Monthly Archives: January 2007

I am on leave for a bit! Hopefully will be back soon!

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History by the book

We learned history in a different way growing up and I loved it!! We did not use history books usually and when we did we did not have tests, long sheets of workbook pages etc. But we read many, many books and wrote essays and papers on what we learned. We would do it without being asked to, it was just fun to read and learn about real people in our history.

For example a lesson on Prairie Life could lead to studying a variety of subjects. I thought I would share a list of some books in some of these subjects you could read.

Little House in the Prairie series

To Heaven on Horseback By Paul Cranston

Seven Alone by Honore Morrow

Narcissa Whitman by Jeanette Whitman

The Singing Boones by Dale White

Palace WagonFamily by Margeret Sutton (Donner Party family story- better for high school readers as the Donner Party story was not a happy thing)

These are just a few you could read about pioneer life. You can also go online and read Narcissa’s diary or we ordered it through our library also.

We liked playing the Oregon Trail computer game which taught you alot about how much you had to do to survive. There are many other books you can find and read also on this subject.

We all enjoyed also studying the President’s and President’s wives. I wrote reports on many of them and learned about their real lives. There are all sorts of neat tidbits you can find out!


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Good Sunday to you!

Today in church the pastor spoke on 2 Tim. 3, he did a interesting way of demostrating all the wicked things that are listed there. He talked about how it says in the last days these things will abound and how all of these things root from selfishness. He listed all 18 on cards and called up people from the congregation to stand with them taped to them.

It was interesting because you realized how many thngs you are up against! It just kept going and going! The thing I found the most interesting was the part that these are people who are saying they do not believe in God, but “have a form of godliness.” and if you are “silly women” we can be “lead away captive”.

I find it is not the people who are saying that they are not christians, and are leading ungodly lifestyles that are the hardest to deal with, but it is the Christians who do just a few of these sins which lead back to breaking the greastest commandments. But I found hope in reading a bit farther……”But continue in that which you have learned and has been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them. And as a child thou has known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2Tim3:14,15)

It gives me hope when I read that! It makes me realize that even though we and who I am more scared for, my children, if we teach them the word of God, and to have faith in Jesus, we have hope.

Something I heard someone say about that it is not the circumstances we are in that determine what we do or how we were taught, it is the choices we make with what we are given or what is around us. We all have choices to make, good or bad. We cannot blame what we did on who was around us or what happened to us as a child….We need to take the choices we have an dmake the best one for our life according to God’s pattern.


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Frugal Friday-Decorating Tip

Do you think I am even qualified to write a decorating tip? I am not sure..since my sister complains alot about my picture hanging, but since I have been on a tight budget for a long time and she helped me re-do my living room awhile back for a pretty cheap price, I thought I would write about it!

I read several decorating books about how to rearrange small places. They said to choose a focal point and venter the room around it. If you have a fireplace this is a good one

I like to decorate with books so we found 2 bookshelves, brand new at Target on sale for about $30-40 a piece. Yes, they are not real wood, but fairly sturdy and pretty looking! We used these filled with older looking books to form a focal point with my cedar chest in the middle. On top of the bookshelves, we used a couple of pretty doilies topped with a matching dollar store frames with family pictures in them and 2 kerosene lamps that used to be our main source of light. This makes a very simple decoration! We have a large mirror hung up above the cedar chest that we got at a auction for about $20 awhile back. Mirrors make the room look bigger! Pictures really are nice decorations and from what I have read are some of the nicest forms of decoration. It is better if the pictures are of thngs that mean something to you, family paintings, family pictures, etc. A cousin bought me this mall fake shelf thing that hangs on the wall and 3 frames sit on it. I also have a sort of antique looking corner shelf for candles next to my rocker! <p. Another thing I read that really helps a room look homey is to place throws or afghans on the backs of couches or rocking chairs. I personally think that a area rugs ties a room together. I got a really pretty one with antique looking roses on it that was on clearance for a good price. The whole room just came together with some curtains from Ross. It was actually cheaper to buy them than to buy the material for $1 a yard! So, don't think you have to sew everything for it to be cheap!

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How to help someone who is hurting?

I saw someone who was really hurting today. The feeling of helplessness just overwhelmed me, especially because this particular person in the situation she was in, I could understand so well! I felt like she was voicing things that I never had the courage or was it never felt like it was right to voice and yet when others were voicing the words of comfort, I somehow longed to just say the words that do not comfort, that do not heal, but are sometimes also true.

“It is horrible. It hurts. God will be there for you through this, but you are going to have to seek Him. It is not going to be easy. It is going to effect you the rest of your life, but yet keep going!”

Are those the things we long to hear when we are down and hurting? No, not usually. But you know, I remember wishing that someone would just say just that sometimes. I got tired of the pity, the words of comfort that they would pray everything would be alright, because some things cannot ever be right. But you know the things that are the truest (and I do not even know if that is a word!) is that God will be there through the pain even if you cannot see Him. He is there taking care of you when you depend on Him, even though in the pain of the tears and heartache you cannot feel His presence.

Someday, though even not far in the future, you will look back and see His hand protecting you in the trials. You will see how He carried you through and how it could have been much worse. <p. Sometimes we can get ridiculed for our faith in a unseen God and it is easy to doubt in times like that. It is easy to struggle in our faith when we see the pain that other fellow believers bring on each other. It is easy to struggle when we just want a normal life and our life is anything, but normal!

Through all of this, I draw a conclusion that God has a much bigger plan for my life and if this kind of suffering is what He intends for me, I will be thankful it is not worse!!

So, how to help someone who is hurting? I don’t really know if there is a way, but prayer does always help, being honest helps, and being there for them!

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Used curriculum and other stories

Sometimes I wonder if all the searching is worth it!

I have spent alot of time looking for a a couple of math books for the boys and I am wondering if I should just get them new, but then that is alot more money! So, which is more important, money or time?

If I look over the budget and see we have the money for it, I may just buy them, at least the 3rd grade one as I need a complete one for him, but I could use a partially used one for 1st grade so it seems a waste to buy a new one that I am only going to use half of it!

Then there comes all the opinions on schoolbooks, like I said in my last post – Everything is the best!! Some people feel you are not doing good enough unless you use one way or another, but the thing is children are all different!

My sister had her 18th birthday yesterday. She was down here so she wanted to go somewhere together so finally after much trouble with my other sisters car, we went to a resteraunt at 10:30pm!!!! I took 2 of the boys who were so tired by the time we left, that one was hyper and the other could barely walk! They were just eating dinner, but we had already eaten of course, so had some dessert! $5 for one piece of pie with some ice cream………I could make a fortune on pie if I sold pie for that much. I wonder how much they really sell? The boys each had a sundae and some of the other people’s leftovers. I endedup getting her some nice lotion and body butter on sale at Bath and Body Works and gave her some Russian candy! She seemed to like it…..

I want to post a book review so I guess, I should formulate my thoughts on it. I wrote one a long ago onthe same book, I should look over it!

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Homemaking lesson

The boys did their math etc. yesterday and then we did a bunch of hands on homemaking kind of school! They have been begging for weeks, and since I have a hard time cooking with little people, but they put their little checked plastic aprons on and P. scrubbed the floor, wiped the counters, vacuumed the living room and then I let them make a cake. I cheated here a little bit because I let them use a cake mix that I got for .59 after the holidays, but I was amazed I was letting them do that much! = )

Then for dinner we made homemade chicken nuggets and potato wedges. I cut up 3 chicken breasts that I got on sale awhile back for .99 a pound, into chunks. Then the boys dipped them into a mixture of egg and milk and rolled in crushed cornflakes, flour, and spices and put them on a baking sheet. Meanwhile, L. and I tossed red potato wedges with some oil and spices and baked them. We served this with vegetables (carrot sticks and cucumbers) and dip!

It was a finger food meal and brought back memories of my first cooking experiences, making oven fried chicken and “boats” as we called them! I took a picture of their happy faces (which someday will try to post) and was glad that we did it, but I was so tired! They were happy even to wash up the bowls and try to sweep up spilled flour.

I have been discouraged about parenting, cleaning and many different things and today I got a phone call where a few cheerful words just brought new strength to keep going even though it is hard. Never underestimate what a couple words of encouragement can do for someone… It may seem like nothing for you, but it means alot to someone who is discouraged!

Today we learned about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. We are going to keep studying and learn about other people like Sojurner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and others all month even though Black History month is next month, MLKJr. birthday is next week. We made a time line of his life and played a game about segegation. We divided into 2 groups for our craft and one group got regular scissors and nice crayons, while the other group got broken crayons and tiny scissors that did not work well. It brought the point across of how that felt like. In the end the group with the nice crayons decided to be kind and help the group with the not nice stuff and we talked about what happened when that happened back then.

I was surprised about how short of a time ago it was that there are laws about voting, water fountains, bathrooms etc. I was reading a book about the women who had to work inthe factories during World War 2 and some of the things they faced and this was one of them. I tend to think of that as not very long ago as my grandpa fought in WW2. Anyhow, it was interesting! Oh, we found out too that MLK had been arrested for drunk driving once also! You can learn all kinds of things sometimes!!

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What is the best method to teach children?

It seems like out there ther is all different ways to teach them. You can take your choice in child training to school to just plain how to live, everyone has an opinion!!!

I grew up in a large family, yet when I started to think about child training, I felt confused. There was this method and that method. The same when I went to start homeschooling, I grew up being homeschooled also, and still confusion settled in when all the homeschool catalogs came. It wasn’t because there was not alot of stuff to look at, there was so many things that all said “We are the best!!!!”

Then you run into all the methods of homeschooling. There are unschoolers, the people who do “school” at home complete with desks and schedules, the ones who sit at the table to learn and then ones like me who do not have a clue where I fit in!

My conclusion is there is not a “one size fits all” type of schooling for everyone and that must be why there is so many different things to choose from.

So, what is the best way to teach/train children? How do they learn how to eat? How do they learn how to behave? They watch us and imitate us.

I think that with practice they will learn how to read whether that is doing phonics books, reading aloud, sounding out words as we go and when they listen to their mother exclaim about how wonderful reading is, they will learn how to read and function in life.

If I am wrong……well, then we will try something else! But, just thinking by watching my 2 year old imitate me, my words, my actions in putting his stuffed animal to bed, I think that if I work on myself then I should be successful!


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My Menu for the week

Chinese Noodles with spicy pork ( I used ground chicken instead)

Savory Crescent Chicken Squares
White Chili

BBQ Chicken (I switched to a pan steamed spiced chicken with garlic/pepper)
Mashed Potatoes
Garlic sauteed mushrooms

Beef stew
Potato Rolls

Potluck at church so I need to make a main dish and side dish. Any ideas on what to bring? I usually bring something in the crockpot because otherwise it is hard to heat up there. We have church in a school and eat in the hallway. I made a batch of punpkin bread last night that was really good. I was thinking of something like that, or a salad and thought about Swedish Meatballs because ground meat was on sale.

i need to think of it tomorrow or tonight because otherwise I am throwing things together all tired out and that is no good!


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Life today…..

When I woke up this morning, I just could not get up. A. was up late being happy, but it meant less sleep for me, so when the boys begged to sleep a bit longer, I let them and crawled back in myself.

My mom came with my nephew later so we worked with school, breakfast, cleaned the house and finally sat down to visit with mom a bit as it has been a while.

So today has been a blur of chores, babysitting, fixing food and schoolwork!

How do you get everythng done and not get run down? I feel like I have to be going all the time to get everything done. I am really thankful because the chore lists are working great. P. is doing really good with cleaning the bathroom! He is very particular and everything looks great! It is so nice to have a sweet smelling bathroom!

I re-read the first book of SisterCircle book last night while waiting for T. to sleep, it is sort of a different story, but I can relate to it. The widow in the story has to open a boarding house to earn money and she never really had to take charge of anything. It is so hard for her to make the rules and I could see myself in that! I really hate having to be in charge, I like to help with things, but to be in charge of everything is hard. Parenting and running a house is hard! I do not know how I would do it if I did not have God!

F. is picking up a bunch of groceries on his way home. Potatoes are on sale today and some other produce. I also was going to go to another store and get some milk that is on sale for $1. It is just down the street so should be easy!

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