Thursday, March 04, 2010

skinny jeans!

I spent about 30 minutes this afternoon turning two pairs of flare jeans into skinny jeans. I used the tutorial on this blog. Really, this couldn't of been easier. It was a great way to upcycle jeans that still fit well and were in good condition but just a little too flareish (not a real word) for 2010.

Monday, February 22, 2010

rainbow cake for dummies

Cakes intimidate me. I lack icing skills and the ability to stack layers one on top of the other. I know, those are relatively easy tasks but I really stink at them. So...attempting the crazy popular rainbow cake was out of the question. What to do? Copy the rainbow cupcakes from Skyler's blog. They were more on my level.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

the problem with homeschoolers

I snagged you with the title, didn't I? :)

I'm a reader. I just love to read anything. Magazines, books, the back of cereal boxes, blogs, whatever. I've read a lot about our educational choices and responsibilities as Christian parents and I've yet to come across an article, book, or blog post that I agree with 100%. Imagine that. So after much thought, here goes my uneducated, probably horribly flawed, opinion.

We home school. Why? Because we are afraid to send our kids into the big bad world of public schools? Because we think they'll get a better education at home? Because we are crazy?

Well, actually, no. You see, I always thought I'd home school my children. Even before I had kids, this was the plan I hatched in my head. I would birth them and school them and we would all live happily ever after. The only problem with that was, it was my plan. My husband was on board but I think I had just assumed that God was on board, too.

Then I had children. They came out with all sorts of different personalities, talents, weaknesses and strengths. Kids are fun like that. All of a sudden, it dawned on me that maybe there is no one size fits all, God approved education for every child. Imagine that. Maybe, just maybe, we should pray about what God would have us to do to.

So we prayed. And we keep praying. I pray daily that God would make it abundantly clear what he wants us to do with these children that he's loaned us to raise. I cannot find any verses in the Bible bashing public schools, or private schools, or verses that say as long as you live in a "good" school district then it's ok to send the kids. I've heard sermons that disagree with me. I've read a lot of books that disagree with me. They say there is a Biblical mandate for homeschooling. I have trouble believing that. I know what side the statistics are on but I also know wonderful, Godly kids who graduate from the public school system. I also know home school graduates who have walked far away from their parents' faith. I have learned that there is no right answer. I just know that God has told us to keep Maggie home for the past year and a half. I don't know yet what he will tell us to do for next school year or the years after that.

I have enjoyed having her home and learning with her. It's given us precious time together. Time that we needed to bond. She was the oldest of 4 children born in 5 years and her needs tended to get put behind the younger children. I am thankful that we've had this chance to connect. That's not to say that I don't have days where I really think it would be nice to have one less thing on my plate and a little more free time for me. That's also not to say that the other children won't be marching off to kindergarten at the local public school. I don't know what He has planned for them just yet.

I take my job as her educator seriously. I had her tested in Oct. by a first grade teacher and she will be tested in April again, just to make sure she's on grade level. We use amazing curriculum. I know she's getting plenty of time with her peers and she's not sheltered. I also make sure she is meeting SPS's instructional goals here. God's blessed me with a wonderful mentor and an amazing support group of fellow homeschooling families. All of whom I know would understand completely if we told them that God was leading us in another direction in the future.

Here's my point. I really do have a reason for sharing my heart on this issue. I think there is a great divide in Christian social circles when it comes to educational choices. Home school groups tend to be a petri dish for legalism (quote from Mark Driscoll, love him!). Public and private school parents feel judged from some homeschoolers. Homeschoolers feel judged by some public and private school families. I've personally gotten a lot of negative comments, many from close friends and family members. I'm sure you all have, too. All the judging makes us put up walls of defense and then it becomes an awkward subject. Here's the deal, I fully support you and your family's decision, whatever that might be.

This is probably the last heavy post I ever write. At least I hope it is. I like to keep things lighter around here.

It's 5:00am and I should probably go to bed.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

snow day

This is the best idea for keeping the kids busy on a snow day!
Bring the snow inside!
We've done this a few times now and it always entertains them for hours.
Literally hours, I'm not kidding.
I saw this idea on this blog.

Monday, February 08, 2010

I had a bunch of felt scraps sitting around in the basement so when I saw this wreath, I knew what I needed to do! She said it was time consuming but I don't think it was too bad. I cut the circles out while watching 2 episodes of 30 Rock then I chatted on the phone with my friend Laura during most of the construction process. Even the girls were able to help, it was so easy.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

a jumper

It's been a goal of mine to try and use up some of the fabric that I already have before allowing myself to buy anything new. We'll see how long that lasts. This jumper is made with fabric leftover from Lucy's diaper bag that I made 4 years ago. I found the tutorial on Rachel's blog. Not only do I share a name and city with the author, but a midwife as well. It took all of about 2 hours to make and it's adorable! I'll be making a few more of these for sure, so easy. Thanks Rachel, for taking the time to write instructions that even I could understand. I really should of had Maggie stand in front of something cute for this picture.

Monday, November 30, 2009

I've been meaning to write this post for months.

Once a month cooking. Or OAMC for those of us too cool to write out the actual words. Jenny and I recently teamed up for our fourth OAMC day. It's fun, it's exhausting, it's gross (lots of raw meat!), and it's so worth it. Here's what we made:

Mini meatloaves
chicken bundles
mexican casserole
potato soup

After she left I made a double batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and a triple batch of waffles.
We make enough of each entree to feed our families twice. The meatballs were an exception, we made enough for three meals. Of course, these are not the only options for dinner. We will still be having our usual homemade pizza, fajitas, etc. But, this does knock out a lot of the cooking for the next few weeks. Interested in doing your own oamc? Here's a few things we've learned:

1. Don't try to freeze anything with egg noodles. They turn to mush.

2. If you freeze a dish with potatoes or pasta in it, undercook them a bit so they can finish cooking when you reheat.

3. You will get grumpy and tired and wonder why you ever thought it was a good idea. It is worth it, I promise. It took us about three hours to accomplish everything in the picture.

4. If you make a dish with sour cream, add it after you defrost. Sour cream turns watery after it's frozen.

5. Have a partner. It really does save time, we divide and tackle.

6. Line your pans with foil and then lift the dishes out when frozen solid. Wrap up tight and stick back in the freezer. This takes up less space and keeps your 9 by 13 pans in commission.

Need recipes? Here are some good places to look:
oamc at recipezaar
once a month mom

Linda's bbq meatballs freeze wonderfully, just leave the sauce off until you bake.

Have any of you done oamc before? What were some of your favorite recipes?