Saturday, August 31, 2013

{Beauty Captured ~ 31/365}

A special someone picked me flowers this morning!

We made it ONE month in our quest to find beauty in the everyday! Only 11 more to go. :) 

I just wanted to thank you ladies for sticking with me all month. I have loved looking at your beauty moments. I feel surrounded by beauty. Even if I have had a rough day, I know I can count on you to show me beauty. It means a lot! 

I also want to thank those that put up with me popping up on their news feed EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Sometimes multiple times. Thanks for allowing me to share my beauty and still follow along with me. 

I'm excited to see what beauty September brings.

The Pebble Pond




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Friday, August 30, 2013

{Beauty Captured ~ 30/365}


Smiles and bed head greet me every morning.

The Pebble Pond


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Random 5 on Friday ~ August 30th

The Pebble Pond

1. I only got 5 hours sleep last night. Momma bear may need a nap later.

2. Alyssa and Morgan BOTH want to get all their hair cut off. I love their long hair but it is a battle that I try not to fight. We have enough, you know? Pick and choose.

3. Remind me to never try and do my own highlights. Enough said.

4. I was asked to shoot (with a camera not literally) a wedding next weekend. I may break out in hives. I'll keep you posted.

5. This week, we had our first EVER harvest of potatoes and made salsa with everything from our own garden! How awesome is that?

Instagram this week



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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Homemade Face Mask

Okay...I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I bet most women want a really good face mask. Right? Something that works great and isn't hard on the pocketbook.
Well I have tried a few. A lot actually. I have tried store bought ones and homemade ones. Each one being a bit ho-hum. Some made my face really dry, others really oily. Some stunk really bad. Some were more than I spend on shoes. 

So after some searching I came across a homemade version that beats out anything I have tried in the past. And you know what? It is SO easy!

Are you ready? You will want to write this down. 

Ingredients:
4 tsp. Lemon Juice
3 tsp. Plain Yogurt (homemade or store bought)
4 Tbs. Honey
1 Egg White

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Apply to your face and let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with hot water.

~ I use a washcloth to rinse my face
~ Use the hottest water you can stand
~ I typically rinse with cool water after
~ Use 2-3 times a week
~ I store in a mason jar (with lid) in the fridge for about 2 weeks

At first, I was a little nervous about putting all that on my face.  Raw eggs? Ummm..yuck. Honey? Sticky much! My kids looked at me like I was nuts and I felt a bit silly. Don't worry, it is worth it.

I have been using it for over a month now. I will NEVER go back to anything store bought. It leaves my face feeling unbelievably clean, soft and it helps with all those fun things that start to happen once you hit 30. It is not a miracle worker but I do see a difference.

If you give it a try, I would LOVE to know what you think. 


Linked up at Homemakers Challenge and On the Home Front.

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{Beauty Captured ~ 29/365}

{One of my salsa making helpers.}


The Pebble Pond


If you have not been joining in on Beauty Captured, today is a great day to start! 
Want more information? Check it out here.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

{Beauty Captured ~ 28/365}


 A beautiful someone is stealing my seeds! :)

The Pebble Pond

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Chats on the Farmhouse Porch ~ August 27th

Every Tuesday, I try to join Patrice on her (virtual) farmhouse porch. Won't you join us?

Do you remember your first day of school? No, I don't. I think my first memory of school was when I was in, maybe, Kindergarten or 1st grade. I wore a green one piece outfit for St. Patrick's Day and I thought I was super cool that no one could pinch me. Ha!

Everyday RuraltyDo you decorate for the different seasons? If so, have you decorated for fall yet? I do! Well actually just for fall and Christmas. Does that count? I get really giddy when the cool weather comes around.

What food do you associate with fall? Baked goods and comfort food! I cook A LOT in the fall. It's like in my soul. As soon as canning season ends and the cool weather starts, I love to bake and start cooking comfort food...beef stew, chili, chicken noodle soup!

Do you order books online, buy books in a bookstore, download books to a device, or frequent the library? If not interested in books, how do you get your music? We go to the library once a week. I also download music from Amazon.

When was the last time you realized that you had just been talking to someone really special? I think this every single day. Honestly, by the time our day is over...I feel completely blessed to have spent my day with these 4 beautiful little people and husband that God gave to me. 


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{Beauty Captured ~ 27/365}


The Pebble Pond


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Monday, August 26, 2013

{Beauty Captured ~ 26/365}

{Flowers I picked out of my garden and field to adorn the table.}

Curious what Beauty Captured is all about? Learn more here!

The Pebble Pond


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Saturday, August 24, 2013

2013/2014 Curriculum Choices & Our Routine

We started back to school on Monday. I probably should have waited a few weeks to finish up my canning but we were all ready to get back to some routine. So right now our days are filled will school and our evenings are filled with canning. Its busy but worth it.

Our first day of school traditions are always fun. We begin the day with a breakfast of junk food. Oh you know, sugar em up really well before school. This year, it was cinnamon rolls and chocolate milk. Luckily, our first day doesn't actually involve much school. I hand out all their school supplies, we talk about what I expect this year and we go over our yearly plan. Of course, we also get first day of school pictures.

I made a MAJOR change this year. We love the Weaver Curriculum but I dropped it. I can not even believe I am saying that! It was time though. It was just not working for us. I love Weaver and would recommend it in a second but I could not make it work for us anymore.

I try to teach all the kids together for most subjects for two reasons. It is just easier on me and because that way Taylor doesn't feel left out. I can water it down or add to it depending on the child. It just works.

Here is a run down of what we are doing this year.

Together:
Character Study ~ Character Building for Families Volume 1
Bible ~ Apologia Who is God?
Science ~ Apologia Exploring Creation
History ~ The Mystery of History Volume 1
Art ~ ARTistic Pursuits



Taylor:
ALL (Accessible Literacy Learning) Reading Program
TouchMath
Home Speech Home



Alyssa:
Learning Language Arts Through Literature
Institute for Excellence in Writing
Math Essentials & Life of Fred


Morgan:
Learning Language Arts through Literature
Math Mammoth
Explode the Code


Carter:
Logic to English Essentials
Math Mammoth
Explode the Code

I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. Schedules make my skin crawl. I have to have some routine though for this house to run smoothly. So we follow a "routine" instead of a rigid "schedule".

Here is how our day plays out. Most of the time.

 6:00 – Wake
            Mommy time (Read Bible, Get ready for day)
 7:00 – Wake kids
            Chores
            Breakfast
            Dress/Brush Teeth/Make Beds
  8:00 – *School Starts
            Character Study
            Math
            Memory Work
  9:30 – English ~Alyssa, Morgan, Carter
            Computer ~Taylor
10:00 – Nature Journals/Composer Study
11:00 – Lunch
12:00 – English & Speech ~Taylor
            IEW ~Alyssa
            Copywork/Explode the Code ~Morgan, Carter
  1:00 – History/Art (M&W)
            Bible/Science (T&TH)
  3:00 – Afternoon chores
            Snack
  5:30 – Dinner
  7:30 – Showers/Bedtime Routine
  8:00 – Run/Exercise
            Adventures in Odyssey ~Kids
  8:30 – Family Read Aloud
  9:00 – Lights Out ~Kids
10:30 – Bedtime
 
Now those official times might look pretty rigid but I assure I could not handle that. They are approximates. The times help me to see how well we are doing each day. But it is just a guide. Daddy gets home from work at 3:30 every day. So I try to have everything done before then. We like our daddy time.

There are some days that we get so engrossed in a read aloud that barely any bookwork gets done and I am 100% okay with that. That is the freedom of homeschooling. We make it work. We get done what we can and most importantly build deep relationships along the way.

We only do school 4 days a week so Fridays are a bit different. Taylor has Physical Therapy at 8:30am. I try to save all my errands for after therapy. Grocery, library, etc. We also sneak in field trips or trips to the Wilderness Center.

Its going to be a fun year!

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{Beauty Captured ~ 24/365}


The Pebble Pond


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Friday, August 23, 2013

Random 5 on Friday ~ August 23th

The Pebble Pond

1. We started school on Monday! By day 3, I threw out my main curriculum that I LOVE but I realized it is just not going to work for us. It was actually VERY freeing and I'm really excited about the changes.

2. Alyssa has strep throat. Yuck.

3. My kitchen is a complete disaster. I would take a picture and show you but #1 I am too lazy and #2 You might think I am a slob.

4. I am kind of glad flip flop season is about over because I miss my boots. Which reminds me, I could really use a new pair this year.

5. I started Taylor on an at-home speech therapy program. I found it online, asked them if I could exchange the program for an honest review and they said YES! How cool is that? She is doing really well and I am loving the fact that I can work with her. Total win all the way around.

Instagram this week

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{Beauty Captured ~ 23/365}


The Pebble Pond


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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Slow Cooker Chicken and Rice with Dumplings



Ingredients:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Large can Cream of Chicken
1 Small can (14 ozs.) Chicken Broth
1 Small Onion, diced
2 Cups Cooked Rice
1 Can or approx. 6 Homemade Biscuits

Directions:
~ Place chicken in slow cooker
~ Cover with Cream of Chicken, Broth and Onion.
~ Cook on low for 7-8 hours
~ Shred chicken with fork
~ Mix in cooked rice
~ Cut biscuits into bite size and place on top of chicken mixture.
~ Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes
~ Stir it all together

Who doesn't love some stick-to-your-ribs comfort food, right!?



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{Beauty Captured ~ 22/365}


The Pebble Pond

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hot Pepper Mustard


Ingredients:
36-40 Hot Peppers
4 1/2 cups Sugar
4 cups Yellow Mustard
1qt Apple Cider Vinegar
1Tbs. Table Salt
1 1/2 cups White Flour
1 cup Water

Yields 7 pint jars

~ Remove stem and cut off blossom ends.
~ Using a blender or food processor, puree peppers.
~ In a large pot, add pureed peppers, sugar, mustard, vinager and salt. Simmer on low.
~ In a small bowl, make a paste with water and flour.
~ Add flour paste to simmering mustard.
~ Let simmer for about 15 minutes.
~ Pour into hot jars. Leaving 1/2" headspace. Hot water bath 15 minutes for pint jars.


I always use hot banana peppers. I love the taste. Sometimes, I will throw in a jalapeno or two for added heat. If I am feeling really adventurous, I like habanaros or even red peppers for added color in the end. Make sure to ALWAYS wear gloves when you cut hot peppers. I learned that the hard way.

A lot of people deseed their peppers. Not me. I ALWAYS keep the seeds in the peppers. I don't mind them and its more work if I have to take them out. I'm all about shortcuts. :)

Be careful to only let mustard get to a simmer. It will burn fast. Don't ask how I know.

The USDA standard says using flour as a thickening agent for canning is considered unsafe. They recommend using Clear-jel. I have been making this for years. I always use flour and have never had any problems but you may want to stick with Clear-jel just to be safe. The taste will still be the same.

I promise a cheeseburger will never be the same! Enjoy!

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