Tag Archives: homeschooling

MOM! What’s for breakfast?

Why is it that kids always wake up earlier and hungrier than their parental units? 

It never seemed right that the most energy buzzed in the people with the least amount of responsibility.

I used to get up early and make a nutritional breakfast for my kids every morning.

Used to.

Somewhere between babies #5 and #6 and three bouts of thyroid cancer, it wasn’t easy anymore.  Yep, the kids had to eat, but it wasn’t going to be homemade waffles, muffins or pancakes.

We ate a lot of cold cereal, instant oatmeal, cold cereal, fresh fruit, cold cereal and whole wheat toast.

Sometimes mommas gotta’ do what mommas gotta’ do.

Of course, getting my kids in the kitchen greatly improved our culinary fare. One of the recipes that got us through many mornings was Baked Oatmeal.

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I blogged about having Kids in the Kitchen a few years ago.  It’s true.  Kids make a mess.  But, if you don’t let them mess up the kitchen, they can’t learn to cook for you.  Simple as that.

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Beka and I wanted to be ready for school this year, so decided to make those cool jars people are always making and pinningimage and giving away for gifts.

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All the dry ingredients were placed in the jar.  We’re “git’ ‘er dun” kinda’ people, not “perfectionist you can pin me now” kinda’ people.  The layers aren’t perfect, the lids don’t match, but hey, Beka finished this quickly.

I also learned the hard way, the more you demand perfection from non-perfectionist people, the less they wanna’ work with you. You can either allow the children to do a project and accept how they do it, or you can do it yourself and have it perfect.

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We  substitute the butter in the original recipe with applesauce, so one small organic (did that impress you?) no-sugar added cup of applesauce is placed on the top of the jar.

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Since I can never find my tape, why yes, I have blogged about that, thank you for asking, you can read that blog here,so my son, who just got his drivers license and will go anywhere if I hand him the car keys, drove to three different stores looking for blue tape.

I have just enough residual OCD that this look was really, really bothering me.

Yes, I know the jars will be in the cupboard.  I know nobody will see them. But, they were buggin’ me.

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I had these….

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leftover from these quart milk bottles I’d decorated for our writers conference last May. The decorative fabric was slipped off and put in a scrap drawer.  The bottles are being decorated anew for an October wedding.

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Slipped them over the top, added the tag with the wet ingredients to add and we were dun.

D.U.N. dun.

We make a smaller batch now that so many kids have flown the coop, so this recipe fills an 8×8 pan.

Beka’s Baked Oatmeal

Place the following in the jar:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups oatmeal (we use quick or old fashioned

Tape to the top:

  • 1 – 4ounce unsweetened applesauce

Wet ingredients to add:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs

Bake 350° for 30 minutes in a greased 8×8 pan.  You may add any combination of nuts, fresh fruit,  or dried fruit to this. 

I love putting almonds and dried cranberries in one corner just for me.  The kids think it is yucky, so I let them eat theirs plain.  You can serve it in a bowl with milk or on a plate as a piece of breakfast cake.  Yea, tell ‘em it’s cake for breakfast.  It can also be topped with warmed applesauce as frosting. 

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Baked Oatmeal.

It’s what’s for breakfast.

 

 

Multitasking Mommas Git ‘er Dun!

This old saying that will be true until the world comes to an end.

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(Photo created using Ribbet)

I’m not dissing men and husbands, especially my hard-working husband.  I’m talking about the general nature of a woman and her responsibilities.

Women plan for the future more. They buy clothes for the current season AND for the next one.  They purchase groceries on the list and stockpile sale items for future needs.

The majority of her work is rarely completed and usually repeated.  She washes the same dishes, clothes, counters, walls, floors, toilets and faces…

over

     and over

          and over

               and over

                    again.

Then she does it again.

A mom has to multitask because little kids can’t stand in line or take a number. In the morning, everyone is hungry and thirsty.  They need the bathroom or a diaper and snuggles. At the grocery store you shop and meet the needs of the munchkins duck-trailing you.  You might need to referee, comfort, answer a bajillion questions or find the restroom ten minutes ago.

And when the sun goes down, the kids are in bed, moms often use the quiet time to pick up the house, plan meals for the next day, sew, mend, or catch up on laundry.

During the night, moms still may need to feed the baby, comfort one who “I had a weally bad dweam!” or wipe up bodily fluids projected from any of the body cavities. A flu bug or a bed wetter may demand that laundry and mopping are done while the rest of the world is sleeping.

Moms master combining tasks, without losing the ability to detect and deal with suspicious sounds from other corners of the house and mentally planning up to four events.

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(Photo created using Ribbet)

I’m ironing, teaching Science and writing a grocery list. There was probably a load of laundry in the washer and the dryer, and a teenager that needed direction.

We’ve all had success and failures with multitasking. I turned on the wrong burner and melted my Tupperware canister of sugar while talking on the phone and canning. I’ve “lost” items because I accidentally put them in the fridge or freezer.  I’ve been sidetracked by a smaller project and forgot to do the main project.

Because numbered lists are easier for a sleep-deprived woman who just needs to be shown what’s next, I made ya’ one. Here’s criteria to guide your multitasking for maximum efficiency.

1.  Productivity

Don’t start so many projects you can’t finish any or don’t do them well. I don’t mean perfect, I gave up the dream of cupboards and closets being Pinterest-perfect before Pinterest was even invented. Remember, the goal of multitasking is to get more done in a day, not less.

2.  Priorities

The main goals of the day should be accomplished.  It’s easy to tackle other projects, then forget to make dinner.  Oh, you never do that?  May I bring my family to your house for dinner tonight?

When the kids were young I started One Fun Thing tradition. There’s always more work to do, so I tried to play with the kids each day.  I was home for them, not the house. We would choose one activity to do after the chores were done, like Play-Doh, painting, a picnic, craft, a board game or making a fort. It didn’t have take hours, 30 minutes can create a special memory.

3.  Safety

Please don’t rely on a child’s obedience for their safety; their safety is your responsibility. Don’t leave them alone in the bathtub or a car. The iron and stove shouldn’t be left unattended. Many household accidents  involving children occur quickly a short distance away from the adult. This isn’t to cast blame because accidents will happen.  But, there are times to concentrate on one task for safety reasons.

4. Relationships

A mom can feel like she’s the rope in a tug of war.  Kids’ radar senses when mom  is the busiest, in the bathroom, or finally sat down to relax.  The natural reaction is to be annoyed at the interruption, but it’s a compliment.  The kids want you, need you and consider you the source of all wisdom. Set boundaries for times they can’t interrupt, it’s part of teaching them manners, but make yourself available other times.

It only takes 30 seconds to build up a relationship. Answer those questions or let them know you’d love to answer later.  Use eye contact when you can and give verbal affirmation for their random spouts of information. They will repeat it until you answer.  They will repeat it until you answer.  They will repeat it until you answer.

Multitask phone calls only if you can still meet the caller’s needs.  Facebook or computer games take away from the conversation,  mindless tasks can be done.  The greater the need of the person on the other end of the conversation, the less (if anything) you should be doing.

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Misc. Multitasking Ideas:

  • My Aunt Joyce encouraged me to use nursing time to read to the toddler.  It reduced jealously, made  a special, snuggly time for all the kids, and kept the toddler out of trouble.
  • When I needed a long chat with a friend, I’d save the unfolded laundry for naptime, then call a girlfriend. When the kids were older and could be inside alone, I’d weed or water my plants and talk.
  • I kept a book in the bathroom.
  • My mom taught us all to not go to another level of the home without taking one thing to put away.
  • Adventures in Odyssey tapes, free college history lectures and Bible on CD are great for long projects, like painting a room.

 

A friend told me she could be a Proverbs 31 woman if she had servants.  I reminded her how they lived and said I considered our electrical appliances our servants. Click on the image below to read about women in the previous century whose work was never done.

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Multitasking can increase productivity and give a busy Mom time to relax.

How do you multitask to git ‘er dun?

                                      Making your home sing Mondays            

Why I Had Kids Not Dogs

When I moved to the Seattle area, my youngest of six was an adorable toddler with dandelion fluff hair.

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I expected the typical comments about her age, cuteness and overall awesomeness when I took her out in public. After all, she was the top student in the Gifted and Talented Pre-school Program in my Homeschool. I thought talent scouts would be stopping me left and right for modeling contracts.  I was in the big city, now, ya’ know.

Nothing.

Nada.

Zilch.

Never.

I realized  people weren’t as fond of children as they were in the Midwest. I realized people were very fond of dogs. 

But it wasn’t until I dog-sat for a neighbor that I saw how deep dog-love runs in the blood of my PNW neighbors. Otis is a nice dog, well-behaved and well-trained, but poor guy is past his bloom.  Slightly overweight in the middle, he waddles and has more gray hair than I do.  He’s a mutt without papers or pedigree, isn’t too big or too small, doesn’t have  long hair or short hair, has no distinct color or markings, he’s the perfect family dog. 

When I took my adorable toddler and the dog for a walk, dog- lovers stopped many times to pet Otis and talk to him in their doggy voice. One lady even let Otis lick her face. I was almost worried about her dog-napping, she was so enthralled with his gray-bearded face and rheumy eyes. When you aren’t dog-crazy, watching someone sweet-talk a dog is like watching an engaged couple when you aren’t in love. 

As I looked from my adorable white-haired child to this middle-aged dog, to me there was no contest who deserved attention.

It wasn’t the dog.

I felt I had to justify why in the world Seattle I had children, let alone six of them, so began this list in my self-defense.  I’m not opposed to dogs, I just decided if I was going to have anything else in my house with disgusting body fluids, it might as well be someone who could visit me in the nursing home.

 

Why I Had KIDS not DOGS

 

  • My kids  don’t lick friends or strangers.

  • My kids  don’t  introduce themselves to a stranger by smelling them, especially in embarrassing places. (One toddler accidentally punched someone somewhere embarrassing, but with no witnesses, was it really that embarrassing?)

  • My kids don’t pee on the neighbors’ car tires. (One peed in someone’s front lawn at a garage sale while I was busy hunting for treasures. I almost died of mortification, but lived to blog about it.)

  • My kids don’t poop in my yard, the neighbor’s yard, on the carpeting or anywhere else in the house. (I guess one pooped on my sidewalk once, but only once.)

  • My kids don’t bark during the night and wake the neighbors up. (My yelling at the kids during the daytime has been heard a few times, but I can assure you, my kids have never caused the neighbors to lose sleep. Well, at least when I was home.)
  • My kids haven’t thrown-up in the neighbors yard, then gone back to eat it the next day. (EEWWW!  I still am traumatized by this childhood spectacle by the neighbor’s dog, Goldie.  You wonder why I don’t have a dog?)

  • My kids don’t rub their bare bums on my carpet.

  • My kids don’t pee on my flowers or leave little round circles of dead grass in my lawn. (I think there were a few peeing incidents during poddy training, ya’ know, little boys naturally think a tree is a toilet. But, the trees are fine, thanks for asking.  That’s another thing PNW’ers love.)
  • My kids don’t lick my face after drinking out of the toilet. (They’ve all played in the toilet, and I’m pretty sure several drank out of the toilet, but they didn’t lick me afterwards.)

The list is a little graphic, but true.  And after I’ve convinced myself I’ve done the right thing in having children, not dogs, I remind myself of the great future I expect with my six, lovely children.

  • My kids will visit me in the nursing home.
  • My kids will bury me.
  • My kids will push my wheelchair.
  • My kids will give me more grandchildren.
  • My kids will sell my treasures at a garage sale when I’m dead.
  • My kids will change my diapers.
  • My kids will all get dogs of their own.

Not necessarily in that order.

And if any of my kids actually read what I expect from them, they may be writing their own blog post.

“Why I Traded in My Parents for Dogs.”

Making your home sing MondaysWholeHeartedButton

Going EMO

It’s that time of year,
when we start going EMO.

I don’t mean the depressed, black look with hair hanging in my eyes.

I mean

EVERY
MOMENT
OUTSIDE.

I blogged about this a year ago today,
and the weather has been reminding me of my yearly resolution.

After all, the rains are coming soon, and then will will spend

EVERY
MOMENT
INSIDE.

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We’ve been doing school outside. 

(Hey, speaking of school, I started a new homeschool blog called Prairie Momma.
Would love to have you check it out.)

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We’re playing outside, enjoying the last hours warm enough to splash around.

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We’re still cooking outside at the Redneck Grill,
although we had an epic failure with the first Jiffy Pop popcorn.

But, if laughter is the best medicine,
that experience should stave off the first colds of the season.

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We watch movies outside.  Of course, a fire always helps keep off the evening chill.

Like 49’ers after gold,
every drop of fall sunshine
is soaked up
because we know
it will soon be gone.

For a few days,
knowing I would soon be inside for months,
I skipped cooking and cleaning,
and opted for reading on the deck
in the sunshine.

The skies will be gray
and our windowpanes will be streaked
with the constant dribbles
of the winter rains.

Our flip-flops will be tossed
to the back of the closet
and our rainboots will take prominence.

But for now,
the battle cry of the day is
EMO!

I’m gunna spend

EVERY
MOMENT
OUTSIDE.

Gotta’ run.

Those Friday rays are calling…