Monday, January 30, 2012

Dream Posters

Our homeschool group got together a couple of weeks ago and made Dream Posters. I got the idea out of an article written in Homeschool Educators magazine. The purpose of children making a dream poster is to help us parents understand where their interests really lie. It was fascinating to see what everyone came up with. I reserved the room at our local library and asked each participating family to bring around a dozen magazines of all kinds. We made a pile in the middle of the room. Each child brought a poster board, adhesive and some scissors. For an hour and a half, they clipped out pictures and glued them on to their boards. The center of the board was reserved for the things they like or want to do someday the most, then the least important things radiating out from the center. Parents are not supposed to help clip pics because we are not to influence what they come up with. So we mostly sat around and talked or helped the little ones.

Busily working...



Here is Josiah's finished product, well kind of. The beauty of a dream poster is that you can add and remove all you want if you use removable tape. I was not surprised to see Josiah's poster consisting mostly of soldiers, with animals he wants to hunt surrounding it. However, I saw a picture of a woman kissing a dolphin and someone feeding a baby squirrel from a bottle, so I know he cares about animals, too. Hailey's poster had a mom with a baby (no surprise), but what did surprise me was she had a lot pictures about fishing on hers. That made her dad happy, LOL! 

I encouraged all the kids to go home and put the dream poster in their room. They can change it as they change. I normally hate crafts, so this was a stretch for me, but even this was simple enough that I felt comfortable doing it. I thought the clean up would be awful, but it went really well and I never even had to use the library's vacuum cleaner because everybody did such a thorough job of picking up, yay! Cause I HATE vacuuming! 

Hope you all have a wonderful week. 

God Bless, Jackie

Friday, January 27, 2012

Burns Night Supper 2012

Last Sunday, "me handsome Scott" and I went on an honest to goodness date proudly wearing our Clan Lamont regalia. We went to the Burns Night Supper the Celtic Society of Eastern Oregon put on. I was a little nervous, not knowing what to expect from the food or the atmosphere. I was pleasantly surprised by both. The Celtic-themed food was terrific, even the haggis, and the best part was that apparently Celts CAN hold their drinks because I didn't notice one drunk Celt in the place. Very nice in my opinion. They read great poetry by Robert Burns and the man who read the tribute to "the immortal Robbie Burns" (Scotland's most famous poet), did an excellent job of keeping it as short as he possible could.
Here are some other members of the Celtic Society as they were taking tickets from people coming in. There were around 80 people who attended. I went to high school with the gal on the far left, Nessa. It has been great reconnecting with her through the society after all these years. As you can see, the Celtic decor complimented the beautiful wood work in the restaurant.
Piping in the Haggis.
Toast to the Haggis!"
I took this quick picture of Michael's food before he started eating. He was one of the last to go through the line because he is the Sergeant of Arms, so he was very disappointed that he only got a few crumbs of haggis. I, on the other hand was one of the first in line and got brave enough to try it, mainly because I knew I'd never hear the end of it if I didn't. I have to admit it tasted much better than I thought. If you've never heard of Haggis it is a very traditional Scottish food made of ground up lungs, kidneys, tripe and goodness knows what else, mixed with barley or oats and spices. That mixture goes into a sheep's stomach or large intestine, then it is cooked. As one movie actor once put it, "Scottish food is based on a dare". I think he was right! The rest of the meal was excellent, rivaling even the Haggis. We had mead soaked mussels, Irish lamb stew, corned beef and cabbage, kale with bacon, mashed potatoes, Irish soda bread, Scottish shortbread and and an interesting yet tasty dessert I didn't catch the name of. 

The best part of the evening was when I won the silent auction for an adorable blackboard made out of a old window frame. I've been looking for one for awhile now because I wanted to start writing a different bible verse that our family could memorize every month. It is hanging in the living room and I will have to post a picture of it once I get some chalk. It is adorable. I bid three times on that puppy and was so happy I won!

Burns Night suppers happen all over the world. If you ever get a chance to go to one, you won't regret it!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Story of the Evil Tack - Oral Rendition by Hailey

In the process of Hailey showing off her new red union suit, she told me this cute story of why her foot was hurting. Just for the record, her brother DID NOT put the tack on the floor on purpose, LOL. This gives you a snippet into the personality of our daughter.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday Meanderings

We've been getting into a comfortable winter routine. Staying home more and getting a lot done in regards to homeschooling. Of course we've had time for some play, too. Last Saturday we had the perfect sledding day with friends. Below is a pic of me and my friend, Jodi, at the end of our journey down the big hill. I was NOT going to let Jodi fall out of that sled, LOL. I think I squeezed her a bit too hard. I went down with Michael and we took a tumble, my thigh landing on the side of his boot. That is what I get for trying to be the "fun wife", LOL. It is one of the worst bruises I've ever had!

We all brought finger foods, hot drinks, roasted sausages and marshmallows around the fire. It was great having a place to warm up after a run down the hill. We got a bunch more snow on Tuesday, but alas it has almost all melted off. I'm so bummed! 
My little darlings, getting ready to go to church. Sun was a shinin' that day! Hailey wanted a red union suit like her brother. This was the smallest one we could find. It practically hangs to her knees. She's got a lot of room to grow, but the important thing is that she loves it.

A couple of weekends ago we went over to visit my mom and go ice skating with my niece who was visiting her. Josiah and Jessica had a great time trying to play hockey. Josiah did much better on with his skating this time. I think a little competition was good for him.

I'm REALLY loving my 100% silicone Demarle products. It is joy to do muffins now. They aren't as crumbly and they don't ever stick. I made these individual quiches and they came out perfectly. Even egg doesn't stick!

I also love my Roul Pat. I'm not dreading doing shape cookies with the kids anymore. It doesn't stick, even when the dough warms up. 

Here are our gingerbread cookies I cooked on the flexipat pans. I just have to watch it because it cooks a lot faster than the stoneware I'm used to using.

Josiah made a Scottish warrior out of 
Benderoons on his bedroom door. I love the spike on the shield and the Lamont (our clan) tartan. So cute! He even has the Sgian Dubh knife in his boot and the feather in his hat. Since this, he made a whole battle scene on his door. He is such a warrior in the making!

Have a great week everyone! Blessings, Jackie

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Easy, Homemade, Healthier Marshmallow Recipe

I've been doing some research (see on using agave syrup and I'm finding that USDA certified corn syrup would be better than using agave syrup. With that new information, I thought I'd repost this recipe using organic corn syrup instead. While, I'm not a big corn syrup fan, I still think that if you made these with organic corn syrup it would be way healthier than anything you could buy in the store.

Someone left a comment and said she uses grade B maple syrup and said the flavor is subtle and they roast well over a campfire. I'm definitely going to have to try that! That would be way healthier than organic corn syrup.

I'm calling these homemade marshmallows, "Joemallows" in honor of my friend's husband who was teasing me  on Facebook when I made homemade hot chocolate. He asked me if I could make homemade marshmallows, and I rose to the challenge. So glad I did because now I'm my kids' best friend. Haven't bought marshmallows or hot chocolate (with the exception of a special treat when we go camping) for years. Now my kids will no longer be deprived in this department because mama found a way to make healthy marshmallows! Here is the finished product below. No, they aren't round, but trust me they taste just as good, if not better than the store bought marshmallows. You aren't going to believe how easy these are to make!!!!
Healthier, Homemade Marshmallows:
1 cup organic corn syrup (I use to use agave syrup but it turns out it isn't very good for you see this article )
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin or (1 Tbl if you have a box of gelatin)
1/2 to 1 tsp vanilla (I used about 3/4 of a tsp for our tastes)
1/4 tsp sea salt (Celtic Sea Salt is best)
6 Tbl cold water 
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine cold water and gelatin, mix until dissolved. Add organic corn syrup, salt and vanilla. Mix well, then heat to almost a boil. It won't take long.

2. Pour into mixer, mix on high for 10 minutes. Should be very stiff. I have a lightly floured pan ready to go while this is mixing. I use whole wheat pastry flour. If you want to make your own marshmallow cream, instead of buying it in a jar, just don't beat as long and pour into a jar instead of pan when done.
3. Pour into a floured pan. A 9 x 9 inch pan would probably work the best. Mine wasn't available, so I just use a pie plate which worked well, too.

4. Cut into squares using a wet knife. Let cool completely. If you really want a stiff marshmallow, put in fridge. No need to cover.
5. Add to homemade hot cocoa and you've got yourself a guilt-free comfort food! I left my pan of "Joemallows" sitting out for several days at room temp and they never dried out or hard. They freeze well, too. So make an big batch and freeze it in the pan. Amazing stuff!

This is a really easy, fun thing to make with kids. They will love you!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Toy Soldiers, Telescope and Nose Hair

It seems like the more frugal we are at Christmas, the more God blesses us! When people ask Josiah if got what he wanted for Christmas, his reply has been "Yes, everything I wanted!". We had drilled into him all month that Christmas is about giving not receiving and there wasn't going to be many presents this year. Not only did I received a very generous bonus from my boss (I do 6 to 8 hours of soil database work from home each week), but our friends and family also blessed the kids with much. The above picture is of Josiah playing with the bucket of WWII soldiers and pillbox he got from his Nana and Papa. He plays with these just about every day. He uses his Jenga blocks to build more pillboxes and bunkers. 

Josiah really wanted a telescope. I was able to purchase a small cheap one at a yard sale last summer and I saved it for Christmas. I should have checked it before I gave it to him, but I forgot. He opened it up, so excited, but we soon realized it was broken. Although disappointed, he did really well when we told him that we would buy him a different one (thanks to my Christmas bonus) when we went out of town to visit family. He waited patiently for a week. My husband found a much better telescope and we gave it to him when we got home. He loved it! 
Hailey is trying to focus in on her daddy's nose hairs in this picture! Sorry, I know that is gross, but that's the way we roll around here. 

We haven't had a clear night sky up until a few days ago, so Josiah has been trying to focus in on the neighbors instead, LOL. We told our next door neighbor and she wrote him a little note to find in her window. I love our neighbors! Very supportive of us homeschoolers, LOL. The sky finally cleared up on the night there was a full moon. So cool! 

Hope you are all enjoying your Christmas blessings both large and small, material and eternal. God wants to bless us so much! What are we doing with those blessings? Are we satisfied or are we longing for more? God, examine our hearts and minds and help us to be oh so grateful for all You have given us!

God Bless,

Friday, January 13, 2012

Family Tea Party

Even though my husband is a macho soldier/hunter/mechanic type, he also has a soft side. He has been wanting to go to tea at the ANZAC Tea Parlor for awhile now as a family, including his mom. I couldn't believe it. My "coffee's gotta be thicker than mud" husband? Yep that is right! I couldn't believe he actually drank tea while we were there. We've been working with the kids and telling them if they could get their manners squared away, we would take them. Well the day finally came. It was do or die. The kids actually did very well. We only had two water glasses spill - a raging success in my book. 

Hailey, showing off her little water glass that was "just her size".

Josiah, adding tea to his sugar.

Sipping tea like a princess.

The cup I always pick.

The kids pretty much only liked the cucumber sandwiches, fruit, cookies and scones. Fine with us adults, because we got the good stuff  - chicken almond poppy seed sandwiches, spinach wraps and quiche puffs. I LOVE their food! I was worried Michael wouldn't get enough to eat, but he seemed full by the time we left. He is BIG eater.

Of course we had to try on some hats before we left. This is always a highlight, since Hailey and I LOVE hats! I'm not sure it is quite my MIL's cup of tea. She really looked cute in this hat. It went with her outfit perfectly.
The owner, Bev, gave the kids candy canes, too.  They were sugared up pretty good before we left. She loved these frogs because they remind her of her Nana who has a thing for frogs. After the tea, we went out to the ranch to visit my dad and step-mom. We had a delightful "mini-Christmas" with them and then back to my sisters for the rest of the week to help take care of her and the kids while she recovered from her tonsillectomy. 

I'm not sure if Josiah and Michael will want to go back to the tea parlor, but I know Hailey and I will be going whenever we get a chance. I was very proud of my men for giving it a try.

Hope you are all having a wonderful week :)


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Christmas Blessings

It seems like a long time ago since Christmas, but I still wanted to share our Christmas highlights. We had a late start Christmas morning since my kids both decided to sleep in until 9AM. Isn't that just sick and wrong? :o) Before we started opening gifts we put the finishing touches our Jesse Tree and Waiting Tree. We let the kids put the ornaments on these trees during the month, but Michael and I put on the last ornaments on Christmas Day. I'm putting the last stone on the Jesse Tree in this picture. We read the bible passage that went with the hand-painted stone.

Michael putting the "star" on the Waiting Tree my sis made me. Both trees are used to show how the prophecies in the Old Testament, starting at creation, all point to Jesus being the Messiah. These are my two absolutely favorite Christmas decorations of all time. My kids love it, too!

Back-tracking a little, we always let the kids open their gifts from their Aunt Abby and Uncle Nathan on Christmas Eve. They look forward to it every year. The had sooo much fun with this floor piano!

Josiah learned the truth about Santa this year. I was wondering if he would be upset, but not so. In fact, the first thing out of his mouth was "So do this mean I can sneak out of bed and eat Santa's cookies and the reindeer's carrot?" Yep!

Family picture taken just before we opened our stockings. What can I say, we are a VERY patriotic family!

Michael took this pic of me. So glad I had a chance to get ready for the day!

Ironically, one of the favorite things in their stockings was "Santa's Coal" bubble gum!

I was so excited to receive the new English Standard Version Bible from Michael. I've been doing a lot of research on different biblical translations, and this is supposed to be a direct translation from the Hebrew and Greek to English. No paraphrasing. This is the new bible translation for the next generation. Christians are wanting accuracy and that is what this bible delivers. It is a wonderful study bible and I'm loving it! 

Josiah found this really nice survival/camping tool for Michael at our local Christian book store. It is different as it has a hammer and small ax on the end as well as several saw blades and the typical multi-tool blades.

My friend, Kay, had this gorgeous apron made for me. I love it! I'd sleep in it if I could.

Hailey received a new children's bible in her stocking. She loved it so much, she was hugging it.

Last year when we were yard saling, I found this brand new, still in the box, Cinderella collectible snow globe. She wanted it so badly. I didn't have the $10 they were asking. As we were leaving, the lady said she would sell it to us for $5. I distracted Hailey and discretely paid for it and put it away for Christmas. Hailey remembered it as soon as she opened it. I wish I would have videoed it. She was so excited! 

Speaking of excited. I love how exuberant my kids are. Josiah is loving his OSU Beaver hat.

I was blessed with a really nice bonus from my boss and I was able to get Michael a simple, yet nice, used left-handed bow with some good accessories. When I went to pick it up, the owner of the shop (a former soldier) told me that he and the other former soldiers who work for him all got together and paid to have the bow restrung and gave Michael some nice arrows with practice tips. They just wanted to bless another soldier. How nice is that?

I was able to purchase the entire Jonathan Park Adventure Series for half-off the normal price through Vision Forum. They are an awesome adventure series based on Creation. My kids love them! They don't know that I got the entire series. I'm going to be giving them a new set of adventures on every holiday or birthday, so they will really listen to each cd set over and over, getting them memorized before they get the next set. I'm doing the same thing with the "Torchlighter" dvd series based on past Christian martyrs. Giving them one at a time. I got a great deal on that series from Voice of the Martyrs. 

After letting the kids play with their toys for awhile, we packed up the car and headed over the hill to my mom's house where my aunt and uncle and their families were having Christmas. Since my grandma died, it seemed fitting to all be together this year. We had a wonderful time opening gifts, eating, playing board games and eating some more.

Just before my Grandma died she had ordered these cute little Santa bags for each of the great grandchildren. She always used some cute container to put money in every year. These showed up on my mom's door step 3 days after Grandma died. Mom put $5 in each bag for the grandkids with a card explaining that it was from GG Mary. It was such a precious way of including her in the celebration.
Mom and Larry gave Hailey this beautiful necklace holder. She loved it. I thought she looked so cute with her little bloomers I made for her a couple years ago. 

The next day we traveled down the Gorge to spend some time with Michael's family. We had so much fun with our youngest niece, Layla. At first she was shy but it didn't take too long before she was on my lap and I was feeding her oranges. I know the way to a child's heart, LOL!

Here is Layla in the cute outfit we got her. The next day my MIL took us all to see"War Horse" at the theater, which we LOVED (Hailey stayed with her Auntie April during the show). Then I left to visit my Grandpa and his wife Regina, then stayed the night with my sis before her tonsil surgery the next day. Mostly spent the rest of the week helping take care of my sis and her family while she recovered. 

I spent last week, easing into my schedule again. We start back up with homeschooling today. Praying it all goes well. We will focus on thank you cards (which will count for writing, spelling and phonics) this week, plus add in math.

Hope you are all having a wonderful New Year!

God Bless,


Related Posts with Thumbnails