Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Our almonds are completely raw. So they had some dirt on them. I washed the dirt off and looked for rocks.
I dumped my freshly bathed almonds into my sprouting jar and filled it with filtered water.
Now, to soak your almonds you DO NOT need a fancy jar with a mesh wire lid, such as mine. My mom “happened” to give this jar to me. I do recommend a large jar like this—BUT a 1/2 gallon Mason jar works nicely and so does a Pyrex bowl. When I don’t have a mesh lid, I cover the top of the jar with a clean wash cloth and secure it with a rubber band.
Sprouted almonds are supposed to be rinsed 3-4 times a day. Hold on to the lid, pour the water into the sink, rinse off the almonds, dump the water, and add more filtered water.
Allow your almonds to soak until you see a 1/8 inch sprout at the tip of your nut. Your almonds will have almost doubled in size.
Cute little itty bitty tiny whinny sprout . . .
Time to dehydrate the almonds. If you do not have a dehydrator you can store soaked almonds in your fridge for 2 days and eat them raw. Or place them on a cookie sheet and dry them at the lowest temperature your oven will allow – anywhere from 12-24 hours! You can add salt or seasonings to your wet almonds.
Notice the difference between a sprouted almond and a store bought almond. They do taste different. I personally only like soaked and sprouted almonds.
And remember soaked and sprouted beans, nuts, and grains are nutritionally better for you. By soaking you are allowing the plant to basically pre-digest parts of itself to make it easier for your body to digest and make the nutrients readily accessible to your body.
Monday, December 28, 2009
My sister-in-law introduced me to this odd combination of ingredients and it has been a hit in our family and in many homes with brand new babies ever since!
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups cooked kidney beans or similar bean (I recommend sprouting and cooking your own beans for a higher nutritional value)
3 tbls chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
4 tsp prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tbls fermented soy sauce
4 cups cooled and mashed sweet potatoes
12 whole wheat sprouted tortillas, warmed
8 ounces (or more) shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sautee onion and garlic in coconut oil (butter or olive oil) until soft. Stir in beans and mash (often I leave them whole). Remove from heat and stir in chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
Mix in mashed sweet potatoes, Evenly distribute mixture beteween the warmed whole wheat flour tortillas. Top with cheese and fold up burrito style.
Bake for 12 minutes and serve. You can garnish with sour cream or even use a side of Ranch salad dressing.
These burritos work great when you skip the heating process and wrap the burritos individually and freeze for a later meal.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
We have been blessed with two snowfalls that have had some accumulation.
A recent snowfall took the Granola Boys outside. They built Frosty.
But Frosty is JUST a story. Like Santa.
Apparently not. But I love my children's imagination.
I'm thankful that Jesus is more than a story. And there is proof that He existed.
It is my prayer that as you celebrate Jesus' birthday, that your time with family, friends, or even strangers would resemble the wonder the shepherds experienced upon seeing the tiny baby that would radically affect history and change so many people's lives.
God bless you. And please know, if you ever have any questions about God, my faith, or where you should begin to search for answers, please contact me, a Biblical pastor, or even some of my bloggy friends. I don't have all of the answers, but I read the Book that does and love the God who knows everything. I also have an amazing husband, who answers most of my questions!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
When we lived in India, sometimes we were honored with the name Auntie or Uncle. It was a special term of endearment that a child bestowed on an adult if they really liked or respected you.
Meet Mr. Smackdown, Mr. Me-Too, and Mr. Smiley’s Auntie who is in town for Christmas.
Auntie has been in my life since my sophomore year in college. We met in a group called Student Christian Fellowship in college, became accountability partners, prayer partners, roommates, and eventually were in each others weddings. Now she and her husband are my hands and feet in places that the Lord has yet to call our family to live.
I warned her that yesterday was a school day . . . and the boys put her to work immediately with reading books while I prepared our Christmas crafts.
We made a snowflake craft sparked by Confessions of a Homeschooler.
And all the boys created (yes, even Mr. Smiley was involved) an angel handprint craft from Valerie’s website, Little Blots of Faith.
Any day is a good day when there is glitter involved.
Our morning with Auntie concluded with a reading of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I have a feeling that this could have been a rough and hectic morning, but with help from Auntie . . . it was perfect.
Even Mr. Smiley participated in the morning’s readings . . . pretending that he was reading a book aloud to us!
Monday, December 21, 2009
In fact, there was a time when I remember having Quiet Times (definition: a time devoted to reading your Bible, doing a Bible study, praying, or journaling to the Lord -- kind of like a date with God) that lasted 1 1/2 hours . . . and I didn’t have a hard time staying awake.
- I was doing pretty good when Baby #1 came. As Mr. Smackdown took his morning nap around 9 or 10 AM, that is when Mussie and I snuggled on the couch with my Bible.
- After Baby #2 came, my Quiet Time gravitated towards 2 PM during the boys’ afternoon naps.
- Now that Baby #3 has been with us for 20+ months, my Quiet Time occurs at any time I can squeeze it in. (Lately, I have been getting up around 5:30 AM, though.)
However, once Mr. Smiley gave up his morning nap . . . and became interested in grabbing objects while nursing . . . spending time with Jesus became an acrobatic act juggling working out, homeschooling, sewing, blogging, loving on my kids, cooking wholesome meals, dating the Hottie Hubby . . . .
One thing that has always remained, though, is reading God’s Word to my children. No matter what, this has always occurred, and at times has sufficed for my snacking in God’s Word. I firmly believe that any amount of God’s Word that we can ingest throughout the day is beneficial. God says about His Word,
so is My word that goes out from My mouth:I distinctly remember my pastor’s wife telling stories of having Bibles placed all throughout her house so that if there didn’t seem to be time to have a respite in the Word, she could grab a nugget of truth as she passed through a room. Additionally, she read a chapter a day from the Bible to her babies while they played.
It will not return to Me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
These were wise words. I don’t have Bibles open throughout my house, but I do read to my children each day . . . and I would encourage you to.
Most every morning, after breakfast and the dishes are loaded into the dishwasher, the boys grab their cups of milk and I my chai and we traipse upstairs. They acquire some toys and play quietly while I read a chapter to them from the Bible. Currently, we are working our way through the Book of Job. When I am finished reading, I turn on their AWANA CD or some other gospel-like CD to train them in the importance of having a time of rest and reflection each day.
For nap time we are reading Tyndale House Publisher’s The One Year Devotions for Preschoolers 2 by Carla Barnhill . . . and loving it.
I am really enjoying this little devotional. I chose to review this cute book because I wanted to see if it would be something that I could pass on to you.
Sometimes knowing where to begin with your children in the ways of God can be overwhelming. Many times I have had people question me as to why I read an adult Bible to the boys . . . let me remind you why:
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
Perhaps the thought of reading an entire chapter in Leviticus is overwhelming and you just KNOW that there is no way little Jimmy is going to sit still for 20 minutes . . .
It is for this very reason that I wanted to share with you this cute devotional book. The stories or “devos” are short, Biblical, and to the point. My boys have loved the precious pictures and I have been AMAZED at the discussion some of the “devos” have produced. I have included pictures of my two favorite nap time readings thus far.
So . . . as you are doing your last minute Christmas shopping, I want you to consider about making a New Year’s Resolution – reading the Bible to your children. Pick up this book or a new Bible while you are out! (In fact, you can even order a free Bible from certain websites – not that I would know.)
Carve out a time each day to teach your child truth – God never changes.
His Word, the Bible, never changes.
The Bible is an amazing book that helps you parent, and provides courage to children scared of the dark or monsters in the closet. It teaches them how unique and special they are.
But if you really just don’t know how to explain God to your children, are nervous, feel silly, I highly recommend The One Year Devotional for Preschoolers 2. Begin January 1st . . . read a page a day.
You will be blessed. You will have meaningful conversations.
Friday, December 18, 2009
It helps if you can read. Or if mom will stop fermenting or sprouting or doing some kitchen endeavor and simply read the prompts to you.
That aside . . . it is great.
Have I told you what Mathletics is yet? No, I haven't. Oh dear me.
Mathletics is a web-based learning program that integrates home and school learning via the internet; it is one of the world’s most used educational websites. As an online learning resource it is the next generation in learning, helping students enjoy maths and achieve outstanding results.
Mathletics is a subscription and each annual subscription is for one child, as it's an individualized learning path for each child, keeping track their results and progress as they work their way through their individual grade curriculum. Each child also earns points as they are individually rewarded as they achieve mastery of concepts.
An individual subscription to Mathletics is $59.00 per child per year. If you know the Human Calculator's Favorite number, answer is '9', you can purchase a single child subscription for $49.95 per child per year. To purchase go to www.mathletics.com and put in the answer '9' then click submit to receive this special price.In a nutshell, it was easy for me to hand over my computer to Mr. Smackdown (and even Mr. Me-Too) to use Mathletics. Some of the activities they could do on their own, but others they needed constant help. And it wasn't the Granola Boy's fault . . . we just haven't progressed that far yet in phonics.
Next year . . . once we have more practice with sounding letters out I would certainly think of purchasing a subscription to practice our math skills. It would be nice to be able to let Mr. Smackdown play independently while I worked with his brothers. In the end, I wrap up my review by saying that Mathletics is an easy program for the kids to figure out . . . is fun . . . is engaging . . . and even somewhat personal!
But I'm not.
I may be a decent playwright at best (I can't be an actor because you aren't watching me right now--praise the Lord). I can talk a good lingo and nod my head. I have a few html tricks up my sleeve . . . many of which I learned from being a part of The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Crew. But when it comes down to it, I learned it all from my husband or Google answered my question.
But when it came to understanding the product we were given a 3-month free subscription to . . . I must admit that I was a little stumped at first. I didn't understand what exactly Tektoma did . . .
What is Tektoma?
Tektoma is dedicated to providing children with high quality tutorials to teach game programming within a secure, monitored website. It is a perfect avenue for homeschooled children to learn advanced computer skills.
- Engaging video tutorials for ages 7-17 (I watched one!)
- Tutorials of varying skill levels and topics (I stuck with the basics.)
- Learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home
- Natural progression helps develop technical skills
- Customize your learning experience
- Low monthly membership fee gives access to all our resources ($14.95/month or $140/year)
- New curriculums available monthly
- If you have questions while creating, members have access to a Member Forum, Tektoma blog, or they can just send an email.
Creating my own computer game doesn't hold a whole lot of interest to me . . . but people often say that to me about Twitter, or blogging, or sewing, or gardening. They don't see the fascination. I think these must be the people who play golf. Just kidding. Although, I don't understand what is so exciting about golf or baseball. Give me football any day, even though I have yet to understand the game . . . sad for a woman whose husband played football well into college.
- Currently, the tutorials are for computers running Windows XP or Vista only. Macintosh versions coming in the future.
- Broadband internet connection
- Any browser should work, but make sure it is a current version
Click on the Homeschool Crew banner to read other reviews on this product.
Classical music is like a sustaining book. I imagine that Winnie the Pooh enjoys a good orchestra.
Maestro Classics has managed to equally yoke a sustainable story with sustainable music. They sent me a Story in Music . . . The Tortoise and The Hare.
Stories in Music™ is "a collection of works for symphony orchestra and narrator designed for children ages 5 and up." Maestro Classics offers 7 classic (or sustainable) stories, one of which is available in Spanish. According to owners Stephen and Bonnie Simon,
Each CD is a combination of music and educational information designed to give the listener ideas on what to listen for and how to listen. It is the "backstage pass" into the minds of the author and composer, the creators of the work. The included background information helps train the ear to hear the music in a significantly different way when the CD replays the entire story in music for a second time. Following this second performance, the final track is an Accompaniment Only karaoke track, which gives everyone the opportunity to experience the joy of performing - complete with applause.I'm going to share an example with you that may throw you off guard, but bear with me. I am not a wine drinker . . . but on a trip to California with my parents when I was still under their tutelage, we toured many wineries. Though incredibly bored at the time, I now recall the amount of time the winaries spent lecturing their patrons on the fine art of sampling, drinking, and forming an opionion on the quality of wine.
I hope not to offend, but to me, Maestro Classics Stories in Music™ is like non-alcoholic wine to my ears. The CD provides a rich and poignant classic full-length story, a history of the story that also includes Aesop's version of the The Tortoise and the Hare, a lesson in music, and a chance to sample the full story again but experience it with greater understanding. It is my kind of pairing--quality music with a great story.
Maestro Classics sets out to do three things:
- expand listening horizons -- by introducing young people to an orchestra's magical sounds and
awe-inspiring power in order to help them understand that music can be dramatic, can paint pictures, and is often filled with humor.
- hone listening skills and accumulate musical memories -- The musical discussions will sharpen listening skills of children and adults alike, the discussion of the story will promote conversation about human values, and the musical work will leave each listener whistling a new tune.
- encourage adults and children to listen to music together -- The very young will listen for the story, the slightly older child will enjoy the music, and the adult will be surprised how much he/she has learned.
You can order one or more of the Maestro Classic titles at their website for $16.98.
I was delighted to review this product for FREE. I gave you my opinion. I didn't have to give you a positive review to read, but I did. So . . . let me know what you think. I love it when people respond to my reviews.
Click HERE and it will take you on over to Healthy Moms where the drawing is taking place! Networking is a pretty cool thing.
The scene: an early but quiet morning.
Up for work, the Ox plowed toward
his breakfast in the manger.
But, in place of food, he found
a perfect Little Stranger.
What did you read this week?
If you don't know what a Sustaining Book is check out my first blog post on this topic, If You Give a Mom a Book.
- What is one book that stood out to you this week?
- What was the title of the book, and who were the author(s) and illustrator(s)?
- What conversations did it spark between you and your child?
- Did the book come up randomly in conversation at some point causing your child to create an application on their own?
- Set the scene—where did you sit?
- Did you have anything yummy to eat or drink while reading?
- Was music playing?
- How did reading together help your day?
- What was the story about?
- Did you like the illustrations?
- What was your favorite part about snuggling?
- Why was your book a Sustaining Book?
- Link up 1x a week. My goal is to post every Friday.
- Pick one book—your favorite book from that week.
- Use any one of the suggestions I listed above to include in your post.
- Grab my button on the sidebar to compliment your blog post.
- Enter the exact blog post address in Mr. MckLinky!
- Leave me a comment that you linked up!