Sunday, March 22, 2009

homeschooling thoughts

The more I study homeschooling and learn about it, the more comfortable I am with it. I started out thinking about it because I didn't want my children in public schools. We actually live in a community that has really good public schools and that would be a decent option for my kids if homeschooling doesn't work out. But we'll be moving away from here at least once before we move back, and I don't want to put my kids in and out of schools that may or may not be good. I want to insure stability in their education. And I know that I can provide a good education for them.

I have a friend who is really really smart. She worked for NASA, got a degree in some sort of engineering, and she was unschooled until she was ten (I think that is the age) She didn't know how to read until that point because she wasn't interested in it! Yet despite a very unconventional education, she is one of the smartest people I know. She is one of the many many success stories I've seen with homeschooling, and I'm confident that we'll be able to do this in our home too.

However I'm not sure I'm ready to jump into unschooling. I think that I would fail my children if I didn't have a curriculum. I think about that a lot actually, but I just don't think I could do it.

So the more I look into homeschooling, and the more I get to know my oldest child, the more I lean toward Charlotte Mason as a model for our home, with some Classical education thrown in for good measure. Charlotte Mason especially is very focused on nature, spending lots of time outside, and lots of books. Young children are encouraged to spend all day outside if possible! And it is amazing how much learning there really is to be done from nature.

It is also very book intensive! Lots of reading. The bee and Huck both love to be read to. In fact I bet we spend about an hour every single day reading out loud!

I'm loving this phase of pre-school where it is so focused on nature and books. There are no flash cards, no spelling, no quizzes, nothing that I've heard other children go through at this age! But she knows all her colors, she knows how to spell about ten words, knows how to count to forty, knows so much! Just from observing the world around us!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Cauliflower Soup

This time of year is a bit rough on me. I LOVE spring and we have these delightful warm days where it gets up into the eighties, and then the next day it will be a high in the fifties.

So today it was the latter. And I'm trying to be positive about it because I do love cool crisp weather too.

ETA: I put the leftovers in the fridge and it was WONDERFUL as a cold soup! I might make it again in the summer as a chilled soup and perhaps cut or eliminate the cream! It was great!

So I decided today was a cauliflower soup day. And I've never made it before.

It was great! Easy too. I always keep a lot of frozen cauliflower in my house because it is a quick and easy veggie that all of us like. Or at least can tolerate easier than others.


1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
3 cloves garlic
1 lb frozen or fresh cauliflower
1 t. salt
1 T. herbes de Provence
1/3 c. cream

Cook the garlic in the chicken stock for about 1/2 an hour then add cauliflower and simmer until it is soft. Add the salt and herbes and then blend either with a stick blender or your stand blender. Stir in cream.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Spring is here! sure we have another couple of days till it is "official" and the lat frost is almost a month away, but oh my spring is here!

We have been trying to spend as much time outside as possible. The flowers are blooming, the air is warm, and we are just loving spring! The bee is at such a great age for really exploring the outdoors also. She chases ants, catches ladybugs and laughs when she touches rolly polly and they roll in a tight ball. She is enchanted with the radishes and spinach and carrots that have come up in the garden and helps me water and weed every day! She can't wait for the spinach to get big enough to eat!

And we found a TURTLE in our driveway a couple of days ago. Slowly, as turtles go, he wandered through the backyard, down the hills to the fence. We opened the gate for him to get to the creek and he left. The bee loved it, she loved watching him go across the lawn slowly and find his home. It was amazing.

Huck isn't so thrilled with being outside. He seems to be a bit scared of grass, which is odd. So we have been putting him in the pack and play, or I've been wearing him. But he is outgrowing wanting to be worn all the time also. So that has been a bit sad. But he still naps for long chunks of the day, so we are outside during naptime frequently.




Sunday, March 15, 2009

green smoothies


So it isn't the most appetizing looking drink in the world, but it is delicious and soooooo good for you! I have long proclaimed my hatred of vegetables, but know that I need them in my body. But this is an ingenious way to get raw veggies and fruits into your body! And it is SO filling and delightful!

You want to use a variety of greens and fruits, sixty percent fruits to forty percent veggies. And leafy greens work great! Broccoli and cucumbers add great flavors, and parsley and mint is just really refreshing! But the best part of green smoothies is you are getting all these greens and getting them raw and can't taste them! The fruits take away the bitterness of the greens. I've used spinach, collards, turnip greens, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, endive, chard, and kale. And I've discovered that there is nothing in the world that could make me want to eat kale. I don't like it. If I can't drink a kale green smoothie, nothing on earth is going to get kale in my body.

But you can also add some great extras into your smoothies to boost the nutrition. Coconut oil is a great one to add, raw milk kefir or yogurt, raw honey, anything that is healthy and sounds good to you!

I'm not going to post a recipe for green smoothies as I've not been using any, just kinda raiding the fridge and frozen berries to throw in there. But you can google green smoothies and find tons of information about them and lots of great recipes! Have fun!


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gah I've been missing

I've been missing I know. But spring is here! Well that isn't why, we have had a few weeks of sickness floating around our house, but with the advent of a few things that I'll post about later it is all good! (Including my adventures with green smoothies which are my new love) I think I'm also struggling with a bout of anemia so I've been extra tired on top of it all.

But we are still struggling finding a church and I wanted to share part of a message I sent to a friend this morning and tell me what you thought about our struggle to find a church.

We really love it here and are still praying about where God would have us for Church. We are so tired of mainstream consumer driven evangelicalism. We have serious theological issues with mega churches and even some of the smaller consumer driven ones. I'm so tired of going to churches that advertise "an awesome worship experience" Great worship is very important, but these churches are so caught up in flash that they forget the Good News! They get stuck in happy God is love seeker friendly mumbo jumbo they never get to the heart of Christ. People get "saved" but couldn't articulate what they are getting saved from. I don't believe you can get saved from the unknown and you can ask Christ to save you if you don't know the truth about God! It just doesn't work.

There is one that had a ten week bible study on how to help people transition after the move! I'm sorry, but I don't need a ten week bible study on that, maybe MAYBE an afternoon. But I looked over the book, there were verses at the beginning of every chapter and that was it! That wasn't bible study, that was fluff! These churches aren't turning out mature disciples Christians who can effectively spread the gospel, they are turning out plants that fell on the rock and at the first sign of trouble will wilt and wither away.

As we go into the next century further, and starting no with a government who is becoming more and more Anti-God (yes I said that, and yes I believe that) we have to root our children in something far deeper than shallow prayers before a soccer game and awesome worship experiences. I will not have my children following the path of other children raised in "Christian" homes who are assaulted when they get to college with liberal ideas that are against God and falling away from the faith. 80% of our kids are falling away!

So we are looking for something deeper. Something meaningful that will last in our childrens lives, and we are finding it in places that we didn't expect. That is why I posted the article about the coming evangelical collapse. We have been finding true deep Godly worship in old denominations. Nazarene, Mennonite, Orthodox, even the Catholic church here in town (which I grew up Catholic so it shocked the heck out of me) and our favorite has been the Messianic Jewish congregation.

Okay, so you probably didn't want my novel and rant LOL My heart is honestly aching for the American church though. I'm angry at Satan for getting in there and having such a huge STRONG foothold! And some are so ignorant of his very existence that they don't even know what to look for and how to resist him. It makes me mad

That is where we are, and this article about “the coming evangelical collapse seems very timely to me.

So where do we go. Do we continue to search the nondenominational evangelical congregations we have always been so comfortable in, or do we move a little more toward the traditional? We are as always in prayer and study about our next choice.