"....Your children shall be like olive plants all around your table." Psalm 128:3

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dandelion Bread

Last spring for the first time I made Dandelion Jelly. It was a big hit with my family.

 And yesterday I tried a new dandelion recipe: Dandelion Bread.  Another big hit.

Here's the recipe: 
4 c. flour
4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1  1/2 - 2 c. dandelion petals**
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. honey
2 eggs
2  2/3 c. milk

Preheat oven to 400.
Combine dry ingredients, including petals.
In separate bowl, mix oil, honey, eggs, and milk.
Stir in dry ingredients and mix well.
Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. 
Bake for 20-25 minutes.If not done, lower temperature to 350 and
continue baking, checking every 5 minutes.
Cool on wire rack.

**Remember to wash the blossoms before trimming the petals and make sure you gather blossoms that have not been treated with weed killer.

Here are some photos of how mine turned out...
                                                     ...the petals.

                                  You can see yellow flecks in the batter.

                                                 Just out of the oven.

                           The inside is a pretty golden color.  :)

Have a blessed day, friends!


linking up at the The Modest Mom

Monday, March 26, 2012

More Spring Scenes

(You can read my first spring scenes post here. )
After today's lessons were finished, we headed outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine.  We  worked in the garden..

..and weeded the broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, and peas. Don' t they look great?

The girls gathered clover..

..to feed the turkeys..

..and chickens.

And if these photos aren't enough to convince you  it's spring, this photo definitely will... 
It's time to break out the dirtbikes!!  :)

Hope you're having a blessed day, friends!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Scenes

Spring has definitely sprung in our neck of the woods. Here are some scenes of the beauty around us...



our peach tree covered in blossoms..

our "volunteer" peach tree and Washington Hawthorn...

redbud trees in all their splendor.....

and a gorgeous view from our front door with redbuds along the edge of the woods, and golden wild mustards in the field across the road.

"To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven." ~  Ecclesiastes 3:1

Happy  spring, friends!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What We're Learning

So what have we learned so far this week?  Sometimes, I have to stop and think about that.

With the warmer-than-usual weather we've been having in our neck of the woods, the children work diligently on their lessons so they can head outside and play.

But just because they don't have their nose in a book, doesn't mean they're not learning.  My children learned quite a bit while enjoying the outdoors, and here's a just a sample...

Blowgun and crossbow practice (hand-eye coordination)....

Watching the honey bees do their thing in our peach tree blossoms...

Lots of artwork on the sidewalk....

Making bird feeders out of pine cones, peanut butter, and birdseed...

So aside from all that we learned inside the house, we learned just as much on the outside of it.  :)

Happy homeschooling!

linking up this week at Our Simple Farm
                                         Grateful for Grace

Monday, March 19, 2012

Queen of the Home 4

"Thank God, O women for the quietude of your home, and that you are queen in it. Men come at eventide to the home; but all day long you are there, beautifying it, sanctifying it, adorning it, blessing it. 
Better be there than wear a queen's coronet.
Better be there than carry the purse of a princess.
It may be a very humble home. There may be no carpet on the floor. 
There may be no pictures on the wall.
There may be no silks in the wardrobe; 
but, by your faith in God, and your cheerful demeanor, 
you may garniture that place with more splendor
than the upholsterer's hand ever kindled."

~ T. DeWitt Talmage

Thursday, March 15, 2012

10 Ways To Ensure Homeschool Burnout

I found this thought-provoking post at The Holistic Homeschooler, which, by the way, is a wonderful place to visit if you homeschool using the Charlotte Mason methods of education.

In the homeschool community, we hear about homeschool burnout. Many of us have experienced it. There are many things written about how this one or that one overcame it or gave into it. But has anyone ever told you how to actually reach the point of burnout? No?? Well today I'm going to do that for you because I'm special like that. In no particular order, here is my list of Top 10 Ways to Ensure Homeschool Burnout:

  1. Concern yourself with the expectations of others. Let all the negative remarks, the advice and opinions eat at your thoughts day and night. Worry about what the mother-in-law thinks of not sending your kids to school. Let what that other homeschool mom said about your curriculum choice cause you to second-guess your ability to choose for your own children. In this way, you can quickly become discouraged.
  2. Don't be organized. Shoot from the hip! Take each day as it comes with regards to household management. In this way you can easily get caught up each day in the details of what's-for-dinner, cleaning up messes the kids made and other minor "emergencies". Many times this will cause lessons to fall by the wayside. This is probably the best way to drive yourself crazy because you'll start feeling like your failing the children with regards to their education.
  3. Set your expectations far too high. Expect that your 5 year old will read be reading college textbooks just that other homeschooling mom you know. Putting undue pressure on your children will cause meltdowns. You'll be disappointed in yourself and your child. Your child will spend their lesson time in frustration and tears and no learning will take place. While your at it, expect that you'll maintain a Martha Stewart type home, be Julia Child in the kitchen all the while being a better professor than Einstein ever dreamed of being. That oughta do it.
  4. Overschedule outside activities. Make sure that you have so many playdates, park dates and field trips that you can't keep up with them or your lessons. Worry so much about socialization that you're never at home. This will exhausted you and the children thoroughly.
  5. Never schedule any outside activities. Isolate the children and yourself. Make homeschool the sole focus of your world. Never take a day just to have fun or visit friends. Never attend a workshop at the local museum or a nature study with the county conservation group or whatever other activities are available in your community. All work and no play will make Johnny hate homeschool and your brain will be so overtaxed that you'll be sure to give up soon.
  6. Never tweak your curriculum. Keep pushing forward with your plans, even if they're not working. If your child isn't progressing; if you find yourself yelling and your child in tears on a daily basis.. you're well on your way! 
  7. Take no breaks from homeschool. Don't take a break during the 'school year'. If you're feeling tired; unmotivated and falling behind in everything, this would be a great time to take a week or two off to relax and rejuvenate so you can do a better job. So don't do that, your goal is burnout.
  8. Don't set boundaries with family and friends. Answer every email and messenger chat box that pops up. By all means, answer that ringing phone! Do all of this during 'school' time. Don't inform your family and friends that your formal lessons occur at certain times and you'll not be interrupted during those times. Now you can have all the distractions necessary to a "failed" homeschool day! 
  9. Find no time for enjoying your children. Make every moment a teaching moment. Don't play with your children, enjoy their company, talk to them or listen to them. 
  10. Don't pursue your own interests. No sitting down to read or joining in that cropping class with your local scrapbook club. Don't have a mom-n-dad date night or a girls' night out with your friends. Don't get involved in a reading club or any other activity that interests you. You're a mom now. Your sole focus is homeschooling, cooking and cleaning. Deal with it.
And now you have all the keys to successfully reaching a point of homeschool burnout!

Happy Homeschooling!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Queen of the Home 3

"Mothers, do you know what a priceless and irreplaceable role you have? No one else can fulfill your role. Oh, they can try, and today our society is structured around replacing mothers with daycare workers, "experts", and "professional childcare givers".  But you don't really need studies or graphs or statistics to tell you what you already know deep down. Every child is different, and no one can love your child like you do. And the bottom line is that God has not called anyone else to fulfill your role in bringing up your children to know Him, love Him, and obey Him."
 Friends, be encouraged today in your God-given role as wife, mother, and keeper of the home!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bread Bowls Recipe

Our family loves soup...and we eats lots of it, especially during the winter months.

Once in awhile, I make soup bowls to have with the soup. It's a special treat, and the children think it's most wonderful thing to eat soup out of an edible bowl.   :)

Here's the recipe I use for the bowls....

Honey Oatmeal Bread

1 c. quick oats
2 c. hottest tap water
Mix these ingredients and let stand til lukewarm.

2 pkgs. yeast
1/4 c. warm water
1/3 c. honey
Stir together in a large bowl, then add: 
2 t. salt
1 T. butter
1/4 c. whole flax seed
2 c. whole wheat flour
3 1/2 c. bread flour

Mix all ingredients, the knead for 5 minutes on a floured surface.

Divide dough in how many bowls you will need. You can make larger ones for the adults, smaller ones for the children. Shape each piece of dough into a ball.

Place balls on a greased cookie sheet. Let rise for 20 minutes in a warm place. (Any longer than 20 minutes and the dough will flatten out.)

Bake at 350 for 30 - 35 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

Here are the two sizes I made......

Next, cut the tops off each one, like this...........

Then, remove most of the bread on the inside...

It should be hollowed out like this....

Now it's time to  fill the bowls with your favorite soup (I made Ham and Potato Chowder this particular day)... 

...and enjoy!

"...that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord."    Deuteronomy 8:3

Have a blessed day, friends!

linking up this week @  Time Warp Wife
                                          Growing Home
                                          Deep Roots At Home
                                          Raising Mighty Arrows
                                          Our Simple Farm
                                          The Imperfect Housewife 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Queen of the Home 2

"The home is also where future queens learn how to rule their own kingdoms.
Are your daughters learning by example all that goes into the management of your family estate?
It doesn't matter if you live in an apartment or a grand house; your home is truly your family's castle. Do your daughters see you as the queen and ruler of your realm or as a slave reluctantly doing enough to get by? The future of the home depends upon the example you are giving your daughters."

 Have a blessed day, friends!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Queen of the Home 1

In December, I took advantage of Vision Forum's end-of-the year sale and purchased a few books.  The first one that I read is Queen of the Home by Jennifer McBride.
I've wanted this book for a long time, but never took the time to order it.  But when I got the email from Vision Forum advertising the sale, I knew I couldn't miss the opportunity! And I have not been disappointed.  It is a wonderful, encouraging  book celebrating Biblical womanhood. I consider it one of my treasures, and I plan on reading it again soon. 

Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing quotes, poems, etc., from the book, with the hope that you will be blessed as much as I have.

The first  quote is a very powerful one, as they all are....

"The home is also the place where those who will later run our nation are trained - or not trained.  Do you want honest, upright, able men to guide our country's future? Those men are sitting in high chairs today in your dining room. They are digging trenches in the flowerbeds. If we do not want another generation of  greedy, power-hungry politicians, we must nurture and train the leaders we desire within our own homes."

 Have a blessed day, friends!