Ever since my sons were in grade school, I made it a point to learn something new when they began their school year. One year I learned how to decoupage, then I moved on to doing wall paint treatments. I loved doing the storm clouds on two of my sons ceiling. I also learned how to simplify my life and the list goes on and on. I keep a running list of what I’ll be learning and what I want to learn next.

Learning List

Making MRE’s for backpacking that are healthy, keto, and vegan

Learning how to market myself on the different social media platforms while also getting some work done.

I really want to learn how to knit, once and for all.

Making 1-minute videos that are on point, interesting, and relevant.

I want to learn how to code

Writing how-to books

Making sushi

Adding to my repertoire recipe creation

I’m already signed up for a couple of marketing courses and I’m really excited for them to start. But this knitting thing has held me captive when my mom tried teaching me when I was younger.

Have you ever thought about learning along with your son or daughter? Doing homework together is always a fun way to set an example. Plus, it’s good to have interests other than raising your kids because it helps you as they grow until they move out of the house and on to college.

I’m also learning how to make MREs (meal replacements). Here’s one that I’m making for my husband’s backpacking trip this weekend. It’s keto and raw vegan.

  • Keto Sunflower Seed Hummus

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, drained
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 3 Tablespoons avocado oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 – 4 Tablespoons water
  • Place all in food processor, process until smooth, scraping down the sides periodically. It’s ready to enjoy now or you can use your dehydrator and dry it for camping and backpacking food.
  • Dried Hummus

    Spread on parchment paper (cut to size of dehydrator trays) in a nice thin layer. Dehydrate for 6 hours on 125 degrees. Cool on trays. Pour the dried hummus into backpacking containers (we’re using recycled gelato containers that I’ve saved for eons). To reconstitute: Add 1 Tablespoon of water at a time until the desired consistency. Eat with crackers or crudités.

  • Try something new. Learning is life long. Once we stop learning, we stop growing.
  • Learning takes us to new heights and brings new opportunities!

    If you’ve been reading my blog then you know I love reading, learning, and teaching. I started a whole new list of books this week, funny thing, 4 of them are from my husband’s bookcase. These are small books in size and page count, but packed with big inspiration.

    1. The Journey From Success to Significance by John C. Maxwell
    2. Be All You Can Be by John C Maxwell
    3. How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton
    4. Overcoming LIFE’S Disappointments by Harold S. Kushner
    5. The On-Purpose Person by Kevin W. McCarthy

    Each book is filled with information that I tend to need right now at this moment. It’s interesting that these books have been on my husband’s book case for several years but I hadn’t noticed them until this week and once I picked each one up I felt the words jump off the page right into my heart.

    Be All You Can Be

    “Life is like a mirror; what you show is what you see; what you put in is what you get out. When you encourage others, you’ll find that they will encourage you. Attitudes are contagious. ” ~John C Maxwell from Be All You Can Be. We’re suppose to live fruitful lives (John 15:16). What kind of fruit should we be cultivating? Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faith, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Galatians 5: 22-23).  These fruits are all positive attributes of leading fruitful lives. When we lead fruitful (positive) lives, positive things happen in and to our lives. Wouldn’t you like to have positive results in your life? Positive relationships? Positive reinforcements? Positive rejoicing? It’s a two-fold process; you can’t have one without the other. Read the book to find out how you can Be All You Can Be.

    These books are short reads for me, and while I will probably finish them all within the next couple of weeks, their knowledge will be within my heart, mind, and long after I’ve put them back on my husband’s bookcase. Because when you read a book it becomes a part of you.


    Ever get the feeling like your student is just starting to grasp the different skill sets that their teacher has worked so hard on teaching them, then it’s time for summer break. I’ve had that feeling many times with my own children. Summer was a time they would forget more things they learned instead of a time where those skills were used.  In homeschooling my own children for many years and working in the school system for a time, I’ve learned that those students who kept on learning through the summer did better educationally than those who were let free to do as they pleased. This is where Summer Enrichment Tutoring can come in. Tutoring can help with this by helping your students see how to see the world around them with different eyes.

    I’ve always loved learning and always wanted to share what I learned with my parents, then my husband, and then my children. When my children were still at home, it was a requirement to come to the dinner table with a new tidbit of knowledge to share. It was fun watching them go through the educational sites on the internet to find something new to share with each of us that was something they were interested in, or something we were interested in. For instance when the cicadas were out and everywhere, my one son told us about how in some cultures they are eaten for their protein. No, we did not try them, though I think he would have.

    This type of learning that goes beyond the end of the school year is carried with the person far into their adult life. If you want our students to have this love of learning then we need to have this same love. We need to give our students every opportunity to learn. Summer is a great time to do that. For instance if your student is already getting tutoring for reading or math, he or she would benefit from a Summer Enrichment Tutoring where those skills they just learned are used in fun and exciting ways. Fractions come to life when used in cooking their favorite snacks. Geometry takes shape when used to make a bird house. Words that jump off the page are so much more interesting than just lying on white paper.

    Summer Enrichment Tutoring

    I will be offering Summer Enrichment Tutoring for Elementary (K-6) in the areas of Science, Reading, Writing, Math, and Social Studies. If you want your students to retain more of what they learned in the school year, this is a great opportunity to do just that.  Just click here to get started.




    • Choose the right attitude According to renowned author John C. Maxwell, we should “choose and display the right attitude”. Our attitude is a choice we make every minute of every day; it’s what we bring with us into every situation we have. Look at it this way “Your attitude is like the aroma of your heart. If your attitude stinks, what’s in your heart?” (Facing the Giants)
    • Eat Healthy When we take in the proper nutrients through our food our minds work better, we think more clearly, and are not apt to make rash judgments. That jelly filled donut and coffee you have every day on the way to work only spikes your blood pressure and shoots your insulin levels up. It does not wake you up but gives you that mid-morning crash.
    • Make time for the family When my children were in school I worked for a company that had flex time, which means I was able to make my own hours as long as I was at the office for at least 5 hours during business hours. This gave me the opportunity to start my day at 5:00 am which means I was home before my kids got home from school. I was able to make every track meet, basketball game, band concert and mid-afternoon school parties. You have our whole life to work; your children are only with you for 18-20 short years make them count. For those without children, spend time with your nephews and nieces,  call your parents weekly, connect with your siblings.
    • Acknowledge someone for going above and beyond Our society has become a society that gives out awards for waking up in the morning. We have lost that work ethic that was once present all around us. No more can our teachers fail a student for not doing his or her homework now it’s okay just to show up “you get an A; you made it here!” It’s been said that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people. I don’t agree with that; now it’s like 1% of the people do the work and 99% of the people want to reap the rewards. Acknowledge those people that actually do the work, they deserve it.
    • Learn something today In Leo Buscaglia’s book Papa My Father, Leo talks about his father who even though had a limited education instilled an evening ritual for his family. Before dinner everyone had to share something they learned new that day. Before you sit down for your evening meal or if you eat lunch with your co-workers ask each other “what did you learn new today?”You might be surprised at the outcome.
    • Be on time Most people don’t understand when you arrive late to an appointment not only do you show disrespect for the other person you’re meeting, you show an “I don’t care attitude”. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi would tell his players if you’re here on time you’re already late. Lombardi Time states “Show up for every important business meeting 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled meeting time.” The idea is to use the 15 minutes to catch your breath, collect your thoughts and plan what you want to accomplish in the meeting and how you’ll go about it.
    • Be a “YES” person We have been programmed from a baby to say “NO”. “Do you want to buy” are words that make all of us cringe. Usually when someone asks us a question, our minds are ready to say the word “NO” before the person finishes the question. Say “YES” to listening to the whole proposal before making up your mind. If you close your mind too early you won’t hear the possibilities.
    • “Don’t sweat the small stuff”The first chapter in Richard Carlson, PH.D. book by the same title. He states “Often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren’t really that big a deal.” You know that person that just cut you off on the way to work, you don’t have to chase them down and get back even with them. Let them go, don’t make their problems yours. When we allow all the small stuff to build up we find we have bigger problems.
    • Don’t worry about things you can’t control You get an email early in the morning from your boss secretary “the Boss wants to meet with you at 3:00 this afternoon”. You start to panic, what did I do, are there going to be cutback, am I going to get fired, what do I tell my wife and kids. Our minds play through many scenarios, in fact your boss only want to congratulate you on a job well done on the last project. We worry about everything. Worry makes you physical sick. Really it’s exhausting. Let go like water off a ducks back, you’ll be better for it!
    • Be chivalrous When was the last time you did something “just because”. Hold the door open for a stranger, allow them to step in line ahead of you because they only had 3 ideas and you had a cart full. We live in a “ME” society, me first the hell with the rest of you. My wife and I raised 4 sons as Modern-day Knights, thinking of the well being of other people first.  That person you just held the door open for was having the worst day of his or her life and you just made it better. An act of chivalry only costs time, but the reward lasts forever.

    I want to thank my husband, Joe Jacoby for writing this blog post, it means so much to me to have his love and support each and every day we are together. His support and guidance helps me make each of my days count.


    I have always had a creative mind; I don’t know if this is how I was wired or just a part of being human. I believe that we were created by the most imaginative Creator and we are showing our likeness of Him. Most of the time when people think about being creative they always think about the fine arts such as painting. Creativity can take the forms of many different things. My grandfather, for instance was creative in the way he planned his vegetable garden, or the way he told stories to me. He taught me through using color in my coloring book that I did not have to color inside the lines and I didn’t have to conform to what I see. It was through my grandfather’s teachings that I learned how to be creative in every part of my life. Here are 10 simple I learned from my grandfather on how to bring your creativity to life.


    1. Look past the obvious: while most people see what is right in front of them, the creative person looks into what could be. So instead of looking at something at face value look at it’s possibilities.

    A work in progress 

    This piece of artwork came about because I choose to look at plastic bottle caps as different media for my creative expression. It is still a work in progress, but hangs on my wall in my dining room so I can imagine it in different colors until I choose the color I will be satisfied with.

    2. Follow your interests: right now I am interested in making baby blankets, but last month I was interested in making alternative ice creams. The idea is to run with it. If you don’t know how to knit or crochet, take a class. Just because you don’t know how to do something doesn’t mean you can’t learn. I didn’t know how to make alternative ice creams, so I went to the library and checked out some books.

    3. Take time to read: my grandfather’s vegetable garden was beautiful because he read about how the different vegetables grew and what they needed to grow into mature produce giving plants. Right now I am taking this same creative tip and applying it to my career. Selling is a creative art, so I’m reading books like How to Master the Art of Selling by Tom Hopkins and Jeffrey Gittomer’s Little Red Book of Selling.

    4. Think outside the box: My girlfriend thinks that everything I do is so creative, while I think the things she does are just as creative. While I may be bring creativity to life with my hands, she brings creativity to life with her words, every time she speaks I get wonderful ideas about how to live a better life.

    5. Conformity stifles creativity: One of my favorite past times with my grandfather was coloring; it was always an adventure. He never colored animals the way we see them in nature. His horses always had different colored legs, and sometimes they are a mixture of color. I remember my mom asking him one day why he always did this, and he simply responded that we each see things differently. Coloring is an expression, and we should not expect every expression to be the same.

    6. Learn to trust your senses: I love to cook and I hate to cook. I love cooking when I can invent new recipes. I hate to cook when my husband asks for the old standards. I cannot do old standards without adding a bit of something new. For instance, when I fuse different ethnic flavors and come up with my own unique recipes like Middle East Meets Mexican Tabouli Salad. On any given day in my kitchen, while I may have many cookbooks to choose from, I am always experimenting and trying to meld new flavors together to come up with something that is uniquely me.

    7.  Accept your creative uniqueness: I used to worry a lot about what other people thought about me instead of being myself. Once I accepted that I was a creative person and began letting my creative side come out on a regular basis, I began to be more at ease with myself.

    8. Give your creativity a voice: Whether you act in community theater, do a stand up comedy act, or create interesting power points for work giving your creativity a voice will help you see the many ways you can be creative. If you have a song waiting to come out of you, sing it. If you thinking about a design for a new house, draw it. Pick up a pen and write that novel that you’ve been dreaming about.

    9. Stay away from the naysayers: My mom had a knack for making me feel inadequate in whatever I was doing. As a teenager I designed my own clothes. I remember crocheting a sweater from the top down, that had sleeves like bat wings. As I was making the sweater, my mom told me “It would never work out. You will never wear it.” My dad on the other hand was my cheerleader and told me “That I could accomplish anything I wanted, if I wanted it bad enough and I was willing to work at!” I believed my dad. I not only finished the sweater, but I wore it with pride and got orders to make the same sweater for other people. I even had that sweater in a boutique.

    10. Surround yourself with creativity: My grandfather spent hours in his garden and his garden books and magazines. I could spend hours in craft stores, cooking stores, book stores, and libraries. Post different creative quotes around your home to make you stop and think about the different tips of creativity. My favorite is from Cecile B. DeMille “Creativity is a drug I cannot live without.” Find your favorites and post them around your life at http://www.creativity-quotes.com/

    Go out and create something, creativity sparks creativity!