Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Egg rolls - These were soooo good! We loved them! Gracie kept asking for more "tootsie roll"! I used pork loin chopped fine instead of ground pork.
Crab Rangoons - Our were "crabless", and still tasted wonderful!
Sweet and Sour Chicken - The only changes I made were to season the chicken before putting it in the batter, and I stir fried the peppers and pineapple with a chopped onion before serving it. The kids all ate this like little piggies! It really did taste like what you get at a chinese restaurant, even the sauce!
MooShu Pork - This was the best Moo shu recipe I've found, hands down. It was wonderful! We ate it without the pancakes because I ran out of time to make them. They say you can use flour tortillas, but they really are too thick, and it just isn't the same.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
I attended a convention with my parents when I was in middle school. The only thing I remember is a long hallway filled with book tables!(In fact, I still have the book my parents let me select!) Well, my memories of that conference in no way prepared me for the enormous amount of information that was about to be stuffed into every bit of free space in my brain. By Thursday night I was feeling a little foggy, and I still had another day to sit through!
Thursday began with Tedd Tripp, author of Shepherding a Child's Heart. He spoke on getting to the heart of your child's sinful behavior. It was a good reminder that the purpose of discipline is to reach the heart and point the child to God, not correct "annoying or undesired" behavior. I've loved his books, and really enjoyed the opportunity to hear him speak live. He spoke again on Friday afternoon - "Giving Children a Vision of God's Glory." This subject stressed the need to remove the idols from our children's lives, instead of polishing them for them. Also that kids view of God is directly linked to our view of Him. I'm working on a post on that talk that will be up eventually. Not a light subject, and very convicting. I am still processing it all!
We attended 4 workshops on Thursday, and four on Friday. I'm just going to list a little blurb about each of them:
Jeannie Fulbright - Jeannie is the author of Apologia's K-6 Science Books. I attended three of her sessions. The 7 E's of choosing Curricula, Notebooking:Creativity with purpose, and Charlotte Mason:Excellence without Sacrifice. They were all good, but I especially enjoyed the notebooking class. I had previously avoided the Apologia books, because they just screamed TEXTBOOK, and that's not what I want for my kiddos, so I had decided we would look at other science options. Well, after listening to and participating in the notebooking class, I went and bought the Apologia Astronomy book! I was very impressed that this was NOT a dry, boring textbook, but very definitely a living book with ideas for projects and experiments, as well as narration instead of tests. My kids are going to love it!
Vicki Bentley - Vicki is the mom of 17 kids! (okay, she didn't give birth to all of them, but she did homeschool all of them - some were foster kids) I loved her session on Getting Kids to Help at Home. She had some great ideas on what to do about kids who decide they don't want to do their chores, and fostering responsibility in children. The idea I found most enlightening was the concept of training them when they are little in HOW to do the chore. I don't know why it didn't occur to me before, but she has the child do the chore right along with her until they are experienced enough to handle it on their own. Her motto is "As a mom, you need to work yourself out of a job." So this summer, we are going to work on some chore training.
Dianne Craft - Can you say BRAIN OVERLOAD? Dianne is an amazing woman. She is a certified Natural Health Professional (think lab coat, not peasant skirt and bag of granola), as well as the learning specialist for HSLDA. I went to two of her sessions, and had planned on going to another two, but just couldn't handle any more of the info, so I'll be downloading those sessions to listen to later. Dianne spoke on Identifying and Correcting Blocked Learning Gates, which was excellent. I went with a couple friends, and we all sat there saying wow - that's MY kid she's talking about! I was overwhelmed by the amount of information she gave us, and will be implementing a lot of it with some of my kids soon. The second session was Teaching the Right Brained Child. This was a great session as well, and actually taught me a lot about my own (overly-dominant right) brain!
Steve Demme- This was another great session, simply because Steve is a very Godly man who is very committed to the family. He is the creator of Math-U-See, and pastor of a church on the east coast. His session was Why We Do What We Do, and How to Keep At It. We spent the hour discussing why we homeschool, and ways to keep from getting discouraged or distracted. It was a great reminder of why we chose this path in the first place.
I had promised the kids I'd bring them each a surprise, so the vendor hall was a lot of fun for me! I got some great deals, was able to order our curriculum for next year (I'll be posting on this seperately), and got some fun things for the kids. Sawyer got one of Ken Ham's Dinosaur books - this is huge since we don't have any creation based (or evolutionary, for that matter) dinosaur books. Campbell got James Herriott's Treasury for Children. I knew she'd love this, since the whole book is filled with stories of animals he took care of while working as a vet in the English countryside. Grace got some Doug and Melissa animal lacing cards. I wanted to find something she'd be able to do independently while we were busy with school in the fall. They should be perfect! All poor Cullen got was a big smoochy from mommy! And I can't forget the big kid! I found a book at Rainbow Resources called Backyard Ballistics. It has directions for making potato cannons, rockets, etc. If it explodes, it's probably in this book. He was really excited, and I found him and Sawyer on our bed yesterday going through it and writing out a list of the things they needed to go get this weekend to try making a few things!
Overall, it was a wonderful time of renewal for me. I came away feeling convicted about some things I need to work on as a mom, as well as energized for the next step in this journey.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
This is the laundry soap all mixed up. (Yes, I know you're thinking "why is she posting about this?" I just can't help myself!)So, here's my laundry soap, all mixed, and stored in a great little tub I picked up. It only takes 2 tablespoons per load, and it's gotten out some spots on my kids clothes that the previous detergent didn't, so overall, I'm really happy with it! (and if anyone is still reading this, well, you need to go find a hobby - maybe making your own laundry soap!)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Yesterday we were getting groceries. I was trying to pay and wrestle the baby back into the cart, so I sent the big three over to a bench across from the checkout, in front of a salon. I was watching them, and saw Campbell looking up at a sign in the salon window. She started sounding out the letters, and said "Sawyer! That sign says 'Nails'! " And she was RIGHT!!! It has been so much fun to watch them discover things, and to see how they grow in their comprehension and application of concepts! I'm so glad I'm the one who gets to see it happen!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Here is a video of Tedd Tripp speaking on "Created to Worship":
I am counting down the days, and so thankful I have a wonderful husband who is allowing me to go and watching four rambunctious kids by himself that weekend. Thanks honey! Hopefully I can talk him into coming with me next year. Hmmm...I wonder if they'd ever consider bringing in Kevin Van Dam to speak on the "Art and Science" of fishing? ; )
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The Bitter Homeschooler's Wish Listby Deborah Markus, from Secular Homeschooling, Issue #1, Fall 2007
1 Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
2 Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
3 Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
4 Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
5 If that homeschooler you know is actually someone you saw on TV, either on the news or on a "reality" show, the above goes double.
6 Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all dislike you, so please go away.
7 We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
8 Stop assuming all homeschoolers are religious.
9 Stop assuming that if we're religious, we must be homeschooling for religious reasons.
10 We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
11 Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
12 If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
13 Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
14 Stop assuming that because the word "school" is right there in homeschool, we must sit around at a desk for six or eight hours every day, just like your kid does. Even if we're into the "school" side of education — and many of us prefer a more organic approach — we can burn through a lot of material a lot more efficiently, because we don't have to gear our lessons to the lowest common denominator.
15 Stop asking, "But what about the Prom?" Even if the idea that my kid might not be able to indulge in a night of over-hyped, over-priced revelry was enough to break my heart, plenty of kids who do go to school don't get to go to the Prom. For all you know, I'm one of them. I might still be bitter about it. So go be shallow somewhere else.
16 Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
17 Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
18 If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
19 Stop asking about how hard it must be to be my child's teacher as well as her parent. I don't see much difference between bossing my kid around academically and bossing him around the way I do about everything else.
20 Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
21 Quit assuming that my kid must be some kind of prodigy because she's homeschooled.
22 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of prodigy because I homeschool my kids.
23 Quit assuming that I must be some kind of saint because I homeschool my kids.
24 Stop talking about all the great childhood memories my kids won't get because they don't go to school, unless you want me to start asking about all the not-so-great childhood memories you have because you went to school.
25 Here's a thought: If you can't say something nice about homeschooling, stop talking!