Thursday, December 31, 2009

BTW

I forgot to mention the FREE webstream of IHOP's ONETHING '09 conference. Doh!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pressing on

Moving toward a new year is such a nice feeling. It feels good to look forward to the start of a new thing-even if it's just a new calendar!

Christmas is slowly disappearing around here. I took the decorations of the tree today. I'm going to let the lights and popcorn up until tomorrow or the next day. Mostly because I don't feel like dealing with the mess right now, but also because I have enjoyed having a REAL tree indoors. I never really cared for a Christmas tree before, but now that we've gotten a real one, I don't see how I could ever go back to a pre-lighted fake one! I have even reconciled the "religious implications" of it all. (I won't elaborate any further though)

I am even looking forward to picking up school again. We ended up taking a very long Christmas break. As in_the_whole_month_of_December!!! I know!!!! I can't believe I did it either!

I am so ready for things to be back to normal. I leave you with this:

"...but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus..." -Phil 3:12b,13

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Day After...post

Ahhhh...December 26th. The day when the presents have all been unwrapped, too much sugar is consumed, and children never change out of their pj's.

I hate it!

December 26th always, inevitably, lets me feeling low.

Most people are with their families, enjoying one another. I am home alone! I HATE being alone for such long stretches of time.

All in all though I can't complain. I woke up feeling just fine. Spent the day feeling content with our holiday. Even felt sorry the whole season is drawing to a close. Then i fell asleep for 2 hours.

One would think a nap is a good thing...They always make me feel crabby. I hate sleeping the day away like that. Especially when I wake up to an empty house and friends that are too busy to visit. There really is nothing constructive to do at 11 pm!

And now I will be up until wayyy after midnight. Ergh.

But really, the Holiday was NICE! (focus on the positive. FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE!)

Ahhh...breathing a little better.

See you next week. Until then, enjoy being with your families!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cookies, Cookies, Cookies!

I'm busy gathering my cookie recipes. I'm looking for an Italian snowball cookie recipe. I haven't found one that looks exactly right yet. I found a few others that come close though. I'm also not sure which spice cookie to make. (maybe both?!) I'm also going to make a sugar free oatmeal cookie for a friend, but realized that I don't have any old-fashioned oats. I was hoping I wouldn't have to go to the store!


Soft Gingersnaps
* 1 1/2 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
* 2 cups sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* Additional sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in molasses. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt and nutmeg; gradually add to creamed mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.
2. Roll into 1-in. balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 8-12 minutes or until puffy and lightly browned. Cool for 1 minute before removing to wire racks.


Molasses Sugar Cookies
* 1 1/2 cups shortening
* 2 cups white sugar
* 1/2 cup molasses
* 2 eggs
* 4 cups all-purpose flour
* 4 teaspoons baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 teaspoon salt

1. Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool.
2. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well.
3. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.
4. Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes.
6. Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Walnut Balls
* 1 cup(s) (2 sticks) butter (no substitutions), softened
* 6 tablespoon(s) granulated sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
* 2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon(s) salt
* 1 bag(s) (8-ounce) walnuts, chopped
* 1 1/4 cup(s) confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla until creamy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Reduce speed to low; gradually beat in flour and salt just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl. Stir in walnuts.
2. Shape dough by rounded measuring teaspoons into 1-inch balls. Place balls, 1 inch apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Bake cookies 13 to 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.
3. Place confectioners' sugar in pie plate. While cookies are hot, with metal spatula, transfer 4 or 5 cookies at a time to pie plate with confectioners' sugar. Gently turn cookies with fork to generously coat with sugar. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool completely.
4. Repeat with remaining dough and confectioners' sugar. Store cookies in tightly covered container at room temperature up to 1 week or in freezer up to 3 months. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar before serving if you like.

Mexican Wedding Cookies
You'll just have to click over to the link.

Italian Snowball Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup confectioners' sugar plus more for rolling cookies

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ cup finally chopped nuts (almond, walnuts or pecans all work fine)

2 cups sifted all purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla and almond extract until well combined. Add chopped nuts and mix well. Stir in the flour and salt until a firm dough is formed. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set but not browned, 10 - 12 minutes. Try not to overcook these! Cool on the cookie sheet for a few minutes and then roll in the confectioners' sugar.

Eggnog To try

I'm still working on gathering the recipes I want to try. This is another one I've had my eye on! I love eggnog, but store bought is just waaaayyy too high in sugar. This one looks good!


Keeper of the Home's Eggnog Recipe
6 beaten egg yolks (free range is best)

2 1/4 cups whole milk (raw, if available)

1/3 cup unrefined sugar, like Rapadura or Sucanat (I bet Coconut/Palm sugar would also work, though I haven't tried it)

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup whipping cream (avoid ultra-pasteurized)

2 Tbsp unrefined sugar, or 1 Tbsp honey, or a few drops or maybe 1/2 packet of Stevia (just enough to add a touch of sweetness)

Ground nutmeg

(Note: You may want to begin the recipe the day before you want the egg nog- it's an easy recipe, but does need time to chill properly)

1) In a medium pot, mix the egg yolks, milk and the 1/3 cup sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture just coats a metal spoon (see photo). Remove from heat. Place pot in a sink or bowl of ice water and stir for 2 minutes to cool mixture off a little. Stir in vanilla. Cover and chill for 4-24 hours.

2) When you're ready to serve:
Beat the whipping cream and 2 Tbsp of sugar (or sugar alternative) until soft peaks form.

mixing-egg-nog:
3) Transfer the chilled egg/milk/sugar mixture to a punch bowl. Fold in the whipped cream. Serve immediately. Sprinkle each serving with nutmeg. If you find it a little too thick or too sweet, simply stir in a bit of milk to thin it out.

Blueberry...something.

Hmmm...decisions. I may make Recipe #1 and add a little lemon zest to it. Yum! Recipe #2 sounds good as well!

Jordan Marsh Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 regular size muffins
Print recipe only here.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 pint blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon sugar for blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon for blueberries

Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line a 12-mold regular size muffin pan with paper muffins cups.

Using a hand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and salt until soft. Add eggs, and mix until light and fluffy. Mix the flour and baking powder together, and stir into the batter, alternating with the milk. Stir in the vanilla. Mix until just incorporated.

This is my mom's tip, and it works beautifully: In a small bowl, sprinkle blueberries with 1 teaspoon each sugar and cinnamon. Gently toss until well coated. Fold into the batter. Spoon batter into the 12 muffin cups.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are light gold and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes before removing each muffin and placing on a wire rack to cool.

Blueberry Maple Muffins (w/ oatmeal and streusel )
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 over ripe banana (mashed)
1/4 cup butter (melted)
1 egg
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup flour
pinch cinnamon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions:
1. Mix the brown sugar, maple syrup, yogurt, banana, butter, egg and rolled oats in a bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes.
2. Mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.
3. Mix the wet and dry ingredients along with the blueberries until just mixed.
4. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan.
5. Mix the pecans, flour, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter until they form crumbs.
6. Spoon some of the streusel onto the muffins.
7. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 20 minutes.

Christmas Menu Planning

I'm typing it up here so I don't have to print. Maybe it will be helpful to someone else. (recipes follow)

Brunch

Quiche Lorraine (prebake)
Bacon
Blueberry...? (Muffins maybe.)
Sparkling Juice
Coffee or Tea


Evening Feast
Peking Duck
Ham
Sweet Potato casserole
Collard greens
Fuzhou Noodles OR Mac-n-Cheese (made w/ Dreamfields Penne)

Cookies, ice cream/ root beer Floats

Quiche Lorraine
Refrigerated Pie Crust (or make your own...but why bother?)

4 large eggs
2 cups whipping cream or half-and-half
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked, crumbled (1/2 cup)
1/2-1 whole red bell pepper depending on taste (chopped, and excess moisture squeezed through paper towel)
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (4 oz)
4 Tbsp chopped green onion or chives
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
grape tomatoes divided in half (for garnish)

Heat oven to 425. Line pie pan or quiche pan with pie crusts. Cover entire crust with double layer of foil. Bake 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 2-4 minutes until pastry begins to brown and set.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper together.

When crust is ready add bacon, bell pepper, cheese, onions to the pastry. Pour egg mixture over. Garnish with tomatoes and red pepper.

Reduce heat to 325 and bake 45-50 minutes or until knife inserted into center come out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Coming Soon....

...Re-posts

I just went through some of my archives. I found a few posts that I simply luv. Since I have been in a bloggy drought for quite a while, I've decided to re-run some of the posts. Maybe I will recapture some of the bloggy mojo.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Hair really is a great insultator!

Oh, I know you are wondering....What is she talking about?

Well isn't it obvious? Haircuts!

I have had long, long hair for the past 4 or so years. Hair long enough to sit on. Last year I cut it up to my hips to help it look healthier. Today I snapped. I whacked my hair off, y'all!

My had been bothering me for the past few weeks. I'm not sure if it was because I had switched shampoos or the age of the hair just starting to show but every time I tried to wash or brush or touch my hair I found it to be tangled and knotty. So today, I just decided it was time to let it go.

Whack! I new year, a new me.

One problem. My back is now incredibly cold! Brrr!!!!

And for the record, my hair would probably still be considered by most as long. It's just short to those of us that are used to having it down past our wastes.

Pictures to come???

Thursday, December 17, 2009

7 days and counting

Do yall SEE the date on the calendar? I can hardly believe that we are so close to Christmas and another new year!!

I have gotten quite a bit accomplished this past week. We went and picked out our family's first live tree. Which was an adventure in itself! (maybe a future post??)
I finished up my Christmas shopping and completed a sewing project I wanted to do. I only have to wrap presents for The Girls. I feel so...accomplished!

With 7 days left until Christmas I find myself not having to hustle to the store and best of all worrying if what I want will be there when I finally arrive.

Now if only I had managed to have some Christmas money laid aside (like I usually do!) I would have more than a few nickles to rub together. Not to worry though. Everything is purchased, and I have no errands to run, so money (or a lack of it) should not be a problem! If worse comes to worse I can always take a bit out of savings to tide me over.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope to do some baking over the next week and enjoy reading some blogs. (maybe even do a baking post??)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Decking the halls with????

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

Sort of. I would say that I am in luv with the music that surrounds this season. I am also quite fond of cookies and eggnog (except this year) but other than that? Yeah. Not so much.

Okay, don't shoot me. I know I am probably considered weird because I don't go ga-ga over Christmas. There are no boughs of holly, no lights, tinsel or silver bells hangin' round my house.

I started the season well. Oh, yes I did. I felt very Christmasy about a week or 2 before Thanksgiving. I felt like singing Christmas songs and doing a little shopping.

So I started singing some songs, playing a few cd's...Then it happened. I went shopping.

That ruined it. Kinda sucked the Christmas joy right out of me. Why? Perhaps it is because things are over priced, or maybe junk or EVEN ...over priced junk. Or maybe it's because shopping reminds me that my once Little Girls are quickly growing up.

I'll never tell.

Here's hoping I'll soon be infected with a little holiday cheer. Otherwise, this may be a year without a Christmas.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Happy New Year?!

I sometimes pick the most unusual times to do things. For example, deciding to totally gut and clean my bedroom at midnight. So it probably wouldn't shock you that at the peak of Sweet Season, I have given up sugar.

I don't really know exactly what possessed me to start when I did, but I just woke up one day and decided that day would be the day I would start toward getting my health back. Other areas in my life have been going so well, and one of the few remaining obstacles to my complete "happiness heaven" was my health.

For 6 years I had ignored myself, hated myself, and even punished myself for other areas in my life being out of alignment. House messy? no problem-eat a few chips, that'll do it! Hubs acting crazy? No worries- a bowl of ice cream will "show" him!

I wasn't really fooling myself. Instead, I chose to turn a blind eye. However, on October 24th I woke up and said, "Today is the day."

I began my long journey back to health.

Since then I've shaved off 10 pounds. I still have multiples of 10 yet to lose, but I've made a start at least. I've started exercising (at least when my poor knees can stand it!) and I've changed the way my family eats. (again! LOL!)

The road back to health is long, with many twists and turns and potholes hidden therein, but I've determined to walk it! Let's just call it my New Year's Resolution-two months early!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Great Hymn Resource

If you haven't hear about it before now...
Center for Church Music - Songs and Hymns is a 5 minute radio broadcast that has a "hymn of the week," devotional and hymn story. This is a great resource to go along with your weekly/monthly/daily hymn.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Feeling Good

I have been feeling so good lately. I woke up one morning at the end of October and decided that it was time to do something about my health. 32 is looming ahead of me in July. I just am tired of feeling blah. Since I can't blame my physical health on anythbody but me, I am grabbing health by the horns and not letting go!

Yoga has been the new discovery for my family. I always hesitated to try it because of the spiritual roots from which it sprung. One day last week though, I decide that day would be the day to give it a whirl. I turned it on (Thank-you instant netflix!) and fell in love! The first time I was only able to do a portion of the workout. The next time, was the same, except I made it a little further. The next time I tried a different video by the same people and to my great surprise made it through the whole session!

It feels so good to stretch long and lean and feel my muscles burning to hold a pose. I guess it reminds me of my tumbling/cheerleading days. I used to love the stretch that went along with that, too!

What I really enjoyed about these particular videos is that while they use yoga terminology, and do focus on "healing yourself" they also focus on how to correctly do the poses, how to modify, and what they are helpful in strengthening. When they say something like, "Feel a light searching out all the achy places, healing it."
I just say to myself, "Thank you Lord, that you are my healer, and the Light."

I may be hooked?! and the bonus? My girls like it too!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

been cheatin'

...On my own blog.
I have another blog that is completely private (I THINK?! I HOPE!!) that I can use as more of a journal. I had been thinking I was having writers block here, but then I clicked over the other one and the keys clicked beneath my fingers quite easily. I guess it's not really a case of writers block, but more of a case of what I feel like I want to share. Not that anybody reads, but the idea that they could read is why I think I hold back.

Maybe I'll get a little bolder and share what I've been writing about, but ....I doubt it.

I have been trying to think of something to blog about, really , but...the well seems dry for now.

I guess I'll be back, ...sometime. In the meantime, check out the archives.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spring forward, Fall behind


Changing leaves often serve as a visual reminder for me that cool temperatures are coming, days are growing shorter, and soon the dark and sometimes seemingly never-to-end days of winter are ahead. Often, the very idea of fall makes me feel a funk already starting to form about winter. This year, however, as well as last year, have been different for me. It never occurred to me before to pray and ask for help in the area of my loath of fall and winter.

Hallelujah, people, God answers prayer!

Last fall and winter were so much easier: No winter blues, No deep funk, and we have been weathering this fall as brightly as the changing leaves. Emotions are good. Relationships are good. God is good.

Now, why do people have to go and mess with that?!

:D

Okay, really, it's not quite so bad as it could be.
Really.
I can't say that we're having any of the usual fall/winter related issues rather it seems that we've replaced one set of problems with another equally tricky one--We can't seem to roll our rear-ends outta the bed at a time I (or many others for that matter) would still consider morning. Okay, technically the clock hasn't got that "pm" button highlighted but really, it might as well be.

It seems my children have taken the "FALL BEHIND" message completely to heart. Later sleep times, later rising times, and the worst thing of all, later brain functioning times. I realize most people need some time in the morning to get there brain to motivate and function at the full alert level, but 'round here we're talking noon to afternoon until The Girls are ready for anything other than staring off into space.

Someone should really notify those Time People that they are totally messing up my schedule, because this is in no way, shape or form related to my parenting skills.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The joys of youtube.

I <3 youtube.

Really and truly.

I don't know how many times a day I click over to find something. I know that my youtube usage has certainly increased over the last year. For example I used it twice (already, and I'm sure I'll find something else to look at.)

Today's video picks for your random enjoyment.

I have been on a Korean food kick again. Maangchi's recipes are very easy to follow and we usually have all the ingredients in the fridge or cupboard anyway. (the benefits of having an immigrant Daddy)

This next one is completely opposite.

I was looking for a french story for Kindergartener today on Discovery Streaming (which we use from time to time thanks to a co-op subscription) but they didn't have what I wanted. Youtube, unfortunalty, didn't either, but she was happy to watch this.


BTW< tonight's dinner happens to be more Korean food. Yum. (and no, Daddy isn't even close to being Korean. We just love this food!)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Singin'

I haven't done one of these for a while. I thought today would be a good day to start back up.

This song is so peaceful. Based on Psalm 46:10.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In it but not of it


...The world I mean. Today was one of those reminders for my 11yo and I.

Wednesdays we have girl scouts and while this is usually something fun and looked forward to, this time of year it can be a real pain. Want a sure fire way to feel left out of the loop? Mention that you won't be participating in Halloween activities around a group of girl scouts. Yeah. It's a real quick way to get yourself the job of tallying up reward points while everyone else is making party plans.

What's with the idolization of the occult in our culture? ( As Joan Rivers would say, "Can we talk?")

As if seeing decorations and candy and prepackaged foods weren't enough, but the parties, and invitations to trick or treat and ALL THE CONDESCENDING LOOKS we get when we say we don't do Halloween is enough to drive one right to the edge of snapping!

And ya know what else? The fact that animals have taken on a higher level of consciencious thought than that of the poor, downtrodden, and unborn really chaps me! (a girlscout related thought but nothing to do with Halloween....)I think it's a very sad day when collecting stuffed animals for some puppies to chew on takes precedence over lending a hand to distribute food for the hungry!

Isn't it funny how a girlscout meeting can remind one of just what it feels like to be one of God's "peculiar people?" I am aware most of the time that we are different when we are out and about in the world, but tonight... yeah, tonight just kinda made it blink in flashing neon lights-

In the world, but not of it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2009-2010

It's official. The 090-10 school year has begun. I have to admit, I was NOT ready to start. Not even one little bit. My children on the other hand were. Dutifully, on the day after labor day we started into our school year routine. This year however, I officially have 2 schooling. Previous years, 6yo was just informally schooling. I was pretty sure she was ready to start for "real" this year though.

The first week was rather hard. Not for the kids-ME. By day 3 or so I was starting to get into the swing and even...enjoying myself???

All has gone rather well until today when we hit a rather small bump in the road to school. Neither child had their heart in their studies today. Nope. They went through the motions, but really they would rather have been vegging in front of the old boob-tube.
I didn't let them.
I'm so mean.

After lunch their attitudes picked up, but we got such a late start that "lunch" came around 3:30 when we should have been wrapping it up for the day.

As of now they are happily playing in the foggy damp early evening hours racing down the hill on a homemade contraption of some sort. They are loud, noisy, and outdoors and blissfully happy. I am sure we will be back in action tomorrow.

Happy school days, y'all.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Miss me?

I have enjoyed this summer so much! June and July indeed were quite cool, but by August summer temps finally arrived and we have greatly enjoyed them! Not only are we swimming every chance we get, but we've participated in 3 VBS, several GS camps, and library activities. It's been heavenly. Despite all that fun, both girls are looking forward to school starting. I don't know who their mother is, but it certainly isn't me because I have never felt LESS ready for school!

I am still in vacation mode. I don't want to even think about teaching! What's a mom to do when her kids are played out but she's begging for more? I don't know, but I'll fill you in when I've figured it out. In the meantime, I've squeezing every last drop out of summer vacation!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Roller Coastering

One day co-op is on. One day it is off only to find that the next day it is on again.

I'm just tired thinking about all that emotional thinkin' yall.

Really, I just love a good routine. On or off, I know we'll be okay. What I don't like is not knowing.

As of today, it's on, with just only 1 other of the original families. This may work, or it may not. Whatever happens I know God is in control.

Things feel stirred up, mixed around I.E. Ripe for change.

I keep thinking that God must have a greater plan in all of this. In the past every time I have been in a place where things seem uncertain and wide open, something always fills the gap. For the past 4 years that gap filler happened to be co-op. I met a wonderful bunch of like minded women that helped to support me, love me, and carry me through an otherwise difficult period in my life. If God can so specifically answer a prayer like that then surely He will do it again!

-Seeking Him,
The Momma

Saturday, August 1, 2009

From Soap to Nuts?

I love a good giveaway. Of course, I have never actually won any of them that I have entered, but still I try.

Have you ever heard of soap nuts? I started hearing about them last year when I was looking to go no 'poo. Baking soda was just too harsh for my scalp (in any quantity) and I began looking for alternatives.

Soap nuts can be used for all your soapy needs. Laundry, Hair, dishes...be creative.

Check out Passionate Homemaking's giveaway of a Extreme 18x. Just leave a comment and you may be one of the lucky 20 to get a trial bottle.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Slip sliding....

The summer days are sliding by so quickly. This summer is officially the coolest (July, anyway) on record in our area. It's nice springy weather that I'm sure most people appreciate, but I did just buy that new pool and would like to be able to use it a little more frequently. I'm surely not cut out for the Polar Bear Club!

I can feel school is just around the corner. It just has that feel. I don't know how to describe it. It must be the way the birds know when it's time to migrate.

Isn't the Lord good?

He gives us the seasons and all of creation to enjoy. What a good God!

Friday, July 24, 2009

My status followed by a lovely email...Enjoy.

In honor of my birthday and the fact that my kids are coughing their guts out, I bring to you The Facebook Status.

You're welcome.

"Okay, here's the thing....If you or your child is sick, please do the world a favor and stay home. I know that you want to take you or your sick kid to that wonderfully awesome event (fill in the blank) but before you do please remember that your sick germs are better left at home. Think of it as your gift to the world. You will feel very proud of yourself for saving some parent a 1 am run to Walmart for cough syrup because their kid can't sleep. You will feel good knowing that you have taken that extra step to prevent the sleepless night of another. You will feel so very superior because YOU,...are a good parent.

Thank you. That is all. Good night....(maybe, cause really that coughing is driving me a little batty, I MAY just have to run to The Walmart for that stupid cough syrup so I can get to sleep.)

Okay, now for sure that is all.

Goodbye."

Below you will find a snark filled email typed at 1:30 because, as you may have guessed, my children really did catch some other kid's sick germs and are now coughing so hard that they cannot sleep, therefore, I cannot sleep. No, I do not have any medicine in the house because they just started The Coughing and it's summertime and we haven't been sick for over a year.

Enjoy.


Dear "Friend"

I may or may not want to hang out tomorrow. I feel sickish tonight. It could be because it's late and I'm tired, or it could be corn allergies considering that there is a corn field 100 feet from my house, but I'm going to go with the feeling sickish thing because both ________ and ______ were running mystery fevers earlier in the week and are both now coughing. My nose started to feel stuffy today and my throat is a little sore. Plus, I totally fell asleep for almost 2 hours today at lunchtime. I'm really loving that parent that felt the need to bring their sick, grumpy, feverish child to the parent/child day at bible school last Saturday. I just love how people love to share. Just warms my heart.

Yes, I am tired.

Yes, it is late.

Anyway, I'll try to quit my snarkiness now.

I am feeling better about this coming year. I found out that ________Library has community rooms as well as _______. I haven't had the gumption to call either to find out what they cost or if they would be available on a weekly basis for us. I did however email about "another co-op" (although you know how I kinda feel about that option) and I got info on a group that meets in _____. Also, I found 2 science books I like. I was also thinking that if we can find a room that we might as well just go ahead and do _____and _______'s courses. Otherwise, it may not prove to be very fruitful for "Other Friend" to bring either of them.

I also woke up today and realized several things:
1. I no longer feel sad about _____ leaving coop.
2. I no longer feel sad at the possibility of co-op being over forever.
3. I am very good at steeling myself and feeling no emotion whatsoever.
4. It's a gift.
5. And a curse.

____ has been coughing and coughing so hard that she is awake, of course, and grumpy. I may seriously have to go to Walmart because I don't have any Tussin in the house.

Talk to you Friday.
"Me"


Now I realize that is just more kinda fun than you all can even shake a stick at. I will analyze why it is all so funny (and how it shows what a moron I am) when I am feeling less tired, less sore throaty, and definately less snarky.

Goodnight.

P.S.
The coughing has stopped. A trip to walmart at this time of the night may no longer be necesarry.

Praise the Lord.

My benedryl is now also kicking in.

Goodnight again.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, I find the rug has been yanked out from under me.

Or...in rather less dramatic language: I thought I had next school year all planned out (including the scheduling)and today just got word that our co-op location provider (aka my friend) will no longer be hosting NOR participating.

Now I have to say, I'm not surprised because I had felt the Lord preparing me for this since last spring. Still, when I got the news I felt completely dashed. I felt dumped. I think mostly because she didn't really give a reason as to why. She's been very scarce, no calls, no emails, nothin'. But other than that...no other warning.

So I'm struggling with that insecure girl that feels so rejected, unworthy and unloved. I feel like this is in some way all my fault (although rationally know it couldn't be). I feel like it's the end of all the security I have come to rely on in my homeschooling. I always knew that even if I was having a bad homeschooling week, there was always coop to fall back on. They would pick me up, and lend a hand in educating my children.

I know, I KNOW! I'm very dramatic. But, hey, it's my blog. I'm allowed to be.

One would think the next logical step is move it to another home. That's where the problem is. This particular friend is a central location for all participants. We all have to drive around a half hour to get there. Which means we are all spread out pretty far. If we moved to another home it would make it double the driving distance.

......And now, I have to go in search of a good, RIGOROUS, science and art program.

And I feel like I've lost my friend.

I am going to start scouting other locations in the same area that we held it in previously. Hopefully I can find something that is free, and willing to give us enough space for 2 small classes and a lunch area.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The 90 Day Challenge


A few weeks ago one of the bloggers on my Reader Feed posted a bit about reading the Bible in 90 days. It was to start June 1 and run all summer long. By the time I knew about it, I was several weeks behind. Something inside of me however said, take the challenge.

I started June 23 with Genesis 1:1. This part of the Old Testament is very familiar to me, but was such a blessing. As I carried on reading I got to the story of Moses and the children of Israel. I got bogged down a little through this passage, but kept plugging away. I'm behind of everybody else, I'm behind in my own schedule, but I can't tell you enough what a blessing this challenge has been.

I find myself thinking about the Word more often. I find myself blessed by what I've read. I find myself comforted to know that I have a Saviour. What I find most wonderful, is that by being in God's Word has rekindled the hunger and thirst within.

If you click over to the website you'll find many useful little tools and schedules. I particularly like the bookmark that has the schedule on it.

Now truthfully, this is probably a clever marketing tool for Zondervan to sell you one of their Bibles (because they have a Bible in 90 Days Bible, but I have just read along in my regular Bible and am just fine.

Don't be discouraged that you are "behind" the schedule. It really is such a blessing to embark on this challenge.

Be sure to scroll down the page to see the Family resource links. There's something there for every age group!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hi

Just wanted to say hi.

I was clicking through and reading some of my older blog posts and I have to say....it's really a shame more people don't read The Blog. I find it so entertaining the way I make fun of myself. I don't know why other people wouldn't.

That is all.

You may go back to ignoring me.

oh, and
Goodbye.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

I was thrilled to find this cute video posted on the Youtube. Enjoy!


I have the first 4 of this 5 set volume of scripture memory cd's. The kids and I both love listening to them, and often sing them as we go about our days. I see they have released a 5th cd called "Seeds: The power of encouragement." It's currently on my cbd.com wishlist.



Happy 4th y'all.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Guess I'm in a bloggy kind of groove

2 consecutive posts! I haven't done that for a while.

I finally submitted our portfolio today. I called ahead to the school admin. offices to make sure when the office hours are AND to find out the magic abbra-cadabbra voo-doo stuff that one apparently needs to know in order to even ENTER the building. Oh, I kid...sort of. That place has 3 entrances (and it's not that big of a building) none of which are marked or appear to be the main entrance. After the call though, it really was pretty simple to find the correct office and enter the building.

Let this be a lesson. In the future when I am unsure of something, it's really okay to ask.

I'm really quite pleased at the warm and friendly interactions I've had with the school admin. thus far. I posted this blurb on my Facebook account today and one of my friends said the nicest thing in the comments. I'll just copy what she said cuz really it was so very nice.

"That is because you are an amazing person doing a superb job of educating your kids! How could you be anything but nice when faced with your organized approach to record keeping, the depth of your educational scope and sequence, and your amazing child's ability to produce lovely samples of her intellectual growth!"

And she was totally sincere, and not even after any kind of favor. She's just that wonderful! <3 I love my Mommy-friends!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Checking In

Summer vacation is in full swing here at the F>actory. While the temperatures still haven't been all that summery (except for a day or two here and there) at least it's not quite as cool.

We had our first official homeschool evaluation done. I tried to submit everything to the district today, but couldn't figure out how to get in the building! I should have called ahead first. That's on the agenda for tomorrow.

I can't say enough how nice it is to have a break from hard work. Our brains all needed the respite-even mine. Whoever said "those who can't, teach" sure was a little off target. In order to be able to teach, one has to be able to "do" first. This holds true with homeschooling. I always learn the topic (or review) before I even begin to attempt to teach it. I'm getting a better elementary education as an adult than I did as a child.

Did I mention I broke down and bought a pool? Not a a super deluxe "real pool" but a new one for us at least. I don't know who was more disappointed about not swimming this summer, My Girls, or my mother. I'm pretty sure it was my mother. Just don't tell her I told you ;)

Here's the one we have. We really enjoy it, and even though it won't last forever, it really gives us a lot of fun (when it's hot enough at least...)


I know I've been pretty scarce lately, but I'm seriously just enjoying our break!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Summertime

...even though the weather doesn't quite feel like it. It seems to me that this gloomy cool weather has been the norm for the past 3 years for the first part of June. Our summers seem to be cooling to me rather than warming. I haven't written anything down, so I don't have proof, but rather than having a short cool snap around the end of July (usually accompanied by rain) it seems we have multiple cool snaps for most of the summer.

Our pool definitely has a leak. We've tried to patch it, but with no luck. The girls are a little upset (as well as my mother) about not having a pool, but I just don't think I can justify the repairs when I'd rather save and upgrade to a better one.
:(

On a better note, we're heading off for a weekend in Virginia. It's quite a drive, but a beautiful one!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Here's the thing...

a thought of the day.

I was feeling a little glum today. It probably is partly to blame on the rain and my hormones along with the state of my house. Whatever the cause it was a quiet kind of day. I was really starting to feel pretty blue. I was playing on Facebook, trying to click away my troubles on a good game of Bejeweled Blitz, when 6yo (can you believe she's 6 yall?!) came over and gave me a big hug and kiss for playing the game so well.

She was cheering, "Yeah Mommy, Yeah Mommy, Yeah Mommy!"

I had to smile.

And it hit me.

It's not getting what you want. It's wanting what you have.

How many times do I have to learn this lesson?

Too many and
apparently not enough.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cleaning Day Blues

Today just seems to be one of those days that I want to smash dishes and throw things.

Ever have one of those?

I am not the kind of person that smashes dishes or throws things, nor would I let it show on the outside that I feel that way. But OH, MAN! does the idea of having the luxury of a good temper tantrum sound good right now.

I'm not exactly sure what put in me in such a state. I think however, it's the same old problem of too many people, not enough space.

THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE TEMPORARY HOUSING! I don't know how it became our residence of 9 years. (okay, well, I do, but I don't know why those circumstances came about...okay yes I do...never mind....the point is that this was supposed to be TEMPORARY).

Will I ever get it all the way I want it?! And if I do, how long will it stay that way?!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

2 days and counting

I happen to live in a state where there are quite a few homeschool regulations. My friend moved from this state to Michigan two years ago and says she actually prefers the rules to having none (although I wonder if she's still feeling the same now that it's two years later.)

We have only 2 days left of school before we can be considered "done" for the year. I like to be done earlier than this, but it just didn't happen that way this year.

On a sadder note, our swimming pool m ay have bit the dust. It has sprung a few leaks, and while we are trying to patch them, the outlook isn't so hopeful. I just can't afford to replace what's broken so we may not be swimming this summer.

This is truly quite sad for us. We three girls love the water. I don't remember how to have summer without a back yard pool. I know we used to do it-but then again, I also used to work too. That didn't let much time to just lay poolside.

Oh well. Let's celebrate the final 2 days of school. Pool stuff will just have to work itself out.

-----
I know I've been quite scarce of late. All apologies. I've been feeling rather uninspired.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Homeschool on the Cheap


Basically, I am...Frugal??(read cheap)

At the start of our home education we were part of a public charter. We used the k12 curriculum for grades k-4. My husband would not consent to me traditionally homeschooling so this was the next best thing. Finally he gave me the green light to branch out on our own for 5th grade (this year) but did so with some reservations. His biggest reason for not wanting me to homeschool traditionally was he didn't want me to spend a lot of money on curriculum when our tax dollars pay for a public education. I see his point, especially when one considers he is an immigrant that comes from a country without public education (at least when he was still there).

In order to keep Hubby happy, I got creative: use what I have, utilize the library, borrow things from friends, and in general am very blessed.

Ambleside Online is a great place to start looking for free curriculum. What isn't available in the public domain is usually available at our local library. We have loved %99 of the book selections. A Charlotte Mason education just seems to fit our family personality.

I don't think I would have spend anything on books for next year, except for the fact that I wanted to. Our tax refund just came so I am in book buying mode. Hubs is happy with the education that I am able to provide our girls and I think he feels proud at how much they are learning, although since he's not a wordy man, he's never really said...But the smiles say it all.

My final purchases for next year I completed today. I bought full price from cbd the following books: Trial and Triumph, Singapore Earlybird Kindergarten 2A, 2B (because I think these will transition nicely into the MEP math FREE curriculum which starts at grade 1) and a State History Book that was on special for less than $3.00. Did I mention I had a coupon for free shipping. I think I've done pretty well for next year.

I'm considering placing an order at Rod and Staff for their Bible reading and Music programs. Both are very economical and look like they are good solid programs( i can't be sure though as I've never used them). I am also eying 2 math textbooks on ebay that are less than $4.00 a piece. I don't technically need them, but they may make nice extra practice books.

Total purchases today-$37 and some change.
Total to date- less than $80 (this is for 2 children!)
I guess if I throw in a few of those extras I will still be right around $100. Not too shabby, (although I gotta admit it stings, just a little.)


`````
Have fun looking at all those links. I know I gave a ton, but sometimes it's easier than trying to describe everything.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What you get for the money.

This week I attended 2 used home school curriculum sales. Between the 2 I spent around $40.(actually a little less, but why do I need to explain myself???)

I feel a little guilty for spending that much, but that's only because I haven't had to buy anything for this year (or the years before for that matter). There were some specific items I was looking for and didn't find, and 2 unexpected items that I have thought I may buy and ended up finding.

The Prairie Primer(spiral bound)-$10-like new condition! I think I got a good deal on this...I didn't realize how good of a deal!

Pathway Readers-the first 8 books(hardbound, like new condition)-$20 I bought this from the same lady that was selling The Prairie Primer. I didn't get the extra worksbooks, but these books along retail for around $9.00 a piece!

Easy Grammar 5 and 6 -$4 This is something I have thought about for next year, but don't know if I'll use. At four bucks, I didn't want to be sorry I didn't buy it later.


What your 6th Grader needs to Know-$2 This one looks new too. For this price, I thought it would be good just for a reference book. $2????

Jr. Great Books Series Pegasus and Sun Series-$0 Like New, Never used My OlderDD used these in 1st
grade. There are some fun stories and activities in these.

Drive Through History America-$0 every thing I got looks new or VERY gently used. This makes me feel like I'm not using preowned curriculum. This is a companion to a series available on DVD, but TBN used to air the shows late night. I'm going to see if I can set my dvr to record them!

Drill It Grammar work Book-never used- FREE!

Squanto Friend of Pilgrims, Sacajawea Guide to Louis and Clark, Mattie May, The Fledging, The Sign of the Beaver, Jumbo Bible Fun (crosswords and more) -FREE!
My kids loved going through the free stuff. YoungerDD walked away with 6 learning cdroms.

A few books I spent 10-50 cents on, but we sure got a lot of stuff!

Overall, I'm quite pleased. I'm just not sure how I will use it all, or WHERE I will store it.

I was hoping to find Singapore Math for Kindergarten, but I think I'll just have to order it!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reflecting

I can hardly believe how quickly this past school year has gone by! It seems like just yesterday that I was planning the year, and now we are down to only 19 days left of school. I have to say, it's been so much fun to school this way! It feels so much more relaxed. I no longer have the dread of bi-monthly conferences with a "teacher" that is merely a work sample collector. Truthfully, if we had not had that same teacher for both 3rd and 4th grade, I wonder if I would have ever pulled out of the cyber school. Our other years teacher was quite nice, (and a local gal). We still are in contact with her because she is the teacher to some of our friends' children that are in the cyber.

I thought it might be fun to put up a few pictures of some of the things we did this year. Unfortunatly my camera was on the fritz so I had to beg my friends to search through their pictures and send me a few. All of them have pictures of their children as well, so I don't feel comfortable posting them without permission.

I do have this shot, which shows one of mine pretending the life cycle of the butterfly. I'm not sure what stage this represents: I think it's the larvae.


What a fun year we've had. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ignoring the Blog?

I think I am. I haven't written much since ....before Christmas maybe? I just don't think I've had it in me. I just havent' been able to think of anything to write. I think I've said it all.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hallelujah!





He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
-Matthew 28:6

Friday, April 10, 2009

Going Off the Deep End

Have you ever watched a movie a hundred times, and on the hundred and first time you notice something you've never seen before? This winter one of my favorite all time heartbreak movies was on one of those lame cable channels. The "aha!" moment came at the end of the movie. (This is a loose quote)
"Some people say high school(childhood?) is supposed to be the best time of your life, I say it's something you try to live down for the rest of your life."

For me it's the later. That insecure girl is always just under the surface.

In general, I would say the majority of my school years were great. The one that has stuck with me, the one that I've tried to outrun, was my sophomore year. It was a year of opposites: spiritual awakening,running "wild",friends,boyfriends,dates in cars, lots of fun, tears, and depression. Sophomore year was the worst year of my entire young life, without exception or exaggeration! I can't go into all the details, but lets just say it was dark. The thought that I'm left with the most from those days is, "How can people be so mean?" I just don't understand how one can love out of one side of the mouth, and spew hatred out of the other. I don't understand how one can love today and hate tomorrow. How does one go from uplifting to trampling down?

It all came bubbling up to the surface again this week. I saw a glimpse, just a snapshot really, of someone from my former life. Immediately I felt angry and sick. It didn't take long for me to figure out why. It all boils down to forgiveness. Now forgiveness is not a new end of the pool for me. It's water I've been in many times before. Suddenly I'm back in the pool. What I find so "funny" though is that this is one of those areas that I've had to deal with time and time again. I have found it very difficult to forgive people for the actions of my last year in a public school. I think I have it licked and then bam! Time to jump in again. Each time I notice I dive down a little deeper. This time, maybe I've finally reached the bottom. Hopefully I will be able to finally forgive, and truly forget. Maybe I'll even find a new swimming hole.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Idol Rant 4.7


I haven't blogged about American Idol this year at all. Quite frankly, the show is so predictable to me-right down to the songs the contestants are choosing each week. I want to know if they are just really that unoriginal or if the pool of songs to choose from is just that limited. I wonder if it has something to do with getting permission the songs.

Also, for the record, I'm ready to just cut it down to 3 or 4 and let them duke it out the rest of the way. How 'bout you?

The night's theme was songs from the year you were born. It looked like they were going oldest to youngest, but then blew my theory out of the water when they had Allison go before Adam.

On with the recap. (I may get the order wrong....ooops.)

Danny Gokey sang a 1980 version of Stand by Me. I like this song. I like Danny. I could see him in the Christian contemporary field for sure. I like that he was a church choir director. What I don't like about him is that I feel like he is hurting his voice sometimes. I think he should be safe until next week.

Kris Allen did 1985's "All she wants to do is Dance." I hated this song the first time around. Really. I like him though. As much as I enjoy him, and think he's done some of the more original versions of songs, I don't think he's top 2 material. (I still don't like this song.)

Lil Rounds put the record straight. Her real name is Lil. Got that Simon? Okay. Good. On with her song choice. "What's Love Got to Do with It?" I don't know, Lil, what does it? 'Cause I didn't love this performance. I have to be straight when I say I think she has a great big ole voice. It's a very good voice, but she does often shout and rarely puts an original spin on anything. She's got a great voice, but I think she needs some time to find who she is, and just be. There are singers and then there are performers. Lil is a singer, and quite a good one, but for me, not top 2 material.

Anoop Desai was up with "True Colors." I love this song. I liked his rendition. I think he should be safe until next week. He needs to be more consistent and find his own groove. Over all I really have enjoyed his performances.

Scott MacIntyre. "The Search is Over." I like his personality. I like his heart. I like his piano skills. I don't like his voice. It's just not that strong. He's not vocally as gifted as the other contestants. He always picks something that makes me want to go to sleep. Let me repeat however, I like him as a person (at least what I see on tv.) Please America, get it right this week and send him home. Thank you.

Matt Giraud, "Part time Lover." I hate this song. I love him. I see that in past weeks he has tried to buck that R&B groove thing he has going on, but truly, I don't understand why. His runs are effortless. He glides between them and bends the notes so beautifully. For me he is the dark horse. He doesn't seem to get the ooohs and aaahs like Gokey and Lambert, but his voice is great.

Allison Araheta, the young 'un of this season sang "I can't Make You Love Me." Besides thinking this is an inappropriate song for someone so young, I enjoyed her. (I wonder how much she knows about laying down with someone and not patronizing them?) Wierd choice. I have liked her from week 1. I appreciate singers and especially ones that make a song their own. My only tiny critique would be that she adds "h's" before a lot of her words. "h-I can't h-make you love me, h-if you don't." Other than that I love her, and her voice.

Adam Lambert. "Mad World." Um. Adam. There is so much to say about him, I considered dedicating the whole post to him, since many people didn't get to see him. My DVR cut off, but I was able to rewind through another show and catch it.
I love the fact that Adam is original. He picks original songs and then twists them and makes them his own. (I like this even when I don't like the song, or the arrangement: see "Ring of Fire" and "Play that Funky Music") He always chooses songs that suit his personality. I like that. I love the fact that this boy can sing. I love the fact that he doesn't fit the typical Idol mold. I love the fact that he can sing...did I already mention that? What I don't like is the way he sings. I find it distracting that he sticks his tongue out so often (I hope other people notice that too) and I get a little tired of the same HUGE HIGH NOTES. Did I mention they were huge and that he sticks out his tongue when he sings them? I think he will be in the finals. He's talented. He's quirky, and I don't love every song he sings, but I always enjoy the fact that he does Adam. Finally an original on Idol.
BTW- If you would have asked me a few weeks ago, I would have said I hated him. The power HUGE high notes and tongue sticking out annoy me. His voice, and clear talent however have won me over.



In closing ( just like to sound official like that) I'd like to cut half of these people and just let Gokey, Giraud, Araheta, and Lambert duke it out for a while. That my friends would be some good entertainment.

________
Big ups to Boo Mama for letting me get my Rant on.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What a difference a day makes....

just twenty-four little hours....

I'm back to blogging in songs. I haven't done that for a while.

While I had trouble dragging myself out of bed today, I did wake up with a much better outlook. I don't feel so grumpy, so that's good. I'm ready to tackle the day with a better outlook. It's better to not let myself to get grumpy in the first place. It's fairly easy to avoid going there, but once I'm there, pretty difficult to just snap out of.

Happy Humpday!


P.S.
It's raining here today, which we needed since it's been fairly dry for spring. The rain makes me want to cuddle up and sleep. Ahhhhhhh....just thinking of my comforter and pillow....zzzzzzzzzzz. At least I don't feel grumpy. (I must keep reminding myself of that.)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blech.


I've been having a bad coupla days. It's just me. Nothing else. Just feeling tired, lumpy, irritated at myself.

So far today I have accomplished: (maybe it will help if I can see it.)

a trip to the bank.

paying hubby's credit card bill online.

making a cup of tea.

waking the kids up almost an hour earlier.

putting a load of laundry into the washer. ( I never said I started it though.)

placing a call about theater tickets.

almost ordering checks. I've been down to 2 for a year now and down to 3 for 2 years and before that it was '06 since I regularly used my checkbook. wow. (online bill paying is great)

updating my facebook "thought of the day."

answering the return call for theater tickets.

paying for theater tickets.

typing exactly one blogpost.

There ya go. I guess my day hasn't been a complete waste. The girls are actually watching Sesame Streetish (except it's not 'cause Sesame Street is already over). I think they are also eating (11 year old is pretty good at just getting herself something if she's hungry. Sometimes I forget to eat lunch.) When they are done we'll start the school day. Yippee.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What I'm doing now

-Drinking a cup of tea (chai to be exact, I love this brand)

-Listening to the hum of the dryer and the tink-tink of a computer game (this is the newest sound, and the most annoying one)

-Smelling the delicious scent of chicken stock I had on low overnight and just turned off a boil. I'll strain it and freeze it for some delicious soup recipe.

-Thinking about the day ahead of me. Realizing that our homeschool year is quickly winding down. Hoping I've done enough of everything.

-Beating myself up for not being more healthy. Trying to forgive myself because I'm not. Promising myself to remember to take it one day at a time.

-Relishing in a gleaming clean home. Loving that it stayed clean until this morning. Feeling guilty for being happy that Hubs isn't home today to mess it up.

-Thinking about driving out to the farm for some milk. I know it's better for us than the store kind, but don't always feel like making the drive.

I've been a bad girl.

Last night I caved. I broke my "diet" and ate some cookies. I did it consciously and on purpose. I was angry with myself for not losing any weight and decided to just go ahead and eat a cookie (or two) since it's not like it was going to derail me. I'm quite irritated about the whole weighing down thing. So much so that I felt like having a good cry about it over the weekend. I didn't. I don't know if I feel better this morning or not. If I don't start losing weight soon, I may resign myself to being fat forever.

That's is all. Go enjoy a few cookies on my behalf.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Feasting on Manna

I have been finding myself thinking and meditating on the book of Romans lately. Most specifically Romans 8. That whole chapter really ministers to me.

Today's bread:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

-Romans 8:35,37-39

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I love fermented foods!

kombucha...
kefir...
saurkraut...
pickles...
yogurt
KIMCHI!!!

So far I've made kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, and now....KIMCHI!

I gotta say, kimchi is my newest love. I have bought a few jars, but at $4 a pint, it's just too expensive to buy. (especially when we can eat a whole jar at one sitting)

I finally broke down and made some myself. It's currently sitting on my counter, patiently waiting to ferment.

It's good fresh.

It's good fizzy.

I can't wait to eat it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My journey into weighing down


A few weeks ago my 5yo thought it would be "fun" to get the bathroom scale out and make everyone hop on. I complied, thinking I knew what the reading would say. When I got on I swear someone said ouch. Okay, it was me, but ouch, it was high. And I had no idea! How could it have crept up to that number without my knowledge???? I decided right then to do something about it.

I don't know what compelled me (oh wait, yes I do)but I decided to start adding more protein into my diet. Protein was always the condiment in my meal planning. I always made sure to include some but really it never took center stage. I had stumbled onto a yahoo article laying out the amount of protein I should be eating in a day. A whopping 52 grams (for me) per day was recomended. What a daunting task for this former vegetarian. I decided though, to give it a go.

I started simply. I cut out sugar, most of which was working it's way into my diet in the form of a nice fizzy soda a few days a week. Really, it was as if God was prepping me for this journey because a few days before I had happened to see a stevia/sugar mix in the Wally mart of all places and decided to pick it up. (pure stevia I have found just way too bitter) I already had a good solid base of nutrition. The problem was the amount I was eating...too little. I'm a breakfast skipper. A late lunch picker. A dinner only kinda gal. I realize I was telling my body it was starving and to store what I was taking in.

I'll not bore you with all the details. I'm 3 weeks in now and down around 10 pounds (that scale of mine needs replaced! ) I feel thinner, even if it's only a placebo feeling. I want to keep going though. Ideally I'd like to be my pre-baby #2 weight (which I will not share with you). I felt good then, I looked good then, and I moved well then. I'll keep you posted on my progress. I've made a first goal of losing only a percentage of my highest weight (an old but good trick). I think I'll do a happy dance when I get there.

I wish I lost weight as rapidly as I did when I was 10 years younger. All I had to do then was think about losing weight and it came right off. This 10 pounds has been the slowest 10 I've ever lost! (and really, my scale is so sketchy I'm not even sure 10 is accurate!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Can I have your attention please?


Will the real men and women of God please stand up?!

I am feeling a bit sick to my stomach. Why?
Last year one of the ministries that I have admired for years announced that their head ministry guy had fallen into sin. I felt completely gobsmacked.
Disappointed.
Angry that once again, one of "us" had crossed the line.

My first reaction was to pray. Yes, God could restore him. Restore his marriage and, indeed, bring him into repentance. As the months wore on, however, it became quite clear to me that all those things that I had seen before as flaws in this man were indeed the result of his demise and that there would be no restoration taking place.

Rumors flew. Speculation soared. I received a few updates from the ministry leadership, at first sounding optimistic and then sounding more and more regrettable about the conduct of all those involved. Apparently, those closest to this man let the ball drop. They let things slip, and given an inch, he (or rather the enemy working through his life) took a mile.

I still feel sick.

Today, what sickens me most is that now, less than a year later I find videos of "restoration" coming out of another leader of the churches ministry website. Yes, the fallen minister has quickly divorced and remarried and now expects to be back into public ministry.

What ever happened to integrity? What ever happened to sticking things out through thick and thin? What happened to walking the walk, not just talking the talk?!!!

I've made it no secret that my own marriage was in ruins (for a few years.)

But God.

Those most 2 powerful words I've ever written in my life. But God turned my heart. He changed me, and in softening me, I was able to forgive and move on. I can hardly believe it. If I, a mere "everyday" christian, can walk that difficult road to marital restoration, anyone can. I'm tired of people taking the easy way out. My road was a long difficult and stony one.

I never wanted it to be said about me that I am a hypocrite. I've seen hypocrisy, and quite frankly, I detest it. The idea of calling oneself a Christian and yet living a sloppy reckless life is vile.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying as Christians we never sin again. Not at all. What I am saying is: When you know better, you do better. One doesn't purposely sin knowing that God's grace will cover it.

Paul said it best.
" What shall we say then? SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN, THAT GRACE MAY ABOUND?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.
For he that is dead is freed from sin.
"
-Romans 6:1-7

And lest you think I'm just picking on divorced people here, let me just say that I do understand that there are times that no matter what one person wants, it takes 2 people to reconcile. Besides, I'm not just talking about divorce!

Sin is sin.

It's nothing to wallow around in because you will get your clothes dirty. Non believers will see the stains that you have all over your clothes that you try to deny. It's very cliche, but you truly are the only Bible some people will ever read. Keep the pages as clean as possible.

I also understand that there are some things that are very hard to overcome, nevertheless, pick yourself back up when you fall, ask God for his forgiveness and keep walking.

I'm sick of Christians living their lives just like everyone else!

Be people of integrity!

Will the real men and women of God PLEASE STAND UP!

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Let me explain the problem science has with religion.' The atheist professor of philosophy pauses before his class and then asks one of his new students to stand.




'You're a Christian, aren't you, son?'




'Yes, sir,' the student says.




'So you believe in God?'




'Absolutely.'




'Is God good?'




'Sure! God's good.'




'Is God all-powerful? Can God do anything?'




'Yes.'




'Are you good or evil?'




'The Bible says I'm evil.'




The professor grins knowingly. 'Aha! The Bible!'




He considers for a moment, 'Here's one for you. Let's say there's a sick person over here and you can cure him. You can do it. Would you help him? Would you try?'




'Yes sir, I would.'




'So you're good!'




'I wouldn't say that.'




'But why not say that? You'd help a sick and maimed person if you could. Most of us would if we could. But God doesn't.'




The student does not answer, so the professor continues.




'He doesn't, does he? My brother was a Christian who died of cancer, even though he prayed to Jesus to heal him. How is this Jesus good? Hmmm? Can you answer that one?'




The student remains silent.




'No, you can't, can you?' the professor says. He takes a sip of water from a glass on his desk to give the student time to relax.




'Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?'




'Er...yes,' the student says.




'Is Satan good?'




The student doesn't hesitate on this one, 'No.'




'Then where does Satan come from?'




The student falters, 'From God.'




'That's right. God made Satan, didn't he? Tell me, son. Is there evil in this world?'




'Yes, sir...'




'Evil's everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything, correct?'




'Yes.'




'So who created evil?' The professor continued, 'If God created everything, then God created evil, since evil exists, and according to the principle that our works define who we are, then God is evil.'




Again, the student has no answer.




'Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things, do they exist in this world?'




The student squirms on his feet. 'Yes.'




'So who created them?'




The student does not answer again, so the professor repeats his question, 'Who created them?'




There is still no answer... Suddenly the lecturer breaks away to pace in front of the classroom. The class is mesmerised.




'Tell me,' he continues onto another student. 'Do you believe in Jesus Christ, son?'




The student's voice betrays him and cracks. 'Yes, professor, I do.'




The old man stops pacing, 'Science says you have five senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Jesus?'




'No sir. I've never seen Him.'




'Have you ever felt your Jesus, tasted your Jesus or smelt your Jesus? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Jesus Christ, or God for that matter?'




'No, sir, I'm afraid I haven't.'




'Yet you still believe in him?'




'Yes.'




'According to the rules of empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your God doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?'




'Nothing,' the student replies. 'I only have my faith.'




'Yes, faith,' the professor repeats. 'And that is the problem science has with God. There is no evidence, only faith.'




The student stands quietly for a moment, before asking a question of His own. 'Professor, is there such thing as heat?'




'Yes,' the professor replies. 'There's heat.'




'And is there such a thing as cold?'




'Yes, son, there's cold too.'




'No sir, there isn't.…'




The professor turns to face the student, obviously interested. The room suddenly becomes very quiet.




The student begins to explain...




'You can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, megaheat, unlimited heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat, but we don't have anything called 'cold'. We can hit up to 458 degrees below zero, which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold; otherwise we would be able to go colder than the lowest -458 degrees.'




'Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or transmit energy. Absolute zero (-458 F) is the total absence of heat. You see, sir, cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat we can measure in thermal units because heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir, just the absence of it.'




Silence across the room. A pen drops somewhere in the classroom, sounding like a hammer.




'What about darkness, professor. Is there such a thing as darkness?'




'Yes,' the professor replies without hesitation. 'What is night if it isn't darkness?'




'You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is not something; it is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light, but if you have no light constantly you have nothing and its called darkness, isn't it? That's the meaning we use to define the word. In reality, darkness isn't. If it were, you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?'




The professor begins to smile at the student in front of him. This will be a good semester.. 'So what point are you making, young man?'




'Yes, professor. My point is, your philosophical premise is flawed to start with, and so your conclusion must also be flawed.'




The professor's face cannot hide his surprise this time, 'Flawed? Can you explain how?'




'You are working on the premise of duality,' the student explains...




'You argue that there is life and then there's death; a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought.'




'It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it...'




'Now tell me, professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?'




'If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, young man, yes, of course I do.'




'Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?'




The professor begins to shake his head, still smiling, as he realises where the argument is going. A very good semester, indeed.




'Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an ongoing endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you now not a scientist, but a preacher?'




The class is in uproar. The student remains silent until the commotion has subsided.




'To continue the point you were making earlier to the other student, let me give you an example of what I mean.' The student looks around the room, 'Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the professor's brain?' The class breaks out into laughter.




'Is there anyone here who has ever heard the professor's brain, felt the professor's brain, touched or smelt the professor's brain? No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, with all due respect, sir.'




'So if science says you have no brain, how can we trust your lectures, sir?'




Now the room is silent. The professor just stares at the student, his face unreadable. Finally, after what seems an eternity, the old man answers, 'I guess you'll have to take them on faith.'




'Now, you accept that there is faith, and, in fact, faith exists with life,' the student continues, 'Now, sir, is there such a thing as evil?'




Now uncertain, the professor responds, 'Of course, there is. We see it everyday. It is in the daily example of man's inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are nothing else but evil.'




To this the student replied, 'Evil does not exist sir, or at least it does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is the result of what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart. It's like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness that comes when there is no light.'




The professor sat down.






The student was Albert Einstein.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The wonder that is...


Facebook.

It's been so interesting to reconnect with people from my past, and stay in touch (in real time) with people from my now.

I spent some time this evening chatting with one of my closest friends from my youth. We lost touch (for unimportant reasons) and I always wondered what she was doing. I had looked on the myspace waste and never found her. I even tried a google (which had proven successful in locating someone else from the past) but still never turned anything up.

We've been in loose contact for a month or more. Quick little messages here and there, but nothing significant. Tonight's chat made the years melt away a little and I felt 15 again. I've not had a girl friend like it since. I just haven't let people be that close to me.

It was nice.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Squeee!


I love this new blog layout!

I know it isn't original to only me, but I think it really fits the whole "factory" type theme. It looks rather industrial. 8D

Okay. That is all. As you were.

-a totally unrelated pic, but cute nonetheless.

Why not laugh?


It's better than crying or sulking. I'd much rather be around a person who doesn't look at life so seriously.

I am laughing today. I just looked at my sitemeter for this week: I had to just chuckle to myself. Girl who blogs for herself still checks the sitemeter to see if she's gotten any new hits.

And did I? Well....I'll never tell.

Whoa Nelly, talk about funny!

You know you wanna laugh at..err...with me too. Go ahead, click here, here, and here.

Laughing is so much fun: it works for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ya wanna know another funny? I hadn't participated in WFMW in so many weeks that I didn't realize the host has changed.

Oh, boy!


Check out more at We are That Family.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Learning to Read ...and other "hard" things.

My homeschooling year has not gone exactly as planned. Older dd is doing fine. (mostly) Younger dd on the other hand....

First of all I know the majority of the difficulty starts with me. I am responsible for not making them go to bed earlier or waking them up before morning is half over. The problem is that I am a night owl, and so are they. Being a night owl is fine, but previous years of schooling only one left me with the luxury of starting the day at noon (ish) and being finished by 3. With one child, that is very focused, it is very easy to do a whole day's work in just a few hours.

This year has presented the challenge of adding a second child in. The beginning of the year went well. November it slid into a ditch and stayed there. I have not yet been able to pull it back out of the ditch.

I was hoping that younger dd would be well on her way toward reading by this point. Unfortunatly my instincts that she was just not ready proved correct. She is learning her letters (finally) but can't seem to remember the fact that "e" sounds like "EEEEE" or that "a" sounds like "AAAAAAA" despite having worked on these two sounds for months. (albeit...spotty).

Other hard things: Keeping my house in the order I like (this time of year). Something about this time of year makes my house seem like it has a mind of it's own. I know this is probably also my fault for not making the children quickly obey me when I tell them to pick something up. Instead I've been finding myself reminding them over and over and over again and not following through with the punishment if they don't. I am a strict disciplinarian...I thought. Maybe I just don't have it in me anymore. Maybe one of them being 11 has something to do with it. I don't know. Maybe it really is just spring fever.

The last hard thing (for today) is shaving off a coupla' twenty pounds.
Oh.
my.
word. I knew I was fat, but...wow. I got on the scale last week...It said "OUCH."