Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Education Reform

Was pointed in the direction of a video on YouTube tonight that makes me raise and eyebrow on some levels and also confirms some of my beliefs about American education.  One thing that I really believe is that teachers in the schools are SO deprived of a decent income for what they have to go through during the school day.  Its their compassion that keeps them coming back to the school day after day.  Teachers have to really love what they are doing and feel that they are making a difference.  Even if you don't agree with everything that is said in the video you have to admit that the drawings are pretty awesome! LOL!

Not every child fits in the pretty box with a bow.  Many people have heard me say this in reference to our oldest child.  Yes I know he is 12 but he doesn't have to learn the same thing as other 12 year olds that are in their 7th month before turning 13.  Right?

Underwater Sight Seeing

Glancing through my twitter feed I found a cool link from Craig Froman about an underwater museum.
Only visible by snorkeling, scuba diving or through a glass bottom boat.  It is located in Cancun.

Kind of reminded me of a trip Judge and I took many years ago to Sweetwater, TN.  We were passing through the area and saw a sign for The Lost Sea.

We are still honey-mooning...

As we continue studying the moon phases we read the verse Psalms 8:3  

When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—
                      the moon and the stars you set in place—

The kids and I continued on through Genesis 3:20 with their bible lesson and did a crossword puzzle.

I found a website called Teacher Vision today.  But they only allow you to see 5 things before you have to buy a subscription to the website.
I used those free views pretty quickly.  I found that our project we started yesterday was too hard for Elizabeth to keep up.  Went to that website and printed out a couple of moon printables for her.  That way she is still studying what we are just on her level.  She has been cutting and using glue to fill in sentences with crescent words and a page on moon phases and matching.

The older kids are learning about the phases of the moon.  Observing and naming the current phase of the moon, the elongation and how it can be estimated with the sun's rays.  Within today's lesson is some basic geometry with right angles and 45 degree angles. Worksheet

Prayer sticks for today were to pray for my cousin's daughter Addison, my brother in law Bill,  Jacob's friend Dominique and my sister's daughter Brooklyn.

National Chocolate Milk Day is Here!!! Finally!

We interrupt this homeschooling day to bring you the big news that today (and today only) is National Chocolate Milk Day.

"September 27, 2011 is

National Chocolate Milk Day

Celebrate National Chocolate Milk Day! Who doesn't crave a nice, tall glass of frothy chocolate milk? Until the 1820s, drinking chocolate was fairly uncommon and no one knew how to produce a smooth chocolate taste in liquid form. In 1828 the Van Houten company in Amsterdam invented the cocoa pressing method. This produced a light, fluffy chocolate powder that could be easily dissolved in water or milk. Today, chocolate milk is a popular beverage for people of all ages.
Chocolate milk has surprising restorative properties. In 2006, the dairy industry conducted a study and discovered that chocolate milk helps athletes with muscle recovery. It provides nine essential nutrients, making it both delicious and nutritious!
Pour yourself a nice tall glass of chocolate milk in honor of National Chocolate Milk Day!"
 ( )

Monday, September 26, 2011

Protein and Fiber snacks to fill the gap

Ideas coming from a fellow mom who has a child with Type 1 Diabetes too.  She was given some suggestions about fiber and protein snack options to fill the gaps between meals.  Kind of ironic but some of the items listed were in a telephone conversation I had tonight with a friend.

a pita pocket with hummus/nutella/ peanut butter inside

wheat thin crackers and a couple slices of cheddar cheese

medium orange sprinkled with a littel cinnamon

SF jello cup, pitted sweet cherries, 2 tbs frozen cool whip

Pineapple Sundae-- 4oz pineapple tidbits, 2 tbs vanilla yogurt, 1 tsp roasted sunflower seeds crushed

graham crackers with peanut butter spread on top

town house crackers with chicken or tuna salad spread on them USE LITE MAYO

1 cup of chicken noodle soup and 3 saltines

taco in a bag-- 1 oz bag of Fritos or Doritos crushed in the bag, ADD into bag....lean ground beef, lettuce, tomato chunks, shredded cheese

1 pear and 1oz of cheese

Quesadilla, 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese....can warm up and its a cheese roll-up

1 apple and 2 TBS of Peanut butter

1 mini box of raisins & 2 TBS of dry roasted pumpkin seeds

Bagel Melt- 1/2 whole wheat bagel thin, slice of swiss cheese (or any cheese) and 1 slice of deli turkey breast

3 slices of Melba toast with 1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 slices whole grain rice thins with nutella or peanut butter

1 cup raw baby carrots and 4 oz. of cottage cheese

Disclosure: I am not a dietician or a doctor nor claim to be...check with your health provider before making any changes to your dietary consumption.  Lord knows, I eat too and some of these things are a bit foreign to me but I need to become friends with these snacks.

Television and kids....

Have you ever sat in a different room and listened to a Nickelodeon or Disney show (not the preschool ones).  I know that some are filmed in front of live audiences but you can tell which ones aren't because the laughing is controlled and everyone stops at the same time in order to keep the script moving slowly.  So as I am listening to this show that Jesse is watching I can hear the dialogue of people cutting each other down or saying something really stupid and then they cue the button for laughter.  So are the makers of these shows creating what your child should think is funny but morally isn't funny at all?  I suppose this is my AHA! moment while I sit quietly and just listen to Elizabeth playing with Thomas trains, Emily picking up her room and the clanging of silverware as Jacob empties the dishwasher.  What do you think?

And the Bible lesson for today is...

John 1
 1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 2The same was in the beginning with God.
 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

I have the week set out for our Bible lessons.  Elizabeth has a coloring page to do while we are working on the other pages.  Here is what we are working with for these lessons.  Bible Lessons

We may take a detour this week to work on moon phases as a whole group.  I found that Discovery Education has a lot to offer and the kids need a distraction thrown in and work on team building.  Not sure how but at least they will be building moon phases.

These are both free resources.

Here is a freebie that someone shared with me yesterday.  Betty Crocker's 2011 Fall e-cookbook!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

is it a good word or a bad word?

Do you hide from this word?  Wait, I am going to type the word if you are ready.  Organization

How do you deal with the organization in your home.  Especially if you homeschool.

We tend to find things that we "know" we will need next year or next spring.  Those things can turn into its own monster!  Stores tend to showcase their organizational products in January because a lot of people do New Year's resolutions to either get fit and exercise or they will get organized.  Then again they could be giving up soda too but I don't hang out with those people because I love my Diet Mtn Dew....haha! j/k.

organizeI have been hanging out over at 5 minutes for mom and browsing through some of the blogs listed and I thought I would take a peek at the blogs that talk about organization.  Just a  I have to be able to admit that I will never be a white glove cleaner.  You will find a little dust, an orphaned sock or even a broom still out in the kitchen.  Our home is lived in, used, peaceful and happy.  We do what we can with what we have.  Don't think of us as being the "other" family on Wife Swap where one mom goes to a immaculate house and the other one goes to the pig sty of a home.  Our children have chores and structure and we, as parents, have our responsibilities too.  We work together as a family unit.  And NO we aren't going to give you an allowance to pick up your room.  When you are 30 and have a family are you going to get paid to make your bed?? HA!  
                                                 picture from                                       

Oh yeah back to what I was saying...organization.  We don't own a single dresser in our home.  My husband constructed all of our rooms with walk in closets.  He built in shelves,  bars for hanging clothes and we have baskets and bins on some shelves.  In his eyes, dressers take up play space.  Most homes being built now have small bedrooms.  The kids have 450sq ft to play, romp and mess!

As I was saying earlier...not having the perfect home but striving.  Here is Kristin at  she sheds light to the little things that can be fun to doesn't have to feel like a chore does it?  She just posted on notes to send along with your child's lunch box or just a note to let them know you are thinking of them...but in a creative way.  This may speak mountains to your child.  I remember as a child and my mom would pack my lunch and simply write on my gives a boost or a gleam to maybe an otherwise dreary day!  I think I may take up her advice on having an in and out container to help filter through some of the things that pile up on my desk!  Thank you Kristin

See what you can come up with and don't forget to come back and let me know if it did or didn't work out!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

History Lessons

For the last few days I have been looking at different options for history lessons.  Things we can do as a group.  (Sorry I haven't posted....not felt well lately).  I found a DVD set that seems rather interesting and  can be affordable too.  This DVD link has previews of each lesson there on the website.  It is called the American Heritage Series  I liked the way it was all put together.  Here is the link to the promotional part of this set:

Like I said I am pretty impressed with this collection.
Copied from their website and no I am not an affiliate for them...
26 Episodes: 30 min. each in length.
10 DVD Box Set

Suggested Donation: $79.95
On Sale For: $59.95

The other set that I looked at was discovered by Freely Educate...Many of times this lovely lady has sent out great resources...and many of times I forward them on to others who can use the free boost!  In one of her posts today she shares a history curriculum from Colonial Williamsburg.  In this website you will find videos, lesson plans, timelines, glossary of words and tons of other resources.  You can even download the transcripts and do a play in your living room as it is transcripted for you.  These are virtual field trips.

Copied from her website Freely Educate (you can find her on facebook too! :)

Through Sept 30: Free Virtual Field Trip on the US Constitution from Colonial Williamsburg


Through September 30 only, you may access Colonial Williamsburg's Electronic Field Trip, "A More Perfect Union." Here is their description: 
The Electronic Field Trip, "A More Perfect Union", tells the story of the ratification of the [US] Constitution and has as the first person narrator a young student from the late 1700s.  This Electronic Field Trip builds background knowledge for educators and students, leading to better understanding of the challenges and choices made during the ratification of our Constitution.  
The electronic field trip includes interactive games, the ability to send an email to "Ben Franklin," lesson plans, teacher guide, and more. 
Especially for grades 4-8th (but we all know the younger ones would like it, too!)
Expires September 30, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Needles, batteries and strips....

Well, I thought I hadn't done a diabetic post in awhile.  A friend on facebook had posted about The Mom Song from to the same tune we use the Type 1 Mom Song.  Before I post the link to this, I thought I would explain the main difference.  In this video the two children have Type 1 Diabetes.  In one family.  It seems that this isn't very rare anymore.  I have been hearing a lot about more than one sibling having Type 1.  In our family we have 3 of the 4 children that are Type 1 as well.  They all 3 wear insulin pumps.  And I, the mother, has Type 1 too.  So there are 4 of us in our household that are diabetic.  Keep that in mind when you watch this video:

Then we get a lot of people that ask us stupid questions about our diabetes. Or make comments when we eat sweets as if it is not allowed.  Not calling people stupid, just the question.  I suppose a better word would be ignorant.  Most people think of diabetes as something people get and later on they get gangrene and eventually lose a limb or go blind.  Many people in the diabetic community are well versed in what to say in these kinds of conversations...but here is a great video that shows the dialogue.

So the next time you see a child or an adult offer them a piece of real candy and not that sugar free stuff that has more artificial stuff in it that makes you poop instead! hahaha

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bible Drills

Does anyone remember as a kid in sunday school having bible drills?  Such as the adult calls out a scripture and the first one to find and say the scripture wins.?  Anyone?

Well, I have incorporated the books of the Bible in our curriculum this year.  I told Judge that I found this to be very beneficial that they know their way around the Bible.

This week the kids are memorizing the first 10 books of the Bible.  And I found a cute song on youtube too.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

This week we are in session

We took last week off from school...but no worries, we have a lot of days already built up since we started in the summer.  While everyone else was sweating we were in air conditioning or cooling off at the outdoor pool.  Yep, that's what our summer consisted of.  That and me trying to figure out what curriculum would be best for each of the children.  It was a time of really looking at the big picture.  We are well into the swing of things with a plan too.  I just wish that I was a week ahead in my planning.  But I guess we are just week to week these days.

Elizabeth is working on skip counting of 5s so I can start her in learning how to tell time.  I figured she would have already learned this by now but she hasn't.  So this week we are concentrating on this.  Map skills are fun but unscrambling word sentences are not so fun...her words, not mine.  She is also working on her prayer sticks as are the other kids.

The three older kids are still continuing their math drills with lattice multiplications and Jacob will be doing his pre-algebra.  Here are the Lattice Worksheets we are using for the drills. will also be working hard at studying and memorizing the first 10 books of the Bible.  I feel that it is important for them to know where scripture is while listening at church.  This will be an on going project this year.

Jesse and Elizabeth are using  a lot of language supplements from this website.  It came at a time that we needed it.  I didn't have a full A Beka curriculum for either of them in language.  So we have made our binders and are keeping it well rounded with reading.  Jesse is reading through the Magic TreeHouse books and picked Mummies in the Morning.  And we are using this website to guide through this book:  I only put a Questions packet together for him.

Homeschool Planners

I figured I would blog about this before I lose the website again.  I don't buy planners because I like making them my own way and use different ideas and I am very ADD with this.  But I came across a website that I liked the front covers that they offered.  I mean I really liked it.  Now ready to sit down to print it and I can't find it!  I looked everywhere...thankfully for only 3-4 minutes.  But I found it!! !Yay!  there are different options here but I liked the blue and yellow one.  I think it is the last one.  Anyhow,  they have 12 month calendars at a glance that I am going to print for the backside of the binder.  There are other places that offer free planning pages such as Donna Young's site  she offers more than just home school planning sheets.   Here is another site

Check out New Beginnings and see what you can creatively put together!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Free Resource

If you haven't found the website Teachers pay Teachers I urge you to spend the time to check this webiste.  Lots of freebies and lots of resources that are very cheap

This is an example of something I downloaded for free.  When we write I find that it is crucial for my children to enlighten their writing with words that bring the reader an expression and to feel a part of the story.


I saw this on Facebook but the person who posted it borrowed it from someone I have no idea who the original author is to this but I know its not me. But the words just stood out to me and it made every perfect sense to the problems of the world. Remember how in the big beauty pageants they would get up there and say "world peace"...does everyone not know that Jesus is the reason for the Season? That doesn't just go for Christmas. He is the reason for everything all around us.

A little girl wanted to know what the United States looked like. Her Dad tore a map of the USA from a magazine and then cut it into small pieces. He told her to go to her room to see if she could put it together. After some minutes she returned and handed the map correctly fitted and taped together. The Dad was surprised and asked how she had finished so quickly. She said, "On the other side was a picture of Jesus and when I put him back then our country just came together."

This came from a child's voice...what is that saying, "from the mouths of babes".

This we are focusing on prayer with the children. How to pray for people while using our prayer pail and what to pray for. And then we are also going to teach them how to pray at dinners. Jesse did a family dinner prayer that was very innocent and unknowing of what he was actually saying and I am glad that he opened his eyes and wasn't embarrassed but some of us couldn't help but laugh on the inside. We may abandon all our normal classwork to work on Prayer this week. Its so nice to homeschool and have such flexibility


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Principles

  1. Parents are the first and important teaches. - The more involved you are, the better your child's chances of getting a good education.  You can make the difference.  (I totally and whole heartedly agree with this...not just in homeschooling but for public school educated children.  My children went to public school before homeschooling and I have had countless parents who have talked to me about how the school is a Title 1 school with a high minority demographic.  Do you know what I said to that?  I always told those parents that the school is as good as you make it.  If you are not involved in your child's education then you have not the right to complain....)
  2. Your teaching must not stop when schooling starts. -Some parents withdraw from involvement in education once their children reach school age.  This is a mistake.  Teachers cannot do a good job with out your aid, support, and interest. (Too many times have the public schools been used as a daycare center.  Just drop off and go. See you at 3!  Parents think that they are let off from the responsibilities of their child because it is during school hours.  I was at our school and a constant presence in the classrooms of all 4 of our children.  For more reasons than just one.  We did not encounter any behavioral problems.  Remember growing up you usually had a family member who worked at the school you attended?  Well I had several family members that worked at my elementary school.  So many that, they knew I was in trouble before I knew I was in trouble!!  Kids don't fear their parents anymore.  They shrug their shoulders and have a "Whatever" attitude when ever they misbehave and the consequences aren't there anymore.  We have allowed other to discipline our children and it doesn't get that for because of government regulations stating what they can and can't far as consequences go.)
  3. The early years build the foundation for all later learning.   - Make it sturdy.  The first few years of life and then the first few years are critical.  a solid education by eighth grade is a necessity or there will be trouble in high school and beyond. ( I have two sides to this.  Kids are raised differently have different ways of learning.  I have one child that was reading books before kindergarten and sat in a kindergarten class twiddling his thumbs...was not a bored troublemaker but a child that needed challenging.  These days kindergarten teaches what we, as parents, learned in 1st and 2nd grade.  Kindergarten is very structured now as the teachers have high standards to compete with.  If I had another child that was of kindergarten age and we started homeschooling at that time I would more than likely use an "unschooling" method from Preschool until the beginning of what would be 1st grade.  That is not saying they wouldn't learn to read or write but they would learn more of life skills while still being taught how to read and write.  Having a child bring home projects in the first grade that are clearly way over their heads to comprehend and know that it is the parent's job to do it with the child is not an effective project to learn from.  The last science fair I attended with the children I noticed kindergarten and 1st graders doing projects about molecules and chemical reactions.  Come on...really?  My first grader won her school science fair doing bubbles.  And timing the bubbles by using different brands of soap.  This was a "her" project...not a "me" project.  The same goes for my other daughter who won her 5th grade school fair doing absorption rates of different types of socks (polyester, wool and cotton)  she measured the water levels...she did her own work and her own data, at 5th grade she should be expected to be able to figure this out on her own.  Teaching the kids to be independent and responsible for their own education would be a great concept.  If you don't know about WWII then you should have the opportunity to read about everything you can about WWII...too many resources are not used.  Even someone in a lower demographic can go to the library and read or use audio books.  Books build your foundation
  4. American schools are underperforming.  Trust but verify. -Many schools don't pay enough attention to academic basics, and standards are often too low.  Trust but verify.  Do not just assume that your school is doing a good job. (This goes along with what I stated above.  Be a constant presence in your child's education.  Our local school was underperforming but with change in leadership I believe they were doing their best to strive to get the academic basics higher.  There was more of an emphasis placed on reading in my children's last year in public school.  Not only did they make this emphasis but they turned it into a way that made it fun and at the children's level of understanding how reading is very important.  My daughter had a great 5th grade teacher but dreaded returning to school after spring break because she knows the drill...TCAP TCAP TCAP.  That's all they did up until the BIG standardized state testing.  They drilled the concepts in the kids for the few short weeks preceding this test.  She did not enjoy school anymore and the learning wasn't beneficial.  The fact of the standards being too low is something that I could invariably recognize in the classroom.  You can have Joe sitting in the circle of the desk kind of slouched down while others are learning about fractions.  Sally and Greg may already know this too...but the rest of the class doesn't.  So what is Joe, Sally and Greg going to do while the others are learning fractions.  They do nothing.  The curriculum is dumb downed to the lowest learner and for those that are beyond the concept are left by the wayside.)
  5. Learning requires discipline; discipline requires values. -Too many classrooms are disrupted by disrespectful, unruly children.  Too many kids have not been taught the virtues necessary to succeed in school. ( I remember a day of being in the school office and hearing a substitute teacher calling down for help in my daughter's classroom because the children were throwing furniture! And intervention was needed by administrators.  The problem was taken care of but it was only a temporary band-aid.  As i stated before children don't know what real consequences are and they look at education as being forced on them instead of a right and a privilege to be able to learn.  Teachers work very hard to put themselves through school and go into a learning environment on fire with enthusiasm...ready to teach!  And they are met with parents who would rather complain and do nothing with their child's education.  Not only that but the kids pick up on the behavior of their parents towards school and react upon that and it is aimed toward their teachers.  I feel bad for public school teachers who are there with all of their heart and want to love on those children as if they were their own children.  They use their own money to buy basics needs for the children in order to learn.  Kids come to school without pencils, paper or even a clean pair of clothes on them...its heartbreaking to see how the family trickles into the classroom.)
  6. Follow your common sense. - Some people act as though it takes a special degree to know if a school is doing a good job.  Wrong.  You are the expert on your own child.  Pay attention, talk tot he teachers and other parents, and trust your instincts. (You are your child's advocate and YOU will know whether your child is learning.  You don't need a test grade to tell you whether they studied enough to get that grade.  But if you don't have any idea what your child is studying in school then how will you know if their learning is effective or not?  You are putting all your trust into the teachers instead of putting trust in yourself and your child to know that they are well equipped to walk into that classroom.)
  7. Content matters: what children study determines how well they learn.- Many schools are unwilling to say exactly which facts and ideas their students should know.  This is a fundamental problem in American education.  Some things are more important to learn in elementary school than others. (This is a high priority issue with me as I home school.  I can see developmentally when my child will be able to learn certain concepts.  Obviously you are not going to be teaching algebra to a kindergartner...why?  Because they are mature enough to comprehend such difficult math problems.  But what if you had a child that could? But they aren't going to get a chance to learn the Pythagorean theorem until say 7th or 8th grade because that is when it is scheduled for the child to learn this concept.  I don't want my children to be on anyone's schedule at any time.  They run their own schedule of learning and it is my job to have the resources and tools available to them.)
  8. Television is an enemy of good education. - In many homes, TV is the greatest obstacle to learning.  We urge you to shut it off from Sunday evening until Friday evening during the school year.  (I can accept that if children are just sitting and watching mindless programs all day long.  The TV has been used in many ways as a babysitter to keep the kids attention while you are doing something else.  I remember as a kids I watched Sesame Street and Mister Rogers and really those are the only programs I remember watching until I was a bit older.  Television programming has changed over the years (decades) to tune in to a more mature audience.  We do watch TV during the day and evening.  We have no problems turning it off.  But often we are able to find documentaries or nature programs to coincide with our unit studies and teaching.  There are great benefits to a lot of the programming out their if you choose to seek these out and put it to good use for your child's learning.
  9. Education reform is possible.  You can change the system. - You can change the system.  If you are interested and engaged, there is much you can do to ensure that your child receives an excellent education.  there are ways to improve your child's school, especially if you join forces with other parents. ( Sounds like the squeaky wheel will get the oil, right?  I say, yes, as long as it is done through the proper channels and with the right attitude and manner of speaking.  If a parent walks in to the school office being really loud and boisterous (you probably have a child from that family that reacts the same way) and threatening it may not be taken as well as another parent who gets their ducks in a row and presents it to the correct person.  You have heard the saying " you get more with sugar than with vinegar...I love that part in the movie "The Blind Side" when he asked his wife how that tasted coming out of her mouth and she replied "like vinegar" when having to tell her husband that "he" was right and she wasn't getting her way.)
  10. Aim high, expect much, and children will prosper. -No parent, school, or child is perfect, but we all rise toward the level of expectations.  The surest way to learn more is to raise standards. (Schools are rewarding children more and more and to the point where they are expecting something for doing good.  They even expect something if they did better than the next person.  The sheer thought that they accomplished something is not enough in our material world.  it is so materialistic that parents expect the schools to reward our children with treasure box trinkets, trophies, pencils, stickers.  The older children should be given a goal to work towards and then positively praised when they complete their goal and give themselves the pride of knowing and being educated.  The child's self esteem will be one that is within him and he doesn't have to look for his self-esteem in other people's expectations of him/her...this will make children prosper!)

Taken from William Bennett's book "The Educated Child" The text in orange was used from this book.  The text in purple are solely my own opinions and not those from this book...they are my own ideals and thoughts based on my own experience.  I suppose this is my disclosure. This book is an excellent resource to any family whether with public schooled children or with children that are home with their families.

Making Banana Pudding and maybe some bread!

Banana Pudding IV Recipe

Banana Pudding


  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 (12 ounce) package vanilla wafers


  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. Fold in 1/2 of the whipped topping.
  2. Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill.

I found this earlier.  Going to make this today and omit the condensed milk.

I have got to make this!!

Pretzel Rolls
The Dough
7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups milk, slightly warmed
1 cup water, slightly warmed

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

The "Bath"
7 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons baking soda

In a small container, mix yeast with warmed milk and let rest for 10 minutes.Whisk flour and teaspoon of salt in a large bowl.

Add canola oil and warmed water to yeast mixture. Pour mixture into bowl with flour. Knead in the bowl until dough is very smooth. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let rise for one hour.

Punch down dough and knead in bowl for one minute. Cut dough into 15 pieces. Form balls by pulling the dough under. Place on a well-greased surface. Let the dough balls rise for 15 minutes.

While the dough balls are rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and get the pretzel "bath" ready. In a large pot, bring water, salt, and baking soda to a rolling boil. Plunge three dough balls into the water and let them "poach" for 1 minute on each side. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a well-greased baking sheet. With a serrated knife, cut 2-3 lines across each roll and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until pretzels are a rich brown.  These are best eaten the same day they are made.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It is 12:01am on 9-11-11

My story for this day in history...
Was I

Did I have children...yes, Jacob and Emily and I was expecting with Jesse (due in April).

Was I watching tv as it happened.... no, actually I was tying the children's shoes and getting ready to leave for preschool at our church.

How did I find step-mother had called me on the phone to ask if I had seen the news.

Judge was out of town on a worksite for a few days. I was alone with the 2 children and on our way to preschool I turned the radio on to hear whatever I could.  While at the church there was a lot of chatter going on about the morning's events.  I didn't hang around long as I used that time that the children were in preschool to rest and relax at home (with a high risk pregnancy).  I watched the news though for the rest of the morning.  Hard to relax while in such disbelief   

Even to this day there are comments made about terrorists and the Middle East.  I don't think I have any comments.  It really leaves me speechless.  I don't want to have hate against anyone.  I don't like seeing our military working so hard for our freedom and then hear of tragedies.  I don't want to judge anyone either for fear of my own judgement some day when the Lord calls me home.  I just pray.  Not much else I can do but pray for our hearts, our families and our country.  I pray for the families that lost their loved ones on that tragic day.  Will you pray with me today?


Book Giveaway

As a celebration that it only took about 3 hours to get 25 "likes" on our new facebook page!!!!
We are having a unit study giveaway!  Since fall is fast approaching I would like to give one lucky person the Autumn Treasures Unit Study that you can see to the right of this blog.  The unit study is by Amanda Bennett.  You can click on the Unit Study to the right too and see what it is all about.

Rules for getting entries in the giveaway:

1.  Go like the new facebook page:
2.  Leave a comment in the comment section here and introduce yourself and why you like homeschooling
3. Sign up for blog email to the left
Disclosure: This giveaway is in no way affiliated, endorsed or related to facebook in anyway.

I have lots to check out and offer to homeschool families.  Here at One Homeschool Mom I blog about not only homeschool things (though that is the majority) but I love photography, Pinterest (to the left is a button), We have 3 children with Type 1 diabetes that we chat about on here and I love to cook, bake and try new things all the time.

The winner will be announced on September 16th at 9pm CST!!!

Get those Entries in!!!

First Giveaway!!!

Watch later today to see what the surprise giveaway will be today!!  There will be several ways to enter!!!  Keep Watching......

Friday, September 9, 2011

What about you?

After seeing someone post about Sally Clarkston's website I found an interesting way of looking at things.  She states that she has always told her kids "I have always told my children that if you stand up to lead, you automatically become a target."  This makes so much sense in our world.  It doesn't matter if you are a child or an adult.  We are all God's  children trying to make our way in this world  We all want to make our own footprint here but with doing that comes persecution.
When we made the decision to homeschool all of the children this year and not just Jacob...we fell to many a comment against us.  I was warned by our homeschool support group leader to expect this.  Not just comments, but illnesses and other difficulties...they are all not God's doing but just a distraction.  
We are so far ahead in our schooling that us taking this week off from school will not hinder us at all.  I have been under the weather for awhile now and just couldn't do anything this, I need ink!! I think we go through a cartridge of black ink a week.  Fine...and a new dry erase marker.

How are you raising your children?  Thank you Sally for writing things a little simpler to uncover our eyes.

Here is the website that was shared on fb:

Cool weather is coming

Have you dusted off your crock pot or slow cooker yet?  About this time I start getting antsy to bake and make chili...I LOVE CHILI!! I would eat it year-round but the family wouldn't.  This is one of my favorite websites where there are tons or recipes to choose from.  I believe most is gluten free too.  I had bought the cookbook but let someone borrow it and it never was returned :(  It is sadly missed daily in the slow cooker season.
A friend of mine swears by this recipe  I am one day going to set off on my day to make this and see if my family likes it as well as her family does.  Take a look around and check out their recipes and see if some can be adapted for yourselves.  I know in our family a meal that can be cooked without much prep and constant "needs" is great for us!  I am still looking for the book 101 things to do with Ramen or something like that.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Resources...

As I have had a restful week while feeling under the weather I came across some resources in this month's Family Circle magazine.  There is an excellent article entitled, " Leader of the Pack".  I highly recommend you to read this article so rush out to your magazine stand to read this article.  Just a few pages before this article is another one called "Live and Learn (online!)". There are a few links I would like to share with you from this article.

ITunesU...we have all heard of this and know what content they cover.  I am actively downloading the new version of ITunes right now. have checked this out briefly.  It looks to be a good solid resource for a language tutor.  It is connected to facebook and you have tokens that you can buy...this makes me a little standoffish (my word) when I see tokens and paypal used in the same sentence.  So is this really a free program.  I am not sure yet.  I will play more around with it. like recorded lectures and they do have courses you can take for credit and the courses look to be under $500.  The one I looked at was at Oxford for about $ is comparable to the local university possibly depending on added fees. a claim to be a learning social network.  I think this is probably a coming of age website that is looking for its niche in the social network marketing.  Looking for a specific group of people to boost their name.  It looks promising from what I have viewed.

Do pick up a copy of this month's Family is a good one this month!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Prayer Pail Project

 The kids are working hard at creating our family and prayer prayer pails.  See, pinterest has its quality moments that are useful besides just sitting and pinnning stuff.  We are putting it to good use.  The purpose for me to have them do this is to get them excited to pray for people and to learn to pray too.  So far they have been adding tons of people to the popsicle sticks.  I fully intend to let that person know on facebook (if they are on there) that they are being prayed for today.
Not much going on today except that I will be giving the kids some paper to write down who they would like to add to the prayer pail.  If anyone else would like to make the same thing I would love to see your pictures too!
I posted a picture last night of what it will look like.  I will post later on what ours looks like.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Find yourself first...

If you figure out yourself first then everything will fall into place.  I have found this out in more than one instance.  God opens doors for you but if you aren't aware and in tune with God you will miss it.  In the past 7 years   our family has evolved.  Some good, some not so good but that isn't part of the point.

I had a stroke 5 years ago and felt at my lowest.  I got back in the swing of things about 3 monthhs later.  Now, I only have 1 just 1 class left to finish my bachelor's degree.  Right now it doesn't seem to be the priority. My health is my priority and then my children. If I'm not well then the kids suffer.

Homeschooling allows us the flexibility to be able to say, "Today we are not going to have any schoolwork" maybe it is something I planned and didn't share or maybe something I didi on a whim.  I know each of my children and how they each tick.  Homeschooling is a right to me and most days I take it as a privelege for my family.  I know the government could overtun things pretty easy as our gov't officials aren't very stable right now, this is my opinion of course.  I am grateful each day that I get to wake up and have kids around me.

Here is my priority list:

1. God - all the time  Now to make this the kids' priority too
2. My husband - without the love and strength I gain will be put to good use in the household
3. My children - keeping them safe and educating them in the best way we know how to do.

Really I only have those priorities b/c worrying about money, weather or bills kind of fall under God and My see there is a communication connection there.  I admit, I would much rather communicate with God as we strive to keep peace in our household.  We are going places as a family.  It may not be a travel thing but really we are traveling by the seat of our pants!

Pray and ask God to help you be the host of your school day.  Even if you have to take all of your young children to the grocery tomorrow.  That time will be over soon.

Pray and ask for help from others.  Ask if you are in need of something.  People don't read your minds and know when to ask you.  You would be surprised at the amount of people God will bring your way.

Pray for your family and friends!  Prayer works and it would be a great way to show the kids how faith works with that mustard seed.  I found a pinterest item to share that we are totally going to put together tomorrow. Wonder if I should make a praise bucket too then we can transer our sticks to the  other pail.  I pray that my children will grow up to have compassion for each other and then show compassion to others no matter who they are.

Let's talk about Pinning...

It seems that if you are pinning and repinning you have joined the new hype on Pinterest.  I explain pinterest to people as being the facebook of this time.  It is nice  b/c it doesn't invade your privacy that I have been able to tell.  Its pictures for pete's sake!!  But not just pictures...its ideas at their bests.  Ideas that have been passed along to share in other people's households.  I thought I would share a few that I have pinned too.

Source: via Regge on Pinterest
And who doesn't like bacon and cheese?  I am sure this uses the inside of the muffin tin to mold..I even found something to make with the opposite side of the muffin tin.  There you have it for today...things you can make with a few things and a muffin tin!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

I certainly did not labor today.  What did you do for labor today?  Did you cook, grill, clean, do lesson plans or just took a break?  I took a break and was able to sleep in and wake up to the sounds of the trees blowing in the light wind.  Kids were outside playing all day until just a few minutes ago.  We had friends and family here grilling and I just sat back and had a wonderful dinner.  My daughter is spoiling me right now with a foot massage...does it get any better?  To the kids it does.  I let them know that this week we will not do school on the pretty "play-outside-kind-of-days".  I know we have rain coming in later this week but for now we will take the high 70s temps that have been promised to us!  I look forward to the changing of the leaves...its season is almost here.  The colors are exquisite.    See the beautiful colors I am blessed to see outside of my window when I wake up?  These were taken last fall.  Happy Fall Ya'll!!