Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Charlotte Mason & What To Eat

I have recently started using our blog as a place to archive not just our homeschooling and family activities but also crafts, decorating ideas and now, things I want to go back and read. Charlotte Mason was an English lady living in the late 1800's who changed the face of home education for many families and her writings continue to impact and form our home education. So, when I found a blog summarizing her infamously difficult to read writings I was excited. I hope to return to Dewey's Treehouse throughout the summer for a good read in preparation for next year's lessons.

Another summer read for me will be this wonderful compilation of nutrition posts by Steve Edwards from The Straight Dope. Steve Edwards has done a lot of consulting with Beach Body on their nutrition products and is very informed on good eating and great exercising.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

From My Notebook--Early May

We just recently re-titled our blog but I thought of another new name this morning--What Do You Do All Day? So here is a look at some thoughts and activities that have been engaging me.

AROUND THE HOUSE: I had heard of the Fly Lady many years ago and had briefly perused her website but it didn't really all come together for me until I checked out her book--Kitchen Sink Reflections at the Library. The book really explained it all; in a nutshell the Fly Lady has created a home cleaning system to keep your home in order on a regular basis so the dreaded Spring cleaning is never needed again. Our house is typically clean and tidy but it was the deeper cleaning and regularly needed things that were getting under my skin. I did not ever want to allow 2 or more years to go by before I dusted the nooks and crannies or wiped down the cabinet fronts. Nor did I want to keep feeling that large hurdle I had to jump every time I decided the bathrooms needed to be cleaned or the sheets needed to be changed. So I have now decluttered our house (even after that process I still fill that "to much stuff" feeling) and have completed 1 and 1/2 rotations of cleaning in zones. It is a bit of work to get going but so worth knowing every area of the home is being tended to. If you desire a cleaner, tidier home then read the book but take her system and make it your own.

ON MY NIGHTSTAND: I think reading it what helps me stay relaxed and balanced, it can be a momentary step from reality, a way to process feelings or even educate myself. I currently am reading Cold Climate Gardening by Lewis Hill. This book was recommended by our local nursery several years ago and I have finally gotten to reading it, thanks to our library. Mr. Hill offers some great suggestions for soil preparation and extending our growing season. I am interested to test some of his ideas in our garden, I only wish I had read his book last fall. Did you know it is better to manure/fertilize the garden in the fall so through the winter the goodness can soak in and be at hand when the plants need it in the spring?

IN THE LEARNING LOFT: We are finishing up our school year with a look at South America. This morning I read the story of Jim Elliot to the children. We will also be looking at Brazil and Peru. I am pleased with how the year has gone--E has finished her spelling lessons, "A" is almost done with his copy book and can do simple addition with ease. "A" is learning to read, at his own request, and E has started her first real chapter book-- Encyclopedia Brown Takes The Cake. I am starting to ponder next years lessons and units.

THOUGHTS I AM PONDERING: I have been thinking a lot about our family and its education, focusing on homeschooling versus home discipling. I have been thinking about what I really want our children to remember about being home--reading good books, baking & cooking, nature walks, games, good conversation and our Lord Jesus. I have been thinking about how to adjust our routine so that hearts and relationships are number one, not my lesson plans. I am not sure what to do with all these thoughts but I know the Lord is giving birth to them and will bring his thoughts into completion.

IN THE YARD: The daffodils are in full bloom and I am expectantly waiting to see tulips. I have gotten to a little bit of yard clean up and it is all waiting for a decent burn day. The little ladies and I have started seeds and have purchased more to put in the ground. I long to start a new flower bed that I can look upon from our kitchen sink window, so some seeds and plant splitting will be in order.

QUIET TIME PONDERINGS: I have been reading through the bible since July of 2008 stopping here or there when needed and I am currently focusing on the 23rd Psalm. So many times we think of this Psalm as the "death" or "funeral" Psalm but don't overlook it, it offers so much encouragement to us, the living. The Lord is our shepherd and he provides us rest. God provides not just time away for rest but he provides rest in the midst of our day to day tasks of lessons, meals, diapers, cleaning and trials. There is so much I could share about this psalm but the verses that speak to me the most are 1 & 2 because it speaks of the rest that the Lord wants to give us if only we will let him lead. Remember, HIS burden is easy and HIS yoke is light, not the one we chose to strap on or carry but HIS. I also like verse 6 " Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life," Did you know this verse is actually saying goodness and mercy will PURSUE/CHASE us all the days of our lives? God is chasing us with his goodness and mercy. Why don't we just let him catch us? His life not mine.

IN THE KITCHEN: I just roasted up a bunch of nuts and seeds to make trail mix for snacks. I have been trying a lot of new recipes but this week will be a use what needs to be used meal plan--chicken fajitas, chicken breast with cilantro lime vinegarette and orzo with red beans.

I WISH: I wish we had a new camera, it is really hard to blog and capture memories without one, maybe this week.

PLANS FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK: co-op, South America, zone work in the children's rooms, Cold Climate Gardening, making up some K/pre-K activities, a visit from grandma so possibly a date with the daddy.

Sorry, this is all words and no photos but ya know, no camera.

Happy Spring!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

From My Reader--Mommy craft

It amazes me how creative some people can be, I wish I had the same time, energy & supplies. I hope to experiment with some of these ideas this summer and possibly endeavor to use our unreliable sewing machine. At any rate it is fun to know these cute projects are out there waiting and the next time I need to embellish something or create a gift I have ideas. Enjoy!

A cute headband that I cannot wait to make for the little ladies and am I to old for one?

An oh so cute fabric flower topiary. I think I might try this on a lampshade.

I have seen so many different types of garlands and banners in blogland but this one seemed very unique using the ever popular burlap. I don't know that I will ever accomplish this one but it is a neat idea.

Spring Pennant