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Heart of Dakota Box Day!

I love Box Days! The kids and I have been watching our package make its way from South Dakota to Texas via UPS! Fun, fun, fun!
Boix Day
The box contained Hearts for Him Through High School: World History books for Joshua. There were also a handful of books for Annette as well. She will use Hearts for Him Through High School: World Geography.
Heart of Dakota
Of course the younger two wanted to get in on the action.
Posing with their his boxes of goodies.
Heart of Dakota
Annette was super excited!
Heart of Dakota
Lance jumping in on the picture.
Heart of Dakota
Opening the box!
Heart of Dakota
Heart of Dakota
Books, books, books . . .
Heart of Dakota
More books.
Heart of Dakota Books
Another fun box came. Something that I’m really excited about for Josh.
The One Year Adventure Novel is a writing program that I’ve been wanting to get for Joshua for a few years now. I wasn’t sure if he was ready for it. The past two years I’ve been concentrating on his writing and I do think he has improved greatly. Especially with Heart of Dakota’s narrations. I know the OYAN is completely different but it will be a good challenge for him. He’s really excited about it too.

And that is another Box Day! I’m kind of sad that we only have two years left of Heart of Dakota Box Days. All we need is two more guides and we’ll have all but one of the HOD programs.

Hopefully I’ll be able to get some of the consumable items for Caleb, Brent, and Ethan. I pray that they will be able to sue HOD come January.

Low-Carb Menu

It’s been 2 weeks at 20 carbs a day. Wow, and I’m not bored with my food. I tend to eat the same thing for a while. If I like it I stick with it. I go through spurts. Right now I’m enjoying scrambled eggs with cottage cheese.

Aug. 17- 24th 2014
Bulletproof Coffee
9:00 A.M.: Bulletproof Coffee
12:30 P.M. Wendy’s double cheeseburger without the bread
2:30 P.M. 1 Brain Booster
I didn’t write down what I had for supper.

9:30 A.M. Bulletproof Coffee
12:30 P.M. 3 med. sausage pancakes, 1 avocado
3:30 P.M. coffee with 2 Tbls. cream and stevia
6:00 P.M. 6oz Beef fajita style with bell peppers, onions, sautéed in butter and an avocado
Wasn’t hungry all day.

7:30 A.M. Bulletproof Coffee
12:00 P.M. 3 sausage pancakes, 1 sm. avocado
6:15 P.M. Chicken thigh with salad greens
7:30 P.M. Swiss water decaf coffee with cream and stevia
Had energy for most of the day. I did retire early at 9:30 P.M.
My calorie intake for today was around 1,650

7:45 A.M. Bulletproof Coffee
12:40P.M. Chai Spice Mug Cake from Ruled Me, coffee with 2 Tbls gelatin, 2 Tbls cream, stevia
6:30 P.M. 2 scrambled eggs, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 2 Tbls feta cheese, 2 big handfuls of organic spinach, 1/4 cup red onions, mushrooms
10:00 P.M. 1/4 cup Brazil Nuts

7:30 Bulletproof Coffee
12:00 2 Coconut blueberry muffins
1:00 P.M. 7oz steak (fajitas), bell peppers, onions, feta cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/2 avocado, 2 Tbls coconut oil
4:00 P.M. Coconut Blueberry muffin and 1 Brain Booster candy
7:00 P.M. Bacon, scrambled eggs, spinach, and onions
I sure ate a lot today. Funny thing, I wasn’t really hungry but I wanted some blueberry muffins.

7:30 A.M. Bulletproof Coffee
10:30 A.M. 1 slice cheddar cheese with 1 tbls butter sandwiched between, this may sound weird but it’s actually pretty good. Especially with using Kerrygold butter.
1:30 P.M. 8oz chicken, 1 cup green beans, 3 Tbls butter (went to Babe’s Chicken)
5:30 P.M. muffin with butter
8:30 P.M. 6 oz steak, veggies, 1oz cheddar cheese
Dinner was late. My whole week was a bit off with eating supper. We had company so that might have been part of it.

8:00 A.M. scrambled eggs, sausage, 1 Tbls butter
12:30 P.M. Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich without the bread
5:30 P.M. 10oz steak, 1 large sweet potato with butter, broccoli and after supper I enjoyed a Venti Skinny Mocha with heavy cream.

??? I ate 2 small Brain Boosters for good measure. I wanted to make sure I got some coconut oil in my diet.

Hubby and I had an all day date! We went to an AWANA conference that included a Chick-fil-a lunch. Once the conference was over at 4:30 we were hungry for a good medium rare steak. I didn’t eat one meal at home today.
The lighting in the restaurant was a bit dark.

All week I’ve added gelatin to my morning cup of Bulletproof Coffee.

And that was another low-carb week.

Grandma Time

The kids absolutely love when Grandma comes for a visit. This summer she stayed with us for two weeks.

My Mother-in-law loves Hobby Lobby so this is one of the places she takes the kids every time. They all have their 40% off coupon in hand and have fun picking something out. The kids know to save their dollars for this yearly event.

I should have taken pictures of what they purchased. Let me see if I remember some of the items. Josh bought a huge laminated map. Lance bought a bucket of plastic army men, Ethan purchased camo Duck Tape, Brent had his eye on a wooden box that he calls his briefcase, and I’m not sure what Annette and Caleb got. They aren’t home at the moment otherwise I’d ask.

Grandma made a Sweet Potato Pie with Josh.
Baking with Grandma
We enjoyed a few Sundays with her as well. After church we took her to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers.
What a cute picture of Grandma!
Lupe showing her how to use her phone. I think where some of the numbers are located.
The kiddos.
Grandma also had Bible lessons with the children and celebrated Lance’s birthday with us too!

I still haven’t found my software for my camera. Can’t believe I lost it. All our vacation pictures haven’t been uploaded to my computer yet otherwise I’d have blogged about our fun vacation.

We took Grandma to Babe’s Chicken but the photos are on my camera still. Maybe I’ll update this post when I finally get my pictures transferred to the computer.

Today she’s on a flight to visit her mom. We will miss Grandma.

Caleb helped her pack. We were all laughing because she bought so much stuff while here that her bags didn’t want to close.
After shuffling things around from one suitcase to another we were able to get most of her stuff on the plane as well. There is one box that will have to be mailed.

Tomorrow the kids will get back to homeschool.

Schoolhouse Review: UberSmart Software

UberSmart Math Facts Review
UberSmart Software is a great way to free mom up from flashcard drills. It’s in my opinion inexpensive at $24.95. I have Caleb, Brent, Ethan, and Lance using UberSmart. This is recommended for ages K-6 but I’m having my 7th grade son use it as well to keep those math fact memorized.
UberSmart Math Facts is super easy to use. All my boys were able to use this on their own once I set it up and showed them the first time.
UberSmart Software goal is to get the child to have automatically recall his math facts. It’s important for children to have all addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division math facts memorized to the point where they don’t have to pause and use their fingers or counting in their head. By automatically recalling their math facts I know it will help them with figuring out problems with higher math.

(For Window systems only)
For the young child there are dot cards.
UberSmart Math Facts Review
Since my boys are older we skipped this section. Also before having the child start there is an option to have the child practice using the keyboard to make sure he/she knows where the numbers and enter key are.
The program has:
Learn: this is where the fact is shown with the answer so your child can learn the math fact before practicing.
UberSmart Math Facts
practice: once the child knows the facts then they can practice. You can choose from dot cards, keyboard entry for the beginner and flashcards for the intermediate student.
Test: here you will test to see how well the the child knows his/her facts. There is an assessment that will give the parent the average response. For instance with Brent it showed his average response for multiplication was 0.31 seconds per problem. Brent has attained automatic recall for all his math facts.
The assessment starts pretty easy with having your child count, sequence, relationship between number (what comes after 10), odd & even, keyboard entry, then it focuses on math facts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Once your child completed the assessment you will know exactly what facts your child needs to practice.
Focus: once the assessment is complete and you know which facts your child needs to practice, they then can go back to the ‘practice’ section and click on the box so only the facts that need to be practiced will appear. The ‘focus’ feature is great because your child doesn’t have to go through all the facts to practice the ones he needs to most focus on.
Caleb 7
Compete: this is when you are timed, you can choose to have the ‘timer’ turned off. Ethan didn’t like the ‘Compete’ at all. It stressed him out even when I hid the timer. My other boys were fine with it.
UberSmart gives prompts so the child knows what to do next.
UberSmart Math Facts
UberSmart Math Facts
Some of my favorite things about UberSmart:
*Detailed assessment
*shows the parent and student exactly which facts the child needs to focus
*No distractions or frills
*Frees me up and we are no longer pushing this to the side
*Doesn’t take too long
Caleb 3a
Happy faces are always a good thing!
Caleb b
Caleb knows his multiplication and division but he has not mastered them in an automatic way. As you all can see Caleb knows exactly which facts he needs to focus on.
UberSmart Mastery
He has some facts that are all green, meaning he has reached automaticity. Then there are lighter green faces which means he’s so close. The yellow means he got the answer correct but it took him a whil and still needs to practice them until they become automatic. Red means wrong and should really focus on those.
How did we use UberSmart at Homeschooling6?
Pretty simple, before the kids started their regular math I had them first do UberSmart. This way we all made sure it got done for the day. My kids would just love to forget, little stinkers.
I did have them all take the assessment first. This let me know exactly which facts each child should focus on and practice the most.
Do the kids like it?
3 out of 4 said it’s okay, but hey, it’s school. They have to do it. It’s not a game type software which is fine with me. Not everything has to be fun!
Caleb my 7th grader actually likes it. He’ll make sure to get it done daily. I think he likes seeing his progress. Caleb would like to see a feature added. He would like to combine facts to practice. For instance if he needs practice with multiplication 4’s and 6’s, it would be nice if he could click on those to practice at the same time instead of first practicing the 4’s then practicing the 6’s. But other than that he really likes using UberSmart Math Facts.
Brent and Ethan would prefer to skip it and that’s fine, but they can’t. UberSmart is mandatory until the Mastery Chart has all green smiley faces.
Ethan does get a little frustrated. I have to tell him to just calm down. I still rather him do it though even if it takes him longer. I think it’s a great learning opportunity for him not only is he memorizing his math facts but he’s learning that he can’t get away from a school subjects because it’s not to his liking. It’s a part of homeschool life. He needs to work through his frustration which is getting upset when he answers wrong.
Does Homeschooling6 Mom like it?
Yes, see My Favorite Things About UberSmart above.
All-in-all it’s a great no frills program.
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Love Doodles

After 17 years of marriage I still find myself doodling “I love Lupe”.

Below I was writing to see which ‘font’ I like the best. Haha, goofy me but I do love doodling how much I love my husband.
I will often write on food too. It’s a nice surprise to my hubby and a great way for the kids to see how much I love their father.
Sometimes I’ll put my doodling message in his pocket or on his desk. Lupe always smiles when he finds one. Some will take days before he sees the “I love Lupe”  love-doodle.

I write “I love Lupe’' on notebook covers, inside my journals, and yesterday I wrote it on my cell phone cover. I like making hearts, squiggly lines, flowers, and bows around my words. Unfortunately I don’t have pictures of my masterpieces, so when I doodled the two above I thought, “Hey, I should take a picture”, maybe some day I’ll make a scrapbook page.

A few times I snapped a picture with my phone and sent it to my husband via text.

A few times I’ll add to my note why I love him so, other times it’s just a simple “I love you” or “I LOVE Lupe”.
Do you write little notes to your beloved?

Schoolhouse Review: Wizzy Gizmo

You’re probably wondering who or what is Wizzy Gizmo?!?!? Wizzy Gizmo is a fun and entertaining character who happens to be a genius that loves God. He makes wacky gizmos and kind of looks like his name with lots of white hair that sticks straight up.
Wizzy Gizmo
Wizzy Gizmo is a series of Bible books, audio books, and flashcards. Currently available: Book 1:Who Created Everything?, Book 2: In His Image, Audio Drama 1: Who Created Everything?, and Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament.
My family reviewed: Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament
Price: $14.99
Recommended Age: 4-12
Wizzy Gizmo Review
This set comes with 27 9x6 sturdy cards. I love that they are big and colorful. On the front of the card there is a summary of the New Testament book. Your child will learn about the book, the author, time period that it was written, and theme.
Fast Track Bible Pack 1
The back of the card is pretty neat. I love how organized it all his.
Fast Track Bible Pack 2
At the top there is the theme. Below the them you will find the outline. For instance with the book of John the outline looks like this:
I The Public Ministry of Jesus . . . 1-12
II The Private Ministry of Jesus-Upper Room . . . 13-17
III The Passion and Resurrection of Jesus  . . . 20-24
There are also Key Chapters, Key Passages, Key Doctrines, and Key People. Since all the information is on the card you can use it as a bookmark and keep it in your Bible. This is great for someone who is always misplacing things (like me).
I used this with Ethan my soon-to-be 6th grade son. Each card took us a week to get through but I’d like to add that there is so much information that in the future I’d like to take longer.
Here’s what a week of using Fast Track Bible Pack looked like at our house.
Monday: Read the front of the card and read a few chapters from the book using the outline.
Tuesday: Go over the information on the front of the card, dates, key people, them, etc. read a few more chapters of the Bible book per the outline and add in some key passages.
Wednesday: Same as above but instead of key passages we focused on key doctrine.
Thursday: Again went over dates, theme, author, etc., read per the outline, and continued with the key passages.
Friday: Give an oral narration of what the book is about.
This schedule worked but I felt like I was cramming too much into a week. What’s great is I can slow it down if I need to or just do less and go through the cards again. This is what we might do with the Fast Track Bible Study Pack from here on out.
If you are creative you can really go all out by finding coloring pages, having the child use the theme or key verses as copywork throughout the week, written/oral narrations, draw pictures, etc.
Wizzy Gizmo Review
I would like Wizzy Gizmo to add some optional items like an activity book with crossword puzzles and word searches (finding all the names of the Key People), maybe some coloring pages for my boys to color as I read a chapter or two from the Bible, and maps to label.
Another item to add to the Fast Track Bible Pack, a timeline. I love timelines and I think this would benefit the children with seeing when the author lived and wrote the Bible, especially if there are dates of what was going on in world history as well. I always find it fascinating to find out who was alive during the same time period as Jonah, Timothy, Esau, etc.
We enjoyed using the Fast Track Bible Pack. I liked how it introduced the Key People and told who they were. I think it’s important for children to know who the people are in the Bible, what their occupation was, and so forth. It really brings the person to life as a ‘real’ person not just a person in a story.
Another way to use the cards are with my older students. They can simply read the summary, look over the outline, key chapters and passages, read about the key people, before they start their Bible reading.
When I first saw a picture of the character Wizzy Gizmo immediately I thought of my 10 year old son Lance. He’s very animated and I could see him being a little Wizzy, so I purchased the Who Created Everything? book and audio.
Wizzy Gizmo
When I showed the book to my husband and told him it was for Lance his response, “That is Lance, with the hair and coat”, made me laugh because it’s so true.
Click on the image below to visit Wizzy Gizmo and his friends!
Wizzy Gizmo
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Low-Carb Menu

My last doctor visit in June showed I’m still low on Vitamin D and my cholesterol went up a bit. It’s not super high but enough for my doctor to want me on a low dose of statin. With that said, I don’t believe cholesterol numbers are all that, meaning, for me I’m focusing on my HDL and Triglycerides. From the research I’ve done I don’t believe the LDL and total numbers are the say all.

I haven’t been keeping to my healthy way of eating and I know that’s why my cholesterol has risen some. I have stayed low-carb BUT I’ve added in Ezekiel bread, Joseph’s Pita bread, low carb tortillas, and other frankin foods. I need to stop this frankin food eating insanity!

And I think I’ve been eating too many carb as well. So, I’m motivated to get back to the basics. Eating all God made food again. I am rereading my Atkins’ books and have added a few more to my library.
I have also gained 5lbs back. I ‘m determined to lose the 5lbs and lower my cholesterol as well (mosty for the doctor, I don’t plan on taking any medication).
Sunday Aug. 10th-16th
Breakfast: Bulletproof coffee-2TBL butter, 1TBL MCT Oil, 1 TBL  Heavy Cream
Lunch: 1 Avocado, 1 slice of sharp cheddar cheese, 6 oz of chicken
Snack: Bulletproof coffee (same as above)
Dinner: 2 eggs, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped red onions, sauteed in 5TBL Butter
Snack: 2 Almond Keto Bombs (pg. 249 from Keto Clarity)

I didn’t feel hungry at all. I loved my food and enjoyed every bite. The Almond Butter Keto Bombs, were, well, the bomb, hehe. They were good. I do need to make some Brain Boosters soon. I really like those and they have less carbs.

Breakfast: 8:30 Bulletproof Coffee
Lunch: 12:30 6oz of canned Salmon (wild caught), 2TBL Blue Cheese, 2TBL homemade mayo, 1/2 avocado, lettuce to wrap it all in.
Snack: 2:30 cup of Tassimo Espresso, 4tbl heavy cream
Dinner; 7:00 2 eggs, sausage, 1/4 red onions chopped, 2 handfuls of spinach, 2TBL butter, 2TBL feta cheese, 2tbl sesame seed oil <-----not sure if I should have added that, I need to research sesame seed oils.

I did have a downer around 2:00 P.M. I was tired. By 4:00 I was okay and back to teaching a few sessions with Brent and Caleb. My morning Bulletproof coffee had me stuffed and hurt my tummy a bit. I think tomorrow I’m going to cut the coconut oil to 1TBL. It will save me on some calories and hopefully I won’t feel so stuffed after drinking it.

Breakfast:8:00 Bulletproof Coffee, 2TBL Kerrygold butter, 1TBL coconut oil, stevia
1:00 P.M. Bell Peppers, onions, 1/2 avocado, 2TBL Palm Oil, 6 oz steak, spinach
2:30 Tasimmo Coffee with heavy cream (way too much at 4 tbls) I think I’m going to cut back on the cream. I feel like I’m eating too many calories by the end of the day.
5:30 2 Almond Butter Keto Bombs
8:30 12 Rib-eye steak, 1/2 sweet potato, 1tbl butter
9:45 Grande Starbucks Coffee with heavy cream <-----should have said no thank you to my sweet SIL

I was hunger free until 5:00 P.M. so I ate 2 Butter Bombs to hold me over until I was able to eat supper (which was way too late). I left the house around 6:00 to go to a neighborhood watch meeting with hubby and we planned to eat out after. This is why I ate so late. After the meeting we were heading out to the airport to pick up my MIL and found a good steakhouse on the way.

I should have scaled back on that steak to a 10oz at least. I did only eat half the sweet potato but I know I went over my protein and carb intake for the day which I’m aiming for 60g. of protein and 25 carbs.  Since I only ate half of the large sweet potato I’m hoping it was around 18 carbs.
Then my SIL bought us a Starbucks Coffee to sip while we waited for the plane. I couldn’t resist (which I should have). So Tuesday was not a good keto day for me.

8:00 A.M. Bulletproof Coffee, 2TBL butter, 1Tbl coconut oil. It takes me about a half hour to drink Bulletproof coffee. I much prefer 1tbl coconut oil. Listening to my body.
12:00 2 eggs scrambled with spinach, onions, mushrooms, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 2tbl feta cheese, and 2tbl butter, 1tbl red palm oil.
2:00 P.M. coffee with 2tbl heavy cream
6:00 P.M. 6oz steak, bell peppers, onions, 3tbl butter, and two brain boosters

I was hungry about 11:00 A.M. and later hungry for dinner around 6:00. In the morning I didn’t feel good, my stomach hurt some. Nothing major but I felt a bit nauseated.

I know keto sticks are not super accurate but I did get some to see if I was at least in some sort of ketosis. There are 3 different ketones and one can be found in the urine. I read that ones you are in ketosis for a while the readings on this will not be reliable anymore but that’s okay with me. I just want to know if I’m in ketosis.

Yay, I was, although hunger pangs haven’t subsided. Hopefully that will happen in time. Maybe with only being 4 days in is too early for that.

My Great Lakes Gelatin arrived, wahoo! So I’ll be adding that to my coffee and drinks daily. At least 2tbl a day. This gelatin is expensive (at least to me) and it has taken me at least over 6 months to finally order it, but look how big the container is! I thought it was going to be pretty small. I’ve been adding this to Lupe’s smoothies as well.
8:00 A.M. Iced Bulletproof 2tbl Gelatin powder, 2tbl Kerrygold Butter, 1tbl coconut oil
12:40 P.M. 5oz sausage, 1tbl feta cheese, 1/4 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup onions, handful of greens
2:26 P.M. coffe, 2tbl cream, stevia, 2 brain boosters
6:00 P.M. 2 eggs, onions, feta cheese, cottage cheese, greens

I was a little tired around 3:00. When I made my 2:00 P.M. coffee, I actually didn’t really want it. I made it more out of habit.

8:00 Bulletproof Coffee: 2tbl Kerrygold butter, 2tbl coconut oil, 2tbl gelatin
11:00 6oz steak, veggies, butter, cheddar and feta cheese, and one brainbooster
1:00 coffee, cream, gelatin
4:30 1/4 cup Brazil nuts
6:30 Sausage Pancakes from the book Coconut Ketogenic Diet (they were yummy and filling)

The night before I went to bed around midnight and woke this morning about 7:30. You’d think that 7.5 hours would be enough but I was tired by 10:00 A.M. My MIL is visiting too so I’ve been up late with her all week. We love to talk. Thank the Lord I have a super MIL. I did feel better energy-wise around 4:00.

8:30 Bulletproof coffee
1:00 4 left over sausage pancakes with a salad topped with homemade mayo dressing (my homemade mayo didn’t come out right so I’m pouring it over my food as a dressing)
6:00 6oz of steak and lots of veggies, cabbage, spinach, cilantro, onions, tomatoes, from Genghis Grill

Wasn’t hungry all day, yay!

I haven’t lost any weight even though my carbs have stayed at 20 carbs. I think I’m eating too much fat but that’s okay (for now as I try to figure out my ratios). Although I’d love to lose 5lbs I’ve decided to just work on my health.  I’m focusing on my triglycerides and HDL. LDL is an indicator for me, that I had been eating more carbs via low-carb foods, that are not good for me.

So with that I’m focusing on not eating those low-carb franken foods. They raise my numbers and quite frankly I didn’t feel all that great after consuming them. My tummy would get upset.
Lowering my carb intake to 20 has not been hard. I thought it would be since I was at 70 carbs a day but eating lots of veggies, protein in moderation, and adding lots of good fats has made it quite easy in fact.

When Lupe and I go out on our dates we have stayed away from hamburger joints and either go to a good steakhouse or Genghis Grill so I’m not tempted to eat that one hamburger bun. When I have a steak the two sides I add is a sweet potato with lots of butter and green veggies. If the sweet potato is big then I eat only half. It’s hard to leave the other half because I love sweet potatoes.