This picture was taken the year I began this homeschooling journey. My oldest, was taking the picture. He would be the one homeschooled (at the time 6th grade). I had the other 3 home in two years.
At the time I was a child care provider and was taking care of the little boy in the pic, Aiden. He was a sweetheart. The two did not mesh, however, homeschooling and work. So, I found him a replacement and concentrated on my boy. It was a rough year, but we made it and I'm so thankful that we chose this route for all the kids.
We start school next week. Whew..the years are flyin' by. In this pic, blondie was not even in Kindergarten yet. Now she's in 4th grade. Mr. Big Boy was heading to 4th grade. Now he'll be a freshman in high school alongside his brother, a Junior. Big Sister is heading into 7th grade. She was in 2nd grade when this was taken.
I love how our Principal is standing in the background. Ready for action!
Thanks Musings of a Mom for this great way to share a Friday.
If you'd like to participate in Friday Flashback head over to her website, grab the button and link up. We'd love to see your blast from the past.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Garlic Cheese Bread
1 Loaf French Bread, cut in half lengthwise
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Italian Garlic Butter*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make the Italian Garlic butter:
1 stick of softened butter
4 large garlic cloves
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp basil
In a small bowl place softened butter, using a garlic press (or very finely mince), press garlic into bowl, add oregano and basil. Stir all ingredients until will blended.
Place bread on a cookie sheet, spread butter onto bread. Top with shredded mozzarella. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 8 minutes. For the last 2 mins broil on high to brown cheese. Keep an eye out so you don't burn the bread! Using a pizza cutter, slice bread and enjoy.
Enjoy with any Italian dish or as a snack with the kids. You can also top with pepperoni for a quick and easy pizza lunch.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Last night the girls and I were invited to attend the chapel volunteer appreciation dinner.
It was a wonderful event at a an even more wonderful venue and the food was delicious.
As we approached the buffet table, the girls immediately spotted dessert. Banana Pudding and Cherry Cheesecake. Their favorites! I enforced the vegetable rule: You must have a vegetable before you can have dessert.
After we eat our meal they hop back up to head for dessert. Okay.."hey, bring me a little..l-i-t-t-l-e! banana pudding will ya?" "Sure Mom!" says the 9 year old.
She brings me (and herself) this dessert plate with a mountainous pile of banana pudding and cherry cheesecake. There was enough on my plate for all 3 of us! Her plate was just as bad. I gave her the "did you leave any for anyone else?" look. She just smiled and started eating. A bit embarrassed, I didn't want to draw any more attention to it so I just kept on talking with the friends at our table.
At some point I look over at her plate. Completely empty! The mound of pudding and cheesecake that close resembled the huge mash potato sculpture in Close Encounters was GONE!
I couldn't help myself, and I said (out loud) "Holy cow child! Did ya lick the plate?!" My little angel replied so sweetly.."No, but I can lick it!" So much for lady like manners!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Thanks to Sancte Pater for posting this article from Human Life International
With the issuing of the third movie in the Twilight series I have to speak out about our culture's twisted fascination with vampires. I don't hesitate to tell people that I am totally disgusted with the new fad sweeping over our youth culture these days. It is not just kids that are taken up with the wiles of the dark world either: many moms of teens are swooning for them too. I think that these seductive creatures are simply the spawn of the Harry Potter culture that has for over a decade now been indoctrinating kids to think that the occult world is normal and that all this evil messaging is harmless when dressed up as entertainment. That's vampire logic - and just what the devil wants us to think.
Gone are the days of Bella Lugosi's Dracula (1931) where good was good and evil was evil. A crucifix would drive Dracula away and then he had to go into his infernal coffin when the first streaks of dawn appeared. He was in every way presented as a creature of evil, dark of heart and dread to encounter. He drank human blood too, a feature that was supposed to strike terror in every person who valued his life's essence. The image of a blood-sucking creature who lives in slime and darkness and will pounce on you to drain out your very essence should terrorize every decent person. This is because vampires used to be images of demons. That's what demons are all about: the vanquishing of all human decency and life. They represent the spiritual vortexes of the demon world that drag down to the depths of hell all who fall prey to their wiles.
But, my, how vampires have come up in the world these days.
Nowadays vampires are divided into good and bad - no longer intrinsically evil. The good ones rescuevulnerable women instead of biting them and, allegedly, drink only animal blood (well, we haven't seen the last Twilight movie yet...). And crucifixes? Don't think you'll see any of those driving away bad guys in these movies. The heroes are the "good" vampires, not the Church or religious faith in Christ.
These super-star vampires also walk around in sunlight and, as a matter of fact, their skin just happens to glisten like diamonds when exposed to direct sunlight. Isn't that wonderful? The glam vamps are gentlemen, chaste and well-intentioned, yet they are always hovering around the edge of "falling" and in seductive situations which cause young people to think that they are capable, like their hero vampire, Edward Cullen, of going just so far and pulling back, out of self-control. That's teaching them to play with fire, not a real chastity message for kids.
The worst part of this fascination with vampires from a faith point of view, however, is its blasphemy of the Eucharist. "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you have no life in you," said our Blessed Lord in Chapter 6 of John's Gospel. He is the One who offers His flesh and blood for the life of the world. The vampires eat (bite) the flesh and drink the blood of victims rather than give their own to redeem others. Their bites corrupt and transform their victims into vampires like themselves. They have no life in them. They are the "living dead" by their own estimate.
How sad that this generation has been so taken in by those who represent the very antithesis of the core reality of our Faith - the Eucharist. Vampire logic is anti-Eucharistic logic, and it's very dangerous for our kids. In their obsessive fascination with such darkness, kids (and adults) turn their backs on the One who actually died for them.
To those who say, "Oh, Father, it's only harmless entertainment," I say simply: You've been warned.
Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer
President, Human Life International
One Day At A Time, Sweet Jesus (Marijohn Wilkins / Kris Kristofferson)
Also recorded by:
The Alexander Brothers; Judy Collins; Phil Coulter;
Floyd Cramer; Carlene Davis; Florida Boys;
Tennessee Ernie Ford; Foster & Allen;
Bill Gaither; Don Gibson; Arthur Greenslade;
Lee Greenwood; George Hamilton IV; Sharon Hardman.
I'm only human, I'm just a woman.
Help me believe in what I could be
And all that I am.
Show me the stairway, I have to climb.
Lord for my sake, teach me to take
One day at a time.
One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm asking from you.
Just give me the strength
To do everyday what I have to do.
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine.
Lord help me today, show me the way
One day at a time.
Do you remember, when you walked among men?
Well Jesus you know if you're looking below
It's worse now, than then.
Cheating and stealing, violence and crime
So for my sake, teach me to take
One day at a time.
I had no idea Kris Kristofferson was a co-writer of this song. Interesting I've been singing this all weekend. It's been an emotional one. My prayer has been "Increase my faith, one day at a time."
Friday, July 23, 2010
I'm participating for the first time in Friday Flashback from The Musings of a Mom..check it out! It's really fun.
9 years ago in March I visited Hawaii for the first time. I was able to hang out with my best Navy girlfriend for 2 weeks! It was one of the most spectacular opportunities I have ever had. This was taken at Cheeseburger in Paradise at Waikiki. What a blast!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Well, I don't know if this counts as a "recipe" but it's our favorite thing to do with summer fruit.
Fruit Salad (Yummy Yummy)
1 Seedless Watermelon, cubed
2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and cubed
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
1/2 lb seedless red grapes, rinsed and cut in half lengthwise
1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
Mix all ingredients together and chill. You can sprinkle with a tsp of sugar and/or vanilla if you'd like.
Serve over sponge cake or with some homemade whipped cream. No coolwhip, it's all whip and no cream. Homemade is soooooo much better. And cheaper too.
Oh you can also throw it in the blender with some apple juice and you have a smoothie, or (man! the ideas keep coming now!)toss a bit over ice cream.
Versatile and oh so yummy!
Washer Update. I told you yesterday that my washer bit the dust. Well, the Man pulled it out..opened her up and took a look. The electric box under the hood, that controls the magnetic locking system was corroded and this thin little (and I mean tiny) wire broke off. I decided to look for the part. We both decided that if it cost more than $100 than we'd look at other options.
**Dream movie effect..screen blur and swirl...dream music..**
Scene opens on a family driving home on a Saturday morning after a little yard sale-ing. Kids are happy in the back playing with their new treasures..mom is not so much..no toys for her this time. Van passes the dumpster/bulk trash area. Mom spots a shiny white sliver tucked into the corner of the bulk pick up area. The sun glints off a bright blue label.
Van comes to a halt. What is that? Is that? What. I. Think. It is? Outta the car..off to the shiny white thing. Yep. Washer and dryer. Mom inspects both units and discards dryer idea..a little too rusty and clearly done. Washer inspection is different. Not a scratch. No rust. Looks like the delivery truck made a boo boo and tucked it in the bulk pick up area instead of someones garage.
Mom calls Dad. Hey come look at this. We need one of these. Current washer was on the fritz..no big loads or washer started to leak. With a family of 6 all loads are big.
Bulk pick up washer is not only lookin' good, but a Maytag. Neptune. Big Bucks Mr! Mom is beside herself. Can it really be true. Someone is throwing this away? Dad comes with tools. Let's look at the inside. Pops of top, opens front..I-MMAC-U-LATE! No rust, no dust. Perfect. Weird. Quick put it in the truck before they change their mind and come take it back. We get it home. Plug it in. Error code pops up. Awwwwww. Sad faces. Wait a minute..Dad opens it up again. Loose wire in the front. Reconnects. Plugs in. Washes like a charm! Big Bucks Washer for FREE. F-R-E-E! Yay. Family smiles around the new(used) washer.
**Dream scene ends..mom is at computer typing this post**
So anyhow, did some research. The Man is going to try to fix it himself. He gets the solder and soldering iron. He gets the metal file brush. Cleans the corrosion. Solders the wire back. Wah-lah! Washer works. Handman Man is awesome. Free washer is still relatively free. Love it.
And here are the pics of the schoolroom I promised yesterday.
Computer work area
Boys side. We are still working in here..hence the doors on the left.
The girls' side. They wanted the window. Daydreamers.
My refurbished and hastily painted wal-mart pantry turned bookshelf.
Below: the art supply/older books corner. Need to find another bookshelf. We may use the doors from the pantry and put them on the wall with brackets. I could then store books there and move some of the art supplies to the shelves in the pantry/bookshelf.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This week is all about organization! I finally broke down and bought new desks and chairs for the schoolroom. Recycled a pantry cabinet into a bookshelf and cleaned out last years books/work/art projects.
I took the doors off one of those wal-mart type pantry cabinets. Painted it black. Whatever those shelves are made of, they do not take paint well. I used an entire quart of paint to get it somewhat black. The kids think it looks cool. I think they were tired of painting. We were gonna put chalkboard paint on the doors and re-install them, but decided to turn them into wall shelves instead. Hubby will get some brackets and install them for us. We can use all the storage we can get. I'll post up pics this afternoon.
Today we'll work on downstairs closets. They tend to become black holes of who knows what. I have on closet full of plastic and paper grocery bags. Ugh. Got to get that in order. The spare room closet is a mish mash of everything we don't know what to do with and hubby's computer parts. This is the hardest one to do.
Then filing of the school paperwork from last year.
Oh..and my washer broke last night. One of the wires that works the door magnet came loose. The man will have to solder it and clean up the corrosion. I hope he does it tonight. Laundry is one of those things I don't like to do..however, I'd rather do it at home than have to lug it to the laundry mat.
Pics to come later today.
Monday, July 19, 2010
For Today, July 19, 2010
Outside my window..the sun is just beginning to rise.
I am thinking...all the children are still asleep. It is so quiet. The dog is even sleeping.
I am thankful for...good friends, family and the gift of Our Most Blessed Mother.
From the learning rooms...getting ready to reorganize for a new year.
From the kitchen...I can smell the coffee. mmmmmmmmm
I am wearing...workout gear.
I am going...to get on the treadmill as soon as I post this. 10 miles a week! This is week 5! So far I have managed to make 10 or more 3 out of 4 weeks.
I am hoping...that my doc appt goes well today. It should. I've been taking my iron every day.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...
Please keep my brother (above) and his unit in your prayers. They are deployed to Afghanistan at this time. This is an older pic from another deployment a few years ago. This is his 3rd deployment.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
My oldest recently won a pizza eating contest. Weird. Strange. Cool. He's been wanting to do this for a while. 10 Slices of a Godfather's Cheese pizza in 5 minutes. Crazy boy!
His strategy was to stack the pieces. 3 at a time in this picture!
Congrats! He won a $50 gift card.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Headed to Staples to hit the sales for back to school. Pencils & Paper for a penny. Can't beat that. Finally got a new shredder (previously 139.99)for only 43 bucks!! Yes, you heard right, 43 buckerooski's! I'm so psyched! It's all black and silver and ready to rip into some serious personal info!
Spent the rest of the day out and about in search of a vegetable/fruit tier so I can get my dern fruit and potatoes off the counter! They've been blocking the bread basket for a few weeks and It's driving me and the kids crazy..every time they go for bread we end up chasing limes and apples across the kitchen! It's comical actually.
Well, I finally found one at Hobby Lobby, a three tier basket that, unfortunately, is too short for the floor, but too tall for the counter. At this point I don't care I just want control over my fruits and veggies! Whew! It's on the counter.
Headed out to the post office..did some grocery shopping, saved 10 more buckerooski's at the commissary! I love this coupon thing(it's how I saved so much on my baby up there.) The most I've saved on groceries is 20 bucks. But I'm quite happy with 10. Coupons baby, worth every minute you spend cutting them out..today I cut 'em out in the store. I didn't have time before I left, so I just parked my cart in a dark shadowy corner of the produce section..you know the one..where all the busted boxes and bent outta shape cans are..no one really ever goes back there. Except me, I guess. The same bag of Pedigree dog food has been there for at least a month.
Anyhow..cut 'em out and used 'em. Couponing on the fly. I love it. I also love the looks I get when I show up to self checkout with a handful of coupons. Ooops. Sorry for tryin' to save some money. Why would I go through all the trouble of couponing just to have to give my savings away to the bagger. I'll bag myself thanks. Sorry to all the baggers out there..shoot my son will be a bagger next year (hopefully)..I'll just be sure to get in his line :) Free bagging. He can consider it practice! I'll even yell at him for messing up my bread :)
Okay..off to find said boy so he can make his famous italian sausage farfalle! Famous around this part of the neighborhood anyway! :)
(I think it's funny that spell checker doesn't like my word "buckerooski", cracked me up)
Sunday, July 11, 2010
The drive home from the islands (I just love calling them that, it makes me feel like I went on an exotic vacation) was long, hot and tiring. Temps reached 105 on Friday and my poor car a/c was pushing hard to keep us all cool.
15 minutes from home I called the hubby to let him know we were almost home. He says to me "oh, so...what's for dinner?" Flabbergasted, hot and even more tired, I calmly reminded him that the queen and princesses were returning and that we expected the red carpet treatment. Grapes, fans and all! He just chuckled. Ha ha ha.
Well, we pull into the drive, I raised the garage door (this usually brings the boys out to see what's up). No one. I could hear the dog barking. I know they knew we were home. The girls, I mean princesses, and I gathered all the suitcases and bags and pillows and trudged to the front door. Locked. Ugh..I didn't want to fumble for the keys so I rang the door bell. I could see and hear t-bone going nuts! No answer! Come on, now I'm getting p.o'd. It's hot people! Open the dern do....!
The door is thrown open..before me on the foyer floor are two red sheets, the boys ( those pesky boys) are standing on either side with my brooms frantically waving them up and down and laughing hysterically. I walk past the "fans" and hubby is standing there with a tupperware bowl full of grapes..he pops one in my mouth and then does the same to the girls. By this time we are all laughing hysterically. What a return!
Thanks hubby. You always manage to make me smile. Ya got me!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Spent the last 4 days at St. Simons and Jekyll Islands. Two of Georgia's best beaches. I went down their with my daughters. Dropped one off at a retreat and took the younger to the beach. We partook of the sun just a bit too much on day 1 and payed the price the rest of the week. 6 hours on St. Simons, riding waves, playing in the sand, collecting shells and taking pictures. Before we knew it we were as red as the Georgia clay!
We spent some time on Jekyll, saw a 3 foot shark and decided that the ocean was not for us that day. No problem..there are plenty of nature trails, a Sea turtle center and a water park. We ended our day riding the waves in the Frantic Atlantic at the water park. Cool.
I've posted some pics at Love That Face! and will be posting more as the week progresses. I took over 600 photos, I have a lot to go through. I hope you enjoy!
You can find out more about The Golden Isles by clicking on the following links:
St. Simons Island
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Just heard this morning on the news, a Fl college professor saying focus less on standardized testing. I had to rewind it. Apparently there is so much focus on standardized test scores in public schools that students are not thinking for themselves anymore. Critical thinking takes a back seat to standardized test prep. Really?
In Weapons of Mass Instruction, by John Taylor Gatto, the message is much the same. Public schools were designed to create a mass labor force of automatons who cannot even care about education, because that aspect of "schooling" is removed from the equation.
Consume, blindly accept what you are spoon fed by the powers that be. Those in "authority" who, along with big business, want you to believe (like they do) that you are not smart enough to make your own decisions. If you were left to your own devices you might not choose their "way". You may see through their doublespeak and, in some cases, may even respond to their outright disdain for the "common man."
I was glad to see this professor, brave enough to speak out on national television. I wonder if she'll keep her job after this.
So, what of those standardized tests? What do they really tell us? What does it matter after you graduate from high school (if you graduate), how well you scored on the state test? Are these tests, like Mr. Gatto tells us, just a way to organize people? To fit them into certain categories? Segregate intelligence?
This all begs the question..does primary, secondary, college or university really educate? What is the definition of education vs. schooling? What is the difference between an A and a C, except a dozen numbers? Is your child less than because they got a C? Is your child more "educated" if they received an A? Or do these grades just let us know who tests better? Who can memorize the opinions and ideas of an "expert" better.
When I was in the Navy, we had to test to make rank. Each test cycle the drama began. It was certain that there would be someone who was promoted because they "aced" the test, but lacked the ability to do the job in reality.
When you were in school, did you ever hear someone say "I just don't test well".
What is it with holding our kids hostage to some unknown entity that decides how smart our kids are?
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I've been distracted from blogging lately. I bought my new camera..a Sony a230. I love it. I don't even know how to use it, but I am learning! I can't wait to take pics of the fireworks tonight! I have created a new place to post all my photo's on this learning journey. Love That Face! I hope you'll stop by there every now and then and take a gander at my photo's. I'll be taking the portraits for the home school groups yearbook next year, so I need to practice, practice!
Hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July! Thanks to all who serve to keep us free! Thanks to all those who have served and to those that will be. You are the heart of America!