Friday, October 29, 2010

I Scored Big Time!

I won an online auction the other day!  I usually don’t win because I am cheap frugal and do not usually bid very high.  In this particular case, I had the item on my watch list.  I received the customary email right before the auction ended warning that my watched item “might get away” if I didn’t spring into action.  Which I did.  I hadn’t yet placed a bid on the item.  The price started at $9.99 and there was one bid.  Two minutes were left on the clock.  I quickly placed my bid, expecting to be outbid.  But I wasn’t. 

What did I win?

A collection of 15 brand new books on China.

Step Into the Chinese Empire

Moonbeams, Dumplings & Dragon Boats - (Collection of Chinese holiday tales, activities & recipes)

Daisy Comes Home - Jan Brett

Children in China - Michael Karhausen

Sing 'n Learn Chinese, w/CD - Children's Songs

Ancient China Stencils - (Craft Kit)

At the Beach - Huy Voun Lee

Chinese Mother Goose Rhymes

The Dragon Prince - A Chinese Beauty & The Beast Tale

FaMulan - (Scholastic)

Kites: Magic Wishes That Fly Up to the Sky

Look What Came From China

Science in Ancient China

Growing Up in Ancient China

Chin Chiang and the Dragon's Dance


The best part is that of the 15 books, I only had one of the books, and it is wrecked from usage.  I received the books today and you would have thought it was Christmas!

Oh, my winning bid…$10.50.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ten Ways to Simplify Homeschooling

Passed along with permission...

Ten Ways to Simplify Homeschooling Colette Longo August 2001

1) Keep everything as simple as you can. Jesus wrote with a stick in the dirt, and He was the greatest teacher that ever lived. He used no curriculum or flannel graphs or lesson plans. Homeschooling can be made far more complicated than it should be. A simpler approach is much more effective.


2) Stick to the 3 R's. They form the foundation of life-long learning in every field because they are the tools of study. There will be no need to formalize any other subject if the children are doing their best in these 3, because people who are well grounded in reading, writing and math will approach other subjects boldly, independently and confidently.


3) Let the children teach themselves as much as they are able to. This teaches them responsibility, intellectual independence, and builds confidence. It's also better for the parent/child relationship because you can focus on parenting instead of playing schoolteacher.


4) Use the most direct method available. For reading, read. For writing, write, for math, do it, and for Bible, read it. Don't fall for catchy curriculums or methods that are really just something else for you and your child to learn.


5) Don't worry about your child's age or grade. Just let him do the best he can each day. Children grow intellectually like they do physically: in spurts. Although we may have an audience of skeptical relatives, homeschooling is not a circus, and we refuse to train our children to do tricks for people.


6) Minimize distractions in the home. Watch for excessiveness in entertainments, snacking, outings, phone conversations and the like. These sorts of things can easily get out of hand and compete with the effectiveness of a homeschool and sap the family of time and energy.


7) Seek quality over quantity. A few tapes of great music, a small case of carefully chosen books, a few special play mates, and an occasional outing is better than a large, but poor quality collection.


8) If you must document your school activities, do it after the fact. This way you will not make promises you cannot keep. If you are required to make lesson plans, be as vague as permissible. Don't let transcripts, diplomas, records and tests determine your academic plans. Focus on learning and the rest will follow.


9) Put the needs of your youngest, most vulnerable children first. If an older child gets a little behind in school, I'm sure you can forgive yourself. But if something happened to the toddler while you were busy homeschooling, I don't think you would be able to say the same.


10) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and don't neglect to seek him him the first fruits of your day and teach your children to do the same. I know that you are tired and that there aren't enough hours in your day, but we serve a God who can make the sun stand still.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

A Fall Recipe


Here in the south we are starting to experience our version of fall.  It is a really delightful time of the year.  First of all, most of the tourists have gone, so there is less traffic/people.  Second, the night’s are cool and the day’s are warm.  Little humidity.  The water is still warm enough to get at the beach.  Aaah…the beach.  Boating.  Fishing.  Aaah…

Anyway, I have a recipe that I like to cook in the fall because it is spicy in a fall spice way.  Actually it is two recipes, but I usually serve them together as a meal.

Recipe #1

Pork Chops with Ginger/Pears


· 6 to 8 boneless center cut loin pork chops

· salt, to taste

· ground black pepper, to taste

· 4 to 6 tablespoons oil

· 4 tablespoons minced ginger

·3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard

· 1 28-ounce can pear halves in juice, sliced and reserve juice

**Note:  Do not use Splenda sweetened pears**

· 3 tablespoons butter

Cooking Instructions

1. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. In large skillet heat oil over high heat until it shimmers.

2. Cook pork in skillet until done,  Place in a warm oven to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, add the ginger to the skillet, stirring to combine. Stir in mustard to combine.

5. Add pear juice. Cook about 3 minutes until liquid has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

6. Add butter and swirl until melted.

7. Gently stir in the pears and add pork chops back to the skillet.

I usually cut the pork chops into strips before returning to the pan.  That way there is more pork surface area covered by the yummy sauce.

Recipe #2

Pumpkin-pie Spiced Rice


· 2 teaspoons butter

· 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

· 1¾ cups water

· ½ teaspoon salt

· 1 cup rice (brown or white)

Cooking Instructions

1. In medium saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add pumpkin pie spice, stirring, about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

2. Add water, salt and rice. Bring water to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until water is absorbed.

I am sorry I don’t have any photos to share.  My experience with my food photos is that the pictures don’t do justice to the food.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Fall Wall

Have you hit it yet?  I certainly have.  I hit my “fall wall” about 2 weeks ago.  Actually, I think I slammed into it.  Do you know what I am talking about?  This is a phenomenon that occurs every fall, after school has been in session for about 9 weeks.  The kids don’t seem to retain anything they have been learning.  It is a lot darker and cooler at 6:30 in the morning and all you want to do is stay in bed and sleep.  Not only that, but we had what was it, 23 inches of rain a week or so ago.  Fall.Wall.

So, how do you remedy FallWallitis?  You take a day off.  That is exactly what we did.  Today was sunny, high in the 80’s, but the best part was we didn’t have any commitments.  This is how you get out of the funk that all of the rain and routine can put you in.  You head to the ocean.


Can you hear the theme song to “Miami Vice” in the background????  Godzilla is wearing Captain Daddy’s “Sonny Crocket” shades.  Something about breathing the salt air rejuvenates a body.


Looking at jellyfish swimming by.


Southern refreshment.

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Fishing for flippies!


Not catchin’ a thing, but having a great time at it!

All in all, we caught and released 3 small fish.  The tide was the highest I have ever seen.  Not the best time to fish. But that was just an excuse to get the whole family together and just enjoy each other and God’s wonderful creation around us.


Monday, October 4, 2010

Something to ponder….

For God so Loved the world…He didn’t send a committee!

Just think about it.:)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Life Chain 2010

This Sunday, October 3, 2010, is National Life Chain Sunday.  LIFE CHAIN invites the churches in each city and towns across North America to stand on a designated local sidewalk and pray for 90 minutes, while holding one of the following approved pro-life sign messages.

This is a peaceful, prayerful, and powerful public witness of pro-life individuals standing up for the rights of the unborn.  It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.

So, I ask you to stand with our family and thousands of pro-lifers throughout the USA and Canada this Sunday.  You'll be a light in a darkened world as you help put an end to abortion through prayer.  Bring your whole family.  Rain or shine.  You can find a listing of the Life Chain event in your city/town here.

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