Monday, December 21, 2015

Which Middle Earth Character Are You?

I was looking online for some Lord of the Rings books, and got trapped into the ever expanding void of the internet.

I came across the Buzzfeed which Middle Earth Character are you, and of course I had to take it. What else would I do on a Monday aftenoon 4 days before Christmas?

Here's what I got:

You got: Wizard

You are a bit of a loner. An unpredictable rogue. People are simultaneously intimidated and enchanted by your wisdom, power, and party tricks, which is why you tend to get a pass for all of your meddling. And you do a lot of meddling.

Not too shabby if I do say so myself!  I've decided to reread the books and watch all the movies.  
In my spare time......

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Christmas Shopping & 100 Books Done!

I finished my Christmas shopping.  This makes me feel quite accomplished because now I don't have to fight the crazy crowds in the last few days.

Christmas Click Frenzy  funny, Christmas, ecard, online shopping, spending:
This was not me so I'd say success for sure!  (Although I was tempted a few times!)

We went light this year because of the pool membership, but I did a fair amount of shopping year round for things on sale so there wasn't a whole lot I had to get.  Every year I struggle with Christmas though.  It really does take away the celebration of Jesus' birth and focuses on ourselves as we all get excited about presents instead of the God who came to save us.  This will probably always be a struggle for us.

I finished my 100 books!  The 100th book I read was Being Mortal by Atul Gawande who happens to be a surgeon and comes from two parents who were also doctors.

Get yourself to Amazon and buy this book immediately.  (The library waiting lists are too long.) One of the best books that I have ever read.  It focuses on how medicine doesn't deal with death in a meaningful way and how healthcare, old-style nursing homes in particular and doctors pushing new medicine that mostly make things worse because we throw so many things at people that don't work or make us physically worse all in the name of getting a few more days of "life".    Don't be scared. This is not about death panels.  I am not even describing it well at all, but if there is one book you by for 2016 make it this one.  It will make you reevaluate all sorts of ideas on what the end of your life looks like and more specifically, what you want it to look like. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

What We're Changing In Our Homeschool

Because we homeschool on a year round schedule, our kids change grades at random times compared to public school.  Owen will be heading into 4th grade after the New Year.  We're shaking his schedule up quite a bit.

He currently does Rod and Staff for grammar.  It's a pretty tough curriculum put out by the Mennonites.  But there is a lot of things that just don't happen anymore like diagramming sentences. and while I am not in the "grammar is dead" camp, I think he can use something different.

Read this grammar article for some laughs.  And also this:

LOL!!!!  Grammar. The difference between feeling your nuts and feeling you're nuts.:   Use of said walking trails is taken very seriously in these parts.:

He also uses Rod and Staff for spelling.  Starting in 4th grade, the lists are all in cursive, and while Owen learned cursive, we'll be emphasizing computer typing more and so will be changing up his spelling.  I am not sure what we'll use yet.  He is a terrible speller.  Like the worst, and I need to research this a little better.

I think for Owen we'll be doing Learning Language Arts Through Literature, which is a curriculum that combines all the things that encompass Language Arts into one curriculum based on literature excerpts.  I have a friend who does it with her more challenging boys and they love it.

Kembia technically entered first grade, and I am once again piecing together a curriculum.  She's doing Horizons 1st grade math, and then I think we'll use First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind.  To be honest, I don't really like the program, but we have it, and I think it will work well for her.  We're also doing All About Reading Level 1, but we haven't been great with it, so once she finishes it I think we'll start it again from the beginning.

Truitt will be in first grade probably in the next couple of weeks, and he'll just use what Kembia uses. His reading is progressing a lot faster than hers because he wants to read every single day.  Mostly because you get to put a star sticker on the lesson chart saying you finished and he loves that part.

Ava won't hit her next grade (mostly 10th grade stuff, with the exception of math) until later in April, so I have some breathing room before we make curriculum changes for her.  They just changed our state Math requirements from allowing Algebra 1 to be a high school math curriculum, to needing it before you enter high school.  She is super bummed about this because it means a whole other year of math for her.  Such is life.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Barefoot Contessa: Rosemary White Bean Soup

I'm not super familiar with the Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa.  I've heard of her, of course, but that's about it.

Enter her books checked out from the library and I came across her recipe for Rosemary White Bean Soup.    I happen to have a dying Rosemary plant in my bathroom right now, so it was good timing.  I altered her recipe and used can beans instead of dried, and a lot more of them than what she called for.  My hubby isn't big on too much broth without substance, such a sad shame.

Pic from her cookbook.

So good, my kids ate it up and requested I make it again.  And since I have to use the plant up I think I'll make a bunch and freeze it.  Here's my version (original at the link above).

Rosemary White Bean Soup

- 4 cans white beans
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 6-inch piece of rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 cups chicken stock

Saute onions in olive oil for about 10 minutes, add garlic and cook for 3 minutes.  Add rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil, simmer for about 30 minutes.  Mash some of the beans to help thicken.  Season with pepper and salt.  Serve with crusty bread and parmesan cheese.  Would be good with ham if you had some laying around.  I didn't, but maybe next time.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Unpopular Names and an Awesome Name Ring

Did you know that you can go to the Social Security website and type in a name and it will tell you if it's in the top 1000 since the year 2000?

Ava and Owen we knew were way up there. (4th for Ava, and 28th most common for Owen).  But when we named our two oldest these names weren't even in the top 20 list.

However, all three of our littles, Kembia, Moyz and Truitt don't even make a crack at the top 1000.  I feel a little better about that!  Enough to safely say that I don't think they'll ever crack the top 1000 much less the top 20.

And definitely I want these rings with my kiddos name on them.

Totally want these! My friend Heidi makes them and they're gorgeous and she's amazing! #CPMoms #CafePress:

5 names and the spacer bands would cost me $140.  Not cheap, but certainly fun and different.