Weekly Wrap-up: Wishes in the Rain

family picture at Epcot

family picture at Epcot

We surprised the kids with a trip to Walt Disney World. I’ve been planning the trip since April and never expected to pull off the vacation without getting found out. We told the kids we were going with Daddy on a business trip to Florida. I told them we would check out some old Spanish and Civil War forts in the area while my husband worked. We told the kids if they were good during the long drive we would stop by one of the resort gift shops. While the crew and I looked around the shop my husband went and checked us into our room. I was sure the crew would see through our ruse but they really believed we were tagging just along on a business trip.  When my husband finally told them we were staying at Walt Disney World for vacation we received incredulous stares. They finally got excited once they actually believed we were not kidding them and the shock wore off.

Oldest and Sparkles

Oldest and Sparkles

Oldest and Sparkles both celebrated birthdays while vacationing. For his eleventh birthday Oldest enjoyed his favorite rides and shows at both Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom. Sparkles birthday treat (as if being at WDW wasn’t enough!) was going to the boutique at Cinderella Castle and getting made up to look like a princess. We let her pick out a dress this time since it will most likely be the last time she goes to the boutique. She chose the princess Anna dress from Frozen. I was a bit surprised by her choice since she loves Sleeping Beauty but the green dress is very lovely on her.

Middle Boy

Middle Boy

Middle Boy enjoyed most of the trip but he wasn’t fond of the crowds or most roller coasters. He loved traveling by the monorail or train. Most of the time he lived up to his old toddler nick name of “Velcro boy”. He was always by Daddy’s side or holding my hand. Littlest was a handful the first couple of days (well…he’s always a handful but was particularly grumpy at first). Once he adjusted to all the activity he had a blast. He loved the rides and enjoyed meeting the princesses. I didn’t expect him to want to

Sleeping Beauty doesn't know what to say...

Sleeping Beauty doesn’t know what to say…

meet any of the Disney characters and thought he would hide from them. Wrong!!! He would sing and dance for them, taught a couple of them yoga poses, and pretended to be a little Dalek (from Doctor Who) and “exterminate” everything. On our last evening one of the Disney employees asked Littlest who was his favorite character. He answered, “I like myself.”

hangin' with Ramone

hangin’ with Ramone

Walt Disney World is a lot of fun and we all had a great time together. My husband and I could use another couple of days to just sleep and recover. Thankfully I didn’t have to worry about making dinner the day we arrived home. My awesome friend Mama Quilts made us a homemade pot of chicken and dumplings! I am blessed with a few great friends! The same day we also had to take Littlest to his preschool open house at the high school. The following day was his first day of preschool. He was very excited about his first day and couldn’t wait to learn all about letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. I explained that he would mostly likely learn about the routines and rules of the school. Littlest wasn’t impressed at all and told me, “They are going to teach me all about what I want to learn! Or I am going to fuss. And nobody wants that!!” He must be happy with their instruction. So far he hasn’t fussed. Today was show-and-tell day. He took his new book “Frozen” (from the movie) to show everyone.

One of my favorite experiences at Walt Disney World is the “Wishes” firework show. I always marvel at how well the music and dialogue match up with the fireworks. One part brought tears to my eyes this time…the voice of the genie. The voice belonged to the late Robin Williams. I prayed for his soul and for his family and forgot all about the rain (it was very rainy that evening), my dreadful cold, and the fireworks. I thanked God in that moment because I was surrounded by my family…the people I love the most. Honestly, what more could I ever wish for?

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Weekly Wrap-up: Monkeys and Monty Python

monopoly fun

monopoly fun

Over the weekend we had the brilliant notion to let he kids watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. They have been re-enacting scenes from the film all week. After six days or so I’m not much of a fan anymore. Well, that’s not quite true…knights with silly boy humor is far more preferable than most shows for children their age. They have also pretended to be Native American friends of Father Marquette and Minn the turtle from H.C. Hollings’ Minn of the Mississippi.  We’ve spent the week studying the history and geography of the Mississippi River. I rather enjoy

Littlest filling the empty spaces with letters

Littlest filling the empty spaces with letters

watching them when their play mixes with their studies. Usually these things end when Littlest decides to pretend to be a Dalek and attacks everyone. Then one of them will run off and build a sonic screwdriver out of Lego’s and blow-up the Dalek. Or Oldest will just declare that the Doctor no longer needs his sonic screwdriver to blow-up Daleks since he has attack eyebrows now. None of that makes any sense unless you watch Doctor Who.

the sad sunflowers

the sad sunflowers

Other than the imaginative play of the children the week has been rather quiet. Littlest has insisted on having some school papers of his own to work on. He is now an expert at the shape puzzles one of his aunts got for him and asked for something “more mathy” to work with during the school day. At what point did he realize that working with shapes is mathematics?! This week he started joining us for read aloud time on his own. I’ve always just let him play near us during school hours but he is wanting to join in now. Instead of trying to drag someone off to go play with him he is asking me for math and writing lessons. He also likes to dance and sing. This week his favorite is Five Little Monkey’s.  Littlest is also still concerned about the sunflowers in the yard. He pointed to the flowers this week and said they were still sad searching for their seeds and wished they would look at the sun again. I showed him where the seeds were growing but he didn’t believe me because the sunflowers were “not smiling at the sun.”

Oldest walking on his own this week

Oldest walking on his own this week

Oldest is just about to wrap-up his studies of ancient Egypt. We have nearly completed The Golden Goblet by E.J. McGraw and are nearly finished with the book. Even though the middle two are not studying ancient history they have stuck around to listen to the story. In the next few weeks Oldest will be working on his first proper essay on ancient Egypt. He is a little nervous and really wants to do a good job. I told him he could take a week off from his writing lessons so long as he applied the techniques from his writing curriculum toward his history paper. I plan to help him with his first essay but I doubt he’ll need me all that much.

I will not be writing a wrap-up next week. We’ll be on break for a week and I might fit in a field trip. The following week Littlest will begin preschool and that will be a major change for us…we’ll have to follow an actual schedule…horrors!

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

 

Wibbly-Wobbly Weightloss: Improvement and Stalemate

I’ve maintained my current weight for the past week or so. Though not entirely thrilled with my lack of loss I’m glad not to have gained. My goal for the next few weeks is to maintain the good habits that I have begun and to slowly add new ones.

Right now I am trying to learn all I can about an Anti-inflammatory diet…really lifestyle. I am grudgingly learning that chronic inflammation is nothing to ignore. It leads to the wearing down of cartilage and tissues which further increase the bodies inflammatory triggers. I can see this is already happening in my body because I’m not always able to wear my wedding band (which really ticks me off!). If the condition continues I may possibly succumb to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis (I can check this one off already), cancer (I’ve had that one too), Alzheimer’s, digestive issues (oh another one!), emotional (not balanced at all there!) and mental (lack of clear grasp on reality runs in the family anyway) imbalances. Isn’t that a fun future to consider…

No, not at all.

I’m over the emotional impact now and am ready to put together a plan of attack. I already know that the only lifestyle changes that stick are the one that are made slowly and deliberately. I’ve already increased my water intake and started exercising. I simply need to increase my exercise over time. Right now I walk with my husband and kids two to three nights a week and ride the exercise cycle maybe another couple of times a week. I would like to increase those numbers to three or four times a week. I’ve also started doing a little weight training with my husband after we put the kids down for the night. I like doing this with him much more than mindlessly munching on snacks and watching the telly. I like that we are exercising as a family.

Changing my diet is going to be a bit harder. I was completely confused by the terminology for an anti-inflammatory diet. My friend Ellie wrote a blog post (just for me)  explaining all I needed to get started. You can find her post here! Thank you very much my friend!!! Ellie’s post made me think about changing my diet and I plan to start making changes slowly. Many of the foods I am accustomed to are on the “no-no” list. Doesn’t mean I have to give them up forever but I need to enjoy them in moderation. I’ve already moved my family away from overly processed and boxed foods. I’m not going to try to change everything at once but I am going to work on one meal at a time. Right now I am changing my breakfast foods. Sometimes I skip breakfast or have leftovers. This week I’ve changed to having a smoothie for breakfast. I’m working on an anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe. For now I add a piece of ginger root to my pineapple-banana green smoothie. This week I plan to add a fish oil capsule once I figure out the whole supplement market. I’ve never taken any except for iron during pregnancy. Once I get a few breakfast recipes that I like and are good for my body then I’ll work on lunch recipes.

One of the problems Ellie mentioned with inflammation is that it is a response to stress. Constant stress can really break a body down and over the years I have become very sensitive to stressful situations. I’ve made no secret that my childhood was less than ideal. Calling my early years stressful would be an understatement. My life now is wonderful but my body is paying the price for the previous years of emotional and occasional physical abuse. Prayer is a healthy way to alleviate stress. I pray every day but not the way I used to. I used to get up early and meditate over scripture and really spend time with God. I’ve lost that precious time over the years occupied with little babies and sleep deprivation. I think it is past time to restart. I’ve lost my sense of the sacred and I really miss that connection.

Weekly Wrap-up: The Bittersweet Last

no more booster seat

no more booster seat

Motherhood is full of wonderful moments…life-changing beautiful moments. Nothing compares to holding your child for the first time, the first tentative smile, first steps and words. Motherhood is a privileged witness to triumphant moments from the first precious moments of life…but there is a sharper side as well. Over the years I’ve come to treasure those wonderful firsts for each of my children because, on the other side of those firsts are lasts. I didn’t pay much attention to the lasts with my children in the early years of motherhood. Maybe I was too exhausted. Some of those lasts moments slip by without notice…the last time they drank from a sippy cup or quit sneaking into bed with us during the night. I’m more watchful of last moments now. They are quiet reminders of impending

curb side service

curb side service

independence. On Saturday Oldest rode in his car seat for the last time. We didn’t realize it until we cleaned up the van the next day. I expected him to still need his booster seat when testing him without it…but he did not. I snapped a picture of his grown up moment. I cried…he’s a little less boy and a little more grown.

The ice-cream truck (a van actually) came up to our drive-way this weekend. They know where we live now!! Today, I showed the kids they could get a whole box of fudge pops for the price of just one from the truck. They were not as impressed as I had hoped.

birthday party friends

birthday party friends

This week we attended a birthday party for a sweet little friend. She didn’t want any presents for her sixth birthday…just quarters to donate to a children’s charity. I enjoyed visiting with homeschool families I hadn’t met before and dear friends I hadn’t seen in ages. Oldest decided to play with the birthday girl’s little brother (the same age as Littlest) so her mom “could host the party without worrying about him”. He took on the task without anyone asking and I decided not to point out that the little fella’s dad was also doing the same…

ice-cream treats

ice-cream treats

This week is the end of our first (of five) term of the 2014-15 school year! We are also a few days ahead of schedule in all of our subjects…except math. We will not be on grade level in math until January. The kids wanted to celebrate completing their first term with ice cream after school is finished for the day. They also want to order a pizza but they haven’t talked me into it yet.

Littlest

Littlest

Today Littlest (who is only three) informed me that 7-4=3. I was a bit shocked he could tell that but he does hear math drills everyday. I asked him if he could tell me 7-3. He told me I was big enough to know the answer and didn’t have to tell me. Then he skipped off laughing like a little mad man. I’m pretty sure we can just skip Kindergarten and I’m beginning to worry he’ll get kicked out of pre-school…

DSC05158 (640x480)History and science lessons ended up in the same time period this week for the middle two. Oldest is still studying ancient Egypt for history but he reads their history text (Story of the world vol. 3) on his own time. This week we (I never heard of it either) are learning about the Thirty Year’s War and Blaise Paschal. Christianity is a central them in both narratives. The kids are struggling to understand the animosity between Catholicism and Protestantism. They want a clear good guy and bad guy…and there isn’t one. I added the book “A Piece of the Mountain” about Blaise Paschal to our

Sparkles

Sparkles

science study because I wanted the kids to be aware that science and religion do not have to oppose one another. Paschal accepted Christ as an adult and the book covers his struggles with faith as well as his scientific brilliance. So far it is their favorite book in our science studies. This weekend they will finish their labs on Galileo with their dad (so happy he does the labs with the crew) and then move on to Sir Isaac Newton next week.

Linking up with: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Weekly Wrap-up: September Around the Corner

Littlest was sleepy this week

Littlest was sleepy this week

Hard to believe August is nearly history. Autumn will arrive before I’ve adjusted to the fact that Spring is long since gone…time is really a quick march.

We’ve been wrapped up in our studies this week. We’ve spent an entire week on Galileo and this weekend the kids will replicate some of his gravity and pendulum experiments. The crew looks forward to their science labs with Daddy over the weekend. Tomorrow we’ll finish up our biography on him and move on to Blaise Paschal for next week. Oldest also wrote a paper on Kepler this week for Writing (week 8 of Writing With Skill Vol 1) which tied in nicely with our science studies.

gift and inside joke from Mama Quilts

gift and inside joke from Mama Quilts

He gave the younger siblings a little talk on Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, and Johannes Kepler. The best part about Oldest’s paper was that he finally wrote a one-hundred and fifty word essay (151 to be exact). He’s so adept at narrations (thanks to The Story of the World and Writing With Ease) that he finds it hard to write an actual essay with details. Writing is the subject that causes him the most difficulty. So challenging that we tackle it within the first hour of our school day. If we save writing for later in the day then his attitude deteriorates and we both end up very frustrated. Now that we are close to the end of our first term we’ve finally managed to find a rhythm to our day. YEAH!!!

Sparkles is doing far better in school than she gives herself credit for. She struggles with new concepts but does well after plenty of practice. She constantly comparers herself to her brothers (who “get it” instantly) and I need to find a way to help her stop

Quit blogging and read this to me!!!

Quit blogging and read this to me!!!

this behavior. She is so competitive and I am not…I really struggle to understand this part of her nature. I’ve prayed consistently the past few weeks over the nature of my relationship with my sweet Sparkles. I love her so much but I haven’t been the best mother to her. Somehow I’ve let the wreckage of the broken relationship with my own mother to seep into my relationship with my daughter. When the Lord pointed this out to me I wept very bitter tears. I will do better.

Sweet little visitor during piano practice this week

Sweet little visitor during piano practice this week

Middle Boy…nothing is hard for him…except punctuation. He hears songs and melodies on the radio and television and starts to play them. Right now he is working on “I Am the Doctor” from Doctor Who. Five weeks ago we listened to Pomp and Circumstance (graduation song) for our music appreciation course and this week he played it on the piano for me. Once a melody gets in his head he will work on it until he can play the song. In mathematics he figured out multiplication on his own as a form of fast adding. He also pointed out to me that the hexagons in his math books are really cubes (which you can see here). I could not see the cube until he drew it for me. Everyday he amazes me…and I guess if he was my little brother I would be just as insecure as Sparkles too.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday Daddy!

This week I chose a motto for our school from Leonardo Da Vinci; “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his teacher.” They all were very cross with me and thought I was asking too much of them!!! They are all so much smarter than me and just do not realize it yet…thankfully I suppose.

Our week wasn’t very exciting. Last Friday evening the “Ice-cream truck” came through our neighborhood. We let the crew run out to the end of the road to buy a treat and the driver promised to come up our road every Friday evening for the rest of the summer. I didn’t know our little community even had an ice-cream truck. The only ice-cream truck I

ice cream truck

ice cream truck

remember was when I visited with my father’s mother in the inner-city of Akron, Ohio. I spent a few weeks of one summer with her when I was a little girl. Akron is a big city and it was very different from any military base I had lived or the rural Kentucky of my mother’s home place. I wish I had gotten to know her better. She was a WW2 bride from England. I loved listening to her talk. I thought her accent was marvelous. When I knew her she was married to my step-grandfather Joe from

my grandmother and great-grandmother and grandfather in England

my grandmother and great-grandmother and grandfather in England

Hungary. He escaped from the Soviet concentrations camps. His war stories were amazing and so sad. My grandfather Joe was a cook for the Hungarian army and he taught me two recipes: lecso with kolbasz and rakott krumpli. I’m not sure about the spelling of those words but the first one is a vegetable stew with kielbasa sausage and the second is a layered potato and egg dish. He also introduced me to the wonderful spice called smoked paprika! I only spent one summer with them as a child and later for a few weeks in my twenties. That’s a trip down memory lane…

 

 

Weekly Wrap-up: Invasion of the Germs and Sorrowful Sunflowers

Oldest fell asleep working on Language Arts

Oldest fell asleep working on Language Arts

My crew was sorely lacking in health this week…they succumbed to various germs. Schooling was fit in to whenever we had time and this weekend will find us working in the school room getting caught up on the subjects in which we fell behind. We are two weeks from finishing our first term (of five) for the year and I plan to finish on schedule. At the moment we are a day ahead of schedule and I plan to keep it that way. My mother plans to visit in October and I hope to be a few days ahead of schedule when she visits so we can afford the loss of days during her stay. Hopefully I will handle her visit better this time…most likely won’t but I can always hope.

Littlest fell asleep in my lap after a bath

Littlest fell asleep in my lap after a bath

Thanks to the fabulous Mrs. Melody my beloved and I enjoyed a wonderful Saturday afternoon out. She kept the kiddos for us and we went to the Cruise-in on our own. I actually got to ride in the Old Mustang with my man (a rare treat) and hang out with him and not have to worry about the mischief the kids were causing. We enjoyed a nice dinner together at Carr’s and then wandered around the Cruise-in looking at old smelly cars. Perfect afternoon!

my husband's fabulous Sunday lunch this week

my husband’s fabulous Sunday lunch this week

On Sunday I watched over my new two-year old class at church and wished we had stayed home. They all had the “back-to-school” germ infestation and had gross…well…you know. Usually I have the sense not to go to church or any place public during “back to school week” but I forgot this year. My crew ended up sick this week…I was so frustrated but we just endured. Middle Boy had the stomach flu on Monday. Oldest was pale and miserable on Wednesday. Sparkles felt awful on Thursday. Crappy week! Hopefully I do not forget about the back to school germ fest next year! Yuck! But I am proud of my crew. Even in their sickness they still

deer eating the neighbor's corn this week

deer eating the neighbor’s corn this week

wanted to do their school work. We watched several educational shows on Netflix this week about ancient Egypt since that is what Oldest is studying at the moment. We’ve all decided that Zahi Hawass has the best job ever! I’ve enjoyed reading the books aloud for Oldest’s studies this year. I am glad that I did not just assign them to him to read on his own. I’ve learned so much the past few weeks about ancient Egypt and the Pharaohs of old. The books we’ve read through Beautiful Feet Books have really brought the history alive for me (and Oldest too). Sometimes I think homeschooling is as much about my re-education as my children’s education.

Littleest napping

Littlest napping

Littlest is a peculiar little man. Several times this week he has commented on the sadness of the sunflowers. The sunflowers are heavy with seed and can no longer shine their faces toward the sun. They are bent over like old-women…forever looking at the soil. Littlest thinks they are sad because they cannot find their seeds. They are looking downward searching for their lost seeds…always sad…no longer capable of gazing toward the sun. I’ve tried to explain to him that they cannot look at the sun anymore because they are heavy with seed but he just doesn’t understand. The sunflowers with their large hanging heads look sad to him.  He is right, they do look so sad. I meant to take a picture of them for you but I forgot…maybe next week.

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

 

Weekly Wrap-up: Just Another Week

Littlest sleeping during schooltime

Littlest sleeping during schooltime

Seems like I just sat down to write last week’s post. Where does the time go? Sometimes it seems as thought the weeks are all the same and all is still. Then suddenly changes come and everything is different. My babies are growing and changing and I am struggling to keep up. Why is change so sudden and startling? Why isn’t it so gradual? Oldest’s pants are too short as of yesterday. Sparkles wants to know how babies get in a mother’s tummy. Middle Boy lost another tooth tonight. Littlest has figured out the hour hand on a clock…all by himself. If only I could bottle up time…

Seems melancholia would be my friend tonight…or fiend. I just mistyped friend as fiend. Same difference sometimes.

playing in the rain

playing in the rain

Our drought infested land got a bit of rain last weekend. We let the kids play in the brief showers. The little bit of rain we received wasn’t enough and everything is still dying. Our neighbors cornfield in completely brown…the corn only half developed. My tomatoes are barely producing. I’m having to freeze them in batches hoping to get enough by fall to make some spaghetti sauce. Not the best of time for crops around these parts.

My husband went through the first science lab with the crew over the weekend. They spent a couple of hours exploring the center of gravity. We learned that women have a lower center of gravity than men. He helped the crew to build a

center of gravity experiements

center of gravity experiements

scale they will use throughout this school year. I am glad he agreed to do the science labs with the kids this year. This weekend they will finish up the rest of the Archimedean labs. Next week we will move onto Medieval science. Every Friday we have been watching “The Story of Science” from the BBC (thank you Claire at angelicscalliwags for the recommendation) to accompany our history of science study. We all look forward to watching this series and we will all be disappointed when it is over. I need to find another science based series for us to watch together.

Oldest is currently studying ancient history. I have been reading a few books on ancient Egypt to him the past couple of weeks (I love read aloud time!). I can’t be sure but I think I enjoy the

Middle Boy and balance experiements

Middle Boy and balance experiements

readings even more than him. Sometimes the younger two stay to listen to the readings as well. Ancient Egypt has really captured our imagination. I’ve spent some time this week reading Genesis because I found glimpses of truth in this ancient mythology. Someone on the Charlotte Mason Facebook page recently complained about the dryness of “Tales of Ancient Egypt” by Roger Lancelyn Green. We have really enjoyed the book so much that I could not understand this mother’s complaint. I started to reply to this lady but couldn’t think of what to say to her…to me the book is so rich and led me to Scripture. Ancient history is so fascinating.

The past couple of weeks I have been suffering through a “homeschool panic attack” as my friend at Almost Homeschoolers calls my momentary crisis. I have gone through this every year but this year is particularly painful. The kids have all assured me they are very happy with their current curriculum. They are happy and learning. They all did very well on their standardized testing this year and scored well above average. All is well but I feel so insecure. I guess I really feel the weight of responsibility for their education. Right now, my children’s future is in my hands and I keenly feel the enormous weight at the moment. I am pouring my own life into them…giving everything. Some people would call this giving a sacrifice of self…I call it joy.

Linking up with Weird Unsocailized Homeschoolers

Wibbly-Wobbly Weightloss: Another Blah Week

Middle boy loved the fish tacos

Middle boy loved the fish tacos

Sadly, I didn’t lose any weight this week but on the bright side I didn’t gain either. My emotions ran crazy this week. For the past three years I go through a crisis of self-doubt over the kids curriculum and wonder if I am doing more harm than good. Last year I thought we should switch to Trail Guides and this year it was Sonlight. Littlest added to my stress for the week by being very clingy. A clingy toddler equals very little exercise…and sometimes little sleep. I’m coming out of the doldrums now and next week (three hours from now!) I’ll get back to awesome (my kind of awesome anyway…)! A new hairdo and color helped to brighten my mood today too. I went from red to blonde.

Anyway, I made a new and healthier meal for my family this week. I did fry the fish so I am not sure it completely qualifies as healthy. Maybe the fish could have been baked…I’m not really sure. Fish that isn’t premade from the freezer section is a whole new experience for me. The fish tacos (still sounds gross to me) were a hit with my crew. Littlest wouldn’t eat a taco but he did enjoy the fish.

Recipe from Keepers for Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

1/2 cup sour cream, grated zest of 1/2 lime, and juice

1 1/2 pounds skinless thick white, flaky fish fillets, such as halibut, cod, or mahimahi, cut into pieces about 4 inches long and patted dry (I used enough halibut for 10 servings), salt and pepper, 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra, if needed, 10 small flour tortillas

In a little serving bowl, stir together the sour cream and juice from one lime. The book said to also add 1/2 the lime zest and a tablespoon of water (I’ve never liked zest from any citrus so I omitted it). Set the sour cream sauce aside. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the cumin and chili powder and rub all over. I’m not sure that rubbing the seasoning in with my fingers made a difference…really messy. I also didn’t have any cumin and just used taco seasoning.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-highish heat. Add the fish and cook until golden brown for 3 minutes on each side. I cooked it about five minutes on each side…possibly more. I wanted to make sure the fish was really done.

Serve the fish with soft tortillas and favorite taco toppings: lime sour cream, shredded cheddar, shredded lettuce (the book suggested cabbage), onions, tomato salsa, fresh cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, whatever you like!

The book also suggested this amazing salsa!

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

PINEAPPLE SALSA (I bought a real-not from a can-pineapple y’all!)

1 cup finely diced pineapple, 1/2 jalapeno finely chopped. I used a whole jalapeno and I think two peppers would have been better, 1/2 small finely chopped red onion, 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used apple-cider vinegar), salt and pepper

In a small bowl, stir together the pineapple, jalapenos, onions, and vinegar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

I loved the pineapple salsa on the tacos but the rest of my family refused to try it. Their loss…not sure I would have been willing to share it anyway.

Wednesday night will be out new healthier recipe supper from now on. I have a couple more fish recipes to try out from the book. Hopefully this week’s fish recipe will be as big a hit too. I’m still trying to decide between tilapia or salmon…

I also found this neat blog called Organize Yourself Skinny. I’m hoping to learn a few tips and recipes from the writer. She lost and has successfully kept off 40 pounds!

Claire’s new post is up and I encourage you to go read. I always feel uplifted after reading her posts…especially after a not-so-fulfilling week. I feel better about this coming week. I’ve got ingredients for green smoothies, homemade yogurt, granola, and salads for lunch. It is gonna be a good week.

I learned so much from Phyllis at On The Mend. I’m going to start including some of her suggestions this week.

 

Weekly Wrap-up: B-17 Bomber, Drought and A Troubled Mother

playing outside

playing outside

Last Friday, while at Mrs. Cuddle-me’s, a B-17 Bomber flew overhead. Not one of my anticipated experiences for the day. The Bomber was low enough to see the markings. The sight and sound of such machines really un-nerve me…make the hair on the back of my neck stand at attention and…ugh (so do clowns and butterflies for that matter). The kids thought it was an exciting thing to see. I suppose it was for them. And I haven’t a clue why I detest airplanes so much. The bomber that flew above us is only one of twelve remaining in the world and was on show in Paducah.

drought...our Butterfly Bush should be covered in blooms

drought…our Butterfly Bush should be covered in blooms

Saturday was a cleaning day at home. I love Saturday’s at home. Sunday I met my new Sunday School students for the year and my new co-worker. I love her and hope she stays with us. Since starting to volunteer with the two-year olds a year ago my class has been through six volunteers. Two-year olds are tough on their teachers. I was determined to quit a month ago when I had to work with twelve of the little darlings by myself and one of them vomited on me and another pissed all over me. This past Sunday was Promotion Sunday and several of them just cried the entire ninety minutes. Honestly, it would be so much easier on the kids if the teachers moved rooms instead of the children. This month will be kinda rough but they will all be adjusted by September.

friends make for a full table

friends make for a full table

Sunday evening we enjoyed the company of friends for a cook-out at our home. I like having friends over. We haven’t hosted friends in our home in a long time and it was nice. Our friends are also fellow homeschoolers and that was even better. I felt like I could be myself. We could “talk shop” and really share our experiences. I always feel like I have to be on my best behavior around non-homeschoolers and can’t really talk about the issues that are important to me. Most of the time I have to listen to non-homeschoolers explain to me all the reasons why they could never homeschool their own children or have a large family (I only have four children…that is not a large

Littlest

Littlest

family!!!) If I am around family I have to rack my brains to find something to talk about other than my children or curriculum. Since my entire existence currently revolves around my children and their education I have very little else to discuss. So, when I do get to visit with another homeschooling family it is like rejoicing with someone from my own tribe. Sunday evening was wonderful!

Sparkles and Middle Boy with their sunflowers

Sparkles and Middle Boy with their sunflowers

The rest of the week was mostly uneventful. Maybe that is an exaggeration…My crew are getting older and a bit more independent. I wasn’t ready for them to tell me they didn’t need me for certain subjects in school this week. Even Middle Boy wanted to see if he could work on certain subjects by himself this week…and he was very successful. I told him how proud I was even though my heart just shattered into a million unfixable pieces. Motherhood is so very difficult sometimes…

This week I have endured my annual self-doubts over curriculum choices. Now that I know they love the literature based method of education…should I change and use Sonlight or go totally Charlotte Mason? Am I not teaching them something important that they need to know? Should I make them learn Latin? I make myself crazy sometimes…

waterpark fun

water park fun

Today, we went to the local water park with Mama Quilts and two of her children. The kids had fun playing in the water. Well, except for Littlest…he was fussy and only decide to play the last half hour or so. He is a hand-full these days…Today was the first day of public school so we had the park mostly to ourselves. One mother showed up with her two little girls. They played in the water for only a few minutes before they were ready to leave. The mother was very irritated with them and decided to leave the august 093 (640x480)park. She scolded them and doubted their ability to survive their first day of Kindergarten the next day. As the mother left she looked at me and said, “I can’t wait to get rid of them tomorrow.” My heart broke for those little girls because they could hear their mother say those words. I was too stunned to reply to the mother. My shock at her words must have been all over my face because she left quickly. I could not imagine feeling that way about my children. I cried every time I sent my children to pre-school or public school. I remember the first day my oldest went to Kindergarten. I unashamedly cried when he left with his teacher. I remember the principal of the school bringing me a DSC05072 (640x480)tissue and telling me how happy I would be when my last child would leave for Kindergarten. From that moment my heart turned cold toward that woman and I do despise her still…not very Christian of me I know but the honest truth.

Tonight, the garbage disposal in our sink shorted out. Lots of smoke and sparks. I am glad my husband was home when it happened. I was in total panic mode and the house would have likely burned down if he hadn’t been here to take care of the disaster. Providence.

Today it rained…also Providence. Our area is officially in drought conditions. Our first rain in weeks and it was mere sprinkles. I just sat on the porch and watched it dribble down for a while. Felt like a blessing.

We are taking the day off tomorrow…no school..

Linking up with Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Wibbly Wobbly Weightloss…I’m Late

I’m really late posting. We had a very busy but nice weekend. Saturday was cleaning and the monthly grocery day. I had intended to post early Saturday morning but the internet was down during my planned time. I could have posted that night but chose to hang out with my husband and watch some movies. I spent quite a bit of time hiding my eyes through the first movie which was Kick Ass 2. I don’t recommend it. Sometimes I just like to watch movies with my husband to see what he thinks is entertaining. I should have passed on that one. Our second movie was the old sad classic Red Dawn. Sunday had arrived by the time we went to bed and I suffered with restless dreams.

Sunday morning arrived way too early. It was also Promotion Sunday at our church which is never a fun day for the nursery workers. Some days I think it would be easier for us teachers to move rooms instead of the little ones. Sunday evening we had friends over for a cookout. Good food and good company makes for a wonderful end to a pretty good weekend.

I was shocked when I stepped on the scale tis morning to see I had managed to maintain my weight for the week. I really expected to gain. I’m counting that as my victory for he week!

Later today I’ll make up several bowls of salad and veggies for the week. I also picked out several fish and other healthier recipes for us to try out this month. Our first is dish to try fish tacos. The recipe called for “fresh flakey white fish”. I know so little about fish that I had to google the phrase to know what it meant. Cod, halibut, or the fun to say mahi-mahi…just in case you didn’t know either. I’m going to start with only one or two healthy recipe to try each week and maybe by the end of the year we’ll have several good recipes that everyone likes. I also made fresh salsa to have as a snack this week. I slightly modified the recipe from the book Keepers which is also where I got several of the fish recipes we will try out.

For exercise this week I plan to walk outside more instead of just getting on the stationary bike. But I will have to work out the timing so that someone is keeping an eye on Littlest. I’m also shift the kids to healthier snacks this week and begin eliminating some of the really unhealthy snack foods. They are so excited…

While I was at the big-box store I drooled over this cool fitness gadget…but it is sooo expensive!

I encourage you to check out these posts:

Claire at angelicscalliwags

Ellie at New Creations Ministries

Phyllis at On The Mend