Thursday, July 30, 2009


My mother found this recipe online the other day. We made them today. What is so unbelievable about them is that they only have THREE ingredients!! As you know I am a fan of flour (I even grind it), but these cookies are soo quick and easy and for those of you with wheat and gluten issues, these are flour-free (not to mention no butter, baking soda, and whatever else most peanut butter cookies call for--so they are CHEAP too). You'd never know that anything was missing, and the three ingredients are ones most people always have (unless you have peanut allergies:(). How's that for an introduction?!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg


Mix, roll into balls and flaten with a fork or glass, bake at 375 for about 13-15 minutes, and voila!

(I'm guessing you could do this with dark chocolate dreams, but I don't have enough right now...soon...)

These cookies remind me of how in life we are told that we need so many "ingredients" for things to go well with regard to schooling, parenting, or whatever, then eventually we find out all of that "stuff" was unnecessary. We only really need a few key ingredients all the rest is merely superfluous.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Take a Chance Challenge #2

#2. Random Word. Go to this random word generator and generate a random word. Find a book with this word in the title. Read the book and write about it.

My random word was BAND.

I searched they keyword "band" on our library's website and found a young adult book called Garage Band by Gipi. It was terrible. It is wrtten in comic book form with pictures and "word bubbles". Luckily it only took me about an hour to read because it definitely wasn't worth any more time than that. On the binding there is a library sticker that says "graphic novel", at first I thought that was because it had 'graphics' (like pictures). Sadly though it WAS graphic with sexual inuendo, some references to drugs, and one of the main characters may have been a Nazi. Truthfully, I'm not sure that I "got" a lot of the book, but basically it is about 4 teenagers who start a band and need a place to practice. This challenge is getting me to broaden my reading horizons a little, but I most certainly give Garage Band two thumbs down....NEXT!

to see other random word entries go here.

Homemade English Muffins

Finally here's the english muffin recipe. I've been putting this off because I wanted to take a picture of the english muffin toasted with dark chocolate dreams peanut butter, but I always end up eating it too quickly!!

2 packages yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
6 cups flour (I used hard white)
1Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups milk
1/2 cup water

Grease 3 coffee cans. Put cornmeal in and shake to coat. (you'll want to remove the wrapper from the coffee can, ask me how I know this)

Mix dry ingredients with 3 cups flour. Combine milk and water in saucepan and warm. Do Not Overheat!

Add dry ingredients then the rest of the flour. Spoon into coffee cans. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Cover. Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 400°for 25 minutes.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The not so simple woman's daybook

For today Monday July 27th.

Outside my is a cloudy morning (again, I just saved this from last week).

I am thinking...about these questions. I've been answering them for over a year. I still love to do this post, but I'm considering cheating some more (I already cheat by never linking it to the original simple mother's daybook anymore) and taking what works for me, adding some more, and leaving the rest.

I am thankful...for my family.

From the kitchen...we have a list on the refrigerator of some pretty typical meals for this week including spaghetti and sausage, tacos, breakfast for shopping until August 1st (the budget:)).

From the learning rooms...Jake's got 5 days of school marked off on the chart in the loft. He will start Three Names by Patricia MacLachlan for Five in Row today. He also did a math lesson everyday last week (Singapore 1B) and a Language lesson (First Language Lessons). I feel like I should make a footnote here after my previous post on delayed academics *Jake is a different kid, he is more "academic" not to mention I'm finally beginning to realize he does better with more structure (too bad it took me 6 1/2 years to figure this out!!). Jonathan and Madi are working through their no-reward reading lists and both doing Theatre camp for the next three weeks. Madi is Cora in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Jonathan is doing tech for that. They are also both in The Somewhat True Tales of Robin Hood.

I'm creating...organizational plans...still.

I am wearing...this is definitely one of the questions that I'll delete if I start doing my own thing.

I am reading...@HOME for the Holidays. Also still Managers of their Homes and Managers of their Chores and the Homeschooling high school book that I got the other day.

I am hoping...that Jonathan and Madi get Minnie's cage cleaned out before the garbage truck comes.

I am hearing...Mike leaving for work, Jonathan and Madi getting ready for the day, and Jake playing Legos Star Wars on the wii.

Around the's getting there, the family cleaned up pretty well when I was gone on Saturday.

One of my favorite comments.

I am a 27th birthday party today, and today is the 27th!

A few plans for the rest of the, theatre, friends, etc...

Picture thoughts...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Homeschooling high school

Weeks ago after the Florida Homeschool Convention, I said that I'd have many more blog posts about that. I had a few, but then life in the real world got in the way of the blog world, and it kind of fizzled out. Well, I'm completely re-energized. I went to a homeschooling high school seminar yesterday and it was awesome!! I am really excited about this. One woman in particular had some really valuable information. It wasn't like some of the amazing speakers, with the sometimes heart wrenching stories of the big convention, just some really practical ideas about how to actually do this high school thing. The best part is, I feel like we're on the right track. If you look back on my posts from long ago, somewhere in there is a story about how when we started homeschooling we were more or less unschoolers, then I realized maybe we were more of the delayed academics either case we definitely delayed academics. We just did lots of stuff...field trips, visits to the library, living life, traveling, and lots and lots of reading. Often I'd say things like baking can "count" as math (measuring) and science (heat, chemical reactions), not to mention reading the recipe, etc...etc... The truth was we didn't have to really "count" anything because we are homeschoolers registered with the county. I didn't need anyone to tell me what to do when because I knew that I wanted the best for my kids and we'd work it out. As we approach the high school years, now it is time to "count" things (not for high school per say, the county still doesn't really care), we'll need transcripts for college, and guess what, baking can still count as can be a high school class called Food Preparation--Desserts. I remember our pediatrician asking about how Jonathan's schooling was going at his 7 year old check up. I made some comment about how he was going to be present at the birth of his baby brother in a few weeks. Her reply had something to do with the fact that child birth is not a part of the second grade scope and sequence. Somehow without spending hours a day on "school" my kids learned (and experienced) an awful lot. Eventually our days did become a little more structured, but the bottom line is my "delayed academics" son is going to be doing Algebra 1 in 8th grade (and it can "count" as a high school credit) (I was a pretty good student in public school (mostly As) and spent the requisite 50 minutes a day plus homework on my math and didn't do Algebra 1 until 9th grade). You see, eventually Jonathan "caught up" academically. He didn't need to spend six hours a day on "busy work". He wouldn't read any better today if I left "homework" for him to do on that day when he was in second grade and his baby brother was born. We have video of him saying "when is the placenta going to come out?" (he missed it when he was in the other room frosting the birthday cake). We are educating our kids for life (well, eternity) not just 1st grade, 2nd grade, 9th grade. I've never really encountered much negativity with regards to the unconventional way we've done things, but I've often felt that I should try to explain our methods a little so people could "get it". Not just to people who didn't understand homeschooling, but also to people whose homeschooling looked more like "school at home". This year in our home(school) I'm not teaching a 1st grader, 6th grader, and 8th grader, I'm helping PEOPLE to learn about themselves and life and to live it--and we'll be getting high school credits to boot!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Take a Chance Challenge #4

4. Judge A Book By Its Cover. Pick out a book based SOLELY on the cover. First, write about what you expect the book to be about based on the cover art. Then read the book and write about how the book was different from and/or similar to what the cover art led you to expect.

Browsing through the library one day (not yet brave enough to pick my random position challenge book), I came across Flip Flop Girl by Katherine Paterson. It interested me. When I tried to download a picture of the cover from the internet I found only a different cover (one with feet and flip flops)-- I may not have picked that one. I took a picture of my chosen cover to show you. It shows a girl with a sad face and red barettes. In the background there is a little boy and a woman (so I assumed). I wasn't sure what to expect. Did this girl want flip flops? Why was she so sad?

It turned out the sad girl is Vinnie Matthews, and the early pages of the book tell about her father's death. She and her mother and younger brother must now leave the only home they've ever known and move across the state to her grandmother's house. If Vinnie is distraught, her younger brother, Mason, is even more so. He is the little boy in the background. He stops talking and hardly eats for weeks after the dad's death. Eleven year old Vinnie tries hard to hold it together during the traumatic transition to a new home and school. The adults in her life don't talk much and like I said, her brother doesn't talk at all. The children in her class are unfriendly except for the strange tall girl with orange flip flops, who herself doesn't seem to have any friends. This is Lupe and the person who I thought was a grown woman on the cover.

Things go from bad to worse when Vinnie makes a bad choice and her brother runs away on the same day. Through the concern of her teacher Mr Clayton, and with a lot of help from Lupe, Vinnie learns that there is more then one meaning to the term "flip flop girl". If you want to know what that is, you'll have to read the book.

I highly recommend this book to you and your 9-13 year old daughters!

Incidently you'll find that wherever possibly I will be choosing books written for young adults...there are so many good ones out there, so many that I want to read, and so many that I want my kids to read.

To see other books chosen for their cover go here.

Take a chance challenge #9

Poetic Review. Write a book review in three different forms of verse: haiku, limerick and free verse. (You can pick any book you want to write about.)

Here's my first entry in the Take a Chance Challenge...

I read Always Looking Up by Michael J Fox and figured it was a good one to write poems about (since I couldn't squeeze it into any other categories). So here is my take of the book in haiku, limerick, and free verse.


First a TV star
Such a talented actor
Now an advocate


We all watched him on our TVs
He starred in many movies
His finger began to twitch
His career he had to switch
Let's help him to cure his disease

Free Verse

Michael J Fox is his name
Canada is where he was born
Alex P Keaton, Marty McFly
He is such a likable guy

Parkinson's is his cross to bear
Sometimes he cannot stop moving
Other times it is hard to keep still
He has to take many pills

He has a great wife
And four beautiful children
He looks at his life as heaven while some consider it hell
The controversy is stem cells

IVF creates many embryos
Most will never be born
Their cells may help the living
Maybe your mom or grandpa

A lot to think about

To see others who participated in this challenge go here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Busy Woman's Daybook

For today Monday July 20th.

Outside my is a cloudy morning.

I am thinking...about getting started with Jake's schoolwork this morning.

I am thankful...for much.

From the kitchen...homemade english muffins with dark chocolate dreams peanut butter.

From the learning rooms...Harold and the Purple Crayon for Jake's 5 in a row. Madi starts camp for Thoroughly Modern Millie today. Jonathan starts a stage management camp this morning, then will head to Thoroughly Modern Millie in the afternoons.

I'm creating...organizational plans.

I am wearing...I'm sick of this questions...what do you think I'm wearing it's 8am.

I am reading...Managers of their Homes and Managers of their's that time of year again!

I am hoping...that Mike's allergies go away.

I am hearing...Jonathan and Madi get ready for their day.

Around the's still not as good as I want it.

One of my favorite things...dinner with friends (I especially like when people invite us over:))

I am get in the shower in a minute.

A few plans for the rest of the week...lots of "taxi-ing", but not to very far places. Schoolwork for Jake and out to lunch with him today IF we have a good morning. Golf for Jonathan and Madi later today. More of the same for the rest of the week minus the lunch and golf.

A picture thought...

Monday, July 13, 2009


For today Monday July 13th.

Outside my window...the mulch pile in the driveway is getting smaller and smaller as we continue to work on the backyard.

I am thinking...about getting the house organized and preparing at least a rough schedule of what the coming school year is going to look like.

I am thankful...for all of our blessings.

From the last weeks craziness we managed to eat all of the leftovers, so now we'll start fresh again...with what exactly I'm not sure...definitely tortellini soup, then we'll go from there.

From the learning rooms...I'm going to attempt to get everything organized...Jake's schoolwork was set up in the kitchen last year, but I'm going to move it to the library (front room), Jonathan and Madi's schoolwork is in the loft--which is in desperate need of more attention than I care to give it right now.

I'm creating...a plan for the coming year.

I am wearing...jammies...what else?

I am reading...Flip Flop Girl by Katherine Patterson...I think it's going to be the book that I read because I like the cover for the reading challenge that I've done nothing about yet. The many books I have been reading did not fit into any category of the challenge. I loved the Michael J Fox book and HIGHLY recommend makes you think...there might be a blog post about it eventually.

I am hoping...that this week turns out to be as calm as it looks right now.

I am hearing...nothing...the kids are still asleep.

Around the house...UGH! I'll get to it eventually!

One of my favorite things...the free golf clinic that Jonathan and Madi are a part of...well, it's not really one of my favorite things, but it is a great opportunity for them...they will play in a 4 hole tournament this afternoon.

I am the beach on Wednesday...and leaving Jake there (he's going to spend a few days with my parents).

A few plans for the rest of the is shaping up to be a very calm week and I'm hoping for motivation to get the house under control!!

Some picture thoughts... Jonathan and Madi as part of the Bye Bye Birdie Crew this weekend, and Jake showing off his latest missing tooth.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Today was dress like a cow day at everyone's favorite fast food restuarant. We all ate for free! (Someone else may have captured a picture of me in my brown cow costume...but I didn't!)

COUSINS!! The end of the trip pics...

...including a cousin's wedding, a cousin's birthday party, and a cousin's middle school graduation...