Monday, March 28, 2011

Weekly Menu

Last week we just ate from the fridge, leftovers, some cooking, and a little of this and that. Dinner out two nights and pizza one night. Not good on the budget(is there one?) oh, yes, the budget!!

Here is the plan for this week.  I am only buying lettuce, corn chips, frozen fruit juice, and pasteurized milk to make my own yogurt, sour cream, and possibly cream cheese.

Mon.  Potato soup, homemade bread, and salad.  We need some healthy food after last week.

Tues.  Chicken/cheese/rice casserole and green beans

Wed.  Beef stew using cheap steaks and leftover homemade bread

Thur.  Two man-size eating friends coming  over  so lots of baked spinach lasagna with salad, french bread, and chocolate lava cake in the crockpot

Fri. My brother and family coming over for traditional sausage/eggs/hashbrown casserole, apple muffins, and orange julius

Sat.  Bean and cheese dip with corn chips and raw veggies

Sun.  Potluck!!!   My daughter's famous chicken pot pie,  and pound cake

This should help the budget and our health.  We sure need both this week.

thanks for reading,


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Linky Parties

It seems life is so crazy right now, not only the busy crazy but emotional crazy and I don't handle lots of strong emotions too well. ALL that to say......I am trying to link to some parties to help me get "my groove on" with this. I actually have posts come to mind all the time, but SOMETIMES they sound more like horror movies and heresy...and really who want to read about that on a can get that on the 5:00 news.

In my life this week...dinner for a friend who just moved to a new house,  errands and a sushi date night with my husband,  AO family we just met coming over to visit,  one child going on a weekend camping trip with NO RUNNING WATER OR TOILETS.   Needless to say, I will not be going with her, 

In our homeschool this week...reading good books,  planning my 9th graders last term for the year,  (love looking at all the books available.  Who would ever WANT to read a textbook when you can read other things that give better info?)  Going to the Heifer project and watching baby lambs being born f10 FEET AWAY.  God is truly a God of miracles,  daily. 

Places we're going and people we're seeing...enough said above about camping and Heifer Ranch.  I really like that we are home all weekend.  Good for my soul.

My favorite thing this week was...feeling better than last week,  making cookies with my little girl,  completely cleaning the schoolroom,  and watching my garden grow and grow.

What's working/not working for us...math is working,  going to bed at a decent hour,  reading a couple of good books aloud  (Children of the New Forest  and Mary Emma and Company) , both books about hard working families who live and love together, 

Not working,  still slow in my recovery from the flu.  I hate how it puts me at a slower pace of life,  but I will TRY to reap benefits.

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...I am planning/scheduling my 9th graders last term.  Tweaking and pulling books of the shelf.  She wants a little independence as far as choosing when to read each book each week.  I want her to enjoy what she is learning, but not at the expense of NOT LEARNING!!

A photo, video, link, or quote to link is my daughter's blog. She is busy making and selling headbands that are beautiful.  Contact her if you would like to purchase one. 

thanks for reading,


The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Friday, March 18, 2011

They're Here!!!

                                                                                  Look what came in the mail today.

Can you think what we will be doing all day?  The kids already have chairs surrounding the chickens and are busy naming them. 

I have had the flu all week and an now in the I-am-just-grouchy-and-my-house-looks-like-it-threw-up-on-itself phase.  I am REAL tired of being sick.  Not a good patient.  And the weather is fantastic.  If I could pull myself out of bed and get outside,  I would check on my garden and show you pictures.  Maybe I will send one of the well ones to do it. 

Have a great Friday,

thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meeting God in the Cloud

Some days  I read Stream in the Desert  by Mrs. Cowman for a devotional insight.   One morning this week the verse was from Exodus 20:21.  "Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was"    That was a slightly scary thought to me.  We have had a year of clouds at our house;   illness,  surgery, recovery,  high schoolers,  6 year olds and some in between,  extended family issues on both sides.   

Here is a  quote from Streams :   "Do not be afraid to enter the cloud that is settling down on your life.  God is in it."  That is truly where I want to be,  with God.    But I really would rather meet Him on a sunny hillside somewhere near the Jordan, (and if he provided bread and fish I wouldn't complain either.)   But I guess our nature is to sometimes  shun the sun, so He takes us to a cloud and we follow because we don't have anywhere else to turn. 

I woke up this week and my mind was racing through all the things I needed to get done for the day,  week, year.  And then God graciously stopped me, and brought my attention to Him.  There had been a pretty crazy storm in the early morning hours and He showed me how to praise Him for that.  Then he began directing my mind to other praise worthy things,  things I normally wouldn't have praised Him for because I would have only seen a cloudy patch.  But looking for God in the cloud made me thankful, and more at peace,  because God was there.  And Praise God,  He always will be.

thanks for reading,


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Children are born Persons!

Children as they are.––And children have not altered. This is how we find them––with intelligence more acute, logic more keen, observing powers more alert, moral sensibilities more quick, love and faith and hope more abounding; in fact, in all points like as we are, only more so; but absolutely ignorant of the world and its belongings, of us and our ways, and, above all, of how to control and direct and manifest the infinite possibilities with which they are born.

Charlotte Mason, Vol 3, pg 172
One reason I use CM's methods is because of this.  If you have ever been around a 20 month old,  you see the intelligence in them.  The other night my niece, who is 21 months old,  heard the sound of a ring falling on the floor during church.  She plays with her daddy's ring sometimes during the sermon,  and when she heard the ring,  her sweet head popped up,  she grinned at her daddy through her pacifier, and pointed to his ring, and them the sound.  She knew exactly what that sound was and knew she made that sound sometimes when she dropped her daddy's ring. 
We don't have to  open the minds of our children and pour information and facts into it. They glean so much from their experiences and surroundings.  But we must give them the opportunities to have these experiences, whether through walks in the woods,  music,  art work, biographies of great men and women all through history,  a lesson in the unalterable truth of math,  great works of fiction, lyrical poetry  and ultimately the greatest work that includes all of this,  God's Word, the Bible.  How much more will they learn through this method, than filling out worksheets and coloring in bubbles on a test. 

Cutting open turtle eggs after finding a dead turtle.  It STINKS!
If you and your children are sick of "school",  give a biography a try, or look up an artist and just observe some of his works.  Talk about what you read or saw,  draw a picture of what you remember.  And enjoy learning life through real experiences.
Here are some tools we are using right now in our home school.  We are reading a biography of Jame Madison by Jean Fritz.  I have understood more about our government during the early years than in any history book.  And I am not too sure things are as bad as they were then.  "DID YOU KNOW"  (famous words at our house) .   My youngest is learning about the Great Lakes area through the reading of Paddle to the Sea by Holling C.  Holling.  My oldest is reading American history in a book by Paul Johnson.  We just talked about the difference between an Englishman and an American in the year 1776.  Have you ever though of what made the difference, especially if it was between two families that came over on the same boat at the same time from London? 
These are just a few ways my kids are "experiencing" the years surrounding the beginnings of our nation.  We could have bought a textbook from some company and read right through it.  But honestly,  how much do YOU remember from this type of learning? 
Give a book a try.  You may find you like it.  And if you need some help finding a book for a particular historical time period,  here are a couple of web sites to help.
Ambleside Online

Tanglewood Education
thanks for reading,

Monday, March 14, 2011


I used to make 2 week menus.  I figured if it took me 20 to make 1 it probably wouldn't take no more than 22 to make 2.  Then things got a little crazy here at the house and I am struggling to make 1 each week.  Plus,  it seems my schedule changes every 2 hrs.  .

THIS week looks like this for dinners.

Mon.  Chicken and Leeks in a creamy sauce  over noodles,  salad,  crescent rolls

Tues.  Pizza Calzones,  salad

Wed.  Beef stew (using discounted steaks,  we'll see how it turns out)  homemade rolls 

Thur.  ST. PATRICK'S DAY CELEBRATION  Each year we celebrate St Patties Day.  I like his message of forgiveness because of Christ and a lifetime of service to the God.  But we also like Corn Beef and Cabbage,  potatoes,  green sides,  Irish soda bread, and either pistachio cake or Irish Cream cake.  Depending on the age of the kids,  we have watched Veggies Tales Version of St. Patrick's story,  read a story,  or  had the kids tell the story.  This year we will try to put on a short skit,  and then we are a having a limerick showdown.  My family comes over plus a couple of add ons.  So 22 in all.  Should be great FUN.

Fri.   Breakfast with muffins,  egg casserole,  orange julius

Sat.  Date with Husband, probably for Sushi!  Kids eat WHATEVER!

Sun.  Chicken Pot Pie made by dearest eldest child. 

This gets difficult.  I should probably stick to a few well loved favorites, but I DO LOVE variety. 

Remember when I was going to eat out of freezer and fridge?  WELL....   my husband and I read some articles on foods that were going up because of other food shortages.  So we stocked up on a few things,  also,  I have not had a moment to plan the 2 week freezer cooking.   Hopefully soon.   This past Sat. was SOOO nice that we filled in our raised beds and planted our spring crop.  SOOO exciting.  my kind of day.  Sun, dirt,  promises of future food by the grace of God. 

thanks for reading,


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Grey ...Cloudy...Blue

It has been grey and cloudy or stormy for days now.  When the days are like this I seem to go around in a fog.   I tried to write a post but felt it a little....BLUE.  So here are some thoughts from the past few days.

A.   I have begun watching Sarah's House.  I LOVE IT!   It makes me want to tear down walls and redecorate rooms. makes me want to HIRE someone to do that.  Which makes this whole idea a DREAM.

B.  I have been TRYING  to get up and do 30 min of exercise each day.  Someone gave me a Walk the Walk video...but the lady's chipper attitude at 6 am is NOT encouraging.  So  I mute her and listen to the Daily Audio Bible.  Much better.  I have never enjoyed chipper first thing in the morning.  My precious mother used to wake us up with this song;

Good Morning to you,  Good Morning to you.  We're all in our places with bright shining faces.  Is this not the way,  to start a new day>  
To which I would reply,  "NO,  It is NOT!"   I am sure THAT made her morning.

C.  The Memphis Homeschool Conference this weekend was FABULOUS!   I can't wait to go again next year.   We stayed at the Springhill Suites Marriot.  Absolutely fantastic.  They had just finished redecorating and it was wonderful.    The beds,  the bathroom,  the breakfast.  LOVED it. 

D.  The speakers this year were amazing and just what I needed.  I felt very calm and didn't feel the need to go to every speaker,  but just went to what my heart said I needed.  I heard a LEGO lady,  (FUN but expensive),  Mark Hamby of Lamplighter Books,  Tom Clark of VideoText,  Susan Wise Bauer,  Douglas Phillips,  Matt Friedman (first time I had heard of him.  He is on AFR), and Todd Wilson.  They were all great.  One night we had tickets to Tim Hawkins WHO is the funniest man in Christian arenas.  My cheeks were aching.  I HIGHLY recommend it next year. 

E.  Did you know downtown Memphis is really FUN?  They have street cars,  wonderful hotels,  great restaurants,  and they are all right together.  I would love to take the kids there and stay a night.  The Pink Palace has free Tues. this month.  The first day it isn't raining or freezing I think we will head over,  but just for the day. 

F.  I feel the need to cook something very AMAZING.  Last night I made a WW cake with sauerkraut.  It was very, very good.  Strange to think I ate part of a vegetable in my cake,  but there you have it.  Today I really want pasta.  Guess I need to get busy looking up recipes. 

G.  I am watching my smallest child use blocks to make a "path up to heaven.  But not God, cause you can't see God."  Precious.  I think I will get down with her and build.

thanks for reading,