Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blanching

Today I tried my hand at blanching. We received over a case of cauliflower in our kitchen basket this morning. Amazing! My chickadees love it cooked or raw. Myself, I can't stand the smell of it and if it smells that bad why would one want to eat it? Yuck!

Anyway, the girls really enjoy it. So I pulled out a big pot with strainer. Added a good amount of salt and fresh water. Brought it to a boil and popped in the cauliflower. I let them boil for 3 minutes, then ran them under cold water and popped them into freezer bags. Hopefully it will taste great! (I will not be taste testing)

I had enough to create 8 meals, keep 3 fresh heads in fridge and give 7 away! It just seemed to multiply.

What's your favorite Cauliflower recipe? I need ideas.

Give blanching a try. It super quick and easy!

julie

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Update

Life has been a whirl wind. I keep stating that each time I have a chance to break away and blog. I would like to be on here a lot more, but time is precious when you're raising a family of any size. Am I right?

I did want to update on my exercise habits. Since I last posted a lot has happened. First off, the Lord has been so good in graciously giving me the toys I wanted. I got a pair of water gloves for half price at Target and I was so excited. I used them for all my arm work outs for about a month. Then I laid off for a couple of days. Some how on my break I over extended one of my shoulders. I tried swimming through it thinking it would heal. It did not. So about two weeks ago I changed my workout and got rid of all arms. I'm not sure what I looked like coming down the lane, but I can assure you it was silly!

That leads me to the next gift. This time another swimmer. She wanted me to have her old fins because she bought new ones. What a blessing. She's such a great lady and keeps me striving toward each new goal.

So it was great timing. I had the fins, so I didn't totally look like I was drowning without my arms.

Here's my workout using arms(w/o gloves) as of this week:
  • 300 back/free
  • 200 legs
  • 300 dolphin on back/just arms
  • 200 legs
  • 300 back/free
  • 200 legs
  • 300 dolphin on back (a killer)/ just arms
  • 200 legs
  • 50 to 100 jumps for bone growth

All in all 2000 a day. A little over a mile. I've cut my time down to 45 minutes (on a good day). I have not lost anymore weight. Truth be told I haven't been trying real hard. Haven't gained and I have increased muscle in legs. I was able to go up and down our full flight of stairs about 5 times today (in a row) with to much huffing. So I guess my stamina has increased!

Another goal that I met was Swimming the Trail in our county. It is 47 miles long and the pool in town will keep official records for you of your mileage. So I did it a couple of weeks back ( not all in one day) and they gave me a T-shirt saying I had swam the trail. Superman keeps telling people that I'm training to swim the English Channel!

I also have logged in and kept track with Presidential Fitness. I've made it past the Bronze Medal at this point, but I've lossed interest in it.

So what's next. Really back to watching what is fueling my body and cutting back a bit on the exercise. I was so exhausted swimming an hour, 5 days a week that I would come home and sit. There were days I could barely move and I just can't do that. I felt it was my whole life.I was also always so hungry and felt a bit out of control.

On a happier note, I am addicted to swimming. I have to do it at least 3 times a week and really no more than 4. I would like to slowly add on another 200 to 500 by next summer. We shall see!

I do know that I have to be very balanced in my life. My motto is "balance in every area except for Christ". The only place where I want to be head over heals!

julie

Friday, November 20, 2009

Art

Today the chickadees and I were given the privilege of meeting P. Buckley Moss. What a beautiful woman. She was so gracious to open her home and gallery to our co-op group this morning. The girls and I felt as if we had spent some precious time with our own Bocia. She had so many fascinating stories to share and her artwork is beautiful.

You'll see no pictures here today. I felt it just wasn't right to be snapping away in this lovely women's home. If your interested in taking a peek at her work go here.

She really gave encouragement to my eldest daughters. She, like them has dealt with learning disabilities but hasn't let that stop her. Finding what she loved to do at an early age and doing it. In no way expecting or even wanting to become famous, she has become world renown. A gracious, keep you own your toes kind of lady. She has so much to share with her family and the world.

Thank you Ms. Buckley.

julie

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pumpkin Bread Season

Ahhhhhhhh can you smell it? I can taste it and it is delicious. Ahhhhhhhhh. Fall has started off with a bang here a 4 Sweet Sisters. School Girl has be in charge of advertising the chickadees business. She's gotten orders for 250 loaves of our mouthwatering pumpkin bread. Amazing! This is the biggest year we have had so far.

Besides baking we have been apart of an enormous garage sale at our friend's farm (yes we have more than beaches and Mickey here). A tremendous amount of business went on and we now have the funds to purchase a new stand up freezer. I am so excited! I'm deal hunting at this very moment :) We also sold another 24 loaves of our tasty bread there and lots of chocolate chip cookies. It was a great weekend, we bartered, dickered, swapped recipes and chatted about life.

So much more is happening. I hope to post later about our fall gardens and test garden, Superman's new business and much, much more!

julie

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Have you laid one like this?

Or should I say has one of your chickens ever laid one like this? I keeping thinking "Vermont Volleyball" ( Bing Crosby, White Christmas) but that really has nothing to do with this or does it (poor Danny Kaye). We seem to have girl that lays like this occasionally. No extra squawking, but it sure looks like it's got to be painful! You can't tell from the picture but this egg is larger than a Extra Large Fancy eggs from the grocery. It's just like any other egg once you crack it open, but it does look unappetizing.

Have you ever "laid a egg"? I'm sure we all have. In fact there are days where it's just best if I keep my mouth shut! Today could be one of those days. Lots of extra squawking and pain for everyone in ear shot. I'm relying on my Father to get me through and keep my beak shut!
Have a great day!
julie

Monday, October 26, 2009

I gave into temptation....

It's Monday... One of those kind of days where...need I say more? It's not super bad (because I gave my day over to the Lord), but it does have it's twists and turns. (Here comes my excuse, get ready, wait for it, wait for it.) I have been craving meat and chocolate all weekend. I could eat roast beef and/or chicken for every meal with a piece of some kind of chocolate to clear the palate. Ahh... I said it. I need meat and chocolate! I see it everywhere I go. I have recipes swirling through my brain. I cracked. Here's what I did:




2 1/2 cup of 60% cocoa chocolate chips

2 HUGE glugs of vanilla to wash it down (just kidding)

1 can of sweeten condensed milk (John Wayne saved the life of a new born baby with this stuff over the weekend in the 3 Godfathers.)


Melt on medium heat. pour into parchment lined dish, get every bit out of the hot pot (don't burn your tongue), let fudge cool in fridge.

Eat a piece every 15 minutes, I mean test for coolness every 15 minutes or so.



Cut 10 small pieces so everyone can have a taste. Leave some for desert. Pop the rest into freezer in case a repeat is needed in a day or two. Yum!
julie
Give your cares to Lord, sometimes you may get chocolate!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The girls

I thought you might like to see some pretty shots of two of the chickadees. My girlfriend is a wonderful woman of God, wife, mom and photographer. Angela you're awesome. Loving Legacy Photgraphy So take a peek!

School Room Redo

I've been away for awhile. I'm finding that school and our schedule are a bit more rigorous and I don't have much time to think. Which is was I need if I want to blog! Yep. I'm not a writer and I have to use a lot of brain power at times. So I've been on Face Book quite a bit (no brain power required).

Today we took a break and cleaned the house. Yippee! Did it need it. I think it's the dirtiest it has ever been. We started earlier this week with Farm Girl doing baseboard, trash cans etc. Today we hit all the rooms and pantry. Did gross ceiling fans, wiped down cabinets, vacuumed behind furniture, window sills, you name it. I also got a couple of shots of our School Room. I never showed how it turned out. We've been living with it for about 3 months and it's working out much better for us. Here are some of before. 11x10 room.



Scary!

Books!


Lots of School Resources and lets not forget the TRASH!

I like the paint color and my curtains. I had to steal them back from the craft room,(now what to do in there)? So we didn't change those. We did end up bringing in yet another storage piece. Remember I have grades K through 11th stored here.

After:


When need be we can actually squeeze all 5 of us girls in here together!

New storage piece. I would have liked to have bought more of the wonderful cabinets that we brought from our last home, but that wasn't in the budget. Now everyone has to be more accountable for keeping their bins neat. This houses each chickadees school bin, all cds, all paper, and computer stuff. The bottom shelf is the little girl's library. Easier to put books in bins than in closets.The closet. Still a bit messy, but who's perfect? It houses all the curriculum we are currently not using and items I don't want people touching.

These cabinets house our library of books that I can't get at the library. All family games are neatly stacked above. Musical instruments in the corner, except for the piano.

The cabinets on the other wall house printer station, bill area, Superman's computer and work stuff, finished photo albums. So this room is more than a school room and is one of the most used rooms next to our kitchen.

I neat thing happened today a friend and I are swapping furniture to see if each others pieces will work better for us. Then we can decide if we should purchase that piece or let the idea float away!

Have a great weekend!

julie

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hot!

Some like it hot, some like it cold... I'm the cold variety and I don't mean pea soup!
Look at the temp on our front porch yesterday and today is more of the same.

Can you believe that? It's not broken. Now you know why we Floridian's are freezing and having fires when the weather hits 60 degrees. I hear there's a cold front coming this weekend. We might be able to pull out the woolies!

julie

Friday, October 9, 2009

Intentional or Not?

While I was doing my workout today I started thinking about all the money spent on gym memberships, equipment and all the other paraphernalia that we "need" to exercise. Now I'm not here to criticize or critic anyone. It just got me thinking about myself. Where do I fall into this category? Maybe you'll think about where you fall also, maybe not.

Trying to be frugal, careful, spend thrifty with the family finances has made me take a deeper look at this. I'm not a person who "not intentional" when it comes to exercise. I have many wonderful girlfriends that are. My definition of this is a person who doesn't have to think about getting some exercise. They are always involved in something that gives them this and their bodies crave it if it is not available to them about 12 hours after their last "session".

"Intentional" people on the other hand may enjoy being in the great out doors, but they are sitting on the back porch or on a quilt reading a book. Maybe even canning this years applesauce outdoors, but exercise doesn't come to mind. They actually have to gear themselves up for the event. Yes, it's an event and when you finally get to doing it you feel as though someone should be blowing trumpets and maybe putting a gold medal around you neck (if you've worked really hard).

So what has this to do with frugality? Well my thought is if your a "Not" person you may not need a gym membership, latest equipment, or all the bells and whistles that are out there ( at least while your trying to pay down bills or stash some cash). You can exercise anywhere or any time. You love it, your body craves it, so you'll do it whether you've got a membership or not.

The "Intentional" on the other hand need a little (in my case a lot more help). Figure out what you exercise of choice is and stick to it (I can't believe I'm spouting this(( by the grace of my Lord)). Find the cheapest (and safest) club, pool, or group and join it! Get an accountability partner. I've got about 4 I regularly speak to. Make it hurt a bit. I know that $28 is a lot out of our budget for exercise right now, so I better be using the facility. If not I feel like I'm wasting our income. Also for me, having to go somewhere and do it means I have to do it. Sometimes I can be half way through my work out and still not want to do it. I usually remind myself I'm there, wet already, so get it done. I feel great by the end! Look for other free incentives.

Our county has a 47 mile long walking trail. The pool in my community has a swim the trail program. 47 miles and you get a t- shirt. I hear it's an ugly color of blue- but who cares it's an accomplishment! I just completed my 30 mile today.( THIS IS WHERE YOU CHEER FOR ME!) This really keeps me motivated.

You can also join the President's Challenge and get moving. You can keep track of your progress and even earn medals and t-shirts. So when it comes to fitness I think you must figure out what category you in. Everyone needs exercise in our culture. Not many of us live laborious lifestyles. So get moving. Keep it cheap. Save where you can, but get healthy and move!

Head over to LIFE AS MOM for more frugal tips!

julie

Thursday, October 8, 2009

School Happenings

We are now in week 8 of Tapestry of Grace. I really like the program. You can do as little or as much as you want. If your using it your 1st year of homeschooling, DON'T TRY AND DO EVERYTHING! I'm shocked at the number of people who are getting themselves all twisted up over this. I think it's a perfection thing. How do I know....I started falling into it and I've been homeschooling to long not to know when I'm headed for overload!


Here's what we've been up to: Map work of ancient countries, studying Babylonia, Sumeria, Egypt, Israelites and their journey, plus the beginning of creation. Crafting and cooking our way through the countries. We our in the midst of 40 years in the desert with the Israelites. We've been taking an in depth look at the Wilderness Tabernacle and put together a replica. We also tried taking a wonderful field trip to the Holy Land exhibit in Orlando. Perfect timing (we thought).

Grammy and I loaded up the chickadees in the van and headed out only to find that the park was packed and no more could enter. Bummer! They have a lot of neat artifacts there. So we headed over to the Disney Market Place. Not my favorite place. It's all about buying things, most way over priced. Anyhow, my youngest has been asking for months for a trip to Disney (which isn't in the budget). She was so excited!


Is this the real Disney? Yes, it's part of it. As soon as we started to walk around we happened upon the Princess Parade. The Little Chef joined in and had a ball. They marched over to the carousel area with the Fairy godmothers. Then they took a wonderful ride with all the village workers coming out to great them.


Daisy


Getting Dusted


Then it was off for some ice cream at Goofy's place. A train ride with Grammy. A Princess coloring book from us. Playing with little ponies. Having some pixie dust sprinkled on and a special treat from Grammy (Poppy and Superman were at work).
All Aboard!

Pony Work Area

I was wiped out, but it was fun! We then headed home. The girls also enjoyed all the Star Wars things at Lego Land. The Little Chef felt like she had been to Disney World and had enjoyed the white chocolate that the Ghiradelli lady brought just for her! She told us she can't wait to go again and ride the rest of the rides.

Every girl needs 1 big lollipop!

julie

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crazy? Is that where I'm going?

The Little Chef helping Superman


This has been quite a week in our home. I'm sure everyone on the planet has had such a week. This morning topped it off. I actually thought maybe I should cancel school and hide in my room for the rest of the week.

I broke the water pipe that leads to the water main. Then I couldn't figure out where it turned off. I keep digging and digging with avail. Urban Girl came out and tried. A man walking down the the street wanted to know first, if it was our home.--- I am dressed in jean shorts, purple shirt, black (cute) apron, crocs and hair flying everywhere. Children running down the front steps yelling Mom and he wants to know if I own the place! Water gushing all over the back yard and chickens making rafts to save themselves (okay not that bad). So he had no clue how to shut it off.

I go around back thinking there must be another way! Water still spewing everywhere. I then hear car brakes. Ahhhhh..... Superman. Thank you Lord for letting his work be so close and giving him an understanding work place! Within second water is off. I missed finding the valve by an inch!

Me so upset with my self, just wondering what the big guy is going to say. I love him soooooooooo much! He laughed! I cried . He hugged me. We laughed. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Her face just captures how I feel.
He is now installing a safety valve just for me. I love you more than words can say!


julie

P.S. I burned orzo to a crisp then I under cooked the next batch while all this was happening. Bed still looks good.......sigh.......

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall

Last night after dinner we did a little decorating. I've really pared down my fall decorations. I like it so much better with just little hints of it. Like I said yesterday, it's 91 degrees again today. The house feels so much cooler for some reason. I can't believe having a couple of decorations could change my attitude so much. This doesn't mean I'll be decorating for Christmas in July, but it is something to think about. Last night I even watched a couple of British shows with a blanket on. I'm pretty sure Superman thinks of lost it (how often do I say that?)!

So here are a couple pictures of what has brightened our day. Superman and Angela( Dancing with my Father) don't look! You'll be aghast at my photography skills.


I got a lot of these pumpkins in different hues at the Dollar Store last year. What a deal. I will change them out for a cute collection of Pilgrims and Indians (also $ store finds from a couple of years ago) when November rolls around.


My dried baby corn ( I need some new ones) and a picture of one of the chickadees (they all looked the same).

In the next week or so I'll be transforming our front porch. I'm not sure what I 'm doing yet. I threw out our dilapidated scarecrows. Maybe I'll try my hand at making my own. Or Superman's hand.

Have a wonderful fall day!

julie

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Fall Y'all!

Well it's going to be a blistering 91 degrees this afternoon and I'm not feeling "fallish". Yesterday I promised the chickadees we would decorate, make a fall dessert, and have cider. Yes, I even -preplanned by buying cider. (Didn't have time to make my own-hehehe.)

We've been on a downhill slide all morning. Since I'm the co-captain in charge, I need to save this sinking ship. (don't ask)

First we'll make Pumpkin Spice Cookies. Then head out to garden at 4-H. Home for baked chicken, veggies, salad and biscuits. Then our yummy cookies ( you know they'll be good) and cider. Clean up the kitchen, let the chickens out and do a bit of decorating! These are pumpkin cookie. Sorry for the blurriness (one of the girls took a quick pic for me-not that it matters). They were good ,but not at all like a cookie. The tasted like muffun tops and we were wanting cookies. We use 2 apples, 2 cups of cider, and lots of ice to make our cider slushes. The chickadees liked it all. (and isn't that what it was all about?)

In a couple of weeks fall will come to our region and everything will kick into high gear around here. 4-H Apple sale, 4 Sweet Sisters Pumpkin Bread sale, Pickling, Backyard Camping and Thanksgiving.

I'll pop back in later and post some pictures.

julie

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blog Issues

I really enjoy blogging but often I ponder the reasons I do it. Today is one of those times. I haven't shared much of our families history because much of it is painful and we are all still dealing and healing with different issues.

One issue has been a visual disability that my oldest two chickadee's and I share. For some reason words and numbers do not bounce correctly from our optic nerves to our brains. I'll leave out all the technical jargon today but in severe cases (which one of my beauties has ) it makes life very difficult. Especially when your a very articulate and intelligent young woman. She reads and understands a myriad of things, loves history, science and writing. But can't memorize digits, words, etc.

We've been through every phonics program, math memorization program and medical visual therapy. To be left with huge gaps. Some have filled in, while others have not. Leaving the chickadees frustrated.

Enough said. Difficult especially when your an over achiever and first born. She/ we have made great strides and are still continuing.

Today someone felt it was their place to tell her how they feel about her writing on her blog........ Needless to say ......... it affects us all. Where is the grace and compassion?

julie

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Dinner Tonight

Ahhhh dinner. I can't wait! I've had some really good work outs this week. I think I'm finely finding my groove and getting a routine down. A true athlete (he he). I even lost a couple more pounds. So I need to guard against unwanted head talk. "Go ahead, it's okay you lost weight." or "A little more won't hurt". Yeah, right.

As I was saying yesterday we received a bunch of peppers in our kitchen basket. (I wish I could grow organic peppers this size...) Urban Girl has been requesting stuffed peppers. Eeck, yuck! Superman and the chickadees we grossed out. So I asked a couple of question and came to find out that no one liked the tomato sauce that goes on top. Superman being the only one who has actually eaten them. I think I may have had them at my Auntie's house when I was a child. I vaguely remember the tomato sauce.

Anyway, I really wanted to give these a try. Now maybe I should have used a recipe (I thought as I was popping them into the oven). But I didn't. So we shall see. Are you supposed to cook the rice up before hand? I did, but I didn't cook the meat. I figured it would cook in the oven. An experiment!



Here's how they looked after about 15 minutes in the oven. I used:
  • 2 cups brown rice (cooked)
  • 1# ground beef
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (every taste good with it)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of the roasted garlic I made yesterday
  • a sprinkling of chili pepper
  • salt & pepper

I started the spices, onion, pepper, and garlic off in a pan with a little EVOO. Let them cool mixed it all together and popped into pepper halves. Another concern (from the family) was that there was just to much pepper.

I then mixed 1cup of my salsa and 2 cups of beef broth put them on the stove to reduce.




We also received some avocados. So of course we needed guacamole! Yum.



  • 1 avocado
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • heaping tablespoon roasted garlic
  • lime or lemon juice a scant teaspoon
  • a pinch of sea salt

Serve it all up with a fresh salad and lime aid slushies. An end of summer treat!

What's on your plate tonight?

julie

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roasted Peppers and Garlic


Today is a quickie. We had produce co-op and I got so many yummy looking green and red peppers. Just last week I was craving roasted red peppers and garlic. So today was the day!


Directions for Roasted Red Peppers (works with all peppers):

  1. Wash peppers
  2. Place on a cookie

  3. Set oven to broil (I broil on high)

  4. Place peppers under broiler

  5. Let peppers char on every side (rotating as needed) including the tops and bottoms

  6. Place hot peppers in paper bag and let cool 20 to 40 minutes
  7. Peel black skins off and slice pepper as wanted


Directions for Roasted Garlic:

  1. I use a glass pie plate

  2. Peel outer skins off garlic

  3. Slice just the tops off

  4. Drizzle or pour olive oil over garlic
  5. Sprinkle with a bit of salt

  6. Bake at 385 ( just a random temp) for about 45 minutes

  7. Take out and cool while peeling the peppers.

So easy and doesn't take much time.

I then mash the yummy garlic and a pinch of salt to tatse.



I then layer roasted peppers and roasted garlic. I was doing a bit of tasting at this point! The garlic is so mellow. Yum! I can't say it enough! Place in fridge an use as needed for a few weeks.

Next, I would proceed to slice some of my french boule bread. (Maybe bake it in smaller rounds or baguette style.) Slather on some P&G, sprinkle a little cheese and pop under the broiler. I now know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

Enjoy! Check out more fine post on We Are That Family for Works For Me Wednesday!

I'd love to hear about your favorite things to do with garlic and peppers.

julie






Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fitness Update

Just a update and a way for me to see my progress.
  • Started water aerobics the end of June. (2 times a week)
  • July continued water aerobics, but added in another day (3 times).
  • Gained 6 pounds but feeling great! I can feel the muscle.
  • Mid July added in swimming laps 40 to 50 laps in 1 1/2 hours (1 to 2 times per week and water aerobics 1to2 times per week- total of 4 days)
  • August buy swim pass. Goal: laps 4 times a week. ( 2 weeks of water aerobics, twice a week). I feel that I really need to step it up. Feeling really good. NO weight loss. Losing some inches.
  • By mid August shaving off time down to an hour for 50 laps (1000 yards). Swimming only laps 5 days a week.
  • Gained 2 more pounds (freaking out!) Feeling really good . Seeing muscle definition. Feeling a new strength in my body.
  • Mid August start eating only when I'm hungry and stopping when satisfied. A few bumps in the road, but doing well. No more dieting. Praying and asking for direction.
  • Start really upping the pace of my laps. Adding warm up and cool down with a stretch.
  • Beginning of September (end of first week) up to my 1st goal!!! 72 laps!!! (1800 yards)

That's 1 mile people!!!( come to find out that's "normal" in swimming circles, but a start;)

  • Lost 8 pounds and retained muscle! Feeling super! Changing up my plan a bit and adding in my more leg work. I can squat down and stand up without groaning!!
  • Have gone down 1 clothing size and bathing suit size!
  • Not ravenously hungry when I get out of the water anymore. Can get away with a small snack or water.

So a lot has happened in a 2 and half months! I really needed to see it, especially on the those days when I'm feeling down (they do come around). Stuff like it's not coming off fast enough... Or how about I feel like an athlete, but my body doesn't look like one! Yeah, that's a hard one. Inside I feel 100 pounds lighter than I am. So I tend to not be as happy as I should be with my achievements. A bit of perfectionism rearing it's ugly head!

I'm really having to work at eating properly. Sticking to all whole grains, organic cheese, meat and veggie when possible. Having desert everyday! Drinking water and tea. This tends to confuse me a bit as to when I'm truly hungry. So working through that.

I'm getting way to tan! I would like to purchase a swim shirt and fins, but they aren't in the budget. I wish I could make my own! We'll see what the next month holds!

How is your fitness plan going? Are you struggling (like me) in some areas and powering through in others? I'd love to hear from you!

julie

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Nette

It's been a long time since I've done a Works For Me Wednesday post. It's not that I don't have anything to offer up. It's that I can't remember when it comes time to post it. So without further ado let me show you!



Thank you to my very brave husband, Superman. We don't call him a superhero for nothing. He also believes in this concept a lot!

Ye old Nette. Has anyone ever used a nette pot? I tried and hated it. It felt like I was diving into the deep end of the pool and depositing most of the water in my sinuses. It would hurt like the dickens ( what exactly is a dickens?). Superman informed that I had the wrong technique. So I tried again with no success.
So a year has gone by and I've been sneezing like crazy for a couple of months. Rarely do I ever sneeze. I decided to give the pot another go. Superman was right! My technique was all wrong.


Here is Superman's Technique:

  1. use sea salt

  2. warm water

  3. shower (easiest place w/no clean up)

  4. tip your head as far over as you can

  5. lean your head forward a bit
  6. use half a pot for each side


It works! But don't laugh or breathe in while you're doing it or you'll be tasting the sea in a whole new way.

I'm now sneeze free. When I do notice a more than the occasional sneeze I make sure that I nette!

Check out We Are That Family for more great posts.

julie

a note to chickadees: We know we're crazy, but this is what makes life fun!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sumo Update!

Does anyone recall me explaining the Sumo Diet? Go here and find out more. Unknown to me, I was following this lovely large plan. Ugh, yikes, I could scream were a couple of my thoughts and emotions.

After I got over the initial shock and horror. I became terrified. Yay, I over did it. I was a afraid to sit down for fear of being sedentary. Don't worry, it didn't last long. I REALLY did not want to low carb diet anymore. Especially when we eat really healthy, preservative free and organic.

Calorie counting at this point in my life would take an enormous amount of thought and time (although I'm still holding on to the idea- it's falling further back in my mind) So I've prayed and swam and swam while I prayed, yelled, screamed and shed a few tears. (You can do all that under water without people noticing - I think) Finally after having my rant I knew what I was supposed to do. The hardest of all weight control solutions out there!

Eat when I'm really hungry and stop when I'm satisfied... Simple you say. Well, I expected it to be excruciatingly hard. It wasn't. I had forgotten what freedom it brings me. All foods are "good" in right proportion! I will say that I have had to be careful of not getting into the routine of eating lots of sweets. I'm daily having to call on my Father to help me make good choices and stay away from poor ones. If there's homemade whole grain cookies around I still want to eat those instead of breakfast. I also have to choose to eat veggies. I have eaten so many I could easily skip them for awhile.

So here's my basic plan prescribe for me by my Heavenly Father:
  1. Eat when I'm truly hungry and stop when satisfied. (Find it if it's lost)
  2. Eat whole grains
  3. Fresh veggies
  4. Protein
  5. Have something sweet everyday, if I like. Don't make the whole day sweets.
  6. Drink plenty of water, lemon water, tea w/stevia. Stay away from empty calories.
  7. Eat only when I'm truly hungry and don't gobble food down to "fit" more in before my full signal. Remind myself I get to eat again and whatever I like.

That's it. Nothing more. I do have to be super conscious of when I'm going to eat and when satisfied is here. Sometimes I go to full, but not stuffed or worse! The Lord is really helping me with this. I couldn't do it without Him. I have had weight loss my first week and am very excited to continue. I'm still exercising 4 to 5 times a week, but now I'm losing weight, gaining muscle and strength. Not just staying the same.

A big key for me is to take it day by day. Learn from my mistakes and "not throw the baby out with the bath water" (a saying from my mom). I'm going to try and only weigh myself every 2 weeks or so. I may not do it at all, now that I know it works! Sometimes those numbers like to make me think I can reward myself or go off the deep end... But I already get to "reward" myself by eating what I like?

So here what this Crazy, Homeschool Mom has been up to! Has anyone else had success with this type of eating?

I would love to hear from you!

julie

Thursday, August 27, 2009

To Egypt We Go

Before studying creation we are jumping ahead to Egypt so when we go back to Creation we will hopefully see a bigger picture. Errrr, I think. Anyway, I have majorly balked at teaching the Ancient World because (excuse coming) other than Biblical spots ( i know, I know it's all wrapped together) I really have no desire. But the children must still learn! Even if I never learned any of it, maybe that's another reason (excuse). Note to self- maybe you're feeling out of your comfort zone- ouch! Did I just write that?
The good thing is my Chickadees are totally wanting this! They are gobbling it up and know more than I'll ever know about Egypt (yes I'm studying with them- but they read even further than I do). We are doing this unit study style so there are plenty of projects.


Last week we made cookie maps and drew pictures of pyramids and sphinxes.

This week we made crowns that stand for a United Egypt (that would Upper and Lower Egypt after a Pharaoh Narmer conquered a brought both kingdoms together- see I'm learning something)

The red crown is for Lower Egypt and white for Upper Egypt.

Also, did you know that a Pharaoh could be man or woman? She's a pretty tough looking cookie!

And finally, did you know that whether you were male or female you must wear a fake beard and tail in public for ceremonies? Farm Girl wore hers most of the afternoon. All crowns , whatever the region had a cobra on the front to signify wisdom. Usually silver, but you get the idea.

Today was a big day because we also made Cartouches (car-toosh ). They would write a person's name in hieroglyphics on them. Then they would be worn or hung on a wall.








And as if that were not enough! We tried our hands at pyramids, clay doll and horses that children long ago would have played with.

Happy Schooling!


julie

A Confession

This a true confession, but I think I may have already confessed it before. During the school day I can sometimes get a bit crabby or my expectation may be a bit high (or right on) and it comes out in exasperation with my chickadees. Starting ToG has added a bit more. Although I think we're getting the swing of things.

Well when theses times arise I usually step away from the school table and over to the counter. I then throw myself into something relatively creative. Usually cooking, planning projects for the holidays, or dare I say deep cleaning the kitchen. Today was just that sort of day!

Farm Girl was getting tense and I was WAY past tense. So before exploding or imploding I decided we needed a fresh batch of cookies. We are usually a plain Jane chocolate chip kind of family, but today I needed more. Chunks of chocolate, raisins, cranberries, white chocolate, or nuts galore!


So I pulled out a bag of BOGO Dove dark chocolate and pecans.

My next thought was homemade vanilla (this bottle was made with rum) and our own farm fresh eggs (or should I say suburban backyard fresh).




Who could stop there I ask you? I threw in some (a lot) of rolled oats. Yummy!


Add a little whole wheat flour, butter, sucanat, and whaa la! You have delicious cookies. Make sure your exercising if you going to eat these babies because one is not enough.

Hope your day is not imploding around you - take a break and bake!

julie

Monday, August 24, 2009

the chickadees are begging me...

The girls are begging me to post. I've got nothing, nada, zip, zilch...
We have been hitting the new school year hard and I feel that's all I know how to talk about.

I could talk about my reasons for liking a mixture of text books and unit studies. If you don't homeschool you may be bored out of your gourd! On that subject (not gourds), learning is changing in our home. We (they) are digging deeper to learn and having to find a lot more on their own this year. I want as much of it to stick as possible and have a bit of fun while doing it.

We are working out the kinks of Tapestry and really enjoying Spelling Power/English from the Roots/English. Okay, I'm really enjoying them. And you know the old saying, "If momma ain't happy ain't no body happy".

The weather (oh how boring) is cooling off a bit (low 80's) for evening. We've been outside with the chickens and breaking down the old garden. We hope to move it for an October planting in the next couple of weeks. The reason for the move. TO much shade last fall. I planted broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and they didn't come to fruition until late spring...ugh.

Well that's all part of it. The chickadees have 3 plots that we will start preparing tomorrow for fall planting at the 4-H garden. we've changed plots and it's the Little Chef's 1st time having her own plot. It's going to be a great season ;)

Hey! Does anyone have any good updated Praise and Worship cd's that come with music. We need words and we need to be able to sing along. We've been using a really nice compilation of old hymns with piano, parts and sheet music. We would like to spice it up occasionally. So let me know!

julie

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not Much to Say

Do ever feel like you haven't a thing to say? Yes, your world is whirling around you at great speed but you're in slow motion? I feel like that. We have a hefty week of club meetings and just plain old school.

We've got hormones and a bit of frustration flying. I'm happy to report there has been no blood shed (just kidding). I can see everything coming together in most areas. My planning this whole summer was not for nothing.

The Little Chef said this morning, " Let start school. Let's rock this!" (Not sure were she picked up that lingo.) The older girls are enjoying their intro to Greek and Latin. (I think they will need more in depth next year.) And the tape recorder was a big hit. I've been told I'm so awesome more times than I can count (can't let that go to my head). The Little Chef asked how the lady on the machine knew her and her sister's name. Very funny!

So other things have fallen to the wayside. Garden, I need to plant my broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts! Plus lots of other gardening things to do.

Continue working on Christmas gifts.

Exercise. I haven't quit. I haven't lost much, but I feel so much better.

For now, getting back into our routine and creating new habits is at the top of our list!

Have a great day! I'm off to English Class!

julie

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New School Year!


Well I tried up loading our daily schedule for the world to see, but it said it was corrupt and/ or unreadable. I pray we have more ease in following it!

Highlights in learning this year:

Little Chef- 100 easy lessons, Saxon 1st grade (half year w/ Urban Girl), Tapestry of Grace y1, science readers (on tape) and Moody science videos

Farm Girl - Spelling Power, English from the Roots Up, R&S English, Saxon 3, Tapestry of Grace y1, oral reading w/ Urban Girl, La Clase Devertida w/ School Girl, Johnathan Park Aquarium and Zoo series and Moody Science videos

School Girl- Spelling Power, English from the Roots Up, R&S English, Saxon 6th grade w/ Dive, Tapestry of Grace y1, Observing God's World (science), La Clase Devertida (Spanish)

Urban Girl- Beyond Phonics, English from the Roots Up, Notgrass' World History- Literature, Writing and Bible, Apologia Chemistry (yikes!), Math -U- See Review all Algebra and go from there..., Health (AO), Driver's Ed, and help with little girls

All - together Bible and Hymns/praise and worship songs to start our mornings off!

Extra curricular: 4-H garden, speech club, chess club, TWIGS and work.


So that's it! Crazy.... I know, but somehow it all comes together by the Grace of my God. May He show us what He truly wants us to learn this year and that we take it into our hearts and minds so that we can grow greater in knowledge and understanding of Him and the wonderful world He has created.


Happy School Year Everyone!

julie