Thursday, November 19, 2015

Cranberry Thanksgiving Continues...

Hello There!

We are still enjoying reading and learning with Cranberry Thanksgiving. Today we learned about onomatopoeia. I told them the definition and had them yell out, while I'm reading the book, when we got to the words which make the sound of the object. First one to yell out gets a Hersey kiss! I printed off some free worksheets on onomatopoeia and we listened to Old MacDonald had a Lots of onomatopoeia examples in that wonderful old song. :) We also learned about and looked for repetition through out the book, vocabulary words, similes, had the kids document/draw the progress of their corn, and talked about the elements of a good story. To help with good story making we used some of these fun worksheets. To finish up their Cranberry Thanksgiving for the day the kids made cranberry play dough...super fun!

2 cups white flour
1 cup salt
2 Tbls. cream of tartar
2 Tbls. oil
1 cup cranberry juice (or water)

Mix all together in small pot. Heat until warm. Dump on your table and have kids add food coloring and red glitter, pull out the cookie cutters and rolling pins. And, by golly, don't forget to turn on some good Christmas music.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cranberry Thanksgiving...

It's Cranberry Thanksgiving time..again! We have been reading this book to the kids, every week before Thanksgiving, ever since we stumbled upon FIAR, way back when my first born was in third grade.
The FIAR books we've read together all these years have made so many good memories. I'm truly grateful to the FIAR creators and that we were lead to use it. Not only has it helped my kids to gain knowledge, made great, fun memories, but also has taught me how to relax and teach and learn with my wonderful children. What a blessing! I feel sorry for the parents and children who seem so stressed out during the school year. Will they look back on these years with bad memories? Does Mama feel like she has to be some kind of a martyr in order to homeschool her precious kids at home? I hope not. I pray that all Mama's feel like it is a great privilege to have their kiddos at home with them, learning about God, life, and the many many wonderful, exciting things around us to explore, and growing right along with them, with smiles and laughter.
Well, anyway, this post isn't really about all that. This post is about Cranberry Thanksgiving! :)
So, I started Cranberry Thanksgiving with Silas and Sunny this week. So far we have learned about the New England states and good character and bad character. We've learned about how someone can appear to be good on the outside, but may, in fact, be harboring bad motives, about how good people forgive when wronged. We learned about the right way to forgive verses the wrong way to forgive. We watched the promise. We've started our own popcorn seedlings in baggies. And, as always, I like to point out to the kids how that the book was copyrighted in 1971, the same year their Mama was born :). All that fun and it's only been one day of rowing this book.

Homeschoolshare has a free lap book unit for Cranberry Thanksgiving.
Cranberry play dough and ornaments (I can't wait to try this one tomorrow!)

Friday, November 6, 2015

End of garden harvest...

This morning I cleaned out the last of the goods in the garden. It rained earlier. Which left everything in the ground washed by the heavens.

The two things I found were parsley in the herb bed...

aaaand some birdhouse gourds that grew all by themselves out of the compost pile..I love it when that happens and I love birdhouse gourds.

The gourds I'll let stay on the vine till they completely dry out. This is an experiment though. In the past I've always brought them inside to dry on newspaper or cardboard. And they have always gotten moldy. I've read that you should leave them outside on the vine until they dry then bring them indoors. So, we'll see if this works.

However, even the gourds that don't turn out perfectly colored or that have spots that won't scrub off, are able to be salvaged simply by painting them. I have used a natural gourd color and you couldn't even tell they were painted. They look so pretty displayed around a country home. In baskets or on top of cabinets. And, naturally, they make beautiful birdhouses hanging from a bunch of trees out back.

As for the parsley, I'm going to share a secret with you. The absolutely, easiest, cheapest, laziest way to dry herbs is to clip them after a morning rain. They'll be all clean (except maybe the lower parts touching the ground. You can just rinse those off). Label a brown paper bag with the herb name and date (I really have no idea why I date it. It doesn't really matter. It just seems like the right thing to do, I guess). Put your herbs into its own bag and place on top of your refrigerator (also makes a great fermentation station, but that's for a different post) till completely dried. Dump dried herbs into your blender and give a couple quick chops. Store in glass jars. There ya have it...easy peasy!

One of our favorite recipes for parsley...

Ranch Mix

8 tsp. minced onion
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 Tbs. parsley

Blend. Mix a tablespoon or more into sour cream and you have a chip dip. Add some milk or cream to that to thin it out a bit and you have ranch salad dressing. You can add the dry mix to popcorn or mashed potatoes, soups, roast, onto buttered bread and warmed in the oven, etc. etc. etc.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


The count down is on...26 days till we get the keys to our new home. This picture to the right is the road which leads to our house. Isn't it simply beautiful?! It feels like a dream come true. I'm so very thankful that God has blessed us with this opportunity and I pray that we would use this house to honor and glorify Him and any one else who may enter in. 

I hope I don't bore you to death with this post. It's going to be about "the house", of course. My hope is that when we actually do get to go inside and see everything...really get to see everything...that I'll still love it as much as I do now. lol  Nah, I'm certain I will. Even though there is a lot of work that needs to be done. In my thinking, that's the FUN part. Fixing it all up just the way we like. 

The girls and I are trying to figure out a name to call our little farmhouse. Why name your house and property, you ask? Well, historically that's what families did. Not only for business reasons...You would have to have a name for selling your goods produced from your farm. But also because its fun and it makes our home uniquely ours.

The name may have something to do with the house, color or style, it may have to do with the landscape or animals on the property, or perhaps have absolutely nothing to do with any of that at all. 
Maybe named after a beloved person in your past such as a grand mom or grand pop with a particular nickname. Anything's yours! 

I love the way you have to cross over this cute little brown bridge to enter onto the property. Underneath the bridge flows a narrow stream dumping into a pond to the left where the animals graze. It's feels like a little hideaway as you cross over and the tree branches of the old willow trees lightly touch your windshield. It all makes me feel so happy. I'm thinking the name should have something to do with all of that somehow. 
I'll have to let you know what we decide to name our new homestead.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Love, Love, Beautiful Love...

And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is LOVE.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sunshine smoothie...

sunshine smoothie 
About a year ago I started learning about the benefits of consuming bone broth from Weston A Price. About 2 times a week I make a big batch of chicken bone broth..chicken feet, neck and all. Strain the broth, chill and skim off any fat which has risen to the top. The broth should be thick and gelatinous. I scoop out the broth and put it into quart mason jars and return to the refrigerator. Every morning I pour a quart of broth into my percolator and turn it on. I then have hot broth all day long...yum! 

Here are just a few of the benefits that I have noticed since consuming broth.

*Thicker, healthier hair

*Thicker, healthier nails

*smoother skin

*my tonsils which have been three sizes larger than normal ever since I can remember have all but disappeared.

*I have lost 2 inches off of my gluteus maximous, which is always a plus...especially since I have done nothing to even try to lose weight.

*I sleep like a baby at night. No more waking up at 2am and not being able to fall back to sleep...I hated that!

On days that I don't have my broth ready or I just need an extra pick me up I make sure I have this gelatin  and/or collagen on hand and use it to make this delicious protein powered breakfast smoothie.

1/2 cup cream/or raw full fat milk
1/2 cup organic orange juice
4 scoops of collagen (equals 36 grams protein. More protein than protein powders and much healthier too)
2 raw egg yolks from free ranging chickens
1 frozen banana
1 tsp vanilla

Blend well in blender. Super yummy and provides tons of energy to tackle the day, plus you still get the benefits of consuming gelatin.