Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Substitute Home-school Teacher

I need a sub. Can I call in today?

The cold I tried my best to ignore by hoping it was just allergies, is hitting me hard today. I feel rotten. I have a bad cough. My nose is runny. And the worst of it, I can hardly speak.

You mommas know how hard it is to keep up with 4 kids and a puppy when you can’t speak?!

I just want a cup of tea and a warm blanket.

And maybe some chocolate.

But there is no sub to call.  And though the kids are pitching in and doing all they can, they still need me. So, I’m doing what I can and letting go of much of my to-do list.

And school?

I suppose we could call it off for the day.

It wouldn’t be the end of the world.

But then my girl sat down and read the book about the Revolutionary War, the one I had planned for this week’s school work.

And my boy pitched in and read a story to his baby brother, picking through the hard words and never giving up.

My baby girl created a magnificent piece of art work, using crayons, popsicle sticks, and a foam star.

Danny volunteered to lead the prayer and do the morning meeting.

Mary said she’d teach Danny’s math lesson.

Maybe they don’t need me as much as I think they do!

But, I’d still like that sub.

Wonder if she’d do dishes and laundry…

Friday, October 14, 2011

{This Moment}

{this moment}

A Friday ritual.

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Ginger’s first moments in her new home.

Sharing today SouleMama. Hope you’ll head over there and share, too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


It’s a little early, but my mind is on Thanksgiving.

Specifically, the baskets our church will put together and deliver.

I’m making the rough draft of the shopping list tonight.

And I keep getting stuck.

I want to help people, I just don’t know if a cardboard box full of potatoes is enough.

So many people are struggling. I want to help them shoulder their burden. But their burden is being shouldered for me.

The government has so many programs to help. How is the box I pack going to make a significant difference in their life?

I’m afraid it won’t.

People need more than food.

They need us to care. They need us to love.

God has blessed us richly in the ways that matter. His love… The love of His people…

So how do we put that in a Thanksgiving Basket?

I want it to be more than just food for their bellies.

So, I added this list to the bottom of our Thanksgiving Basket shopping list.

~A pretty tablecloth… A nice candle or two… A pumpkin…
A football… A few fun things for the kids… A great magazine…
A pretty serving bowl… A favorite cookbook…
Homemade bread… A jar of preserves…
Copies of your favorite recipes with you favorite
Bible verse and loving words printed on the back…
Fresh fall flowers…


Still, it just doesn’t seem enough.

Is there a worthy sacrifice I can make? How can I make them feel God’s LOVE?

Any suggestions? I sure could use your help.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Authentic Learning Experiences

I love when learning happens in very real ways.

A guest speaker, Gray Eagle, came to speak to at our kids’ Homeschool Academy (it’s a wonderful group that meets for classes once a week) on Monday. It was fun watching them learn about Native American culture in our state.

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Later in the week, we had a field trip to a local apple orchard.

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We went with great friends from the homeschool academy.

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We learned how apples get picked, processed, and packaged and make their way to our fridge.

And my boy held hands with a girl… Ahem…

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Later in the week, we had a special visitor in our front yard.

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Eastern Box Turtles are protected around here. They are a rare sight in our yard.

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The kids watched the turtle and gently patted it’s back. I did not allow them to pick it up or move it in any way. These are special slow movers, so after a brief visit we hurried the kids back inside to watch from the living room window as it went on it’s way.

A little later, I pulled out this lovely apple crate that I bought when we were on our field trip to the orchard.

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Mary wanted to help me paint it, so I turned over the jar of milk paint and my foam brush. Look at that concentration!

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She did a lovely job, learning to paint and watch for drips. I now have a lovely crate to store our bonfire supplies (candles, tablecloth, paper plates, etc.).

And while we did not “do” homeschool this week while my honey was on vacation, we enjoyed some of the very best kinds of lessons!

Learning from real life experiences, making amazing memories, and having fun all the way… That’s my kind of learning!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Apple Butter

My kitchen is full of the smell of apples, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Heavenly.


And it’s so easy!

To see my recipe for crock-pot apple butter, click here.


You won’t regret it.

Seriously yummy.

Unbelievable easy.

This year, I did peel the apples, hoping to avoid using the food mill ‘cause I’m lazy like that today. Seriously, I plan to have a bonfire tonight and I need life to be easy.  But either way, this stuff is good. Really, really good.

So grab a bag of apples at your local orchard, a gallon of cider, and a crock-pot. You won’t regret it when you are eating that rich apple butter in January. Oh, my…



Sharing today at:


Saturday, October 1, 2011

A Good Day…

Some days are just… Good.

My boy read “If You Give A Moose A Muffin,” giggling all the way.

My laundry got done… well, except for that load I meant to hang out. Guess that’ll go on the line in the morning.

My baby boy fell asleep in my arms. I kissed his little nose. A lot.

The sun was shining and my kiddos were playing in the yard. Meanwhile, a certain, very much used and slightly mistreated porch swing got that stain that I’ve been promising it for so long.

Then, after popping some baked beans into the oven to bake, we headed outside yet again. My kiddos played on the giant dirt pile left from the work we had done in our barn. I built a nice little fire in the fire pit.

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My honey brought home chocolate bars and a bottle of Oliver Black Cherry.

Then, there were hotdogs. And there were marshmallows with chocolate and graham cracker s’more goodness.

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And there were sparklers.

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And it was good... A very good day…