Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In the Kitchen - Apple Dumplings

Ashleigh & I recently made apple dumplings, after our trip to the orchard. I had found what turned out to be a great recipe. Was simple & easy. All I had to do was peel & core the apples & slice them. Then with some guidance, Ashleigh was able to do the rest.

First you peel & core 2 granny smith apples. Cut apples into 8 slices each. Next, roll each apple slice in a crescent roll. (takes 2 cans crescent rolls)

Place in a 13 x 9 buttered pan.
Then melt 2 sticks of butter, add 1 1/2 cups sugar and barely stir. (did I mention this is the lowfat version? :) heehee) Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, stir, and pour over apples. Pour a 12 can of mountain dew around the edges of the pan. sprinkle with cinnamon. (you can see the row on the left-side of the pan...where Ashleigh got a little crazy with the cinnamon. she wasn't expecting it to come out so fast. I had to scrape it off!)
Bake at 350 for 30 - 45 minutes or till golden brown and crispy on top.

Apple Pickin' Time

A couple weeks ago, we went to an apple orchard. Sorry I am just now getting pictures up and posting about it. It was one of those spur-of-the-moment field trips. You know, where your friend calls and says "hey, do you want to go to an apple orchard with us? In about 15 minutes?"
Seeing as we had been searching for a u-pick apple orchard, we jumped on the chance.
We traded in our textbooks for some hands-on nature study.

Logan was very impressed at how handy the apples were. Right there, ready to eat.
Ashleigh loved using the "picker" to reach the apple near the top.
One of our friend's Dad, helping Ashleigh put our apples through the washing machine.
The apples went down a conveyer belt, were sprayed with water and tossed with brushes, coming out clean and sparkly on the other side.
We got to sample their homemade apple cider. Picked 10 pounds of apples. Was a gorgeous fall day.

We then spent the rest of the week reading apple themed books. Like "How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World" by Marjorie Priceman. And "The Apple Pie that Papa Baked" by Lauren Thompson. I planned on doing a lapbook on apples, but plans went a little crazy and hasn't happened yet. We'll see.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

This was our first official week of kindergarten. Ashleigh was so excited. When the missing workbooks arrived last friday, she wanted to start then. It was so hard for her to have to wait all weekend! So Monday we started. I didn't feel fully prepared, but knew I couldn't hold her off any longer. All in all, I think it went very well. She only had to be reminded twice to stop talking when I was trying to.

Logan had high-chair time. I tried getting him used to it a little bit at a time the week before. But he still wasn't completely thrilled.
I had several different activities hidden away for him. Things he had never seen or played with before. Magnetic farm animals & board. New crayons & paper. Large beads & yarn. Some little toy dinosours. I only let him play with one activity at a time, for about 15 minutes (unless his interest waned before then). And then I would trade it for something different.

Ashleigh loved math. In fact, she didn't want to stop after just one lesson. So we did two! I love that she loves learning. I am excited to learn about her as we get further into this. Seeing how she learns best. Seeing what interests her, and how she applies herself to different things.

Monday, as I was helping her write something on the chalkboard; I felt a tug at my heartstrings.

......And I knew.

THIS is what I have always dreamed of doing!

As a homeschooled child & teen, I knew I wanted to homeschool my kids someday. Then so many years went by, plans don't happen like you dream, I finally met my prince, we started a family. And I wondered & questioned my desire to teach my own kids. We decided to try it and take it one year at a time.

Then to get that reassuring tug...that feeling of warmth & amazement. It was sort of a deja vu' feeling, to when I used to play pretend school & I was the bossy teacher for my little sister and nieces.

What a blessing it is to be able to do this. I am so honored to be my children's mother and teacher.

"Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you'll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth." Deuteronomy 11:19 (The Message)

What higher calling could there be?? Then to love & teach our children about God. To raise them on purpose, for a purpose.

What an adventure it is going to be!!!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Young Christian Academy

I think this will be the name we choose for our homeschool. Maybe not that original, but it seems to fit.
We are also trying to find a verse for our school. There are so many. I love Ex 18:20 and Psalms 78:4.
I decided I can't stress over it. We have the entire Bible to teach and admonish us. We may even do a different verse every year...we'll follow His leading and know what to focus on.

So here we are! Almost ready to begin our 2nd year of homeschool. I feel like its our 1st "real" year, since last year was pre-school and we weren't very scheduled with it.
This year Ash will be in kindergarten and Logan will be pre-pre-school :) We'll also be involved with our homeschool support group this year and co-op classes on Thursdays.
I am using the Charlotte Mason method as my guideline. We will be reading a lot of living books. Something both kids will enjoy. Lots of outdoor play and nature study. Again, something they can both do together. New chore charts & handiwork tasks. As well, as we'll be using Rod & Staff textbooks for her for phonics, reading, & math.

Our summer break was great. Simple and relaxed. I feel refreshed and ready to hit the classroom. I have the year mapped out. Lessons planned, divided and scheduled. I've written out our goals, what I feel we need to accomplish and be learning from all this.
Of course it will most certainly change and flex with all that comes up in our everyday adventure of life. But we have a guideline, a base, a place to start, a goal to reach towards!

I love the beginning of a new school year when everything is fresh. Notebooks are begging to be written in. Books to be read. And new crayons...oh, the smell of new crayons.
I pray that the excitement will last. That I will be diligent to keep God in the center of all we do (verse or no verse). That I will remember to keep an eternal perspective each and every day, pointing my children to Christ.

It's labor day weekend. Then Ash has her 5th birthday. My parents will be down for that event.
Then, next Monday, school will officially be in session!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

My new blog

Hi...to all who view this blog. As you can see I am still in the process of setting it up.
If you would like, you can view my other blog http://myviewfromglenridgecottage.blogspot.com
I use it for many things....and decided it was time to start a seperate homeschool blog. Hence, Young Christian Academy.