Posted in Homeschool Life

New Video and Movie Day

I made a video today showing our homeschool spaces in our smaller home. Video below.

We have a few sick kiddos and dad is also coming down with something so I made some awesome soup (my soups never turn out that good, thanks Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat recipe!) and let the kids watch a couple of movies.

To balance it, we did have a longer Bible time, Bible memory time and read aloud time. We are finishing a Single Shard and getting ready for our book club meet on the 20th.

I also am reading myself a book that is so fascinating, I can’t put it down. I thought I could sneak away while they watched some movies from my childhood..but the second one totally sucked me in. They just don’t make movies like they did back then, these dreamworks films offer nothing of substance like the films of decade past.

First I let them watch The Indian In the Cupboard, who watched that as a child? That used to be one of my first favorite books.

The second was “In Search of Bobby Fisher” except for the smoking, it is a really clean, and awesome movie! I forgot about it and when I started watching I was planted on the couch. I put it on because the girls have been playing chess today too and more often during our summer break. I hope it inspired them to always have good sportsmanship, no matter what they play.

What are some of your favorite movies from your childhood?



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Things have been a little quiet here as you can tell.

Even though I am a school- year- round gal, I decided to try this whole summer off thing..and I like it!

I am enjoying..

-Sleeping in (Sorry Miracle Morning, but seriously I need to get back on that!)

-Letting the kids cook as much as they want.

-Lots of reading aloud.

-Lots of me reading by the pool, which is the most relaxing part of my day.


-Ocassional Playdates.

-Finally learning how to swim! Kind of..I’m getting there 🙂

If we could go back, we would have bought a house with a pool the first go around. This really makes all the difference during Phoenix summers. The kids have something to do, it gets them really tired for bed time (ha!), it’s also the best exercise for me and all of us really.

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The Perfect First Weekend

This was our first new weekend since my husband changed shifts. He now has Sunday, Monday, Tuesday off and it’s throwing us off a little bit but in a good way.

Sunday we were finally able to attend both morning and evening services all together again. In between services we had friends over which was nice.

Monday we had friends over again to BBQ and swim in the pool. I have really learned to relax and be easy going for hosting get together now. We prefer to keep it to just one family as opposed to previous groups of families. This is a smaller house and families are growing so for example us and another family is 11 kids already, ha! Also with one family both couples can talk together vs how it always ends up in a group with the women separating from the men the entire time.

I don’t plan for a bunch dishes and options.. One entree and one or two sides is enough for me now. A smaller house is also much easier to clean up, I am really enjoying that!

Tuesday we enjoyed our last day in the best way. We slept in, Joe grilled for both lunch and dinner and I scrubbed the pool and swam with the kids. We ate meals outside and did a few chores in between reading books. That has to be my favorite way to spend a day.

Also naps.. Naps are the best. I have the best little toddler who will put herself down for a nap if I tarry to do it.

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Life Lately

I dropped my phone at Ikea a couple weeks ago and it landed in such a perfect way, even with a case the glass shattered. I have a very poor track record with phones.. This did not help my case. Maybe I lasted 6 months with this phone but I told my husband not to worry about replacing it.. Little shards of glass going in my thumb when scrolling is a good deterrent to keep me off my phone.

However the glass has settled and I am used to looking at my phone through the spider web of cracks already.

Here are some photos to make up for the lack of photos the last few posts.

Finishing up our school year with being able to set up the first lady of our CC timeline.

Enjoying some new to us places in the area, these are very generous $3 kids meals!

Painted our Piano while Joe was out of town for 2 weeks.
Pleasantly surprised when I let the kids take over lunch duty.
Kids come up with lots of ideas with just boxes. Josh made a little city.
Enjoyed a fun homeschool field trip hosted by our church.

The girl’s 3 story dollhouse with more boxes.
Learned that my kids are capable of making breakfast without my help.
Learned that my kids want to and can help me out with all my DIY ideas and projects. We make a great team.

Discovered this awesome vintage furniture place and re-did our bedroom.

Started our summer reading program and hosting a summer read aloud club for our church ladies. I’m really looking forward to our first meeting.

After a year of Joe working Sunday’s, his boss finally changed his schedule which among many positives.. I can attend the ladies events between services. So very much enjoyed our post party pals appreciation party.
Inspired by a friend to work on different hairstyles for my girls than my usual half pony.
Enjoying toddler story time again with the second half of my kids now.

Enjoying Lego time at the library.

Congrats, you have scrolled to the very bottom of this long post! You made it 😁.

Posted in Family Life, Homeschool Life, Uncategorized

Our 2018 Summer Schedule

I have been a school year round gal. In the past I took off whenever I had a baby or when the weather was nice or simply when I felt I needed a break. I realized that it was a lot harder to start back up after a long break so I avoided them.

This year I am going to actually try to take a whole summer off and see how we do. I am admittedly nervous so I am still going to do a fun math curriculum twice a week at least.

I thought I would share with you how I put it together.

-First fill in the routine staples..3 meals and clean up.

-Add a Bible and memorization time, while you are already reading to them maybe add a story book.

-Add more reading before nap time and bed time.

-Add in a time or two for chores or a “reset” time to clean up messes from the day.

-You will see you have two main chunk open. One is the a.m before lunch and the other is p.m before dinner after nap time.

-Write down the 5 or 6 days of the week you want to be intentional in. Check out your local library schedules and regularly occurring events. Is there a reading time that works for you? Maybe the regular coding classes are of interest or the Lego club?

-Pick a few and schedule no more than 2 things a day, preferably one home based activity and one outside on. Make sure you still have lots of down time to be bored and come up with your own games and ideas.

Lastly be flexible and have fun!

Here is a copy of my schedule.

Rodriguez Summer Schedule

Morning Routine-

Get Ready/Dressed
Clean Room
Table Chores
House Chores
Bible Time
Bible Memory
Story Time


Lunch Time
Table Chores
Reading Time
Nap Time/Quiet Time

Snack Time
*PM Activity
Dinner Prep
Table Chores

Get Ready for Bed
Final Story Time

*****Monday- Life of Fred Math a.m –Minecraft Monday 3:30 p.m

Tuesday- Preschool Library Story Time 10.30am OR POGO Pass fun

Wednesday- Swimming and Relaxed Day a.m —p.m Church

Thursday- Life of Fred Math a.m- Coding Club at Library 4-5:00pm

Friday-10am Library Activity & Friday Family Fun Night

Saturday- Keepers at Home/Contenders of Faith Skill Badge Work

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When There Isn’t Enough Time

Today was a busy day. We are redoing our Master bedroom, new furniture and painting. It’s a smaller room, in a smaller house and we really wanted to make it our sanctuary. It has kept us a bit busy today and we kept delaying playing a game of chutes and ladders that my oldest, age 11 wanted to play with us. Finally after dinner I told her she could set it up. We tried to play but our sweet little toddler kept climbing on the table wanting to play. Then another kid wanted to join in, and another and it got chaotic quick. It just wasn’t working. I needed to get the kids down for bed since it was already past their bedtime and by 8pm I am admittedly not the best mom. As I told my daughter to pack the game up and we would try again tomorrow, she broke down sobbing. This is not like her and it broke my heart to pieces. I tried to console and her and reminded her of the things we recently bought her and how dad played the game with her a couple days before, and she was understanding. But I saw it.. She needed the time, today.

I kept reminding her how much I love her and appreciate her as I tucked them all into bed but I could tell she was still very sad. It weighed on me how much she helps out so much, and always willing to help. She is the first to say, can I help you mom? No matter the task like laundry or loading the dishwasher, she happily does it. She is such a wonderful daughter.

Joe finished painting and organizing the room. I folded two loads of clothes, cleaned the house, loaded the dirty dishes and by then it was pretty late. I asked Joe though if he would do something special with me and I filled him in on the plan. I know he was tired and ready for bed, but was on board.

I went back into the girls room and quietly woke Izzy up. I told her I had a surprise for her in the kitchen. I helped her climbed down the bunk bed and led her to the kitchen while she fully woke up.

Greeting her was her dad, with chutes and ladder set up and drinks with cookies.

I wish I could forever remember her face. I had no camera, no phone around.. Just us 3.

We played, we laughed, I won! 😁 Then we let her talk to us about whatever she wanted while she had both of our undivided full attention. We let her know as the oldest how much we appreciate everything she does and how much we love her.

She went back to bed with a full heart.

This might be the start of a new tradition with each kid.

Shortly after another child woke up in a bad coughing spell. They couldn’t get settled back in so I took them into the kitchen for some essential oils, doterra cough drop and spent some more one on one time with them before going back to bed.

I have very few memories of my childhood, but there is one I will never forget.

I woke up from a horrible nightmare, one I still remember of my brother being ran over by a car and I was so shook up. Everyone seemed to be asleep but I could hear noise from the kitchen and saw faint light. I got up and went to see what was going on. It felt like the middle of the night to me.. But could have been more like 10pm. My dad was cooking spam. He let me stay up, talked to me and served me some food. At that moment I was the only thing soaking up his attention. It was the most comforting, coolest thing ever in my small world. I never forgot it to this day.

Truly the best thing we can give to our kids is just time.. Sometimes there isn’t enough time in a day and so you have to get creative 😀.

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What I Learned About The Brain Today

One of the things I have added to our homeschool is Goldie Hawn’s program..Mind Up.

I also added Foundations from Classical Conversations and it matched up for Science we learned about the 3 parts of the nervous system, the main one being the Brain of course.

Using Mind Up, I taught the kids about our brains specifically. We learned how the prefrontal cortex is the orchestra leader and is what makes up process and think, the hippocampus is where our memories are stored and the amygdala is what helps us sense danger. This is where out flight, fright, freeze comes from.

To briefly summarize I taught them how the amygdala cuts off the rest of our brain when we sense danger so we can react quickly. This is a good thing, however sometimes this can be activated when there is not a real threat of danger. Maybe it’s a stressful situation, something overblown in our head and until we quiet it down, we cannot think clearly.

We talked about examples like when a kid might sense a monster in the room. The fear can be paralyzing but it’s not real. We must learn to shut the panic off to think clearly or logically. The best way to do that is with deep breaths. Throughout the day we do a lot of shallow breathing especially when hovering over a screen. Taking a deep breath is as powerful as anti anxiety medication because it releases dopamine. This is what I have read at least and I do believe that.

This is because breathing deeply releases endorphins in your brain. … The autonomic nervous system and dopamine are connected, so when you breath deeply, you activate the parasympathetic side of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn releases dopamine into your brain.Nov 1, 2017

How often is the advice given to calm ourselves down to take deep breaths. This is one quick way to quiet the amygdala to then use the rest of our brain.

Many times we tell our kids to use their brains, but we don’t explain how.

Reading Goldie’s book to parents, I am reminded to be present and mindful. So many of our parenting freak outs, overwhelming moments, can be helped with just mindfulness. I know I react poorly when my amygdala is set off in my home and how a few deep breaths could make a difference in my parenting.

This afternoon I started something called couch time. Where one by one I invite each kid to sit next to me and just look into their eyes, free of any distractions and let them just talk to me. I ask if there is anything they want to share or show me. Today Izzy showed me her art book one page at a time and I really delighted in her work and I could tell that made a difference. It was better than the usual, “Oh good job” as I swept or made a meal.

Elly talked to me about how she knew she wanted to stick it out with piano.

Josh told me how he doesn’t like it when his sisters wake him up early and Genny who overhead him, spent her time telling me how it was Joshua who woke them up. But we talked about a solution.

These are fast times we are living in. My goal is to be more mindful.

Americans are the second least happiest kids on the planet. They come right before UK kids for being the most unhappy. How can this be? Is it the screens? Wi-Fi? Overscheduled?Divorce?

I can work on the things I have control over and that is my brain and hopefully I can give my kids the tools to control theirs.