Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Sauerkraut Revisited

I’m slightly addicted to fermenting. 

Hideaways in History 029 (I think this stomper is so cool.  Old fashioned.)

When we move, Lord willing, at the end of the month, we will need a U-Haul for my fermenting jars alone. 

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Have I mentioned before that we will currently be homeless?  I am 100% sure that God has the perfect location for us.  We just haven’t found it yet. I hope it has a swing set. 

And some countertops.  For fermenting.

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We will have sauerkraut to eat, though!  (You can thank me for that later, Hottie!  At least you won’t die of scurvy!)

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But that is besides the point.  Instead of worrying about where my baby is born, I am investing my concerns into creating bacteria.

It is too much fun.

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I think Smiley thinks this is a little weird, though.  Sauerkraut makes his brothers get along! 

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I bought a new book with my birthday money . . . and I have a whole new world of fermenting possibilities. 


I think I might blog my way through this book.  So instead of the movie Julie and Julia, it will be Jodi and Sandor.  Beautiful.

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I’ll let you know how it tastes, in a few weeks, from the back of my U-Haul.  That would be a picture.  

If you forgot about the last time I made sauerkraut . . . let me refresh your memory.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting Ready: The 90 Day Challenge

Bible in 90 Days- join in July 2010

I don’t want you to miss out.  So I am telling you a week before this Bible event takes place. 

It could be in your own home.

Your favorite chair.

And the perfect cup of coffee or chai. 

I am going to challenge you.  When my bloggy friend, Jolanthe, read through the Bible in 90 days a few months ago . . . at first I was like . . . come on Jolanthe . . . do you have to tell us everything you are learning?  How can you be so stinkin’ excited for 90 days?

And then I realized why her blog posts grated on my nerves (sorry, Jolanthe—hope it makes you laugh, though). 

I was convicted.  I knew that I was supposed to be doing this very thing.

When I found out another round of accountability was presenting itself to me – and I could BLOG about it, I knew I had to do this.

I have already told you how I have been feeling stirred and convicted to really prepare my heart for Sweet Pea’s arrival.  I know that having four children won’t change anything (business already abounds) but yet it will change everything.

There will be another female in the house.  (Mussie doesn’t count.  She’s spayed.) 

Brian ultimately has the role of training our boys in the art of manliness and godly leadership, but I have the honor of raising up a little girl in homemaking, purity, godly submission, modesty, sewing, essentially all things Proverbs 31.

So reading the Bible all the way through takes me pretty close to her due date.  Pretty neat.  Coincidence? I think not.

July 5 is just around the corner. 

Oh, I did buy a new bible for this . . . I found the Bible in 90 Days on  Why Wal-Mart?  It was the cheapest and had this insanely low shipping rate.  (Plus, my sister-in-law had given me a gift card to Wal-Mart for my birthday.) 

You don’t have to buy a new bible.  You can read it on your Droid (like Brian will be), listen to it, or use a piece of paper that has the plan on it that you stick in your old bible. 

But I know what motivates me.  Yes, I know that the excitement of God’s word should be enough, but there is something about a new book, clean pages, a blank slate. 

And I just think a lot of things are going to be happening in the next 90 days.  I want a book dedicated to this 90 day journey.

To find out more, head on over to Mom’s Toolbox

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How Do You Do School? Room

I have mentioned before that I used to be an organized person. 

And then I had kids. 

Now, I am more of a dreamer.  If you are acquainted with a dreamer, then you can empathize with my poor husband.  I start sentences but never quite finish them or I will begin a new thought before I finish the first.  I have multiple projects, books, and water glasses going at once.  I go through fads and drag as many as I can with me.  I like to dream, daydream, imagine conversations that never happen, and make-believe stories while I people watch.  It is a maddening and delightful problem to have occur in your brain. 

Though I am lacking in organizational skills, I simply can’t function when there is a lot of chaos and clutter around me.

So our first few months of homeschooling were jarring, like when I first learned to drive a stick shift.  It caught me off guard because my degree is in education . . . I taught middle school, 4th grade, and kindergarten.  I had efficient classrooms back then.

After asking around, several moms told me that every kid needs a desk.  Why didn’t I think of that? 


You see, we were working at the dining room table (the same one I ate at when I was the age my bambinos are now).  In fact, we did school in our dining room.

It wasn’t working. 

I know that we are supposed to teach our children to share their toys and such, but sometimes too much sharing is just not good.

They needed their own workspace.  And I needed some forced organization.

Enter the IKEA blogging convention.


After my trip to IKEA, the Hubby lovingly built our school room with our purchases.  It has been a blessing, though it doesn’t look nearly so organized as the night we moved out of the dining room and transformed it into a school room. 


I have chosen to show you pictures of our school room in REAL LIFE.  I have not cleaned the place up.  This is how it normally looks.  One caveat . . . typically, I have a map of the United States and the World up . . . but for house showings, that just makes the room look a bit cluttered.


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As you can see, each boy has their own desk with clip on light.  Smiley just joined us a few weeks back.  He kept stealing my chair and eventually would work his way over to Sir Honey’s desk.  I was tired of fighting a good desire, and pulled out a small kid’s folding table for him that we typically use for parties.  He does have his own IKEA desk . . . but it is a little bit too big for him and remains in storage until we move. 

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On each desk, the boys have their OWN set of supplies:

  • crayons
  • pencils
  • tape
  • glue
  • markers
  • stapler
  • scissors

I found that by having their supplies easily accessible, they weren’t always asking for help opening a box. I am trying to teach them to maintain a clean and organized desk.  They are responsible for their things . . . for putting their tools back where they belong. 

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Additionally, the curriculum that pertains ONLY to them, is also stored on their desk in a magazine box (is that what you call them?). 

Worksheets and completed work are stored in binders specific to each child.  You can see Mr. Smackdown’s there on the far right. 


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This nifty piece of furniture has been my life saver . . . not really, but it makes it look like we are organized, when in reality, the mess is hidden in drawers, behind doors, and in boxes. 

Each of the boxes is labeled according to subject or content, such as:

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  • glitter
  • math manipulatives
  • flash cards
  • beads
  • stickers
  • ABC
  • art

Things that I especially don’t want little hands to find are in the drawers, like extra glue, push pins, tape, permanent markers, etc. 

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Five In A Row and Totally Tots books are housed separately from our other books.  I want these books to remain special . . . and nice. 

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I have construction paper easy to obtain, because I want to encourage them to make crafts unprompted. 

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Additionally, I have purchased newsprint paper for them to draw their hearts content out without breaking the bank!

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Mr. Smiley has his own tub of toys to play with during school hours.

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I struggle to maintain organization on this bookshelf.  It houses most of the items that I use for tot trays

Shelf 1:  Melissa and Doug items, Lite Bright, rock box, etc.

Shelf 2:  ping pong balls, alphabet letters, workbooks, basket of random trinkets

Shelf 3:  YWAM missionary biographies, extra curriculum to be used later in the year, teacher manuals, McGuffey Readers

Shelf 4:  music instruments, marble game

When we AREN’T selling our house, our Tot Tray section looks like this:


I try to have 9 trays made for the week. 

The reality is that we are selling our house, and I have had to use this shelving system for storage.  So, I only have three available shelves for Tot Trays.

 Father's Day 018

We keep the pencil sharpener on top and occasionally Neo rests there if we are listening to Pandora or there is something on the internet that I am using to teach.  


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The last component of our school room is the show-off area.  I think that it is important to allow the boys to display their creations.  Not many people have the blessing of viewing their work. However, this wire line with clips provides an opportunity for us to incorporate their work as part of our home in an organized way. 

I suppose I will need to purchase two more lines – one for Smiley and one for Sweet Pea.

And that concludes your tour of our one room school house!  To see other rooms, hop on over to Carisa’s blog and see what other moms are doing for their Tot School Zone.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Got Rocks?

Do you have a rock collection that you don’t know what to do with?  Head on over to Totally Tots and see what we did with our newly acquired rock collection. 

Alphabet rocks 002

I was so excited to write this post and help Carisa out while she was away on vacation. Play With Me is a feature of Totally Tots that gives parents ideas of a variety of ways to use a toy in creative ways!

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Wordless Wednesday: Quiet Love

Even after a triathlon . . . he still makes being DAD a priority.  I’m so glad I’m married to this man.

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For more Wordless Wednesday posts, visit 5 Minutes for Mom

The Heart Mender ~ A Review and Giveaway


When I first started this book I wondered what the hype was about.  Heck, Thomas Nelson had sent me two copies – one for myself and one to give away. 

Because they were taking my review so seriously and wanted author Andy Andrews’ message spread, I paddled along for the ride. 

I ended up staying awake until midnight to finish the book.  I think I had two cups of chai to stay awake the following day.  But it was worth it. 

Not a huge history buff, I still do find myself drawn to stories formulated from our past though.  Events that transform human lives and inspire those of us in the future inspire me to continually live with purpose. 

The Heart Mender is one such book. 

It is a story that reminds me of how we can be in the world but not of the world, as character Lt. Josef Landermann shoes us how he may have fought for Germany but he was not a Nazi.  Based on the lives of two very real people, The Heart Mender demonstrates that triumph and forgiveness are not only possible but achievable, and have the power to transform and influence.

It is a sweet story that transpires from seemingly tragic events, further showing that God can and still does make beauty out of seemingly ugly events.

I encourage you to read it.  In fact, you can win my extra copy!

How can you enter?

Mandatory:  Leave me a comment about what you are planning on doing for the 4th of July.

Extra entries:

  • Follow me on Google Connect (AKA become a fan).
  • Tweet about this giveaway making sure to include @GranolaMom4God.
  • Put my blog button on your blog.

Giveaway Ends:  Wednesday, June 30, 2010 @ midnight.

Open only to US Residents.  (Sorry, I’m paying for the shipping!)

Please note that I was given my two copies for free. I was not paid for this post, nor do I have to return my copies.  Thanks, Thomas Nelson!

I review for BookSneeze

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Daybook (2)

FOR TODAY:  Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.  Hebrews 2:1

Outside my window... it is raining, raining, raining.  How can there be so much moisture and noise coming from one place for such a long time?

I am thinking... it is a miracle that my children have been sleeping through the storms recently.  I am also kicking myself for forgetting to pick milk up at the farm on my way home from book club last night.  Plain tea just isn’t chai.

I am thankful for... a great doctor appointment with the boys yesterday, as our physician encouraged us to keep doing what we were doing --and that we don’t have to go back except for next year’s well visit, unless sickness enters our house.

From the learning rooms... a great afternoon of school yesterday!  Yahoo!  Dinner wasn’t ready last night when the Hottie got home, but school had been completed.  We made butterflies with glitter, read 4 library books, studied and created the Letter X, worked on Saxon Phonics, alphabetized, and kept most everyone happy!

From the kitchen...   I have sprouted wheat berries in the dehydrator, sauerkraut sitting on the fridge fermenting (only because I can’t stand the thought of dumping it just because I don’t like the kelp smell – thanks Bridgett!), kombucha resting in the family room, rye sourdough starter collecting yeast from the air, and one water kefir soda creating bacteria next to Nemo (our goldfish) while the other brew makes carbonation near the sink. 

I am creating... work for my blog designer, Jessica of The Frilly Coconut, to create tabs and a pull down menu to clean up my blog and make it easier to navigate.

I am going... to exercise.  I must exercise.  And try to mail some Paperback Swap books. Perhaps snuggle with Sir Honey.  Visit with my mom.  Teach some school.  Read.  Try to go to bed earlier. 

I am reading... Shades of Morning by Marlo Schalesky, The Bible, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, Shane by Jack Schafer,  and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.

I am hoping... that the people who looked at our house on Sunday will make an offer; that Sweet Pea’s gentle business is indicative of her God-given blessings of being a future wise woman as found in Proverbs 31, and that my new Bible I order for reading the Bible in 90 days arrives today!  Can you believe it . . . I found it online at Wal-Mart! 

I am hearing... my neighbor’s air conditioner, Smiley’s monitor, and the ticking of my grandmother’s clock.

Around the house... it is clean.  And orderly. Thanks to the hubby for doing dishes last night. 

One of my favorite things... is a good cup of chai and a belly that doesn’t hurt from being big.

A few plans for the rest of the week: go to the library, swim, work in the garden, work on cleaning up my blog, planning for school, sew a sling and a wrap. 

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Triathalon 131Smiley is raising his hand while saying, “Me!” in response to the question, “Who wants ice cream?”  By the way, he is dressed up as a train conductor for our Father’s Day celebration at my parent’s house. 

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine (does kombucha count?).  They are to teach what is good, and so train young women to love what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.  (Titus 2: 3-5)

Link up and read more daybooks at Peggy's blog.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tot School


The days of Sir Honey’s Tot School are quickly coming to a close seeing as though his birthday is roughly three weeks away. . . and he will move over to preschool.  I’m not sure how his is going to like that change . . . someone using his trays. 

But I am sure I’ll figure something out . . . probably do a workbox type of system since Sir Honey will be using the Confessions of a Homeschooler ABC curriculum

OK . . . Tot School random moments.

  • Loading and unloading bouncing balls into a milk jar.

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  • Matching the correct color sticker with the correct construction paper circle (or star).

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  • Our teacher store has a bag of colored puzzle pieces to use for art projects.  I had Sir Honey sort the colors.

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  • We have been learning about butterflies in preparation for the Totally Tots post I am working on.  We are waiting for our butterflies to arrive and I REALLY hope this doesn’t turn into a repeat situation that we experienced with our ants that NEVER CAME.   

butterfly 004butterfly 002 butterfly 003

  • My bloggy friend, Carisa of Totally Tots and 1+1+1=1,  blogged about one of her recent number pintables and I printed it right away.  I think it was a tad bit overwhelming to Sir Honey.  So for each number I had an airplane give him some pom-pom balls which seemed to break the work down into more manageable tasks.

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  • And we are trying to finish our uppercase alphabet . . . still.  Here is the letter V for vegetable.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

So I Married a Tri-athlete

I really think that my husband is so cool.  He does things that I could never do and really probably would never want to do.  Sometimes.

He has challenged me to do things that I would have NEVER dreamed of doing like skiing, backpacking, cloth diapering, eating both raw and cooked fish, natural childbirth, loving Jesus, not being ruled by what others think of me, exploring my talents, not being afraid to try something new, eating eggplant, and traveling to India, to name a few.

Be even after Sweet Pea is born, I think I will be content to be his personal photographer for his newest passion.   


Swimming in the open water for 500 meters?  I am more buoyant than him . . . but the cap would mess up my hair. 

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He had never done it before.  But he set about to accomplish the task. 

Biking 10 miles.  OK.  I could do that.  I’ve done that.  Until I fell in a race, broke my ribs, and suffered a concussion. 

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(This happened to be his best event, in case you wanted to know.) 

And then add some running. 

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(I think he looks like Bono, except better looking.) 

That’s my husband.  I am married to him.  Ahhhhhh!!!!  Sometimes I just want to pinch myself.  And then when I capture moments like this . . .

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And I reflect on them as today is Father’s Day . . .

I think . . . and I say right now . . . Hottie, I love you and I think you are a pretty amazing husband, father, and best friend.  Thanks for being an inspiration and a role model to your sons.  I pray that you have a great Father’s Day and see how dearly you are loved and appreciated by your family.  

Thanks to everyone for reading my slightly mushy post. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

If You Give A Mom A Book

After my marathon day of blogging yesterday . . . I am typed out.  But it is If You Give A Mom A Book day. 


And I didn’t want to disappoint you all . . . because I know that more of you are going to link up this week! 

In our household, it has been VBS week.  Two huge praises that are a direct result of our church having VBS are

  1. I have gotten to spend way more time with Mr. Smiley – something that he almost never gets except for bed times.
  2. Mr. Smackdown and Sir Honey have talked MORE about the songs and stories at VBS, than the snacks.  That is HUGE!  They are feasting on the Word of God instead of man-made snacks!  YES!!!!!

OK . . . one more. 

I have gotten to fellowship with other moms significantly more this week. And it has been nice. 

School?        . . . has pretty much been nonexistent. 

We did go to the library yesterday . . . got some points . . . sold those points for one of those nasty-geko I’m overly processed and going to upset your stomach because of my fake colors pieces of candy, a bowling pass, and one wiggly porcupine that Smiley refuses to touch.

So we’ve read some books . . . but I’m blogged out.  I’m photo-edited out.

I’m going to make it easy on myself. 

These are the books we read this morning before VBS:

  • Billy Twitters and his Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett (slightly humorous book about a boy who is forced to drag a blue whale around due to not obeying his mother).
  • Froggy Rides A Bike by Jonathan London (I really think that Froggy is an unthankful creature, but Mr. Smackdown thinks Froggy’s way of saying thanks in frog-speak is “yippee.”
  • A Kiss Goodbye by Audrey Penn (part of the Kissing Hands series I told you about – great book if you are getting ready to move to a new home).
  • Delilah D. At the Library by Jeanne Willis (fun book about a little girl’s imagination at the library, obviously).

And on my personal shelf, I started SEVERAL books and plan to start the ones I haven't started.  Will I ever learn?

  • The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
  • The New Hide or Seek by James Dobson
  • Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore
  • Say Goodbye to Whining by Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller
  • Keep the Sibling, Lose the Rivalry by Todd Cartmell
  • The Sunny Side by A.A. Milne
  • The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews
  • Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Susan Buckley
  • Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson

What did you read?  Check out my guidelines and be sure to link up!

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore

Beth, I am so sorry it has taken me so long to read and review your book, So Long Insecurity


But I’m struggling.

Maybe if I saw you in person.  Or read it with a group.  But this time around, I’m just getting lost in all of the stories and adjectives and words.  There are a lot of words in this book. 

I know that I struggle with insecurity.  But I’ve been trudging through your work – countless years of work and struggle for yourself.  You’ve spent hours compiling information, asking opinions, and really looking into your own soul.

But I just can’t recommend this book.

Any other book of yours – especially your Bible studies. 

I heart them. 

I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  And know, you have impacted my life in MANY other ways.  You have been and still are a good mentor to me.



This book was provided to me for free to review by Tyndale House. I was not paid for this post (obviously). 

The Daniel Fast ~ A Review

Fasting . . . that is a topic that people often don’t want to talk about like tithing. 

But Jesus mentioned that He basically assumed that we would fast when He left.


The Daniel Fast, by Susan Gregory, is a new look at fasting . . . well, not really new.  It is a fast like Daniel did.  You know, the guy who spent the night with the lions?

Susan Gregory has eloquently explained the purpose of fasting (for you, not for God), guidelines, and even some recipes. 

Sometimes people will tell you that you can fast from other things . . .

After reading this book, I would beg to differ.  The Hebrew word for fasting is tsoom which means “to cover the mouth.” 

Yea, her book is full of good little nuggets of truth. 

Truly, I think this is a great book.  Informative.  She doesn’t just tell you to fast.  Susan Gregory describes her journey, provides scripture, lays out a plans, wrote a devotional, and gives you suggestions for a food eating plan on this particular type of fast.  She even gives you her personal email! 

Check out Susan Gregory’s website!

This book was provided to me for free from Tyndale Publishers.  I do not have to return this book, nor was I paid for it. 

FYI – New Seeds Worship Album

Just so you know . . . here is a little heads up.

For those of you parents (and you don’t really even need to be a parent to enjoy ANY worship CD from this group) who enjoy listening to Seeds Family Worship with their kids . . .

a new album is coming out . . . in November . . .

And now you know.

You can become a part of the excitement. 

New to my blog and you don’t know what Seeds is?

Each Seeds CD focuses on a specific topic (courage, faith, praise, purpose, and encouragement), using scripture to encourage families to understand what the Bible says about each. This album will focus on scriptures that highlight the character of Christ--encouraging families to focus on developing the character we see exemplified through Christ in scripture. This is better than any man-made definition of good character.

I also wrote a blog post about it.

Yet another reason you might want to start accumulating your Seeds Worship albums . . . Totally Tots is going to start using them for our In My Heart series. 

Why am I letting you know?  By supporting this ministry, you

will help raise the funds needed to record and manufacture this album by inviting you to buy the CDs in advance and enjoy the process of creating with us. As always, the CD will include our signature buy one/give one packaging--providing you two identical CDs with every purchase.

Enjoy!  Tell them Granola Mom sent you!

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