Sunday, December 29, 2013

TTD Early Bird Registration ends December 31

I wanted to share an awesome opportunity with you guys.

If you are not familiar with the Teach Them Diligently Conventions and you are a parent or especially a homeschooling parent, you will want to check this out.

Maybe you need encouragement, want to network, maybe you just need fresh ideas in your home educating journey or you are seriously considering homeschooling, this is a great place to do that.  The focus is:  Christian homeschooling, parenting and discipleship.

There are 4 locations for the 2014 convention.  (I'm currently in the process of deciding which location will work best for us. Mommy trip - woo hoo!)  There are several great speakers, tons of workshops and of course the marketplace to check out curriculum and general parent helps. I seriously can't wait to go! 

Anyway, the early bird registration discount ends December 31, 2013.  So hurry and check out the details for the Teach Them Diligently Convention here.

Maybe I'll see you there?!  :)

Teach Them Diligently Homeschool Convention 2014

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snow Ice Cream

Well, this week we got a lot of this....

so we were able to enjoy this.....

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A friend of our family was telling us how she had made snow ice cream the night of a big snowfall.  When the girls heard that, there was no going back.  

We came home the same night and took advantage of the snowfall that was happening and turned it into an after dinner "delicacy".

We were surprised at how simple the recipe was.  I once again apologize for the lack of nutritional content of one of my posted recipes, but I promise we ate our broccoli for dinner. 

We found this recipe here

1 gallon of snow (fresh clean and colorless, of course)
1 c white sugar
2 c milk
1 T vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.  Optional: freeze for a short time before eating. The red dots on ours are sprinkles.

Their excitement was overwhelming.  : )  I love making fun memories like this!

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I hope you'll have the chance to try it this winter.  If you live in a warm climate, I guess store bought will have to suffice ; ) 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Oh the irony! Tis the season of giving pt. 1

This week, I received these two brochures in the same delivery. The irony was too much for my eyes [heart] to bear.  If you can't tell what they are, they are two very different catalogues.  One is for luxury dolls and accessories, the other is a gift catalog for a humanitarian organization.

So, don't get me wrong.  I'm not bashing those who own one of these overly priced dolls.  Who doesn't enjoy seeing the joy on their child's face when they get a gift that they realllly like and which of us does not like buying things for our kids?!  Besides, we ALL spend our excess in different waysNo judging here.

Anyway, I was curious what the price of one doll in our country could buy for those in need just to put things into I began comparing and here's what I got:

1 doll w/ book            =               1 small business loan for  a woman 
                                                        1 goat and 2 small chickens (16 c of fresh              
                                                           milk per day and fresh eggs

1 doll stroller              =                 $250 of necessities  for homeless or           
                                                         needy families in the USA

1 sparkle doll dress   =                hope for sexually exploited girls (safe    
                                                        shelter, counseling, food, vocational 
                                                        training, etc. 

1 puffy doll jacket & shoes   =   $350 worth of medical supplies overseas

I hope this was as profound to you as it was me?!  

May we never stop blessing, loving and giving to our own children and families, but may we also NEVER never forget those who are hurting, suffering and who go without on a daily basis. 

Tis the season of giving!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our 2013-2014 Curriculum

Yes, it's mid December, we are slowly beginning our Christmas break and I'm posting about our curriculum...but I haven't posted our curriculum choices for the year and I wanted to do that before the year is gone : (

I really enjoy seeing what other homeschool families choose to use in their studies, so I thought this post may be of interest to some?!  I've also chatted with several friends recently who are considering educating their children at home and don't know where to start. So, I'm giving them my two cents. 

You can probably tell from our choices that our style is very eclectic with a mix of approaches - classical, Charlotte Mason, and even some unschooling thrown in the mix.  I'm all about taking it a year at a time, even a semester at a time (heck, one day at a time) to see what works best for us.

Here's where we're at:

"Tot" School
  • Letter of the Week Curriculum (when she's up for it)
  • a LOT of puzzles (she loves them)
  • manipulatives (counting bears, lacing, patterns)
  • much playing, Playdoh, baking and fun


1st Grade 

Some things I'm considering adding some other items for the spring semester:
Grapevine Bible Studies and Road Trip USA.

This is what we are doing this year - thus far.  However, I'm all about adjusting if something doesn't seem like a good fit or appropriate for their level. That's one of the beauties of homeschooling : )

I would enjoy hearing what curriculum you use for homeschooling if you have a minute?!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

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Ever had Pineapple Upside Down Cake? Well, you may or may not remember this recipe, but I do.  When I was little, my grandmother made this yummy dessert for most holidays and gatherings, at which  I would enjoy scraping off the pineapple and brown sugar topping (and the cherry when no one was looking).

I have since found another cake that is the cousin of that recipe.  The Cranberry Upside Down Cake. It is so easy peasy to make and is quite healthy for you.  OK, OK, maybe the second part isn't true.  In fact, far from it!  Regardless, this is my go to dessert for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties.  

The clash between sweet brown sugar and tart cranberries is quite pleasing to the palette : ) Not to mention that the cranberries are perfectly in season for the holidays.

Here's what you need to do to make it happen.

1 box of cake mix (yellow or golden butter) and eggs/butter
1 bag of fresh cranberries (rinsed and dried)
1/2-3/4 c of brown sugar
1 stick of butter

Step 1:  In a cake pan, add slices/pats of butter then sprinkle the brown sugar and add the bag of cranberries.

Step 2:  Heat in the oven until the butter is melted - about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Step 3:  Prepare the cake mix according to the box.

Step 4:  Pour the cake mix over the mixture in the cake pan.  Bake according to box instructions.

Step 5:  Take out of the oven, allow to cool.  Use a butter knife to loosen cake from the edge of the pan.

Step 6: Place a cookie sheet (with wax paper) or a large pretty platter on top of the pan and flip.  Hence - the upside down part.  ; )


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

10 things I want our daughters to know

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1. No one will ever be capable of loving you like the One who created you. 
2. You are amazingly beautiful and unique inside and out. You are fearfully and 
    wonderfully made. 

3. Be globally minded. The U.S. is only one country of many, but be thankful 
     for your freedom.

4. There is a great big world out there with a lot of people and a lot of needs. 
     Have compassion. Serve.

5. You were created with a purpose!  Find out what it is and live it fully.

6. We are far from perfect, but we promise to do our best to love you, guide 

    you and point you towards the One who gave you to us in the first place.

7. People (including us) will let you down - just look up!

8. Dating... sure, you can make that decision when you are 18.  We aren't 

9. Your worth will never be summed up in your dress size, your IQ, the 

    amount of friends on your Facebook page or your future career path and

10. Our doors and hearts will always always be open to you.

We are eternally grateful for these four precious gifts!