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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Oh how I miss the lesson plans being done for me.  Planning out each subject, then fitting it into a schedule that works with teaching two grade levels, and with three subjects that the older two both are doing but can not do at the same time (2 of which need my assistance)….blech.

Okay, now that the mumbling is out of the way this post can continue and in a better manner.  I did finally figure out a schedule where the older two can switch out the subjects when the other is working on them, I can assist when needed, and also with a block of time where they are self-learning so that I can do phonics, handwriting, and math with the twins.  It only took me about a month to sort, sift, and organize it all amongst all the things we wanted to get done this summer. 

I decided to ease into school this year.  The older girls have already started their Teaching Textbooks math and they love it.  It has a good track record, was recommended to me by sources I trust, and is looking to be a good fit for our family.  Next up we will add in a handwriting refresher in cursive for them and beginning printing for the twins.   After that I will probably add in reading.  History will be next since it goes hand in hand with my plans for 5th grade reading.  The girls will all four be doing history together, though at a much deeper level for the older two.  The twins will be enjoying the “story” of it along with a look at the globe and a map.  The older two will be making a timeline along with lists of important people, inventions, etc. 

It is my hope to have us up to full-time by the end of next week so that we can get a couple of weeks full-time in before vacation.  Vacation this year is a light affair. No tromping through theme parks or driving all over creation.  We are going to hop on an airplane, sit by the pool, hit the golf course once or twice, and read.  I am bringing some school with us.   I will not be bringing much with us, enough to keep a bit of momentum, but nothing that will eat into our days. 

On a side note: isn’t my sweet husband lovely when he is on a diet, lol!  I am not having the issues he is having on this diet.   My energy is down, but that is something that I hear is common.  I am getting tired of eggs for breakfast, but not being picky about what I eat, I have had a few no-egg mornings.  I do have to say that come monday I am  not sure which fruit I am going to eat, but I know I am picking fruit over grains or sugar.  While on this diet I canned nearly 50lbs of the sweetest juiciest peaches.  Having the girls test the gel on my preserves was so hard and I slipped up once and stuck the frozen spoon in my mouth without thinking.   The girls are begging my to make a cobbler out of the peaches we canned with honey and spices, but I know my limits.  Jam I can resist, cobbler would be too much smelling so warm and spicy sweet while dishing out.

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We are currently working on finding a curriculum for the girls’ school.  The virtual academy we have been with for the last  couple years has been nice, but it is not working.  Too much of the girls’ time is spent preparing for testing, and not enough comprehensive learning is happening.  They are bored, getting their work done so that it is done.  I want my girls to love learning as much as I do.  I want them to look forward to new subjects, to be able to take extra time on that which captures their interest. and to not know the “rules of standardized test taking” better than the rules of handwriting. 

So it is time, we are going to what some would call a “traditional home school” set-up in our home.  The curriculum that our school had was fairly good, I know we will miss much of it.  The cost of purchasing it, however, is out of the question.  Hence, it is the season for curriculum.  What to do for kindergarten?  Has it really been only four years since we last did K?  How does time go so fast and what did we do that worked that first year? Where should I start at with writing (a subject I feel they are weak on) the grade level they will be in (fifth) or the first so that they do not miss out on anything in the earlier levels?  Which math?  Latin would be nice, but how to fit it in with everything else.  So many questions, and that is just the beginning.  We are starting to fine-tune a plan.  It consumes many of my thoughts.

Speaking of thoughts.  We have decided to list our home and move, though we are still staying in the same city.  That plus curriculum and I feel like my brain has been stretched to its limit.  Thankfully, I am wrong and there are still cells firing strong when it comes time to cook dinner, can jelly, or settle a sisterly spat.  More on the house later as it is a post of its own.

Other random thoughts:

  • 12 days until we are on a beach taking in a bit of therapy sunshine after the long winter…us used loosely as it’s just the girls and I on a trip with my mom and her mom (hooray for grandmas!)
  • daylight savings time messes with me something awful, I still feel a bit off
  • between the last post and this we came down with what I call the coughing crud around here.  It was a 2 week-long illness that knocked you flat and when you finally did come out of it a bit, you had a cough that would not stop.  So glad the last one of us is on the tail end of it.
  • we now have a cat with a bum eye to add to our home (and not, the three-legged dog was not fond at first, but they seem to have worked out a peace agreement in the mean time.)
  • God is so good, all the time…even when I do not see it, looking back I see His hand!
  • warm dirt and fresh veggies are in my not too distant future

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This is my new favorite way to cook cauliflower: a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, 400 degrees, yum!  I would love to play around with this one in some post-processing, but honestly do not have time…some day. 

Long day out of town and I will be out of town three more days this week.  Not good for the diet/exercise routine, not good for the house (laundry piles up amongst other things), and I get tired.  However, I weighed in today and another pound+ is gone.  Even better than that, though, today I was able to run past a full mile without stopping to walk.  That is a goal I have been working on for 9 months now and it feels good!!!

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I forgot to put in the feet, that makes me sad.  It did still gel, though, and that makes me happy.  With the feet it likely would have stood at attention for a photo!  Regardless, it made some wonderful turkey noodle soup.  I added spinach and mushrooms this time trying to up the non-starchy contents and will do this from now on, the soup was absolutely delicious.   I made the entire pot of stock into 6 quarts of soup without noodles.  I will freeze part and when ready to serve throw in a couple handfuls of broken-up Tinkyada brown rice fettuccine noodles.  Makes for a quick, nourishing meal.

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I managed to get one of the girls helping me with the dehydrating.  Mushrooms shrink up quite a bit, but are so handy to have ready to throw into soups or stews.  We pretended we were doing a puzzle and she got quite a few packed onto one tray.  I am sure you can imagine the look on her face when we pulled them out and they took up less than half the space!

This week is going to be a busy one so the photos may be poor and timing odd.  I am working four shifts as well as having daily last-chance workouts before the finale for our team weight-loss challenge.   I am nervous about tomorrow’s weigh-in.  I don’t feel like I have lost this week.   At this point I hope I didn’t gain.  My birthday is on March 9th, not too far away, and I really want to get below 200.  Fingers crossed!

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Today’s breakfast: scrambled eggs, asparagus, and tomatoes.  The white flecks are my favorite finishing salt.  They are a crispy white color, have a great light crunch, and an interesting pyramid shape.  I should try photographing them sometime.  White can be so hard to capture good and I would like the challenge.   Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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It got very cold here again.  Oatmeal and tea in the morning are almost necessary to get you warm and ready to start the day.  Today, I got to doing something and my kettle really boiled.  The steam was very visible with the morning light streaming in.  Thankfully we have the sun back, I miss the sun when it hides for a couple days.  I am not sure  how people in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska do it…I need sun!

Our new favorite oatmeal is Apricot Oats.  Once I get the oats cooking, I chop up a handful of dried apricots and toss in.  The apricots plump up so lovely in the remaining cook time.  With a drizzle of honey and splash of milk, they taste wonderful.  It might be the breakfast that gets me through winter!

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