Feb 28, 2014

Adventures shares Falany Arts Center's "B.O.G.O." Deal

You have seen our recent adventures to the Falany Performing Arts Center, right?  Well, I am excited to share an upcoming event with you with a huge discount!   How does buy one adult ticket, get one FREE sound to the upcoming, Sunday, March 16, 2014, 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. performance of "Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop" sound?  If you call the box office at 770-720-9167, they can help you order those free tickets.  Cost: *Adults- $25, Seniors (55+) & Students- $20, Children (12 & younger)- $10

* Notice the price for adults?  If you order two, that works out to be only $12.50 per ticket. $45 for a family of four to stay local, support local, and not have to purchase souvenirs, candy, soda, and have to drive hours is a steal for a family-friendly wholesome experience.  This theater actually WANTS to see your children.  In some theaters, I feel as if my children are being watched to make sure they don't ruin the environment.  This is not the case at the Falany Performing Arts Center.  

*Admission price include a free sock puppet craft after the performance.  Imaginative play is so important and vital to our children.  It allows them to grow and develop so much of their brain that it would take pages upon pages to discuss the benefits.   Trust me- your kid needs a sock puppet.  

We have been to the Falany Performing Arts Center for a number of events this past few months and each time we leave, we wonder aloud, "How come we have been living in Cherokee County for twelve years and have missed out on this little gem?"  We take our family to performing arts productions year-round.  From writing about local high school productions, to our seven year-old actively building her acting resume with STARS Drama, our involvement in the theater runs deep.  Geoff and I have always said that the Fabulous Fox Theater will always be our favorite venue.  That was, until we found the Falany Performance Arts Center.  

What is the difference?  First, exposing your children to the arts is important, yet very costly if you do it as often as we like to.  The Falany Performance Arts Center is a fraction of the cost of the larger theaters, and provides the same quality you would find elsewhere.  The theater is immaculate.  I recently learned that the center is in its' thirteenth season, and I had assumed it was built a year or two ago.  The facility relies heavily on volunteers and literally a handful of paid employees.  Paid or not, those that serve there have an intense love of the arts, and sharing it with our families brings them great joy.  There is one volunteer who goes out of her way to see us after the shows to see how we enjoyed it.  She was not there after our last show and my children missed her.  (We missed you Venette!)  Traveling downtown and dealing with traffic, paying for parking, paying all those extra surcharges for teach ticket, and getting home super late takes away from the experience for our family.  The Falany Arts Center is located in Waleska, GA  on the Reinhard College campus.  (Takes us about fifteen minutes to get there from Canton, GA.)    We have sat in different areas of the theater and honestly, there isn't a bad seat! We are a short family and the kids have always brought in there car seats as boosters, and have never struggled to enjoy the shows.  (Cant' say the same for all the theaters we have been to.)  The center does not sell refreshments at this time, however, they have water fountains near the restrooms, and do not discourage eating or drinking in their lobby.  Water bottles in the auditorium have not been an issue either.  Being respectful and responsible is all that is assumed.

This performing arts center offers a wide array of genres for theater goers from children's programing to jazz concerts and everything in between.  The children's series is of particular interest for our "littles," however, their appreciation for everything they have seen has grown.  From a harpist to the story of "T'was the Night Before Christmas," we have enjoyed every visit.  

The Falany Arts Center would like to share the arts with you and your family.  Don't forget to mention the free ticket deal.  The "Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop" show is sure to bring a smile to the young, and the young-at-heart.  It is a multi-generational love that continues to grow.  

Mallory Lewis and Lamb Chop
Lamb Chop
Mallory Lewis, daughter of the late Shari Lewis, and Lamb Chop’s performance resonates with audiences from toddlers to seniors, who grew up watching Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop on TV. Mallory’s high energy is extremely well received; and, the nostalgic performance is filled with contemporary music, topical comedy and hilarious audience participation as well as vintage footage of Shari and Lamb Chop.  Mallory and Lamb Chop have received many awards, including the Award for Excellence by UNAMA, the International Puppeteers Association, and Kid’s First Falmer Vision Award.
Mallory and Lamb Chop’s performance is sure to bring back cherished memories.  Most of the adults can fondly and vividly recall their exact age when they watched Shari and Lamb Chop entertain them on TV; and, Mallory and Lamb Chop offer guests the opportunity to share those happy memories with their children and grand children.

For more information contact:
Falany Performing Arts Center
Box Office
Phone: 770-720-9167
Email: boxoffice@reinhardt.edu

Feb 27, 2014

Ahrens Academy purchases Curriculum for 2014-2015

Education decisions for any parent are stressful.  Is this the best setting?  The best curriculum?  Is my child learning?  Retaining?  Enjoying?  Growing with?   The list can go on and on.  After weeks of stressing (which translates into a ton of research and research on top of my research to the point where I generally begin hallucinating and confusing the many curriculum in my already jumbled brain.)  Aside- this might have been the cause to the 13 day-long migraine headache I clustered.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

So, I went The Homeschool Hangout in Alpharetta, Ga.  We met Geoff for lunch at the mall, then wandered around the corner to get my homeschool high.  I think I had an orgasm when I walked into the store.  They had classical music playing, and immediately, Chaz says, "Oh, classical music!"  Then he spied an ancient Egypt book, and that was it.  I was left with the owner of the store for an hour to discuss our needs.  Wow.  That man is amazing.  

First, I began homeschooling less than six months ago.  While it feels like a lifetime ago, I am still feeling out each and every instructional day.  Learning how each child learns best, figuring out motivational strategies for one child, and personally finding the happy medium in my own daily life have all been issues to consider.  For the most part, we have enjoyed the learning curve.  However, the hardest part for me has been curriculum.

Here's is a reply I sent to one of my earlier blog posts on homeschooling after someone commented on how she was glad that we had such a positive experience with our very first homeschool curriculum.

 "We used the program (Time4Learning) from September 2013- December 2013.  While both children were engaged, and seemed to be learning, the carry-over was poor and I was not disciplined enough to make sure that we were supplementing with practice to correlate to each lesson or subject.  After finding that we went through up to two grade levels in such a short time, and then I went to evaluate retention, I learned that we were not on target in that area.  At which point, I opted to go the next affordable route- complete curriculum type workbooks.  We have three of those, and have also moved very quickly through each one.  Nearly six months into our homeschool experience, I have placement tested each child and have decided on continuing the Orton-Gillingham style of learning for my currently second grade son for reading, writing, and spelling, and will be moving forward with the BJU curriculum for my seven year old daughter.  While she works at varying levels, the store that sold us our curriculum was able to not only piece together various grade levels as dictated by my daughter's needs, but was also able to find deep discounts based on used books available.

While I still think Time4learning is a great program, I think it takes a little more work than I was prepared for the reinforce each lesson.  The children did love it, and were sad when a cartoon would no longer be presenting daily lessons.

I had also used the program when my advanced daughter was home schooled for her pre-k program, and loved it then, as well.  Would still recommend for anyone considering.  I think the value is incomparable."

I walked in the Homeschool Hangout and looked this man in the eye and said, "I am lost.  Help me, please."  And after doing my research, and talking to the owner of the store, I decided on BJU curriculum.  Based on the needs of our family, this curriculum seemed to be the best fit.  I know very few homeschooling families, and even fewer that use a boxed curriculum.  I understand that each family is unique in why they homeschool, but BJU offered one of my children every aspect of education on her checklist, and most of everything necessary for the other child.  After all was said and done, tax and all, $402.71 for a complete curriculum for one child, and half the curriculum for the other child.  The only deviation to the complete curriculum was spelling. I ventured out to the "Wordly Wise"  workbook series.  Just so happens, I explained my philosophy of spelling, and the owner walked around the corner from where we were and returns with this workbook.  I was floored.  That was the program I had when I was in school!  *My philosophy on spelling is this- I don't want memorized spelling words each week to test on.  I want my children to be able to read and write based on understanding of certain rules in the English language.  Also, I like the idea of building on vocabulary.  Wordly Wise meets that criteria for my school of thought.  Just a personal preference.

While my son had an I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan) from the time he was in the three's program in preschool, he never had a plan that truly met his every need.  As a homeschooling mom, I have created what I feel will best nurture his personal learning environment needs.  Now, my daughter, working two grade levels ahead in reading, writing, and language arts, also has her own I.E.P.

I am currently having Shay spend thirty minutes a day on typing, about 15 minutes a day on cursive practice, and it takes about ten minutes a day to do math drills on xtramath.com.  She is also doing multiplication while we drive, eat meals, etc.  I was advised to literally dump as much information into my kids as possible, and some will stick and others won't.  Won't know until you share it with them.  Karen is so wise.  While she is an educator, that was the most brilliant tidbit of advise I have ever received.  That nugget makes the difference in my days.  While I feel unaccomplished some days, it is knowing that one day, it will click.  Shay is reading Anne of Green Gables right now.  While I doubt some of that context is comprehensible to her, she is enjoying the book, and that is all I care about.  

This is the price for everything you see on the table at home, in the picture above.  3rd grade science for both children, second grade social studies for both children, second grade math book for Shay, third grade math for Charlie, spelling for Shay, third grade reading/writing and language arts for Shay.  The workbooks are new, but many of the teacher/parent books are used, as is the literature books.  This is a Christian based curriculum, that I have chosen, but not only does it align with our family teachings, it aligns more closely to the education I want for my children.  The nice part is that when Charlie is up to level with Shay, I will only need to purchase workbooks for him to work out of and then can resell the other books when done.  

Fit neatly into this box.

This was the discernment phase at the store.  It was brain wrinkling work for me, but the owner was amazingly aware of what was what.  

The BJU handbook will only get you so far.  Being able to delve into each book was amazing and saved me on deciding which grade level we really needed for science and social studies.  

Incidentally, I met a mom at the YMCA Kids in Motion class yesterday.  She and I are really on the same paths, in personality, intensity, and desires for our family.  She is not homeschooling her children, but I can tell she feels a draw to it, yet seems overwhelmed with the idea of it.  I am here to say- homeschooling is not for everyone.  It is for everyone who has a desire to do it.  If you feel that tug, research, pray, meditate, and you will find that homeschooling is actually easier and can be less money than sending your children to public school.  After I paid for gas to go volunteer at the school a few days a week, all the teacher gifts, all the extras we had to send in for different events, fundraisers, etc., I am spending the same, if not LESS than what I was spending for two children to attend school and not get an individual education plan.  Plus, I have a smidgen more time to sleep, cuddle, get to know, and enjoy my family.

A day last forever while the years last only a moment.

PS  These two pictures were taken today.  Throughout the day, I text pictures of the migits to my hubby while at work.  Yes, we really do stay in pajama's- ALL.DAY.LONG.  Luckily, we leave the house each day so that we have an excuse to wear real clothes ;o)
We had to re-do some work.  She was excited to work at her brother's desk this afternoon.  It's the little things.  

This is Shay's handwriting sample from the day.  I expressed my concerns about her not connecting letters in cursive very well with the owner of the Homeschool Hangout.  He calmed my concerns.  She is seven.  It takes time.  Give it time.  

Feb 25, 2014

Adventures has a friend that is passionate about "THE" Passion

I am not sure why, but we got on the conversation of the movie, "The Passion of Christ."  Catholic or not, believer or not, it is a powerful movie.  How do I know, since I have never seen the movie?   I have been a Catholic for eleven years, come this Easter.  I am fully aware of what our Lord has done for each of us, on the cross.  That story was told before Mel Gibson got his hands on the movie rights.  However, one of my closest gal pals had it out for me while we were talking.  She insisted that I have to watch the movie.  HAVE TO.

Why?  Do I also have to hold a smokers lung to know the dangers of smoking?  Drink alcohol until I get drunk and then get ill from that so that I know that dangers of excess?   Smoke a whole cartoon of cigarettes until I vomit, just to learn some lesson from that?  Go to a third world country, or even around the corner and see a starving person to feel that pain?  Go to an animal shelter, circus, or a zoo to see the pain and suffering of animals at the hands of human choice?

Luckily, this person is in my life.  I have learned so much from her.  However, she does not realize that while sharing our faith, even amongst ourselves, is important, it is the life we lead that shares.  Not telling someone else how to live theirs'.  Our actions will speak louder than words, and our words will be silenced by our actions.

I explained that I know of the suffering that our Lord experiences each and every time I make a choice that is not out of love and how the Stations of the Cross is hard for me.  It is a graphic story, and one that while important, not one that I can handle emotionally in my spiritual journey, at this time.  But she insisted.  She wouldn't let up.  She asked again, "Why?"  I couldn't find the words.  (Shocker.  I know. Say nothing.)  I explained that it was "jarring."  It was more than I could handle.  Luckily, I diverted the conversation to other things, and we were talking long enough to come full circle.

The conversation comes to demons, and possession, and the movie with the split pea soup.  (Can't think of the name, but you all know what I am talking about.)  And while we are at it, these conversations are enough to make my skin crawl.  She then says, "Talk about jarring.  I can't watch that sort of movie."  Hmm.  Interesting.  While she believes in this concept, she just can't handle it.

This Lenten season, my prayer is to grow deeper in my young faith with my Lord.  To love as He does, do accept as He does, and to share His life as He did.   His actions will live much longer than His words.  I don't need to see it on a screen.  I see it everyday when I see suffering.  I see it everyday when I see my children's faces.  I see it in a sunset.  I see it in a violent, devastating natural disaster.  I know what his eternal love looks like.

Feb 19, 2014

Adventures on "Monkey See, Monkey Do"

When my seven year old daughter was only two years old, she took her napkin from the table and opened it up and placed it on her nap as she began her meal.  I looked at her in awe, and asked her why she did that.  She told me she saw me do it.  Well, duh…  Lesson learned.

It took my by surprise when my son starts telling me that he was cutting his waffles like daddy does it.  He put one waffle on top of the other, began cutting, then poured his syrup before depositing his knife in the sink and sat down to eat.  (I pour syrup, then eat as I cut.  We are so different.)  While there was absolutely nothing wrong with that process, it just showed me again how our children learn from us.

That is sometimes a good thing, and often times, not so great.  Like, when my seven year old daughter has to verbally reprimand her eight year old brother for not listening to her the first time she told him to do something.  (Gets really hard to hear a seven year old use the same words as fly out of my mouth on a regular basis.)

While I appreciated the reminder this morning, I bet all of us parents, or parents-to-be, could use the reminder as well.   Go out of your way to embrace yourself, laugh at yourself, and value yourself.  Not just because little eyes are watching your every word, but they are mimicking your actions as well.

To the MANY parents-to-be out there right now- getting past diapers, sleepless nights, bedtime routines, etc., are all the easy stuff.  It's the preparing them for life and making them healthy, happy, adjusted individuals that is the tough stuff.  If you don't question yourself- you are doing it wrong.

Feb 15, 2014

Hardcore or Sugar Coater- Which one are you?

When Shay started getting into the acting bit last summer, I made her cry.  I was laughing, but technically, at her, since she wasn't laughing too.  See, I tried to have her prepare a little song in case she needed it for the audition.  She sang, and it was T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E! I thought she was kidding.  I swear, it made my ears hurt to listen to it.  I have a horrible voice, and even that, I tried to have her match my pitch and she just couldn't do it.  I felt so bad for her.  She thought she sounded great.  I was doing her hair, and I saw a tear roll down her cheek as I laughed.  I quickly told her that I thought she was laughing with me, and honestly, I never meant to laugh AT her.  I explained that I am terrible at other things, and I laugh at myself for my lack of ability.  However, I figured that with enough drive, she could do anything she put her mind to.

I hooked her up with her G-d Mother, Aunt Rachel, and within a few minutes in a bathroom, she learned how to draw out her vowels and how to breath, and began to sing without the use of her nose.  She could definitely benefit from more lessons, hint hint my dear Rache', however, she has this love of singing and nowadays, I ask her to sing for me, as her voice makes my day better.  The joy she shares makes me warm inside.

Today, while I was an hour late and a dollar short for her acting class, we decided to stop in as the class was dismissing since Shay worked all week on a little heart felt gift for her acting coach.  Ms. Tisha always remembers each of the children's birthdays, even my sons- and he isn't even in her classes!  Shay was so eager to make a little card and craft gift, so there was no way I would have thought to take that gifting opportunity away from her.  Shay gives her gift to Ms. Tisha, and then Ms. Tisha comments that Shay's "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" rendition was missed in class, and that she should keep working on her songs this week.  I jumped in to brag on Shay, as she is way too humble.  Shay actually practices her songs and lines (if she has any) each and every day.  She is incredibly self motivated, and while she is amazing at memorizing lines and songs, she has a long way to go before she takes on larger roles.

Ms. Tisha said something to the effect, "You are getting ready for a lead part, huh?"  I quickly nixed that.  I want Shay to have opportunities, but not before mastering the craft, the art, in due time.  She is seven, and while I love that she is so passionate about the theater, she has soooooo far to go in her acting development.  We were driving home, and I turned the radio off.  I wanted Shay to know that I believe in her, but I also recognize her limits and believe that with hard work, her limits are as near or far as she allows them to be.  As a mom, being loving and honest at the same time are a challenge. A dance between spirit crushing and motivational  is not my forte', but I think I nailed this one.

I have spent years applauding every single minute detail in her brother's life.  And now, dude expects a full on ticker tape parade if he flushed the toilet without me reminding him.  If he washes his hands, and USES the soap, I believe he will be awaiting his Disney World tickets.  I have stopped all that in recent times, but it took eight years of screwing up before I realized that I can love my children honestly, and they will trust me when I say, "Good job."  I told Shay that I was proud of her for trying.  I am proudest of her failures when she gave it her all, stepped out of her comfort zone, or does something for herself.  I refuse to offer false hope to her, or any child.  I play to win, and have seen her learn more in an hour of losing tic-tac-toe than in a game that I gave away.

I don't want my children to grow up and say that I made it too easy for them.  I hope to one day release two individuals into the world that will be better equipped to handle life for the child hood they were given.  I'm sure that the term "tiger-mom" comes to mind, but it's not like that.  I push.  I am honest.  I am fair.  But above all- I am loving.  And I lovingly guide my children to realistic goals and pray that I stay far from crushing spirits as I give them flight.

PS  If you ever see her, ask her to sing you EVERY verse of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."  I bet you had never heard more than half of the verses!  And if you are her Aunt Rachel, you might want to spend some extra time with your aptly named G-d daughter in a bathroom in the near future.  ;o)

Feb 3, 2014

Adventures Shares Oil Pulling

I know I will regret this, but I am exhausted and just wanted to publish this post tonight.  If you don't know what oil pulling is- look it up, and then come back to read my daily account of how I began.  Essentially, it is an ancient practice of putting the highest quality of vegetable oil in your mouth and slowly swishing it around for up to twenty minutes for the maximum health benefits derived from using this as a full body detox process as well as an oral hygiene boost.  The benefits I have read about range from helping diabetes to skin disorders, and most everything in between.  I posted to Facebook that I was considering it and out of the few that have done it, only one said she couldn't do it due to vomiting.  I am here to say that I learned of this practice one two years ago, and the thought of putting oil in my mouth freaked me out so badly, I had to wait until now to get the nerve up to do it.  And, I did vomit the first time.  Persistence paid off, and I have not had any issues since that day.

Let's do this backwards… I will tell you that I don't know what day I am on, but today is 2/3/14, and I am oil pulling both morning and night, just under a full tablespoon, and for twenty minutes each time.  I love it!  I actually look forward to it now.  (I am not even kidding.)  I have my routine, and honestly don't know if there are any changes happening, however, I love the fact that I have a full twenty minutes to guiltlessly play on the computer or smart phone.  I actually love the taste, and would be willing to video it, but don't think it's necessary.  If you want one, request it, and I will add it.  Below you will see the good, the bad and the ugly of how I got started, just under two weeks ago.  I read through a little of it, and at this point, the night time pull does not keep me up, and I have not had any side effects.  My mother continued, and she is doing it close to a week now.  She only does mornings, and has reached the twenty minute mark a few times.  She has some serious congestion issues during her pull, therefore, she has had to stop a few times with that.  I can only assume that is part of the pull experience- to release that congestion that plagues her.  The reason she continues she says is the feeling she has on her teeth all day long.  If she manages only ten minutes a day, at least she can reap the benefit of the dental side, if not the full on detox properties of this exercise.

1/24/14 Day one- After dinner, one full tablespoon of coconut oil, five minutes.  Gagged and vomited a little.  (They all warned me to do it on an empty stomach.)  I was just so anxious to experience it, that I did it as soon as we got it that night.

1/25/14 Day two- woke up in preparation to do it, and decided to use less than a full tablespoon and do only commit to five minutes.  Done.  No problem.

After my nightly shower, I was anxious to try again.  I did it for fourteen minutes, and again, didn't use a full tablespoon, and had no naseau or problems.  Could have gone longer, but Geoff was asking questions about the coconut oil and tea tree oil concoction I had made for the bottom of his feet for after the shower.  (I will do a post on that and the essential oils once we have some more time with it.)

The hardest part for me is actually putting the oil in my mouth and then again at the end when I have to spit it out into the garbage can.

I have to swish with water immediately after spitting it out as the oily texture is enough to make me want to rake the inside of my mouth with a horse hair brush.  Tonight, I brushed and flossed first, and then did the oil pull.  After, I brushed but didn't use any toothpaste.

Also, interesting to note the the coconut flavor is only present for about 2 minutes, then it is gone.  I happen to love coconut.  If you don't love coconut or the oily texture, you are so not going to be able to do this.  I have looked around and not seen where I can actually use my peppermint essential oil drops in the mixture.  That bummed me out.  I will continue to research that.

1/26/14 Day three- Woke up, used slightly less than a full tablespoon, and no problem.  Lasted 18 minutes.  The coconut flavor intensified at the end.  Generally, I don't taste that flavor at all.  It was actually really good tasting at the end, but my jaw was sore, so I spit.

After lunch….thought I should give it a go again, since I am having some tooth sensitivity, and was wondering if it is psychosomatic to have tooth pain or if I am really dealing with a tooth that is about to rot out of my mouth.  (I doubt the latter, but each time I oil pull, I feel like I am getting more comfortable with it.)  However, this time, my mouth is crazy sore from doing it so much.  Might skip the night one, but this time, I am hoping to get through a full twenty minutes.  I am using less than a full tablespoon, and don't foresee increasing it since by the end of the time, once all my saliva builds up, it a mouthful.

I am most impressed that I have truly not had to deal with any other unpleasant side effects besides a sore mouth and this tooth pain that is not so much pain but I think a sensitivity.  Only time will tell.  I am blogging each of the entries as I am doing it or just after, that way you get a realistic sense for my experience.  My golden nugget incentive is the fact that I spent a mere $42, and am hoping that I can go get my teeth cleaned this summer, after about 4 or five years without one, and get a stellar report.

Ahh.. it's still day three, after ten at night, and I am really WANTING to oil pull!  However, I am sorta' freaked out by what I read from some other people who oil pulled and had some weirdo type of side effects.  I have never had these side effects, but will continue with the once a day routine and then move on to night time pulling once I have been doing this long enough to know that I have passed any possible side effects.

1/27/14 Day four-  I did it! I made it a full 20 minutes.  However, this time, I have some reporting to do.  This is the second time that near the end I had this flavor burst of coconut.  That was again, very enjoyable.  However, by the fifteen minute mark, I had this sensation of a ball of mucus in the back of my throat, and I had felt that once or twice before and ignored it.  This time, I am done with the pull and brushing afterwards, and I have this urge to get it out, but can't.  Maybe my morning coffee will do that.  (I know, so counter-productive.  I make decaf and use vanilla almond milk, and no sugar.  As not bad for you as you can get.)  I read some side effects people had that included this "wanna-hock-a-loogie" sensation or worse- vomiting mucus.  So, we will wait and see what adventure this provides in the future.

And to the person who said you need to use two tablespoons- you my friend, are on crack.  There is no way that after twenty minutes that I could have more than one tablespoon of the oil in my mouth since the saliva builds up and by the end, it is hard to corral it all in one little mouth.

As for my health, maybe it's premature, but I have yet to feel or see a difference.   Yesterday I found a clever way to liquify the oil, pre-pull.  I use a hair dryer on it.  By this morning, it was squirting all over the place and that made for extra clean up for the first two minutes of the o.p..  (o.p.= oil pull)

Night time- decided to do an oil pull after the YMCA tonight.  We came home, and I was in a foul mode about finding out that the migits aren't allowed to walk the track with us anymore ;o(  Have to wait until they are nine years old.  Bummer.  Anyway, I lost big time in my nightly ping pong game with Geoff, and then came home and binge ate.  So, while I showered, I did an o.p.  Lasted 14 minutes because my mouth got too full.  I am not sure, but I think spitting out and starting with fresh oil would be the best option to finish the full twenty minutes in the future.  I was just in need of getting on to dressing and saying prayers with migits at bedtime, so I just stopped, swished with club soda, and then brushed and flossed.  I even used my night time mouth rinse- Breath Rx.  Who knows what I am doing at this point.

1/28/14 Day five- okay, about 15 inutes into this pull, and honestly, I have a TON of mucus accumulating in my throat this entire pull.  might actually becoming very effective.  Who knows?  However, I would have to say that the amount of liquid in my mouth is overwhelming and I will stick this one out, but net time, I will spit out and start again with more oil t finish the time.  Not sure if that will have negative consequences or not.  I was eating incredibly well for a few weeks, and the last few days I have been binge eating a ton of junk.  Emotionally feeling terrible, however, I lost 2 pounds in last three days so not sure what the heck that is all about.  Now my nose is starting to run!  The mucus factor is rough.

Okay, just spit.  And last night I started rinsing after my oil pull with club soda and then brushing.  I couldn't bring myself to use salt water.  Never been able to stomach that taste in my mouth.  Must have had some freak accident at a beach once.  (I really can't stand the beach, the wind screwing with my hair and that salty sea air that everyone misses.  blech.   I also have started spraying my toothbrush, a Sonicare, with my homemade cleaner, after each brushing with a pull.  This is the same cleaner I clean my house with- half vinegar, half original Dawn (dishwashing detergent) and I throw in some water to cut the bubbling effect.  I have been doing that to migits and my toothbrush about once a week since I started making the cleaner.  (Maybe a year or so.)  Those Sonicare toothbrush heads are expensive to replace, and don't need replacing all that often.  (I do it every three to four months.)

Pulled last night and was exhausted.  After the pull, I had "awake" energy.  Geoff and I found a hilarious, hour-long compilation of funny game show answers on Youtube.com.  We used our Google Chromecast and and watched on the television.  Was fun, but I do notice this alert, wake up feeling from pulling.

Day five, night time pull after dinner… Well, how's about a guest post from another newbie oil puller?  My mom is spending the night in this snow storm and I invited her to try a pull.  She did it for ten minutes, and it seemed effortless for her.  Here's her experience….

Adventure's Mom says-

I started out skeptical about the whole thing.   I was thinking that I couldn't keep something in my mouth for any length of time.  However, the experience was quite easy after I started to relax.  The only problem I had, was that too much saliva filled my mouth and I had to stop.  I now realize that I can spit out a little bit when my mouth becomes too full and keep on pulling.

Thanks MOM!  Ten minutes for a new puller seems impressive to me.  She also used under a full tablespoon, as I suggested.  I might up the amount for myself to the full tablespoon in the morning, and then just end up spitting out and restarting.  Wonder if that will have an effect on en results?

We ended up pulling at the same time, and around the time she came in to spit, was drying off after my shower.  I was struggling with my amount at that time, and ended up spitting about four times to try to clear some of the volume to continue.  I am not sure if I should have just spit it all and started with a fresh batch at some point, but have read that people do both.  I think next time I will start fresh at the ten minute mark if it starts to get too cumbersome.  Also, any time it gets so full, that's when I struggle, and then, I generally just stop swishing/pulling, and that feeling goes away and can restart.

1/29/14 Day six- It's not even six n the morning yet, and I have only had a few hours of sleep.  First, I have had a headache since last night  Went to bed very late with it in the early hours this morning, and now up because head so bad I need my miracle concoction of Advil and Sudafed.  So, decided to O.P. before taking anything.  Too closer to a whole tablespoon, if not a whole tablespoon and will attempt to spit whole amount out and restart when it gets too full in my mouth. So far, no major oral changes other that I do this pull each day, mostly twice a day, and after each pull I now swish and spit with club soda a few times and then hot water, then brush, floss (floss nightly, not in the morning)  and spray my toothbrush with cleaner since I assume that there are a ton of toxins left on the brush head from the pull I did before the brushing.  I also continued with my nightly Breath Rx mouth wash treatment.  That is an antimocrobial wash that does not have alcohol in it, and contrary to the name, it is sold over the counter, and has a really nice mint flavor.
My daily routine now… I use a glass jar that I either hold a hair dryer to or place in front of a space heater in the bathroom to melt down the oil.  A hot water bath was my initial thought but it takes longer and I don't think my expedient method is causing any harm to the oil.  Disclaimer-- I could be wrong.  I am not a professional.  But wouldn't "professional oil melter" look so good on a resume?  PS  I also use classic Crest toothpaste.  Other sites say no toothpaste necessary.  It's for my own piece of mind

I think I am switching back to once a day though.  First, the coconut oil wakes me up.  Too much for night time.  Second, it is time consuming, and night time is special in the house for bonding.  (No- not that kind of bonding.)  Essentially, kids spend a ton of time with us once Geoff gets home, and to pull myself away from that is counter productive to a healthy lifestyle.

Here's the one major coincidence, if you will, to all this.  I have lost weight since O.P.'ing.  Like, a couple of pounds, and actually haven't worked outing a day, and didn't eat very healthy half the time I have been doing it.  (I fell off my wagon… going back on.)

1/31/14 Day 8- I have been O.P.'ing for a full week now, and as of this morning, I pulled a full 20 minutes and didn't spit, didn't gag, and the time just flew by.  I am surprised that I love it so much.  I mean, I actually enjoy taking my laptop and having an excuse to hole up in the bathroom, and just veg. Honestly, I love the taste, and my general routine is to O.P. twice a day.  In the winter, I only shower once a day- night time.  So, that time is my O.P. time, unless I shower too close to dinner.  (Since we usually head to workout after dinner, it helps to space my eating/pulling time.)  Rare snow fall this past week disrupted my normal routine, but I assume I will continue with the twice a day since I do have endocrine and dental issues I am trying to resolve.

The congestion build up I mentioned on an earlier update in the post has resolved, and I have yet to have any issues/side effects/or concerns about this practice.  IF this is totally harmless, why not?

An aside- My mom has done the pulling now for three days.  She took to it very well.  I don't know if she will continue, but she says she is headed to Trader Joe's for a 12 oz. jar of coconut oil.  She just told me that in the few days of pulling, she has notices that her teeth feel fresh brushed (no film) all day long, and she noticed some discoloration resolved from some of her teeth.

I would love to hear if you have done it.  On Facebook, there was a fun little discussion about it right before I started.  Good, bad, or ugly, share your experience in the comment section.

Addendum- February 17, 2014

Had to revisit this post to update.  Doing twice a day, love my experience, however, honestly can't tell if it is doing any good.  If not doing harm, why not continue?  I really enjoy the idea of it doing good, and that alone is enough to keep me going.  It is virtually effortless to do, so a swishing I shall continue on!  Will update if any changes or if I see a dentist.  Shooting for summer 2014 for a dental cleaning and full x-ray set.  We shall see!

Adventures plans a camping trip in the distant future.

I ran into a neighborhood/former school acquaintances, and was talking about my choice to pull BOTH of the migits out of the public school last September to homeschool them.  And when I said it out loud, we both shrieked back.  "Well, they really are codependent on each other, and if he was not going to school with her, she would be lost and vice/versa here for him at home."  Did I really admit that? Yes I did.  And she quickly shot back with, "Well, at some point you will have to stop that.  He will have to learn to be on his own."  Well, I agree.  And then, today, I realized, he will never be alone.

We were on our way to the YMCA, and we see a "fifth wheel" being pulled by a truck.  (The term for a camper that attaches to a truck and you can sleep/dine/stay in while camping.) We ooh'ed and ahh'ed, and then Chaz asked how much it cost.  I told him that it costs about as much as Daddy makes in two years time at work.  (It was a guess.  I don't have a clue.)  He said, "Okay.  I will save up, and then I will take my kids and Shay and her kids camping in it.  We will have fun."  And Shay was so excited that she started planning the sleeping arrangements for the weekend away.

When Charlie had to leave for his make up gymnastics class on Saturday, he came down after saying good bye to Shay, and on his way out he told me that Shay was sad.  I went upstairs, and yes, she was sitting in my bedroom looking out and waving to Geoff and Charlie as they pulled out of the drive way.  I asked what was the matter, and she told me that she was going to miss Charlie.  I reminded her that her acting class was starting soon, and we would be leaving within fifteen minutes.  She was still lost without him.

My heart.  It grows bigger the more they share a love of each other.  And as a mom, even if my son is not reading, speaking, or even behaving the way I would like at his age, I know he has the love I would have hoped to have instilled in him by this point.  These two siblings make my heart soar when I see her fix his hair, or him ask for a treat and grab an extra for her for her to enjoy alongside him.  

As a parent, it is our responsibility to teach and share our love.  This has nothing to do with religion.  It is our job to show boundaries, respect, and living within our means to find happiness.  Gluttony will never reap long term happiness, and I hope that one day, those around me that are so unhappy will find happiness in the love they give and allow themselves to receive.

*P.S.  I will not be riding along for the future camping trip my migits have planned with my unborn grandchildren.  I do not "go camping."  Camping for me involves a hotel, and even that is a stretch.  (In the past ten years, I have slept in a hotel room less then 10 times!)