This is nothing special, well to you anyway. I'm not a scrapbook type, or a baby book writer, or even a picture printer. I'm terrible at recording memories. This blog is my attempt at holding on to some of my life as a Christian, a wife, and a homeschooling Mom of 5. I am a country girl that lived in a big city for 14 years, and moved to the Deep South for quiet, quaint, small town living.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Comfort food

I love food.  
A little too much.
Maybe even 'a lot' too much.

I saw on Pinterest a quote.
"You are not a dog, don't reward yourself with food."
I should stop that.

But I didn't see anything about comforting yourself with food.
Only humans so that, right?

Well, I missed my Mom, so I made something that reminds me of her.

She made me my favorite soup when I came home from the hospital after having her first grandchild.
I wasn't so sure if I wanted anyone staying with me when I just had a baby, (learning it all, feeling not so hot, and looking worse than that.) but I'm forever grateful that she came for a week.  She did so much to help, was encouraging, and we connected on a new level.
It was only 7 weeks later that she died. 

When I think of that, I can't help but see her in my tiny kitchen ready to serve me.
Peas and Dumpling Soup.
Heaven in a bowl.
 If you don't know what slippery dumplings are, you are missing out.
I was short on time, so I cheated with Annie's frozen dumplings.
Of course, homemade is way better, but Annie's is a decent substitution.
(It might be the only substitution.  I've never seen any other flat dumplings in stores.)
 I cooked the ham bone all day in the crock pot (on low), added a bag of frozen peas, S&P, then got the soup hot again (on high).  After an hour, I added the frozen dumplings.  I break them up spoon size for soup, and drop them in one at a time.  I used half the box.
 And that is it.  
Ham, peas, and dumplings.
 Maggie approved.
And I thought about my Mom.
With just Maggie and I eating together, it was quiet.
I pretended Mom was hanging out with us, enjoying a bowl too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Oil and Water

We did a series of oil and water experiments thanks to our Science in the Kitchen book and a quick search on Google.  They were a little messy except this one, so I could record it.

Please excuse the chocolate on George's face.  Sigh.

After the bookwork...

After we sit through the workbooks, reading, and writing, 
I like to stick my finger in front of the lens. 
 We like to do projects also.  
Art projects, science experiments, model making....
 I saved these great shoe inserts from a pair of TOMS (that I was GIFTED from some incredible friends!) because I knew they would be great boat bottoms!
I love it when I'm clever.
 Skewers for the masts, paper for the sails, and play dough holding it all secure.
That is top notch ship building!
 We used George's Lowes pirate ship model for the 3rd of the 3 ships Columbus sailed.
(I only had 2 shoe inserts!)
 They stayed afloat!
 The kids got dizzy blowing them all over the sink.
 Then we realized that it was a good idea for Columbus to use wooden ships 
and not boats made of cardboard.....
Watching the slow sinking was almost as entertaining as the realization that play dough gets slimy when wet.  Almost.
Hopefully we didn't get too far off track from the discovery of the Americas....

Saturday, September 17, 2011

School days

Yes, this is a bit late.  
On Monday we are starting our 3rd week of school.  
Life is just much busier in the Fall.

Virginia started Pre-School.
She has the same teacher Liv and George had. 
This teacher is so wonderful, we just keep bringing her our 3 year olds!
Virginia is known for her head strong, passionate ways, but I'm expecting Mrs. S to preform a miracle!  (I hope she is reading this! ha ha!)
 V showing off her back pack.
It happens to be the same one Liv and George used, 
since we only send one kid to school at a time!
 The normal stance.
Feet turned in like the rest of us Stouffers, 
and fingers in her mouth (not like the rest of the Stouffers! EW!)
 Sneaky face?  Hmmmm.
Praying for Mrs. S!
 Not sure what was up with the boy. 
We got these pictures 30 seconds before the sky opened up and poured.
 Ginnie was a little hesitant walking into class, 
but she found her project and started before Mrs. S could even show her what to do.  
 And there she was.  
In school.
I barely got a kiss good bye!
 The big kids, the baby and I went home to start our 3 hours of quiet school.
Maggie played in the freedom of "no Ginnie bothering her" until her morning nap.
George started on an Alphabet order and sound project while I introduced Liv to her new curriculum.
 I love that we do history and science together.
Most of their work is separate, and that is hard for me to juggle.
George can't read yet, so I need to explain all the instructions.
Liv is not very enthusiastic about work, so I need to encourage her a lot.
It is a lot more than the last couple years, but we are finding our groove.
Three hours goes by fast!  
Ginnie does not talk when I pick her up,
the same way Liv and George were.
I don't get it.
I'm stating this now, for the record:
She is up to something!  I just know it!

Friday, September 9, 2011

End of Summer

We crammed in a lot of summer as soon as Troy felt better and school began.
We used a Living Social deal to the Franklin Institute for the first half of the day.
 The older 3 were a little timid at first.  
The MD Science Museum scares them with the loud heart beating and the dark space rooms.  
Maggie was the only one ready to go!
 Then we realized poor George grabbed Livia's shorts!  Oops!
 He kept pulling his shirt way down to cover the decal, but soon forgot all about it.
 Especially when they learned of the flatulating seats.  
(It was an air pressure experiment, not really about passing gas, but that wouldn't be near as funny!)
 Virginia loved whatever she could get into.  
She was ALLOWED to get into stuff!
 The giant walk through heart.
(The only thing Troy remembers from his trips there as a child.)
 Liv and George made paper.
 homeschool project- check!
 Troy took the kids up into the cockpit in the air and space room.
 Maggie hung out with me and had a quick snack.
 I'm so thankful Troy was with us.  
There was no way I could help and demonstrate things while corralling the older 3 and holding/pushing the baby.
 She liked flying ok.
 But would rather pose.
 Then we went to (a very wet) first day of the Maryland State Fair.
The rides were dry, and lines were non-existent! 

 Our little chickens are too afraid to ride anything fast or high. 
Liv was still just short enough to ride most kiddie rides, and Virginia was just tall enough to ride them for the first time. 
Liv and George sat with her most of the time to show her the ropes.

Except when an adult was required.  
Um, I'm not a fan of having to crawl through kiddie rides.
I must love her a lot.
 Troy was on camera duty, so I actually have documentation that I was there!

It was a great way to end summer!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Getting organized

I'm in the process of getting my homeschool resources organized.  There are so many great web pages and sites to help with my little Stouffer Academy.  Sites such as worksheets and more.

I need to do more than make a favorite file of helpful websites and a pinboard on pinterest.  I need sub lists, and subjects to organize my "helpful" mess.  Because right now, it is not very helpful.

As I'm working on this monumental task, I'm searching for more resources. 

My friend Melissa at The Corkboard seems to have this part of her new homeschool life under control.  I adore her.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Remodel Art

Troy has been remodeling the dining room throughout the summer;
between chemo treatments, and when he has had enough energy.  
Well, those times were few and far between so it has taken all summer.  
He is doing the finishing touches this week
just in time for us to set up our school room in there.

We had a little pile of trim and molding pieces the kids were playing with.
 So I gave them some wood glue and instructions to build a sculpture.
Of course I reminded the kids about some of the "trash art" we saw at the 
American Visionary Art Museum this summer.
 They glued and let dry, so they could color it with markers.
 Liv made a home, complete with a landscaped yard.
 She worked the longest on her sculpture.
 George wasn't so convinced his "ship with big gun" needed color.
After all, it was more about function over form.
Virginia's abstract never did get painted because she got punished for something (can't remember) and then we both forgot to finish her project.  
That is a normal occurrence around here. Sigh.

All in all, it was a good "trash art" day.