Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Garden 2011


The spring square-foot garden was planted and doing very well... until the hail storm hit last Saturday.  Now we are waiting to see, what, if anything can salvaged. We are still continuing to receive rain everyday, so we can't even plant the snow peas, beans, carrots, and radishes.

We have been referencing the All New Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew.  Since we just began gardening last spring, we are all learning as we go!  I have been pulling articles from different magazines also for more local gardening tips to help us.

My teens have mostly enjoyed the hail storm and the damage to the garden.  I know, not what any homeschool mom wants to admit!  At this point: Melissa is my photographer, Michael played pack mule and carried the heavy soil bags and helped me plant the initial seeds/plants, and Matt helps in the watering.  I'm sure if my teens were elementary-age kids, they would be more excited in the "growing" process.

Now the question is:

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hail Storm - March 26, 2011

I love a good rain/thunderstorm!  When Matt told me it was hailing outside, it was like Christmas morning at our home.  Little did we know, we were about to get a hail storm.  The hail was pea size to quarter size, but came down so heavy and so fast for about 5 minutes.  Check out these photos:

during the storm...

After it slowed down a little, my daughter, with her trusty camera, went out to be my photographer!

Gotta love the shoes!

Pray for my garden.  Between the hail storm and constant rain over the last week or so, I'm not sure the lettuce, strawberries, spinach, and broccoli will make it.

So, have you had crazy weather where you are lately?


Homekeeper's Journal - March 29, 2011


This week’s Homekeeper’s Journal is about This And That!

In My Kitchen this week……….. creamed pork chops, Buffalo Chicken wraps, pizza at our favorite pizza store (Mr. T's), Asian chicken, homemade instant oatmeal packets for breakfast, and chocolate pudding cake.

In My Yard …….. nice, green grass coming up after months of feeding, weeding and watering!  In my raised garden box, I have broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce and tomatoes.  Pray that I don't lose the to the never-ending rain and the massive hail storm on Saturday.  If it ever dries out, I'll be planting snow peas and green beans.

I’ve been thinking …. how best to use my time.  I keep coming across a time management ebook written by a blogger for bloggers.  I haven't broken down to buy it, but it sure keeps my mind on how I do use my time.

What motivates me more than anything else is ….. providing the education and upbringing that not only prepares our teens for their adult lives, but also their walk with God.  I know I need to spend more time with them preparing their hearts and watering any seeds that have been planted over the year(s).  Now, more so than ever, since my 17 year olds will be dual-enrolling at a local college for their senior year.

My Devotional life and walk with Christ …. is sorely lacking.  I was reading through Beth Moore's book on John, but haven't picked it up for a while a long time.  Now sounds like a good time to open it again.  (Especailly since I've publicly admitted it!)  I am also reading through The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper during this season of Lent.

I struggle ….. with getting everything done that I put on my daily to do list.  I believe I have an unhealthy level of expectation... and think I have more hours in the day than the good Lord gave us!

I dread …. Thursday mornings and driving my teens to their 8 AM Chemistry class!

But I look forward …. hearing about their class and friends as we drive home and finish our schooling for the day.

How are things going at your house?


Game Plan for Life: Your Personal Playbook for Success


Do you know any man who would like tips for success in life?  Would it be even nicer if it was written from a Christian perspective? 

In Game Plan for Life by Joe Gibbs, he has written a book for men outlining the guiding principles he has used thoughout his life.  With a team of experts, he has uncovered the 11 most important issues facing men today and addresses them in this book including "Who is God?," "Finances," "Relationships and Sex," "Overcoming Sin and Addiction," and more.  

As he introduces each topic, Joe shares stories of his life and athletes he has mentored.  Many of these are situations that we all can relate to.  Then, as an added bonus, he introduces his team of "knowledgable experts" on the topics addressed in the book.  Josh McDowell discusses "The Bible:Can I beilieve it?"   Ron Blue sheds light on our finances and how best to use them for God's kingdom and our daily lives.  Other men who share insights are Randy Alcorn, Ravi Zacharias, and Dr. Walt Larimore.

With the sports' theme running through the book, many men will share memories and experiences with the author.  As some of the parts are drier than other, the overall information is well delivered and easy to incorporate into everyday life.

My rating 4 out of 5 stars

Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book for review.



Monday, March 28, 2011

Chocolate Pudding Cake



1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food cake mix
2 pkg.  (3.9 oz. each) JELL-O Chocolate Instant Pudding
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups  cold milk
1-1/4 cups water
1 cup  thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping


1.  Heat oven to 350°F.

2.  Prepare cake batter as directed on package. Pour into 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

3.  Beat dry pudding mixes, sugar, milk and water with whisk 2 min.; pour over batter. Place baking dish on baking sheet.

4.  Bake 55 min. to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in center of cake layer comes out clean. Cool 20 min. (Sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.) Spoon into serving dishes; top with Cool Whip.


If serving warm, top with Cool Whip.  We actually  like it better served cold.  Bake as directed above and let cool to room temperature.  Cover with wax paper and put it in the refrigerator.  This is also great made with vanilla or French vanilla pudding!  Recipe is from Kraft Foods.



This post is linked to:  This Week's Cravings      Hunk of Meat Monday      Delectable Tuesday      Totally Tasty Tuesday      Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays      Tasty Tuesdays      Tuesdays at the Table      Tasty Tuesday      Tuesday Night Supper Club      Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday      What's Cooking Wednesday      What's for Dinner?      Foodie Wednesday      Real Food Wednesday      What's On the Menu Wednesday      What's Cooking Wednesday      Full Plate Thursday      Fun with Food Friday     Sweets for Saturday

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Scripture Sunday


"I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
~ Isaiah 61.10

"Jesus said: 'I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.'"
~ John 16.22

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."
~ Psalm 28.7


Saturday, March 26, 2011

This Week in US History

March 27

1513   Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sights Florida.

1964   The Good Friday Earthquake, the strongest known earthquake in American History, measuring 8.4 on the Richter scale, hits Alaska, killing some 130 people.

damage photo
Five-story J.C. Penney Building, 5th Avenue and Downing Street, Anchorage, Alaska, partly collapsed by the March 28, 1964 earthquake. Note undamaged buildings nearby.

March 28

1800   The frigate USS Essex became the first American warship to round Africa's Cape of Good Hope, as it sailed on a mission to escort merchant ships returning from the Dutch East Indies.

1979   America gets a scare when the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania malfunctions; thousands flee, but no one is injured.

March 29

1848   An ice jam at the source of the Niagara River causes Niagara Falls to stop flowing for the first time in recorded history.

1943   The U.S. government began requiring Americans to ration fat, meat, and cheese as part of a massive national program to help win World War II.

March 30

1867   Secretary of State William H. Seward signs an agreement to purchase Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, about two cents an acre.

1981   President Reagan is shot and seriously wounded by John W. Hinckley Jr. outside a Washington, D.C. hotel.

March 31

1933   Congress establishes the Civilian Conservation Corps to help put men to work during the Depression.

1970   Explorer I, the first U.S. Satellite, reenters the atmosphere after twelve years in orbit.


April 1

1865   Union troops win a victory at the Battle of Five Forks, Virginia, causing Robert E. Lee to tell Jefferson Davis that Petersburg and Richmond must be evacuated.

1996   Fast food chain Taco Bell announces it has bought the Liberty Bell and renamed it the Taco Liberty Bell, and thousands believe the April Fool's Day prank.

April 2

1917   Woodrow Wilson calls for a declaration of war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy."

1953   The journal Nature publishes a paper by British scientist Francis Crick and American scientist James Watson, describing a double helix structure for DNA.


Friday, March 25, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal... March 25, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

In my life this week...
We took Monday and Tuesday off from academics and spent some time in Home Ec 101 (which means house cleaning!).  We jumped back into our "real school" on Wednesday.  Can I tell you, the break from regular school was really nice!

In our homeschool this week...
Nothing new and exciting this week - other than Home Ec.  In Physical Science, we are learning about gravitational force and centrifrugal force.  More math problems!

Places we're going and people we're seeing...
We stayed homebound this week.  Most likely due to the crazy-high gas prices!  My teens did help me on a job on Tuesday (for money) and their father on Thursday (for money).  Hooray for them!  My older two are going to Prom on April 1st are in need of CASH!

My favorite thing this week was...
I found a recipe to make homemade instant oatmeal and it was great!  Click HERE to grab it yourself.

What's working/not working for us...
Using a weekly schedule.  At the beginning of the school year, I posted a "teaching" schedule up which blocks time for 1:1 student / teacher time.  When I follow this, our days go smoother. 

Homeschool questions/thoughts I have...
How do you motivate a student to do their true best when (s)he doesn't care?

A photo, video, link, or quote to share...
While reading Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes!, I came across a wonderful quote:

"... the sacredness of the everyday."
From changing a baby's diaper to cleaning the clothes, God sees our work as sacred!


"Every day unfolded with moments when the eternal seemed to touch the temporal.  Light overcame darkness.  Hope triumphed over despair.  Nothing here in the earthly realm changed.  But God somehow touched people, places, and moments, and the everyday became a glimpse of heaven." 

To read my review on the above book, click HERE.

This post is also linked at Weekly Wrap-up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes!... a book review


SISTERCHICK (R) (n): a friend who laughs with you till you cry
and cries with you until you laugh; a gift from God.

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes! is a heartwarming story of fear and faith, hope and love.  How can a friend you have never met become one of your dearest friends?  Will God use her to bring you closer to Him?

Summer and Noelle have been pen pals since the fourth grade.  They have shared their secrets, hopes, dreams, and family's through letters sent between Ohio and the Netherlands.  Now, after receiving an abnormal medical test result, Summer decides to fly off to the Netherlands to meet Noelle, her forever pen pal, face to face.  Summer's husband Wayne stands behind her decision and tells her to "Go make your own adventure.  When you come home, I'll want to hear all about it." 

On her first morning at Noelle's, Summer finds a devotional book on her nightstand.  Slowly she begins to close the gap between her and God.  Throughout the week, the Scriptures she is reading are coming to life around her.  While in a simple cheese shop, she realizes "the sacredness of the everyday."  Everything we do, even if it is doing dishes or cradling a child, is sacred to God. 

"Every day unfolded with moments when the eternal seemed to touch the temporal.  Light overcame darkness.  Hope triumphed over despair.  Nothing here in the earthly realm changed.  But God somehow touched people, places, and moments, and the everyday became a glimpse of heaven." 

During her joyful week with Noelle, the girls are found wading through fields of brightly colored tulips, floating down an Amsterdam canal, visiting Corrie ten Boom's Hiding Place home, and sipping decadent Dutch cocoa in Delft after finding tile souvenirs. 

The girls realize that they did not orchestrate this impromtu meeting; God did.  Both Summer and Noelle find peace during their time spent in the land of tulips, windmills, and wooden shoes.

My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes! is definitely a keeper on my bookshelf to be read over and over.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes!

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.


Monday, March 21, 2011

BBQ Pork



3 lb. boneless pork loin
Barbecue Sauce (We use KC Masterpiece)
8-12 Hamburger buns


Spray crock pot with non-stick spray.  Place pork loin in pot and cover lightly with BBQ sauce.  Cook on LOW for 8 hours.  While still in pot, shred pork with 2 forks.  Add more BBQ sauce to taste. 
Great served with fresh coleslaw.



This post is linked to: This Week's Cravings      Manic Monday      Hunk of Meat Monday     Delectable Tuesday      Totally Tasty Tuesday      Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays      Tasty Tuesdays      Tuesdays at the Table      Tasty Tuesday      Tuesday Night Supper Club      Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Dr. Laura's Tasty Tuesday      Tuesday Twister      Hearth 'n Soul Blog Hop      What's Cooking Wednesday      What's for Dinner?      Foodie Wednesday      What's On the Menu Wednesday      Full Plate Thursday      Fun with Food Friday

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eat Your Peas for Mom - A Book Review


With Mother's Day just around the corner, why not give your special mom a special card?  Eat Your Peas for Mom by Cheryl Karpen is a gift book filled with "simple truths and happy insights." 
Written from the perspective of a grown child, this "3 minute-forever book" includes scripture, memories,  and thankfulness for all your mom has done for you.  Being a mom, so often, is not a glorified job. This book is a simple way to celebrate all that she has done for you.

With each turn of the page, I found the words to voice my feelings toward my mom.  This book helps put voice to all our unspoken emotions... love, gratitude, thankfulness, family.

How many times have our moms prayed for us, believed in us, supported our dreams?  Eat Your Peas for Mom is a wonderful way to say Thank You for loving me and let's us tell our moms to reach for the stars!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.


Scripture Sunday


"Consider it pure joy, by brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of  your faith develops perseverance."
~ James 1.2-3

"Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!"
~ Philippians 4.4

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
~ 1 Thessalonians 5.16-18

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This Week in US History

March 20

1816   The U.S. Supreme Court affirms its right to review the decisions of the state courts.

2003   One day after an air attack, a coalition of troops comprised mainly of U.S. and British forces invades Iraq, quickly overwhelming Saddam Hussein's army.

March 21

1617   Pocahontas, who died just before she was to begin her return voyage to Virginia, is buried in Gravesend, England.

1788   A fire destroys 856 buildings in New Orleans, ruining most of the city.

1980   President Jimmy Carter announces the United States will boycott the Moscow Olympics in response to the Soviet Union's imvasion of Afghanistan.

March 22

1622   Algonquian Indians attack and kill some 350 English colonists near Jamestown, Virginia.

1946   The first U.S. rocket to leave the earth's atmosphere, launched from White Sands, New Mexico, reaches an altitude of 50 miles.

V-2 Rocket 

March 23

1775   Patrick Henry delivers his "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech in Richmond, Virginia.

1965   America's first two-man space flight begins as Gemini 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral with astronauts Gus Grissom and John Young aboard.

Gemini3 crew.jpg
Young and Grissom (l-r)

March 24

1958   Elvis Presley is inducted into the Army for two year.  Click HERE for pictures and information on his induction day.  (pictures are copyrighted!)

1989   The tanker Exxon Valdez strikes a reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound, spilling an estimated 11 million gallons of oil.


March 25

1634   About 200 hundred English settlers climbed off of two small ships named the Ark and the Dove anchored in the Potomac River, rowed ashore to a slice of land they named St. Clement's Island, erected a cross, and held a thanksgiving service.  It was the beginning of the colony of Maryland - a good day for religious freedom.

1911   A fire kills 146 garment workers at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City, leading the public to call for safety reforms.

March 26

1953   Dr. Jonas Salk announces that he has successfully tested a vaccine against polio.  To show that it was safe, he vaccinated himself and his whole family.  The research was funded by Americans who dug into their pockets and donated change to the March of Dimes.

1982   Ground-breaking ceremonies are held for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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