Sunday, February 24, 2008

Veggies anyone?

Dinner Friday Night

First a smoothie made with Dandelion Greens, plain yogurt, an orange, banana and lots of frozen blueberries.

Next, chicken tenders made with Butternut Squash puree coating

Butternut Squash puree and eggs

Breading the Chicken after it's dipped in egg/squash mixture

Cooking in Safflower Oil

The Finished Product

These nuggets are so good.  If you're gonna fry chicken, this is the way to do it. :)  The squash makes the batter sweet and light and gives it that pretty golden color.

My kids loved this meal, even the dandelion green smoothie.  I loved this meal because it tasted great and the kids ate their vegetables tonight without any fuss.  And yes, they knew what they were eating. 

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Birthday Celebrations!

We had a birthday to celebrate this week.  My Wee Little Mango turned two!

I've added a photo show below with pictures from the last two years.  I had been thinking, being number 5, I didn't have very many pictures of him.  Oops, I was wrong!  Digital cameras allow even child #5 to have tons of pictures taken of them. Make sure to mute the player on the right to hear the music.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Four Year Old Funny

I tried to find a recent picture of my 4 year old, all of them have him posing in a similar fashion. *sigh*  He's not holding a gun.  I don't know what he's holding, something he found out in the desert that just works well for a gun.  But then again, what doesn't.

Here's the funny:

While we were driving this afternoon we had the radio on.  Some commercial was on for Trader Joe's soup.  As the ad went on and on, they paid for some air time with that one, my four year old picked up on one of the lines "other soups struggle to be like our soup".  I heard my little guy from behind me say, "Struggle?  Mommy, did he say the soup was struggling?" 
Yep, I assured him, that's what they said. 
His reply, "Soup can't struggle!"

No, it surely can't.  So the moral here is, my four year old has already figured out the deceptive practices of advertisers and isn't falling for them.


Monday, February 18, 2008

School today

I rarely post about an actual school day here on homeschool blogger.  It's not because we don't do school, it's because I can't imagine anyone really wants to hear about our school day!   I enjoy reading some blogs that give details of their day, we're just not that exciting over here.

However, in the interest of trying to preserve some type of memory of us working together, I will try to journal what we did today.  We actually accomplished quite a bit of work, which makes this a good day to journal.

E. age 10 I read to her from This Country of Ours.  We discovered King William's War and Queen Anne's War together.  I, personally, can not remember what we read about that war.      E does a much better job at narration than I do! 

I also read to her from George Washington's World where we learned about Phillis Wheatley and her incredible poetry that amazed all who read it.  We celebrated w/ the marriage of George and Martha Washington as well as the marriage of King, George the III and Princess Charlotte.   We dreamed alongside a young Thomas Jefferson as he imagined his home on top of the mountain.  We went to college with him where he learned about & became entranced with Roman Architecture which influence can be seen on his "Home on top of the Mountain", Monticello, as well as the University of Virginia, the university he helped design.  I shared with E. about the year Daddio and I spent in Charlottesville and Daddio at UVA in particular.  I'll have to share our photos with her tomorrow.  We also saw the end to the bloody Seven Years War, where in the end, nothing was really gained or loss except for human life.   We also learned alongside Goethe as he discovers the complexities of humans.  How can someone be good and bad?  How can someone have the right idea's and yet be wrong?  We discovered how Goethe was able to learn and come to see two sides of an issue and to hope to not be as quick to judge in the future until he has a chance to view both sides of an issue.

We also read from Abigail Adams:  Witness to a Revolution.  We struggled alongside Abigail from her long absence from her beloved John as he left their home in MA to travel to Philadelphia to be part of the First Continental Congress.  What a love story these two have.

E. also read a couple of chapters from Kidnapped, a book she says she really likes and I keep forgetting to have her narrate to me.  oops!  Perhaps this would be a good book for her to narrate in pen and paint.

We also read the second chapter in our George Washington Carver book for Beyond Five in a Row.  Todays lessons centered around Science and nature.  Her writing lessons entailed going outside and observing the trees in our yard.  She was to identify the tree, feel the bark, describe what she feels, draw a picture of the tree and make a charcoal rubbing of the bark.  She also needed to write a paper on what interests her in science or nature.  She naturally picked fish.   Her paper was lacking, well, anything that would make it a writing assignment.  I told her she has a nice outline going, tomorrow we'll work on turning it into an actual paper.  *sigh*

I won't bore you more with details of math, handwriting and grammar.

A. age 8 we read from An Island Story about how King Charles the first was killed.  Depending on what side of the fence you stand on would determine if you called his death murder or justice. 

We finished up our book about John Bunyan's life, John Bunyan, TheTinker of Bedford by William Deal  .  I really enjoyed this book.  It was a nice departure from reading Pilgrims Progress, again. LOL 

In This Country of Ours. we struggled alongside the early Virginia settlers as Powhattan died and the peace that everyone enjoyed ended with a bloody deception and massacre.   We also learned how women were introduced to the colonies.  For 150 british pounds, you could get yourself a nice wife fresh from the Motherland, with a strong reminder they were not their to be your servants!  

We also continued along w/ the Beverly children in Children of the New Forest as they continue to live their lives as Children of the forest rather than the aristocracy that they really are during the turbulent years of fighting between the Roundheads and the Cavaliers. 

R. 6 learned the story of Geoge Washington and his hatchet.  Although, probably a fictional story, it is a nice story to remind us all to tell the truth.  

We learned how armadillos came into existence from the non-scientific but always entertaining Rudyard Kipling's, Just So Stories.  Did you know that an armadillo is really just a hedgehog that learned to swim and a turtle that loosened up his plates so he could curl up in a ball?  It's true o' best beloved, just ask Sir Kipling.  

We also continued on our adventures of the Westward expansion through Holling's Tree in the Trail.  We learned of the death of the great Cottonwood tree along the Sante Fe trail.  The tree that stood for centuries and saw war, peace, buffalo's, indian tribes and wagon trains has finally succumbed to age.  A tornado ripped the tree in two leaving nothing but a tangled mess.  We learned how one scout, who loves the tree, has plans to turn it into a yoke for his oxen. 

We saved R.'s favorite book for last, Aesop's Fables .  Todays tales were, The Fox and the Stork and The Travelers and the Sea.  She enjoys trying to figure out the moral of the tale.

A. R. S and E. all enjoyed listening to our FIAR book, Andy and the Circus by Ellis Credle.  How they all laughed as Andy added more and more to his already precarious load attempting to get to the circus before the big top goes up.  This book is an old one and is very hard to find.  I was able to find a copy that wasn't too crazily priced and with the blessings of Daddio, purchase it.  We all really enjoyed this story.   We did a few Social Studies lessons today with the book talking about family relationships and having a happy and willing heart to help others.  We also talked about how the story was set in a time between manual labor and machine labor.  We discussed how both the old and the new have good points and negative points.  I also asked the girls if they would enjoy riding their bike every morning to the store for a fresh block of ice.  Neither of them thought that was something they'd want to do every day.

Along with piano lessons this morning, some chores and lots of time outside in our beautiful winter weather that pretty much sums up our day.

We had homemade chicken soup for dinner w/ an accompaniment of smoked salmon, monk cheese and crackers for an appetizer (daddio's favorite), 4 loads of laundry washed, dried and put away and all the kids now snuggly tucked into bed.  I think it's time to call it a day.

Oh, before I leave off for the night, I have to share one other thing we did today.  We made Green Smoothies!  The kids absolutely love them, which not only surprises me but makes me very happy. 

Look at those happy faces!

J. age 2 saying "yummy!"

This smoothie was made from a bunch of kale and some spinach, that's the "green".  I also added two banana's and orange some non-fat Vanilla yogurt (this is the plain stuff, no sugar added) and a bunch of frozen strawberries.  I can't tell you how many strawberries I added.  I kept adding them until the taste of Kale wasn't quite so strong.   It took more to sweeten Kale than it has for straight spinach or the other green we juiced.  I can't remember the name of it right now! LOL  The kids love their smoothies, I not only feel good about giving them this "treat" knowing they are getting their green veggies (and fruit) for the day but I'm also able to use up all the greens we previously wasted through our CSA.  It's a win-win situation all the way around.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Monday's Child

I haven't done this in awhile.

Here's Monday's Child when she was 3.  She was eating yogurt out on our front step and looked so cute.

Same day, same time, same child, taking some time out to smell the  pansies.

Pity Party

I tend to be an optimist, usually.   I can usually shrug off disappointment, discouragement or hurt and move on fairly quickly.  However, every so often, I cave to those feelings and have myself a big ol' pity party.

This past weekend was one of those occasions where I just let my feelings and thoughts get the better of me and kept on rolling right on down the pity party lane.  I'm sure my mood was enhanced by sick kids and myself recovering from the flu, as well as hubbie having to work Saturday.  Whatever the reasons, after a rather discouraging, disappointing and hurtful phone call from a friend, I began to think all sorts of depressing thoughts. 

My particular highlight was how I was thinking of all the friendships I've had in the myriad of states I've lived in and how difficult it is to keep those friendships alive.  I try (tried) for quite awhile, but after awhile, you begin to feel like you are stalking them! LOL  It becomes evident that some of these friendships were ones that were for a season.  It makes me sad, but I'm not going to force myself on anyone.  

So, with all that in my mind, I began playing through all those friendships and I thought to myself, who would really care or notice if I was no longer here.  I mean really, who, besides my husband and children, would really honestly care if I no longer existed.  Now before you start calling the Suicide squad, I was not thinking all this along the lines of suicide.  No, I was just having that big ol pity party, remember? LOL  Kindof like when you were a kid and you come to your mom *sniff* *sniff* Nobody likes me! *sniff* *sniff* and she lovingly sings the song to you about eating some juicy worms?  That's exactly the day I was having.  What makes this even better, I knew it all along.  It was perfect!

As I traveled on down Pity Party Lane another voice started sounding off in my head.  This voice said to me, "I, too, wait for people to "call" me.  To come visit with me.  I've waited for people to have enough time for me, not to be brushed off by someone or something more important.  In fact, I've waited lifetimes to hear a familiar voice talk to me.  How do you think I feel while I wait?"

Nothing will whip you out of a self deprecating pity party faster than hearing God speaking directly to your heart. 

You know what I did next?  I had a wonderful chat, just me and God.

The next morning when I woke up and turned on the computer, what should greet me but a message from a sweet friend who told me she had been thinking about me and praying for me and wanted to know if there was anything in particular on my heart.  I was just in tears as I read her message soaking up more of our Heavenly Fathers love for me. 

I'll take that over eating worms, even the juicy ones, any day!
My 8 year old made this drawing, on our swingset picnic table , yesterday.  She drew the deer using a pencil, but the rest of it was colored in and drawn using nature.  She used lantana and smeared it around for the purple sky, tree bark for the brown deer and tree trunk and grass for the green in the tree and ground.  She just informed me that she also used some of her green smoothie (which had a ton of kale in it ) for part of the green.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

My other artist

I'm usually posting pictures my 10 year old creates.  Here's one my 8 year old just drew.

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Universe Song

For our Astronomy lessons I wanted to how the kids Monty Python's Universe Song but I didn't particularly want to show them Monty Python's version. LOL

So, I looked at various versions of the song on You Tube and found some that were ok and others that were just bad.  Then I found this one with Clint Black singing.  Not only are there cool pictures of the solar system and universe, he changed the English swear word so I don't have to worry about my kids accidentally swearing.

Hope you all enjoy your travel through the universe. Don't forget to pause the music on the sidebar to listen to The Universe Song.