Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soccer game(s) and pumpkin carving (Sat and Sunday)

Today we went to church and then Steve took Jesse to a soccer game and I took Caroline to hers along with Sophia and Levi.  Caroline scored 2 goals!!

The Youth Pastor preached today on 2 Corinthians.  He spoke about the key words in chapters one and two.  One of the main things that I remember is that he spoke of how important relationships are.  He quoted Dobson, saying that kids can't just have rules, they need a relationship to go along with those rules.  Just like when "the people" said to Jesus, "we did all these good things"...  He said, "yes, but you never knew me."  What we do doesn't matter, how we know someone  does.  

Here are our high temps from today through next Monday. 

79° 81° 84° (Nov 1st)  87° 73° 79° 88° 87° 83°

 Novemeber looks pretty nice! 

Here are some pics from Josh's soccer game yesterday.


Josh #27

Josh on the right of the photo

Caroline, Hannah and Sophia

Levi ate his lunch as he watched the game.

Here is the really cool pumpkin that Caroline, Jesse, Sophia and Levi helped carve.  Luke and Josh were at Youth Group party.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Small post....

Flu shots today for some of us.

Speech club today- everyone loved it.

St. Louis just won the World Series.

We have 6 soccer games this weekend.  Caroline is having a sleepover tonight.  One scout event tomorrow.  The boys have to wear their "uniform" for choir on Sunday (so I have to go buy shirts tomorrow).  Luke and Josh have choir practice and a youth group event on Sunday. 

And Steve leaves for Afghanistan on Wednesday for a few weeks.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Levi played by himself for the first time "evah"

Well, maybe not the first time "ever", but he was playing quietly and happily with Legos that Jesse gave him today. I was so excited. Normally when he's awake, he is needing something. Now, he started going outside by himself and going to the neighbor's house when the kids are playing in their back yard.

Today Luke received an invitation to become a member of The National Society of High School Scholars!  It's an international honor society for high school students in public, private or home school.  I was so excited that I went online to look for a bumper sticker so I could, you know, show off.  Unfortunately the closest one I found was one that said, "My Rat Terrier is smarter than your honor student."  I thought about getting it anyway.  I'm hoping that he'll at least get a break on car insurance when he gets his driver's license. 

I really need to add a few more classes to our school for this year.  I'm not sure if that means we'll continue with speech next semester.  I think we will because the kids all like it.  Now, there are many people who would NOT like anything having to do with a speech class.  Maybe that's just adults...?   Since they like it so much, and since it is so beneficial in life, I think we'll keep going.  They do the homework without me even mentioning it.  It's uncanny.  Oh, I need to have Josh pick back up on his grammar.  He kind of got jipped last year and I need to have him get re-started.  Trouble is, it's a new program for him and I think there may be an adjustment period, plus I need to fit in the time to do it with him AND for him find time in his schedule too.  So, I procrastinate.   I could easily find a bizillion homeschoolers who would concur that grammar doesn't need to be taught as a separate subject, that it can be taught on as needed basis as you find gaps in their writing.  But, I'm a little more deliberate in my teaching than that.  And also, I need to start up his writing program again.  I guess it put it off because it takes (my) time and it's not one of his favorite subjects.  Also, the speech class incorporates writing so that could really be considered their writing.   I teach him and Luke together because, presumably, I'm getting more bang for my buck that way.  So, yes, I need to start Luke's writing class again too.  Sometime this year....

I better go.  Steve is on patrol and he'll ask me if I'm still on the computer and if I need to get to sleep- which I do.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Freedom is not free.

 I was searching for something in San Antonio today and I came upon this article and pictures.   A 26 yo 1LT was killed in Afghanistan this month leaving behind a young wife, 3 yo son and 20-month old baby.  I just have to say, "Freedom is not free."

"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."  Edmund Burke

Levi stepped outside to the backyard while I was in the house today.  I knew Caroline was out there on the trampoline, so I finished something and then headed outside.  Apparently he had to go potty right after getting outside.   So this is how I found him.  I made him cover up a little for the pictures.

That's grass on his right (rear) cheek.

So, Caroline said, "Take some pictures of me on the trampoline."

Today I took Caroline to play miniature golf with other pre-teen homeschool girls.  There were about 7 girls there.  Caroline isn't a big fan of miniature golf, so it was just "ok" for her.   In December they are having a cookie decorating and swap gathering and she thought that would be fun.  Levi came with us and slept most of the time in his stroller.  I twiddled my thumbs, checked my email and talked to another homeschool mom or two.  I think the word for that is "relaxing". 

So far this week, I've had to go to 2 medical appointments:  one planned and one acute appointment this morning.  On Monday Luke, Caroline and Josh had orthodontist appointments.  Everyone went.  Levi slept during that appointment too!  Today I had to take Jesse for an acute appointment (he'll be fine)  and I just had to take Levi because the older ones stayed home with the younger ones.  Up until just a few short years ago, when somebody had an appointment I had to take everyone.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How do I log hours for high school credit?

Simple.  I don't.  Well I haven't so far.  Now, I have lived in and currently live in a state that has little or no requirements for homeschoolers.  Homeschools in Texas are considered private schools.  So it's really never been an issue for me.

I've heard friends talking about how they log their school hours.  One kept a book in her living room and wrote down everyday what she did and how long it took.  Just the thought of that overwhelmed me.  I mean, that would just take me too long.  I can't even have a conversation on the phone for more than 30 seconds without being interrupted. 

You can google, "How to log hours for high school credit" and get some good answers.   A basic rule is that if your child completes a high school  level text book, they get one high school credit.  Actually, many schools consider completing 75% of a textbook to equal one credit. I'll never forget the time a few years ago a homeschool friend of mine, who is a former teacher, told me that teachers rarely, if ever, finish a textbook.  I had been homeschooling for a long time when I heard that.  I had no idea.  Boy, did I feel the burden of having to finish textbooks lifted!   If you are curious about how many hours one credit would equal, it is generally considered to be 120-180 hours which equals 50 minutes/day, 5 days/week, 36 weeks a year. 

So, my high school aged son needs a fine arts credit on his transcript (per his school administrator- me).  He spends about 1-3 hours per week in our church choir.  He may also go on a mission trip with them this summer.  He will earn either 0.5 credit hours or 1.0 credit hours this year doing that.   I'll wait until the end of the year, see if he goes on the mission trip, and then I'll figure that out.  That might be the first class that I might have to sort of track hours to determine how much credit he gets. 

I plan for my 2 oldest to go to a government camp this summer for a week where they will earn a 1/2 credit in high school government ("IGovern West" with Home School Legal Defense Association).  They will have 60+ hours of study during the week!  In addition, Luke, my 10th grader, will attend a 2 day chemistry lab intensive in March where he will complete (more than) all of the chemistry labs that a generally considered required for high school students.  A chemist will teach the group and also give insight into college academics and professors. 

What made me think of tracking hours was that today, for some unknown reason, I added up how many hours/per week we have Bible class. We have a 30 minute class five days a week so that's 2-1/2 hours per week.  I never really added up how many hours we spent in any class before.  It's the only class where we are all learning together.  It's my favorite. 

Sadly, Sophia will take a break from gymnastics until after the new year.  Caroline is taking a break from horse riding lessons too.  The club sports and kids' braces really add up! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

What not to do...

  • I've been thinking about this lately.  Ever since I've had kids, I've eaten some leftovers from their plates.  A piece of fruit, a slice of meat, a french fry after they were done eating.  Well, I guess since I don't have a baby AND a 2 year old, I have some extra time to watch more of what my 2 yo does.  Suffice to say that I don't think I'll be eating leftovers from his plate any more after seeing some of the things he's done to/with the food on his plate.  Yuck.  I won't give you details, just a mild version of what is possible on something that  WASN'T HIS plate.  There was a bowl of grapes by him at the dinner table.  He was eating some grapes and proceeded to take the whole stalk out, lay it on the table, and then coyly asked me if he could "drink it" while pointing at the bowl's interior.  I nodded, yes.  He drank the water out and then proceeded to put the grapes back in.  Soon after that, Luke asked for the grapes.  I handed the bowl to him and told him that Levi just drank the water out of the bottom of the bowl.  Astutely, he refused to eat them.

  • This school year is going well.  I've rarely, if ever, said that.  One reason it's going well, or better than before,  is because I have Luke and Josh doing their history and literature in an online class.  It's the same curriculum that I use/used, but someone else is doing the lecture/discussion with them.  That alleviates alot of time it took for me to prepare for school last year.  It's also VERY difficult to have a discussion with a 2 yo going, "Mom.  Mom."  every three seconds.  

  • And, I've changed the younger kids' history.  Although still using Tapestry of Grace, I'm using Story of the World as the spine history book and I don't have to do all the preparation I did before.  And, Jesse is doing sooooo much better this year!  He likes history and spelling and math....I'm not sure how much I gained, though, because now I'm spending time almost daily blogging!  But it's so exciting to have a homeschooling year of memories captured for posterity.  If not for posterity, then for me in my really old age. ( I would say for me in my retirement years, but I am already retired.  Or, I would say in my old age, but I'm pretty close to that right now.)  
               Todd Wilson has a cartoon depicting a(his) wife right after childbirth, crying.  
               Not tears of joy.  Tears of sadness, knowing that now she has 18 more years of homeschooling.....

  • It's really exciting to get comments from people actually reading my blog!!  Please put comments on the blog itself so they are there for posterity also...or for Hollywood when they make this into a movie (: 
  • Random thought:  Here is something I read in Home School Legal Defense Association's  (HSLDA) magazine in an article proporting that parents can be their child's reading specialist, "If you are a Christian, also remember that God in His Word commands parents to instruct their children diligently in His ways, which includes reading His Word.  And those He calls, He always equips!"  (Sep/Oct 2011)  
Nuff said.

  • I don't by any means homeschool because I have something against the public schools...but look at this from HSLDA's publication (Sep/Oct 2011).  "A friend of mine, a public school principle,taught his daughter at home for six weeks when she was ill.  He went by her school every day and got her material and taught her at home at night.  He kept track of the time.  Six minutes a day.  That was how long it took him to teach her the first grade material she missed."  Even I can do that!  Whew. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jesse's been asking to have fire outside. Tonight we did.

We had a few neighbors stop by, including Stephan on the right, below. 

Look how nicely Luke is dressed....he wanted me to write that  ( :

I'm not sure if I post this already, but we postponed Josh's Eagle Court of Honor so that my mom could come.  Now we'll have it on 4 December.  There were no dates that were good for the troop/scout master in November. 

That's all for today (:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Luke scored a goal today!!

 After a day of soccer games from San Antonio to somewhere 100 miles away (for Josh's game), our family went out to eat, a rarity for us.  We were thrilled to have Colin join us too.  We ate at Chris Madrid's hamburger place.  A local eatery.  Excellent!

This is from January 2010.  I had posted it on Facebook and I wondered if it was still there in Facebook cyberspace.  I found it and here it is....

(JAN 2010)  Steve is gone at Scout camp with Luke and Josh, snowboarding, etc. I got dinner for Caroline, Jesse and Sophia and grabbed something for myself and was feeding some of it to Levi when he started to throw up. So I did what moms holding babies who are throwing up do, I caught it in my skirt to save the rug, etc.
Caroline comes upstairs and says Sophia threw up. I have Caroline watch Levi, who I had put  in the tub, and I go check out what's going on downstairs. Apparently Jesse had something yucky on his face, which most likely  escaped from his nose and he was getting a tissue. I guess carrying it on the end of his finger grossed out Sophia and she threw up her cucumber which made Jesse throw up his dinner all over the floor. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

"All I need to learn I learn on YouTube"

It's so true, isn't it?

Check out the "Homeschooled vs. Homeschooler" clip on YouTube.
While you're there you can also view "Annoying Homeschool Questions".  Luke says he gets these all the time.  I never hear them, but then, I'm not homeschooled.

Did you notice that I didn't post yesterday?  You did?!  Good.  I guess. I needed sleep!
Today Caroline did really well on her German test!   Yesterday she said it is easier learning the feminine, masculine and neuter articles in German because she had learned that in Latin.  That's the kind of stuff you want your "homeschooled"  kids to say (very loudly) in front of grandparents and neighbors.  If they don't, then it is requisite that you put it in your blog. 

Speaking of Latin, Steve told me that one of our friends (living in Korea) started using the Latin program that we use.  I told him about it incidentally a few months ago, not showing-off like above, when he stopped by our house during a TDY (temporary duty assignment to Fort Sam).  It's Latina Christiana.  Same company that provides Luke's online logic class.  
Luke and I learned a new German word today:  begreifen.  It means to comprehend, which is different than verstehen, which means to understand.

On our way to dinner at a friend's house.  They invited another family too.  We are three of the San Antonio families that go to ACTION Speech and Debate Club which is in New Braunfels (40-45 minutes away).

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


 Snippet 1:
 You have to watch the whole progression of this school-time activity....

It starts out innocent enough.

Luke said , "You have to take a picture!"


What a picture!  He's 2.

Time to clean up.  Back to school.

Snippet 2:  Caroline at horse riding lessons today.  She's learning to jump!

Snippet 3:
From last April....Josh fishing and Levi's my blog so I can post "old" clips if I want.

Snippet 4:  Welcome to my world.  We are teaching our 10 month old Golden Retriever, Darby, to "come".  Well tonight when I was leaving to take one of the kids to soccer, I said "come" to Levi so he would come from the kitchen to the front door to get in the car.  Immediately Darby comes.  So I have to explain to the dog in people language that I was talking to Levi and not to her.  I'm sure she understood every word.  

Snippet 5:  For years I've gone to bed and when my head hits the pillow and my eyes close (not sure which actually comes first), I think/thought, "What didn't I do today?"  About 2 years ago I somehow realized I should change that to, "What did I do today?"  Now, I sometimes skip the whole "what didn't I do" part and just go to "what did I do".  Well, today I didn't get to do Sophia's language lesson (gasp!- she's 7 so there's time to catch up), and we didn't read her history book about Marco Polo.  I don't know why I get stuck on the what-I-didn't-dos.  When we lived in Washington state, the compulsory age for starting school was 8.  Yup.  Kiddos didn't (don't) have to start school until they turn 8.  I could hold off for a few months on Sophia's school.  Hmmm. 

We did study Genghis Kahn and Kublai Kahn today.  They formed the Yuan Empire in the late 1200's, the biggest land empire ever, by brutality and destruction.   The empire was relatively short-lived, possibly in part due to the family divided it after Kublai Kahn's death.

 Snippet 6:  Josh got really sick right before his piano lesson today, so when the teacher came I had to tell her he couldn't have a lesson today.  She was understanding and sweet.  He had a headache and his stomach felt bad.  He slept most of the afternoon.  Tylenol finally helped and he ate some soup and toast. 

Snippet 7:  The phone rang during Luke's soccer practice at about 8:30 tonight.  Right away I thought it was him calling saying he got hurt again. I'm a little concerned that something like a dislocated shoulder will happen again.   But, it was Steve calling from the DC area. He's there for a course this week.  He called last night in the evening and we had about 3 uninterrupted minutes of conversation when a loud, high-pitched scream started from somewhere in the house.  It was Levi calling me from the upstairs bathroom.  I told Steve to hold on while I checked it out.  Josh, was in his nearby bedroom but had not heard the obstreperous screaming.  Well, Levi was on the potty which was now clogged due to the immense of TP he put in it.  The floor and wall had toilet paper stuck to it.  I wasn't sure how toilet paper was stuck to the wall but I told Levi I had to go get the plunger and I'd be right back. 
 I picked up the phone and told Steve I had to go to unclog the potty, clean up the toilet paper and get Sophia to gymnastics in the next 5 minutes.   Welcome to my world again.  

Snippets:   Were the snippets about school?  I don't know.  Life is school.  School is life. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Not a good day

I don't think the reason it wasn't a good day was related to school.  It was related to attitudes.  I can't figure out if my attitude in general is the cause for negative attitudes during school.  Are the kids simply reacting to how I react(ed) over the years? 

I just expect different that what we have. 

On a positive note, I had a writing class with Jesse and Caroline today.  This is second time for me to use Excellence in Writing and it is easier to do it the second time!  Maybe they like it better than Luke and Josh did too. 

It's also like that with the history.  It took 4 1/2 years to get through a cycle of history and I had to (re)learn most of it with the kids so it took alot of time.  I'm more familiar with it now that we are going through it for the 2nd time and that makes it easier too. 

We use a classical history curriculum which means in 4 years we go through the history of the world, then once we're done, we start over again.   So, the kids can actually go through history 3 times during their schooling.  Each time they have progressively harder, more mature sources.  The first stage is grammar for about grades 1-5 or 1-6.  Then dialectic for grades 6-9, and rhetoric for 9-12.  You can choose when your kids are ready for the next highest level.  Last year for Luke he did some dialectic and some rhetoric.  This year he is doing rhetoric work.  

Grammar- learning facts
Dialectic- trying to understand the facts they learned
Rhetoric- the science of communication and the art of expression

In Bible study we are studying Job this week.  Today we read about Job's first test (Job 1:1-22).  Job remained faithful.  He knew he had nothing left but God and God would be enough for him (Calvary Chapel Kids).  He had a good foundation.  Man does this relate to homeschooling, or what?!

We also read about the power we have access to.  Luke 10:19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do I like homeschooling?

Since my conversation yesterday with Tara about her missing homeschooling, I've really been thinking about whether I like homeschooling.  Until yesterday my answer was pretty much,  "No, but I feel called."  But then my neighbor, Jen, and I were talking about Todd Wilson's homeschool comics, and one of them has a woman who is graduating her last child realizing that after 22 years of homeschooling, she likes homeschooling.  I don't want to be like that. If I like homeschooling, I want to realize it now, not when I'm done.   

I don't think I need to change what I'm doing as much as what I'm thinking.  Actually, I'm not sure that I like running that much (and I run marathons!).  I like the accomplishment.  I like burning enough calories to justify eating my requisite (daily) chocolate.  Ah ha.  Homeschooling is like running a marathon.  I'm not sure if that's helpful insight.  It was during my first marathon that I realized the race wasn't just 26 miles.  Marathons are 26.2 miles.  When we were close to the 26th mile, the guy I was running with said, "Only 0.2 more miles."  What?!  I couldn't believe I didn't know about that extra 0.2.  I wanted to be done at 26.  It really wasn't much more than I planned, but mentally I was planning to be done at 26.  I saw a t-shirt at a recent marathon that said, "Marathons:  desire trumping reason."  I guess that could be a homeschool t-shirt too, "Homeschooling:  desire trumping reason."  I kinda like that. 

After reading Lee Binz's article on cooking the other day, I started to think that maybe it's not the homeschooling I don't like but keeping up with the home part...wash, cooking, cleaning- yuk.  And the interruptions make it hard too.  Todd Wilson has another cartoon that makes me laugh so hard I cry.  It's of the homeschooling mom trying to explain what an adjective is and getting interrupted so many times that after an hour and a half she finally explains adjectives.   "An adjective you can't go to the bathroom now...An adjective it's not lunch time...An adjective you can't get a drink..." (Todd Wilson).

Moving on....Josh is no longer doing logic class this semester.  He seemed to have too much going on and I thought he needed his workload decreased a little.  He still has a few more years to take a logic class. 

Today after school I worked on Josh's Eagle Scout Court of Honor which is the ceremony where he receives his Eagle rank.   The scout and his family can format the ceremony the way they wish.  I took Luke's and tweaked it to shorten it.  Josh wants his short and sweet followed only by simply cake and punch.  The ceremony is this Sunday. 

Sophia, my 7 yo, is studying seed germination so we have some seeds in their warm, wet place, well, germinating.  Here's some pictures....

Lima beans in wet felt.

I think these are the cucumber seeds...

Seed germination is occurrs when growth of the radicle bursts through the seed coat and protrudes as a young root...see the root?!  We have a bursting radicle.

Lingering in our kitchen....the felt with the seeds stays wet in the glass jar.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I bet the laundry rooms in heaven have sinks.

Ok, really I bet we won't have to do laundry in heaven, but if we do, I bet there will be sinks right there next to the washers to soak dirt stains, etc.  We don't have one in this house, but it would be soooo helpful if we did.

In the glass-is-full view of laundry, I'm am glad that I have a washer and dryer that work.

But, on the topic of homeschooling.  This is the first year since I started homeschooling that I haven't been pregnant and/or nursing.  Yes, and/or.  I was nursing last year until almost the end of the school year.   When I'm pregnant I am sick from about 4 weeks until the baby is born which makes school, shall we say, challenging.  I would often fall asleep while reading to the kids.  They were never so quiet as when I fell asleep during school.  When I'm nursing, I try to teach/tutor/administrate, and yes, cook,  while cradling a baby, or while having a toddler nurse and stick his/her leg way up in the air like a trapeze artist.  Also challenging.  But, not this year.  No nausea.  No circus maneuvers.   Just the dreaded active toddler.  With Sophia and Levi I had someone come in to help watch them a few hours a few days a week (as much as we could afford!).   Rachel started coming last fall when she was available.  She's graduating from grad school in December and then has a job in Kansas City. 

On days when she doesn't come I sometimes have the kids rotate to play with Levi for a little during school. When Sophia was young she would entertain herself for hours.  Not Levi. Nope.  He says "Mom" every 3 seconds.  If he's quiet it's usually because someone turned the TV on for him.  A no-no.  It would be easy if I let him watch TV for a few hours each day, but I really don't think that's good for him so I don't do it. 

With 3 kids in braces, we need to use the babysitting money to pay for the braces.  So, I'm going to have to figure out how to engage Levi without a babysitter to help.  In the past I read all the forums and blogs with ideas for homeschooling with toddlers.  I think the only recommendation that worked was duck tape.  But my other kids are really against their little brother being duck-taped.  Again...just kidding. I didn't really find any good ideas for remaining sane while hsing with a toddler.

Change of subject....

I made some cupcakes today.  I goggled "Easy vanilla cupcakes".  I should have added "tasty".  The cupcakes were terrible.  Well, dry.  The icing was my standard so it came out good and chocolaty.

Steve made Sausage- Zucchini Soup.  Very good. 

Here's Levi enjoying the icing at least...

Facebook sent me a notification about something and I actually clicked on it.  I found out that one of my friends, Tara, from Fort Polk (6 years ago) is living on post here!  I called her right away.  She said she saw my blog and saw how big the  kids got, and that my blog made her miss homeschooling.  Miss homeschooling?!  I said, you are just remembering the good stuff.  It made me realize that one day when I am not hsing any longer I'll probably say the same thing.  What an epiphany.  Maybe I really like homeschooling!?  I really have to think about that.  She said, "Yeah. it's like childbirth."  I never thought I liked it as much as I felt called to do it.
(Deuteronomy 6:6-7  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.)

Caroline scored a goal today! (Saturday)

I got to spend some time with Josh today (SATURDAY).  All by ourselves.  We talked.  It was so nice!  I took him to Cabela's. 

Caroline scored a goal today!  I actually had my camera out and turned on, but I was watching the play and didn't get a picture!  I took a few pics at her game and then the battery ran out.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Am I just a widdle big Mom?"

 Levi is so excited about the Oktoberfest on post this weekend.  The other night when he was going to bed he said, "What time does the Oktoberfest start?"  He wants to go on the swing ride that he saw them putting up, but I said it might be for bigger people. He really wants to go on it and today he said, "Am I just a widdle big Mom?"  Too cute.

We had speech class today.  Sophia, Jesse and Caroline all had to memorize a poem or Bible verse and recite it today.  I didn't see any of them doing it, but it went well for all of them.   After the kids recite, the other kids critique them-  what they did well and what they can improve on.  We meet in a church about 40 minutes away.

Here's a few pics.....

See Jesse in the back by the orange bag?

See Sophia in the back?

The teen class...Luke and Josh laughing.

Teens teach the teens...

The San Antonio Group

Luke, Josh, Caroline, Olivia and Aislyn

Today's Bible Study:
Gen 45-46
Israel (Jacob) sets out to go to Egypt. This is the beginning of the
time that Israel dwells in the land of Egypt. The sons and families
of Jacob prospered in Egypt for many years; however, we read in
Exodus, that they eventually became slaves to the Egyptians. God
will hear the cries of his people and, again, deliver them gloriously.
God takes care of His people. God works all things together for
good to those who love Him.

Gen 46:1-6
Jacob, who is also called Israel, headed to Egypt with his family. He
made a sacrifice to God, and God spoke to Jacob in a vision. God
gave Jacob the promise that he would make a great nation of Jacob
in Egypt. God also promised he would bring the nation back again.
(This promise, the exodus, would be fulfilled 400 years later.)
Sometimes, God asks us to do new and difficult things, but He
promises to be with us, to guide us, and to provide for us. God
works all things together for good to those who love Him.

GENES 46:31-34
Joseph and his father’s family were all shepherds. The Egyptians
did not respect shepherds, but Joseph made sure that the
Egyptians knew his family tended sheep. This allowed Joseph’s
family to live apart from the Egyptians and establish themselves as
a separate nation, just as God had promised to make of them. They
maintained a separate identity and did not become like the

Gen 50:15-21
It is amazing how that God can turn the things that were meant for
evil into things that are good. If we go through a difficult time, we
can be confident, God will turn things meant for evil to things that
are good for us too! Romans 8:31 declares, “If God is for us, who
can be against us? We can give Him all our cares and trust Him. If
we have Joseph’s attitude and realize that God is working for good
in our lives, we will not be bitter about our circumstances. God
works all things together for good to those who love Him.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Coping through not cooking...

 Below is an article by Lee Binz about not cooking.  I don't like to cook.   Baking, I like, but not cooking the mundane meals 2-3 times a day. 

But before I get to the article, I want to mention that the kids, Darby and I (minus Luke and Josh) went for a walk this morning.  It was so nice.  Sophia and Levi, mostly Sophia, picked some wild flowers.

Aren't they beautiful?!  They smell great too!

Coping through not cooking, by Lee Binz
One of the difficult parts of homeschooling is not the schooling itself.  It’s the “home” part.  The part where we cook, clean, maintain, organize, and sort our lives.  Balancing home and schooling is the hard part.  Relatively speaking, the school part isn’t that tough!
(Not our dinner table)
When I was homeschooling, one way that I coped was by cooking as little as possible.  Don’t get me wrong, I like cooking, and my family has always loved the meals I provide.  We ate every meal together as a family, at the dining table every night.  Still, my goal was to cook as little as possible.
Freezer cooking, cooking in large quantities less frequently, became a standard.  Although I didn’t cook as little as once a month, as many books suggest, I did do large-batch cooking every few weeks.  It really helped me feed my wonderful family while cooking less often.
If you are interested in freezer cooking, my favorite books are these:
There were simple and straight-forward, nothing fancy, and they provided great instruction on how to take my regular home-cooking and adapt it for freezer cooking.  If you get the books, you could almost plan your entire holiday meal ahead of time, and have a much more relaxed family celebration!
My other method for cooking less has become a standard household joke around here.  Costco.  I relied on Costco.  Costco lasagna, salad mixes…  See, I’m not too embarrassed to confess it!  I’m really being brutally honest here! My best meals have come from Costco!  Especially as the kids got older, and their activities took us away from home more often, I began to rely heavily on Costco meals.  Sadly, I can’t do that as much anymore.  You’re not going to believe this, but when you don’t have children at home, it’s possible for the Costco-sized chicken to get a freezer burn before you can use it up.  I’m not kidding.
My children are cooking for themselves in college now.  They regularly shop at Costco.  They put meals in the freezer at the beginning of the week.  They can cook for themselves AND make stellar grades, because they have learned to cook as little as possible too!
My apologies to all my friends who grind their own wheat and cook organic all the time.  I hope you’ll still love me!
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