Archive | July, 2013

Acton Nature Center 5k

31 Jul

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I am not a runner by any means…it is a struggle for me, and I do not enjoy it. I do enjoy the way I feel after a run though! In September 2011 I ran my first 5k after training all summer (basically a couch to 5k type program). It was HARD, but so exhilarating! I wanted to do it again, and I did…just three weeks later in October.

I have several 5ks under my belt now. I prefer to run in the spring and fall when the weather is better, although I have done a couple in the winter and now one in the summer.

Last fall I co-coached a local group of girls in the Girls on the Run program, in which my oldest participated. At the conclusion of the program we all ran a 5k together, and my daughter has joined me in two other 5ks since then.

This summer we participated in the Acton Nature Center 5k, and she was the youngest runner. This was our first trail run, with hills, and it was a different kind of animal than what I am used to. At some point during the race I twisted my knee and had to walk a lot more than normal for the last half. Despite the challenges we both placed in our gender/age groups!

One of the great things about 5ks is they usually benefit a local, sometimes national, charitable organization. The fees for this particular 5k benefited the Acton Nature Center. So you can feel good about doing something for your health, as well as for a good cause! Win-win. If you’ve never run a 5k, you should…it’s addicting!

Homestudy Field Trip – June

30 Jul

In June I took my girls to the Dallas Arboretum for our home-study field trip, and my mom went with us. I had pre-purchased our tickets through Groupon for a great deal, only $6 per person instead of the regular price of $15. We did have to pay for parking in addition to that, which was $10.

We had never been to the Arboretum, and aside from the summer temperatures it was really nice. I would like to go back in the fall or spring, when we can enjoy the weather more! There was a lot to look at, including a little village where I took this picture, and it took us several hours to get through most of it. Toward the end we were so hot and tired, we just went as fast as we could!

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I brought along worksheets from education.com for the girls to do while we ate lunch.

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Summer Workbooks

20 Jul

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According to The National Summer Learning Association, all young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer. Most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months, and some students also lose more than two months in reading achievement. For this reason, we continue learning through the summer months!

This summer I have my girls doing several different things to further their education.

My 4th grader is keeping a summer journal, where she writes each day’s activities. She is participating in a girls book club with four of her peers, and they are reading 1 book every two weeks and then meeting to discuss the book. She is also working through a 3rd to 4th grade bridging workbook that covers a variety of topics, and a cursive handwriting workbook. She is reading a book for 8 – 10 year old girls called The Care and Keeping of You, and another book called The Feelings Book.

My Kindergartener is keeping a summer “journal”, where she draws pictures of each day’s activities. She is also working through a PreK to K bridging workbook, and a basic handwriting workbook.

I feel really good about what they are accomplishing this summer, although we most likely will not finish all the books before school starts back. What do you have your kids doing over the summer to help them stay on track with their education? I would love to hear your ideas!

Homemade Popcorn

3 Jul

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We love popcorn, who doesn’t? Even more, I love the fact that popcorn is a whole grain and therefore fits into our whole foods diet! It is super easy to make healthy homemade popcorn, so please don’t ever buy those boxes of chemical and toxin filled popcorn that you find on the grocery store shelf again.

I read this tip on 100 Days of Real Food, and we have been enjoying healthy delicious popcorn ever since! All you need is a bag of organic popcorn kernels, and brown paper “lunch sack” bags. Since roughly 90% of corn in the United States contain GMOs, it is always best to go with organic popcorn kernels. Put 1/4 cup popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag, and fold the top of the bag over 4-5 times. Microwave as you would a store bought bag of popcorn. It takes about 2:00 minutes in my microwave, but the time will vary depending on your microwave so just listen for the popping to slow down. I put my popcorn in a big bowl, drizzle with 1 tablespoon melted butter (you could use olive oil instead), and sprinkle with salt to taste. So yummy! You could use other spices to create all kinds of flavors; salt and lime juice, salt and pepper, sugar and cinnamon, etc. Enjoy!