Thursday, October 15, 2009

Free Autumn Unit Study

Owen and I will be enjoying a new Autumn unit study and lapbook from Amanda Bennett (yay!) in the next couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to learning and making lots of memories with my guy, and I'm sure the older kids (and the little one too) will want to join in on some things too. :) Check it's free! Autumn Treasures.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Apostles Creed H.C.C. Champions

This is Owen's Sunday School class...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


One of our favorite foods to have for breakfast is Peanut Butter Granola. I got this recipe from the Five in a Row boards a couple years ago and we have making it several times a month ever since. I usually triple the batch when I make it so we're sure to have lots leftover.

Peanut Butter Granola
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup peanut butter
Melt these two ingredients until smooth, over low heat)
Then stir in:
1/3 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
When all the ingredients are warm and smooth, stir in 3 cups of rolled oats until well coated. Put the oat mixture on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or until crisp. At this point you can toss in raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, etc. if you like. Then cool and store tightly covered.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Science Lab in a Supermarket

We have been working through the experiments in Science Lab in a Supermarket, and today we spent some time learning about how water travels through plants.

In Experiment #1 we used colored water to observe how the water travels through the celery's capillaries.

In Experiment #2 we made a cut in one side of the celery stalk and then observed that the part above the cut section was not red like the other side after being in the colored water.
In Experiment #3 we compared two pieces of celery that had been left in the refrigerator for a few hours - one with water, and one without.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Comfort Food

Jordan has been making dinner once a week, and this week she decided to make Zucchini Chowder. This is a recipe I found years ago in a Taste of Home magazine and is definitely one our family's favorites.

Zucchini Chowder
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons minced, fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
pinch sugar, optional
1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional

In a Dutch oven or soup kettle over medium heat, saute the zucchini, onion, parsley and basil in butter until vegetables are tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually stir in water. Add the bouillon and lemon juice; mix well. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, milk and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Just before serving, stir in cheeses until melted. Add sugar and garnish with parsley, if desired.

Yield: About 2-1/2 quarts

She also made Rosemary Bread, which tasted sooo good with the chowder. If you have ever had the bread from Macaroni Grille, this bread tastes very similar...yum!

Rosemary Bread
1 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon basil
1 tablespoon rosemary
2 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select white bread cycle; press start.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gag Me!

Today we dissected owl pellets. For those of you who may not know what that means, let me explain a bit. Owls usually eat their food whole. The parts that cannot be digested, like bones and feathers, are formed into a ball called a pellet. These pellets are then coughed up, basically. By dissecting a pellet, you can see exactly what the owl ate.

I found a chart on the internet to help identify the bones and what animals they came from.

When we were done I had the kids list what they found. They found shrew skulls, jaws, pelvic bones, ribs, and scapulas; mole skulls, pelvic bones, scapulas and ribs; bird pelvic bones and hind limbs; and rodent skulls and jaws (with teeth in some). Like I said...gag me!

Where's Brandt?

I've followed a guy named Brandt Russo online for a couple of years now. Brandt lives on the streets and does whatever he can for the people he comes in contact with. He says, "I just try to love. Everyday." Brandt is a beautiful example of what it means to love like Jesus. Earlier today on Facebook he linked to an amazing article he wrote for Enoch Magazine and I wanted to share it here.

written by Brandt Russo

About a year back, I was in New Orleans with a youth group that wanted to learn how to serve the homeless. Earlier that day, they had made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and brought apples and water hoping it would bring a smile and some hope to someone with an empty stomach. Being that I’d spent a year homeless to better understand the homeless and urban poor, I get asked often to take groups out to teach them how to love practically.


This particular time broke my heart. One of the girls from the group approached a lovely black elderly fellow we called Jazz. Jazz was about 60, and the wrinkles on his face told many stories if you stared long enough. Jazz played the sax in the French Quarter every day hoping to make enough to spend the night in the local shelter (yes they charge every night after week’s free stay). “Hungry, anything helps” read his tattered cardboard sign, dampened by the morning rain. She walked up without asking him his name or how he was and handed him an apple. With a grin, he politely refused and she walked away grumbling something under her breath.

When I approached her to ask her what she was upset about, she had already started telling her friends that “all that homeless man wanted was money. He is probably an alcoholic.” I asked her to walk back with me, and as I walked up to Jazz I offered him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and the biggest, TOOTHLESS smile came on his face as he thanked us for the sandwich. You see, Jazz hadn’t been able to eat an apple since his teeth had been knocked out in a street fight twelve years back. It’s incredible the stories you will hear if you take the time to get to know these beautiful, broken street people. This girl had walked away changed.


I find it simply amazing the chasm between class lines, especially in the “Christian” world. Jesus had this amazing idea that if you mix class lines, they tend to dissolve. That if we fall in love with someone’s heart, they are no longer homeless in our eyes, but become family. It’s a beautiful transition that happens when we take the time to extend ourselves to those whom we are “most afraid” of . If you were to take a group of kids from the ghetto camping in the woods, they would be terrified of every sound, praying not to get eaten by a bear. If we were to take a group of suburban kids to the ghetto, the same would happen (replacing the bear with a gunshot). We are all so afraid of what we don’t know, and sadly, we are usually more afraid of our preconceived ideas of that fear than we are of the “fear” itself.

The media has done wonders dehumanizing the poor, so it’s no wonder that we do all we can to ignore them. If you walk downtown, don’t make eye contact, they say. Don’t carry cash. Walk on the opposite side of the street.jay2It’s amazing the lengths we take to avoid the very people Jesus spent His life serving. I think what we tend to forget is that every “poor” person is somebody’s loved one. A grandfather or grandmother, son or daughter. We live our lives for our own flesh and blood, and would do ANYTHING we can to fix theirbroken lives, and yet Jesus made it clear that we are ALL FAMILY.

In Genesis 1:27 (Message), it says that “God spoke: ‘Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature’ “. We are all sons and daughters of the creator of this world, all as splendid as the sun and worthy of honor and love. My life has been changed, not only by the stories of these broken people, but by sharing in their joys and sufferings. I’ve found Jesus in the eyes of many a homeless person. We can’t ignore the poor, because as Mother Teresa said, “In the poor, we find Jesus in His most distressing disguise.” Be love to someone today, and find your own “Jazz.” It will change everything.