Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Place of Grace

Great friends just (in May) adopted a beautiful baby girl from Ethiopia. Her name is Grace and she has quite a story. Today's title contains the link to her website. Read her story, see her face, consider adoption, donate to the orphanage. I know this very PR sounding, however she has touched so many lives and if you give it a look she might change yours, too.

We cleaned Grace's room this afternoon. Actually we had a date planned. Lou and Ray napped; Lee broke rocks, from Lake Superior, outside and we dismantled, purged, cleaned and organized. It was serious business for us, but now the rewards will be bountiful, for about 1 week.

Monday, August 29, 2005

School...What's That?

About two weeks ago we decided that August 29 would be the day that our life would resume to some normalcy and schedule, meaning that "schoold would start". HA!!!!! Life happens and before you know it the calendar is booked with Grace's, gotta have, Hawaiian Luau Party, Lee's plans to ride Derek's motor bike, Daddy Lee's obligation to install my mom's ceiling fan, Daddy Lee's truck needing a spray in bed liner, and one last sleepover with schooled friends before their big day arrives. Some how school just doesn't fit in with all of that. I contemplated listing all the learning that has and will occur while completing each of the above mentioned tasks, but I'm too tired right now and anyways the possibilities for learning are endless. Next Sunday Lou turns four years old, complete with a 3-D rubber ducky cake (that I will be making ARGH). We'll start things up next Tuesday after Labor Day. So, for now, all learning must be stifled until school starts. You know I'm just kidding.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bread and Jam For ....My Family

I love the book Bread and Jam For Francis. It was read to me as a child and now I read it to my kids. It's a real treat of a story for picky eaters. We are up to our ears in blackberry jam. Lee, Grace and I went blackberry picking again. We picked more than 1/2 an ice cream pail full. That was plenty to make another batch of jam. Grace dumped her pail; she's now 2 for 2 (meaning both times she picked she dumped her pail). Sand is hard to rinse off tender berries. Lee and I would still be picking if we didn't live a life full of obligations, laundry, mouths to feed and a garden to be tended.

Derek has been working for Daddy Lee on the marsh. He stays overnight with us for a few days. He's 14 and loves to play hide and seek, tag, cards (SkipB0) with Grace, Lee and Lou. He's polite and a total joy to have around.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Time to Fly

As we approach the start of another "not back to school year", I find myself frantically trying to finish up the organizing, painting and mending projects that I earmarked for summer vacation. With that said if you are new to homeschooling or need fresh ideas for organizing your homeschool and children's chores, check out the link posted above. FlyLady compiled a list of readers homeschool "not back to school" tips. They are insightful and inspirational. Check them out.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

It's Cookie Time

Grace and her friend Anna made cookies together. Try this great recipe that is so easy.

German Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies
1 pkg. German Chocolate Cake Mix
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins (I use an extra 1/4 cup of oatmeal and leave out the raisins)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs

Mix all ingredients, blend well. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with bottom of glass. Bake for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool one minute on pan. Remove from cookie sheets. (I slightly underbake mine so they remain chewy when cooled.)

These cookies don't last long in our house. Usually by the end of the second day they are gone.

Monday, August 8, 2005

Did You Say Damn It?

Grace misheard something I said today. She said, "Did you say damn it?" My reply was, "No and I don't want you saying it either". "Why can't I say damn it?", Grace asked. "Because it doesn't sound nice coming from a young lady", I replied. "Is damn it a swear word?" she continued. Well, to sum up the conversation we had, "damn it" ended up being said six times! Life with kids is always unpredictable. If someone had told me when I woke up this morning that my oldest, most responsible child would say "damn it" six times today I never would've believed him. I like having people around that are unpredictable. For instance the other day Daddy Lee told me that he painted the tree stumps around our fire ring purple. I gasped in disbelief, laughed at the thought of three purple stumps sticking out of the ground, down by the water and thought what will the "neighbors" think (we don't have any neighbors, except my father-in-law a 1/2 mile away). Upon checking out "Smurfville" I found that he had only painted the tops of the stumps, not the entire stump from ground up. His reasoning was that a painted surface would stay cleaner and keep our clothes cleaner when we sat on the stumps. Again, I never would have predicted that he would paint the stumps. Unpredictability keeps things exciting for me.

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

I've Been Reviewed

Now that I have that glowing review, I hope to live up to it. I'm definitely undeserving of all the fame and attention that kimzyn brought my way. Thank you so very much! Today has been another day at "camp homeschool"and it all started with Farmer Boy. Actually with Almonzo's mom. That lady knows how to cook and she does it all the time. Apple pie for breakfast? Now let me just say, we have eaten apple pie for breakfast, but that was it, not stacked pancakes, side pork, bread spread with apple butter and apple pie. Every chapter tells of a meal better than the last; my mouth is watering just thinking of all the good food. So, last night Lee and I went blackberry picking so that I could pretend to be Almonzo's mom for just a moment in time. I guess Lee felt a little like Almonzo because he asked me if we were preparing for winter. The simple answer is yes; we will make jelly and jam to spread on our toast in December. The long answer is no; we do not need to preserve the summer's harvest because we can easily drive to Copp's Grocery and get frozen blackberries in December to make jelly or even buy the jelly already made. We picked enough to make jelly. I started the process last night and then Grace helped me finish it in the morning. She learned about sterilizing with boiling water and sealing out germs using the inversion method (when a jelly filled jar is tipped upside down, the hot jelly pushing against the lid doesn't allow any air to enter, creating a bacteria free sealed jar of jelly). Still feeling like Almonzo's mom, I rounded up a few cookbooks and began searching for more jelly and jam recipes to make. My list is long, but I have a feeling I might actually check off everything on the list.
blackberry jelly
banana butter - made with Grace before supper tonight
zucchini freezer jam
spiced pumpkin spread
holiday cranberry jam