Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Yellow Chicken (tumeric)

six cubed chicken thighs
olive oil
1 tbsp tumeric
1/2 tbsp of paprika
1/2 tbsp of garlic
1/4 tbsp of basil

basmati rice
sour cream

Optional: cubed zucchini, diced onions, carrots (any veggie)

Add chicken and all spices to pan and cook on medium for 5-7 minutes. Put lid on and turn down heat to low. Slow cooking will keep the meat tender, and will add liquid, from the steam, to make a small bit of sauce. Depending on how soft you like your veggies, add them when rice is minutes from finishing. Crunchy veggies are a nice contrast to the soft meat and rice! A dallop of sour cream is a cool sharp taste to finish the bite!

Florida History

This was our first project made at home and finished at our intro co-op meeting. It is made from a manila folder refolded, paper folds, and cut-outs from a advertisement magazine we found when we were at the beach this summer. It is a great way to store a lot of information in one area. I punched holes in the side so they would fit in a three-ring binder.

Front cover: Map and info

Back cover: Common shells, seal, flag and Florida birds. Both shells and birds papers open up to include information.

Inside(clockwise): Sharks teeth found in Florida, endangered animal wheel, places to visit pedal fold, palm trees of Florida accordian fold, De Soto beach- a favorite, Florida tab book, and Florida's salt water fish booklet.

Open view of inside.

Monday school

For the fall semester on Mondays, two friends come over for school. Emma and Maddie are here for a day of learning about Florida. First up was an overview of the state. We covered animal, seal, flag, bird, flower...all those items! We spent some time going way back into some of the land changes and the fossils found around the state too! This past week we began learning about some of the Florida Indians. They made maps and we are going to attempt weaving.

It is much more fun to draw in shaving cream than just on paper when you are practicing the shape of the state!

They all decided they smelled like "man-dudes" because of using their Dad's shaving cream!

Tea time for two!

The girls celebrated their first week of successful school with a tea party! I made them a plate of salty and sweets for an afternoon High tea! Cream in their tea of course, was their vote! They dressed for the occassion... and broke out in their accents as well! Sweet girls!

Menu: Dill pickle, cheeze-its, cheese cubes, cocoa rice krispies, banana twin, cereal swirls, and fugde striped minis. The little dainty cuts and portions made it extra special.

Friends from NC

It is not even fair to say we had friends visiting from NC. Not at all. But we do, and we did. The Russ clan has made their move. We are all in transition, making it work. While Chloe was here in FL, she mentioned coming down to our I called Brent and we set it up so they could have dinner and hit the favorite ice cream shop Lickety Splits. It is Kid night on Monday's, cheap treats that include ballons and face painting. We all had a great time!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Ring the bell!

Let the school year begin!

What a privilege I have to have another year at home with the girls. The opportunity that I have to teach and train them is quite an honor. Reading, math, history, science and all the rest of the typical subjects pale in comparison to sharing life and serving the Lord. Is every day one for the record books? NO! Do I make mistakes? YES! I just love the chance that we get to work out life together.

One of the greatest, most rewarding points of our day is their devotions each morning. Both of them use the books God and me! It is a daily scripture and life application story along with a little game! Most of the lessons are independent, but there are times that it requires some discussion. This year we are also going through Proverbs, a chapter a day. Now that takes some discussing. But how great is the wisdom!

Olivia is beginning third grade. She is my little organizer. Her desk area stays neat all day. She likes how there is a plan for the day and the week in the plan book. She keeps me accountable. She is hard on herself, always wanting to be better. She feels things deeply. She is the first to cry in a movie and always wants justice. I wonder where she will go in her future. She is my social butterfly but reminds me of a momma hen, always wanting to know where her chicks are. She struggles with fear. She is very competitive, which will aid her this fall while she plays baseball with a bunch of boys! She is doing well in piano, I love to hear her make up tunes. Looks like this year is going to be great!
Third grader!

Fifth grade is getting a second dose of Stephanie. We had to come to this decision last year when Steve and I realized that her mind could handle the work of a sixth grader, but we did not want her to begin "middle school" events at 10! So, we are doing round two! She is so smart and there is so much to learn in life, she is not being held back. That is one of the joys of homeschooling. No stigma of failure, just success at what is set before you. She is more creative than ever, using her summer money to buy things like air-dry clay, paint, dreaming of what she will make in sewing this year, and loving music whether it is singing or playing the piano! I can't keep enough books in the house for her to read. She mostly loves collections of stories, because she loves the characters. That is her hook in a book. She started her own book this past weekend...we will see where that leads! Stephanie still is a processor of information...she has been that way from very young...I can always count on her strong silence to be revisited later when she needs answers.

It is going to be a great year. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vacation Part 1

Our family went on a short weekend getaway for a last hurrah before the new school year began! The Symonds went too, and we both got rooms at Hotel Isis, in Redington Beach. It was lovely, but a little small by the last day. We went to a few local restaurants and our favorite for seafood was Keegan's. The best she crab soup I have ever had! Another night we went to Dockside Dave's and had their seafood bisque and it was HORRIBLE! Live and learn!

The weather was gorgeous! We swam with stingrays, but they minded their own business and left us alone! Our minds were on bigger creatures of the water since we had found Discovery Channel and realized it was Shark Week! Yes, it stayed on the channel the whole time! Crazy!

Our hotel had hammocks but no shade! They had cornhole too, so we all got our game on! Fun stuff!

These girls just keep growing... I found some pics from 2006 when they were on this same beach, and it brought tears to my eyes... so many memories!

Olivia needed to be protected by her Dad, always looking for a stingray!

Still her favorite spot to be... on the beach digging and collecting!

They momentarily forgot about the feeding frenzy going on right by their behinds!

Just a few of them!

Riding in the waves, even if they are small!

Freeze pose! Playing in the parking lots!

Sunsets and kite flying! Perfect ending to our vacation

This little gem was found... my ice cream radar girl, Stephanie... but this was even better cause it had candy too!

Steve found some Moxie! It was a soda his Grandmother mentioned in her book. We had to call and tell her we had picked her up a bottle too!

Ten in a row! Cartwheel perfection! Go Olivia!