Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Funnies

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Friday, June 25, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's Happening at Cambridgeshire Academy?

You may already know that I also keep a website/blog for our family's homeschool - Cambridgeshire Academy.  I try and add as much as I can when time permits to give you a view into how FUN homeschool can be!  You should instill a LOVE of learning (don't forget enthusiasm!) in your children - not a dread!  I try and keep it fun and it does take commitment and time but aren't our children worth that?

Here are some of the things we have been doing at Cambridgeshire Academy lately:

File Folder Game
Handmade Bird Feeder
Katie's latest poem recitation
Homeschool Field Trip to Science Center video
Summer Curriculum
1st Grade Curriculum
Classical Education and Age
Space Shuttle Model Project

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The World is Spinning Faster?

The message tonight was just what I needed.  I've been going, going and then going some more and just collapsed (almost literally) Friday night! lol  I told hubby - ENOUGH!  I can't be going here, there and everywhere and still be a homekeeper and take care of what I need to at home AND spend time with my family.  It really was getting a bit out of hand.  So the message tonight at church was about REST!  I took my anxieties to the altar and all that satan has thrown at my family recently.  He is out for the kill evidently but I won't let him take away my rest that God promises!

Then I was reading a blog and a playlist was playing and I heard a song (of which I probably would have never heard because I don't listen to country music) but the lyrics were so hilariously coincidental to the message at church tonight that I had to post them.  It reminded me so much of "back home" and growing up in good 'ole Tennessee with its lazy summers and sweet tea.  By the way, I've tried McD's sweet tea here in WA and PULLEEZE....can't believe they even call it tea!

Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally, we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Sunday was a day of rest
Now, it’s one more day for progress
And we can’t slow down ‘cause more is best
It’s all an endless process

(well)I miss mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice-cold cherry Coke
Where everything is black and white (bada bada badadadada)
Picking on a six string
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
Bye, bye

Sometimes I can hear this old earth shouting
Through the trees as the wind blows
That’s when I climb up here on this mountain
To look through God’s window
Now I can’t fly
But I got two feet that get me high up here
Above the noise and city streets
My worries disappear


Sometimes I dream I’m driving down an old dirt road
Not even listed on a map
I pass a dad and son carrying a fishing pole
But I always wake up every time I try to turn back


Bye, bye

*Advice for this week - REST!  Like was said tonight - take a chill on the sofa! ;-)

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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Blogging or Commenting

This applies for bloggers and commentors alike and with the busybodies no longer just going from house to house but rather blog to blog, i.e. trolls; this list is in dire need of attention in the blogosphere!  I found it here.

1. How does my post glorify God and exalt Christ? Or am I seeking to only expand my daily readership by addressing controversial issues just for controversy's sake? (1 Cor. 10:31)

2. How does it equip the body of Christ biblically to be better Bereans on any issue they face? (Acts 17:11)

3. How does it convict and challenge me in my own life before I turn its truths on another? IOW, what do I need to learn, model, obey and repent of first before calling others to do the same? (Psalm 119:10-17)

4. How does it bring truth and foster change to the one I am disagreeing with? (Eph. 4:13-16)

5. How does it edify and encourage - not just exhort? (Eph. 4:1-3; 26-32)

6. How does it communicate real biblical resolve? (Roms. 12:1-2)

7. How does it enable others to live more like Jesus as salt and light in their communities, ready to serve their church and world? (Matt. 5-7)

8. Am I filled with the Holy Spirit as I write and unfold God's Word, or am I only giving knee-jerk reactions to what is the hot potato of the moment? (Eph. 5:17-21)

9. And lastly, in what I have just written and confronted caused me to focus more clearly on the person of our Lord Jesus Christ and something He would find pleasure, delight and honor in? (Heb. 12:1-3)

Here is another list of "Biblical Advice for Bloggers"

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Dad, I'm Watching You

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Inspiration Boards

I shared with some of you before my inspiration board/poster I had made a few years ago.  There is something therapeutic about doing them that you just have to do it to understand.  Here is the one I did a few years ago from magazine clippings that I collected of my favorite things or things that inspired me:

I made some digital inspiration boards today - I really like it and was exciting to do:

My favorite color of all is yellow, then black and then hot pink - showing the hot pink inspiration:

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Freezer Organic Jam

It occurred to me that maybe not everyone knew how easy it is to make their own jam.  Freezer jam is so easy that I don't understand why you would buy that nasty store-bought, high fructose corn syrup junk eck!  So here is how you do it:
  • Pectin 
  • Fruit - check pectin package for how much for different kinds of fruit
  • Sugar - we use organic cane juice crystals; you can buy  pectin that doesn't require sugar if you prefer your jam sugar-free.

That's it - seriously!  You wash your fruit, blend it and then stir in the sugar and pectin and pour into your freezer jars and let sit for 30 minutes and then store in the freezer.  Was that hard?  Nope!

We like strawberry jam so I used 4 pounds of organic strawberries for our jam that will probably last us 4 months.  I may do another batch if the organic strawberries go on sale! I don't like chunks, so I use my Bosch blender for making jam - there isn't a chunk left after 30 seconds in the Bosch blender!!

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Friday, June 11, 2010

June Freezer Meals Done!

My feet hurt so bad and the house is hot but I did it!  I cooked all my freezer meals today and it took 6 hours of work.  I don't think words can explain how good it feels.  I sampled the stuffed pasta shells and let me just say that they are so very good!  We will see they taste after they have been frozen for my final review.  We had the mac n' cheese tonight and it was good and I put the other half in the freezer for another meal.  I snapped a few pics along the way but not of everything.

Tomorrow is baking day for jam (I bought 4 pounds of organic strawberries!), bread and other goodies.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Technology Shapes Our Personality? Tech Addicts?

You may have seen in the NY Times lately articles suggesting that technology has been found to shape our personalities and even cause problems such as becoming more impatient, unable to concentrate and form "real-life" relationships and carry on person-to-person conversations.  Internet addictions are a real thing and many are addicted and this can be evidenced by the crisis situation that occurs when they can't update their facebook or twitter status.  If you find yourself easily offended when someone even talks against, suggests you have an addiction or that you spend too much time on technology - then you already have a problem.

I'm going to start counting the times someone tells me "Oh, that's right, you don't facebook so you didn't know....."  I feel 'left out of the loop' but is it really that important to know everyone's business that much?  Do I need to know that so and so is getting coffee or this one is picking their nose?  Have we become too personal online yet so distanced in person thanks to our technological lives?  Is it for our good or our detriment?  Is it really the wave of the future or just another fad that will soon pass away?  Sadly, for many, its an addiction and something they give more time to than their own families or God.

I've entertained the idea lately of getting a smartphone.  I'm in love (is that possible?) with the HTC Droid Incredible phone.  I like having access to the maps, personal planner, the fact that it is an awesome camera with flash (8 mega pixels baby!) and video as well.  However, the selling point is focused on facebook and twitter clients - imagine their shock when they find out I don't facebook!  I'm like one of the few in the world lol.  I do twitter but not like most use twitter - I twitter what I think would be useful tweets - not wasteful ones but that is another post 'eh? <--thanks to Candy for my online Canadian accent. 

I want the smartphone WITHOUT the required $30 data package because I would be using the Wi-Fi feature but unfortunately, Verizon is a step ahead of frugal people like me and they won't allow it.  So since, I'm not about to pay for something I don't need - what's a girl that just wants the groovy camera/phone to do!?

Anyway, so back to the topic at hand - technology shaping our personalities.  Have you noticed more stress since you added in more technology?  Was it less stressful when we just wrote letters and mailed them and talked to people in person and snuggled up with a good book?  Have we let in our own destruction?  hindrance? weight that so easily besets us?  Is it really that way or are we better because of technology?  These are some questions that only you can answer for yourself but the NY Times has tried to answer them for you.

My conclusion is this - we are too STIMULATED!  There is so much stimulation in technology that we are like crazy maniacs with information shooting at us from every direction.  We are stimulated to clean our homes, stimulated to organize, stimulated to socially interact - YET, we are so FULL of stimulation that we are disabled when we are "disconnected" with our technology and faced with real life.  So in reality, we are stimulated to do but we don't DO.  I call it "Overwhelming-Disabling Stimulation Syndrome" ODSS - yep I coined the term - so mark it down.

So I wanted to see if the technology I use has affected my focus, so I took the online focus tester and I was surprised by the results - evidently I have great focus and scored perfect on the first part.  Go figure - I'm a (very, crazy-scary) high multi-tasker and always have been but my personality (thanks to my Sergeant mentor in the AF) - performs BEST under pressure.  Not sure why that is but I do and I can look back on my life and see the times I was under the most pressure or trials/crisis - I took to town with a bucket-load of fiery-yielding determination that drove me to success.  Go figure 'eh?  But I'm not the average person, I'm weird - just ask someone they will tell you..........so for the rest of you trying to talk on your phone, text your BFF, snap a pic of your kid at the park and check your email at the same time you drink your latte - SLOW DOWN Bertha!  You are going way too fast.......reminds me of an old country song by Alabama "I'm in a Hurry (and don't know why)":

I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why

Don't know why I have to drive so fast
My car has nothing to prove
It's not new
But it'll do zero to sixty in five point two

Can't be late, I leave in plenty of time
Shakin' hands with the clock
I can't stop
I'm on a roll and I'm ready to rock

Oh, I hear a voice
That says I'm running behind
Better pick up my pace
It's a race and there ain't no room for someone in second place

Does Technology shape your personality?  Are you addicted?  Could you take one week off from technology?  You tell me........
In our house, we have decided to start "scheduling" in our daughter's computer/tech time each day and not allow her to be shaped by technology but rather by Christ.  Using technology as the useful tool it is without the idol-worshiping of it that is so readily evident in the worldly system today.

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Freezer Homemade Sloppy Joes

I haven't begun my cook-a-thon yet, that is this weekend but we did try out one of the recipes for dinner last night - sloppy joes. I use homemade ketchup and BBQ sauce that doesn't contain HFCS.

The original recipe called for 3/4c brown sugar but I thought that was a bit too much, so here is what I used:
  • 2lbs ground beef 
  • 1 onion; chopped
  • 1T mustard
  • 1/2c BBQ sauce 
  • 2T ketchup
  • 1/2c brown sugar
Brown beef and onion; drain fat.  Add mustard, BBQ sauce, ketchup and brown sugar and mix and heat till blended.  Let cool and put in freezer bags.

It was a WINNER with everyone - my daughter even ate ALL of her sloppy joe, which was amazing!  The recipe was enough to last us 2 meals, so I froze the other half.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

June Freezer/Batch Cooking Day Preparation

Here is my rough draft of preparations for my freezer/batch cooking day.  I plan on making 34 meals and snacks, etc and you can see my list for that here.  I also added a new freezer meal to our list - stuffed pasta shells, it looked too good to pass up!

I'm having a baking day for all the bread/snack products and then a freezer meal day for the dinner meals.

Baking Day
  • Make bread & cinnamon rolls
  • While above is baking - make jam & freeze all but one; make italian dressing
  • Make pumpkin bread & banana flax muffins
  • While above is baking - make pancakes & corn dogs & freeze
  • Make cookies
  • While above is baking - make peanut butter balls & granola bars
Day Before Freezer Meal Day 
  • Make 3 batches of ketchup
  • Make 4 batches of pizza sauce
  • Shred cheddar and mozzarella cheese
  • Make cream of chicken condensed soup
  • Make bread crumbs 
  • Chop onions & green pepper
  • Thaw frozen spinach & broccoli
Freezer Meal Day
  • Brown ground beef
  • Bake chicken breasts & shred
  • Cook brown rice
  • Cook elbow macaroni & pasta shells
  • Assemble meals, bake, freeze

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What Song is This?

In case you haven't seen it yet.........

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