Sunday, November 29, 2009

Fancy That!

My mom came over for a visit this past Saturday morning.  We were not able to spend Thanksgiving together and, as she was going to be in the area doing some shopping, we decided it would be great if she came over to do some "catching-up." 

As she was due to arrive at 10:00, I just assumed I would serve her some coffee and leftover pie (check out the recipe here).  Around 9:00, inspiration came upon me - why not have a simply fancy lunch?  My children had neglected to eat breakfast, so we could eat a bit earlier than usual so my mom could still get her shopping done. 

The menu - peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, bananas, juice, cider, and chocolate ice cream (kids) and pie (mom & me) for dessert.

"Um, Victoria, I hate to tell you, but that sounds anything but fancy!"

Yes, but it's all in the PRESENTATION!

(OK - here I must apologize.  I will be discussing presentation without any pictures to illustrate as I dumbly have forgotten for the 400th time this week to recharge my camera batteries.  So sorry.)

First, my daughter made the good ole American PB&Js and then cut them into shapes - dinosauers for the boys and hearts for the girls.  I realize that cutting sandwiches into shapes leaves quite a bit of wasted bread, etc., which is why we don't do this often.  (If you have any suggestions on how to creatively use the crust "remains" please leave them in the comments.)  She then stacked the dinos on one glass plate and the hearts on another.  So pretty.

When it was time for lunch, I brought out my good dishes and peeled the bananas before placing them on the plates and serving.  Everyone got a very pretty stemmed glass from which they drank either apple cider or sparkling juice (grape juice mixed with Sprite).  An everyday lunch served on special dishes, makes for a pretty fancy meal.

When it was time for dessert, I dished up the children's ice cream in some pretty glass sundae dishes that I have tucked away and drizzled their scoops with chocolate sauce and topped it with whipped cream.  They were so happy.  Mom and I used the dessert plates from my good set and ate our delicious warmed apple pie.

Simply fancy.  It made my mother feel welcomed and my children feel special.  Having guests for lunch no longer appears complicated.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Question for You

I need some help. 

We are beginning the busy holiday season.  As most homeschool families have experienced, the daily schedule seems to get as mixed up as a box of Christmas lights this time of year.  I know the obvious solution is to not over-scheudule ourselves.  However, that often means turning down ministry opportunities, which can be more valuable than book lessons. 

I live in a state that requires quarterly reporting.  I know my kids are learning even on the days where their "formal lessons" are not possible, but try explaining that to the superintendant.  So, my question is:

How do you accomplish "real school" in the midst of many busy days of "real life"?

Please leave your suggestions in the comments.  I would appreciate it so very much!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just Walk Away from the Lesson and No One Will Get Hurt!

Did you ever have a day when your child seems to have a total brain-block against something?  Yesterday, my almost-6 year old son just could not get the words correct on his reading page.  He was learning the "s" sound at the end of the word.  i.e. cats  However, he kept switching the last two letters of EVERY word he was reading.  i.e. cast  Talk about frustrating.  At one point, he just had a bad attitude and began crying.  I sent him upstairs to rest until he could come back down without getting upset.  When he came down, his attitude was a bit better, but those pesky letters kept switching around on us! 

What do you do?  With my first child, I would prolong the agony until the early evening hours.  "It's not that hard.  You just need to try."  However, I have learned that nothing is accomplished that way except for tempers flaring, hair loss, and an increased loathing for education.  Now, we just put the lesson aside for the next day.  Which is exactly what we did yesterday.

This morning, we opened up to the reading lesson and, lo and behold, the letters stayed where they were supposed to be!  He didn't miss a word.  At one point, he stopped and said, "Now I'm getting it!" 

We didn't fall behind a day in our lesson.  The lesson was to know when to walk away with the intention of trying again the next day.  God's mercies are new every morning - even in the trials of a 5 year old's education.  All was bright and clear today - especially his smile!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Just a quick post to make you aware of a great website:  The Coupon Mom.  A friend of mine "introduced" me to her and she has really motivated me to save some money on my grocery bills.  Not only is her site great, but if you go HERE, you can see her in action.  Be aware:  it takes a little while to get your act together where you're really seeing some great savings.  Don't get discouraged - be persistant!

During the holiday season, it's a blessing to be able to save money wherever we can.  Happy Savings!