!  Take this picture for example:

Pictured is my oldest son (carrying the telescope) and my youngest son.  My middle son is standing behind me.

Let me back up a second.  Last week, son 1 and son 2 decided they were going to rearrange their room without me.  The beds, dressers and toy boxes were put in “the perfect place.”  Trying not to crush their ambitions, I let it be.  After all we have to pick our battles, right?  A few days later?  A new design and this picture is the end result of their “creativity.”

Now this is a huge room.  The picture doesn’t do justice to the true magnitude of the mess.  Under the beds…I’m pretty sure something tried to grab me and pull me under there.  The wire cubes in the lower left hand corner of the picture…completely overflowing with I don’t even know what.

At 3:30 we put a halt to free time and made everyone meet in their room.  From that time until 9:30, we put their room back together.  My husband’s Job: Whip cracker. The boy’s job: Salvaging anything they could before I took over. My job: Trash bag patrol! I was able to get a total of five bags of trash removed from their room. Doodles, old homework, grocery receipts, Christmas wrapping paper, toy instructions, broken toys…you name it.  I took the following picture at 8:45:

Today when they get home, we are tackling the closet areas and finishing up some of the tasks that didn’t get completed last night.

What are your family’s secrets to keeping everything tidy and in place?  Do you use a reward system?  Do they have set chores for each day?  Do they perform their tasks on their own or with guidance?

Cheers,
Andrea



et cetera