When you have a birth mom, an adopted mom, and a step mom, Mother's Day can be overwhelming or very full.
My Mother's Day feelings have run an range of emotions the last 20 or so years. It was only a few years ago that I was reconnected with my birth mom.
I've chosen for most of my life to accept the very different, and sometimes emotionally overwhelming, road I was given to navigate. In the end I am thankful for everything. Each step of my life, each loss, each celebration has created me... who I am today and what I have in my life today. One different step in my life and I wouldn't be here, in this moment, celebrating the moms in my life and celebrating my own motherhood.
So here's my poem... probably different than most, on this amazing Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day Sherry Miles, Cindy Mott and Asena Mott.
Have you ever wanted to learn sign language?
If you're anything like me, when you see someone signing whether it's in real life, on TV or in a viral video interpreting songs, you are FASCINATED!
I know I was the first time I really saw it. I grew up in a small town so there wasn't anyone there that I knew that was deaf and I'm not sure I had ever really even thought about how they communicated.
It wasn't until I went to a summer camp in middle school that I really saw sign language being used. I would sit mesmerized as the camp staff signed during skits or songs. I love it.
What got me past the "Ohhhh, that's so pretty" phase to the, "Okay, I HAVE to learn to sign" was a deaf camper. As a high schooler I was still attending camp in the summer (eventually becoming a camp staffer there). One week at the end of camp the camp director told me that the little girl who had enjoyed the week of camp with her interpreter and watched all the songs and dramas done in her own language, looked at the director and signed, "Does God love Deaf people?"
The director signed back, "Yes! God loves Deaf people!"
The little girls simply signed back, "I never knew."
That had a profound impact in my life. I now know, after years of studying ASL and Deaf Culture, that we don't need to have a helper mentality simply because they are deaf, however, they do deserve to know they matter and if no one has taken the time to tell them that or make them feel as important and special as they are as a person simply because of a language barrier, then we need to change that!
I started learning ASL at camp to those summer skits and songs and it launched me into a career of teaching ASL and interpreting for the Deaf. What I love more than anything is to sign music. I sign when I talk. I sign when I sing. I really sign when I worship. More than all that though, I get to have friends that are deaf and they are some of the most amazing people in my life.
If you've been waiting to learn or just trying to learn on your own but not really having any success then watch this short video about how you can learn ASL by learning to sign songs or check out my Sign Language Page for more info.
REGISTER HERE or get a group of 10 together to get a 50% discount!
6 Step to Take Before Beginning the Homeschool process.
If you're reading this it's probably because you're considering homeschooling or maybe you've recently decided to Homeschool but you didn't grow up as a homeschooler and you haven't really been around a lot of homeschool families so you aren't sure what to do or where to start. but you know that the public school isn't cutting it and you need another option.
Great news! Homeschool is an Ah-Mazing option for so many families.
Want to hear more great news? There are MULTITUDE of resources out there for homeschooling families. LOTS of styles or variations of homeschooling methods. TONS of curriculum to choose from. And MORE opinions on it than you'll ever want to hear.
That IS great news BUT it's also overwhelming. I know. I've been there. I like to research, I'm not afraid to try new things and I enjoy being creative and out-of-the-box so I want to take all that awesome information I've gathered and help you navigate and transition from public school to the most amazing personalized Homeschool experience.
To begin with, it's important that YOU BELIEVE you CAN homeschool and succeed at it AND that your child(ren) believe that too. There's a couple steps you have to take to be able to do that.
First, understand that Homeschooling DOES NOT and SHOULD NOT be replicating or copying public school at home. There's a reason you pulled your child(ren) from "traditional" schooling. Something in the system was failing so why try to recreate that? It's a very difficult concept for a lot of people to comprehend. Or, for those who believe this already, the struggle to actually DO something DIFFERENT is real!
To help you out, watch this video where I go over the First 6 Things You Need to Do BEFORE Starting to Homeschool. Or, if you've already started homeschooling and it just doesn't feel like what you're doing is working then use this to hit the RESART button.
In the video I'm going to go over:
1. De-Schooling: What is that and why should I do it?
2. Personalities, Learning Styles & Love Languages:
Understand who they are so you can understand how
3. Passions / Passion Based Teaching & Learning: Passion is
what Transforms Information into Education
4. Methods of Homeschool
You've Never Had So Much Freedom in Your Life!
5. Homeschooling Curriculum
You've Never Had So Many Options in Your Life!
6. Laws, Legalities & Myths
It's Not Against the Law & Yes, Homeschoolers SOCIALIZE!
BONUS: Does Community Matter?
How This Book from Marco Robinson Helped Me Leave Teaching to Work From Home and Spend More Time With My Kids
A Marco Robinson Review
I've worked in the classroom for years, switched to teaching online and then tried to go back to the classroom. While I LOVE my students, I do NOT love the "system" of public school education. I have always had a mind that overflows with ideas of how I could make money from home and I've tried a lot of them including making crafts, selling on eBay and Amazon, MLM products, and photography and videography. While I have made money with all of those, I've never been able to really get over the hill of full time income until I was given this book by Marco Robinson.
My biggest challenge has always been mindset. What I think of myself, my value, self worth and ability has been hindered by allowing my past to control what I think of my future, however, what I have learned reading Marco's book has changed the way I view myself and my ability to succeed. I'm still pretty early in my online work life but it's working for me and even more so for others.
I'm a researcher. I don't trust ads or blogs or people who post online so before I invest in products or trainings I go look the people up and then I look to see who is actually having success so I can weed out the scams and fraud.
During a charity dinner this summer I met Marco Robinson, Kevin Harrington and Chris Crumby, who are all heading up an amazing initiative called The New Rich List, a unique program for both new and up and coming entrepreneurs to get mentorship and funding to launch their entrepreneurial dreams.
I'm excited to not only be in the program with them but to also be using my marketing and social media content creation skills to work alongside them.
Mentoring is a huge hurdle for many entrepreneurs just starting out so this program will bridge the gap between those seeking success and those who have achieved that success and want to give back.
I will be keeping you updated along the journey and hope some of you will join me! I want you to be able to have the freedom I have to do more of what you love so you can be more of who you are called to be in life so stayed tuned to learn more.
A simple poem written when I was probably in my late teens after one of my first trips to Haiti. Haiti changed everything for me. Seeing what I saw there and knowing what they went through broke my heart. I was, an still am, surrounded in life with people who care so much about name brand things and having the best of the best and I wanted to learn to be content with less. I struggle with wanting more but I don't want to ever forget that I have far more than most people in the world. I'm not perfect but don't want to ever forget.......
Childhood Anxiety and How to Help
Whether it's the parent or the student, anxiety is one of the leading reasons parents pull their kids from public school to homeschool them. Anxiety ranges from mild or circumstantial to severe and debilitating. So what do you do when you pull your child from public school but the anxiety is still there?
Where's the anxiety coming from?
First, take a deep breath and know that healing can happen. For some it will be transformation while for others it will be functional but doing something to help your child will make a positive impact on their struggle.
Maybe you know exactly what triggers your child's anxiety so you just need to know how to deal with it but for those of you who don't, this will be a time of reflection and a season of observation. Either way, this would be a great time to journal or create a Google doc to document everything you can remember about your child's anxiety.
When was the first time you remember her showing anxiety? What was going on? Where there certain people around? Did something specific happen? If your child is old enough, ask them about what they remember about the first time. Think about and write down details about times since then, with as many details as you can about the environment, life events going on at the time, even food that was being eaten (if you can remember). See if there are any consistent patterns, people, environments. Those are often the triggers for anxiety attacks.
Sometimes things just build up and when anxiety hits it doesn't seem like there was anything going on that should have been stressful enough to create such intense feelings so think about the days, weeks or hours leading up to it.
If you are able to figure out what is triggering anxiety for your child you will be able to do more to deflect the stress by limiting exposure to those environments. We can't always figure this out and we can't always protect our kids from triggers so for the times we can't we have to give our kids tools to heal and manage.
Tools to Manage Anxiety
You have to give kids time to heal, to process, to figure out how to understand and manage whatever it is that is overwhelming their hearts and minds. I know it's easy to think that kids must immediately start "working on school" but it can wait. Learn about DeSchooling (I touch on it in this Webinar).
If you're still worried about waiting then start work then start slow and start with something they are interested in. You do not and should not try to recreate public school at home with the load of subjects and busy work that so many of us have had engrained in our mind is 'proper education'. It's not. Education is when someone actually learns something. Forcing information on someone who is not connected to that information or not capable of focusing on it because of stress or anxiety is not being educated anyway. (Watch the Webinar.)
When you do start introducing work and assignments, be flexible. We used to wear rubber bands on our wrists that said, "Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken". Think about your own job or certain life situations that become frustrating or overwhelming. It's usually during times that you're stuck in a rigid situation where your feelings or emotions are not being considered and you're having to do something a certain way because someone else feels like that's the best way. Maybe it's not for you.
Same thing for our kids. We are constantly telling them what is best for them with their learning but what if they just need a little more time or space or ability to clear their minds by listening to music while they work or taking tons of breaks between assignments. It's okay to be flexible.
Do you understand your child? Does he understand himself? I'm a HUGE fan of knowing your child's personality, learning style and love language and knowing about passion based learning. (It's in the Webinar.) It's very difficult to choose the right home education method or pick the right curriculum if you don't really understand how he learns, what makes him feel understood, what motivates him (this is a huge hurdle for most) and what he is passionate about so you can find or create learning opportunities that connect with who he is and what he's interested in.
Find a way she feels safe communicating how she feels. Typically in the middle of an anxiety attack isn't the time to start asking question but have a code word or way for her to just say, "Hey, I'm struggling right now". Then have a plan for things she can do that help her calm herself down. Maybe it's a song... or a whole playlist that has inspirational, encouraging music that helps get her mind on that. Maybe it's a coloring book or journal, taking a walk, playing a game..... it doesn't matter what as long as there is a plan to DO SOMETHING to change the mood and help her figure out how to bring herself down and out of the situation.
Therapy, medicine and diet
Anxiety that is persistent and debilitating, even after removing a child from a triggering environment may require something more.
There is a lot of emerging information on how much the food we eat is affecting who we are in life. I am working so hard on changing my family's diet. It's one of the hardest things because convenience is easy but it's the one thing I know I have to do, especially with my own recent Lyme diagnosis. I have read so many stories on how getting rid of processed foods, gluten, foods with dyes and eating lots more plant based meals is radically changing bodies and minds. It's definitely worth looking in to because it's way too much for me to cover here. Besides, I haven't figure out how to do it yet myself so I'm not going to try to give you advice I'm not taking myself! :)
I absolutely believe if you have access to therapy that you should do it. I've recently found out that a lot of insurances actually cover things like art/horse/water/etc. therapy! I didn't even know that until recently. Finding the right therapist to match your child is key. Try to talk to local families at churches or in FB groups on therapists and get their views and feedback or look into the more relaxed art/horse/water/etc. type therapies and try them. If they don't work they don't work but I'm not sure where I've ever heard a story where they made anyone worse.
Medications are a tough subject. You will know when or if you need it and you will have to have peace about it or it will create stress and anxiety in you.
You aren't alone and you don't have to try to deal alone. Don't forget that you deserve as much energy, love and support as you are giving your child. It's exhausting and can feel overwhelming. You are fighting so hard to help your child deal with those types of emotions so don't forget to allow yourself the time to get your own tools in place and permission to use them when you need them.
You can do this. You are a CHAMPION for your life and for your child's education!!!
Are you looking for ways to make money on the road so you can travel with freedom?
Hi there. My name is Shasta and I was a full time Roadschool mom last year. I know what it feels like to have dreams of downsizing, living on less, traveling wherever and whenever I want. I'm a single mom of 5 kids and we were able to get a taste of fulltime life last year as we traveled from Florida to the West Coast, down the coast and back again. Due to family situations I am currently back in my hometown dreaming again of the day I can hit the road and start traveling again. We had some amazing experiences but I want to be able to do it differently next time and have true freedom as last year I interpreted for the deaf in Orlando and taught online for a district that required 2 in person meetings a month. There are a lot of opportunities out there for working on the road and I just wanted to share 2 that really worked for me that can easily be done on the road. Hope this helps!
The first thing I started was selling on Amazon. There’s a lot of great information out there on this but I went with Jason’s blog and FB Group because he’s a full timer and addresses the logistics that go along with doing this while full timing. Basically this is a job where you get paid to shop… better yet, bargain shop! You “source” either online, thrift stores or retail stores and look for deals that are at least 1/3 of the selling price on Amazon. After you purchase some items you put the information in online and Amazon will tell you which warehouse to ship it to. That’s right, you do not have to ship every, little thing to the customer. Simply send full boxes to Amazon and they will store until it sells and then ship to the buyer! With very little effort really and ONLY shopping thrift stores or random clearance isles at stores I was in for other reasons, I made $3580 since January of last year. Most people are doing this as their main source of income make a lot more. I made this much just trying it out when I had the time which isn't a lot with 5 kids and working 2 full time jobs! I just know it works and the opportunities are endless here.
Health & Wellness Online Shopping
The second thing I’ve recently started is not only purchasing non-toxic, chemical free household and hygiene items but simply sharing about them. I'm saving money by staying out of WalMart and other places since I order these products online but also earning money when others decide to simply take their household cleaning, hygiene and wellness budget and use it to by safer products. It's easy to share since I really do believe we should be using less toxic filled stuff in our homes and on our bodies. I know many people are over MLM but this is a little different in that you don't buy and carry products and you don't buy or order for the online shoppers. All you do is simply share about the ability to protect yourself and your families from chemicals that are known to cause cancer and other diseases .
Don't like the idea of having to "share" in person or in front of a group? Then really, you don't have to. I haven't had to host a party or present yet as my friend made a video and she has such an incredible testimony with these products that I use that for the overview. It's a video that can be sent out to people or you can have a get together and show it to a group. I do share my heart either in person or with my own very short video because I love the products and have seen a change in myself and my kids and have watched my friends come off of diabetes, Blood Pressure and Cholostoral meds with the vitamin pack. These are just stories out there. These are my friends! It’s not hard for people to see all the benefits to simply switching from shopping for those items at Walmart or Dollar General or wherever to simply shopping for healthier items online that cost the same. People have to buy these products and most people, maybe even you, realize the importance of exposing ourselves to less toxins. Our bodies can only handle so much.
Want to make money helping people simply by sharing information and pointing them to the online store where they can get products that won't harm them? I did and I am making money already. I signed up the last day of February and didn’t even look at it until after the middle of March. In just 6 weeks I’ve made over $650. That may not seem like a lot but a homeschool mom friend of mine with 6 kids just made over $2k and she just started shopping herself in February and the Pastor’s wife in town who started sharing this information the end of January just made over $6k in April alone. She's been shopping online for over 10 years but just decided in January to start sharing as a way to supplement their income so she can continue homeschooling her kids.
I’m excited because this is something I can be proud of. I can also feel okay about sharing with daycares and churches who should consider using chemical free products on the toys the kids plays with. I feel great about sharing with moms who not only want to create a safer environmental environment for their kids but want to be able to make enough.
I hope one of these is something that will help you with your quest to find freedom on the road. I'm excited as I dream about the possibilities both of these can provide for me.
If you have any questions with the Amazon selling please use the links to connect to Jason. He and the sellers in his FB group are a wealth of knowledge. If you want to know more about the Health and Wellness option then please use the contract form to connect with me and I will connect with you personally.
What's the big deal with environmental toxins? Do they really affect us?
You know how you don't notice things until you have some connection to it and then suddenly you see that thing everywhere. Like when you're car shopping and you think you are getting a unique color that no one else has because you never notice it anywhere but then as soon as you stop off the lot you start seeing that color everywhere. Sometimes it makes you mad and sometimes you just have to ask yourself, "How in the world did I not see that before?!" It's not that you never saw that color before it was just that that color had no connection to you. It didn't stick because it didn't need to.
That's what's happening to me right now with all this very scary health information. I know I've seen things, I've even read articles with this same information before but suddenly I'm seeing it everywhere. I'm seeing studies pop up in my news feed, I'm seeing friends across the country post about their health changes, why they are making them and the benefits they are experiences. As I read through some of this stuff I get frustrated with myself asking, "Why Shasta? Why didn't this stick before? Why didn't I recognize the seriousness of things that just seem so ordinary?"
Just today... today... one day... I have read these facts in the little bit of time I was online:
1) Puberty is hitting girls at an alarming early age... as early as 7-9 yrs old and that early puberty typically sets the stage for emotional and behavioral problems, linked to lower self esteem, depression, eating disorders, earlier loss of virginity and increased risk for STDS as well as cancers later in life. The culprit? Environmental chemicals and toxins.
2) Environmental toxins can mimic estrogen and act like steroids that speed up puberty.
3) Over 230 CHEMICALS are found in NEWBORN cord blood... in over 90%. Most women are trying to protect their babies, not expose them to harmful chemicals yet they're in so much of what we use in our homes and what we eat or store our food in.
4) Phthalates - is found in processed food packaging, detergents, toys, beauty products, hygiene items and more and is found to increase the speed of puberty as well as increase the risk for several serious health issues including heart disease and cancer.
So what can you do? We can't take away everything we are exposed to but there are ways we can minimize exposure to our kids and ourselves. I don't know if I can reverse all the damage that has been done already but I'm sure going to try. Before I list some of the measures we can implement right now, that I've already begun implementing in my house, I want to give you some hope that making a change can make a difference.
There was an experiment done by Lewis E. Cook, Jr. and Junko Yasui which was published in the book Goldot that details what happened with 3 different groups of rats when given different diets. The entire excerpt can be found here but the gist of it is that group 1 of rats was given a healthy, raw veggies, fruits, nuts and grains diet from birth grew into a healthy weight with no health issues, no aggression, healthy sexual appetites and behaviors, no birth defects and did not die early. When they were the equivalent of 80 years old they were put to death and their organs looked healthy and didn't show deterioration.
Group 2 of the rats were given a typical American type diet that, "included white bread, cooked foods, meats, milk, salt, soft drinks, candies, cakes, vitamins and other supplements, medicines for their ailments, etc. During their lifetime, these rats became fat and from the earliest age, contracted most of the diseases of modern American society including colds, fever, pneumonia, poor vision, cataracts, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and many more.
Most of this group died prematurely at early ages, but during their lifetime, most of them were vicious, snarling beasts, fighting with one another, stealing one another's food and attempting to kill each other. They had to be kept apart to prevent total destruction of the entire group. Their offspring were all sick and exhibited the same general characteristics as the parents. As this group of rats died one by one or in epidemics of various diseases, autopsies were performed revealing extensive degenerative conditions in every part of their bodies. All organs, glands, and tissues were affected, as were the skin, hair, blood, and nervous system. They were all truly total physical and nervous wrecks. The same conditions existed in the few which survived the full duration of the experiment."
Group 3 is what made me really wake up, take note and realize that there is still time and hope for my body and my kids bodies. This group spent the equivalent of 40 years eating the same "American Diet" that group 2 ate and they faced the same issues. However, at that time they switched out the diet to the health diet of group one and the results were astonishing. Within a single month of starting the new diet, the behavioral pattern had changed completely and they become docile, affectionate, and playful and were able to live together again. Also, from that point on they stopped suffering from their illnesses. They compared the organs to those that died before the 40 years to those that lived until the end of the experiment and their organs has been restored to health.
We don't have to live like this any more. It's not okay. One of my mentors, Tracy Kemble, once shared a motto that I've since taken as my own and it's simply, "Don't should on me". I know... it sounds bad. Might be why I like it. It sounds like I'm saying another word and maybe I should be because that's sometimes what it's like. Seriously though, society..., "Don't SHOULD on me!" Don't tell me I "should" just eat what's in the store because it's easier and fine. It's not fine. Don't tell me I "should" just keep what I know to myself because no one cares because people do care. Plenty of people care and plenty of others just don't know that they care yet.
It's a lot to take it and it's hard to know where to start but here's what I did:
1) I started with switching out cleaning products and hygiene items in my home. The easiest way for me to do this was through ordering online with a company that offers all kinds of toxic free products and has been selling for decades. I talked to several families that have used the products and have been so happy with the switch. If you are really interested and want to know more I have a contact box at the bottom. There's a video I can send you that goes over products that are available or if you'd prefer a live webcast, we can do that too. Submit your info in the comment box and I will personally contact you to see how I can help and connect you with more information if you want it.
2. I attended a class on juicing. I am not someone anyone expected to be juicing. I don't really eat veggies. I'm a steak, chicken (fried chicken at that) and potatoes girl. I learned so much. That's where I heard about the rat experiment and I can't get it out of my head. I started juicing and love it AND my kids love it! They are on board and excited that mommy wants to be healthy and they want to be healthy with me.
3. I started slowly switching out junk in my house for healthier options. I'm still working on this and some options may not be the healthiest but they're better than what I had.
4. Research. I don't skip over the articles now on how sugar is as addicting as cocaine or how it feeds cancer. I read labels. I'm learning about environmental toxins, what they are, how they affect us and how I can avoid them. I am not staying ignorant any longer.
Please know that you do have choice. I'm a single mom of 5. I don't have a lot of money and really believed that being healthy was unobtainable for me, that I couldn't afford it. We live in a small town where we don't have "natural" and "healthy" grocery stores but I'm doing what I can. Buying all the other stuff online has made my life so much easier too and saved me tons of money from running into Walmart and Dollar General all the time for 1 or 2 things and coming out with 25.
Please. If you've read all this and you aren't sure what to do or where to start, connect with me and let me get you a link to a video that explains more or the times for the webcasts. Our lives matter. Our kids lives matter. Our future matters. The choices you make matter. I choose health.
My Journey to Re-Defining Personal
I'm a Gypsy soul, with an Entrepreneurial spirit and compassionate heart. I believe passionate people inspire people and that we all should be chasing our passions in life. I help others do that through helping others figure out how to LIVE life, LOVE more and LEARN as they GO explore.
Having taught ASL and Entrepreneurship both in the classroom and online to high school students for the past 12 years, I have a heart of teenagers and helping them succeed.
I also love encouraging closet gypsy souls who are afraid to just chase their dreams and be true to the real person they are who's been locked away inside because of fear.
I can't help but help!