Friday, December 2, 2011

Tis the Season...

What idiot signed up to bring 12 dozen cookies to the cookie festival this weekend?! Oh yeah, that was me... Sigh...

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I can't believe how quickly this year has gone. What a time of change! I began the year as a frazzled teacher of 18 no 19 nope back to 18 students and am ending the year as a "flexible" teacher with a grand total of 6-7 hours per week responsibility. My stress level is a little different, but generally lower - less scheduling stress, way more financial stress. Now we are staring down the barrel on Christmas. I love Christmastime! The joy and anticipation are so exciting! I love to experience Christmas through my children - they delight in so much at this time of year. This year Christmas will be different. It has to be. I refuse to go into debt to provide massive quantities of presents for everyone. Starting over Thanksgiving vacation, I am going to help the kids make presents for everyone on our list. I'm not sure yet WHAT we are going to do, but we are going to do SOMETHING... I'm trying to find recipies and small craft projects that will be cute but won't clutter up everyone's space. I want to make practical gifts this year, something that can be used in some way, but also something that my 5, 7, and 10 year old can make pretty much on their own. I'm glad I have a few weeks left, because I'm coming up short on ideas...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Over the last week I have had a life changing epiphany. It all started last week Wednesday when I attended a lecture by Susan Barton. I, of course have always been aware of dyslexia as a reading difficulty and as a Reading Teacher I'm sure I have learned more than what I remembered. I was strongly suspicious that my oldest son was possibly dyslexic, but my knowledge of dyslexia began and ended with: it must be diagnosed by an official diagnostician and you don't know for sure until at least third grade. (Yeah... Wrong and wrong) Would it be overly dramatic to say that seeing Susan Barton's speech may have totally changed my sons life? Maybe. Maybe not.

Apparently there is a checklist of symptoms that begin showing themselves as early as 12 months. Since dyslexia is a LANGUAGE processing disorder and not a reading problem like I thought it was, reading is actually among the last problems to manifest. You can begin seeing signs of it in speech and writing before you see signs of it in reading. Who knew?! Since dyslexia is an inheirited condition, if you have a closely related family member that has it (like maybe his father...), you know you should look for it early and often. The earlier you catch it, the better it can be addressed. Since my son is at the beginning of first grade, it will be much easier to treat than if we had waited until third or fourth grade.

What does this mean? I have called around and gotten a few kids to tutor so that I can afford to purchase the Barton system to tutor my own child too. I am intently focused on not only helping my own child but the children in my community to become better able to process language. Now I wait for the materials to arrive, do a six hour training on them and pray that they will be the answer I have been looking for the last several months.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs

I am reading a devotion book out out by Voice of the Martyrs and was struck by a quote I found in one of the stories.
A pastor was speaking at the funeral of a fellow pastor who had been martyred in Peru by Communists.
"Why do you buy a shirt? To use it. Why did Jesus redeem you and buy you with His own blood? To use you for His kingdom."

I wonder how God will use me for His kingdom today?

Sunday, August 14, 2011


I love this time of year! I feel like buying notebooks and pencils and starting back to school. I have always loved being a student. (okay, there was a stage in college where I was more interested in studying my intended than my books, but I bounced back from that!). Pretty much...
I am so excited for my children to start school next week. Not just because they are getting a little stir crazy... well... a little because they are getting stir crazy... I love all the opportunity before them! I read a blog post recently that compared this time of year to New Years Eve. To me, this time of year is more New Years Eveish than New Years Eve itself. What excitement! What possibility lies before us! All the things we will learn this year! All the experiences we will have!! All the ways we will grow!!! And so, it is with great anticipation that I look forward to next week. An end to a great summer, but a beginning of a new school year.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Cooking with Whole Wheat

Loving making my own bread! I haven't bought bread at the store for a couple weeks now and don't anticipate needing to do so anytime soon. I bought an attachment for my kitchen aid mixer to grind grain for the bread. I have also been supplementing with store bought whole wheat flour to ease the transition. I stumbled across an awesome whole wheat cookie recipe yesterday. I am on my second batch, so I think that means the kids like them too!!

Chocolate Chip Whole Wheat Oatmeal Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour (I use whole wheat)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl mix butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla. Add baking soda, salt, oats and flour. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon onto a cookie sheet or stone and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out of the oven just before they look done and let them sit on the cookie sheet for another 2 minutes.
These turned out pretty good. The next time I make them I think I will try substituting the brown sugar with natural sugar and see how they turn out. With 3 cups of oats and 2 cups of whole wheat flour these cookies are filling and full of fiber.

I will post some pictures of our newly refinished floors soon (still working on getting the mess contained from having all three bedrooms dumped out into the living room).


A quote from a blog I follow:

There is one final problem with this discussion: its demonization of housework and disregard for the young. Like all work, these tasks are the stuff of pride and mastery. How could anyone talk of the care of children as if it were a demeaning burden? When approached with a desire for excellence and adequate time, housework provides deep fulfillment. What is at stake? Home. The garden of life.