Thursday, July 31, 2014

3 Things Thursday

Three Things Thursday

1. Our garden is yielding a bumper crop this year.  My counter is overflowing basically ALL the TIME!  So, what have I been doing?  Cooking, cooking, cooking and writing blog posts about all the recipes I'm finding.

My counter looks like this today, not counting all the cucumbers and a few eggplants in the fridge.  

Garden Recipes
Cucumber Recipes
20 Eggplant Recipes
10 Pattypan Recipes

Since my butternut squash are starting to come in, I need to get on the ball and find some new recipes! 

2.  Seeds Family Worship---we love them!  I bought one to start and then went back to buy 3 more!  Each CD came as a two-pack-one to keep and one to share.  We've been able to pass these scripture songs along to others.

3.  One of our new favorite songs:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review and Giveaway: Enough: 10 Things You Should Be Telling Teenage Girls by Kate Conner

Written by:  Kate Conner
Published by:  B&H Publishing Group
Paperback:  211 pages

Neon Purple Leggings

Vegan Lions

Six Circles

These are just a few chapter titles from the book Enough: 10 Things You Should be Telling Teenage Girls by Kate Conner.  You know it's going to be a great book, when you are hooked at the Table of Contents!  

Kate Conner takes you through the gamut of issues that are relevant to our teenage daughters.  She discusses social media, tanning, the dreaded word--modesty, and so much more.  Kate encourages us to take off the masks (Those I'm-an-adult, so-I-have-it-all-together masks) and engage our daughters.  

What I thought:

  • This book not only spoke to my relationship with my daughter and things I should be communicating to her, but it spoke to my heart as well!  It speaks to any woman!  Words of encouragement that tell us, we are enough, and valuable because God says so! 

"We are enough because God declares it so.  This is the great scandal of the gospel."

  • Enough is hilarious!  Humor is scattered throughout this book filled with heavy truths.   The chapter titles themselves captured your attention and frankly, I couldn't just stop there!  

  • The emphasis on Scripture!

The Word of God centers us, focuses us, and tells us the truth-it will tell your teenage girl the truth.  -Kate Conner
  • The structure of the chapters made this a very easy read! 

I absolutely loved every part of this book!  I plan on buying copies for my friends and getting the companion book for our daughters. (10 Things for Teen Girls)  Enough is definitely a book to re-read again and again.  It was that awesome!  

More about this book:

"We all have teenage girls in our lives who we love, whether it's a sister, friend or daughter. Conner offers herself as a translator helping you to speak that teenager girl's language and equipping you with a fresh perspective from which to engage her.  Kate has identified 10 things these girls need to hear daily from someone who loves them." 

About Kate Conner:   

 A writer, mother, blogger and inspirational speaker, Kate expands her blog post:  Ten Things I Want to Tell Teenage Girls into the book, Enough.  

You can win your own copy of this great book!  
Leave a comment and enter below for a chance to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post. 

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Monday, July 28, 2014

2014-2015 Curriculum Picks: 8th, 7th and Kindergarten

2014-2015 Curriculum Picks

Tera-  8th grade


Language Arts:
125 Ways to Be a Better Writer and Teaching Genres- These are two older books I randomly picked up from book sales that teach writing and the various genres of literature. 
Creative writing group with friends using

SmallWorld's WordSmithery

Tera asked to spend an entire year studying about the American Revolution.  At first, I said, "No", but then start thinking, "Why not? Isn't that why we homeschool?"  Since I couldn't find a whole year's curriculum, I decided to do what I've always done.  Piece things together.  

We are using the following two books as a springboard in addition to other historical fiction and non-fiction books from the library.  I'm finding lots of resources on pinterest as well!  

I'm adding to my pinterest board on a weekly basis.  She looks through the pins and picks out what activities she wants to include for that week's study.  


Tera needed some variety in science this year.  We decided to again piece together things she was interested in studying.  

Each week, she spends one day a week on a different area:  Kitchen Science; Life Science, Chemistry and Animals.

Science Experiments You can Eat and Kitchen Science
CK-12 Life Science
Elements of Faith with supplemental work on the Periodic Table of Elements
God's Design for Science: World of Animals

Latina Christiana with Book of Roots

Fine Arts:
Art lessons
We use a variety of resources for music and art!  We listen a lot and we create a lot!


If you read one chapter of the New Testament every weekday, you can read through the New Testament in a year.  So, we started that in January and we are continuing that throughout this school year.  We are also finishing our catechism curriculum from last year, My Faith.  

Daniel- 7th grade

Saxon 76 and Saxon 87

Language Arts:
Spelling Power
125 Ways to Be a Better Writer and Teaching Genres-These are two older books I randomly picked up from book sales that teach writing and the various genres of literature. 
Easy Grammar Plus
Word Roots
Creative writing group with friends using 

SmallWorld's WordSmithery

Science and History:

Daniel's love of science caused me to combine his science and history using Joy Hakim's book, Aristotle Leads the Way with Teacher's Quest Guide and Student Quest Guide developed by John Hopkins University.

I've been very pleased with this curriculum.  It provides cross-curriculum activities that we incorporate as well. 

Latina Christiana with Book of Roots

Fine Arts:
Private Flute lessons
Art lessons
We use a wide variety of other resources for music and art!  We listen a lot and we create a lot!


If you read one chapter of the New Testament every weekday, you can read through the New Testament in a year.  So, we started that in January and we are continuing that throughout this school year.  We are also finishing our catechism curriculum from last year, My Faith.   

Michael- Kindergarten

Please read my post 10 Essentials for Homeschooling Kindergarten for more of what we do overall.

Language Arts: 

We use a lot of reading resources: old school textbooks, readers, library books, Abeka readers, First Reader reading supplement.  Anything that is on his level, and we own it...we use it!


A wide variety of workbooks and manipulative items.  

Kindergarten Math:  5 Activities Using Teddy Bear Counters

Lesson Pathways has some great resources I'm picking and choosing from for math.

Pinterest is a great place to find hands-on math ideas.   


God's Design for Science: World of Animals- Tera is doing this with Michael once a week.
I'll add more science as we go, but nothing  too formal for kindergarten.  

Fine Arts:

Art projects
Singing, dancing, playing!
Year of Little Lesson Plans- Tera and Daniel are picking through these thematic lessons and doing various activities with Michael.  


Listening along on our journey through the New Testament and we use lots of Bible story books!  

 That's what our homeschool is up to this year, how about yours?


Also linked up to Hip Homeschool Hop, and List It Tuesday

Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: A week of creating

 Weekly Wrap-Up
I went into the week without any specific plans.  Some days I planned as we went along. (We did math, science and history every day)  Guess what?  The sky didn't fall in, my children learned lots of things and maybe created a whole more than what I would have planned for them. 

Daniel's been working on fair projects, Michael worked on a Lego maze almost one entire morning and Tera experimented with quilling fondant for a fair entry.  

We got together with friends one afternoon just to hang out and some other friends for writing...

Oh, I got the cutest clock for our bedroom!  I absolutely love it!!!

They played lots of chess.  I met a new homeschooler at the library and had a wonderful chat.  Today, we did an art project for the first time in forever and we listened to our new Seeds Family Worship CDs.  We did math and that other stuff, too, but some weeks that other stuff doesn't matter quite as much!  

10 Essentials for Homeschooling Kindergarten

Homeschooling Kindergarten does not have to consist of structured curriculum and rigid schedules.

Here are my:


Games are so much fun and can teach the same skills you would pull your hair out trying to communicate.  They also teach good sportsmanship and patience!

Some of our favorites (Really, there are too many to list): 

Qwirkle (patterns)
Product Details
Candy Land (colors)
 Product Details
Dominoes (numbers and addition) 

Product Details


Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons is our go-to resource.  I will say it is not a fit for every child, but both my boys completed it successfully.  Don't feel pressured to have your child reading by the end of the kindergarten year.  It doesn't happen like that with every child.  


Read...Read...READ to your children.  Read them books they like, books about history, books about science, poetry, Bible stories...really, read them ANYTHING!!!!

I wrote this a couple of years ago and it's still relevant:


Get those squirmy little bodies out of the house!  Go on walks, talk about what you see, let them draw things, notice their surroundings, and just be.  

The Fine Arts
Listen to music, sing along, dance.

Create and make things!

It doesn't have to be formal, just let your kids experience the arts and let go of picture perfect results!

Videos and Computer Time

While this is not something to overuse, educational video and computer learning programs are a wonderful tool to utilize in your kindergarten. 

Some of our favorite computer websites and games:

Building Things
My sons love to build things.  On any given day, my kindergarten usually pulls out at least one of these:
Lincoln Logs
Tinker Toys
Keva blocks

Most younger children love building things.  My son spent the entire morning making a Lego maze, and that is perfectly fine!  He's learning problem solving, creativity and using his imagination.  

Character Education

If you haven't started already, character education is vital!  

Bible stories, memorizing easy Scripture verses, learning to share, to be kind, and to serve others are essential skills not just for kindergarten, but life!

We Choose Virtues is a great introductory program that has a positive approach to teaching about kindness, gentleness and other virtues. 

Life Skills

Simple chores-emptying trashcans, picking up after themselves, helping with dishes or laundry and any other age-appropriate skills
Tying shoes
Basic cooking skills or helping make dinner

Hygiene (Washing hands, coughing into elbows, and brushing teeth, etc.)

Hands-On Math

I have a very hands-on kindergartener this year, so we pull out all kinds of math manipulative items:  teddy bear counters (Kindergarten Math:  5 Activities Using Teddy Bear Counters); dice; dominoes; and bingo counters. 

I've found some printable games that my kindergartner has loved so far:

Domino Parking Lot

Cross Out 
Race to Trace

All you really need is to search on Pinterest for hands-on math ideas and you'll get tons of ideas!  


The most important essential for homeschooling kindergarten is FLEXIBILITY!  

Some days are just not going to go according to your plans.  That should be expected and it's perfectly fine!  Go with the flow!  Let them play!  Lots of learning takes place in play.  

Relax and be flexible!  

Hip Homeschool Moms

hip homeschool hopcarnival of homeschoolingList_it_Tuesday RLH 

Friday, July 18, 2014

20 Eggplant Recipes

Eggplant is a fairly new vegetable to our family garden.  We've planted them for three years and this is our first actual substantial harvest.  I'm excited to share some new recipes with my family and with you!  


Polpette di Melanzane aka eggplant meatballs from The Free Range Life
We have made this recipe several times served with spaghetti and sauce.  It's one of the only times we have "meatballs".  

This would be great served over couscous with a fresh garden salsa (Diced tomatoes, cucumber and onions.  Mix with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice and parsley) and garlic yogurt sauce (1/2 cup plain yogurt mixed with 1 tsp. olive oil and garlic to taste).  

I love a great veggie burger--it's a mix between eggplant parmesan and a burger.  What a great idea!

We make these on zucchinis all the time!  These look so delicious!

What a colorful dish!  I'm not sure my kids would like it, but my husband and I most definitely would! 

How creative!  

I think this would go over great with my picky eggplant eaters!

I love how this is a freezer recipe!  Bread and bake those eggplants then freeze for later use!

I've always wanted to try ratatouille ever since that Disney movie came out.  This stew looks like just like the one Ego's mom made for him as a child. 

An easy version of a Greek recipe that combines ground beef, eggplant and a custard topping.  Sounds and looks delicious.  

Appetizers or Snacks:
It's a dip, what more needs to be said?  

I've breaded lots of zucchini and eggplant this year, but I'm definitely trying this version the next time!  

Plain hummus seems a bit boring after seeing this recipe.   

A great way to use eggplant and cucumbers that are so abundant right now.  

I'm always on the lookout for kid-friendly recipes when it comes to veggies like eggplant. 

I love how this recipe takes a traditional dish and makes it all over again with a unique ingredient!   

Eggplant Crisp
Photo courtesy of Sarah @ The Free Range Life

My first reaction:  "Sweet eggplant fritters, oh my!!"  These are definitely going on the menu really soon.  Like "how quick can I get in the kitchen?" soon!

Anything with chocolate icing would go over great in this house.  

Another combination that sounds yummy and healthy!

Eggplant and Chocolate Chunk Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting from Dining with a Stud 
Who ever thought eggplant could be so decadent? 

What are your favorite ways to eat eggplant?  I'd love to have you share!  

The Chicken Chick
Green Thumb Thursday

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Garden Recipes

When your counter looks like this....

You cook like this....

I have been in the kitchen a lot lately using the veggies from our gardens for dinner recipes.  I've been trying tons of new delicious recipes!

Oh my...this was awesome!!!!  It turned out so beautiful with all the contrasting colors.  One great thing about this recipe is that it can be frozen in batches!  I added bacon bits to our recipe.

After our trip, I had several things in my fridge that needed using up before it went bad.  One night I had two carrot side dishes to our dinner. 

Everyone LOVES this recipe!  The next time we have bbq, this will be our substitute for cole slaw. 

A couple of our favorite side dishes:

Zucchini Tots 

Squash Fritters


My eggplant are doing awesome this year!  These are Ping Tung and Listada De Gandia from Baker Creek.

Baked Eggplant Meatballs
My family likes a crispier meatball.  So, after I bake these I fry them with just a bit of oil to crisp them up a bit.  Always a hit! 

Zucchini Parmesan

Slice one of those zucchinis that you didn't see until it was the size of a small child.

Dip slices in egg.  Then dip in bread crumbs mixed with shredded parmesan cheese mixture (I used a Italian blend)

Bake at 425 degrees until crispy, flip once after about 15 minutes.

Layer slices, spaghetti sauce and more cheese in a casserole dish.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted!

The Chicken Chick



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