Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fermented Tea

I have been making homemade Kombucha for the past four months. Brian and the kids really like to drink this fermented tea. A friend of mine gave me the starter scoby and the rest is history. It is really easy to make this tea. Here is the recipe that I use:

3 quarts of water
8 tea bags
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of starter
1 scoby

Boil 3 quarts of water. Transfer the water to a gallon glass container. Add the sugar and tea. Let the tea steep. Make sure the tea cools down, add the starter and scoby. Cover the opening of the glass container with a coffee filter secured by a rubber band. Put the jar in a warm place to ferment for 7-10 days.

I make sure the tea is cold before I put the scoby in. I also test the pH of the tea to make sure it is in the 2.5-3.9 range.

Go here or here to watch a kombucha video.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My Favorite Cheese

I am not a big fan of cheese, but I do have a soft spot for Brie. It is a cheese you heat up in the oven and eat it warm. Here is a plate of it that was served to my family. They left me a teaspoon. I can't believe it. I was the one that introduced them to this lovely cheese and they barely left me any. Well, I guess they enjoyed it and didn't think I really wanted any.

Brie is a French cheese. It is know as "The Queen of cheeses." 

I have some Brie in the refrigerator that I plan to enjoy sometime this week.

Do you have a favorite cheese?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

World War I Museum

We went on a field trip last Friday to the World War I Museum. It is a fascinating museum. I really enjoyed the guided tour we had, but I felt the tour was too short. I could have stayed there all day, reading every stitch of information. I thoroughly enjoy history. I hope to go back again someday.

 Have you heard about the famous "Red Barron?" Well, here he is. It is sad that he shot down 80 airplanes. Click here to read about him.

Don't you just love these war posters?

A replica of an actual World War I fighter plane. The war last from 1914-1918.

Here is a French made tank.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Baked Kale Chips

 I had a bag of cut up kale in the refrigerator. I decided to make kale chips before the bag of kale went bad. My young boys love kale chips.

I put the kale in a big bowl, drizzled some extra virgin olive oil on it, and added some salt. I spread the kale on some baking sheets.  The oven was heated to 375 degrees. They baked for 20 minutes. It is that easy.

Go here for the recipe. I hope you try.

Oh, by the way, the kale chips were gone right out of the oven, in a matter of minutes. I told you my boys love to eat them.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Analytical Grammar

This is by far my favorite grammar curriculum. No, I am not getting paid to endorse this curriculum. This curriculum is for 6th graders to adults. It is not a cheap curriculum, but it is worth every penny you spend.

My oldest did the program in 2 years (her 8th & 9th grade years). My oldest son will complete it this summer. He is in 9th grade. My 6th grader will complete it next summer and my 3rd grader will complete Junior Analytical Grammar this summer.

I would recommend purchasing the instructional DVD too.

Analytical Grammar covers:

  • All the parts of speech and parts of the sentence
  • Phrases and clauses
  • Classic sentence diagraming
  • Rules of punctuation and capitalization
  • Common usage errors.

Jr. Analytical Grammar covers:

  • All the parts of speech, five sentence patterns, and parts of a sentence
  • Classic sentence diagramming

Here is a link to the website. Here is a link to a review by Cathy Duffy. You can read the reviews at Christianbook.com too.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Game Closet

Here are some games we received as gifts from friends for Christmas. We enjoy playing board games and cards. Brian and the boys have already played 4 games of Risk. You should have heard them yelling and getting into it.

Yikes! Here is what I encountered when I went to put the new games in the game closet. This is what happens when children don't keep things organized. I immediately got to work and re-organized the games. 

Ah, this is better.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Hello 2016

Happy new year 2016 Free vector in Adobe Illustrator ai ( .ai ) format ... 

I am so happy that 2016 is here and 2015 is over. Last year was not a good financial year for us. 2015 started off rocky for my business. I actually lived in California from February 1st to July 5th. I took my two youngest sons with me. I tried to improve my business relationships while I was in California, but things did not go as I had hoped.  My income loss was due to a client of mine being bought out by a bank. This bank decided not to use my services after the merger. The merger happened in March 2015. My income was now a third of what I was making from 2014. This caused great financial strain for my family.

In June we decided to put our home for sale. We were now forced to down size due to the reduced income. It was a hard decision, but we felt it had to be done. We had a couple highly interested in buying our home, but they were waiting for their home to sell before they made an offer on our home. 

Months passed by with not knowing what we were going to do. We just had to believe and have faith that God would take care of us. We lived paycheck to paycheck. I did manage to scrape together to pay our $2,000 tax bill and our $2,000 tuition bill for school. It was sometimes nerve racking. It has been many years since we had no savings to fall back on. We had always had a savings, but not anymore. We went back to making our own bread and getting raw milk from a dairy farmer. We have our own chickens; that give us fresh eggs. I've found ways to keep our grocery bill low. We even cut down our electric bill. You talk about living on faith and trusting God to meet your needs. We were doing this day to day. God is so good and he takes care of his children. 

I did start experiencing some health issues starting in July. It could have been the result of the two auto accidents I had in 2015. I have seen a chiropractor on and off since March. Chiropractic care has helped me. In August I started experiencing other symptoms that the doctor says is due to peri-menopause. I had many people pray for me and send me encouraging emails. I am so thankful for friends and family.

December seemed to come so quickly. I felt I had no time to prepare for Christmas. We had an after Christmas dinner on the 26th. I served a New Mexican meal. I made homemade tortillas, beans, carne adovada, green chili chicken stew, calabacitas, quesadillas, pumpkin empanadas, and biscochitos. I cooked for two days. Everything came out delicious. I do enjoy cooking for my friends and family. I told them it is all about making the time to cook and following the recipes. It seems like Carissa and I will be making tortillas for now on. 

I was contacted in early December from an old co-worker. This former co-worker is now an AVP of Real Estate for a credit union. She contacted me because she started this new position and wants to use my notary service.  I provide notary services for real estate transactions. This is an answer to prayer. I started to cry and praise God after I got off the phone with her. I even prayed to God, thanking him for blessing us/me with a new client. I will start receiving business from them this coming week. 

The other good news is, that we have decided to take our house off the market. We are not going to move now that my income will be increasing.

I believe in keeping things simple. Well, it is simple in my eyes. I really do believe that you need to have a child like faith, which is simple. It is easy for some and hard for others. I pray that 2016 will be a year of simplicity in faith for you. Have a child like faith with an expectancy of God being there for you, in your time of need.

God bless you and have a joyous new year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Half Way Through the School Year

Carissa has received outstanding marks on her progress report from her tutor. She continues to impress her tutor by being prepared and doing all her work. Carissa works hard and her father helps her to stay on task. Her father can be a task master, but I can see how this has helped Carissa grow as a student. This year's school work has been monstrous in some subjects.  The work load is extremely heavy. On December 7th, Carissa had her Lincoln Douglas Debate. There was an outside judge on hand. The judge was really impressed with Carissa's speech. He gave great marks and said she had the strongest case. The resolution was, the economic health of a nation is more important than the social programs for its citizens. The tutors came to me and gave Carissa many complements. I told her she should think about joining a speech and debate club.

Carissa came to us a few months ago and wants to do something different her senior year. She has worked so hard these last four years and is looking for something different now. We are looking into a college model preparatory academy for her. She would be going to school three days a week. She will need to take an entrance test and go through some interviews before being admitted. I think this could be a great opportunity for her. This is what she wants to do, so we will go with it. We need to start the application process soon. 

Nathan is doing well with his studies. He is preparing for a science research paper that will be due this semester. He is planning to continue with Classical Conversations for his sophomore year. He is enjoying mostly all his subjects and is continually improving on completing his work. He is not like Carissa, but he does his best and is learning. He has his strengths. His tutor has said that he has the most interesting remarks during discussions. He sure likes to discuss things. He is enjoying music theory. It is amazing how different each of your children learns.

Shane is excelling in many areas. He completed pre-algebra with an overall grade of 90% and is now in algebra 1. I will tell you that I did seek some counseling about him going on to algebra 1. He is in 6th grade and I was just needing some assurance. I had him do a placement test, which he only missed one out of ten problems. I have taught him about math and the language of math. There are math terms and formulas he has learned. There is order in math and his mind already thinks this way. Perhaps, this is why he is doing extremely well with piano lessons. He started lessons for the first time in August. His teacher says he is doing very well with music theory and learning to play. He is already playing music just by hearing it played without seeing a sheet of music. He will be presenting a history report on Caesar Augustus in March, so he will be gathering up some resources soon.

Jarrett is doing well with his 3rd grade studies. He is very competitive and will not give up. I really love his determination. He is doing very well in math. I think math is his favorite subject besides recess. He is the child that always sneaks outside, when he should be doing school work. He enjoys the outdoors and being with his cat. He has asked if he can learn to play the guitar. I think that we will be looking into his request. I can't believe he will be turning nine soon.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Our First Snow of the Season

On Saturday we woke up to a light dusting of snow on the ground. It was so lovely to see the tree branches dusted with snow. It was beautiful!

I went to town later in the day and saw a dead mountain lion on the shoulder. I was not able to take a picture of it because I did not feel comfortable stopping on a busy highway. I did pass by it twice and got a good look of it. Its paws seemed enormous. Jarrett was amazed by its large tail. It is unusual to see a mountain lion around where we live. We have heard of hunters seeing them in the dense woods.