Thursday, February 26, 2009

Homeschool Success Story/Tips

Let me introduce you to my youngest child, Ryan. Though never diagnosed as such, I'm sure he's ADD. Trying to do school work with him was loads of fun (a little sarcasm). His attention span was very short. He did not like to read books. Textbook work was torture. The unschool method worked best for him although I did require some curriculum work. He loved reading fishing and hunting magazines and I never knew so much biology could be learned from a magazine. He loved doing carpenter work with his grandpa and come to find out there is lots of math to be learned from building a house. He did love learning about history whether it was from videos, books(not textbooks), museums, or however we could learn it. Most people (especially me, since we spent very little time learning history) are amazed at his knowledge of history. We never actually finished a high school curriculum, it was too torturous for us both. He wanted a job, so he took the GED and passed it with above average scores. He has since then joined the army, and all the tests required to be accepted, he passed with really good scores. He told me that the thing that helped him the most with all of his testing was a book I bought at Hastings for $2.99 on the clearance table. Is is "2 Real LSAT's Explained". This is a book published by KPLAN, a test prep company, for law school exams. I purchased this to help him with his thinking and problem solving skills. The book explains every answer and the concepts and strategies for every question. We used this as part of his curriculum. Well worth the money. Ryan is now a medic in the army serving in Baghdad. In his free time he loves to read, believe it or not, and usually books much thicker and deeper than I would choose to read. There is hope! Keep it up!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Blog

As you can see, the face of my blog is changing a little. It is still a work in progress. I don't have a lot of time to blog this week with my son being home visiting and my daughter & family are moving this weekend. I'm trying to spend all the time I can with all of them. But, I'll share one of my ideas for my blog that I hope to start implementing next week. I plan to start spotlighting some of the older women that I know. I want to not only share things I have learned but, the wisdom of other Godly women. I know they have a lot to teach. I want to continue to learn from them and pass their knowledge along. I have some free time this morning so, I'm headed over to one of these ladies houses to begin a lesson on quilting.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sunday Dinner

Nothings as easy and goes as far as spaghetti & meatballs. So, since I did not know how many people I would be feeding and I overslept, this was perfect. I must say, I'm like Amy Ellen @, in that I have trouble following a recipe so, I'll give you a couple of my favorite spaghetti sauce recipes. I put the sauce in the crockpot and added a package of frozen meatballs. We had salad, corn and cottage cheese for our side dishes and of course bread. I came in from church, boiled the spaghetti ( this can be done ahead of time and soaked in water) and heated the corn. Put the food on the table and gave God thanks.

Healthy Italian Spaghetti Sauce (12 1/2 cups)
1 bulb garlic (finely minced)
5-8 onions(chopped)
olive oil
4 bay leaves
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. oregano
5 lb. 12 oz. canned whole tomatoes
15 ounce tomato paste
1 c. red wine
3 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
pinch of baking soda
Saute garlic, onions and herbs in olive oil- chop tomatoes- mix everything and put in crockpot. For best results cook slowly at least 10 hrs. in crock pot. For last 2 hrs. remove lid so sauce can thicken.
Hurry Spaghetti Supper
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 minced clove garlic
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
3 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
Lightly brown beef, onion, and garlic; drain fat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, one hr.
Note: I was in a hurry so my recipe became a combination of these two using whatever I had on hand. I also did not saute the onion, garlic first. I just put everything in the crockpot and cooked on high 5 hrs.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Say a Prayer

Please say a prayer for new parents Jeremy and Sharayah, and baby Ileigha. Ileigha has colic and reflux and is requiring lots of care and parents are getting very little sleep. The father is in the army and was sent home not long ago because of injuries. He is in a lot of pain and requiring lots of doctors appointments and therapy. Please pray for this young family.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Keeper Tips

I love finding ways to be frugal and to manage my household well. I may become a little obsessive with it at times but, frugal can be fun!

  • When covering bread that is rising, I found a plastic grocery bag sprayed with a little cooking oil works great. It does not stick.

  • I have lots of old t-shirts that are not worth giving away. I like to wash them, and cut them into squares of different sizes. These work great for wiping little noses(and big ones), cleaning spills, greasing pans, and lots of other small jobs. You can throw them away or wash them, depending on your supply and/or obsessiveness with frugality.

  • I bought some dish soap I did not really like the smell of at the dollar store. On a whim I decided to clean the toilet with it and it works great. It's thick enough to squirt up under the rim and it has lots of cleaning bubbles.

  • Today, I cleaned under my kitchen sink and lined it with shelf paper. I then followed example of a couple of other ladies and put a dishpan under there to hold the dirty dishes until I get a chance to wash them (I don't have a dishwasher). My sink and counters look a lot better.

  • And concerning Home Management Binders, Aubrey at , had the idea to make a binder for her kids for before and after school. I thought this was a great idea.

My husband has gone hunting so I am getting lots of little projects accomplished. Hope you have a great weekend. God Bless!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Note On Home Management Binders

For anyone who may be wondering, calls her HMB a Control Journal. A couple of sites to see some completed HMB's are: , and . If you would like to show us yours, just leave me a comment to let me know. I'm sure I'll be looking at lots of different ones to get ideas before I actually get mine the way I want it. It's kind of like the way I cook. By the way, I'm always open to helpful tips.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Home Management Binder

I finally started creating my HMB today and you will not believe what convinced me that I really needed one. Well, I have had a very difficult time establishing a routine since my homeschool days have ended. With kids home my days were pretty much planned for me. Now that I have an empty nest, some days I feel like I'm going in circles wondering what exactly I should be doing next. I would start one thing only to get distracted by something else and all in all not always accomplishing a lot. Occasionally, I substitute for the local school district. One day I was subbing in a special education classroom. The students had notebooks with pictures showing what they were supposed to be doing throughout the day. They were not allowed to turn the page and look ahead until they had completed what was pictured on the page they were on. As I watched how well this helped them to stay on task and complete their work, I thought, this is exactly what I need! This is why I need a HMB. So, after much procrastination and reading about many of yours, I finally dove in. Actually, breaks it down into such simple steps I decided I actually can do it. Today, I got out the binder, put a pretty picture in the front and notebook paper inside. I'm on my way...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

My Day

I am thoroughly enjoying having all of my family around for a couple of days. My youngest son, Ryan flew in Saturday from Iraq, and my oldest, Jonathan flew in yesterday from Albuquerque. My daughter, Kara lives here in town. This morning I woke up early for a time of Bible study and prayer before the household woke up. As they started waking up, I cooked breakfast and then just enjoyed sitting at the table and visiting with my husband and Jonathan for a while(Ryan went fishing all night and had not made it in yet). Jonathan eventually got up and went to the piano and called me in there. We sang and he played awhile and ended up with him playing and singing some songs that he has recently written. It's always amazing to see what God is doing through our children. Kara then came over to bring her baby, Nolan, for me to babysit while she ran some errands. Ryan came in and so we all sat and talked and marveled over the baby for a while. The boys left for the mall. Nolan was not feeling well so most of the afternoon I just sat and held him or walked him around. I must say I did not mind it one bit. When his mommy came and picked him up, I made a quick trip to the grocery store. Tonight I cooked what we call soft tacos (I've recently been told there's a more accurate name for this recipe).
Soft Tacos: scramble hamburger meat in skillet, in saucepan mix a can of tomato sauce with about 1/2 cup taco or picante sauce, in another saucepan heat an inch or two of oil
Dip a corn tortilla in hot oil for a few seconds, then dip it in tomato sauce mixture, place it on plate and fill with ground beef. Fill taco with cheese, onions and whatever else you might like on it. Fold over and top with more sauce.
The whole family was there for supper along with my nephew, Stephen and brother-in-law, Rocky. After supper and visiting a little while everyone scattered and my dear husband helped me clean up the kitchen. I was very grateful for his help. To all of you young mothers, enjoy those children while their at home. When they grow up and leave home it's very hard to get them all together at one time. So, even though I'm very tired, I'm savoring every minute of being with my kids and not looking forward to saying goodbye again. It's amazing the tasks involved in caring for them that used to seem so hard, now have become a priviledge.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday Breakfast and Lunch

I love something simple and not too messy for Sunday morning. This is one of our favorites.
Snickerdoodle Coffee Cake
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg
Mix together all ingredients. Pour into greased and floured 8 or 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle top heavily with sugar for a crusty top. Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes.
No, this is not a health food, but, I usually substitute half whole wheat flour and part honey or brown sugar for the white sugar and then just hope the cinnamon counteracts the sugar in my system.
Beef Roast:
After I had the coffee cake in the oven I put a roast, seasoned with seasoning salt in a Reynolds Oven Bag that was coated with flour. (you can also put potatoes and carrots in the bag with the roast but I didn't have any) When the cake came out the roast went in at 375 degrees. I put some green beans in the crock pot with some bacon and beef boillon. Made tea. Before I left for church I turned the oven to 200 degrees. After church all I had left was make mashed potatoes(instant) and gravy with the broth from the roast, and slice the bread. Clean up was not quiet as easy but, the fellowship makes it worth it.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Soldiers Valentine Welcome

This morning we picked up my youngest son Ryan at the airport. He's on leave from Baghdad. I was not expecting the great welcome from the citizens of America. It was very moving. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, representatives from local churches, schools, veterans, and family members were there with shouts of "Welcome Home!", "USA", "Thanks!", with patriotic music, gifts, and valentines. Needless to say I'm excited to have him home again and ever so proud to be an American.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Do you know Elisabeth Elliot?

Okay, I'm at it again. As I sat with my devotional this morning(Teaching with God's Heart...) I began to think about one of the reading assignments we had while doing this unit study. It was the story of Elisabeth Elliot. I remember sitting and crying as I tried to read this to my children years ago. I felt like I knew this woman from listening to her radio program and as I read her story out loud to my kids it was so real I could hardly read for crying. If you don't know who she is, her husband was the missionary speared to death by the Quichua Indians. She later went and took the gospel to the very people who had killed her husband and the other missionaries with him. (There is a movie about their story. I think it's called "End of the Spear"). As I sat here thinking, I began to wonder what has happened to her, and if she is still on the web. Well, I found a website: that tells all about what is going on in her and her husbands life now that they are aged. It is very interesting reading. And, still has an archive of her radio programs. Her program was called, Gateway to Joy. One of my favorite broadcasts was titled "Modesty An Older Womans Mandate" dated 5/22/2000. She covers many topics that have to do with woman both married and single. She wrote the book, Passion and Purity, which is excellent for the single woman. If you're not familiar with this hero of the faith and her teachings, it's worth your time to get to know her.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Teaching With God's Heart

I wanted to tell you a little more about the curriculum I mentioned yesterday. It is called "Teaching with God's Heart for the World". It is a Unit-Study for all ages, incorporating God's heart for world missions into nearly every subject. Each week it emphasises a different part of the world. On Friday it gives you a menu or recipe for an international meal from the country you are studying, and a movie from there. We probably would have never watched Fiddler on the Roof and made livivot(potato pancakes) while studying Israel if we had not used this unit-study. It was a lot of fun. If you are a missions minded family you might want to check it out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

...As A Little Child

Mark 10:15 ...Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

Even though I am not homeschooling any longer, this week I took out one of my favorite homeschool unit studies to read for myself, as a devotional. The first week of this unit study has been so refreshing spiritually to me. It is teaching the basics of what Christianity is all about, which is: having a personal, living, and vital relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a week to renew your personal and family commitment to Christ, and a time to establish the discipline of daily prayer. As I read the scriptures and pray the very basic prayers focused on this week, I have been so blessed. As an adult we make things so complicated sometimes. Even prayer. I must admit, I have had so many things on my mind and so many things to do lately that it has been difficult to have a meaningful prayer time, if one at all. When I woke up this morning, I was not in the best of moods, I'll admit. A scripture from yesterday about praise came to my mind and I was just not feeling it. Todays prayer focus was: Pray that the Lord will help you grow spiritually in your christian walk. Pray specifically for help in establishing daily disciplines of prayer and time in the Word of God. Pray for your neighbors. Even though I've been a christian many years I really felt a need to pray these prayers. Just remembering my need of a closer walk, of the importance of this prayer time and time in the Word, and even remembering the needs of my neighbors and the responsibility I have to them, ignited something in me and in my prayer time that I needed today. Don't feel silly praying childlike prayers, for unless you become as a child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Our Favorite Sunday Meal

On Sundays I normally prepare a large dinner (lunch for some) and have company over after church. Last Sunday my brother-in-law commented that he didn't know how I found time to do it. Well, today we had our favorite, corned beef brisket with cabbage and here's how I did it. Last night I chopped up 2 heads of cabbage and put it in a plastic bag and back in the fridge. This morning, first thing I did when I got up was get out 2 crockpots. I put a large corned beef brisket, that you buy with the seasoning packet in with it, in the larger pot and a smaller brisket(just in case) in the other pot. I put as much cabbage as would fit on top of both, put the lid on, and turned them on high. Before I left I threw a couple of tea bags in a pot of boiling water, turned it off and left for church. When I returned home I finished making the tea, made some instant potatoes(which I only do on Sunday), and lunch was ready. Actually, today my car wouldn't start when I came out of church so my daughter put the finishing touches on lunch thanks to her. And, my mom brought over a wonderful cake that she could never give me the recipe for because she never makes a cake the same way twice.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Homeschool Success Story

Please note that these posts are not meant to boast or brag on our accomplishments, but to give encouragement to you moms who are presently homeschooling. I know from experience how intimidating and discouraging it can be at times. Now, for todays topic. Do you moms who have children who have finished homeschooling ever have people asking what your kids do now? If you google "homeschool success stories" you'll find sites wanting to find out what these young people are accomplishing in life now that they've graduated. Let me introduce you to my daughter, Kara. Today she is married to a great, christian young man, and they have a son(who I showed you a couple of days ago). Kara is a stay at home mom/wife and loving it. I could not be happier. She is already leaps and bounds ahead of where I was at that time in my life, both as a mom and as a wife. Maybe that's because she has been at home with me watching and helping all of her life. I'm sure she learned from the good and the not so good examples(what not to do). She is a great cook, housekeeper, bookkeeper, mom. All the things necessary to run a home. Yes, I do know she's not perfect, but I am happy with the way her life has turned out and I give God the glory!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hebrews 12:1-2 Keep On Going!

My husband and I just came back from walking. This new year we resolved to start running (which turned into walking, we were over ambitious) and try to eat healthier. We found out we are fair weather exercisers. Last week was pretty cold, so we didn't make it out. Well, I could tell it tonight. The same is true with my spiritual walk. When I let other things come in and interfere with my daily walk with God I can really tell the difference.
Today, I also started a much neglected task of cleaning out and organizing my paperwork. There were so many old useless papers in my files I didn't have room for the more current, important papers. Does that remind you of your life at times? Do our days become filled with things that have no eternal importance? Are they cluttered up with things that waste time and have no real purpose? Are these things crowded out time with God, time with family, time to serve God?
...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

1 Corinthians 13:4

"... charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up." (does not brag, is not arrogant) This is the verse I've been studying this morning. Do you think it applies to grandparents?
P.S. This is Nolan Dallas at birth (9/24/08) and at 3 months.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Crockpot Crazy

I was looking at the ingredients in the flavored yogurt I found at the store and was not impressed. I started searching the web for a super easy way to make it and ran across . This lady challenged herself to cooking in the crockpot every day last year and posted her recipes. I love to use the crockpot, but have a limited amount of dishes that I actually use it for. I'm really anxious to try out some of these recipe and thought maybe you would be too. By the way, the yogurt turned out great!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Watch Your Mouth!

Proverbs 31:26 - She openeth her mouth with wisdom and in her tongue is the law of kindness. I've been meditating on this scripture a lot lately. (I guess the Holy Spirit has had occasion to keep bringing it to my mind.) What comes out when we open up our mouth women? Is what we are saying wise or is it just foolish words, sarcasm, whatever pops in our head at the moment, words that are spoken out of anger, resentment, bitterness?
Law of kindness - law according to Webster means a rule, that which governs. Do you have rules for yourself about what you can and cannot say? Is one of those rules that it has to be kind? Do you desire to be a Provers 31 woman? You better watch what comes out of your mouth!