Friday, December 28, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
But why should good parents, more than the rest of us, be expected to exhibit so divine a love? Perhaps because they are better than most of us; anyway, that appears to be their vocation. And that it is possible to fulfil even so high a calling we all know, because we know good mothers and good fathers.
"Parents, love your children," is, probably, an unnecessary counsel to any who read this page; at any rate, it is a presuming one. But let me say to reserved, undemonstrative parents who follow the example of righteous Abraham and rule their households,––Rule none the less, but let your children feel and see and be quite sure that you love them.
We do not suggest endearments in public, which the young folk cannot always abide. But, dear mother, take your big schoolgirl in your arms just once in the holidays, and let her have a good talk, all to your two selves; it will be to her like a meal to a hungry man. For the youths and maidens––remember, they would sell their souls for love; they do it too, and that is the reason of many of the ruined lives we sigh over. Who will break down the partition between supply and demand in many a home where there are hungry hearts on either side of the wall?
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I was told by a local friend about a wonderful family who has managed to share their love of Jesse Trees by turning it into a project to help orphans. Here are the words of the Mom who started this project:
Married households use energy and water more efficiently than divorced ones because they share these resources -- including lighting and heating -- among more people, said Jianguo Liu, one of the paper's co-authors. Moreover, the divorced households they surveyed between 1998 and 2002 used up more space, occupying between 33 and 95 percent more rooms per person than in married households.
"Hopefully this will inform people about the environmental impact of divorce," Liu said in an interview yesterday. "For a long time we've blamed industries for environmental problems. One thing we've ignored is the household."
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
...Thus to set aside in the autumn of each year a day on which to give thanks to Almighty God for the blessings of life is a wise and reverent custom, long cherished by our people. It is fitting that we should again observe this custom.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Archive.org that I mentioned before also has moving images. As I warned before not all of it is praiseworthy so be forewarned. However this sweet, simple piece is worthwhile. It's called A Day of Thanksgiving. A family in the 50's faces Thanksgiving without a turkey but focuses on the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
William Bradford by Nest Entertainment does a nice job of dramatizing the pilgrim's story.
And of course the perennial holiday favorite A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! I loved it as a child and I love sharing it with my children. Enjoy!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
My mother used to tell us that she wished she could plug us into her brain and we could see the memories she saw. Now that I have my children I know just what she means. In my mind I can go back to far away Thanksgivings with people who no longer walk this earth. I can sit in my grandparents kitchen next to the woodstove stuffed full with my Grandmother's dumplings listening to bluegrass with my Grandfather.
I can walk into my Great Aunt Jane and Great Uncle Red's house so hot from it's own woodfire that the people stuffed in it like sardines in a can were in t shirts sweating. It was a tiny four room house with a bathroom. We'd cram in around the table sitting on the sewing machine stool or whatever we could. My Aunt would hover over the table getting this or that while we all told her to sit and eat. Now that I have a family of my own I realize she just wanted to get us all taken care of so she could sit and eat in peace. I can smell the bread just toasted in the oven for the stuffing. My Great Uncle's stuffing spicy with homesgrown red pepper flakes and sage cooked in the turkey that was roasted in the barbeque he built in the back yard. And then there was the blackberry cobbler. Delicious food, simple but prepared with love by their own hands.
My Great Uncle with that year's turkey
Do I remember the table setting...the silverware...the floral arrangements? Not really. I remember the people though. I can see them so clearly in my mind that it hurts when I realize I can't reach out and hug them anymore. It turns out that after all these years what really mattered were those people, the time we spent together, the laughter and the love. Because those people always loved me. They poured it over me generously without my even asking. I was born into their love and don't remember a moment without it.
I hope one day I'll sit around a table with them again. I hope that when I go to be with Jesus that they'll all be there too, at that great feast. But until then I'll thank God on this Thanksgiving Day for the people he blessed me with.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Oh boy, another one of my favorite fun things! Listening to audiobooks. There are some really great free audios for kids to listen to out there. My favorite thing to do is burn them onto a cd and play them in the car. Not only do they learn something but it really keeps down the bickering! So here are a few for you to share with your children.
First some Librivox selections:
The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day
by Lydia Maria Child
And for information about colony life:
Richard of Jamestown: A Story of the Virginia Colony
by James Otis
Archive.org is a fascinating site that has links to many forms of media. I unfortunately can't say that it is all praiseworthy. Much of it is decidedly not. If you do visit do so carefully. Going straight to the Old Time Radio area here will be pretty safe. Here are a listing of some of the shows that feature Thanksgiving themes:
Cavalcade of America episode 1 No Turning Back. But there are many other great stories for studying American History in this series.
You Are There is another fantastic program for teaching kids history. A news reporter reporting events of history as they happen. Try the episode The Sailing of the Mayflower. You will have to download all the episodes, but believe me after you try one you'll want to use the rest to supplement your history studies.
Those are really just a few but they will get you started. Spend some time with a cup of tea browsing through the archive.org's old time radio page and you'll find others. Enjoy!
Monday, November 12, 2007
I love paper dolls as many of you know. So it's only natural that when I decided to post on Thanksgiving related topics this week as a part of the "Giving Thanks" celebration I knew I would do one on Thanksgiving Paper Dolls. So without further adieu, here are some links to the dolls. Have fun!
A family and Maid at thanksgiving dinner circa mid 1800's
You can find a lot of Betsy McCall paperdolls here, but for specifically Thanksgiving related Betsy McCall check here and here
And while these dolls aren't specifically Thanksgiving related, they are historically close (1704) in style to the Pilgrim's. And some of them are boys which are hard to find.
Paperdolls are a fun activity for busy hands during story readings or while your busy preparing that Thanksgiving feast!
In the next week I'm going to be taking part in the "Giving Thanks" celebration over at Kelli's blog There Is No Place Like Home. Kelli also produces the wonderful Seasonal Delights zine that I have blogged about recently. It's a wonderful publication full of goodies and when you subscribe you get even MORE goodies through subscriber only information on the blog. But, I digress....
I decided to take part in this celebration because I, like Kelli, lament the passing of the importance of Thanksgiving as a celebration. I love Thanksgiving for many reasons. Great food and no presents are just two of my reasons. But I also love taking aside a day once a year to thank God for his blessings and providence just as the pilgrims did after their first year in this new land. One of the biggest blessings that they had sought and received in the new land was freedom to worship as they choose. Something we can still thank God is available to us in this country today.
So, as part of my participation I will be sharing materials with you that I use to teach my children about this important holiday and maybe a few other things along the way. I'll TRY to do this daily this week.
First let's talk about books. For almost every holiday at my house I set out a stack of books pertaining to that holiday for my children (and me) to read. Depending on the holiday I'll set out these books either a few days or up to a month ahead of time. For Thanksgiving I set out the books the first of November. Here are a few of my favorite books for this season:
My mother read me this book when I was a child and together we made the recipe for "Grandmother's Cranberry Bread" That appears in the back of the book. I continue this tradition with my own children. This is a sweet simple story of a young girl, her grandmother and her delightful friend Mr. Whiskers and an adventure they have one Thanksgiving.
Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin
The Plymouth Thanksgiving written and illustrated by Leonard Weisgard is one of my most favorite Thanksgiving books. The text is based on information from William Bradford's diary. The illustrations are unique and beautiful. Passenger lists and a cut away picture of the Mayflower are included. If I only read one book at Thanksgiving to my children this would be it.
Things to Make and Do For Thanksgiving by Lorinda Bryan Cauley is a sweet book I picked up at a library book sale. You can buy it on ebay for .71 right now! Yes, 71 CENTS. And worth every penny I might add. There is some text about Thanksgiving and several projects such as how to grow corn, leaf rubbings, a recipe for Pilgrim Pudding, recipes and more. The illustrations are sweet and my children love them.
Kate Waters has written a series of books that are contemporary reenactments of the lives of the Pilgrims, specifically Pilgrim and Native American children. Those are Samuel Eaton's Day, Tapenum's Day, Sarah Morton's Day, and On The Mayflower. The children in the pictures are often real life reenactors who portray these characters (or did). The information is wonderful and it's nice to see real pictures of children doing the activities that children of this time period would have done.
Those these are just a few of the books we enjoy. I've picked up most of mine at library book sales. I encourage you to check them out from your library and if you like them consider purchasing them to add to your preparation to celebrate Thanksgiving!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
This is a book that should be read over and over again in an endless loop. It is very short really and doesn't take long to read. It manages to be both inspiring as well as practical. And Terri knows whereof she speaks. She is the homeschooling mother of eight children and has homeschooled since 1985. She shares openly and transparently about her failures as well as her successes. Terri is known by many as the author of the very popular book Managers of Their Homes but this is no Martha Stewart, perfect with all the answers. This is a woman like you and me who struggles to do the best job she can. Terri shares about the path God lead her on as He taught her how to be a homeschooling mother. The lessons she learned from Him are invaluable. There is also a study guide for groups who wish to study this group together. You can see both at the Maxwell Family's website titus2.com.
Take this Veteran's day to tell your children about the soldiers and their families who acted out of obedience to this country by serving in our military. Introduce them to someone you know who served our country. Let them see you thank the Veterans you see for their service. For their loyalty.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing the 95 Theses on the door of Castle Church in Wittenburg, Germany in 1517. This bold move started a global tidal wave that would become the Reformation.
To share this information with your children I recommend a book by Paul Maier titled Martin Luther. I really like Paul Maier's books. They explain history and concepts well to older elementary children and the illustrations of this book are beautiful and captivating. You and your child will understand Luther better after reading this book.
Here is some more information about Luther:
"In his preaching and writing, Luther began to emphasize two main points:
justification by faith and the priesthood of all believers.
Justification by faith means that Christians can never earn God's love or forgiveness. All that Christians must do is to accept [have faith in] God ...
The priesthood of all believers means that every Christian has his or her own personal relationship with God, reading the Bible and worshiping in his or her own language, and praying directly to God without anyone's going in between.
So Protestant Christians give thanks to God on this day for the
opportunity to lead lives of faith, instead of lives of fear."
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Lit2Go: Audio Files for Kindergarteners:Features Robert Louis Stevenson poems for children, as well as classic nursery rhymes like "Jack and Jill", "Little Bo-Peep", "Hickory Dickory Dock", and "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep".
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 1st Graders:Features more classic poems and fairy tales including Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky", "Fire! Fire! Burn Stick!" from Aesop's Fables, "Humpty Dumpty", "Peter Piper", and "The Twelve Days of Christmas".
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 2nd Graders:Features "The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter, "The Hare and the Hedgehog" by The Brothers Grimm, more Robert Louis Stevenson poems, and an unabridged audio book called The Outdoor Girls in Florida by Laura Lee Hope.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 3rd Graders:Features a number of Aesop's Fables, "The Ugly Duckling" & "The Emperor's New Clothes" by Hans Christian Anderson, "How the Alphabet Was Made" by Rudyard Kipling, and the audio books Squinty, the Comical Pig by Richard Barnum, The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf; or, Rescuing the Lost Balloonists by Captain Quincy Allen, and Jack Tier, or the Florida Reef by James Fenimore Cooper.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 4th Graders:Features many more of Aesop's Fables, tales by Beatrix Potter, and the unabridged audio books The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Seven O'Clock Stories by Robert Gordon Anderson, The Tale of Tommy Fox by Arthur Scott Bailey, Whitefoot the Woodmouse by Thornton W. Burgess, and many of Andrew Lang's Fairy Books.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 5th Graders:Features "Sleeping Beauty" by The Brothers Grimm, even more of Aesop's Fables, tales by Beatrix Potter, The Tale of Brownie Beaver by Arthur Scott Bailey, The Go Ahead Boys and the Racing Motor-Boat by Ross Kay, Curly and Floppy Twistytail the Funny Piggie Boys by Howard R. Garis, The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat by Thornton W. Burgess, Half-Past Seven Stories by Robert Gordon Anderson, Beyond the City by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 6th Graders:Features dozens of short stories including many by Virginia Woolf and Rudyard Kipling. Also features the audio books The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, & The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Famous Stories Every Child Should Know, The Story of Siegfried by James Baldwin, The Light Princess by George MacDonald, The Open Boat by Stephen Crane, A Florida Sketch-Book by Bradford Torrey, Sylvie and Bruno & Sylvie and Bruno Concluded by Lewis Carroll, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Philosophy and Fun of Algebra by Mary Everest Boole, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 7th Graders:Features Edgar Allan Poe's most famous short stories, as well as the audio books The Tin Woodman of Oz & Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum, The Little Lame Prince by Maria Dinah Mulock Craik, The Return of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 8th Graders:Features poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, short stories by Emily Bronte, more of Edgar Allan Poe's most famous short stories, and the audio books In the Wilds of Florida by W. H. G. Kingston, Logic: Deductive and Inductive by Carveth Read, M.A., The Number Concept: Its Origin and Development by Levi Leonard Conant, Ph. D., The Mystery of Edwin Drood & Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, and Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 9th Graders:Features "History" essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson, more poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the audio books Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Wakulla, A Story of Adventure in Florida & Canoemates: A Story of the Florida Reef and Everglades by Kirk Munroe, Florida Trails by Winthrop Packard, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson, A Victorious Union by Oliver Optic, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Mystery of Cloomber by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Castles of Athlin and Dunbayne, Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, and The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 10th Graders:Features the audio books St. Augustine Under Three Flags: Tourist Guide and History, Symbolic Logic by Lewis Carroll, The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, The Professor by Charlotte Bronte, The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 11th Graders:Features the audio books The Game of Logic by Lewis Carroll, The Scarlet Letter, The Blithedale Romance & The Marble Faun by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Deductive Logic by George William Joseph Stock, M.A., Lettres Philosophiques by Francois-Marie Arouet, and Beowulf translated by Frances B. Grummere.
Lit2Go: Audio Files for 12th Graders:Features the audio books Physics by Aristotle, Lectures on Ten British Mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century by Alexander MacFarlane, A Short Account of the History of Mathematics by W. W. Rouse Ball, History of Modern Mathematics by David Eugene Smith, Flatland by Edwin A. Abbott, The Flamingo Feather by Kirk Munroe, Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, and Spherical Trigonometry by Isaac Todhunter.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. flour
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1. To prepare the mix: in a jar, combine the chili powder, flour, cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt; screw on lid and shake until completely mixed.
2. To prepare taco meat from the mix: Brown 1 pound of lean ground beef and drain off excess fat (reserving some drippings if desired). Mix with 1 finely chopped onion, 2 tablespoons garlic, a scant 1/4 cup of the seasoning mix and ½ cup water or pan drippings. Cook until the onion is translucent about 10 minutes.
That’s all there is too it. Make a double batch and freeze some for those nights you are in a hurry. I also use this meat as a filling for beef enchiladas.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I Meant to Do My Work Today
I meant to do my work today -
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree.
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land
Tossing the grasses to and fro.
And a rainbow held out its shining hand -
So what else could I do but laugh and go?
Richard Le Gallienne (1866-1947)
Thursday, September 06, 2007
You know, one of my pet peeves is when someone says you get something free but you have to buy something to get it. That doesn't seem free to me! And I just realized I'm about to do the same thing to you. Okay, you have to purchase a subscription to The Old Schoolhouse magazine to get their free gifts promotion. But this promotion is 25 free gifts with any new 1 year TOS subscription for just $25.00. In the past you have had to purchase a two year subscription but this time it's $25.00 for 4 informative issues of TOS and 25 free gifts valued at almost $400. It's their biggest gift package ever!
If you haven't received TOS before it's full of really great content written by homeschoolers for homeschoolers. There are many practical how to articles along with great inspiration and encouragement. And reviews, and giveaways...I could go on and on!
There is a special limited time offer for renewals to be able to get the same offer. Until Oct. 1, 2007, they are allowing subscribers to renew their subscription for $19.95 and they get the 25 free gifts. This is a huge savings plus the bonus gifts valued at almost $400.
I have a personal reason for sharing the good news about this offer. You see, a few years ago in our first year of homeschooling my husband was laid off. I borrowed most of my curriculum or checked things out of the library. I was given a copy of The Old Schoolhouse and read inside that they provided subscriptions to people in financial need. I emailed them and explained our situation and asked if they could provide a subscription. This was the first year that they did free gifts with two year subscriptions. They wrote me a kind letter back that said not only would they provide me with a subscription, but they had decided to send me the two year subscription with the special gifts as well. It was such a blessing to me at that time. So I recommend this magazine to you whole heartedly with no reservations. It's very praiseworthy!
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Sunday, September 02, 2007
create your own visited states map
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
2 cups whole milk
2 cups cream
1 cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
Put 2 cups milk in blender with bananas and sugar and puree. Add cream to mixture then place in ice cream maker and follow maker’s directions. During last five minutes add walnuts.
Makes 2 quarts
Friday, July 27, 2007
This year our family vacation was spent at home. It may sound boring but if your used to a busy life with year round schooling, running kids to lessons and meetings it can be so relaxing to wake up at your leisure in your own bed doing what you like all day. I still cooked and did minimal cleanup but the meals were easy meals and my kids like to cook so we baked too which we don't normally have time to do. My husband and I decided not to tackle any big projects although we did clean out his office in the basement...but that was our choice, not something we had to do. That kind of mindset is very mentally relaxing too. So, if you aren't rich enough to afford the price of gas or plane tickets and hotel rooms I definitely encourage you to consider a vacation at home this year!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
But first, some information on my Great Uncle Red. Red grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family for the time. He grew up without a father and with a preoccupied mother. As I understand it he and his siblings basically cared for themselves. The silver lining to this thundercloud is that Red was a superb cook. His turkey and dressing is legendary in my family. My own personal favorite of his was Blackberry Cobbler. Well, my Great Aunt Jane always made it but it was under his close personal supervision! She always said that she couldn't cook at all when they married and he taught her everything she knew.
There is so much I more I could say about Red. I was fortunate to know him into my adulthood. He is from a generation of men that I'm not sure are even around anymore. He wasn't exactly "warm" but he showed us he loved us by his actions. He made sure all in his family were cared for and provided for.
Well, back to the pickles. Store bought pickles just cannot compare to homemade. And there is nothing like plucking a vegetable from your own garden and eating it. So, if you are like my friend I urge you to use up some of those pickles with this recipe.
makes 1 gallon
7 or 8 large cucumbers
Slice and layer alternately in a gallon glass jar.
4 cups vinegar
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup pickling salt
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp turmeric
Mix until dissolved and pour over contents of jar. Let sit for three days in refrigerator before eating.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
From The Declaration of Independence
To read or hear more check out NPR's page here.
Monday, July 02, 2007
But, I'll admit I did want a chalkboard. I love the look of a chalkboard and I investigated all kinds of ways to make one. But today I saw what I think is one of the best options. WALLIES® Peel & Stick Chalkboard Removable and repositionable vinyl chalkboard panels. You can get a package of four 9" x 12" panels and chalk included for only 16.99. That's quite a deal! They also come in a variety of colors. If I had one I'd get schoolhouse green. So fun.
Whether you homeschool or not I urge you to consider a whiteboard or chalkboard for your children. Definitely praiseworthy.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
In 1916, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation that officially established June 14 as Flag Day; in August 1949, National Flag Day was established by an Act of Congress.
Flag Day is not an official federal holiday, though on June 14, 1937, Pennsylvania became the first (and only) U.S. state to celebrate Flag Day as a state holiday.