Thursday, July 30, 2009

Self-directed learning

I just bought this book and haven't had a chance to use it yet. That is, until today. Tera had finished all her work and was looking for something to do. She decided she wanted to do a science project. Our rule is tell me what you want to do and I'll approve or disapprove the idea. She comes in with a sandwich baggie with what looked liked corroded pennies left over from her science class last semester at Monday Fun. I suggested she come up with a different idea. She was doing the "ah Mom" routine, when I told her to go get the new science experiment book . She looked through it and found an experiment she could do all on her own. I helped her get the materials down out of the kitchen cabinet. She went to work on a project that explored mixing colors. Daniel even joined in on the fun. She is so excited to do her own experiments. I heard her coming up with her "hypothesis" as she would say as they were trying out different color combinations.

This is a great book. It gives a short synopsis at the end of each experiment explaining the scientific concept. I read it to them and now they can't wait until tomorrow to see what other experiments they can do. I am thinking this is going to give me leverage in getting them to get their work done on time. I also bought another in this series called "Nature in a Nutshell". Science is going to be fun this year.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Miles to Go Before I Sleep

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening
By Robert Frost
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think its queer
To stop without a farmhouse near.
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there's some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

"And miles to go before I sleep" seems to be my mantra these days. On busy days like today, that quote rings in my ears and I find myself quoting it out loud. I need to remember that even in these busy days to take some time out to just stop and take in the beautiful things and people around me. The miles can wait.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kids Can Cook: Omelets

I want to do more cooking with the kids and found this recipe on So anyone doesn't get the idea I'm perfect, these were pictures from tonight's recipe but the kids did not get to help as much as they did when we made them on Sunday. Lots of things started happening all at once so they only got to do parts of this tonight. Sunday they practically did it by themselves. These are omelets made by boiling in ziploc baggies. They are easy and good. Here goes.

Omelets Kids Can Make

First get a pot of boiling water need a rolling boil.

Next, gather your ingredients (ziploc baggies for each person, 2 eggs per person, anything you like in your omelet- cheese, bacon bits, ham, green peppers, onions, etc.) Tonight we used bacon bits but Sunday we just had veggie omelets. Daniel just had cheese.

Stretch your baggie over a coffee mug. This was an easier way to help the kids crack the eggs into the baggies.

Crack your eggs into the baggie. Add any ingredients including any spices.

Shake and squeeze until mixed.

Drop into a pot of rolling boiling water for 13 minutes.

Take out of pot and let cool for just a bit then open baggie to slide it out onto your plate.

Monday, July 27, 2009

First Day of School

We officially started school today. This is a picture of the kids before we started school this morning. They did great-we got finished with all our work. Here is a look back to the past-two years ago on the first day of school. I don't know why I can't find last year's first day pic but it's interesting to see how much they have grown over the last two years.

Daniel working on his first journal entry for the year.

Tera working on Grammar work.

I'm glad to be back at school, we are doing our schedule a little different this year and that's exciting for me. So we'll see how it goes. The kids did great today, Michael napped through much of school time so Tera and Daniel got a lot of undivided attention today. We are starting a little earlier this year so we can have a longer summer next year. When May hits I want to be done. We are excited about this school year and everything that goes with it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't Care How...I Want It Now!

Sometimes I feel a little like Veruca Salt from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You know her, the little girl who wants everything she sees and she wants it NOW! I know the Scripture: "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19. I've always applied that Scripture to my financial needs and God truly has always met my material needs and so much more. The Scripture reads ALL your needs. I started thinking about that- do I really trust God to provide ALL my needs? My emotional needs, spiritual growth, people to fellowship with through our house church, relationships, time, energy and the list goes on. I've got the money thing but there is so much more that I still struggle with. Just looking back at that Scripture something stood out to me...GOD will meet all your needs. It is in Him that everything I need can be found. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33. All the things I struggle with God will provide when I need them. I have to ask myself, do I just think I need these things or is God actually withholding them from me because He wants me to need Him more than anything else. I can't say I really know the answer, but I believe what the Bible says. It says He will meet my needs. All I know is I want to keep trusting so I don't end up like Veruca Salt. I definitely don't want to be a "bad egg" due to my own impatience. It feels so freeing to be able to let go and know God is still in control. He knows what I need so much more clearly than I do.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Michael 5 months

Michael turned 5 months today. He is growing so big. He just started eating rice cereal a few weeks ago. His 4 month dr. appt. was last week and the doctor told us to start introducing veggies. This was his first taste of sweet potato by itself. Daddy who doesn't like sweet potatoes felt his disgust. The last picture is Michael fighting his nap by watching his little Dream Screen.

Our Humble Garden

Tera planted those carrots herself.
Some of our peppers and Roma tomatoes that are starting to come in.

We've been gardening this year. We got a late start for a lot of different reasons so we are just now starting to get a little produce. Right now we are buying from a friend who has more tomatoes than she knows what to do with. We only planted a few things- green peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, carrots and bush beans. We will try our hand at a fall garden this year, hoping to get everything in by August 15th. The thing we have enjoyed the most has been the herbs. It is very nice to walk out onto the back porch and snip fresh basil and parsley for cooking and salads. Next year, I plan on doubling or even tripling our herbs.

What We've Been Up To...

Blowing Bubbles...

Boffing aka Sword Fighting....

Bonding with Mr. Bond, The Science Guy
at the Library Summer Reading Program.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blueberry Pickin'

We picked 12 lbs. of blueberries in about an hour. Our little environmentalist found a bag in the orchard so he decided to be the "janitor of the garden" (his words). He said he couldn't understand people throwing their trash down. So he picked it up. I carried Michael in a new side sling we found on sale at TJ Maxx for $16, he fell asleep for a bit while we were picking. My mom is in town for my birthday and she is a great berry picker. She's had a lot of practice growing up picking beans in Alabama. We had a good time even though I was cranky (which my husband wouldn't let me forget all morning) because I got up too early so we could beat the crowds. (Why is it that people think the best way to get you over crankiness is to keep bringing it up over and over again? I love you anyway, honey.) It was getting very busy as we were leaving so I'm glad we did get there early.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Lentils and Rice Tacos

I haven't posted a recipe in a while. Please forgive my photography, it's just not my gift. This is an easy, healthy recipe to use with lentils. Cook your lentils according to the directions on the bag. This really is not an exact recipe, it's something I just saw somewhere and adjusted it. You could adjust the lentils and rice if it doesn't look like enough.

Lentils and Rice Tacos

2 cups cooked lentils

1 cup cooked rice

1 pkt. taco seasoning


any veggies you want to put in there-I add diced tomato, zucchini, onion, green peppers. You could also add shredded carrots.

Combine everything and cook according to taco mix package directions. (you probably don't need 3/4 cup of water, just add water so mixture is thick enough to stay in the tacos.)

Serve with tortillas or taco shells and your favorite toppings.

This is the only kind of taco mix we have now. Our kids eat it well. Daniel doesn't relish it but he eats it most of the time without complaining. Just a note: Daniel doesn't like green peppers, onions, tomatoes or zucchini raw but he never notices it in this recipe. So he's getting lots of veggies he wouldn't eat on his own. He loves sour cream so I always make sure I have some on hand for this recipe.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Things Kids Come Up With...

I'll let you guess what they discovered.....

What We've Been Up To...

This summer is flying by. We stayed in a hotel over the July 4th weekend because of this...

Our bathroom floor has been sinking in since before we moved in. We had to have it replace before it got so bad we fell through. This meant we were going to be without a bathroom for the entire day maybe two. I used this as an excuse for a mini-vacation here in town. We stayed at the Comfort Inn and Suites that had an indoor pool. The kids spent a lot of time doing this....

Michael did enjoy the pool as long as you were holding him so that meant no good pictures of him.

and this...

Let's just say since we haven't had cable or commercial TV since the kids were born, going to hotel they spend a lot of time watching PBS Kids and Disney Channel. It always confirms to us why we don't have cable TV. When your kids have to leave the room just so you can surf to find something decent for them to watch, that's not something we want in our home. Although I have to admit, it is very tempting...I love the HGTV, old movies and stuff like that. But it's better for me since I'd spend more time watching than anything else.

We had a pretty good weekend. I'll post pictures after we get our bathroom painted.

I'm apologizing once again for the quality of pictures, hopefully I'm going to go get a new one soon that we'll take outdoor pictures.


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