Monday, October 30, 2006
We're around the 80 day mark as far as how many days of school we've done, and we're right on track for where we should be in our curriculum... so a day of reasonable accomplishment with lots of free form fun was very well-placed. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus!
Saturday, October 28, 2006
- 7 lbs of taco meat
- 8 lbs of sloppy Joe
- 4 lbs of browned hamburger with diced onion
- 16 lbs of shredded beef (for sandwiches)
Today was cooking:
- 16 cupcake sized individual pumpkin pies
- 2 full-sized Paradise Pumpkin pies
- 2 mini (pot pie) sized blackberry pies with lattice
- 1 Blackberry Cobbler
- 1 Batch of fudge
It was really a "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie..." type of cooking.
- I had left-over canned pumpkin in the fridge from this week, so we started the individual pumpkin pies.
- When we'd mixed that up we had more pumpkin left, so we made Paradise Pumpkin pies.
- We'd made my grandmother's pie crust recipe for the individual pies and had left over crust, so I made more crust and let ds6 make his own mini pies and he chose Blackberry from the options I gave him.
- That only used up half the Blackberry filling, so we made a cobbler.
- We were out of evaporated milk, so I substituted 1/2 whole milk and 1/2 condensed milk for the paradise part of the pumpkin pie, so I had 1/2 can of condensed milk left over and had to use it - so I found a fuge recipe...
I really love 30 Day Gourmet and what they do for my freezer. I find myself proselytizing for 30 Day cooking all the time! I'm just so excited at how much it helps:
- my physical exhaustion at the end of the day
- my mental exhaustion after teaching all day (I don't have to think about what I've got in the pantry, what that recipe takes...)
- my emotional exhaustion (I end up screaming at the kids more when I'm cooking dinner than at any other time of the day).
Tips from today - wear hot mitts to sort the freezer. This made a HUGE difference for me! I sorted the freezer - basically, took everything off 1 shelf at a time and sorted it into "breakfast, sweets / side, sauces & condiments / chicken & fish / meat / and a it won't fit anywhere else shelf"
Other Tip from today - As I have just a few spoonfuls leftover from rice, vegetables, the main dish, desert, etc. - I put it in a freezer bag labeled as a "Frozen Meal" and the contents. Then when Dave comes home from working late and asks the inevitable "is there anything to eat in there?" He can pull out a full and varied dinner and nuke it. Otherwise, he might wake up in the middle of the night and find my stash of cookies or raid the penut butter...
This weekend I'm doing 30-day cooking. It's really more than that. I'm hoping I've planned well enough to take me through Christmas with just a "booster" shot of cooking.
When I went to Aldi's and bought 3 carts overflowing ... you should have seen the looks I got. Then I went to Sam's. I've still got some stuff to pick up at Kroger that I couldn't get at the previous 2 places. Several people asked if they could join the party I was obviously having. I told them they're welcome to. When I got home, Dave had cleaned out the garage that I had trashed (well, I'd been tossing stuff in it while I cleaned the house) so that I could back into the garage - it was pouring that day. Of course, I couldn't back in and ever since that first accident the first day he put me on his car insurance policy, he's pretty cautious about me and vehicles, so he backed in for me. I sure wish I would have gotten my freezer defrosted before this fall. With my dad's illness and death, there was just no way. I did it early spring, but then the kids left the freezer door cracked open overnight... Dave was as hot as the freezer! So, we have snow mountains in the freezer and I'm trying to squeeze the food in around it...
This is my most expensive recipe, and such a yummy one!
- Beef Roast
- Onion Soup Packets (1 per pound of beef)
- Water (1/2 cup per pound of beef)
Friday, October 27, 2006
It's election time! I'm posting this link for our Catholic friends and family. The Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics does an exceptional job of outlining the factors we must prayerfully consider when discerning who deserves our vote in any election.
This booklet gives clear and concise official Church statements on five issues that do have moral implications:
Embryonic stem-cell research
and homosexual "marriage"
These issues are "non-negotiable" when it comes to their moral standing—and Catholics must not compromise on these issues.
Monday, October 23, 2006
It's sort of funny, how I come back to the same things over and over. As I told you all on my homeschool website, I've used Pflaum Catholic Student Planners and been reasonably happy with them. They do the trick, have a few saints in them and the reference for the Gospel that week. DD 10 likes it, fine. Dd8, not so much. I've tried the kind with one week on a 2 page spread and no lines - she didn't like it (and I didn't like how much I had to rewrite things day after day "Practice Spelling Words", etc.) She preferred a weekly list. I was so proud of my diligent daughter who wanted something so grown-up as a concise goals sheet. Well..... the kid in her turned up last week. She was less than diligent. To help her along this week, and for the rest of the year as far as I'm concerned, I made up a 2-page spread weekly student planner in an Excel document. It's got 5 days as the header of the rows, although since Wednesday is our field trip, co-op day, it only has 2 lines as opposed to the other 5 days having 6 lines each. The 9 columns I created are for 1. Days of the week (really short column) 2. Math / Latin (they don't go together, they're just both short entries) 3. Religion 4. Language Arts 5. Science *then there's a page break* 6. History 7. Memory (we do lots of this) 8. Other (Piano, field trips, etc.) 9. Spelling words (this is a long column and takes up as much space as columns 1 & 2 put together). The Spelling Words has numbers running down the column to fill in the weekly spelling words.
Donna Young has some very specific examples and descriptions and options on her site. http://www.donnayoung.org/forms/planners/planner.htm
If you look at the sample pages of any of the student planners online, you get a great idea of what you want.
I typed in specific instructions for specific days that are recurring (Monday is always get new spelling words / Friday is always spelling test, etc.) There's a lot in our school that can't be planned too far in advance.
Science occured for 2 hours this morning and the kids kept asking for more throughout the day.
I'm pretty happy with the planner. We'll see what she thinks when she wakes up tomorrow....
Friday, October 20, 2006
This was the culmination of a month's worth of history work and was completed at the end of Sept, 2006. We're using RC History - Connect with History, volume 1. This was what she chose for the "telling" phase of Unit 2 [connecT]. It was a comparison poster of the 4 cultures : Israel, Mesopotamia, Egypt & Ancient China in their religion, technology, writing & contribution to today's world. Each picture lifted up to reveal the paragraph underneath for that culture and category. She was awful proud of it, and so was I!
That was really cool. The head of the cemetery had information for us about their specific cemetery, plans for gardens in the future, habits of people who visit the cemetery, local well-known families, historical figures buried there, saints chosen to represent various parts of the cemetery and why, specific anecdotal information about saints and their orders today, weather, weathering, ground upheaval, stones for monuments (headstones), statues, buildings and how they hold up after years and what specific conditions affect which kind of stone....
Friday, October 13, 2006
"Have you ever gone fishing?"
"If your roof is broken, do you climb up there and fix it or does someone else?"
"Who's the oldest person here?"
Today, the kids are outside trying to fly kites. It's pretty windy out. The preschooler has been done with all of this school since 10am and has been patiently waiting (or not so patiently, depending on the hour) for the 1st grader to get done - who didn't start until 11am. They both have been waiting until the 3rd grader got done - now they're busy flying (or trying to fly) kites in our fenced in backyard.
The dishes are done, but the table isn't cleared from lunch & afternoon snack. I've got to get off the computer and get it done before Dave comes home and accuses me of being a lazy homeschooler! Poor Dave. I have fights with him in my head about things that haven't happened. I can just picture the fight we'd have if he actually called me that...he never has...and he probably never will. Of course that time in the hospital when he was having an alergic reaction to the drugs he did actually yell a little... BUT THAT'S OFF THE TOPIC.
-- oops, I have to go fix a kite first (is fixing a kite more important than clearing the table? which is being lazy?...hmmm....) "Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height. Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring. Up to the atmosphere, up where the air is clear. Oh, let's go -- fly a kite."
As promised, I got those articles on laziness posted to Dave's homeschool site. (He made me PROMISE I wouldn't mess anything up. He's such a worry wort. It has nothing to do with the car I crashed when we were engaged, or the one I totalled when my sister and I went on a "cheesecake run", or... I guess crashing his website scares him as much as crashing his car.)
- Diagnosing Laziness in your child
- Diligence versus Laziness in your homeschooler
- Battle for Diligence in your family
Along the lines of full disclosure and the "Lazy Homeschoolers" title of this post...I should come clean with my laziness. I called Dave today to ask him how to do the code for the website and he asked me if I'd been on the computer all day. I had. He asked me if we'd gotten school done. Some of the diligent kids had, but the ones who struggle with laziness hadn't. His implication, although he's too sweet of a guy (and values his life enough) to ever say it outloud, but the implication was -- while you're playing with these articles on Laziness, have you been lazy doing what you want rather than what you should...ummnnn...uhhh... I sort of was pretty silent on the phone. I have been working hard...but ...mmm. Yeah.
Thursday, October 12, 2006
I ended up typing out a few articles on Laziness in children sent them into the IAHE. There was one thing I didn't put in the articles, but is something I do in our family. It's very effective. As background, I'll copy a little from "Diagnosing Laziness (part 1 of 3)" :
We love our children, how can we label our children with such a sinful sounding word? It just sounds…yucky. Cancer doesn’t go away because you ignore it. My dad died of colon cancer 5 years after he started having symptoms because he didn’t want to admit there was a problem. Not that your child will die from laziness, but it won’t go away or get better because you make it sound nicer. It is what it is. Because you love your child more than life itself, you’re willing to wipe their bottom and their snotty faces and look at what they need – pleasant or not – and provide for them.
Here's a snippet from "Diligence versus Laziness (part 2 of 3)":
Rules of Engagement – You are the parent. Your mission is to be the parent in this battle. Anyone who is not the parent, can not take or maintain the authority of the parent. They do not have the wisdom or loving discipline to effectively handle the authority. Hostile take-over or pilfering of authority away from the parent will not be tolerated. You are the parent.
Use an assignment list or a student planner – I use lists for younger children and student planners for older kids. I write out everything for the week or month. I include all social engagements. I need to keep track of how ahead or far behind the child is at least daily, if not several times a day.
- In between meal snacks
- family meals – loose eating the same food as the family (they may have to eat peanut butter sandwiches (no jelly) and water for dinner and sit with us when I fixed a great meal we're all eating in front of them. This will be more painful to a sensitive mother’s heart than to a rebellious child.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
First read the article entitled “Diagnosing Laziness”. After you've lovingly decided it is laziness that is keeping your child from doing their work, then read on.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Dave and I went to a pro-life banquet last night. It's always so inspiring and moving to hear of others who are so dilagently using the time given them in this life to help save others' lives. Sometimes it feels like my contribution - just being with my children and cleaning -er- not-cleaning my house is so small to the cause of solving the world's problems. But my children need me. They need me to understand the complexity of life's issues and to slowly explain it to them while they are being protected and nurtured to grow into strong, capable citizens capable of making a difference. My little life looks even smaller in light of these huge problems and the incredible efforts of others to make a difference. I pray. I vote, write letters and try to stay informed. It all seems so little compared to 4,000 babies killed every day in America to abortion!
However, I don't live my life based on my feelings, but on the objective truth that I KNOW. I know this world is a better place because my children have a mother who stays home to nurture and educate them. I have to allow myself to live in the middle of that truth - rather than be distracted by the wonderfully worth while causes to which I could dedicate my time. *sigh* someday when I don't have little ones...God willing, but today, I need to do the dishes and grade a math paper or 3.
Diligence versus Laziness in your homeschooler & Battle for Diligence in your family
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Quote of the day: "Mama, this day was so fun, it could last me a MONTH!!"
Friday, October 06, 2006
I've started reading "Clutter's Last Stand." We'll see if it helps. God knows I need help in this area.
One of the kids is running a fever today. I can hardly believe that this is a 5th illness on the heels (or in the middle) of the cold we all had this week. Everyone is at the end stages of their colds (residual caughs, stuffy noses) except the sick kid. No one else ran a fever - I hope it's the same thing, but... it looks like she's got 2 things at the same time. I sure hope that this means we'll all be healthy at Christmas. I don't know if our vitamins got exposed to ultraviolet light and all the potency got sucked out of them or WHAT! Thank you, God, that it's just annoying illnesses we're dealing with rather than life-altering diseases or injuries and please be with those people who are dealing with such life devestating events.
Quote of the Day "Thank God that He gave our kids 2 parents instead of 1." (This was in reference to the question about Dave's sled - as mom's we're not nearly as adventurous with our kids as the dads are - is that good or bad or just God's design?)
I got special permission from our friends to let the kids "Do the sled." Dave created this sled on wheels with the kids using 2x4's, plywood, rollers & cabinet handles. It's just a rectangle that's long enough for a kid to lay on his belly with his knees bent, legs held in the air, hands on the sides holding onto handles - all on rollers. Dave hooks it onto the back of his bike and takes them to an empty parking lot. It looks alot like a boat with an innertube. They sure do have a good time. I wont' really have anything to do with it, but from what I hear, I'm not a very fun mom.
My kids would like to introduce their kids to Garbage for breakfast. We've introduced these kids to a few dishes they now like (nachos - for whatever reason they wouldn't eat it at home, but will at our house, and Egg-in-the-bread -sometimes called Chicks-in-a-basket)
Garbage 15 minutes
Use what you have and what you like. If I were making it for me, I'd use green pepper, mushroom & tomato in addition to the pared down kid version below. This is for a family of 6, so pare it down for less.
2 Potatoes, diced
1/2 Chopped Onion (Diced if it's for the kids to "hide" it)
Breakfast meat, cooked (we use whatever is convenient. My family's favorite is ground sausage. I keep it in meal sized portions cooked and frozen for just such a recipe on the fly, but I've chopped up sausage links, ham, bacon...we don't use very much meat in this - 6 saugsage links, or 1/3 lb of cooked ground sausage)
1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
I often use shredded or country-style frozen hashbrowns instead of diced raw potatoes. If I've made sliced fried potatoes the night before, I'll toss those in instead. Toss in onion, if you're using it - a little if even just for taste, to cook with the potatoes. Fry in scant oil or butter. Add in cooked breakfast meat to heat it up. After the above ingredients are cooked together, break the eggs in the skillet over the other ingredients and stir up together. You don't have to scramble them, and you don't need as much for an omlet, just really to coat the potatoes. Top with cheese just to melt and hold it all togehter (since you don't have very many eggs in it, it just falls apart). It HONESTLY looks like garbage.
The filling thing about this is really the potatoes. I serve it with sour cream (we lOVE sour cream with all our potatoes including hashbrowns). We'll see how the boys this weekend like it...
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
We're done with Ancient Mesopotamia and are immersed in Ancient Egypt. We'll spend 1 month here while we simultaneously learn about Abraham - Moses. The kids are LOVING this unit of RC History. They are reading books and re-reading them. Since everyone has colds today, I think we'll spend the rest of the afternoon in Ancient Egypt. We were supposed to go to our co-op Academics Club today and have a play date with our cousins, but 5 sore throats is enough to keep us home.
Horus god Anubis with a mummy Nut, the sky goddess Hershef
geography in story form
I love this guy's site : Mr. Donn Ancient Egypt
There is a cool example of using 1 piece of cloth to make a woman's draped dress in the left column of Pharaonic Egypt - Garments - truth be told, the entire site seems EXCELLENT for information.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
We don't do much for Halloween. We allow the kids to dress up & trick-or-treat and we hand out candy. The kids go to a homeschool Harvest Party or an All-Saints Party on November 1st...
Today, both girls (& Mama) were sick with colds, so school was going along at an easy pace squeezed in between naps and doses of Motrin (I swear we should buy stock in that company - we buy an obscene amount in the winter.)
Then the doorbell rang. No one was at our door. A lunch bag was on the porch with 2 pieces of paper & candy in it. One piece of paper had an outline ghost with cute big eyes that said "You've Been Ghosted" and another piece with instructions to make 2 copies of each sheet and secretly "ghost" 2 neighbors. Then put the original "You've been ghosted sign" up on our front door and watch the neighborhood throughout the month to see how many homes get "ghosted." My kids went ballistic. For being sick they sure got excited. It was just adorable. So they're plotting who they can surprise (as soon as I get to the store for early Halloween candy - we always eat it if I buy it early and we have to get more.) It was such a silly little thing, but the kids were so animated for a "sick day." I wonder who did it to us.....
Jenn’s Mom - - This is what I cook when the Pastor comes over for dinner.
1 lb. Round Steak (cut in strips)
3/4 C Water
2 T Oil
4 t Soy Sauce
1 med. Onion, sliced
1/2 t Ginger
1 med. Green Pepper, sliced
3 C Cooked Rice
1 env. Au Jus Gravy Mix
Brown meat, onion & pepper in oil. Stir in remaining ingredients, except rice. Cook 5 minutes more. Serve over rice. This is so easy and tastes AWESOME!
4 oz Crab Meat, drained & chopped (1can)
¼ tsp Garlic Powder
4oz Cream Cheese, softened
30 Wonton or Egg Roll Wrappers
½ tsp A-1 Sauce
1 Egg yolk, well beaten
Combine crab meat with cream cheese and seasonings in a medium bowl and blend to a paste. Place heaping teaspoon on each wonton. Moisten edges of wontons with egg yolk (or water). Gather the four corners of the wontons together at the top and pinch the edges together to seal. Heat oil to 375*. Add wontons in batches and fry until golden brown; about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with Chinese mustard, red sauce or Sweet & Sour sauce.
Vegetable & Seafood Wontons 25 minutes @ 350
1 env. Lipton Recipe Secrets Vegetable Soup Mix
1/8 t Pepper
15 oz Ricotta Cheese
40 Wonton Wrappers, refrigerated or thawed frozen, from produce section
1/2 lb. Imitation Crabmeat, chopped
1 T Olive or Vegetable Oil
1/4 t Garlic Powder
In medium bowl, combine vegetable soup mix, ricotta cheese, crabmeat, garlic powder and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon ricotta mixture on center of each wonton. Brush edges with water; fold corners into centers. Press to seal. To dress them up, you can tie an edible leaf, like green onion, around the ‘package’ like a ribbon. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet; brush with oil. Bake 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, turning once.
VARIATION: Use 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked shrimp in place of crabmeat.
Cover filled wontons with damp cloth until ready to bake, then brush with oil. These take about an hour to wrap, but are a big hit!
Dave & I will be blogging on this site together!
- an almost 40 yr old hs mom of 4 dc ages 10-4, married to Dave - 12 years
- intrigued by families who can actually keep their house clean - Are you one of them? HOW do you do it?
- getting better at not yelling at the kids as much - this is more God's accomplishment than mine
- mourning the loss of my father who died in August, 2006
- a little overwhelmed at teaching 5th grade this year - dd#1 is doing GREAT, I'm the one feeling overwhelmed (I say this every year, BTW)
- happy that my 4 year old is so excited about reading
- trying to be patient with my ds#3 (6) who doesn't like to read, yet. It took Dd#2 until almost 3rd grade before she "discovered" reading could be fun.
- looking for a new stew recipe - chicken or beef - post a comment of your favorite
- teaching myself to knit
- wishing I had the courage to parachute jump, although my back gets sore just getting out of bed
- really content that I'm too chicken to parachute - Dave wouldn't let me, anyway. He's an insurance agent and doesn't even like me to burn candles in the bathroom.
Come visit my website at http://www.thmg.com/highlanddove to get a better idea of who I am - or visit my blog a bit.
This is a Word Snapshot of my website (Highland Dove is the name of our homeschool.)
Put one on your blog or website free from http://snapshirts.com/
My husband's homeschool website is http://www.homeschool101.net/ - well, I'll help with it, sometimes.