Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Short Story

Jamin has published the first part of a 3 part short story set in AK on his blog, if you care to read.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Produce co-op, friends, phone calls, pizza, movies - Friday night.

The boys are out with friends and the youngers are watching The Big Green again. Michael's plane was delayed but he'll be in sometime tonight...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stacia's Play School

I'm going to steal Deja's term. It goes well with my endeavor to funschool! LOL

At our MNO on Monday our speaker, Julie, shared some of my all time favorite verses (Philippians and James). It was encouraging.

She was also practical. She shared that she puts her twin 2 yos in their high chairs during school. Jared used to sit for HOURS and play in his chair while we did school. No one else has enjoyed this idea.

Julie also shared that she lets her twins make books. THIS was an idea that had real potential. I bought a pack of .39 blank index cards. I hole punched them. I put them through one of those notebook ring things. I bought the CHEAP teacher stickers at Walmart.
Sure enough - we started to do couch school and she started fussing. She wanted up, down, a bottle and was just very noisy. I grabbed her "book" and the stickers. She spent the whole time we read peeling stickers off and putting them on cards.
We moved to writing at the table and I brought out
Here's my confession of the week: years ago I banned all crayons from our home. ALL. I was tired of finding melted crayons in the car, marks on stray cushions and walls....I did buy colored pencils.....but I went and bought crayons....and Stacia had a great time playing with them while we worked on writing. There you have it - I think my transformation from school at homer to funschooler is now complete. I let Legos back into our home. I make messes quite often in school. Maybe I still need to figure out the whole salt dough thing? I'm oh so very close to being a real funschooler. PBS emailed that I'm getting "The Relaxed Homeschooler" in the mail.....

Continue to be our busiest day. Tonight I was once again armed with dinner in the crock pot. The boys gave the Chicken Divan in the pot a thumbs up. I don't think it was as good as my oven version, but it tasted near the same. I added crackers and cheese in the last 30 minutes....I think next time I'll leave the lid off...the crackers weren't as crunchy as typical. The boys would rather have ANY Divan than NO Divan...they certainly wouldn't have gotten Divan from the oven on a Thursday without the crock pot. LOL

Yes, I watched Miss Potter last night. I loved it. I missed having the girls here to watch with me.

My back has really been hurting a LOT since Saturday. I've not mentioned it because I'm stubborn and determined that my decrepitude is not going to take over my focus and life. By last night I could barely walk. I finally took meds and spent the night in pain with a hot pad. Today I skipped working out and continued meds. I'm sore....and praying it heals quickly. I'm guessing I'll have to skip work out again tomorrow....and sit with heat....please do pray if you think of it.

We got school done - see post above.

I took on of my gals, whose dh is deployed, to lunch. It was fun.

I ran to the store to pick up a few items for some care packages I was putting together.

We drove two boys to HoF.

The youngers and I then delivered care packages.

We came home and started rice and did a quick pick up.

We ran to pick up boys.

Back home for dinner. Josiah came home for Divan and took Jamin and Jared to work and CAP for me. YES! That is one less road trip I need to make - and I can sit with the heating pad instead. Poor Josiah worked today, had homework and a class, and went back in to help out tonight...the good thing is he'll get a nice bonus AND he can bring JAMIN home so I don't have to go get him at 10:00.

I'll go pick up Jared tonight from CAP and call it a night.

Friends - that has to be the best part of the day. Lunch with Debbie and then Brenda called. We met Brenda and her family in San Antonio when we lived down there. I'd been thinking it had been a LONG time since I heard from her. I kept emailing and then stopped and figured I'd better call....but you KNOW how calling is with me....I am still planning. I got a call today as I was driving (brief) and my emails for the past year had been caught by some spam and all delivered at once. We're going to talk tonight. Some of her young adults will be at the World View camp this week that Jamin and Jared are attending.
Does this look the face of a child capable of such GROSSNESS????
Our house MOVES on Thursdays!

I was busy getting the final touches of the Chicken Divan into the crock pot (we'll see how it works) when Stacia came running in. We'd let her play in the back yard (off the library so several students were RIGHT THERE) while I finished in the kitchen.

Stacia ran in and said, "Jared - LOOK! I have poop." And she did. In her hand. Turns out it was Beatrix' dog doo. ::ugh::, ::gag::, ::pfft::

I'd forgotten how the Nikon tends to make folks "blink"....but here's a shot of her first hair cut....yes, it's short...because she or Zander cut 1/2 the back week's ago...I waited for it to grow enough to be human and then evened the back and cut the I said it's a work in progress to cut her and Zander but by Sunday she should look fairly spiffy!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Recipes for Linda....

Goodness, I've been lax. I think you wanted Jodi's Garlic Pull Apart Rolls, here's my version of it...I think you can switch it easily enough to normal ingredients if I put strange things in it. I can't remember. Really, the technique and the garlic are the key - you could use any bread dough. You could also do this as cinnamon and sugar rolls...but then that doesn't fit well with my new resolve to lose weight. LOL

Yvonne's Lemon Chicken
Throw the whole chicken in the crock pot. Rub a bit of butter all over it. Sprinkle paprika, parsley, thyme, and salt over the chicken. Then squeeze a lemon over all. Cook on high for an hour and then low for four or five more hours. I cooked it on low for 8- 10 hours. I think I planned 8 and it was 10 before we sat down. ::snort::

And Buttery Parmesan Rice Mix
Yvonne directed me to Hillbilly Housewife's site for this recipe. This is meant to be made into a mix for quick dinners. I used it...but plan to make the mix to keep on my pantry.

1 C long grain brown rice or white rice (I used 3 Cups for our dinner).
2 tsp vegetable or chicken flavored bouillon (I used veg)
2 T dry milk powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder (I used way, way more)
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese - from a can (I used fresh)

Combine all and put in a resealable plastic container. Label and seal. Store in the fridge or freezer because of the cheese. This is enough for 1 package of mix.

To Prepare:
2 T of margarine (I used butter)
1 package of above
2 C of water

In a 2 qt saucepan combine the butter, rice mix and water. Bring the mixture to a boil. Place a lid on the pot. Reduce the heat to the lowest possible flame. Simmer, covered until done or for about 45 minutes for brown rice or 20 minutes for white rice. Serve hot.

This was YUMMY!!!! Was really good for stir fries later too. I threw it all in the rice steamer. I had to triple this to get enough for dinner and some for lunch the next day. You may find one mix is not enough for your family - or it could be that I have three teen aged sons....

For BBQ Chicken Pizza: I use either Jamin's crust or the Deep Dish crust and the sauce from this recipe. This sauce IS our BBQ - I make extra and have it on hand.

Did I miss any recipe you'd like, Linda? ::snort::
Grams' Apple Cake

1 C Sugar
1/4 C shortening
1 Egg
1 C Flour
1 tsp Soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 C Nuts
1 C grated Apple

Mix all - put in a greased and floured 9 x 9 pan. Bake in 350* oven for 25-30 minutes.

1 T Cornstarch
1/2 C White Sugar
1/2 C Brown Sugar
1/4 C Butter
1/2 C Coffee Cream (I don't KNOW what this is - I just use cream and it's yummy)
I add vanilla - as much as I want ::snort::

Mix well. Cook until thick, serve hot over cake.

I LOVED this cake. Michael doesn't like caramel and the kids seem to follow his tastes on this one so this was a company cake. The thing is - I've not tried it with our healthier ingredients I'm going to have to...and the weight gain will be my friend, Michelle's fault! ::snort:: If any of you crunchy moms try this with things such as whole wheat, butter, honey or rapadura - do tell how it turns out and what you did. LOL I worked on the chocolate pecan pie last holiday. LOL

I'm exhausted! I must have done something today - it's only 8:24 p.m.

Hmmm....well I watched "Hanged on a Twisted Cross" from Netflix last night. It was a documentary about Dietrich Bonhoeffer (which I'm sure I spelled wrong). I enjoyed it. The children that attempted to watch it with me - did not. LOL

Today was a weigh in day at Curves. I have to do that weekly for the next 6 weeks. After voicing on Monday that I didn't think this was going to work for me; I was pleased to have lost 2 lbs this week. My fat percentage went UP - I don't get that....but I'm not going to fret just yet.

We did school.

We met a friend and her children at the park for a couple of hours.

I took Jamin, Arielle, and Nolan to that nasty store that is the cheapest around and bought tennis shoes, got hair cuts, and even found a few shirts, pants, and a DRESS that Arielle assures me she will try to wear.

Back at home we hustled Arielle and Nolan out the door with Deja and kids. Emma and Eric had invited them to AWANAS. This may have been their first experience at that? I forget that the younger ones haven't been at a base they remember where we had huge family programs. LOL They had fun. Michael is still out of town so it worked well for them to be out on one of our "family stay home" nights. Which is really a misnomer since the older boys rarely ARE home when the rest of us are. ::snort::

Jamin, Jared, Zander, Stacia and I ran out for a couple of more errands. We're getting the two young men ready to go to World View Academy on Sunday. Back at home Stacia and Zander bathed, Jamin lifted weights, and Jared went for a run. I cut both younger ones hair - sort of a progressive thing. I do as much as they can stand and then attack it again later. LOL

All are home now and I'm hoping to get Stacia down early. I'd love to catch Miss Potter tonight. LOL
Mummies for Michelle

::snort:: Don't you love the title? Michelle here's the link with photos from when we started the project. I first saw this in one of the library books we'd checked out. I didn't want to use baking soda so I googled "apple mummies" and came up with lots of instructions. Most said to use baking soda and salt mixed together. Two said it was optional; I left it out.

Cut your apples in 1/2.

Dig out the insides (talk about brains through the nose and internal organs if you have kids that like those sorts of things).

Put one apple on a plate.

Put an inch of salt in the bottom of an airtight container. Put the other apple on top of this. Cover with salt.

Cover container.

Set on a shelf.

Compare at 2, 4, and 6 weeks. I think it might be good to put them in a dark area - but ours are sitting on my fireplace mantel. It's working.

I really thought the apple on the plate would become ant bait but so far - all's well.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Scenes from HERE....

A friend grabbed me outside of Mom's Night Out last night and asked me if I'd like this (see below). Wow! This makes my sneaky "strewing of books" so much easier. The little ones have been grabbing books all day. I was able to eliminate one basket of books. Thanks friend, am I allowed to say your name on the blog? S....friend S....
The boys think that I've brought them stairs... "just like the pyramids" and I begin to wonder if I'll have to make a giant plywood pyramid before this is over.
Filled with our butterfly and jungle books
Apple Mummies at 2 on the right has been exposed to air...

Before you all think I've gone bonkers, before friends and daughters begin to call and email me holding me accountable to "staying home and getting my home in order"....may I say that this is the FOURTH WEEK OF THE MONTH!??!! I've blogged about this several times. I am NO LONGER out of control. I'm very careful about what I agree to do outside of our home. I even shared tonight at Bible Study how Lynn helped me to gain control and focus when I lost it heartily in AK (teaching so often, etc). This is simply the fourth week of the month on a military base, in a military chapel. EVERYONE knows that all monthly activities and meetings must be planned for the 4th week of the month. ::snort:: THAT is why we have PWOC Project nights on the SECOND week of the month!

Today we had school.

I had a PAC meeting.

We had more school.

I had Bible Study.

Now I'm going to sleep.....the rest of the week is also going to be busy!
Sermon Thoughts

I have been mulling over some thoughts from my favorite's preacher's Sunday sermon. ::wink::

Michael spoke on Luke 19:1-10 - Zaccheus

He gave some great background on Jericho...we are finding our Bible reading is coming alive in new ways now that we are studying ancient Civs again..... I'm just going to share the points. You can probably read the passage and fill in the blanks for yourself if so led. Mike gave two titles for each point. I'll put the one I liked first and the alternate second. LOL

1. When you can't see - CLIMB A TREE or When Obstacles Abound Seek Higher Ground
~Ok I can't give points alone - what really stuck with me here were the questions "What keeps you from seeing Jesus?" and "What do people see when they see me coming? Forgiveness or judgement? Jesus or a Pharisee?"

2. When You See a Sinner Invite Him to Dinner or When Jesus Came He Knew My Name

~Wow - that Jesus KNOWS us and that he dines with sinners.....
~I never see Jesus shunning a repentant or seeking sinner, but I've seen Christians and whole Protestant Evangelical churches shun "sinners" and say they are treating them like "sinners and publicans" - this HIT me....Jesus knew Zaccheus was a sinner - He invited him to dinner...not a lot of shunning going on. (Note - I mention Protestant Evangelical because that is what I am and my objective is not to be pointing fingers at any denominations - but the personal way we treat "sinners" - like we aren't sinners.)

3. Where there's Grace there's an About Face - can't remember the other title....things began to pick up intensity in the service here and I was otherwise focused. LOL

~Who was looking for whom?
~Jesus came to seek the lost -

LOST - destroyed, devastated by something that occurred in the past and has ongoing results - THIS is what this Greek word means. Jesus CAME to SEEK those who are walking through current devastation because of past occurrences in their lives. Grace was unasked for, it was unearned....Jesus wanted fellowship with a sinner and it led to repentance.....

In conclusion, Mike shared about our experience with Stacia in the pool. He shared how he was desperately trying to reach her and yelling "get the baby" and how everyone was simply watching him try to reach her....the fear, the desperate longing, the striving....and how that night he couldn't sleep. God spoke quietly to him as he prayed, "Mike, I feel the same feelings you did when you were trying to reach the baby, for the lost around you. Get the baby!"

It was powerful.

Monday, September 24, 2007


It's come to my attention that I've not updated since Friday. It's sweet when y'all send me emails and call to check on me.
If a picture is worth 1,000 words this one should explain it gets a bit insane when my sanity leaves.....and the appliances may well be staging their rebellion as I type. I must remain vigilant.

4 hours at the library working on lesson plans, correcting papers, gathering books for this week

3 hours with Jamin, Jared, Michael and I have our Socratic discussions for history, Church history, and lit. Michael made my MONTH when he commented after listening/participating in the last hour of discussion that, "You did good, I'm impressed." He promptly printed off 20 pages of Spurgeon's sermons for us to read "in our spare time" - one titled "Exodus" and one titled "The Passover" (or at least close to that).
We played games or something that night.
Two services and a fellowship.
Josiah and Jamin rented "The Big Green" for us to watch. Cool.
6:00 Curves
7:00 - 8:30 School
8:45 - Dr's appointment
9:15 - 9:45 Family Circle, School
10:00 - Airport
10:15 - 11:00 - Groceries
11:00 - 12:00 School
1:30 - Speech
2:30 - 4:30 School
6:00 Curves Weight Solution Class (I made BIG points by stating that I didn't think this was going to work for me ::snort::)
7:00 - 9:45 - Mom's Night Out
There you are...the outline. Tomorrow will be another busy, busy day....then Wed....well Wed and Thursday may be busy too, but Friday...well Friday is co-op and well.....
Did I mention I've been praying about adding 2 music lessons, 4-H, and horse riding lessons?
This is JUST the bare bones....nothing said about the fun new homeschooling family at chapel, or the friendships developing here and there, or the awesome encouragement at MNO.....just the facts.
OH YEAH - Josiah got his first two exams back. He made 86% in history (the prof wants more writing in his answers ::snort:: - this is the boy that summed up the ancient Greek gods by saying "they were really messed up". This short answer issue has been long standing). He scored 102 on his math exam.

Friday, September 21, 2007


We have produce again! Yippee! I think numbers are going back up after the summer and we'll soon be back into a nice groove. Michael took Jared to visit our new doc on base.

Michael had wanted to take me out today. He's going to be gone next week. We agreed to lunch. We decided to load all the boxes from produce co-op and Shop Natural co-op into the back of the van and stop at the recycling center. Stacia noted we were going to leave. She started saying, "Daddy, Please I come. Please I come, Daddy"......she went out on a date with us. LOL We used to go out alone one week, take a child out the next week, go out alone again, and then double date....guess we are sliding back into that. She was a doll at the restaurant and we had a good laugh. We had a LOT of folks stop to tell us how darling she was, most smiling very widely and sweetly at us. It was apparent that all thought we were a sweet older couple who had FINALLY had a child in our old age. ::snort:: Same child - vastly different reaction when they see us all out together. ::snort::

JAMIN and JOSIAH are both home tonight. Jamin made pizza. I lucked out again. The guys went to watch the homecoming football game for the team that Jamin played for a few years ago. I spent my time putting unit 1 into sheet protectors and getting ready for my weekly lesson planning session.

YES, our new TOG arrived! The map aids are back ordered - bummer - I really need those. The Writing Aids look great. Michael is looking forward to the Pop Quiz.....there is a weekly audio portion - 15 minutes for him to listen to and he'll know what we are all studying. There are also cards with questions for each level per week - conversation starters. The only thing "off" is that we got two unit 1 lap book kits instead of one of unit 1 and unit 2. LOL We had decided we want to work on ONE as a family and not separate ones. I'll call the company on Monday.

Hogan's Heroes is about to begin. I'm off.
Thursday - BUSY

We went to our local nature center. Jared found out that what he thought was a garter snake when he was mowing was a baby rattler! God help us. They had baby pythons. They fed the snakes. They EAT mice and I was totally sickened and grossed out....but Zander and Nolan held the snakes. ARGH. We used a gal of antibacterial stuff when we left....lots of strange insects and critters.

We had one hour between the center and getting Jamin and Jared to HoF.

I usually use the 3 hours while the boys are at HoF to let the littles play while I make phone calls. Yesterday, we did school. We watched a DVD on King Tut.

I made Parmesan rice to go along with our crock pot chicken. I also made Jodi's pull apart rolls and a salad. I'll use the left over chicken tonight with the left over BBQ sauce from earlier in the week to make a BBQ chicken pizza - my favorite. "They" like ham and pineapple...reminds I'd best pick up some of that deli turkey ham today when picking up the produce order....

And that reminds me that I have 20 minutes before I have to do that and I've not set up tables and baskets. ::snort:: The day is off and running! No pictures or links because - one I forgot the card for the Nikon and two - I'm running late. LOL

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Moosewood" Refried beans - Crock pot version

2 C raw pinto beans
6 C water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped onion
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 C minced green pepper (I didn't have any so left this out)
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 C rice (optional)

Mix all in your crock pot. Cook on high. At 5 hours it was "beans and rice", by 8 hours I only had to stir and it was mashed...with a few chunks...we like chunks. I could have put it in the blender or mixer and made it really smooth. Add oil if you like the taste of the fat. You could fry it if you'd like.

We ate some for dinner and I froze the rest. I doubled the recipe and it was great in my 7 qt pot. I added the rice because I didn't want to have to drain the liquid from the beans...worked well.

Original Recipe: 

This recipe did not have any water listed which is odd as it calls for "raw pinto beans." ::snort::  So.....however you want to do it - get 5-6 C  of cooked pinto beans.  Here's the original recipe. 

2 C raw pinto beans
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C chopped onions
3 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 C minced green pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
olive oil (about 3 T)

Cover the pintos with water and let soak 1.5 hours or more.  Drain. Cover with more water and cook until well-done- usually 11/2 - 2 hours. (See post about the easiest way to cook dried beans). Drain off excess water and mash with a wooden pestle or potato masher (or throw them in a food processor or blender).

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onions, garlic, cumin and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook over low heat until onions are translucent. Add green pepper, cover and simmer 5 - 8 minutes. Add sauteed vegetables to the beans along with a tsp of salt and black pepper (salt to taste). Mix well. Keep the beans hot in a medium oven until ready to serve.

Just made these again last night - the stovetop vs crock pot way and was surprised when they were ALL gone. I open a can of Rosaritas and they put a "bit" on their tacos - must have it - but no one eats the rest. This was a lot of beans and they were all eaten. I do believe I need to get back into the habit of making some up ahead and freezing. (11-1-2013)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yes!!!! Another week over 1/2 way completed!

I went to Curves. I placed our produce co-op order.

School didn't go according to our normal schedule this a.m. because we discovered we were out of TWO essentials: milk and dog food. While at Sam's, I picked up 3 types of cheese and 10 lbs of beans. I think I had a craving for beans and rice. ::snort::

Nolan and Zander carry 25 lbs of bird seed and dream....
of hefting 52 lbs of dog food!
We DID manage to school in the afternoon which is pretty amazing for the younger ones and I. We are typically useless for anything but crafts and games in the afternoon.

I decided to get some beans going in the crock pot. My thought was that I could later turn them into refriend beans. Josiah loves to throw beans and cheese in a tortilla for a quick snack/lunch. One thing led to another and before I knew it I'd thrown all the ingredients for our favorite refried beans into the crock pot...along with a cup of rice because I wanted it to thicken up and I didn't want to drain the spicey liquid. It worked wonderful. At 5 hours I had some savory beans and rice for dinner instead of a steak.....and at 8 hours I had only to stir to get refried fat. LOL

Jamin and I continued to work through the HUGE curriculum for driving in TX. I can't believe all the work that goes into getting a permit or license down here. Good stuff - but surprising - I've not noticed the drivers down here to be any better than any other state we've lived in...and considerably worse when it rains! ::snort:: ::ducking::

Mike came home and burned the steaks for me. I fielded several phone calls while making bisquits, fruit, and oven fries....Jamin threw a "man's salad" together. Do y'all know what a mans salad is? HUGE pieces of lettuce, quarters of red peppers, and quarters of carrots....very basic but manly, yes! LOL

While we were all bustling to get dinner on the table, Stacia came running in with Arielle following....
"I dit - I dit"

Oy vey - WHAT did she do NOW????? She went potty in the toilet! I think she is training herself....I'd best get on board. ::snort:: Quite the change from Zander who cared NOTHING about such things until he was past 3.

The younger ones, Michael, and I, headed to a new building area to find an errant rocket. We didn't find it. The older boys finished cleaning up dinner and met us. It was a great night for a walk.....lots of cool breeze...maybe fall will reach us here eventually.

Josiah had his first college exam today. He's not home but I trust it went well. He has another one on Friday.

I believe the Students are arriving back for Master's Commission this week. Bre and Krista both report being busy with preparations. The first week is always an orientation and a big trip up to the mountains/retreat etc. The second year students arrived last week. Bre was still trying to find a few more host homes for students last time I talked to her.

BBQ Meatballs (Freezer/Crockpot Meal)

3 lbs ground beef (I use turkey these days)
1 12 oz can evaporated milk (I do whatever I think I should do)
1 C oatmeal
1 C cracker crumbs (or another C oatmeal)
2 eggs
1/2 C chopped onions (or more)
2 tsp garlic powder (use fresh)
2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder

2 C Catsup
1 C Rapadura (brown sugar)
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (WHAT is this stuff - Zander won't eat this meal so I use it)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (I use fresh)
1/4 C chopped onion

To make meatballs, combine ingredients (mixture will be soft) and shape into walnut size balls. Place meatballs in a single layer on wax paper-lined cookie sheets; freeze until sold. Store frozen meatballs in freezer bags until read to cook.

To make sauce, combine ingredients and stir until "sugar" dissolves. Place frozen meatballs in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan; pour on the sauce. Bake at 350* for an hour.

Yield 80 meatballs.

I'm trying to get favorites on the blog s0 that I'm not at the whim of "I Don't Know" who puts my cookbooks in strange places. I use this sauce as our BBQ sauce - you can use LESS sugar. I've used this over meatloaf. It's WONDERFUL to have the meatballs in the freezer - you can make so many DIFFERENT meals with them. In a pinch you can even buy Sam's meatballs and top with sauce. LOL

I have a lot of sauce recipes to throw in a crock pot or oven with meatballs. LOL

For more yummy eats check my recipe index.
Menu for 17 September

Yeah - I KNOW it's Wed - but remember I couldn't do my Sat chores on Saturday. ::snort::

Monday - Shepherd's Pie

Tuesday - BBQ Meatballs & Rice - Crockpot

Wed - Steak Burn, Corn on the Cob

Thursday - Chicken - Crockpot

Friday - Pizza - HOMEMADE - I can do this even though Jamin isn't home. ::snort:: I'm not sure if I'll do deep dish or "normal", but we'll have fun!

**I'm not sure what I'll do with that whole chicken in the crockpot - feel free to send your suggestions! LOL

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Woohoo! We're getting it nailed down. We finished school. That's about it. I made BBQ meatballs and rice for dinner. I left it in the crockpot and rice steamer and left for Bible Study. Bible Study was fun. We're doing one of Carole Kent's "Becoming a Woman of Influence" studies: Six Keys to Lasting Friendship. I talked with the ladies about what we'd like to do next. We have two homeschoolers, two retirees, one student, a busy mom or two, two working moms: none of us want to tackle a really in-depth study like Precept Upon Precept or Beth Moore. It isn't where this group is. After study Debbie and Sherri talked with me about doing another in this series - and I think that's a good idea. That would give us another easy 6 week study....and get us to Christmas....then we'll buckle down and study a book of the Bible in January.

Jamin and I began working through the parent taught driver's ed that TX requires. We did school. That's it.

Thanks to Cindy for motivating me to catch this first film! ::grin::
Zander tries to write his name for the very first time!

Yikes- what's this about? Too much stress already? Ah - the rascally "e" is not cooperating

The finished project

Our Egyptian Snack -

I think they like MY bread better - this was salt, water, flour - no fat, no sugar, no yeastNo wonder the mummies had no teeth!Jamin, the valiant, joined us....his verdict is that the hummus is good but the bread - well....Stacia ends the night by inviting me to come sit with her! I think she may be about ready to train...

A Rather Silly Prayer Request - I decided it was too silly to share on SHS - but for those who read my blog - well - they probably care about the silliness of me - or they wouldn't READ the blog. ::snort::

~I loaned out my new digital camera to folks I trusted.
~My camera was inadvertently left at Walmart.
~It’s gone (Yes, they have our name and number, we've checked various depts, we've called DQ as well)

Please pray for ME. My heart needs assistance. I’ve forgiven those involved. They really can’t pay for a new camera. It was an accident. Sure there are lessons there to be learned - and I'm sure they've been learned. I loved my new camera - but I can still use Michael's Nikon - which I did yesterday. Nothing I possess is worth more than people! Never has been, never will be.

Here's the thing: I’m having a tough time forgiving the person who picked up a digital camera at a drinking fountain and took it home instead of returning it to Lost and Found or the Auto desk which was 60 feet away.

I alternately find myself praying the person is so convicted that he/she returns the camera to Walmart, or that the camera is a blessing to them…but I need to forgive this person.

I’m having a hard time doing that. Which is plain silly as God has forgiven me for so much more than the price of a Cannon Power Shot…..I really don’t have a choice – do I? I need to simply forgive. The thing is I need to walk out the forgiveness and not just pray to forgive – so pray for me to settle this in my heart – not simply my mind – today!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Marvelous Monday

*If you didn't notice that I updated Destinee's entry twice today - please scroll up - she needs our prayers TONIGHT!

I'm telling you, I'm on a roll! LOL

I made it to Curves this a.m.

School went well.

We added speech therapy into the mix today.

Nolan and I ran to Hobby Lobby to pick up supplies for making clay lamps and Egyptian instruments later in the week.

I made Shepherd's Pie for dinner and then ran to Curves for the first class in the "6 week solution". I hope it is. I'm a bit doubtful - but maybe. LOL

Michael and I were able to have a nice talk with Josiah. We discussed our expectations (and his expectations) as he lives in our home as an adult. His plan is to move out this summer so that he is all set, if we get orders. A wise plan.

We played a rousing round of tag in the front yard.

Michael, the fantastic four and I went on a walk.

All are in bed....I'm going now.

Oh, Josiah just went to get Jamin from work.
School -

Woohoo! We got it ALL done....

I began talking about cows, calves, squares, the number 1 and the letter A with Zander. He decided today that he'd like to learn to write Alex and not Zander or Alexander. ::snort::

We did our TOG, our writing, our independent work....math....began studying butterflies....and we made Egyptian Bread and Hummus....which our book tells us are authentic. I'm not sure what the spices should be like in this Hummus - I used the Moosewood recipe. Nolan tried it and said it "takes your breath away". I'm not sure that is good.

As for the bread; I'm guessing we're making pita bread.
Arielle & Nolan enjoyed playing/working with the dough!
Trays ready to sit covered overnight, we'll make it in the morning. Stacia is our taste tester....and she is not wearing clothes because it works better that way when we are painting or cooking. ::snort::
Nolan & Miss Natalie....
Speech began again today....Miss Natalie said that Nolan had grown a foot over the summer. She is going to work with him to write a book in the next few weeks. She thinks this will give her lots of time to work on sequencing with him.
What is this????
Does anyone know what this is? I guess I'd best schedule time in to visit a nursery.....
Jamin's Blog

Our 16 yo has a class this year in which he is trying to get book reviews etc published. We've run into a problem. No one seems to WANT to publish what a YOUTH thinks about books - even the teen magazines have adult reviewers telling them what teens think. ::snort:: A blogger is born. He will be publishing his book reviews, editorials, various writing assignments, short stories, various excerpts he's working on from his book - to his blog.

He may eventually write about "life", but my family seems to think that I do a well enough job communicating our daily activities. ::snort::

You can visit his blot at

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Rolling by Neta Jackson and Bye Bye Black Sheep by Ayelet Waldman.

I've finished another book in each of these series: The Yada Yada Prayer Group and The Nursery Crimes. Both more of the same in each series. I find myself liking the characters in Yada Yada more with each book. LOL I actually finished these books a week ago but decided I'd never find the time to write reviews.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


This is not my idea of a wonderful Saturday, but I'm sure it will pay dividends later. I'm choosing to be joyful about it. LOL

I spent 7 hours working on lesson plans. We realized last week that Mondays are so horrendous because it takes me a solid hour to get the older ones lined out for the week...then I have to do us. My big confession is that after 18 years of homeschooling - I DON'T USE LESSON PLANS! I haven't for many years. I teach directly from the assignment sheets of TOG - before that it was SL....which had the plans there anyway. I simply do what we do.....and it works. HOWEVER, for the older children it was getting very time consuming to explain over and over how to FIND ALL THE ASSIGNMENTS of TOG.... Mike and I decided it would be a good investment for me to spend a few hours at the library on Saturdays. It went well.

I spent 4 hours at the library. I got Jamin and Jared's plans done. I picked out books on cows and butterflies (Monarch's are coming). I corrected a lot of work.....I put in a solid hour on Jamin's portfolio from LAST year which needs to be turned in by December.

I came home and spent an hour with each boy going over the assignment sheets.

Meanwhile, Michael kept the younger ones and they had FUN...and I'm choosing joy! ::snort::
Ah yes...we figured out what the bouncing in the van was all seems we did not throw a counter-weight.....the tread was separating from the INSIDE. I shudder to think of all the freeway driving I did on Friday. SO....we now have new tires - and truck tires are not cheap. ::sigh:: Jamin offered us a no interest loan. ::snort:: Sure love these young men.

Mike took me out to DQ this evening. We came home and played charades.
I made an "assignment sheet" form, and then typed in all the assignments for each boy. Next week - I will take my LAP TOP to the library...then I could type in lesson plans, check websites I need etc.
Unfortunately, all my Sat. chores - menu planning, grocery shopping, cleaning....didn't get done....feel like I'm on a bit of a teeter totter here. ::snort::
What makes me think that if I throw enough forms at this problem it will go away? ::snort:: Actually, we DID get all our TOG finished by Wed this week and we did a lot of fun we're doing well....I want to do better. I want more play/down time.
Fall Into Reading 2007...

Begins on 23 September and runs through Dec 21st. Don't miss the sure to check out the info on Katrina's blog here. Really, there are very few rules, unless you want to be considered for the gift certificate at the end of the challenge.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Wow. Fun week. Today we had a play date. We never quite made it to school.

I dropped Jared off to mow a lawn at 9:00 a.m. When we got home from playing about 12:20 and he wasn't home I began to worry. When he wasn't home at 1:00 p.m. I went to track him down. I found the tell tale gas cans and knew I'd found the right spot. ::snort:: I knocked on the door and spent the next 30+ minutes visiting with a delightful seasoned citizen. She told me that Jamin (who did her yard last year) and Jared are great boys. She asked questions about Stacia. We chatted. I sensed that she is lonely....and she is very security conscious. She told me to drop by any time as I was leaving.

This all put our schedule off - but I felt it was well worth it to have those moments of well...ministry. All I had planned for the day were some hands on things.
I got word that my name was drawn to win a DK Family Bible - and I'm totally excited. I didn't have the $30 to purchase this and have been using the libraries copy. I can return it shortly - for all you local folks who have been wanting it. LOL

Tonight was PWOC Project night. Low numbers tonight - but we had fun visiting. I DID put 14 sheet protectors on. ::snort::

I got home earlier than usual on Project Night. Mike and the kids at home were playing charades. I joined in and totally grossed out Stacia by washing her feet with my "tears" and drying them with my hair. ::snort::
I'm rethinking tomorrows plans...we have three different directions to head....I think I may simplify the plan.

Stacia has only attended chapel. I'd not realized she hadn't seen a baby before. She told Deja she wanted to hold the baby and Deja is very generous with Elisha. She examined his toes, hair, nose, and lips....pointing them all out to us....Ah...Elisha is a doll.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Thursdays are our busy day. This one was a bit different.

I began with a workout and then ran up to the base with the 6 youngest ones to see this:
After years of planning today was the ground breaking for a new Chapel Center on our base. Our Wing Commander said this is somewhat of a miracle as this is the first Chapel to be built on an Air Force base in the last 15 years.

Bizarre Can-can line? (Michael is 3rd from right, Father Jim is next to him in Uniform - back from deployment YIPPEE on Tuesday night, Our Wing Commander is in the white hat and the man in the suit is our congressman.
We came back home and did school (see post below). Then we dropped Jamin and Jared at HoF for their weekly ministry volunteer time. I made FOUR phone calls while they were gone - some of you KNOW how long it takes me to make a phone call! When I went to pick them up, I noted that the van was bouncing rather much. I was sure I was losing a tire - but wasn't. Still not sure what is up. I took Jamin to work. I drove Jared to CAP. Ch. B called and said he'd bring Jared home. MICHAEL CAME HOME!!! What a treat, he usually works until 9 or 9:30 on Thursday night. Thanks Ch. B, for the ride home - it sure was a special treat for us!

I was bummed that we can't do produce co-op tomorrow (low members), but this worked out great. Mike was home and I wasn't busy getting ready for co-op. Tomorrow a.m. we have a play date. It's good!

Tonight the fantastic four, Michael, and I played charades. Krista sent some decks of cards with transportation and community workers on them. We drew a worker from a hat and then acted it out. When we ran out of cards we kept going. Josiah came home and joined us. Ignore the red eyes, I need to load Adobe and learn to touch up photos. LOL

Nolan, the Pilot
Arielle, the Chef

I drew "religious leader" - I have the DK family Bible from the library in my hands

Michael, the Cowboy He had the OTHER hat on first, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera and he refused to do it again! We laughed until we cried.

The two little cowboys - note the OTHER hat

Cy, the Tamale Vendor - Bre & Krista brought the sombrero home from their Mexico trip
School Today
I can't believe it. Things are clicking. It made a huge difference to move Nolan around on a few things and let Arielle speed ahead on extra Lit readers. I decided to let her read some of the dialectic lit in addition to her assignments, as she is somewhat bored with the Upper Grammar lit... We finished all the TOG for the week, yesterday(including literature and history SUPPLEMENTS). That left today for library books I'd picked up that looked fun and hands on projects.
I even cooked DINNER this week. ::snort:: I'm getting it. It took the first week of panic. The second week to adjust Jamin. The 3rd week to adjust Nolan and Arielle....we're getting it.
We each made a cartouche. We decided to follow the Egyptian practice of leaving out the vowels...which greatly sped up this project. LXNDR is much easier than ALEXANDER.
They all liked this project...even Stacia
RLL - Arielle

Stacia kept saying, "Mommy, I dit, I dit!" I looked...she was playing and eating clay. She was saying "I did it".

We also made apple mummies. I wanted to do something to bring the whole salt/drying thing alive and I think this will do it. We'll compare the apples at 2, 4 and 6 weeks. I liked this project as it required NO harming of animals...and no purchasing of dolls. ::snort::

Hmmm....all these hands on for Zander and he looks less than thrilled, doesn't he? ::snort::

I'm a bit skeptical about these apples on a plate lasting in TX for 6 weeks - seems like ant bait, but they've not found the pyramids yet. We have plans for more fun things next week - and maybe tomorrow afternoon.
Building Rockets

Last night Nolan and Zander talked Michael into working on rockets with them.....

hmmm...they measured the distance from the net to the ground.....
He built the rockets...
Not exactly the father/son bonding time we expected...but it will work. ::snort::

Michael has been home at decent hours all's strange. It's wonderful.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday! Wow! Over the Hump!

Quote of the Day: "Eww....why do they always have to kiss?"

School....The youngers and I actually got ahead in many of our subjects. The older boys are on track. I think we're adjusting. I planned on doing hands on things the next couple of days....but um....I made a big mistake. More on that later. ::snort::

I took two boys for haircuts.
Nolan wasn't expecting quite this short - but I love it! Jared's Grumpy Face ::snort::
I helped Jamin start a blog. We're thinking of another one for the kids - or maybe we'll just put more of their writings on HERE, I'm still deciding.

I planned to make 4 meatloaves today - 2 for dinner and 2 for the freezer....but instead we're burning 3 lbs of burgers and I made 3 lbs of breakfast sausage.
The infamous package and Jamin

I swear I don't know where they got the idea to have a war with the peanuts!

OK- the mistake? I had planned to order an Ancient World History Kit. I thought it would combine a few experiments from Egypt, Greece, and Rome; countries we are studying. I bought the kit and two extra student kits. They arrived today. They look fabulous! There are even 3 homeschooling magazines included for FREE. I'm really thrilled with the kit....except I ordered the Ancient Far East kit (China, Japan, Tibet). I think we only spend one or two weeks on those countries this year, and if I remember right they are packed weeks. I was terribly frightened when I saw those three fish. I had some bizare sense that they would KNOW that I wasn't supposed to HAVE ordered them and they'd spoil or explode before we could use them. I really want to recommend Hands and Hearts. Kate has been a cyber friend via the SHS yahoo group for years. She and Jeff are the proud parents of Baby Noah to the right in the side bar. Our service was quick. The kit looks amazing! Fun!!! Jeff called tonight to assure me that the fish were going to be fine. I can send these kits back - but they look great! I don't think I'll order the Egypt kit. Actually we've already done a couple of the activities he mentioned are included in it....shoot if I'd bought THAT kit I would still have wooden spoons. ::snort:: I would like to make a senet board and they have a mummy project in the kit.... BUT I think I'll buy the Greece and Rome kits....I did order the Roman coins.....I guess because they went so well with Ancient Far East in my sleep deprived mind?

I briefly contemplated telling the kids that authentic Egyptians ATE with chopsticks and made fish prints....they just didn't show that in our books. ::snort:: We will briefly touch on China so maybe I can use that part of the kit and save the rest for later. I don't know. Has anyone out there used TOG year 2? Do we cover ancient China, Japan, Tibet etc?

OH - Stacia has twice had a strange reaction when getting dressing on her face. She breaks out in a red rash and welts....once all the way down her neck. Someone on SHS mentioned today that it could MSG. I realized that both times have been when she had store bought dressing. Tonight she had some Ranch - store bought since I'd run out sometime and bought this after our trip.....she turned red all around her mouth and up one side of her face. I checked the ingredients: MSG. The other types of dressing were Honey Mustard and Italian so the common ingredient seems to be MSG. I believe God is going to be sure I'm honest with my crunchy credentials. ::snort::

Dinner is over, clean up has commenced....think I'd best end this.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Freezer Challenge Winner

I've decided that for ME this challenge is NOT over and since the graphic does say 2007 and not Summer 2007, I'm going to keep right on in my quest to fill this freezer. I have a good start...but I've not gotten a lot of things done that I would have liked to get done. My goal is to have enough meals in the freezer that if I don't WANT to cook over Christmas, I won't have to. ::snort:: If any of y'all want to continue on, feel free to do so.
Now doesn't THAT sound appealing? Come to my home for the Holidays and I'll feed you frozen dinners! ::snort::

HOWEVER, I realize that most have completed their freezer challenge. And the winner is :::drum roll::: Michele at Dei Gratia, By the Grace of God! Winner was randomly selected from all who had commented.

I promise to figure out how to send you and Gilda gift certificates by the end of the week. Congrats!