About familyplushomestead

a homeschooling family from the midwest, trying to share the ways we do it.

Life goes on

in spite of not blogging,  life is at work.

life is constantly changing isn’t it?  A friend lost her dad yesterday, a mom lost her son this last week.

you are never guaranteed any moments in time.  take this time to say “I love you.” to those you love.  spend that time together.  Make special memories together.  Be with those you love.

In James 413-15 it says “Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”… (New International Version)

sand time

The year of 2014 was filled with dramatic changes in our lives.  We  added the parenting of 2 more children to our clan permanently.  Brian went through an unplanned job change.  We lost our church family of 10 years.  We added a business that has completely changed our lives. School has changed, even the farm is facing changes this upcoming year as we look ahead.

But in the 2015 mode – we’re taking each day at a time, remembering that we plan our steps but it is the Lord who gives us each moment.

Be blessed,

Amanda

Advertisements

A Science We LOVE for homeschooling – Christian Kids Explore series

So, we’ve been using the Book Series Christian Kids Explore for over 9 years in our local homeschool cooperative.  We do the 4 books in the cycle 🙂

Christian Kids Explore Biology

Christian Kids Explore chemistry

Christian Kids Explore Earth and Space

Christian Kids Explore Physics

(Affiliate Links)

Well ~ the deal is, the content is easy to use for a big family.

It covers multigrades and you can expand it!  If you have littles, add some fun readers in the same topics 🙂   The Biology is probably the easiest, so if you have the younger ages – (grades 2-6) start there! The Physics is the hardest, think my edition is labeled grades 4-8.  You can really easily help kiddos on either end get a great exposure!

It is awesome hands on 🙂   (this is the inner core, outer core, mantles and crust!)

image1 image2

image3

(plate tectonics!)

If you love homeschooling and hands on application of Science, consider this great series!

Peaches- cut, sealed and finished.

This song was going over and over in my head

Like a fool, here I am.

Bought too many, for me to can.

Oh yah, baby… here I am, cut, sealed and finished.

Ummm.  in that time that I spent over the stove. 

I just thought about to cry.

seen a lot of produce in this world.  

Here I am, cut, sealed and finished!

image (1)

We actually did 250 lbs –  each quart jar has on average 2lbs of peaches.  We did 108 quarts so some peaches may have been harmed in the making of this blog post. (Eaten, they were eaten).  Little piggies are happy,t hey had some skins. 

Peaches are one of the easier canning items to do.  You blanch them first (dip them into boiling water) and then immediately put into ice-cold water to stop the cooking process of the peach.  You then peel (having blanched them, the skins come off easily.)  Cut them in half, pull out pit, then cut into your size chunks. (Ours are sliced.)

Fill your jars and make simple sugar syrup to pour over the top:  I follow this guideline (from simplycanning.com) 

  • Light – 2 cups sugar to 1-quart water
  • Medium -3 cups sugar to 1-quart water

You can also make a syrup with honey if you don’t want to use processed sugar.

  • light – 1 1/2 cups honey to 4 cups water
  • medium – 2 cups honey to 4 cups water

then you water bath or pressure can according to your times. 

Yum! We use these weekly ~ cobbler or baked oatmeals!! 

Blessings!

Amanda 

Weeds…

I’ve been embarrassed.   I’m not posting any cutesy garden pictures or photos of amazing garden bounty this summer. 

I can’t.  My small garden can barely be entered and my large garden feels like a jungle.  

This is my facebook status:

“So today I spent hours and hours out weeding my garden. Anybody driving by might wonder why someone would let their garden get that out of control. The truth is ~ anybody at anytime can let their spiritual life get that far out of control too, and you can see the weeds just the same!! Pride, Mockery, Sarcasm, Anger, Frustration.. all signs you are growing weeds.
The reality is we can see those weeds also in other people’s gardens and lives.
This is going to be random but have you ever driven by someone else’s garden and went “Wow, they have big weeds!” with a sense of relief, that you aren’t the only one. Talk about a plank of wood in our eyes.
Nothing like just hanging out with lots of really tall weeds to give you some thinking time. It’s therapeutic so if you want to have some therapy – call me – I can share my space.”

((HAHA do not google pictures of WEEDS when it’s after midnight and you are exhausted – you might leave off the s and then you might not get the picture you wanted. This post will be Weed FREE – oh my funny!))

The reality if that life is sometimes different then the way we plan it to be.  In my head, I can still do it all – the garden, the canning, the home-making, add in the mom-ing, the wife-ing,  the homeschooling.. oh Lord, fall is upon us!  Now the full-time (plus?) working…  I love every single aspect of all of my life (except toilets – with 4 little boys! Cleaning toilets I do not love anymore.) but I CANNOT.get.it ALL.done.

and some of it is so obvious, like the weeds.   (tall enough to lose small children in)  Don’t worry! We counted at bedtime.  I spent hours and hours today weeding, and I feel like I gained some control.   And other of it not so obvious,  spent an hour today hanging with a little guy who needed mom time.  

Harmony is still a work in progress.  What do you have to let go off?  (May I recommend it not be cleaning the bathrooms?)    

What about you?            Making any progress?  

Harmony Vs Balance (for the WAHM)

I keep pursuing this infinite theory of balance.

scale of justice

If you spend an hour on your business, you have to spend an hour with your kids,  if you spend an hour playing, you spend the next hour scrambling around to clean or figure out what is for supper.. and Heaven forbid! if you spend an hour vegetating, vegging, what is this word where you sit and chill you spend the next hour regretting it.  The life of a WAHM is never done.. the to do list is endless!   (can I just add in homeschooling – seriously… let’s just end this blog post now while i get back to work?)

At the Young Living Silver Retreat this weekend, a Royal Crown Diamond  (Cherie Ross) gave us instead the idea of Harmony.  To me, harmony is where you work at what you are working at with all that you have in that time and that no matter what you’re doing, doing that thing.  It’s not harmonious to be checking text messages at the dinner table, it’s harmonious to be talking with your family.  It’s not harmonious to not have laundry done.   It’s not completely in context but it truly is how I want to live…  Colossians 3:23 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, (NASB) 

I have lots of parts of Harmony to work on, in this transition to full-time WAHM from SAHM but just knowing that it isn’t balance in the everyday minute but harmony in my life is actually a thought process that will help me a lot!

Blessings!

Amanda

Exploring the Universe with my kids (A Mom of Master Books Review)

Scan0003

So we got this book and we are extra thrilled to review it this month because we’ve been able to do some in the series already!  WE did Water & Weather before and these 2 combine in an AWESOME package called Science Starters: Elementary General Science & Astronomy which includes a full year of science for 3-8th grade.

We are DONE with school for the summer so I let the kids read out of the book and look at the experiments to do also. Busy moms are going to LOVE that you can do these experiments with things that are already around your house!    Moms of many are going to love that your family can do this as a group, my 1st grade boys hung through our reading!  Moms who have made Creation a priority are going to love that it is 6 day Creation Science and it constantly brings what other people have thought about astronomy and astrology back into line with what God’s Word says.

My favorite part is the making connections – constantly tying the pieces together of the Bible, History and Science together.

While my children definitely do not want to do more science right now ~ this is a book I can see us using in the fall! If you haven’t pulled your science books for next year yet – Check out the amazing sets that MasterBooks has pulled together.  They are impressive!

PLP

 

Thanks to Master Books for letting us review their curriculum!

moms

Blessings, Amanda

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moms Of Master Books Review ~ Illustrated Family Bible Stories

I had the neat opportunity to review ~ Illustrated Family Bible Stories.

family illustrateed bible

 

This is what Master Books has to say about it:

We live in a visually oriented society where people learn from a blend of both text and images. This collection of events focuses on balancing both to bring new life to teachings from Scripture. Illustrated Family Bible Stories is a full-fledged spiritual and educational work of art highlighting:

More than 200 Biblical accounts, psalms, proverbs, prophecies, laws, and letters
The daily life of people living in the Old and New Testament times, as well as plants, animals, and Bible landscapes
Who’s who in the Bible, maps and diagrams, a Bible quiz, and more!
With the help of maps, photographs, and diagrams, the ancient cultures of the Bible are set in a context that can be readily understood. In addition, specially written teaching helps to educate today’s young readers and new believers in understanding the Bible’s meaning and its relevance for everyday life.

 

This book was given to me to review by Master Books

moms

This may not be my deepest posting.  We read most of the book.  We enjoyed the parts that explained the Old Testament and the New Testament and what made them.

As far as the Bible stories themselves go, i prefer to stay away from Bible “stories”  because

a) I don’t want my children to think that the Bible is made up of make-believe

b) I am always worried, frustrated, etc. to look at what is added or subtracted to/from the Word of God.

However, Master Books publishing has always been true to the Word of God and publishes authors I really respect so I read it.   What did I think?

I felt this is a book that could be used with little children that does not distract them from the Truth of the Word.  In each section, it tells which scripture it is pulling the abstract from.  I and the children alike enjoyed the pictures – they were ethnically appropriate to the area geographically.

The older children really enjoyed all the added geographical and historical information that gave back ground to the story.

I personally like to stick to reading just from the Bible itself but i could see this being a good addition to a family study, or  a GREAT place to start. We read our Word daily, and i praise God that even the youngest boys recognized the stories.

There is a Book and a Treat Facebook party coming up later this month, April 29 at 7 pm Central Time, where you could win cool prizes — and discuss the series too.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free from New Leaf Publishing Group as part of the Moms of Master Books program. No other compensation was received. The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.

Young Living Safety Guidelines

Source:   https://www.youngliving.com/en_GB/discover/safety-guidelines

This is such important information.  Keep in mind that ultimately we all take personal responsibility for our oil usage.  This is the official Young Living Safety Guidelines and a great piece of information to save!

Safety Guidelines

Young Living essential oils are cultivated to be as pure and potent as possible. We strongly recommend you read individual label instructions and the following guidelines to ensure safe use of essential oils:
The orifice located in the oil bottle opening helps you follow correct dosages. It also helps prevent small children from accidentally swallowing large amounts of essential oil. If you suspect that a child has consumed a large quantity of oil, give them milk and seek medical advice.
Seek the advice of a health professional before topically applying any red-drop oils to children (see application chart).
When applying a new oil, test 1 drop on a small patch of skin first (e.g., on the underside of the forearm). Skin sensitivity is highly individual. If the skin feels hot or turns red, apply a vegetable oil (V-6™ or olive) to the area to dilute and follow dilution instructions on the bottle for future uses. Washing the area with water is less effective.
Use only 1 new oil at a time to determine how your body responds. Wait 30 minutes before applying another new oil.
Certain oils may sting the eyes and other sensitive areas. Essential oil residue on the fingers may damage contact lenses or cause eye discomfort. If accidental stinging does occur, put 1–2 drops of pure vegetable oil into the eye.
Avoid putting essential oils directly into the ears.
Pure citrus oils may compound the effects of sun exposure. Limit prolonged exposure to direct sunlight for up to 12 hours (up to 24 hours for angelica and lime; up to 48 hours for bergamot) after applying these undiluted essential oils to the skin (see orange-dot oils on the application chart).
Cosmetics, personal-care products, or cleansers with synthetic ingredients penetrate the dermal layers of the skin. Avoid applying essential oils to areas you use these products, as it may take these chemicals deeper into skin, fatty tissue, or the bloodstream.
Avoid using essential oils on skin that has been damaged or affected by chemical burns.
When adding essential oils to a bath, first mix 5–10 drops of essential oil to 1/4 cup of Young Living Bath & Shower Gel Base or Epsom salt and then add to running water.
Limit the diffusion of unfamiliar essential oils to 10 minutes/day, increasing the time after determining their effects. The length of time should depend on the size of the room and potency of the oils (see application chart).
See individual label directions or check with a health professional before using essential oils if you have a serious medical condition or are pregnant, nursing, or planning to become pregnant. DO NOT use wild tansy, clary sage, sage, fennel, wintergreen, or hyssop during pregnancy.
Consult a health professional about any serious disease or injury. DO NOT attempt to self-diagnose or prescribe any natural substances for conditions that require professional attention.

Vacation ~ Great memories

We’re home now! We’ve even been home long enough to catch up on laundry and for 14 people that is amazing!

 

4.5.14 014

We took the tunnels down to Virginia Beach! We loved the tunnels.4.5.14 036

 

Both grandsons LOVED the sand.  We picked a gorgeous day to find the water.  It was the warmest day of our vacation!   This was a fun first!

 

4.5.14 110The horse girls from Iowa loved the horses on the ocean.  This might be on the list for next time!

 

 

Reality show??

Well we are finally on our way home. My friend tells me we need a a reality series. Our vacation was a series of disasters!

We said goodbye to what was affectionately called the green pickle after we put $400 worth of parts in, when we determined it was going to cost is 2500$ more and we weren’t sure that would fix it!!

Our vacation was held up for many days until we found a replacement but we were at a gorgeous place with good options and nice friends 🙂

We are finally on our way home –

>

20140322-110453.jpg

In meantime, we has troubles with the hitch, ended up taking us 3 days on 2 different states to get done! This was not our plan. Good thing we continue to rest in His plan alone.

>

20140322-110708.jpg