Thursday, October 23, 2014

Science and Field Trips

We are finally in a groove with school. The kids are doing well with their routines and working independently. The curriculum we are using has turned out to be perfect, now that we are in routine.
We add in extras as we can. I love that my kids love to learn and we can turn so many things into learning experiences.

Watching the solar eclipse online while eating breakfast.. They got up at 6 am without complaint.

We also visited a local orchard. We were very disappointed that we did not get to see all the processing of cider. 

The kids loved eating the apple scraps. 

They have these automatic apple peelers, that peel and core apples. 

We also got a science lesson in the apple orchard. I learned a lot!
There was tossing of apples and eating of apples.

This school year has not turned out quite like I thought it would. But we have been able to do a lot of #bestyes moments. We made the difficult decision to cut out co op and cut back on some other things and as a result we have been able to do some fun things that make wonderful memories. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

It Was The Kids First Time At The Fair

It is fair season. My kids have never been to the fair. Mostly because I dislike crowds. This year I decided to attempt a trip to the fair for dinner and to watch the parade. 

My kids are NOT impressed with my attempts at pictures.. Keeping it real. :)

I posted on FB asking for tips on where to park. Handicapped parking can be a royal pain. So I asked for tips on where to park a 15 passenger van that takes up 2 parking spots, that wasn't to far from the parade.

Nesiah LOVED the fair! She was so excited and happy!

My friend Miss D offered us a parking spot at her house, a couple houses away from the parade route and only a couple blocks from the Fair! I was so thankful! It was the perfect place to park!!

Lee takes his books everywhere he goes...

We parked at Miss. D's house and walked up to the fair for dinner. The kids were so excited, altho we all hate crowds! They chose pizza and ice cream from the ice cream truck! We got fried oreos as a bonus! Oh the sugar!!!!

We walked back to Miss D's house and sat on the corner waiting for the parade, which the kids LOVED!

Seriously, who comes up with costumes like this!

Even Uncle Sam was there!

My favorite float was the one that looked like the Beverly Hillbillies! The parade lasted for 2 hours! Oh My! My kids had so much fun. They totally enjoyed themselves! Plus they had an amazing stash of candy when they got home! 

They decided the Fair was one of their favorite places to go to! Plus the very next day our favorite babysitter took them to Cherry Crest Farms for the day. They had entire to much fun this week! Next week looks almost as good. We already have two field trips planned!

One final picture, because I love it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Life has been busy... some pretty heavy unbloggable stuff bogging us down, draining our extra energy.

We did lots of field trips last week, because sometimes it's easier to do fieldtrips rather than seatwork when we have lots of things going on.

We are buckling down with school this week. The kids are working hard.

They did double school today so they could goof off tomorrow.

My kids are really amazing. truly.

I started cleaning out my guest bedroom and found evidence of mice.After recovering from my freak out,  I went to Walmart and spend $50 on traps, bait and sensors. I.hate.mice. It's taking twice as long to clean that room. Sigh. Thankfully stress drove me to cleaning it out.

I stress clean. Now if I could just stop stress eating.

I had both vehicles in the garage this week, new exhaust, new brakes and new rotors. ugh.

I accidentally left a sock  balled in my daughter's shoe and she cried for 45 minutes at school. I win the bad mom award on a bad, awful, no good day.

We have a friend who is going through an awful cancer journey. My heart aches for her. My heart aches for her pain, but also because she doesn't know my Jesus.

I am taking a child to the hospital next door to the hospital where my husband was treated for cancer. Bone marrow transplant. Ugly treatment. worst time of our life.

I have been listening to a lot of Francis Chan. I want to be like him.

I am thankful for God's grace, for answered prayers, for strength and grace.

May this song minister to you like it did to me.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Not Your Typical Once a Month Meals: The Recipes

Due to the unbelievable response to this post, I put together a website for easy meals for big families! Check it out! Check us out!!

These are some of our favorite recipes for freezer meals!  Disclaimer: This is not a cooking blog. I am simply sharing basic recipes we use. I also tend to "just dump it all together" so this may drive detailed cooks crazy. I apologize in advance.

Part 1 and Part 2  Of Not Your Typical Once A Month Freezer meals! 

 Shepherd's Pie
 makes 3, 9x17 pans
5 lbs hamburger browned, salt and pepper added
add enough flour to thicken and add milk to make a thick gravy.
add mixed vegetables cook together until veggies are soft
dish into 3 pans and top with mashed potatoes.

Chicken Lasagna  (We make it with either gluten free lasagna or sliced potatoes instead of pasta)
2 cans of cream of mushroom
1 cup of sour cream
2 cups of shredded cheese
1 cup of parmesan cheese
2 cups of chicken
1/2 tsp of garlic
1 tsp chick bouillon
4-5 cooked potatoes sliced

blend the soup, sour cream, parm cheese, chicken and seasonings together. spread a layer of this mixture on the bottom of the pan add a cup of cheese and a layer of sliced potatoes then top with mixture. I usually put a good thick layer of potatoes between the chicken mixture then add more cheese on top.

 Taco Potato Casserole  (This is another huge favorite in our house)
 6 large potatoes, cooked and shredded
2 lbs of hamburger
2 cans of pork and beans
 1 pkg taco seasoning ranch dressing

place potatoes in bottom of pan. Top with ranch dressing. Add hamburger and beans which have been mixed with the seasoning.  

Potato Casserole (this one can be made with or without ham)
4 large potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
6 oz sour cream
1/4 c butter
1 c shredded cheese
 2 c crushed cornflakes
 salt and pepper to taste

 Cook potatos until soft. Slice grate or shred. Place in a 9x13 casserole. Mix soup, sour cream, melted butter and cheese, pour over potatoes.  If adding ham, cube ham and stir into the soup/sour cream mixture.  

Pizza Casserole
1.5 lbs burger
1 package of gluten free pasta
1 jar of pizza sauce (home canned)
1 cup of shredded cheese
1 cup of pepperoni
Brown burger, cook pasta until soft, mix all together.  

These recipes are great for feeding a large crew and filling bellies. If the casserole has veggies in it, I serve a jar of homemade applesauce as a side. If the casserole does not have a veggie I cook green beans, peas or corn that we freeze.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Psalms 91

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night,
    nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
    nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
    ten thousand at your right hand,
    but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes
    and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
    and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways

they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent

Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,
    I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
    and show him my salvation

Friday, October 3, 2014

Friday Encouragement

Every once in awhile something gets thrown at me that catches me off guard. These things often cause me to search and research. Sometimes it's medical, sometimes it's behavioral, sometimes it's spiritual, sometimes it's relational... Often it will lead me to a deeper level of knowledge.

Recently I had something that threw me for a loop in a spiritual sense. It's an on going journey/roller coaster that really has caused me to search and contemplate what I believe and why. Not really a really questioning my faith, but a questioning of what I believe about certain things.

Living a life of faith takes courage, prayer and discernment.

I am currently reading two books, both books I have read before, but needed to read again. Together.

The Best Yes and Crazy Love are two very different books with very different messages, yet they have the same foundation.

I have been reading through Crazy Love, it is a reminder why I do what I do. Why I parent 6 kids. Why I homeschool.

The book reminds me why I chose to live for Jesus.

*People who are obsessed with Jesus live lives that connect them with the poor in some way or another. Obsessed people believe that Jesus talked about money and the poor so often because it was really important to him. (1 John 2:4-6: Matt 16:24-26)

*Sometimes I feel like when I make decisions that are remotely biblical, people who call themselves Christians are the first to criticize and say I'm crazy, that I am taking the bible to literally.

*My existence was not random,nor was it an accident. God knew who he was creating and He designed me for a specific work.

I love this one. I need to be reminded that I was born for this. I was made for this. This means that if I live filled with Christ I will have peace and strength. It doesn't mean it will always be easy.

*Our culture says anything goes; Gear of God is almost unheard of.

* stress and worry, These two behaviors commnicate that it's ok to sin and not trust God, because the stuff in my life is somehow exceptional.

Francis Chan challenges us to live in such a way that others think we are crazy. He challenges us to live in such a way that there is no doubt in anyone's mind who we serve.
He challenges us to give, beyond ourselves, to give and serve in the strength of Jesus.

The Best Yes..

I am doing a bible study on that one right now. I absolutely love it.

The study is on slowing down in life. Stopping the rush of live, finding ways to "just be" so that we can serve Jesus. The importance of making  wise decisions in serving and where we give our time.

** “Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.”

**“Your decisions will determine direction. Your direction will determine destination.”

**Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom-based decision making process.
Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your Best Yes today -

Trying to find answers to the questions in my life. Directions for these big decisions in my life... I found these two books to be so helpful. I love learning new things and digging deeper in the Word to find answers.


**See more at:

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Guest Post" by my kids. :)

Lee says:
On Saturday, Sept. 21 we went to Dutch Wonderland with Mr. and Mrs. S.  We got there early, so we had to wait awhile. When we finally we got in. The first ride we rode was the carousel. The second ride was the kite flight.

We went on a couple more rides. Then we for lunch we had pizza. We went on the train ride and the sky ride. Once we were tired and finished, we got ice cream. Then we wanted to go on one more ride, but Mr. S said it was time to go home.

When we got home, mom had a hot dinner waiting for us. Mr. and Mrs. S ate dinner with us.

My favorite part was going on the sky ride.

David says:

First we went on airplane ride, then we went on a merry go round. We went on a slide. Then we had pizza. We did bumper cars. Mom said that we Mr. and Mrs. S could come for dinner.

My favorite part was flying on the airplane.

Elizabeth says:
We ate pizza for lunch. We went on some rides. We went on this ride, where I drove. Fayth was in the passenger seat. Then we got some ice cream. We went on other rides and the roller coaster twice. Then we went on the bumper cars.
We went on a couple more rides than it was almost closed. The last ride was the train. After we went on the train ride we came home.

My favorite part was the bumper cars. The second favorite was when I drove the car.

Oh, I wanted to tell you about the dinosaurs.  There was this sand place, where you can wipe sand and there was going to be dinosaur bones. Then after we played there for awhile we walked through the pretend dinosaurs. Then we got to see the dinosaurs move, not all of them but lots of them. Then when we came out there was a big humongous egg with baby a dinosaur. Then there was two other eggs. Kids could come in and peek through the holes, parents could take pictures of them.

Fayth says:
First we went on the merry go round. We went on the airplane ride and the sky ride and the bumper cars. That's all  I want to say. Oh, I forgot about the slide. We went on the slide too. That's all.

My favorite ride was the sky ride.