Saturday, November 10, 2012

Better-for-you oatmeal cranberry cookies

These sound good:

From Market Pantry applesauce

better-for-you oatmeal cranberry cookies

hands on time: 15 min. 
total time: 25 min
makes 20 cookies

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 natural applesauce
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 Cup whole wheat flour
1 Cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup white baking chips

1. Heat oven to 350.  In large bowl, mix sugar and butter until light and fluffy.  Add egg, applesauce, cinnamon and baking soda; mix well.  Slowly mix in flour until just combined.  Stir in oats, cranberries, and chips.
2. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly.
3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until lightly browned.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet.  Remove to wire rack.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Expectations and Purpose

Expectations are important to know.  At least they are for me.  When I know what is expected of me I feel a sense of purpose and thus relief in my spirit.  One less unknown in my life remains.

 I don't enjoy unknowns.  Well, mostly I don't.  I like surprises.  But surprises aren't unknown in the sense that I have one extra thing to think about.  Which makes me wonder why don't I treat what I don't know as a surprise awaiting my discovery.  Maybe I would peacefully let more things free to wander from my mind until that great moment that I discover them again.  However, when it comes to what someone expects of me, I don't want to be surprised.  I want to be equipped to reach my full potential.  I want a goal to reach towards.

God's expectations of me are far beyond my reach.  Jesus said in Matthew to be perfect.  Often times I wonder what exactly does that mean.  How can I possibly be perfect?  I haven't come to a theological answer on this yet.  I am uncertain that this is something I am to fully understand in this life.  I know that I am to strive to meet his expectations.  I know he loves me as I am trying.  I know his grace covers the distance between my imperfection and the perfection he wants from me.  So, I will press on each day towards perfection while receiving large portions of grace.  I will rest in knowing that he is cheering as I grow towards meeting those expectations.  I will also spend some time seeking what other expectations he has for me. Although I have not attained perfection, I believe God sees me clothed in the body of Jesus who is perfection.  In Jesus I have perfection.

I want to extend the same grace given to me by the blood of Jesus to my family and friends.  While I have expectations for them, I choose to delight in their pursuit of those and cheer them on as they work toward them.  I choose to make my expectations clear in a loving way.  I choose to focus on the positive, turning the negatives over to God in prayer for or with that individual.  I choose to remember that they really don't have to meet my expectations at all.  In reality, I shouldn't be expecting anything thing of them.  I should be living my life in a way that directs them to meet the expectations of God.  Hmmmm.  I think I have some more thinking and some behavior changing (my own behavior) to do. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Expectations unvoiced = frustration and tears

God is my strength.  He has given me everything I need to be a mother.  Yesterday I did not feel like I could mother anymore.  I felt beaten down - a failure.  Wondering if my children would survive my plethora of mistakes and learn anything at all, God sent me some messages to remind me of his power to spur me on for today.

These children in my house are just that -- children.  I can't expect of them what I would expect from an adult.  They look to me for love, acceptance, and learning.  Even though they often teach themselves, they still need me at times.  And boy do I need them in order to learn many lessons God has for me about trying to control my own life.

When I get to the boiling point I need to stop, take a breath, and relax.  I printed off a poster to read when I do this.  Today I have already forgotten to do this.  So sad for me and my son. Acting out of hurt and anger, I spewed some ugly words.  I was trying to point out what I needed him to do differently.  Instead I ended up using a lot of you words that ended him and one other son in tears and me asking for forgiveness.  I am so thankful for the forgiving hearts of my children and my God.

So now I am thinking I really need to voice my expectations for each thing we do.  I don't enjoy having to spread it all out for every little thing but maybe life will improve for all of us if I will try.  I'll let you know how that goes. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today... Research & Worksheets

 I've been thinking it is time for some worksheets to enter my 2nd graders life in order to give him a bit more routine and an answer to the I don't know what to do statement that has arisen from our free flowing home school life.  Here is what I found:

This site looks really helpful for finding great worksheets that we can do aloud together or they can do alone if I am needing a worksheet day/ week/ month.  I'm even thinking about the membership though I've already printed several of the freebies!

Second grade reading comprehension weekly passages:

Art Lessons

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ok.  So the laid back watch the kids for clues idea only semi worked today.  My body really needs a routine although my mind doesn't like having one.  Compromise needs to happen here so that my child and my adult (inside me) can get along well and accomplish good things. 

Where does the compromise happen?  I need a daily routine that can be flexible while scheduling in some non routine time.  Time to just let life happen I guess.  But right now so much seems scattered.  I will take time to sort through it and get back to you on how I plan to tackle this issue. 

A brief update on the rest of today:

Ben worked on figuring circumference and areas of circles.  Allen practiced multiplication facts online.  Charlie worked on his addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts aloud with me.  We all read Little Men together (Ben had to read the last part on his own due to misbehavior).  I read from My Guinea Pig to Charlie.  I read from The Hobbit to Charlie and Allen.  We all read from our Bibles but did not discuss today.  I think I will ask them about it at bedtime.  We also watched the construction across the street from time to time, watched the plumbers go in and out of our house while putting in a new water heater, watched Word Girl and Maya and Miguel, played Wii, encouraged "Tiger" the guinea pig to get comfortable with us by offering celery (She came out and took it from me!)  Now the boys are all off to Tang Soo Do. 


It is 9:06.  Allen and Charlie have logged reading points and discussed friction and heat after watching some workers outside construct a metal building .  Allen has dictated a book review (typed by me).  Ben has practiced washing a shirt by hand and learned how to treat an oil stain on his shirt.  Now he is off to read his Bible, start his Biology Study Guide, and practice some guitar.  Allen and Charlie are making a fort in the large tree branch that daddy cut down this weekend.

I am thinking of using this day as an experiment.  I want to stay relaxed.  I want to love on my children.  I want to enjoy the day the Lord has given me.  Watching my children as they move through their day will be my main objective in deciding what comes next for them in their learning today.  I will be keeping my goals in mind: daily Bible reading (summary and discussion included), read aloud Little Men (discuss vocabulary and narrate), Guinea Pig study (read together from My Guinea Pig and observe the animal), practice math facts (computer maybe).  I also would like to discuss their character goal and how to keep developing it.  I haven't talked with them about this since last month.  I think this needs to be placed on higher priority than math or science.

So, here I go to soak up the day and my family!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

One Thing at A Time...or maybe two or three

Time for some reflective writing.  I have been reading many blog posts about starting up a new routine in anticipation for developing ours for the year.  The last three days we have established somewhat of a routine: Get up and have breakfast and morning jobs finished by 8:30.  Bible Reading/ Journaling/ Discussing were next. Then a trip to the park.  Reading aloud occurred sometime after the park.  We also did chores around lunch time.  The rest of the day was all mixed up with various things like shopping, picking up vitamins, free time, cooking, Bible class, parties.  I think I will make a graph of what we did to help later. 

I think I need to spend more time thinking about what I really want from our days and our next three months.  I know I want my kids to be engaged in learning.  I want them to go after things they are interested in that will increase their ability to do those things and their ability to learn things in the future.  I want them to gain the confidence that they can find out whatever information they need to help them be successful in useful activities.  By useful, what do I mean?  I mean something that benefits the people around them in our home, in our church family, in our homeschool group, in our extended family, in our community, in the world.  I want my boys to spend the majority of their time serving others or learning to do things that will benefit others.  I want them to do things that will show God's glory to the world around them.  Serving themselves with computer games and TV is irritating to me.  When I see them spend so much time on it, I view them as lazy.  I get disappointed that they can't think of anything else to spend their time on.  Then "mom guilt" sets in.  "Maybe I haven't exposed them to enough interesting things to do," I think to myself.  It tires me to think of how to stir them into activity without forcing it upon them.  I am a whole picture type of person.  When I can't get the whole picture, frustration sets in and blocks the view of how to accomplish any tasks that will lead us to the end result I desire.  One thing at a time should be my motto.  That is how I am wanting to school anyway. 

So what will that one thing be for this next week?  I want to keep going with our morning routine, Bible reading time, and read aloud time.  Things I would like to add are jurisdictions and getting all of the morning routine done before 8:30 without any reminders.  These fit into my healthy home goal for our family.  So many times when I have the boys help me with chores (I will from here on out call them "service opportunities", a term  I got from, groaning ensues from my children and impatience and perfection rise in me.  I forget that this is part of training my children which is more important than book knowledge by far.  It is also an opportunity to for me to love and serve my children if I teach rather than demand and guide rather than pick out everything they did wrong.  Now if I can let this be enough for next week.  My personality prefers to jump in and change everything at once.  This has never really worked for me without many tears and dramatic fits raging through the house.  So, I will do my best to keep it to this for next week. 

I am still uncomfortable with them spending all of the extra time playing on computers.  I need to work on a solution to this problem.  I will think on that later today.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Boundries and Goals

Today we spent some time assessing how to move forward and accomplish our goals for our family and ourselves.  Jeff and I sat on the porch.  I did most of the talking and he listened as I sorted out the frustrations and desires that were in my head.  After listening and seeing that I wanted input, he did some talking and suggesting what to do next as well. Below is some of what we came up with.
Most important areas of our family life:

1. growing relationship with God
2. growing relationships with each other
3. growing relationships with others (cub scouts, GRACE, Sunset)
4. creating a healthy home (taking care of our physical home inside and out including gardening, yard, and   house care)
5. performing arts

We are planning to use this as a guide for what to include and not include in our days.  This will be our "school" in a sense.  Whatever we decide to teach our children will stem from these areas.  If it doesn't fit these, we will do our best to say no.  It is a place from which to spring forward in our scheduling and daily living.

I have been feeling unmotivated yet anxious to move on to a routine this week.  I know I need to set some boundaries for myself in order to move out of this murky place of feelings.  So, in that regard, I have decided to start slow and concentrate on getting the amount of water I know I need each day in the way I know I need it as well as exercising and spending at least 30 minutes relaxing.  I think 3 things instead of 10 - 20 or just 1 will work well for me.  And as far as a routine for the kids and I during the day..... I will write more about that next time.  I need to get myself to bed.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Life Planning

Planning life for the next few months has me thinking.  Here are some ideas or websites I may use:

The Three R’s by Dr. Ruth Beechick

Bible, Library, Internet!!!

Trust the Lord to give us what He wants us to have.
Remember many hands/minds make light work!

Character notebooking pages

Variety of notebooking pages -

Lessons from the hen house (using your backyard flock to teach all subjects) -

Math worksheets (all ages) -

Math teaching website with videos/ practice/ worksheets 9.95 per month if you want badges (can do some practice and watch videos free) -

Math teaching website, no videos, just practice with explanations if you get something incorrect (can do 20 practice problems per day free) 9.95 per month, $2 per month each for extra children -

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Words From My Week

Lame Man
Be Still
special moments
more friends
love and logic
Blind Side

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

  • In my life this week…we have spent a lot of  time visiting with friends and watching NBA basketball finals (My son was loving the Thunder!  He was quite sad with the outcome).
  • In our home school this week…we spent time daily reading our Bible, taking notes, and discussing our reading (though we forgot to discuss a couple of days and didn't read on Monday morning).  We read several books together that were very overdue to the library.  I wanted to read as many as I could before paying a ton of late fines.  The boys spent a lot of time on Mine Craft as well.  Since I haven't been on it myself, I am not exactly sure what they are learning there (a little about using primary resources to make things, I think).  I know I spent some time looking up words that the kids didn't know as well.  We also learned some character lessons about patience in finding lost things (my keys at the grocery store), worthwhile ways to spend our days (They each made a list.), why the I pod touch can be a problem.
  • I am inspired by…my husband's diligence in weeding the garden and his patience with my weariness this week.
  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…  Allen and Charlie's friend, Nicki, came over and helped pull weeds Monday morning.  Our good friends, the Morris family, came over Monday afternoon for a long overdue visit.  So glad we got together and refreshed our friendship!  Tuesday we were blessed to have a newlywed couple over for dinner and conversation.  We also spent time with the cub scouts at the drive in Friday night (We saw Brave.) Other highlights include: Tang Soo Do, Mom's Prayer Group, and playing at the park on Thursday morning with friends. Today Charlie's friend, Sammy, is here for the afternoon.  Ben has spent a lot of time online with his friend, Zane.  Later today we are meeting for swimming, worship, and discussion time with our small group.
  • My favorite thing this week was…being with friends and walking at night with Jeff.
  • What’s working/not working for us… Walking in the evening with Jeff is working great for me because he helps me keep at it and it is so nice for us to get out of the house and talk.  Not working so great for me is getting up and going to bed at irregular times.  I have been tired and frustrated a lot more this week.  Also not working is the amount of screen time used in the family this week.  I have been trying to let the kids monitor themselves but their 3 to 4 hours is too much for me.  I miss my kids.
  • Things I’m working on… finding a balance between trusting the kids to make good choices for their daily activities and giving them boundaries that don't take away that trust.
  • I’m reading…The book of Isaiah.  I just finished The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma which is a very interesting story of a girls reading journey with her father throughout her years of elementary, middle, and high school.  I would recommend it to any parent who wants to build a strong foundation in literacy while forming a special bond with their child.  Each chapter is a short portion of their relationship during what they call "The Streak" (The dad read to his daughter every night before midnight for at least 10 minutes until she graduated from college.)  Being well written and interesting as it spoke to many different stages of adult life as well as childhood, it was often difficult to put down.
  • I’m cooking…basic foods as much as possible.  So, I am still cooking as little as possible.  It's just too hot to add more heat in the house.  This week I made fried chicken with no breading fried only in butter with a little salt and pepper on it, pan fried steak, chili.... wait, I guess I've been heating up the kitchen quite a bit.  I guess since we don't eat much bread the meat has to get cooked somehow.  We have had taco salad, tuna salad (tuna with mayo and mustard mixed in), scrambled eggs, egg casserole, muffin cake, porridge, and even frozen burritos. 
  • I’m grateful for…patience from family and God, mercy, forgiveness, hugs, kisses, friends, air conditioning, and a home.

  • I'm looking forward to... my children's performances at the end of music camp this week, White River Youth Camp starting next Sunday, visiting with more friends this week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

  • In my life this week…I have been blessed with the return of my precious children.  They were gone for 10 days from home. 
  • In our homeschool this week…we read each morning from Matthew, Romans, and Isaiah.  We shared together out loud what we read about and what stood out to us after writing in our spirals.  We also started a daily math review and began listening to "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" on audiobook.
  • I am inspired by…my children's determination to do what they set their minds to do.  Two of them are trying to save money to buy an Ipod Touch.  Pulling weeds at .10 per minute and finding things to sell have consumed a good amount of their time this week.
  • Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…most of our family next week.  We will head to OKC to spend a bit of time with my brother and his family before he moves to Seattle.  Then the boys will head over to Foss Lake for a campout with the rest of the Rader men. 
  • My favorite thing this week was…discussing God's word with my children each morning. 
  • What’s working/not working for us…letting our hurt feelings hurt others (talking about my family of five here, especially myself).  When we get hurt we try to make others hurt as well until they apologize or change their ways.  We end up pointing out all the bad in them thinking we might change them.  It never makes things better to dwell on our hurt feelings or make the other person feel bad too.   Although it can help to apologize and talk things out.    It also feels better to know we are doing the right thing (loving others) even when we have been hurt.  I can't make someone else change but I can love them anyway or choose to stay mad/ hurt until they change (which may be never).
  • Things I’m working on…knitted wash cloths.  Grandma has requested some new ones and I am happy to work on them.  It is very relaxing for me to knit.
  • I’m reading…The book of Isaiah, The Knitting Sutra, and The Reading Promise
  • I’m cooking…as little as possible since I have been sick with a cold for 9 days.  Thanks to my hubby for the cooking and cleaning he has done!
  • I’m grateful for…the blessing of God's peace in following his ways.
  • I’m praying for…reconciliation of family members: that hurt feelings will not allow them to show their love for each other and that forgiveness and mercy will flow much stronger than disappointment.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Interesting Online Learning Games

Here are two games for learning about good citizenship.