Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Winter Fun!

The kids have been having fun with our little homemade ice rink!  We made a frame with 2X4 boards, laid a heavy duty plastic drop cloth in the bottom, filled with water and waited for it to freeze!  The kids have had fun playing hockey on it.  My husband also threw coins in the water before it froze so when it melts, the kids can collect them.  We have had to add more water every few days to keep it going, but it has worked out.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My MomHeart is Full!

Mother And Baby

This past weekend, I attended the MomHeart Conference in Denver.  It was such a huge blessing for me.  The Lord really showed me a lot through Sally Clarkson and her team.
I have read Sally's books and blogs fo manyr years, but I am more of an auditory learner.  To be in her presence and hear her share was such an education for me.  One of the people that really touched me was her husband, Clay.  What a man of God!  I was so excited to be one of the first to get his republished book Heartfelt Discipline.  We hear so much from amazing Sally, but Clay is definitely the backbone of this family.  To see how they love and support one another is so inspiring.

I have been digesting and pondering what I learned over the weekend.  I think that the main thing that is on my mind is that I am here to be a Kingdom Builder.  God has trusted me with these precious children that belong to Him.  He has asked me to bring them up to know Him and impact the world for Him.  What a huge responsibility, but I am so willing to sacrifice all to do this job along with my husband.  One thing that I was convicted by is, in order to fill my children with the knowledge of the Lord, I must possess it myself. I am rededicating myself to growing in my own relationship with the Lord.  I sometimes get so caught up in teaching my kids about Him, that my own time with Him is lacking.  I want my kids to see me living a life of faith, be a prayerful mom and a woman that loves the Word of the Lord.  My zeal for God was definitely reignited this weekend!  I am so excited to continue this life journey with my family so that we can continue together for eternity.

As Mary, Mother of Jesus, said upon hearing of her pregnancy, "I am the Lord's servant.  May it be as you have said."  Luke 1:38

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Giant Pancake

When I was growing up, one of my favorite meals was The Giant Pancake.  It has other names and variations succh as a German pancake or Dutch Baby.  When I have failed to make dinner plans on a busy homeschool day, I make The Giant Pancake. Tonight is that night.  I almost always have the ingredients for this on hand.  Bonus if you have bacon to serve on the side!  This only feeds four of us and no seconds so you may have to make several of them if you have a bigger family.

The Giant Pancake

1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
4 egg whites
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips
powdered sugar, fresh or canned fruit, syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with mixer on med. to high speed until soft peaks form.  Gradually beat in the sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until combined.  Alternately stir flour mixture and milk into beaten egg yolks.  Dust chocolate chip with a little flour(to prevent sinking) and stir into mixture.  Gently fold in the egg whites, leaving a few fluffs of egg white in the batter.

Preheat a greased(I use 1-2 T butter), 10 inch, oven proof skillet(I sometimes used a round cake pan) by placing it in the oven for 10 minutes.  Pour the batter into the preheated skillet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  The kids will love watching as the pancake puffs up as it cooks!

We like to serve it with butter, powdered sugar and canned peaches with light syrup.  Any fruit would be a great complement, but butter and syrup is also yummy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The $200 Hamster

                                                          Miss Stormy and Mocha

This is a testament to our family's love of animals.  Stormy is Pickles' beloved Winter White hamster.  She was a replacement for her other beloved hamster, Acorn.  She's still in the deep freezer, but that's another story!
Stormy developed a large abcess over Christmas break so we took her to the vet when we returned from our trip to Texas.  It turned out that she needed surgery because she was in severe pain and it would eventually kill her.  Pickles couldn't handle the news.  We had to save Stormy's life.  So on Friday, little Stormy went in for surgery.  With anethesia and surgical fees, it was $200!!!   We are so thankful that we received some money for Christmas.  It's not what we would have liked to spend it on, but at least we have a live(very valuable) hamster and a happy girl.  Pickles has aspirations to be a vet. technician, so she is getting practice with administering medication and watching Stormy's stitches.  At least it is a learning experience for her.
We are thankful for the companion animals that God has blessed us with.
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight."
Luke 12:6

What would you have done?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Curriculum for the New Year

  book books bookshelf bookshelves  bookshelf501.gif clip art education books
As is common with a lot of homeschool families, it's time for a reevaluation of curriculum.  A fresh start has come to our home with the new year.  I don't usually make resolutions, but I do like to see what is working and what is not from the past semester.  We had a very odd fall.  We jumped into several activities and had several health issues that put us into survival mode when it came to schoolwork.  The 3 Rs tended to be my main focus.  This semester will still focus on those things, but we are adding in much more in the areas of arts and science.  Our main curriculum will come from Geomatters . We used Galloping the Globe several years ago for Kindergarten/1st.  This year we will use it again with more depth.  Last time we didn't use Considering God's Creation with it and are going to use it this time.  We will also do various stand alone science experiments.  Pickles will also be completing the notebook for Trail Guide to World Geography by Geomatters.  I have a degree in geography, but I love that I don't have to do all the planning!  As a side note, I am planning to use their Trail Guide to Learning Series next.  Love this company!  We will add in add in more art and music with Harmony Fine Arts Level 4.  I used her 1st grade plans a few years back, as well. 
As far as everything else, we plan to keep most things the same(we don't do all these things every day!)  I categorize my kids as hybrid grades because of their birthdates and abilities.

Buddy 2/3 grade(autism, learning differences)
All About Reading Level 1/2--finally something that works!
All About Spelling Level 1
Math U See Beta/Gamma, Life of Fred math
Evan Moor 6 Trait Writing
Brave Writer Jot It Down
Queen Homeschool Language Lessons for the Very Young vol. 1
Who Am I (Apologia What We Believe Series)
daily family devotions

Pickles 4/5 grade

Math U See Gamma/Delta
Queen Homeschool Language Lessons  for the Elementary Child vol. 2
Queen Homeschool Learn to Spell Through Copywork
Who Am I
Critical Thinking Co.Word Roots
Critical Thinking Co. Reading Detective
daily family devotions
gymnastics, dance, acting

It happened, move on.

It's a new year!  Happy 2013!  I am praying for a better year for our family this year.  2012 was not our best year.  We made a move across the country from a place we loved--Newport, RI.  We have lived here in Colorado for almost 9 months, but it still feels a bit lonely.  Our homeschooling became a bit more cumbersome with a combination of boredom, learning differences and too many outside activities.  Buddy was finally diagnosed with autism.  Pickles is in her tween years.  Major Dad works a lot.  I have had to deal with depression.
 On the bright side, we have been blessed with an amazing church.  I am so thankful for the family we are a part of there.  God has used it to strengthen us so much.  The most important thing is that we love God, He loves us and we love each other.  We made it through the last year and we'll look forward to a great 2013.  My new motto for this year is "It happened, move on".  I tend to linger on things a bit too long.  I drag out lectures and explanations to the kids and Major Dad when something goes awry.  Well, this year, I am going to chill out and move on.    How about you?