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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Some material we use in our homeschooling!

When you think about a Homeschool you can for sure picture tons and tons of papers and books. And the thoughts about you being the one planning and giving your child the academic education can be overwhelming at first.
I think the beauty of homeschooling is that there is no ¨one rule fits all¨ and you go as it works the best for your children and for your family. 
For us, homeschool is like part of your daily basis since our kids were very little. And we could see how they are and what would work for each one. And as we got more in depth with homeschooling and they reached the school age we were so amazed to find how much material you can have for almost nothing or free available.
As of now the 2 major subjects for our children are Math and Music. It goes hand to hand. Reading and comprehension is something that came natural, since they started Kumon early, and by the time they were 4, both were reading fluently.
One thing we learned with our children is that they are ready and have no patience to stuck in textbooks and instructions. They like to see and try things. So it's much workable to explain something with the example than try to talk with them or read an endless instruction. Mostly we learn while playing, and it has been since they were very little. They learned colors, numbers, sorting and quantity while playing with blocks, for example.
Here are a few websites where we get our worksheets:

For books, we love very much many of the Carson Dellosa Publishing, like the grades specifics workbooks and all the supplementary ones.



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Cheese Bread ;)

One batch _ lasts enough time for one picture!
I was born in a State where cheese is something very common in dishes. One of the most famous snacks/ entree/breakfast in my birth State is the cheese bread. 
This is just the kind of food that if you like cheese and have no problem with eating it, all that takes is to try it once and you are in love!
There are many recipes to make it. The traditional one is the one I never even tried because I like thing simple. I feel like there is just too much going on and if I can simplify most of it I can get more done!
I learned one version of the cheese bread my Grandma used to make when my sister and I were there on vacation. Hers tastes and is more like a cookie.
Then I came to the USA and one day I wanted so badly to eat cheese bread, but I didn´t want the cookie like one. So I came out with the idea of changing a recipe and the result was just amazing.

All you need:
3 eggs
1 cup of Yucca Starch
1 cup of grated Cheese (any kind you like)
1/2 cup of vegetable oil ( I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Blend it all together in a mixer or  blender until becoming a smoothie alike. Fill the cupcakes/muffins pan not more than halfway, and bake it in a preheated to 385F oven. Until it turns light golden. Usually takes 10 min.
Let it cool down a little and you can enjoy it!

At home, we skip the cool down part :). And it is so quickly and easy to make that is common for my son to wake up from his nap asking for some and in half an hour we are enjoying it. Yes, Cheese bread is one of his favorite and since he is so hard on eating, anytime he asks for it I run to the kitchen ;-).

I hope you give it a try and enjoy making your own cheese bread!!!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Recycling Furniture :)

As many would say: ¨Children and fabric furniture don't belong together!¨  And this is so true. Unless you can wash it from time to time. 
Those chairs came even before we get married, and as time went by, and after the children addition it was becoming quite disgusting. I cannot even count how many spills and what not went over them.
Then one day I was looking for something out of my ordinary to do while sitting with the children meanwhile they were having their BEMER session, and just came to me the idea of fixing those dirty chairs :).
We had some leftover of this red faux leather, and I had my staple and hot glue gun. That was all that I needed ;-).

 The sessions usually last 16 minutes for each child, and I was able to get 1 chair done in this time frame.
I was very pleased with the result. And it has been over a year since I did it! Now all we need is a dump washing cloth and any spill can be cleaned!!!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Why we homeschool?

Very often I get people assuming that the reason we homeschool I children is because they were born with Sickle Cell Anemia. In fact, I got it from some close family and friends, what really intrigues me.
NO, the real story is that we have talked and decided to homeschool and invest in our children´s education far before they were born.
One of my favorites playtime as a child was pretend school. And one thing that my husband and I always agreed on is that we wanted to be the ones responsible for our children´s education and academic knowledge.
It can be hard and sometimes I feel like is too much and I am not able to handle it. But at the end of the day this is our family project and it is working. They take private music lesson since they were 2 years old and  started supplementary Math and Reading at Kumon around the same time. We believe in presenting them the opportunity and they are the ones leading.
At home we make all the experiences be a learning time. And anytime they ask about something we feel like they are ready to learn about it. So learning is fun!
There is no TV, and as they were born listening to classical music we don´t need to say anything, they are the ones turning on the stereo and choosing the classical they want to hear that day. Meanwhile is not a surprise to be listening to the same piece over and over again, while each one picks a spoon or a stick and pretend they are in an orchestra. Now even the 18 months old do the same :-)!
Our children are very social. They enjoy and are very comfortable around people. Also, they can distinct when is time to have fun and to be serious. Seeing them dancing and having a good time in a Party would make anyone jaw go down, knowing that they are homeschooled and listening to the Homeschool stigma: ¨Homechoolers are antisocial!¨.
We are very happy and pleased so far! And looking forward to starting our baby girl on the path her sibling are, as soon as she is ready. And believe me, she is already leading the way.
This is how they start ;-)!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Some crochet I made for my baby angel!

I learned how to crochet when I was 13 years old at my school art class, but I grew up seeing people doing it and appreciating very much the work.  
Since I got pregnant for the first time, I made sure my babies always had something made by me. And this time wasn´t different.
Here are just a few of the little garments I made for baby #3, as she was born in Winter time. Some of them I was following a tutorial, like the ones in the first picture with the hat and slippers.
Sometimes I have difficulties following a pattern as I go along, because on the way to making the piece ideas start to flow in my mind. I am not very patient in following then I rather create something inspired by a pattern I see.





Monday, June 20, 2016

DIY ToothPaste!


Natural-Homemade Toothpaste
After starting making my own kombucha and enjoying not only the process of making it myself and feeling the proudness of knowing what I am getting into my body, I decided to try some new things.
I´ve watched and read a couple of recipes, but I didn´t like much the fact that most people add some natural sweeteners to their toothpaste. At home, we are pretty good in keep sugar or any kind of sweets out of our diet if it is not really necessary.
Then I came up with this final product, which we have been using for more than 3 weeks, and I can really see the difference in my children and myself. My son´s teeth is a lot whiter and clean and I have for as long as I know had issues with bleeding gums, but after start using my homemade toothpaste it is gone :)!
The recipe is simple: 1tbspoon of Coconut Oil; 2 tbspoon of Baking Soda and 1 teaspoon of Cinnamon Powder. Mix together until you get a uniform paste.
I store it in this little containers and use a little spatula to take the amount we use to brush our teeth.
Even my 18 months old uses it and we don´t have to worry about she swallowing it.
Let me know if you try it on and your thoughts on it!
My teeth haven't been this light for years! :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

For many, it wouldn´t be possible 2 years ago...

As the days are passing, it is hard to enjoy it and do not remember where we were 2 years ago....
The memories cannot be erased from our minds, but seeing how far my warrior has come makes us believe that there something very special about his life.
I remember talking with someone, exactly a month after we were home from our long stay at the hospital, and she, after hearing me telling her what had just happened, told me that she felt it was the proof that my son had a beautiful soul and his mission on Earth was a strong and powerful one.
I remember her words very often.
Here we are, 2 years ago! And when so many involved in his care primarily could not believe he would be able to even walk, we have been facing serious adventures from his side! Yes, thankfully for a very loving family, a beyond everything imaginable dedicated Father, and Godly provided friends support we made it to where we are. Many people have been asking how is Caesar doing since this month mark 2 years of his last stroke... Here is a video update on his progress so far. We still haven´t got him to have his transplant done and have been working on it as our goal!
Life hasn´t been easy! And many times we feel like we are not making it to the end, but this warrior and his sisters make sure that we are not even able to believe that give up is an option!



Saturday, June 4, 2016

Kombucha Tea!


Our 2nd big batch!
 If you have never tried it before, there are a million good reasons why you should.
Kombucha tea is very good for your overall health. The bad side of it is that a simple bottle can be very expensive if you think of it as a daily supplement. And I can guarantee you that once you try it, it is impossible to live without it!
A few years ago, someone told us kombucha tea and advised us to implement it on our children health managements as a daily supplement. One bottle would last no more than a week, and give the fact that we all enjoyed it a lot, we found some way to make our own.
We bought the starter kit from a brewer, and it was at our home after little over a week, but somehow our first try was a big fail. We gave up, and as we do so many things all together we kinda forgot about the kombucha tea.
It was until a couple months ago, we went to visit a long time friend of Lucas and when we were leaving, after an amazing afternoon, he mentioned and showed us his batch. We told him our story with trying to make our own to save money... then he gifted us with a kombucha SCOBY :).
It has been a good 2 months that we are making our own and drinking it.
My daughter and I cannot live without it. And it has helped me so much with my constipation issues!
I´ll be forever thankful for this amazing friend kindness!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Breaking the Sickle Cell Cycle.

Today marks the 2 years since my son had his 3rd stroke. As I anticipated I have the feeling this month is going to be very hard, emotionally, since it is hard for me to go on and don´t remember what happened 2 years ago.
It has been a long and hard journey and living it has brought a lot of different experiences.
But I´ve decided that instead of crying about those memories that I wish I could erase from my mind I wanted to think about how helpful would be to let others know that there is a way to break the Sickle Cell Cycle.
Unfortunately, I only learned about it after my daughter was born, not that I regret having her, but I wish I could prevent her from being born with Sickle Cell Anemia, as well.
It was down the road, and a year after my second child was born, very often I would have a strong feeling that I wanted to get my tubes tied. I even mentioned it to my husband a couple of times, while I would be researching and reading about the options available. One day, while reading some of it I came across an article about a family that had a child with SS and decided to go through IVF to have another baby because they wanted to give the son 2 gifts: A sibling and a chance to live free of Sickle Cell.
After reading their story I was curious about his process they went through and was surprised to learn that it wasn´t a brand new procedure and still people wouldn´t talk about it or would have misconceptions about it and consequently be against.
I felt like this came to me for some reason, and at that moment, I cried. It was like I was being prepared for something. 
Sure enough, I knew I wasn´t supposed to go ahead and tie my tubes. And I felt like it would come a time when I would need to use the knowledge I got from all those reading and the strength and inspiration of the Fearless Love.
The time came, and despite so many information being already out about the IVF with PGD, still a lot to be available to everyone to know or access. And it started by the own Medical community that is not educated about it.
Yes, the only way to break the Sickle Cell is helping couples to be able to prevent their babies from being born with this rootless disorder, and it is only feasible through IVF with PGD.
We went through this process and were able to conceive our 3rd and miracle baby in 2014. Exactly when I was 12 weeks pregnant, we had to rush to the hospital with our son. There we lived for 58 days and left knowing that we were having another princess and despite our son not being able to even sit on his own, we were thrilled to know that there was still hope. To learn about his struggles please check this NatGeo Documentary and to see how he is doing today or help him keep progressing while waiting on his transplant visit his Facebook Page.
If you have questions about my IVF process feel free to ask in the comments as well as if I get enough requests I will be putting a blog post about my IVF cycle.
Until next time :)!