First day of our Forest Kids Nature Study Program

As a homeschool mom, I want to make sure that I incorporate nature study into our weeks because I believe it’s supremely important to get kids connected with nature. Luckily for us, we have met several other families in the area that are interested in participating in a weekly nature/outdoor program, so that was the start of TC Forest Kids.

Today was our first meet-up and it was a great success! This is a project that makes my heart happy. You see, I literally feel that it is my calling to help expose the children in our community to the different aspects of nature. I feel, that at the very least, I have to do this by first working with our local homeschool community. Like they say “If you want to enact change, start where you are”. And so our Forest Kids adventure begins.¬†Here’s a little peak at what our first day looked like…

At first, we got a little bit of rain, so the kids played in the playground or close to the gazebo where we took shelter.

Once the rain passed, we headed off to the trail to begin our hike and scavenger hunt. Our group has several families with children of varying ages (my family included). Because of this, some of our moms were carrying/wearing their little’s while hiking. In my opinion, baby/child wearing is the best way to go. I have done some trails with the stroller and it works, but wearing the little’s in a carrier or sling, is less hectic.

As we followed the trail, the kids came across a dead tree stump and they took turns pretending to be captains of a ship.

They climbed on a slanted palm tree.

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And to our surprise, we spotted an owl (sorry for blurry pictures). The kids made noises as if they were talking to the owl and the owl “whood” back! It was almost like he was letting us know that he was glad we came to visit ūüôā

Parents and kids did a wonderful job at working together to find all the items listed on the scavenger hunt. I think the only item that we didn’t find was the animal tracks, but we got to see an owl. I say that counts and more!

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He found “something prickly” ūüôā

Some of the kids even found painted rocks left by people in our community that paint and hide rocks to bring happiness to others. This counted as “something to treasure” in our list.

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They found “something to treasure”

Once the scavenger hunt/hike was over, we met back at the gazebo for lunch and rest.

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I feel extremely blessed to have found other families that love the outdoors as much as we do. What’s even more wonderful is that these meet-ups not only benefit the children, but they also help bond different families together. As the weeks progress, our kids will get to know each other and will form beautiful friendships.

As a parent, I’m also grateful for the friendships that I am making thanks to our group. Lord knows that homeschooling can be lonely and tough at times. But when you find your tribe, it makes all the difference in the world.

If you homeschool and live on the Treasure Coast, we welcome you to join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TCForestKids/.

And to everyone that joined us today, I say a BIG thank you! This truly is a dream come true.¬†See ya’ll next week!

Michelle

Find us on Facebook:

For Florida Treasure Coast residents- https://www.facebook.com/groups/TCForestKids/

For all Homeschoolers – https://www.facebook.com/groups/HomeschoolingThroughtheEarlyYears/

 

Joining Young Living

Guess who started an exciting new venture? You got it! This girl right here!

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For some time, I’ve been looking for avenues to earn a living while still homeschooling the girls and being a stay at home mom. After eyeing several companies, I decided to go with Young Living. In this post I explain some of the reasons why.

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As you guys know, I love essential oils. I literally collect them and make tons of household and beauty products with them. Over the years, I’ve collected and used oils of different brands, but I never got around to ordering oils from Young Living. I’ve always heard wonderful reviews about them from family and friends, so I decided to finally check them out.

Doing the Research

I pretty much went to their website and did some research on the company and the way they process their oils. What impressed me the most was the Seed to Seal promise. To read more about the Seed to Seal promise, click here.

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They are not just selling their products, they also educate their customers and distributors on how to safely use them for everything from aromatherapy, household, beauty and overall wellness. I can already imagine me replacing every single toxic cleaning and hygiene product in my home with wholesome Young Living products.

The best part is that these products are versatile. My brain is going on and on about the home-made products that I can make with them. Take this kitchen cleaner recipe, for example:

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Or this oil recipe to unwind at the end of a hectic day…

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The YL Vitality line of oils is safe for internal use and consumption. See this delicious guacamole recipe made with Lime Vitality essential oil.

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Stress Away smells so good! I have diffused it every day since I got it in the mail.

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Who needs expensive and toxic face creams when you can make this wholesome serum.

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Affordable Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils

Not only are YL oils labeled as Therapeutic Grade, they are also affordable. See the image below for a list of oils in the $5.00 – $20.00 range (wholesale prices):

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To order please email me at earthmothershealing@gmail.com or click here.

I also liked that Young Living is not a multi level marketing company. Their model is a networking model designed to help members achieve abundance. Read more about it here.

Benefits of the Young Living Membership

What are the benefits of a Young Living membership? The best way to get more bang for your buck, is to just become a member so that you can buy the products at wholesale prices instead of retail prices.

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As a Young Living member, you get 24% off retail pricing on products, you get to earn free product by participating in the Essential Rewards program and if you are interested in the business side of it, you can participate in the compensation plan and earn commission just by sharing Young Living.

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To sign up as a Young Living member click here and follow the easy process.
**My Sponsor and Enroller number are already assigned.

Essential Rewards Program

The Essential Rewards program IS AWESOME!!! When you purchase qualifying products as a YL member, you get points back to redeem in free products. What? Yes you read that right! To sweeten the deal even more, they give you free gifts for every 3 consecutive months that you are enrolled in the program in the first year. There is so much free product that you can earn with this program! Read more about it here.

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Getting Enrolled

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So I did it! Last week, I became a member of Young Living by ordering my Premium Starter Kit. I found the sign up process to be simple and intuitive. It was right on their website, just enter your information in the boxes provided and done.

 

Premium Starter Kit

Now lets talk about the Premium Starter Kit. Truly, the way they have packaged this kits is so pretty. Watch my slide below.

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There are several options that you can chose from to get the kit that most benefit your needs. I selected the Premium Starter Kit with the Home diffuser. For $160.00 (not including tax and shipping), I got all of these items in the Premium Starter Kit (PSK):

  • 2016 Product Guide
  • Home Diffuser (my choice)
  • 11 5ml bottles of essential oils from the Everyday Oils Collection
    • Lemon Vitality
    • Copaiba Vitality
    • Digize Vitality
    • Thieves Vitality
    • Peppermint Vitality
    • Panaway
    • R.C.
    • Purification
    • Frankincense
    • Lavender
  • 1 5ml Bottle of Stress Away Essential oil
  • 2 Ningxia Red Single Samples
  • 1 AromaGlide (roll-on)
  • 10 Essential Oil Sample Packets
  • 10 Sample oil bottles
  • 10 Business Cards

See the image below to see the breakdown and why this kit is the best choice.

Truly, this is the best way to go to try an assortment of Young Living products; and that’s what I wanted. I wanted to be introduced to Young Living the right way. I am always finding new ways to bring wellness and balance into my home and essential oils are certainly a big part of that. I’ve started on a journey to discover the different Young Living lines of product.

Can I introduce you to Young Living?

Now that I am a member, I can introduce you and others to Young Living. I have big dreams for my future with Young Living and I would love for you to join my team. I started a Facebook group called Young Living – Earth Mothers, to help my team grow in this business. If you would like to order Young Living products or join my Young Living team, I would love to be the one to introduce you to these amazing products and help mentor you so that you can achieve your personal dreams.

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Many Blessings,

Michelle

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12 Facts About Me

 

Here are 12 facts about me:

  1. I love nature. I am not held back by the Florida heat. Having been raised in Puerto Rico, where the sun is hot and the days are beautiful, I got used to being outdoors and enjoying the day. I like going on hikes, learning about the medicinal value of plants, gardening and camping with my family.
  2. I’ve been told many times that when people first meet me, their initial perception is that I am either stuck up or not interested in them. I am an introvert. INTJ to be exact. I am a thinker and always lost in the wanderings of my mind. I love meeting new people and making friends, but I am quiet and a bit shy at first. The good news is that these very same people, didn’t let my shyness or social awkwardness stop them from getting to know me. And I am so thankful. Had they not made the first step, I don’t know that I would’ve been brave enough to initiate conversation and develop these amazing friendships. They lovingly reached out and pleasantly¬†discovered a very good friend in me. I am very sweet and caring and once I open my heart to you, you will be there for ever.
  3. Food is my love. Fish Ceviche is one of my favorite dishes- EVER. I remember eating octopus ceviche as a child in Puerto Rico and it is a treasured memory in my heart. I later found that most countries have some kind of version of this dish. Some use vinegar as the base sauce and others use lemon. If you don’t know about ceviche, I urge you to try it. It is delicious. You won’t regret it.
  4. I believe in Astrology. Determining my sun sign is tricky because on some horoscopes I am Cancer and on others, I am Leo. I have heard of “being born in the cusp of 2 signs” and that’s pretty much where I land. I am Cancer/Leo. Moon child/ Sun child. According to Astrology, this means that I am ruled by the moon and my emotions run deep. I am very affectionate and nurturing with those close to me and I hide away in my crabby protective shell when hurt. Creating a loving home for our family is very important to me and its a very common Cancerian trait. I also have some Leo traits, but I’m still learning about that side of me.
  5. I love to read and I love books! I have a good variety of books here at home. I think there is something special about holding a book in your hands and turning the pages. I still prefer it over my Kindle. The smell of an old book is just magical to me.
  6. Surgeries. I had my first surgery this year. Gallbladder removal. I started having gallbladder attacks during my last pregnancy and it was horrible.¬†Have you experienced gallbladder attacks? They are so painful. I researched ways to heal this the natural route, but I was not successful. Don’t judge me ūüôā
  7.  I prefer natural waters over pools. Oceans, rivers, lakes, springs. Not a fan of chlorinated water.
  8. Sports. When I was a teenager, I used to boogie board and even won 2nd place in a surfing contest. Now that I’m a mom, I am terrified of being eaten by a shark lol… so I don’t get out there much. I also played volleyball up until I graduated from high school.
  9. I have a creative side. I like to write poems, paint, make crafts, dance and sing. I am learning about professional photography with my daughter; although, capturing special moments is something that I have always naturally done.
  10. I love animals. Currently we have 2 dogs, 6 chickens 2 hamsters and one mouse. We also love and care for the countless little critters and birds that come into our yard.
  11. I dream of living in the middle of a forest, with lots of animals, a beautiful garden and a tiny house next to a big river. With our many obligations and big family, it doesn’t seem do-able,¬†but I can dream none-the-less.
  12. I would love to travel the world and try foods from every country. Andrew Simmern, if you ever need a show assistant, I’m in!

Well there they are! 12 fun facts about me. Do we have anything in common? Tell me some facts about you in the comments below. I would love to get to know you!

Our Homeschooling Journey

Homeschooling has been a transformative journey.

When I was working a full time job, I used to wake up and rush through my mornings trying to get everyone dressed and off to school. The girls and I would spend an average of 10 hours apart every day, while they were at school and I was at work. When I got off from work, I would pick them up from daycare or after-school program and again juggled my way through the evening, managing to spend around 2 hours of “quick quality time” while making dinner and helping them through homework. We would have dinner, talk for a bit and then off to bed. This was our routine for years. And just writing it makes me exhausted.

I remember sitting at my desk, looking at pictures of their beautiful faces while feeling so guilty for not being able to spend more time with them. I did feel that I should be proud of myself because I was providing a great life and doing an excellent job at raising them. And I was; but something inside my heart was changing.¬†It was like my soul was calling me to live a different life. I consulted with those close to me and with priests from the local church and that’s when I became keenly aware that I was in the midst of spiritual transformation. I don’t think anyone could’ve prepared me for the changes we were going to experience.

At the beginning of 2014, we found out that we were expecting and we were over the moon with joy! But as the pregnancy progressed, I had to leave my job because of the health issues that I was experiencing. As you can imagine, supporting a family of 7, with one income, is tough. After the birth of our son, things got a bit worse. I battled with Post-Partum Depression and anxiety, our baby was hospitalized and diagnosed with Epilepsy and our family suffered a great loss; my beautiful and loving mother in law, Margie, passed away. I am sure that we had angels watching over us and guiding us through everything. We wouldn’t have made it otherwise. We were experiencing so much sadness and pain, but somehow, we had faith that after the storm calmed, we would see the sunshine again. In one way I felt that my life was crumbling all around me, but behind the scenes, beautiful things were lining up too, even if we couldn’t see them at the time.

The girls themselves were going through a lot of issues at school and would constantly ask if I could homeschool them. Between the bullying issues and pushy perfectionist teachers, my girls were feeling like their best was no longer enough. I noticed their self esteem going downhill. Their once bubbly and bright personalities, started to turn grey. In 2015, my youngest daughter started having anxiety, panic attacks and digestive issues that wouldn’t go away. After many weeks of doctor’s visits and tests, her doctor said “There is absolutely nothing medically wrong with her. I believe it is stress”. Hearing those words just tore me down to pieces. How did I let things get so bad for her? Why didn’t I see this sooner? My heart was broken for my little girl. I again felt like a failure. I had to do something to turn this around for them.¬†That’s when I seriously started to contemplate the possibility of homeschooling.

I tried my best to put all my sadness and pain aside and started researching about homeschooling methods and curriculum options. Let me tell you, there is so much out there to read! The more I read, the more I doubted myself and wondered if I would be able to do it. I love my girls and want the best for them and certainly, I did not want to screw up their education. But if you know one thing about me, let it be this- I do not coward away from a challenge. Even with fear knocking at my door, I still try my best and jump on board with whatever it is.

After a couple of months of researching I decided to ask around to see what was the experience of others in my area. Thankfully, a super nice lady that I met through a cloth diapering Facebook group, told me about the umbrella school, Florida Unschoolers. What a life saver! I immediately went to their website and enrolled my children. I love that we can report attendance through them and have the flexibility to chose the curriculum and activities that we want.

So you see, in the past couple of years, my family has gone through tremendous challenges; but homeschooling has been a blessing. It has pulled us out of a state of sadness and grief and has given us something wonderful to focus on. It certainly has renewed my sense of purpose. My daughter thankfully no longer has anxiety, panic attacks or digestive issues. We have only been homeschooling for 7 months and we know that we have lots to learn, but the future looks bright. I couldn’t be more humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be with the kids all day and to watch them develop and grow. I get to witness and participate in every accomplishment that they have and that makes my heart sing.¬†Many would think that girls their age would hate being home with their mom and little brother all day; but that is not the case. The girls are so happy and relaxed. I can see the light in their eyes returning and they absolutely love being homeschooled.

This is how homeschooling has been a transformative journey for us. We are now living a life that we only dreamed of. Things are not perfect and we miss Margie with all our hearts, but slowly we feel the sun is shinning bright in our hearts again. We know that she is watching over us and is proud of us as a family. Now I know that life can take some painful and unexpected turns, but these turns can lead us into experiencing and living beautiful possibilities if we only surrender and flow with the changes.

My blessings to all, Michelle

First Blog!

Wow! So this is what it feels like to write the first blog. Man! This is a bit nerve-wracking!¬†I feel a mixture of excitement¬†and anxiety. Okay Michelle, get it together! Breathe in, breathe out… here I go!

My family…

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As you may know, I am a newlywed and the mother of 5 beautiful children. I married my best friend, CJ, the man that I consider to have been sent from heaven. Yeah, he is amazing! I call him “my angel”. He brings out the best of me and together we have endured some pretty tough times. I love you babe! You are my rock!

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Our 5 children have drastically diverse personalities and interests. According to them, these are their future professions: Aeronautical Engineer, Meteorologist, Photographer, Make-Up Artist & we gave our little guy, future NBA Basketball player! As you can probably tell, we have 2 girls & 3 boys. 2 of the boys go to public school and I homeschool our girls, and soon the baby. They all love sports- especially soccer! Daddy CJ, has been a soccer coach for over 10 years, so he takes turns coaching one of their teams each season. As a family, we enjoy grilling, outdoor activities and camping. We try to get out there as much as we can.

Things that I enjoy…

Now lets see… I absolutely love exploring and spending time in nature. It grounds me and I find serenity and peace when I’m surrounded by trees or sitting near natural waters. I also enjoy painting, meditating, writing, making arts &¬†crafts with the kids, writing poetry, gardening, cooking for friends & family and homeschooling.

Eventually, I would love to make my grandmother proud and write the book that she’s been begging me to write since I was a little girl. She taught me at a young age to love poetry, how to memorize¬†and¬†recite poems with passion and presence. My grandma and grandpa¬†opened my heart to the¬†beauty of nature and the wisdom found in it.

My beliefs…

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As a child, I was raised catholic, but as time has gone by, I have explored different religions and have decided on just following my heart. I am not perfect; I make tons of mistakes everyday, but I live life as best as I can. I am an Earth Mother; meaning that I believe in the Spirit of Mother Nature and I feel a connection with her, more real and genuine and powerful than anything else. She is known by many names, Gaia, Kundalini, Minerva, Shakti. I believe that¬†Mother Nature is our mother. Her spirit can be found in every living thing, including us humans. She protects us, guides us, and nourishes us. We are not separate from her. As women, we experience her & embody her in many ways- during pregnancy, our monthly cycle, the intensity with which we love and the care that we pour over our families… even that spark in our eyes!

I guess I believe in everything and nothing at the same time. I am more spiritual than religious. I believe in the teachings of the Buddha and Jesus Christ. I believe in fairies and angels. I just don’t limit myself to one religion or concept. If the message promotes love and compassion, I’m in; if it promotes fear and hate, I don’t want it in my radar.

In Conclusion…

I’m a pretty opened minded person, I try my best at all that I do and consider myself to be a genuine good soul. Sometimes, when putting my best foot forward, things turn out good and other times I crash and burn! lol…. hey, I’m human.

Well that’s all for now. Stick around and look for FOR BLOG #2 about Our Homeschooling Journey in the next couple of days!

Blessings to all,

Michelle