Wednesday, December 1, 2010

President Dieter Uchtdorf - Of Things That Matter Most

I am grateful for a good bishop who chose this talk for the Teaching for Our Times lesson in December. I really needed this additional inspiration as I try to simplify my life and strive to serve the Lord in Relief Society. This spoke truth to my soul.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sleigh Bells Ring....Are You Listenin'?

I cannot believe Christmas is right around the corner. Time has flown by this year! Our tree is up already. We bought a 9 ft. pre-lit tree this year. All my Christmas decor is packed away, so I bought a large container of ornaments at Sam's and slapped them on and called it good. I'll try digging out some of our decorations later this week.

My daughter is taking violin again. She is also in a World Lit. class that meets locally. My older two boys are playing basketball. Youngest boy isn't in anything extra-curricular right now. Our homeschool co-op classes are over until about the end of February. Then we will start our spring term.

I am looking forward to some days of not having to be anywhere so we can get our home organized, and I can hang out with my kids and do some fun things like arts and crafts and playing Playmobil and find a good read-a-loud book I can start reading to them. Oooo! I hope we get snowed/iced in a few times this year! Drinking hot chocolate and not having anywhere to be sounds divine. Our gas fireplace and Coleman stove will keep us toasty and fed!

We are having 1/3 of our slab poured this Friday. The "shop" portion of our building will have a slab, now, and we can enclose it and use it for storage while we work on the rest of the building. Projected finish date needs to be by September 1, 2011....we would really like to move out to our farm land by then.

Merry Christmas! If we do anything super cool, I'll post pictures!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Busy Times!

It has been hard to keep up with blogging over the last few months! I'm still impressed with myself for posting as much as I did this year, though. Way more posts than 2009!

Many activities have kept me busy. We moved and still haven't totally unpacked and organized every nook and cranny of our house, which is sad because it isn't a big space. We are in temporary housing while we build, and it is smaller! Our homeschooling co-op was meeting once per week for 7 weeks. I was "in charge" of it, so that responsibility kept me on my toes. Then, I was called as Relief Society president in our ward. Wowza. A week after I was called, we spent a week in Hawaii. This is our second week back and I'm starting to catch my breath.

This week is the last week of our co-op, though. That is going to have to take a back burner for me. My RS calling is more important. I'm still learning and figuring it out. I haven't served in RS in several years. Too many years in Young Women and Cub Scouts...

I'm totally at peace with everything going on in my life right now, though. Things are cruising along, and I'm not really stressed out. Having my two oldest boys use the K12 curriculum at this time was inspired. I would be stressed out trying to totally come up with homeschool lessons every day for 4 students. Right now I just have 2 and one doesn't need much and the other is self-led. It is working.

So, I don't have anything fabulous to post about what we are doing in our homeschool these days since we are on cruise control with that! Nothing spectacular is happening, we are just moving along...

Now, to get through the holidays!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Moving On

Our family had the craziest, busiest summer ever! Camps, trips, All Stars Baseball, and local fun kept us very active. We ended the summer with a move into a new house. We are now closer to our building site and can keep a better eye on things going on with that. We can also visit our land more often to play - it is only about 7 minutes down the road!

We changed towns and changed wards, so we go to church with a different congregation, now. We lived here several years ago, so it is fun to see old friends, again. We miss our Rogers friends, though. It was hard to leave them. We aren't too far away, though, so we can visit!

My two oldest boys are enrolled in a program using the K12 curriculum at home. They have been participating in this for about 2 weeks, now, and they like it. So, I'm only figuring out curriculum and teaching for my two other kids, now. The K12 curriculum does it all for me with the other two.

I, personally, have been through some trials lately. I'm so grateful for a Heavenly Father who answers my prayers, though. I'm grateful for the Spirit to bring my comfort and strength. I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, who suffered for me so I don't have to. I'm grateful for my family - they are most important to me. Everything else can crumble, and I still have them. I'm grateful for wonderful, true friends, who stick with me through thick and thin :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Planning for Fall

Cub Scout camp was last week and this week I have a boy at Boy Scout camp and a girl at EFY. My husband was at scout camp for half of this week, too. Half of our family was missing! I just had my two little boys! They got along extremely well and played together all the day long with hardly a fuss. They get to go to some fun places this week like seeing a preview of The Last Airbender at the movies, go play at the park, go play with friends, go to Terra Studios, and go to a Primary activity. For 2 days we had a living room full of army men, Galactic Heros, games, and two 100 piece puzzles...which my 7 year old did complete! Fun times.

Meanwhile, I'm already planning for fall. I'm going to teach science at our homeschool co-op this fall. Not because I'm a great scientist or even really like the subject, but because my kids need a meaty science class and I'm teaching it so I know they get the material! I's a little control freakish. If I do it in a class setting, it will also get done and we can't procrastinate like we do other stuff at home sometimes. Yep. I said it. We procrastinate. Like on the botany we were supposed to keep up with the last few weeks! When my older two get home from their camps we will pick up on some of it in July.

One science class I'm doing is based on Apologia's Exploring Creation with Zoology 2: Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day. In ten weeks, we are going to go skimming through the whole book. I'm having students notebook and keep portfolios of what we do in class. This will be for ages 9-11.

The other class I am co-teaching with a friend. It is based on Apologia's General Science text. Students will also keep a notebook, have homework, tests, and keep a portfolio. We will only go through a portion of the book in 10 weeks. The class is for ages 12 and older.

At home, we will continue with Story of the World, volume 3. We should finish this by Christmas and start volume 4 in January.

As for next week....well....we're going camping!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Summer Time!

I can't believe it is already summer! Where has the time gone?

Well, in our homeschool this summer, we are working on Botany. Yes, we still school through the summer as much as we can. We do this because we take breaks during other times of the year and it all balances out!

So, to update:

The list schedule I made up didn't work out well. We are going to try it again when summer is over.

In the summer, we do math and reading/language arts every day when we are home. I am also having my two older kids add botany onto that list of things to do everyday. Other stuff, like art and music, happen when they happen. We are going to continue having history lessons once per week. We are still meeting up with another family throughout the summer once per week (around trips and camps) to do history activities together. This is going to be super great in July because we'll get to the Revolutionary War time period then. How appropriate.

We have Cub Scout Camp, Boy Scout Camp, Girl's Camp, EFY, Youth Conference, and we just found out our oldest boy was nominated for All Stars in baseball. This is a busy summer for our family, but we will be squeezing in doing some homework when the kids are home. It will be a shortened version, so they'll still have plenty of time to play outside, meet up with friends, play in creeks, etc.

We are also building a house this summer. Construction has started. We will post pictures later. When we get to the finished out phase, I will immerse myself in that for a while - painting comes to mind!

The kids are helping me to do some gardening this year, so the botany lessons are fitting in nicely. Also, I'm having the kids help and observe as I make various herbal remedies this summer. They helped me and watched me work with lemon balm a few weeks ago!

My daughter has launched a new blog. She started this as a YW value project and has decided to carry on with it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sweet Melissa

We have lots of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) growing around one corner of our house and driveway. It was planted by a previous inhabitant. At first I was shy about using it and just let it grow and go to seed and spread around - it is pretty and smells nice. After educating myself the last couple of years about herbs and their uses, I'm not so shy now about actually using the plants I can find and identify!

Today, the kids helped me harvest the perfect leaves and make some herbal honey with the lemon balm from our yard. I had some local honey that had crystallized. After putting the jar in some warm water and breaking it up, I poured it all into a stainless steel pot and warmed it all up until it was smooth. I put several fresh lemon balm leaves into 4 sterile jelly jars. Once the honey was pretty warm, I poured it over the leaves and put on the lids/rings. I'm going to let it sit for at least a week before eating it. These would also make cute gifts. And herbal honey is easier to make than jam or jelly! Next time I want to try lavender. I've had lavender honey before and it is yummy.

I also chopped some of the lemon balm up finely and placed it in another jar. I covered the chopped leaves with apple cider vinegar to make a child-friendly tincture. This jar will sit in a sunny, warm window for about 4-6 weeks. Then, I'll strain out the herb and put the tincture into amber bottles. Dosage will be taken drops at a time for pain relief and stress relief. It is also good for winter illness, strengthening the immune system, and the digestive tract.