Tuesday, May 3, 2016

We do school at home....

Homeschooling #6
A Really Fun Book.

Recently we started a new book for school. We absolutely love it.
{well..most of us absolutely love it....
..I have a male child who is not as excited as the girls, but he has no choice, so...}

Other moms in my homeschool group have been using and enjoying this book.
I had been wanting to try it out, finally, a couple of weeks ago, I did!
I'm really happy with it.

It's called Story Starters {Helping Children Write Like They've Never Written Before}
-by Karen Andreola

The book is filled with a bunch of story beginnings.
There is a picture that goes along with each story starter.

I read aloud the beginning of the story and then the kids write their own endings.
After they are finished writing, we all come together and they read their stories out loud.

It has been so much fun to see how each story ending varies with each child.

I have been a fan of Karen Andreola ever since I started homeschooling.
The Charlotte Mason Companion has been my go to book throughout the years.
It's one of my favorite books ever!

You can find all of Karen Andreola's books HERE.


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10 More Things You Need To Know About Free Bleeding. {Men...you may want to sit this one out.}

Have you heard of Free Bleeding?
I hadn't...until I read an article posted by someone on FB last night.

I ended up getting sucked into following link after link and article after article...
I read more than I needed to and found my self all aggravated with no one to
talk with except my teenage boys...that wasn't going to work! They'd throw up.

Go ahead...read the article right now if you want.
I'll wait....

Que elevator music...Lalalala Lala. La. lalala Lala. La. La. Laaaa...saxophone solo....Lala.

Okay, you're back. Great.
So...what did you think?

Here's my thoughts on this completely disgusting, lack of common sense phenomenon...
....let's call this.....

10 More Things You Need to Know About Free Bleeding.

1. Women in third world countries free bleed because they have NO choice!
I know people who sewed reusable pads for girls in Africa and they were
very grateful to receive such a gift.

2. Periods are not a hush, hush situation in this country.
Turn on any television set and I can almost guarantee you will see a sporty woman
having fun in a tampon commercial. It's discussed...just privately..amongst women!
Who exactly do the women writing these articles want to have period discussions with?

3. My husband would rather have his leg chopped off than discuss my period let alone another woman's.

4. "Mommy, why does that lady have blood dripping down her legs?"
Oh, she's just free bleeding sweetheart. - Not a conversation I want to have with my little boys.

5. Anyone who decides to free bleed will NOT be welcome in my home or car during their monthly cycle.

6. The free bleeders say it is natural...well so are bowel movements and urinating.
Is the next step relieving ourselves wherever and whenever we need in the name of being "Natural".

7. Throughout history women would free bleed...because there were no other options!
How thankful I am to live in a day and age where we can make a choice about
how to stay clean during our periods.

8. Under Mosaic Law, you couldn't even sit where a menstruating woman sat...
she was considered unclean until the end of her cycle.
{Not that we follow Mosaic Law. I was just going as far back as I could to show that
even long ago cleanliness was important.}

9. What about the mess you make? How many loads of laundry will you be washing?
Obviously you be staining things? How much money will you spend replacing
your stained clothes? Furniture?

10. What will you do with all of those stained clothes?
Throw them away..hence creating more trash for Mother Earth and
completely contradicting the whole "save the planet by not
throwing away feminine products" goal you are trying to achieve?

Or..will you donate to the Goodwill? Who will buy your free bled clothing?

"Oh Look! I found new period clothes!" ...not a likely story.

Okay, well, that's all for today.

So tell me...will you ladies be Free Bleeding?
What do you think of this.

Happy midweek to you.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"Over the Weekend" on Tuesday.

Monday was beautiful. It wasn't supposed to be,
but the weather man was wrong...in a good way this time!
It's easy to sit in front of a computer screen when outside is freezing cold and below zero...
...not so easy when the sun is shining over at the park.

Yesterday we did school outside, went for three bike rides, a walk...
...and played at the park after dinner.

Blogging wasn't on my mind....but alas I will keep up.
I love having this little space to hold memories and a small portion of the millions of photos I take.
It's nice to look back and see what we did when and where.

Now, an "Over the weekend" post is usually reserved for a Monday morning.
Today is Tuesday.

....but like I said...Monday was just too gorgeous to be indoors!

Even though the week is in full swing,
and last weekend is almost a long distance memory, here it is...
...Over the weekend.

...making a salad to go along with dinner.

.....Jeff took our bikes down for the summer. Yay!


...Jeff's boss has the most gorgeous property...
 ...and their family has horses that Frankie and my girls are in love with.

..perhaps a little early, but I was excited and eager. {Frost! you better stay away!}
Window box planted. Check.

...when your dinner plan fails and the kids beg dad to cook hot dogs over the fire.
..and he runs to the store and grabs everything we need.
....and then the fire goes long into the evening past everyone's bedtime
..and the younger kids say it's one of the best nights ever.

...these are the times I will miss when my kids are grown and gone.

...he's been teaching him how to dunk.

Happy Tuesday.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Around here lately....

The weekend was gorgeous. Low 80's and sunny.
Quite the change from last weekend's 35 degree Saturday!

We planted our seeds last week. This weekend we were able to leave them outside.

I'm thinking we are going to have to get a scarecrow for our garden this summer.
Not for crows, but for a Frankie who is very interested in dirt and digging.

Sawyer and Frankie...cousins and buddies.
Walks in the wagon...we do it almost everyday.

So nice to have daughters that like to whip out a batch or two of cookies.

It's spring..and I really wanted fresh flowers on my table.
I mean, everyone on Instagram has them, so of course...I NEED them too!

In the summer it's easy..one can walk out and find a plethora of fresh ideas for a vase....
...but spring, especially early spring, you have to buy flowers or use sticks.
{quiet all you people in California and Florida...}

Anyway, I was at the grocery, I wanted to get flowers, but felt this inner battle raging...
don't buy. yes buy.don't buy.yes buy. Finally "don't buy" won.
Which was good since I've been trying to be more frugal and Dave Ramsey-ish...
So I, with my awesome-ly strong will power, left all the pretty flowers in the little buckets.

Not a soul on this earth knew I needed wanted flowers.

The next day, my sister in love stopped by and gave me a big bouquet of flowers!
The day after that, Allison brought in a bouquet of daffodils....who knew they were blooming?!
The day after that, my sister brought me two dozen of the prettiest orange colored roses.
The day after that Sophia came in with a small handful of purple flowers that came up in the yard.

I mean, how often do people bring you flowers? Hardly ever, right?

It's so incredible how God blesses us in so many ways...even with something as simple as flowers.
I not only have one jar of flowers on my table...but FOUR!
Four times blessed.

His first cookie from the bakery. A puppy. He was in love.

Homemade sour dough.....still loving it. Best bread ever.

Last weekend when we were in the city, we stocked up on our favorite blends.
Swiss chocolate almond turned into a latte...now that's a way to start your day!

Hope your week is off to a great start.
Our Monday is beautiful and sunny and has been spent outside...
tomorrow the rain and the cold will return.

That's okay, I have to get a closet cleaned and it just doesn't happen when the windows are open.

Happy Monday.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What couples do when they're alone...

...that's not what I'm talking about. Sheesh...mind.gutter.
I suppose I could have titled this... Common Ground With Your Spouse instead,

Jeff and I had a weekend alone... just the two of us.
It was our anniversary last week...we've been married for 19 GlOoooOOOOORious years.

I picked Jeff up from work, we stopped and bought a sandwich and a taco salad from Mariano's,
brought it back to our hotel room and fell asleep around 9 pm on Friday night.
We didn't even make it through the movie we put on. Ha!

Saturday we ate donuts and went to the Art Institute, something we used to do more often,
but haven't done in a while. I love that place!

We stopped in at Eataly for focaccia...and since we've been on this scratch pasta making kick,
we talked to their pasta chefs to confirm what great pasta makers we were...
...they confirmed we knew nothing about making pasta.

So we've decided to move to Italy for a year!
and study cooking.

I wish...

The nice pasta guy {Thanks Keith!} was a wealth of knowledge.
He sold us some of his fancy flour and we {mostly Jeff} spent the next
29 hours studying flours and pasta making tips and techniques and flavors and...and..and...

Sunday while it rained and rained outside, we put music on and made pasta together!

Right there....two of our most favorite things.
Music. Cooking. Best when paired together.

We have spent many an anniversary or date night making dinner together.
It's something we love to do.

Every individual person has things they like. Jeff and I don't enjoy all of the same activities.

I love to drive around and find small towns to buy antiques like my parents....
...Jeff would rather have his leg amputated.
Jeff loves to watch ultra boring conferences about innovative technology...Ugh.
Can we say....Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

Every couple has their common ground. 
Things they both love. Things they both enjoy doing together.

The challenge is...
Have fun together. Find your common ground.

Don't get discouraged about all the things you don't like doing together,
focus on the things that you do like doing together.
Even if it's something as simple as taking a walk....it's what makes you as a couple "You"!

Scrolling through social media or watching romantic movies can sometimes cause
"Couple Envy"....don't have couple envy.

You as a couple are awesome for different reasons than that silly old couple on the beach in Tahiti.
I mean really....who even likes Tahiti anyway? You're risking sunburn.

Settling into being in love and being content for what you have and who you are
and who you are with....that's the best. That's what makes a great relationship.

There is no man I would rather be married to than mine.
I am so thankful God brought Jeff into my life when we were young...
I've spent more of my life with him than without. I'm glad for that.


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The grown up section.

Not sure why it took me so long to discover the wonderfulness that is
 the grown up section of the library....

Perhaps the reason is I had a bunch of little ones in tow....
...and by the time we were done perusing the children's section...years would pass
and then it was usually lunch and nap time.  For both kids and mom. Ha!

Taking my kids to the library has always been one of my favorite things to do.
I told them when they grow up and have children of their own...I'm still in charge of library day!

Children's books are the best. and I'm so excited to be back in the itty bitty book section with Frankie!

Anyway...back to the grown up section.

I finally {2 years ago} went upstairs where the adults browse and read and relax.
Oh.My.Goodness. I was missing out!

It's like Barnes and Noble, but you can take home stacks of books without spending a penny.
{Minus the cost of the library card and then the late fees that usually accumulate when I don't bring books back on time....which is pretty much always.}

Besides that..the books are Free! and when you're tired of them, back to the library they go.
No clutter on your shelves..and if you aren't ready to give it up....well, just check it out again.
and again. and again...as many times as you want.

I have been on this cookbook kick for the past few months.

This book is SO much fun if you have a baby or toddler or even little kids in your life.

The pictures and the simplicity in this book had me hooked.
{I totally messed up the poptarts though...}

Tonight I made chicken and dumplings ...thanks Martha.
{it was a big hit and so easy to make}

And we'll be making cheese from this book sometime in the next two weeks.

{thanks Alli for picking up dish duty tonight...even if it wasn't your turn}

Jeff and I have even gone on dates to the library.
Sounds nerdy...but it's so much fun. We look through books and movies and get coffee afterwards.

Ok...off to read a book on how to revive my fern after a long winter's rest in my attic.
The lady at a market told me it could be done...we shall see.

If you have any fern tips I would LOVE to hear them!
Ferns are one of my favorites and I'm not good at keeping them alive in my house.

Happy Wednesday.

Monday, April 4, 2016

We made homemade pasta noodles with gravy..not sauce.

Sunday afternoon we made homemade pasta.
I use the term "we" lightly..since it was mostly Jeff doing the work.

Frankie thought it was the greatest...he likes to be involved in..well, everything.
Even when he's not invited....like this blog post for example..
...he is currently climbing me while I type...Not invited!
...but he's giving me kisses and laughing, and it's so cute! So...yeah.

I stood tip toed on a chair documenting...
which is also a very important contribution to the meal. {in my book...which is THE book to follow!}

I also made the sausage and gravy....and caught the noodles
as you will see in a couple of scrolls down. Again...very important.

See!!!^^^^  Noodles being caught.

"Al Dente Perfecto!"

Jeff  is Italian by marriage. He loves to be in the kitchen. Loves Italian food.
He has converted and puts "gravy" on his spaghetti, not sauce.
Because..."It ain't sauce, it's gravy!" Got it? Good.

He also now says sausage the same way my dad and grandpa do...sorry...I can't type it...
...you wouldn't get it.  Come for dinner one day and you can see what I'm talking about.

Happy new week to you.