Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Whoopie (pies)! Election Day!


This school year I've been teaching an American Government class at the co-op to which we belong. For the past 8 weeks, we've focused on, what else? The Presidential Election. I've taught on the history of the electoral process, the reasons behind it, and the inherent faults that it has. (I'm not a teacher by design, just by heart.) By the grace of God, I have had a number of parents come up to me and tell me how excited their child was to watch the debates, or how their child wanted to talk about politics at the kitchen table. I have been humbled and encouraged by the kids and their willingness to learn something that was previously dry and boring to me. 

Today-November 6, 2012- is the day we've been waiting and watching for. Election Day. The kids filled out Voter Registration forms. They have studied candidate mailings to look for the hidden and sometimes obscure messages. They have been receptive to the idea that a scare-tacit isn't usually a recipe for truth or honesty. The class culminates in a mock vote complete with polling stations, stickers for voting, proof of identification, and cookies. 

In honor of the day, I made Whoopie Pies. As in, "Whoopie! Voting Day is here!" Or "Whoopie!! Voting Day is almost over with!!" Take your pick.


 Making Whoopie Pies is a process- no doubt about it. But they are oh, so worth, that process... just look at those delightful little nuggets of brownie/chocolate cake/cookies that are filled with a light and airy vanilla/powdered sugar goodness!!! 

Whoooopppppieeeee!!!!




Chocolatey blobs!



 Cooked chocolatey blobs!


Ahhhh.....delicious (don't forget the big glass of milk!)


Monday, August 27, 2012

It's a Pinterest Life

Pinterest ideas. Again. Only this time, I followed through! 

Yay!!

The idea is a binder/folder that has ALL your personal papers in it: birth certificates, social security cards, titles to vehicles or house, bank account numbers, 401(k) info, medical records, vaccination records for kids and animals :) ,  insurance information...anything else you would NOT want to lose. In our case, I added my beloved's DD-214 (separation papers from the Air Force). 

All nice and neat in a binder that you can grab and go in case of emergency. Or school registration (but we homeschool, so that is just a suggestion).

So here's what I did:
3 ring binder- not pretty (doesn't have to be)



Sheet protectors:


Add the goodies:




Viola 



Took me all of about 15 minutes to put it together- once I FOUND all the paperwork. Hence the need to do this in the first place. But I digress.... I did discover that I am missing our son's birth certificate and my own. So I left the spots open to fill once I get them. Our son is hearing impaired so I put his ENT's and audiologist's records in there, too. Just in case.

 But how easy is this? Put a little bit of cash in the pocket of it and put it in a fire proof safe and when disaster strikes- it's a grab and go thing!

Now, no one likes to think of disasters striking, but let's face it: it could happen. Why is my family so special that we wouldn't be struck by calamity? It can happen to anyone. Best to be prepared. Doesn't mean I'm a pessimist- just means I'm ready. 

Pinterest to the rescue :)


Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Started...Again.

We were called away on a sudden trip to Northern Maine two weeks ago. I know, I know: it's a rough life, but someone has to live it! We had been planning a trip to visit my husband's family this fall, but sometimes life, or in this case, death, can make us change plans very quickly. We were able to vacation our way home by way of the Maine Coast, which made it fun for the kids! We all were ready to come home after 12 days, but we could have stayed there forever! :)

 Mt Katahdin from Rt 11 outside of Patten, Maine

all the way to Bailey Island! 


Then it was time to head home to real life and responsibilities...boo hoo.

We had started our school year on Monday, August 6, just to get a jump on it. Then the call came. And two days after we started school, we had to leave. For two weeks. And now, it'll be the first day all over again. I had hoped to get some review work and some schedules set before our trip...but no.

We did make some serious changes to our routines this year. First of all, I split the kids up from one common table to two desks back to back. I'm hoping that our daughter will find that space to allow her to go forward on her own work, at her own pace, versus waiting for her brother. They aren't the same children. They aren't in the same grade. And they don't learn in the same ways. So...separate desks might encourage them. It will certainly help me. :)

Second, we actually wrote out the school schedule for each week. I am NOT a planner. I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants (or skirt) kind of mom. This will be the biggest challenge for me- sticking to it. But, our daughter wants her assignments written out so that she can check mark them off. Our son, on the other hand, could care less. He just goes with the flow. As long as the flow isn't too fast :)

Third, we have added some extra curricular activities that involve friends (Yay!!) into their learning this year. A fantastic Christian homeschool co-op where they can develop friendships and learn about American Government (taught my moi) and PE is on the schedule for Tuesdays. Teen Bible Study classes (with a lot of the same kids from the co-op) on Thursdays. And last, but not least, a group Spanish 'class' that will be held in a friend's home on Mondays.

I think this will be a good year!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fading Summer

So, it's be a very long time since I last posted. Spring warmed into summer, which stayed warm. And then got HOT. And dry. But alas, summer is slowly losing it's grip to fall. The mornings are getting cool. The shadows are lengthening. The cicadas are being replaced by crickets as daylight comes later in the morning. The spiders are building their webs in the grass and on the tall weeds.


I am looking forward to the first tinges of gold to touch the leaves of the trees. Next week, we start our homeschooling year. The kids are both dreading it and looking forward to it- all at the same time. There have been some really great deals at the stores for school supplies. Stocking up hasn't broken the bank this year!

In the meantime, here's a recipe that I made up for super-easy biscuits that are great when they are split in half, smeared with butter, and covered with fresh, homemade sausage gravy! But don't take my word for it!



Easy Biscuits- makes 8 or so (easy to double)

1 cup flour (either whole wheat, AP, or combo of both)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 1/2 T shortening or lard
3/4 c milk (or a little less if using AP flour)
1 beaten egg in a bowl. 


Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture. Stir in milk. Use a light hand. Too much stirring can make tough biscuits.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead for 15-20 seconds- just to finish bringing it all together.

Pat into rectangle. Either use a mason jar to cut out into circles or slice into eight squares.

Put on ungreased baking sheet. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle a little kosher salt on top. Bake at 450* for 10-12 minutes, or until golden.




Enjoy!


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