Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from June, 2011

A Lucky Mom Indeed

Since we had a super busy afternoon we decided to have our main meal at lunch.  We stopped into Whole Foods and the girls decided what they would like to eat.  When we got home, Grace asked if she could make the meal.  Up until now she has made a part of the meal, maybe the salad, or helped with the burgers, but never an entire meal!  I was her guide, helping her with little tips along the way. While she was making the salad, I explained that you can cross contaminate your food easily.  One cutting board is for veggies and another is for meats.  You can use one if you do veggies first.  After the meat is done the board goes directly into the dishwasher.

My mom always allows Grace and Lilah to help in her kitchen so she was a sous-chef many times.  She said her Gram taught her how to make burgers.  She rolled them out, flattened them and placed them on the grill.  Before she did anything else, she washed her hands with soap and hot water!





She boiled the corn on the cob and a few green bea…

Lady Liberty

Five adults, twelve children in Manhattan.  Crazy?  Perhaps.  But man, did we have a good time.   Since we are fortunate enough to live 90 minutes from New York we go often.  We visit Daddy’s office, Grammy’s office, and American Girl.  We wander through Central Park, walk the Brooklyn Bridge and see the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center.  We have been to the Museum of Natural History and a children’s opera at Lincoln Center but we have never been to the Statue of Liberty. Everyone should go to the Statue of Liberty.  Just like the Eiffel Tower and the Great Pyramid, it is America’s symbol, our work of wonder.  You cannot look at the lady without realizing her significance.  She stands for freedom, for opportunity and for independence.  You are humbled walking at her feet.  When I view her I cannot help but reflect on the principles our country was founded on and hope and pray that this great nation carries on in the way it was intended to.

Our children themselves are works of wonder…

Cross Post From Three Thinking Mothers

It is graduation time.  All over town there are balloons and banners and lawn placards with the little mermaid wishing Tory a Happy Graduation.  There are Congratulations Class of 2011 wishes on business signs and write ups on star athletes and class valedictorians in the local newspapers.   This is when homeschooling can be hard.  My nieces were the valedictorians of their town’s class of 2010 and 2011.  They are both either at or off to great universities to continue their studies.  Their accomplishments are easy to see.  Their ribbons can hang on walls.  The report cards can be displayed.  The varsity jackets can be worn.  Their diploma will rest on a shelf.   But what about the graduating homeschool seniors?  Do they consider themselves part of the class of 2011?  With all these signs, balloons and banners it the message is conveyed that something is over, or has ended, when in fact nothing is over, nothing has ended, except the fact that they left a school building.  There is alway…

No going back now

Have you ever read something that scares you to your core?  Not a Stephen King kind of scary.  A what-the-hell do I do now kind of scary?  I feel that way reading Robyn O’Brien’s book The Unhealthy Truth.   I have been trying to change our diets for some time now.  I thought slow and steady was the way to do.  First went high fructose corn syrup, then refined sugar, then Aspartame, now food coloring.  But right under my nose in my refrigerator and in my cabinets were other food items that I did not realize were as harmful as they are: soy based products and genetically modified foods. I thought soy was good.  I have been giving Grace soy milk as an alternative to dairy.  Dumped that out.  I became aware of GMO and GM food a few months ago but I had no idea how pervasive genetic modification is in our food supply.  Recently I was talking to Greg about kicking it up on removing all processed food from our diet. He felt it could not be done.  I agreed based on our current lifestyle.  But w…

Carnivorous Lovelies

My dear friend MamaK at Frog Creek kindly let us garden-sit her carnivorous plants.  Since we studied these lovelies in chapter 3 of Apologia Botany, the girls and I are familiar with how very awesomely cool these plants are.  





The Beginning is just a beginning...

I thought back over all the families we have met over the past 18 months and what their styles are.  I realized with the exception of one or two families, I could not say definitively that this family is a true unschooling family, or that family is positively classical.  As you become accustomed to homeschooling, inevitably you pick and choose parts of different styles that work best for you and your children. However, defining an educational philosophy can be very helpful for a newbie homeschooling family.  In order to have a philosophy, you must first reflect on how you believe children learn best.  Specifically your children.  There is no right or wrong answer here.  Have you thought about how your children like to learn? Do they like to have a defined schedule?  Do they prefer no schedule and the flexibility to learn what they want, when they want for as long as they want?  Do you want to give your children an understanding of traditional classics or contemporary soon-to-be classics…

A Dill Discovery!

We were at a local nursery picking up some vegetable plants for our garden.  I happened to spot a dill plant with a gorgeous caterpillar munching away on the dill leaves.  Upon closer inspection, there were THREE caterpillars munching happily away.  So what is any homeschool mom worth her weight in salt to do?  Purchase the dill plant of course! I was actually given the plant for free since this is now a budding science lesson.  My girls have raised caterpillars in preschool, but there is something different about discovering them on your own, welcoming them into your home, providing them with a nutritional source they clearly love and hoping they spin a chrysalis.


After a rudimentary google search, it seems the Eastern Swallowtail caterpillar enjoys dill.  I think that is what our friends may be.  I clearly underestimated their gorging capacity and after just 24 hours, several stalks of the dill plant have disappeared.  I guess that means another trip to the nursery...
http://www.glorio…

Plain and Simple

Yesterday I was flipping through a Class of 2011 Yearbook and came across a page titled Tatoos and Piercings.  Plastered on the page were actual tatoos and piercings of the HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS!  Several thoughts flashed through my mind.  First, how are high school students even old enough to obtain tatoos and piercings (neither of which I am opposed to on ADULTS!)?  Second, was thank the lord my girls have the opportunity to opt out of this rite of passage called High School, where pop culture has clearly influenced children in such a permanent way. I wonder if as I was interacting with the Amish in Pennsylvania last weekend that same thought was thought of me.  We are all influenced by the culture in which we live to some degree.  We call Lilah our little fashionista because she acts as my personal stylist!  Grace is my techy kid who can operate my cell phone better than I can!  We must seem as radical to the Amish, as high school students flaunting their multiple facial piercings se…

My Beautiful Family

Need I say more, or does the title say it all?

















Country Road Take Me Home To The Place I Belong

What has been the go to item on a road trip for our family?...our ipad.  We added the Trip Advisor app and its interactive map is far better than our car GPS.  It shows our location in real time and the surrounding area.  The result is that this has been a no-highway road trip!  The back roads of Tennessee are beautiful.  Beautiful in a different way than the refined farmland of the Amish country, different than the rolling blue mountains in Virginia and certainly different from our neck of the woods in Connecticut.  Here the farmland is rough.  The Smoky Mountains line the horizon and farms can stretch across open fields, through patches of trees and pop up in unexpected places.   We wandered today.  We wandered to The Lost Sea, the country’s largest underwater lake.  We hiked down about half a mile through caverns where Native Americans held secret meetings around a fire and where locals snuck distilleries during the age of Prohibition.  We saw graffiti created by Confederate soldiers…