Archive for July, 2009

Way cool root cellar!

Okay I know I’ve always got some crazy idea cooked up that my husband has to help me either justify (plan, save and eventually possibly DO), magnify (look intently into the pro’s and often con’s of said project) or on occasion build-ify (just do it)!  I’m hoping this might be in the build-ify department.

This way cool earthbag dome can be constructed using mostly materials I have here at the house…

soil

rock

bags (animal food bags in my case)

I can’t wait to try it out!  Hopefully it won’t have to go under the microscope first and I can report back on construction at some point! 🙂

July 29, 2009 at 2:58 pm 3 comments

Summer Slackin’

See I’m silly, do you suspect my serious compulsion? thing 1 pie I have a compulsion for words and I love alliteration! 🙂 

That aside, I spent the time it takes to brew my morning coffee swatting flies!  Why flies you ask?  My darling Thinglets can not resist the great outdoors but since mom doesn’t cook during the summer they also can’t resist multiple trips indoors for a snack.  During the summer I slack in the eating and the cleaning department, I reserve most of my cleaning rampages for the dreary days of winter.  Please pay close attention to the word MOST as I am not good at practicing what I preach! 

The result is a summer slackin’ mamma, several snackin saps and a serious amount of smackin’ stinkin’ segmented sailing suckers!

Since I’ve been a regular participator in Linda’s weekly blog carnival, previously “What’s for Dinner Wednesday” I decided I couldn’t let down the troops so this week I don’t have a recipe but more of a slackers gluten free survival map!

thing 2 pieNever fear though, I will be back soon with full tummy recipes since in the Northwest summer is but a passing fancy!  We have guests this week and I plan to bring you my brother in law’s (Lil Sis’ Hubby) “Famous Fish Taco” recipe.  So tune in next week!

In the mean time-

Gluten Free Goof’s Slacker’s Survival Map:

The first stop is my sock drawer!  No I don’t have any science experiments brewing in there just a “treasure map” of sorts that helps me get my head out of the clouds when it comes time to eat!  Food preparation is one area that I am somewhat of a procrastinator.  I am not confident, I am picky and yet I have grand ideas that often flop (unless my hubby is helping- he is an uninhibited cook)!  Sooo, it helps me to have a simple plan to fall back on and yet not be bound to! 

Sounds much too complicated for FOOD!  For crying out loud those six mouths are simply six pie holes!

After I have fished out my treasure map I wistfully make a paper airplane out of it and send it sailing off of the deck, past the pigs, the horses, and the vegetable garden where I am reminded there are numerous summertime bubba pietreasures we don’t get to enjoy everyday!  Second stop, garden of weedin where we get our veggies fix’!

If there is extra time and I want to impress the rats I might stop by the BBQ on the way back to the house and create a dish for the critics!

When there is no extra time my map ends up as fuel for the barbecue and I whip up my go to summer meal complete with Sweet Baby Ray’s drizzly grin!

Occasionally I forget the whole thing and let my seven year old create his own masterpiece!

So in case there is any question, my treasures are featured all over this page!  No need for maps or compasses my husband and I have been thoroughly blessed with the four adorable children God has trusted us with!

Psalm 127:3-5
3Sons are a heritage from the LORD,
       children a reward from him.

 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
       are sons born in one’s youth.

 5 Blessed is the man
       whose quiver is full of them.
       They will not be put to shame
       when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

pee wee pieAaarg, I hope you’ve enjoyed this treasure hunt, come back next week for a seriously good installment of Linda’s new and improved “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free” and don’t forget to visit the others this week!

July 29, 2009 at 10:02 am 9 comments

The School Skinny

Masses want to know just what it is I’ll be filling my young Thinglets minds with come time to start school.

Well, maybe masses is a gross overstatement but I decided it couldn’t hurt to share what it is that’s in my pea brain and let you in on my curriculum secrets.

The truth is I have no idea what I’m doing!  I am the first of my friends to tackle the homeschooling adventure so I am the pioneer!  For better or worse I will be plowing through and reporting back to them about what works and doesn’t.  OOoo boy, I’m a guinea pig.

My crazy plan for this coming school year follows.

Moving Beyond the Page: a theme based, comprehensive curriculum that I will use for both 1st and 2nd grades at the same time.  It is not a faith based curriculum but I like teaching in themes because throughout each unit I can incorporate any amount of additional teaching that I so desire.  Though, with the new baby that plan was a complete flop last year!   Themes like “community” and “animal habitats” give me a jumping off point and the workbooks have suggestions for older and younger children.   This curriculum covers most of the standards I need to meet for the state of Idaho for Language Arts, Science, Social Studies and it includes Math and Reading.  It does not however, teach a child to read and only introduces math concepts.

Abeka Phonics and Reading: I purchased the phonics flashcards and the Letters and Sounds workbook as well as half of the years readers.  This will be my first year with Abeka curriculum and I have mixed feelings.  The familiarity of having read those same readers as a kid might have contributed to my decision to give these books a try with my oldest.  He is having trouble gaining confidence in reading and has an intense need to know something through reading so the Explode the Code workbooks I used last year frustrated him and created more of a fight than I felt necessary. Afterall our mission statement is “Develop the drive to pursue truth…”!  The colorless, tedious phonics books I forced him to do last year did nothing for his drive so I choose something more up his alley.  He tells me that his favorite school “subject” is the “I Learn About God” readers from Rod andStaff that I found at the thrift store.  I am hoping the Abeka readers will help peak his interest and give him confidence as he works through a corresponding phonics workbook.  Now I’m rambling but I’m thinking out loud since I’ve had close friends who’ve been on both sides of the fence with this curriculum.  Some say it’s great, others felt that it is confusing and does not present phonics blends in a logical order.  I guess I will get to see first hand.  The other thing I know is that every kid is different, what works for one may be completely a flop with another.

Explode the Code: My helper teacher is one of the friends who does not prefer the way Abeka orders the phonics and therefore has encouraged me to continue with ETC so I will purchase an online subscription to give my son a little “break” from the traditional seatwork.

RightStart Math:   I like the way that RightStart and other curriculum like it teaches math as a concept not simply as memorized facts.  I did not learn this way initially so teaching it has been a bit of a challenge but I’m learning to group numbers for easy calculating and see concepts through play!  My son who is going into the 2nd grade is already multiplying double digits in his head (though he doesn’t know that’s what it is).  My Kindergartner understands the process of addition and subtraction just from playing the games with us at the end of last year.

A Reason for Handwriting: I’ve noticed that my oldest is not careful when composing his letters.  I purchased this handwriting course in order to give him a “reason” to improve his penmanship. I am really excited about this workbook since it presents a verse a week. At the end of the week he will copy the verse onto a page with a border to color and he will choose someone to bless by mailing them his finished work.

Handwriting Without Tears:  My Kindergartner is a hands on learning who is excited by shapes and loves to draw.  I chose this curriculum for its interactive approach to handwriting.  It is also good for the visual learner since it draws attention to the similarities between letters.  For instance the “magic C” is used in G, D etc.

I have some incidentals to add as well but I will review the books and enter them in another post! 

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts, I would enjoy your support as well as constructive criticism since, as I said, I’m winging it! I am relying on the advice of others at this point since I have no personal experience to go off of yet!

July 28, 2009 at 10:29 am 12 comments

Another Attempt- Macro Monday

My title could be very telling if you allow it some depth of reason!  Are Macro and Mom synonyms?  I wish I was a centipede.

centepede1 One of the major struggles I have in my life is to remember to stop and smell the flowers! 

wildflower

I look at everything through a “macro” lens of critical thoughts and suspicion.  It is such an easy thing to do especially with small children. Instead of feeling blessed by the “quality” time included in picking up multiples of puzzle pieces from several dumped puzzles I get frustrated and overwhelmed.  I need to stop and consider my blessings and enjoy my darling children.

 I found this encouragement on a magnet, author unknown…

EXCUSE This House

Some houses try to hide the fact that children shelter there: Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere.

For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the doors; I should apologize, I guess, for toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with the children and we played and laughed and read, and if the doorbell doesn’t shine their eyes will shine instead.

For when I have to choose between the one job or the other, though I need to cook and clean, first I’ll be a mother.

Please visit the others by clicking the picture below!  There are so many great photographers that participate!

July 27, 2009 at 11:55 am 13 comments

My Redeemer Lives

You’ve got to watch this clip if you haven’t already.

A son asks his father to run The Iron Man with him. 

In case you didn’t know

‘The Iron Man’ is the toughest triathlon in existence raced the past few years right here in my neck of the woods.

2.4 mi swim in open water (an icy cold turbulant lake), then 112 mi by bike, and finally a marathon which is 26 miles 385 yards running.

You won’t believe the magnitude of this until you watch!

July 22, 2009 at 10:14 pm 6 comments

The Long Long Story- Short Version

IMG_4327Where to begin?

Lost horses?

My internet boyfriend?

Life in the long long trailer?

It’s a story about control. A story about learning to give up the illusion of control. This is my testimony written and documented as a “stone alter” to remind me where I’ve been. Equally it’s the story of my ever growing love for my husband a memoir for my children, a written legacy. It is the story of their parents and more importantly the story of the Lord’s unending provision.

It is not always a pretty story and I haven’t attained all that I’ve reached for throughout the years but thank the Lord I haven’t been given what I deserve! He is a good God, giving good and perfect gifts but sometimes that did not include the very things I had my sights on. The desires of passionate moments faded away and in their place my Jesus has given me a full and passionate life.

How about I start with the short version.  Remember, Jessie doesn’t do short so I will give it my best shot!

I asked Jesus into my heart when I was five.  I can still remember it in vivid living color!  My Daddy and I were sitting on the carpeted landing of our three story, turn of the century home in downtown Coeur d’Alene (Core-duh-lane, it’s French).  My mom fondly recalls how I would tell complete strangers my address pluckily including the “downtown” part in my montra!  There is a different feel in “downtown” and even as a five year old I knew it. 

Each block had a dozen or so quaint old houses. Huge oak and maple trees lined the street yawning with their branches over the road, touching in the middle creating a canopy of glistening leaves in the spring and summer.  Those same trees with swelling roots had pushed up the sidewalk in places but people didn’t mind, they just bumped their baby carriages around the crevasse and went on their way awestruck by the sheer beauty of their surroundings.  We had one such tree but it sat back off the road, almost close enough to climb into from the window at the landing where we sat.

I would sit with Daddy and press my little nose against the glass to watch the Robin’s nesting and caring for their young.  Year after year the same family would return to the cradle in that old maple to gather twigs.  Weeks would pass and the mother would lay thumb sized, speckled blue eggs.  She would sit patiently while father, with his beautiful red breast, would flutter off busily caring for her until the chicks had hatched, and then they both would busy themselves caring for the young.  Sometimes I could see the sharp beaks stretched out from fuzz topped heads blind and helpless, waiting for morsels of goodness.  

I’ve often thought of those brilliant birds as an allegory for how God places us here on earth then watches, drawing us while His truth grows inside us ready to burst through the shell of selfishness into a realization that He is the one true King.  Jesus provided a way for us to get out of our mortal shell and really live, then he carefully feeds and cares for us through His Word (spiritual food) and the fellowship of believers as we mature into strong God fearing individuals. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself and my story is getting long!

Sitting there that day watching the Robins with my dad I asked probing questions about life and our existence.  Soon he could recognize that the Holy Spirit was working and he asked if I would like to have Jesus in my heart!  My own heart picked up it’s pace as I pondered the magnitude of this decision.  As much as a five year old mind could I understood that I could not get out of that shell alone. I needed Jesus. 

Daddy prayed with me and covered me with his protection and guidance for the time being.  I understood the Father because I had the example of my own Daddy and I wanted to grow up to be like him. 

Thus began my journey and consequently my life!

July 21, 2009 at 10:31 am 8 comments

I am me everyone else is taken.

I just stumbled upon a blog whose title is “I’m just me (everyone else is taken)” and I love the quote so I stole it 🙂 Hehe!  It got me thinking.

I’ve been really moody lately- what’s up with that?  Who knows maybe it’s the onions they made me eat!  I even told my husband the other day “I don’t like myself lately!”   You know that feeling it’s like the saying “wherever I go there I am.”  So the question remains, what to DO about it!?

CHANGE!  Do you remember our discussion about change?  I’m very resistant to it, I’m married to it and I am living by it all at the same time.  I think we all are really, like it or not.  Can I change?  Can I forget about the onions and enjoy the blessings of the day?

My blessings are numerous really.  Four beautiful children and a wonderful loyal, hard working, supportive husband. A gorgeous house in the woods complete with vegetable garden, animals of all kinds, many many lovely friends.  I really have nothing to be moody about yet I find myself going about my day with a wrinkled brown worrying about my WORRYING!  Ack

Thank the Lord he doesn’t define us by our worst day, in fact I am even more grateful he doesn’t measure us by our BEST day.  Instead our Gracious Father sees us through alens of  mercy, he views us through the veil of the blood that flowed on calvary.

Thank you Jesus for seeing me Redeemed!

Thank you Jesus for seeing me Whole!

Thank you Jesus for seeing me on YOUR BEST DAY, the day you bore my sin unselfishly, most lovingly I am forgiven through your Grace!

Whew!

Help me to see others through that lens!

July 20, 2009 at 2:23 pm 7 comments

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Us and Our Thinglets

MATT - Food Creativity Consultant, Joyful Partner in Crime JESSIE - Photographer, Amateur Food Critic, Blog Author CAPTAIN OBVIOUS - formerly Thing 1 Thing 1 SCARFUNKLE - formerly Thing 2 IMG_3466 LOUD KIDDINGTON - formerly THE BUBBA 3 PEE WEE MINI ME BORN March 8, 2011

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Sourdough Update

Many of you have been checking back for results on my sourdough creation. At the moment it is still a science experiment, but a happy, bubbly experiment. Never fear, recipes will be here! I did make a beautiful, moist and delicious loaf of sourdough using yeast and a myriad of other ingredients but I'm still trying to create something more user friendly. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a starter on the counter that you could add 4 things to and have a loaf of bread by dinner? Mmmm! Attempt #1 - rose well but resulted in a dense chewy blob Attempt #2 - rose ok but was thin and lifeless then fell and another dense (not so chewy) blob Attempt #3 - to the dogs! Attempt #4 - A sourdough pancake success see post under what's for breakfast gluten-free goof? Ongoing - I've tried several more times and am going to try a completely different approach on the bread starting this week. (Mar 18). My sourdough is still happy on my counter and it makes great pancakes but it's a lot of work just for pancakes. Keep checking! April Update: She is still kickin and I'm still workin on a yeast free, gluten free sourdough loaf! May Update: My sourdough "pet" has been dried and retired until next baking season. I've traded her in for a hotter model, the BBQ! :)
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