Category: Community

What is it 2–The answer

Remember this?

Here is another view.

And finally.

Yup–it is our garbage can lid.  It had gotten wet and a bit muddy then realizing i was a puddle attracting mosquitoes we flipped it over to dry in the grass.  We finally figured out that the swirlies were from the grass underneath and it made this awesome texture.

Now you can look at it again.  Isn’t that awesome!

What is it? session 2

This morning my husband dragged me outside to look at a cool thing.  We looked at each other after staring for a while and said, “We need a pictures of this.”  Here it is.We found it outside this morning.

Hint one: We found it outside this morning.

Here is another view.

Hint two: It was not done by a human though it is on something humans use.

Hint three: It is not on a painting or on a window.  It is in a very unusual place and my response when seeing it was “The would make a great blog background but I am not sure I could stomach it.”

I will post the answer to on Monday.

Saturday Photohunt: Signs

This is a repost. I found this last fall and thought it hilarious. The photo was taken through my car window while stopped at a stop light. We live in the boondocks and not so many people even had internet access let alone a computer up until a few years ago. Many people have no clue what a “blog” is, especially in the area this sign is. I passed this sign for two months once a week and did a double take every time.

The sign does not say “Blog for lease”–it says BLDG (short for Building) for lease. 🙂

Frugal Cookin’ Carnival

Update: I guess I should mention that our meals are mostly vegetarian. I do buy my husband lots of cheese and pepperoni but other than cheese, eggs, honey, and yogurt we don’t buy much in the way of animal products. It is just plain too expensive, plus I HATE cooking meat. Also my husband and I and one of the kids have a severe allergy to poultry and all of us can only eat hormone/antibiotic free–so unless someone gets us a deer we go without.

I don’t pre-plan meals, I make up a slew of things on Sunday and we all eat what we want of it when we want–especially since each has some things they can’t or won’t eat. That said they eat healthy foods because we don’t have junk in the house and they have seldom had junk food in the first place. So, I adapted this slightly to suit our family-instead of divided up into individual meals it is divided into parts, just like the list of foods the kids has of what they can have for each meal. Also I buy everything in bulk which makes figuring out individual things a bit iffy–for instance I buy organic oatmeal and flour in 25# bags and use organic dry milk for yogurt, organic noodles in 10# bags, and buy yeast in 5# bags–almost all of it is organic due to our eldest’s food issues. The following foods are what the kids and I will eat over a week (my husband eats when he is hungry–usually cheese and pretzels and pepperoni or calzones if I make them) , each Sunday I make some new bulk foods (last week it was calzones, cookies, muffins, and bread, this week it is pot pie, granola, granola bars, bread, and soup. and lots of yogurt and yogurt cheese–Regardless of how they mix and match things each meal comes in at about $1 a person, usually closer to $.60 a meal.) Some of the recipes I have already posted here or at my previous site, Gracedbychrist.com.

Breakfasts and snacks:

  • Homemade granola with honey and flax seed— 1 cup –$.15
  • homemade plain yogurt (the kids add jam sometimes)–1 cup $.16
  • eggs — 3 $.50
  • homemade bread –2 slices (total loaf is $.50 to make so I am estimating the two slices of bread would be $.10)
  • homemade jam (I like the recipes linked here.)–1 T on this I am really not sure since I used what I had to make it–maybe $.10 since it used raw sugar and bought berries?
  • soy milk (bought at Sam’s Club)–1 cup $.29
  • homemade granola bars (see recipe below)–2 bars–$.34
  • oatmeal–1/2 cup $.09 plus 1/2 cup soy milk $.15


Lunches and Dinners:

  • noodles with margarine or cheese–1 cup plus 2 slice cheese $.15
  • noodles with veggies and sauce (I use Bragg’s, with some onion powder and garlic for flavor and whatever veggies I have on hand or I cook noodles in reheated homemade veggie soup which is essentially the same thing)–1 cup $.20
  • salad with nuts and cheese–1 cup plus 1/4 c nuts and 1 slice cheese $.80 (this will be cheaper soon as we have lettuce coming up–this is my normal meal most days.)
  • fruit salad (mango, banana, grapes, pears, plums) with nuts–1 cup $.70
  • mini veggie pot pies–2 muffin tins worth $.10
  • homemade vegetable soup (recipe below)–2 cups $.08
  • peanut butter with homemade jelly sandwiches –1 sandwich $.60
  • eggs– 3 $.50
  • frozen veggies with sharp cheddar cheese–1 cup $.60
  • mini cheese calzones (pictured below: all they are is some bread dough cut in a square with filling then fold up the sides to meet in the middle and bake)–2 for $.30

Recipes below the pictures.

Homemade Yogurt and Yogurt Cheese

To make the yogurt bring milk to almost a boil to kill bacteria or use warm water to reconstitute powdered milk, allow to cool, combine about1/2c yogurt to 1/2 gallon milk–allow to sit covered on top of stove in glass container for 6-8 hours. You can then make yogurt cream cheese by straining it in cheese cloth.

Vegetable Soup

We just fill a pot with water and throw in all the veggies we have available–including but not limited to:

potatoes, carrots, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, peas, onion, pepper, plus kidney beans–occasionally I throw in texturized vegetable protein but not usually. To this I add garlic powder, onion powder, and Bragg’s Liquid Amino to taste. I cook it until all the veggies are softened but not squishy. I usually freeze half of it and put the other half to be cooked with noodles for a casserole type dish or as filling in pot pies.

For the pot pies I strain out most of the broth and use my grandmother’s pie crust recipe for the crust. I use muffin tins to form the potpies, bake them until just before they turn golden then freeze them in a container. I also make a few large pot pies to freeze in individual containers for quick takeout meals.

Homemade Granola Bars

Keep in mind this is to taste–everyone has different things they like in granola bars, I like mine slightly chewy with lots of nuts and raisins.

Combine equal parts granola +whatever dry ingredients you like with liquid sweetener and nut butter, For example I use almonds, raisins, peanuts, carob chips with granola and mix them with an equal amount wet ingredients: peanut butter, honey, and maple syrup. If it is too sticky add more dry ingredients. Mix well then flatten into a cookie sheet covered with waxed paper. Bake at a low temperature for several hours (I usually keep it at 200 degrees or so for a few hours then I cut them and refrigerate them in the pan.) This is not an exact science and some come out stickier than others but the kids and I like variety. 🙂 They are not quite equal to bought granola bars but the price makes it well worth it–especially since no matter how much I make the kids will eat them all before they go bad.

Home Education Week: April Fool’s!

Today we continue to celebrate Home Education Week with Dana of Principled Discovery who asks:

And we have likely all felt the fool in one way or another. Share your greatest challenge. Or one of those terrible, horrible no good, very bad days where the only thing there is to do seems to involve moving to Australia.

I don’t have any big humorous situations or stories to tell though we have had a few embarrassing ones. We have several challenges specific to our family that have made things interesting and leant to some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

The only embarrassing story that comes to mind was one day when we were waiting for our car to be fixed on a school day and a random stranger started asking way too many questions of myself and the kids about our school day. Keep in mind I have dysgraphia and dyscalculia and my oldest has dyslexia and dysgraphia. This random stranger started asking her all sorts of math questions of the sort that she has to see to get (and I have to see them to understand them as well.) Plus this was a random stranger and we were already having a very rough day since we were supposed to be visiting my grandmother and the car had broken down on the way. So add nervousness and general unhappiness to the mix and neither of us could answer any of his questions and boy was he persistent–in a way that he would never be with someone who was public schooled. It was horrible and awkward and I hated that we left this random person with such a horrible view of homeschooling. Yuck.

In general however our worst days are when Rachel has a bad day. She struggles with several neurological disorders and severe food allergies and some days are just really, really rough for her which means they are rough for us. She takes Omega 3 and magnesium which help a lot and the days she forgets are probably the very worst. Constant temper tantrums make those days a struggle and put everyone out of alignment.

Just a cool quiz

Today I ran across this great little quiz through Reason Hit or Miss:

The World’s Smallest Political Quiz 

You all know I am Constitution party with strong Libertarian leanings.  In other words–I stand by the Constitution but if you MUST do things differently than what the Constitution says then it better give me MORE freedoms and not less.

It is surprising to me how many people believe one way and yet support a group that works directly against their beliefs.  How do your beliefs line up with who you support?  No, I don’t expect you to tell me about your political leanings–I try, in general, to stay out of it completely.  I do believe that people should make informed choices and knowing where you stand is a great place to start. 🙂  And I actually suspect that most of the people who swing by here are actually pretty sure of themselves and what they believe–the people  I would love to have take this quiz are people I know in real life who NEVER come to my website so….oh well.:)  It is still pretty cool.  Check it out.

Benefits of Homechurch

You’re never late–even when it is daylight savings time and everyone wakes up way past when any church starts.

In other words today church will be later–probably evening. 🙂  Actually it often is since that is when my husband prefers having it.

Squirmy kids only interrupt a few people and the leader can stop church and deal with any disciplinary issues.

When fellowshipping and worshiping in a smaller group–in our case, immediate family (Matthew:18: 19-20) it is a simple thing to deal with a noisy kid and there is no embarrassment  on the parent’s part because the children like to sit front and center where they can see everything  so the parent has to lead the small crowd all the way back to the back of the sanctuary to remove the kid.  This also includes bathroom breaks which are always more frequently needed when children are sitting in church.

The lesson can be taught in a way the the children “get it” and can be discussed at the moment instead of trying to remember all the questions later.

When we “went to church” the kids went with us and were expected to pay attention–well at least the older two, Issac spent the time rolling his cars under the pews.  This meant that they would often have questions whichthey whisper during the sermon.  Later, on the way home, we would ransack our brains trying to remember what their questions were.  Now the kids ask immediately and the “sermon” is more a discussion of a reading as it takes place than a lecture.  Not only does this benefit the children but it also benefits the adults involved–one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else.

The children are actively involved in the lesson.

My girls adore reading verses that have struck them during the week aloud after the main Bible reading.  They also love to share what God has been doing in their lives throughout the week.  Issac is not quite as interested in what is going on–last week he spent the entire time determined to read quietly from my Bible.  He read two paragraphs of the chapter we were reading–Mark 7.

We can focus on a verse or section as long as we need to.

God has been speaking to us through Mark 7 for two weeks now.  Shamus and I are also reading through Romans together on the side and God has lined up our readings brilliantly and is teaching us much.  Our church time is also much shorter than traditional church.  We don’t need to spend an hour on a subject unless the conversation goes on that long.  Often the main conversation is short and then extends into later conversations throughout the week.

The kids are with us and no one is  pointing out that there are all kinds of “Children’s Ministries”.

Some time ago the Lord started convicting us that our children needed to be learning beside us instead of in a separate classroom.  Some children benefit from “children’s church” and all that entails but not my kids and God made it very clear.  When we went to the more crowded services, kids in tow, many well meaning adults would gently let us know that the church had a wonderful “children’s program”.  When we began attending the smaller, earlier service the mostly elderly adults loved to pull us aside and bless us for bringing our little ones so they too could be fed.   I agreed with them and was delighted to know others felt that way.  I know that “Children’s ministries” are necessary for some but don’t tell me that you have a family friendly church and then separate my family at every possibly moment.  Child friendly?  Yes, family friendly?  No.  Family friendly to me means beneficial to the family as a family unit.  There are no scriptures that I can think of that refer to children being taught separately from their parents but there are several that refer to women and children being present while the teaching was going on– Ezra 10 is one of my favorite examples but when Jesus taught the women and children also gathered to listen (for example see Matthew 14:13-18.)

We are living out  Proverbs 22: 5-7 and Deuteronomy 4:8-10.

Homechurching and homeschooling give us ample opportunity to focus on what each child specifically needs to learn.  It also allows us to live what we teach and teach what we live.  Our goal is not to train our children in the way WE THINK they should go but in the way God designed them to go.  We are giving them the tools they need and making sure we teach them His truths at every step of the way.  We are also able to remove separate the traditions of men from the truth of scripture so they can stay focused on Him.  The Lord has reminding us of this over the last few weeks as we study Mark 7 and Romans 1-5.

As I said before–homechurch isn’t for everyone and God has definitely called us specifically to homechurch for this time.  It has been a real blessing and the above listed are just a few of the ways.

Saturday Photo Hunt: Party

We are not party type people. In fact other than the kids’ birthday parties we don’t tdo them at all and even those are small. However yesterday, with it being leap day and the kids being grumpy due to the weather (it was snowing, a lot and too cold to really enjoy it) and Rachel feeling left out (she wanted to play but the other two didn’t want to do what she wanted to do) I suggested she plan something for them that they would enjoy.

It started with her creating a scavenger hunt. She wrote up about 6 clues and hid them around the house. Then she came back to me asking what the prize should be. I had a gingerbread house kit their aunt had sent that I had been holding onto for a just in case activity. She wrapped that up and hid it in the final spot.

She got her brother and sister to look for clues and helped them out since her spelling is not the best. When they found the kit they headed to the kitchen for a “house decorating party”. (Rachel donned a mask due to her severe cinnamon allergy.) After decorating it they let their daddy join in (he wanted the gum drops–all the rest of the candy was stuff no one could eat). They then put it out in the snow for the birds to enjoy.

(The snow is about a foot deep–Issac is walking on top of a layer of ice.)