Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Math U See is for Me!!

We've gotten a good start on school. We are really enjoying our curriculum!

I cannot tell you the joy that I experience every day when we do our Math U See program. My 6-year-old boy would not identify numbers past ten last year. I even began to think that he could possibly be dyslexic.

Mr. Steve (as we call him) on the instructional DVD explains that the reason children have dificulties understanding the teen numbers is because they do not follow the pattern of the other numbers in the English language.

Think about it for a moment, when we read the number 49 we say "forty (four-ty)nine," but when we say 19 we start with the number on the right first. That is totally opposite of how we do things in English (we read left to right etc.). This was such a breakthrough for my little guy. He has done 12 weeks of math in 3 weeks.

The blocks give just enough of a feeling of play that he anticipates doing math this year.

This is my son who would hide pencils and cross his arms when it came to math.

With this renewed confidence in math, my boy is ready to tackle the world and the rest of his schooling!

Seriously, if I ever meet Mr. Steve I would probably kiss him!!

(pictures from the Math U See website...yeah, that is supposed to be lipstick marks on his head, get it? Mr. Steve doesn't have a red Gorbachev mark on his head)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Garden Tuna Salad

This is THE best tuna salad! It is chocked full of veggies too. We love it! I double this recipe so that we have extras.

Garden Tuna Salad (makes 4)

1 (6 ounce) can water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
2/3 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pepper to taste
4 lettuce leaves


1.In a bowl, combine the nine ingredients. Spread on four slices of bread; top with lettuce and remaining bread.

If you've got a garden maturing this is a GREAT way to use up some produce.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Intentional Planning

We've eased into homeschooling this week doing just Math and Science. Next week, we will add the rest of our studies and do our full workload.

This week, I've looked at our schedule more closely to see what areas may need worked on and it basically boils down to me. I have to be more proactive in my planning!

I LOVE to plan, but I don't always make a set time for me to plan, and so it gets pushed aside for other activities (Facebook, anyone?)

That's my goal for this week to intentionally set a time just for me to be alone with the Lord and plan for our homeschool and our lives too.

I found great inspiration in the following sermon:

How about you? What are you going to be more intentioal about in the upcoming school year?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let them eat cake?

We have a church potluck picnic this evening and I have been trying to plan what to make.

I saw a recipe for a two-layer chocolate cake with mocha icing. The pictures looked yummy and as I perused the ingredients I was delighted to discover I had them all.

I've had a stressful couple of days and thought getting lost in a recipe would do my mind good. As I mixed and measured and poured, I was encouraged by the smells and consistency of the batter. This is going to be great I kept thinking over and over.

My husband even commented on how delicious the batter tasted as he licked the paddle.

I poured the batter into the pans and popped it into the oven.

I moved on to creating the icing and thought of how pretty the confectioner's sugar looked as I sifted it. My mind traveled back to watching my Grandmother sift flour and I smiled from the memory.

I looked at the mixture in the bowl and thought that it looked too dry. A quick study of the recipe proved that I had misread one of the ingredients and was getting ready to really ruin my icing. The recipe called for 7 T. of strong coffee and I almost added 7T. of ground coffee not prepared, thankfully I had not added that yet.

I googled how to make coffee without a pot and made some and added it to the icing. It looked wonderful and smelled amazing!

Then I started to smell smoke...

I opened the oven door to discover that the pans were overflowing with chocolate cake batter onto my newly scrubbed (and I do mean scrubbed) oven. I whimpered at the thoughts of cleaning the oven again.

Later on, the timer beeped letting me know the cakes were done. They weren't perfect, but they were manageable.

I let them cool on the counter.

Now the fun part, I thought!

I popped out one of the cakes and applied icing to the top. The icing was a bit difficult to work with but it was not too bad. Then I added the other cake on top of that and attempted to ice that one.

It began to crumble, then one side fell apart.

It's so ugly!

Yet, it tastes heavenly!

I'm going to make something else for the picnic this evening...

My husband has claimed the ugly cake for himself :)