Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cake Mix Cookies

2 Cake Mixes

1/2 C Butter

2 Eggs

1/4 C water (as needed)

Chips (optional)

Mix all together. Dough will be stiff. Form into balls. Bake 350* for 8-10 minutes.

Add nuts, raisins, chips, change out flavors.

This is an easy one for the kids to make when the urge hits.....and I bought cake mixes when Wholesome Foods was going out of business. ::snort::


More recipes can be found on the Recipe Index Page.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.


I love soup - when it's cold! It's been in the 30's today.

I made a chicken, veggie, noodle soup for lunch.

I made taco soup for dinner.

Then I realized - MISAWA WILL BE SOUP WEATHER much more often than Texas. ::snort::

I also realized that I want to get our favorite recipes on the computer so that I don't have to move all my cookbooks. The boys tell me that giving away my cookbooks would save at least 100 lbs. That's a warning that I'll be posting quite a few recipes in the next months. I've thought about starting a cooking blog but I'm not sure I'm up to that and it is simple to house them here. LOL

The Air Force WILL move all of our things to Japan (or 16K lbs of it). The problem is that what we store here and what we move cannot go over our weight allowance. We always personally take all our books (2 - 3,000 lbs). Right off the top we have to get rid of 3,000 lbs to keep the books we need. Since moving here we've bought a hutch, a freezer, 2 recliners and master bedroom furniture. We need to lose another chunk of weight. We want to be BELOW our weight allowance when we go so we can buy something cool in Japan to bring back....

It looks like the biggest housing we can hope for in Misawa will be 1500 Square even though we COULD take 16,000 wouldn't fit in the apartment....AND we've been told that there are not STORAGE units on every corner in Japan. It appears that most cultures GET RID OF STUFF when they over-crowd their home instead of renting a storage unit. ::snort::

Enough thinking for the night. LOL

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.


Can you tell Mike is working and I had photos ready to blog? ::snort::

I've been waiting for a minute to write this post. Several of us have been learning a lot about decisions. Since Mike is serious about saving this blog as a family record, I realize that I need to be sure to include some of the good, the bad, the deep and the shallow.... ::snort::

Three of us have made hard decisions in the past few weeks.

Me - For years I've wanted to be a PWOC Traveling Trainer. This is a lady who receives training and then commits to travel to at least three bases that summer and train the leadership of PWOC at those bases. Mentoring at it's finest. I love the program. Teaching is my #1 spiritual gift....I was looking forward to being a trainer this year. I am not pregnant, I am established in the region, I'm not nursing...the timing seemed right and I was excited. Mike and the kids were excited for me to have this opportunity. As time came closer, I began to realize that this might not be the year for me to be a trainer. I have committed to making these last few months in San Angelo focused on family and friends. I've already cut back to find time for relationships. I'm committed to making this a smoother move than past moves have been. I knew I needed to focus on Josiah, Jamin and graduation, finishing this school year strong, relationships and the move. I had NO idea when I would be moving or seemed foolish to commit to training in March and then 3 more weekends in the May - August time frame. I KNEW I'd be out of pocket for a month of the summer with the move. I decided to say no. It was HARD! It was GOOD. Now I know that this was a good decision. We are thrilled to move to Japan, but it makes it even more important that I focus on relationships with our older children.

Jared - Jared found himself falling behind in school. We had broken our "one activity per child" rule for what we believe were good reasons. He wrestled with the decision and finally decided to pull out of Civil Air Patrol and stay in House of Faith. Basketball is over. This has turned out to be a very good decision for him as he's been making great strides in catching up in school. We both learned valuable lessons and will work hard not to over commit in the future. We both have personalities that jump in 100% if we join something....we both are extroverts and like activity...but we need to focus...focus...focus.

Jamin - Jamin finished the bulk of his schooling the end of Feb. He planned to get a second job and continue to save for college and buy a new car. He decided to forgo the car and keep all the money for college. HARD choice - but good. He is working full time now....but decided not to take a second job so that he can be here to help Mike and Jared get our home ready for sale...and to insure that Mom gets plenty of Jamin time before the move. I love this choice.

Yep, there's been a lot going on and we've all been learning to let God order our priorities. We're also learning that sometimes God asks you to surrender and be willing to do something....then has you wait for the right season. I'm experiencing quite a bit of that in my ministry right now - some of it I understand and frankly, I'm still praying about quite a bit of it. It can become confusing. LOL

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

Our One Room Schoolhouse

Last night at PWOC, the topic briefly hit on homeschooling as several are considering entering the ranks of homeschoolers. A comment about "one room schoolhouses" has stayed with me. I thought it would be fun to give you a glimpse into our one room schoolhouse.

Jamin & Jared school on their own. We study the same topics each week. The younger ones focus on facts. Arielle is starting to reason it all together. The older ones work on being able to assimilate the info, logic and persuasion. We use Tapestry of Grace as our core. For years I tweaked various programs to allow us to all study the same subjects. TOG has allowed me to focus more time on hands on learning; less time on finding materials to coordinate from kinder - 12th grade. LOL

All the children have level-specific work for Math and Language Arts.

History, Literature, Geography, Bible, Art and Science we do together (with the above mentioned exception of Jamin and Jared).

We've been DOUBLE STEPPING here in our home. We had slowed to a crawl to allow lots of exploration of fun rabbit trails. Now that we know a move is honestly going to happen this summer we are picking up the pace. We've cut out many hands on activities...and are focusing on core books and lapbooks.

We LOVE these new to us lapbooks that coordinate with Apologia Elementary Science. Last week we saved all the work on the mini-books for Friday afternoon/Saturday. This week we are doing a couple of books a day. There are a LOT of books for lesson 6.....

Here it is - how one Science text is working for a pre-school, 1st grader, 4th grader and 6th grader.

We read the text.

We totally explore the photos.

We work on our mini-books.

Zander narrates the answers to me.

Nolan narrates his answers to me and then copies the sentences into his mini-books. Photobucket


Arielle composes and writes her own answers in her booklets.


Since the others have so much writing to do, and Zander loves scissors, he does most the cutting. We've also discovered he has an aptitude for figuring out the folds that stump the rest of us. I hand them to him and say - see if you can fold this so it works right. ::snort::


We've also been pouring over books on Japan. We watched a travel video from Japan. We have visited a few blogs written by those living in Japan. I've downloaded various things to use for a Resurrection Lapbook.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

Zander Finishes Off We Go...

Zander finishes the last page of his first phonics book......

and begins the second.

Zander has decided he REALLY wants to learn to I fully expect him to now want to play phonics games, work on his workbook and begin to read. He'll catch up...they always do. ::snort::

He's VERY motivated because NOLAN finally found the very last Sing Spell Read and Write reader. It's been "lost". When our kids finish that last book they earn a trophy...Zander thinks HE should get the trophy.....and he really wants to read about Vikings whenever he he's doubly motivated.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.


Yes, we see the dentist every 6 months. HOWEVER, I've not been satisfied that the younger two were getting a good cleaning and exam at our dentist.

I wanted to be SURE they had a good cleaning and any work done before we move to Japan. This is normal. I do this before every move because it takes a bit of time to get your new docs, dentist, hair dressers etc. ::snort::

I decided to take Alex and Stacia in to Dr. S - the pediatric dentist who had done Zander's crowns. I don't know HOW this office gets the kids to compliantly go along with anything they ask ...but they do. ::snort::

Stacia was nervous but she cooperated and had her first cleaning AND her first x-rays. She'd done the "happy visit" every 6 months for the past two years. ::sigh:: Photobucket

"I'm a bit unsure about THIS."
Cool glasses make everything better.

Zander has sensory integration issues...along with the spectrum issues.... he was really challenged by this visit - but did WELL.

He sung - well, hummed - in time with the hygienist's work. I was in the next stall with Stacia and said, "Is that Zander?" Dr. S said, "Yes. A lot of our autistic patients will do that. He's calming himself down." He told me later he was NOT singing. Those were wounded sounds. ::snort::
They each had a cavity and we'll go back to get those fixed. I was glad to have taken them. They also told me that I need to get my tooth fixed before I move. Our dentist had said, "let's watch it". Over 1/2 the filling has fallen off and it's been that way since July. They said that our dentist should have retried a few years ago. He's retiring now and I've not made the appt. because I felt like I "should" go see him and yet, I'm uneasy.....and I didn't know if another dentist will take me knowing that I'm moving. They said to explain the military situation and to be sure to say that I'm one of Dr. X's patients and they'll take care of it for me. LOL
Got back out to the parking lot and found THIS....
I also made a lot of calls on Monday and we did a lot of school.
Zander spent most of the afternoon trying to rub the feel of the dentist and flouride out of his mouth. This kept me busy making sure he didn't harm himself.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.

State to Oversee Church????

{Yes, I will try to blog "life" later today. I'm busy living it...but I need to record it for my great-grandchildren. ::snort:: }

Have you heard about the proposed law in CT to govern the Catholic Church? Here's a quote:

The proposed bill, which would take power from Catholic priests and bishops and
turn it over to parishioners, The bill would create lay councils of seven to 13
people to oversee the finances of local parishes, relegating Catholic pastors
and bishops to an advisory role.

You can go here, to read the full article. Jared and I first heard about this story on the Laura Ingraham show on Monday. Since Monday, the Catholic church, and others, have mobilized and held rallies at the state capital. The lawmakers have tabled the bill for this "session". Nevertheless, a planned rally is going to continue for Friday. You can find details here. If you are in the area, please consider attending.

This infuriated Jared and I. Why? Where is the ACLU? Where are the familiar cries of separation of church and state (which is honestly mislabeled 99% of the time)? It appears when we HAVE a clear cut case of the state imposing legislation on the church, the ACLU isn't that concerned....all of a sudden Americans aren't concerned about the separation of Church and State. Why has CT had laws for over 140 years legislating a CHURCH without any outcry?

I've been hearing of the rallies and such out in CA against the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church and many Protestant Churches by those in favor of the "marriage amendment". These folks have no problem rallying, protesting, standing up for their beliefs. I'm proud of the Catholic church and others in CT who STOOD UP this time to the encroachment of the state into church affairs.

In these days, more than ever, I believe it is important for us to "stay on our toes" and to get involved....or else we may see our values, our way of life, our religious liberties swept away.

Choosing Joy!
©2009 D.R.G.