Saturday, August 30, 2008


Anna found mud and made some mud pie. Hungry anyone??

Our budding artist...
Anna painted this corn field in our basement a few weeks ago.


We had lots of fun with Christl. We had lots of family time, canoeing, eating, making s'mores over an open fire and catching up. We were so happy that you came for a visit, Christl. When are you coming back?????

CANNING & GARDENING highlights...

I have been a cooking fiend. I canned peach jam, pickled green beans and even prepped an egg casserole for the next morning! Phew, I was tired. But, I do love 'putting food by'.

Just look how much our garden has grown!! I am up to my elbows with tomatoes. I have made for the freezer; stewed tomatoes, marinara sauce, pesto, and today I will freeze chopped up tomatoes.

Illinois to Minnesota to BAYFIELD and MADELINE ISLAND
(and back) road trip...

We left Illinois to pick up Brandon & Chase in Minnesota to do some camping before we arrive in Bayfield. We camped 2 nights at Copper Falls, WI. 3 nights on Madeline Island. 2 days at a cottage on Madeline Island. We were blessed with beautiful weather! We had lots of beach time, some kayaking and plenty of relaxation time for me!!

My in-laws; Oma and Opa AND sister in-law, Barbie and John met us in Bayfield for our last 3 days of our vacation. Barbie found a great cabin where we all can sleep in a bed (very important)!!!! We went to see the tall ships in DULUTH, more beach combing and lots and lots and lots of eating.

Oma and I having a little fun.

Barbie and I smiling for the camera

The kids and I riding on the ferry from Bayfield to Madeline Island.
They thought it was soooo cool for a car to go for a boat ride.

You need to click on this note above and read it. This note was in the bathroom of our cottage on Madeline Island. The boys didn't believe they had to 'flush' so often.

Lake Superior makes our little boy look so small.
Joshua had soooo much fun playing in the lake.
He didn't care how cold it was!

I thank the Lord for all of the opportunity that He gives to us. To be able to thank HIM for our blessings and for HIS gifts that we see each and every day. Amen.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I just got a call 2 nights ago from Kate. Rocco (below) was found bleeding and was rushed to the vet. Just a week before that he was in the vet for his annual check up and was fine. The vet found that he had cancer of the spleen. The boys were devastated. As you can recall earlier this summer we had to put Kish down. The boys were in town and we did this as a family. Two months later they are dealing with this at home in Minnesota. They talked about chemo and as a family, decided what was best for Rocco. They decided that they had to put Rocco down. As you can see, they love their dog dearly.

ONCE AGAIN, I am looking at this photo of my brother, Jesse, Rocco and Kish. They are all together ONCE AGAIN! Why this photo? How did my husband come upon this particular image?

I love this photo. I am reprinting this photo for Brandon and Chase to have in their rooms. I may just make one for myself, too.

I pray for peace in Kate's, Brandon's and Chase's hearts. I want them to know that they are together ONCE AGAIN without pain in Heaven.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What is Classical Conversations?

I asked the same question myself. I have found a wonderful blog that will explain it all to you (and me). Check out 'Pages of Our Life', the mom has a great grasp on the logic behind Classical Conversations. After reading her blog I feel so much better on our choice to give CC a try this year. I will be sharing our experiences as the year goes on.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


We will officially start school on Friday, August 22nd. Why Friday? Why not? I plan on going to Brookfield Zoo with the kids to start the year off with FUN! I also planned on the 25th a little project making gooey worms.

We have a busy schedule planned out so pray for a successful year. I will also take more pictures this year post what we have been doing. Our ups and downs. Good days and bad.


  • Bible - 4x's a week
  • Math (Math-U-See) - 4x's a week
  • Writing (Writing Strands) - 4x's
  • Grammar (Easy Grammar & Simply Grammar) - 4x's
  • Spelling - 4x's
  • Reading (McGuffey Readers) - 4x's
  • Cursive (A Reason for Handwriting) - 4x's
  • Classical Conversations on Tuesday mornings
  • Spanish (Rosetta Stone) - 3x's
  • Science (Story of Inventions & Science Lab in the Supermarket) 2x's
  • Geography (Marco Polo) once a week
  • History (Da Vinci 1st term; Good Queen Bess 2nd term; Child's Story of America 2x's; This Country of Ours & Child's History of the World, once a week)
  • Literature (Shakespeare, Parables of Nature, Pilgrims Progress & Princess and the Goblin 1st term; Jungle Book 3rd term)
  • Piano once a week
  • Swimming once a week
  • Tae-kwon-do 3x's
  • Home Ec. on Fridays
Plus we will supplement a project to go with our history reading. Anna will also choose a book to read on her own. Phew that was a lot.

We are following the Ambleside Online year 3 booklist.

  • Bible every morning
  • Classical Conversations on Tuesday
  • Math (Math-U-See) 4x's
  • Sing, Spell, Read & Write 3x's
  • Handwriting 2x's
  • Home Ec. on Fridays
  • Swimming once a week
  • Tae-kwon-do 2x's
It will be fun teaching both kids. We are trying something new with Classical Conversations where I will also be tutoring 4-6th graders on Tuesday mornings.

Joshua will be sitting in on all of Anna's history and literature lessons. Whatever he soaks up during that time I will be happy. If he falls asleep, even better.

I am blessed to have a husband who supports homeschooling. I am blessed that the Lord has put on my heart to home school. I have truly enjoyed my children more these past 2 years than when I was away working. I have grown so much with my husbands support. Thank you Lord for your patience and thank you Karl for your love. I couldn't do it without you! Thank you Lord!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I have so much to share with you about our summer. So, I am backing waaaaay back to May when we started our garden. I don't have all the photos but I will share our blessed progress.

First of, let me tell you that our dear friends, Becky & Al were kind enough to share their property with us! Our yard is all shaded and they have a nice open area; perfect for gardening.

Rachel, Anna, Hannah and Abigail
The girls helped start the seedlings.

Karl worked hard on this day. He had to cut up the sod, till it and add soil.
He did this all in one day. That's my man!!!

He even marked all the rows for me, too!

We planted: carrots, green onion, onion, tomatoes, sweet peppers, jalapeno peppers, peas, radishes, beets, green beans, broccoli, Swiss chard, zucchini, cucumbers and I think that may be all of it.

Some we started from seeds and others we planted.
These are our green beans sprouting.
It was a lot fun watching all the different plants grow!

Our first crop of radishes!
The kids and I had fun plucking the veggies up from the ground.

Our peas. A lot of work shucking these peas for just a handful.

Oma and I canning our fresh beets from the garden. Mmm, mmm, good!

I need to take a photo of our garden, you won't believe how much every thing grew this summer. God has blessed us dearly. Especially, that it is our very FIRST garden. I can't wait to see what we will grow next year!!

Today I picked about 10 tomatoes. I found a recipe called 'Jefferson Stewed Tomatoes'. WOW! It was delicious! I was afraid Karl wouldn't like because it was a little sweet (it called for sugar) and he liked it. It also called for stale biscuits (which I had on hand). You cut up the biscuits into small pieces, put into the stewed tomatoes and it thickens it up like soup. The kids didn't like it but, I will definitely make it again!

Hope your garden has blessed you the way it has blessed our family.


After doing all that cooking this past Sunday, I was thinking that some of you may be saying, "No way I am spending a whole day cooking." Well, if OAMC sounds too much for you, I have another solution.

This morning I was making buckwheat pancakes for the kids. When I make pancakes I make enough to feed 3-4 families. I do this because Joshua will eat 6 in one sitting. I let the pancakes cool on the counter and freeze the rest. They freeze well and they never last more than 2 weeks! The kids go in the freezer, take what they want, pop them in the toaster and eat.

I will do this when I cook a favorite dinner. I will double, triple and sometimes quadruple the recipe, cool and freeze. If you do this consistently for a month before you know it you will have a freezer full of yummy food!!!

Give it a try, it is worth it!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

OAMC (Once A Month Cooking)

Here is a photo of our hard work! The food really doesn't sure all the work we did. It was a long day but definately worth it! By the time we figured out the numbers, cost, price per meal...drum roll came to about $6.00 per meal for a family of 4, including a side!!! You can't do that a restaurant!!

Anna peeling potatoes and watching TV.

Frannie giving Anna a hand.

Anna up to her elbows in mash potatoes.
There goes another piece on the floor, table...

Yesterday from 10 am till about 7:30 at night, my friend, Frannie and I and Anna cooked 7 meals (separated into 12 dinner meals for each family) and 3 sides (equalling to about 10 sides per family). PHEW, I was exhausted by the time I came home.

Anna peeled 5 lbs. of potatoes and mixed in the milk and butter. She also made the meatloaf all by herself. She was a great help to Frannie and I. We were really impressed by her willingness.

Thank you Anna for your contribution to these wonderful meals!!!!

These are the meals that we prepared:
  • Dump Swiss Steak
  • Asian Pork Tenderloin
  • Sloppy Joe (from scratch)
  • Meatloaf
  • Cornflake Chicken Fingers (I had to taste this one. It had a great crunch!)
  • Chicken and Ham Roll-Ups
  • Sausage and Cabbage Skillet
  • French Toast Sticks (This one we are doing on our own. We were just too tired.)
Frannie was in charge of cutting up all of the chicken.

We have a big bowl of mash potatoes, white rice and
chicken roll-ups ready to be wrapped and put away.

Our sides to go with the meals:
  • Fried Rice
  • White Rice
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Seasoned Green Beans
Frannie is already planning for the next time we get 6 weeks!!! I'll have to see if she has recovered from yesterday. I slepted in till after 8 am this morning.

I would of taken more photos but I was too busy cooking ; )

Here are a few photos:Fresh veggies from my garden.

Hey, I got in a photo.

Anna helping her mama.

Anna taking a pool break!! Well deserved!!

My resources:, The freezer cooking manual, The Kutztown Area Commemorative Cookbook (my ultimate favorite) and One Dish Meals Cookbook.

Hope this may inspire you to give it try!!

For those of you looking for recipes, you can visit Miss Frannie. She is so wonderful to post some of our recipes!! Thanks Miss Frannie!