Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I hate humidity. I look like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet.  Or that I am trying out for a movie, to play a roll as a lion. And that is all I have to say about that.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Quinoa & Veggie Dish - Gluten Free and Yummy!

Recently I was browsing online, hunting for gluten free recipes, and I came across one that looked like something our family would enjoy. It has certainly become a favorite for H4 and me, and H1 and H3 like it as well (except for H3 picking out the carrots). I have added in chicken, just because our family enjoys it, but you can leave it out for a vegetarian option.

1 cup quinoa (I use the pre-washed stuff)
2 cups of chicken stock or water
16oz bag frozen mixed veggies
1 can (15oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 and 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced onion ( or you could cut up a small onion, but I'm a bit lazy)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken, pre-cooked and cubed (I use about 1lb, and cook it in a bit of olive oil on the stovetop over low heat with salt, onion powder, and ground thyme)

In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil and add quinoa. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until almost all the liquid is gone. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium and add garlic, onion, black beans, and the frozen mixed veggies. Cook about 15 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring as needed.  Add quinoa and chicken to the skillet and add salt or pepper if needed. I have found with using the chicken stock, we don't need much salt.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Changes For H3

When I started blogging again after a break this summer, I mentioned that there would be some changes coming up, and this is that post I promised.

This past winter, my husband approached me about H3's schooling. She's learned so much over the last year and is well above most 4-year-olds, academically. Her photographic memory makes it easy for her to learn and she absolutely loves school.  To say that she is a challenge is an understatement. With her love for learning comes an interesting social dynamic that we have had great difficulty learning how to work with.  Her personality as an extrovert is very different than my own, and she is high energy to boot (most in the health profession have commented on her above-average activity level and questioned a possible diagnosis of hyperactive, though I maintain that she is just a happy and bouncy child).  There is no question that homeschooling has been good for her and is something we plan to pursue in the future. 

That being said, H1 asked me to consider sending H3 into school for one year to see if some of her social difficulties would work themselves out. He felt that it would be best for her to experience a year in the school system. Most places we wouldn't consider it, but she would be in the school across the street from where he teaches, be taken to and from school by her parents, and this is a school system that still prays. Not kidding. They pray before sports games and faculty meetings, and often don't give homework on Wednesday nights because they know that the kids go to church. It's an unusual system, and I'm thankful for it! The first year my husband taught there, he was getting ready to start his first middle school basketball practice, and one of the kids spoke up, "Hey coach, aren't we going to pray?"

Anyways, after a lot of prayer and consideration, and asking counsel from close friends and family, we have decided to apply for H3 to attend school for one year. At this point, we intend to pull her out and resume homeschooling after this year. This year will also give me the opportunity to work with H4 a bit. She hasn't developed very far in making sounds, most likely because her older sister does all the talking for her! H4 is highly inquisitive and I plan on doing a form of Tot School with her this year.

School will begin for H3 on September 3rd. Since she has already passed all the information for kindergarten and is well into first grade at home, she will most likely be a bit bored in the kindergarten classroom into which she is being placed. I have purchase material to teach her outside of the regular school day. Since she will be spending her days in the classroom, my methods will be a bit more unorthodox, and I will try to document those as best as possible in case there are those who are looking for ideas on educating active children.

As we begin to navigate new waters, we would covet prayers for wisdom. I am still feeling anxious about sending my child out, but I know God is even more interested in her development than I am.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tea Party

While Auntie Amber was here, we decided to have a tea party.

H4 was helping to get things ready.

Our table set-up: cupcakes, blueberry cookies with raisins on top, crackers with cheese, biscuits with blueberry jam, peanut butter & nutella sandwiches, grapefruit, muddy buddies, and maple tea

Excited about her tea party

Hope you are having a fabulous first day of August!


Blueberry Picking and Jam

I confess that I've been spoiled. For the last few years that we have been picking blueberries at this particular farm, it's been $1 - $1.50 per pint. They have been some of the sweetest blueberries I've ever eaten. It's a family owned farm and we love the place!  This year, I felt a bit of a whine begin when I saw they had raised the price to $2 a pint. Still, I decided it was worth it to go and pick a few. Auntie Amber came with us.

Mommy, I'll pick it but I sure won't eat it!

Auntie Amber and Amberlyn at our orchard

When we got home, I decided to spend a couple hours making blueberry jam. I've never made it before, and I have to say that it turned out a lot better than I was anticipating! Yummm!

I use a recipe from, and I've always found that website to be one of the best for tips on canning and freezing, not to mention finding local farms!