Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby it's Cold outside!

As my experience in homeschooling increases, I'm finding it increasingly easier to find creative ways of logging in learning time. For instance, this week it has been cold here, really cold! However, Friday the sun was shining. Poor 6yo is so ready for outside play and began to be excited that the sun was shining! She just had to know if she was permitted to go out to play. The way she was asking made me feel at first that she feels like she's never allowed outside until I realized that she's used to not being permitted to play computer or watch tv during "office hours."

I had to encourage her to be sure to bundle up! The sunshine is deceptive. When the sun is shining and the sky looks so blue, it's easy to forget that the thermometer may only read 12*.

As I watched her bundle up I was suddenly aware of my own cooped up feeling. Too much time indoors with no sunshine makes for a gloomy feeling. So I bundled up and went out with her. As soon as we stepped outside the cold hit us like a brick wall. It may have been sunny but it was so cold and windy. We had to warm up and my mind immediately thought of a book I had just read about a girl surviving alone on the Northern Tundra ("Julie of the Wolves" ...good read!)

"1,2, 3, GO!" I yelled and we took off! Running and running races back and forth in the yard until the cold air made it too difficult to breath. By that time 12yo had heard all the excitement and decided to join us. Just in time for a nature walk.

Remembering what I had read about winter challenges we set off in the direction of some cattails. Just about that time the wind whipped up even stronger. The cold began to really sink in, but still we pressed on.

We managed to make it to the cattails and have a quick look, but the girls and I were SO COLD. Hastily I reached out and snapped one off to bring inside.

Once inside we inspected it and 6yo promptly decided to keep it forever! The rest of the day was spent leisurely working through a few subjects. Yes we accomplished some "book work" and I didn't even feel guilty about how little we actually covered. I'm learning to sit back, and enjoy all the small moments. Next time, I hope I have a better camera to take along. If we're going to suffer through all that wind it would be nice to have a picture or two to help document it!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This and That

It's been a while since I last typed up a post. I've been feeling a little disjointed. Not really winter blue, not sad, or even yucky-just disorganized and unable to pull it together. I guess one can't have it all, so if I have to "fail" in some area this is the one I don't mind failing in right now. This may sound strange, but I gotta tell ya: I'll take a little disorganization over the winter blues ANY DAY! One can always clean, but it's quite difficult to feel good when the body isn't cooperating!

That stomach bug made it through all 3 of we girls. It was the strangest bug I've ever had. My stomach just hurt and felt uncomfortable for several weeks. WEEKS! No fever,vomiting or diarrhea though so I guess we fared alright.

On the positive side, January was a low grocery expenditure month for us! We ate what we felt we could from out of the freezer and cupboard. Little to no meat for several weeks which was okay. One night I was simply craving protein. Luckily I had 1 frozen steak and the girls didn't want any meat so I was able to cook it up for myself.

I think we're finally through it, but the past few nights Hubby has been complaining about his stomach not feeling quite right. Uh-oh!

The girls have be plugging away at school (although not accomplishing as much as I would like). The days have been cold but are noticeably longer so we've been still enjoying them just from the inside. Spring will be a welcomed site!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Peach Cobbler

I won't bore you with the details, but lets just say that after a week long battle with a stomach bug, I have yet to get the whole eating thing back on track. I am using it as an opportunity to cook out of the pantry. Someone might as well enjoy themselves with a little comfort food-Even if that someone isn't me. :p (feeling a little green!)

Microwaved Peach Cobbler
1 bag (approx. 4 c.) frozen peaches
1 T. cornstarch
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. water

spray or butter a glass dish (I used a deep pie pan) stir together ingredients Microwave on high power 6-8 minutes until it begins to thicken

stir in a generous pat of butter +1 T. lemon juice

2T butter
1 egg
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. self rising flour
1 t. cinnamon

while peach mixture is cooking: soften butter in bowl over warm water. Beat in egg, sugar self rising flour and cinnamon.
spoon over peach mixture. Microwave additional 10 minutes. (spooning liquid over dumplings the last 2 minutes of cooking)

Serve warm with milk or vanilla ice cream.

I modified this recipe just a little from an recipe. While it is not exactly grandma's peach cobbler, it is quick and easy which is great if one wants to serve the family a treat but doesn't want to spend much time in the kitchen. Next time I will not add all that sugar to the peaches. We found them to be a bit too sweet. (of course, despite our recent holiday splurges, we're still not eating much sugar)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

It was the cookies.

I blame it all on the cookies. I was doing so well with my whole healthy eating thing. Then Christmas came and I just couldn't imagine a Christmas without a few cookies and I resolved to bake some with less sugar. Suncrystals makes a great stevia/sugar blend for baking. I did well. I made a few batches (I went with a gingersnap, oatmeal, and Italian walnut cookies) and kept a few for us and gave some away to a diabetic friend.

Great. Yummy. I had a few cookies on Christmas.

Then Santa went and done did it! He brought us all chocolate truffles in our stockings and since I had already eaten a few cookies, what did a few truffles matter? And then what did a few more matter. And then since I had already caved to sugar, what did the rest of them matter. And then there was the crackers, and basically otherwise considered "healthy" snacks.

Sent me over the EDGE! Yup! Cuz right now?...I am going to pull a small batch of sun crystal oatmeal raisin cookies out of the oven.

I have to get the crap foods back out of my diet. I have felt bloated and otherwise intestinally disrupted. I know it's the sugar (and flour!)

But before I get back on the health food train I'm going to eat a few more cookies and milk. Then I'll sit down and make out a shopping list and begin the begin once more.

BLAST those oh, so good cookies!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Oh I really should be sleeping!

But I am not. I am however about to go to bed!

Before I do I wanted to let you know that there are a few t hings that I am jumping up and down over...LITERALLY!

Item 1: the international house of prayer website (that's IHOP for those of us "in the know") has just made their webstream completely free ALL THE TIME!!! YIPPEEE!!! I can't tell you what a blessing ihop has been to me over the past few years. While I've never actually been to the "campus" I feel so much a part of the whole ministry and was extremely proud when they were featured on The 700 Club a few weeks ago. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that I can turn on the prayer room and join with others in the 24/7 prayer/praise movement. WHOOPEEEE!

Item 2: The Read the Bible in 90 days challenge has started back up. Today was day 1 so you still have time to get in on the action without feeling like you've fallen too far behind. I sadly didn't complete the challenge over last summer, but I really enjoyed trying! It really was such a blessing to be reading such a substantial amount of the Word everyday. Here is a handy-dandy link for a bookmark with the reading schedule. (not the official site, but easier to just click and print.)

Off to bed now....squeeee!!!