We can't wait to see what the next year brings!
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Our little Peanut turned one yesterday! I don't know where the past year went, it seems like we just brought her home from the hospital! She is getting to be such a big girl though. She started walking last week and has been cruising around everywhere trying to keep up with her big siblings. She really loves all the baby dolls and is usually carrying one around and giving it kisses. Sweetie is her favorite playmate and she loves trying her best to get into the middle of what everyone is doing. We had fun celebrating her first year and she was more excited about trying to get the candle than actually eating her cake.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I have been blessed with two beautiful boys. They are very typical boys who love trucks, dirt, and working on the farm with dad. So far, most aspects of raising boys haven't been too difficult for me to understand, but as Buddy is starting to get older, I am definitely finding differences between boys and girls that I'm not always quite sure how to handle. I want to raise them the way God instructs us too. The book Raising Real Men by Hal and Melanie Young has been a great way for me to begin to understand my boys a little better. As I read this book, I kept thinking each chapter was my favorite so far, but then I would read another and found it even better! There is so much good stuff I can say about this book, but I will try to just give a few highlights and let you read the rest for yourself.
Hal and Melanie have 6 boys of their own, so they have much experience in this area and are very qualified to write this book. They have a very easy to read style and share personal experiences from their own lives along with many scripture references to back up what they say. A short list of the many topics they touch on includes role models, weapons/violence, leadership, discipline, finances, homeschooling, manners, housework, courtship, and even choosing a college (or not) with your son. This book is loaded with suggestions on how to handle so many different situations you and your sons will encounter as they grow. The Youngs are so encouraging in the way they write also. I did not end this book feeling discouraged and wondering how I would be able to get my sons through tomorrow, much less the rest of their lives! No, I was so encouraged through out the whole book and know that with God anything is possible, even raising our boys for His glory.
I highly recommend Raising Real Men for any parent of boys, whether you have 1 or 10, younger or older, homeschooled or not, you will find many applicable resources. This is a book that will be staying on my bookshelf where I can easily reference it for many years to come!
If you wish to purchase your own copy of Raising Real Men, please visit Timberdoodle. You can also find more Parenting Help, Boy Friendly Outdoor Learning, or to request a free catalog.
As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of Raising Real Men in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.
Monday, September 19, 2011
This week we have a week off from school so I can finish getting all my canning done, but first we decided to take a field trip to the zoo. The kids had lots of fun and it was a great day! The weather was perfect and since most other kids are in school, there was hardly anyone there.
Sitting on a turtle
Looking at lizards up close!
Riding the train
Watching the lions get fed
Riding the bus through the bear pens
Running down the track
Riding a horse
What a great day it was!
My kids love maps. They like looking at them and finding where we live or where a place is that we are learning about in school. They love feeling the bumps on our globe where the mountains are. They like finding rivers and lakes. Maps make learning fun for them. Many times I will try to find a certain map to go along with what we are studying, but have often found it challenging to find exactly what I need. Thanks to WonderMaps, that is no longer an issue! I can very quickly find a map customized to what we need.
WonderMaps, from Bright Ideas Press, is a collection of 360 maps that can be customized to your project with a few easy steps. It is a program that is installed on your PC and has 60+ maps of the world, 60+ maps of the US and 125 historical maps. They can be customized to include any or all of the following: historical or modern-day maps, outline, reference, political, or topographical maps, black-and-white or color maps, and features including names, borders, rivers, cities, physical features, and graticules. It also has complete map sets from The Mystery of History and All American History curriculums, so if you use either of those, this could be a big help to you!
I love how easy WonderMaps is too use. The maps that we have already used, I have very quickly found within several clicks of the homepage. And once I find what I want I love that I can easily make it color or black and white so my kids can color it, add names or leave them off to test my kids' knowledge, or even add or leave off borders to show how the map compares historically verses modern. Here is a picture of a historical map of Revolutionary War battle sites with all possible options on:
There are even more features that I haven't explored yet, but I can tell that this will be so useful in the years to come for our homeschooling. You can even register your product on Bright Ideas Press and you will receive updates when they are available! Even if I purchase a new Atlas, it will probably be out of date very soon, so this is a great resource to have current information.
Recently we studied Christopher Columbus and one of the maps was his voyages across the Atlantic. It was so easy to find, print off, and have ready for the kids to look at while I read to them.
So far I haven't found anything that I don't like about WonderMaps, so I highly recommend it for all your map needs!
For more information or to purchase WonderMaps please visit Timberdoodle or Bright Ideas Press. While you are there, be sure to check out some of their Hands On Geography or Geography Puzzles, or to request a free catalog.
As a member of Timberdoodle's Blogger Review Team I received a free copy of WonderMaps in exchange for a frank and unbiased review.
Friday, September 16, 2011
A couple months ago, I read a post on Raising Homemakers about making peach jelly. They showed how to use the peels and pits to make it and I thought that was a great idea since I usually can or freeze some peaches every year. So I bookmarked it and was going to try remember to do it when it was time for peaches at the end of summer. As I started working with some of my other fruits a couple months ago, I began to wonder if you could do that with more than just peaches. So I gave it a try and it works great! I didn't remember to take any pictures until I did my peaches this week, but I also tried cherry, apple, and pear jelly and I just used the same process for all of them.
While you are canning, freezing, drying, or just using a good amount of fruit, remember to save the peels and pits or cores in a large pot. Then cover it with water. You will need about 4 cups of juice, so add at least that much water for each batch you want to do. Then bring it to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. After that let it cool a little. You can continue on from there or let it sit for a while. I usually did this right before bed and then let it sit all night because after a day of canning or freezing, I wasn't really too excited to start a batch of jelly too.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
When I received the chance to review The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall, I was so excited! I loved the first book of hers that I read, A Bridge of Peace. Even though these are the 2nd and 3rd books of the Ada's House Series and I missed the 1st, they were still very easily read and I didn't feel lost. The Harvest of Grace is about Sylvia, who loves working with her family's dairy cows. After her old beau marries her sister and they find a dangerous connection between them, Sylvia moves away to help the aging Blanks run their farm and try to save it from losing it to debt. Shortly after, the Blank's son Aaron returns to the farm from rehab with the goal of selling the farm and moving his parents to an easier lifestyle. Sylvia believes the farm can be saved and the Blanks are stubbornly refusing to listen to Aaron. When Sylvia and Aaron discover that they are growing fond of each, they must figure out at way to find common ground.
I highly recommend The Harvest of Grace, even if you haven't read any other books in the Series. I am looking forward to finding more of Cindy Woodsmall's books soon!
This book was provided to me for free from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for this review.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
So far this year, we are off to a great start with school! We have two weeks done and have found a pretty good routine that is working for us (until Peanut decides she's done with morning naps and throws a wrench in it!) This is by far my most favorite time of the year to be homeschooling. The kids are still excited about all the new stuff and the weather is still nice enough to get outside a lot. The local schools started up this week and there have been so many facebook updates have been about how sad they are that they have to bring their kids to school and they cried all the way home or as they watched their little ones get on the bus for the first time. I am so thankful that I don't have to experience that! Not having to send my kids away to spend the best part of their day with someone else sure makes all the hard work of homeschooling worth it!
This week we headed to Tennant Lake for our nature walk. The kids had lots of fun checking out all the wetland plants and even a few animals.
They loved climbing up the look out tower.
It has a great view of the wetlands and all the water lilies!
So excited to run down the path
I wasn't sure how they would do walking the raised boardwalk though the water, I sure didn't want to have to try jump in after someone, especially with Peanut in the back pack! They did great though and walked slowly and carefully!
At one place there was a huge dragonfly that kept hovering right in front of us like he was showing off. He is about in the middle of the next two pictures.
Lovebug was constantly laying down to look over the end and see what was under the walkway.
It was amazing how many lily pads there were!