"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed." Titus 2:4-5

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Homeschooling High School

Today, I made my son's high school transcript...well, the 9th grade portion at least, with the rest waiting to be filled in.  Yay, me!!  I'm not sure why I ever thought that homeschooling high school was scary.  There are so many resources out there now to help us moms.   It is not as scary as it seemed initally, and I'm really glad that I listened to the Lord and just took a leap of faith and did it.  Andrew is going to be more than okay; in fact, he will be able to graduate a year early!

For homeschooling high school, I highly recommend the book "Homeschooling the Teen Years" by Cafi Cohen. There is a link to Christianbook on the right side of this blog; the book is available there, as well as at Amazon, and ....at the library!!!  Hooray...that's my favorite source of books.  Can't beat the price!  I also recommend Donna Young's website (link also on this page).  She has done a wonderful thing for us homeschoolers and made many, many planning forms available to us free.  You can plan your whole household and homeschool by just using her website.  She also has a whole section just on High School, and that is where I got a template for the transcript.  Check it out!

For math, I am excited to use the curriculum Teaching Textbooks.  From what I've seen and heard, I think it must be one of the best math programs available.  I'll be getting Algebra 1 for Andrew, and Math 6 for Annamarie.  It starts at 3rd grade so Abby will have to wait one more year to use it.  Check out their website: http://www.teachingtextbooks.com/  I never had the option to use it before, but I am now in a wonderful program that pays for all our curriculum, so now I can use whatever I want!

I want to share more on curriculum but must be finished for the night.  I'll be sure and blog more about it soon.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Scheduling Chores

I am working on getting organized for the fall, so I don't lose my mind when school starts.  The easiest way for me to stay on top of the chores around the house is to schedule them out.  This works well as long as I DO the scheduled chores, and don't fall prey to lazy and decide that the scheduled chore doesn't sound a bit fun, and that certainly there MUST be something better to do!  It does take discipline, but I am confident that if I seek the Lord each day HE will help me stay disciplined and enable me to do it.

I obviously have things I do every day, and then I have chores I do just once a week.  Those are the ones that I've scheduled as my extra chores for each day of the week.  I also wrote out my morning routine that I do every day to stay organized.  These are things that I always do every morning, even during summer (except for school).  They're just habit and really help the day go smoothly.  Of course, things are still a bit off because I have a baby, and never know when he'll want to be held or eat, so I have to be flexible.  But here is my basic routine:

My morning routine:

Make bed
Make breakfast and Ted's lunch
Clean kitchen with kids
Spray and wipe bathroom sink, mirror, and toilet
Start laundry
If necessary, put dinner in crock pot
Get school going
(*note: I aim to do Bible reading during Adam's morning feeding)

Daily Chore Schedule

Sun- Look over school assignments/plan for week
        Make peanut butter bars  :)
Mon-Dust downstairs + cobwebs
        Wash kitchen appliances
Tues-Wash our sheets
         Wash windows/mildew
Wed-Vacuum our bedroom + cobwebs
         Mop floors
Thurs-Scrub downstairs sinks and tub
         Organize one drawer
Fri- Clean fridge
       Organize pantry
       Menu planning
Sat- Vacuum upstairs + cobwebs
        Wash upstairs bathroom floor
        Dust Adam's room
        Wash kids' sheets
        Grocery shopping
(The girls and I rally on the upstairs on Saturdays and get it all clean, since we have more time to clean than we do on school days.  Typically we clean in the morning and do grocery shopping in the afternoon.)

The baby has awakened so I need to finish this post, but later I will share my children's chore lists also.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Berry Smoothie

Ahhh...today seems to be the calm AFTER the storm.  Two kids are away at camp, the baby is sleeping, Ted is off at a small job, and for some odd unknown reason Abby has decided to take a nap.  (Okay, never mind...as soon as I typed that sentence she came walking in here saying she's done, lol!)  I'm working on some housework and food prep, and (re)planning curriculum for the fall.  It is gorgeous outside and I have some fresh picked lavender on my deck table.

This may sound funny, but I have been eyeing Ted's smoothies every day wishing that I could have one of them too. So I did my best to somewhat recreate what he's been drinking, without using the same supplements (they are expensive and not recommended during breastfeeding).  The result turned out to be a delicious drink that tastes just like Costco's smoothies, but it's healthier!  If you love those smoothies like I do, you may want to give it a try.  My version is purposely gluten free, but you could add any kind of supplement/fiber that you want.  I'll do my best to remember quantities.

Berry Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup orange juice
1/2 banana
2 heaping tablespoons rice bran
1 T. flax oil

Put the strawberries in the blender and puree until smooth (if I don't do this first, then I end up with chunks in my smoothie). Scrape sides of blender, then add the rest of the ingredient and blend until smooth and blueberries are completely pureed.  Very cold and icy and good.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Crazy Life

I'm going to try my hardest to type this, with all of the demands around here and a keyboard that has a lot of problems!  Yesterday was quite the adventure.  To start off, I have a lot of extra food prep time on my hands with Ted's detox diet that he's doing.  I was taking the girls to see the free movie, Flipper, at noon. I needed to make sure I had food ready for Ted before I left, or the poor guy wouldn't know what to eat.  I love that man, and I enjoy taking care of him.  So, after prepping a lovely lunch of a big salad, homemade dressing, steamed broccoli, fresh carrot-celery-apple juice, an apple, a banana, and some cherries, we were frantically preparing to run out the door with a fussy baby.  Annamarie ran up the stairs to pack a diaper bag for me, and on her way back down with the bag, she slammed her baby toe into the leg of the baby swing.  I was in such a rush and didn't think too much of it, as my kids hurt their toes all the time!  I just gave her the standard mom answer, "I'm sorry you hurt yourself; please be careful".  But as we scurried off to the store to get treats and then to the movie theater, she kept complaining that it hurt really bad and she was worried it was broken.  So after the movie I took her out to urgent care in Issaquah, since my primary care said that they don't have x-ray capabilities and to take her there.  The wait wasn't too long, but once we got there we were told that their x-ray machine was broken, and we were sent to another office.  UGH.  The baby is getting hungry, and as we get in the car Abby decides to be "nice" and she slaps her sticker on the car next to us.  Great.  After dealing with that, we zip over to the other office, where we wait a long time (after being told that we'd be taken in and out QUICKLY). I somehow feed the baby in the waiting room, and take Abby to the bathroom, and get Annamarie into the x-ray room.  Her toe is x-rayed, we leave, I change a messy diaper,  and we slowly make our way home in horrible traffic with a crying baby.  Upon arriving home, I receive a call from the doctor.  Annamarie's toe is NOT broken, but she has a contusion (not sure if that's spelled correctly)...which means the bone is bruised, and the toe is sprained.  We are given a 2-4 week recovery time.  Then I must quickly return my mom's car that I borrowed...but before I can do that, I have to throw together some papers so I can get them over to her house, so they can be faxed for me.  It's really important that I get that done.  We hadn't eaten lunch, things are messy, Adam won't stop fussing, Ted is hungry....aaaaarrrgghhh.  Crazy crazy crazy.  Somehow it all gets done. And Annamarie is supposed to be resting so I didn't want to ask for her help.  So that was my yesterday, and I'm glad it's done. Today I am having Annamarie rest her foot, and she is being grumpy.

Also in the grumpy camp is my wonderful hubby, on day 4 of his detox diet.  I am proud of him.  I've told him he is allowed to be grumpy all he wants.  We expected that he would feel horrible for a time, but the end result should be that he will feel great!  And he's really not being THAT bad anyway.  I love taking care of him and really enjoy doing it.  His naturopath is having him do the program by Standard Process.  It's basically a lot of whole food and fiber supplements, shakes with a whole food supplement, and lots of vegetables and fruits.  On day 11 he gets to add lentils and rice--woohoo!  Cooking for these few weeks is not typical but really it's kind of fun.  I'm enjoying the challenge.

I'm really feeling stretched in many directions, but over and over I remember how much I've been cared for by my husband and kids.  Pregnancy, morning sickness, bedrest, childbirth, recovery...they have all been there for me, and my husband always stands by my side and takes care of me when I am having a tough time.  I can do the same for him.  I am SO feeling God's grace upon me every day, and for that I am very thankful!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cleansing and Caring

I have to write this up very quickly, so this will be short, but I wanted to share what is going on around here.  I had some hard days and nights of Adam being fussy and not sleeping, which I finally realized was due to my high coffee intake.  So I've cut back on coffee with only one cup in the morning.  Last night I had a really bad headache but it was better this morning. Ted started a 21 day cleansing/detox program this morning, so I will be spending a lot of time taking care of him and preparing special food.  He is already not feeling well.  Adam is getting his first round of shots this afternoon so he will be in need of some extra nurturing.  And, after all the planning that I have put into this fall's homeschool, we are pretty much dumping most of it and starting from scratch with a whole new program.  I am really excited about it, but it's a bit disconcerting to have done all that planning and start all over.  But, God knows.  I'm thankful that in the midst of all the caring for others that I am doing, the Good Shepherd is caring for me.  I don't have time to look up the exact verse, but somewhere in Isaiah it says that He gently leads those with young.  Praise the Lord for the extra grace that He gives us mommies/wives as we care for our families.  I almost forgot to eat breakfast this morning, and I'm a nursing mommy!  So, in a nutshell those are the current happenings around here.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Homemaking Tip: Breakfast Menu

Don't run away...this is NOT as scary as it sounds!  It is really quite simple and freeing.  Grab a piece of paper and write down the days of the week.  Beside each day of the week, write a breakfast.  Depending on your season of life, you can make this as simple or as complicated as you would like.  If you have small children and/or a baby, don't stress yourself out!  If you need to write "Cheerios" 5 times, then just do it. I like to think in terms of nutrition. Then write it all neatly on a chart and post it in your kitchen.  This can be the breakfast menu for every week, and you can tweak it occasionally to your liking.  Having a menu will bring a sense of order to your mornings.  And, if you have a baby and you're up during the night, train your oldest child to check the menu and start breakfast for you!  Some simple nutritious breakfast ideas are: scrambled eggs and toast, freezer waffles, oatmeal, cold cereal and fruit, pancakes.  If you want to add to them, you can throw in bacon or sausage, hashbrowns, or fruit. Tip: if you are more of a night person than a morning person, try doing some of the prep the night before.

Here is a sample of what our breakfast menu looks like:

Sunday- cereal and fruit
Monday- waffles and bacon
Tuesday- boiled eggs and toast
Wednesday- cereal, toast, applesauce
Thursday-pancakes and strawberries
Friday- cereal and fruit
Saturday-waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns

Don't forget to make sure all the ingredients that you need get on your shopping list.  :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Peanut Butter Protein Bars

This may sound weird, but lunch is a big pet peeve of mine.  It always seems that I just get the house clean and I'm ready to start a project....and right then it is time for LUNCH.  SIGH.  I know many people look forward to this time of day, but to me it is an interruption to my productivity. Silly, I know.  That being said, today is full of much to do, and this blog must be typed up quickly.  Thankfully, that monster called lunch is already behind me.

I'm finally out of a four day fog with no contacts in, and very thankful to have my full vision!  The only problem is that now I can see all the dirt and things on the floor that need to be cleaned, that weren't taken care of when I was too blind to notice.  So, next I am on to vacuuming and mopping.  After that, it is absolutely essential that I get the Peanut Butter Protein Bars made.  These are VERY important in our house. If they run out, it is like an emergency.  Everyone will be opening and closing the fridge crying, "where are the peanut butter bars?!?!?!"  I believe they are gone so I need to go get some made before someone declares a state of emergency!  But before I run off I'll post the recipe for you:

Peanut Butter Protein Bars
1 c. peanut butter
1 c. honey
1-1/2 c. quick oats
1 c. powdered milk
1 c. protein powder

Mix the dry ingredients together.  Add the peanut butter and honey and mix well.  I always start with the spoon and then have to use my hands.  Really squeeze it all together. Then press it all firmly into a 9 x 13" pan (this takes some time).  Chill for a couple of hours then cut into bars.  These were formerly know as peanut butter balls, until one day I decided to try pressing them into a pan instead of taking so much time to roll the dough into balls.  Boy was I glad that idea worked!  Note: If you can't tolerate oats like me, just omit them and press the dough into an 8 x 8"  pan instead.  I always make 2 batches of these, one with oats and one without.  These are great for kids, and my hubby can't live without them! Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Abiding in Christ

I am excited to start this blog and share my thoughts, ideas, and stories about my family, etc, but the Lord gently reminded me today to do it all with the right perspective.  Even as I have been busy setting up this blog, I have been in the middle of an eye infection, struggling to go about my day half-blind as I cannot wear my contacts right now.  I have a sore throat and a swollen gland in my neck, and just found out that I no longer have health insurance to cover any medicine or doctor visits.  Life is hard.  Jesus never promised that life would be easy, but He DID promise to never leave us or forsake us.  When He said, "Apart from me you can do NOTHING"....he wasn't kidding.  He was serious.  We really can't.  So as I prepare to post homemaking tips, recipes, homeschooling ideas, etc, I want everyone to always keep in mind that none of it is even possible without Jesus.  You can try....but it won't work...and eventually you will go running to Jesus for help.  Why not just start off with Him from the beginning?

I am thankful that God has brought me back to the person He has called me to be.  I spent too many years trying to pursue other venues, and trying to run from God's calling.  No longer.  I am here for Jesus...to love and honor my husband, to love and homeschool my children, to take the best care that I can of my household...but it is all for HIM.  It has been such a weight off my chest to finally let go of trying to impress people, and trying to look good to the world, and just do everything unto the Lord.  Nothing else matters.