Sunday, September 27, 2009


I made this Deep-Dish Peach Cobbler on Friday night.
Got the peaches from a local orchard.
Boy it is good!!!

I think this season I'll be 'celebrating Autumn' on a weekly basis! ;-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

8 Things to Celebrate about Fall

This week's 8 Things are dealing with Fall--my favorite season!!!
so this should be easy, we'll see! ;-)

1. The colors--oranges, yellows, browns, reds. Whether in nature or in clothing. I'm enjoying it.

2. Peaches, peaches, peaches!! One of my favorite fruits. We've picked them at a u-pic farm and purchased them at road side stands. A dear friend drop some off for me yesterday. I'm thinking that they'll be made into a cobbler. Yum! Yum!

3. Cooler Weather--yes, I actually like the cooling down that this time of year brings. The crisp mornings, the wind blowing throughout the day. Gives me reason to dress in layers! (see next one)

4. Dressing in Layers--I enjoy wearing scarves, ponchos, sweaters, gloves, jackets, long socks, boots, etc. I was born in the fall so I learned to dress myself in the fall as well. Piling on clothes is actually fun for me. ;-)

5. Pumpkin pie. This is a dessert I save for this time of year and only eat it in the fall. I LOVE PUMPKIN PIE!! Now that we're living in a place surrounded by farms & orchards I so looking forward to taking the kids pumpkin picking.

6. Thanksgiving--my favorite holiday--is celebrated in the fall. This also includes all the harvest festivals with hayrides, bonfires, and all the other fun and games included.

7. Learning something new--traditionally this is the time school starts. Although I am not in school anymore, this is still a good time for me to learn something new. Over the past several years I've taken up new hobbies like knitting, sewing, photography, painting, etc. I need to think about what I'm going to learn this year. I've been reading all year but snuggling up with a book in front of a fire is also a great way to learn and enjoy this time of year.

8. Change--I celebrate the change of clothes (we are currently in the midst of switching from summer to winter), the change in my emotions (I become more inwardly focused), the change in who I am becoming (just as the leaves reveal the 'true color' of the tree, I see that I'm becoming/showing more of who I am), the change in relationships (I've made some good connects with others that seem to change a bit in the fall--due to other commitments, weather, etc. I don't have to resent this, but see it for what it is and remember that Spring will be coming again--my 2nd favorite season. On another note: I want to be open for the new relationships that will be made during this time as well!).

What to join in? Check out Rachelle @ Magpie Girl and let her know!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Welcome Autumn!

Although the day is cloudy, we welcome Autumn. We've pretty much stayed put today. We've been out and about for the past two weeks and although I wanted to do something outdoors to welcome the new season, we've been inside. Sorting through clothes, reading, playing dress-up, viewing photos that have been taken of family and friends.

I decided that we'd bake a pie as our 'special thing' to start the fall. I used my apple/peeler/corer/slicer which cut the prep time in half. Each of the children got to do an apple. I think I used about 8 apples in this pie. Boy is it good!

Autumn, we welcome you!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Book Sharing Monday

This week's book is a sequel to the one we last shared. It's entitled: Old Turtle and the Broken Truth by Douglas Wood, Paintings by Jon J. Muth.

I enjoy reading this book and talking about what this means with my children. It's an amazingly simple story that hold such wonderful truth about life. This is what's written in the front cover:Link
"Earth is full of suffering and war until one little girl seeks Old Turtle, who tells her about a 'broken truth' and how mending it will keep her community to understand the common bond of all humanity."
If this sounds like something you'd like to read and share with your children I strongly encourage you to do so!

Happy Reading!

Want to join in? Visit Alex @ Serendipity and sign on up!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Update on Phonics

Since my last post we've made a lot of progress. I am still liking Saxon Phonics. The "scriptedness" of the program is becoming less bothersome for me. I simply read through it the night before and pull out all necessary materials. It does make the lessons move v e r y smoothly. I don't always stay on script but do use the specifics so that they learn the rules and how to code.

After looking through Level 1 during my planning time this summer, I decided to keep both the girls together on the K Level but they're going at different paces. I've been doing two lessons each day with Jaya and she's starting to read--simple words that she can code and sound out. Kari has just started reading two words. What I'm doing with her is a lot more repetition in that we're only doing one new lesson a week and reviewing that lesson several times that week through games and other activities (art, writing, etc.). I do an overall review with them to start our 'school' day and then each has their own lessons/activities that they complete.

We are still very free-flowing. These lessons last between 7-10 minutes max. Just long enough without loosing interest. We've taken several days off this week as we've been spending quality time with family--we're learning all the time anyway!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More Family Ties

We took a trip today with my daddy to visit his father's people in NJ. This is my Aunt Francis who is 95 years young. She's my Papa's older sister. She lives across the street from my great-grandmother's, MeMom's, old home--where she grew up. As we visited numerous family, whom I've never met, dropped by to say hello. It was great to meet MORE of my family. My children, the girls especially, were very excited to meet girl cousins close in age. By the time it was time to leave, we'd made some new friends. The great thing is that we're close enough to see them regularly and make lasting connections. I love my family!!!

Cousins Pat & Jerrilyn

Baby Evan with the red hair!

Kari, Kayla, Melvin

My girls

CeCe, Evan, Jaya & Kari

Kari w/ Aunt Francis

Cece taking a photo of her own. ;-)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

85 Years of Life

My beautiful paternal grandmother celebrated 85 years of life today.
I'm so thankful not only to have been able to be with her
but to have my children here with her too.
We took our handmade cards and sang to her.
It was a nice evening.

Happy Birthday Mama!
We love you so very much!
Thank you for all that you've given to our family
and everything you will continue to give.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Finger Painting

My girls have enjoyed this before but this was my son's 1st time. Yeah, he started with a paint brush since that's what his big sisters were doing and he just HAD to do what they were doing. The other day I decided that he needed to have this experience. Well, he love it! Once the girls saw how much fun he was having they asked to put their paint brushes down and finger paint with him. Since I wanted to capture the moment I'll have to wait until next time. Finger painting is my favorite too!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Love My Family!

This weekend has been full of family--expected and unexpected! We spent time with both sides of the family. Today was spent with a few member's from my father's side. My aunt surprised us coming in from LA for a quick weekend. We alerted the family close by and those who could come did. My girls have finally met some of their girl cousins close in age! Although the time flew by we enjoyed good food, laughing, chatting, catching up and taking photos. Here are some shots of my beautiful family!

My Papa

My daughter met her cousin who's 2 days older!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

8 Things: Enormous Time Suckers

Wow! This week's 8 Things deals with what sucks up all my time. I must say that just this week I've curbed a few already because I know they are eating up the little bit of time I have. Thanks Rachelle for this one!

My 8 Enormous Time Suckers (random order)

1. Networking sites--I belong to quite a few, I've cut back on a good number of them (meaning I've stopped going to them) but I can waste a good amount of time reading 'friends' posts, filling out lists of things, viewing new photos, etc.

2. Cleaning--there is always so much that needs to get done and when I give my attention to it, I want to do a thorough job. Which can take a good portion of my day. I've already starting working on this one and have given my children MORE responsibilities around the house. Once I get an area cleaned, we set up some 'up keep' jobs to maintain the area. Just this week the girls have starting washing the day's dishes (since I've finally gotten on top of all our dishes! whew!)

3. Organizing & Planning--somehow I'm always in the midst of doing one or both. I get these great ideas on how better to do something or how putting things in "this order" will simply my life. Thinking about, reading about, writing about these things takes a good bit of time. I can get fixated on it and voila' my time is gone!

4. Blogging & Reading Others' Blogs--I must admit that as much as I LOVE doing this, when I do it during the time I should be with my children it ends of eating away more of my time than when I wait until after they have gone to bed. I've stopped myself from reading blogs until my children are either napping or are in bed for the night. Now, I've reserved the right to blog on immediate happenings in my life (posting photos, etc) but that is all. So far, things are working well.

5. Meal Prep & Planning--this is something that I've FINALLY gotten a handle on. Just two months ago I felt as though my life was spent in the kitchen. Washing dishes, preparing the meal, cleaning up, deciding what lunch was going to be. Then spending the rest of the afternoon deciding what dinner was going to be (do we have that? we ate that yesterday. but I'm tired of beans!). What I have started doing is meal planning on Sunday. I write out the entire week's menu and make my shopping list based upon that. It's not only cut down on all the mental energy I was giving to daily meals but has cut down on our grocery bill as I'm only getting what we're going to be eating that week! (Bonus: no more wasted produce & meat!)

6. Repeating Myself--and if you're a mother of young children I'm sure at some point you, too, feel like a broken record or CD w/ a scratch! Not sure when this will change, but hopeful that it will at some point.

7. Watching TV Design Star & Project Runway). I've found so much time in my day now that the TV isn't apart of it! --now most of the TV watching is of children's shows, PBS mainly & On Demand but this does eat up our time. I am able to get some of my major project done without the kids demanding my attention when I do this, but I've found that when I am finished, the show isn't or another has just started and I've given in to them seeing it. Plus, it has given me time to engage in some of my other 'time suckers' (internet, networking sites). Well, I've remedied this last week. No more excessive TV viewing--for all of us! We will still watch videos when they add to what we're learning and as a treat on the weekend. I've also curbed my personal viewing to twice a week (I follow HGTVs Design Star and Project Runway). I'm amazed at just how much more time in the day we have without the TV!!

8. General Internet Usage--unless I'm working on something specific. I can waste hours 'surfin' the net.' Really. I'm doing a lot better and guarding the daytime hours I've set aside for the children. But this is still something I can get caught up in without realizing it (checking email, reading a message with a link, following that link, reading something there and following another link--you get the drift! lol).

A Moment of Silent--Reading

I just read this on Sherry's blog, Living and Learning, and went immediately to NPR to listen to the story. I just can't believe it! I grew up on Reading Rainbow. I LOVE the theme song. I even write my reviews for Book Sharing Monday much like the format the kids' use at the end of the show. My children have always enjoyed watching it and getting the recommended books from the library.

I have sadness...much sadness.

(deep sigh)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Today Was A Good Day

Today was such a good day for me.
It wasn't because I had to get out of bed waaaaaay b4 I was ready and rush around to get the kids dressed to take daddy to work so we could have the van today.
It wasn't because I had to manage getting the kids feed, teeth brushed, hair combed. Nor was it because while taking a shower I had to shout orders between shampooing and conditioning my hair.
No, it wasn't because I had to explain and re-explain to Jaya WHY we needed to make a stop at the bread store before going to the playground.
It wasn't because I had to coax the kids to play once we did arrive at the playground since our friends weren't there yet and the kids didn't want to play without them.
It definitely wasn't because I had to deal with the tiredness and fussiness of my son as I raced, with a cart, through the grocery store ONLY picking up items on my grocery list.
Nor was it because I had to listen to them complain about why it was time for them to take a nap.

I had a good day because I was honest. I got to see a former teacher. I was able to laugh with my best friend. I got a great deal on some homeschooling items. I spent some time enjoying the company of another homeschooling mom. I shared secrets with my fabulous auntie. Three of the books I ordered arrived today. I've had some quiet time to myself to think several thoughts to completion. I chose not to get stuck on the not-so-good-things about today.

It felt as though the planets were aligned for me emotionally, spiritually, physically.
Perhaps it's because I took my vitamins. LOL.

At any rate, it was a good day and
I am thankful.

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow."
~Hellen Keller

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1st

Another month has ended and a new one's just beginning. The chill in the air has been here for a few days now--and I'm silently hoping that it's here to stay! My favorite season of the year is just three weeks away still, but the fall weather seems to be floating through the breeze. Lot's of sun, warm on my face. Cool, near chilling, breezes filtering through my windows. The freshness, the crispness, I so enjoy. Wrapping in a poncho, warm socks up to the knee. Sipping soothing chai tea. The trees are changing colors. The leaves are starting to fall. It's apple picking time. Harvest festivals & state fairs to enjoy. Schooling has already begun for us, but now the neighbor kids are off on yellow buses. We can hear the birds & crickets from most windows in our house. The clouds are fluffy white in the bright blue sky.

Welcome September!

I found the above photo here.


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