Friday, June 24, 2016

2016 June Bookmarks

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*Bookmarks is an online book club hosted at Creative2xmom. Here we discuss the books we've read in the past month as well as the suggested reading. Our suggested reading for June was The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage by Myles Munroe.

These are the books I read this month:

The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau--  The third book in the City of Ember series, the Prophet of Yonwood is actually a prequel giving further background information on how the city came to be.  I don't usually like prequels, but this one gave some great information about Ember and set up the series for the fourth book.

The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau--  The conclusion to the City of Ember series, Lina and Doon return to Ember in search of resources to help Sparks.  Winter is upon them and food is short.  And when Doon's father is injured, the duo return to find medicine as well.  But in a turn of events, there's a kidnapping, a mysterious jewel, and an undiscovered source of power.  If you've read The City of Ember, this is a satisfying conclusion to all that's happened.

The Well-Trained Mind by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise--  I've been trying to read more educational philosophy throughout this summer.  This was the first book I've read and honestly, I'm thinking about stopping there.  This one so deeply resonated with me and how we view education.  I'm taking some time to incorporate lots of classical ideas into our homeschool.  As with all books, balance and common sense are needed.  However, The Well-Trained Mind gives a wonderful guideline for utilizing classical education in the home.

What We Read with the Kids:

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George-- Both Noah and Lydia loved this one.  And, bonus,... My Side of the Mountain is on Netflix right now.  We finished the book just in time for family movie night.

Our suggested reading for June was The Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage by Myles Munroe--  This book was ok.  I agreed a lot with what Munroe had to say.  Although his language can really rub against the feminist viewpoint.  For example, Monroe doesn't hold back when talking about submission, but neither does he hold back when talking about the husband's responsibility to love as Christ loves.  That's a pretty heavy order when you take it seriously.    My struggle with the books is that it was repetitive.  All good information, just repackaged throughout several chapters. 

So what are your bookmarks this month?

Tell us in the comments about the books you're chewing on. Or link up a review from your own blog. Let's share the books we're finding, good and bad. And give us your thoughts on The Purpose and Power and Love and Marriage by Myles Munroe.

And come back July 29th as we discuss Rising Strong by Brene Brown.

*Linked to these Parties

Weekend Links

This Week:

What I Made:  I'm still working away at Josiah's 1st year photo album.  I'm so close to finally being done with that one.  I also started sketching out some birthday ideas for that boy as well.

What I'm Reading:   I just finished the City of Ember series.  It was so good.  Youth fiction yes, but it had me hooked after the first book.

What I'm Doing:   We spent some time at the lake this week and taking kids back and forth to swim lessons.  Planted a hydrangea and tried a new craft.

What I'm Watching:  We watched the Grace American Girl movie a few weeks ago for family movie night.  We like those.  The girls are normal, loving, don't sass back to their parents... that's my kind of movie.

What I'm Enjoying:   Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie... Air Conditioning... lake days... 

What are you up to?

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

No Bake Eclair Cake

* This post was originally published on 6/25/15.  Enjoy!

This is the perfect dessert for sharing on a hot summer day.  Easy and no-bake, this dessert will impress without heating up your kitchen.  And your guests will never realize how easy it truly is.

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No Bake Eclair Cake

1 box graham crackers
2 small boxes vanilla pudding
3 1/2 c. milk
8 oz cool whip
1 container chocolate  frosting
  (or your favorite frosting recipe)

1. Mix pudding and milk until completely combined.  Fold in cool whip.

2. Warm chocolate frosting until spreadable.

3. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick spray.

4. Layer graham cracker, pudding, and frosting, ending with frosting on top.

5. Refrigerate overnight or 24 hours to soften graham crackers.

6. Try not to eat the entire pan. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

7 Summer Tasks for the Homeschool Mom

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We've been out of school for three weeks.  THREE WEEKS!  Already?  That's amazing.  We've made our family trip to the lake, finished up the dance season, and started trampoline lessons.  VBS has already come and gone and yesterday, we had a family BBQ for Father's Day.  How is it that we're already three weeks into vacation?

If you're like me, you're soaking up the summer, and not ready to think of the upcoming school year.  But as we all know, time stops for no one and the new school year will be here before we know it.  Still before you panic, there are some low stress ways you can prep for the fall,... without ruining your summer vacation.

These are just 7 tasks you can complete this summer to set your next school year off to a great start!

1. Organize school books--Now that we've had a few weeks off, I'm ready to look at that stockpile in the garage.  Somethings we'll hang on to, some we won't.  Near the end of the May, we were just stacking books and manipulatives here and there.  So it's time for me to get back out there, organize by grade, see what I need to replace or sell.  Sometimes I even find some great curriculum that I forgot about.

2. Take stock of what you need next year--Most years I have my curriculum list ready by the end of May.  Not this year.  This year, I've still got a couple of holes.  It's time to finish my buying list.  Summer sales will be happening in the next month or so and and I don't want to buy anything, but what I really want and need.

3. Order any necessary items--Facebook and craigslist are full of used homeschool curriculum groups.  That's where I look first.  After that, Ebay is a great option for finding curriculum, as well as sales at Christian Book Distributers.  Now is the time to purchase to ensure that your packages arrive in time for the start of a new school year.

4. Start planning next year's calendar--Begin thinking about how you're going to schedule your new year.  What worked last year?  What didn't?  Do you need more field trips, more down time, more time for art/music/experiments?  Are you adding a new student?  (I am and I'm not sure how that's going to work)  What do you need to adjust to make the next year successful?  Plan the first 5-6 WEEKS!  You can adjust as you go, but having a several week plan will save you as your adjusting to a new year.

5. Read--Read education philosophy for how better to reach your students.  Read Christian parenting books about how to reach your children's hearts.  Read some of your student's books ahead so you can help with lap books.  Read fiction to just give yourself a break.

6. Play--Schedule some free time in your summer to play.  Swim!  Go to the beach!  Join a new workout group!  Try some new recipes in the kitchen!    Just take some time to let go of the teacher mindset and play!

7. Rest--By the end of May, I was struggling.  I was tired: mentally and physically.  I needed some mindless fiction to rest my brain.  I needed about 24 hours sleep and a mom's night out for coffee.  I needed to rest.  So this summer, I'm resetting my bedtime routine and getting more sleep.  Our schedule has opened up and we have time to lounge at the lake or have lazy mornings at home.  I'm taking advantage of it.

What about you?
How are you preparing for the next school year?

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mother's Day {Scrapbook Pages}

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With school out for the summer, I've had more time to scrapbook.
And when I came across this photo from Mother's Day 2015,
I wanted to do something special with it.

So I took these scraps from a variety of floral papers,
and created some borders of different width,
keeping the rest of the layout simple.

Sometimes it just takes the little things.

What have you been crafting lately?
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