Thursday, June 27, 2013

Prompted Again

Okay, I'm trying to make a habit of this. On my bucket list is making a book of some of my Arizona blog posts and photos, using one of those self-publishing companies. And since my girls love to read my "journal" here, maybe someday I'll add to that list a book of my Minnesota life.

In my life this week... the usual taxi service, laundry, and anxiety over what to make for supper.  The two girls who STILL have not finished school are actually doing some this week. It's not entirely their fault that they have not completed the 2012-13 school year. Who can do school when they are so busy living?  Oh wait, that school stuff belongs in the next section.

In our homeschool this week... social studies. Booooring. I am hoping to change this for one child by reading some of the old Landmark American history series with Emily next year. In fact, the entire school experience here needs a good overhaul. Some decisions need to be made soon, and I'll do that if we can just stay home long enough to look at some new materials.  Botany? Astronomy? Greek and Latin roots? What? 
Also, Amy is still working away on the GED prep. She must take and pass the tests by the end of December, since nationwide the test will be changed in 2014. The testing centers will be filling up soon. And, never fear, she IS planning to finish high school even if she passes.  :)

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… relax. No child gets through school without some major holes in their education. Kids in public schools often graduate without knowing how to write a check, pay the rent on time, or show up at work. It's okay if mine don't know what xylem and phloem are, or where Myanmar is by the time graduation rolls around. Education doesn't end when 12th grade does. They have a lifetime to learn. They know who Jesus is, and in the long run, that's all that matters.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… This week we're going to Walmart (probably two or three times), the library, the community garden, and to church. Nothing remarkable in the plans this week.

My favorite thing this week was… having nineteen for Bible study last night!

My kiddos' favorite thing this week was… Emily enjoyed a bike ride with her daddy this morning.  They watered our plot at the community garden, then rode along the river and through the park.  Any personal attention is always Em's favorite thing. :) Betsy's favorite activity was accompanying nursing home residents to Walmart and being given a bus ride right to our doorstep. 

Things I’m working on… I have to admit, I am not working on anything at the moment. I would have much to say if this category were called, "Things I should be working on..."

I’m cooking…  
Stovetop Peach Cobbler!  It's too hot to turn on the oven, and we needed something to eat for supper with a big salad.  This was really good:
What?  Who put that ice cream in there? We didn't get icecream!
3 C peeled and sliced peaches
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1 T butter
1 t lemon juice
1 C biscuit mix
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C milk
cinnamon and sugar
Combine the peaches and sugar in a 4C measuring cup, then add water to make 3 1/2 cups total.  Pour this into a skillet or saucepan with the butter and lemon juice, and over medium heat, bring to a simmer.  In the meantime, stir together the biscuit mix and 1/3C sugar, then stir in the milk.  Spoon over the peaches in four to six plops and cover.  Simmer over low to med-low heat for 12-15 minutes, or until dumplings are cooked through. (They will not brown with this method.) Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar; serve warm.

I’m grateful for… Lamentations 3:22. It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

I’m praying for… my daughter.

Something I am ogling or have my eye on… nothing. Really.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…  
My sweet niece, Colbie Ann, born June 8

Monday, June 24, 2013

Family Friendly Fiction

There is a new community on Google+, Family Friendly Fiction.  Post your recommendations for read-alouds that would be suitable for a Christian family, and check out other people's suggestions, too!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Blogging Prompts

Jane has inspired me. I have the epitome of blogger's block, and maybe having some prompts will help me to get started again. These come from the Homeschool Mother's Journal. Thanks, Jane!

In my life this week… This week? As in, beginning with Sunday? Or in the past seven days? We got home Saturday night from a trip of many miles, and Sunday we turned right around and went to spend Father's Day with my inlaws. So that means this week I am tackling Mount Washmore and trying to get back into the routine of making supper. (There's always waffles, right?) Emily and Betz are enjoying their second year at the one room schoolhouse. Amy is working three mom's helper jobs this week, and Alison will be back to work at Culvers. With all of our traveling this summer, as well as Alie's students being on vacation, the violin lessons (and hence, her income) are not very consistent. I can TOTALLY see why some music teachers require a contract, as well as payment a month in advance. 
Ignore the truck.  That's an anachronism!

In our homeschool this week… Wow. Homeschool? We haven't done any of that in a while, not officially. We do need to take the useless-but-required-by-law standardized tests. And even though we aren't finished with last year's school, I need to start thinking seriously about the coming school year. I would love to have someone come to my home, someone who thinks just like I do about school, and put it all together for me. It would be scripted, so I would know just what to do and say, and when! Or else we could just completely unschool. (You know I have been saying that for twelve years.) One would think that a mom who has been homeschooling for twelve or more years would have it all figured out by now. 

Helpful homeschooling tips or advice to share… One of my favorite homeschooling resources for the little kids was Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. There are no phonics involved, which may not be a good thing, but your child can be reading real words, and even sentences, in just a very few lessons. This was a huge confidence-builder for my girls when they were small.

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing… Oh good. This is the fun part. We spent all last week in Detroit and Chicago. The Detroit part was a preachers' meeting and that was awesome.  We heard good preaching, got encouraged and challenged, and saw some of our favorite people.
The McFohnsons.  A hybrid group made up of Johnsons, Forts, and a McCoy.
 On our way there and back we stayed overnight with our missionary friends in Chicago, the Ed Fort family. Their son now being our personal auto mechanic, we had some necessary maintenance and repairs done on the old van. We foolishly did not give our girls a curfew, and they failed miserably the test of going to bed on their own at a decent hour. :) We love this family! They have a most interesting work going on in Chicago. How many people do you know who can identify Assyrians, Hmongs, Pakistanis, Croatians, Chinese, Burmese, and many other nationalities on sight? Have you ever walked into a Muslim mosque to witness to the imam? or into a Buddhist temple to tell the priest about the God who loves him? Me neither. But these folks have.
If you know of a reasonably priced Chicago storefront that would be suitable for a church meeting place, do leave a comment here. The Forts and their church are in need of a permanent church home.
My favorite thing this week was… hmm.  So many good things happened this week.  My favorite was seeing a beautiful Catholic Filipino lady receive Jesus Christ as her own Savior. Praise God!
My kiddos' favorite thing this week was… without a doubt, spending all hours and hundreds of miles with the Fort kids, as well as singing and doing Bible studies with them.

Buckingham Fountain, Chicago.  What a crazy city!

Things I’m working on… laundry and more laundry. Also, I am working on being more diligent about keeping up my home. You'll be happy to know that I mopped the kitchen and bathroom floors yesterday for the first time since 199_... No, just kidding. Certainly I must have done that in this decade? The funny thing is, someone commented just recently about my "immaculate" house. She must have been visually impaired. I want people to feel welcome and comfortable in my home. I don't want them to be afraid to touch anything.
I’m cooking… well, not cooking, but this is worth sharing. We have been making yogurt drops for a sweet, cool little refreshment.  Get an 8 oz container of Greek yogurt and empty it into a zip-lock sandwich bag. Cut off a bottom corner and squeeze little blops of yogurt onto a cookie sheet and freeze. After a couple of hours, use a spatula to scrape them into a freezer container. They are so good! One or two drops are enough to satisfy a sweet craving! My favorite so far is lemon, but today we are trying blueberry.
I’m grateful for… the promises of God.  

Psalm 9:10, And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.  

Jesus never fails. He is not a man; he is God. He is faithful and true. He will answer.

I’m praying for… my daughter.

I rewarded my kids this week by… oh dear, I don't think I have rewarded them.  But I did treat Betz and Emily to a pretzel at Annie's yesterday.  Does that count?

Something I am ogling or have my eye on… for Amy's sake, this skirt at Kohls.  I won't put out $65 for it, or even $25.  I'm waiting for it to go on the 80% off clearance rack, with a 30% off coupon!
Chaps Striped A-Line Maxi Skirt
A photo, video, link, or quote to share (silly, serious or both!)…  

And that's all for today.  I'm looking forward to renewing some bloggy friendships. Hope you're all having a great summer!
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