Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Springtime Gifts

93. White baskets...mounded over with bright red strawberries.
94. chubby hands....holding bright red strawberries...juice running down arms and chins
95. smiling faces...wind blowing through hair...laughter...riding go-carts
96. baby girl...giggling...splashing water in the tub
97. brothers...laughing...making mud puddles...getting muddy
98. the house almost finished getting ready to sell...closer and closer to the mountain
99. boys who like to work alongside daddy...training to be wise men and leaders of their homes
100. God working on me...changing me...revealing who he wants me to become...never letting me get comfortable

Friday, April 25, 2008

Another Busy Day in the Kitchen

Today was another busy day in the kitchen. Yesterday the boys and I picked another two gallons of strawberries. So since Chris was home today finishing up the tile job in the bathroom the boys were occupied "helping" daddy.

I decided to make the best of my time, so I made banana bread, strawberry bread, strawberry butter, homemade granola, homemade yogurt and a nice big supper.

I had been wanting to make granola for awhile. I have a running of list of things that I would like to find a substitute for. The less I depend on pre-packaged foods the better off our health will be.

Here are a few of the things for which I would like to find a healthier option:

-chocolate chips- (the ones I buy currently contain soy as a preservative)
-juice- (again the organic apple pear juice is from concentrate and contains natural flavor..aka..soy) fresh pressed juice would be much better. I found some last trip to the store, but it wasn't organic)
-granola bars-the boys enjoy granola bars occasionally for a quick snack. I have found several recipes that I would like to try.
gum-the boys love to chew gum. They can reach the drawer that it is in and sometimes chew several pieces a day. I thought I was buying a better kind Trident with Xylitol. I looked more closely at the ingredient list and it also contains aspartame (Yikes!)

who is still learning and making changes day by day to better care for my family.

date is wrong on above post..should be Tuesday 4/29

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Day for the Record Books

Today was a day for the record books. I accomplished so much I can't believe I got everything done.

We set out this morning to go pick up our food from the co-op. We then met some friends and went to the strawberry patch and picked two gallons of berries. After the strawberry patch we went to the farmer's market and bought some eggs, sweet potatoes, greens and salad mix. We then headed over to have lunch with some friends.

After a nice visit with our friends which included lunch, viewing eggs in a nest and lots of playtime we came home for rest.

While the children napped, I set the bread to rising, and cleaned up the kitchen and living room. Boo woke up first and helped me grind the grain for our afternoon of baking. He then helped me mix up the strawberry bread. I decided to bake it in a bundt pan instead of two loaf pans. (so it would look more like a cake...for the boys) Of course we used sucanat as a sweetner instead of white sugar and I only used one cup of sweetener instead of two. We used freshly ground spelt flour (2 cups) and (1 1/8 cup) organic white flour. Instead of vegetable oil I used 1 cup of apple sauce and 1/4 cup butter.

Bo woke up next and he helped me make butter. Our five gallons of milk had been sitting in the frig overnight and the cream had risen to the top, so we scooped about 1/3 cup of cream off of each gallon and put it in the blender. Bo then made our butter. He did a great job watching it and stopping the blender when the yellow butter seperated from the liquid. We then squeezed it out with a cheesecloth and put it in the frig.

We also made some strawberry butter to use as icing for our cake. I softened a stick of butter to room temperature and put it in the blender with 4 strawberries and a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup. It was wonderful!

When I gave Boo a piece of cake with the strawberry butter on it, he licked it off and said he wanted more cake.

The boys helped me wash the dishes and then decided they wanted to play outside.

So, with Lora watching me from the highchair, I made a batch of strawberry muffins for breakfast.

My mom and brother came over and then we fixed hamburgers for supper.

I still can't believe I accomplished all of that in one day.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Field of Flowers

Sometimes its nice for someone who loves you to show you they love you! Chris is a wonderful husband and last night he did something he didn't have to do to show love to me.

Across the road from our house, is a small field that quickly gets overgrown with kudzu each spring and summer. Since we are putting our house on the market soon, he thought it would look better if the field across the road was mowed. So a couple of weeks ago he mowed the field. After the mowing the beautiful daffodils were very noticeable as well as some smaller white flowers called false garlic.

Well he comes home yesterday from work early so he can mow our grass and the field again. I make the comment that I have really been enjoying the flowers. So he gets the weedeater out and weed eats around the tree and all of the individual clumps of daffodils and false garlic. This takes probably thirty minutes longer.

It's nice to be shown love:-)


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Gifts to Cherish

93. An outing with Boo....to the strawberry patch....holding the bucket....picking berries....juice running down his chin.
94. Baby kisses..mouth open...wet...sweet
95. fresh, cold milk
96. picking daffodils with the boys
97. a quiet dinner with Chris...and Shater

Delaying Academics

Here is an informative article on the delaying of academics. The author stresses the importance of play and developing gross motor skills before being taught to read and write. This seems to be especially important for boys.

Still Learning...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tasting and Seeing

Taste and see that the Lord is good;... Psalms 34:8

It is true, he has been and continues to be so good to me. Life happens: broken cups, laundry piles, arguing brothers, children testing the limits and suddenly I forget how good he has been to me.

To often my goal each day is to see how many items I can check off of my to-do list. Not, right now honey; in a minute I'll hold you. As I think back over my days this phrase seems to be repeated often.

I've become an expert at being in the room with my children and not really being with them.


God tells me to taste and see that he is good. Tasting his good and perfect gifts take time. If I am not slowly savoring the gifts he has given, then my heart is less likely to swell with gratitude.

The KJV with Strong's defines the word see in this verse as observe, look at, give attention to.

I had one of those moments today. The kind that stops time. A moment that I want to remember forever. The kind that makes me want to freeze the world around me and walk around in frozen time looking, noting, etching it on my memory forever.

My boy looking like a young man. Dressed in baseball pants and his daddy's cap. The cap sitting crooked on his head. So handsome and fresh I just wanted to hug him and not let go.
We played baseball with a stick and oversized kickball. Laughter, giggles, running; just enjoying one another. I realize he is almost the same age as some of the children I taught, but he is my little boy, still so young, so fresh, so impressionable.

How many moments do I let pass by like this everyday...

From now on I savor, work can wait...

I'm off now to enjoy my little ones


is an related post on savoring God's gifts.

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Quiet Growing

In this time of extraordinary pressure, educational and social, perhaps a mother's first duty to her children is to secure for them a quiet growing time, a full six years of passive receptive life, the waking part of it spent for the most part in the fresh air. -Miss Mason, Home Education Pg. 43

If Miss Mason could only see the extraordinary pressure placed upon the children of today! I can say this with a bit of authority because I taught in a Kindergarten classroom for three years. It was my experience that children hardly had time to laugh, play, explore, and create. I wish I had known about Miss Mason's works and methods when I taught. Instead, pressure was placed on the teacher for the children to perform.

This pressure that arises when twenty children are placed in the care of one teacher is almost unavoidable. Especially when the expectations are also handed down and testing is conducted periodically throughout the year to make sure these expectations are being achieved. For the most part, the children never even know what they are missing out on, because to thier excitement they are finally in school.
It is this pressure, this dizzying pace that accompanies learning in a testing oriented atmosphere that I want to avoid with my own children.
I remember as a teacher trying to get all of the subjects in every day. This left little room for exploring and playing, which are extremely important to children.

Miss Mason said it best:

for of the evils of modern education few are worse than this-that the perpetual cackle of his elders leaves the poor child not a moment of time nor an inch of space, wherein to wonder- and grow.

Sometimes I think I'm sure that Bo could be learning to read already, he is sooo intelligent!

Then I remember ...

-work will come soon enough.

So for now, we have chosen a different path, a road less traveled in a time when all children are expected to go to preschool at 3 and 4, and Kindergarten at 5.

We have chosen to allow a quiet growing to take place in the hearts and minds of our children.
Is the world so boring to a child that they cannot be satisfied exploring God's creation?

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

Each day is a gift from above when all of creation is declaring the glory of our God! (Psalms 19:1)
So, if all of creation speaks as to who God is, I want my children to be listening!

So, at our house you will find we have chosen a flower garden over handwriting practice, the sandbox over letter drills, daddy's tools over number flashcards, looking for worms over video games and just being in God's creation over the television.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Considering His Gifts

83. Watching the boys delight when we found a lizard.
84. Hearing Shater's babbles
85. A timely gift from a friend.
86. cool, juicy cantaloupe
87. A spontaneous hug and kiss from Bo.
88. homemade plain yogurt mixed with fruit and maple syrup
89. full pool level at county's water supply lake
90. 4 tiny eggs in the bluebird house.
91. Watching Bo and Boo run all over the yard with dogs and giggling, giggling, giggling!
92. Watching Shater's excitement when the dogs or cat gets near her.