I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. You get your fill to eat, But always keep that hunger. May you never take one single breath for granted. God forbid love ever leave you empty handed. I hope you still feel small when you stand by the ocean. Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens. Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.... I hope you dance.

Friday, March 14, 2008


As so many homeschooling families do, we use cooking for many things: home ec, math, science and down right fun. This is one of those occasions! On our AmbleRamble group, Dana shared this wonderful recipe. I could NOT wait to make it~usually we have a "special" breakfast...aka meat (bacon or sausage), french toast, or a coffee cake. The reason behind this was because Saturday mornings in the winter have a wonderful slow mode. We are all home and have time to really spend time on breakfast. I will definitely be adding this yummy recipe to our Saturday morning breakfast menu. Thanks Dana Wixson wixsond@hotmail.com

Basic Biscuits & Scones
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, chilled
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips for scones (optional - NOT!)
1 beaten egg plus 1 tablespoon sugar for tops of scones
Makes 12 biscuits or 8 scones

Helpful Hints:For light, flaky biscuits and scones, be careful not to mixor knead the dough too vigorously. Biscuits and scones arebest when served warm.

Directions:Preheat oven to 450 degrees for biscuits, 375 degrees for scones.
Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and saltin large bowl. Cut in shortening until mixture resemblescoarse crumbs. Stir in milk until soft dough forms.Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 7-8times, just until dough is smooth. (For chocolate chip scones, stir in chocolate chips before kneading.)

FOR BISCUITS: Flatten to 1/2-inch thick and cut into2 1/2-inch rounds. Place 1 inch apart on large ungreasedbaking sheet. Bake until golden, 12-15 minutes.
FOR SCONES: Transfer dough onto ungreased baking sheet.Shape dough into flat, 8-inch round. Cut into wedges, butdo not separate. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle withsugar (YES!), if desired. Bake round until golden brown, 20-25 minutes.Separate into scones.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Monk food

Yesterday we read Chapter 3, volume II, Story of the World. This chapter addresses the spread of Christianity to Britian. One of the suggested activities was to prepare Lentil soup. I have never had lentil soup but loved the idea of eating as the monks would. We ever pretended it was butter so we could have butter on our bread! Emily could not get over that the monks were not allowed butter on their bread nor that they were not allowed to meat at breakfast. "No sausage or bacon? Poor them!"

Emily loves to help in the kitchen and this was no exception. She loved chopping all the veggies, adding the lentils and watching the spinch wilt. The lentil soup was wonderful and easy to make. Emily on the other hand has a different opinion, can you say YUCK! Did I mention that Emily is an extremely picky eater? At least she tried the lentil soup.
Because we are a larger family I doubled the recipe for lunch tomorrow. Well that was the plan, for evening snack Jeff, Sarah Elizabeth and I had another bowl. At Sarah Elizabeth's suggestion a few bowls were shared with their Godmother and Godfather, they called to say the soup was yummy! So there was no soup left over for lunch! ;0)

Lentil Soup

1 onion (we used a vidalia)
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5) can crushed tomatoes
8 C water
2 Tbs. vinegar
1/4 C of olive oil
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tsp. dried oregano
1tsp. dried basil
1 C lentils
1/2 C spinich, rinsed and thinly chopped
Salt and ground pepper to taste

*Note: I added 2 Tbs. Johnny's Season (we sprinkle this on about everything!)

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook until stir onions are tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano and basil; cook for two minutes.

Stir in lentils, add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. reduce heat,a nd simmer for atleast one hour. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar, and season to taste. Enjoy!
This makes about 6 servings.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What a truely amazing day!

Oh my golly spring is really coming! Today has been absolutely totally fabulous. I awakened to the sound of song birds and a cloudless blue sky. After breakfast I immediately re-evaluated the plans for the day. While Jeff is home with us we are trying to include everything we can because he has missed out on so many occasions and outings with us when he was working.

It took an 1 1/2 hours to get the girls out door for some reason...yikes they were grouchy. Sarah Elizabeth announced that the time change was not the sharpest idea from the crayon box!! I just chalked it up to teenagerness and the need to sleep forever at this age, LOL. I love you Sarah Elizabeth <3!>

Finally, we were out the door to explore. We went to Little Creek Park because it is close to home. Gas prices are really dictating where and what we do these days, especially with Jeff not working. Once the girls arrived at LCP their spirits changed completely......yeah!!!!!!! We drove around trying to decided where to explore and decided the creek was a great place to go. Dad was not happy thinking we were going to forge the creek! Silly Daddy.

I gave Dad the task of searching for tree buds and Emily did a great job sketching while Sarah bear was off exploring for a place to get into the creek without getting wet. She actually found this cool overhang rock that allowed her the opportunity to get as close as possible. All around the creek were shoots of one particular plant coming up. I was not able to zoom in close enough without getting wet, so I made a mental note that we would need to come back again a few times to see what blooms. My minds eye is showing it might be Lillie's of the valley. If so the creek bed will gorgeous next month.

Sarah Elizabeth commandeered the digital camera and off she went. She does have a great eye for pictures and I cannot wait to upload them to the computer but that will have to wait until our main computer comes back from the computer guru, aka their godfather David. Lately it seem to spend more time at his house than our. Gotta remember to cover the off/on switch so that Joseph will stop turning off the computer so that he can change sites rather than asking for help. Meanwhile Emily went searching for signs of a troll who might live under the near by creek bridge. (Hmmm~do you think that Emily has watched way too many episodes of watching Dora with her little brother, Joseph?!) No troll but there was a cool water fall under the bridge and old oak tree with a huge hole in its trunk beside the bridge. I took the opportunity to remind Emily that flying squirrels nests are usually inside tree trunks (We are reading Mystery in the Night Woods, about a flying squirrel). Much to her dismay there was no nest in the tree but she did spot several squirrel nests in the trees overhead. Sadly, deep inside the tree some litter bug dropped a water bottle in the hole. Sarah Elizabeth was just about to extract it but Dad nixed that idea. All in all it was a great time.

I LOVE HOMESCHOOLING! It is days like this that deepen my love of homeschooling. Emily loves field trips even more today: on our walk back to the car she found a very worn, dirty $1 bill. Her comment, "Homeschooling can really pay off!" Gotta love her. :0)

Well, dinner is not going to cook itself and kids will be home from choir practice soon. Tonight we are having lentil soup. This is suggested by History of the World to go hand in hand with studying the Byzantine Empire..."We are eating Monk food, yuck." according to Emily. When reminded she and Sarah are cooking dinner (big grin on my part :0) ) she cheered up. Did I mention Emily is the pickiest eater in the whole wide world???

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Project Budburst


Thanks to mailto:momtocherubs%40becksbounty.com for sharing this wonderful project that will be great to tie into the Green Hour...no child left inside. Whether you homeschool or not this will be great to do with your children.

Have fun enjoying the beauty of Spring.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Ever have one of those days...

Well it has only taken three days to make and plant our herb terriariums and start our flowers. The girls forgot to water them after they were planted..oops. The beans started on Saturday are already making progress. The seed covers have popped open on Sarah' Elizabeth's pinto beans as well as her navy. Emily forgot to set hers in the light and stuck them in her cubby...another oops.
Sarah Elizabeth planted Mamouth sunflower seeds and moonshine sunflower seeds. Emily planted daisies and sweet peas. I had the girls examine and compare their seeds in size before they planted them. I made copies of their seed packets and they glued these into their notebooks. As usual Sarah Elizabeth took hours designing her notebook pages and Emily finished in under 2 minutes! Typical.

The girls will keep a diary of the progress their indoor gardens make and eventually move them outside. I sure hope the girls have better green thimbs than I do! :0) If so we should have the prettiest flower bed on the block.

The gentleman in the picture is from Greens Feed and Seed. Check out the size of the seed started bag. Did we really need a seed starting bag that ummm.....big?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Frozen Cookies

I would love to share with you the big freeze~AKA selling girl scout cookies in 20 degree weather BUT........I forgot to put the memeory card back in the camera. BOOOOOOOO HISSSSSSS.

Four 8,9, 10 year old girl scouts braved the cold and sold cookies outside today. Rita brought hot chocolate and boy am I glad she did. Otherwise we would have had frozen solid little girls. The day was beautiful. sunny, crisp and few people were braving the day. Did not sell as many cookies as we would have liked but it was fun hanging out with the girls!

Anyone want to buy any girl scout cookies? :0)

How does your garden grow?

Today we had a beautiful blessing of snow! Joseph was so excited when he awoke and found it snowing. It continued to do so into to wee hours of the morning. More than 6 inches! My poor SIL in Cleveland received more than a foot. Wish we were there!

Yesterday we went to Green's Feed and Seed store to pick out seed to germinate. The girls had a great time...just so many seeds so little space in the window! I am trying to home school on a shoestring since Jeff lost his job and I tell you it is so hard. Seeds and soil ended up costing around $20 (ouch!). Each girl had two different kids of seeds. I only hope that they either begin to grow before we leave on the 18Th or do not make their grand entrance until after we get back from Seattle on March 27Th.

On a side note: I know your thinking how can we go to Seattle with Jeff not working? Our son, Joseph, and daughter Sarah Elizabeth are going for medical treatment. Thanks to http://www.miracleflights.org/ we do not pay for airfare and we are praying that we will be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House http://www.rmhcseattle.org/ Joseph has a caring page at www.caringbridge.org/visit/JosephSprouse .

The whole garden thing began back when I followed the suggesting form Heart and Trees to grow a winter garden. We tried sweet and white potatoes, parsnip, carrot and turnip. Nothing grew but the turnip. The girls have loved watching it grow as well as Emily's friend Lilith, Every time she comes over she checks to see how much it has grown.

The girls planted their seeds in egg cartons. We were going to cover them with plastic wrap, this still might happen while we are in Seattle so that they are watered. The last thing I want is for them to die while we are gone. Emily is growing sweet peas and daisies (both are my favorites, and I promise I did not prompt her choice!). Sarah Elizabeth is growing two different types of sunflowers.

When we return from Seattle hopefully our NASA tomato seeds should arrive. I am uncertain what list I got the address to sign up but it sound really cool and tied right into our space and plants unit. http://www.tomatosphere.org/ Tomatosphere is an educational outreach project that reaches over 9000 classrooms across Canada, the United States.