Friday, September 28, 2007

Chicken a la Pharaoh III

Here are the pictures I promised. This is the Pharaoh today as we took him out of his salt containment. We were all delighted to see that he had lost some weight and had shrunk. Unfortunately we didn't have our scale until this week so I didn't weigh him last week. But his weight on the package was 4.17 pounds. Today he was 3 lbs. 7 oz.

Here he is getting repacked in salt. And no I didn't buy new bags and yes they ripped again.

Here he is in his resting place for the next seven days. Still no smell and looking good!!!


Mike's coming home!!

Mike will be home tonight! He has been away for the last couple of days at the Innovate 07 conference at Granger Church in Indiana. It is a great time of refreshment excitement and I am so glad he had the opportunity to go.

With that said I miss him so much!! He left Wednesday morning for work and we haven't seen him since. It is so hard for lots of reasons.

First, I love him so much and he is my best friend. I will never be and have never been one of those women I hear who "just need a break" from their husbands. He is my best friend and I never need a break from him. I love talking to him and spending time with him and just hanging out. He is such a fun guy to be with!

Second, the kids miss him so much! He is such a great helper to me that when he is gone we all feel it. We eat together every night we can as a family and the kids miss him being at the table. That is when we talk about our day and hang out. I hope the kids never lose their love of the family meal. Also, he is the bedtime guy. He does a great job of it. I am horrible at it. Usually by 8 I am done for. I have no desire to be kind or friendly to anyone under the age of 21. But that is when Mike steps in and gets everyone moving and into their designated sleeping spots. Prays with them and does all the final last comments that must be made before bedtime. I sit back and listen and enjoy but don't have to partake. It works for us.

And third, Mike works second shift around here. Without him here there is no resting. I have to do night patrol, lock the house and listen for danger and children all night long. I don't like to do that!!

I do have to admit that I cheated on Wed. and took the kids to my great friend Paula's house. her hubby was out of town as well so we had a giant slumber party. Paula and I stayed up late and watched movies and talked and then I slept like a baby because I had someone else to listen. Thanks Paula!! Then we let the kids play all day (they had school off for some crazy reason and so we took the day also) went to the park and to Ci Ci's pizza for all you can eat pizza so we didn't have to do dinner last night.

But even though I wasn't alone the whole time I still miss my guy so much!! Get everything you can from that conference then come home to me sweetie!!


Monday, September 24, 2007

Why I Love My Curriculum

I was looking around on the website of Tapestry of Grace today and it is pretty cool! It has some really nice helps on it as well as message boards and support.

I was reading through some of the past message boards trying to find a supplement worksheet for the book Seth is reading and I found this entry by a parent asking why they were using the literature books they were using for Ancient Egypt. They were quite upset about the books because they include talk about the gods of Ancient Egypt and they felt that it wasn't right to be exposing their child to these other beliefs.

The response from a staff member at Lampstand was this:

"At Lampstand Press, we seek to teach children about these other beliefs, how they differ from God's word, and how we can compassionately answer those who oppose our faith. Now of course, we're not likely to come across any ancient Egyptians, but the basic premise of being able to recognize and identify falsehoods, as well as to stand firm against them, is the goal in this regard.To that end, we try to incorporate such things on an appropriate level. An upper grammar student should be able to recognize these falsehoods, although he probably won't be able to analyze them and make connections between these false gods and the ones mentioned in the Bible. However, this is a step in that direction.When my boys were that age and we read about these other beliefs, we prayed for people today who believe in a similar manner. I believe that it helped my boys be sensitive to the lost condition of others' souls and be able to respond in a way that will ultimately bring glory to God."

I think she said it so awesomely!! That is totally my goal. Our kids need to know that their belief system isn't the only one out there and be compassionate and loving to people who have differing ideas. To pray for them and treat them kindly. I think if we bring our children up to be ignorant of other belief systems we will be harming our kids hugely. I want for our children to truly understand what they believe and why they believe it and make their faith their own. Not just what mom and dad believe but what they believe.



Chicken a la Pharaoh II

I am delighted to report to all of you who are anxiously awaiting a smell update that as of today the Pharaoh still smells of cinnamon! Trust me I am delighted at this little smell fact! It is going to be nice warm day today, which I am so happy about. Can you believe 90 degrees for the high??!! That is awesome for me and for Pharaoh!! But then tomorrow there is a drop and it is going to get cooler. I will have to find a warm place for the king.

That would be a shame if he froze, wouldn't it?


Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chicken a la Pharaoh

Wow! Who knew that mummifying a chicken would be so....messy.

We got up and got most of our other school work done. The kids had told their friends about the mummification about to happen and what do you know, the public schools had the day off yesterday. So at 1 o'clock when we decided to start our work on our Pharaoh, in came neighborhood friends. My four kids, plus three additional little girls, set to work mummifying dear Pharaoh.

We washed the "body" dried him inside and out and stuffed him and covered him with Rosemary and cinnamon.

Then I got out the Ziplock brand bags.

I need to stop here to say that I specifically bought name brand bags this one time thinking that they would be better, stronger than the store brand. Let me just say you won't see me on any commercials for Ziplock any time soon. We got the chicken in the bag with four containers of salt and right as I was about to zip up the bag, it ripped.

So I poured the salt into another bag put the king and his ripped bag in another bag and preceded to zip it up ripped.

I was covered in Cinnamon, salt and chicken by this time and the kids had most definitely lost interest in the plight of poor chicken Pharaoh. Mike and I managed to pull a different bag over the top of the other two and tape it at the bottom. I don't know if this is going to work. I sealed him up and put him in the plastic container that I bought. I think I will check him today and make sure that he is still totally covered in salt. We don't want our Pharaoh to rot. That would be bad.

Sorry no pictures quite yet. They are coming. I was a little preoccupied with the whole, raw chicken and spices everywhere to run and get the camera. But we have to clean him off, weigh him, and repack him next week and I will try and get it then.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Time Flies

I just can't figure out what has happened to this week!! Man it has just flown by.

School has been smooth but I feel like I am immersed in Ancient Egypt right about now. It's good just gets me to feeling a little over whelmed at times. No biggie.

I had to run Faith to student group last night and figured I would just stop by the brand new super Walmart down the street from the church since I was there and do my shopping and then pick ms. Faith up when group was over. I haven't been grocery shopping at 7 o'clock at night with three tired children.....ever. So it was a little much but i got my groceries including my 9 containers of salt and the tasty and tender chicken pharaoh. I was not really in the mood for questions as to why I was purchasing 9 containers of salt, a chicken and a large plastic bucket, and thankfully I didn't get any.

I will post pictures tomorrow of the beginning of our mummification process!!


Friday, September 14, 2007

Quote of the Day

"That's not green play dough under my nails. It's the green crayon I picked out of my teeth."

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cookie Dough Maps

The kids have worked really hard this week. This new curriculum we are using is challenging, I really like it and so do they. The curriculum suggested maybe taking it slow and doing your math and spelling and adding an element from the curriculum in every week. But that really isn't my style. I kind of jump in with both feet. Also we have been doing unit studies for a while so I thought I could handle it.

So far things have gone well. Yesterday was our hardest day I don't really know what happened but it was a long day and kind of a struggle. But we got through it.

This study is very map intensive which I am glad about. Not my strong point so I feel like I am learning a ton as well. The kids have not done a lot of map stuff so some of the review stuff is new to them but that is okay. They are smart and are catching on quickly. Seth really enjoys the map work.

One of the suggestions was to do a salt map of a made up region that had as many geographic features as you could fit on it. Since we just did a salt map of the US not that long ago we went with the no bake cookie dough recipe. They had fun and we got to review some of these terms. They turned out cute and they can't wait till after dinner to enjoy!!

Here are pictures


Sun Glasses, Motorcycles and Ninjas

This afternoon as we took a lunch break I was sitting in the dinning room listening to the chatter in the kitchen and this is what I heard.

Kylee- "Girls are made out of sugar and spice and everything nice, but boys are made of slugs and snails and puppy dogs tails!"

Seth- "That's not very nice!!"

Kylee- "Well that is how it goes!"

Seth- "No this is how it goes---Girls are made of cabbage, stink bugs and rotten apples, because they are mad all the time.
And boys are made of Sun glasses, motorcycles and Ninjas." (You really have to picture him doing a really cool Ninja move after that)

I am not so sure if that revision is going to take off.

One Motivated Kindergartner!

Since Faith went to public school for kindergarten and first grade Kylee was my first at home kindergarten experience. Looking back I don't think I did such a great job.

Unfortunately, since she got me in my first year I think I felt I had something to prove.I was going to home school my kids better than any one had ever done it!

I didn't get it. I had completely missed the point of schooling them at home.

But, on my behalf there was, and always is, a lot of pressure on the home school parent to make sure your kids look like they are keeping up with the school kids. I was crazy with poor little Kylee. She was going to learn to read and she was going to do it by Christmas. This poor little kid was NOT ready to learn to read. She really had no interest and looking back I don't think she was mature enough to start the process. I screwed up. And sometimes I think back and wonder how things could have been different if I had just let her play and worried about her learning her letters and numbers and sounds until she was ready.

Well, she did learn to read but didn't learn to love it. I think she is getting to learn to enjoy it but it has taken a long time.

So, I would like to think I learned my lesson. when Seth came up to being close to kindergarten age I decided I was not going to push him. If he wanted to play for a couple of years and start reading and math when he was 7 or 8 I was really okay with that. I totally laid off of him. And when he wanted to started kindergarten at the age of 4 3/4, daily I would just ask him what he wanted to do. He would play and listen to the other kids and do school pages occasionally and when he got bored of us he would go play with his little brother. He was reading great by Christmas, right after he turned five. Loves math, loves to read and write.

So, I thought i had found the key!! I was so happy to think that all you have to do is....well nothing and kindergarten was a snap! Then came Joshi. He just started kindergarten this last week. I really thought we would try the Seth method of kindergarten with him, but he is driving me crazy!!! He doesn't operate the way Seth does. He really wants to be involved with what is going on and he wants to be taught! He would have loved the Kylee kindergarten experience. So I am trying very hard to balance something out for him.

All this said it just hit me in the face what I say all the time to parents of school kids, all kids are different. They learn at different rates and with different techniques and you can't cookie cutter the learning experience and expect them to do well. It is just going to take some work on my part to learn Joshi's style and create something for him that is unique and fits his personality.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New School Year begins

Yesterday was the first day of our new school year. It went pretty smooth. We had all instruments practiced, and all school assignments completed before 2:30. I think for the first day that is great. This curriculum is pretty reading intensive and I was a little worried about that, being that one of my children is not so much a lover of reading. But she did great and kept up with the schedule. I don't think I did a great job of bringing around the reason we are starting with Ancient Egypt. But I will do that today. It is supposed to get them to understand what it was like when Moses was alive and understand the culture he was living in.

We had Salmon last night, okay so the Egyptians didn't necessarily eat salmon but fish was a staple so I thought maybe it tied in. Here is the recipe for it

Salmon about 2 pounds
1 1/2 cups of brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3-6 tablespoons lemon juice
2 1/4 teaspoons dill weed
3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients except salmon. remove 1/2 cup to a saucepan. simmer until heated through. Set aside remaining mixture for basting. Sprinkle salmon with lemon pepper. Place on grill with skin side down. Grill covered, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Brush with the reserved brown sugar mixture. Grill 10- 15 minutes longer basting occasionally. Serve with the warmed sauce.

It really is so good. The kids all ate it and said it tasted like chicken. Tonight we are having curry with lentils. You see where I am going here? Yes, Lentils being a major staple and crop for the Ancient Egyptians. And my whole family loves them so bonus!!!

Oh, and one more fun thing!! Next week we are going to mummify a chicken!!! I will tell you more about it later!


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Isn't That Really the Most Important Part?

So, all my hopes and dreams that the public library and I could join together in the education of my children were dashed to pieces yesterday.

About a month ago I trekked down to the main library, which is much bigger but also further than the one I usually go to, because they have supposed "home school services". I talked to the lady in charge and she said that they would indeed pull the books for me as long as I gave them at least a week. I had given them a month so I thought we were in the clear.

Our school starts this Monday so I was getting a little nervous that I had not received a call from the library. So I gave them a ring yesterday. This is how it went:

Library Lady: Hello Youth Services.

Me: Yes, Hello, my name is Kristen Jones and I came in a few weeks ago with a list of books,...

Library Lady: Yes Mrs. Jones, I was just about to call you!

Me: Oh wonderful!!

Library Lady: I was just pulling your list yesterday, (Oh my Goodness), and I could only get 11 of your books. Did you need them from other libraries as well?

Okay at this point I had to do a major temper checks. What I wanted to say was:

What??? You have had an entire month and you only started to pull these books yesterday? You knew there were 21 books and I expressed to you that I needed as many as I could get from wherever. I told you that you would have to put holds on them!! I could have come to the library and pulled them off the blippin shelf!! Also, I just have to wonder if this would have happened if I were a teacher in the public school system!!!!

BUT I didn't say any of that. What I said was:

Me: Yes, I would really like for you to get them from the other libraries as well. How long will that take?

Library Lady: Well, it is Friday so not before Tuesday.

Now let me just stop here to say that when she said Friday you have to imagine her saying it like it was my fault that I didn't get it to her until now. But to my credit, still I kept my calm.

Me: Okay, so can I come pick up the 11 now?

Library Lady: Yes, any time!

Me: Thanks.

All right, so I got off the phone and about cried. Found out the one of the books that she didn't pull was the literature book of 250 pages that Faith is supposed to have half read this week. And normally I could be flexible but there are so many reasons I am not feeling flexible right now. I called Barnes and Noble and they have it for 6 dollars so that is where I am going for that one today.

I totally felt like that Seinfeld episode where he goes in to rent the vehicle but they don't have his car.

You know how to take the reservation but you don't know how to hold the reservation. And really isn't the holding the most important part of the reservation?


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Family Fun

Mike's mom, dad, brother and sister-in-law were here for the weekend. It was a great weekend. Lots of food, fun, laughs, and (of coarse) cards.

Now before the weekend came upon us I had Mike agree that the scores for these upcoming games would not be added to his little score sheet, since the girls have taken a bit of a hit recently. I didn't know what would come of this weekend's games. I knew that Stacey had never played Canasta and Charlie, well he is a Jones so he has it in his blood whether he's played it or not.

I wish I had known then what I knew now. Not only did the women win, they won every single game. Stacey was a natural. It was a beautiful thing. So even if Mike won't add them to the scores I would just like it to be known that this weekend's box score was Girls 3 boys 0.

I think our luck maybe on the turn around.