Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day! When I was in school Valentines Day was one of my favorite days. I loved to fill out the little cards and hand them out to my friends. All day I would wait until the last hour of school when we would have the Valentines Day party. My little one never had that experience. She attended a regular school for kindergarten, first and second grade but they went year round. She was off track every February so there was never a Valentines day party at school. She always wanted to give out valentines so we would let her give them out at gymnastics. It has been a tradition for her to hand out cards at the gym and a few years ago she started handing out goody bags to her teammates. She looks forward to it every year and is always so excited. I am glad even though she goes to school at home that she is able to participate in Valentine’s fun.

This year I found a new facebook group called Homeschool Swapping Adventures. I am still very new to the group, but they do postcard exchanges, state box exchanges, pen pals and there was a Valentine Card exchange. I have to admit that after a Christmas Card exchange in another group I was not to sure about signing up to exchange Valentines. We had sent out over 30 Christmas cards and were suppose to receive that many in return, but only received about 6. I asked my little one if she wanted to participate, and she was excited. We looked online to get some ideas for a homemade card and after seeing so many we decided to use parts from a few different ones we saw. This is what she made. They are hard to read in the picture they say, “You are just write valentine”

She sent them to two little girls in West Virgina. Yesterday my little one received her cards in the mail along with two heart shaped cookies. She loves to get mail so that made her day. This is one facebook group that we will be sticking with.
We won’t be doing too much to celebrate today. I got my little one a small box of chocolates and a giant pencil with hearts on it. I found a cute bread stamper that stamps the words I love you when the bread is toasted. I am going to try that out for breakfast. We will be checking on grandma and then spending three hours at gymnastics. Thursdays are always busy. I hope that everyone has a wonderful Valentines Day!


The fall season of gymnastics is over for the year so our life will be a little less hectic for a few months. Well less hectic with gymnastics anyways. Our weekends will not be taken up with meets. My little one is on the level three competitive team and they just competed in their championship meet last weekend.

It was the fourth meet away from the gym for the season and overall she had a great season. Where we live the level three gymnasts don’t receive actual scores for their routines, they are given a ribbon that represents a score within a certain range.
Green – Below 7.0
Blue – 7.0 to 7.475
Purple – 7.5 – 7.975
Hot Pink – 8.0 – 8.975
Rainbow -9.0 +

This season she received mostly rainbow and pink ribbons with only two purple ribbons on the bars.

The bars are her weakest event, she is working on her arm strength and hopefully her bar routine will improve. On the other hand she is great on the beam.

She received a rainbow ribbon all but one time on the balance beam. Her floor and vault vary, some meets she would get a pink ribbon and other meets she would get a rainbow one. A lot depended on if the judges were judging extra hard or not.

The girls don’t receive scores in an effort to keep the competition down. They don’t compete against each other but against their self. I like that idea but wish that they were given an actual score. My little one receives the highest ribbon on the beam most of the time so she feels like she doesn’t need to improve on any skills, but in reality she does. If she knew she scored a 9.1 she might work to get that score to a 9.5. On the other hand if she knew she was only .1 away from getting a rainbow on bars she might take her coaches corrections more seriously. Either way she had a lot of fun this season and did a great job.

She has a great coach who works with her very well. She is hard on her when she needs to be but doesn’t push to hard. My little one loves her coach, she has been working with her in some way for the last four and a half years.

She loves to compete, but this is my little ones favorite time at gymnastics. They are no longer practicing routines, but they are working on new skills. This is also the time of year that I won’t always stay at the gym and watch her. Having her home with me all of the time makes Christmas shopping a tad bit difficult so I have to grab every spare moment that I can. This year has gone by so fast. I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is next week. The good news is that my little one has the week off of school so we might be able to do a few fun crafts for the season. This will be the first year trying to make a corn free turkey dinner so wish me luck.

Life Lessons

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are very busy days for us. On those days my mom, my little one and I take care of my grandma. We do all of her shopping and running around, go through her mail, and basically take care of anything that is needed. My little one also has gymnastics for two hours each of those days. On those days we don’t get a lot of book work done, but learn a lot about life.
My grandma has the onset of alzheimers and is very forgetful. Being exposed to that I feel is a learning experience in its self. Learning to answer the same questions over and over, to help her find things that we found just a few minutes a go, and learning how to be helpful but not too helpful. That is one are we are working on. She likes to be too helpful and sometimes grandma gets upset with that. I feel she is also learning that family should take care of each other and that you can’t always put yourself first.
On another level she is learning a lot of school type things in our weekly adventures. When we go shopping she helps to compare prices between name brand and generic items. She helps to see if it is a better deal to buy the bigger or smaller quantities of merchandise. We work on rounding skills, and estimating. With the produce she has learned all about how to read the scales and how to pick good fruit. One day the manager of the produce department saw her weighing the apples and she read the scale wrong, so the lady helped her read it and explained what everything meant. Ever since that day she loves to weigh the produce.
As far as socialization, she talks to everyone. She has conversations at the store with the cashier and other employees. She talks to the waitresses at the restaurant we go to for lunch with my grandma. She talks to people so much that when we walk into the restaurant they all tell her hi. It kind of reminds me of Norm from Cheers. She pays the bill at lunch and figures out how much change we should get and has learned how to figure out what we should leave for a tip.

After we take care of grandma we head to gymnastics. On top of the physical benefits she learns many things here as well. She learns team work, respect, and dedication. She has learned to take turns, and how to get along with kids that are not exactly the friendliest. She has learned to get up when she falls and to cheer for her teammates even when they fail. There are countless lessons that she has learned at the gym.

We are in the car a lot going from place to place and when we are, my little one loves to play her Leapster. She has logic, math, and science games and loves them all. We also practice spelling words or multiplication facts as well. We have to do extra lessons throughout the week to ensure we stay on task, but I feel she learns a ton on our busy, on the go days.

Summer = More time in the Gym

Now that it is summer my little one will be spending more time in the gym. She has been doing gymnastics since she was two and loves it. She has been on the competition team for a year now and enjoys competing. Competitions are over until September and now they get to learn new skills and perfect some ones they have been working on. She will be at the gym 4 to 5 days a week for about 3 hours a day. Hopefully her arm strength will improve and she will have a lot of fun. With the extra classes she gets to be with more girls her age and I think she really enjoys that. Right now her goal is to move up to the next level before September, I don’t think that will happen but if she works extremely hard it could.

This is my little one in the blue. It was at the gym’s summer show.

The only downside to more practices is that I am away from home longer and have not been able to do all of the things around the house that I would like to. With my foot being hurt it makes it hard to do a lot at a time. Sitting in the gym can get boring day after day as well, but she likes us to watch. I couldn’t come home anyways being as the gym is about 40 mins from our house it would take way too much gas. Overall it is worth it, she gets some exercise and gets to do something she loves.

Corn Free



Now that I have a corn allergy, I have to be careful what I eat. Ignorance is bliss until that ignorance gets you into trouble.


I have been trying to live a corn free life for about a month now. I thought it would be fairly easy, until I realized a corn free diet means more than just no corn. I can’t eat anything made with corn syrup, corn sugar, corn meal, corn oil, or anything derived from corn. I never realized how may things contained corn. I also had no idea how many names there are for corn. I guess ignorance is bliss until your ignorance gets you in trouble. I am intolerant to corn not allergic, so for that I am lucky. I do have severe side effects when I eat corn but as of now it is nothing life threatening. I am learning new things each day and by no means am an expert. I plan on sharing my experiences but as everyone is different please don’t try something just because it was ok for me. If you have a problem with corn make sure to check the labels and use your best judgment. 

After realizing how many items I eat that contain corn I decided it was time to get a cookbook. I use to cook everything out of a box, but most of those boxed or canned things contain some type of corn. Days of Hamburger Helper and boxed cake mixes are long gone. So is jelly, pudding, jello, and numerous other products that I never thought had corn in them.

I purchased the Betty Crocker Cookbook at Walmart for a little under $20. I have not tried too many recipes yet but plan to try many in the future. 

So far I have tried the baked macaroni and cheese which turned out good, twice baked potatoes that were way better than anticipated, homemade croutons that were better than any I have bought in a store, and the glazed carrots. The recipe for glazed carrots called for orange zest and I didn’t have any so I just left it out. The carrots came out decently, but I think the orange zest would have made them better.
I also found this wonderful website that has a lot of recipes and tips for eating corn free. Tonight I made the banana bread and it turned out really well. I plan on trying more recipes soon.

There are a lot of foods that I am adjusting on my own too. It is a learning experience and I have lost a little weight because I can’t eat very may processed foods. It is getting easier, but will be a life long adjustment. Do you have any food allergies in your family?