Wife, Mom … teacher?

Hello All,

I know its been ages since I’ve made an entry, but my world has been a tad chaotic.  Not in a bad sense, but in very many ways, AWESOME.

Now before your imagination runs wild I want to say, “I am still hitting the box!”.  Crossfit will be a continued love affair for just as long as my body allows it.  Wes and I both took an Oly lifting class and honestly I can not stress what a great experience that was.  If you happen to come across one, TAKE IT!  It was a concentrated 8 hours of straight lifting.  Worked a lot on progressions and really focused on our weaknesses.  And with oly lifts..heck pretty much anything can go wrong from the floor to getting it overhead.  

Eating…although we have had several cheats we are still focused and pull ourselves back on track pretty easily now-a-days.  We never venture too far off, thankfully.  Once a month we splurge and pig out on a pint of ice cream and we have absolutely no guilt associated with that indulgence..lol.

I believe I have mentioned that homeschooling our children was a priority in my heart at the close of last school year.  Its something that I have gone back-and-forth on for maybe 2 years now.  Well … the dream is now shifting into reality and I’m pumped.  Lee has been accepted to a Charter school and we are super excited for him.  Its based on a mastery concept {which I feel is critical for our kids} and getting him prepped for this transition has been pretty easy.  Now we need to really focus on getting him his driver’s permit and really allow him to drive more frequently so he can become comfortable behind the wheel.  Since his charter is not attached to the public school ISD,  transportation is not provided {nor school lunches} and we will need to commute him {just more motivation to get him more independent at driving}.

Peyton, Piper and I are excited to really put in motion our homeschooling journey.  After hours {and yes I mean HOURS} of research I’ve settled on our curriculum for the upcoming year.  For her Language Arts, Writing, Science & Social Studies we have chosen Moving Beyond the Page’s 6-8 year old full year package.  It is a research based curriculum and I love that it allows for creativity during the learning process.  Peyton is a “mover” and needed a curriculum that feeds her kinetic needs and allows for her truly participate with the lessons.  In fact Secularhomeschool.com is offering a giveaway for a FULL year of Moving Beyond the Page!

SECULARHOMESCHOOL.COM GIVEAWAY: Moving Beyond the Page Curriculum

MOVING BEYOND THE PAGE: Peyton’s 6-8 year old curriculum selection

For math…oh, math how I LOVE thee!  I kind of felt like a dog chasing my own tail when sifting through the ba-gillion math curriculum, but in the end I’ve chosen, Math-U-See.  In fact I ordered this at the start of summer and we’re actually on lesson 7 and will continue on with the Alpha series until complete and move forward as needed.  Once again its a “hands-on” math curriculum and really puts the visual with the learning process.

MATH-U-SEE: Alpha Curriculum 

I am looking forward to sharing more about each of these curriculum, but honestly if I started giving my 2 cents it would be in vain.  I hoping to start journaling more about homeschooling in October.  I’m still on the fence about a phonics curriculum and really wanting to dig into Moving Beyond the Page before making a hasty purchase.  We will be working on writing skills and even cursive handwriting.  I’ve been trying to stay current on my Instagram and share a lot of the prep work that has been pouring into this.  

The Modest Pearl on Instagram

Fear of failure is a true thorn in all of this.  I have to remind myself that fear is the seed of failure and I refuse to plant that.  Our families have accepted this decision well.  Although their only concern {or at least the only thing they have brought up to us} is socialization.  You know before I did my research this was the only “true” concern I could conjure up myself.  Its something that is definitely important, but I really decided to dissect the word itself.  

Socialize : to adapt to social needs or uses : to participate actively in a social gathering.

Do I feel my children are being “social?” “YES!” The real question we asked ourselves is, “is the socialization they receive in a public school environment the socialization we desire?”  With each generation we hear the same saying, “the world is changing.”  This couldn’t be more true for our school system.  Often I am told, “you can not shelter your children from everything”.  And I believe this completely, but I can create an environment that allows them to experience these worldly concerns in controlled doses and really being involved in helping them process it.

My job is not to create “tough” kids, but to nurture resilient kids.  To be able to take the real world blows, and not allow it to destroy them.  

Peyton has continued with her piano lessons and shes loving it.  At times she a little stubborn when it comes to her daily practice, but she loves her Ms.Peggy {piano teacher}.  She looks forward to seeing “her friend” every week.  Apart from “core course work” we will also being implementing music appreciation.  Learning about composers, genres of music and of course music reading.

I really need to whip my canon out and get some quality photos {I’m on my laptop, hence no photos in this blog entry}, but like I mentioned before I have been great at sharing on Instagram .

Hope this finds everyone well!!

Lots of love,

Shannon

 

 

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Where in the world is Shannon?

Right here!{hand frantically waving as if for once I have the right answer in 2nd grade}.

The past month has been wildly unexpectedly busy. The calendar has filled up and I barely have time to just catch up around this house. Our home looks as if a Texas twister has blown through and I feel like everyday is a constant effort to just to get the necessities accomplished.

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We’ve decided for the 2014-2015 school year we will be homeschooling. It’s been a decision that we both have put under a microscope, but in the end it just feels “right” for our family.

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Easter was beautiful and perfect in every way. Egg hunts, sugary kisses and making memories with family. Really couldn’t have asked for anything better.

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We received a piano from a family member and Peyton has been begging for piano lessons, so we have begun piano lessons once a week. She is really enjoying it and doing so well.

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I have been terrible at getting into the box, but starting tomorrow I’ve committed to making it happen. Crossfit brings me joy and it’s only the time crunch that has held me back. I miss everyone so much.

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We took the girls to the Houston Zoo to see baby Duncon the baby elephant that was born a few weeks ago. Plus we wanted one last visit before the Texas death heat makes the trip unbearable.

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Lee is wrapping up his freshman year in high school and has done so well. Honor Roll for every 6 week period of 2013-2014 school year. So proud of him for so many different reasons!

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Our fur kiddos are doing well. Loba will be going in for her follow-up visit on heart worm treatment. She has really meshed well into our little pack. Couldn’t imagine this family without her.

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Took Piper on her 1st 10 mile trail ride and she LOVED it! I was a little on the fence to how she would handle a 5 hour ride in a 4 wheeler, but her squeals, laughter and smiles proved me wrong.

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We just wrapped up our annual {Memorial Day} crawfish boil and as always had a wonderful time. A few Wrathians visit from our box and showed their support.

So..as you can see April and May has been pretty action packed and it looks like June and July will follow suit.

I hope this finds you well and I hope to pop in more often.

Day 3: Cleanse Phase

Good morning everyone,

Sorry this is a day late, but yesterday was a bit wild. Thursdays always seem to be the days that get a bit chaotic with the shuffle. The past 2 nights I’ve had very restless night’s sleep. Lots of tossing and turning. My shoulder’s have been super sore, but I guess you have to keep things in perspective. Soreness means I’m working, right?

Thursdays are my grocery run day. I’ve noticed since eating Paleo that I have to buy only for 1 week at a time. It works well because we rarely waste any fruits and veggies, plus makes meal planning a bit easier.

I was starving while at the grocery and I grabbed a snack to curve that.

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Lara bars have been an absolute must

{as I was typing the above a loud thud came from under my hood of our van. Thankfully Wes wasn’t too far ahead of me & was able to come help. It was the harmonic converter or something along those lines..lol}

Now, we are on day 5 & we don’t have the Fiber Drink today, but rather taking the Probiotic in the mornings.
Feeling a tad-bit run down today. Just really tired. After my van broke down had to ride with Wes and drop him off at work. I didn’t make my morning crossfit class, but thankfully Wes fixed my van & I was able to make an evening class.

On day 4 we tried a dragon fruit for the first time.

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It’s from a cactus species. Has the texture of a kiwi fruit. The taste is slight, refreshing sweet. Very good!
Seems like a great summer sun snack.

Wes has been doing really well too. This weekend he has Reservist duty and really doesn’t like the temptations of eating “out”, but he feels he’s gotten a lot better with picking wiser menu options.

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Thought I would share a good “before” photo of myself. This was October 2012. Piper was about 16 months old at this time {my 3rd baby}.

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And this is me now, March 2014. Only 5 months after beginning crossfit and 2 months after our 1st AdvoCare challenge.

Hope this finds everyone well and will chat with you soon.
-Shannon

Day 2: Cleanse Phase

Good afternoon everyone,

Honestly there’s not much to report on this very humid day in Texas.  Day 2 is going on without a hitch and really this time around it has been so much easier.  Its kind of cool, because this time rather than stressing, “I’m hungry, but can’t eat this,that or the other”.  I’m more in the frame of mind of, “wow, I really feel great for going through a detox phase”.  It just goes to show that a cleanse is much harder on you when your diet has been “dirty”.  This time around I really can say is soooo much easier.

Started this morning just like any other morning.  Kids off to school and then I hit the box.  Today was a friend’s birthday at Wrath.  In true crossfit fashion we do a WOD in honor of her birthday; which was the big 4-0.  Now, before you jump to conclusions on what this 40 year old dynamite woman looks like, let me say she puts most 20 year olds to shame.  She is gorgeous as equally on the inside as her outside.  So with that being said here’s our WOD for Natalie…which is ironically, “Natalie”…

Skill:  40 Thrusters for time [55#] (my time=3:02)

WOD: Natalie 40 minute time cap

40 Burpees

40 Wallballs [14#]

40 T2B [toes to bar]-After 22 I tore my hand…again, modified the remaining 18 with GHD sit-ups

40 S2OH [shoulder to over head] (35# bar)

40 Back Squats (35# bar)

40 Walking Lounges

40 medicine ball sit-ups (14#)

40 American kettle bell swings (35#)-I modified for Russian [KBS are tough on my lower back]

40 Air Squats

40 Overhead squats

41 [1 extra for good measure] double unders

My time=33:12

*Natalie, if you happen to read this…although it was tough, I had a great time knocking it out*

Birthdays are always a blast at Wrath:)

I mentioned in my last post that I would share our supper in this post.  Here you go…

Day 1 Dinner

grass-fed beef, broccoli,garlic,green onion and purple onion, diced tomatoes with Kirkland’s Signature Marinara Sauce from Costco.

It doesn’t look like much, but it was awesome and hit the spot.  Kirkland’s Signature Marinara Sauce is awesome for those “in a pinch” meals.  It’s the absolute only “pre-made” sauce that I have found with clean ingredients and no added sugars.  I typically have a jar of home-made marinara sauce on hand, but I’m trying to empty out our fridge this week.

Today’s post WOD meal was pretty simple…

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Baked Egg & Avocado [seasoned with Flavor God’s Garlic Lovers and cherry tomatoes with cucumbers topped with pico de gallo.

You can find a million and one blogs on how to “bake an avocado”, but in short.  400* for approx. 20 minutes and wha-lah..perfection.

I did much better with my water intake today & feel the benefits of that for sure.  Hope this finds you all well and hope your Wednesday is going as smoothly as possible.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I really LOVE the Peaches and Cream Fiber Drink from AdvoCare!  Hands down the best option in comparison to the Citrus.

Till tomorrow, take care.

Shannon

Want to learn more about AdvoCare’s 24 Day Challenge click HERE

Find me on Instagram: @themodestpearl

Email me at: themodestpearl@gmail.com

Day 1:Cleanse Phase

Good morning!

Being that we have done one challenge already I was super excited about starting our 2nd.  I think it’s because we saw the amazing results we had and know that this will only bring us one step closer to our goals.

The “Cleanse Phase” is often referred to as the “most difficult part”.  And well, to be completely frank..it is.  The 1st question I will get is, “does this make you have to poo all day long?”  No, not at all.  It’s a gentle cleanse.  The Fiber Drink [which we prefer the Peaches & Cream over the Citrus} can be a bit tough to get down, but I’ve known others that have had absolutely no issue with it.  I think for me its a texture thing.  To help me get over that I mix mine with 10oz of water.  Now, I’ve known others that mix it with fresh orange juice and LOVE IT, so you can play with it and find what works for you.  Me..10oz of water and chug it, is my method of choice.  We’ve been using Spark as a pre-work since we started with AdvoCare in January.  We’ve also continued with the OmegaPlex* and even the MNS supplementation.  During the cleanse phase though we hold off on the MNS [metabolic nutritional system] till days 11-24 which is the “Max Phase”.

I started my day with my Spark [mango/strawberry] and 3 Catalyst capsules.  Filled a water bottle to the brim and went to the box for a 8:30am class.  Heres today’s WOD:

Lift: 1A) 4 x 6-8 Single Arm dumbbell Row [35#]

1B) 4 x 30 Overhead band Pull-aparts [red band]

2A) 4 x 4 Bench Press [65#]

2B) 4 x 30second Hand Stand Hold

WOD: 8 minute AMRAP [as many rounds/reps as possible]

8 Pull-Ups [I used a blue band for assistance]

8 Ring Push-ups

My Results: 4 Rounds

As you can see it wasn’t a “killer” WOD, but more like a strength building/technique.  I really struggle with pull-ups, so this was a good one for me.

Wrapped that up and of course had my protein shake and headed home.  I have a bit of a drive from our box to home, so about 30 minutes after my protein I downed my fiber drink.

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I really try to keep meals simple and quick during the days.  Since I do have to cook a full on meal for a family of 5 every evening I try not to burn myself out on meals during the day.  The hardest part of changing your lifestyle of eating…is…the…cooking.  I don’t really mind the cooking itself, but with 3 kids that all have schedules to keep it can throw a monkey wrench in plans by one thing falling off schedule or popping up unexpectedly.  Today’s lunch was exactly what I needed simple and quick…perfection.

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Mango, Avocado, Tomato & 2 Hard Boiled Eggs seasoned with Flavor God

I’m not certain to whats on the menu for supper today, but I’ll share that in tomorrow’s post.  We will take our Herbal Cleanse Caplets this evening and that will close out day 1.

The 1st step is often the hardest when making changes.  The one thing I need to work on is making sure I’m drinking enough water.  I tend to forget.  I don’t drink anything else, so it’s not a “choice” that I’m making, I simply just forget to drink it, but when I do I down a good 32oz at any given time, so I know I’m hydrated.

Hope this finds everyone well and onto day 2.

Till tomorrow,

Shannon

Round 2

This blog has been a work in progress; truly.  A progression of who we are and where we are going.  There were several times I wanted to jump the gun and share our story, but I knew that timing just wasn’t right, but here we are and our time is now.

Many of you that will visit this blog will probably be personal friends and family and even some awesome friends I’ve met along the way on Instagram, so you probably will already have the gist of our journey.  Honestly, I wanted a common meeting place.  A place that could be a journal, an outlet, but more than anything a place to share our joy.

If you’re new to our story then I will cut the trimmings and “get to the meat of it”.  In October 2013 Wes and I took the most critical step of our lives, we began crossfit.  No matter how you view crossfit the most valuable chunk you could take from this is that we got ACTIVE.  For us crossfit has transformed our views on exercise and not to mention we have met some of the most inspiring, compassionate, determined people in our lives at our box.  Without the invaluable knowledge and personal conviction to see their “Wrathians” succeed Wes and I would be just another hampster on a wheel.  If your needing to spice up your routine I’m telling you find a local box and hit it up!  If you have any level of a competitive nature in you, this will appease that. [click HERE to search in your area]

Ok, ok back on track.  October we began crossfit, January we began a 6 week challege with our box.  In part of following a strict paleo lifestyle we also began this with the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge.  At first I was pretty skeptical.  So being true to my nature I researched.  I compared and ultimately I chose to move forward with AdvoCare.  And to put it bluntly, if crossfit was the critical 1st step; then AdvoCare is an extrememly close 2nd to being a key componenet to our success thus far.

Whats the 24 Day Challenge with Advocare? You ask.

Really I think we need to start with how long does it take to create a habit.  In varying studies you will find that on average it takes between 20 to 60 days for a new act to become automatic..a habit.  So, in the end I looked at the 24 day challenge as a way to help make our lifestyle changes more “habit”…automatic.  And without one bit of hesitation it did exactly that.  It allowed us to “clean our slate” per se.  Give our bodies a chance to perform at its peak and work at a more functional state.

[want to read more specifically on the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge? click HERE]

After our 1st 24 Day Challenge the results were nothing less than mind blowing.  Wes lost a total of 19.2 lbs [8.71 kilos] and I lost 10.4 lbs [4.72 kilos].

Before & After Shannon

My Before & After 24 Day Challenge with AdvoCare

We's Weigh In

Wes’s final weigh-in after AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge

Where are we now?

We have since continued with crossfit [5x a week] and we have continued with AdvoCare’s MNS [metabolic nutrition system] and our pre work out, Spark [this once coffee addicted mama’s best friend].

April 1st 2014 we will begin our 2nd 24 Day Challenge with AdvoCare and we plan to share that with you all.  Wes has a few more pounds he really wants gone and we both really want to improve on our performance with crossfit.  We are looking forward to seeing where this challenge takes us and loving every step of the way.  We just wrapped up our first Crossfit Open and that in itself was rewarding beyond belief.  And I just really feel that had it not been for the all the steps we made we would have never made it this far.

I am hoping to share every step of this next challenge; recipes, rants, raves, but more than anything the good vibes that come with incredible changes.  Hope you join in and follow along.  I can’t make promises, but I do know that when we are honest with ourselves and shove excuses to the ditch AMAZING results can be seen.

If you happen to join us on this challenge I’ve created a facebook group, “Creating the Change” that I’d love for you to share in!  Just email me at themodestpearl{at}gmail{dot}com and I will be more than happy to add you!

If you have any questions in particular to our journey in crossfit or products offered by AdvoCare PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask!  If I can’t personally answer your question I will direct you to someone who can.

Well…heres to round 2!  We’re excited! Get your blender bottles ready cause here we go!

Talk to you soon,

Shannon

Wes Crossfit Open

Wes: 14.3 Crossfit Open

Shannon 14.5

Shannon: 14.5 Crossfit Open

Send me an email: themodestpearl@gmail.com

I’m also a tad addicted to Instagram and you can find me at @themodestpearl