Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....

Seeing high school classmates; Call from 98 year old Great Aunt; Teeth for baby; Uncle Tom's Cabin; Warm chocolate chip cookie barsGod's provisions; Dianne Craft's Brain Integration Therapy.....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Uncle Tom's Cabin - Day 3

Day 3 - Chapters 4-6

Wow, one minute I'm crying and the next I'm laughing out loud.  So my kids want to know what's going on.  I read part of Uncle Tom's Cabin aloud to RileyAnn and Ruben and they're hooked now too.

I believe Stowe set the scene of Chapter 4 in the slave cabin to build a case for Tom's character and faith.  It's apparent that the slaves have created a family amongst themselves and they look to Tom as a leader.  Not only as a man, but as a pastor or spiritual leader.  And by the end of Chapter 5, I could certainly see why.  Tom is a man of faith.  He was loyal and true to his master even when the tide turned on him.  It was hard to see the love and happiness inside that cabin and know the cold truth about what was going on outside with Mr. Shelby's dealings.

Upon further reading, it appears that Mrs. Shelby may truly be of christian faith.  It seems she had a real heart for the slaves and their reverence to the Lord.  Because the Shelby's have promised Tom freedom since he was a boy, Mrs. Shelby was beside herself with the notion that Tom may lose faith when he finds out he has been sold and will not be free. I wondered if the slaves will see Mrs. Shelby as a hypocrite?  Though it appeared as though Eliza certainly didn't. 

We got quite a chuckle when reading about Black Sam's attempt to stall the search for Eliza.  In light of the fact that Sam appears uneducated, his plan was quite bright.

I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts and comments.  Are you enjoying the book?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Uncle Tom's Cabin - Day 2

Day 2 - Chapter 2 & 3

"They stood silent; then there were last words, and sobs, and bitter weeping, - such parting as those may make whose hope to meet again is as the spider's web, - and the husband and wife were parted."...Tears again today as this terrible injustice is boiling inside me.  Mr. Harris is a haughty man who is hiding behind jealousy and fear.  I believe he fears George will gain power if he's praised or promoted in his job.  His treatment of George is uncalled for.  On the other hand, I'm not sure if I should feel sympathy or apathy for George.  Surely, I sympathize with the cruel treatment of George by Mr. Harris.  But, a part of me feels apathy to George's desire to run away.  He is trying to take matters in his own hands rather than trusting God's plan.

Mrs. Shelby appears to be humane in her treatment of Eliza as far as educating her and helping her with her wedding.  However, she is condescending in her tone when speaking to Eliza when she says things like, "silly child", "foolish girl", and "you goosie".  She easily dismisses Eliza's fears regarding Mr. Shelby selling Harry.  Galatians 3:28 and Colossians 3:11 both speak to the fact that there are no divisions among followers of Christ, whether you are... "Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus."  I don't feel Mrs. Shelby is keeping with the spirit of God's law when she continues to patronize Eliza. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Uncle Tom's Cabin - Day 1


Angel is currently reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe as part of her American History & Literature study.  The book is recommended by several well known homeschool curricula including, Higher Up and Further In, Ambleside Online, Beautiful Feet, TruthQuest, and Veritas Press to name a few. 

In my never ending quest to be educated, I've decided to read along.  I will be hosting a book study right here throughout my endeavor.  Please join me in reading along.  Then log on and comment in regard to Uncle Tom's Cabin. 

My reading plan is tentatively scheduled as follows....

Day 1 - Chapter 1
Day 2 - Chapters 2-3
Day 3 - Chapters 4-6
Day 4 & 5 - Chapters 7-9
Day 6 & 7 - Chapters 10-16
Day 8 - Chapters 17-20
Day 9 & 10 - Chapters 21-26
Day 11 & 12 - Chapters 27-35
Day 13, 14, & 15 - Chapters 36-45

I intend to post at the end of assigned readings, Monday - Friday, leaving the weekends for catch-up if needed. As you can see, my goal is to finish the book in three weeks.  I plan to pace myself and may need to alter the schedule if it becomes too intense as we still have our crazy life to live here at Drywood Creek :) 

Please consider joining in.....

Day 1 - Chapter 1

I don't know about you, but I'm hooked.  The thought of Mr. Shelby selling Harry brought me to tears.  As a mother, I was imagining not having a say in the life of one of my children because someone of another color viewed me as less than human.   At first, it appeared that Mr. Shelby may be a respectable man as far as slave owners went.  But as the conversation went on and he referenced Haley keeping quiet so as not to "get out among my boys", as well as the thought of him sweet talking his wife to sell her servant's child, appalled me.  I totally sensed Mr. Shelby felt superior to blacks.

As for Haley, I despised him from the get go.  He was arrogant and greedy.  I believe Mrs. Stowe portrayed Haley's character in this light as a way to show the worst qualities of Negro-traders at that time.  It was apparent that Mr. Shelby was some how indebted to Haley and it appeared as though Haley would stop at nothing to get his way.  His comments such as " Kentucky folks spile your niggers." and "These critters ain't like white folks..." are despicable.  I believe the second quote was a way of justifying his actions.  Calling slaves "critters" like they were some type of varmint to be easily disposed of. 

What were your thoughts?

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mystery of History Volume III

 The Mystery of History Volume III

We continue to devour The Mystery of History.  This year I'm reading aloud Volume III.  This volume is a bit different than the first two in that it's hard cover and has color pictures.  The book is very beautiful! 

Again, I'm using it as the spine of our study of the Renaissance and Reformation.  There is a separate Companion Guide available as a CD Rom or print version, which has the student activities, worksheets, and lesson plans.  I have the CD Rom, but really only used it to print the supplemental book list. 

The lessons are very interesting and flow well.  It has a story feeling.  Typically, I read a lesson, we discuss, and sometimes I request narration.  RileyAnn does a notebooking page and that's it.  We don't do the activities and memory work suggested.  We do history 3 times per week.  It's really fun to see Riley and Ruben act out the scenarios we've read about in their free play time.  I totally recommend The Mystery of History, whether you homeschool or are looking for a great chronological biblical history read. 

You can find our Mystery of History Volume II Lesson Plan here.  You can view our term 1 Lesson plan here, which includes Mystery of History Volume III.  Linda Lacour Hobar is currently working on Volume IV.  However, it is not yet ready for release.  Volume IV will be the final book in the series. 

This will be our last year using Mystery of History.  Though I will keep my eye out for Volume IV when it's released ;-)  Next year, we're going to try TruthQuest history guides by Michelle Miller.  My plan is to use the three American History for Young Students guides with Riley and Ruben.  Stay tuned...I will post regarding these books as we go along. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks...


Seven months; Roasting hot dogs over open fire; the simplicity and delicious taste of Rice Crispy Treats; Grocery shopping; Taxes paid; Red Bellied Woodpeckers; Transitions....

Monday, January 21, 2013

7 months...

Your big blue eyes make my day.   So hard to believe it's been 7 months...

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks.....

Buttons sewed on; Father and sons; Wheat for Prairie Gold flour; Helping neighbors; Better World Books; No broken hip; Sunrise on the silo......

Monday, January 14, 2013

Snap Circuits....

Snap Circuits have become the next best thing since sliced bread in our home.  Ruben received Snap Circuits SC-300 for Christmas.  He's been building like crazy everything from flying saucers to lights and alarms.  He is pictured above with his prized radio.  His face was absolutely priceless after he built it and started tuning the dial to hear voices.  He tuned into the ballgame on ESPN that The Farmer was watching on TV.  Last night he made a race car idol and sounded a trumpet.

Snap Circuits was also a huge hit at the family Christmas parties.  Ruben's cousins and uncles were fascinated and built multiple inventions.  I think Snap Circuits are a great beginning hands on tool for electrical learning.  We recommend them for your science minded kid!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Prairie Gold Pancakes...

This week we bought 50 lbs.of Prairie Gold 100% Whole Wheat Flour from a local dry goods store.  This morning I was trying to find storage space.   I filled all our flour tubs and several ice cream pails.  I keep one flour tub out for every day use and freeze the rest for future use.  Prairie Gold is my new favorite flour.  It has all the benefits of wheat flour with the light sweet taste of white flour.  I love it for baking bread and my family LOVES it for making these pancakes.....

Prairie Gold Pancakes

4 cups Prairie Gold 100 % Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons Real Salt Natural Sea Salt (my favorite brand, but any will do)
3 Tablespoons honey
1 stick of butter melted
2 1/2 cups milk (may use half and half or cream)

Mix the dry ingredients.  Add wet ingredients.  The batter will be very thick.  I add a small amount of water, about 1/4 - 1/2 cup, depending on desired consistency.  Scoop batter onto hot greased griddle.  Cook, slather with all natural maple syrup, and enjoy!!

Thank you God for grain ground into flour and sap that flows from maple trees!

"So obey the commands of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and fearing him.  for the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land of flowing streams and pools of water, with fountains and springs that gush out in the valleys and hills.  It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey.  It is a land where food is plentiful and nothing is lacking.  It is a land where iron is as common as stone; and copper is abundant in the hills.  When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you."  Deuteronomy 8:6-10

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....

Homeschool through high school; Finding missing parts; Math games; Job offers; Chiropractor; Homemade chicken soup; January thaw....

Monday, January 7, 2013

Updated About Us....

          We had some major changes in our household in 2012.  On June 18th, we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Levi, weighing 9lbs. 1 oz. and 20.5 inches long.  So hard to believe he’s nearly 7 months old.  With his bright blue eyes, he has the entire farm wrapped around his finger and is an absolute gift.

           Also last June, Jennifer flew from the nest on her 19th birthday. She is still working as a CNA in a nursing home. Angel, RileyAnn, and Ruben continue to study at home and are in 11th, 3rd, and 2nd grade. We just wrapped up the first semester of our 6th year of homeschooling....WOW!!  Where does the time go?

The Farmer and I have so much to be thankful for and look forward to watching our children grow with each new day.  In November, I started Thursdays of Thanks as a way to praise our Lord for all the wonderful blessings he's bestowed upon us.  

I will continue to review curriculum and share lesson plans that work for us.  In addition, I'll log our adventures on the farm at Drywood Creek and share a few of our favorite recipes along the way.  Thanks so much for logging on.....

Blessings to you in the New Year,


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thursdays of Thanks....


Chickadees at the feeder; Psalm 91; Sweet, juicy naval oranges; Bittersweet endings; Little hands and feet; The start of a New Year; Sleep all night.....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Fall Forward" into the New Year

I woke this morning, unsure of what the day would bring.  There's that point in the year when I know I screwed up so bad, there's no turning back and there's nothing to do but press on.  This is why I embrace the thought of a new year.  It seems I can somehow pick myself up and start again.  Today is that day.  I get to start again. 

But it didn't really feel like a fresh start.  The baby was restless during the night, which meant no sleep for the second straight week since his shots.  Ruben's still snorting and hacking.  RileyAnn wakes tired and whiny, not feeling well.  Though the sun is shining boldly, it's 7 degrees below zero outside.  Lunch is leftover from yesterday.  Angel asks if I've ever read The Scarlet LetterI have not.  Just another reminder that I am behind.  It all seems like a repeat.

I try to sound optimistic when I talk to my sister and tell her I'm going to clean out a closet today.  I'm ready to purge.  She says, "Oh, good for you".  But there's something hanging in her voice on that line through those icy cold telephone wires.  I know she hears what I mean, not only what I said.   Sisters have that way about them. 

After a short pause, she proceeds to talk about how 2012 was a really bad year for her and 2013 has to be better.  I know her struggles.  She says she hasn't screwed up yet today. I try to encourage with, "It's a new year, out with the old and in with the new."  I didn't sound as convincing as I had hoped.  Then I bring up how Weight Watchers is starting a new program this year.  Maybe we should consider it.  Again, I sense her reservation.  We both know if we don't start it, then we don't have to fail. 

Shortly after hanging up, I jumped on to check e-mail and was absolutely blessed by this Ann Voskamp post.   I forwarded it to my sister, thanked the Lord for leftovers, and cleaned the closet.  I may look into Weight Watchers, but for sure I will fall forward into the new year. 

"I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection.  But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.  No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us."  Philippians 3:12-14