Monday, March 16, 2009

This and That

I'm still here. And this week has been much better.

There has been a lot of real life going on here. Blogging has been low on my list, as I think it should be.

A few things that have been rattling around in my brain (or stomach, in some cases)...

1. Making my own bread. I've been thinking about doing it for months. Well, I did it... and with surprising success (Thanks, Brenda, for a great recipe!) It is sooo much better than anything I would buy at the store. The kids love it. And the smell of it baking... it makes me giddy. So, if I can get my act together and make it regularly, I'm done with buying blah whole wheat bread at the store.

2. I am needing to buy some more face care stuff and makeup. It does seem it all runs out at the same time. I am so happy to have found this site - telling me what is really in that face cream and if it's safe.

3. Granola. I'm addicted. I love this recipe - I use the basic recipe (no brown sugar) and add sliced almonds and cinnamon. It doesn't last long around here. The last time I made it I used virgin coconut oil and it was oh-so-good! I keep reading about coconut oil (look here and here and here), so I bought some (Whole Foods) and having been adding it here and there.

4. Lapbooks. I went to a lapbooking workshop organized by a friend this past Saturday morning. I learned more that I thought there was to know... look for some lapbooks here soon!

5. Indian Food. I really like it (this is new). I went to a local Indian grocery store last week in preparation for our dinner club. (Indian themed... and very yummy.) The hostess made Tandoori Chicken - delicious! I served samosas with coriander and sweet chutneys for the appetizer (thanks to the nice Indian grocer who helped me figure out what to serve).

6. Outsourcing Art (or not). Hannah and Will have been taking a Mona Brookes inspired (Monart) art class once a week since January. I'm not sure it is worth the half-hour drive out of town and the $$$, but they have loved it. The session is almost up and I don't think we will do it again. For the money, I could have bought some really nice art supplies and done more here at home. And since they have been in an art class, we haven't done a single art project at home. (This is tragic for me.) What I will miss about the hour long class is my weekly Starbucks date with Peter. (I'm sure he will miss me splurging on those Horizon chocolate milks, too.)

7. Habit Training. This is something that has been on my heart and mind a lot lately. I recently bought this book - Laying Down the Rails: A Charlotte Mason Habits Handbook. It is full of so much wisdom. Great investment. There's too much to write about now... that's for another post.

8. Curriculum. The decision has been made. We will continue to homeschool next year. (We said we would do it for one year and then reevaluate.) So, I am starting to think about 2nd grade and Kindergarten... and Peter possibly not napping (oh my).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Beans for Peter

Two bean posts in one week... things are really exciting around here.

I pulled these out for Peter yesterday. He was in bean heaven while the other 2 did their lessons. Then Will and Hannah joined in and created their own bean themed coffee shop/bakery named, "Coffee Canteen." I was their only customer, so the shop hit hard times (boredom). Watching 3 kids play over and hour with a bunch of beans... that makes me happy.

It makes a huge mess. Don't you like how I picked beans that match the carpet perfectly?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Life Science : The Human Body

We have been studying the human body for the past several weeks and loving it! We're not finished. We still need to cover the eyes, nose, mouth, ears, tongue, and skin, but here are our bodies so far...

Both Will and Hannah have *loved* coloring, cutting, and taping their body parts on their personal body cut out. This book lays it all out for you. For each body part, there is a description of it's use and function and coloring page for the life size replica. I love that the body parts are layered, some using brads, so you can really get a feel for just how jam-packed our bodies are.

I picked this book up at a used book sale last year - a perfect supplement. It's out of print, but still available a few places.


We eat a lot of beans around here... you know, very recession chic.

I have always been intimidated by those bags of dried beans at the store. No real reason... just plain ignorance about soaking and such. The canned version - at least 3 or 4 cans a week - is what I always bought. Well, when the price of a can went over a dollar... I became determined to get over my dried bean fear.

Another thing about me... I love my crock pot.

So, imagine my excitement when I found this at A Year of Crockpotting.

I have done it twice now. No problem.

Some math... A bag of organic dried black beans is $1.99. Canned organic black beans are $1.29. I don't always buy organic, but that's what I have here. I got 6 cups from the bag! There are only 1.5 cups in the can. My rough calculations... I'm saving over $150 a year on beans. And with a lot less waste.

Feeling very frugal. Very domestic. Very excited about $150 more to spend on books. : )

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Winter Sun

I am always stunned by the brightness
of the sun's rays reflecting off pure white snow.

Pouring in our windows today...
our tulips glowed during morning lessons.

We watched with wonder... thankful for His beauty.

Monday, March 2, 2009


... a Snow Day!

We were in Florida the last (and only) time it had snowed this season. I was beginning to think this year's snow boots would never be worn.

Ready to go outside!

Peter, about 2 minutes later...

We filled our morning with snow angels, sledding, snowballs, shoveling...Pure joy!
By the way, the conference this past weekend was wonderful. There were five talks from five different, godly, inspiring women. For homeschool moms - I highly recommend it. This is not a conference about curriculum choices, but the heart behind it all. There will be a conference next year in Chicago and Baltimore. I came home feeling refreshed, encouraged, and with a clearer/brighter vision for our homeschool.


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